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Dad of a Parkland victim blasts GOP lawmaker who shared a Christmas photo of his family smiling with guns and asking Santa to "please bring ammo"

Rep. Thomas Massie posted the photo days after a shooter opened fire at a high school in Michigan, killing four students. Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY) draws a Ruger LCP handgun from his pocket during a rally in support of the Second Amendment on January 31, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky.Bryan Woolston/Getty Images Rep. Thomas Massie posted a holiday photo of his family posing with guns, asking Santa for ammunition. The father of a Parkland victim called it a "very nasty post" and said it was "part of the problem." On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire at a high school in Michigan, killing four students.  The father of a victim in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, criticized Republican Rep. Thomas Massie over a pro-gun photo he posted just days after a school shooting in Michigan.Massie, who is from Kentucky, tweeted a photo that showed him and his family smiling and posing with guns in front of a Christmas tree. Alongside the photo Massie wrote "Merry Christmas!" and "ps. Santa, please bring ammo."—Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2021He posted the photo days after a shooting at Oxford High School north of Detroit left four students dead and several others injured, renewing concerns over gun violence and school safety.Manuel Oliver appeared on CNN Saturday to talk about his desire to meet with President Joe Biden about promises he made on gun control. His 17-year-old son, Joaquin, was one of the 17 killed when a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.CNN host Jim Acosta asked Oliver about Massie's tweet, as it was trending on social media during the interview."That's a huge part of the problem," Oliver said. "I don't know if they're trying to be ironic, funny, or what, but it's the worst taste ever."He also said it was a "very nasty post" and is "something that should teach us who should we elect, and not."—Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 4, 2021 Oliver and his wife started the Change The Ref, a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering students to ignite change on critical issues.Massie's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 5th, 2021

44 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved, from a zodiac necklace to a custom painting

Unique mementos are a way to show someone they're valued and loved. Here are 44 of the best sentimental gifts to make them feel extra special. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From personalized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to pick items that will delight and surprise your recipient. Whether you're on the search for a sweet long-distance gift or looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 44 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a personalized photo book, and custom socks. Each of these heartfelt gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 44 sentimental gift ideas:A book holder for their nightstandCOLwoodCraft/Etsy ColWood Night Stand Book Holder, available at Etsy, $27Your book lover can get rid of their paper bookmark and replace it with this wooden book holder. They can place their book on the stand and pick up where they left off later. You can choose from six different wood color options.A cartoon book illustrating you and your giftee's relationshipLoveBookPersonalized Birthday LoveBook, $54.95LoveBook has customizable cartoon books for you to create your own nonfiction story of you and your giftee. Whether it's a birthday gift for a friend or an anniversary gift for your significant other, LoveBook offers over 10 occasions for you to choose from. A personalized gift boxGreetablPersonalized Gift Box, available at Greetabl, from $19Let them know you're thinking of them with a cute custom gift box from Greetabl. Choose to a mini gift like caramels or chocolates, a gift card, and add a note and photos to be delivered to their door. A monogrammed vegan leather passport coverMark and GrahamFillmore Vegan Leather Passport Case, available at Mark and Graham, $39 ($12.50 monogram fee)For the giftee who loves to travel, a passport cover is a great gift. You can have their initials monogrammed onto the cover to add a thoughtful and special touch to the gift. A name bracelet with handwritten letteringEtsyHandwriting Bracelet, available at Etsy, $27.75A custom piece of jewelry is already a thoughtful gift but this handwritten bracelet from Etsy goes the extra mile. Surprise your gift recipient with a gold, sterling silver, or rose gold bracelet with words on it written in yours or a loved-ones' handwriting. A family cookbook to pass downUncommon GoodsMy Family Cookbook, available at Uncommon Goods, $30The My Family Cookbook is a sweet gift that will keep on giving. After having various family members add recipes, the book can become an heirloom gift that gets passed down to generations. A mug with handwritten wordsLittle Gem Girl/EtsyLoved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $23.49A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's.A floral paint-by-numbers kitUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy.A monogrammed notebookPapierScallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $24.29Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles.A fresh flower subscriptionFresh SendsThe Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $60Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.A calendar full of cherished personal photosArtifact UprisingPersonalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one.A book for your favorite astrology loverBirthdate Co.The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $95If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same.A cube of conversation-starting prompt cardsUncommon GoodsTable Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.A customized puzzleEtsyCustomizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $34.99Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.A video montage of and from their loved onesMontageA video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears.An astrology necklaceMejuriA necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $90If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold.A set of socks with their pet's face printed on themTribe SocksCustom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners.A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other dayStarry MapsCustom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $55Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas.An e-gift card to GoldbellyGoldbellyAn e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.A bottle of bourbon as unique as they areReservebarJefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever.An Airbnb gift cardYou could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences.AirbnbAn Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $50Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation. A custom map posterGrafomapCustom map poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination. A personalized photo bookSnapfish/Business InsiderPersonalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $12.99Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake. Expertly framed memoriesFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get.An engraved timepieceUncommon GoodsPersonalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless.A custom-made comic book telling your shared storyEtsyCustom comic book, available at Etsy, from $549.92If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print.A personalized letter necklaceAUrateMini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here.A framed quoteMintedPersonalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs.A family portrait that includes petsHappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates.A custom pet portraitCanvasPopCustom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $89If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet.A cute set of mugsUncommon GoodsPersonalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met. Turn meaningful audio into artEtsySoundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.Long-distance touch lampsUncommon GoodsSet of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite stateUncommon GoodsHand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints. A photo print of an important life momentUncommon GoodsIntersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design.Personalized wine labelsTopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.48Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep. The blueprint of a beloved ski resortUncommon GoodsSki resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.A bound book of love letters, curated from A-ZUncommon GoodsHow Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them. A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinksoflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business InsiderPersonalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $23.27Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting. A portable printerTargetPolaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app. A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memoriesUncommon Goods/Business InsiderCreate your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia.A custom watercolor of their wedding venueJustArtinAround/EtsyCustom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date. A candle that smells like homeUncommon GoodsHomesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer. A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipeUncommon GoodsFamily Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022

The 20 best gifts for couples in 2022, from matching pajamas to virtual cooking classes

Whether shopping for an anniversary, holiday, or just because, the best gifts for couples will bring them closer and more joy into their lives. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Matt Bird/Getty Images Thoughtful gifts for couples make holiday shopping easy. Gifts like matching mugs and date night ideas make lovebirds' life easier and more intertwined. Looking for gifts for long-distance couples? Check out our gift guide for long-distance relationships. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Opting for an anniversary or christmas gifts for couples kills two birds with one stone — you're not only gifting them something each will feel is thoughtful or useful, but also something they can enjoy together, all while only having to shop for one present.Celebrate their partnership with any gift that makes it flourish whether it's a personalized token, a set of something that matches, or a memorable experience. Looking for gifts for long-distance couples? Check out our gift guide for folks in a long-distance relationship. No matter what you opt for, it's the thought that matters, especially if their love language is gift-giving.Here are the 20 best gifts for couples in 2022:A clever blanket and sheet set that splitsUncommon GoodsCouple's Split Blanket & Sheet Set, available at Uncommon Goods, from $85This couple's split blanket puts an end to the comforter tug-of-war. Still connected at the bottom, this soft blanket allows more room sleep-wise without fully separating.A relationship game to build intimacyEsther PerelWhere Should We Begin Game, available at Esther Perel, $40Stories allow for couples to bond on a deeper level. This relationship game is designed to build intimacy and honesty between couples as they share personal stories through prompts.An adorable matching mug pairUncommon GoodsThe Kissing Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, $65The two lovebirds can begin their days with a smooch just like this cute mug pair. Each sip is a sweet reminder of the love shared.A set of promise ringsEtsyPERIMADE Pinky Swear Couple Ring, available at Etsy, from $11.95Rather than the "official" ring, these minimalist pieces are perfect for the couple who's been together for a while. The matching rings still maintain that promise to unconditionally love each other.A gourmet virtual cooking classSur la TableOnline Cooking Classes, available at Sur la Table, from $29A virtual cooking class makes for a fun alternative to a normal dinner date. The sweet pair can whip up an even more enjoyable meal because they cooked it together.A pair of earphones to bring you two closer togetherAmazonLovebuds, available at Amazon, $34.99It's the cute, small things that count, and these two-person earphones allow couples to listen to their favorite podcasts or songs together. Of course, with strings attached. Keep in mind that an adapter may be needed for certain phone models.A DIY candle kit for date nightWooden Wick Co.Date Night Candle Kit, available at Wooden Wick Co., $41.35This candle-making kit sets the perfect mood for a romantic evening. This crafty gift makes up to two candles containing a sweet, rich woodsy scent. A variety of romantic prompts for date night ideasUncommon GoodsDate Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Help them figure out what new experiences to do next with this bucket list kit. It features various date ideas from watching the sunrise to attending a lecture at a local museum.Matching pajamas for the couple that's so much alikeEtsyCouples Pajamas, available at Etsy, from $26.80Partners truly can't be any more alike than in matching jammies. A twin pajama set is the ultimate cozy gift for the couple.A personalized coffee subscription from the finest roastersTrade Coffee CompanyCoffee Subscription, available at Trade Coffee Company, from $40For the couple who lives together, gift them a nice morning pick-me-up with this coffee subscription. Trade Coffee Company delivers fresh, sustainably sourced coffee from over 400 options to pick and brew.A unisex aroma to bask in togetherUrban OutfittersInd. For Her For Him Unisex Fragrance, available at Urban Outfitters, $18It's said that partners can look like each other after a while, so why can't they smell alike too? Save on separate expensive fragrances and opt for a unisex scent instead.Fun undergarments to match your each other's bottomsMeUndiesMatch Me Underwear Set, available at MeUndies, $42A whimsical gift for the couple who does literally everything together; yes, even matching underwear. From classic to wacky prints, the couple can build a fun underwear collection with MeUndies' MatchMe program. A retro-inspired record player for music loversUrban OutfittersCrosley UO Exclusive Wood Voyager Record Player, available at Urban Outfitters, $120When it comes to a music-obsessed couple, this portable record player is a quality gift. The record player provides the option to play their favorite songs with Bluetooth or on vinyl LPs.Delicious chocolate truffles kit for a sweet surpriseUncommon GoodsMake Your Own Chocolate Truffles Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $38Couples deserve the sweetest experience. This DIY chocolate truffle kit is a more delightful treat for them than gifting store-bought chocolates.A therapy journal for a happier relationshipPromptly JournalsLoom Couple's Journal, available at Promptly Journals, $37.99Even perfect companions can go through difficult moments. This couples therapy journal is a thoughtful gift to improve their communication and have open conversations. The weekly journal consists of 52 weeks of curated prompts and tips for the couple to feel more connected.A custom couple's portrait to showcase your loveEtsyCustom Faceless Portrait, available at Etsy, from $14.19Rather than an ordinary photo, gift the couple something a little more special. This custom illustration is an adorable gift for the couple's anniversary.A curated wine subscriptionWincWinc Subscription, available at Winc, from $60Elevate their wine experience with unique wines that match their tastes and preferences. Winc even lets you choose between one-, two-, and three-month subscription options.A paint kit to recreate dream travel spotsUncommon GoodsDate Night Paint by Shadows Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, from $40Take a trip without leaving home with this landscape painting kit. Whether it's Paris or Positano, the couple can paint a dreamy destination for inspiration.A nostalgic mixtape pillow that’s personalizedUncommon GoodsPersonalized Mixtape Pillow, available at Uncommon Goods, $58This mixtape pillow compliments the couple whose love story began with a curated playlist. Get their names inscribed on this plush pillow to make their cuddle sessions feel more personal.A memory-filled book of your adventuresThe Adventure ChallengeCouples Edition, available at The Adventure Challenge, $44.99For adventurous lovers, this guidebook offers 50 surprise challenges to scratch off and begin forming memories. All they need is a little spontaneity to start the journey.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 14th, 2022

Finding Strength Along A Post-COVID Fury Road

Finding Strength Along A Post-COVID Fury Road Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, The COVID-9/11 pandemic is over. With the failure of Omicron to capture the imaginations of only the most unimaginative midwits, the question now is how do we move forward from here. While we can rejoice that the threat to life and limb from COVID-9/11 may be effectively over, there is still the threat in its name to our liberty and sanity from those who profit most from the fear of the virus. The aftershocks from COVID-9/11 will be with us for the foreseeable future. An entire generation has been scarred by this manufactured apocalypse and there will be no going back to the way things were. We’d been warned by so many for so long. From investigative journalists, to the rare honest politician to the film-makers and artists who crafted stories for us to contemplate the lurking dangers in our deteriorating society. Conditions were ripe for those in power to take maximal advantage of the fear from COVID-9/11. And they did so, enthusiastically. The warnings were clear. There are toxic people out there who would rather destroy the world to hold onto their power rather than admit defeat. Looking at where we are now reminds me, funnily enough, of 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. A brilliant fever dream of a movie that portrayed a world in a post-rational, post-civilizational state. At it’s core Fury Road’s conflict is asking the question, “Who broke the world?” History had been erased to the point where the people living in this hell couldn’t even form the question into an indictment beyond the most base and reductionist caricature of gender roles. Those who think this is the movie’s perspective have read it all wrong, unfortunately. It’s easy to do given the elevation of Furiosa to near leading lady status. Many have remarked that Mad Max is a bystander in his own movie. They, again, are wrong. Max, in all of the sequels to the original, has been this mythic figure who wanders into a deeply disturbed existential crisis for some outpost in the Wasteland. That’s the setup for these films. And in this one he is brought into the most out-of-balance one yet, where every destructive tendency of men and masculinity runs rampant and has strangled the people and the last outpost of life nearly to death. Bear with me, this stuff is really important. Man? Woman? I’m the Guy With the Microphone Back to the ‘real world.’ Thankfully in our post-COVID world we still have some sense of our history, though those in charge have decided to only allow a version of it that is even more cartoonish than the world of Fury Road in an attempt to erase it. Every instance where someone tries to frame a counter-argument to this cartoon is met with ever more strident claims of gender oppression and white supremacy. We’ve reached a point where those with any dissenting point of view are systematically shut down, censored, silenced or worse. Words are violence in the new Woke West, dontcha’ know? But by taking the position that the ‘other side’ isn’t allowed to speak, they speak volumes about the fragility of their grasp on power. Ideas that cannot be challenged, that cannot bear even the slightest scrutiny, are ideas that can’t evolve. It doesn’t matter whether they are right or wrong. They are static, mechanical and ultimately devoid of life itself. This is our world today in the hands of the Woke Left, a world where the destructive and vindictive feminine has been elevated to the point of unimpeachable rightness. But this isn’t any kind of healthy feminine. It’s a Furiosa-like feminine, devoid of nurturing, all implied violence, all sexuality suppressed to the point of masculinity. Look at Furiosa and tell me it isn’t asking another vital question, “In a dying world, is there any room for fertility while clinging like moss for survival?” In our world feminism has robbed women of their greatest attribute, the ability to gestate and nurture life itself. Hollywood has spent two generations giving us female action heroes who are ultimately nothing more than Doods with Boobs. It’s the ultimate power fantasy of Third Wave feminism. It’s not as destructive an archetype as the sluts on Sex in the City, mind you, because at least it can be tied in some ways back to motherhood, i.e. Ripley in James Cameron’s Aliens, but it’s still damaging to the cause of the healthy feminine nonetheless. Furiosa is what happens when gender roles are maximally out of balance. This claiming of the microphone, this flooding the airwaves with anti-white/anti-male propaganda is itself a very dangerous strategy. First, because it’s disgusting and hateful but second, because it will spark a pendulum swing that will shock everyone. By not allowing people to speak and work through what is bad AND good about the state of the world, it robs people of more than their voice. It robs them, ultimately, of their identity. Which brings me back to Fury Road. The Man With No Name Max never refers to himself as Max in Fury Road until the very end. Even in the unfortunate Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome he’s some other persona — “Raggedy Man,” “The Man With No Name,” or the reincarnation of “Captain Walker.” He’s lost everything, including his sense of self. He’s purely a survivor now. There is no Max anymore. The Wasteland has stripped him of this. Multiple times in Fury Road he’s asked his name. Every time he doesn’t answer. This is the key to reading Fury Road as a Mad Max movie, not a Furiosa movie, as the woke propagandists who masquerade as film critics and commentators would have you believe. Furiosa knows what she is, she’s looking for redemption for her sins, which are she abandoned her fertility to serve a literal blood god who farms women for their breast milk and given his Warboys purpose only through their sacrifice to him if only to be ‘witnessed’ doing so. There is no life for the Warboys in this world, since they can’t reproduce, so their initiation into manhood is becoming ‘shiny and chrome,’ worshipping their cars — the only recognizable technology left from the old world, except for guns. They worship the mechanical, the cold, the lifeless. Cars don’t bring life. But all that repressed energy gets turned into the grotesque creations they drive (insanely) across the Wasteland. They are the ultimate symbol of the static masculine. The only things this economy produces is food, guns, and gas. Since Immortan Joe hordes everything, especially the water and the food, he can maintain the stranglehold on life itself, the only women capable of giving birth. Into this nightmare a healthy Max is a resource, a literal blood bank, who gets caught up in Furiosa’s plans to escape with the only symbols of fertility left in this world, the concubines. From here Fury Road is that redemption plot we all know so well. But they don’t find redemption in the Wasteland, only the seeds to rebuilding the world. It is Max who realizes the only life left is back where they came from. And it quite literally says, there is no ‘better world’ out there than the one we live in. To begin unbreaking the world you have to go back to the one you have and fix it. You can’t run away. Clean your room, if I can invoke Dr. Peterson here. It is on this leg of the Fury Road that Max and Furiosa fully work together to bring down the charnal house that Joe built. It’s only then when he freely gives up some of himself, his blood, to save Furiosa at the end that he offers her his name, regaining his identity for the first time since the Toecutter’s gang ran down his wife and daughter when the world was only damaged, not broken. And it is with that simple act of kindness, that Fury Road asserts itself as Max’s movie. But Max still sins that he can’t wash away. He will forever be the gargoyle that guards the gates of the cathedral. It’s not because men aren’t welcome there. Furiosa knows now what good men look like. The balance between men and women can begin again but not with Max. He knows what he is and knows salvation isn’t for men like him. This is why he can’t ascend to the Promised Land at the end of the film, just like each previous film in the series. It has zero to do with the film being woke or dismissive of men in any symbolic sense. Healing the Gender Divide Unfortunately, our divided world has destroyed our ability to recognize any balance in this conversation. As I’ve previously argued about the Disney Star Wars films, the deep divisions between men and women, the inversion of gender roles in our society, clouds our judgment of them because so many are afraid of the answers they offer. YouTube has empowered an entire sub-culture of MGTOW’s, itself the ultimate expression of male weakness in the face of toxic femininity, to obsess about these things and drive ad revenue to them. Their hate has made them powerful. They hold sway over a whole rotten sub-culture wallowing in their hate. We have a toxic femininity problem. Retreating into masculine safe spaces looks attractive, a kind of ‘Going Galt’ until women get less crazy. But it’s the wrong response. Because those same women who say the most hateful things about men, are really pleading for us to step up and be protectors, like Max becomes to Furiosa and the other women. Saying any of that doesn’t mean we didn’t or don’t have a toxic masculinity problem. But the way to female strength is not denying men or white people or binaries or whatever the fuck they’re labeling us with today access to the microphone. That way madness lies. That way leads to Immortan Joe and a broken world where the reality of male physical superiority is left unchecked by the tempering presence of the divine feminine and their ability to bring life into the world. Unfortunately, we live in a world ruled by Communists who spend every waking hour undermining these basic truths about humanity in their Quixotic quest for power and control. The chaos of COVID-9/11 while we’re all anxious about our failing economic system, a creation of rent-seeking oligarchs, erecting this Citadel of Exclusion is now condoned by previously normal people gripped by a madness that is far deeper than we want to admit to ourselves. Friends and family, storeowners and co-workers have been transformed into self-hating monstrosities willing to reduce everything that represents a challenge to their worldview into a symbol of oppression that further proves their loyalty to the nascent medical-industrial complex. COVID-9/11 drove far too many to this state. They reject the basics of virology, immunology and common sense to support their need for order. As the world broke they sunk further into madness, unable to cope anymore with the basic risks of living in the real world. I’d go off on a rant about how destroying risk assessment in capital markets and the creation of new money through debt and financialization feeding the solipsism that we’d conquered the scarcity problem in modern society, but why bring up facts in an era where people have become allergic to them? Getting off the Shining Path This fear of living is what drives people to become cheerleaders for tyranny. To love their muzzles, proudly display their vax cards and fetishize their subservience to an authority just two years ago most would have distrusted to their core. The same people who marched on D.C. in support of ‘gender equality’ in the name of a women’s right to choose to murder their unborn children now want to deny the unvaxxed a seat at the civilizational table. Got news for you, folks, there’s a barbarian in this room, and it ain’t the unvaxxed. Now a false sense of shared purpose to fight the illusion of a pandemic energizes their fear, amplifies it into anger for those that disbelieve this illusion and turns it into self-righteous resentment for lengthening their agony. Just get the clot shot, they argue and come on board for the big win over COVID, they screech from behind their shiny grills. If it wasn’t so despicable and naïve, it would almost be tragic. Because we, like the people of the world of Fury Road, are all in agony, even those that support what little societal order there is left. This is the post-COVID world Davos has planned for us, worshipping the images of ourselves on our screens. Shaking our asses nihilistically on Tik-Tok or OnlyFans, if only to be ‘witnessed’ in our debasement for a few minutes. Trading our dignity for a dopamine hit and our principles for a paycheck. The push now is to take from the heretics to the COVID-9/11 Death Cult all that is left of the old world. The Immortan Joes of Davos will hoard their part of the shrinking pile of assets and send out their diseased and maniacal Warboys (and girls) to enforce this new Utopia. Arguing with conviction the unvaxxed should be left in the cold, unable to leave their homes, take a walk in the sun, share a meal with their loved ones or have access to medical care. Unlike Fury Road we know who broke the world. They did. But they blame those still willing to face the risk of living in the real world from partaking in it, lest we make a mockery of their selfishness and unquenchable envy. That’s what scares them the most. And that’s where we find the strength to stare them down and build our own ways forward. Because if we don’t start doing that now, if we don’t stop pining for the world that was and accept the world that is, there is no hope of fixing anything. *  *  * Join My Patreon if you like fixing things BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7Zf BCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6ryt DCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oE LTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5k DASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4Va WAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSa ETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edc DGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE Tyler Durden Sun, 12/19/2021 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 19th, 2021

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie defended his family"s gun-toting holiday greeting card, saying he thought the image would be "fun to share"

Massie told Matt Gaetz his family "just decided to pick up all the guns and pose" for the photo, which was posted a few days after the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan. Massie told Gaetz that his family "just decided to pick up all the guns and pose" in the holiday photo.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Rep. Thomas Massie said his family's gun-filled Christmas card photo wasn't meant to offend anyone. The congressman said owning guns is a tradition for his family, similar to playing music. Massie said he shared it for "fun" and that his family held musical instruments in their actual card. Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie defended his gun-toting Christmas card that drew widespread criticism in early December, saying that owning firearms is a tradition for his family akin to playing music and that he thought the photo would be "fun to share.""We live in a place where there are like three sheriff's deputies to cover hundreds of square miles. Everything's been adjudicated by the time the police show up," said Massie in a Thursday interview on  Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz' show "Firebrand." "They're not minutes away. They are an hour away.""It's just a tradition of owning guns for all the reasons. Not to hunt, not for this or that," the congressman said.Massie also told Gaetz that his "actual Christmas card" featured his family holding musical instruments. "We took Christmas card pictures of us doing something we also like to do, which is playing music," he said.The congressman's firearm-featuring Christmas photo, which he shared on Twitter on December 5, was heavily maligned in part because he posted it several days after a deadly high school shooting in Michigan that left four teens dead.—Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2021Massie told Gaetz that his family "just decided to pick up all the guns and pose" in the photo and that he posted it after finding the picture in a file folder while choosing Christmas cards for his mail vendor.The Kentucky representative said he didn't intend for the card to offend. "I was like: 'Wow, the world's not gonna see this. It'd be kinda fun to just share it.' And I shared it, and I didn't just kick the hornet's nest, I agitated every hornet on the planet."Massie went on to poke fun at Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had condemned the photo on Twitter. "Shouldn't he be making he be making those chocolate eggs right now?" Massie said, sharing a laugh with Gaetz.Gaetz, in turn, said that a family that owns firearms safely is "not viewed as confrontational in rural America," and said those who took offense to Massie's photo were in "ivory towers of elitism."Massie agreed with him and referenced the movie "Ghostbusters" when explaining why he thought people were upset with the photo."They say 'don't cross the streams.' There's three streams. And what happened is, I had family, guns, and Christmas, all in one picture," he said."Any of the two might have been okay, but three is an explosive cocktail for liberals," Massie added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 17th, 2021

44 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved, from a family cookbook heirloom to an astrological birth chart

Thoughtful mementos are a way to show someone they're valued and loved. Here are 44 sentimental gifts to make them feel extra special. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From personalized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you're looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 44 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 44 sentimental gift ideas:A personalized gift boxGreetablPersonalized Gift Box, available at Greetabl, from $19Let them know you're thinking of them with a cute custom gift box from Greetabl. Choose to a mini gift like caramels or chocolates, a gift card, and add a note and photos to be delivered to their door. A monogrammed vegan leather passport coverMark and GrahamFillmore Vegan Leather Passport Case, available at Mark and Graham, $39 ($12.50 monogram fee)For the giftee who loves to travel, a passport cover is a great gift. You can have their initials monogrammed onto the cover to add a thoughtful and special touch to the gift. A name bracelet with handwritten letteringEtsyHandwriting Bracelet, available at Etsy, $37A custom piece of jewelry is already a thoughtful gift but this handwritten bracelet from Etsy goes the extra mile. Surprise your gift recipient with a gold, sterling silver, or rose gold bracelet with words on it written in yours or a loved-ones' handwriting. A family cookbook to pass downUncommon GoodsMy Family Cookbook, available at Uncommon Goods, $30The My Family Cookbook is a sweet gift that will keep on giving. After having various family members add recipes, the book can become an heirloom gift that gets passed down to generations. A personalized children's bookAmazonGoodnight Little Me Personalized Book, available at Amazon, $39.99The Goodnight Little Me book is a sweet gift for new parents or your favorite kids. This custom bedtime book can be personalized with any child's name and includes gorgeous illustrations from the designer of the Harry Potter series' US covers. Check out our guide to the best gifts for new parents for more gift-giving ideas. A mug with handwritten wordsLittle Gem Girl/EtsyLoved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $29A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's.A floral paint-by-numbers kitUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy.A monogrammed notebookPapierScallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $26.99Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles.A set of low-maintenance plantsThe SillPlant Parent Set, available at The Sill, from $48Add some greenery into their space with this set of easy-to-care-for plants from The Sill. Choose from sets of three to seven plants that change seasonally.A fresh flower subscriptionFresh SendsThe Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $55Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.A calendar full of cherished personal photosArtifact UprisingPersonalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one.A book for your favorite astrology loverBirthdate Co.The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $115If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same.A cube of conversation-starting prompt cardsUncommon GoodsTable Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.A customized puzzleEtsyCustomizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $31.49Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.A video montage of and from their loved onesMontageA video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears.An astrology necklaceMejuriA necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $75If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold.A set of socks with their pet's face printed on themTribe SocksCustom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners.A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other dayStarry MapsCustom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $55Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas.An e-gift card to GoldbellyGoldbellyAn e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.A bottle of bourbon as unique as they areReservebarJefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever.An Airbnb gift cardYou could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences.AirbnbAn Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $50Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation. A custom map posterGrafomapCustom map poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination. A personalized photo bookSnapfish/Business InsiderPersonalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $12.99Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake. Expertly framed memoriesFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get.An engraved timepieceUncommon GoodsPersonalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless.A custom-made comic book telling your shared storyEtsyCustom comic book, available at Etsy, from $433.88If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print.A personalized letter necklaceAUrateMini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here.A framed quoteMintedPersonalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs.A family portrait that includes petsHappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates.A custom pet portraitCanvasPopCustom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $89If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet.A cute set of mugsUncommon GoodsPersonalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met. Turn meaningful audio into artEtsySoundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.Long-distance touch lampsUncommon GoodsSet of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $85Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite stateUncommon GoodsHand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints. A photo print of an important life momentUncommon GoodsIntersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design.Personalized wine labelsTopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.47Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep. The blueprint of a beloved ski resortUncommon GoodsSki resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.A bound book of love letters, curated from A-ZUncommon GoodsHow Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them. A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinksoflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business InsiderPersonalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $22.95Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting. A portable printerTargetPolaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app. A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memoriesUncommon Goods/Business InsiderCreate your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia.A custom watercolor of their wedding venueJustArtinAround/EtsyCustom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date. A candle that smells like homeUncommon GoodsHomesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer. A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipeUncommon GoodsFamily Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Feds: No Plea Deal Ahead Of Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

Feds: No Plea Deal Ahead Of Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Update (1557ET): Federal prosecutors say they aren't offering Ghislaine Maxwell a plea deal ahead of her sex-trafficking trial slated to begin next week. According to the NY Post, Judge Alison Nathan asked prosecutors as well as Maxwell's attorneys whether a plea deal had been offered, to which Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey - the daughter of former FBI chief James Comey - replied "None were communicated." Maxwell was in the courtroom Tuesday, exchanging greetings with her team of lawyers and occasionally sipping from a disposable coffee cup as her legal team hashed out trial logistics with the group of four prosecutors. Among the issues raised was that Maxwell’s attorneys have subpoenaed a lawyer who represents a victim in the case, identified in the indictment against Maxwell as “Minor Victim-4.” -NY Post Maxwell's attorneys, meanwhile, have been ordered to submit briefs over the potential witness, who she allegedly met when the victim was 14-years-old. *  *  * Jeffrey Epstein's highest-profile accuser, who says the convicted pedophile peddled him to Prince Andrew, will not be included in the trial of longtime Epstein companion and accused accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, according to AP News. U.S. prosecutors chose not to bring charges in connection with Virginia Giuffre, who says Epstein and Maxwell flew her around the world when she was 17 and 18 for sexual encounters with billionaires, politicians, royals and heads of state. She isn’t expected to be called as a witness in Maxwell’s trial, either. -AP Instead, prosecutors will focus on four other women who say Maxwell recruited them as teenagers for Epstein and his associates to sexually abuse - however none of them have alleged the type of abuse by high-profile international figures that Guiffre has. In other words, the one witness who can connect the dots between Epstein, the Clintons, Prince Andrew and others won't be making an appearance. But is there a good reason? Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre According to the report, prosecutors may have chosen to exclude Giuffre because she has changed her statements multiple times over the years, including falsely stating that she was 15 when Epstein began to abuse her, when she was in fact 17. AP suggests that prosecutors may have wanted to avoid Maxwell calling Giuffre's alleged abusers to testify, as they have spent years attacking her credibility. Besides Andrew, Giuffre has said she was sexually trafficked to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, the noted lawyer Alan Dershowitz, the French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel and the billionaire Glenn Dubin, among others. All have said her accounts are fabricated. -AP "There is no reason to give the defense anything to work with that can sow the seeds of reasonable doubt," said former federal prosecutor David Weinstein, who is not involved in the case. Giuffre has stood by her allegations, and has "repeatedly shown a willingness to go into civil court to prove them, sitting in depositions and assembling a legal team that includes one of America’s most influential lawyers, David Boies," per AP. What's more, Giuffre's account of spending time with Andrew was corroborated by another Epstein accuser, Johanna Sjoberg, who described an evening socializing with Maxwell, Giuffre, Epstein and Prince Andrew - who allegedly groped her breast while they posed for a photo with a puppet made of him for a television show. In 2019, she told Dateline NBC that inconsistencies in her recollection were innocent mistakes while trying to remember traumatic events which happened years ago. "When you are abused, you know your abuser," she said. "I might not have my dates right. I might not have my times right ... but I know their faces and I know what they’ve done to me." Epstein's sexual habits were exposed in 2005 when he was arrested in Florida for paying a 14-year-old girl for sex. Police identified underage girls who were paid to perform sex acts, but in 2008 the investigation was cut short. Prosecutors allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a charge of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. He served 13 months in jail. Dozens of women sued Epstein, but Giuffre’s 2009 lawsuit was different. In it, she said Epstein pressured her into having sex with numerous men “including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and/or professional and personal acquaintances.” -AP Giuffre also joined a 2014 lawsuit brought by other Epstein accusers - and began identifying alleged abusers who she had previously accused anonymously. It was also the first time she accused Prince Andrew - saying she had sex with him three times, in London during her 2001 trip, at Epstein’s New York mansion when she was 17 and in the Virgin Islands when she was 18. She accused Maxwell of facilitating the encounters as a "madam." Meanwhile, Epstein isn't the first high-profile pedo associated with the Royal family. Prince Charles, Jimmy Savile Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 15:57.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Tech billionaire whose ex-staff allege he kept a "harem" of women and schemed to kill his critics accuses the New York Post of defamation

Former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen has been accused of sexual misconduct and a murder plot. Goguen says the claims are "ridiculous and defamatory." Musician Won-G, Mike Goguen, and Andrew South arrive at The Grossman Burn Foundation's "Art Of Humanity" Gala at SLS Hotel on October 8, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.Michael Kovac/FilmMagic Michael Goguen is accusing the New York Post of defamation after the tabloid reported on a lawsuit filed against him. The tech billionaire was a former partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Goguen says allegations that he recruited women for sex and threatened to have those who would expose him killed are "ridiculous and defamatory." Tech billionaire Michael Goguen is accusing the New York Post of defamation after the newspaper ran a story about a lawsuit that alleges Goguen used his fortune to run an illegal enterprise that recruits, transports, and pays off women for sex. Insider has viewed a copy of a letter that a representative for Goguen sent to the Post, which reported on the lawsuit Saturday in an article by staffer Isabel Vincent."Ms. Vincent and the Post either knew the statements in the article were false, or acted with a reckless disregard as to their truth," reads the letter from Bruce E. Van Dalsem, an attorney representing Goguen.Goguen's attorneys sought to dismiss the lawsuit, which was first filed in February, in June, claiming the plaintiffs didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit and failed to describe a pattern of illegal activity.Four ex-employees of Goguen's — Matthew Marshall, John Maguire, Keegan Bonnet, and Anthony Aguilar — filed a significantly amended version of the lawsuit in September. In it, they allege that the 57-year-old billionaire used his wealth and influence to run a sex trafficking operation in Whitefish, Montana, a town of just over 7,700 nestled in the Rocky Mountains.According to the amended complaint, Goguen had an "extramarital sex life involving tens of women at any given time, which Goguen referred to as 'the harem,'" and made Marshall his fixer. Goguen frequently sent Marshall graphic photos and descriptions of his sexual encounters, and showed him a spreadsheet of around 5,000 women he had sex with, the lawsuit alleges.The billionaire paid women to "have sex with him, to perform other deviant sexual acts with him," and had sex with one acquaintance's wife and 16-year-old babysitter, the lawsuit alleges. When people who learned of Goguen's lifestyle threatened to expose it, the lawsuit alleges he tried to have them killed.But Goguen alleges Marshall may have an ulterior motive for throwing accusations his way. According to a November 5 article from the Flathead Beacon, Marshall struck a deal to plead guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and defrauding Goguen. Marshall is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2022.In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson for Goguen accused Marshall of filing the lawsuit in the hope that it would help him with his criminal case, prior to his plea deal. Goguen's attorneys said in the letter sent to the Post that the other plaintiffs are Marshall's former partner, a cousin, and a man who participated in an alleged money laundering scheme with Marshall. In a separate statement to the Post, Goguen called the claims "ridiculous and defamatory," noting that Marshall was a "recently convicted felon" seeking "to cause my family and I as much damage as possible before his upcoming sentencing.""It's hard to believe that we're at a time in society when disgusting nonsense like this — crafted from the evil and twisted imaginations of a convicted felon to openly and publicly retaliate against his victim — is given the same weight by the media as the fact and evidence-based conclusions reached by the FBI and the criminal justice system," Goguen said.An attorney for the Post didn't respond to Insider's request for comment on Monday.Goguen tasked his head of security with paying off women, the lawsuit alleges Marshall, an alumnus of the State Department, began working for Goguen in 2013 to oversee private security operations.Over time, the lawsuit claims, Goguen made Marshall his right-hand man by installing him as vice president or a trustee of various legal entities.Goguen also tasked Marshall with paying off women and property expenses so that his then-wife wouldn't find out about his affairs, the lawsuit alleges."At Goguen's direction, Marshall was being asked to purchase, out of his personal accounts, vehicles, jewelry, earnest money deposits on properties, and to provide cash or other items for Goguen's mistresses, or as hush-money payoffs," the lawsuit alleges.Goguen also asked Marshall to take care of the women in his "harem" in other ways, according to the amended complaint.On one occasion, Goguen asked Marshall to fly to Africa to help out two Playboy Playmates on a safari who said they lost their passports, the lawsuit alleges. Marshall declined to fly there, the complaint continues, but used local contacts to help the women out.Paying and transporting the women to and from Goguen's properties in the Whitefish area amounted to sex-trafficking, the lawsuit alleges. "Goguen would traffic and pay for his harem of women to have sex with him, or to birth illegitimate children with him, often by purchasing for them through means of interstate commerce, cars, houses, and by giving cash or other items of value for these women to be a part of the Goguen Sexual Scheme," the lawsuit says.Goguen is also accused of asking his security chief to kill people who confronted himOn several occasions, Goguen suggested or instructed that Marshall kill people who confronted him or otherwise threatened to expose his lifestyle, the lawsuit alleges.The first time, according to the complaint, was after Goguen slept with a friend's wife and 16-year-old babysitter. Goguen paid for the friend's wife's legal expenses, which the lawsuit claims made the ensuing divorce "longer and more expensive than it would have been otherwise."He also paid for a security team to track the friend's whereabouts and harass him and his children, the lawsuit alleges.Goguen is accused of amassing land and power in Whitefish, Montana.George Rose/Getty ImagesThe lawsuit alleges that on September 19, 2014, Goguen sent Marshall a message through the encrypted messaging app Wickr, under the alias batman234, where he complains Marshall's efforts hadn't gone far enough."[REDACTED] has pushed me too far and his occasional reminders he might help blow the lid off my personal life requires an extreme response," the message quoted in the lawsuit says. "The cyber route isn't having the impact on him that I was hoping to achieve. Buddy, he's [REDACTED] with my life, career, etc. and the potential for me being destroyed if he gets traction with the authorities or press is significant. This requires an extreme response."Goguen then suggested killing the friend, the lawsuit alleges."He will [REDACTED] destroy the 'bigger picture' for us if he's not stopped. He needs to be killed," the message included in the lawsuit says. "I know that's a VERY big ask but we are in defcon 5. We can discuss details in person but we do NOT have conversations about this on our cell phones. Wickr only…"Goguen then sent Marshall three of the friend's addresses and told him "that last one is up in Lake Tahoe, which is a lot less populated than his other loc," the lawsuit alleges. He also wanted Marshall to target the friend's phones "for cyber crimes," according to the complaint."Marshall did not follow through on Goguen's solicitation to have [the friend] hacked or murdered at 'a lot less populated' location," according to the complaint. "Marshall explained to Goguen that it 'doesn't work this way' and sought to dissuade Goguen from going to extreme measures against his enemies."The lawsuit further alleges that, on one occasion in 2015, Goguen asked Marshall to execute a man whose girlfriend Goguen slept with and who threatened to reveal aspects of the billionaire's lifestyle to his then-wife. And on another occasion later that year, after a hacker Goguen hired refused to surveil and harass his enemies and threatened to call law enforcement, Goguen directed Marshall to "gun him down," according to the complaint.The lawsuit alleges that Goguen used his Silicon Valley fortune to traffic women in WhitefishGoguen is worth around $5 billion, according to The New York Post. The billionaire seemingly accrued his fortune working at Sequoia Capital, a top technology-focused venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California. In 2012, Goguen told the Flathead Beacon that he'd been part of the Sequoia Capital team that decided to make early investments in tech giants like Google, Yahoo, and YouTube. A 2014 profile from Forbes lists Goguen as one of the top partners at Sequoia. He began using some of that money to make a splash in Whitefish and the surrounding region. The Flathead Beacon reported that Goguen had spent "$10 million in personal funds" to help the region establish a "state trust land plan" resulting in the Whitefish Trail; furnished law enforcement with "state-of-the-art helicopters;" and poured money into local philanthropic causes. Goguen said he was just giving back to the community."I view coming up here as a relief valve," he told the Flathead Beacon. "It's a wonderful counterbalance to my day job."Representatives for the city of Whitefish didn't respond to Insider's request for comment on Monday. According to the lawsuit, Goguen's vast 3,200-acre estate outside Whitefish includes a 75,000 square-foot house; another 10,000 square-foot lake house; other houses for family members and staff; and a 25,000 square-foot underground bunker designed to withstand nuclear blasts. The lawsuit also alleges Goguen owned "safe houses" in the area where he conducted extramarital affairs with women, including ones he trafficked.In the lawsuit, Marshall alleges that Goguen poached him from his job at the US State Department, and that the two men founded the Amyntor Group, a private security business. Marshall's co-plaintiffs, Aguilar, Bonnet, and Maguire, were recruited to work for Amyntor. The lawsuit alleges that when their work relationship soured, Goguen conspired to "falsely accuse Marshall of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion to the FBI and IRS." This isn't the first time that Goguen's sex life and financial dealings have come under scrutiny. In 2016, the billionaire's former mistress, Amber Laurel Baptiste, accused Goguen in a lawsuit of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as human trafficking. According to the recent lawsuit against Goguen, the billionaire had at one point suggested Marshall kill Baptiste as well.Baptiste ultimately lost her lawsuit and was ordered to pay more than $10 million to Goguen, as well as abide by a restraining order. A spokesperson for Goguen said in a statement to Insider that Baptiste is the only person to accuse Goguen of misconduct.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021

A gun church that glorifies the AR-15 and is led by the son of the "Moonies" church founder has been making alliances with far-right figures

"This is a powder keg," Steven Hassan, a former Moonie, told Insider. "When you combine fanatics with people who own a gun factory, I'm very worried." Pastor Sean Moon (L), followers of his Sanctuary Church (R). Bryan Anselm/Getty Images (L), Don Emmert/Getty Images (R). The Rod of Iron Ministries is a far-right church founded by the son of accused Moonies cult leader. They worship carrying AR-15s. Earlier this month, an event held by the church featured top MAGA speakers, including Steve Bannon and Dana Loesch. Sources told Insider that the gun-centric church could be training for an impending civil war with the "deep state." Wearing his signature crown of gleaming bullets and with a gold AR-15 often strapped to his chest, the 42-year-old Pastor Sean Moon is a bizarre religious leader. Sean Moon is the founder of the Pennsylvania-based The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church, also known as the Rod of Iron Ministries. He is the son of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed Messiah who founded the controversial Unification Church, widely described as a cult. (Its followers are the so-called Moonies.)On October 9, Moon took to the stage at his church's annual "Freedom Festival," which brought together a medley of far-right figures and gun enthusiasts at the Kahr Arms headquarters in Greeley, Pennsylvania.During his keynote speech, Moon warned the crowd, in a video seen by Insider, that a coalition of far-right bogeymen, including big tech companies, George Soros and Bill Gates, aimed to "utterly kill America and eradicate freedom from the face of the earth.""If the torch of liberty is snuffed out in America, the world will enter a kingdom of hell on earth," he said.The event also laid bare Moon's relationship with top MAGA figures. Other high-profile figures advertised to speak were former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who called in on a crackly phone line, and former NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch.The founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson was billed as MC for the event's music festival and awards ceremony. The speeches primarily revolved around popular right-wing talking points; false claims about the 2020 election was rigged, anti-vaxx commentary, fervent warnings about a nefarious deep state plotting to take away American liberties.The younger Moon established the offshoot Sanctuary Church in 2013 following a dispute with his mother over who should assume leadership of the Unification Church following his father's death.He established the new church with the support of his older brother, Kook Jin "Justin" Moon, the owner of gun manufacturing company Kahr Arms.Although Sean Moon's church is reported to only a few hundred followers (many of whom are former members of his father's church), he has widened his base by forming alliances with prominent far-right figures in the US. The group's annual Freedom Festival attracts thousands of attendees every year, according to local news reports.Sources told Insider that the group's anti-government rhetoric coupled with their zealous, gun-toting following could be a recipe for disaster."This is a powder keg," Steven Hassan, a former Moonie, and author of several books about mind control told Insider. "When you combine fanatics with people who own a gun factory, I'm very worried."MAGA politics, guns, and impending civil warThe Rod of Iron Ministries bears many similarities to the original church, but its politics and teachings are more radical.Moon is a devoted supporter of former President Donald Trump and attended the Capitol insurrection on January 6, which he recorded on Instagram. A post shared by Hyungjin Moon (@rodofironministries) The new church has also incorporated guns heavily into their religious ceremonies. Their name, Rod of Iron Ministries, is a reference to the AR-15 itself.Sean Moon, who studied theology at Harvard, has often said he was inspired after reading a passage in the Book of Revelation, which referred to Jesus using a "rod of iron" to protect God's Kingdom, which Moon interpreted to be a gun. Reverend Hyung Jin Moon, the church's pastor and the son of the late Sun Myung Moon, participates in a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018. Spencer Platt/Getty Images The church first gained notoriety in 2018 when they held a blessing ceremony in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, shortly after the Parkland school shooting, for married couples who were carrying AR-15s. Armed church officials looked on while clad in fuschia and pink robes.The Moon brothers are staunch defenders of Second Amendment rights, and the group offers firearms and paramilitary-style training for "patriots" across its various properties. In his sermons, which he calls "The King's Report" and live-streams on platforms like Rumble and Twitch, Sean Moon often implores his followers to prepare for impending civil war with the "deep state.""The internationalist Marxist globalists are trying to start a civil war here so that they can bring in the U.N. troops and Chi-Com Chinese military to come in and destroy and kill all gun owners, Christians, and any opposition, i.e., Trump supporters," Moon said in a sermon earlier this year.The church offers courses on gun use and other paramilitary-style training as part of their armed Peace Police Peace Militia. Moon claims that the activity is purely for self-defense purposes.The church has been expanding, this year purchasing several large properties around the country. They bought a 130-acre property in Tennessee this month, Vice News discovered, intending to build training centers and a divinity school.The new property will serve as a spiritual retreat and will train future MAGA politicians, the outlet reported.It adds to the 40-acre compound the group already has in Texas, known as "Liberty Rock," which is described as a safe haven for "patriots" fearing imminent war with the deep state.In his sermons, Sean Moon frequently invokes fire-and-brimstone imagery, warning his followers of an impending war against "political Satanism.""Our True Father [Rev. Moon] taught us to vigorously protect God's gift of liberty, always to be willing to die to fight communism, socialism, which he defined as political Satanism," Sean Moon said in his keynote speech.Thomas Lecaque, an associate professor of history at Grand View University with an interest in apocalypticism, told Insider that apocalyptic rhetoric had become mainstream among Trump supporters.Apocalyptic imagery raises the stakes, Lecaque explained, turning political differences into an existential battle between good and evil.'Politics makes for strange bedfellows' Descending from the so-called "Messiah," Sean Moon has big shoes to fill. He echoes many of his father's teachings and calls himself the "Second King."The controversial Unification Church gained notoriety for arranging mass weddings between strangers. Many former members have since made allegations of brainwashing and abuse. Thousands of couples take part in a mass wedding ceremony organized by the Unification Church in 2013. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Reverend Moon also built a thriving business empire, including founding the right-wing newspaper The Washington Times newspaper, which the Unification Church still owns. His power and influence led to him befriending several Republican presidents, including R​​onald Reagan and George W. Bush. At its height, the church claimed to have millions of followers worldwide, although it is believed to be significantly smaller today.Earlier this year, former President Donald Trump spoke at an event in praise of the church on the anniversary of 9/11.The Moonies' links to the political establishment and Christian conservatives defy Reverend Moon's controversial teachings.Reverend Moon claimed that Jesus failed in his mission on earth, did not live long enough to produce children, and that he had selected Moon to finish his work and become the "True Father" of all humanity."For a lot of Christians, this is more than heretical. It's profoundly offensive," Frederick Clarkson, a senior research analyst at think tank Political Research Associates, told Insider.Clarkson said that conservatives have historically been willing to overlook the church's more unorthodox views because of the influence of the Moon organization- and that the same applies to Sean Moon and his congregation.Like their father, Sean and Justin Moon continue to rub shoulders with high-profile political figures, including the Trumps.Eric Trump attended the grand opening of Justin Moon's gun shop in 2016, and Donald Trump Jr. has also attended its events. "Sean Moon may look crazy, but on the other hand, he's one face of a big wealthy complex international, political and financial and industrial empire," Clarkson said.Clarkson said that many who attended this year's Freedom Festival are people who "operate within the milieu of anti-governmentists.""Politics makes for strange bedfellows," Clarkson said. "The old aphorisms apply- the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If you see a creeping, tyrannical federal government that's going to snuff out your religious freedom, you're going to be looking for some friends and hopefully, they have guns," he said.Stoking the flamesObservers worry that the group could be preparing for armed stand-offs with the government. The Rod of Iron Freedom Festival 2021: A man holding an automatic rifle poses in front of a Three Percenter flag, which is a far-right anti-government militia movement. Aimee Dilger/Getty Images Steven Hassan said that he was sleep-deprived and brainwashed during his time at the Unification Church and told by Reverend Moon to prepare for a looming armed conflict."I was trained in my mind as a Moonie leader to die on command and kill on command," Hassan said."Moon himself told us that democracy was Satanic, that a theocracy had to be put in place. We were told we need to infiltrate the government."Hassan said that from what he can see, the Moonie splinter cults, including the Rod of Iron Ministries, are "very much still carrying on the modus operandi of what I knew as the cult.""They apparently are training for armed conflict in the streets," Steven Hassan said. "It's very concerning."Thomas Lecaque takes a more nuanced view, arguing that Sean Moon knows better than to attempt any armed uprising."Sean Moon does not strike me as someone who wants to either end up in jail or dead," Lecaque said.A more likely prospect is that the church's anti-government, apocalyptic rhetoric could radicalize individuals who are already prone to conspiratorial thinking, said Lecaque."The thing I find dangerous about groups like Rod of Iron is the normalization of this kind of rhetoric and ideology," he said. "It could then spread beyond the actual organized group of this church and give other people a religious, cultural, intellectual scaffolding to engage in violence they want to engage in."It's a legitimate concern. Far-right domestic terrorism has significantly outpaced other types of terrorism in the US in recent years, according to a report by The Center of Strategic and International Studies.One of the main sources of far-right terrorism is anti-government extremists, who view the government as corrupt and a threat to freedom and rights, the report said.Family feudSean Moon and his mother, Hak Ja Han, are embroiled in a court case over the leadership of the Unification Church and its associated businesses.Moon does not mince his words about his mother- he now frequently refers to her as the "Whore of Babylon."Neither the Sanctuary Church nor the Unification Church responded to Insider's request for comment, but representatives for the Unification Church have previously said they have nothing to do with the breakaway church.Former church members who have spent time with the Moons describe the family dynamics are complicated. Reverend Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han at a blessing ceremony in 1998. Jeff Christensen/Getty Images Reverend Moon was accused by former church members of sexual abuse, which he denied. The wife of the eldest Moon son, Hyo Jin, wrote a tell-all book called "In the Shadow of the Moons" about the abuse she faced at the hands of her supposed drug-addict husband. Another Moon son died by suicide.Teddy Hose, who grew up in the Unification Church before deciding to leave as a young adult, told Insider that he was not surprised to see the "narcissistic" Sean Moon starting his own congregation.When they were children, Hose said Sean Moon had a reputation for being a bully."He would lock kids in closets until they cried. He would make them fight each other for his own entertainment," Hose said."He was just a total bully. Parents had to let him get away with it because he was seen as spiritual royalty." Hose says that it's important to view Sean Moon in the context of the Moon family and their legacy."I think a lot of us could see this coming because they're just all toxic, power-hungry people, and they're doing what they do to sustain themselves," Hose said. "It's just a lot of delusional power, backed by a lot of money and businesses."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 30th, 2021

41 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved

Thoughtful mementos are especially impactful right now. Here are 41 sentimental gifts that'll make your loved ones feel valued and appreciated. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From customized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you're looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 41 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 41 sentimental gift ideas: A set of socks with their pet's face printed on them Tribe Socks Custom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners. A personalized children's book Amazon Goodnight Little Me Personalized Book, available at Amazon, $39.99The Goodnight Little Me book is a sweet gift for new parents or your favorite kids. This custom bedtime book can be personalized with any child's name and includes gorgeous illustrations from the designer of the Harry Potter series' US covers. Check out our guide to the best gifts for new parents for more gift-giving ideas.  A mug with handwritten words Little Gem Girl/Etsy Loved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $22.40A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's. A floral paint-by-numbers kit Uncommon Goods Birth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy. A monogrammed notebook Papier Scallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $26.99Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles. A set of low-maintenance plants The Sill Plant Parent Set, available at The Sill, from $48Add some greenery into their space with this set of easy-to-care-for plants from The Sill. Choose from sets of three to seven plants that change seasonally. A fresh flower subscription Fresh Sends The Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $55Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time. A calendar full of cherished personal photos Artifact Uprising Personalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one. A book for your favorite astrology lover Birthdate Co. The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $95If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart. One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same. A cube of conversation-starting prompt cards Uncommon Goods Table Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better. A customized puzzle Etsy Customizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $34.99Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet. A video montage of and from their loved ones Montage A video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears. An astrology necklace Mejuri A necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $90If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold. A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other day Starry Maps Custom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $49Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas. An e-gift card to Goldbelly Goldbelly An e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly. A bottle of bourbon as unique as they are Reservebar Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79 (custom engraving included)If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever. An Airbnb gift card You could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences. Airbnb An Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $25 Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation.  A custom map poster Grafomap Custom map poster, available at Grafomap, $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination.  A personalized photo book Snapfish/Business Insider Personalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $13Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake.  Expertly framed memories Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get. An engraved timepiece Uncommon Goods Personalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless. A custom-made comic book telling your shared story Etsy Custom comic book, available at Etsy, from $443.12If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print. A personalized letter necklace AUrate Mini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here. A framed quote Minted Personalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs. A family portrait that includes pets HappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business Insider Custom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates. A custom pet portrait CanvasPop Custom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $79If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet. A cute set of mugs Uncommon Goods Personalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met.  Turn meaningful audio into art Etsy Soundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one. Long-distance touch lamps Uncommon Goods Set of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, $85-$170Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents. 90 tiny messages in a bottle Amazon/Business Insider Infmetry 90 Pcs Capsule "Message in a Bottle" Letters, available at Amazon, $12.99Write 90 tiny personal messages to a loved one and stuff them inside these cute capsules for easy, daily reminders of love — none of which you have to remember to send every morning. Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite state Uncommon Goods Hand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints.  A photo print of an important life moment Uncommon Goods Intersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design. Personalized wine labels TopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business Insider Custom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.56Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep.  The blueprint of a beloved ski resort Uncommon Goods Ski resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area. A bound book of love letters, curated from A-Z Uncommon Goods How Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them.  A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinks oflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business Insider Personalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $23.43Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting.  A portable printer Target Polaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app.  A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memories Uncommon Goods/Business Insider Create your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia. A custom watercolor of their wedding venue JustArtinAround/Etsy Custom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date.  A candle that smells like home Uncommon Goods Homesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer.  A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipe Uncommon Goods Family Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

51 Christmas gifts for mom that cost $50 or less

You don't need to blow your budget to get Mom something she'll truly appreciate. We did the research and found 51 Christmas gifts for mom under $50. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Book of the Month Instagram With all she does for you, Mom deserves to be treated to something nice. You don't have to spend a lot to make her feel special. We found plenty of Christmas gifts for mom that all come in under $50. Check out more great gift ideas for her here. She's your confidante, rock, mentor, and built-in best friend. She's been there through it all, and now she deserves something special. But coming up with gift ideas for Mom can be one of the hardest tasks. After all, what do you give someone who literally gave you life?The good news is that the perfect gift for mom is out there, and, best of all, it doesn't have to break the bank to be special. When it comes to Christmas gifts for mom, whether you want to go with something big or small, thoughtfulness is key. That's why we scoured the web and collected unique gifts that show your mom you care, all for under $50.Pick a gift that embraces nostalgia, mom's favorite hobbies, or some quality time with you - whatever you give, Mom will love it. Keep reading for 51 Christmas gifts for Mom under $50: A sweet floral tea set for one Anthropologie Annie Tea-For-One-Set, available at Anthropologie, $38A sip from this adorable floral print teapot is as enjoyable as it is soothing. The stackable teapot lets you savor each taste for longer with the teapot included with a teacup. A cozy robe to keep warm Target Stars Above Cozy Plush Robe, available at Target, $30There's no better sleepwear to relax in than this plush, velvet robe for the breezy evenings or mornings. This cozy polyester robe brings extreme comfort and warmth whether you're layering or covering up. A personalized video message from her favorite celebrity Cameo Personalized video message, starting at $1, available at CameoWhen trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from. Whether it's for her birthday, Mother's Day, or a different milestone, there's something for everyone on Cameo, with prices as low as $1. You can get Jay Jackson from "Parks and Recreation" or James Cosmo from "Game of Thrones," each for $50 or less. Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo. A meal from mom's favorite restaurant Goldbelly Goldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $25Though dining out at restaurants is harder right now due to COVID-19, you can still treat mom to her favorite restaurant foods delivered right to her door. From lobster rolls to bagels, Goldbelly ships food gifts from famous eateries nationwide.  A dainty jewelry holder Catbird Catbird Swan Ring Holder, $32, available at CatbirdThis dainty piece of decor is as pretty as it is practical. It can hold rings, necklaces, and any other small trinkets.  A cool, minimalist puzzle Food52 Areaware Gradient Puzzle, $35, available at Food52This 1,000-piece puzzle has an aesthetically pleasing gradient pattern that's nice to look at, but hard to put together. If mom loves a challenge, she'll enjoy trying to get this one right.  A luxe body lotion Nécessaire Nécessaire The Body Lotion, $25, available at NordstromWe love this super hydrating, skin-smoothing body lotion. It's filled with nourishing, clean ingredients that will keep dry skin at bay. The sleek packaging and skin-soothing formula are sure to upgrade her post-shower routine.  A streaming stick to up mom's binge-watching experience Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Amazon, $39Upgrade mom's next Netflix marathon without needing to splurge on a new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick + features 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a small but mighty package. A cute set of washcloths that'll hide stains Weezie Makeup Towels (Pair), $40, available at WeezieThese gentle and fluffy towels were made to help her wash off the day's makeup with ease, and the dark navy color hides stains. Choose from three different embroidery options, all of which are adorable. A box filled with Japanese treats Bokksu Bokksu Classic Gift Box, from $39.95, available at BokksuShe may not be able to travel the world, but a Bokksu Box can give Mom a fun cultural experience from the comfort of her own kitchen. The classic gift box is filled with a selection of 20-25 unique Japanese snacks, sourced directly from family-run businesses in Japan, so she can get a little more adventurous at snack time.  A high-end manicure mom can give herself Amazon The Starter Set, $28, available at Olive & JuneFor many of us, achieving a salon-quality manicure at home feels impossible. Olive & June is trying to change that. The Poppy is an innovative bottle handle that makes it easy to apply your polish smoothly and evenly. This set has everything Mom needs for an easy, at-home mani: The Poppy, a top coat, and a bottle of Olive & June polish in a sheer shade.  An organic facial steam Amazon Belier Handmade Organic Facial Steam, $12, available at EtsyWhen there's no time for a trip to the spa, this facial steam will upgrade her typical skincare routine. All she has to do is boil some water, steep the dried leaves, and hold her face over the steaming herbs — it'll enhance blood flow and open her pores, so her skin will easily absorb whatever product she puts on next.  A book subscription service for an exciting new read every month Book of the Month Instagram Book of the Month Membership, starting at $49.99 for 3 monthsIf she's always asking you for new book recommendations, she's going to love this service that curates great books and sends them to subscribers once a month. Each monthly delivery will be an exciting surprise as she discovers a new read she might not have found otherwise. Our editor tried the service herself and loved it. Refreshing and decadent bubble bath L'Occitane L'Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath, $39, available at SephoraA little luxury goes a long way. Aid your mom in getting some true relaxation with this rich bubble bath made with fresh, calming lavender.  A fancy bottle of olive oil Brightland Alive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37A bottle of high-quality olive oil is the perfect gift for any mom who enjoys cooking, or just eating great food. Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, and she'll appreciate the beautiful bottle.  A Disney+ subscription Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Subscribe to Disney+, $6.99/month or $69.99/year, available at Disney+Give Mom unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. She'll have more than enough great content for movie marathons at home. Learn everything there is to know about Disney+ over here. And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream. Flavor-infused cubes for mom's next brunch Uncommon Goods Minute Mimosa Sugar Cube Trio, $30, available at Uncommon GoodsMom will love these flavor-infused cubes that turn any glass of champagne into an elevated mimosa or bellini. To take it to the next level, add a bottle of bubbly to your gift. A practical and chic multipurpose pouch Nordstrom Rack Madewell Leather Pouch Clutch, $49.50, available at MadewellA bag that multitasks as well as she does makes for a great gift. This pouch will keep her little things organized in her purse during the day but can pull double-duty as a clutch come nighttime.  Tea with some extra love Uncommon Goods Heart-Shaped Tea Bags, $30, available at Uncommon GoodsThis gift for mom lets her enjoy a good cuppa while also showing her some extra love. Each set contains five English Breakfast, five Earl Grey, and five White Berry teabags.   A smart speaker mom will get a kick out of talking to Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen), $49.99, available at Best BuyWhether she's a smart home wizard or completely inept at tech, Mom will love this smart speaker that she can control with her own voice.  A T-shirt that shows off her values Everlane 100% Human Tees, $25, available at EverlaneGive mom a shirt she can feel good about wearing. When you buy a tee from this collection, Everlane will make a donation to the ACLU — an organization promoting equal rights for all. A heart-shaped succulent The Sill Hoya Heart Plant, $32, available at The SillBring some life to their space with this adorable heart-shaped succulent. With little attention needed, it's a great gift for amateur plant parents and experienced ones alike. A silk eye mask for when mom really needs some sleep Ahalife Silk Sleep Eye Mask, $50, available at SephoraMom seriously deserves some quality sleep. Make it a little easier for her to get it with this comfortable, silky smooth eye mask. A map that reminds mom of her favorite place Grafomap Custom Map, starting at $49, available at GrafomapSome things just breed nostalgia. Grafomap will make a custom map of a location of your choice — you can even add personalized labels. Choose the place she grew up, a place where you have fond memories together, or a family favorite vacation spot. It's a great piece of home decor that means something to her, too.  Textured planters that mom can fill with her favorite plants CB2 3-Piece White Loom Planter Set, $12.99, available at CB2After all those years taking care of you, caring for her plants is nothing. These planters, which can stay indoors or outdoors, are a pretty and practical way to hold some greenery.  A set of soaps that smell like a bouquet of fresh flowers Uncommon Goods Box of Flowers Soaps, $30, available at Uncommon GoodsThere's something so wonderful about the smell of fresh flowers. That mood-lifting smell, combined with all-natural, soothing ingredients, make these soaps a unique and welcomed addition to her bathroom.  A framed photo she’ll always cherish Framebridge The Aiden Frame, $39, available at FramebridgeNothing can compare to a gift that she can keep hung up forever as a reminder of the great memories you've shared together — that's what makes this framed photo so special. A candle that smells like mom's favorite place Amazon Homesick Candles, from $34, available at HomesickTake her back to her favorite place with these nostalgia-inducing candles. Whether it's the scents of spring in New York City like flowers, concrete, and fine department store fragrances, or the salty seaweed, morning coffee, and ocean air of the beach cottage she frequented as a child — these Homesick candles are sure to bring back fond memories. A cookbook from a home cook icon Amazon "Cook Like a Pro" by Ina Garten, $17.46, available at AmazonIna Garten, the icon of home cooks everywhere, just released a new cookbook — and you know your mom will want to add this one to her shelf. With new recipes and techniques, you might even get to benefit from what she learns with a delicious meal.   A set of wines she’s probably never tried before Wine.com Italian Wine Gift Set, $39.99, available at Wine.comIf she loves to try new wines, make it easy with this trio of three Italian varietals. It's no trip to Tuscany, but it still tastes pretty darn good.  A personalized T-shirt she’ll love to show off Known Supply Personalized Women's Fitted Crew, $32 + $10 for customization, available at Known SupplyMom, Mommy, Mama — whatever you call her, make it official with this personalized crew-neck T-shirt.  A vintage-looking indoor herb garden Uncommon Goods Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden, $22, available at Uncommon GoodsThese mason jar make growing fresh herbs easy. All she has to do is plant the seeds, add water, place the jars in a sunny spot, and let the herbs grow. It takes little effort on her part, but having fresh herbs will make all the difference in adding flavor to her favorite dishes. A mortar and pestle to up mom's guac game Crate & Barrel Molcajete 8-Inch, $34.95, available at Crate & BarrelMom's guac game just got a lot stronger with this molcajete. The mortar and pestle are made of volcanic stone to grind out everything to the perfect texture — so she can claim the title of best dip on the table.  A pair of plush slippers she can wear in and out of the house Pottery Barn Minnetonka Chesney Scuff Slippers, $49.95, available at ZapposLet her treat her feet right with these slippers. They're cozy and cute, so she'll love lounging in them all day long. A spiralizer that’ll help her get inventive with cooking vegetables Amazon Mueller Multi-Blade Spiralizer, $19.97, available at AmazonChances are, she was the one telling you to eat your vegetables growing up — but that doesn't mean you can't share the same sentiment for her with this spiralizer, which can grate, slice, spiralize, and shred her favorite vegetables for all different kinds of uses.  Adorable animals to hold her rings Wayfair Umbra Origami 3-Pack Ring Holder, $20, available at UmbraWhether she wants to show her rings off or make sure she doesn't lose them, these little animals do the trick. They look super cute as a piece of decor, but are undoubtedly practical. You could even pair these with a cute ring to start. A bath caddy with room for everything she might need Amazon Luxury Bathtub Caddy Tray, from $49.97, available at AmazonThe only thing that could make a bath more relaxing than some luxurious bubbles is this bathtub caddy. It can hold everything she needs — a device so she can watch her favorite show, a glass full of her favorite drink, and even a candle she can light for ambiance.  A fitting diffuser for the tastemaker of your house Snowe Tastemaker Diffuser, $40, available at SnoweWith scents of shiso leaf, wild mint, and meyer lemon, this diffuser will look and smell great anywhere in the house. A stylish water bottle that will become her go-to S'well S'well Stainless Steel Bottle, $35, available at AmazonWith a variety of shapes and sizes, S'well vacuum insulated water bottles do a great job of keeping all kinds of beverages hot (for 12 hours) or cold (for 24 hours). They come in a bunch of fun colors and patterns, which makes using a reusable water bottle a lot more fun.  A bouquet of fresh flowers to liven up her space The Bouqs Instagram Floral Bouquets, starting at $39, available at The BouqsThere's a reason flowers are a classic — bursting with color and lovely scents, they bring life to every space. The Bouqs is one of our favorite places to order flowers online for their wide variety of vibrant, fresh arrangements to choose from. A cozy throw she’ll love to cuddle up in Kohl's Madison Park Ruched Faux Fur Throw, $44.99, available at Kohl'sThis cozy throw is something she'll want to snuggle up with all winter long, and then some. It's not too heavy, so it's great for all times of year, but this super plush faux fur is just what she needs for your family movie marathons over the holidays. Bookends that also function as flower vases PortlandHomeGoods/Etsy Vase Bookends, $24.97, available at EtsyPretty and practical — what could be better? Mom will love keeping her favorite books sandwiched between these sturdy concrete vases which she can fill with her favorite flowers. A fun game that your whole family will crack up playing Amazon What Do You Meme?, $29.99, available at Target and WalmartShe might not even know what a meme is, but there's no doubt she'll be laughing for hours creating funny memes with this card game. It's perfect for a family game night, but if you family members who err on the much younger side, go for something a little more PG. A decorative way to repurpose her old wine corks Uncommon Goods Wine Cork States, $35, available at Uncommon GoodsShe insists on keeping the corks from some of her favorite wines, so give her somewhere to actually show them off. This state-shaped display board turns her keepsake wine corks into a piece of art worthy of being seen.  A dainty necklace with meaningful initials KESTJewelry/Etsy Custom Initial Necklace, starting at $27, available at EtsyWhether it's her own initials, you and your siblings' first names, or any other combinations of letters that matter to her — this necklace is a little but thoughtful way to keep those important to her close. A cool tote bag she'll use everyday Baggu Duck Bag, from $34, available at BagguFrom a grocery bag to a work bag, this canvas tote can do it all. It can fit a 15-inch laptop and has adjustable straps so she'll be comfortable carrying it around all day.  A subscription that lets her discover new beauty products Birchbox/Instagram Birchbox three month subscription gift, $45, available at BirchboxBirchbox is a subscription service that sends a box full of five makeup and skincare samples for her to use each month. It's easy to buy full-size versions on the site, in case she falls in love with any one product and wants more. Plus, it'll be exciting for her to receive the beauty surprises each month.  A convenient charging port for her most-used devices Amazon Elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, $26.99, available at AmazonShe has an iPad, Air Pods, and Apple Watch — it might seem like there's nothing else you could get your Apple-loving mom. This is a great gift for loyal Apple fans — it's a three-in-one charging hub that looks much nicer than an average extension cord, and it'll fit all of her devices perfectly.  A custom phone case made with a collage of family photos Casetify Custom Phone Case, starting at $45 (prices vary depending on your device), available at CasetifyThere's nothing she loves more than family, so let her show it off every day with a personalized phone case. Upload some of your favorite family photos to put on this super cute case — there are plenty of options for different layouts and cases for all kinds of smartphones. A customizable and challenging puzzle Uncommon Goods New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle, $49.95, available at Uncommon GoodsWork Mom's brain with this sentimental and interactive gift. Pick a special date (birthday, anniversary, etc.), and it'll be turned into a puzzle made of the actual front page of The New York Times from that day.  A chic mug to brighten up her morning routine Nordstrom Anthropologie Bistro Monogram Mug, $14, available at AnthropologieThis chic mug will instantly transport Mom to her favorite cafe, sipping on a cappuccino while trying to figure out how to rotate her camera as she's FaceTiming you. Choose the first letter of her name, or better yet, choose yours.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

MAGA supporters have raised $2 million for a jailed Marine. But the officer says he hates how Trump has divided the US.

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is in a military jail for slamming the withdrawal from Afghanistan on social media and he has criticized Trump and Biden. Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, shown here in an official Marine Corps photo. Marine Corp Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is in military jail for denouncing the US Government for their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pro-Trump individuals and organisations have shared their support for Scheller, including by raising over $2 million. However, Scheller has made his views on Trump very clear, saying he'd rather "rot in jail" than accept his support. See more stories on Insider's business page. The MAGA community has raised more than $2 million for a Marine officer who went viral for criticizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and saying he wanted to "bring the whole fucking system down," despite the fact he is anti-Trump. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a decorated battalion commander, is currently in military jail for violating military laws.After the news, the Pipe Hitter Foundation set up a fundraising platform for Scheller. The Foundation is run by former Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted in 2019 after posing with the dead body of an ISIS captive. Trump granted him clemency in November 2020. The appeal had raised more than $2,262,000 as of Sunday.Scheller has been celebrated as a hero across right-wing politics from the GOP to leading QAnon figures, according to David Gilbert, writing in Vice. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn have backed him and dozens of Republicans, led by Rep. Louie Gohmert, signed a letter calling for Scheller's release.-Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) September 30, 2021 However, Scheller has publically renounced any help from former President Trump or his followers, saying he would "rather sit in jail."He also said that Trump is responsible for "dividing our country."Writing on his Facebook page, he said: "President Trump. I was told by everyone to kiss the ring because of your following and power. I refuse. While I respect your foreign policy positions, I hate how you divided the country. "I don't need or want your help. You do not have the ability to pull US together. You may even win the next election. But your generation's time is running out. Tell your son to stop tweeting about me. Your whole family knows nothing about US or our sacrifices. I could never work with you."Scheller's comments also indicted the Biden administration and its military choices in Afghanistan. "Follow me, and we will bring the whole fucking system down… in a constitutional manner with one loud voice," he said on Facebook and LinkedIn, at the beginning of September. Scheller was thrown in a military prison without charge after defying orders to stop posting on social media, on Monday, according to the Military Times. Whilst the pro-Trump faction is turning a blind eye to Scheller's politics, some can't ignore his challenging comments. One Telegram user said: "Scheller is anti-Flynn and anti-Trump. think he's a Judas goat." according to Vice.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 3rd, 2021

MAGA supporters have raised $2 million for a jailed Marine. But the soldier says he hates how Trump has divided the US.

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is in a military jail for slamming the withdrawal from Afghanistan on social media and he has criticized Trump and Biden. Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, shown here in an official Marine Corps photo. Marine Corp Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is in military jail for denouncing the US Government for their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pro-Trump individuals and organisations have shared their support for Scheller, including by raising over $2 million. However, Scheller has made his views on Trump very clear, saying he'd rather "rot in jail" than accept his support. See more stories on Insider's business page. The MAGA community has raised more than $2 million for a Marine officer who went viral for criticizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and saying he wanted to "bring the whole fucking system down," despite the fact he is anti-Trump. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a decorated battalion commander, is currently in military jail for violating military laws.After the news, the Pipe Hitter Foundation set up a fundraising platform for Scheller. The Foundation is run by former Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted in 2019 after posing with the dead body of an ISIS captive. Trump granted him clemency in November 2020. The appeal had raised more than $2,262,000 as of Sunday.Scheller has been celebrated as a hero across right-wing politics from the GOP to leading QAnon figures, according to David Gilbert, writing in Vice. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn have backed him and dozens of Republicans, led by Rep. Louie Gohmert, signed a letter calling for Scheller's release.-Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) September 30, 2021 However, Scheller has publically renounced any help from former President Trump or his followers, saying he would "rather sit in jail."He also said that Trump is responsible for "dividing our country."Writing on his Facebook page, he said: "President Trump. I was told by everyone to kiss the ring because of your following and power. I refuse. While I respect your foreign policy positions, I hate how you divided the country. "I don't need or want your help. You do not have the ability to pull US together. You may even win the next election. But your generation's time is running out. Tell your son to stop tweeting about me. Your whole family knows nothing about US or our sacrifices. I could never work with you."Scheller's comments also indicted the Biden administration and its military choices in Afghanistan. "Follow me, and we will bring the whole fucking system down… in a constitutional manner with one loud voice," he said on Facebook and LinkedIn, at the beginning of September. Scheller was thrown in a military prison without charge after defying orders to stop posting on social media, on Monday, according to the Military Times. Whilst the pro-Trump faction is turning a blind eye to Scheller's politics, some can't ignore his challenging comments. One Telegram user said: "Scheller is anti-Flynn and anti-Trump. think he's a Judas goat." according to Vice.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 3rd, 2021

23 thoughtful yet inexpensive Father"s Day gifts for $25 or less

For Father's Day this year, you don't have to spend more than $25 to show your dad you're thinking of him and appreciate him. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.For Father's Day this year, you don't have to spend more than $25 to show your dad you're thinking of him and appreciate him.YETI/Harry'sYour parents might say to you every year that they don't need a gift for Mother's or Father's Day. Chances are, you still want to get them a gift for everything they do for you, even if it's something simple.For Father's Day this year, you don't have to spend more than $25 to show your dad you're thinking of him and appreciate all that he does. Fresh herbs he doesn't have to babysit, a gourmet hot sauce, and pampering grooming products are all gifts that he'll use all the time — that and won't break the bank. The 23 best Father's Day gifts under $25 in 2022:A curated coffee subscriptionBean BoxGift a Bean Box coffee subscription, starting at $16.50, available at Bean BoxBest for: Dads who get bored with the same coffee every dayChoose how often your dad will receive a fresh bag of whole bean coffee from this popular artisanal brand. A coffee-tasting subscription lets him discover four expertly curated coffees while the coffee bag subscription makes sure a cup of joe is never far from his cupboard.A movie-themed cookbookUncommon GoodsGift "Eat What You Watch" Cookbook, $25, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who love movies *and* cookingRemember the heavenly double-decker New York-style pizza from "Saturday Night Fever" or the blueberry pie in "Stand By Me?" Now, movie buff dads can flip through over 40 recipes inspired by their favorite iconic moments on the big screen. A low-key herb gardenUncommon Goods; Business InsiderGift the Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden, $24, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who sprinkle fresh herbs on everythingThese planters, which can grow popular herbs such as basil or mint, use a passive hydroponic system that makes it easy for him to maintain his mini garden. All he has to do is pick the seeds, plant them, put water in its reservoir, plop the jars near a sunny window, and the rest is magic.A non-fussy phone chargerAmazonGift the Anker Wireless Charging Stand, $15.99, available at AmazonBest for: Dads who appreciate convenienceWhen he uses this wireless charger, he can drop his phone (phone case and all) onto it and let it charge by touch.A set of dice to inspire easy workoutsUncommon GoodsGift Fitness Dice, $19, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who never skip a workoutAt-home workouts have never been more fun than with this fitness dice set. Every roll is one in 45,000 possible routines, without any equipment required. An upgrade to plastic takeout containersUncommon GoodsGift Handmade Noodle Bowl with Chopsticks, $25, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who love takeout (but not the packaging)Ditch the plastic or paper takeout containers and serve food in this handmade bowl. The glazed bowl and chopstick set will be Dad's new go-to when he prepares his favorite noodle, soup, and rice dishes. A Wi-Fi range extender to prevent any pesky service disruptionsAmazonGift the TP-Link AC750 WiFi Range Extender, $24.99, available at AmazonBest for: Dads who hate Wi-Fi outagesWi-Fi signals sometimes fail to reach every corner of your home, and if the whole family is at home, that can be frustrating and challenging. The TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender can plug into most common outlets to cover up to 1,500 square feet in Dad's home. After he hits the WPS button on the home router, he'll have to hit the range extender on the TP-Link device. After that, he'll be able to get dual-band speeds of up to 750 Mbps in otherwise difficult-to-reach areas in his home.A high-quality thermos he'll take everywhereYETIGift the YETI Rambler 10 oz Lowball, $20, available at YETIBest for: Dads who hate a lukewarm anythingAn insulated, stainless steel cup that will keep cold drinks cold in the summer and hot ones hot in the winter, the YETI Rambler Lowball was made for campfire and lakeside gatherings. If he's hanging out in the great outdoors, he'll want to keep this cup close at hand. A truly unique hot sauceSmall Axe Peppers Hot SauceGift The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce (Green, 5 oz), $7.99, available at AmazonBest for: Dads who love a bit of spiceThis all-natural, tangy hot sauce is part of the lineup on the popular YouTube series "Hot Ones" and is made from Serrano peppers grown in over 30 community gardens throughout the Bronx. A ticket stub album to collect his favorite memoriesUncommon GoodsGift Ticket Stub Diary, $14, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who cherish every live eventWhether Dad loves a good Broadway show, frequents Yankee games, or went to every showing of the "Avengers" movies, this sleeved ticket stub book preserves his favorite memories. A luxury shaving kitHarry'sGift the Harry's Truman Shave Set, $15, available at Harry'sBest for: Dads who love a nice self-care routineThis shave set from Harry's is as sleek as it gets. The kit includes a signature handle with a textured rubber grip, three German-engineered blade cartridges, foaming shave gel for a rich lather, and a travel cover to protect the blades when he's on the move.A set of ski-themed glassesUncommon GoodsGift the Ski Resort Map Glass, $20, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: Dads who love to skiRemind Dad of his favorite days skiing backcountry on mountains with fresh powder and bright blue skies. If he's really more of a National Parks kind of Dad, there's an equally good option here. A box of goodies tied to his favorite fandomLoot CrateGift a Loot Crate, from $24.99, available at Loot CrateBest for: Dads who belong to fandomsA well-curated gift box, like a geek culture "crate" from Loot Crate, is far from a cop-out. The gift crates contain collectibles and merch related to fandoms like Marvel, "Harry Potter," and "Star Trek," and the under-$25 options contain socks, shirts, and underwear featuring a variety of pop culture icons. A milk frother for perfect lattesAmazonGift the Powerlix Milk Frother, $15.95, available at AmazonBest for: Dads who love coffee a latteWe love this inexpensive milk frother for creating cafe-level drinks at home, and Dad will too. We actually think it's the best overall milk frother you can buy. A moisture-repelling golf capNikeGift the Nike Legacy91 Golf Hat, $20, available at Dick's Sporting GoodsBest for: Dads who will play all 18 holesNike's special Dri-FIT technology keeps his head dry and comfortable under the glaring sun, while the interior sweatband is soft and absorbent. Whether he's on the first or 18th hole, he'll stay cool and collected. A fun, beer-themed planterEtsyGift the IrishGlass Beer Bottle Glass Planters, from $10, available at EtsyBest for: Dads loyal to their brand of beerHere's a unique indoor garden idea: Choose any beer bottle brand you'd like to be cut, sanded, and polished into a unique planter.A card game that'll become his new favoriteAmazonGift the Exploding Kittens Card Game, $19.99, available at AmazonBest for: Dads who live for game nightIf he's a kid at heart who loves kittens, explosions, and laser beams, then he'll love the cult-favorite, Kickstarter sensation of Exploding Kittens. Buying this gift is almost like a gift to yourself since he'll need to enlist multiple players to enjoy the game. Beard oil that reduces flakiness or itchinessOars + AlpsGift the Oars + Alps Cedarwood Forest Beard Oil, $20, available at Oars + AlpsBest for: Bearded dadsContaining nourishing oils like jojoba and argan, this beard oil will revive his scruff in no time. It quickly relieves any flaky, itchy skin under his hair and smells good while doing it. A fresh set of Allbirds lacesAllbirdsGift the Allbirds Runner Lace Kit, $10, available at Allbird'sBest for: Dads with well-worn AllbirdsIf he owns a pair of Allbirds already, a simple lace refresh will make them feel brand new. This kit contains gray, white, and black, but check out its four limited-edition packs with brighter colors. A custom photo bookArtifact UprisingGift the Artifact Uprising 5"x 5" Instagram Photo Book, $14, available at Artifact UprisingBest for: Dads who insist they just want "time with the kids"Bring all your mobile photos with Dad to life in this softcover book that looks like a classy coffee table magazine. It has a textured eggshell cover and interior matte pages, which bring out the best of your favorite memories. Comfy socks specifically designed for golfingBombasGift the Men's Performance Golf Ankle Socks, $16.50, available at BombasBest for: Dads who love to golfSocks are a universally pleasing gift. A cult favorite among direct-to-consumer brands and the Insider Reviews team, Bombas socks offer cushioned support and practicality. This pair is designed especially for performance wear when playing golf.A gift card to see all the summer blockbustersFandangoGift a Fandango Gift Card, from $15, available at FandangoBest for: Dads who love a movie nightNothing beats going to the movies with his kids. If you're unable to make a trip to the local movie theater right now, Fandango gift cards also work for movie and TV show rentals found on Fandangonow.com.A simple yet supremely useful money clipLeatherologyGift the Leatherology Money Clip, $30, available at LeatherologyBest for: Dads who have everything elseThis simple but chic full-grain leather clip can hold up to 20 bills. An added plus is that Leatherology will take care of the gift packaging for you for free. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider6 hr. 4 min. ago

Meet a 37-year-old with a student-loan bill $30,000 higher than when she graduated college in 2008: "I have a good job and no kids, but I have this debt"

Shanna Bennett chose a career in business psychology thinking she'd make enough to pay her debts. Now she wishes she'd considered community college. Shanna Bennett owes $30,000 more in student loans than she did on the day she graduated, 14 years ago.Shanna Bennett Shanna Bennett owes more than $130,000 in student debt.  That's $30,000 more than she owed 14 years ago when she finished school, due to interest.  She says it's affected her credit score, relationships, and ability to pay off other debts, such as her car.  Shanna Bennett was the first person in her family to attend college — and growing up, there was no question that she would be. Bennett's family immigrated from Jamaica to Philadelphia in the 1990s when she was 7-years-old. "Once we got here, it was clear my job was to be educated and to get an education," the 37-year-old told Insider. "It was a big deal for me to get into an American university and graduate from one. But at no point did anyone bring up the cost." When Bennett finished college and graduate school in 2008, she owed more than $100,000 in student loans. After graduating, she struggled to find a job that paid enough for her to get a handle on her debt, which eventually peaked near $200,000 with interest. It's been 14 years since she left school, but she still owes over $130,000 to private loan companies, which Insider verified through documents that Bennett shared. Bennett's story resembles that of many Americans, 43 million of whom have student loan debt — that's one in 8, according to a NerdWallet analysis of May 2021 census data. Those between the ages 25 and 34 are the most likely to hold student loan debt, but the greatest amount is owed by those between 35 and 49 years old, like Bennett — more than $600 billion collectively. Since March 2020, federal borrowers haven't been required to make student loan payments and haven't been charged new interest, but pressure is mounting for President Joe Biden to cancel some or all of that debt. At the end of April, Biden said he'd "have an answer" on forgiveness in the coming weeks."It's affected me in every single way," she added. "When we talk about student debt, there's this idea that people who are openly talking about it are lazy and not hardworking but we are."'I saw that they were at $200,000, and that's when the shame set in' Bennett said that she wasn't aware of how difficult it would be to pay off her debt until she was in graduate school. And even then, she didn't realize that she could make payments for nearly 15 years and still owe more than she did on graduation day."My family navigated the higher-ed process without knowing very much about it," she said. "Looking back, I would have loved it if community college was pushed more. But the idea was that it wasn't challenging for me, or good enough for me." After graduating college, Bennett immediately enrolled in a master's program for business psychology, which she said she picked based on the earning potential. She currently works as a human resources manager at a mid-size manufacturing company, but it took her years to secure a position like that. She said she chose her field of study "without fully understanding what an entry level position looks like for that degree," she said. After graduation, she says she struggled to find a job, despite having two degrees in her field. When she finally did, she only made $15 per hour. After seven years of making the minimum payment on her monthly bill, she'd barely made a dent in the principal amount. She applied for forbearance so she could temporarily stop making payments on her loans, given that they were too much to handle. But she still had to pay the interest that accrued each month — ranging from 6.5% to 10% — making the process feel like walking on a treadmill and never reaching the end. "It was not until I was married and had my first big-girl job that I thought, 'let's tackle this.' And when I sat down to look at my bills, I saw that they were at $200,000, and that's when the shame set in." 'Our money should be in the market and growing' When Bennett got engaged to her ex-husband, she told him how much debt she had, and they took a course on paying it off. The course encouraged people to pay off their smallest debts first, forgoing longer term investments like saving for retirement in order to dedicate all extra cash to pay down bills, she said. It didn't sit well with her. "I was an HR manager at the time," she said, "encouraging employees to take advantage of their benefits, and I wasn't even enrolled in it."In the past few years, Bennett said, she's found a wealth of resources in the personal finance community on Instagram, as well as Debt Collective, a debtor's union. Instagram "empowered me to start throwing money into my 401k," she said. "Our money should be in the market and growing… some of us have been in debt for 20-plus years, and to not throw money into retirement for all that time is ridiculous."Through the personal finance community, Bennett said she also learned how to pay off her car loan, adding that her credit card bill is also paid off each month. Bennett said that she's in much better shape than she was a few years ago, but that debt is still cutting off possibilities for her future. "I would love to travel right now," she said. "I have a good job and no kids, but I have this debt… I have just under $132,000 in debt remaining, and I'm watching very closely what the Biden administration does with student loans."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 22nd, 2022

Thanos Was Wrong: From Currency Resets To Limiting Infinite Growth

Thanos Was Wrong: From Currency Resets To Limiting Infinite Growth Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, A couple of weeks ago, RT ran a story purporting to explain the mystery behind the rise in exchange rate of the Russian ruble. It touched on a concept I’ve talked about vis a vis Russia for years: the disparity between nominal GDP which yields a number roughly the size of Canada and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) GDP which puts Russia on par with Germany. While everything quoted here I feel is worth considering seriously, that GDP disparity that is what is important. … the West had defaulted on its obligations to Russia when it froze the assets of the country’s central bank. “This is the abolition (something like cancel culture) of the rules of international financial relations based on global total return swaps, redistribution of risk, guarantees of property rights and distribution of seigniorage.” It was these rules that determined the old ruble exchange rate and the approaches to its establishment that we are accustomed to, the expert said, adding that those rules “no longer apply.” Kopylov explained that the strengthening of the ruble is due to the fact that it is now based purely on exports and imports, and its value is determined by its purchasing power parity (PPP). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated the Russian currency’s PPP at the end of 2021 at 29.127 rubles per one dollar. According to the Big Mac Index, that rate stood at 23.24 rubles to the dollar. I have pointed out for years that all discussions of the Russian economy in terms of nominal GDP are bogus.  Nominal GDP is spending within the Russian economy converted through the RUB/USD exchange rate. But that metric is irrelevant.  It doesn’t say anything about what that spending buys the average Russian. GDP is a stupid metric.  It should be called GNS, Gross National Spending. It is a dumb way to measure the ‘output’ of a society.  It’s at best a very gross approximation but it is, again, just aggregated spending. This is the fundamental fallacy of Keynesian demand-side economics and all theories about which economies are expanding or contracting based on spending are literally bogus. But we have all been trained to believe in GDP as some all-powerful measure of growth and power.  It’s not anything of the sort.  When you have the ability to print money at will to bid up the cost of the goods purchased with that money, how is that telling you anything about the health of the country, the people… or frankly anything at all? What it’s telling you is that spent money, but did you take that money from the pool of real savings and deploy it into sustainable economic projects? Or did you print the money out of thin air, issue debt that borrows against the future labor of the country’s citizens (or their kids…. or their grandkids) and pay someone to fulfill a ‘shovel-ready’ job of digging a hole and filling it back in? GDP, in statistical terms, is NOT an independent variable because of this. It’s value is dependent completely on the people controlling the inputs to it.  Therefore, as data, it is worthless.  As a scientist, I would throw it out of any discussion because it can’t be controlled for.   This is why the discrepancy between the ruble’s purchasing power internally is so much higher than its purchasing power externally.  Pre-war the ruble traded at 75 or so versus the dollar. But it’s PPP value was less than 30?  This means Russian GDP is at least (by this flawed metric) 2.5 higher than the nominal value. This is how the Russian economy in PPP terms is actually larger than Germany’s. But even then, PPP GDP is still a terminally flawed metric as a measure of output. It gets us closer to fair comparisons between country’s but it still says nothing about the economic value of the things the country spent their money on. The funny thing is Russia’s economy shouldn’t be larger than Germany’s in real terms, since most of Russia’s output is base commodities, which have the lowest value-added component of any good in a market.  The whole point of a sophisticated division of labor and economic system is to build up value through each stage in the production chain. Cars, for example, should have more ‘value’ associated with them than the iron ore that went into making the frame. This tells you how out of whack the world is in terms of the diversion of capital to unsustainable activity it actually is if a commodity producer is leading a manufacturing giant in wealth generation.  This is exactly why the currency shift from debt-based to commodity-based money is going to be so painful. And why the debt issuers are willing to risk nuclear war over it occurring. To them this is the end state of their power.   From Finite World to Infinite Growth In a recent article on this blog, I did a quick and dirty takedown of the globalist talking point about infinite growth in a finite world. That gaslighting was at the core of the conflict in the big story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe of films, which centered on Thanos coming to bring balance by destroying half of the life in the Universe. Davos has gaslit two entire generations of westerners in the Malthusian talking point that you can’t have infinite growth in a finite world. All of their economic dogma is predicated on this. It doesn’t matter that this talking point is predicated on an inane premise, truth is, after all treason, at this point in the economic and cultural cycle. But, to try and explain quickly for the slow-witted. GDP growth is not necessarily real growth. It’s just spending. It says nothing for the quality of the spending or whether, in real terms, the people spending the money are materially better off than they were at a previous point in time. What isn’t measured by GDP is VALUE. Value is what we crave, the ability to plan further into the future, using our ingenuity to find better mousetraps to build and more efficient, and yes sustainable, ways of deploying scarce capital and time. When you have a monetary system and regulatory regime designed to thwart that to stop growth then you have the world we live in today. That infinite growth is a subjective, not objective, measure…. not in GDP terms but in the ‘alleviation of human misery’ terms. Davos absolutely doesn’t want this because a world where everyone gets maximal value for their time is a world without our need for them. But in order for us to have a discussion about this, I need to lay out some base assumptions. First, that we have owners who agree with Julian Huxley that growth will lead to destruction of the planet, therefore we should not have any more meaningful growth. Second, only those who are currently with power have the will, intelligence and expertise to guide us to this next phase of humanity’s existence. In service of these controlling ideas: They have erected systems and barricades to real growth for decades in real terms, i.e. energy usage per unit ‘wealth’ … some call this EROEI = Energy Returned over Energy Invested.   They have stymied more efficient use of human capital by running us around in mazes which are dead ends — Light Water Nuclear Reactors vs. oil, replacing both with Solar, Wind, Electric Vehicles, etc. They foment wars to divert capital to useless weapons rather than applying it things which make our lives better, more predictable.  They specifically divert spending (GDP) to humans building systems which increase chaos and unpredictability rather than decrease it. They empower and expand bureaucracy to keep otherwise ‘useless people’ employed with meaningless jobs They have supported cultural degradation which undermined the nuclear family and local culture by promoting women into the workforce, divorcing them from their core strength as mothers and caregivers and putting them effectively on welfare, UBI. These are all the basic distractions which force us to waste most of our productive time running around on a hamster wheel of arbitrary obstacles in order to eke out some small measure of comfort. The basic reason for Human Action, as defined by Mises, is to alleviate future uncertainty.  Man acts purposefully towards that end, otherwise he wouldn’t act or he would act differently.   That said, we can have our rationality diverted to purposes which do not serve our better interests because of the perverse incentives placed in front of us through artificial barriers to capital formation.   Therefore, if we were acting with purpose towards our most efficient and creative ends to a more predictable future, infinite GDP growth would be a no-brainer. This isn’t to say infinite GDP growth is infinite resource utilization.   Because as you travel up the production chain to higher order goods, you produce more value relative to the input commodities… if you didn’t, then you wouldn’t do it. You would do something that did. What’s more valuable a tree growing on your property or the lumber you turn it into and then use to build a shelter? For an even more idiotic example, is there really $10,000 difference between a BMW 230i starting at $37.5k and a Ford Mustang in terms of raw input commodities, especially when, in the real world we’re talking more like $15,000?  No.  Both are roughly 3500 lbs of aluminum, steel, leather and plastic. So, where’s the value difference?  In the materials?  Again, not really.  It’s in the intellectual property of the engineering, the final driving experience and the perception of value by the consumer.   But in terms of them being a tool for potential wealth creation, the two care are, really fungible.  They can transport up to 3 people (realistically) and a little bit of cargo somewhere to do whatever it is that they do. Is that reflected in the purchasing price of these cars?  No.  Not at all.  But, if we sell more BMW’s as a percentage of Mustangs sold, are we expected to impute a higher capability of sustaining wealth production because of higher overall spending as measured by GDP? Sadly yes. And that’s where the disconnect is.   This is why, fundamentally, GDP is a poor measure of ‘growth.’   That said, absent the diversion of capital to the unsustainable as practiced by Davos you can have constant ‘growth’ in value terms. It is better stated that ‘growth’ is the alleviation of human suffering and/or uncertainty, which is what value is.   This is true because if we’re driving costs down to utilize natural resources ever more efficiently thanks to proper pricing of the money used to procure the input commodities, then we can move more of our spending out of base commodities into higher order goods with higher returns of perceived value. Moreover, the Malthusian/Huxleyian argument presupposes somehow that the Universe isn’t governed by the Laws of Conservation. Iron isn’t destroyed when a car is trashed, we just store it in a junkyard. The same goes for landfills and plastic. The problem we have today is that we act within a system which skims all the wealth created by our actions to the betterment of the people who produce nothing at all. All they produce is money and bad ideas, the former of which is based on your future labor and the latter sustained by it. Then they dupe you into selling your future labor back to you at a vig while trying to take all the intellectual property rights for your innovation and skill. We call these people Venture Capitalists. No wonder the Marxists see this system as exploitative. It is! But it’s also not the only way things can and/or should be organized. This isn’t a fault of capitalism and property but of our not properly pricing the cost of the State and all of its enforcement of our ‘rights.’ This is what leads to the concentration of power in the hands of rent-seeking douchebags and vandals. Sustainable growth where all factors of production are properly priced up the value-adding chain is the first step. That will lead to the rewards being shared more equitably by all involved. That model is not only possible, it’s the only system that is inevitable. Davos decided if we were not controlled and forced onto low-margin hamster wheels we would strip-mine the planet and destroy it.  That’s why it needs to be controlled and real growth curtailed.   What we have now is a system of maximal wastage of natural resources with minimal returns: cheap money begetting conspicuous consumption of resources while erecting barriers to new, competitive technologies at the expense of the producers of those input commodities. Thanos in the Marvel films makes the same mistake Davos and Huxley made, deciding in their hubris and arrogance that because they couldn’t see a solution to a problem they’d defined, that solution did not exist. This justified their acquisition of power unlimited to re-make the world in their image. The truly despicable nature of the Marvel films is that they spend so much time trying to make Thanos’ quest a noble one, a sympathetic one, rather than the rantings of a small-minded homunculus. I wonder who ordered that rewrite of the script to Infinity War? The Return of the Commodity King This is why the ruble is so undervalued, up until recently commodities had been driven below their cost of production through the corruption of all of us into the land of cheap money. It is why now, with the changes coming to the monetary architecture of the world, the ruble’s real purchasing power will finally be expressed, forcing commodity inflation in real terms on those whose currencies are overvalued. Gresham’s Law has never been wrong. Overvalued money circulates to procure unearned goods in the real world. Undervalued money is hoarded because savings is the pre-requisite of capital deployment. We are at the end of the cycle where the pile of real wealth has built up for decades unable to express itself while the ultimate psy-op fuels the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. When the confidence in the overvalued money (debt) falls, inflation rises rapidly as people demand goods and eschew money.  This will raise the prospect of the undervalued money (commodities) entering into circulation as its true value is finally expressed in the market. At that point you will then see what the real growth rate of the world is.  Gary North used to say that prior to the early 1800’s the real rate at which wealth compounded was ~1% annually.  Then something changed and it doubled to 2% and that scared the bejeesus out of the elites because too many people were getting rich too quickly to need them to look out for their interests.   Now you know why the Club of Rome began in the 1850’s, why central banking was so bitterly fought over here in the US then. It’s why Marx’s insane ideas were adopted by those with generational power.  It was to STOP our growth as a species, not keep it from destroying the planet, but their system of unearned privilege. *  *  * Join my Patreon if you like earning things Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 21st, 2022

The 38 best Father"s Day gifts, from a Theragun massager to a DIY hot sauce kit

Here are the best Father's Day gifts for all budgets and interests, from classics like ties and watches to fun gifts for dad like a DIY hot sauce kit. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Here are the best Father's Day gifts for all budgets and interests, from classics like ties and watches to fun gifts for dad like a DIY hot sauce kit.MVMT/Uncommon GoodsFather's Day means many are met with the struggle of what to get Dad every June (June 19 this year, to be specific). Dads can be notoriously tough to shop for — and often aren't much help even if you ask them exactly what they want. If your dad is anything like mine, he'll probably say that he doesn't need anything at all (or go to the extreme of asking for something like a brand-new Porsche 911 Turbo). Not to worry. Even if you can't quite afford his dream car, you can still get a Father's Day gift for Dad he's sure to love. We rounded up the best Father's Day gift ideas to suit all budgets and interests. From tech gadgets to cooking tools to stylish clothes, you'll find gift ideas for Dad he's sure to appreciate and love. The 38 best Father's Day gifts of 2022:An ingenious, packable helmet for cyclingPriority BicyclesCLOSCA Helmet Loop: Priority Bicycles Exclusive from Priority Bicycles, $84.99Best for: The avid cyclistIf Dad likes to bike, this is one of the most clever products we've ever tested. The helmet collapses to half its size for easy commuting, and it's really lightweight (only 330 grams). Dad won't sacrifice comfort or durability either — it's safety-certified in both the US and EU.It's another product you'll see on the Insider Reviews' All-Time Best list. Read our full review of The Loop. Hot sauces he can make himselfUncommon GoodsMake Your Own Hot Sauce Kit from Uncommon Goods, $42Best for: The spice-loving dadIf dad is big on flavor and spice, this is a two-in-one gift since he'll have a fun activity and delicious sauces he can use on his favorite foods. The DIY kit comes complete with cayenne, ancho, curry, chili spice packs, peppers, vinegars, and garlic. It even features six glass bottles and customizable labels to put the finishing touches on dad's small-batch sauces.Coasters that remind him of his favorite pastimeUncommon GoodsRecycled Ski Coasters Set from Uncommon Goods, $60Best for: The ski enthusiastGet Dad coasters that remind him of his favorite bluebird days on the slopes. These are made from the midsections of skis that have flown down many backcountry runs. A meat thermometer to improve their cooking experienceLily Alig/InsiderThermapen ONE from ThermoWorks, $105Best for: The chef dadIf your Dad enjoys cooking, this is the gift he will use and appreciate many times. It's one of the Insider Reviews' All-Time Best products and makes cooking easier. This is the fastest and most accurate thermometer we tested, and it has thoughtful features like an automatically adjusting display and backlight sensor. Read our full review of the Thermapen One here, and if you want to supplement it, give Dad some of his favorite seasonings to go with it.Comfortable, lightweight running shortsJanji5" AFO Middle Short from Janji, $62Best for: The marathon trainerIf Dad loves to run — or just a pair of perfectly made shorts — then consider getting him the Middle Shorts from Janji. They're bestsellers for a reason; they're lightweight, sweat-wicking, and oh-so-comfortable.You'll also find them on the Insider Reviews' All-Time Best list. Read a full review of the Janji AFO Middle Shorts here.A portable espresso machineAmazonFlair Espresso Machine from Amazon, $165Best for: The dad who's picky about his morning espressoIf Dad won't get out of bed unless there's the promise of espresso in the air, this is for him. We love this compact, portable espresso machine; it gives him more control than most affordable options (like adjusting temperature or pressure), and it outperformed espresso makers that cost hundreds of dollars more in our blind taste tests.And, you guessed it, it's also on our list of the Insider Reviews' All-Time Best products. Read a full review of the Flair Espresso Machine here.A stylish accessory that doubles as handy gearUncommon GoodsUtility Bracelet from Uncommon Goods, $42Best for: The dad who can't stand a loose screwThis multi-tool bracelet is as elegant as it is useful. Dad will always be prepared with this on his wrist thanks to the fact that it pops out to reveal a multi-functional knife and a flat head screwdriver.An excellent cocktail shaker for mixing up drinksvia AmazonKoriko Weighted Shaking Tins from Cocktail Kingdom, $21.98Best for: The dad who keeps a well-stocked bar cartIf Dad fancies himself a regular mixologist or enjoys a good margarita now and then, he'll appreciate having a solid cocktail shaker. Beloved by many bartenders, Cocktail Kingdom's no-frills Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins create consistently smooth and cold cocktails. Dad's new go-to shirtTen ThousandTen Thousand Workout Shirt from Ten Thousand, $54Best for: The dad who loves wearing the same shirt everywhereThanks to this shirt's soft fabric, anti-odor treatment, and quick-drying abilities, this is sure to be Dad's new favorite shirt. Whether he's headed to an outdoor barbecue, hitting the gym, going for a hike, or just lounging around the house, he'll be living in this. It's available in six color options and sizes XS-XXL, and is also one of the Insider Reviews' All-Time Best products.  Cozy slippers he can wear inside and outL.L.BeanL.L.Bean Men's Wicked Good Slippers from L.L. Bean, $79Best for: The dad with worn-out slippersKeep dad's feet warm and cozy this Father's Day with these ultra-soft slippers that truly earn their "Wicked Good" name thanks to their premium shearling lining. They also have durable soles, so dad won't have to worry about changing shoes when he goes outside.A personalized comic bookAmazonPersonalized Super Dad Book from Amazon, $34.99Best for: The dad who wants to feel like SupermanLiterally show dad he's your hero with this fun personalized comic book that makes him the star of the story. Fill in dad's name and a photo of his face, plus up to four other names. A portable grill dad can take anywhereMark & GrahamCuisinart Venture Portable Gas Grill from Mark and Graham, $259Best for: The dad who can't wait for grilling seasonWith this, Dad can fire up the grill anywhere he wants, from the beach to a camping trip to his buddy's backyard. This compact grill features an easy carry handle and smartly folds down to reveal a cast-iron grill with a flip-out rack that holds the propane tank. The wooden lid even doubles as a chopping board.  A weighted blanketGravityGravity Blanket (available in 15 pounds, 20 pounds, and 25 pounds) from Gravity, $249.99Best for: The dad who has a little trouble sleepingDad might already be a professional napper, but a weighted blanket can help him fall asleep faster and get better rest.A durable backpack and cooler comboCarharttCarhartt Medium Pack + 3 Can Insulated Cooler from Carhartt, $119.99Best for: The dad who needs a better backpackMade from a durable 500-denier Cordura ripstop material, this Carhartt backpack is perfect for outdoorsy dads. The included three-can cooler is a great addition that'll let him carry a few cold brews on his fishing or camping trips.A sleek leather walletBellroyBellroy Leather Note Sleeve Wallet from Amazon, $89Best for: The dad whose wallet is falling apartThis slim leather wallet from Bellroy is perfect for dads who prefer minimalist accessories. It comes in a bunch of colors, so you'll be able to find the perfect match. Bellroy also sells phone cases, work bags and backpacks, and key covers. Breathable and machine-washable sneakersAllbirdsAllbirds Wool Runners from Allbirds, $110Best for: The dad who needs a dad sneaker upgradeThese merino wool sneakers from Allbirds, Silicon Valley's favorite shoe brand, are the perfect mix of sporty and stylish. They come in tons of colors and are even machine washable.An Apple WatchAppleApple Watch Series 5 from Amazon, $215Best for: The dad who wants everything in one placeMuch more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, making phone calls, sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more.A high-end electric shaverBest BuyBraun Series 7 7071cc Electric Shaver from Target, $149.99Best for: The dad who loves a close shaveAs the best overall electric razor we've tested, the Braun Series 7 will surely be a welcome addition to your dad's grooming arsenal. Whether he like a close and clean shave or some facial hair, this razor can help maintain his look of choice. This specific model comes bundled with the clean and charge station.A Disney Plus subscriptionDisney PlusDisney Plus gift subscription, 1-year subscription for $79.99Best for: The dad who watches every Marvel filmWith this subscription, you'll give Dad unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, "Star Wars," National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney Plus over here. A Man Crate filled with all of his favorite thingsMan CratesShop all Man Crates here.Best for: The dad who wants a little bit of everythingMan Crates is a startup specializing in curated gift sets for men. Each gift set comes packaged inside a wooden crate, so the recipient gets to pry it open with a crowbar. Inside is a themed assortment of gifts for every type of man. Bacon, beer, barbecue, golf, fishing, and grooming are just some of the many themes you'll find.A health and ancestry genetic test kit23andMe23andMe Health and Ancestry Genetic Test Kit from Amazon, $199Best for: The dad who wants to know more about his family treeThis genetic test kit from 23andMe is great for the dad who's interested in learning more about his family history and even his health. It's one of our favorite DNA kits.An easy way to work out at homeTRXTRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit from Amazon, $166.60Best for: The dad who prefers at-home workoutsActive dads can bring the gym home with this TRX trainer.A custom pair of headphonesBoseGift a custom pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II from Bose, $329Best for: The dad who could tune out a little moreTo escape from the noise and distractions of the outside world, a pair of noise-canceling headphones are a must. The ear caps, ear cups, outer headband, inner headband, and spacers of this set are all customizable, totaling up to more than 5 million unique combinations.Super soft lounge pantsTommy JohnGift the Tommy John Second Skin Lounge Pants from Tommy John, $68Best for: The dad who deserves to loungeHe won't ever want to take these soft, stretchy, and light micro modal pants off once he tries them on. They're amazingly comfortable and will keep their shape and softness through many washes. A subscription service for new vinyl every monthVinyl Me, PleaseVinyl Me, Please 3-Month Gift Membership from VMP, $119Best for: The dad who swears vinyl just *sounds* betterEvery person's vinyl collection is deeply personal, so instead of trying to guess his taste, let him choose the record himself. Each month, he'll choose and receive one LP, pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please, from a collection of Essentials, Classics, and Rap & Hip Hop.The three-month gift membership includes one bonus record, while the six- and 12-month ones include two bonus records.A personal egg panAmazonGift the Lodge Combo Cooker Cast Iron from Amazon, $49.90Best for: The dad who likes versatile kitchen gearThis preseasoned cast iron set is perfect for whipping up personal dishes like eggs or snacks and apps to tide him over before dinner. And when dinnertime rolls around, this set can be used for steak, stir-fry, and more.A shaving setHarry'sHarry's Winston Shave Set from Harry's, $25 (+ $15 for monogram)Best for: The dad who cherishes his morning routineThis shave set from Harry's is as sleek as it gets for this price. To go the extra mile, you can get his initials engraved into the razor.A nice tieThe Tie BarThe Tie Bar Neckties from Tie Bar, starting at $22Best for: The dad who only owns novelty tiesNeckties might be a cliché Father's Day gift, but The Tie Bar makes some handsome ties that he'll actually wear on a regular basis. You'll find plenty of colors, patterns, and styles — and the best part is they're all affordably priced.A portable massagerTherabodyTheragun Mini from Therabody, $199Best for: The achy dadHas your dad ever complained about aches and pains from a hard day of work, a strenuous workout, or what he simply chalks up to being a symptom of old age? If so, then the Theragun Mini might be a good gift choice. The portable device helps alleviate pain, cramps, knots, and tension by massaging muscles.A coffee subscriptionAtlas Coffee ClubGift an Atlas Coffee Club subscription from Atlas Coffee Club, from $60Best for: The coffee loverIf his veins run dark roast, we recommend a subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house for about $9 per bag. A relaxing outdoor lounge chairYetiYeti Hondo Base Camp Chair from Yeti, $300Best for: The dad who lives in his backyardThe Yeti Hondo Base Camp Chair is an extremely thoughtful gift for dads who are avid outdoorsmen or fishermen and are tired of bringing flimsy lawn chairs on trips. At $299, it is pretty expensive for a chair, but its 500-pound capacity, reinforced frame, and UV and weather-resistant materials mean that it's built to last for many seasons.Apple AirPodsHollis Johnson/Business InsiderApple AirPods with Wired Charging Case from Amazon, $99.99Best for: The dad who hates tangled headphone cablesSome of the best gifts are items that can be used every day — and AirPods fall into that category. Whether your dad likes listening to music and podcasts or prefers to talk on the phone hands-free, AirPods will quickly become an essential item for him.An all-encompassing online subscriptionJeramey Lende/ShutterstockAmazon 1-Year Prime Membership from Amazon, $139Best for: The dad who loves convenienceEveryone loves Amazon Prime and the plethora of perks that come with a membership, so why not gift Dad a subscription that'll last for an entire year?A durable, temperature-maintaining water bottleHydro FlaskHydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth from Hydroflask, $44.95Best for: The dad who needs to hydrate moreHydro Flasks are great for any situation, from camping to commuting. This durable, insulated water bottle does a masterful job of making sure drinks keep their temperatures.His dream watchBob's WatchesShop Rolex and other high-end brands at Bob's Watches now.Best for: The dad with expensive tasteIf you want to make Father's Day more special than ever before and you have the means to splurge (or split this gift with someone), gifting your dad with his dream watch is a great idea. Bob's Watches is the world's first and largest pre-owned and vintage Rolex watch exchange. The company makes buying and selling luxury watches an easy and comfortable experience by being transparent about resale values, using experts for authentication, and offering dependable customer service. Learn more about Bob's Watches here.An affordable wristwatchMVMTShop all MVMT watches here.Best for: The dad who could use a nice watchIf you're not quite ready to buy an expensive designer watch, MVMT is one of our favorite places to find stylish timepieces that won't completely break the bank. Most are under $200, and there are plenty of options to choose from.Comfortable workout clothesRhoneGive a Rhone gift card from Rhone, starting at $20Shop all products at Rhone now.Best for: The dad whose workout clothes are getting holey Whether your dad is a fitness buff or he simply could use some new gear that's sporty, casual, and comfortable, Rhone is where you'll want to shop. The brand's athleisure clothing makes it perfect for working out, lounging around, and everything else in between.A convenient and reliable grocery delivery serviceFresh DirectGift a FreshDirect gift card from FreshDirect, $20 to $250Best for: The dad who could use a break from grocery store tripsFreshDirect delivers fresh groceries from pantry staples to gourmet treats to their door, letting them bypass all the struggles of shopping in real life. We know from experience that its produce quality is excellent, and its delivery slots are frequent and affordable.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

Corcoran Reverie, affiliate of the Corcoran Group, welcomes Nashville firm to growing operation and becomes official real estate brokerage for NFL’s Tennessee Titans 

Corcoran Group, LLC announced today its affiliate, Corcoran Reverie, has welcomed Worth Properties LLC of Nashville, Tennessee, led by co-founder, President, and Principal Janet Jones, to its growing operation. The announcement was made by Corcoran President & CEO Pam Liebman, and Corcoran Reverie broker-owners Hilary Farnum-Fasth and Jacob Watkins. Corcoran Reverie’s growth marks the seventh Corcoran affiliate to... The post Corcoran Reverie, affiliate of the Corcoran Group, welcomes Nashville firm to growing operation and becomes official real estate brokerage for NFL’s Tennessee Titans  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Corcoran Group, LLC announced today its affiliate, Corcoran Reverie, has welcomed Worth Properties LLC of Nashville, Tennessee, led by co-founder, President, and Principal Janet Jones, to its growing operation. The announcement was made by Corcoran President & CEO Pam Liebman, and Corcoran Reverie broker-owners Hilary Farnum-Fasth and Jacob Watkins. Corcoran Reverie’s growth marks the seventh Corcoran affiliate to announce an expansion in less than one year, with Worth Properties LLC now operating as Corcoran Reverie. Corcoran Reverie also announced it has been named the official real estate brokerage of the Tennessee Titans – the first time a Corcoran affiliate has partnered with a National Football League organization. This expansion, Corcoran Reverie’s third since affiliating with Corcoran in April 2020, is a strategic step in the firm’s growth plan and broadens its market reach from Northwest Florida to several vibrant Nashville neighborhoods in Davidson, Williamson, Wilson, and Rutherford counties. This growth brings Corcoran Reverie’s agent population to more than 200 affiliated real estate professionals, increasing their agent count by 25% since joining the Corcoran brand. “Our affiliates’ accomplishments are some of our biggest pride points, and today’s announcements from Corcoran Reverie are no exception,” said Liebman. “I am continuously impressed and energized by Hilary, Jacob, and the team’s dedication to growth, and their pursuit of opportunities as unique as this new partnership with the Titans. I have no doubt that both of these exciting advancements will open doors for our entire network as we continue to grow together.” Corcoran Reverie’s exclusive partnership with the Tennessee Titans is perfectly timed with its arrival in Nashville. In addition to working with the Titans network on varying housing needs, Corcoran Reverie will be the title sponsor of the annual Titans 5K race, raising funds for the event which will exclusively support the Titans Foundation. Further, Corcoran Reverie will have a substantial presence at Nissan Stadium, and will also be the title sponsor for community tailgates hosted by the Titans at home games throughout the season – benefitting Nashville-area families in need. “Nashville and 30A have had an affinity for one another for years, so the ability to bring together our shared company culture with Janet under the wealth of the Corcoran brand is a direct reflection of the power of connectivity that is so vital to our industry,” said Farnum-Fasth. “While entirely separate ventures, to be able to share both this news and the fact that we have partnered with the Tennessee Titans makes this an extremely special day for our entire Corcoran Reverie team – both are endeavours that will benefit our affiliated agents, clients, and overall business for years to come,” added Watkins. Founded in 2004, the firm formerly known as Worth Properties LLC, led by Janet Jones, has a strong reputation in the Nashville area. The firm was also recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by the Owen Business School at Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Business Journal in its first year of operation, and for many years since. The team prides itself on high standards for client service, a family atmosphere in a professional setting, and unsurpassed support staff – all of which have helped build its reputation over nearly 20 years in the area nicknamed ‘Music City’. “I am thrilled to be moving Worth Properties to the next level of real estate services,” said Jones. “We now have access to invaluable tools and technology, and are able to further expand our client services with access to our Corcoran network colleagues in New York, California, Florida, and beyond. I am very much looking forward to what the future holds as we forge ahead with Corcoran Reverie.” “We couldn’t be more excited to have Corcoran Reverie as our official real estate brokerage for the Titans,” said Gil Beverly, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer of the Tennessee Titans. “Their dedication to client service and reputation as a well-respected operation is exactly what we want to bring to our team and network. I have no doubt that we’ll have a great experience with Hilary, Jacob, and their agents as they guide many of us with our real estate needs – particularly as they establish themselves in greater Nashville.” The post Corcoran Reverie, affiliate of the Corcoran Group, welcomes Nashville firm to growing operation and becomes official real estate brokerage for NFL’s Tennessee Titans  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 19th, 2022

California Church Shooting Suspect Had Ties To CCP Nationalist Front Group

California Church Shooting Suspect Had Ties To CCP Nationalist Front Group Authored by Mary Hong via The Epoch Times, The man charged with killing one person and injuring five others after a Taiwanese service at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, was once a member of a U.S.-based group controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Shooting suspect David Chou on May 16, 2022. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP) The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting by the alleged gunman, 68-year-old David Wenwei Chou of Las Vegas, was “a politically motivated hate incident.” Sheriff Don Barnes said the suspect “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.” Barnes also indicated that the suspect, who wasn’t a regular attendee and had no known ties or affiliation with the church, secured the doors within the church with chains and tried to disable the locks with superglue before he opened fire. Chou has been charged with one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder, according to the sheriff’s department. Dr. John Cheng, a 52-year-old family practice physician, was killed when he charged the gunman in an attempt to disarm him. Ties to the CCP’s United Front Chou, a native of Taiwan, has close ties to the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification (CCPPNR), an entity under Beijing’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), a powerful Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agency charged with overseeing foreign influence operations. On April 2, 2019, the CCPPNR established a Las Vegas chapter, with Chou as one of the directors. He made a presentation with a banner calling for the “eradication of pro-independence demons” on that day, Radio Free Asia reported. The CCPPNR was founded by the CCP in 1988. Its primary mission, as stated on its website, is countering separatist movements such as those calling for Taiwan’s independence. The CCP considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, even though the regime has never ruled the self-governed island. The CCPPNR has at least 200 chapters in 90 countries, including 33 U.S. chapters that are registered under somewhat different names, but carrying the same slogan of “peaceful reunification,” according to a 2018 report by the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (pdf). A 2018 Jamestown Foundation report also indicated that the CCPPNR has served to mobilize overseas Chinese communities in support of the CCP’s policies. The Chinese regime is using Confucius as a cover for infiltration and propaganda. (Frederic Brown/AFP/Getty Images) Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a 2020 statement that the UFWD is the CCP organ “tasked with co-opting and neutralizing threats to the party’s rule and spreading its influence and propaganda overseas. The CCP regards this party apparatus as a ‘magic weapon’ to advance Beijing’s policies.” In October 2020, the United States designated the National Association for China’s Peaceful Unification, the U.S. branch of the CCPPNR, as a foreign mission. CCPPNR Las Vegas Chapter President Gu Yawen said that Chou left the local chapter in the second half of 2019. An old report containing a photo of Chou on the chapter’s founding day was no longer available on its website. When asked about the suspect’s political hatred associated with the political tensions between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, CCP Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin defined the incident as an immigrant and domestic gun violence issue on U.S. soil. Condemnation Barnes said Cheng charged at the suspect and attempted to disarm him before he was fatally wounded, buying time for other witnesses to subdue the shooter. “Without the actions of Dr. Cheng, [there] is no doubt that there would be numerous additional victims in this crime,” he said. Taiwan’s official representative in Los Angeles, Louis M. Huang, condemned the act of hate and violence, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, and said assistance to the victims’ families is already on the way. He told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that whether in Taiwan or abroad, most Taiwanese are compatible with each other and care about each other. “Respect each other, rule of law, is what’s shared in Taiwan,” Huang said. Many Taiwanese commentators also described the incident as the indiscriminate killing of Taiwanese civilians, a result of the ideological war of hate that the CCP has spread around the world. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also offered her sincere condolences on Cheng’s death and her hopes for a prompt recovery of those who were injured in the shooting. “Violence is never the answer,” she posted on Twitter. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 22:05.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 19th, 2022

Live updates: Polls are closed in crucial primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina

Senate seats in contention, Rep. Madison Cawthorn facing primary challenges in North Carolina and a GOP face-off in Pennsylvania to run for US Senate. Mehmet Oz (left) is in a tight race for the GOP nomination in a Pennsylvania Senate race while Rep. Madison Cawthorn is fending off primary challenges in North Carolina on Tuesday.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images; Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesWelcome to the Insider live blog for the May 17 Primaries. We've got a number of great races tonight going coast to coast in the United States, but here are the ones we're really watching:Pennsylvania's got an open Senate seat this cycle, and this swing state will be the site of the marquee race for 2022 to decide the fate of the Senate.North Carolina is another massive Senate race, but the real action is going on in Rep. Madison Cawthorn's district, as the power in the local GOP wants to oust the controversial freshman and replace him with a less scandal-prone representative. In Oregon, a Democratic gubernatorial primary might very well decide the presumed winner of the election in this deep blue state.— Walt HickeyA pricey house race to watch near Pittsburgh: PA-12Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee in her bid to win the nomination for the state's 12th congressional district.Rebecca Droke/AP PhotoWith the retirement of GOP Rep. Fred Keller, this district outside of Pittsburgh in the Susquehanna Valley is a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats.It's also a race that was looking pretty stale until the past few weeks. The frontrunner, state Rep. Summer Lee, has endorsements from Emily's List and Justice Democrats. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently stumped for her and she seemed to have everything going in her favor until a ton of money started pouring into the race. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, most commonly referred to as AIPAC, has been funding ads through a new Super PAC called the United Democracy Project for Lee's opponent, Steve Irwin. Lee would be the latest in a new generation of Democrats in Washington with positions further to the left than most of the caucus, as well as more critical views of Israel. Should Irwin pull out a victory, his surge couldn't have been hurt by the AIPAC ad spree, but Lee remains the favorite. The Republican primary has been more quiet, with Michael Doyle — unrelated to retiring Rep. Mike Doyle — running unopposed.— Jake LahutPennsylvania's US Senate race is stupid expensivePennsylvania Republican Senate Candidate Mehmet OzAlexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesThe government of Erie, Pennsylvania, population 94,831, forecasts that it'll bring in about $95.7 million worth of revenue during 2022.Pennsylvania's US Senate race, meanwhile, is on pace to bring in twice that — maybe even more — en route to competing for the crown of the year's most expensive political race.As of April 27, the race had already attracted more than $68.3 million in contributions, according to federal records compiled by nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets.There are two overriding reasons for this. First, both the Republican and Democratic primaries are highly competitive. They feature multiple candidates — David McCormick, Mehmet Oz and Kathy Barnette on the right, John Fetterman and Conor Lamb on the left. More candidates + more competition = more, more, more money.Second, McCormick and Oz are extremely wealthy. Both have pumped millions of dollars of their personal money into the race, with Oz alone accounting for more than $12 million, according to Federal Election Commission records. McCormick, at $11 million, isn't far behind.Tonight's winners will then have nearly six months to slug each other ahead of November's general election. National party committees and super PACs, which may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, will almost assuredly supplement the candidates' own fundraising efforts with tens of millions of more dollars.— Dave LevinthalPolls in Pennsylvania closed at 8 p.m. ET.InsiderFollow along to see the results for the Republican and Democratic  candidates for governor, the US Senate, House from the Keystone State.Madison Cawthorn's cryptic crypto play may have violated the STOCK ActMadison Cawthorn, Republican nominee for North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, speaks during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, on August 26, 2020.2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via ReutersRep. Madison Cawthorn has plenty of problems — ones involving guns, money, cocaine orgies, and a nude video, to name four.One that's flying a bit below the radar, but still serious: he may have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by not publicly reporting his stated purchase in a cryptocurrency named for an anti-Joe Biden slogan.Per federal law, Cawthorn had 45-days to formally disclose details about his crypto play. But as of this evening, Cawthorn had done no such thing, and his campaign and congressional office have not responded to Insider's questions as to why.Failure to properly report such financial transactions can result in a fine administered by Congress, or in extreme cases, a referral to the Department of Justice.— Dave LevinthalTed Budd wins GOP Primary for open Senate seatFormer President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina in the 2022 North Carolina Senate race.AP Photo/Chris SewardRepublican Ted Budd will face off against Democrat Cheri Beasley for a crucial open US Senate seat in North Carolina, Insider and Decision Desk HQ project. Budd is a Republican congressman who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, and easily cleared a field of GOP opponents. Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, is hoping to flip control of the seat currently held by retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr.Mayoral MayhemCharlotte, NCShutterstockA Republican hasn't been the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, for more than 50 years. Four Republican candidates are hoping to change that, including Bill Dieruf, the current mayor of Jeffersontown, a nearby suburb. The current mayor of Lexington, Kentucky's second-largest city, Linda Gorton, is running for reelection. Gorton's opponents recently chided her at a public forum over housing costs and crime rates. She countered by noting that she rose to the occasion when challenges surfaced in Lexington during her time in office, particularly during the pandemic.In Charlotte, North Carolina, Democratic Mayor Vi Alexander Lyles is vying for another term in office. Lyles became the first Black mayor in Charlotte history in 2017 after unseating the incumbent mayor. She's facing off against three other Democratic candidates tonight.You can check out and follow the three mayoral primaries here.—Madison HallJohn Fetterman gets pacemakerIn this Sept. 21, 2018 photo, former Braddock, Pa., Mayor John Fetterman speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in PhiladelphiaAP Photo/Matt RourkePennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman "just completed a successful procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator," his communications director, Joe Calvello, said in a statement Tuesday evening. "The procedure began at 3:15 pm, John was released at 5:56 pm, and he has been given the all-clear that it was successful. He is resting at the hospital and recovering well. John continues to improve every day, and he is still on track for a full recovery."Fetterman, who is running for the US Senate in Pennsylvania in tonight's Democratic primary, suffered a stroke last week.— Dave LevinthalResults just beginning to trickle in in KentuckyHouse Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., talks with reporters after meeting with the House Democratic Caucus and Biden administration officials to discuss progress on an infrastructure bill, at the Capitol in Washington.J. Scott Applewhite/APPolls closed in Kentucky at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, and the results are beginning to come in. See results for the Senate, House and state legislative primaries here, and results for the mayoral elections in Louisville and Lexington here.The most notable primary race of the night is the Democratic primary in Kentucky's Third District to replace retiring Democratic Rep. John YarmuthA slew of Democratic candidates are seeking the nomination for the mayor's office in Louisville to replace term-limited outgoing Mayor Greg Fischer. Incumbent Mayor Linda Gorton is also seeking reelection to the mayor's office in Lexington, Kentucky in a nonpartisan primary. Democrats love Republican primaries — for fundraisingDemocratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, DCCC Chair, at a press conference on Capitol HillBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rarely immune to hyperbole or breathlessness. So it should perhaps come as little surprise how much the party's campaign arm for US House races is leveraging today's Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania to raise cash for itself."Trump has already helped make J.D. Vance the Republican nominee in the critical Ohio Senate race. Now, he's scheming to do the same with Dr. Oz in the ultimate swing state of Pennsylvania … please understand: If Trump is able to pack Congress with his top loyalists, it could pave the way for his return to the White House," the DCCC wrote supporters.It continues: "And at this dire moment, you have two options: OPTION 1: Ignore our urgent pleas, delete this email, and watch while Trump destroys our House Majority and Democratic Trifecta with his dangerous followers. OPTION 2: Step up with a powerful grassroots gift before midnight to stop Trump's power-hungry schemes and protect our Democratic House."  — Dave LevinthalTight gubernatorial primary races in the Beaver State- Former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who is running for governor, poses for photos in Columbia Park in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 18, 2022. Oregon's primary elections are Tuesday, May 17, 2022.AP Photo/Sara Cline, fileDemocratic Gov. Kate Brown is finishing up her second term in office and cannot run again. After 35 straight years of having a Democrat as governor, Republicans in Oregon are hoping this is their year to regain executive power, but must figure out their nominee from a slate of 19 candidates led by former state Rep. Christine Drazan and businessman Bob Tiernan. With Brown term-limited, she leaves behind a wide-open Democratic field with 15 candidates. Two notable leaders on the Democratic ticket include Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read and former House Speaker Tina Kotek.The list of Democratic primary contenders used to be longer — former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof left his job to explore running for office in October 2021. Oregon's Supreme Court ultimately ruled in February that he couldn't be on the ballot, citing his failure to meet the three-year residency requirement to qualify.— Madison HallEmbattled Rep. Madison Cawthorn fights for a second term after a slew of scandalsU.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., waves to the crowd after he spoke before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally on April 9, 2022, in Selma, NC.Chris Seward/APCawthorn catapulted into rising star status in the GOP when he was elected to Congress from North Carolina's 11th District in 2020 at age 25. But a series of ethics troubles, and explosive comments have infuriated his GOP colleagues and spurred some to openly root for his ouster, as Michael Kruse recently dug into for Politico Magazine. Our Camila DeChalus reported from Hendersonville earlier this month on Cawthorn's leading primary challenger, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, voters' mixed feelings about Cawthorn's scandals, and the former volunteers who have buyer's remorse. A split field of seven primary challengers could help Cawthorn squeak by to reelection, but he could head to a July 26 runoff if no one gets about 30% of the vote. — Grace PanettaWould you pay $1 million out-of-pocket for a US Senate seat?McCormick received more than $70 million in discretionary awards connected to a Bridgewater Associates plan.Divorce agreement between David McCormick and Amy RichardsonAs C. Ryan Barber and Adam Wren reported earlier this year, divorce documents obtained by Insider indicate that Republican US Senate candidate David McCormick could face such a situation — if he's first able to survive his Pennsylvania primary battle against Mehmet Oz and Kathy Barnette.As Barber and Wren wrote: "McCormick's divorce agreement includes a clause stipulating that he would pay his ex-wife $1 million if he voluntarily left his lucrative position at Bridgewater Associates for the 'public domain.' The agreement between McCormick and his ex-wife, Amy Richardson, defined 'public domain' as employment in 'any government entity' and required him to pay the seven-figure sum in a pair of $500,000 installments in the first two years of any full-time public sector job.Once the frontrunner, McCormick has slipped in the polls of late and could conceivably finish third. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Oz, the longtime television show host, while Barnette has surged as a MAGA-friendly alternative to both Oz and McCormick. — Dave LevinthalOz, Barnette, and McCormick jockey in a close race in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette speaks during a campaign rally at The Fuge in Warminster, Pennsylvania.Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty ImagesWe went to Pennsylvania earlier this month and found a lot of Trump voters who were pretty unhappy with Dr. Mehmet Oz as the former president's endorsement. Kathy Barnette has had an impressive surge late in the race, but the conservative author's background is now the subject of considerable scrutiny and has some Republicans worried she'd get beat by the Democrats should she make it to the November general election. No doubt, a victory for Barnette would be a big shock. But she's been within striking distance in all the latest polls. The candidate hoping to get a bump from undecideds is former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who has picked up endorsements from the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.– Jake LahutRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Check out these 45 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingDeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022