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caesar novus

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caesar novus last won the day on October 22 2016

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  1. The new yorker magazine (and the new york book review, both of which I have subscribed to) is prone to endless navel gazing as intellectual exercise rather than seeking truth. I see it more as as elites of both EU and US going out of control for a decade while the gentlemanly opposition couldn't get their case made thru the elitist accusatory press and new age tunnel vision social media. It took time for dumb elitist policies to inflict real pain to everyday people (like ex Obama voters, who essentially turned the tide themselves!) and turn to frothy populists who oversimplify to make a point. It's much like the stockmarket... things overcorrect, then swing back. Obamacare was actually so seethingly destructive and unfair, to me the country is irreversibly finished... gov't is just a racketeering arrangement that I would rather be overseen by an unpretending scoundrel like Putin or Castro. This year another 50% mandatory increase even when I essentially zero out any practical health coverage - only stupid things like massage therapy for vagrants are covered and shooting the price up. It implodes my frugal life savings and the benefits only go to those who spent-down wining, womenizing, and singing those years I saved. The press seems wrong about recent populists; all they do is project false evil motivations. AP news, Reuters, Google, and Yahoo all were exasperatingly hateful and delusional, so you had to keep tabs on drudge.com which besides some froth of it's own showed why Trump would win months ago based on a professors simple questionaire which has been accurate for 30 years. BTW he now says Trump will self destruct in favor of his very respected VP... the elitist opposition VP actually had violent Marxist associations. Trump's position against trade will have to be moderated or he will lose the Senate / House in a couple years like Obama did. He better not rule in dictator-mode like Obama who made umpteen extremist executive orders rather than negotiating laws thru legislatures like Bill Clinton did. Clinton's laws stood while Obama's will be zeroed out with a counterorder days after leaving office. Trump's actual pronouncements about implementation since election have actually sounded moderate and mostly wise, as acknowledged by the previously horrified French ambassador turning around on twitter. Well, time will tell if it balances or tips. But I have seen nothing like the elitist reality distortion media machine that grew up attacking Bush then enshrining Hillary over populist Bernie (who was once my nut-case mayor). A whole generation has no concept of respecting non-party-line opinions or speech, even on campuses. Obama was actually brought in in a populist fashion, altho he was actually a cold elitist with the measurably most extreme record of white-looney-left voting. I have restrained myself from using a Russell Kirk quote as my regular signature: "Liberalism, once professing to advocate liberty, now is a movement for control over property, trade, work, amusements, education, and religion"
  2. caesar novus

    My private encounter with Trump, NYC

    I just noticed news about massive security now in place around Trump Tower, paralyzing central Manhattan road and foot traffic with blockades of garbage trucks until Trump moves to DC. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/11/10/trump-tower-fifth-avenue-security/ Maybe I helped give them security ideas those many years ago by penetrating the bldg 5 min before opening time or whatever. Brings to mind the traffic mess the gigantic US consulate in Florence Italy caused when they blocked the surrounding roads due to terror concerns... is that still the case? They were critical roads along the river, and made traffic back up for many blocks across bridges and such for horrible little detour roads. Palatial consulate should have been moved or downsized or shut down.
  3. caesar novus

    My private encounter with Trump, NYC

    Many years ago I was killing time in the IBM bldg atrium next door to NYC Trump tower; it had tables for public in the days before vagrants, amidst bamboo and even a computer museum open on weekends. I was about to bolt for opening time at the Metropolitan Museum when I saw a security man swing open a hidden door from Trump lobby to IBM atrium. I zoomed thru in order to save steps walking around bldg, eyes riveted forward to clear thru the ugly bordello-like marble decor and pop out the main entrance. It was deserted except for one tall frizzy blond man with armful of documents who straightened up in an escalating haughty scowl as we passed. No eye contact, and I dimly realized I was invading Trump personal space, but he wasn't much on my radar and I had a higher mission to focus on. Later I learned that his first wife designed the lurid decor, and it perhaps had the same function as some Roman ruin props at the entrance of my parents retirement home complex - make a certain unwelcome demographic uncomfortable. Probably explains decor in a biker bar, etc... not that the customers like it but it scares away the folks who don't fit in. In the early opening time at Metropolitan museum, probably on another visit but maybe the Trump one, I encountered artist Andy Warhol. I was just exiting the deserted Egyptian temple which was bathed in yellow light, and the approaching pasty be-wigged celebrity urgently locked eyes with me. It would be logical that his concern was that I leave him alone with his trailing photographer to do poses. But it felt more like he as a needy person was feeding off my recognition of him. I recently thought of an even less palatable motive, but anyway I blazed past as a sightseer on a higher mission. Other features of NYC in the past were the higher crime rate. Before the pacifier effect of cellphones, women walked in fear, and as a long legged male you couldn't help but tailgate slower walking women almost quaking in fear as you finally passed. I had to do the quick walk sometimes, when I would go to saturday night musical events in Harlem and Bedford Stuyvesant. If the doors weren't open yet, you had to keep orbiting or else be swarmed by lounging troublemakers.
  4. caesar novus

    Beginner's Introduction to Roman Coins

    Seems there is little agreement on what they were used for, but have you been to charity festivals where snacks, fair rides, etc all have to be awkwardly paid for in "script" rather than money? I guess it is to avoid the need for monitoring amateurs for cheating or tax issues? Maybe some similar use, but from Lyon mint?
  5. caesar novus

    Beginner's Introduction to Roman Coins

    I was gonna ask who issued the erotic coins (Caligula?) but their markings appear to be worn (savored?) down to nothing. And was Gaul really the provence above all, or however the French spokesman put it?
  6. caesar novus

    What series are you streaming now?

    Drone views above Italy are all over youtube, and many are amazing. Not yet doing the best job of Roman ruins, and they appear to be skirting the law (one lands just as the operator is arrested). Search within Youtube for "drone rome" or "drone rome wall" for instance. Also Roman monuments outside of Rome, but avoid keyword of "roman" or it floods you with people of that name. P.S. you can also use this to view earthquake damage, which was what started me on this search.
  7. This article about Italian mafia supporting the looting of Roman artifacts and arms trade in N. Africa https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2016/10/mafia-offers-rifles-to-jihadists-for.html#Xy2K1SjDEMxwGdi0.97 reminded me of the classic Atlantic slave trade triangle: In the picture above (have to be logged in to see, I believe) the Europe node is interchangeable with US New England in taking agricultural products to convert to rum, textiles, etc which Africans want in order to export their slaves. Anyway, I think I see a similar trade triangle for Roman artifacts for Kalashnikov types of thing, assuming you consider Italy and the mafia as only catalysts and not a destination. How about one node is Libya jihadists or the whole crescent of Isis destabilization. They allegedly dug up more artifacts in 5 years than predecessors have for centuries, and trade them for weaponry. The source of weaponry is a lawless fringe of eastern Europe like Ukraine and Moldova. They accept money that ultimately comes from the wealthy fringe of Asia (China, Japan, Russia, gulf oil states) for artifact loot. So aside from the mafia lubrication (any drug involvement?}, the arrow for Roman artifacts goes from Arabic shores of Mediterranean to distant fringes of Asia. An arrow for money goes from Asia to extreme eastern Europe. An arrow for weaponry completes the triangle from e. Europe to Arabic unstable shores. How to cure? Triangle trade should be fragile because it is limited by the weakest link. I think Japan could slow down import of artifacts, but not the other places. A timid peace-monger approach has not slowed down the looting. East Europe seems unready to stabilize with the Putin vs EU show. Maybe the mafias are weak links, but Italy only occasionally seems to take strong measures. Mussolini crushed the mafia(s) thru not just strong arm tactics, but things like elaborately protecting witness safety so they would testify. This has been revived at times, but not enough; s. Italy needs attention.
  8. caesar novus

    What series are you streaming now?

    Hmm, I think my above post was a difficult sell, so I will try other suggestions. I am streaming a paid series called "Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon" which can be quite expensive even with sale promotions, but I just noticed there are several free samples on youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=understanding+greek+and+roman+technology Another short youtube series I am streaming is "Mel Brooks, The Producers, making of 1of 7"... about a classic black comedy about financial fraud. For once something other than a ponzi scheme, but where you profit more when a project flops rather than succeeds because you oversubscribed with investors that then are zeroed out. I think not limited to the showbiz industry but behind certain regional solar power and internet broadband bankruptcies: Here is a snippet from the movie which unfortunately ends just before the one member of audience that claps gets beat up (caution, edgy or bad taste):
  9. caesar novus

    What series are you streaming now?

    So what to stream next... I will riff a bit in this quiet place, even tho it may better fit in a blog. I started on a BBC series on famous battles, but the most interesting episodes have been withdrawn from youtube due to a copyrighted song or something. That left me with a ragtag collection of documentaries on obscure aircraft and tanks of ww2 which are pretty good. An Australian one was pretty raw in dissing hotshot US fighter pilots for having little interest in navigation book-learning. Apparently about 110% of USAF was lost by accidentally landing at an enemy base or dropping in the ocean! The speaker used to escort groups of 6 US fighters in ferries to distant bases. One day is socked in from top to bottom, so he leads the fighters just above the sea to have some level reference. An uncharted island appears and they all hit the trees. The proud speaker was the only survivor because his aircraft was rugged enough to stay airborne... wow, that was presented in bad enough taste to hit the cutting room floor for most documentaries. The strange thing is I might listen again to the China lawyer series! The final few episodes became more raw than just a genial legal scholar bemused by how reality works. It becomes clear he was a high-achievement person sometimes at odds with clients that turn out to be outrageous frauds, with a high achievement spouse that asserts more control to his detriment, and a pilgrim promoting the study of history as the key to understanding now. Such themes make the earlier talks more interesting to see emerging conflicts such as we all may share. For example early in life the (young) CIA tried to recruit him to parachute into contested parts of China. As he predicted to them, most were captured or killed. He and his ivy league pals were recruited by the army for accelerated commander training, but his father wouldn't sign the permission slip. Most of his pals who joined were killed while leading troops in Korea - these positions were especially cannon fodder. How do you balance life with a similarly ambitious spouse? He wants to teach Chinese law in Tokyo's premier university (of interest to Japanese businessmen). No, says his Buddhist scholar wife - it must be in Kyoto where the temples abound. He arrives in a Kyoto university about 100 times less prestigious, and it is paralyzed by a communist student takeover for a very long time. A benefit is he studies how prosecutors, police, and courts really work, which the Tokyo theoreticians are clueless about. Later his wife takes him on a Buddhist pilgrimage in western China during the Muslim uprising where outsiders being shot was an everyday occurrence. His constant plea with everyone is to promote the study of Chinese legal history. He has an audience with Chiang Kai-shek and instead of hopeless pleas to release political prisoners, he successfully makes the case for such study! They set up a whole ministry in Taiwan, which hadn't erased the legacy of ancient law. Makes one wonder why study obscure history of any kind, and you can infer how it informs you of why things are the way they are, and how past discarded ideas maybe had even better answers to human nature. He handled many human rights abuses of China for free. A respected Chinese-American university librarian made a fool of him. She was jailed long term in China for collecting materials slightly embarrassing to the regime for her library. Cohen paid her bills at home, and got all kinds of high political leverage applied. She was released to US only to be jailed for all kinds of corrupt business dealings related to China and US. She started to have a string of pregnancies which the usually reserved Cohen saw as a pity ploy to leave jail. Once released she is put in another prison for further offenses. A lesson to vet your charitable causes - I found thru volunteer work that many charities I used to donate to are scamilicious.
  10. caesar novus

    Gladiatorial schools

    carnuntum, austria http://www.unrv.com/forum/topic/17794-carnuntum-to-host-authentic-gladiator-fights/
  11. Which refers to what I quoted last week about 4 Asian skeletons identified in Roman London and southern Italy:
  12. caesar novus

    Podcasts about new books

    Dan Snow has a hit history podcast series (free, also on itunes) http://www.historyhitpodcast.com/ that so far has a couple excellent Roman ones with guest authors. The Aug 3 one is with towering Roman author http://www.adriangoldsworthy.com/books.htm loosely based on his new Pax Romana book. Amazing perspective on how and why Rome thrived and fell, sometimes counter to what is often said. Note there were almost no independence or exit movements in Roman provinces. The Sept 25 one based on book "Sea Eagles of Empire: The Classis Britannica and the Battles for Britain" by Simon Elliott. He gives a feel of amazing leverage of Roman seapower that engulfs the British coast and permeates it's rivers. Water is not a barrier but a highway in supporting armies.
  13. caesar novus

    Japan celebrates 2000 years of Roman influence

    News Flash: http://www.caitlingreen.org/2016/09/east-asian-people-roman-london.html Above points out ancient Roman artifacts (bead, coin) found in ancient sites in Japan and China, and actual Japanese or east Chinese skeletons found in Roman south London sites. The skeletons did not grow up in London or even that continent, and appear to be genuine immigrants or travelers thru Roman Britain!
  14. caesar novus

    free museum day in us

    Wow, that old link above still works for coming Sept 24 free museum day in USA. Choose a museum to get tix for 2 (a pdf that you can load on your phone). Maybe have a companion book another museum, so you both can do 2. Best to choose pricey museums that don't have the usual one free day per month or year. I am targeting an air museum that lets you climb into historic cockpits that day.
  15. I read a free e-memoir of a WW2 bomber co-pilot called "Serenade to the Big Bird" that I can't recommend but started me reflecting on work and family trends. Actually his writeup of prewar and likely postwar goals of him and his buddies was interesting - chase women under any pretense, suck down hard alcohol in down-times when possible, but expect you will eventually have to secure a highly paid job to support some irresistible nonworking spouse and various children. He didn't survive the war, but his and other accounts depict that both men and many women were in a frenzy to meet up more than today, and not just due to the disruption of war. Hormones and hedonism seemed in the air, but the assumed trajectory was toward serious (1950ish) domesticated worker bee life. A recent article http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-idle-army-americas-unworking-men-1472769641 "The Idle Army: America’s Unworking Men" shows a major new alternate lifestyle with hedonism, kids, but without any thought of work. The US publishes pretty low unemployment figures, but they only count unemployed JOB SEEKERS. The US rivals Greece in OVERALL unemployed, which are not just those in school or retired. It can total almost 40% for male grown ups. Almost a hundred million of all (4?) genders not seeking work. I'll skip the guesstimates of how many of those are brazenly coasting on benefits, crime, grey market, or disability fraud, but you see the swashbuckling lifestyle of them all the time. Those arrested at age 18 with 11 children by 5 welfare mothers with a flashy car but unemployable. No incentive to engage in civil society, and police of all races are grimly experienced, not biased, with dealing with their hostile sense of entitlement. This social ill was seemingly created by "compassionate" politics during my lifetime, generally without carrots or sticks. The problem is not from immigrants or the married "underprivileged" or many others who still work hard and bear the burden of taxation, it is product of social engineering by naive children and grandchildren of 1940's boozers who played but worked hard. Oh, and who died early of lung cancer due to the culture of free cigarettes issued to US soldiers, when the Germans had already proven the cancer link.