The 16 Most Legendary Stories Of Gambling In Sports

35 Whimsical and Fantastical Taverns and Inns For Your Table

35 Whimsical and Fun Taverns, Bars and Inns For Your Table

EDIT: An excellent official-looking edit has been created by the talented u/natesroomrule. You can find their copy here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_xtqOtSbnULTjo81l0aYhQj7NdmWWi2p/view
A few years ago, I drafted a d100-based table for a variety of interesting and fantasy-themed taverns for my group. While that session ended up falling apart, I completely forgot about the table I created until recently.
Behold! Below, find a variety of silly, interesting high fantasy tavern ideas you can use to populate your worlds to make everything feel a little more fantastic and flavourful.
Note that some taverns assume a particular location or setting, but feel free to re-roll or adjust as need be.
Dropbox Link (.docx format): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ena4hwp0o82qzws/Fantasy%20Inns%20and%20Taverns%20Table%20by%20Tr1lobyte.docx?dl=0

The Table

# Name Description
1-3 The Dancing Imp Once a bar of ill repute, where shady deals and even devil worship took place. The legend goes that once a cunning bard called a devil, tricking him by destroying his sigil and cursing the imp to dance until it perished from exhaustion. Nowadays, it goes that demons have never since been found into the bar due to this old superstition. While the truth of this tale is often in dispute, the bar runs a marathon dancing contest on the first Saturday of every month with the winner taking a "devil's share" of alcohol in winnings.
4-6 The Drunken Unicorn Legends tell that, a long time ago, a unicorn made itself an unwitting patron of this bar. Drinking from a leaky cask of wine set out at the establishment's back door, it had that night crashed through a wall, caused an atrocious ruckus, and ran off after scaring all the patrons. Families whose ancestors were in the bar at the time of the event consider it a badge of fortune, and continue to drink there loyally to this day.
7-9 The Giant’s Foot A dirty bar full of lowlifes and criminals, commonly used for dealings between races such as orcs, goblins and yes, giants. While it's a hive of scum and villainy, where crimes between patrons are met with an uninterested shrug, those who mess with anything within the bar such as stealing glasses are swiftly met with a guard who nails them by the feet upside-down to the wall to rot, until their ankles break off and only their crucified feet remain.
10-12 The Dragon’s Head The giant skeletal head of a dragon hangs over the bar, a trophy of its retired dwarf owner from his years as an accomplished adventurer. The head is enchanted to breathe mists of pipe smoke when given an offering of alcohol.
13-15 The Living Ivy The building, it high roof taller than it is wide a relic of the building's former status as a church, casts a beautiful spotlight across the empty floor. Long thick vines, once a Shambling Mound, crawl up the walls, growing back so fast they're almost impossible to remove. During spring, pilgrims come from far away to witness the vines release magical glowing spores, which it is believed (falsely) are able to cure all manner of ills and ailments.
16-18 The Hungry Beaver Located at the bottom of a valley in a flood-prone region, the bar is set up on long, thick stilts to keep it from getting wet during heavy rains. A set of stairs, often responsible for the broken bones and chipped teeth of drunks leaving in the early dark hours of the morning, lead up to its doors. The tavern has a special local brew, called "Beaver Honey", which is made using this water and the sap from a nearby species of tree to give it a sweet flavour.
19-21 the Backwards Inn A tavern inherited by no-nonsense elvish managers who doggedly insist that the inn is sensibly called "Traveller's Rest". Locals have a tradition of reversing the lettering on all the signs advertising its presence overnight, always insistently crediting it to an ancient curse bestowed on the inn by an angry wizard long ago, or to an ancient tribe of mischievous pixies who consider it one of their greatest cultural customs.
22-24 The Twin Golems At the entrance to the tavern two huge clay golems stand, lifeless, their longswords crossed above the door frame. When commanded, such as during a raid or crime, the bartender can tell them a secret command word which activates their defensive procedure, blocking anyone from entering or leaving the building with force if necessary. The golems have been repurposed here, having been once automated labourers in a mine, but have no personality and are comatose until commanded.
25-27 The Laughing Gnome A small tavern with ceilings and objects designed for those of halfling or gnomish size, but they take all visitors. Their prized gnomish ale is famous, and the manager and owner, a portly gnome named Ferrowin Gladis, never tires of large human men attempting to squeeze their way through its tiny doors for a drink. There's also a variety of budget rooms for the shorter adventurer underneath the building, which for their price offer an unparalleled quality.
28-30 The Filthy Priest Once located near a church, this dive is notorious for its association with illegal trades being right next to the city’s skid rows. However, any Detect Good and Evil inside the bar only detects good. Its previous location next to a church and the scandals that it had involved with its residents resulted in the name change and move to the new building in the slums about a decade ago, a small statuette of a god providing the blessing on the building that had been stolen from that very religious establishment.
31-33 The Portly Frog A large, open room with a circular fountain and one particular statue of a giant, fat frog at the centre. Rumours say that the frog was a magically cursed prince petrified by a Medusa, though it is impossible to determine its validity. A small quartet of bards can usually be found in the corner, singing beautiful songs and busking for money. Those who cause trouble in the bar quickly find that this band of high-level Bards are also the security of the establishment.
34-36 The Rotten Pumpkin Located in the city where the annual "World's Largest Pumpkin" takes place, the winning pumpkin every year is traditionally placed at the front of the building until it rots, after which children often rip chunks off and have food fights outside. While this festival only occurs once per year, the pumpkin-based beverages and meals are available all year round.
37-39 The Paladin’s Oath A classy establishment for paladins of all sorts, all Evil cowers when entering its premises. Those of any Good or Lawful faith are often given free rooms provided they are questing for the betterment of the world, and small shrines can be found to most major gods surrounding the building in small stone huts. The owner, a human man and woman who were once paladins themselves, are willing to offer any assistance they can in the battle against the forces of evil. No cheap alcohol can be found here, and drunkenness is greatly discouraged.
40-42 The Rabbit’s Foot Once the host of an underground gaming den, the tavern now repurposes the betting rooms for lodging. On the ground floor, several dice, board and card games are always to be found, and locals (who are veterans to gambling and are often charlatans) love to play their games with travellers. The local favourite, Gladiator Dice, is even played by local nobles who frequent the rooms and are usually surrounded by guests hoping to cash in on their reckless spending.
43-45 The Shaking Shack Also known as "The Drunk Tavern", every few minutes the building shakes very briefly as if in a small-magnitude earthquake. Most locals and the bartenders are used to it, barely noticing the shakes, but new travellers frequently find it frustrating and distracting. Legends go it was once cursed by a warlock who, after being insulted by a legion of drunks, cursed the building itself to 'hiccup' as if drunk itself. For this reason, once per night, it is customary to pour a beer out onto the floorboards to sate "the hair-of-the-dog in the building itself".
46-48 The Garden of Maidens Named after the legendary children's tale of the 12 Missing Maidens (which is said to have happened nearby), the tavern is less jovial than one usually comes to expect. Drinking any alcohol in the bar invokes a somber depression in the drinker, which the owner credits to the haunting spirits of the dead maidens spoiling the drink. While it famously triggers sadness in almost all who drink there, it has a strangely addicting quality. Even stranger still, the only people this curse does not seem to affect is young human women.
49-51 The Mourning Widow This seaside tavern is populated by sailors, who sing loud out-of-tune sea shanties into the early hours of the morning. Its exclusive brew, the Widow's Tears, are said to be made from the tears of ladies whose husbands have died at sea. For these reasons, anyone who dealing with the death of a loved one can expect free drinks on the house.
52-54 The Enchanted Mug Contrary to its title, the mugs at The Enchanted Mug are not enchanted. In fact, gnomish engineers have developed a complex hand-cranked machine where a patron can observe the automatic creation of "The Perfect Brew". It tastes foul, but most people pay just to watch the Rube Goldberg-like giant wall-mounted device create their drink behind a pane of reinforced glass. Nowadays, it frequently experiences malfunctions, and often expels ale even worse than normal.
55-57 The Whispering Web A bar infamous for hosting criminals and fugitives from authorities, often home to Drow and other evil creatures. Theories go that secrets travel faster than feet there, which may or may not be true: Mirrors hanging on the walls around the bar are used to anonymously conduct business with one another, with each dealer the only person able to see the other. For this reason the tavern in prized for its discretion and has been rumoured as the host to a number of highly influential underground business deals.
58-60 The Shivering Pelican A classier establishment, the bar serves infamously cold ales. Among them is their prized "Frozen Swill", cooled with magical jets to far below zero, which is nearly impossible to drink. Themed as a Winter Wonderland all throughout the year, a series of hot springs located out in the back are very popular among the richer folk who can afford to use them. The bartender rumours that nobles use the springs as meeting places for concubines and illicit lovers, which is supported by several other gossiping members of staff.
61-63 The Golden Harp This tavern contains a magical harp, brought in at no small expense, which plays beautiful music as patrons drink and dine. Believed to be imbued with the magical talents of an angel themselves, its melodies have an almost hypnotic quality to them, which has been known to invoke intense emotion among a minority of the weak-willed. Frequent attempts to steal the priceless artefact mean that the harp is placed behind several magical wards that prohibit anyone from approaching. Each flagon and mug has an ornate harp carved into its side, and these are commonly stolen as ‘souvenirs’ for patron’s homes as a testament to its owner's musical tastes.
64-66 The Broken Cavalry Popular among war veterans, it borders a huge stable and a large field where horse races are frequently run for sport and recreation. The first stop in a long pub crawl, tradition dictates that a budding drinker not leave the back of their horse throughout the entire ordeal, which becomes increasingly more difficult as the rider becomes more drunk.
67-69 The Starving Yeti Set inside a cave in the side of a tall mountain peak, it is often used as a safehouse during the occasional avalanche or orc raid due to its naturally fortified structure. Only the opening of the mouth is used for the business, but the rest of the uncharted cave behind it travels deep into the mountain: However, only the bravest dare to scout out the area due to its huge labyrinthian size and dangerous monsters. Rumours of ancient dwarven treasures from a time long-forgotten are familiar to all locals, including the recipe for a highly-prized ancient Dwarf wine.
70-72 The Dragon’s Roost Pigeons have long taken their place in the rafters of the tall building in which The Dragon's Roost is located, often pooping into the drinks of those below (which is considered a very lucky omen). Many sustained attempts to remove the infestation in the past has proved fruitless, and has slowly developed into a superstition that the pigeons are the reincarnated souls of regular bargoers.
73-75 The Prickly Crocodile Located on the middle of a dry and unforgiving desert, most drinks are synthesized from a common cactus to create a series of bitter yet strong alcoholic beverages known as The Prickles. As the plant is highly toxic, only the bar's owners, and old and influential Dragonborn family, are familiar with the secrets to extracting the appropriate liquid without retaining its deadly poisons.
76-78 The Gaudy Cannon Located on the roof of the squat, well-constructed stone tavern, a faux-golden cannon fires a blank shot of gunpowder every time somebody completes the venue's infamous Drowned Liver Challenge, which involves copious quantities of local wine. The proprietor and barkeep, an eyepatch-wearing halfling pirate by the name of Two-Bones (since retired), takes great joy in this ceremony (the cannon her proudest trophy from her travels) and often participates in the challenge herself.
79-81 The Wild Sorcerer Though not gifted with Sorcerous magic herself, bar owner Meredith Garalin inherited the venue from her mother after it spontaneously appeared from nowhere during one of her episodes of wild magic. Business is slow due to its out-of-the-way location, though local rumours that suggest the tavern is cursed to one day magically return to whatever plane it was summoned from (and with all its patrons inside).
82-84 The Ghost Hog Impossible to trace, the faint squealing of some faraway pig can sometimes be heard from inside of the tavern during the day. Notoriously grimy and filthy the east side of the tavern, dubbed 'The Swill', is an open, muddy space which is commonly the ground for drunken barehanded wrestling matches both for sporting and settling disputes. Solid lumps can frequently be found in their unappetizing pints of ale.
85-87 The Glowing Scales The only remaining building in a village now entirely in ruins, it acts as an important resting place for those travelling between two major cities which keeps business booming. Due to its highly vulnerable nature, the barkeep offers free room and board, as well as a night of free drinks, to anyone who assists in fighting away the goblin hordes that attack at sunset several times a week.
88-90 The Masquerade Floor A classy establishment built in a refurbished noble's manor after it was invaded and taken over by a neighbouring kingdom, its blindingly white tiled floors give it a strikingly futuristic aesthetic. The drinks are distinctly expensive, but come in an eclectic rainbow of colours. All its staff, mostly elves, wear white face masks that conceal their identities.
91-93 The Empty Pail A large, popular tavern in which large drink orders are made in 'pails', metal buckets filled with ale that can be shared between patrons or quaffed by larger, more ambitious humanoids. A lot of food, like small sections of dried apple or strips of preserved bacon, are served floating or submerged in the alcohol which gives them a bitter flavour.
94-96 The Clever Merchant A bustling hub of trade and mirth, the business offers not only rooms and drink but also a variety of trade stock such as grains, ore, and lumber. The owner, a bald Dragonborn merchant, makes a decent profit over the impulse purchases of drunks with coin to spare, as well as off a variety of house-run gambling games such as the popular card game Merchant.
97-99 The Thunderous Wagon Located on the outskirts of a city next to a large stable for late-night travellers, they offer cheap rooms for those willing to put up with loud distractions to their slumber during the night. Popular wisdom dictates that banging your mugs of ales against the table before drinking will bless those staying overnight with good rest.
100 The Bloodthirsty Fish A popular location among hobbyist fishermen, the walls are lined with the trophies of various huge catches. A patron can be offered a free drink if they can prove themselves a record holder of the largest for a particular type. Their brew is atypically salty-tasting and popular among sailors.
submitted by tr1lobyte to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 20: Casey Williams and Manta Malaise?

The results are in for Match 18.
The game was lasting quite a long time, with Red Carpet Renaissance’s more aggressive playstyle hardly giving the room to breathe to the carefully-crafted tactics of the Sharp Lookers, but those very same plans at once keeping them from finding themselves getting clicked.
Violet Lange was watching, still, invested in how the hell this could keep on going, what might finally turn the tides, only for her cell phone to vibrate, a text message appearing on it from a contact registered under: “C. Williams”
waiting at docks
we still on?
“Oh, shit, what time is it?” Violet glanced upwards slightly, and cursed again as she realized what hour and minute read. “Yeah, I gotta go. Uh…” She waved at the ongoing game. “See ya ‘round, guys, you’ve been totally great!”
Nobody noticed her walk away.
Nobody wins! For an equal score of 66, everyone’s time was wasted!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Sharp Lookers 19-10 Things seemed even for most of the voting period, with many of the votes being split, but late into it, a modest number of Sharp Lookers votes translated into a massive lead. For the first time, this resulted in votes splitting perfectly by .5s when the division was done, and since it would mean taking a point away from one side to give it to the other, that thirtieth pop point simply vanishes into the aether…
Quality Red Carpet Renaissance 20-22 Reasoning
JoJolity Red Carpet Renaissance 17-24 Reasoning
Conduct TEAM 10-10
Half an hour later…
“Uh… Kisa?” Masa asked, earning his partner’s attention. “You know how I said I’d watch the girl to make sure she didn’t pull somethin’ weird?”
“Hm?” Kitose Saiko turned to face his friend, and noticed the lack of anybody he was standing beside. “Oh my god. How… How, Masa?”
“I dunno!” He answered, sounding similarly bewildered, waving his hands as Kisa, in his frustration, lit up the entire remaining pack of his cigarettes and took a drag from each of them at once. “She just sorta… Was gone when I stopped paying attention.”
“The woman is… Gone.” Dimitri was incredulous as well. “And there goes our hints on this Black Angel! The library is surely closed by now, so we’ve wasted a day and this town knows we’re looking.”
pranked again… violet lange, u r officially… epic
As Nebula’s synthetic voice remarked that and moved to silence, Ace couldn’t help but laugh. “Vitus is gonna be pissed too, that we were dragged off to play some game instead of tailing Peres… Haahhh, man, what were we thinking? This was her job, I bet. She just needed to waste our time awhile, get us heated and fighting each other, throwing piss around and playing dirty… Gave us the slip soon as our attentions were off her. Well played, I must admit… Well played…”
“Distracting us from the Black Angel…” Dimitri stroked his chin. “And also from Peres? But I remember Laverne saying the Black Angel vigilante was banned from the Devil Blue, the hotel she works at. What could the common thread between them be..?”
“Well, I’m annoyed too… Don’t just bail on an agreement you make…” Masa answered, before adding with a slight smile. “But hey, in some good news…” He held up a gift card, waving it between his fingers. “She left the CaraMel’s gift card, 200 USD just like she said, and that place? Not just to die for, from when Ray came back with stuff from there the other day, but I hear the ‘goss’ is ‘hot’ there too, as she said in that super-exaggerated little Valley Girl voice. What say I claim this card and treat you all? Call it a, uh… Ceasefire, for now.”
gonna be annoyed if its stale by the time i can actually eat it
but ok sounds good
The game of assassin was fruitless, but the fruits of an assassination are still born, and two pairs of Stand Users fight to protect their local leaders from them. There’s still about a day to vote in that when this goes up.
Scenario:
South Aurelio - East of the Wormwood
“I am so sorry, I just lost track of time… I got these four roped into this big assassin game, and I didn’t wanna bail, but…”
Not long after Violet Lange officiated that little college game and the evening began to roll in that, again she found a Stand User’s company. Casey Williams, MFA member, sat in the passenger seat of a vibrant purple convertible, occasionally staring either at passing suburban scenery in the transition between the college town and suburban hellscape, or the way her companion’s lavender scarf billowed in the wind.
“Look, I get it, I get it, shit happens, especially ‘round Midnight Sun. You don’t need to explain.” After a few moments of silence, tapping her hands against the outer door of the car as her arm hung over the window, Casey spoke up. “I, uh… Didn’t expect you to call me, but Kirk vouched for you. Why me, for… Whatever this is?”
Violet had, that morning, asked Casey to aid her in an investigation after she finished up with some shit she had to do on campus, and still now, had said very little about what was going on sans its importance. “I trust you… For the same reason I took over the bifrost server, and the same reason I revealed myself to your team. André had faith in you all to do what was best, and, well, I have no idea what to do but follow his lead and use what power I have to do it. As for you in particular… I want to work with somebody my age, basically. No more than that.”
“If you trust me so much,” Casey said, looking to the river to her left as the pair drove along a road opposite it, admiring how the setting sun reflected upon its rippling waves, “why haven’t you told me what we’re doing, then? You sounded like it was important, so I agreed to hear you out, but you’ve still been cagey.”
“I wanted it to be in person, while we were speeding along,” Violet explained, looking out upon the road still, briefly glancing off in the distance and seeing a manor across the water, braking for a moment and pointing towards it. “See that house by the riverbank there?”
She handed Casey a pair of binoculars, and the latter surmised, “looks like a dump.”
“From the outside, and nobody has owned it for thirty years, yet…” She paused, as if she was about to say a name and reconsidered. “My contact - a high-schooler who comes and goes late at night, you wouldn’t know them, and I’m purposefully leaving them out of this, but I can vouch for their reliability - says that sometimes, late at night, delivery trucks bring perfectly good furniture to the bridge just North of here, and by morning, they seem to have just disappeared into the ground. I dunno if you pay attention to the news, but there’s a ‘Serial Killer’ who operates in this town, and besides that… Sixteen people who disappeared in this area are still missing, and haven’t had their bodies identified. The more research I’ve done lately, I’m completely certain of it. That ‘abandoned residence’ must be the ‘lair’ of this killer! It’s certainly big enough to hold that many people and then some… So I plan to break in.”
“Serial killer..?” Casey’s head tilted slightly, then, suddenly, the words hit her as Violet resumed her drive. “Wait, what? So even if you’re right, you’re just gonna bust down this guy’s door without knowing what he’s capable of? Why this? Why you, and so covert?”
“Because I’ve spent my life sneaking and slipping by to survive, clinging to stronger people. Because I used to roll with the kind of scum who would use Stands to do whatever the hell they wanted like we were better than everyone else. Because the last time I tried to get someone to take care of this killer, all she did was kill an innocent man in front of me! I’m tired of just being an ‘extra,’ moving pieces around and waiting in place, Casey. I’ve said that I just want to survive, but a friend of mine, every day, fights tooth and nail to make this place better. I’m going to be an adult and try, goddammit, and if you don’t want to do the same, I can just drop you off, and-”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Casey continued, raising her hand up, and then offering Violet a confident little smile. “When did I say I was going to refuse? Hell, lives are on the line, pedal to the metal! I hear this town has like two cops, and I sure don’t see either of them around!”
“That’s what I like to hear…” Violet’s own lips curled upwards slightly, and she stepped on the gas. “We’re gonna totally tear shit up today.”
They drove along the bridge in silence from there, Casey contemplating things as they sped along, occasionally stealing glances towards the house just what was now South of them. Not long after, though, she began to grow uncomfortable, pulling her shirt’s collar over her nose. “Eugh… What’s that smell now? We pass a dead skunk or something?”
“That’s… I know this smell. That isn’t a skunk.” Violet gave a glance to her rear-view mirror, and her face stiffened. “Casey… Get out of the car, now! Ditch it!”
“What? What is-” Casey stammered, surprised and trying to hurriedly work her seatbelt off as Violet began to jerk the vehicle around, as if intended on steering the thing straight into the river. As she did so, she glanced behind her, and though the rising shape of a figure on the back of the car was hard to make out in the twilit evening, there was certainly a massive, and vaguely humanoid, and there were eyes on her.
There were so many eyes.
Slightly down the Wormwood River…
Ah, the Wormwood River. This massive landmark is a symbol of Los Fortuna in many ways. It came to exist during the city’s foundational years, it runs from the Northernmost mountains into the city itself, and quite symbolically, it splits the affluent Eastern portions of the city, highly regarded centers of culture and quality of life, with the Western, the environmentally unclean, the poorer, the portions of the city in which the greatest safety and stability comes from being within the care of a territorial gang which has earned the ire of countless other districts.
This divide was sharp and clear in the way it split the affluently beloved outer suburbs of the Woods of Aurelio, whose schools, fine homes, esteemed country club, golf course, town hall, and most of the town’s voting centers all sat in the East.
Manta Malaise thought this symbol of all which they sought to destroy a poetic place to take their pollution this evening.
“This Metropolis which is so very very burdensome to me, and this humble hamlet so tantalizingly close to it nearby,” they began aloud, just in the off chance somebody was around to hear it (and if not, rehearsal was always useful), while the diesel-burning gas-guzzling pickup truck they purchased on the resort’s tab began dumping a container’s worth of sand and grit, “I have heard it said that this location in which we are entrapped it on the decline… Yet nay, I say. At least, nary the full picture… This place is but a microcosm of all that surrounds it, a more blatant case of all that is true elsewhere, as well… A fine example for the world, it will make.”
As they spoke, a ripped-away purple car door floated by on the river, distracting them from speaking about how, if they repeat this process for a few weeks (maybe buy a new car every time), they would be able to kill the fish eggs and microorganisms that make up the key bottom of the river life’s food chain, eventually add nitrogen to the mix to toxically increase ugly and deadly algal growth, and aloud, they spoke “curious… That is a recognizable door of a quality automobile… To whom might it belong? Ah, no matter!”
Seconds later, a bloodied figure with several open wounds along its back burst from the water, clinging to dear life to the floating door and beginning to kick in Manta’s direction with surprising strength. He seemed to have tall blond hair, green pants, and a sleeveless shirt, though those all were obviously soaked and stained both with water and blood. As he reached the shore nearby them, within the range of ‘Morgana Courts Danger’, he gasped and turned onto his wounded back.
The young man who floated towards Manta Malaise said nothing, and did not even seem to notice the effects of their proximity as they approached and turned him around to get a look at the other side of the sleeveless shirt-clad figure. The life was fading from the blond man’s eyes, and his lips trembled, a faint grin on them. He did not say a word, but as Manta looked down, they realized that the phrase on the outfit he wore said more about his final feelings, the state of his body, than his voice ever could.
Ouch!
“What… What on this fetid dying earth is going on here?” They weren’t concerned, per se, but curious about the sudden arrival of this man.
He continued not speaking, bringing a trembling hand up and away, pointing softly with a single finger Southwards, slightly - towards a shabby-looking abode.
“Do you… Mean to send me there?”
His strong lips curled into a serene smile, his hand dropped, and his eyes closed.
“Nghh… I had not the time to have his final sounds heard in life a rejection of this quest, perished for naught…” Manta remarked aloud, gritting their teeth. “As if I would simply traipse towards what is not my business… Though, how did he get here through the water? He seemed to appear so suddenly…”
They looked towards their truck. The motor was still running, but it had emptied its load fine. “I am curious,” they remarked, and so, after cranking the heat and AC of the vehicle as high as it could go, they abandoned it, diving into the water to see where this dead lad may have come from.
???
Casey awoke to that same odor again, but less severely so, in an uncomfortable, unsheeted mattress in what appeared to be a bunk room of sorts. As she rose, she had to avoid scraping her arm on a rusty spring, rubbing her eyes all the while.
“Nngh, what’s..?” She looked around, and after glancing past her a few times, saw Violet laying in a similar situation, a bizarre metal collar around her neck poking out behind the scarf, but otherwise looking unharmed. “Violet..! Wake up, Violet!”
“Nnghh… What’s..?” She sat up, feeling around for her beret and putting it on, glancing at Casey. “You’ve got a weird collar on you, Casey…” She felt at her own neck, then. “Oh.”
“Look out for those things,” a casual-sounding, low voice uttered, earning the attention of the pair; a woman with dark, wavy hair and a velvet dress was filing her nails on one of the springs. Nearby her sat a cone-haired, dirty-blond high schooler, built like a football player and a varsity away from dressing like it. “When ‘that person’ brings in a ‘Stand User,’ they get a collar like that… Likes to make up little game rules, and if they break ‘em or leave, uh…” She jerked her thumb towards a far-off wall of the room filled with a few dozen bunks, in which a bloody, smoky outline shaped like a person outstretched was dried against the wall. “Poor bastard didn’t listen because the floor wasn’t literally lava… Hey, don’t jump now, yeah? That’s not the game being played right now.”
“Palmer, you’re scaring the hell out of them, and that really isn’t useful right now… We’re going to get out soon, I’m sure of it,” another young woman’s voice called out, and as the voice seemed familiar, the face confirmed it. Though her long neat hair was short in an uneven cut, the blue blazer’s sleeves were destroyed, and the bowtie was loose, it was absolutely TV personality Jillian Heart.
“Jill..?” Violet asked, tone lightening up immensely.
She took a moment to process that, but then nodded. “Hey, Lange. You and Reed doing alright? And, uh, this a friend of yours?”
“Yeah, hi,” Casey answered, “Casey Williams… College student.”
“She’s cool, yeah,” Violet promised, looking around, “where’s Chad? Not like him to run off…”
“That’s why we’re getting out soon,” Jill answered, happily, “we noticed it when you two were brought in! Broke open this statue in the courtyard and found a waterway that ‘Worm’ - that’s what the killer goes by here - has to have been using to get in and out. They have one of those ‘Stands,’ but we all can see it, so they wear it like a costume and it guards them… But Chad’s the strongest person here, and he’s been our rock through all of this! After Worm left again, he volunteered to go through it and find help, and with him, that means it’s as good as done!”
“I see… So that makes how many people left here, then?” Casey started counting on her fingers.
“Sixteen, minus you two,” Miss Palmer answered, “I’m, uh… Palmer, by the way. Drama teacher at the high school out here. Same story as everyone else here, more or less… Bet the Superintendent’d be happy to hear Elton here and Swift Taylor are still alive, though.”
‘Elton’ said nothing, still, simply sitting there, while Jill took over a bit to talk about the place.
“I think I’m gonna start getting the lay of the land, then…” Casey said, feeling the need to take the initiative. “I’ve still got my Stand with me, thankfully, and if we can’t leave just because help shows up, that means we’re gonna have to fight to get out when this killer shows.”
“Careful,” Jill warned, “there’s traps all over the damn place here… And ‘Worm’ changes them when we’re not looking, just like they change the furniture, or what doors lock how. Makes everyday in this big house hell, and it’s worst of all around the edges. Makes up most of how people die here…”
“I’ll be careful,” Casey said with a nod, stepping out into the halls of the bizarre home.
The underwater corridor Chad had needed to swim through to get out was brutal, and even Manta Malaise had felt tense handling it. Over four meters underwater, less than two meters wide, and the top of the dark, dirty, dank area was lined with rusty nails, blades, and the blood of the man who had attempted it, across a forty-meter stretch of water - slightly shorter than an Olympic swimming pool, but so much more claustrophobic, and with pressure much higher.
They managed it, however, and were they able to speak now, would have commended the amateur cameraman who only swam as a summertime hobby for managing fatally what they were able to get through unscathed carefully. At the end of this gauntlet was a straight shot up, illuminated by moonlight, and so, Manta hurried upwards, taking a breath as they surveyed the area they had come out in.
It was a large fountain on the Eastern end of a long, statue-decorated courtyard full of thorny ground. The crumbled, destroyed remains of such a statue, presumably having once sat atop this passage, was now in pieces, only a pair of outstretched arms on either side of them.
“Look out, you damnable fool! The arms, the arms!!” A theatrical voice called out, and Manta looked its way to see a figure in a top hat, three-piece suit, and black cape with a handlebar moustache and unibrow, and before they could process it, an automated voice emerged from the crumbled head at the fountainside.
Flow 24 Detected
The stone arms seized their neck firmly, and so soon after they had breathed, they could not again. It was no matter for their strong arms to easily smash these damaged ones of stone, however, and soon, they crumbled and descended into the deep. However, Manta felt a new weight around their neck nonetheless; a metal collar.
“So… You are the ‘help’ that damned Kroeger sought? Imposing and impressive-looking for sure, but entrapped like the rest of us now.” The dapper fellow complained.
“Who are you to criticise me, when you yourself are enraptured in this place as well?” Manta asked, spying the man twirling his moustache and moving to do the same with their own facial hairs as if in challenge.
“You dare insult Los Fortuna Parking Lot Magnate Born Bad? I was celebrating turning a GarfieldEATS into one, when I thought I might make my next grand step the transformation of the entire Wormwood River into the world’s largest parking lot as well!” Bad was twirling his moustache hard enough one might have thought it would catch alike. “It would have been a fortune for me, and a record for parking lot-kind!”
“That would destroy the ecosystem of all of Los Fortuna, you know… Ingenious, if more brazen and avant-garde than I might have done,” Manta answered, “tell me now. What have I been caught in?”
Through much villainous posturing, Born Bad explained similar basics of the situation to Manta that Jill had for Casey.
“So my own curiosity has laid me in this ‘Worm’s’ tunnels… Yet, at once, I think it will do to undo this as well. Entrapment here stands in my mission’s way.”
That conversation was cut short by the sound of the Westernmost balcony opening its doors, several meters above them, and a young woman with brown hair, eyes, and skin was looking down at them. She appeared, at once, confused and intimidated by their presence, which was the response Manta generally wanted to evoke.
“Hey, you! Are… Did Chad send you?” Casey asked, clearing her throat. “How is he? Is he alright?”
“If you mean the youth who died luring me here without a word, he is certainly deceased… And has caused for me a definite predicament of a pickle.”
“Wh…” She sounded taken aback. “He’s dead? H-how can you sound so indifferent? That guy risked his life to get help for us, and-”
“And I knew him not, and he got me trapped here. Why should I shed tears for his passing?”
Before this argument could escalate further, a large, pristine-quality monitor which framed the upper Northern wall of the courtyard turned on on its own, and in it, was an image of the entrance foyer of the manor. Slowly, from its floor, that that thing Casey saw before emerged, idly twirling a saber in its hand and lifting it over its head as it leaped several meters into the air.
(Shout-outs to Skelly-tan for this art!)
A voice, both distorted and gargling yet perfectly coherent spoke from its wide maw. “Good evening, everybody, thanks for tuning in! It’s me, you all know me, your hero, the Conqueror Worm! Let’s give it up for our guests tonight… We’ve got a lot going on for our last big ‘game night!’ That’s right, you heard me, last one! Much as doin’ what I have here has been fun, after this, I mean to move onto bigger and better things… But I’ll never forget this place, pinky-promise!”
There was a sort of twisted, uncanny elegance to the way ‘Worm’ paced around, both as if it were limping in agony and gliding effortlessly, the camera focused on it at all times.
“Yep, Aurelio, you heard me right… Conqueror Worm is done bein’ your killer! The lot of you left in here are the end of a generation, and y’all are absolute treats to work with! So, with three Stand Users here, good an’ collared and here to have a time and a half, let’s make this a grand finale for the BOOKS! Stand Users,” it pointed its blade towards a small entranceway behind it, “that door there is locked, but also, in the right circumstance, the one way you’re gettin’ off my property without explodin’ into funny lil’ chunks! See!”
The screen, then, turned into a showing of two maps of the building, with several spaces highlighted. “I just got finished slitherin’ around droppin’ off three ‘chips’ which ya scan against your own specific collars, and then, if you’ve unlocked that mini-foyer behind me, boom! They’re off, and you’re free! I just gotta make sure you die before then, and I can do it with ease! With this body of mine, I can grab anything, put it in there, and pass through any surface I can fit on, see! And to the first person t’get out of it alive? A SPECIAL gift’ll come!”
“Didn’t mention the master key?” Another voice asked.
“Well no I didn’t, but no way they can get that offa-” The camera returned to its view of Worm, though Violet was standing directly behind it, directly waggling a keycard in between her fingers. Not much further back, Jill was covering her mouth with clear amusement. “Wh- Why you!” He swung at her with her blade, and she dodged back, and Worm threw his head back and laughed. “Well, I’ll be… How’d you manage t’pull that off? That’s on MY person, INSIDE here!”
“I started to steal things just for the rush and attention of it when I was seven years old,” Violet said something then, which the audio blurted out and her mouth was off-camera for, but the sound of which shook Worm to his core, his laughing growing slightly incredulous. As she did, she swiped the card over her collar, and it clanked to the ground in pieces. “Yeah, that’s right, I figured out exactly who you are… and now your whole audience knows.”
“I mean sure, think that if y’want!”
“Right… You probably censored it then.” She pouted, then struck a cool and casual pose. “No matter… I’ll just show them your corpse.” A big bushy white hound emerged from Violet’s person, then, ethereal and snarling and beautiful, and she called out, “This is the start of a new me! ‘Forgive and Forget’ is putting you down, Worm!”
As the Stand-dog rushed forward, he chuckled. “Keep runnin’ into white Stand-dogs lately, huh… It’s gonna end for you like it did the last one, too! You shoulda just run!”
F&F leapt into the air, taking aim for the throat underneath Worm’s pungent armor, but he lifted one arm, and as fangs sunk into that, his other swung its blade.
Violet’s face went wide-eyed and pale, and she looked down at herself, clutching her stomach and noticing how red poured out.
“Ooh, did I reach bone there? Tough break…” Worm pulled back the blade, removing it from Forgive and Forget’s midsection as the white dog dropped to the ground before its user, fading away as she fell to her knees. “Aw, y’didn’t realize? This ‘Saber of the Gold Knight’ I perma-borrowed from our local museum ain’t just a conversation-starter… I wouldn’t take it for no good reason at all!”
“Violet..?” Jill asked, stepping back towards another room, too afraid of Worm to rush to her friend’s aid. “What… What even happened? Worm swung at the air, and… And…” Panicking, despite her resolve, Jill ran into the other room, a look of clear terror and guilt on her face.
“…I dunno, blanked out there!” Worm chuckled a bit, shaking off its bitten, uninjured-looking arm and retracting the sword inside its own fetid rolls of rotten off-white flesh. “But whatever happened, that’s ONE down!” He kicked Violet into a corner to the sound of her whimpering and sighed, pacing around a bit as he held up his master keycard and sucked that, too, up in his person. “Won’t cause me much trouble like that, but I know the other two of ya are in my courtyard… Funny startin’ place, since I like to use that place for when a guest wants to just say ‘I give up! End it here!’ Real useful tool for that bit of mercy, y’know? But anyway, the show goes on, and one-on-one is more interesting anyway! First one t’get to the end, I’ll even throw in an EXCLUSIVE interview to make it worth your while! But I’m not gonna keep the viewers at home waitin’ anymore saying more, since this is already goin’ on a little while, and you’re our stars still! So, without further ado…”
“OPEN THE GAME!!! Man is that SATISFYING t’say!”
Location: The estate of the Conqueror Worm, a two-floor building straight out of a Survival Horror. The whole place is hanging with an odd smell, and walls of most of the rooms are dotted with realistic murals of bones and various body parts - given Conqueror Worm’s ability, one must wonder how they were made.
1F MAP, 2F MAP. Due to interests of character limit, the details of each room in the estate can be found here. Most of the rooms are pretty simple, though, so don’t be intimidated by that.
The players are denoted by the circles marked with their character’s initials, with Manta standing in the fountain on the far-East end of the Courtyard of Despair, and Casey standing on the Western second-floor balcony overlooking it. Worm, meanwhile, starts in the first floor’s entrance hall, marked with a question mark. The C marked squares and the M marked squares are the chips that Casey and Manta need respectively, scanning which against their collars will ‘count’ them as read. For what it’s worth, the Violet chips were in the hot tub, freezer, and conservatory, but that is completely irrelevant now.
The circles with numbers in them represent the nonstand-using Survivors present in the area. Exact details on each of them aren’t particularly important, but a list of their names can be found here. The personality blurbs and occupations listed aren’t really relevant for the match’s sake; even the sports stars have been brought to a point where they have the same stats as everyone else.
The X and Y marked rectangles are locked doors and their respective keys are somewhere on the map denoted by the X and Y marked diamonds; these function not unlike car keys; though they can be used to physically lock and unlock the door in person with a turn, it’s much more convenient that one press of the buttons on them can instantly lock and unlock every door on the map marked with the correct letter.
The “F” marked square is the keycard that unlocks the finish line room.
Several of these rooms have traps which Worm knows about, but the players will not be given foreknowledge of all of them. These are already set in stone, however, and it will be up to the attentiveness of the players in following the location descriptions not to fall victim to these; hints are provided, basically, and they’re designed not to be too hard to respond to if you see them coming.
The rooms’ ceilings are generally quite high, three and a half meters above the ground, with about half a meter of space between the ceiling of one and floor above - basically, being a story directly above or below Manta is NOT enough to be within the range of Morgana Courts Danger.
Goal: Casey and Manta, your own survival is priority number one here. Try to get yourself out of this situation alive! In order to do so, you must deactivate your own collar through the insertion of three chips placed around the facility, where labeled on the map. Free yourself and escape alive. That is your priority, and you are under no obligation to help anybody else if you have no desire to. Leaving the map for longer than five seconds without outright moving through the finish space marked on the map will result in the collars detonating, even if all three chips are inserted.
Conqueror Worm, kill Casey and Manta by any means necessary.
A player character will win if their score surpasses that of the Conqueror Worm’s, while receiving less will result in elimination. A tie will be regarded as normal.
This match, thus, has special voting rules. Basically, there are four valid voting options in this: ‘Casey and Manta,’ ‘Manta and Worm,’ ‘Casey and Worm,’ and ‘Conqueror Worm,’ depending on if a voter believes that both players manage to escape, one of them is stopped by the killer, or both of them are.
NPC Information:
‘Conqueror Worm’ Sheet
(Plain Text Version)
Additional Information:
Unless noted otherwise, all doors are wooden.
While there are several unique NPCs throughout the estate, functionally, all of them can generally be expected to act in the same way: they have 222 stats with irrelevant special skills, and generally speaking, do not want to die, and will act in accordance with things they believe to follow that end, though they are not particularly skilled in identifying traps on their own. Manta Malaise frightens them, however, so they may find they require a little more effort to convince people to follow them around than Casey would be able to. Born Bad (“1” on the map), a fellow Dastardly-looking villainous caricature and thus kindred spirit of theirs, is the sole initial exception.
Violet Lange is bleeding and unconscious, and will in no capacity be able to assist, but still alive and should remain so as long as her particular injuries are not aggravated and the game does not take too agonizingly long. The killer has already forgotten about her.
Through review of previous materials, the players do have sufficient information to correctly identify the user of Conqueror Worm, who is, in fact, a character who appeared in the previous Suburb match. They will be allotted one guess, accusation bolded, in the text of the strategy, to name the person. There is no penalty for an incorrect guess, but a correct guess will see ten bonus points awarded; to one side if only they guess it, while both receive five if both do. One hint: they were present at Match 8’s baseball game.
The chips are extremely durable, but if they are rendered inaccessible or removed from the premises, a safety switch will force them to be treated as if they were simply activated and used; Worm isn’t interested in a game where victory or loss is impossible.
The traps themselves will be revealed throughout the first segment of the killer’s strategy, and take up characters in as much, but the existence of these are an indisputable fact which the players must be wise to either avoid or work around.
Though his durability and endurance are exceptional to the point where a fight would be immensely difficult, the killer also possesses a ‘master key’ which, if utilized, can be scanned against the collars to unlock them, unlock the front gate, and unlock any of the electronically-locked doors in the facility.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Masters of Funky Action Casey Williams “No escape, huh? I didn’t want one anyway. That was never part of the plan.” You came here for a reason, even if you’re still trying to define what, exactly, that reason is to you. Whatever you think being a hero might mean in this situation, live up to the standard you define for yourself!
Judecca Highrollers Manta Malaise “The greatest threat to the peace of my heart isn’t Jotaro! It’s him! Josuke Higashikata!” This is an indubitably vexing situation into which you have been brought. While you abscond from this, make certain that you find clever ways to get back at that bastard who has entrapped you here!
???? “Worm” “‘Misconceptions’ are the most terrifying things in the world… And the consequences are even worse if you’re overly confident that your abilities and talents are superior.” You’ve made an absolute deathtrap of your estate here, and it would be a damn shame for any of that to go to waste. The more of your traps successfully go off and seriously hurt someone, the higher your JoJolity rating will go!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

2004 Forbes Magazine Article

This article is still available online at this point:
Sensei's World
Benjamin Fulford, David Whelan, 09.06.04
Soka Gakkai, a strikingly wealthy Japanese sect, tries again for U.S. glory with a splendid new campus. Daisaku Ikeda's unaccountable empire can thank lax treatment of the nonprofit world.
Walk the hilly campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Calif. and you enter the fabulous world of the international nonprofit. The three-year-old school has so far put about $300 million into its 103 suburban Orange County acres, and this is still a work in progress. As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
The primary benefactor of Soka U is a controversial offshoot of Japanese Buddhism called Soka Gakkai, headed for 44 years by the sometimes messianic and persistently self-aggrandizing Daisaku Ikeda. But significant secondary support comes from favorable tax treatment in Japan, the U.S. and around the globe, just as enjoyed by other philanthropies big and small. In the U.S. the nonprofit sector is spending $875 billion a year and employs 9% of the work force yet has precious little accountability, other than the public financial statements required of most charities. Religious entities don't even have that degree of accountability. They enjoy all the benefits of tax exemption without any requirement that they say what they are up to.
Soka Gakkai is a shadowy case in point. Ikeda, now 76 and president of Soka Gakkai International, the sect's global umbrella, claims 12 million followers and has amassed an empire that was put at $100 billion by a Japanese parliamentarian a decade ago. (The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.) A nasty split from Nichiren Buddhists set off a cycle of alleged violence, blackmail and intimidation. Soka Gakkai members in Japan have been charged with illegal wiretapping and breaking into private databases. The sect says it has nothing to do with those activities, noting that its ranks include nearly 10% of all Japanese. But yet-darker allegations have been made (see box, p. 130).
Soka Gakkai (literally, "value-creating society") brings in, conservatively, $1.5 billion a year to the top line, according to our best estimates of its membership, its tithing demands and its commercial activities. Most of that revenue is collected in Japan, where the sect sells its flock funeral plots, assorted religious paraphernalia and a newspaper (5.5 million subscribers). The group's far-flung international assets include estates in France and the U.K. In gilded Santa Monica, Calif. a Soka-owned office high- rise and auditorium sit across Wilshire Boulevard from each other, near the town's beach. In the nearby hills a Soka affiliate holds the King Gillette Ranch-- which was used for footage of "Tara" in the film Gone with the Wind. A thousand spiritual centers worldwide include a site worth $6 million near New York City's Union Square.
In wealth and claimed following, Soka Gakkai exceeds more familiar sects such as Hare Krishna, the church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and today's hippest (Madonna, etc.) group, members of the Kabbalah Centre. In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics. Soka managed to get around a similar restriction in Japan, where Ikeda has built up a political party, New Komeito, that helps the long-governing Liberal Democrats hold power.
Soka University of Japan opened in 1971. Soka University of America, first established in 1987 on what is now a graduate campus in Calabasas, Calif., near Malibu, recently obtained preaccreditation for its undergraduate program from an outfit certified by the U.S. Education Department. A parallel process that will cover graduate students also is moving forward.
The preaccreditation means that for the past year American undergrads at Soka U--which reported to the IRS that its assets exceed $740 million--have been eligible to obtain up to $23,000 in federal Stafford loans over the course of their education. Needy recipients can get up to an additional $4,000 a year in Pell Grants.
What are Ikeda's aims? Five years after gaining command of Soka Gakkai, he told a Japanese writer: "I am the king of Japan; I am its president; I am the master of its spiritual life; I am the supreme power who entirely directs its intellectual culture." In the years since, "world peace" has been the sect's mantra. New Komeito promotes pacifism in Japan. Representatives of the sect have worked the UN and other official venues touting international harmony and goodwill--and usually Ikeda. Followers mount a traveling show equating him with Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
In the sect's 1,000 meeting halls Soka members exercise the "life-enhancing" power of chanting. Believers are encouraged to be "many in body, one in mind." This means "You have to make sensei's [teacher's] heart your own. You have to fulfill [Ikeda's] dreams instead of your own," maintains Lisa Jones, a former aide and follower who ghostwrote an Ikeda book and now maintains a Soka-doubter Web site. "His dream is kosen-rufu, or what Soka members call ‘world peace,' which will be achieved when one third of the world chants, one third merely celebrates Ikeda, and the other third doesn't care," she says.
A Soka bid for favor in the U.S. a generation ago, drawing on the era's culture clash and some affiliated celebrities, attracted unwelcome press, and the sect receded a bit. But it has never given up efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century in a 13,000-square-foot Georgian building next to Harvard University. Ikeda has enticed Mikhail Gorbachev and Henry Kissinger into numerous discussions. He also met with historian Arnold Toynbee, double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and civil rights figure Rosa Parks (Soka's U.S. arm boasts a sizable black membership). Some of the conversations with luminaries have been published and sold.
More idealistic or benign than sinister and manipulative? The veil that surrounds the nonprofit world, especially religions, ensures that only the outlines are visible. Soka University files an IRS form; the organization behind it doesn't.
Congress is training its sights anew on nonprofits. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held hearings in June on tax-exempt abuses. "Far too many charities have broken the understood covenant between the taxpayers and nonprofits," he said. He was angered by local news reports about the looting of family foundations. On Aug. 10 the Internal Revenue Service promised to increase from 230 to 300 the agents it assigns to nonprofit entities. This tiny crew is supposed to take on 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations and an estimated 400,000 additional religious groups that do not have to submit annual tax forms to the IRS. Investigations are typically initiated only in response to complaints. Exceptions to this passive role include the IRS' decades-long losing war with the Church of Scientology.
In the post-Sept. 11 era some Muslim groups have come under scrutiny for ties to terrorism. The Department of Justice recently prosecuted the former head of the American Muslim Council and indicted seven leaders of the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation. But unless you're tied into terror, you can shout from the rooftops and no one is likely to come looking at your books. "Every revenue agent you assign to a corporate tax return will generate millions of dollars. Every [revenue agent] you assign to a tax-exempt one may not pay his own salary," says Marcus Owens, who headed the IRS' Exempt Organizations division from 1990 to 2000 and is now a private Washington attorney.
So the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable. In Japan, Soka has not only its 8,000-student university but also its enhanced political power. At least 20% of the Liberal Democrat deputies could have lost without the support of Soka followers last October, enough to give the opposition Democratic Party a plurality in the Diet. "It's like becoming addicted to amphetamines," says Katsuei Hirasawa, an LDP member of parliament, of his party's link with Komeito.
In a July op-ed in the Asahi newspaper, Koji Ishimura, a professor of tax law at Hakuho University, argued that Soka's political activities were an abuse of its status as a religion. "The influence of a ruling party that relies on a specific religion's organization to form its power base is growing stronger," wrote Ishimura, who called for Soka's donations to be taxed.
Ikeda established his fundraising prowess early on. According to University of North Carolina professor James White, who wrote a book about Soka, Ikeda threw a scare into the Japanese insurance industry in the 1960s in a crash four-day drive for a key temple at Mount Fuji. Record sums were raised, with some members cashing in life policies to help.
Soka's initial U.S. academic beachhead in rustic Calabasas met with bustle-wary neighbors. After an extended development fight, the 660 acres today may be home to only half a dozen linguistics students destined for jobs as language instructors for Japanese Soka emissaries.
The action shifted to Aliso Viejo in 2001, with promises of a nonsectarian institution with a first-rate library and renowned secular faculty. The new master-planned community was accommodating. Campus athletic and arts attractions, as well as the library, were open to the public. Popular U.S. author Joe McGinniss was a notable instructor hire.
But reality began to kick in when McGinniss and others complained of interference from on high. Several staff have left--McGinniss' contract wasn't renewed--and one sued. Another filed for arbitration and lost.
Earnest university officials are at pains to showcase an arts-and-letters idyll devoted to the betterment of mankind. Soka U insists it is an independent, nonsectarian school not even as religiously influenced as, say, Brigham Young or Notre Dame universities. But at least a majority of Soka U's trustees have direct Soka Gakkai connections. Today 70% of matriculants are Soka Gakkai members.
Some secular faculty felt squeezed. The university was sued in 2002 by Linda Southwell, a fired fine arts professor. Her complaint disputed a "commitment to rigorous academic endeavor, free and open dialogue, and an appreciation for human diversity" when "in reality the curriculum is intended to reflect cult beliefs and perspectives" and speech and association are limited. She also claimed Soka members were favored faculty.
Soka University settled the discrimination and wrongful termination in a "satisfactory" manner that included a confidentiality clause, Southwell's lawyer Brian Glicker says. Another professor, who quit her "frightening" job, begs off discussing the specifics of her beef.
Glicker maintains he's heard from several other non-Soka Gakkai International staff members. "Many or most non-SGI staff or faculty are at least considering leaving," says one disaffected professor. "The university was only able to hire 7 or 8 of the 21 faculty it tried to hire." University officials say they'd not heard this and attribute departures to the growing pains of a new school. They claim an 81% retention rate.
An initial goal of 1,200 students remains a ways off. Has the academic friction been a roadblock? The university says more hiring and building await full accreditation, which it expects soon. On campus, the image is of serenity and strength. The buildings use the same stone featured in the Colosseum in Rome. Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains. The campus also sports a security camera network rivaling that of any casino.
The university includes a sizable "guest house" and a larger "athenaeum" overlooking a regional park. The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda." It has ornate furniture, a portrait of Ikeda and many artworks, all covered in white cloth until the VIPs show.
The undergraduate catalog says that "as leaders and decision makers," Soka's graduates "will be guided by the ideal of a contributive life, a humanistic approach drawn from Buddhist thought." But Soka Gakkai newspapers and other publications, filling a prominent shelf in the Soka University library--named for Ikeda--all feature Ikeda's interpretations of Buddhism: To wit, achieve world peace and democracy by becoming one in Soka and chanting. The university notes it also has other Buddhist texts.
Like other students approached at Aliso Viejo, Fabiana Sanchez, 21, a senior and a Soka Gakkai member, says she wants to do something for society or peace. She plans to return to her native Venezuela upon graduation and get involved in some sort of work "linking education and politics."
Soka U denies a rumor that the aging sensei plans a visit soon to his American academic citadel. Succession at the sect's helm is uncertain: Two sons are vice presidents in Soka but the sect denies a hereditary rule. Meanwhile the tax-favored billions continue to roll in, almost entirely outside the purview of authorities anywhere.
Chant of the Faithful
Prominent believers in Soka Gakkai include Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered journalists Daniel Pearl, jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Patrick Duffy of Dallas Tv show fame. Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
They're still only having around that many students, and here we are, over 15 years after that article was written. Part of it is that Soka U rejects a large number of applicants because doing so creates a metric that is used to indicate "exclusivity" by ranking agencies. Will Soka U ever reach its goal of a 1,200-strong student body? My sources say No.
The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.
That's exactly the kind of criticism we get here from the SGI crusaders who pop in - they'll say "That's wrong" but never provide any documentation or even explanation as to why. We're expected to change everything on the basis of their "That's wrong". That's more of that "entitlement mentality" we were recently talking about.
the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable
There is no financial transparency, no independent audits, no oversight by any outside agency. Remember that any time any SGI promoter talks about having reviewed their financials - never gonna happen.
efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century
That building has since been renamed "The IKEDA Center for something, something, and something else". Who here is surprised?
In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics.
This is why Ikeda forbade the overseas organizations from forming their own "Komeito" political parties back in the 1970s. That ban remains in place.
Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains.
Oh more of this grandiose blather. Ikeda just loves talking in multiple thousands of years. The Sho-Hondo was supposed to last 10,000 years, if anyone remembers. Where's your Sho-Hondo now, Scamsei?? Ikeda apparently thinks talking in large terms will make him larger than life.
The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda."
It's just another "Ikeda House" (so of course it's "sumptuous", since it's for Scamsei) but they have to make it sound like it's more than just a private residence for Ikeda, because that will get them in trouble with nonprofit laws in this country. I'm betting NO ONE has ever stayed in it, since that was after Ikeda stopped traveling.
Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
Ms. Turner isn't about to alienate any category of potential fans.
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Jeopardy! recap for Mon., Feb. 10

Introducing today's contestants:
Natalie missed both DDs in DJ but was still able to hold first place into FJ with $12,800 vs. $11,800 for champ Gauravi and $6,200 for Vinny.
DD1, $800 - NO BELL - In Greek myth, sailors resisted the calls of these sea nymphs by putting wax in their ears (Vinny won $1,200 on a true DD.)
DD2, $800 - BEFORE & AFTER AT THE MOVIES - A holiday classic in which an angel gets his wings & Roberto Benigni gets an Oscar (Natalie, who appeared to forget the category, lost $3,000 from her score of $14,600 vs. $11,000 fir Gauravi.)
DD3, $2,000 - PRESIDENTIAL HOMES- Dead just 3 months after retiring, James K. Polk was buried at Polk Place in this state capital (Natalie lost $2,000 from her total of $14,800 vs. $11,800 for Gauravi.)
FJ - SPORTS TERMS - A member of the British Amateur Athletic Club wrote this 1867 set of 12 regulations whose name honors nobleman John Sholto Douglas
Everyone was incorrect on FJ. This should have been good news for Gauravi, who only needed to bet $601 to cover Vinny, but instead wagered $9,801 and dropped to $1,999.
Meanwhile, Vinny chose to forego the percentage play of betting at least $5,000, instead going with a wager of $2,801. This worked out for him in the end, as after Natalie's $12,000 bet was revealed, Vinny had enough left over to take the victory with $3,399.
Triple Stumper of the day: The players didn't guess the word for an "area away from the coast" that is also a Nordic country without the first letter is inland.
Clue selection strategy: After DD2 was selected with 10 other clues remaining, the players stayed in the category and chose clues in the upper part of the board instead of shopping for DD3 in the higher-value clues.
Correct Qs: DD1 - What are sirens? DD2 - What is "It's a Wonderful Life is Beautiful?" (Natalie stopped at "Life" without adding an "after" title.) DD3 - What is Nashville? FJ - What are the Marquess of Queensberry Rules? (I assume that quite a few people got this from being viewers of Adult Swim.)
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I'mma head out

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Wealth Formula Episode 216: Tom Wheelwright: Update on Taxes and the Economy!

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/216-Tom-wheelwright-update-on-taxes-and-the-economy/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast, well he is very well known to our group. He is my CPA Tom Wheelwright. He is also you know I guess qualifies a celebrity CPA. I mean tax-free wealth, you know Rich Dad Advisor to Robert Kiyosaki, just a guy who can really explain the stuff and who knows a lot better than anybody else and we've had some changes recently so we got him back on because these are incredibly important issues. Tom, again, welcome back.
Tom: Hey thanks for having me Buck. Always good to be with your group. You know a number of members of your group are clients of ours and so we love your members. We love the people who are watching you and love what you're doing in the financial education area.
Buck: Yeah and I should point out you know from the standpoint of this particular podcast, Tom is also doing this as a video as well. So what we'll do is we'll post the video, I mean you can always see it on YouTube as well if you're following us there, but we'll put it on the website as well, but if you're listening in the car like I know a lot of you do though, you know you can go back and watch this as well. But Tom, so you know you did a webinar literally just a couple weeks ago for us that was really helpful on the latest tax legislation. And then just like that we already have some significant changes, you know some very much for the better. Do you want to give us an update on that?
Tom: I do and that's you know why we decided to do this of course is that the big changes, there were two big changes. The primary change is this, our favorite program right now is the PPP loan right and then we had one other change that I want to get to but let's talk about the PPP loan changes first.
Buck: Well before you actually talk about the changes can you just give it two minute you know summary of what this PPP is
Tom: Sure so it's called the Paycheck Protection Program and it's a loan that small businesses under that normally under 500 employees although there are exceptions to that rule normally under 500 employees can get a loan of up to ten million dollars through the SBA from their bank that is backed by the SBA so it's a bank loan serviced by your bank it is backed by the SBA okay and the qualifications as you know but they're really simple pretty much a pulse right everybody qualifies even though the SBA threatened people and Treasury threatened people which is probably when the worst policy comments I've seen in recent years. The reality is that the law is very clear that there's no requirement frankly there's no requirement. Now what the Treasury said was is that look if you can get capital other places, you shouldn't be availing yourself of these loans. So for a small business that a true small business that's everything. Okay second of all there's a requirement for how you use the loan and you can really only use it for three things: you can use it for payroll, you can use it for and payroll includes things like contributions to 401k plans for your employees and includes things like health insurance okay so that's payroll. Then it also includes rent and mortgage interest and includes utilities. Okay, so those are pretty much the three things. What the original cares Act said was look, you have eight weeks from the time you use the loan so you had eight weeks and the eight-week roll was from the time you received the money until you use the money. Okay, you had eight weeks to use money that the challenge, of course, is that there are a whole slew of businesses that weren't able to use the money either because the government wasn't allowing them to open or because they couldn't hire employees because the employees would rather be on unemployment because the unemployment was so good. So then Congress came back and said okay what we'll do is instead of eight weeks we'll make it 24 weeks, and 24 weeks is significant because the reality is that if the amount of the loan was based on two and a half months of average payroll well so two and a half months that's approximately ten or eleven weeks and you've got 24 weeks to use it, you've pretty much got to be just about out of business to not be able to use this so you're really probably going to be able to use all of it and not have to pay any of it back, however, there were a couple of other changes. One of the curious rules that the SBA came out with was this so-called 75/25 rule and in the 75/25 rule, the SBA said you have to use at 75% for payroll and you can only use 25% of it for utilities rent and mortgage that was the original. Well, it's actually not the original. In the original bill, there was no mention of how it was supposed to be used except for those three things. There was no 75/25 rule that this came in a regulation from the Small Business Administration. So then what Congress did this time is they said well we're going to change that and we're gonna make it sixty-forty all right we're gonna make it 60/40 so 60% has to be used for payroll. One of the concerns with the way this new law was written, this revised law, it was a revision pretty much just revised as of the effective date of the cares Act right. So one of the curious parts of this is it appears in the law to be a cliff rule meaning if you don't use at least 60% of it well you don't get it at all. Treasury and SBA have since come out and said no we're gonna issue new regulations and the intent is it's the 60/40 rule will apply just the way the 75/25 rule so just be it, is just a proportionate reduction it wouldn't be an entire disallowance right so I mean basically you know if you went off of that if you weren't exactly at 60% maybe you used you know 50% then you just have a new baseline right for forgiveness right so so if you use 50% you know if it was you know 50/50 then you know you might lose something you're gonna lose some percentage of the forgiveness. Now the other thing they did though is they extended the deferral. So you know if you do have any that you haven't used up, you've got under the original rule you had six months before you had to start paying. Under this rule you have ten months, however you don't have to start repaying it until your 24 weeks is up okay and so 24 weeks, by the way, it's the earlier of 24 weeks or December 31st so I don't know why that would even be in there because yeah because you have to get reasonably you you really have to get this loan by the end of June you know the good news is there's still money out there in fact they're talking about repurposing it and so because of that I mean there's like a hundred billion dollars still sitting out there so if you have not gotten this loan now here's something I'd really like to emphasize Buck: I have had people tell me, clients tell me, oh I'm not sure I could take this money you know are they gonna come after me and we're talking about like even a couple hundred thousand should I should I give it back and I'm going you know what here's the here's the challenge and this is the challenge I had with all policy in the first place right where we're gonna put you in prison if you you know if you if you really didn't need it. That first of all if you're under two million that's absolutely not gonna happen it appears and they're not even gonna question it, they're not gonna audit it and second of all even if you're over two million dollars look they would have to prove that you had easy access to capital otherwise other than here and how do we even know yet. You know the challenge is we're seeing like I mean Arizona we're seeing that we're seeing more cases of Covid 19 than we did when when we before when we were shut down so we're actually having this huge influx our hospitals are concerned about being out of beds okay, so this is you know we don't know what's going to happen you saw in the market today you saw this huge drop in the stock market why do you see that huge stock drop in the stock market because there's this resurgence of Covid 19 cases and they're very concerned that you know businesses are gonna have to close down again where even if the government doesn't shut them down the reality is if this thing gets really bad, worse than it is now, then you're gonna see just people hesitant to go out. I know my wife and I are as an example we're high at risk and so we're very hesitant to go, we would never go out to dinner in a restaurant ever right now. So you know you're gonna see some challenges and so that's why I say anytime you can get cash and have cash if you want to pay this back a year from now pay it back that's fine you don't want forgiveness you say you know what I don't need forgiveness I'm not gonna take that government money have it available, it's like having a line of credit I mean why would you not want to line credit which actually brings me that I want to talk if we can Buck, we have time and we like to talk about the two other loan packages that are available. Well you know once we get through the PPP here because this idea of I don't need the money because my business is doing well is premature, it's completely premature. We don't know what's going to happen yep who think the world already fell apart I don't think we even seen that the surface scratched on how the world's gonna fall apart, I really don't because between the protests the looting the violence you know all of what's going on in in the world particularly in the United States, I think we're going to have some severe distress in the third and fourth quarter of this year. So can we can we go to one more piece
Buck: Yeah no rush at all yeah absolutely.
Tom: So this is the big one right, this is why they did it. But there's another one that people don't really know about
Buck: Wait, before you leave, are you leaving the PPP now? Because I have a question on that.
Tom: Go ahead:
Buck: There was one part that I know got a lot of people in social media we're talking about which I'm wondering if has changed its the deductibility of payroll.
Tom: Oh yeah so that is not changed yet so but let me explain why it probably will change
Buck: Maybe explain what I’m talking about first.
Tom: I'm always saying Congress giveth and the IRS taketh away right and that's pretty much what we have going on here. What happened was in the cares Act the forgiveness so forgiveness of a debt would normally be taxable income right, all income’s taxable unless the government says it isn't. Well the government in this case said it isn't. Here's a specific example where the government in the law and the legislation said the forgiveness of this loan you get a two million dollar loan, that two million dollars is not taxable. The IRS in its infinite wisdom decided that if this is not taxable then that means that the payroll the utilities and the interest that allow it to be forgivable are not deductible. Now of course if you can't deduct the expenses the net effect of that is making the income taxable right so it's eliminating the benefit of being non-taxable because you're not getting the deduction so what's the point. So in the Heroes Act which is the proposed legislation by the House of Representatives, in their legislation the next stimulus bill they proposed giving back that deductibility, okay, making it very specific. The reason the IRS didn't want to do that is because there's a lot of nontaxable income and the general rule is if you have an expense that creates non-taxable income you don't get to deduct the expense. Okay so that's a general rule they didn't want that they don't want they didn't want their application here kind of spoiling the whole basket.
Buck: Yeah I mean I know business owners who are holding onto their money because they don't want to be taxed
Tom: Right oh yeah of course because you're going wait a minute if I have to hold out 40 percent or 50 percent in California you're talking about 50 percent tax here so you don't really have a two million dollar loan you have a 1 million dollar loan.
Buck: Right
Tom: So because it's now the Senate Republican-controlled Senate has pretty much said yeah the heroes act is just a pipe dream however one of the things to notice in any I always read proposed legislation and the reason is that if there's something the proposed legislation that the other side wants, it's going to end up in the final legislation. And this is something the Republican Senate wants okay everybody wants this. The only reason I believe that it wasn't put in here into this revision was because it was already in the heroes act, okay so I expect fully expect that to come through. Mnuchin said today that we're gonna get at least a trillion dollars of stimulus in the next package which by the way has to happen by the end of June because of the unemployment running out. Okay the first part of July so you have to do this next stimulus package within the next several weeks otherwise frankly you've got social unrest that's fairly significant that could be the result of people not having money in their pocket alright if you can't eat what do you do, you go you get it somewhere yes look that's a real issue that the government is focused on so I expect that stimulus package to happen in the next several weeks. The taxability issue should be solved we don't know for sure but Treasury said it should they want it solved frankly they could solve it themselves but yeah you know they want to solve the reason they want Congress to solve it again it's because they're worried to face all but then it will apply to a lot of other things besides just the PPP. Now any other questions on PPP?
Buck: No I think that's good let's move on.
Tom: So there's another piece that nobody's talked about in this particular legislation this was the correction to the PPP. Some of you might recall that in the original Kerr's act you could defer 50% of the employment taxes from payroll which is basically the employer share okay you could defer paying that over until the end of the year, okay unless you had a PPP loan. What this legislation did was eliminate that requirement. So you can have a PPP loan and still defer your payroll taxes. So again I would urge people think about your cash position right business is all about cash flow and think about your cash position and you're not paying interest you're not paying penalties. Now will I set that money aside? Absolutely I would only use it if I absolutely had to because I know that I'm going to us on December 31st. Okay but let's for sure make sure that whatever cash we can set aside we set aside so this is a actually significant benefit if you have lots of employees because you're talking about basically seven and a half percent right of your payroll so if you only have a hundred thousand dollars a payroll you know twice a month right that's still half of that so it'd be seventy five hundred dollars a month and you times that by six or seven you know you're getting to do some money that you could.
Buck: But that's just a deferral
Tom: it's just a postponement it's just like it's like having a oh my hand it's the world's falling apart I need cash right, you know, I mean there's frankly there's other things I do first before using before using that money like I would be laying off employees frankly before I used that money but I want you to know it's there because that was a change in that law okay so there's a possibility. So two other loans that I think and your I know you're really familiar with at least one of them Buck, I think people should pay attention to and not discussed hardly discussed at all the first one is the EIDL Loan Economic Injury Disaster Loan okay now this is really interesting. I know a lot of people apply for a grant okay and the grant way the SBA administered that was $1,000 per employee but not not more than 10,000 okay that's how they applied that grant so if you had eight employees you got $8,000, if you had 80 employees you got $10,000. Right so that was that grant. Now that grant if you did not have a PPP loan it's just that it's a grant okay so you you don't have to worry about paying it back at all if you had a PPP loan that grant reduces the amount forgiven under the PPP it's still not you still don't have to pay it back under the EIDL Loan, you're paying it back now under the PPP loan. Okay I know that's confusing but that's why you sit down with your CPA and walk through these numbers with them, I mean the your CPA it's like your best friend right now CPA and banker, two best friends right now in the financial world. What I found and Buck I don't know if you want to speak to this, but what I what in what your experience is about people you talked to, but I'm finding that the if you apply for the grant, the SBA is routinely giving out the loans and they're offering loans and so you applied for the grant and not only did you get the grant but you're gonna get a loan.
Buck: Well you know it's interesting in our case and I don't know if you've noticed any of this Tom, my friends in California who have businesses are getting their EIDLs and in Illinois my business friends none of us have gotten their EIDL yet.
Tom: Interesting see because I've gotten the ones for my business yeah they're done be careful by the way anytime you sign a loan make sure you read the loan provisions there's actually one provision in this loan that I'm checking out and here's what it appears to say, all right I'm not a lawyer that's why I'm getting it checked out. What it appears to say is that if you had this loan and how you pay it back you have to apply to the SBA if you ever take money out of your company okay that you have to actually ask the SBA for permission to distribute money from your company. So that's a really onerous provision and frankly, if that's the way it ends up I'm gonna say no right to this loan because I'm not gonna ask the SBA every time I want to take money out of my own company.
Buck: Yeah that's crazy.
Tom: If it says it's just alone anyway way with money yeah okay not distributing this money And this does have very specific uses okay you do have to use it for damage caused by the pandemic okay you can't use it for anything right, but you can use it for PPE right I mean a lot of people are having to buy masks and stuff like that and you can use it for that. You can use it for equipment that you need to buy you know if you need to buy something for your office or you need to pay for somebody to come in and clean your office you can use it for that. So there's a lot of things you can use that for you just can't use it, you couldn't take this money than go invest in a real estate okay that's that you can't do. So that's actually a pretty big number because for a lot of small businesses you know what they looked at was under really a they'll give up to two million but in the law it's up to two hundred thousand there's really no checking anything other than are you are you a real business. So it's really a nice program if if you're okay with what belongs it's it's a thirty year loan at 3.75 and you've gotten to be deal of a year on it so it's a sweet loan.
Buck: I just wish I could get that.
Tom: It'll come Buck, it'll come. Okay the other loan it's called the Main Street funding okay it was originally intended and this is a loan not from the SBA not through the SBA but from the Federal Reserve it's actually backed by the Federal Reserve what's going to happen is this Federal Reserve has set aside six hundred billion dollars which is as much as they set aside as treasury set aside for the PPP okay, six hundred million dollars and what the fed’s gonna do is they're gonna go buy these loans from the bank so it's going to go on the Fed's balance sheet. So the fed’s taking all the risk which of course the Fed has no risk because it has no responsibility toward anybody to anybody right so it can just buy loans it's just printing money at that point right so it's just printing money. But it was originally intended for those businesses that did not qualify for the PPP loan however it has been expanded because nobody was taking it on. They were too worried about the restrictions so they're loosening restrictions, they're changing this program and this is some pretty serious funding and I would strongly suggest if you have any concerns about your cash flow that this is a loan you ought to be talking to your bank about. Should I be applying for this Main Street loan would I qualify for this mean street loan will you lend me the money. Now here's what I learned, I learned this the hard way mm a small local bank is always your best bet always. The big banks you know with a PPP loan they were like oh we'll take you with your Starbucks and then you know if your Starbucks then the SBA came and said no if your Starbucks you can't do this because you're a big company you know so it was bad with the big banks but the small local regional banks I know people that they got their PPP loans within a week in the very first week that the program was out there they got their loan.
Buck: What are the terms on that time Tom, the Main Street?
Tom: I don't know all the terms of it mmm I do suspect though that they're similar to the EIDL Loan. It's a little bit going to be dependent on the bank because they do have a little bit of risk where and the in that $200,000 I deal on the bank has zero risk they have about I think they have a risk of 5% on the Main Street so they have a little risk so you know the the interest rates aren't going to be necessarily the same all the time your terms aren't gonna be exact I think okay I don't know they keep changing the rules Buck and I'll tell you what, if you'd like once the rules are fixed, we can come back and have a whole discussion about the Main Street funding. My point about this fund is there's been a lot of disconnect with it, a lot of confusion there they're ironing it all out so it's really not done anywhere. So we have six hundred billion dollars sitting there. Well what I think is going to happen is that they're gonna get that ironed out and then there's gonna when we get this new push of the pandemic there's gonna be a rush for it. So you know as you know Buck, the old adage is the bank will only link only lend you money when you don't need it right, if you don't need it now’s the time to get it. Now's the time to get it. You have good credit still, your customers are still paying you or your tenants are still paying you whatever it is, now's the time to get this. This is not just for employees. So unlike the PPP loan that is specific for employees or the EIDL Loan that has really super restrictions this one I think they're gonna open it up to be a little broader in the usage though we don't know exactly what that is quite yet.
Buck: Got it. Anything else on the on the laws and the changes?
Tom: Well those are the three big loans got okay so we got the PPP the EIDL and the Main Street. Remember you still have the standard SBA loans okay so you can get a standard SBA loan a 7A loan, you can get an emergency what they call a small loan, SBA loan that's up to a million dollars that has a lot less restrictions on it you don't have to collateralize your housing or your mother okay that's actually a reasonable loan document that that million dollar loan. So there are lots of funding opportunities and I guess the the point here is is take advantage of the funding opportunities if you decide down the road a year from now you don't need it just pay it all back. I've not seen any provisions in any of these loans where there's a prepayment penalty. So take the money pay interest for a year or not depending on the deferral period and then you know if you don't need it then pay it back.
Buck: I want to shift gears just a little bit you know because you have in addition to all the knowledge on the tax side I mean your clients you have a really good on the ground perspective of what's going on with small business and when you look at you mentioned the stock market dipped a little bit but it also recovered about 40 percent since its March lows. What does the real world look like right now in terms of you know business people that you're talking to?
Tom: You know a lot of it depends on your industry and your location. So you know if you're on the East Coast you're probably struggling, right, East Coast particularly North East is you know they're still there reeling from 30,000 deaths in New York right that there they're reeling from that and so they're very, very cautious we have we have members of our CPA network in Connecticut New York and what they report is everybody wears a mask everybody does social distancing everybody's cautious, they're very, very careful. Contrast that with Arizona you go out for a walk and Scott in Scottsdale Arizona the bars are packed the restaurants are packed there's no social distancing and almost no masks okay, so you're taking your life in your hands but the businesses are open which is why we're seeing this huge influx of cases but I think that's what's going on. The other part of it is here's what's really interesting to me is I'm a member of a of a group of entrepreneurs that primarily they’re e-commerce entrepreneurs and they're reporting a booming business, I mean they've never made so much, you know from my friend Andy Tanner who sells stock market training to you know to my friends down in Austin who's still different kinds of e-commerce you know anything that's being sold on Amazon it's booming right so eCommerce is one of those areas, anytime we have a crisis like this and we have a shift in the economy we have to look at where is it shifting toward, right? I didn't tell you about I mean you were gracious enough to speak at our CPA conference just a week or two ago and we had twice as many people as we expected and a lot of that's because we were doing it virtually right. I'm finding on my own webinars that the attendance is double what it used to be. So I think that we're finding certain segments of the economy that are doing better and of course the bricks-and-mortar the other ones really struggling. It's really the bricks and mortar, let me give you an interesting example of a client that owns a microbrewery and in Georgia and Georgia course is one of the first ones to open right and but in April, Georgia was closed like everybody else. They did fine yeah and the reason they did is because one of their goals was to be able to sell it in bottles so they bottled it so all they did was they just stepped up their bottling whereas I know restaurant owners here in Phoenix, where they sold it on tap and that's what they sold. Well they were practically giving it away because they had so much beer that was just sitting there and you know beer goes flat you know that doesn't keep forever so they were really concerned about it whereas my client in the microbrewery because they've made that one little shift to be able to bottle it and they do their own bottling they were able to borrow it and they had a carry-out window and drive up carry out window and they were able to do that so you know those businesses that are adapting yeah it's just amazing how well they're doing.
Buck: Yeah you know it's funny it makes me think Tom to and from the standpoint of what I'm hearing about from investors and their how how things are performing for them I mean people who are invested in real estate in office and retail are getting killed even people who are doing class A or new construction multifamily are not doing nearly as well as like working-class, you know because working-class I mean should with the unemployment right now if they're unemployed they're making more money than they did when they were employed so you know so those assets seem to be performing really, really well oddly enough. So there is this kind of winners and losers scenario going on with this thing one last question for you though which is you know obviously you talk about how the IRS kind of its sticky hands and tries to get their piece and all of this. Do you foresee any additional legislation this year to potentially try to recover some of the Lost revenues from the more affluent for example you know stronger restrictions on perceived tax shelters you know like conservation easements and things like that, do you see crackdowns or do you see anything like that on the horizon? What do you think?
Tom: I think the crackdowns are going to come directly from the IRS. We're already seeing it. You know anybody who has a small captive got a nasty gram from the IRS in March just as the pandemic was hitting its stride, totally unethical letter but nevertheless because you're the IRS you can send out whatever you want and so you know we did see that and basically they said if you don’t give up your deduction your legitimate deduction we're going to come out at you and we're gonna basically 800-pound gorilla sitting on your head right so that was their message in that. We had a notice last fall that they were looking at auditing the owners of a conservation easement, the owners not that I mean that the the parking garden not that not the partnership which is where the valuation was done where everything came, but the actual partners in it who really had nothing to do with that valuation
Buck: How could they even do that?
Tom: Well I think I figured out where this notice, what they're thinking from the nose well it's speculation, but a speculation based on 40 years of experience right so my speculation is that they're concerned they don't know about them. So there's this form where you have to disclose this type of an investment that basically it has some tax shelter aspects to it called the form 8886 and there I think there quite concerned that a lot of people are not reporting on that form and if you don't use that form by the way you have huge penalties if they catch you right so you have to disclose this and I actually think that's what they were getting after with that letter from the IRS in March was look, you need to disclose this and if you don't disclose it we're gonna audit you okay because we want to make sure you've got it well there we know you have it if you've got an 8886 right so there's been no reason for them to audit you if they look at your 8886 and in the conservation easement and also your 8282 which is the charitable portion of that and they see that it's proper okay that may be the only audit you get and it may just be a correspondence on it you might just get a letter right so I think that the IRS is absolutely going to step up its its audits okay, it's got more money, you know is given more money a couple of times in the last couple of years it's gotten you know increases in funding and so I do think we're gonna see more examinations you know more aggressive behavior from that standpoint. But the reality is that you should never be taking a position that you're not comfortable defending. If your CPA is not comfortable defending you need a new CPA.
Buck: Yeah and that brings me ultimately to you know where we'll leave it which is listen folks there are lots of there's a lot of information here there's also lots of you know even what we're talking about with captives and some of these other things if you're in good hands I mean you can feel a lot more comfortable you know if your CPA is comfortable with things the end feels like you know you're not doing anything wrong, you can do more stuff than with somebody who's scared and just says I don't know what that is and you know you can't do that and you know all that stuff which everybody hears all the time. So I want to encourage people we have a lot of our listeners who are already working with CPAs in the Wealthability network which is Tom's Network again that's wealthability.com Tom anything else to add?
Tom: Yeah so we actually call this the sleep at night test. If you're not sleeping at night because of something to do with your taxes then please call us and whatever we can do for you even if it's not matching you up interest even if your situation doesn't call for what we're doing we'll still help you any way we can so we think this is the time to really be rendering service and really you know from an educational standpoint and anything we can do we would like to do that. But do make sure what I've learned number one thing I've learned out of this whole crisis is it's all about your team right as Kiyosaki is always saying business is a team sport, investing is a team sport and when you have a good team it's like you know whether it's investing in multifamily housing there are syndicators struggling right now because they didn't know what they were doing they didn't do a good job and they're gonna be struggling even more once that unemployment check goes away right so this is a time when having the right people on your team is probably more important than what you know is who you know.
Buck: That's right. Tom I want to thank you again for being on Wealth Formula Podcast as always it is a pleasure, my good friend Tom Wheelwright.
Tom: Always my pleasure. Thanks Buck.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
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Seeing Uncut Gems for a second time since my initial viewing: The View From a Gambler [Spoilers]

This is a movie review...well initially it was. First and foremost I want to say that I’m typing this following a long Memorial Day & many beers & yes...other substances (completely legal in my state.) [7]
Anyway, I want to say how much I appreciate this film. This film is a love letter to your modern day degenerate gambler. It’s obvious, but it has a much simpler core and so how much more.
While it is a tired trope (that of the man who obsesses over a craft & it costs him everything) with several tired tropes within it (addicted to a vice, eldest son loves him, wife wants to get rid of him, and he’s sleeping around) Adam Sandler somehow manages to weave this into a completely original character.
It’s a movie that I will admit is a hit-or-miss for most.
For myself, someone who has been gambling since middle school in after sports practice card games, I loved this movie.
I say after sports practice because In the fall it was soccefootball for some, in the winter it was basketball and hockey & in the spring it was baseball.
It didn’t matter what sport you were from or what “school social class” you belonged to, if you were a guy in our town you were most likely gambling.
Anyway, I digress, I could write a novel on this and I’d love to, but it’s irrelevant to the title, but directly relevant because I want to show you how much of a love letter this movie is to the sport fanatic & gambler.
I was honestly surprised by the amount of people who thought Adam & the movie got robbed. I didn’t expect it to resonate so well with so many.
This is only my second viewing, but I think I know why it’s resonated so heavily.
I think a lot of us resonate with “The Chase.”
It’s something that leads down a dark path & while many of us can’t resonate with throwing thousands of dollars on a multi-leg parlay that has honestly less than a 10% chance of hitting (I forget the exact odds) I think a lot of us can resonate with someone who is chasing something or someone who has seen someone chase something.
Whether it’s that next high, the next buzz, the next winning bet, the next set of busted nuts or the next job promotion, the next big vacation...
We’ve seen it and we’ve lived it...in one way or another.
I think what “Uncut Gems” does is make a film that takes you on the ultimate passage of someone chasing the ultimate score & it doesn’t involve extravagant explosions or a massive heist. It is as simple as having the capital & the ability to place a wager & sports gambling is increasingly more common in legality around the globe.
The movie shows us how close Adam’s character (Howard) can get to it, without showing us how much he’s gone through.
We’re right in the climax of his story...right from the beginning & somehow In a story of a life that’s increasingly close to its end.
Just an amazing non stop thrill ride & it’s awesome to see on the big screen, because it is an incredible film that shows the dark side of a common vice & somehow makes the inevitable seem so surprising.
Absolutely phenomenal.
As an aside I wanna add that this film was recommended to me by a friend who knew I was into gambling and I actually had a bet in place prior to watching this movie because I bet everyday & it was the under in the lakers pelicans game on the third of January
It was looking dead in the water by the half
I went into see this movie and I came out a winner. This line had no chance in hell & the act of me watching this movie willed it to the winners circle.
So...yeah. This movie is a love letter to gamblers. Thanks Adam & all those involved.
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I am about to post the 3000 most common words in the English lexicon. Wish me luck...

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withdraw within without witness woman wonder wonderful wood wooden word work worker working works workshop world worried worry worth would wound wrap write writer writing wrong yard yeah year yell yellow yes yesterday yet yield you young your yours yourself youth zone
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GoWinSoftware ''Master the 1X'' Attica Gambling Ltd - YouTube Download software winner sports betting Best software for betting 2018-2019 Craziest Game Finishes in Sports History (US and Canada)

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