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touch up paint victory red Q&A Review

What are the most unknown facts on the Second World War?

Lucy Ash presents a harrowing account in an article she wrote for the BBC. “Dusk is falling in Treptower Park on the outskirts of Berlin and I am looking up at a statue dramatically outlined against a lilac sky. Twelve metres (40ft) high, it depicts a Soviet soldier grasping a sword in one hand and a small German girl in the other, and stamping on a broken swastika. “This is the final resting place for 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet troops who fell in the Battle of Berlin between 16 April and 2 May 1945. “The colossal proportions of the monument reflect the scale of the sacrifice. At the top of a long flight of steps, you can peer into the base of the statue, which is lit up like a religious shrine. An inscription saying that the Soviet people saved European civilisation from fascism catches my eye. “But some call this memorial the Tomb of the Unknown Rapist. “Stalin's troops assaulted an uncounted number of women as they fought their way to the German capital, though this was rarely mentioned after the war in Germany - West or East - and is a taboo subject in Russia even today. “The Russian media regularly dismiss talk of the rapes as a Western myth, though one of many sources that tells the story of what happened is a diary kept by a young Soviet officer. Image copyrightVITALY GELFAND “Vladimir Gelfand, a young Jewish lieutenant from central Ukraine, wrote with extraordinary frankness from 1941 through to the end of the war, despite the Soviet military's ban on diaries, which were seen as a security risk. “The so far unpublished manuscript paints a picture of disarray in the regular battalions - miserable rations, lice, routine anti-Semitism and theft, with men even stealing their comrades' boots. “In February 1945, Gelfand was stationed by the Oder River dam, preparing for the final push on Berlin, and he describes how his comrades surrounded and overpowered a battalion of women fighters. "The captured German female cats declared they were avenging their dead husbands," he writes. "They must be destroyed without mercy. Our soldiers suggest stabbing them through their genitals but I would just execute them." “It gets worse. “One of the most revealing passages in Gelfand's diary is dated 25 April, once he had reached Berlin. Gelfand was whirling around on a bicycle by the River Spree, the first time he'd ever ridden one, when he came across a group of German women carrying suitcases and bundles. Image copyrightVITALY GELFAND “In broken German, he asked them where they were going and why they had left their homes. "With horror on their faces, they told me what had happened on the first night of the Red Army's arrival," he writes. "'They poked here,' explained the beautiful German girl, lifting up her skirt, 'all night. They were old, some were covered in pimples and they all climbed on me and poked - no less than 20 men,' she burst into tears. "'They raped my daughter in front of me,' her poor mother added, 'and they can still come back and rape her again.' This thought horrified everyone. "'Stay here,' the girl suddenly threw herself at me, 'sleep with me! You can do whatever you want with me, but only you!'" “By this stage, German soldiers had been guilty of sexual violence and other horrors in the Soviet Union for almost four years, as Gelfand had become aware as he fought his way to Berlin. "He went through so many villages in which the Nazis had killed everyone, even small children. And he saw evidence of rape," says his son, Vitaly. Image captionVitaly Gelfand discovered his father's diary after he died “The Wehrmacht was supposedly a well-ordered force of Aryans who would never contemplate sex with ,untermenschen,. “But the ban was ignored, says Oleg Budnitsky, a historian at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Nazi commanders were in fact so concerned about venereal disease that they established a chain of military brothels throughout the occupied territories. “It's hard to find direct evidence of how the German soldiers treated Russian women - many victims never survived - but in the German-Russian Museum in Berlin, director Jorg Morre shows me a photograph taken in Crimea from a German soldier's personal wartime album. A woman's corpse is sprawled on the ground. "It looks like she was killed by raping, or after the rape. Her skirt is pulled up and the hands are in front of the face," he says. "It's a shocking photo. We had discussions in the museum, should we show the photos - this is war, this is sexual violence under German policy in the Soviet Union. We are showing war. Not talking about war but showing it." “As the Red Army advanced into what the Soviet press called "the lair of the fascist beast" posters encouraged troops to show their anger: "Soldier: You are now on German soil. The hour of revenge has struck!" Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES “In fact, the political department of the 19th Army, which fought its way into Germany along the Baltic Coast, declared that a true Soviet soldier would be so full of hatred that he would be repulsed by sex with Germans. But once again soldiers proved the ideologists wrong. “While researching his 2002 book, Berlin, The Downfall, historian Antony Beevor found documents about sexual violence in the state archive of the Russian Federation. They were sent by the NKVD, the secret police, to their boss, Lavrentiy Beria, in late 1944. "These were passed on to Stalin," says Beevor. "You can actually see from the ticks whether they've been read or not - and they report on the mass rapes in East Prussia and the way that German women would try to kill their children, and kill themselves, to avoid such a fate." “Another wartime diary, this time kept by the fiancee of an absent German soldier, shows that some women adapted to the appalling circumstances, in order to survive. “Starting on 20 April 1945, 10 days before Hitler's suicide, the anonymous author is, like Vladimir Gelfand, brutally honest, with razor-sharp powers of observation and occasional flashes of gallows humour. “Describing herself as "a pale-faced blonde always dressed in the same winter coat", the diarist paints vivid pictures of her neighbours in the bomb shelter beneath her Berlin apartment block, including a "young man in grey trousers and horn-rimmed glasses who on closer inspection turns out to be a young woman" and three elderly sisters, "all dressmakers, huddled together like a big black pudding". Image copyrightGERMAN-RUSSIAN MUSEUM Image captionSoviet soldiers distribute food in Berlin, in May 1945 (photograph: Timofey Melnik) “As they await the arrival of the Red Army, they joke "better a Russky on top than a Yank overhead" - rape is preferable to being pulverised by bombs. But when the soldiers reach their basement and try to haul women out, they beg the diarist to use her Russian language skills and complain to the Soviet command. “Braving the chaos on the rubble strewn streets, she manages to find a senior officer. He shrugs his shoulders. Despite Stalin's decree banning violence against civilians, he says, "It happens anyway." “The officer returns to the cellar with her and reprimands the soldiers, but one is seething with fury. "'What do you mean? What did the Germans do to our women!' He is screaming: 'They took my sister and…' The officer calms the man down and gets them outside." “But when the diarist steps back into the corridor to check they have gone, the men have been lying in wait and grab her. She is brutally raped and nearly strangled. The terrified neighbours, or "cave dwellers" as she calls them, had slammed the basement door shut. "Finally the two iron levers open. Everyone stares at me," she writes. "My stockings are down to my shoes, I'm still holding on to what's left of my suspender belt. I start yelling 'You pigs! Here they rape me twice in a row and you leave me lying like a piece of dirt!'" “Eventually the diarist realises that she needs to find one "wolf" to stave off gang rape by the "male beasts". The relationship between aggressor and victim becomes less violent, more transactional - and more ambiguous. She shares her bed with a senior officer from Leningrad with whom she discusses literature and the meaning of life. "By no means could it be said that the major is raping me," she writes. "Am I doing it for bacon, butter, sugar, candles, canned meat? To some extent I'm sure I am. In addition, I like the major and the less he wants from me as a man, the more I like him as a person." “Many of the diarist's neighbours made similar deals with the conquerors in the ruins of Berlin. “When the diary was published in German in 1959 under the title A Woman in Berlin, the author's frank account of the choices she made to survive was attacked for "besmirching the honour" of German women. Not surprisingly, she refused to allow the book to be republished until after her death. “Seventy years after the end of the war, new research on sexual violence committed by all the Allied forces - American, British and French as well as Soviet - is still emerging. But for years the subject slid under the official radar. Few reported it and even fewer would listen. “Besides the social stigma, in East Germany it was sacrilegious to criticise Soviet heroes who had defeated fascism while across the Wall in the West, the guilt for Nazi crimes made German suffering unmentionable. “But in 2008, there was a film adaptation of the Berlin Woman's diary called Anonyma, starring the well-known German actress Nina Hoss. The film had a cathartic effect in Germany and encouraged many women to come forward, including Ingeborg Bullert. Ingeborg, aged 90, now lives in Hamburg in a flat filled with photos of cats and books about the theatre. She was 20 in 1945, dreamed of becoming an actress and lived with her mother in an upmarket street in Berlin's Charlottenberg district. “When the Soviet assault on the city began, like the woman diarist, she took refuge in the cellar of her building. "Suddenly there were tanks in our street and everywhere the bodies of Russian and German soldiers", she recalls. "I remember the dreadful whining sound made by those Russian bombs - we called them Stalinorgels (Stalin organs)." “During a lull in the air raid, Ingeborg left the cellar and ran upstairs to look for a piece of string to use as a wick for a lamp. "Suddenly there were two Russians pointing their pistols at me," she says. "One of them forced me to expose myself and raped me, and then they changed places and the other one raped me as well. I thought I would die, that they would kill me." “Ingeborg didn't talk about her ordeal at the time, or for decades afterwards - she said it was too difficult. "My mother liked to boast that her daughter hadn't been touched," she says. “But the rapes had affected women in households across Berlin. Ingeborg recalls that women between the ages of 15 and 55 were ordered to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. "You needed the medical certificate to get the food stamps and I remember that all the doctors doing these certificates, had waiting rooms full of women." “What was the scale of the rapes? The most often quoted number is a staggering 100,000 women in Berlin and two million on German territory. That figure - hotly debated - was extrapolated from scant surviving medical records. “In a former munitions factory which now houses the State Archive, Martin Luchterhand shows me an armful of blue cardboard folders. These contain abortion records dated July to October 1945 from Neukolln, just one of Berlin's 24 districts - it's a small miracle that they survived intact. “Abortions were illegal in Germany according to Article 218 of the penal code, but Luchterhand says "there was a small window for those women because of that special situation of the mass rapes in 1945". Image copyrightDOROTHY FEAVER I Image copyrightDOROTHY FEAVER “Altogether 995 pleas for abortion were approved by this one district office in Berlin office between June 1945 to 1946. The files contain over 1,000 fragile scraps of paper of different colours and sizes. In childish round handwriting, one girl testifies that she was assaulted in the living room of her home in front of her parents. “We will probably never know the true scale of the rapes. Soviet military tribunals and other sources remain classified. The Russian parliament recently passed a law which says that anyone who denigrates Russia's record in World War Two could face fines and up to five years in prison. “Vera Dubina, a young historian at the University of Humanities in Moscow, says she knew nothing of the rapes until a scholarship took her to Berlin. She later wrote a paper on the subject but struggled to get it published. "The Russian media reacted very aggressively," she says. "People only want to hear about our glorious victory in the Great Patriotic War and now it is getting harder to do proper research." “It's the fate of history to be rewritten to suit the agenda of the present. That's why first-hand accounts are so valuable - from those who brave the subject now, in their old age, and from those younger voices who put pencil to paper on the spot. “Vitaly Gelfand, son of the Red Army diarist Vladimir Gelfand, doesn't deny that many Soviet soldiers showed great bravery and sacrifice in World War Two - but that's not the whole story, he says. “Recently Vitaly did an interview on Russian radio, which triggered some anti-Semitic trolling on social media, saying the diary's a fake and he should clear off to Israel (he has in fact lived in Berlin for the last 20 years). Yet he is hoping the diary will be published in Russia later this year. Parts of it have been translated into German and Swedish. "If people don't want to know the truth, they're just deluding themselves", he says. "The entire world understands it, Russia understands it and the people behind those new laws about defaming the past, even they understand it. We can't move forward until we look back.”” The rape of Berlin

What’s something in a woman’s apartment that sets off red flags?

So I had a relationship with this woman a few years ago. There were many red flags but I ignored them at first because she had so many great qualities. The thing is, red flags don’t go away because you ignore them. Let me note that a person can show red flags as much as an apartment. I met this woman and we had many things in common, we liked the same restaurants, had the same ideas on religion and honesty. She was intelligent, funny and pretty. She had a good professional job she loved. I was good to go and happy for the opportunity. We went on some dates of the walk/dinner/activity variety. There was some exciting groping and whatnot. Finally she invited me up to her house where she was going to make dinner. First red flag: the house and its condition. The building had at one time been a beautiful single family house that had been converted into two beautiful condominiums. The contractor must have really liked the building because it was clear that he had put his heart and soul into the design and concept. Except now, some years after she had purchased it, the house was going to wrack and ruin. The grass hadn’t been cut in months or years. The picket fence in the front was collapsing and covered with peeling paint. The building seriously needed a paint job. I looked at this beautiful house with dismay. As I always do in relationships, I consider how I could improve the situation as part of the relationship. It was daunting already. She told me that the other condo was largely absentee and that she and they both agreed to fire the gardener to save money. She spoke of how excellent the place looked at one time but now she acted as if the forlorn condition was beyond her control. Red Flag 2: No doorbell. I was expected and there was a doorbell button, but it apparently didn’t work. I had to call on my cell phone. “It hasn’t worked for some time,” she said. Why didn’t you get it fixed? Or put in a wireless version? It’s mighty inconvenient, especially when I am carrying packages. Edit: I couldn’t just knock on the door. The apartment was well beyond hearing range of the knock. Red Flag 3: The first thing you are going to notice when you go in is the smell. Be aware of it. It’s going to be an important part of your life. If the apartment smells of rot, or gas or garbage or whatnot it’s telling you something about the person you’re with - that they have lived with it for so long they don’t even notice it. The thing about smells is that they are evocative. The smell of the domicile is the smell of that person. It is them, their personality. If the smell of their domicile turns you off then you really need to reconsider the relationship. Red Flag 4: Hoarding. I went into the apartment and it was completely jammed with overstuffed, mismatched furniture of every type and style. All of it was high quality stuff but the apartment was bursting at the seams. It was hard to move around. You do NOT want to be in a relationship with a hoarder. It never, ever gets better. It only gets worse. Red Flag 5: Pets. If a woman has a cat, that is cute. I have a cat. If a woman has more than three cats, that’s a warning sign. Every cat past two is an increasingly rapid flashing light that you should watch with great seriousness. The term “Crazy Crazy Cat Lady” isn’t just an mnemonic for making Cosmopolitans: it’s a real thing. Red Flag 6: The pictures on the wall. They were all of her. Here she is on graduation 35 years ago. Here she is with her infant daughter. Here she is winning the Dressage Cup. Here she is on her wedding day. There was other art there, good, interesting and valuable art but the disturbing number of selfies and self-tributes was excessive. How’s your narcissism doing today? Red Flag 7: The kitchen. Looked like a bomb went off. There was not one inch of counter space anywhere and it was a huge kitchen. Every inch was covered with letters or photos or appliances or gem-gaws, and tea caddies and expensive coffee pots. The sink was filled with dirty dishes. The dishwasher was the receptacle for clean dishes to be used for eating. They never made it from the dishwasher to the cabinets. Grime underneath. Not a place where you want to prepare food. Red Flag 8: The trash. There was trash. Lots of it. Bags of it. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Many bags were filled with empty wine bottles. What conclusions can you draw? Someone drinks a great deal, or has many people over, or can’t be bothered to take a bag to the trash can on the way down to work in the morning. And empty wine bottles smell after awhile. A bag of them smells really badly. Red Flag 9: The dinner. She made dinner. It was largely re-heated leftovers with some additional touches. She fancied herself a gourmet cook who could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear through “food experimentation”. However, one of the things about experiments is that that they often fail and are supposed to lead to some kind of perfection, at least for food, but they rarely did. She had real cooking skill but it was often wasted on failed experiments and near-rancid leftover food. Red Flag 10: The bathroom. One of the biggest tests of someone is the state of their bathroom. After eating the bad left-over food I needed some R&R in the lavatory. A cursory attempt had been made to wipe it up but the soap-scum in the shower and the build-up of grime everywhere generally made it known that housekeeping was not a high priority here. If you’re going to invite someone to your home, especially for the first time, you want to make sure that at least the bathroom is pristine because this is the newcomer’s only retreat from the stress of being in your house for the first time. They are being friendly and sweet and all the good, polite things you’re supposed to do in someone’s house when you come for the first time of a budding friendship/relationship. The only place they can relax is the bathroom for those 3 - 5 minutes they are in there. It should be clean anyway, but it should be cleaned for their visit specifically. You’re telling them something about you through your actions - or inaction. In general, if you’re going to invite someone to your house for the first time you should be like the “white tornado” and clean the hell out of it. Maybe you think that means you’re hiding your “true self” but maybe it means you respect your guest too. Red Flag 11: The Roommate. We are making out on the overstuffed Victorian couch in the living room with scented candles burning and lights low. I hear the door rattling. “It’s my roommate,” she says, pulling a blanket over us as the door opens. A woman comes in. She looks at the floor obsequiously. “You know,” my girlfriend lectures her, “It’s after 11. You shouldn’t be out this late. You have college in the morning.” The girl mumbles something, smiles and goes to her room. I’m asking myself, “Are you her mother? Does she pay rent?” It turns out the room mate pays ALOT, a lot more than I would have expected to put up with abuse from another adult. Red Flag 12: A suspicious idea of privacy. In six months of dating I never once made it into her bedroom. That was her “private sanctuary”. It made me a little nervous. How much does someone trust you if you can’t even go into their bedroom? All the amorous activities took place on the couch where I always had one ear for the rattling doorknob and the embarrassed room mate who looked at the floor and and scurried to her room, or I had to hear, at the key moment, “Don’t get it on the couch! Don’t get it on the couch!”. This is NOT what you want to hear at the penultimate moment of lovemaking. Also what you don’t want to hear at that tender, trembling moment when you are working down the straps of her blouse over her shoulders for the very first time and she looks up at you shyly and says, “I don’t do anal and you can forget about blow jobs.”. There’s a MAJOR red flag when the first thing someone says about sex is what they WON’T do. I began to realize that I hadn’t spent enough time in discussion before getting in this deeply. Red Flag 13: The books. The books your paramour has on the shelf and lying around tell you things about them. While I can’t stand that execrably written “50 Shades of Gray”, I am guessing you have to put up with it because it’s so ubiquitous. But you would think it might lead to an interesting and provocative discussion. But no. And under it was “The Art of the Deal”. “My parents sent me that,” she said, hurriedly, “They are huge Trump supporters”. As an aside I had had the misfortune of meeting her parents once. Slim, ascetic and ramrod straight, they reminded me exactly of Joseph and Magda Goebbels. For two hours over dinner I listened to them extol the “glorious Trump victory” while I died inside. When he said, “Trump will make those Blacks and Latins) toe the line. Finally.” I could almost see the black and silver swastika at his neck. In my mind I replaced the slurs for Blacks and Latins with the word “Jew”. I wish now I had just gotten up and walked out. She was a Trump supporter too, a cowardly Trump supporter, not capable of standing up and saying what she believed in because she feared ridicule. It was one of the straws the broke the camel’s back. When something important is happening, silence is a lie. If you have to hide enormous parts of yourself from others it should be a signal that something is wrong. Either you’re not being true to yourself or you’re lying to them. Red Flag 14: The money. You know, when you are first going out, you don’t really discuss finances that much. It’s more personal than sex. The guy buys dinner, maybe flowers and wine and over time you think there will be a balance of payments. And then you talk about it because you’re getting more serious. But, after dinner and lovemaking on the couch, when you’re staggering out the door to your car at 2AM and she kisses you good bye and her last words are, “You owe me $15.47 for the food” then you REALLY, REALLY need to reconsider what the HELL you are doing there in the first place. To the fucking PENNY. Every time. There’s a corollary of Murphy’s Law that says the more you tinker with something in an attempt to improve it, the sooner you will break it permanently. In the end I was so desperate to be in a relationship that I was twisting myself into all kinds of pretzels to make it work. The thing that finally made me snap was when she chastised me MIGHTILY for asking her to fill the parking meter while I parked the car. She was a bright, fun, decent person to do things with and be with but in the end the complete dissolution and mean-spirited entitlement and penury made it impossible for me to spend even one more minute there. When it was over, all I felt was relief and I was astonished I had been bottling up and repressing all my objections all that time. I slept well that night for the first time in months.

What would happen if one A-10 Warthog was teleported to Medieval times with a pilot, infinite ammo, fuel, and ordnance (On England's side)?

I admire Richard Lock’s answer - very realistic. I wonder if the poster might have been hoping for a different take (with thanks and inspiration to the same Richard Lock). 1. Josh stopped sucking the air between his clenched teeth. He couldn’t pick up a response on any communication bands, and there was no GPS signal on his Garmin watch. He gently eased his A-10 Warthog, whom he christened “Diablo”, to 300 feet so he could get a closer look at the landscape. On the nose of Diablo was an appropriately painted maw full of large, sharp teeth. Red eyes and flared spikes complemented the artistic vision overlaid around the deadly auto-cannon that was the A-10’s most feared asset. Fifteen minutes ago he’d been flying a routine USAF patrol in Afghanistan at around 1400 hours, at an elevation of 2000 feet - mostly a show of continued presence and force to deter ISIS’ return. When the loopy light show and fireworks suddenly popped up around him he acted instinctively, pulling a hard right, shooting off chaff and flares. He braced himself for impacts that never came. The lights and explosions around him disappeared just as suddenly, to be replaced by an opaque, dark, amorphous form about 50 feet in front of him. He braced himself again and, instinctively, cut loose a burst from the auto-cannon, thinking to weaken the structure of whatever was about to crash into Diablo’s nose. Again - nothing. And then he found himself….”here”. A strangely dressed civilian, a goat herder, unlike any he had seen around Kandahar lately, ran away from Josh’s plane, forgetting the flock of goats that scattered in all directions. This was a little strange given that the “civvies” were accustomed to the American presence nowadays. If anything Josh was pretty certain he was up North, in Canada or Germany, maybe England, judging by the dramatic change in landscape from the sand dunes and roughly hewn mountains he was used to seeing. He didn’t think there were any small scale, individual goat farming operations in existence at this stage. He had already determined that this wasn’t a hallucination. He wasn’t sleeping. And while he believed in God he was a pragmatic realist - this wasn’t Heaven. Otherwise his first child would be sitting on his lap and they’d be reading bedtime stories. He blinked away some dust in his eyes. He had remembered, from an episode of “Batman Adventures” that dreams interfered with reading. You could never clearly read words in a dream. But everything in sight was sharply defined, everything in his cockpit behaved logically, and, moreover, he could read clearly and legibly all the words around him. As he scanned his readouts, he noted a few strange things. First - no fuel consumption. He’d been airborne for over 20 minutes. He knew that Brody and Mike, his A-10 maintenance crew leaders, were top notch and would not have missed such a critical facet of their job. He hoped that he wasn’t damaged during the strange transit he had undertaken from Afghanistan to wherever he was currently. Second - his HUDs and readouts were either behaving strangely, or totally normally. Anything digital, that received data from external links, was not working. There were various error codes on display he thought he’d never see after training. Anything analogue, mostly the backups, were perfectly normal. Altitude - check. Pitch and yaw, double check. According to the results of his quick situational checklist, using the backup dials, Diablo was 100% normal. Finally - ammo - not one single round used from his GAU-8 Avenger. Not one flare or chaff stash consumed. Again, very nice, all things considered. He noticed a large plume of smoke, maybe a sand devil, about 5 miles away. He turned Diablo in that direction and pushed his throttle forward. If he wasn’t using any fuel up he might as well see what’s happening and try to get his bearings he reasoned. 2. Lord Barstow of Norwick, Baron of Crestwick Fields, 2nd Duke of Lincoln, marshalled his forces once more. He bellowed with a confidence he did not feel inside. He was in charge of a deteriorating situation. His liege’s army had been cut off, slain or fled with their morale in tatters. Lord Barstow was one of the few remaining defenders of King Stephen of Blois. The remainder held a desperate line in front of castle and lands, against a superior invading force led by Robert of Gloucester. Robert’s Angevin Knights were cutting a wide swath towards the king. Lord Barstow’s forces were about to be crushed as the Welsh infantry strode forward. Their ally, Alan of Penthievre was watching his forces melt under a systematic barrage from Welsh crossbows. Lord Barstow heard an unholy scream from above joining his own hoarse voice at the exact moment he committed himself, and his remaining troops to a forward charge. He saw the Welsh line shudder as one, then flee before him. Alan, 1st Earl of Richmond, saw a break in the barrage of deadly quarrels and, ignoring the cacophony around him, spurred his troops into a charge. It was their only chance to counter the crossbows and pikes that had been decimating their numbers. Bloody butchering chaos, and shouts mingled with a dull roar from overhead. 3. Josh saw a castle in the distance so he climbed to 1000 feet and took a slight turn to go around it. He caught a good look at a pitched battle as he got closer to the source of the smoke, about 1/2 mile away. He eased up on the throttle for a better look. He didn’t like what he saw - a bully. A large force of armed men were cutting up a smaller force that had formed a crumbling perimeter about 50 yards in front of a smoking castle. Corpses, soldiers and civilians alike, body parts, horses thrashing wildly on their last breath, were haphazardly littered. He didn’t know where he was but he did know what he didn’t like to see. It’s why he signed up for duty after his first child died. It’s why he was proud to fight for what he believed in after he and his wife separated, each dealing with the tragic turn of events in their own way. He flew over the castle and started to setup a loiter pattern over the battle, about 550 feet high. At that altitude, with his keen eyes and training, it was relatively easy to pick out the bullies. They were organized in three engagement fronts. He flew a tight circle and pointed Diablo downwards. His first auto cannon burst shredded a dirty line beside a picket of soliders with spears and what looked like crucifixes. As he passed low overhead he noticed they were carrying crossbows. What the heck was going on here? He had a quick, paranoid, premonition that he was breaking up a Medieval Recreationists Society event, or perhaps, one of those “LARPing” gatherings Brody attended on his downtime. He shook the thoughts from his head. He had seen dying before, first hand from the air, and he recognized it on the grassy fields and cobble stoned road in front of the castle. This was as real and visceral as any battle he had witnessed. The only difference was the equipment and sides. On his second pass he drew another cratered line on the opposite side of those same forces, causing more disarray and stupor. He noticed the smaller mass of the defenders engaging spearmen and crossbow archers. He noted limbs and weapons fly with equal abandon. He concentrated on the last knot of conflict, changing his loiter pattern and altitude to get a better look of the situation. 3. Lord Barstow’s face was covered in brains and blood. Thankfully it was the enemy’s and not his nor his retinue’s. He didn’t know where the dragon came from, but willingly accepted a fervent belief that it was sent to bolster King Stephen’s forces. A more cynical side of him piped in, saying it was just saving them all for hors d’oeuvres. He choose to ignore his internal gremlins, as he called the voice, in order to concentrate on routing the Welsh forces in front of him. The dragon screamed loudly again, belching fire and destruction into the Knights of Angevin who had chopped their way within 20 feet of King Stephen’s standard. Metal clad bodies, heavy war horses, were thrown into the air. They lay still, or twitching, as the dragon passed overhead, turning gracefully, but quickly, to make another run. Lord Barstow noted that King Stephen, a deeply religious leader, was now smiling, almost maniacally, probably also choosing to believe that the dragon was fighting for their cause, and was not a simple ravening scourge. Barstow screamed himself hoarse that afternoon, fear mingling with religious devotion. 4. The battle had ended in a bloody rout. Victory sprang forth from the slimmest of coincidences and miracles. Josh had just managed to land Diablo on the long, rough cobblestone path. It took some doing but Diablo had managed well enough. Josh was brought up alongside his vehicle, before the king. He could barely understand the language - it sounded almost like English but was functionally unrecognizable. His own responses drew puzzled stares, punctuated by the occasional look of near recognition. But the cheers from the king, and other mounted nobles - Brody’d once described this type of character in great detail during a particularly long deployment - gave Josh a measure of confidence in his safety. But he still had questions. A tall blonde, willowy and graceful, rode up with a heavily armed retinue. Josh instinctively ran his calloused hand through his thick brown hair and smoothed out his flight uniform… 5. Decades passed. Josh reflected on his marriage to King Stephen’s secret daughter, and the highs and lows of Medieval life. Diablo was the benevolant dragon that guarded the castle, and its lands, from deep within a nearby forest. In reality Diablo was lovingly worshipped like a religious statue by the simple peasants, while the aristocrats and nobility grudgingly recognized its usefulness as deterrent, symbol, and political influence alongside Josh’s considerable mystery. He had been instrumental in being an active participant at King Stephen’s side during the early years. Near the end of the campaign the mere mention of the Dragon of Lincoln, along with the support of many traumatized witnesses and prisoners of war, gave King Stephen all the clout required to secure his seat of power. King Stephen had granted Josh titles, land, but retained him at all times at Castle Lincoln with their close friend Lord Barstow. The Baron of Crestwick Fields was delighted to be the second home of Joshua, King Stephen’s daughter Wyonna, and their brood. While their presence provided a continual supply of political clout and influence, Lord Barstow considered Joshua an agent of Heaven, an avatar given mortal form, a brother from another mother. Josh had been instrumental in setting up King Stephen and his lineage as the defacto power in England. The king’s daughter, kept secret for political reasons, enjoyed life with Josh and was perhaps the most keenly aware that despite their vast differences - some she understood, others she didn’t - he was a good and just man. Their children had a privileged childhood and Josh seemed to be a most helpful husband and noble. Unlike the others he took a very active role in raising the children and turned out to be very capable with a guitar.. …. Epilogue Reality bends, matter touching its neighbour at a torturous frequency. “Satisfaction noted?” says a bottomless voice, deeper than Time itself. “Curious,” comes the reply in a flicker of photons. “Manifest destiny or byline of causation?” inquires deeper than Time itself. “Neither. Return forbidden. Carry forth,” is the beating response. Reality silently screams for a moment, before all is still once more.

Will the protests in Hong Kong devolve into a revolutionary war?

“Will the protests in Hong Kong devolve into a revolutionary war?”, - Not fricking likely. The “black shirts” certainly look the part of the scary modern insurgent, don’t they. They’re dressed all in black, have helmets and gas masks, some of them even wear hockey pads or something that resembles kevlar (probably from some airsoft/wargame venue). All that’s missing are them chanting “Allahu akbar” and holding AK-47s. And that’s the point. You need real guns to start a war. Do not be misled by Hong Kong movies and crime dramas - guns are actually banned in the city, and it’s nearly impossible for anyone, even the criminals, to find one. No one but the cops are allowed to carry them in public, and they are not allowed to discharge their firearms at will, which is why there have been so few shots fired even after all that’s happened. If this was any place else, like the United States, dozens would have been shot and killed by now. What about explosives? Sure there are pipe bombs, they're not that hard or expensive to make, but they’re also not very effective. Much of the time they just don’t set off at all. Its use is more psychological than practical, and also have the unwanted effect of turning the common people against its users (people tend to get scared by things that go boom), which is not what these rioters are looking for. That brings us to the next point. Wining the hearts and minds of the common people is essential to guerilla warfare, something the black shirts are becoming worse and worse at. When the whole extradition bill saga first started, everybody was on the side of the protests. Two million took to the streets in June, and not a window was smashed - that’s peak Hong Kong. But then, a more radical splinter group formed, and they got violent and vocal. Stores smashed, metro stations torched, people beat up and doxxed, public property vandalised with paint and worse, Molotov cocktails becoming a more common sight, telling lies and spreading rumours that are so ridiculous they’re borderline hilarious....all of this comes as a shock to most people, as this used to be one of Asia's safest cities. Needless to say, people are getting fed up with all this. And I think even western media is beginning to catch on: (best interview I’ve seen in a while) What about leadership? Strong and effective leadership can do wonders, even for a losing army. Interestingly, the black shirts have no central command. It is leaderless. They see someone post something on forums like LIHKG, they follow suit. Think “Storm Area 51”, but lame. This might be an advantage in some way, as you cannot cut off the head of a headless snake. It’ll not help them win any wars, but it does make them a tougher nut to crack. As for wartime logistics…well, Hong Kong has no shortage of human resources, but it is lacking in every natural resource imaginable. It produces little water, barely any food, and relies on China for most of its daily necessities. It is also primarily a financial hub, meaning there are few factories or farmsteads around. That makes the city extremely vulnerable in times of war, which is why unlike neighboring Singapore, Hong Kong depends on external (i.e. not from the city itself) forces for military defense in the first place. Alright, suppose the black shirts somehow manage to massacre the PLA garrisoned in the city, Red Wedding style. Victory to the people! Right? Wrong. Closing off trade with China, or being blockaded by the Chinese navy for just one day, would be enough to drive people towards cannibalism. And if you think daddy Trump is gonna save the day, with the 7th Fleet leading the charge, ho ho ho, you’ve got another thing coming! And finally, the rioters themselves. It is quite fitting that they are now known as “cockroaches” by those less sympathetic to their cause. For those of you who have never seen a cockroach before (I’m told they’re a bit of a rarity in Kansas and Scotland), they are annoying creatures that will ruin everything they touch and quickly gather in large groups if left undisturbed, but one quick movement from you and they scurry away…”like roaches”. They’re nothing like wasps, who fight back hard. Watch any video on Youtube where police clash with rioters. Rioters scurry away as soon as tear gas is fired, or cops in riot gear start advancing. They’ve taken to a more “flash mob” style of rioting (快閃), cause a scene somewhere, flee, gather some place else, cause another scene, repeat. I dunno about you, but I see roaches, not warriors. They’re pretty proficient at beating up old people and terrorising business owners, though. All in all, the whole thing has just become a joke that has outlasted its welcome. No, I don’t think there will be war, just more mindless destruction that gradually dies down as the rioters lose support.

What are some interesting but little-known facts about past US presidents?

1. George Washington Washington was an ultra-successful liquor distributor in the new country. He made rye whiskey, apple brandy and peach brandy in his Mount Vernon distillery. 2. John Adams Adams and Thomas Jefferson were close friends and correspondents — but they also had a bit of a rivalry. Adams' dying words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives," unaware that he had died hours earlier. In another shocker, both died on July 4, 1826. 3. Thomas Jefferson Jefferson and John Adams paid a visit to William Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1786. There, they chipped off a piece from Shakespeare's chair as a souvenir. 4. James Madison James Madison was Princeton University's first graduate student. 5. James Monroe Monrovia, the capital of the Liberia, is named after James Monroe. He supported the American Colonization Society in its work to create a home for freed slaves in Liberia. 6. John Quincy Adams During his presidency, John Quincy Adams enjoyed skinny-dipping in the Potomac River in the early mornings. 7. Andrew Jackson Jackson was involved in as many as 100 duels, most of which were fought to defend the honor of his wife, Rachel. He was shot in the chest in a duel in 1806 and took a bullet in the arm in a bar fight with Missouri Sen. Thomas Hart Benton in 1813. 8. Martin Van Buren Van Buren's nickname was "Old Kinderhook" because he was raised in Kinderhook, N.Y. A popular theory states that the term "O.K." is derived from the O.K. clubs that sprung up to support his campaign. 9. William H. Harrison Democrats ran a smear campaign during Harrison's campaign that tried to cast him as an out-of-touch old fogey who would rather "sit in his log cabin, drinking hard cider" than run the country. Harrison one-upped the haters by adopting the log cabin and hard cider as campaign symbols. He even commissioned bottles of hard cider shaped like log cabins. 10. John Tyler John Tyler had 15 children, more than any other president. 11. James K. Polk Here's one for the underdogs. James Polk, nicknamed "Young Hickory," was America's first dark horse presidential candidate. He was considered a Plan B after the more likely choice, Martin Van Buren, failed to secure the party's nomination. 12. Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor was a tough guy — a major general in the U.S. Army and hero of the Mexican-American War. But oddly enough, what brought him down in the end was a glass of milk and some cherries that he enjoyed on July 4, 1850. The cherries were likely contaminated with bacteria that caused his death by cholera five days later. 13. Millard Fillmore Millard Fillmore lived the dream of many a teenage schoolboy. Fillmore's first wife, Abigail Powers, was his teacher while he was a 19-year-old student at the New Hope Academy in New York. 14. Franklin Pierce Pierce had a tough time guiding the nation and perhaps an even tougher time guiding his horse. During his presidency, Pierce was arrested for running over a woman with his horse. Charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence. 15. James Buchanan James Buchanan regularly bought slaves in Washington, D.C. and quietly freed them in Pennsylvania. 16. Abraham Lincoln Get ready to rumble: Abraham Lincoln could throw down in the wrestling ring. As a young man, he was only defeated once out of approximately 300 matches. He made it to the Wrestling Hall of Fame with the honor of "Outstanding American." 17. Andrew Johnson In his youth, Johnson apprenticed as a tailor. Even as president, he never stopped making his own suits. 18. Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant smoked a ton of cigars — at least 20 a day. After a great military victory at the Battle of Shiloh, citizens sent him more than 10,000 boxes of cigars as gratitude. He died of throat cancer in 1885. 19. Rutherford B. Hayes Hayes was the only president to be wounded in the Civil War — not once, but four times. Four horses were shot down from beneath him (ouch). 20. James A. Garfield Not only was Garfield ambidextrous — he could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other ,at the same time,. 21. Chester A. Arthur Chester A. Arthur was known for his impeccable attire, earning him the nickname "Elegant Arthur." On his last day in office, four women offered him their hands in marriage. Also, he owned 80 pairs of pants. 22. Grover Cleveland While serving as sheriff of Erie County, N.Y., Grover Cleveland had to spring the trap at a hanging on two occassions. This earned him the unflattering nickname "Buffalo Hangman." 23. Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House. However, he was so scared of getting electrocuted that he would never touch the light switches himself. 24. Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland's epithelium, a small tumor that was removed from the roof of his mouth, resides at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. 25. William McKinley William McKinley almost always wore a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm. While greeting a line of people in 1901, he gave the flower to a little girl. Seconds later, he was shot by an assassin, and died eight days later. 26. Theodore Roosevelt Teddy Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt while delivering a speech in Milwaukee. "I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot," he told the stunned audience. "I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap." He completed the 90-minute speech with the bullet still lodged in his chest. 27. William H. Taft William Taft — also known as "Big Bill" — was the largest president in American history. He once got himself wedged into the White House bathtub and had to call his advisers for help getting out. 28. Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson's face is on the $100,000 bill, which very few have ever laid hands on. The bills were mainly designed for trade between between Federal Reserve banks, but fell out of use with the invention of the wire transfer. They still work as legal tender, but good luck finding someone who can break the change for you. 29. Warren G. Harding At 25, Warren married a divorcée, Florence "Flossie" Mabel Kling DeWolf. She was five years older with a 10-year-old son from a former marriage. Flossie's father once threatened to kill Harding if he married his daughter, but she pursued him relentlessly until he gave in. Girl power! 30. Calvin Coolidge If you thought ,you ,had a tough boss, think again. Calvin Coolidge would occasionally press all the buttons in the Oval Office, sending bells ringing throughout the White House — and then hide to watch his staff run in. He just wanted to see who was working. 31. Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover's son had two pet alligators, which were occasionally permitted to run loose throughout the White House. 32. Franklin D. Roosevelt Rooselvelt's wife, Eleanor, was actually his fifth cousin. She was also the niece of Theodore Roosevelt, FDR's idol and U.S. president No. 26. They married on March 17, 1905. 33. Harry S. Truman The "S" in Truman's full name doesn't stand for anything. His parents couldn't decide on a middle name for over a month, so they settled on the letter "S" in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young, and his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman. 34. Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower played a big role in popularizing golf. He installed a putting green at the White House and played more than 800 rounds while in office — exceeding the record of any other president. He holds a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement Category. 35. John F. Kennedy JFK was a huge James Bond fan. He first met the author of the series, Ian Fleming, at a dinner party in 1960. They allegedly bounced around ideas about how to get rid of Fidel Castro. 36. Lyndon B. Johnson LBJ wasn't scared to show off his, err, Johnson — he nicknamed his penis "Jumbo." According to biographer Robert Dallek, Johnson met with a reporter who asked him multiple times why American troops were in Vietnam. In response, Johnson unzipped his pants, pulled out "Jumbo," and yelled, "This is why!" 37. Richard M. Nixon In China, the most well-known Western names are Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon. 38. Gerald R. Ford Gerald Ford worked as a fashion model during college, appearing on the cover of ,Cosmopolitan,. 39. Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter filed a report for a UFO sighting in 1973. He called it “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen.” 40. Ronald Reagan In 1940, the University of California bestowed Reagan with the Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure Award. The prize was the opportunity to pose nearly nude for an art class learning to sculpt the human body. 41. George H. W. Bush On Sept. 2, 1944, Bush was flying over Japan when his aircraft was shot down in the Pacific. Bush and another crewman were able to bail out, but the other man's parachute malfunctioned, and he went down with the plane. Bush was eventually rescued by a submarine off the coast of Chichi-jima. 42. Bill Clinton It wasn't just Clinton's southern charm that did it for the ladies. His face is so symmetrical — an important component of human attractiveness — that he ranked in facial symmetry alongside male models. 43. George W. Bush "Dubya" garnered the media attention with his frat boy past, but he also has a more wholesome side (aside from painting, that is). During his senior year of high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Bush was captain of the cheerleading team. 44. Barack Obama Obama's high school nickname on the basketball team was "Barry O'Bomber," which he earned due to his awesome jump shot. 45. Donald Trump He Would Never Admit He Was Wrong One of young Donald's more "braggadocious" qualities was his complete and total unwillingness to admit his own error. Friends recall him doubling down on incorrect information rather than admitting defeat. In one particular instance of this behavior, The Donald incorrectly referred to professional wrestler Antonino Rocca as Rocky Antonino.

Is there a risk that we will have a second wave of coronavirus cases when we open the economy?

No, at global level we will not witness the second wave. Second wave can occur only when we finish the first one. Do you thing that will happen any time soon? Not at least before we develope vaccine, in my opinion. It started in Nov in China, then it touched Italy, spain and Germany, entire Europe I must say. They were followed by North America and South America. Then it came to Asia and we can see what is happening in Asia too. Gradually it has taken entire world under its control and not letting even one country get out of it, not even the country where it originated. China has been fighting with this demon for almost 6 months now. Cases had reduced in China and Singapore however the moment they gave some relief, the number of cases have gone up again. So has the first wave finished and second started? Not really, the fact is that they were not done with the first wave and announced the victory too early, especially China. Similarly, we will witness a country or the other keep struggling and first wave will continue. This is world right now and the countries with beige color are still to be painted to red, in first wave. The only option to finish it at a global level is to develop a vaccine as soon as we can. Until the vaccine comes, we can only try to opt social distancing as a part of our daily lives and try to run whatever businesses we can run with relatively lesser risk. This answer is for global situation and not specific to one country. At a country level we can expect second wave once the first ends.

What are your predictions for Game of Thrones season 7 based on the latest trailer?

**Spoilers ahead** First off, I am sooooo stoked right now; July 16th cannot come soon enough. When I got the notification on my devices I damn near squealed with joy and went on to watch it more times than Cersei’s bitchface smirks in every episode. Right, so let’s analyze this sucker frame-by-frame. I really wish it was available in 1080p or 4K, 720p is kind of janky especially when it comes to low light conditions. But alas, we will have to make do with what we’re given. And go… 0:06 ,- Cersei starts things off by narrating; the very first shot is almost certainly Cersei (look at that swagger and haircut) rocking a new furry get-up and sauntering up to something blue and green. My first thought was Dorne but I now believe it to be the giant ass map of Westeros we see later. 0:08 - “Enemies to the East.” ,Grey Worm standing in a field surrounded by his Unsullied prepared to lead an offensive. 0:09 - “Enemies to the West.” We can clearly see Duskendale and underneath ‘ROS’ is clear, which we can infer to be Rosby. I don’t know if Cersei just has a shitty understanding of geography or if it’s simply an unrelated panning shot of the painted table but clearly the areas shown are ,not ,west of King’s Landing but northeast. Perhaps it is in reference to the earlier shot of Grey Worm and crew which comes after she says, “Enemies to the East.” 0:11 ,- Herein comes an interesting bit. Right after the part about enemies in the west we catch sight of a ship cutting through a stormy sea. At first thought it would seem pretty obvious that she's referring to Euron. We already know he is on his way from the Iron Islands (which are west of KL). The boat itself is the fascinating part, specifically the prow figurehead/bowsprit. It definitely isn't a kraken and almost looks to be a dragon's head. This 'dragon' imagery is furthered by the almost wing-like triangular studding sails sticking out to both port and starboard. Then there's a flash of lightning which reveals the kraken sigil on the staysail. So it could very well be Euron. Perhaps building some dragon-y ships to impress Dany if his big cock isn't enough? 0:13 - “Enemies to the South.” ,Not very important but it clearly shows the Vale of Arryn on the painted table. Maybe to drive home that the Vale has 100% sided with the North against the Iron Throne? 0:18 - “Enemies to the North.”, We get a shot of Arya riding solo through the woods. Probably still in the Riverlands (we see similar trees and woods in Season 2 as Jaime and Brienne are making their way through these parts). And I think it's pretty obvious she's headed to Winterfell this season. *Note this is before her new outfit upgrade we see in some of the season 7 photos. 0:20, - Cersei and Jaime standing on a HUGE map of Westeros. That thing is awesome! It looks like they are in the Red Keep given the architecture and stone. Probably a continuation shot from the very beginning of the trailer. 0:25 - "We will defeat it.", There is a shot of the Lannister army marching, pretty intimidating. Afterwards we get a view of the throne room and things look more than a little tense; there's a great shot of the new Lannister lion above the throne that has replaced the seven-pointed star. We see her meeting with someone. Judging from the following scene and the short hair, this figure seems like it probably belongs to Iron Banker Tycho Nestoris, who has confirmed he will play a major role in the new season. Could he be calling in those debts the Lannisters love to pay (before they were broke af, that is)? *Edit: I’ve also seen it suggested that the mysterious person ,could ,be Euron who in some leaked photos is sporting a similar cropped hair-do. I guess the jury is out on this one. I’ll call it either Tycho or Euron, either way one or both ‘Lannisters that count’ are going to be unhappy. 0:27 - "We're the last Lannisters...", Jaime's face is the opposite of pleased in this shot. Could he finally be realizing what an absolute monster his sister/lover is? It’s pretty close to the glum look he had at the end of season 6. So I would say yes but directly following we see Cersei's face and she looks equally wroth. Maybe they got some bad news instead? 0:31 - "...the last ones who count.", Then we see a rather awestruck/concerned Tyrion standing on the edge of a cliff when a second later three gigantic dragons shoot upwards. Seriously, they are ENORMOUS! 0:35, - Dany's arrival at Dragonstone. The gates open dramatically and one can see the Targaryen three-headed dragon still adorning the castle; she takes over narration. Is it just me or does Dragonstone look a LOT LOT LOT nicer than it did the last time we were there? Before it was so dark and drab and ick. Now it looks kinda inviting. Anyways, Dany poignantly touches the ground in an, 'Ohemgee this is really happening!' moment. She's seated on the throne in ,0:45, in a similar shot to the one we got in the season 7 promo. 0:48, - The Unsullied rushing in. Pan out and the Lannister everything is very blatantly visible spanning across the top of the arch with the crest placed right at the crown. Looks like we will be taking a trip to Casterly Rock this season! 0:52, - Jon is King in the North, it is known. We can also make out Brienne’s lovely blonde head sitting at the table safely back in Winterfell. She is notably absent from this particular spot at the close of season 6 when Jon is declared KiTN. I guess these people just keep up the chant until Brienne comes back? 0:54 - "Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand…" ,Littlefinger slithers into the trailer talking at Sansa. This shot lines up almost exactly with the season 7 photo of the two of them, indicating there will be a lot of plotting from the shadows as per typical Littlefinger. Clearly the former is scrambling to create a rift between the two cousins. Back to his oily games in a moment... 0:56, - A gate opens. Judging from the icy corridor and thickness it is clearly The Wall. Is Bran being let in or someone(s) being let out? 0:57, - Theon standing horrified amidst fiery chaos aboard what looks to be a ship. It makes sense because a naval battle between the Greyjoy siblings and their uncle has been rumored. 0:58-9, - Melisandre is back at Dragonstone (guess she teleported using some fire magic) watching what appears to be Dany's party approaching. I think it is Dany's party because there is one figure that is quite a bit shorter than the rest which can only be Tyrion. 1:01, - A small group of people obviously north of The Wall running up to what looks to be a frozen lake. 1:03, - Arya tending a fire. I think this shot is particularly interesting because of its angle. It almost looks like it is meant to be through the eyes of an animal watching her. Could this be right before she's reunited with Nymeria? Rumor has it the two will cross paths again this season. Similar camera angles are used when Bran is seeing the world through the eyes of Summer (RIP). 1:04, - Our group from earlier (there are 12 of them) band together and form a defensive circle with weapons drawn. There's something coming. White Walkers are a guarantee. As the snow blows fiercely Ser Davos takes up the narration torch. 1:07, ,- "If we don't put aside our enmities and band together, we will die.", Truer words. Then BOOM we see Littlefinger sulking about with that slimy smirk. 1:09, - Enter Dothraki 'screamers'. Boy do they look badass balancing on those saddles. They are slaying what appear to be Lannister soldiers, though it is difficult to tell for certain. 1:10, - Ship battle! One ship is on fire and being boarded so again it's likely Theon is in the middle of all this. 1:13, - Dany and Tyrion examining Stannis's old painted table, nothing more to see here. 1:14, - The zombie Mountain is sporting some new armor and ready to crush some skulls or just rip off some heads. 1:15, - It took a few runs of watching the trailer to decipher that this is one of the gangplanks used to board enemy ships in medieval naval warfare. More shots of the major sea battle. 1:17, - Jon slams that plotting bastard, Littlefinger, into the wall in a confrontation taking place in the crypts of Winterfell. And he looks preeeeetty pissed. Cool side note… Lyanna Stark’s statue appears in the background when Jon first gut punches Littlefinger. Here it is in season 5 for comparison. It’s deff mummy dearest. 1:18, - Back to the Unsullied! They are battling Lannister soldiers. Again we are probably at Casterly Rock. 1:19, - Arya snooping around somewhere. It is nighttime and looks pretty deserted. In the background we see something rectangular and metal. No clue where this is. 1:20, - A hand emerges from a box or hole in the door? It's scaly and dark. I've seen some people theorize this is a wight hand but I think it more likely belongs to Ser Jorah and shows the spread of his greyscale. The arm in question also happens to be a leftie. Jorah’s greyscale begins on his left arm. We then see the Dothraki riding in battle as badass as ever. Cut to Jon, Tormund, and other people we cannot make out clearly fleeing. It's safe to assume these men were the above mentioned party of 12 that goes trekking north. They appear to be running across a frozen lake judging by the uniform, icy flatness. 1:22, - A naked/topless Missandei takes of Grey Worm's shirt. Yara and Ellaria Sand share a moment. 1:23, - Back to the Dragonstone painted table. Someone knocks over a lion pawn. Obviously this represents the Lannisters. Upon closer examination it was resting upon the letters 'C' and 'A'. It's impossible to discern much more from 720p. *Edit: the person knocking the Lannister piece over appears to be none other than Tyrion judging by the small size. I can only assume they didn’t show his face because the raw satisfaction on his face would have made the internet explode. Right as the piece falls two figures dive into the water as an explosion can be scene reflecting above. Two survivors of the naval battle. Is one of them Theon? 1:26, - A huge sweeping shot of an army on horseback with a dragon flying overhead. If one looks closely, the silhouettes of arrakhs are apparent. This is Dany's khalasar with what clearly is Viserion (pale cream coloring) acting as overseer. *Edit: upon further examination I think the dragon in question might be Drogon as his belly and underside of his tail are pale? I thought he was a uniform black but apparently not. I’m still unclear as to which dragon this is. It doesn’t look dark enough to be Drogon and I can’t see anybody riding him. Either way it’s not Rhaegal. FADE TO BLACK. Jon: "The Great War ... is here." *Some spoilers below* So when combined with all the other little spoilers and hints for season 7 we’ve been giving we can confirm (again, this is just over what we see in the trailer): There is a big naval battle involving the Greyjoys (Euron vs. his niece and nephew). The outcome from the trailer is unclear but from some leaked set photos and based on an interview with actor Pilou Asbæk, Euron emerges victorious. As Ellaria and Yara are together, this could mean certain doom for both the Sand Snakes ,and ,Yara. Dany is at Dragonstone and sets up her HQ making use of Stannis’s painted table. Hopefully she brought some Clorox wipes along given what happened in that spot back in season 2. Yuck. Arya journeys up North to Winterfell and reunites with Nymeria. Again this is based off of an tweet showing an animal actor aside from Ghost that is also playing a dire wolf. ,Arya Could Reunite With Nymeria on ‘Game of Thrones,’ But What About Her Kill List? Dany’s forces sack Casterly Rock and at some point a huge battle in the field (with dragons) ensues. No clue what comes after or if she holds onto her good fortune. But taking into account more photos from season 7, such calls to mind the ‘Field of Fire’ back in the days of Aegon the Conquerer. Littlefinger is going to try and pit Jon and Sansa against each other, presumably scrabbling to save his own skin and achieve his end game. At some point there is a confrontation between Jon and Littlefinger. Could his scheming have finally hit a wall? Let’s hope. Melisandre is back in Dragonstone which could be bad for her. Dany will not recognize her but Tyrion knew about Stannis and his Red Priestess. No doubt he will be able to put two and two together and figure out her identity. She could be the one who tells them about Stannis’s downfall and the Stark reclamation of Winterfell. This could be bad for her because Jon and Davos could potentially be heading to Dragonstone if the leaked set photos are any indication. Davos and Jon will be less than happy to see her so no clue where that will go… Cersei continues to plot and smirk (seriously, someone slap that off her face) while Jaime grows more discontent but remains by her side. Yara and Ellaria hook up as do Missandei and Grey Worm. Jorah is still alive and the greyscale looks icky and stoneman-y. Jon and his bros (including Tormund) will venture north of The Wall. And all hell will break loose. This confirms the leaked set photos and rumors concerning a ‘frozen lake’. For the sake of not spoiling things, if you want to look up the significance of it go to the Reddit season 7 leaks. According to rumors/set photos this gang includes: Jon, Tormund, Gendry, Thoros of Myr, Jorah, Beric, and the Hound. That makes 7. Since we see 12 dudes clearly in the trailer the remaining 5 might be members of the Brotherhood. Coincidentally there are 5 other guys (besides Beric, Thoros, and the 3 about to be hanged) in the shot of the Brotherhood we see back in season 6. The character on the right in the trailer (at 3:00) appears to be wielding a war hammer which Gendry is rumored to be doing in season 7. Well, that’s all I deciphered from it and based on the trailer season 7 looks every bit as awesome as I thought.

What is your biggest achievement in life?

“Mom, how do these authors write so well.”, I asked my mom while reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roal Dahl. “They use their brain.”, She replied. “How do I use my brain? Where is my brain? Nobody gave me a brain.”, I insisted. She burst out laughing at my plight. Not done mom! Almost 10 years down the line, today I have a book published under Scholastic India in my name. We have named it ,‘The Pastel Sky’,. When I look up at the sky these days, I see dreams. I see colours just as if the sky is a blank canvas, and nature has graced it with her beautiful paintings. What is the colour of your sky? The sky being blue When your heart is raging red The pastel colours you see When someone tickles you in pink. Or, is it a bit green, When you recall that moment in the cold mountain spring? My sky is just the right shade of pastel…..an everlasting equilibrium. Not too bright, not too light….just soft like a feather. The sky is really pastel hun? From writing to publishing and then promoting, we have come a long way. As this short journey is nearing its end, I can just say that for a person who loves to write, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing your own name printed on the pages. Desire, distress, acceptance, a tinge of love, and then finally an unsaid goodbye! My story has it all. Last week, I got to hold my book in my hands. It was my creation! My art! My words! I am proud of it! Scholastic India conveyed their best wishes and appreciation to me through a lovely letter. I got my own visiting card, verifying me as an author at the age of 14. As my father held the book in his hands, there was a certain sense of mighty pride in his eyes. A man who rarely smiles was grinning from ear to ear that day “I am 41, I don’t own a visiting card. My daughter is 14. She does.”, My mother said, holding my business card in her hands. Suddenly, all the hectic days, messy hair, strenuous meetings, and brutal writer blocks seemed worth it. I needed nothing more! Ahhhhhh! Don’t smile at me like that, my heart flutters! I often look at my happy parents staring at my printed name and think, “They wrote my life, and then I wrote a book.” This book of mine has been a source of constant smile and pride to my family. I touched the feet of every elder, seeking their blessings as they almost burst into tears of happiness. Feels surreal :) Now that I look back, I have learnt to understand that materialistic achievements will come and go and that the happiness that we get from them is momentary. The greatest achievement I have had so far is the fact that I have made a lot of people smile :) Listen to these words I say I swear they are the truth There's a love I feel deep inside And its because if you I wanted you to know my love Each and every day So each morning just as you wake up It puts a smile there on your face Just smile, smile, smile Every single day Smile, smile, smile You make my world a better place Smile, smile, smile A love that is so true Smile, smile, smile I smile because of you You make my life more beautiful Just being who you are Never let that go away Keep a smile there in your heart A love that fills your inner soul It’s what I give to you I hope you truly understand How you fill my heart too Just smile, smile, smile Every single day Smile, smile, smile You make my world a better place Smile, smile, smile A love that is so true Smile, smile, smile I smile because of you P.S- We are launching this Monday, which is the 5th of April. You have to come! Join the live event on Facebook. Link in comments :) “Make your life such a story…that it never loses its glory”

How do people judge Colonel Jessep in the movie A Few Good Men? Was he really wrong to order Code Red to train a weak Marine?

I answered an almost identical question on this before (but not enough to merge the two): ,my answer to What do members of the U.S. Marine Corps think of the movie ,A Few Good Men,? A Few Good Men, can be summed up for ,U.S. Marine Corps, in the courtroom climax speech by Col. Jessup. You seriously need to watch it to get any of what I am about to say: The climax of the movie, the famous minute and half "You can't handle the truth" scene, is so loaded with theatrical and thematic nuggets of gold that it renders the rest of this great movie feel like a waste of time by comparison. I think that this movie it is a wonderful display of a subculture built on the mentalities of violence necessary for its success and survival, that is unable to coexist or to even be understood by the larger culture which birthed it. The first half of ,Full Metal Jacket, and ,Rules of Engagement, are also two great movies to get that experience. The premise of the movie is based off the murder of a young Marine. The progress of the movie goes into a very deep story that eventually leads to one Marine's death as a result of a secret disciplinary action, the "Code Red", a fictitious invention of the story’s creator of a secret disciplining of one of his weaker Marines. The Code Red was carried out by two junior Marines to forcibly improve one of their members. I even paused when I wrote murder. Murder wasn't the intention, but the outcome. This is an extreme example and of course we don't actually go this far in disciplining each other. We have at one time used various degrees of "off the books" discipline, but never in my time was physical violence part of that. I want that much on the record. In the end, Col. Jessup is arrested. The moral is fitting. Perhaps we can't defend America if we have to give up our humanity to do it. What's important though, is to see this from the Marine's point of view. Really this may be the view of any warrior in a country like America: sometimes we feel like we don't belong to our own society anymore. There is a point when you have been in long enough you start to realize that it takes some very difficult choices to be a Marine. You have to first get over this moral problem of killing people and that is just the start of the journey. Eventually you have to accept your role in life. Your very presence is something that, whether you fight or not, is meant to instill fear and demoralize anyone who would think about fighting the United States or harming its people from doing so. That is our purpose and to do so we have to be incredibly violent, scary men willing to do terrible things to people in order to protect that country, if only because of our reputation. But this isn't really acceptable behavior, not by normal people's standards. In ,my answer to Under what circumstances, if any, is war morally justifiable?, I touch on this (and actually reference this speech by Col. Jessup). My answer to that question was, ",A war is morally justifiable when the alternative to it is the destruction of your people or their way of life." ,Someone didn't like that answer. He asked me questions like: "Are we one species, one world, one genus, yes or no?" and "Just because their way of life is different?" and then decides "War is never morally justifiable, except when your very life, or the life of one of your children who are unable to defend themselves. War is deep rooted arrogance, greed, fear, nationalism and patriotism. And wrong. Just like Col Jessup. The walls defenders should stand on should be around their own homes. Not in some far off country. That's not defense, no matter how it's painted. It is either attack or revenge." This isn't war. It's ,self-defense,. I don't agree with him there. It is war, just one that isn't done very well and lacking any real chance of defending the ones you love. I responded: Yes, we are all the same species, however, we are not animals. We have cultures, religions, values, systems of law and different things that makes us enjoy life while add value to it. Each culture on Earth also enjoys the freedom to have all of these differently than anyone else. At the point that someone attacks not just me, not just my family, but other people like me, my country for example, then I am willing to make war on that person. This is a choice they made and the consequence of it. This is war, as a means of self-defense. But this is what you are missing, but the time that an enemy has already made their way to your homeland and endangered your family, they are already capable of inflicting ungodly amounts of harm on all the people around you. Furthermore, if you are just a guy on a roof with a gun protecting yourself from whatever might be out there, you will lose. You will be outmaneuvered. You will be targeted. You will be killed and your family along with you. You'd be the most morally justified victim in history, but you would be dead nonetheless. This isn't war, it's a form of suicide. This is why we have armies. This is why we have the Marine Corps. This is why we fight wars at our enemies' homeland and not our own. War must happen somewhere else if you don't want your own people to suffer, and quite honestly and fairly I don't want my people to suffer as much when there is the option to make war elsewhere. By the time someone is making war on you in your home it is already too late. That is why when we face a threat we handle it there. Frankly, it is the reasoning of a person who calls out the military, or rather those willing to protect you and everyone else you know, as arrogant, ignorant warmongers [he did]. This is not only ungrateful to the fullest degree, but the reasoning of a coward who is too afraid to defend himself and his loved ones while resting comfortably and verbally attacking those rougher men who do. Look. Whether you like to believe it or not, if you are using a computer that you own in a comfortable house, with internet connection, and you have the time to write your opinions, you are better off than at least 90% of the world. And many of those 90% would love to take from you what makes you happy and comfortable. A few are even organized enough to do it. The only real protection you have from that small bit of the world who are less fortunate, but more violent than yourself, are two oceans and a very large, very powerful military. Most of the world experiences war first-hand often. It is the most real condition that humanity has had since before recorded history began. To say that it is wrong because you don't like it is childish, because there are so many others who, very happily would make war on you if given the opportunity. Now, your statement that "only self defense is appropriate" is another subject altogether. You are a person who sleeps comfortably beneath the veil of security provided by rough men and women while declaring your position the moral high ground. This is absurd. You know good and well, as well as everyone who will ever read this, you will never be faced with an opportunity to need to defend yourself. You have a happy life. Be thankful. While there are people of every country who swear to defend everyone in their country; the children, the beggars, the nurses, the teachers, the grandmothers, the prisoners, the firemen, the tall, the brown, people like you, and every single other person in their country, you say that it is right ,only to protect yourself and your immediate household., This isn't morality. This is self-centered, selfish and cowardly. The fact that you refer to the people who are part of war as acting out of "arrogance, greed, fear" is incomprehensible. You have obviously spent a great deal of time justifying your position, without actually considering the reality of the world. So enjoy your moral high ground. It may be paved with gold, but it is really just a glorified pile of garbage. This conversation goes on much more, especially later on when it is picked up by ,Feifei Wang,, whom I am now a major fan of. Great job, Faye. But I have already gone far enough off topic. You see the conversation I had with the moral man touches directly on an issue that I have to think about all the time. People disagree with the war, or war in general or with civilians who die or with Marines and soldiers who lose and start to go into a place where they believe that the ,military, is ,evil, or unjust or wrong for existing. They forget that there are powers out there who very clearly want them to die and all that stops them is the idea that there are people out there who are well trained, well funded, highly motivated, vicious, angry and unforgiving enough to cross the entire planet to find them and kill them. I've mentioned before that being a Marine is at times resenting the civilian population for not taking part in what we are experiencing. We do. We can't talk about it, but we think about it on a cold night in a desert in some place no one you know can find on a map. We think about how we have tried to rationalize war in our minds, yet how the people we went to high school with are at college, or at the mall, or with their families and why is it that I am not? Why is it that I am here and they are safe and free and warm? Why is it that they are questioning me in doing this, or painting me as some sort of villain? What happened to the victory gardens or the war bonds of ,World War II,? Does anyone really care that we are still here? And then it all comes full circle. "Because I am willing. I want to go and fight so that my family doesn't feel danger and so that my friends can be happy. I want to preserve my way of life for one more generation so that my kids can one day have the chances and opportunities I do. I am willing to stand on Col Jessup's wall and do those things that moral men and polite people turn away from in polite conversation. And though no one will understand why or think about how there has to have been some other way, I am willing to do it." That is why I always loved this movie, because no one really got what Jessup was saying. No one else really feels it. To the common viewer who watches this movie in their comfortable living room Col Jessup is a barbarian. There is a darkness in him they can't understand and fear ever being able to. He is a cold and vicious man willing to do anything for the mission. Marines who watch it always quietly smile and agree. Was it wrong to order a young Marine to be beaten for his failures? Yes. Today he would probably just administratively separated, but that doesn't make for good story. Whatever your viewpoints on Col. Jessup, be he right or wrong in his decision, I obviously view it as wrong, but I see where he was coming from, the film's closing was correct in how it viewed the morality of the matter. Thanks for reading! For more answers like this check out, ,The Veteran Perspective by Jon Davis ,and follow my blog ,War Elephant, ,for more new content. Everything I write is completely independent research and is supported by fan and follower pledges. Please consider showing your support directly by visiting my Patreon page here:, Help Jon Davis in writing Military Novels, Articles, and Essays,.

How do I create an empire based on the Roman Empire for a fantasy novel taking place in a time period similar to antiquity without it being too cliché or an obvious ripoff of the Roman empire?

Use lesser known facts about Rome. I wrote down a few. Some of them will sure spark ideas in your head. But, if I could offer an advice, don’t go with the Empire. Use the Roman Republic. It became Empire with Julius Caesar and Augustus (Who was arguably the first Roman emperor, although in most languages the name for an emperor derives directly from Caesar). To me, the Empire was boring. Rome went downhill, emperors switched places faster than McDonald’s employees… It was just boring. Boring chaos. The Republic, that’s where it’s at. Rome was a fascinating culture, and you do not have to worry about it being cliché. People don’t know anything about Rome apart from red capes, Caesar, and turtle formations. Some fun facts (and if you Google these, you’ll go down a rabbit hole full of amazing information) Rome loved to frame all their wars as protectionist. Every time they started a war, even in their massive expansion days, it was to “defend themselves.” This probably stemmed from the early days of the city. It was repeatedly conquered and plundered. As such, they enacted a doctrine. The only way to be safe is to control everything. The city of Rome had a border called the ,Pomerium,. Technically, Rome existed only within the borders. Everything beyond it was a conquered territory. During Spring festivities, men would undress (either completely, or with some small piece of cloth for modesty), take up fake whips and run around the pomerium. They would playfully slap women with them, and any woman touched by the whip was considered blessed for the upcoming year. Women lined the pomerium to be blessed. Even senators participated. (Variations on this tradition still survive to this day. For example in ,Czechia during Easter,. It was against the law to bury the dead within the pomerium. You could not cross the pomerium carrying ,a weapon,. Rome was a no-weapon/no-soldier zone. If you crossed into Rome, you were a citizen again. That brings me to one of the most fascinating things I learned about Rome… Generals that crossed the pomerium automatically lost their command and became private citizens. Senate would have to reinstate them if they saw fit. There were exceptions to this rule. If the Senate wanted a general present at their meeting, they moved the meeting outside of the pomerium. And there’s also ,The Triumph,. Remember this., It’s important. Map of Rome. Red is the pomerium, green the Palatine Hill where Rome was founded. The City of Rome had a Grain Dole. It supplied the poor with food. Debt abolition was a big thing in Rome, and it was done several times. The private debt would grow so large that children were unable to pay debt of their parents. When that happened, the Senate wiped the slate clean. This happened during Caesar’s life as well (when he was Consul). Poor called for debt abolition, rich were against it. In a genius movie, Caesar silently sent out his people to every rich person in Italy to borrow as much money as they would give him. He then turned around and said “I would love to abolish the debt, but as the most indebted person in Rome I don’t think it would be fair to the rest of you.” The poor agreed, and the rich were happy as well. When Senate appointed a general, they gave the man an immense power. But it also meant immense responsibilities. Senate would tell him “Here’s a crap-ton of money. We permit you to raise three legions and go to Cisalpine Gaul (now northern Italy) to conquer it.” He’d then tour Italy, played off favours, promised things to soldiers and noblemen alike… And put together the sanctioned number of legions. Then he’d train them. And then he’d march on the mission given to him. The general was an envoy of Rome and as such could act as he saw fit during the campaign. If he decided to raze a city, he razed a city. If he cut a deal with someone, it meant Rome cut a deal with someone. But it was the general who was on the hook to push that deal through. A great general would become revered by his soldiers. Some were lucky enough to call him a friend. One such general was Julius Caesar. Rome operated under something called the ,Cursus ,honorum,. ,It was a ladder of offices. If one wanted to become a politician, he had to start at the bottom. It started with ten years in the equites, or in the staff of a general. It was intended to be mandatory, but not everyone did full ten years, and it wasn’t enforced. A handful of lucky ones could become military tribunes instead. Basically a low level officer. The second peg. Quaestors had to be at least 30 years old. They were accountants and auditors. Aedile is the first elected position. There were only four of them. They took care of temples (aedes means “temple”), organized games and public markets. Basically, they took care of the city. One could become Praetor either directly from Quaestor, or Aedile. Each year eight men of 39 years of age were elected. They were given military command of a garrison in Italy, but they were mainly judges. They presided over trials. Two Praetor positions were more prestigious. Peregrinus was judge in trials involving foreigners. Urbanus was the chief judge of Rome. He had the power to overturn other courts and served as a judge against provincial governors. These two were not allowed to leave the city for more than ten days. If one of them was away, the other performed the duties of both. Consul,. At age of 42, one could be elected a consul. Two per year. Years were identified by the name of the two Consuls elected for that year. They alternated monthly as the chairman of the Senate. They were also supreme commanders in the Roman army, each office came with two legions attached. Consul was the highest executive office in Rome and as such held immense political power. They could veto anything. Even each other. Which means they had to agree with each other to rule. This, coupled with a one-year-limit was put in place to stop individuals from amassing personal power. They were also pretty much immune to laws for the year. A proconsul was endowed with full consular authority outside the city of Rome. The position was created to deal with a constitutional peculiarity of the Roman Republic. Only a consul could command an army, but the high turnover of consuls could disrupt continuity of command. If a consul's term ended in the midst of a campaign, he could be appointed proconsul and continue to command. Governor was not the part of the ladder, but one had to be either a Consul or Praetor to become one. They held near autocratic authority within their provinces. They were limited only by the Senate, or the people’s assembly. Julius Caesar was both political and military mastermind. By the time he made Consul, the whole of Rome knew him. (I will cover him only to show how Rome worked) 58BC, he served his year as a Consul and went off on a military conquest of Gaul. The campaign took way longer than the one year a Consul is elected for. The Senate named him a proconsul for five years (and thus prolonged his immunity to prosecution). After his year was out, He commanded two legions belonging to his office, and raised two more in Cisalpine Gaul. Legionares had to be Roman Citizens, which Cisalpine Gauls weren’t. And the Senate had to sanction new legions. Which they didn’t. Illegal in more ways than one, but no one stopped him. He paid them from his own pocket and didn’t care because he was immune to prosecution. Then he went on a campaign to stomp out Gauls and Germans alike. (Google Gallic Wars and the Conquest of Gaul for more information). In 52BC,, Vercingetorix lead an uprising and managed to defeat Caeasar on several occasions before succumbing to the superior Roman tactics. ,Vercingetorix, ,is taken prisoner,. In ,50BC, ,the Senate ordered him to disband his army and return to Rome because his proconsul term was finished. They also forbade him to stand for Consulship election in absentia (which was Caesar’s original plan). If he crossed the pomerium into Rome, he’d be a private citizen not protected by his military power, or a political office. This is where the famous ,Alea iacta est, was uttered as he, and his legions, crossed the Rubicon. The border of Italy. The Civil War started (Google Caesar's civil war for more info. I won’t go into this. It takes up five more years and ends with Egyptian civil war and Cleopatra) The Triumph Learning about the Roman Triumph ruins every single military parade you’ve ever seen. The Triumph was the highest honor a general could receive. To qualify for it was no easy task. One had to add a province to Rome. Be called Imperator by his legions, and the Senate had to grant him the honor. The pro/consul/general who was granted the honor of The Triumph received an exemption. He and his army could cross the pomerium with weapons and their ranks intact. For a day, he would be called the triumphator. It was a huge event. The Triumph lasted from early morning until well after midnight and everyone came to see. The procession started with animals from the conquered lands. Elephants, giraphes… What have you. Then large paintings depicting the triumphator’s victories. These were larger than life depiction several meters tall. Then came carriages filled with the spoils of war. Tons of gold, precious stones and art. Behind them walked the slaves. Thousands of them. (Roman slavery was nothing like the US version. Again, Google for more information). It was considered the highest honor to have the enemy leader walk in one’s Triumph. Caesar was granted a Triumph for his victory over Gauls. Seven years after the campaign. He has kept Vercingetorix in prison all that time just for this occasion. Then came the triumphator. He wore a purple and gold toga (purple for Roman kings of old, gold for Jupiter), laurel crown, red boots and a mask of Jupiter. Because it was said only gods can violate the pomerium. He was drawn across the city by a four-horse chariot, straight to the temple of Jupiter. Behind him walked men and women from the triumphator’s family. This was a political move to jump-start their careers. As the last marched the legions. They would tell jokes and stories to citizens, and sang rude, funny songs for the crowd. We actually have one that survived till this day. ,“Romans, watch your wives. Here’s the bald adulterous whore (Caesar). We fucked away your gold in Gaul and come to borrow more.” When the Triumph arrived at the temple, two white oxen were sacrificed to Jupiter, and the defeated kings and their generals/families were strangled. Yes. Vercingetorix spent seven years in jail to be strangled in front of a cheering crowd. Then everyone ate and drank until they couldn’t even stand. I could go on literally forever… Take anything from this as inspiration. Go on an internet quest. There’s an amazing Youtube channel called ,Historia Civilis,, that will help you immensely.

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