Racecard | 15:30 Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager

Alright, neoliberals. I've got a ton of notes from Joseph Stiglitz's "The Great Divide" and "Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy". What have the succs got wrong?

At the same time that I've been browsing this subreddit prolifically (because it's the only political subreddit I've found where something like this thread I've linked gets upvoted), I've done a lot of reading, specifically Joseph Stiglitz's books The Great Divide and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy. Apparently you guys don't like Stiglitz, so I'm looking for whatever criticism you have to throw at the ideas presented in these two books. Stiglitz seems to agree with you all a lot, so I'm kinda confused. I read these books thinking your ideas and his are one of the same.

The Great Divide

Despite being longer than Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy, I took less notes on this one, since I didn't care as much about retaining my memories of what I read at the time. Anyways, here's everything you guys apparently don't agree with:

Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy

The Current Rules:

Rewriting the rules:

These proposals aim to reduce inequality and improve economic performance by restructuring the rules shaping the economy. It’s a twofold approach: the first move is to tame rent-seeking behaviors that unduly reward those at the top while raising costs for the rest and reducing the efficiency and stability of the U.S. economy. The second part of our agenda seeks to restore the rules and institutions that ensure security and opportunity for the middle class.

Taming the top

Make markets competitive
-We need a 21st century competition law that recognizes that we have moved from a manufacturing to a service and knowledge economy, where different principles of competition are relevant. Restore balance to global trade agreements -Trade agreements written behind closed doors with the active participation of firms but no other stakeholders are failing to deliver the rules we need to manage globalization in a way that benefits all. -Businesses wishing to trade with businesses in the US under the terms of an agreement should be audited and certified by a credible, independent third party such as the International Labor Organization; certification then buys the company a right to trade under the preferential treatment of a trade agreement.
Control health care costs by allowing government bargaining
-Firms from across the health care industry have been allowed to consolidate and expand, reducing competition and raising prices. -By bargaining with drug companies for bulk purchases, the VA pays 40 percent lower prices for prescription drugs than typical market prices. -The federal government should establish a national prescription drug formulary, establishing the cost effectiveness for all prescription purchases covered under all public health insurance plans, not just those for veterans.
Rebalance the rules for bankruptcy by expanding coverage to homeowners and students
-Removing the special protections for derivatives in bankruptcy, a feature that benefits Wall Street but actually makes firms more risky as they rely more on these exotic instruments, is essential in reducing the excessive financialization of the economy. -Removing some of the most burdensome elements designed to make filing for bankruptcy harder will help individuals move on from the misfortunes that can happen throughout life. -A homeowners’ chapter 11, analogous to corporate chapter 11, would keep families in homes and give a fresh start to families overburdened with debt.
Fix the Financial Sector
-The financial sector isn’t doing what it’s supposed to: managing risk, allocating capital efficiently, intermediating between savers and investors, providing funds for investments and job creation, and running an efficient 21st century payments mechanism.
End “too big to fail”
-Banks that are so big that their failure will cause the entire economy to contract don’t need to internalize the costs of their failures and can reap huge benefits from risky bets. They have a perverse incentive to take on excess risk, knowing that should a problem arise they will be bailed out, with losses being borne by others. -Even when banks aren’t too big to fail, they can be too interlinked to fail: with excessive linkages the failure of one institution can lead to a cascade of other failures - stoppable only with a government bailout. That is why interlinkages need to be transparent and regulated. -The Financial Stability Oversight Council should assess large, systemically risky financial firms with an additional capital surcharge above what regulators currently assess under the Basel Accords in order to make failure less likely and more manageable. A surcharge would force banks to internalize the true cost of their risks and improve economic efficiency, while insulating taxpayers from the costs of failed institutions.
Regulate the shadow banking sector and end offshore banking
-Shadow banks are nonbank financial institutions that engage in lending by trading bonds and securities, often by bundling them through a process called securitization. -The SEC should reevaluate and expand on its recent ruling on money market mutual funds, whose vulnerabilities in the 2008 financial crisis sparked a panic. -The Federal Reserve must write clear rules outlining the government’s role in back-stopping the shadow banks. -There needs to be a re-examination of the extent to which shadow banks and offshore financial centers are used to end-run the regulations designed to ensure a safe and sound financial system.
Bring transparency to all financial markets
-Congress should expand the SEC’s mission, and require private equity and hedge funds to disclose holdings, returns, and fee structures. The SEC should provide additional regulatory scrutiny and investor advice on these deals. This will formalize their regulation, making it similar to mutual fund regulations; the competition that will follow from this price transparency will help reduce financial rents.
Reduce credit and debit card fees
-High consumer fees on credit and debit card transactions are one clear symptom of abuse of market power in the financial sector. -These fees are a monopoly rent on the country’s networked payments infrastructure.
Enforce rules with stricter penalties
-In the past decade there’s been a shift away from strict criminal enforcement of financial regulation. Fewer, if any, cases go to court. Instead the SEC and the Justice Department settle with favorable conditions, such as deferred prosecution agreements. Under these agreements, the parties regularly don’t admit to any wrongdoing, or even pay penalties commensurate to their benefits. No individual is held directly accountable. The fines that are paid come from shareholders and are tax deductible; the perpetrators of the offenses aren’t necessarily punished or made to give back the compensation they received as a reward for the extra profits generated by their illegal activities. -Firms promise not to repeat their offenses, but they usually do. -The SEC and other regulatory agencies should instead focus on more strict enforcement, and Congress should hold the agencies accountable if no progress is made. No company should be able to enter into a deal like a deferred prosecution agreement if it is already operating under such an agreement. These agreements should face stricter judicial review and scrutiny, and compensation schemes should be designed so that perpetrators face significant consequences - for instance, a clawback of bonuses and a reduction in retirement benefits.
Incentivize long-term business growth -The rules governing corporations and taxes on capital and top incomes have changed to favor short-term shareholders and CEOs who chase short-term stock price gains above all else. -This has led to greater inequality and has undermined real investments that create long-term growth.
Restructure CEO pay
-Adjust the tax code, which privileges compensation of executives through equity-heavy compensation, particularly stock options. -Eliminate or curtail the performance-pay loophole (by which stock options and other excessive CEO pay receives favorable treatment). This will both address executive pay being too high and discourage CEOs from behaving like financial speculators. -Maintain the $1 million cap on the deductibility of executive compensation reform, eliminate the exception for so-called performance pay, and expand these limits on deductibility to the highest paid executives in a company overall. -The SEC should require corporations to state the value of compensation in simple, easy to understand language. -There should be mandatory shareholder votes on executive compensation on an annual basis(footnote: our current Say-on-Pay rule is non-binding). Enact a financial transactions tax -Short-term financial transactions can contribute to economic volatility without providing any larger benefit to the economy as a whole. -A variant of financial transaction taxes are currently employed without negative consequence in vibrant financial centers like London and Hong Kong. -Congress should pass a financial transaction tax designed to encourage productive investment. Empower long-term stakeholders -There should be a surtax on short-term capital gains given the negative externality of the trading behavior incentivized. -To improve long-term management of corporations, workers must be given a say in corporate governance, specifically by including a representative of employees on the corporate board. -Those managing retirement accounts should be obligated to avoid all conflicts of interest and, especially in the case of worker pensions, ensure the corporations in which they invest act in a responsible way, with good corporate governance, an eye to long-term value, good labor policies, and sound environmental policies.
Rebalance the tax and transfer system
-The United States ranks among the least redistributive countries in the OECD. -Taxes can improve incentives, encourage socially desirable economic behavior, and discourage undesirable behavior like short-termism. -Over the past 35 years, changes to the tax code have prioritized tax cuts and subsidies focused on those at the top, placing a greater tax burden on the rest and causing neglect of critical public investments.
Raise the top marginal rate
-Lower marginal tax rates at the top distort the economy by actively encouraging rent seeking. -A 5 percent increase on the top 1 percent’s current income tax rate would raise between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion of additional revenue over 10 years. -For an extra $50,000 taxed on every $1 million of a wealthy individual’s income, the United States could make all public college education free and fund universal pre-K.
Enact a “fair tax”
-The preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends - income received almost entirely by the richest Americans - is one of the most important reasons that those at the top pay less than ordinary taxpayers. -Most Americans earn negligible capital income outside already tax-sheltered retirement savings accounts or on home sales - for which a large exemption exists. -Capital gains tax breaks do not spur investment. They reward speculation as opposed to work. -The US should tax capital gains income at the same rate as labor income. -Short-term capital gains should be taxed at an even higher rate to discourage volatile short investments. -The provision for step-up in basis at death needs to be eliminated. This provision allows all of the capital gains earned during an individual’s life to escape taxation when the asset is bequeathed, meaning a small number of wealthy families pass on wealth free from capital gains tax in perpetuity.
Encourage U.S. investment by taxing corporations on global income
-The current tax code allows corporations to defer paying U.S. taxes on profits earned abroad until the profits are repatriated, which has the perverse effect of encouraging corporations to keep profits abroad as opposed to using the funds for U.S. investment. -One option is to replace the transfer price system with a formulaic approach that would tax firms on their global income in a fair and comprehensive way, apportioning those profits to the U.S. on the basis of the economic activity - including sales, production, and research - that occurs here.
Enact pro-growth, pro-equality tax policies
-We should tax things that have an inelastic supply, like land, oil, or other natural resources. -We should tax pollution (including carbon emissions), a move that can raise revenue while improving economic efficiency. -Eliminating agricultural subsidies and noncompetitive bidding processes for the sale or lease of government-owned natural resources or for the purchase of armaments or prescription drugs under public programs would improve efficiency and reduce inequality.

Growing the middle

Make full employment the goal
-The Fed should emphasize full employment as the goal of monetary policy, and Congress should enact a large infrastructure investment to stimulate growth.
Reform monetary policy to prioritize full employment
-The Fed’s prioritization of price stability has caused labor markets to remain slack, kept wages growing slower than productivity, and has brought down workers’ share of economic output. -Contractionary monetary policy has much stronger unemployment effects for low-wage and often minority workers than for the highest earners. -The Fed should resist raising interest rates until wage growth makes up for the lost ground of the Great Recession, even if this means allowing inflation to temporarily overshoot the 2% target. -There is growing consensus that a higher inflation rate will lead to better economic performance, facilitating adjustments in our highly dynamic and ever-changing economy.
Reinvigorate public investment
-Critical public investments today lay the foundation for long-term economic performance and job growth. -Public investments in education, technology, and infrastructure are complements to private investment, raising returns and thus “crowding in” such investments.
Invest in large-scale infrastructure renovation
-America’s failure to keep up what infrastructure it has makes it more costly to do business and for people to go about their daily lives, and leads to more wasted time and more environmental degradation. -Public transit and broadband play a crucial role in connecting all Americans, regardless of income level, with the 21st century local and global job market. -Not only is infrastructure crumbling, it’s unevenly distributed, with distinct areas and communities segregated from the rest of society and without the opportunities that connecting affords. -A comprehensive plan would provide investments in air, rail, and road transportation; public transit; ports and inland waterways; water and energy; and telecommunications and the Internet. Some estimates put the cost of such a project on the order of $4 trillion - well beyond the small sums currently debated but within our means. The investment would yield dividends in the form of more productive businesses, millions of new jobs, and sustainable management of our energy and environmental resources. -Public infrastructure banks could be useful for financing large infrastructure projects.
Expand access to public transportation
-Decades of disinvestment in U.S. infrastructure have resulted in high commuting costs that fall disproportionately on low- and middle-income families and decrease access to jobs. -Only a little over half of Americans have access to public transit. -If more people have better access to jobs, productivity will increase and lives will improve.

Empower workers

Strengthen the right to bargain
-The National Labor Relations Act is flawed. -One flaw in the statute has allowed employers to delay workers’ votes to unionize by litigating each step of the process. Recent rule changes issued by the National Labor Relations Board have attempted to rebalance some of the power, and they provide a positive example of how the statutes can be updated to reflect current challenges. -Stricter penalties are needed to deter illegal intimidation tactics by employers. -Companies seeking to prevent unionization can retaliate by firing workers; if an NLRA violation is found, the employer merely has to reinstate the worker and pay back wages. A ruling like this can take more than three years. -The legal framework should be amended to adapt to the changing nature of the workplace. Today, few employers resemble the large manufacturers the creators of the NLRA had in mind. Corporations like Walmart employ people through outsourcing and subcontracting, bearing little responsibility for the employment relationship. Legal scholars have envisioned new models for defining the employer-employee relationship that would establish clear lines of responsibility within the modern fissured workplace.
Have government set the standards
-State, local, and municipal governments should grant public contracts only to corporations that meet high labor standards and possess strong antidiscrimination/pro-inclusionary hiring practices.
Increase funding for enforcement and raise penalties for violating labor standards
-Charged with enforcing the minimum wage and overtime protections, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has seen a third of its inspectors disappear since 1980, despite a doubling of the country’s workforce. -Congress should increase the agency’s budget to reflect growth in the labor market, the low-wage workforce in particular, and recent evidence of systemic wage theft. -Penalties for minimum wage and overtime infractions are insufficient to deter bad behavior. -Minimum wage and overtime violation convictions should pose an existential threat to businesses so managers and owners will think twice before engaging in such behavior.
Raise the minimum wage
-Raising the minimum wage is unlikely to hurt jobs, unless taken to an extreme. -Given the present weakness in aggregate demand, higher wages would stimulate the economy. -Raising the minimum wage could help reduce working poverty and particularly improve prospects for women, their families, and other disadvantaged groups that are disproportionately represented among minimum wage earners. -The minimum wage for tipped workers should be raised to the same floor that applies for all other workers.
Raise the income threshold for mandatory overtime
-The New Deal’s Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers who work more than 40 hours a week get overtime pay, at a rate of 150 percent of their regularly hourly wage. However, the act exempts some employers, executives, administration, and traveling salespeople, among others. To provide a base level of coverage, the Department of Labor has periodically issued a rule that establishes an income threshold under which any employee must be paid for overtime. -The current threshold of $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, was last updated in 2004, and covers just 11 percent of the salaried workforce. In 1975, 65 percent of salaried workers were covered by overtime rules; if the 1975 threshold had kept pace with inflation, 47 percent of workers in 2013, rather than just 11 percent, would have received overtime. -The Department of Labor should raise the threshold to restore this pillar of middle class income, ensuring that the majority of salaried workers are covered.

Expand access to labor markets and opportunities for advancement

Reform the criminal justice system to reduce incarceration rates
-The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. -In addition to incurring direct costs, mass incarceration reduces employment opportunities and wages, and increases dependency on public assistance for a large share of the population. -The total public cost of incarceration was more than $31,000 per inmate in 2010, according to a study by the Vera institute. -Those who have been locked up end up facing lower hourly wages, annual employment, and annual earnings. This burden falls disproportionately on men of color. -In 2008 the US economy lost the equivalent of 1.5 to 1.7 million workers, or roughly a 0.8 to 0.9 percentage-point reduction in the overall employment rate. -Congress should reduce the burden ex-felons face when searching for jobs by expunging certain records after a set amount of time. -Mandatory minimum sentencing particularly targets people of color. -African-Americans and Latinos accounted for 69.8 percent of mandatory minimum sentences in 2010; tackling this issue will effectively reduce part of the inequality inherent in the nation’s sentencing rules. -Congress should allow judges the ability to waive mandatory minimums. -The DoJ should focus on encouraging alternatives to incarceration. -Inaccessibility to quality attorneys results in disproportionately harsh sentencing for the poorest. According to a report from the Brennan Center of Justice, a concerted effort to reclassify nonjailable offenses, increase public defense funding, and improve effectiveness through regular attorney and social worker training would ensure more equitable access to representation. -Onerous fees at every level of the criminal justice system generate severe financial burdens for the poor and create further points of entry back into the incarceration system.
Reform immigration law by providing a pathway to citizenship
-More than 11 million undocumented immigrants live and work in the shadows of the U.S. economy, in every corner of the country and every sector of work. -The broken immigration system is costly to businesses, who face risks of an uncertain labor supply. -Exploitation of undocumented immigrants drives down wages and working conditions throughout the labor market. -The federal government must provide a pathway to citizenship for those already here and simplify the process by which new migrants can continue to come and contribute to America’s economic success. -We should cease the deportation and internment of all but violent criminals and to normalize the legal status of families working, learning, and serving in America. -We should better coordinate the efforts of different parts of government to enforce immigration laws in ways that don’t undermine the conditions for people working here. ICE should take a back seat to the Department of Labor to ensure that unscrupulous employers cannot easily threaten workers with the prospect of deportation by calling in worksite raids. -Congress should ensure that labor laws apply to everyone, regardless of their documentation status.

Expand economic security and opportunity

Invest in early childhood through child benefits, home visiting, and pre-K
-The state run Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program is one of the most effective investments of taxpayer dollars. -One proposal that should be considered is a universal child benefit, a monthly tax-free stipend paid to families with children under 18 to help offset part of the cost of raising kids. -The U.K. recently cut its child poverty rate by more than half through a package of anti-poverty measures, including a universal child benefit. -Congress could immediately expand funding to provide pre-K childcare subsidies to all currently eligible children, expanding access to 12 million children at a cost of $66.5 billion.
Increase access to higher education through more public financing, restructuring student loans, and increasing scrutiny of for-profit schools
-The G.I. Bill helped create the middle-class society that we had aspired to partly by providing free education to returning soldiers. -It’s not true that we can’t afford similar programs, we cannot afford not to ensure that all young Americans get the best education for which they are qualified so they can live up to their potential. -The government should look to follow the lead of Australia and adopt universal income-based repayment, in which repayment consists of a set percentage of future income. Students could then repay their student debts more easily - at much lower transactions costs - through withholding. -Removing bankruptcy protection for those with student loans, particularly in the 2005 policy change under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, has done nothing to reduce bankruptcy filings resulting in costly defaults. It has extracted money from poor students that goes into the coffers of the banks. The government should restore those protections. -One way to improve outcomes for graduates is to increase scrutiny of for-profit schools, which receive a large share of government-funded loans or government-guaranteed loans while failing to provide students with a quality education. Eighty-seven percent of revenues at for-profits come from federal or state sources, including student loans and Pell grants. Though they teach around 10 percent of students, they account for about 25 percent of total Department of Education student aid program funds. Studies show that those at for-profit schools do poorly compared to those at community colleges. Completion rates are poor, as is success in getting a job.
Make health care affordable and universal
-The health care system is rife with the kinds of market failures that economists have studied extensively, including information asymmetries and imperfections in competition. -Hospitals, physician networks, and health care insurers increasingly operate in conditions approaching monopolies. -Patients largely have neither the medical expertise to perform the cost-benefit analyses necessary for making optimizing choices about the care they need, nor the access to price information for comparison shopping, leaving providers to determine both the demand and supply of health care. -Medicare, with its record of controlling costs and delivering better outcomes, should be opened to everyone. Competition from Medicare’s entry into the insurance exchange would lower premiums for everyone; one study found increased competition on exchanges could lower fees by an estimated 11 percent.
Increase retirement security by reducing transactions costs and the exploitation of retirees, and expanding Social Security
-More people in America will face retirement with inadequate savings, driving down their consumption and/or diverting it from others, or relying more heavily on social transfers. -Expanding the Social Security system to include a “public option” for additional annuity benefits would enhance competition, driving down costs and increasing services. -Research shows that the average 401(k) participant could lose up to a third of future savings in fees. Requiring fund managers to adhere to a fiduciary standard would be an important move in the right direction. -We could require that any pension or retirement account eligible for preferential tax treatment not have excessive transactions costs. Fees on any account could not exceed those on the best-performing indexed funds, unless there were demonstrably higher risk-adjusted returns. -We should remove the payroll cap that limits the amount of revenue Social Security raises to help make Social Security self-sustaining, budget-wise.
Reform political inequality
-Policies favored by the wealthy receive attention, while policy preferences of poor and middle-income Americans are ignored. -People with higher incomes vote more frequently than those with lower incomes and election campaign finance is dominated by a relatively small number of large donors who wield outsize influence. -Voting should be made easy: we should establish a federal system of universal voting that includes automatic voter registration, accepted throughout the country without the need to reregister and without burdensome voter identification requirements; the ability to vote by mail or early in-person on multiple days; the establishment of weekend Election Days or a national election holiday; and online voting when cyber-security concerns are met. -A constitutional amendment could go a long way toward allowing Congress greater leeway to reform campaign finance laws to increase political equality. -We could require shareholders to vote in support of any political contributions before they can be made.
This post is almost as long as Reddit allows, so nice job reading all of this if you have. Now, what's all the disagreement about? How is Stiglitz wrong?
submitted by Skeeh to neoliberal [link] [comments]

‘They are us’ – an urgent, uncomfortable call to action

"By Morgan Godfery | Contributing writer March 13, 2020
A proper reckoning with March 15 2019 demands that we take up a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism. An essay by Morgan Godfery.
This work is made possible by Spinoff Members.


I was cleaning out the garage the other day and found an old Crusaders jersey. If I remember right it’s their team kit from 2005, the white knight sewn into the chest and the old Ford logo printed in the centre. The jersey itself is still as fresh as new paint, a novelty purchase from when we were passing through Christchurch on our way to Christmas in Oamaru. I was a year 9 in school and a Super 12 jersey was the kind of item you had, just so you could say you had one. This is about the same time it was still acceptable to whisper things like how the white players in the Crusaders were responsible for their team’s championship success, playing their footy with brains, and the problem with mid-table finishers like the Blues were too many brown boys who only knew how to throw their weight around.
I’m not quite white-passing, but my upper middle-class accent, generally preppy affect, and not-quite-pasty-not-quite-brown skin makes me ethnically ambiguous enough that people are happy to share their thoughts about big Polynesian units, Asian immigrants, Muslim terrorists, and the Jews. The first time I remember running into entirely casual racism was in Christchurch, on the way back from that Christmas in Oamaru, when a retail worker caught up with me on the street apologising for short-changing me in store. I didn’t realise or particularly care, but years later I thought about his apology. “Sorry, I just Jew-ed you”.
At the time it was nothing to me. In high school and later in my flat at Victoria that was just what people said. “Jewing” someone was a verb for ripping them off, taking an advantage, or just a way to give someone a bit of stick. In my experience it was especially popular with the Christ’s College boys, which probably has something to do with the city’s private schools inheriting their culture from Britain’s public schools. “A Jewish boy at a public school almost invariably had a bad time,” wrote Orwell in 1945. Things probably aren’t that much better in 2020. The other day I read an old mate – a private schooler too – on Facebook joking about how Jews are useless at sport.
I suspect for good liberals this is probably shocking. This isn’t language that ever sneaks through our circles. But outside of our cosy hermetic world words like coconut, boonga, fob, wog, gook, curry muncher, towelhead, the hundred variations on the N word, and “Jew” as more than a noun are common currency. The stains from that vocabulary seep into every part of the culture and society, and nothing much has ever been done to wash it out. The first time I remember encountering deliberate, menacing racism is on the rugby paddock when a white coach was yelling at my mate on the wing “run you BLACK bastard”. I thought about that moment when spectators in Christchurch were caught vilifying Fijian player Sake Aca in 2015, screaming from the stands “black cunt”.
Fandoms like to imagine their sports, multicultural rugby especially, as pure and independent realms (“a level playing field”) absent race, politics, or any disadvantage other than skill. It’s a seductive argument, I’ll concede that much, but it’s so self-evidently false it still surprises me every time someone insists on it earnestly. Sport? Not racist? In 2012 talkback callers and trolls went after then Blues coach Pat Lam and his family for the great crime of simply being Polynesian. In 2010 former All Black Andy Haden was put through the wringer for telling media the Crusaders only recruit a maximum three “darkies”, presumably to preserve the team’s famous brain-brawn balance.
Even in the laudatory histories New Zealand rugby was, and probably remains, a notorious nexus for down home conservatives, know-nothing administrators, and out and out racists. In 1960 the rugby union sent the All Blacks on tour to Apartheid South Africa, waving the team off without any Māori players or officials in a remarkable sop to the country’s colour bar. In 1976 the national team were sent back, this time defying international calls to cut sporting ties with the racist state. In protest at the tour more than twenty African countries led a boycott at that year’s Olympics, a moral stand that should perpetually shame New Zealand Rugby. Not racist? As if.
In an ideal world the Canterbury Crusaders would study this history, carefully considering whether their decision to retain the team name is another brick in rugby’s wall of shame. The managers might consider how “deus vult”, meaning God wills it, a battle cry from the first Crusade, and “Acre 1189”, a reference to a siege in the third Crusade, are URL shorthands and postscripts for white supremacist users constructing a historiography for their neo-fascist movement. The managers might also reflect on how real-life white supremacists in countries like Brazil, Norway, and Australia are adopting the Knights Templar, the Christian warrior monks who made up the crusading hordes, and the literal white knight that was formerly the Canterbury team’s logo, as their saints.
As it happens the team’s managers, after kicking the issue to a “market research” firm shortly after March 15, made the call to save the name. It’s an unconscionable decision, for obvious reasons, but the team bosses seem cognitively incapable of reasoning through the issue and its implications beyond mere “branding”. In a statement announcing the name-stay the team’s PR people wrote “for us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community,” as if it’s possible to just reframe the holy war using a press release. It’s a cretinous thing to do when not even a year earlier an alleged shooter undertook a massacre at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as part of his own “crusade”.
A28-year-old man is before the High Court facing 52 murder charges relating to the events of March 15. What we know about his life is little, save the things he was curating about himself online, which in this essay I treat with caution and scepticism. But it seems clear enough the Australian citizen was an obsessive for the Crusades, scribbling references to the religious war for the Holy Land across the weapon police accuse the man of using to carry out the massacre. Investigative reports note in his pilgrimage to Europe the 28-year-old – who pleaded not guilty to all charges – made particular visits to Christian-Muslim battlegrounds in the former Ottoman Empire, apparently as a tribute to the crusading warmongers he was so keen to match.
To outsiders the obsession with this particular historical episode is probably bizarre, if not creepy. But in the nether world this man and his neo-fascist comrades inhabit they imagine they’re acting out the thesis and title in Samuel P Huntington’s The Clash of Civilisations. In his 1993 essay the American political scientist argues that in the immediate past global conflicts were between warring ideological factions – capitalism and communism – but post-Cold War conflict will centre between clashing civilisations. The West vs the rest. Christianity vs Islam. The Crusades II.
In Huntington’s telling, and in the alleged shooter’s head, the West and the Islamic world are fated to compete. Yet that competition won’t centre over economic issues like stable oil supply lines, or even political issues like the territorial integrity of Western allies in the Middle East, instead the clash is meant to happen over Islam’s apparently regressive values and the West’s progressive tradition. It’s a striking thesis, especially for the generals and politicians who were hunting for cover for their military adventures in the Middle East and East Africa in the late 80s and early 90s. But it was always a notion that was impossible to apply, reducing the Islamic world to a series of stereotypes (it never had its enlightenment) and setting it against an equally reductive West (it did have its enlightenment).
The late Edward Said, the Palestinian scholar, cut right to the heart of Huntington’s argument in identifying it wasn’t an argument at all – rather, he was “a partisan, an advocate of one so-called civilisation over all others” who maps billions of people into “vague” and “manipulable” abstractions and then presents it as a true account of the world. “Thus to build a conceptual framework around the notion of us-versus-them is in effect to pretend that the principal consideration is epistemological and natural – our civilisation is now and accepted, theirs is different and strange – whereas in fact the framework separating us from them is belligerent, constructed, and situational.”
In other words, the thing separating the Christian us from the Islamic them, to the extent a clean separation is possible at all, is history – of colonialism, of Cold War power politics – and not immutable categories like “the West” or “the East”. That the categories exist at all are a function of history and political convenience, not a universal law stipulating conflict as the only end. Yet for the neo-fascists like the alleged shooter every thought they cherish orbits this particular rock: that the entire Islamic world is one dirty blob of terrorism, rape, and invasion, and that all its more than one billion members act with a single purpose and co-ordination unknown in the entire history of humanity.
But why commit to a dichotomy so obviously stupid at all? The 28-year-old grew up in Grafton, a waterway town in northern New South Wales, and in his time on the Eastern seaboard it seems unlikely he ever actually met many Muslim people at all. In his own family’s account they were just ordinary Aussies. It’s impossible to interrogate the claim – every family thinks itself the norm and we can’t penetrate their private lives to investigate how true it is – yet the family were probably ordinary in one sense. They were unremarkable. Just another white family. The alleged shooter’s parents were in traditional jobs. Mum a teacher. Dad a rubbish man.
The people who were closest to him – cousins, old school mates – pinpoint his OE to Europe as “the moment”. As RNZ reports in his manifesto the alleged shooter recounts his trip through North Korea and Pakistan, paying tribute to the locals’ kindness and hospitality (noticing the contradiction he explains he doesn’t hate the yellows and blacks who stay in their own “homelands”). Eventually he lands in Europe, road tripping France. In one passage he despairs that he can’t seem to find an all-white town or city. In another passage his travels take him, quite conveniently, to a cemetery for the European dead of the world wars. “I broke into tears, sobbing alone in the car,” he writes, mourning the apparent Islamification of Europe. “Why were we allowing these soldiers deaths to be in vain?”
He didn’t realise that the dead he mourned died trying to kill people like him.
In 2018 I wrote (presciently, without claiming too much credit for an insight this awful) that “white nationalism is, for the basement dwelling 4chaners, mouth breathing Redditors, and Youtube philosopher kings, nothing more than a desperate search for an alternative fatherland”. That search is what drove the alleged shooter from his Australian home. “The origin of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European… most importantly, my blood is European”. To the alleged shooter his actual home was irredeemable. “What is an Australian but a drunk European?”
In each claim is a desperate narcissism, reaching for an imaginary identity when your existing accomplishments don’t match your personal ambitions. It’s tempting to extend that psychoanalysis. The alleged shooter’s fetish for imaginary “whites” is a cover for the trauma of being a nothing, disembodied. Or maybe the urge to order and rank the world into competing civilisations is a neurosis, like stacking your knives and forks in a row. Perhaps the pleasure he takes in trolling is jouissance, a momentary transgression in the service of briefly feeling. Yet those readings are weightless if they stand alone. The alleged shooter’s interior life is relevant, certainly so for a conviction on murder, but studying the actually existing politics that shaped his positions and actions seems more important than base speculation.
In The Invention of Tradition the historians Terence Ranger and Eric Hobsbawm argue that traditions, far from the ancient wisdoms of old, are often nothing more than recent beliefs that help foster a common identity when – to borrow from Said – “organic solidarities” like the family or village break down. The inventions are easy to spot in the courts and parliament where British ritual connects the two institutions to a pedigree and past that their move half away across the world broke. In the neo-fascist movement the inventions are slightly more subtle, taking actual historical happenings like the Crusades and pick-and-mixing the symbols (Knights Templar), battles (Acre 1189), and language (deus vult) that they can contort around the various anti-Muslim bigotries.
The idea that traditions are a kind of stand-in where old connections break down seems especially apt in settler colonies where the relationship to the past and a present community often amounts to nothing more than a shopping list of shared habits and references. Gumboots as culture. I appreciate that description could come across as banal, or even malicious, but it gets close to the impulses apparently guiding the alleged shooter: the search for meaningful political connections and political community. As he saw it Australia had no identity to offer. Instead he found his connection in an “imagined community” – in violent European nationalisms – and online.
“I am a racist”, the man writes in his manifesto. His neo-fascists comrades were too.


One of the first inspirations he cites is Luca Traini, a 28-year-old Italian neo-Nazi who, with a 9mm glock, went on a drive-by shooting injuring six African migrants in Macarata in 2018. The racist rampage lit a fuse under that year’s Italian general election. The left went after Matteo Salvini, the League Party leader, the same party in which Traini stood as a mayoral list candidate, for inspiring his violent work. In an ordinary election a political leader would make an immediate climb down, condemning Traini and his crimes. But Salvini, best known in the English-speaking world for closing harbours to refugees crossing the Med, was surprisingly consistent. He said the left had “blood on its hands” for packing the country with “illegal migrants”. The unspoken implication: Traini was doing his patriotic duty.
The alleged shooter, watching on from another hemisphere, found a brother in arms. The two men had built their identities around all the same hatreds and had clothed their boogeymen in all the same threads. One stitch for migrant “invaders”. Two stiches for liberals and Marxists, and a needle for the “race traitors” among them. But where the twin gunmen’s hatred really met, transforming from online big noting to a real-life passion, was in protecting “their” women. Traini undertook his crime as an apparent act of revenge against the three Nigerian refugees in court for killing 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro.
In his manifesto the alleged shooter offers a similar provocation, taking 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund’s death as his red pill. In his self-mythologising, the Stockholm truck attack, a deadly terrorist attack that took Akerlund’s and four other lives, was his waking moment. “It was another terror attack in the seemingly never-ending attacks that had been occurring on a regular basis throughout my adult life,” he wrote. “But for some reason this was different”. What was that difference? Akerlund. An innocent. It’s a vile misuse – he doesn’t care for anyone or anything beyond himself – but the narrative demands an affect, the shooter turning in his coward’s rags for a knight’s armour.
For neo-fascists it’s essential to tell their origin stories through the opposite sex. For aspiring movement leaders like the alleged shooter it’s the fight to protect the “virtue” of “our women” against “Muslim rapists” that forces their hand. For lurkers, shitposters, and like-avores it’s the feminists and “Staceys” who never recognise the genius and vigour of their own race (plain meaning: “women don’t want me”) who lead them into fascism. Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, a martyr for beta males, undertook his crimes and suicide as an apparent act of “retribution” against women for denying him the sex and love he thought of as his by right.
This, not the customary declarations of love for the race, or even the thrill of sharing the same enemies, is usually the heart of online fascism – it’s a reaction against women.
In Male Fantasies the German sociologist Klaus Theweleit argues the fascist men who fought against the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933, and who went on to prominent positions and a political home in the Nazi regime, were in their heads and hearts afraid of women. For the “Freikorps” there were two womanly classes: White Women, “the nurses” representing order and servitude to men and country; and Red Women, “the communists” representing disorder, whoring, and the end of patriotic men. The latter were the women the paramilitary movement were under an obligation to kill. In one speech a general complains that when “a few old girls get blown up the whole world starts screaming about bloodthirsty soldiers”.
“As if women were always innocent,” he said.
This is why every fascist movement purges women first – metaphorically and actually. In Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema the American historian describes how films under the Duce’s regime “remove the Italian woman from the colonial space”, portraying the colonies as where men might find purpose through trans-national thuggery, and attacking women’s emancipation at home as a “corrupting” force and a check on the people’s success. The alleged shooter undertook his killings with similar illusions. That he could forge a new identity in gun fire and blood, and that liberated women (and Jews) were responsible for his personal and racial decline. In his manifesto the opening line is “it’s the birth rates”, repeated three times.
It’s easy to diagnose the same pathologies in his comrades. Game developers Zoë Quinn, Brianna Wu and media critic Anita Sarkeesian – the victims in 2014’s Gamergate troll – were made targets for harassment for no other reason than they were women crossing the border between a man’s stuff (the spacies) and a woman’s role (sex and housework). In New Zealand the death threats against Golriz Ghahraman, our first MP who arrived in New Zealand as a refugee, are so frequent Parliamentary Services ensures special protection for the Green MP. The critics go after Ghahraman for everything from fakery (her “CV” is a lie, she isn’t a “real refugee”) to acting as part of a globalist conspiracy to wipe out the white race. It’s impressively stupid, of course, but the point isn’t the truth in the charges. It’s that an Iranian-born woman sits in our parliament.
The same trolls go for the prime minister on Twitter’s #TurnArdern hashtag too, condemning Jacinda as a lazy woman (#parttimePM) who coasts along on nothing more than her femininity (“she’s a pretty communist”). That’s hardly out of the ordinary, of course. In the 2000s print commentators were comfortable enough to throw equally chauvinist slurs at Helen Clark, using “Helengrad” for Clark as the controlling woman and “political dominatrix” for ball-breaking the men around her. The difference is today’s trolls serve their sexism with Islamophobia on top. Last year activist Rangi Kemara found a telling correlation between tweeters of Turn Ardern and tweeters of Islamophobia. The Christchurch man selling MAGA hats – “Make Ardern Go Away” – on TradeMe once wrote he would destroy “mosque after mosque till I am taken out”.
Give me the misogynist, to corrupt an old saying, and I’ll show you the Islamophobe.
Simone Weil, the French philosopher, would recognise in the turn to Europe – and the turn against women – a classic “uprooting”. In almost every country material comfort and security often rely on cutting the cord between a person, the past, and a present community: removing Indigenous people from their land; separating citizens from their homes and families in one place for work in another; and reducing people to their supposedly “innate” categories (race, gender, etc). These uprootings, in Weil’s words, are a “sickness of the soul” that leave men especially vulnerable to demagoguery. In their search for past and present connections they turn to “false conceptions” like patriotism and national greatness, and at the core of each in 2020: hatred for and fear of women.


What’s notable about this neo-fascist movement isn’t necessarily its reach but its mode. Online, yes, but more importantly: politically free. Other than finance, the alleged shooter had no political or bureaucratic restraints. He could post all the tell-tale things he apparently did, and it seemed neither the police nor the spy agencies would ever flag it. He could acquire the semi-automatic weapon the Crown charge him with using with nothing more than a gun licence – and the seller was under no obligation to log the purchase. And he could move between Australia and New Zealand’s practically open borders with only a passport and a straight face for the eGate.
I hope you register the irony in this. Borders were the very thing the alleged shooter was desperate to enforce against the Muslim hordes. After moving to New Zealand, ostensibly to plan an attack back home, the 28-year-old found instead that “the invaders were in all of our lands”. Even at the bottom of the world in formerly lily-white Christchurch. “Nowhere was safe”, he wrote. The alleged shooter, in a bonfire of pomposity and self-regard, actually did think himself at the centre of a civilisational struggle between the out-bred West and Islam. In the mind of the manifesto writer, massacring Muslims would enforce the borders the supposed sell outs in government wouldn’t.
But in allegedly killing the innocent people he did he wasn’t taking on a powerful soon-to-be majority. Rather, on one side is the 28-year-old with all his political and social freedoms, and on the other are the shooting’s victims who were living their lives under significant political and social restraints. The spy agencies were dedicating their resources to “Islamic terrorism”, not the alleged shooter’s terrorism. Police commit more resources to “street gangs” – that is, Māori – and barely even bother with the alleged shooter’s brothers and sisters in white power. The immigration department, as any anecdote can confirm, focuses disproportionate attention on non-white entries, and the only people who move freely between borders are people like the 28-year-old.
In short: non-white people live their lives under scrutiny and surveillance.
The government’s official response to the Christchurch shooting is to extend that scrutiny and surveillance to, well, white people. Jacinda Ardern is leading reforms to gun laws and the rules governing how online users share violent, racist, and other objectionable material. Last month the country’s top spies told a parliamentary select committee that they’re keeping watch on dozens of suspect characters. Police, even a year on, are still making home visits to destroy illegal weapons and otherwise interview lurkers and posters. The changes, taken together, rightly remove the freedom and options the alleged shooter had, and make it almost impossible for his comrades to organise.
Yet as good and necessary as those changes are some of the structural conditions that produce the racial distinctions the alleged shooter holds so dear are left intact.
In organised debating one of the famous moots is the “balloon debate”. In it each speaker, usually arguing on behalf of someone famous, proposes why the others shouldn’t toss him or her over the side of a hot air balloon in order to save the others. It’s a riveting hypothetical, placing six people in disaster’s mouth and exercising the collective choice to doom one and rescue the others. But for anyone who understands how it feels to have their apparent merits and demerits subject to “debate”, with someone else drawing up a balance sheet in red and black, it’s horrendous. The idea is we’re born equal, but after that all bets are off. This is what women, takatāpui, Māori, Muslims, and other deviations from the “norm” deal with most days.
Are we worthy?
It’s the same principle that organises immigration to New Zealand: who’s worthy? In our system the government literally attaches “points” to the world’s hopeful according to their potential for improving the lives of the hosts. Good English? Points. A tertiary qualification? Add to the tally. Assets? You’re basically in. The system’s political champions admire this approach for its rationality. Unlike the US where immigration sometimes relies on a lottery – eg the American Diversity Immigrant Visa – or just keen racism – i.e. the Muslim travel ban – New Zealand immigration is hassle-free and non-discriminatory.
It’s a self-serving argument, of course, because an immigration system where the purpose and function is defining inclusions and exclusions (who’s in and who’s out) is never neutral. When Winston Peters calls for tighter English language requirements, for example, that’s really an argument for conferring an advantage on applicants from the Anglosphere over people with equivalent skills or greater need from other parts of the world. This isn’t explicitly discriminatory, at least in the sense the exclusionary threshold doesn’t depend on a person’s race, but the impact is racist in that one group of people (mostly white) enjoy an advantage over another group (mostly non-white) thanks to nothing more than the great good fortune of being born an English speaker.
It’s a perversity. Yet this is what border systems, including our points system, do: they force you to think about inners and outers. The threshold between the worthy and the unworthy. This is one reason the refugee-led campaign to end the “family link policy” was so important. In removing the rule barring African and Middle Eastern refugees from settling in New Zealand (unless their family were already here) the campaigners saw to one of the worst racial exclusions our border system made. If you’re an optimist you might hope the other racist exclusions in our border laws – like The Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act, the legislation stripping Samoans of their Privy Council-confirmed New Zealand citizenship – are but a campaign away from abolition.
I’m a pessimist.
I suspect most people imagine borders as objects, a line in the ground demarcating our country from theirs. Yet the American southern border, as one example, is notable more for “the Wall’s” absence than its presence. The northern border is even less dramatic, a largely wide-open space with fences here and there to pen in the farm animals. In New Zealand airlines usually enforce the country’s borders thousands of kilometres from our actual line on the map. Under the Advance Passenger Screening programme carriers only board passengers with the appropriate documentation.
It’s another marvellous technocratic achievement, appointing airline staff as de facto border patrol agents. But like the points system the screening programme’s impacts can end up perverse and racial making it almost impossible for refugees and asylum seekers from “non-visa waiver countries” (i.e. the developing world) from ever making it far enough to lodge a claim for protection in New Zealand. The programme, more than anything else, exposes borders for what they really are – a list of biased inclusions and exclusions – and the structural violence borders perform are in whom they include (the English-speaking, the educated, the wealthy) and who they exclude (the desperate, the poor, the mostly brown and black).
The alleged shooter and the neo-fascist movement understand a struggle is happening over the nature and function of borders. This man recognised new borders – the “balkanisation of the US” – as the only way to guarantee “the future of the White race on the North American continent”. His comrades, like the neo-Nazi who went on a stabbing riot on a train in Oregon, claim their end goal is smashing the US into competing ethno-states. For them – and their king in President Trump – reconfiguring the borders, whether as policy changes to the inclusions and exclusions or new border lines entirely, is the best way to guarantee their political supremacy this century.
Are borders by their very nature racist?


I took my last trip to Christchurch a month and a half after March 15. I had a speaking engagement with Network Waitangi Otautahi, the local tauiwi Treaty group. I thought about putting it off. Post-March 15 the only conversations that seem urgent and necessary are about March 15. Taking up space felt wrong, and even stepping off the plane felt intrusive. The city was grieving. Even the affect was off. People were unusually quiet in public spaces. In private one person I spoke to was literally in tears. We weren’t talking about March 15 at all but she was thinking about it every day. Even that felt like I was taking up space. Am I here to grieve too? I thought about Sam Neill breaking down in a taxi when the news broke, openly weeping, and how he took comfort from his Muslim driver.
I spoke, in the end. Not entirely comfortably, but an intervention of one kind or another felt right after the racism debate went from “individual hate” to “firearms access” to “the internet”. Each is its own valid connection, sure, but it felt as if all the most important connections were missing. In the English-speaking world it’s fashionable to name private, individual acts as “racist”. The intolerant, unfair, or simply racial things that fall out of people’s mouths. Like “cheeky darkies” on the 7pm telly. But it’s unfashionable, of course, to name racist systems. Instead bureaucrats and opinion-makers opt for euphemisms like “unconscious bias”, reducing racism to a state of mind and not a systemic design.
This is why I thought it important to issue a reminder, in the very small way that I could: racism is a social relation. It’s the principle governing the relationship between coloniser – the people who took this land and built the institutions to control and profit from it – and colonised, the people from whom the land was taken and the institutions built to protect and exploit the founding theft. The same principle shapes the relationship between citizens – people who enjoy all the rights the state confers – and non-citizens, outsiders who must prove their worth through their contribution to citizens.
These are the systemic conditions that produce racism – unequal power relations – and it’s what makes it so easy to condemn the Māoris or the immigrants or whoever else. When one people are up and the other are down, and the scales are apparently resistant to any remedial attempts to balance them with Treaty settlements or an increase in the refugee and asylum seeker quota, it makes it seem as if their disadvantage is a state of nature and not a centuries-long project to exclude certain people from prosperity. To the alleged shooter his victims were by their very nature irredeemable, abusing the West’s generosity, and he understood himself as enacting the same permanent exclusions his ancestors made, from the Crusades to the war on terror.
In this sense, the alleged shooter was an individual racist. Of course he was. But in another sense he was taking our exclusionary systems to their logical end.
Is there any response to savagery like this? The government’s reforms are one. I entirely support them. And yet they fall so short. People will still define their identity in different nationalisms, just like the alleged shooter did, so long as there are racist border system to enforce them. Neo-fascists will still define their identities against women as long as there is an unequal “domestic sphere”, an unequal workplace, and a society where one group – men – accumulate and exercise disproportionate power over another – women, trans people, non-binary people. That makes the struggle against the alleged shooter’s politics longer than his trial, his probable conviction, and his probable imprisonment. It’s a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism.
On my read Simone Weil’s original, vital insight is that as people and communities we find our identities in the obligations we owe – and in the obligations owed to us. In those reciprocal relationships we find meaning and purpose. In the give and take, in its delights and frustrations, and in the everyday work of making a home in these islands. This is where we find our roots, connecting to each other in different ways – whether as Māori or women or Muslims – but never excluding. “They are us” is an inclusion. They are us is an affirmation. They are us is also an urgent and uncomfortable call to action. As New Zealanders, it’s our responsibility to take on every exclusionary system, whether it’s racist borders or enduring gender roles. The memory of those who lost their lives on March 15 demands no less."
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Preview of the Louisiana Derby and more

The Road to the Kentucky Derby runs through the Fair Grounds in Louisiana this weekend as our highlighted race will be the $1 million Louisiana Derby for three year olds going a mile and a sixteenth.
While at the Fair Grounds, we will also be looking at two other races on the under card including The New Orleans Handicap for four year olds and up and the Muniz Memorial on the turf.
Then on Sunday, we travel to Sunland Park in New Mexico for the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby, also an 8 ½ furlong contest for three year olds, and the Sunland Park Oaks, which will feature an excellent matchup between American Pharoah’s little sister Chasing Yesterday and the super talented and super gorgeous Bellafina.
Before moving forward, just a few notes about last week:
Even after a ridiculously wide trip, Improbable still looked like a winner in mid-stretch of the first division of the Rebel but was run down late by Long Range Toddy. I’m 99% sure he was “short” as it was his first race in almost three months. I know I said otherwise in last week’s breakdown, but the other 1% is the City Zip angle. His next race will be a huge one as it will hold the key to answering that question.
Two Year Old Champion Game Winner did absolutely nothing wrong and was flat unlucky in losing a head bob on the wire in the second division of the Rebel. I’m not worried about him as he will probably get a lot out of that race and seems to be on target to be peaking on the first Saturday in May.
Kudos to the winner Omaha Beach, who signaled a big effort was upcoming with a monster 6F work (1:10.3) several days before the race. This was a big “coming out” party for the very handsome, very talented, beautiful striding colt and he too seems to be peaking at just the right time. I couldn’t be happier for trainer Richard Mandella, who is clearly one of the best trainers in the game today and has an excellent sense of humor as well.
Midnight Bisou was “talking” to us leaving the three eighths pole right through the wire while winning the Azeri Stakes on the Rebel under-card.
I loved the way she was flipping her ears back and forth and the look on her face on the far turn. She was clearly waiting patiently for a cue for jockey Mike Smith and when he gave it, she took off. I also loved how she pricked her ears about 50 or so yards before the wire as if she was saying “ok, I got this….hey look at that over there”
Monomoy Girl or no Monomoy Girl, I expect a big year out of this super talented filly.
As far as Elate goes, she clearly needed the race. I’m still hopefully she can return to her Grade:1 form and hasn’t lost a step due to having “a few physical issues” over the past several months.
Lastly, and I didn’t catch his name, but a big shout out and props to the guy who was the sole survivor in a pick seven, $100,000 tournament at Oaklawn on Saturday. The man went 6 for 6 and had Game Winner in the final leg…..need I say more?
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Fair Grounds
Race: 10 (4:34 PM EST Post)
New Orleans Handicap
Copper Bullet proved he’s more than just a top notch sprinter in the Razorback Handicap in his last which was his first try at route of ground. This good looking son of More Than Ready came with a furious stretch run but just missed catching the talented Coal Front. The combination of that race and back to back very strong, stamina building works in the month of March should set him up perfectly for this………………….…Silver Dust is a $510,000 son of super sire Tapit who is three quarters of a length away from coming into this riding a four race winning streak. Although his speed figure was a little light, I was most impressed with his last (Mineshaft Handicap, Feb. 18) when he overcame a slow early pace, yet took command of the race on the turn and won easy all while coming home the last 2 ½ furlongs in a very good :30.3. …Looms a solid threat here …………………….Although Mr. Buff will be making his first start in 56 days for underrated trainer John Kimmel, he clearly comes into this race razor sharp. The son of Friend or Foe, who stands for $1,000, impressively went “Coast to Coast” in four straight at Aqueduct in NY, registering speed figures that are higher than most in here. I’m not too worried about the time off, as his last two works signal he is most likely holding form……Figures bang up and the one to catch……………….Honorable Mentions: Although Core Beliefs will be making his first start in 181 days, he might go well in this spot. If you draw a line through his last two races last year where he was overmatched against Good Magic then McKinzie, you’ll see he’s hit the board in all six career starts including finishing third to Triple Crown winner Justify in the Santa Anita Derby. I like his work pattern coming into this as well……………………… Lone Sailor had several issues when disappointing as the 2-1 favorite in the aforementioned Razorback. The now four year old was making his first start in 103 days, was hung wide on the first turn and was trapped behind a slow pace. This stretch runner should be tighter for this and should also get a faster pace. Of course, it’s always hard to endorse a horse who is 2 for 16 in his career, 1 for his last 11 and 0 for 4 on this surface. …...A couple of other side notes about this race: After winning two straight at Gulfstream Park, Souper Tapit stumbled at the start of the Razorback and was five wide at the half mile pole…could be a menace with a cleaner start and trip. Noble Indy is not as bad as his last four races indicate. This Todd Pletcher trainee has been beaten by a, no exaggeration, 141 lengths over that span. “Ignore Pletcher, leave the track on a stretcher” angle fits with this horse. (My play: $50 win on Copper Bullet and a .50 triple box using the top 5. Cost $80)
Race: 11 (5:10 PM EST Post)
Muniz Memorial Handicap
Bricks and Mortar was visually impressive coming “over the top” and beating some of the best turf horses in the world while taking down the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf in his last. This now five year old by Giant’s Causeway improved his career record to 6 for 8 that day. This Chad Brown trainee won’t be facing nearly as tough of field here…....hard to go against in this spot…....Logical choice......…….Synchrony is a hard hitting, multiple Graded Stakes winning stretch runner who sports a 12-6-2-3 career record on the turf. This chestnut colt by Tapit’s 2019 debut was very good as he took down the Fair Ground Handicap on Feb. 16. What makes it especially good is he got the last furlong of that race in a smoking :11.4 after being six wide at the quarter pole. Of course, being 4 for 4 on this turf course also merits attention….Should be coming late once again in this spot……………..Although Divisidero has disappointed time and time again (1 for 8 over the last two years) and finished behind Inspector Lynley last time out, I’m going to use him in my exotics once more. The late running, now seven year old son of Kitten’s Joy gave several good accounts of himself vs. Grade: 1 competition last year, so there is a left handed drop in class in this spot………………………….Honorable Mentions: Inspector Lynley, who is consistent (14 of 22 on the board), but doesn’t actually win (5 for 22) as much as you’d like to see but still merits a look regardless………………..Hot Springs will be asked to take on Bricks and Mortar in his first start in over four month, that’s a tall order. With his running style, drawing the rail won’t help his cause either. That said, he is 4 for 7 on the turf and has shown me some talent in watching his replays. ($200 win on Bricks and Mortor & $1.00 triple box using all 5. Cost: $260)

Race: 12 (5:44 PM EST Post)
Fair Grounds Oaks
If you draw a line through Serengeti Empress’ Breeders’ Cup debacle, you see she’s won her last three races by 13, 19 and 4 ½ lengths with each being more impressive than the next. The 13 and 19 lengths wins speak for themselves but note she was basically being pulled up in the last 50 yards of her last race (the Grade: 2 Rachel Alexandra) but still won by plenty of daylight. Still another who is hard to go against…………………Eres Tu has been seriously unlucky in her last two starts yet finished admirably in both. Good looking filly by Malibu Moon just missed in the Silverbulletday Stakes two back after being “assaulted” leaving the five-sixteenths pole and being pushed five wide for the stretch drive. She then came back with a ridiculously wide trip, all the way around, yet still passed five horses in the last 4 ½ furlongs in the Rachel Alexandra while checking in third. That horrid ride probably cost regular jockey Ricardo Santana the mount as Jose Ortiz gets the leg up for the first time…………………Liora probably need the Silverbulletday, her first start of the year, because she ran much better in the Rachel Alexandra last time out. Although this well bred filly (by Candy Ride out of Giant’s Causeway mare) was “no match” for the winner that day, she was making up ground in deep stretch. Third start off the layoff angle figures here too. (My Play: $200 win on Serengeti Empress and $5.00 exacta box using all 3. Cost: $230.00)

Race: 13 (6:13 PM EST Post)
Louisiana Derby
War of Will is unbeaten and, by and large, untested in three starts since switching over to the dirt surface in November. This handsome colt broke his maiden, then took down the LeComte Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes all very impressively. I don’t blame his connection for running him on the turf in his first four races as his pedigree, by War Front out of Sadler’s Wells mare, screams “grass” and “distance”. He will be seeking to be only the third horse (the gorgeous Friesan Fire in 2009 and “little” International Star in 2015) in 100+ years to win all three Fair Ground prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Being 2 for 2 over the track and firing a big work last week both signal he is holding form. With Game Winner and Improbable each tasting defeat for the first time last week, if this very tactical colt wins here, and I suspect he might, I’m sure he’ll catapult to the Kentucky Derby favorite in a lot of people’s minds. So this is a very big race for him……………………. Country House’s maiden breaking win at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 17 still stands out in my mind as one the most impressive races I’ve seen all year. Colt by Lookin’ at Lucky broke slow but executed an eye catching move on the turn, swept by the field and won going away by 3+ lengths. The Bill Mott (who is loaded for bear in the 2019 Kentucky Derby hunt) trainee proved that race was no fluke as he had a rough trip (broke slowly, 5 wide on the turn then lugged in down the lane) in the Risen Star, yet still managed to get second. Figures bang up here; especially with a better trip…………………..The regally bred Spinoff is another who appears to be getting his act together at just the right time. Colt by Hard Spun, who remains one of the best looking horses I’ve ever seen, out of Grade: 1 winner Zaftig, absolutely blitzed a “NW1X other than” at Gulfstream Park in his last. This chestnut took command of that race leaving the half mile pole (in :45.4) and drew away impressively from that point on, winning by a colossal margin and stopping the clock in an excellent 1:40.1 for 8 ½ furlongs. Two sensational works at Palm Beach Downs since only adds to it and he figures prominent throughout……………….Honorable Mentions: I hate to put Sueno this far down, I really do, as he’s done nothing wrong in his last four races dating back to last August. Most recently, he just missed behind Gunmetal Gray in the Sham Stakes then again in the Southwest Stakes behind upset winner Super Steed. His speed figures continue to climb and he posted a big six furlong work (1:12.2) last week………………………..In my article breaking down the Risen Star, I mentioned I wasn’t giving up on Roiland just yet and this colt by Successful Appeal did me proud in finishing third at almost 70-1. He came screaming from last, and some 16 lengths back, to be beaten by less than four lengths in the end including passing an astounding eight horses down the lane. I hate he drew the one hole but perhaps his rider can work out a decent trip………………………I’m probably underrating Hog Street Hustle in this spot. Here’s a colt who was making up ground vs. War of Will late while finishing second in the Lecomte, then had a nightmare trip in the Risen Star (checked early and seven wide on the turn). Through all that, he came from next to last to grab fourth…..long shot possibility right here………………..The same goes for Limonite, (underrating) who probably needed the Risen Star as it was his first start in almost three months. Another stretch runner, he draws a decent post and should be tighter for this……………………..Bankit also possesses a strong late run but fizzled in his last two races. (My play: .50 triple box using the top 5. Cost $30.00)

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Sunland Park
Race: 9 (6:27 PM EST Post)
Bellafina was runner up as Champion Two Year Old Filly last year and has come out running thus far in her 3 year old campaign. This $800,000 filly by Quality Road annihilated the field in the Santa Ynez in January, and then wired her foes in the Las Virgenes in her last in Feb. I’m not worried about the perhaps little kink in the armor we saw in the last 100 yards of the Las Virgenes. She had every right to tire in deep stretch being she ran fast through the first six furlongs, on a track labeled “good” in just her second start of the year. Third start off the layoff and a big work last week are more signs pointing towards a peak performance from this winner of 5 of 7 starts including a pair of Grade:1’s………………………………I can see my moniker of “American Pharaoh’s little sister” Chasing Yesterday is about to be changed to just Chasing Yesterday. Filly by Tapit has won four of five career starts including the Grade: 1 Starlet to end the year last year and seems to still be getting better. Bellafina will clearly have a fitness edge in this spot and that’s one of the main reasons why I’m lining them up this way. That said, I will tell you her 5F work (:57 flat) last week was…well…beyond supersonic. It has been a while since I’ve seen a horse work that fast………………..Victim of Love has speed, the rail and has won three straight including beaten several of these in her last. Filly by Speightstown is 2 for 2 over this surface also………………Honorable Mentions: Backflash made a run at Victim of Love in her last but just wasn’t getting by her. In the end, she was only beaten by less than two lengths…………………Although K P Slickem hasn’t crossed the finish line first yet through five career starts, she hasn’t been off the board yet in any of those five starts. (My Play: Pass...I'm not seeing much value with what figures to be a two horse race)

Race: 11 (7:30 PM EST Post)
Sunland Park Derby
Mucho Gusto is a $625,000 colt by Mucho Macho Man who gets lost in the Bob Baffert barn sometimes thanks to Game Winner and Improbable. This talented chestnut colt, who is 3 for 4 in his career with his only loss coming to Improbable which is nothing to be ashamed of, showed a new weapon in his arsenal when he learned how to rate off the pace like he did in winning his last. He’ll be making his first start in 50 days here but his work pattern coming in is tremendous, topped off by a monster 5 furlong move (:57.4) on March 10. He draws the rail, which is a good thing with his running style and the distance will be no problem whatsoever………………..Anothertwistafate is a synthetics surface running sensation. This $360,000 son of Scat Daddy broke his maiden (by 4 lengths), beat mid level optionals NW1X (by 5 lengths) and was nothing short of dominating in his last while winning the El Camino Real Derby by 7 lengths, with strong speed figures in all three races. I was super impressed with his win in the El Camino. I love the way he was moving from the eighth pole to the wire as he leveled off and was “reaching out” really well. Of course, the elephant in the room is how will he handle the switch back to dirt? Because his one and only try over it says he won’t……………………………….Wicked Indeed closed ground well, late in the Mine That Bird Stakes at 1 1/16th miles in his last and chased War of Will two races back. I like the fact that this gray colt by Tapit’s speed figures have risen through all four career starts. Logical contender with the added distance in this spot……………………….Honorable Mentions: Hustle Up has owned the state of New Mexico for the past 364 days. This speedster is 8 for 10 in his career, including being 4 for 4 on this oval. He draws toward the inside, so that should help his chances as should the back to back big works coming into this. He looms the one to catch in this spot. That said, he’ll be a big step up in class and will have to run longer than he’s ever been before. ….If you are shopping for a longshot, take a gander at “the maiden” Pasamonte Man, who has gotten progressively better through each of his three career races, including just missing two back. Note how he was quietly making up ground late against Wicked Indeed and Hustle Up in the Mine That Bird Stakes. Still another who should relish the stretch out in distance. (My Play: .50 triple box using all 5: Cost: $30)

By: Gerard Apadula
Director of Equine Operations and Development
Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team
[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
2019- Record: 16-52 = 31% (My Plays: -$1,652.19)
2018- Record: 107-261= 41%
2017- Record: 92-235 = 39%
2016- Record: 91-229 = 40%
2015- Record: 67-180 = 37%
2014- Record: 29-73 = 40%
2013- Record: 20-59= 34%
2012 -Record: 24-73= 33%
2011 –Record: N/A
2010- Record: 24-74= 33%
Little Bets N’ Pieces
**** WinStar Farm's top stallion Pioneerof the Nile died suddenly Monday, the farm announced. He was only 13.
The impeccably bred son of Empire Maker-Star of Goshen bred a mare in the morning and started acting “strange” once he was back in his stall. He was en route to the clinic when he died.
"We are all extremely saddened by the loss of Pioneerof the Nile," said WinStar Farm president and CEO Elliott Walden. "He was a superior physical specimen, a Triple Crown sire (American Pharaoh), and a unique personality. All of us at WinStar are heartbroken."
**** Danthebluegrassman, a 2002 Kentucky Derby contender, was euthanized Monday at Park Equine Hospital in Woodford due to an irreparable small intestinal obstruction that was causing chronic colic.
The 20 year old gelding had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, K.Y., since 2008.
Trailed by Bob Baffert and owner Michael E. Pegram, Danthebluegrassman won the Gold Rush Stakes as a two year old and later convinced his connections he was Kentucky Derby worthy with a win in the Grade: 3 Golden Gate Derby and a close 2nd in the Grade: 3 El Camino Real Derby.
Although being listed at 50-1 on the morning line, he was forced to scratch after he "tied up" following a gallop at Churchill Downs.
“Dan” eventually fell down to the claiming ranks and was retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2008. His final career stats were 47 starts with 8 wins and earnings of $423,794.

submitted by aspen222 to horseracing [link] [comments]

Lifestyle entrepreneur with multiple sources of income that are four or five figures a month. 6 mil views on YouTube, 4 mil on Quora. AMA

Hey Reddit. My name is Sam Priestley, and I’m a bit of cliche really. Location independent (currently in Malta) with multiple online businesses. Yeah, so feel free to hate on me.
Where I’m a bit less of a cliche, is that I don’t ‘hustle’ or work 100 hour weeks. I’d probably have more money if I did, but I find it difficult to motivate myself to do the unpleasant jobs and I’m guilty of normally taking the most interesting path. Which has led me to having tried out most online business fads and abandoning projects I probably shouldn’t have. Some worked out, most didn’t.
I’m also an introvert and don’t really like talking about myself - overcoming that is one of the reasons I’m doing this AMA and why I started a blog a few years back. If you met me you’d probably assume I was an accountant or some other equally mainstream middle-class job.
I’ve been working for myself for the last 9 years or so, ever since my second year of university. Here are my current businesses and how they’re doing:
Amazon FBA - Five figures a month profit. Here’s a screenshot of November's income report for UK and USA. (I’ve chosen November because December and Christmas isn’t an accurate reflection on how much it makes).
Amazon FBA has a bad name because a lot of people use it to resell crap from China and then sell a training course on how to do the same thing. But really Amazon FBA is just the name of the logistics and fulfilment service that Amazon provide, meaning they handle all your warehousing and postage. Companies have been doing that for hundreds of years, Amazon have just put it online and greatly lowered the barrier of entry.
I focus on building my table tennis brand and making it the best there is. I don’t mind telling you I sell table tennis equipment because I’m trying to build the brand... so go out and buy some Eastfield or PalioxETT table tennis equipment please. I guarantee they’ll be better than anything else in the price range. I’ve been working on it for years and spent a fortune on research and development.
We sell on our own websites, on Amazon, eBay and a bit wholesale. But Amazon is by far the biggest market. Personally I never buy stuff online from anywhere but Amazon, and that is becoming more and more common. So Amazon is where I want to be.
Blog - Averaged a bit over £3k a month over the last six months. That’s revenue, but profit is pretty similar as my only cost is hosting and my time. This post breaks down how it makes money.
I’ve been working on the blog for about two years now. The only way I really marketed it is through writing long form answers on Quora and referencing back to my blog. I have a little over 4 million views on Quora now.
The blog makes its money through affiliate links. Affiliate links get a bad rap because the writer has a bit of a conflict of interest. Can you write a truly unbiased review if you get commission for every sale? I have my own moral standard that I adhere to: I only look for affiliate links after I’ve written the post. If the companies I talk about don’t have one that’s fine - I leave it and don’t go checking the competition.
An example of that is Upwork. I haven’t been able to find an affiliate program for them, but still refer people to them because I think they’re better than Freelancer - who do have an aff network.
I leave a lot of money on the table as a result. But I think it makes the site better in the long term.
I’m not a very good writer (another reason I started the blog), so I try and make my posts as useful as possible. It seems that people don’t mind wading through bad grammar and bad spelling if they get some value out of the post.
YouTube - I have a YouTube video with 6.4 million views that gets a few hundred thousand extra every month. It is a time-lapse of me learning table tennis. It makes hardly anything. Like $100 a month. Here is it.
Self-publishing - I have one book on a very niche subject (me learning table tennis). And another novella I wrote as an experiment. The table tennis book does alright and sells a couple of hundred copies a month making about £500.
Coffee shop - I started a coffee shop in London. It doesn’t really earn any money. Just about pays the staff and is slowly paying off the money borrowed to start it. Highly recommend staying away from opening a coffee shop unless you really know what you’re doing. Plus it’s a not-for-profit so even if it did earn loads I wouldn’t benefit. It's called The Wren. If you're in London go and check it out!
Property - I jointly own four properties. They don’t make much money. Currently looking to get out of three.
P2P lending and investment - I put any extra money I make into p2p lending or an index tracker. Been doing it a while now so make £1k-£2k a month in interest/dividends/equity increase.
Previous projects:
Tech Startup - I spent most of 2012 pumping money into and working all day every day on a tech startup. It was a comparison website for a financial product. Eventually sold to a big market maker in London for a small profit. I hated it. I’m a rubbish manager, didn’t really have any interest in the product and found it really stressful. It’s what convinced me to go into more lifestyle entrepreneur stuff and stay away from startups.
I’m afraid I can’t answer questions about the sale price or the company that bought it or the name of the product. That’s all covered by an NDA.
Gambling - The first thing I ever did that actually made money. Quite a roller coaster really. First few years involved a lot of programming and huddling over a computer. Final phase ended up with with our team running round bookmakers in London with wads of cash, wearing wigs and placing arbitrage bets on horse racing.
Outside of business and money making: I currently spend a lot of time learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I spent a year training every day with a coach at table tennis. And I am trying to learn Spanish. In March this year, I got all my businesses to the point where I don’t need to be on site and have been travelling the world with my fiance ever since.
To help get out of my comfort zone, become less introverted and deal with conflict better, I volunteered as a part-time police officer in London from 2013 until I left the UK to travel this year.
Why am I doing an AMA? Well, for one I like the community here. I read it most days and among the crap there are some really interesting discussions. This Reddit post (not posted by me) is what made my YouTube video go viral. So yeah, thanks!
Secondly, I want you to read my blog. It’s called The Arbing Blog. It makes money through affiliate links. Yeah, it’s for-profit, so shoot me. But there are no courses or annoying popups or anything like that. I talk about all the above stuff and whatever else I happen to be up to.
So.. ask me anything!
EDIT: Thanks for all the questions everyone. I'm heading out to dinner now. But keep them coming in and I will answer them when I get back and tomorrow morning.
submitted by arbingsam to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

After banning 'Star Wars' slot machines, Disney spends millions to change Florida gambling law to "protect" its theme parks and properties - including Galaxy's Edge

Today, I heard about recent efforts by Disney against the gambling industry. I thought you guys would be interested in hearing about it, as it also heavily involves Star Wars...and particularly, Disney's plans in 2019 for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and the Star Wars hotel, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
It also involves Disney's existing, popular offering "Star Wars Day at Sea", and other Star Wars-related plans for its cruises in 2019, which is parly based out of the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida, and Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida).
The tl;dnr of it is as such: (broken down into smaller sections)
The Walt Disney Company is one of the most successful media conglomerate companies in the world. Just about everyone has heard of the Disney theme parks stationed in Florida, California, and abroad. Just about everyone has seen classic Disney films like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Not everyone knows about Disney's relationship with the gambling industry, however, and it is a noteworthy one.
Over the years, Disney has acquired the rights to several major entertainment companies and their licensed characters. In 2009, Disney bought the Marvel Entertainment company, creator of the famed Marvel comic books and a slew of popular superhero characters. In 2012, it purchased all rights to LucasFilm, the parent company that created the Star Wars brand.
Disney announced its plans to phase out all Star Wars and Marvel-themed casino slot machines in the United States last fall. The multimillion dollar company has the power to do this, because it now owns all rights to these brands.
According to a Disney spokeswoman, the character-themed slot phase-out is not a new decision. As part of Marvel's “integration” with Disney, she said the decision was made several years ago to let the machines gradually fade out through attrition. Only a few Marvel license agreements remain at this point, and they are set to expire within the next several years. Star Wars-themed slots will also trickle away, but it will take a few more years for that process to complete.
[...] Disney wields a certain amount of power over casinos, both on land and online, because of these acquisitions. Instead of promoting Star Wars and Marvel characters via slot machines, the company prefers to use their likenesses in movies that serve to perpetuate the Disney brand.
As the owner of LucasFilm, Disney has another trilogy of Star Wars films currently in the works. [...] Fans can expect to see Disney continue to advance their brands through avenues other than the gaming industry.
Disney has made its opinion of the gambling industry known in Florida: It does not support the addition of more resort casinos to that area. Not only does Disney plan to phase out Marvel and Star Wars-themed slot machines, it also hopes to prevent the development of new casino resorts in the state.
As it stands today, Orlando's Walt Disney World is the top tourist attraction on the globe. Over 50 million people visit the entertainment resort every year and partake of theme parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. From a business standpoint, it makes sense that Disney would not want another tourist draw infringing on its potential customer base in the Orlando area.
Disney denies that self-interest is its main motivation for opposing new casinos. Andrea Finger, a spokeswoman for the company, said the corporation opposes casino expansion for “many reasons.” One of the primary reasons is the fact that Florida is a “family friendly” vacation spot; adding more casinos to the landscape would tarnish that. Finger lauded Florida's efforts in “research, innovation, and entrepreneurship” and indicated that adding more casino resorts would create an “inconsistent” atmosphere in the state.
Finger made no statement suggesting that Disney is protecting its own interests by objecting to more casinos. This inference has been made, however, by critics based on the connection between Disney and its Marvel and Star Wars slot machines that recently came to light.
Critics also cite the fact that increased Florida casinos might steal valuable convention contracts from the Mickey Mouse company. At this point, Disney hosts approximately 700,000 square feet of convention space in its Florida resorts.
Disney's ownership of Marvel and LucasFilm slot machines was brought to the public's attention by New York Times reporters Lizette Alvarez and Michael Snyder. Critics immediately began shouting hypocrisy at the fact that Disney, a vocal gambling opponent, owns and profits from character-themed casino slot machines.
The Times reporters asked Disney whether its ownership of the slots “undercut” its casino gambling stance. A spokeswoman responded that the company's affiliation with the casinos was only temporary, and that it would take a few years for current slot machine contracts to expire.
[...] When Marvel and Star Wars-themed slots do eventually disappear from casinos, their absence will be a blow to the gaming industry. Casino patrons are drawn to the colorful games touting Spider Man, Darth Vader, and other exciting Hollywood characters. Until the machines are completely phased out, the characters will continue to entertain casino patrons both online and on land.
The online gaming industry will definitely be affected by Disney's prohibition. The Spider Man Slot game, for example, is an enticing game for online gamblers that was introduced in 2012. Other Marvel-themed online slots include Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and Wolverine Slots. The eventual loss of these games will leave a gaping hole in customers' palette of gaming choices.
[Possibly in response to Disney's decision], a group called the Associated Industries of Florida launched a new pro-casino campaign. This group is lobbying for more casinos in the area as a means of promoting jobs and stimulating the local economy. Analysts expect the battle between Disney and pro-casino lobbyists to become more heated as politicians compete for voter support in the upcoming election. (Source)
[However, Orlando isn't the only city that Disney is engaging in anti-casino efforts with.] The biggest challenger standing between [the city of] Miami and casinos is a mouse.
Walt Disney World, the giant resort near Orlando whose four theme parks draw more than 45 million visitors a year, has made preventing "destination" casinos a top priority. And few, if any, businesses carry as much weight in Florida as Disney, which employs more than 60,000 workers, generates nearly $600 million a year in tax revenue — and doled out more than $2 million to political candidates and causes during the past election cycle.
Some analysts say Disney — and, by extension, Orlando's entire tourism industry — has good reason to be wary of casinos. Though adult-oriented resorts in South Florida are unlikely to appeal to Disney's core audience of families with young children, they could siphon away travelers in narrower segments that are also important to the resort, from South Americans to conventions to weddings.
"Disney has lots of little pockets or niches that they're really good at getting market share in. And it adds up," said Duncan Dickson, a professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. "Disney doesn't want another Las Vegas anywhere close to them. Who needs the competition?"
[Case in point, Disney also has Disney Cruise Lines, based in both Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando).] Disney Cruise Line has revealed it will extend its popular "Star Wars Day at Sea" program through 2019, with the addition of nine cruises -- each of which will include a Star Wars-themed sea day, complete with special programming and restaurant menus. Family-friendly activities include Star Wars character meet-and-greets, movie nights (featuring new releases), Star Wars trivia, and a Jedi training show, where kids can learn lightsaber skills and battle Darth Vader.
Throughout the day, restaurants and bars also will serve themed foods and cocktails. The sea day will end with a fireworks show and deck party, hosted by Star Wars heroes and villains. All cruises span seven nights and depart from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida. (Source)
[...] Disney has always opposed efforts to expand gambling, [citing it as being againts its "family-friendly" image].
The Walt Disney Co., one of the most brand-protective companies on the planet, does not want to jeopardize its kid-friendly reputation by any association whatsoever with casinos and the taboo images they often conjure. The company's cruise line is the only major operator to sail ships without onboard casinos, which are typically one of the biggest generators of on-board spending.
"We've studied this issue carefully and remain opposed for many reasons," said Disney spokesman Mike Griffin, "including the fact that it is inconsistent with Florida's brand as a family-friendly destination, and with the efforts we've long supported to diversify Florida's economy through research, innovation, and entrepreneurship."
The legislation to be considered in Tallahassee would authorize three "destination" casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Each would boast a luxury hotel, shops, restaurants, convention space and casinos with every major game, from blackjack to roulette and craps. Any company awarded a casino license would have to spend at least $2 billion building the facility.
Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, both based in Las Vegas, and Genting, a Malaysian-based resort developer, are among the companies expected to seek licenses. Genting has already spent more than $300 million to buy bay-front property in downtown Miami and has announced plans for a $3.8 billion resort.
All have promised they will create thousands of jobs in South Florida, making the deal attractive to lawmakers hoping to lower the state's 10.6 percent unemployment rate.
Analysts say anyone that invests that much capital to build a resort also will have to spend lavishly to market the property. At a minimum, that will force Disney to ramp up its own spending on advertising, eroding its profit margins.
"Anytime you've got to fight and compete with more marketing dollars, which you know these folks have in abundance, it makes Disney's job that much harder to battle against," said Vicki Johnson, a tourism-marketing expert in Orlando.
More specifically, casinos could prove attractive draws in key markets for Disney. Executives at Genting, for instance, have said they would market heavily in Latin America.
Latin America — particularly Brazil, its biggest country — has become one of Disney World's most valuable markets in recent years. This summer, even as overall attendance at the resort was about flat with a year ago, Disney officials said traffic from Brazil was up by a double-digit percentage.
Though Disney doesn't disclose exact attendance numbers, national data show that visitation from Brazil is up 27% to more than 833,000 so far this year. And though Miami is the most popular destination for South American travelers, Orlando is growing more rapidly.
Disney says its business from Brazil is predominantly family-leisure travel, the group least likely to be swayed by casinos. But some industry followers say lavish resorts, when combined with the boutique shopping already in Miami, might be enough to peel away some of that business, especially Brazilians with older children or none at all.
"All of a sudden, it really cuts into their [Disney's] South American markets," Johnson said.
Group meetings and conventions business is also a growing profit center for Disney, which has nearly 470,000 square feet of meeting space spread among its hotels. It also routinely picks up lucrative private parties and other business tied to shows using Orange County's massive, publicly owned convention center.
Finally, allowing casinos in South Florida could lead to pressure to build more in other parts of the state. Already, some hoteliers in Orlando — led by Harris Rosen, owner of three major convention hotels — have made rumblings about bringing casinos to Central Florida. And officials at Port Canaveral — Disney Cruise Line's home port — are interested in casinos, too.
"Once they get their foot in the door, what's next? Orange County is going to say, 'Well, if it's legal in Dade County, why isn't it legal here?' " said Dickson, the UCF professor.
Disney has worked to enlist broader business groups to fight the casino legislation, most notably the Florida Chamber of Commerce, even though more than half of the businesses represented on the chamber's board of directors say they are neutral on the issue.
And the opposition from Disney has put casino boosters on the defensive during the past few days.
"Florida's identity cannot be changed because one casino or two destination resorts open in Miami-Dade County," said state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, who is sponsoring the casino legislation in the Florida House of Representatives.
"Florida will always be the Sunshine State," he added. "The dominant trademark of Florida will always be Disney World. I don't think they have anything to worry about when it comes to that." (Source)
There have been multiple attempts to garner support in the state legislature for non-Native American casinos and other forms of gambling expansion in the state. Currently, the Seminoles control the ability of Florida to expand full-fledged casinos per their current compact. And the power of the Seminoles in the state is substantial.
In order to change current law, there must be a constitutional amendment backed by the voters of Florida. There is one such opportunity on the ballot for the November 6, 2018 election.
The Casino Gambling Initiative, if approved, would give voters the exclusive right to authorize casinos going forward, casinos being comprised of card games, slot machines, and other casino-style games. All ballot measures in the future would then require a citizen-initiated process by which a number of signatures of registered voters must be obtained for ballot consideration.
Currently, however, the Seminoles reserve the exclusive right to offer blackjack, craps, and roulette in Florida, which would present a problem that would have to be addressed. The agreement with the Seminoles was signed by Governor Rick Scott in 2015, and is effective for 20 years.
While this may end up in a legal fight, poker rooms are not an exclusive right of the tribe, and would not be an issue.
If Amendment 3 passes in November by 60% or more of the popular vote, a new day may begin for casinos in Florida. This will also drastically increase the opportunity for poker rooms throughout the state. (Source)
The US Supreme Court repealed the longstanding federal sports betting ban known as PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). The landmark decision allows states to dictate their own sports wagering laws.
That means sports betting could be coming to Florida casinos, should the legislature pass market regulations. But Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam said this week that if he’s elected, he would oppose such legislation.
[Putnam also echoes Disney's reasoning.]
“I’ve always been one who has said we don’t need to expand the footprint of gambling in Florida,” Putnam declared at a campaign stop. “It’s not who we are as a state. We’re a family-friendly vacation destination. We’re a small business-oriented state.”
“If I lived in the middle of the desert in Nevada, [like Las Vegas], maybe I would grasp onto whatever straw or life raft somebody threw me,” he continued. “But we live in Florida, and we’ve got unlimited opportunities, and we don’t need to sell our state short.” (Source)
Earlier this year, Disney also gave $400,000 to Florida Grown, a committee supporting Putnam's gubernatorial bid.
[...] Disney officials would not agree to an interview, but in a statement, Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts, wrote, “We support candidates who understand issues important to our company, and demonstrate strong support for business and tourism in Florida.” (Source)
[Meanwhile, Disney is busy constructing what it hopes will be its next big moneymaker: Galaxy's Edge, a Star Wars-themed land in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Disney also plans to construct a Star Wars-themed hotel and resort adjacent to Galaxy's Edge.]
The ongoing success of high-profile films, like the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, can play a big role in the theme parks ability to tap into new characters and storylines for rides and shows.
Experts have said the success in theme park rides today are built on characters and properties that resonate with visitors outside the park. Thus new lands themed after popular franchises have proven to be a boon — like Disney's Star Wars and Frozen attractions, and Universal Orlando Resort's success with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
[So far this year], the theme parks division for the quarter saw a 13% increase in revenue to $4.87 billion, up from $4.29 billion for the same time last year. The division also saw a 13% increase in revenue for the first six months of the year to $10.03 billion, up from $8.85 billion for the year-ago period.
According to the earnings report:
"Results included a benefit from a shift in the timing of the Easter holiday relative to our fiscal periods. The current quarter included one week of the Easter holiday, whereas the entire Easter holiday fell in the third quarter of the prior year. Higher operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was primarily due to increased guest spending, attendance growth at Walt Disney World Resort and higher sponsorship revenue, partially offset by increased costs.
Guest spending growth was due to increases in average ticket prices, average daily hotel room rates and food, beverage and merchandise spending. The increase in costs was primarily due to labor and other cost inflation, an increase in depreciation associated with new attractions and higher technology spending." (Source)
[Driving this growth are Disney's planned new additions, including Galaxy's Edge, which is currently under construction ("labor costs").]
Disney’s new Star Wars land won’t open until next year, but it is not too early to declare that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the most ambitious theme park land ever built.
The numbers alone might justify the claim. At 14 acres each, Disney’s twin Star Wars lands will be the largest the company has built at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. Disney has not confirmed a budget for Galaxy’s Edge, but the project is believed widely within the industry to be costing at least one billion dollars. (Source)
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What is the Flat Earth Theory
The flat Earth model is a the idea that Earth's shape is a plane or disk.
Despite the scientific fact of Earth's sphericity, pseudoscientific[5] flat Earth conspiracy theories are espoused by modern flat Earth societies and, increasingly, by unaffiliated individuals using social media.
Walking around on the planet's surface, it looks and feels flat, so they deem all evidence to the contrary, such as satellite photos of Earth as a sphere, to be fabrications of a "round Earth conspiracy" orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies.
We’ll dig into it but first,
where does all this come from?
Many ancient cultures subscribed to Flat Earth at first including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD), and China until the 17th century. The idea of a spherical Earth appeared in Greek philosophy with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most pre-Socratics (6th–5th century BC) retained the flat Earth model.
Aristotle provided evidence for the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds by around 330 BC. Knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on.
It's a common misconception that Eratosthenes was measuring the circumference of the round earth in his shadow experiment. Eratosthenes had simply assumed that the earth was a sphere in his experiment, based on the work of Aristotle. He was actually measuring the diameter of the flat earth (distance across), which is a figure identical to the circumference of the round earth (distance around).
And so it remained until the 1800s, when a small but vocal group of Biblical literalists began interpreting Bible passages as meaning that the Earth was literally flat. None of these was more influential than Samuel Rowbotham, who exclusively used the pseudonym Parallax.
Parallax had made many personal observations at a six-mile stretch of the Old Bedford River in Norfolk, England, an absolutely straight and calm canal. For whatever reason, Parallax believed he was able to see straight along the surface of the water for the full six miles. He wrote, lectured, and debated tirelessly.
In 1864, he published the book Zetetic Astronomy: The Earth not a Globe, which became the Magnum Opus of the flat Earth movement. According to his science, which he called Zetetic Astronomy, the Earth was a flat disc with the North Pole at its center and the vast ice walls of Antarctica rimming its outer edge, and hell lay beyond the ice.
He drew the word zetetic from the Greek for inquiry, which in Parallax's mind meant a continuous questioning of all established science. Parallax made himself quite the media personality, and established the Universal Zetetic Society. Among its members was John Hampden, who made a much-publicized £500 bet that he could prove the Bedford canal was level and had no curvature.
It was accepted by a surveyor, Alfred Wallace, who was unaware of Hampden and Parallax's previous experience at the canal, and also unaware that one of the referees chosen to judge the results was another Parallax follower. It took several attempts before equipment could be sorted and boats and crowds could be managed, but eventually the contenders established a sight line thirteen feet above water level from their position to a bridge six miles away.
A pole on the shore at the halfway point was marked at the thirteen foot level, and when studied through a surveyor's theodolite, the mark on the pole was about five feet above the line of sight — just as the curvature of the Earth would predict. Wallace believed he'd won the bet, but Hampden bizarrely asserted that the five feet was accounted for by the height of the crosshairs in the eyepiece — a claim so outlandishly wrong that neither Wallace nor the reporters on hand could form a cogent argument to dispute it.
Thus it was reported that Hampden won the bet and the Earth was flat; until a replacement referee, the editor of a hunting magazine, finally judged in favor of Wallace, and awarded him the £500 that Hampden had put on account.
Hampden sued Wallace, Wallace sued Hampden, and it was a terrible mess until Hampden was at last jailed for making vicious public death threats against Wallace.
So all of this brings us to the modern International Flat Earth Research Society, founded in 1956 by an English sign painter named Samuel Shenton, whose belief system was a curious combination of Biblical literalism and alternative science.
He shared Parallax's view that the Earth's surface was a flat circle surrounded by Antarctica, but he also believed that Atlantis lay buried beneath the North Pole and that its flying saucers would rise up through a hole and visit us regularly. Shenton considered his International Flat Earth Research Society to be a descendant of the Universal Zetetic Society, though there was no actual connection.
He ran the organization as a newsletter out of his sign painting shop. Although he did support his views with scriptural quotes, his was very much an alternative science group first, and a creationist group second. Shenton took on the mammoth task of defending the flat Earth during the opening days of the space race, space travel, and the moon landings (which he, of course, insisted were hoaxed). He developed alternate explanations for everything — every satellite seen flying overhead, every procession of the seasons, even how the Earth casts a round shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse.
He won few friends with his assertion that the fire that killed the three Apollo 1 astronauts in 1967 was a curse from God in punishment for trying to explore the heavens. By the time spacecraft sent back photos of the Earth clearly showing its spherical shape, Shenton's excuses grew so bizarre that International Flat Earth Research Society membership dwindled to only twenty four.
Upon Shenton's death, an American couple, Charles and Marjory Johnson, picked up the torch. They lived in devout poverty in the California desert. They incorporated the International Flat Earth Research Society of America as the Covenant People's Church, and adopted a fire-and-brimstone mannerism.
Their quarterly Flat Earth News steered away from Shenton's alternative science and toward radical Christian fundamentalism mixed with broad conspiracy mongering. Charles burned bridges everywhere, waging wars against the US government, other flat Earth groups, authority of all kinds, the scientific method itself, and even other creationist groups like the well-funded Creation Research Institute. A representative tidbit of Flat Earth Newsdoctrine was the claim that the United Nations flag, which shows a flattened map of all the continents with the North Pole at the center, represents the true shape of the Earth as known to the elite UN Illuminati.
The International Flat Earth Research Society of America died when the Johnsons' modest home burned down and they lost everything in 1996. The Johnsons themselves died only a few years later, and for some time there was no real flat Earth society of any kind.
But in 2004, a Londoner named Daniel Shenton (no relation to Samuel Shenton) created an Internet forum at theflatearthsociety.org, and in 2012 announced that he'd acquired Samuel Shenton's archives from the University of Liverpool.
The forums are quite active, with hundreds of thousands of posts; but from paging through them, it appears that the current Flat Earth Society barely mentions Biblical literalism, but is instead mainly about conspiracy theories, distrust of science, and any type of alternative science views.
Fundamental Belief:
The earth is surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back. This ice wall is what explorers have named Antarctica. There’s also a central ice pole as well.
Let’s talk about the Ice wall for a minute
The Flat earth theory, like I mentioned, says there is a 150 foot Ice Wall. The 150 foot Ice Wall is on the coast of Antarctica. The Ice Wall is a massive wall of ice that surrounds Antarctica. The shelf of ice is several hundred meters thick. This nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than 50 meters high above the water's surface.
The Ice Wall was discovered by Sir James Clark Ross, a British Naval Officer and polar explorer who was among the first to venture to Antarctica in an attempt to determine the position of the South Magnetic Pole. Upon confronting the massive vertical front of ice he famously remarked
"It was ... an obstruction of such character as to leave no doubt in my mind as to our future proceedings, for we might as well sail through the cliffs of Dover as to penetrate such a mass.
It would be impossible to conceive a more solid-looking mass of ice; not the smallest appearance of any rent or fissure could we discover throughout its whole extent, and the intensely bright sky beyond it but too plainly indicated the great distance to which it reached southward."
The Ice Wall is a natural formation, a thick mass of floating ice that is attached to land, formed from and fed by tongues of glaciers extending outward from deep within the uncharted tundra into sheltered waters. Where there are no strong currents, the ice becomes partly grounded on the sea bottom and attaches itself to rocks and islands. The wall is pushed forward into the sea by glacial pressure until its forward growth is terminated.
The entire coast of the Ice Wall is not one single complete wall, however. There are actually a series of thousand mile long walls, divided by Transantarctic Mountain Ranges up to 11,500 feet high.
The weight of The Ice Walls are so enormous that they have literally pressed the land two thirds of a mile (one kilometer) into the earth. Under the massive forces of their own weight, the ice walls deform and drag themselves outward. Very large glaciers called ice streams flow through them continually, transporting ice from deep inland out to the sea.
Temperatures are thought to approach absolute zero the further one explores outwards. Exploration in this type of pitch black freezing environment is impossible for any man or machine. We live on a vast plane with an unknown diameter and an unknown depth. Dr. Samuel Birley Rowbotham held that knowing the true dimensions of the earth may be something that is forever unknowable by man.
Day and night cycles are easily explained on a flat earth. The sun moves in circles around the North Pole. When it is over your head, it's day. When it's not, it's night. The light of the sun is confined to a limited area and its light acts like a spotlight upon the earth. The picture below illustrates how the sun moves and also how seasons work on a flat earth. The apparent effect of the sun rising and setting is usually explained as a perspective effect.
What about magnetism?
While it's true that unipolar magnets can't exist, this isn't a problem for the Flat Earth. This is because ring magnets, which are shaped like (you guessed it!) a flat disk, are capable of having radial magnetization. In a radial magnet, one magnetic pole is at the center and other is at all points on the edge of the magnet. A magnet like this can be found in loudspeakers, and perfectly replicates what is found on the Earth.
What about Seasons?
The Sun rotates along a different circle depending on time of year. In December it’s where that yellow path is, and in June it’s where the orange path is.
The Sun has a shape-shifting invisible lamp shade that is perfectly flat and to the side of it on the equinoxes, which causes exactly half of that Earth pie to be lit at those times. During Northern summer the shade turns into a paraboloid, and in Southern summer it is a paraboloid that faces the other direction and also spreads along the perimeter of the entire Earth pie.
Others have pointed out that if the Sun rotated this way it would cause massive tsunamis every day, but that’s only if the Sun had gravity, which Flat Earth denies exists. There’s also the problem that the Sun sets, which they explain as being “perspective” because they claim that lines of sight converge and then diverge again, which just happens to make the Sun look like it has the same angular size in the sky all day.
That brings us to another point…
The earth isn't pulled into a sphere because the force known as gravity exists in a greatly diminished form compared to what is commonly taught. The earth is constantly accelerating up at a rate of 32 feet per second squared (or 9.8 meters per second squared). This constant acceleration causes what you think of as gravity. Imagine sitting in a car that never stops speeding up. You will be forever pushed into your seat. The earth works much the same way. It is constantly accelerating upwards being pushed by a universal accelerator (UA) known as dark energy or aetheric wind.
There are also other theories of flat earth thought that maintain that the earth sits on an infinite plane, with the sun moving overhead. Gravity works much like it does in a round-earth model, and the earth will never form into a sphere because the plane is endless.
The short answer is that this is heavily debated. Some say it’s a void, others say its space. But there’s something a bit more compelling- and that’s where the Christian fundamentalism kicks in…cause we’re living in GODS TERRARIUM
, it is generally agreed that the Bible describes an immovable earth. At the 1984 National Bible-Science Conference in Cleveland, geocentrist James N. Hanson told me there are hundreds of scriptures that suggest the earth is immovable. I suspect some must be a bit vague, but here are a few obvious texts:
1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”
Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ...”
The Order of Creation
The Genesis creation story provides the first key to the Hebrew cosmology. The order of creation makes no sense from a conventional perspective but is perfectly logical from a flat-earth viewpoint. The earth was created on the first day, and it was “without form and void (Genesis 1:2).” On the second day, a vault the “firmament” of the King James version was created to divide the waters, some being above and some below the vault. Only on the fourth day were the sun, moon, and stars created, and they were placed “in” (not “above”) the vault.
The Vault of Heaven
The vault of heaven is a crucial concept. The word “firmament” appears in the King James version of the Old Testament 17 times, and in each case it is translated from the Hebrew word raqiya, which meant the visible vault of the sky. The word raqiya comes from riqqua, meaning “beaten out.” In ancient times, brass objects were either cast in the form required or beaten into shape on an anvil. A good craftsman could beat a lump of cast brass into a thin bowl. Thus, Elihu asks Job, “Can you beat out [raqa] the vault of the skies, as he does, hard as a mirror of cast metal (Job 37:18)?”
Elihu's question shows that the Hebrews considered the vault of heaven a solid, physical object. Such a large dome would be a tremendous feat of engineering.
Also some talk of the “corners of the earth” and other such linguistic phrases.
The evidence for a flat earth is derived from many different facets of science and philosophy. The simplest is by relying on ones own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us. The world looks flat, the bottoms of clouds are flat, the movement of the Sun; these are all examples of your senses telling you that we do not live on a spherical heliocentric world.

No one has ever laid claim to Antarctica

Flat Earthers reckon the fact that no one has claimed Antarctica could mean the Earth is flat. They also argue it’s not a continent but a 360 degree landmass made up of ice that surrounds the planet and holds in the oceans.
Mark Sargent points to international treaties protecting the continent on his YouTube channel. He asked:
Do you know any treaties that has lasted that long between any industrialised nations? Moreover, do you know any piece of real-estate that is owned by no one?
  1. Whenever experiments have been tried on the surface of standing water, this surface has always been found to be level. If the Earth were a globe, the surface of all standing water would be convex. This is an experimental proof that Earth is not a globe.
  1. Surveyors' operations in the construction of railroads, tunnels, or canals are conducted without the slightest "allowance" being made for "curvature," although it is taught that this so-called allowance is absolutely necessary! This is a cutting proof that Earth is not a globe.
As a passenger on an aircraft, how is it I can see the curvature of the earth?
Quite simply you cannot. It is widely stated you would need to be at a height of at least 40,000 ft to get even a hint of curvature if earth were round. Commercial aircraft are not allowed to fly this high. They are only allowed to fly just under this altitude. 36,000ft might be typical. In addition, the windows on commercial aircraft are small and heavily curved. Even if they flew high enough for a person to see curvature, it would still not be visible to passengers.
Speaking of airliners, one fella decided to get high in the sky to see if there was a curvature or not.
"Mad" Mike Hughes finally launched his homemade rocket into the sky, with him aboard, in an attempt to prove that the Earth is indeed as flat as a pancake.
The launch, which took place on Saturday afternoon in the Mojave Desert in California sent Mad Mike 1,875 feet into the sky in his big green rocket. The rocket, labeled with "RESEARCH FLAT EARTH", operated surprisingly smoothly given it was homemade and built on a very small budget. The rocket was built using scrap metal and estimates indicate the final cost to be about $20,000. The launch pad itself was a modified mobile home, which Mad Mike spent months building for his upcoming rocket launch. After reaching 1,875 feet, the rocket successfully deployed its parachutes and glided back down to Earth.
Mad Mike told The Associated Press he was glad he did it, although he will feel it in the morning. The 61-year-old daredevil by background has taken to much-publicized rocket launches in the recent years. Thankfully, he was mostly uninjured after this latest attempt researching the supposed flat earth.
The rocket launch was filmed, with the video of the entire rocket launch below. Beyond a bruised and achy back, it appears Mad Mike sustained no long-term injuries from the rocket launch.
The rocket launch was delayed initially due to governmental issues with the Bureau of Land Management, which did not approve his initial flight path over public lands. After adjusting the flight path to a more vertical profile, Mad Mike was granted approvals to launch the rocket. According to the AP, the steam-powered rocket was only able to get to 340 psi compared to the planned 350 psi and flew at a speed of 350 mph.
Ever notice what is missing in the U.N. flag? Antarctica is missing. In Gleason's map above, notice that there is a white barrier surrounding the earth on the outer edge. This is Antarctica. It is not a continent at the south pole, it is actually the barrier of our earth. Some flat-earthers have pointed out that it could be indicated in the last circle of the U.N. flag or even the olive branches themselves that are around the sides. This U.N. flag has way too many similarities to Gleason's flat earth map to be a coincidence.
Furthermore, if you look closely at the U.N. flag, it has sections indicated by the white dividing lines. The total number of sections here are 33. In Masonry, it is well known that the "supposed" highest degree attainable is, you guessed it, 33.
And that leads us to the CONSPIRACY
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Other duties includes being on the judging panel for Betting Shop Manager of the Year where I am also responsible for arranging all editorial content which goes in to the Racing Post. Finally, I have also edited three books for the Racing Post: Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend (2012), Frankel: The Wonderhorse (2012) and Henderson's Heroes Lorraine Archibald of Ladbrokes was on Monday crowned Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year, a first overall winner of the competition for Northern Ireland. Archibald, who runs the Ladbrokes shop in North Street, Newtownards, County Down, received the award from former Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour at the Jumeirah The final 48 managers through to the next round of this year’s Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year competition have been revealed. The managers who made it through to the latest stage had to complete a test paper before a final decision was made by the judging panel. A mystery shopper will visit... Full result with video replay from the Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager Of The Year Handicap at Doncaster Friday 26 October 2012. Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager Of The Year Handicap. Assistant Betting Shop Manager Bar One Racing. Oct 2007 – Nov 2008 1 year 2 months. Kilcolgan Co Galway. Betting Shop Cashier Bar One Racing. Jan 2007 – Oct 2007 10 months. Kilcolgan Co Galway. Honors & Awards. Racing Post Betting Shop Manager of the year Finalist 2012 Racing Post/SisTv. Sep 2012. View Paul Cagney’s full profile to. See

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