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General Questions Thread, June 07, 2023
2023.06.08 00:30 AutoModerator General Questions Thread, June 07, 2023
A thread for new collectors to ask basic questions of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions below! A longer version of the subreddit rules is here.
For questions specifically concerning bootlegs or vendor legitimacy, please ask in the Bootleg Megathread. NSFW & Spoiler Guidelines
- For Self Posts: include a bolded NSFW note next to links in that post.
- For Links to sites/images: If the figure is NSFW, or the website has any NSFW content (including ads) be sure to tag your post NSFW and use the appropriate link flair.
Any collection posts containing bootlegs, comments advocating buying bootlegs, or links to sites selling bootlegs, recasts, or unlicensed merchandise will be removed.
People often ask about the legitimacy and/or safety of a number of websites which sell large resin statues. The more commonly-asked of those deal primarily in resins from studios which do not have a license from the Japanese IP holders to produce merchandise. Therefore links to those sites are not permitted here. Another sign is if MyFigureCollection doesn't list the either the statue, its manufacturer, or the shop it's being sold on.
My Figure Collection is like MyAnimeList... but for figures! Their database includes thousands of items which been produced during the last couple of decades, along with reviews of shops and other helpful articles. One can also list their own collection and post gallery photos.
AmiAmi HobbySearch Mandarake (sells rare figures) Good Smile Company Online Shop (often has exclusives) Good Smile Company US shop Crunchyroll Shop Hobby Link Japan (aka HLJ) Solaris Japan (MFC partner) BigBadToyStore (MFC partner, US retailer) Big in Japan (also has proxy service) Tokyo Otaku Mode Right Stuf FigureHaven Archonia (EU) Yorokonde (EU) Figuya (EU) Dekai Anime (UK) Gamersheek (UK) Jungle
List of retailers on MFC
/AnimeFigures' List of Retailers
Community Guide to Shopping in Japan
Nekomagic (News/Previews) NyaaFigurines (Reviews/Releases) Kahotan's Blog (News/Reviews) Figma Blog (JP)
Buying & Shipping 1. What’s the best place to buy my anime figures from?
That’s going to depend a lot on what works for you, but most people around here buy them from Amiami, Big in Japan, Hobby Search, HobbyLink Japan, or Tokyo Otaku Mode. If none of those work for you for whatever reason, there’s a list of reputable retailers in the sidebar that you can check out at any time. Be extra careful when ordering figures from websites like Amazon or ebay, as there are a lot of bootlegs on those sites. Don’t be afraid to ask in our Bootleg Megathread if you’re unsure.
2. What differences are there between the shipping options I get from most Japanese shops?
Below is a rundown of the main shipping choices you’ll get at most retailers. Keep in mind that if an order is large enough you will be forced to use one of the more expensive options, as SAL shipments have lower size and weight restrictions.
3. I placed two+ orders for figures at different times. Will my items be shipped together, or will I have to pay shipping twice?
- Unregistered SAL: Sometimes referred to as uSAL, is usually the cheapest method. It does not come with any tracking or insurance. Usually takes up 2-4 weeks for delivery.
- Registered SAL: Sometimes referred to as rSAL, is insured for the declared value up to 6,000 yen. It comes with a tracking number and usually takes 2-4 weeks for delivery.
- EMS: This method of shipping is much faster than either SAL options, usually arriving within a week of shipment. EMS shipments are insured for the declared value up to 2,000,000 yen.
- Surface: Shops don't offer this very often. It's an actual cargo ship and slow as a result.
- DHL: Becoming more available as an alternative to EMS on AmiAmi and other sites. Can be less expensive than EMS and of comparable speed, but may be more reliant on the specific geographical area being shipped to. The price is also determined by the size of the box. Offers their own tracking.
Most shops will ask you to pay shipping on a per-order basis, but here are some that will allow combined shipping:
If you’re unsure about whether or not a shop we haven’t listed will combine your orders, please refer to their individual FAQs.
- Amiami: You can combine orders here, as long as the orders ship in the same month. It doesn’t matter if the item is new or preowned. Any preorders that are set for that month can also be combined with other orders for that month. However, be aware that if the preorder gets delayed, Amiami will remove that item from that month’s shipment and place it on a new order. To combine orders on Amiami, use the “Combine Orders” feature under “My Account”.
- Hobby Search: Hobby Search will let you combine orders that release in the same month, but you cannot combine in stock items with preorders. If you want to combine multiple preorders, or multiple in stock items, you can do so using the “Order Recombination” feature on your account page.
- HobbyLink Japan: At HLJ, you have the option to send paid orders to their “Private Warehouse”, where you can store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to ship the items, you simply select which items to ship and HLJ will combine them into one shipment for you. To use this, just select the “Private Warehouse” option as shipping when you order.
4. When will I get charged for my preorder?
Most Japanese shops charge you once the item is in stock and ready for shipment. When that happens, they will send you an email asking for payment. Some shops (mostly overseas ones), will allow you to pay for the item up front though, if you’d like. A few with that option are:
Keep in mind that overseas stores will likely get the figure a few months after Japanese ones, so pay attention to the release date stated on the website you are buying from so as to avoid that confusion.
- Big in Japan (Japanese store)
- Tokyo Otaku Mode
- Anime Island
5. Should I expect to pay customs fees when importing figures?
That depends on where you live. Here’s a quick rundown:
6. The figure I want is an exclusive, how do I go about ordering one outside of Japan?
- Australia: 10% GST is now assessed up front.
- Canada: Minimum declared value for charges is around CAD$20 for regular shipments, and CAD$60 for gifts (gifting something only seems to lower the declared value by about CAD$40, not deplete it completely). When using Amiami, try their Small Air Packet option. It comes with tracking, gets there in about the same time as EMS, and is better at avoiding customs.
- European Union: As of 1st July 2021, VAT has to be paid on all goods imported from outside of the EU. Retailers are supposed charge VAT for purchases under €150, however many Japanese retailers currently do not, so VAT will be charged when your order arrives in the EU. Orders that are >€150, VAT and duty will be charged by your local customs.
- UK: As of 1st January 2021, VAT is to be charged by retailers for orders <£135. However, customs isn't currently charging VAT on parcels valued at <£135, even if the VAT hasn't been paid. Goods >£135 will have their VAT and duty calculated and charged by customs.
- Mexico: Minimum declared value for customs fees is USD$300 for shipments by post, and USD$50 for shipments by courier.
- United States: A shipment has to have a declared value of USD$2,000 before customs starts hitting you with fees, so you most likely won’t have to worry about them at all.
You have three options for this:
A. Big in Japan is known to stock exclusive figures and ship to other countries. Usually the price is higher because they build in their proxy fees, but it’s easier than worrying about using a forwarder or proxy service. If you live in the US, Crunchyroll, Right Stuf, and Tokyo Otaku Mode also get exclusives sometimes, but out of the states the shipping can get expensive.
B. Forwarding Services: A forwarder is someone who you ship an exclusive item to so that they can forward the package on to you, usually for a flat fee + shipping. When using a forwarder you still make the purchase yourself, and enter their address into the shipping field. When the box arrives at the forwarder they will then stick your address onto the package and send it on its way.
Some popular forwarders are:
Be sure to read each sites instructions on forwarding carefully!
C. Proxy Services: With a proxy, you tell them what the item you’re looking for is and they will purchase it in your stead. This is handy for when a company doesn’t accept foreign credit cards, or you’re having trouble navigating a Japanese website.
Some popular proxies are:
Again, be sure you thoroughly read through each sites proxy instructions.
7. I see a bunch of really cheap figures that ship from China on ebay. Are those okay to buy?
Generally, no. They’re most likely bootlegs. If you want a second opinion on that, feel free to ask in the Bootleg Megathread that’s always stickied at the top of the sub.
8. What’s a bootleg, and how can I avoid buying them?
A bootleg is a counterfeit figure often made using rejected molds of the official product. They are usually priced significantly lower than the genuine article, and in order to make their profit, bootleggers use lower quality materials and have less attention to detail- resulting in a substandard figure.
The Bootleg Megathread that I mentioned in question 7 is a great tool to avoid buying any bootlegs. It has a few tips and tricks to avoiding them to begin with, and a few more on how to spot them if you’re worried you might already own one.
9. Does anyone know when figure X is going to be released? How do I know if it was delayed?
My Figure Collection (sometimes referred to as MFC) does an excellent job of staying on top of information like release dates and delays. If you’re curious about an upcoming figures release date, check there first. This information can be found directly under the “Releases” section on a figure’s entry. If you only see a month and a year in that section, it means the release date has not yet been announced by the manufacturer, and there is still a chance the figure could be delayed.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things.
10. The figure I want is long sold out at normal retailers! What’s the best place to pick it up in the aftermarket?
A list of reputable retailers can be found under the “Shops” section of the /AnimeFigures sidebar. They all sell legitimate products, and many of them also sell figures second hand. However, the most frequently suggested second hand sites are Mandarake and Amiami- who has a preowned section that they update every night save Sundays and Japanese holidays around 1PM JST and again around 6PM JST.
AmiAmi grades their pre-owned items on a letter scale. The general consensus from buyers is that their ratings are conservative, so unless the item and/or packaging is specifically indicated as having significant flaws, pre-owned items from them are usually in at least as good a condition as their rating suggests.
Note: When you search Mandarake, you’ll get the best results by using the Japanese characters for whatever you are searching. If you don’t know them, you can find them on MFC by clicking on any of the “details” in that figure’s listing.
11. Amiami has a figure I’m interested in labeled as “For sale in Japan only”. Does this mean I can’t order it without a proxy or forwarder?
No, you can still order it. Amiami’s English site has that warning on many items, and it’s mostly meant to inform you that this product was made for a Japanese market, and as such, will have Japanese speaking/writing in it- so don’t expect any instructions to be in English. If Amiami doesn’t want foreigners buying a certain product, they won’t even list it on their English site.
Displaying Your Figures 12. What display cases do you recommend?
If you live near an Ikea try out one of these:
*If you decided on a Detolf, you might find that there is a lot of wasted space. Here are a few tutorials on raising the shelves or and adding extra ones in.
If you don’t live near an Ikea, Amazon has a few display options, though they are more expensive. Also keep an eye on your local Craigslist (or your country’s equivalent) and stores near you that are closing up.
13. What lighting do you guys recommend?
Ikea’s Dioder LED strips were discontinued after a long run. A current version is the Vattensten, if you're inclined to buy your case and lights at the same time.
LED strips have become very commonly available in recent years; most hardware and home furnishing stores carry a selection now. Just make sure that the lights don’t get too hot!
14. What are those clear plastic boxes that I see under everyone’s figures in their collection posts, and where can I get them?
Those are called risers. Most of us use standard acrylic risers like these. Some other, easy to find things that have been suggested are:
Check your local hobby store for the first 2 options, or your local hardware store if you want to make your own.
Another common suggestion is to visit The Container Store if you have one near you. They have a lot of things to choose from that can suit a variety of needs. Be sure to check out their standard acrylic risers, their Amac boxes, and the various display cases they sell (baseball cases, mini car cases. hockey puck cases, etc).
15. Should I keep my figures sealed?
That is, of course, up to you really, but here are a few things to keep in mind when debating this question:
- Keeping it sealed can actually damage your figure. PVC figures usually have something called plasticizer in them, and that plasticizer needs to be able to breath. If a PVC figure isn’t exposed to oxygen, after a period of time the plasticizer starts to break down and form a sticky substance on the surface of the figure. Simply opening your figures and taking them out of the box prevents this from happening. If you happen to find plasticizer goo on one of your figures, Kahotan has a handy guide for dealing with it.
- Unlike some other figure markets, keeping an anime figure sealed won’t raise its value by a whole lot. In fact, because of the plasticizer problem mentioned above, your figure could actually be in better condition if you open it versus keeping it sealed.
Finding the Right Figure(s) for You 16. What are "scales" and "prizes"? What is the difference between them?
Those are classifications for figures based on a few factors.
In recent years producers such as Good Smile Company attempted to further bridge the gap between prize quality and scales by introducing figure lines which are intended to be moderately-priced while retaining a higher level of detail than the typical prize figure, to varying levels of success.
- "Prizes" are generally more simply produced figures which are intended to be given as prizes for playing arcade games. They are inexpensive and lack the detail of scale figures, though some prize figure lines have standouts which may approach lower-end scales in quality. That is uncommon and often depends on the individual figure.
- "Scales" are called such because they are nominally designed to be proportional to the dimensions of the character which they are based on. They are generally of much better manufacture and materials than prize figures, allowing for more detail in painting, accessories, or complex poses.
- "Trading" figures appear in gashapon machines or as blind boxes on shop counters, often as sets which include multiple characters. As suggested by the class name, the randomness encourages trading. They are usually very inexpensively-produced, though as with prizes, some series are better than others.
- "Non-scale" encompasses a variety of other categories. It is often used to describe poseable figure lines such as figma and Nendoroids.
17. There are so many figure companies! Who makes good figures?!
Obviously this is a very subjective question, but as a general starting point, here are a few well renowned figure companies:
18. I really love “series X / character X”- how can I check if any figures were ever made for it?
- Max Factory
- Good Smile Company
- Kotobukiya (usually hit or miss for people. Use your best judgement based off of the prototype)
My Figure Collection can be your best friend here. Simply do a search on the name of the series or character using the search bar located at the top right of the screen, and all associated figures pop up!
Alternatively, if you’re looking at a figure’s MFC entry, most of the text under the “Details” section can be clicked on and used to run a search.
19. How can I commission a custom figure?
None of the major figure companies (Alter, Kotobukiya, Good Smile Company, etc.) will take a commission for a single figure. This thread has a few websites in it that you can check out, or you can look into garage kits. Some kit painters would be willing to resculpt, frankenstein together, or otherwise modify kits for the right price.
If you're looking for help completing a garage kit, /brushforhire may be useful.
Keeping Up with New Announcements 20. How can I keep up with figure news (announcements, updates, etc.)?
Most people use a MFC combined with any or all of the following news sites:
Many figure companies are active on Twitter, so following them there is recommended for quicker news.
To use MFC for this I’ll quote question #9.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things. Most companies have one or more Twitter accounts. Some examples: Good Smile Company sales, Good Smile's USA branch, Max Factory, AmiAmi Hobby News.
21. Everyone’s excited about something called Wonfes….. what the heck is that?!
WonFes (short for Wonder Festival) is a biannual figure expo where many figure producers (both large and small) show off new sculpts and updates to figures already under way. Most companies save their most exciting announcements for WonFes, so we all look forward to the expo whenever it rolls around! Winter Wonder Festival is usually held in February, while Summer Wonder Festival is usually in July. The event has also spread to Shanghai, in the late spring.
22. One or two (or 15) figures were announced at WonFes that I’m really excited about! How can I keep track of their progress once the event is over?
MFC is always really quick about getting new WonFes announcements (or any others throughout the year, for that matter) listed in their database, so we suggest using that. To find a figure from the event you can search any number of things, including the name of the character or the name of the show. You can also use the tag search to search “WonderFestival 20xx_[season]” to see all items announced at that event.
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2023.06.08 00:12 jon-at-fpc Hawaii carry: new restrictions passed post-Bruen
Since NYSRPA v. Bruen
, Hawaii has run a 'Bruen response bill.' SB1230 was recently signed by the governor, adding new restrictions to the few in Hawaii who actually do have CCWs. FPC is seeking individuals with carry permits who may be willing to participate in challenging this.
Description from the HI leg page:https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1230&year=2023
Prohibits firearms in certain locations and premises. Requires possession and disclosure of a license to carry. Prohibits leaving an unsecured firearm in a vehicle unattended. Prohibits consuming or being under the influence of alcohol, an intoxicating liquor, or a controlled substance when carrying a firearm. Prohibits carrying or possessing firearms on certain private property without express authorization. Requires annual reports from the department of the attorney general on carry licenses. Amends the requirements for, and revocation of, firearms permits and licenses. Amends the disqualification of persons from owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm. Expands the qualified immunity for health care providers who provide information on firearms applicants to include physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. (CD1) https://preview.redd.it/6qhzyzpy6o4b1.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b802a5e29b80f9862de72e2aa4f2ef48d3d7ad35
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2023.06.07 23:49 RisingChaos Back from Miami vacay: Went to a strip club and had the time of my life.
I just got back from vacation, and to nobody's surprise as a late-30's FA I didn't manage to get laid at all (nor find a future wife) on a 10-day singles cruise and stay in Miami. Of course, one of my many (over)efforts was checking out Miami's famed nightlife.
I'm generally reserved and very introverted, as a typical male FA, things that obviously don't work very well for men who are expected to be the pursuers of sex/romance in society. Raucous, crowded environments aren't my thing at all, but the whole point of the trip was to push the boundaries of my traditional comfort zones which clearly haven't done me any favors in life up to this point. That said, one night I ended up in one of Miami's biggest and hottest nightclubs, determined to make the most of my time there.
I'm short, shy, socially awkward with average-at-best looks. I also live in a rural shithole, so I'm more or less fishing with no lure in a dry pond. I'm not used to women approaching me at all, period, and the online pickings are hardly better. Well, here I am in the club and I'm getting approached by women. Not one or two, dozens. (It's a big club, after all.) Not morbidly obese like the only ones swiping on me online, every single one looks like a pornstar that wouldn't so much as acknowledge my existence in any other context. They're putting their hands all over me, sometimes putting my hands all over them... I know it's just business and they're not interested in me as a person, but I actually feel somewhat sexy and desirable for once.
The best part? No, not all the tits I got to see, although I ain't complaining about that. It's that I got to say no to them! I got to reject them. The entire normal power dynamic between me and women has been flipped on its head in this environment, and I'm all for it. It was a whole-ass vibe. I've never felt more empowered in my life. E11even/10 would go again.
Bless the Amazonian black woman who came fairly late in the night. Her tits literally sat at my forehead level she was so much taller than me, must've been at least 6'5"-ish. (I'm 5'3".) Gorgeous leggy woman. I saw her walk in the door and the first thing she does is beeline toward me. She tilts my chin up, buries my face in her tits, and plants a kiss on my forehead. Kinda wholesome? Then she kept walking past me without even trying to sell me a private dance. If I had spent any money in there other than the two Rum & Cokes I nursed for three hours, it definitely would've been patronizing her but I didn't stay much longer after that (she entered ~3:30am) and didn't see her again.
It's the type of environment I would normally loathe having to endure. Imagine my surprise when I can confidently say it was one of the highlights of my trip.
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2023.06.07 23:29 SkittishReflections I was Trapped in a Nightmare I'm Certain isn't Mine
When you're rich enough, you get perks you can only dream of. Literally. But somehow, my paradise turned into hell.
And now I'm paranoid.
Have you ever had a dream so amazing, you wished you could relive it? Explore it? Relish it? Well, when you're rich enough, you don't have to wish. It's a reality thanks to dream banks. You may have heard of them and their pricy services, which include recording, saving, and projecting dreams.
For example, if you'd like a dream recorded, you can book one of their luxurious suites for the night, where the dream techs will fit you with a special helmet, offer you a sleep-friendly snack, and leave you to rest. The next morning, they'll replay the recorded dream for you via the helmet and ask if you want to shell out the extra bucks to save it. If you don't, they'll delete it and you can pay to book for another time to try again.
If you do decide to save it, you must select an item within the dream that will act as the exit key. (This will come in handy during projections.) While still wearing the helmet, you must touch the item, and the dream techs will label those electric signals as the key.
Afterwards, everything is saved under your name, and you can now relive your dream at any time by booking a suite for three, five, or eight hours. Unlike recordings, during projections, you don't have to wait for sleep to come. After you enjoy a snack of your choice, the helmet is fitted and you're immediately transported to your dream, where you have free will and can enjoy it at your leisure. And if you ever need to leave early, this is when you touch the key, which will shut down the helmet right away.
In my case, the key is the stegosaurus leather rug I have hanging on the wall of my throne room. I never have a reason to touch it otherwise, making it a perfect key. I've also never had to touch it. Experiencing life as an all-powerful, worshipped being who lives on my own planet and hunts dinosaurs in my spare time, I relished my dream to the last second.
Yes, the fees are exorbitant, but at the time, I felt it was worth it. The techs were skilled, the system was sleek, and the dreams were private. Each could only be unlocked by the unique brainwaves of the dreamer.
Or so I thought.
My literal nightmare began when I booked a five-hour projection on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. After taking a sip of champagne to wash down the cranberry brie bites, I settled into the cool silk sheets with a smile. My usual dream tech smiled back as she fastened my helmet, and the last thing I heard was her wishing me pleasant dreams before I was plunged into darkness.
I waited for the split-second adjustment from reality to the dream world, and my confusion grew when I didn't find myself on my throne surrounded by fawning gods and goddesses.
Instead, I found myself in the middle of an endless street. Alone. There were no cars, no life, not even wind. Towering street lamps lined the sidewalk as far as I could see, arcing over the road and tinting everything an eerie red. Behind them, identical buildings stood side by side, silent, their dark, narrow windows hollow.
My pulse spiking, I whipped around. The other direction was just as endless. Uneasy confusion prickled beneath my skin. This had to be someone else's dream. The techs must have made a mistake. I didn't know how it was possible, but there was no other explanation.
My unease piqued as my situation sank in. I was in a stranger's dream and I didn't know the key. I was stuck here until my five hours ran out. Or until the techs realized their mistake. I was ready to rip them a new one once I was out, but until then, I had no choice but to wait.
I studied my surroundings with a frown before I walked over to the curb and sat down, and that was when I noticed I couldn't feel anything. I also noticed I was naked. It didn't matter. There was no one here, and none of this was real anyway.
Time passed, and I tried to distract myself from my nettled offense by humming, but no sound came out. Sitting up, I took a deep breath and screamed. Not even a squeak was heard. I slapped my hand against the ground. Nothing. This place was like a black hole of the senses.
Sighing, I lay down on my back and stared at the red light above me, wondering if I could fall asleep in a dream. I tried, but the more I wished to escape this silent, crimson prison, the more it seemed to come into focus. Soon, the utter lack of noise and movement grew from slightly unnerving to completely intolerable.
There was no way I could wait. I'd go insane. I had to get out of here. I had to find the key.
Jumping up, I ran to the nearest building and wrenched open the door, and a pitch black void greeted me. I gasped, and gasped again as it felt like my very breath was being suctioned out of my lungs. Panicking, silent wheezes rattled in my chest as I struggled to yank myself out of the vacuum, jerking my limbs and bucking my body until I toppled over backwards on the sidewalk.
Gulping in fitful breaths, I scrambled to my feet and ran down the road without looking back, my wide eyes scanning the horizon for salvation. I just wanted out of here, but the hellish path stretched on forever, making me feel like I was running in place as every identical building and street lamp mocked me. Even my silent stomping and mute panting served to draw insanity closer.
And then, a person showed up.
There, in the distance.
With my hope spurred, I raced towards them, desperate. I didn't care who they were. I needed to break this monotony.
As I got closer, hope morphed to confusion, and then to despair. The person was me. It was a mirror, propped up across the entire street.
Sweat-soaked, I slowed down to a jog before I stopped right in front of my reflection. It was me alright, naked, exhausted, and frustrated. But the eyes, something was off about the eyes. With an anxious frown, I stepped closer, staring into them, and they stared back …
… until they glanced behind me.
I gasped and jumped away, and so did my reflection … before it glanced over my shoulder again.
A chill trickled down my spine. My reflection had nothing behind it but the empty street, so I gulped and turned around, and my mouth fell open in a silent scream as a lovecraftian behemoth barrelled its way towards me. With its slick shell gleaming red beneath the lights, it slammed down one spiny tentacle after the other as its five mouths bared their dripping, concentric fangs.
Drenched in undiluted horror, tremors gripped my body as I stumbled away until my back was against the mirror. I knew death was a foolproof key in a dream, but I didn't know if this creature would kill me right away or leave me to suffer in agony until my five hours were up.
With it only inches away, I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed myself into the mirror, and my stomach flipped as I fell backwards. I opened my mouth to gasp, but there was nothing for me to draw in. Floating in an airless void, I flailed and thrashed, my wild eyes scanning the darkness for answers as I began to spin around.
Although death would free me, one of my greatest fears was suffocating. On one of my weightless rotations, a red, glass cube passed me by, and I grabbed it, hoping it was a breathing device. I brought it close to my face, and I gawked at what it held within.
Surrounded by identical buildings and red street lamps while a lovecraftian behemoth tore me apart.
Horrified, I threw the cube as far as I could and increased my efforts to escape this void. Yet all the flailing and thrashing was for naught as the darkness revealed no end. My eyesight began to go red as my lungs spasmed, and I clawed at my throat as my pulse stuttered in my chest.
The red kept growing and growing until it engulfed my entire vision, and I gave up. There was nothing to do but face my fears and die. With my straining heart lumbering, I let myself go limp as I stared at the red and waited.
I wasn't dying.
In fact, I could breathe just fine.
Frowning, I opened my eyes, and intense unease spread through my core. Above me, a red moon had taken up the entire sky, each one of its craters crystal clear, like eyes watching me. I turned my head away, and I realized I was in a park, laying down on the grass. Sitting up, I blinked in surprise at the pond right beside me, its opaque water reflecting the moon's red light. Ducks were swimming in a circle across its surface, their movements smooth with nary a splash.
Trees surrounded us, so dense I couldn't tell when one began and the other ended. It was mind-numbingly quiet here as well, and I still couldn't feel anything or make any noise, but at least the ducks were moving. This place seemed more tolerable than the last, and I was willing to wait out my five hours here. I hoped at least an hour had passed already, but with dreams, one never knew. All I knew was that I was too exhausted to search for the key. And too scared. I didn't know whose dream this was, but they had to be masochistic if they saved this nightmare.
Curling up beside the pond, I worked on calming myself down as I watched the ducks swim in their systematic circle over and over and over. I tried counting the rotations the way one would count sheep, but that still didn't lull me to sleep. I wished I'd chosen the three-hour projection, but at least I hadn't chosen the eight-hour one.
Distorted circus music crackled around me and I jolted up, my heart ricocheting in my chest. There was finally sound, but the last thing I wanted to hear was a cliche horror movie soundtrack. Gulping, I looked around. The music was coming from the trees, and my stomach dropped when I spied a shadow behind one of them. Then another. And another. They emerged into the crimson moonlight, and my blood turned to ice.
I whipped around, trembling to the rhythm of my frantic pulse. They were surrounding me. Dozens of them. As classic as any clown could be. Colorful clothes, big shoes, silly hair, exaggerated makeup. I wasn't scared of clowns, as long as they were where they belonged. And they didn't belong here, staring at me with empty eyes and toothy grins.
I tried to convince myself that they weren't dangerous since they didn't have weapons and didn't seem monstrous, but when they took a step closer in unison, I jumped back, nearly falling into the pond. The ducks remained oblivious, still swimming in their circle. The distorted circus music got louder, and my hair stood on end when I saw the grass ripple in front of each clown. They were sending something my way through the ground.
Panicking, I jumped into the pond, and I screamed as I sank right in. There was no bottom. There was no water either. The pond was filled with red, translucent spheres, each the size of a tennis ball. Still able to breathe, I began swimming through the spheres with clumsy breast strokes, just hoping I could end up as far away from the clowns as possible.
After swimming for what felt like enough time, I tried to swim up, until I realized I had no idea which direction I was facing. Remember a trick for those stuck in avalanches, I spat, but my glob of saliva just hovered in front of me. Before panic could set in, I noticed what looked like an office desk floating amidst the spheres in the distance. After blinking a few times to make sure it was really there, I swam towards it, desperate for any change in my situation.
an office desk, a wooden one with carved borders and locked drawers. Tucked beneath it was a stool, and the moment I pulled it out and set it under my ass, an office replaced the red spheres.
I grunted as gravity returned, and I looked around in bewilderment at the cluttered bookshelves and grimy floors. Dust was floating everywhere, highlighted by the red light filtering in through the blinds behind me. I jumped as a clock hanging on the wall chimed. Its glass was too dirty for me to tell the time, but I was glad I could hear. I coughed at the dust. And I could make noise. I dusted my hands. And I could feel. I could even smell, which I now wished I couldn't as I wrinkled my nose at the faint stench of rot.
After failing to read the spines of some of the books on the shelves, I studied the shadowy corners of the room. A slack-jawed skeleton hung in the far end, and a faded poster with anatomical diagrams curled off a cupboard. This had to be a doctor's office. Was the creator of this dream a doctor?
A silhouette slid in front of the frosted glass door, and I gulped as the knob began to turn. A hand reached in, gripping the edge one finger at a time, and my heart dropped as I knew this horror cliche was only going to be followed by another. Having no time to think, I slid off the stool and crouched beneath the desk, my hand over my mouth as cobwebs clung to me.
Praying spiders wouldn't swarm me, I peeked through a small slit in the wood, and I froze when an emaciated nurse walked in the room. Layers upon layers of blood coated her scrubs, so much so that I couldn't even tell what color they originally were. She had no shoes. No feet either. Just ankle stubs, and my stomach turned as I heard bone clunk against the tiles.
A surgical mask covered her face, as bloodstained as her scrubs, and grimy lab goggles obscured her eyes. I was grateful, because judging by the pus leaking out of her scabbed, balding scalp, I didn't want to know what her face looked like. The closer she got, the stronger the stench of rot became, and I struggled to keep myself from retching.
She stopped halfway into the room, and I gawked at her hands. They were transforming. Her fingers elongating into razor-edged blades. She then began to hunch over, and I cringed as her spine cracked and popped until she was as bent as a candy cane, her face staring at her pelvis.
As if that wasn't unsettling enough, her head creaked as it spun around 180 degrees, now facing the front, upside down. Right after, her arms shot to the ground, and I watched with increasing dread as she bent them at the elbows and wrists so they flanked her head like distorted T-Rex arms.
She spread her fingers out and took a few more steps towards me, and I held my breath, hoping she couldn't hear my rabid heart or smell my fear. Her ankle bones clicked and clacked against the tiles as she made her way around the desk, and I cowered as my frantic eyes searched for a weapon. I found none, but I did spy a brass button beside my head.
With her legs now an arms distance away, I had nothing to lose as I jammed my thumb into the button. The back of the desk flung open, and I scrambled to my feet and dashed out from my hiding place, screaming in response to the nurse screeching behind me. Bursting through the door, I held up my fists and began punching like a maniac in fearful anticipation of a horde of nurses swarming me.
Except I was no longer in a hospital. I was in an outdoor parking lot. Alone. And judging by the roiling red clouds, a storm was brewing. After a second to collect my bearings, I dove into the closest car, thankful it was unlocked. The moment I slammed the door shut, lightning blinded me as thunder cracked and the downpour began. Sighing in relief, I tried to shake away my adrenaline, but the bloodshot eyes in my rearview mirror reignited my panic.
Before I could react, a belt snapped over my neck, pinning my head back against the headrest. With a frightened wheeze, I clawed at the leather, and I flinched as hot, heavy breath wafted across my ear. Gagging at the putrid smell, I reached over, desperate to scratch my strangler's face or poke their eyes out.
I felt their hair and tried to pull it, but my fingers refused to hold on. I tried again and again, but the strands just kept slipping out of my weak grip. Shifting focus, I tried to claw at their eyes, but it felt as though I was moving through molasses as my hand slid down their face. Even when I felt a wet, bulbous eye, I didn't have enough strength to do anything.
My frustration clashed with my terror and I tried to punch them, but my arm swung back in slow motion and merely prodded a stubbly cheek. Tears welled in my eyes as I writhed and gasped, my strangler's laugh adding insult to injury. Despite knowing death will set me free, fear and self-preservation rummaged through my mind, searching for a solution. And they found one.
Hoping I had enough grip and energy, I reached down and found the reclining lever. Wrapping my fingers around it tight, I jerked it up and heaved my body back, and I gulped in a deep breath as I fell backwards, the belt now slack. Not at all prepared to face my attacker, I slipped out from beneath the belt, flung open the door, and zoomed out into the storm.
Sheets of rain obscured my vision, but not enough for me to see that the keys were left inside a red convertible. After making sure no one was hiding in the back, I jumped in, started the engine, and took off, the wheels squealing through the puddles. A sole street curled down a hill, and I took it, adrenaline pumping in waves through my quivering body.
This rush was a confusing mixture of exhilaration and apprehension. I wanted out, but I wasn't giving up. I made it this far, and I was going to survive every cliche this masochist dreamed up. Spiders? Snakes? Zombies? Bring it on. And afterwards, I was going to detail every single trial and tribulation I went through as I sued the dream bank for all the trauma they caused me.
Up ahead, the road curved, and I gasped as it ended in a cliff. I slammed the breaks, but they didn't do anything. Breaking out in a cold sweat, I slammed them again and again as I yanked the hand break as far as it would go. The car refused to slow down, and I cursed myself for not anticipating this cliche. In a move of desperation, I swerved, but it wasn't enough as the car careened over the edge and took me with it.
My heart hung in my throat as I hung on to the steering wheel, my knuckles white, my screams frozen in my lungs, the raindrops like needles. An endless body of water spread below me, and I knew sharks were my next challenge. I screwed my eyes shut as I awaited the inevitable plunge …
… and I gasped as a gentle hand woke me up.
I sat up, my pyjamas plastered to my damp skin, the silk sheets soaked. The tech gave me a sympathetic smile and asked me if I wanted to review the dream or if I wanted to delete it right away, since she could sense it was a nightmare.
I stared at her in furious disbelief as I yelled and cursed, accusing them of misconduct, and she gave me a confused frown. She said I had booked a recording session, not a projection one. After I called her a liar, management got involved, and they showed me my file with proof that I'd booked and paid for a recording session.
I told them they must have mistakenly charged me for a recording session, but I was one hundred percent sure I went through a projection session. I asked for five hours on a Tuesday afternoon. Not eight hours on a Tuesday evening. I had champagne and cranberry brie bites, not chamomile and honey-glazed almonds.
Their concern increased as they told me I was wrong. They said it was Wednesday, I'd slept the entire night, and they had my recorded dream to prove it. I demanded to skim through it, and they obliged. There it was, every scene of that nightmare. But it wasn't mine. It couldn't be. Could it? I hated scary movies. I also rarely had nightmares unless it involved me going broke. Why would I dream of an amalgamation of every horror cliche?
For a second, I was afraid I was still in the dream. This nightmarish scenario would fit right in with the others, taking it to Inception levels. But everything seemed real. I could hear, feel, and speak. No one was growing tentacles or blades. Nothing smelled pungent. Nothing glowed red.
I groaned and buried my face in my hands, confused and uncomfortable. I didn't know what the truth was anymore. One tech reminded me it was impossible for dreams to be projected to anyone but their creator. Another tech gently touched my shoulder and suggested I see a doctor if I continued to get spells of confusion like this. Not knowing how to reply, I paid them to save the nightmare before I got dressed and left.
Back home, I talked to family and friends, nothing seemed suspicious. Nothing seemed ready to kill me. I'm typing here on Reddit, and I'm sure I'll get replies. I'm out of the dream. I'm certain of it. But that leaves two other options.
Either I really did book a recording session and had my own nightmare, in which case I should take the tech's advice and see a doctor because my memory doesn't add up …
… or something sinister is going on at the dream banks, and they're using their clients as guinea pigs. Perhaps they're planning on branching out and creating a mental house of horrors where clients can get a near-realistic experience without fear of death. But why wouldn't they ask for volunteers instead of traumatizing loyal customers?
So I have to ask, have any of you experienced something similar? I know the odds of finding another multimillionaire who frequents dream banks is slim on Reddit, but even one other account can help my case. SR
submitted by SkittishReflections
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2023.06.07 23:27 Ali2829 I was using Character.ai, BEST ENDING SENTENCE
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to moralorel [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:18 Dismal-Jellyfish Commissioner Hester M. Peirce: "Although I agree with the objectives of these rules—namely, to reduce the incidence of misconduct in the security-based swap markets—these final rules leave unaddressed concerns I had at the proposing stage about their breadth, and I accordingly cannot support them."
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Thank you, Mr. Chair. As we have just heard, today the Commission will vote on finalizing Rule 9j-1, which would prohibit fraud and manipulation involving purchases and sales of security-based swaps, and Rule 15fh-4(c), which would prohibit coercion, manipulation, or deception of a security-based swap entity’s chief compliance officer. Although I agree with the objectives of these rules—namely, to reduce the incidence of misconduct in the security-based swap markets—these final rules leave unaddressed concerns I had at the proposing stage about their breadth, and I accordingly cannot support them.
The version of Rule 9j-1 before us today is better than the proposed version. The final rule would adopt a considerably narrower definitions of purchase and sale than the expansive proposed definitions that would have covered the performance of obligations arising out of a security-based swap for the life of the transaction. The definitions in the final rule instead generally tracks the Dodd-Frank definitions of these terms. This change should reduce the likelihood that every action taken by a counterparty to a security-based swap during the life of the transaction, including actions required under the swap’s terms, will expose it to liability. In another positive change, the release also makes clear that attempted violations of the rule require scienter. Finally, the affirmative defenses should mitigate—even if they do not eliminate—the risk that the rule might make it impossible for a lender, which will often possess material non-public information on its borrowers, to use credit default swaps to hedge the risks of those loans.
Notwithstanding these improvements, the final rule is still overly broad. The affirmative defenses may not provide market participants with sufficient clarity to allow them, for example, to feel confident somebody on a firm’s trading desk can hedge a loan using security-based swaps when the firm has obtained material non-public information in connection with the loan. As another example, the negligence standard applicable to paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4) of the rule may facilitate second-guessing in enforcement actions.
Most concerning, however, is an overbroad anti-manipulation provision directed at manufactured credit events and other types of opportunistic trading strategies. This provision, too, has been narrowed since the proposal; the provision no longer contains the “directly or indirectly” language, and the release makes clear that violation of this provision requires scienter. But the release describes the scope of the provision in the same broad and ambiguous terms to which I objected when the rule was proposed. Indeed, in words nearly identical to those in the proposal, the release explains that this provision would apply to “an action taken for the purposes of avoiding or causing, or increasing or decreasing, a payment under a security-based swap in a manner that would not have occurred but for such actions.”
As did the proposing release, the adopting release does attempt to provide assurance to market participants that the Commission will use this provision to pursue only “actions taken outside the ordinary course of a typical lender-borrower relationship.” Yet, as one commenter noted, market participants must look to the text of the rule,  which makes no reference to (and offers no safe harbor for) actions taken in the ordinary course. Moreover, the Commission repeatedly notes in this discussion that whether an action is taken in the ordinary course is a “facts and circumstances” inquiry under which the Commission will review “all relevant facts.” Although this approach does ensure maximum flexibility for the Commission to pursue misconduct that is hard to describe ex ante, it does so at the expense of clarity for firms that will have to guess at what facts the Commission may, in hindsight, determine to be relevant.
The Commission feels compelled to preserve maximum flexibility for itself because it is trying to prohibit harmful but exceedingly difficult-to-define behavior that has occasionally appeared in the credit default swap markets. This behavior includes manufactured credit events and other opportunistic trading strategies that can cause the market to question whether these instruments will serve the purposes for which they were designed. Drawing in advance a line that cleanly distinguishes between manipulative conduct and actions taken in the normal course of business, even if they are unseemly and potentially unfair, is difficult. That the opportunistic trading strategies the rule targets have occurred relatively infrequently, and that each generally has presented distinct facts, makes the rule-writing task more difficult.
Preserving discretion for the Commission could chill, unnecessarily, perfectly legitimate trading strategies or exercises of a counterparty’s rights under a security-based swap. Moreover, as one commenter noted, security-based swaps are often used to hedge complex financing arrangements that involve heavily negotiated terms providing the lenders with a range of options to protect themselves from the borrower’s default. Lenders worried that they may not be able to exercise such rights without affecting the value of the security-based swap in a way that the Commission later might view as manipulative may be less willing to provide financing in the first place. Moreover, because the release suggests that action—such as rescuing a failing firm—will be subject to greater scrutiny than inaction—such as letting a failing firm collapse—the rule risks spurring inaction and thus reducing market efficiency.
Some circumstances might warrant a rule with these chilling effects, but no such circumstances are present here. The targeted misconduct has occurred only relatively infrequently in this market. Our anti-fraud rules likely already prohibit some of that conduct. And, in a demonstration of the power of private ordering, market participants themselves have addressed some of the offending conduct. Sophisticated repeat players are well-placed to police one another for undesirable conduct, even if it is not illegal. In 2018, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association publicly acknowledged that these manufactured credit event strategies could affect negatively the security-based swap market and in 2019 made its Narrowly Tailored Credit Event Protocol available for adherence by counterparties. This Protocol appears to have eliminated much of the destructive behavior simply by introducing greater uncertainty that these strategies could succeed. As the release notes, this Protocol does not address every possible such strategy, but, the release also does not challenge one commenter’s assertion that these strategies have become “extremely infrequent.” In short, the Commission’s desire to maximize its own flexibility in this anti-manipulation provision does not seem to further any regulatory objective. To the contrary, this rule likely will deter far more entirely legitimate activity than it will prevent truly manipulative activity. The Commission instead should delay taking any action here and wait to see whether the problem of opportunistic trading strategies is significant enough to warrant a solution as blunt as the one before us today.
We can all agree with the sentiment of Rule 15fh-4(c): coercing, manipulating, or deceiving a CCO is bad behavior. But regulation—even regulation that prohibits bad things—always involves trade-offs. Will subjecting every interaction between employees and a CCO to potential legal liability empower the CCO to do her job or simply make employees less likely to approach the CCO to seek her input on compliance-related issues?
I do have a few questions:
If a bank provides a loan to a customer and, in the process of negotiating the terms of that loan comes into possession of material non-public information, would the affirmative defenses permit the bank to hedge that loan exposure through a credit default swap? If so, under what conditions?
LSTA noted in its March 2022 letter that the broad language of the anti-manipulation provision coupled with the use of a facts and circumstances test to determine whether a transaction was in the ordinary course would likely chill perfectly legitimate exercises of a lender’s rights expressly provided for in heavily negotiated financing arrangements. Can you provide me any comfort that these fears are groundless?
The economic analysis suggests that Rule 9j-1 will benefit the market by reducing fraud and manipulation, including opportunistic trading strategies, and thereby increase confidence in the security-based swap market. In July 2022, the Managed Funds Association submitted a comment letter presenting data that it claimed suggested that there was no evidence of any lack of confidence among market participants. The economic analysis seems to wave this evidence away as not persuasive, but does not provide any countervailing evidence that the market is laboring under a significant risk of fraud or manipulation. Is there any such evidence? What evidence, if any, do we have that manufactured credit events or other opportunistic trading strategies continue to present a risk to the market?
One law firm submitted a comment letter identifying different types of market activity it described as “legitimate” that “would be threatened by” Rule 9j-1. I’d like to understand better how the staff would view these examples from that letter:
“An investor who holds CDS (either long or short) participating in an ad hoc restructuring group.”
“An investor who holds bonds and has bought CDS refusing to consent to a restructuring, choosing to rely on CDS protection.”
“An investor who owns bonds and has sold CDS selling bonds back to the Reference Entity.”
“An investor who has sold CDS providing rescue financing to distressed issuers.”
The release states that “misconduct that affects the payments and deliveries under one security-based swap could be prohibited by final Rule 9j-1 if that misconduct occurs in connection with effecting or attempting to effect transactions or purchasing or selling or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any security-based swap, and not just the security-based swap that was the subject of the misconduct.” Could you provide an example of what type of misconduct this might encompass?
The final rule prohibits manipulation of the price or valuation of a security-based swap. The release states that “the pricing and valuation of security-based swaps are intrinsically connected.” If this is the case, why is it necessary to prohibit manipulation of valuation, given that manipulation of valuation would also almost certainly result in manipulation of price?
Although I cannot support today’s adoption of these rules, I do appreciate the effort that the staff put into reviewing the comments and taking to heart those comments in an effort to make the rule more workable. I especially appreciate the time that Carol McGee spent with me to answer my questions about the rule and Pam Carmody’s work on drafting it. I also want to acknowledge the contributions of the Office of the General Counsel.
What Hester is against: https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2023/34-97656.pdf
Overview of Security-Based Swaps
Security-Based Swaps Generally:
- Although the definition of security-based swap is detailed and comprehensive, at its most basic level, a security-based swap is an agreement, contract, or transaction in which two parties agree to the exchange of payments or cash flows based upon the value of other assets or upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of some event, including, for example, a change in a stock price or the occurrence of some type of credit event.
- The exchange of these payments or deliveries, including purchases or sales upon certain events, is a fundamental aspect or feature of a security-based swap.
- Moreover, this feature of security-based swaps is in contrast to secondary market transactions involving equity or debt securities where the completion of a purchase or sale transaction terminates the mutual obligations of the parties.
- Security-based swap counterparties, who are considered the issuers of the security-based swaps, continue to have obligations to one another throughout the life of the instrument, which can extend for years if not decades.
- Parties may enter into a security-based swap for a multitude of reasons, but often, the parties to the contract seek to gain exposure to an asset without owning it or to manage or transfer risks in their asset and liability portfolios (e.g., credit or equity risks).
- Typical participants in the security-based swap market include, among others, lenders transferring credit risk, insurance companies managing asset and liability risk specific to the insurance industry, activists or hedge funds obtaining exposure to the price movement and dividend payments of a stock without the costs and burdens of stock ownership, and financial institutions that engage in market-making and dealing in security-based swaps.
- The terms of the contract between the counterparties determine the specific rights and obligations of the parties throughout the life of the security-based swap, including, for example, the amount and timing of periodic payments due under the instrument, the maturity of the instrument, and terms of settlement.
- Unlike other types of securities where settlement occurs when the buyer receives the security purchased and the seller receives cash equaling the value of the security sold, for security-based swaps, a final net payment is paid by one party to the other at a future point in time to which the parties have contractually agreed.
Two common examples of security-based swaps – credit default swaps (“CDS”) and total return swaps (“TRS”)
- Generally, a CDS is a contract in which a party (the “protection buyer”), such as a lender, agrees to make periodic payments (the “premium”) over an agreed upon time period to another party (the “protection seller”) in exchange for a payment from the protection seller in the event of default by an issuer (or group of issuers) of securities (the “reference entity”).
- The CDS contract states whether the CDS is settled physically or in cash in the event of default by the reference entity. Generally, the protection buyer is using the CDS to manage risk and the protection seller is using the CDS to take on risk in return for a premium. A cash-settled CDS contract relying on ISDA documentation is subject to determinations by a committee with respect to whether a defined default event (a “credit event”) has occurred and, if so, to hold an auction to determine the settlement price of the CDS.
- The auction process includes the determination and publication of a list of deliverable obligations that a CDS protection buyer can deliver to the CDS protection seller after the auction settlement.
- A CDS protection buyer can deliver any of the obligations on the list, with delivery of the cheapest deliverable obligation maximizing recovery.
- This feature of CDS contracts is an aspect of some of the manufactured or opportunistic strategies discussed in section I.B.2.
- A TRS may obligate one of the parties (i.e., the total return payer) to transfer the total economic performance (e.g., income from interest and fees, gains or losses from market movements, and credit losses) of a reference asset (e.g., a debt or equity security) (the “reference underlying”), in exchange for a specified or fixed or floating cash flow (including payments for any principal losses on the reference asset) from the other party (i.e., the total return receiver).
- If the TRS is negotiated over-the-counter, the terms of the TRS can be individually negotiated and could include one payment at the expiration of the TRS or might include a series of payments on periodic interim settlement dates over the tenor of the TRS.
- For TRS with periodic interim settlement dates counterparties could agree to reset the price of the reference underlying on the periodic interim settlement date based on current market prices of the reference underlying (“reference price”).
- Accordingly, throughout the life of a TRS, depending on the terms of the TRS, the reference price that determines that payment on periodic interim settlement dates might be reset based on current market prices of the reference underlying
Security-Based Swap Market Developments
- In 2010, following the 2008 financial crisis, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act “to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system.”
- Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act addressed significant issues and risks in the swap and security-based swap markets, which had experienced dramatic growth leading up to the 2008 financial crisis and were shown to be capable of affecting significant sectors of the U.S. economy.
- In testimony before Congress introducing the first draft of the Dodd-Frank Act, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner highlighted the risks posed by an unregulated OTC derivatives market, which had been operating without the “basic protections and oversight” existing in the rest of the financial systems, including a “limited ability to police fraud and manipulation.”
- In his written testimony, Secretary Geithner listed four broad objectives of the proposed reforms which were eventually enacted as Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act:
- Preventing activities in the OTC derivatives markets from posing risk to the stability of the financial system;
- Promoting efficiency and transparency of the OTC derivatives markets;
- Preventing market manipulation, fraud, and other abuses; and
- Protecting consumers and investors by ensuring that OTC derivatives are not marketed inappropriately to unsophisticated parties.
- The security-based swap market remains large. Based on information reported pursuant to 17 CFR 242.900 to 242.909 (“Regulation SBSR”), as of November 25, 2022, the gross notional amount outstanding in the security-based swap market is approximately $8.5 trillion across the credit, equity, and interest rate asset classes.
- The credit security-based swap asset class is large, with a gross notional amount of approximately $4.7 trillion, of which single-name CDS (including corporate and sovereign) account for the largest category at $4.3 trillion.
- Additionally, as indicated by data submitted pursuant to Regulation SBSR, the size of the equity security-based swap market is also significant – with approximately $3.6 trillion of equity security-based swaps outstanding as of November 25, 2022.
- In general, the ongoing payments of a security-based swap depend, in part, on its gross notional amount outstanding.
- The particular aspects and characteristics of security-based swaps (described above in section I.B.1) provide opportunities and incentives for misconduct.
- In general, parties to a security-based swap may engage in misconduct in connection with the security-based swap (including in the reference underlying of such security-based swap) to trigger, avoid, or affect the value of ongoing payments or deliveries.
- For instance, a party faced with significant risk exposure may engage or attempt to engage in manipulative or deceptive conduct that increases or decreases the value of payments or cash flow under a security-based swap relative to the value of the reference underlying, including the price or value of a deliverable obligation under a security-based swap.
- Moreover, fraud and manipulation in connection with a security-based swap can affect not just a direct counterparty, but also counterparties to that counterparty.
- For example, if fraud or manipulation leads to a large change in variation margin, the defrauded counterparty could default on its obligations to its other counterparties. In addition, other counterparties to the same security-based swaps could be affected by fraud or manipulation that affects the reference underlying assets, as could investors in those underlying assets.
- Given the global and interconnected nature of the security-based swap markets, it is critical that the Commission has appropriate tools to fight fraud and manipulation in these markets.
- Recent developments in the security-based swap market highlight these concerns.
- For example, in the 2021 Proposing Release, the Commission discussed certain manufactured or other opportunistic CDS strategies that had been reported by academics and the press:
- A CDS buyer working with a reference entity to create an artificial, technical, or temporary failure-to-pay credit event in order to trigger a payment on a CDS to the buyer (and to the detriment of the CDS seller).
- Alone or in combination with the above or other strategies, causing the reference entity to issue a below-market debt instrument in order to artificially increase the auction settlement price for the CDS (i.e., by creating a new “cheapest to deliver” deliverable obligation).
- CDS buyers endeavoring to influence the timing of a credit event in order to ensure a payment (upon the triggering of the CDS) before expiration of a CDS, or a CDS seller taking similar actions to avoid the obligation to pay by ensuring a credit event occurs after the expiration of the CDS, or taking actions to limit or expand the number and/or kind of deliverable obligations in order to impact the recovery rate.
- CDS sellers offering financing to restructure a reference entity in such a way that “orphans” the CDS – eliminating or reducing the likelihood of a credit event by moving the debts off the balance sheets of the reference entity and onto the balance sheets of a subsidiary or an affiliate that is not referenced by the CDS.
- Taking actions, including as part of a larger restructuring, to increase (or decrease) the supply of deliverable obligations by, for example, adding (or removing) a co-borrower to existing debt of a reference entity, thereby increasing (or decreasing) the likelihood of a credit event and the cost of CDS.
- Taking into consideration all of the above, Rule 9j-1 will be an important additional tool to augment the Commission’s oversight of the security-based swap markets including, but not limited to, the markets for CDS and TRS.
Overview of the Final Rules:
- Final Rule 9j-1 includes prohibitions on categories of misconduct prohibited by section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and section 17(a) of the Securities Act, when effecting any transaction in, or attempting to effect any transaction in, any security-based swap, or when purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap (including but not limited to, in whole or in part, the execution, termination (prior to its scheduled maturity date), assignment, exchange, or similar transfer or conveyance of, or extinguishing of any rights or obligations under, any security based-swap).
- The final rule also includes a provision prohibiting the manipulation or attempted manipulation of the price or valuation of any security-based swap, including any payment or delivery related thereto.
- This provision has been moved to paragraph (a)(6) of Rule 9j-1 (from paragraph (b) as proposed) to clarify that these provisions apply to conduct that is undertaken in connection with directly or indirectly effecting, or attempting to effect, any transaction in any security-based swap, or purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap.
- Final Rule 9j-1 provides that:
- A person with material nonpublic information about a security cannot avoid liability under the securities laws by communicating about or making purchases or sales in the security-based swap (as opposed to communicating about or purchasing or selling the underlying security)
- A person cannot avoid liability under section 9(j) or Rule 9j-1 in connection with a fraudulent scheme involving a security-based swap by instead making purchases or sales in the underlying security (as opposed to purchases or sales in the security-based swap).
The Commission also is adopting a rule aimed at protecting the independence and objectivity of an SBS Entity’s CCO by preventing the personnel of an SBS Entity from taking actions to coerce, mislead, or otherwise interfere with the CCO. The Commission recognizes that SBS Entities dominate the security-based swap market and also recognizes the important role that CCOs of SBS Entities play in ensuring compliance by SBS Entities and their personnel with the Federal securities laws. As a result, the Commission is adopting Rule 15fh-4(c), which makes it unlawful for any officer, director, supervised person, or employee of an SBS Entity, or any person acting under such person’s direction, to directly or indirectly take any action to coerce, manipulate, mislead, or fraudulently influence the SBS Entity’s CCO in the performance of their duties under the Federal securities laws or the rules and regulations thereunder. https://preview.redd.it/dkubyk9ywn4b1.png?width=966&format=png&auto=webp&s=634948d848a6277ed7247d7803a5a63d2b866972 https://preview.redd.it/5r40tixywn4b1.png?width=943&format=png&auto=webp&s=1757b80d2890e4460c1e4adfe1d3e5f25c4599d6
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted rules to prevent fraud, manipulation, and deception in connection with security-based swap transactions and to prevent undue influence over the chief compliance officer (CCO) of security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (SBS Entities). “Any misconduct in the security-based swaps market not only harms direct counterparties but also can affect reference entities and investors in those reference entities,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Given these markets’ size, scale, and importance, it is critical that the Commission protect investors and market integrity through helping prevent fraud, manipulation, and deception relating to security-based swaps. Today’s set of rules will do just that.”The antifraud and anti-manipulation rule adopted today is designed to prevent misconduct in connection with effecting any transaction in, or attempting to effect any transaction in, or purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap. The rule takes into account the features fundamental to a security-based swap and will aid the Commission in its pursuit of actions that directly target misconduct that reaches security-based swaps.The Commission also adopted a rule to protect the independence and objectivity of the CCO of a security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant.The adopting release will be published in the Federal Register. The final rules will become effective 60 days after the date of publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register.
- Hester cannot support.
- A security-based swap is an agreement where two parties exchange payments or cash flows based on the value of assets or events, continuing to have obligations to each other for the life of the contract.
- Typical participants include lenders, insurance companies, hedge funds, and financial institutions.
- The specifics of the swap, such as periodic payments and settlement terms, are determined by the contract between the counterparties.
- The two common examples of security-based swaps are Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and Total Return Swaps (TRS).
- A CDS involves a protection buyer making periodic payments to a protection seller in exchange for a payment in case of default by the reference entity.
- A TRS transfers the total economic performance of a reference asset in exchange for a cash flow.
- As of November 2022, the gross notional amount outstanding in the security-based swap market was approximately $8.5 trillion.
- The credit security-based swap asset class accounted for $4.7 trillion, while equity security-based swaps accounted for around $3.6 trillion.
- Misconduct may occur in security-based swaps to trigger, avoid, or affect the value of ongoing payments.
- This includes manipulative or deceptive conduct that alters the value of payments under a security-based swap relative to the value of the reference underlying swap.
- Rule 9j-1 is introduced as an additional tool for overseeing the security-based swap markets, including the markets for CDS and TRS.
- This rule includes prohibitions on misconduct and manipulation in connection with security-based swaps.
- In addition, Rule 15fh-4(c) is adopted to protect the independence and objectivity of a Swap Brokerage Security Entity's Chief Compliance Officer.
2023.06.07 23:12 Budget-Song2618 Why should wealthy private equity investors be allowed to pay a lower rate of tax than a nurse or bus driver? is it morally wrong? "A legal challenge has been launched against HMRC to demand the closure of a loophole that allows private equity fund managers to pay almost half the tax they should"
2023.06.07 23:11 caitiep92 Where is Kristi Krebs? Fort Bragg, California, August 9/10, 1993
Kristi Suzanne Krebs was born on December 29, 1970 and lived in Fort Bragg, California with her parents. Kristi graduated from high school in 1989 and went straight to work at a local Round Table Pizza full time. Little else seems to be known about Kristi's early years.
Kristi was usually an upbeat person that worked very hard, and this extended to her workplace. However, it soon became clear that Kristi had begun to develop a very unhealthy obsession with a male coworker who was married. Unsolved Mysteries referred to this as an "unhealthy obsession."
On April 30, 1990 (three years prior to her going missing), Kristi's coworkers described her as "unnaturally euphoric," and was fantasizing about a wedding and having kids (presumably with the married male coworker, but this is unclear). After work, Kristi drove around town aimlessly and eventually ended up in a forested area. Kristi's car ended up being stuck in the mud. Kristi kept gunning the engine to get the car unstuck, which caused the engine to overheat, which in turn caused the car to catch on fire. Kristi obviously became panicked, causing her to have a trauma educed mental breakdown.
The morning after this event, railroad workers found Kristi wandering around, dazed and disoriented. One of these railroad workers recognized Kristi and called her parents. Kristi's came to pick her up, initially wanting to take Kristi home, but while in the car, Kristi kept chanting, patting herself and just "acting weird." So they took Kristi to the hospital, where according to a Medium article, "she spent the next four weeks recovering in a private mental facility, though it would take several months before her memory completely returned." But after this initial hospital stay, Kristi was in and out of the hospital where doctors would diagnose her with a trauma educed psychotic break. At one point in her treatment, an occupational therapist recommended that Kristi start off her recovery by only going back to work part time, about twenty hours a week.
At first this arrangement seemed to be going well, but then Kristi began working "more and more," even taking on a second job at a local Burger King. Due to the two jobs, sometimes Kristi was working up to 12 hours a day. Kristi's parents also noted that she didn't seem to be sleeping very much and was going to the gym a lot. And again, Kristi began seeming very happy with her life. Kristi's father would state that these things made him wonder if Kristi's mental health was going downhill again.
Despite this new hectic pace, Kristi seemed
okay, so her parents didn't want to worry. At one point, one of Kristi's managers asked her why she was so happy, and she responded "it's not what you think." Kristi did not explain further and went back to work. At around 10pm on August 9, 1993, Kristi left work in "high spirits," and told her coworkers that she'd be heading home. However, Kristi did not end up going home and began driving around.
The next time that Kristi was seen was by a park ranger at McKerricher State Park, just north of Fort Bragg, at around 10:30pm. He spotted Kristi's red Toyota Tercel parked in the lot, so he went to go speak to the driver--which was Kristi. The ranger asked Kristi if she was okay and that the state park's lot closed a half hour before, so she needed to leave. Kristi told the ranger that she was relaxing after work and if she could stay. The ranger replied that she could not stay, and Kristi said she'd leave. This ranger would later tell police that the interaction was friendly and that Kristi seemed okay.
After this encounter, Kristi drove south through Fort Bragg, headed towards the small town of Mendocino. Kristi ended up in Mendocino Woods State Park, where she continued to drive a remote dirt road near a creek bed. And like three years before, her car became stuck and she began revving the engine to make the car start again, which again caused the car to catch fire. A car jack would later be found near her car, which lead authorities to believe that she attempted to jack up the tires to get the car going (admittedly I don't drive, so I don't know if I explained that correctly). When this didn't work, it apparently made Kristi angry, and she began bashing the car hood with a rock. She then took out her wallet, shredded the pictures inside and ripped out the car stereo.
Kristi had been wearing jeans and her work shirt when she left her job, but both of these items were found in the backseat of the car. It is believed that Kristi took them off because they'd gotten wet in her attempts to free the car. Kristi kept gym clothes in her car, so it is believed that she changed into those. When Kristi didn't come home, her parents reported her missing and a full scale search was launched. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Department searched the area surrounding Kristi's car and even an air rescue squad helped in the effort. The search of the park went on for a week, but nothing was found.
Kristi's family and authorities believe that she may be out there somewhere, with memory loss. There have been sightings of Kristi after she vanished, one of the first sightings was by a woman who claimed to have seen a woman resembling Kristi attempting to hitchhike. There were also sightings from Texas to Salt Lake City, Utah. However, there are two sightings that the police believe are the most legitimate. One occurred in March 1994 in Humboldt County (north of Fort Bragg), a woman who's daughter was a classmate of Kristi's claimed to have seen Kristi along Highway 101. When the woman called out to "Kristi," she turned and walked back into the woods.
The other sighting happened in June 1994. An off duty highway worker named Mike Case picked up a female hitchhiker in Visalia California, 300 miles south of where Kristi vanished. According to Mike, this woman "didn't seem to have it all there," and was in "a world of her own," and at first thought she may be on some kind of drugs. But as he began talking with her, Mike noticed tow slash marks on her wrist. When Mike asked about it, the woman responded that she'd had a breakdown and a boyfriend that "wasn't very nice." Mike and this woman were in the car together for about 90 minutes where the woman spoke about a boyfriend that seemed fake, having relatives in San Jose and liking the ocean. These things seemed true to Kristi's parents. Mike dropped Kristi off in Hanford, California and didn't think anymore about the encounter until he saw Kristi's picture in a trucking magazine. Mike contacted Kristi's parents, who sent more photos of Kristi and it was the woman Mike said he saw.
There has been one more sighting of Kristi, also by a woman named Alicia who picked up a hitchhiker in August 1993, two days after Kristi vanished. The woman who picked up this hitchhiker woman told authorities she picked up the woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Alicia said the woman identified herself as "Kris," and Alicia only picked her up because she was standing at a dangerous spot on the side of the road. When "Kris," got into Alicia's car, she said "you're looking at the happiest girl in the world!" Apparently this was something Kristi said on a regular basis. Kris also began telling Alicia that she'd fallen in love with a trucker and she was meeting him in Amarillo Texas so they could get married. And when Alicia dropped off this woman off at a McDonald's in Park City, Kris said "Burger King is better."
There have been no other confirmed (or unconfirmed) sightings of Kristi Krebs. When Kristi vanished, she was 22 years old, 5'2 and around 140 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes and her thumbs curve inward. Kristi had been suffering from emotional distress with symptoms like amnesia before she vanished.
Unsolved Mysteries episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l0JCuG_UVY&t=1177s https://medium.com/@jennbaxter_69070/the-bizarre-disappearance-of-kristi-krebs-ea93de24cd23 https://www.advocate-news.com/2019/05/09/where-is-kristi-krebs/ https://charleyproject.org/case/kristi-suzanne-krebs https://www.doenetwork.org/cases/808dfca.html https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/1268 https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/fort-bragg-parents-use-technology-to-look-for-missing-daughte https://unsolvedmysteries.fandom.com/wiki/Kristi_Krebs https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=53441147&itype=cmsid https://www.advocate-news.com/2016/04/21/missing-but-not-forgotten/
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2023.06.07 23:02 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in LA Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in la. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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to LouisianaJobsForAll [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 22:47 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in LA Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in la. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by SchlesingerMindy323
to LAJobsForAll [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 22:46 Australian_Teacher This subreddit will be going private June 12–14. Don't Let Reddit Kill 3rd Party Apps!
This subreddit will be going private June 12–14. Don't Let Reddit Kill 3rd Party Apps!
What's going on?
A recent Reddit policy change threatens to kill many beloved third-party mobile apps, making a great many quality-of-life features not seen in the official mobile app permanently inaccessible
On May 31, 2023, Reddit announced they were raising the price to make calls to their API from being free to a level that will kill every third-party app on Reddit, from Apollo
to Reddit is Fun
Even if you're not a mobile user and don't use any of those apps, this is a step toward killing other ways of customizing Reddit, such as Reddit Enhancement Suite or the use of the old.reddit.com desktop interface. This isn't only a problem on the user level: many subreddit moderators depend on tools only available outside the official app to keep their communities on-topic and spam-free.
What's the plan?
On June 12th, many subreddits
will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently
unless the issue is adequately addressed since many moderators aren't able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app. This isn't something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit
, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.
The two-day blackout isn't the goal
, and it isn't the end. Should things reach the 14th with no sign of Reddit choosing to fix what they've broken, we'll use the community and buzz we've built between then and now as a tool for further action.
What can you
- Complain. Message the mods of reddit.com, who are the admins of the site: message reddit: submit a support request: comment in relevant threads on reddit, such as this one, leave a negative review on their official iOS or Android app- and sign your username in support to this post.
- Spread the word. Rabble-rouse on related subreddits. Meme it up, make it spicy. Bitch about it to your cat. Suggest anyone you know who moderates a subreddit join us at our sister sub at ModCoord- but please don't pester mods you don't know by simply spamming their modmail.
- Boycott and spread the word...to Reddit's competition! Stay off Reddit entirely on June 12th through the 13th. Instead, take to your favourite non-Reddit platform of choice and make some noise in support!
- Don't be a jerk. As upsetting as this may be, threats, profanity and vandalism will be worse than useless in getting people on our side. Please make every effort to be as restrained, polite, reasonable and law-abiding as possible.
Even if you only use the official Reddit app and/or "New Reddit" on your desktop, this change still impacts all of us. Our mods rely on third-party apps in order to keep up with moderation duties, and we see this change being pushed by Reddit Inc. as being anti-community and anti-user, particularly those who suffer from visual impairment.
We've all spent a lot of time on this website, both as posters and mods, and what this change will do is make it more difficult to do both, as the official Reddit app (along with "new" Reddit), while being terrible from a design standpoint, is also terrible in that it lacks effective moderation tools. As mods, we volunteer
our precious time to work for this website in order to create positive discussion spaces for people — with the far superior apps offered by other Reddit users, made as a labour of love as this space was.
The exact time the sub will go dark isn't confirmed yet, just because of timezones and etc.
Thanks to bluey
for the message content to send and thanks from our Moderation Team! u/furiouscowbell u/Ding_batman u/australian_teacher u/aquazalea
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2023.06.07 22:35 rrmdp 📢 Amazing Care Home Health Services Inc . is hiring a RN Private Duty Nursing Home Health!
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2023.06.07 22:33 rrmdp 📢 Amazing Care Home Health Services Inc . is hiring a RN Private Duty Nursing Home Health!
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2023.06.07 22:31 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, part 706
Capes and Conundrums
The fire demons conjured by Slade lash out at the huntsmistress but as her idea of protective clothing for hunting on Skathac merely means clothing that isn’t instantly burnt to ash as she leaves the protective embrace of a sky yacht’s forcefield, they’re about as effective as water-balloons against a battleship.
They do block her sight however, and that’s what he uses them for.
Unfortunately she’s the type where trying the same trick twice just gets you slammed like an idiot and verbally lambasted as one to boot.
He learns this as she grabs his boot and proceeds to hammer throw him into the opposite wall of the warehouse.
He skids down the wall and regains himself enough to kick off it and charge through the air while surrounded by fire.
She goes to catch the expected attack and finds only a device that then detonates in a flash of light and a loud bang.
There’s then a brutal spin kick from the blindside and she’s sent careening to the side and rolls twice before gathering herself and trying to shake out the spots and ringing from her head.
“What was that?” She asks.
“Flashbang. Non-lethal alone, but often paired with other techniques.” Slade informs her and she lets out a huff.
“Basic law enforcement are permitted to carry them.” Slade notes and she takes a low stance with her tail high and ready to stab or slash, she still uses her bottom left hand to rub the crest atop her head and try and get some more vision back into it. “Does that actually help?”
“Psychosomatically.” She replies before suddenly there’s a brutal charge in the floor and Slade can’t even shout as his every muscle seizes in the electrical attack.
His nerves unjangle just enough to allow a bellow of pain before a chunk of concrete slams into him. It breaks the circuit and he teleports out of danger before the piece of manufactured stone can shatter against the wall.
Patience for her part only caught a glimpse of him. The fight has shifted around in all sorts of ways. It’s clear that she’s more than happy to play the monster. Well, if that’s the case. Then Robin, in a Deathstroke mask, is more than willing to hunt.
He breathes a bit and then deliberately runs Axiom through a reactive tattoo that bisects his brand. Turning it back on, and causing a passive Axiom intake. He’s now visible to the preternatural sense. However, he’s now also immune to her electrical trick.
She crashes through the walkway he was in and he moves faster than before. She dodges the first kick but that was just to get him in position behind her where he has a heartbeat to act and he USES it to slam down in her back and send her back through the hole she just made to crash into the floor below.
She rolls away and his knee finds the place her back was a moment ago. The concrete cracks and he slowly rises up.
She’s on all six and prowling. Her massive form utterly silent as she slinks around him, a living shadow of hard points and sharp danger. Also still very much a woman, but what has his attention are the claws, bladed tail and snap reflexes that are going to be a BITCH to deal with.
Moving like a shadow over water she circles him multiple times, clearly making a judgment. “Forgotten something?”
“No.” She answers. “I still have the cuffs to claim a win. But this is too much fun. I want to keep going.”
“What kind of example are you setting for your daughter?” He asks.
“A good one. Learn from your hunts and enjoy them thoroughly.” Patience says before letting out a laugh. “Besides. They’ve been watching for a while now.”
“I’m aware.” Slade states.
“Yeah! Go mom!” Migalla the younger shouts out from where she’s watching. Between her and Echosong it hadn’t been too hard to get the cuffs on Ra’s and confirm the win. But they were too busy watching the show to do the next part of the event.
“Don’t you two have a bomb to dispose of?” Slade asks before teleporting as Patience chooses that moment to pounce.
She turns it into a handspring and launches upward to spin in the air and grab onto the underside of the walkway he’s now on and outright catches his boot as he tries to kick her off.
She rips him off the walkway and hurls him along the underside. His fingers dig in and he’s suddenly hanging by them monkeybars style. She’s already chasing after him with the ease of a predator designed to move in three dimensions.
Which is why his counter charge catches her off guard somewhat and he almost gets a good boot to her head but she catches the boot instead. He then throws himself and her reflex to keep a grip on him causes him to swing and start breaking her grip on things.
As they start to fall her tail embeds into the walkway and she gets a good grip on both of his boots but he swings himself and starts to punch at her chest, deflecting her second set of arms and getting a few body shots in until her legs come down and he’s forced to deflect those.
Leaving him open for a huge double punch to the stomach as his feet are let go of.
He slams into the floor of the factory and has to take a moment to get his wind she knocked clean out of him back in.
She’s on him in a moment and is pinned. “I think this counts as a win.”
“Yes... yes it does.” Robin admits.
“... I need a trophy from this. A hunt this much fun needs a trophy.” She says grabbing his helmet and quickly finding the latches to pull it off.
“Hey now, I may need that. Let me up so I can call this in one way or the other.” Robin says and she slinks off as she tosses the helmet a bit. “Also if you want your husband to wear that it may need to be refit for a Dzedin.”
“Hmm... a good point... could I trade?” She asks him even as Robin rises up.
“Let me check.” He states and he brings out his communicator. “Although for the sake of a survey, out of ten how would you rate your experience today?”
“Twenty two.” She says gleefully. “I’m going to be running every member of my family that doesn’t need to be dragged out by the tail through the tests and we’re all going to party in these events.”
“Oh fun. I look forward to our rematch. Or hell... I want to see you up against Pavel. I wonder how you’ll respond to being hunted by a master sniper?”
“Ohh! Like a twinshot assassin?”
“We use kinetic rounds, they travel much longer and faster.” Robin notes as he activates his communicator. “Now let’s see about that trophy of yours.”
Before he can dial anything in the communicator goes off and he simply answers.
“She can keep the helmet, but it will take a day or three to make a custom one for her husband to wear.” Overwatch says.
“You caught that I hope?” Robin asks.
“I’ll hold this one hostage until then.”
“Fair enough.” Robin says before holding out his left hand and concentrating on the inlayed khutha marking on the underlayer of the glove. It builds and builds in power, and then abruptly another helmet is there. “I have a replacement.”
Patience then promptly swaps the unscuffed helmet for the one she’s thoroughly scuffed up and sticks her tongue out at him.
He blows her a raspberry and switches them back. Prompting the older woman to dissolve into helpless giggles.
“You keep being that adorable and I’m going to straight up adopt you little boy.” She taunts him and he snorts.
“Adoption generally doesn’t happen for full grown men.”
“Maybe not in your current society. But there are old family lines and clans that come together due to adopting someone as perky as you.”
“Thank you for the offer but no thank you ma’am.” Robin says quickly.
“Pity, you’d make quite the big brother for Migalla.” Patience says happily. “Ah... so all this was recorded right? Those little electrical bundles sending out signals are cameras right?”
“They are, don’t worry, you’ll get a full recording.” He assures her.
“Is there any rush to us leaving or?”
“Oh, maybe withing fifteen minutes or so. We have at least three different areas to send people to. We’ll be fine.”
“So, who had a fun first day out?” Robin asks the other three men who had Deathstroke duty.
“Apuk are fucking horrible.” Robin’s opposite states. There’s a distant ‘hey!’ as the Apuk Undaunted nearby overhears. “Oh shut up! That warfire shit is cheating so badly! How do you make fire that does that?!”
“It’s not cheating! It’s an ancient and honourable technique!” The offended Apuk counters as she stomps over.
“That causes things to burn and melt at a quarter of their normal ignition point. I know.”
“I’ll leave you lovebirds to have a friendly chat.” Robin remarks before stepping away from the growing argument.
“Four hundred credits in trytite bars says they’re banging before dinner.” One of the other Deathstrokes says as they follow Robin away.
“Sucker’s bet and you know it.” The other states. “They’ve been slap-slap kiss for a week.”
“So, you boys have as much fun as I did with my Dzedin Huntsmisstress?”’
“I heard she bounced you off every wall in the building and put you through most walkways.”
“To be fair I tossed her like a ragdoll and flashbanged her at least once. If we were allowed to go deadly... hmm... if it was a full deadly contest there’s no telling where it would go. We were both holding back to not kill the other.”
“My money’s on the big scary space monster... with tits.”
“I figured you’d be over that by now.” Robin remarks.
“I’ll never not be over the fact that one of the most universal shapes in existence is a perky orb with nips.” HE answers. “And I think I can beat you. While you were dealing with miss Huntress, I had to deal with what I thought was a suit of power armour.”
“What was it really?”
“A Gohb in a Mecha. Crazy girl had me thinking I was dealing with a Cannidor.”
“It didn’t end there. When I got her out of the Mecha she revealed a mechanical backpack that unfolded into four spider legs and she got huge mobility with that before chucking grenades at me while crawling over every single wall at once.” He finishes with a sigh.
“I think I’m in love.” Robin jokes.
“She is too, she pulled off my mask and then demanded to know where you were.” He says and Robin winces while chuckling.
“Merretta! She remembers me!”
“She called you a childless DILF.” The man intones like he’s at a funeral and Robin snorts hard. “Do you have any idea how freaking weird it is to go through a big flashy fight that ends with some green midget pitching a fit because she wanted to get freaky with someone else? Oh by the way, watch your back Robin. I think she might be going full stalker.”
“I doubt it’s that bad. She was likely just venting, it’s not like we don’t do or say stupid things when we think we can get away with it.” Robin remarks with a yawn. He then checks his communicator. “I’ve got a paperwork shift before dinner. I need to go.”
“I wasn’t kidding about he Gohb. She was contemplating how to get in here and see you.”
“You make it sound like being chased by a gearhead shortstack is a bad thing. It’s not. It’s really not.” Robin says over his shoulder. He then glances back again. Only one of the guys is there. The other must have gotten sneaky and faded away partway during the conversation. Or even at the beginning. It would explain why he didn’t contribute to it.
He shrugs that off. They’re all grown adults in The Undaunted. Unless you HAD to know where someone was then you could trust everyone out of sight.
His shift starts uneventful as he begins pouring through his legal documents with a fine tooth comb. Nothing to egregious beyond some grammatical and spelling mistakes. He does have to make a point to write out a few more paragraphs to ensure that the term SHALL is properly interpreted in the documentation. Just another loophole to close off and make sure that someone can’t try to flog them for stupidity that wasn’t their fault.
The work is however, boring, and he takes a few minutes break every hour to stretch out, caffeinate and turn on some music to clear his mind a touch.
“Mister White?” Someone asks after a bit and he turns. It’s one of the secretarial office workers.
“You have a visitor.” The woman says and Robin snorts.
“You make it sound like I’m in the hospital or prison.”
“Considering that fight you got into today I’m surprised your not in either.” She states and he chuckles in response.
He opens the door to see who it is and sees... no one. There’s a set of metal clangs and a green woman slowly rises into view. “Hello Merretta. I heard you had some fun with another Deathstroke. Playing the field are we?”
“Really big man?” She asks himas amusent dances across her face.
“Really. Now, how can I help you?”
“I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t scare off that big slab of man I saw crashing through ash dunes on a bike.”
“Not at all.” He says even as her mechanical backpack legs properly space themselves out and she starts looming over him. Suspended by the backpack harness.
“Good. Now... perhaps we can talk about meeting up for a private spar? You humans are fun to fight in armour.”
“I didn’t expect you to be so violent.”
“I didn’t expect humans to be so eager for violence. But if mommy has to get a little rough to get daddy, then she will.”
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2023.06.07 22:31 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in LA Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in la. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by SchlesingerMindy323
to EmploymentLouisiana [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 22:20 Random_Trinidadian The Pod....
It had been three days since the S.S. Paria had landed on Catelli IV and despite the circumstances, the crew were still in good sprits.
A few days prior, the Terran owned Freighter had received a Priority 4 transmission from the the Galatic Network. Informing them that a class 3 Ion Storm had been detected and all vessels in that sector of space were to take appropriate action.
Now a Class III Ion storm was not the strongest one could encounter. But it was still poweful enough to to damage or even cripple a large freighter like the Paria. Not wanting to take chances, the Paria had landed on Catelli IV in an attempt to wait out the storm.
While on the surface, the crew did everything they could to pass the time. From inspecting the cargo, a task made easy since the Paria was mostly empty at the time. To running routine maintenance on the vessel. But eventually the crew did have some down time and decided to use their free time to relax.
One group of crew mates, a Vol'Pina female and a pair of Alulians, had just finished cleaning the air filtration units and were now huddled around a small fire they had created outside the vessel. Many of the crew had taken the opportunity to set up small camps to sleep, as it was a nice change of pase from sleeping in bunks fir weeks on end.
Eventually a fourth member joined their group, a Human named "Morri" and technically, he was their senior. But you would never guess that by the way he interacted. Unlike the Corporate operated ships, things like rank really didn't mean much on privately operated ships.
"I wonder how long we will be here planet side?" The Vol'pina asked curiously, her rabbit like ears twitching as she looked up inti the night sky and watched the bolts of energy crack and dance about."
'"The captain said we will be able to leave by the end of the week." Morri replied, as he took another swig of his beer. "I wonder if he is still up there?"
"Who, Morri the human?" One of the Alulians asked, his translator doing it's best communicate to his ship mate.
"Oh .. it's nothing." Morri replied.
"No really, who were you talking about?" The Vol'pina asked, now curious as to what or who her senior was talking about.
"Well.... It's a story may family have been telling for years." Morri began to explained, his eyes now focusing on the fire before then. "I don't you guys would want to hear it."
"I got nothing else better to do!" The female crewman said excitedly, as the two jelly-fish like Alulians nooded. "Yes, please tell us."
"Okay then, if you insist." Morri relented, as he began his story.
'You see, my family has always been involved in cargo hauling, ever since the first Slip Space Drives became available on the civilian market. We have been running freight for generations and I am the latest to carry on that legacy. But my great grand uncle, he was probably thee most famous. He did alot of things during his time, eventually buying his own ship and becoming a private captain. He was the one who originally told this story and from what my family said, if was one of the few times he ever looked scared."
The group were now invested in Morri's story, as they continued to listen attentively.
"This particular story takes place when my uncle had just joined the Merchant and Commerce union. He had been assigned to an older DY-500-class cargo ship, the Madison J. Slowcome as his first posting. This was still years before the Bon'sa rebellions, so the Madison was running cargo to the Civ'a and Bonset Systems. It was during one of these runs they ended up encountering a Class-I Ion Storm, so it was nothing they could not handle. But while in the storm, the communitation officer suddenly announced that he was picking up a destress signal in coming from the storm itself.
"Being who they were and not wanting to potentially leave someone to die, the Captain of the Madison decided to investigate and they soon found the source.... It was a life pod... From a old DY-150 cargo ship."
"DY-150?" The Vol'pina asked, as she had some familiarity with human ship designs. "If I am not mistaken... The DY-150 have not used in well over four hundred years!"
Morri nodded, "That's right, which means that pod had been floating in space for well over a century before the Madison found it. Either way, they brought the thing on board and my uncle and another guy he worked with named 'Smithy' were ordered to open it up and see if there was anyone inside. Weird thing was, that while they were cutting through, my uncle swore he could hear.... Tapping coming from inside. But when they were finally able to open the pod, they found...."
"Nothing..." Morri replied. "There was no one inside."
"So what happen next? The other Alulian asked, genuinely invested in his shipmate's story.
"Well... Nothing at first. Though as time passed, my uncle soon began to notice a change in Smithy. He became withdrawn from the rest of the crew, sometimes the other crewmen could hear him muttering in some alien language, he bagan to miss his shifts. My uncle was very certain the captain was ready to kick Smithy off his ship when they reached the next station. But that never happened."
By now, al three crewmen were listening intently to the human as he told his story. Waiting intently for Morri to finish his story. "What happened...?"
"Well.... It was during another ion storm when Smithy just went crazy. He began to attack the crew, even managed to seal himself in the engineering section and almost destroyed the ship. My uncle and a few others were able to break through before he could though, but Smithy managed to escape to a life pod and jetison himself into the storm."
"They.... They were able to re capture him, right?"
"They couldn't even if they wanted too." Morri explained. "Smithy has managed to do some really bad damage to the reactor. They would have to wait a few days before they were rescued by another freighter. They did try to look for the missing life pod, but they were not able to find it."
The group was now in a stunned silence, as they they were all at a loss for words at this point. But eventually one of them spoke up and asked... "But... But what about that other life pod? The ones they originally found?"
"They ran the serial numbers, turned out it was indeed from a old DY-150. But the ship it came from had actually been decommissioned and scrapped a few years prior. Maybe some other ship had bought it but they never found out.. There were no records."
"So what you think happened... To Smithy?"
"Honestly... I don't know." Morri confessed. "Some said Smithy may have been possessed by the ghost of a dead crewman who was never rescued. Others think it was some kind of alien which was using the pod as some kind of lure. All my uncle knew was that one of his closet friends was now gone and is probably somewhere out there.
"I remember when I first heard that story, scared me when I was a child and it still creeps me out today. Especially when other members of my family said that every once in a while, when the com network is quiet... They swear they heard a faint destress beacon coming through. But then again, my uncle was known as a bit of a joker!"
That more or less broke the mood, as the three xenos were brought back reality.
"So its not true?"
"Who knows?" Morri replied, as he got up from his seat. "But it pretty much was the wild west back in my uncle's time, but who knows? I suggest you guys get some rest, I plan to do a Diog on engine 3 and 4." And with that, Morri left to return to the ship.
"And why did you marry Morri the Human?" The Alulian from before asked the Vol'pina woman.
She just chuckled a bit before she replied, "because he makes me laugh."
Eventually the the storm did pass and the Paria lifted off from the planet surface to continue her trip. It would reach its destination safely and take on its cargo. But there were at least three individuals who would pay a little more attention to the com network when ever they had that duty.
Hoping they would never detect a destress call from a old DY-500 life pod....
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2023.06.07 22:15 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in KY Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in ky. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.07 22:15 PritchettRobert506 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in NM Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in nm. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.07 22:06 Standard-Tale-3725 Me [25F] with mom [57F], advice appreciated
Apologies for the length. My dad died when I was about 11 or 12 so ever since, I was raised by my mom. From my understanding, we lived off of a combination of his residual savings and social security payments. My mom sent me to private school at a young age where I got scholarships and we still used the savings to live off of. This continued on into funding my college education (once the savings ran out, I took out a student loan). After graduating, I now work in a highly paid field, but I have been miserable/numb for a long time even though I know I should be grateful for all my blessings.
I have always had a stormy relationship with my mom. There have been a lot of long hours of shouting and arguing. When I was younger, she used to hit or kick me either with her hands or a kitchen utensil but as I got older, it graduated more to verbal barbs and shaming. I always felt like I grew up feeling scared and walking on eggshells where my main priority was trying not to make my mom angry. I often have felt conflicted about her behavior where I have been scared of her, but also acknowledging she has done a lot for me by feeding, clothing, and watching out for me as I grew up. I think there have been some issues with boundaries in the past (i.e. she has driven up to my university when I was a student to shout at me for taking a day trip with a friend, she came to my condo without letting me know while I was traveling and got really upset about that), but I think these may be just some growing pains in the relationship as I become an independent adult asserting more boundaries.
My mom hasn’t worked since before I was born, so growing up, I knew it would be important to choose the right field of study. I chose a field of study based on its many highly paid employment opportunities; however, I’ve never been happy doing it. Nevertheless, I got through college and by all appearances, am a successful young professional on a good career trajectory. To be honest though, I’ve never felt more empty. Again, even though I feel like I should be more grateful, I feel like every day I wake up just waiting to die. Everything is pretty gray and flat to me and even though there are things that bring temporary enjoyment, they honestly just feel like minor distractions for me to look away from this gaping void and nothingness that is deeply entrenched in my life.
With my income, I give money to my mom to help out with bills, car insurance, house fixes, taxes, etc. I kept record and in 2022, I gave her about $29,000 USD. So far in 2023, I have given her $6,500 USD. Essentially, with my high income, I am the main financial support for both myself and her. I think some of these numbers are very off given that I live in a very HCOL area and my numbers for rent and utility for 2022 were about $17,500 USD.
I recently got the choice to move to Europe for an educational opportunity on a full scholarship for 3 years. Unfortunately, taking this opportunity would mean I could no longer work at my job and therefore, no longer act as the main financial provider. A part of me (the gut part of me) feels strongly that I should take this offer because of my interest in both changing careers to at least something different and my interest in Europe as a possible home. I’m not sure how to explain it, but saying yes to this choice feels like it would address a part of me that I have long neglected. The other part of me feels guilty because I would be failing in my filial duty and responsibility. There is no option to defer this opportunity for a year. I talked with my mom about this option.
At first, she was supportive of my decision; however, she has said that she’s come up with a new solution that involves me going back to live with her for a year to save money and exploring other options to settle in Europe. She says that she is scared of living alone in the house and having me home would be really helpful to her. She understands that we’ve had our conflicts in the past and that she’d be willing to draw up a roommate agreement.
Ultimately, it seems I have 3 options of either: A) taking the opportunity in Europe to choose myself, B) not taking the opportunity and keeping my job in order to be responsible, or C) going back to live with my mom and trying again for this or other opportunities in Europe after saving/being responsible for a year.
TL;DR I feel conflicted over the relationship I have with my mother (further made complex by her financial dependence on me) and I want to take this opportunity I’ve received to go to Europe, but I am worried and guilty about being selfish and making a financially irresponsible decision since I am the main financial provider. Thanks for any input and advice
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2023.06.07 22:02 sismetic Ethics and Sartrean Existentialism
I've always been puzzled by atheistic existentialist ethics and always wonder: why? It seems a very evident non-sequitur.
For example, Sartre speaks of the distinction between conscious acts and "bad faith" ones, but so what? There is no duty to be rational, or "conscious", nor is a lack of consciousness effectual upon reality per se. Also, a conscious act can also be an immoral act.
Sartre also speaks that the projection of one's actions is "as if" it were done in a universal sense to Man. But there would be no "Man", only differing existences with certain commonalities(or not), and therefore the "universality" cannot be anything more than a metaphor that can be "bad faith" to adopt. It's not unlike the religious concept that through one's actions one is sacrificing Jesus again.
Also, it's empirically bogus. If I wish to be a shoemaker due to moral reasons(what even would "moral reasons be"), I am not making the decision for everyone. Also, conversely, for those that are existentialists and pro-choice(I just saw a post relevant to both things), does that mean that those that abort are making the moral choice that abortion is universally good(which of course is irrational, as a universal abortion is the self-destruction of humanity and hence bad faith).
The fundamental question that I think is not resolved is: why? Without this, there's no actual rationale or explanation for the attempt at coherence between traditional moral action and existentialism. This stands more in contrast with the view of the in-itself of reality. If I enslave someone, I am not therefore saying everyone should be a slave, and my internal state would not be directly relevant to reality itself(whether the act was made in bad faith or not, it is the effective operativity of itself that matters in reality); conversely, if the for-itself consciousnesses are indeed, for-itself, then my actions will not determine them, so my moral action remains, logically, a private action. But also, if I am a for-itself that has no moral essence then the relation to morality is entirely my own construct and therefore there can't be coherently speaking, any immoral(or wrongful) action, and maybe in a contradictory way, the very act of self-judging myself on moral terms is rationally acting in bad faith(although as we've covered, that is not immoral in itself) as I would be negating my own order and being internally incongruent with my very subjectivity. So I'm not sure how an existentialist would even adopt(or care) for "ethics" or "morality".
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2023.06.07 21:44 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in IN Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in in. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.07 21:40 emikamar Got offered a new job today..
and i’m conflicted. currently am charge (split with one other nurse) on a MS unit with a mon-fri 7-3 day shift schedule. we alternate schedules, so one week is m-f, and the other is three 12s. no weekends, no holidays. $40 an hour. i’ve been in this role for 6 months and it very quickly turned into a job i did not apply for - micromanage-y and annoying. took the job in the first place to be a resource to staff and get away from bedside and have a normal schedule.
the offer is from a rehab/LTC center for director of education - running orientations, training new staff, keeping up with credentials etc etc. still mon-fri no weekends/holidays. extremely occasional supervisor duties expected. pros: not the hospital, not bedside, 92k salary, $7500 sign on bonus. cons: bonus paid over 2 years, admittedly kind of a dump of a place.
my 24 hour decision clock is ticking….
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