A candid conversation about diversity, globalization and children’s changing expectations.

A candid conversation about diversity, globalization and children’s changing expectations.

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A belly laugh and an easygoing nature are not usual accompaniments to a man responsible for delivering presents all over the world. The truth is that Kris Kringle rises above all barriers. His stature might look downright sedentary, but his power to deliver toys to the world’s children approaches the biblical. So does his grit. The man known as “Santa Clause” was born Kris Kringle near the hardscrabble town of Sandfjorden in the upper reaches of Norway. Kringle sat down with Peter Hartwig at a toasty café near his hometown to discuss his Christmas effort in 2014 and beyond.

The LBT:

How does Christmas look for 2014, Santa?


Call me, Kris. It’s crunch time. That’s about all I can say.


What has changed in the last 20 to 30 years in what you do?


It’s a different game almost entirely. It had to change. If you would have told me in 1960 that I would be expected to deliver presents to 50 million Chinamen, or Chinese, I would have told you you were crazy. [Takes a sip of his Irish coffee.]

The lbt:

What has changed in terms of your operations?


We closed our last toy plant in the North Pole five years ago. Some of the elves still hang around thinking more work will come up, and it is very sad. Alcoholism has become a real problem with the elves. But the bottom line is if kids want American Girl dolls or Star Wars legos, they make those already in Asia. The elves were good woodworkers but those days are over.

the lbt:

What about delivery?


I still will do a few states in the U.S. market, a few big cities in Western Europe and to please the Vatican a couple remote villages in Africa and South America. It’s more ceremonial.  I euthanized Donner and Prancer about 10 years ago.  Prancer had hoof disease and Donner broke his leg.  I won’t replace them, though.

the lbt:

Why not if reindeer are a big part of your brand image?


I have a deal with Amazon. They are logistical experts and can deliver the toys. My goal is to outsource everything until I am strictly in the branding business. That is where the value is.

the lbt:

Did you happen to see the 60 Minutes segment with Jeff Bezos demonstrating his unmanned drones that might deliver packages one day?


I heard about it. That would be something else.

“Have you ever seen a Mexican north of Saskatchewan? Or an African? And with a long, white beard? C’mon, who’s going to believe this nonsense?”

the lbt:

Now you have heard about the controversy in the U.S. about whether Santa is white and whether Santa should be played by black or Hispanics?


I have two answers to this. First, Santa is white. Period. Take a good look. Second, Santa can be played by whoever damn well wants to play Santa so long as they pay royalties. No one pays royalties, and it frankly pisses me off.

the lbt:

Have you ever requested royalties?


I haven’t but my attorneys have. We get promises from shopping centers, but most are owned by non-Christians if you get my meaning.

the lbt:

What does that have to do with it?


Let’s just say that Christian charity is foreign to them. But let me add something about black Santas or Mexican Santas. Have you ever seen a Mexican north of Saskatchewan? Or an African? And with a long, white beard? C’mon, who’s going to believe this nonsense?

the lbt:

But you have no objections to non-whites playing you at shopping malls?


Why should I care if they pay me my damn royalties?

the lbt:

Let’s talk about changes in children and their expectations in 2013.  Do you find that kids are overindulged or that they expect too much?


It is honestly a little hard for me to say. I do not spend any time in shopping centers or with kids anymore. It’s probably not a bad thing either with all the accusations that fly around. I only know from what I get emailed.

the lbt:

Email requests for toys?


That’s right. My data center in Utah sends up emails outlining how many Barbie-this-and-Barbie-that we need each year.

the lbt:

I don’t mean to interrupt but why is your data center based in Utah?  I would have imagined something closer to the North Pole.


I like to hire Mormons. You can trust them more. To answer your earlier question I do find that naughtier kids expect way to much.

 In fact, bad kids usually expect more.  We have run regression models and found that bad kids in higher income families expect the most of any demographic. This was a disappointment.  If I could cut out toys to bad kids, my costs would go down 25-percent.  I’m talking to Google about a data-sharing program that would help me cut out the bad kids.

the lbt:

How are things at home with Mrs. Kringle? She seems to stay out of the public eye. How is she?


I like to keep her privacy. She made a decision a long time ago not to make public appearances, and I think the media should respect that.

the lbt:

Understood.  Let’s move on then. Do you think there is a place for Santa in our modern age? Will Jeff Bezos ever replace Santa Claus?


I don’t think so, with all due respect… [inaudible] Amazon will never have my branding power. Santa Claus was around long before Amazon, and he will outlast it. I don’t need to leave the North Pole so long as all those Christmas specials keep running and my lawyers get people to start paying their royalty checks.

the lbt:

Has any of the freeloading by the media and retailers made you bitter at all?


[Sighs.] My attorneys tell me that Santa Claus is at risk of being in the public domain. I guess I waited too long, or something. This means that I would lose all rights to the Santa Claus name and image. So, yes, I am very disappointed in the American justice system but we’ll see how it plays out.

the lbt:

Do you have any words of holiday cheer that you can share with our readers?


Oh, great. Put me on the spot after putting me in a rotten mood. Here is what I have to share: technology is making the toy business more cost-effective, more efficient and more capable of reaching children all over the world. And it’s happening at breakneck speed.

the lbt:

No one can complain about that.


It sounds great but then I start thinking about all the new Christians in China.  It’s a big job any way you cut it.


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The Lightly Braised Turnip Consolidated (hereinafter “LBT”) recognizes that the news media in recent years has struggled to maintain the news standards of yesteryear. The LBT itself has been forced to confront some of its writers’ failure to corroborate stories or invent facts whole cloth. When we discover an error, we do not always correct it if the end result will increase our readership. The LBT retains the right to invent facts for its own financial health. (If your children were hungry, would you not lie for a piece of bread to feed them?)

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Due to the above, our editorial board advises readers to corroborate all stories on their own and ASSUME NO STORIES ARE TRUE.

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The LBT is a a global, multimedia news and information company with 2011 revenues yet to be determined by accounting staff.  (Planned NYSE symbol “LBT”).  LBT includes The Lightly Braised Turnip and related properties.  LBT operates in Santa Marino, California.

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Knowledge is power and power of media is immense.  Without the media, it is quite difficult to know about what’s happening in the world or to find data’s and records you need.  Everyone should enjoy the right to express themselves and it is not a crime to express what you believe in.  That’s the reason, many people are turning towards writing blogs and reviews about the things that matter to them. Reviews and blogs can help everyone a lot if one needs some sort of information.   Especially, when you are entering a new field, for instance, trading, these blogs, and reviews help people quite a lot.  In the field of trading, news and updates are an integral part.  One needs to be up to date about the events happening around in the world.

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These words from my great-grandfather remain the guiding principles of this publication. — Mark Theodore Mallarde, IV, Santa Marino, CA, July 2, 2010

Upon my retirement, I know that our efforts to publish the news will always conform to this paper’s cardinal principles, to its fight for progress and reform within the bounds of commerce, for its intolerance of injustice or corruption to the extent it does not interfere with our own progress, to always fight demagogues of all parties that pose no threat to our purse, never belong to any party that cannot prevail, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers that do no share their prosperity with ourselves, never lack sympathy with the poor if crumbs line our pockets, always remain devoted to the public welfare when in the public eye, never be satisfied with merely printing news but also create news where needed, always appear drastically independent, and never be afraid to attack wrong unless reality demonstrates that the risk outweighs the reward.

– Mark T. Mallarde, Publisher, Santa Marino, July 23, 1905



Alphabet Launches Bold Plan To Place A Mark On The Moon Visible From Earth  
Alphabet (parent company of Google, Inc.) has announced an audacious plan to land rovers on the lunar surface that will mark a giant “G” by raking the moon’s sun-bleached soil.  The plan has both its critics and supporters.


Children Experience Whimsical Coloration In Fingers Due To Fukushima Radiation  
Many Americans along the West Coast have been fearful that dangerous radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant would drift across the Pacific Ocean and injure Americans.  Apart from sea creatures struck down by radiation that have drifted to U.S. shores, Americans have seen no impact from Fukushima – until now, that is.


Scientists Communicate With Patient In Vegetative State; Patient Non-Cooperative  
In an experiment, the researchers applied state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to the brain of a 37-year-old patient named “Alex” (not his real name). Alex was able to convey a “yes” or “no” just by thinking about moving his right or left arm. Although his limbs have not worked in over 10 years, a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner could detect which limb he was thinking about moving.


Only Known Survivor Of Beheadings Tells His Story  

Investigative journalist Adam M. Barr was working on a story in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border when the terrorist group Al-Badr kidnapped him.  A CIA-led rescue mission was organized.  Barr was rescued, but only moments after his beheading.  Less than 24 hours later a German hospital successfully reattached his head to his body in a radical new procedure.  Barr lives to tell the tale of his beheading.


NASA Faces More Questions Over Mars Rover Photo Anomalies  

NASA once again finds itself in hot water over a Mars Curiosity rover photograph that appears to include human trash.  This time the culprit appears to be a rusted beer or soda container.  Just last week after allegedly drilling into dry Martian rock, NASA’s Curiosity rover allegedly discovered signs that the Mars Gale Crater was once watery and could have hosted an entire Martian biosphere based on a type of microbe found in caves on Earth.  NASA seemed prepared to record the find as a major achievement.  Then something changed all that: another “artifact” turned up in a photograph.

Giant Squid From Fukishima Washes Ashore In California  

For the second time in recent months, a giant sea creature has washed ashore in California.  First it was a rare oarfish that had grown to a freakish 100-foot length.  This time it was a giant squid measuring a whopping 160 feet from head to tentacle tip.  These giants look different but experts believe they share one important commonality: they both come from the waters near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan.


Giant Fish Discovered In California Linked To Japanese Nuclear Disaster  
On Friday, people strolling on the beach in Santa Monica discovered what might be the largest modern fish ever to roam the seas washed up on the shore.  Dubbed “Godzilla Fish” by the media, the 95-foot colossus started its life as a rare oarfish.  Scientists believe that following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan, the oarfish suffered genetic mutations that triggered uncontrolled growth – or “radioactive gigantism.”


Scientists Exploring Ways To Operate Motor Vehicles With The Anal Muscles 
It’s the future. You’re racing down the highway when, all of a sudden, the driver ahead of you slows down. You know you need to hit the brakes to avoid an accident, but your foot can’t move fast enough. You’re about to rear-end the guy, except...


Women That Freeze Eggs Have Offspring With Health Issues Miles, was among the first babies born in the United States from a frozen egg – or “oocyte.”  Now eight years old, Miles looks like almost any other child.  But Miles and many children like him born of frozen oocytes have shown a number of novel medical issues, the most prominent of which is a natural body temperature below 97-degrees Fahrenheit.


Microwave Popcorn Linked To Radioactive Particles And Cancer Deaths  
In the first study to evaluate the health risks of exposure to microwave popcorn fumes, researchers have found that the risks are well above the acceptable level.  The study assessed the risk for lung cancer and heart disease deaths among popcorn eaters and also – the first study to do so – among bystanders.

Hot Off The PressesMattel Sues Santa Claus’

Toy Empire Over American Girl FranchiseExclusive: Hillary Clinton Releases Steamy Book Except CNN Humiliated By Hurricane Irma’s Big Fizzle After Hyped Buildup Houston Mayor Orders Residents To Flush Toilets Extra Times Bill Clinton Changing Name Due To Connection To Slavery Schultz: My Top Ten Ride-Sharing ComplaintsThe Expert: Barron Trump Brings Special Abilities To WHLebron James Ready To Join Golden State Warriors After LossA Nostalgic Look At A 1979 Playboy TV SpecialLebron James’ Teammates Plug Only Gaps In His Game — His Bald PateTrump’s Table Manners Outrage Soft-Spoken ComeyDog Or Lena Dunham? Boyfriend Responds To Her ColumnWomb Raider: Anjelina Jolie Takes Charge Of Her HealthWest L.A. Reels As Tech Workers Change Its Bohemian FlavorShocking Emails From Hillary Clinton’s Server LeakedMost Popular On LBTSecret Emails From Hillary Clinton’s Server LeakedOnly Living Survivor Of A Beheading Tells Of His ExperienceThe 10 Types of Single Women Over Age 30 Editor’s Note: The LBT recently has discovered certain of its writers embellishing stories for effect. These embellishments are under investigation. Until the investigation is complete, please corroborate all stories before making investment or any other decisions. National Security Agency To Begin Scanning Domestic Emails For Racially Insensitive Content

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid waves of criticism, the National Security Agency has expanded its black box of domestic surveillance.  Effective immediately, the NSA will screen domestic emails for “culturally or racially insensitive material.”

According to sources and a press announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder, the NSA is now searching virtually every email that is sent in the entire continental U.S. for certain racially and culturally charged keywords or phrases.  To accomplish this, the NSA reportedly is making a copy of nearly every email by culling data from the major internet service providers.  It then searches that cloned data, keeping all of the emails containing certain keywords and deleting the rest – all in a matter of seconds.

If you emailed a friend, family member or colleague in the last several days, chances are that the NSA made a copy of that email and searched it for the new “sensitivity” keywords.

The White House issued a statement describing the purpose of the sensitivity keywords:  “Cultural and racial insensitivity cause disruption, increase social discord and sometimes lead to violence.  By searching for insensitive materials in cyberspace our intelligence community can stop the damage before it reaches the outside world.”

Cal-Berkeley Law Professor Sandra T. Rubino, an expert on Fourth Amendment issues, said that the searches may be warranted.  “The Constitution is not a ‘suicide pact,’ so the government has to take reasonable measures to ferret out dangerous communications,” she said.  “I think we all can agree that even private emails are no place for racial insensitivity.”

The Justice Department has not ruled out federal hate crime prosecutions based upon NSA data.  “We use every available source of information to detect illegal activity,” said Attorney General Eric Holder at a press conference on Friday.  “If people are sending private emails that say ‘black people love watermelons’ or ‘Asian men are not blessed in the pants area’ well, there is no place for that,” said Holder.  “Eventually, all that hate makes it into the public sphere and can lead to violence.”

If you have to think about it, you’re better off not sending it.”

Holder also noted that the Justice Department will set formal guidelines as to what insensitive speech will be targeted.  In the meantime, those that choose to email should be wary of emails that include “hateful stereotypes of dietary preferences, disproportionate dancing or musical talent, odd first names or lesser driving ability within any race or distinct ethnic group.”

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The government claims that hate crime surveillance is authorized by a statute passed in 2008 that allows the government to target foreigners for surveillance.  Although the government has frequently defended that law as a necessary tool in gathering foreign intelligence, the government has not fully informed the public about the extent to which the statute implicates Americans’ communications.

Some observers claim that expanding email surveillance to include insensitive speech is a disturbing harbinger of future surveillance.  “Who is to decide what is ‘insensitive’ speech?” said Victor Kiam, the founder of Americans for Limited Government.  “Is it hate speech if I email my friend and say that I find Indian women attractive but they smell funny when they sweat?”  Kiam hastened to add that he does not think that Indian women smell, but used the comment as an example of “borderline” speech that will be stymied for fear of detection and prosecution.

Attorney General Holder might have an answer for civil libertarians such as Kiam.  On Friday he told reporters: “If you have to think about it, you’re better off not sending it.”

Giant Oar Fish Linked To Fukushima Disaster Found In California; Coast Guard Issues Alert

Giant Oarfish Discovered Off California Coast And Scientists Suspect Radioactive Gigantism

Published October 19, 2013

Nearly two years after a powerful earthquake triggered a leak at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant, the effects of that disaster finally reached the other side of the planet – and in a big way.

On Friday, people strolling on the beach in Santa Monica discovered what might be the largest modern fish ever to roam the seas washed up on the shore.  Dubbed “Godzilla Fish” by the media, the 95-foot colossus started its life as a rare oarfish.  Scientists believe that following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan, the oarfish suffered genetic mutations that triggered uncontrolled growth – or “radioactive gigantism.”

Sometimes science fiction borrows from reality, and now we are seeing 1960s science fiction come to life.”

For perspective on how unusual the historic find is, the previous largest oarfish ever discovered was only 19-feet long.

“We are confident that this fish comes from the Fukushima Dai-ichi region,” said Susan Cleary-Kohen of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  “We can tell from the radioactive Cesium present in its tissue.  We also have strong cause to believe that the nuclear event in Japan triggered radioactive gigantism in this particular specimen,” she said.

The discovery of the so-called Godzilla fish follows the finding of unusually large starfish, shrimp and other sea life in both Hawaii and Guam.  Scientists suspected a relationship to the Fukushima disaster, but were unsure.  Now there seems no doubt after the detection of radioactive Cesium.

“Sometimes science fiction borrows from reality, and now we are seeing 1960s science fiction come to life,” said Santa Marino College biology professor Martin L. Grimm, PhD.

Although not yet well understood, radioactive gigantism is believed to result when radiation damages the growth regulating portions of the DNA of affected organisms.  When growth regulators fail to hault cellular growth, an organism may reach many times its regular body size.

Following the 2011 Japanese Tsunami and nuclear spill, scientists feared that ocean life would suffer.  Few considered radioactive gigantism as a possibility, however, and none believed that it would strike more complex vertebrates.  “We always thought that radioactive gigantism was limited to less complex creatures,” added Grimm.  Now scientists realize they were wrong.

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In response to the discovery, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued a “blue alert” for residents in central and southern Californian coasts.  A blue alert calls for citizens to “remain watchful.”  Admiral Sandy Duncan-Roberts said that while there was nothing to be alarmed about, residents should “keep their eyes peeled” while visiting the beach or coastline.

If any residents spot an unusually sized sea creature, they should call the U.S. Coast Guard hotline at 1-800-BIG-FISH (or 1-800-244-3474).

Scripps Research Institute has taken possession of the giant creature for further study.


Butch Witt is a Senior Sports Writer for The LBT.  Before joinging The LBT, Witt was a career counselor at The Citadel Military College in South Carolina.

Witt was a standout high school football player, starting on his high school varsity team near Birmingham, Alabama in his junior and senior years.

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Witt has not had a writing position before, and Peter Hartwig inevitably edits everything that Witt writes.  He is a work in progress, although his last evaluation noted that he “needs improvement” in a number of areas, including his willingness to accept criticism.  He is aware of this and assures us that he is doing his best to improve.  (He has yet to enroll in the remedial writing course we recommended to him and that we agreed to pay for.)

American Safety Officials Blame Bad Asian Driving For Asiana Airlines Crash At SFO


SAN FRANCISCO – The stunning and devastating crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is just over a day old, but already National Transportation Safety Board officials are pointing to a culprit all too familiar to American automobile drivers: substandard Asian driving or “B.A.D.” (Bad Asian Driving).

Pilot Lee Kang-kook had flown a Boeing 777 nine previous times to other airports, but was flying the jet to SFO for the first time, Asiana Airlines spokeswoman Lee Hyo-min said.

“He is a veteran pilot with almost 10,000 hours on other aircrafts like the 747,” she said.

LBT investigators in Seoul, South Korea, however, found driving records of Lee Kang-kook.  Kang-kook has been involved in no fewer than five automobile accidents in the Yongsan District of Seoul in the last year.

At least one of these accidents involved problems judging distance as apparently occurred on the approach to SFO.  Apparently, Kang-kook hit a concrete column while exiting a space in an underground grocery store parking garage.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was carrying more than 300 people when it crashed Saturday at San Francisco International Airport.  The tail was torn off as it crashed, and it burst into flames.

The crash of the Boeing 777 killed two and injured 181 people. The injured were being cared for at several hospitals and at least 22 were in critical condition, according top hospital officials.

“[A]t this point in time there is no indication of terrorism, and it looks like Asian pilot error.”

NTSB investigators have recovered the plane’s black boxes and they were sent to Washington to be analyzed.  One official commented that Kang-kook can be heard on the audio recording asking if he was “going too slowly” as he approached the runway.  His Boeing 777 senior pilot mentor – not yet identified – apparently told him to “slow down” and “be careful.”  This cautious advice might have been fatal.

NTSB officials said they hoped to interview the crew later today.  NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman said today on “This Week” that nothing appears wrong with the aircraft and “non-aggressive, faulty Asian driving” appears to be the main suspect.

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“We know that B.A.D. threatens American roads from Long Island to the Bay Area.  We now know that this is not limited to cars, but includes airliners.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Johnson said Saturday that “at this point in time there is no indication of terrorism, and it looks like Asian pilot error.”

Asiana President Yoon Young-doo said at news conference today that he didn’t believe the crash was caused by Asian pilot error and that it would take time to find out what caused the crash, The Associated Press reported.

Benghazi Scandal Widens: Clinton Tied To Gen. Petraeus’ Resignation; Possible Retaliation For Benghazi Talking Points Scrutiny


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Benghazi scandal might have taken on yet another dimension.  Facts uncovered concerning the firing of Gen. David Petraeus indicate that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have played a role in exposing Petraeus’ extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.  Publication of this affair ultimately forced Petraeus to resign as CIA director.

If a link is proven between Clinton and the Petraeus sex scandal, it could be viewed as consistent with other allegations of retaliation by the Obama administration against the three “whistleblowers” that testified before Congress on May 8.  Petraeus, who clashed with Clinton’s State Dept. over the infamous “talking points,” lost his job soon thereafter.

The new facts involving Clinton relate to her connection with the mysterious Tampa, Florida socialite – Jill Kelley.  Kelley reported to the FBI threatening emails warning her to stay away from Petraeus.  This scandal broke in November 2012 just after the Benghazi attack.  Upon investigating the FBI allegedly discovered that Petraeus’ biographer – Paula Broadwell – had sent the emails to Kelley.  The exposure of the extramarital affair forced Petraeus to step down as CIA director.

Now the May 20 edition of the American Weekly magazine reports that Kelley’s mother has known Clinton since the two were young girls.  Apparently, the two met while attending an exclusive girls summer camp in Minnesota – Camp Womyntonka.  At least two other campers have come forward to confirm that both attended the camp together.

Many are speculating that Clinton used her relationship with Kelley to set into motion the forced resignation of Petraeus.

Many are speculating that Clinton used her relationship with Kelley’s family to set into motion the forced resignation of Petraeus.  Petraeus’ role in the Benghazi scandal became clearer after the leaking of emails that trace the evolution of the talking points.  Petraeus expressed his strong disapproval of the State Department’s alteration of CIA intelligence in the talking points.  The exposure of his affair came only three weeks later.

According to the American Weekly piece, two anonymous women have provided credible accounts of Clinton and Kelley’s Lebanese mother attending Camp Womyntonka together.  The camp, which has since been closed, had a professed mission of cultivating a sense of strength and independence in young women.  It was located on Grant Lake outside of Duluth, Minnesota.

One of the women distinctly recalls Clinton and Kelley as being “besties” during Clinton’s one year at the all-girls camp.  Kelley – who was larger than the other girls – acted as Clintons’ “muscle.”  Most girls tried to “steer clear” of them.  This same woman also described an awkward encounter with Clinton that prevented Clinton from being invited back the following summer.  Clinton “insisted” that the woman be her canoe partner.  When in the open water outside the view of other campers, Clinton allegedly touched her “inappropriately” while applying sunscreen to her front.

The other woman described constant clashes with Kelley.  According to this woman, Clinton was widely known to be exploring her sexuality with other girls.  Hence, most tried to avoid her but had to contend with Kelley if Clinton showed an interest.  “I know for a fact,” she said, that “many girls submitted to Clinton” to avoid retribution by Kelley.  Apparently, Kelley’s Lebanese background also intimidated many of the campers.

Former director of Camp Womyn-tonka, Erik Larson, said that he could not confirm the identities of former campers due to confidentiality concerns.  He did describe the camp’s purpose as “building up the self-esteem and independence of future female leaders.”

The revelation of a connection between Clinton and Kelley comes after numerous other connections – including some in the media.  It is been reported that CBS News President David Rhodes’ own brother – Ben Rhodes – was a key player in revising the controversial Benghazi talking points.  Ben Rhodes is now Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication.  The president of ABC News Ben Sherwood’s sister – Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall – is the Special Assistant to the president.

Tennis Powerhouse Serena Williams To Play Iron Mike In New Biopic That Slams Gender Stereotype



HOLLYWOOD, CA – Just because sports fans have seen plenty of Mike Tyson on stage in his one man show – “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth” – doesn’t mean Hollywood will stop from making a brand new biopic based on the controversial power puncher this fall.

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What is new, on the other hand, about this Tyson bio is the gender of the actor slated to play Iron Mike.  Yes, it’s a chick.  First Word Hollywood reports that none other than tennis superstar Serena Williams has agreed to jump from the tennis court and onto the silver screen in her very first film role.

Producer George Rickelmann said that Serena is the perfect choice.  “Serena has the fire that Mike had during his reign of terror in the boxing ranks,” he said.  Rickelmann also believes Serena will break the gender barrier.

“In Roman times, men played both men and women so we know that gender does not need to be a limitation to what actors do,” said Ricklemann.  He also believes that a woman can more easily duplicate Tyon’s natural falsetto voice.

Williams does appear to have the powerful and compact physique of Tyson during his prime.  “Williams is a vision of raw, unadulterated, savage strength,” said tennis commentator and gender rights advocate Mary Carillo.  “Who better than Serena to capture Tyson’s out of control power?”

A spokesperson for Williams said that she is excited to play the role of the pugilist: “Serena has admired Mike Tyson’s passion her entire life and cannot wait to begin transforming herself into her idol.”

Apparently, Rickelmann has been pursuing Williams to play Tyson for a long while.  For two years, Williams refused to take on the role, saying she did not believe she was up to the job of playing the man she calls “the greatest sports redemption story of the last 100 years.”

“Forget gender and focus on the dramatic impact of the character.”

Film critic and Santa Marino College film criticism professor Arnold Katz said that Williams’ gender could be a strong selling point that drives the film’s success.  “This takes the cross-gender acting in ‘Tootsie’ and ‘Big Mamma’ to the next level,” he said.  “[By choosing Williams] [t]hey are saying: ‘Forget gender and focus on the dramatic impact of the character.’”

No one has been attached to direct, but whoever does will face one gender related challenge: how to handle Williams’ bosom during boxing scenes.  CGI can work wonders but might diminish the returns of a woman taking on the role.  “I think she should do what every man does, and box without a top,” said Katz.  “If we can’t handle that in 2013, then something is very wrong.”

Whether Williams boxes with a top or au naturel, she will make waves.  If her acting is half as intense as her backhand, the film will be like a vintage Tyson uppercut.