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  Dangerous 'gray death' drug has already hit Houston streets
Posted by: IceWizard - 9 hours ago - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

Dangerous 'gray death' drug has already hit Houston streets

Experts say the super drug looks like small chunks of concrete and is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

Author: Marcelino Benito (KHOU)
Published: 10:06 PM CST February 9, 2020
Updated: 5:17 PM CST February 10, 2020

HOUSTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration is alerting the public about a dangerous drug known as "gray death."

"It's like playing Russian Roulette," said DEA Special Agent In Charge Sammy Parks. "You're putting your lives in these drug dealers hands."

Gray death is a new super drug that looks like small chunks of concrete but can be powder-like too. It's made of heroin, fentanyl and other deadly opioids.

The mix makes it even more dangerous for users. 

"This drug is being made in clandestine labs by someone with no chemistry background, no oversight, no rhyme or reason to what they're putting in this drug," Parks said.

Gray death is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. The DEA is warning folks across the country after law enforcement in Louisiana discovered it just last week. Law enforcement in Houston said it's already in the city.

"We believe gray death is being produced here, it is being made," Parks said. "It is localized."

Last May, the DEA confiscated 170 grams of gray death in Houston. Now, the DEA wants to contain it.

"We don't want it to gain any momentum," Parks said. "The last thing we want is for the drug to get into our schools or even local universities."

The DEA is targeting those producing and distributing the gray death. They're selling it for about $20 a hit. But experts warn even a tiny amount can kill.

"That's who we want to identify and that's who we want to arrest and ultimately prosecute," Parks said.

The DEA warns anyone who may come across this drug to definitely not touch it. Instead, call law enforcement right away. They are trained on exactly how to safely remove it.


Feds call killer new drug gray death “A drug dealer’s depraved attempt at chemistry”

by: Deon Guillory

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 / 09:30 AM CST Updated: Feb 14, 2020 / 11:00 AM CST

Federal agents are warning you about a deadly drug that is new to Louisiana.

This light gray, concrete like substance is a killer.

“A drug dealer’s depraved attempt at chemistry,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley said.

It is called gray death. It’s an opioid cocktail first seen in 2017. It is made up of heroin, fentanyl and another synthetic drug known on the streets as pink or euphor. Byerley said it’s so dangerous, it’s lethal to the touch and deadly if it becomes airborne.

Byerley added, “If someone has overdosed on the gray death, they need multiple doses of the narcan or the naloxone to be revived because it’s that potent.”

Agents said I-12 and I-10 are major corridors for drugs and although gray death has not been seen in the Baton Rouge area, it is in Louisiana.

[Image: gray-death.jpg?w=900]

St. Mary Parish deputies said the drug was found earlier this month after two arrests. The drug was also found last week after Eunice police said they arrested a man.

Byerley said law enforcement officers on the local level are working with the DEA task force to keep this drug off the streets.

“The people that are making this stuff. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your family. They don’t care about our community. They care about one thing and that’s making profit,” Byerley said.

He explained that people buying the drug are opioid addicts who use heroin on a regular basis.

Law enforcement officials have been warned to use extreme caution and wear personal protective equipment when handling any unknown synthetic opioid. Some reports state that even protective gloves may not be enough. An officer in Ohio recently accidentally overdosed on gray death when he touched the drug during an arrest.

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  Who uses valdoxan to treat their anxiety/depression?
Posted by: Doook - Today, 05:50 AM - Forum: Anxiety Depression & Stress - No Replies

My doctor has suggested I try Valdoxan rather than SSRIs cause I’m sick of the side effects. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with it?

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Tongue Newbie
Posted by: Birdman - 02-11-2020, 05:11 PM - Forum: Welcome - Replies (11)

Just wanted to say hi.  I been around the different communities for ever.  Just seems all the other forums seem to try and promote certain vendors. I looked around here and it seems like everyone is on a even field.  Anyway just wanted to say hey to everyone.

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Heart Orson Bean, 'Dr. Quinn' Actor, Dies at 91 After Being Struck by Car
Posted by: IceWizard - 02-10-2020, 01:40 PM - Forum: World News - Replies (2)

Orson Bean, 'Dr. Quinn' Actor, Dies at 91 After Being Struck by Car

7:33 AM PST 2/8/2020 
by Mike Barnes and Duane Byrge

[Image: rock_hunter_stage_01-h_2017.jpg]
Orson Bean with Jayne Mansfield on Broadway in 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?' (1955)

He was a standout on Broadway, played Mr. Bevis on 'The Twilight Zone' and was related to Calvin Coolidge and Andrew Breitbart.

Orson Bean, the witty New Englander who starred on Broadway, was a longtime panelist on [i]To Tell the Truth[/i] and played the dour owner of the general store on [i]Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman[/i], died Friday night after being hit by a car in Venice, California, authorities said. He was 91. 

The Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed Bean's death to the Associated Press, saying it was being investigated as a "traffic-related" fatality. It provided the location where Bean was found, which matched reports from local news outlets.

L.A. police told [i]The Hollywood Reporter[/i] a pedestrian in his 90s was walking eastbound in the area of Venice Boulevard and Shell Avenue at 7:35 p.m. when he was hit by a vehicle.

A second driver then struck him in what police say was the fatal collision, and both drivers remained on the scene, L.A. Police Department Capt. Brian Wendling initially told local stations, which identified Bean based on eyewitness accounts.

"We are devastated to hear of the sudden, tragic loss of our beloved friend and client Orson Bean," his talent agency Artists & Representatives said in a statement to [i]The Hollywood Reporter[/i]. "During a career that spanned nearly seven decades, he delighted audiences on radio, stage and screen while generously nurturing the artistry of his fellow performers. Our hearts go out to his wife and family during their time of grief. For all who knew him, Orson leaves a legacy of love, true friendship and powerful work. He will be deeply missed."

Survivors include his wife, actress Alley Mills, best known for playing the mother Norma Arnold on [i]The Wonder Years[/i] and the dutiful Pamela Douglas on [i]The Bold & the Beautiful. [/i]The two also starred together in a play that opened in Venice in January 2018.

A second cousin of President Calvin Coolidge, Bean also was the father-in-law of Andrew Breitbart, the late conservative commentator.

Bean starred with Jayne Mansfield and Walter Matthau as a magazine writer who makes a deal with the devil in the original 1955 Broadway production of [i]Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?[/i], and he earned a Tony nomination for playing another writer in the 1962 risque musical comedy [i]Subways Are for Sleeping[/i].

The slender actor also starred on the memorable 1960 [i]Twilight Zone[/i] episode "Mr. Bevis," playing an eccentric loser who meets his guardian angel and has a chance to turn his life around.

Although his energies were usually directed toward comedies and musicals, Bean delivered a strong turn as an Army doctor testifying in court in Otto Preminger's [i]Anatomy of a Murder[/i] (1959). In [i]Being John Malkovich[/i] (1999), he portrayed a 105-year-old man who had the power to get into another person's body, and he was a Holocaust survivor in [i]The Equalizer 2[/i] (2018).

Starting in the early 1960s and throughout the '70s, Bean charmed TV viewers on [i]To Tell the Truth[/i], the game show from Goodson-Todman Productions that was hosted by Bud Collyer and then Garry Moore. Bean often shared the panel with Kitty Carlyle, Peggy Cass and, at other times, Bill Cullen or Tom Poston.

He also appeared on [i]I've Got a Secret[/i], [i]Match Game[/i], [i]Password[/i],[i] What's My Line[/i] and [i]The $10,000 Pyramid[/i].

For six seasons, Bean played the crotchety Loren Bray on 146 episodes of the 1993-98 CBS drama [i]Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman[/i]. He later portrayed Roy Bender, the love interest of Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten), on ABC's [i]Desperate Housewives[/i].

A frequent guest on [i]The Tonight Show[/i] who often subbed for Jack Paar, Bean was on the program on Feb. 11, 1960, when the host — angry that NBC had censored one of his jokes the previous night — walked off the set in the middle of his monologue.

"He surprised everyone," Bean recalled in a 2014 interview. "Hugh Downs was the sidekick and took over. Paar said he was never coming back. I kind of expected that I would replace Paar because I was a regular substitute. I stuck up for Paar. I had heard there was a suit who was really pissed off at me for badmouthing NBC, so I was taken out of the running." (Paar returned to [i]The Tonight Show[/i] about three weeks later.)

Bean's career took a hit in the '50s when he was identified as a communist and blacklisted. He said he drew attention to himself because he was "horny for a communist girl, and she dragged me to a couple of meetings."

Bean was born Dallas Frederick Burroughs in Burlington, Vermont, on July 22, 1928, as Coolidge was in the White House as the 30th president. When Bean was 16, his mother committed suicide.

He served in the U.S. Army, then embarked on a career in show business.

Bean did sleight-of-hand magic tricks and told jokes in two-bit nightclubs in places like Fall River, Massachusetts, and Albany, New York, before landing a two-year contract in the early 1950s to perform at the famed Blue Angel nightclub in New York. (That proved to be a huge career boost, and at one time, he was on a bill with Nichols & May, Harry Belafonte and Eartha Kitt.)

In a 2014 interview with [i]The Hollywood Reporter[/i], he explained how he came upon his stage name.

"One night in a club in Boston, I tried the name Roger Duck. No laughs. The next night, I tried Orson Bean, putting together a pompous first name and a silly second name. I got laughs, so I decided to keep it," he said.

"Orson Welles himself came into the Blue Angel one night, summoned me to his table. I sat down. He looked at me for a moment and then said, 'You stole my name!' And he meant it. Then he dismissed me with a wave of his hand."

In 1954, Bean parlayed his act into hosting a summer-replacement series that emanated from the Blue Angel, and he won a Theatre World Award for his performance in the revue [i]John Murray Anderson's Almanac.[/i]

Bean was one of Ed Sullivan's favorites and appeared on his variety show several times before he was blacklisted. However, actors tarred by the scandal were able to work on Broadway, and he rode things out thanks to his yearlong stint on [i]Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?[/i]

Bean later played the ineffectual Reverend Brim on the syndicated soap-opera satire [i]Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman[/i] and a spinoff, [i]Forever Fernwood[/i]; voiced Bilbo Baggins on two animated telefilms in the '70s; and portrayed John Goodman's father on the short-lived Fox series [i]Normal, Ohio[/i].

He also had guest stints on such shows as [i]Robert Montgomery Presents[/i], [i]The Love Boat[/i], [i]The Fall Guy[/i], [i]The Facts of Life[/i], [i]Ellen[/i], [i]Ally McBeal[/i], [i]Will & Grace[/i] and [i]Modern Family[/i], and he was seen on the big screen in [i]How to Be Very, Very Popular[/i] (1955), Richard Donner's [i]Lola[/i] (1970), [i]Forty Deuce[/i] (1982) and [i]Innerspace[/i] (1987).

Bean wrote a quirky 1971 book, [i]Me and the Orgone:[/i] [i]The True Story of One Man's Sexual Awakening[/i], and a memoir, 1988's [i]Too Much Is Not Enough[/i].

In 1964, Bean, actor Chuck McCann and others founded The Sons of the Desert, a group devoted to "the loving study of the persons and films" of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Bean also was married to actress Rain Winslow from 1956-62 and to fashion designer Carolyn Maxwell from 1965-79. He and Maxwell spent several years living in Australia. He married Mills in 1993.

His daughter Susannah, one of his four children, was married to Breitbart.

[Image: 24474336-0-image-a-4_1581165538411.jpg]

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  Robert Conrad, star of 'The Wild, Wild West,' dies at 84
Posted by: IceWizard - 02-10-2020, 01:27 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Robert Conrad, star of 'The Wild, Wild West,' dies at 84

[Image: 08xp-conrad-image4-superJumbo.jpg]
Robert Conrad dead at age 84

LOS ANGELES  — Robert Conrad, the rugged, contentious actor who starred in the hugely popular 1960s television series "Hawaiian Eye" and "The Wild, Wild West," died Saturday. He was 84.

The actor died of heart failure in Malibu, California, family spokesperson Jeff Ballard said. A small private service is planned for March 1, which would have been his 85th birthday.

“He lived a wonderfully long life and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts,” Ballard said.

With his good looks and strong physique, Conrad was a rising young actor when he was chosen for the lead in "Hawaiian Eye." He became an overnight star after the show debuted in 1959.

Conrad played Tom Lopaka, a daring private investigator whose partner was Tracy Steele, played by Anthony Eisley. They operated out of a fancy office overlooking the pool at a popular Waikiki hotel.

The two private eyes alternated on simple investigations with help from the island's colorful characters, including a singer named Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens) and a ukulele-strumming taxi driver named Kazuo (Poncie Ponce).

After five seasons with the show, Conrad went on to embrace the television craze of the time, period Westerns, but with a decidedly different twist.

In "The Wild, Wild West," which debuted in 1965, he was James T. West, a James Bond-like agent who used innovative tactics and futuristic gadgets (futuristic for the 1800s anyway) to battle bizarre villains. He was ably assisted by Ross Martin's Artemus Gordon, a master of disguise.

The show aired until 1970.

The series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" followed in 1976 and was roughly based on an autobiography by Marine Corps ace and Medal of Honor recipient Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who wrote of the raucous fliers he commanded during World War II.

Conrad played Pappy Boyington, so nicknamed because he often rescued his pilots from severe punishment. Bringing his customary intensity to the role, he even learned to fly.

The CBS series was enjoyed by male viewers but not so much by women and it was dropped after its first season. It was revived in December 1977 as "Black Sheep Squadron," after the network's new shows failed to find audiences. It continued on for another season.

Conrad, meanwhile, interspersed his long, successful TV career with numerous roles in films. After a couple of small parts, his TV fame elevated him to stardom, starting in 1966 with "Young Dillinger," in which he played Pretty Boy Floyd. Other films included "Murph the Surf," "The Bandits" (which he also directed), "The Lady in Red" (this time as John Dillinger) and "Wrong Is Right."

At the same time, he found plenty of time for arguments.

Throughout Hollywood, Conrad had a reputation as a tough customer and was sued more than a half-dozen times as a result of fist fights. Playing himself in a 1999 episode of the TV series "Just Shoot Me," he lampooned his threatening, tough-guy persona. He was also featured in 1970s commercials for Eveready Batteries, with a battery on his shoulder, a menacing stare and a popular catchphrase, “I dare you to knock this off.”

"I'm only about 5-feet-8 and only weigh 165 pounds as of this morning, so I'm not the world's meanest guy," he told an interviewer in 2008.

"If you treat me nicely, I'll treat you nicer," he added. "If you're rude to me, put your headgear on. Here it comes."

His daughter Nancy Conrad, who appeared in some of his pictures, explained it this way: "Dad is a hard worker. If people drag their feet, he gets impatient. He starts ranting and raving. It takes a while to patiently take him aside and show him why things might not be going well."

He frequently employed his offspring in his movies and TV shows.

An example was the 1988 television series "High Mountain Rangers," which Conrad had proposed, bankrolled with his own money and directed. He hired sons Shane and Christian as co-stars, daughter Joan as producer and daughter Nancy as caterer. His first wife handled financial matters.

The show, about a group of law enforcement officers, was filmed in the High Sierra mountain range near Lake Tahoe.

Conrad's later film credits included 1996's "Jingle All The Way" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and 2002's "Dead Above Ground."

He was born Konrad Robert Falkowski in Chicago on March 1, 1935. His great-grandfather had emigrated from Germany, and his grandfather founded several meat shops in Chicago called Hartman's.

Conrad moved from one school to another, and at 15 he left his parents' house for a place known only to his girlfriend and his great-grandmother who sometimes fed him.

A football player in school, Conrad's first job was loading trucks. Then at 18 he was hired to drive milk wagons.

He tried boxing and nightclub singing for a time before drifting into acting and eventually moving to Hollywood, where he found work as a stuntman.

In lieu of flowers, Conrad’s family is requesting donations to the Wounded Warrior Project and The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

Conrad is survived by eight children and 18 grandchildren.

[Image: Ross_Martin_Robert_Conrad_Wild_Wild_West_1965.jpg]

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  Recently had acute kidney failure and other setbacks
Posted by: Peony13 - 02-08-2020, 08:39 PM - Forum: Anxiety Depression & Stress - Replies (3)

Hello, all. I have been offline because both my husband and I were very sick. First, my husband starting having heart problems around New Year's -- he is 62 and has had heart problems for a long time.  He was in the hospital awhile as they treated some complications from stents he had put in last summer. Hopefully, he'll be OK now.

Also, he lost his job. He and some other workers were laid off right after New Year's.  (So, now neither of us has a job. I had to quit work 12 years ago, when I was 45, because my health problems leave me stuck in bed much of each day.) 

I often lose my appetite when I am stressed. I didn't realize it, but I must have been eating and drinking almost nothing while my husband was sick. My husband came home from the hospital to find me semi-conscious from acute renal failure. (This had nothing to do with any psychoactive drugs. However, diuretics I was on probably made the problem much worse.)

I was in the hospital about a week. Luckily, my kidneys started working again from a combination of medication they gave me, plus IV fluids. It was really very miserable for a few days there. I had a lot of fluid in my abdomen and breathing was hard work. 

I also had serious "brain fog" from all the toxins in my blood. I'm a bit worried about whether my brain is working as well as it did -- probably, but I'm not sure. 

I am feeling overwhelming stress from my illness, my husband's illness, and our medical bills and lack of income. Although I have Medicare and my husband had private insurance, we racked up about $8000 in deductibles and co-pays during our hospitalizations in January. My husband was told he could keep his employer-based insurance via a government plan called COBRA, but that turned out to be not true. So, we are scrambling, trying to find insurance that will pay for his meds and cover him if he needs to go back into the hospital. I have Medicare, but Medicare assumes the person has substantial financial resources. For example, one of the medications I'm on has a co-pay of $910 a month. I applied for MediCAID, the program for low-income people, but so far I've been turned down. 

I have been insisting to my husband that our only option is to sell our home. My husband says he agrees we me, but he is miserable about it and we are arguing a lot. I need some way for us to get along better. 

I know that I might not have a lot of time left to live, but what bothers me even more is feeling like my life has been a failure.  I was never able to have children, despite many years of fertility treatment and trying to adopt. I was able to get a PhD in the social sciences, but I was never able to get a full-time job, and then I had to quit due to my health. I have done a lot of writing, but can't get my work published. I am struggling with an overwhelming sense that my life has been meaningless and without purpose. 

I don't feel I know anyone else who is going through any of this. I want to find a support group for people with serious illnesses, but keep getting turned away because I don't have the same diagnosis as people in the group. 

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  Hello everyone!
Posted by: Dragon - 02-07-2020, 10:07 AM - Forum: Welcome - Replies (13)

Hello all! My name is Joe, and I have finally decided to register and make my first post on this great forum! I have followed behind the scenes for a few years, and have found some very useful advice and leads here just from reading posts. I wish I registered sooner, but better late than never I suppose.

I suffer from chronic pain, as well as terrible depression and anxiety. I hope to continue learning from all of you, while also joining in on the conversations, and maybe making some friends along the way!

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  Trump Acquitted by Senate in Impeachment Trial!!!
Posted by: IceWizard - 02-06-2020, 11:42 PM - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

‘We went through hell.’ Trump attacks Democrats as ‘evil’ as he celebrates impeachment acquittal

[Image: 5908070_020620-cc-ap-trump-acquitted-img...0&r=16%3A9]

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump used a White House ceremony Thursday to celebrate his impeachment acquittal, saying he had "been through hell" in a process he blamed on "leakers and liars" who had unfairly accused him of misconduct in his dealings with Ukraine.

After entering the formal East Room to the anthem "Hail to the Chief," Trump praised Republican lawmakers and his legal team as "warriors" and accused Democrats of trying to destroy the country by removing him from office.

"They brought me to the final stages of impeachment, but now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought a word would sound so good. It's called total acquittal," said Trump, standing before Cabinet members, Republican lawmakers and family members.

In 63 minutes of unscripted remarks, he called out dozens of people by name to thank them for defending him, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and several other lawmakers. McConnell and other senators served as jurors in the impeachment trial.

While Trump himself billed the event as a "celebration," it was also clear he was still seething over his impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House.

Impeachment is a "very ugly word to me. It's a dark word," Trump said.

Trump said the impeachment and the Ukraine investigation that preceded it were part of a years-long effort to go after him. He alluded frequently to the investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"And it never really stopped. We've been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars, and this should never ever happen to another president," he said.

Before the president appeared, Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, the two lawyers who defended him in his impeachment trial, drew a round of applause as they entered the room.

"But today is a day to celebrate these great warriors, right?" Trump said. 

[Image: MW-HZ818_trump__ZH_20200206162304.jpg]

Trump was joined by several allies in Congress, including Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Ratcliffe of Texas, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Doug Collins of Georgia. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri were also in the audience.

After laying out a laundry list of gripes, Trump touted the stock market and the soaring economy. He discussed his State of the Union speech, saying he received high marks from people he spoke with after his address.

But then he almost immediately returned to impeachment, retelling his version of the investigations.

“We went through hell, unfairly,” Trump said. “But this is what the end result is,” he added, holding up the front page of The Washington Post with a headline “Trump acquitted.”  

Embracing a line he often uses at his campaign rallies, Trump claimed that the investigations were “all bulls---.”

Trump was impeached by the House on Dec. 18, then acquitted by the Senate Wednesday, over allegations he invited foreign influence in the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential contender.

Among Trump's targets in Thursday's speech was Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate and the only Republican who voted with Democrats to convict him. 

“Things can happen when you fail so badly,” Trump said of the Utah Republican. “I’m sorry about Mitt Romney.”

Romney became the first senator in the nation’s history to vote to convict a president of his own party. The vote robbed Trump of the ability to say that Republicans were unified against his removal.

Trump also referred to his appearance at a prayer breakfast Thursday morning, when the defiant president unloaded on those who tried to impeach him, telling the crowd he was put through "a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people."

Tensions were palpable as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who presided over the impeachment drive, sat nearby at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

"I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I'm saying things a lot people wouldn't have said but I meant it. I meant every word," he said later at the White House before calling Pelosi "a horrible person."

Trump, who has used those probes to sell an us-against-them theme on the campaign trail, sharpened his criticism of Democrats in the remarks.

Democrats are “vicious people” and “lousy politicians,” he said, but “they stick together like glue.”

“That’s how they impeached,” he added, saying, “They’ll probably come back for more.”
Trump said he suspects Democrats aren't done with accusations against him.

“I’m sure they’ll try to cook up other things,” he said. “They’ll do whatever they can. Because instead of wanting to heal our country and fix our country ... they want to destroy our country. We can’t let it happen.”

As was long expected, Democrats fell far short of the 67 votes needed to remove the president from office. The Senate voted 52-48 on Wednesday to acquit Trump on the charge that he abused his power and 53-47 on the charge that he obstructed Congress.

[Image: trump-acquitted-860x645.jpg]

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  Hollywood icon and 'Spartacus' star Kirk Douglas dies at 103
Posted by: IceWizard - 02-06-2020, 12:40 PM - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

Hollywood icon and 'Spartacus' star Kirk Douglas dies at 103, son Michael Douglas confirms
Bryan Alexander

Feb 5 , 2020

[Image: MW-HZ737_kirkdo_ZH_20200205185545.jpg]

Little stopped Spartacus, right to the end.

Legendary actor Kirk Douglas died at age 103, his son, actor Michael Douglas, confirmed Wednesday. The actor died peacefully at home early Wednesday afternoon surrounded by his children, grandchildren and his wife of 65 years, Anne Buydens Douglas, according to the actor's longtime publicist Marcia Newberger.

"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103," Michael wrote on Instagram. "To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

"But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine (Zeta-Jones), a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband."

Douglas liked to refer to himself as “the ragman’s son,” but to most people, the chiseled, cleft-chinned actor with the winning smile was the epitome of an old-fashioned movie star.He left a legacy of dignity, grace and talent.

Kirk Douglas tributes: Michael Douglas 'so proud to be your son,' more celebs mourn

USA TODAY's final interview with Kirk Douglas:The star celebrates his love for wife Anne

Douglas thrived despite a severe stroke in 1996, which severely affected his ability to speak. He continued to be a vibrant Hollywood voice – flirting with Anne Hathaway during the 2011 Oscars as well as writing books.

He was married to his second wife, Anne, for more than 65 years. “She was the most difficult woman I ever met,” Douglas told USA TODAY in April 2017, with Anne chuckling by his side. (She famously turned the A-lister down for dinner when they first met, preferring to go home and make herself scrambled eggs.)

[Image: 636166430377740696-XXX-GETTYIMAGES-62334...&auto=webp]

It was Anne who inspired a lifetime of art collecting, and who also helped clean up Douglas’ messy finances after they met in 1953.

“I think romance begins at 80,” he told USA TODAY. “And I ought to know, because I live with a girl who would tell you so! ... I send her a note, and put it on her pillow. She likes that."

In August 2012, the rugged star of 1960’s "Spartacus" was able to see a restored version of the classic film, decades after it was originally released in theaters. But he was alone on the stage to talk about it, having outlived his Hollywood contemporaries.

“If you die young, you have a chance to be a hero,” he told USA TODAY at the time. “If you die of old age, most of us are forgotten."

Five essential Kirk Douglas movies:From 'Paths of Glory' to (obviously) 'Spartacus'

He was wrong on that point. The acting legend was never forgotten. During a photo shoot for Paramount studio’s 100th anniversary, Douglas was one of the most sought-after stars in a galaxy that included everyone from George Clooney to Justin Bieber.

“Everybody came by to pay respects,” Douglas said. “I felt like a king.”

Clooney would go on to write the foreword to Douglas’ 2012 book "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist," in which he described his role in overcoming the dreaded communist blacklist of his era.

“Kirk Douglas is many things. A movie star. An actor. A producer,” Clooney wrote. “But he is, first and foremost, a man of extraordinary character … the kind we always look for at our darkest hour.”

Douglas’ 1988 autobiography, "The Ragman’s Son" (referring to his Russian-Jewish ancestry) attests to his early years growing up poor in Amsterdam, N.Y., the son of illiterate Russian immigrants. Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in 1916, he nearly drowned at 5. It was one of a few close calls the actor had over the years; in 1991, a helicopter he was riding in crashed into a small plane. He suffered a compressed spine.

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But Douglas laughed easily when he spoke of death, attributing his easy sense of humor to his mother, whom he quoted on the subject of dying: “Don’t be afraid. It happens to everyone.”

The star wrote 12 books, including 2002's "My Stroke of Luck," in which he chronicled how he beat depression after suffering a stroke and found salvation in his wife, his family, and in returning to work.

He said he wrote it hoping to help other stroke survivors. “Maybe it will help others to deal with depression,” he said. After his stroke, with his characteristic trademark self-deprecating humor, he wrote: “All I could do was babble like a baby, but I worked hard with my speech therapist and in a few months I could talk as well as my 3-year-old granddaughter, Kelsey.”

Writing the book clearly had a cathartic effect on Douglas. The following year he starred in one of his final films, "It Runs in the Family," a story of a dysfunctional family living in New York. The title might also have referred to the acting bug. The movie starred Douglas, his son Michael, his grandson Cameron and his ex-wife, Diana Dill Douglas.

In "My Stroke of Luck," Douglas writes “I have been so lucky to be an actor. It has given me fame, money and satisfaction.”

His ascension up the Hollywood ranks came after his athletic college years at St. Lawrence University, where he was a wrestling champion. Following his graduation, Douglas won an acting scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first stop was Broadway, followed by a stint in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he returned to the theater and also performed in radio plays. He married Dill in 1943, with whom he had two sons, Michael and Joel.

They were divorced in 1951 and he married Buydens in 1954, with whom he had two more sons, Peter and Eric. Eric died in 2004.

Douglas’ movie career began after his classmate Lauren Bacall urged producer Hal Wallis to give Douglas a screen test. The test went so well that he was cast in the lead role of 1946's "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." After receiving a host of kudos for that performance, he went on to make "I Walk Alone"with another future screen legend, Burt Lancaster. Their chemistry was so potent that they made seven films together, including the Western "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1957) and the political thriller "Seven Days in May" (1964). Their last collaboration was in the gangster comedy "Tough Guys" in 1986.

Though they were good pals, Douglas joked at one point: “I’ve finally gotten away from Burt Lancaster. My luck has changed for the better. I’ve got nice-looking girls in my films now.”

His busiest decades were the ’50s and ’60s. Douglas was nominated for an Oscar in 1953 for "The Bad and the Beautiful" and again in 1957 for his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in "Lust for Life." In the following few years, he would take on his pivotal roles as Colonel Dax in the anti-war epic "Paths of Glory" (1957) and as the leader of the Roman slave revolt in "Spartacus" (1960).


Douglas executive-produced "Spartacus" and described in "I Am Spartacus!" how he was instrumental in breaking the Hollywood blacklist by insisting blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo be given the proper credit for his screenplay. It was an experience detailed in the 2015 film "Trumbo," starring Bryan Cranston.

"When I hired Dalton Trumbo to write 'Spartacus' under the pseudonym Sam Jackson, we all had been employing the blacklisted writers,” Douglas wrote in "I Am Spartacus!" “It was an open secret and an act of hypocrisy, as well as a way to get the best talent at bargain prices. I hated being part of such a system."

He remained busy in the 1960s, starring in a host of films including "Lonely Are the Brave" (1962) in which he played an outlaw cowboy in a contemporary setting, a part he said he considers his best performance, and co-starred with John Wayne in the World War II drama "In Harm’s Way" (1965) and in the comedy/Western "The War Wagon" (1967).

Douglas had his share of missteps. He starred in a couple of bombs, including the loopy western "The Villain" (1979) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Saturn 3" (1980) with Farrah Fawcett.

"I have made almost 90 pictures," Douglas said. "Lots of them are bad. Fortunately, I forget the bad pictures."

He remained a staunch Luddite as he got older. “Technology frightens me. I don't have a cellphone. I don't even have a watch," Douglas told USA TODAY in 2015. "My wife insisted on buying me a computer. I know nothing about computers. But one thing: I love having a place to play solitaire. I play all the time."

On his 100th birthday, Anne gifted him his first iPad, and the milestone was celebrated with a starry bash in Beverly Hills, with Steven Spielberg and Don Rickles among the guests present.

Douglas was also known for his humanitarian work and had been a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. State Department since 1963. Nearly two decades later, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French bestowed him with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. He dedicated a Tel Aviv playground in honor of Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister of Israel.

But he didn’t play favorites. Douglas was also a friend of King Hussein of Jordan.

Closer to home, he rehabilitated dilapidated playgrounds in inner-city Los Angeles and raised $2 million for the Alzheimer’s wing at the hospital for retired Motion Picture Academy workers. It was named Harry’s Haven, after Douglas’ father. “Somebody complained that that made it sound like a saloon,” he said. “That would have made my father very happy, because he used to spend a lot of time in saloons.”

At 99, he and Anne donated an additional $15 million toward an Alzheimer’s care center, bringing their total donations to the Motion Picture & Television Fund to $40 million.

At 100, he reflected on his charitable efforts. “I have given most of my money away because that pleases me,” he told Variety. “I was born a poor boy. My mother and father came from Russia; I don’t think they could have gotten into the country today. So I have a lot to be thankful for.”

Perhaps it was this sensitivity to those in need that informed his nuanced performances. He once said: “When I play a strong character in a movie, I search for some weakness, and when I play a weak character, I search for some strength.” Whether playing good guys or bad, he was always convincing and his portrayals consistently powerful.

A devout Jew, Douglas studied the Bible and began to read in depth about Judaism after his stroke. Though he had celebrated his bar mitzvah at the traditional age of 13, he decided to celebrate it again at 83.

He had learned to read Hebrew as a child. “But I never understood what I was saying,” said Douglas, who also spoke German and French.

In "My Stroke of Luck," Douglas urged readers to seek out prayer.

“Pray, however you perceive that higher power to be. Pray, it will help you,” he wrote, adding that on the Sabbath he prayed over candles in antique candlesticks his mother brought over from Russia. “In doing that, I am reminded of my mother, I feel closer to God, to my family and I have increased The Light, even if only for a moment.”

On Wednesday, Michael wrote in his tribute that his father's "life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet."

Michael closed his post "with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad – I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son." 

Contributing: Andrea Mandell

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Kirk will be missed by all .... 
R.I.P. Spartacus

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  Moving overseas for work
Posted by: Doook - 02-05-2020, 11:33 AM - Forum: Legal Issues - Replies (2)

I’ve landed a new job and am moving from the UK to Australia in April. Does anyone know how easy it is see get X@ or @V over there?

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