mikenov on Twitter: Donald Trump’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal is just getting started palmerreport.com/analysis/getti… via @PalmerReport

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Donald Trump’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal is just getting started palmerreport.com/analysis/getti… via @PalmerReport


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 10:45pm

mikenov on Twitter


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Download Ptown Hacks 2019. Last Chance to Share Your Link to Win Major Ptown Prizes. Winners Will Be Picked Wednesday!

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Prizes Added. Download Ptown Hacks To Enter

Provincetown changed more than ever this year. Download the new guide. NEW prizes just announced!

VIP tix to Schmooze with Fran Drescher at Town Hall Aug 10th

Download Ptown Hacks 2019 for the full scoop. Use form below….and get a chance to win any of the exclusive Provincetown experiences we’re giving away.

Prizes (already announced): the VACAYA cruise to Provincetown, private Moment Sailing charter, VIP AIROTIC Tix, fine art by Greg Salvatori, cool t-shirts from Adam’s nest.

Today we’re adding new Prizes: VIP Tix to see Fran Drescher, “the Nanny“, Todrick Hall and 4 other headliners (see below); A luxury stay at The Waterford Inn; Daytime and sunset sails on The Hindu; and prizes for the top 10 points earners.



Win VIP tix to AIROTIC

Don’t you want to double your chances to win?

Get one more…two more…five more chances to win sharing your unique link. If your friend visits the site, you get another chance to win. If your friend downloads Ptown Hacks, you and your friend both get 5 more chances each to win. And so on. And so on. It adds up. Check out other ways to get more chances to win.

Everyone wins
temp tattoos by @straightthings-areboringthings

Fill form to get Ptown Hacks 2019 and chance to win.

You’re already a winner when you download Ptown Hacks and come by our RSVPtown storefront at 230 Commercial. We have a sheet of designed-for-us temporary tattoos by @straightthingsareboringthings (insta). Check them out.

Ptown Hacks is jam packed with a new foodie section… where and what to eat…and tons of tips to make the most of your time here.

Maybe you saw it at Stonewall50 World Pride in New York last month? You’ll find a copy in your cabin on VACAYA’s NYC to Provincetown Cruise in a few weeks (whether you win that cabin from us or go book a cabin yourself right now). Print Copies are available at 104 venues in Provincetown including many of our advertiser partners. The digital version is great –not only for winning things — but for sharing with your travel buddies, and sending ahead to folks visiting later in the summer and for carnival.

Here’s more info on what you might win this coming Weds, August 17th, the middle of Bear Week.


Prizes and Partners 

Grand Prize: A cabin on a NYC-Provincetown 7-day cruise (August, 2019)

You could be on this cruise

First up, VACAYA,  a new kind of LGBT Travel company. You could be on this cruise.

VACAYA PTOWN CRUISE ON CELEBRITY SUMMIT: Sailing August 11-18, 2019 from New York (Port Liberty) on Celebrity Summit, this 7-night cruise will not only make history by being the largest all-gay cruise to ever sail to Ptown Carnival, but it’s also the largest ship to ever overnight in Provincetown!
This is a young company with a very experienced team with decades in the business. It’s going to be fun and pushing things to another level entirely. See you on board!


First Prize: Private Sailing Charter with Moment Sailing

First: Private Sailing Charter from Moment Sailing

This incredible prize is for a 3-4 hour private charter sail from Provincetown for four- six guests on a mutually agreeable date this season. ( May be traded with prior approval. May not be sold.) If you are set on wanting to charter … and there are lots of reasons to, you can book a charter immediately . They are starting to get booked up already.


Two Night Stay in a Luxury KingRoom at The Waterford Inn

Valid: Sept 3, 2019-April 30, 2020

The Waterford Inn is in Provincetown’s renowned gallery district, a short stroll from the center of town. The Inn features modern comforts and amenities while retaining the charm of a circa 1850’s Sea Captain’s mansion. Valued at $600+


2 Pair VIP Tix:
Yoli Mayor brings back decades-old soul and R&B music with her own twist.

July 25th and 26th
From America’s Got Talent, Yoli Mayor, a Cuban-American 23 year old singer-songwriter is often compared to Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Adele and many other soulful icons which made her an instant standout. Produced by Rick Murray and Jonathan Hawkins. At Crown & Anchor, Tickets available


2 VIP Tix: Will and Anthony

Internationally renowned twin brother tenors and songwriters Will & Anthony Nunziata are sought after for their “fresh takes on classic songs and soundtracks that have captivated generations of music lovers from Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Frankie Valli and Billy Joel to Nat King Cole, The Righteous Brothers, Adele and Disney Classics and many more. ” After 400+ concerts over the past five years they recently headlined two sold out Carnegie Hall shows with the New York Pops Symphony Orchestra. The Netflix-bound singers, songwriters, comedians were called “a nearly impossible pairing of talent, stage presence and charisma.” by the Huffington Post. Tickets available.


2 VIP Tix: Schmoozing with Fran Drescher

August 10th, Town Hall
Funny girl Fran Drescher, most known for her iconic role as Fran Fine in “The Nanny”, shares–in her unique voice–poignant and hilarious stories of her life. An ordinary girl from Queens, Drescher threads recollections, vivid stories and humorous characters, with memories of career, family and travel. And, don’t forget “fat” Fran, “thin” Fran and “everything-in-between” Fran. You’ll laugh and cry as you enjoy a great schmooze-fest! Tickets available


2 VIP Tix: John Lloyd Young

August 13th, Crown & Anchor
Film, stage and concert artist, John Lloyd Young, is a Tony and Grammy winner, multi-Platinum recording artist and Presidential Appointee. As the original “Frankie Valli” in Broadway’s Tony award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys, Young become the only American actor to win all four major Leading-Actor-in-a-Musical awards for a Broadway debut: the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award. Young starred in Jersey Boys on London’s West End, and reprised the role in the Warner Bros. film adaptation, one of only a few actors to take a Tony-winning role to the big screen. Joined by music director Tommy Faragher, Tickets also available.


2 VIP Tix: Todrick Hall

August 17th, Town Hall

Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels!
Todrick Hall will kick off Carnival Week, in his Provincetown debut, presented by Rick Murray and Jonathan Hawkins. Recently Todrick released his PRIDE album, Haus Party Part 1 and was seen in Taylor Swift’s video for “You Need to Calm Down.” From Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Chicago, and Waitress, this multi-talented singer, rapper, actor, director, choreographer and Youtuber, Todrick is the perfect way to celebrate Carnival! Tickets available


2 Pair VIP Tix (One pair with Meet n’ Greet)
The Boy Band Project

August 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25

2 pair VIP Tix to Boy Band Project at Crown & Anchor

Boys, Belting and Booty Shaking… back by popular demand, The Boy Band Project is thrilled to be returning to Provincetown to give you all the music, moves, and and sexed up magic of your favorite boy bands from the 90s and beyond. The Boy Band Project re-imagines the sound, movement, and energy of Nsync, Backstreet Boys, O’Town, 98 Degrees, Hanson, One Direction, Boyz II Men, and more. Presented and by Rick Murray and Jonathan Hawkins. Tickets available


2 SETS OF VIP TIX TO AIROTIC

“Logo founder Matt Farber and Farfadais present, AIROTIC a sexy and sensual circus style show sharing a story of love and passion with physique, strength, burlesque and high-level acrobatics — unlike any show you’ve seen before.” June 28th – August 24th at Fishermen Hall, Provincetown at the former high school at 12 Winslow. Tickets online at their site: airoticptown.com as well as at Hook and Essentials.  You can win one of the two pairs of VIP tix we have available in the coming weeks, Tickets are on sale and groups are reserving. Check it out.


Queer Gear from Adam’s Nest

Be sure to check out the must have collection of t-shirts, printed matter and genius queer art at Adam’s Nest. If you’ve got gifts to buy (and who doesn’t?) this is a great spot. A long-time loyal partner to us, Adam’s Nest is the real deal and part of the queer creative coast — Miami, Brooklyn, Provincetown and the web. Go by 379a Commercial, next to Wired Puppy and see the store.


Art from Greg Salvatori

You may know his famous book of beards, but this artist has gone to the dogs…his dog…and Provincetown. Greg Salvatori Gallery opened this year and his first show featured this limited edition fab print you might win in our summer drawing. His gallery is filled with other arresting prints like it. Stop by 237 Commercial No. 4 and see the work for yourself.


Thank you!————————
Terms and conditions here

The post Download Ptown Hacks 2019. Last Chance to Share Your Link to Win Major Ptown Prizes. Winners Will Be Picked Wednesday! appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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‘The New Republic’ Takes Down Hit Piece on Pete Buttigieg Which Referred to Him as ‘Mary Pete’

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The New Republic took down a hit piece on Pete Buttigieg by gay novelist Dale Peck in response to outrage from readers and replaced it with an editor’s note which read, “Dale Peck’s post ‘My Mayor Pete Problem’ has been removed from the site, in response to criticism of the piece’s inappropriate and invasive content. We regret its publication.”

In the piece, Peck repeatedly referred to Buttigieg as “Mary Pete”.

Wrote Peck: “Mary Pete and I are just not the same kind of gay. (For those of you wondering about ‘Mary Pete’: a couple of months ago I asked Facebook what the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom was, and this was the answer at which we collectively arrived)… Mary Pete and I have a lot in common, but at a certain point we came to a fork in the road and I took the one less traveled and he took the one that was freshly paved and bordered by flowers and white picket fences and every house had a hybrid in the driveway and some solar panels on the ceiling, but discrete ones, nothing garish, nothing that would interfere with the traditional look of the neighborhood or the resale value of your home.”

Peck continued: “All this makes Mary Pete different from every other left-leaning neoliberal in exactly zero ways. Because let’s face it. The only thing that distinguishes the mayor of South Bend from all those other well-educated reasonably intelligent white dudes who wanna be president is what he does with his dick (and possibly his ass, although I get a definite top-by-default vibe from him, which is to say that I bet he thinks about getting f**ked but he’s too uptight to do it). So let’s dish the dish, homos. You know and I know that Mary Pete is a gay teenager. He’s a fifteen-year-old boy in a Chicago bus station wondering if it’s a good idea to go home with a fifty-year-old man so that he’ll finally understand what he is.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter got a statement from the magazine (below): “The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive.”

Twitter users had plenty to say about it – with a few more excerpts embedded in tweets below.

The post ‘The New Republic’ Takes Down Hit Piece on Pete Buttigieg Which Referred to Him as ‘Mary Pete’ appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Merkel honors Hitler assassins, laments rise of far right | News | DW

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday urged strong opposition from all sections of German society against the resurgence of right-wing extremism.

In her weekly video address, a week before the 75th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, she paid tribute to those who opposed the Fuhrer’s rule, and took action.

“They showed that they followed their conscience and thereby shaped a part of Germany’s history that otherwise would have been solely defined by the darkness of National Socialism,” Merkel said.

Read more: ‘Adolf Hitler’ emails death threat to Siemens boss

Threats raise specter of far-right violence in Germany

“We, too, have a duty today to stand up against all those tendencies that want to destroy democracy,” the chancellor added. 

July 20 marks the anniversary of the 1944 bomb plot to murder Hitler and remove the Nazi Party from power. The attempt failed and Hitler survived with mild injuries. The plot’s orchestrator, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and some 200 co-conspirators were executed.

Assassins were role models

Merkel said Germany owes them a debt of gratitude, noting that the country’s post-war constitution may not have come into existence without such actions.

Read more: Wolf’s Lair: Hitler’s infamous bunker faces its past

The chancellor also singled out the “terrible murder” last month of German politician Walter Lübcke, which prosecutors think was politically motivated by those with links to neo-Nazi extremism.

July 20 plotter Stauffenberg as role model

Lübcke had become a target of threats because of his support for Merkel’s refugee policies.

The chancellor said his killing showed how important it was to support those who assume political responsibility —  whether at the local level, as politicians or in non-governmental organizations and in society as a whole. “It requires a clear response from everyone.”

All Germans were invited “to do their part in our society to ensure that democracy is strong, that civil society is strong and that right-wing extremism has no chance.”

mm/jm (AFP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.​​​​​​​


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Jaboukie Young-White’s fruit, Ricky Martin’s secret, & Liam Payne’s peach

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This week Laganja Estranja spilled some major Drag Race tea, Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet, Gus Kenworthy and Matt Wilkas went different ways, and Nicki Minaj said hell no to Saudi Arabia. Here’s what happened on Instagram:

Garrett Magee sported Earth tones.

Rafael De La Fuente took his leather to the roof.

Jaboukie Young-White picked fruit.

View this post on Instagram

fruit pickin fruit

A post shared by jaboukie young-white (@jaboukie) on

Andy Cohen took Wacha for a walk.

Dylan Sprayberry threatened a fight.

Pete and Chasten Buttigieg found flowers.

View this post on Instagram

This guy.

A post shared by Chasten Buttigieg (@chasten.buttigieg) on

Liam Payne channeled Kate Moss.

View this post on Instagram

get of my chair @liampayne ? #berlin #comingsoon

A post shared by Mert Alas (@mertalas) on

Kingsley took a hike.

View this post on Instagram

rare image of me before I get my hair twisted ?????

A post shared by Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) on

Keiynan Lonsdale showed off his progress.

Brad Goreski relaxed in Portofino.

View this post on Instagram

I’m all aboat Italy. ???

A post shared by Brad Goreski (@bradgoreski) on

Maluma showed off his skills.

View this post on Instagram

INSTINTO NATURAL…. LE HACEMOS VIDEO??? ???

A post shared by MALUMA (@maluma) on

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman showed off his plants.

Amini Fonua washed his hair.

Cheyenne Jackson turned 44.

Austin Mahone went full denim.

Jon Kortajarena wore red.

View this post on Instagram

Pillando sol en las terrazas de Madrid..

A post shared by Jon Kortajarena (@kortajarenajon) on

Drew Taggart said goodbye to Europe.

View this post on Instagram

good bye europe see you next week

A post shared by mountain drew (@drewtaggart) on

Eliad Cohen took Gus Kenworthy to the gym.

View this post on Instagram

Beasts mode !??

A post shared by Eliad Cohen (@eliad_cohen) on

Jack Falahee took a dip.

View this post on Instagram

@hotelviumilan only thing missing is Banjo

A post shared by Jack Falahee (@jackfalahee) on

Ricky Martin started working on a secret project.

View this post on Instagram

Another day, another set. . #secretproject

A post shared by Ricky (@ricky_martin) on

Titanius Maximus channeled Sailor Moon in the shower.

Ryan Phillippe took the kids to the beach.

View this post on Instagram

uncle ryan

A post shared by philz (@ryanphillippe) on

Jimmy Fowlie dressed down for Summertramp.

View this post on Instagram

bedroom eyes and reflective skin realness

A post shared by Jimmy Fowlie (@jimmyfowlie) on

Milk walked the dog.

Charlie King revealed his secrets.

Matt Lister drank his juice.

And Jonathan Lipnicki explored LA.

View this post on Instagram

Swipe to see @dennylipnicki fitness progress!!!

A post shared by Jonathan Lipnicki (@jonathanlipnicki) on


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Two French riders rode a magnificent Tour breakaway together and my heart is soaring

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A Frenchman will wear the yellow jersey on Bastille Day for the first time in five years. Allez.

I love cycling, and I love writing about cycling, but I also know my audience. The names Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot probably don’t mean much to many of you reading this, but they are rock stars in France. Before Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Saturday, no one drew louder cheers from the crowd.

Pinot is France’s best hope of winning France’s first maillot jaune in 34 years. Alaphilippe is one of the best racers in the world, full-stop, and by taking the yellow jersey twice so far — winning it, losing, and winning it back, all within the first week — he has enthralled his country.

Pinot could barely get out from under his team bus awning for a short test ride before the up-and-down stage from Mâcon to Saint-Étienne could start. He was quickly mobbed by kids seeking autographs, reporters and cameras jostling the kids to get a second of his attention, and lots of miscellaneous gawkers.

Fans screamed Alaphilippe’s name as he made his way up to the stage for the Tour’s daily ceremonial sign-in. Not only is he a brilliant, instinctive rider, he radiates charm. All the French writers love to use the word panache. He took the yellow jersey after Stage 3 with a long solo effort to win, then damn near killed himself trying to defend it on a mountain top finish on Stage 6 where he fell just seconds short on the general classification to Giulio Ciccone.

Both riders are in peak form, with massive pressure on them. And that’s what made their breakaway together Saturday so freakin’ cool.

With 12 kilometers to go in a 200-kilometer stage, Alaphilippe broke from the peloton to try and chase down Thomas de Gendt, a Belgian breakaway artist who rode at the front of the stage all day. Only Pinot dared to take Alaphilippe’s wheel, and the two quickly fell into rhythm together, despite riding for different teams and with different individual goals.

Together, they whittled down a gap of more than a minute to mere seconds, swapping turns pulling for the other. Only De Gendt could claim a better day, holding off the charging duo for a six-second stage win — his second Tour stage victory ever, and first since 2016.

De Gendt’s effort was magnificent, but Pinot and Alaphilippe shook up the Tour. Alaphilippe finished third to take back the yellow jersey that Ciccone wore for two stages, now with a 23-second overall lead. As a result, a Frenchman will wear the maillot jaune on Bastille Day for the first time since 2014, and will likely retain it until the true mountain stages begin.

Pinot finished second on the stage to move up to third overall on the general classification. But among riders who are considered capable of winning the yellow jersey — i.e., the best pure climbers — he is No. 1 at 19 seconds ahead of 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas.

Notably, Alaphilippe seemed to let Pinot beat him at the line. The first three placings on every stage of the Tour de France get time bonuses — 10 seconds for first, six for second, and four for third. Alaphilippe, knowing he won’t be wearing the yellow jersey in Paris, likely let Pinot pick up an extra two seconds for the greater good of their mother country. (Alaphilippe is a much better finisher than Pinot, normally). It’s only fair, too, considering how much Pinot helped Alaphilippe.

Every bit of Stage 8 — the teamwork, the audacity, the implications — was magnificent. It was the Tour de France at its absolute best, and kudos are well-deserved all around, from the riders to the race directors who have designed a good first week of the Tour for once. And the best part is, with a Frenchman in the best position to win a yellow jersey for the country in — god, who the hell knows how long — and two deliriously difficult weeks ahead, this race should keep getting better.

If Pinot somehow holds off a deep field of yellow jersey contenders (Chris Froome fans: shut up) Saturday’s stage could be remembered for a long, long time. Allez.


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Gay guy says he was catfished by someone who looked way better than his pics

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Being catfished — i.e. being duped by someone who uses a fake online persona — is typically a frustrating experience. Unless, of course, you’re the lucky Reddit user who said the guy who catfished him “was even better looking than the fake pics he sent.”

Related: This man’s lawsuit against Grindr over a catfishing nightmare could change tech forever

“Happened about two weeks ago,” the Redditor wrote. “It was really odd. The guy was not the same guy in the photo at all, but he was more muscular and looked like a f*cking model. He looked way better than the photo he sent me. His dick pics even looked fake. [His] was much bigger and the butt [was] bigger and more muscular. I went back and looked at the pics after I left his place. It was so f*cking odd. His apartment was really nice and expensive too.”

“Makes me think he was maybe someone well-known,” the Redditor concluded. “Gay life is weird.”

Related: Teen found not guilty after catfishing teacher into sending x-rated Grindr pics

Commenters on the post shared their hypotheses about the situation. “Probably a celebrity or just someone who doesn’t want his real pics out there,” one wrote. “Also some VGL [very good-looking] people are sometimes too good looking to actually be successful on apps. They look better than most people so some people feel like they can’t live up and other VGL tend to be shallow assholes so I can see some VGL people using less GL pics just to get laid and meet real people who aren’t pic collecting, assholes or way out of their league.”

“I can see that,” another wrote. “When I see a VGL person I don’t even bother. (Never have never will.) The price of beauty.”


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mikenov on Twitter: M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. | FBI Reform fbireform.com/2019/07/13/m-n…

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M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. | FBI Reform fbireform.com/2019/07/13/m-n…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 3:54pm

mikenov on Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. fbireform.com/2019/07/13/m-n…

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M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. fbireform.com/2019/07/13/m-n…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 3:54pm

mikenov on Twitter


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M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. | FBI Reform

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from FBI Reform.

11:45 AM 7/13/2019 – M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! Apparently, this is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated.

11:03 AM 7/13/2019 – “The Justice Department’s capitulation in Bouari’s case is remarkable”: Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox”

Image result for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Toxâ€

“The Justice Department’s capitulation in Bouari’s case is remarkable,given the time and resources the bureau invested and the fact that Bouari publicly acknowledged that he laundered money for the FBI’s undercover agents. But as his trial neared, Bouari had signaled to the DOJ that he intended to put the bureau itself on trial, delving into the agents’ dubious conduct and questioning whether they had legal authority to start the investigation in the first place.

“There were huge issues in how and why the FBI targeted me,” Bouari told The Intercept. “No probable cause. They came after me with a personal vendetta and in a highly invasive sting. The case would have revealed terrible issues of abuse of power.”

11:45 AM 7/13/2019 – M.N.: My Opinion: Investigate the Investigators! Apparently, this is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated.

_______________________________

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ | on RSS Dog 

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Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
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Story image for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” from The Intercept

Justice Department Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas …

The Intercept3 hours ago
… Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas Sting “Operation Bo-Tox” … Charles Ro, the FBI agent who supervised the undercover sting, …

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Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models …

The InterceptAug 13, 2018
The sting was run by FBI Special Agent Charles Ro, whom Padda …. in the Las Vegas office approved Operation Bo-Tox, an undercover sting …
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Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠

Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search

Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
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Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

Story image for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” from The Intercept

Justice Department Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas …

The Intercept3 hours ago
… Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas Sting “Operation Bo-Tox” … Charles Ro, the FBI agent who supervised the undercover sting, …

Story image for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” from The Intercept

Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models …

The InterceptAug 13, 2018
The sting was run by FBI Special Agent Charles Ro, whom Padda …. in the Las Vegas office approved Operation Bo-Tox, an undercover sting …
Stay up to date on results for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox”.
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

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Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
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Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

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Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

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Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search
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Trevor Aaronson | Author | RealClearInvestigations

 

Vegas FBI Sting, Fitness Models, Diet Clinics, and Hitman … But it would take Operation Bo-Tox to get him to launder money. … support in an immigration case echoes the way that the law has long been used and abused in U.S. District Courts.
Glenn Greenwald under fire in Brazil for reporting on Bolsonaro, Moro, Lava Jato
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Problem FBI Agents – Google Search
Michael_Novakhov shared this story from “Problem FBI Agents” – Google News.

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Justice Department Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas …

The Intercept1 hour ago
Charles Ro, the FBI agent who supervised the undercover sting, described … “There were huge issues in how and why the FBI targeted me,” …

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FBI investigating tattooed deputy gangs in Los Angeles County …

Los Angeles Times11 hours ago
In interviews with several deputies, FBI agents have asked about the inner …. in 1992 pressed the Sheriff’s Department to address the problem.

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ICE, FBI among federal agencies searching Florida driver’s licenses …

Orlando Sentinel20 hours ago
ICE, FBI among federal agencies searching Florida driver’s licenses for facial recognition, records show | … Show me where the problem is.”.

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FBI Uncovers Secret Gangs of Tattooed Los Angeles Deputies

BreitbartJul 11, 2019
An unidentified source told the Los Angeles Times that FBI agents “have … gangs a mere “cultural norm,” and believes the problem has already …

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EXCLUSIVE: Saudi dissidents in US warned by FBI after Khashoggi …

Middle East EyeJul 12, 2019
FBI agents visited at least four Saudis and a US-based Arab …. they are unable to convince the guy in the White House that this is a problem?

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RI’s new top FBI agent talks national security, the Mob, and street gangs

The Providence JournalJul 7, 2019
R.I.’s new top FBI agent talks national security, the Mob, and street gangs … Are there issues specific to Rhode Island that you focus on …

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Russian oligarch’s story could spell trouble for Team Mueller

The HillJul 2, 2019
He was closely aligned with Putin and had been helpful to the FBI as far back as 2009. So he had earned some trust with the agents.

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Federal task forces ban body cameras, so Atlanta police pull out …

Washington PostJun 14, 2019
Federal agents never wear body cameras, and they prohibit local …. That becomes a problem because local police policies often prohibit …

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Trump smashed months of FBI work to thwart election interference

PoliticoJun 13, 2019
Nearly two years ago, FBI Director Chris Wray set up an office tasked … the president first proclaimed he would have no problem accepting dirt … 2020 presidential campaigns and demoralizing the agents trying to stop them.

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FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it …

The HillJun 19, 2019
And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who … There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months …

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Trump Backs Down on Adding Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

Democracy Now!Jul 12, 2019
President Donald Trump: “I am hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of …
Trump Administration To Begin Mass Deportation Raids Sunday
InternationalOutside the BeltwayJul 11, 2019

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R. Kelly Arrested on Federal Sex Crimes Charges

Democracy Now!Jul 12, 2019
In Chicago, federal agents arrested R. Kelly Thursday night after a U.S. … backed down Thursday from his plans to add a citizenship question to …

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Attorney: Father of 5 Taken Into Custody by ICE in South Florida

NBC 6 South Florida14 hours ago
… taken into custody by federal agents in the Homestead area Friday. … he has no problem with the law, the only problem is he doesn’t have …

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Acosta said prosecutors wanted to guarantee Jeffrey Epstein would go …

Washington PostJul 11, 2019
The problem, according to legal analysts and attorneys for those who …. When FBI agents made contact with a handful of Epstein’s alleged …

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With ICE sweeps looming, immigration rhetoric heats up on Capitol Hill

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… time to know their rights if they are approached by ICE or by federal agents. … An audit said overcrowding is just one problem threatening the …

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TikTok Has A Predator Problem. A Network Of Young Women Is …

BuzzFeed NewsJun 24, 2019
“They said, ‘Look, we’ve got complaints,’” Haynes said, noting that the FBI agents were concerned he was talking to underage users.

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Two MLK Scholars Discuss Explosive, Disputed FBI Files on the Civil …

New York MagazineJun 30, 2019
Honey took strong issue with Garrow’s framing of the newly …. FBI agents had a vested interest in giving Hoover what he wanted, and Garrow …

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Elected officials react to reports ICE accessed Utah driver’s license …

KUTV 2NewsJul 8, 2019
I do have a problem with the idea, and I think most Utahns would have … Federal agents are never permitted to access the SIAC database.

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Trump claimed he’s never called the FBI. He has — when he wanted …

Washington PostJun 13, 2019
Internal FBI documents show Trump told Stowe and other agents … And then, when Trump had a problem getting a gaming license in New …

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The Hill

Arizona’s Biggs, Lesko disagree with Ocasio-Cortez over migrant …

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Y., described indifferent federal agents carrying out inhumane orders, … Ocasio-Cortez defended the label that the border problems are a …
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Justice Department Drops All Charges in Fishy FBI Sting
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

The FBI spent more than two years chasing alleged money launderers in Las Vegas and Florida as part of “Operation Bo-Tox,” a code name referencing the toxin used in cosmetic procedures to reduce wrinkles. But the case finally collapsed this week, when the Justice Department moved to drop all charges against the lead defendant, Emile Bouari, as part of a pretrial diversion agreement.

According to the FBI’s internal files, agents in 2014 believed that Operation Bo-Tox would expose a network of money launderers who ran weight loss, aesthetician, and other health and beauty businesses in Las Vegas.

Charles Ro, the FBI agent who supervised the undercover sting, described the case as an investigation of a “Middle Eastern criminal enterprise” — an apparent reference to Bouari, who was born in Lebanon and operated a weight loss clinic in Las Vegas. Bouari’s Lebanese heritage represented the case’s only connection to the Middle East.

The Justice Department’s capitulation in Bouari’s case is remarkable, given the time and resources the bureau invested and the fact that Bouari publicly acknowledged that he laundered money for the FBI’s undercover agents. But as his trial neared, Bouari had signaled to the DOJ that he intended to put the bureau itself on trial, delving into the agents’ dubious conduct and questioning whether they had legal authority to start the investigation in the first place.

“There were huge issues in how and why the FBI targeted me,” Bouari told The Intercept. “No probable cause. They came after me with a personal vendetta and in a highly invasive sting. The case would have revealed terrible issues of abuse of power.”

As The Intercept described in a feature story last year, the FBI invested heavily in Operation Bo-Tox, deploying an informant and an undercover agent in Las Vegas and sending them on two trips to Miami, where they hung out in strip clubs (FBI recordings captured the agent and informant discussing their sexual conquests and negotiating with a stripper). The agents’ efforts were intended to engage Bouari, who had no previous criminal history, and nearly two dozen of his friends and colleagues, in money laundering schemes. But after two years of undercover work, the FBI had nabbed only Bouari, his girlfriend Kimberly Milko, and a friend of theirs, Mary Green, who together allegedly laundered $590,000 and collected $52,900 in fees.

“Certain FBI agents led by Chuck Ro chased 21 innocent people, indicted four, imprisoned two, resulting in one dismissal and now this deferred prosecution,” Bouari told The Intercept.

Monday’s agreement, more than five years after the FBI first targeted Bouari, suggests that the Justice Department has come to view Operation Bo-Tox as largely a waste of time and resources. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Knief told U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan the government had agreed to drop all charges against Bouari so long as he stays out of legal trouble for the next six months, holds down a job, and cooperates with a pretrial services officer.

The charges against Milko and Green are still pending. Bouari’s brother Ghassan was also indicted with the group, despite not having been involved in any of the alleged financial transactions, and spent 18 months in pretrial detention before prosecutors dropped all charges against him in August 2017.

Emile Bouari spent more than two years in detention because prosecutors claimed that he was a danger to the community. He was released on his own recognizance in May 2018, but the brothers’ businesses went under while they were in jail. (In February 2018, Ghassan Bouari sued the U.S. government and the agents involved in the case, alleging that his rights had been violated as a result of the government’s malicious prosecution.)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas declined to comment on Monday’s agreement. The FBI did not respond to requests for comment.

emile-and-kim-1533671426Emile Bouari and Kim Milko.

Photo: Courtesy of Emile Bouari

Love and Loathing in Las Vegas

As The Intercept described last year, Bouari believed that the FBI’s decision to target him in an undercover sting resulted from “a love triangle,” according to a statement Bouari’s lawyer, Mont E. Tanner, made in a court.

Bouari and Milko described to The Intercept how Paul Padda, a former federal prosecutor who is now a private lawyer in Las Vegas, had developed a flirtatious relationship with Milko during a period when she and Bouari had broken up. Bouari and Milko separately described how, after they had reconciled, Padda approached their table at a Las Vegas restaurant one night, pointed his finger at Bouari, and said, “I fucked your woman and she loved it.”

Padda has denied that this incident occurred; he has also denied having the relationship with Milko that Bouari and Milko described.

Whatever the circumstances, there was bad blood between Padda and Bouari and Milko. Someone anonymously posted statements on the website Ripoff Report, describing Padda as “a real sleaze bag” and “a terrible attorney” who “has defended pedophiles.” In January 2014, Padda filed a defamation lawsuit over the statements, first naming “John Does” as defendants and then naming Bouari and Milko after he received subpoenaed records from their internet service provider.

Within weeks of Padda filing his lawsuit, a short Moroccan man named Michel Benamar showed up at the FBI’s Las Vegas office with a story to tell: Benamar claimed that Bouari had embezzled $1 million from a business partner, though he couldn’t provide the name of the person who had purportedly been fleeced. Benamar also said that Bouari was willing to launder money.

This tip was the only information the FBI had that Bouari was involved in criminal activity, and Benamar’s credibility was questionable. Just seven months earlier, Benamar had been arrested for writing four bad checks to Vegas casinos. In addition, Benamar had a $2.8 million civil judgment against him in Alabama for failing to pay back loans related to a vending machine business. Nevertheless, Ro, the FBI agent, made Benamar an FBI informant and launched Operation Bo-Tox.

In a sealed motion filed in November 2018 and provided to The Intercept, another lawyer for Bouari, William H. Brown, alleged that Padda had a previously unknown connection with Benamar. Before becoming an FBI informant, the motion says, Benamar had worked as an informant for Jason Hahn, a Las Vegas police detective-turned-private investigator, who is listed as “a valuable asset” on Padda’s law firm’s website.

“Emile Bouari believes (and has conveyed this to the government) that he was targeted by FBI Agent Charles Ro essentially at the behest, and for the benefit, of Ro’s friend (and former local AUSA) Paul Padda, and that in service of this vendetta another Padda friend/associate (former Metro Detective Jason Hahn) coordinated the planting of informant Michel Benamar to serve as a catalyst, and pretext, for the government’s investigation, and to entrap Bouari,” the motion said.

The Intercept could not independently verify Benamar’s relationship with Hahn, who did not respond to requests for comment. Padda and Ro know each other in “a professional capacity,” Padda’s lawyer Ryan J. Stonerock told The Intercept. Padda and Ro are both listed as advisers to the International Organization of Asian Crime Investigators & Specialists, a nonprofit organization that hosts an annual conference on transnational crime and terrorism, but Stonerock said that while Padda had agreed to do legal work for the organization, he had not attended any meetings or events and was not aware that he was listed as an adviser.

In addition, Padda would not describe what, if any, conversations he had with Ro about Bouari’s case. Neither Padda nor Ro responded to recent requests for comment.

Problem FBI Agents

Before Operation Bo-Tox, Ro and his partner on the case, Dennis Lao, had a reputation as problem agents. In 2010, while assigned to the FBI’s office outside Los Angeles to investigate Asian organized crime, the pair traveled to the Philippines for an undercover investigation in which Ro posed as a broker for Mexican drug cartels interested in importing weapons and Lao as Ro’s bodyguard. The sting led to the arrest of three Filipinos for transporting weapons to the U.S., including assault rifles and grenade and mortar launchers.

But witnesses told an investigator for the defendants’ lawyers that as they pursued the case, undercover FBI agents, including Ro, had spent money on alcohol and sex at a club in Manila that reportedly employed underage prostitutes. The FBI disclosed in court that agents had spent $14,500 in eight days in the Philippines, including $3,000 for a single evening at one strip club and other expenditures labeled “entertainment and cocktail (tips included).” One of the agents working with Ro and Lao testified in court that he had sex with an employee of the club and gave her $80 — but claimed the money was for her sick father, not payment for prostitution.

In a recent class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination at the FBI Academy, 16 current and former women FBI employees accused Ro, who had served as an instructor, of making sexist and racist jokes — including referring to a black trainee with braids as “spaghetti head” — and talking about the size of his genitals and his “little blue balls.” He also allegedly discussed a female trainee’s sex life in a derogatory way with male trainees.

The FBI did not respond to questions about Ro, who appears to have left the bureau.

Robert J. Samuelson: Is Putin right that liberalism is obsolete?
Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Home Feed.

It looks as if Vladimir Putin wants to be recalled as something besides being an aggressive autocrat. He yearns, it seems, to be seen as a leading political thinker, respected for his analysis as well as feared for his actions. This is a reasonable reading of Mr. Putin’s recent interview with the Financial Times, which included his remarkable declaration that the “the liberal idea has become obsolete.”

What to make of this?


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mikenov on Twitter: The FBI News Review: 11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and… fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/07/1148-a…

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The FBI News Review: 11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and… fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/07/1148-a…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 3:52pm

mikenov on Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: 11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. – M.N. fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/07/1148-a…

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11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. – M.N. fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/07/1148-a…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 3:52pm

mikenov on Twitter


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11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. – M.N.

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The FBI News Review.

11:48 AM 7/13/2019 – Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated. – M.N.

11:03 AM 7/13/2019 – “The Justice Department’s capitulation in Bouari’s case is remarkable”: Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox”

Image result for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Toxâ€
“The Justice Department’s capitulation in Bouari’s case is remarkable,given the time and resources the bureau invested and the fact that Bouari publicly acknowledged that he laundered money for the FBI’s undercover agents. But as his trial neared, Bouari had signaled to the DOJ that he intended to put the bureau itself on trial, delving into the agents’ dubious conduct and questioning whether they had legal authority to start the investigation in the first place.
“There were huge issues in how and why the FBI targeted me,” Bouari told The Intercept. “No probable cause. They came after me with a personal vendetta and in a highly invasive sting. The case would have revealed terrible issues of abuse of power.”

M.N.: Investigate the Investigators! This is the level of competence in these types, and apparently closely related counterintelligence investigations. Something is deeply wrong and disabling. It must be diagnosed and treated.

_______________________________
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” – Google Search

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

Story image for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” from The Intercept

Justice Department Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas …

The Intercept3 hours ago
… Agrees to Drop Charges in Sleazy Las Vegas Sting “Operation Bo-Tox” … Charles Ro, the FBI agent who supervised the undercover sting, …
Story image for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox” from The Intercept

Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models …

The InterceptAug 13, 2018
The sting was run by FBI Special Agent Charles Ro, whom Padda …. in the Las Vegas office approved Operation Bo-Tox, an undercover sting …
Stay up to date on results for Las Vegas sting “Operation Bo-Tox”.

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Is DC Comics about to add a gay super-villain to a new film?

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The internet geekverse has gone all atwitter over a rumor that the Batman villain Black Mask will be portrayed as gay in a new movie.

Warner Bros. has announced that Black Mask will serve as the primary villain in the film adaptation of Birds of Prey, a spinoff of the “Batman family,” and part of the DCEU series of films. Now gossip site We Got This Covered reports that Black Mask will be portrayed as gay, albeit in a subtle manner. Apparently, the film will show sexual tension between Black Mask and fellow villain & serial killer Victor Zsasz. Actor Ewan McGregor will play Black Mask opposite Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary.

Related: Marvel casting director promises LGBTQ characters in future films

More to the point, we have to wonder why perceived subtext–particularly that of a villain–even warrants celebration at this point. Though we would love to see more queer characters in comic book blockbusters, or, for that matter, existing characters like Wonder Woman, Mystique, Loki, Valkyrie or Iceman portrayed as unapologetically LGBTQ as their comic counterparts, subtle hints don’t quite qualify as progress. Hollywood films like Star Trek Beyond and Avengers: Endgame have tried adding queer characters in minor roles or with blink-and-you’ll-miss-them details, which come off more embarrassing and insulting than inclusive.

For now, the news about Black Mask remains nothing more than rumor. Here’s hoping that if it comes to fruition, it gives us an actual reason to celebrate.


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mikenov on Twitter: Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models, Money Laundering, and a Supposed Plot to Hire a Hitman theintercept.com/2018/08/12/las…

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Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models, Money Laundering, and a Supposed Plot to Hire a Hitman theintercept.com/2018/08/12/las…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 3:11pm

mikenov on Twitter


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WATCH: This lavish gay Indian wedding is the stuff of dreams

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Vaibhav Jain and Parag V. Mehta recently got married in a beautiful, traditional Indian wedding in Texas, and gorgeous videos from the romantic event have been making the rounds online.

The newlyweds are quite the power couple: Jain is a research associate with the American Institutes for Research and an Executive Board member of the South Asian Public Health Association, and Mehta is a Mastercard senior vice president who previously served as chief of staff and senior advisor to the 19th U.S. Surgeon General.

Vaibhav Jain and Parag Mehta. Couple to get married soon

Posted by I am Gay from India on Saturday, November 17, 2018

Before the wedding, Jain revealed that he came to the United States in 2011 after being driven out of India by Section 377, the British colonial-era law made homosexuality illegal until 2018. While in India, Jain claimed to have girlfriends in order to pass as straight. “I can now be who I am and stop leading a dual life,” he told CNBC-TV18 in November.

“Yes, my struggles in India growing up as a gay man were real and often very painful,” he added. “Parag grew up on the other end of the world in a small town in Central Texas but his experience and struggles were definitely comparable to my own, if not more. For him, growing up as a brown immigrant kid in a white town was a constant struggle of identity. Adding the layer of being a closeted gay guy in a conservative household just made things even harder for him.”

As they became husband and husband in Killeen, Texas, on March 30, the grooms had their family members at their side. “We are blessed to have the love and support of both sets of our parents as we start a new chapter in our lives,” Jain told CNBC-TV18.


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Detroit Man Charged with Murder After Shooting, Robbing Gay Men He Met Using Grindr

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Demetris Nelson, a 26-year-old Detroit man, was charged on Friday with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to rob while armed and felony firearm possession after he contacted two gay men through the gay hook-up app Grindr on July 6, then robbed and shot them, killing one and critically injuring the other.

Brian Anderson, 31, was shot and killed and Malcom Drake, 26, critically injured.

Said a statement from the Wayne County Prosecutor: “Prosecutors alleged Nelson targeted Anderson and Drake because they were gay, and used the social networking app Grindr to locate the victims.”

Said Prosecutor Kym Worthy: “The allegations are that social media contacts were used to target, contact, rob, fatally shoot one gay man, and seriously wound another gay man. To some this will be just another hateful and violent act in America. They will read about this case and continue to go about their day. To me, that is quite tragic.”

Said Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire said, “We are saddened and outraged by this despicable crime. This case is just the most recent example of how members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community are too often targets of violence. The Fair Michigan Justice Project is proud to partner with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Police Department to aggressively prosecute these ruthless crimes.”

The post Detroit Man Charged with Murder After Shooting, Robbing Gay Men He Met Using Grindr appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Separate and not equal: Why Black Gay Pride hurts me

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Black History Month. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Black Entertainment Television. Black Panther. Spike Lee.

In a society that has historically valued white above all other human colors, we the black people need our own advocates and forums of recognition, whether they be in the form of individuals, organizations, award ceremonies, TV, or movies. As a black man, I get it. That doesn’t mean I have to always like it.

The “black” make-up movement I love least right now is one currently playing out from sea to shining sea (in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, among other U.S. cities) and in London: Black Gay Pride. Again, as a black man, I get it. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Black Gay Pride is a positive celebration, but it’s also a sobering reminder that, in many ways, the LGBTQ community is no more accepting than the straight community. It’s a world where activists preach diversity and acceptance, but one in which white, masculine, and young are seen as superior to any of the alternatives.

Black Gay Pride serves as a reality check that I might never be just a gay man or just a black man. For now and for the foreseeable future, I’ll always be a “gay black man.” I’ll have to wear at least one “X” everywhere, whether I am in an exclusively black crowd or an exclusively gay one, signifying that I don’t completely belong to either.

The homophobia that runs rampant in black culture has been well-documented and dissected, on social media, in rap music, in stand-up comedy routines, and in numerous think pieces. But we rarely talk about the insidious racism in gay culture that can render anyone who doesn’t fit the white ideal unwanted and invisible. Yes, there’s white privilege in the LGBTQ community, too.

Writer Kevin Maxwell, who is black and gay, recently wrote about why he wouldn’t be attending this year’s Pride in London on July 6 in an op-ed for the UK’s Independent. His thoughts echoed the way I feel about all the Gay Prides I’ve skipped in cities where I’ve lived, from New York City to Buenos Aires to Sydney.

“Pride in London claims this year will be its ‘most diverse’ parade yet, though historically, Prides have excluded diverse voices from within the LGBT+ community — the very people the movement was created to uplift. This is one reason that UK Black Pride throws its own celebration the day after, specifically for people of colour.”

So in the end, if you’re black and gay like me and living in the right city, you might get your own special parade, but what does it do about the larger problem? Are Black Gay Prides bridging the chasm or widening it? Do they mean we should abandon traditional Gay Pride rather than try to fix it?

God knows a few significant repairs are needed. I’ve always side-eyed Gay Pride because it feels like someone else’s party. I view it with the same degree of suspicion and near-dread that I do the Fourth of July, a holiday that celebrates a manifesto of freedom from a time when my ancestors were slaves. Independence Day is more about white people than it is about me.

The hypocrisy of the gay community may not be as violent as America’s racist past, but it can be nonetheless haunting. For most of my life, I’ve felt like something of an interloper among what are supposed to be my own people. Gay life is dominated by white men and white voices, and even in the so-called safe spaces (bars, clubs, dating and hook-up apps), for too many, my greatest value is in the presumed size of my penis.

I never feel blacker than I do when I’m surrounded by gay men, in both virtual and actual reality. That’s not because I’m automatically more conscious of my race. It’s because others keep reminding me of it — whether it’s through an offhand “BBC” comment on Grindr, a question or compliment that revolves around black men and assumes conformity over individuality, or the N word hurled by a rejected suitor.

Perhaps the sexual element brings out our basest impulses. I’m on the receiving end of some flagrant display of gay racism and racial objectification on most days that end in Y, usually online but sometimes in real life, too. Straight people can be horribly racist, but I can’t remember the last time one was overtly racist to me, and unlike gay men, they rarely bring up my race to my face.

Black Gay Pride is a jolting newsflash: It gets better for some, but not for all. It underscores the division in our community, in all minority communities. We spend so much time criticizing straight white men for taking their privilege for granted while using it against us. Then we turn right around and create categories within our own community that put those who don’t fit the idealized standards (white, masculine, young, whatever) into boxes labeled “Other.”

The entire gay community needs to talk more about diversity and inclusion within its own ranks and not just outside of them. We all must pay closer attention to the specific hurdles that many gay people of color face, including poverty, racially motivated violence and police brutality, and racially and religiously coded homophobia.

I don’t groan over upper-case Black Gay Pride because I have anything against lower-case black gay pride. It hurts because having it means we still need it, and in 2019, Gay Pride, despite the rainbow flag that represents it, should be color blind.

I’ll support Black Gay Pride through clenched teeth as long as it’s necessary. But I’m waiting for the day we’ll no longer need it, when gay pride and black gay pride finally merge and become the same thing.


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Trainer Kenta Saki on how to learn to love your own body no matter your shape or size

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“Can I take a picture with your puppy?” trainer and model Kenta Saki asks a passerby on a gorgeous day at West Hollywood Park.

The owner of the pup in question–a two-month-old German shepherd mix–declines to go on camera himself but has no objection to his pup, who promptly jumps into Kenta’s lap and showers him with kisses.

Ah, the dog’s life.

Late last year, Kenta kick off our “prepared” interview series with health & fitness types, trainers, yoga experts, dancers, performers, anyone whose advice could help us get off the couch and into shape. Due to the popularity of his advice (and perhaps abs) we asked him to hang out with Queerty entertainment editor David Reddish and LA-based photographer Larry Geller to take us through a workout.

Kenta suggested we put some of his workouts in gif form.

How could we object?

So where’d you grow up?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I was always in and out of Hollywood as a kid. I first got turned out to fitness in general when I was about nine. My sister was practicing yoga. I thought it seemed cool, like a martial art. So I just started doing it with her. Then I started stealing her VHS tapes and doing it when she wasn’t home. Then I started going to studios. By the time I was 14, I was the most advanced person in all those studios. Then I became a yoga instructor. After that, I started personal training. I eventually decided to try modeling, and I got called for a Jillian Michaels video. I got cast, and she and I actually ended up becoming really good friends. I was her right-hand trainer for about five years. I even trained her.

What’s up now?

Now I do my own things. I work with a lot of different brands. I do an audio workout app called Active, where I lead audio workouts. I lead a guided meditation. I do abs, and stretch and strength, anything you can think of just with my voice. I’m also on a couple of streaming sites for workout videos.

Let’s face it. Working out takes motivation. What’s the best way get your ass out of the house?

First, you have to decide what your goal is, and find out what it takes to get there. That way you know at least I need to be doing this. Then you just have to mentally prepare yourself to make that happen. Some days it may not be exactly that, but as long as you’re going forward at a pace in the right direction, I think you’re being successful. It’s about knowing your goal, how to get there, and trudging forward.

Dips to table

Equipment: Yoga Matt and a park

Goal: 3 sets of 20

Tone your triceps and booty at the same time. Really focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of the exercise, and hold the contraction for as long as you can or at least a second to get the best results.

It’s hot today here and in much of the nation. When the temperature gets really high, what’s the best thing to do so as not to exhaust yourself but still remain active?

First and foremost, pre-hydration is one of the most important things people usually avoid or just don’t know about. People know you’re supposed to drink water during your workout, but actually pre-hydrating before you work out is one of the most important things you can do. That way, your cells already have a lot of water in them. So drink water before, during and after a workout.

Second, always protect your skin. Wear sunblock. And nourish yourself. That way you have sustainable energy flow in your body before you go out.

Divebomber Pushup

Goal: 3 sets of 15
This is one of my favorite pushup variations, because it targets the upper & lower chest, not just the middle. It also hits your shoulders & triceps differently than the average pushup.

Working out makes people self-conscious. In terms of going to the gym, or working out in public, what’s the best way to overcome that anxiety?

Self-consciousness is there not a matter what you look like most of the time. I get self-conscious with my body. Regardless, you need to be confident and love yourself and love your body no matter what it looks like. It took me having an injury a few months ago—breaking my ankle—for me to finally look at my body and say, Oh my gosh, I’ve been judging my body so harshly these past few months, and my whole life. It took [my wellness] being taken away for me for an extended period to appreciate what I have. So love your body, and you’ll find that the self-consciousness goes away. Just finding self-love and acceptance first and you won’t worry about others.

What do you do when you need a dose of self-love?

There are so many things. It could be little things. It starts off in the morning. Always starting a day off with gratitude is so important to me. Every day you wake up, don’t touch your phone, don’t even get out of bed. Take a moment to breathe and be thankful that you’re alive and have a chance to go on in this world again. So having that is the first step to self-love: Being grateful that you’re here.

Also, find your purpose. Find your “whys.” That really helps people get eager to get out of bed and out of the house to enjoy life.

Sprinter Jump

Goal: 3 sets of 15 on each leg
I love this lunge variation because it really builds & tones your booty while burning some serious calories.

For work out attire in the outdoors, what’s best?

It depends on the activity. You want something airy and breathable, nothing that will restrict moisture or air going in and out so that your skin can breathe and let out the sweat.

Here’s a typical distraction. You see another good looking guy out and about. What do you do when he flirts with you?

It depends on where I’m at. If he’s being respectful, then absolutely, I’ll be respectful back.

What do you keep on your nightstand?

Water is by my side, 24/7, even when I sleep. I’m also a firm believer in crystals. I have a cellulite crystal which is really good for purifying and keeping away negative energy. I also have palo santo which is good for burning and purifying. It really helps me sleep.

Cannonball sit up

Goal: 3 sets of 15
This progression to the average sit-up challenges the lower fibers of your abs as well as the upper, so you get better results as compared to a basic sit up.

Photos by Larry Geller 


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