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#corruption
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03.12.19. The Mail Online:

           “U.S. President Trump says UK PM Boris Johnson “very capable”.“

We all know what a laughing stock Trump became over the four years of his Presidency and how the American people finally rejected him.

20.11.20. The Guardian:

“Trump sank lower, but that doesn’t mean Johnson isn’t knee-deep in sleaze.”

The article (by Jonathan Freeland) goes on to highlight a catalogue of mismanagement and morally dubious decision making on the part of Johnson.

Tens of thousands of lives lost due to indecision. Billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money has been given to private sector companies for faulty equipment and ineffective “world beating” schemes. Government ministers who have blatantly broken the ministerial code have been allowed to stay in office. Public sector workers must suffer yet another pay freezes while his private sector cronies continue to rake in the money.

Lets hope the great British public who voted Tory take a good look at what is happening and, like their American cousins, vote differently next time around.

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My version of werewolf!Jack

Instead of asking his friends what happened during the last full moon, he is completely aware of it. He also has more forms: wolf Gijinka, bat, bat Gijinka and vampire. He also is normally not prone to corruption, but when corruption is spreading very quickly sometimes he is unable to react before becoming corrupted.

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Statement of Suzanna Harkness regarding a manuscript she reviewed for publishing.

Statement taken direct from subject, 27th December 1993.

You wind up stumbling down a lot of weird rabbit holes when you work for a small press long enough. Niche genres you’d really rather remain oblivious to, arts majors trying to break the mould by submitting something they swear up and down you’ll have ‘never seen before’. Never mind if it’s actually legible, but that’s…that’s another matter, I guess. I’m not here to talk about the subpar sci-fi erotica or whatever, I’m here because I found something weird.

I’d like to say right off the bat that I’ve got a strong stomach. Wouldn’t have lasted this long in the company if I didn’t. We only publish a couple hundred books a year, but we take in all sorts around here. Sometimes it feels like our only real submission requirements are ‘unmarketable to the general public’, and it seems like anybody with a half-baked idea is willing to try their luck at tossing their unedited manuscript into the ring.

That’s where I come in. Wading through the mountains of unusable garbage, hunting for hidden gems. I’ve even found a couple, but mostly it’s just about finding something readable. Or something we can pass off as being readable for those rare readers capable of ‘comprehending the author’s artistic vision’. Yeah, the marketing team winds up throwing phrases like that around a lot.

Maybe I’m being unfair. I was a lot more patient about that sort of thing when I started. So preoccupied with not coming across as judgemental, but I’ve worked in publishing over ten years now.

It used to be more common for us to get manuscripts sent in through the post, back then. Nowadays it’s pretty much all done online. A couple we get from literary agents, but most are just emailed in by aspiring writers who stumbled across our site, usually after receiving their rejection letters from the two dozen publishing houses that show up above us on pretty much any search engine.

Every once in a blue moon, though, a manilla envelope will find its way onto my desk. Some bright spark who thinks they’re above using a laptop decides to send their manuscript in the old fashioned way. Sometimes it’s just a precaution in case we somehow miss the half dozen emails they’ve already sent out to every listed staff member on the site. Hell, sometimes it’s written by typewriter.

You know typewriters require special paper to print? Special ink, too. They probably spend more writing the damn thing than they’ll ever see in royalties, but to each their own, I guess. I even got one handwritten, once. The idiot sent a follow-up a month later anxiously asking if he could have it back if we weren’t going to consider it because it was his only copy. Can you imagine? Mailing off the only copy of your handwritten manuscript to some backroom small press without any insurance.

By comparison, this manuscript was relatively normal. It had been typed, I think. The paper was…I guess it was sort of crumpled, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. The postal service isn’t always the most careful about this sort of thing, and it wasn’t really packaged properly. Just shoved loose in a box and shipped out.

It was pre-bound. Just a bundle of papers held together with a few strands of red string. A little unusual, but not exactly throwing up any red flags. Even when I started reading it, I didn’t know. How the hell could I have?

It was good, though. Maybe that should have been my first clue. The prose dragged on a bit, but hey. There are plenty of successful writers out there who probably could have benefited from a harsher editor. They made up for it, in my opinion. Even just skimming those first few pages, I was hooked. Didn’t even really realise it when I was due my lunch break. I was so focused on that damn book.

The visuals were the thing. Plenty of writers can pour out half decent prose, but something about this writer…they had a way of making it feel real, you know? All the little touches, the scenes they crafted from the ground up. It felt…it felt like I couldn’t stop reading. Even if I’d wanted to, and trust me, back then I didn’t.

I didn’t leave my office that day. Barely noticed it when the phone rang, ignored all my emails. I really, really thought we’d accidentally stumbled on a gold mind. Not just a passable debut novel, but an honest to god genuine talent.

The funny thing is, I can’t even really remember what it was that drew me in. Couldn’t tell you what genre it fell under. The plot itself was practically non-existent. A girl who dreamed of being a dancer and crept out of her house to practice under the moonlight in a clearing in the forest behind her house.

Then, one blissful night, illuminated by the full moon, the forest provided her with a partner. The partner.

Nothing too out there, right? Your basic fantasy-romance type stuff. Pretty tame compared to a lot of what we publish, but I was enthralled from the first description of their first dance. Barefoot and so light on her feet her toes barely skimmed the dew-slick grass. They loved each other, and in that moment, I think I understood that. Really knew what it was to love someone so much you’d offer them your still beating heart if it would mean holding onto them for just a second longer.

Except it wasn’t love. Not really. It was an obsession.

Keep reading

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Why #Astongate Shows Us Some Automakers Are Still Trying To Kill EVs

Transport Evolved

Last week, we told you about a new study which shined a light on how some plug-in hybrids produce far more tailpipe emissions than they are claimed to - https://youtu.be/EETTKlPvNow . Now there’s a new study claiming that electric vehicles are responsible for such high emissions during their construction that you’d need to drive them for many years before the real benefits are felt. But as we’re about to explain - this ‘study’ is little more than an anti EV campaign - and has its roots in some seedy going on at Aston Martin.

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I see a lot of articles and posts by liberals & centrists applauding another worthless corporate shill or former lobbyist being added to the Biden administration (Flournoy, Ricchetti, Richmond, Blinken, Tanden). Further reinforcement of the status quo and the broken systems which have led to so much inequality and pain.

I often think about that scene in The Second Renaissance where the global leaders of humanity give a standing ovation on the adoption of the plan to destroy the sky - denying the thinking machines a limitless energy source, but consequently dooming all life on the planet.

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That concept was something that hit me on a deep emotional level when I was young and saw that film. It frightened me to think about the possibility in our own timeline, elected officials standing together to deny a future to the world.

The image of the skeletons clapping on the floor of the United Nations will remain with me always.

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We are now facing down twin barrels of a global health pandemic and environmental collapse, and these people all just nodding sagely in approval, sitting down to brunch while the everything around them burns and billions suffer needlessly. All to protect a broken, unjust system.

It really is almost impossible to tell at this point if they are simply oblivious to the danger of their association with these people and industry lobbyists, or if they are aware and simply continue in their vain attempts to win favor with conservatives and political donors.

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And it fills me with an indescribable sense of shame, fear, and anger.

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