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What I see when I see a student with ADHD
I have ADHD. I was diagnosed at age 12. What happened is I got to middle school, and my life fell apart. It came on like a typhoon. Things seemed alright as I started, but I still remember that October when my family went to sixth-grade check-in. My twin sister went first. The meeting lasted about four minutes. She and my parents left with smiles all around and talk of getting In N Out on the way home. Then it was my turn. Every teacher I had stood in a circle. They seemed...different. One by one, they went around and told me that I was shit. Some were nicer than others, but everyone had the same message to convey: Doesn't complete his homework all the way Distracts others trying to learn Unable to follow along in class Not sure if he can keep up I then heard my grades: C-, D+, C+, A in PE, C, and an F in Social Studies. I don't remember being ashamed or embarrassed or anything. I remember being confused. I had gone to school every day and tried hard and thought I was doing what the teacher asked. Nope. Guess I wasn't. Nobody had much advice for me. They just wanted me to know that I sucked. And that my parents should understand so. I don't know if my parents freaked out or punished me or what. But they weren't happy. The last to go was my social studies teacher, Sven. He asked me if I knew how to read. I politely nodded my head. But he wasn't sure. He talked about all the symptoms he had seen from me. To counter, I pulled a grad-level book on the Cold War off a shelf and read a page aloud while trying not to cry. People were even more confused. Some estimate that a child with ADHD will receive 20,000 more negative comments before the age of 12 than a non-ADHD child will. I can't speak to that exactly, but I can say that this was not the only time I've had a room full of people upset with me for reasons I never saw coming. It doesn't get much easier. Sven caught up to us as we walked to the car. He was cagey with his reasoning, but he told us that there might be something up with my brain. He recommended I get tested by a psychiatrist and see what she had to say. I've since come to my conclusions where he got such an idea. The testing was fun. I've always liked tests. Didn't mention it, but they also thought I couldn't read in 2nd grade. Lol. That one went away after I took a standardized exam and scored in the 99th percentile of the nation in reading. I thought standardized tests were fun, you see. I moved a bunch of colored balls into colored holes and tried to remember what color things were after 10 minutes and everything else you might expect. I didn't know what I was even doing, but I felt I could hang. Three weeks later, I got my results. The only part I remember is that my psychiatrist noted that in her entire career, she had never met someone who scored higher on specific tasks and yet lower on others. My chart looked like OJ Simpson’s polygraph. I could keep going, and in another article, I will. But this is how I got diagnosed. And the key to all of it was Sven. Everything makes perfect sense after the fact, but only when you realize that a single teacher served as the link that completes the narrative. I do not know where I am today without him. I got lucky that this story takes place in 2003, and at a private school with teachers who genuinely cared about me. For reasons a lawyer in the comments needs to help me understand better, public school teachers seem loath to alert students of disabilities of any kind. This includes ADHD but also things like autism, dyslexia, and mood disorders. Things that seem apparent to me in a way that makes it seem impossible that no other teacher in the past 13 years hasn’t also picked up on them. That means many students go through primary schooling while having no idea they have a problem at all. When I mention to a student they might have ADHD, they are first confused, but then some memories come back. The first is that someone, usually a sports or music coach, had once told them the same thing. The other is that they remember a lot of teachers saying weird stuff they didn't understand at the time. Stuff like, "You’re so talented. I just wish you could be better focused. Have you talked to anyone about why you could be having trouble?" To me, those sound like hints from a teacher who has been told by her bosses not to put the school at risk. I am not a teacher. I'm a private consultant and can pretty much say whatever I want. I am also not a doctor - people would die - but I am a concerned adult who has taken courses in spotting learning disabilities. I'm also someone who will do absolutely anything to make sure his students have the best chance for success now and in the future. I'm also someone who asked both my ADHD-psychiatrist (hi!) and ADHD-therapist (hi!!!!!) if I had the right to tell students if I suspected something; they both went, Ya, dude. Totally. So I try to be Sven. I try to pay attention to what my students do and say and provide feedback that can help them. I'd like to note what that feedback is here to make sure people don't miss it because my pieces go on for way too long. If you are a high school student who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need. Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it.This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. I'm not sure how well this will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time. If you can not afford traditional testing or do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company specializing in ADHD. The one I use and recommend isHelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service. Those paragraphs are what I want every student here to know. I'm much more comfortable having a trained doctor tell you what the deal is than I am trying to do it myself. But I have to see something if I want to be Sven. The question then is, how do I see it? For spotting ADHD, it's shockingly simple. And I'll get to the real reason at the end. But for now, here is what I see when I see a student with ADHD. The best way I can describe their lives is "endless chaos" The chaos isn't always bad! Rarely it's fun chaos, but often it's just chaos chaos. This chaos exists in both physical and mental forms. Physical: Their shit is such a mess. Everything. Most of the work we do is digital, so I see the Google Doc version of their mind. Folders make no sense. Things are labeled inaccurately or not at all. Schools get combined, or separated, or forgotten altogether. It is not a single type of error, but instead a collection of small mistakes and poor decisions that make the work impossible to corral. I have some kids that are messy or lazy, but this is different. It's like if the original folder system I built for them was an amoeba in a petri dish. Leave that dish out for a weekend and come back. The patterns will be remarkably similar to the organizational gore that they then try to utilize. Mental: There's always a story. "I was late because my car has a flat tire, and the guy was late, so I had to take an Uber." "I didn't know my music essays were due a month early because the form only mentioned there being a recital." "My friend is mad at me, but it's only because she didn't tell me we were the first group presenting, so I spent more time preparing our project". These stories make sense at first. But after a few weeks, they start to pile up. Then I become the one hearing a story about why they didn't do what I wanted, and I stop being so forgiving. ADHD is a neurological disorder. Not a mental illness. It's closer to diabetes than it is bi-polar. "ADHD" is a fairly garbage name for the condition because A) it has a stigma, and B) it isn't even accurate. Both attention deficit and hyperactivity are symptoms of ADHD, but they are not the problem itself. It would be like calling clinical depression "low energy and excessive guilt disorder". ADHD is actually an issue involving improper dopamine regulation in the brain combined with under-activity of the brain's executive function component. The executive function center is the part of your brain that is in charge of making sure all the other parts of your brain play nice and communicate. When the executive function center breaks down...those other parts don't. The result is a failure to plan or coordinate + a need for impulsive stimulation, thus resulting in endless chaos. This is what I’ll ask you if you DM me, btw. Is your life endless chaos? Sometimes do you like the chaos? Sometimes do you get bored and create the chaos yourself just to see what might happen? But when that chaos stops being so fun, can you make it stop? They're very, very intelligent You've probably heard about the "gifted ADHD genius" thing before. I don't think it exists. My theory has always been that the "gifted ADHD child" is a victim of survivorship bias. The research states that ADHD has either no or a negative correlation with intelligence. There is also a startling overlap with ADHD and incarceration. This means that students who still manage to succeed despite their disorder tend to have advantages that keep them in the game. Namely that they're smart as hell. The other saving grace is that they come from secure support networks that prevent them from unraveling completely. I've heard from such students that their mom or dad works tirelessly to keep their life in order and to make sure they're getting things done. I do not think it is a coincidence that when ADHD students leave for college, things often fall apart. The fact that there are ADHD kids that others know and still like makes some think ADHD isn't so bad or comes with natural cognitive advantages. Those same people do not become friends with the ADHD dumb kids who would disprove those perceptions. Do you remember that kid in elementary school who was his own worst enemy? He never had friends, and everyone was kind of afraid to even talk with him? He was kind of a bully but mostly just awful? He invited you to his house one time, but your mom wouldn’t let you go? That is my best guess of what a dumb kid with ADHD is like. It sounds cold writing it, but you know which kid I'm talking about right now. Where do you think that kid is today? I end up with the smart ones—the ones with parents who care. And God damn are these kids smart. They're brilliant, and funny, and likable, and charming. They have something different about them that makes them undeniable. And it's not just me. I worry I play them up too much in my mind, but then I chat with a teacher or coach of theirs. It's always the same thing: Oh, she's brilliant. She can be so frustrating sometimes, tho. They can be so frustrating sometimes, tho The word is frustrating. Now bad. Not nasty. Not unlikeable. Frustrating. I have some students I just don't like that much (no, not you). What tends to be the common theme with them is that they don't have much interest in my help and display a work ethic to match. On the other spectrum are the world beaters (totally you). These kids kick ass and not only follow my advice but often take that advice to the next level in ways that awe and inspire me. And then there are the kids I think have ADHD. They don't do stuff all the time. They don't finish an essay, or they forget to spell check like I asked, or they write about something that has nothing to do with the outline we built the week before. That's not necessarily the frustrating part. You kids are 17; you make mistakes. Early on, I try to spot these mistakes and point them out. Even the students who don't like me seem to get my point after enough prodding and the problem goes away. With these kids, the problem does not go away. Or if it does, another problem pops right back up to replace it. It makes me feel like there's nothing I can do. It would be easier if the student was just a brat. Then I could either become a brat myself or mentally check out because "hey man, your future”. I need a name for kids I suspect have ADHD…"MaybeHD"? Ya. That’s super funny. Say it out loud and try not to laugh. But these MaybeHD kids do like me. And they do want to get into school. And they do feel bad when I get upset with them. I end up in long, drawn-out conversations with them about why this is important and why they need to make specific work a priority to get into the schools they want to go to. Then they nod meekly and head home. Then they come back next week, and it's the same story. Frustrating. They are randomly awesome at the weirdest things I love weird talents. Things that no one offers up immediately, but then you're chatting, and it comes up naturally. "Oh ya, I love animals! I raise baby pigs in my backyard!" "You do?" "Ya!" At some point, the MaybeHD kid read something or watched a Youtube video that he or she liked. Then they wanted to try it. Six months later, they're making 4k a month selling custom bathrobes on Etsy. There's rarely any logic. "Do you like baths? Or making clothing? "Not really. I just thought it looked fun, so I bought a sewing kit and started making things." There is a noted link between ADHD and entrepreneurship. I see it with my MaybeHD students. They have an insatiable drive and passion for following up on curiosities that other students don't possess. Passion is the wrong word. They have obsessions with mastering concepts in a way that feels beyond their control. The obsession itself drives them to be great. The literature on the subject is cloudy. But there exists a term in ADHD circles called "Hyperfocus". If you know what "flow" is, it's kind of like that. Only more intense and less controllable. I often see the remnants of past hyperfocuses in their stories. They used to run that pig farm. They used to sell bathrobes. They used to be really into getting good grades at school. But then one day, just as quickly as they picked the skill up, they dropped it. They can seldom tell me why. Their priorities are completely out of whack The downside of hyperfocus is that it can be so all-encompassing that other priorities fall by the wayside. One of my favorite students ever is named Elleway. We chatted in our first meeting, and I was instantly intrigued by her background. She said she had designed and prototyped a unit that would automatically roll under parked electric cars for hands-free charging. I hear a lot of impressive stuff in my job, and a lot of it ends up being not that impressive. But then Elleway showed me the prototype video she made back when she was a high school freshman and it blew my mind. https://youtu.be/Y5Ap2uMbWL4 Can you do that? I sure as hell can't. She wasn't even an engineer. She calmly explained that she had partnered with several older male engineers who had helped turn her idea into reality. Then she had done all the promotional and marketing work herself. Then she got second out of 300 students at a young entrepreneur contest held at Columbia University. Shortly after, a tech CEO came up to her and asked if she would like to work with him to file a patent for the invention. She agreed and is now a trademark holder. That was all in our first 10 minutes. She then went on to share the half dozen corporations she had worked for. And the three businesses she started. And the graphic design work she made for her website. She told me how she was a Nationally ranked fencer until she lost interest. She was now merely a Nationally ranked golfer. Then I saw she had a 2.9 GPA and thus zero shot at getting into NYU like she hoped. I did not initially think Elleway had ADHD. I thought she was a pathological liar. It seemed impossible to me that this same girl who had already taken a grip on the world was then unable to keep up her grades in math. That just isn’t how any -any- of my other ultra high-achieving students behave. Then Elleway showed me pictures of her casually hanging out with Andrew Yang. And then her LinkedIn With a lot of people who do not accept your request unless they want to. I had to figure out what the hell led to all this. Elleway’s patent and ambition to work on it had taken up all her time. She was so singularly focused on doing what she cared about that the world behind her didn't seem to exist. She was hyperfocused on a goal, but once she reached it, she woke up to a reality that punished her for ignoring everything else. That's the longing writer's version of the story. The more popular one is that she didn't give a shit about school, was warned repeatedly about the consequences, and ignored them. She got what she deserved. That’s the version the rest of the world had for her. It goes back to frustrating. I've gotten kids into NYU that don't show a fifth the potential that Elleway did. Those kids went to all the camps their parents paid for and entered competitions with a tech doorbell or something lame, and they're just fine. But MaybeHD students are often world-beaters in ways that make them seem so special. They talk endlessly not just about what they're into but how they figured it all out and why it is all so important to them. I believe them, and I want to fight for them. So I give them as much assistance as I possibly can. But then they don't do the increasingly easy tasks I ask for them to complete. Then they suffer the consequences. Elleway didn't get into NYU. She didn't get in much of anywhere. It eats me up inside, and I feel like I failed her. I don't know how many other people in my position would feel the same way. That's why I have to be Sven. This is getting long, and I'm getting depressed. Here's the TL: DR of what I see when I see a student with ADHD ... Me. I see me. And it can hurt really bad knowing what a condition like ADHD does to a young person's life. My life is endless chaos. I've been out of food for nine days. My house looks like Badger from Breaking Bad bought a loft in Palo Alto. I am still writing this at 3:25 AM when I have to be up for work at nine. My cat has started doing this thing where she sleeps in her food bowl when it gets empty. It's equal parts adorable and humiliating. I'm smart as shit. I know it. I made up half-ideas. That article is absolute fire. I got published on Cracked.com five times in 2011 when that meant something. I went to Tulane on a half-ride merit scholarship, used to win creative writing contests, and have done a bunch of other writery stuff that made people stand up and go, "Woah". But I only made it to college because my mom carried me there, kicking and screaming. She packaged my life together, and I held on for the ride. Then I got to school and made it two months before she got an Email alerting her that Tulane was planning to revoke the remaining $70,000 of my $80,000 scholarship due to my grades. I barely scraped by and survived. But the shame and frustration in her voice when she read me that letter over the phone haunts me to this day. I analyze handwriting. And I turned a Reddit account into a successful business in four months. And I collect college T-shirts from schools my students go to. And I own Bitcoin I bought in 2011 for $4.50 each. And I'm teaching myself piano with a video game. And I'm exercising with a video game. And I'm ranked 42nd in Northern California at Super Smash Bros Ultimate. And I’ve tried the nachos at over 100 Taquerias in the Bay Area. And I own a really cute cat. But I've spent 15* hours this week writing this instead of a sequel to that Costco piece. I have one coming where I edit my Common App essay from 2009. It's a great idea and a great article. One that will drive significantly more business to my site than this piece will. Hell, I predict this piece is likely to lose me business because I come off like a mess in it. But it's what I want to write, so I feel like I have no choice. *The 15 hours is a guess. I have no idea how long it takes me to write and edit these things. I start typing and X hours later look up and realize how hungry I am and how much I need to pee. The writing controls me. I see myself in my MaybeHD students. I see their unfettered curiosity and flair for taking as much good from the world as possible. I see their infectious enthusiasm and ability to quickly forgive others because they know too well how it feels to want forgiveness themselves. Yet I also see their inattention to detail, their weak excuses, and their general confusion that makes me realize they couldn't fix some problems if their lives depended on it. I see their sadness and shame when those mistakes pile up. I see when the chaos stops being fun, and they want out, but they don't know how. I don't know what I, as their consultant, can do. But as Sven, I can recommend they go talk to someone else... Hey, so, I was considering hiring you and all...but you seem kind of bad. Why should I trust you? Because a couple of years ago, I got back on my medication and turned my life around. You aren't reading this if I don't reach out for help and trust a trained psychiatrist to guide me. There are no groups of friends in Delaware or Connecticut comparing their half-ideas lists. There sure as shit isn't a CollegeWithMattie.com. I still have ADHD. But one of the greatest things about ADHD is that it is -without rival- the most treatable form of mental illness or dysfunction known to man. It is not curable, but there are endless medical and non-medical options available for those willing to reach out and get the help they need. My story is that it was only by getting re-medicated that I then could learn and use coping mechanisms that allow me to achieve the type of life I've always wanted. Christ, 4,400 words. You know, I'm also submitting this for a class I'm in. That's why all the backlinks are to actual sources instead of links herding you into my website. Hi Amy! That's one more thing. ADHD people are hyper-efficient...Kind of. Alright. If you're still here reading this, you might be suspecting some things about yourself. My DMs are open if you want to chat, but again, I am not a doctor. I will say that right now, as you prepare to head to college, is a really good time to get this all figured out. College is a giant reset button on your life. Figure these problems out now so that by the time you head off for your next chapter, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to succeed. Endless chaos. Here is the bold part again: If you are a student in high school who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America (still) sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need. Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it.This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will kind of suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. This will suck and I'm not sure how well it will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time. If you can not afford traditional testing, or if you do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company that specializes in ADHD. The one I use and recommend isHelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be really long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service. Update: The lines aren't that long anymore! Monday was Elleway's 18th birthday. She sent me a screengrab of her upcoming Ahead appointment in early September. She told me she spent the entire day crying because all her friends were going off to great schools and that she was stuck at home. I've told Elleway that I plan to help her reapply to NYU this year. I doubt I will ever want to see another student succeed as much as I will with her.
Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
$15k saved, no cc debt - Should I pay off student loans or invest in retirement?
For the first time in my life I have about $15,000 in the bank and I am looking for advice on what would be the best way to invest this money into my future. Should I pay off student loans, invest in retirement, keep it in an emergency fund, other options? Current income: Unemployed (was laid off bc of covid), but hoping to find a new job soon. I am currently receiving about $4k/month from unemployment, which is comparable to my regular salary. Rent + bills = about $2000/month, and I can be pretty frugal about my other expenses, especially since I've been self-isolating at home. How much should I keep in my account as an emergency fund, in case I can't find a job by the time my unemployment runs out? Should I keep saving until I have a bigger chunk to invest? Student Loans: $13,600, interest rate is 5.375% - any advice as to the best way to tackle this? I've been consistently paying $300/mo via autopay (minimum is $222) after using an online calculator and entering my income. I have been paying this off for 15 years and the number just won't go down. It sure would feel good to just pay it off, but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. This is not a private loan - I went to a public state school so it's just your run of the mill Stafford & Perkins loan. Retirement: I'm 37 years old and have no retirement savings. I realize I'm late in the game, and feel an urgency to invest, but I am wondering if it's a better idea to pay off my loans first. I have been looking into the Fidelity Zero Total Market Index Fund for a Traditional IRA. I decided on a traditional IRA rather than a ROTH because I've read that the short term tax breaks may not be as beneficial in the long run as a traditional IRA. (Edit: ROTH IRA sorry for the mixup!) Should I invest the max amount for the year all at once or make monthly contributions? I admittedly am totally clueless when it comes to this so any advice here is appreciated since it's my first retirement account. Car loan: I bought a car last year and still owe $17,694.01, interest rate is 3.49 %, 60 months, financed by BMW Financial (it's not a bmw, it's just a standard mini cooper). Monthly payment is $360, $53 of which is interest. I have been paying this consistently with autopay. I ran into an issue previously when I paid off a car early and it ruined my credit score. My Fico report never fully recovered. I'd like to keep my student loans a priority since the interest rate is higher. My plan is to keep this loan as is, unless anyone has any advice for me, please share. High-interest savings/Money Market/CD - From what I've read so far, this doesn't seem like a worthy investment at the current moment because of low interest rates/return. Correct me if I'm wrong and this is something I should look into. Credit: I currently do not have any credit cards of my own, and I have a credit score of 670. I am currently registered as an authorized user on a parent's card, and my score dropped 80 pts when they made a big purchase without consulting me. I should be closer to 750, and I'm hoping this will recover over time. I've been told to invest in a prepaid credit card to boost my score, but this would be a last resort for me, if I have any other options for building my credit. The reason is because I would have to invest a large enough sum of money to keep my usage low, and that just seems like a waste of money when it would be invested elsewhere to bring in interest. What are my best options? Invest in a prepaid card, or just wait it out until my score recovers to apply for a credit card? The only reason why I want a credit card is to boost my credit score. I don't believe in credit card debt and don't plan on keeping a balance for any reason. Cryptocurrency: I have about $1,200 in Bitcoin that I bought for funzies so that I could gift small amounts to family for birthdays and holidays. It's almost doubled in value, but I don't want to bank my future on this so I'm considering this more of a hobby than a financial decision. I don't plan on buying any more, but plan on holding onto what I have for at least a couple of years to see where it goes. I realize I am way behind for my age, and I feel panicked when I think about my future. I wouldn't say that I've been financially irresponsible (I don't have any credit card debt or luxury items and live very frugally). It's more that I've been living more or less paycheck to paycheck on low income for most of my life (along with a few family & health setbacks), and my career has made a turn where I've finally been able to save in the last 2 years. If anyone can give me some advice on how to turn things around, please let me know! Thanks in advance!
Hey y’all, I bought some carts online through a site on the clearnet and thought I’d share my experience. Thought it might help someone else in the same boat. Background: I’ve only started smoking weed since it became legal in states that I’ve visited and only really got into it once I brought a cart home from Colorado. I live in Texas and I’m in a new town, doing full time daddy daycare until the plague finally runs its course. I’ve seen a bunch of well rated plugs around me on LeafedOut but I’m in a tightly packed suburban area and I really don’t want my neighbors smelling a joint burning in the backyard. Carts are my go to, but I know not to trust carts that aren’t from dispensaries so I started researching online methods. My first idea was trying to find someone in a legal state who I could Venmo that would go to a dispensary and mail me clean carts. I asked a few guys on leafedout and even messaged a guy I knew in high school who now runs a dispensary in Michigan. They all shot me down so I started searching this sub for other ideas. The darknet is the obvious way to go. The idea of the darknet always kinda skeeved me out but I found the site that just sells shrooms and pot and it was a lot easier to get into than I thought it would be. The first seller listed claimed to sell carts they make themselves free of pesticides or cutting agents and was selling 5 carts for about $150 so it all seemed good, but I wanted to keep researching before I took the plunge. I found a couple of clearnet sites that claimed to sell weed and 2 of them seemed to be the real deal. They’ve both been mentioned in this sub several times and no one has posted anything bad about them, so that seemed like a good possibility. One of the sites (sub rules say not to list sources but it’s the website with an alliterative name) was selling MarioCarts and TKO which I know to stay away from so that seemed like a bad idea. The other one is this one guy working (as far as I can tell) by himself in Washington. He’s got a nice little blog on his site and even posts videos of himself on hikes talking about his business. It seemed comforting so I thought what the hell let’s give it a try. I traded some Venmo for bitcoin on /cash4cash and placed an order on his site. I got an automated email confirming my order and about 2 days later the owner emailed me with payment instructions. I sent the bitcoin to his wallet and didn’t hear back for about 5 days (for future readers, this happened in the middle of the Covid lockdown and 4/20/20 so people were buying lots of weed.) but I finally heard from him saying he had dropped the envelope in the mail. It arrived to my house 2 days later on 4/20 in a discrete usps priority envelope. I got two 1g carts of Alaskan Thunder Fuck for about $140. The carts had no packaging or labeling other than the clear tube they come in, and a handwritten ATF written in silver sharpie on the side of the cart. I was a little worried at first because the bubble was moving kind of fast but after some research I learned that isn’t totally uncommon. They hit good, no burning, and I got a pretty good high off of one hit. I fell asleep shortly after so I don’t know how long the high lasted but I’m going to hit it again tonight and will report back if anyone’s interested. And I guess that’s it. It was a pretty smooth experience all and all and if you need a hookup it’s not a bad way to go, but I personally don’t think I’ll do it again. I’m not a heavy user and the only reason I ended up buying it was I’m getting bored sitting around my house every evening not able to leave (again, Covid 19, future readers). Sometimes when I get an idea in my head I have trouble forgetting about it. This was one of those things I really wanted to try but once I placed the order, I realized how fucked I could be if shit went sideways. But hey, now I have 2g of oil and that should literally last me the rest of the year with the amount I smoke. Happy to answer any questions or let you berate me for doing something stupid.
The pandemic period played into the hands of the entire team and we managed to build beauty in our services. In anticipation of the exchange, the team tidied up the sites and services and connected new tools. First of all, we paid attention to the preparation of all services for a foreign audience, taking into account its mentality. New sections, localizations, nice things, and much more to ensure the most efficient use of the TKEY resource. In addition to the new tabs, the services that we will talk about in this material, there is a special page for representatives of the exchange with the necessary documentation for listing — https://tkeycoin.com/en/documentation/. https://preview.redd.it/63a1cmdwve151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=0a064bff4acd1c1e3171f2c72ff79533b87aa3e1
Buying cryptocurrency for pound, dollars, euros, and other currencies
At the end of February, we told you that we are working on building a payment service that will include the provision of services: buy cryptocurrencies, sell a cryptocurrency, withdraw cryptocurrency to Bank cards, etc. This day has come, now you can buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether USDT, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Algorand (ALGO), Tron (TRX), OKB (Token Okex.com). https://preview.redd.it/1pm2cnv8we151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=69473d2e5ed1b8dc75189362b46906752be29895 The purchase is available in any currency: Russian ruble, US Dollar, Euro, British pound, Ukrainian hryvnia, Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won, Japanese yen, Turkish Lira, Argentine peso. As you can see, the currency corridors are quite extensive, which allows you to make exchanges fast and at a favorable rate. Just choose the right pair to exchange or buy, available fiat currencies: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB. Even if this wide list does not include the currency you want to buy, such as Bitcoin or USDT, it’s okay — the service will automatically convert your currency into the payment currency and the Bank will make the exchange. Exchanges take place within 1–3 minutes, it is enough to pass quick verification once, which allows you to work with a volume of > 15,000 euros per month. https://preview.redd.it/0ln5uttawe151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=35de9e413db35bb53f39332aa4197cd54a3e211c
Exchange of cryptocurrencies for pound, dollars, euros, and withdrawal of Bankcard
In addition to the fact that you can now easily buy a cryptocurrency for fiat currencies, pound, dollars or any other, during this week we will finish work on the withdrawal to a Bank card and you can easily withdraw your profit to the card, the most important thing is that this is a completely legal method, and all operations pass through banks and jurisdictions where work with digital assets is legalized.
This means that when you buy or make a withdrawal to the card, you get legal funds that are credited to you by the Bank or payment system.
If you are used to working with effective tools that work in a new way, or rather correctly and legally, then this service is for you. Fast crediting, easy exchange, a large selection of currency pairs, that’s what the company is betting on. We work with the most reliable third-party partners to make your cryptocurrency process easy and convenient, and most importantly safe for You. The service supports plastic and virtual Bank cards VISA, MasterCard, MIR, and other payment systems for fast payment processing. https://preview.redd.it/x1jnm1ccwe151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=f86fc353ad5f207db8d233821204b521ba0b3d0e On the exchange page, you can choose any currency pair to exchange in the opposite direction, for example, GBP to BTC or USD to BTC. Choose a suitable pair for exchange, available fiat currencies: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies for exchange: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB. How it works When buying cryptocurrency for the first time, your Bank reserves (holds) the requested amount, then this amount is transferred to the authorization waiting state. As soon as the Bank freezes the fiat funds, the service fixes the exchange rate at the time of creating the application, reserves the cryptocurrency, and provides you with 30–40 minutes to complete verification. After successful verification, the service charges cryptocurrency to the wallet.
Support for other currencies, including TKEY, will be added gradually and highlighted through service updates. As for the TKEY exchange, it will become available in exchange services after listing on the exchange. Listing on an exchange allows you to automate the exchange process, link the necessary services, and most importantly, the exchange provides liquidity, which is key when we talk about exchanging for a particular currency. We will tell you more about the operation of the service and its advantages, chips, in a separate material dedicated to the withdrawal and purchase of cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies, as well as touch on various banking issues and tell you how you can combine the SWAP service for more efficient exchange and withdrawal to the card.
By making an exchange or purchase of cryptocurrency, you help children and people who need our help. We deduct 0.1% of the profit from each transaction to charity funds. This is the fastest and most comfortable way of charity, which allows you to bring together people who are not indifferent to other people’s problems. TKEY enables people to do good deeds, and the resulting turnover profit of 0.1% is sent to charity funds every month. Together with You, we create new opportunities for people in need who need help — “Big things have small beginnings”. How does it work? You have made an exchange or purchase operation, the company has accumulated the volume of these operations for a month->the company has chosen a charity Fund->sent funds to the charity Fund’s account. Priority charity funds are children’s aid funds. You can always suggest a candidate for a particular Fund by sending a message to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). Why do we write Funds and not a Fund? This is the first launch of the service, so depending on the monthly volume, we will focus on distributing funds to one charity or several. For example, if we have accumulated $ 10,000, we can distribute $ 5,000 to 2 funds. if we have accumulated $ 100, it is logical that we will only send this amount to 1 Fund. With the development of the service, we will be able to focus on several funds, which we will actively help due to the received volume.
New blocks were added, the entire page was fully localized and is available in Chinese, Korean, English and Russian, and QR codes were added for easy navigation for the Asian audience.
Documentation for the exchange
We have already mentioned that there is a section for exchanges with the necessary documentation for listing, now it is available in English. In the next updates, it will be translated into Russian, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean.
Added answers to frequently asked questions in various sections of the site, You can find the information directly on the section page, for example, TKEY-QT, SWAP or Core. Right on the page there is a FAQ section, in which we disclose answers to questions, for example: How are You going to solve the scalability problem, or why did you choose Phoenix as the logo and symbol of the project, or how do you exchange cryptocurrency for pound or dollars? As you can see, you can get answers to different questions, depending on the topic of the site section. https://preview.redd.it/8utkvv6iwe151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=d493ec784d74c5982486e36fe3b4bcbcb6d57335
In addition to various improvements, connecting services, our team has been working every day on other main areas of the Tkeycoin project, which are already being prepared for the next release and we will tell you what updates, what plans, events, and what else will be interesting this year.
Online conference with management
An online conference in question-answer format will be organized. The main task of the conference, in addition to questions and answers, is to discuss plans, talk about new directions, touch on issues of legislation, and analyze current issues of users. The online meeting format will allow you to get feedback and discuss a large number of issues in a short time. Questions related to technical support and other questions that can be answered through the administration will not be discussed. The meeting involves the development, constructive, and suggestions from users for further development of the Tkeycoin project. If you are interested in participating in the conference, you can also make business proposals during it, please use the time to your advantage. We work for you.
New content: reports, new categories, useful information
Based on user feedback, we introduce new categories to our content plan: Reports This section will be accompanied by information about the work done by the team for the month, the format of submission — abstracts, highlights. This format will help establish feedback between users and developers. Question-answer In addition to the content that we produce ourselves, users have questions that arise during the process of working with the project’s services, as well as during interaction with the project itself. To avoid making guesses and making up stories, we have introduced the question-answer category. Users ask questions in comments, and the company prepares answers based on the questions and they are published in the post. Depending on the number of questions, the post generates all the answers, or the post is divided into parts if the number of questions for the past period was the largest. In addition to asking questions, you can make suggestions to the project, for example, about new features or directions. This format also builds feedback and helps to improve all services. the most important thing is that it can not only help us but also you, as the offer and questions will help you focus on the tasks that the end-user wants to see.
TKEY-POOL (Tkeycoin pool)
We are completing the work and debugging of the official pool for Tkeycoin, this is a completely new approach for mining Tkeycoin. The pool will feature higher performance and stable architecture, a light interface, and objective commissions. A pool is a highly loaded system that works 24/7/365, it turns out that such a product hides a sufficient number of lines of code and, most importantly, is built on a reliable architecture that can withstand +50000–100000 miners, not to mention the number of connected devices for this number of miners. A cryptocurrency pool is a combination of the hardware power of many miners at once to increase the probability of finding a block. The reward for a block obtained by the pool is distributed among all participants. The TKEY pool is developed taking into account the features of the Tkeycoin blockchain, including multi-blockchain, transaction model, hashing, blocks, and other nuances that are an upgrade of the blockchain among others. Together with the pool, the TKEY network is being tested: high loads, attacks, and other tests that show positive results, proving that the TKEY blockchain can work under any loads and is protected from attacks. Our task was to: 1. Stable system for handling high loads; 2. Adaptation pool for any software; 3. Connecting any hardware for mining cryptocurrency Tkeycoin; 4. Fair remuneration calculation; 5. Security. The main goal is for any user, regardless of the software and hardware used, to be able to connect to Tkeycoin mining via a pool. The first releases will be accompanied by a simple user-friendly interface, easy connection, instructions for various mining programs that can be connected. In future releases, we will optimize the operation of the pool, add new features, as well as tracking functions and other nice things. any suggestions from miners and the community are interesting to us and will be implemented, so do not hesitate to send your suggestions after the launch.
https://preview.redd.it/fjy2dkanwe151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=99dedd6aa59ae7eb4d585d2ef1ddae4cc6dd50f9 Work on the TkeySpace mobile app is also not standing still. We will soon release updates for TkeySpace on Android and iOS. This release is a complete transition to the most stable version of the mobile wallet. This means that after the update, even with the largest changes, the user will not need to completely reinstall or restore to use the new features, as before, just update the app via the AppStore or GooglePlay. Between the previous update has been a sufficient amount of time, on average, updates are released once a month. This update will be one of the major ones. We are finishing work on the code to prepare the app for the new features that will be available this year. Besides, we are improving the app’s logic, data processing speed, optimizing the code, restoring order, and preparing for the global market.
Exchange, purchase of cryptocurrency and withdrawal to the Debit/Credit Card
The development team is finishing work on optimizing the SWAP service. Regardless of updates, it is available in working mode 24/7/365. The team is working on improving the operation, optimizing the page, changing the interfaces, improving navigation, and speeding up query processing. This update is also among the upcoming ones, along with the pool, mobile wallets, and other news that will excite.
In the network statistics section, there are several sections that will be fixed — this is the hash rate of the network and the volume of Tkeycoin. Now the volume of Tkeycoin is displayed by mTKEY, and the graph itself indicates M TKEY, the user may incorrectly understand the volume of transactions in the network, so, given the current volume, it is advisable to switch the display to TKEY, and in the future switch to mTKEY for large volumes.
This issue has become the cause of mass discussions, disputes, investigations, the subject of memes, kitchen, and online conversations, that just did not happen, that TKEY is not taken anywhere, someone made guesses that we are waiting for everyone to run away, or TKEY is a world conspiracy and around some actors, you can write a book or shoot a great series, not worse than Breaking Bad. Jokes, jokes, but the question is serious. Since the 4th quarter of last year, the company has been actively working on the issue of listing, prepared the necessary platform for this, held several meetings, negotiations, released the necessary products, figured out various transfers of funds to the blockchain, worked out many small things, many major issues that were behind the scenes. Everything is ready, and it’s time to start soon. This will be a surprise, believe it or not, and we will meet you on the stock exchanges :)
What other plans does the company have?
Enabling payment at retail outlets
After entering the exchange, we will actively engage in connecting payments to implement them and link them to TKEY. The plan, strategy, and legal component are ready.
This implies the development of payments and services that will expand the use of digital currencies in the commercial sphere. Application on the territory of Russia will depend on the Federal law on the CFA, in any case, we plan to analyze the law, after its release, to find a legal way to implement payments based on blockchain and digital assets. Therefore, until the law is released, we are keeping this initiative in the future, and we will work on other jurisdictions that will support it. We left some plans behind the scenes, because they will make the greatest impact on the market and the value of our asset, and this — likes silence.
What useful materials will be released soon?
How to effectively use the SWAP service together with the exchange and purchase of cryptocurrency from a Bank card?
We will tell you in detail how to use these 2 services, how to save on payments and purchases, how to exchange tokens that are very difficult to exchange, how to quickly get money for them to the card, and much more.
The law CFA
Our opinion about the law of cryptocurrencies in Russia, what to pay attention to, what to prepare for, how to act if there is a complete ban. Let’s talk about legal nuances and banking practices.
In this material, we will talk about the blockchain, analyze the issues of the system, expand the questions on attacks, payment processing, and touch on the system of multiple chains. The article suggests your suggestions, perhaps someone will have ideas that we will implement in the chain. At the end, Don’t forget to ask questions in the comments or send suggestions to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) we will be happy to respond and consider your requests for any of our services. Collaboration, feedback, help us make the whole platform better. Thank you for being with us! Until new meetings, stay tuned for news, updates, because the most unexpected news comes spontaneously.
My wife (32F) is threatening to leave me if I (30M) don't get what she considers help for my depression. This isn't the first time she has threatened to leave me.
This is going to be a long post. I met my wife online 8 years ago. We lived across the country from each other and kept a long distance relationship going well, and go the opportunity to see each other every few months for weeks at a time. We would fall asleep on Skype together every night, text each other throughout the day, and phone each other when we had time to talk or wanted to play games together. In 2013 after a year and a half of dating I asked her to marry me and she said yes. I was overjoyed! I had spent my highschool years as the guy that everyone avoided because my mother had been sending me to therapy for over 10 years for issues that may have been real at the time of my childhood, but regressed as I grew into adulthood. I would routinely take a cocktail of 8 different medications in the morning and before bed, and my friends are the time would better describe me as a zombie over a functional human being. I had issues holding conversation, would regularly space out, could not perform sexually, and could not get good grades in college. After I got married to my wife, we got an apartment together, and I stopped my medication cold turkey of my own volition. I was a new man, I no longer any of my previous issues and I felt free and full of life. I never resented my mother because she only had my best interests in mind, and was not doing sending me to therapy and keeping me medicated for her own peace of mind. My parents gave me a great life growing up and gave me everything I ever wanted, being from an upper class household, they bought me a brand new car for college, anything I wanted growing up, and would support me financially on almost anything I wanted within reason. My college was fully paid for and I went to one of the best private schools in the area while growing up. I had been to every continent in the world, visited tons of grand architecture and theme parks, and seen so many wonderful things, and I was looking forward to sharing that life with my new wife. My wife did not have the upbringing I did. She was the second oldest of 6 children. Growing up, she did not get any luxury. From having to work a summer job to buy her own school supplies and clothes, to dealing with an elder brother that sexually assaulted her every month while her parents slept, to a junkie father that would work odd jobs only to get money to get high, and a mother that worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over her children's head, her child hood was not easy. Her parents got divorced when she was 17, after being together for 23 years. Her father never gave her any love despite her efforts, she would regularly make love notes and lunches for him growing up, only to find them crumpled up and thrown in the trash and never responded to. Her elder brother would force her to give him oral at least a few times a month from the age of 15-16 while everyone in the house was asleep. Her father left and had no contact with her since she was 19, only showing back up in her life for our wedding, just to disappear again. He hasn't spoken to her in 4 years now. Before we got married, I flew out to meet her, and we packed up everything she owned and put it in her car. We drove 2900 miles across the US to move her into our house with my parents, and after we got married, my parents paid for us to get an apartment near their house. We were so happy! After we moved in together after getting married, we both were young, only 23 and 25. We worked fast food and don't have a lot of money, surviving on only a hundred dollars of food a month. But, because we were together, everything was ok. Or so I thought. My wife has constantly struggled with insecurity since we got married. We made sure when we got married that we would keep our finances separate. She was a bad money manager and didn't want to "ruin me" like she had ruined herself. She would break down sometimes for no reason begging me not to leave her, and I have never done anything to make it seem like I was. My parents decided that since I had gotten married and was doing OK, they were going to give me part of my inheritance up front. I took this money to pay off all our debt, I paid off half her student loans, and I would take care of any issues that came up for her that she couldn't handle without complaint. She crashed her car, I helped her buy a new one, she couldn't pay a bill, no problem, I've got her covered. Anything she felt she couldn't handle, I was always right there to support her. Near the end of our first year together, my wife for some reason had reached the end of her rope. If we didn't move out of the big city where she didn't have any friends or know how to get anywhere, she was going to leave me. It wasn't me, but she said was devastatingly homesick, and said she couldn't live here any longer. She had made a real home away from her parents at her college town, and her best friend of 6 years lived there, who had supported her through thick and thin. Despite my aversion to this at first, I could tell that moving back home where her best friend lived and what was familiar to her was important. After 2 weeks of talking about it, I agreed to move with her back to what she considered home. My parents were planning to move around this time as well, as they no longer had any children and we're looking to downsize their home. So, for her, I left my hometown of 25 years, and all my friends that I grew up with. My parents gave me money for us to buy our first house, and another 30 thousand on top. My wife and I found a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home, and bought it outright with cash. Because there was money left over, we used that for moving costs, and I began searching for a job I knew I would enjoy, while living off the interest on my savings. We were working on having a child and I knew that a kid was going to be expensive, so I was trying to make sure we had the money to support our child, and I could still make my wife happy. In 2015, 2 years after we moved into our house, my wife said she was going to leave me again. Despite her only ever needing to pay her bills (she had gotten herself into more credit card debt), despite her crashing another car and me paying a $5,000 down payment to buy her another new one (she had to get a loan out), despite me spending time with her every night and never going anywhere without her, taking her on trips and little date nights to make her happy, she was threatening to leave again. A month after her telling me this, my father passed away from early onset Alzheimer's. I was having a rough few months. We were having trouble conceiving and she was having severe body confidence issues. She was convinced that before I left her for someone else, she was going to have to leave me. Since we had gotten married, she had gained over 100 pounds, and I had never made an issue about it, other than showing concern for her health (her family has a history of diabetes and heart disease). She said that despite me continuing to support her in all her hobbies (she likes dancing and volunteering at the pet shelter), me not having a job was stressing her out because she wasn't sure that I could keep helping her. Despite my reassurances, she believed that I was going to leave her for someone better, and that she needed to leave before I did. No re-assurance I gave her would stop her from believing that I was going to be gone the next time she came home from work. She started self harming. When she was younger, she frequently thought that the reason that her mother was never around, her father left, her brother abused her, was all her fault. Hurting herself made her feel like she was being punished, and that her sins were being forgiven. Her church growing up was very abusive. They would make people stand up in front of the entire congregation and "confess" their sins in front of everyone. When she had premarital sex with her first boyfriend, she almost killed herself after when her mother found out and made her "confess" to the congregation. She hospitalized herself with a suicide attempt after this happened, and has never respected her mother since. I called up our PCP and told her that my wife dseperately needed help. After an appointment, blood work, and a CT scan for the issues with concieving, she was diagnosed with Severe Depression, Insulin Resistance, and PCOS. She was put on medication and around this time I had found a job, so I told her that she could cut back on her hours and I would start helping her with her bills. We also started looking for a therapist for her. She started going to the therapist and she seemed a lot happier. We were having fun with friends again, and she felt like the happy, bubbly woman I married again. In early 2016, we got great news! We were pregnant! Because I was making enough money at the time to pay her bills and mine, she was able to only work 20 hours a week through her pregnancy, and then her job gave her 6 months leave when the baby was due. While she was a few months along, she unfortunately got into another car accident, and so again, I helped her buy a new care, this time a minivan, because she wanted it for our kids. She was going to pay for it again, because she said she was tired of me paying for everything for her again. I have no issues with this as I never have, because whenever I try to pay for something, she doesn't let me. When we had our child, I had saved up enough money to start my own business. Using the money I had saved, I started up a computer system building company, and servicing the local area, I was able to be home a lot more than working my job, and still make the same amount of money. The business started doing extremely well, and I hired a few employees and a friend of mine to work for me, letting me spend more time with my wife and newborn daughter. Then, we started having problems again. My wife was in a lot of credit card debt from not managing her money ($30,000), and she had been hiding it from me. She was having issues breastfeeding our kid and would break down for hours at a time over not being able to do it. She was diagnosed with post-partum depression and started going to a different therapist. I wasn't making enough money for paying for our insurance, electrical, car payments, taxes and the credit card debt she had built up. I was upset, but it's extremely uncharacteristic for me to get mad about money, because I have always had money. I offered to use our house savings (we were saving up for a bigger house to have more kids) and pay off her debt again. She said no. She decided she was going work full time again. I helped her get a debt consolidation loan for her cards, and she began working full time while I took care of our daughter. This was in the beginning of 2017. Towards the middle of 2017, our life was going great. My business had taken off, and I was making $10,000 dollars profit a month. I had gotten early in on cryptocurrency back in 2013, and was riding high on the bull run from Bitcoin. My company made crypto mining machines due to having a ton of stock from system building, and we were selling those for record amounts. My wife had cut down to part time because I could afford the extra to help her bills, and she could spend more time with me and our daughter. Things couldn't of been better. Then in 2018, the crypto market crashed. My cryptocurrency that had been worth almost $500k crashed down to $60k of value in the span of a month and a half. I had to start selling it to pay off debt the company had taken on to expand, or else it was going to hurt me more. But I kept holding onto the majority of it. I kept my business running, but things were winding down because the crypto run was over. We were operating on razor thin margins. In May of 2018, I stopped paying myself while still running the business to make sure I could keep paying my employees. I was still getting a stipend from investments every month in the amount of a few thousand, so I could afford to not pay myself. I was still taking care of my daughter, but my wife had to go back up to full time. I started looking for jobs, figuring with my 2 associates degrees and my master degree, I could get a good job easy. In the beginning of 2019, I found out my wife had gotten another $25,000 of credit card debt she was hiding from me. She was eating out daily, bringing home for us to eat, and telling me she was making enough money to afford it. She was now up to almost $45,000 of debt, not including her car. I was upset. I told her she can't keep spending money like we have millions. My business wasn't going well, and we needed to cut back our spending so we can get a bigger house to have another kid like she wants. She broke down again. She admitted she had a money management issue. She locked all her credit cards up in the house safe, and she agreed to only spend money off her debit card. Then, the trade wars hit. Our stock account took a huge hit, and because I didn't have strong hands, I sold, at a loss of almost $55,000 dollars. Our stock brokerage trading account that had almost 70k of assets was only worth around $15k dollars. I no longer had the money to cover paying off my wife's debt in an emergency. In April of 2019, we just received our income taxes, due to my losses from last year, and reduced income, we were due back a large amount. I had unfortunately cut down the business to only myself working for it, as the company still had debt that was used a few years ago to expand to pay off. I still have kept the business operating, unable to pay myself for close to a year now, having to sell crypto to cover bills when business wasn't good enough. The first day of May, I took this money and put it back in the stock market, but due to weak hands again, I lost 60% of it again before the markets rebounded. The trade wars had taken a ton of my wealth again. Our brokerage account was now worth less than $10k, and I withdrew the rest to put it into my checking account. Over the past 6 months, I've had to sell off all my remaining cryptocurrency. I have none left. I have to continue running my business in it's dilapidated state, only making enough to pay the bills at the end of the month. I have gotten down to my last $5,000 in cash, and my monthly inheritance stipend, barely pays the bills for the house. All of the money my wife makes goes to paying off her credit card debt, her student loans, and her car payment. When she comes home, she sits down and plays video games while letting our 3 year old run wild and destroy the house while I sleep. We are trying to potty train, but that's not going well, and when I'm sleeping, our daughter will routinely use the bathroom on the floor then smear it on the walls. My wife will not always notice, and I will wake up having to clean up shit off the walls. I have been breaking down nonstop. I cannot handle the level of stress I have been having. I have interviewed for 12 jobs in the past 6 months, and not gotten hired. I have applied to over 30. I have lost over $100k of our savings in the past year alone. I never get to see my wife because when she is working, I have to take care of our daughter, and when she gets home, I have to sleep so I can make sure I'm able to work while they are sleeping, because I am unable to work while they're both awake. I make it a priority to make sure I spend a few hours with my wife and daughter a day, so they have time with me. My wife has not been a responsible adult for months now. She doesn't do her small part of the chores, which is simply do the laundry every week. Every week I take out the trash, clean up the yard, do all the dishes, cook dinner daily, vacuum the house daily, clean up my daughters shit and piss off the floor daily, clean up the mess that my daughter makes when she's playing. We recently found out my daughter is going to need speech therapy. Our house looks like a disaster zone. Our PCP said the speech therapist will come to our house to make it a more "secure environment" for our daughter to get help in. I'm terrified that we're going to get social services called for the state of our house and lose our daughter, but I physically cannot keep up with keeping it clean by myself, because every time I clean something, something else gets destroyed because my wife doesn't watch our daughter. My wife will throw trash on the floor in the house. She won't pick up dishes. She won't clean up the toys or help our daughter do that when I'm sleeping. There is shit caked on the wall in the nursery because almost every day I can't find it all and clean it all up when my daughter is awake. I cracked. I cursed at her for the first time in my life. She broke down, she said she's been so stressed and she's trying. I understand how it is to be stressed, I'm stressed too, but I said we need to try harder for our daughter. I told her I don't want to lose her. Then 2 weeks ago, a text sent late. I'm sure everyone heard about the Verizon bug where texts got send late. You can read about it https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/7/20953422/text-messages-delayed-received-overnight-valentines-day-delay I had an old text get sent that said "Do you still need me?" My wife thought I was going to commit suicide. She said that if I don't get help she's going to leave me and take our daughter with her. She didn't believe me when I showed her the text issue. She says I've been having depression issues for months, and that she's been asking me to get help. She said her therapist has been telling her for months that I need to go get help, and that the idea to threaten to leave me was her THERAPIST'S IDEA, because that threat has MOTIVATED ME BEFORE. This made me extremely upset. I tell her the same thing I did every time, unless they are going to give me a well paying job or hand me a million dollars, therapy is not going to help me. But I need advice. I love my wife. I have no reason to leave her. In the almost 8 years we've been married, I've never told her I was going to leave her. I pointed this out to her, she still says she can't trust me when I tell her that. I told her why am I being punished for her insecurity. I have done nothing but try to give her a great life. Yes, we've been having a hard time with money for the past year, and I've been very frustrated, but all couples have issues throughout their relationships. She says she doesn't want our daughter growing up hearing her daddy talk about suicide and her maybe hear that. I'm just trying to figure out how to handle this. I have friends telling me I should leave her. I don't see why I should. I love my wife. I would never leave her, and I feel like now she needs help again. She has gotten happier in person or at least it seems so, but her therapist telling her to threaten me to make me take action seems like a flag for her therapist. But she likes her therapist and likely wouldn't listen if I asked her to find a new one. I asked her to get therapy when she was severely depressed because she didn't seem like the woman I fell in love with anymore. Maybe part of her has come back, but the woman I fell in love with wouldn't be so irresponsible with our daughter, and wouldn't ignore her chores like she does. I just don't know what to do. I'm scheduled to see our PCP in Janurary for depression, but I don't think it's going to go like she expects, and she hasn't set any expectations of what she's expecting me to get out of this. She says I'm not the man she married any more, but of course I'm not when I'm broke and at the end of my rope with trying to find a job. I feel like anyone would be frustrated and upset if they were in the same position as me. Every day I wake up, work for my failing business that doesn't pay me, take care of my toddler while my wife works, and never get to do anything fun with my family because we have no money and no one will hire me. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my wife. I have sacrificed so much for her. I want to make her happy. I want my daughter to not have a broken family like my wife had and grow up happy. After her threatening to leave me again, it feels like she doesn't need me anymore. It hurts me severely that she can say that so easily after everything I have done for her. I know she is stressed, and I feel like her saying she's going to leave me helps her cope somehow. I'm resenting her still seeing the same therapist, giving her advice on her home life off my wife's singular perspective. I just don't know what to think anymore. I want to make the people I love happy.
04-03 12:33 - 'Paul Le Roux' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/financeoptimum removed from /r/Bitcoin within 191-201min
''' Paul Le Roux is a fascinating character, whose story entails drugs, gold, arms dealing, North Koreans, Iranians, elite-level encryption, Somali pirates, women...and more women. Let's get into it... Part 1/5 - The Early Years Paul Le Roux was born on Christmas Eve, 1972, in Bulawayo, the second-largest city in what was then called—by the white minority that governed it, at least— Rhodesia. In 1980, Robert Mugabe became prime minister of what would now be called Zimbabwe, ending minority white rule in the country. Four years later, when Le Roux was 12, the family relocated to South Africa. Not long after the move, in exchange for washing his father’s car, Le Roux was given his first computer. After that, a relation of Le Roux states that he became "completely anti-social.” When Le Roux was 15 or 16, in the late 1980s, the local police raided the family home and arrested Paul for selling pornography. After that, Le Roux turned even more inward. Although he was an excellent student, he despised the idea of learning Afrikaans, which was compulsory in South African schools, describing it as "a dead language" that he "didn't want to learn." At 16, he dropped out of high school and decided to follow his interest in computers, taking a local programming course. Family lore has it that after he spent one class explaining some technical fact to the teacher, he got a letter saying he no longer needed to attend. He then completed a year’s worth of material in eight weeks! Accounts of Le Roux do indicate that he was exceptionally gifted, and people who worked with him described him as a genius. After returning from a family holiday to Disneyland in the US, 17-year-old Le Roux decided to leave South Africa, and departed for the UK eight months later to work as a programmer. He then moved from the UK to the US, where he lived in Virginia Beach. After six months in the US, he followed his then-girlfriend Michelle to Australia in 1995. The couple married and Le Roux acquired Australian citizenship. Le Roux frequented message boards and enjoyed trolling Australians. A typical post read: "All of Australia could disappear into the Pacific and the only difference it would make to the World is the Americans would have one less pussy country to protect." His posts caused outrage on the board - someone even changed their handle to fuck @ you.paul Le Roux would later declare that his correspondents had fallen for his ploy: "Australians are east to provoke and your postings (including 2 death threats, numerous flames, and one guy who swears he has my address & phone number) have provided me with hours of amusement." Of course, Le Roux did more than just troll Australian message boards in this period... Le Roux had started building E4M - Encryption for the Masses - in 1997, releasing it at the end of 1998. Part 2/5 - The Turning Point E4M allowed users to encrypt entire hard drives, and to conceal the existence of encrypted files (such that prying eyes wouldn't even know they were there). According to Le Roux, the software was written from scratch, with thousands of hours going into its development and testing. As well as this, in the [Politics section of the E4M website]1 , Le Roux published a sort of Manifesto, describing how "governments are increasingly relying on electronic data gathering" and how "Strong Encryption is the mechanism with which to combat these intrusions, preserve your rights, and guarantee your freedoms into the information age and beyond." In the spirit of the open-source software movement in the late 90s, Le Roux released E4M for free and made the code available for other people to improve. Therefore, with no income from his two years of labor, he was struggling financially. His marriage fell apart violently and the couple got divorced in 1999. Le Roux first relocated to Hong Kong, then to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He married a Dutch citizen named Lilian, and they had a child shortly after. In 2000, in order to monetize E4M, Le Roux launched [SW Professionals]2 in 2000. Based in South Africa, the company offered offshore programming, including E4M customization. One of Le Roux's clients was an Italian telecoms engineer called Wilfried Hafner, who had corresponded with Le Roux for several years about E4M. Hafner had founded a company to create a commercial encryption product that would combine some of the elements of E4M with another piece of software, Scramdisk. The new company would be called SecurStar, and its product would be called DriveCrypt. Hafner hired Le Roux to build DriveCrypt's underlying engine. At the time, Le Roux was desperate for money - he drove a beat up car and worked out of a Rotterdam apartment small enough that, on the phone, Hafner could often hear a baby crying in the background. Hafner on the other hand was living in the South of France, and Le Roux openly coveted the kind of success that he imagined led to such a home. He told Hafner: "I am ambitious, I want to have all this." However, in the middle of the development work for DriveCrypt, Hafner discovered that Le Roux was still working on E4M and had incorporated some of his work for SecurStar into his personal project. As a result, Hafner terminated Le Roux's contract. By October 2002, SW Professionals was now defunct and Le Roux was openly soliciting for work on the alt.security.scramdisk forum. It was around this time that Le Roux received some news that "shattered his whole world." In 2002, he travelled to Zimbabwe to retrieve a copy of his birth certificate. On the trip, his aunt and uncle pulled him aside to tell him the truth, and it was then that Le Roux found out he was adopted. Although many family members had known for years, Le Roux’s parents had elected to keep him in the dark about it. It was the "unknown" part that hurt him the most. Shortly after, Le Roux appeared on an another set of message boards - he seemed to be launching some kind of moneymaking scheme that required opening a company based in the U.S. In 2004, a group of anonymous developers did exactly what Hafner had feared: they released a new and powerful, free file-encryption program, called TrueCrypt, built on the code for E4M. TrueCrypt combined security and convenience, giving users the ability to strongly encrypt files or entire disk drives while continuing to work with those files as they would a regular file on their computer. Hafner and his SecurStar colleagues suspected that Le Roux was part of the TrueCrypt collective but couldn't prove it. As we'll explore in Part 5, TrueCrypt is an interesting part of this story... Part 3/5 - Money and Power After Le Roux's departure from the encryption world, at least under his own name, he entered the Internet-pharmacy business. What Le Roux did next was combine two of America's favourite past times, popping pills and online shopping, and the results were sensational. He turned over around $300MM in 4 years. In 2007, Le Roux moved his family to Manila, where he would base his operations. He also had call centres in Israel. This was a brilliant move by Le Roux, as the authorities were not looking at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as hot-spots for a large-scale organised crime operation... Le Roux was moving serious volume during this time - his operation was once one of FedEx's largest customers. A relative of Le Roux pointed to 2008 or 2009 as the point at which Le Roux snapped. "I think the money got to him. I personally saw $100 million in his office in Makati. Cash, bud. It was fucking ridiculous. It was in wicker baskets lined up on the side of the wall in his office." Le Roux's appetite only grew, and not just in the literal sense (he was known as the "Fat Man" in the Philippines): he wanted to be a different kind of businessman, a lord of the real underworld, not just the virtual one. An Israeli associate of Le Roux tells how "Le Roux wanted to make more money, fast. Le Roux wanted to diversify, to be bigger. The only way to do that was illegal. He was living inside a movie, you could almost say." As well as this, Le Roux was notorious for his sexual exploits - he once wrote to his cousin, "15-20 a week, sometimes 3 per night." A former call centre employee tells how Le Roux approached him with an assignment, which at first he thought was collecting women for Le Roux to open a bar. However, that was not the reason, as Le Roux explained: "I'm going to impregnate them, and build an army of kids." Le Roux asked him to make a spreadsheet to track the women: their names, dress size, age, medical checkups. The operation was given top priority by Le Roux, who even sent his emissary to China to try to find women there. It is rumoured that Le Roux has at least 11 children to 7 different women! Le Roux's businesses expanded into logging, precious metals mining, gold smuggling, land deals, cocaine shipping, and arms dealing. These activities were spread across dozens of shell companies registered all over the world. Of course, he needed to launder the money. Le Roux used paid muscle in Hong Kong to swap cash for gold bars, and then proceeded to stash the gold in warehouses in Hong Kong (this totalled around $50MM). Speaking of paid muscle, Le Roux had plenty: ex-soldiers and mercenaries made sure any problems were dealt with force if necessary. Le Roux was closest to ex-British soldier Dave Smith, who would act as the leader of the mercenaries and allow Le Roux to insulate himself and not have to deal with people. In fact, Le Roux once told Smith "I live vicariously through you." However, things took a turn for the worse, at least from Dave Smith's perspective, as Smith stole $5MM worth of Gold from Le Roux. Le Roux was furious. He then summoned Smith to his place in the country, and asked him to dig a hole as they needed to stash some gold. However, when he arrived, he was greeted by a South African hit-man. After the hit-man had finished shooting Smith, Le Roux then grabbed the gun and fired into Smith's corpse. Le Roux then set about building an arms base in Somalia. To achieve this, Le Roux called upon an ex-soldier from Europe, code-named 'Jack' to work for him on the ground in Somalia. At sea, Jack had to bribe Somali pirates. It was actually this activity in Somalia that landed Le Roux on the radar of the DEA, as he popped up in a UN Report on security in Somalia. The DEA were now on his tail. Of course, his encryption skills came in handy - Le Roux's thick layers of encryption meant that the DEA needed someone on the inside... Part 4/5 - "Well played gentlemen, well played" Le Roux was getting more and more paranoid about people in his organisation stealing from him. Without justification, he suspected that his self proclaimed 'Golden Boy' Jack was stealing from him - so he ordered a hit on Jack. This was a huge mistake on Le Roux's part, as Jack then called a CIA hotline and went on the run. It was 18 months later that a DEA investigating Le Roux found Jack's message to the CIA. The DEA agent then called Jack. Scared for his life, Jack agreed to turn informant. In the meantime, Le Roux then had a change of heart and apologised to Jack for ordering the hit on him. The DEA then asked Le Roux to go back to work for Le Roux - they now had someone on the inside. To tempt Le Roux, the DEA devised a sting operation. They knew that Le Roux wanted novelty and excitement. So they fabricated the scenario that Jack had made contact with a high profile Colombian trafficker, and the Colombians wanted to bypass the Mexicans for their meth supply in the US. Le Roux was hooked. However, the DEA needed to lure Le Roux out of Manila, as his network of corrupt officials would ensure he will never be arrested. Jack needed to get Le Roux to Liberia (where the DEA had a trusted ally in Fombah Sirleaf, Head of Liberia's National Security Agency). Jack achieved this by saying that they needed to meet a cartel representative to finalise the deal. It worked, and Le Roux was arrested. Initially, Le Roux went into passive resistance - he was a big unit (hence the nickname "Fat Man") - and it took around 10 agents to get him on the plane to fly back to the US. Well he settled on the plane, the first thing Le Roux said to the DEA agents was: "Well played gentlemen, well played." He then said: "If you're looking at me, then clearly you're looking at bigger things..." The DEA agents were intrigued: "No Paul, you're the prize - what could possibly be bigger than you?" Le Roux responded: "Nation states gentlemen, nation states." He then started to spew out extremely valuable information on North Korea and Iran. Of course, this wasn't the only leverage Le Roux had... The enforcers who were once on Le Roux's payroll needed to be held accountable for their numerous murders, and the DEA were desperate to get them behind bars. Le Roux was key in their eventual capture. But that's not all: a crucial piece to this story is Part 5... Part 5/5 - TrueCrypt As we discussed previously, Le Roux was rumoured to be a member of the TrueCrypt collective. In November 2012, a man with the online handle Cincinnatus decided to throw a party in Hawaii. The idea arose out of an email exchange with Runa Sandvik, a developer and expert on the online software Tor, which allows its users to mask the physical location of their computers on the Internet. After she gave a Tor tutorial on Reddit, Cincinnatus sent Sandvik an encrypted message. Cincinnatus told Sandvik that he lived in Hawaii. Sandvik mentioned that she would be there on vacation the following month and could give a talk on Tor. Cincinnatus suggested they host a “cryptoparty,” a phenomenon that had arisen around that time among technology- and privacy-conscious activists. The date was set for December 11. Unbeknownst to Sandvik, her fellow party planner was hatching a much more elaborate education scheme. Four days after he contacted Sandvik, Cincinnatus sent an email to the journalist Glenn Greenwald. “The security of people’s communications is very important to me,” he wrote. In a series of emails, he suggested that Greenwald set up an encrypted means by which sources could contact him. Cincinnatus organized the cryptoparty at a hacker space called HiCapacity, located in the back of a furniture store in Honolulu. When Sandvik arrived around 6 p.m., Cincinnatus introduced himself as Ed and told her that he worked at the computer-hardware company Dell. Ed kicked off the evening by welcoming the attendees, then invited Sandvik to give her presentation on Tor. When she was finished, Ed pulled out his laptop, plugged it into the projector, and began his own instructional talk about TrueCrypt. In Ed’s presentation, Sandvik later wrote, he “pointed out that while the only known name associated with TrueCrypt is someone in the Czech Republic, TrueCrypt is one of the best open-source solutions available.” Six months later, in June 2013, Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras published the first of a series of articles that grew out of their contact with Cincinnatus. In time they revealed that his full name was Edward Snowden, that he had worked in various capacities at the National Security Agency, and that he had downloaded and handed over a trove of documents from the NSA in an effort to blow the whistle on what he believed were egregious privacy encroachments by the U.S. government. Among them was a document revealing that TrueCrypt was one of a small number of encryption programs that had withstood the NSA’s efforts to crack it. What Snowden and the rest of the world wouldn’t know for another two years was that Paul Le Roux, the man whose code formed the foundation of True Crypt, was at that very moment in the custody of the U.S. government. Le Roux was in a bind, facing the full force of a U.S. federal prosecution for any number of his extraordinary array of crimes. The only way out was to spill his secrets... [[link]4 ''' Paul Le Roux Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: financeoptimum 1: e4m.net/**l*ht*l 2: e4m*net* 3: www.yout*be.co*/watc**v=z**aMoJ**k* 4: www.youtube.com/watc*?v*z*Za*o***kc**^* Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
Worm but Cricket and Shatterbird Kiss Or: (How I stopped worrying and learned to love Shatterbird.) A/N: Hello citizens of crackfic central, Bask in the awe that is the next chapter in the of the CricketBird saga™ (All rights are owned by Cricketbird international, we will sue. Like We’re horrendously suing happy, we make Nintendo and its takedown of fanmade games look pedestrian in comparison...the thing is we can’t afford lawyers so like...feel free to steal since you won’t be able to face consequences but like...what was the point of this again?) Thanks to my Co-Author u/-Samwich- for dealing with my lazy ass and writing alongside me, as well as for joining me on this quest of crackshipping. I only ask that you don’t waterboard me, pay them vast sums of bitcoin via Venmo and enjoy friends.(Don't me someone isn't working on something similar already, I won't believe it. ) ###################################################################################### Cricket stared at the doors to the kitchen, idly poking at what was left of her steak in dread. Layla had been in the kitchen for a long time, Cricket was beginning to worry. Why though? I should be more worried for the people in the kitchen more than anything! Was Layla chewing them out, butchering them all for a slight mistake in the order that Melody had failed to detect? Finally, Layla exited the kitchen and quickly walked over to Melody. “We should leave.” For a moment Cricket felt extreme panic, had she messed something up? Said the wrong thing? She was glad her robotic voice had no inflection as she asked, “We need to leave right now?” “Yes, now. Just trust me.” Layla smiled at her, it seemed like a forced smile. Melody did trust her, though she knew she shouldn’t. Shatterbird took her hand to get her out of her seat and Melody felt her heart beating faster than it ever had before. She started following Shatterbird out when she heard a loud voice blare out from behind her, “This steak is overcooked! I wanted it rare!” She started to turn towards the source, an angry-looking man with a plate of steak in his hands, fuming and indignant, never mind he was enjoying fine dining in a city that had been absolutely devastated by one of the most dangerous forces of nature on the planet. Suddenly the doors to the kitchen slammed open and people started screaming when they saw a large creature shove itself through the spindly hole the double doorways provided. The man who had complained stood still, paralyzed with fear as the creature approached him. It stared him down as it used one of its large appendages to rip a handful of flesh off its side, dropping it onto the man’s plate with a plomp that splattered his clothes with blood from the newly carved piece of flesh. The porcelain dish fell from his hands and shattered. In a low growl, Crawler spoke, “That rare enough for you?” The man stared at Crawler and wet himself, just as Jack Slash emerged from the kitchen as well, chuckling as he lampooned, “Looks like he’s raring to go.” The crowd was too busy fleeing to chuckle or groan at the pun as Crawler trudged back to the kitchen in a huff, mumbling something incomprehensible under his breath. Layla gave her hand a squeeze to get her attention, “We need to get out of here.” Cricket nodded and followed, “I’ll explain once we’re alone.” Cricket gave Layla’s hand a squeeze in agreement, if she hadn’t been listening at first she was now. "What's there to explain?" Her voice rang out, clear as a high school intercom and only slightly more understandable by all besides Shatterbi...Layla's ears. Now that she thought of it...she did like calling her Layla more, and with their hands clutched so tight…. Snap out of it! Flee now, think about how warm her hand is later! Soon enough a multitude of smiling blonde waitresses began corralling the fleeing crowd, the waitresses opened down the middle revealing thousands of reaching thorny tendrils, the lovebirds barely managing to avoid whatever horrific fate awaited the hapless rich folk that indulged themselves in luxuries few in town could even dream of possessing...you know what...Cricket didn't mind them getting Slaughterhoused. Melody was guided through the battered streets, past scum that eyed the pair as easy marks to mug and through flooded alleyways. They never let go of each other, not for a second, frankly, Cricket felt like a teenager again, but she couldn’t drop her guard...as much as she wanted to. Shatterbird was a killer, despite all this impromptu kindness only a fool world turn their back on the slaughterhouse. “There…” Layla said with a tired huff, before continuing. “I figured they’d lose interest and look for something else to keep them entertained. I swear, one second Jack’s Descarte, the next a toddler slamming his toys together, chasing whatever bizarre whim comes over him.” The two of them paused for a moment, just standing there. Melody didn’t need the rest, but she said nothing, allowing her companion to continue taking the lead. Layla glanced around several times to get her bearings before saying, “This way.” Melody gasped for a second at another gentle embrace between their digits. Layla had grabbed Melody’s hand again to guide her without realizing it. Melody stared at their joined hands with a small grin and followed. Layla took a circuitous route, and several times she’d stopped with a dour look upon realizing they’d doubled back to where they started. This is getting us nowhere…but, I could spend forever letting her do this. No, getting out of public view is the priority now. “I’ll lead the way, I’ve lived here most of my life.” Melody took two steps forward and started leading Layla to the nearest Empire 88 safehouse. “I.. I suppose,” Layla responded. She let go of Melody’s hand and Cricket had to stop herself from whining at the loss of contact, but then Layla stepped even closer and wrapped both her arms around Melody’s right, pulling herself abreast the gladiator. “Where are we heading?” Melody didn’t process the words at first, her mind was a storm of warm feelings, but after a few seconds of silence the words clicked and she said, “A safe house.” It will just be the two of us… Alone...do we still have some of that wine from the...Snap out of it, Melody! When they reached the safehouse Melody instantly realized something was off. The old machine shop turned hideaway had been ransacked, windows broken, and the door spread wide open with two almost intimidating-looking men outside, one with a machete and the other leaning back, with a bulge in his coat pocket It didn’t take a stretch of the imagination to know it was a gun. The chosen didn’t operate like that, guards out in the open and looking to intimidate, it only invited the police and by extension the protectorate. Really though, the biggest indication that something was amiss was the hand-painted banner made from white bedsheets and grey paint. ‘Community movie night’. Also, one of them was black...not exactly par for the course. The two women entered with caution, the men merely giving them a nod as they shuffled into the front office which bore a simple cardboard arrow pointing to the shop itself. The door wide open and to their surprise inside there were just people, street urchins from the look of them, nothing but rows of salvaged sofas and chairs providing comfort to their occupants. A tiny projector had been rigged to a phone in the back and was projecting something out of view. Melody counted about ten already from the door, two families and their children huddled together after what was no doubt a long day of scavenging. The sound of idle movement indicated more people sat within. The shop could hold them, it was mostly empty space and a few machines to look legit for the feds. The only other occupant she could see was by the projector, who looked their way and quietly trudged towards them. He looked tired and his clothes matched. “Hey, thank you for coming in.” “What exactly is this?” Melody asked, her surprise directed more at the impromptu theatre than the fact the building was unoccupied. As he drew closer Melody’s grip tightened into a fist, only for him to try and calm her down with a raised hand, “Don’t worry, no one is here to harm you. We found this place, same as you did. You can stay if there’s danger out there. Don’t worry, we’re not Nazis.” “What makes you think I’m a Nazi? I mean… what about Nazis?” Melody hated herself sometimes. The man gave her a quizzical look, but then responded, “After Leviathan’s attack our homes were wrecked but we came across this place. It’s pretty obviously involved with Empire 88. The carpet is red and has embroidered Swastikas, same as the curtains. Whoever lived here gave up on it and split.” What idiot decorated this place?! Melody took a deep breath, “Well, we wouldn’t want to inconv-” Layla cut her off, “Could we stay for a short time? The Slaughterhouse Nine might be out there.” Melody eyed Layla for a moment but said nothing. Her companion merely bit her lip, casting a sad glance Melody’s way. Oh goddamnit, whether she knew it or not Layla was making the exact move she needed to. Almost like some sorta...path she could follow, right to victory. The man’s eyes went wide… “The...the Nine? I don’t know what good we could do but...I’m not gonna leave two women out in the cold with Jack Slash looking for blood.” How chivalrous of you, just know where to keep your eyes pointed. Melody snapped back in her head. Taking her place as the true knight of the evening. Unknowingly inching closer to Layla, who responded in kind by resting a hand on the Gladiator’s shoulder and sending a warm, pleasant tingling along Melody’s skin where the woman’s finger’s lingered. There was more to it. There had to be. “Excuse me,” the man said, walking towards the door that led outside,” I need to get the guards inside, and that banner down...if the Nine are about why look like a juicy target? Enjoy the film, We’re playing all night, this building was one of the few that didn’t lose power.” with that he left, saying something or other to the guards. Layla took hold of Melody’s arm, tugging it gently and urging her into the impromptu theatre. They quietly walked between the makeshift rows which had been crammed together like sardines in a can and found a loveseat in the back by a corner. Melody looked across the room, her initial estimate had been too small, at least twenty-five people in total crowded the room, watching a man onscreen make a buffoon of himself in a restaurant. How appropriate. Cricket could barely hear anything from the two tinny speakers set up by the projector. Good for laying low, but she doubted that was the real reason they weren’t projecting at full volume, they were probably just crappy speakers. Layla got comfortable, leaning against Melody’s shoulder, her weight pleasantly pressed against her body as they relaxed in front of the wall the squatters had painted white to serve as a screen. The film unfolded, A romantic comedy it seemed, some Cape was trying to seduce a woman that had a cape prejudice, with mixed results. Nothing too cerebral in these troubled times, it only made sense that people would prefer to get their minds off the horrors of the last few months, and...Layla’s friends turning the city into their own personal murder canvas. Melody couldn’t help but take the lead from the woman clinging to her shoulder, nervously pressing their hands together with a gentle grip. Could she be sure this wasn’t a test? That the second she actually embraced the butterflies in her stomach she wouldn’t find a knife in it? At first, the woman was hesitant, her hand flinching and going stiff, only to slowly wrap around Melody’s...It frankly only made things more confusing for Melody. Was she merely mistaking the murderer’s sense of entitlement for genuine affection? The Romcom ended and another movie was fired to life, this one more serious. The tale of a PRT trooper stationed in one of the many quarantines set up to keep disasters from spreading and ravaging the world, focusing mainly on the growing strain she was experiencing with her husband several states away. Melody felt her heart pounding in her chest, only for the tension to wrench up as Layla raised her head and looked at Cricket with half-closed eyes. “Would it be alright...if I rested my head on your lap? If I fall asleep sitting up I tend to get a stiff neck.” Melody almost had a stroke, her grip tightening on her companion’s hand, grateful that the lights were dimmed and Layla couldn’t spot the sheer embarrassment slathered across her face. I want nothing more than that. “Sure, if keeping you comfortable stops a bloodbath,” Melody said, trying and failing to sound disinterested. “I wouldn’t think you’d care about the rabble in your territory, but it seems you’re very sweet when you want to be,” Layla whispered as she laid her head onto Melody’s lap, turning over and dangling her legs over the arm of the chair. Cricket had been well rewarded. Several life-threatening circumstances later the protagonist managed to transfer back to her home state for a heartwarming reunion. Her and her husband finally going on a date for the first time in months, holding hands...Melody fantasized her and Layla in the same position, Nazis be damned, it was just a paycheck to her anyways. She watched as romantic music played, the camera closing in on the couple on screen as they watched the sunset from a hill in some park. The protagonist and her husband’s faces got closer and closer. Melody felt the grip on her hand tighten. The Gladiator responded in turn as Layla scootched up to see the screen, Layla was now practically sitting on her lap, blocking her view of the movie. Melody could smell her hair, lilac, and jasmine. Tighter, their fingers interlocked. with a metallic crispness, Cricket whispered into Layla’s ear, “Beautiful.” Layla turned to her, maybe she was going to speak, maybe not. Either way, their lips met, and a warm light shined on them for the scant five seconds the kiss lasted. Her lips were soft, her breath tasted fresh. Melody could only imagine how fast she was going to die, but at least she would die in heaven. Layla’s wrapped her arms around Melody, as she had in their first encounter. An eternity later Melody felt her lips fall away from their enlightening embrace. Layla's cheek soon met hers as she whispered sweetly into Melody's ear. "Glad you finally got the message." Melody reached for her larynx, only for a gentle hand to push it back down. Layla murmured to the Gladiator. "It's a bit loud, no need to disturb the audience, don't worry, my ears are sensitive, and very much willing to labour unceasingly to hear you." "I couldn't be sure that it was real. I was scared that...it was a test...if I fell for you, if I tried anything...you'd kill me." Melody's voice cracked weakly, sounding like a dying animal swaddled in a blanket, given comfort in its final moments. "Not you, Melody. Never you." "That's not what you would've said when we first met." "That was a week ago. Now, are you going to kiss me again or leave me to languish in this theatre without a hint of affection." The answer was obvious.
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