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WATCH LIVE at 2:30 PM - Gov. John Bel Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference

WATCH LIVE at 2:30 PM - Gov. John Bel Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference

Made by Jeff Asher of the Times-Picayune
LINKS TO WATCH

For today's conference, Gov. Edwards will be accompanied by Lafayette-area hospital officials and Joe Kanter from the Louisiana Department of Health.

Summary

  • Today Louisiana passes the 100,000 case benchmark with 101,650 cases being reported. These are only the cases we know about. These are cases with a positive test result. There are undoubtedly more cases out there, not everyone who is symptomatic has been tested, and we know that between 20-45% of people with COVID19 are asymptomatic and do not generally get tested. We know that there is more COVID out there than those that test positive.
  • 2,408 new cases reported since yesterday.
  • Today we report +16 new deaths, for a total of 3,574. Yesterday we reported 60 new deaths, the highest single-day report of COVID-19 deaths since May. We know deaths sometimes lag behind other numbers. No matter how you slice it up these numbers are very troubling.
  • In the month of July, we have reported over 400,000+ tests and have greatly expanded our testing in Louisiana and are #1 for the month of July for testing per capita in the country.
  • We know we have a high prevalence of COVID19 across the state of Louisiana.
  • I hope that hitting the 100k benchmark shows people we are in a public health emergency, not one that was declared by the Governor himself on his own accord, but one that is happening. This number should be sobering.
  • Cases are increasing across the state and this is why we are remaining in Phase 2. The mask mandate, limitation of bars, reduction of crowd size limitation to 50 people for social gatherings will continue.
  • We are nowhere we want to be in Louisiana. We do not want to have to go back to Phase 1 or Phase 0. However, we cannot lose our capacity to provide life-saving healthcare in our hospitals, which his why we have restrictions in place.
  • We have every reason to believe that if we can get universal compliance with face coverings, social distancing, washing hands, cutting down on travel, with people staying home more often, Lousiana can flatten the curve without having to go back into Phase 1 or Phase 0.
  • You can recall how previously I said that 3 parishes met the were not considered an area of high-incidence of COVID-19 by CDC's standards, and thus met the qualifications to opt-out of the mask mandate? There are currently no parishes that are not in the high-incidence of COVID-19 category.
  • The latest resurgence has impacted the ability of our healthcare systems.
  • OLOL has taken a two-week pause in performing non-emergency medical procedures that require inpatient beds to makes sure they have the beds, and more importantly the staff, they need for COVID19 patients.
  • Hospitalizations have increased all over the state in Louisiana there I, not one region where it decreasing. Especially concerned for Regions 4,5,6.
  • Hospitalizations have increased by +4 for a total of 1,585 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized across Louisiana.
Dr. Amanda Logue, chief medical officer at Lafayette General Health System
  • Lafayette General Health is the largest healthcare provider for Acadiana but with the volume, they are seeing of COVID19 cases, they are not able to take care of their own community let alone expand services outside.
  • Actively taking care of patients, and surging as they need to, but are quickly running out space.
  • Had to transfers patients to Rapides, Baton Rouge, Northern Lousiana, even Mississippi.
  • Had to decline 87% of requests of transfers into our health system. That is not normal. Do not have the capability or space to take care of them.
  • Please come to the ER if you need to, do not be afraid to come to seek medical services. We will be here if you need us.
  • Main campus, largest hospital, Lafayette General Medical Center 1/2 of ICU, and 1/3 of non-ICU beds have patients fighting COVID19.
  • On May 27th we had 15 COVID 19 patients and yesterday we had 105.
  • In our whole 5 acute hospital system, we have had 143 patients and that number was only 20 six weeks ago
  • Seeing the rapid increase in community spread and hospitalizations that follows the community spread.
  • Please to Acadiana to understand the impact of widespread community outbreaks impacts the hospital system.
  • Moving elective surges off of the main campus and canceling some altogether. This is the last thing we want to do, some patients are still waiting for surgeries that were canceled in April.
  • Hospitals are full and the ICU is full.
  • Some beds are closed due to illnesses to staff.
  • Do not have enough nurses to staff the beds right now.
  • Thankful for the nursing teams but the level they are working at right now it unsustainable.
  • COVID19 has not replaced the typical volume of pattens we normally have like health attacks, strokes, etc. but when you add COVID on top of that it is unsustainable. Normally we can do both, but not when there are surges to this degree.
  • The only way to prevent recurring surges is to truly flatten the curve once and for all.
  • Follow the guidelines. Wash your hands. Physically distance from one another. Avoid large crowds. Wear a mask when you leave the house
  • If you are elder or high risk be especially careful and stay home if you don't have to be out.
  • Impacting not only COVID19 patients but anyone who wants to seek care in Acadiana.
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes
  • OLOL the hospital is full and ICU is near complete capacity.
  • This significantly affects normal operations.
    • for 2 weeks OLOL has almost completely eliminated elective surgeries.
    • This means if your cardiologist recommends you need a heart bypass or early-stage cancer those operations will be deferred.
  • Still dealing with the aftermath of people coming in with later stages of diseases due to having to wait from the first surge.
    • Some people weren't able to get tests they would have, like mammograms, and now they are at later stages than what they would have been caught if these elective procedures weren't postponed.
    • 100s if not 1,000s of women have not been able to get their mammograms and he is worried there is the hidden impact completely unrelated to COVID that we haven't appreciated yet.
  • This is a real and present danger, the secondary effects of COVID, but how it affects our hospitals and community.
  • Physicians and team members are doing an amazing job, but they are getting burned out from overwork. Fatigue is a very real problem and this current wave is taxing our abilities for us to provide services.
  • Thought the second wave would come in the Fall and that there was more time to prepare.
  • The community needs to realize how compelling and dangerous of an issue this is.
  • This affects not only the people who are seeking treatment for COVID but also those seeking normal medical services for other needs.
  • OLOL has 19-20-year-old healthy kids in the ICU without any comorbidities.
  • Also seeing an increase of 50-60-year-olds without comorbidities in the ICU.
  • There is no way to tell who it will affect in a severe way. Fortunately, it doesn't affect most people, but it is a very real problem.
  • Wear your mask. Be smart. Good hygiene. Do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Avoid large crowds. Physically distance. It is extremely important right now.
Gov. John Bel Edwards
  • Testing available in EBR, no symptoms needed, no exposure needed. Please take advantage of the FREE test while testing the available.
    • You can pre-register at DoINeedACovid19Test.com - please do not register multiple times.
    • Thanks to the WH Taskforce for putting surge testing in Louisiana.
  • Working to establish a new surge testing site in the New Orleans area.
  • Deliberate misinformation campaign about the state inflating numbers by counting every positive test as a positive case. That is not the case, only your first test is counted. Every individual who tests positive only counts as one case regardless of the number of positive test results they may get.
  • If you have COVID19 in your state you will see cases go up, then hospitalizations, then deaths. It doesn't make sense that you would have hospitalizations and deaths going up without cases having gone up as well.
  • We have people being irresponsible and we are asking them to stop. No one should pay attention to what these individuals are saying.
  • We are not perfect, but we've put in multiple redundant systems to make sure the data is accurate, timely, and that we are sharing in a manner to be as transparent as possible.
  • Encouraged today by the vast majority of businesses and local leaders who are taking this seriously and masking up to protect their loved ones, employees, and the state of Louisiana to make sure we get back on top of the virus as soon as we can.
  • Asking everyone to take this virus seriously and do his or her part.
  • No one wants to go back to Phase 1. It shouldn't be necessary to go backward, but the only way to keep us from doing that is if everyone wears their mask when they are outside their home. It is a small price to pay. Be a good neighbor. If nothing else has respect for our healthcare workers who are working months on end.
  • There is not a safer place than at home. If you go out do so as little as possible. You do not need to go to the grocery store 3 times. Just go one once. If you go do not bring your entire family
  • If when you'd o go out you practice social distancing, washing your hands, and do not go out when you are sick. We will turn this around.
Comment on the weather
  • Watching the tropics. We're in hurricane season.
  • TP 8 is moving across the Gulf Coast towards Texas but there is a risk of heavy rainfall in the S, SW, and Central parts of the state.
  • Areas south of I-10 could receive between 2-4" of rain and tides are running higher than normal.
  • Flash flooding is a possibility. Do not drive on any street that could be underwater.
  • Will monitor Storm Gonzales.
  • Go to GetAGamePlan.org and prepare for a hurricane.
  • Preparing for a hurricane is different this season because of COVID19. Encourage everyone to check GetAGamePlan.org to get prepared.

Questions

What's the plan if we run out of space, is the plan to shift them to Morial?
First off, we are going to make sure that doesn't happen that we don't run into a situation where we cannot provide healthcare. We still have 250 beds at the Morial Convention Center with staffing for 60 with 28 beds currently being filled. We can expand to 60 more beds quickly. Further, much of the investments we made early on created new permanent surge capacity at various hospitals around the state. So we are in better shape than we were before.
Frankly, my bigger concern is not about beds, but about staffing. We believe we will be able to make the adjustments necessary and open the surge units, but the bigger challenge is around staffing. It is bigger this time because the surge we are seeing is happening in multiple parts of the country at one time. Hard to draw upon out-of-state staff because of those areas and not willing to give them up because they need them too. We discussed it with the VP last week after a phone email with hospital staff prior. Submitted a request through FEMA and it is currently pending. Looking to us the existing footprints of our hospitals, because it is easier to solve the staffing challenges than open up a new facility that isn't part of the existing footprint. No plan to currently create new facilities, but are working to fill staffing shortages.
How much did you request from the FEMA
As best as I can recall it was 300 Request to FEMA ranged from phlebotomists, ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and so forth. I will get you the exact information.
Some people in Acadiana and Lafayette, in particular, feel the local agencies and parish governments are not doing their parts to enforce the mandates. What can we do on the state level to drive home how important it is to follow the mandates
When you watch Fauci or Birx speak and see what is coming out the CDC, that speak to you about the importance of these mitigations measures and you accompany it with the numbers we are seeing in Louisiana right now, not just cases but hospitalizations and deaths, you would hope the people would be responsible enough, take that into consideration, and they will comply because they understand it is important for those who are valuable, to help the medical community. Even if for some strange reason that is totally incomprehensible that you don't care about COVID you should care about there being capacity in the hospital if you get into a car accident or a family member has a stroke, you want that care to be available. We just need people to focus on the task at hand, do their part, be good neighbors. It is not that we won't force these things but if the people of Louisiana are going to make us enforce all of this we will not be successful. There are 4.6 million people in Louisiana, 10s of 1,000s of businesses if the people of Louisiana are going to sit back and say we will make you enforce every part of this we are doomed. As I mentioned the vast majority of businesses and people are being responsible but there are still too many that are not. So I am directing these comments to those individuals. IF you want to be mad at me, and disagree with me be mad and disagree but do so with a mask when you are outside of your house.
Where do you think the deliberate misinformation campaign is coming from?
I do not know. I am not personally investigating it. I am doing what I can to make sure no one attaches any credibility to it. This not just happening in Louisiana. This is happening in all of the other states that are having this tremendous resurgence. No one is out there "cooking the books". One thing we would do, if it was safe to do, is open our hospitals up so they could see with their own eyes the people who are fighting for their lives. They would know this is not a made-up number. This is grossly negligent and irresponsible. I am asking people not to do it and for others not to believe it.
Are you surprised that bars are the top location for an outbreak of COVID
I cannot say I'm surprised, bars were one of the last things opened because we knew the environment is not the easiest to control so people do things safely. It's just the nature of that establishment. Many people go to a bar to stay for several hours, have multiple drinks, and relax their inhibitions. They may have one mindset going in and another coming out. Then there is loud music and so you need to speak louder and release more particles if you happen to have COVID19. Then if you're listening you tend to get closer to hear than you should be. We were hopeful restrictions would work, but for the vast majority of bars, it proved to be too much. This is not just here in Louisiana. It is a WH Taskforce recommendation for our state and other states with high rates of COVID-19. It is also a worldwide recommendation. Once South Korea came out of its lockdown they had to shut down every bar in Seoul because they had a similar experience.
With staffing being an issue is the Morial Convention center a viable option as a field hospital
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes: We have physical space, we have beds that are used during the day for outpatient surges. Those can be converted into hospital rooms. We have beds that are typically used for other purposes, and those have been converted to rooms. However, as we see an increasing number of transferrable cases in the community we see our nurses become infected. When a nurse becomes infected the quickest they return to work is 10 days. As a result, there is a huge pool of nurses who are currently out right now. This puts a strain on other nurses and staff in the hospital. So far it is working out, but our nurses are tired. The problem is not needing physical space, it is having enough people in our community to staff those beds to keep our nurses healthy. One way you can prevent yourself from getting COVID is to stay active and healthy, well-rested, and that your immune system is working well. Nurses, physicians, and staff are tired and not taking care of themselves as well as they need. This is a vicious cycle. Everyone is looking for staff right now. We are not at the point of reaching out to non-traditional areas for staffing. We have disucssed calling in retired nurses or those who have moved to other careers who still hold their licenses who could help.
Have you thought of reaching out of state for staffing?
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes: We have contacted local staffing agencies, not many people available, anyone who is employable is employed. Everyone across the country is seeking nursing right now. Yes, we have considered that.
Governor John Bel Edwards
I've had requests to take national guard soldiers in a medical unit and have them available at the hospitals. But guess where the national guard soldiers in our medical unit work? In our hospitals. So I would be pulling them from one hospital to send them to another hospital around the state. The first thing we did was put out an EMAC request to all other states to see if they had anyone they could offer to address what we need. Exactly zero states offered any staffing. So then you start looking at staffing contractors and we are working that angle now. That is proving to be difficult as well, which is why we continue to work with FEMA on staffing.
In regards to the Morial Convention Center, remember that facility is for the less acute patients to allow hospitals to free up space sooner than they would. So once a patient reaches that level of care where they don't need an acute bed, but can't go home, they can go to the Morial Convention Center for care. Having hospitals sending their less severe patients to the convention center is something we are considering.
With the testing shortage issue in terms of a turnaround..
I just want to be clear we are doing an extraordinary amount of tests, but it is not a shortage of collection kits. There are reagent issues in the lab that are contributed to longer turnaround times, as well as the sure volume of tests. So of all the tests, we reported today 65% were within the last week. 30% were from the week before. That gives you an idea of the percentage of tests. This greatly impacts our ability to fight COVID-19. If someone waits 7-10 days to find out they are positive and did not curtail their activities, we know they are out there spreading that disease. Plus if it takes too long to get a test result back the contact tracing is too hard. So the turnaround time at the labs is the current challenge, not the testing supplies itself.
with turnaround times does this challenge testing congregate settings
In congregate settings, we are testing 100% of residents and staff every 2 weeks. We are seeing some delays in getting those results back. Anytime you see that it interferes with our ability to quickly get on top of the situation and appropriately quarantining patients. It is also true for the staff member who goes home at night and interacts with their family.
Over the next approx 8-12 weeks it is the goal of the Federal Government to send a rapid point of care tests to every nursing home. We are starting to see those machines arrive in small numbers this week and that will continue. That way tests are administered with results being known within 24 hours. It sounds too good to be true, so we need to make sure the machines come and we have all the testing materials that are needed.
Why are casinos not facing additional restrictions?
I'm not going to tell you we haven't experienced any issues at casinos but I can say they have been few in number and much more easily removed because you only have only a small number of them operating. Plus it is the most regulated industry in Louisiana so if you go in there and tell them a problem the corrections get made. We know they have been very responsive to any remedial measures we have told them to take. That is why they are open. We believe they can safely operate at the level of occupancy we have described. We want as much of our economy opened as possible consistent with public safety and the health of our people. Where we can operate a business safely we want to do that. Under the limitations, we currently have in place with casinos they can operate safely.

Closing Remarks

We have flattened the curve before and we can do it once again. We can do it without going back to Phase 1. But everyone must do their part. So if you want the economy open then we must all do our part. Please wear a face covering. Social distance. Stay home when you are sick. Wash your hands often. Watch out for the most valuable. The safest place you can be is at home. Lift one another upon prayer and focus on our blessings. If nothing else let's be thankful for our healthcare workers. Everyone has a healthy and safe weekend. God bless.
👉 NEXT PRESS CONFERENCES Will be Tuesday and Thursday next week at the Capital. If there is a reason to meet at other times, whether related to weather or COVID19, I will let you know.
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Dwi probation/ casinos

I live in texas and on probation for dwi, if i happen to go to the casinos in Lousiana will my probation officer find out that im there once they scan my ID in the entrance? Or what do they use the scanner for before they let you in ?
submitted by Expensive-Astronaut2 to probation [link] [comments]

WATCH LIVE 2:30 PM Gov. Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference

LINKS TO WATCH

The summary is transcribed live, maybe paraphrased, and will contain spelling and grammatical errors until I am able to edit it once the press conference ends.

Summary

Dr. Gina Laguard of Regional Medical Director of Region 9 / Northshore
Giv. John Bel Edwards

Questions

Now that you won in court do you intend to crackdown, not he BBQ restaurant in Denham Springs?
Yes. We will share that information with you when it is appropriate.
When will that be?
When it is appropriate.
Do you think there will be leftover funding from the CARES Act or Business Grant Program in a time period that could keep the unemployment trust fund solvent?
I do not see in the portion of the CARES Act that we dedicated to local government. There is a certain amount, of the 1.8 billion we received it was my recommendation that 45% of the 1.8 billion be reserved for local government. The house went more or less with that, but then did fund $300 million for the Main Street program, and then a smaller allocation for Front Line Workers. We believe that will be completely exhausted and I do not know if money will be left in the Mainstreet Program. I haven't received a report yet and I think it would premature to guess. They will not begin to issue checks until Aug 15, and I do not know how many applications they received, nor how many qualify. We will know by the end of the month, and it could potentially be there at the end of the month. But even if it is there that money would not tie us over for very long. So the assistance we need in Phase 4 of the Coronavirus Relief that is currently being negotiated is critically important for us. We are communicating this with our Congressional Delegation and there have been a number of conversations with the Speaker discussing multiple ways we could replenish that trust fund. On August the 3rd we put $12 million dollars in the trust fund from taxes fro the quarter. It is just not enough to meet the demand with the claims we have.
Other states have banned smoking in casinos because they are concerned people are taking their masks on and off, has that been discussed here?
I believe that was first discussed in Louisiana as far as I know right now when you just brought it up. My first impression is that makes some sense, but I hate to think out loud because sometimes you get in trouble. I think New Orleans and East Baton Rouge may be the only places where smoking is banned in casinos. That is something I will give some consideration to, but I am not making an announcement today.
You've been hesitant to discuss football, have you had a discussion with their administration?
I have. I have had discussions with their athletic director and most people love LSU football but we have football programs across the state. I have had an opportunity to discuss with Scott Woodward, the LSU Athletic Director, and they are planning for multiple contingencies with what they will be able to do safely in regards to the number of people they can put in the stands for a football game. They do not know what that will look like yet, and I do not know what that will look like yet. Obviously you cannot wait to make that discussion until game day, we will meet with other schools to determine how far in advance they need to know. They are looking at ways to get people in and out of the stadium in and out of restrooms, receive concessions, without having people grouping together. Will need to see where we are in terms of the data to inform what we can safely do here in Louisiana when football resumes. The good news is we have some additional time because they backed up the return of the season.
A number of local bars are applying for temporarily conditional restaurant licenses so they can continue to operate and keep their doors open and a reduced capacity. Can you explain from a public health standpoint why a bar with a newly acquired temporary conditional restaurant license is safer than a bar that does not
Because they have to operate as a restaurant. All the rules that apply to restaurants today will apply to them in terms of the 50% occupancy limit, the need to social distance people who are not in the same household, more than 1/2 of the income must be derived from food sales and not alcohol sales. So they would function like a restaurant which would make them safer. Another indication of the efforts we are making is to allow as many of these bar owners as much flexibility as possible so we are not just leaving them the option of pick up or drive-thru sales. Or allowing them to have 2 video poker machines open if they had inside, but it also allows them to function as a restaurant if they are able to do that. They are receiving these permits very quickly so they can get into operation and realize some income as soon as possible. It will be safer because all of their patrons will have to be seated, to distance, and so forth... its something we are doing in an effort to allow as many of these establishments to remain open as possible, but to do so in a safe manner.
Is there a recommendation/protocol about how many cases college and university campuses can have without having to reduce people from campus?
They are working hard with the Department of Public Health and the CDC to work with education leaders both K-12 and higher education, to determine what to do when there is a case and if there are multiple cases and so forth. We can all assume there will be cases. You cannot have the cases we have across Louisiana, resume school, and not have some of these cases show up in your universities or K-12 schools. It really depends on how many cases, if they are in the same classroom, same dormitory, etc. All of these things are being looked at. I can tell you just recently our higher education community completed tabletop exercises, and a result of lessons learned there they have now gone back and revised their plans and will continue to do that as they learn from one another, and as guidance from the CDC changes.
Will you report data based on outbreaks/cases on educational campuses?
I don't know. I am not sure what means we have to capture that information, but certainly, what we have we will share. We are not going to hide it from anyone. Before I say yes I want to make sure we can capture that through the means we have in place to update you every day, or if additional things need to go into place. I do not know if it will be a situation where I ask you to direct those questions to the particular educational systems and universities while we report the universal numbers. We will get back to you on that.
Is there a point you will use your authority as governor to limit on-campus instruction
I do not intend to have to do that because we know K-12 are doing everything they can to deliver an education that goes along with CDC guidelines. So it is not something I believe I will have to do. Higher educational students, especially vulnerable, will do online or hybrid education. So with everything, they plan to do and oversee.... what they are doing came up they from the Department of Health in consolation with the CDC guidelines. So I do not believe it will be necessary for me to step in.
Shreveport reports its third death of MIS-C?
The medical community trying to determine if that is just what COVID looks like in certain kids, or whether it is a separate medical condition that is tangental to COVID. We've had a number of deaths, but not like the 4,000 from COVID from around the state. So we are obviously concerned about that. It is further evidence that children are not immune to this disease. They are much less likely to have a serious illness, but it does still happens. We see sometimes a young person will get COVID-19 and have a bad result even though there is no identifiable co-morbid condition. It is not the rule, it is very much the exception, but it is evidence that children are not immune. This is why we must make certain the kids are as safe as possible which is one of the reasons why the CDC guidelines are important --- that kids socially distance, have masks, do no co-mingle, they stick to their cohort. That this starts form the moment they get on the bus to the moment they get home. It is critically important we do this if we are going to get children safely back in the classroom.

Closing Remarks

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Damage Control Chapter 2

First chapter here: https://www.reddit.com/HFY/comments/cbg4gs/damage_control_chapter_1/
So, this one's going to be a deep cut. If you haven't read the novels I've done before, this story throws you in at the deep end, and it spoils at least one major plot point from the 6th novel, Skin Hunger, as well as several other major plot points from other novels. If you want to catch up with that stuff, https://hellskitchensink.com/ check it out here.
If you'd just like to jump into things, this is what matters: There are Atlanteans, an apparently fish-like race who have recently revealed themselves to humans, who have a population of approximately 50,000 and who are on the verge of extinction, and who were recently partially responsible for a near-catastrophe involving a war between a psychotic god of dreams and a primordial entity of stasis, and are trying to make amends. There is supernatural craziness. There is a top secret branch of the US Military- or possibly intelligence services, or maybe even just running loose- referred to as the Esoteric Forces of the United States.
There's a lot of damage to control.
---
Chapter 2: Surt
USEF Report Dagon, section L (Linguistics), Paragraph 1-3, Rank HEL-6
The Atlantean language is surprisingly familiar, and offers great insight into the spread of language across the world, and a common origin to many languages. Proto-Indo-European is well known as one of the most common 'base' languages, and its influence can be seen everywhere from Portugal to Persia. (also, technically, nearly a thousand miles east of Persia, but leave me my wordplay to enjoy.)
Atlantean language spans a substantially greater range. The first instincts of linguists, confronted with it, is an odd pidgin or creole of German and a variety of Polynesian dialects, a combination which is as bizarre as it is improbable. These two cultures had absolutely no contact for most of human history, recorded or not, and little if any combined culture.
It could simply be a vast coincidence. It could be a consequence of the Atlantean diffusion. It could simply be one titanic joke being played on linguists the world over who think that word-choice has meaning. Nevertheless, it provides us with an easier jumping-off point than if we did not have the connection in the first place. Atlanteans have shown a surprising facility for picking up human languages, one which has eased integration substantially.
Chief Researcher Cherry H. Verne
"The problem with big, open deserts, and remote ocean bases, is that on top of being a pain in the ass to supply and staff, they are not actually all that secret in an era of high altitude spy planes and satellite photography," said Miller, sitting in the front seat of the heavy pickup truck. I sat next to him, wearing my yellow rain-slicker, shivering a bit as we drove through the snow-dappled forest. "Sure, it's all well and good to be a thousand miles from the nearest community, but everyone's going to know you're up to something. And thus..." He gestured upwards.
Atlantis had modest plant-life. Kelp, algae, a coral system. All quite attractive, in their own ways. But no natural thing there had grown like these. The trees were sleek and rough-barked, growing to tower above the rough and sandy road, creating a canopy. It was both like coral, and utterly alien. "What did you say this place was called?"
"The Pine Barrens." He grinned. "Lots of legends around this place. Hell, going all the way back to 1909. Now, I'm fairly sure the Menagerie was built in the 90s, but who's to say it was the first facility the EFUS had here? There isn't a lot of history or facts kept on archive about the EFUS, but I've seen case files dating back to the 1700s. Probably just a hoax, someone's idea of a joke, but..." He shrugged. "That's the thing you learn about this special ops work. Everything gets denied, and the things that are admitted are usually just there to distract you from something bigger."
"Distrust seems... very difficult. I prefer things simple and straightforward. Hunting, knowing your prey, knowing how to find it." I looked out the window, frowning. "I fear that may make me a liability."
"Hell no. You handle the tracking and the tasering. I'll get between you and the politics." He grinned. "It's what a good Sergeant should do." He leaned back in his chair and made a low, contented sound, a growl low in the back of his throat. He seemed perfectly at ease, despite the thick bandages wrapped around one hand, cloaking it in white linen that had been stained black here and there.
"Does that hurt?" I asked, softly.
"Eh. I don't have pain sensors built in. The damage was only, well..." He chuckled. "Skin deep." He was quiet for a moment, and looked over at me. "You know, you barely reacted to seeing my hand stripped bare like that. I'm pretty sure your kind don't make much in the way of advanced cyborgs. I was expecting... Well, hell. I don't know. A little prejudice. I get plenty of it among humans. Just scares them to see this kind of thing."
"I can see what is human in you very clearly, Sergeant," I said, looking out the window. "All humans, Atlanteans included, rely on their tools to define themselves. Tattoos, piercings, clothing, weapons- Is there anything different about a prosthetic? They are still a part of you, even if they are not flesh."
"Hrn," he said, ending the conversation on an ambiguous note. "There it is."
The road ended in a large, wide concrete foundation, covered by some sort of canvas fabric which had been raised with tent poles. A large circle drawn in chalk with a massive H in the center dominated one side of the foundation, with a bank of large elevators beyond it. Miller got out of the truck, and I followed, shivering in the cold. The two of us approached one of the elevators. We stepped in.
"These things always take forever," he growled. "I'm convinced the base is just a few feet underground, and they make them slow as tar so it feels like we're going into the center of the earth."
I watched the glowing electric cables through the walls. I could only see the closest through the thick stone, but he was right. They were moving very slowly indeed. "You've stabbed the shark in the gills there, sir."
He grinned. "Finally. I'm going to rag Cherry about that to no end."
The base itself was the kind of clean, sterile white that humans seemed to find soothing. Personally, it reminded me of being trapped under a glacier, and the office of Chief Researcher Verne, paneled in wood and filled with books and other gewgaws, made for a very pleasant change. The unconscious demon strapped to her table muddled the effect, though. She smiled as the two of us entered.
"Good job bringing this one in, you two. Far as I can gather from examination and venom samples, it's a brown recluse spider. Damned if I know how exactly one got the spiritual energy necessary to become a demon, considering the lifespan and shyness towards humans. Examining the web revealed distinctive patterns- We think it was using the webs as a sort of food storage, slowly terrorizing a human while using the energy gained to weave webs, which it would then survive off of in a low energy state..." She frowned. "Very curious."
"Great, Cherry. Can we keep it from attacking people?"
"The new class of implants should take care of that. After that fiasco with your cortex bomb, the Colonel was able to argue for a strict need-to-know policy. The only people with the transmitter codes to activate it will be you, me, and the Colonel himself." She smiled. "Nice and trustworthy. It'll shut down all electrical impulses from the thoracic vertebrae down, until the counter-signal is sent. So, even if it is used, it'll be less... You know, immediately fatal. I wouldn't leave it on for long, though- She won't be able to breathe." Then she sighed, and clicked her tongue. "For gods sakes, go to the bio-lab, get that hand fixed. It's morbid as hell."
"Yeah. Stick here with the doctor, Yeagerta, she'll fill you in a bit more while I'm busy," said Miller, with a nod to me, before ducking out through the door. I was left alone with the rather intimidating woman
"So," said Cherry, a sly smile spreading across her face. "You're an Atlantean." She held a small welding torch, and the smell of burnt flesh filled the air, making me wince. It was not a healer’s room. It was the room of a destroyer. That was okay. I felt at home here.
"Yes."
"Heard a bit about you. We've got half a dozen Atlanteans working in the menagerie, easily a hundred times that in the US government as a whole. I don't buy the whole 'I want to do good' thing- There are a lot of ways you could do that without risking your life." She looked up at me, an eyebrow raised. "So what is it? Deathwish? Sadism? Secret plan to destroy humanity?"
"We are both a part of humanity. Those who thought otherwise, on both sides, were merely ignorant to the truth. As to my reasons… Every society needs violence.” I sighed, and shook my head. "So long as dissent is possible, so long as violence is possible, there must be sanctioned violence to counter it. The more peaceful and serene that society is, the further that violence must be kept from those who benefit from it." I waved a hand at the demon lying across the ground. "This is a violence hidden from the public, but still necessary. I know that our two races' fate will hang on the balance of how we use that violence. If I want my people to be safe, I must be that violence."
"If you want a thing done right, you have to do it yourself," she said, and smiled. "I can dig it."
"And what of you, Chief Researcher Verne? How did you come to be the kind of person who could slice open a seemingly human creature's spine, and insert a device to control their body, while-" I raised an eyebrow, as I noticed a curious white container, producing an aroma suggesting blended spices, "-you eat your lunch?"
She smiled. "Well, three things. First, this woman's murdered at least a dozen people according to open police reports and the bones we dug up around the house. Second, she's not actually human, and is part of a species that doesn't usually have sentience, let alone sapience. And finally..." She fell silent for a moment, and set down her welding torch. "You know, I've discussed a lot of subjects, but I don't think I've talked with Atlanteans about space travel. What do you know about the stars?"
I shrugged. "Distant lights. We did not have them in Atlantis, and even in our heyday, we knew only that they were unimaginably distant. The revelations of this universe- worlds beyond measure- has been... Not precisely transformative, but unexpected."
"Worlds beyond measure," said Cherry, her voice soft, as she stared pensively into the distance. "A good phrase. Do you know, when we first learned about your existence, when we first confirmed that you were a group capable of forming pacts, empowering gods, and reproducing normally- In other words, not a supernatural species- It was the first time we'd ever found anything like that? And when we found out that you were humans, genetically equivalent, an offshoot changed by your exposure to another world, it was such a profound..."
Here, she paused, sighed, and looked down at the unconscious figure lying across her desk, the corners of her lips pulled down into a melancholy frown.
"Disappointment."
"I am sorry," I said, not sure what else to say.
"It's hardly your fault. But the prospect of alien life, truly alien, something from another world, something not human..." She sighed. "This poor creature in front of you is the closest we come to finding it. An animal infected with a human mind, with human thoughts and needs and instincts, with no choice in the matter." She looked up. "Countless worlds. And only one sapient species that we know of. Broadcasting our existence is simple- child's play. The universe has been conducive to intelligent life for fourteen billion years. And yet, all we see out there is... silence. Unbearable, unending silence."
I didn't answer. As the air conditioning hummed, and Cherry H. Verne's soft brown eyes held mine, I studied her for the first time. I saw the frantic, white-hot belief in her. Among my people, she would be notable. Among humans, she was close to unique. All of that belief, and nowhere for it to go. "It suggests an ominous possibility."
"We have a name for it," she said. "The Great Filter. The unknown enemy of sapience. Countless theories, of course- Perhaps life is rare. Perhaps sapience is rare. Perhaps we destroy ourselves. People have concocted fanciful tales of galactic empires and berserker probes, but I don't hold with that. Those would be localized. There would be evidence, elsewhere. But everywhere we look, there's... silence." She tented her fingers. "Perhaps we've weathered the storm. Perhaps it was life or sapience or disease or the atomic bomb that was the great nemesis. But it would be an act of absolute arrogance to believe that humans are special." She shook her head softly. "I don't think we're out of the woods yet."
"So, you joined because..." I prompted her, feeling unsettled in the pit of my stomach by her statement.
"H.P. Lovecraft was a popular writer, though only after he died. He believed that the universe was cold and inimical. I'm inclined to agree. He believed that humanity was fated to change, to become twisted, and horrific. That the only way life could survive was to lose everything that he saw as worthwhile in it." She smiled. "He was a bigot and a short-sighted fool. Life demands a harsh toll, but there's little we stand to lose by changing ourselves." She looked down at the demon. "So, Yeagerta. You ready to put her unconscious if that implant doesn't work?"
I blinked at the sudden change in subject. "What-" But Chief Researcher Verne was already snapping her fingers.
The creature's eyes snapped open. They flicked from side to side, panicked, feral, mad. The rest of her body didn't move in the least. The Chief Researcher smiled. "Good morning, sunshine. Do you want a job?"
"What?" asked the creature, its voice blunt. "What job?"
"Simple enough. You killed people. You probably thought you had to do that to survive, but you were wrong. I'd wager you fed off of fear. The connection you maintained with humans as their captor, offering them a hope of escape, the only face they saw as they slowly starved to death." She looked up at me, and smiled. "I imagine you're finding yourself quite hungry at the moment."
"My purpose," hissed the creature, its head lolling to one side to glare hatefully up at me. I returned its gaze without emotion.
"Yes, yes. Now, you have a choice of a new purpose. You can serve, and earn the right to be a human." She smiled, and there was something chilly as the silent universe in her expression. "Or you can refuse, and earn the right to be... laboratory material."
"Survival," hissed the creature. "Warmth. Food. A mate. Another day."
"That's the spirit," said Verne, the cold vanishing from her face like frost in the sun. "We'll get someone in to debrief you and explain the terms of your survival. For now, we've got a meeting."
The two of us walked through the corridors of the complex, Verne carrying a binder under one arm. I passed the time by watching the cables. The arrangement of the corridors were such that the sense of direction quickly became confused- Favoring sixty or hundred degree angles for corridors, rather than 90. If not for my ability to track the wiring in the walls, I would have quickly become lost. This topmost floor appeared to be primarily made up of research labs, medical quarters. It was all so... repeated.
"Getting used to the industrialization thing?" said Verne, a smile running across her lips. "I'm told it's disturbing to Atlanteans. The whole... sameness."
"To be unique, to be cherished, is to be strong. We don't go in for... mass production."
"Yeah. We noticed that," said Verne, smiling. "It explained a lot, learning about your people. The inability to mass-produce enchanted objects, the relatively short lifespan of magically enhanced equipment. Hell, we've got an artificial intelligence program here that's designed to take advantage of the tsukumogami principle. Still not much luck with that."
"Such projects often take years at a time," I said, softly. "And the coordinated input of many thousands."
"Yeah. It's a pain in the ass." She sighed. "This meeting is mostly bureaucratic. Our closest allies on the continent are- naturally enough- our only two neighbors. Canada's Royal Mythic Police and Mexico's Cuerpo de Fuerzas Extrano share a common issue- Primarily, the remaining supernatural beings left behind by the various Native American civilizations."
"Of course," I said. I was no stranger to humanity's genocidal tendencies. There was a reason my people had left. The rest was all Greek to me. I hadn’t memorized 90% of the states, let alone the countless other countries of the world.
"The Mythies are relatively easy to get along with, sharing a belief in rehabilitation, but they're kind of a soft touch. They're far less willing to lean on supernaturals. Lot of guilt. Recent upswing in native recruits, which has helped their knowledge base, covering some of their weaknesses in actual field assets. The Cuerpo..." She frowned. "They're a bit more hardline. There's a lot of history here, but what you fundamentally need to know is that they sprung off of the government forces dedicated to fighting the drug cartels. The cartels drew upon supernatural resources, and as such, the government forces have a... Well, bluntly genocidal approach to things. Even making pacts is illegal. They rely more on military hardware bought from the United States, and a relative lack of oversight." She sighed. "Messy."
She stopped at a door, little different from any other, and pushed it open.
"-is an unconscionable violation of human rights. Sentencing without hearings or the right to a qualified attorney-"
"Human rights, abuelita. There's an important word there."
The room was spacious, light filtering in through windows. I could see the powerful electrical sources behind the windows- The light was thoroughly artificial.
A mahogany table sat in the center of the room, with close to a dozen chairs around it. Three were currently occupied, one by the Colonel, the other two by the two women who had just been speaking. The one opposite the Colonel was a small, wizened woman, with long, silver-white hair, dressed in a loose dress that looked inappropriately breezy even for the air-conditioned room, let alone the weather outside. Seated between the two, facing the door, was a younger woman, whose eyes were hard as flint. Her hair was cut nearly to the scalp, leaving a thin fuzz of black, interrupted above her left ear by a scar that ran from near the eye, all the way to the back of the head.
"Well, well," said the scarred woman, her eyes twinkling, leaning back in a refined and dignified military uniform. "The offshoots. What are you staring at?"
I tilted my head. "I thought pacts with the supernatural were illegal under your government," I said, my eyes drifting across her. I could see it, there, the dull gray of the supernatural pact dimming her belief. One of the risen dead.
"Keep your gaze from my soul," said the woman, her voice even and sharp as a knife's edge.
"Fuck's sakes, Pagan, everyone in this room knows you're on the supernatural take," said the Colonel, taking a pull on a cigar, bent over the table with an expression of supreme aggravation. "Way to buck the stereotype there, by the way."
"The subject at hand," said the scarred woman, brushing off the mockery without any sign of annoyance or uncertainty. "The Atlanteans."
"You know that one was taken out of our hands," said the Colonel, a slight grin spreading across his lips. "How many times have I complained about that unpredictable prick? He got involved in something too big, and wound up making a good impression. Luck of the draw. Could have happened to any of us." He puffed on the cigar, and his eyes flickered to me. "Hey, Niwha. Can people fool that vision of yours?"
"There are techniques. They can be shared. Difficult, but possible." My eyes flickered to the two women. "The more people who know of such techniques, the less useful they will become. That is the nature of secrets."
"Well, our allies can keep secrets, can't they?" said the Colonel, grinning toothily. "Listen, I'm not interested in any of the tribalism shit. We've got bigger fish to fry."
"Ah, yes," said Pagan, the scarred woman, her expression empty. "The 'Horsemen'." She raised both hands as she said the word, palms flat, and crooked the index and middle finger of each hand twice.
"You know," said the old woman, a slight smile running over her lips, "I remember my parents talking about the Soviets. Those mysterious monsters on the far side of the world. The reason why we had to leave our home, and get settled in that barren shithole that I grew up in." She narrowed her eyes. "It was shit then, and it's shit now. The 'gods who rule above the gods', dedicated to our destruction. I've met fucking gods." She produced a slim cigarette and a purple plastic lighter, flicking one to light the other, and puffed twice. "They didn't do much good for me."
"Not this conspiracy paranoia shit, Smith," growled The Colonel. "The Paradise situation-"
"A U.S. superweapon- One which we were told was foolproof- going haywire," said Pagan, holding a hand over her mouth and coughing delicately. I sympathized. The smoke in the room was acrid, and growing thicker by the moment. "I fear the United States' carelessness far more than I fear any mythical bogeyman."
"God save me from arbitrary skeptics," growled the Colonel. "We're sharing the fucking resources. The research we gain from the Atlanteans, any breakthroughs, and personnel willing to volunteer. I know the situation has been unstable. That's why I'm trying to build us a little goddamn faith. Now, Cherry, take a seat. Yeagerta, you too. Tell us about the discoveries you've made on the Atlanteans."
"Thank you," said Verne, taking a seat next to the Colonel, setting down a large binder labeled USEF Report Dagon. I sat down next to her, trying to follow the hierarchy as best as I could. "First-"
The door burst open, Sergeant Miller standing there, his damaged arm covered in pale, somewhat sickly looking flesh, a few shades lighter than the rest. "Colonel. Emergency. The demon we were interrogating was made by an Archmage."
The colonel stared silently at Sergeant Miller. He chewed the cigar slowly. "Sergeant, our allies are in this room." He nodded his head towards Pagan, and Smith, who were staring with equally deadpan expressions. "As I'm sure you understand, evidence of an Archmage is... excruciatingly sensitive. Rather like being grabbed by the short hairs, and yanked. I'm confident that you wouldn't be grabbing me by the short hairs in front of our allies and giving me a firm yank without incredibly good reason."
"We've been tracking someone who matches the description. Small-time Native American hustler we thought was cheating casinos. We had a pair of agents watching him in Lousiana. If he's an Archmage..."
The colonel's pupils had shrunk, and he stared at Miller. The cloud of smoke hung around his features as he slowly removed the cigar from his mouth. "Motherfucker." He let out a slow breath. "Contact them-"
"Already did, sir." Miller's brow furrowed. "No response. They-"
"Get their video feed working. Shit. Motherfucking balls!" The colonel stood up, and sprinted out of the room, Miller shortly behind on his heels.
"Archmage?" I said, in the scorching silence of the room.
"A standard wizard is a mortal who has made a pact with a supernatural being. Immortality- so long as the pact lasts- and magical power," said Verne, her expression ashen as she slumped back in the chair. "An Archmage is- Well, they're theoretical."
"Nowadays," said Smith, the wizened old woman showing a slight grin. "The legends say they used to be a lot more common."
"Relatively," growled Verne. "An Archmage is any wizard who is spiritually powerful enough to, in the course of a single lifetime, create a supernatural being. Usually demons, though undead and fairies are theoretically also possible."
"Which is significant be-" I paused, and my eyes widened slightly. "Capable of producing their own immortality."
"Exactly. Unbeholden to a supernatural force. Capable of creating a personal supernatural companion, a Familiar." She looked up at Smith. "Could I get one of those?"
Smith shook out three cigarettes, offering them, in turn, to Pagan, Verne, and myself. I was the only one to refuse. "Understandably rare. What kind of person dedicates themselves so thoroughly to another, sufficient to discover the power that rests within them? Even if Archmages are still born, their talents would likely never become obvious to them. But with that much power, even the most minor supernatural being could become... spectacularly dangerous, in their hands."
"A brown recluse spider," I said, and frowned. "What is their lifespan?"
"About two years, at the outside," said Verne. She lit the cigarette, and puffed it twice, blowing out a cloud of smoke and coughing raggedly for a second before continuing, voice hoarser. "Even with the raw state of the spider-"
"A very powerful Archmage, who was active at least forty years ago," I said. "He is also most likely a member of a people who you committed genocide against."
"Life," said Smith, and the old woman chuckled. "It certainly does bite us in the ass, doesn't it?"
The door opened. The Colonel entered, his expression hard as flint. He sat down at the front of the table, and pressed a button. There was a click, and a blur of light spread across one wall as Sergeant Miller entered and sank into the chair beside him. The blur slowly came into focus. "This is the feed from their security setup in the hotel room."
It was an image, slowly moving. A hotel room. I had seen several like it, even in the short time I had spent among humans. Well-furnished, with a beautiful view across a sprawling human city that I did not recognize on sight. Two men sat inside. One raised his head, and drew his gun, turning towards the door. The image became unfocused, crazed patterns of black and white fuzzing the scene out, distorting it as the two men twisted in the strange interference, until it was entirely unintelligible. It was like that for perhaps three minutes, then it abruptly came back into focus.
I could see signs of what had happened. The bullet holes through the windows, crazed fractures spread out around them through the glass. The beds unmade, slashes visible that had gutted them of their stuffing. An arm was visible, hanging out from behind one of the beds. On the wall, in brilliant red, five words had been painted.
BILLY BOWLEGS SENDS HIS REGARDS.
"Shit," said Sergeant Miller, his voice soft, his expression stormy.
"Sergeant," said the Colonel, "you're going to need to assemble a team. Track the man down. Hunt him like a dog. Capture him if you can, kill him if not."
"Kill him?" Said Smith, her eyes narrowed. "Not a fucking chance. I'm coming along, and he's to be captured. He's not a U.S. citizen, and he is a human."
"Oh, come now, abuelita," said Pagan, her expression dancing with amusement. "We know this is not a matter of mercy or justice." She flicked a hand towards the image. "Will you be sharing that resource with us, Colonel?"
"Of course," said the man, gruffly, nearly biting through the cigar.
"Well, I shall be happy to come along on the mission. To make this mission more... multilateral."
"Your help is appreciated, Major, but-"
"Good," said Pagan, her eyes narrowed.
It was obvious, the true reason for the tension. This Archmage was dangerous, certainly- deadly. He had killed. But that alone was not enough to cause the people in this room to be on the verge of killing one another. It was not the reason the Colonel had been angry.
If Archmages were still born, then to be able to find them, to know how they were found, would be supremely useful. It would provide an incredible advantage to whichever nation broke the code first. The Atlanteans had been an incredible resource, too. But this one could be taken secretly.
If he could be captured, subverted, interrogated, studied, he could lead to the discovery of more. That kind of advantage could be... phenomenal.
I stared up at the screen silently. I looked across at Fetu Miller, and his eyes met mine.
Change. The kind that could destroy. The kind that had to be killed, before it twisted humanity beyond recognition.
"Are you with me, Yeagerta?"
"Yes, Miller."
USEF Report Albino Monk, Section X (Threat Assessment), Paragraph 1-8, Rank SURTUR-9. OLDMAN clearance required; If you are reading this and are not the Colonel, there is probably a gun aimed at your head right now.
In spite of Sergeant Miller's ongoing vouching for the former FBI agent, he is not to be regarded as an ally by EFUS personnel. This is an unfortunate political reality. His actions have directly destabilized the US government in places, and he is directly responsible for the destruction of two Cities. The fact that both of these cases saved a majority of the population of the Earth is, unfortunately, not worth much to our threat assessments.
There are three parts to this issue. First, his status as a pawn of War. Regardless of any other connections he has made, he started as a catspaw for one of the Horsemen. Her supposed defection only increases the suspicion. The Horsemen are marked universally by a level of long-term planning that can be best described as 'psychotic'. Even the apparent good done in this case may be in service of a longer term plan.
Second, despite his good intentions, his actions have brought the world of gods and the world of men closer together. Our current state of instability, and the growing awareness of and interference by supernatural forces, is entirely his fault. He may save us, only for the consequences of his actions to plunge us into a greater crisis. The increasing tensions we have reported from the remaining Cities corroborates this. Good intentions paving the way to hell, and all that rot.
But let's be honest with ourselves, shall we, Sir? We both know that these are secondary concerns. The real problem is Nash himself, and the power he has accumulated. We have him on record as having confronted several gods of a power that the entire EFUS military apparatus would be hard-pressed to even distract, and defeating them. As of this moment, he is probably the single most effective countermeasure to the Gods, should they mobilize fully.
And behind all of this is his personality. An emotionally crippled boy raised by a mentally ill single mother. His anti-authoritarian tendencies hidden behind a level of detachment that verges on the psychotic, he managed to get hired onto the FBI and come across as little more than a somewhat dull, but otherwise harmless young man with a thirst for justice. Given access to power, he proceeded to unveil a violent streak a mile wide. The man assaulted the U.S. Secretary of Finance. Granted, the traitor was a Horseman plant, but nonetheless.
We can't depend on this man. We can't allow him to act unhindered. His concept of 'justice' is, at best, childishly simple, and more prone to destroying power structures than making anything to replace them. In his own way, he could be as dangerous as the Horsemen- perhaps moreso. They, at least, consider the consequences of their actions. The fallout of his breaking open of Hell is yet to unfold entirely. How long until one of the Damned wind up causing a major crisis? Admittedly, their fear of him seems to have held them in line so far, but if he should show any weakness, the result will be catastrophic.
All of this is compounded by the aforementioned power. The Gae Bolg weapon proved entirely useless against him, which is a situation we frankly did not foresee. He seemed confident in his ability to counter the Pugno Dei as well, and regardless of whether that was bravado or not, we can't afford to drop another asteroid on him. For the moment, we don't have a countermeasure for him. If he should decide, tomorrow, that the President of the United States is as great a threat as the Gods of the Cities or the Horsemen, there is precious little that anyone can reasonably do to stop him.
For now, our chief strategy is surveillance and avoidance. He can be avoided. He can be worked around. He is, effectively, a natural disaster. We can at least try to forecast him.
Chief Researcher Cherry H. Verne
submitted by HellsKitchenSink to HFY [link] [comments]

CMV: As long as you cannot change the event you are betting on, I see absolutely nothing wrong with gambling.

First, let me get you caught up in gambling laws in the U.S(I'm gonna be talking about U.S in my examples, but the question itself is about the moral aspect, not the law.)
In the United States of America, gambling is legally restricted. Only in Nevada and Lousiana is gambling 100% allowed outside of casinos. Even recently North Carolina banned a certain type of slot machine for personal use.
The first reason why I don't see anything wrong with gambling, is because there are no victims in said scenario. Nobody is forcing you to gamble, you decide this on your own. The only victim is the person who lose money, however they themselves are the perpetrator. Gambling is 100% on your back,not on anyone else's, and if you can't handle that it's on you.
Secondly, it could help out the economy. With more casinos and more slot, the profits would be pretty hefty. Instead of raising taxes for individuals, they can just make gambling legal and tax public affairs with it. It would make things simpler and profitable.
Now there are some qualms against gambling. The main one, is that it leads to compulsive gambling. Yet again however, gambling is not nicotine. It is not basically forcing you to stay. Any money you lose is on you, and your responsibilities. That would be like blaming serving beer at clubs, for alcoholism. Some people think gambling leads to crimes, such as scamming or cheating. However that could be regulated if it wasn't illegal, and if the cheating went down with people in your personal affairs, the law had nothing to do with that anyways.
By the way, I'm not talking about the Pete Rose kind of situation, where he was accused of rigging the games. That is a different crime. I'm solely talking about gambling itself, not any other additional aspect.
This is a footnote from the CMV moderators. We'd like to remind you of a couple of things. Firstly, please read through our rules. If you see a comment that has broken one, it is more effective to report it than downvote it. Speaking of which, downvotes don't change views! Any questions or concerns? Feel free to message us. Happy CMVing!
submitted by Onlyusemifeet to changemyview [link] [comments]

[CULT LIVE] 2019 Tour Dates announced!

OK CULT fans, here we go. It looks like the 2019 tour Billy was teasing on his Insta a few months back is starting to come together. So far, it's a 20 date world tour encompassing, the USA, England, and Canada and will be a mix of concert halls, festivals and a few casinos.

It looks like it will be heavy on material from Sonic Temple, given the album turns 30 years old this year. Though I don't imagine they'll be playing the whole al bum on these shows, perhaps they'll treat us to a few gems we don't get to see often. If I had a wish list it would include Edie (non-acoustic version), New York City, Sun King, and maybe something really crazy like Soldier Blue or Soul Asylum.

There will be VIP packages available, but (at least for the ones I checked) there is NOT a "meet the band" part of the premium packages. It looks like you'll get an autographed poster, a lanyard, "exclusive tour merchandise" whatever that means), and a $25 coupon code for the online shop (which I find really weird that it's not at least a $25 voucher that can be used at the venue mercy booth).

Her are the announced dates as of this post:

May 2: Houston, Texas, USA (
May 3: New Orleans, Lousiana, USA
May 4: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
May 9: Dallas, Texas, USA
May 10: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
May 11: Rockingham, North Carolina, USA
May 17: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
May 18: Columbus, Ohio, USA
May 25: Catton, Walton on Trent, England
May 26: Gateshead Quays, (Newcastle), England
May 28: At. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
May 30: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
June 1: Montréal, Quebec, Canada
June 2: Rama (Toronto), Canada
June 3: Winnipeg, Alberta, Canada
June 7: Enoch, (Cree Indian Reserve), Alberta, Canada
June 9: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
June 10: Seattle, Washington, USA
June 12: San Francisco, California, USA
June 14: Reno, Nevada, USA


submitted by Disco___Dave to purecult [link] [comments]

The Week In Review: Suburban News of the Past Week (7/17/16)

Sunday:
NORTH:
· 1. Rally against police violence draws hundreds to Evanston's Fountain Square (Chicago Tribune/Evanston Review)
· 2. Waukegan Scoop a reminder of years gone by for car enthusiasts (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 3. Vernon Hills Park District officially opens new Kids' Castle at Deerpath Park (Daily Herald)
· 4. Woodland Elementary School District 50 seeks new board member because one member resigns to move out of district (Daily Herald)
NORTHWEST:
· 5. Kenneth Cornelissen, owner of South Elgin's Our Place Restaurant, passes away (Chicago Tribune/Elgin Courier-News)
· 6. Former Hoffman Estates bus driver guilty of sexually abusing two 5-year-old girls in South Beloit (Chicago Sun-Times)
WEST:
· 7. Man arrested in stepfather's death after hitting him in the head with a hammer (Chicago Sun-Times)
SOUTHWEST:
· 8. Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip holds prayer vigil in wake of police-involved shootings in Dallas, Minnesota, Lousiana (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 9. Young Oak Lawn boxer who struggled with health issues is carjacked on his way to Chicago gym (Chicago Tribune)
SOUTH:
· 10. Lansing Village Board OKs tax break for Planet Fitness at former PetSmart location on Torrence Avenue (Northwest Indiana Times)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 11. Gary Air Show wows crowd with aerial acrobatics (Chicago Tribune/Gary Post-Tribune)
· 12. Indiana's corporate tax rate reduced to 6.25 percent as of July 1 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 13. Kouts man pleads guilty to sexual abuse of minors (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 14. Dyer Plan Commission gives support to proposals for addition to Kennan Liquors, construction of Northwinds Storage Facility (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 15. St. John town officials battle over commissioner's statements of opposition to proposed changes to Town Center plan; some residents also oppose plan (Northwest Indiana Times)
Monday:
NORTH:
· 16. Mundelein-based Historical Society of Fort Hill Country celebrates 60th anniversary (Daily Herald)
· 17. Dold proposes legislation to compensate communities like Zion for storing nuclear waste at shuttered nuclear plants (WBBM AM 780)
· 18. Port Barrington man dies after being rescued from Fox River following boat-vs-pier crash in Trout Lake (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 19. Lake County jury hands down $1.67 million verdict against a Waukegan hospital in case of botched knee-replacement surgery (Daily Herald)
· 20. The Monkees bringing 50th anniversary tour to Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on Nov. 4 (Daily Herald)
· 21. Mundelein remembers Marion Quig, matron of Quig's Orchards, who died at age 74 (Daily Herald)
· 22. Broken gas meter forces closure of Route 83 in Long Grove (Daily Herald)
NORTHWEST:
· 23. Man wounded in leg during home invasion in South Elgin when homeowner struggled over a gun with another invader (Daily Herald)
· 24. Three men arrested after cutting their way into Elgin Corrugated Box Company (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 25. Officials: Merger between Little City and Countryside Association for People with Disabilities, both based in Palatine, should provide more services (Daily Herald)
WEST:
· 26. Questions remain about Bellwood School District 88 spending, hiring practices as district officials travel, give perks to superintendent on taxpayer dime (Chicago Tribune)
· 27. Westchester police investigating shooting of woman, cousin in car outside her home (Chicago Tribune/The Doings)
· 28. Aurora mayor voices support for proposed Great Lakes Basin Rail Line outside the suburbs (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 29. Elk Grove Village man, formerly CEO of InfrAegis, convicted of defrauding 200 investors out of $9 million (Daily Herald)
· 30. Four people injured in five-vehicle pileup on Naperville's North Aurora Road (Daily Herald)
SOUTHWEST:
· 31. Joliet woman shot to death in Joliet (Chicago Tribune)
· 32. Illinois Department of Transportation OKs toll bridge linking Interstate 80, CenterPoint intermodal facility in Joliet/Elwood (Chicago Tribune)
· 33. Former chief financial officer of Joliet Housing Authority sentenced to 4 years in prison for stealing $200,000 from Chicago Housing Authority; her ex-husband sentenced to 30 months of probation for his involvement in the crime (Chicago Sun-Times)
SOUTH:
· 34. Woman killed, three people injured when she loses control of vehicle on ramp between Bishop Ford Freeway and I-80 in South Holland (Chicago Sun-Times)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 35. Lake County sheriff seeks dismissal of deputy charged with DWI, injuring Frankfort man at Gary Air Show (Chicago Tribune/Gary Post-Tribune)
· 36. Gary City Council stops pursuing proposed ordinance that would have banned saggy pants due to 'lack of support' (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 37. 15-year-old boy in critical condition after near-drowning at Washington Park Beach in Michigan City (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 38. Whiting officials endorse call to end U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's requirement for vehicle testing in Lake, Porter counties (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 39. Tri-Creek School Corporation board exploring options for solar panels at its five schools to reduce energy costs, become more environmentally friendly (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 40. Lowell girl discovers newborn left in family's back yard in severe heat (NBC 5)
· 41. Valparaiso installs 18 traffic signals with audible pedestrian crosswalk signals (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 42. Niche.com names Bannockburn, Grayslake, Hodgkins, Naperville, Northbrook, South Barrington among best American suburbs to live in (NBC 5)
· 43. Illinois State Board of Education ends controversial PARCC testing for high schoolers, replacing it with state-paid SAT test (Chicago Tribune)
Tuesday:
NORTH:
· 44. Waukegan police investigate robbery near bank on 3400 block of Sunset Avenue (Daily Herald)
NORTHWEST:
· 45. Arlington Heights creates new liquor license allowing businesses on second or higher floor to serve alcohol without requiring a full kitchen (Daily Herald)
· 46. Man blends passion for architecture, childhood love for LEGO to become LEGO certified professional (WGN TV)
· 47. The Pick Restaurant in Park Ridge closes after eight months in business (Chicago Tribune/Park Ridge Herald-Advocate)
· 48. Roundy's CEO Bob Mariano, of Inverness, to retire from position, remain as advisor (Daily Herald)
· 49. German pharma company Vetter looking to build new production facility at Algonquin and Mount Prospect roads in Des Plaines (Crain's Chicago Business)
WEST:
· 50. Disagreements persist over fix for borderline-dangerous football field at St. Charles North High School (Daily Herald)
· 51. Elk Grove Township Elementary School District 59 referendum will ask voters whether to eliminate Township Trustees of Schools and Treasurers (Daily Herald)
· 52. vineyard vines lifestyle clothier to open first Midwest store in Rosemont's Fashion Outlets of Chicago (Daily Herald)
· 53. Mail carrier recovering after being stung 30 times by hornets while on route in Wheaton (WBBM AM 780)
· 54. Brookfield Zoo announces names for three Mexican gray wolf pups: Rio, Azul and Ela (NBC 5)
· 55. Bolingbrook-based Association of Pakistani-Americans guys two billboards to encourage Muslims to fight Islamophobia (Chicago Tribune)
· 56. Hemingway love note discovered in Oak Park Library archives may revealed famous author's first love (Chicago Tribune)
· 57. Crash involving two cars and a motorcycle close down Naper Boulevard, Chicago Avenue in Naperville (Daily Herald)
· 58. DuPage Sheriff's Office: Already 25 employees short of ideal staffing level; no way to cut another 10 percent of budget (Daily Herald)
· 59. Neighbors threaten lawsuit after Kane County Board approves housing development on M.A. Center property near Elburn (Daily Herald)
SOUTHWEST:
· 60. Man fatally struck by Metra train near Tinley Park/80th Avenue station (CBS 2)
· 61. Ex-Elmwood Park police sergeant found not guilty of stealing $20,000 from elderly man with dementia (Chicago Tribune/Elm Leaves)
· 62. Wilmington native and Joliet Catholic High School volleyball player Kelly Murphy named to U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
SOUTH:
· 63. Lincoln Way High School District 210 has to repay another $321,635 in improperly collected drivers-education fees, after previously refunding $377,411 (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 64. Illinois Court of Appeals clears Calumet City officers in shooting death of autistic teen (Northwest Indiana Times)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 65. Three men, one teenage boy charged with attempted robbery of Crown Point CVS pharmacy, demanded prescription drugs (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 66. Hammond's Byway Brewery named best in Indiana (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 67. Art installations to light up Gary at night (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 68. Porter County Board supports alternate plan that would re-route freight trains around the county (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 69. Michigan City man in critical condition after kayak overturns on LaPorte's Stone Lake (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 70. U.S. 12 reopened after seven-hour closure following semi carrying steel coil rolls over (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 71. Former Highland High School teacher pleads guilty to sexual misconduct with a child (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 72. 90 acres of land near Porter County Regional Airport may be home to cargo-transfer facility, bringing with it 50 new jobs (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 73. Cook, Lake (Ill.), Will counties discuss courtroom safety following Michigan courthouse shooting (CBS 2)
· 74. Home-security company Safewise lists Clarendon Hills, Hawthorn Woods, Campton Hills as safest communities in Illinois (NBC 5)
Wednesday:
NORTH:
· 75. Thieves steal SUV, crash it into a Skokie police car, steal another SUV to flee; three suspects in custody (Chicago Tribune)
· 76. Experts gathering input from Gurnee residents, businesses on revitalizing East Grand Avenue (Daily Herald)
· 77. Route 134 reopened after serious accident near Park Avenue/Lake View Court intersection near Fox Lake (Daily Herald)
· 78. Man allegedly held gun to girlfriend's head, threatened to shoot dog during barricade situation in Antioch (NBC 5)
· 79. Tower Lakes man dies after his vehicle is submerged in a flooded ditch in northern Wisconsin; emergency workers rescue his wife (Chicago Tribune)
· 80. Principal of Mundelein's Carmel Catholic High School resigns; school won't say why (Daily Herald)
· 81. Libertyville village administrator to retire after 25 years on the job (Daily Herald)
NORTHWEST:
· 82. Gas station on McLean Boulevard in Elgin robbed at gunpoint (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 83. Barrington White House project reaches $6.8 million fundraising goal to help run community center (Daily Herald)
· 84. Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 to have public-input sessions Monday and Tuesday, July 18-19, on strategic plan (Daily Herald)
· 85. Buffalo Grove trustees weigh moving insurance to private market, which could safe up to $600,000 over five years (Daily Herald)
· 86. Palatine to replace cash-only 'honor boxes' with electronic payment systems at its commuter parking lots (Daily Herald)
· 87. Former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates facing default (Crain's Chicago Business)
· 88. Japanese drug company buys Schaumburg-based Sagent Pharmceuticals (Chicago Tribune)
· 89. Lake in the Hills playground at Stoneybrook Park to reopen with new equipment (Daily Herald)
· 90. Marengo fire captain, previously with Elgin Fire Department, loses battle with cancer (Daily Herald)
WEST:
· 91. DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle marks anniversary of Sandra Bland's death in Texas jail (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 92. Cicero man arrested in Riverside claims he stole money from unlocked cars to support pizza habit (Chicago Tribune)
· 93. NBA sideline reporter and Batavia native Craig Sager to receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPY Awards (ABC 7)
· 94. Aurora man charged in Yorkville woman's overdose death, leaving her body behind abandoned business (FOX 32)
· 95. Ex-Winfield deputy fire chief indicted on forgery, official misconduct charges; officials say he present fake college diploma to get promotion (Daily Herald)
· 96. Empire craft-beer-and-burger bar in Naperville a mix of old furnishings, new menu items (Daily Herald)
SOUTHWEST:
· 97. Tinley Park man dies after jumping in front of a Metra train at Tinley Park/South Street Station (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
SOUTH:
· 98. Hazel Crest woman killed by stray bullet in Calumet City house (FOX 32)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 99. Jeff Strack named president and CEO of Strack & Van Til (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 100. MaiaCo., connected to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, may help develop parts of Gary (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 101. Two people convicted of child neglect in scalding of 14-month-old baby in LaPorte (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 102. Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh launches campaign for open Senate seat (CBS 2)
· 103. Gary man sentenced to six years in prison for shooting death of teen trying to steal his car (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 104. Which taxing bodies are you paying to fight mosquitoes? In some towns, you could pay up to three different agencies (Daily Herald)
· 105. Cook County issues first transportation plan in 76 years as result of change in motor-fuel tax distribution takes effect, to qualify for federal money (Chicago Tribune)
· 106. Cook County celebrates first graduate of mental-health court in Bridgeview (WGN TV)
· 107. Comcast announces $100 million plan to expand fiber-optic and coaxial cable in Chicago region (Chicago Sun-Times)
Thursday:
NORTH:
· 108. Mundelein man accused of murder-for-hire plot commits suicide in Lake County Jail's medical unit (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 109. Lake County State's Attorney to appeal dismissal of theft charges against former North Chicago police chief (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 110. Lake County Electoral Board agrees to remove incumbent Coroner Thomas Rudd's name from November ballot (Daily Herald)
· 111. Waukegan police search for suspects in two separate armed robberies on city's southeast side (Daily Herald)
· 112. 3-month-old kitten found severely burned in Harwood Heights alley; rescuers believe burns came from a firework attached to the kitten (NBC 5)
· 113. Highland Park chiropractor who sexually abused a client gets released from jail early (Daily Herald)
NORTHWEST:
· 114. Two counselors injured when tree falls on them at Camp Duncan in Ingleside (ABC 7)
· 115. California man caught with 72 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle in McHenry County sentenced to 12 years in prison for drug trafficking and possession (Chicago Tribune)
· 116. Family of Hanover Park man killed in April motorcycle crash sues Bartlett man over alleged negligent driving that led to biker's death (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 117. Domestic-outreach arm of St. Raymond de Penafort Parish in Mount Prospect to screen documentary on campus rape on Sunday, July 17 (Daily Herald)
· 118. Former Rolling Meadows city attorney Donald M. Rose, who helped shape the city, dies at age 85 (Daily Herald)
· 119. Buffalo Grove police given vehicle-safety award as part of 2016 National Law Enforcement Safety Challenge (Daily Herald)
· 120. Push Fitness to move to new location on Remington Road in Schaumburg (Daily Herald)
· 121. Palatine rejects tobacco store's request to allow sales of hookah, glass pipes (Daily Herald)
WEST:
· 122. McDonald's promises to work with Oak Brook officials as it prepares to move to Chicago (Chicago Tribune/The Doings)
· 123. Geneva councilmen seek referendum to raise city's sales tax by 0.5 percent to 8 percent (Daily Herald)
· 124. Koch Foods scraps plan to move to Rosemont after estimated cost of new headquarters exceeds its budget (Daily Herald)
· 125. Old artillery shell found cemented into basement floor of foreclosed Yorkville home draws out police, Kane County Bomb Squad (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 126. Montgomery man dies four days after crash on Aurora's Farnsworth Avenue near Chicago Outlet Mall (Chicago Sun-Times)
SOUTHWEST:
· 127. Body of man found inside trunk of rental car that was on fire in Joliet Township; coroner reports he'd be shot in the head (Chicago Tribune)
· 128. Chesterton, Ind., woman killed in motorcycle crash in Oak Lawn (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 129. Yemeni immigrant who lived in Chicago Ridge shot to death during argument at Chicago gas station (Chicago Tribune)
· 130. Plainfield native's cooking slammed by Gordon Ramsey on 'MasterChef' (Chicago Tribune)
SOUTH:
· 131. Hot-dog mogul Dick Portillo and his wife pledge $1 million to performing-arts center at Argo High School in Summit, where the couple met (Crain's Chicago Business)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 132. Two men sought in liquor robbery from Dyer Jewel-Osco (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 133. Volunteer firefighteparamedic from South Haven suspended after racist post on Facebook (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 134. Three people wounded in separate shootings Wednesday in East Chicago and Gary (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 135. 15-year-old beaten up, his cell phone stolen in Hammond garage (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 136. ComEd estimates 22,000 customers in suburbs lost power following Wednesday's storms (NBC 5)
Friday:
NORTH:
· 137. Lake Zurich sued by building owner following third rejection of U-Haul proposal (Daily Herald)
· 138. Two teenage boys robbed at gunpoint while playing 'Pokemon GO' at 10 p.m. near Lake Villa (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 139. Cyclist struck by Metra train at about 9 a.m. at intersection of Dempster Street and Lehigh Avenue in Morton Grove (Chicago Tribune/Morton Grove Champion)
NORTHWEST:
· 140. Anti-abortion protest/march in Arlington Heights gets cheers, jeers (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 141. Former dean at Des Plaines' Joseph Academy convicted of distributing heroin in Minnesota (Daily Herald)
· 142. Lake Barrington man hospitalized after falling into village's namesake lake (Chicago Tribune/Barrington Courier-Reveiw)
· 143. Two Schaumburg men — one with 12 felony convictions — arrested for theft from Hanover Park home-improvement store (Daily Herald)
· 144. Palatine Library seeks applicants to fill seat on board; applications due by July 29 (Daily Herald)
· 145. Group of suburban women witness chaos of terrorist attack in Nice, France (CBS 2)
WEST:
· 146. Former Naperville resident's essay on growing up black in the Midwest draws widespread attention (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 148. Countryside man arrested in Michigan for shooting that killed man, injured woman in Chicago on June 6 (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 149. West Chicago Community High School drama club raises $80,000 for trip to Scotland to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Daily Herald)
· 150. Kane County sheriff withdraws deputies from Kaneland, Burlington Central high schools as department deals with short-staffing (Daily Herald)
· 151. Chicago man convicted of making phone calls threatening state representative from Wheaton given two years probation (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 152. Cicero man charge with murder in abuse-related death of 2-year-old son in Berwyn in April (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 153. Fox Mill residents oppose Campton Hills' move to take away control of 275 acres of open space in their subdivision (Daily Herald)
SOUTH:
· 154. New Lenox pays out nearly $1 million to settle police-misconduct cases since 2004; other south, southwest suburban departments subject of complaints costing municipalities thousands to millions (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 155. Man arrested for selling crack out of Chicago Heights senior-living facility (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 156. Dean of Blue Island's Eisenhower High School arrested in Proviso Township for soliciting a sex act, the third time this year (Chicago Sun-Times)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 157. Merrillville man extricated from van, flown to Oak Lawn, Ill., hospital after crash on Interstate 65 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 158. Ivy Tech Community College names new president for Michigan City campus (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 159. Gary man arrested for intimidation, disorderly conduct after burning a dollar bill, shouting allegiance to IS at Majestic Star Casino (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 160. Search turns up nothing following bomb threat at Gary's Carter C. Woodson Library (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 161. 'Pokemon Go' a mixed blessing for public facilities, private businesses (Daily Herald)
Saturday:
NORTH:
· 162. One person dead, seven injured after crash involving a pickup and several motorcycles in Fox Lake (WGN TV)
NORTHWEST:
· 163. Inverness-based Preservation of Human Dignity provides counseling, clothing for new mothers dealing with difficulties (WGN TV)
WEST:
· 164. Greater Chicago Food Depository's Lunch Bus makes stops in Berwyn, Cicero to help kids who qualify for free meals during school year get lunches during the summer (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 165. Riverside police chief personally warns kids to keep back from Des Plaines River after they waded into the water while playing 'Pokemon GO' (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 166. Dress Barn on Kingery Highway in Elmhurst robbed; suspect forces employees into bathroom before fleeing (ABC 7)
· 167. Aurora man's memorial to victims of Orlando shooting moved to permanent display at Orange County Regional History Center (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 168. Wheaton-Warrenville Unit School District 200 considering where to house early-childhood education program (Daily Herald)
SOUTHWEST:
· 169. Man dead in fall from railing during Chicago Open Air Festival at Toyota Park in Bridgeview (CBS 2)
SOUTH:
· 170. Summit police seek man responsible for hit-and-run that killed 98-year-old man two months after his was struck (Chicago Sun-Times)
NORTHWEST INDIANA:
· 171. Town of Chesterton investing $2 million in fiber-optic project for existing, future businesses (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 172. Valparaiso to reconstruct Washington Street between Lincolnway and Jefferson Street after Popcorn Fest (Northwest Indiana Times)
REGIONAL
· 173. Statistics show Lake Michigan has nearly as many drownings and rescues as the rest of the Great Lakes combined (Chicago Tribune)
submitted by emememaker73 to ChicagoSuburbs [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA Person on day 44 of Paddling the entire Mississippi River

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-05-29
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
How do avoid the larger river traffic (barges, ships, etc..) that might not be looking out for something as small as a kayak? Any close encounters? The barges stay in their marked channel well and are not a huge problem. I was in a few large pools this last weekend when everybody took out their motor boats. A bunch of drunks in speedboats are scarier to me. I had a guy Sunday come within a few feet of me. I almost threw my paddle at him.
When I was passing through Burlington Iowa 2 boats collided a few miles down from where I was camping. 4 people died and I have been much more cautious since then.
I had a barge sneak up on me from behind near the Wisconsin, Illinois border. I about pooped my self when it blew it's horn at me. Stupid Iowa NPR had a segment called "steamboat stories" that had that sound every time it started and would send shivers up my spine.
Not that I'd be pulling rank with a barge, but don't you technically have the right of way being that you have no motor? At least sail boats always have the right of way. Barges stay in their channel that is well marked by bouys. I might have the right of way but that means nothing if they can't see me.
Simple question- Why are you doing this? Also, any pics to share? Generic answer I give - "Because life is short and I wouldn't want to live it without having paddled the Mississippi"
Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq"
Reason Now - "I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. The amount of freedom I feel everyday is breath taking and I want to share it with someone who deserves it"
*edit - I am uploading an album to imgur now.
I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. Please let us know when you get to the planning phase of this. I'll gladly kick in some money towards it. First thing when I get back. This is my new biggest priority besides not dying on the river.
Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq" If you find yourself in New Orleans next Saturday, I will buy the booze. I will be there in 4 weeks.
The first answer is good enough for me, but each one after gets better and better. Best of luck to you :o) The ups is that I go as far as I want everyday, stop when I want and have time to really discover myself. I also can sing as loud as I want to a Kesha or Pink song on the radio while I am paddling.
Another question if you will? - What are the ups and downs to doing this solo? (Note: Solo, not alone) The downside is it is very lonely. When I first started out I would not see people for days and was alone which was ok and I felt fine. Now that I am somewhere where I see people all the time I feel lonely. Every person I meet asks me the same 3 or 4 questions.
Where do you jerk off? In my tent, the hammock makes it hard to maneuver.
When will you pass through Memphis? I reddit work literally on the banks of the river just south of the I-55 bridge. In about 8 days.
1) What are the expected total costs (gear included)? 1) The boat and gear ran me about 2000 dollars. 400 dollars for the ticket to Minneapolis, 300 to the guy who took me to Itasca. Then about 20 dollars per day I was on the river.
If you ever need a ride from Minneapolis to Itasca again, please just come to /twincitiessocial or PM me. $300 is ridiculous and I know that we could find someone to tote you up there for much less. I gave him 300$ because while I was waiting to go up I was bumming around the Mall of America, killing time. A cute girl asked me if I wanted to go to a casino and I said yes, because I love buffets and knew I could eat whatever I wanted. Waiting for the bus back to the mall so I could catch the shuttle back to my hotel I put 20 dollars in the Ghostbusters slot. I won 600 dollars. I don't really gamble and so I bought a nice hat and some nicer sunglasses for my trip. The guy who gave me a ride would have done it for free but I felt he deserved more and so gave him half of my winnings.
Is your name Huck or Jim? I am glad you did not write out Jim's name like Mark Twain did.
Would that even be possible? You'd exert so much energy per mile compared to going downstream... Everything from Minneapolis to St. Louis is flat because of the 29 locks and dams. It makes the river more like a staircase than a slope.
I noticed there was a picture of you inside a lock. Do they actually let a tiny boat like yours through the locks? Do they open and close the locks just for your little kayak? It seems a bit excessive but they send me through all by myself. The people at the locks are the only people I regularly talk to and are usually cool guys. In the locks with the bigger drops it feels like Star Wars with the giant gates opening.
But I mean you're going against the current regardless. Do kayaks skim the water so it wouldn't be too difficult? I guess I imagine paddling downstream somewhat like tubing down a river. Am I wrong? Back when the river was small and shallow there are sections that are class 2 rapids that would be very very difficult to paddle upstream. Also Saulk Rapids a couple of days north of Minneapolis would be almost impossible to paddle through. I think a rowing skiff would work best on most of it.
Pool 26 represent. FYI, St. Louis's sewer company, MSD, dumps raw sewage into the Mississippi. Hows the water quality now that you've come to our fine city? It has been nasty since Minneapolis. Everybody's poo goes into the river.
How do you get on reddit? I am at a hotel today. I have a smartphone and reddit is fun on it.
1) how are you going to paddle to pensacola? is it safe to take your boat through the gulf? 1) I plan on paddling the inter coastal most of the way from the mouth to Pensacola, my boat is very stable and can handle the gulf if I need it to.
2) do you like living in pensacola? do you consider it part of the deep south? 2) I do not like living in Pensacola, I plan on moving back to SLC. Pensacola is a great place to visit but not so much to live in, and yes it is very deep South.
Do you stop and visit some places you pass? If so, did you stop in the quad cities? (that's my hometown) I paddled through the quad cities at night. Your hometown is probably the most polluted area on the Mississippi. The water smelled like paint. I broke my paddle in the quad cities and was not very happy there.
How did you break your paddle? Going through the last lock in the quad cities I had to pee very bad. There is a rocky area just left of the locks when you exit. A lock can take 30 minutes and I had to go really bad. When I was paddling into that rocky area my paddle hit a rock and the blade broke.
Twin cities resident here! Did you see all the dogs along the shore chasing balls and having a merry time just before passing Fort Snelling? I did. They were on my left as I paddled by. Dogs love to come to the banks and bark at me. *edit - I keep a detailed journal while I am out here but you just reminded me of something I might have never remembered had you not asked. Thanks.
Had I been there that day this may have greeted you. Link to imgur.com I do have a serious question though: how has gear weight played a part in your selection of gear? How much does all of your gear weigh sans kayak? How often do you stop to resupply food and how much food and water do you carry with you? I do not have to worry about weight like I do when I backpack. My kayak alone weighs around 65 pounds. My gear is probably around 45 pounds now and I have about 15 pounds of food. I carry usually a weeks supply of food that is mostly mac and cheese and stovetop stuffing for dinner with pop tarts and candy bars for the day. Water is more difficult than food. I have a 10 liter MSR water bag and a 4 liter platypus bag. I have not been able to filter or treat my water since Minneapolis, and usually fill it up with a hose.
Do you not have a good enough filter & treatment for the water or just don't trust it given the water quality? You can't filter water from an oil slick.
So yeah, antiseptic. Hand sanitizer would be cheap and relatively light. I worked in Yellowstone after college at the Snow Lodge. Fly fishing is an art I will never master. If you ever have a chance to go out there and fish the Snake River or the Yellowstone River, take it. I am glad your eye is ok now.
I have plenty of other questions as well: when it's time to sleep do you simply pull off and sleep on shore? I know there has been some torrential rain lately, how has this effected your trip? Any weather situations that have forced you to stop for the day/had you scared shitless? When I was crossing Lake Cass it began sleeting on my and the winds were causing 3 foot waves. I fell in. I had a bag with fleece pants a fleece jacket and a pak-towel in case of this. After I got into dry clothes I paddled upriver to a lodge I saw earlier. I went into the shower and could not touch the water with my hands without intense pain. Without having been prepared I could have died that day, but luckily I didn't.
I usually just find an island on the river and set up there.
Do you have it setup so things stay in the kayak if it tips? Yes everything is strapped down and in waterproof bags.
What is this monkey swing you speak of? I take one arm and grab a tree branch then swing way back so my poo does not hit my feet. I call it the Monkey Swing because I feel like a monkey swinging from branch to branch.
How was La Crosse? Did you stop there by any chance? I did. A beautiful girl at the awesome river park recommended a pizza place and I ate four very large slices. La Crosse was a beautiful town with a great river front.
What did you do with your boat while you went to get the pizza? The rocks up to the park are pretty steep and it was such a nice clean place I felt like it was safe there.
Awesome! It's my hometown. (I'm in Ohio right now for school.) I'm glad you enjoyed it! What pizza place was it, do you recall? Good luck on the rest of your journey, sir! It was across from a bar called the library.
Beautiful women, recommending pizza? I must go to this place. She had just come from a food co-op also.
Australian cricket legend and World War II fighter pilot Keith Miller put things into perspective when he was asked how he handled the pressure of international cricket. His reply: "Pressure? A Messerschmitt up your arse is pressure. Playing cricket is not." My question: Does your currrent undertaking feel like a walk in the park compared to your time in Iraq? Do you think that this challenge is made (or feels) easier in some way by the experiences you made during your service? Apples and Oranges. We relied on each other a ton over there and it was a shared experience. I feel that my time in the service gave me the confidence to try to achieve something that might seem impossible.
Are you going through the locks when you come to them? Or are you going around on foot? I am going through the locks. I pull a little cord right before them that signals the lockmaster and they put me through just like a barge. I sometimes have to wait upwards of an hour and a half for the barges to go through first. Before Minneapolis I would have to carry my boat around the dams, sometimes up to a mile.
How do you carry the kayak? I've found them a lot harder to portage than canoes. I usually take 2 trips. First I carry all my gear then I use a handle on the side of my kayak to carry it.
Once you conquer the Mississippi what will be your next adventure? I want to come back and help a paraplegic be the first to paddle the entire river. I have had this on my mind for the last month and I think it could be done. The biggest obstacle is portaging around all the dams in Minnesota.
Someday I would like to ride a bike from Coney Island, NY to Chicago then take route 66 to LA. Then I will have done my personal triple crown. Walk up the country, float down then peddle across.
Are you worried about how violent the river becomes in Louisiana? That undercurrent is a killer, literally. Yes I am. 5 people have died on the river within a few miles of me since I have been out here. 4 in Burlington Iowa and one near Hannibal, MO. I stay very near the shore to avoid barges and to be safe. I am very aware that it will be dangerous but will continue anyways.
Most people who die on the river do so because they leave their life vests and brains on the dock to make room for more beer. I have never been or will be on this river without my life vest. I keep a small drybag on my vest with my phone and wallet in case I get separated from my boat.
Are you doing your ama from a mobile device on the water or are you taking a break right now? I am taking the day off. I am at a holliday inn with a business center. I do check reddit every couple of nights from my phone but have to conserve my battery in case I need my phone for an emergency. I stay in a hotel about once every 10 days and this is the second time I took an entire day off. I woke up today and was unable to close my fingers in a fist without a ton of pain and thought it would be a good idea to rest.
Where is your kayak while you are in the hotel room? Did you take it in with you? A marina here is letting me keep it there overnight. Sometimes I hide it among the trees on the shore when I run into town.
How much gear have you ditched so far because you overpacked? Haven't ditched any gear but have lost or broken; solar panel, gps, laptop, gloves, knit hat, kayak paddle and a fleece.
What piece of gear do you wish you had that you don't? What piece of gear has surprised you most? What piece of gear has disappointed you most? I wish I had a spare kayak paddle. My kayak paddle dissapointed me when it broke but the worst piece of gear I had was a Brunton Solar charger. It just straight up did not work even with 12 hours of direct sunlight.
Cat can stove? Cat Can Stove! I don't think anything inflatable could make it down this river because of all the debris.
Do you have any plans for future excursions? I want to do the river again but to act as a guide for a paraplegic and help him/her around the dams and such. It has become clear to me out here that life is better when you stop worrying about yourself and start helping others. If I could share this freedom with someone who might feel confined by their chair then that is a pretty good life.
One day I want to ride a bicycle across the country to complete my triple crown. Walk up, paddle down and ride across. I want to touch the South Pole before I die.
Ehat do you mean by "walk up"? Can you elaborate? When I hiked the Appalachian trail I walked up the country from Georgia to Maine.
When you camp on the side of the river, do you just do it wherever? did you have to organize/reserve locations, or do you just hobo-style it? any problems with authorities ever? I usually stay on islands and pull my boat all the way off the water. No one can really see me.
What kind of wildlife do you see?? At the start there was an amazing amount of wildlife. My favorite was a small furry wolf that was drinking from the riverside. I have seen a ton of deer, ducks, geese, loons, herons and beavers. I also saw a whooping crane. I have a picture of it.
How enormous are the whirlpools? I heard the Mississippi gets massive whirlpools, if so, have you ever gotten stuck in one? They can be upwards of 20 feet. They can be frustrating because there seems to be no good way to paddle around them without being spun around a bit. The more speed you have when skirting by them the less effect they have.
How fast does the Mississippi move? Like, you say you're paddling down it, but could you conceivably just float down it? From Minneapolis to St. Louis the river is controlled by locks and dams. Usually the wind comes from the South and if I do not paddle it pushes me upstream. The current picks up a ton after St. Louis because there are no more dams and floating becomes an option.
Tell us about the stuff you need to figure out about Iraq. What have you been doing since you came back, and why the need for adventure right now? The weight of being responsible for other people's deaths weighs heavy on my heart. I worked for the company that made the drone I flew for a while until they told me I would have to go to Afghanistan. I went back to school for a bit and waited tables. I knew in my heart that I was an adventurer and the only way to get back to that is to dive in.
How polluted is the Mississip? Outside of the cities it is not too bad. I have been by probably 25 coal power plants and tons of factories. The quad cities treats the river like a dump. The water is polluted beyond belief but local groups keep the shoreline decently clean, except in Minneapolis.
As someone who is looking at the filthy bastard right now, (Muscatine, Iowa) what made you choose the Mississippi? I grew up in Memphis and used to hang out at the river. I am just one of those people that when they see a mountain they want to climb it.
Ever read the story "Big Two-Hearted River" by Hemingway? You sound a bit like the character in that. Enjoy your journey and thanks for sharing. No I did read The River Why, Down the River, Huck Finn, and A River Runs Through it though.
How swole are your arms? I lifted a while before this and my arms have actually gotten smaller but more toned.
Any close calls with shady people? Any times where you feared for your safety? Thank you for your military service. Whenever I go through a larger town or city there are people who hang out under the bridges. I avoid them.
Once you get to the mouth in Venice, Louisiana. Would you like to have a beer with me? Sure.
How often do you listen to Black Water by the Doobie Brothers? I heard it on the radio about two weeks ago and sang along. The stroke by Billy Squire and Drift Away are 2 good paddlin songs too. You can usually find me singing along to Brittney Spears and Ke$ha to be honest.
How easy would it be to do this? Like how much experience do you recommend having before you set out on this journey? You need a decent amount of paddling experience for this and must know how to read a river.
Cool.... Where would you get started for all of this? Join a local paddling club. I went through the Memphis canoe and kayak club's courses on whitewater canoeing and kayaking in the 90's growing up. Even if you don't own a boat your local club will probably help you find something to paddle. When I am on my kayak it moves like another limb of my body. When you can paddle and not think about it you are golden. I used to work for an Outdoors shop in memphis. After work every day I would go to a small public lake at shelby farms and paddle for 2-3 hours. I did it because I loved it, even though I just went around in small circles. I did not know at the time that it would lead to this. Start small and dream big. I love the feeling of being on the water. Some people love climbing rocks. If it is el Cap, Everest, a solo sail around the world or maybe a float of the Mississippi that is your calling you will know.
Have you been smacked by any Asian carp yet? Yes they do hit my boat daily. Since lock 19 in Iowa they have been everywhere.
Very cool, I think it is very cool to see someone actively crossing things off a bucket list! Too many people just talk about doing those things but are never serious. Thank you for your service as well! I was paddling north of Minneapolis when I saw a couple of kayaks in front of me. I paddled to catch up and there were about 40 people paddling down the river. I had not seen anyone else paddling before and I was excited. They were a river club from Minneapolis that was out for a day paddle. One of the nice older ladies offered me a place to stay but I did not take the offer and paddled another 10 miles after they got out.
Just curious, how did you get by the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota? I imagine you just pulled out some where and put back in down river but I'd be interested to hear how anyway. There is a ridiculously long trail that goes up and down over 2 old rail beds, across a concrete path, down a steep hill, across a 2 foot wide bridge, up a hill with a tree fallen in the middle, then down a long path, that turns into another long path, that finally goes down a hill into a parking lot and then down another steep hill. The path was covered in ticks and there was dicarded panties and broken liquor bottles the whole way. I described it in another response as "rapey". It was not a good time.
How long do you plan on this trip taking? And did you do anything special to prepare for a journey of this magnitude? 70-80 days Nothing too special to be honest. Having gone through SERE-C in the Army helped as well as a lifetime of trips in the outdoors.
Welcome to St. Louis! Just wondering if the river's as muddy everywhere else as it is here? We even have a cake named Mississippi Mud Cake, so, yeah... lol. I used to drink the water and see down 6 feet. Since Iowa it has been bad. Remember playing "hot lava" as a kid. It is like that but with cancer.
Why? I once heard that the afterlife might be a separation from time and you live your life over and over again. Do yo measure life in dollars or in sunsets?
To an alien my life has purpose. What do you have. If it is kids and love you win. If not . . .
Because I own things that money could never buy.
Did I miss the imgur link to OP's pictures? The link is in my comments.
I work at a kayak rental shop in Cleveland, on lake Erie. Im assuming the boat is about 17 feet because you are obviously an experience paddler. Is that right? It is 14 feet.
Did you bring any weed? No :(
Bummer man. I might find a stealth grow on the banks one of these days but I wouldn't want to steal it. I will keep on looking though.
Real men paddle FROM Pensacola TO Minneapolis. If I could find someone to fund it I would turn around and paddle back when I am done.
I'd love a brief overview of the gear you're using. The kayak is a Jackson Cuda Sit on top. I was using an Accent kayak paddle until the blade snapped in the quad cities. I use an Accent paddle board paddle now. I sleep in either my REI 2 man tent or on my ENO hammock. I cook with a denatured alcohol stove. I always wear my life jacket which I have a dry bag attached to hold my phone and wallet. I have a rather large river knife attached to my vest also. I use a Marmot 30 degree sleeping bag with a Thermarest Z-rest for my bed. I had a solar panel and a gps but the river took those from me a month ago.
LOVE my ENO hammock! Slept in it all weekend... Good luck brotha! The ENO hammock is my favorite piece of gear.
As would I! I can't imagine using a sit on top for expedition paddling...a sea kayak feels so much more cozy to me. I picked the Jackson Cuda because I can stand and paddle it like a paddle board. I didn't go with a traditional kayak because I was afraid my legs would not be able to handle months inside a regular kayak.
Good luck, sir. I hope you find what it is you're looking for. You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.
Post that shit everywhere :D Maybe our numbers will swell abit. And the trivia team will grow.
Please tell me that's not a fishing pole. I hope you don't plan on eating any fish from that river. Polluted nasty poop fish! That's my poop you are kayaking with! (I live in STL) I would not eat anything south of the quad cities.
You are still north of myself - but when you reach Cairo to Caruthersville (spelling) anthing along that stretch - Basically the Convergance of Ohio and Miss - to where I44 crosses the River. Thanks. I will be passing by probably Friday. I could definitely use a new kayak paddle but I think my mom in Memphis has a spare she will lend me. Mine broke in the quad cities and I have been using a paddleboard paddle like a canoe paddle. It is a mess and I can't close my hands fully anymore but I kind of like it.
You need anything because I could probably get it to you. You can come out and we can high five if you want.
So - regarding Paddle and whatever - looks like I can swing heading North along the river on Thursday - so we are not constrained to a Friday crossing timeline. So outside of the Paddle - any "inland" favorites you desire let me know and we will try and work this out. I talked to my mom and I have an old paddle of mine at her place in Memphis. If you just want to come say hi that would be nice.
Because of the width and the height of the Cuda, a 240cm paddle would be best if you're going to provide a replacement. Maybe the Bending Branches infusion with the soft grips... I was using a 240 before because of the cuda's height. When you set the chair in the low position it is actually not that tall. It is an amazing vessel.
You should launch a Kickstarter campaign to write/document your travels. Perhaps when you do the trip again with a Wounded Warrior. The Wounded Warrior project could perhaps help too. If I could raise money I might. I am well read and well educated but I feel no need to share this. If I could help someone by being popular that would be good. I would rather just die with this than let someone sell it.
I plan on writing a book but I do not like attention while I am doing it. I have already written over 120 pages in my journal but I feel the river is the true story, not some asshole like me going down it If I do ever publish a book about this I want it to be like cannery row, a bit of the wild slipping on the knife. Some days I just wish I was like the kid in into the wild and if I die out here it is worth writing about.
I'm pretty sure I recall you posting your "ride wanted" ad in the twinscitiessocial subreddit or something of the like. Glad to see you found your ride! I recently traveled alongside the river just in Minnesota alone and am really jealous of your trip. No questions here, just good luck! Give some love to mn_redditor. Without him I would not be here.
When you come through Vicksburg, Mississippi, let me know! I will send you a message when I am close.
Did you get bitten by a snake. I fear most bodies of water because of this T_T. I have only seen two snakes in the water, both while waiting for locks. There will be more.
Oh my gosh HEY, i know you! I work at the Four Points you stayed at in MPLS and drove you around in the shuttle :) So fun to see your post on here and see the pictures of where you've been! Hey thanks for the radio station advice. You were a cool chick.
I admire your exercise in Zen. I find mine climbing rock walls. Enjoy the solidarity, risk, and enlightenment. The process of present moments is what matters. The best days are the ones where the hours melt like minutes.
When you get back the zombie contamination will be over. I always wanted to be patient zero in the zombie apocalypse. Maybe the foul waters of lousiana will cause this.
Last updated: 2012-06-03 02:11 UTC
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