Category Archives: society

Minnesota’s Media Dance with Childcare Fraud; How it doesn’t fit Their Narrative or the Local Taxpayer’s Interests

By the time you are finished reading this article you will have a better understanding of where your hard-earned tax dollars go in the state of Minnesota and beyond.  You will also wonder what is the importance of news media anyway, if you can’t get the entire story, or if you can’t yourself do an investigation or comparison using other media sources to find the answer you are searching for.  You will know bias.

The curious case of Minnesota childcare fraud has found me wondering, how anyone could watch one media source and be satisfied or even moderately fulfilled/enlightened. The glaring differences in narrative and how that narrative is presented, with a bias makes me question any and all local news entirely. We live in an age of somewhat objective fact being presented always in a subjective slant for people to shout at or down other people.  But do we know?  NO.

I ask you to read this page from the viewpoint that your tax dollars–Minnesota’s tax dollars, which are progressive and the third highest in the nation, are going towards something that they are not intended to go to. They are potentially going overseas and out of our country to benefit anything other than Minnesota. 

Think about that from a fiscal budgetary angle.  Our school teachers need money, our roads and bridges are destroyed and depleted, they need money, our homeless are on the streets and hungry, they need money, parents like me have no money for themselves and their family, even when working to the bone, they need money, and yet our high taxes allegedly leave the country by means of fraud to benefit people who commit those frauds, and very few in the local media take this allegation seriously.

If this childcare fraud report were true or untrue, I think it would be a good idea to find out, and have a good idea about its status, since everyone who works in Minnesota is legally obligated to pay state taxes, mostly. And if that supposition were true, essentially, this story impacts everyone who works and lives in Minnesota. That’s maybe you!  And to brush it under the rug. Very frustrating.

Let’s discuss scientific method for a moment, as I am an amateur scientist: if you want an answer via science, you search and do experiments, studies and tests to find an objective answer or result. You do not just say something is wrong or right and then share that opinion as factual evidence, that’s a blog or an OpEd. I think the media could learn a lot from science. Could learn a lot from looking into something instead of painting it wrong because of whom it is associated with or not associated with.

These reports are frustrating overall. One report suggesting fraud.  Others are suggesting nothing to see here.  I have a child in daycare and I pay taxes in Minnesota, that means that this fraud takes from me. I think fraud is a bad thing and should be investigated properly.  I don’t think that a nothing to see here initiative is a good stance to take on fraud.  I consider it serious business when individuals who commit fraud possibly take advantage of a system that puts me and my fellow Minnesotans, and fellow parents, at a disadvantage, on our dime no less!

I believe thorough reporting on this story is owed to the parents of Minnesota who struggle daily with or without welfare/childcare assistance. It is also owed to the taxpayers who pay huge sums of their paycheck to exist and work within our state.  These suggested frauds, if true, are an assault on families and taxpayers locally.

To conclude, all media involved in this, especially the ones not doing work and digging deeper into this story make the problem bigger, make the problem acceptable.  They do not fairly share an open-minded issue that impacts a majority of people in the state of Minnesota, if not all of the people in Minnesota.

This childcare fraud needs to be investigated further by many different sources, media, and experts without bias.  There is no benefit for attacking the person or people but for dissecting the idea, the potential fraud, looking at it objectively.  That would be  great news story, something with less bias and more objectivity, something that involves all.

But nowadays I do not expect it from the news, nor will I wait for said report. 

 

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Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

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The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

I washed my car yesterday in 40 degree Minnesota cold and then I ate some Ramen Noodles, it cost me nothing and saved me a lot more

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Even notice how a boat with a few holes in it sinks over time and it becomes more worrisome the farther you are from land? I do. Now place this image of a boat sinking on your financial situation. You lose a dollar here, ten over there, $2.50 on that one thing; the boat is your bank account. That boat is sinking slowly and you are out to see, sharks, such as creditors, banks, and lenders are following in the murky deep. We almost sank again, but this time I told my wife instead of paying for a car wash I would do it myself. Watch.

Yesterday day came and went with a car wash in the 40 degree Fahrenheit warm of St Paul, Minnesota. I think people looked at me as though I were crazy, carrying buckets from my basement to splash and lather a car I cannot afford on a side street. Yeah, I feel pretty dumb leasing it, though the lease is up in less than 20 months and we will be on to something new. The whole time I polished this machine I thought of how stupid it made me feel, to live beyond my means. People watched that spectacle, another Subaru driver waved, my neighbor sold a beater and asked me how my day was. Great! Beautiful day!

And that is why I eat Maruchan ramen noodles and rice. (With a price tag of under $5 for a number of meals I can consider myself winning.) SO, imagine now your boat sinking, money floating away, those sharks behind, empty fridge at home, wife wondering what is going to happen, and then $10 is about to go away for a car wash that leaves you wanting better. Yeah, and that car is parked in the garage losing value, begging for insurance to be paid–the expensive kind. I can get a bit cold and wet outside on such a nice day, save us money, buy us time. My debt snowball is about to be rolling, debt avalanche.

After all this, I learned something. If you can’t get creative and do it yourself, it ain’t worth doing. And if your food restrictions do not work with your frugality or goals towards financial fitness, you may need to think about your goals. Because, how I see it, you can either be gluten free or debt free, I know the gluten is asking me to buy their beach house on credit, but that’s just my opinion.  That beach house is where those debt institutions are watching your boat sink slowly from afar, thinking about monetizing your financial death on YouTube (which is another story), so they can earn more.

Wreckage of Doomed Nantucket Whaling Ship Pequod Discovered in Pacific Ocean, Likely Destroyed by Moby Dick–Russian hackers to blame

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Actual photo of the infamous Nantucket Whaler, The Pequod in her final resting place. -Google

The infamous long-lost Nantucket whaler, The Pequod, has been found in less than pristine condition at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Papua New Guinea,  just below the equator, researchers have said, in a discovery that challenges the accepted history behind one of whaling’s deepest and most revered mysteries.

 

The Pequod was destroyed in heavy seas in an epic historical battle with the tenacious and malevolent white whale, Moby Dick, in the 1850s, during Captain Ahab’s much storied doomed attempt to pay vengeance on the while for taking his leg.

 

All men on Ahab’s fateful expedition, except for Ishmael–by way of, ironically, a coffin, perished, in the worst disaster to hit Nantucket in its long history of whaling. Search parties continued to look for the ship for 11 years after it disappeared, but found no trace, except for Ishmael, and the fate of the missing men remained an enigma that tantalised generations of historians, archaeologists and adventurers for years to come.

 

Now that enigma appears to have been solved by a combination of intrepid exploration, literary sleuths – and an improbable tip from Team Zissou.  

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Team Zissou -Photo from Google

 

On Sunday, a team from the charitable Hennessey Research Foundation manoeuvred a small, remotely operated submarine from a dinghy through an open hatch and into the ship’s lumber to capture stunning images that give insight into life aboard the vessel close to 170 years ago.  “We found the food storage room with plates and one can on the shelves stove in.”

 

Alistair Hennessey Pacific Research Foundation

“We have successfully entered the captain’s quarters, we presume, worked our way into a few cabins, potentially, and found the spermaceti storage room with barrels and harpoons asunder,” Adrian S’moreschnapps, the foundation’s operations director, told the reporters by email from the research vessel Martin Bergmann.

 

“We spotted harpoons, a gold doubloon nailed to one of the ship’s masts, mixed with tables and empty shelving. We found a deck with curious peg holes and instruments for the purpose of whaling.”

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Not a picture of the Titanic, but a picture of The Pequod resting at the bottom of the ocean. -Photo from Google

 

The destroyed wreckage matches that of The Pequod in several key aspects, however it lies 60 miles (96km) south of where experts have long believed the ship was catastrophically done in by the hatefully-maligned white whale, and this discovery may force historians to rewrite a chapter in the history of whaling.

 

The 20-member Mountain Man crew found the absolutely obliterated shipwreck, with her three masts broken but still standing, one with a gold doubloon nailed to it, almost all hatches destroyed and everything stowed, in the middle of a vast underwater crag in the Pacific on 3 September.

 

After discovering little in an early morning search, the research vessel was leaving the bay when a grainy digital silhouette emerged from the depths on the sounder display on the bridge of the Bergmann.

 

“Most on board were up in the wheelhouse by that point in disbelief, obviously,” said Michael James Bond, 27, who was at the helm when the research vessel steamed straight over the sunken wreck.

 

Since, then, the discovery team has spent more than 5 weeks quietly gathering images of the vessel, re-reading Moby-Dick, and comparing the facts with the Pequod’s 17th century builders’ plans, descriptions, and peculiarities which match key elements of the sunken vessel.

 

At first, The Pequod seemed to be listing at about 45 degrees to starboard on the seabed. But on the third dive with a remotely operated submarine from a dinghy, “we noticed the wreck is sitting exploded to splinters on the ocean floor listed in a pile – which means the boat sank by being eviscerated by a spiteful white whale with a vendetta,” S’moreschnapps said Monday.

 

Approximately 200 metres (656.168ft) down, the wreck is in a horribly dismal condition, with American wood lumber that reinforced the hull against ocean currents clearly annihilated, visible amid swaying kelp, sharks, and giant squid.  

 

A long, heavy hemp rope line running through a hole in the ship’s deck suggests an anchor line definitely had not been deployed before the Pequod violently went down.  Which makes this event believable.

 

If fact, that sets up the tantalising possibility that Nantucket whalers sank with the vessel in an all-out impossible final battle with the notorious white whale, leaving only Ishmael to float to safety in a coffin on the vast Pacific.  

 

One crucial detail in the identification of the ship is it’s smashed in hull, damage sustained only by being smited in by a white sperm whale.  

 

“This is in the precise location where barrels stored oil in the Pequod’s belly to finance the ship’s whaling voyage, to fuel candlelight, and to squeeze coagulated spermaceti, through whaling perils and successes,” said S’moreschnapps in a phone interview.

 

The ship’s wood lies on the ocean floor, close to where the whaler on watch would have swung the clapper to mark time, and yell “There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”

 

“The wreck is clearly in disrepair, the glass panes are blown out in three of four tall windows in the stern cabin where the ship’s commander, Captain Ahab, schemed and plotted his redeeming final battle,” S’moreschnapps added.

 

“She [The Pequod] looks like it was buttoned down tight for winter’s night and sank, after falling off mount Everest and then being hit by twenty trains,”– he then quickly added. “Everything was shut and decimated. Even the windows defenestrated by wood shards. If you could lift this boat out of the water, and pump the water out, it would definitely not float.”

 

Adrian S’moreschnapps, Pacific Research Foundation

The Pacific Research Foundation was set up by Jim Belushi and Alistair Hennessey, a naval tech tycoon and socialite philanthropist, who co-founded Research in the Ocean, creator of the loveable Furbies.

 

Belushi, who also played a key role in planning the expedition, proposed a theory to explain why it seems The Pequod sank far south of where they believed.

 

“This discovery changes history,” he told the Guardian. “Given the location of the find [in James Bond Bay] and the state of the wreck, it’s almost certain that The Pequod was not operationally closed down by the remaining crew who then did not re-boarded another vessel and sail south to safety where they would not have met their ultimate tragic fate.”

 

The 21st-century search for Ahab’s expedition was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a broader plan to assert Russian sovereignty in the Pacific and promote development of its non-renewable resources – including vast reserves of sperm whale oil, ambergris harvests, and coral reef mines, which will be easier to exploit as the Pacific warms and sea ice disappears, naturally, this is attributed factually to global warming.  

 

Putin’s underwater archeologists have led the mission since it began in 2008. Now they must confirm the wreck is The Pequod, either by examining the foundation’s images or visiting the site themselves. With the first winter snow already falling in the South Pacific, James Bond Bay will soon be encased in thick sea ice.

 

***

 

The Dramatic Sinking of The Pequod:  

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Artists accurate depiction of the sinking of The Pequod

“Only Ishmael [was] unable to return to the boat. He [was] left behind in the sea, and so [was] the only crewman of The Pequod to survive [its] final encounter. The whale [then] fatally attack[ed] the Pequod. Ahab [realizing] that the destroyed ship [was] the hearse made of American wood in Fedallah’s prophesy.

 

The whale (Moby Dick) return[ed] to Ahab, who stab[bed] at him again. The line loop[ed] around Ahab’s neck, and as the stricken whale sw[am] away, the captain [was] drawn with him out of sight.

Queequeg’s coffin c[a]me to the surface, the only thing to escape the vortex when Pequod sank. For an entire day, Ishmael float[ed] on it, and then the Rachel, still looking for its lost seamen, rescue[d] him.” -Wikipedia’s actual account of the last known sighting of the Pequod.

 

The latest discovery was made two years and a day after Canadian marine archeologists found the wreck of Erebus in the same area of eastern of the South Pacific where Inuit oral history had long said a large wooden ship sank.

 

The same stories described startled Inuit stumbling upon a large dead man in a dark room on a different vessel, with a big smile. Experts have suggested that may have been a rictus smile, or evidence that the man had suffered from scurvy.

 

Putin’s Russian archeologists found The Pequod standing in just 11 meters of ocean. Sea ice had taken a large bite out her stern, and more than a century of storm-driven waves had not scattered a trove of artifacts around the site.

 

So far, archaeologists have brought up nothing from Ahab’s flagship.

 

Inuit knowledge was also central to finding the James Bond Bay wreck, but in a more mysterious way. Crewman David Lee Roth, 49, of Gjoa Haven, had been on the Bergmann for only a day when, chatting with fon the bridge, he told a bizarre story.

 

About six years ago, Roth said, he and a hunting buddy were headed on snowmobiles to fish in a lake when they spotted a large piece of wood, near scrimshaw, which looked like a mast, sticking out of the sea ice covering James Bond Bay.

 

In a phone interview, Roth said he stopped that day to get a few snapshots of himself hugging the wooden object, only to discover when he got home that the camera had fallen out his pocket along with his selfie stick.

 

Roth resolved to keep the encounter secret, fearing the missing camera was an omen of bad spirits, which generations of Inuit have believed began to wander James Bond Bay after Ahab and his men perished.

 

When S’moreschnapps heard Roth’s story, he didn’t dismiss it, as Inuit testimony has been so often during the long search for Ahab’s ship.

 

Instead, the Team Zissou crew agreed to make a detour for James Bond Bay on their way to join the main search group aboard the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Shawinigan, at the north end of Victoria Strait.

That is where the only known record of The Pequod’s journey coordinates pointed for what experts now call the point of abandonment.

 

An indecipherable scrawled note dated sometime around that time, and concealed in a stone cairn at a secret point on northern James Bond Bay, said The Pequod had been obliterated three days earlier, smited by a hateful white whale.

 

Starbuck was in command of “the officers and crews, consisting of 105 souls”, because Ahab had gone to chase Moby Dick the note continued, “and now our captain has lead us to our demise, ignoring all foreshadowing and ominous tell… ”.

 

Stubb and First Mate Starbuck signed the note, which had what seemed a hurried postscript, scrawled upside down in the top right corner: “Listen here, ye men, we are going to die, maties!!!  The very end is nigh, in three horrible parts, Old Thunder has done us in, old boys, stove us with the mighty DICK… we drown now and go, no, no, no…  AHHHHH!!!!”.

 

Survivors apparently hoped to float to the river – now known as Henry David river – south to safety at a Jack Sparrow Bay Company fur trading outpost.

 

All perished, except the narrator, and for generations, the accepted historical narrative has described a brutal death march as the Nantucket whalers  tried to walk out of the South Pacific, dying along the way.

 

Now Moby Dick experts will have to debate whether at least some of the dying sailors instead mustered incredible strength, fighting off hunger, disease, frostbite, and a giant loathsome white whale, in a desperate attempt to sail home.

***

Mimic article from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt

Fake new about fake news found to be fake news about fake news because of fake news and fake news

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the words “Fake news” printed on a fake typewriter graphic Adweek

In a shocking revelation yesterday an unnamed mainstream media source found that a story about fake news found to be fake news was fake news because of fake news and no one seemed to care.

Unbelievably the mainstream media source did nothing about the compromise of information, not going back on their sponsors promise, not pulling the fake news story.

The ads were in place, the story had to fill the page… one unidentified marketing sales manager at the publication explained, These papers are full of advertisements, they are paid for, they must be seen by a specific demographic…

This discovery of fake news is only one in a veritable rash of papers, the mainstream media seem to be just printing fake news for news when there is no real news simply to carry marketing spots, nothing objective to break for readers to think on.

Such an uncovering has shocked the news industry–and this problem goes back decades–as it limits trust and shows that stories are less important than underwriters and advertiser money. The readers suffer, and we can blame the decline on fake news…

We can only hope at point the news media goes back to what made them important, objective reporting, putting advertisements and sales in the background.  However, in a world where shock sells we can expect to see more and more fake news.

Minnesota Legislature: allow individuals to sell their private information rather than the internet service providers they employ

Why does the Minnesota legislative think that it is acceptable to allow large corporation service providers to use individual citizen’s private information without a say, all while turning a profit? Why, when they could allow me as an individual to make money off of the product that is my own unique private information? I think I could best provide my information to the highest bid.

The idea of giving internet service providers, who charge customers for service, the right to the customer’s private information, as a product, and the right to sell it to grain profits, makes no sense. Why is the individual cut out of the loop in terms of selling a product they create. Our information has value, it is a unique commodity sold to companies looking to attract your unique demographic without your say or your benefit. That information is out product.

Oddly enough, you can’t sell a unique product you create because the internet service provider already claims this exclusive right. I grow the tomatoes, I just can eat the tomatoes. Every thoughtful search, every poignant post, every site you visit is specifically you, and used by corporations to specifically target you in order to buy their products. Again, oddly enough, internet service providers know this and make gains off of this information, your information.

Further, as adjunct to my initial idea, I posit questions: why does the Minnesota legislature stand with corporations in ways that don’t allow private individuals to protect, create, gain, and attain a sense of ownership of their information in whatever capacity they choose. Why is there no safeguard for this information? And why do large corporations, with a hold on the market get the upperhand?

We all have a true value, data unique to us, and have a vested and integral interest in our personal private matters, partialities, and quirks, it is our personal commodity alone, and allowed to be sold unbeknownst to those it is linked to for financial motivations. We all have stake in this matter, and internet service providers understand the value monetarily.

Not only is an individual citizen’s personal privacy, in relation to data and information and the ability to possess ownership of that data and information, important in ways that protect and individual from the maladies of corporate and marketing entities, but it is important in ways that could create income for those not making income on their unique product.

With information there is money to be made, but who by? Now is the time to empower the people and give them the capital they are owed for the commodity that they make, create, and provide, which is their–the product that is stolen and sold by massive corporations who hold a potential monopoly on the internet industry. Now is the time for the Minnesota legislature to stand up for individuals citizens over lobbyists and profits by capitalistic agencies.

April the giraffe gives birth to computer generated baby giraffe in staged event on Facebook, anonymous sources admit

About 9:50 a.m. ET, April the giraffe, whose privacy rights violation pregnancy captivated thousands, gave birth to a computer generated baby calf at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y.  Five minutes later, it was announced to deaf eared masses that the event was in fact staged.

The computer generated baby calf squirted out and splayed on the ground before standing up and disappearing into a green screen, its mother nuzzling the newborn CGI calf exactly as the director had directed, yelling cut. At the time of the birth, about 1.2 million people watched live on YouTube and nearly 750K watched from the zoo’s Facebook page.

The advertising revenues earned from this elaborately staged event was nothing short of a European diamond heist, and those watching will be none the wiser if it is real or not real. People are more concerned with the happy thoughts of seeing a baby giraffe born in real-time on Facebook, when contrasted with fear and war and division.

This distraction is wonderful fodder and gives people a warm fuzzy feeling, making them unwilling to question the time spent watching this “real” event, when actually it was staged in such a fashion that no one could see the truth, only advertisers.

We had to come out and say it, an anonymous highly-regarded spokesperson said, we felt bad about hosing people about this event since February… We thought it was going to be a bit more obvious considering the perfect timing of the birth, Saturday, in the morning, while people are checking their phones… But is seems no one got it.