Monday, March 29, 2021

Pheaturing Jon Bryant


Hey, kids, welcome come to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? A nightmare has unfolded in Lima, Pennsylvania, at the Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center, as serious allegations were made against the staff. The lawsuit, filed by two young people who were held at the facility, detailed accusations of rape, sexual abuse, and other horrifying abuses that allegedly has been happening for years in plain sight. The detention facility has been temporarily shut down due to the lawsuit’s explicit description of the sexual, physical, and psychological abuse allegations that were filed against county and state agencies on Wednesday. According to the lawsuit affidavit, one of the girls said that the facility guards took her to “private parties” where she was given alcohol and drugs and also sexually abused at 16-years-old. Another plaintiff in the lawsuit said that he was also raped by a staff member who threatened that if the victim told anyone, “he would kill him and his entire family.” The lawsuit also describes abuses that had been happening for years, with staff knowledge, and how they failed to intervene or actually helped cover up the crimes. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it also named the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which was responsible for the center’s oversight, and the nonprofit Child Guidance Resource Center (CGRC), the contractor who reported $25 million in revenue from social services contracts in 2019. A spokesperson for the DHS explained how an investigation is ongoing, but no licensing action has been taken, saying, “This comprehensive investigation will include, but not be limited to, interviews with youth that formerly were placed at the facility, interviews with current and former staff of the facility, a review of past incidents, security tapes, and ChildLine complaints that are still available going back at least five years.” Current and former DGRC employees were among whistleblowers who reported, “failings including the use of prolonged seclusion, violent assaults that left kids bruised and battered, and a culture of pressuring staff to cover up the incidents,” and after the Delaware County Defender presented the allegations to County President Judge Kevin Kelly, the facility was ordered closed on March 12th. One out the many disturbing allegations that the lawsuit detailed, including mistreating some of the young people suffering from serious mental illnesses. One of these victims was locked in a room while covered in feces without access to water for days, and another was made to drink from a toilet when she got thirsty after attempting suicide by swallowing clothing. Although the victims’ names were not disclosed, another male victim said he was held in isolation for four days, choked until he nearly passed out, and was repeatedly beaten, eventually causing his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another female said that five guards had fed her and another female victim Xanax, alcohol, and marijuana at these “private parties,” before raping them. She also alleged that one of the guards obtained her cell phone number years after she had left the detention center, sending her unwanted sexual and harassing messages. And another staff member had proposed her teenage daughter to “link up” on Instagram. The center had housed 782 kids between 2019 and 2020, but the incidents were described to have been happening over a span of about 15 years, according to lawyer Dan McGarrigle, who filed the suit along with Laffey, Bucci & Kent. He said, “The facts that I’ve heard from my two current clients were shocking to me after almost 20 years handling serious criminal cases, and I thought there wasn’t much that would shock me anymore.” Apparently, this isn’t the first lawsuit filed towards the detention facility’s staff. Back in 2012, a boy who had told a social worker about the mistreatment was slammed into the ground by a staffer who had overheard the conversation. The staffer then tried to smash the boy’s head against a window and had punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose. However, the jury didn’t find the employee guilty. 

Republican senator Mitt Romney is the recipient of this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial as well as his “consistent and courageous defense of democracy.” Through a press release the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation stated “During a time of grave threat to U.S. democratic institutions, Mitt Romney has been a consistent but often solitary Republican voice in defense of democracy and the rule of law.” Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy told NBC News chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander that Romney was “willing to risk his career and his popularity with his own party to do what’s right for our country and to follow his conscience and Constitution and his impeachment votes.” She will present the Profile in Courage Award to Romney through a virtual ceremony in May. Noting that he once ran against Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy’s late uncle, Romeny stated, "I’m very appreciative of the honor, but also humbled by it." She continued saying that she thinks his courage is an example for all Americans. Senator Romney of Utah is the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict the president in his own party. Trump was acquitted of allegations that he had solicited for interference during the 2020 presidential election. He voted to convict Trump for abuse of power voting with Republicans to acquit Trump of the second article of impeachment, obstruction on Congress. At the end of Trump’s second impeachment trial, Romney was one of the seven GOP senators to vote to convict Trump for incitement of an insurrection that was related to his reckless actions during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The former president was acquitted by the Senate and was found not guilty of all charges. Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote created several enemies in his party but he said that he doesn’t regret his decision. He stated, “I sleep well because I know that I did what my conscience told me was the right thing to do. We swore a diff oath when the impeachment trial began,” Romney added. “We swore, under God, that we would apply impartial justice. I took that very, very seriously. I listened to the various testimonies that were provided, I looked into it with some depth... and I felt that that was a severe enough violation of his oath of office to require a guilty verdict. What I’ve found throughout life is doing those things that you know are right which respond to the promptings of your conscience allows you to have a greater degree of happiness and satisfaction than if you just do things to try and get ahead.” Caroline Kennedy’s son, 28-year-old Jack Schlossberg, states that Romney’s actions prove that faith and courage, and integrity are not outdated, and being a politician can still be a noble profession.

Radio host Rob Lederman of the radio show “The Morning Bull Show” has been immediately terminated by broadcasting company Cumulus Media and shunned by probably the rest of society for racist comments he made during one of the show’s episodes. The comments came about during a discussion with also suspended on-air co-hosts Chris Klein and Rich “Bull” Gaenzler, comparing toaster settings and burnt toast to skin tone shades of famous black women. Lederman had compared his toaster settings to tennis star Serena Williams, actress Halle Berry, and CBS anchor Gayle King. He had said, “We have ours [our toaster settings] … at the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive, so I will never go to a Serena Williams level,” adding as his co-hosts laughed, “But I am very comfortable at a Halle Berry level. I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through. Gayle King is not even on my toaster level.” ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques shared the audio clip on social media, and it went trending on Twitter. This resulted in several organizations pulling their advertising from Buffalo’s 97 Rock radio station, including Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, and the Ride for Roswell, according to the Hill. Lederman was also fired from his role as arena host for the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits. Lederman immediately apologized on Twitter, saying he was “horrified” at his own comments. He said, “I want to sincerely apologize for hurting people with my foolish and ignorant comments yesterday. I 100% understand why people are justifiably angry. I made a mistake and it’s hard to look myself in the mirror, but I want to acknowledge it. I apologize from the deepest depths of who I am.” He also explained that reaching out to “the NAACP, my friends in the clergy from the African-American community, as well as the Mayor’s office, to seek their guidance and teaching,” and added, “I ask for your forgiveness and I pledge to learn, to do better and increase my sensitivity and understanding. I want this to be the start of a learning process so we as a community can become better.” Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown was one of the first elected officials to publicly criticize the on-air exchange, saying in a tweet, “The racist commentary made on ‘The Morning Bull’ show on 97 Rock is outrageous and intolerable.” 

Although COVID-19 vaccines have been rolling out all over the world, it’s still going to take time for the coronavirus pandemic to be completely gone. With that being said, researchers in Mexico have designed a new face mask that is designed for people to wear while they eat. Introducing the nose-only COVID-19 mask. And it looks as funny as it sounds. 

The nose masks, however, are actually worn underneath a full mask, held up with the same straps that wrap around the ears. The video demonstration, according to Reuters, shows a man and woman sit down for lunch, take off their full face masks to reveal their nose masks and continue to eat and drink with their nose masks on. I’m not going to lie, these eating masks look pretty comical. And according to Fox News, the responses on social media not only support my observations but also support the idea. While many liked the idea, saying it would “reduce transmission,” others definitely made jokes about its look. One Twitter user said, “Hardly a new invention, clowns have been wearing them for years.” The human cells responsible for people’s sense of smell are actually a key entry point for COVID-19, which is why covering the nose with your mask is important, otherwise its render’s useless, as told by both Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization. And the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), showed that more mask material is actually more beneficial than less. In fact, double-masking can significantly decrease the spread of the coronavirus. Let’s hope that people get their COVID-19 vaccinations really soon, or else the world’s going to have to get used to everyone starting to look like clowns for the greater good. 

We still know very little about Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' third Spider-Man film but if you've been keeping up with the latest news surrounding the project, you would know that the film is already stacked with a who's who of actors all confirmed to return. Not to mention the rumors circulating the last couple of months regarding Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's involvement in the sequel. As it stands, production is still ongoing for Spider-Man: No Way Home which Tom Holland is already building up as the most ambitious superhero film to date. So far, we've already seen several on-set photos featuring the main cast but surprisingly enough, the studios have been able to keep everything under wraps so far which is amazing considering we're talking about a high-budgeted project from Marvel. Now, a new rumor is swirling online suggesting that an interesting character could be making an appearance on the film. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress Elizabeth Henstridge who played Jemma Simmons in the hit ABC Marvel spinoff show was reportedly spotted leaving Atlanta over the weekend, the same location where No Way Home is currently filming. Of course, we're still not quite sure if she was actually there to film Spider-Man 3 or something else so don't get your hopes up just yet. But if she ends up being involved in the project, it'll be totally interesting since "Agents of SHIELD" has already been confirmed to not be canon to the MCU. Then again, we're dealing with the multiverse here so anything is possible at this rate.

Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

If you're looking for a graphic design job, you may want to contact whoever employed the people responsible for this following design fail. They are most likely hiring.

Dividing up childcare responsibilities in a way that works best for everyone involved can be difficult for co-parents, especially when one parent is doing half the work, and the nanny is doing the other half... Hiring a childcare professional to look after your children when you're working or too busy to fully concentrate on keeping a toddler from eating the couch pillows can be an incredibly beneficial decision for many families. However, babysitters and nannies are not parents, and if co-parents aren't communicating in the way they should, it's not fair to force an employee to be the mediator. While it's usually frowned upon to roast the father of your children in front of their entire family, sometimes we have to be a little snarky in order to be heard. So, when a frustrated mom decided to consult the moral compass of the Phile about a comment she made about her ex-husband's parenting skills in front of his mom, I decided to deem a verdict. 

"Am I wrong for saying I co-parent with the nanny in front of my ex-husband and his family? My ex-husband and I have been separated for a year and will more than likely be starting the divorce process any day now. Ever since we split up, my ex has hired a nanny to help him with childcare of our two kids during his time. The nanny usually does pickups and drop-offs. Originally, I would try to communicate things about the kids directly to him, but I could barely get in touch with him. He always made some excuse about how work was busy, but I feel like he should at least respond to my emails about the kids quickly and that it was his responsibility to make sure the nanny had the relevant information too. Eventually, I got fed up with having to hound him every single time he needed information about the kids and since the nanny does almost all of the childcare when they’re with their dad, I decided to just communicate with her directly. I do still update my ex too but now I only send him one email and it’s up to him to make the effort to read/respond to it. This has worked really well for the kids and they seem to be doing a lot better during their time with their dad now since the nanny makes the necessary adjustments for them. It was my ex mother-in-law's birthday and she asked me to bring the kids because my ex wasn’t sure if he would be able to go. I still have a good relationship with my ex-in-laws, and I didn’t want my kids to miss out on time with their family, so I agreed. My ex ended up showing up towards the end of the day. I haven’t had to see my ex face-to-face in a very long time and he has always known how to push my buttons. I was trying to be civil to him for the kids’ sake, but he kept baiting me when no one else was in earshot. My mother-in-law made a comment about how she was so proud of us for being able to co-parent so well after everything. My ex had whispered a sly comment to me not 2 minutes before my mother-in-law made her comment, so I was already quietly fuming. So, I responded with  “Yes, I really enjoy co-parenting with the nanny. She’s fantastic." My ex and his family weren’t amused, and I received a lot of backlash from all of them. My ex accused me of calling him a deadbeat and said he didn’t want me talking to his nanny anymore because I should be communicating directly with him. Am I wrong?" I’m sorry, but when he’s not making an effort to communicate with you to coordinate around the kids and makes every excuse in the book to make himself unavailable, then you have every right to say what you said. He’s offended because he didn’t think you’d call him out in front of his family and probably painted a picture that he’s doing a much better job than he is doing. Not a huge fan of dragging the drama out in front of the family, but this guy seems like a real piece of work. Definitely start pushing forward harder on that divorce. You are co-parenting with the nanny. What you said was literally true. So, there you have it! You weren't at all wrong to point out that her soon-to-be ex-husband isn't pulling his weight with childcare in front of his family, but a conversation about how to communicate going forward is probably in order. Good luck, everyone! If you have a problem you'd like my advice on then email me at 

If you spot the Mindphuck then met me know. Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jefferson, New York shall we?

Looks like a nice day there. 

The 148th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Marie will be on the Phile a week from today... on Monday. 

Phact 1. Three stray dogs in Afghanistan saved 50 American soldiers by attacking a suicide bomber. A Facebook group raised $21,000 to bring the dogs back to the U.S. and reunite them with the soldiers. 

Phact 2. During the Berlin Airlift one of the pilots gave some candy to some children in Berlin. After seeing how much they enjoyed it he began dropping candy from his airplane before landing. Other pilots soon joined in and over 23 tons of candy was dropped over Berlin. 

Phact 3. The song “It’s A Wonderful Life” was classified as Communist Propaganda by the FBI because it “deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.” 

Phact 4. The parents in Ferris Buellers Day Off met onset and actually got married after filming. 

Phact 5. The bubble gum is pink because that was the only dye Walter E. Diemer (the inventor) had on hand at the time and it was his favorite color.

Today's guest is a Canadian singer-songwriter, who writes and sings acoustically melodic songs with a maritime influence. His latest album "Cult Classic" is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Jon Bryant.

Me: Hey, Jon, welcome to the Phile. How are you? 

Jon: I'm great, Jason. Thanks for having me on your blog. 

Me: So, you're from Canada, right? What part? 

Jon: I moved to Vancouver in 2016. 

Me: Okay, so, when I got the interview request from you I thought, okay, you're another musician from Canada who has a new record out... but then I read your bio and I was like holy shit. You joined a group called NXIVM, and that's not a band. Haha. Can you explain to the readers what NXIVM is? 

Jon: Ha ha. Well, the group presented itself as a humanitarian community that offered personal development training sessions... but there was a lot more going on under the surface. The FBI now considers NXIVM to be a cult and key members of the group have been accused of racketeering, including forced labour, fraud and sex trafficking. 

Me: Man alive. So, how did you get involved with them? 

Jon: In early 2016 it was my birthday week and I was turning 30 and it was a big year. I moved to Vancouver a few months previous, I was living in Seattle prior to that. I guess I was lonely in a way. I had some friends there and some family there but I came out of a divorce previous and I was with a new girl who is now my wife. We were getting established and a friend reached out and said, "We have this community of friends, we learn together, we grow together, it's this really cool group. There really into humanitarian aid and making the world a better place essentially." I was hooked by that and it sounded good. 

Me: I would've been, ummmm, no, I'm good. But I'm not an over social person. Haha. So, what hooked you in? 

Jon: I think the thing that got me was I grew up with a temper, for whatever reason I always had a temper I'd blow up when I was a kid and I was always like I don't want this to dominate my life because I hurt people with my temper. So they pitched it in a way to control my emotions, to have control over my body, to have full autonomy. Which is funny because a cult takes away the autonomy, to think and process our own ideas. 

Me: What did you like being in it at first? 

Jon: I liked that they were so invested in learning. Just exploring ideas and philosophies and a lot of the record those ideas come out. Later on when the news came out that it was abuse of power at the top end I started to see the parallels of a culture. In my own life in previous experience with my relationship with my ex-wife, with my political ideologies, my religious experiences. 

Me: What made you want to leave? 

Jon: The pressure to stay felt strange. Initially I went in and thought it was a one week thing, it was sort of this loose community where I can come and go. 

Me: So it wasn't like you were living in bunk beds in a shed or some shit? 

Jon: It wasn't that, no, well, in the top end it was. It was strange, it was long days, sometimes 16 hours they'd inundated me with information which I LOVED but it was a little bit unnerving because I felt like I was being brainwashed. I kind of had that sense. Some of the information was great, some of it I questioned, It wasn't until I finished when went home and talked to people about it. It was like I think that was great, but I think I'm good now. Then I got, "Are you going to join? Do you want to bring some friends into it?" I was like, oh, this is a business and you want me to commit my life. More of my time and more of my resources and so that's when I started to question it and fully got out about a year later. 

Me: Was there a moment where you went in and signed off and said you were out? 

Jon: Yeah, yeah, I said, "Listen." I remember I was sitting on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver and I got on the phone and said, "Hey, listen, you can take me out of the database. I'm not going tp continue." 

Me: So, did you get out on time if you know what I mean? 

Jon: Actually that would have been at the end of 2016, then 2017 the friend that got me into it said, "Hey, there's going to be some news that's going to come out and this is going to be crazy." 

Me: So, were you shocked about all the allegations? 

Jon: It's funny, I wasn't shocked. The guy was creepy. The group's co-founder and leader, Keith Raniere, was so creepy. He was creepy. He just seemed strange. The way he spoke to people seemed strange. Just the videos I watched, I never met him. I never met any of the main people like Allison Mack or anybody. Yeah, it felt strange. But not surprised. 

Me: So, I don't know if I could be talked into a cult, no matter how lonely, depressed and sad I was. And trust me, I've been there. But it's pretty easy to be sucked in, right? 

Jon: Yeah, just the philosophical discussions I was hoping to get out of it. Like exploring words like "truth," we'll take for an hour about what "what does truth mean?" Distill it down to this one idea and we were can we agree on that? Cool, let's move on. What is "belief"? And how is that different from truth? There's some philosophical stuff and then there's basic stuff too. Then there's psychology, I don't know if it's controversial things I did but the exploration of what somethings means in my life like early on that transformed us, if it is something that's traumatic or something our parents passed on to us. Stuff like that. They had some practices that were interesting and alluring. 

Me: Did you think it'll help you be a better musician or songwriter? 

Jon: Yeah, Initially I thought this would be great for songwriting because I'll come up with all these new protectives on "truth" and "belief." It's funny, as I went through I thought oh, they're trying to get me to control emotion to the point where I don't have to exhibit any and it kind of takes the fun out of life. I was struggling with that and I thought oh, maybe this isn't good for songwriting. 

Me: Do you ever think people will hear your new songs on the radio and think these are nice little love songs but not know they were written about your time in a cult? Haha. 

Jon: I forget about it now because I know this NXIVM thing is like the cult-de-jour. I get that was a big part of the writing process of "Cult Classic." 

Me: So, you forget these songs are about that time? 

Jon: Yeah. Sometimes I think, "Oh, yeah, that song is stemming from this experience I had with this person in it." 

Me: So, when you're singing these songs live you don't relive those emotions that you felt? 

Jon: Again in my group of friends or people I was associated with they were very kind and lovely. They didn't know what was going on either. And that's why that group, the Vancouver group, was the first to leave. They had no idea what was happening and my friend Sarah was the one that blew the whistle on everything. 

Me: So, it must've been traumatic to you, right? 

Jon: It was crazy, yeah. I can't even fathom what those people went through. It was infuriating too, I was mad. 

Me: So, when sing the songs are you thinking you're reliving this maddening emotional experience? 

Jon: I don't relive it. Reliving it's hard, especially in a live setting because I tend to go outside of the song and out of body and watch myself and forget words and forget what I'm doing. 

Me: What the hell, Jon? Where do you go? 

Jon: In my mind? I just go and watch myself do this and kind of just takes everything in, enjoying the crowd and enjoying playing these songs with my band. I don't know, I have those moments in shows where I enjoy it too much. And I forget that I'm here to serve the crowd. 

Me: But you're not going to  say "this song is about the time I was in NXIVM  I feel that way again"? 

Jon: I try to avoid that. 

Me: Do you think artists are often attracted to these kind of communities? 

Jon: I think artists typically struggle in finding places in society because artists seem to be a little left of the mainstream so we just don't fit in as well going to sports bars and the Starbucks scene and all that. We go to these weird things, and I love that about myself that I'm very curious but it's easy to get sucked into things. I've been married before and made mistakes and I'm an emotionally susceptible guy I think and I'm a little spontaneous in that way. 

Me: So, how is your songwriting going now? Are you able to write about things you wanted to investigate about like "truth' and "belief"? 

Jon: Yeah, I think I'm able to hold them in two hands. Like what I took about that experience I think I learned somethings about myself. How to help with my temper or impatience maybe. Think little things in life that are hang ups. I hold those in one hand and the songwriting hand be very open and allow my emotions and my ideas kind of flourish and take them to places I may be uncomfortable. That's the main thing I wanted to walk away from this experience, to not get so skeptical of everything and closed minded and to comfortable. I don't think artists do well when they don't get comfortable. 

Me: Have you heard from people that were in NXIVM or things like NXIVM that heard this music? 

Jon: Yeah, I've had a few people reach out that love it. They're the ones that blew the whistle like Sarah or a few others who heard the songs and were like yes... expose them for what they did and who they are. 

Me: But you're also exposing how it made you feel, right? 

Jon: Yeah, it's a very personal album. 

Me: What does it mean for you to hear from them on that? 

 Jon: Well, I think anyone who's been involved in something like a cult, it could be a church. I know a lot of churches that became cults, or are exhibiting cult like behaviour. For anyone that's caught in something, it could be an abusive relationship there's a lot of that kind of behaviour in society that where power is abusive. I don't want it just to be about cults per say, I want people to hear it and say, "I could relate to that because something happened in my life that felt like that." 

Me: Okay. Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Jon. 

Jon: Thanks, man, it's been a pleasure. And remember, if it happened to me it could happen to anyone.

That about doers it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jon Bryant for an interesting interview. The Phile will be back on Friday with Martin Fry from ABC. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain. 

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Pheaturing Deborah Snyder


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. How are you? A woman’s worst nightmare happened while she was ordering food, as she received a disturbing text message from the man who was delivering it. According to the Mirror, the woman shared the exchange on social media in a Facebook post, detailing how her DoorDash delivery driver was holding the food delivery that she ordered hostage in exchange for sexual favors. Although the woman was unidentified and it’s not clear where the incident happened, Fox Business reported with a screenshot of the text message exchange that the dasher starts a conversation saying, “Question for ya,” to which the woman allows him to ask. He then asks if she wa single and she replied simply she had a boyfriend. And although the woman kept her response short and sweet, without a hint of rudeness, she was shocked and terrified by her delivery driver’s response. The Dasher had sent her a long message saying it’s late, wet, rainy, and he was tired. DoorDash offered him this delivery when he was 10 miles away, meaning there are not many drivers out. He offered a deal... "Help me out a little sexually and I’ll deliver the food. If not I’m gonna have to cancel.” According to the New York Post, the woman had written on Facebook, “I can’t believe this happened. I feel incredibly unsafe because now this sick individual has both my phone number and my address,” and apparently the rideshare company fired the driver. The company told the Post, “This inappropriate and unacceptable behavior is never tolerated on the DoorDash platform. The Dasher involved was immediately deactivated, and we have been in contact with the customer to offer our support. We sincerely regret that this incident fell short of the experience we strive to provide every day.” This poor woman was most definitely not expecting to be the victim of sexual harassment just from ordering food. Many people have called out DoorDash, but there have been other horror stories with other rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber Eats. Either way, the way this was handled was too lenient, and that man should’ve been reported to the police. He may do that again to someone else, and they might not be as lucky in remaining safe. 

A Texas man was arrested after a 6-year-old girl was fatally shot over a clogged toilet and spilled water. According to authorities, Pasadena police officers found the girl, who was identified as Laurionne Walker, shot multiple times at an apartment complex in Pasadena. The girl was immediately taken to the hospital, where she later died. Authorities identified the suspect as 35-year-old Raymeon Means and was apprehended near the apartment. He was charged with capital murder of someone 10 years or younger. According to court records, he was booked on Saturday night and was denied bond. Mauricio Alvarez, a neighbor of Means, told local news outlet KPRC that before the shooting, Means had knocked on their door and asked if their water was working. The neighbor stated, “He was like, 'Oh, can you check if you have water coming down because the little girl clogged the toilet.'" Means then left and the neighbors heard arguing and a commotion in the parking lot. A woman had a knife and was yelling at Means telling him to “get out of here.” Means then ran upstairs and four gunshots were heard. Neighbors also heard screams as the suspect ran away from the scene. According to the Houston Chronicle, Means was upset that the girl had clogged the toilet, which caused water to spill over. Police stated that the girl’s mother had dropped her off so she could attend a vigil for family members killed in a car crash. In the accident, a mother and her three young children died after a suspected drunken driver had crashed into their car, which caused a fiery multivehicle wreck. The uncle of the 6-year-old, Damien House, is the father of the children who passed away in the crash. Speaking about the girl’s death, House stated, “All I can say to my sister, ‘I’m here for her.’ I can imagine what she’s going through because we’re all going through the same thing.” As far as Means, according to authorities he has been previously convicted of endangering a child and injury to a child. 

If you didn’t know, it’s Women’s History Month, and Leyna Bloom is living her dream come true after all her hard work. Bloom made serious history as the very first transgender woman of color to be featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, following the footsteps of Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who was the first transgender woman to display her beach body in the iconic magazine. Bloom is a black and Filipino Chicago native who first made headlines back in 2017, as one of the first openly transgender models to walk the New York Fashion Week runway. The Filipina also appeared in Vogue India, was the only openly transgender model to walk the Paris Fashion Week runway in 2019 and is now proudly the first black and Asian transgender woman to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. “This is what it looks like to be in full bloom,” she wrote in an Instagram post on social media. “This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams. In this moment, I am a representation of all the communities I grew from, and all the communities I’m planting seeds in,” she added. She also explained in a trailer interview with Sports Illustrated, “When I first started modeling, what I heard the most was ‘you’re black, you’re a woman, your trans, and you’re poor. You’re at the bottom of the food chain. Now people are telling me ‘you are a beautiful woman, you are a beautiful black woman, and you’re a powerful trans woman.” MJ Day, editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said, “Her presence as the first trans woman of color to be in our issue is a result of her lifetime dedication to forging her own path that has led to acceptance, love and change. She represents every person’s right to love themselves and be who they want to be,” and the magazine also celebrated her “undeniable sense of self that shines through the minute she walks on set.”

Okay, with today's guest being Deborah Snyder I have to tell this story... The massive success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League that even led to the platform experiencing some service outages proved that the hype for the film is real. Despite the praises and satisfaction that many fans are expressing, many fans are looking toward Warner Bros as some fans viewed the studio as the villain of the story. Although fans are mad at WB, WarnerMedia was also caught in the crosshairs. WarnerMedia is the parent company that owns both Warner Bros and HBO. Many fans felt that the reason why the 2017 version of Justice League happened was because of the executives at WB. The anger led to some fans attacking certain executives from the company. This led WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff to speak out and condemn the toxic side of the fandom. It has to be noted that not everyone is engaging in the attacks. Sarnoff addressed the Snyder Cut fans who engaged in making death threats against some WarnerMedia executives, journalists, or anyone who was perceived to have been blocking the film’s release. In an interview with Variety, the CEO was displeased with the path that some fans chose to take. She said that they will not tolerate the behavior, adding that making death threats and personal attacks are reprehensible. Sarnoff said, "We’re not tolerating any of that. That behavior is reprehensible no matter what franchise you’re talking about or what business you’re talking about. It’s completely unacceptable. I’m very disappointed in the fans that have chosen to go to that negative place with regard to DC, with regard to some of our executives. It’s just disappointing because we want this to be a safe place to be. We want DC to be a fandom that feels safe and inclusive. We want people to be able to speak up for the things they love, but we don’t want it to be a culture of cancelling things that any small faction isn’t happy with. We are not about that. We are about positivity and celebration." However, in the interview, Sarnoff seemed to have also shut down any possible chances of restoring the Snyderverse. In a statement, Sarnoff said that she appreciated that fans loved Snyder’s work, but added that the film is the completion of his trilogy. Here is the full statement, "I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC. We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now." This seems to point to the fact that they are not planning on any Snyderverse project. However, the Snyder cut also seemed impossible at the time but it became a reality. Still, fans need to lower their expectations that there will ever be a sequel for the film. 

Since last year's confirmation that both Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina will be reprising their villain roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home, webheads have immediately come to the conclusion that their respective foes Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire will also be involved in the film to join the MCU's Spidey Tom Holland. Holland has already come out to debunk the rumors surrounding Tobey and Andrew's casting but the speculations about their involvement have once again been fueled after Andrew's stunt double from The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was apparently spotted in Atlanta. Now, the good folks over at Geekosity are claiming that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures are planning to announce their No Way Home involvement in jaw-dropping fashion. According to their scoop, the studios aren't in a hurry to confirm the casting of both Tobey and Andrew as they want everything to be perfectly timed. As far as the announcement is concerned, the entertainment website claims that it will take place in a show like "Good Morning America" where Tobey and Andrew will pop up out of nowhere to confirm their casting as Tom hypes up the film. That already sounds like it's going to break the Internet in half but of course, just like any rumor, take this one with a huge grain of salt. Considering we're still nine months away from the premiere of No Way Home, it looks like we're going to have to wait a little longer for the official announcement to drop as there's no way Marvel Studios will choose to prioritize that over publicity for films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals which are hitting cinemas before Spider-Man 3. If the rumors are in fact true, I can already see fans going crazy over it. It'll be a monumental moment for sure. 

Okay, so, did you know that I originally was supposed to play Superman in the Justice League films and Batman V Superman? No? Well, take a look at this screen shot then...

See? That's me! I even originally was supposed to be playing Superman in Snyder's version... 

But what was really a weird casting idea was I was gonna be Cyborg as well.

Hahahahaha. Wait. I'm not done. I was even gonna take over as director of the movies.

And this would be my version of the Justice League...

What a casual lot they would be. Hahahaha. I'm just cracking myself up. Okay, so, did you know some babies are born with a full set of teeth? No? Check this out...

Ooooh. Scary, right? You know what makes me laugh? When people reenact photos from their childhood. Like this one...

Haha. So, if I had a TARDIS I would go to New York City in the 60s to shop. Then I'll come across this...

To say all fashion was dictated by the major designers until the 1960s is an understatement. What is reflected in this picture is the beginning of the downfall of the stylish clothing controlled by designs that were driven for centuries by the royalty of Europe. The 60s defined the rise of youth in society as a whole. Up until then, the young were relegated to fashion approved by their elders. The rebellion of youth in the 60s impacted designers as they unexpectedly decided for themselves what clothes best reflected their ideals. To the horror of designers, it became chic to put together several cheap colorful items for their outfits. This cut the old school shops out of a huge chunk of the clothing market. Mini skirts led the way. The messages in the window are basically a protest of the protestor’s fashion choices. They were in a battle to retain their share of the market. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jeff...

Looks nice! The Seawolf is not there. Must be being used. I notice these things. Haha. Hopefully this year I can make it back there. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Said This Past Weekend
5. My little sister just told me that no one in college says "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" anymore. They say “exclusive” in case anyone was wondering how to be cool.
4. I used to think that romantic relationships were based on a lot of bickering and battles of wits that inevitably turned into chemistry. That’s how people fall in love in movies. But then you grow up and realize that not everything in life is the way it’s portrayed in Shrek.
3. The first guy who heard a parrot talk was probably not okay for several days. 
2. No way did God put humans on this earth so we could give each other parking tickets. 
And the number one thing said this past weekend was...
1. Benadryl really said, "You can't sneeze if you're unconscious." 

The 148th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Marie Kondo will be on the Phile in a few weeks. 

Today's guest is an American producer of feature films and television commercials. She is married to filmmaker Zack Snyder, and has worked as his frequent producing partner on films such as Watchmen30) and Zack Synder's Justice League. Please welcome to the Phile... Deborah Snyder.

Me: Hello, Deborah, welcome to the Phile. How are you? 

Deborah: Hi, I'm good. Thanks for having me. 

Me: So, how are you feeling that the movie is finally out now? It's been a long time coming. 

Deborah: LOL. I'm just trying to catch may breath. I don't think we ever imagined we would be here. I mean, how do we get a second chance in this industry? It's just such rare thing. To have these fans speak up and garner such a large community with such a strong voice that made a big corporation like WarnerMedia stand up and listen is pretty unique thing. 

Me: Were you able to celebrate at all? 

Deborah: You know something, we did a bunch of things digitally with the fans because it really is about celebrating this moment with them and we did pop open a bottle of champagne. It's been a long road and honestly we just finished the film a couple of weeks ago because there was just an enormous amount of work to do. 

Me: Okay, so I know the story about the film, but some of my readers might not. Can you fill them in on the road how you got here? 

Deborah: Yes, Zack and I were working on the Justice League and in 2017 our daughter Autumn died by suicide but the decision was made to keep working on the film. 

Me: Man, what was that choice like? That's hard. 

Deborah: Well, at first thought we just thought we were going to put our heads down and maybe that will help us get through this really difficult period, but when we started to do that we realized that wasn't really going to happen. There was some additional photography that was planned and they wanted it shot in England. We didn't want to leave the family and we were opening Wonder Woman at the same time and we had gone to China and had done some press and I think the pressure and the jet lag and all the work... 

Me: Rumors went around and people still say Zack quit making the movie because of the studio not happy with it or with him.

Deborah: Listen, it was no secret we were kind of arguing with the studio about what the movie should be. They wanted it a little shorter, they wanted it a little funnier, they wanted something that really wasn't in the DNA. And all those things combined, I remember getting back from China and it was three in the morning and we were up because of the jet lag and Zack was like "I just can't do this anymore" and I was like "I cannot either." It was just too much, so we took the time and instead we spent it with, one year turned into two years, we spent it with the family and did a lot of traveling and just being together and trying to heal. It was the best decision we could've done. We made a conscience decision to go public with the reason we were leaving and to talk about suicide and mental health awareness. I think what's remarkable is through this whole process that with the fans, not only they wanted this movie, they wanted it for them but at the same time every activation they did, every dollar they raised for billboards and planes that flew over Warner Bros. saying "release the Snyder cut" and a big Jumbotron in Times Square, half that money went to AFSP. Even on those Jumbotron's in the corner there was the logo of AFSP so the awareness that they have raised has been so much a part of this movement, and the awareness of mental health especially at a time right now where we're in this pandemic. A lot of people have lost their jobs, have lost their loved ones, and I just think the work is so important and to me that's what I'm most proud of, is the work that they have done and to be a small part of that. 

Me: I have to say I'm so sorry for your loss, Deborah. 

Deborah: Thank you. It's still not easy but I think things are good. Something's are good, coming out of something that is just so bad has been a good thing and I think a little cathartic for us. 

Me: Okay, so, the film got finished but not by you guys, right? 

Deborah: Yeah, it got finished by Joss Whedon who rewrites a lot of the film, releases his version of the Justice League

Me: Did you see his version? I saw it and thought it was good, a fun popcorn action movie. 

Deborah: I did see his version. Once. Right before there release of the film. 

Me: I bet that was hard, was it? 

Deborah: It was hard. And without judgement against that of that film, when I worked with these characters over ten years and planning and deciding and really creating who they are and then developing this film and story and when I see something so radically different in tone, radically different how it was photographed, it's just hard. 

Me: What was the hardest part about it? 

Deborah: We never thought we'd be sitting here today where Zack's vision would actually be completed. That was a crazy notion. So thinking that's how it would all end was really disappointing. But it was hard too because a lot of the cast we've known a lot of them for over ten years and worked with them and we wanted ti support them at the same time. But yes it was the vision of a movie that had nothing to do with our vision. 

Me: So, now Zack's version is done and out there, and is four bloody hours long. How did we get to where we are today? Haha. 

Deborah: Listen, I think it was the perfect storm of events that allowed Zack Snyder's Justice League to come to life. It started with the fans and it started as this grassroots movement to release the Snyder cut with a partition. But I think what started that hashtag right after the films release, the fans knew what they had seen from the trailers before we left the movie and then seeing this version, it didn't feel like Zack's work. It didn't have the artistry or the same tone as what they were expecting. So they had this rallying cry, they started by writing letters and they started by sending fruit baskets. I think Ann Sarnoff got her new job and she arrives at her office and there's like hundreds of letters and dozens of fruit baskets, she was like, "Oh my goodness. This is so nice." And then she realized they were all for the Snyder cut of the movement. And they were like "release the Snyder cut!" So that became billboards and bus shelters at ComicCon and then that became airplanes flying over the studios. They had a couple of days where they picketed outside of the gates with signs saying "release the Snyder cut." Then cut to the release of the movie, I think it was the anniversary of the 2017 release I think that's when they did the Jumbotron in Times Square. Then some of the talent also tweeted release the Snyder cut. I think it just got amplified to the point where everyone at the studio really took notice and said hey, this is a thing. At the smart time they were launching HBOMax which was the perfect platrform for it. 

Me: Yeah, and as it's four hours long people don't need to sit inside a movie theater that long during a pandemic. 

Deborah: Listen, a four hour movie is not realistic to have a theatrical release but in the streaming world that's perfectly doable and viable. What's really greta about it, I think, Zack had always envisioned a longer version with the title cards so its a great place for viewers to stop. They can watch one or two of them, I know super fans will go through the whole four hours but some people may want to take it in smaller bites. They can do that in a streaming situation. 

Me: Do you think four hours was too long? 

Deborah: I think we're used to watching things that fold out a little slower, that develops and to me that's a more rewarding experience because we really get to know the struggles of these characters. We get to see their arcs. We already got to see a Superman movie, and we had a Batman and Superman movie and two Wonder Woman movies so we know a lot about those characters but to see more about the Flash and really get a more greater introduction to Cyborg that this version of the movie does all of that. 

Me: So, what was your reaction when you knew this film would be finally out and people would see it? 

Deborah: When this all happened and they came to us and said, "Hey, would you like to release this on HBOMax? But we have no money to finish it." We were like the music isn't done, we had like an assembly of what it was but there was a lot of work to be done. 

Me: Why is that? 

Deborah: Because we left rather early in the process. They said, "Okay, what would it take?" Then just figuring out what it would take and to do that kind of in a secret way, to figure out how to finish the visual effects. We have over two thousand five hundred and sixty-six new visual effect shots. And just to budget that and figure out how to plan that, that was a job all in itself. It was a little bit of a price tag so we had to convince them it was worth spending the money. 

Me: There is also a thin line with the toxic shit as well from fans online. How did you handle that? 

Deborah: I think just in general online there is a general anonymity that people feel they can say things that they wouldn't say to your face necessarily. I just believe that toxicity is not good. Also we see it sometimes in how people review things too, where it becomes super personal attacks. I just don't think it's acceptable behavior on any level. I feel like its often times there's a small minority with a loud voice that we have. Because I believe that we have in this fandom we've seen such positivity. 

Me: What is something that really touched you about this? 

Deborah: Throughout the two years when we took a break from everything we got such outreach from people about how these movies and how these characters really impacted them. Like on a personal level, or people that were struggling with depression, that found something in these movies and to me the movies that we made and that interested me in them was that these heroes were a little bit more relatable in their struggles and their heroes journey to become the heroes we know of them to be which we find them at the end of Justice League, we see them kind of trying to find a place in the world. I always said I'll never understand what it's like to have super powers but I can relate to what am I supposed to be doing, what's my responsibility. To me that kind gave me an in with these characters, that's why I like them. 

Me: So, do you think home streaming is really the way of the cinema? 

Deborah: I love going to the theater and love watching a movie but I also love the streamers are around and they give the filmmakers an opportunity that we wouldn't have otherwise. We're working with Netflix right now, we have the movie Army of the Dead that is coming out in May that was at Warner Bros. but we couldn't enough money to have it made the way we needed it to be made. At Netflix we were able to get this movie made in all its glory with the visual effects on the budget that we needed it. I feel liker the streamers are taking chances. I mean look, HBOMax took a huge chance allowing us to make Justice League. I think right now studios are making this bigger tent-pole movies but I think there's a lot of smaller movies and mid-level movies that are getting made with the streaming services that would never see the light of day. I think it's an exciting time. 

Me: Why is that? 

Deborah: Because I feel that's a win-win for any filmmaker. And I do think they can and will exist as a compliment to each other. I don't think it's an either or situation, it would make me very sad if there weren't theaters to watch a movie on a giant screen. 

Me: I agree. I miss going to the movies. Thanks for being on the Phile, Deborah. Tell Zack Watchmen is one of my favorite movies ever. 

Deborah: Thank you. I will.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Deborah Snyder for a cool interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with musician Jon Bryant. Spread the word, not there turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain.

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...

Monday, March 22, 2021

Pheaturing Niall Horan


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? I’ve got to hand it to the social platform for Gen Z’ers known popularly as TikTok (which I am on... @Jaypea68). We can poke fun and pull the “older” card on the new generations all we want, but if you have an account on there or have seen other TikTok videos on other social media sites, then you know that after combing through all the lame dances, you can find a ton of useful learning lessons! From cooking to life hacks, TikTok has become increasingly informative, and you can’t deny its usefulness, especially in this TikTok about the coronavirus. Thirty-year-old Russell Donnelly (okay, so not specifically Gen Z, but you know what I mean!) is a TikTok creator from New Jersey who tested positive for COVID-19. Which, isn’t really a surprise since pandemic cases around the globe have been rising once again. But anyway, Donnelly (@rustardlikemustard) seized the opportunity to create a funny, light-hearted video about the very real symptoms of testing positive. So he filmed himself doing a little COVID-19 taste test. One of the COVID-19 symptoms is losing your sense of taste and smell. You could still feel just fine, but test COVID positive if you have a loss of taste from your taste buds. And what better way to figure that out than to try the most extreme tasting foods that you probably would never eat by itself? Because that’s exactly what Donnelly did. In the viral video, the New Jersey man explained, “I am currently COVID positive and I can’t taste anything,” and further saying that his fans wanted him to try “nasty stuff.” He didn’t necessarily have gross things to eat, but decided to go for foods that were “strong or pungent.” So what all did he consume? The series of videos show the viral sensation bravely consuming, a chunk of raw onion, a shot of lemon juice and garlic paste, Gerber baby food, a whole lemon, anchovies with capers, mustard, apple cider vinegar, wasabi Oreos, and other weird combinations of foods. His reaction? Nothing. Struck by reality, the comments popped off in the trending videos, telling the TikTok star to continue the COVID taste test trend by trying extreme foods like cat food and ghost peppers. The NYPost said the New Jersey TikTok creator “would’ve killed it on 'Fear Factor,'” and I couldn’t agree more in taking advantage of losing your taste or smell. Besides, this is also another pretty decent process for a rapid test instead of the typical gag-worthy way. But if you can’t taste or smell anything, you should definitely go to the doctor immediately. 

Former president Donald Trump‘s wealth (or lack thereof) has always been up for debate. Though Forbes has long listed Trump as a billionaire, a bombshell investigation by The New York Times into Trump’s tax returns last year revealed years of sustained losses and tax avoidance. Now, a new analysis by Bloomberg has found that Trump’s net worth has declined by an additional $700 million since becoming president in 2016. Donald Trump’s net worth, which had been listed as $3 billion, has shrunk down to $2.3 billion over the last five years. Like most real estate and hospitality companies, the Trump Organization faced major losses over the past year with the on-set of the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Trump owes more than $256 million in commercial real estate debt, according to Bloomberg. Trump likely struggle to pay these debts off since his loyal lender Deutsche Bank abandoned him following the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol. The new Bloomberg report also reports that the surviving Trump properties, even golf courses which are normally a “bright spot” for the company, are in “sad” shape, having dropped in value roughly 42 percent since 2015. Donald Trump’s sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have taken over heading the Trump Organization since their father became president. Eric defended the company to People Magazine, saying, “Bloomberg’s valuation is a joke. We have the best assets in the world, have extremely low debt relative to our holdings and have [an] incredible strong cash flow.” Bloomberg reports that Donald Trump’s few modest gains are thanks to the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida and the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rather than return to Manhattan, Trump has taken up residence in Florida at Mar-a-Lago since leaving the White House in January. Additionally, thanks to Trump’s newly political... and toxic... brand, he can no longer rely on book sales or the TV entertainment industry which once provided such a steady stream of revenue. That was to be expected. But the recent, devastating financial disclosure in Bloomberg is still a revelation to those following the story of Trump’s unraveling image. 

Five White House staffers have been fired because of their past use of drugs, including marijuana, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. Marijuana has become a delicate issue for President Joe Biden’s administration because 15 states and Washington, D.C., allow for recreational usage, despite a federal prohibition. The administration has tried not to automatically penalize potential staffers for legal behavior in their communities by developing a more flexible policy, Psaki said in a statement to the Associated Press. “In an effort to ensure that more people have an opportunity to serve the public, we worked in coordination with the security service to ensure that more people have the opportunity to serve than would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use,” Psaki said. “While we will not get into individual cases, there were additional factors at play in many instances for the small number of individuals who were terminated.” Hundreds of aides in the 2-month-old Biden administration have cleared the suitability review by career staffers handling security issues. The White House has said there can be multiple factors for dismissals, including hard drug use. The marijuana policy has become less stringent under the Biden administration, allowing for up to 15 past uses in a year among White House staffers. The broader federal government has also become somewhat more lenient, with the Office of Personnel Management releasing a memo that says a person should not be deemed unfit merely because of past marijuana usage. The seriousness of the use and the nature of the position will also be factors in judging new hires. Security and suitability reviews have been an issue for past administrations. At least 25 clearance denials were overturned by President Donald Trump’s administration, where people faced possible disqualification because of foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct. 

I never thought I would start hearing the worst stories from the latest stimulus check rollout. A Kentucky mother, who said she used her stimulus check to buy fentanyl, now faces charges of murder, importing fentanyl, and trafficking of a controlled substance, after her two-year-old son died from consuming some. Thirty-three-year-old Lauren Ashley Baker from Ludlow, Kentucky, admitted that she is highly addicted to the synthetic opioid which she bought in Cincinnati using her stimulus check. She then brought it back to Ludlow, where she told police that she shared it with two other people. She then explained she “took a shot” of fentanyl before falling asleep on a Thursday night. But when she dosed off, her two-year-old son then consumed some of her drugs. Baker woke to find her purse empty and her son not breathing. The boy’s father, unidentified, called the police when he got home, and when they arrived, the boy was in respiratory arrest. He was then rushed Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The fentanyl was found scattered on the bed of Baker’s home, as well as a can of Narcan, a drug designed to block the effects of opioids. She is now being held in Kenton County Jail without bond, according to the police report. It’s still unclear which stimulus check she used, but she did specifically say she used the coronavirus relief funds to buy the fentanyl. If found guilty, she could face up to 50 years in prison. I understand that addiction is hard, but consequences are very real. And this mother’s fentanyl problem is not excusable in the event of her own son’s death. To even have it near him is already horrible, but people have to be responsible for their actions. It’s heartbreaking to see someone lose a life so young.

It's no secret that Baron Zemo and the Flag-Smashers will be the main villains in "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier." However, the first episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series also teased the arrival of another comic book baddie. But who is Power Broker and why is his possible arrival in the MCU such a huge thing? The premiere episode of "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" featured some interesting credits to introduce the cast. One of the cut-outs in the sequence stated that "Power Broker is watching" and it could confirm that the Marvel comic book villain keeping an eye on everyone. In the comics, Curtiss Jackson is a criminal who has gone up against the likes of Captain America and Falcon. He is also the founder of the Power Broker Corporation that manufactures drugs that give the users superhuman strength. Jackson's specialty would make sense considering that "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" already introduced a mysterious superpowered individual who happens to be a member of the Flag-Smashers. The terrorist named Dovich has the same abilities as a Super Soldier and it's possible that his powers come from a drug made by Power Broker. Although Power Broker has not yet been confirmed to appear in the series, his arrival is expected because of his connection to two characters who have already been introduced in the premiere. In the comics, Jackson goes up against U.S. Agent aka John Walker, who has been introduced as the new Captain America in New World Order. However, some believe that the two will end up working together in the series in an effort to give John the superpowers he needs to be the new Cap. Although Power Broker is not connected to Joaquin Torres, he is involved with the villain who did something terrible to the character. Jackson hired Dr. Karl Malus, who experimented on Joaquin and turned him into a human/bird hybrid in the comics. If Jackson is in "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" and is creating drugs for super strength, there is a possibility that Malus will show up as well.

Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

Ummmm... maybe not. Do you know what makes me laugh? When people reenact their childhood pics. Like this one...

Hahahaha. Cute! So, have you seen the video of Joe Biden tripping up the steps on Air Force One? Well, they solved that problem so it wouldn't happen again.

Hahahahaha. So, today's guest is Niall Horan who used to be in One Direction. Did you know I was also in One Direction? No? I will show you.

Told you. Hahahahahaha. Niall is hanging off me... we are the best of bros. Haha. Anyone with a car knows the deep and torturous, never-ending struggle of trying to find a safe parking spot, especially in a city... Parking is one of the most irritating challenges of owning a car, but if your rented residence comes with a parking spot, it can be a game-changer. Parking in the street and waking up when the sunrises to move it for cleaning, being late to everything because you didn't account for the thirty minutes of circling it'll take to find a perilous parallel parking spot, or paying more than your rent for a garage that's a hike away can be a pain. Even if you don't own a car or even have a driver's license, if a parking spot is built into your rent, then it's your spot. So, when a frustrated apartment tenant decided to consult the courtroom of moral philosophy otherwise known as the Phile about their neighbor stealing their apartment's assigned parking spot, I was ready to deem a verdict. 

"Am I wrong for not letting people park in my parking spot? Background: I don't drive. I've never held a license beyond a learner's, passed a driving test, or owned a car. When I moved into my apartment I was assigned a parking spot (everyone automatically gets one whether they want it or not) and was told that the power to the spot connects directly to my apartment via a switch in my kitchen. Power isn't included in the rent so I pay for it separately. Yesterday I noticed that someone was parked in my spot but I was in a hurry to leave the house and couldn't deal with it. By noon today, the car was still there so I went down to put a note under the wiper asking them to park somewhere else. While I was doing this, the owner came out of the building next door and started yelling at me for touching his car. I asked him to park somewhere else. He called me an asshole and said that he should be able to park there because I'm not using the spot anyway and his household needed two spots. I held firm and he eventually moved his car. I have three reasons for not wanting strangers to park in my spot: When I have visitors they park there. On street parking is super tight and there is a bus lane directly in front of my building. At the last place I rented, I let it slide when someone parked in my spot and it caused a lot of headache later on. The spot-stealer was involved in a hit and run and I got several nasty notes shoved under my door demanding that I pay for the damage. I had to get the landlord involved to sort it out. I pay for the power to that spot and I'm not paying for someone else to plug their car in during the winter. Am I wrong for not just letting it go and allowing the guy to park in my unused spot?" No, you are not wrong. It's your spot. You are paying for it. You decide what to do with it. Just start having any cars there towed. Loop in your landlord and have him advise the other tenant to stop. If the guy wants to pay you to rent the spot, plus a portion of the electric if he uses it... that's your call too. You are not at all wrong to protect the parking spot you pay for, and if other tenants want access to it, they will all need to work out a deal. Good luck, everyone! If you have a problem you'd like my advice on then email me at Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Said About March Madness
5. Filled out March Madness brackets for the first time ever. Going with teams that sound like cheese. Go Gonzaga men's college basketball team!
4. I won't be watching any March Madness at work today. Wink wink. 
3. Used to be my dream being sequestered in my home watching March Madness all day. NOT MY DREAM ANYMORE.
2. Every year people tell me their picks for March Madness and every year they lose. 
And the number one thing said about March Madness is...
1. Not sure if everyone likes basketball or gambling. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jeff, shall we?

Looks like a beautiful day there today. Fifty degrees as well. Okay, here's a story from...

Yikes, it looks like four women ordered more than those delicious Popeye’s chicken sandwiches. A wild video is now going viral on social media showing the violent robbery as it unfolded in the drive-thru window at a Popeye’s restaurant in Lantana. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the whole argument began when one of the passengers started arguing with the cashier prompting her to spit at and assault the employee. The 29-second video clip shows her furiously attacking the Popeye’s worker while standing outside of a silver Nissan Sentra. A second woman then gets out of the driver’s seat and is followed by two other women who join in on the fight as one of them reaches inside to steal the cash. Through a statement, authorities stated, “One of the female suspects reached into the window and grabbed money from the register.” The four unidentified women then got back inside their Sentra, with the Florida license plates GVZP04, and drove off. Police stated that no arrests have been made in the incident but the investigation is still ongoing. Putting my two cents in here, this is so tacky and embarrassing to see. First off, why would anyone spit on a cashier, that’s just plain disrespectful. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. If I was the cashier I would immediately press charge to all four women, because this is ridiculous. It’s one thing that one woman is fighting, but for all four of them to get involved is insane. Also, if you’re going to rob someone make sure your license plates aren’t showing, think smarter. Of course, I’m not condoning this, but come on this is dumb. Just get your chicken sandwich and run along. Stay wild,  Florida.

Vampires only suck your blood for Vitamin D because they can’t go out in the sun themselves.

The 148th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Marie Kondo will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks. 

Today's guest is an Irish singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence as a member of the boy band One Direction, formed in 2010 on the British singing competition "The X Factor." His latest solo album "Heartbreak Weather," was released in March 2020 and debuted at number four in the U.S. and number one in the U.K., Ireland, and Mexico. Please welcome to the Phile... Niall Horan. 

Me: Hey, Niall, welcome to the Phile. How are you, man? 

Niall: I'm very well. I have looked at your blog and like it a lot. You're very funny. 

Me: Really? Thanks, man. I appreciate that. I don't think I'm THAT funny. So, when your debut solo album "Flicker" came out a few years ago what was that like? 

Niall: At that time I was very early to playing shows on my own for the first time, going around the world doing everything on my own. Interviews, TV, radio, getting up on stage. Everything was new to me. 

Me: So, since then what has changed? 

Niall: A LOT has changed and it feels more at home now. 

Me: Why do you think that is? 

Niall: It just feels more comfortable. Like any new thing it's going to be awkward for a little bit. It's hard to get a grip with that all the pressures on me and everything interview I do I have to answer every question and all of that stuff. When I get into that then I'm ready to go. 

Me: What was something surprising about it? Something you didn't expect? 

Niall: I liked to be the front man, that's a good crack. 

Me: What was it like when you first performed solo? 

Niall: I was nervous. 

Me: And now? 

Niall: Things have changed. It's definite more comfort on the stage. Running a show for 90 minutes is not the easiest thing to do but I think I got my arm around it a little bit more these days. 

Me: Okay, so I have to show a pic of the band you were once in case readers don't know... a real pic, not a fake one with me in it.

Niall: Boo. I hate looking at those pictures of when I was about 15. 

Me: But you guys had an amazing career. 

Niall: Yeah, I said somethings and some amazing things have come true. 

Me: How many years ago did the band break up? 

Niall: Five or six I think. 

Me: Does it feel like it even happened? 

Niall: Oh, yeah. I wouldn't be here talking to you if we didn't do it. That feels decades ago. To be fair it really is about ten years, that's crazy because I'm only 27. It shows you how young I was when I started. It definitely happened, it was an absque whirlwind. One way I was completely different of what I was like. 

Me: I REALLY love your song "Nice To Meet Ya." So, what is that song about? 

Niall: It kinda came out of nowhere. It was one of those ones where nothing was happening and we were in the studio just sitting around. We wrote a lot of songs that week and we just kinda came in because we had a session. Then I just started playing that riff over and over then everyone's ears perked up and Tobias Jesso Jr. played that dancey piano straight away. That's the same piano actually on the recording the one he did at the time. Then we just went for it, kinda like we did I did "Slow Hands" where we found the tempo, we find a bit something about it that I know I don't have to overthink the lyric, I don't have to dig really deep. I picked up a mic and was like, "Nice to see ya!" There was a large of screaming and shouting so when I get asked about the lyric now I don't know what to say because I just opened my mouth and things happened. 

Me: That's the old school way, like what beat poets like Jack Kerouac did. Do you like coming up with lyrics that way? 

Niall: I don't know. Then I have to start thinking what am I going to start to write about because to be fair I've written lot of songs up to that point. At that point I'd probably written about 50 songs. 

Me: Did you ever see the movie Snatch? It's one of my favorite movies? The song sound like it could be on the soundtrack for that movie. 

Niall: I love it. That's exactly what I said. Actually the first thing I said it could be on "Fifa," it sounds like one of the songs on the menu when we're choosing the team. Then I felt like it could be in a Guy Ritchie/Tarantino film. That's why I shot the video the way I did. 

Me: It's a far cry from the music you were making back then in One Direction. Does it feel like a risk making this kinda music? 

Niall: Of course. And I like the risk. 

Me: What makes it a risk? 

Niall: Because it's nothing like anything else that I'm up against. Sometimes I go out on my own way, but not in a rebellious like "I hate pop music" because I don't, I love pop music. But I do appreciate people tat try something different, that's why Billie Eilish is so successful right now because she sounds nothing like anything else. She sounds like Billie Eilish, and that is it. I'm not saying I'm like Billie Eilish, but I do appreciate what she does. She goes out of her way to be different and I really like that. When I'm sitting to start a record I have an idea what I want to try out, and what kinda sounds I want to go into. I look at radio charts and Amazon and Apple and all the different vendors. 

Me: My dad always did that, listening to what's happening. Do you always do that? 

Niall: Yeah, I'll have a look and then I say I'm gonna try to do something completely different. But is still in my flavour, in that rocky thing, thr song "Slow Hands" made me think like that. 

Me: Did that song give you confidence? 

Niall: A hundred percent. 

Me: I do like that song I have to admit. Were you surprised that song was successful? 

Niall: Yeah, a song like that shouldn't have been successful in that period. It had no right to, because in the charts it was heavily dominated by R&B and hip hop. So when something comes along like "Slow Hands" I guess when I out it out I was scared, it was a risk. But it stood out and that's why people attached on to it and hopefully it'll be the same here. 

Me: Is it hard to leave a popular boy band and to take a couple of risks coming out with different music? 

Niall: Definitely not with the first album. I knew how that was gonna sound. I've known that since I was about 10. When I was 13 I was in the pub playing gigs there, it was just me an an acoustic guitar. I knew then how that was going to be. 

Me: What kinda music were you playing? 

Niall: Bits of Dylan and bits of of McCartney, I was playing to like 50-year-old men in the pub. I had to be out by 8 o'clock because I got out out because I was too young. But I was playing stuff like the usual stuff. 

Me: So, you knew what you were gonna do once you left One Direction? 

Niall: I had a fair idea of what that was gonna sound like. Second album I knew I was gonna step up in terms of tempo. That is all I knew at the time, I was going to try loads of different things but I knew I was gonna need more tempo. Because I toured for so long I learned by just looking at the crowd every night what comes next. I look at the crowd and see the faces of people, I know when they cry, I know when they jump up and down, I know when they wanna rip the roof off. I'm the one that sets the set list, so I know where the moments are. Then when I walk into the studio after the success of it I'm like I'm gonna ramp this up. I walk in with my chest out and go for it. 

Me: You really care about your audience, don't you? 

Niall: Yeah, they're the one that has to listen to it. I was always like I'm so rootsy, let's play with live kits and let's be really rootsy. But then my producer Julian Bunetta said to me, "People want to dance. People want to be in bars and clubs and concerts and want to get up and dance with a beer in their hand. They obviously want to have their moments and cry their eyeshot at gigs, and that's what great about having a set list that you could do that. But in the end of the day people want to dance." And it's so true, that really got me fired up and every time I went into the studio it felt like something good was going to happen. 

Me: Do you prefer to write ballads or uptempo songs? 

Niall: I find ballads a lot easier to write. Just sort of let it go, open my mouth, see what I let out. 

Me: If you could go back in time and speak to the Niall Horan who just started in One Direction what would you tell him about the road he's about to embark on? 

Niall: It's nuts, it's gonna be crazy. You have no idea what's ahead of you, son. It's so hard to even stick a finger on it because somethings feel like yesterday and some things feel like it was two years ago, or 20 years ago because it was about 10 years ago. Just get ready because some of it is what you think it is and most of it's not. When I was a kid I had no idea what it looks like. When I went to a gig I wondered how they entered the stage, blah blah blah. It's not as glamorous as it looks. Whoever said the music business is glamourous it happens four times a year when we step on a red carpet. Behind that red carpet is just a piece of wood holding up a sheet that has a sponsor on it and a fruit tray. Get ready to eat a lot of hummus and carrot sticks and feee bottle of water. Just get ready because what's ahead of you you have no idea. and you're just gonna have to take it step by step and when I sit here now all these years later I feel like I did an all right job handling it and hopefully I can handle it at this level for a very long time, Jas. 

Me: I hope so. Niall, thanks so much for being on the Phile. 

Niall: Thank you, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Niall for a cool interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with movie producer Deborah Snyder. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain.

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...