70 washington street dumbo
TriMet's problems are exponentially worse than anyone is talking about
2023.06.01 21:45 fidelityportland TriMet's problems are exponentially worse than anyone is talking about
Public opinion of TriMet's decisions have been pretty mixed, mostly because TriMet's decisions are so convoluted that they can be a real challenge to understand. In reality, Metro and Portlanders need to have a bigger civic conversation about the future of TriMet, looking at the big picture. We have 3 looming existential crises of TriMet to be concerned about that are bigger than revenue dips, crime, or homeless people.
Civic leaders and the public are focused on a quick "fix" for TriMet revenue drops - even though we've seen this coming for a long time, it's very predictable that TriMet's Board of Directors acts at the last minute. Also, very predictably, TriMet's Board opted for a fare increase because over the previous 20 years that's been a go-to answer to every problem (except for that one time they killed Fareless Square). The politically appointed boards of TriMet and Metro lack the unique specialized knowledge of the issues I'll bring up here. If TriMet knows about these larger issues, they're obviously burring it from public view. In the short term, increasing fares is like putting fresh paint on a house that's on fire; in this situation, that paint is HIGHLY flammable.
First - fare hikes as a tactic is a brain-dead move. Just the most utterly stupid and self-sabotaging response to a looming budget shortfall. I'm dwelling on this because it illustrates their terrible decision-making, which is functional proof they have no idea what they're doing. Some of the core reasons for this:
- Increasing fares reduces utilization. Higher cost means fewer people ride, which will decrease the ridership revenue. It will also marginally increase the number of people who won't pay (funny story, some of those who don't pay actually can't afford to). TriMet isn't a monopoly or inelastic service, and plenty of other choices exist that didn't exist 20 years ago: an actual bike share, scooters, electric bikes, UbeLyft, shared vehicles, and more bike paths. Before the pandemic, it was common that I would bus into downtown for work and then take a Lyft home because it wasn't all that expensive, like $8 more than a bus ride - TriMet's price increases make a system that wasn't very competitive simply less compelling.
- Across Portland we need to go through a process of austerity and downsizing government. I absolutely support Wheeler putting a pause on rate increases, but for God's sake, we have far too much largesse in every layer of government. If you need to learn what I'm talking about, read my old article on Parks & Rec. So many divisions/agencies have doubled their staff while reducing service levels. It's bonkers. Cutting throats needs to be an imperative. This is because the great majority of public sector employees in Oregon and Portland are incompetent, redundant, and only exist because Oregon and Portland have been reluctant to use automation. And I don't mean the cutting-edge AI stuff, I'm talking about people who still handle business processes as if they're paper forms. I could tell so many stories from my professional experience - but you'll have to take my word for it for now: culling this bureaucracy is the right move, and until there's a significant downsizing, the political class is taking none of the financial crisis or cost of living situation seriously.
- TriMet's operating budget/revenue is primarily Payroll Taxes, not passenger revenue. About 20-30% of TriMet's budget comes from people buying fares, whereas the bulk of money TriMet needs comes from payroll taxes that businesses pay directly. Because of this, transit activists (including myself) have been proponents of increasing the payroll taxes marginally to make TriMet free for riders. Of course, fareless transit comes with a wide variety of new and different problems (that's an article for another time). Still, when you understand that only a sliver of revenue comes from fares, increasing the fare simply results in a marginal increase in revenue. The much bigger problem is going to businesses investing outside of Metro, and changing workforces that 1) won't pay payroll taxes reliably, 2) don't need people to go into the office. Think about the longer-term game here: is TriMet's board going to increase fares as utilization drops and payroll taxes continually diminish? (See my point above about how their default answer is "yes" because it's the only politically expedient answer.)
Reading comments about the fare hikes, most of the public thinks TriMet is dealing with a safety or utilization issue. Both of these are 100% true: soft-on-crime progressives have wholly obliterated the working class perception of TriMet safety - there are so many different ways this has happened, but we should thank so many people in the media and political class: Ana del Rocio's crying wolf about racism in fare inspections (and the media entertaining it), or Mike Schmidt deinstitutionalizing of the justice system, or Legislature's inability to act on the massive mental health crisis and drug addiction crisis in Oregon. No matter the underlying cause, we have a system where deranged violent mentally ill tweakers can be disruptive on the train, but working-class people face a $250 fine if they can't afford a
($2.80) ticket. TriMet is less safe, especially the light rail and bus lines. We could hypothetically talk about various policy and infrastructure changes, such as turnstiles and security guards - but pragmatically, this won't do shit when our society has adopted a philosophy of transforming the urban core into an open-air insane asylum and opened the doors to the prisons. This safety issue is well beyond TriMet's scope, and even if there was consensus among TriMet and Metro to solve this, the entire justice system and Legislature is still broken.
Fare Hikes and Utilization is the Red Herring - Let's talk about TriMet's future
In reality, multiple design choices made decades ago set us up for failure. But we also have to thank brain-dead progressive lunatics and corrupt politicos who have steered our transit decision-making into the ground.
There are three specific issues I'm going to talk about, with each becoming more consequential and disastrous for TriMet:
- Hub and Spoke Design and the need for a redesign of the entire system to fit new commuting/transit patterns
- Portland Light Rail's short cars are a capacity problem not worth the price tag to fix
- Autonomous vehicles are here, and it's just going to get worse for TriMet
The strategic design of TriMet's system is broken, and it's been broken before.
If you looked at a map of TriMet's bus and rail system, you'd see a design pattern often referred to as a "Radial Design" or sometimes a "Hub And Spoke" design. The Hub and Spoke strategy is building our transit system around centralized locations to connect to other routes. For Portland the idea is to go downtown (or sometimes a Park and Ride) where you can connect to your next destination. This is why the majority of bus routes and all the max routes go downtown, to our Transit Mall and Pioneer Square.
Downtown planning was a smart idea in the 1960s when it was coupled with Main Street economic theory and prototype urban development zones - all of this wrapped up in the 1972 Downtown Plan policy. During these decades, the primary economic idea of urban revitalization was that downtown cores could provide better business climates and shopping districts that amplify economic activity synergistically. In other words, packing all the office jobs and luxury shopping in one area is good for workers, business, and civic planning.
All very smart ideas in yester-year, so TriMet became focused on serving the downtown business community myopically. This myopia became so paramount that it was considered illegitimate (actually taboo, borderline illegal) if you used a Park & Ride facility to park and NOT ride downtown. Amanda Fritz once explained that we couldn't expand Barbur Transit Center because that would result in students parking at Barbur Transit Center and riding the bus to PCC Sylvania. This view implies that TriMet exists only to service downtown workers, not the students, not the impoverished mom needing to go to a grocery store.
How does TriMet's hub and spoke design represent its purpose?
Portland's unspoken rule of transit philosophy is that jobs pay for the system (remember, business payroll taxes pay for most of it), so TriMet should be focused on serving people utilizing it for their job - employers pay for it, and they get value out of it. But this is both unspoken (never said aloud) and largely unobserved. The whole idea of TriMet as a social service to serve low-income people, to help impoverished people - well, those ideas were just lukewarm political rhetoric that is tossed out as soon as some Undesirable
with tattered clothing reeking of cigarettes gets aboard - then Portlanders jump right back "this is for workers only!" Sadly, there hasn't ever been a public consensus of why TriMet exists because I could equally argue that TriMet's purpose isn't serving the working class; it's actually vehicle emissions reductions - but here, too, reality contradicts that this is the purpose for why we operate TriMet. TriMet's real purpose seems to be "Spend money on lofty capital projects" and if we want to be cynical about it, we can elaborate "…because large capital projects enable grift, embezzlement, and inflating property values for developers.
We haven't always depended upon a hub and spoke design. A great article from Jarrett Walker written in 2010 on his Human Transit blog explains in "The Power and Pleasure of Grids
Why aren't all frequent networks grids? The competing impulse is the radial network impulse, which says: "We have one downtown. Everyone is going there, so just run everything to there." Most networks start out radial, but some later transition to more of a grid form, often with compromises in which a grid pattern of routes is distorted around downtown so that many parallel routes converge there. You can see this pattern in many cities, Portland for example. Many of the lines extending north and east out of the city center form elements of a grid, but converge on the downtown. Many other major routes (numbered in the 70s in Portland's system) do not go downtown, but instead complete the grid pattern. This balance between grid and radial patterns was carefully constructed in 1982, replacing an old network in which almost all routes went downtown.
Over the years the grid pattern was neglected in favor of a downtown-focused investment strategy. To a real degree it made practical sense: that's where the jobs were. But again, this is the presumption that TriMet and Mass Transit ought to service workers first, and there's not much consensus on that. But while we can't decide on TriMet's purpose, we can absolutely agree on one important thing: Downtown is dead.
No 5-star hotel is going to fix it. (As of writing, I'm not even convinced that this mafia-connected bamboozle of public fraud will open.) No "tough-on-crime" DA to replace Mike Schmidt, like Nathan Vasquez, will fix downtown. It's not JUST a crime problem: most of the problems we deal with today mirror the problems facing Portland in the 1960s, especially our inability to invest in good infrastructure people actually want to use. That's on top of crime, vandalism, and an unhealthy business ecosystem. IF
we want to maintain TriMet (and that's a big IF, for reasons I'll explain below), then it will be focused on something other than downtown. We need to move back to a grid-design transit system, as this is a much easier way to use transit to get around the city, no matter your destination. If TriMet continues to exist and operate fleets in 20-30 years, this is the only way it exists - because it will just be too inconvenient to ride downtown as a side quest to your destination, especially as we look at 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now.
Of course, we can only transform some parts of the transit infrastructure this way, and there are no uplifting and moving train tracks here. So light rail doesn't have a future in the grid system - but even without the grid system, light rail is doomed.
The fatal flaws of light rail in Portland.
I want to preface this by saying I like light rail as a strategy
, it's not a bad system or bad civic investment. I could write another 5,000-word essay on why Seattle did an excellent job with light rail and the specific decisions Portland made wildly incorrectly. In transit advocacy the wacktavists inappropriately categorized skeptics of Portland's light rail as some soft bigotry - as if you're racist if you don't like Portland's light rail - even though, ironically, most light rail systems tend to be built for the preference of white culture and white workers, precisely what happened here in Portland and most cities (but this is all a story for another time). Portland's light rail system has a capacity problem and has dealt with this capacity problem quietly for the last 20+ years.
When you see the capacity problem, you can quickly understand this light rail system won't work in the future. All the other smart cities in the world that designed light rail realized they needed big long trains to move many people. Portland decided to limit the train car length to the size of our city blocks to save construction costs - and this has always been a fatal flaw.
Portland's highest capacity train car is our Type 5, according to Wikipedia
it has a seating capacity of 72 and an overall capacity of 186 per train. Let's compare:
- Washington DC has 6-car trains capable of carrying 120 passengers per car, or 720 per train.
- Salt Lake City has a 4-car train capable of carrying 230 passengers per car, or 920 per train.
- Seattle's Link system has a 3 or 4-car train, each capable of carrying approximately 200 passengers per car, so 600 to 800 per train.
Portland's light rail lines have roughly the same people moving capacity as a single lane
of a highway, maybe marginally more, maybe marginally less. These other cities have a light rail system that can move the same amount of people as an entire 3-lane highway.
You might suspect that Portland could simply run trains more frequently - but nah, that's impossible because the trains run through the central core of downtown Portland, and they're blocked by the real interfaces with road traffic and bottlenecks. TriMet/PBOT/Metro has offered rosy ideas that we could hypothetically run cars every 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, or 6 minutes (depending upon who you ask) - but these are garbage numbers invented out of thin air. For example, you could stand at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 4:50pm on a Wednesday in 2016 - there was a train opening doors to load passengers, and you could visibly see the next train at Pioneer Place Mall pulling into the station behind. Trains were running at approximately a 3 to 4 minute at peak - but on paper, TriMet will claim anything, as they don't give a shit about lying to the public. But the bigger problem is that trains were full.
You might have to wait 90 minutes to find a train that offers a seat. And god forbid you had a bike.
I'm not making this very real capacity problem, Metro even acknowledges
At the busiest hours of the day, 40 light rail trains must cross the river and traverse downtown – one train every 90 seconds. As the region grows and the demand for light rail increases, the region will need at least 64 MAX trains through downtown every hour, more than one train each minute. Our current system can't support that change.
Suppose you're silly enough to trust government propaganda. In that case, you can read the details of Metro study on this in 2019
. If we assumed their numbers added up, it's just fucking impossible to run 62 trains per hour, because passenger loading and unloading can take a full minute (sometimes longer). So unless we want to apply substantial g-forces onto the passengers, the train isn't accelerating out of the stops fast enough. Not to mention how unreliable this whole system would be if a sole tweaker, bike rider, or person with a stroller held up the system for 2 minutes.
This is why the bottom line needs to be upfront about capacity - quoting Metro's study here:
Today MAX is limited to 2-car trains because of the length of downtown city blocks. A tunnel could allow for longer trains if the stations outside the downtown core are retrofitted. In the long-term, this could greatly increase MAX capacity.
Do you see that trick? Build a tunnel, yes - but the entire system has to be retrofitted. Literally every light rail station would need to be redesigned, the lines themselves recalculated for larger heavier trains - and extending platforms at Willow Creek might be simple enough, but how in the living fuck is Metro going to afford to expand the Zoo stop? Doubling the size of that platform would cost $500 million alone.
If the city weren't full of cheap dipshits, we would have elevated or buried our light rail lines in the 1980s or 90s, enabling longer train cars to run. Yes, we all knew back then that it was the best practice not to have light rail running on the street - it's less safe, less reliable, runs slower, and limits train car size. Oops.
Just to keep TriMet's own bullshit inflated utopian vision, it would mean spending another billion dollars just to unfuck downtown, bypass an aging bridge, and potentially allow a marginally higher volume of trains - which again is a band-aid on a mortal wound.
The real buried lede is that to add extra train cars means retrofitting all the stops in the system
- that's tens of billions of dollars
. You can argue costs, but Metro knows we need to do this. It means shutting down the system for a year or years while construction and retrofits happen. It's fucking outrageous. Is this system worth of people per line worth 20, 30, or 40 billion dollars? Fuck no, it ain't. Again, if we had a raging metropolis of industry and commerce downtown, we could reasonably entertain the idea for a moment - but we don't and never will again.
Some folks might argue that if we kill off the light rail system we'd lose out on all those lucrative Transit Oriented Developments. Originally the public was told that Transit Oriented Development strategy would cause a massive infusion of private investment because the light rail was so damn lucrative and desirable for Richard Florida's Creative Class. Turns out the Creative Class is now called today the Laptop Class, and they don't give a flying fuck about street cars, light rail, or walking scores - because most can't be bothered to put pants on during their "commute" from bed to desk. TOD was all a fantasy illusion from the beginning, as multiple studies about Portland commuters showed that college-educated white folks riding Max were equally comfortable riding their bike as a substitute for the same commute. All of these billions of dollars was to accommodate white fare-weather bikers. So here's my hot take on transit: pave over the rail lines and put in bike lanes, and boy, then you'd have a bike system to give folks like Maus a hardon. But of course, Bike Portland would complain because their focus isn't biking; they exist only to favor all poorly thought utopian transit ideas.
Another group of Max/TOD advocates would claim that TOD is better for disabled and impoverished people. And yeah, there's truth there, but see my entire argument above about the Hub & Spoke design of TriMet being the antithesis of transit as a social service. If you believe that TriMet should serve low-income people, you must advocate for a bus-centric grid design.
But even if you're a die-hard believer in light rail - there's another inevitable reality coming that is the nail in the coffin.
Autonomous vehicles will replace mass transit faster than the automobile replaced the horse.
I work in advanced technology, and the thing about tech is that the public and politicians deny that it's going to be there until the majority of the public finally experiences it. You could say this about personal computers, internet, cloud compute, electric cars, smartphones, distributed ledger (cryptocurrency), AI, and driverless vehicles.
Schrodinger's technology doesn't exist until it's measured in an Apple store or your mother asks you for tech support.
No one thought AI was really
real until ChatGPT did their kid's homework, and today most people are coming to terms with the fact that ChatGPT 3.5 could do most people's jobs. And that's not even the most advanced AI, that's the freeware put out by Microsoft, they have paywalls to access the real deal.
In 2018 I rode in my colleague's Tesla in self-driving mode from downtown Portland to Top Golf in Hillsboro. We started our journey at the surface parking lot on the west side of the Morrison Bridge. He used his phone to tell the car to pull out of the parking spot and to pick us up. Then he gave the car the address, and it drove us the entire way without any human input necessary. The only time he provided feedback was to touch the turn signal to pass a slow car on the highway. People think self-driving isn't here - but it is - and it's gotten exponentially better and will continue to do so. People will complain and moan about idealized, utopian, pedantic "level 5" full self-driving, how none of it exists or could exist, as a Tesla passes them on the road and the driver is half asleep.
Of course, Portland and every major city have also thought deeply about self-driving technology, and a few places have implemented self-driving solutions - but so far, none of these are really at scale. Though it will be a short time before cost-conscious cities go all-in.
TriMet kicked around the idea of using an autonomous bus for a leg of the trip of the Southwest Corridor project, connecting a segment of the light rail route to the community college. It was bafflingly stupid and short-sighted to think they could use it in this niche application but that it wouldn't open the floodgates for a hundred different applications that eviscerate TriMet's labor model. The simplest example of autonomous operation would be to operate the light rail systems - because they don't make turns, all we need is an AI vision service to slam on the breaks if necessary - that technology has existed for 20+ years. We could retrofit the entire train system in about 3 to 6 months - replace every Max operator with a security guard, and maybe people would ride the Max again? But I digress. Let's speculate about the far-future, some 5, 10, or 20 years from now:
your transit options will expand significantly. The cost will decrease considerably for services using automated vehicles.
You'll look at your options as:
- Drive to work: fastest, takes $100+ worth of gas a month, but you also need $50+ for insurance and $500+ for the monthly car payment, plus those surprise maintenance and broken windows. Also, do you pay for parking? Pick a number for how much it costs to drive your personally owned and manually operated vehicle to work each month.
- Autonomous vehicle service: price TBA, but think of how much an Uber costs when you don't have to pay the driver, you don't have to pay for gas. An Uber that runs for $20 today would likely be $10 or less. So, to and from work 20 times a month, $200. $300? Ok, let's just say it's $400 a month. It's still all cheaper than owning a car and driving it to work. No parking fees, and it picks you up quickly enough that it's not a nuisance.
- Mass Transit: $150 per month, but ugghhh it's slow, it smells like piss, a guy jacked off in your hair, and you can't schedule a meeting for the first 30 minutes of your anticipated workday in case you miss a connection - and it breaks so often the government actively hides the reliability data from the public and media.
Just a few years into this future we'll see a brand new trend, one that already exists: a shared autonomous vehicle like a privately operated bus. For example, Uber Bus - it already exists as a commuter option in some cities, it's just not autonomous yet. The significant benefit of an autonomous bus is that these shared vehicles will utilize HOV lanes very commonly, and commuting in an autonomous vehicle will be as fast as driving to work in your manually operated car while also being less expensive.
Simultaneously automobile accidents in autonomous vehicles will be virtually non-existent, and insurance companies will start to increase prices on vehicles that lack AI/smart assisted safety driving features. Public leaders will see the value of creating lanes of traffic on highways dedicated explicitly to autonomous vehicles so that they can drive at much higher speeds than manually operated traffic. Oregon won't lead the way here, but wait until Texas or one of the Crazy States greenlights a speed limit differential, and self-driving vehicles have a speed limit of 90, 120, or 150 miles per hour. You might think "accidents would be terrible and deadly" but there will be fewer accidents in the autonomous lane than in manual lanes. At this point, it will be WAY faster to take an autonomous vehicle to your work.
Purchasing power of consumers will decrease while the cost of vehicles will increase (especially autonomous vehicles), making ownership of any vehicle less likely. Frankly, the great majority of people won't know how to drive and will never learn to - just like how young people today don't know how to use manual transmission. However, fleets of autonomous vehicles owned by companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft will benefit from scale and keep their autonomous bus fleets operating at low cost. This will lead to a trend where fewer and fewer people will own an automobile, and fewer people even bother learning how to drive or paying the enormous insurance cost.... while also depending upon automobiles more than we do today.
Eventually, in the distant future, manually driven vehicles will be prohibited in urban areas as some reckless relic from a bygone era.
Cities and public bodies don't have to be cut out of this system if they act responsibly. For example, cities could start a data brokering exchange where commuters provide their commuting data (i.e., pick-up point, destination, arrival time). The government uses either a privatized fleet or a publicly owned fleet of autonomous vehicles to move as many people as possible as often as possible. Sort of a publicly run car-pool list - or a hyper-responsive bus fleet that runs for the exact passengers going to exact locations. A big problem companies like Uber, Lyft, and Tesla will have is that they'll lack market saturation to optimize commuting routes - they'll be able to win unique rides, but the best way they can achieve the lowest cost service model is these super predictable and timely commuter riders. The more data points and riders, the more optimization they can achieve. These companies can look at the data for as many people as possible and bid for as many routes as possible - optimizing for convenience, time, energy usage, emissions, etc. The public will voluntarily participate if this is optimized to get the cheapest ride possible. If the government doesn't do this, the private sector will eventually.
As a parallel, no one today even considers how Metro runs garbage collection. No one cares. And if you didn't like Metro's trash service, if you needed a better service for unique needs, you go procure that on your own. Likewise, you wouldn't care about the quality of the commuting trip as long as it's up to some minimal standards of your class expectations, it's reliable, nearly as quick as driving your own vehicle, and it seems reasonably affordable.
If the public ran this data exchange, fees could subsidize lower-income riders. This is a theory on what a TriMet like system or mass transit system could look like in a primarily autonomous world where most people don't own their own or drive an automobile.
This system would be far from perfect, opening up all sorts of problems around mobility. However, it's hard to see how autonomous vehicles will not obliterate the value proposition of mass transit.
Another narrative on the same story.
As the working class moves to autonomous vehicles, transit agencies will collect fewer and fewer fares - prices and taxes will rise, creating a cycle of failure. As a result, some cities will make buses self-driving to cut costs. It could start with Tokyo, Shanghai, Oslo, et al. Again, it's unlikely that Portland or Oregon will be the first movers on this, but when cities start laying off hundreds of mass transit operators and cutting fares to practically nothing, there will be substantial public pressure to mimic locally. It will be inhumane
, it will be illiberal
, to make those impoverished bus-riding single mothers pay premiums. As most of the fleet becomes autonomous, responsive, and disconnected from labor costs, the next question arises: why do we still operate bus routes? Why big buses instead of smaller and nimble vehicles?
This alternative story/perspective leads to the same outcome: we figure out where people are going and when they need to get there - then dispatch the appropriate amount of vehicles to move that exact number of people as efficiently as possible.
But our local government getting its act together on all this is outside the world of possibility.
In a practical sense, we're going to see history repeat itself. Portland's mass transit history is about private and public entities over-extending themselves, getting too deep in debt on a flawed and outdated idea. As a result, the system collapses into consolidation or liquidation. Following this historical pattern, TriMet/Metro won't respond to changing conditions fast enough, and laughably stupid ideas like cranking up taxes or increasing ridership fares will continue to be the only option until the media finally acknowledges these groups are insolvent. I just hope we don't spend tens of billions of dollars propping up this zombie system before we can soberly realize that we made some mistakes and these vanity-laden projects 20 and 30 years ago need to die.
You see, the biggest flaw with TriMet isn't the design, it needs to be outpaced by technology, it's that the people making decisions at TriMet and Metro are going to make the politically expedient decisions, not the right decisions. They won't redesign, and they won't leverage technology for cost savings, so this charade will just get going along until the media simply declares they're insolvent.
Back to fares for a second - the media happily reprints TriMet's horseshit take about "The higher fares will bring in an estimated $4.9 million in annual revenue starting next year, the report says.
" Just sort of amazing to me there's no skepticism about this number - but most spectacular is no media considerations about alternative solutions. For example, I could tell TriMet how to save $9,548,091
next year - a useless program primarily utilized by white middle-class folks who own alternative methods of transport - and this would inconvenience way less transit-dependent people than raising fares. But, that's off the table - we're not even developing a decision matrix for when we kill the blackhole of money known as WES.
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2023.06.01 21:36 Twanvgs RF 50mm f/1.8 or EF 50mm f/1.8
So I can get the EF 50mm f/1.8 for €70 cheaper than the RF 50mm f/1.8. I will use it on an EOS RP and I already own the EF - RF adapter. I will mostly use it for traveling and street photography. I’m planning on also getting the RF 35mm f/1.8. Is it worth the extra €70 just so i can leave the EF - RF adapter at home and do you think there is any difference in quality?
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2023.06.01 21:24 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio. [Repost]
The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week. Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family. “Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s
voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static. Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left. Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside. Beep.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones. Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County
Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing. If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger. Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat. What is that? “Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over. “Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church
surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a towering ridgeline. “Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet? Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled. “Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.” “Calm down.”
The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.” “You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.” “Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke. What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket. Boom.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp. I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it. You are here
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark. This way, kleineun.
voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows. This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose. They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me. I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .” Click.
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me. Wham.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really
hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later. Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma
would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind. Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on.
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’. Bingo.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse. You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it. Click.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning. The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself. My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma
had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere. The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop
echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man
TV series as a kid. Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—” Creak.
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear. Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark. The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW
on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock. Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike,
that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps
that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth. They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold. Wham.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three
people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser
stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights. Bang.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun. Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand. Whoosh.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was. A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, with a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar
that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing
doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
submitted by RandomAppalachian468
to u/RandomAppalachian468 [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 21:11 rrrreeeeeeeeee A First-Timers List of Stuff
Lots of notes from my first trip to Italy in late May. Maybe this will help other first-timers. We did Rome - Pompeii - Sorrento - Positano - Florence over 10 days.
Rome: Get out early in the day. On our best day, we strolled to Trevi fountain before most of the shops had opened. We got to see them clean out the money from the fountain and that was oddly satisfying. By around 10 am...all hell breaks loose. It goes from kind of quiet to 'Where did they all come from?'. If there is a restaurant that you have heard of from Instagram...good luck getting in. Call or visit to put your name down. But here's the deal...we found lots of food options and I swear I never had a bad meal. Some were better than others but...good grief, it's all so damn good.
Vatican: I want to start an online petition to change the name to Catholic Disneyland. We booked a 3-hour tour and from the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were shoulder-to-shoulder with people. It was ridiculous and it made the day very very long. There is so much to take in and you are constantly being jostled by people…I can say I did it and I’d never go back.
Colosseum: We booked an underground tour as well as the main tour and that was amazing. You see where the gladiators came in and how they used to flood the floor of the Coliseum and do naval battles! The tour underground was small and you really got a chance to see how it all worked. Romans were impressive engineers and this spot showcases that.
The Forum: Our Colosseum tour included the Forum and…I liked it better. The view from the top of the Palatine Hill was worth the steps. Our guide really helped to bring this area alive for us.
Pompeii: Book a tour. There is so much and you’d miss half of it if someone wasn’t walking you through. We took an archaeologist tour and it was amazing. 2 hours and it felt like it was over in 20 minutes. You can take a regional train line directly to Pompeii and walk to the entrance. There is free (!!) luggage storage at the gate and the restaurant across the street was pretty good...but 'pretty good' in Italy is still 200x better than 'good' in the US.
Positano: Beautiful to look at…not much to do. Lots of shops…but they’re the same shops you’ll see all over this area. The restaurants were…ok. We went to a beach club, got 2 seats ($70), and paid too much for drinks. It was heaven.
Florence: Recommend walking to the top of Michelangelo Hill for the view. I think I should have been more impressed but by the time we got here it was 'ok...another church...cool....'
Weather: It rained every day we were there. Most of the time it rained in the afternoon. Also, most days the weather forecast never said rain was an option. Not a big deal, but bring a jacket.
AirBnB: Both our AirBnBs were great and hosted by fantastic people. Both were located near Piazzas and the listings did say 'some noise at night'. Ummm....yeah...that 'some noise' lasted until 2 am at both places. Bring. Ear. Plugs. Italians like to have a good time...for a long time.
Crime/Scams: This freaked me out a bit before we left. We bought cross-body bags and kept everything zipped up. Maybe it was too much but we made it through without incident. In Rome if anyone offers you a bracelet or says 'nice shoes' or 'Hey American!', put on your best impression of a new yorker and blow right past them. One guy through a bracelet to my son who instinctively caught it...and threw it back.
On the train from Naples to Pompeii it was standing room only...and about 90 muggy degrees. A guy in a down jacket was eyeing the young woman in front of me and paying very close attention to her bag. Her friends noticed and maneuvered him away from her but it was a reminder that you need to keep your eyes open...especially in crowded situations.
Verizon: We used their TravelPass for $10 a day; unlimited text and data. Having Google Maps and Google Translate whenever we needed it was worth it! Check your Verizon account…we found that we had ‘credits’ for 5 days that we could use!
Viator: We booked all our tours through this app and I could not be more pleased. Maybe we were lucky but all of the 5 tours we booked were fantastic. Would highly recommend it.
Ferryhopper: I would be careful here. We showed up for our trip from Sorrento to Positano. The boat hand looked at our ticket and said ‘I don’t know this ticket, I cannot take it’. There were a few exchanges and they let us on. I asked about it when we left and they said ‘It is best to book with us and not this application. We’ve had trouble’. Thankfully we did not book a return trip and could buy tickets at Positano. Take it for what it is…a warning. You don’t want to be stuck trying to find a ride to or from your destination.
ItaliaRail: Fantastic. Clean trains that were always on time for us. Booked directly through their site and it was effortless. Check the price of business class vs. coach. For us, it was well worth the extra $18 per seat.
Uber: Total bust. You are limited to Uber Black and even then…they may not come and pick you up.
FreeNow in Rome: We used this to book taxis in Rome to pick us up and take us to the train station. Scheduled in advance and the driver showed up without a hitch.
AppTaxi, itTaxi & FreeNow in Florence: So frustrating. I think it might have to do with where we were and the time of day but it was frustrating. Wasn’t feeling my best and a taxi ride would have been helpful. I waited over an hour trying to get someone to pick us up…nothing.
And finally...I’d like to kiss the person on this sub who mentioned Mobile Passport Control. This is an app you use when you return home from Europe. You answer the standard questions, take your photo and the app creates a QR code to use during customs checkout. When we got back to JFK there was a line specifically for MPC users. Our line: 5 people….those who did not use it: 125 people and growing fast. This saved us at least an hour at the end of a 10-hour flight. DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
Ok, that's rambling but I wanted to get it out there. I really appreciate this sub. Reading about other experiences helped me make our 10 days special.
submitted by rrrreeeeeeeeee
to ItalyTravel [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 20:52 lylemurphy1970 [WTS] NumisMecca: Your NumisMatic WalMart. Disclosures Post
[Feature:] [Proof:] ALL COIN PICS [GO HERE]
For some reason, the hyperlinks from my older posts are not pasting new posts. I tried the various suggestions regarding pasting in edit mode and in markdown mode and still not working like it used to for me. And it would take days to recreate and I think there is some setting I'm not aware of. Any suggestions would be most welcome. The only real option at this time is to [GO HERE]
for PMS. There you will find my full inventories with pics and or vid links all on one google doc spreadsheet. What is posted here is a very small slice of what is available. The document is always current, so you can browse it at any time for the most current inventory. Grading.
Grades are approximated and used to price point the coin. If you see something on a coin that you believe alters the grade, send a chat and, let's discuss it. In previous posts, I have had absolutely NO extra space to get wordy as you get cut off at like 40,000 some such characters. With the spreadsheet links, I can now get into more details about a coin, but not Im going to retroactively adjust descriptions. Details, cleaned or polished
means this coin will not likely grade and refers to the most obvious examples.
That does not mean that one that is not designated as such will grade. I do not consider a dipped coin a details designation. Cleaned to me means there are cleaning lines, and often in the eyes of a grading company it is a matter of degree. Most mid-1800s proof coins have cleaning lines that are straight-graded. Typically I do not designate a coin with modest cleaning lines as cleaned or other minor detractors that MAY
hold back a straight grade but instead, place a lower price on it. Many of these raw coins will not straight grade. Again, Im only going to call out the obvious examples, and we can discuss any coin you need more info on to make a decision. If you are planning on submitting your coin, please ask if I think the coin will grade. Early copper for instance is notorious for environmental damage yet the coin is still attractive for the type set collector. Again if you are planning on getting a coin graded or even just want more confidence about it, let's review the coin under a microscope and even UV light, etc, video.
I use "Making the Grade" Third edition to estimate grades. I also use the narrow definition of Scott travers when calling a coin uncirculated (no breaking in luster on the high points). Often, I have a coin slabbed in my PC that serves as a comparison. BU to me means a very choice example of an uncirculated. MS62-MS66. IF YOU ARE NOT happy with your purchase SAY SO
. Don't be shy. Full refunds for coins that do not meet your expectations are encouraged.
Shipping is $4-$15. Venmo, Zelle, CashApp, PPFF. No notes. Credit Card add 3% Silver 3C
1851 F $45
1852 VG $38
1852 F $45
1852 3C PCGS AU53 $175
1853 G $30
1853 VG $38
1853 F $45 Bust Half Dimes
1831 AU58 WOW $285 (bid is $375)
1835 F12 Bust Lg Date Sm 5C $65 (grey $83)
1835 F/VF $90
1836 Capped Bust H10C AU det. $150 (rim nicks, Lt. hairlines) Seated Half Dimes
1852 F $30
1853 H10c XF45 $80
1856 VF $30 cleaned Bust Dimes
1830 G+ $50 (bid ~$70)
1831 VG8 $50
1833 VG $42
1833 VG $45
1833 F12 $84 (F15 obv, VG10 rev)
1833 VF30 $120 (grey $120)
1834 AG/G $35 (below bid)
1835 F15 Obv, VG Rev $75
1835 XF $200 (below bid) Seated Dimes
1853 VF $36
1854 F $22
1862 F+ $30
1876CC G/VG $22
1877CC G details rev damage
1877CC AG $5.50
1877CC G (rev nic) $20
1886 VG $15 Barber
1892 XF+ $70 1901 VF$12 1902 AU58 $90 1904 VF $12 1905 UNC$140 1905 XF+ $30 1908 VG$5.50 1910 VF $12 1911 VG $6 1911S VF$22 1912 AU+ +$80 1912D XF45 $35 1913 VG $6 1913 XF+ $25 1914D XF $24 1916 F12 $4 Mercury Dimes
Losta Mercury dates on the spreadsheet 1916D NGC AG3 Cleaned $685 PIC 1921 F15 $90 1926 G $2.75 1931 VG $6 1931S VG $9 1931S F+ $12 1934 VF $3 1937 XF $3 1937D VF $3.50 1938 PF66 NGC $340 1940 UNC FSB $20 1941 F $2.20 1941 PCGS AU50 $10 1942S BU $8 (I have multiples) 1943 FSB$14 1943D BU $10 1943D BU FSB $16 1943S BU $10 (I have more of these) 1944 BU++ $18 1944D MS66 FSB $60 1945 BU $10 (I have many more of these) Roosie
1954 PCGS PR67 $40 1960 NGC PF67CAM $22 1963 PCGS PR68CAM $25 1984S PCGS PR69DCAM$8 1993S PR69DCAM $10 1955S 10C BU$3 (x50) 1993S PR69DCAM silver $12 1997S PR69DCAM $10 1998S PCGS PR69DCAM $8 2006S PCGS PR69DCAM $10 2009S PCGS PR69DCAM Silver $12 2011S PCGS PR69DCAM Silver $12 1947D BU $3 1948D BU $3 1948D BU $3 1953 BU $3 1953D BU $3 1955S BU $3 20 Cent Pieces
1875S ANACS Soapbox EF40 $240
1875S 20C XF45 $250 Bust Quarters
1834 25C VF30 $170
1836 VF30 scratch $140
1836 VF35 $200 Seated quarters
1854 arrows F filled hole $20
1857 F details $20
1857 XF45 $120 (could swing AU)
1876 XF $62
1876S AG $18
1876s VG $25
1876s F+ $36
1877 G $18
1877 25C XF Details repaired $15
1877 CC VG $50
1877S G $18
1891 VF $48 Barber Quarters better
1892 XF45 $90 Rainbow tone 1894S AG/G $13.50 1897 VG $10 1899 VG x 3 $9 1899 AU58 (problem free) $160 1901 AU+ $110 1905S AG $35 1906D G + $6.50 1907O $6 1907S G $10 1908 VG $8 1908D AG/G $6.00 1909D G $6.25 1910D G $12 1911 AU+ $135 1911 D F15 $175 (rare this nice) 1912 VG $8 1914 VG $8.50 1915 S VG $38 PIC (704,000 pop) Grey bid is $46 1915D $6 1916D XF $45 1916D VF $25 1916D G $6.50 1916D VG $9 PIC 1916D VG+ $9 1916D AU $110 SLQ
1917 Ty1 F+ $60 1918D BU FH $400 1920 VG$15 1920 F $20 1920 VF20 $15 Rev scratch 1923 VG+ $18 1925 MS63+$285 1926 VG $7.50 1926 F $9 1926D VG$15 1926D F $24 1926S G+ $9 1926S F $15 1927 VF $12 1927 VF $12 1927D Gx 4 $13 ea 1927D VG $17 1927D VG10 $22 1927S VG $60 1927S VG+ $68 1928 VG $7.5 1928 F $8 1928 F15 $12 1928S VG $8 1928s VG10 $8 1928S F $12 1929 VG $7.50 1929 VG10 $8 1929 VF $12 1929D F $12 1930S VG $7.50 1930S VF $12 1930S XF 1 2 3 4 $30 1930S XF45 2 $45 Slabbed Washingtons
1944 NGC MS66 $50 1950 NGC MS66 $50 1954S NGC MS65 $28 1956 PCGS PR68 $60 1958 PCGS PR67 $25 2004S TX PCGS PR69DCAM $15 2005S CA PCGS PR69DCAM $15 Washington 25C
1932D XF $155
1932 D AU $275
1932S AU+ cleaned $130
1934 AU+ $20
1934 BU $35
1935D VG $5.75
1945S BU 25C $22
1954D BU+ $12
1956 BU++ x18 $10 ea
1957 PROOF+ $16 PIC
1958D AU+ $5.75
1959D MS63 $8
1960D UNC $5.75
1960D Blast BU $7.50
1962 Proof $8
1963 Proof $8 Bust Halves
1823 Ugly 3 VF25 $300 (scratch)
1824 XF45 $210 1826 VF25 $115 1827 Sq base, no knob XF45 $185 1829 F $85 sm letters 1830 VF Lg 0 O-122 R1 $100 1830 XF45 ANACS (Lg0,sm Let) $220 1833 VF20 $90 1833 VF20 $85 1834 Large Date Small Letter F12 $75 1835 Capped Bust Half F12 $80 (obv F15, rev VG) 1835 VF $95 1835 XF Details (scratch rev) $120 1836 LE VF30 $90 1836 LE VF20 $85 1836 LE XF45 50C $225 Seated Halves
1843O 50C AU53 $425
1854 50C G $40
<1854> F light rev scratch $58
1857o 50c AU55 $500 (way below bid)
1860 50c AU $375 (bid)
1860O AG $30
1867S AU58 $750 (super flashy)
1873 50C W Arrows XF $185
1875 VF30 $90
1876 50c XF $125 Walkers
1917D Obv G $25
1917D rev PIC $24
1917S G $14
1919D 50C G $40
1919S AG $20
1920 F rim ding $18
1937 UNC $60
1938D F Cleaned $60
1938D VF30 $100 (CPG $128)
1939D AU $30
1940S BU++ $70
1941 AU+ $22
1942 UNC $30
1943 BU $38
1943 AU+ $22
1943D AU $20
1945S MS65 CAC Fatty NGC $165
1947 D BU++ $55 Franklin Slabs
1950D PCGS MS64FBL $70
1955 PCGS MS64 $34
1963 NGC MS65 $35 Kennedy Halves
1965 SMS MS67 $40 1982S PR69DCAM $10 Seated Dollars
1859O Seated VF30 $430 Graded Morgans
1880/9 PCGS MS63 $180
1881S MS64 CAC Fatty NGC $140
1881S MS64 NGC Fatty $120
1881 CC PCGS MS63 $775
1883O Binion BU NGC $120
1883S NGC AU50 $180
1885 MS64 ANACS
1885O MS63 Rattler $110
1885O MS64 NGC Fatty $120
1886 PCGS BU $90
1886 PCI MS63 $75
1887 NGC BU Binion (~MS62) $150
1887S PCGS AU58 $150 PL mirrors
1889CC Morgan NGC VF35 $2750
1889CC Morgan NGC F12 $1350
1889S PCGS AU55 $180
1892 AU58 $310 (one of those 58s that looks better than a 61)
1921 Binion $90 Peace Dollars
1921 F $170
1921 XF $250
1921 XF45 $250
1921 AU $275
1921 NGC MS62 Peace $650
1922D AU (rim) $34
1923 MS60 bag marks $34
1924 VF $34
1924 AU+ $38
1925 AU $36
1925 AU $38
1925 BU $45
1925S NGC MS61 $190
1926 XF $36
1926D F $32
1926 D AU55 $80
1926 S UNC $100
1927 XF $40
1927 AU $60
1927 AU58 $80
1927 AU58 $80
1927 UNC hairlines $100
1927 AU53 $65
1927S AU $90
1927S AU+ $125
1928 Key Date UNC+ $400
1928 BU $420 (450 grey ms60)
1928S VF+/XF $36
1928 S VF30 Rev ding $40
1928S XF $40
1928 S AU $100
1928 S AU+ $125
1934D F $35
1934D VF $38
1934D VF $38
1934D Peace XF $70
1935S F $34
1935S VF $36
submitted by lylemurphy1970
to Pmsforsale [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 20:25 mistaclean Kit Lens Upgrade Choices?
I got my A7iii with the kit 28-70 3.5-5.6 in January. I've been messing around in different environments and honestly it's given me some decent shots. With me traveling occasionally and doing some street photography, alongside taking some action-ish/portrait shots, I'm debating either getting a utility focused lens or a prime lens.
I'm looking at either a 55mm f1.8 Zeiss, 28-75 f2.8 Tamron, or a 28-200 f3.5-5.6 Tamron. All three seem to somewhat fit different purposes, so I am currently leaning towards upgrading to an all-rounder lens, but I'm definitely open towards recs or advice on how to go about this.
submitted by mistaclean
to SonyAlpha [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 19:59 AutoNewspaperAdmin [World] - Turning 70, South Korea-U.S. alliance expands scope, defies frictions Washington Times
2023.06.01 19:43 Danciusly Reston Pride Festival at Lake Anne Plaza (Saturday)
Saturday, June 3 12-6 p.m. Lake Anne Plaza
Indie pop trio BETTY will headline the Reston Pride Festival at Lake Anne Plaza (1609-A Washington Plaza). The event will also feature comedian Chelsea Shorte and local businesses including Elden Street Tea Shop and Scrawl Books.
submitted by Danciusly
to Reston [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 19:00 nahimavegan (Selling) Huge list of 1100+ movies! Lots of New and Rare titles!
Prices are firm, but I take off $.75 for every $10 spent (multiple items)
I accept PayPal, Venmo, & Cashapp
Codes are always split/dual portion where applicable, & have no DMI
Only redeem portion you pay for
14 Blades HD/VU $4.5
3 Extremes (2004) HD/VU $4.5
355 HD/MA $4.5
48 Hrs 4K/VU $6
600 Miles HD/VU $4
80 for Brady (2023) HD/VU $6.5
A Journal for Jordan HD/MA $5
A Man Called Otto HD/MA $6.5
A24 5-Film Set (X, Green Room, It Comes at Night, Hereditary, Witch) HD/VU $15
Ad Astra 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Addams Family (2019) 4K/IT $4.5
Addams Family 2 4K/IT $5
Addams Family With More Mamushka! (1991) 4K/VU $5.5
After Yang HD/VU $4.5
Agent Game 4K/VU $5
Air Force One 4K/MA $6
American Carnage 4K/VU $5
American Gangster (Ext) HD/MA $4
American History X HD/MA $4.5
American Underdog HD/VU $4.5
Amores Perros 4K/VU $5.5
Amsterdam HD/GP $3.5
Anatomy of a Murder 4K/MA $5
Annie (1982) 4K/MA $5.5
Ant-Man & Wasp Quantumania (2023) 4K/MA $9.5 or HD/MA $8
Apocalypse Now (Final Cut) 4K/VU $5
Apocalypse Now 3-Cut Set (Thea, Redux, Final) 4K/VU $8.5
Aqua Teen Forever Plantasm HD/MA $5
Armageddon Time HD/MA $6.5
Art of Self-Defense HD/MA $4
Assignment HD/VU $4
Baby Driver HD/MA $4
Babylon 4K/VU $7 or HD/VU $5.5
Backdraft HD/MA $4
Banshees of Inisherin HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar HD/VU $4
Batman & Superman Battle of Super Sons HD/MA $6
Battle Royale (2000) HD/VU $4.5
Beast HD/MA $5
Bedknobs & Broomsticks HD/GP $3.5
Before I Go to Sleep HD/MA $3.5
Belly 4K/VU $5.5
Ben is Back 4K/VU $5.5
Best of Enemies HD/IT $3.5
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk HD/MA $4
Birdman HD/MA $3.5
Black Adam HD/MA $5
Black Panther Wakanda Forever HD/GP $3.5
Black Phone HD/MA $5
Black Swan SD/IT $1.5
Blacklight HD/MA $4
Blazing Saddles HD/MA $4.5
Blindspotting 4K/VU $5.5
Blood Money (2017) HD/VU $3.5
Blues Brothers HD/MA $4
Bodyguard (1992) HD/MA $4.5
Boogie 4K/MA $6.5
Brian Banks HD/MA $3
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) HD/MA $3.5
Brightburn HD/MA $4.5
Bullet Train HD/MA $5
Captive State HD/MA $4.5
Casablanca 4K/MA $6
Casino HD/MA $4
Cats (2019) HD/MA $4
Cecil B. Demented HD/VU $4.5
Charlie Brown 4-Film Set (A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Bon Voyage, Snoopy Come Home, Race for Your Life) HD/VU $15
Christmas Classics Set (Home Alone, Jingle All Way, Miracle on 34th Street '94, A Christmas Carol '84) HD/MA $18
Cinderella (2021) HD/MA $4.5
Clerks 3 4K/VU $5
Cliffhanger 4K/MA $5.5
Clifford Big Red Dog HD/VU $4
Clint Eastwood A Cinematic Legacy HD/MA $3.5
Colony 4K/VU $5
Coming to America 4K/VU $5
Cotton Club Encore 4K/VU $5.5
Craft Legacy HD/MA $4.5
Creed 3 (2023) 4K/VU $10
Criminal HD/VU $3.5
Cube (1997) HD/VU $5
Damsel HD/VU $4.5
Dangerous 4K/VU $4.5
Daniel Craig 4-Film Collection HD/VU $12
Dark Crystal 4K/MA $6
DC League of Super-Pets HD/MA $5
Death of Me HD/VU $4
Death on Nile HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Diary of a Wimpy Kid SD/IT $1.5
Die in a Gunfight 4K/VU $5
Dig 4K/VU $6
Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness HD/GP $3.5
Dog HD/VU $4.5
Dolittle 4K/MA $5
Don Verdean HD/VU $4.5
Downton Abbey A New Era HD/MA $4.5
Dracula (1931) HD/MA $3.5
Dream a Little Dream HD/VU $4
Duck Dynasty Wedding Special HD/VU $4
Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves HD/VU $10
Earth Girls are Easy HD/VU $4
Eddie Eagle HD/MA $4
Elvis HD/MA $4.5
Empire of Light HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Equalizer HD/MA $3
Escape Field 4K/VU $5.5
Escape from LA 4K/VU $5.5
Escape Room Tournament of Champions (Thea & Ext) HD/MA $5
Event Horizon 4K/VU $5.5
Everything Must Go HD/VU $4
Evil Dead 1 & 2 Bundle 4K/VU $8
Expired 4K/VU $5
F9 Fast Saga (Thea & Ext) 4K/MA $5.5
Fabelmans HD/MA $6.5
Fair Game (Director's Cut) HD/VU $4
Fantastic Beasts Secrets of Dumbledore HD/MA $4.5
Farewell HD/VU $4
Fatherhood HD/MA $4
Favourite HD/MA $4.5
Fear of Rain 4K/VU $5.5
Field of Dreams HD/MA $4
Finding You 4K/VU $5
Flashback (2020) HD/VU $4
Forbidden Kingdom HD/VU $4.5
Ford v Ferrari HD/MA $4
Forrest Gump HD/VU $3.5
Fortress Sniper's Eye HD/VU $4
Freaky HD/MA $4.5
Friends With Kids HD/VU $4
From Here to Eternity 4K/MA $5.5
Ghost in Shell (1995) 4K/VU $5
Ghost In Shell 2.0 HD/VU $4.5
Giant 4K/MA $5.5
Gift HD/IT $3.5
Glass HD/MA $4
Godfather HD/VU $4
Good House 4K/VU $6
Great Wall HD/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Green Inferno HD/IT $3.5
Green Lantern Beware My Power HD/MA $4
Greenland 4K/IT $5
Grumpy Old Men HD/MA $4
Guns Akimbo HD/VU $4.5
Habit 4K/VU $5.5
Halloween Curse of Michael Myers HD/VU $4
Halloween Ends HD/MA $5.5
Halloween Kills (Ext) 4K/MA $5.5
Happy Death Day 2U HD/MA $4.5
Happy Death Day HD/MA $4.5
Hard Luck Love Song 4K/VU $5.5
Heat (Director's Cut) (1995) HD/MA $4
Hellbenders HD/VU $4.5
Hellboy Animated Double Feature (Sword of Storms, Blood & Iron) 4K/VU $7.5
Hellraiser Judgment HD/VU $4
Highlander 4K/VU $5.5
Holmes & Watson HD/MA $3.5
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. HD/MA $4.5
House Next Door Meet Blacks 2 4K/VU $5.5
House of 1000 Corpses HD/VU $4
House with a Clock in Its Walls HD/MA $4
Humans HD/VU $4.5
Hunt for Red October 4K/VU $5.5
I Love You Phillip Morris HD/VU $4.5
Ides of March HD/MA $3.5
In Blood HD/MA $4
In Secret (2014) HD/VU $4.5
Incredible Hulk HD/MA $4
Independence Day (1996) 4K/MA $5.5
Indiana Jones & Raiders of Lost Ark HD/VU $4
Infinite HD/VU $4.5
Inglourious Basterds SD/IT $1.5
Inhabitant HD/VU $4.5
Interview HD/MA $3.5
Iron Man & Hulk Heroes United HD/GP $3.5
Isle of Dogs HD/MA $4
It Happened One Night 4K/MA $5.5
Italian Job 4K/VU $6.5
Jackass Forever HD/VU $4.5
Jobs HD/IT $3.5
Jobs HD/MA $3.5
Joe Kidd HD/MA or IT $4
Jordan Peele 3-Film Collection (Nope, Us, Get Out) HD/MA $11
Journey to West Conquering Demons HD/VU $3.5
Juliet, Naked 4K/VU $5.5
Ju-On Grudge HD/VU $4.5
Jurassic World 6-Film Collection (Dominion Thea & Ext) HD/MA $18
Jurassic World Dominion (Thea & Ext) HD/MA $5
Kama Sutra HD/VU $4.5
Kill Zone (2005) HD/VU $4.5
King Richard 4K/MA $5.5
King's Man 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $3.5
Knight & Day HD/MA $4
Knock at Cabin (2023) HD/MA $7.5
Knock Knock HD/VU $3
Knowing 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Knowing/Push Double Feature HD/VU $7.5
Labyrinth HD/MA $4.5
Lair of White Worm HD/VU $4.5
Lara Croft Tomb Raider HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Last Duel HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Last Flag Flying HD/MA $4
Last Picture Show 4K/MA $5.5
Legend of Guardians Owls of Ga'hoole SD/IT $1.5
Let Them All Talk 4K/MA $5.5
Lightyear HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Limey (1999) 4K/VU $5.5
Locked Down 4K/MA $5.5
Lost City HD/VU $4.5
Lyle Lyle Crocodile HD/MA $5
M3GAN (Thea & Unrated) (2023) HD/MA $7
Mack & Rita HD/VU $4.5
Mad Max 1-4 Set 4K/VU $18.5
Mad Men Complete Series HD/VU $35
Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) HD/MA $6.5
Magnificent Seven 4-Film Set (1960, Return, Guns, Ride) HD/VU $13
Mamma Mia SD/IT $1.5
Man of Tai Chi HD/VU $4
Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) 4K/VU $6
Manchester by Sea HD/VU $3.5
Marksman HD/MA $4
Marlowe (2023) HD/MA $7.5
Mask of Zorro 4K/MA $6
Mask of Zorro 4K/MA $6
Mauritanian 4K/IT $5
Meatballs HD/VU $4
Memory HD/MA $4
Men HD/VU $4.5
Men in Black 3 HD/MA $3
Men in Black HD/MA $4
Menu HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
MIB International HD/MA $3.5
Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts HD/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $5
Mid-Century 4K/VU $5
Midsommar HD/VU $4
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) HD/MA $4
Missing (2023) SD/MA $4
Mitchells vs Machines HD/MA $4.5
Mommy HD/VU $4
Moonfall 4K/VU $4.5
Morbius HD/MA $4
Moving On HD/VU $5.5
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris 4K/MA $6
My Brilliant Friend Season 1 HD/VU $4
Nashville (1975) HD/VU $4
Needle in a Timestack 4K/VU $5.5
Night at Museum Battle of Smithsonian SD/IT $1.5
Night House HD/GP $4
No Country for Old Men HD/VU $4
No Sudden Move 4K/MA $6
Nope HD/MA $5.5
Northman HD/MA $4
Oliver! 4K/MA $5
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood HD/MA $3.5
Paradise Highway 4K/VU $5.5
Paranormal Activity 1-8 Collection HD/VU $22
Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension (Unrated) HD/VU $4.5
Parasite HD/MA $4
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 HD/MA $3.5
Paw Patrol Movie HD/VU $4.5
Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters HD/MA $3
Perfectos Desconocidos HD/VU $4
Phantom Thread HD/MA $4
Piano (1993) HD/VU $4.5
Plane (2023) 4K/VU $6.5
Pretty in Pink HD/VU $3.5
Prey for Devil 4K/VU $6
Prince of Egypt HD/MA $4.5
Proud Mary HD/MA $3.5
Pulp Fiction 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Push 4K/VU $6
Raid Redemption (Thea & Unrated) HD/MA $4.5
Ran (1985) 4K/VU $5.5
Ratatouille 4K/MA $6 or HD/GP $4
Red Heat (1988) 4K/VU $5
Redline (2010) HD/VU $4.5
Reign of Assassins HD/VU $4.5
Repo Genetic Opera HD/VU $4.5
Rescuers Down Under HD/MA $5 or HD/GP $4.5
Rescuers HD/MA $5 or HD/GP $4.5
Reservoir Dogs 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Resident Evil 6 Film Set 4K/MA $26
Retaliation (2017) HD/VU $4
Right One 4K/VU $5.5
Rocky Knockout Collection 1-4 (Rocky IV w/ Thea & Rocky vs Drago Ultimate Cut) 4K/VU $20
Rules of Attraction HD/VU $4
Rumble HD/VU $5
Running Man 4K/VU $5.5
Safe Haven SD/IT $1.5
Saint Maud HD/VU $4.5
Sausage Party HD/MA $3.5
Scott Pilgrim vs World HD/MA $4 or 4K/IT $4.5
Scream 4 HD/VU $4
Scream HD/VU $4.5
Secret Garden (2020) 4K/IT $5
Secret in Their Eyes HD/VU or IT $3
Sense & Sensibility 4K/MA $5
Seven Psycopaths HD/MA $4
Shawshank Redemption 4K/MA $5.5
Shazam! Fury of Gods (2023) HD/MA $9
She Said HD/MA $6.5
Shooter 4K/VU $5
Silent Night, Deadly Night 3-Film Set (3-5) HD/VU $8
Silent Twins 4K/MA $6
Silk Road 4K/VU $5
Sing 2 HD/MA $4
Sing Street HD/VU $4
Skeleton Twins HD/VU $4.5
Smile HD/VU $5.5
Smokin' Aces 4K/MA $5.5
Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Son of God HD/MA $3
Sonic Hedgehog 2 HD/VU $4.5
Source Code 4K/VU $5.5
Spartacus HD/MA $3.5
Spider-Man No Way Home HD/MA $4
Spinning Man HD/VU $4
Spirit HD/VU $4
Spontaneous HD/VU $4.5
Starship Troopers 4K/MA $6
Strange World HD/GP $4
Stripes 4K/MA $5
Taken 2 HD/MA $3.5
Tangled HD/MA $4
Tar HD/MA $6
Teen Spirit (2019) HD/MA $4
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls Mayhem Multiverse HD/MA $6
Teeth HD/VU $4.5
Ten Commandments (1923) HD/VU $4
Ten Commandments (1956) HD/VU $4
Tetro HD/VU $4
The Batman HD/MA $4
Thing (1982) 4K/MA $5.5
This Means War SD/IT $1.5
Thor Love & Thunder 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $3.5
Till 4K/IT $7
Time Freak HD/VU $4
To Sir With Love 4K/MA $5.5
Tomb Raider Cradle of Life 4K/VU or IT $5.5
Top Gun Maverick 4K/VU $6 or HD/VU $4.5
Touched With Fire HD/VU $4.5
Town SD/IT $1.5
Transformers Dark of Moon 4K/VU $4.5
Transformers Revenge of Fallen 4K/VU $5
True Grit SD/IT $1.5
Tucker Man & His Dream 4K/VU $5
Turning Red HD/GP $3
Twilight 1-3 (Ext Editions) HD/VU $10
Umma HD/MA $4.5
Uncharted HD/MA $4
Uncut Gems HD/VU $4
Underwater HD/MA $4.5
Underworld 5-Film Set HD/MA $17
Venom Let There Be Carnage HD/MA $4
Virtuoso 4K/VU $5
Vivo HD/MA $4.5
Voyagars 4K/VU $5
W. HD/VU $4
War of Worlds 4K/VU $5.5
War on Everyone HD/VU $4
Warhunt 4K/VU $4.5
Waterworld HD/MA $4
Weekend HD/VU $4
What We Did on our Holiday HD/VU $4
Where Crawdads Sing HD/MA $4.5
Whiplash HD/MA $4
White Christmas HD/VU $4
Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance with Sombody HD/MA $5.5 or SD/MA $3
Wicker Man (1973) HD/VU $4.5
Wind River HD/VU $4
Winnie Pooh Springtime with Roo HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Wolf Man (1941) HD/MA $3.5
Woman King HD/MA $5.5
Women Talking 4K/IT $7
X-Men Days of Future Past Rogue Cut 4K/IT $5.5
All other movies (A-Z)
101 Dalmatians HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
12 Years a Slave HD/MA $3.5
13 Hours Soldiers of Benghazi HD/VU $2.5
1917 HD/MA $3.5
2 Fast 2 Furious 4K/IT $3.5
2 Guns HD/VU or IT $2.5
21 Jump Street HD/MA $3
22 Jump Street HD/MA $3.5
3 From Hell (Unrated) 4K/VU $4 or HD/VU $2.5
31 (2016) HD/VU $2.5
310 to Yuma 4K/VU $5
47 Meters Down HD/IT $3.5
47 Meters Down Uncaged HD/VU $3.5
47 Ronin HD/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
50/50 HD/VU $4
71 HD/VU $4
A Clockwork Orange 4K/MA $5
A Dog's Purpose HD/IT $3
A Good Day to Die Hard (Ext) HD/VU $2.5
A Most Wanted Man HD/VU $3.5
A Quiet Place HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
A Quiet Place Part 2 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
A Wrinkle in Time HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Abominable 4K/MA $5.5
About Time HD/VU or IT $3.5
Action Point HD/IT $2
Adore HD/IT $3.5
Adventures Of TinTin HD/IT $2.5
After Earth HD/MA $3
Age of Adaline HD/VU or IT $3
Aladdin (2019) 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Alex Cross HD/VU or IT $2
Alfred Hitchcock 5-Film Set (Saboteur, Shadow of Doubt, Trouble with Harry, Marnie, Family Plot) 4K/MA $24
Alice Through Looking Glass HD/GP $3
Alien 6-Film Collection HD/MA $18
Alien Covenant HD/MA $2.5
Alien Resurrection HD/MA $4
Alita Battle Angel 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
All Eyez on Me HD/IT $3
All Money in World HD/MA $3.5
Allied HD/VU $3.5
Aloha HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1
Alvin & Chipmunks Road Chip HD/MA $2.5
Amazing Spider-Man 2 HD/MA $4
Amazing Spider-Man HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
American Assassin 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
American Frontier Trilogy (Sicario, Wind River, Hell or High Water) HD/VU $7.5
American Made 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
American Night HD/VU $4
American Reunion HD/VU or IT $3
American Ultra HD/IT $4
Anchorman 2 Legend Continues HD/VU or IT $2.5
Angel Heart 4K/VU $5.5
Angel of Mine 4K/VU $5.5
Anna 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Anna Karenina HD/IT $3.5
Annie (2014) HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Annihilation HD/VU $3
Antebellum 4K/VU $5
Ant-Man & Wasp HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Ant-Man HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Apollo 13 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Arctic HD/MA $4
Army of One HD/VU $3
Arnold Schwarzenegger 6-Film Collection (Last Stand, Total Recall, T-2, Red Heat, Maggie, Hercules in NY) HD/VU $14
Arrival HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 HD/VU $5
Assassination Nation HD/MA $3.5
Assassin's Creed HD/MA $3
Atomic Blonde 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3
August Osage County HD/VU $3
Avengers Age of Ultron HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Avengers Endgame HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Avengers HD/GP $3
Avengers Infinity War HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Back to Future 3 HD/MA $3.5
Back to Future Trilogy 4K/MA $14 or HD/MA $9.5
Bad Boys for Life HD/MA $4
Bad Grandpa HD/VU or IT $2.5
Bad Words HD/IT $3
Bambi 2 HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Bambi HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Bangkok Dangerous HD/VU $4
Bank Job HD/VU $3.5
Barbie & Her Sisters in Great Puppy Adventure HD/VU or IT $3.5
Barbie in Princess Power HD/IT $3.5
Barbie Star Light Adventure HD/IT $3.5
Battle of Year HD/MA $3.5
Battleship HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Baywatch HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Beatriz at Dinner HD/VU $4.5
Beauty & Beast (1991) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Beauty & Beast (2017) HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Before I Fall HD/VU or IT $3.5
Begin Again HD/VU $3.5
Beirut HD/MA $3.5
Ben-Hur (2016) HD/VU or IT $3.5
BFG HD/MA $3.5
Big Eyes HD/VU $3.5
Big Hero 6 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Big Lebowski 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Big Little Lies Season 1 HD/GP $2.5
Big Short HD/VU or IT $3.5
Birth of a Nation HD/MA $3.5
Black Panther 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Black Widow HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Blackhat HD/IT $3.5
Blair Witch (2016) HD/IT $2.5
Blair Witch Project (1999) HD/VU $4
Blockers HD/MA $3.5
Bloodshot HD/MA $4
Boardwalk Empire Season 1 HD/VU or IT $4
Bombshell 4K/VU $5
Book Club 4K/IT $3
Book Club HD/VU $2.5
Book of Life HD/MA $3.5
Born a Champion 4K/VU $5
Boss Baby 2-Film Set HD/MA $6
Boss Baby HD/MA $2.5
Bourne Identity HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Bourne Legacy HD/VU $2
Bourne Supremacy HD/VU $3.5
Bourne Ultimatum 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Boy 2 HD/IT $3.5
Boy Erased HD/MA $4
Boy HD/IT $3.5
Boyhood HD/VU or IT $2.5
Braveheart HD/VU $3.5
Braven HD/VU $4
Breakfast Club HD/IT $4
Breakthrough HD/MA $3
Burnt HD/VU $3.5
Butler HD/VU $3
Bye Bye Man (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Cabin in Woods 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $2.5
Call of Wild 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Campaign HD/MA $2.5
Captain America Civil War HD/GP $2.5
Captain America First Avenger HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Captain America Winter Soldier HD/GP $3.5
Captain Marvel HD/GP $2
Captain Phillips HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Carol HD/VU $4
Cars 3 HD/GP $2.5
Case for Christ HD/IT $2.5
Chaos Walking 4K/VU $5
Chicago (Diamond Edition) HD/VU $4
Children (2008) HD/VU $4
Christopher Robin HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Cloverfield 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Coco HD/GP $2.5
Cold Pursuit 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Collection HD/VU $3.5
Columbiana (Unrated) HD/MA $4
Come & Find Me HD/VU $4
Commuter 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Company of Heroes HD/MA $4
Contraband HD/IT $3
Cooties HD/VU $4
Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of Dead, Hot Fuzz, World's End) 4K/MA $15
Counselor HD/MA $4
Courier 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Crank 4K/VU $5.5
Crawl HD/VU $3
Crimson Peak HD/IT $3.5
Croods HD/VU $3.5
Cruella HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
D Train 4K/IT $4
Daddy's Home 2 HD/IT $3
Daddy's Home HD/VU $3
Dark Tower HD/MA $3.5
Darkest Hour (2017) 4K/MA $5.5
Darkest Minds HD/MA $4
Darkness HD/IT $3
Dawn of Planet of Apes HD/MA $3.5
Daybreakers 4K/VU $5.5
Deadpool 2 (w/Super Duper Cut) HD/MA $4
Deadpool HD/MA $2.5
Dear White People HD/VU $3.5
Deepwater Horizon 4K/IT $3
Dementia 13 (Director's Cut) HD/VU $4
Despicable Me 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Despicable Me 3 4K/MA or IT $5
Despicable Me 4K/IT $5 or SD/IT $1.5
Detroit HD/MA $3.5
Devil's Due HD/MA $3.5
Dilemma HD/VU $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Dirty Dancing 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Disney Animated Short Films Collection HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Divergent Allegiant HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Divergent HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $0.5
Divergent Insurgent HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Django Unchained HD/VU $3 or SD/IT $1.5
Do Right Thing 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Doctor Strange HD/GP $2.5
Dom Hemingway HD/MA $3.5
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot HD/VU $4
Doom (Unrated) 4K/MA $5.5
Doorman HD/VU $3.5
Doors 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Dora & Lost City of Gold HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Downton Abbey Movie HD/MA $3.5
Dracula Untold HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Draft Day HD/VU $3.5
Dragged Across Concrete HD/VU $3.5
Dreamkatcher HD/VU $4
Dredd 4K/VU or IT $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Duel (2016) HD/VU $3.5
Dumbo (2019) HD/GP $3
Dune 4K/MA $5.5
Dying of Light HD/VU $2.5
E.T. Extra Terrestrial 4K/VU or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Edge of Seventeen HD/VU or IT $3
Edge of Tomorrow 4K/MA $5
Edward Scissorhands HD/MA $3.5
El Chicano HD/MA $4
Emoji Movie HD/MA $3
Encanto 4K/MA $4 or 4K/GP $3.5
Ender's Game HD/VU $2.5
Enemy at Gates HD/VU $4
Enough Said HD/MA $3.5
Epic HD/MA $3
Escape Plan HD/VU $2
Eternals HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Everest 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Ex Machina HD/VU $3
Exodus Gods & Kings HD/MA $3.5
Expendables 2 HD/VU or IT $1
Expendables 3 (Thea) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Extreme Prejudice (1987) HD/VU $4
Fast & Furious (2009) HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Fast & Furious 6 (Ext) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Fast & Furious 6-film Collection HD/VU $12.5
Fast & Furious 7-film Collection HD/VU $14
Fast & Furious 8-film Collection (9 Films) HD/MA $17.5
Fast & Furious 9-film Collection (11 Films) HD/MA $20
Fast & Furious HD/VU $3.5
Fast Color 4K/VU $5.5
Fast Five (Ext) HD/IT $2.5 or SD/IT $1
Fatale (2020) 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Fate of Furious (Ext) HD/VU $2
Fate of Furious (Thea) HD/VU or IT $1.5
Fault in Our Stars HD/MA $3.5
Fences HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Ferdinand HD/MA $3.5
Fifty Shades Darker (Unrated) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Fifty Shades Freed HD/MA $4
Fifty Shades of Grey (Unrated) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Fighting with my Family HD/IT $4
Finding Dory HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Finding Nemo HD/GP $3.5
Finest Hours HD/GP $3
First Blood 4K/VU $5
First Man HD/MA $4
Flight HD/VU or IT $3
Florence Foster Jenkins HD/VU or IT $3
Footloose (2011) HD/IT $3
Forever My Girl HD/IT $3
Fortress HD/VU $4
Four Kids & It HD/VU $3.5
Fox & Hound 2 HD/MA $4
Frank & Lola HD/VU or IT $3
Frankenstein (1931) HD/VU $3.5
Free Guy HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
French Dispatch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Friday 13th Pt 3 HD/VU $3.5
Frozen (Sing-Along Edition) HD/MA $2 or HD/GP $1.5
Frozen 2 4K/MA $4 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Frozen Ground (2013) HD/VU $3.5
Frozen HD/GP $2
Furious 7 (Ext) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Fury HD/MA $3.5
G.I. Joe Retaliation HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Gambit (2012) HD/MA $4
Gambler HD/VU or IT $3
Gemini Man 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Gentlemen 4K/IT $4.5
Get Out HD/MA $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Ghost in Shell (2017) 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Ghost Team One HD/VU or IT $3.5
Ghostbusters (1984) HD/MA $3.5
Ghostbusters 2 HD/MA $3.5
Ghostbusters Afterlife HD/MA $4
Girl on Train HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Girl With All Gifts HD/VU $4
Girls Trip HD/VU or IT $2
Glass Castle 4K/VU $5.5
God's Not Dead 2 HD/MA or IT $2.5
God's Not Dead A Light in Darkness HD/MA $3
Gods of Egypt HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Gold (2016) HD/VU or IT $2.5
Gone Girl HD/MA $4
Good Dinosaur HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Good Kill HD/VU or IT $3.5
Grace Unplugged HD/VU $2
Gran Torino SD/IT $1.5
Greatest Showman HD/MA $3.5
Green Mile 4K/MA $5.5
Grey HD/VU or IT $3
Guardians of Galaxy Vol 1 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Guardians of Galaxy Vol 2 HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Guest House (2020) 4K/VU $5
Guilt Trip HD/IT $3
Gunman HD/MA $3
Hacksaw Ridge HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Hail, Caesar! HD/IT $3
Halloween (2018) HD/MA $3
Hammer of Gods HD/VU $2
Hands of Stone HD/VU $3.5
Hannibal Season 1 HD/VU $5
Hard Target 2 HD/IT $1.5
Hardcore Henry HD/VU or IT $3.5
Hate U Give HD/MA $4
Hateful Eight HD/VU $3.5
Heat HD/MA $3
Heaven is for Real SD/MA $1.5
Hell Fest 4K/VU $5
Hell or High Water HD/VU $2.5
Hellboy (2019) 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Hercules (1997) HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Hercules (2014) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Here Comes Boom HD/MA $3.5
Hidden Figures HD/MA $3
Hillsong Let Hope Rise HD/IT $2
Hitman (Uncut) & Hitman 47 Bundle HD/MA $7
Hitman's Bodyguard HD/VU $3.5
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Hocus Pocus HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Home Again HD/MA $3
Home Alone 2 HD/MA $3.5
Home Alone HD/MA $3.5
Homesman HD/VU $3
Honey 2 HD/VU $3
Hop HD/MA or IT $3
Hope Springs HD/MA $2.5 or SD/MA $1
Hostiles HD/VU $3
Hot Fuzz HD/VU $4
Hotel Mumbai HD/MA $4
Hotel Transylvania HD/MA $3.5
Hours (2013) HD/VU $4
How Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 4K/IT $4
How to Train Your Dragon 2 HD/MA $2.5
How to Train Your Dragon HD/VU $3.5
How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy HD/MA $9
Hugo HD/VU or IT $3
Hunger Games 4-Film Collection HD/VU $8
Hunger Games Catching Fire HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $0.5
Hunger Games HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $0.5
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 HD/VU $2.5 or SD/VU $1
Hunter Killer 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Huntsman Winter's War (Ext) HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
I Can Only Imagine HD/VU $4
I Feel Pretty HD/IT $2
I Frankenstein HD/VU or IT $2.5
Ice Age Collision Course HD/MA $3
Incredibles 2 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Incredibles HD/GP $3.5
Independence Day Resurgence HD/MA $2.5
Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom 4K/VU $5.5
Indignation HD/VU $4
Initiation 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Inside Out HD/GP $2
Instant Family 4K/IT $3.5
Internship SD/IT $1.5
Interstellar HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Into Woods HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Invisible Man (1933) HD/MA $3.5
Invisible Man (2020) 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Iron Man HD/GP $3.5 or HD/GP $2
Iron Mask (2019) HD/VU $4.5
It Follows HD/VU $3.5
It's a Wonderful Life 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Jack & Jill HD/MA $3.5
Jack Reacher HD/VU $3
Jack Reacher Never Go Back HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Jacob's Ladder HD/VU $4
Jarhead 3 Siege (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Jason Bourne HD/VU $2.5
Jason Statham 4-Film (War, Crank 1 & 2, Transporter 3) HD/VU $10
Jason Statham 6-Film (War, Crank 1 & 2, Bank Job, Wild Card, Transporter 3) HD/VU $14
Jaws 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Jeff Who Lives at Home HD/VU $4
Jersey Boys HD/MA $2.5
Jesus Music HD/VU $3.5
Jigsaw 4K/VU $4.5
Joe HD/VU $3.5
John Wick 1 & 2 Bundle HD/VU $4
John Wick 3 Parabellum 4K/VU $4.5
John Wick Chapter 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
John Wick HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
John Wick Trilogy (Parabellum 4K) HD/VU $9
Jonah Hex HD/MA $4.5
Joy HD/MA $3
Judy 4K/VU $5
Judy Moody SD/IT $1.5
Jungle Book (2016) 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Jungle Cruise HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Jurassic Park 3 HD/VU $3.5
Jurassic Park 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Jurassic World 5-Film Collection HD/MA $14
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3
Jurassic World HD/VU $2.5
Justice (2017) HD/VU or IT $3
Justin Bieber Never Say Never SD/IT $1.5
Kevin Hart Let Me Explain HD/VU or IT $3
Kick-Ass 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4 or SD/IT $1.5
Kid Who Would Be King 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Kidnap HD/VU or IT $2.5
Killer Elite HD/IT $3
Killerman HD/VU $4
Kin (2018) 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
King Kong (2005) 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Kingsman Golden Circle 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3
Kingsman Secret Service 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Knick Season 1 HD/IT $3.5
Knick Season 2 HD/IT $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Kung Fu Panda 3 HD/MA $3
La La Land 4K/IT $3.5
Labor Day HD/VU or IT $3
Lady & Tramp HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Lady Macbeth HD/VU $4.5
Last Christmas HD/MA $4
Last Exorcism HD/VU $4
Last Knights HD/VU $3.5 or SD/VU $1.5
Last Man (2019) HD/VU $4
Last Stand HD/IT $2
Last Vegas HD/MA $3.5
Last Witch Hunter HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Leatherface HD/VU $4
Legend of Hercules 4K/IT $3
Leprechaun 7-Film Collection HD/VU $12
Les Miserables (2012) HD/VU or IT $2
Let Me Explain HD/IT $2.5
Let's be Cops HD/MA $3.5
Life (2017) HD/MA $3.5
Life of Crime HD/VU $3.5
Life of Pi 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA or IT $3.5
Light of My Life HD/IT $3.5
Like a Boss HD/VU $3.5
Lilo & Stitch 2 Stitch Has a Glitch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Lilo & Stitch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Lincoln Lawyer 4K/VU $6.5 or HD/VU $4
Lion King (1994) HD/GP $3
Lion King (2019) 4K/MA $4 or HD/GP $2
Logan HD/MA $3
Logan Lucky 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Lone Ranger HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Lone Survivor HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Long Shot HD/VU $3.5
Longest Ride HD/MA $3
Longest Week HD/VU $3.5
Looper HD/MA $3.5
Lorax (1972) HD/MA $5
Lorax HD/VU $3
Lords of Salem HD/VU $4
Lost World Jurassic Park HD/MA $3
Love & Monsters HD/VU $4
Love Coopers HD/VU or IT $4
Love, Simon HD/MA $3.5
Loving HD/VU or IT $3.5
Luca HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Lucy HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Mad Max 2 Road Warrior 4K/VU $5.5
Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted HD/VU or IT $3
Madea's Witness Protection SD/IT $1.5
Magnificent Seven (2016) HD/VU $3
Maleficent 4K/MA $4 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Maleficent Mistress of Evil HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Mama HD/IT $3
Man Who Shot Liberty Vance 4K/VU $5.5
Mandela Long Walk to Freedom HD/VU $4
Martian HD/MA $3.5
Mary Poppins (1964) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Mary Poppins Returns HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Matrix Resurrections 4K/MA $5.5
Max Steel HD/IT $3
Maze Runner Death Cure HD/MA $3.5
Maze Runner HD/MA $3.5
McKenna Shoots for Stars HD/IT $2
Mechanic Resurrection HD/VU $2.5
Megan Leavey HD/IT $3
Midnight Sun HD/MA $3.5
Midway 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Mile 22 HD/IT $3
Million Dollar Arm HD/GP $2.5
MindGamers HD/MA or IT $3.5
Minions 4K/MA or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Misconduct HD/VU $2.5
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children HD/MA $3
Missing Link HD/MA $4
Mission Impossible 3 4K/VU $4.5
Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol HD/VU $2
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Mission Impossible 6 Fallout 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Mission Impossible 6-film Set 4K/VU $23 or HD/VU $17
Moana HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Moneyball HD/MA $3
Monkey Kingdom HD/MA $3
Monster High Electrified HD/VU or IT $2.5
Monsters University HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Monuments Men HD/MA $3.5
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Mortal HD/VU $4
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Mother! HD/VU $2.5
Mother's Day HD/IT $2.5
Much Ado About Nothing (2013) HD/VU $4
Mud HD/VU $2.5
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Mummy (1999) HD/VU $4
Mummy (2017) 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Muppets Most Wanted HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Murder on Orient Express HD/MA $3.5
My All American HD/MA or IT $3.5
My Fair Lady 4K/VU $5.5
Nebraska HD/VU $3
Nerve HD/IT $3.5
New Mutants HD/GP $3
News of World 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
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Nightmare Before Christmas HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
No Escape (2015) HD/VU $3
No Strings Attached HD/VU or IT $3.5
No Time to Die 4K/IT $4.5
Noah HD/VU or IT $2.5
Nobody's Fool HD/IT $2.5
Non-Stop HD/VU or IT $3
Norm of North HD/VU $2.5
Nostalgia (2018) HD/MA $3.5
Now You See Me 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Now You See Me HD/VU or IT $2.5 or SD/VU $1
Nutcracker & Four Realms HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Oblivion 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Occupation (2018) HD/VU $3.5
Occupation Rainfall HD/VU $4
Office Christmas Party HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Olaf's Frozen Adventure HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Ong Bak 2 HD/VU $3
Onward 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Other Woman HD/MA $3
Ouija HD/IT $3.5
Ouija Origin of Evil HD/VU or IT $3.5
Outlander Season 1 Vol 1 HD/VU $5.5
Overdrive HD/IT $2.5
Overlord 4K/IT $3.5
Oz Great & Powerful HD/GP $2.5
Paddington HD/VU $3.5
Pain & Gain HD/VU or IT $3.5
Paranormal Activity 3 (Ext) HD/VU or IT $3
Paranormal Activity 4 (Unrated) HD/VU or IT $2.5
Paranormal Activity HD/VU $4
Paranormal Activity Marked Ones HD/VU or IT $3.5
Passengers HD/MA $3
Patriot Games 4K/VU $5
Patriot's Day HD/VU $3
Peanuts Movie HD/MA $3
Penguins of Madagascar HD/MA $3.5
Pet Sematary (2019) 4K/IT $3.5
Peter Pan (1953) HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Peter Rabbit HD/MA $3.5
Pete's Dragon (2016) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Philomena HD/VU $2.5
Pinocchio (1940) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Pirates of Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Pitch Black (Unrated) HD/MA or IT $4
Pitch Perfect 2 4K/MA $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Pitch Perfect HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 3 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Planes Fire & Rescue HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Planes HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Playing with Fire HD/IT $2.5
Pocahontas 2 Journey to a New World HD/GP $3.5
Pocahontas HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Point Break (2015) 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Poison Rose 4K/VU $4.5
Pompeii HD/MA $3.5
Possession HD/VU or IT $2.5
Power Rangers (2017) 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Precious HD/VU $4.5
Predator (2018) HD/MA $3
Predator 4-Film Collection HD/MA $11
Premium Rush HD/MA $3.5
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Primal HD/VU $3.5
Prodigy HD/VU $4
Project Almanac HD/IT $3.5
Protege HD/VU $4
Punisher 4K/VU $5.5
Punisher War Zone 4K/VU $5.5
Purge Anarchy HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Purge Election Year 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Purge HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Quarry 4K/VU $5
Queen & Slim HD/MA $4
Queen of Katwe HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Ralph Breaks Internet HD/GP $2
Rambo (2008) 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo 3 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo 5-Film Collection 4K/VU $23 or HD/VU $17
Rambo First Blood Pt 2 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo Last Blood 4K/VU $4.5
Rango HD/VU $3.5
Raya & Last Dragon HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Rear Window HD/MA $3.5
Reclaim HD/VU $3.5
RED 2 HD/VU $2
Red Dawn (2012) HD/VU or IT $3
Red Sparrow HD/MA $3.5
Replicant (2001) HD/VU $3.5
Replicas HD/VU $3.5
Requiem for a Dream (Director's Cut) 4K/VU $5.5
Resident Evil Retribution 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Resurrection of Gavin Stone HD/VU or IT $2.5
Revenant HD/MA $3.5
Riddick (Unrated) HD/VU or IT $3
Ride Along HD/VU or IT $2.5
Ride Like a Girl HD/VU $4
Ring HD/VU $4.5
Rings HD/VU or IT $2.5
Rio 2 HD/MA $3
Riot HD/VU or IT $3
RIPD HD/IT $2.5
Risen HD/MA $3
Robin Hood (1973) HD/MA $3.5
Robin Hood (2018) HD/VU $3
Robocop (2014) HD/VU $2.5
Rocketman (2019) 4K/IT $4
Rogue One A Star Wars Story HD/GP $2
Ron's Gone Wrong HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Rough Night 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Runner Runner HD/MA $3.5
Rush HD/VU or IT $3
Safe HD/VU or IT $2.5
Saige Paints Sky HD/IT $3
Same Kind of Different As Me HD/IT or IT $3
Samson HD/MA $3.5
Santa Clause 2 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Santa Clause 3 HD/MA $3
Santa Clause HD/MA $3.5
Santa Clause Trilogy HD/MA $9.5 or HD/GP $8
Savages HD/IT $3
Saving Mr. Banks HD/GP $3
Saw 7-Film Collection (Unrated) HD/VU $18
Saw 8-Film Collection HD/VU $20
Saw HD/VU $3
Scarface HD/VU $4
Scary Movie 5 HD/VU $4.5
Scary Stories to Tell in Dark 4K/VU $4.5
Schindler's List 4K/MA $5.5
Scouts Guide to Zombie Apocalypse HD/IT $3
Scream (1996) HD/VU $4
Scrooged HD/IT $4
Secret Life of Pets 4K/IT $4.5
Secret Life of Walter Mitty HD/MA $3
Selma HD/VU or IT $2.5
Sex Tape HD/MA $3.5
Shack HD/IT $2.5
Shallows HD/MA $3.5
Shang-Chi Legend of Ten Rings HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Shape of Water HD/MA $3.5
Sharp Objects HD/GP $2
Shaun of Dead HD/MA $4 or 4K/IT $4.5
Shaun Sheep Movie HD/VU $3
Sherlock Gnomes HD/VU or IT $2.5
She's Having a Baby HD/VU $3.5
Shivers HD/VU $4
Show Dogs HD/MA $3.5
Siberia (2018) HD/VU $3
Siberia (2020) HD/VU $4
Sicario HD/VU $2.5
Side Effects HD/IT $3.5
Sing (2016) 4K/IT $4
Singing in Rain 4K/MA $5.5
Sinister HD/IT $2.5
Sisters (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Sixteen Candles HD/MA $4
Skyfall HD/VU $2.5
Skyscraper HD/MA $3.5
Sleeping Beauty (1959) HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
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Smokey & Bandit HD/MA $3.5
Smurfs Lost Village HD/MA $3.5
Snatched HD/MA $2
Snitch HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3 or SD/VU or IT $1
Snow White & Huntsman (Ext Edition) 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Snow White & Seven Dwarfs (1937) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Solo A Star Wars Story HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Some Kind of Wonderful HD/VU $3.5
Songbird 4K/IT $4.5
Sonic Hedgehog 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Soul HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Southpaw HD/VU $3
Southside With You HD/VU $4.5
Spider-Man 4-Cut Set (Spider-Man 2 w/ Thea & Ext) HD/MA $11.5
Spider-Man Far From Home HD/MA $3.5
Spider-Man Homecoming HD/MA $3
Spider-Man Homecoming/Far From Home Bundle HD/MA $6
Spies in Disguise 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Spiral 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Split 4K/MA or IT $5
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Spongebob Sponge out of Water HD/IT $2.5
Spy Who Dumped Me 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
St. Vincent HD/VU $3
Stand Up Guys HD/VU $3.5
Star Trek (2009) HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Star Trek 1-4 (Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, Voyage Home) 4K/VU $18
Star Trek Beyond HD/VU $3
Star Trek Into Darkness HD/VU $2.5
Star Wars Force Awakens HD/GP $1.5
Star Wars Last Jedi 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Star Wars Rise of Skywalker 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Step Up Revolution HD/IT $3
Sting 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Straight Outta Compton (Thea & Unrated) 4K/MA $4.5
Straight Outta Compton (Unrated) HD/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Strangers Prey at Night HD/MA $3
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Sudden Death HD/IT $4
Suits Season 2 HD/IT $3.5
Sum of All Fears 4K/VU $5.5
Sundown Vampire in Retreat HD/VU $3.5
Super 8 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Super Buddies HD/GP $2
Sword in Stone HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Taxi Driver HD/MA $4
Ted (Unrated) HD/IT $3
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of Shadows HD/VU $3.5
Terminator 2 Judgment Day (Ext) HD/VU $4.5
Terminator 2 Judgment Day HD/VU $3.5
Terminator Dark Fate 4K/VU or IT $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Terminator Genisys HD/VU $2.5
Thanks for Sharing HD/VU $4
This is 40 HD/MA $3.5
This is End HD/MA $3.5
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Thor HD/GP $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Thor Ragnarok HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
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Total Recall (1990) HD/VU $3.5
Toy Story 4 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Toy Story HD/GP $3.5
Toy Story of Terror HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
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Triple 9 HD/IT $3.5
Trolls HD/MA $2.5
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Twilight HD/VU $4
Tyler Perry's Temptation HD/GP $3
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Uncle Drew HD/VU $3.5
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Z for Zachariah HD/VU $4
Zero Dark Thirty HD/MA $3.5
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2023.06.01 18:27 AttakTheZak [DISCUSSION] Why Are We In Ukraine by Layne & Schwarz - Part 2: How To Poke A Bear
This is part 2 of the research/discussion series on the wonderful article Why Are We in Ukraine?
by Schwarz & Layne. This is a continuation of the previous post, which you can find HERE
. Given the relative success in finding and sourcing most of that first portion, I'd like to continue with the series to the next section of the article. If you are interested in participating, please comment below with any relevant points of evidence that addresses portions of the article. I'll be regularly updating this post with points to help future visitors to better navigate the article and the discussion below.
I look forward to seeing you all in the comments!
Part 2: How To Poke A Bear
One early sign of this fundamental change was Washington’s covert, overt, and (perhaps most important) overtly covert interference in Russia’s affairs during the early and mid-Nineties—a project of political, social, and economic engineering that included funneling some $1.8 billion to political movements, organizations, and individuals deemed ideologically compatible with U.S. interests 
and culminated in American meddling in Russia’s 1996 presidential election. 
Of course, great powers have always manipulated both their proxies and smaller neighboring states. But by so baldly intervening in Russia’s internal affairs, Washington signaled to Moscow that the sole superpower felt no obligation to follow the norms of great power politics and, perhaps more galling, no longer regarded Russia as a power with sensibilities that had to be considered.
Moscow’s alarm over the hegemonic role America had assigned itself was intensified by what could fairly be characterized as the bellicose utopianism demonstrated by Washington’s series of regime-change wars. In 1989, just as the U.S.-Soviet global rivalry was ending, the United States assumed its self-appointed role as “the sole remaining superpower” by launching its invasion of Panama. Moscow issued a statement criticizing the invasion as a violation of “the sovereignty and honor of other nations,” but neither Moscow nor any other great power took any explicit action to protest the United States’ exercising its sway in its own strategic backyard. Nonetheless, because no foreign power was using Panama as a foothold against the United States—and thus Manuel Noriega’s regime posed no conceivable threat to America’s security—the invasion neatly established the post–Cold War ground rules: American force would be used, and international law contravened, not only in pursuit of tangible national interests, but also in order to depose governments that Washington deemed unsavory. America’s regime-change war in Iraq—declared “illegal” by U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan—and its wider ambitions to engender a democratic makeover in the Middle East demonstrated the range and lethality of its globalizing impulse. More immediately disquieting to Moscow, against the backdrop of NATO’s steady eastward push, were the implications of the U.S.-led alliance’s regime-change wars in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 and, twelve years later, in Libya.
Although Washington presented the U.S.-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as an intervention to forestall human rights abuses in Kosovo, the reality was far murkier. American policymakers presented Belgrade with an ultimatum that imposed conditions no sovereign state could accept: relinquish sovereignty over the province of Kosovo and allow free reign to NATO forces throughout Yugoslavia. (As a senior State Department official reportedly said in an off-the-record briefing, “[We] deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept.”) Washington then intervened in a conflict between the brutal Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)—a force that had previously been denounced by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization—and the military forces of the equally brutal regime of Slobodan Milošević. The KLA’s vicious campaign—including the kidnapping and execution of Yugoslav officials, police, and their families—provoked Yugoslavia’s equally vicious response, including both murderous reprisals and indiscriminate military actions against civilian populations suspected of aiding the insurgents. Through a stenographic process in which “ethnic-Albanian militants, humanitarian organizations, NATO and the news media fed off each other to give genocide rumors credibility,” to quote a retrospective investigation by the Wall Street Journal in 2001, this typical insurgency was transformed into Washington’s righteous casus belli. (A similar process would soon unfold in the run-up to the Gulf War.)
It was not lost on Russia that Washington was bombing Belgrade in the name of universal humanitarian principles while giving friends and allies such as Croatia and Turkey a free pass for savage counterinsurgencies that included the usual war crimes, human rights abuses, and forced removals of civilian populations. President Yeltsin and Russian officials strenuously, if impotently, protested the Washington-led war on a country with which Russia traditionally had close political and cultural ties. Indeed, NATO and Russian troops nearly clashed at the airport in Kosovo’s provincial capital. (The confrontation was only averted when a British general defied the order of his superior, NATO supreme commander U.S. general Wesley Clark, to deploy troops to block the arrival of Russian paratroopers, telling him: “I’m not going to start World War III for you.”) Ignoring Moscow, NATO waged its war against Yugoslavia without U.N. sanction and destroyed civilian targets, killing some five hundred non-combatants (actions that Washington considers violations of international norms when conducted by other powers). The operation not only toppled a sovereign government, but also forcibly altered a sovereign state’s borders (again, actions that Washington considers violations of international norms when conducted by other powers).
NATO similarly conducted its war in Libya in the face of valid Russian alarm. That war went beyond its defensive mandate—as Moscow protested—when NATO transformed its mission from the ostensible protection of civilians to the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. The escalation, justified by a now-familiar process involving false and misleading stories pedaled by armed rebels and other interested parties, produced years of violent disorder in Libya and made it a haven for jihadis. Both wars were fought against states that, however distasteful, posed no threat to any NATO member. Their upshot was the recognition in both Moscow and Washington of NATO’s new power, ambit, and purpose. The alliance had been transformed from a supposedly mutual defense pact designed to repel an attack on its members into the preeminent military instrument of American power in the post–Cold War world. Russia’s growing concern over Washington’s hegemonic ambitions has been reinforced by the profound shift, since the Nineties, of the nuclear balance in Washington’s favor. The nuclear standoff between the United States and Russia is the dominant fact of their relationship—a fact not nearly conspicuous enough in the current conversations about the war in Ukraine. Long after Putin, and irrespective of whether Russia is converted to a market democracy, the preponderance of each country’s nuclear missiles will be aimed at the other; every day, the nuclear-armed submarines of one will be patrolling just off the coast of the other. If they’re lucky, both countries will be managing this situation forever.
Throughout the Cold War, Russia and the United States both knew that a nuclear war was unwinnable—an attack by one would surely produce a cataclysmic riposte by the other. Both sides carefully monitored this “delicate balance of terror,” as the American nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter put it in 1959, devoting enormous intellectual resources and sums of money to recalibrating in response to even the slightest perceived alterations. Rather than attempting to maintain that stable nuclear balance, however, Washington has been pursuing nuclear dominance for the past thirty years.
Beginning in the early Aughts, a number of defense analysts—most prominently Keir A. Lieber, a professor at Georgetown, and Daryl G. Press, a professor at Dartmouth and a former consultant to both the Pentagon and the RAND Corporation—expressed concern about a convergence of strategic developments that have been under way since the dawn of America’s “unipolar moment.” The first was the precipitous qualitative erosion of Russian nuclear capabilities. Throughout the Nineties and Aughts, that decline primarily affected Russia’s monitoring of American ICBM fields, its missile-warning networks, and its nuclear submarine forces—all crucial elements to maintaining a viable deterrent. Meanwhile, as Russia’s nuclear capabilities decayed, America’s grew increasingly lethal. Reflecting the seemingly exponential progress of its so-called military-technological revolution, America’s arsenal became immensely more precise and powerful, even as it declined in size.
These improvements didn’t fit with the aim of deterring an adversary’s nuclear attack—which requires only the nuclear capacity for a “countervalue” strike on enemy cities. They were, however, necessary for a disarming “counterforce” strike, capable of preempting a Russian retaliatory nuclear response. “What the planned force appears best suited to provide,” as a 2003 RAND report on the U.S. nuclear arsenal concluded, “is a preemptive counterforce capability against Russia and China. Otherwise, the numbers and the operating procedures simply do not add up.”
This new nuclear posture would obviously unsettle military planners in Moscow, who had undertaken similar studies. They no doubt perceived Washington’s 2002 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty—about which Moscow repeatedly expressed its objections—in light of these changes in the nuclear balance, grasping that Washington’s withdrawal and its concomitant pursuit of various missile defense schemes would enhance America’s offensive nuclear capabilities. Although no missile defense system could shield the United States from a full-scale nuclear attack, a system could plausibly defend against the very few missiles an adversary might have left after an effective U.S. counterforce strike.
To Russian strategists, Washington’s pursuit of nuclear primacy was presumably still further evidence of America’s effort to force Russia to accede to the U.S.-led global order. Moreover, the means that Washington employed to realize that ambition would justifiably strike Moscow as deeply reckless. The initiatives the United States has pursued—advances in anti-submarine and anti-satellite warfare, in missile accuracy and potency, and in wide-area remote sensing—have rendered Russia’s nuclear forces all the more vulnerable. In such circumstances, Moscow would be sorely tempted to buy deterrence at the cost of dispersing its nuclear forces, decentralizing its command-and-control systems, and implementing “launch on warning” policies. All such countermeasures could cause crises to escalate uncontrollably and trigger the unauthorized or accidental use of nuclear weapons. Paradoxically, mutually assured destruction provided decades of peace and stability. To remove the mutuality by cultivating overwhelming counterforce (i.e., first-strike) capabilities is—in another paradox—to court volatility and an increased likelihood of a grossly destructive nuclear exchange.
Since the nadir of Russian power in the decade and a half following the Soviet collapse, Russia has bolstered both its nuclear deterrent and, to a degree, its counterforce capabilities. Despite this, America’s counterforce lead has actually grown. And yet, U.S. leaders often act affronted when Russia makes moves to update its own nuclear capabilities. “From the vantage point of Moscow . . . U.S. nuclear forces look truly fearsome and they are,” Lieber and Press observe. The United States, they continue, is “playing strategic hardball in the nuclear domain, and then acting like the Russians are paranoid for fearing U.S. actions.”
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2023.06.01 18:09 pmjwhelan Yahoo News with their finger on the pulse again
2023.06.01 17:51 Able_Possession8736 Defending the Draft 2023: WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
Defending the Draft: 2023 Washington Commanders 8-8-1
This 2023 season will be the most interesting for the Commanders franchise in a long long time. We enter this season with more uncertainty than I have ever been a part of, however, the one thing the fan base is certain of... is the future is brighter. Dan Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999 and subsequently done nothing but run a blue blood franchise into the ground. This team has lacked direction for a long time and a large part of that was due to Dan Snyder's meddling in the day-to-day football operations of the team. Starting his ownership with signing washed up HOF veterans, to then overspending in free agency (Albert Haynesworth is arguably the worst free agent signing of all time), drug scandal with thetraining staff, the mishandling of the RG3 and Kirk Cousins situation, Not resigning Trent Williams, and lastly we've now reached tumultuous time where his off the field issues have hung a dark cloud over a once proud franchise. Although, lol, his most egregious mistake may be hiring Jim Zorn as head coach. It's egregious that his only punishment is a 6 billion dollar payout for his franchise. I hope the banks bury him and he faces the deserved legal actions. As of now there had been an agreement to sell the franchise to 76'rs and NJ Devils owner, Josh Harris.... and is 20ish members of his parliament. We await to hear news of the reviews from the NFL financial committee to close out the process. Last news I came across was he has cut down the number of minority owners to 20. It will be a pleasure when this agreement is finalized. He could be a terrible owner, but it would still be an upgrade from Synder. Harris, seemingly has been a hands off owner and properly allows the people he's hired to operate the team. This last sports season he's had both of his teams deep in the playoff hunt. This season will be interesting. A lot of questions all around: Sam Howell? Chase Young? Ron Rivera? Eric Bienemy? Josh Harris? I'm not sure of those answers, but I'm very excited to find them out.
HC- Ron Rivera OC- Eric Bieniemy DC- Jack Del Rio
Key Additions: Eric Bieniemy
Ole' Riverboat Ron Rivera is back and going into his 4th season with the Washington Commanders, hopefully his last. I believe Ron Rivera is a leader of men, but I highly question his actual coaching skills and team building. I've currently seen enough of this coaching regime and front office to safely say let's move on. There's been several things that I believed were firable offenses.... the Carson Wentz trade. Some rumors have said that this was a Snyder push. Not entirely positive, but Ron bragged that it was his call. Our team at that point was not a qb away from being really good, let alone a Carson Wentz level of qb. The next fireable offense was starting Wentz over Hienke when the playoffs were on the line. Wentz ended up being benched for Hienke, but it was too little too late. The next fireable offense was not realizing we were eliminated from the playoffs. Going into the last week of the season Ron planned on starting Hieneke. Pretty odd to not know you're out of the playoffs, let alone to test Sam Howell out for next season. Additionally, there's been some pretty questionable roster creation decisions. I absolutely hate the versatile secondary and offensive line philosophy. We currently have a patch work offensive line that has the means to fluctuate between average to below average. Not a single player on the line is top 5 at their respected position. Two years ago we had a top 10 o-line, but that had Brandon Sherff playing like a top 5 guard and Charles Leno having his best season. Our o-line took a significant step back this past season and now looks to be our biggest weakness. Ron has shown to trust his own board and has reached (according to the consensus big board) with every single pick so far. People mistake 2019 as one of his drafts ( Sweat, McLaurin, Holcomb), but he was hired at the end of the season. Take this with a grain of salt as it takes at least 3 years to properly review a draft. Rons 1st round picks have been the following: 2020 pick 2 Chase Young- the correct pick at the time, but hard to botch the 2nd overall pick, 2021 pick 19 Jamin Davis- hated the pick at the time, too early for a linebacker... let a lone a project. On tape he looked lost a lot and made up for it with his elite athleticism. He's shown progress, but nothing showing he's worthy of the pick. 2022 pick 16 Jahan Dotson- looks to be an absolute baller, had him ranked above Olave in the pre-draft process. Was a slight reach above the consensus board, but flashed high end ability. Davis has been the only mistake in the 1st round thus far. When I say mistake I don't necessarily mean player, but the roster building philosophy. Whether reaching on Phidarian Mathis in the 2nd round of 2022. Lol, he was older than Payne coming out of the draft, one year of good production, and was taken a round too early. In the next round Brian Robinson was taken and was really just a body. Haven't really seen anything elite with him so far and was a meh pick. John Bates in the 4th round was egregious. Now I have to give credit where it's due. Kam Curl was an absolute steal and can solidify himself as top 5 safety this season if he continues to play this well. Our other starting safety in Darrick Forest also had a lot of bright spots playing this past season.
Arguably, our best offseason move was signing Eric Bieniemy. I'm absolutely excited. Forget everything about him not calling the plays. Reports from OTA's shows his hands on approach and full control of the offense. One of my favorites things I've heard is he is using OTA's to see what the players can do and crafting the offense to their abilities. Time and time again (Scott Turner) you see coaches say this is the offense and not change anything to match the players strengths. We don't know for sure how the offense will look, but if it's anything close to the motion west coast offense the Chiefs have... boy lessssss gooooooo. Jack Del Rio has been up-and-down in his time in Washington. He's had two very slow starts with the defense to start year, however, they've finished strong and kept his job safe. This is really the no excuse year and everyone needs to show up amd show out.
Taylor Hieneke- signed with the Falcons
Cole Holcolm- signed with the Steelers
Bobby McCain- signed with the Giants
Carson Wentz- TBD
J.D. McKissic- TBD
Trai Turner TBD
Andrew Norwell- will be released when he passes a physical
In my personal oppinion, the only player that hurt losing in free agency was Cole Holcolm. Linebacker is our one weak spot on defense, however, not resigning Holcolm shows Ron's belief in Jaymin Davis's progression. Cole was limited to 7 games last season and has yet to truly break out. Always played very solid and losing him downgraded the position. We've moved on from both starting guards from last year in Norwell and Turner (previously on the Panthers). Both players were liabilities last season and the guard position was easily upgradeable. Bonny McCain was a solid do it all for is player. Lined up at corner, safety, and nickel throughout the season. Hieneke was a big fan favorite, but was never the answer. We thank you for your service though. Carson Wentz, fuck you. Loved J.D. and his time here, suffered a major injury. Not sure if he gets picked up hy another team.
Andrew Wiley- 3 years for 24 million, 12 guaranteed. Previously on the Chiefs
Nick Gates- 3 years for 16.5 million, 8 million guaranteed. Previously on the Giants
Jacoby Brissett- 1 year for 8 million, 7.5 million guaranteed. Previously on the Browns
Cody Barton- 1 year for 3.5 million, 3.5 million guaranteed. Previously on the Seahawks
Simple. In free agency the Commanders did not overspend and tackled positions of need. None of the players signed are top 5 at their position, however, they could all possibly end up being upgrades to what we have. The most interesting is Andrew Wiley. He allowed 9 sacks (tied for 3rd most)... but man he put on the performance of his life in the superbowl. Another stat that favors him is pass block win-rate, which measure if a lineman can sustain a block for 2.5 seconds. Wylie ranked 9th in that stat last season. I translate that stat to mean can a lineman sustain a block against thr initial rush and counter move off the snap. After that 2.5 seconds the ball is thrown or the play breaks down. Another key factor to this signing is it kicks Samuel Cosmi inside to guard. Cosmi has shown flashes being a high end lineman and I expect him to be even better kicking to guard from right tackle. Guard was our weakest position on the line and Wylie signing helped to upgrade the RG position. Nick Gates is expected to he our starting center. He's coming off of a brutal leg injury that made him consider retirement. Has played guard and center and has some positional flexibility. Jacoby Brissett is the best backup qb in thr league. A solid signing if Howell doesn't pan out. Just a solid game manager that doesn't commit many turnovers. Cody Barton is another unproven guy. Last year was his first year with significant reps. Bobby Wagner leaving in FA and Jordyn Brooks injury made em the guy. He showed flashes of coverage abilities and had a lot of tackles. The tackles weren't necessarily a product of his abilities and more so of cleaning up on a bad run defense team. I've read some notes that he has trouble getting off of blocks. Honestly, haven't watched much on the guy, but reports were he played solid down the stretch.
Round 1 Pick 16: Emmanuel Forbes- CB
Round 2 Pick 47: Jatavius Martin- NCB/S
Round 3 Pick 97: Ricky Stromberg- C/G
Round 4 Pick 118: Braeden Daniels- T/G
Round 5 Pick 137: KJ Henry-DE
Round 6 Pick 193: Chris Rodriguez-RB
Round 7 Pick 223: Andre Jones- DE/LB
Link to all RAS scores for our draft class https://commanderswire.usatoday.com/lists/2023-nfl-draft-ras-scores-for-the-washington-commanders-7-player-class-emmanuel-forbes/
Round 1:16 Emmanuel Forbes 6'1" 174 lbs. Mississippi St
Stats: 58 targets, 31 catches allowed for 284 yards (23 yards a game), 3 tds allowed/ 6 ints, 9 forced incompletions, 2 dropped ints, 46 tackles.
PFF Grade: 87.2
If being a 160 pounds is your only knock then I think you're doing something alright. The word on the street is he is already up to 174 pounds. You wouldnt realize hes only 174 pounds by the way he plays the run. Hes not scared to hit and flies ro the ball. Although, he does struggle to get off of blocks. Emmanuel Forbes, per PFF, had the highest rating in man coverage last season, albeit the snap count was very miniscule. Emmanuel Forbes is a lanky corner than played a lot of zone coverage and is a very good scheme fit for what we do. I like the pick and I'm not upset about taking him over Gonzalez, who also had his own question marks. Forbes set a NCAA record with 6 pick sixes. A lot of those were the right place at the right time, but when you have that high of a number than you're doing something right.
Forbes is one of the best ballhawks in this class. Over the course of his three-year career, he came down with 13 interceptions. That’s four more than the next closest Power Five cornerback since 2020. Forbes was unbelievably dominant in man coverage in 2022, giving up only three catches while also snagging three interceptions. He also only allowed a 20% completion rate in man, the lowest among FBS
Remarkably lanky frame. Limbs for days — ideal for a corner.Has bounce like a hooper. He can challenge any catch point necessary. Elite ability to locate the football. All six of his interceptions came in man coverage.
Still a stick. Not much mass on his frame. Has eyes that get him in trouble. Some freelance tendencies on tape.Can get bowled over in the run game. Mediocre tackler over the course of his career.
Round 2: 47 Jartavius "Quan" Martin 5'11". 194 lbs Illinois
Stats: 74 targets, 42 catches allowed, 611 yards allowed, 3 tds allowed, 3 ints, 15 forced incompletions, 2 dropped ints, 4 missed tackles, 64 tackles.
PFF Grade: 73.2
Quan is a beast. I thought he was the 2nd best nickel prospect in the draft and a better deep safety than Brian Branch. Martin absolute rockets around the field in the run game. He started his career at cornerback before transitioning into the safety/nickel position. Another elite athlete that is a perfect fit for our Buffalo Nickel defense.
Martin came to Illinois and immediately started as a true freshman in 2018. He originally started off as an outside corner before becoming more of a slot corner recently. He had arguably his best year in 2022, as his 15 forced incompletions were tied for the sixth-most among Power-Five corners. Martin’s 91.0 run-defense grade also led all Power Five cornerbacks. While he played corner at Illinois, we project him more as a safety for the next level.
Explosive flat-foot breaks. Tremendous burst. Forceful and reliable tackler - 7 misses on the last 129 attempts last two seasons.Fills like a mac truck in the run game. Wants to come downhill and play in the backfield.
Pure man skills are work in progress. Overagressive and liability to bite on fakes. cons On the lighter side for an around the line of scrimmage player. Gets caught with his eyes in the backfield on run
Round 3: 97 Ricky Stromberg 6'3" 306 lbs Arkansas
Stats: 9 impact blocks, 11 qb hurries, 0 qb hits, 0 sacks allowed
PFF Grade: 82.4
Nasty. Another guard experience player that spent his last two years at the center position. Award winner of the Jacob's Blocking Trophy for the SEC'S most outstanding blocker award. This is a solid player that has started since he was freshman in the SEC. He's been battle tested since he was kid and has improved every year. He has some knocks about his play strength, but a NFL program should get em to where he needs to be.
Stromberg was a three-star recruit in the 2019 class and started for the Razorbacks as a true freshman, mostly at right guard. He moved inside to center for his sophomore season and spent his final three college seasons there. Stromberg’s 82.4 overall grade and 83.7 run-blocking grade in 2022 both ranked fourth among all centers in college football, and his nine big-time blocks were tied for fifth among FBS centers. Not to mention, Stromberg had an incredible performance at the NFL combine.
Does not want to let blocks go. Can see him straining his butt of to stay engaged on tape. Tons of experience against top competition. Four-year starter with 3,121 career snaps.
Forward lean gets going on the move, making him liable to topple over. Has wide hands to initiate contact in pass protection before resetting. Leaves himself open for stronger rushers.Unimpressive musculature, which leaves questions about how he'll anchor against NFL strength.
Round 4: Braeden Daniels 6'4" 296 lbs Utah STATS:
0 sacks allowed, 1 qb hit allowed, 14 hurries allowed.
PFF GRADE: 72.2 at tackle, 2021 84.4 at guard.
Braeden Daniels is another tackle/guard hybrid, with starting experience across his college career. This guy is on the lighter side but that allows him to be an Explosive athlete. Very raw at the tackle position and will be a developmental guy. I'd like to give em a try as our swing tackle and see how he performs. He was one of the quickest offensive lineman I've seen off the tape and that athleticism will let him climb to the next level. Even on the lightweight side I'd hate to see this guy running at me on the second level.
Daniels is an experienced veteran who commanded the Utes’ offensive line for the past few years. He originally started as a guard before switching over to tackle. His best season came in 2021, as he put up an 84.4 PFF grade. Given his time on the interior, Daniels is at his best when run blocking, and his run-blocking grade in 2021 was an elite 89.1. He still held his own as a pass protector, allowing only five sacks in his Utah career.
Explodes out of his stance. Arguably the quickest get off in the offensive line class. Linebackers don't want to see him climbing. Gets on them before they can even react. Drive in his lower half to still move the line of scrimmage despite being under 300 pounds.
Wild into contact. He approaches blocks with the adjustment ability of a freight train. consDoesn't bring his hands with him. Clean engagements are rare on tape. Very light by NFL standards (294 pounds at combine).
Round 5: 137 KJ Henry 6'4" 260 lbs Clemson
51 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF, 6 pass deflections, 50 qb pressures, 31 qb hurries, 14 qb hits.
PFF GRADE: 83.1
Loved this pick. Henry was a 5 star recruit coming out of high-school and decided to attend Clemson University. With Clemson having deep lines it took him a couple of years to get on the field. The stats look odd when you only see 3.5 sacks, however, the 50 qb pressures is the key stat. Seems more like bad luck that the sack numbers weren't high. Clemson's whole d-line underperformed (Bresee, Murphey) and they should have picked up more sacks from Henry who was the best DE on that team last year. The team clearly liked him as we traded back up for him. He's not elite athlete, but he is an elite hands guy. Almost had that veteran presence in college. High motor and will immediately make an impact as a rotational de, a position that sorely needed an upgrade.
On a team with Myles Murphy, you can easily make the case that KJ Henry was Clemson's best defensive end this year, as he posted better PFF grades than Murphy in every category and even generated 19 more pressures. The only problem is That Henry is 24 years old while Murphy is only 21. Therefore, Henry was expected to produce this well against younger competition. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that he can’t still improve. If Henry's play this season is any indication of his potential, he can still have a great NFL career as an edge defender.
Heavy hands that are so well refined. Uses them independently to use combination moves.Utilizes hesitations and head fakes so well to catch linemen off-balance. Coaches rave about the type of teammate he is. He is the type of player you want in the locker room.
First step that's unimposing for a rusher on the smaller side. Late bloomer. Wasn't even a starter until this past fall. One of the oldest prospects in the class. Already 24 years old.
Round 6: 193 Chris Rodriguez 6'0" 217 lbs Kentucky
STATS: 8 games played, 175 attempts, 904 rushing yards, 6 tds, 5.2 ypa, 5 catches, 41 rec yards.
PFF GRADE: 90.8
Chris Rodriguez is a PFF darling and was rated as the 7th best running back. This guy's is a pure one cut, run you over, power back. There's not much finesse to his game, but there's highlights of dragging guys 10-yards down the field. He does not posses break away speed, but he will get you 40 yards. He was suspended 4 games due to a dui and he may have been drafted higher on am abysmal Kentucky team. An extra 4 games of stats against SEC competition and no suspension may have jumped him into the 4th round. This was an Eric Bienemy guy and they brought him in because of that. Isiah Pacheco was another EB guy.
Rodriguez is a powerful runner, but he lacks the burst and creativity to become anything more than a downhill grinder. He has the size and mentality to do the dirty work between the tackles, but it could be a challenge for him to get to and through the hole quickly in the NFL. He’s a physical blitz protector, so teams might envision a role for him as a second-half battering ram and third-down quarterback protector.
Two-time team captain. Thick frame with ability to pick up tough yards. Makes tacklers feel his size at impact. Stays square getting through downhill cuts. Low success rate guaranteed for arm-tacklers. Stays on his feet through heavy angle strikes. Allows lead blockers to do their work. Steps up with force against incoming rushers.
Below-average burst getting through line of scrimmage. Lacks finesse to navigate tight run lanes. Change of direction is heavy. One-speed running style is easy to track for linebackers. Pad level is a little tall as run-finisher. Inconsistent finding assignment versus blitz.
Round 7: 233 Andre Jones 6'4" 248 lbs Louisiana
STATS: 7 sacks, 5 qb hits, 20 hurries.
PFF GRADE: 77.2
Andre Jones was another hybrid de/lb player coming out last year. He possess 34 1/4" arms which is an elite number for his size. May move to LB, but I'm not sure that's the right move with a 4.71 40-yard dash. He doesn't have much a pass rush move set playing a hybrid role, but does use length to his advantage. A solid developmental pick.
Shows a natural feel for setting up blockers and getting them off-balance. His hands are active and violent, and Jones quickly disengages with blockers and counters when his initial move stalls. Possesses accurate snap anticipation and timing to beat blockers off the edge. Offers some versatility, rushing from a two-and three-point stance with the playing speed to stand up in space.Flashes strength as a bull rusher and his energy doesn't plateau. Showed initial quickness and good flexibility to dip and bend. Jones has active hands and suddenness to his movements, demonstrating the ability to counter inside. Has fluid footwork to redirect, reverse momentum and close with a burst. Regularly first off the ball with good snap anticipation. He’s a high-effort pass rusher with an impressive combination of length and speed.
Jones has to develop a counter move or two in the pass rush, and Jones needs to make better use of his hands. He lacks the speed of a chase and- tackle guy. He lacks twitch as a pass rusher and lacks the feet and flexibility to threaten around the edge. Jones also shows some stiffness when trying to bend the edge, often getting pushed past the pocket — he seems more comfortable countering back inside.
This was my favorite Ron Rivera/Martin Mayhew draft thus far. Going into the draft, offensive line, cornerback, and quarterback were our three biggest needs. Drafting in the middle of the round really took us out of the olineman race. The last one that interested me was Broderick Jones and he went off the board when the Steelers traded up. At that point in the draft it really left us with going cornerback. The Forbes pick was received negatively due to Christian Gonzalez being available. Both players will be viewed under the microscope throughout their careers. I'm fine with Forbes pick though. Another lanky cornerback who was an elite athlete. I did have Gonzalez rated higher going into the draft, but he slid for a reason. A lot of his tape shows him not necessarily being an elite cornerback, but being an elite athlete that plays corner. Forbes actually showed the athleticism, corner skills, and ballhawking ability. Some additional knocks against Gonazalez and his love of the game. Quan Martin was our biggest surprise pick of the draft. A lot of people had him going in the 3rd round, but I think the 2nd was a fine spot. Mayhew after the draft said he wish we were more aggressive at times, which I translated as not getting Brian Branch that went several picks before us. I think Quan was the backup option, but I like him as much as Branch. I think Quan will be a better deep safety and Bramch will be a better nickel. Liked Quan alot, but felt we should have gone o-line at this pick. Ocyrus Torrence would've been a sweet pick here. I think if that happened, the consensus view on our draft would shoot up. Quan will immediately via for playing time as our base defense is essentially a 4-2-5. Kendall Fuller was our only above average corner and now we turned our secondary into a strength. Ricky Stromberg and Braeden Daniels were our next two picks. I like Stromberg’s tape a lot and think by next he will be a solid starter at guard or center. Braeden Daniels will be a nice depth piece and if he's able to tame his play he could develop into a starter. Fun player to watch. KJ Henry was an awesome pick and can see him being a nice rotational piece. Good pick at an underrated area of need on our defense. RB wasn't a pressing need, but it's an underrated area of weakness. I think Brian Robinson is about as average of rb as you will see starting in the NFL. I wouldn't be surprised if Rodriguez slowly cut into Robinson's role over the next two years. Antonio Gibson has had some solid season, but has a severe fumbling problem. Andre Jones will be a depth piece that will need development moving forward.
The biggest question of our offseason was our owner, which now appears resolved. Our second biggest question... was who was our starting qb? Sam Howell. Ron preached all offseason that he was going with Howell and I'll be damned, he did. Brissett was good qb to bring in, not someone that would necessarily turn the offseason into a battle, but can be a starter if called upon. Really a true backup qb. I'm all in on the Sam Howell train. I love it for a multitude of reasons. One, he balls out and we have our qb of the future, two he plays well enough we give him another season and maybe Ron is out and we get a high draft pick, three he bombs and we fire Ron Rivera and go for Caleb Williams next season. If anything, it gives us a direction for our future. I'm ready for Ron to go and think he's only as good as his coordinators. I'm concerned that EB AND Howell turn the offense around Ron gets resigned and EB takes a head coaching role... then the offense regressed. Additionally, I don't want Ron to get credit for drafting Howell. It was 5th round pick, you and every team passed on him for 4 rounds. If Howell is that good... it's not because Ron was a genius and drafted him. Very similar to Seattle taking Russel. I am excited about EB being here and think he's the real deal. I will give Ron credit for allowing him to run his own offense as he sees fit. OTA's have shown that EB is pushing his guys hard and is trying to see what he can do with the offense. We really do have elite playmaker and I'm most excited to see what he can do with Antonio Gibson. I can see his role being that of Jerrick McKinnon, with more athleticism. Sam Howell has shown a lot of progress since his rookie season. Had issues with his foot work, but has shown vast improvements. We only have 1 preseason game and 1 NFL game of tape on him. I liked what he showed. When watching tape you could see him going through his progression, man absolutely saved the day wish his escapability- was under pressure the whole game, threw two beautiful deep passes, and won the game. He did throw one bad pick, but was under pressure and playing hero ball. He had one week of practice with the starters, now he has a whole offseason. Our defense should be a top 5 unit next season and we only got better. Chase Young should be fully healthy and he's the X-factor for the number one overall defense. He comes out plays to his full potential then he could be a mid teens sack guy. If we have that sort of production and Sam Howell plays well than we can compete for the decision. Big if though. Our secondary really lacked a 2nd option, Benjamin St Juyce has shown some flashes but didn't seeze the role last year. Now on paper he's the number and that's very solid. We return two top 6 defensive tackles and Montez Swear is one of the most underrated players in the league. He's yet to have a high sack season, but is very much that Jadaveon Ckowney type of player in the run game. Big question mark season for Jaymin Davis. We knew he needed development, but it's been slower than previously thought. Down the stretch he showed flashes that he was coming into his own and now is his year. He's one of the best athletes at linebacker in the league and his ceiling is very very high. Overall I predict we will go 10-7 and challenge for a wild card spot. That record can fluctuate each one, but I'm calling the improvement now. We went 8-8-1 with bottom 3 qb play. The defense got better, we hired a better offensive coordinator, Howell will at the minimum be slightly better than Hienke last season, we didn't lose any major pieces and had a solid all around draft. I'm truly excited to watch how our future plays out.
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2023.06.01 17:50 Successful_Bat_8677 Arkane staff hoped Microsoft would cancel the game - Jason Schreier published an investigation into the development of Redfall
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Arkane Austin staff hoped that Microsoft would cancel Redfall or relaunch it as a single-player game after ZeniMax was acquired by Microsoft in late 2020.
So far, 2023 has been a killer year for gaming thanks to Tears of the Kingdom, Street Fighter 6, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Hi-Fi Rush... the list goes on. However, there were also a few notable disappointments, such as Lord of the Rings: Gollum and Forspoken. Undoubtedly, the biggest disappointment to date is Redfall, the multiplayer vampire game from Arkane Austin, which is currently one of the worst games of the year in terms of reviews.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier , this came as no surprise to the team behind the game, as the project suffered from "unclear direction, frequent layoffs, and constant staff shortages," according to several anonymous sources who worked on the game.
The troubled development of Redfall began in 2018 when ZeniMax, which was looking to sell itself, reportedly "strongly encouraged" its development studios to implement microtransactions into their games and promote more games as a service. Due to low sales of Prey, Arkane's management was keen to make something more "broadly appealing" and that's how Redfall and its confused identity as "Arkane's multiplayer game" came into being.
While Harvey Smith and Ricardo Bare were seemingly enthusiastic about the project, a Bloomberg report suggests that the developers working on the game were confused as to what kind of game they were even making, as several different games were mentioned during development, such as Borderlands and Far Cry. The project was already understaffed during development, at least for a multiplayer game, but the situation worsened as veteran developers left the studio with no interest in making a multiplayer game. According to Bloomberg, about 70 percent of the Arkane Austin employees who worked on Prey left the company during the development of Redfall.
Morale in Arkane Austin was so low, according to the report, that some employees hoped that Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda would result in the game either being canceled or, "better yet," rebooted into a single-player game, which is apparently , Did not happen. The only thing eventually canceled was the PlayStation port of Redfall, which was revealed closer to the game's launch.
Toward the end of development, Harvey Smith and Ricardo Bare reassured the staff that the game would be much better once the final touches and bugs were fixed. Many developers who saw Redfall in 2021 were shocked that it had not changed in any way by the final version.
Microsoft has been shockingly candid about Redfall's failures since its rough launch, but reports from Bloomberg suggest dishonesty about the game's overall development. Harvey Smith claims that during development he opposed microtransactions and the in-game store, but staff working on the game say it had a "significant microtransaction blueprint" that was only removed in 2021 and could even be seen on leaked beta footage after the game's initial announcement.
2023.06.01 17:36 hyperaeolian Charlotte street name patterns
I'm trying to get better about knowing my way around Charlotte without using a GPS. Are there any patterns or structure with how streets are named?
For example in Washington, D.C., the numbered streets run north-south, Lettered streets east-west, and streets named after states are diagonal. Anything like this on Charlotte?
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2023.06.01 17:34 welp007 Jamie Dimon CEO of JPMorgan Chase was deposed last Friday in the Jeffrey Epstein case. This deposition revealed an email stating that Mr. Dimon was to be treated to “heavy snacks” at Epstein’s home in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 1, 2023 ~ submitted by welp007 to Superstonk [link] [comments]
After much delay and legal protests by JPMorgan Chase, its Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, was forced by a Manhattan federal court to testify under oath in a deposition about what he personally knew about the bank’s long-term customer relationship with child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. (Epstein died in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2019. His death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner.)
The deposition was held last Friday, May 26, at the offices of JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan. In a surprise move, opposing counsels agreed yesterday to release the transcript of the deposition, with some segments marked as sensitive and redacted.
The deposition arose as a result of two lawsuits being heard by Judge Jed Rakoff in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. One lawsuit is on behalf of an alleged sexual assault victim of Epstein, Jane Doe 1. The other lawsuit was brought by the Attorney General’s office for the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) where Epstein maintained a secluded compound on a private island he owned.
According to Dimon’s version of events, he lived a cloistered existence in a corner office on the 48th floor of 270 Park Avenue where even the executives who directly reported to him and worked only “a couple hundred feet” away from his office, never shared with Dimon the bank’s many years of internal investigations about Epstein’s massive cash withdrawals from his accounts at the bank, that sometimes averaged more than $20,000 to $40,000 a month, or its investigations of Epstein’s sex trafficking of underage girls. According to the lawsuits, Epstein had accounts at the bank from 1998 to 2013, at times amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to Dimon, even the former Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Stephen Cutler, who became General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase in February of 2007, worked in the office next door to Dimon and reported to Dimon, didn’t share his numerous objections with Dimon to keeping the Epstein accounts at the bank.
An email was introduced by opposing counsel during the deposition, showing that as far back as 2011, Cutler had written in an email referring to Epstein that “This is not an honorable person in any way. He should not be a client.” According to the deposition transcript, it was two executives who worked on the 48th floor with Dimon, Jes Staley and Mary Erdoes, who decided to retain Epstein as a client after his Florida indictment, arrest, jail term and after multiple internal investigations of his large cash withdrawals from his JPMorgan Chase accounts.
Despite dozens of news articles about Epstein being indicted in Florida for soliciting sex with a minor in 2006; despite bestselling author, James Patterson’s 2016 book, “Filthy Rich,” covering Epstein’s sexual assaults on young girls; notwithstanding Julie Brown’s blockbuster series on Epstein’s crimes against young women in the Miami Herald in 2018, which caused a viral media storm, Dimon’s under-oath position in the deposition was this:
“I don’t recall knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019. And I was surprised that I didn’t even — had never even heard of the guy, pretty much, and how involved he was with so many people.”
That testimony came despite Dimon stating during the deposition that he read the following newspapers: the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Another serious challenge to Dimon’s efforts to distance himself from any knowledge of Epstein or involvement with him came toward the end of the deposition when well-known lawyer, David Boies, of law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, introduced an email directly referring to an Epstein meeting with Dimon. (Boies is one of the lawyers representing the Jane Doe 1 victim of Epstein in her lawsuit against the bank.) The exchange went as follows:
Boies: “On February 26, 2010, Lesley Groff writes Mr. Epstein on the subject of, Jes [Staley] and Jamie. ‘Shall I have Lynn prepare heavy snacks for your evening appointments with [redacted], Jes Staley and Jamie Dimon? Or is this to be a nice, sit-down dinner at 9 p.m.?’ And Mr. Epstein replies, ‘Snacks.’ “
“I have never had an appointment with Jeff Epstein. I’ve never met Jeff Epstein. I never knew Jeff Epstein. I never went to Jeff Epstein’s house. I never had a meal with Jeff Epstein. I have no idea what they’re referring to here.”
The overall thrust of the U.S. Virgin Islands case against the bank is presented in its second amended complaint as follows:
“…based on documents reviewed and interviews conducted by the Government, JP Morgan knowingly facilitated, sustained, and concealed the human trafficking network operated by Jeffrey Epstein from his home and base in the Virgin Islands, and financially benefitted from this participation, directly or indirectly, by failing to comply with federal banking regulations, [redacted]. JP Morgan facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of—and were in fact part of—a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls in and beyond the Virgin Islands. Human trafficking was the principal business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JP Morgan.
“Upon information and belief, JP Morgan turned a blind eye to evidence of human trafficking over more than a decade because of Epstein’s own financial footprint, and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank. These decisions were advocated and approved at the senior levels of JP Morgan, including by the former chief executive of its asset management division and investment bank, whose inappropriate relationship with Epstein should have been evident to the bank.”
The second amended complaint by the U.S. Virgin Islands also adds a Fifth Count, charging JPMorgan Chase with obstruction. It reads in part:
“By providing financing for Epstein’s sex trafficking organization from at least 2000 through about August 2013, and concealing its actions thereafter, JP Morgan obstructed, interfered with, and prevented the federal government’s enforcement of the TVPA [Trafficking Victims Protection Act] against Epstein. To the extent that the federal government was able to ultimately charge Epstein with TVPA violations, the filing of these charges was delayed by JP Morgan’s actions. Because of that delay, women and girls in the Virgin Islands were coercively caused to engage in commercial sex acts.”
The second amended complaint also incorporates information obtained from a deposition of Mary Erdoes, one of the highest female executives at JPMorgan Chase. Much of the new information is stunning in terms of just how much it alleges that the bank knew about Epstein’s sex trafficking while it displayed a callous disregard for the underage girls being impacted by its failing to take action. It reads in part:
“In 2006, a JP Morgan Rapid Response Team noted that Epstein ‘routinely’ made cash withdrawals in amounts from $40,000 to $80,000 several times per month, totaling over $750,000 per year. In addition, Mary Erdoes admitted in her deposition that JP Morgan was aware by 2006 that Epstein was accused of paying cash to have underage girls and young women brought to his home. In the years that followed, JP Morgan employees, including senior executives, emailed internally that Epstein was under investigation or had been sued for trafficking or sexual abuse. This includes an email in 2010 between Mary Erdoes and Jes Staley regarding a federal investigation of Epstein for child trafficking; a 2011 email summarizing a few 2010 news stories connecting Epstein to human trafficking and promising to ‘monitor the accounts and cash usage closely going forward;’ and a 2011 compliance memo noting that ‘[n]umerous articles detail various law enforcement agencies investigating Jeffrey Epstein for allegedly participating in child trafficking and molesting underage girls’ and that ‘Epstein had settled a dozen civil lawsuits out of court from his victims regarding solicitation for an undisclosed amount.’ Internal emails also questioned who Epstein’s clients were, circulating an article regarding whether Epstein was running a Ponzi scheme.
“Indeed, Epstein’s behavior was so widely known at JPMorgan that senior executives joked about Epstein’s interest in young girls. In 2008, for example, Mary Erdoes received an email asking her whether Epstein was at an event ‘with miley cyrus.’ In her deposition, Mary Erdoes testified that JP Morgan terminated Epstein as a customer in 2013 after she became aware that the withdrawals were ‘actual cash.’ However, Epstein had made substantial cash withdrawals every year he banked with JP Morgan, including more than $800,000 per year in 2004 and 2005.”
There is also this devastating claim in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ complaint:
“One internal document [obtained from JPMorgan Chase] describes the account of Epstein’s ‘assistant or young lady he brought over from Prague (or some place like that),’ clearly referring to Jane Doe 1. The document describes charges in New York, Palm Beach, and St. Thomas for lingerie and other sexually explicit material. Elsewhere, JP Morgan describes media reports referring to the fact that Epstein purchased her at age 14. She remained a customer of JP Morgan, and Epstein paid her more than $600,000, from his accounts at JP Morgan, including more than $165,000 after Epstein’s plea.”
One of the more curious parts of the deposition on Friday came when Boies asked Dimon the following:
“In the entire time that you have been the chief executive officer of the bank, who are the three bank customers whose business with the bank has been most reputationally damaging to the bank?”
It should have taken Dimon about 1 second to blurt out the name Bernie Madoff as his biggest regret. JPMorgan Chase and its predecessor bank held the business account for Madoff for decades as he conducted the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. On January 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice charged JPMorgan Chase with two criminal felony charges over the way it handled the Madoff account. The bank admitted to the charges and entered a deferred prosecution agreement. (This would be the first two felony charges, with three more felony charges for rigging foreign exchange, precious metals and Treasury markets to follow over the next six years.) (See our 2014 report: JPMorgan and Madoff Were Facilitating Nesting Dolls-Style Frauds Within Frauds.)
But instead of giving Boies the name of Madoff, or any other human customer, Dimon instead named Bear Stearns, an investment bank purchased by JPMorgan Chase in the early days of the financial crisis in 2008.
For a stunning look at the totality of the major crimes and charges that have occurred on Dimon’s watch, see JPMorgan Chase’s rap sheet here.
2023.06.01 17:31 ForteSP33 [USA] [H] DS Games, 3DS Games, Switch, Pokemon, Ps1, Horror, jRPGs, Dragon Quest, Playstation Longboxes, XBOX 360 High End Sports, NES, SNES, CIB Mike Tyson Punch Out, CIB Ocarina of time, Graded Games, Factory sealed games, other titles, systems too! [W] Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, Cashapp
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2023.06.01 17:20 DeliciousLies92 Post have now been removed. Local church mad at local Home Depot for not donating….what exactly to help clean up?
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They got all kinds of nice stuff but they can’t go to the dollar tree to get cleaning stuff for a couple dollars. They have since deleted the post it seems. Lol. submitted by DeliciousLies92 to Acadiana [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 17:05 Tomasfoolery June Subreddit update - A discussion with Mark Ziegler, Interim City Manager, and talks about the subreddit!
We are slowly approaching 700! Tell your neighbors! Friends! Enemies! Pets! Join shelton
and let's keep informing each other! Let's build an online community and then reflect it in our every day life.
Let me ask right now - do you want more posts from me about Shelton, less posts, or am I doing alright finding content and sharing? We are lucky to live in an area with lots going on, but not really a lot that is overly newsworthy (without crossing into possible pearl clutching). So I sometimes find myself either missing news, or worrying that I am at "Peeking over my neighbor's fences" level of reporting ... if you can call what I do reporting, which I don't really think it is.
Anyway, your two cents are valuable to me! Please let me know.
A HUGE thank you to those that have been active in posting. Also, as always, PLEASE report any questionable content. I mean, don't report content you disagree with (unless it is also questionable) and please help keep the ugly parts of our online forum for our town clean and clear of hatred and bigotry and unjustified fear. Let's work to be inclusive of as many people as possible. Even if we don't agree with everything.
Anyway, enough of that. I still want to thank everyone who has posted about things going on in town, because an informed citizenship is an active citizenship.
Speaking of informed, I was wonderfully lucky to have a chance to exchange emails with Mark Ziegler, who is our City Manager! Now, his email says he is interim, but I am not sure if that is accurate? I thought he was appointed permanently, but I am not sure how that all lays out. I suppose I should have asked when we conversed, back in early May.
Anyway, here's the discussion we had (I have slightly edited my words to make me sound SMRTR, which to say, I deleted a lot of extraneous text explaining who and what I am, what reddit is, some justification for my role, etc. etc. and left the parts Mark is responding to. He was delightfully patient. If you want, I can repost with the original email unedited, but trust me, I am embarrassingly a Shelton fan.):
: I find the best way to fight predisposed notions of a place is to just post news that fights as much of the "Oh. Shelton." B.S. I have run into these past ten years. People here sometimes don't really know what they have, and nothing bothers me more than people "supposing". I fell in love with Shelton back in 2013, and things are not the same (they are better!) as that time. Anyway, enough about me and my motivations.
To start, a simple request - where can I go for resources on volunteering in Shelton, and does that include trail work/cleanup? I will most likely make a reddit post with your response included, either whole cloth or edited. Let me know what you would prefer. MARK
: I appreciate your direct approach and your view on “supposing” as this can be one of our biggest obstacles to providing factual information to our community. I certainly feel the same as you do about Shelton, although I realized it much earlier, in the late 70’s.
The typical volunteer opportunities, or those that are coordinated by the City, are project based or an advisory capacity. Project based opportunities are typically in parks and trails either via the City’s Adopt-A-Park(policy here) program or a specific park project, such as the play structure install scheduled for this fall at Northcliff Neighborhood Park. If individuals or small groups are interested picking up garbage or something simple, that can happen informally and staff can assist in removing the collected litter or providing equipment.
The advisory opportunities occur with permanent committees such as the Shelton Arts Commission, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, and the Civil Service Commission. These committees are of various sizes, comprised of City residents(some allow for a minority of County residents) that advise staff and Council on defined roles as established by ordinance. I can provide additional information on any of those if it of assistance. There have also been temporary committee such as the Homeless Task for and the Financial Sustainability Task Force that are limited term and more specific in task and responsibilities.
As far as where to go. There is not a clearing house per se. These opportunities are advertised as needed or solicited through the City’s media outlets. TOMAS
: Is there a point of contact for the simple litter control for Parks and Trails? Is there a "Invasive Plant" control point of contact for helping remove scotch broom/English Ivy on trails ? [I]s there a suggested way to communicate? I see Shelton Rotary has picked up the Huff'npuff. If my organization, whatever it might be, would be interested in an adoption we would need to contact Jordanne Krumpols, correct? Actually, my guess is Jordanne Krumpols is the answer to all of my questions here. MARK
: Correct. Jordanne can assist with any parks or trails related projects regardless of tasks. We would greatly value work parties related to invasive plant control. The Theresa Johnson Trail is always in need of more public usage and some litter control at a minimum. TOMAS
: Any person or group can say, "Hey, I am headed to such and such location to pick up trash, is that ok? May we have some trash bags, and we will leave them at X location for pickup?" and possibly mild PPE (reflective vests?) if near a roadway? I am supposing it is based on a "Needs of the event" type thing, and what might be available for use, correct? Jordanne or some other city supervisor would need to understand and approve the plan for safety reasons, correct? Park litter cleanup is markedly different from roadside cleanup when it comes to liability. We've had one or two people ask about volunteer opportunities, and I currently have a "stickied" post about volunteer organizations. MARK
: Again, correct. We have some vests, pickers, bags, and can pick up at a designated location(s) when complete. The “rules” for park property and streets or right of ways can be different. Typically we ask that individuals honoobey pedestrian and traffic laws and do not enter private property. The City can only remove trash/litter from public properties unless through an abatement program.
I don't think there are any trails with any current trimming or building needs, but if there were, that would be advertised on the SheltonWA website or the twitter page? Or any event looking for volunteers? I am thinking something like the oversized trash collection day, for example (if that uses volunteers). It actually looks like the open seasonal position is pretty much what I was looking at as a volunteer option! https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sheltonwa
? I suppose I am just asking to make sure I understand what you have shared. MARK
: In the past we have coordinated with Mason Conservation District for invasive removal projects that have been an open invitation to the general public to attend. These are promoted through local media and the City’s traditional media outlets. The property above(west) of Kneeland Park is one such property that we have been discussing for such a project to remove ivy and clean up litter. The seasonal positions do perform some of this but we really cannot keep up with all of the necessary work that limits liability, cleanliness of restrooms, mowing, and the highly visible areas once the weather improves. TOMAS
: Last question (and an oddball one, I suppose!) - Does the city permit or have any issue with magnet fishing in the public waterways? MARK
: No. I believe that would be limited to access of a body of water rather than the action itself. The only formal public shoreline access that the City maintains is at 6th Street Park and very limited. TOMAS
: Is there anything you would like me to share for [THE JUNE] post? MARK
: I appreciate the opportunity. I believe the City (government) needs to build and maintain partnerships throughout the community, whether with groups or individuals. In my previous experience, when building these partnerships to construct the playground at Kneeland Park, construct the clock tower, Callanan Park renovation, or individual work parties we come to better understand the common goals and similarities in working to make Shelton a better place, to live work and play.
It was very nice to have a chance to ask questions like this of a city official, and Joe and Mark have been wonderful.
PLEASE let me know who you would like me to try and reach out to next, be it a Road department person if I can, or a PUD3 person, or even a business person in town. While I am actually a horrible introvert I do pretty well via email, if I can keep my wordiness to a minimum!
If you have any questions you want me to ask, please either post here or send me a direct message. I will pass it along!
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2023.06.01 16:48 monk_parakeet In honor of Pride Month I present...my (updated) queer VHS collection
2023.06.01 16:48 MillenialOG505 Cultural/Economic Backgrounds of FSOs
Are there any FSOs that are former "hood" dudes or street guys? Being a diplomat has always been kind of appealing to me, but I joined the army young and have spent the last few years in security contracting. I have a dual degree in political science and international studies, but have not used it for anything. Even when I was doing my study abroad in Beirut, a lot of the other American students were from schools like Georgetown or George Washington or other big name East Coast universities, while I came from UNM. I know that officially, people with different backgrounds and experiences make it into the Foreign Service, I just don't know if I'd be a good fit. I'm pretty up to speed on current events and US policy, I'm decently educated, have a working knowledge of several foreign languages, and can tell you about the history of a lot of regions and cultures in the world. But on the other hand, I'm a heavily tattooed Hispanic guy from the southwest with an enlisted combat arms/security contracting background. I don't really see it happening. Yes I know there's other careers at State that might be more applicable to my experience like RSO, but being a FSO has kind of been a lowkey dream of mine.
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2023.06.01 16:13 rustybelts Ranking FBS Programs by Flair:Enrollment Ratio
Some offseason drivel.
Simple ratio of number of instances of an FBS school's flair (including any alternate flairs) divided by the school's enrollment.
Note: This is a count of flair, not users. Example: If a user has [UCF] primary flair and [UCF alternate (the Citronaut)] secondary flair, that counts as 2 in the Flair
column rather than 1. In other words, users who double up on their school's flair offerings count twice. There certainly are users who double up, but I feel like it does not affect the numbers much. This method makes sure to capture users who do not use their school's standard flair and instead use their school's alternate flair. (Note: Not every school has alternate flair. * Bearcat tears 😿 *)
- Enrollment (Some of these are out of date by a few years. This was the easiest source to pull from. I am not going to track down current official enrollment numbers for 133 separate institutions.)
- Flair count (Accessed 05/31/2023)
|Rank ||Program ||Conf. ||Flair ||Enrollment ||Ratio |
|1 ||Notre Dame ||FBS Independents ||7,745 ||13,139 ||58.9% |
|2 ||Michigan ||Big Ten ||17,127 ||50,278 ||34.1% |
|3 ||Oregon ||Pac-12 ||6,789 ||22,257 ||30.5% |
|4 ||Alabama ||SEC ||11,674 ||38,316 ||30.5% |
|5 ||Ohio State ||Big Ten ||18,118 ||61,677 ||29.4% |
|6 ||Nebraska ||Big Ten ||6,963 ||24,431 ||28.5% |
|7 ||Navy ||American ||1,249 ||4,528 ||27.6% |
|8 ||Oklahoma ||Big 12 ||7,349 ||28,042 ||26.2% |
|9 ||Georgia ||SEC ||10,467 ||40,118 ||26.1% |
|10 ||Army ||FBS Independents ||1,189 ||4,594 ||25.9% |
|11 ||Clemson ||ACC ||6,127 ||27,341 ||22.4% |
|12 ||Tennessee ||SEC ||6,856 ||31,701 ||21.6% |
|13 ||Auburn ||SEC ||6,349 ||31,526 ||20.1% |
|14 ||LSU ||SEC ||7,170 ||35,912 ||20.0% |
|15 ||Texas ||Big 12 ||10,325 ||51,991 ||19.9% |
|16 ||Miami ||ACC ||3,307 ||19,096 ||17.3% |
|17 ||Florida ||SEC ||9,042 ||55,781 ||16.2% |
|18 ||TCU ||Big 12 ||1,932 ||11,938 ||16.2% |
|19 ||Penn State ||Big Ten ||7,297 ||47,560 ||15.3% |
|20 ||Iowa ||Big Ten ||4,447 ||29,909 ||14.9% |
|21 ||Air Force ||Mountain West ||613 ||4,181 ||14.7% |
|22 ||Florida State ||ACC ||6,392 ||45,130 ||14.2% |
|23 ||Wisconsin ||Big Ten ||6,543 ||47,932 ||13.7% |
|24 ||Michigan State ||Big Ten ||6,394 ||49,659 ||12.9% |
|25 ||Arkansas ||SEC ||3,675 ||29,068 ||12.6% |
|26 ||South Carolina ||SEC ||4,455 ||35,471 ||12.6% |
|27 ||Virginia Tech ||ACC ||4,615 ||37,279 ||12.4% |
|28 ||Stanford ||Pac-12 ||2,132 ||17,680 ||12.1% |
|29 ||Texas A&M ||SEC ||8,597 ||72,530 ||11.9% |
|30 ||West Virginia ||Big 12 ||2,996 ||25,474 ||11.8% |
|31 ||Oklahoma State ||Big 12 ||2,770 ||24,660 ||11.2% |
|32 ||Baylor ||Big 12 ||2,238 ||20,626 ||10.9% |
|33 ||USC ||Pac-12 ||4,995 ||49,318 ||10.1% |
|34 ||Georgia Tech ||ACC ||4,426 ||43,844 ||10.1% |
|35 ||Tulsa ||American ||384 ||3,832 ||10.0% |
|36 ||Kansas State ||Big 12 ||1,940 ||20,229 ||9.6% |
|37 ||Iowa State ||Big 12 ||2,895 ||30,708 ||9.4% |
|38 ||Ole Miss ||SEC ||1,957 ||21,203 ||9.2% |
|39 ||Kentucky ||SEC ||2,782 ||30,390 ||9.2% |
|40 ||Washington ||Pac-12 ||4,721 ||52,439 ||9.0% |
|41 ||Vanderbilt ||SEC ||1,178 ||13,796 ||8.5% |
|42 ||Missouri ||SEC ||2,640 ||31,412 ||8.4% |
|43 ||Washington State ||Pac-12 ||2,361 ||29,843 ||7.9% |
|44 ||Wake Forest ||ACC ||703 ||8,947 ||7.9% |
|45 ||Mississippi State ||SEC ||1,775 ||23,086 ||7.7% |
|46 ||Kansas ||Big 12 ||2,035 ||26,780 ||7.6% |
|47 ||North Carolina ||ACC ||2,377 ||31,733 ||7.5% |
|48 ||Utah ||Pac-12 ||2,535 ||34,464 ||7.4% |
|49 ||Pittsburgh ||ACC ||2,134 ||29,238 ||7.3% |
|50 ||Texas Tech ||Big 12 ||2,927 ||40,542 ||7.2% |
|51 ||Northwestern ||Big Ten ||1,631 ||22,933 ||7.1% |
|52 ||Minnesota ||Big Ten ||3,474 ||52,376 ||6.6% |
|53 ||Boston College ||ACC ||991 ||15,046 ||6.6% |
|54 ||Louisville ||ACC ||1,441 ||22,140 ||6.5% |
|55 ||Appalachian State ||Sun Belt ||1,309 ||20,641 ||6.3% |
|56 ||Syracuse ||ACC ||1,364 ||21,772 ||6.3% |
|57 ||Virginia ||ACC ||1,616 ||26,026 ||6.2% |
|58 ||Colorado ||Pac-12 ||2,280 ||37,956 ||6.0% |
|59 ||Boise State ||Mountain West ||1,545 ||25,830 ||6.0% |
|60 ||NC State ||ACC ||2,189 ||36,831 ||5.9% |
|61 ||Duke ||ACC ||1,047 ||17,620 ||5.9% |
|62 ||Cincinnati ||Big 12 ||2,370 ||40,281 ||5.9% |
|63 ||SMU ||American ||728 ||12,385 ||5.9% |
|64 ||UCLA ||Pac-12 ||2,737 ||47,516 ||5.8% |
|65 ||Oregon State ||Pac-12 ||1,892 ||33,193 ||5.7% |
|66 ||Tulane ||American ||746 ||13,127 ||5.7% |
|67 ||California ||Pac-12 ||2,563 ||45,435 ||5.6% |
|68 ||Purdue ||Big Ten ||2,688 ||49,639 ||5.4% |
|69 ||Maryland ||Big Ten ||2,149 ||41,272 ||5.2% |
|70 ||UCF ||Big 12 ||3,619 ||70,406 ||5.1% |
|71 ||Wyoming ||Mountain West ||588 ||11,479 ||5.1% |
|72 ||BYU ||Big 12 ||1,592 ||34,802 ||4.6% |
|73 ||Indiana ||Big Ten ||2,043 ||45,328 ||4.5% |
|74 ||Rice ||American ||373 ||8,285 ||4.5% |
|75 ||UAB ||American ||998 ||22,289 ||4.5% |
|76 ||Marshall ||Sun Belt ||484 ||11,125 ||4.4% |
|77 ||Illinois ||Big Ten ||2,450 ||56,607 ||4.3% |
|78 ||Western Michigan ||MAC ||741 ||19,038 ||3.9% |
|79 ||Houston ||Big 12 ||1,828 ||47,031 ||3.9% |
|80 ||Coastal Carolina ||Sun Belt ||406 ||10,473 ||3.9% |
|81 ||Central Michigan ||MAC ||597 ||15,465 ||3.9% |
|82 ||Toledo ||MAC ||653 ||17,045 ||3.8% |
|83 ||Memphis ||American ||768 ||21,622 ||3.6% |
|84 ||Rutgers ||Big Ten ||1,790 ||50,804 ||3.5% |
|85 ||Arizona State ||Pac-12 ||2,715 ||77,881 ||3.5% |
|86 ||Georgia Southern ||Sun Belt ||913 ||27,091 ||3.4% |
|87 ||Hawai'i ||Mountain West ||640 ||19,097 ||3.4% |
|88 ||Northern Illinois ||MAC ||534 ||16,234 ||3.3% |
|89 ||South Alabama ||Sun Belt ||452 ||13,992 ||3.2% |
|90 ||Louisiana Tech ||Conference USA ||355 ||11,037 ||3.2% |
|91 ||Arizona ||Pac-12 ||1,551 ||49,471 ||3.1% |
|92 ||Ohio ||MAC ||753 ||24,429 ||3.1% |
|93 ||James Madison ||Sun Belt ||659 ||22,166 ||3.0% |
|94 ||Jacksonville State ||Conference USA ||269 ||9,238 ||2.9% |
|95 ||Troy ||Sun Belt ||416 ||14,901 ||2.8% |
|96 ||USF ||American ||1,232 ||44,322 ||2.8% |
|97 ||Louisiana ||Sun Belt ||426 ||16,225 ||2.6% |
|98 ||Miami (OH) ||MAC ||502 ||19,216 ||2.6% |
|99 ||Bowling Green ||MAC ||457 ||17,645 ||2.6% |
|100 ||Temple ||American ||897 ||35,626 ||2.5% |
|101 ||Connecticut ||FBS Independents ||800 ||32,146 ||2.5% |
|102 ||Southern Miss ||Sun Belt ||343 ||14,146 ||2.4% |
|103 ||San Diego State ||Mountain West ||778 ||35,732 ||2.2% |
|104 ||ECU ||American ||602 ||28,021 ||2.1% |
|105 ||Colorado State ||Mountain West ||702 ||32,777 ||2.1% |
|106 ||Eastern Michigan ||MAC ||328 ||15,370 ||2.1% |
|107 ||Fresno State ||Mountain West ||492 ||24,585 ||2.0% |
|108 ||UTSA ||American ||688 ||34,734 ||2.0% |
|109 ||Akron ||MAC ||274 ||14,516 ||1.9% |
|110 ||WKU ||Conference USA ||292 ||16,750 ||1.7% |
|111 ||Middle Tennessee ||Conference USA ||359 ||20,857 ||1.7% |
|112 ||North Texas ||American ||724 ||42,454 ||1.7% |
|113 ||Nevada ||Mountain West ||348 ||21,034 ||1.7% |
|114 ||Utah State ||Mountain West ||429 ||27,426 ||1.6% |
|115 ||Texas State ||Sun Belt ||576 ||37,864 ||1.5% |
|116 ||Old Dominion ||Sun Belt ||345 ||23,494 ||1.5% |
|117 ||Arkansas State ||Sun Belt ||188 ||12,863 ||1.5% |
|118 ||Ball State ||MAC ||270 ||19,337 ||1.4% |
|119 ||Buffalo ||MAC ||447 ||32,332 ||1.4% |
|120 ||ULM ||Sun Belt ||114 ||8,565 ||1.3% |
|121 ||Kent State ||MAC ||338 ||26,597 ||1.3% |
|122 ||FAU ||American ||374 ||30,155 ||1.2% |
|123 ||Charlotte ||American ||376 ||30,448 ||1.2% |
|124 ||UMass ||FBS Independents ||389 ||32,045 ||1.2% |
|125 ||Sam Houston ||Conference USA ||247 ||21,679 ||1.1% |
|126 ||New Mexico State ||Conference USA ||148 ||13,904 ||1.1% |
|127 ||New Mexico ||Mountain West ||228 ||21,738 ||1.0% |
|128 ||UNLV ||Mountain West ||313 ||30,679 ||1.0% |
|129 ||San José State ||Mountain West ||330 ||37,133 ||0.9% |
|130 ||Georgia State ||Sun Belt ||478 ||55,466 ||0.9% |
|131 ||UTEP ||Conference USA ||184 ||24,003 ||0.8% |
|132 ||FIU ||Conference USA ||217 ||56,732 ||0.4% |
|133 ||Liberty ||Conference USA ||225 ||95,148 ||0.2% |
Here's conference summaries:
|Rank ||Conf. ||Flair ||Enrollment ||Ratio |
|1 ||SEC ||78,617 ||490,310 ||16.0% |
|2 ||Big Ten ||83,114 ||630,405 ||13.2% |
|3 ||FBS Independents ||10,123 ||81,924 ||12.4% |
|4 ||ACC ||38,729 ||382,043 ||10.1% |
|5 ||Big 12 ||46,816 ||473,510 ||9.9% |
|6 ||Pac-12 ||37,271 ||497,453 ||7.5% |
|7 ||American ||10,139 ||331,828 ||3.1% |
|8 ||MAC ||5,894 ||237,224 ||2.5% |
|9 ||Sun Belt ||7,109 ||289,012 ||2.5% |
|10 ||Mountain West ||7,006 ||291,691 ||2.4% |
|11 ||Conference USA ||2,296 ||269,348 ||0.9% |
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2023.06.01 15:55 TheRetroWorkshop Hard & Accurate Sci-fi Tip #3: Space Military Structure: Total War & Good Generalship:
Part One: What it's All About
We must slowly build on my first post, Space Military Structure
, which gave a very
rough overview of militarism in general, and the types of overarching warfare you might want in your space opera (which I call the four spatial forms, or modes). Now, it's time to actually dig a little deeper on some of the points. I shall gift a strong bias towards WWII. Not because there is nothing of use or import, or importance, from old warfare -- but because it requires too many words, and is not closely related enough to typical space opera. WWII also sets the stage for (almost) everything that came after it, and also saw the height of military leadership under George C. Marshall (U.S.). Although this is biased towards the Americans (U.S.) and the Nazis (Germany proper), you can borrow and alter such systems, doctrines, tactics, leaders, and so on as you require for your own setting/story/military, etc. Just warning you of the primary focus.
Note: I may write on the Communist/Soviet and Japanese side of things in the future. But, beyond a few worthy connections, I cannot possibly detail out the entirety of WWII! I shall just say that some great sources/places in this way would be the Soviet Union (circa 1922-1950), Japan (circa 1931-1945), the Ba'ath Party, and the Hutts (Star Wars; fictional). These have some things in common, actually. More so, the latter. Namely, they are generally what you might call 'Persian style ruling'. They are hyper-wealthy kings or king-type figures, literally living 'like kings', as they enslave everybody else. That's a bit harsh on the Persian Empire, of course, but you get the general theme/motif here, as it did apply to a number of Persian Kings (Darius III comes to mind as a bad ruler). This sort of direction also moves much more in line with classical empire-building and kingdoms, in that it's hereditary (i.e. ruling family, by blood). So, the exact source you focus on depends on the type of setting/story you have, and the governance thereof. (Of course, Stalin's Russia had the feel of Imperialist Russia whilst actually being much more in line with Hitler's Germany, at most levels, so it's quite a complex machine -- likely given its Catholic, nationalist roots, fused with the modernist, secularist Communism.)
In the Nazi context, of course, this was seen through the lens of a 'realm' (Reich), a kind of 'secular empire' which was not built upon a royal family, but a personalist dictator
(with major focus on both militarism and propaganda; thus, the people themselves), where the 'blood' concept was shifted from 'ruling family' to 'the nation itself' (the Germans or 'German body' (singular)). This was also felt in a number of other nations, but Hitler's Germany is primary, and the direct source for most major space opera since 1940, so it's highly relevant for our purposes (almost always taking the side of the villains/evil empire, of course -- either in a simple-minded sort of narrative, or a more complex one (a la Star Wars (1977)
The Americans, of course, had the President. I heard, from Douglas Murray around the time of King Charles' Coronation, that there is an innate tendency of humans towards a hereditary structure (this seems possible enough). We are obsessed with families
. This makes logical sense. With this in mind, he defended the existence of the symbolic royal family of England, as a way to 'release' all of that feeling and desire at the national level.
He contrasted it with the American system, and looked to modern America to show its possible faults in this way. America became heavily obsessed with the 'first family', such as 'the Clintons'. Clearly overlaying this older framework onto the American system, which is innately unwise and unhelpful. Not only was the original idea that the President would be rather small, in terms of both power and interest -- but that his family would mean little. Hence, they took the title of president
-- as in, 'president of the golf club' or, 'president of the school board'. This was not to replace 'king' or 'emperor' in any sense at all. Quite the contrary. A truly remarkable, and rare, shift in human governance. But, since the 1920s or so, this system seems to have fallen into a more European, kingly form (i.e. big government, and hyper-focus on the president). Just something to consider, if you're aiming at a generic democratic, republican type system. You need to be aware of what is likely to happen, and why, and what is required for X (pre-1920s American system) or Y (post-1920s American system). Of course, globalisation was a factor post-WWI, so you have to take your culture in relation to the wider setting (assuming you have different cultures and peoples trading/living with one another).-But, what is war all about
? My understanding would be that war is about five things (in random order): (1) Defence
/peacekeeping/protection (both in-country and overseas, etc.); (2) Expansion
/general stability and growth -- often greed and akin to totalitarianism); (3) Emotional regulation
(at the individual level); (4) Conflict resolution
(religious wars, wars over land, etc. -- not that all of these are just); (5) National unity
(not always positive -- and closely related to emotional regulation, among other factors and traits, and sub-traits; often (but not always) bleeds over into racial unity and purity)
Obviously, this is quite a simple picture, and war is very complex. But, this is good enough for writing space opera. Every single one of these is key; however, we (likely) want some kind of evil empire to fight, which means all of this needs to be nested in the framework of total war
or the Nazi Lebensraum
concept. This is primarily under (a) emotional regulation; and (b) expansion. Although Germany had major internal, and some external conflicts and issues circa 1870-1918, this alone was not enough to justify the birth -- and growth -- of Nazism for purely defence or conflict resolution reasons. Part Two: Hitler's Total War
The primary focus must be on expansion (growth; primarily, beginning around 1927 due to mass starvation, etc.; coupled with totalitarian notions), emotional regulation, and national unity, in relation to Nazi Germany. The only other key element to throw in there would be the requirement to actually solve their major internal problems, but this did not innately require Nazism. But, by the fate of history, it was highly likely to be dealt with by either the Nazis or the by-then Stalinist Communists (which had become quite popular by 1932, at the height of the Depression in Germany).
To quote a German (long after the war): 'It was not a question of whether we were going to become a dictatorship [circa 1932], it was a question of the kind of dictatorship we were going to get: a Nazi dictatorship or a Communist dictatorship'.
Sadly, then, due to the state of affairs at this time, there was no hope for Germany to ever become a non-dictatorship through the 1930s and 1940s. The stage was already set for so many complex, interesting, confusing reasons. A primary problem, noted by Hitler himself, was the general state of Germany itself by 1920 or so (which had actually been a growing problem, and many-faceted since 1870). He writes about this in Mein Kampf (1925)
, and calls it so: Weimar Republic. This became the normative term by the 1930s. To translate Hitler's thinking: he meant it in the context of, 'the Ally puppet republic -- broken, weak, anti-German republic -- of the city of Weimar, not at all speaking to Germany or the Germans'.
Hitler was mostly correct about that, and many Germans agreed with him (including many pro-German socialists; hence, the name. In the first place, there was a major socialist arm of the Nazi (National Socialist) Party). He was able to weaponise this, and demand radical governmental change to solve some of their internal issues, including the Depression itself.
We should step back a moment. By WWI, Germany was already a fragmented, confused nation -- and there was a rapid growth of pro-war actors and groups by 1914, including Hitler himself. By 1920, Germany was crushed into the mud (quite literally), which gave way for Hitler and others to become seriously radical actors. One issue across Germany at this time was the basic governmental system itself, as the old President, Paul Von Hindenburg, was not up to the task of a modern Germany: but, he had one theme through him -- he hated Hitler. Now, Hitler had learnt from his failed Putsch back in 1923. He learnt to play the system (which he simply called 'the System', not an uncommon theme for a revolutionary group). As a result, he had the idea to take Germany, not so much by force, but by popular vote. And, that's what he did.
However, the Nazi Party's growth was slow, only reaching great power by 1927 or so (more so, 1932), due to: (a) The Depression
; (b) Superior propaganda tactics
; (c) Positive vision for the future
(the Communists were rather unhelpful and depressive -- note, this does not mean that the Nazi vision was objetively positive, it was merely what they were handing to the Germans, in a pro-German context); (d) Extreme street-level violence
(akin to the Communist side); (e) Trans-classist outreach
(i.e. they tried to reach just about everybody, across the classes and groups, including (1) women; (2) working classes; and (3) the middle/upper classes; and (f) Hitler's remarkable oratory skills, and modern campaigning
(i.e. travelling to every town and city he could, speaking directly to the voters, which was quite rare back then, believe it or not)
Shockingly, however, the Communist side was also hyper-popular, and used many of the same tactics and methods by 1932. Hitler saw major victories across this period (1928-1932), almost becoming President (yes, he ran for President). It was not until the famous, and final 'true' German election in 1933 that Hitler won out and became ruler of Germany. But, again: the race was quite close, but the numbers spoke for themselves. By now, Germany (tens of millions of voters) were not voting for the generic socialist or even German parties as they had done back in 1927, but only the two most extreme: Nazi and (semi-pro-German/Stalinist) Communist.
Almost instantly (around two months) did Hitler begin his process of Germanisation (Nazification). We already know from his early speeches and writings that he had such plans in place as early as 1921, give or take (with certain scholars claiming that Hitler had such visions in mind, back in 1914 or prior). The other major view of Hitler's Germany is that it was more of a co-op effort between the Party and the Germans, and that Hitler slowly came to his ideas and policy choices as time went on. Since there is great evidence for both of these visions, I must take a combined view, and say that Hitler had certain ideas/goals from the beginning, with others being later creations and plans.
Regardless, we know one thing for certain: Hitler aimed at total war, and he -- for a short period -- achieved it. Although notions of 'total war' reach back into Prussian and French history (among others), the real birth of it is Nazi Germany, by the mid-1930s (though both the Soviet Union and Fascist Italy may be of note), followed by Japan (more so under the singular ruling Party circa 1942).
We take such things for granted today, even confusing 'war' (as such) with 'total war'; however, we know the differences, and they are profound. First of all, Hitler's shift towards total war is clear by quite a rare notion: the total removal of the law of war. The singular 'law of war' can be understood as the 'fairness of war' or 'moral of war' (not
to be confused with the 'art of war', which often speaks to an overarching theory of warfare by a given figure (such as de Saxe or Sun Tzu), which may or may not include core elements of fairness).
The second primary element at play, which you do not see in generic cases of war, is the total militarisation of the nation, of the people.
You likely understand all of this more in the fictional context, than the historical. I could mention the Empire from Star Wars, or the Klingons from Star Trek. They are, in a sense, low-resolution images or caricature of the Nazi machine. This is because the Nazi machine itself is a sort of caricature and is almost impossible to believe. That is how innately anti-human the system was and how anti-Western in its fundamental formulation and doctrines.
But, if you want to your evil empire justice -- or, indeed, want to create a more 'neutral' military empire, then you need to really understand the origins, doctrines, feelings, and core mechanisms and utopian goals of Nazi Germany, beyond the surface notion of, 'evil Fascists'. That's just not enough
. Part Three: What is Enough?; How Did Nazi Germany Function, if at All?
Well, you have to try and put yourself in the shoes of a typical German citizen during 1932, first of all. Imagine that you're naturally proud of your nation, history, and people/culture. Imagine that you're on the street without work or food. Imagine that you're being attacked, literally and symbolically, from the Russians/Communists from the north, and the French/Americans/British from the south and west.
Then, imagine you are filled with shame over the horrible defeat of WWI, and forced shame from the Allies, and the massive war tax, keeping the Germans poor and unfit. And, imagine that you're seeing a very arrogant, powerful, free, wealthy France take more and more of your land, and build up its own army around you. That would make anybody not only angry but extremely desperate and confused, with a burning desire for nationalism and the end to this state of affairs. Throw in an unhealthy dose of pro-German/anti-French (and anti-British and anti-Jewish) propaganda, complete with the already extreme anti-Semitic notions in the air (since at least 1880), and you have set the stage for such a shift of power.
After all, the Jews had their own sub-cultures and wealth, and were not deemed to be 'part of the German body' at all. On top of this, they were deemed as the murderer of God himself (from the Christian view), so it was not a leap for them to shift the blame from the Germans to the Jews, in relation to WWI. Being blamed for WWI and held in the mud by the French was too much for them to handle, once you throw in mass starvation and a broken internal structure.
It's not so much a question to me, that Nazism became the state power, but that it didn't happen sooner. This shows the primary strength of the average German through the 1920s, to still believe in some generic system and free Germany -- not to fall into Communism or Nazism so easily. Sadly, by 1932, this was too much -- and Hitler had his own large paramilitary force by this stage (early on, known as Stormtroopers (I'm sure you know this term from Star Wars)), so shutting down citizens was an easier task.
At that stage, you are likely capable of creating your own sturcture of this sort, for your own space opera wastory. You can really understand how such a system could be created; and why the average man would possibly vote for it.
This is also required to understand military thinking in general. Indeed, a lot of what was going through the average German soldier's head applied to America and almost every other nation, as it spoke to basic values and rituals and doctrines: honour, duty, nationalism, family, and freedom.
(See Christopher Browning's book, Ordinary Men
. Jocko actually talks about it on his podcast at one point. Here, Browning goes through a pretty average, pre-Hitler German police unit, which was compelled into Hitler's Germany by the late-1930s. Mostly, older, generic German men. It goes through their journey from perfectly normal policemen into insane mass murderers. How? The same way you reach hell: one, small step at a time
. This book single-handedly removes any notion that only special men can be evil, only special men can be killers. Much more difficult to factor into your moral framework is the reality that these are often not special at all -- but ordinary.)
In the case of Nazi Germany itself, this is made much more complex by its bedrock structure, which largely remained until 1942. As I alluded to earlier, one Prussian concept that remained was the idea of going above your superior's head. This came from the time when captains and such had some real power as mid-ranking officers, yet were filled by noblemen and such, that had no idea what they were doing. As a result, the actual soldiers and thinkers below the rank of captain were able to go around said nobleman, to complain to the higher-ups, or to actively take over the nobleman's duties. Hitler ultimately kept this system in place, and even played on it, to create major internal rivalry. This was a fairly decent method in some cases, for a short period; however, it became an unworkable mess by 1942, which is when Hitler finally solved the problem. The problem was, he solved it in a very foolish way, mostly under the KHO (high command), leaving the army disconnected, and hardly paying attention to the other branches by this time. The KHO was not up to the task, due to lack of size and talent.
The other major change he made was utter obeisance up
the chain of command. This brought a new problem, however: now, instead of a local officer of mid-rank going over the head of a slightly higher-ranked officer (either to Hitler or otherwise), he now had to obey every order of said commandeofficer, without question or fail. No matter what.
Thus, we now enter the final primary stage of Nazi Germany circa 1943-1945. This is the 'downfall stage', and also the infamous stage of 'just following orders' (as noted as the primary defence plea at the trials). When a Nazi said, 'I was just following orders', what he really meant was, 'I'm not to blame the crime, because I was demanded, almost by divine command, to follow the order, no matter what that order was'. The trials took this into account, and understood the concept well enough, since it was fairly in place in America and England, though this saw a generally less extreme form, and most orders were actually decent from the American command during WWII. Nonetheless, this led to the almost impossible reality of the trials ending with a fair number of either free Nazis, or at least short prison terms. Of course, all top-ranking Nazi Party members were found guilty, regardless of their plea (which ultimately placed all blame on Hitelr himself, at the top of the chain).
Be mindful of such a framework in your own space military structure. One negative outcome of this by 1943, was that the high-ranking Nazis handed most of their duties down the chain of command
; thus, forcing lower and lower ranked officers to perform more and more duties. At times, this led to the failure to complete said duties/tasks, or poor judgement. It also gave supreme power to the mid-ranking officers, as they de facto
took on the role of the higher-ups. Since these high-ranking officers were many in their numbers and were widespread at all levels (location, ability, plans, etc.), it led to the complete confusion of the Nazi machine and war effort. Of course, this was somewhat the case since 1939, anyway. But, it became even worse by 1943, as Hitler fragmented everything to ensure his own position of power (after all, his worry was, having an actually functional system, like the Americans, would gift far too much power to the generals and other Party members; thus, they could easily overthrow him).
Either way, despite Hitler's supreme focus on his 'singular vision' for Germany (which he also stressed in Mein Kamf), he made some very foolish mistakes, and was dealing with such an innately broken, evil system that he couldn't possibly ensure such things. For example, as early as 1940, we saw major differences in how the generals and leaders of the Gaue, etc. treated their subjects and tasks. For example, when Germany invaded Poland, there was mixed understranding as to how to treat the Polish and others, and how all of this should proceed. It became such a confused mess that some of the leaders wanted to pretty much Germanised the existing Poles, take their land, re-educate them, and take them in as new Reich Citizens (more so, if they were found to be German in any way, at the level of blood). On the other hand, other leaders of the now-annexed Poland wanted to outright murder all the Poles, regardless of their German blood or other considerations.
This sort of cross-purpose working was almost the norm by 1942 across Nazi Germany: again, partly enforced by Hitler himself with his 'rough orders' sort of leadership. Hitler also had the notion that by forcing in-fighting, he would sit back and see who came out on top; thus, ensuring that the best man did the job/task. But, this was a heavily incomplete theory, to say the least.
Back to Star Wars, for a moment: there is some indications that this is how the Empire ran, as well; hence, the horrible leadership of the Empire and its ultimate downfall.
To end the thread of Nazi Germany (for now), I shall point your attention towards the utter secularisation, utopianisation of the society. By 1937, Nazi Germany was not only one of the most powerful cultures on Earth, with one of the greatest standing armies in history, but it had one of the most 'modern' (i.e. post-WII) social systems in place, which included the likes of cheap cruise trips and holiday sites and entertainment items (radios, etc.), primarily aimed at the working classes. Of course, most of this was only possible due to literal blood money and was primarily geared towards propaganda and total Nazification.
At the same time, Hitler began to re-shape Germany in his own image: removing all Jewish (and then Christian/Roman) elements from society... and history. He even tried to re-write the Bible with a so-called Fifth Gospel, as to replace Jesus (a Jew) with a Germanic figure. This failed as the people largely rejected such; however, atheism and secularism in general were radically enforced through the late-1930s and 1940s, and classical faith dropped massively.
At the level of government, Hitler crafted a semi-centralised system, with local rulers (of a district or Gau) that had near-total imperium (meaning, power over their area and subjects). This massively unified Germany and the flow of the culture, come the fragmented, hyper-localised system of the old Germany. Of course, this itself was a struggle to put into place, and by 1942, it was also clear that it's not so easy to control people: they have social networks and sub-systems of their own, and these are the primary driving forces behind settlement structures and otherwise.
Hitler had some sense of this, more so at the border to France, but like with many other fundamental problems of Germany (such as the large anti-Nazi Christian movement), he wanted to put it off until victory.
This is an unwise tactic, if the problems keep growing, as they did. It reminds me somewhat of the Japanese tactic of winning through, 'faith in victory'. Well, victory does not magically appear: you have to actually work towards victory in a stable, logical way. Of course, as I alluded to earlier: the Nazis had major problems in place as early as 1939, so entering/creating the war itself was a grave mistake (as the generals told him at the time). Keep this in mind. You need to actually create a real, functional, multi-faceted system, and a core generalship. You need all the branches working with one another. And, you need to maybe not take over the world, because that's a horrible idea and very difficult. It also helps if you don't waste money and time killing all the Jews and Poles, etc. as you're losing the war
. That's just illogical. Then again: the Nazis are not very logical, even Hitler as logical as he was at times. The failed invasion of Russia was also a major issue, but was likely not as big an issue as the other combined factors, actually! Part Four: Good Generalship
Speaking of generals and the failure of Hitler's leadership, for a more stable evil empire -- or for your other faction/'good guys', you might want to look to America during WWII. Not perfect, of course, and I cannot defend all of its choices or systems or reasoning, but it's certainly one of the best systems that we saw (and there is every indication that America's generalship and army leadership has only become worse since 1945). I also recall some stories of the Navy having some major struggles, too, and just overall downfall of its culture and traditions (begininng as ealry as the 1970s). For example, drinking mostly died out in the Navy by the 1990s, and so the bars were shut down on bases, etc.
One problem with this was the lack of 'telling story' (as they say). This is when the men would meet in the bar, tell stories of war, of the great heroes -- get inspired, and wiser, with any luck. Not sure how widespread this is, but the storytelling and social meeting element of this seems to come back somewhat since then. This is just one example of something deeply important to sailors, and you remove such at your own risk. You need to 'tell story', you need to be inspired, you need to have naval heroes to look up to. The same logic applies to the soldiers of the Army, too.
It's almost like the soul was ripped out of the American military in the 1950s, and it has struggled to put it back in ever since.
So, what did the generalship of WWII look like? What can we learn from it? Well, we have to turn to one George C. Marshall. But, first, let's go back to 1939. America had a standing army of about 200,000 men: pretty standard for peacetime. Very small. By 1945, Marshall stood down a force of over 10 million. Beginning around 1942, America went from a fairly minor military power with relatively little spending, to the greatest military power in the world -- likely, in history.
It all began in WWI, as it turns out. In the first place, the Americans shifted to a more European system by this time, which largely remained through WWII. This is where they got their division system from, and all their numbering systems and such.
Despite popular belief, the Nazi military was not great, logistically speaking. They were good, and tried very hard to fight dozens of nations at once, and deal with tens of millions of people -- but their systems and talent were just not up to the task. It's often noted that the Nazis could not even out-do the Polish counter-intelligence by 1940!
The U.S. military, on the other hand, was elegant beyond measure. You can get a sense of this via its Navy, paying close attention to its ID system, almost impossible turn-over of Victory ships, and its battleships and otherwise major vessels. These are iconic for a reason, and still command and defend the waters of the world today (along with the British submarines and others).
Well, it's worth noting that the Americans were actually fighting for freedom, not just food or world control, like the Nazis and German citizens were. The Americans were also not really forced into battle, unlike the Germans. On top of this, the Americans -- largely thanks to Marshall -- had a profound merit-based system. Nazi Germany, on the other hand, was so racially biased as to be almost self-defeating. Often, for example, high-ranking civil positions, such as a factory chief, would be a Nazi member, regardless of his abilities. On the other hand, if a great worker looked 'too Jewish' he would never be hired (this was mostly done by photo ID, and was understood via big noses and otherwise features).
Although America had its own major racial issues at this time, and was not wonderfully fond of Jews, it had enough wisdom and goodness to primarily focus on merit and ability.
Returning again to WWI for a moment, Marshall himself noted that there was a complete failure of the system. It had hardly moved on for over 100 years (which is to be imagined, as a military system innately requires stability and a lack of change). But, this was too much... the world was changing, and the military was not. Marshall had the wisdom and ability to fix this during WWII as Chief of Staff with extreme power and focus. First of all, he outright fired any general or otherwise not up to the task of WWII. Not even joking. He literally walked up to them, and fired them on the spot. He fired them if they were (a) too old; (b) too aggressive; (c) not aggressive enough; and/or (d) too illogical/stupid.
He would entirely remove them, or relocate them to other positions, where they were either of use, or out of the way.
So, by 1942, Marshall rallied for great action from America, and began his process of re-shaping the American generalship. He did so across a few dimensions. First of all, he understood that America was not Prussia or France or England. He understood that America had its own values and rituals: he lent into that and used it. This was the birth of the American military we see today, to the degree that it's functional and proper. Most of all, this bled down the ranks, to the soldier himself. This is where we get the 'cocky, arrogant American soldier' from. This actually began as a very good thing, showing supreme faith, bravery, and optimism. He made it really easy for us... he wrote a list! I do love a good list...
The four qualities (well, really, about seven) a good general or leader requires, according to Marshall, circa 1920 (in a letter). Clearly, written just after WWI and everything he saw therein:
- Bravery and dutifulness
- Extreme loyalty
- Hopefulness and resolve
Note: An added bit of interest might be that we can blame Marshall for why America has a 'General of the Army' instead of a 'field marshal' (like Europe, etc.). They thought it would be unthinkable to have a 'Marshal Marshall', so by luck of the gods, his name was entirely the wrong name for the job when it came time, in late-1944, for the first ever modern rank of 'marshal', or General of the Army). This is a five-star rank, just above general (full general/four-star general).
(In theory, the six-star general rank would be 'General of the Armies' (plural), though this rank no longer exists in any real sense, though it does apply to Washington, since 1976. In a German context, this is 'Reichsmarschall' (Reich Marshal; which applied to Goring only), one rank above 'field marshal' -- which is also known as 'marshal', 'general field marshal', or 'field marshal general'. Interestingly, Hitler had wanted Goring to take command, if anything should happen to him. But, Goring asked Hitler directly for command towards the end of the war, which made Hitler so angry as to call for his death. I guess, he hurt Hitler's ego, to say the least.)
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