The Celtics continue to prove doubters wrong, take 2-0 series lead to Cleveland   Leave a comment

Image result for Marcus Morris yells at Tristan Thompson

 

The stat ESPN started throwing out there halfway through the 4th Quarter: The last time LeBron James was down 2-0 vs. the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, it was in 2008. The Celtics went on to win the series and the NBA Championship vs. the Lakers in 6 games.

…The difference is back then, The Celtics had 3 All Stars. This time it’s been their young players taking point in the absence of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward (as well and Daniel Theis). Now the pundits are rightfully saying what Celtics fans have been saying since Irving and Hayward came to Boston last summer: The Eastern Conference runs through Boston. Not next year but now.

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To say LBJ’s leaving Cleveland again goes without saying. As for where he might end up this time, he will likely want to join a contender again so that means it will likely be one of the following teams:

 

  • Cleveland: LBJ’s current team got the #8 pick in the 2018 Draft Lottery, which they received from the Celtics along with Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder (Both traded mid-season) and Ante Zizic in exchange for Kyrie Irving. The Cavs have clearly been making moves since the offseason independent of whatever LBJ decides so clearly the team is positioning itself to be in the playoff picture with or with him. LBJ reportedly asked that Irving not be traded. Irving reportedly threatened to have elective surgery if he was not traded, LBJ’s wishes be damned (LOL). It would be fair to say LBJ would stay with the Cavs as a last resort.
  • Boston: Let’s be real, the Eastern Conference runs through the Celtics now. Not next year but now. The Celtics can make that claim after they finish off LBJ and the Cavs but at this point it’ll be a formality. Next year the team will be at full power with the return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Having said that, could LBJ pull a Kevin Durant and join the NBA’s newest Super Team just to play with Kyrie Iving again? Sure, but unlikely. For one, the Celtics don’t have the money to pay him after they signed Hayward and Al Horford. The Celtics blew up the team just to sign Hayward as a reminder. Plus, there IS the fact Uncle Drew didn’t want to play with him anymore. LOL.
  • Philadelphia: Many have picked the 76ers as the most likely team in the Eastern Conference LBJ would go to. LBJ going there would mean both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would have reduced roles on the floor with him in the lineup. That would be a big X-Factor just to compete with the Celtics in the ECF.
  • New York: The Knicks haven’t had a deep playoff run since the 90s but then they ran into Michael Jordan and later the Orlando Magic before they fell off completely. It’s been far longer since the Knicks last won a Championship. Having just hired former Grizzlies Head Coach David Fizdale to coach the team, LBJ would be the star power the Knicks could use to Make the Knicks Great Again. LOL.
  • Toronto: What’s this? Go to a team you just swept out the payoffs?! Well, Kyrie Irving did it last year after the Cavs beat Boston in 5 games. It is a stretch though not improbable. More so givien after the Head Coach was fired, there is speculation DeRozan or Lowry or both could be traded during the offseason.
  • San Antonio: Experts don’t think LBJ will leave the Eastern Conference but if he does go West, the Spurs are believed to be one of two teams he’s most likely to go to. It would be as boon for the team given Kawhi Leonard is expected to be leaving for another team, likely East.
  • LA Lakers: Goes without saying this is the most likely team in the West for two reasons. One is he recently bought a house in LA. The other is Magic Johnson has been laying to groundwork to get LBJ, Paul George possibly Kawhi Leonard as well. The sad irony is a deal to bring LBJ to the Lakers could jeopardize Isaiah Thomas’ chances of getting a new contract. It could also mean Lonzo Ball and/or Brandon Ingram are kicked out of the starting five as well.
  • Golden State: See what I put for Boston. ‘Nuff said.

 

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The Celtics weathered the early storm in the first Quarter and dared LBJ to will the Cavs to victory. He could not. Now with the series shifting to Cleveland for the next two games, even LBJ’s biggest fanboy–ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith–plainly stated “If the Cavs lose Game 3 they’ll probably get swept.” He also plainly said the Celtics are the better team and would match up well against the Rockets or Warriors. Speaking of, the Western Conference finals is tied 1-1 with Game 3 on Sunday in Oakland (Golden State).

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If I’m a betting man, it will be Warriors vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Celtics will close out the Cavs in 5 or 6 if they don’t sweep. Warriors will beat the Rockets in 6 games. Let me tell you, this would be a MONSTER series in the NBA Finals. Draymon Green vs. Marcus Smart would be fun to watch as would KD and Tatum.

 

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Celtics on the verge of sweeping The 76ers out of the playoffs   Leave a comment

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To say this Celtics team defied all expectations would be a MASSIVE understatement. They put down Giannis and the Bucks in 7 games in the first round of the playoffs. Now they’re on the verge of sweeping the very team everyone outside New England picked to go to the NBA Finals out of the playoffs.

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…Yes, THAT  team. “Trust The Process”? Process Failed. LOL.

Now, the obvious question to be asked is how did the Boston Celtics, who are without 2 of their 3 All Stars get to this point?

This is how:

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…Great coaches think alike.

Local media spied Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens hanging out with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in Foxboro last summer during the Patriots training camp. The NBA Summer League had ended, Gordon Hayward signing with Boston became official and the Isiaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade was about to go down. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year but lost to the Cleveland Caveliers in 5 games (who themselves lost to the Golden State Warriors in 5 games in the NBA Finals). After the Celtics lost the series, Brad Stevens said in the postgame press conference he considered anything short of winning the NBA Championship a failure to be learned from.

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Everyone knows Gordon Hayward went down with a ankle nasty injury in the season open against the Cavs. It was a season-ending injury but fortunately not career-ending. Everyone wrote off the Celtics’ season at that point. Then the Celtics went on a 17-game win streak. Kyrie Irving missed several games earlier in the season due to injury and is out for the postseason after having knee surgery in March. Everyone wrote off the Celtics getting out of the first round at that point.

…Big mistake.

The Philosophy in Boston Sports is and always has been “Next Man Up.”

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Nowhere has this been more apparent than Celtics Rookie Jayson Tatum and Sophmore team mate Jaylen Brown. Both were drafted third by the Celtics, much to the surprise of everyone. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball were both drafted Second by the Lakers.

…Who were drafted first?

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These two.

Ben Simmons, who was drafted last year missed the whole 2016-17 NBA Season after breaking his hand during the Summer League. Markelle Fultzm who was drafted this year hasn’t played a single game this season because he doesn’t feel 100%. There’s nothing physically wrong with him. It’s all in his head. So, yeah.

The 76ers were overhyped and the Lakers failed to make the playoffs. LOL. As a reminder: Both teams–The Sixers and the Lakers–tanked HARD so they could get the top draft picks, ending up with Ball, Ingram, Simmons and Fultz respectively. The Celtics took the Nets’ future from them via the trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn back in 2012 and held it until they dealt it and Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland last year as part of the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. While the Sixers and Lakers tanked on purpose to get the first two picks, the Celtics could safely stay competative while the took the Nets’ picks.

…The Process is a failure. LOL.

The Sixers were able to hold off the sweep tonight but you can be certain the Celtics will close out the series in Boston on Wednesday. It will be a repeat of last year’s ECF between the Celtics and the Cavs, who could close out their series with the Toronto Raptors tonight. Or if the Raptors hold off elimination, the Celtics and Cavs will start on Sunday.

The Korean War to officially end 65 years later   Leave a comment

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The Korean War (1950-1953) will always be remembered as the first modern proxy war. Although a ceasefire was signed in 1953, no peace treaty had ever been signed so technically the war never officially ended. The outcome of the war had lasting consequences not just for the region but the balance of power over the last 65 years. North Korea would have 3 leaders–Kim il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un–all from the same family since the Korean War ended in 1953. South Korea would have 8 presidents in the same span of time.

Think about that.

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History will record the 2018 Winter Olympics as the watershed moment that led the formal signing of the Peace Treaty on Thursday, officially ending the Korean War. In December, South Korea invited North Korean athletes to compete with them as one unified Korean Team in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Peong Chang, South Korea. After the Olympics ended, the door was opened for dialogue between the leaders of North and South Korea.

That was the opportunity for common ground former NBA Superstar Dennie Rodman, who is a friend of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un said would one day come a few years ago. Rodman was vilified in the media for not using his friendship with North Korea’s dictator to advocate for the release of westerners being held prisoner in North Korea. He made it clear he was no diplomat and was no negotiator. These were not the purpose of his visits to North Korea, which can only be entered via China and only with written permission from the North Korean government. It’s no fair to say he has been vindicated for what he said at the time.

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…This is history.

This is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-In. This is the first time the leaders of both countries have met ever and they have only been talking for a few months now. The two leaders met at the DMZ Boarder where Kim Jong Un crossed into South Korea to a throng of excited international journalists and soldiers from both countries. The two formally signed a peace treaty as the world watched in amazement. In the span of about 8 months, what was long considered the most hostile country in the world had taken its first steps to lasting peace in the region.

Contrary to what #45’s fans said at an event Saturday afternoon–they chanted “Nobel!” at him–#45 and the U.S. had NOTHING to do with the peace talks between North and South Korea. In fact, he said he plans to walk out of a planned summit that will involve all three leaders (Trump, Moon and Un) “If he feels like it.” So, yeah. Let’s not give credit to a person or country that not only doesn’t deserve it but had a hand in the war that split the Korean Penninsula in two in the first place. Plus it will be a very bad look for the U.S. should #45 walk out as he has threatened to do.

South Korea became Democratic and like Japan after World War II, fell under the military protection of the U.S. Unlike Japan, South Korea was not only allowed to keep their military but they received a blank check from the U.S. to bolster their military along the boarder with North Korea. On that note. Every year since the end of the Korean War, the U.S. would do joint military exercises with South Korea as a “show of force” to North Korea (and by extension China). South Korea requested the planned exercise for this year be postponed as formal talks between the North and South began.

North Korea became Communist with the guidance of the Soviet Union and later China. It would come to be known as the most secretive country on the planet and hasn’t changed much since the end of the Korean War. Foreigm Journalists who are allowed into the country from time to time are followed by “Government Minders”, government officials who “escort” them from within the country. Not only does one need permission to enter North Korea but one also needs permission to leave the country. It’s death to those who are caught trying to illegally cross into South Korea, China or Russia (which all boarder North Korea) as well as their families in many cases. Foreign nationals arrested at the boarder are usually given harsh sentences for the purposes of propaganda.

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…This picture of the Korean Peninsula highlights the disparaties between the two countries. The South is modern while the North has little to no infratructure to speak of. Such is to be expected of a country that has closed its boarders to the world and is wary of who or what it lets in or out.

This is to speak nothing of the recent problems that have started to trickle out of North and is likely why Kim Jong Un has taken steps to shut down the country’s Nuclear Weapons research:

 

  • There has been a sharp increase in North Korean soldiers deserting and crossing into South Korea from North Korea in the last year.
  • There have been increased instances of North Korean soldiers allowing North Korean nationals to cross into South Korea. North Korean soldiers have orders to shoot on sight anyone trying to cross into South Korea.
  • Reports of famines and food shortages in North Korea are nothing new but things have reached crisis-level that even North Korean officials are not immune from.
  • Medical examinations and autopsies performed North Korean defectors and the bodies of those who died shortly after crossing into South Korea have revealed digestive diseases and illnesses are rampant. Cholera, Dysentery and tapeworms to name a few.
  • Rumors have been rampant for years that North Korea’s First Lady Ri Sol-Ju–formerly a government cheerleader–may be sterile and has failed multiple times to produce an heir since their marriage. Her sudden disappearance from the public eye until recently fueled speculation she had join the members of the Kim family who were executed. She joined her husband for the Inter-Korean Summit held in South Korea.

Things have reached the point it where would be fair to now say North Korea is a failed state. Unlike Afghanistan at the end of 2001 however, the transition will obviously be different. Other dictatorships would dig in deeper in this kind of situation but Kim Jong Un has instead begun moving to open the country to the world. These are interesting times not just for the region but the world and most importantly, the Korean Peninsula.

My guess is North Korea will likely go the same as Cuba in some regards and China in others in regards to human rights. Kim Jong Un is clearly preparing the country for life without him running it. Of the 3 possible successors after his father passed away, he was chosen simply because he was still in the country and was of age. He was the youngest of Kim Jong Il’s three sons and one of who who was in North Korea when their father passed away about 10 years ago. One brother, who was living in Malaysia had little interest in politics while the other, who was in the country was deemed unfit for rule.

So, the youngest son became the new leader of North Korea by default. It seemed he would continue where his father left off but Kim Jong Un has made many efforts to counter and even conflict with those who supported his father’s regime. A few years back, he personally executed his uncle, who was his top advisor along with other senior staff to head off a rumored coup being planned.

Having secured absolute power, the Nuclear Weapons program he developed deep underground appears to have been his way of heading off further dissent within the military. It would seem he never actually intended to make a nuke as his father did even though he did progress much further than the world thought he would. And now he’s shutting down said Nuclear Weapons program. More than likely Kim Jong Un is preparing to open North Korea to the world for the first time since the end of the Korean War.

The needs of the North Korean people are many to say the least. We’re talking about a whole nation that was isolated from the outside world for 65 years. If and only if the world comes together, the current generation of North Koreans might be able to chart their own desitinies.

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These songs helped me get through the last 12 months   Leave a comment

…For those who didn’t know, today is my birthday. I would’ve posted this sooner but I was at Anime Boston until about 2 hours ago. That’ll be my whole weekend. LOL.

Anywho, here are 15 songs I have listened to quite alot since my last birthday. No doubt most of these will surprise you:

15. Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
14. Team Skull Theme from Pokemon Sun/Moon and Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon
13. Lost in Thoughts All Alone by Reina Strober (Fire Emblem Fates)
12. Some Bodies Gonna Get It (WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry’s Entrance Music)
11. The Future (WWE Superstar Asuka’s Entrance Music)
10. The Rising Sun (WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura’s Entrance Music)
9. Champion by The Roots
8. River in the Desert by Lyn (Persona 5)
7. Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There by Lyn (Persona 5 OP)
6. Beneath the Mask by Lyn (from Persona 5)
5. The Hero!! by The JAM Project (One Punch Man Season 1 OP)
4. History Maker by Dean Fujioka (Yuri!!! On Ice OP)
3. Mother Africa by The African Children’s Choir
2. N’kosi Siekele Afrika (God Bless Africa) – South Africa’s National Anthem
1. Unto Us (Isaiah 9) by Sandi Patti

…I believe this is the first time I have put together a list that didn’t include anything Michael Jackson. All of these songs are on my iPod as well. My playlist is very…international to say the least. Feel free to look up all of these if you’d like. My reasons for putting all of these songs on the list has a story and I will update this post to explain after the weekend.

For now, here’s 3 of the songs courtesy of YouTube:

 

…Update to this post to come sometime next week.

Also, please donate via PayPal if you are able. I’m mostly saying that because it’s my birthday but really, it would be appreciated ^_^

Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) masterfully tells several stories at once   Leave a comment

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The Black Panther (Played by Chadwick Bosewin) was first introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) during the events of Captain America: Civil War. Then crown prince T’Challa accompanied his father the late King T’Chaka on a diplomatic trip, who was killed when the building they were in was bombed. T’Challa sided with Team Iron Man because The Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes was implicated as his father’s killer. In the aftermath of the fight between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America, T’Challa arranged for both Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes to be hidden in Wakanda, the latter man crygenically frozen until the mind control he was under could be safely removed.

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Unlike Thor, The Black Panther is not based on a specific mythological being. This gave the director–who also happens to be African American–a TON of freedom to bring Wakanda and its Superhero King to the big screen for the first time. For those who are unfamiliar with the character, the Black Panther is not only a Superhero but is also an actual King of a sovereign nation. T’Challa is not only the Black Panther but is also the King of Wakanda. Above is the main cast of the film and as you can see, all but two of them are Black American or African. I’ll pause for a moment there and say this: Only in the U.S. is the term “African American” used to describe people of African descent who were born and raised in the U.S. Africans refer to them as Black Americans for reference. They only apply the term “African American” if an African immigrates to the U.S.

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…Getting back to Wakanda. Although it projects itself as a third-world country,  in truth it is the most technologically advanced nation on earth. This is because Wakanda controls 90% of the world’s supply of Vibranium, a rare mineral that is also the hardest in the universe. Concerned they could be targeted by other nations, Wakanda elected to hide in plain sight. They present themselves as a third world country while using cloaking technology to hide their vast technology from the world. They rarely allow outsiders entry into their boarders and the rest of the world is none the wiser. At the same time, Wakanda has spies and operatives in every other country on the planet to keep tabs on the rest of the world.

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By the time of the events of the movie, the newly crowed King T’Challa considers Wakanda’s centuries-old isolationist policy. On the one hand, keeping Vibranium from getting into the hands of those who would misuse it is priority #1. On the other hand, Wakanda’s vast resources could be used to help those in need outside their boarders. T’Challa is forced to deal with the matter head-on with the arrival of his cousin Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan), whose father was killed by T’Chaka 34 years earlier.

Having grown up in the U.S., Killmonger and his father had a viewpoint and a worldview T’Challa and T’Chaka didn’t have. Clearly much was cut for time in the theatrical version but it would be fair to say Killmonger represented the modern Black American: A people whose ancestors were taken from their homelands (Slave Trade), enslaved (American Slavery), Segregated (Jim Crow), Marginalized (Mass Incarceration) and Suppressed (The Present). Too much didn’t need to be said for most who paid attention to understand who and what Killmonger portrayed. The restorative justice he sought wasn’t for himself but for the over 2 billion people of African descent worldwide who as a people had been exploited and victimized for centuries while Wakanda did nothing. That brings to mind this old saying: Evil prevails when good people do nothing.

Even though Killmonger was T’Challa’s main nemesis, you can’t help but feel for him on so many levels. Like many African American youth of the 80s and 90s, he lost his father at a young age. He grew up right when Clinton’s Mass Incarceration Policy would see Blacks imprisoned at a disproportionately higher rate than whites who committed the same or worse crimes. He would see attempts by black community activists undermined and outplayed by the establishment and others. He would see America’s first Black American president deadlocked by a Congress that would rather see him fail than do what they were elected to do. Let’s not also forget it’s stated he fought in the middle east first as a soldier and then around the world as a mercenary. He’s seen more than most so…yeah.

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Killmonger’s story was the deciding factor in T’Challa’s decision to open Wakanda’s boarders to the world for the first time in its history. As he said, one can’t help but wonder how Killmonger would have turned out if T’Chaka had taken him with him back to Wakanda. The sins of the father had been passed on to the son. Killmonger rejected the Wakandan way of life so thoroughly, he hid his face from T’Challa during their first encounter with a mask. He identifies with the masses worldwide who live in an oppressed society. A world T’Challa and Wakanda have never known.

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Moving on, T’Challa being surrounded by and supported by several strong, independent black women in positions of power sends a powerful message not just for black youth but women and girls in general. We live in a time where “Old Values” and “Traditions” feel under threat by the modern Women’s Revolution and the #MeToo Movement. Ideologies and beliefs that see women and girls as good for nothing but sex, having kids and minding the home and that’s how things should always be. They view displays of equality between the sexes as nothing more than “Make Believe” and calls for Women’s Rights worldwide “A good joke”.

…My point is the world is changing. It is all the more important that how things should be is represented in movies and tv. Regardless of one’s race or gender, everyone should decide on their own to be who and what they want to be. Not who or what others think or want them to be. Unlike most who have seen this movie regardless of weather they like it or not, that’s my thought on the matter. You will have those who will just see The Black Panther as nothing more than “The Black Superhero”. No one calls Captain America the White Superhero, no one calls Wonder Woman the female superhero and no one calls Daredevil the Blind Superhero. Captain America is a Superhero who happens to be white. Wonder Woman is a Superhero who happens to be a woman. Daredevil is a Superhero who happens to be blind.

Never mind the overt and subtle politics people see in the Black Panther. The fact of the matter is the premise is no less “offensive” than Superman, Batman, The Hulk/Bruce Banner or Thor. Yet is bothers some people none the less. The question I would ask those persons is why?

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Anyone who knows their history probably noticed this striking similarity and yes, it was intentional. On the left is the founder of The Black Panther Part, Huey P. Newton. He sits with a rifle in his right hand and a spear in his left. The tagline “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is in referenced to this song:

Gill Scott-Heron was an musician and poet who wrote and performed a variety of songs that scared that crap out of The Establishment in the 60s and 70s. Why? Because he spoke truth and encouraged people to think for themselves and be self-empowered. The song was used by The Black Panther Party to promote their movement–not that he minded–and that’s how it became both famous and imfamous.

He explains why he did this song in an interview 30 years later:

…He died in 2011 in case you’re wondering.

Getting back to this movie, the very idea of Black Power terrifies the world. I’ll just put it like that. I don’t mean military power but REAL power. The power to realize your full potential. Equality. Respect. Prosperity. There is a reason The Slave Trade is still referred to as America’s Original Sin and it’s because Reparations haven’t happened. Despite the UN again saying the U.S. owes Black Americans Reparations for the Slave Trade, Jim Crow and everything that’s happened since. Still, nothing.  As the saying goes, the longest rope has an end.

Those who dare to watch this movie may learn something from it. There are no hidden messages calling for Black Americans to arm themselves and kill white people. That’s just some paraoid foolishness White Supremacists are telling people. There are a ton of both suble and obvious references to what’s going on in the world today in the movie. This much is true.

…It’s also true that a Black Panther 2 WILL happen and has been confirmed.

CraigsList shuts down Personals Section in response to Congressional Bill   Leave a comment

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I can confirm only the U.S. CraigsList sites are impacted. The CraigsList sites outside the U.S. are mostly uneffected. The only change is the Missed Connections and Rant & Rave categories were moved to the Community section. Those who access one of the U.S. CraigsList sites will see the following message:

US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.

Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.

To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!

Click here for more info courtesy of CNN.

The bill, which was actually passed two days ago and will be signed into law by #45 amends the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The Act, which protects websites and online services from being liable for user-generated content will add an exception and that’s what the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (HR 1865) does. It removes a portion of the protection in the case of sex trafficking, sexual harassment and rape by allowing victims to sue websites.

What does that mean, you might ask?

CraigsList just shut down their Personals section because they don’t want to be sued. For those who don’t know, by design CraigsList is a site for arranging meetups with complete strangers. I forgot to say this before but ONLY the U.S. CraigsList sites were impacted. The Personals Sections in Canada and elsewhere are still active. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act only effects CraigsList directly and THAT’S why they removed their Personals section in the U.S.

Why?

Because unlike other sites that do similar things, there are no dedicated staff who moderate what’s posted. The site relies on its flawed Flagging system and Community Policing to moderate the site. The obvious problem is it assumes people both take the time to flag ads and know what types of ads to flag as well. CraigsList was basically a haven for criminal elements due to the lack of direct oversight.

The site has been around for 20 years and fell into notariety 10 years ago because of the CraigsList Killer Incidents. The incidents, which gained international headlines permanently destroyed the site’s repuation. To make matters worse, botters and scammers moved in and took over the Personals section a few years ago. Nevermind there have been instances in which crimes were committed using CraigsList. Not that many but they have happened.

What does this mean for the vast majority who didn’t misuse the site? I see one of three things happening:

  1. Internet Forums make a comeback: Social Media killed the model but they are still around. One can still make a free message board through InvisionFree on that note.
  2. Facebook groups: Most who use CraigsList are also on Facebook. It would then make sense for folks to migrate there and set up Facebook groups for the same purpose.
  3. Mobile Apps: Goes without saying.

It is unfortunate for those who didn’t misuse the site but personally, I think this was a long time coming because of the scammers and criminal elements who frequent CraigsList alone. Many people are already looking to CraigsList Personals in other countries so…yeah. Will CraigsList Personals in the U.S. ever come back? Yes, but I think it should be a separate website entirely AND should have moderation.

It is true that some tech companies voiced concerns over the bill but the only site that is really effected by it is CraigsList. You saw what they did in response to it. This was 100% avoidable but they stupidly used the CDA as a shield for too long and brought this on themselves. It’s Lose-Lose for CraigsList now as any other sites that are effected can just blame CraigsList and would be right to do so, too. This bill WAS passed specifically FOR CraigsList so…yeah.

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This Snopes Story Had me Shaking with Rage   Leave a comment

silvabom / Shutterstock.com

This one.

Some Conspiracy Theorists–calling themselves “Hoaxers” in some parts of the US–have taken things to an all new low t0 in their minds prove mass shootings are staged by the U.S. Government. As some of you are aware, there are those who are convinced beyond reasonable doubt the mass shootings that have become routine in the U.S.–and I hate to use that word to describe it but it’s the most appropriate word to use–are all hoaxes.

It all started after Sandy Hook six years ago. Take a look at this picture:

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This famous picture shows President Obama meeting with the families of children who were killed. I want to direct your attention to the girl in the middle wearing the black and red dress. Her name is Madeline Parker. Her sister Emelie was one of the children who was killed.

Here’s a family photo:

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Emelie is the girl on the far right. The girl on the far left is her sister Madeline, who is pictured with president Obama above wearing the same dress her deceased sister is wearing in the family photo. The family photo was taken two years before. Believe it or not, Conspiracy Theorists have used these two photos as proof Emelie never died and is in fact alive. The obvious truth is Emilie and her sister Madeline look like each other. They argue the girl pictured with Obama is in fact Emelie and not her sister Madeline. They view the first picture as confirmation Sandy Hook was staged by the U.S. Government so Obama could force Gun Control Legislation according to them, the talking heads they listen to and the NRA.

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This is Noah Pozner, who was also killed at Sandy Hook. That night, Noah’s mother gave an on-air interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about her son and the mass shooting that rocked the country and shocked the world. Because she was calm and did not appear to be emotionally devastated or crying on camera, Conspiracy Theorists believe she lied about her son dying at Sandy Hook and was in fact a crisis actor hired by the media or the government.

Her husband Lenny has been fighting a nearly 6-year battle–and counting–with persistent Conspiracy Theorists who have nothing better to do than to doggedly harass him online, accuse him of being a paid actor and insist that he never had a son. No, really. He even shared copies of not only copies of Noah’s birth and Death Certificates but a copy of Noah’s autopsy report from the medical examiner’s office. Their response? “They’re counterfeit”. Note one line in this article: “…Exhume Noah’s body and prove to the world you lost your son.”

…Take a moment and think how you would react if your young child was murdered and someone told you they want you to exhume their body to prove they were really killed. Now imagine that alone wouldn’t be enough for them. Now you know the Pozner family’s pain. He has even offered to meet with some of these Hoaxers in person. Unsurprisingly, they have no interest in meeting with him face to face.

Now, Mr. Pozner is one of the rare few who actually confronts the Conspiracy Theorists head-on and he should be applauded for it. While not giving these losers that attention is important–which is their main goal of course–it’s even more important for those personally impacted to speak out against these Hoaxers who have literally nothing better to do than to harass victim’s families and even worse, tell them their dead family member never existed. He is not just joining with others fighting back against the Hoaxers online. He’s filing police reports and sharing them online, which is enough to get some of the Hoaxers to back off.

More recently, he founded an organization dedicated to combating Hoaxers online who target the families of victims of high-profile tragedies. It’s called the HONR Network. I urge you to check it out for yourself. Mr. Ponzer’s goal is for nationwide legislation for families of the victims of high-profile tragedies to get protected status and for attempts to harass them to treated as a hate crime. Given the current political climate, we will likely have to wait until there is a change in both Congress and the White House at least.

As noted in the Snopes article I linked you to above, some of these Conspiracy Theorists are actually calling or personally confronting victims and victims’ families and accusing them of being crisis actors or lying about their family member(s) dying or being injured. Their main arguement: The victims never existed at all. The mass shooting never happened and was in fact a drill orchestrated by the government.

No, really. Even worse is they record themselves harassing victims and victims’ families. Why? Because they get off on it. In their minds, anything other than what they believe is a lie or a hoax. They laugh at victims families crying in grief and anger, accusing them of “fake crying” over the phone and “they’re not gonna fall for it”.  They targeted the government first but when they failed to get a reaction, they turned their focus to victims and victims’ families instead.

I’m sure most of you have seen this picture:

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…To answer the question, no they are not. They are clearly three different people. How it works is Hoaxers grab pictures of people who look similar from media publications and photoshop them together. That’s the case here. Most of you remember my coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing’s aftermath 5 years ago on this blog. So…yeah.

Now, it is worth pointing out most of these Hoaxers have one thing in common: They are either gun owners, gun enthusiasts or are anti-government themselves. Often a combination of all three. Most of you remember the polarizing reactions to the NRA Spokewoman’s comments after the recent mass shooting in Florida. Back in 2012, the NRA helped fuel the Conspiracy Theory I outlined in my previous post on what they viewed as government conspiracies to “erase the Second Amendment”.  They made the case “Sandy Hook was a drill and no one really died.” THAT’S where this REALLY comes from and it’s also why the NRA Spokeswoman I will not name said “It’s not the NRA’s job to be a part of the solution.” Their only concern is fearmongering and it has been working since 2012.

I am calling on the admins of WordPress to shut down blogs and sites that have and continue to spread these clearly untrue conspiracy theories. They need to be denied a platform to promote and spread their confusion and hate. These people are sick in the head but it’s extremely important that their conspiracy theories are confronted head on.

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