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I Read It So You Don't Have To: Secrets of the Southern Belle (by Phaedra Parks)

I hope the past few days have been restful and rejuvenating for you all, but -- as I'm sure you must have learned by this point -- the journey to personal betterment is an eternal endeavor. We haven't got a moment to waste, so let's bid adieu to the sunny serenity of the California coast and settle in down South with Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks, as she descends from her ivory porch swing and illuminates the esoteric in Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment.
True to the title's descriptive and straightforward sentiments, Phaedra begins the book with a concise synthesis of the worldview she hopes to present:
I believe every woman should be a Southern Belle or minimally aspire to being more ladylike, charming, and intelligent, because we should all be treated well.
As she continues, we get our first glimpse of the deep well of compassion that underlies Phaedra's mission to improve the lives of those around her.
Honestly, I sometimes feel sorry for women of northern persuasion. There they are rushing around in their baggy, drab clothes, doing everything for themselves and looking like they just rolled out of bed. They don't seem to understand there's a better way.
Thankfully, I no longer have to count myself among that witless horde. I feel like, until this fateful moment, I have been living like one of those people from the black-and-white "before" footage of an infomercial -- haphazardly bumbling through the most menial of daily tasks with no way of knowing how much brighter my world could be. Phaedra has freed me from Plato's Cave, and I have no choice but to follow her instruction and strive to shape myself in her image.
A true Southern Belle is known -- first and foremost -- for her fundamental kindness and compassion towards others, so it is only appropriate that the book's first section is succinctly titled, "Be Nice." However, even this simple directive has been trampled by the corrupting influence of the modern world. As Phaedra laments,
Unfortunately, as we see more migration from other parts of the world, we also see an increase of poor manners and rude behavior.
She elaborates, providing specific examples of the personal injuries incurred as a result of these unmannered interlopers.
I find it particularly odd in business, when the salespeople or tellers don't speak or thank you for your patronage. Don't they realize that without customers they would not have a job?
I, too, find it offensive when minimum-wage workers have the nerve to act like actual human beings rather than automatons at the mercy of my personal whims, and I appreciate that Phaedra is bold enough to ask the question that has undoubtedly been on the tip of our collective tongue. Yet somehow, she still remains humble enough to freely admit where she has room to learn; here, she lets the reader in on "something I've never quite understood about non-southerners:"
They're suspicious of basic southern warmth because they're worried it's insincere. But at the same time, they will tell you the most inappropriate things! They tell you stuff about their health that you don't want to know. They launch into crazy stories about their terrible childhoods and how misunderstood they are. They complain about what happened long ago, and they fret openly about the future. Then they tell you what they paid for things and you want to crawl under the table.
Frankly, that's not very attractive.
What is attractive, then, you may ask? Effusive compliments, for one thing -- "I don't know why some people are so concerned with being sincere, when being nice is so much more effective." We also learn to "never contradict anyone, even if you know they are wrong." Phaedra illustrates this particular lesson with the following example:
If someone tells you that your taxes are due on April 30 instead of April 15, you look puzzled and say, "Goodness, I had no idea. Did they change the date?"
And what happens after that? Either the person says yes and you're forced to play along with whatever bizarre delusion and/or power-play your companion is currently indulging, or they say no and you say -- what? "Right, of course, I knew that the whole time!" Or, "Gotcha! It's April 15th, you incompetent fraud!" Or maybe, "I don't even know what taxes are -- money is for menfolk!" I just can't imagine any of those scenarios playing out with less discomfort than a simple correction, but after four years living in New England, I can only assume that's just northern negativity clouding my vision.
We are next presented with a list of "compliments that come in handy," a few of which I've transcribed below for immediate incorporation into your own phrasal repertoire.
What an interesting way to think about it. (Good for a point on which you disagree with someone.)

You thought of every little detail; I love a meticulous lady!

Wow! That is so original. I would never have put it together like that. (In this South this might mean, "I hate it," but in a polite way.)
Boss Babe is out -- Meticulous Lady is in! Phaedra reminds us to keep health concerns -- "especially female issues" -- far from polite conversation, then shifts gears to a much-needed lesson in verbal comportment. It's not just their "attractive regional accents" that distinguish Southern Belles from their less-attractive northern counterparts; they also devote great attention to evoking grace through their cadence and tone.
Sometimes northern women can sound awfully abrupt. It's just a habit they have, poor things.
If you'd like to take your place amongst esteemed gentility, however, I urge you to change your ways! For one thing, when speaking, "slip in something affectionate so that a very harsh reality doesn't come across as rude or abrupt." For example, see how much unpleasant confrontation is avoided with the following turn of phrase:
Darling, don't you know you're too smart and pretty to be the town drunk?
Silly girl, haven't you heard? Addiction is for ugly people! You should also feel free to use these compliments liberally throughout conversation -- "You don't have to mean it, you know." As an example:
If you can tell that someone has put a lot of effort into a particular aspect of her outfit, just draw attention to it. Sparkly stars-and-stripes high heels could be terribly tacky, but you bet they're supposed to be noticed, so go ahead and do it. "Those are certainly patriotic shoes!"
Let me take a crack at it -- This book certainly has a lot of words in it! Writing a book is such an impressive achievement -- I'm sure it feels so rewarding to finally see it In print! And I love the way you occasionally use infinity signs as bullet points -- it's so evocative! I think I'm getting the hang of this!
"Another southern difference?" As Phaedra informs us, "we try not to make direct requests. It just sounds so forward and frankly unpleasant if someone comes right out and says what they want from you." Phaedra's Starbucks barista must really despise her -- If it isn't too much trouble, could I bother you for something to drink? No, anything's fine -- I wouldn't want to impose.
Almost like a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the next passage introduces us to the nuanced connotations that pervade a true Belle's vocabulary. For example, Phaedra tells the reader that "if I tell someone 'Goodness, you must have spent all day on your hair. I am so impressed!' it really means I hate it." Before I manage to convey how impressed I am by the book before me, I read on to learn that "when you're discussing a homely girl, you generally say, 'She's so smart!' The general thought is you can't be both ugly and dumb. God wouldn't be that cruel." Please excuse me while I take a few hours to re-analyze every compliment I've ever been given in my entire life.
Now that that's done, here are a few more translations to help you decipher the Belles in your life.
Belle-Speak: She's a nurse-in-training.
Unvarnished Truth: She dates only old men.

Belle-Speak: She's a butter face.
Unvarnished Truth: Everything looks good but her face.

Belle-Speak: Hope he's got money.
Unvarnished Truth: He's unattractive and pays for affection.
The second one is not even really a euphemism so much as Phaedra trying to demonstrate her knowledge of hip modern slang, but I digress. We transition into advice for conversation starters -- "don't throw them complicated or controversial subjects like politics, animal rights, or local zoning." Truly, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached at a party with an opener about municipal ordinances, and it just kills the mood like nothing else. Worried about how you'll ever find something to talk about under these restrictions?
Don't worry about sounding interesting. "Interesting" is an overrated notion. Just fill the empty air.
That…explains a lot, actually.
Our next lesson is in reference to dinner parties -- "don't make a fuss, unless you're complimenting the cook." In case you're confused as to how this guidance should be interpreted, Phaedra clarifies with some examples -- "'Is there meat in here? I'm a vegetarian' is the wrong kind of fuss." Since I typically ask this question while flailing my arms wildly and making intermittent whooping noises, I completely understand how it could be disruptive amongst refined company. Although I'm starting to get a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep track of these seemingly countless rules, Phaedra's next assurance puts my mind at ease: "If all else fails, remember the secret weapon of the Southern Belle is delicate helplessness."
In the next passage, we learn that, "if there's any characteristic that defines a Southern Belle, it's her habit of firing off little notes on any occasion." Just as with verbal compliments, these notes require little to no basis in factual reality -- "obviously it's perfectly all right to exaggerate." But while truthfulness is more or less dispensable, your choice of writing implement could have grave repercussions. As Phaedra exhorts, "Never, ever write a letter in pencil. You might as well not bother at all." Within the realm of pens, however, "blue and black are perfectly acceptable, even if they do lack panache."
We return once again to the topic of appropriate subjects for conversation, and are cautioned against asking anyone their age. Of course, wild speculation is encouraged, "as long as you're out of earshot." In the next tip, Phaedra declares: "Don't discuss the cost of anything. Any discussion of cost is just in poor taste." I just can't help picture how much of a nightmare this woman must be at a fast-food drive-through. Our final instruction?
Don't discuss hair color. Men always pretend they don't dye their hair, so you just have to go with it.
At first glance, this seems reasonable enough, especially in the context of the social graces espoused by the book so far. However, Phaedra's attempt at further explanation quickly begins to careen off-course.
For women, it's a little bit more complicated because you have the question of whether the drapes match the carpet, so to speak. And I do know some who dye the carpet to match -- that was the big thing in high school. Now with all this weird waxing, you don't have to do as much dyeing, but that's another thing you don't talk about either!
Let's see if I've got this straight: I should always believe a man about his purported hair color no matter what, but if a woman tries to lie about hers, she'll get caught…because I will inevitably be forced to confront the realities of her pubic hair? An intimate partner, sure, but I just can't imagine this situation arises with enough frequency to merit even the few lines its given in this text. And honestly, at this point, I don't even think I want to know what Phaedra means by "weird waxing."
This section of the book concludes with a final catalog of "the 'She did what?' mistakes." The list starts off strong with "wearing white to another woman's wedding." However, by the time we end on the most unimaginable of atrocities -- "drinking beer from a bottle" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this list was actually supposed to have been titled "things the sexy homewrecker does in a bro-country music video."
The following section is titled, "Work Hard," and I am immediately inspired to do exactly so by the implicit challenge thrown down in Phaedra's opening lines, in which she coquettishly asks, "Who always delivers a presentation on time, with the printed materials perfectly written and proofread?" I'm usually quite good at taming my most pedantic impulses, but contrarian passions I never knew I had are foaming at the mouth to find an upcoming typo and self-righteously call her bluff. Although perhaps I should find a more feminine way to phrase that; as Phaedra cautions, "we don't like to think of ourselves as driven, because that sounds so neurotic and unpleasant."
We next learn that "you cannot be a Southern Belle unless you understand what it is to be ladylike." But unfortunately, it is all too easy to be caught up in the ways of the world and lose sight of this primary calling.
A lot of women today enjoy being the feisty, brassy, foul-mouthed kind of gal who drinks with men and shows a lot of flesh. They think it's cool.
Phaedra continues and reflects that, "I've heard the argument that this is progress, from the feminist point of view, but I don't necessarily agree." I can never remember -- which wave of feminism was the one with all the feisty gals? But clearly, their agenda has gone too far! How, in contrast, does a delicate Southern Belle behave?
She looks as if she's heard of sex, probably has had sex, but has no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings.
I'm not sure exactly how to convey this highly specific sentiment in any other way than purchasing a t-shirt custom-printed with the phrase, "I have heard of sex, have probably had sex, but have no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings," so I hope that approach will suffice for now. Phaedra follows up by cautioning us that,
A lady never puts in the shop window what isn't for sale.
Personally, I like to think of myself as more of a museum than a gift shop, but to each their own! We next learn more about the delicate balance a Southern Belle must achieve in order to maintain her esteemed position. For example, while "she doesn't cuss and doesn't talk dirty," frigidity is similarly unbecoming -- "if somebody tells a good dirty joke in her vicinity, she'll laugh." I'm barely a third of the way through this book, and I'm already exhausted at the prospect of having to remember all of these hyper-specific edicts. It's no surprise that the Southern Belle has to remain consistently vigilant; as Phaedra intones, "coming from a Pentecostal family, I hate to see a woman down more than two drinks." It seems to me like the simplest way to avoid such emotional turmoil would be to simply refrain from compulsively tallying the beverage intake of strangers, but I soon learn there are far more perilous hazards lurking around every corner. Phaedra shares her personal strategy for avoiding the very implication of incivility in the following excerpt:
I don't ever go to the bar at a party; I think that just looks terrible. If I must have a glass of wine or crave a fruity adult libation, I'll ask a nearby man to procure it for me.
Sir! Procure me a fruity adult libation -- tout de suite! But I would hate to diminish the male gender by implying that they're only good for the acquisition of potables; no -- men can be leveraged in an increasingly broad array of day-to-day tasks. As Phaedra shares:
I have friends who have never in their lives pumped gas for their own cars. They will ask a complete stranger to do it for them. One of my besties from New Orleans will flag down a man, give him her credit card, and have him pump and pay for her gas.
Honestly, I can't help but wonder if this might actually be some kind of avantgarde performance art, in the tradition of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0. Because the idea that this gambit has never gone horribly, horribly awry truly strains credulity. As I read on, however, I learn that my current train of thinking is sorely misguided.
Sometimes when I'm at a grocery store the fellow bagging the groceries will ask if he can take them out to my car. Why would you say no to this? But sometimes women do. And I look at them and sigh and think, "Poor thing. She has a lot to learn."
Thankfully for my personal development, the next chapter -- titled "A Crash Course in Being (Selectively) Helpless" promises exactly the sort of content that I so desperately need to understand. As Phaedra explains, a Southern Belle is "never intimidating, because some things she just can't do on her own." She goes on to offer concrete examples of how to incorporate this ethos into your life on beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.
Experts: assume help will arrive. Flat tire? Pull over to the curb, and don't sweat it. Can't figure out which wrench to buy at Home Depot? Or how to program your DVR? This is what former boyfriends and other gentlemen are for. Believe me, the age of chivalry is not dead.
Rent due? Don't sweat it -- a gallant gentleman likely already has a check in the mail. House burning to the ground around you? You should know a Belle doesn't walk down the hallway on her own two feet! Bear attack? I'm sure a male bear is just around the corner, ready to jump in and defend your honor!
Without a hint of irony, we transition to Phaedra's advice for the workplace. We learn that the quintessential gentlewoman is savvy, competent, and always at the top of her game. For instance, at her workplace, "she figures out how to work the coffee machine and the copy machine." With that kind of go-getting attitude, the Southern Belle will be bound for the C-suite in no time! Provided, of course,
She never does that thing I hear of in the North sometimes of telling you how little she paid for something. Why would you brag about bargains?
I can't hear the phrase that thing I hear of in the North in anything other than the voice of Tinsley's mother, Dale. Except she would probably use it in reference to something like "giving compliments to your daughter" or "weight gain." Regardless, a more appropriate question at this juncture might be, "Are you sure this book was proofread quite as judiciously as you claimed?" As I scan the page, my eyes happen upon the line:
10 percent for tithing, if your religion encourages tithing, which mines [sic] does.
Of course, it would be entirely uncouth for me to brag about my typographical superiority in this context, so now seems as good a time as any to exercise some of my newly acquired techniques. Oh, Phaedra -- bless her heart! I suppose we can't all be detail-oriented, can we? It must be nice to be so casual and carefree when you express yourself!
Without further ado, however, we move along to our next lesson -- "People don't know when you're hungry, because they can't hear your stomach growling, but they definitely know when you're homeless." To be honest, the more I think about this statement , the less sense it makes to me (people…can hear your stomach growling?). Luckily, with the jam-packed schedule of a Southern Belle, I simply don't have time to dwell on the issue for a moment longer!
Our next tutorial? " If you have one fabulous pair of shoes, you will wear them to church. It is the very least you can do for Jesus." As we all know, Jesus loves sweet kicks, so he loves nothing more than to see you rock the newest styles when you drop by on Sunday. And besides -- the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! Phaedra summarizes the Southern Belle's can-do attitude with the line: "We all may not be sitting around big ugly Formica boardroom tables, but we get things done." As someone who has only ever attended meetings held around moderately sized tables, I find this to be a validating sentiment.
When it comes to extracurricular pursuits, "beauty pageants are important." However, "as much as she loves performing, the Belle will not take to the stage: some of those theater people are just too peculiar, bless their hearts." Honestly, Phaedra and I come down on the same side on this one. But I will have to heartily disagree with her next passage -- with respect to traditions of stepping within Black Greek Life -- in which she states,
The traditionally white organizations don't have anything comparable.
Um, excuse me? Have you never seen this iconic video?! However, Phaedra does reassure us that she's far from ignorant in the ways of the world. As she states, "I have read about hookup culture and known a few easy women." Of course, easy men don't exist -- or at least, that's what I've read in all the most prominent textbooks regarding hookup culture. But don't mistake Phaedra's awareness for acceptance -- "that doesn't mean I like any of it." However, this sentiment is belied just a few paragraphs later, when our author recalls:
I offended the mother of one of my best friends once by booking some exotic entertainment at this friend's birthday party. My friend loved the anatomically exceptional dancer, but her mother was livid.
I'm sure that it was only your friend who loved the "anatomically exceptional" dancer, and I assume this must have been one of your aforementioned token "easy" friends, besides. A Southern Belle, in contrast, is interested in serious, long-term relationships. And for this purpose, "it would be much better to marry a young man that you can train. I have always said that I would rather be a babysitter than a geriatric nurse." Yet even these kinds of discrepancies seem trivial in comparison to the boundless passions of eternal love. As Phaedra shares,
I want Apollo and me to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, so I try to overlook momentary annoyances.
That aged well. Bless her heart.
We're soon treated to a cheeky list of "what her husband doesn't know," which echoes several key themes from earlier in the book -- most notably in its bizarre fixation with pubic grooming.
He doesn't know what her true hair color is, because the curtains always match the carpet.

He doesn't know how often she waxes, or exactly what waxing entails.

He doesn't know that she has her own credit card, her own savings account, and a safe-deposit box.
I've got to say, that last one hits just a little bit different with hindsight. Always timely, however, are Phaedra's views on the importance of the homemaking arts. In this evocative passage, she describes the primal horror of an encounter with a woman tainted by an unimaginable curse:
A nice lady from another part of the country recently confessed to me that she doesn't know how to do any crafts. In fact, she said, she gets all nervous and antsy in crafts stores, because they're so full of things she doesn't understand. I laughed like I thought she was joking, but really, I felt bad for her. Imagine not knowing how to make all those cute objects that brighten up lives in the South! I shudder to think what the inside of her house looks like!
With that fable still ringing in my ears, we transition to the next section of the book: "Look Pretty." Phaedra reflects, "I am always shocked when I leave the South and encounter the enormous number of women who don't seem to understand how their clothes should fit." Now feels like an appropriate time to draw attention to the book's back cover, in which an open-mouthed Phaedra swivels her torso in such a way as to create a bulging protuberance across one half of her chest. In awe of her commitment to inclusivity, I now realize this could only have been an intentional choice to make herself seem more approachable to us northern oafs, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Phaedra goes on to inform us that, "personally, I prefer skirts and dresses over pants." However, although "high-waisted pants and pants with visible hem cuffs are quite elegant and ladylike," one should take care never to forget that "minimalism and menswear looks are just puzzling and not appealing to a Belle." I, too, must admit that I find menswear looks puzzling -- a girl? in boy clothes? I just can't make heads or tails of it! And this is far from the only contemporary fad that baffles the true Southern Belle. As Phaedra continues:
I've never understood the appeal of the natural look. It's so easy to improve your appearance; why wouldn't you take advantage of the many beauty aids available to you?
In a frankly unexpected dig against the ceramic arts, Phaedra notes that "unless you are a professional potter (and I don't think Southern Belles generally are), your nails need to be clean and filed." More generally, your physical proportions should remain mild and inobtrusive:
Ever since voluminous behinds became fashionable, I often see these lumpy, huge derrieres on women with legs as thin as a chicken's, and I think God would never put a rump roast on toothpicks, so why did you do that?
That's why I always caution my friends to pair their butt implants with a battery of leg implants, in order to really round out the overall contour of the body and mimic that structurally stable, God-given look. After all, as Phaedra quips: "'Knowledge is power' -- that's my motto." But this knowledge doesn’t come without a price; being as world-wise as Phaedra often requires direct confrontation with the atrocities of today's world. As she recounts, for example: "I was astonished to find out that not every woman possesses a lint roller." It's truly a tragedy to learn how the other half lives!
We are next informed that, "you have to have your ears pierced, but only one hole in each ear." The consequences for an infraction of this critical edict are left unvoiced, from which I can only assume that they are swift and merciless. Any self-respecting Southern Belle has a taste for the finer things in life, and Phaedra is no exception. As she remarks:
I love diamonds; I'd have a diamond duvet if I could afford it.
Because I am less fiscally endowed, I have had to settle for stuffing my duvet with assorted Swarovski crystals, at least for the time being. However, I'm eager to upgrade -- I can only imagine that the extra hardness of the diamonds will add a satisfying acupuncture affect to my nighttime regimen!
Phaedra moves on to fashion advice, and cautions the well-heeled Belle to remain conservative in her fashion choices. But don't worry -- there is a time and a place to let loose and express your more artistic side. Or, as Phaedra says, "something a little funky or ethnic may even be appropriate from time to time." To further illustrate this principle, she explains: "If I were going out West, for example, I might wear some turquoise bracelets."
But some things are a bridge too far! Any woman with a modicum of dignity would know never to be caught dead in "polar fleece," "a naughty-nurse costume," or "footed pajamas." We are also encouraged to carry around a hand fan -- "the elegant way to stay cool" -- as well as a "small leather-bound notebook for jotting down inspirations." I lose my train of thought for a moment, caught up in a daydream about the ingenious wonderings that must be contained within Phaedra's hallowed journal. But I'm brought back to reality by a declaration of "what's not in my purse," beginning with the stern pronouncement: "any kind of contraband substance."
Our pilgrimage to polite society continues with a comprehensive exploration of the monogram's social gravitas. As Phaedra intones, "I've even seen cars with a very discreet monogram on the driver's door." But with light must come darkness, and the next chapter bravely confronts an issue many others would fear to face: "Looking Like a Tramp" ("There, I came right out and said it," Phaedra breathlessly gasps below the harsh text of the passage's title). She gathers herself together and courageously reports, "some women look downright sleazy."
Alas -- even more tragically -- couture catastrophes are not restricted to those of legal majority. Phaedra heroically pulls back the curtain on a nationwide epidemic of wardrobe misconduct being perpetrated against society's most vulnerable:
I saw a picture not long ago of some hippies or hipsters or whatever you call them from some remote city. The parents looked the way you'd expect them to look, a little bit bedraggled, but the worst thing was they had this adorable little baby all done up in a black onesie. And as far as I could tell, it wasn't even Halloween!
How to combat this terrifying trend? Phaedra offers words of wisdom: "Little Southern Belles always look sweet and appropriately girlish." Specifically, we are encouraged to incorporate design elements like "tasteful, conservative rickrack." By way of further explanation, she clarifies that, "what they don't do is dress like Lady Gaga in dresses made of butchers' best cuts of beef." I'm disappointed to learn that my idea for an Etsy store selling bespoke meat-based children's clothing might be a nonstarter, but I suppose I appreciate our author giving it to me straight.
Another childcare commandment?
No costumes outside the house. Of course every little girl loves to play dress-up. But I truly dislike seeing Snow White or a fairy princess trailing along behind her mother at the Piggly Wiggly.
As she sits in her living room, most likely waiting for a man to come to her aid for some reason or another, Phaedra is struck by a sharp, blazing pain. As the flash of blinding torment subsides, she catches her breath and shakes her head wearily -- another costumed child has gone into a grocery store. Forgive their guardians, for they know not the harm their actions have caused to our author's delicate and genteel sensibilities.
But it does us no good to dwell on the darker side of life! Rather, we'll move right along into the book's final section, "Have Fun." However, this does not seem to be exactly the same kind of "fun" colloquially mentioned in mainstream circles. Rather, the Southern Belle defines fun with the principle, "everybody needs to know that you made an effort." For example, "if you're pouring punch into paper cups for a gaggle of seven-year-olds, put a spring of mint in it." My previous experiences in the general vicinity of children lead me to believe that at least 75% of the seven-year-olds in this group would respond to this elegant enhancement by dumping the punch out on the ground because it has a gross plant in it. Maybe that's part of the fun?
No analysis of Southern culture would be complete without a discussion of that most hallowed of pastimes -- college football. And although "only a really unusual woman watches football alone," it is imperative that a Southern Belle attend the social events associated with the on-season. What's more, she should take care to do with impeccable style. As Phaedra laments:
Sometimes I see pictures of women in store-bought football jerseys and I feel sorry. A store-bought jersey does nothing to flatter the feminine body.
As for the game itself, minimal understanding is required -- "Naturally a Belle knows how much men enjoy telling her things, so she isn't shy about asking questions." True to her generous spirit, however, Phaedra nevertheless provides a basic primer in the rudiments of the sport:
Basically each team is trying to get the ball through the tall H-shaped goalposts at the end of the field. […] The problem is that the ball can look awfully little from pretty much anywhere in the stands. There's no shame in watching the video replay to see what really just happened.
As a final tip, Phaedra suggests that "belles whose husbands have season tickets might even invest in matching linens and china." Our next unit of instruction concerns the arrival of a newborn bundle of joy; as we learn, "the birth of a baby is a big deal in a southern family." It's so interesting to learn all of these unique cultural details! I don't know if I've ever heard of another culture that places such importance on birth -- I'd love to get an anthropologist's take! There are also strict guidelines to which one must adhere regarding the naming of a debutante-in-training:
A Southern Belle's name:
-- is obviously feminine.
-- is two syllables or more (names like Ann or Joan seem abrupt, like so many Yankees).
-- is a real name, not a geographic feature like Sierra.
-- means something. Preferably something nice.
Once born and appropriately christened, children should be painstakingly shielded from the contaminating influences of the world at large. Phaedra explains that "pop culture is full of children behaving disrespectfully." Without the slightest suggestion of self-reflection, she goes on to declare that "besides, we think TV characters are basically tacky."
Phaedra reiterates a few of the courtship commandments mentioned previously, most concisely in the adage, "Belles don't date losers." And, as any suitor worth his salt should know, "a date with a Belle is no time for a boy to experiment with 'alternative' clothes or grooming either." Instead, a Southern Gentleman takes care to keep his language clean from distasteful or offensive language -- "For instance, why say 'liquor' when you can say 'adult refreshment'?"
As we near the end of the book, it seems only fitting that we take a few pages to cover the traditions and rituals associated with life coming to a close. Buttressed by her extensive knowledge of mortuary science, Phaedra instructs us:
Postmortem is no time to experiment with cosmetics. No one wants their sweet aunt Gertrude looking like some ashy Jezebel when she meets Jesus.
The passage concludes with the brassy observation, "we don't usually cremate in the South; we figure if we wanted to burn we'd just live recklessly and go to hell."
Before the book closes in earnest, Phaedra shares a few of her special, meticulously developed recipes. The most evocative of her culinary optimizations is a recipe for sweet tea, in which she thoughtfully informs us, "sweetness can be personalized by adding more water or ice to the tea."
The book's final pages contain an instrument designed to measure the effect of the preceding 252 pages on one's essential courtesies, charmingly titled "The Belle-O-Meter Quiz." As Phaedra explains:
So, ladies, how are you doing? I'm sure you've all been very attentive to my suggestions and are amazed by the results. You're probably totally used to a steady diet of compliments and flirtation and invitations. But here's a little quiz in case you feel the need to measure how far you've come.
If you'd like to take the full quiz, you can do so here. But if your busy Belle schedule doesn't permit you to devote that much time to something so self-indulgent, a few example questions are provided below:
Your routine greeting when you meet a new person is:
a. A surly glare.
b. "Hi."
c. "Well, hello! How are you today?"

If your gentleman friend brought you a corsage to wear on a date you would:
a. Put it in the refrigerator. Nobody wears corsages nowadays!
b. Pin it to your coat collar and check your coat.
c. Pin it in an unusual spot like your waist or behind your ear, after extracting one little blossom to put in his lapel.
The answer key informs us that answering mostly C's means that "you are a genuine Southern Belle." As Phaedra goes on to suggest, "maybe it's time to share your new skills with a friend and pass along this book. I hope it's been helpful to you." As a book hoarder of the highest order, I will have to skip that suggestion, but I am nevertheless thankful to move one step closer to self-actualization with the help of another Real Housewife. Until next time!
Upcoming plans in comment below!
submitted by efa___ to BravoRealHousewives [link] [comments]

Psycho Betting and Stats 301-Degenalytics Question

!!!!DISCLAIMER:!!!!
Before you even start watching this for entertainment and see if you get offended by this un-P.C. content. Don't be a pussy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igsb3ejgbL8
If you can't handle it, leave this thread. If you can, then you may proceed to the next level.
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📰📜Story📜📰:
I've been scatter-brained, ire-filled, soul-searching and lost after a 7-day Degen Marathon that brought a shit load of misfortunes. I used to hate social media, but I've learned how to wield the soc. med. sword like a fucking Degen Jedi. I'm going to promote an honest cause where I seek to be victorious in the end. Just you watch you fucking doubters, haters, blockers, scammers. How much grit and intellect would the average fucking person have to endure what I've gone through in the last fucking 48 hours and still come out alive with a sense of greater purpose?
Had about $400 to $500 in righteously earned bonus dollars earned through impossible grinding degen mission that came pretty close to accomplishing (91%).
I would have had some imaginary >$600 BR by now, but instead the roll-over deadline caused the entire deposit to be forfeited and I manage to salvage some $100.
Due to a bonus rollover scheme, 80U of my balance was stuck in bonuses and if I fail to accomplish the roll-over by the deadline, it all gets forfeited.
With a $500-$600 balance, I could have somewhere at $900-1000 by now after a 20-2 W-L record on European football on Wednesday.
How did I get that record yesterday, by sampling a bunch of solid pre-game picks and live betting using my own fucking brain. I consult with the finest in capping. With $10-$20 bet sizes, That would have put me up maybe $15x16 = +$240 at minimum. $1000 was the imaginary bank roll. As of today, betting with $1 units, after Monday-Wednesday's successful run, while Tuesday was a -$50 blip, I converted $100 to about close to $200 (40U).
🤪🤑Psycho Betting🤑🤪:
I learned the art of psycho betting. Taking some well-advised 10U and 30U psycho bets that put my bankroll up a significant amounts, but a big loss does the opposite. Yesterday I manage to hit 4 grand 30U slams in a row, however many on juiced lines, so each $30 bet one returns about $15-20. Thus my bankroll grew nearly +100 units and sits close to $200 from the initial $100 I manage to salvage after that bonus robbery.
If you want to fucking learn the art of Psycho-Betting to the extremest and be successful at it, fucking put in $100 in Bovada (remember to use money that you can afford to lose) and get that fucking bonus for the purpose of looting the bookies in a successful vengeance scheme. This guy is a fucking Artillery: https://twitter.com/GoTimeCappers.
Fucking hit more than 4x30U grand slams yesterday and some 10-20U cherries on top. I tailed his free picks and other through consultation [Haha fucking reddit/sportsbook will probably ban me for promoting another tout, :)].Of course with my $1.5U size on a crippled bank roll, I cannot grow it to as much as I wanted to using GoTime's techniques. I would have been at another +$400 if I had $6 units. It's a high risk and high reward system, but if you are confident with your picks you go big on it. If you lose it, then you grind back with smaller 10U and 20U bets to try to get back to part to be able to do another 30U bet. The goal is to be like 2-1, 3-0 on 30U grand slams a day. There is some level of sustainability and back up plans to execute in case the 30U bet did not work out. It is very improbable for you to lose 10 in a row on well researched picks that the experts in the community have common agreement on. A lot of the times, the lines shift to reward you less for the pick since big money is already on the pick.
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!!!!!DISCLAIMER: DO NOT READ BEYOND HERE IF YOU HATE MATH OR HAVE AN IQ OF < 89!!!!!
Use the chart on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_classification
Here is a Nice Calculation to do:
📚📑💻Stats 301 Question in Degenalytics💻📑📚**:**
Lastly I asked anyone in the past few days to do a Stats 301 question with Degenalytics Context: To fucking determine the probability that an avg Joe with a $100+100 Bonus Bank-roll or $500 + 250B bank roll can actually pull off the $3000/$7500 grind in some number of N months betting with supposedly 2 full months of real sports (N-2) getting Obliterated by COVID-19. I want you to give me an analytical calculation or a simulation of your work and give me all the possible scenarios.
Then give the final verdict of if that number converges to 0.000% or 100.00% that the average Joe would succeed his false-hope mission for a successful rollover.
In other words think of it like this: If the average joe bets his entire bank roll 12 or more times (roll-over is not x10 because of bookie juice), what is the probability that he will still end up in the green? Also assign a tilt probability factor that the Average Joe would go on some emotional tilt spree to end up bust again? And make it even harder by eliminating 2-3 full months of real sports (N-2.5) and having to bet on Bovada's limited shitty ass lines and shitty live odds.
If you fucking want to eliminate the -2.5 months, then allow the average joe the freedom to bet on N months of e-sports [hahah] and see where that goes.
I had a bad experience betting on e-sports for 2 months and only end up -15-20U. I'm not saying that I lost because I suck at e-sports betting or I tailed the wrong people. The Bovada lines are super shitty and limited. Most of the time, on live esports, all you see are dashed out lines as if they fucking know what the rigged result is and prevent people from doing hedge bets or try to bet opposite spreads when they are winning to guarantee an insurance 1-1 with minimal damage incurred to their bank-roll. The live betting experience on e-sports on the Bovada platform is so bad that you are guaranteed to lose in the long run. Fucking hell Bodog/Bovada even offered me a $250 deposit on 100% bonus after the Rudy Gobert day in Mid March. They advertised the joys and wonders of getting rich betting off esports.
I was so tempted to deposit, however I kind of over-slept and missed out on the dead-line so they closed the bonus offer. Pretty good relief that I did not fuck-up my real credit card and bank account by falling for that scam again. It was an accidental Grace of God moment to fucking avoid that E-sports deposit marketing scam.
BONUS Questions:
A: Calculate the number of months needed and number of successful bets required for the conservative degen 1u bettor to grind out the roll-over playing
$2.00 tug of war with the bookie.
B: Calculate the odds that a professional capper who knows how to adjust unit sizes (1u-5u), do parlays once a while, will succeed the roll-over in some
N-2.5 months or add some e-sports to have fun to keep the N factor.
C.1: Calculate the conditional probabilities for the bettor succeeding in the mission if on the first few days of betting:
i) He loses bet 1 for about $20.
ii) Wins bet 1 for about $20 to earn $17.5.
iii) Goes on a 3 game losing streak
iv) 5 game losing streak
v) Positivity case: The guy got lucky and nearly doubled his bank roll on a decent run from day. Up +100U or $200. [I'm sure that out of bad discipline the average Joe would still go -200U in the long run with a pretty high probability.]
C.2: Determine the mathematical scheme on how the Bookies can use your first few losses to eventually put you in a 60+:40- (Greater than 60% locked in bonus, less than 40% of your deposited money). Bonus:Locked funds ratio.
The Jinx-King answer: It converges to zero [hahaha], but I really am interested in know what other scenarios math and stats people have come up. And your mathematical approaches and formulae used to generate possible scenarios and probabilities. But I think it is safe to say that for the average Joe,the answer is 0.00% success rate. Bodog/Bovada knows this exactly and refuses to put a hiatus on the roll-over deadline. Instead they keep it going so that people can try to wager on e-sports and lose their entire bank roll. They are only interested it getting 100% of your locked funds so that they can buy expensive cruises, yachts, beach mansions, resort packages, etc in Aruba or some other tropical place. Where you got millions of desperate Americans, Canadians in struggling economies with lost jobs and zero positive cash-flow. About 10% or so or perhaps even more deposit money into off-shore gambling websites hoping they can roll-over their bank-roll some ridiculous number of times and make a few bucks to put food on the table.
In fact, it makes matters worst being jobless, having zero cash flow and having locked funds in scamming bookies. If you are not good at casino or sports-betting games, you would have:
A: Lose your entire deposit for failing to grind it out properly.
B: Not grind it out on time on whatever dead-line the roll-over was.
C: Even if you did successfully grind that shit out using conservative 1u betting and play $2 tug of war with the bookie, you will end up just wasting your time grinding it out for hours and hours on end. It would have been better for you to fucking find a job at some farm helping out with harvesting crops or work in meat plants so that food does not go to waste. I bet you I can make more money than your $2 tug of war in one a day picking off cans and bottles off the streets in some exercise walking/running/biking + collection routine then selling it to the recycling center for $0.05-0.25 a unit. Trust me at my university, I spot maybe about 50-200 empty/partially driven cans and bottles left on desks, lecture halls, the floor, libraries, work areas, etc. Supposed that I harvested that shit, I would be making $5-$20 a day collecting it all and going to the recycling center once every week.
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⚖Conclusions⚖:
The fucking company knows this COVID-19 closure shit and want to use it to their advantage to continue to rob millions of their customers. Last week, I tried to call customer service, chat help, email, etc. and management has spoken to plead my case to delay the roll-over dead-line in a pro-rated time frame so that customers with locked balances can resume betting with their full balance when Game 1 of any Major League Sport actually returns. They give me the same bull-shit over and over saying they decline my request. For what reason?
  1. The terms and conditions written in fine print for accepting the bonus conversion challenge. "Rules are Rules."
  2. They were aware my deadline of June 22 at 19:23 ET was approaching soon. They knew I was on a mission to salvage my bank roll before they yank out the 60-75U trapped in bonus balances (i.e. Ghost money). By the end of it, I realize I made a foolish mistake. Most of my wins were just from bonus money and I was rewarded $0.00 on righteous wins on expired bonuses.
Therefore Bonus money only earns bonus money which put my entire bank-roll in a 80:20 ratio where the bookies control 80U in ghost money. By the end of the roll-over deadline, they get to yank out 80U of my balance at the deadline and left me with about $100 (20U) bank roll to regrind.
  1. They knew I was winning consistently making solid picks.
During my 110 hour marathon over the brutal grind of losing more than 70 hours of work, leisure and recreation; 35 hours of sleep; to a fucking impossible grind of trying to roll over some 60% of $7500 on sports I have little knowledge of capping (i.e. E-sports, Table Tennis, European football) after a few days of studying the game, I was picking up my stride to grind it to 91%. They fucking knew that if I had another day to grind, they would be coughing up +$600-800 of withdrawable balance to my account.
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Bio:😎📚🎓👨‍🎓
I am a Fucking PHD Candidate (2-6 months from graduating and not having to pay another round of BS tuition) who does a shitload of mathematics, statistics, simulations, mathematical physics, wrote scientific papers. I've won T.A. Awards, Government/Provincial/Institutional level scholarships, Conference presentations, with even Undergrad honors back in the day. DM me if you need a fucking CV to prove my fucking credentials.
Why am I able to write a lot of shit? Because my fucking brain operates on some max level Intel Xeon chip on overclock mode and I cannot do much to shut it down other than going to sleep. They only way is to write articles that I think might benefit the community.
I have a crazy interest in sports and Degen'ing. I love to fucking put action on sports games, be proud about making the correct calls on the outcome of games before it happens, and then boast to my circle of competitive friends about who's the fucking Boss. As tabboo as society think us degens are, I think this absolute BS. There is a pure enjoyment in watching sports and having action on it. It is nice to get paid beer money to cover a round for your buddies, or earn that rent money over a successful night of betting on shit you actually enjoy watching. Fuck I rather make $300 for one evening of enjoying sports rather than working a 9-5 dull job to try to afford rent/mortgage. If I can fucking pay off all my monthly expenses in 3 fucking successful nights of 3 hr sessions of sports matches, that would be ideal. I would take the lather over a 9-5 rat-race grind.
Overall I am "PRO" in the debate for local single sports betting bookies to be established in Canada. Get these fucking scamming off-shore books like bodog/Bovada who contribute only contribute "Bagel" to the Canadian Economy, but instead make it worst by scamming the masses of hard working or desperate people to leak out some sum of billions of dollars of national GDP. Probably the same applies to all American States, that people should not have to cough up their hard earned $$$$ to off-shore scamming bookies. I shall write an article about this later to justify my arguments later.
Ultimately I my goal is to obliterate or negate the influence of all the cons, scamming bookies, and false touts out there who are just interested in stealing people's $$$. To write out full studies on exposing their schemes in an objective lens.
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Calling me out: (Think I cannot track these pussy downvotes? I know you cowards 😂😜😎)
If you think I'm full of BS, then send me a personal DM to have a 1v1 argument the same way that Stephen A debates sports with Max Kellerman. You can downvote me or flame me with empty hate talk all you want on public threads. But don't be a fucky pussy by avoiding a debate with me. Trust me, I'm going to win and be the last one to state a real point that you will have no comeback for [haha]. Lastly, if you are open to discuss or debate with me about some issues, do some resarch/exploration, betting strategies, etc., I would love your collaboration in some projects I got going on.
Ultimately, I should help every honest worker strive towards Degen success or if not, just to purely enjoy putting action on sports games. If you are too full of yourself, then you are on your own, I bid thee adieu, and wish you all the best. However you will be absolutely declined to all services and counsel I work to provide to friends for free.
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Social Media📺🎬
Some extra Resource to how I got to this point in my mission.
Here it is for starters:
June 23, 2020: The Impossible Pursuit Reddit/sportsbook/Brag and Bitch (Tuesday)
June 24, 2020: Doubling Bank roll and rewarded Bagel: Reddit/sportsbook/Brag and Bitch (Wednesday)
June 24, 2020: How can you win 5 in a row and lose it all simultaneously? Reddit/sportsbook/What is your most impressive win?
Full Twiiter: https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5
All my media: https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/media
Discord: ????? To be solved.
Challenges: Got a few right in progress now and a couple of drafts I am working on.
The Jinxking Crusade (In progress): https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/status/1275516258822131714?s=20
Turns out many people cannot withdraw anything out of Bovada/bodog due to some website glitches. Will try to recover a bankroll to attempt a withdrawal, however I am likely to have the same issues too. They will make some lame excuse to not give me a cheque. Definitely no point of pursuing anything in bovada/bodog if they refuse to give you withdrawables. The goal is to get their website off outta here. As well as get them out of advertisements. They definitely pulled off some "Get the fucking money and run scheme" and you will likely not see your money again. GG
The Jinxking Challenge (In progress): https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/status/1275661929940467713?s=20
Want to expose a bad tout who over prices the service and has a mediocre record? Tail and fade to call their their BS or mediocre non profiting record out. Also good for finding legitimate winners too. This will be a mission to expose shitty touts on Twitter the way Penn & Teller exposes BS in the market.
submitted by jinxking0p5 to sportsbook [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – BAR FIGHT? NOT WITH DOC BIONICFINGERS! Part two.

Continuing…
“You asshole”, Roy muttered into his beer.
I was having a large time. Es was right. This is just what the Doctor’s wife ordered.
I was now trying to explain to Zac American Football.
“So, let me get this straight. These huge cousins of yours, kitted out in all that heavy protective gear, basically smash into one another, up one side of the field and down the other. They can run, throw the ball, and jump on each other.” He observes.
“That’s the gist of it.“ I reply.
“Sounds like Rugby with more padding. Must be a bunch of pansies; don’t want to get hurt.” Zac laughingly laughs.
I chuckle. I guess after my cricket fiasco, I deserved that.
The drunk Kiwi, now 3.5 sheets to the wind wanders by, hears the tag-end of the conversation again and says:
“Yeah. Fucking American pussies. Stupid game. Not a one would last a second against the All Blacks. All Americans are pussies. ”
I turned slowly, looked at this weaving retard, and said:
“You should feel honored. I’ve never done this for another person. Yet.”
I slowly turn and extend my kevlar-coated middle finger right in front of his face. You could almost hear the micro-stepper motors whine.
“Oh, yeah?” He counters, “Well. Fuck you.”
“Eloquent little miscreant”, I mention to Roy and Zac.
Then he makes a slight misstep.
He reaches out and grabs my left hand.
I swear. It wasn’t intentional, but his grasping of my hand triggered my reflexes. That is amped and amplified by this fine Japanese technology.
My hand opened near-instantly, caught his, and flexed back down.
Hard.
There were a couple of audible cracks.
They weren’t from me.
The hammered Kiwi went down on his knees in an instant. Evidently he was feeling some pain.
“Sorry mate; but you shouldn’t have done that. Automatic reflexes. I’m still getting used to the power curve.” I said.
“ARRGH!” he wailed, “Let me go, you motherfucker!”
Suddenly, a dark shadow arrives. Sandeep enters and looks over the situation.
He sees Zac behind the bar, who gives him the high sign.
“Doctor Rock? This bag of shit giving you a hard time?” Sandeep asks me.
“Well, he was being the most antisocial of creatures, Sandeep”, I calmly replied.
Sandeep grabs the Kiwi by the scruff of the neck and rear belt. He then picks him up like a scrap of dogshit-smeared day-old newspaper as I let go of his slightly mushed hand.
Sandeep carries the Kiwi, physically, to and out of the front door.
Zac smiles at me and says:
“If that’s not worth another round, I don’t know what is!”
Even Roy tried just a little of the vodka. He had to as the bottle was almost empty.
He groaned audibly as Zac returned with a fresh one.
Roy wandered over to an unoccupied booth. He sat down, leaned his head back and started snoring loudly.
A buxom waitress, but not the one from earlier, came over and began to complain.
“How am I supposed to make any tips with this birk snoring away like this?” she haughtily asked.
Zac and I look around the bar. It’s nearly deserted.
I ask her to step over to the bar. I explain that Roy is with me and he’s just a bit tired from driving all day in the hot Dubai sun.
Then, I hand her a random assortment of notes from off the bar.
She accepts them and her demeanor swings 1800.
“Is there a problem?” I ask.
“Oh, no. No sir. He can sleep there all night for all I care.” She smiles.
The other buxom waits-person from before sees the transaction, and emits an audible “Harrumph!” She throws down her towel and makes it rapidly for the kitchen door.
“Hmm”, I say, “What’s eating her?”
Zac just smiles and doesn’t even bother to ask if he should pour us another.
Zac, Sandeep, and I were going through the bar’s taped collection of sporting events, trying vainly to find something we could all agree upon.
It seems that time, as it’s wont, had passed and the bar was closed.
At least, to other patrons. As long as I was happy buying everyone rounds, Zac and Sandeep had nowhere else to be.
We stumbled across some sport fishing show from years and years ago. We all decided that yes, we all liked fishing, and this would serve a fine counterpart to our MST3K-like riffing of the show.
We had a fine time. Zac, Sandeep, and I swapping fishing lies and Roy snoring away like a buzz-saw over in the booth.
But, as the sun crept through the windows, I decided it was time for me to vamoose. I settled up my bar tab with Zac, leaving both him and Sandeep a couple of cigars and healthy tips.
Sandeep rouses Roy and after a bit of cajoling, Roy joins me at the bar.
“Looks like you’ve got a driver for the next two weeks”, Roy sorrowfully laments.
“Nahh…I was just funnin’ ya’.” I said.
“No. A bet’s a bet. I lost. You are something else. What? I don’t know, but I do know you’ve won this bet.” He admits.
“I just hate to lose”, I smiled back.
Roy looks at me a bit unsteadily. He has severe booth hair.
“Roy”, I say, “You look like what we in the business call a ‘Go Devil”. It starts out spiffy but comes out looking like hell. You need coffee. In fact, so do I. Go throw some cold water in your face and I’ll ask Zac to set us up.” I offered.
I didn’t need to tell Roy twice. He toddles off to the euphemism, and I ask Roy for two black coffees.
Roy returns and sips at the hot beverage. He stops short and asks:
“There no booze in here, is there? I can smell booze.” He notes.
“It’s a bar, Roy”, Zac laughs.
“Yeah, Roy”, I reply, “Only booze fumes are from my coffee.”
“Over the evening, I told Zac how to prepare a Greenland Coffee. One with whiskey, Kahlua and Grand Marnier; hold the schlag.”
“You are drinking one now?” Roy asks, incredulous, “After all that last night?”
“After all what?” I reply, “Yep. Best eye-opener in the world.”
“You’re fucking inhuman,” Roy says, deep into his mug of Joe.
“Never claimed I was anything but.”, I smiled and waved my cybernetic fingers in his direction.
“What did I do to deserve this?”, Roy muttered.
Well, we finally, around 0600 depart the Quantum Sports Bar.
I was a bit peckish as the pub grub available was just a bit too amuse-bouche cutesy for me. I want Luigi’s gut bomb pizza; with extra cheese, Italian sausage, and anchovies.
Alas, none were to be found in Dubai at this hour.
Roy deposits me back at the hotel and I pay him his due, with a smart tip. He makes certain I have his business card and that if I ever need a Dubli driver, to call him first.
Up in the room, Es is sawing lumber. I decide not to wake her and grab a quick drink or five out of the mini-bar. I run a luxuriantly foamy hot tub in which I can relax my cares away once I disconnect my digits and set them in the charger.
Esme and I were later at lunch after I tubbed for a while then decided to grab a few hours’ sleep.
Es was up and puttering around the room when the doorbell rang.
I went to grab something other than sleeping clothes as Es answered the door.
“Rock! It’s for you” Esme called.
“Probably the fuzz. The Kiwi narked on us and now I’m in Dutch.” I thought.
It wasn’t. It was a local Emirati, one Mr. Abdul Jabbaar el-Abdalla, from the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
“Yes?”, I said to the dishdasha-clad individual at the door.
“You are Dr. Rocknocker, late of the Sultanate?” he asks.
“Yes,” I replied. I’m not letting anything on past name, rank, and serial number until I get the lowdown on this character.
“Ah. Wonderful”, he smiles back, “Might we have a chat?”
“Regarding?” I ask warily.
“The upcoming Late Summer or Early Fall Dubai Shopping Festival.” he smiles like a cheetah back at me.
“Weird”, was the only thing I could think.
“Most certainly. Won’t you come in?” I ask.
“Thank you”, he says and sweeps into the hotel room.
We take seats near my work desk. I introduce Esme as my wife and they exchange pleasantries.
“Could I get you something? Coffee? Tea?” Esme enquires.
“I could go for a cold one, dear,” I say. Arab or not, this little piece of Dubai real estate is dogma-free.
Mr. Abdul surprises me and asks for a cold beer as well.
“I may look Emirati, but I’m really, by family, Omani.” He smiles broadly and goldly.
“Well”, I reply, “That explains it. Yes, dear. A couple of Balticas, please.” I say. “Care for a light or dark beer, Mr. Abdalla?”
“Oh, light please.” He remarks.
“A number 3 and one 9, please,” I say to Esme.
Over his light and my very dark Russian beer, he lays out the program.
“Yes, at the conclusion of the festival, we want to mark the passing of the occasion after the virus pandemic with a special finale.” He noted.
“Such as? And why me?” I ask.
He smiles and actually chuckles a bit.
“We plan on Tchaikovsky’s 1828 Overture as a finale.” He lights up.
“OK. A good piece of solid show music”, I reply, “And this applies to me how?”
“Well, you obviously know of the score”, he says, “And we want to set a record with our rendition of a finale.”
“Really?” I ask, “Let me guess, you asked around and the pyro crowd gave you my name?”
“Precisely.” he laughs. “Every time. We tracked you down from flight records. Imagine our astonishment to find you right here in town. “
“Yep. Yippee. So, if the normal pyrotechnicians can’t supply what you want and you come to me, you must want some really big booms.” I note.
“Exactly. Such a quick study, Doctor”, he notes.
“How big?” I ask and have a swig of beer.
“Record-setting”, he replies.
“OK. What are the previous world’s record for such an endeavor?” I ask.
“The performance by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Eastern Army Band, 1st Band, and 1st Artillery Unit in 2010 used M101 105mm howitzers. The final part of the performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in London 2012 was with live gunfire of HMS Belfast. The Boston Pops in 2015 used a record of 1.5 tons of fireworks. We want to surpass that.” he replied.
“OK. Now I’ve got a basis for comparison. Leave me to it. We’re not leaving any time soon, it appears. Let me cogitate the matter for a while and I’ll get back to you with a plan and procedure. OK? What’s the budget?” I ask.
“Unlimited. But within reason”, he chuckles. “Use your best judgment.”
“I can do that.” I reply, “I’m sort of bored right now so I’ll get right after its wild ass.”
A bit taken aback, he continues:
“Fine. Fine. Most agreeable. As is this beer. Thank you. My card, Doctor. Please call when you have a plan.” he states, rises, shakes my hand, says goodbye to Esme without shaking her hand, and departs.
“You heard?” I asked Es.
“Oh, yes. Damn. Talk about giving Dracula the key to the blood bank.” She smiles.
“Gonna need your help on this one”, I say.
“Oh, yes, oh deaf one. Call me when you need me.” she smiles.
“I always need you”, I reply very truthfully.
After a bit of research, we find that Tchaikovsky’s 1828 overture finale consists of 12 cannon fires. 1-11 are pretty much the same, but #12, El Ultimo, it is the loudest and most sustained.
“We’re setting records,” I say to Esme, “This will not do…”
Two days later, I have a plan and procedure. I call one Mr. Abdul Jabbaar el-Abdalla, from the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development for a second visit.
“Good day, Mr. Abdulla. I trust you’re well amid all this craziness?” I ask.
“Oh, yes. Thank you. You and yours as well?” he asks tangentially.
“We have fully functioning immune systems”, I reply, “We’re good.”
“Excellent! Shall we see what you’ve worked up?” he asks, anxiously.
“Absolutely. But first, a libation?” I ask.
“I wouldn’t say no if it were wet and cold.” He smiles.
Esme returns with our beers and I pull out the pages of procedure and the list of materials with projected costs for Mr. Minister of the Culture and Know-how.
He looks at it and emits a low whistle.
“Well, Doctor, one cannot say you don’t do your homework.” He smiles in appreciation.
“I always try to be succinct, sufficient, and satisfactory. Plus, I always add an additional 25% contingency.” I reply.
“Can you walk me through this?” he asks.
“Most assuredly”, I remark. And I do.
“Based on results from a nine element vertical line array (VLA) with hydrophones spaced 0.7 m apart and an autonomous recording system recording on a multi-channel coherent data acquisition system (Astro-Med, Inc.) for which each channel was recorded at 62,500 samples per second; the initial shock wave can be approximated as decaying exponential with a decay constant h given by Chapman as Ø = 8:12 x 10–5 W13 (W1/3)0:14.
Remembering that attributes of a sound at a particular point are usually obtained by measuring pressure changes as sound waves pass; this Δ detonation pressure equivalent for 1 kilo of C-4, which is composed of 91% RDX ("Research Department Explosive", an explosive nitroamine), bound by a mixture of 5.3% dioctyl sebacate (DOS) or dioctyl adipate (DOA) as the plasticizer (to increase the plasticity of the explosive), thickened with 2.1% polyisobutylene (PIB, a synthetic rubber) as the binder, with a density of 1.58 grams per cubic centimeter, and an explosive velocity of 8,092 m/s (26,550 ft/s) is 257 kilobars.
This is the equivalent of ‘noise dosemeters’, record the Pa2·h (pascal-squared hour) decibel level of an instantaneous 140.”
“Um, yes Doctor. “ Mr. Abdalla says, “A little less theory, and a bit more practical if you please.”
“Oh, yes, certainly”, I say, and proceed right along, “Using the equation ‘Distance = 215(NEQ)1/3, and since 140 decibels is considered as a "safety cutoff" for exposure to impulsive noises without using hearing protection, as per a festival; it’s not a question of how loud do you want the bang, just how far will you have to keep people away to ensure their safety.”
“How is that?” he asks.
“Well, with 10 kilos, you need to be back 463.20m to be safe. 100 kilos? 997.94m or near as hell one kilometer. 1,000 kilos? Just over two kilometers or 2150.00m to be precise. Just for laughs, 10,000 kilos? Nearer to five kilometers, or 4632.03m.”
“I see”, he says and rubs his neatly trimmed beard.
“So, I propose building or acquiring three sea-going barges, 75m x 15 meters, and have them anchored offshore from a kilometer to two distant. That’s easily done as the water here off Dubai is quite shallow.”
“Continue, please.” He says.
“There are 12 cannon shots in the 1812 Overture finale. An initial set of three, a set of four, another set of 4, and the grand finale. I suggest that you build 12 flat-topped wooden platforms where the height of the platform relates directly to the C-4 charge size. If the charge is 100 kilos, then a minimum of 6 meters in height; scaled proportionally. The flat top of wood eliminates missiles if the platform disintegrates, as the blast energy will radiate outward hemispherically and basically just scorch the hell out of the wood platform.”
“Understood. Please continue.”, he asks.
“OK. This way you can scale up the charge, move back the barge, and build your towers just so large.”
He snickers at that and asks me to carry on.
“I suggest three initial charges of 100 kilos. Then four of 250 kilos. Then four more of 500 kilos. For the Grand Finale, I suggest 1,500 to 2,000 kilos. Do that, and the record will be assured.”
“Excellent!” he exclaims, “Anything else?”
“Oh, yes”, I smile, “C-4 is pliable and easily molded. I suggest you form the charges with a flat base, but into an auricular shape. That is, chop off your ear and set it on the table. Mold the C-4 in that approximate shape, aiming the low-side toward the audience. That will maximize the volume, but dissipate the shock wave the fastest.”
“Outstanding!” he clasps his hands.
“But, wait. There’s more!” I say, “The flash from C-4 isn’t that especially bright. You want sight as well as sound. So, mix 15-25% Tannerite, a binary explosive, with the C-4. Also, you can place potassium nitrate/magnesium or potassium nitrate, aluminum, and sulfur flash powder packets into the cavity of the auricular shape. The pyrotechnicians handling the show can rig this no problem. You can mold the C-4 and Tannerite up to 3 days in advance if you cover it with biophane, a breathable bioplastic, and keep them cool and in the dark.”
“Oh, this is wonderful, Doctor. But you’ll not be here?” he asks.
“No, I’m afraid not.” I reply, “Once the quarantine is lifted, my dear wife and I are gone to the Sultanate. We’re packing as quickly as we can and headed back to the states. I need to get to university where I’m pursuing my DSc degree. We also want to get out of the Middle East. 22 years is quite enough, thank you. Of course, no offense intended. We just want to get home to family.”
“I see. That I can understand.” He notes, “Thank you for your time and design. I do appreciate the list of materials, that will make things most convenient. How much do we owe you and the Mrs. for your time and efforts, Doctor?”
“Mr. Minister, nothing”, I say. “We’re stuck here and just working on the preliminaries for my dissertation. It was a welcome respite from Helium exploration and Rb/Os ages of Neoproterozoic biomarkers. Consider it the Rocknocker family gift to the cause.”
“My, my Doctor and Mrs.”, the Minister of the Small and the Silly remarks, “That’s very generous of you. Your names will be mentioned prominently in the proceedings of benefactors to the festival.”
“Mr. Minister”, I said, “We’d rather you didn’t. We neither desire nor require the notoriety, and in this case, we would rather just remain safely anonymous.”
“If that is your wish, then your requests will be respected.” The Minister says as he rises to leave. “How much longer will you be staying with us?”
“Ask your brethren to the south. It’s all up to them” I wearily replied.
“I’ll see what I can do. Once again. Doctor? Mrs. Thank you. Thank you so very much. Good day.” He shakes my hand, ignores Es’ and takes his leave.
“Well,” I relate to my beloved, “That was fun. I’m going swimming. Can you charge up my fingers for me, dear?”
She smiles and says of course. Besides, it’s siesta time for her. I want to get out to the pool before it’s the Skin Bubbling Hour.
A day passes. We’re still bored and waiting for liberation.
The next morning, the doorbell rings.
I’m working on the New York Times crossword and another Greenland Coffee.
“Bloody hell.”, I remark, looking at my watch. “It’s Oh-Dark 30 early. Now, what the fuck?”
After closing my robe, I open the door. I don’t trust those little fisheye peepholes since I saw Hard Target and Leon the Professional. I’d rather see it coming.
“Yeah?” I say to the huge bush of fresh-cut flowers.
“You’re Dr. Rocknocker and Mrs?” a voice asks.
“Yes to the first and no to the second. But she’s here.” I say warily to the talking greenery.
“Gift for you from the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. Sign here please”, the foliage requests.
I grab the clipboard and scribble something similar to what passes for my signature.
I hand the clipboard back to the mound of sentient vegetation whereupon it asks where I would like it to be set in the suite.
“Anywhere you can find that’s there’s room,” I reply.
Holy shit, it’s not a floral arrangement, it’s a floral shop.
He sets it in the middle of the dining room table. The damn thing extends from one side, parallel to its longest dimension, to the other. The damn thing must weigh in at 50 kilos. Or more.
“Wait here, please”, the now visible delivery person asks.
“Like I’m going somewhere?” I mused.
He returns with three huge boxes of custom, hand-dipped chocolates. Somehow, he finds room for these on the table as well.
I tip him 25 dirhams and he says “Thanks” and bids a hasty departure.
Es hears all the hubbub and wanders down from the bedroom.
“What the hell was all that …What the hell is this?” she asks.
“Let me look at the note,” I say, find it and rip it open.
“A small gesture of our everlasting thanks. Signed, Minister Abdul Jabbaar el-Abdalla, and all of us at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.”
“Well, so much for that diet we discussed.” I snickered to Esme as I opened the first box and saw the easily 20 to 25 rows of lovely looking hand-dipped dark chocolates.
“I do so wish I liked chocolate.” I mused aloud.
Esme adores chocolate.
The doorbell rings again. Es hustles upstairs in her nightgown, and I wander over and answer the door.
“What?”
“Dr. Rocknocker?” this new delivery guy asks.
“Yes?”
“Sign here.” He says.
I do. He takes and hands me a yellow flimsy from the triplicate delivery order. He turns and begins to walk down the hall.
“Hey, Chuckles. What did I just sign for?” I ask.
“Look down”, he says over his shoulder, never breaking stride.
“Oh”, I said.
Hey, it’s early. Leave me alone.
There’s a suspicious-looking parcel, approximately 12-7/8” x 9-11/16” x 12-1/2” and weighing in at around 34 pounds or so.
I drag it in and find space for it in the kitchen.
Look. There’s a card. Addressed to me.
I open it.
“Doctor. Best regards and wishes. Abdul Jabbaar el-Abdalla.”
Nice.
I open the case to find a dozen bottle sampler of Chopin Vodka. Four wheat, four rye, and four potato vodka.
Es wanders back down and is almost consumed by the overwhelming pong of the tropical flower shrubbery that has taken up residence in our dining room.
“OK. You can have a few chocolates. As long as I can have some of my present.” I say.
“Deal” Es replies."Gimmee."
Remind me to say something nice about Dubai sometime in the future. But only once; let’s not get carried away.
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Sports Betting Tips - If Bets and Reverse Teasers

"IF" Bets and Reverses
I mentioned last week, that if your book offers "if/reverses," you can play those instead of parlays. Some of you may not know how to bet an "if/reverse." A full explanation and comparison of "if" bets, "if/reverses," and parlays follows, along with the situations in which each is best..
An "if" bet is exactly what it sounds like. You bet Team A and IF it wins then you place an equal amount on Team B. A parlay with two games going off at different times is a type of "if" bet in which you bet on the first team, and if it wins you bet double on the second team. With a true "if" bet, instead of betting double on the second team, you bet an equal amount on the second team.
You can avoid two calls to the bookmaker and lock in the current line on a later game by telling your bookmaker you want to make an "if" bet. "If" bets can also be made on two games kicking off at the same time. The bookmaker will wait until the first game is over. If the first game wins, he will put an equal amount on the second game even though it has already been played.
Although an "if" bet is actually two straight bets at normal vig, you cannot decide later that you no longer want the second bet. Once you make an "if" bet, the second bet cannot be cancelled, even if the second game has not gone off yet. If the first game wins, you will have action on the second game. For that reason, there is less control over an "if" bet than over two straight bets. When the two games you bet overlap in time, however, the only way to bet one only if another wins is by placing an "if" bet. Of course, when two games overlap in time, cancellation of the second game bet is not an issue. It should be noted, that when the two games start at different times, most books will not allow you to fill in the second game later. You must designate both teams when you make the bet.
You can make an "if" bet by saying to the bookmaker, "I want to make an 'if' bet," and then, "Give me Team A IF Team B for $100." Giving your bookmaker that instruction would be the same as betting $110 to win $100 on Team A, and then, only if Team A wins, betting another $110 to win $100 on Team B.
If the first team in the "if" bet loses, there is no bet on the second team. No matter whether the second team wins of loses, your total loss on the "if" bet would be $110 when you lose on the first team. If the first team wins, however, you would have a bet of $110 to win $100 going on the second team. In that case, if the second team loses, your total loss would be just the $10 of vig on the split of the two teams. If both games win, you would win $100 on Team A and $100 on Team B, for a total win of $200. Thus, the maximum loss on an "if" would be $110, and the maximum win would be $200. This is balanced by the disadvantage of losing the full $110, instead of just $10 of vig, every time the teams split with the first team in the bet losing.
As you can see, it matters a great deal which game you put first in an "if" bet. If you put the loser first in a split, then you lose your full bet. If you split but the loser is the second team in the bet, then you only lose the vig.
Bettors soon discovered that the way to avoid the uncertainty caused by the order of wins and loses is to make two "if" bets putting each team first. Instead of betting $110 on " Team A if Team B," you would bet just $55 on " Team A if Team B." and then make a second "if" bet reversing the order of the teams for another $55. The second bet would put Team B first and Team A second. This type of double bet, reversing the order of the same two teams, is called an "if/reverse" or sometimes just a "reverse."
A "reverse" is two separate "if" bets:
Team A if Team B for $55 to win $50; and
Team B if Team A for $55 to win $50.
You don't need to state both bets. You merely tell the clerk you want to bet a "reverse," the two teams, and the amount.
If both teams win, the result would be the same as if you played a single "if" bet for $100. You win $50 on Team A in the first "if bet, and then $50 on Team B, for a total win of $100. In the second "if" bet, you win $50 on Team B, and then $50 on Team A, for a total win of $100. The two "if" bets together result in a total win of $200 when both teams win.
If both teams lose, the result would also be the same as if you played a single "if" bet for $100. Team A's loss would cost you $55 in the first "if" combination, and nothing would go onto Team B. In the second combination, Team B's loss would cost you $55 and nothing would go onto to Team A. You would lose $55 on each of the bets for a total maximum loss of $110 whenever both teams lose.
The difference occurs when the teams split. Instead of losing $110 when the first team loses and the second wins, and $10 when the first team wins but the second loses, in the reverse you will lose $60 on a split no matter which team wins and which loses. It works out this way. If Team A loses you will lose $55 on the first combination, and have nothing going on the winning Team B. In the second combination, you will win $50 on Team B, and have action on Team A for a $55 loss, resulting in a net loss on the second combination of $5 vig. The loss of $55 on the first "if" bet and $5 on the second "if" bet gives you a combined loss of $60 on the "reverse." When Team B loses, you will lose the $5 vig on the first combination and the $55 on the second combination for the same $60 on the split..
We have accomplished this smaller loss of $60 instead of $110 when the first team loses with no decrease in the win when both teams win. In both the single $110 "if" bet and the two reversed "if" bets for $55, the win is $200 when both teams cover the spread. The bookmakers would never put themselves at that sort of disadvantage, however. The gain of $50 whenever Team A loses is fully offset by the extra $50 loss ($60 instead of $10) whenever Team B is the loser. Thus, the "reverse" doesn't actually save us any money, but it does have the advantage of making the risk more predictable, and avoiding the worry as to which team to put first in the "if" bet.
(What follows is an advanced discussion of betting technique. If charts and explanations give you a headache, skip them and simply write down the rules. I'll summarize the rules in an easy to copy list in my next article.)
As with parlays, the general rule regarding "if" bets is:
DON'T, if you can win more than 52.5% or more of your games. If you cannot consistently achieve a winning percentage, however, making "if" bets whenever you bet two teams will save you money.
For the winning bettor, the "if" bet adds an element of luck to your betting equation that doesn't belong there. If two games are worth betting, then they should both be bet. Betting on one should not be made dependent on whether or not you win another. On the other hand, for the bettor who has a negative expectation, the "if" bet will prevent him from betting on the second team whenever the first team loses. By preventing some bets, the "if" bet saves the negative expectation bettor some vig.
The $10 savings for the "if" bettor results from the fact that he is not betting the second game when both lose. Compared to the straight bettor, the "if" bettor has an additional cost of $100 when Team A loses and Team B wins, but he saves $110 when Team A and Team B both lose.
In summary, anything that keeps the loser from betting more games is good. "If" bets reduce the number of games that the loser bets.
The rule for the winning bettor is exactly opposite. Anything that keeps the winning bettor from betting more games is bad, and therefore "if" bets will cost the winning handicapper money. When the winning bettor plays fewer games, he has fewer winners. Remember that the next time someone tells you that the way to win is to bet fewer games. A smart winner never wants to bet fewer games. Since "if/reverses" work out exactly the same as "if" bets, they both place the winner at an equal disadvantage.
Exceptions to the Rule - When a Winner Should Bet Parlays and "IF's" As with all rules, there are exceptions. "If" bets and parlays should be made by a winner with a positive expectation in only two circumstances::
When there is no other choice and he must bet either an "if/reverse," a parlay, or a teaser; or When betting co-dependent propositions. The only time I can think of that you have no other choice is if you are the best man at your friend's wedding, you are waiting to walk down the aisle, your laptop looked ridiculous in the pocket of your tux so you left it in the car, you only bet offshore in a deposit account with no credit line, the book has a $50 minimum phone bet, you like two games which overlap in time, you pull out your trusty cell 5 minutes before kickoff and 45 seconds before you must walk to the alter with some beastly bride's maid in a frilly purple dress on your arm, you try to make two $55 bets and suddenly realize you only have $75 in your account.
As the old philosopher used to say, "Is that what's troubling you, bucky?" If so, hold your head up high, put a smile on your face, look for the silver lining, and make a $50 "if" bet on your two teams. Of course you could bet a parlay, but as you will see below, the "if/reverse" is a good substitute for the parlay if you are winner.
For the winner, the best method is straight betting. In the case of co-dependent bets, however, as already discussed, there is a huge advantage to betting combinations. With a parlay, the bettor is getting the benefit of increased parlay odds of 13-5 on combined bets that have greater than the normal expectation of winning. Since, by definition, co-dependent bets must always be contained within the same game, they must be made as "if" bets. With a co-dependent bet our advantage comes from the fact that we make the second bet only IF one of the propositions wins.
It would do us no good to straight bet $110 each on the favorite and the underdog and $110 each on the over and the under. We would simply lose the vig no matter how often the favorite and over or the underdog and under combinations won. As we've seen, if we play two out of 4 possible results in two parlays of the favorite and over and the underdog and under, we can net a $160 win when one of our combinations comes in. When to choose the parlay or the "reverse" when making co-dependent combinations is discussed below.
Choosing Between "IF" Bets and Parlays Based on a $110 parlay, which we'll use for the purpose of consistent comparisons, our net parlay win when one of our combinations hits is $176 (the $286 win on the winning parlay minus the $110 loss on the losing parlay). In a $110 "reverse" bet our net win would be $180 every time one of our combinations hits (the $400 win on the winning if/reverse minus the $220 loss on the losing if/reverse).
When a split occurs and the under comes in with the favorite, or over comes in with the underdog, the parlay will lose $110 while the reverse loses $120. Thus, the "reverse" has a $4 advantage on the winning side, and the parlay has a $10 advantage on the losing end. Obviously, again, in a 50-50 situation the parlay would be better.
With co-dependent side and total bets, however, we are not in a 50-50 situation. If the favorite covers the high spread, it is much more likely that the game will go over the comparatively low total, and if the favorite fails to cover the high spread, it is more likely that the game will under the total. As we have already seen, when you have a positive expectation the "if/reverse" is a superior bet to the parlay. The actual probability of a win on our co-dependent side and total bets depends on how close the lines on the side and total are to one another, but the fact that they are co-dependent gives us a positive expectation.
The point at which the "if/reverse" becomes a better bet than the parlay when making our two co-dependent is a 72% win-rate. This is not as outrageous a win-rate as it sounds. When making two combinations, you have two chances to win. You only need to win one out of the two. Each of the combinations has an independent positive expectation. If we assume the chance of either the favorite or the underdog winning is 100% (obviously one or the other must win) then all we need is a 72% probability that when, for example, Boston College -38 ½ scores enough to win by 39 points that the game will go over the total 53 ½ at least 72% of the time as a co-dependent bet. If Ball State scores even one TD, then we are only ½ point away from a win. That a BC cover will result in an over 72% of the time is not an unreasonable assumption under the circumstances.
As compared to a parlay at a 72% win-rate, our two "if/reverse" bets will win an extra $4 seventy-two times, for a total increased win of $4 x 72 = $288. Betting "if/reverses" will cause us to lose an extra $10 the 28 times that the results split for a total increased loss of $280. Obviously, at a win rate of 72% the difference is slight.
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President's Speech - 17th Parliament

Members of the House of Representatives and Senators of the 17th Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, ladies, gentlemen, and those otherwise identified,
Recognition of the land our parliament stands upon, Ngunnawal land, shapes reflection upon the 40,000 history upon this continent, and the history and culture that so reflects and boldens who we are as a nation today. I wish to personally respect the Ngunnawal elders, both past, present, and emerging, and welcome all who have come across this land to be here at this time, as well as recognise those who have not been able to be with us at this time.
As we enter the 17th parliament, we shall take a moment to respect the duties and responsibilities that are handed to us as we are elected and sworn in as members of parliament or as Senators. To serve both chambers is a privilege, as is serving the people of Australia, and it is most important to have the best interests at heart in this chamber of serving the people of this country, and serving the nation of Australia with dignity and honour.
This incoming government will remain dedicated to fighting for the education of each and every Australian, and that starts with ensuring that our nation’s education remains affordable for everyone. By keeping tertiary education free, we can ensure that no Australian is disadvantaged by their financial situation in terms of their pursuit of education up to the highest levels.
My Government will also wish to reduce government funding to private schools by 30%, and put that money back into the public system, to also follow this goal of education no matter your personal finances. Beyond affordability, this incoming government will also help ensure education becomes more manageable for students, and teaches them more core skills in life. With our plans to reduce the yearly assessments by 25%, as well as reforming the Humanities curriculum from years 7-10 and making the overall curriculum assist students in gaining all-round development, we hope to ensure that students gain a better quality of education, while reducing the stress levels that come with constant assessments.
Finally, with my Government’s coming introduction of a targeted grad scheme for rural schools, we hope to ensure the students across this nation can receive the highest quality education from the highest quality teachers, regardless of their location. For this government, education is of the utmost importance, and you can expect to see that idea translate into legislation and government policy. Culture specific support for First Nations people to learn within the education system which takes into account their language and culture in curricula will be implemented, supporting aboriginal families and children to learn. My Government will also work to increase Australian history teaching opportunities in the field of Asian and Pacific migration, along with inclusion of aboriginal perspectives on colonial history within the education curriculum that discusses important and yet overlooked topics such as the Australian genocides as mandatory learning within the history subject at more mature levels.
This incoming government will strive to deliver the best possible outcomes for all Australians at home and abroad. This government will also work towards providing an accessible and modern path for Asylum Seekers and those seeking to move to Australia temporarily or permanently. This will involve the raising of the Refugee Quota, a streamlined process of Asylum Seeking and support to be provided to those with Work Visas who have been stranded in Australia and currently lack access to appropriate social services.
This government will also work towards establishing first a travel bubble between states which have currently contained the Coronavirus and New Zealand. This travel bubble may be extended to pacific nations as well and will serve to reinvigorate the tourism industry domestically and in our pacific allies. In the longer term, after the coronavirus crisis has been settled, this government intends to pursue an free movement union with New Zealand, and our Pacific neighbours such as Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and other Pacific States.
The government will also work towards a transparent security system for Australians. To do this, legislation will be implemented that will subject ASIO to Parliamentary Committees, ensuring that it is well regulated and achieving the best results for Australia and her security. Legislation will also be created that will restrict ASIO from spying or wiretapping Australian residents’ private devices without probable cause and legal warrant.
In line with the recent cyber attacks against Australian Government, Business and Individuals, a Cyber Defence Task Force will be created so as to defend Australian interests from malicious web based attacks. To this government, reform of immigration, increased integration with our pacific allies, increased accountability of security services to the public and a strong commitment to the continued prosperity of the Australian people is paramount. This government through legislation and government policy will implement these measures to the benefit of all Australians.
The coming government is committed to delivering the best outcomes on health and sport. Currently the incoming government is faced with a pandemic crisis that is causing a significant public health emergency. As a result, the #1 priority for the incoming government is the constraining and defeat of the pandemic. This involves coordination between state, territory and federal government and a commitment by the people of Australia to work their hardest to control the spread of the virus. This government will implement measures as appropriate to control the spread of the virus, including Lockdowns if necessary, to prevent the emergence of a second wave and to ensure the safety of Australians from this pandemic.
Outside of Coronavirus, this government is looking to upgrade hospitals across the nation in a Hospital Modernisation Scheme worth $500 million that will provide world class equipment to hospitals across all of Australia. The General Practitioner Accessibility Agency Bill that was passed last term will be further implemented and refined, improving access for regional Australians to a GP quickly and cost-effectively.
This government will also look to create and improve Telehealth for increased GP access, convenience and safety for the general populace, and for our medical professionals. This government will also look to increase funding for sports in regional Australia, such as Equestrian to drive tourism and reinvigorate these communities. The Formula E, electric car racing tournament will be sponsored to promote Electric Vehicles and to revitalise the economy through tourism and celebration.
Sports Integrity Australia will be created out of an amalgamation and strengthening of the existing multitude of Sport Integrity and Anti-Doping Agencies. This will ensure Australia is up to world standards in Sport Law and will furthermore provide an avenue for assistance for our Australian Athletes and Sports Workers to provide the best possible games to the Australian people. This government is clearly committed through investment and legislation to the combatting of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the promotion of regional Healthcare, to upgrading Australian Hospitals, providing Telehealth services to Australians and to the promotion of and the integrity of Sport across Australia.
This Government believes in the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, and as such it will immediately place a complete moratorium on unjust medical intervention in intersex people unless the intersex individual is of the age to give informed and independent consent to such operations (16 years old), or if such an intervention is deemed absolutely medically necessary for the physical health of the child by a doctor. Particular training on LGBTQIA+ issues will be given to all health professionals, and all government employees within prisons, police, courts, and the military for that after.
My Government will put together a specific Transgender Health division of the healthcare systme that will increase trans healthcare access for those who need it, and will streamline hte process of getting trans youth the psychiatric and medical support they need, along with increasing coverage of trans healthcare across Australia and increases to the funding of funding options for gender-affirming surgeries that are currently underfunded. In general, specific health programs will be set up to address the health needs of LGBTQIA+ people, with input from gender and sexuality diverse people and their communities.
As the COVID crisis develops, gaps in our mental health system have become exposed. A time of crisis is a time of mental strain, and this government will be committed to meeting the growing need for mental healthcare. This government will be providing teletherapy services so that those who cannot leave their homes are still able to get the treatment they need. In addition, it will work to reduce the cost of mental health care to ensure that it is easily accessible and end the days of mental health treatments being a luxury good.
In respect to the Treasury, it is a top priority for this government to correct the previous budget statement and it’s inaccuracies, and also institute a new budget for the financial year of 2021-2022, which gives infrastructure projects, suitable programs and reasonable response to the people of Australia in regards to the COVID-19 crisis. This government shall also aim to implement unitary taxation within Australia and to avoid double taxation, cooperate with governments in other countries to implement this policy and a financial transactions tax, so that multinational corporations will pay their share for the amount of profit they create in each country.
My government shall implement corporate tax brackets as well, in order to allow the government to separate small businesses from large businesses, and allow them to keep more of their profit proportionally. My government shall implement budget repair levies in order to repair the deficit that was caused by the COVID-19 crisis, to minimise the deficit and to be able to fund programs which are beneficial for the Australian people. On top of this they will look into putting together an Assets and Wealth tax that will ensure people with a net asset wealth over $1 million will pay a tax of 1% on that wealth, and people with a net asset wealth of $2 million will pay a tax of 2% on that wealth. This tax will feature exemptions for people who are asset poor and income wealthy, and people with major drags on their assets like mortgages and will be used to fund new benefit changes in the COVID-19 response. To encourage more top-down redistributive taxation, and bottom-up growth that can support our many spending initiatives, we will add two new tax brackets at $100k-149.999k earnings, and $150k up.
As economic effects of the COVID continues, my government shall look at the implementation of a Coronavirus Economic Support and Recovery Fund, which is to help provide economic support to industries hit by this pandemic. This Fund will look at providing support and economic relief to the arts and entertainment sector, the manufacturing sector and the renewable energy and electricity generation sector.
The entire economy has been hit hard by this crisis, but it is imperative that industries which have been unable to function, such as the Arts, are recognised and provided the help they need, and that Australian Manufacturing is finally given the opportunity it needs to become a dominant factor of our economic recovery. My government will therefore also put support into Australian Made, to get more money flowing into Australia’s locally made products and locally owned businesses, to support the economy from the grassroots and up during recovery.
As said, my Government will be spending a lot of money on supporting Australia’s residents through COVID-19 recovery, and for that it will undertake an unprecedented effort to close tax loopholes through a Parliamentary commission into loopholes, inefficiency, and evasion; and will work to monetise previously untaxed areas. For example, my government will look into introducing a tax on dynastic and inherited wealth at over $3,000,000 in net assets.
This tax will feature exemptions for people who are asset poor and income wealthy, and people with major drags on their assets like mortgages. Alongside this it will explore a progressive corporation tax that implements separate tax brackets to let small businesses keep more of what they earn whilst larger corporations contribute to Australia’s need for spending.
My Government overall will seek to focus the economy. COVID-19 has given Australia the perfect opportunity to start judging societal progress differently, not just based on GDP which is described by its own creator as inaccurate to judging success. My Government will rather use wellbeing factors such as wages, employment, and other socioeconomic factors that will place wellbeing as the main factor of economic growth, not just GDP.
My Government will work in the area of constitution and governance to correct major holes in our country’s systems and create a fairer Australia. This will start with a Presidential Commission into democratic reform, with the intention to implement a proportional representation electoral system that will consider the low representation of party’s general election votes in comparison to their seats won in the House of Representatives. In the spirit of democratic reform, my Government will also legislate the right of Australian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 16 to vote, and the right of incarcerated people to vote - as everybody deserves participation in our democracy. On top of this, it will legislate the right of public servants in their capacity as private citizens to engage in political advocacy and activism, participate in trade unions, and to represent or be elected to activist organisations - given the unique and often underrepresented view that our civil servants can often have.
To ensure fair elections, my Government will implement a complete ban on political donations from for-profit corporations, ensuring nobody who gets in bet with large corporations gets unfair advantages in campaigning. Alongside this, caps on individual public donations and donations from not-for-profits will be introduced. My Government will also look to introduce optional preferential voting for the senate, and to reduce the deposit required for a candidate to stand for election to Parliament, in the interest of removing financial barriers to democratic participation. Public funding of political parties and candidates for campaigns will be set at a level that increases democratic participation by voters, and reduces the influence that corporations have over the prominence of political parties further. My Government will legislate that all local councils use a form of ranked choice voting, if they do not already, to increase democratic representation in all levels of Government.
In a number of constitutional amendments, my Government will place sections in the constitution to recognise Australia as a constitutionally multicultural society, recognising the importance not only of aboriginal culture but of all non-white cultures in Australia. It will also replace the sections 44 and 45 of the constitution with more modernised and fair statute around corruption, treason, and serious criminal cases; rather than the outdated clause that was originally there. Political enfranchisement will be granted to offshore Australian territories such as Norfolk and the Christmas Islands, ensuring once again that all Australians are guaranteed participation in our democratic processes.
My Government will establish an Australian Bill of Rights that includes provisions in line with the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that embodies international human, civil, and political rights, and includes factors such as race, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, gender Identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, etc, as classifications protected from discrimination.
After the previously government endeavoured to isolate Australia from the world, and stop Australia’s potential throughout the international community, my government will endeavour to take a new path to those prior. Instead of destroying alliances, or fear mongering trade partners, my government will work with the international community to promote trade, human rights, and unity through these troubling times that the world faces.
Within the new spirit of internationalism, my government will move to build upon the principles established under the First Youmaton Government and pursue an active foreign policy regarding the recognition of emerging nations and protection of human rights. My government recognises the incredible dangers nations such as Kosovo, Israel, Palestine and Sahrawi all face in their ongoing struggles to maintain recognition as other nations seek to gain from their dissolution, and within such my government will move to protect these nations alongside others through the creation of the protected recognition status. Nations with the protected recognition status will become recognised by Australia under law, removing the uncertainty that comes with a change in government revoking certain recognitions recognised by the prior.
The themes of peace and unity shall be recurrent within my government’s foreign agenda, promoting international cooperation and ensuring treaties signed by Australia are properly followed. My government is completely committed to the maintaining of the 1961 Antarctic Treaty, maintaining the incredible nature and wildlife of Antarctica, and ensuring scientific endeavours continue to happen across our portion of the continent. Pursuant to the commitment made by my government, additional funds will be allocated to the assistance of pacific island nations in their race to combat the coronavirus and climate change, alongside general measures to expand Australia’s cooperation with the Pacific region as the world recovers from the ongoing pandemic.
Protecting our Nation from external threats is one of our far most responsibilities as a Government. My Government shall ensure that our Australia is protected and there shall exist continued funding to enable our Armed Forces to purchase modern equipment which will enable them to protect Australia better. Protecting our borders is a duty that we are all bound to, and maritime borders are no exception, therefore my Government has decided on bringing in due legislation to ensure that no nuclear armed or powered forces should be deployed within Australia’s maritime borders.
In continuation with my Government’s desire to ensure that we have a peaceful world, the incoming Government has decided to issue due regulations to ensure that the use of the Australian Defence Forces must be only for defence or peace-keeping, not offensive or invasionary action, unless in the circumstances of averting a major violation of human rights in a foreign nation, or to counter the military invasion of a sovereign country, and this arrangement must take precedent ahead of international agreements.
My Government realizes that wars involve heavy blood shed, and huge losses to families, therefore, to prevent a future situation of war, my Government pledges to work towards a stop on the militarisation of space, supporting initiatives to clear space debris in cooperation with international space agencies and encouraging and participating in treaties that prioritise achieving arms control and global disarmament, my Government will also make it a policy that the use of violence against civilians or against elected governments, undertaken by the state, an organisation, or particular individuals, will be rejected and combated both diplomatically and militarily with all assistance provided to countries which need them.
My Government recognises that the “human” factor of the armed forces plays a very significant role in its operations, and to enable the safety and security of our women in the Armed Forces, my Government will create legislation to ensure that rape and sexual violence during armed conflict are to be tried as war crimes, under the protocols as described by the Geneva Convention. In order to promote an Armed Forces that is efficient and quick, my Government will conduct a Review into the current rank and structure of the Armed Forces and ensure we are having an efficient and workable Armed Forces and also create framework to remove all items with Royal titles and ensure that quality equipment and new generation defence equipment is given to our forces.
My Government understands and recognises the contributions made by our veterans in the Armed Forces throughout their tenure of service to Australia, and therefore, my Government pledges to create and fund a Housing Program using Defence Housing Australia for all Veterans to ensure that every veteran gets access to housing upon completion of tenure of service and also issue a formal Apology to all families whose members were or are involved in wars leading to poor mental health and significant injuries and develop and implement a Veterans Strategy to ensure that all of our veterans have a comfortable return after their tenure of service.
My Government recognises that in today’s world, International Cooperation is required, and at the same time, the limits for it must be drawn as well and therefore my Government pledges to strengthen global cooperation in Intelligence and look at expanding Intelligence sharing and Joint Military exercises with countries across the globe, excluding those who have committed Human Rights Violations, and primarily use arms that are banned as per International Conventions and kill indiscriminately such as landmines, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium; to ensure our military is prepared to fight in every terrain. My Government will immediately phase out joint exercises with all armed forces known to have committed human rights violations.
In continuation to our aims for peace and cooperation, my Government will work to ensure that the signals intelligence base outside Alice Springs designated ‘Pine Gap’ will be closed permanently in the next five years. Our Defence Industry is one to be proud of and at the same time be promoted and therefore my Government pledges to create incentives for investors and researchers in Australia to ensure that we are able to have cutting-edge technology and military sciences in Australia and also ensure that countries that commit Human Rights Violations and their country’s corporations are not included in such schemes. My Government believes that the global arms industry is a dangerous one, and that as long as Australia is mass exporting weapons to foreign countries we have no guarantees that those weapons won’t be used to commit human rights violations, kill innocent civilians, or wage unjust wars. As such, my Government will work to set a 10 year target on reducing the size of the Australian arms industry to be a locally sustained sector that supplied the Australian military and will, eventually, no longer be an export industry. This will begin with an end to the subsidisation of exports of weaponry, weapon components, and arms fairs.
In regards to Agriculture and Rural Affairs, my government shall look into eliminating the Goods and Service Tax on fertilisers and other essential farming goods that increase the yield of crops in order for farmers to gain more of a profit and have a more sustainable livelihood, and shall also look into subsidy programs for both of them. My government shall also aim to create a provincial agricultural scheme in order to increase the yield of agriculture and its efficiency in the long term, and so that farmers may benefit.
My government shall make sure that Australian Postal services and banking services are accessible in rural areas, as both are essential in daily life, and should be accessible wherever people are in Australia. It is important that we also make sure that we protect the ecological health of the Lake Byre Basin, so that farmers who use the resources may be able to do so in the best possible manner with the most effective outcome. My government shall also seek and invest in methods of water extractions so that farmers can gain the water they need to grow their crops, and to counter the effects of natural disasters such as drought.
Last month the people of Australia visited polling booths to decide the future of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory within their statuses in this nation. Whilst my government expresses its regret in the Australian Capital Territory not being granted equal status to other areas of the nation, it expresses its incredible joy at the notion of the Northern Territory being approved to be a state by the population of Australia. My government holds incredible regard to the mandate given by the people, and unlike prior administrations will implement the results of this national vote in full, and as such the Northern Territory will become a state of Australia by the end of this term.
All aspects of the Australian economy have been hit hard by this crisis, and one of the hardest hit is Australian Manufacturing. Be it industrial hubs found in urban centers, or smaller towns in regional areas, workers and employers have been put under an undeniable stress which nobody should be forced to experience. As such, it is vital that we provide support to these hardest hit industries in our path to economic recovery. My government will follow the recommendations which have been made by the ACCC through various investigations and reports in previous periods across sectors which have been struggling, such as the dairy industry, to ensure that jobs and communities are able to stay afloat in an environment which benefits consumers, workers, and business owners. My Government will key and vital public infrastructure projects all across Australia, be they projects related to public transport, such as the supporting the Victorian Government's suburban rail loop, or projects related to water security which are found in Queensland. These projects help not only create a better environment for the community who will benefit from these projects, but provides essential work to the people who will be involved in the development of such programs.
For too long have the First Nations peoples right across our great continent.had to suffer several burning injustices through their entire life. Be it the average lower life expectancy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on average experience, the economic contributions they make which are often swept under the rug, or the systemic racism they experience on a daily basis. We simply cannot sweep injustice aside, ethically, morally, or practically.
My government will work towards implementing the fundamental principles of the Uluru Statement, and the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home inquiry, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarie Report, the HREOC Social Justice Reports into suicide and income inequality, and the Evatt Review. My Government will be seeking to pen a proper Treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to address the wrongs done to them since colonisation and grant them a proper voice in Australia. My government will work towards establishing indigenous recognition in the Constitution through a referendum, while recognising and acknowledging the values and contributions of Aborigional People - and furthermore will work to grant aboriginal people with a representative body that will exist in an advisory capacity with the Federal Government, elected from all first nations people in Australia.
My government will continue to support the Makarrata Commission and will work with local land groups to work towards establishing a Voice to parliament, just one of the components of the Statement from the Heart. Furthermore, My government will work with those in the Northern Territory on their way to statehood to ensure that Indigenous people are able to control their own destiny, and are involved through the entire State-building process.
One of the founding principles my government upholds strongly is that of environmental justice, and the ongoing battle against climate change. Climate change is a crucial issue to tackle, which is why my government shall be implementing schemes to transition workers out of non-renewable jobs, into jobs that will support a renewable economy. We shall encourage families to assist in the fight against carbon emissions by looking at a subsidy scheme for families that implement solar panels in their home, and make use of other methods to increase efficiency in the home.
My Government shall seek to create an independent Environment/Climate Change commission, to advise the governments on programs and measures to counter climate change and to protect the environment, for the benefit of the people of Australia and the environment we live in. It will ensure that the Minister responsible for Climate Change will work with the Independent Environmental Commission to create yearly carbon budgets every year through to 2050, supported by a well funded and integrated emissions reduction plan that sets appropriate targets and provides reporting on all economic sectors that produce emissions on their progress towards the net zero carbon goal. My Government shall seek to end tax concessions and subsidies to businesses that actively harm the environment we live in, as the government of Australia should not assist industries that harm our environment and our wildlife. This government shall also seek to make it more difficult for corporations to clear land to protect the wildlife of Australia, as Australia has some of the most remarkable creatures on the planet, which are becoming extinct due to corporate negligence and activity.
Climate change is one of the biggest existential threats facing Australia today, and as such my Government will put together specific legislation that outlines step by step goals for climate change action (phasing out of coal power, energy transition, then carbon zero) in specific legislation, and gives power to the Independent Environmental Commission to consult with and pressure the government on these actions. This legislation would include a loose target of net zero carbon by 2040, with a leeway of 10 years more if the transition experiences holdups.
My Government acknowledges the importance of our watercare, and as such will adopt strong nationwide freshwater quality standards, including for pathogens, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, periphyton a.k.a. slime, and macroinvertebrate health. Furthermore, it will take action to protect waterways, wetlands and estuaries from excessive sedimentation caused by erosion and land use practices (including “spray and pray”) that lead to soil loss. As part of their efforts to protect the environment, my Government will place a complete moratorium on new coal power plants, fracking, and new offshore seabed exploration and mining. This will allow these fossil fuel industries a safe and secure transition that will allow the current projects to close naturally, while support networks are set up to get new workers into green industries and retrain previous workers. My Government will also put an end to subsidies and tax concessions for environmentally harmful industries, instead putting subsidies and support into the development of green industries and retraining to support this effort, through a Green Jobs Fund.
My Government will ensure that major polluting sectors shall pay a Carbon Tax with exceptions in the field of small business and small-scale farming or agriculture. Emissions pricing should be transparently set and managed by the Independent Environmental Commission, and should incentivise emissions reduction . Further consideration will be taken to ensure business sustainability and job protection to ensure equitable outcomes. To support these efforts from the Government end, my Government will be bringing energy generation and distribution under public control in order to facilitate a swift transition to 100% of Australia’s energy being generated from renewable sources, through increases to the energy target as well as other actions such as public investment, regulations to support renewable energy generation and ensure high efficiency standards under Government care in generation, storage, and conservation.
My Government will support the creation of a renewable exports industry, promoting growth in sustainable sectors for the future such as renewably-generated liquid fuel, direct connections to neighbouring countries economically, and the support of developmental green technology and energy alternatives. It will also promote agricultural, forestry, and land use regimes in which absorption of carbon emissions exceeds carbon emissions. A Government fund will be set up to research into the effects of climate change and innovative ways of combating it, alongside increased funding for environmental legal aid. To support the efforts against Climate Change from the grassroots up, my Government will put together a subsidy for individuals, families, and rental owners who work to improve the insulation of their homes, and make their homes more efficient by installing solar power generation to them. This same standard for the subsidy will be applied to new social housing to ensure that the public sector makes the effort.
In respect of Social Services, my government shall aim to provide a COVID-19 Poverty Response plan in order to benefit those who are put in difficult financial situations due to the consequences of COVID-19 and subsequent policies. My government shall also aim to provide a family support payment in order to support those who are less fortunate, but have children to look after. It will consist of $178 dollars for each family for the first child, and then $112 per subsequent child to a cap of three children. This will put money in vulnerable families pockets to support their children, and get families through the hardships of the pandemic.
In these times of COVID-19 and for the future, my government shall also implement a Mental Health Fund that seeks to increase youth health coverage, lower the cost of therapists and psychiatrists, train new mental health workers, and properly support people with mental health issues. This is for an effort to extend mental health support across Australia, so that all Australians may have adequate access to mental health support for the recovery of COVID-19, and beyond. On top of this, my Government will ensure that all Centrelink staff are properly trained and supported to ensure that people can promptly access their full entitlements and provide individual tailored assistance to help people find work, including people with disabilities.
On top of this, my Government believes that our public media entities should be properly controlled by independent democratic boards elected from the people that work there, in order to be truly cooperative and fair businesses. Furthermore we believe that the ABC and SBS should be free from advertising, and should be funded properly to compensate for the funding they receive from advertising.
The money levied off of high net assets and wealth will be used to fund the COVID-19 Poverty Response Plan. This will constitute a massive social services overhaul that will replace *all* working age benefits with a single Guaranteed Minimum Income payment of $306 per week. Sole parents, people with disabilities, and/or people who cannot work will get an additional rate of $103 dollars, bringing their base payment up to $409. The Guaranteed Minimum Income payment will apply to all working age people who cannot earn the amount of money they’re entitled to under it from working, and will have no abatement rate so as to encourage people to work more if they want more money in the pocket. This will put more into the hands of Australia’s most vulnerable workers affected by the pandemic, and will simplify beneficiary administration to lower costs in the long run. This transformative policy will mirror the successful benefit changes seen in other like-minded countries, and will give Australia the grassroots-and-up boost it needs to get back on its feet economically as we push through the pandemic, and help create a better Australia than the one that went into the pandemic.
RunasSudo AK President
Hon. NGSpy MP Prime Minister
submitted by NGSpy to AustraliaSim [link] [comments]

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