How to Succeed with Binary Options Trading at Home 2020

GE2020: The Roar of the Swing Voter

Hi everyone, this is my first ever post here.
I run a little website called The Thought Experiment where I talk about various issues, some of them Singapore related. And one of my main interests is Singaporean politics. With the GE2020 election results, I thought I should pen down my take on what us as the electorate were trying to say.
If you like what I wrote, I also wrote another article on the state of play for GE2020 during the campaigning period, as well as 2 other articles related to GE2015 back when it was taking place.
If you don't like what I wrote, that's ok! I think the beauty of freedom of expression is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm always happy to get feedback, because I do think that more public discourse about our local politics helps us to be more politically aware as a whole.
Just thought I'll share my article here to see what you guys make of it :D
Article Starts Here:
During the campaigning period, both sides sought to portray an extreme scenario of what would happen if voters did not vote for them. The Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) warned that Singaporeans that their political opponents “might eventually replace the government after July 10”. Meanwhile, the Worker’s Party (WP) stated that “there was a real risk of a wipeout of elected opposition MPs at the July 10 polls”.
Today is July 11th. As we all know, neither of these scenarios came to pass. The PAP comfortably retained its super-majority in Parliament, winning 83 out of 93 elected MP seats. But just as in GE2011, another Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has fallen to the WP. In addition, the PAP saw its vote share drop drastically, down almost 9% to 61.2% from 69.9% in GE2015.
Singapore’s electorate is unique in that a significant proportion is comprised of swing voters: Voters who don’t hold any blind allegiance to any political party, but vote based on a variety of factors both micro and macro. The above extreme scenarios were clearly targeted at these swing voters. Well, the swing voters have made their choice, their roar sending 4 more elected opposition MPs into Parliament. This article aims to unpack that roar and what it means for the state of Singaporean politics going forward.
1. The PAP is still the preferred party to form Singapore’s Government
Yes, this may come across as blindingly obvious, but it still needs to be said. The swing voter is by its very definition, liable to changes of opinion. And a large factor that determines how a swing voter votes is their perception of how their fellow swing voters are voting. If swing voters perceive that most swing voters are leaning towards voting for the opposition, they might feel compelled to vote for the incumbent. And if the reverse is true, swing voters might feel the need to shore up opposition support.
Why is this so? This is because the swing voter is trying to push the vote result into a sweet spot – one that lies between the two extreme scenarios espoused by either side. They don’t want the PAP to sweep all 93 seats in a ‘white tsunami’. Neither do they want the opposition to claim so much territory that the PAP is too weak to form the Government on its own. But because each swing voter only has a binary choice: either they vote for one side or the other (I’m ignoring the third option where they simply spoil their vote), they can’t very well say “I want to vote 0.6 for the PAP and 0.4 for the Opposition with my vote”. And so we can expect the swing voter bloc to continue being a source of uncertainty for both sides in future elections, as long as swing voters are still convinced that the PAP should be the Government.
2. Voters no longer believe that the PAP needs a ‘strong mandate’ to govern. They also don’t buy into the NCMP scheme.
Throughout the campaign period, the PAP repeatedly exhorted voters to vote for them alone. Granted, they couldn’t very well give any ground to the opposition without a fight. And therefore there was an attempt to equate voting for the PAP as voting for Singapore’s best interests. However, the main message that voters got was this: PAP will only be able to steer Singapore out of the Covid-19 pandemic if it has a strong mandate from the people.
What is a strong mandate, you may ask? While no PAP candidate publicly confirmed it, their incessant harping on the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme as the PAP’s win-win solution for having the PAP in power and a largely de-fanged opposition presence in parliament shows that the PAP truly wanted a parliament where it held every single seat.
Clearly, the electorate has different ideas, handing Sengkang GRC to the WP and slashing the PAP’s margins in previous strongholds such as West Coast, Choa Chu Kang and Tanjong Pagar by double digit percentages. There is no doubt from the results that swing voters are convinced that a PAP supermajority is not good for Singapore. They are no longer convinced that to vote for the opposition is a vote against Singapore. They have realized, as members of a maturing democracy surely must, that one can vote for the opposition, yet still be pro-Singapore.
3. Social Media and the Internet are rewriting the electorate’s perception.
In the past, there was no way to have an easily accessible record of historical events. With the only information source available being biased mainstream media, Singaporeans could only rely on that to fill in the gaps in their memories. Therefore, Operation Coldstore became a myth of the past, and Chee Soon Juan became a crackpot in the eyes of the people, someone who should never be allowed into Parliament.
Fast forward to today. Chee won 45.2% of the votes in Bukit Batok’s Single Member Constituency (SMC). His party-mate, Dr. Paul Tambyah did even better, winning 46.26% of the votes in Bukit Panjang SMC. For someone previously seen as unfit for public office, this is an extremely good result.
Chee has been running for elections in Singapore for a long time, and only now is there a significant change in the way he is perceived (and supported) by the electorate. Why? Because of social media and the internet, two things which the PAP does not have absolute control over. With the ability to conduct interviews with social media personalities as well as upload party videos on Youtube, he has been able to display a side of himself to people that the PAP did not want them to see: someone who is merely human just like them, but who is standing up for what he believes in.
4. Reserved Election Shenanigans and Tan Cheng Block: The electorate has not forgotten.
Tan Cheng Bock almost became our President in 2011. There are many who say that if Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say had not run, Tony Tan would not have been elected. In March 2016, Tan Cheng Bock publicly declared his interest to run for the next Presidential Election that would be held in 2017. The close result of 2011 and Tan Cheng Bock’s imminent candidacy made the upcoming Presidential Election one that was eagerly anticipated.
That is, until the PAP shut down his bid for the presidency just a few months later in September 2016, using its supermajority in Parliament to pass a “reserved election” in which only members of a particular race could take part. Under the new rules that they had drawn up for themselves, it was decreed that only Malays could take part. And not just any Malay. The candidate had to either be a senior executive managing a firm that had S$500 million in shareholders’ equity, or be the Speaker of Parliament or a similarly high post in the public sector (the exact criteria are a bit more in-depth than this, but this is the gist of it. You can find the full criteria here). And who was the Speaker of Parliament at the time? Mdm Halimah, who was conveniently of the right race (Although there was some hooha about her actually being Indian). With the extremely strict private sector criteria and the PAP being able to effectively control who the public sector candidate was, it came as no surprise that Mdm Halimah was declared the only eligible candidate on Nomination Day. A day later, she was Singapore’s President. And all without a single vote cast by any Singaporean.
Of course, the PAP denied that this was a move specifically aimed at blocking Tan Cheng Bock’s bid for the presidency. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s current Minister of Trade and Industry, stated in 2017 that the Government was prepared to pay the political price over making these changes to the Constitution.
We can clearly see from the GE2020 results that a price was indeed paid. A loss of almost 9% of vote share is very significant, although a combination of the first-past-the-post rule and the GRC system ensured that the PAP still won 89.2% of the seats in Parliament despite only garnering 61.2% of the votes. On the whole, it’s naught but a scratch to the PAP’s overwhelming dominance in Parliament. The PAP still retains its supermajority and can make changes to the Constitution anytime that it likes. But the swing voters have sent a clear signal that they have not been persuaded by the PAP’s rationale.
5. Swing Voters do not want Racial Politics.
In 2019, Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and the man who is next in line to be Prime Minister (PM) commented that Singapore was not ready to have a non-Chinese PM. He further added that race is an issue that always arises at election-time in Singapore.
Let us now consider the GE2015 results. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Senior Minister and someone whom many have expressed keenness to be Singapore’s next PM, obtained 79.28% of the vote share in Jurong GRC. This was above even the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who scored 78.63% in Ang Mo Kio GRC. Tharman’s score was the highest in the entire election.
And now let us consider the GE2020 results. Tharman scored 74.62% in Jurong, again the highest scorer of the entire election, while Hsien Loong scored 71.91%. So Tharman beat the current PM again, and by an even bigger margin than the last time. Furthermore, Swee Keat, who made the infamous comments above, scored just 53.41% in East Coast.
Yes, I know I’m ignoring a lot of other factors that influenced these results. But don’t these results show conclusively that Heng’s comments were wrong? We have an Indian leading both the current and future PM in both elections, but yet PAP still feels the need to say that Singapore “hasn’t arrived” at a stage where we can vote without race in mind. In fact, this was the same rationale that supposedly led to the reserved presidency as mentioned in my earlier point.
The swing voters have spoken, and it is exceedingly clear to me that the electorate does not care what our highest office-holders are in terms of race, whether it be the PM or the President. Our Singapore pledge firmly states “regardless of race”, and I think the results have shown that we as a people have taken it to heart. But has the PAP?
6. Voters will not be so easily manipulated.
On one hand, Singaporeans were exhorted to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact tracing became mandatory, and groups of more than 5 are prohibited.
But on the other hand, we are also told that it’s absolutely necessary to hold an election during this same period, for Singaporeans to wait in long lines and in close proximity to each other as we congregate to cast our vote, all because the PAP needs a strong mandate.
On one hand, Heng Swee Keat lambasted the Worker’s Party, claiming that it was “playing games with voters” over their refusal to confirm if they would accept NCMP seats.
But on the other hand, Heng Swee Keat was moved to the East Coast GRC at the eleventh hour in a surprise move to secure the constituency. (As mentioned above, he was aptly rewarded for this with a razor-thin margin of just 53.41% of the votes.)
On one hand, Masagos Zulkifli, PAP Vice-Chairman stated that “candidates should not be defined by a single moment in time or in their career, but judged instead by their growth throughout their life”. He said this in defense of Ivan Lim, who appears to be the very first candidate in Singaporean politics to have been pushed into retracting his candidacy by the power of non-mainstream media.
But on the other hand, the PAP called on the WP to make clear its stand on Raeesah Khan, a WP candidate who ran (and won) in Sengkang GRC for this election, stating that the Police investigation into Raeesah’s comments made on social media was “a serious matter which goes to the fundamental principles on which our country has been built”.
On one hand, Chan Chun Sing stated in 2015, referring to SingFirst’s policies about giving allowances to the young and the elderly, “Some of them promised you $300 per month. I say, please don’t insult my residents. You think…. they are here to be bribed?”
On the other hand, the PAP Government has just given out several handouts under its many budgets to help Singaporeans cope with the Covid-19 situation. [To be clear, I totally approve of these handouts. What I don’t approve is that the PAP felt the need to lambast similar policies as bribery in the past. Comparing a policy with a crime is a political low blow in my book.]
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. And so did the electorate in this election, putting their vote where it counted to show their disdain for the heavy-handedness and double standards that the PAP has displayed for this election.
Conclusion
I don’t say the above to put down the PAP. The PAP would have you believe that to not support them is equivalent to not wanting what’s best for Singapore. This is a false dichotomy that must be stamped out, and I am glad to see our swing voters taking a real stand with this election.
No, I say the above as a harsh but ultimately supportive letter to the PAP. As everyone can see from the results, we all still firmly believe that the PAP should be the Government. We still have faith that PAP has the leadership to take us forward and out of the Covid-19 crisis.
But we also want to send the PAP a strong signal with this vote, to bring them down from their ivory towers and down to the ground. Enough with the double standards. Enough with the heavy-handedness. Singaporeans have clearly stated their desire for a more mature democracy, and that means more alternative voices in Parliament. The PAP needs to stop acting as the father who knows it all, and to start acting as the bigger brother who can work hand in hand with his alternative younger brother towards what’s best for the entire family: Singapore.
There is a real chance that the PAP will not listen, though. As Lee Hsien Loong admitted in a rally in 2006, “if there are 10, 20… opposition members in Parliament… I have to spent my time thinking what is the right way to fix them”.
Now, the PAP has POFMA at its disposal. It still has the supermajority in Parliament, making them able to change any law in Singapore, even the Constitution at will. We have already seen them put these tools to use for its own benefit. Let us see if the PAP will continue as it has always done, or will it take this opportunity to change itself for the better. Whatever the case, we will be watching, and we will be waiting to make our roar heard once again five years down the road.
Majulah Singapura!
Article Ends Here.
Here's the link to the actual article:
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/11/ge2020-the-roar-of-the-swing-vote
And here's the link to the other political articles I've written about Singapore:
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/07/ge2020-the-state-of-play/
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/10/ge2015-voting-wisely/
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/05/expectations-of-the-opposition/
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Joe Walsh Will Not Save Us (G-File)

Dear Reader (including the poor Biden staffers who have to white-knuckle their armrests when not sucking down unfiltered Marlboros every time Joe Biden gives an interview),
If you’ve never heard the Milton Friedman shovels and spoons story, you will (and I don’t just mean here). Because everyone on the right tells some version of it at some point. The other Uncle Miltie (i.e., not the epically endowed comedic genius) goes to Asia or Africa or South America and is taken on a tour of some public works project in a developing country. Hundreds of laborers are digging with shovels. Milton asks the official in charge something like, “Why use shovels when earth moving equipment would be so much more efficient?”
The official replies that this is a jobs program and using shovels creates more jobs.
Friedman guffaws and asks, “In that case: Why not use spoons?”
The story might not be true, but the insight is timeless.
Here’s another story: When I was in college, we were debating in intro to philosophy the differences between treating men and women “equally” versus treating them the “same.” At first blush, the two things sound synonymous, but they’re not (indeed the difference illuminates the chasm of difference between classical liberalism and socialism, but that’s a topic for another day). I pointed out that there were some firefighter programs that had different physical requirements for male applicants and female ones (this was before it was particularly controversial—outside discussions of Foucault—to assume there were clear differences between sexes). Female applicants had to complete an obstacle course carrying a 100-pound dummy, but men had to carry a 200-pound dummy, or something like that. A puckish freshperson named Jonah Goldberg said: “I don’t really care if a firefighter is a man, a woman, or a gorilla, I’d just like them to be able to rescue me from a fire.”
A woman sitting in front of me wheeled around and womansplained to me that “you can always just hire two women.”
I shot back something like, “You could also hire 17 midgets, that’s not the point.”
(I apologize for using the word midget, which wasn’t on the proscribed terms list at the time.)
But here’s the thing: Sometimes it is the point. Whether you’re talking about spoons or little people, the case for efficiency is just one case among many. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an important one, but it’s not the only one. Sometimes older children are told to bring their little brothers or sisters along on some trip. They’ll complain, “But they’ll just slow us down!” or, “But they aren’t allowed on the big kid rides.” Parents understand the point, but they are not prioritizing efficiency over love. Or, they’re prioritizing a different efficiency: Not being stuck with a little kid who’s crying all day because he or she was left behind.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer is when the chess tutor Bruce Pandolfini, played by Ben Kingsley, tells the chess prodigy’s parents that they have to forbid their son from playing pickup chess in the park because he learns bad chess habits there. The mom says “Not playing in the park would kill him. He loves it.”
Kingsley replies, accurately, that it “just makes my job harder.”
And the mom says, “Then your job is harder.”
I love that. I love it precisely because it recognizes that good parents recognize that there are trade-offs in life and that the best option isn’t always the most efficient one.
This is one of those places where you can see how wisdom and expertise can diverge from one another.
The Unity of Goodness
Efficiency can mean different things in different contexts. In business, it means profit maximization (or cost reduction, which is often the same thing). In sports, it means winning. Always giving the ball to the best player annoys the other players who want their own shot at glory, but so long as he can be counted on to score, most coaches will err on the side of winning. Starting one-legged players will wildly improve a basketball team’s diversity score, but it’s unlikely to improve the score that matters to coaches—or fans.
I’ve long argued that there’s something in the progressive mind that dislikes this whole line of thinking. They often tend to find the idea of trade-offs to be immoral or offensive. I call it the “unity of goodness” worldview. Once you develop an ear for it, you can hear it everywhere. “I refuse to believe that economic growth has to come at the expense of the environment.” “There’s no downside to putting women in combat.” “I don’t want to live in a society where families have to choose between X and Y,” or “I for one reject the idea that we have to sacrifice security for freedom—or freedom for security.” Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were masters at declaring that all hard choices were “false choices”—as if only mean-spirited people would say you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Saint Greta
Nowhere is this mindset more on display in environmentalism. Everyone hawking the Green New Deal insists that it’s win-win all the way down. It’s Bastiat’s broken window parable on an industrialized scale. Spending trillions to switch to less efficient forms of energy will boost economic growth and create jobs, they insist. I’d have much more respect for these arguments if they simply acknowledged that doing a fraction of what they want will come at considerable cost.
Consider Greta Thunberg, the latest child redeemer of the climate change movement. She hates planes because they spew CO2. That’s why she sailed from Sweden to a conference in New York. As symbolism, it worked, at least for the people who already agree with her. But in economic terms, she might as well have raised the Spoon Banner off the main mast of her multi-million-dollar craft (that may have a minimal carbon footprint now, but required an enormous carbon down-payment to create). The organizers of this stunt had to fly two people to New York to bring the ship back across the Atlantic. And scores of reporters flew across the Atlantic to cover her heroic act of self-denial. Her nautical virtue signaling came at a price.
The organizers insist that they will buy carbon offsets to compensate for the damage done. But that’s just clever accounting. The cost is still real. And that’s not the only cost. It took her fifteen days to get to America. In other words, she actually proved the point of many of her critics. Fossil fuels come with costs all their own—geopolitical, environmental, etc.—but the upside of those downsides is far greater efficiency. If you want to get across the Atlantic in seven hours instead of two weeks, you need fossil fuels. The efficiency of modern technology reduces costs by giving human beings more time to do other stuff.
The Conservative Planners
The unity of goodness mindset has been spreading to the right these days as well. The new conservative critics of the free market see the efficiency of the market as a threat to other good things. And they’re right, as Joseph Schumpeter explained decades ago. For instance, just as earth-moving equipment replaces ditch-diggers in the name of efficiency, robots replace crane operators, and the communities that depended on those jobs often suffer as a result.
I have no quarrel with this observation. My problem is with the way they either sell their program as cost-free, or pretend that the right experts can run things better from Washington. They know which jobs or industries need the state to protect them from the market. They know how to run Facebook or Google to improve the Gross National Virtue Index. Many of the same people who once chuckled at the Spoons story now nod sagely. I don’t mean to say that there’s no room for government to regulate economic affairs. But I am at a loss as to why I should suspend my skepticism for right-wingers when they work from the same assumptions of the left-wingers I’ve been arguing with for decades.
Embracing Trumpism to Own Trump
Instead I want—or I guess need—to talk about another trade-off. I’ve been very reluctant to weigh in on the Joe Walsh project for a bunch of reasons. The biggest is that I am friends with some of the people cheering it on. But I think I have to offer my take.
I don’t get it.
Oh, I certainly understand the desire to see a primary challenger to Trump. I share that desire. And I understand the political calculation behind the effort. It’s like when one little league team brings in some dismayingly brawny and hirsute player from Costa Rica as a ringer. The other teams feel like they have to get their own 22-year-olds with photoshopped birth certificates in order to compete. My friend Bill Kristol is convinced that Trump must be defeated and that Walsh is just the mongoose to take on the Cobra-in-Chief.
I try not to recycle metaphors or analogies too much, but this seems like another example of a Col. Nicholson move. As I’ve written before, Col. Nicholson was the Alec Guinness character in The Bridge Over the River Kwai. The commanding officer of a contingent of mostly British POWs being held by the Japanese, Nicholson at first follows the rules and refuses to cooperate with his captors in their effort to use British captives as slave labor for a bridge project. But then his pride kicks in and he decides he will show the Japanese what real soldiering is like, agreeing to build the bridge as a demonstration of British superiority in civil engineering. [Spoiler alert] It’s only at the end of the film that he realizes that building the bridge may have been a kind of short-sighted moral victory, but in reality he was helping the Japanese kill allied troops because the bridge was going to be used for shipping Japanese troops and ammunition. When this realization finally arrives, he exclaims, “My God, what have I done?”
Walsh’s primary brief against Trump is that Trump is temperamentally unfit for office and a con man. Fair enough. But he has to focus his indictment on Trump’s erratic behavior. Why? Because he’s a terrible spokesman for much of the rest of the case against Trump. I may not call myself “Never Trump” any more, but I was in 2016. And back then, the argument against Trump wasn’t simply that he was erratic. It was also that he wasn’t a conservative, that he happily dabbled in racism and bigotry, and that he was crude, ill-informed, and narcissistically incapable of putting his personal interests and ego aside for the good of the country. I’m sure I’m leaving a few other things out. But you get the point.
Walsh may be sincere in his remorse over all the racist and incendiary things he said in the very recent past. He may regret supporting his anti-Semitic friend Paul Nehlen, though I haven’t found evidence of that. But none of that history should be seen as qualifications for the presidency, the Republican nomination, or support from conservatives.
And yet, it is precisely these things that make him attractive to his conservative supporters. Trump is an entertainer who trolls his enemies with offensive statements for attention, so let’s find someone who does the exact same thing!
Walsh may have been a one-term congressman, but his true vocation was as a shock-jock trolling provocateur. It’s ironic. As I’ve argued countless times, much of Trump’s bigotry in 2016 stemmed less from any core convictions than from a deep belief that the GOP’s base voters were bigoted and he needed to feed them red meat. Trump's reluctance to repudiate David Duke derived primarily from his ridiculous assumption that Duke had a large constituency he didn’t want to offend. He may have believed the Birther stuff, but he peddled it because that’s what his fans wanted. And Joe Walsh was one of those fans.
It may also be true that Walsh never really believed most of the bilge he was peddling and that he was doing the same thing Trump did—feeding the trolls—on a smaller scale. But if that’s the case, then he’s a con man, too.
I don’t want to beat up on Walsh too much because, again, his epiphany may be sincere. There are lots of people who pushed certain arguments too far only to recognize that the payoff was Trump and the transformation of conservatism into a form of right-wing identity politics. There are a lot of Col. Nicholsons out there. And I have too much respect for Bill Kristol to believe that he would lend his support to someone he believed to be as bigoted as the man Walsh seemed to be a few years ago.
But from where I sit, the prize we should keep our eyes on isn’t defeating Trump; it’s keeping conservatism from succumbing to Trumpism after he’s gone. This isn’t easy, and no tactic is guaranteed to be successful. We’ve never been here before. My own approach is to agree with Trump policies when I think they’re right—judges, buying Greenland, etc.—and disagreeing when they’re wrong. My own crutch is to simply tell the truth as I see it, regardless of whether it fits into some larger political agenda or strategy. Truth is always a legitimate defense of any statement.
But for those who see themselves as political players as well as public intellectuals, I think this is a terrible mistake. Intellectually and morally, the case for continued opposition to—or skepticism about, Trump cannot—or rather must not—be reduced to simple Trump hatred. But by rallying around Walsh—instead of, say, Mark Sanford, or Justin Amash, or, heh, General Mattis—that’s what it looks like. Because you can’t say, “I’m standing on principle in my opposition to a bigoted troll and con man as the leader of my party and my country and that’s why I am supporting a less successful bigoted troll and con man for president.” Walsh isn’t a conservative alternative to Trump; he’s an alternative version of Trump. And his candidacy only makes sense if you take the “binary choice” and “Flight 93” logic of 2016 and cast Trump in the role of Hillary.
Let’s imagine the Walsh gambit works beyond anyone’s dreams and Joe Walsh ends up getting the GOP nomination (a fairly ludicrous thought experiment, I know). If so, I have no doubt that my friend Bill Kristol will say, a la Col. Nicholson, “My God, what have I done.”
Various & Sundry
Canine Update: It’s good to be home. The beasts were delighted to see us. Everything is settling back to normal, except for one intriguing development. I think Zoë has finally had enough with Pippa’s tennis ball routine. The other day on the midday walk with the pack, Kirsten managed to film Zoë putting an end to the tennis ball shenanigans. She took the ball and buried it. It was, to use an inapt phrase, a baller move—and she was unapologetic about it. Maybe she just didn’t like all the commotion with the other dogs, because she’s tolerant of the tennis ball stuff again. Or maybe she was being protective of her sister given that many of the other dogs in the pack are known thieves. Regardless, they’re doing well and having fun.
If you haven’t tuned into The Remnant lately, please give it another try. The first episode of the week was with Niall Ferguson and the feedback has been great. The latest episode is with my friend and AEI colleague Adam White on all things constitutional. Word of mouth is really important in building up audiences, so if you can spread the word about The Remnant or this “news”letter, I’d be grateful.
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FULL Patch Notes Live transcript from PDXCon, featuring CK2, EU4, HoI4, and Stellaris!

TIDINGS FROM CRUSADER KINGS II, PATCHES 2.8.1 AND 2.8.2

TIDINGS FROM EUROPA UNIVERSALIS IV, PATCH 1.25.1

TIDINGS FROM HEARTS OF IRON IV, PATCH 1.5.1 and 1.5.2

TIDINGS FROM STELLARIS PATCH 2.0.1 and 2.0.2

AND NOW, SOME NEVER BEFORE RELEASED PATCH NOTES FROM DISTANT STARS AND THE 2.1 “NIVEN” PATCH!
THANK YOU!
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[MtF] Coming Out

I came out to most almost a year after starting HRT over the course of several months. These are my notes about how I decided that it was the right time for me, how I did it, lessons learned, tips I wish I had known when I started, and what I wish I could have told myself at the start.
This is one entry in a series of posts drawn out of notes and journal entries. A link to all of the posts can be found in my transition journey.
As with all my posts, this is comprised of notes from my journey, from someone that knew something was off since childhood and transitioned well past puberty had done its thing. Your journey will be different, YMMV applies to this community more than most, and there is no right or wrong way.
There are many different ways to come out, this was just my experience and yours can and will be very different.

Coming out

There is no rule that says you have to come out to anyone or that you have to come out to everyone. Alternatively you can pick and choose who you come out to. You might tell friends and family, but not tell your work and just start a new job as the new you. It is up to you to decide who needs to know.
If and when you do come out you are not asking their opinion, you are letting them know what is going on.
If coming out feels like a confession and you are seeking acceptance and understanding you want to shift away from that to one where you are just letting them know what is going on. They will or won't be accepting and you have no say in that. Coming out is not about gaining acceptance.
You might lose some friends, but you will probably be gaining some new ones like any transition in life such as when you move, change school/jobs, have kids, etc. Some will be accepting, some wont be, some will take time. Some will go through the seven stages of grief. Some might be open and happy for you, but months later they will stop inviting you to events. Some might hit on you.

My "plan"

From the start my plan was delay telling others until after I was male failing. To be clear male failing is one person on the street seeing a woman from just a glance at me, not everyone, not all the time. This started happening occasionally between month 9 and 11. Around month 10 even those that saw me frequently started noticing and would ask whats up. That occurring is what caused me to create a more firm schedule to coming out socially.
Of course this plan makes for an annoying catch 22

The bell curve of when others notice

There was no magic day where everyone's brain flip how they gender you. Some flip early, some flip late, some you have to explicitly tell as they will never figure it out. Unfortunately the time span of this bell curve isn't measured in days or weeks, but months from my experience.
Another woman I work with that had transitioned years before (and was open about the fact) figured it out crazy early, but was incredibly polite and didn't say a thing until I approached her for advice.
Those that have seen other individuals transition were able to spot my transition. Lack of facial hair and early changes to my voice stand out to them. The first unexpected person to figure it out that I came out to was one of these individuals. Later I found out there were several more that knew for over a year, but were all polite until I formally came out.
Those I interacted with the most were the last to notice my changes and they were not the first to gender me correctly. I call this boiling the frog or gender warping and the result is that they had the hardest time.
On the flip side those that have never seen me before at shops and restaurants consistently would see me as a women even when those at work that saw me every day had "no clue".
Different people gender individuals differently, placing different importance on different things from appearance to voice to smell. With the face it might be the skin tone, nose shape, or brow ridge that is the most important, you just don't know how any ones brain genders.
When a few people started noticing I was all excited to come out, but really the lesson I learned the hard way was that I needed to slow down. I was at the beginning of the curve. Just because a few figured it out doesn't mean most would and being told that 'they never would have guessed' because they still see a guy hurts. The longer I waited the less common that reaction was.
To further highlight the "speed" here are some dates to show how long I waited to come out at work compared to when I first started to be seen as a woman in public.

Deciding when to come out

Originally I was going to wait to tell most until after I had FFS which was scheduled for month 16, but a few were figuring it out at month 10 and I really didn’t want to wait.
In the end I told very close friends first, immediate family, and worked my way out in my social circle saving coming out formally at work for last and so there wasn't a specific day I told everyone, but it happened many times over the course of around three months.
Because I wanted to tell people in person there was a time period where some some knew, but others did not which gets annoying and was a little depressing at times.

Switching pronouns and name

I held off asking those that knew really early on to switch to use my new name and female pronouns until I was male failing and told a wider circle of friends. I did not want to live through others trying when I was clearly still presenting male which would result in me getting constantly misgendered not to mention someone slipping up around someone that did not know. It was just too messy and this was easier socially even if it was sad for me.
I did ask those that never interact with others to switch my name and pronouns immediately such as the woman that I went to for laser, which made my visits amazing. In fact she never knew me by my deadname and one day I left smiling when I told her my deadname in a conversation and she said it was weird. I never "came out" to those individuals, they only ever knew me as the new me which was great.

1 minute coming out speech

Before I came out officially at work a handful of people figured it out. One even asked me my name/pronouns and told me later they assumed they had missed the announcement. I realized that I needed something for these cases where someone approaches unexpectedly. I put together a little speech that I can say in a minute that hits all the bullet points that I kept on my phone.

Don't beat around the bush

Early on (month 10-11) there was a few people that figured out what was going on, but didn't say anything. If you realize this is happening don't beat around the bush or play coy games to see if they can figure it out. It is much better all around to just be upfront and tell them that you are transgender, transitioning and give the above 1 minute coming out speech. Don't turn it into a long awkward thing.
My apologies to the person that I did this to before I had the 1 minute coming out speech and was still terrified of telling people and really wanted them to figure it out and say something first. If you are really sure they know, just tell them.

Shorter is better

It is tempting when coming out to want to sit down and share everything that you have been keeping quiet about. Further, there can be a desire to convince them and seek validation. Long term though you want to try to stick more to the 1 minute speech and less the 1 hour discussion. Many of the things you share you will later wish you never had.

A one liner is also okay

One person I came out to really early on I did it in an off handed way. They overheard something with my new name and so I told them that I will be going by a new name in a month or two and that I am transgender. That was it, no further conversation was had. I simply told them of a change in my life, like it was exciting as buying a new car or something. In a way I think I liked this way of coming out more than anything else because they immediately switched and life moved on without a big drawn out event.

Coming out lessons

Guidelines I have learned the hard way.
Do not under any circumstances assume that the person you are coming out to is supportive. There are countless stories of being surprised at how others react. They might call you by your new name to your face, but never anyone else. They might be supportive say you are brave, but gossip about you negatively to their friends. Be especially watchful of those that might be openly hostile to you.
With each coming out the overall lesson I learned was to tell less.

Who needs science

Before I came out I had a list of scientific articles and was ready and happy to discuss it in greater detail with anyone that wanted to. To my surprise everyone either was just happy that I was happy or had already made up their mind and wasn't really interested in that sort of discussion.

Telling parents

My parents lived nearby and so I made sure to regularly see them so it wouldn't be a jarring visit with me looking different. I had spent months crafting a letter to give to them. The letter served several roles. First and foremost it was to articulate what is going on in as clear of a way as possible as well as answer the most common questions they might have. Beyond that I knew that when I left their house they would still have this letter and use it as a FAQ of sorts to be able to go back and see what I had written.
When the day actually came they told me that while they didn't really understand they still loved me. I regularly went back and hung out with them so they could see that I am still me. On the second visit it there was a lot more questions and push back to the point that they were trying to debate how I felt when I was a child as though they might know better than me. No matter what I felt about that, I calmly let them talk because I could see what they were doing and I know that this is all new for them and it will take some time. I kept going back, each time being calm and as time went and they learned more they seemed to became more accepting and supportive.
Family is family and giving them time to adjust and not giving up I felt was the right thing to do. When I came out I wasn’t wearing a dress and was still presenting androgynous, but each time they saw me after I slowly changed my presentation. Not only could they adjust to my presentation, but HRT continued to do its slow magic and each time I was more feminine. I don't have a magic solution for dealing with parents, but I am being much more patient than I am with anyone else.
If I have to cut a family member out of my life I want to know that I first did everything possible to maintain our relationship.

Acceptance and Support

When asked how others are responding to me coming out I like to describe in terms of acceptance and support as two separate axis on a graph. I have those that are supportive, but not accepting, those that are not accepting and not supportive, and those that are supportive and accepting and everything in the middle.
For many that are not accepting it is because they are not informed. They make a million assumptions based upon what little information they have seen in the media. Simply talking to them helps bring to light a lot of these misconceptions and can move that axis.

Its all about sexuality right???

Some individuals have a really really hard time separating sexuality from gender. They will bring the conversations constantly back to that topic and they just can't conceive that I am not doing this for sexual reasons. When I discuss my transition it is almost never about sexuality and every time they bring it up I clarify and move the conversation elsewhere. I try to discuss sexuality as little as possible because I want to send a clear message that it is not part of the conversation. Sometimes I have to be as blunt as I am willing about this topic as they might have just insane ideas.

People talk

Do not trust that people won't talk. Assume if you tell someone they will tell someone else. Someone at my work figured it out and told his wife (via chat on his phone) before we even finished my coming out conversation. Within the world of gossip this ranks insanely high. If someone asks if you are going through something early on you can just say 'personal stuff' and leave it at that, you do not have to tell anyone before you are ready. There are plenty of stories where someone came out to a friend or supposed ally only to find out that they told everyone. Even though I was prepared for it when it happened to me it took me by surprise. Even telling another trans individual doesn't guarantee they won't talk.
The safest thing is to not tell anyone until you are ready for everyone to know.
On the flip side this can be used for coming out at work, the neighborhood, etc. Tell the person that gossips and just stand back. Or tell a close group and let them know it is not a secret and you plan on formally coming out in a few weeks. They will talk and when you "come out" it wont surprise many. It will be news for a few weeks and then people will hopefully move on. Cis individuals by and large don't understand how serious outing you is.
As for myself those that are closest to me would almost always tell their spouses shortly after I told them. Friends, family, boss, acquaintances, at each level of the circle, the possibility of someone telling everyone grows. It is really juicy gossip from their perspective and not a medical or safety issue like it is to us.

Delay until next week

When going through the process of telling everyone if you delay telling an individual a week it is only better. As I started coming out more and more events were conspiring as they do, to delay things. That might have been telling a neighbor or getting my name changed or telling an extended family member. In each case I really wanted to do it yesterday, but also took a breath and didn't worry about it. The important thing was that it was going to happen. And in fact the extra week or month was actually a positive thing. A few more weeks for HRT to do its thing, for me to work on my voice, wardrobe, facial hair, everything. So I didn't stress when I realized something I originally was hoping to do at month 11 would happen at month 13. This happened a number of times and in each case I was simply more prepared in the end. I started not trying to cram everything as close together as possible, but just tell those when the time is best.

And then ... nothing

I told the majority of individuals over the course of two months. Not too surprisingly very quickly it became yesterday's news, but what was more interesting was how the news wasn't timely. I wasn't going to a family wedding, high school reunion, or similar. If I had waited another month or three to start telling everyone it would have been okay.

Work

I told my boss when a few early individuals started to figure it out just in case something happened and I wanted him to be in my corner, but this was months before actually coming out at work. At the same time I reached out to HR so that they would be in the loop both for my own documentation/legal purposes and if they wanted to help. I am not sure if they were unprepared or if I live in a more liberal state than I realized because the response was only a link to the documentation on how to change my name in the various corporate systems.
I delayed the general announcement until almost 14 months. I was full time everywhere except work and itching to be me at work too, but given that it is my income, how I pay for food and housing I played it very safe. It was only once I had my legal name change and needed to update my name for payroll that I decided to come out at work. My face had changed enough that after I came out I was told one person said "about time".
I crafted a simply email that my director sent out. It was in the style of a new hire email just a photo and an introduction. Not only did having them send it out give it authority behind the announcement, but they got to use the female pronouns in the email when referring to me. I also had a long legal type HR email ready in case we needed to send it to anyone in specific if there was trouble.
The email that went out was very short, just a few paragraphs that covered the following points:
I told my immediate colleagues before the mass email went out because I consider them my friends and because they saw me almost every day they didn't realize I had been changing and were surprised. After the announcement I got to go around changing my name and photo in various systems and got a new badge all on the same day.
I received a lot of congratulatory emails and then after a few hours I was just back to doing work. It took a few days for the news to filter out and over the next few days others kept finding out and either stopping by and saying hi or sending me an email.
I work in a casual environment and the day after coming out I switched my wardrobe, but to help others adjust kept it more on the androgynous style with jeans and t-shirts to start. I had been hiding my chest fairly well so trading my compression bras and large sweaters for tops that fit and a regular bra resulted in a fair number of stares for a few days. As the weeks went by I slowly started introducing more femme pieces and wearing jewelry.
In the end (so far?) coming out at work went incredibly well. There were a few name and pronoun mistakes, but as time went on that decreased and work continued on as it had before. Seeking feedback on how it went someone told me that when I am not around they switched to my new name which made my day to hear.

Work and sexual discussions

Discussing what it means to be transgender has a lot of topics that are sexual in nature. Be extraordinary careful about what you say or do as you might actually be reported to HR because it makes someone uncomfortable. Have conversations in private areas because individuals that eavesdrop in publicly held conversations area might also report you. Because the nature of coming out stuff normally not discussed day to day at work are, and extra care should be taken to not put your job in jeopardy as you navigate answering those that have questions.

Outer circle

There are a number of individuals that I would classify as on the outer circle. They know me from before, but I infrequently interact with them. These include places like my dentist, hairdresser, eye doctor, library. An option you have at any time is to just go somewhere else. The new place won't have that baggage of you having to come out to them or the possibility of being misgendered like those that need to adjust. I kept going to many of the same places, but if I had to do it over this might choose differently both to get the validation and have one less thing to stress over.

Account and Names

Working in software I know just how dangerous it can be to ask to have a name updated. It is very common that the old name isn't deleted or changed, but there is just some note saying the new name is X, but the original name is still there or the name is just copied from one system to the next. Even if you think you updated everything eventually something screws up and the first name in the account is used. So even if it was a bit more work whenever possible I created a new account and then deleted the old account so there would be no chance for the old name to be accidentally used down the road. This applied for big things like Facebook, but also to little things like online purchases from places like Etsy and even my library card.
A good example is Amazon.com where your name is copied all over the place rather than having a single account holder and so you will be playing whack a mole trying to find all the places your old name is used if you continue using your old account.
As I would come out to others when it applied I would tell them about my new accounts and switch communicating with them exclusively there.
I highly recommend when possible creating new accounts and deleting the old ones.

Telling others your deadname

When you first come out, everyone knows your deadname, but from then on you will start meeting people who don't know your deadname, but might know you are trans. The moment these individuals learn what your deadname is they often will feel compelled to say it out loud, almost like they are trying it on to see how it fit you. This experience never once has felt good. Like coming out, you can never undo telling someone your deadname. Worst of all they can (and sometimes will) tell others what it was. But overall after experiencing this a few too many times I no longer tell someone my deadname even when asked saying I wouldn't be comfortable telling them and dropping it. If they find out through some other means that is okay, but there is no reason for me to volunteer that.

Social Media

Coming out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and similar places was the very last major thing I was planning on doing. In preparation for that I had scrubbed photos of myself from the internet, created new email addresses, and took a new "stock" photo of myself to use as a profile photo everywhere.

Facebook

I always assumed I would have a big coming out message on Facebook. But as it got closer and closer to when I thought I might do that I realized I didn't really need to do that. Facebook just has a collection of individuals I knew over the last decade, not my close friends. And what did I really have to gain by posting there? Anyone I wanted to tell I told in person and they were now friends on my new account. And then I looked over my friends list and realized that a number had actually deleted their account. I could just delete my old Facebook account without an announcement and it wouldn't be a big deal.

Accepting at first, but...

Some individuals are very accepting at first, but on the second or third time you see them they are less so even to the point of being hostile. Unfortunately those same individuals can come off as extremely supportive at first and it is very tempting to open up to them. Because of this I switched to holding back initially and only open up over time as I learned I could trust them.

For some I have been transitioning for only a few months ...

I came out to most people between months 9 and 14. Some told me they started noticing and suspected something was up as early as month 8. While I might have been living with this since I was a child, seriously dealing with it for several years and I have been on HRT for more than a year to them it is very new. I would even go as far as saying some think I have been transitioning for only a few months.

Ways that I outed my transition before coming out

Some of the things I did before coming out made it much more obvious I was transitioning. I wrote down what other people told me they noticed. If I had ever seriously worried about my job as income or wanted to go stealth by quitting my job and starting over in a new city these are things I should not have done.
In summary if you want a group of people to not know you are transitioning don’t be stupid, just don’t start socially transitioning in front of them.

How-old.net

Before coming out at work I admit that I submitted way to many photos to how-old.net to see how I was being gendered. It had the addictive nature that initially only occasionally would it rewarded me by saying I looked female, but as time went on more and more were being marked as female. A big reason I was using it was as a gauge for when I could come out. But after coming out I found myself no longer using it because it didn't matter. If the site saw me as male or female it didn't help me at all because I was now out.

That photo where I am fat

I lived a life before I transitioned and pretending I didn't is silly. Within that lifetime I took photos and videos, wrote articles for publications, gave talks and much more. I don't want to pretend that this never happened.
Someone told me it is like I have an old vacation photo that I love, but I happened to be fat during that time. I loved that experience, don't want to pretend it never happened, but but just don't care to show anyone the photo because of how I looked. I have used this allegory a few times to good success to explain to others how I feel about old photos or places that still have my old name.

Being screwed over

Someone will screw you over. You just don't know who it will be. Perhaps they will decide that it is their business to tell everyone sooner than you were planning. Maybe they will find you offensive and cause you problems on social media or at work. Maybe they will stir the pot on purpose to cause issues in your relationship. Maybe they will call you sir or deadname and misgender you in every single sentence just to voice their opinion. You don't know who it will be, but be prepared and try not to engage with them and be defensive in every single person you come out to.
And just to make it extra challenging they might be accepting and supportive in the first conversation, but only in the second conversation does it becomes clear that they are not an ally.
Most of the people I told were very supportive and accepting, but there was those few that I surprised me at their behavior and if I had to guess at the start I never would have said it would have been them. You just don't know who it will be.

Misgendering

The best advice seems to be for those that know you have changed, but are misgendering you is to be firm, calm and consistent in correcting people from the very start. Correcting with a single word, completely neutrally in tone with no explanation and move one without waiting for a response.
I practiced with a close friend when the day came for them to switch. Explicitly telling them I needed to practice worked out great for both of us because they would still use the old name and pronouns from habit and I needed to build up the reflex of calling it out while knowing that they wont attack me.
For those that don't know you the best advice I have heard is to act confused and be confident in your gender like any cis individual would behave.
At work record down on paper when it happens in case you need to give it to HR down the road.
A pattern I have seen happen is that many individuals are very good with names and pronouns for a short while (the first or second time after I tell them), but later on when it was not on the forefront of their mind that they made mistakes. At first I was excited at how easy it seem to be for everyone to switch, but they they all started accidentally using my deadname. Now I realize that when it was less at the front of their mind they were much more likely to make mistakes until the new name became habit. I never thought that they were being malicious (usually that is very obvious) but realized that it will just take some time to switch their automatic behavior.

Pronouns for before

When asked what pronouns should be used when telling old stories I didn't have a good answer and initially let the question slide. When thinking about myself in the past I would see someone presenting male and it was a bit confusing. By not clarify an answer to this question I noticed a few things:
Switching back and forth just makes it harder for everyone, especially parents to retrain themselves.
As time went on and as I looked more feminine, was read and treated as a woman day in and day out, having other people use my deadname and use male pronouns hurt more each time.
While they often ask about talking about stories when you were six it hurts way more when they are talking about you from just a few years ago while using your deadname and male pronouns.
Something I couldn't articulate at the time, but u/nubivagance did very well with this comment:
I've always looked at this from a linguistic perspective. Pronouns and names serve the purpose of designating who you are referring to right now in the moment. Even when talking about the past, you are still indicating "there, that person. This is about them" linguistically. In that way, using a person's old name doesn't make sense. You are referring to a person who goes by X so using Y to refer to them doesn't make sense and will only serve to confuse the message you are trying to convey with words.
What I should have said from the start was that unless the fact that I was presenting male is relevant to the story to not mention it otherwise they should say "when [name|our daughter] was pre transition" and keep on using female pronouns.
While I understood how much harder switching pronouns when talking about memories, overtime I expect everyone to switch.

Overall

Overall coming out went way better than I was expecting it would. I had really low expectations and many individuals surprised me. There was a number of cases where those that I was sure would be a problem were a strong ally in the end and those that I assumed would be an ally were unexpectedly nasty. You just don't know until you tell them. The vast majority of individuals switched to my new name and life moved on.
In every coming out conversation the topic of me becoming a "completely different person" would come up. It didn’t see to matter what I said and it seems like it was only once they got to see with their own eyes that I was pretty much the same person after going full time did they believe me.
I had a fair amount of anxiety around not knowing how it would turn out was and it was a big relief once everyone knew.
While I initially wanted to do it in one big moment spreading it out and delaying a week or month here and there was not a big deal and I don’t regret a single instance where I had to wait to tell someone. Same goes for clothes, rather than switching in a big bang, slowly shifting what I wore of the course of several months worked very well, both to help make everyone comfortable, but also to help give myself more time to build up a wardrobe.
Would I have had the same experience if I had come out earlier or later? That is something I can never know and I could probably make arguments for and against coming out at a different time, but at the end of the day this is what I was comfortable with and worked well for me. I know there are others that come out pre-HRT or never and that is cool too, the point being that they came out when they wanted and felt ready.

Validation

One year later (At 2+ years HRT) one evening I went to my parents house for the first time in a long time and they misgendered me and deadnamed me all evening. It didn't seem malicious, just habitual and I corrected them each time. They had been good in the past so the behavior was a little surprising, but what was truly surprising was how I felt about it. When I first came out the approval and validation of others (including my parents) meant a lot to me. Transitioning is a big scary choice and I was looking for support. When someone would disapprove or misgender me it would hurt. As time marched on I gained a lot of self confidence in who I am and I discovered that their behavior didn't phase me because I no longer needed that validation. It was disappointing, but I didn't go home and cry or anything. What it really taught me was just how much validation was tied up in my coming out.
As you come out to others be aware of your own confidence and how that can play into the situation. Over explaining, trying to convince with science, and being hurt and distraught when they just don't understand. (Cis individuals not understanding what it feels like to be trans? shocker!) No matter how sure I was about being trans at the time I was still insecure and that made coming out much harder than it needed to be.

Reflecting on how I came out 2 years later

On the internet people like to obsess over the question: "what is a woman". I might know I am a woman in the same way I know I am right handed, but in the eyes of other people I am only a woman because they now see a woman and treat me like other women. Once I realized this had happened I become very bitter because it just further reenforces that you only are what you look like. This caused me to question everything I did when I came out because clearly very little of what I said actually mattered, all that mattered what how I looked to them.
When I came out I was itching to be me full time and tell everyone everything, so I might have ignored any advice, and I still can't say it it is any better than what I did, but if I could go back I would tell myself the following:

What to tell

As little as possible
I told people so much personal and private stuff that they had no need to know and I can't take back. If I tried to justify it by saying I was convincing them, I now know that was pointless and just waited would accomplish that better. And it didn't matter! Coming out isn't about validation or acceptance or any of that, but about telling them what is going on and nothing more. I knew who I was, that is the reason I was doing this.
A few conversations could have been in-depth, but the vast, vast majority of conversations only needed the bullet points I listed in my work email and in some cases I could have done even less.

Who to tell

Less people
When I started I was under the impression I had two choices, go stealth like those in the 80's/90's and reset my life or alternatively because it is 2020 and people are more accepting, tell everyone, post it all over social media and more.
It isn't so binary, you can tell all your friends personally, but you don't have to come out on social media. You can also wait to switch your name at work until you start a new job. A few key choices can result in needing to come out to dramatically less people.
No, every neighbor didn't need to be personally told. No, I didn't have to tell my hairdresser. No, the friend at work who was leaving shortly before I came out didn't need to know.

When to tell

Later is better
I know waiting is really hard. I remember crying in bed at only 3 months on HRT knowing I could not socially transition yet when I knew to my core this was right. I stick by my choice of waiting until I male failed, but I would say to wait another 6-9 months after that to get through as much of the androgynous phase as possible. Then again maybe if I had simply told less I would be more happy with when came out.

Next

After a lifetime of imagining what it would be like, preparing, waiting, and finally coming out I finally start living full time as a woman and starting to experience the trials and tribulations that entails.
submitted by 2d4d_data to TransProTips [link] [comments]

[OT]Ask Nate: Field Manual FM-02W SciFi Military Fiction

    Field Manual FM-02W

       SciFi Military Fiction

 
"What a gang of apes! Maybe if you'd all buy it this drop, they could start over and build the kind of outfit the Lieutenant expected you to be."      - Career Ship's Sergeant Jelal Starship Troopers 1959. Robert A. Heinlein
 

Intro

     Before we get started here, I want to send a huge shoutout to everyone who participated in FM-01W. Especially, WarriorPoet02 who has a in-depth knowledge of both modern and historical combat, as well as a validated expert (with actual experience) in modern Marine Combat. He was able to fill in some gaps in my knowledge and even I learned some stuff. On that point, while I may have a wide-range of general knowledge, I'm not an expert in things I'm not an expert in. Don't ever be afraid, no matter how much you think you know, to consult others. You can always learn more.
     Time for Hot Shots: Part Deux; SciFi. As for the quote, it comes from one of my all-time favorite SciFi MilFic books; which was turned into a campy movie that pretty much only shares the same title. The book itself was once on the Commandant of the Marine Corps reading list, because despite being an old SciFi action romp; there are a number of deep reflective themes in the book that transcended genera fiction. Themes that did not make it to the film. Neither did their awesome power armor.
     Enough about Starship Troopers. What am I going to cover here today? This guide and the Fantasy one are designed more to provoke inspiration and creativity, rather than to give you established precedent. These are just my recommendations, so feel free to pick and choose what you want. SciFi and Fantasy universes have their own rules, just stay consistent. I'll tell you how I (and a few others) have gone about using existing military concepts and apply them to straight up fiction. And remember, no matter how cool your tech is, the best stories are always about the people and their struggles.
 

Frame the Universe

     Before you take your first step out that airlock, you need to decide what your restrictions are. Unlike the other three guides which are locked to a single planet (Earth or your Fantasy world, don't make me go down a magic portal rabbit hole for other worlds there...) SciFi is usually out in space. But not always.
     Why is there conflict? You can write SciFi all day without political conflict (personal conflict, not so much). But military SciFi needs an excuse to break out diplomacy through other means. Just having a squad run around breaking sh*t and engineering chaos, while exciting, isn't very interesting. Who are your aggressors and why? Develop the reasons, they tend to make for a better read than just blatant xenophobia. Old Man's War has some interesting angles to this regard. I'm sure you can all cite a few more (Dune, also comes to mind).
     And as goes with all stories, your characters need to be relatable. So if you have no humans, there better be some threads you can attach to as a reader.
 

Force Building

It's like world building, but for the military.
Me, I like to ground things in a heritage of the existing. Why? Because it's what humans do, either because of heritage, relatability, or because we aren't very original. This is more relevant (I feel) in SciFi based off human futures (moreso than let's say High Fantasy), deviate accordingly.
Rank and Structure      Most of the best SciFi/Fantasy militaries are based on real world examples. Yes, you can start from scratch and create completely alien military structures. However, the more off-the-beaten-path you go, the harder it will be for the reader to relate to and follow. As much fun as it is to create a 27-tiered rank structure of a thirty-seven layered hierarchy, your readers aren't going to be able to keep track without constantly referring back to the 30-page appendix in the back of your novel.
So… Kreckel Jip Paccku of the 4th Gregglan Raggers… ok so a Kreckl outranks a Jiggag, but not a Opperg. And a Ragger unit is bigger than the J'hest, but subordinate to the Max Headroom?
     Yeah, confusing as hell without constant references. Titles like "Lord Imperator" or "Knight Commander" might not be modern ranks, but at least make enough sense for someone with an average IQ to follow. This is why you generally see authors stick to basic concepts of Private, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant in their works. It's not just that future military concepts are rooted in history, it's that the reader has to follow it.
     Is it ok to make up new unit types and ranks? Sure, just be careful not to make it insanely confusing. I have a universe where I replaced line company Captain (O-3) with a rank called "Aegis". It's the same rank, I just did away with the confusion created by also having ship "Captains" (O-6). The other officer ranks mostly follow the traditional Marine/Navy structure. (Ignore the two "non-combat" columns on the right.) This problem actually exists in our own military, though it seldom causes any actual problems. Navy Captains out rank Army, Air Force, and Marine Captains by three levels.
Navy or AirForce?      Who took the lead? In SG-1, it was the Air Force, so they were very focused around their behavior and structure (though the other US DoD branches and Russians were also in the picture). In many SciFi tales they try to shape their fleets around Naval traditions. Feel free to blend/meld them… just try not to be too confusing.
Mega-Stupendo Heroes      Is your MC overpowered? Overtrained? Do it, don't do it, I don't care. But seriously, be careful with it if you do. Master Chief is a great video game character whose story became relatable because he struggles with his humanity. Having said be cautious of making super soldiers, I've done it myself. Yet, they too struggle with what it means to be human and are vulnerable at the loss of those around them.
     I actually started this point to ponder on an old scifi show Space: Above and Beyond which struggled to try and stay "realistic". Real pilots take years to train. Typical pilots hit the fleet as senior First Lieutenants who're about to be promoted to Captain. You don't risk all that training sending pilots on infantry missions. The show did that a number of times. There were other weak plots I caught watching it as an adult who had served, that never dawned on me as a kid. (I still enjoy the hell out of S:AAB.) Yes, your MC might be an elite, super warrior… but there better be logical explanations for why before you end up with a magic Mary/Marty Sue.
Warrior Generals      I suppose this largely depends on the universe you build out, but even some of the most hardcore modern Generals don't see frontline combat. In the real world, you'd be lucky to see anyone above a Major on the ground/in the fight or a LtCol/Commander in the sky trading shots with the enemy. You tend to trade rank for boring desk jobs and rear-echelon leadership roles. The "warrior general" is really something of the bygone era and has more of a place in Fantasy, than SciFi. That's not to say the rules of your force can't dictate that, just be mindful. In Starship Troopers, everyone dropped and everyone fought. Pretty sure one of the big Generals bought it in a bug fight too.
 

Technology

      War, in the most extremely basic mathematical approach, is all about rendering more of the enemy combat ineffective than they can inflict similarly on to you. Conflict is all about the 5 D's: Defend, Delay, Disrupt, Destroy, or Divert. Technology has evolved over time to do those five things. I'll cover a handful of popular concepts, but this isn't even close to the full list.
Space Battles      Massive fleets of capital ships and squadrons of fighters are often woven into the fabric of an epic space opera. So how does one describe this dance of behemoths?
     Scarecrowsid, also pointed out: Using Navy structure as a base, the value of studying the ways in which a CIC and Bridge operate can have a significant effect on how battle sequences play out in Ship to Ship combat. There are a number of options here, but to name a few:
Drone warfare      On the note of space battles and the argument for human pilots vs drones: Light has a current finite speed. 299,792 kilometers per second. We'll assume no one is jamming your comms. That's still millisecond lag in close engagements. We put current drone operators as near as we can to avoid lag in terrestrial situations. Even then you get some lag. Not just data travel, it's processing too. I can't go into actual lag times or the differences in responsiveness for drone operators in CONUS vice in Theater (not only because it's likely classified, but because I don't know the details other than it exists). These are drones not engaged in 1-on-1 sorties. So imagine in your space combat drone vs piloted and how the signal-decision-command-execute delay is for a live pilot vs a drone that is getting further and further from the base station. If you have pushed the magic insta-communications "I believe" button, then go ahead…
Communications      Back to the speed of light… physics is a bitch. Ok, we can assume even in an FTL world, light still takes time to travel. Some EU gets around this a number of ways.
Power ArmoMECHs      I enjoy a nice suit (the HIMYM/Avengers gag was brought to you by MajorParadox). The US military is currently working on a few prototypes, but the biggest hangup is still power. It will likely continue to be a problem for the near future before we see Space Marines dropping on us. But this is your Nuka-Cola™ powered future. Bring on the Jeagers, Power Armor, and Battlemechs. Things you might want to toy with are scale issues (stepping on friendly forces), power (might still run out of those Fusion Cores), Ammo (it's still gonna run out), crossing large swaths of terrain (are you limited to human running speed, there still is a human in that suit), and the shortcomings of human anatomy (there still are restrictions on how much punishment a body can take even in the nicest padded cell and a body has to fit into the armor somehow).
Superweapons      I'll show you my Galaxy Gun if you let me see your Death Stars. (I'm already ashamed at that joke.) Yes, superweapons are a trope. As are the: Lost Superweapon, Forgotten Superweapon, Superweapon Surprise, and the Ancestral Weapon. I'd say not to, but the Mouse now owns an entertainment Empire born on the back of them. My advice…make sure your thermal exhaust port isn’t showing. (cringes) Ok, bad jokes aside; if you want to go the superweapon route, don't build me a third Death Star (cough, cough JJ?). What do I mean? Get to it, fight it, but don't dwell on it forever. (Seriously, don't spend pages on building it for me.)
Robotics      I actually was going to skip this for the sake of running long, but two of the reviewers pointed out it would be a good topic to cover. Macro and micro (regular and nano?) robots are likely to be a large part of space exploration since humans are fragile (we squish good) and take a lot of logistics to support. Human-sized or larger combat troops might just be the answer. On the other hand, smaller nanobots might be used for repairs/construction or in a swarm/cloud attack approach.
     (Will insert quote here if permission is given, don't like using people's words without their consent.) The gist of the argument made, however, is that continued human combat would be unlikely given a robust AI robo-troop force.
     It's a valid point. I could see it go a few ways as a story teller:
  1. You could write from a sentient AI robot perspective and keep to the above ConOps
  2. You could be one of the Robot Handlers. A commander of robotroops.
  3. Your society banned AI after a Terminator-like Rise of the Machines, so only basic (or no) robots are assisting humans in space.
     Also, from my buddy /Merklynn:
I'd throw Phillip K. Dick's short story "Second Variety" into the discussion. It's focus on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where a small rabble of surviving military from both sides try to rendezvous for a truce while avoiding the lethal "claws", disguised AGI killing machines, is about as close as I've seen PKD come to military sci-fi. The story isn't pure military sci-fi, but it is one of the earliest examples I can think of in which artificial intelligence has gone out of control, infiltrated humanity and constantly upgrading itself, making a terrifying enemy. The 1995 film adaptation Screamers is hit and miss, but the surviving enemy units being forced together and dealing with a total loss of communication with their superiors on Earth is one of the most compelling things about the story for me.
 
     Stuff I didn't cover: killer robots, nanobots, superviri, cyborgs, and more… I'd be here all week.
 

Battlespace

     Alright, back to your combat. So now you have your universe, how are you going to play in your sandbox? A lot of the stuff covered in the previous guide still applies (make sure to skim the comments of that guide for some great commentary on combat). Some additional things to consider:
 

BONUS: Mercs / Parma-Military Contractors

     penguinzeppelin asked me about Mercs. Well IRL, most Military Contractors (even the ones without guns) heavily draw from the retired/veteran pool. It's a steryotype for a reason. I would likely approach my characters as such, or conversely how difficult they had blending into a group of all vets -OR- as a company/grioup the hard time they had getting work without that on their CV.
     While entertainment media likes to portray corporate military orgs like crazy wildcards (yes, Blackwater was bad m-kay) the ones that don't adhere to strict business practices tend to flash and fade as they die the death of a million lawsuits. Blackwater did end up in very hot water.
     Mercs that don't have business acumen tend to become pirates, privateers, or freelancers at least in decent SciFi. Morals tend to get in the way (or become great story points). Is it a big team of hundreds and your MCs are just a small cog in the wheel (maybe they break off and go it alone)? Are they a small (12 or less) team that does independent contractor work? Do they look for a specific type of work that suits their personalities or are they so desperate for work that anything goes?
Big Orgs
Small Orgs
Again, this "article" is more designed to generate ideas and concepts to be applied to the normal rules of good story telling.
Questions, Comments, Complaints for your Congressman?
Ask your questions and I will get to them as soon as my day allows. Everyone is encouraged to participate and share your own thoughts. This is an open discussion. If people bring up good points, I will edit this accordingly. Also feel free to list your favorite SciFi military books, shows, etc in the comments.
the Military Fiction (MilFic) Field Manuals FM-01W - Modern Military Fiction FM-02W - SciFi Military Fiction - (this guide) FM-03W - Fantasy Military Fiction (High and Low) - TBD FM-04W - Historical Military Fiction - TBD – Will cover ancient armies (Roman/Egyptian) up to early-Industrial/pre-WWI
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10-06 18:33 - '“Bitcoin Code Review Australia” - Is “Bitcoin Code Australia” Scam? My SHOCKING Results!' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/thebitcoincode786 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 15-25min

'''
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My Short To The Point Bitcoin Code Review Australia & Results!
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'''
“Bitcoin Code Review Australia” - Is “Bitcoin Code Australia” Scam? My SHOCKING Results!
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BitCoin Code Review - SCAM Software Release?!! Does the System oR Software Worth or Scam!!

BitCoin Code Review - SCAM Software Release?!! Does the System oR Software Worth or Scam!!
The Bitcoin Code Review Is The Bitcoin Code Software SCAM Or NOT? The Bitcoin Code Trading Software By Mr. Steve McKay The Bitcoin Code Scam Or Legit? How Does The Bitcoin Code System Work? Is It Possible To Earning Extra Fortune With The Bitcoin Code Software? Discover Today Why Bitcoin Code Trading APP Is The Best for your investment options.
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The Bitcoin Code APP is a new automated robot designed and developed By Steve McKay. You will get to learn its features, pros, about Bitcoin Code Trading APP, How The Bitcoin Code Software Works and much more. Unlike other binary options trading scams that have graced the binary options market passing themselves as genuine The Bitcoin Code Auto Trading Softwares, The Bitcoin Code system is the real deal.
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The Bitcoin Code APP Trading is very popular in many countries around the globe. However, most people still ask the question “can you really make money in The Bitcoin Code Software”. In this The Bitcoin Code Reviews I will try to answer this question and give you more information and tips on how you can make money with The Bitcoin Code Auto Trading Software.
The Bitcoin Code System Overview
Binary Software Name : The Bitcoin Code
Official The Bitcoin Code website : TheBitcoinCode.com
The Bitcoin Code CEO : Steve McKay
Money-back Promise : 2 months
Delivery amount : fast Delivery
The Bitcoin Code Bonus offer :$1000
The Bitcoin Code Download: Free
The Bitcoin Code Review
We are here to decode what The Bitcoin Code has in store for you Does It Works. The Bitcoin Code System is the brain child of Founder Steve McKay. Brian along with his huge effective team of employees has created The Bitcoin Code software which has best binary trading APP in 2017!
The Bitcoin Code software is the best auto trader app launched in the recent times. The Bitcoin Code system has already been proven in over 1,342 trading sessions with only 1 losing day! During the trading day it obviously has some losing trades, but what impressed us about Bitcoin Code software is that it has been making daily profits on such a consistent basis! Bitcoin Code system is capable of fully automated Binary Options trading, as well as semi-automated trading, which is my preferred method.
We have inside knowledge that all their The Bitcoin Code figures are being checked by accountants and lawyers, and have also been submitted to review by the Securities Authority of the US and Japan Stock Exchanges. They wouldn’t do all that unless The Bitcoin Code Investments Ltd is very confident about the outcome!
Hang on, because our The Bitcoin Code Review has a lot more to reveal About The Bitcoin Code system!
Is The Bitcoin Code Software A Really Winning Auto Trader?
Well, actually YES. The Bitcoin Code Investments Ltd is a software developer of high-speed computer that automatically invests the money in the stock exchanges of the world and has only lost once in the last four years. In the past four years, Bitcoin Code system performs trading sessions in 1478 and only once, just the one session ended in loss. The Bitcoin Code system is so easy that you can access the platform using any computer or mobile device, wherever that is based on the web, as long as you have an Internet connection. The Bitcoin Code software can serve as a signal service or work on complete autopilot, which means you do not need to have knowledge of trade or experience to use The Bitcoin Code.
How Does The Bitcoin Code Software Work?
According to Steve McKay, CEO and the Founder of The Bitcoin Code Trading Investments Ltd, “The Bitcoin Code is a trading system something that existing infrastructure and very fast computers used to buy assets, currency and futures and selling in financial markets. They do this throughout the course of the daily trading sessions based on algorithms.
“As another analyst described,” For assets is interest, offering both a buy and sell price. At the end of the day, but sells most of the jobs and earn money. “The Bitcoin Code Investments Ltd. is engaged in 165 exhibitions in 35 countries. The founder and CEO of Steve McKay, who belongs to top 300 list of billionaires by “Forbes” magazine. William R. Johnson, the CEO of the Stock Exchange of New York (1996-2016), is also involved in The Bitcoin Code Software. Although in the overall daily calculations, the trading machine never loses, a small number of speed transactions it performs are actually losses, but victories vastly outnumber the losses.
Apart from manual trading, The Bitcoin Code also has a great auto trading mode which is actually helpful for any newbie out there who is desperately trying to minimize the learning curve and profit something. We really recommend to use the auto trader feature, why? cause we found some amazing results with The Bitcoin Code Software!
To learn more about the Bitcoin Code program or get access to it, click here.
Our The Bitcoin Code Results
Now, to my The Bitcoin Code results. By the time I’m writing this The Bitcoin Code review I have used The Bitcoin Code APP for over 17 Days. During the last 23 sessions, The Bitcoin Code Software traded a total of 174 signals and 137 were ITM. This is an amazing 85% win rate. I made a deposit of $300 with OptionsMaker and invested $50 per each trade (What can I do, I’m usually very skeptic about new binary trading softxware.) My balance today is $3590, which means I’ve made $3090 in just 3 weeks of using The Bitcoin Code Software, with a daily average of over $140 in profits. That’s not bad at all, but it’s hard not to imagine how my profits could have looked like if my trading amount was $1000 (I could have made $280 per day!). By the way, I usually take just 5-8 signals per day and I’m using The Bitcoin Code system in its autopilot mode.
Is The Bitcoin Code SCAM?
The Bitcoin Code is a legit, highly profitable binary options trading system! $350 per day is not the promised $2,500 Per Day, true, but it’s still much better than most of the trading software I’ve seen and also if I’d been investing more than just $50 per trade, I would have made much more money! I’m definitely going to keep on Using The Bitcoin Code Software, but I am going to increase my trade amount to $100-150 per trade.
Nothing we were able to find linked in anyway to this being a scam. We at The Daily Harrison highly recommend The Bitcoin Code Trading software as any novice or experienced trader could be successful with Bitcoin Code software within no time. Hope you have checked my result as well. More over top 3 binary options websites have endorsed The Bitcoin Code and there is no negative response reported so far, which proves that Bitcoin Code software is profit driven with lesser risk factor and hassle free guess work and analysis. Anyway its all up to you to whether get this FREE and Famous auto trader or buy some junk which would cost you more than a thousand bucks and still fails to give any profit.
The Bitcoin Code is a complete package which takes care of all aspects of your trading requirements. One can easily make close to $500 daily and if you are lucky enough then only sky is the limit. The Bitcoin Code System algorithm is one of its kind. Generally, all auto trading software put a single amount of investment on a single asset. Trading Software that uses Binary Options essentially show your potential trade for fixed dollar amount. Either you take or leave it. When The Bitcoin Code APP presents you with a potential trade, The Bitcoin Code Trading software makes multiple small deals in exchange for a higher fixed dollar amount. Instead of offering one trade, you are offered a small portfolio of stock in exchange for better deal for you.
An initial investment of The Bitcoin Code Trading APP just $250 and you are up and running to start trading. $250 is the bare minimum and an accepted industry standard as an initial investment amount. With an ITM hovering around 84%, which is a decent and realistic figure, a serious trader with a decent background can easily make around $3,700-$7,500 every week. The Bitcoin Code offers both Manual and Auto-trading. Each type has its own USPs and you may use whichever suits your style of trading. Trading in Auto-pilot mode is just like as you say earning even in your sleep. Just keep your The Bitcoin Code software running and let The Bitcoin Code do the trade for you.
If you are a novice, we would recommend you start trading with the Auto trading option and learn the nuances of the trade. Only after you’ve gained enough insight into how The Bitcoin Code does the trade for you, you should move towards Manual stuff. Imagine what sort of a surprise it would be to see money just discretely scurried into your bank account overnight! Well, one can’t describe that feeling. Manual mode allows you more discretion. You can choose your trades yourself if your experience or intuition prods you to.
The Bitcoin Code allows you to trade in almost all the commonly traded assets there are. Be its stocks, currency pairs, indices or commodities. With a wide portfolio of assets available at your disposal, you can just make a selection. High/Low, Short-term, One Touch and Long-Term, Boundary trading options have become a norm. The Bitcoin Code also lets you Follow other traders. Whatever a trader you are following is trading with, whatever he is gaining or losing, you get to see it all. You can also Copy your own trades on the lines of other successful traders you deem impressive. Whats motivating is, you also get to see the live trades of a few Hall of Fame traders who are featured on the Home Page of The Bitcoin Code Website.
Initially, The Bitcoin Code software is being given for free to a hand-picked few guys and if you are among those lucky guys, you can also get your hands around it. What The Bitcoin Code is looking for at the moment is to share free copies of Bitcoin Code software to a handful of Beta-testers. Years of research and work have gone behind The Bitcoin Code, you see today. As with anything that has so creatively and carefully crafted for perfection, The Bitcoin Code creators do not want to let any glitches or short-comings creep into their public release. Your only job would be to provide invaluable feedback on the software’s working and whether it goes down well to satisfy your earning targets. And guess what, all this while you enjoy all the benefits of this software which in some days from now would be available for no less than a couple of thousands dollars. (Note that all beta testers will get a free lifetime license copy of The Bitcoin Code, so I recommend all of my readers to join in The Bitcoin Code system ASAP).
Our Take on The Bitcoin Code
You can think for yourself what would be the quality of the product whose creators are geniuses in their own field.
Before taking up this task to review The Bitcoin Code, our team itself procured a copy of the software. We do not believe in blindly following the facts presented to us by the advertorial videos. Rather, we like to get a real-time and first-hand experience before we start preaching the positives or the negatives. Let me tell you, the results we got in the last 3 weeks of using The Bitcoin Code are very encouraging if not downright superb! They claim that The Bitcoin Code trading software has not lost a single trade since the last nine months it has been up and running. Well, it hasn’t for us either. We have been able to round up an ITM of nearly 84% for our trades. Considering the fact that genuine traders, who know their craft well, can rake in very good money with a decent ITM. We’ve seen so many scam software which promise surreal amounts of profits, but are just a decoy and no more.
The Bitcoin Code trading platform as a whole is simple in design yet powerful in action. The feel of the trading dashboard is exciting and that topped up with the kind of profits it makes, the experience is out of the Trading world.
->> Click here to Visit Official Website Now<<-
Is The Bitcoin Code a SCAM?
This is the first question that is bound to come to mind Is The Bitcoin Code Scam? After Weeks of testing and our Binary Options Trading expert team has come to the conclusion that The Bitcoin Code is NOT A Scam. Ask How? A simple test is try to withdraw your profits multiple times and in good numbers. If you are able to do it seamlessly without any caveats involved or any sort of ” No-Go” from your The Bitcoin Code broker, you are in safe hands. We too succeeded to withdraw a part of the close to $17,398 dollars we had made. No questions asked, No Red flags raised!
Update (23 January 2017) – Steve McKay The Bitcoin Code is performing exceptionally well. Many The Bitcoin Code traders are reporting positive results with an average ITM Rate of over 87%.
How To Join in The Bitcoin Code?
Steve McKay The Bitcoin Code software is available for free but to start trading, you need to fund The Bitcoin Code broker account with minimum $250. Follow below steps to join in The Bitcoin Code System.
Enter your E-mail address in the form which is located on the right side of web page and click on “Start Profiting Now!”
Enter more details like Last Name & Phone Number there to complete the The Bitcoin Code registration process. Now, The Bitcoin Code will assign the best broker for you by checking your geographical location. Fund The Bitcoin Code broker’s account with initial deposit of minimum $250.
==> Download Free Bitcoin Code With Bonus $300 From The Official Website ==>
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3 minute binary options trading strategy Binary Options Bot Trading Report for July 14, 2020 (16+ 4-)  Premium Version Win Win Signals - YouTube Vince Stanzione Trades Binary Options on Binary com FREE OLYMPTRADE SIGNALS  BINARY OPTIONS SIGNALS  IQ OPTIONS SIGNALS  BINAMO SIGNALS

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