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A Tyson Foods board member was held ransom for $87,250 in December, 2018. Now released, he says Tyson is suppressing police investigations into finding his captors and threatening legal action if he speaks about his abduction.

Myra Kindle is an independent investigative reporter.
Her other reports:

Once Enviable

At six foot one, 41 years of age, and net worth of hundreds of millions, prodigious venture capitalist Dean Banks should be the envy of the world. But he’s not.
Dean struggles to leave his house, says he feels an impending sense of doom, and is prone to sudden outbursts of crying. None of this is unusual for a recovering survivor of a ransom kidnapping, an experience which can test our ability to feel safe in any space afterward.
What is unusual is that since the kidnapping Dean has become a vigorous advocate of free range chicken farms, and now refuses to eat the animal himself. An odd trauma for a survivor to come away with, but one more consequential to Dean, who in 2017 became a member of the board of directors at Tyson Foods, one of America’s largest suppliers of chicken.
Now, facing the possibility of dismissal from the board at Tyson, and angry at the lack of coverage in the media, Dean has agreed to speak on the record for the first time since the incident.
Dean claims Tyson conducted an illegal ransom payment to free him, and that they have humiliated him by disbelieving his account of the kidnapping. Dean also says Tyson played a significant part in shutting down two police investigations into what happened, and that Tyson has been suppressing his speech since he has tried to say publicly that they promote the cruel treatment of chickens.
Based on dozens of interviews with Mr. Banks, representatives from Tyson Foods Inc, and law enforcement in Idaho and Wyoming, as well as documents and correspondence provided by Banks and other sources, this special investigative report by independent journalist Myra Kindle lays out in chilling horror the six day ordeal and subsequent coverup of the Dean Banks kidnapping.

Breaking with Corporate

On a late afternoon on December 12th, 2018, Dean Banks left his winter home in Sun Valley, Idaho. He planned to drive 3.4 miles from his home to a grocery store, a drive he has made many times before.
He never arrived, and instead would not be seen until six days later on December 18th, when he was found severely dehydrated and rambling emotionally outside of a bar in a town close to the border in neighboring Wyoming.
The details of the intervening six days are a topic of dispute between the police, Tyson, and Dean Banks, with each party giving wildly different versions of what happened. What is agreed with no dispute by any party is that Dean Banks has been irrevocably changed.
“An abduction is an extremely traumatic experience,” says Linsey Windsor, adjunct professor at UCLA psychology. “Security is a fundamental human need. An abduction, especially in an area we typically think of as safe, can instill a feeling that we’re never safe. The long term effects of that on a person can be devastating -- their personality can completely change.”
If personality changes are normal, then for Banks it’s his views on raising chickens that have changed.
“We treat them so poorly,” Dean says. “I get that people are going to eat chicken. I understand that’s not going to change. What I don’t understand is why we have to be so cruel to chickens during their short life.”
Dean’s argument is not substantively new. Chicken farms have often been the target of animal rights activists who argue chickens aren’t given enough space to walk, and live most of their life in a dark crowded coops, eating till they’re ready for slaughter.
More complicated for Dean is his view that the company for which he serves on the board promotes animal cruelty.
“I think Tyson plays a huge part in the treatment of chickens,” says Dean. “It’s not even that I think it -- I know it. We’re involved in how farms raise chickens because we’re the main buyer. If we said we’re not going to buy your chickens unless you give them more space to roam, we could change farms all over the country.”
Dean’s views are seldom heard publicly, and aside from a few quickly taken down YouTube videos, this is the first national reporting on the Tyson board member.
Tyson claims they had nothing to do with flagging Mr. Banks’s YouTube videos, and also takes umbrage at Dean’s argument that Tyson promotes animal cruelty.
“Tyson Foods plays no part in how chickens are raised,” Tyson spokesman Eli Hule says. “We are the distribution, and we do that proudly, but we’re not the farmers. We have no say over how chickens are raised.”
While it’s true Tyson owns very few farms themselves and is in mainly a distributor, Tyson works extensively with private farms to set up new chicken operations.
“Tyson doesn’t own the land, but they essentially tell farmers how to run their operation,” says Eduardo Porter, economics reporter for the New York Times. “For example if you want to invest in building a new chicken coop, a commercial bank typically won’t underwrite that loan. You go to a company like Tyson and say you’ll sell them chickens for X many years if they loan you the money to scale up. But in that agreement is the implicit understanding that if Tyson doesn't like what you’re building, say they think more chickens could fit in that coop you want to build, they’ll deny the request. They have incredible control over chicken farms. It’s just indirect control.”
Dean’s explanation for how he could go from Tyson board member to chicken rights activist?
“If you knew what it was like to be a chicken in a crowded, shit covered, dark coop with barely enough room to bend your legs, you wouldn't be asking me that,” says Dean.

Conflicting Stories

Outside a bar in Wyoming near the border of Idaho, Dean yelled frantically, emotionally, till the bar called the police and Dean was sent to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming.
At the hospital, Dean was treated for dehydration and minor bruising, and then was moved to the mental health ward where he was kept under observation for three days.
Dean says he remembers nothing about how he got to Wyoming, or how he ended up specifically at that bar. For Dean, it’s the intervening six days that he remembers, but was also severely hesitant to talk about at first.
“I’m worried the public will say what Tyson says, what the police say, that I’m making it all up,” says Dean.
He has reason to be worried. Dean’s story is fantastical, and arguably the reason for a lot of his current troubles.
“I can’t deny what happened,” says Dean. “I can only tell you that they gave me the memory implants of a chicken’s life, and it was fucking horrifying.”
Hot and sweating in pitch black darkness with skant enough room to turn his neck, Dean describes his experience as living in “the horror of optimization from the perspective of the cog in the machine.”
“It’s dark. It’s hot. You’re standing on grating that cuts into your feet and you don’t even have enough room to rotate your body,” says Dean. “And then the screams, the never ending screams of a room of creatures that don’t understand what’s happening but know they’re in pain. All the while the smell of feces is just putrid. The chickens are stacked, so the droppings from who was above me dropped onto my face, my body, and again I didn’t have enough room so I couldn't wipe it off. I just wanted to die, but even that was impossible.”
When asked how he understands his experience to be the implanted memories of a chicken, Dean says, “When I was taken, the kidnappers told me that they were going to fill my head with the memories of a chicken that lived and died in a high capacity farm. I didn’t believe them at first, of course, but the next thing my mind is filled with the sense of being something different. Like, just the sense of touch was different, the smell, and then I just felt I wasn’t me, and then the chickens started screaming, I could smell feces, and I didn’t know it at the time -- I mean didn’t understand anything, but when I was recovering at the hospital, I realized the kidnappers hadn’t been lying. They really did what they said they were going to do.”
Neither Tyson Foods nor police in Wyoming or Idaho believe Dean’s telling of his abduction, and have separate views themselves about what happened.
“We are overjoyed at Mr. Banks’s safe return,” says Eli Hule of Tyson Foods. “We are however greatly discouraged by scandalous media attempts to make his ordeal something it is not. It was a kidnapping. He was safely returned and we think that should be the focus right now.”
While Mr. Hule refused to elaborate on what happened to Banks, lawyers for Tyson provided the following statement: “Tyson Foods Inc. is extremely grateful to local law enforcement for the safe return of Dean Banks. In regards to Mr. Banks’s experience, it is our position that inflicted abuse on Mr. Banks should not dictate how Tyson runs its business, which is currently an industry leader in providing delicious, healthy chicken products to more than 250 million Americans every year.”
On the record, law enforcement in Idaho and Wyoming who have handled this case are equally suspicious of Mr. Banks’s story.
“We have no evidence to back Mr. Banks’s claim of being implanted with the memories of a chicken,” says attorney general for Wyoming, Bridget Hill. The Idaho attorney general referred me to Ms. Hill’s statement when asked for comment.
Off the record, local police officers were more forthcoming on their opinions of what happened to Mr. Banks.
“Totally believe him,” says officer Steve of Idaho, who asked I only use his first name. “This type of stuff happens all the time. Drug lords in Mexico put the memories of dogs in their hit men to toughen them up. This is nothing new.”
Another officer from Wyoming, who only agreed to speak anonymously, has another theory: “I don’t know about memory implants, but I’ll tell you that guy was on drugs when we picked him up, psychedelics or something.”
Asked if Dean’s experience could be explained with drugs, Dean says: “I went to college. It wasn’t drugs.”

The $87,250

Why was Dean Banks released on December 18th, 2018? It’s a question the police and Tyson don’t have an answer to, but one Dean readily has a response for.
In Dean’s telling, Tyson was contacted following his kidnapping and asked to pay $87,250 for his release. Dean notes that this request didn’t go to his family (who would have paid it, he says), but directly to Tyson corporate.
Tyson adamantly denies this, whose lawyers state: “Tyson did not pay a ransom for the release of board member Dean Banks, nor were we contacted by Dean’s kidnappers. Any story to the contrary is completely unfounded.”
Police also dispute there ever being a ransom, with AG Hill of Wyoming stating, “It is our position that this was not a ransom kidnapping, but rather an abduction. No money was sought to release Dean Banks, and he either escaped on his own or was released by his captors for reasons unknown.”
The denials by Tyson and police are clear, but there is contrary evidence there was indeed a ransom.
“It wasn’t even 48 hours before a friend of Dean’s contacted me to let me know what had happened,” Martha, Dean’s wife says. “They serve on the board together, and they filled me in on everything Tyson had learned. They said Dean had been kidnapped, but the kidnappers were only asking for $87,250. It was such a small amount that Tyson put the petty cash to pay the ransom the very next day. A few days later, he’s home.”
Martha declined to say who told her about the ransom and the payment, stating: “Do I really want to put another person in the same boat as Dean? Tyson might remove Dean from the board. I don't want that to happen to them too. They were simply trying to console me, let me know Dean would come back safe.”
Tyson has good reason to lie about making a ransom payment. Although prosecutions for it are nearly non-existent, under section 1202 of federal penal code 18, it is illegal to make a ransom payment.
While the legal liability for Tyson might be low, there almost certainly would be a media firestorm over Tyson Foods making an illegal ransom payment, no matter the ethics of the act. Large publicly traded companies will often squash a story unless it’s clearly beneficial to the company’s image.
“It’s a toxic story,” says Dean. “What’s the upside here? Some coverage that Tyson is a good company cause they paid a ransom? For Tyson, there’s no guarantee that would happen. Meanwhile, they know they’ll have to deal with a board member calling their farming practices cruel getting a national microphone. Of course they’d deny the ransom.”

No Investigation

Perhaps the most perplexing detail of Dean’s abduction is, why haven’t the kidnappers been caught?
It is just one question among the many that loom over Dean’s case. Why was he transported to Wyoming? Why, even if it didn’t happen, was he told he would be given the implanted memories of a chicken? Why was his ransom set at $87,250? Did Tyson make the payment?
Police in Wyoming and Idaho claim they are still investigating, but anonymous sources from inside investigating police departments have told me the case was given such low priority that they’re nearly certain it’ll never be solved.
That might be good for large parts of Wyoming and Idaho where many of America’s chickens are raised. A scandal involving Tyson and illegal ransom payments could financially harm thousands farmers and businesses that rely on that industry that Tyson is so central to.
“I think what’s good for the survivor here is going to be bad for the community, so we’re just not going after this one,” says a detective in Idaho who only agreed to comment anonymously.
Meanwhile, Dean and his family are somewhat resigned that Dean’s captors will not be apprehended by law enforcement.
“Justice is hard enough to get when it’s what everyone wants,” says Dean. “But in this case, I think I’m the only one who wants it, so what kind of a chance is that, really?”
In Dean’s telling, Tyson is actively suppressing the police investigation by denying the ransom.
“For fear of cutting into profits from bad press coverage,” he says,” Tyson is willing to let someone who committed a serious crime go free.”
“If we speak about the ransom,” says Martha, “Tyson has threatened to sue on defamation. It’s a risk just talking to you now.”

Wellis Farms

Since I started covering this story in February, I’ve driven countless hours on midwestern roads between Sun Valley, Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. Along the way I stopped at several chicken farms to learn, first hand, how chickens are kept and raised, and to verify Dean’s claim of arguable animal cruelty at many of these farms.
It was by chance when I was coming back across the border into Idaho that I found Wellis farms, a small operation with extremely talkative farmer that was thrilled that I was asking him questions about how chickens are treated.
“Beyond cruel,” Wellis says, showing me around his farm in an acid washed durag and white t-shirt. “If a chicken could do it, they'd commit suicide in those densely packed coops.”
He’s happy to show me his farm, regularly pointing to the chickens that roam mostly free in a large enclosed area.
“I’m not a vegetarian,” says Wellis. “Hell I eat ‘em, and they just taste better when they’re raised right. When they’re raised as slaves and they know it, they taste bitter. I taste a chicken I can tell you how much room that chicken has to run around. Swear.”
In one corner of the farm is a dilapidated chicken coop. I ask Wellis about it, and it’s the only time his mood sours during the whole tour.
“Hundred grand mistake is what that is,” he says, and refuses to say much more. “It was a project and it didn't work out,” is all I can get him to add.
The tour was nice, and Wellis seems like a genuinely nice guy, but the failed chicken coop did pique my interest.
While not definitive evidence of wrongdoing, I was able to find a series of building plans filed with the local building inspector in Bonneville County, where Wellis Farms is located. Listed publicly for that property is a set of documents for construction of a chicken coop filed in 2011. There are two plans, one from Wellis, and a revised version by the underwriter of his loan, Tyson Foods. Wellis’s plan was a for a modestly packed coop. The revised plan from Tyson called for a chicken coop with eight times the occupancy. The amount for the loan, $87,250.
While perhaps just an amazing coincidence, this information was provided to Tyson, law enforcement in Wyoming and Idaho, and Dean Banks.
Tyson gave no comment when told about Wellis farms. Police stated that they are still investigating but appreciated “citizen efforts.”
Dean was the least ambivalent. After contacting Wellis, Dean said: “It’d be an awful thing if he was the one who kidnapped me, it really would. Because he doesn't seem like such a bad guy.”
Myra Kindle is an independent investigative reporter. She covers tech, law, politics, and other stories that would be impossible to write about in more traditional outlets.
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(EN) Big Tour - Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Kakheti and Kazbegi ✅Day 1️⃣-2️⃣ 🏙Tbilisi is the largest city in the country, the most important economic and cultural center, a modern metropolis developing at an accelerated pace and adopting the best European traits and habits. ℹDuring its existence, the city was destroyed and rebuilt 40 times. The legend about the founding of Tbilisi says that in the middle of the 5th century. ''King Vakhtang I Gorgasali'' was hunting a pheasant in a wooded area, the wounded bird fell into a nearby hot spring. The king was so impressed hot springs that decided to build the City. 👉 The name of Tbilisi comes from the ancient Georgian word “tbili”, which means “warm”. 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It is decorated in a modern, minimalist style. 👉Hotel services: ➕Spa and Wellness Center➕Restaurants➕Sky Bar➕Fitness Center➕Sauna➕Pool➕Casino ➕Parking Great Location, Breathtaking views, professional staff and delicious food. ✅Day3️⃣ 🗺Discover Georgia's mesmerizing heritage and visit some of the most iconic and popular landmarks of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region: ➕Mtskheta Old City ➕Jvari Monastery and ➕Uflistsikhe Ancient Rock Complex. 👉Places to visit: 🏦Mtskheta The ancient capital of Georgia is a city that was the capital of the Iberian Kingdom (Eastern Georgia) from the 4th century BC. e. The old city where the most holy relic of Christianity is kept: (Robe of Jesus Christ) ⛪The Jvari Monastery, immortalized in literature by Mikhail Lermontov (poem "Mtsyri"), is the oldest cult monument built at the dawn of Georgian Christianity in the 6th century (585-604) The temple got its name Jvari (translated from the Georgian "cross") not by chance. This explains the old legend that it was in this place that Nino of Cappadocia erected the Holy Cross, which marked the adoption of Christianity by Georgia. Later, a temple was built over the cross, which was called the Temple of the Holy Cross. 🌄The cave city of Uplistsikhe is one of the oldest settlements on the territory of Georgia. Translated into Russian, the name of the city means "the fortress of God". During the existence of the state of Iberia, the ancient city was its cult center. At the beginning of the 8th century, Uplistsikhe became a major trading point, because it was here that many caravan routes from Europe to Asia passed. ✅Day 4️⃣-5️⃣ It is an amazing region of Eastern Georgia, which borders Russia in the north and Azerbaijan in the east and south. ✅Kakheti is mimino, Father of the Soldier, Alazani Valley, “City of Love” Sighnaghi, ancient monasteries, legendary wines “Tsinandali” and “Kindzmarauli” and national parks. 🍇The lion's share of Georgia's grapes grows here. The first seed of cultivated grapes in the world was discovered in Georgia. This stone is 8000 years old, so Georgia is considered the birthplace of winemaking. 👉Places to visit: ➕Signahi - the city of love ➕ Telavi - the capital of Kakheti, ➕Kvareli ➕Gurjaani -15-meter monument "Soldier's Father". According to the plot of the famous film, Giorgi Makharashvili was from Gurjaani. ➕Gremi Castle is the medieval capital of Kakheti, destroyed by the Persian Shah Abbas in 1615. ➕ Fortress Ujarma - For centuries the citadel of Ujarma protected Georgia from the invasions of the Persians and Arabs - fell into decay after the conquest of Georgia by the Mongols. ➕ Chailuri Fortress ➕House-Museum of Chavchavadze in Tsinandali ➕House-Museum of Niko Pirosmani in the village of Mirzaani ➕ David-Gareji Monastery Cave monastery, one of the main Orthodox shrines in Georgia. ➕Alaverdi is the main temple of Kakheti ➕ Nekresi is a functioning monastery of the 4th century, located on a mountain above the Alazani Valley. ➕ Shuamta are two monastic complexes located at a distance of 2 km from each other. ➕ Ikalto Monastery was founded in the VI century ➕ The St. Nino Convent in Bodbe - the relics of St. Nino are buried in it ➕Hirsa Monastery ➕Ninotsminda Cathedral One of the oldest Orthodox churches in Georgia - was built in the middle of the first millennium AD, ➕Telavsky wine cellar ➕ Teliani Veli Winery ➕Tunnel Winemaking Khareby ➕ Kvareli lake ➕Lagodekhi National Park 👉Place to stay: 🏨5️⃣ Star-Luxury Lopota Lake & Spa Resort is located on the shores of a private lake, from the windows of which you can see the majestic Caucasus mountains. The show-cooking Kakhetian Corner restaurant serves a variety of traditional Georgian dishes made with local organic produce. 👉 Hotel Services: ➕Cafe Bar➕4 swimming pools and a relaxation area➕ spa center ➕ you can go quad biking play mini golf go horseback riding Fishing ➕ bike rental parking A chic place with a European level of service, polite staff, delicious food. ✅Day 6️⃣ 🏔Kazbegi is a municipality located in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region in eastern Georgia, on the historical territory of Khevi. ℹAt an altitude of 5047 meters above sea level, Mount Kazbegi (or Mkinvartsveri) is the third largest mountain in Georgia and is surrounded by myths and religious traditions. According to Greek myth, it was here that the `` Titan Prometheus '' was chained to the side of the mountain. Prometheus (known in Georgia as Amirani) was imprisoned in a cave at the top of 4000 meters. The cave, now called Betlemi, later served as a home for Orthodox monks and kept many sacred relics, including the tent of Abraham and the manger of Jesus. Mineral lakes surround the mountain, and tremors are often felt in this area. Covered with a glacier of 135 sq. km, Kazbegi is a great place for mountaineering. Darial Gorge connecting Russia and Georgia, stretching 18 km from Stepantsminda to the border with Russia in Upper Lars. For millennia, this mountain pass has been strategically vital and has been fortified since the beginning of 150 BC. In some places, the cliffs reach more than 1000 m, and towering medieval watchtowers, rushing mountain waterfalls and wildlife make the Darial Gorge one of the most incredible roads in the world. 👉Places to visit: ➕Stepantsminda Historical Museum ➕Kelitsadi Lake ➕Gweleti waterfalls ➕Arshi waterfalls ➕Jute Cliff ➕Truso Valley ➕Bethlem hut ➕Gergeti Trinity ➕Darial Monastery Complex ➕Khevi Sioni Church Complex ➕Zakagori ➕ Bath Monastery of the Mother of God ➕Men's Monastery named Elijah Fortuneteller ➕Ketrice ✅Place to stay: Resort Hotel "Kazbegi View" is located in the village of Stepantsminda. To services of visitors: ➕Terrace➕ 24-hour reception ➕Wi-Fi. 👉Stunningly cozy houses with panoramic windows and mountain views. Very nice and friendly staff, comfort and coziness - what else is needed for a wonderful recreation⁉ ✅Day 7️⃣-return to Tbilisi. 👉Privileged package 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣💲 = meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel (4 stars) ➕ all inclusive➕Personal driver! ✅Travel with us and accumulate unforgettable experiences❗ (DE) Große Tour -Tiflis, Mtskheta, Kachetien und Kasbegi ✅Tag 1️⃣-2️⃣ 🏙Tiflis ist die größte Stadt des Landes, das wichtigste Wirtschafts- und Kulturzentrum, eine moderne Metropole, die sich schneller entwickelt und die besten europäischen Merkmale und Gewohnheiten annimmt. ℹWährend ihrer Existenz wurde die Stadt 40 Mal zerstört und wieder aufgebaut. Die Legende über die Gründung von Tiflis besagt, dass Mitte des 5. Jahrhunderts. König Vakhtang I Gorgasali jagte einen Fasan in einem Waldgebiet, der verwundete Vogel fiel in eine nahe gelegene heiße Quelle. Der König war so beeindruckt heiße Quellen, die beschlossen, die Stadt zu bauen. 👉 Der Name Tiflis stammt vom alten georgischen Wort „Tiflis“ ab, was „warm“ bedeutet. Die Stadt, in der Ost und West aufeinander treffen, bietet für jeden etwas. 👉Besuchsorte: ➕Tsminda Sameba Kathedrale - Der größte Tempel ➕Rustaveli Avenue ➕Alte Stadt ➕Shardeni Street ➕Schwefelbäder - Bezirk Abanotubani ➕ Glasbrücke des Friedens ➕Rike Park ➕Flea Markt "Dry Bridge" ➕ Seilbahn ➕Narikala Festung ➕ Botanischer Garten von Tiflis ➕Temki-Denkmal ➕ Legvtakhevi Wasserfall ➕Tiflis Meer ➕Tiflis Nationalpark ➕Sioni ➕Metekhi ➕Darejani-Palast ➕ Tskneti ➕Funicular - vom Stadtzentrum über den oberen Park bis zum Mount Mtatsminda 👉Platz bleiben: 🏨5️⃣ Star-Hotel Radisson Blu Iveria Das Hotel liegt im Herzen des Geschäfts- und Geschäftsviertels von Tiflis, 10 Gehminuten von der Altstadt entfernt. Es ist in einem modernen, minimalistischen Stil eingerichtet. 👉Hoteldienste: PaSpa und Wellness Center➕RestaurantsestSky Bar➕Fitness Center➕Sauna➕Pool➕Casino ➕Parken Tolle Lage, atemberaubende Aussicht, professionelles Personal und leckeres Essen. ✅Tag 3️⃣ Entdecken Sie das faszinierende Erbe Georgiens und besuchen Sie einige der bekanntesten und beliebtesten Sehenswürdigkeiten der Region Mzcheta-Mtianeti: die Altstadt von Mtskheta, das Jvari-Kloster und den Uflistsikhe Ancient Rock Complex. 👉Besuchsorte: 🏦Mtskheta Die alte Hauptstadt Georgiens ist eine Stadt, die ab dem 4. Jahrhundert v. Chr. Die Hauptstadt des Iberischen Königreichs (Ostgeorgien) war. e. Die Altstadt, in der das heiligste Relikt des Christentums aufbewahrt wird: (Robe Jesu Christi) ⛪Das von Mikhail Lermontov (Gedicht "Mtsyri") in der Literatur verewigte Jvari-Kloster ist das älteste Kultdenkmal, das zu Beginn des georgischen Christentums im 6. Jahrhundert erbaut wurde (585-604). Der Tempel erhielt seinen Namen Jvari (übersetzt vom georgischen "Kreuz") nicht zufällig. Dies erklärt die alte Legende, dass Nino von Kappadokien an dieser Stelle das Heilige Kreuz errichtete, das die Annahme des Christentums durch Georgien kennzeichnete. Später wurde über dem Kreuz ein Tempel gebaut, der als Tempel des Heiligen Kreuzes bezeichnet wurde. 🌄Die Höhlenstadt Uplistsikhe ist eine der ältesten Siedlungen auf dem Territorium Georgiens. Übersetzt ins Russische bedeutet der Name der Stadt "die Festung Gottes". Während der Existenz des Bundesstaates Iberia war die antike Stadt ihr Kultzentrum. Zu Beginn des 8. Jahrhunderts wurde Uplistsikhe zu einem wichtigen Handelspunkt, da hier viele Karawanenrouten von Europa nach Asien verliefen. ✅Tag 4️⃣-5️⃣ Es ist eine erstaunliche Region Ostgeorgiens, die im Norden an Russland und im Osten und Süden an Aserbaidschan grenzt. AkKakheti ist Mimino, Vater des Soldaten, Alazani-Tal, „Stadt der Liebe“ Sighnaghi, alte Klöster, legendäre Weine „Tsinandali“ und „Kindzmarauli“ sowie Nationalparks. 🍇Der Löwenanteil der georgischen Trauben wächst hier. Der erste Samen von Kulturtrauben der Welt wurde in Georgien entdeckt. Dieser Stein ist 8000 Jahre alt, daher gilt Georgien als Geburtsort der Weinherstellung. 👉Besuchsorte: ➕Signahi - die Stadt der Liebe ➕ Telavi - die Hauptstadt von Kachetien, ➕Kvareli ➕Gurjaani -15-Meter-Denkmal "Vater des Soldaten". Nach der Handlung des berühmten Films stammte Giorgi Makharashvili aus Gurjaani. ➕Gremi Castle ist die mittelalterliche Hauptstadt von Kachetien, die 1615 vom persischen Schah Abbas zerstört wurde. ➕ Festung Ujarma - Die Zitadelle von Ujarma schützte Georgien jahrhundertelang vor den Invasionen der Perser und Araber - verfiel nach der Eroberung Georgiens durch die Mongolen. ➕ Chailuri Festung ➕Hausmuseum von Chavchavadze in Tsinandali ➕Hausmuseum von Niko Pirosmani im Dorf Mirzaani ➕ David-Gareji-Kloster Höhlenkloster, eines der wichtigsten orthodoxen Heiligtümer in Georgien. ➕Alaverdi ist der Haupttempel von Kachetien ➕ Nekresi ist ein funktionierendes Kloster aus dem 4. Jahrhundert auf einem Berg über dem Alazani-Tal. ➕ Shuamta sind zwei Klosterkomplexe, die 2 km voneinander entfernt sind. ➕ Das Ikalto-Kloster wurde im VI. Jahrhundert gegründet ➕ Das St. Nino-Kloster in Bodbe - darin sind die Reliquien des St. Nino begraben ➕Hirsa-Kloster ➕Ninotsminda-Kathedrale Eine der ältesten orthodoxen Kirchen in Georgien - wurde Mitte des ersten Jahrtausends nach Christus erbaut. ➕ Telavi Weinkeller ➕ Weingut Teliani Veli ➕Tunnel Winemaking Khareby ➕ Kvareli See ➕Lagodekhi-Nationalpark 👉Platz zum bleiben: 🏨5️⃣ Das Star-Luxury Lopota Lake & Spa Resort befindet sich am Ufer eines privaten Sees. Von den Fenstern aus können Sie den majestätischen Kaukasus sehen. Das Showkoch-Restaurant Kakhetian Corner serviert eine Auswahl traditioneller georgianischer Gerichte aus regionalen Bio-Produkten. 👉 Hotelservice: ➕Cafe Bar➕4 Schwimmbäder und ein Ruhebereich➕ Spa-Center ➕ Sie können Quad fahren, Minigolf spielen, Reiten, Angeln ➕ Fahrradverleih Ein schicker Ort mit europäischem Service, höflichem Personal und leckerem Essen. ✅ Tag 6️⃣ 🏔Kazbegi ist eine Gemeinde in der Region Mtskheta-Mtianeti im Osten Georgiens auf dem historischen Gebiet von Khevi. MountDer Mount Kazbegi (oder Mkinvartsveri) ist auf einer Höhe von 5047 Metern über dem Meeresspiegel der drittgrößte Berg Georgiens und von Mythen und religiösen Traditionen umgeben. Nach dem griechischen Mythos wurde hier der "Titan Prometheus" an die Seite des Berges gekettet. Prometheus (in Georgien als Amirani bekannt) wurde in einer Höhle auf 4000 Metern Höhe eingesperrt. Die Höhle, jetzt Betlemi genannt, diente später als Heim für orthodoxe Mönche und bewahrte viele heilige Relikte auf, darunter das Zelt Abrahams und die Krippe Jesu. Mineralische Seen umgeben den Berg, und in dieser Gegend ist häufig ein Zittern zu spüren. Kazbegi ist mit einem 135 km² großen Gletscher bedeckt und ein großartiger Ort zum Bergsteigen. Die Darial-Schlucht verbindet Russland und Georgien und erstreckt sich 18 km von Stepantsminda bis zur Grenze zu Russland in Upper Lars. Seit Jahrtausenden ist dieser Gebirgspass strategisch wichtig und seit Anfang 150 v. Chr. Befestigt. An einigen Stellen erreichen die Klippen eine Höhe von mehr als 1000 m, und hoch aufragende mittelalterliche Wachtürme, rauschende Bergwasserfälle und wild lebende Tiere machen die Darial-Schlucht zu einer der unglaublichsten Straßen der Welt. 👉Besuchsorte: ➕Stepantsminda Historisches Museum ➕ Kelitsadi See ➕Gweleti Wasserfälle ➕Arshi-Wasserfälle ➕Jute Cliff ➕Truso-Tal ➕Bethlemhütte ➕Gergeti Trinity ➕Darialklosterkomplex ➕Khevi Sioni Kirchenkomplex ➕Zakagori ➕ Badekloster der Muttergottes ➕Männerkloster namens Elijah Fortuneteller ➕Ketrice ✅Platz zum bleiben: Das Resort Hotel "Kazbegi View" befindet sich im Dorf Stepantsminda. Hotel Dienstleistungen: ➕Terrasse➕ 24-Stunden-Rezeption ➕Wi-Fi. 👉 Atemberaubend gemütliche Häuser mit Panoramafenstern und Blick auf die Berge. Sehr nettes und freundliches Personal, Komfort und Gemütlichkeit - was sonst noch für eine wunderbare Erholung benötigt wird AyTag 7️⃣-Rückkehr nach Tiflis. 🅿️Privilegiertes Paket 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣💲 = Treffen am Flughafen und Transfer zum Hotel (4 Sterne) ➕ All inclusive ➕Personalfahrer! ✅Reisen Sie mit uns und sammeln Sie unvergessliche Erlebnisse❗
(RU) Большой тур-Тбилиси, Мцхета,Кахетия и Казбеги ✅День 1️⃣-2️⃣ 🏙Тбилиси – это крупнейший город страны, важнейший экономический и культурный центр, современный мегаполис, развивающийся в ускоренном темпе и перенимающий лучшие европейские черты и привычки. ℹЗа время своего существования, город разрушался и восстанавливался 40 раз. Легенды об основании Тбилиси гласит, что в середине V в. ''Царь Вахтанг I Горгасали'' охотился в лесистом районе на фазана , раненая птица упала в близлежащий горячий источник. Царь был настолько впечатлен горячими источниками, что решил построить Город. 👉Название Тбилиси происходит от древнегрузинского слова «тбили», что означает «теплый». Город,в котором Восток встречается с Западом-предлагает что-то для всех. 👉Места посещения: ➕Собор Цминда Самеба-Самый большой храм ➕Проспект Руставели ➕Старый город ➕Улица Шардени ➕Серные бани - район Абанотубани ➕ стеклянный Моста Мира ➕Рике Парк ➕Блошиный рынок "Сухой мост" ➕Канатная дорога ➕Крепость Нарикала ➕Тбилисский ботанический сад ➕Монумент Темки ➕Водопад Легвтахеви ➕Тбилисское море ➕Тбилисский национальный парк ➕Сиони ➕Метехи ➕Дворец Дареджани ➕ Цкнети ➕Фуникулер-из центра города в верхний парк на гору Мтацминда 👉Mесто проживания: 🏨5️⃣ Звездочный-Отель Рэдиссон Блу Иверия расположен в самом центре коммерческого и делового района Тбилиси, в 10 минутах ходьбы от Старого города. Он оформлен в современном минималистском стиле. 👉К услугам гостей: ➕Спа и оздоровительный центр➕Рестораны➕Sky бар➕Фитнес-центр➕Сауна➕Бассейн➕Казино ➕Парковка Oтличное Расположение ,Захватывающий вид, профессиональный персонал и вкусная еда. ✅День3️⃣ 🗺Откройте для себя завораживающее наследие Грузии и посетите некоторые из самых знаковых и популярных достопримечательностей Региона мцхета-мтианети: ➕Cтарый город Мцхета ➕Mонастырь Джвари и ➕древний скальный комплекс Уфлисцихе. 👉Места посещения: 🏦Мцхета Древняя столица Грузии — город, который был столицей Иберийского царства (Восточной Грузии) с IV века до н. э. Старый город где хранится наисвятейшая реликвия Xристианство: (Риза Иисуса Христа) ⛪Монастырь Джвари, увековеченный в литературе Михаилом Лермонтовым (поэма «Мцыри»), - древнейший культовый памятник, построенный на заре грузинского христианства в VI веке (585- 604 гг.) Свое название Джвари (в переводе с грузинского «крест») храм получил не случайно. Это объясняет старинное предание о том, что именно в этом месте Нино Каппадокийская поставила Святой крест, ознаменовавший принятие Грузией христианства. Позднее, над крестом был сооружен храм, который назвали Храмом Святого креста. 🌄Пещерный город Уплисцихе - одно из древнейших поселений на территории Грузии. В переводе на русский название города означает "крепость Бога". Во времена существования государства Иберия старинный город был его культовым центром. В начале 8 века Уплисцихе стал крупной торговой точкой, ведь именно здесь проходили многие караванные пути из Европы в Азию. ✅День 4️⃣-5️⃣ 🗺удивительный край-Восточной Грузии, который граничит с Россией на севере и с Азербайджаном -востока и юга. ✅Кахетия – это мимино, Отец Солдата, Алазанская долина, ''Город любви'' Сигнахи, древние монастыри, легендарные вина «Цинандали» и «Киндзмараули» и национальные парки. 🍇Здесь произрастает львиная доля винограда Грузии. Первая косточка окультуренного винограда в мире была обнаружена именно в Грузии. Этой косточке 8000 лет, поэтому Грузию считают родиной виноделия. 👉Места посещении: ➕Сигнахи – город любви ➕ Телави – столица Кахетии, ➕Кварели ➕Гурджаани -15-метровым монументом «Отец солдата». По сюжету знаменитого фильма, Георгий Махарашвили был родом из Гурджаани. ➕Замок Греми -срадневековая столица Кахетии, уничтоженная персидским шахом Аббасом в 1615 году. ➕ Крепость Уджарма-Веками цитадель Уджарма защищала Грузию от нашествий персов и арабов- пришла в упадок после завоевания Грузии монголами. ➕ Крепость Чаилури ➕Дом-музей Чавчавадзе в Цинандали ➕Дом-музей Нико Пиросмани в селе Мирзаани ➕ Монастырь Давид-ГареджиПещерный монастырь, одна из главных православных святынь Грузии. ➕Алаверди является главным храмом Кахетии ➕ Некреси – действующий монастырь IV века, расположенный на горе над Алазанской долиной. ➕ Шуамта – это два монастырских комплекса, расположенных на расстоянии 2 км друг от друга. ➕монастырь Икалто был основал в VI веке ➕Женский монастырь святой Нино в Бодбе-в нем покоятся мощи святой Нино ➕Монастырь Хирса ➕Собор Ниноцминда Один из древнейших православных храмов Грузии — был построен в середине первого тысячелетия нашей эры, ➕Телавский винный погреб ➕ Винзавод «Телиани Вели» ➕Тоннель Виноделие Харебы ➕ Кварельское озеро ➕Национальный Парк Лагодехи 👉Где остановиться: 🏨5️⃣ Звездочный-Роскошный Курортный отель Lopota Lake & Spa Resort расположен на берегу частного озера, из окон которого открывается вид на величественные Кавказские горы. В ресторане с открытой кухней Kakhetian Corner сервируют разнообразные блюда традиционной грузинской кухни, приготовленные из местных органических продуктов. 👉 Услуги Отеля: ➕Кафе-Бар➕4 плавательных бассейна и зона для релаксации➕спа-центр ➕можно покататься на квадроциклах➕поиграть в мини-гольф➕заняться конным спортом➕Рыбалка ➕прокат велосипедов➕парковка Шикарное место европейского уровня обслуживанием, вежливый персонал, вкусная еда. ✅День 6️⃣ 🏔Казбеги - это муниципалитет, расположенный в регионе Мцхета-Мтианети на востоке Грузии, на историческом территории Хеви. ℹНа высоте 5047 метров над уровнем моря гора Казбеги (или Мкинварцвери) является третьей по величине горой в Грузии и окружена мифами и религиозными традициями. Согласно греческому мифу, именно здесь был прикован ''Титан Прометей'' к склону горы. Прометей (известный в Грузии как Амирани) был заключен в пещеру на вершине 4000 метра. Пещера, теперь названная Бетлеми, позже служила жилищем для православных монахов и хранила множество священных реликвий, включая шатер Авраама и ясли Иисуса. Минеральные озера окружают гору, и в этой местности часто ощущаются подземные толчки. Покрытые ледником в 135 кв. км, Казбеги является прекрасным местом для альпинизма. Дарьяльское ущелье, соединяющих Россию и Грузию, протягиваясь на 18 км от Степанцминды до границы с Россией в Верхнем Ларсе. В течение многих тысячелетий этот горный проход был стратегически крайне важен, и был укреплен с начала 150 до н.э. В некоторых местах скалы достигают более 1000 м, а высящиеся на них средневековые сторожевые башни, стремительные горные водопады и дикая природа делают Дарьяльское ущелье одной из самых невероятных дорог в мире. 👉Места посещении: ➕Исторический Музей Степанцминды ➕Озеро Келицади ➕Гвелетские водопады ➕Аршинские водопады ➕Джутовый утес ➕Долина Трусо ➕Бетлемская хижина ➕Гергетская Троица ➕Дариальский монастырский комплекс ➕Комплекс церкви Хеви Сиони ➕Закагори ➕Банный монастирь Божьей матери ➕Мужской монастирь имени Елия предсказатель ➕Кетриси ✅Где остановиться: Курортный Отель «Казбеги View» расположен в поселке Степанцминда. К услугам гостей: ➕терраса➕ круглосуточная стойка регистрации ➕Wi-Fi. 👉Потрясающе уютные домики с панорамными окнами и видом на горы. Очень приятный и доброжелательный персонал,комфорт и уют-что ещё надо для прекрасного отдыха⁉ ✅День 7️⃣-возвращения в Тбилиси. 🅿️ Привилегированный пакет 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣💲=встреча в аэропорту и трансфер в гостиницу( 4 звезды) ➕ всё включено➕Персональный водитель! Путешествуйте с нами и накапливайте незабываемые впечатления❗

#Georgia#Tbilisi#Mtskheta#kakheti#kazbegi#Traveling#Trip#Journey#vacation#holiday#SFFGeorgia#Enjoylife#travelwithus
submitted by SFF_Georgia to u/SFF_Georgia [link] [comments]

🇬🇪☀️🍷Tbilisi-Heart of the Caucasus/ Тбилиси-Сердце кавказа/ Tiflis-Herz des Kaukasus (EN,DE,RU)

🇬🇪☀️🍷Tbilisi-Heart of the Caucasus/ Тбилиси-Сердце кавказа/ Tiflis-Herz des Kaukasus (EN,DE,RU)

https://preview.redd.it/ic86aiez6ec51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1561f2a7bb39da12fe7699d090b14ab20f38975a
(EN) 🏙Tbilisi is the largest city in the country, the most important economic and cultural center, a modern metropolis that is developing at an accelerated pace and adopting the best European features and habits. ℹ️During its existence, the city was destroyed and rebuilt 40 times. The legend about the founding of Tbilisi says that in the middle of the 5th century. ''KIng Vakhtang I Gorgasali'' hunted a pheasant in a wooded area, the wounded bird fell into a nearby hot spring. The king was so impressed of hot springs that he decided to build the city. 👉 The name of Tbilisi comes from the ancient Georgian word “tbili”, which means “warm”. The city, where East meets West offers something for everyone. 👉Places to visit: ➕Tsminda Sameba Cathedral - The largest temple ➕Rustaveli Avenue ➕Old town ➕Shardeni Street ➕Sulfur Baths - Abanotubani District ➕ glass Bridge of Peace ➕Rike Park ➕Flea market "Dry Bridge" ➕ Ropeway ➕Narikala Fortress ➕Tbilisi Botanical Garden ➕Temki Monument ➕ Legvtakhevi Waterfall ➕Tbilisi Sea ➕Tbilisi National Park ➕Sioni ➕Metekhi ➕Darejani Palace ➕ Tskneti ➕Funicular - from the city center to the upper park to Mount Mtatsminda ➕Assuritekhevskaya valley 👉Place to stay: 🏨5️⃣ Star-Hotel Radisson Blu Iveria located in the heart of the commercial and business district of Tbilisi, a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. It is decorated in a modern, minimalist style. 👉Hotel services: ➕Spa and Wellness Center➕Restaurants➕Sky Bar➕Fitness Center➕Sauna➕Pool➕Casino ➕Parking Great Location, Spectacular views, professional staff and delicious food - what else is needed for a wonderful recreation⁉ 🅿Privileged package-3️⃣Days- 4️⃣6️⃣0️⃣💲 = Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel-5️⃣ (Stars) ➕ all inclusive➕Personal driver. ✅Your relaxation and your well-being is number 1 priority for us, travel with us❗ (DE) 🏙Tiflis ist die größte Stadt des Landes, das wichtigste Wirtschafts- und Kulturzentrum, eine moderne Metropole, die sich beschleunigt entwickelt und die besten europäischen Merkmale und Gewohnheiten übernimmt. ℹ️Während ihrer Existenz wurde die Stadt 40 Mal zerstört und wieder aufgebaut. Die Legende über die Gründung von Tiflis besagt, dass Mitte des 5. Jahrhunderts. Konig Vakhtang I Gorgasali jagte einen Fasan in einem Waldgebiet, der verwundete Vogel fiel in eine nahe gelegene heiße Quelle. Der König war so beeindruckt von heißen Quellen, die er beschloss, die Stadt zu bauen. 👉 Der Name Tiflis stammt vom alten georgischen Wort „Tiflis“ ab, was „warm“ bedeutet. Die Stadt, in der Ost und West aufeinander trifft, bietet für jeden etwas. 👉Besuchsorte: ➕Tsminda Sameba Kathedrale - Der größte Tempel ➕Rustaveli Avenue ➕Alte Stadt ➕Shardeni Street ➕Schwefelbäder - Bezirk Abanotubani ➕ Glasbrücke des Friedens ➕Rike Park ➕Flea Markt "Dry Bridge" ➕ Seilbahn ➕Narikala Festung ➕ Botanischer Garten von Tiflis ➕Temki-Denkmal ➕ Legvtakhevi Wasserfall ➕Tiflis Meer ➕Tiflis Nationalpark ➕Sioni ➕Metekhi ➕Darejani-Palast ➕ Tskneti ➕Funicular - vom Stadtzentrum über den oberen Park bis zum Mount Mtatsminda ➕Assuritekhevskaya-Tal 👉Platz zum bleiben: 🏨5️⃣ Star-Hotel Radisson Blu Iveria Das Hotel liegt im Herzen des Geschäfts- und Geschäftsviertels von Tiflis, 10 Gehminuten von der Altstadt entfernt. Es ist in einem modernen, minimalistischen Stil eingerichtet. 👉Hoteldienstleistungen; ➕Spa und Wellness Center➕Restaurants➕Sky Bar➕Fitness Center➕Sauna➕Pool➕Casino ➕Parken Großartige Lage, spektakuläre Aussicht, professionelles Personal und leckeres Essen - was sonst noch für einen wundervollen Aufenthalt benötigt wird⁉ 🅿Privilegiertes Paket-3️⃣Tage- 4️⃣6️⃣0️⃣💲 = Treffen am Flughafen und Transfer zum Hotel-5️⃣ (Sterne) ➕ All Inclusive➕Personalfahrer. ✅Ihre Entspannung und Ihr Wohlbefinden haben für uns oberste Priorität. Reisen Sie mit uns❗ (RU)
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Ralph Nader and Jeremy Scahill on Dangerous Donald and the Democratic Primary | 2/16/20

RALPH NADER ON BLOOMBERG’S PLOT TO STOP BERNIE, THE ROT WITHIN THE DNC, AND HIS RECENT CALL WITH PELOSI
Jeremy Scahill 2/16/20
LAST FALL, the third most powerful figure in the U.S. government, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had a phone call with a man who is undoubtedly one of the most hated people among her base of Democratic Party supporters: the famed consumer advocate and former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
Their phone call took place as the Democrats were preparing to launch a narrowly focused impeachment case against Donald Trump. On the call, Nader laid out a strategy for attacking Trump that he believed could have resulted in his actual removal from office. Nader, who has spent his life working to implement a wide range of consumer and environmental protections, argued that it would be a mistake to focus solely on the Ukraine phone call. Instead, Nader suggested that Pelosi orchestrate a public prosecution of Trump’s crimes against ordinary Americans — what he called “kitchen table issues.” Nader beseeched Pelosi to go after Trump on issues far more pressing than Ukraine to millions of Americans, regardless of their political affiliation. He suggested subpoenaing witnesses who could testify to Trump’s “destruction of life-saving consumer protections, environmental protections, workplace safety protections, in his destruction of social safety net protections for children.” Pelosi, Nader says, did not take any of his advice.
Trump’s popularity has risen in the aftermath of his “acquittal,” as he continues his victory tour and purges dissidents from his administration. As the Democratic presidential primary process intensifies, the institutional Democratic Party appears once again to be doing everything in its power to hurt the effort to unseat Trump. The attempt to purchase the Democratic nomination by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is being aided by a Democratic National Committee that ran a dirty operation against Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. Nader also believes that the Bloomberg candidacy has at its core an effort to block Sanders from winning the nomination, perhaps by forcing a brokered convention. “It’s Armageddon time for the Democratic Party,” Nader said. “If Bernie wins the election against Trump, should he get the nomination, it has to be a massive surge of voter turnout which will sweep out a lot of the Republicans in the Congress. So he will have a much more receptive Congress. It will sweep out the corporate Democrats in the Democratic National Committee, and it will reorient the Democratic Party to where it should be which is a party of, by, and for the people. That’s why they want to fight him.”
Nader joined Intercepted to discuss the failed impeachment move against Trump and the state of the Democratic primary. Nader ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, and throughout his career has been one of the most important voices for justice, as well as environment and consumer protections, in U.S. history. His latest book, written with the consumer advocate Mark Green, is called “Fake President: Decoding Trump’s Gaslighting, Corruption, and General Bullsh*t.” What follows is the extended transcript of the excerpt of the conversation broadcast on Intercepted.
Jeremy Scahill: Ralph Nader, welcome back to Intercepted.
Ralph Nader: Thank you, Jeremy.
JS: So I want to begin with the big picture of this impeachment fiasco that we’ve just gone through, and while we have Trump on his victory tour talking about his acquittal, we also have this other phenomenon which is that the corporate elite Democratic Party is trying to crush Bernie Sanders’s candidacy. Let’s begin with the impeachment and your assessment of the strategy that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats employed in going after Trump.
RN: Well, I and others beseeched her months ago to go with a strong full hand of impeachable offenses and send it to McConnell and have them reflect kitchen table issues because she always used to say we need kitchen table issues to increase the polls from 50 or 52 percent for impeachment and removal up higher. Well, that didn’t happen. We did see that major committee chairs wanted to put a bribery provision in. She turned that down. They wanted to expand the obstruction in defiance of subpoenas, a critical impeachable offense beyond the Ukraine matter. She turned that down. We had congressman John Larson put in the congressional record on December 18, 12 impeachable offenses of which Ukraine was one.
And the Democrats were basically subjected to one person’s decision, Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker. Well, she gambled and lost badly. Not only, obviously, he was acquitted, but polls went up for Trump, which was astounding. Nobody’s really explained that yet. So now the question is, will the committee chairs whose expanded recommendation to her was rejected, will they now come back to her and say round two? Now round two is quite explicit and quite effective. She has stated repeatedly that she thinks Trump “is a liar, a crook, a thief, and he should be in prison.” It’s a pretty good start. She also stated she wants the five committee chairs to continue their investigations into the corruption and wrongdoing and refusal to enforce the laws on behalf of the health safety and economic well being of the people. That’s the Banking Committee, the Oversight Committee, Judiciary Committee, etc. And if they do that, they are going to run up against a Trump stonewall for further information witnesses, which means they’re going to be obligated to issue subpoenas, which will be defied. That is a per se impeachable offense.
The House, went against Nixon, the third article of impeachment was he defied one subpoena. So when Trump defies these subpoenas for witnesses and documents, Speaker Pelosi will have to face up to the Constitution. The Constitution does not require her to go to court. That’s a tutorial that a lot of Democrats need to be taught. Congress’s power is plenary. They can enforce their own subpoenas, even by use of an antiquated tradition of a sheriff and a prison. They can enforce their own subpoenas. So they can go to the floor, no witnesses are needed, clean cut. Trump, you defied the subpoenas. You defied the essential power of Congress without which all other authorities are debilitated.
If they cannot get information under the Constitution from the executive branch, how debilitated will be the war power, the appropriations power, the tax power, the confirmation power? You defied it. You’re going to be impeached. These subpoenas would be associated with all kinds of kitchen table issues where people have a stake in these impeachments, didn’t have a stake much in Ukraine important as that is. It’s too remote. But they do have a stake in, for example, his destruction of life-saving consumer protections, environmental protections, workplace safety protections, in his destruction of social safety net protections for children.
JS: But are those impeachable offenses?
RN: Yes, they are when they’re associated with corruption, and treading. In other words, this isn’t just normal deregulation, what they’re doing now to the EPA is stripping it of its capacity to enforce the law. They’re pushing out scientists. They’re downgrading other professionals. They’re cutting budgets without congressional authority, and they’re run by people who have conflicts of interest and are corrupt, some of them have already left like Scott Pruitt. It’s the failure to execute the laws. That’s one of the impeachable offenses in the Constitution. Now, if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t do that, Trump will go all over the country, all over his tweets, all over the obsequious media with his disparaging nicknames and taunting and gloating. I told her in a conversation I had with her three months ago. I said, “Nancy, you know what he’s gonna do? He’s gonna say, ‘Nancy Pelosi had the majority in the House and she had all these crazy charges and she didn’t want to get them through. You know why she couldn’t get them through? Because they’re all lies. They’re all fake. I did nothing wrong.'”
JS: What did she say to you when you said that?
RN: When you have the president of the United States doing this with essentially no rebuttal. The reason why Trump stays where he is in the polls is he’s a soliloquist. He’s a slanderist soliloquist with no rebuttal. Look at the nicknames he gives all these people and they never give many nicknames back. The only way you deal with a bully who gives you nicknames like Crazy Bernie and Low IQ Maxine Waters is to give him his own medicine: Decadent Donald, Draft-Dodging Donald, Dangerous Donald, Dumb Donald, Low IQ Donald, Illiterate Donald. That’s the only way. Some say, well, we don’t want to get in the mud with him. Well, that’s an interesting comment. But not when the New York Times, Washington Post, and all the main media repeat verbatim his nicknames without giving the target of the nicknames any right of reply? That’s unethical journalism.
JS: Ralph, what did Pelosi say to you when you were laying all of this out?
RN: She said several things. She said that “I want an airtight case,” and she thinks Ukraine is an airtight case. Number two, she thought the public attention span couldn’t endure multiple impeachment charges. And number three, I think she cut a deal with her 12 Blue Dog Democrats who are in swing districts that that was the only thing she was going to bring forward. They could have had a national security, military sheen about it that insulated them.
JS: Why did Nancy Pelosi meet with you, given the way that you’re, to this day, vilified by the establishment Democratic Party for daring to run for president multiple times?
RN: Well, it wasn’t a meeting. It was a telephone conversation. I think because they’re interested in what I have to say. I mean, I could give them all kinds of strategies to landslide, Donald Trump, if they would listen. I could show them how to argue their case. I’m just giving you an example, Jeremy: You’ve got some currency in the Democratic Party now for universal basic income. I mean Andrew Yang, most prominently, and it’s viewed as a giveaway and simply, pandering to the people. How do you argue universal basic income in addition to alleviating dire poverty, in addition to increasing consumer demand for goods and services which stimulates the economy far better than a corporate tax cut? Well, one way is you say, hey, these corporations have already had universal basic income. What do you mean? Yeah, what do you think massive corporate subsidies, handouts, giveaways and bailouts are? They’re massive universal basic income giveaways. They are not only getting all these taxpayer freebies, but they also get trillions of dollars in the last decade of free government research and development which built Silicon Valley and built the biotech, nanotech, a lot of the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries. That’s pretty good, universal basic income.
Apart from the tax credits they get for doing the research that companies should be doing anyway in a so-called capitalist society. So, they don’t know how to argue full Medicare for All. I put out 25 ways life in Canada — because they have single payer full health care — compared to life in the United States. It isn’t just you know, a matter of un-affordable health insurance. It’s the removal of anxiety, dread and fear. It’s the situation in Canada where you’re not afraid to change your jobs because you might lose your health insurance. It’s a situation where you’re not ripped off by inscrutable sheets of computerized billing which total about 350 billion dollars according to Professor Malcolm Sparrow, an applied mathematician at Harvard. Imagine one-tenth of the entire health expenditure is corporate crime, it’s crime on Medicare, crime on Medicaid, crime on insurance companies because of the billing frauds that they’re paying for, crime on individual patients and payers. They don’t know how to argue it. That’s why once in a while I get through on a phone call.
JS: You know, you’re laying out a much broader strategy for what charges should have been brought against Trump and of course, criticizing the strategy that they ended up employing, but at the same time, Mitch McConnell, runs that Senate with an iron fist. It seemed clear from the jump that only Romney and maybe one or two others would have jumped ship. And in the end, it was just Romney. So, is the strategy you’re advocating putting forth those charges, getting an impeachment on those charges, sending it to the Senate for trial as a way of educating the public or revealing these crimes? Because it seems very unlikely in this day and age that more than one or two Republicans, no matter how much evidence was out there would have jumped ship on Trump over the issues you’re describing. They love that form of deregulation and they seem to not really care at all about the overt corruption that we’re witnessing.
RN: Not when they’re preceded by dozens of highly televised House committee hearings on the misuse of presidential power that is harming in kitchen table manners where people live, work, and raise their families, the American people.
JS: But these people aren’t watching MSNBC, C-SPAN, or CNN. I mean, Fox News is the single most powerful news entity as well as social media. And as Trump has said, he’s his own media outlet. I mean, I see it, Ralph, as part of the problem is there is such low trust in media, such low approval ratings of the Democrats in Congress, that it doesn’t matter if you hold those hearings, given the media landscape today. This is not like the 70s where it’s every single night on the news. It’s people are seeking out information they want, not seeking out the truth.
RN: Wrong analysis.
JS: All right. Correct me.
RN: When you see the kind of witnesses that the House could have brought, the kind of empathy, that kind of resonance, just the way they did when they brought some of those civil servants. You have to admit their testimony reached a lot of people. Fox has its own constituency. So the other networks, the other cable, the social media, the newspapers, the word of mouth. These are very easy abuses by Trump to understand unlike the more arcane diplomatic situation with Ukraine.
JS: Right.
RN: And what’s really important here is she wanted to tie up the Republicans in knots in the Senate and she only used one knot. She used one finger out of ten that could have been curled into a tough fist with very perceived abuses of the Constitution, of protective statutes, of income preservation and of turning over by Trump, turning over the U.S. government to Wall Street. You know how Wall Street polls, Jeremy? 90 percent of the people when they were asked two, three years ago, wanted to break up the big banks. That’s a lot of conservatives. Wall Street over Main Street. It’s an unbeatable presentation to get to the American people. You get left-right combination here. Let’s not subsume our factual imaginations to this polarization. It’s exaggerated because it’s a divide and rule strategy with any broader rebuttal where people work, live and raise their families where they all bleed alike from rip offs, from being denied health care, from usurious interest rates, payday loan rackets, installment, loan rackets, rental abuses, all that will come out because they’re not enforcing the law.
Now remember, the committee hearings do not have to be impeachment hearings at all. They’re just regular investigations so they can range broad far and deep and to watch what Trump is doing to make America fail. And then when the subpoenas are defied, that’s when it turns into an impeachable offense after the hearings. Also, they won’t be able to in the Senate, block witnesses. They blocked witnesses because people like Dershowitz gave them the plausible argument. Well, everything that the Democrats say is true about what Trump did. If it was all true, it didn’t reach an impeachable offense status. So that gave them an out. They can’t get an out when it deals with all these other impeachable offenses which are violations of different clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
JS: Ralph, how has this strategy that you’ve been describing that Nancy Pelosi did end up implementing in just going very narrowly over the Ukraine issue, and then Trump now on his victory lap, how does this impact the broader move at the ballot box to try to defeat Donald Trump?
RN: It produces slippage by the Democrats. They’ve already acknowledged it in the last two weeks. You see, the Democrats cannot defeat Donald Trump by themselves because they don’t use all the arguments and all the issues. There has to be a parallel get out the vote civic initiative in every precinct, in every place in those key six or seven swing states. Now there’s a group in Kentucky which you may know about called Ditch Mitch and it started about six months ago. It’s a PAC. It is not affiliated with the Democratic Party. Its sole purpose is to elaborate Mitch McConnell’s horrific record against Kentucky interests and Kentuckians and get out the vote. Get out the vote, OK. So that’s the formula. There has to be a parallel movement to get out the vote against Trump because the Democrats are not listening.
It’s almost impossible to get through to Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I’ve had people who’ve run for major office, they can’t even get his ear, much less sit in his office to give them advice. When Mark Green and I just came out with this book, “Fake President” which is more than a book to be read. It’s a book to be used like a resource book by field organizers, by activists and Mark who you know, who’s [an] upstanding Democrat went to try to see him. He couldn’t see him, couldn’t even get an appointment, couldn’t even get him on the phone. I mean, you know, Mark is, you know, was almost mayor of New York. Bloomberg beat him with huge money in the last few weeks. He’s written the two major policy tracks two giant volumes for the Democratic party in prior elections. And he can’t even get through. Congressman John Larson tells me he can’t even get through to Perez.
It’s very hard to get through to any of these people. They think they know it all and what kind of know-it-all? The caution of Nancy Pelosi has brought her defeat in four out of the five congressional elections 2010, ’12, ’14, ’16, squeezed through in 2018 with the help of progressive candidates, but it’s not exactly confirmation that her cautious approach is winning for her. It illustrated itself in the Senate debate recently over the Ukraine impeachment articles.
JS: You know, we have this, and it’s ongoing, this debacle in Iowa. And it does seem like there was some dirty pool at play there. You just talked about Tom Perez. At the same time, you have the sort of establishment Democratic Party and figures like you know, he’s not so significant in many ways right now, but his history is worth reminding people of James Carville, who was one of the brains behind Clinton’s ascent to the presidency, basically having an aneurysm over the notion that Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic nominee. Your current assessment of how Tom Perez, the establishment elite of the Democratic Party, are mobilizing against Bernie Sanders in particular but also against anyone with a truly progressive policy platform.
RN: Well, the Democratic corporate establishment deep in the Democratic National Committee and the super delegate fiasco, imagine, nobody elects them, but they can tip the balance, undermined Bernie in 2016. There are strong arguments to say that he did really win Iowa and Nevada before he landslided Hillary in New Hampshire, but that’s the past, but they’re at it again. They have to stop Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren because their hegemony is over if one of those people gets elected, and they want to continue dialing for corporate dollars. They want to continue Obama’s record setting fundraising from Wall Street which exceeded his Republican opponents. Imagine, he got more money from Wall Street than John McCain in 2008. He even got more money from Romney’s venture capital firm. So, that’s the internal struggle. This business about socialism, that’s just a cover but they’re willing to emulate themselves this year, and let Trump win by basically stereotyping any kind of progressive legislation as socialism.
Now, for example, the argument should be by the progressive Democrats, “Look, here’s what we mean by socialism. It’s what led the Western European countries and Canada to a higher standard of living, higher equality. It means full health insurance. It means a living wage. It means retirement security. It means protecting people from serious erosions of their rights as workers. It means the ability to repeal the Taft Hartley Act and reflect majority desires in the retail trades like Walmart to join unions and so on.” But if you want more examples, people, well, let’s see the post office. That’s socialism. Public drinking water departments all over the country, I guess that’s social and public libraries. I guess that’s socialism, public electric utilities, over 1,000 of them around the country, including Jacksonville, Florida. How about the Tennessee Valley Authority deep in red state territory? You think you can repeal that? By conservative voters in Tennessee and Alabama, they’d run you out of town. So they don’t know how to argue this.
And here’s the umbrella argument, Jeremy. Look, it’s a choice between Trump’s corporate socialism which you cannot dis-elect and throw the rascals out because it’s Wall Street controlling Washington, or democratic socialism where if you don’t like it, if you don’t like law and order to corporate domination of your lives, and the corporate state, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt called fascism in a message to Congress in 1938, you can always throw the rascals out. That’s the difference. And what is corporate socialism? It’s seizing your tax money and bailing out the crooks in Wall Street in 2008 with trillions of dollars. Corporate socialism is shoveling out your hard earned dollars to company subsidies, handouts, giveaways, etc, anti-market quotas. And above all, it’s taking your money away by giving it to tax breaks for the rich and powerful which creates huge deficits that are going to be paid by your children and your grandchildren instead of putting the trillion and a half dollars of Trump’s tax cut, including cutting his own family’s taxes into rebuilding America, into rebuilding schools and public transit and water and sewage systems and bridges and highway and airports and ports. That’s the way you argue it, Jeremy.
JS: What is, given your history in electoral politics and the way that you’ve been treated by the Democratic party establishment, if you take that history that you’ve lived, and then you look at Hillary Clinton’s interventions in this current electoral cycle where they, you know, the hagiography on Hulu just premiered at Sundance and she you know, this line gets floated that “nobody likes Bernie,” you take that and then you look at Pete Buttigieg coming out of the McKinsey world, the sort of consiglieres of capitalism and then you have Michael Bloomberg just pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ads. I was just recently in Puerto Rico and watched ad after ad after ad of Bloomberg saying he’s already rebuilding Puerto Rico. But what is the emerging elite Democratic corporate wing of the Democratic Party strategy in this primary? What are they trying to do? Who are they going to get behind in your assessment?
RN: They have to block as I said, Bernie Sanders. They have to block Elizabeth Warren. They have to block universal basic income proposals like Andrew Yang. And basically, they like people like Joe Biden, you know, he comes out of the corporate state, out of the Obama world, out of the Clarence Thomas, enabler chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, mistreating Anita Hill and, and he comes out of that. They like him and if he falters, they’ll go for Bloomberg, because they know he’s got a lot of money to go up against the Republicans. It’s just redux. It’s corporate state Democrat redux. That is they’re almost identical in military and foreign policy with the Republicans. They’re almost identical and booming, bigger military budgets and lathering the military industrial complex with whatever they want. They’re almost identical with avoiding applying law enforcement to Wall Street.
Their rhetoric is a little different, but we talk about the rhetoric in realistic terms, rhetoric doesn’t really matter politically. So what their record is they have never introduced into Congress any comprehensive corporate crime enforcement. The corporate crime laws are absurd. They’re obsolete. Their fines are, you know, nickels and dimes, and they cut the enforcement budgets of all these agencies to begin with. So, they can’t even enforce against fraud on Medicare, for example, $60 billion a year, billion with a B. They bring back about two, three billion. That’s all. They don’t have enough prosecutors.
All that is deliberate. All that is part of the Rep/Dem consensus, the two party duopoly that stereotypes third parties, and when they start seeing an insurgence in their own party, they go to work on it behind the scenes, tipping close primary elections. They go to work on them, by slandering them, by stereotyping them. And the most interesting person emerging here is Pete Buttigieg because he’s coming on almost like a new Obama or a new Clinton, this kind of smooth moderation. He’s signaling with his fundraising parties with billionaires and millionaires that he’s going to be acceptable to them.
JS: Oh, that’s my favorite line is when Pete Buttigieg says “Hey, we have to include the billionaires. Let’s not exclude people. Let’s include people.” He has the audacity to make that argument and very, I don’t recall any pushback against that particular line that he keeps deploying when people ask him about the 40 odd billionaires who are financing his campaign?
RN: Well, Bernie, obviously pushed back in the recent debates. I don’t mind billionaires, if they support universal basic income, or I don’t mind billionaires who support the stronger enforcement of corporate crime. But his billionaires are basically Clinton-type billionaires, Wall Street billionaires. Remember he came out of McKinsey and Company. That’s the essence of the Wall Street establishment. This giant consulting firm.
JS: You know, at the same time you have — I mentioned Hillary Clinton earlier, but Hillary Clinton also really early on in Tulsi Gabbard’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination, smearing her as essentially a Russian agent. Tulsi Gabbard is of course, suing her for defamation. Now, I have a lot of problems with some aspects of Tulsi Gabbard’s history, her record, her relationship with some very frightening individuals in India, some of her positions on gay marriage, gay rights that have now shifted, and I think she has some questions to answer about some of her positions on Syria but it reminds me also of how you were treated and I’m wondering what your assessment is of that preemptive strike against Tulsi Gabbard by Hillary Clinton to say, “Hey, this is the new Jill Stein. This is who the Russians have chosen.”
RN: Well, you know, she’s not gonna do very well at all in the New Hampshire primary. I think, Hillary Clinton if she continues berating Tulsi Gabbard’s afraid that she’ll go independent and so-called, take away some votes in key states. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
JS: She says she won’t you know, she says she’s not going to do that. In fact, she even —
RN: The more serious attack is the use of the word electability. If they can’t use the word democratic socialism, they use the word electability to marginalize main progressive candidates in the Democratic primary. Now, this is basically a symptom of the defeatism of the Democratic Party. How can anybody running for president against this relentless savage sexual predator, this constant liar on matters of serious import to the American people, separating millions of people from reality into his commercialized fantasy, this person who’s a bigot and a racist and he follows up with actions reflecting that — how can the Democrats even raise the issue of trying to find a candidate who’s electable against this person?
That’s just a technique to marginalize progressive candidates, and they use the words moderate and centrist and leftist and extremist to pursue the same strategy, to mainstream their corporate Democratic primary candidates. For example, Joe Biden is called a moderate. Joe Biden, for example, has supported wars abroad that are unconstitutional. Why is that a moderate? Joe Biden has been to toady the big banks. Why is that a moderate? Joe Biden has supported corporate-type policies on consumer bankruptcy limiting them, and credit card insurance gouging. Why is that considered moderate or centrist? Why is it considered leftist to support universal health insurance and a living wage and cracking down on corporate crime? Those received enormous results in the polls. Left, right support, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90 percent. Why is that considered extreme or leftist? Because the progressive Democrats don’t know how to argue their case, Jeremy. They don’t know how to argue.
And now they’re so tired, going five events a day in the primary, flying in that they can’t think anymore. I’ve been through that kind of pressure. They can’t think anymore. Their wind up speeches are getting stale. They are repeated. They’re not infused with the kind of new facts and new ranges. To open it up, they’ve got to raise the issue of 300 billion dollars a year from a tiny less than 1 percent tax, sales tax on Wall Street transactions. They can say, look, people, you go into a store and you got to pay 6, 7 percent on necessities of life. How come someone buys 100 million dollars of Exxon options or stock and doesn’t have to pay a cent? See, and then you take that 300 billion and you put it back into dealing with student loans. Wall Street basically disenfranchised a whole generation of young Americans by collapsing the economy in 2008. And these people are owed that kind of transfer of sales tax for their technical training, their student loans. They don’t open it up.
As a result, the media which follows them, it gets jaded. They hear the same wind up. It’s a good wind up, but it’s too repetitive. And it excludes a whole range of factual conditions on the ground that will alert more and more millions of people to say to themselves, she’s on my side, he’s on my side and they don’t do that. Therefore, they don’t generate any news, even though they’re in the eye of the media during the primary season, day after day.
JS: We know that there were very dirty tricks played in the 2016 primary by Hillary Clinton and the DNC against Bernie Sanders. I think, Iowa, the Iowa Caucus, made a lot of Sanders supporters believe that that already is happening right now. Not just the overt kind of war against the Sanders and to a lesser extent, but still there Warren candidacy, but if you have a DNC that is willing to rig its own primary, what is Bernie Sanders’ path not just to winning that nomination, but then running a national campaign against a humongous war chest that Trump already is amassing?
RN: Well, he’s doing pretty well without our advice, huh, Jeremy? It’s really quite remarkable.
JS: He is but we’re only you know, we’re only at the very beginning of this and I’m referencing what they did in 2016. I mean, he basically has to fight the DNC and Trump simultaneously.
RN: Well, Bernie doesn’t like to appear like a sore loser. So he doesn’t complain in 2016 about what happened in the casinos where votes were counted, can you imagine? In Nevada, and in Iowa. First of all, he has to attack the caucus system. The caucus system is a form of voter suppression. Let’s face it. I mean, how many people can take out four or five hours, travel to a location, stay there at night, leave their kids? So it’s a form of voter suppression.
JS: We can barely get people to just go and vote in a poll, you know, in a normal one person, one vote.
RN: Just a normal primary, like New Hampshire. So, he lost an opportunity after 2016 to go after them. Although he did change some rules. He reduced the number of super delegates which is a way the corporate Democrats jab in at the end to tip the close race between their candidates and progressive candidates. And now the super delegates only kick in at the Democratic National Convention on the second round, but still, they can be decisive. And you know, the super delegates are members of Congress who are Democrats and former Democratic governors, etc. They haven’t been elected to anything as far as this election is concerned, but they can decide the outcome.
JS: If Sanders does get the nomination, what will that mean for the Democratic Party? I mean, would it be akin to, you know, to sort of what the Tea Party and ultimately Trump did to the Republican Party? I’m not drawing a comparison between their individual policies or their morality in terms of Bernie and Trump. But in terms of what it does to the party, it seems to me like Bernie winning would effectively shatter parts of the Democratic Party for the better, like get rid of some of these toxic elements that dominate that party.
RN: I think you’re right. If Bernie wins the election against Trump, should he get the nomination, it has to be a massive surge of voter turnout which will sweep out a lot of the Republicans in the Congress. So he will have a much more receptive Congress. It will sweep out the corporate Democrats in the Democratic National Committee, and it will reorient the Democratic Party to where it should be which is a party of, by and for the people. That’s why they want to fight him.
JS: Finally, Ralph, what about the state of third-party organizing in this country. I mean, the last truly successful runs were your runs. I mean, I think that the, you know, the Green Party has been just decimated and I think has made some strategically very unwise decisions in recent campaigns. But is there a future for third party organizing in this country given what is happening right now with the ascent of Donald Trump and the threat of an even more authoritarian second term if the Democrats lose?
RN: Well, two responses and by the way, your listeners, if they want more of what they’ve been hearing and my background, they can go to my website nader.org. If they want to see how a progressive campaign on issues that both parties take off the table, they can go to my still-open votenader.org from the 2008 campaign to see what issues we espoused to have majority support that were taken off the table for even discussion by the Democrats and Republicans. I see two scenarios here for third parties: One, they proceed as they are proceeding, maybe get some more votes to nudge the major party that’s closest to their views in the right direction. That happened in the 19th century when some of the smaller parties never won a national election, but they push the two parties on things like anti-slavery, the 1840 run by the Liberty party and women’s suffrage, industrial labor, farmer parties, People’s Party. So that’s one scenario.
A second scenario if the Democrats lose to the worst president in history, the crudest, the most overt disgusting, foul-mouthed corporate toady who’s destroyed the rule of law and constitutional observance, if they lose to him, I can see the Republican Party breaking open. I can see some reminiscence of the Republican Party being created in 1850s, splitting and replacing the Whig Party. In an era of billionaires who are willing to fund new parties, that is not out of range. They will call it a new centrist party something the way Bloomberg has been talking about. And then the third and this is the one the Democrats got to be really afraid of — a progressive third party with hundreds of millions of dollars in their war chest, enough to get five to 10, 12, 15 percent. So this is really Armageddon time for the Democratic Party. They’ve been losing and losing to the worst Republican Party in history. I mean, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Senator Robert Taft would have been aghast at the extreme nature of this Republican Party, the stupidity, the ignorance, the bigotry, the corporatism, the self-serving enrichments, etc. They’re a mirror of Trump which is why they clap for him in the White House. And I can see, if the Democrats lose this one, there’s going to be a lot of fissure and a lot of splits.
The civic community in this country, environmental, consumer workers, civil rights, civil liberties, housing, tenant groups are excluded from the electoral arena. All you gotta do is look at Judy Woodruff on PBS, the News Hour. She interviews reporters. She doesn’t interview leaders who know what you’re talking about of civic groups. The civic community has got to stop being passive and demand that they have a role in the deliberations and in the media coverage of these campaigns, because they know a lot that the candidates don’t know. They know even a lot more that the reporters don’t know. And they are the seed corn for American democracy since day one in the 18th century.
JS: Ralph Nader, thank you very much for being with us.
RN: Thank you, Jeremy.
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Shakira's MAGNUS OPUS "Donde Están Los Ladrones?" was released 20 years ago

Shakira with her Latin Grammys for Best Female Pop Performance AND Best Female Rock Performance
In September of 1998, MTV’s Total Request Live made its debut and the Video Music Awards celebrated their 15th edition, the same month that Hole’s Celebrity Skin, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals and Jay-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life made their splash in the Billboard 200, all while Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing debuted at number one in the Hot 100 (and remained for the entire month) and Rush Hour ruled the box office in its way to become a sleeper hit and a classic. Of course all of this was in the United States, all while thousands of miles below another pop culture phenomenon was taking place, I’m talking of course about the release of Shakira’s forth studio album and her magnum opus: Donde Están Los Ladrones? (Where Are the Thieves?), which turns 20 this week.
Long before Ladrones, Shakira debuted at the tender age of 13 with the low budget 1991’s Magia (Magic), a collection of songs she wrote between the ages of 8 and 12 and some other tracks written by her producers. Two years later, Peligro (Danger) followed with even less input from the singer and songwriter. The experience of making those two albums was frustrating for Shakira, as she didn’t have any choice when it comes to production or sequencing of the tracks, and as a result the albums received a very tepid critical response and bombed, selling around 1000 copies each, with the latter being barely promoted at Shakira’s request, as she moved into a bigger label and started working on her second debut album: Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet), released in 1995. The song ¿Dónde Estás, Corazón? (Where Are You Love?) was a hit when it was released as a single for a compilation album earlier in that year, which allowed Shakira to have the creative control she always wanted. The resulting album sold over five million copies worldwide (including over 500,000 in the US) and was praised by critics, who finally perceived that she fullfilled her potential as a performer and writer. After a successful international tour and a string of hits like Estoy Aquí (I’m Here) and Antología (Anthology), Shak was ready to move forward and conquer the world… however she need to find someone that could help her break into new markets.
Cue to Emilio Estefan.
The ICONIC album cover
Emilio wasn’t just the husband of Gloria, but also the hottest producer of the Hispanic market at the time and the man responsible of launching the career of Enrique Iglesias and Thalía (and also Gloria, of course), and as such he was the most capable person to move Shakira into the next phase of her blossoming career: Worldwide domination. Shakira caught Emilio’s attention and immediately offered himself to work on her next album, but Shakira only agreed to if she was given full creative control of the record, conditions that Emilio accepted.
The title of the record was inspired by one of Shakira's trips to the capital of her native country Colombia. At the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, after finishing her Tour Pies Descalzos, part of her luggage was stolen, including a briefcase that contained all the lyrics Shakira had been working on for the album, which forced her to work from scratch, not before she suffered from writer’s block, resulting from the impotence of the robbery itself: “I came to the conclusion that there are all types of thieves. A thief is not just a person who takes a physical object that doesn't belong to him or her. There are thieves who steal feelings, space, time, dreams, and rights”.
The album cover, a picture of her with dirty hands and messy, colorful Medusa-esque braids, was inspired by the two interpretations of the album’s title: the literal “Who are they? What are they looking for? Where are they?” about the thieves and the more figurative one about how no one is free of guilt: “from that point of view, we all have stolen at one time or another, myself included. The dirty hands represent the shared guilt. No one is completely clean, in the end we are all accomplices”.
Ladrones is mostly a Pop record, with Rock en Español (an umbrella term to refer to several kinds of rock music made in Latin America from the 80s onwards) influences and elements of Disco, Mariachi and Middle Eastern music spread through the record. Sonically, it has been compared to her contemporaries of the time like Alanis Morissette and Meredith Brooks, with the only similarities being the fact that all of these singers weren’t exactly traditional pop stars and they played guitar-tinted pop songs.

The tracklist
This is more apparent in the opening track and lead single Ciega Sordomuda (Blind, Deaf-Mute), which starts with Mariachi instrumentals before introducing a more standard dance loop and guitars as its background sounds, all while Shakira sings the iconic opening lines:
I run out of arguments and of methodology every time that in front of me your anatomy appears
A sarcastic and humorous track about the consequences of falling in love, Ciega was a huge hit when it was released, reaching number one in basically all of Latin America charts and the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks (a first for Shakira), aided by its surreal music video; and was also a critical success, considered one of the best Latin songs of the 90s and one of her signature songs. And with the iconic opening and the mariachi/rap bridge it’s easy to forget how iconic the chorus itself is:
Stupid, blind, deaf-mute, clumsy, useless and strong headed
It’s all I have been because of you I have became
A thing that doesn’t do anything else but loving you
I think of you night and day and I don’t know how to forget you
As a curiosity, a full mariachi version was recorded as part of her Unplugged album just two years later.
The second track is the rockier and angrier Si Te Vas (If You’re Gone), about how Shakira feels that her lover is planning to leave her for a “witch, ugly piece of leather” and she warns him what might wait for him if she decides to leave him:
A new broom always sweeps clean then you will see the worn bristles
When wrinkles cut her skin and cellulite invades her legs
You will return from your hell with the tail between your horns imploring one more time
But by then I will be a million nights far away from this huge city, far away from you

Lyrics from the second and third track of the album
The bipolarity continues with the third track and fifth single overall Moscas en la Casa (Flies in the House), a video-less tender acoustic-guitar-and-handdrum-driven ballad about the Shakira’s sadness suffered after her relationship fell apart and how she has to let herself go, while she continues to wait for him to come back. Inspired by her troubled relationship with Puerto Rican actor Osvaldo Ríos, 16 years her senior, the heartbreaking yet simple lyrics details how are her days without her lover:
My days without you do not have any nights
If any of them appears it is useless to sleep
My days without you are a waste, the hours have no beginning or end
So short of breath
So full of nothing
Unusable scrap
Trash on the floor
Flies in the house
Shakira light up the mood a little bit with the forth track and single No Creo (I Don’t Believe) in which the dance loop, the unusual instrument (in this case an harmonica) and the rap bridge returns, as she sings about how she believes in nothing and nobody except her lover… ok, this one is a basically a reprise of Ciega Sordomuda, and it doesn’t help that the video shares footage with Ciega’s one (maybe both were shot back-to-back, who knows), but it still slaps:
I don’t believe in Venus or Mars
I don’t believe in Karl Marx
I don’t believe in Jean-Paul Sartre
I don’t believe in Brian Weiss
I only believe in your blue smile
In your crystal look, in the kisses that you give me
And no matter what they say
Only you know well who I am and that's why my heart is yours
Only you bend my reason and that's why wherever you want I go
Another global hit for Shakira, the song also became the first single from her Unplugged album just one year after its release as a single from Ladrones.
Inevitable is the fifth track and third single overall, a song which had always remind me, musically speaking, to a The Bends-era Radiohead track. The songs showcases Shakira exposing herself as an imperfect lover who might have cheated before, who doesn’t shower on Sundays and cries at least once a month (especially when it’s cold) and yet she still loves her guy so much that it’s willing to change everything and fix herself, everything just for him to come back:
I have always known that it’s best when it’s time to talk about two to start with oneself
You probably know the situation
Here everything is getting worse
But at least I’m still breathing
You don’t have to say it
You won’t come back
I know you so well
I will think about what to do with you later
Inevitable, which was used alongside scenes of its music video for a Pepsi campaign, is more famous for being Shakira’s first foray into English singing, as a rewritten version was performed in the Rosie O’Donnell show (followed by an interview hosted by Gloria Estefan) and the ALMA Awards as a duet with Melissa Etheridge. The songs was another top 5 hit of the album and have been performed in every tour ever since, albeit with a small alteration since 2011: The lyric “and I don’t know nothing about football (soccer)” is now “and now I know about football (soccer)” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to her relationship with Gerard Piqué.

More lyrics!
Even through it was only a radio single in a limited number of countries, the sixth track entered Shakira’s canon as her most controversial track: Octavo Día (Eight Day) is also the first track on the album that doesn’t deal with the subject of love, instead it revolves around the idea of God leaving us behind and what would happen with humanity afterwards. In some ways, it can be compared to Joan Osborne’s sole hit One of Us, however the song’s social commentary leaves behind any comparison it can be made to the theme song to Joan of Arcadia.
The song begins with God creating Earth in six days and taking a break from everything in the eight day by going “for a walk in outer space” just to come back and “find everything in a hellish mess” which leads Him to became just “another unemployed of the rate that is growing non-stop annually”, since then “there are those who have seen him walking alone in the streets” while “waiting patiently for someone with whom at least calm he can converse”. In the second verse, God “in the absence of occupation or excessive loneliness” leaves us behind as He went to another place, and left us with no other choice than to “worship Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton or Tarzan” as Shakira laments how our poor God “does not appear in magazines, that he is not a model, or an artist or from a royal family”. The chorus delves into social critique as Shak casually mentions how, in the meantime of this godly mess, “this world just keep spinning unable to being stopped; and here below, a few play us like chess pieces” while she’s “not the kind of idiot that lets herself convince” from stuff that even a blind men can see.
The rock track, winner of the Latin Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, gained more notoriety during the Tour of the Mongoose (2002-2003), in which a very controversial background video played during the performance which showed Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush playing chess (with some of the musicians using Fidel Castro and Richard Nixon masks) just for players to later substitute the chess pieces for nuclear weapons, all while the Grim Reaper is controlling them like puppets… surprisingly she didn’t received the Dixie Chicks treatment and her career survived barely unscratched. In a later statement Shakira mentioned her reasoning for such a controversial performance:
I think that we see war as a virtual thing and we even get to believe that bombs fall on top of cardboard cutouts and stuff like that, they don't. They kill real people, real children, real mothers and millions of innocent people. I come from Colombia, which is a country that has been under the whip of violence for more than four decades, so I've seen the consequences of war and I've seen the psychological damage that it does in a society.
And I think that we're never ready for war. I just feel that there are always pacifist solutions, and I think that the leaders know the exit to the conflict, it's just that sometimes they don't want to use them, they just want to continue playing their little game of power. And I feel that us people have the responsibility and also the obligation to demand to our leaders to give us the pacifist solutions. […] I might be sounding like an old fashioned hippie, but I believe in pacifist revolutions and I think that we have to look for those solutions, otherwise there's no way to survive in this world. In the First World War, 13 million people were killed. In the Second World War, 40 million people were killed. I think that if a third war takes place, nothing is going to be left on the face of earth […] Not always do the governments represent their people. Not always do the governments make the right decisions, because the governments are controlled by just a few, and those few do not always represent faithfully the ideals of the people.”

Shakira performing Octavo Día at her MTV Unplugged concert
In the seventh track, Que Vuelvas (To Come Back), Shakira let us breathe after such a heavy track as a pulsating and pounding bass line, another dance loop and a guitar accompaniment guides us through a journey in which Ms. Piqué wonders what would happen to her now that her lover, Ríos once again, left her. It’s very straightforward, sure, and kind of unambitious, but there’s a small element that elevates this deep cut above your average filler: the structure.
VERSE 1: It established the basics of the track right away.
PRE-CHORUS: It builds up to some anthemic chorus.
VERSE 2: Shakira blueballs us as another verse kicks instead, which shows us another perspective of the elements established in the first verse.
PRE-CHORUS: It’s here once again.
CHORUS: It finally appears and it kicks harder thanks to the buildup.
VERSE 3: The history of the previous verses continues to move forward.
CHORUS: Instead of just reprising the chorus, Shakira give us a surprise and changes the last bar to connect directly to the bridge.
BRIDGE: This short interlude is used by the narrator for catharsis, with some tension being liberated after so much angst.
CHORUS: Now the chorus comes back followed by a fade out which makes us wonder what’s going to happen next with our narrator… will she move forward? Will he come back to her arms?
Of course this reading might be too extra to some people, especially because the songs sounds suspiciously similar to Estoy Aqui, but I can’t really stand the fact that this songs its ‘this’ close to be filler, especially given its placement in the album.
The following track is (You) is Shak’s signature ballad and one of her most emotional and vocally demanding tracks. Although it begins as a declaration of unconditional love, it suddenly turns into another track begging her lover to not leave her again:
I give you my waist and my lips for when you want to kiss
I give you my madness and the few neurons that are left
My faded shoes, the diary in which I write
I give you my sighs, but don’t leave me again
Because you are my sunshine, the faith with which I live, the power of my voice, the feet that I use to walk
My love, you are my desire to laugh
I will not know how to say goodbye
Because I can never live without you
The self-penned track, issued as the second single of the album, reached number one in the Billboard Latin charts and several other Latin countries. Because of the difficulty of singing this track live, Shakira retired the full version after the Tour of the Mongoose; but brought it back for her set in Rock in Rio and the El Dorado World Tour, albeit without the second verse.
The title track's lyrics
The title track, Dónde Están los Ladrones? (Where Are the Thieves?), is second non-love song on the album. The harmonica comes back in the guitar-driven song which criticizes the politic and social reality in South American nations at the time of the album's release:
They have seen them out there, seen them on the rooftops, walking by Paris, condemning in the courts
With dusty nose, wearing a tie or blue jeans, you've seen them all on the covers, with nothing more to say
However, in a plot twist, Shakira points to finger toward herself in the chorus:
Where is the murderer?
Maybe there, rolling around the neighbor’s courtyard
and what will happen if it’s them?
And what will happen if it’s me
The one who plays this guitar or the one who is singing this song
Going by the song’s verses, everyone who had benefitted of the social inequity is part of the problem, it’s not enough to just point fingers. While 9 of the 11 tracks in the album are about love, the small glimpses we get from the Woke Shakira in this 2 sole tracks shows us that she’s far from being another average man-hater indie rock girl of the 90s like some of her peers… it’s not just the looks or the music, it’s how she portraits this sensibilities from different perspectives that makes her one of the greatest of the decade.
Unfortunately for us, we reached the closest this album has to a filler track: Sombra de Ti (Your Shadow), a subdued mid-tempo ballad in which Shakira feels how a previous relationship keeps haunting her. Lyrically speaking, this track is amazing, featuring some of the greatest metaphors and lyrics in the album (“You must know that there are pieces of your mouth spread out all over this place and that I stumble every day with another old memory and a new gray story”) and the best opening bars in any heartache song ever (“I'm going to let my guitar say everything I do not know how to say myself, or maybe I should wait for this jeering clock to finish planning my ending”) but… the sing-talking in the verses and the way she sings the chorus sort of takes me away from the track… I mean, any other Latin pop girl would murder for this song as her first single in any given album, but in this particular album and surrounded by so many amazing tracks it just falls somewhat flat for me.
The album closer: Ojos Así
Fortunately, Shak decided to close the album with one of the greatest tracks of her career: Ojos Así (Eyes Like These), a middle eastern bop, which was released as the fifth single of the album. In the song, Shakira songs about how she has seen some amazing (“a heaven without Sun”, “a river made of salt”), unique (“a Saint in prison”, “an abandoned ship in the desert”) and weird (“a woman passing under her camel”) stuff, and yet, she still hasn’t seen anything as striking as her man’s black eyes:
I ask Heaven only one thing, that in your eyes I can live
I have wandered around the entire world and I have come to tell you just one thing
I travelled from Bahrein to Beirut, I went from the North to the South Pole
and I never found eyes like those, like those that you have
The most impressive aspect of the track is the fact that Shakira actually sings in Arabic in several portions of the track, sometimes aided by an all-male chorus of course:
ربُ السماء , فيك رجائي (rb alsama' , fik rajayiy) (Lord of heaven, in you my hope)
في عينيها أرى حياتي (fi eayniha ‘araa hayati) (In his eyes I see my life)
آت ِ إليك من هذا الكون (at 'iilayk mn hdha alkun) (Coming to you from this universe
*)*أرجوك ربي .. لبي ندائي ('urjuk rabiy .. labi nidayiyun) (Please, My Lord)
The Latin Grammy nominated, MTV VMA winning music video aided the song into becoming a huge hit in Latin America and arguably her signature 90s song. The track, which also won the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, actually has an (inferior) English version called Eyes Like Yours, with an unreleased video and everything, featured as the last track in 2002’s Laundry Service. This English version helped the song to become a moderate hit in Europe and a smashing hit in Romania of all places.
The album Dónde Están los Ladrones? was a huge critical hit when released in 1998: Rolling Stone declared that it was ‘hard to imagine a singer barely into her 20s having written and recorded such an inventive set of songs’, MTV declared that Shakira ‘represents the kind of eventuality for which Alanis Morissette, Bob Dylan and Beck are all precedents’, Sputnikmusic called the albumthe gem of Shakira's discography, and one of the best Spanish pop releases of the past decade’ and the NPR put it above Taylor’s Fearless, Mariah’s Daydream, No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom and Fiona Apple’s Tidal, among others, in their list of 150 Best Albums Made by Women. Ladrones was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album category, gave Shakira a Songwriter of the Year award in the BMI Latin Awards, a World's Best Selling Latin Female Artist at the World Music Awards and 5 awards out of 8 nominations at the Premios Lo Nuestro between 1999 and 2001 including Pop Album and Pop Female Artist.

Shakira with an ACTUAL Grammy
After its release, Ladrones was an immediate success in Latin America selling over a million copies a month after its release, however that success didn’t immediately translated elsewhere: in the United States it debuted at #141 in its second week of release (it didn’t sell enough to chart at first) and next week peaked at #131, although it spend a total of 11 weeks atop the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart; in Europe the album was a commercial disappointment and only reached above the top 75 in the Spain charts. Ladrones is Shakira’s second best-selling album worldwide with over 10 million copies sold (below Laundry Service’s 15 millions), including around one million copies in the US (being certified Platinum), which makes it the 9th best-selling Latin album in the country, one position below Shakira’s own Fijación Oral Vol. 1.
In order to promote the album, Shakira performed across the world in different events and TV shows: Miss Colombia 1999 in her native Colombia, Con T de Tarde in Spain, Laura in Peru, Domingo Legal and Domingão do Faustão in Brazil and Premios Lo Nuestro and Latin Grammys in the United States, among others, all in a one year period as she prepared her next release: Her MTV Unplugged album.
Recorded in the Grand Ballroom in New York just ten months after the release of Ladrones, Unplugged was her first live album and basically served as an extension and complement of the Ladrones era as 10 of the 11 tracks in the live release were from the Ladrones album with Si Te Vas being substituted with early single Estoy Aquí. Unplugged was a huge hit (selling over a million copies worldwide) and was a critical success in English-speaking markets, winning an actual Grammy, not a Latin Grammy, but a real Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album, the third Unplugged release to win a Grammy after Eric Clapton and Nirvana’s albums.
Her first of many live albums: MTV Unplugged
After the release of Unplugged in February 2000, Shakira embarked in her second international tour, Tour Anfibio (Amphibious Tour) to promote both the live album and Ladrones. In The Tour Anfibio she performed for a two-month period (between March and May) a total of 21 concerts in 12 countries, including four dates in Argentine’s Luna Park (playing for almost 40,000 people), 3 dates in the United States (in San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center, Anaheim’s Honda Center and Miami’s Miami Arena, all with capacities for over 10,000 people) and a sole date in Colombia. Despite the short duration of the tour (it had less than one third of the dates of her previous tour), it was a commercial success.
After the inicial success of Ladrones, Gloria Estefan tried to convince Shakira of releasing a English translated version of the album, offering to translate herself Ojos Así to show it could be done (hence she was credited as a writer in the English version released later), which made Shakira start doing it herself… that was until she decided to better start anew and give herself some time to study the language, subsequently the sessions that were supposed to start in January of 1999 were cancelled and Shakira wouldn’t start working in the Ladrones follow-up until the next year, writing English tracks with a "dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other"; the resulting album was Laundry Service and we all know how that turned out and what happened afterward.
Shakira during her Anfibio Tour
Donde Estan Los Ladrones? Is a fantastic listening from beginning to end, with every track offering something unique: either an iconic lyric, a moment of musical brilliance or a shocking combination of both, with the sudden realization that she was just 21 when the album was unleashed to the world; Ladrones is very obviously a 90s album, but that’s not a detriment to how enjoyable and relatable it is up to this day, and how well and tightly produced it is. Despite lacking thematic cohesion, it doesn’t need it (not every album has to be The Wall) to shock and awe with its sonically delicious palette of Latin rock pop sounds and poetic lyrics. Each track (with an obvious exception, a 7/10 for me) is at least a 9/10 with several tens in the middle.
As much as I love Shakira, I’ve always though it was a shame that this was her creative peak… not that she isn’t still great but none of her later albums have reached the same heights, although several of her subsequent tracks are obviously deserving of their acclaim and even some albums have come somewhat close of Ladrones.
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Live Smackdown Live/Talking Smack Discussion Thread - October 4, 2016

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO SMACKDOWN LIVE, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HYPE OF NO MERCY BEING ON SUNDAY!!!

Show information for Tonight's Smackdown Live
The Pre-Show
  • Tonight, Cena, Styles, & Ambrose will all have a FaceToFaceToFace encounter before No Mercy! What will happen & how will it affect the triple threat?
  • Alexa used X to break out & assault Becky during her entrance! How will Becky respond?
  • Will we see Dolph's last time in a Smackdown ring tonight? This & much more will be addressed TONIGHT on Smackdown Live!
Match Stipulation Winner
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane Singles Match Kane (by countout)
Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss Women's Singles Match Nikki Bella (no contest?)
Nikki Bella/Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss/Carmella Women's Singles Match Alexa Bliss/Carmella
The Vaudevillians vs. Hype Bros Tag Team Match Hype Bros
Jason Jordan vs. Jimmy Uso Singles Match (tag partners by side) Jason Jordan
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin Singles Match Jack Swagger (by "submission")
Commercial Breaks during matches: 2 ...as Smackdown Live rolls ons
Other notable events
  • Baron Corbin & Jack Swagger backstage promo. Swagger asks for a match. Corbin tells him to ask Bryan & that he does his talking in the ring
  • Carmella comes out for commentary. Obviously interferes with the match, attacking Nikki. She begins to get beat down by Alexa & Carmella, until Becky makes the save
  • Bray goes backstage to find Randy Orton, only to have the tables turned on him. He ends up locked up in the back, screaming at Randy. Bray sits down in his chair. Orton comes back to see if Bray is still in there, only for him to be gone
  • Bryan turns heel to the IWC with a Susan G. Komen segment
  • Ascension come out & watch Hype Bros, hinting towards a feud between the teams
  • A Miz TV Dolphumentary, highlighting Dolph's WWE career prior before his career being on the line at No Mercy. THE FUCKING SPIRIT SQUAD COMES BACK!!! They insult Dolph & beat on him, until he Superkick Party's them. Miz leaves the ring after his finisher is reversed
  • After Jason Jordan rolls up an Uso, they get attacked by them afterwards. Slater & Rhyno come out for the save (Rhyno's run in though)
  • Corbin "taps out" to Swagger's Patriot Lock. Corbin goes berserk after the match
  • Cena, Styles, & Ambrose all have their FaceToFaceToFace encounter. They all cut off Cena, berating him. Cena snaps & chaos ensues. Dean ends up holding the title high with Cena & Styles on the ground
That Reddit-Stream that automatically updates so you don't have to reload to keep up with things!
Post-Show Information!
Stick around after the show RIGHT HERE for continued post-show discussion, as this thread will remain up
Are you looking for a place to talk about Smackdown Live AND shit-talk SquaredCircle? Check out the UnJerk thread at /SCJerk! While we try to stay more upbeat and positive over here, we totally understand the temptation to talk shit about those guys. But if you're going to do it, that's the place to do it.
Additional links!
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ANTM - Where Are They Now? (Cycle 1)

Hi guys! So I was on the /rupaulsdragrace sub and I got so inspired by u/evilsnowcookie's "Where Are They Now" post that I decided to incorporate that idea for ANTM
  So this will be a compilation of the different websites and news articles, as well as posts from the girls' social media accounts on what they are up to these days. Maybe if you guys enjoy this, I'd consider making one for the succeeding seasons but for now, lets reminisce on the girls from Cycle 1.
 
  Name: Tessa Carlson Placed: 10th Age: 33 First Call Outs: 0 Bottom 2: 1 Twitter Followers: N/A Instagram Followers: 521 (@tessacarlson) Tessa Carlson on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Tessa was a contestant on the first season of America’s Next Top Model. She, along with fellow model Giselle, were the only models of the cycle who were not part of the pool of 20 semi-finalists (they were scouted for and joined the cast after a separate audition). During her brief stint on the show, she was shown to bond with fellow contestant Adrianne Curry through smoking after moving into their NYC Apartment. At their first photo shoot for swimsuits from J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez, photographer Elizabeth Moss commented that “She probably had people teach her how to model the wrong way … that was her problem.” In the end, she was eliminated for lacking a dominant personality and her inability to pose.
  POST-TOP MODEL After the show, Tessa modeled for Noah Kalina and Joey Quintero, but has since decided not to pursue modelling. Despite being eliminated after the first photo shoot, she was included in the next photo shoot for Stuff Magazine, but was not shown in the episode. Since the show premiered in 2003, Tessa has gotten married and has focused on being a mother to two beautiful children.
  Name: Katie Cleary Placed: 9th Age: 36 First Call Outs: 0 Bottom 2: 1 Twitter Followers: 47.1k (@katie_cleary) Instagram Followers: 29.2k (@katiecleary11) Katie Cleary on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Katie was a contestant on the first season of America’s Next Top Model. During the casting week, she was called fifth out the eight finalists for the first season (Tyra and the producers planned for 10 models to move into the NYC apartment, but could only agree on 8. The last 2 were scouted in a separate audition). She was eliminated in the second episode for because the judges felt the she photographed too sexy.
  POST-TOP MODEL Katie has been busy since the show’s premiere in 2003. She’s appeared in spreads for Maxim online, Rukus magazine, Marie Claire, Lifestyle magazine, and Vegan lifestyle magazine among others. She has appeared in over a dozen national advertising campaigns for brands such as InterContinental Hotels, Sketchers, Elastiderm Skin Care, AT&T, Nike, Chandon Champagne, Supreme Protein, Cadillac, ProActive, Payless, and as part of the Refreshment Duo for Labatt's Blue Light. She has since landed a role on NBC’s Deal or no Deal where she starred for over four years. She has hosted shows on the TV Guide Channel, E! News Now, as well the travel show “Get Out,” on HDTV. Katie has also has roles on popular TV shows such as CSI NY, Las Vegas, Entourage, *Rules of Engagement, Chuck, Working Class and more recently on How To Get Away With Murder and Two And A Half Men. She is currently represented by Paradigm Talent Agency, Abstract Talent Agency, and CESD Talent.
  Katie is also a philanthropist, founding the Peace4Animals organization. She is also an award winning creator and producer of the documentary Give Me Shelter which premiered on Netflix in 2015. Katie is also the Founder & Producer of the network World Animal News on the popular animal news site WorldAnimalNews.com.
  Since the show, Katie has dated Evan Liss and Gregg Pitt. She was also married to married to Andrew Stern from 2010 until his death in 2014.
  Name: Nicole Nastazio, née Panattoni Placed: 8th Age: 37 First Call Outs: 0 Bottom 2: 1 Twitter Followers: 3,280 (@NicolePanattoni) Instagram Followers: 6,172 (@nicolepanattoni)
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Katie was a contestant on the first season of America’s Next Top Model. During the casting week, she was called first out the eight finalists for the first season (Tyra and the producers planned for 10 models to move into the NYC apartment, but could only agree on 8. The last 2 were scouted in a separate audition). She was eliminated in the third episode due to her lack of commitment (in both her photo shoot and in the makeover).
  POST-TOP MODEL After Cycle 1 aired, Nicole appeared in several maternity catalogs and magazines. Like all the girls from this cycle, she has appeared in a spread for Stuff Magazine. She has appeared in Maxim, Rebel Ink Magazine, ePregnancy, and Surf Illustrated. Nicole has also modeled for Yandy Lingerie, Bikinilicious.com, Nordstrom, Due Maternity, Gnar Lube, For Issuez, Inc., Top Floorr, & La Isla couture. She has been featured in advertisements for Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and for Palm’s Casino Resort.
  Nicole has started Bronzed Body SD, Mobile Sunless Tan Mobile Spray Tan servicing all of North County SD. She has also been featured as one of the models on “Deal Or No Deal”, and has appeared on The X Life with boyfriend BMX rider Cory Nastazio. The couple has 2 beautiful children and recently tied the knot in October 2017.
  Name: Ebony Haith Placed: 7th Age: 38 First Call Outs: 1 Bottom 2: 2 Twitter Followers: 464 (@EbonyHaith) Instagram Followers: 539 (@haithebony) Ebony Haith on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 When Ebony became one of the finalists in America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 1, she was met with harsh criticism from the two very devout Christian ANTM finalists, Robin and Shannon. The conflict escalated when Ebony’s partner dropped by the house, further angering Shannon and Robin. Things turned uglier for Ebony during the judging, as she became the fourth contestant eliminated. The judges reasoned that it was Ebony’s weak performance that drove them to cut her from the show. Source
  POST-TOP MODEL After the show, Ebony was signed onto Downtown Model Management, before moving on to Uptown Model Management (UMM) and Models Management Group (MMG). Currently, I’m not sure what agency she is signed to. She has walked in fashion shows for SA-SHEA and Ice Blue. She’s been shot by photographers such as Quavondo Nguyen, Isabelle Choi, and Umari Jason and has appeared in spreads for Esquire, and Height Magazine. She has also appeared in appeared in Real Gay (a 2005 TV film) and Violet Tendencies (A 2010 movie). According to her instagram, she has shot her first sports shoot/TV show.
  Name: Giselle Samson Placed: 6th Age: 33 First Call Outs: 0 Bottom 2: 2 Twitter Followers: 249 (@GiselleSamson) Instagram Followers: 1,295 (@GiselleBelle84) Giselle Samson on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Giselle was a contestant on the first season of America’s Next Top Model. She, along with fellow model Tessa, were the only models of the cycle who were not part of the pool of 20 semi-finalists (they were scouted for and joined the cast after a separate audition).During the fifth week of Cycle 1, both Giselle and fellow finalist Ebony fell into the bottom 2. Giselle was spared as Ebony was sent home, but her performance the following week betrayed her lack of confidence. Her photos with 2003 NFL Rookie of the Year Clinton Portis were not impressive enough to convince the judges to keep her, and so she became the fifth finalist to be cut from the show. Tyra said it was her lack of confidence that hindered her performance. Source
  POST-TOP MODEL After her season aired, Giselle appeared in SWITCH magazine and modeled for the brand Simply Fashion. Giselle was also a model on Deal or No Deal, has hosted segments on the Tyra Banks Show, Fox Sport's Net's "54321", and has appeared on TV shows such as Chuck, The Bold and The Beautiful, the short “Black?”, and has attended The 18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards. As a dancer, she has performed in Disney’s Fantasmic and in Pitbull’s music video Blanco, as well as dance for late Michael Jackson’s 45th birthday celebration. These days, according to her LinkedIn, she works as an Account Executive at HireTalent Executive Search, Temporary Staffing, Recruiting & SOW and is the founder of GLS Enterprises LLC, as well as the CEO of Kiss the Planet. She is currently listed as a model on the Trade Show Models (TSM) agency website.
  Name: Kesse Wallace Placed: 5th Age: 35 First Call Outs: 1 Bottom 2: 2 Twitter Followers: N/A Instagram Followers: N/A Kesse Wallace on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 During the sixth week, the show flew Kesse and the other remaining Top Model finalists to Paris, where they were asked to pose with a male model wearing only lingerie. The challenge allowed a number of Parisian designers to view the models, and although all of them tried their best to produce spectacular pictures, the judges felt that Kesse did not possess enough desire to advance in the competition. Consequently, Kesse became the sixth finalist to be eliminated. Source
  POST-TOP MODEL As of late, Kesse has been keeping a relatively low profile. Since appearing on the show, Kesse has gone on to work under the management of Gilla Roos (but closed in 2009). Her runway projects include Yeohlee Teng Fall 2005/Spring 2006, Renee Larc for Milan and Francis Hendy. Kesse has also graced the pages of King Magazine and Complex Magazine and has appeared in a Church’s Chicken television commercial. She has also appeared in King Magazine and in Complex Magazine.
  Name: Robin Manning Placed: 4th Age: 41 First Call Outs: 0 Bottom 2: 1 Twitter Followers: 208 (@Robbyne) Instagram Followers: 554 (@robbynemanning) Robin Manning on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Being a Devout Christian like her fellow finalist Shannon Stewart, Robin often criticized the other girls when she felt that they were doing something immoral. She was extremely affected when openly gay model Ebony brought her partner to the house. On the seventh week, the challenge was to pose nude for a jewelry advertisement. She, along with Shannon, refused to participate, saying that it was against her morals. Consequently, she was eliminated from the show, becoming the seventh contestant to be cut. Source
  POST-TOP MODEL Robin, who now goes by the name Robbyne, has kept a relatively low profile since the show. She was the only contestant whose photos were not included in the Stuff Magazine shoot featured during the third episode (even though Tessa, the first contestant eliminated, was included in the issue). After her appearance on the show, Robin went on to do a Baby Phat fashion show with Elyse and Kesse. She was featured in the July 2003 issue of the TV Guide, on the cover of the 2003 Holiday Issue of Grace, as well as appear next to Janice Dickinson in an issue of O. She has also appeared in the popular soap, The Young and the Restless, and the films, Without You and Holla. Robin is pursuing an acting career and has been in two movies. She did some church-related print work and some test shots, as well as a pictorial for Especially Yours, but is not currently with an agency. Robin’s name was once again brought to the attention in the media in 2014 when Dominic Jeffries (together with his 6 year old sister) went missing from Manning’s home. Robin is the child’s legal guardian, but it is not certain why (Dominic’s mother and Robin know each other from pre-school).
  Name: Elyse Sewell Placed: 3rd Age: 35 First Call Outs: 2 Bottom 2: 2 Twitter Followers: N/A Instagram Followers: 1,031 (@_elysesewell) Elyse Sewell on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Sewell's was a contestant on the first cycle of America's Next Top Model. She was known on the show as the "edgy pre-med student". She placed third, after Adrianne Curry and Shannon Stewart. She was eliminated due to the fact that her intelligence came across as “derogatory”, despite her high fashion look. Her infamous confessional clip from the show, in which she expressed a profanity-laden rant against the people on the show, earned her 16th place on E!'s Most Outrageous TV Moments in 2005. She attributes this outburst to the unusual requirement on the show to voice one's private thoughts and to soliloquize in a "confessional booth".
  POST-TOP MODEL Elyse is probably the most successful girl out of all the contestants on Cycle 1. As a model, Elyse has been incredibly successful, especially in Asia where she has had print advertisements for Giordano, Chanel and Chow Sang Sang Jewelry and appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong. Sewell’s first book, Beauty and The Biz: The International Adventures of America's Third-to-Next Top Model, based in part on her LiveJournal Weblog, was published in Hong Kong in 2006. She appeared in multiple book signings across Hong Kong. She has been featured in advertisements for brands such as Azona, Chow Sang Sang, Dao, Darquer, DTC Diamonds, Flair by Joc, Giordano, iMaroon, Mae Von, Motorola, Paule Ka, Sa Sa CyberColors, and Staccato.
  Overseas, Elyse has been signed with Zucca Tokyo, ZEM Osaka, Mannequin Singapore, Model Genesis Hong Kong, Chadwicks Sydney, Eye For I Milan, Dream Models Hong Kong and Elite Santiago. Locally, Elyse has also been signed with Wilhelmina West Models, M4 Models, Q6 Models Portland, Model One (Hong Kong), Studio KLRP Paris, Seattle’s Model Guild, M4 Hamburg, Good Fashion Shenzhen and Model 1.
  Elyse dated Martin Crandall of the Shins until January 2008, when he allegedly assaulted her in a Sacramento hotel. Both Crandall and Elyse were charged with felony domestic assault, though their cases were later dismissed. Previously, Elyse told the Singapore Straits Times in an interview that she had dumped her boyfriend because he cheated on her while she was working in Japan, though they reconciled shortly afterwards. She’s not active on social media, and only has an instagram (which was last updated in 2015). A facebook page pops up if you search her name on facebook, however, I’m not sure if she runs it or if it is a fan account. She also participated in a Reddit AMA where she spoke about her experiences on the show.
  Name: Shannon Ratcliff, née Stewart Placed: 2nd (Cycle 1)/6th (Cycle 17) Age: 33 First Call Outs: 3 (Cycle 1)/0 (Cycle 17) Bottom 2: 2 (Cycle 1)/2 (Cycle 17) Twitter Followers: 17.3k (@ShannonStewart1) Instagram Followers: 12.5k (@shannonstewartratcliff) Shannon Stewart on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Stewart competed on the first season of America's Next Top Model. In the first week of competition, Shannon landed in the bottom two and if she hadn't won that week's challenge, she would have been eliminated. However, the following two weeks Shannon received two consecutive first call-outs, and performed consistently in the following weeks. But, in the semi-finals during a nude photoshoot in Paris, Shannon and fellow contestant Robin Manning caused controversy when they refused to take part in the photoshoot because of their Christian faith. However, this did not hinder Stewart's progression in the competition finishing second overall to Adrianne Curry. Source.
  Shannon later appeared during a fashion show during the show’s 7th season, in the 8th cycle of the show as a guest for one of the photo shoots, and was also the only contestant from Cycle 1 to be invited to participate in the All Star cycle.
  ANTM CYCLE 17 In 2011, Shannon was invited back to participate in the first All-Star edition of the show, together with several other returning models from the different seasons. Stewart placed 6th overall in the All-Star competition after confusing the judges for refusing to wear lingerie that looked like a bathing suit while allowing herself to be photographed in a skimpier bathing suit in a previous week. She was the only model in the top 6 to have not won best photo.
  POST-TOP MODEL Since America’s Next Top Model, Shannon has modeled for Harmony Bell Boutique, Nuj Novakhett, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sephora, Bakers Shoes, Speedo, and Allyson Smith Jewelry.
  She has appeared in magazines such as Elle Girl Magazine, Teen Vogue, Sydney Magazine, Six Degrees Magazine, and Ford Fusion. Shannon has appeared on the cover of Nashville Lifestyles Weddings, Arizona Foothills Magazine, and Sound & Vision Magazine.
  Her runway shows include Richard Tyler, Alvin Valley (2004), Alice and Olivia (2006), Sprite Street Couture (2006), and Elle Girl presents Dare To Be You: Wal-Mart Meets America’s Next Top Models (2005), Fashion Institute of Technology (2006), Gustavo Arango (2006), Alice Dobson (2006) and Olympus Fashion Week (2006).
  During Cycle 8, Shannon told the contestants that she had switched over to Elite Model Management in Chicago. She was also signed to Bleu Model Management. Fashion Model Directory states that she is currently signed to Major Model Management in New York and Factor Women in Chicago. Nowadays, Shannon actively interacts with her fans through her different social media handles, and runs her own personal blog. She has been married to Matthew Ratcliff, a fellow Christian model, since 2007.
  Name: Adrianne Curry Placed: 1st Age: 35 First Call Outs: 1 Bottom 2: 2 Twitter Followers: 416k (@AdrianneCurry) Instagram Followers: 132k (@AdrianneCurry) Adrianne Curry on IMDB
  ANTM CYCLE 1 Adrianne Curry competed on the first season of America's Next Top Model. She beat out fellow contestant Shannon Stewart. After her stint on ANTM, Curry has been very outspoken about her time on the show . Curry told various interviewers, including Steppin Out Magazine, that she wasn’t given the Revlon modeling contract that she was supposed to get as winner, and that “Tyra really didn't help us out and the show didn't put any money into us.” She even went as far as saying that “Basically, it was our show that saved the network and it was the biggest show ever…We trusted Tyra, but we've all been screwed over.”
  POST-TOP MODEL Nowadays, Curry continues to act, model, and do cosplay. She was signed to Wilhelmina Models in New York City. She has modeled for several magazines, including Life & Style Weekly, In Touch, Sync Magazine, Us Weekly, Star, OK!, Stuff, People, Maxim (and made the Maxim Hot 100 list in 2005), both the North American and Spanish editions of Marie Claire, Lucky Magazine, Supermodels Unlimited, Agenda Magazine, Von Dutch, Von Dutch Watches, Salon City, Macy's, Famous Stars and Straps, Lucky, Ed Hardy, Kinis Bikinis, NailPro, Beverly Hills Choppers, and Merit Diamonds. In 2016, she was briefly signed on to LA Models, however, she was quickly dropped from their roster. According to her personal website, where she constantly updates her blog, she is also works as an avon lady.
  Curry's runway shows include Anne Bowen Spring 2005, Jaime Pressly, Pamela Anderson's line, Ed Hardy, Von Dutch, and Christopher Deane. She has appeared in a commercial for the Merit Diamonds Sirena Collection that ran from November 2004 to January 2006.
  She appeared on the cover and in a nude pictorial for the American edition Playboy in February 2006. She returned for a second cover and nude pictorial in the January 2008 issue. Curry made Playboy´s 2008 top 25 sexiest women, along with the top 100 Playboy spreads 2008 edition. In late 2006, Curry modeled for a technological demo created by Nvidia to showcase their video cards. She is a spokesmodel for The Flex Belt with Denise Richards.
  Curry was a co-host on the television game show Ballbreakers. In 2006, she appeared on Gameshow Marathon as a celebrity panelist on the Match Game episode. She starred in Rock Me Baby (2004) and Half & Half (2003) on UPN. Curry also appeared on Dirt starring Courteney Cox, with whom she shared scenes. She appeared in rock band's The Click Five's music video "Just the Girl", along with her then husband Christopher Knight. She has also starred in the films Fallen Angels, Light Years Away and Jack Rio. In early 2005, Curry appeared on VH1's fourth season of The Surreal Life. On September 11, 2005, VH1 began airing My Fair Brady, a show that documented their life together and paid her an estimated US$450,000. The show led her to being featured in Maxim's Hot 100, a list of the "hottest" women on earth. and ranked #100 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2005.
  Adrianne loves cosplay and video games. Between November and December 2010, Curry worked as the Resident Celebrity Gamer panelist judge on the second series of The Tester, a reality program on the PlayStation Network. She has returned to the panel in the third series which began on the 7th February 2012. Curry hosted live coverage of Blizzcon for Direct TV in 2011, as well as hosting live from E3 for Namco Bandai in both 2011 and 2012.
  Christopher Knight proposed to Curry on the season finale of My Fair Brady, on VH1, which aired on November 6, 2005. The show was renewed for a second season that began in June 2006, and focused on the couple's wedding preparations. In 2007, Curry and Knight appeared on the Dr. Phil Show to discuss their marital issues on an episode dealing with large age gaps in relationships. Dr. Phil predicted that their style of arguing, particularly Knight's hurtful comments, was a strong predictor of impending divorce in couples.The couple announced their separation on May 29, 2011. The couple filed for divorce on August 19, 2011 and it became final in 2013. As of 2017, she is currently engaged to Matthew Rhode.
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This is "Valley View Casino & Hotel - Branding Commercial 2" by Ric Militi on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Valley View Casino Expansion . Project Description. This project was a 105,000 SF casino expansion that added new casino space including a fully enclosed 7,500 SF non-smoking casino and nonsmoking bar, additional slot machines and table games, a new Players Club, a new steakhouse and lounge, a 24-hour cafe, a new buffet, and an ice cream shop. Project Details. Location Valley Center ... Valley View Casino Hotel is a luxury hotel located in Valley Center, CA. The cast-in-place structure consists of three lower levels designed as back-of-house operations and a spa area and six upper levels with guest suites. The project also includes a pool area, central plant and minor upgrades to the existing casino. Morley’s portion of the work consisted of […] The best casino in San Diego County is at Valley View Casino & Hotel! COUNTDOWN TO OUR NEXT MAJOR EVENTS Don't miss out on all our other exciting daily and weekly promotions! Qualifying for these and all other promotions at Valley View is easy. To learn more, please visit our Players Club. All guests 21 and over are welcome to enjoy our casino, restaurants and hotel. Relax in our beautiful ... View property. D. Domain 2 days ago. Delightfully Renovated 3 Bedroom Villa 2470, Casino, Richmond Valley Council, New South Wales . This renovated 3 bedroom villa is in quiet complex of 3. It has a new kitchen with plenty of bench and cupboard space, large open plan living are . $350. 3 bed. 1 ba. Report. View property. D. Domain 2 days ago. Commercial lease 2470, Casino, Richmond Valley ... San Diego Casinos Blamed for COVID-19 Spread, Tribal Leaders Reject Assertion. Posted on: December 22, 2020, 12:33h. Last updated on: December 22, 2020, 01:32h. Commercial Construction Special Projects HVAC & Plumbing Service Projects. Manufacturing Healthcare ... Valley View Casino; VALLEY VIEW CASINO PROJECT DATA. TYPE: NEW CONSTRUCTION. SIZE: 42,375 SQUARE FEET. VALUE: $1,500,000. SYSTEMS: 32 RTUs. 9 EXHAUST FANS. 7 HEATERS. 3 FAN COIL UNITS. Back to Top . Industrial Commercial Systems, Inc., 1165 Joshua Way, Vista, CA, 92081, United States (760 ... Valley View, located in Valley Center, is in the core of the North County casino hotbed, with Harrah’s SoCal, Pala Casino Spa & Resort, Casino Pauma and Temecula’s Pechanga all nearby. Known ... This is "Valley View Casino & Hotel Commercial Campaign 2013" by Passage Productions on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who… San Pasqual Casino Development Group, Inc. (SPCDGI) was formed in November 2004 and has grown Valley View Casino & Hotel from a 40,000 square-foot facility to an over 300,000 square-foot facility. The corporation has increased revenue and managed to build its business successfully over the past eight years in a difficult economy and in the most competitive tribal gaming market in the country ...

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11 years of Valley View Casino & Hotel - YouTube

Valley view casino😍😄🇺🇸😁💕 peter gabriel * 2012 10 08 * san diego * valley view casino center * so back to front tour * ca * usa Valley View Casino Really nice rooms & very cool pool Valley view casino ocean magic winner 3 times! This picks up where I got booted...I had a lot of fun and it seemed my lucked turned around a little. Part 1 was a little rough, but the change in games help... Music "L'amore che verrà" by Paolo D'Errico [email protected] A look back at the 11 years of Valley View Casino & Hotel. www.valleyviewcasino.com Gamblers heard gunfire at the main entrance. The $50 million Valley View Casino expansion opened to the public Wednesday.

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