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This is formated for opensong users dl host at [HOST] also im aware of the D/F# in the song but i didn't find it necessary to play a good old D will do lol i havnt tested it yet bu. Learn to play guitar by chord / tabs using chord diagrams, transpose the key, watch video lessons and much more. Download the pdf, print the sheet music, create the slides, view the tab, listen to the mp3, transpose the key, see the capo chart, and get the lyrics, or request to make it available.
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Print and download lead sheets for 10, 000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman Includes complete lyrics in G Major (transposable). UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO AUTOMATION SYSTEM. Reasons (Bless The Lord): key of E 2. Alive In Us: key of G 3. All Because Of Jesus: key of B 4. All Who Are Thirsty: key of D 5. Always: key of B 6. Arms Open Wide: key of D 7. At The Cross: key of E 8. Blessed Be Your Name: key of B 9. Break Free: key of A Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace): key of G Come As You Are: key of A.
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Don’t Trust the Doves
All started when the restaurant where I used to work went out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a Tuesday evening, oh God how I hate Tuesday, they are too close to Mondays but too far from Fridays, but anyway, the business wasn’t doing so hot in the last months and with the pandemic the slowing sinking ship went full titanic in no time, and we the hardworking employees were the ones that drowned.
I was sinking in debt and this is the last thing I needed, you see 2 years ago I was homeless, after my father died due to lung cancer, produced by a life of smoking, the bank foreclose our home, and I ended in the street.
I must admit I never did much with my life and that is something I regret. After the loss of my home I must had applied for a hundred jobs, but there is just so much you can do with a Theater degree, this harsh reality send me back into an spiral of depression that later transformed into drug abuse, as messed up as my old man was I am sure he wouldn’t had approved of the life I was living, dam how I miss that old man.
So here I was living under a bridge at 26 years of age on 12th avenue, one of my childhood nightmares had become my reality. I remember that every day that passed felt like a dream, I was numb to the world, people passing by stared at me, some gave me a buck others cursed at me, but most of them just ignored me, like if I was part of the street, like if I was an object and inconvenience.
One night however all changed, a group of other homeless came to the bridge, and demanded that it was “their spot”, then proceed to ask me for money, I denied them thus sparking their anger, one of the men did a rear naked chock to immobilize me and the other started to punch me in the stomach, the pain was terrible, and just when I thought that I would pass out, I heard this outer worldly noise, the noise sounded like a mixture of a growling dog and a high pitch squeal, suddenly my assailant fell to the ground, the other man took his arms out of my neck screaming “dammit not Mad Larry” and fled.
I felt to the floor due to the pain that was inflicted by the punches, when I looked up I saw it… and extremely slender and tall figure, long beard, fairy wide open eyes and an stench of alcohol and filth that made me want to puke.
The man extended his bony hand to me saying “Are you ok pal?” I took it and he helped me to stand on my feet.
“Name is Larry” he presented himself
“You shouldn’t be alone around here, is a dog eat dog world Pal, ya know” he said with a grin on his face.
Since that time Larry and I became friends, we shared food, protected each other and told stories about the old good days. Apparently, he was an ex veteran that worked for a military base in the outskirts of the city and got double crossed losing his job or at least that was the story most of the time, sometimes he said he lost his wife and that made him consume industrial amounts of meth, you see Larry was a very nice guy but he didn’t make sense 50% of the time, for what I gathered the amount of drugs he had consumed had affected his reasoning greatly, hence he was called Mad Larry.
One night a local gang approached us, they were trying to extort money from us, I wanted to comply, but Larry, well, you know Larry. He launch into the air screaming, and kicked one of the gang member in the chest, however this confrontation didn’t went like the others, the gang member were too many, they got baseball bats and chains, Larry could not hold them back, we barely escaped with our lives when the police arrived and scared the gang members, after that night Larry and I made a promise, this was the last of it, we will try to get our life back.
I got offered help at a Saint. Peters church, in a matter of months I was clean and got a job at a local restaurant and Larry well, that was the last time I saw him.
Life was getting better, now I could afford to rent an apartment, nothing too fancy but better than being homeless, my health improved and the days living on the street were just a fading memory, one that I tried to forget.
All was going well, I got new friends and even a cat that I called Larry, all was going well indeed… until Corona happened! That is.
Like I was saying I lost my job when the restaurant I worked at went out of business due to the pandemic.
And there I was sat on my desk holding my head in despair, rent, and bills were due in 2 days, I didn’t want to be homeless again, I hear that the landlord that owned the department complex was a heartless man and that his kicked out already 4 people this week, without a care in the world for the pandemic.
The library was closed and I didn’t own a desktop, so I couldn't send applications for job offers, I did what was possible with my cellphone, I took a picture of my resume and used an app to transform it to a PDF then applied to every job that I saw online. After being applying for jobs for 3 hours, I long in to social media to ease my stress, my feed was full of my cats pictures, I just had 10 friends added, my circle was very small and I just knew 4 of them in person, I was lost in the sea of memes and videos when something catcher my attention.
I had a friend’s request! How I didn’t notice that, I clicked over the icon and a profile picture popped up, it was the picture of a well-groomed man, dressed in a suit with a luxury car in the background, the name under the picture read “Larry Moore”
It can’t be true! I exclaimed and without a second thought, I accepted the request. Short after I got a message.
“Hello Pal” it read followed by a string of random emojis
“Larry is this really you?” I wrote back
“For sure Pal, long time not see” Larry wrote
‘You look so different, how you been?” I asked
“I been alright, just moved to a new house and got the internet working so I decided to search for my old Pal, at the start I wasn’t sure if was really you, when I search for your name I got 2 results a guy from Zimbabwe and a local one, I know you are not the adventuring kind to have move to Zimbabwe, so I choose the local guy, guess I was right” Larry wrote followed by a emoji sticking its tongue out
“So how you are doing?” he finally asked
I proceed to tell him how I had lost my job, about my debt and how I needed to pay rent soon or I would be kicked out of my apartment, I may have rant for at least 2 hours, when he suddenly answered with a simple text.
“Don’t worry Pal, I get ya, download this app and you will see how things get better, it worked for me, now if you excuse me, I have to go, is kinda late”
“Oh, ok man, thanks for the help” I texted back
“No problem Pal” He answered, and his name went offline
I scrolled up in our chat to look for the link and clicked on it.
My phone opened a new window in the app store.
“Doves Game” that were the words that welcomed me on the app store, it seemed to be some sort of game, the app seemed a bit sketchy, its icon was of a cartoonish pigeon head with wide eyes, it had around 100k downloads and a 5 stars rating, when I scrolled down looking for more information I could just find one screenshot that said “win great prizes everyday”
I was resistant on the idea of downloading the app, what if this was just an scam or worse what if it was loaded with malware, my phone was the only contact I had with people on this pandemic and my only mean to get a job, but Larry would never do something like that to me, he was like a brother to me, also he seem to be doing very well, dam I have never saw him this well, maybe this was a betting app? One that not many people knew about.
I tap on the download icon wishing it was nothing illegal and the download started, it may have taken around 5 minutes to download with my shitty WIFI, but there it was. The cartoon pigeon was staring at me through my phones screen.
I hesitate for a moment before I tap on it “Here goes nothing” I told to myself while petting my cat Larry that had just woken up and wanted his daily dose of attention.
The screen of my phone changed to a signup page and prompted me to introduce a username and password, I thought for a second and I wrote “Hamlet404” this was an old nickname from my acting days in college.
After clicking that I agreed to terms-and-polices screens and allow for geolocation to be enabled, the app showed a welcome message and displayed a home window. It was nothing that I have never seen before, my username was on the top under a generic blue avatar icon of a person silhouette, you know the kind that social media gives you when you don’t have a picture. I scrolled down and saw 3 fields labelled, “Rank, Badges and Balance” all 3 of them had a number zero to its right. I kept scrolling until I got to the bottom of the screen, and there it was, a button labelled: Instructions, “weird spot to put something so important” I thought, If I had made this app this would had been on the top of everything, but anyway I moved my finger over the icon and clicked it. A black page with white font opened, it read:
Welcome to the Dove game version 3.1.2
We always strive for our participants to get the best experience possible out of our app.
\*Rules of the game***
1.When an event is started near your location, an alarm will sound
2.You will have a limited amount of time to find a “Token”
3. The token approximate location will show in your game map
4. If the time runs out and you found nothing you will get zero points awarded ☹
5.If you are playing on survival mode however, rule 4 does not apply and players will be awarded a token of value = 1at the end of each event
6.Tokens have different point values, if you find a token time will stop
7. Rule 6 does not apply to survival mode
8 .At the end of each event you will be awarded points which are calculated as:
Your Rank\Token Value*Time Left in Counter*
9.You can exchange your points for cash at the end of each game
10.The rules of the game may vary the higher your Rank gets
Have fun, and Happy hunting!
A loud rhythmic bell noise suddenly made my ears almost explode. I opened my eyes and look around disoriented. I was laying on the floor next to my bed, did I just fall sleep? I looked at my bed searching for the source of the noise, that was starting to get unbearable, it sounded like if a madman was ringing the bells of an old church, what I saw was my phone flashing with a red light, I grabbed it and read a message displayed on the screen “Game on”, I quickly unlocked my phone and click on the notification.
Suddenly a map pops up, this map was very similar to the one you use in your GPS when trying to find an address it showed my location with a blue arrow and a timer in the bottom that was counting backwards. “58 minutes” it read.
Dammit! I remembered that the rules talked about finding an object or something like that before the time ran out, I look at time on my phone “4:08 AM” it said.
“Gosh! why this needs to be so early” I murmur to myself. I was thinking in close my phone and go back to bed, when a dreadful thought crossed my mind, “remember man, this could be your last chance, rent is due tomorrow, do you want to be homeless again?” this thought horrifies me, this was my last chance, if this was how Larry became so well off, maybe I could too.
I ran to the bathroom and sprinkle my face with cold water to wake me up, then went back to my room and put on a white hoodie, my old broken jeans and a face mask that I got from the restaurant where I used to work.
I was racing to the door when I suddenly stopped and look back, and there it was with not a care in the world, my dear cat Larry, spread across the floor sleeping. I stare at him for a moment and said “ I am doing this for you too bud, we are not going back to the street” then I opened the door and run out.
The weather outside was chilly, nothing weird for being 4 am. I ran down the stairs the fastest I could to the first floor of the apartment complex and pull out my bike lock keys. I bought this bicycle on a garage sale for $30 it was a bit beat down and rusty but it served its purpose, I heard that its previous owner died when getting hit by a train, while trying to outrun it, and this is why the seller told me that the handles were crooked, maybe this was a lie, so he could get rid of it, but I can’t denied that the bike was a god deal.
I unlocked my bike nervously and looked at my phone, I haven’t had time to even check
were the heck I was supposed to go, so I took a deep breath and look around, I notices a second small red arrow pointing to the top of the map I clicked on it and suddenly the map zoomed out showing a red dot somewhere not far from me, I immediately recognized the place, it was in the same street that a food pantry that I used to visit, it may took me 15 to 20 minutes to reach that place, then my attention got differed to the counter at the bottom of the screen, it now read“48 minutes”
“Dammit I took too long” I cursed under my breath
I hopped on my bike and started to pedal with all my strength, because of the time of the day and the pandemic the streets were completely empty, this allowed me to pay little attention to the road and look at my phone to keep track to were I was going, all was going fine until I heard the noise of tires skidding, behind me, when I look back I saw a black sports car, passing me at incredible speed, this car seemed to be in a huge rush and was doing the same diction as me.
For a second my heart fill with dread, what if the black car was another person like me that was trying to get the token, I mean it was logical to think that many other people would know about this app, it had 100k downloads after all.
I was stating to feel defeated and stopped near a park, to catch my breath
“what I do, what I do” I murmur nervously to myself
There was no way I could outrun a car on my bike, unless…I stared to the city canal, it water supply had been cut years ago and was used by homeless people to move around certain part of the city undisturbed, I was certain that I could get some advantage over the other players, if I took that route, but it wasn’t going to be easy, the dry canal was full of trash and other obstacles that will make it a difficult road to transverse, however it was my only bet, so I started to pedal new found enthusiasm toward the canal.
I must have pedal for around 10 minutes, while dodging random supermarket carts and truck tires when I saw it, The Memorial Park at Burnside street. I was finally reaching my destination, I peak at my phone while holding my bikes crooked handles with one hand, “23 minutes” the counter displayed.
Immediately after arriving at the park, I jumped from my bike letting it crash to a bunch of bushes and started to run toward the red dot on my screen, my legs were burning at this point, and my longs felt like they were going to explode, I never feel so alive! so pumped! this was my last chance, I was going to take it even if it costed me my life.
And there I was looking around, the map on my cellphone screen marked that I was on the right location, just over the red dot, I look around but saw nothing or no one which was a relief, that shortcut had gain me some time, but if I count find the Token all would have been a waste.
I started to look around, under the park benches, in the bushes and suddenly something caught my attention, at the center of the park was an small fountain, nothing fancy, ya know the kind of fountain you find in most parks, if I were going to hide something that would be a good spot, I thought.
I look at the muddy water for a moment, I knew guys that used to urinate on this kind of fountains, I thought for a second and with a sigh I jump into the water, the water was very cold, maybe due to the time of the day, the water was all but clear and I am sure I touched some pieces of plastic that I wished to be a plastic bag, suddenly I hear a car skidding, followed by what sounded like a multitude of people running towards my direction, I started to panic, and start to frantically push water in all direction trying to find something, whatever this token was.
And then I feel it, my feet stumbled into something, solid, without a second thought I reach in the water and grabbed what it seemed to be a perfectly cubical black box, the box had not markings and was strangely heavy for its size.
My cellphone started to emit a trumpet sound, it was a strangely joyful melody, I look at it and the screen displayed, “Winner” in large font across the screen, then my screen changed to a summary table, with 3 fields on it, the first one was Rank that shower a 1 next to it, the second said Token and showed a 100 to its right and the last field said Time and showed exactly 10 minutes, which I assumed was the time I had left when I grabbed the strange box, then at the bottom of the table a green button label “Next” was glowing, I clicked on it and my phone changed to a new screen, which said :Score: 1*100*10 = 1000” and displayed the world Congratulations in golden letters under the score, I tap again and another screen pup up showing my Rank change from 1 to 2 with a distinctive “victory noise” you know the kind that sound in most games this days when you achieve something, after this my screen went back to the home screen but it was slightly different now, my Rank was now 2 and my balance had changed to 1000 points.
Was this actually real money? I thought
I couldn’t be, but then how I could explain the changes in Larry. I was so absorbed into my phone that I barely noticed that the people that were rushing at me a moment ago were now gone, I looked around but saw not sign of anyone.
I looked back to my phone and clicked under balance, a new window opened showing 2 options “Redeem” or “Transfer” I click on redeem and a popup window showed a message saying:, “Dear player, in order to redeem your points you have to deposit the Token at the given destination, before 6am”
“are you kidding right!?” I yelled while holding my phone on the air, I was tired, wet with water that may had urine among other things in it, and on the middle of download at 5am.
“Fine” I sigh with anger, if I was going to play this game will be at the end, better this was not a scam.
Now a new icon was showing under my home page, it had the image of a letter on it, I tap it and the screen changed to the already familiar city map, but now it had an address on the top of the screen, Rose street? That was just a couple blocks away from here, I step out of the fountain soaking wet and went to grab my bike, I was surprised no cop had stopped me at this point, to be true no people was to be found around, this was both calming and unsettling at the same time.
I hop on my bike and started to slowly pedal to my destination, it took me around 5 minutes until I arrived, at the location of the red dot there was just a post box when I approach my phone received a notification, it read “You have reach your destination, please deposit the Token inside the Post box”
I did as indicate and the app made another triumphant trumped noise, this was starting to get annoying, and on the top of all, this was sketchy as hell, the black box had no features not a name or destination wrote on it, would someone just came to take it later form the post box? I was lost in thought when my phone ring again, :another notification” I sigh
I open the notification and a Congratulations message greet me, saying that “I could redeem my money now”
“Money!” I exclaimed
So, this thing was legit? I tap on the Balance field on app’s home screen and then choose the “Redeem” option, a single window opened asking me to input my bank information.
“I knew this was a scam!” however I was completely broke, the image of Larry assaulted my mind, “Maybe is legit” I told to myself
“I mean if they want to rob me, I have no money left, so what is the worse that can happen, right?” I fill the blank fields with my bank information and click accept.
A second window appeared asking me how many points I wanted to redeem, I quickly dial a 1000 and clicked next.
A loading screen appeared for a second then it changed to a popup message saying, “Transaction completed”, and quickly returned to the home screen, now my balance was zero.
“Did it work?” I was baffled, I opened my bank app, typed my username and password and then ... no worlds could describe the joy that I felt, I had received $1000 into my account, deposited by “Doves Game”.
This was legit! I knew Larry wouldn’t lie to me, if my legs were cramping for all the pedaling, I would have been jumping in joy.
For the next 2 days I had no notifications from the Doves game, I was stating to get anxious, when one night my phone stated to ring, the characteristically sound of bells come from my speakers, this sound was both annoying and disturbing, both also for some strange reason it filled me with joy. I jump from my bed and tapped my screen, a new map popped up, with a counter that stated to count back from 180 minutes as soon as I opened the app.
I hurried to grab my hoodie and put on my shoes, opened my apartment door but stopped for a second and looked back to my bed, there it was without a worry in the world, my little Larry, sleeping on my bad, I glance at him and said, “Daddy got some work to do, I will be back soon” then I closed the door and run to get my bike.
I looked at the map swiftly, The red dot was farther than last time, it seemed to be somewhere near the old museum in downtown, maybe if I took 47 street I could reach it in the shortest time.
I hopped on my bike and started to pedal, the streets were almost completely empty, it was not surprise, taking into account that it we still on quarantine and it was 2 am, I was pedaling the fastest that I could, when I started to wonder, why this games were always at this kind of times? what were the tokens?, where did the money came from? I hope I it wasn’t something illegal, maybe they were mining data and selling it. I heard this from a friend that went with me to college, some companies released apps to make behavioral studies, maybe this app was collecting data from the routes the players took and selling it to I don’t know taxi services or maybe food delivery?
I was completely lost in thought when I saw it, a red motorcycle almost hit me on the intersection, I quickly hold the breaks on my old bike and planted my feet on the street, skidding out of the way, when I looked back the biker didn’t even noticed me, then it when it hits me, this bike was going the same direction that I was, my heart started to pond faster, I almost forgot that I was not the only person in this game, this was a competition after all, and there was no way I could reach my destination faster than a motorcycle.
“What I do, what I do?” I started to panic, maybe there was a shortcut that I could take? But this was not like last time, the red dot was 5 blocks ahead, no tricks or good luck would save me this time, however I remembered that the token were usually hidden, maybe there was still a chance, perhaps my luck was not over yet, my body started to move by its own out of desperation, my hand grabbed firmly onto my bike’s crooked handle and I started to pedal at full speed, a couple minutes later I was arriving at the place that my map marked.
It was a huge parking load, maybe 7 stories tall, however the place seemed to be empty, possible ready for demotion, I look around and I saw 2 cars parked inform of the street, and the red motorcycle next to the entrance of the parking load.
“Dammit, I was late” I cursed.
I peak at my phone to check the time, the counter showed 147 minutes left, well at least I had plenty of time, maybe the token was well hidden.
I enter the dark parking lot and started to walk, every step echoed inside the empty wall of the huge building, some of the light were out and other blinked frenetically, it seems that this place had been abandoned for a while, I continued walking until I reached the red dot on my map.
Here it was in the middle of an empty parking lot at 2am, and no sign of the token, I looked at my phone just to confirm. The blue arrow that showed my position was on the top of the red dot that was supposedly the Token, but no token could be found around, also it was the unsettling matter that no other player could be found around, maybe the token was in one of the floor above me, I decided to take the stair and went the fastest I could considering how tired my legs were.
“Dam, if I knew I would be running this much I would have done more cardio before the game” How ever there was not time to whine, this was my only chance to get some cash, my mind resisted the idea to return to the streets, the cold, the hunger, I had enough of that.
When I reached the second floor I rushed to were the red dot was, but again nothing, just silence and an empty parking lot, I started to wonder if the token was in the last floor, as tired as my legs were I would collapse before even reaching it, and to make matters worse I could not find an elevator anywhere.
However even if my legs were burning like two pieces of charcoal, my body had already decided to reach the next floor, after arriving I notices a weird sound that echoed on the walls of the dark and empty building. It sounded like a bird, I recognized the sound, it was how pigeons sounded on the city parks, maybe a group of pigeons decided to make this parking lot its home, I mean the place was abandoned, so it was free real state at this point.
I continued walking looking at my phone, the red dot was getting closer for every step I took, incidentally the pigeon noises were getting louder too, maybe the token was attached to a pigeon? I thought.
This game was already ridiculous as it was, so a token to be attached to a pigeon or even be the pigeon did sounded that farfetched, I was looking at my phone when a sound caught my attention, it sounded like someone scratching a bag, I look up and saw a man dressed in a suit crouching near something, “Oh shit, what I do now?” I knew people were competing with me, maybe I could talk with the guy and offer to split the prize if we worked together to find the token, was that even possible to do?
I pointed my phone flashlight directly to the guy and started a sentence, but I couldn’t talk, what I saw left me speechless, the guy stood on his feet and turned his head 180 degrees toward me, without even moving his body, he was wearing a weird mask with the shape of a pigeon and I could see some dark liquid dripping from were the beak of the mask was, to make matters stranger I notices that the pigeon notice was being produced by him.
I instinctively stepped back, then I focused on his feet, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I shine my light over it, there was a pool of a red liquid coming out from were the man was crouching, there was a dead person on the floor! My heart beat harder, as my brain was trying to make sense of what was going on. Suddenly the man turned his body toward me, but his head did not move, it kept fixed on my with those not blinking eyes, then he pulled a machete out of his jacket and started to step towards me, in that moment my phone sounded with the apps characteristically ring tone but I was too sprinting toward the starts to even care about it, my legs felt heavy but somehow I found the strength to run for my life.
I was almost reaching the stairs when I noticed that the place had gotten totally silent, no pigeon noises, or even steps behind me, maybe that psycho decided not to chase me. I stopped to catch my breath, and looked behind, it happened too fast, when I looked back, I saw a large machine blade descending towards my head, and just missing me for an inch, I stumbled on my feet and fell to the ground, when I looked up, I could see the bird guy laying on the ground, with an axe stuck on the back of his head.
I noticed it was not breathing, not even producing a single noise, and form its head wound a black liquid was oozing, then I look to my left and I swear that I almost piss my pant, next to me was another person, it was all dress in black leather and had a motorcycle helmet, if I didn’t knew better I could sear it was the person that passed my on the red motorcycle when I was heading here, the mysterious figure stayed next to then and suddenly, extended an arm towards me, I grab his glove covered hand and helped me to get on my feet.
“Thanks” I exclaimed
“ This is getting worse; we need to get out off here before times runs out” the biker exclaimed with a surprisingly feminine voice
I looked back to the dead bird man and then back to the biker, going with her could be my only choice.
“Deal, so what is the plan” I said
“ I bet they are rushing towards our position, while we speak, maybe” she stopped at mid-sentence to look around.
“That I sit!” she exclaimed
She started to run towards a dark section of the creepy parking place, after a short while we stopped, there was an emergency exit In front of us, she pushed the door, but it did not move.
“It seems they locked us in” she exclaimed with anger
“maybe we should…” before I could finish my sentence, she jumped toward the door kicking it down.
“Fixed it” he said cheerfully
We rushed toward the stairs and ran all the way down; my legs were killing me when we got to the first floor.
“Please wait” I plead, my knees were starting to hurt for the nonstop, running.
“We don’t have time” she yelled while opening the exit door.
When we stepped outside, my eyes could not believe what I was seeing, we were surrounded, there were at least 4 bird guys around us, the door closed behind us before I could ever react.
The bird guys were of all body shapes, one of them was wearing suits and the others had casual clothes, the bird guy with the suit was welding a machete while the others were carrying different blunt weapon such as baseball bats or metal pipes, they stayed motionless just staring at us, with those yellow non blinking eyes.
Suddenly a tall bird man dressed with a green jacked launched towards the Biker swinging a baseball bat at an incredible speed, before I could even blink, I saw she move out of the way and kick him in the leg, effectively braking it backwards, the bird man fell to the ground making a sad gurgling noise, almost immediately 2 of the pigeon people charged forward with their metal pipes, the Biker dodged the first and parried the second in one motion, then retaliated with an elbow to the expressionless pigeon mask of the second assailant and a kick to the first one’s head, taking both down, however at that moment I didn’t notice due to the commotion that the forth bird guy had disappeared, when I saw him it was too late, He jumped from God knows where and slashed the Biker on her back.
“I have to help her!” a voice inside of my head screamed
Before I could even think in a course of action, my body moved by itself reaching for a baseball bat that had fallen from the hand of one of the injured bird guys, then spinning with all the momentum that I could muster, I swing at the head of the suited bird guy, his neck bend making a terrible cracking sound and a second later his body fell limp to the ground.
Then I directed my gaze to the Biker girl that was panting in the floor trying to hold her open wound.
“Here let me help you” I said while kneeling next to her
“They usually never get me; I must be getting soft” she responded jokingly
“I need your help tho” she said slowly, her level of energy was getting lower at the second.
“I need you to take my jacket off and apply pressure to the wound then grab my Bike and take me to the hospital” she said while handling me a pair of keys which had a panda sticker on them. I did as she asked, oh God, the wound was worse that I was expecting, a clear slash across most of her upper back, I grabbed her jacked and applied pressure to the wound until it stop bleeding, then helped her to get up, just to discover that a small pool of blood had been form where she was laying.
“This is bad” I thought to myself, while helping her walk toward the front of the building
When we reached the bike, she crawled in pain to get on the seat, then I hear a noise that sent a chill through my spine, it sounded like a pigeon, I look behind me and I saw a huge group of bird people going out of the parking lot, they must have been around 15, they stood motionless for a second and then launched sprinting toward us, I hopped on the bike and turn it on, and without more delay I accelerated the hardest I could, the last time that I rode a bike was when I was 16 so it took a second to get used to it again.
When I looked on the bikes mirror, I could not believe what I saw, a multitude of bird people were right behind, me sprinting at super human speed, The needle on the bike marked that I was going at 60 miles per hour and yet they were getting closer, I made an swift turn on an intersection trying to lose then, but this made the bike skid out of control, leading us to crash with a traffic sign, fortunately we didn’t suffer any more injuries.
“Are you ok?” I ask to the almost unconscious biker that was grabbing firmly to my back
“Dammit, man if I knew you were this bad at driving, I would have tested my luck with the Doves” she answered with an irritated but low voice tone.
I was going to answer but got immediately interrupted, by the already familiar ring tone from my phone.
“Perfect, it seems we won” she exclaimed while looking at her phone, then turned her gaze toward me while trying to hold her eyes open and told me
“Listen man, I don’t feel well, I going to transfer half of the prize to you, but I need you to make me a last favor” she said while typing slowly on her phone
I almost forgotten about the game; this whole situation was so sick that I had forgotten to even find the token.
Then she took out of her leader pocket a small statue of a Dove, it was bright golden, maybe it was even made of gold.
“Look, I need you to deposit this token at this address, hurry take a picture of it”
I grabbed my phone and took a picture of her screen, after this she exclaimed “Good” and passed out.
Not 2 minutes had passed when an ambulance arrived, possible called by a bystander that saw us crash, the paramedics carried her into the ambulance and hook her with an oxygen mask, I sited on the back of the ambulance while a paramedic checked on my and asked me some questions, I knew they will not believe what just happened, so I told them that we had an accident.
After arriving at the hospital, I was asked to wait, I sit on the waiting room and look at my phone, and the it was a notification from the Dove Game flashing, I click on it, an new screen popped up that said “Winner”, I click on it and another screen displayed my score as follows:
Rank: 2, Token:1, Time 60 minutes, I noticed something uncommon on the screen, there was a new field, leveled “Injury to Associate: -10000”
“What is this!” I exclaimed
Then looked back to my screen, next to my score I could see the number “-9880”, I didn’t know I can get points deducted, let alone have a negative score.
“Injury to Associate” was this referring to the biker girl?
I navigate to the home window, and effectively my balance had changed to -9880, there was also a small icon on the top of the scree with a dove’s head, I clicked, and a message popped,
A transaction of 35000 points have been issued to this account by “LadyPanda”, the balance will be available after the points have been claimed
“LadyPanda?” I looked at my phone curiously, then I snapped back on my sit. I almost forgot, I needed to deposit the golden pigeon on the address that the biker lady showed me! I quickly search on my images, and found the picture of the location, the red point was around 6 blocks from my location.
I left the hospital quickly and started to run, a couple minutes later I reached the mailbox and dropped the weird token into it and so like last time, a notification sounded coming from my phone, it was the already familiar bell sound.
I grabbed my phone and opened the app, my balance had changed to 25120 points, a feel of relief crossed my head, this has been the only good thing that happened in the whole day.
After returning to the hospital a middle Asian man, wearing a white coat approached me
“So there you are, Miss. Diaz asked to see you” he said with a calm but commanding voice, I followed him to a room and there it was the biker girl, laying on a bed with a couple of IV tubes connected to her wrist.
“ Thanks for your help Doctor Lee” she said to the man in the white coat.
“A pleasure, now if you and your brother excuse me, I have a couple of patients to check” he waved his hand at us without making eye contact and left the room.
“Your brother? We don’t even look alike” I told her while grabbing a sit next to her bed
“You right man, I should have told them that you were a stranger that was helping me escape from a group of homicidal bird people” she said smiled faintly
“So, what now?” I asked
“You got your money, didn’t you? We live to see other day” she answered while looking to the window
“Just that! This is nuts we should, go to the police post this on social media” I said while raising form my chair, but she didn’t even react.
“quiet man, you are making my head hurt, look I was an ex-cop and believe me I already try all of that, to the world the Doves don’t exit, but don’t worry after a while you will get used to the game”
“Besides, aren’t you making most money that ever in your life?” she continued
“Look I know that being almost murdered by a bunch of people wearing bird masks in not the idea way to spend a weekend, however I been trying to escape the game for almost a year, and they always find me”
“You seem to be quick on your feet, it would be good to have you on the same team, I sent you a friend request on the app, when you accept it we will be able to share the games rewards, I will contact you later with more instructions, for now I need to rest, you know being slashed in the back with a machete took a tool on my body, who knew”
After this I said bye and left the room, I called for a taxi to go back to my apartment, while waiting I check that dammed app, and there it was a little icon of a doves head on the top corner had appeared on the home screen, I open it and said.
Player: LadyPanda want to add you as a friend
Two option were below the text, “accept” or “decline” I tapped on accept then went back to the home scree and tap on the pigeon face again, 2 field shower, friends and settings, I tap on friends and saw her name “LadyPanda” with an icon of a dialogue bubble next to it, when I clicked on it a typical chat window opened, it read.
“Welcome to the team Hamlet, hope we can become friends, an special even will be celebrated in 2 weeks on the Dove’s Game, I will held a meeting on my house in a week to discussed about it, I will send you more information later, until then be safe 😊”
Is Argentina’s poverty rate 41%, 35%, or 8%? The answer is yes
Fairly recently, another well-respected poverty measurer, the Catholic University of Argentina’s Observatory for Social Debt (UCA - ODSA in Spanish) made waves by publishing an excerpt of their next report (coming out in March, you can see the whole thing here) which asserts the country’s poverty rate is actually 40.1%, a truly historic (and disheartening) number. If you go to compare with another reliable provider of poverty statistics, the World Bank, and measure according to each of its three leading poverty lines (1.90 dollars a day, 3.20 dollars a day, and 5.50 dollars a day) Argentina overperforms both UCA and INDEC: 0.5%, 0.7%, and 7.7%. The World Bank’s data is very accessible, so you can check their work with very simple math: their poverty lines are about $4500, $7000, and $10000 respectively, so they are much lower than the official figure - hence the figure. UCA hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about their sources or methodology.
So since INDEC’s data isn’t coming out until March (partly for the painfully obvious reason that they measure every semester and the second half of 2019 isn’t over yet), we will need to answer a fairly simple question: which of these three poverty rates is the correct one - and keep in mind the difference is around 16 million people, who may or may not be poor. To properly answer this question, we must first look at the highly contentious history of Argentina’s poverty statistics.
Some generalizationsThe wide consensus (at least to my knowledge) is that there’s three ways to measure poverty: by consumption, by income, and by unmet basic needs (NBI in Spanish)
Measuring NBI poverty is extremely simple: you ask people if they have access to basic amenities (toilets, running water, education) and the basic quality of their life (building materials, overcrowding), and then calculate how many of them don’t have their basic needs met. Since this is difficult and time consuming, INDEC generally only asks during the National Census, and in the last census the figure (analysis from the Treasury Department) was around 17.7%. Obviously this is useful data to measure long term problems, but using poverty statistics nearly a decade after collecting them is clearly inadequate.
Consumption would be the clearest, best indicator for poverty: do people consume enough to have a decent standard of living?. Since most people don't have detailed, itemised lists of their monthly consumption habits (and many won’t share that information regardless), you can do a rough estimate of how much they need to consume to qualify as not poor (as has been detailed in the first paragraph) and then use income as a proxy for consumption.
Argentina does this by building a basket for nutritional requirements (The Basic Food Basket or CBA): they calculate how many nutrients people need to survive, how they satisfy their nutritional requirements (for example, Argentinian people adore red meats); adjust for income level, education, area of residence, etc; and then you measure indigence by asking if they make more or less than the value of the CBA.
Poverty is trickier, because there are many spending items that are extremely hard to take into account, especially when families move around the life cycle (parents of young children and the elderly don’t have the same spending patterns). But you can, by doing lots of observations, approximate this number (the Total Basic Basket or CBT) since people tend to spend fixed fractions of their income on food; that number is called Engel’s Coefficient, and by multiplying the CBA by the inverse of Engel’s Coefficient (for example, Argentina’s EC is about 40%, so the inverse is 2.5) and you should have the value fo CBT.
A brief history of povertyArgentina, having a fraught history marked by coups, authoritarianism, and instability, doesn’t have a long tradition of keeping accurate national statistics. The national poverty rate was debuted in 1988, where it showed 22.5% of the population was in poverty; by the end of the next year, the number jumped to 47.3% due to a hyperinflationary crisis. This rate, according to this INDEC publication, was based on studies from the National Survey of Homes (EPH in Spanish), where experts determined a poverty line based on the consumption preferences of the average Argentinian. The EPH results were published twice a year, and only covered people in the Buenos Aires metro area, where about 40% of Argentinians live.
In the 90’s and in 2001, the EPH was tinkered so it could better reflect some changes in preferences; a big do-over came in 2003, where a humber of things were changed: the contents of both baskets (to get on with the times), the geographic coverage (to include some other urban centers), and frequency (from twice a year to quarterly, although poverty data is still biannual) - most of these changes affected the employment section of EPH, though.
Everything ran smoothly until 2007, under the tenure of Presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner; that year, Secretary of the Treasury Roberto Lavagna (who was widely supportive of INDEC) resigned and was replaced by Felisa Miceli, a much weaker figure who left a lot of day-to-day operations to Secretary of Commerce Guillermo Moreno. After the consumer price index (IPC) was consistently higher than expected, Moreno began pressuring several experts into releasing the names of companies who were raising their prices, in breach of several price control agreements. INDEC refused, since it was illegal, and what followed was a long, messy intervention, where renowned experts were replaced by Moreno’s cronies and several high-ranking officials resigned or where pushed out. After the intervention, IPC was consistently underestimated, so since the CBA and CBT are indexed to inflation, they were much lower than expected, until they completely contradicted reality and common sense: in 2013, Argentina had a lower poverty rate than Germany. The poverty and indigence indicators were discontinued in 2014 under the orders of then-Secretary of the Treasury Axel Kicillof, who publicly claimed poverty “was a deeply stigmatising figure”. INDEC’s numbers, from 2007 to 2016, are deeply flawed and unreliable; it was during this time that UCA’s number became so relevant, since it was the most reliable estimate for poverty.
In 2015, President Mauricio Macri (an opponent of the Kirchners) came to power, and among his key achievements was restoring INDEC’s professionalism and reputation by appointing qualified experts to key positions. The EPH was retooled yet again in 2016, to include even more urban centers, a more comprehensive CBA, and some other less relevant modifications.
The main takeaway from this sections is that, since the 2003 and 2016 EPHs have different baskets and measure different things, they cannot be compared accurately. But nobody need worry - a 2018 paper by Leopoldo Tornarolli, a researcher at the University of La Plata, tried to estimate the poverty rate in the 2003-2017 period by using EPH data, additional data, and some clever math. Here’s a chart summarising the results, and also comparing to UCA’s 2010-2015 estimates (the only ones available in its historic series, coincidentally - or maybe not) - you can see UCA’s poverty and indigence series here as well.
So, as you can see, the results are highly problematic.Going back to our initial question: is the poverty rate 7.7%, 35.4%, or 40.8%?
Why is there a difference?Obviously, we are going to assume that INDEC’s poverty rate is correct, so poverty in the first semester of 2016 was actually 35.4% if measured by their definition.
Firstly, let’s look at the World Bank - a venerable institution if there is one. Their poverty lines are, as mentioned, woefully inadequate, since poverty is clearly not 7.7% in the current context. This doesn’t mean their data is false, or that their measurements are incorrect: simply that their definition of poverty is not useful in the current context. The precise value of their income figures, for one, are wildly dependant on the exchange rate, which jumped from the low 40’s in the first quarter to 45 in the second and 63 in August, after Macri was unexpectedly trounced by Fernández in the primaries; it now stands at 80, based on a 30% tax on most purchases of and with US dollars.
So, UCA’s turn has come: is their data trustworthy?. Looking at their latest figures, it’s hard to say. They mention on the nearly 125 slide summary that they retooled their poverty estimates, so it’s not useful to look at those outside the historic series. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, since, in stark contrast to previous years (look at 2018’s, for example) they do not include their historic series. This is slightly more suspicious, but still understandable - they may want to prevent misreadings (but yet, why publish an incendiary figure like 41% poverty with 0 context). Also worth pointing out: the graph is a reconstruction of INDEC’s poverty series using a secret methodology (much like Tornarolli’s work), with the red line showing their own estimates, which are roughly equal to INDEC’s.
The biggest thing worth pointing out is that UCA doesn’t calculate income poverty, or NBI poverty - their poverty rate is based on a multidimensional approach that includes both. This is both a sound, valid choice, and the biggest reason why they must not be compared to INDEC: it is literally comparing measurements of apples and oranges (this has not stopped pundits, and the President himself, from claiming poverty is now 41%).
There’s been further developments in the UCA saga: via a tweet, the University has admitted that their estimate of poverty, using INDEC data and econometrics wizardry, hovers between 32 and 34%, which they attribute to “differences in measurement and sampling”. People did not enjoy this development: INDEC’s well-respected Director, Jorge Todesca (a Macri appointee who is now retiring) called this step “political, and with an authoritarian bent”. Even more damningly, the respected econometrician Martín Rozada published his own estimates based on other INDEC data, which also neared 33%. UCA’s conduct is suspicious at best, and partisan at worst; the weird, unexplained decisions they’ve made must be cleared up, since it’s eroded their credibility in just a couple of weeks.
What about other countries?It is fairly common for countries to claim to have “the lowest poverty rate in the region”; I actually came across the World Bank numbers after a Uruguayan person posted them, boasting that their home had only 2.9% poverty (and countless Argentinians pointing out the 27-point difference between the figures).
Sociologist Daniel Schteingart had this exact same question, according to this article he wrote for a left-leaning magazine so he ran the numbers using 2016 data and found some interesting facts (unfortunately his data isn’t available and I couldn’t find it independently). Very correctly, he points out Argentina uses a much more rigorous standard than, for example, the World Bank (looking at Tornarolli, the official poverty rate is much lower than the revised one even when INDEC was still credible, because the poverty line was more lenient). The most interesting part is this chart, showing Argentina’s poverty rate in 2016 using various other poverty lines (the chart is not the original, which is both in Spanish and in an awful resolution). Another interesting question is how high could the poverty rate of other countries be if they used our poverty line: extremely high for less developed countries, laughably low for developed ones.