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Thread: The Cosmic Emporium

  1. #5356
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I've met a few and we've ended up talking about my observation. They say it's the influence of Persian blood.

    I had a friend in college who was Armenian. I also met a few when I lived in DC. They often had a golden brown color eye with very long, lush lashes.

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    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    #Shrinkage ...
    The golden years ...



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    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Run for the shadows in these...

    Golden Years

    David Bowie


    3:55 minutes


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    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Question

    Sifting through the past ...

    What Can We Learn from the Germans
    About Confronting Our History?


    By Lizzie Widdicombe October 21, 2019


    Prior to the election of Donald Trump, in 2016, the philosopher Susan Neiman thought that
    America had reached a turning point in confronting its past.


    When Donald Trump recently tweeted a dark warning of a “Civil War like fracture in this Nation” were he to be impeached, it was further evidence of his Administration’s troubled relationship with that period in American history. The President has also suggested that the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was still alive; asked, “Why was there the Civil War?”; and described white supremacists rallying around a Robert E. Lee memorial as “very fine people.” His former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, compared California’s immigration laws to Confederate secession; Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, referred to Lee as an “honorable man” and said that the Civil War was caused by a “lack of ability to compromise.”

    But the philosopher Susan Neiman argues that it’s not just Trump or his Administration. Most white Americans are fuzzy on the cause of the Civil War—slavery—and even more are unaware of the decades of racial terror and oppression that followed Reconstruction: lynching, convict leasing, mass incarceration, racist labor practices. “For many people, and I’m including myself until recently, the period between 1865 and the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott is just a blank,” Neiman told me the other day. This is not incidental. If Americans were more familiar with the darkest parts of the country’s past, she argued, “it’s hard to imagine that Trump would have been elected.”

    Neiman, an American who directs the Einstein Forum, a public think tank outside of Berlin, has recently published a book, “Learning from the Germans,” that makes the case for an American version of Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, a word that she translates as “working off the past,” which refers to the decades-long process through which Germany has come to terms with Nazism and the Holocaust. Today, the country isn’t free from racism and anti-Semitism, as the recent attack on a synagogue in Halle showed, but its culture and politics remain deeply informed by its history. All of the arts, including TV and film, regularly refer to and treat Nazi history. And the country pauses to perform what Neiman calls “public rites of repentance” around events such as the liberation of Auschwitz, Kristallnacht, and the end of the war. Then there’s the iconography: the Holocaust Memorial sits at the center of a reunified Berlin. There are also the famous “stumbling stones”—small brass plaques placed throughout the city to mark where Jews and other victims of the Nazis last lived, before they were deported. By comparison, she writes, “Imagine a monument to the Middle Passage or the genocide of Native Americans at the center of the Washington Mall. Suppose you could walk down a New York street and step on a reminder that this building was constructed with slave labor.”

    Neiman was in town recently, and she visited the exhibit “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. In her book, she points out that the Nazi era is, ironically, quite prominent in American culture. There are more Holocaust museums in the U.S. than in Germany, Israel, and Poland combined—and almost none devoted to slavery. This isn’t an accident, either. Imagining Nazis as “monsters who are not like us” allows us to “outsource evil,” she said at the museum. In the book, she calls our fixation on the Holocaust “a form of displacement for what we don’t want to know about our own national crimes.” She talked about the backlash when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to migrant detention camps at the U.S. border as concentration camps. It made people think of Auschwitz. “But that’s not a concentration camp,” she said. “It’s a death camp.” We tend to focus on the very worse, and forget everything else—the many smaller camps, and lesser crimes, that the Nazis also committed. Were those not evil, too? “People talk about never forgetting, and learning the lessons of Auschwitz,” she said. “As long as you’re not putting people in boxcars and gassing them on arrival, then you’re not evil. Unfortunately, that is the lesson that way too many people have learned.”

    Neiman’s interest in such comparisons comes from her life experience: she grew up in Atlanta, during the nineteen-fifties and sixties, witnessing both segregation and the civil-rights movement. Her mother, a Jewish housewife from Chicago, took part in a campaign to desegregate Atlanta’s schools. And she has spent much of her adult life in Berlin, as an American Jew. She first moved there, in 1982, to study German philosophy, and was shocked by “how present the war was in everybody’s mind.” The people she hung out with—politically progressive people, including artists and academics—seemed to talk about it constantly. “I thought, ‘Why are they so focussed on this, when Americans seem to do their best to forget history?’ In a certain sense, that question, the ways in which the Germans have faced their national crimes and catastrophe, has been on my mind ever since.”

    She decided to write about it four years ago, after watching President Obama’s eulogy for victims of the Charleston shooting. Dylann Roof, a twenty-one-year-old white supremacist, had murdered nine African-American churchgoers during a prayer service. Nikki Haley, then the governor of South Carolina, signed a bill removing the Confederate flag from the state’s capitol. Walmart stopped carrying Confederate-themed merchandise. “It really did seem like a turning point,” Neiman said. America was starting to confront its past. “I thought, I’ve been thinking about this stuff for the past thirty years. Maybe I have something to contribute.” Then came 2016 and the election of Donald Trump; also a turning point—just not the one Neiman had expected. “Trump’s racism has been so out front, and so horrifying, that I think a lot of white Americans are recognizing for the first time just how deep it goes,” she said. “Three years ago, the term ‘white supremacy’ was not being used outside of departments of post-colonial studies. And now it’s the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

    To research her book, Neiman read a variety of German writings from the postwar period: philosophy books, prisoner-of-war memoirs, best-selling novels. She learned something that she’d never realized before: for a long time, everyday Germans didn’t feel bad about the Holocaust, or their country’s descent into Nazism. Instead, they made excuses for it and thought of themselves as innocent victims. She paraphrased the arguments: “Terrible things happen in war. It was bad for us, too. Our cities were destroyed. Our young men were murdered. We were occupied by foreign troops.” A Nazi brother or uncle was “just defending his homeland.” To a Southern reader, this sounded familiar. “They started sounding like defenders of the Lost Cause,” Neiman said. This German denial came as a shock. “When I first came to Berlin, I would meet people who would tell me, ‘My parents were Nazis,’ and they were ashamed and upset,” she said. “But they would never say, ‘My parents were Nazis, and they thought they were the worst victims of the war.’ ”

    The lesson for Americans—particularly those involved in racial-justice work—is that “Nobody wants to look at the dark sides of their history,” she said. “It’s like finding out that your parents did something really horrible. There’s always going to be resistance. It’s normal, and it’s something we should expect.” So what made the Germans change? Neiman writes about a number of historical factors, but the most important, in her opinion, was “civil engagement” by the German public, beginning in the nineteen-sixties. A new generation came of age. “They realized that their parents and teachers had been Nazis, or at least complicit in Nazi atrocities, and were outraged,” she said. A small and often controversial vanguard insisted on digging up history that older generations had refused to discuss. People called them Nestbeschmützer, or “nest-foulers.” But the process they set in motion—a process of uncovering the past and talking about it—eventually reverberated throughout German society.

    For argument’s sake, let’s imagine that Trump’s tweet was wrong, and the “Civil War like fracture in this Nation” doesn’t come to pass. Instead, he and his allies lose the 2020 election. A new Administration comes in, dedicated to helping the nation “work off” its historical crimes, to avoid the coming of a Trump 2.0. What can we learn from the Germans? A few things, Neiman said. First of all, any attempt at Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung must be “multifaceted.” It can’t be confined to schools or museums. “Otherwise it’s boring, and it takes on the character of propaganda,” she said. Germans don’t learn about the Holocaust in just one way. “You really can’t escape it,” she said. “It’s in art works, in literature, in movies, in television, done in different keys and in different registers. There’s no one message.”

    Similarly, government initiatives can’t just be a top-down, federal effort. “It needs to be local, spurred by citizen engagement,” she said. She talked about the Stumbling Stones project, which a German artist began in 1996, and which is now the largest decentralized monument in the world, with plaques all over Germany. “In many, many parts of the country, it’s citizen-financed,” Neiman said. “So if you want to put a stumbling stone in your house or in front of your building, you have to research the history of the people who lived there, you have to come up with the fee, a hundred and twenty euros, and get permission from the city. It’s quite interactive. And thousands of people do this.” Meanwhile, white Americans are still getting married at plantations—a practice that Neiman said Germans would probably view with horror. “After all, plantations were concentration camps for black people,” Neiman said.

    Her final lesson was about balance. She brought up a charge recently made by conservative critics of the Times’ 1619 Project, which commemorates slavery: that focussing on the worst parts of a nation’s history is depressing and, worse, delegitimizing. “They complained about it in Germany as much as Newt Gingrich and company are complaining about it now—‘It’s going to tear the social fabric, and we won’t have a national identity anymore! People won’t have anything to celebrate!’ ” There’s some truth there, she said. When planning monuments, “I think it’s really important that it not just be sites of horror, that we also remember heroes.” Is this to make us feel better about ourselves? “Yes,” she said. “I make this analogy which may seem a bit hokey: having a grownup relationship to your history is like having a grownup relationship to your parents. As a kid, you believe everything they tell you. As an adolescent, you may be inclined to reject everything. But having a grownup view involves sifting through with some distance, and saying, ‘O.K., I’m glad that my mother had those values, and that’s what I’m going to pass on to my kids. Not the other stuff.’ ” She mentioned a few of her own heroes: Sojourner Truth and Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Brown and Harriet Tubman, Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson. She said, “It’s like being orphaned if you can’t say, ‘No, there are people, and not a few of them, in my nation’s history whom I really admire.’ ”



    Lizzie Widdicombe is a staff writer at The New Yorker
    Source: newyorker.com

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    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I've met a few and we've ended up talking about my observation. They say it's the influence of Persian blood.

    I had a friend in college who was Armenian. I also met a few when I lived in DC. They often had a golden brown color eye with very long, lush lashes.
    Thanks for that Dreamtimer.

    I've been friends with two brothers when I lived in Sydney Australia. One was my teacher in Astrology and his brother...the brother had eyes that smiled constantly, I would say that counts as beautiful. I guess beauty can take different forms, because both these brothers had/have lovely energies that would never attack anybody, putting people at ease in their presence.

    Another thing is that they told me Armenians have Surnames that ends on 'ian'.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    The beauty coming from within a person's eyes is the best kind. Physical beauty becomes hard and unpleasant when the spirit behind it is unkind. I was amazed when I first learned this. A person I had thought was beautiful became unpleasant to look at because of their cold heart.

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    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Well the kardashians have other assets
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    Well the kardashians have other assets
    Yeah, silicone and botox.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    I have no desire to go down that road. No implants, no injections, no botox. I have a family member who works in an office which performs plastic surgery, botox, and other treatments. The clients are apparently never really happy with the results or how they look. They want more dramatic results. They want them to last longer.

    That mentality is actually why I started moving away from wearing makeup regularly. I wanted to be able to look good, or at least perceive myself that way, without having to 'fix' my appearance.

    Nowadays, if I wear makeup it's because I choose to. Not because I have to.

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    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    LOL

    I use to be the Top Ass in the party, but Hillary has finally beat me out ...

    Last edited by giovonni, 23rd October 2019 at 05:11.

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    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up

    Meant to post this article interview (below video clip) a few days ago before going out the door, but strangely it never posted ... Then oddly this amazing twitter clip emerged and it made a great opening for the fun and interesting item ...

    “El Camino”: Bryan Cranston becomes Walter White in one minute

    Oct 22, 2019

    56 seconds


    [

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gIKi7bTHAE



    Please note:

    (This post contains spoilers for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which Netflix released last week.)




    Bryan Cranston on ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

    The actor reflects on the legacy of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, his friendship with Aaron Paul, and whether he’d ever revisit his most famous character one more time


    Since El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie was announced, one question has been at the forefront of every Breaking Bad fan’s imagination: Would Bryan Cranston reprise his role as Walter White?

    Walt dies at the end of Breaking Bad, and El Camino mostly takes place in the immediate aftermath of the series finale, as Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman tries to get out of Albuquerque before he’s caught or killed. But Breaking Bad and its spinoff, Better Call Saul, have both been known to play around with time, so it wasn’t impossible to consider that Walt might appear in a flashback, or a dream, or some other method.

    And sure enough, after the film’s plot has largely wrapped up, the story rewinds to a scene set during the events of Season Two’s “4 Days Out,” and there are Walt and Jesse walking side by side down a hotel hallway, and then chatting over breakfast.

    Here, the four-time Emmy winner talks about why he wanted to return, how his cameo was kept secret, and what it felt like to play Walt after so many years.

    How did you feel when Vince Gilligan told you he wanted you to play Walt again for this?

    It was wonderful. I was really grateful that he thought of me to be a part of this. At the same time, I was wondering, “How the hell is that going to work?” I guessed it only could be retrospective, in flashback, and said, “OK, whatever he has to do.” And basically, that’s it. If Vince Gilligan called me and said, “I need you to wash my car,” I’d say, “How about this Saturday?” I would do anything for him, because I know he is so devoted to the integrity of the characters. He wouldn’t do this if it didn’t have a germane place in the storytelling.

    Did you have any pause at all about returning to this role?

    I would say that yes, if he came to me and said, “Let’s do the series again. Walter White didn’t die. Let’s just say that, and then we’ll see if we can get two or three more years out of it,” that’s when I would have to say, “I don’t think we should.” What he wrote for the conclusion of the series is, to me, perfect. So I think that would be a problem if he wanted to. But I know he doesn’t. This [movie] was strictly created by the open-ended question of what happened to Jesse. We know he escaped the compound, but what happened? So many people were asking me that, and I would say, “I don’t know. What do you think happened? Do you think he got caught?” There was enough interest that I think Vince realized that he was such a beloved character, beautifully played by Aaron Paul, that the story wasn’t complete, and he wanted to complete the story. So he did. And I think it’s wonderful.

    Did it take you long to get back into character after six years away?

    It really didn’t. There are so many talismans I was using on a day-to-day basis during the shooting: his glasses, his shirt, the Wallabees. I immediately popped back into that character. Being in Albuquerque, being around a lot of the same crew, having Aaron there, and Vince, and [producer] Melissa Bernstein, I tweaked a little bit, because it’s like, “Oh my god, six years, and we’re back!” It felt a little eerie. In a good way.

    You’re not only revisiting a character you haven’t played in years, but an early version of that character who’s very different from the last time you played him. Did you go back to rewatch “4 Days Out,” the Season Two episode that El Camino flashes back to?

    I did. I hadn’t seen it since it aired, so I did want to go back and get a sense of what my relationship with Jesse Pinkman was at that moment, what we had gone through. Just to get my head straight about how I felt at that time, and the level of despair and anxiety that the character was involved with. It was literally 10 years ago that I had last seen that episode, so it was extremely helpful.

    You didn’t have time to shave your head for this, so you had to wear a bald cap. Was it strange playing Walter White under those conditions?


    No. As a matter of fact, when we put the bald cap on and glued on the facial hair, it was like, “Wow.” I look in the mirror, and it’s so helpful as an actor to say, “This is what I’m presenting.” This look represented so much to me back then, and it just transports you to that time and your ability to drop into that character.

    Vince said this felt more like closure to him than when you and Aaron filmed your last scene of the series, because he was so tired at the end of producing that season. How did filming this cameo feel to you compared to the last time you and Aaron were in the RV together?

    This was a reunion to me. We actually shot the last scenes of the show on the very last day, which I remember very well: April 3rd of 2013, over six years ago. You have a rush of emotions. Not only is your character saying goodbye in the storyline, but personally, I’m saying goodbye to these actors and this crew who I’ve become so intimately involved with. Knowing that the history of working in this business is one of separation, you gain such depth emotionally with people you’re working with. You’re telling a story, and when it’s over, you walk away. It’s almost like a high school graduation, where you look at people and wonder, “I don’t know if and when I’m going to see them again.” Although you’re happy to come to a good conclusion, you’re also a bit sad, because of the fact that you’re saying goodbye.

    This time, Aaron is still a friend, we’ve got the mezcal business together, we celebrate birthdays and other things together. He’s a dear friend. And Vince is also a dear friend, and a lot of the other people I’ve reacquainted with, we exchange emails and see each other whenever possible. So the goodbye of 2013 had a time to settle, and [to allow] the new relationship to develop. And that’s what we have, a new relationship that is great. A large part of the reason that Aaron and I started the mezcal business is because we missed each other on a day-to-day basis. We knew that we probably won’t get a chance to work together again for a while, with the exception of El Camino.

    Production went to great lengths to keep your presence a secret. What did you have to do as part of that?

    First of all, keep my mouth shut. Literally, I had two days off, and we shot it this year, the first Monday and Tuesday of January, when my play [Network on Broadway] switched from eight shows a week, and having only one day off, Monday, to seven days, and having Monday and Tuesday off. We looked at that months and months before and said, “That’s my target date.” So I finished my matinee at 5 o’clock in the evening on Sunday and was whisked away to Teterboro [Airport, in New Jersey], put on a private jet, wheels up, land in Albuquerque with my wife, our transportation captain Dennis Milliken picked me up at the airport, no one saw me. I went right from the plane to the car to an Airbnb house they secured for me, almost like a Witness Protection situation. And there I stayed. I did not go out for the two days. But I did prod Aaron into opening his house for a party on Monday night, which was a beautiful night together. That was Monday, after we shot the restaurant scene, and then on Tuesday, I had just a bit of work to do in a hotel corridor, and that was it, I was back on a plane. No one saw me. In fact, going from my dressing room to makeup and makeup to the car, I was cloaked. I mean completely cloaked. I looked like someone from The Handmaid’s Tale. I couldn’t even see myself! It was all very secretive. And I’m glad. I think it’s nice for this to be a surprise for the fans of Breaking Bad.

    Vince says the scene in the movie where Jesse hears the radio report about Walt and Lydia dying is in there mainly because people still ask him if Walt is dead. Do you get that a lot, too?

    Constantly. I got it so much that I would even tease them. My answer was always, “Yeah, he’s dead he’s dead he’s dead.” And I would get more questions about it, and then I thought, “Well, this doesn’t seem to be going away.” So [then if] they would say, “Well, Walt died,” I would go, “Did he?” [laughs] and just leave it there. And they’d freak out: “Oh my god, what’s he saying?!?” So it stimulated more conversation. It really is great that we got under the skin of fans and became part of the zeitgeist of storytelling in this sense. And I’m so extremely proud of Breaking Bad, and what it represented for me both from an artist standpoint and as a person. It changed my life. And I’m forever grateful. It will be the opening line of my obituary, and I’m absolutely proud to have it be so.

    Since you last played Walt, Vince and Peter Gould went and made Better Call Saul, and now Vince has made this movie. How has it felt to see the world you were once the center of go on largely without you?

    I love it. I look at this business in the same [way I did athletes] when I was in my youth. I was happy to see athletes retire before it got embarrassing. When they stayed too long, I understood why, but their skills diminished, their physicality diminished, and it was sad. Willie Mays going back to the Mets, it was like, “Oh, no no no! Don’t!” When Peyton Manning retired after winning the Super Bowl, I was cheering, because now our impression of Peyton Manning is of this champion. Could he have gone another year? Yeah, absolutely. But you know what? This is a good ending. Don’t try to put two cherries on the top of a sundae. So I look at it that way. We had the most perfect beginning, middle, and end to the story of Breaking Bad. And we retired, and I was happy to retire. I don’t miss the character, because I got to play him so well, so deep, for six years. And the ending was enormously satisfying to me personally and professionally. I look at Better Call Saul and smile when I see familiar faces and familiar locations. But I don’t have an attachment of, “Oh, I wish I was in this! I wish I was doing this!” That being said, I would certainly consider doing it if it was asked, if it was time for Walter White to make an appearance. I could see that happening for fun, to assist in telling their story. It’s not my story anymore. It would almost be like I came back as a coach. “Yeah, I’ll help any way I can. What do you want me to do?” And then do my thing, and, “See ya!”

    Source: rollingstone.com
    Last edited by giovonni, 23rd October 2019 at 10:43.

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  23. #5367
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    You go back, Jack ...


    Do It Again

    Steely Dan



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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I’ve heard of self flagellation but head beating with a board?

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  27. #5369
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I’ve heard of self flagellation but head beating with a board?
    Yes, the human condition is quite Monty Python(ian) in nature ...
    Rooted deeply into the code the awake/evolving is often stymied.

    Reaching towards the bliss requires a persistent self drive ...
    The only way out of the program of self mutilation is love ...

    Hence - Most - Do it again and again - Etc etc.

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    Returning Topic

    Army Investigates Blink-182 Frontman's Alien Tech - #NewWorldNextWeek

    Oct 24, 2019

    15:07 minutes



    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsAOkg2u4XA


    Welcome back to New World Next Week – the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy
    that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week:

    Story #1: Japan Just Imported Ebola to Prep for Possible Olympic Outbreak
    https://bit.ly/2BEVSyE

    In Addition to Ebola, Japan Imports Marburg Virus
    https://bit.ly/2PdKTV1

    Japan's Emperor Naruhito Proclaims Enthronement In Ancient Ceremony
    https://bbc.in/2MIBtzd

    Story #2: Army Says Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge May Have Game-Changing Alien Tech
    https://bit.ly/2BCoWa3

    The Army Wants To Verify To The Stars Academy's Fantastic UFO Mystery Material Claims
    https://bit.ly/2J8xs4H

    How to Fake An Alien Invasion
    https://bit.ly/1gXfwZC

    Story #3: Judge Chosen To Re-Sentence Penn State Coach Sandusky
    https://bit.ly/2BBmDUz

    Another Judge Recuses Himself From Sandusky Re-Sentencing (Sep. 18, 2019)
    https://bit.ly/2MJDE5v

  30. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to giovonni For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (25th October 2019), Dreamtimer (25th October 2019)

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