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Fish McBites Coming to a McDonald’s Near You

Fish McBites Coming to a McDonald’s Near You


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The mini fish nuggets are arriving next month

Some secret new menu items are in the process of being rolled out at McDonald’s nationwide, and the first was announced Wednesday, Jan. 23: Fish McBites.

Made from Alaska pollock, the McBites will come in three sizes: Snack (3 ounces), Regular (5 ounces), and Shareable (10 ounces). And while the dish has been tested out in select markets, it’ll become an addition to nationwide restaurants next month.

Though it will be difficult to analyze the finished product until we can get our hands on some for ourselves (and trust us, we will), photos looks like the crust is a predominantly breadcrumb mixture, so signs point to them having a similar texture and flavor to mini fish sticks.

Word has it that within the coming months new burgers, breakfast items, and chicken options will also be unveiled. Their fourth-quarter results were also announced on the same day, with reports indicating that McDonald's profits beat expectations. They've also announced that the company is now the first national restaurant chain to adopt the Marine Stewardship Council's blue ecolabel on its fish packaging, further cementing its commitment to 100 percent sustainable fish sourcing.


In the Fast Food World, Is Fish the New Chicken?

McDonald's and Carl's Jr. are among the big fast food chains casting out new fish items as a way to reel in customers—especially during Lent, when many diners cut back on meat.

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McDonald's and Carl’s Jr. are among the big fast food chains casting out new fish items as a way to reel in customers—especially during Lent, when many diners cut back on meat.

In recent months, fast food establishments have demonstrated a taste for chicken. Poultry has reached a new level of popularity among fast food restaurants and diners alike because it’s a cheaper and healthier alternative to beef (or at least it’s perceived to be so). Chicken is also easily prepared in bite-size portions (nuggets, dippers, McBites, etc.), making it a perfect fit for the rising culture of on-the-go snacking.

If one affordable, quick, and healthy (or at least healthier) snack proves to be a hit with customers, fast food restaurants are sure to see if similar offerings can succeed as well. That’s why we’re seeing a big push for fish lately. McDonald’s just announced that for the first time ever it will offer its new Fish McBites in kids’ happy meals now through March “to coincide with Lent,” according to the Associated Press.

It’s no coincidence that Fish McBites made their first appearance during a test run last February, also during Lent—the period leading up to Easter when Catholics traditionally don’t eat beef, poultry, or pork on Fridays. Moms in general have also said that they’d like to see more options (and healthier options) in kids’ meals, and kids tend to like finger foods that can be dipped. So Fish McBites should be appealing on several fronts.

McDonald’s isn’t the only quick-serve chain that’s chosen the early part of the calendar year to launch a big fish initiative. This week, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s introduced the Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich at all locations around the country. The company announced the new sandwich was aimed directly at consumers tweaking their diets during Lent, and also folks concerned about eating more healthfully in the new year:

“For almost half-a-century, whenever fast food customers wanted to get a fish sandwich during Lent, they had one choice: fried,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. “With our new Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich, we’ve changed all that. For the first time in the industry, our guests can get a premium-quality fish sandwich that tastes great and is lower in calories because we charbroil it just like we do our burgers.”

To roll out the new limited-time item, the two sister brands are airing an ad featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal digging into sandwich while sunbathing in a bikini (and topless for a little while) on a tropical beach. The thinking is that the “healthy” young lass is a good match for the “healthy” new sandwich. Fair enough. It’s unclear, though, what the religious Lent observers out there will make of all that skin—not to mention the suggestive way Agdal licks the tartar sauce off her finger.

Meanwhile, next week, Wendy’s will begin advertising its Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich, which the chain has made available for a limited time around Lent for a few years in a row. None of this means that fish will come anywhere near the popularity of chicken at fast food establishments anytime soon. But more and more, the February-March period is clearly peak season for fans of fast food fish treats.

And OK, we know some of you really want to see the fish sandwich ad with the swimsuit model—strictly out of curiosity concerning healthier fast food and meat alternatives during Lent, of course. Here you go:


Ze Li

Notice: Ze Li suffered from severe mental health problems from 2012.

In 2010, his mother sent him to see a psychiatrist who had a PhD from a Japanese university. Ze Li’s sexuality was exposed accidentally to his parents in 2009. He was gay. He broke military rules and ran away from school, after a straight classmate refused to sleep with him.

He was a rising star in school propoganda. He drew posts. He then learned Photoshop and made videos with impressive visual effects with Maya and After Effects. He also took photos. Yet, coming out at young age cause difficulties to gay people. He still doesn’t know who told his parents about his sexuality but obviously he was too careless. He intended to be a digital visual artist and even ran away from school for a one year training program.

Yet, he never get professional art training he wanted. He went to a journalism school in the UK instead. Writing was hard for him and writing in English was even harder. Being any kind of writer doesn’t suit him. Journalism could be dangerous, misleading, partial and bad. He doesn’t like it. He abandoned his Chinese boyfriend in January 2012 and then had fights with his roommates. He had a long history fighting with girls back in high school. He then missed classes and refused to have English classes designed for Chinese students. He doesn’t like silly girls.

His tutor suggested him to see a school psychiatrist after he said he was gay.

In 2011 Ze Li received a permission from an outspoken Chinese novelist and alumni to adapt his book into a movie. His art works then contained more writing. He did photography, tried to be a good documenter. The switch to photography made him healthier and sunnier.He went out.

Big problems happened after December 2012. His master degree dissertation became a marathon and had lasted until August 2014 to be finally submitted. His new British boyfriend abandoned him. He drank, again have problems with his roommates, travelled and had sex with random people. He caught a mysterious disease in spring 2013 and it could not even been treated in China.

His father beat him always. His mother preferred his brother. Ze Li has a history of believing in luck and curses from high school. He would like to touch his friend for good luck before exams. He also developed a like of religion esp. Buddhism from his Chinese teachers.

When we have hard times, we pray. When Ze Li had the hard time of being beaten in 2013, he bought an audio Bible. He spent a year with no Chinese around. When he moved back with Chinese, he began to listen to the Bible for warnings. It lasted until April 2017.

Religious elements began to appear in his art works, photos, drawings… as early as 2012 when he visited his boyfriend in Zhoushan. He documented Ningbo’s church activities. His first Christian drawing was the Johan fish belly story in Illustrator. He printed the postcard out and sent to his friends and teachers. Anyway, UK experience has led him finally wanting to be a Christian himself properly. Christians were all around.

His talking with an audio Bible led him to all his works after March 2014. He always got beaten by his dad, bullied by his mother, which he felt unbearable. He got homeless nights a lot. He had no money. He walked miles for days alongside highways. Lots of works were done in very few cheap hotel nights he could managed. He was still carrying the big movie making plan. Talking with Bible gave him another two TV making plans. Things didn’t always add up, he finally gave up on the audiobook in 2017 spring.

After that, he was on his own to continue the TV making plans and more movies. He lost all the gears in 2015 summer so he had to draw on a very cheap Samsung smartphone. We could see the finger paitnings on small touch screen.

He got a loan in 2017 to buy a computer. But it was a bad computer. He still couldn’t go back to his former glory of four cameras, three printers, two computers for graphic and a tripod. He drew on paper using ink and colour instead.

He found light again after a year in cheap hotels under the guidance of his new imagined friend he caught in cold winter in January 2018.Hotel drawings were all healthier for him as we can see he started to draw anatomy and study human body. His earliest health related drawing was a digestive system in his “all Coca-Cola products on top of the mountain” 2016.

He was then sent to a mental health hospital in 2019 after breaking with the new friend.

yearName zh/enDescription, tagsmaterialSize/ format
Pre history风之痕 政管院宣传部I joined several student groups’ propaganda departments. They drew posts. 政宣Paper
2008迎新杂志封面和宣传单We need to give fliers to new students. I designed the cover and a flier. Hope my mother didn’t throw my copy. PhotoshopDigital image
2009学生代表大会视频It was the first video I made with Sun Lei, who later set up a media company. 政宣, After EffectsVideo
辩论赛PPTI remember it was very pink. 政宣, photoshopPPT
支教视频I took photos, videos, and made them into a video. I also designed a new logo for the volunteer group. I learned a lot from China state TV and an online After Effects tutorial. I had my first Canon. 政宣, Maya, photoshop, Canon, after effects, interviewVideo
团宣新标识Which I later discovered still being used on Renren.Digital image
设计比赛Su Peng, another creative design guy, another girl and I, together with a teacher, we went to Wuhan for the contest. Su Peng designed four posts for Chinese festivals. 政宣, photoshop, contestDigital image
游行视频Hope my mother didn’t throw my copy. It was China’s 60 th National Day and there was a celebration. I and a girl from news school made a video. 政宣, Maya. After effects, premierVideo
拓荒牛建模 unfinishedI was trying to make a bull which symbolized the school but I couldn’t. A friend who had been professionally trained mocked me.
2010国防生视频I was asked by our military officer to make a video. I may still have a copy of that if my mother didn’t throw it. 政宣, MayaVideo
Photoshop talkI was asked to hold a talk on Photoshop in school.
奥瑞特设计实习I learned a little how to use Illustrator to design posts for commercial use.Digital image
朋友生日 Video
He began to do his own art works: he had his own logo or you could say “brand” called “Seven7plus”.
结婚小电影I wrote a script and shot a short movie. Liu Xin, Jin Gui, Dong Rui and Zhang Yuhong helped.Video
Kate and WilliamI bought my first Wacom tablet and drew the couple in their wedding dress in photoshop. I think I uploaded it into my first Facebook account.Digital image
2011“不如不见”A recut of the short movie and other videos. I traveled to Nanjing.Video
三维校园A classmate of mine was having a professional animation training. It was the 60 th anniversary of the school and they decided to make a 3d virtual tour of the school. So this project was funded. 政宣, 3d max, interactive, gameInteractive
毕业,宁波,送别I was using an Olympus X2 film camera which I lost later.Photo (film)
Man in 30GayVideo
Christmas travelI had a Flickr account but I deleted it later. EnglandDigital photo
My name card Digital image
My logo Digital image
2012PortfolioI got interested in basic HTML and web design as print journalism are moving online. I paid for a host and had my own address. My tutor said my design was beautiful. I lost them. Jon Tan gave me some book advices.Webpage
Madame snakeThe Guardian had a very short film contest. I made this from the Chinese story of Madame snake. Hangzhou, 3dmaxVideo
Girl in birthday
I had a scanner-printer.
Color pencilA4
Man, woman, ring PencilA4
Self in plane
Self portrait Photoshop, Wacom
Digital image
My logo Digital image
Postcard 2012
It was Johan in fish belly story. I drew it in Illustrator and printed them out and mailed.
Digital image
2013Pork belly, saladI was bored in Liberty living so I decided to make a British style (very close to the objects) cooking show, using Richard Mabey’s Chinese recipes and starring a PhD student in the school. Everybody rediscovered Chinese cooking when they are abroad… TV, cooking show, MayaVideo
SushiI made a flash animation about sushi. FlashVideo
MedicineI wrote a script from a Chinese novel and shot a short movie. It owned partial scholarship from Vancouver Film School. Xie Na, Xiang Dengwei (micheal) and Gary, all my roommates helped. Qiao Zhi, Dr Wang Yao helped with the application. It was shot on my iPad actually.Video
French man
It was the waiter roommate I met.
Digital image
Medicine long version, unfinishedThe recut of the short movie and other videos. Qiao Sang and another girl helped. VFX unfinished TV, short movie, Maya, Realflow, VFXVideo
2013 postcard
Horse related bible story
Digital image
He began to have Bible related content in his art works, esp. drawings.
2014Brothers in videoI tried to make three or four cooking videos again but they were not good. I deleted them all. TV, cooking showVideo
Chicken wing adScript I wrote in a KFC in Beijing west railway stationscript
Apple, trainAn empty bottle of big coke dropped from the luggage shelf onto the seat in a train. After EffectsVideo
Apple. Train, wales, coke
I draw the story again in an iPad app, AI
Digital image
Flower, fish
Harry potter and the half blood prince about Lily’s gift to the teacher Ipad, AI
Digital image
Gift for vfsA video I made in hotel, not good, something olive relatedVideo
Orange and pea
Wacom
Digital image
United Kingdoma drawing about the four parts countryDigital image
Suicide bakeryI worked in a bakery for a month. I wrote a script. I asked some co-workers to act.Video
Airport video Video
Film reviewsPride and prejudice 2005…Blog
PVG Blog
He created an advertising plan called “three in one”. According to descriptions on Behance, the plan was aimed to help sales.
2015FMC episode 1I reached an agreement on what to do next after I failed to go to Canada. We decided to make cooking show, Forest and mountains of China documentary and movies, under the name of Fearme Entertainment. The first episode of FMC was good actually. It was shot in Xi’an and Zhoushan with a very Buddhism focus. I lost the video though. It was beautiful. It was shot by phone and JVC video camera, edited in premire on my MacBook. TV, nature, documentary, Buddhism, seasonsVideo
Fearme TV logoIt was my mum the snake, my dad the scorpion.Digital image
SpiritI wrote a script and made a short movie using the scene from the documentary. It was actually a story of my bad experience in Cardiff—being hit by a plastic bag of water. It was for New York University application. I got help from Dr William Keep and Dr Hong Chuanyu. There were no actors. I played a barbie. Coca-Cola, water, movieVideo
Zhoushan is VeniceZhoushan is Venice. I drew a picture containing my hotel boss.Pencil
My dreamI had a dream of morning run, into a market place and then taking a train and met death.Pencil, pen
Self with coffeeMyself with a nestle cup maybe, later appeared in my movie promoting webpage (which had a scroll down- new contents coming out effect)Color pencil, webpage
BusinesscatalystI had a site on the Adobe serviceWebpage
Zhoushan Beijing Blog
2016Sun, moon, starIt was inspired by a Fanta ad in Fuzhou. The ad had lots of bubbles from the drink. Coca-ColaDigital image
The unthinkable
It was a conceptual movie post I drew for my script of a novel. It was drawn on my Samsung phone using Photoshop or Sketchbook Coca-Cola
Digital image
Girl, pizza, orange juice
It was draw in Xiamen in a very cheap room, 50 CNY/ night., just opposite a Coca-Cola factory. It was actually from a photo of my classmate. The color in the background was inspired by a Burger King ad. The liquid was from RealFlow documentation.
Digital image
Homeinn breakfast
I drew it at Pudong airport and then somehow made it digital
Digital image
Cat girl
Some Beijing memories
Digital image
Mother killer
I drew it twice on my phone, once simply red and black, once very colorful and highly enhanced…I spent a week on it. I lost the second version
Pencil, digital image
Morning
It was actually a Cardiff McDonald’s. A young man took photos in the morning and met an old man eating a beef burger inside the restaurant. McDonald’s, KFC
Digital image
High on the hill
Coca-Cola products with people I knew
Digital image
Cake designLayers of cakes, warning things are turning bad and war is coming McDonald’sDigital image
Wild cartoon
I wrote a script and posted on my Weibo, then drew this cartoon. It was black and white. Actually, the color choice was from bus ad of Cola-Cola in Fuzhou. Coca-Cola
Pen, ink
See a little, no use student Pen, ink
FMC episode 2Disney Shanghai opened in 2016 and it was my response to it- a hand drawn “frame to frame animation”. It took my about three weeks, eating only Korean expensive instant noodles only? TVVideo
Burger King adShort videos I recorded through the yearVideo
Boots Digital image
Boots- instant noodle Digital image
Coke 1.25LI challenge myself with ideas of ads for 1.25L CokeColor pencil, pen
Mid autumn festivalgayColor pencil, pen
Starbucks giftcard
Actually, from two Google + Starbucks posts
Color pencil, pen
PVGAbout my experience in PVG airport in 2014 Social issues and answersInk, pen
Christmas Color pencil, pen
2017WZ cartoon 1-McDoanld’s
In Feb 2017 I came up to the idea of a joint ad. It was the result. Coca-Cola
Digital image
Cooking show openingAdobe Draw and Adobe ClipVideo
Cooking show unfinished Video and colored
WZ cartoon 2-Siemese
Coca-Cola
Digital image
WZ cartoon 3,4,5 (unfinished)Coca-ColaDigital image, pencil
FMC episode 3
I wrote narratives, draw pictures and made a trip to Jilin where Changbai mountain is. I was trying to make two treebreads. I think my mum had destroyed all my drawings. I began to learn Zbrush in an internet café near my high school. Zbrush
Digital image, pencil
Cooking book
I summarized recipes I got from working in different restaurants and made a book, illustrated in Illustrator on my new computer. I tried to sell the idea to Coca-Cola. I did see a similar ad by the company of a chef cooking for guest drinking coke that year. I began to write jokes and ad ideas down.
Digital image
2018如烟 Video
Sichuan chicken
Illustration
Watercolor
News on Neptune
Novel illustration
Watercolor, pencil
TuatarasNovel illustrationWatercolor, pencil
Cakes
Book illustration
Watercolor, pencil
Cloth design- jerkin Watercolor, pencilA4
Cloth design- tunic Watercolor, pencilA4
Cloth design- windcheater Watercolor, pencilA4
2019WZ cover: a new startCoca-ColaWatercolor, pencilNotebook
WZ cover: logo
Coca-Cola
PenNotebook
Man woman with bowls Watercolor, pen
DG ad Pen
2020Topless man
Novel illustration
Watercolor, pencil
Me with Fanta Watercolor, pencil
RL
Ken Hom
Watercolor, pencil
Pride and prejudice 2005 cartoon
The rain scene
pen
weather presenter Color pencil12.8*21mm
Three fresh noodle Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Man with a mask, camel Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
几米 仿 Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
史努比 仿(未完成) Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Five pop singers Watercolor12.8*21mm
Death of the sun (unfinished) pencil12.8*21mm
Bottled water, foodball
Coca-Cola
Color pencil, pencil, watercolor12.8*21mm
Flower (unfinished) pencil12.8*21mm
Coffee shop logo Watercolor12.8*21mm
Latten Pencil, digital image12.8*21mm
Victorian sponge Pencil, digital image12.8*21mm
Purple flower Watercolor12.8*21mm
Purple flower Digital image
TV look Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
TV look Video
Pop singer with cake Color pencil12.8*21mm
Three in one
Coca-Cola
Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Summer days
Coca-Cola
Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Pop singer head (unfinished) pencilA4
Pop singer head Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Three men
Coca-Cola
watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Hamburger Color pencil12.8*21mm
Girl with cake Pencil12.8*21mm
Jonah Pen12.8*21mm
Muscle study Pencil12.8*21mm
British girl with cake Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Woman’s head Pencil12.8*21mm
Corn pork soup Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Boxing man Color pencil12.8*21mm
Breakfast, weather man Pen12.8*21mm
Pop singer Watercolor12.8*21mm
Wong Yong and Zhu ChenCoca-ColaWatercolor12.8*21mm
“Red Cameron”
Coca-Cola
Watercolor, pencilA4
Pork belly, drink
Coca-Cola
Watercolor, pencilA4
2021Thrush Watercolor, pencil12.8*21mm
Ginger cat Watercolor, pencilA4
Blueberry muffin Watercolor pencil

updated on Mar 03 2021, most work are lost for centuries now… and he has never sold his works before his death.


Cheese sharebox is coming to the McDonald's menu

McDonald&aposs has just announced a new permanent item on the menu - in the form of a 15-piece sharebox of cheese.

While the sharebox itself is here to stay, the flavours of the bits will change every six weeks, starting with cheese and herb.

Loyal McDonald&aposs fans will recognise the yummy bites, as they have been on the menu before as a limited edition item.

Made from a tasty blend of Emmental and Mozzarella cheese in a herb-infused breadcrumb, served with a rich tomato dip, the news that the cheesebites will return is sure to excite foodies.

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The sharebox, costing £4.49, will come with 15 bits as well as three dips.

There will also be individual portions you can purchase, for £1.69, which gets you five cheese bits plus one dip.

They&aposre set to hit McDonald&aposs restaurants all over the nation from Wednesday, September 25 and will be available to order as soon as breakfast is over.

During the FIFA World CUp last year, McDonald&aposs released the cheese bits for McDelivery restaurants only.

They proved so popular that they&aposre making a comeback, and this time for good.


Fish McBites fail to spark McDonald's sales

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's new Fish McBites failed to hook enough diners to get the fast-food chain's U.S. sales growing in February.

The world's biggest hamburger chain said Friday that a key sales figure was down 3.3 percent in the U.S. for the month. When excluding the extra day of sales for February of last year, which was a leap year, the company said the figure was flat. That was despite the rollout of the Fish McBites nuggets in three sizes, which were also offered as the first new Happy Meal entree in a decade.

The struggle to grow at home reflects the mounting pressures on McDonald's, which had managed to pull away from its rivals and thrive even during the Great Recession.

Now the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain is facing a rapidly shifting industry, with chains such as Chipotle and Panera reshaping customers' expectations about fast food. An increase in payroll taxes that took effect in January isn't helping.

Long-time competitors such as Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy's are also revamping their menus and stepping up advertising. Making matters worse, McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, who took the helm this summer, has said that he expects overall growth in the industry will continue to be flat to down for some time.

In response, McDonald's is playing up its Dollar Menu to attract budget-conscious diners, a strategy some analysts have questioned because it could hurt profit margins. The chain is also increasing its limited-time offers as a way to keep its menu fresh.

Notably, McDonald's also has a high bar to meet because of its past success U.S. sales rose 11.1 percent in February of last year and 2.7 percent in 2011.

In light of those tough comparisons, R.W. Baird analyst David Tarantino said McDonald's U.S. results were "respectable." He also noted that the broader industry remains pressured by other factors, such as higher payroll taxes and gas prices.

Results in other parts of the world were mixed. Globally, McDonald's said sales at established restaurants fell 1.5 percent for the month. When excluding the impact of the extra day, the company said sales rose 1.7 percent.

Over in Europe, McDonald's said sales were down 0.5 percent or up 2.7 percent when factoring out the extra day from a year ago. The company has been focusing on expanding its breakfast menu and restaurant hours throughout the region, which represents its biggest market by sales.

In the region including Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, the sales figure was down 1.6 percent, or up 1.5 percent when excluding the impact of the calendar shift. Although sales in China and Australia were positive, McDonald's continued to struggle in Japan, where sank 12 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months. That was following a 17 percent drop in January.

The figure is a key metric because it strips out the effects of newly opened and closed locations.

McDonald's Corp. hadn't logged a monthly decline in its global sales figure for nearly a decade until this past October. And the figure dropped in January as well, making February the third decline in just five months.

In a statement Friday, CEO Thompson said he was confident McDonald's had the experience to "grow the business for the long term."

The monthly sales figures are a snapshot of money spent on food at both company-owned and franchised restaurants and do not reflect corporate revenue.

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Trudeau Tightens Up Mortgages After Macklem Sounds Housing Alarm

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian officials escalated efforts to cool the nation’s booming housing market, moving ahead with tighter mortgage qualification rules after the central bank issued a fresh warning against buyers taking on too much debt.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government set a new benchmark interest rate on Thursday afternoon to determine whether people can qualify for mortgages that are insured by Canada’s housing agency. The move matches an April decision by the nation’s banking regulator to do the same for uninsured mortgages.The regulator -- the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions -- announced earlier Thursday it would implement its new rules June 1.Those steps coincided with a stern warning from Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem in the morning cautioning that Canadians should neither assume interest rates will remain at historic lows nor expect recent sharp gains in home prices to continue.“It is vitally important that homeownership remain within reach for Canadians,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.The moves come amid a surge in housing prices that’s raising concern among policy makers and economists. Cheap mortgages and new remote-working conditions have spurred a frenzy of demand for more spacious homes, with house hunters bidding up prices across the country.Canadians are so alarmed by the red-hot housing that nearly half the respondents in a Nanos Research Group poll for Bloomberg News say they’d like to see the Bank of Canada raise borrowing costs to curb demand for real estate and stabilize prices.Still, the measures announced Thursday are seen as incremental steps rather than representing a fundamental shift in policy.With the changes, home buyers will have to show they can afford a minimum rate of 5.25%. The current threshold, based on posted rates of Canada’s six largest lenders, is 4.79%. Economists have been estimating the tighter qualification restrictions would reduce the buying power of households by about 5%.The changes will have little impact on current housing price dynamics, according to Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.“This is not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination and it was highly expected,” Tal said by phone from Toronto.The measures from the government and the regulator came only hours after the Bank of Canada released its annual financial stability report, which highlighted the growing vulnerabilities associated with overleveraged households and speculative housing activity. It flagged three urban markets -- Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal -- as showing excess “exuberance,” with the national capital of Ottawa on the cusp of crossing that threshold.‘Not Normal”At a press conference, Macklem said some people have taken on “significantly” more debt, with many carrying very large mortgages relative to income. Borrowers and lenders need to understand that interest rates won’t always be at historic lows, and home buyers won’t be able to rely on rising values, he said.“It is important to understand that the recent rapid increases in home prices are not normal,” Macklem said. “Counting on ever higher house prices to build home equity that can be used to refinance mortgages in the future is a bad idea.”Outside of the warnings Thursday, it’s not clear how much the central bank can do to cool the market.Growing household vulnerabilities could give policy makers more reason to consider raising borrowing costs, for example, but higher rates would also inflate risks -- such as slow growth or a price correction. Macklem’s next interest-rate decision is due June 9 and the Bank of Canada has said it won’t consider raising its 0.25% benchmark rate until he economy is recovers fully from the Covid-19 pandemic.The Bank of Canada’s financial system review did find that Canada’s lenders could absorb a significant amount of losses in the case of another shock. The central bank said household debt and housing market vulnerabilities probably don’t pose a significant systemic threat to bank solvency, even though they could undermine future growth.“We have to look at the whole economy,” Macklem said at the press conference. “There are important parts of the economy that remain very weak, and the economy needs our support.”(Updates with context throughout.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Fourth stimulus check wins new fans in Congress, adding to the squeeze on Biden

Over 80 lawmakers are now urging the president to OK more cash for struggling Americans.


  • McDonald's and Domino's have introduced infrared temperature testing for staff
  • Staff found to have a temperature over 38 degrees will be sent home from work
  • The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union called it an 'invasion of privacy'
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Published: 06:51 BST, 27 May 2020 | Updated: 08:22 BST, 27 May 2020

Two fast food giants have introduced new safety measures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

McDonald's and Domino's will start using an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of staff before each shift.

A McDonald's spokeswoman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the fast food chain was rolling out the temperature tests at a string of Victorian locations.

Staff at some Victorian McDonald's stores (a Melbourne McDonald's pictured) will have to undergo temperature testing before being allowed to start their shift

'All temperature checks are non-invasive and will be conducted by a Manager, using a contact-free thermometer,' the spokeswoman said.

'It is compulsory that an employee undergoes a temperature check before they are permitted to start a shift.'

Any staff found with a temperature of 38 degrees or higher will be sent home and asked to see a doctor.

McDonald's have already introduced a range of safety measures including mandatory gloves for staff, screens at the register and, customer spacing.

The spokeswoman also said the temperature checks won't be done in any other state or territory and no record of staff checks will be taken.

Meanwhile a Domino's spokeswoman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the pizza chain is also adding temperature checks to its existing coronavirus measures.


McDonald's to add Fish McBites to menu in February

McDonald's used the Dollar Menu to lift its profit in the latest quarter. Now the world's biggest hamburger chain is turning to a pipeline of new menu items to boost slumping sales, starting with "Fish McBites."

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company is betting that it will be able to beat back intensifying competition and economic pressures with the lineup, which executives said includes new burgers, chicken entrees and breakfast offerings that are performing well in test markets. The Fish McBites, which will come in three sizes and use the same Alaskan pollock used in the Filet-O-Fish, are set to be launched as a limited-time addition in February.
Read: Gut-busting restaurant meals named dis-honorees

The stepped up offerings come after McDonald's managed to eke out a higher profit for the October-to-December period with a series of short-term maneuvers, such as touting its Dollar Menu, shifting the release of its McRib from October to December and pushing franchisees to stay open on Christmas.
Eat This List: 7 deadly restaurant sins

In addition a more "robust" pipeline of new products, McDonald's executives said they'll boost sales by continuing remodeling efforts and extending store hours around the world.


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A MOUNTAIN OF TROUBLE

The Siege

Standing Rock: Where the Movement Is Now, From First Protester on the Front Lines

According to a police report detailing what turned into an almost three-hour standoff, one of Edwards&rsquos neighbors, Jeremy Costley, posted this on Facebook: &ldquoall Costilla County Colorado people in need of rapid response to country rd. 12 and 27. The police are trying to arrest someone unlawfully.&rdquo

Today, Edwards claims that he was unarmed during the incident and says he only threatened gunfire because he was frightened.

But as officers arrived on the scene with AR-15 rifles, they agreed that a firefight seemed imminent. At one point, two mysterious vehicles appeared on the top of a nearby hill, giving their occupants a strategic vantage point overlooking the huddled group of sheriff&rsquos deputies and state patrol officers. In the gathering dark, one of the vehicles turned off its lights while the other kept its brights on. For the law enforcement agents, the effect was the same: They couldn&rsquot see the people inside the vehicles. But they had to believe they were armed.

Then a third vehicle suddenly appeared on a county road and approached the encircled officers, head-on.

&ldquoStop! Get on the ground!&rdquo Rodriguez shouted as the vehicle parked and four individuals got out.

They turned out to be some of Edwards&rsquos neighbors, responding to the social-media call they were unarmed. As officers moved forward to detain them, the two mysterious vehicles on the hill disappeared as abruptly as they&rsquod arrived.

Finally, at 9:32 p.m., Edwards emerged from his RV, shirtless, with his hands in the air. He&rsquod just ended an ongoing call with a 911 dispatcher and surrendered to a state patrolman on the condition that someone watch over his property and he not be held in Costilla County&rsquos jail, because he didn&rsquot trust the deputies there.

For Undersheriff Rodriguez, it was a satisfactory ending to a situation that could have turned bloody. But it was also a reminder of a constant challenge that his office, and Costilla County in general, has had to contend with in recent years: off-the-grid residents who hold &ldquosovereign&rdquo beliefs.

The sovereign movement is a catch-all label for people who believe they are subject only to common law, and therefore not subject to all the statutory laws of the U.S. government at its various levels &mdash federal, state and local. Sometimes calling themselves &ldquoconstitutionalists&rdquo or &ldquofreemen,&rdquo individuals who subscribe to a sovereign ideology often don&rsquot believe they are required to follow any regulations drafted and passed by politicians &mdash things like tax codes or driver&rsquos license rules &mdash because the U.S. government has been corrupted and sovereigns are not under contract to adhere to all of its laws.

The FBI considers &ldquosovereign citizens&rdquo part of a terrorist movement, in part because sovereigns have participated in much larger and dangerous situations than the one involving Vince Edwards. Among the most notable are the Bundy standoff in Nevada in 2014, when cattleman Cliven Bundy refused to let federal agents onto his ranch, and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in Oregon in 2016, during which armed militia, including Cliven Bundy&rsquos son, Ammon, seized a visitors&rsquo center for forty days in protest over control of federal public lands.

In Costilla County, sovereign ideology is most often manifested in off-gridders like Edwards, who refuse to follow land-use regulations &mdash particularly the county&rsquos requirement that all permanent residents build a septic system and have access to electricity and fresh water, no matter how remote their parcel of land. In the valley today, physical threats by sovereigns against Costilla County&rsquos code enforcers are common, and enforcers never go out into the field without bulletproof vests.

But the clash isn&rsquot limited to Costilla County. Individuals with sovereign beliefs have been at odds with elected officials across Colorado, and evidence suggests that the movement is growing throughout the United States.

On March 30, eight people were arrested along the Front Range for threatening and harassing elected officials with their own versions of subpoenas, arrest warrants and liens issued through a group called &ldquoThe People&rsquos Grand Jury of Colorado.&rdquo The tactic, which the FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center both call &ldquopaper terrorism,&rdquo has become a common technique used by sovereigns in all fifty states to harass public officials the frivolous filings not only bog down court proceedings, but, in the case of liens, can negatively affect a victim&rsquos credit score.

&ldquoWe deal with this philosophy from time to time,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThese guys call themselves &lsquoconstitutionalists&rsquo and essentially take the position that any state office is illegal or not authorized under their view of the world. A lot of these [communications] were a little odd and concerning &mdash particularly the arrest warrant for myself and the claim that I owed close to a billion dollars. Much of it was actually delivered around the cul-de-sac that I live in in Boulder, so that was concerning to my family, that these guys knew where I live.&rdquo

The Colorado Attorney General&rsquos Office declined to comment on the arrests because the cases have yet to go to trial. But Garnett says he helped the AG&rsquos office compile evidence prior to the indictment that was handed down on March 30, which listed dozens of offenses and other targets: judges, county officials and district attorneys, including former Denver DA Mitch Morrissey. The eight individuals arrested are all being held on bonds ranging from $100,000 to $350,000.

One of the individuals arrested on March 30 has also played a role in the off-the-grid scuffles in Costilla County: Bruce Doucette.

Doucette, who owns and runs a computer-repair store in Littleton, considers himself a &ldquojudge&rdquo within his movement and advised Ammon Bundy on how to set up a common-law jury during the Malheur standoff. In an April 12 post on its website, the Southern Poverty Law Center called Doucette &ldquothe most notorious common law &lsquoSuperior Court Judge of the Continental uNited States of America.&rsquo&rdquo

&ldquoMany members of these courts are sovereign citizens who believe their judgments supersede federal and district court decisions, and then bring their quasi-legal activity into legitimate courts and use tactics including intimidation and paper terrorism,&rdquo the SPLC article stated, specifically mentioning the March 30 indictment in Colorado.

Doucette took his activity to Costilla County in late 2015.

At the time, the county was trying to step up enforcement of its land-use codes and was proposing a number of changes to its ordinances, including clarification around camping restrictions. Off-gridders, not used to having code-enforcement officers coming by their properties to do inspections, demand permits and issue warnings, were not pleased with the heightened regulation. Hundreds of residents joined a Facebook group called &ldquoSan Luis Valley Just Us&rdquo and organized opposition, including protests at county commission meetings where changes to the code were being considered. Many claimed they couldn&rsquot afford requirements like septic systems, and argued that they should be able to camp on land they owned without any restrictions.

Chloe Everhart, one of the moderators of the SLV Just Us page, divides the off-gridders in the San Luis Valley into three broad groups: people interested in building sustainable and eco-based communities, retired or poor folks who want to be left alone, and individuals with sovereign beliefs. &ldquoThe challenge was that there wasn&rsquot a clear consensus about whether our goal was just to not have these code changes passed that were going to make things difficult for people who were poor, disabled or frugal,&rdquo explains Everhart. &ldquoThere were other people who said, &lsquoThis is our opportunity to really create this sovereign world.&rsquo There were a few people who were incredibly vocal about that, and it was hard to get work done when they were around.&rdquo

Everhart did her best to bridge the divides, but the differences ran deep. At commissioner meetings on September 9 and 15, 2015, dozens of residents packed administrative offices in San Luis &mdash the county seat of Costilla County and the oldest town in Colorado &mdash and the gatherings quickly turned ugly. Some of the discord stemmed from the fact that Costilla County has no public land, dating back to an 1844 Mexican land grant that consisted of nearly a million acres along the present-day Colorado and New Mexico border. During the past century and a half, much of that land was bought up and subdivided by wealthy landowners, beginning with William Gilpin (Colorado&rsquos first territorial governor) in 1864, and later by the likes of the Forbes family, which owned hundreds of thousands of acres in the northern portion of the county.

San Luis&rsquos predominantly Hispanic population has had little control over the subdividing and development that have occurred over the years, and while a handful of landowners accumulated vast tracts of land, Costilla County became one of the poorest counties in the nation, with 28.2 percent of its population currently living in poverty, according to the 2016 U.S. Census. In the 1990s, the perception of outsiders taking over was reinforced when Zachary Taylor, a white rancher from North Carolina, inherited a 77,500-acre tract of land from his father that locals refer to as &ldquoLa Sierra&rdquo and began logging operations on his property &mdash which some residents claimed threatened water sources that irrigate the valley (&ldquoA Mountain of Trouble,&rdquo July 6, 1994). The Taylor family closed off access to locals, who believed they were being denied their ancestral rights to hunt, fish and graze on the land. After the State of Colorado made a failed bid to purchase the land for $12 million in 1997, the issue was only partially settled when a private LLC bought the land from Taylor in 1999 and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that some Hispanic heirs would be allowed access to the property.

In the local publication La Sierra, writer Maria Martinez charged that there was a racial element to the 2015 county commissioner meetings: &ldquoAfter the September 15 meeting, opposing sides milled in front of the meeting room. The &lsquodesert dwellers&rsquo proposed talking about&hellipone of two code enforcement officers who appears menacing because she never takes her hand off her gun when she goes about her job. &lsquoLocals,&rsquo who were derisively called &lsquoMexicans&rsquo by the &lsquodesert dwellers,&rsquo defended [the officer&rsquos] work and her actions. The desert dwellers (derisively called &lsquoguero&rsquo) insisted that they are a part of the local community. This claim was opposed by locals.&rdquo

Ben Doon, the county administrator for Costilla County, denies that race played a major role at the meetings. He does, however, acknowledge that sovereign ideology gained a small yet notable foothold in the county because of the events in late 2015.

EXPAND

The most vocal opponents to the land-use code were a few individuals associated with the &ldquopatriot&rdquo armed-militia movement. Rodger Marsh, who described himself to neighbors as a door-kicker and a trigger-puller, got in touch with self-appointed judge Doucette, and invited him to the San Luis Valley to teach off-gridders how to fight the county. In October 2015, Doucette made the trip for an event billed on social media as &ldquoMeet the Judge.&rdquo The rendezvous point was a steel bridge over a remote part of the Rio Grande, where Doucette explained to the crowd why he believed that Costilla County was violating their sovereign rights.

Marsh was arrested on a weapons charge a short time later, the SLV Just Us group disbanded, and the county decided to drop some of its proposed land-use changes. But the sovereign movement continued to play a role in Costilla County politics.

In early 2016, Doon started receiving many of the same types of &ldquosubpoenas&rdquo and harassing letters that Garnett would also get in Boulder. Doon has kept all of the letters inside a manila envelope in a file cabinet, some of them still unopened. The missives began arriving shortly after he wrote a letter responding to a front-page article in Alamosa&rsquos daily newspaper, the Valley Courier, with the headline &ldquo&lsquoGrand Jury&rsquo Indicts Costilla County Officials.&rdquo Doon found that headline extremely misleading, he said, because the &ldquoGrand Jury&rdquo in question was actually the &ldquoPeople&rsquos Grand Jury&rdquo being co-organized by Doucette in Denver.

Doon&rsquos strongly worded rebuttal, which the Valley Courier published a day after the original article, explained that the &ldquoindictment&rdquo was a fake, and quoted from the Southern Poverty Law Center&rsquos description of the sovereign-citizen movement. (The complete description on the SPLC website: &ldquoThe contemporary sovereign belief system is based on a decades-old conspiracy theory. At some point in history, sovereigns believe, the American government set up by the founding fathers &mdash with a legal system the sovereigns refer to as &lsquocommon law&rsquo &mdash was secretly replaced by a new government system based on admiralty law, the law of the sea and international commerce. Under common law, or so they believe, the sovereigns would be free men. Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way.&rdquo)

But Doon&rsquos response only brought him more unwelcome attention. &ldquoFrom then on, [harassment] was coming from two fronts. We had the folks off the grid here, and then from Denver there was a bigger movement,&rdquo he recalls. &ldquoEven if their numbers are low compared to other people who just want to be left alone for one reason or another or don&rsquot have the means to comply, these folks are much more aggressive and threatening. So one or two of them equals the headache of fifty other people.&rdquo

And Doucette soon added to that headache. Over Easter weekend in 2016, he and another &ldquosuperior court judge&rdquo traveled to Costilla County to swear in at least one &ldquoconstitutional marshal&rdquo as part of the movement, witnessing as he took the oath of office.

A paper copy of that oath contains a curious array of spellings and symbolism, designed to differentiate this oath from forms issued by the &ldquofalse&rdquo shadow government that most people recognize as the U.S. government. The particular document Doucette witnessed contains a number of red fingerprints, which sovereigns believe is one of the strongest forms of identification. Some law enforcement researchers claim that sovereigns use their own blood as ink, avoiding black or blue ink because they associate those colors with corporations.

The marshal who took the oath that day was Jeremy Costley.

He was the man who invited me to the San Luis Valley to learn more about his movement.

On February 21, Jeremy Costley was stopped for a traffic violation in Antonito, and the stop wound up turning into a four-hour standoff, which ended peacefully after Costley negotiated his surrender.

During the stop, which Costley&rsquos wife, Jessica, videotaped, Costley made a call to Doucette, who advised him to remain calm even though cops had discovered that Costilla County had put out a warrant for Costley&rsquos arrest on charges that he was impersonating a peace officer &mdash Costley&rsquos claim to be a constitutional marshal.

I arranged to meet Costley at a motions hearing he had scheduled at 10 a.m. May 2 at the courthouse in San Luis. Arriving a few minutes early, I immediately spotted him across the street from the courthouse. Tall, rail-thin and sporting a scraggly goatee, Costley was wearing a cowboy hat and a coat covered in white dog hair.

&ldquoWell, let&rsquos do this,&rdquo he said, after we shook hands. We headed into the courthouse, one of the principal buildings in the small town. But no sooner had Costley gotten through security than he was placed in handcuffs by deputies who were waiting for him inside the courtroom.

&ldquoAre you getting this?!&rdquo he yelled at me.

Flustered, Undersheriff Rodriguez brushed past me with the cuffed Costley.

I went back outside to talk to a couple of Costley&rsquos friends. One of them, Zanis McDonald, was sitting in the passenger seat of a black pickup on the main road of San Luis. &ldquoThis isn&rsquot just in Colorado, this is nationwide!&rdquo he growled through his chest-length beard. &ldquoThey&rsquore arresting people and judges all over!&rdquo

Like Costley, McDonald is a military veteran, and he went on to describe his sovereign beliefs, as well as the close call he&rsquod had with law enforcement last July when he refused to follow land-use requirements on his rural parcel in the valley.

&ldquoThe kids told me someone was coming down the road,&rdquo he recalled. &ldquoSo I stood in my doorway with my rifle on my shoulder&hellipand [code enforcement] went creeping by. They finally pulled up at the end of my drive and asked if they could talk to me. I told them no. They asked, &lsquoDo you have any permits?&rsquo And I said, &lsquoAin&rsquot none of your business. Besides, you&rsquore planning and zoning, you should know what permits I do and don&rsquot have.&rsquo

&ldquoFifteen minutes later, my neighbors are calling me telling me that there&rsquos a bunch of patrol cars coming,&rdquo McDonald continued. &ldquoI called a bunch of folks to come to help protect my family. They were going to storm my house with sixteen motherfucking police. And at the time, I had plenty of weapons but not much ammunition. But my cabin has no windows, and the front door is four inches thick, so they ain&rsquot coming through that bitch too damn easy. I was scared for my family, but there was going to be a fight. I may not have had ammunition at that time, but we&rsquove got machetes and axes and shit. You come at me, you&rsquore going to have a fight. And the police down here and planning and zoning know that I will shoot at them if they come down my road. I don&rsquot give a fuck no more. They&rsquore armed, and I consider them a threat.&rdquo

As McDonald was finishing his story, we both noticed that sheriff&rsquos deputies were surrounding the car, which appeared to belong to a man sitting in the driver&rsquos seat who had not said a word in nearly twenty minutes.

For the second time that morning, I watched an arrest occur right in front of me, as the undersheriff took a loaded Hi-Point .45 off McDonald, who started yelling, &ldquoGET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, YOU FILTHY IRAQI BASTARDS!&rdquo (It was later suggested that he&rsquod suffered a PTSD episode.)

EXPAND

After both Costley and McDonald were placed in custody, I obtained copies of their arrest warrants.

McDonald had been arrested for ignoring land-use violation notices and for threatening law-enforcement and public officials the arrest-warrant affidavit noted that &ldquoMcDonald is a convicted felon with Sovereign Citizen beliefs.&rdquo

Costley, on the other hand, was arrested on serious charges of sexually abusing one or multiple children who live in his home his bond was set at $250,000.

When I called Costley&rsquos wife shortly after his arrest, she insisted that the allegations were &ldquobogus&rdquo and said she believed the charges were retribution from the county because her husband had considered running for sheriff after the previous undersheriff was booted from office for illegal poaching.

Jessica Costley did not show up at court the next day, May 3, for her husband&rsquos hearing regarding the sexual-abuse charges. Instead, she elected to call in from an undisclosed &ldquosafehouse&rdquo that she later told me was a couple of counties over. During the hearing, when a Department of Social Services representative described a videotaped interview with one of the children who alleged years of sexual abuse, Costley demanded of the judge, &ldquoHow do we know they didn&rsquot threaten our children to get these allegations?&rdquo

Costley also claimed the court didn&rsquot have jurisdiction over him because, as he put it, &ldquoI am not a United States citizen I am a natural-born American.&rdquo

After the hearing, the offices of the Costilla County Sheriff&rsquos Department and its Department of Planning and Zoning felt a little more relaxed. Issues with sovereigns had been &ldquopretty calm for a long time,&rdquo Rodriguez said. &ldquoWe didn&rsquot have many issues except for the people we [just] arrested.&rdquo

Rodriguez&rsquos deputies participated in recent trainings regarding the sovereign movement hosted by the Colorado State Patrol in Alamosa. &ldquoDuring the training, they indicated that the number-one domestic terrorists in the United States are sovereign citizens,&rdquo he recalled.

While not revealing too much about the training because it was &ldquoconfidential,&rdquo Rodriguez said one of the things he learned was not to debate sovereigns about constitutional rights. &ldquoBasically, they said not to get into it and let them rant and rave about it,&rdquo he explained.

Rodriguez&rsquos department shares information with the FBI about sovereign activity in Costilla County, he said, declining to go into specifics. &ldquoSafety is our main issue. We don&rsquot know what they&rsquore capable of doing,&rdquo he continued. &ldquoNinety percent of the time, they won&rsquot talk to us. But we keep an eye out on social media.&rdquo He estimated that the number of sovereigns living in the San Luis Valley has fluctuated between ten people to upwards of a hundred during the past several years.

Besides Costley and McDonald, the people most affected by their arrests were the two code-enforcement officers, Cruz Soto and Colleen Romero, who are tasked with patrolling the valley each day to look for land-use violations.

On May 3, I was approved to go on a ride-along with Romero, Soto and their boss, Land Use Administrator T. Martinez. They had never taken a reporter along before, and had adapted a liability form from the sheriff&rsquos department, which included this line: &ldquoI understand that code enforcement activities are inherently dangerous and that even though officers will do everything possible to keep me safe, it is not possible to make me immune from risk of all injuries up to and including death.&rdquo

Soto and Romero never go out on patrol without bulletproof vests. &ldquoJust wait &rsquotil you see the bullet holes in our car,&rdquo Soto joked before we headed out in a car that turned out to have no bullet holes.

But out on the prairie, with its flat expanses bordered on the horizons by mountain ranges jutting to snow-bearing altitudes, I understood just how isolated and alone Soto and Romero are during their patrols. &ldquoWhat&rsquos difficult going into these areas is that you&rsquore a sitting duck,&rdquo explained Soto. &ldquoThe scary part is that when you look into these sovereign individuals with their beliefs, a lot of them legitimately believe that if you step onto their property, they can shoot you. and if you think about it, they can see you coming from a mile away. So you&rsquore definitely wary and looking over your shoulder when you&rsquore in these areas, knowing that in the past, these individuals have rallied the troops to respond to us.&rdquo

&ldquoSo what about your backup?&rdquo I asked.

&ldquoThere are other deputies in the valley, but even if they&rsquore going mach Jesus, it&rsquos going to take them a good amount of time to get to us,&rdquo he responded. &ldquoWe try to avoid confrontations. The DA even told us, &lsquoOut of all the individuals out there, I worry about you the most because you are in the mix of all of these individuals and they stand by their beliefs.&rsquo&rdquo

As we drove farther into no-man&rsquos-land, Martinez and his two code-enforcement officers pointed out the kind of things they look for during their patrols. &ldquoPeople show up every day that we&rsquove never met and never seen on properties that were vacant yesterday,&rdquo said Martinez, gesturing toward RVs and campers that dotted the landscape.

The issue, he explained, is that many people buy cheap property in Costilla County &mdash some of it through websites like Landwatch.com &mdash without realizing that owners need to adhere to basic requirements such as building a septic system, which costs around $7,000 when done to code. Digging a well, the permanent solution to meeting the county&rsquos fresh-water requirement (as opposed to a standing water tank), costs an additional $10,000 between drilling, casing and plumbing.

&ldquoFifty dollars down, fifty dollars a month can sometimes get you five acres of land, with agents [erroneously] telling you that you don&rsquot need permits,&rdquo said Martinez. &ldquoOn a daily basis, pretty much, someone will tell me, &lsquoWell, I bought this property, and the real estate person said we don&rsquot need permits and can live in an RV and we can do whatever we want.&rsquo&rdquo

So rampant is the practice of subdividing and leasing that Costilla County is the most vacant county in Colorado, with only 3,600 people spread between 40,000 lots and nearly 1,900 miles of county roads.

Martinez estimated that around 300 individual dwellings currently fit the description &ldquooff the grid.&rdquo He had no issue with them, he said, as long as the owners work to comply with the county&rsquos land-use code, which was put into effect in 1998 to combat illegal dumping of trash and wastewater but has only been seriously enforced since 2011.

While Costilla County has land-use regulations, it doesn&rsquot have a building code &mdash so many of the off-the-grid dwellings look like what you might find in a dystopian desert wasteland.

Edwards&rsquos half-buried RV is one example. The code enforcers showed it to me, tucked away in an arid part of the plains that locals refer to as &ldquoIraqi Flats&rdquo because of the desert-like vegetation.

We also toured property once occupied by a character that Soto, Martinez and Romero referred to as &ldquoDr. Love.&rdquo The dwelling was strategically located on one side of a rise so that it was not visible from the county road, and Martinez said he&rsquod only found it after seeing the structure on a satellite image.

&ldquoThat&rsquos like a doghouse, or some kind of volcanic-rock igloo &mdash I don&rsquot know what it is,&rdquo said Martinez, gesturing toward an eight-foot-tall pile of rocks that was hollow inside and had been laboriously constructed next to a wooden shack.

Martinez said he understands that many people have trouble meeting the financial demands of land-use requirements, and added that he feels sympathy for those duped by real estate agents who claim that no permits are necessary. &ldquoUnfortunately, we still have to give them a violation notice,&rdquo he explained. &ldquoIf we find them living without septic, a lot of times we&rsquoll say, &lsquoYou shouldn&rsquot be living out here. There&rsquos a fourteen-day camping limit. We&rsquoll give you a couple weeks to figure stuff out.&rsquo&rdquo

EXPAND

About halfway through the ride-along, we arrived at an area where Costley and McDonald own land and have built their residences. &ldquoIf they weren&rsquot in custody, we probably wouldn&rsquot be out here,&rdquo Soto admitted.

&ldquoI even ran back to the vehicle last week because it looked like the back trailer window [at Costley&rsquos] was open and the curtain moved,&rdquo Romero added, &ldquoso I thought that someone was going to shoot at us.&rdquo

The officers wondered whether any family members would still be at the residences following the arrests. Sure enough, as we drove past McDonald&rsquos dwelling, two children emerged from a windowless shack and yelled at us to go away.

&ldquoYou&rsquove got to go! Go!&rdquo yelled a boy.

&ldquoThis is a public road!&rdquo responded Soto from the driver&rsquos seat of the SUV. &ldquoIt&rsquos not private! This is a public road.&rdquo
&ldquoWell, my parents say you can&rsquot be here right now!&rdquo

&ldquoWell, I&rsquom not on your private property!&rdquo

Then a different voice shouted from the shack, &ldquoGet inside!,&rdquo and the two children suddenly disappeared from view.

Soto then produced a cease-and-desist notice from inside the car, and asked, &ldquoShould I just post it on the RV, boss?&rdquo

&ldquoSounds good,&rdquo responded Martinez. &ldquoYou got the Gorilla tape?&rdquo

While at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Brian Slater spent fifteen months researching sovereigns in the United States, going back through the past decade. The movement stretches even further back than that, with roots in the Posse Comitatus movement that emerged during the American farm crisis of the &rsquo70s and &rsquo80s, and branches in the Montana Freemen of the mid-&rsquo90s.

Slater&rsquos research, released as his postgraduate thesis in September 2016, studied court cases throughout the country related to sovereign individuals, as evidenced by the types of filings submitted by defendants or the crimes being prosecuted, including paper terrorism.

Slater &mdash who notes that his research represents his own findings, not the views of the military &mdash says he was surprised to find that cases related to sovereigns are growing exponentially on a J-shaped curve. &ldquoIn my research, I found that this is happening in all fifty states,&rdquo he explains. &ldquoYou would think it would be concentrated most where you had those earlier movements, like Montana. But that wasn&rsquot the case where I found it was most predominant was in Illinois, California and New Jersey.&rdquo

&ldquoColorado is, what I would say, medium to light as far as concentration goes,&rdquo Slater responds. &ldquoThat being said, it&rsquos on the rise.&rdquo

While Slater cautions that his data mostly covers the Obama years, adding that he isn&rsquot sure what effect the current administration will have on the spread of sovereign ideology, he says he doesn&rsquot think the person occupying the White House makes much of a difference to believers, since sovereigns appear to be focused on how the United States has become corrupted over the past 200 years, not just recently.

As for the number of sovereigns throughout the United States, Slater says that&rsquos a squishy statistic because there are so many splinter groups and ideological variations, ranging from armed militias to relatively pacifist tax dodgers. He points out that the Southern Poverty Law Center&rsquos estimate &mdash that there are between 100,000 to 300,000 sovereign individuals in the United States &mdash is very broad.

Whatever the true number, Slater cautions against writing off sovereigns as a bunch of crackpots, as has frequently occurred in media reports. &ldquoThe sovereign ideology itself is not crazy,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYes, the criminal acts are criminal. But their train of thought is not un-American. If you were to ask a non-sovereign citizen, &lsquoDo you think our government has gone off the rails?&rsquo Or, &lsquoAre there illegitimate portions of the tax code?,&rsquo there are plenty of non-sovereign individuals who would head-nod. It&rsquos not a foreign thought.&rdquo

While Bruce Doucette was being held at the Denver Downtown Detention Center, I made a request to the Denver Sheriff&rsquos Department that I be allowed to visit. Doucette declined to see me, instead referring me to a spokesman named Rodger Dowdell who said he was located &ldquowith a team&rdquo in Florida.

Dowdell reiterated many of the things I&rsquod heard when talking to folks like Jeremy Costley. &ldquoThere is no such thing as a &lsquosovereign citizen.&rsquo When you look up the word &lsquocitizen,&rsquo it means subject. And when you put a word meaning the highest ruler &mdash sovereign &mdash next to a word meaning subject, it&rsquos an oxymoron it doesn&rsquot mean nothing,&rdquo Dowdell said.

&ldquoWhat&rsquos happening is that people of all walks of life are waking up to the fact that our government has been hijacked,&rdquo he continued. &ldquoA group in Colorado discovered this and said, &lsquoHow can we rectify it?&rsquo The first thing they did was simple: They went to elected and appointed public servants and they demanded to see their oath of office and their bond. And if there was a defect, they gave them a twenty-day notice to get the defect fixed. If they didn&rsquot get the defect fixed, they put their names on a notice of fraud and publicized it. Now judges are trying to retaliate, and they&rsquove manufactured all sorts of bogus charges against these innocent people that are just trying to clean up their government corruption.&rdquo

As for armed standoffs like those carried out by members of the Bundy family in Nevada and Oregon, Dowdell said, &ldquoIt&rsquos the only method that the founders gave us, because think about it this way: If we the people are to be free men, then you can&rsquot have anyone on top of us. So it&rsquos our duty.&rdquo

Between Doucette&rsquos arrest on March 30 and Costley&rsquos on May 2, Costley had requested and received permission from others in the movement to give me access to their weekly conference call, known as the &ldquonational assembly call.&rdquo

During the April 20 call, I&rsquod tuned in just in time to hear an exchange between Doucette and his wife. Despite everyone else listening, it struck me as a rather personal moment, though Doucette&rsquos time was cut short when an automated voice from his jail&rsquos phone system interrupted and announced in a cold, metallic voice, &ldquoYou have one minute left.&rdquo

&ldquoOh, so I have one minute left,&rdquo said Doucette, disappointed. &ldquoWell, please remember, this is a spiritual battle, and we need to win this one. We need to free everybody from this corrupt admiralty law and this corrupt government. So pray, everyone, please. Blessings to all and goodnight, and to my beautiful wife, I love you always. Bye, all.&rdquo

After Doucette left the call, the conversation became more businesslike and mundane, with motions made to pass resolutions about things like press releases and whether to reach out to a radio show in Utah.

Dowdell said he&rsquod come to know Doucette through the type of call I&rsquod listened to increasingly, calls and social-media channels are acting as the connective tissues between states.

&ldquoIt&rsquos we the people in assembly, meeting. So it&rsquos public,&rdquo said Dowdell. &ldquoIt isn&rsquot Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or anything else. This is the people getting together in assembly and making resolutions, which become the direct voice of the people to the county commissioners, who must comply.&rdquo

Colorado was the first delegation to start doing conference calls, which have been going on for a &ldquofew years now,&rdquo he said. &ldquoColorado was definitely the leading state, and Florida was probably number two behind them. Other states involved are Oregon, Nebraska, North Carolina. Illinois has their grand jury up and running, and Texas is moving forward.&rdquo

I asked Dowdell about Doucette&rsquos chances of beating the charges. &ldquoI think it looks very good because [he] hasn&rsquot taken on an attorney,&rdquo he said. &ldquoI&rsquom very optimistic. He needs to be released, and it&rsquos just a matter of time.&rdquo

On my final day in southern Colorado, I finally got a chance to visit Vince Edwards, who, against his wishes, had been transferred to Costilla County&rsquos jail. He was being kept in a separate pod from Costley and McDonald because, as Edwards put it, &ldquoThey don&rsquot want us exchanging notes.&rdquo (Since his original arrest, McDonald, too, had been charged with child abuse.)

Edwards said he&rsquod been in custody since the September 29 standoff, and even though his bond was set at $17,500, &ldquoit might as well be a million, because I&rsquom poor.&rdquo

While Edwards had plenty of elaborate theories about why the original charge against him &mdash that he&rsquod threatened land-use administrator Martinez in an attempt to influence him to stop requiring permits &mdash was unjust and immoral, he took solace in standing up to a system that he believes is corrupt to its core.

&ldquoWhen we say sovereign. there&rsquos a lot of propaganda out there about it,&rdquo he said. &ldquoPeople don&rsquot want us learning about our history in this country because we&rsquore not going to bow down to the quote-unquote authorities. But the problem is, we&rsquore the authorities. They&rsquore the servants.&rdquo

&ldquoReally, I&rsquom just a guy who exercises his rights and stands on his own two feet.&rdquo

Keep Westword Free. Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.


How restaurants are shifting strategies during coronavirus outbreak

For lunch or dinner, customers will be able to order a Double Cheeseburger, Chicken McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish, along with any size of soft drink, tea or hot coffee and small fries.

"We have been inspired by the way our franchisees have been going above and beyond to support their local communities throughout this trying time," McDonald's USA president Joe Erlinger said in the statement released Tuesday. "I couldn't be more proud of how our company, franchisees and supplier partners have come together to give back to those who are working tirelessly for our country."

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Kempczinski also addressed how the company is keeping its own employees safe during this time, and pointed to a series of recently instituted initiatives.

“What we’ve done in the last couple weeks, we’ve put in over 50 new processes into our restaurants, things like wellness checks, things like protective barriers, social distancing guidelines. So, a lot of different procedural things,” he said.

“We now have a hundred million masks we’ve shipped into our restaurants because the most important thing for us is to make sure that we’re able to keep our crews safe.”


Sovereign Movement Is Anti-Government, Off the Grid. and Gunning for Justice

5 comments:

Ok. So is this an article intended to frighten sovereign people into becoming sheep again? I didn't read the whole thing, but it appears from what I did read that it sheds a poor light on those seeking truth and being sovereign, claiming them to be freemen "kooks" who are a menace to society.
Enlighten me if you will.

Brian Slater in his thesis showing a map of "sovereign" incidents by state surely must have failed as he does not even know where Vermont and New Hampshire are! lol

It is intended to wake people up and educate them on language and law. Like you just used the description "sovereign people". Your use of that label shows your lack of knowledge. You need to read the whole thing.

There is no such thing as a sovereign citizen. Different types or classes Of citizens are well documented and sovereigns are sovereigns or rulers, not citizens. Citizens belong to sovereigns they fought the sovereigns sheriff all the time in Robin Hood movies. Makes these people sound like nuts, but they hold the same beliefs as the founding fathers?

Argue over verbage and so called law all day long. When you push people into living like animals in a cage what do you expect? I'm not going to care about any sexual predators out there and the cop in the 1st photo is a disgrace to all cops, but seriously society needs to fix the have nothing population! Clearly they have nothing to loose and that's going to get good cops killed. You see a homeless vet on the street and your driving a nice car and living in a nice house, and you don't give him some cash? Why not??


Beverages [ edit ]

Beverages purveyed by McDonald's varies regionally.

Soft drinks [ edit ]

McDonald's primary soft drink supplier is The Coca-Cola Company, except in restaurants which fall under an overall contract with PepsiCo such as the Staples Center and the University of Maryland, College Park Student Union. In the U.S. and Canada, Cadbury-Schweppes supplies Dr Pepper. Irn-Bru is available in some Scottish McDonald's locations. Inca Kola is available in every Peruvian McDonald's location.

Coffee and tea [ edit ]

S&D Coffee, Gavina and Kraft supply McDonald's Premium Roast Coffee for McDonald's U.S. restaurants except for the New England area, for which Green Mountain Coffee Roasters supplies Newman's Own branded coffee there. Hot and iced tea (supplied by S&D Coffee in the U.S.), hot chocolate, assorted juices and other regional beverages are available in various markets.

The McCafe is an umbrella term for lattes, espresso, iced coffee, hot chocolate, mocha, malts, smoothies, and other drinks that are sold in several markets worldwide.

Shakes [ edit ]

Shakes are available in all U.S. McDonald's and many global markets. ⏚] Permanent flavors are vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate regional or seasonal flavors include Eggnog (during Christmas), Honeycomb, Arctic Orange (sherbet), Orange Cream, Shamrock Shake (a green, spearmint Limited Time Offer shake for St. Patrick's Day), Chocolate Mint, and Rolo (available only in Canada and the UK. This flavored milkshake was also available in the Republic of Ireland during the summer of 2007 for a limited time only). In June 1975, 13 months before the celebration of the United States Bicentennial, McDonald's introduced a blueberry-flavored shake in order to advertise "Red, White, and Blueberry Shakes" for independence day celebrations, which were available through August of that year. The run was repeated in summer 1976, but not since. In the U.S., starting in February 2010, "Triple Thick Shakes" were rebranded under the McCafe name, along with the addition of whipped cream, and a cherry on top, and a significant reduction in size. In Canada, McDonald's milkshakes are still sold under the "Triple Thick" name. ⏛]

Alcoholic beverages [ edit ]

Beer of different brands (varies locally) is available at McDonald's in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain. Wine, Santa Julia of the Malbec varietal is available at McDonald's restaurants in the province of Mendoza, Argentina as part of a special menu called "Sabores Mendocinos" (Mendoza flavours). ⏜]

Frozen beverages [ edit ]

As of 2009 [update] , McDonald's Australia and New Zealand began offering Frozen Coke as part of their menu. It is available in small, medium or large sizes. Frozen Coke is a fixed menu item, with new flavors introduced multiple times a year, such as, Frozen Vanilla Coke, Frozen Fanta Sour Grape, Frozen Fanta Bubblegum and Frozen Sprite. As of 2018 there are now 8 permanent 'Fanta Flavours' available (at most restaurants) including Raspberry, Blueberry, Grape, Lime, Vanilla, Mango, Pineapple and Peach. The Fanta Flavours can be mixed together using the Frozen Drinks machines to enable patrons to choose up to 36 different flavour combinations. ⏝] In 2012, McDonald's Australia and New Zealand began offering a 'McFloat'. It contained Frozen Coke and/or the promotional frozen beverage, a small amount of soft serve. ⏞]

McDonald's also offers 1% milk, 1% chocolate milk, and apple juice, most often as replacements for fountain drinks in Happy Meals.


Watch the video: ustwo. McDonalds FISHY FISHY MouthOff App - (November 2022).