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US Presidential Election 2016

Your non-partisan source for the 2016 US Presidential Election. Just the facts. Who's really ahead?
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General Election Polling Discussion Thread (June 2020)

Introduction

Welcome to the /politics polling discussion thread for the general election. As the election nears, polling of both the national presidential popular vote and important swing states is ramping up, and with both parties effectively deciding on nominees, pollsters can get in the field to start assessing the state of the presidential race.
Please use this thread to discuss polling and the general state of the presidential or congressional election. Below, you'll find some of the most recent polls, but this is by no means exhaustive, as well as some links to prognosticators sharing election models.
As always though, polls don't vote, people do. Regardless of whether your candidate is doing well or poorly, democracy only works when people vote, and there are always at least a couple polling misses every cycle, some of which are pretty high profile. If you haven't yet done so, please take some time to register to vote or check your registration status.

Polls

Below is a collection of recent polling of the US Presidential election. This is likely incomplete and also omits the generic congressional ballot as well as Senate/House/Gubernatorial numbers that may accompany these polls. Please use the discussion space below to discuss any additional polls not covered. Additionally, not all polls are created equal. If this is your first time looking at polls, the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings page is a helpful tool to assess historic partisan lean in certain pollsters, as well as their past performance.
Pollster Date Released Race Trump Biden
Yougov 6/26 National 39 47
Marist/NPPBS 6/26 National 44 52
HarrisX 6/26 National 39 43
KFF 6/26 National 38 51
Climate Nexus 6/26 National 41 48
Fox News 6/25 Texas 44 45
Fox News 6/25 N. Carolina 45 47
Fox News 6/25 Georgia 45 47
Fox News 6/25 Florida 40 49
CNBC/Hart/POS 6/25 National 38 47
Hodas (R) 6/25 Michigan 38 56
Hodas (R) 6/25 Wisconsin 39 55
Hodas (R) 6/25 Pennsylvania 42 54
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 Wisconsin 36 45
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 N. Carolina 40 46
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 Arizona 39 43
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 Michigan 36 47
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 Pennsylvania 39 49
Redfield & Wilton 6/25 Florida 41 45
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/25 N. Carolina 40 49
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/25 Florida 41 47
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/25 Michigan 36 47
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/25 Pennsylvania 40 50
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/25 Arizona 41 48
Data for Progress 6/24 National 44 50
PPP (D) 6/24 N. Carolina 46 48
Ipsos 6/24 National 37 47
Quinnipiac U. 6/24 Ohio 45 46
Siena/NYT Upshot 6/24 National 36 50
Morning Consult 6/24 National 39 47
Marquette LS 6/24 Wisconsin 42 51
PPP (D) 6/23 National 43 52
PPP (D) 6/23 Texas 48 46
Trafalgar (R) 6/22 Michigan 45 46
Echelon 6/22 National 42 50
Gravis 6/20 Minnesota 42 58
SurveyMonkey 6/20 National 43 53
Gravis/OANN 6/20 N. Carolina 46 43
Saint Anselm College 6/18 New Hampshire 42 49
Fox News 6/18 National 38 50
0ptimus 6/18 National 44 50
Civiqs (D) 6/18 Kentucky 57 37
Quinnipiac U. 6/18 National 41 49
UCLA/Democracy Fund 6/18 National 39 50
Change Research 6/17 Arizona 44 45
Change Research 6/17 N. Carolina 45 47
Change Research 6/17 Michigan 45 47
Change Research 6/17 Wisconsin 44 48
Change Research 6/17 Pennsylvania 46 49
Change Research 6/17 Florida 43 50
Change Research 6/17 National 41 51
Civiqs (D) 6/16 Arizona 45 49
PPP (D) 6/16 Georgia 46 48
PPP (D) 6/16 New Mexico 39 53
TIPP/Am. Greatness (R) 6/16 Michigan 38 51
TIPP/Am. Greatness (R) 6/16 Florida 40 51
NORC/AEI 6/16 National 32 40
EPIC-MRA 6/16 Michigan 39 55
Scott Rasmussen 6/15 National 36 48
Abacus Data 6/15 National 41 51
SelzeDMR 6/15 Iowa 44 43
Hendrix College 6/14 Arkansas 47 45
Remington Research (R) 6/13 Missouri 51 43
Meeting Street Insights 6/12 National 38 49

Election Predictions

Prognosticators

Prognosticators are folks who make projected electoral maps, often on the strength of educated guesses as well as inside information in some cases from campaigns sharing internals with the teams involved. Below are a few of these prognosticators and their assessment of the state of the race:

Polling Models

Polling models are similar to prognosticators (and often the model authors will act like pundits as well), but tend to be about making "educated guesses" on the state of the election. Generally, the models are structured to take in data such as polls and electoral fundamentals, and make a guess based on research on prior elections as to the state of the race in each state. Below are a few of the more prominent models that are online or expected to be online soon:

Prediction Markets

Prediction markets are betting markets where people put money on the line to estimate the likelihood of one party winning a seat or state. Most of these markets will also tend to move depending on polling and other socioeconomic factors in the same way that prognosticators and models will work. Predictit and Election Betting Odds are prominent in this space, although RealClearPolitics has an aggregate of other betting sites as well.
submitted by Isentrope to politics [link] [comments]

Effect of Donald Trump losing the November election

Polling:
Betting markets:

Given the situation it would seem prudent for international actors to prepare for a Biden administration come 2021. There's about 6 and a half months for Netanyahu to have free reign in annexing territory before the US returns to an anti-annexationist administration. Biden has not threatened actual specific material penalties for annexation, but it can be assumed by his statements that annexation "would choke off any hope for peace" and he has said that he would repair relations with the Palestinian leadership and resume aid to the PA and funding for humanitarian programs in the Palestinian territories. This is by no means satisfactory to Palestinians but it is a return to the status quo of the Americans pushing the two state solution and continued peace talks which Trump moved away from. So the issue for discussion is will the Israeli government temper its behavior between now and January or will it seize the day and try to make as many gains as possible before then? Or does the election of Biden not matter and Netanyahu will act as if the days of caring what the US thinks are over?
submitted by incendiaryblizzard to Israel_Palestine [link] [comments]

The cynical political calculus of Simon Bridges' call to move to Level 2

The government’s response to Covid-19 has been overwhelmingly popular, and a leaked poll has suggested that Labour is currently far ahead of National. And yet, sports bettors give National a fair shot at supplying the next PM. Say what you will about betting markets (the Greens obviously don’t have a 5% chance of supplying the PM), they’re typically not vastly off, and National have a real shot at winning the next election.
How could this be, when Labour will very likely have a crowning achievement in suppressing a pandemic that has caused so much devastation elsewhere? Simply put, the economy will almost certainly remain in very bad shape come September. And a poor economy hurts incumbent governments, even if those factors were out of their control.
So in the likely outcome of “Covid suppressed, but the economy is bad”, National can’t argue that Labour failed to protect New Zealand against a pandemic. They can’t really say “they did everything great, well done” without conceding and implicitly endorsing Labour. Their core argument will very likely be something like “Labour held us in higher alert levels for too long, unnecessarily hurting the economy”.
And the key thing is, the data will probably bear this out even if higher alert levels are the prudent thing to do. The cost/benefit ratio is very skewed by rare events. You don’t want to shift down alert levels if there’s a 20% chance it will backfire spectacularly. You’ll want there to be much lower risk, perhaps 1% or less. What this means, however, is that a large majority of the time, it’ll look like higher alert levels were put in place unnecessarily long.
An analogy to this would be not buying insurance, or not wearing your seatbelt. The vast majority of the time, you won’t have an accident and you’ll save money or time, respectively. Nonetheless, we all know this is a risky strategy in the long-run.
However, elections are a one-off, win-or-loss affair. We won’t get to re-run history thousands of times to see what would have happened if we had moved alert levels at different times. And the odds are, if the government’s actions were prudent, most of the time it’ll look like we were overly cautious. (On a related note, I could go on about these kinds of calculations mean that governments everywhere are likely to underinvest in protecting against rare events, like global pandemics).
Somewhat perversely, it may actually be in Labour’s interests for there to be a mini-surge in cases just before May 11, because it would vindicate their decision to move cautiously.
However, on the flip side, if you’re a Covid pessimist who thinks that we’re likely to soon see a surge of cases from people violating Level 3 rules, Bridges' call is an indication that the National Party (who almost certainly have studied this issue more than you) don't think this is likely.
submitted by honeypuppy to newzealand [link] [comments]

r/PathofExile Plays: The Lord's Labyrinth! Part 2

Here we are again. I apologize for the delay, but I was under-prepared: there was WAY more typing today than yesterday! Part 1 is here.
Yesterday, we killed a man. In the dark rooms below the arena, a Legionnaire offered us the chance of freedom, and we accepted. The Mark of the Goddess he gave us would let us buy any good or service we wanted or needed until tomorrow, where we would need to present ourselves at the Entrance Plaza. We elected to pay our old master a visit one last time, for advice and maybe a little training.
And we’re off!
Crowds flow through the dirty streets around you, a tide of humanity threatening to burst its banks of stone towers and wooden shacks. Heady scents of blood, sweat, and excrement assault your senses. It is with relief that you turn down the narrow side alley. Several long strides bring you to an oak door set in a smooth marble wall, its surface marked with a lone rune, one familiar to you from your early days as a gladiator slave. You rap the door with the back of your hand.
The door swings open a bare half-minute later. A burly, bearded Ezomyte stands framed in oak, his blonde hair hanging in plaits past his shoulders. With a roar, he gathers you in a crushing embrace.
“Weylin! It’s been too long since you visited old Petyr.” You open your mouth to explain, but he cuts you off. “Yes, yes, I know, they have you locked up in that wretched arena. I hear of your exploits daily from the criers.”
He ushers you in and closes the door. You’re standing in a simple, yet well-furnished chamber. Weapons hang in order from simple hooks along the walls, accompanied by several woodcut carvings of famous arena duels. The room is unchanged from the first time you visited almost a decade ago.
Petyr claps his massive hands together. “Now, what is it I can do for my best student?”
You show him the Mark of the Goddess. He surveys it, brow furrowed in concern.
“Yes, this... Labyrinth. Many a wealthy family has approached me to train their sons and daughters, seeking to gain an edge in the trial. Some, I train; most, I discourage.” Petyr leads you further into the house. “But for you, Weylin, for you I offer something special.”
You emerge into a central courtyard, a square expanse of sand surrounded by rack upon rack of weapons in every style. Muttering to himself, Petyr makes his way along the fearsome array until he halts at a rack of several slender blades and small, sturdy bucklers.
“Yes… Yes, this is what we need. Not too heavy, yet still strong enough to pierce the toughest hide. Join me, Weylin!”
You heft the proffered sword, a type known as an Estoc, marveling at its balance and lightness. The accompanying buckler slides into place on your other wrist. After several practice lunges, you look at Petyr and nod your approval.
“Good, very good. You’ve grown even faster in that pit. Still, there’s room for an old warrior to teach you a few tricks…”
Several hours later, you’re splayed out on the marble floor, sweat dripping down your sides. Petyr flops down next to you, hands clasped behind his head.
“You have a chance now, Weylin,” he says, voice low. “A chance to give those Eternal bastards what they deserve. You don’t have to be the strongest, you don’t have to be the smartest, you just have to be first.”
You gain +1 DEXTERITY for your rigorous training with Petyr and and ESTOC AND WAR BUCKLER.
Petyr shows you to a comfortable guest room where you settle down for the night. At tomorrow’s break of dawn, you must attend the opening ceremony of the Lord’s Labyrinth. Turn to 333.*
Dawn light flares off the giant copper statue of Justice. The goddess bears a shallow dish in each hand, the left thought to contain all of humanity’s sins, the right, all of its virtues. Beyond the statue, a set of grand double doors break the monotony of an otherwise endless wall.
Several figures wait silently near the statue. The first to catch your eye is a stranger clad in the dull black of an assassin, and next to him, a weathered legionnaire you recognize all too well. Captain Reviro, a man responsible for the slaughter and torture of countless Ezomytes during the war. The thumping pulse of adrenaline begins to sing in your veins.
You tear your eyes away and examine the remaining ascendants. One bears the distinctive patterns of a Maraketh raider, the other two the chiseled features of highborn Eternals.
Surprisingly, one of the Eternals is a woman, raven-black hair spilling down her back like a midnight waterfall.
The highborn man walks over to you, curly hair framing a clean-shaven face. His armor gleams with silver and gold, but you notice his smooth palms don’t match the worn handle of the ornate battle-axe on his back.
“So you’re the newcomer, eh?”
You shoot him a warning glance, letting him know you’re ready if he feels like starting the trial now. He leans back in mock surrender.
“Whoa, it’s too early in the morning to face a look like that. I’m not planning on dying until after I enter this damned place.
There’s something charming about this young man, so at ease in this weighty atmosphere, and you find yourself relaxing. He holds out a hand. After a moment’s hesitation, you clasp it with your own.
“Chitus Perandus. Yes, those Peranduses. Perandusi? I’ve never been quite sure on the proper conjugation, no matter how many times my uncle’s beaten it into me. So, introductions made, how did you become an Ascendant?”
You give him an overview of your time in the arena and the offer from Emperor Izaro.
“A fighter? Useful for certain parts.” He leans in closer, conspiratorial. “Not so useful for other parts. There are many traps in this place, snares for the unwary. My family’s architects built most of them. I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but I feel bad that you’re not as informed as the rest of us. Honestly, what’s the point of a grandiose, emperor-electing Labyrinth when not all the contestants have a fair chance?”
An odd half-smile darts across his face, but before you can wonder at it, he gestures at the other contestants.
“And not all the traps are mechanical. Since you missed out on the Trials, my new friend, I can at least fill you in on the competition.”
Here we have the opportunity to ask Chitus about each other contestant standing around us. Initially, I thought we would only have the chance to ask about one, but it turns out we can ask about each of them! To make it so we don’t waste 5 days of posts asking about each individually, I investigated each contestant at this point. HOWEVER , the more paranoid of you may not trust this Chitus Perandus, and the book understands! We also have the option of waiting in silent reflection and mental preparation until the event begins. However, that option is identical to whenever we are done asking Chitus about the competition. So, I will put their details here. Sim ahead if you want to skip their details, but as always, I recommend reading as much as you can - who knows what we may need later!
[About the Man in Black]
Chitus points to the man in black. Even the studs on his leather armour are wrought in black iron. Two curved swords rest in sheaths on his back and shoulder-length hair flows freely in the morning breeze. His expression is blank.
“That’s Marconi of the Silent Brotherhood, considered the greatest assassin in the empire. You can bet your ass he’ll be looking to whittle down the competition as soon as possible. No one sees him coming, which is why he can charge so damned much for his services.”
Chitus buffs his nails on his plate. “Bit too fond of the color black, though,” he finishes critically.
The assassin’s expression doesn’t change, but you can feel his focus on you, the dead stare of a beetle collector ready to stick a new specimen with a pin. You feel the first familiar pangs of adrenaline making their way through your veins, your body instinctively reacting to a threat. Marconi gives you a thin smile and turns away.
[Ask about Captain Reviro]
The morning sunlight seems to cascade down Reviro’s burnished legionnaire armor and his floor-brushing red cloak. As you look at him, the knot of rage in your gut grows ever tighter. This man was the nightmare under your bed growing up, tales of the Butcher of Ezomyr passed from clan to clan in hushed whispers. Two hundred dead at the Weeping Hills. An entire village burned to the ground in the Silent Grove, over seventy Ezomyte forced back into the flames. A litany of brutal death and destruction, countless atrocities befallen your people at the hands of this man.
A hand on your shoulder arrests your involuntary step forward.
“Ahh, I see you know the good Captain Reviro. Somehow, I’m not surprised. How many of your people has he slaughtered over the past twenty years?”
Reviro glares at you, madness swirling in his eyes. You glare back, straining against Chitus’ grasp, but he bears down harder, keeping you in place.
“Not yet, my friend, not yet. In the Labyrinth you’ll have your chance, I promise. For now, listen and learn.”
[Ask about the Maraketh woman]
Chitus points out the tanned and scarred steppes-woman, who glances over at you and licks her lips. The raider has a wild shock of hair, and a long, curved sword almost as tall as you lying across her knees. Lightweight raider armour covers her body and limbs.
“Sekhema Avira, a barbarian from the Vastiri Plains, ‘Sekhema’ being their title for chief. She claims to serve the empire, and the emperor may have lavished her with medals and accolades, but I’ve never trusted her. How can you trust a woman who sells out her people?”
The woman grins at you, fierce and predatory, a gap from the missing upper tooth attesting to the violence survived. You have no doubt that she will prove a fierce combatant if encountered in the Labyrinth.
[Ask about the Eternal woman]
Chitus scowls as you point out the highborn lady leaning insouciantly against the Justice statue’s plinth, one hand resting on the hilt of her scimitar, her features almost a match for the goddess towering above. Ebony leather and plate cover her body, a golden imperial sigil on her left pauldron the only flash of color.
“Yes,” Chitus says sourly. “Lady Krysana Phrecius, Izaro’s niece, and favorite for the throne. Oh-so-perfect, a goddess amongst us mere mortals. No doubt Izaro’s been training her specifically to win so he can flaunt his power and overturn the centuries of tradition that have kept the throne in the hands of men, where it belongs.”
He looks at you and you can’t help but notice the ember of hatred in his eyes.
“If I had to choose between you and that one, Ezomyte, I’d be toasting your coronation with goblets of Glargarryn Fire.”
A lot to swallow, yes, but important characterization! In game, we have heard a lot of those names before, if only the surname. Now, on to the official beginning!
[Done asking questions]
Chitus nods his understanding. “I could do with a quiet moment or two myself before all damnation breaks loose. “
He moves off, leaving you some time to prepare yourself as the crowds gather. Bold ascendants marching up to their certain doom within the Labyrinth turns out to be just another spectacle in Sarn. Hundreds throng the edges of the plaza, yet they remain deathly quiet while you check your equipment and steel your nerves. At last, the eerie silence is broken by a booming voice that echoes out over the massive space.
“Welcome, Ascendants!”
A circular hole opens in front of the double doors and a platform rises into view, a thin, elderly man atop it. His bearing is regal, his white hair cropped close to his head, a trim beard covering his mouth and chin.
Emperor Izaro.
“Ascendants! You stand before the gates of the Lord’s Labyrinth. Within these walls, the Lady of Justice doth preside. She shall weigh your Mind in one hand, your Heart in the other. Should she find you wanting , death shall be your sentence. Should she find you worthy, you will be given the loyalty and love of an empire.”
Izaro raises a hand to the sky.
“The Lord’s Labyrinth awaits you. Choose wisely. Strike quickly. Trust completely. And may you find the ending that you deserve.”
A small copper bowl emerges from the statue’s plinth, ghostly flames dancing along its edges, and you join the other contestants surrounding it. “Now, place your offering in the Goddess’ palm.”
None seem eager to approach. With a shrug, you place your Mark of the Goddess into the bowl, and almost jump back when it vanishes in a flare of light. A small drawer opens lower in the plinth, revealing an iron key and a sigil with the number “two” on it. Izaro’s voice booms out once more.
“Claim your gift at the rear of the statue, Ascendant.”
You leave the others to place their Marks into the bowl and examine the back of the statue. In a now revealed hollow, you find the chest and try the key in its lock. It fits perfectly, and the iron-strapped box springs open, revealing a set of leather armour.
You recognize it immediately from the drawings and carvings you have seen since childhood. This is ‘Briskwrap’, once worn by Taruk the Wild, a man whose exploits are retold in every alehouse in Ezomyr. A true Ezomyte hero. How it came to fall into Izaro’s hands, you shudder to think on, as you quickly buckle the leather across your chest.
You have gained BRISKWRAP.
Izaro’s voice sounds one last time. “The entrance order has been determined. May we all receive the justice we deserve”
The double doors swing open, revealing a mass of greenery, and the crowd breaks their silence with a deafening roar of approval. You watch Marconi enter and quickly vanish from view. With a start, you realize it’s your turn to enter the Lord’s Labyrinth. Weapon at the ready, you pass through the gate.
The sounds of the plaza fade away, trapped behind towering wall after wall of crawling vines and thick hedges, tiny white flowers popping in starbursts along their lengths. Curious, you prod at one of the hedges, but whoever grew them, grew them well. There’s no way you’re getting through unless you solve the maze.
You set off along the packed dirt path, noticing a scuff mark here and there. Marconi’s tracks. From the distance between each step, you can tell he was in a hurry.You ponder setting an ambush for the next contestant, but the passage is too narrow. For now, making your way deeper is the best option.
The path continues to wind its way through the hedges, the buzzing of small insects your only companion. You come to an intersection, packed dirt replacing the paved slabs of stone. Marconi’s tracks have disappeared. To the left, the stones are slightly uneven, the ground beneath not as level as you’d expect. Upon the middle path, you notice a couple animal’s droppings, most likely a dog’s, bleached white in the sun. On the right path, you see nothing but evenly laid slabs of stone. Clean and unblemished.
To take the left path, turn to 270. To take the middle path, turn to 148. To take the right path, turn to 131.
Whew! That was way more than I was expecting. A lot of exposition, but still nice.
So now we have possibly the most important choice in the entire book! Left, middle, or right? I am a believer in the mantra "Lucky Left, Risky Right", but that doesn't have a third choice, so it's up to you guys!
For those of you reading along later, the next post is here.
View Poll
submitted by hobodudeguy to pathofexile [link] [comments]

What evidence is there that Joe Biden is a stronger challenger against an Incumbent than 2012 Mitt Romney was?

In the 2012 election, Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee for President against the incumbent Democrat President Barack Obama. Obama won in an electoral landslide 332 to 206 and won the popular vote by 4%.
  1. Betting Odds: It's hard to get pinpoint data on May 2012, but in January 2012, Romney was behind Obama in the eyes of the betting markets. Any by September 2012, he was still behind. Biden appears to be closer than Romney ever was, only behind 5 pts in these betting odds at the moment.
  2. Incumbent Approval: Trump currently has 43.6 approval and 54.5 disapproval. Obama at this point in 2012 had a 48.2 approval and 47.2 disapproval. Worth noting that Obama had 2.1% more undecideds than Trump. In other words, Obama had more room to grow his support whereas more people have made their minds up about Trump.
  3. Swing States: At this point in 2012, Obama was ahead in basically every swing state (WI,MI, PA, OH), except for Florida and North Carolina. Biden is currently ahead in WI, MI, PA, Florida but down in North Carolina and Ohio. More 2012 polling info here. Bottom line, Romney was still way behind at this point in 2012, but Biden appears to have a slight lead in those swing states.
  4. Economy: In May 2012 we had a 8.2% unemployment rate and GDP growth was very slow, less than 1 percent. While we don't have updated GDP numbers for this current quarter, the unemployment rate is 14.7%.
  5. Primary Performance: The 2012 GOP primary had a notoriously weak field, with Chris Christie, Palin, and Donald Trump refusing to run. Romney's biggest primary challenger was Rick Santorum, who dropped out April 10 2012. Romney was ahead by around 300 delegates at that point. The 2020 Dem primary had similar headlines. Biden's biggest primary challenger was Bernie Sanders, who dropped out April 8 2020, Biden was also ahead by about 300 delegates at that point as well.
submitted by hermannschultz13 to PoliticalDiscussion [link] [comments]

Their Finest Hour, Episode 4

Morning/Afternoon/Evening/far too late for you to still be online, or whatever time you're reading this at.
I'm back, with the 4th installment. This one is focused on the Resistance catching their breath after the recent fight, and talking with their new prisoners. It is also the largest one yet, as far as I can tell, so I hope you like it.
Currently I'm thinking of uploading on a roughly 9 day cycle. The next episode is already planned out and half done, but I'm planning on putting out a supplemental at roughly the same time, that will give a different perspective, at least as a one-off. If I think it works, there will likely be more supplemental episodes, although I can't really spoil what they'll be about. This episode may contain hints as to what I'm thinking of though.
Anyway I've rambled for long enough, here's your story! Comments, questions, etc, please leave them if you got them.
(First)) (Prev) (Next)
The first thing Murray saw, much like the last thing he’d seen before passing out, was Thompson staring at his face.
“Ay, Captain’s awake! How are you feeling, sir?” Thompson grinned.
“Like shit. Where are we?”
“That’s better than not feeling anything. Sid took us to some abandoned houses, said they were far enough to avoid suspicion of the base but close enough to allow for a withdrawal. We’re about 30 minutes of walking away from it right now.”
“Where did they put the prisoners?”
“Locked the collabs in the shed, commander got locked in the garage, they brought in some kind of gas filled helmet to keep him drugged. Sid didn’t interrogate them, says he wanted you to be awake for it.”
“Fine. Tell him I’ll be up as soon as my legs feel like working again.”
“Afternoon Murray. Hope you like months old branflakes for breakfast, because that’s all there is left in here that won’t require cooking.”
“That’s the first thing you say? Not ‘are you ok’, you mention food?”
“Yeah well I know you’re alright because you aren’t crawling along the floor to me.” Sid changed his tone slightly. “You know, I could have sworn, the last thing I said to you before you took the commander down, was ‘I don’t want any of you getting hurt capturing this guy.’ Yet here you are, with a hole in your arm and nearly a day out of the picture.”
“Not all orders are followed through on, Sid. Anyway, let’s not talk about that please?”
“Because you fucked up and know it?” Sid’s voice had a clear note of snark injected into it.
“Maybe. How’s my squad?”
“Slater has been moved to a medical safehouse so we can ensure his health, same with Hibberd. I assume you’ll want us to try and get them back to the continent asap. Rest of your squad is staying here while we handle the interrogation.”
“Fine by me. Shall we go talk to our friend in the garage, then?”
Sid smiled, and produced a video camera from the cluttered table next to him.
Sid opened the garage’s back door, stepping through into the makeshift interrogation building, and out of the now-pouring rain. Murray took time to note that a Hekatian IFV had crashed into the semi-detached next door, presumably in order to hide it from enemy aerial recon.
Two Resistance soldiers were inside the garage, guns trained on the sleeping figure. The Hekatian was in an electric wheelchair, the kind that was so large it couldn’t move without power. Sid nodded, and one went over to a jury-rigged contraption with a hose connected to the alien’s new helmet. He flipped a lever to the off position, before withdrawing an opened gas canister and rapidly tossing it away into a far off garden.
“We built this little doohickey a while ago, when we realised the effects of tear gas on them. It’s basically just Scuba diving gear with a few special changes. Uses gas canisters, trickles it in small amounts, so they can still breathe but they’re out cold. Give him a few minutes and he’ll be back to life.”
“Interesting. Who designs this stuff?”
“This particular design, it came from some guys in Manchester, we’re just the first to put it into action. Rest of the time, it’s the work of our chief technician, Erin. She works with Len who’s better at the actual building part, but Erin can get the theory written up better than anyone. She’s to blame for the Mk 5.”
Murray glanced around the garage. It was barren and empty, except for a few large boxes of dog food. Opposite the contraption, was a table with several cardboard boxes and a sign that said ‘for special use only’. “Owners had pets. Would they have evacuated with them?”
“Hopefully, that’s what my family did with ours. Hekatians made pets illegal, fuck knows why but we guess it’s them trying to avoid catching diseases off them. That or it’s a cultural thing. Vets have their work cut out when it comes to euthanising, but lots of people are hiding their pets decently.”
“So what did you do when the invasion hit?” Murray decided to change topic from the quite depressing thought of mass dog murder.
“Family decided to evacuate, we got priority status on medical grounds. I realised when I got there, there were so many people trying to get out, and so little space, there was no reason for me to take up room.”
“Hope you don’t mind me asking, but were your family-”
“On the Bruges? No, they were evacuated before it sank. Terrible to think about though, what are they saying, about 1000 odd killed? Anyway, I went back home, grabbed whatever stuff I still had left over from cadets. Plan was to go up to Scotland, hide out with a few family members I have up there, and wait this out. Then I met up with the rest of my old cadet detachment, we formed together into a group for support, and ended up coming into contact with the nascent resistance. After that, I just kept going up the ranks.”
“You heard from your family since?”
“They’re in a refugee camp near Hamburg, they’re doing alright for now. Helps to know that they’re safe while I’m fighting.”
The two stared at the bound alien. He’d been stripped of his armour, and clothed in a spare pair of pyjamas. Murray pointed towards the zip ties that almost completely encircled his arms and legs, and connected him to the wheelchair. “Interesting choice.”
“Ay, well, they work. One time, when I was in cadets, some guys zip tied a guy with tourettes, kind that makes you clap when others do it. Psychos zip tied him to his bed in the middle of the night, then in the morning when he woke up they just clapped over him for a good 5 minutes. They only stopped doing it because of a bloody fire drill. That’s how I know these things are tough enough.”
“Jesus.” Murray was at a loss for what more to say, so he pointed towards the alien, again trying to change the topic. “Do we know if they all speak English?”
“The grunts have some sort of translator they use to talk to civvies, so I’d assume a regional commander would too, right? Ah, he’s waking up now.” Sid passed the camera to one of the guards, before he then moved towards the commander. Wake the fuck up mate!” Sid began shaking the Hekatian, before pulling it’s helmet off. “What’s your name?”
A thin, raspy voice came from the pathetic creature. This was Murray’s first glance at a Hekatian’s face so far. It was heavily wrinkled, with two separate pairs of eyes, although it only seemed to open the bottom two. The nose was effectively just a large hole with a flap that opened and closed as necessary. It’s mouth looked roughly like that of a cat’s, in how they stretched around the curve of its face. It was also totally and utterly devoid of hair.
Noticeably, there were several clearly technological parts to it. The ears were clipped with black boxes. Over the top right eye was what looked like a little augmented reality display, which was directly connected into the skull. There was another box located on it’s neck.
“Brigadier General Dristankeokiorofenx.” The box was the source of it’s translated speech. Murray also noted that the mouth didn’t move at all, which likely meant a neural interface of some kind was translating his thoughts into speech..
“I’m not going to call you that. From now on you’re called… Joe, fuck it, might as well call you Joe Bloggs. Let’s start off simple. What the fuck are you doing on our planet?” Sid didn’t seem interested in formality.
“Simple? Bah. Worthless humour. It’s nothing against you or your planet, we’re just expanding. Bringing our light to countless worlds. You’re not the first people we’ve come down on.”
“There are other alien species that you’ve taken down? How advanced were they, and what did you do with them?” Murray decided to ask his first question.
“It varied. Some were stone age, others carried medieval swords and knives, others were running around with primitive firearms. A few even developed the art of flying. The Alganemians, they had better guns than you do, but we did bring more down on them in wave one I suppose. They are all part of our empire now.” Murray noted the translator appeared to have some cultural context.
“Wave one? Is that what this is? Advance guard before a main force? How large is it total?”
“The 85th Strike Army Group is what I am part of. I am merely commander of a brigade of soldiers. Our force is roughly equivalent to… about 1 million Hekatians.” Sid let out a whistle at that.
“Of that, how many are frontline?” Murray was intrigued by the size of the army.
“A little over a half.”
“That’s a good T3R, you must have automated logistics a lot right?”
“Indeed.”
“So what’s the rough plan? How does this play out normally?” Sid started turning it back to matters of strategy.
“We land on an island of reasonable size, and good geographical location. Doesn’t matter about population, we’ve landed on everything from uninhabited ones to completely packed ones. Set up permanent bases, defeat counterattacks, whatever. Wave 2 usually lands anywhere between several months to a few years after, depending on urgency and strength of resistance. Last plans I looked at said about a year and a half latency for you guys though. Wave 2 then expands outwards from there, using the original island as a springboard for total conquest of the world.”
Sid looked slightly unsettled by the alien’s comments. Not surprising, his plans were likely operating on a much longer timescale. “What about nukes? Do you guys not just use them to wipe resistance out? You ever been nuked during an invasion?”
“Not all of wave one works on the ground. We have to set up our own infrastructure for when the planet is ours, you know? Part of that, it’s anti ballistic missile stuff. Same reason we don’t just nuke you to dust, we want this planet and it’s people as close to intact for integration. We have no ill will towards the humans, we want you to join our stellar imperium.”
“Let’s say that, tomorrow, the entirety of wave one drops dead, just because of magic. What happens to wave two? Can they carry on their mission?”
“No. Wave two is so large that it requires special beacons to prevent landing issues, as well as plenty of infrastructure to sustain itself. If we went dark, then they’d be forced to cancel, and a new wave one would have to be organised. It’s happened before, although that was due to an unfortunate combination of geological events wiping out the first wave. If some of the first wave survives by the time wave two arrives, then only part of wave two can land, the rest will have to wait in orbit for additional beacons to be placed.”
“Number 3, you getting this?” Sid turned to the soldier who held the camera. He nodded and held up a thumb to signal the camera was functioning. Before entering, they’d agreed to not use real names, in order to prevent the enemy possibly finding them out in the event of a successful escape. Reprisals were a real threat, just because you were in the Resistance didn’t mean your family members were safe.
“Just to clarify, if wave one were to be destroyed, then wave two would be incapable of landing, which would give us a reprieve from the invasion, at least for a while?”
“Correct, although the second attempt always comes back much stronger. We will try again and again until we succeed. If enough attempts fail, well we’ll just take an FTL drive, and crash something into the offending planet at beyond light speed.” That was a worrying prospect. How would they be able to prevent further incursions, if the Hekatians controlled so much territory? Why were they fighting if the Hekatians could just obliterate them instantly?
“How large is your, ahem, stellar imperium? You have faster than light travel? Any other ftl species out there?”
“Yes, our assault pods are equipped with faster than light engines. The Hekatian Stellar Imperium spans a 10th of the Milky Way. The rest is owned by different empires, yet none have the same size as us alone. However they are in many alliances which make it difficult for us to expand through their space. We came to your world, like many others, in order to uplift it into the galactic community.”
“Your motives sound nice, though I can’t help but notice your means. Overcrowded refugee camps? Martial law? The Ilford Massacre? I’ve been under your occupation for 6 months, and you don’t seem to show a lick of care for the people you’re trying to ‘uplift’.”
“You’re that terrorist leader aren’t you… what’s your name then boy?”
“Don’t remember giving you permission to ask questions.”
“Fine. Look, we have plenty of info on your people, we know all about your history. You think your empire was kind and polite to it’s subjects? You think...Iraq, that’s it, you think they were happy about you coming in?”
“Two things can be bad at once, you know?” Sid responded without missing a beat.
“Look, before this gets into a debate between you two, I still have questions to ask. Joe, if you’re so advanced that you have ftl, why aren’t you that much more advanced than us on the battlefield? Your stuff is ahead of us, but mostly only by decades. Sure the plasma weapons are advanced but in some ways they’re behind our guns, mainly rate of fire.”
“You assume progress in everything is infinite, or that we need it to be improved. Past a certain point there are real physical limits on improvement, and diminishing returns. The Hekatian Star Imperium has been in space for 10,000 years, and the core kit of an infantryman hasn’t changed since the premiership of Lagrandaultrex, 4,000 years ago. Much better to invest in getting between worlds faster, than shell out for some tech that saves you maybe a day or two in your conquest.”
“2 more questions. What’s with the other eyes? Why don’t you open them?” Murray was still bugged by this and wanted to know.
“My upper eyes are for long range vision, the lower eyes are specialised for close range.”
“Makes sense. Final question, what did you do to me in that fight? I was out cold for a whole day.”
“My armour carries special miniature injection ports for killing opponents in hand to hand with toxins. It seems our drugs only knock you out though. How unfortunate.” Murray was amazed by how the sneer came through the translation device.
“Ok. That’s me all done now.”
“Excellent. Number 1, if you’d kindly step outside for a few minutes while I talk to our friend about the limits of his knowledge on the resistance, that would be much appreciated.” Sid was walking towards the ‘special use’ boxes, and Murray suddenly felt he would not enjoy staying much longer. “Actually, might be worth you talking to our collab friends while I’m busy. Ahmed will give you the shed key.”
Murray walked out of the garage, closing the door behind him. He immediately heard the sounds of a drill being turned on, and realised now definitely had been the right time to leave the garage.
Murray wandered towards the small shed, flanked by Ahmed. He was a young one, couldn’t have been older than 16 or so. Cadet-turned-resistance-fighter, Murray assumed. Ahmed stuck the key in, unlocking it. This gave Murray his first glimpse inside.
There were 4 collabs, all over the wooden floor. They had been tied together, with zip ties or garden hoses, whatever seemed to have been available. Ear defenders covered their heads. All had blindfolds, not that it made a difference, as the shed was incredibly dark, until he pulled out a small torch.
“What, you thought we were gonna waste guards on them?” Murray supposed Ahmed was correct. Still, it was weird that the aliens seemed to garner more care than the collabs.
Murray pushed the ear defenders of the prisoners up, likely the first time they’d had their sensory deprivation broken in a while.
“Can you all hear me? Can you speak?” A chorus of relieved yeses came from the group, who must have been under the impression this represented a rescue. “Good. Now, I’m here to ask you some questions. If, at any point, I don’t get answers I like, I’ll be giving out some interesting tips on how to properly lock you all up.” There was a sudden nervous twinge to the prisoners.
“For example, I could tell them how to build a high quality, CIA-approved isolation chamber, with just a few bits of cardboard tubing and those very ear defenders you have on right now. Do you want me to tell them that?” A frantic shaking of the heads ensued. “Good! First off: what work do you do for the Hekatians?”
“We’re police! Nothing more, nothing less! They tell us where to patrol, they give us some vests and their radios, and we stop people from looting! That’s all!” One man, probably in his late 50s, immediately responded, almost crying out. The others nodded frantically as he emphasised the limited nature of their role.
“So you’re just like, government approved vigilantes then? Or do you get extra food for collaborating?” Murray noticed that Len was walking up the garden path towards the shed.
“They give us and our families extra food! We get guaranteed housing, food that’s not just fucking bread, guaranteed medication! My kid has epilepsy, I need this to make sure she gets her meds!” The reply came from a younger man, probably mid 30s. This was the first time Murray noticed little name stickers, on which the last names of the collabs had been written by resistance soldiers, placed onto the blindfolds. This man’s sticker said “Fern” on it.
“That’s funny Fern, because our info from the council database says you don’t have a family. Or kids.” Len had reached the conversation, and was reading off a notebook. “Here you go captain, all the info we scraped about ‘em. Don’t be surprised when they keep lying. Oh, and this flask has tea in it, here’s one for you as well Ahmed. You’ll have to use ratpack stuff if you want anything in it though. Spoon is in the top.”
“Thanks man. So Fern, we’ve established you’re a liar. You there, Daggart, what do you do for them then?” Len walked off towards the garage, with a small backpack with several more flasks inside it. Murray pulled out a creamer packet, opening it up and tipping some in until a small cloud of white erupted in the tea. He then opened the top of the flask, finding a small spoon, like those in ice cream pots, stashed alongside water purification tablets.
“Policing work! Patrol the streets, patrol the camp, make sure people are getting their food! Come on, let me go, I know they’re bastards, I don’t believe their propaganda! This is just to keep going, you know? I do the bare minimum to keep them off my back! In fact, I’m behind on my beating quota, please just let me out of here!” Murray stirred as Daggart sputtered. He then returned the spoon to it’s container, before picking the notebook back off the shelf he’d let it rest on.
“My notes inform me that 5 separate camp survivors have specifically named you as a, quote, ‘constant source of harassment’, we’ve got evidence of you giving civilians injuries that’d send them to hospital, and you attempting some stuff that, if I had free reign to decide your punishment, would have you strung up off the bridge. So you’re a liar too, and an awful person to boot. What about you… Higgins? What do you think the Hekatians are doing here?”
“They’re here to help make sure we’re on top!”
“We? That the royal we? On top of who?”
“You know, us, up at the top once more, the lesser races in their place! I can tell by your voice, you’re not like these degenerates, one of the n-“ Higgins was interrupted by Ahmed delivering a heavy kick to his chest that sent both him, and Daggart who was tied to him, to the floor.
“Thank you Ahmed, I could tell that wasn’t going a good direction. Takes a special kind of person to think an alien invasion is a chance for them to be more racist. So we’ve got a liar, a racist, and an attempted rapist. What about you… Lockjaw? That can’t be your real name.” Murray had turned his attention back to the 50 year old, who had been first to answer him. He looked back at his notes, finding only the phrase “deed poll user” and “nonexistent history.”
“It is, I swear! And I can tell you, you don’t have anything on me! I just patrolled and stopped fights, that’s all I did! Believe me! Please!”
“Perhaps. But you can still answer my questions. Some general ones here. Where did your gear come from? Are they confiscations or personal ownership?”
“Both.” Daggart, who was still fumbling around trying to upright himself, provided an answer. “I had an old Webley that my great grandad used in the war, kept it up in the attic til now. Fern got an AR-15 into the country, fucked if I know how, but it’s in his house.” Fern attempted to kick Daggart for that especially compromising information, but his foot simply impacted an old rusty lawnmower, provoking a shout of pain. Murray noted that down, any source of weaponry was useful.
“Right. The vests, you had them standard issue so they must be Hekatian built.” Again, nods. “Now, be honest with me, or I’ll follow through with some of my promises to the resistance. What is your stated purpose as collaborators? What do they say is the job description?
“We handle foot patrols of the camp and some street patrols, help them build defenses. Some of us are assigned to infiltrate the terrorist groups, but I haven’t seen any of them in a while.” That was slightly alarming to Murray, he made sure to jot it down.
“What have you been told about their long term goals? Do you know why they’re here? Higgins you’re banned from answering this question.” Higgins, still stuck on the floor, attempted to open his mouth, only for Ahmed to provide yet another kick to keep him quiet.
“It’s about, they want to take us to the stars! We’re gonna become interstellar! That’s way better than we are now!” Lockjaw seemed dazzled by the concept as he spoke.
“Alternatively, we could just, I don’t know, kick these arseholes out and steal their shit, and then become interstellar by ourselves? Seems like a better option to me than prostrating yourself to their rule.” Murray gave them time to mull that over, before sipping from his tea. When was the last time he’d had tea? Probably at the airbase before they set off. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was more than enough for him.
“Listen, it’s time for the real question. “What is so important to you that you needed to join the enemy? There’s thousands of people out here in the resistance. Many of them are kids. Kids! They’re fighting against the Hekatians with anything they can get their hands on! That’s true bravery, and what are you doing? Aiding them!”
“No! I… if you were in my situation, you’d… either they win, and I survive, or we win, and I survive! It’s… there’s no other option man!” Daggart attempted to justify his actions.
“They tried the kapos, after the war, the ones who’d led their own people into the gas chambers. Lotta people who were “just following orders”, too. Hell, the Norwegians brought back the death penalty for Quisling himself. The way we’re going, if we win we’re gonna have a purge to rival Stalin, and I doubt anyone in the world is gonna stop us. You think we’d let you get off the hook for assisting in this?” Ahmed spoke up, the first time he’d said anything in a while.
For once the prisoners were silent, having realised their extremely grave predicament. Murray replaced their ear defenders and exiting the shed, before Ahmed locked it again. At the same time, Sid left the garage, now wearing a cooking apron, stained with blood, over his combat jacket. He waved towards Murray, who jogged through the pouring rain.
“Joe’s going back on the gas immediately. I want to try and get him off this island if possible, UNCO will do a far better job thinking up questions than me.”
“Ay, I’m thinking of organising casevacs for our worst cases of injury and rotation of other SAS troopers in. If you can help me in organising that, we can make space on the boats for several prisoners. I want those collabs off this island ASAP, far more trouble than they’re worth.” Murray didn’t think highly of the idea of having to spare food and guards for a bunch of really rather useless prisoners.
“Definitely. There’s a strong faction in the Resistance who advocate just shooting on sight, and I can’t blame them at all. At least it’s Joe’s job to do this, these people threw their hat in because they wanted to be power freaks. My view is that we’re gonna be having quite a few prisons built after this is all over.” Murray and Sid both fell silent, contemplating the idea of a postwar Britain as they walked inside the house.
What would it look like? Could it ever really be the same again, after the bloodshed and damage? Murray had considered the likelihood of the people simply refusing to accept the government-in-exile upon it’s return, and as time passed it became more and more likely. The main question was, which side would he take in that issue?
On the one hand, his duty as a member of the Special Air Service was to the Queen, and by extension, to the emergency government she had given her blessing to when the invasion hit. Even if she was dead, that oath would still apply, and simply transfer to whichever monarch took the throne. And during his time with the Resistance, he’d heard talk that had left him uneasy, due to the deep change it would spell. Words of republicanism, anarchism, communism, socialism, that reminded him of what he’d heard when he’d been deployed on the ground in Syria against ISIS. A radicalisation was happening, the kind that only happened when people felt betrayed by their official government, and often led to some rather nasty conflict between the government. Murray was by no means a political radical, he’d voted for the Monster Raving Looney Party in every election he’d got a ballot for, not being very interested in voting for politicians that, in his estimate, wouldn’t damage his life. So these words were concerning to him, because they’d likely lead to the kind of upheaval that he was meant to deal with. His career was spent cleaning up the effects of radicalism.
But on the other hand… the Resistance were right to feel betrayed, and even regardless of their complaints had accepted him and his soldiers gladly. Their quarrel was with the organisations who had abandoned them, not the soldiers, as Sid had put it. They were willingly putting their lives on the line every single day in service of something, and their vision had more legitimacy based on that alone. And it wasn’t as if the Resistance were turning upon those who still thought of a return to normal, there were devout Muslims working hand in hand with Christians, self proclaimed anarchists building bombs detonated by Tories, marmite haters assisting fellow soldiers who had bad taste, and so on. It again reminded him of the Kurds, where people put aside their differences politically in the face of a common foe, and even when that foe was vanquished, they still would work happily alongside each other, in recognition that the brotherhood of humanity trumped their differences. Plus, at this point, with the Resistance likely to be battle hardened and well equipped postwar, would it even be possible to put the genie back in the bottle and expect these people to be happy?
What would he do? What could he do? Would it even matter, when the Hekatians had the capability to just obliterate his world the second it became too hard to deal with? Murray’s head was starting to spin, and he felt rather sick at the idea of finally overcoming it all, only to be instantly wiped from existence by an unpredictable threat.
“You all right mate?” It was Sid, grabbing Murray’s arm to steady him.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, think I need something to eat.” Murray sat down in the closest chair, feeling the need to rest before he toppled over.
“Ay, makes sense. We can get you a good lunch sorted.”
“Listen, before you go, when I was in the shed, one of them, they mentioned collaborator infiltrati-” Murray was interrupted by Sid placing a hand on his (uninjured) shoulder.
“Don’t worry mate. Their infiltrators are shit. For one, they don’t know where to find the resistance. They keep knocking on random civvies doors, asking them how they join the resistance. The aliens have a total weakness at humint, if you’ll pardon the pun. Joe confirmed it to me.”
“Speaking of Joe, what did you do to him?” Sid smiled in response.
“Asked him what he knew for certain regarding our bases, gave him a map to point to the things he already knew for certain. Then I asked him where he thought our stuff might be located, and I had to start using some stuff to get him to actually think about it. Don’t worry, we’re clear, and so’s the base, thank god. Added in a few more questions about force disposition, both his and what he knew, those were especially hard to get. Len also had some tech based questions, so I had to extract a few answers from him on that.”
“I don’t know how to feel about working with a possible psychopath.”
“If I’m the first person to do dodgy stuff that you’ve met, then how long have you been in the army?”
“Point taken.”
“What’s next then?” Sid and Murray sat down in the living room, sipping what little remained in their flasks. Murray had just finished lunch, and the last throngs of sickness had long since disappeared.
“We want an evac of our prisoners, you want an evac of your wounded, I’ve sent word to Eleanor and she’s talking with UNCO about organising that asap, and texting details over. We’ll prepare a quick transport operation, shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll tag along, I assume you’ll want to as well.”
“Sounds good. Any news?”
“Eleanor says UNCO have been deliberating over targeted airstrikes. They’ve redeployed the B-2 fleet and want to start using them, on targets we designate, so long as they can be assured they’re not gonna get blown up by AA immediately. After that, they intend on progressing air strikes, doing SEAD, and generally degrading enemy capabilities until they’re weak enough to fly helicopters over. We’re also getting promised an increased supply effort.”
“You’re setting me up for bad news, I can feel it.”
“Yep. You ready?”
“Probably not.” Murray gulped down the rest of the tea, bracing himself slightly.
“They’ve informed us that the idea of an invasion into Hull is being dropped. The Resistance will be expected to take the Hull region alone, with the port as intact as possible, and then reinforcements will be deployed.”
“You’re fucking kidding me.” This went back to the issues from earlier. How could the Resistance be expected to trust their government, or the rest of the world, when they got stabbed in the back like this?
“Nope. I have no clue what they’re thinking. We’ll have full air support, and likely much heavier special forces support, but they expect us to liberate and hold Hull without a lot more professional boots on the ground.”
“God damn it.”
“Eleanor reckons it’s them hedging their bets after we told them how many guys we’re up against. They probably don’t want to launch D-Day 2.0 on a heavily occupied Hull, so instead they’re going to wait for us to bear the brunt of the fighting, kill as many of them as possible, and deploy as necessary. If we lose, they simply land somewhere in Scotland and fight south. If we win, then they have a beachhead.”
“And what do you reckon?”
“I reckon she’s right, and furthermore, that the generals don’t believe we, as in the Resistance, are valuable enough to justify excess effort to save. Our lives are not being viewed the same way as their soldier’s lives. It’s fucked frankly, because if we get crushed, then the entirety of Hull is gonna get obliterated in the process, and that’s 250,000 thousand odd people they’re gonna leave to die as a test.”
“What do we do about it then?”
“Well obviously, we have to make it evident that we are pretty valuable, and that our lives should definitely not be treated like test subjects. We can’t make a stable beachhead without them, and the only other way they can make a beachhead will result in them taking so long the second wave lands anyways, at which point we’re fucked.”
“Well yeah but, what do we do?”
“Do you want to know the dumb idea, or the really dumb idea?”
“Both.” Sid gestured to Len, who wandered over and sat down next to Sid.
“The dumb idea is that we put full effort into taking apart the weapons we’ve nicked, and rapidly reverse engineering it into something we can deploy. Furthermore, we hold back from sending our tech samples to UNCO while we do this. This isn’t too hard, in that we have the energy to run the weapons, considering the power cells we keep acquiring from their bases. With coordination across country, we could get working prototypes fast. From there, our problem is the resources to build them, but if we have the tech we can get parts off UNCO. Either that gives evidence of our effectiveness, or it gives us the necessary edge, combined with our numbers, to guarantee a win in the uprising.” Sid looked at Len after he finished talking.
“After some glances at the pistol design, and incorporating some of what we’ve already got off our plasma rifle stockpiles, I estimate, using an L85 as a base to stick parts in, we can have a working plasma rifle prototype within a month. It wouldn’t be advanced or refined, it would effectively be borrowing the parts of their weapons and sticking them elsewhere, without understanding the mechanisms of how they work, but it would be good enough. Think of it like a kid copy pasting off google for his homework. Ultimately, in this case, it doesn’t matter that we don’t understand, so long as it’s on time and in large enough numbers. An L85 derivative would help us, because it cuts down on material necessities, and it’s what our best troops are familiar with carrying.” Len picked up the final part of the conversation.
“I thought their weapons are locked to their armour, so we can’t use them?”
“They are, but the lockdown procedure leaves the internal mechanisms mostly intact, so they can be retrieved and put back to work after some repairs. It’s like that thing where the gas plug on an SA80 has a setting you can stick it on to make it useless, except it’s far more generous to repair. We’ll just strip the internals out and put them somewhere else, effectively.”
“Sounds doable to me then. What’s the really dumb one?”
“With support from local Resistance units, we launch a long distance operation to the least defended landing pod we can find, and seize it. Then we do a rapid snatch and grab on as much of their ftl tech as possible, along with anything else we can, cart it back to base ASAP. From there, that’s a watertight case as to our effectiveness as a fighting force, plus we can make clear that they’re gonna need to send troops or we’ll not be able to guarantee safety of that tech in the event of a failed city-wide uprising.”
“Sid, you’re missing one key fact.”
“What’s that?”
“We can do both.” Murray grinned as he said it, and Sid’s eyes lit up.
“See this, this is why I like having you around.”
submitted by GIJoeVibin to HFY [link] [comments]

/u/ShinzoAbeFroman on A poll: What's Trump's chance of winning?

I'm not feeling good about it.
And the scariest part to me is whoever Biden's VP pick will be. This person really could end up being president. And they will have gotten there not because they are the most capable person for the job, but because identity politics dictated they were the right gender and color. I fully realize VPs are chosen for a number of reasons like helping swing the vote in particular states or regions. But now it's getting real with us electing these fossils to the big chair.
I'm looking at old betting odds for the 2016 election. Hillary was was the favorite to win, from a betting odds standpoint, up through 9:20 p.m. on the election night. She was the favorite the whole time until the results started coming in at that point. Right now Biden is ahead. Perhaps that kind of history can repeat itself. But there were districts Trump carried last time that I'm not sure will do it this go around.
Oh lort, I just wanted him to get one more SCOTUS pick. I don't wish ill on RGB, but maybe the cosmos will see fit to retire her. I know she's hanging on for spite at this point.
from ShinzoAbeFroman on A poll: What's Trump's chance of winning?
submitted by rightwingnews to DebateRightists [link] [comments]

[Guardian] Inside the Tory Leadership Race: The Willem Interview

[Meta Note] This was written as my press persona. Apologies for the long read wanted to try something different.
On the 7th of April, model-willem was at the height of his power. Having just finished a stint as Acting Prime Minister, and with the resignation of model-mili confirmed, the betting markets and those across Westminster were preparing for a Conservative and Unionist Party leadership election which would be comfortably won by Willem. Few thought 10 days later his dream would be over as he made the announcement he was withdrawing from the race and endorsing Yukub. I sat down with him, and others involved, to discuss 10 days that transformed his career and changed his life.
Sitting down for his first interview, I was struck by the sense of normalcy in his home in Stoke. His Cabinet red box on the dining table, and his partner pjr10th cooking a homemade lasagne in the kitchen, you could be mistaken for thinking this was just a normal Saturday for the household. But looking closely the remnants of the past few days were apparent. The suit he wore for the announcement of his withdrawal from the leadership race hanging up on the living room door frame. A copy of three different newspapers, his face splashed on the front of all of them. Next to the red box, a folder entitled “2020 Leadership Election.” With a cup of tea in hand, I started by asking him just why he got into politics in the first place.
model-willem: I started out as a teacher years ago, but politics always interested me. I wanted to make the world a better place, get people back into work and ensure that they are protected when they can’t manage for themselves.
T: Would it be fair to say your path to the Conservative Party is a long one? From the Liberal Democrats and the Classical Liberal parties first, you eventually ended up here. How did this journey evolve for you and help you develop into who you are.
W: It certainly has been quite the ride with lots of beautiful moments. When I started politics I wasn't sure if the Liberal Democrats or the Classical Liberals were the party I felt most at home at, ideologically speaking. I did choose the Lib Dems because I agreed with most of their ideas and it did me good. Getting to know the do's and don'ts of Westminster in the Lib Dems taught me a lot. My departure to the Classical Liberals was a bit unexpected for most people, but I grew impatient with some of the people that I had to work with within the Executive of the Lib Dems and I found my new safe haven there, got to learn the ropes of Leadership of the party and eventually chose to merge the party into the Conservatives. The Conservatives are a great party and I am very happy to be here, I might be on the left of the party ideologically, but they always welcomed me with open arms.
T: You have served as Conservative Deputy Leader since the merger. How did you find that, as well as the temporary step up to Acting Prime Minister in recent weeks. Stressful, I imagine?
W: The step from being Leader of the Classical Liberals to being Tory DL was a weird one, because you go from leader of a national party and being the face of a brand to being the most junior deputy leader of a party. The most stressful part was the fact so many people within the party often speak against each other, which is good but involves letting people down. Stepping up to acting Prime Minister was a great opportunity and a great experience to step into these amazing shoes of people who I admire for their work, such as Thatcher and Blair for example.
T: When did you first start thinking about wanting to run for the top job?
W: Two or three weeks ago, when I had a conversation with model-mili about his future and the fact he wanted to step down as Leader. I thought, well I can do this, I’ve got the experience and the drive to become the new leader.
T: Take me to the moment that Mili officially resigned. It must have been a daunting moment realising the corridors of power were alive with the suggestion that you were the favourite to win?
W: Well yes of course. The moment it finally happened took me a bit by surprise, right after the Deputy Leadership election. I was finishing my manifesto for the party and our new way forward at that moment, not expecting to be needing it that soon. Being pushed into the spotlight as the favourite was a it expected, but I was always clear from the beginning I wasn’t the only one with good ideas.
-----
After the resignation was confirmed, model-willem was of course not the only one reacting to the news and preparing to run. I got the reaction of the other two leadership contenders, who were put to a vote, on the resignation and why they decided to stand after seeing the rest of the suggested field of members who had confirmed or were thinking of running.
Yukub: However much I like Mili on a personal level, I have had some considerable criticisms on his Leadership and felt the best and most appropriate way to ‘fix’ the issues was by going head on and standing for Leadership myself. If I didn’t see myself as the best candidate - in terms of experience, activity, quality of judgement and so on - I wouldn’t have run. I suppose it was unexpected in some quarters because I’ve been content to serve under a Leader for many years now, confident they’d bring something special and unique to the table, and wholly convinced of their credentials, drive and competence. I suppose now I felt that I, more so than others, should be that Leader. As I outlined in a recent interview, there comes a time in anyone’s political career when they have to make the choice of whether they are to remain in the background, helping out on the side-lines, or if they want to stamp their mark on the party and aim for Leadership. I decided it was time to do the latter.
Brexitglory: As you know I was the latest entry in the campaign, I was watching the race very closely and I felt that there was a space in the debate that had not been filled. Everyone in the party agreed that any one of the candidates would do a good job, but I felt at the time that my passion and my energy was exactly what the party needed to get on the front foot again; that is why I entered the race. I wanted to bring my passion and energy to the very top and help and guide the party with that enthusiasm. I wanted to keep the debate laser focused on raising our polls and finding a vision for ourselves, rather than internal reforms, and I believe that my campaign helped to do that.
-----
Back in Stoke, and we had moved into the kitchen. I chatted briefly with pjr10th about his husband’s run for the leadership of the party he himself has served over many years,including at some point as Chairman.
pjr10th: Well as you know my husband used to be leader of the Welsh Tories (as did I) and leader of the Classical Liberals and when he told me he wanted to take the logical next step and run for leader, of course I was overjoyed and ready to support him through the process. I’m so proud of him for taking the chance, and, although it hasn’t worked out, he still ran in a leadership election, which is something I wouldn’t have the guts to do.
Turning to Willem, we continued our discussion about the leadership election where I asked him to pass comment on his fellow competitors.
W: Every candidate had something to bring to the table. Yukub for instance had the advantage of being a long time Tory with the support of every former leader still active in the party, but people did not necessarily know him within the party. A less familiar face for lots of people and that is something that I believe he’ll have to work on. Brexitglory was too inexperienced. A good person who might be my successor as Deputy Leader at some point, but at the moment the inexperience was a deal breaker for me and others. He’s also known for his more right wing takes and can be quite direct about that so that’s something that I think he has a disadvantage in. Rand is a good person with great ideas, but throws it all in and people can be overwhelmed by all of the ideas that he throws around. Merrily, in my opinion, wasn’t known enough, did not have the experience or a vision for the party.
T: It is fair to say you were seen as the favourite, until Yukub got into the race
W: Of course it would’ve been great to have some endorsements from former leaders and at first it threw me off. But it also made me work harder than before, being a leader that was endorsed by the newer people, who maybe were not as vocal about their ideas and working for them made me feel stronger.
T: What were your expectations heading into the results of the first round?
W: My expectations were not that high. It was hard to read what the result was going to be. I thought I might scrape through and get into the second round but definitely not by the same amount of votes as Yukub.
T: So what was it like when you got the news that you and Yukub had drawn on first preference voters?
W: It felt great and I had not expected it. It showed everyone that I was someone to be watched and that my position as frontrunner in the beginning was the right thing. It also shows the rest of the party in my opinion that the quieter people have a large voice if they are combined.
-----
I also spoke with both Yukub and Brexitglory about their reaction to the results of the first round, especially given the odds that Yukub was the by far favourite at this point.
Yukub: The real world has more nuance than the betting market and their seemingly arbitrary odds. I didn’t expect an overwhelming win or landslide or any candidate, including myself, so it’s near to what I expected, perhaps slightly closer than I had thought.
Brexitglory: Bitter sweet is quite accurate. I wanted to make it into the second round to continue my case, but towards the end of the campaigning it was clear I wasn’t going to make it. Nevertheless I was delighted with 8 votes. I started with no base, no long time friends and no leadership prestige, each of those 8 votes I worked hard for. I am proud and humbled to have won them over.
Less then a day after he was eliminated, Brexitglory endorsed Yukub for leader. I asked him about that decision.
BG: It wasn’t a quick decision. I had been thinking about it before running, during my run and after my run. Right now the Conservative party needs pragmatism and experience to guide us through a very difficult time. I believe that Yukub is the best person to do that. Willem would also have made a great leader, so it was a hard choice, but on reflection I think Yukub is best positioned to unite the party and drag us back up the polls where we belong.
-----
T: From the height of drawing with Yukub to 36 hours later when you had pulled out of the race. You’ll have heard the rumours around Westminster about so-called establishment influence and behaviour pushing you out of the race. This is your chance for you to honestly put your side of view across to correct the record. What happened between the first round results and the moment you pulled out to lead you to that decision?
W: It became clear that people within the party who supported Yukub did not see me as their leader and that they thought I am a liability to the party. These are things I can handle but yes at some point when the loudest voices start saying those things time and time again it gets harder to put it aside. Those feelings and the issues that they raised are for me the reason to step aside and let Yukub be the new leader. We need to be a united front as a party to fight back to the top in the polls and back where we were, and I didn’t feel like I was the person who could do that through the loud voices that did not trust me enough. I know that we can do this as a party and that we have to go further. It wasn’t my time and perhaps it will never be, but I will continue to fight for this party and to believe in the issues that are fighting for.
T: So between that first result and your decision, calls were growing louder against you? Where were they coming from, and did you feel they were fair criticisms?
W: They were mainly coming from people endorsing Yukub, as I thought they would come from, some of the issues had a bit of truth in it, but in my opinion were exaggerated. This was not just my opinion but also that of others within the party.
T: What do you mean by that?
W: Well for example the things that were said to me about me being First Minister in Wales had a hint of truth in there but in my opinion are not reasons to call someone a liability.
T: Since you brought it up, you obviously saw the comments about you being a liability in the press. What was your reaction to reading that in the mornings papers?
W: It was tough reading it, because I felt like we did the hard debates internally and that it was supposed to be that way and to see one of my party colleagues hitting me with that in the press after I just declared that I stepped down was something that hit me but it says more about that member than it says about me.
T: So, to clear up this matter once and for all. Did you feel forced out of the race?
W: I didn’t feel forced out just because of them, but did it have some influence in my decision? Yes it did. But I do really believe that we should unite for the future whether we are in Government or in Opposition and we now have the time to do this.
-----
When I spoke to Yukub by phone shortly before he became Conservative Party Leader, I put the rumours of the so-called “men in grey suits” coming to ask Willem to drop out of the race to him, and asked him to say why he thought Willem pulled out and his reaction to the “liability” comments in the press.
Yukub: These accusations of “men in grey suits” forcing Willem out seem to be wholly unsubstantiated and motivated by a desire to hurt the party. The “press briefing” you mentioned is, in fact, a leak from within the party, which is of course against our party rules. I fully support Willem remaining on in the capacity of Deputy Leader in my leadership team and cabinet. He’s a hard worker and I am sure he’ll continue to serve the party well.
-----
T: Something that is obvious in endorsements and has been picked up around Westminster is the apparent split between so-called ‘old guard’ endorsements and those who are former members of the defunct Classical Liberal Party. Do you ever feel like there is a split between these two wins of the party?
W: No I do not think there’s an actual split within the party, I do however think that we should listen more to each other. We come from different backgrounds and have different ideas on issues and we should think about that in discussion.
T: So what is next for you? You are still Deputy Leader. Are you looking forward to working under Yukub and do you see yourself in it for the long haul?
W: I will look forward to working with Yukub and we’ll build ourselves up from here and we will be back on top. I don’t see myself going for another run for Leader as it stands. I don’t know where my next ambitions are. I’ve done a lot of things already in politics. Being First Minister of Wales, one of the most beautiful parts of our country, Foreign Secretary for around six months. I need to figure out my next steps, but I will be on the frontlines in politics for the future and I will continue to fight for my beliefs.
T: Just finally. What’s your message to those of you who supported you in this leadership race?
W: I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for supporting me through this and I know that it’s tough to see someone who you support going out of the race. I hope that they will back Yukub as leader but also that the rest of the party also recognises that they have to work to get them on board as well.
-----
For the final part of my conversation with Yukub, I asked him his thoughts on the suggestion the winning side of the election will need to work to win over Willem’s supporters.
Yukub: I think Willem and I both recognise the need for party unity, especially now. One might have noticed that Labour recently overtook us in the polls, for the first time in years. Only by uniting as one party can we make sure they’ll be dislodged from their position. If we stand strong and stand together, we will have regained the lead before Labour has had the chance to fully appreciate it. This will require the goodwill and ability to compromise on all sides, from the front benches to the backbenches. Together, we can reclaim our rightful position and restore the people’s confidence in our party and in our vision.
T: Final question, you have spoken about Labour overtaking your party in the polls, and with it very likely the Conservatives will be in opposition. Where does the party go from here?
Yukub: From what we’ve seen so far, both from information that has reached us about the composition and programme that a prospective Labour-led government, it seems like anything but a blueprint for the stability and prosperity that this country deserves and - quite rightly - demands. Yesterday the erstwhile ‘Prime Minister hopeful’, ARichTeaBiscuit, was quoted as - for all intents and purposes - begging the opposition not to present a Vote of No Confidence in a month’s time. Not only is this delightfully hypocritical, it is also a clear indication as to the substance such a government would be made of. Should such a government materialise, the Conservatives will be there, in opposition, to provide the much-needed scrutiny and hold them to account at every juncture - and seeing the nature of this proposed government, there will be plenty of such opportunities. From there we can, and will, rally, rebound and make our move.
-----
Getting in a taxi to the train station, it was obvious the words of unity were what Willem wanted me to take from this interview. The disappointment of losing the race was clear, and the passion for which he urged his supporters to get behind the party was sincere, but beneath the surface his comments sent another message. One that urges the eventual victor to unite the party, but not necessarily all on his own terms. The message that the victor needs to work hard to keep Willem’s supporters on board, combined with the urging of the losing candidate to unite behind Yukub will be one rebounding in CCHQ tonight, and will serve as a rallying cry to Willem’s voters to stay engaged, stay in the fight, and work hard to return the party to stable power.
submitted by Tommy2Boys to MHOCPress [link] [comments]

/u/Kotasuoa on As of 2020: Is the Right in America and the West on the brink of defeat? Or can they still recover?

Reply Part 1:
I want to be an optimist about this situation, but in light of these last 3 months it’s really hard for me to see any positive outcome for the right.
Same here.. the future as I see it looks pretty bleak as of lately.
Felix Rex aka Black Pigeon Speaks has an incredible video on why Trump is likely going to be the last Republican to ever sit in the Oval Office. In the video he states that mass immigration from third world nations has dramatically shifted demographics in key red states.
I've taken a notice to this as well. On the bright side, the Rust Belt states, Oregon, New Hampshire & Maine have been shifting Red lately in large part due to an exodus of either urban city dwellers to other states or political realignment due to both parties shifting positions. Either way, I don't see how the Rust Belt + Oregon + a few Northeastern states being Red States can win Republicans the White House in the future with larger states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona being Blue States in the future. Unless Illinois also turns Red, then there's a slight chance.
It happened to California, which was solidly red since it’s inception, and then flipped blue in the last 30 years because of the importing of migrants.
Well, California wasn't solidly Red since its inception. In fact, it was actually a reliable Democratic state for most of the 19th Century with a few times swinging to Republicans. It become solidly Red in the 1920s and again with Eisenhower. But it hasn't gone Red since due to immigration.
If I'm not mistaken, Hispanics now make up the majority of the Golden State's population.
He pointed out what’s happening to Texas, where border counties are now blue strongholds again because of immigration. In this election cycle, Texas has a slim but attainable chance of flipping blue.
As someone who lived in Texas for quite a while, I'll admit that I'm shocked that Texas has remained a Red state for as long as it has. Harris County, once a Red county has now turned into a Blue stronghold.. Texas will most likely flip Blue in 2028 or 2032 and will be in the solid Blue column at that point as well.
Culturally, conservatives have always been... conservative. They’d rather not fight. They play defense, if they play anything at all.
This is something that I've been railing about for years now. Conservatives keep losing the culture wars because they don't fight back at all, although they'll state otherwise and try to point they have been fighting, even though the evidence showing contrary is so overwhelming. If they do fight back, they only do so when its too late to win. Instead of trying to regain ground and restore what was lost, they gradually surrender battles and save what culture is left. Soon, they'll find the culture all but lost to the Progressives..
Same goes with the electoral college, rather than stay, fight back and try to flip Solid Blue States like Trump did in 2016. Rather than trying to flip California, Illinois, Washington State, Connecticut, Delaware, etc, they simply write them all off and the Conservatives living in those states pack their stuff up and leave. That said, I won't be surprised if many on the Right end up fleeing the country should the Democrats regain control of the Senate and White House this year and continue to hold them throughout this decade. Because they don't have the same fighting spirit their ancestors did ages ago during both the Civil War and Revolutionary War before that. Instead, far too many capitulate and run.
In 2016, we won the battle, but not the war. Trump’s victory infuriated the left. It energized their voter ranks and they pushed harder on the whole “America is a big bad evil place and Donald Trump is proof of it” message. Think of the women’s march, science march, etc any and all “social justice” marches or protests that happened from Inauguration Day through 2018. These emboldened socialist uprisings in major cities, and gave rise to the campaigns for AOC, Illhan Omar and many more. The right was complacent and didn’t concern itself with the future of elections. Since Trump won, how could we lose in the future? Trump didn’t help himself at all either, with every sloppily worded tweet he just encouraged the left even more. The Trump voter base was hibernating. We didn’t fight back when he needed it. It was a stupid move. We sat on our laurels and didn’t fight back when the left came for revenge. And they won 2018.
I remember how amazing the Trump's victory was in 2016. It's a shame that the Conservative Movement blew so much opportunity afterwards though. All of the Conservative thought leaders got caught up in the day to day news and scandals that surrounded the Obama Administration spying on Trump _(which is definitely a big thing, but still it shouldn't have taken away focus from the issues)_and all the while not holding the President or Congress accountable as they spent and passed bloated omnibus bills filled with mainly Democrat priorities, increasing the debt more than Obama did when he was in office.
The base became so overconfident to where as you said, they became blinded by their own victory beforehand. Just like back in 2006 and history repeated itself in 2018..
Now armed with self proclaimed socialists in seats ranging from city councils (see Seattle) to the House of Representatives, the Democrats embraced this new radical authority, since their racial diversity, relative youthfulness, and sprightly energy motivated social justice oriented millennials and gen z’ers to vote for the first time. And now they have war chests full of donations and fundraising money to blockade future elections.
And all of that in itself is pretty scary. Millennials and Gen Z are the two most Leftist generations of all time. Early Gen Xers didn't do a proper job raising Millennials nor did Later Gen Xers do well with Gen Z. The Boomers are guilty of this too, they raised the Old Millennials (born 1981-1988) rather poorly too. The lack of discipline, gratitude and humility of the new generations, it all shows with these riots and the marches from last decade. Racial demographics increasingly moving in favor of the Democrats is a major problem too. Asian Americans used to be staunchly Republican until the mid 2000s before becoming staunchly Democrat. I posted an article from National Review about this not too long ago. With the amount of money raised by the Democrats, they're bound to win more elections in the future than lose..

We let the left win. We messed up, hard. We had the chance to squish these communists once and for all, instead we let them multiply as a result of our own arrogance and laziness.
I fear you are correct. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but its closing ever so rapidly.
Fast forward to 2020. Now don’t get me wrong, had the coronavirus not existed, we still would’ve had a solid chance at this upcoming election. The thing is, despite letting the left fester under our noses, Trump had a solid record to run on. 3 years of economic social and political successes gave him perfect ammunition to use against the left, who’s platform basically consisted of nothin more than “cheeto face bad”, peach mints, and CNN nothingburgers.
But the coronavirus pandemic did happen. And as you properly pointed out, the economic gains got deleted in a matter of weeks. Unemployment skyrocketed. And now we’re back to the 1960s with race riots and protests that are still going on after nearly 3 weeks.
Indeed. This year went from being a great one to the most disastrous yet in the span of less than 3 months.
Trump’s election prospects, in my opinion, have gone up in smoke. Now what’s fresh on everyone’s minds is how things aren’t back to normal yet, how millions of people are still unemployed, how 1/5 of all businesses might close, how Trump sank this country into debt by spending our annual GDP 2x over in the span of 7 weeks, how socialists have destroyed and taken over cities amidst these race riots.
When America needed Trump the most, he vanished. That’s why his poll numbers plummeted. And it’s impactful. It paints him as incompetent. And this time I don’t think the numbers are lying.
You're absolutely correct. As it stands due to the factors you mentioned, Trump has lost a substantial portion of his voter base as many of the incompetent decision making by his advisors, namely his son-in-law Jared Kushner are showing more than ever before. The riots were merely the culmination of it all and Kushner stopping Trump from taking action against the riots earlier was catastrophic for him, and it shows in his approval numbers:
Real Clear Politics Average: President Trump's Job Approval Rating
As it stands, Trump's approval has at its lowest since November of last year and is continuing to drop. Soon, it could be back to what it was in 2017 and early 2018...
He's now increasingly losing in the national polls against Biden and in the Presidential betting odds:
Real Clear Politics: General Election: Trump vs. Biden
Real Clear Politics: Latest Betting Odds: Trump vs. Biden
PredictIt.org: Presidential Betting Odds: Trump vs. Biden
Continued in part 2 of reply
from Kotasuoa on As of 2020: Is the Right in America and the West on the brink of defeat? Or can they still recover?
submitted by rightwingnews to DebateRightists [link] [comments]

Message from ya boi

[Edit: this message was from like 3/1 or 2/29 idr and got removed on accident and no I’m not summarizing it for y’all lol- Reida]
Hello, my beloved WSB. There are actually WSBers in prison! In most jails you have Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, etc. Now you can gain jail gang credibility by "claiming" an affiliation with Wall Street Bets (kidding, of course). Anyway, how about those trillion dollar companies?
Politics, you ask? I am trying to quit (but crosspost this to thedonald anyway). Also, I'm woke now. I've tried to give a group of people here a seriously woke #metoo makeover. It didn't work. In all seriousness: there is a lot of homophobia, racism and mysogyny in jail. It is lamentable, but surprising and amusing when you are the most conservative guy "on the street" (jail slang for "when you're not in prison") and the most liberal guy in jail. It is a pretty weird feeling lecturing everyone on not using certain words! Or accepting the humanity of LGBT people. But, I'll be out of here fairly soon and this will be the last time I'll have to defend respecting women to ingrate inmates. It really is that "upside down" here: I'm the SJW white knight.
Anyway, Trump has done well in the last 6-12 months, needless to say. Incumbents are rarely unseated, and the conditions required for a one-term presidency don't exist, other than in the mind of Trump's more strident and acidic critics. Trump passed tax cuts, FSA, judicial appointments and various other legislative victories that actually make him one of the most productive presidents ever. He has done much better at harnessing his preternatural publicity powers for good and avoiding ugly moments like Charlottesville-type gaffes. The other team hasn't played as well with the incessant fire alarm-pulling of the media and Congress tiring the nation out and lending credence to Trump's complaints of bias.
Bloomberg is the most appropriate Democratic candidate for President. He's accomplished far more than any Democrat politician (compare him to Sanders, for instance), dealt well with all types of complexity, not just in financial software, but also in media, and of course the little political fiefdom known as New York City. He ran the city relatively well, but some technocratic autism leaks out, here and there (soda ban). Forgive the neuroatypical one. He's fairly clumsy with his words (watch his Spanish translations for a good laugh)--but he's a much smarter manager who doesn't let ego or reckless conviction get in the way of good decisions. I don't think his "world views" are actually authentic--he ostensibly pledges allegiance to the woke police, but deep down, he is a dirty capitalist billionaire who ideally will not burn the bridge down for the rest of us since he's crossed it himself.
What can be said about Bernie that hasn't been said by the Wall Street Journal already? He really is a dangerous ideologue. A simple way to defuse Sanders is to ask him a direct question: is there a business or a businessperson you admire? Anywhere in the world? In essence, every American is a businessperson, other than politicians/government. Those roles are very important, but without business and wealth generation, goverment cannot 'service' the citizenry. There has to be some core productivity, consumption and trade or there is no keystone to build an economy on. State-owned enterprises have succeeded but they still only really work when they have capitalist incentives (China is the best example of SEOs doing quite well). Sadly, Sanders is the type who has been screaming bloody murder for the last 50 years of his life while our country has rose to ever greater heights of prosperity. There does not exist a condition where he wouldn't complain, at the same volume. This irrational perspective works in politics, but real people won't buy it. Polls and even primaries miss the key variable you need to model in a general election: turnout. I think statistics prove income inequality is a left-wing myth. Sanders' theories are akin to MMT: there is no magical money tree. With $4T annual spending and $3T in annual taxes, it is hard to envision a scenario where he can really fund a major expansion of entitlements. He recently has bragged about his health policy being projected to save $300 billion. We know how well projects work in politics, but CNN interviewers failed to make the retort: is that a big deal? No, actually. That sounds great, but it's a modest 10% difference from current healthcare spending, if it achieves fruition, in a time where political economic forecasts almost never do.
Bernie is actually from my exact neighborhood in Brooklyn. We even attended the same elementary school, PS 197. (Quick aside, I wrote my first line of code--in BASIC--there in 1st grade on an Apple 2E.) Sanders will continue to tap into the high-school/college/post-college angst of youth and those who never grew up. It's surprising this minority is so vocal in America--that is really the bigger issue. Stupidity is a bit cyclical and it has been a while since a major economy tried real socialism; its advocates, whether fools or actually nefarious, have an opening to promote the ideology. The problem with this class is they're victims of the fraud of "higher education" or, much worse, are some combination of lazy and/or jaded/disaffected. Bernie is just the echo product of folks who are upset a $500,000 education is a scam. The fleecing of the middle class by this idea, one of the greatest lies ever told, that one has to go to a competitive college, followed by a competitive grad school, is a more real and tragic driver of income inequality. If Mark Zuckerberg can become the 5th richest man (at his age!) and I attended City College for $2,000 a semester, while you pay $100,000/year for NYU or Penn State (no offense to alums), you may also still be rooting for $DRYS to come back. I can't blame these folks. It's not entirely appealing to finish school and become an entry-level worker at GE or AMZN, hoping to reach middle management in five years. Nor is running into the open arms of GS, JPM or BAC after an MBA fulfilling. It would never have worked for me. Entrepreneurs understand they're playing economic and personal Russian roulette, in a sense. That's also not for everyone. Why can't we have utopia? Despite sympathizing with this plight, Sanders doesn't have the answer, even if he speaks to the worries of a generation increasingly lied to. "Learn to code."
On other candidates: Warren gets her just desserts after decades of lying. Now that her campaign is broke, she's okay with SuperPAC money. Flexibility on once high-conviction values is not what you want from a politician. It's odd that folks believed they could trap the Bernie lightning in a bottle for themselves and crowd-fund a $1-$2 billion campaign, $20 at a time. You really would need every single voter to give you money! Well, Mayor Pete had the right idea, but he's kind of a self-parody in that his inexperience and staying power says more about the other candidates than it does about him. Do we know anything about him or his policies other than the obvious, that he's not crazy or 100 years old or a billionaire? Biden "peaked early", the cardinal sin of politics. He won't be around post-super Tuesday is my guess. I have no bars for Farallon's former CIO. RIP Gabbard, Booker, Yang and my favorite, Kamala. Man, Kamala made Warren look honest. She really dated a guy 30 years older than her for a promotion when she was a prosecutor. This is not a women to get in the way of. Or to vote for, apparently.
Politics are interesting, but ultimately fruitless and unproductive to worry about. We all care about our country and its direction. At the end of the day, however, your time is probably better spent consuming other content. Learn some skills, ignore the propaganda and pull of corporate for-profit news. Someone, somewhere in the world, will want your skills. No one wants to hear anyone drone on about politics ;)
[Posted by Reida]
((apparently he sent me this yesterday and I didn’t see it until now—whoops! s/o to whoever dmd and asked about politics. This was interesting for me to read as well.))
submitted by martinshkreli to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

The history of the Neptunia Reddit community, it's moderators, it's drama, how it got where it is, and how the divide is worsening in the shadows, and why the oldest burned bridges have had enough!

Not many of you recognize my username and honestly even if you knew my old accounts name it hasn’t had much meaning in the Neptunia fanbase for years ever since tiger_wsquared turned the subreddit over to Soah1086 , an action many of us who were around the subreddit during its inception and had been active among anime and gaming subreddits in general refer to to this day as “Gamindusti’s Original Sin”.
Since that time me and a few others found our new place in the Neptunia Reddit community. We looked, we analyzed, we profiled, we investigated as much as we could from the shadows recording the history of the subreddit and it’s ever increasing decline and how it correlated to the ever growing toxicity of the Neptunia fanbase at large. We knew a day may come where this history would need to be made public, when actions worse than what Soah1086 did to Rajaxx came from his moderation team and people needed the truth. Unfiltered from personal relations with any current users or moderators and gathered from a truly unbiased aspect. That day appears to have finally come.
Like most niche subreddits the beginnings of Gamindustri were rather humble. tiger_wsquared simply wanted a place for Neptunia fans to go on Reddit and looked to provide one. tiger_wsquared started by posting links to articles and news about the series but he also went out of his way to announce the creation of this subreddit. He posted it on gaming , JRPG, I personally found the subreddit the day he posted a very chill friendly post about it on nipponichi.
Despite being the creator and sole moderator of the subreddit Tiger still spoke to people like equals. Casual, Friendly, but still fulfilling his role as a moderator when needed. To Tiger he was a fan and member of the community first, moderator second.
tiger_wsquared was then contacted by soah1086 offering to help him out and redo the CSS for the subreddit. While since his departure from active Reddit user newer users of the platform aren’t aware soah1086 was always a heavily controversial person among anime Reddit communities. Soah1086 was one of two Reddit users among anime communities known to be a serious subreddit hoarder, offering to moderate subreddits he didn’t care about and do their CSS in hopes of patting his own ego. Throughout his time on Reddit Soah1086 always showed a series of anger management issues, aggressive impulses, and the shady practice of allowing drama in his favor while censoring any drama that painted him ill. He would also go to other anime subreddits he didn’t moderate and purposely try and stir their drama further. Soah1086 was referred to by many as “The Drama Boner”.
Not long after another Moderator was added to the mix Rajaxx, A moderator that took up the persona of Purple Heart. I know to this day a lot of rumors circulate about Purple Heart and no two are the same, they all contradict each other and not even Soah1086 keeps his story straight. Allow me to go over what happened with Rajaxx in detail from someone who went through and witnessed all that first hand.
The time of Rajaxx’s mod term was the golden age of the subreddit. Believe it or not Fanart wasn’t super common then. We had people posting Discussions, what if scenarios, game mods, fanfictions, trying to organize gaming events with each other, reviews, analysis, theories, roleplay threads. The community was unusually active, more so than it is now despite a smaller size, involved, a true sense of comradery.
By this time tiger_wsquared had begun distancing himself from the subreddit due to his real life struggles leaving soah1086 the defacto head moderator. Rajaxx had a large number of ideas that the community at large not only supported but would have created a more active, involved, positive, friendly, and united community but soah1086 constantly refused because it wasn’t what he would do, it was too much work for volunteers, none of his other subreddits do that, etc. soah1086 wasn’t even willing to give rajaxx’s ideas the benefit of the doubt.
A moderators role is to unite, try and promote content variation, and to do whats best for people other than themselves but this never aligned with soah1086’s style of moderation. Round table, a system that prioritized the moderator teams happiness above all else. See outside of just Gamindustri any community Soah1086 has had any decision making power outside the CSS has become toxic, divided, and drama ridden. Even the two subreddits he devoted the most time to because he actually cared about that series for once, fatestaynight and grandorder have grown into the most painfully ironic anime communities in Reddit history. With fatestaynight having a community that hates their moderators for being toxic pricks, and grandorder having such strict posting guidelines people often choose to post n fatestaynight instead. Someone who moderated under soah1086 on fatestaynight once described soah1086’s management style as “doing as little as possible, finding a good eroge that all the moderators like, using it to cum on a biscuit and having the community be glad you gave them a snack that month”. He is also the kind of person who publicly stated the reason he never did a second season of PeanutButterGamers hardcore is because he didn’t want people laughing at him, above all else he cared about being on a higher caste than anyone else.
Around this time the Gamindustri steam group was a thing. Rajaxx wanted to partner with it and make it official, a sentiment that was shared by most of the active community. Soah1086’s stance was “If we aren’t at the helm, it can’t be official”. Rajaxx made a post about it hoping the words and wishes of the community would be enough to move soah1086’s heart. Soah1086 was livid, Rajaxx showed his loyalty lied more with the community than it did the moderator team and to soah1086 that was a big no no. To every community Soah1086 had helmed the modus operandi was “your loyalty should be your fellow moderators first, close friends second, with whatever is left over being thrown to the community I guess”.
soah1086 took down Rajaxx’s post, said he was going to have a “long talk” with tiger_wsquared about Rajaxxs “position” and it seemed like less than the time it took us all to blink Rajaxx was demodded with soah1086 trying to spread a bunch of lies about him.
The entire subreddit was in a state of utter shock. The large majority of the community loved Rajaxx, he was more than just a moderator, he was one of them. People were either silent, confused and asking questions (while Soah1086 promised full transparency he didn’t provide it), and a very small group of rather toxic childish users who were scared of rajaxx because his ideas for a more united community would put them at risk of getting banned or seeing him as a threat to their own manipulative shady ambitions. soah1086 gave the toxic element a rule exempt card allowing them to break subreddit rules and sitewide policy when bashing Rajaxx while removing and censoring everything in his favor or that brought question to the actions taken by soah1086 and their nature or disapproving of them.
Rajaxx collected all the evidence he could of soah1086’s shady asshole and manipulative behavior, much of which was publicly facing, but soah1086 removed it and allowed more bashing. More and more of us gathering to Rajaxx’s defense did the same but soah1086 would censor anything that wasn’t 100% in the moderators favor, something his mod teams had a long history of doing when they saw their actions were unjust.
The demodding of rajaxx was like a light switch. So many of us left because of it with no intent on returning until someone came into control of the community that’s loyalty was more to the community than the happiness circle jerk of their fellow moderators. Fanart quickly came on the rise because without a moderator that acted as an equal promoting content diversity people just wanted the quick karma grabs. NSFW was on the rise which created heated arguments about kinks. Users divided into sub groups that were always in a constant power struggle against one another, toxicity battling it out while unable to see the wrong in their own actions and trying to solely put the blame on others. Manipulative power games over status and resentment became the norm. If you can find posts from when Rajaxx was still around and compare it to the community after you will see what I mean.
This drama inspired me to enter a career in law enforcement.
This at least did make me decide to follow a career in law enforcement so I could fight corruption and protect the innocent.
The subreddit was mostly left in the hands Histoire (aka kitsunedon ) and White Heart (aka luminous083) who were not bad moderators in their own right but they were honest, fair, and unbiased even though a bit too passive to break down the walls soah1086 had built they would at least prevent things from getting terribly worse. Anytime something happened on the subreddit soah1086’s stance was “It’s just old Purple Heart trying to cause shit again” despite the fact Rajaxx had resigned the fandom entirely by that point, overtime the rumors that spread turned even people Rajaxx had worked with and spoke to daily who knew he only ever had good intentions against him. This was something we had seen on other subreddits happen to people who opposed Soahs way of doing things but I digress.
As the sub numbers grew mod applications went up again and the moderators that were chosen were great picks. Neptune (Aka SuspicousScout) and Uzume (aka Willtheyordle ) while they both had their issues with proper mentoring they could have reached the uniting style rajaxx had but when you look to Soah1086 like he knows how to manage a paper bag you are not going to realize potential.
As kistunedon disappeared one day without any word or explanation willtheyordle picked up the random discussion posts kitsunedon had begun, SuspicousScout showed a level of personality, flair, and style almost reaching the level of rajaxx with willtheyordle just a few steps behind. willtheyordle wasn’t very active at first I would like to note.
SuspicousScout hoping to help bring the community together again around the series created the Gamindustri Discord server. Now it is important to note, for profiling actions taken by the mod team both before and after this that SuspicousScout did not fully consult their mod team about doing so, but it wasn’t an issue because it fit Soah1086’s mantra of to be recognized we must be in control.
Overtime SuspicousScout became frustrated with the lack of content diversity feeling users didn’t care about the series and just saw the series as a billboard for sex dolls. After making a poll about what people felt and being dissatisfied with the results SuspicousScout did the respectful thing and stepped down.
With Luminous083 having finished his schooling and no longer able to commit the large amount of commitment needed to moderate a subreddit such as gamindustri he distanced himself from the community leaving just WillTheYordle as the sole moderator to keep the rapid toxic selfish fanbase the actions of Soah1086 had created in check.
It was around this time the gamindustri moderator team began getting complaints about the Discord server. Now let me preface with this, the people who came to run the Gamindustri Discord weren’t innocent but nor were they guilty, they did some things that were very out of line but those things were not as bad as what the current moderator team did both before and after becoming moderators and nowhere near the extent to what Soah1086 had done during his entire Reddit history.
However with SuspicousScout no longer being the one in charge it no longer falls under the mantra of we need to be in charge to be recognized. Soah1086 smeared them the same way he had Rajaxx and if you loo at his behavior all throughout you have to half wonder if he was getting off to the drama.
In the aftermath of this new moderator applications were brought up and the new moderators were picked by Soah1086 personally. The picks were nonsensical and makes you wonder if Soah1086 is properly medicated.
Atanigan (Million Arthur)’s application was written like a champ, amon the top three moderator applications in the subreddits history. However he didn’t seem to have much care for the subreddit, after being moderated it seemed he’d go months without really doing anything while pooring his heart into his Discord server, Gamindustri Standard. Randoomguy666 (Nepgear) was a controversial pick due to his history involving him denouncing the community’s toxicity and porn obsession prior, people demanded he be removed but he was not and willtheyordle and soah1086 pleaded ignorance and having never been aware of his history despite both of them having publicly acknowledged it prior. Ryzer28 (Vert) was a lurker whos application showed no self confidence, drive, or real passion, to this day Ryzer28 is one of only two moderators in the subreddits history not a single accomplishment can be attributed to. Out of these three the one that objectively was the best pick was the most controversial one, randoomguy666 . Despite issues during his term he had done a decent blend of balancing commitment to the mod team and commitment to the fanbase. He was ever present, smiling, trying to help users and encourage activity by seeding content and events. Not to say he didn’t have his issues, as a prominent member of the Nepgear subgroup he was subject to the typical arguments with the Neptune or Plutia fans (Why is it Planeptune has all the infighting?) but yet during his term he has more accomplishments and positive actions attributed to him than most, easily reaching the top 4 most accomplished moderators in the subreddits long history.
In the midst of his controversy another new moderator was brought on a few days later, wwlink55 . Wwlink55 seemed more committed to his role as a moderator of the subreddit than Atanigan or Ryzer28, but far less so than Rajaxx, Luminous083 , Kitsunedon , SuspicousScout, WillTheYordle , and now Randoomguy666 and his habit of being very cold, sterile, and business like was and to this day still is a very unpopular approach among users who always responded better to the flair, personality, and having fun with it.
When that seemed to have been dying down the account PM_ME_YOUR_DARKSINS was subject to a statement by dracesquire announcing they had taken their own life. To this day there are conflicting reports to if that actually happened or not but I don’t think we will ever know at this point.
It was at this point we had the NSFW ban attempt of summer 2018, objectively speaking the subreddit at that time did need NSFW restrictions but not to go so hard and fast. Despite the community's hard objection to it multiple different methods were tried before heavily reduced to just “extreme NSFW”. Some of these included a single thread for all NSFW content, or just cold turkey. This event period was so extreme that it spawned the spin-off subreddit Gamindustrir18island where users were given free reign to anti-circlejerk on the gamindustri mod team, and for a period of a couple of days caused Neptunia to be opened up from its ever closed status.
Amidst the variety of various subreddit events being hosted by Randoomguy666 came what all the moderators admitted was his brainchild, The Miss Gamindustri Pageant. The event was quite popular and successful but there was some Drama towards the end. Mostly related to accusations of rigging, the Neptune, Nepgear, and Noire sub groups seemed to be the most vocal members of this little spat and as a member of the Nepgear subgroup Randoomguy666 faced a lot of flack for it.
Towards the beginning of 2019 moderator applications went up once more. Overall most of the applications were extremely lackluster, with only a few really being of note. HCLegend, Legend1nfamous , and the_seraph1.
Among the two new moderators were the_seraph1 (Purple Sister), and sleepyviewing (Gehaburn). These picks did carry a bit of controversy of their own by people accusing of character bias since most moderators seemed either to not care about the subreddit or pooring all their energy into the discord server owned by Atanigan giving the image Randoomguy666 was the end all be all. A prime example of this was for quite awhile nopani made a constant string of memes mocking this fact.
Despite it this was promising, sleepyviewings hyperlurker status kept him a bit of an unknown, but the_seraph1 was promising. He had only been around the subreddit a couple of months preventing any sub group from properly taking root, he was capable of memeing and joking, while also serious and professional, seeded any type of content that was on the decline and hosted multiple events regularly, even was the first moderator to get something to make the waters of reddits loli rule less murky something that bigger subreddits failed and and thanked him for. While I can’t say for sure if the most accomplished he was certainly a running candidate for most accomplished Neptunia moderator on Reddits history.
Not long after the moderator team started an NSFW ban attempt again this time polling for opinions via mod mail. The ban went through but the community was more upset this time at the lack of an affiliation with Gamindustrir18island and the instead establishment nor NeptuniaNSFW . Now many people asked why are there two Neptunia porn subreddits? Well the official answer is valid, members of gamindustrir18island including its moderators were guilty of a lot of hate spreading and harassment towards the gamindustri moderation team, if we look at its current Discord its early days were a cesspit and before that on the old gamindustrir18island discord the likes of edwin-of-northumbria and darklhel225 would regularly take part and engage in the hate cult based against randoomguy666, while my sources on the following part are second hand I also hear that a private discord spawned off the old gamindustri off topic chat room owned by silenteagle3 that user bashing and hate circling is a common occurance to this day ever since Silenteagle3 kicked randoomguy666 to make his friends happier. Not surprising if the rumors about the infamous Xander being amongthat discords most active and respected users are actually true.
The new Subreddit elected two new moderators to cover it, dracesquire and legend1nfamous, who seem to be the definition of “doing nothing but appreciate the sidebar” If we look at the history of NeptuniaNSFW and their accomplishments on it, being mentioned in the post about the gamindustri pixel art contest. Outside that their accomplishments or things they have done have been non-existent, half the time they seemed to forget their own subreddit existed.
Not long after we had randoomguy666 resign. For a lot of members it was a bittersweet moment, because despite the initial objections to him a lot of people warmed up to randoomguy666 over time with all the contributions he had brought to the community. Randoomguy666 did imply he planned to return someday. While there were some toxic hate filled comments people made they were quickly taken down leaving only the most respectful. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
As time went on the_seraph1 had shown a remarkable job juggling bringing the community back together with his full time job in a tech career, capable of full access and response time almost any time of day. There was a minor scuffle however when nopani lashed out at the_seraph1 for trying to cheer up and provide emotional support to a sad comment in a random Discussion post left by Nopani. nopani admitted that what he posted addressed emotional insecurities the_seraph1 had that had been explained to him by sleepyviewing. nopani’s behavior seemed out of nowhere, have nothing to do with what the_seraph1 said, and being hypocritical since nopani has made those same comments. If we look at the behavior of nopani there as a standalone isolated case no logical sense or reasoning can be applied to it. Having briefly discussed this with the other long term observers of Gamindustri the only way Nopani’s actions can make sense there is field testing, it was after this harassment from alt accounts that had almost no rhy7me or reason began on the rise, and since I’m just talking about publicly facing stuff I can’t begin to imagine what the_seraph1 had endured behind closed doors. The thing is if we look at every public facing harassment or hostile action taken against the_seraph1 afterwards they all seemed to address those same insecurities, if we take it as field testing how out of nowhere the behavior of nopani was can make half a lick of sense.
The summer approached and a new moderator was added, Archadianite or as he used to be known Glarcidium, taking up the olds mantle of Neptune that SuspicousScout had left behind. Big shoes to fill to say the least.
Around this same time randoomguy666 returned just in time for the AMA thread with Artisan Studios and announced he was helping a relatively unknown name, chaotic-throwaway help revive the subreddit nepgear. He was joined by two others, nopani and edwin-of-northumbria. To any uninvolved observer this behavior was once again a bit nonsensical. These were two people who expressed great relief when randoomguy666 left so why were they now supporting and modding with him?
Allegations came forward of Randoomguy666 faking his own death and spreading rumors against the moderator team came forward. willtheyordle made a post and god was it a good post. Yes it was basically denouncing someone but it was respectful, informative, and passive. While you look at any time Soah1086 calls someone out and you wonder if he has taken his ritalin that morning there was no doubt willtheordle’s post was made in good faith and to inform, not to direct hate. There was one common thing among all comments though. Everyone agreed without question that out of all of randoomguy666’s “victims” the_seraph1 had suffered the most. THIS IS ONCE AGAIN IMPORTANT.
Things were relatively calm for a while. Eventually nopani did make a post about leaving the subreddit and unfollowing all the Neptunia subreddits, yet still showed up in the pinned threads of every one saying he “stumbled upon it”. How did he stumble upon them if he unfollowed the subreddit? His motives clearly were not what he said they were because ifn he had truly unfollowed them it would have been impossible to stumble upon them scrolling through your feed.
Glarcidium was demodded in a very respectful post showing no hard feelings. I can’t say I am entirely surprised but I was disappointed for Glarcidium was one of the first who’s loyalty to the community came before his loyalty as a moderator. But I understand why with how quick he can be to jump before trying to take in all information. There was something that was confusing about all this. nopani said he once again “stumbled upon it” and that he never saw Glarcidium as mod material, but before he heralded the modding of Glarcidium as the greatest thing in subreddit history. Why the shift? Looking at the way nopani talked about the moderation team after Randoomguy666’s departure and comparing it to the way he did before the departure sucking up to be in good favor isn’t an impossibility.
In this brief time much was done to help mend the torn ligaments of the community. There was a community introduction thread that was incredibly popular, the_seraph1 was making constant posts not even as a moderator but as a user of “would you be interested in seeing something like this?”. The community was slowly mind you, but turning towards the path back to the state soah1086 had robbed it of smearing someone's name because he wanted to feel superior and incapable of wrong.
This sadly came to Seraph making a thread about what the community wanted, “State of the Subreddit”. Anyone who actively followed the subreddits history would know his words are sincere because the mindset of doing as little as possible and just trying to copy what others have done had long since been the norm in soah1086 communities. What the_seraph1 described had been a problem with every community he had ever managed and part of why they all grew to be so toxic.
The next day we saw the_seraph1 step down citing toxic harassment from the other moderators. While things were going well kind respectable words of goodbye and fond memories from the regulars it fell apart when atanigan jumped in lashing out at the_seraph1 saying he was lying, no one lashed out, etc. the_seraph1 posted a screenshot proving the other moderators were outright toxic and atanigan banned him citing “leaking mod chat”. Ironic part is this wasn’t the first time an gamindustri moderator had shown something from the mod chat, infact atanigan had done it once prior herself in a Random Discussion post in a means to troll willtheyordle.
Legend1nfamous , dracesquire both jumped in after the ban bashing the_seraph1. Given how these people had all shown to be on really good terms just a couple weeks prior the_seraph1’s statement of “Lance said I lost the right to play nice because now he had to fear the community hating them” seemed like a very strong correlation to the sudden shift. None of us were surprised because soah1086 management practices, if you are less loyal to the moderator team than you are your own country or religion your a problem that needs to be silenced, and the_seraph1 had shown that day just like rajaxx had so long before his loyalty was first and foremost the community. nopani jumped in claiming wwlink55 and sleepyviewing both said it didn’t happen and “sleepy is his best friend”.
There was one saving grace in all this. willtheyordle was still head moderator and the only one that had the backbone to go against the mod team if it meant cleaning up a mess. If you look at willtheyordle’s history of the subreddit he was top 5 moderators the sub has had. He had his issues and short comings but when shit hit the fan he didn’t try and cover it up or lie he’d say “Look we messed up, I’m going to fix it”.
In the final conclusion to that while the final post showed signs of heavy editorial review not matching the_seraph1’s behavioral or speech quirks. However at the same time the final story of all that was still more in line with the_seraph1’s story and atanigan and dracesquire issued an apology towards him. So here is the question. Why did Atanigan , wwlink55 , sleepyviewing , legend1nfamous , and dracesquire lie saying nothing like that ever happened? More importantly why did sleepyviewing who according to nopani was his best friend lie? And when there were apparently 4 people who lashed out why was only 2 ever issue an apology? Simple they were the only two still on the moderator team that we knew for a fact were involved. Notice legend1nfamous who had left neptuniansfw by that point didn’t apologize and even tried to defend his toxic behavior? Nor did the currently unnamed 4th.
It is very clear that the apologies were an order by willtheyordle and that they were far from sincere and I’ll get back to that in a few minutes.
When all those moderators lied about their team being even capable of toxic behavior and only seemed to have to own up due to willtheyordle how do you expect us to believe anything any of them ever say?
A month or so later willtheyordle stepped down due to his real life needing priority and ryzer28 along with him. the_seraph1 came back and the community was ecstatic, I know several observers felt it was worth giving the subreddit a chance again and made new accounts in celebration he was spared the fate of Rajaxx.
However if we take a step back we can evaluate this unbiasedly, it’s why those of us from rajaxx’s day lurk and address things without really interacting, so we can see the truth and the odd behavior without getting absorbed into the various sub group power games that had grew from the day soah1086 became head mod, we can see there was a game going on far beneath the surface.
I would address Atanigan said on his Discord how the subreddit was horrible and he never dealt with so much emotional abuse, showing that his apology was mostly likely insincere but that to him saying you disapprove of his actions makes you a problem. This makes sense when you look at the fact the newest admin on his Discord server, Gamindustri Standard, sigmastudio is described by many behind closed doors as “Weeb Kim Jong Un”. Acting smug, elitest, morally superioholier than thou, and someone who doesn’t see himself being capable of anything wrong. On his Reddit history we can also see a long history of him trying to bait randoomguy666 and the_seraph1 into arguments, often digging up month old posts to do it. But he’s an admin because he contributes to Atanigans friendly ego stroking.
ryzer28 began spreading rumors about the_seraph1 that from what has been gathered so far weren’t entirely accurate, especially since later the_seraph1 showed screenshots of ryzer28 admitting they were inaccurate and he was doing it out of spite.
So why wasn’t ryzer28 denounced when he had just become guilty of the same behavior randoomguy666 ultimately faced it for? Simple answer would be ryzer28’s actions fit perfectly with what soah1086 and any mod team that ever thought he was capable of managing a sock drawer did to people who suggested the way they do things wasn’t the best, smearing.
We know he told these to nopani who then forwarded these over to the new moderators when they applied which were all very close friends of his. This here is the proof that something shady and underhanded was going on.
It wasn’t hard to see these new moderators hanging around or chilling with the_seraph1 in Gamindustri Standard in the days leading up to the mod applications and explanation. While things were rough for a bit we slowly started to see the_seraph1 was regaining his vigor and recovering for the emotional and mental gaslighting the mod team had engaged in.
On Christmas we saw that the_seraph1 was late to the celebratory post because he had stayed up late readying the community's secret santa event. I ask you have any of the other moderators ever sacrificed an entire Christmas Eve to prepare something fun for an internet board? This isn’t rhetorical by the way this is a question I actually don’t have an answer to.
After a bit an apology post by randoomguy666 went up and it was great closure for a lot of users, but then the unexpected happen. Soah1086 used the_seraph1 to reenact Gamindustri’s original sin.
The post and the days that follow were surreal. If we look at the comments what do we see? The people we know for certain lashed out at the_seraph1 before lashing out again, the suspected 4th ryzer28 doing it all the same, all close friends of legend1nfamous the only 100% confirmed moderator to have lashed out at the_seraph1 during the state of the subreddit incident joining in on the kicking someone while they were down. The only close friend of legend1nfamous that didn’t as far as we can tell was ChronicIdiocy
This thread was very reminiscent to everyone who had ever seen soah1086’s behavior running a subreddit knew this wasn’t in good nature, it wasn’t meant to be honest, it wasn’t meant to inform or be transparent. It was meant to direct hate.
Like normal in Soah1086’s smear campaigns comments against Soah1086’s “Mark” were given free reign but anything questioning the mod team was silenced in seconds. This post did however show us the biggest proof in the coming days that things weren’t what they seemed.
This is where nopani told us he forwarded the rumors spread in spite by ryzer28 to the new moderators who “knew all along”. Why is this important? We know in the coming days the_seraph1 tried to do what rajaxx did and peace out of the fanbase but wwlink55 didn’t let him. We also know from screenshots the_seraph1 posted that this pushed him into a quest to seek answers so he could make sense of the nonsensical. Through this time wwlink55 kept changing his story to cover the other moderators' backs. Look I’m a patrol officer and on my way to being made a case investigator, when someone has basically been attacked mentally like what soah1086 did the way wwlink55’s primary goal was covering the other moderators backs is among the most damaging thing you can do to someones state of mind and self image/worth.
But we know from screenshot’s the_seraph1 tried posting that wwlink55 wasn’t taking anything suggesting the mod team would be semi capable of wrong or fault. There is one question though the_seraph1 never asked in those screenshots, why didn’t these junior moderators he seemed on really good terms with come to hear his side of these rumors? See that’s the thing that shows the moderators were up to something, when someone spreads rumors against your friend is it not the norm to come and hear their side?
Once these screenshots were posted publicly on the subreddit thus started “Avenger” the long term harasser that had been driving the_seraph1 out of the community entirely wanting no one to ever hear from him again. Interesting part is just after that happened Soah1086 changed his Reddit banner image to Gorgon from Fate Stay/Night something that from what I can see not the_seraph1 nor anyone else ever commented on or made a connection to.
Outright hate and toxicity towards the_seraph1 was allowed free reign, things were allowed to stay up when far more mellow things had been taken down in regards to randoomguy666 both before and after his denouncement. Meanwhile posts supporting the_seraph1 were often locked or removed entirely. The funny part is this, if we look at the removals of toxicity against randoomguy666 the responding moderator was quite often wwlink55, so why now that he was supposed to be head moderator was he not showing the same courtesy? Simple for the mod teams happiness they had to smear him, its the soah1086 way.
As time went on the mod team tried to silence the topic entirely, likely realizing the case against them had reached a point it painted them more at fault than anyone else, something once again common among soah1086 communities of silencing things and letting the toxicity boil fracturing the community rather than trying to mend the fence.
Now I don’t know much about this supposed Val person but my sources tell me that they were in the gamindustrir18island discord briefly and their account was heavily aged? Makes the odds of it being an alt unlikely honestly but I won’t comment because that person is mostly an unknown to us.
From what we gather by the end of it mind shattered and being left with zero self worth the_seraph1 just wanted to keep chatting with his friends but once this Val person showed up they stopped responding, thus making this Val person cement the long term harassment goal of no one talking to him again.
This basically shattered the_seraph1’s mind to such a point he began turning to self mutilation as a cry for help and not only did the gamindustri mod team laugh it off but from what we understand edwin-of-northumbria told him to just “do it already”? Sorry that alone should be enough to ban edwin-of-northumbria from the community entirely and block any community hes part of from so much as being mentioned.
Eventually the_seraph1 was so mind fucked like many people had been before from the mod teams of soah1086 communities and their priority of mod team happiness above all else that he left, his girlfriend showed up and said he had tried to do an unthinkable action in response to all the emotional harassment and manipulation. When she joined the Discord just wanting to understand what the hell happened users taunted her before sigmastudio posted one of his custom Noire emotes and banned him before him, the other staff of that discord, and the users did a victory Dance. How is it that that is an acceptable response to someones loved one trying to do the unthinkable? In a respectable community sigmastudio would have lost his position on the Discord for such an action but remember these are people who above all else don’t want moderators that want the best for their communities, that want friends who will tell em no matter how toxic they are or how badly they mess up they are doing everything perfectly. The norm for soah1086 communities. We can see that his Girlfriend has been on Discord for quite awhile and from what I’m told she talks about in kuletxcore’s server if things had been different I bet you she could have been a well loved member of this community too.
Interestingly enough a large number of anime Discords have been subject to raids lately, including Neptunia. But not a single user in any of them seems to be getting messages. Heck some of these anime Discords still have about 200 bots just sitting there. But if we look at his twitter we can see the_seraph1 was getting mass bombarded to the point he left Discord servers, unrelated to Neptunia, that he had a decent enough level of activity his name was at least “recognized” to get away from the harassment and save those Discords the trouble. So why leave communities entirely unrelated to Neptunia he enjoyed? Why were these bots joining Neptunia Discords but not messaging a single person in them? Simple, harass the_seraph1 and use the alts hitting the Neptunia discords to try and smear his name more if I had to guess having seen these moderators behavior in the past.
Now the_seraph1 is gone and similar to Rajaxx it doesn’t sound like he doesn’t intend to ever come back, yet all this bullshit is still happening. We can see this in the recent tweet about a bad actor weresdrim is being harassed and extorted for Neptunia and here on this subreddit in that “Want to be a mod” post we can see that hobiiii is being targetted for gamindustrireform. Why is this important? Only Neptunia subreddits not currently ran by an gamindustri moderator or their closest closest friends. It fits the mantra going back years, to be recognized, we must be in control.

submitted by RJLPDash to GamindustriReform [link] [comments]

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