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2020.07.05 23:09 Viggotrip Professing Christian and Schizophrenia. Getting confused and feel alone I my conceptions.

In 2012 I came down with symptoms of Schizophrenia. I had a spiritual awakening on marijuana. I would like to discuss this in more detail but due to legal issues steaming from psychosis I would need to change the names of individuals.
Phase 1: I was asked a question in somewhat of a out of body state where I ended up saying Yes to the name Jesus Christ. I would in turn experience iterations of this when every time I said yes to the name I took the place as the Son of God.
Phase 2: I was infatuated with a girl at this time and I received a message that, "She doesn't want to have sex with me."
Phase 3: I watched an unusual movie of the next 5 years of my life. Many of these scenes came true. Jail and continued drug abuse.
Phase 4: I saw a woman i had recently met whom I little interest and she was smoking marijuana on the curvature of the universe. I got a message that "You can smoke marijuana in heaven forever and be God". The iterations of this phase sped up until I was hear a direct message from this woman. "We can never have sex".
Phase 5: My face was surrounded by fire and i got the message "{My name} / God"
Phase 6: My face in a triangle on a black star background "{My name} / Allah"
Phase 7: Two spirits within an blue looking star "{My name} / God / {Name of phase 2 woman}"
A month and a half later i was using late at night and had a instantaneous vision. I saw a man in the Middle East looking over his shoulder at me. I was Jesus with his arms wide open. I received the message "You don't know how we are doing this for you" {With subliminal feeling that this message came from the whole world}. I went into a moving catatonic state when lying in bed, saying the following, "I must die" then " I am God" 5 times.
I have come to believe that the zodiac is an important aspect to this life. I make the assumption that Jesus is blessed in the sun as "Leo". My out of body experiences/ visions were 5 years before the solar eclipse over North America. Then my catatonic state was within the Virgo/ moon alignment that happens every several hundred years. Also which occurred around 3-4 BC. I have internalized this timing as meaning I am similarly blessed into the Zodiac as the Moon/ Cancer.
I do Biblical devotions and have had some great experiences. Simple dates and readings line up, so I believe I am in God. But I don't want to go to hell. I can't convince a single fellow Christian or agnostic that we have been here before. Things may change but only to a certain degree { from iteration of this life to the next}.
Lately I've been thinking that Jesus died on the cross on the first iteration of life, but since then has followed what the Koran says.
I know it more difficult to gain the mercies of God than simply asking for it. We must put forth are best effort and succeed in submitting to God.
I live in a small town in Ontario Canada. Not many Islamic leaders around if you get what I mean.
I have a hard time praying. I enjoy blessing the Holy name of God, when I get DE-JA-RU or little thinking patterns line up with situations. I have found scripture from the Abrahamic religions to help dissect these experiences. This is helpful for faith. But my life is a mess. I masturbate, {can't control my members}. I believe in the end of days and judgement, but fear I just won't make the first cut, let alone the second. I know my life will make sense when one with God one day.
Questions. Has anything like this happened to anyone before? Can anyone relate? Will converting help me live a better life as a better person? I have a sever psychotic illness; does this happen in the Islamic world? Is it eternal punishment or a greater design? Can you pray for someone whom isn't a devout Muslim but still loves God?
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2020.04.01 19:35 hhhfan92297 Re-Booking Every WWE PPV From WrestleMania I - WrestleMania XXXVI/XXXVII (Part 33)

Royal Rumble 2002:
Date: January 20th, 2002
Venue: Phillips Arena
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 16,106
___________
1- WCW Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers def. The Dudley Boyz ©
2- Women's Championship Match: Trish Stratus © def. Jacqueline
3- United States Championship Match: Edge © def. Lance Storm
4- WCW Championship Match: The Rock © def. Booker T
5- Eric Bischoff def. The Undertaker - Buried Alive Match
(Eric Bischoff believes that The Undertaker is the biggest dog in the yard & the de facto leader for the WWF rebels. So, he basically targets him. The Undertaker doesn't take it too kindly as he has his little brother, Kane by his side. However, Eric Bischoff says that the only way to end The Undertaker is that he buries him alive. So, he makes a match between The Undertaker & himself for the Royal Rumble & it'll be in a Buried Alive Match. During the match, Eric Bischoff has his mid-card henchmen attack Big Evil but it proves to be no avail as The Undertaker just destroy every single one of those guys. It even looks like he's gonna win. However the lights go out & everyone is confused. The lights are back on & we see THE ICON, STING emerge for the first time. The Undertaker is confused & he's like "WTF?!" All Sting does is hand The Undertaker his baseball bat & just walks away. The Undertaker just drops the bat before Eric Bischoff grabs it & beats the hell out of him with it. Sting just watches & just so all of you know, he's not a complete heel. Anyway, Bischoff calls for the henchmen to help him drag Taker into the whole & Eric buries him alive to win the match.)
6- WWF Championship Match: "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan © def. Triple H
(Triple H makes his return on the January 7th episode of Nitro & he receives a HUGE OVATION like irl. But as he's about to cut a promo, he's interrupted by his Kliq buddies, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash. They just say that they're glad that Triple H is back after 8 long months. But they do try to recruit him as Triple H was part of the Kliq. But The Game simply refuses. So, Hulk Hogan starts to target Triple H during the build up to the Royal Rumble while Scott Hall & Kevin Nash are actually neutral. So, The Game battles The Hulkster at Royal Rumble for the WWF Championship & it looks like The Game is gonna win but Scott Hall & Kevin Nash attack Triple H while the referee is down as they've chosen "Hollywood" Hogan over their "buddy". This will lead to a Handicap Match next month as Triple H doesn't have any back up due to his past crimes as a heel.)
7- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin (#19) wins last eliminating Goldberg (#30)
(Final Four: Stone Cold, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, & Goldberg)
___________
WCW SuperBrawl 2002:
Date: February 17th, 2002
Venue: Bradly Center
City: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 15,291
___________
1- Booker T def. Rob Van Dam
2- WCW Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers © def. Kurt Angle & Mr. Perfect
(Mr. Perfect makes his return at the Royal Rumble & decided to take Kurt Angle under his wing as his protege to perfect his wrestling abilities & they challenge for the WCW Tag Team Championship here at No Way Out. After an incredible back & forth Tag Team Match, The Steiner Brothers retain the Tag Team Titles. Kurt Angle is not too pleased about this & Mr. Perfect tries to calm him down but Angle brutally attacks him & locks him in the Ankle Lock; solidifying Kurt Angle's heel turn.)
3- Lance Storm & Christian (w/ Test) def. The APA
4- Fatal 4 Way Match for the United States Championship: William Regal def. Raven, Chris Jericho, & Edge ©
5- Kane vs Sting ends in a no contest
(Kane DESTROYS all of the henchman that helped Eric Bischoff bury The Undertaker at the Rumble but he calls out Sting & wants revenge for his brother. Sting comes out & Kane challenges him to a match at No Way Out but all Sting does is point the bat at him, doesn't say a word, & simply walks away. He doesn't give Kane an answer for a few weeks until the final Nitro before No Way Out where he points the bat at Kane but Kane slaps it away & yells at Sting "SAY SOMETHING YOU FACE PAINTED FREAK!!!" Sting just grabs another mic & simply says "I accept!" & leaves. At No Way Out, Kane & Sting wrestle for 15 minutes & after a hard hitting match, the lights go out. When they turn back on, we see some druids coming down to the ring with the casket. As the druids leave, the casket opens & we see that an urn is inside but here's the catch, we see a person laying in it & his name is Paul Bearer. \GONG* the lights go out. When they comeback on Kane, Paul Bearer, The Urn, & The Casket are gone. Sting just looks all confused & his expression says it all. He leaves with thoughts in head & he's probably thinking "Um, WTF just happened?!")*
6- Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Goldberg - Steel Cage Match to determine the #1 Contender for the Undisputed WCW Championship
7- The Outsiders def. Triple H - 2 on 1 Handicap Match
(Triple H is PISSED that his own best friends chose "Hollywood" Hogan over him after everything that they did together during their days as The Kliq. He says that at No Way Out, he's gonna kick their ass out of this company for good & they'll wish that they never screwed him. At No Way Out, Triple H did put on a good fight & actually managed to hold his own for a few minutes before the odds proved to be too much for The Cerebral Assassin. The next night on Nitro, Triple H says that he's not done with Scott Hall & Kevin Nash yet. But he does admit that he doesn't have many friends here either due to the things he's done or them turning their backs on him in the past. But he's asking a certain buddy for help. He's asking a certain best friend of his to fight along side him & destroy their frenemies at WrestleMania X8. He's asking Mr. WrestleMania, The Showstopper, The Heartbreak Kid, HBK, Shawn Michaels. Speaking of HBK, he accepts & we have the reunion of D-Generation X vs The Outsiders at WrestleMania X8 & if you're not down with that, we've got two words for ya, SUCK IT!)
8- Unification Match for the WWF Championship & WCW Championship: "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) def. The Rock (WCW Champion)
(Eric Bischoff is fuming at everything that's happening & he's telling everyone "I'm in charge! I'll take order around here!" Then Vince McMahon's music hits & Vince McMahon appears on Monday Nitro to perhaps the biggest pop of the night. But he doesn't come alone. Vince brings out his wife Linda, his daughter Stephanie, & his son, Shane McMahon. The entire McMahon Family in one building against Eric Bischoff. It turns out that Linda, Stephanie, & Shane sold their stock to bring Vince back & Vince also brings every member of the WWF rebel that Eric Bischoff mistreated as a barricade so the WCW guys cannot interfere & save Uncle Eric. The entire McMahon Family beat Eric until he agrees to put into putting the entire company on the line at WrestleMania X8 & whichever side has the most wins at the end of the night, they become the permanent promotion moving forward.)
___________
WrestleMania X8: Winning Promotion becomes The Permanent Promotion Moving Forward!
Date: March 17th, 2002
Venue: SkyDome
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: 68,237
___________
1- WWF vs WCW Battle Royal: Test (WCW) wins last eliminating Bradshaw (WWF) (0-1)
2- Undisputed WCW Women's Championship Match: Trish Stratus © (WWF) def. Medusa © (WCW) (1-1)
3- Ric Flair (WCW) def. Chris Benoit (WWF) (1-2)
4- Edge (WWF) def. Chris Jericho (WCW) (2-2)
5- Cruiserweight Championship Match: Tajiri (WCW) def. Rey Mysterio © (WWF) (2-3)
7- Fatal 4 Way TLC Match for the WCW Tag Team Championship: Lance Storm & Christian (WCW) def. The Dudley Boyz (WWF), The Hardy Boyz (WWF), & The Steiner Brothers © (WCW) (2-4)
8- Kurt Angle (WWF) def. Mr. Perfect (WCW) (3-4)
9- Television Championship Match: Booker T © (WCW) def. Goldust (WWF) (3-5)
10- The Outsiders (WCW) def. D-Generation X (WWF) (3-6)
11- Goldberg (WCW) def. Kane (WWF) (3-7)
12- United States Championship Match: Rob Van Dam (WWF) def. William Regal © (WCW) (4-7)
13- The Rock (WWF) def. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW) (5-7)
14- Vince McMahon (WWF) def. Eric Bischoff (WCW) (6-7)
(On the LAST episode of Monday Nitro before WrestleMania X8, Vince McMahon & Eric Bischoff have a 20-Minute Epic Shoot Promo as the main event. They unleash everything & talk about everything that they've done to each other. Vince bashes Eric for his shady business practices & Eric bashes Vince for holding young stars down. They just unleash every pipebomb they can on each other & that is gonna be the moment where the line is drawn underneath the Monday Night Wars.)
15- The Undertaker (WWF) def. Sting (WCW) (7-7)
(Sting makes his entrance first & we see crows surrounding the top of the entrance ramp & he keeps his WCW theme song "Crow". Then after a couple minutes, the lights go out, & then we see like 20 or 30 druids surround the entrance ramp & then we hear someone say "OH YES!" Paul Bearer walks out with the urn & as soon as he raises the urn, the lights go out. The lights flicker & we hear thunder & lightning. Then \GONG*......*GONG*......The Undertaker comes out in his long black coat & big black hat. Plus, he doesn't even cut his hair because The Undertaker returns to the Deadman character & receives the biggest pop of the night.)*
16- Undisputed WCW World Championship Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWF) def. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan © (WCW) (8-7)
(The WWF wins & everything goes back to normal. Nitro goes back to being Raw, Thunder goes back to being Smackdown, & all of the WCW Titles return to their WWF counterparts. But Vince McMahon kicks off the night after WrestleMania by congratulating everyone who dominated last night. Vince calls out Eric Bischoff who walks to the ring but isn't happy at all with what happened last night at WrestleMania X8. Vince McMahon is like "What's wrong, Eric?! You seem lost. Is it because we beat you & your WCW guys last night?!" Eric Bischoff doesn't say a word. Finally, Vince had enough from being goofy & actually starts being serious because he has something to say to Eric. He say to Eric "I've got 2 words for you, Eric Bischoff. Those 2 words are THANK YOU." Everyone in the building is confused, including Eric. Vince goes "Listen, a few months ago, you fired me & I get it. Business is business. But you didn't fire any of my guys. I thank you for that & I gladly appreciate it. For that, your WCW guys can stay. In fact, you can stay too. I want you to stay because you & I can put the pieces together & not only make the WWF the biggest & strongest company it can be. But we can produce the best of the WWF & the best of WCW." Then, we see McMahon & Bischoff shake hands, officially ending the Monday Night Wars & to top all of that, Vince McMahon announces that Eric Bischoff is the General Manager. As McMahon leaves the ring & walks to the back, Eric sees that there's camera in front of him & he gives that smug old grin.)

___________
Ugh. It took me almost a week to type all of this. My hands hurt just from typing all of that but all I'm gonna say that it was well worth it in the end. Most of the matches from the angle were not from me. The entire credit goes to u/GavinJ1899. He deserves all the credit. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know what you think, & stay tuned for part 34 when I book the sudden rise of The Next Big Thing, Brock Lesnar.
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2019.09.25 22:08 charliejenkins4 A Cliff Notes Summary of the First One Out Interviews

If you haven't had time to listen to seven hours of podcast interviews, or you didn't retain everything you heard, here are some key points. I didn't think to do this until just now, so I'll be posting it as a work in progress and updating it throughout the afternoon. That way more people will have a chance to read up before the premiere.
Karishma Patel, 37, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, Houston, TX -First generation Indian-American Her mom was as a legal assistant, and got her a filing job at her law firm when she was 14. "I didn't have other options. I was basically told I was going to be a lawyer and I didn't disagree."She has watched every season and regularly listens to RHAP. She sits close to the TV to study the inflections on people's faces when something is said to them, so that she can think about what that means. But, her parents and husband don't share her enthusiasm for the show. Asked if it's her dark pleasure she says, "It is completely bright. It is a beautiful pleasure of mine, but it is mine and mine only. I haven't been able to find people to share it with." -Doing the show has caused her conflict. "Not only is it not expected, it's not allowed. It's kind of like being a disobedient Indian girl. You're not supposed to be doing this. What you're supposed to be doing is having babies. But I don't care. I'm a risk taker. I'm here to prove to myself that I don't need to listen to anybody else. I don't need permission from anybody else. This is my journey and I'm going to take it. I hope that people watching out there can see that an Indian woman's value does not come from doing what she's told." -She doesn't currently have children, and she says she has some decisions to make as she enters a crossroads and the next stage of her life. -Her law firm told her they'll replace her if they're able to find someone, and she can have her job back if they don't. "I didn't flinch." -Her strategy is to be non-threatening and play a social game. She doesn't look 37, and she wants to use that youthfulness to be disarming. She wants to build relationships other people believe in. She defines success by other people vouching for her loyalty when they go off and have private conversations with one another. "That means I got 'em, because it's actually the other way around." Asked if she wants to find someone she can trust, "I'm not going to be capable of it. I'm too skeptical for that. I overthink things, so I'm not going to be able to trust somebody the way I want to be trusted... If I do, that's the end of my game."
My take: Oh my God. Poor Karishma. Her story hurts my heart. She reminds me so much of myself in her isolation, her defiance and her deep feelings. I worry that her fear of trusting people could get in the way of her forming genuine bonds. But, there's nothing she can do. Society has made her the way she is. I hope she gets a lot of screen time so she can be a star of her favorite show.
Missy Byrd, 24, Military Veteran/App Developer, Tacoma, Washington -Originally from Georgia. Her family was 'decently poor.' She played basketball for the Air Force Academy because she thought it was her ticket out. -She had a brain tumor. She stopped menstruating for a year and two quarters. "I'm not dating anyone but I have breast milk. I'm a literal cow... I would look down and my shirt would be wet, and I thought, 'Dang you're clumsy. I knew you were clumsy, but you're clumsier today than you were yesterday. But it was - it was - uhh - milk." She had crying fits. She developed a stutter and couldn't look at people. Doctors told her she was just stressed. When her dad died she couldn't process emotions normally. She was about to go to the French version of the Air Force Academy, École de l'air, after graduation but because of her mental instability she was removed from school. The military shipped her to the same Air Force base as Sandra (Fort Lewis.) "I don't want to be there. Super sad. Check into the post office - fuck this. Check into the dorms - hate that." The doctor there found the tumor. She got an MRI and all weekend she believed she might have cancer. Over the next year and a half she eliminated the tumor and the symptoms using vitamins. She enlisted and worked logistics. -She made a list of the things she wanted to do now that she was going to live. "The first thing was go see Beyonce. Beyonce costs way too much money for a normal person to go see, but if you've just almost had a near death experience you go see Beyonce, bro!" She was feet away. She drove across the country. She tried weed. -She had an idea for an app, but didn't even have the computer literacy to use social media. She found a veteran's association and asked if she could intern. "They said, 'No, you should build this out yourself. We want to work for you.' I said, 'No, the fuck you don't. Okay, lemme call my grandma.'" She wrote a grant proposal and won a $1,500 office space in the center of Seattle. "Just to do whatever I want. It was like a laboratory for a child. I had Play-Dough up there. I had a white board... Just mind blowing shit when I could have been dead." -She'd seen every episode of Survivor at least three times. She started watching because her Air Force Academy basketball team was getting decimated, and she related to Foa Foa getting decimated in Survivor: Samoa. She added the show to her list. Josh suggests, "The bugs are eating you because they want some of that magic." -She isn't going to tell people her story until she's in the Final 3. "That's that Final 3 magic." She doesn't want to overly rely on strategy. She doesn't want to win individual challenges. She to build a social game and find ways to relate to everyone.
My take: She's so full of exuberance. There's not a negative bone in her body right now. She's too young and her life experience is too necessarily limited to talk around three years of her life. If she shares her story, the beauty of her perspective will cause everyone to fall in love with her and want her to do well. If she doesn't, people will sense that she's hiding a lot. I think she'll figure that out and course correct within the first day. Since she was at the same Air Force base as Sandra and she was a massive fan, does that suggest she knows her?

Ronnie Bardah, 35, Professional Poker Player, Henderson, Nevada-Born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, 20 minutes south of Boston. They were the only Israeli family in town. 50% of the people in Brockton were from Cape Verde, and he considers himself an "honorary Cape Verdian." A couple of his friends were shot and killed at a young age. -He was a good kid and had a good heart, but he was always hustling. In Junior High he was flipping Oatmeal Cakes and Fudge Rounds for a profit. Slinging baseball cards. Both his parents gambled. They were always at the dog tracks or Mohegan Sun. He had his friend make him a fake ID and got stuck with the name Alaja Jones. He went by Al and started playing the casinos. Quit his job at Sears Automotive to play poker full time.-He played Atlantic City, Vegas, then internationally. He had his first big score in 2010 when he took 24th place in the main event for $320,000. Got to keep $150,000 after taxes. "Poker's a hard way to make an easy living. Lots of people try. We risk every day. You have to get to a point when you can manage your bankroll and I've never gone broke in the 16 years I've played." -In one of the most viewed poker hands of all time, he was bluffed out of a million dollar pot by a supermodel on a poker TV show filmed in Monaco. "She made a sick play. She had no idea what she was doing but all the stars were aligned."-He watched Borneo when it aired and got back into it when fellow poker player Anna Khait was on. He calls Jean-Robert, "kinda a lazy guy...He's really good at befriending multi-millionaires." "Anna Khait... is probably the least poker player out of all of us. She played for a couple years." "And then Garrett - He's a very, very smart, smart kid... Self-made millionaire. One of the very, very few." -He only drank water for 7.5 days and lost 25 pounds for his health and to get an idea of the conditions of the show. He thinks he'll thrive in the survival situation. "People like being around me. I like to fucking bust balls and joke." He thinks old school alliances are a good plan, but you have to adapt. He says that like in poker, Survivor players can have every advantage, but they have to really smell it. -He wants Vince out. "There's an Asian Zeke in there. What value does he bring besides ruining people and getting in people's heads? He's a liability in challenges. He looks like a little corn puff. We gotta get him outta here. Sorry to sound so mean but it's the truth."
My take: Ruuuuude. He has no way of knowing how other people on the cast are talking in their interviews, and may assume the trash talk is standard. If he were playing on some seasons it would be. But, in this particular season it sets him apart in an unflattering way, and it seems a part of the tough persona he's built up to escape a scary situation growing up and enter a fantasy career. We'll see whether his tribe thinks he's a straight talking character or a jerk.

Tom Laidlaw, Former NHL Player, Brampton, Ontario, Canada -He was with the New York Rangers for 7 years and the LA Kings for 4. Now he has his own podcast, True Grit Life (truegritlife.com). Does it with a friend, Kevin Allen, who writes for USA Today. Does motivational speaking. -Growing up on a dairy farm outside Toronto there was a pond to water the cows. It froze over in the winters and he'd play hockey because there wasn't much else to do. Went to Northern Michigan University - four year hockey captain, ranked #1 team in the country. Drafted as a 20 year old. "My buddy had a horse farm. We were cleaning horse shit out of the stalls. There were no cell phones back then. This is 1978. My father got a call at our farm house from the New York Rangers at the draft. Back then nobody went to the draft - it was just teams. They said I'd been drafted in the sixth round. He calls the farm house where I'm working. They bring me up. He says, 'Son, you've been drafted by the Rangers.' I said, 'Great. What do I do now?' He says, 'Finish cleaning the shit out of the stalls.'" -When he played intimidation and fighting was strategy. There were guys tougher than him, but he could fight and he could also play. Problem was, he fought a guy once, and from then on the guy wanted to fight him over and over. -Jerry Bruckheimer, big hockey fan, called the NHL and wanted to get some players on the Amazing Race. Tom had kept himself in shape, he had his passport. They ended up asking him about Survivor. He'd watched it before but not for a while. He wasn't so sure he wanted to play a game where you hurt other people, but friends helped him get his head around it. He was very impressed by Christian's toughness in the endurance challenge. To prepare for the show he studied how he reacted to different situations, how to control his heart heart, etc. He wants the mental challenge.
My take: Tom really ticked me off when he spoiled a couple of outcomes of this season. That's a betrayal of the producers, his cast and the viewers. But, if that hadn't happened I would like him. He's an easy-going, charming guy. His life experiences are a bit different than anyone else who's been on the show, which is what you want.
Vince Moua, 27, Admissions Counselor, Merced, CA -His family is Hmong. His parents lived in Vietnam in the destruction left by the war - dead bodies, guns, people who wanted to kill them. They went to refugee camps in Thailand. Then his dad became a Montana farm hand. He met Vince's mom in the US, but she came from the same place. -Vince is from small town Merced, California - the 209. Few people he knew went anywhere but the UC system and community college. He went to Stanford, one of only 7-10 Hmong. He realized the significance someone can bring to people from the same community. He tried to be pre-med but realized "no, not today." The issues of access he cared about came well before people got to the hospital. He ended up going with education. His mom was a teacher, "But when I was growing up she said, 'Yo, if you become a teacher Imma disown yo ass.' To all of us. But, that's always kinda been my jam." -He lived in South Korea for five years. He taught English in a town. Then in Seoul ahed worked with low and middle income students who wanted to study outside of Korea. -He's a Survivor superfan, who even mentions on his Tinder account that he plans to be on Survivor. His parents were worried about him doing TV because he's not out as gay to his extended family. He comes from a clan where his dad is the "top dog" and Vince is "the next top dog." In the Asian American/Pacific Islander community when you come out, it's your family who faces - in a sense - dishonor. For a long time he distanced himself from his family, hoping they'd all be less hurt if they found out and disowned him. He always tried to find friends who would be there for him should his parents not be. A year ago his mom asked him rhetorically if he was gay. "I was try'n to go around it. I was like, 'Gurl, you don't wanna know! Yo ass keeps asking!' But she kept asking, asking. So finally I told her 'Yeah, I am!' and she was crying. My dad was like, 'Oh, my son!'" But, Vince is fine with who he is and wants to show kids like him that "let's hope that it gets better." Now his parents just want him to win. -He'd like to play an old school strategy but "I'm not afraid to cut a bitch." With the tribe he's going to be Homeboy Vince from the 209, but when he talks to the camera he's going to tell people "Don't underestimate your narratives." This past year with Crazy Rich Asians, he wants people to know that there are some Crazy Hood Ass Asians.
My take: What a character. Vince has a clear point of view - Hmong, blue collar, gay - which is unique to him in Survivor lore. Even though double minorities have sometimes had trouble fitting in socially on Survivor I think somehow he's going to pull it off. As unlikely as this sounds I could even see him being a Cochran-esque winner.
Aaron Meredith, 36, Personal Trainer, Warwick, Rhode Island -He's very keyed up at Ponderosa. Rambling so fast it sounds like you're listening to 1.5x. He's read four books so far - Relentless by Tim Grover, Can't Hurt Me by Dave Goggins, Iron Cowboy by James Lawrence, Harry Potter. -He was an engineer at a building insulation plant. He was miserable, too antsy sitting at a desk. Couldn't focus. So, he drove up and down the East Coast popping kettle corn - from Maine to Florida - traveling with carnies. Bartended for a while. He'd played college football and baseball, lifted since high school, and he and his friends wanted to get "huge and jacked and ripped." The owner of the gym suggested he become a personal trainer. He ended up working mostly with middle aged women and it taught him empathy. Now he owns two women's-only fitness studios. He puts supportive women around one another and offers them the positivity to seek self-growth. -He's also a party boat emcee. Lights, DJ, bar, drinks. He's an extremely social person. -He'd first applied at 23 - 6 or 7 times over the years. He was in the mix for Cook Islands and David vs. Goliath. -He's been married 7 years and has a 5 year old son. His son is a huge fan of Survivor. Libby Vincek is his favorite player. Kara Kay was his next favorite. Aaron is already sure Molly will be his son's favorite. "He has a type. He He likes the attractive blondes. He says, 'I like them because they have a nice face.' I like mommy because she has a nice face too." The boy was very concerned about his dad going on the show. He said, "Dad, I don't want anyone to laugh at you and make fun of you." Aaron said he wanted to win. His son said, "But you might not win." When they watch the show he'll always ask, "Do they like him? Do they like her?" If Aaron is portrayed in a negative light he'll have to sit down with his son and talk. He doesn't want to play a deceitful game, but he will, because he doesn't care how he's portrayed.
My take: His story about his son is one of my favorites from all these interviews. I hope he gets to work with Molly. His adrenaline is too high. I hope he calms down a lot when the game starts. But, someone so social and sweet hearted who can win challenges and take themselves to the end has got to be a contender to win.
Chelsea Walker, 27, Digital Content Editor, Los Angeles, CA -Chelsea just took the cast photo and they put her in the third spot from the bottom, a good omen because a weird number of winners have been in that position. "Your girl's number three. I got this!" -She's a Jersey girl. She went to the University of Maryland. "I didn't do Survivor: Maryland or anything." She studied Broadcast Journalism. She knew the generic emails for NBC Universal and emailed random people until someone replied. Now she's been in LA a year. She did coverage of award shows. Now she works at IMDB, where she helps Kevin Smith with his show. She just interviewed people at SXSW. -She's been watching Survivor since she was 8. She's cried in every interview because this means so much to her. She's trying to explain that at the point she starts crying again. "It's been such a dream of mine and To be told no year after year after year - these past six years have been a total mindfuck. I've basically been called every single year. I've been to finals three times. Survivor is my one true love, but the one year they didn't call me I got really pissed off so I tried out for Big Brother. I ended up becoming the alternate and got my key being filmed and all of that crap. But I don't like that show anyway." -In September 2017 she was at a WeHo bar for her friend's birthday when, "Oh shit that's Jeff Probst." Her girlfriends all know she's obsessed, so she pulled the waiter over and asked what that guy was drinking. So, Chelsea sent another one over. "I told my friends, 'Take my credit card. Split the bill, because I can't come back after I do this. As soon as the waiter drops off the drink I'm like, 'Jeff, this one's on me. You can buy me the next one at finals.' And I just walked out of the restaurant... That was a big move!" They didn't call her again that year, but Jeff still remembered when they talked this year. -She's been working out at four different gyms - weights, pilates, yoga. Push ups. Memorized puzzles. Reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, which she keeps in.a Bible sleeve so people will think she's religious. She also carries Harry Potter because she would trust someone who read HP. She wants to keep it cool. Make one on one connections. Eventually find idols - and not tell anyone she has one - and make calculated moves. "I don't want to be a Jacob. No offense."
My take: Hearing this girl cry from joy because she's so happy to be on the show makes me emotional. She's a real go getter. I wish I were that damn fearless. Truly, I wish I were more like her. I hope her pure zest for life comes across on TV and she doesn't get stuck with a purple edit just because of her age and gender. I also hope no one decides to get threatened by her as a competitive girl and vote her off premerge. I think she'll go far. Hope so.
Dean Kowalski, 28, Account Executive, New York, New York -Referring to himself in the third person, "Dean is 28 years old. As we mentioned, he lives in New York and he prides himself on being a well rounded person when it comes to interests, abilities, personalities... If I'm listening to Drake and Lil Wayne, I gotta go home and cry to This Is Us.. I can play basketball but also think about our place in the universe." He likes to tag basketball courts with a peace symbol with a ball on it which he makes using a stencil. -He structures most of his interview with Josh around an Outwit, Outplay, Outlast format, explaining why he excels at each. -He grew up in an affluent suburb. His dream was to play in the NBA. He was 5"9 3/4, so he set his eyes on college basketball as a realistic alternative. In order to get looks from colleges he went to a school 30 minutes away - top five in the country, Nike would fly them around for games and give them free Jordan sneakers. He was one of only 4 white guys in the whole school and the only one on the team. He played with Kyrie Irving, the #1 overall draft pick. "My friend said you look like the Make a Wish Kid who just wants to be on the team for a day." He played at Colombia University, where he was co-captain his senior year despite averaging two minutes a game. He became a teacher, then did sales for a tech startup in New York. He now sells ads for Google. -He's a fan, but far from a superfan. He started watching Brenda's season. (He thinks it was Nicaragua, but it was actually Carmoan.) He works with a superfan who freaked out when they had a meeting at H&R Block with Carolyn Rivera and they went out to Bourbon Street with her. He kept watching for five years and thought he could do well. He hates when people are all talk, so he sent in a tape. For the video he interviewed random strangers on the street, who had never met him or seen the show, and asked them, "Why am I going to win it?" A barber, a construction worker. He's going to tell people he's in marketing, not sales - people have sales.
My take: I'm just not that into him.
Elaine Stott, 41, Factory Worker, Rockholds, NY -When Josh asks her not to touch the table she asks him, "You seen that Bart Simpson commercial, right? Don't touch my Butterfinger? I'm already hungry thinking about it." -"I had a pretty rough way to go growing up." Her single dad raised her and her three brothers. She was the youngest. "I was raised like one of the boys. Know what I mean? Daddy didn't know how to raise no little girl." He worked 16-17 hour days. The kids raised themselves. "When little children make their own decisions, they make poor ones." She was a hellion. -She's originally from Woodbine, Kentucky, Nick Wilson's hometown. Her god sister went to school with him and she knows him through the grapevine. "We rode on different sides of the track. 20 years ago he coulda been my lawyer, because I was on the other side of the law. I'm not bad. I've just done some things." Public intoxication several times. "I come from a dry county. It's like Footloose. We cross the state line to get a beer and when you come back you're in trouble." She stole a newspaper stand once and had to do community service. "I was a little bit mean." -She went to live with her grandpa and cleaned her act up, by which she means that she started smoking a little weed and playing sports - basketball, softball, track. She played softball and judo in college. "I couldn't do nothing real technical. We had Brazilians on the team who could do flying arm bars. But if I got these claws on you and got ya on the ground I'd waller you to death." In casting she put this guy Will in an armbar. She was gonna choke him but didn't know if she should. -When she graduated, her girlfriend was a college Freshman so she went to all the same parties and ballgames for four years. Then she realized she needed a job. Now she drives a Ford truck for a factory. She's been there 15 years. She works 12 hours, 7 days a week. -Growing up her mom "was always in my life in some sense. She'd never miss a birthday. She'd be homeless, but she'd still call." Elaine and her brothers bought her cars, and places to live, and got her jobs. "In a sense I've been mourning the loss of my mom my whole life." Once Elaine was homeless herself and there was snow on the ground. It was cold, and her teacher took her in. Gave her Christmas presents. Made her go to prom. Survivor was a thing they shared, and the teacher was gonna be Elaine's loved one. But within a one year period the woman lost her daughter, her husband, her dog and then had a stroke. Now "she walks like Frankenstein" and can't go. Elaine got Probst to talk to her, and she can't wait to watch. In October Elaine's biological mom went into a coma. She was on life support, but Elaine wouldn't unplug her. Her mom came out of it and seemed to be doing a lot better only to die very suddenly of a heart attack. -Her girlfriend and her girlfriend's two sons are gonna be watching. The 18 year old doesn't know because he can't keep a secret. The 13 year old helped her lose 20 pounds doing crossfit to come out here. She wants the money, but she really wants "some of that soul searching, that life adventure, that life changing - some of that. You know what I mean? Gimme some of that soup! Lemme eat some of that up! I want this show to build me up, because I feel like it can. I sure hope to hell it don't tear me down."
My take: About 12 sobbing emojis in a row. She's my favorite. If she gets voted out premerge I'm going to go into mourning. And how can you not sort of expect that? I am going to be so upset if they just dismiss her because she's older and looks out of shape and sounds country. If that happens, I want another Second Chance season next year.
Elizabeth Biesel, 26, Olympic swimmer, South Kingstown, Rhode Island -Josh says that Elizabeth was outright identified by one of the other contestants because they'd been watching YouTube videos about how to be a better swimmer. Others guessed she was an Olympian based on her rings tattoo. -She's from the Ocean State. They lived a block away from the beach, so they wanted her to take swimming lessons. She was a rambunctious child and swimming was the only way they could calm her energy. She started breaking records when she was 7 or 8. When she was 13 she made her first national team. At 15 she went to the Olympics. She got good early. Women peak around 22-23, and she ended her career at 24. You couldn't make much money doing it. She swam one of the longer, more grueling races, and her body said "no more." She listened to her body and retired. Some athletes lose their love for swimming because they're embittered by losing by 1/100th of a second, or they leave injured. She left on a good note. Still, if she could swim competitively for the rest of her life, she would. Now she doesn't know who she is or what she's going to do with the rest of her life. Every hour of the day used to have a purpose. Now her days are wide open. She can't keep eating 5,000 calories a day. "It's sort of like I'm mourning the death of Elizabeth Biesel the swimmer." -She was a Survivor fan as a kid because Richard Hatch was from Rhode Island. In her area "Every single household that had a television set was watching Survivor." When they asked her if she'd do the show, she felt pure joy. She said absolutely right away. She's excited about the competition of Survivor. No heated Olympic pools. You're stripped down to your core. She's amazed by the scope of the production apparatus. She's not a schemer. She wants to be a challenge beast - not the best woman but the best overall. She'd love to have a Wendell and Dom relationship with another woman. But, she wants to avoid the drama as long as she can.
My take: Could Chelsea be Wendell to her Dom? She's so wholesome. She's just so "Olympics." I love her and everything she represents. I'd love to see her rocket through the swimming competitions, lapping everyone else. Go Elizabeth.
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2019.09.25 02:32 miber3 Nick Jackson's Twitter Q&A

Nick Jackson just hosted a Q&A with his fans on Twitter.
There's a bit of fluff, but he does give a few interesting responses, as well. He shoots down the idea of a trios title in AEW, talks about some of his favorite wrestlers, and gets a bunch of questions about locations for future AEW broadcasts.
Here's the full transcript:
Are there currently talks of an AEW video game?
Yes.
Favorite meal
In n out.
What is your best advice for someone who wants to be a wrestler or something wrestling related
Not to ever give up. No matter how hard it may get.
Will DYNAMITE ever come to buffalo?
Yes.
Favorite sandwich?
Reuben.
One week out and no word on what Canada TV deal looks like?!
Stay tuned.
Enjoyed last ppv, but there was alot of missed shots and cameras out of place. Can this be fixed?
We've done 4 shows. It'll get better.
when are we getting the young bucks vs Jurassic express?
It'll happen for sure.
Favorite shoes ever made? (I see your shoe game Nick!)
Concords spacejam ones.
When do you expect @AEWrestling in the UK?
Sometime next year.
How long did it take to get where you guys are at right now?
16 years.
Will there be a dark match at @CapitalOneArena Wednesday before going live? Will there be one after the show goes off the air?
Yes and yes.
What will come first. Six man titles or a television title of some sort?
None of them.
Worst bump you ever took?
Video of ladder spot from All Out
Other than yourself and Matt, who do you think has a shot to win the tag tourny?
Every tag team in it. We have the best division in wrestling.
How much of an adjustment has it been going from an in ring talent primarily to someone who is very much so in charge of running the show/company?
Honestly the last three years of doing BtE have prepared us a lot.
Any chance of AEW coming to the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA; if so when?
Yes. We just gotta figure out a date.
When are you guys coming to Los Angeles?
Hopefully ASAP.
Would you ever go back to generation me or any other name again?
No chance.
When are you going to hold an intervention for @KennyOmegamanX? He is clearly enjoying way too many energy drinks
Maybe soon?
Any chance on having a working relationship with new japan???
Doesn't look like it.
would you ever do another match with the Hardys? Say maybe at the Hardy Compound?
A dream of mine.
Who is currently your favorite wrestler in @AEWrestling?
Jungle boy, lucha, and Marko.
What tag team from the past would you guys want to wrestle in their prime?
Edge and Christian
Hands down who's the biggest name on your roster??
Jericho
why aren't Angelico and Evans in if Dark Order has a bye
They've lost every match they've had.
Thoughts on The Butcher and The Blade?
Love them.
Are there future plans for an AEW Trios Championship with so many three man teams?
Nope.
Has something ever happen in a match that made you feel embarrassed
I once tripped on a spring board for the meltzer driver and fell right on my face. Happened at beyond wrestling I believe.
You guys coming to Houston or what?? And if so, will you give @Whataburger a shot??
We will be there at some point.
Top 5 fav wrestlers of all time
Hogan Shawn Hardy’s macho Jericho
Will there be separate Heavyweight / Cruiserweight divisions?
No.
Will Dynamite be two hours or longer?
2 hours.
Did you have original plans for Final Battle 2018???
Yes. Had to change them last minute.
how sick are the tag belts going to be?
Just saw a sneak peak. They look awesome!
any chance you'd do a Ladder War 6 rematch but in AEW?
Not sure if I'll ever have a ladder match again.
before Adam Cole was murdered was he a dark match talent or nah?
Always been a star. Main event type guy.
Any theme like shows like Nitro Spring Break or Hog Wild?
Probably.
How did you tell your family about the AEW deal and what was their reaction?
I didn’t believe it. Matt was the first person to talk with Tony about this. Those two made this happen and I’ll be forever grateful.
How long y’all gonna make me wait to see AEW in NYC
Trust me. We’ve been working on this.
Any update on a TV deal for Canada? Worried I won’t be able to see the debut next week.
Working on it as we speak.
Did you ever expect @orangecassidy to go viral?
He’s the best. Known him for over a decade.
Will we ever see kenny vs Matt vs Nick in AEW?
If you guys want it.
how many superkicks have you delivered in your life?
I think the lucha bros got us beat on that haha.
You guys skipped right over NY/NJ in this first batch of shows - any idea when you'll head back this way?
It's been tough getting a venue with open dates.
Are you bring replica championships out to purchase?
That's the plan.
What Tag Team are you most looking forward to having a feud with in AEW?
Honestly, all of them. Every tag team we have can go with the best.
Do you guys plan on coming to KC??
Yes
Who do you consider to be the most underrated in the business?
Trent.
favorite color?
Blue
Ever consider a singles run?
Only if Matt ever quits before me.
Best way to decompress after a match?
Candy and room service haha.
Do you think your career would never have been the same without Being The Elite ?
I honestly don't think AEW would be happening without it.
who's the better buck?
We're equal. He hides my weaknesses and I hide his.
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2019.05.18 23:05 Captain_Stottlemeyer [Spoilers S3E1] The American-Gilead Analysis


The following post was made to the best of my ability using information from the show, the book, and real life information available to me. All comparisons are made from real life events that could be connected to the settings of Handmaid's tale. While some comparisons or information may not be the truth revealed later in the series, or you do not agree with my input that is fine. That is your right as a viewer. This simply my personal think and comparison
There will be spelling mistakes and weirdly sentenced things, so I'm doing a double take after posting.
--Pre-Takeover--
The religious group known as "Sons of Jacob" had risen to power and popularity throughout the country with chapters located in at least 30 states. SOJ members most likely reached political or powerful government positions throughout the country due to the groups popularity and influence. In S1 E8, in a flashback we see Nick at the "Worthy Praise Career Counseling" with the business having a similar symbol to Gilead symbols. One of the original SOJ members working there, who eventually recruits Nick into the organization, is later named to be Commander Pryce, a high ranking member in the new Gilead. So the W.P.C.C business may have publicly been SOJ doing God's work and cleaning up the country to help the people get back on there feet, but also a recruiting place. Think about it; unemployed people who are down on there luck suddenly find a job and feel like they have a purpose with the group SOJ who are told they are doing God's working. Slowly paving the way for public SOJ support for Gilead. Even Ofglen #2 aka the Handmaiden bomber says " I used to get f***ed behind a dumpster just so I could buy a sixth of Oxy and a Happy Meal. I'm clean now. I've got a safe place to sleep every night and I have people who are nice to me. And I want to keep it that way." This gives an idea that for June , Lucas and Moira this new life is terrible, but for others like her. Its better then what they had before the takeover.
These members likely started Gilead foundation from within the government very slowly. We would see SOJ members be appointed to state and government positions; state attorney, senator staffer, Intelligence officers, governor. Appointments that would appear normal to the public, but was actually placing key members into positions of authority. Members were likely promoted within as well for increased authority.
Military personnel were likely members as well. Within the U.S Military we likely saw increased training exercises that seemed to focus more on seizure and less on defense , increased troop movement, non-SOJ officers would be removed from meetings, given lower security clearance. Regular troops would be encouraged to attend the public SOJ meetings at one of its many chapters to align with SOJ ideas, also be encouraged to attend Christian "Religious Services", that is if there isn’t already "Sons of Jacob" Religious services. This would help explain why there seem to be so many Guardians and those in the military that were willing to join Gilead. While there is no specific date given for the creation SOJ to the actually creation of Gilead, ranging from a few years to even 8 years. While to many this may not seem like enough time to gather enough members worthy of a full out civil war, the support for the SOJ is exacerbated by the fertility crisis. In comparison the Nazi Party it took them at least 10 years to reach 12,000 members, but had two million by 1933/4 . People were looking for an answer, a reason for this crisis. Who is to blame for our terrible birth rate and destroyed environment right now? Similar to the Weimar Republic’s economic depression and Hitler giving the stricken population somebody to point at, the Jews and the Boshloviks. Just as the Nazi party rose in popularity by giving them a purpose, so did the Sons of Jacob . Gilead would blame the fertility crisis on lesbians, gays gender traitors, and birth control; Weather or not it was true
The group “SOJ” was being investigated by the F.B.I . At least two members known to be specifically under investigation were Serena Joy and Fred Waterford. The exact extent of the investigation is unknown though SOJ was likely treated as a domestic terrorist group, similar to groups ; The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord and the KKK as they are considered radical militant christian group
--The Attack on the D.C , Levels of Government, and the President--
There is were things get bumpy due to the hazy timeline and little info about the attacks, the takeover, and the civil war. So real life comparisons will be used.
In the show Commander Waterford describes the attacks as three targets; Congress (Legislative) The White House (Executive Level), and the Supreme Court (Judicial). The attacks were in that order( S1E6) The Waterford’s were told that the plan was approved and issued order for the attacks in three weeks. Hitting the three levels of government would cripple any chance of political norm.
Lets go back almost 90 years for a history lesson.
in real life in 1933, four weeks after Hitler became the Chancellor, the Reichstag, (similar to the U.S Congress and the British Parliament) caught fire and was destroyed. The exact origins of the fire and its arsonists are still unknown to this day. The fire was blamed on a communist plot from within the government . This gave way to the“reichstag fire decree”which suspended many civil liberties such as habeas corpus, freedom of the press, and gave Hitler emergency powers . ( We all saw Star Wars and took history class, we know how this ends.)
A event known as “Night of the Long Knives” which started June 30th, 1934 and lasted three days saw all of Hitler and the Nazi Party’s enemies executed. The Gestapo, which we can compare to the Guardians, carried out the attacks all over Germany. Several important figure were killed ; "von Schleicher, the last Chancellor to Germany before Hitler, von Kahr, the former Bavarian prime minister during Hitler’s uprising in 1923, dozens of S.A members, several Reichstag members, and anyone else who could have opposed Hitler. This purge truly cemented Hitler’s power over Germany. Just as the D.C attacks would give SOJ power.
Back to Handmaids Tale, a newspaper dated September 15, 2014 titled “President's Day Massacre” is seen in S2 as an prop at the Boston Globe Newspaper.
It states the Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House were all attacked. The unnamed President took a gunshot to the chest and shoulder was taken to the Georgetown University Hospital were he died. The White House was bombed, so that means the President was either at Congress or at a unknown fourth location. In the books it was stated all the attacks were done by Islamic fanatics, but no official perpetrators are stated in the show. Though in our currently in our time, Islamic Extremists seems the most likely . Some wonder why there wasn’t a designated survivor which is only used for the State of the Union or Presidential Inaugurations and other such events. As the attacks didn’t happen during a State of the Union this explains why. Congress and the Supreme Court must have both been in session to make sure all targets were in place for the attack. Although these three locations are stated, there were most likely other individual targets across D.C; Lawyers who were at their homes, military officers who were stationed at the Pentagon, FBI & CIA directors along with other key targets who would have posed a threat to the rising Gilead government. Martial law was being declared right after the attacks came on the news with National Guard units being activated in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Chicago and other large cities.
Any survivors that miraculously ( conveniently ) missed their assassinations or weren't there that day at the attack were all most likely SOJ members. These survivors were now significantly higher on the level of government. Just as Bush JR addressed the 9/11 attacks with a national speech to the nation, so would the SOJ survivors. They would have recited a bible verse just as Bush did with Psalms 23. Something along the lines of "The fruit of our nation has been taken away from us, we shall find the villains who committed this act, with God's watchful eye protecting us we shall overcome". The surviving members would had a emergency government session and declared a national state of emergency. The nation was just attacked at the heart of its power, the people would have accepted into the new rules, no matter how totalitarian it was. Just as we did with our privates after 9/11 with the Patriot Act. The rest of the world would have given massive support. In addition is "Posse Comitatus Act" and the" Insurrection Act", which would support the legal precedence for the military to used as a domestic security force during martial law, The attacks are largely considered when SOJ truly controlled the remains of U.S. Government
So when you ask "Why did these soldiers who swore to uphold the constitution of the U.S against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same", betray the U.S?
Besides the previously mentioned high possibility that SOJ had high ranking officers in the military. The public faces of SOJ likely had outreach, youth programs, day cares, along side the WPCC. By the time SOJ starts as a community program before the creation of Gilead, that is more then enough time to grow propaganda or popularity into a kids and young adults head to enlist in the Gilead's future military .Think about it, how many pimple faced 17/18/19 year old's joined the military after 9/11 happened? The same thing must happened after the D.C Attacks, young eager Americans who just graduated high school wanting to enlist to protect their country. Just as Eden Blaine is such a true believer at 15 when she is married off. We see that she was raised to believe this by her mother, who probably just wanted the best for her daughter in this new Gilead world, We see that after the D.C attacks there is a stronger protection of children. The education system likely changed as well, with elementary and middle schools giving SOJ ideas into the children students, Don't think of Gilead's commanders in business suits taking over bases and troops, think of a Colonel or General that has been in the military since your mom was a baby.
New members of congress and other positions from each state would be nominated or chosen to replace the deceased. The time it would have take to figure who is dead, announce the new rules, decide who would run or be nominated would have taken time. The surviving members would have fast track the rest of SOJ members to replace. All of these is what they are saying in public to the american people, but in reality its all B.S. The new FBI director would have publicly stated that they are hunting down the conspirators. All while the country is still under martial law. The new government would lowered or removed foreign aid, putting in a private SOJ fund for the future Gilead government, recalled certain troops from the rest of the globe, recall one or two fleets into the U.S oceans to enforce its coastal waters to stop people from leaving and smugglers. When the fleets arrive, they replace Admirals and Commanders with SOJ supporters , The attacks didn't happen on a Monday and Republic of Gilead created on a Sunday, everything was slowly built up; supporters, popularity, laws, guardians. Three to 5 years pass until Gilead is official after the D.C attacks taking place in late 2014; according to the newspaper; with the current show time taking place around early to mid 2020s .
--The Civil War --
Just as hazy as the actually takeover, because there is no way of telling how fast events happened; month, year, 5 years.
SOJ has infiltrated the highest levels of government and the military. The laws have slowly but surely been built up to empower the Republic of Gilead. No specific date is given for when Civil War started perhaps its been 3 to 5 years, but you can guesstimate Hannah's birth, age when with parents, and when Hannah is seen again at the end of S1.
During the first American Civil War, things reached a tipping point and the nation was at war with itself. For this second civil war it is unknown if it was the actually creation and enforcement of the Handmaidens , a different important law for Gilead, or if one of the free state/s actually rose up against the rising tyrannical "U.S Government" that lead to a military revolt. The Civil War has begun, stars and stripes all over the eastern U.S are sent to the ground and replaced with the Republic of Gilead flag. Military units all over the United States would have been activated, Gilead controlled borders would have been shut down, newly formed Guardians would have been fighting police and loyalist N.G all over.
( This next bit is somewhat heavy guess work due to very little information known about the early conflict or current status of the Civil war and basing heavily off this map which can be seen on Commander Waterford's desk in S2E11/12?) Gilead most likely controlled everything east of the Mississippi River at the start of the war except for the south-east ironically known as the Bible Belt; South Carolina , George, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the other southern and south-eastern states.
Some things to know are currently
  1. 327.2 million Americans with at least 9 million living overseas as of 2019 , but again we can lower this number for H.T due to the fertility crisis.
  2. ; As of 2016 in the US there are; around 1,358,193 Active personnel for all active branches (their job is military 24/7)-with at least 450,000 overseas; stationed in Germany, Korea, Philippines and so on , and 14,000 in Afghanistan , 6-8 thousand in Iraq.
  3. Reserve personnel for reserves and National Guard around 811,000 ( They are trained for the military, but maintain civilian jobs and called be called in to active service if needed )
Just to give you a general idea of how many people could be fighting and how many Guardians there could be.
Although with the environmental problems and fertility crisis, we can expect this number to be somewhat lower because of the very little newborns to grow up and replace cycle of troops that the U.S needs every year to maintain its large troop status. Everything on the west side of the continental U.S is under the control of a new U.S Government; controlled by the governors with military support from each state's National Guard. This new US Government would recall any U.S Forces left around the globe. U.S. Forces would be setting off from Japan, Germany, the Phillipines. With the United States Forces in Korea having around 20-30,000 troops stationed there it could be iffy, if all U.S forces leave Korea that would leave South Korea heavily undermanned against a North Korea invasion. Then again, North Korea is already a nation crippled by lack of modern technology, mostly medical and farming, in the real world. So its possible North Korea is decimated by the fertility crisis and environmental problems. Leaving S.K to feel safe enough that N.K wouldn't invade even with most US forces gone from the peninsula. These U.S loyal troops would arriving all along the west coast of Californa, Oregon, and Washington (state) , traveling by any Naval units left in the region bringing along armored and aircraft units to reinforce the California front.
They would be reinforcing N.G units that likely faced heavy losses to the Guardians in the very start and early stages of the Civil War. The middle of the U.S , was likely the early defensive line set along Texas, Colorado, Montana line. Going back to the Gilead map, it appears most of the fighting is actually taking place to the south/south east and the West coast.. Most of Texas and nearly everything in Florida is in rebel controlled territory. Which is strange due to the oranges in S1 make it seem like Gilead has advanced on the conflicted territory of Florida from the "rebels". Then we look back to the map again seen at the end of S2, we see the U.S controls most of California, Oregon, and Washington state which then makes it strange in S2 when Eden offers the Guardian a strawberry "all the way from California" So Gilead is planting, farming, reaping, and transporting it all the way to the east coast while in U.S held territory? Think about those two things . Though the Commanders and the rest of Gilead call them "Rebels" we must assume Rebels are actually the U.S Military and not just resistance movements ,due to the size of the conflicts zones and Gilead not wanting to say U.S troops to give them legitimacy.) If there was a large amount of U.S military forces on the eastern U.S they likely retreated to the deep south of the U.S. If those units are not being able to be reinforced or replenished war equipment, the surviving Florida troops may have been evacuated to U.S Navy ships in the Gulf , retreated to U.S held Puerto Rico or even to the naval station in Cuba. Combative Naval Support may be limited for reasons of targets, collateral damage, or simply unable to provide naval support to U.S ground troops.
Now we turn to the North, in Season 1, June says there are American soldiers fighting with tanks in the remains of Chicago. When you look at the map again we see the northern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan are still under control of the U.S Remnant, with the rest of both states in blue stating that they are clearly in Gilead control without resistance. June's Chicago reference likely meant that at some point the U.S had control of Chicago, but was defeated by the Guardians of the Faithful. June mentions the Americans in Chicago sometime after she arrives with the Waterfords, but S1 takes place two-three years after her capture. So its possible that the fighting in Chicago had been over for quite some time.
"Maybe it was a U.S invasion of Chicago through Lake Michigan to combine the Michigan/Wisconsin front into one large battlefront?."
Nice to think that the U.S military has tried a aggressive strategy into partially reclaiming the Northern Midwest, but is unlikely due the massive damage the U.S Military has received all around. If M/W front collapses they should be able to retreat to the Canadian border and either be interned or allowed to assimilated with whatever remains of the U.S Military in Canada.
Where is NATO and U.S allies?
For those that don't know NATO ( NORTH AMERICAN TREATY ORGANIZATION) is a international alliance of 29 countries which include ; USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, England and so on. The initial reason for this alliance was to protect themselves against a invasion against the former Soviet Union back during the Cold War. Although NATO has been involved with humanitarian efforts and smaller conflicts like Kosovo and Libya. Article 5 states "a attack on one of us is a attack on all us". Which was to deter the Soviet Union from invading and annexing its neighbors. Article 5 has only been issued once, by the US immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
NATO maintains around 2 million active duty personnel. The main problem is that the US is the bulk NATO's military capabilities. Out of 29 member states, only 8 have reached or maintained 2 percent of its GPD (money funding). Some believe they that European allies have grown to comfortably relying on the U.S for NATO Military. So would NATO even be able to give basic logistical support to the U.S Government, let alone a full on NATO invasion of Gilead in any form?
Also the general idea for NATO and the US is that Russian would overrun the Baltic states, and reach the German border or possibly the Rhine River within nine days before the Americans could reinforce NATO -Europe which could take too long. So the idea of all of NATO's combat nations even just assembling to help America could take too long, especially if they are not maintaining its budget. Then factor in mobilizing countries that are also affected by the pollution and birth problems, then your moving weapons, equipment, ammo, food, gas, support personnel, across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada where they would have to set up staging areas all along the Canadian border into America/Gilead. Then depending on the status of Russia and China, they suddenly have a Europe empty of defense on the other side of the hemisphere. Could they really trust Russia not to invade? They are in just as much trouble and pain as the rest of the world.
In season 2, while Luke is in Little America, Ontario, Canada, he states that both Canadian and British troops have increased military exercises along the border. It's possible the military exercises are just for show. Similar to the U.S and S.K military exercises; a constant reminder to Gilead-Korea not to do something stupid or use W.M.Ds of any kind.
In comparison to real life, Canada currently has around 68,000 active personnel with around 27,000 in reserve. This is SIGNIFICANTLY lower to America's pre-civil war manpower. British Army force's likely reinforced Canada as they are a commonwealth country. The exact size of the British reinforcements are unknown. In comparison, when England sent the BEF ( British Expeditionary Force) during W.W 2 , it took them a month to send out 152,000 troops with ammo, vehicles, and supplies in France.
Now there's plans, ideas, fan fiction, thoughts and ideas from everyone on what would happen. That would just be insane from going over all of ideas on what could happen. So forget all those and only focus on my idea.
If Canada were to invade Gilead and liberate the rest of the U.S, it would be under a joint American-Canadian-British invasion force; with various combat support from other NATO allies. ACB troops would swoop down from British Columbia to reinforce the exhausted American troops along the west coast (Look back at the map) Troops would enter from Ontario-New York state border with troops from Quebec pushing south into New England / New Gilead District, as there seems to be heavy rebel fighting there already (Rebels in Blue Hills mentioned). The Quebec troops would push down to meet the Ontario troops. They would then peel off into the coast to spearhead into D.C. Canadian/ US Marines would seize Albany, New York as well as the coast of Maine.
Even with a combined Canada/ British/ American naval fleet to push on the Atlantic Ocean and liberate the coasts they would have faced heavy losses against the captured American turned Gilead fleet. Although during the early start of the war if there were Loyalist Navy members that were unable to escape with a ship or join a loyalist navy group, it is possible they scuttled the ships that were docked in ports to prevent Gilead making use of them. Similar to what happened in W.W 2 with the Vichy France
What about NUKES used in the Civil War and the Colonies?
So nukes are not to be taken lightly. Nuclear war has always been a terrible thought in everyone's head, especially during the Cold War when W.W 3 could have happened at any second. Nukes haven't been used militarily since 1945, when the U.S bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were bombed because an American invasion of Japan could have killed over a million people; from the Americans, the zealot Japanese soldiers, and the civilians killed in the crossfire.
Currently the U.S has around 6,000 nukes, only 4,000 are active and ready to launch. Even semi General locations are Classified . We do know there are several silos in the Great Plains though. The U.S also has around 14 Ohio-Class submarines which carries a dozen nuke missiles each. There is no way of telling who is a loyalist and who is willing to join Gilead.So there could have been mutinies and infighting on ships all across the navy and missile bases across the country. If Gilead could actually use the nukes is unknown. They could be using it as a threat like North Korea does, is unwilling to use nukes, or another reason.
Full yield nuclear weapons like B-61, Titan 2, B-83 are possible reasons for the colonies, but doesn't seem likely for either side to use. If Gilead truly has pushed U.S Forces as far back as the West Coast, the U.S forces could use limited high yield missiles along the Gilead lines to push back the Guardians. Would Gilead use nukes back at them? What would the international community think of this action, even if it was a last resort, similar to Israel's plan. Now the large swaths of land are destroyed from the blast and the radiation, plus all that nuclear fallout is heading to Mexico. Now you have a city neither side can use, any potential farm land is irradiated. Things that neither side can afford if they wish to take over the Continental U.S
There are different types of weapon used for nukes : neutron (high radiation, low explosive ), atomic/fission, hydrogen. Depending on what was used and where it detonated, might be a plausible reason the wasteland/ colonies. You know what, just watch john oliver explain and get form your own idea.
When the Mexican ambassador visits Gilead and the Waterford she just says "My hometown hasn't had a child born in 6 years". She doesn't say anything along the lines of "Your nuclear fires have destroyed us even in Mexico."
We assume "The Colonies" are large swaths of land that are uninhabitable due to the radioactive waste, or fallout from the nukes. The colonies are cleaned up by women who have been sent there for their crimes. We know Emily /Ofglen and Nadine/Ofwarren were sent off to the colonies where they dig up the waste soil and thrown into bags, where they are hauled off by F.M.T.Vs. The closest known radioactive wasteland is seen below as "Arkansas nuclear one" which is a nuclear power plant. We have to assume that's not where Emily and Nadine were sent off off due to the massive distance.So its likely there are smaller radioactive/polluted lands near Boston and throughout the country.

Enjoy my terrible map markers I made in Microsoft paint

"Post"- Second American Civil War
Shout out to u/Kspence92 for making the U.S is now Taiwan comparison.
The Republic of Gilead now has control over most of the continental United States. The United States government is now in exile to Anchorage, Alaska where the new capital is set up. The 50 stars on Old Glory are now reduced to 48 hollowed stars and two normal stars; which represent the states of Alaska and Hawaii. Tens - if not hundreds of thousands of Americans are now refugees in Canada or other countries. The U.S is no longer the world's leading superpower, no longer the strongest country in the world, the world's bastion of democracy is now crumbling down on itself.
Official the S.A.C.W is still going on against the Gilead secessionists, while officially the civil war is over with only "rebels" (aka U.S Military) fighting a hopeless war. In Toronto, Canada is a neighborhood known as " Little America", a reference to the large areas of mostly Chinese neighborhoods throughout the U.S known as "China Town". In Nick and Moira's side of the story we what could have been the original U.S Consulate or just turned into location for the Americans to use. If it is the original consulate the distance is a 30 minute drive from the Pearson International Airport where the Waterford's arrive as diplomats in S2 E9. We see U.S Marines stationed there, they are called " Marine Corps Embassy Security Group ". It's possible they were originally stationed during the rising events of the Civil War and stayed as loyalists. U.S Embassies and Consulates across the globe may still be functioning, providing assistance to the Americans that were stationed or living aboard, as well as the Americans who were moved as part of the refugee program
Military strength is greatly weakened from its current 3-6 year long civil war. It's naval supremacy around the globe is now reduced to defending the West coast and its Alaskan / Hawaiian / and California sea routes. The new government consists of Governors, retired politicians who came back , and state senators who were able to flee to Canada or retreat to Alaska from California before the war reached them. This government is likely seen as the legitimate government across the globe except by nations who recognize Gilead simply as a "Screw you" to the U.S. The United Nations Building in New York is likely abandoned and being reused by Gilead. The new United Nations Assembly likely relocated to its second largest office in Geneva, Switzerland. Gilead as a nation is condemned and faces embargoes or tariffs all around. The E.U has done this as well and is hurting the Gilead economy, but it is hurting the E.U just as badly. Waterford even says " The Gilead economy will come to a crash in 6 months if the trade deal ( mexican-gilead trade ) doesn't work out"
Just before the Waterfords leave for Canada, Eden Blaine gives Nick chocolate chip cookies stating "never seen a ticket for chocolate before". This means the Mexican deal with through, and economically Gilead can continue as a nation for many years to come. Though long for the distant future?
In S2 E9, when the Waterfords are in Canada for negations, Serena Joy is approached by a man named Mark Tuello, he says he is "A representative of the United States government" . He then offers her asylum in Hawaii and to tell her story, in her own words. This is very plainly- " We give you a new home, keep you self, and you tell everyone how terrible Gilead is". Though it is unknown if he or the U.S Government is aware of the fact she was one of the key plotters for the coup. He offers her cigarettes , most likely the same brand she smoke. All of this is a clear sign of Tuello being a CIA agent trying to recruit Serena as a propaganda asset. A high ranking Commander's wife defecting would be propaganda coup for the U.S . The mere fact that John doesn't work in the semi official motto of the CIA , "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) is clearly a missed opportunity by the show's writers.
The U.S likely maintains it seat on the Security Council and on the United Nations due its long term status as a superpower and ability to stay in the fight against Gilead. Similar right after W.W 2 , the Republic of China (ROC) continued it's civil war against the "Peoples Republic of China " ( Communists/ PRC,) . The Civil war was stopped after Japan invaded mainland China, afterwards the warlords and factions of China united as one until the Japanese were stopped. Eventually the Communists beat back the Nationalists to Taiwan, a island just of the coat of China. It wasn't until 1971 was the ROC expelled from the U.N and the PRC was officially recognized as nation. This is still a controversy to this day regarding the One China Policy and the Two Chinas.
Canada
( Personally in my opinion , this where I think things get sloppy on the wider narrative)
Although Canada allows most of the Americans as "guests", they still maintain relations with Gilead. During the Waterford visit to Canada we hear a news report say " Security was tight today at Toronto Pearson International Airport for a historic occasion. The first visit to Canada --. The identity of the official, seen here with his wife, has not been made public, nor has an agenda for the visit. Trade will almost certainly be a major topic of discussion. Our economy is still recovering from the loss of the former United States as trading partner. Another long-hoped-for-goal is calming tensions along the Canada-Gilead border. A lot of work to be done there, and today marks a promising start. A spokesperson for the American government in Anchorage expressed deep disappointment at Canada's perceived normalizing of Gilead and its controversial, even retrograde policies. The Canadian government did not respond " That night Waterford tells to Serena " We made progress this morning. Border security is on the table, maybe even extradition of illegal immigrants." We all know of course illegal immigrants are just the Marthas, Guardians, and so on, who escaped from Gilead. That same night they arrive, Nick gives Luke the package of letters that were smuggled out. That morning the Waterfords are kicked out of Canada and the talks are cancelled because of the letters. There's one single huge problem with this. Why would letters be the thing that kicks them out? We know people were trying to escape early Gilead because of its laws and you know, machine gunning protesters. People are still constantly escaping from Gilead . Moira's refugee consultant says " I go from having no one, to 14 people in one day". Moira talks to the Guardian defector who says "I was in the Army, then in a week i was a Guardian and hanging people for being "gender traitors". Moira was a Handmaid and a sex slave at Jezebels. All of these people probably gave a report of who they were before and were in Gilead, what they did, what they saw, who was killed, and how they escaped. So Canada and the rest of the world knows all the crazy war crimes in Gilead. Its like when people escape and defect to South Korea. We know Korea is terrible place, highly militarized, personality cults with the Kim family, and people disappear all the time to be killed or imprisoned in work camps. We already know all of these things , the people who escape just keep confirming what we already know. So why would letters from these people be the kill shot for the Canadian-Gilead talks?.
--If you've been reading this whole thing while using the restroom, please seek medical advice Also, I tricked you into reading my fan fiction!
submitted by Captain_Stottlemeyer to TheHandmaidsTale [link] [comments]


2018.08.23 21:40 Oblique9043 The Economist: The World in 2015 Cover & Serco

The Economist: The World in 2015 Cover & Serco

Everyone needs to keep in mind at all times that the symbol of the Illuminati is the PHOENIX. It's colors are Purple, Red and Gold. It is associated with and the Sun. It represents immortality through death and rebirth. Dragons, Eagles and Falcons will sometimes be used as alternative symbols to represent the Phoenix to try and hide it.

https://preview.redd.it/4s4o8774xvh11.jpg?width=2895&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=866093bca484208906668bee95a5a258e79b7d8e

Anything bolded in brackets is my own added commentary. [EXAMPLE]
The Economist 2015 Cover is Filled With Cryptic Symbols and Dire Predictions
January 8, 2015I wouldn’t normally dedicate an entire article analyzing the cover of a publication, but this isn’t any publication. It is The Economist and it is directly related to the world elite. It is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England and its editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, attended several times to the Bilderberg Conference – the secretive meeting where the world’s most powerful figures from the world of politics, finance business, and media discuss global policies. The outcome of those meetings is totally secret. It is, therefore, safe to say that the people at The Economist know things that most people don’t. For this reason, its “2015 prediction” cover is rather puzzling.The bleak and sinister cover features political figures, fictional characters and pop culture icons that will surely make the news in 2015. However, most importantly, it also includes several drawings that are extremely symbolic and allude to important elements of the elite’s Agenda. Here’s the cover :At first glance, we see political figures like Obama and Putin, references to the Rugby cup and the new Spider-Man movie. But a closer look reveals a plethora of disturbing elements. Here are some of them.

Two-Faced Globe



https://preview.redd.it/49a37he7xvh11.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bab9a98a05f43970c512fcc04b2ec9c7e83f049c
[Just like the Double Headed Phoenix of Russia, Trump's and the Scottish Rite Freemason's Coat of Arms]
One side of the globe gazes stoically towards the West while the other side appears irate. Does this represent a confrontation between the East and the West? The cover features a few other symbols referring to the “rise of the East”. What’s more unsettling is that immediately under that angry globe, are pictured a mushroom cloud (the kind that happens after a nuclear bomb goes off) and a spy satellite launching into space.


https://preview.redd.it/kt5ce4xkxvh11.jpg?width=555&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e4aeb82a012ae773ae86019b24edfd1a4b3ad64e
[The NASA spy satellite could represent Trump's Space Force. We're going to drop a nuke on North Korea or Iran]

The Color of the Faces


Take a closer look at the faces of the personalities featured on the cover. Some of them are in full color while others are in black and white. Why is that?

https://preview.redd.it/b0h9ae4oxvh11.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=87ea53dda40f20ffb4211cc1806bb085921e4dcf
Among those in black in white are Putin, Merkel, Obama, Hilary Clinton and David Cameron. Among those in color are David Blaine, a young person holding a “Singapore” banner (Singapore is the host of the 2015 SEA games) and a random guy wearing virtual reality equipment. A quick compilation of this data reveals that those in black and white appear to be part of the elite (including the ISIS guy who probably works for them) and those in color are “outsiders”. Is this how the elite perceives the world?

Pied Piper


https://preview.redd.it/jqmnv58qxvh11.jpg?width=127&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7b27a9b759f56f77902bb851df49c0f78cf52330
The presence of the Pied Piper on this 2015-themed cover is downright unsettling. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a German legend about a man who used his magical flute to lure away the children of the city of Hamelin, never to be seen again.


The Pied Piper leads the children out of Hamelin. Illustration from Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”

This folkloric figure dating from the Middle-Ages is said to represent either massive death by plague or catastrophe, or a movement of massive immigration. It also perfectly represents today’s youth being “lured” and mystified by the “music” of mass media. Conveniently enough, there’s a small boy right under Piper’s flute.

[Pied Piper is obviously Trump/Putin/Qanon. Leading people into their deaths as well as the child separation thing at the border]

Clueless Boy

https://preview.redd.it/xzuhn795zvh11.jpg?width=554&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=58b181b1946ca12b2d1c0bbc082b8da594fc9abb
Right under the Pied Piper, we see a young boy with a dumbfounded look on his face. He is watching a game called “Panic”. The words “Federal Reserve” and “Chi” (which probably stands for China) are on top while the words “Green light!” and “sis!” (which probably stands for “Isis!” or “Crisis!”) are at the bottom. The little boy watches as this twisted game of Plinko unfolds the same way the clueless masses watch powerlessly while various events unfold on mass media. As the name of the game states, the ultimate goal is to cause Panic around the world as crises are almost randomly generated by those who control the game. And that’s on a magazine cover owned by the Rothschilds.
[Trump is poised to try and take over the Federal Reserve and China could dump our bonds just like Russia is doing while his supporters look on like the "Clueless Boy"]

Crop-O-Dust

https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Untitled-1.jpg
In front of Putin is a small aircraft on which is written Crop-O-Dust. This refers to the concept of crop dusting which is “the process of spraying crops with powdered insecticides or fungicides from an aircraft.” Right under the helicopter is a kid … eating something. Unsettling.

https://preview.redd.it/qjo1dxwczvh11.jpg?width=268&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c614bda88ed55834c3050023a9a461ae3e2684fe
Sitting right under the crop-o-dust, this kid is eating a heavily processed package of noodles. Is he ingesting the poison that was spread by the aircraft?

China

https://preview.redd.it/69vnylkgzvh11.jpg?width=400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4396d8f378b1ec7d259c1e3d6b9ccbe962cefa05
A panda bear wearing a China-flag Speedo while flexing its muscles is a rather clear way of portraying the fact that China is gaining power. Next to it is a sumo wrestler holding a big battery on which the polarities (+ and -) are clearly indicated. Are they alluding to a switch in polarity in world power from the West to the East?
[This is definitely happening right now]

Ghost

https://preview.redd.it/ybd3ztbkzvh11.jpg?width=224&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=407052a267ae1e6e31c99c2b0e58907b3ea09299
Emerging from behind Obama’s leg is a ghost reading a magazine entitled “Holiday”. Why is this ghost, which represents a dead person, planning a vacation? Does it represent the fact that the masses will be so impoverished that the only time they’ll be on a holiday is when they’re dead? Does it relate to the countless people who died while traveling in the past months? Creepy.

Turtle

https://preview.redd.it/2id6q9utzvh11.jpg?width=427&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=55abec9cebbc022ddbc5e1ec1a487d28a8c9bb56
Standing in front of everything else, gazing right into our souls is a turtle with emphasis lines around its shell. What does it represent? Will turtles make a huge comeback in 2015? Probably not.
An angry tortoise is the symbol of the Fabian Society, an extremely powerful organization that has been working for over a century towards to formation of a single world government.

The motto of the Fabian Society is “When I strike, I strike hard”.
The philosophy behind Fabian socialism is basically the blueprint of what we call today the New World Order.
The Fabian Society is a very old group originating in England in 1884, with the purpose of forming a single, global socialist state. They get their name from the Roman general Fabius, who used carefully planned strategies to slowly wear down his enemies over a long period of time to obtain victory. “Fabian Socialism” uses incremental change over a long period of time to slowly transform a state as opposed to using violent revolution for change. It is essentially socialism by stealth. Their original emblem was a shield with a wolf in sheep’s clothing holding a flag with the letters F.S. Today the international symbol of the Fabian Society is a turtle, with the motto below: “When I strike, I strike hard.” – The Fabian Society, The Weather Eye
The Fabian Society used to openly advocate a scientifically planned society and supported eugenics by way of sterilization. Its original logo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing … But I guess that was not the best way to conceal the wolf from the masses.

The original logo of the Fabian Society was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Bringing forth a global system through small incremental changes is exactly what the world elite is currently doing. This is probably why there’s an angry tortoise on the cover of this Bilderberg-connected publication – standing in front of the chaos behind it.

11.3 and 11.5

https://preview.redd.it/acin6opf0wh11.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d94a59aca854319919e91085fa096e71e73d9731
The lower right side of the cover features some more cryptic symbols. There’s a pile of dirt on the ground and two arrows on which are inscribed 11.5 and 11.3. Are those dates to remember? Why are they next to a pile of dirt? If you look up these figures as coordinates, they point to somewhere in Nigeria. Displaying numbers that can only be truly understood by “those in the know” is one of the occult elite’s favorite hobbies.
Standing in front of the dirt is Alice in Wonderland looking upwards towards the Cheshire Cat.

https://preview.redd.it/qv7apton0wh11.jpg?width=412&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3c78dc7c5844f8e1eea60a0d8e73558789840480
This iconic cat is known for disappearing entirely, leaving only visible its creepy grin. We, therefore, see another allusion to a world of fantasy, illusion, and deceit as perceived by Alice – a representative of the masses. Along with the somewhat unnecessary inclusion of David Blaine – a magician – the cover mixes real-world events with illusions.Other notable symbols on this cover include a piggy bank flying from James Cameron’s pockets; A model wearing an Alexander McQueen creation (the elite’s favorite designer who died in strange circumstances) and an Asian officer wearing a facemask to protect him from a deadly disease.
2015 seems great, doesn’t it?
In Conclusion
The Economist is not a random newspaper that publishes quirky 2015 predictions to sell a few additional copies. It is directly connected to those who shape global policies and who make sure that they are applied. The publication is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England and its editor regularly attends Bilderberg meetings. In other words, The Economist is connected to those who have the means and the power to make “predictions” a reality.The 2015-themed cover basically reflects the overall Agenda of the elite and is peppered with cryptic symbols that appear to be included for “those in the know”. And the masses, like Alice watching the Cheshire Cat disappear, will focus on illusions while the wolf in sheep’s clothing will strike … and strike hard.
Keep in mind that this was posted in January of 2015, 3 and a half years ago, and almost all of it is happening right now.
Some things the author of the article couldn't have known, you notice how Obama is wearing a deep blue suit with a red tie? When has he ever worn that? But you know who does?
https://preview.redd.it/ke5r2biy0wh11.jpg?width=392&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=71bf0a0a8f9765c5243eff47c8239cc903a701cd

Merkel and Putin standing side to side with Merkel doing the supposed Illuminati hand signal, just like Trump does all the time.
https://preview.redd.it/09fiwpcsbwh11.jpg?width=385&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3999604fbdbe98d31ebcb26ca4cd96c3c6819917

Apparently she's made this "her" hand signal and a signal that Germany is in good hands...
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-88b6082de68b8482c4f878bdfacd8adb
Trump does this all the time.
Why Are Trump’s Hands Always Making the Symbol for ‘Vagina’?
https://cdn.images.dailystar.co.uk/dynamic/1/photos/979000/trump-conspiracy-theory-655979.jpg
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on the far right of the cover. He is a big proponent of AI and the Transhumanism agenda. As well as being one the leaders to ushering in the use of blockchain for all sorts of things.
PM Modi Pitches For Usage Of AI and Blockchain In Agriculture
“India’s youth can lead a revolutionary movement using AI and blockchain technologies with a value addition,” PM Narendra Modi said during a convocation ceremony held recently at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu.
“With blockchain technology, this problem can also be controlled. Through a real-time monitoring of the supply chain, the technology can bring in transparency in the agricultural trade — starting from the production process to making it available for the farmers as products can be examined at every stage.”
“This will have a complete network comprising farmers, processing units, regulatory authorities and consumers. Because one affiliated to this chain can keep an eye on this, therefore, the scope of corruption will also be reduced. Most importantly, this will check the mischievous acts of the middlemen and the harvest will not go wasted,” PM Modi said.
G20 Countries Eye For Cryptocurrency AML Regulation Standards By October 2018
After the G20 watchdog the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently submitted its report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the work of the FSB and standard-setting bodies on crypto-assets, the G20 nations now plan to bring in the cryptocurrency market under the purview
of international AML standards, said an official statement released during a meeting in Buenos Aires recently.The G20 forum, in which India is a prominent member, plans to apply the anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory standards for the cryptocurrency sector by October this year.For its part, the FSB has already developed a framework in collaboration with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), to monitor the financial stability implications of developments in crypto-asset markets. The report published recently sets out the metrics that the FSB will use to monitor crypto-asset markets as part of its ongoing assessment of vulnerabilities in the financial system.As per the statement, members agreed to the implementation of the FATF standards and have asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international body of 37 nations – to clarify in October 2019 how its standards apply to crypto-assets.Iran Turns To Cryptocurrency Post The US SanctionsAs the US President Donald Trump recently took a U-turn from the multi-nation Iran-US-EU nuclear deal and announced fresh Iran-related sanctions which might curb Iran’s oil business, Iran is reportedly working on its cryptocurrency to bypass the new economic sanctions posed by the US.Iran government’s official news channel PressTV reported quoting the department’s deputy head in charge of investment affairs Alireza Daliri that a fiat cryptocurrency development project is ongoing in cooperation with the Central Bank of Iran.“We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country,” stated Daliri.
Canada wants to help India lead 'blockchain revolution'
Blockchain Technology used to record 50 Million DNA data in India
.
https://preview.redd.it/jritf1q29wh11.jpg?width=294&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0e1163ce17ab67dc189a1b0207f571110da8aa97
Notice the woman with the Phoenix on her head? Gold wings with purple in them. A nest with eggs right in the center of her forehead
https://preview.redd.it/4wyoqrlf9wh11.png?width=362&format=png&auto=webp&s=4795db731e1a5d6ea6b21ab8f44b666cef99ea77
Earth sure looks like an egg in a nest here being disguised as a football on a tee.

Putin has sunglasses on as a way to hide from something I think and he and Obama/Trump both have red ties on symbolizing unity I'm thinking.
Does anyone know who the two guys looking over Obama's shoulders are? That seems significant but I don't know who they are.
See the drawing of a Chinese man hiding behind the Singapore banner? The North Korea situation anyone? Especially with David Blaine right in front of it.
It looks like Hillary and Putin are looking at each other and that's why Putin has sun glasses on. Putin has sort of a sly smirk on his face and Hillary's is pretty expressive. I think they all wanted Trump to get elected. Even in those DNC hacked emails they said their strategy was to make Trump the guy they ran against. Even referred to him as a "Pied Piper Candidate". Which is why Obama told everyone to stand down when they realized that Russia was hacking us.
https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/pied-piper.jpg
The Pied Piper is right next to Putin for a reason and the fish coming from behind his legs? Those are Christians. Jesus told his disciples to be fishers of men.
The leader of China seems to be pretty aligned with Obama/Trump. Which makes sense because the infamous Steele Dossier says that Trump and his team didn't care much about the Russia stuff because then people won't be looking into his other business dealings like those with China.
The fact that the Cheshire cat and the Ghost looking at a vacation magazine are coming from behind Obama/Trump is really interesting and just shows that it's all just an illusion. Not sure what the ghost represents. Maybe the Holy Ghost?
Then there's a big vehicle right behind India and China's legs (mostly India's). I wonder if that means they'll be taken out somehow.
What looks like 2 Islamic terrorists, one in the back holding up an AK and one on the left looking through some binoculars to the west, seem to be reminding us that they're still here, watching us, waiting to strike. Are they waiting for the "green light" that is under the Planco Panic game? I wonder if the conspiracy theory about the White Helmets is true and the real reason they got evacuated so quickly from Syria by Israel and other allied nations was so they could be relocated to where they need to be when the power gets cut off.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2b/La_belle_ferronni%C3%A8re%2CLeonardo_da_Vinci_-_Louvre.jpg/300px-La_belle_ferronni%C3%A8re%2CLeonardo_da_Vinci_-_Louvre.jpg

This is the portrait on the bottom right corner of the cover.
La belle ferronnière - Wikipedia
La belle ferronnière is a portrait of a lady, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, in the Louvre. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, has also been known by this name. This was once believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani—one of the mistresses of Lodovico 'il Moro' Sforza, Duke of Milan.[1] The narrative and the title were applied to Lady with an Ermine when it was in Princess Czartoryski's collection, and became confused with "La Belle Ferronniere" by the presence in this image also of a jewel worn on a delicate chain across the forehead, called a ferronnière.
Not sure really what that means. Maybe Trump will get syphilis from banging all these Playboy models.
https://preview.redd.it/fzn7j17o8wh11.jpg?width=755&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a8056b0b9dac6d4b366436a37f1b2d4f9dff65ca
That vehicle that looks like a rocket, aside from having the flag of Great Britain on it, has a bunch of company names. One of which is called Serco. Apparently, they are involved in a lot of shady shit.
Serco - The Biggest Company You've Never Heard Of - Youtube
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serco
Serco Group plc is a British provider of public services with headquarters based in Hook, Hampshire. Serco operates in six sectors of public service provision: Health, Transport, Justice, Immigration, Defence, and Citizens Services.It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The majority of Serco's turnover is generated from UK operations, but the company also operates in Continental Europe, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region and North America.
UK operations
Border security
Serco operates the National Border Targeting Centre for UK Visas and Immigration and provides the carrier gateway—the interface between carriers and the agency.
Work and pensions
Serco is contracted to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide telephone advice on behalf of DWP to recipients of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), which ends in April 2018.
Transport
Serco operates the Santander Cycles scheme (for Transport for London) and the NorthLink Ferries Northern Isles lifeline ferry service in Scotland. Serco also has a joint venture with Abellio, the international arm of Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, to operate passenger trains in the UK. Serco-Abellio has a 25-year concession for Merseyrail in Liverpool until 2028 and operated the Northern Rail franchise from December 2004 until March 2016. Serco's Home Affairs division, run by Tom Riall, also operates speed camera systems throughout the UK and, until November 2013, designed, wrote and tested the software that controls the matrix message signs, signals, emergency roadside telephones (SOS) and traffic monitoring on England's motorway network including, until 2011,[20] the National Traffic Control Centre. It previously operated the Docklands Light Railway.On 31 March 2015, Serco commenced a 15-year contract to operate the Caledonian Sleeper between London and Scotland.
Science
Serco managed the UK's National Physical Laboratory until 2015 and also provides IT Services, Industrial Support and Cryogenic Operations Support and Maintenance at CERN. Serco also was part of a consortium running the National Nuclear Laboratory under contract, until October 2013.
Prisons and justice
In Britain Serco supplies electronic tagging devices for offenders and asylum seekers. Serco, as well as its rival G4S, was accused of overcharging the Ministry of Justice on its contract to tag offenders. The firm issued a profit warning for 2014 as a result of the costs of becoming embroiled in an electronic tagging scandal. Serco repaid £68.5 million to the government for its overcharging on the contract. In May 2014 a Survation poll for campaign group We Own It, found that 63% of respondents thought Serco should be banned from bidding for any new public contracts after the firm was investigated for overcharging on government contracts.
It runs four prisons, a Young Offenders Institution and a Secure Training Centre. It has also operated two Immigration Removal Centres since 2007. Serco is also responsible for the contracted-out court escort services in the south-east area (formerly a role undertaken by HM Prison Service).
In September 2013, Serco was accused of extensive sexual abuse coverups of immigrants at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre prison in Bedfordshire, England In August 2014, Serco was criticised for using immigrant detainees as cheap labour, with some being paid as little as £1 per hour. The decision to give the firm a new £70 million eight-year contract to run Yarl's Wood has been criticised. Natasha Walter, of Women for Refugee Women, said "Serco is clearly unfit to manage a centre where vulnerable women are held and it is unacceptable the government continues to entrust Serco with the safety of women who are survivors of sexual violence."
Defence
Serco held defence contracts in 2004, including the UK Government's contract for the maintenance of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales; contracts are also held for the operation and maintenance of RAF Brize Norton, RAF Halton, RAF Northolt[39] and RNAS Culdrose in the UK and RAF Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic. Serco also provides support services to garrisons in Australia. Serco also manages many aspects of operations at the Defence College of Management and Technology in Shrivenham. Serco is one of three partners in the consortium which manages the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Serco also has a 15-year contract worth £400 million to provide facilities management services to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Serco Marine Services is responsible for fleet support at the three main UK naval bases, HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Devonport and HMNB Clyde.
Aviation
Serco provides air traffic control services at international airports in the United Arab Emirates and at some smaller airports in the United States and Canada. Starting in 2004 Serco had a £5m a year contract from the US government to manage airports in Iraq for 18 months.[49] Serco also operate Scatsta Airport on Shetland. In June 2010 Serco signed a £4 million contract to operate all air traffic control services for Coventry Airport.
Health
Serco provide facilities management services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Wishaw General Hospital and at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.
The company had the contract for out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall from which it withdrew in December 2013 after the company left the county short of doctors. The company also said it would stop running Braintree hospital in Essex as it pulled out of managing GP services and large hospitals.
In health services, Serco's difficulties include the poor handling of pathology labs and fatal errors in patient records. At St Thomas' Hospital, the increase in the number of clinical incidents arising from Serco non-clinical management has resulted in patients receiving incorrect and infected blood, as well as patients suffering kidney damage due to Serco providing incorrect data used for medical calculations. A Serco employee later revealed that the company had falsified 252 reports to the National Health Service regarding Serco health services in Cornwall.
It emerged in November 2013, Serco, which won a contract for Suffolk Community Healthcare in 2012, had 72 vacancies after earlier cutting 137 posts. Problems identified by Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group include “staff capacity, skill mix, workload, succession planning and morale, training, communication, mobile working, care co-ordination centre processes, incidents and near miss incidents”.
In April 2014 Serco revealed that it would lose almost £18 million on three of its NHS contracts. The firm has made provisions for losses in its Braintree and Cornwall contracts, which were cancelled early. It has also made provisions for losses in its contract for services in Suffolk. The company claims it will take longer to deliver the operational efficiencies it hoped for, despite saying in May 2013 that it expected to make a profit on the three-year, £140 million contract for community services. It said that staff had not recorded activity accurately on the Electronic health record and that activity had increased significantly during the course of the contract.In August 2014 it was reported that the company had decided to withdraw from the clinical health services market in the UK after a review of the cost of delivering “improved service levels” and meeting the performance requirements of several existing contracts.
On 24 October 2017, it was reported that Serco was preparing to buy healthcare contracts from facilities management business Carillion. The deal included 15 contracts, with annual revenues of approximately £90m, for which Serco would pay £47.7m, with Carillion losing £1bn from the value of its order book.
Education
Serco held a ten-year contract with Bradford City Council between 2001 and 2011 to manage and operate the local education authority, providing education support services to the city's schools. This period was marked with "real problems" according to senior council officials and was taken back in house by the local authority after this period. Serco similarly manages and operates Walsall[66] and Stoke-on-Trent local education authorities. Serco is one of Ofsted's three Regional Inspection Service Providers, responsible for school inspections in the English Midlands.
Leisure
Serco Leisure Operating Ltd. operates a number of leisure centres across the UK including Wet 'n' Wild in South Shields and the Manchester Aquatics Centre, the aquatic venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Information technology
Serco administers the publicly funded UK Business Link website. It won a five-year tender in 2007 to run the IT Infrastructure for the London Borough of Southwark.
Waste
Serco operates waste collection services for local councils.
Outside the UK
Drivers' licensing
Serco, through a purpose-made division Serco DES, holds a ten-year, $114 million contract with the Province of Ontario to operate the province's DriveTest driver examination centres. These tests include vision, road, and knowledge tests for all persons seeking to become a licensed automobile driver in the province.
Parking meter servicing
Serco has a contract with the City of Chicago, Illinois, to enforce parking meter regulations.
Health in the United States
In July 2013 Serco was awarded a $1.25 billion contract to manage the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Prisons and Justice
Serco runs partly privatised Hünfeld Prison in Hesse, Germany.
In Australia, Serco runs Acacia Prison in Western Australia and Borallon Correctional Facility in Queensland as well as the national contract for immigration detention centres, including Christmas Island and the Villawood detention centre in Sydney.
The Union of Christmas Island Workers highlighted the systemic failure by Serco to manage the Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre. The centre detains a large number of refugees including 1,000 children. Under Serco, there has been an increase of deaths in custody, self-harm, and of Serco staff beating prisoners. As well, there has been a deterioration of facilities leading to the decline of the physical and the mental health of detainees and of staff. Ombudsman Allan Asher said on the Australian radio show AM, "In the first week of June when I visited Christmas Island, more than 30 incidents of self-harm by detainees held there were reported". Serco, in a staged memo leaked to The Australian, blamed the detainees for "creating a culture of self-harm", in order to use it as a "bargaining tool". The former manager of the Serco run detention centre stated the centre was grossly understaffed whereby it was "typically 15 staff members short every day".
In Auckland, New Zealand, Serco operated the Mount Eden remand prison and in March 2012 was awarded a contract to build and operate a 960-bed prison at Wiri. Serco was heavily criticized for the existence of 'fight clubs' within Mount Eden prison that were not investigated until after they became public knowledge on 16 July 2015 when footage emerged online and was reported by TVNZ. On 24 July 2015, Serco's contract to run the Mount Eden prison was revoked and operation was given back to the New Zealand Department of Corrections. Serco was ordered to pay $8 million to the New Zealand government as a result of problems at Mount Eden Prison while it was under Serco's management. The New Zealand government did not accept that this was a failure of governmental contracting and oversight. It brought in correctional officers from afar to provide adequate staffing at Mount Eden, and by December 2016 had spent NZ$2 million housing up to 40 of them in Auckland hotels.
Transport
From 1997, Serco ran Great Southern Rail in Australia. In March 2015, the business was sold to Allegro Funds.
Serco operates the Dubai Metro and Dubai Tram in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Serco formerly operated the Copenhagen Metro in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Ansaldo STS, until it sold its share with effect on 1 January 2008.
In Sydney, Serco has operated the Transport Info service since 1 July 2010.
It secured an eight-year contract in 2013 with its Swedish joint venture partner Strömma Tourism & Maritime (sv) to operate four Djurgården ferries on behalf of Stockholm County Council and public ferry company Waxholms Ångfartygs.
Offshore holdings in Mauritius
The 2017 Paradise Papers revealed that Appleby carried out a risk assessment of Serco and noted it had a "history of problems, failures, fatal errors and overcharging" and had faced allegations of fraud and cover-ups.
Anything look familiar on this helicopter? It's a Phoenix. This is even a part of their "Fire Services" division.
http://www.stuartsaviationpictures.co.uk/Fire%20Burning%20Ground/IFTS%2031%20(D12-362)%20(XZ652).jpg%20(XZ652).jpg)
Notice how he keeps positioning his hands?
Ronnie Coutts- Serco Fire Services - Youtube
They sure seem to like the color purple with a bit of yellow mixed in.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/12/61/bb1261a577231c9df189c749d4178ef7.jpg
http://gunningdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/maria-photo-kux3vtsnafpq0c6vbyqyl6uk0d8ncaieee2j8d05fs.jpg
http://gunningdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/maria-photo-kux3vtsnafpq0c6vbyqyl6uk0d8ncaieee2j8d05fs.jpg
SERCO Owns the World, Big Brother Watch - Youtube
SHOCKING Global Control System Exposed - Youtube
Serco = Serpent Company?
They partnered with this company in 2013 who's symbol is a Red Dragon.
http://www.cardiffaviationtraining.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Banner_1v2-940x300.png
Cardiff Aviation partners with Serco to deliver painting services in South Wales
This company is undoubtedly the big player in the NWO agenda, connecting everything together under it's umbrella. If Trump is REALLY on OUR side, the people, he'll get rid of Serco's hold on America and the world if he can. If not, he's just another puppet.
I wonder what the significance of the drum set with the 50th on it is with the guitar smashed through it. Then there's still the Drone with the Amazon package, a bunch of other people I don't recognize including a picture of maybe a Frenchmen right next to the Singapore banner. Not sure who the black guy is behind Hilary and Merkel. Is that his hand above Putin's head? The woman in color between Putin and the Pied Piper. The Japanese (I think) man all the way in the back inbetween the black gentleman and the blonde Phoenix lady. The lady with the purple sash around her neck in between China and India. The guy directly to the right of her. Winston Churchill with the 2 fingers held up high in a bright blue suit and a red bow tie. And the white woman with glasses all the way on the right side, looking towards everything to the left. I think that's everything.
Anyone have any answers for these other people or other interpretations? Amazing how this was over 3 years ago and this stuff is coming true. I'm really starting to think that time travel or at least traveling to parallel universes is real.
submitted by Oblique9043 to TheGreatDeception [link] [comments]


2018.07.29 15:24 Oblique9043 The Economist 2015 Cover Predictions and Serco

Everyone needs to keep in mind at all times that the symbol of the Illuminati is the PHOENIX. It's colors are Purple, Red and Gold. It is associated with and the Sun. It represents immortality through death and rebirth. Dragons, Eagles and Falcons will sometimes be used as alternative symbols to represent the Phoenix to try and hide it.

Cover of The Economist - The World in 2015
Anything bolded in brackets is my own added commentary. [EXAMPLE]
The Economist 2015 Cover is Filled With Cryptic Symbols and Dire Predictions
January 8, 2015
I wouldn’t normally dedicate an entire article analyzing the cover of a publication, but this isn’t any publication. It is The Economist and it is directly related to the world elite. It is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England and its editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, attended several times to the Bilderberg Conference – the secretive meeting where the world’s most powerful figures from the world of politics, finance business, and media discuss global policies. The outcome of those meetings is totally secret. It is, therefore, safe to say that the people at The Economist know things that most people don’t. For this reason, its “2015 prediction” cover is rather puzzling.
The bleak and sinister cover features political figures, fictional characters and pop culture icons that will surely make the news in 2015. However, most importantly, it also includes several drawings that are extremely symbolic and allude to important elements of the elite’s Agenda. Here’s the cover :
At first glance, we see political figures like Obama and Putin, references to the Rugby cup and the new Spider-Man movie. But a closer look reveals a plethora of disturbing elements. Here are some of them.
Two-Faced Globe
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/world.jpg
[Just like the Double Headed Phoenix of Russia, Trump's and the Scottish Rite Freemanon's Coat of Arms]
One side of the globe gazes stoically towards the West while the other side appears irate. Does this represent a confrontation between the East and the West? The cover features a few other symbols referring to the “rise of the East”. What’s more unsettling is that immediately under that angry globe, are pictured a mushroom cloud (the kind that happens after a nuclear bomb goes off) and a spy satellite launching into space.
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/mushroom.jpg
[The NASA spy satellite could represent Trump's Space Force. We're going to drop a nuke on North Korea or Iran]
The Color of the Faces
Take a closer look at the faces of the personalities featured on the cover. Some of them are in full color while others are in black and white. Why is that?
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/faces.jpg
Among those in black in white are Putin, Merkel, Obama, Hilary Clinton and David Cameron. Among those in color are David Blaine, a young person holding a “Singapore” banner (Singapore is the host of the 2015 SEA games) and a random guy wearing virtual reality equipment. A quick compilation of this data reveals that those in black and white appear to be part of the elite (including the ISIS guy who probably works for them) and those in color are “outsiders”. Is this how the elite perceives the world?
Pied Piper
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/piper2.jpg
The presence of the Pied Piper on this 2015-themed cover is downright unsettling. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a German legend about a man who used his magical flute to lure away the children of the city of Hamelin, never to be seen again.
http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/800px-Pied_Piper2-e1420662741656.jpg
The Pied Piper leads the children out of Hamelin. Illustration from Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”
This folkloric figure dating from the Middle-Ages is said to represent either massive death by plague or catastrophe, or a movement of massive immigration. It also perfectly represents today’s youth being “lured” and mystified by the “music” of mass media. Conveniently enough, there’s a small boy right under Piper’s flute.
[Pied Piper is obviously Trump/Putin. Leading people into their deaths as well as the child separation thing at the border]
Clueless Boy
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/boy.jpg
Right under the Pied Piper, we see a young boy with a dumbfounded look on his face. He is watching a game called “Panic”. The words “Federal Reserve” and “Chi” (which probably stands for China) are on top while the words “Green light!” and “sis!” (which probably stands for “Isis!” or “Crisis!”) are at the bottom. The little boy watches as this twisted game of Plinko unfolds the same way the clueless masses watch powerlessly while various events unfold on mass media. As the name of the game states, the ultimate goal is to cause Panic around the world as crises are almost randomly generated by those who control the game. And that’s on a magazine cover owned by the Rothschilds.
[Trump is poised to try and take over the Federal Reserve and China could dump our bonds just like Russia is doing while his supporters look on like the "Clueless Boy"]
Crop-O-Dust
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Untitled-1.jpg
In front of Putin is a small aircraft on which is written Crop-O-Dust. This refers to the concept of crop dusting which is “the process of spraying crops with powdered insecticides or fungicides from an aircraft.” Right under the helicopter is a kid … eating something. Unsettling.
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/kid.jpg
Sitting right under the crop-o-dust, this kid is eating a heavily processed package of noodles. Is he ingesting the poison that was spread by the aircraft?
China
http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/china-e1420664430567.jpg
A panda bear wearing a China-flag Speedo while flexing its muscles is a rather clear way of portraying the fact that China is gaining power. Next to it is a sumo wrestler holding a big battery on which the polarities (+ and -) are clearly indicated. Are they alluding to a switch in polarity in world power from the West to the East?
[This is definitely happening right now]
Ghost
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ghost.jpg
Emerging from behind Obama’s leg is a ghost reading a magazine entitled “Holiday”. Why is this ghost, which represents a dead person, planning a vacation? Does it represent the fact that the masses will be so impoverished that the only time they’ll be on a holiday is when they’re dead? Does it relate to the countless people who died while traveling in the past months? Creepy.
Turtle
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/turtle.jpg
Standing in front of everything else, gazing right into our souls is a turtle with emphasis lines around its shell. What does it represent? Will turtles make a huge comeback in 2015? Probably not.
An angry tortoise is the symbol of the Fabian Society, an extremely powerful organization that has been working for over a century towards to formation of a single world government.
http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/when-i-strike-i-strike-hard.jpg.bmp
The motto of the Fabian Society is “When I strike, I strike hard”.
The philosophy behind Fabian socialism is basically the blueprint of what we call today the New World Order.
The Fabian Society is a very old group originating in England in 1884, with the purpose of forming a single, global socialist state. They get their name from the Roman general Fabius, who used carefully planned strategies to slowly wear down his enemies over a long period of time to obtain victory. “Fabian Socialism” uses incremental change over a long period of time to slowly transform a state as opposed to using violent revolution for change. It is essentially socialism by stealth. Their original emblem was a shield with a wolf in sheep’s clothing holding a flag with the letters F.S. Today the international symbol of the Fabian Society is a turtle, with the motto below: “When I strike, I strike hard.” – The Fabian Society, The Weather Eye
The Fabian Society used to openly advocate a scientifically planned society and supported eugenics by way of sterilization. Its original logo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing … But I guess that was not the best way to conceal the wolf from the masses.
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Fabian_Society_Logo.jpg
The original logo of the Fabian Society was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Bringing forth a global system through small incremental changes is exactly what the world elite is currently doing. This is probably why there’s an angry tortoise on the cover of this Bilderberg-connected publication – standing in front of the chaos behind it.
11.3 and 11.5
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/dirt.jpg
The lower right side of the cover features some more cryptic symbols. There’s a pile of dirt on the ground and two arrows on which are inscribed 11.5 and 11.3. Are those dates to remember? Why are they next to a pile of dirt? If you look up these figures as coordinates, they point to somewhere in Nigeria. Displaying numbers that can only be truly understood by “those in the know” is one of the occult elite’s favorite hobbies.
Standing in front of the dirt is Alice in Wonderland looking upwards towards the Cheshire Cat.
https://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/cat.jpg
This iconic cat is known for disappearing entirely, leaving only visible its creepy grin. We, therefore, see another allusion to a world of fantasy, illusion, and deceit as perceived by Alice – a representative of the masses. Along with the somewhat unnecessary inclusion of David Blaine – a magician – the cover mixes real-world events with illusions.
Other notable symbols on this cover include a piggy bank flying from James Cameron’s pockets; A model wearing an Alexander McQueen creation (the elite’s favorite designer who died in strange circumstances) and an Asian officer wearing a facemask to protect him from a deadly disease.
2015 seems great, doesn’t it?
In Conclusion
The Economist is not a random newspaper that publishes quirky 2015 predictions to sell a few additional copies. It is directly connected to those who shape global policies and who make sure that they are applied. The publication is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England and its editor regularly attends Bilderberg meetings. In other words, The Economist is connected to those who have the means and the power to make “predictions” a reality.
The 2015-themed cover basically reflects the overall Agenda of the elite and is peppered with cryptic symbols that appear to be included for “those in the know”. And the masses, like Alice watching the Cheshire Cat disappear, will focus on illusions while the wolf in sheep’s clothing will strike … and strike hard.
Keep in mind that this was posted in January of 2015, 3 and a half years ago, and almost all of it is happening right now.
Some things the author of the article couldn't have known, you notice how Obama is wearing a deep blue suit with a red tie? When has he ever worn that? But you know who does?
https://images.vogue.it/Storage/Assets/Crops/10853/12/10633/trump_392x0.jpg
Merkel and Putin standing side to side with Merkel doing the supposed Illuminati hand signal, just like Trump does all the time.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/-yKm-ekRru9k/T_CUgkSQuPI/AAAAAAAAE0Q/coBLH4vdcOA/Merkel%252520gestures_thumb%25255B7%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800
Apparently she's made this "her" hand signal and a signal that Germany is in good hands...
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-88b6082de68b8482c4f878bdfacd8adb
Trump does this all the time.
Why Are Trump’s Hands Always Making the Symbol for ‘Vagina’?
https://cdn.images.dailystar.co.uk/dynamic/1/photos/979000/trump-conspiracy-theory-655979.jpg
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on the far right. He is a big proponent of AI and the Transhumanism agenda. As well as being one the leaders to ushering in the use of blockchain for all sorts of things.
PM Modi Pitches For Usage Of AI and Blockchain In Agriculture
“India’s youth can lead a revolutionary movement using AI and blockchain technologies with a value addition,” PM Narendra Modi said during a convocation ceremony held recently at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu.
“With blockchain technology, this problem can also be controlled. Through a real-time monitoring of the supply chain, the technology can bring in transparency in the agricultural trade — starting from the production process to making it available for the farmers as products can be examined at every stage.”
“This will have a complete network comprising farmers, processing units, regulatory authorities and consumers. Because one affiliated to this chain can keep an eye on this, therefore, the scope of corruption will also be reduced. Most importantly, this will check the mischievous acts of the middlemen and the harvest will not go wasted,” PM Modi said.
G20 Countries Eye For Cryptocurrency AML Regulation Standards By October 2018
After the G20 watchdog the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently submitted its report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the work of the FSB and standard-setting bodies on crypto-assets, the G20 nations now plan to bring in the cryptocurrency market under the purview of international AML standards, said an official statement released during a meeting in Buenos Aires recently.
The G20 forum, in which India is a prominent member, plans to apply the anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory standards for the cryptocurrency sector by October this year.
For its part, the FSB has already developed a framework in collaboration with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), to monitor the financial stability implications of developments in crypto-asset markets. The report published recently sets out the metrics that the FSB will use to monitor crypto-asset markets as part of its ongoing assessment of vulnerabilities in the financial system.
As per the statement, members agreed to the implementation of the FATF standards and have asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international body of 37 nations – to clarify in October 2019 how its standards apply to crypto-assets.
Iran Turns To Cryptocurrency Post The US Sanctions
As the US President Donald Trump recently took a U-turn from the multi-nation Iran-US-EU nuclear deal and announced fresh Iran-related sanctions which might curb Iran’s oil business, Iran is reportedly working on its cryptocurrency to bypass the new economic sanctions posed by the US.
Iran government’s official news channel PressTV reported quoting the department’s deputy head in charge of investment affairs Alireza Daliri that a fiat cryptocurrency development project is ongoing in cooperation with the Central Bank of Iran.
“We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country,” stated Daliri.
Canada wants to help India lead 'blockchain revolution'
Blockchain Technology used to record 50 Million DNA data in India
Notice the woman with the Phoenix on her head? Gold wings with purple in them. A nest with eggs right in the center of her forehead.
Putin has sunglasses on as a way to hide from something I think and he and Obama/Trump both have red ties on symbolizing unity I'm thinking.
Does anyone know who the two guys looking over Obama's shoulders are? That seems significant but I don't know who they are.
See the drawing of a Chinese man hiding behind the Singapore banner? The North Korea situation anyone? Especially with David Blaine right in front of it.
It looks like Hillary and Putin are looking at each other and that's why Putin has sun glasses on. Putin has sort of a sly smirk on his face and Hillary's is pretty expressive. I think they all wanted Trump to get elected. Even in those DNC hacked emails they said their strategy was to make Trump the guy they ran against. Even referred to him as a "Pied Piper Candidate". Which is why Obama told everyone to stand down when they realized that Russia was hacking us.
https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/pied-piper.jpg
The Pied Piper is right next to Putin for a reason and the fish coming from behind his legs? Those are Christians. Jesus told his disciples to be fishers of men.
The leader of China seems to be pretty aligned with Obama/Trump. Which makes sense because the infamous Steele Dossier says that Trump and his team didn't care much about the Russia stuff because then people won't be looking into his other business dealings like those with China.
I'm really curious about the football shaped Earth that looks like its about to be punted away. Hope that doesn't mean what I think it means. Maybe its an egg in a nest just like the Phoenix lady with the nest in the middle of her forehead?
The fact that the Cheshire cat and the Ghost looking at a vacation magazine are coming from behind Obama/Trump is really interesting and just shows that it's all just an illusion. Not sure what the ghost represents. Maybe the Holy Ghost?
Then there's a big vehicle right behind India and China's legs (mostly India's). I wonder if that means they'll be taken out somehow.
What looks like 2 Islamic terrorists, one in the back holding up an AK and one on the left looking through some binoculars to the west, seem to be reminding us that they're still here, watching us, waiting to strike. Are they waiting for the "green light" that is under the Planco Panic game? I wonder if the conspiracy theory about the White Helmets is true and the real reason they got evacuated so quickly from Syria by Israel and other allied nations was so they could be relocated to where they need to be when the power gets cut off.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2b/La_belle_ferronni%C3%A8re%2CLeonardo_da_Vinci_-_Louvre.jpg/300px-La_belle_ferronni%C3%A8re%2CLeonardo_da_Vinci_-_Louvre.jpg
This is the portrait on the bottom right corner of the cover.
La belle ferronnière - Wikipedia
La belle ferronnière is a portrait of a lady, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, in the Louvre. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.
Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, has also been known by this name. This was once believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani—one of the mistresses of Lodovico 'il Moro' Sforza, Duke of Milan.[1] The narrative and the title were applied to Lady with an Ermine when it was in Princess Czartoryski's collection, and became confused with "La Belle Ferronniere" by the presence in this image also of a jewel worn on a delicate chain across the forehead, called a ferronnière.
Not sure really what that means. Maybe Trump will get syphilis from banging all these Playboy models.
https://fellowshipofminds.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/spiderman-serco.jpg
That vehicle that looks like a rocket, aside from having the flag of Great Britain on it, has a bunch of company names. One of which is called Serco. Apparently, they are involved in a lot of shady shit.
Serco - The Biggest Company You've Never Heard Of - Youtube
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serco
Serco Group plc is a British provider of public services with headquarters based in Hook, Hampshire. Serco operates in six sectors of public service provision: Health, Transport, Justice, Immigration, Defence, and Citizens Services.
It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The majority of Serco's turnover is generated from UK operations, but the company also operates in Continental Europe, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region and North America.
UK operations
Border security
Serco operates the National Border Targeting Centre for UK Visas and Immigration and provides the carrier gateway—the interface between carriers and the agency.
Work and pensions
Serco is contracted to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide telephone advice on behalf of DWP to recipients of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), which ends in April 2018.
Transport
Serco operates the Santander Cycles scheme (for Transport for London) and the NorthLink Ferries Northern Isles lifeline ferry service in Scotland. Serco also has a joint venture with Abellio, the international arm of Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, to operate passenger trains in the UK. Serco-Abellio has a 25-year concession for Merseyrail in Liverpool until 2028 and operated the Northern Rail franchise from December 2004 until March 2016. Serco's Home Affairs division, run by Tom Riall, also operates speed camera systems throughout the UK and, until November 2013, designed, wrote and tested the software that controls the matrix message signs, signals, emergency roadside telephones (SOS) and traffic monitoring on England's motorway network including, until 2011,[20] the National Traffic Control Centre. It previously operated the Docklands Light Railway.
On 31 March 2015, Serco commenced a 15-year contract to operate the Caledonian Sleeper between London and Scotland.
Science
Serco managed the UK's National Physical Laboratory until 2015 and also provides IT Services, Industrial Support and Cryogenic Operations Support and Maintenance at CERN. Serco also was part of a consortium running the National Nuclear Laboratory under contract, until October 2013.
Prisons and justice
In Britain Serco supplies electronic tagging devices for offenders and asylum seekers. Serco, as well as its rival G4S, was accused of overcharging the Ministry of Justice on its contract to tag offenders. The firm issued a profit warning for 2014 as a result of the costs of becoming embroiled in an electronic tagging scandal. Serco repaid £68.5 million to the government for its overcharging on the contract. In May 2014 a Survation poll for campaign group We Own It, found that 63% of respondents thought Serco should be banned from bidding for any new public contracts after the firm was investigated for overcharging on government contracts.
It runs four prisons, a Young Offenders Institution and a Secure Training Centre. It has also operated two Immigration Removal Centres since 2007. Serco is also responsible for the contracted-out court escort services in the south-east area (formerly a role undertaken by HM Prison Service).
In September 2013, Serco was accused of extensive sexual abuse coverups of immigrants at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre prison in Bedfordshire, England In August 2014, Serco was criticised for using immigrant detainees as cheap labour, with some being paid as little as £1 per hour. The decision to give the firm a new £70 million eight-year contract to run Yarl's Wood has been criticised. Natasha Walter, of Women for Refugee Women, said "Serco is clearly unfit to manage a centre where vulnerable women are held and it is unacceptable the government continues to entrust Serco with the safety of women who are survivors of sexual violence."
Defence
Serco held defence contracts in 2004, including the UK Government's contract for the maintenance of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales; contracts are also held for the operation and maintenance of RAF Brize Norton, RAF Halton, RAF Northolt[39] and RNAS Culdrose in the UK and RAF Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic. Serco also provides support services to garrisons in Australia. Serco also manages many aspects of operations at the Defence College of Management and Technology in Shrivenham. Serco is one of three partners in the consortium which manages the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Serco also has a 15-year contract worth £400 million to provide facilities management services to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Serco Marine Services is responsible for fleet support at the three main UK naval bases, HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Devonport and HMNB Clyde.
Aviation
Serco provides air traffic control services at international airports in the United Arab Emirates and at some smaller airports in the United States and Canada. Starting in 2004 Serco had a £5m a year contract from the US government to manage airports in Iraq for 18 months.[49] Serco also operate Scatsta Airport on Shetland. In June 2010 Serco signed a £4 million contract to operate all air traffic control services for Coventry Airport.
Health
Serco provide facilities management services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Wishaw General Hospital and at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.
The company had the contract for out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall from which it withdrew in December 2013 after the company left the county short of doctors. The company also said it would stop running Braintree hospital in Essex as it pulled out of managing GP services and large hospitals.
In health services, Serco's difficulties include the poor handling of pathology labs and fatal errors in patient records. At St Thomas' Hospital, the increase in the number of clinical incidents arising from Serco non-clinical management has resulted in patients receiving incorrect and infected blood, as well as patients suffering kidney damage due to Serco providing incorrect data used for medical calculations. A Serco employee later revealed that the company had falsified 252 reports to the National Health Service regarding Serco health services in Cornwall.
It emerged in November 2013, Serco, which won a contract for Suffolk Community Healthcare in 2012, had 72 vacancies after earlier cutting 137 posts. Problems identified by Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group include “staff capacity, skill mix, workload, succession planning and morale, training, communication, mobile working, care co-ordination centre processes, incidents and near miss incidents”.
In April 2014 Serco revealed that it would lose almost £18 million on three of its NHS contracts. The firm has made provisions for losses in its Braintree and Cornwall contracts, which were cancelled early. It has also made provisions for losses in its contract for services in Suffolk. The company claims it will take longer to deliver the operational efficiencies it hoped for, despite saying in May 2013 that it expected to make a profit on the three-year, £140 million contract for community services. It said that staff had not recorded activity accurately on the Electronic health record and that activity had increased significantly during the course of the contract.
In August 2014 it was reported that the company had decided to withdraw from the clinical health services market in the UK after a review of the cost of delivering “improved service levels” and meeting the performance requirements of several existing contracts.
On 24 October 2017, it was reported that Serco was preparing to buy healthcare contracts from facilities management business Carillion. The deal included 15 contracts, with annual revenues of approximately £90m, for which Serco would pay £47.7m, with Carillion losing £1bn from the value of its order book.
Education
Serco held a ten-year contract with Bradford City Council between 2001 and 2011 to manage and operate the local education authority, providing education support services to the city's schools. This period was marked with "real problems" according to senior council officials and was taken back in house by the local authority after this period. Serco similarly manages and operates Walsall[66] and Stoke-on-Trent local education authorities. Serco is one of Ofsted's three Regional Inspection Service Providers, responsible for school inspections in the English Midlands.
Leisure
Serco Leisure Operating Ltd. operates a number of leisure centres across the UK including Wet 'n' Wild in South Shields and the Manchester Aquatics Centre, the aquatic venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Information technology
Serco administers the publicly funded UK Business Link website. It won a five-year tender in 2007 to run the IT Infrastructure for the London Borough of Southwark.
Waste
Serco operates waste collection services for local councils.
Outside the UK
Drivers' licensing
Serco, through a purpose-made division Serco DES, holds a ten-year, $114 million contract with the Province of Ontario to operate the province's DriveTest driver examination centres. These tests include vision, road, and knowledge tests for all persons seeking to become a licensed automobile driver in the province.
Parking meter servicing
Serco has a contract with the City of Chicago, Illinois, to enforce parking meter regulations.
Health in the United States
In July 2013 Serco was awarded a $1.25 billion contract to manage the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Prisons and Justice
Serco runs partly privatised Hünfeld Prison in Hesse, Germany.
In Australia, Serco runs Acacia Prison in Western Australia and Borallon Correctional Facility in Queensland as well as the national contract for immigration detention centres, including Christmas Island and the Villawood detention centre in Sydney.
The Union of Christmas Island Workers highlighted the systemic failure by Serco to manage the Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre. The centre detains a large number of refugees including 1,000 children. Under Serco, there has been an increase of deaths in custody, self-harm, and of Serco staff beating prisoners. As well, there has been a deterioration of facilities leading to the decline of the physical and the mental health of detainees and of staff. Ombudsman Allan Asher said on the Australian radio show AM, "In the first week of June when I visited Christmas Island, more than 30 incidents of self-harm by detainees held there were reported". Serco, in a staged memo leaked to The Australian, blamed the detainees for "creating a culture of self-harm", in order to use it as a "bargaining tool". The former manager of the Serco run detention centre stated the centre was grossly understaffed whereby it was "typically 15 staff members short every day".
In Auckland, New Zealand, Serco operated the Mount Eden remand prison and in March 2012 was awarded a contract to build and operate a 960-bed prison at Wiri. Serco was heavily criticized for the existence of 'fight clubs' within Mount Eden prison that were not investigated until after they became public knowledge on 16 July 2015 when footage emerged online and was reported by TVNZ. On 24 July 2015, Serco's contract to run the Mount Eden prison was revoked and operation was given back to the New Zealand Department of Corrections. Serco was ordered to pay $8 million to the New Zealand government as a result of problems at Mount Eden Prison while it was under Serco's management. The New Zealand government did not accept that this was a failure of governmental contracting and oversight. It brought in correctional officers from afar to provide adequate staffing at Mount Eden, and by December 2016 had spent NZ$2 million housing up to 40 of them in Auckland hotels.
Transport
From 1997, Serco ran Great Southern Rail in Australia. In March 2015, the business was sold to Allegro Funds.
Serco operates the Dubai Metro and Dubai Tram in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Serco formerly operated the Copenhagen Metro in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Ansaldo STS, until it sold its share with effect on 1 January 2008.
In Sydney, Serco has operated the Transport Info service since 1 July 2010.
It secured an eight-year contract in 2013 with its Swedish joint venture partner Strömma Tourism & Maritime (sv) to operate four Djurgården ferries on behalf of Stockholm County Council and public ferry company Waxholms Ångfartygs.
Offshore holdings in Mauritius
The 2017 Paradise Papers revealed that Appleby carried out a risk assessment of Serco and noted it had a "history of problems, failures, fatal errors and overcharging" and had faced allegations of fraud and cover-ups.
Anything look familiar on this helicopter? It's a Phoenix. This is even a part of their "Fire Services" division.
http://www.stuartsaviationpictures.co.uk/Fire%20Burning%20Ground/IFTS%2031%20(D12-362)%20(XZ652).jpg%20(XZ652).jpg)
Notice how he keeps positioning his hands?
Ronnie Coutts- Serco Fire Services - Youtube
They sure seem to like the color purple with a bit of yellow mixed in.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/12/61/bb1261a577231c9df189c749d4178ef7.jpg
http://gunningdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/maria-photo-kux3vtsnafpq0c6vbyqyl6uk0d8ncaieee2j8d05fs.jpg
http://gunningdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/youre-the-one-that-I-want-photo-kux3w6ydy47qivnr74fqk3j0brfsc1yn477by8gn0o.jpg
SERCO Owns the World, Big Brother Watch - Youtube
SHOCKING Global Control System Exposed - Youtube
Serco = Serpent Company?
They partnered with this company in 2013 who's symbol is a Red Dragon.
http://www.cardiffaviationtraining.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Banner_1v2-940x300.png
Cardiff Aviation partners with Serco to deliver painting services in South Wales
This company is undoubtedly the big player in the NWO agenda, connecting everything together under it's umbrella. If Trump is REALLY on OUR side, the people, he'll get rid of Serco's hold on America and the world if he can. If not, he's just another puppet.
I wonder what the significance of the drum set with the 50th on it is with the guitar smashed through it. Then there's still the Drone with the Amazon package, a bunch of other people I don't recognize including a picture of maybe a Frenchmen right next to the Singapore banner. Not sure who the black guy is behind Hilary and Merkel. Is that his hand above Putin's head? The woman in color between Putin and the Pied Piper. The Japanese (I think) man all the way in the back inbetween the black gentleman and the blonde Phoenix lady. The lady with the purple sash around her neck in between China and India. The guy directly to the right of her. Winston Churchill with the 2 fingers held up high in a bright blue suit and a red bow tie. And the white woman with glasses all the way on the right side, looking towards everything to the left. I think that's everything.
Anyone have any answers for these other people or other interpretations? Amazing how this was over 3 years ago and this stuff is coming true. I'm really starting to think that time travel or at least traveling to parallel universes is real.
submitted by Oblique9043 to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2018.07.17 01:46 Chtorrr cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search This article is about the cat species that is commonly kept as a pet. For the cat family, see Felidae. For other uses, see Cat (disambiguation) and Cats (disambiguation). For technical reasons, "Cat #1" redirects here. For the album, see Cat 1 (album). Domestic cat[1] Cat poster 1.jpg Various types of domestic cat Conservation status Domesticated Scientific classification e Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Suborder: Feliformia Family: Felidae Subfamily: Felinae Genus: Felis Species: F. silvestris Subspecies: F. s. catus Trinomial name Felis silvestris catus Linnaeus, 1758[2] Synonyms Felis catus (original combination)[3] Felis catus domestica (invalid junior synonym)[4]
The domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus or Felis catus)[1][5] is a small, typically furry, carnivorous mammal. They are often called house cats[6] when kept as indoor pets or simply cats when there is no need to distinguish them from other felids and felines. They are often valued by humans for companionship and for their ability to hunt vermin. There are more than seventy cat breeds recognized by various cat registries.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws and teeth adapted to killing small prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans. Cats, despite being solitary hunters, are a social species, and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting) as well as cat pheromones and types of cat-specific body language.[7]
Cats have a high breeding rate.[8] Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, as well as the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.[9] In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species. Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations.[10] Cats are thought to be primarily responsible for the extinction of 87 species of birds,[11] and the presence of feral and free-ranging cats makes some otherwise suitable locations unsuitable for attempted species reintroduction.[12]
Because cats were venerated in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there,[13] but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9,500 years ago (7500 BC).[14] A genetic study in 2007[15] concluded that all domestic cats are descended from Near Eastern wildcats, having diverged around 8000 BC in the Middle East.[13][16] A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today.[17][18] A 2017 study confirmed that domestic cats are descendants of those first domesticated by farmers in the Near East around 9,000 years ago.[19][20]
As of a 2007 study, cats are the second-most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, behind freshwater fish.[21] In a 2010 study, they were ranked the third-most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned.[22]
Contents 1 Taxonomy and evolution 2 Nomenclature and etymology 3 Biology 3.1 Anatomy 3.2 Physiology 3.2.1 Nutrition 3.3 Senses 3.4 Health 3.4.1 Diseases 3.5 Genetics 4 Behavior 4.1 Sociability 4.2 Communication 4.3 Grooming 4.4 Fighting 4.5 Hunting and feeding 4.6 Running 4.7 Play 4.8 Reproduction 5 Ecology 5.1 Habitats 5.2 Feral cats 5.3 Impact on prey species 5.4 Impact on birds 6 Interaction with humans 6.1 Cat show 6.2 Cat café 6.3 Ailurophobia 6.4 Cat bites 6.5 Infections transmitted from cats to humans 6.6 History and mythology 6.6.1 Superstitions and cat burning 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links Taxonomy and evolution Main article: Cat evolution The domestic cat is a member of the cat family, the felids, which are a rapidly evolving family of mammals that share a common ancestor only 10–15 million years ago[23] and include lions, tigers, cougars and many others. Within this family, domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats containing about seven species (depending upon classification scheme).[1][24] Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. silvestris silvestris), African wildcat (F. s. lybica), the Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti), and the Arabian sand cat (F. margarita), among others.[25]
The domestic cat is believed to have evolved from the Near Eastern wildcat, whose range covers vast portions of the Middle East westward to the Atlantic coast of Africa.[26][27] Between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago the animal gave rise to the genetic lineage that eventually produced all domesticated cats,[28] having diverged from the Near Eastern wildcat around 8,000 BC in the Middle East.[13][16]
The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae published in 1758.[1][2] Because of modern phylogenetics, domestic cats are usually regarded as another subspecies of the wildcat, F. silvestris.[1][29][30] This has resulted in mixed usage of the terms, as the domestic cat can be called by its subspecies name, Felis silvestris catus.[1][29][30] Wildcats have also been referred to as various subspecies of F. catus,[30] but in 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature fixed the name for wildcats as F. silvestris.[31] The most common name in use for the domestic cat remains F. catus. Sometimes, the domestic cat has been called Felis domesticus[32] as proposed by German naturalist J. C. P. Erxleben in 1777,[33] but these are not valid taxonomic names and have been used only rarely in scientific literature.[34] A population of Transcaucasian black feral cats was once classified as Felis daemon (Satunin 1904) but now this population is considered to be a part of the domestic cat.[35]
All the cats in this genus share a common ancestor that is believed to have lived around 6–7 million years ago in the Near East (the Middle East).[36] The exact relationships within the Felidae are close but still uncertain,[37][38] e.g. the Chinese mountain cat is sometimes classified (under the name Felis silvestris bieti) as a subspecies of the wildcat, like the North African variety F. s. lybica.[29][37]
Ancient Egyptian sculpture of the cat goddess Bastet. The earliest evidence of felines as Egyptian deities comes from c. 3100 BC. In comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat is not radically different from those of wildcats and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.[39][40] Fully domesticated house cats often interbreed with feral F. catus populations,[41] producing hybrids such as the Kellas cat. This limited evolution during domestication means that hybridisation can occur with many other felids, notably the Asian leopard cat.[42] Several natural behaviors and characteristics of wildcats may have predisposed them for domestication as pets.[40] These traits include their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play and relatively high intelligence.[43]:12–17 Several small felid species may have an inborn tendency towards tameness.[40]
Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans. Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated. In one, people deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection as they were useful predators of vermin.[44] This has been criticized as implausible, because the reward for such an effort may have been too little; cats generally do not carry out commands and although they do eat rodents, other species such as ferrets or terriers may be better at controlling these pests.[29] The alternative idea is that cats were simply tolerated by people and gradually diverged from their wild relatives through natural selection, as they adapted to hunting the vermin found around humans in towns and villages.[29]
Nomenclature and etymology The origin of the English word cat (Old English catt) and its counterparts in other Germanic languages (such as German Katze), descended from Proto-Germanic *kattōn-, is controversial. It has traditionally thought to be a borrowing from Late Latin cattus, 'domestic cat', from catta (used around 75 AD by Martial),[45][46] compare also Byzantine Greek κάττα, Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, Maltese qattus, Lithuanian katė, and Old Church Slavonic kotъ (kotka), among others.[47] The Late Latin word is generally thought to originate from an Afro-Asiatic language, but every proposed source word has presented problems. Many references refer to "Berber" (Kabyle) kaddîska, 'wildcat', and Nubian kadīs as possible sources or cognates, but M. Lionel Bender suggesets the Nubian term is a loan from Arabic قِطَّة qiṭṭa.[48] Jean-Paul Savignac suggests the Latin word is from an Ancient Egyptian precursor of Coptic ϣⲁⲩ šau, 'tomcat', or its feminine form suffixed with -t,[49] but John Huehnergard says "the source [...] was clearly not Egyptian itself, where no analogous form is attested."[48] Huehnergard opines it is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic". Guus Kroonen also considers the word to be native to Germanic (due to morphological alternations) and Northern Europe, and suggests that it might ultimately be borrowed from Uralic, cf. Northern Sami gađfe, 'female stoat', and Hungarian hölgy, 'stoat'; from Proto-Uralic *käďwä, 'female (of a furred animal)'.[50] In any case, cat is a classic example of a Wanderwort.
An alternative word is English puss (extended as pussy and pussycat). Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín or puiscín. The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.[51][52]
A group of cats can be referred to as a clowder or a glaring;[53] a male cat is called a tom or tomcat[54] (or a gib,[55] if neutered); an unspayed female is called a queen,[56] especially in a cat-breeding context; and a juvenile cat is referred to as a kitten. The male progenitor of a cat, especially a pedigreed cat, is its sire,[57] and its mother is its dam[58] In Early Modern English, the word kitten was interchangeable with the now obsolete word catling.[59]
A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization. A purebred (or pure-bred) cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed. Many pedigreed and especially purebred cats are exhibited as show cats. Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cats (by coat type), or commonly as random-bred, moggies (chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.
While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed (being subspecies of the same species), several intermediate stages occur between domestic pet and pedigree cats on one hand and entirely wild animals on the other. The semi-feral cat, a mostly outdoor cat, is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Truly feral cats are associated with human habitation areas, foraging for food and sometimes intermittently fed by people, but are typically wary of human interaction.[41]
Biology Anatomy Main article: Cat anatomy
Diagram of the general anatomy of a male Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 4 and 5 kg (9 and 10 lb).[37] Some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, can occasionally exceed 11 kg (24 lb). Conversely, very small cats, less than 2 kg (4 lb), have been reported.[60] The world record for the largest cat is 21 kg (50 lb).[61][self-published source] The smallest adult cat ever officially recorded weighed around 1 kg (2 lb).[61] Feral cats tend to be lighter, as they have more limited access to food than house cats. The Boston Cat Hospital weighted trapped feral cats, and found the average feral adult male to weigh 4 kg (9 lb), and average adult female 3 kg (7 lb).[62] Cats average about 23–25 cm (9–10 in) in height and 46 cm (18 in) in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging 30 cm (12 in) in length;[63] feral cats may be smaller on average.
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae, as do almost all mammals; 13 thoracic vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three sacral vertebrae like most mammals (humans have five); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans have only vestigial caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).[64]:11 The extra lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's spinal mobility and flexibility. Attached to the spine are 13 ribs, the shoulder, and the pelvis.[64] :16 Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by free-floating clavicle bones which allow them to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their head.[65]
Cat skull The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a powerful and specialized jaw.[66]:35 Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for killing prey and tearing meat. When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible paralysis and death.[67] Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly spaced canine teeth, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small rodents, which have small vertebrae.[67] The premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors. These are vital in feeding, since cats' small molars cannot chew food effectively, and cats are largely incapable of mastication.[66]:37 Although cats tend to have better teeth than most humans, with decay generally less likely because of a thicker protective layer of enamel, a less damaging saliva, less retention of food particles between teeth, and a diet mostly devoid of sugar, they are nonetheless subject to occasional tooth loss and infection.[68]
Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades. They walk directly on their toes, with the bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg.[69] Cats are capable of walking very precisely because, like all felines, they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding fore paw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain. Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side. This trait is shared with camels and giraffes. As a walk speeds up into a trot, a cat's gait changes to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite hind and fore legs move simultaneously.[70]
Like almost all members of the Felidae, cats have protractable and retractable claws.[71] In their normal, relaxed position, the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the paw's toe pads. This keeps the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of prey. The claws on the fore feet are typically sharper than those on the hind feet.[72] Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws. They may extend their claws in hunting or self-defense, climbing, kneading, or for extra traction on soft surfaces. Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and four on their rear paws.[73] The fifth front claw (the dewclaw) is proximal to the other claws. More proximally is a protrusion which appears to be a sixth "finger". This special feature of the front paws, on the inside of the wrists, is the carpal pad, also found on the paws of big cats and dogs. It has no function in normal walking, but is thought to be an antiskidding device used while jumping. Some breeds of cats are prone to polydactyly (extra toes and claws).[73] These are particularly common along the northeast coast of North America.[74]
Physiology Cats are familiar and easily kept animals, and their physiology has been particularly well studied; it generally resembles those of other carnivorous mammals, but displays several unusual features probably attributable to cats' descent from desert-dwelling species.[32] For instance, cats are able to tolerate quite high temperatures: Humans generally start to feel uncomfortable when their skin temperature passes about 38 °C (100 °F), but cats show no discomfort until their skin reaches around 52 °C (126 °F),[66]:46 and can tolerate temperatures of up to 56 °C (133 °F) if they have access to water.[75]
Normal physiological values[76]:330 Body temperature 38.6 °C (101.5 °F) Heart rate 120–140 beats per minute Breathing rate 16–40 breaths per minute
Thermograph of various body parts of a cat Cats conserve heat by reducing the flow of blood to their skin and lose heat by evaporation through their mouths. Cats have minimal ability to sweat, with glands located primarily in their paw pads,[77] and pant for heat relief only at very high temperatures[78] (but may also pant when stressed). A cat's body temperature does not vary throughout the day; this is part of cats' general lack of circadian rhythms and may reflect their tendency to be active both during the day and at night.[79]:1 Cats' feces are comparatively dry and their urine is highly concentrated, both of which are adaptations to allow cats to retain as much water as possible.[32] Their kidneys are so efficient, they can survive on a diet consisting only of meat, with no additional water,[80] and can even rehydrate by drinking seawater.[81][79]:29While domestic cats are able to swim, they are generally reluctant to enter water as it quickly leads to exhaustion.[82]
Nutrition Cats are obligate carnivores: their physiology has evolved to efficiently process meat, and they have difficulty digesting plant matter.[32] In contrast to omnivores such as rats, which only require about 4% protein in their diet, about 20% of a cat's diet must be protein.[32] A cat's gastrointestinal tract is adapted to meat eating, being much shorter than that of omnivores and having low levels of several of the digestive enzymes needed to digest carbohydrates.[83] These traits severely limit the cat's ability to digest and use plant-derived nutrients, as well as certain fatty acids.[83] Despite the cat's meat-oriented physiology, several vegetarian or vegan cat foods have been marketed that are supplemented with chemically synthesized taurine and other nutrients, in attempts to produce a complete diet. However, some of these products still fail to provide all the nutrients cats require,[84] and diets containing no animal products pose the risk of causing severe nutritional deficiencies.[85] However, veterinarians in the United States have expressed concern that many domestic cats are overfed.[86]
Cats do eat grass occasionally. A proposed explanation is that cats use grass as a source of folic acid. Another is that it is used to supply dietary fiber, helping the cat defecate more easily and expel parasites and other harmful material through feces and vomit.[87]
Cats are unusually dependent on a constant supply of the amino acid arginine, and a diet lacking arginine causes marked weight loss and can be rapidly fatal.[88] Arginine is an essential additive in cat food because cats have low levels of the enzymes aminotransferase and pyrroline-5-carboxylate which are responsible for the synthesis of ornithine and citrulline in the small intestine.[89] Citrulline would typically go on to the kidneys to make arginine, but because cats have a deficiency in the enzymes that make it, citrulline is not produced in adequate quantities to make arginine. Arginine is essential in the urea cycle in order to convert the toxic component ammonia into urea that can then be excreted in the urine. Because of its essential role, deficiency in arginine results in a build up of toxic ammonia and leads to hyperammonemia.[89] The symptoms of hyperammonemia include lethargy, vomiting, ataxia, hyperesthesia and can be serious enough to induce death and coma in a matter of days if a cat is being fed an arginine-free diet. The quick onset of these symptoms is due to the fact that diets devoid in arginine will typically still contain all of the other amino acids, which will continue to be catabolized by the body, producing mass amounts of ammonia that very quickly build up with no way of being excreted.
Another unusual feature is that the cat cannot produce taurine,[note 1] with a deficiency in this nutrient causing macular degeneration, wherein the cat's retina slowly breaks down, causing irreversible blindness.[32] This is due to the hepatic activity of cystinesulfinic acid decarboxylase being low in cats.[91] This limits the ability of cats to biosynthesize the taurine they need from its precursor, the amino acid cysteine, which ultimately results in inadequate taurine production needed for normal function.[91] Deficiencies in taurine result in compensated function of feline cardiovascular and reproductive systems.[91] These abnormalities can also be accompanied by developmental issues in the central nervous system along with degeneration of the retina.[91]
In order to produce the essential vitamin niacin for use in the cat, tryptophan is needed for conversion purposes. However, due to a competing pathway with acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), niacin can become deficient and require supplementation.[92] This process occurs when an overactive enzyme, picolinic acid carboxylase, converts the vitamin B6 precursor picolinic acid into the alternate compound acetyl-CoA, instead of converting quinolinate into nictotinic acid mononlucleotide (niacin).[93] Niacin is required in cats as it supports enzyme function. If niacin is deficient in the diet, anorexia, weight loss and an increase in body temperature can result.[94]
Preformed vitamin A is required in the cat for retinal and reproductive health. Vitamin A is considered to be a fat-soluble vitamin and is seen as essential in a cat's diet. Normally, the conversion of beta-carotenes into vitamin A occurs in the intestine (more specifically the mucosal layer) of species, however cats lack the ability to undergo this process.[92] Both the kidney and liver are contributors to the use of vitamin A in the body of the majority of species while the cats liver does not produce the enzyme Beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase which converts the beta-carotene into retinol (vitamin A).[95] To summarize: cats do not have high levels of this enzyme leading to the cleavage and oxidation of carotenoids not taking place.[93]
Vitamin D3 is a dietary requirement for cats as they lack the ability to synthesize vitamin D3 from sunlight.[96] Cats obtain high levels of the enzyme 7-dehydrocholestrol delta 7 reductase which causes immediate conversion of vitamin D3 from sunlight to 7-dehydrocholesterol.[97] This fat soluble vitamin is required in cats for bone formation through the promotion of calcium retention, along with nerve and muscle control through absorption of calcium and phosphorus.[97]
Cats, like all mammals, need to get linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, from their diet. Most mammals can convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, as well as the omega 3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) through the activity of enzymes, but this process is very limited in cats.[92] The Δ6-desaturase enzyme eventually converts linoleic acid, which is in its salt form linoleate, to arachidonate (salt form of arachidonic acid) in the liver, but this enzyme has very little activity in cats.[92] This means that arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats as they lack the ability to create required amounts of linoleic acid. Deficiency of arachidonic acid in cats is related to problems in growth, can cause injury and inflammation to skin (e.g. around the mouth) decreased platelet aggregation, fatty liver, increase in birth defects of kittens whose queens were deficient during pregnancy, and reproductive failure in queens.[92] Arachidonic acid can also be metabolized to eicosanoids that create inflammatory responses which are needed to stimulate proper growth and repair mechanisms in the cat.[98]
Cat food § Nutrient chart provides a list of the many nutrients cats require as well as the use of the nutrients in the body and the effects of the deficiency.
Senses Main article: Cat senses
Reflection of camera flash from the tapetum lucidum Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.[66]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[99] Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[100] These slit pupils can focus bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big cats.[100] At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes.[101] However, domestic cats have rather poor color vision and (like most nonprimate mammals) have only two types of cones, optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability to distinguish between red and green.[102] A 1993 paper reported a response to middle wavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather than representing true trichromatic vision.[103]
Cats have excellent hearing and can detect an extremely broad range of frequencies. They can hear higher-pitched sounds than either dogs or humans, detecting frequencies from 55 Hz to 79,000 Hz, a range of 10.5 octaves, while humans and dogs both have ranges of about 9 octaves.[104][105] Cats can hear ultrasound, which is important in hunting[106] because many species of rodents make ultrasonic calls.[107] However, they do not communicate using ultrasound like rodents do. Cats' hearing is also sensitive and among the best of any mammal,[104] being most acute in the range of 500 Hz to 32 kHz.[108] This sensitivity is further enhanced by the cat's large movable outer ears (their pinnae), which both amplify sounds and help detect the direction of a noise.[106]
Cats have an acute sense of smell, due in part to their well-developed olfactory bulb and a large surface of olfactory mucosa, about 5.8 cm2 (0.90 in2) in area, which is about twice that of humans.[109] Cats are sensitive to pheromones such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol,[110] which they use to communicate through urine spraying and marking with scent glands.[111] Many cats also respond strongly to plants that contain nepetalactone, especially catnip, as they can detect that substance at less than one part per billion.[112] About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone.[113] This response is also produced by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian; it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.[114]
Cats have relatively few taste buds compared to humans (470 or so versus more than 9,000 on the human tongue).[115] Domestic and wild cats share a gene mutation that keeps their sweet taste buds from binding to sugary molecules, leaving them with no ability to taste sweetness.[116] Their taste buds instead respond to acids, amino acids like protein, and bitter tastes.[117] Cats and many other animals have a Jacobson's organ in their mouths that is used in the behavioral process of flehmening. It allows them to sense certain aromas in a way that humans cannot. Cats also have a distinct temperature preference for their food, preferring food with a temperature around 38 °C (100 °F) which is similar to that of a fresh kill and routinely rejecting food presented cold or refrigerated (which would signal to the cat that the "prey" item is long dead and therefore possibly toxic or decomposing).[115]
The whiskers of a cat are highly sensitive to touch. To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable whiskers (vibrissae) over their body, especially their faces. These provide information on the width of gaps and on the location of objects in the dark, both by touching objects directly and by sensing air currents; they also trigger protective blink reflexes to protect the eyes from damage.[66]:47
File:BIOASTRONAUTICS RESEARCH Gov.archives.arc.68700.ogv Comparison of cat righting reflexes in gravity versus zero gravity Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from a perch such as a tree branch, as does a leopard.[118] Another possible explanation is that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its territory. During a fall from a high place, a cat can reflexively twist its body and right itself using its acute sense of balance and flexibility.[119] This is known as the cat righting reflex. An individual cat always rights itself in the same way, provided it has the time to do so, during a fall. The height required for this to occur is around 90 cm (3.0 ft). Cats without a tail (e.g. many specimens of the Manx and Cymric breeds) also have this ability, since a cat mostly relies on leg movement and conservation of angular momentum to set up for landing, and the tail is little used for this feat.[120] Their excellent sense of balance allows cats to move with great stability. A cat falling from heights of up to 3 meters can right itself and land on its paws.[121]
Health Main articles: Cat health and Aging in cats The average lifespan of pet cats has risen in recent years. In the early 1980s, it was about seven years,[122]:33[123] rising to 9.4 years in 1995[122]:33 and 15.1 years in 2018.[124] However, cats have been reported as surviving into their 30s,[125] with the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, dying at a verified age of 38.[126]
Spaying or neutering increases life expectancy: one study found neutered male cats live twice as long as intact males, while spayed female cats live 62% longer than intact females.[122]:35 Having a cat neutered confers health benefits, because castrated males cannot develop testicular cancer, spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, and both have a reduced risk of mammary cancer.[127]
Despite widespread concern about the welfare of free-roaming cats, the lifespans of neutered feral cats in managed colonies compare favorably with those of pet cats.[128]:45[129]:1358 [130][131][132][133]
Diseases Main article: Feline diseases A wide range of health problems may affect cats, including infectious diseases, parasites, injuries, and chronic disease. Vaccinations are available for many of these diseases, and domestic cats are regularly given treatments to eliminate parasites such as worms and fleas.[134]
Genetics Main article: Cat genetics The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both diploid organisms that possess 38 chromosomes[135] and roughly 20,000 genes.[136] About 250 heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human inborn errors.[137] The high level of similarity among the metabolism of mammals allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as animal models in the study of the human diseases.[138][139]
Behavior See also: Cat behavior and Cat intelligence A black-and-white cat on a fence A cat on a fence Outdoor cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be slightly more active at night.[140][141] The timing of cats' activity is quite flexible and varied, which means house cats may be more active in the morning and evening, as a response to greater human activity at these times.[142] Although they spend the majority of their time in the vicinity of their home, housecats can range many hundreds of meters from this central point, and are known to establish territories that vary considerably in size, in one study ranging from 7 to 28 hectares (17–69 acres).[141]
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually between 12 and 16 hours, with 13 and 14 being the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours. The term "cat nap" for a short rest refers to the cat's tendency to fall asleep (lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests they are dreaming.[143]
Sociability
Social grooming Although wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of domestic cats is much more variable and ranges from widely dispersed individuals to feral cat colonies that gather around a food source, based on groups of co-operating females.[144][145] Within such groups, one cat is usually dominant over the others.[34] Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually active males having the largest territories, which are about 10 times larger than those of female cats and may overlap with several females' territories.[111] These territories are marked by urine spraying, by rubbing objects at head height with secretions from facial glands, and by defecation.[111] Between these territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks. Despite some cats cohabiting in colonies, they do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack mentality, and always hunt alone.[146]
Cat with an Alaskan Malamute dog However, some pet cats are poorly socialized. In particular, older cats may show aggressiveness towards newly arrived kittens, which may include biting and scratching; this type of behavior is known as feline asocial aggression.[147]
Though cats and dogs are often characterized as natural enemies, they can live together if correctly socialized.[148]
Life in proximity to humans and other domestic animals has led to a symbiotic social adaptation in cats, and cats may express great affection toward humans or other animals. Ethologically, the human keeper of a cat may function as a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother,[149] and adult housecats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood,[150] a form of behavioral neoteny. The high-pitched sounds housecats make to solicit food may mimic the cries of a hungry human infant, making them particularly hard for humans to ignore.[151]
Domestic cats' scent rubbing behavior towards humans or other cats is thought to be a feline means for social bonding.[152]
Communication Main article: Cat communication Domestic cats use many vocalizations for communication, including purring, trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and several different forms of meowing.[7] (By contrast, feral cats are generally silent.)[153]:208 Their types of body language, including position of ears and tail, relaxation of the whole body, and kneading of the paws, are all indicators of mood. The tail and ears are particularly important social signal mechanisms in cats;[154][155] for example, a raised tail acts as a friendly greeting, and flattened ears indicates hostility. Tail-raising also indicates the cat's position in the group's social hierarchy, with dominant individuals raising their tails less often than subordinate animals.[155] Nose-to-nose touching is also a common greeting and may be followed by social grooming, which is solicited by one of the cats raising and tilting its head.[145]
Purring may have developed as an evolutionary advantage as a signalling mechanism of reassurance between mother cats and nursing kittens. Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed,[156][157] or eating. The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive. The cat has no unique anatomical feature that is clearly responsible for the sound.[158] It was, until recent times, believed that only the cats of the Felis genus could purr. However, felids of the genus Panthera (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard) also produce non-continuous sounds, called chuffs, similar to purring, but only when exhaling.[159]
Grooming
The hooked papillae on a cat's tongue act like a hairbrush to help clean and detangle fur. File:Housecat Grooming Itself.webm A tabby housecat uses its brush-like tongue to groom itself, licking its fur to straighten it. Cats are known for spending considerable amounts of time licking their coat to keep it clean.[160] The cat's tongue has backwards-facing spines about 500 μm long, which are called papillae. These contain keratin which makes them rigid[161] so the papillae act like a hairbrush. Some cats, particularly longhaired cats, occasionally regurgitate hairballs of fur that have collected in their stomachs from grooming. These clumps of fur are usually sausage-shaped and about 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Hairballs can be prevented with remedies that ease elimination of the hair through the gut, as well as regular grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush.[160]
Fighting Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.[162] Among feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two males to mate with a female. In such cases, most fights are won by the heavier male.[163] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.[162] Female cats also fight over territory or to defend their kittens. Neutering will decrease or eliminate this behavior in many cases, suggesting that the behavior is linked to sex hormones.[164]
An arched back, raised fur and an open-mouthed hiss can all be signs of aggression in a domestic cat. When cats become aggressive, they try to make themselves appear larger and more threatening by raising their fur, arching their backs, turning sideways and hissing or spitting.[154] Often, the ears are pointed down and back to avoid damage to the inner ear and potentially listen for any changes behind them while focused forward. They may also vocalize loudly and bare their teeth in an effort to further intimidate their opponent. Fights usually consist of grappling and delivering powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as bites. Cats also throw themselves to the ground in a defensive posture to rake their opponent's belly with their powerful hind legs.[165]
Serious damage is rare, as the fights are usually short in duration, with the loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears. However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from fighting are limited to infections of scratches and bites, though these can occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus.[166] Sexually active males are usually involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to their ears and nose.[167]
Hunting and feeding
A cat that is playing with a caught mouse. Cats play with their prey to weaken or exhaust them before making a kill.
A domestic cat with its prey Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents,[168] and are often used as a form of pest control.[169][170] Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife in the United States, killing an estimated 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually.[171][172] The bulk of predation in the United States is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts.[171][172] In the case of free-ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them out at night will reduce wildlife predation.[168]
Free-fed feral cats and house cats tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the frequency and size of meals varies between individuals.[146] Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured.[173] Although it is not certain, the strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.[174]:153
Perhaps the best known element of cats' hunting behavior, which is commonly misunderstood and often appalls cat owners because it looks like torture, is that cats often appear to "play" with prey by releasing it after capture. This behavior is due to an instinctive imperative to ensure that the prey is weak enough to be killed without endangering the cat.[175] This behavior is referred to in the idiom "cat-and-mouse game" or simply "cat and mouse".
Another poorly understood element of cat hunting behavior is the presentation of prey to human guardians. Ethologist Paul Leyhausen proposed that cats adopt humans into their social group and share excess kill with others in the group according to the dominance hierarchy, in which humans are reacted to as if they are at, or near, the top.[176] Anthropologist and zoologist Desmond Morris, in his 1986 book Catwatching, suggests, when cats bring home mice or birds, they are attempting to teach their human to hunt, or trying to help their human as if feeding "an elderly cat, or an inept kitten".[177][178] Morris's hypothesis is inconsistent with the fact that male cats also bring home prey, despite males having negligible involvement with raising kittens.[174]:153
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture; they dislike chilled foods and respond most strongly to moist foods rich in amino acids, which are similar to meat.[85][146] Cats may reject novel flavors (a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted unpleasant in the past.[146] They may also avoid sugary foods and milk. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant; the sugars in milk are not easily digested and may cause soft stools or diarrhea.[146][179] They can also develop odd eating habits. Some cats like to eat or chew on other things, most commonly wool, but also plastic, cables, paper, string, aluminum foil, or even coal. This condition, pica, can threaten their health, depending on the amount and toxicity of the items eaten.[180][181]
Though cats usually prey on animals less than half their size, a feral cat in Australia has been photographed killing an adult pademelon of around the cat's weight at 4 kg (8.8 lb).[182]
Since cats lack sufficient lips to create suction,[183] they use a lapping method with the tongue to draw liquid upwards into their mouths. Lapping at a rate of four times a second, the cat touches the smooth tip of its tongue to the surface of the water, and quickly retracts it like a corkscrew, drawing water upwards.[184]
Running A veterinarian and columnist for Mercola Healthy Pets, Karen Shaw Becker, has compiled a list of the fastest and most athletic cat breeds. First is the Egyptian Mau, which can clock up to 30 miles per hour, faster than any other domestic cat breed in the world.[185][unreliable source] In descending order, Becker lists the other swift domestic cats: the Abyssinian cat, the Somali cat, the Bengal cat, the Savannah cat, the Manx cat ("He can jump and accelerate through the house like there's no tomorrow. Watch for his sharp turns and quick stops – you'll think he's a mini sports car in the shape of a cat."), the Siamese cat, the Ocicat, and the Oriental Shorthair.
The average house cat can outspeed the average house dog (excluding those born to run and race, such as the greyhound and the cheetah), but they excel at sprinting, not at long-distance running.
Play Main article: Cat play and toys File:Play fight between cats.webmhd.webm Play fight between kittens, age 14 weeks Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill prey.[186] Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate with launching attacks on other animals.[187]
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but rapidly lose interest (they become habituated) in a toy they have played with before.[188] Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry.[189] String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten, it can become caught at the base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency which can cause serious illness, even death.[190] Owing to the risks posed by cats eating string, it is sometimes replaced with a laser pointer's dot, which cats may chase.[191]
Reproduction See also: Kitten
When cats mate, the tomcat (male) bites the scruff of the female's neck as she assumes a position conducive to mating known as lordosis behavior.
Radiography of a pregnant cat (about one month and a half) Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods of heat over the course of a year, the season beginning in spring and ending in late autumn. Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last about 4 to 7 days.[192] Multiple males will be attracted to a female in heat. The males will fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female rejects the male, but eventually the female allows the male to mate. The female utters a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her because a male cat's penis has a band of about 120–150 backwards-pointing penile spines, which are about 1 mm long; upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which acts to induce ovulation. This act also occurs to clear the vagina of other sperm in the context of a second (or more) mating, thus giving the later males a larger chance of conception.[193]
After mating, the female washes her vulva thoroughly. If a male attempts to mate with her at this point, the female will attack him. After about 20 to 30 minutes, once the female is finished grooming, the cycle will repeat.[192]
Because ovulation is not always triggered by a single mating, females may not be impregnated by the first male with which they mate.[194] Furthermore, cats are superfecund; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in heat, with the result that different kittens in a litter may have different fathers.[192]
A newborn kitten At 124 hours after conception, the morula forms. At 148 hours, early blastocysts form. At 10–12 days, implantation occurs.[195][196]
The gestation period for cats is between 64 and 67 days, with an average of 66 days.[197] The size of a litter usually is three to five kittens, with the first litter usually smaller than subsequent litters. Kittens are weaned between six and seven weeks old, and cats normally reach sexual maturity at 5–10 months (females) and to 5–7 months (males), although this can vary depending on breed.[192] Females can have two to three litters per year, so may produce up to 150 kittens in their breeding span of around ten years.[192]
Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks of age,[198] when they are ready to leave their mother. They can be surgically sterilized (spayed or castrated) as early as 7 weeks to limit unwanted reproduction.[199] This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as aggression, territory marking (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females. Traditionally, this surgery was performed at around six to nine months of age, but it is increasingly being performed before puberty, at about three to six months.[200] In the US, about 80% of household cats are neutered.[201]
Ecology Habitats
A cat in snowy weather Cats are a cosmopolitan species and are found across much of the world.[39] Geneticist Stephen James O'Brien, of the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, remarked on how successful cats have been in evolutionary terms: "Cats are one of evolution's most charismatic creatures. They can live on the highest mountains and in the hottest deserts."[202] They are extremely adaptable and are now present on all continents except Antarctica, and on 118 of the 131 main groups of islands—even on isolated islands such as the Kerguelen Islands.[203][204]
Feral cats can live in forests, grasslands, tundra, coastal areas, agricultural land, scrublands, urban areas, and wetlands.[205] Their habitats even include small oceanic islands with no human inhabitants.[206] Further, the close relatives of domestic cats, the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) and the Arabian sand cat (Felis margarita) both inhabit desert environments,[29] and domestic cats still show similar adaptations and behaviors.[32] The cat's ability to thrive in almost any terrestrial habitat has led to its designation as one of the world's worst invasive species.[207]
As domestic cats are little altered from wildcats, they can readily interbreed. This hybridization poses a danger to the genetic distinctiveness of some wildcat populations, particularly in Scotland and Hungary and possibly also the Iberian Peninsula.[42]
Feral cats Main article: Feral cat
Feral farm cat Feral cats are domestic cats that were born in or have reverted to a wild state. They are unfamiliar with and wary of humans and roam freely in urban and rural areas.[9] The numbers of feral cats is not known, but estimates of the US feral population range from 25 to 60 million.[9] Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large colonies, which occupy a specific territory and are usually associated with a source of food.[208] Famous feral cat colonies are found in Rome around the Colosseum and Forum Romanum, with cats at some of these sites being fed and given medical attention by volunteers.[209]
Public attitudes towards feral cats vary widely, ranging from seeing them as free-ranging pets, to regarding them as vermin.[210] One common approach to reducing the feral cat population is termed 'trap-neuter-return', where the cats are trapped, neutered, immunized against diseases such as rabies and the feline Panleukopenia and Leukemia viruses, and then released.[211] Before releasing them back into their feral colonies, the attending veterinarian often nips the tip off one ear to mark it as neutered and inoculated, since these cats may be trapped again. Volunteers continue to feed and give care to these cats throughout their lives. Given this support, their lifespans are increased, and behavior and nuisance problems caused by competition for food are reduced.[208]
Impact on prey species
Carrying half of a rabbit To date, little scientific data is available to assess the impact of cat predation on prey populations outside of agricultural situations. Even well-fed domestic cats may hunt and kill, mainly catching small mammals, but also birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates.[168][212] Hunting by domestic cats may be contributing to the decline in the numbers of birds in urban areas, although the importance of this effect remains controversial.[213] In the wild, the introduction of feral cats during human settlement can threaten native species with extinction.[206] In many cases, controlling or eliminating the populations of non-native cats can produce a rapid recovery in native animals.[214] However, the ecological role of introduced cats can be more complicated. For example, cats can control the numbers of rats, which also prey on birds' eggs and young, so a cat population can protect an endangered bird species by suppressing mesopredators.[215]
In isolated landmasses, such as Australasia, there are often no other native, medium-sized quadrupedal predators (including other feline species); this tends to exacerbate the impact of feral cats on small native animals.[216] Native species such as the New Zealand kakapo and the Australian bettong, for example, tend to be more ecologically vulnerable and behaviorally "naive", when faced with predation by cats.[217] Feral cats have had a major impact on these native species and have played a leading role in the endangerment and extinction of many animals.[218]
Even in places with ancient and numerous cat populations, such as Western Europe, cats appear to be growing in number and independently of their environments' carrying capacity (such as the numbers of prey available).[219][220] This may be explained, at least in part, by an abundance of food, from sources including feeding by pet owners and scavenging. For instance, research in Britain suggests that a high proportion of cats hunt only "recreationally"[220], and in South Sweden, where research in 1982 found that the population density of cats was as high as 2,000 per square kilometre (5,200/sq mi).[219]
In agricultural settings, cats can be effective at keeping mouse and rat populations low, but only if rodent harborage locations are kept under control.[221][222] While cats are effective at preventing rodent population explosions, they are not effective for eliminating pre-existing severe infestations.[223]
Impact on birds
A black cat eating a house sparrow The domestic cat is a significant predator of birds. UK assessments indicate they may be accountable for an estimated 64.8 million bird deaths each year.[168] A 2012 study suggests feral cats may kill several billion birds each year in the United States.[224] Certain species appear more susceptible than others; for example, 30% of house sparrow mortality is linked to the domestic cat.[225] In the recovery of ringed robins (Erithacus rubecula) and dunnocks (Prunella modularis), 31% of deaths were a result of cat predation.[226] In parts of North America, the presence of larger carnivores such as coyotes which prey on cats and other small predators reduces the effect of predation by cats and other small predators such as opossums and raccoons on bird numbers and variety.[227] The proposal that cat populations will increase when the numbers of these top predators decline is called the mesopredator release hypothesis.
On islands, birds can contribute as much as 60% of a cat's diet.[228] In nearly all cases, however, the cat cannot be identified as the sole cause for reducing the numbers of island birds, and in some instances, eradication of cats has caused a 'mesopredator release' effect;[229] where the suppression of top carnivores creates an abundance of smaller predators that cause a severe decline in their shared prey. Domestic cats are, however, known to be a contributing factor to the decline of many species, a factor that has ultimately led, in some cases, to extinction. The South Island piopio, Chatham rail,[226] the New Zealand merganser,[230] and the common diving petrel[231] are a few from a long list, with the most extreme case being the flightless Lyall's wren, which was driven to extinction only a few years after its discovery.[232][233]
Some of the same factors that have promoted adaptive radiation of island avifauna over evolutionary time appear to promote vulnerability to non-native species in modern time. The susceptibility of many island birds is undoubtedly due to evolution in the absence of mainland predators, competitors, diseases, and parasites, in addition to lower reproductive rates and extended incubation periods.[234] The loss of flight, or reduced flying ability is also characteristic of many island endemics.[235] These biological aspects have increased vulnerability to extinction in the presence of introduced species, such as the domestic cat.[236] Equally, behavioral traits exhibited by island species, such as "predatory naivety"[237] and ground-nesting,[234] have also contributed to their susceptibility.
Interaction with humans Main article: Human interaction with cats
Cats and people Cats are common pets throughout the world, and their worldwide population exceeds 500 million.[13] Although cat guardianship has commonly been associated with women,[238] a 2007 Gallup poll reported that men and women in the United States of America were equally likely to own a cat.[239]
As well as being kept as pets, cats are also used in the international fur[240] and leather industries for making coats, hats, blankets, and stuffed toys;[241] and shoes, gloves, and musical instruments respectively[242] (about 24 cats are needed to make a cat-fur coat).[243] This use has been outlawed in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.[244] Cat pelts have been used for superstitious purposes as part of the practise of witchcraft,[245] and are still made into blankets in Switzerland as folk remedies believed to help rheumatism.[246] In the Western intellectual tradition, the idea of cats as everyday objects have served to illustrate problems of quantum mechanics in the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.
A few attempts to build a cat census have been made over the years, both through associations or national and international organizations (such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies's one[247]) and over the Internet,[248][249] but such a task does not seem simple to achieve. General estimates for the global population of domestic cats range widely from anywhere between 200 million to 600 million.[250][251][252][253][254][255]
Cat show Main article: Cat show A cat show is a judged event where the owners of cats compete to win titles in various cat registering organizations by entering their cats to be judged after a breed standard.[256][257] Both pedigreed and companion (or moggy) cats are admissible, although the rules differ from organization to organization. Cats are compared to a breed standard,[258] and the owners of those judged to be closest to it are awarded a prize. Moggies are judged based on their temperament. Often, at the end of the year, all of the points accrued at various shows are added up and more national and regional titles are awarded.
Cat café Main article: Cat café A cat café is a theme café whose attraction is cats that can be watched and played with.[259] Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly and thus cat cafés can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.
Ailurophobia Main article: Ailurophobia Ailurophobia is a human phobia of cats; however, the term is often associated with humans that have a hatred of cats.[260]
Cat bites Main article: Cat bite Cats may bite humans when provoked, during play or when aggressive. Complications from cat bites can develop.[261] A cat bite differs from the bites of other pets. This is because the teeth of a cat are sharp and pointed causing deep punctures. Skin usually closes rapidly over the bite and traps microorganisms that cause infection.[262][261]
Infections transmitted from cats to humans Main article: Feline zoonosis Cats can be infected or infested with viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoans, arthropods or worms that can transmit diseases to humans.[263] In some cases, the cat exhibits no symptoms of the disease,[264] However, the same disease can then become evident in a human. The likelihood that a person will become diseased depends on the age and immune status of the person. Humans who have cats living in their home or in close association are more likely to become infected, however, those who do not keep cats as pets might also acquire infections from cat feces and parasites exiting the cat's body.[263][265] Some of the infections of most concern include salmonella, cat scratch disease and toxoplasmosis.[264]
History and mythology Main articles: Cultural depictions of cats and Cats in ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptians mummified dead cats out of respect in the same way that they mummified people.[266]
Ancient Roman mosaic of a cat killing a partridge from the House of the Faun in Pompeii
A 19th-century drawing of a tabby cat Traditionally, historians tended to think ancient Egypt was the site of cat domestication, owing to the clear depictions of house cats in Egyptian paintings about 3,600 years old.[29] However, in 2004, a Neolithic grave excavated in Shillourokambos, Cyprus, contained the skeletons, laid close to one another, of both a human and a cat. The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, pushing back the earliest known feline–human association significantly.[16][267][268] The cat specimen is large and closely resembles the African wildcat, rather than present-day domestic cats. This discovery, combined with genetic studies, suggests cats were probably domesticated in the Middle East, in the Fertile Crescent around the time of the development of agriculture, and then were brought to Cyprus and Egypt.[15][20] Direct evidence for the domestication of cats 5,300 years ago in Quanhucun, China has been published by archaeologists and paleontologists from the University of Washington and Chinese Academy of Sciences. The cats are believed to have been attracted to the village by rodents, which in turn were attracted by grain cultivated and stored by humans.[269]
In ancient Egypt, cats were sacred animals, with the goddess Bastet often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness.[270]:220 Killing a cat was absolutely forbidden[266] and the Greek historian Herodotus reports that, whenever a household cat died, the entire family would mourn and shave their eyebrows.[266] Families took their dead cats to the sacred city of Bubastis,[266] where they were embalmed and buried in sacred repositories.[266] Domestic cats were probably first introduced to Greece and southern Italy in the fifth century BC by the Phoenicians.[271] The earliest unmistakable evidence of the Greeks having domestic cats comes from two coins from Magna Graecia dating to the mid-fifth century BC showing Iokastos and Phalanthos, the legendary founders of Rhegion and Taras respectively, playing with their pet cats.[272]:57–58[273]
Housecats seem to have been extremely rare among the ancient Greeks and Romans;[273] Herodotus expressed astonishment at the domestic cats in Egypt, because he had only ever seen wildcats.[273] Even during later times, weasels were far more commonly kept as pets[273] and weasels, not cats, were seen as the ideal rodent-killers.[273] The usual ancient Greek word for "cat" was ailouros, meaning "thing with the waving tail",[272]:57[273] but this word could also be applied to any of the "various long-tailed carnivores kept for catching mice".[273] Cats are rarely mentioned in ancient Greek literature,[273] but Aristotle does remark in his History of Animals that "female cats are naturally lecherous."[272]:74[273] The Greeks later syncretized their own goddess Artemis with the Egyptian goddess Bastet, adopting Bastet's associations with cats and ascribing them to Artemis.[272]:77–79 In Ovid's Metamorphoses, when the gods flee to Egypt and take animal forms, the goddess Diana (the Roman equivalent of Artemis) turns into a cat.[272]:79 Cats eventually displaced ferrets as the pest control of choice because they were more pleasant to have around the house and were more enthusiastic hunters of mice.[274] During the Middle Ages, many of Artemis's associations with cats were grafted onto the Virgin Mary.[274] Cats are often shown in icons of Annunciation and of the Holy Family[274] and, according to Italian folklore, on the same night that Mary gave birth to Jesus, a virgin cat in Bethlehem gave birth to a kitten.[274] Domestic cats were spread throughout much of the rest of the world during the Age of Discovery, as ships' cats were carried on sailing ships to control shipboard rodents and as good-luck charms.[270]:223
Several ancient religions believed cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that are all-knowing but mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune.[275] In Norse mythology, Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats.[276] In Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam as a pet that got rid of mice.[277] The cat was once partnering with the first dog before the latter broke an oath they had made which resulted in enmity between the descendants of these two animals.[277] It is also written that neither cats nor foxes are represented in the water, while every other animal has an incarnation species in the water.[277] Although no species are sacred in Islam, cats are revered by Muslims. Some Western writers have stated Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza.[278] He is reported to have loved cats so much, "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it".[279] The story has no origin in early Muslim writers, and seems to confuse a story of a later Sufi saint, Ahmed ar-Rifa'i, centuries after Muhammad.[280] One of the companions of Muhammad was known as "Abu Hurayrah" (Father of the Kitten), in reference to his documented affection to cats.[281]
Superstitions and cat burning
Some cultures are superstitious about black cats, ascribing either good or bad luck to them. Many cultures have negative superstitions about cats. An example would be the belief that a black cat "crossing one's path" leads to bad luck, or that cats are witches' familiars used to augment a witch's powers and skills. The killing of cats in Medieval Ypres, Belgium, is commemorated in the innocuous present-day Kattenstoet (cat parade).[282] In medieval France, cats would be burnt alive as a form of entertainment. According to Norman Davies, the assembled people "shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized".[283]
"It was the custom to burn a basket, barrel, or sack full of live cats, which was hung from a tall mast in the midst of the bonfire; sometimes a fox was burned. The people collected the embers and ashes of the fire and took them home, believing that they brought good luck. The French kings often witnessed these spectacles and even lit the bonfire with their own hands. In 1648 Louis XIV, crowned with a wreath of roses and carrying a bunch of roses in his hand, kindled the fire, danced at it and partook of the banquet afterwards in the town hall. But this was the last occasion when a monarch presided at the midsummer bonfire in Paris. At Metz midsummer fires were lighted with great pomp on the esplanade, and a dozen cats, enclosed in wicker cages, were burned alive in them, to the amusement of the people. Similarly at Gap, in the department of the Hautes-Alpes, cats used to be roasted over the midsummer bonfire."[284]
According to a myth in many cultures, cats have multiple lives. In many countries, they are believed to have nine lives, but in Italy, Germany, Greece, Brazil and some Spanish-speaking regions, they are said to have seven lives,[285][286] while in Turkish and Arabic traditions, the number of lives is six.[287] The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is the fact that falling cats often land on their feet, using an instinctive righting reflex to twist their bodies around. Nonetheless, cats can still be injured or killed by a high fall.[288]
See also
Book: Cat icon Cats portal icon Mammals portal Aging in cats Animal testing on cats Animal track Cancer in cats Cat and mouse (cat-and-mouse game) Cat burning Cat intelligence Cat lady Cats and the Internet Dog–cat relationship Dried cat List of cat breeds List of cat documentaries List of cats List of fictional cats and felines Pet door including cat flap Pet first aid Popular cat names Trap-neuter-return Cats by location Cats in ancient Egypt Cats in Australia Cats in New Zealand Cats in the United States Notes Taurine is sometimes called an amino acid, and indeed is an acid containing an amino group, it is not an amino acid in the usual biochemical meaning of the term, which refers to compounds containing both an amino and a carboxyl group.[90] References Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Species Felis catus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 534–535. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. 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Rogers, Katherine M. (2006). Cat. London: Reaktion Books. pp. 18–20. ISBN 978-1-86189-292-8. Beadle, Muriel (1977). Cat. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 76. ISBN 978-0671224516. Pate, Alan (2008). "Maneki Neko: Feline Fact & Fiction". Daruma Magazine. Amagasaki, Japan: Takeguchi Momoko. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. Faulkes, Anthony (1995). Edda. p. 24. ISBN 0-460-87616-3. Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the Jews, Vol. I: The Sixth Day (PDF). Translated by Szold, Henrietta. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Geyer, Georgie Anne (2004). When Cats Reigned Like Kings: On the Trail of the Sacred Cats. Kansas City, Missouri: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-4697-9. Reeves, Minou (2000). Muhammad in Europe. New York University Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8147-7533-0. Al-Thahabi, Shamsuddin. "Biography of al-Rifai". سير أعلام النبلاء (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014. "Abu Hurairah and Cats". Pictures-of-Cats.org. 13 January 2015. "Are Black Cats Really Bad Luck? [Hoax]". SocialNewsDaily.com. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 543. ISBN 0-198-20171-0. Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough, (1922). Online version. Archived 8 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Sugobono, Nora (7 March 2010). "Las vidas del gato". El Comercio (in Spanish). Lima, Peru. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2010. "Qual é a origem da lenda de que os gatos teriam sete vidas?". Mundo Estranho (in Portuguese). São Paulo, Brazil: Abril Media. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015. Dowling, Tim (19 March 2010). "Tall tails: Pet myths busted". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2010. "The ASPCA Warns About High-Rise Falls by Cats: High-Rise Apartments, Windows, Terraces and Fire Escapes Pose Risk to Urban Cats". New York: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 30 June 2005. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via About.com. (Press release.) External links Listen to this article (3 parts) · (info) Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3
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2017.04.29 03:17 needimmiadvice Need some feedback: Canadian in US on B2 tourist visa; getting married...

Hello, all. I'm looking for some general feedback about my situation.
I'm a Canadian citizen (27F) who came to the US in 2013 on a F-1 visa to go to grad school in California. I graduated 2015, then changed to OPT.
It was right around graduation that my boyfriend (a US citizen) and I became romantically involved. I had been single for a long time and am actually his first real girlfriend. He is 33M. We moved in together December 2015. For most of 2016, I was trying to find work in my field (as stipulated by OPT). However, I was unsuccessful and did not obtain a work visa to which I could adjust my status. As a result, I had to go back to Canada in November 2016.
While I was in Canada, my boyfriend and I continued our relationship. Finally, in March 2017, we decided it was time for me to come back. At the time, he had not yet met my family and we also decided it was time for him to meet them. I met his family when we first started dating.
So I flew back to California and was granted a B2 visa at the airport. I was told to go to the secondary inspection area because obviously, they knew I had previously held F-1 status and I hadn't been out of the US for THAT long. The officer asked me what my intent was for this trip and I stated it was to visit my boyfriend. He stressed that I am NOT allowed to find work (I knew this already), stamped my passport and let me through.
A couple weeks after I got back, we flew to the East Coast to meet my family. They were able to drive down from Ontario and we had a nice few days together. My boyfriend's parents also came. It was during this time that my parents told me that if/when my boyfriend and I want to get married, they fully support it.
Now up until this point, my boyfriend and I hadn't planned for marriage to happen yet. My friend's getting married back home in October and we thought it'd be better if we just didn't tie the knot so I can just go back and forth. However, my parents expressing their support (they're traditional Asian parents; my boyfriend's parents are conservative Christians) changed things a little for us. Obviously, HIS parents have wanted us to get married too. So after this little get-together, my boyfriend and I have decided to go through with it.
He officially proposed a week ago and we've already spoken to a lawyer through a legal service to ask about the green card application process (the lawyer is not OUR lawyer, but it's the best we could do right now). Now, after doing some research, I found out that getting married on a B2 visa and then applying for AOS is frowned upon. But the lawyer said it's not that big of a deal and it'd be better if we got the process started sooner. I'm just wondering if y'all could shed more light on this.
From what I've read online so far, it seems the crux of the issue is intent. As I said, our intent when I came back to the US a month ago was NOT for us to get married. We were both prepared for me to go back to Canada and for him to visit during my friend's wedding, but our family meet-up changed things. We love each other and the long-distance was tough. I was prepared to do it again though because of the legalities.
Anyway, apologies for the wall of text. Just looking at all the paperwork was overwhelming. I can't imagine how it's gonna be when we get called for our interview. Much love!
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2017.03.08 22:47 MsBluffy What's Going on in Columbia? March 8-12

CONTENT COURTESY OF COLUMBIA CVB
 
ON STAGE
 
SPECIAL EVENTS
 
GALLERY
 
 
SPORTS
 
 
LIVE MUSIC
 
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
 
MOVIE GUIDE
A UNITED KINGDOM - A United Kingdom is the true story of the forbidden love of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
BEFORE I FALL - A popular, selfish high schooler (Zoey Deutch) keeps reliving the same day over and over again, which ends with her and her friends getting into a fatal car accident. In time, she must learn how to prevent the accident while becoming a better, kinder person to those around her.
ELLE - Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle's life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER - This sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey adapts the second installment in E.L. James' best-selling trilogy of novels, which chronicle the torrid love affair between the demure Anatasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and possessive businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). This time around, Steele and Grey's attempts to build a more trusting relationship are threatened by several of his past lovers.
FIST FIGHT - On the last day before summer vacation at a rough-and-tumble high school, mild-mannered teacher Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) accidentally causes his fearsome colleague Ron Strickland (Ice Cube) to be fired. When Strickland then challenges him to a fist fight after school, Campbell must find a way to avoid a vicious beating.
THE FOUNDER - Robert D. Siegel (former editor-in-chief of The Onion) tackles the McDonald's origin story in this whip-smart parable. Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc, a struggling Illinois salesman, who meets the McDonald brothers and is inspired by the ingenious way they run their kitchen.
GET OUT - A young African-American photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) is nervous at the thought of meeting his white girlfriend's parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) for the first time during a trip to the latter's country estate. However, his anxiety soon turns into outright terror when he discovers that the family's seemingly idyllic community is hiding a sinister conspiracy, one that involves the disappearance of several black people in the area. Jordan Peele, one half of the comedic duo Key & Peele, makes his directorial debut with this horror thriller.
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO - Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, "Remember This House." Using only the writer's original words, director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished -- a radical narration about race in America through the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 - Legendary assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is once again called out of retirement by a former colleague to repay a debt in Rome. But when the hitman's plans go awry, Wick finds himself hunted by a ruthless crime boss (Laurence Fishburne) and his international arsenal of killers eager to collect the massive bounty on his head.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND - A secret government organization mounts an expedition to Skull Island, an uncharted territory in the Pacific. Led by an explorer (John Goodman) and a lieutenant colonel (Samuel L. Jackson), the group recruit a disillusioned soldier (Tom Hiddleston) and a photojournalist (Brie Larson) to investigate the island's peculiar seismic activity. But once there, they discover that Skull Island is home to a gigantic ape called King Kong, and find themselves caught up in an ongoing war between the beast and the area's indigenous predators.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE - In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: “The LEGO® Batman Movie.”
LOGAN - In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
ROCK DOG - To avoid distractions, Mastiff leader Khampa forbids all music from the mountain. But when Khampa's son Bodi discovers a radio, it takes just a few guitar licks for his fate to be sealed: Bodi wants to be a rock 'n' roll star.
THE SHACK - Divine intervention draws a grieving father (Sam Worthington) to a shack in the woods, where he learns the truth behind the tragic death of his young daughter in this adaptation of the best-selling faith-based novel.
TABLE 19 - Ex-maid of honor Eloise (Anna Kendrick) - having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text - decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway.
 
CHECK EACH THEATRE FOR SHOWTIMES
RAGTAG CINEMA – 10 Hitt Street 573-443-4359
REGAL STADIUM 14 THEATER – 2800 Goodwin Pointe Drive 573-817-0770
GOODRICH FORUM 8 – 1209 Forum Katy Parkway 573-445-7469
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2016.09.16 19:13 SaintRidley With the new Cruiserweight Champion coming to Raw, there's a title imbalance. However, I traced the would-be lineage of the Hardcore Title and it's currently Smackdown exclusive (with a Phenomenal champion)

With the Cruiserweight Championship being introduced for Raw, there is an imbalance in championships between the brands once more. However, it turns out that with the way the brand split worked out, there is another title on Smackdown – the WWE Hardcore Championship.
The Hardcore Championship was unified with the Intercontinental Championship in 2002 in a match between Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer. In order to determine the current Hardcore champion, I have combed through a lot of match results, using the following guidelines:
The title cannot change hands via disqualification or countout, nor can it change hands in a Royal Rumble Match, unless the Royal Rumble is a declared title match (see 2016).
The title must be won in a singles division match, or a handicap match where one side has only one competitor (if the team wins a handicap match against the champion, the member who gets the pin wins the title; if the single competitor wins against a team including the champion, the champion does not have to be pinned to lose the belt). The reason for singles matches is because otherwise it would potentially be impossible to trace the lineage, because I would need to know who got the pin or submission in a tag team match at a house show, and that information may not be possible to find in some cases.
The title is vacated if the champion retires or suffers a long term injury that puts them out of action. If the vacancy occurs during a brand split, the previous champion’s brand crowns the new champion in the first non-title singles match from their first event after the vacancy.
This list continues from where the list on Wikipedia leaves off.
Number Wrestler Reign Date Days held Location Show Notes
240. Rob Van Dam 4 August 26, 2002 13 New York, NY Raw Hardcore match
241. HHH 1 September 8, 2002 40 Cedar Rapids House Show -
242. Kane 2 October 28, 2002 20 Detroit Raw Casket Match
243. Shawn Michaels 1 November 17, 2002 28 New York, NY Survivor Series Elimination Chamber
244. HHH 2 December 15, 2002 280 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Armageddon Three Stages of Hell
245. Goldberg 1 September 21, 2003 57 Hershey, PA Unforgiven If Goldberg loses, his career is over, title may change by DQ/Countout
246. HHH 3 November 17, 2002 118 Beaumont, TX Raw Three on One Handicap match, Evolution vs. Goldberg, HHH got the pin
247. Chris Benoit 1 March 14, 2004 154 New York, NY Wrestlemania XX Triple Threat against HHH and Shawn Michaels
248. Randy Orton 1 August 15, 2004 27 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Summerslam -
249. HHH 4 September 12, 2004 85 Portland, OR Unforgiven -
--- Vacated --- December 6, 2004 --- Charlotte, NC Raw Due to the finish of the HHH vs. Benoit vs. Edge triple threat from the previous week, the title was vacated, per Mr. McMahon’s announcement on this episode of Raw.
250. Simon Dean 1 December 6, 2004 56 Charlotte, NC Raw Defeated The Hurricane by pinfall to crown a new champion (the previous title match, between Eugene and Maven, ended in DQ)
251. Shelton Benjamin 1 January 31, 2005 35 San Jose, CA Raw -
252. Chris Benoit 2 March 7, 2005 7 Raleigh, NC Raw -
253. HHH 5 March 14, 2005 6 Atlanta, GA Raw -
254. Batista 1 March 20, 2005 296 Columbia, SC House Show -
--- Vacated --- January 10, 2006 --- Philadelphia, PA Smackdown Batista has a shoulder injury and must vacate the title
255. Bobby Lashley 1 January 15, 2006 35 Florence, NC Smackdown Defeated JBL for the vacant title
256. JBL 19 February 19, 2006 38 Baltimore, MD No Way Out -
257. Chris Benoit 3 March 19, 2006 14 Nashville, TN House Show -
258. JBL 20 April 2, 2006 30 Chicago, IL Wrestlemania 22 -
259. Rey Mysterio 1 May 2, 2006 7 Cincinnati, OH Smackdown Dark match, defeated JBL and Mark Henry in a Triple Threat match
260. Great Khali 1 May 9, 2006 42 San Diego, CA Smackdown -
261. Undertaker 2 June 20, 2006 159 Albany, NY Smackdown Dark match, two on one handicap match against Khali and Mark Henry
262. Mr. Kennedy 1 November 26, 2006 8 Philadelphia, PA Survivor Series First Blood match
263. Batista 2 December 4, 2006 118 Lissabon, Portugal House Show Triple Threat against Kennedy and Finlay
264. Undertaker 3 April 1, 2007 37 Detroit, MI Wrestlemania 23 -
265. Edge 1 May 8, 2007 6 Pittsburgh, PA Smackdown Edge cashes in his Money in the Bank to claim the Hardcore Championship
266. Shawn Michaels 2 May 14, 2007 6 Hampton, VA Raw -
267. Randy Orton 2 May 20, 2007 6 St. Louis, MO Judgment Day -
268. Bobby Lashley 2 May 26, 2007 29 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada House Show -
269. John Cena 1 June 24, 2007 36 Houston, TX Vengeance -
270. Carlito 1 July 30, 2007 7 Tuscon, AZ Raw -
271. William Regal 6 August 6, 2007 12 Buffalo, NY Raw -
272. Cody Rhodes 1 August 18, 2007 35 Bowling Green, KY House Show -
273. Jeff Hardy 4 September 22, 2007 19 Champaign, IL House Show Battle Royal
274. Randy Orton 3 October 11, 2007 46 Erfurt, Germany House Show -
275. Ric Flair 1 November 26, 2007 73 Charlotte, NC Raw Ric Flair’s career on the line
276. John Cena 2 February 7, 2008 52 Anchorage, AK House Show Battle Royal
277. Randy Orton 4 March 30, 2008 8 Orlando, FL Wrestlemania 24 Triple Threat against John Cena and HHH
278. HHH 6 April 7, 2008 <1 Albany, NY Raw Two on one handicap match against JBL and Randy Orton
279. John Cena 3 April 7, 2008 20 Albany, NY Raw Two on one handicap match against JBL and HHH
280. HHH 7 April 27, 2008 198 Baltimore, MD Backlash Fatal Four way elimination match with JBL, Randy Orton, and John Cena
281. Jeff Hardy 5 November 11, 2008 27 Manchester, England Smackdown -
282. Chris Jericho 2 December 8, 2008 5 Philadelphia, PA Raw -
283. John Cena 4 December 13, 2008 30 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada House Show -
284. Shawn Michaels 3 January 12, 2009 14 Sioux City, IA Raw -
285. John Cena 5 January 26, 2009 20 Cleveland, OH Raw -
286. Edge 2 February 15, 2009 49 Seattle, WA No Way Out Elimination Chamber
287. John Cena 6 April 5, 2009 21 Houston, TX Wrestlemania 25 Triple Threat with Edge and Big Show
288. Edge 3 April 26, 2009 2 Providence, RI Backlash Last Man Standing
289. CM Punk 1 April 28, 2009 19 New York, NY Smackdown -
290. Umaga 1 May 17, 2009 13 Chicago, IL Judgment Day -
291. CM Punk 2 May 30, 2009 24 Chattanooga, TN House Show -
292. John Morrison 1 June 23, 2009 8 Milwaukee, WI Smackdown -
293. Dolph Ziggler 1 July 1, 2009 2 Bakersfield, CA Smackdown -
294. Great Khali 2 July 3, 2009 29 San Diego, CA House Show -
295. CM Punk 3 August 1, 2009 3 Cohasset, MA House Show Triple Threat against Kane and Khali
296. Jeff Hardy 6 August 4, 2009 7 New York, NY Smackdown -
297. Tyson Kidd 1 August 11, 2009 49 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Smackdown Two on one handicap match, the Hart Dynasty vs. Jeff Hardy, Tyson pinned Hardy
298. Shad Gaspard 1 September 29, 2009 60 Boston, MA Superstars -
299. Drew McIntyre 1 November 28, 2009 66 Upper Marlboro, MD House Show Battle Royal
300. John Morrison 2 February 2, 2010 4 Memphis, TN Smackdown Triple Threat against Drew McIntyre and Kane
301. Drew McIntyre 2 February 6, 2010 17 Waco, TX House Show Triple Threat against John Morrison and R-Truth
302. Kane 2 February 23, 2010 27 Milwaukee, WI Smackdown -
303. Shawn Michaels 4 March 22, 2010 6 San Jose, CA Raw No DQ
304. Undertaker 4 March 28, 2010 155 Glendale, AZ Wrestlemania XXVI Streak vs. Career
305. Sheamus 1 August 30, 2010 20 Boston, MA Raw Dark Match, Triple Threat Cage Match against Undertaker and John Cena
306. Randy Orton 5 September 19, 2010 64 Chicago, IL Night of Champions Six Pack Elimination Match against Sheamus, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge, and Wade Barrett
307. The Miz 1 November 22, 2010 70 Orlando, FL Raw The Miz cashes in his Money in the Bank for the Hardcore Championship
308. Edge 4 January 31, 2011 71 Providence, RI Raw -
--- Vacated --- April 12, 2011 --- Albany, NY Smackdown Edge retires and vacates the title
309. Ezekiel Jackson 1 April 12, 2011 2 Albany, NY Smackdown Defeated Kofi Kingston for the vacant title
310. Kofi Kingston 1 April 14, 2011 <1 Munich, Germany House Show Battle Royal
311. Wade Barrett 1 April 14, 2011 11 Munich, Germany House Show -
312. Rey Mysterio 2 April 25, 2011 14 Raleigh, NC Smackdown -
313. The Miz 2 May 9, 2011 <1 Knoxville, TN Raw -
314. John Cena 7 May 9, 2011 35 Knoxville, TN Raw Dark match
315. CM Punk 4 June 13, 2011 5 Uniondale, NY Raw -
316. John Cena 8 June 18, 2011 9 East Rutherford, NJ House Show Triple Threat match against CM Punk and R-Truth
317. R-Truth 3 June 27, 2011 <1 Las Vegas, NV Raw Tables match
318. Alberto Del Rio 1 June 27, 2011 9 Las Vegas, NV Raw -
319. Big Show 4 July 6, 2011 11 Cape Town, SA House Show -
320. Mark Henry 1 July 17, 2011 6 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank -
321. Ted DiBiase 1 July 23, 2011 <1 Pittsburgh, PA House Show Battle Royal
322. Ezekiel Jackson 2 July 23, 2011 3 Pittsburgh, PA House Show -
323. Cody Rhodes 2 July 26, 2011 11 Philadelphia, PA Smackdown Two on one handicap match partnering with Ted DiBiase against Ezekiel Jackson
324. Ezekiel Jackson 3 August 6, 2011 3 Boise, ID House Show -
325. Cody Rhodes 3 August 9, 2011 7 Sacramento, CA Smackdown -
326. Mark Henry 2 August 16, 2011 25 Bakersfield, CA Smackdown Battle Royal
327. Randy Orton 6 September 10, 2011 2 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada House Show Triple Threat match against Christian and Mark Henry
328. Cody Rhodes 4 September 12, 2011 29 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Raw -
329. Randy Orton 7 October 11, 2011 14 Dallas, TX Smackdown Battle Royal
330. Sheamus 2 October 25, 2011 7 Houston, TX Smackdown Dark match, Battle Royal
331. Wade Barrett 2 November 1, 2011 5 Greenville, SC Smackdown -
332. Cody Rhodes 5 November 6, 2011 4 Cardiff, Wales House Show Triple Threat against Wade Barrett and Ted DiBiase
333. Randy Orton 8 November 10, 2011 12 Zurich, Switzerland House Show Street Fight
334. Daniel Bryan 1 November 22, 2011 7 Wilkes-Barre, PA Smackdown Fatal Four Way against Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, and Cody Rhodes
335. Mark Henry 3 November 29, 2011 6 Charlotte, NC Smackdown Steel Cage match
336. Zack Ryder 1 December 5, 2011 7 Tampa, FL Raw No DQ
337. Dolph Ziggler 1 December 12, 2011 6 Norfolk, VA Raw Fatal Four Way against Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, and Cody Rhodes
338. Zack Ryder 2 December 18, 2011 29 Baltimore, MD TLC -
339. Jack Swagger 1 January 16, 2012 4 Anaheim, CA Raw -
340. R-Truth 4 January 20, 2012 2 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada House Show -
341. Sheamus 3 January 22, 2012 92 Las Cruces, NM House Show Batttle Royal
342. Mark Henry 4 April 23, 2012 1 Detroit, MI Raw Daniel Bryan as Special Guest Referee
343. Sheamus 4 April 24, 2012 161 Grand Rapids, MI Smackdown -
344. CM Punk 5 October 2, 2012 41 Tulsa, OK Main Event -
345. John Cena 9 November 12, 2012 6 Columbus, OH Raw Mick Foley as Special Enforcer
346. CM Punk 6 November 18, 2012 70 Indianapolis, IN Survivor Series Triple Threat against John Cena and Ryback
347. The Rock 1 January 27, 2013 70 Phoenix, AZ Royal Rumble -
348. John Cena 10 April 7, 2013 133 East Rutherford, NJ Wrestlemania XXIX Twice in a lifetime
349. Daniel Bryan 2 August 18, 2013 <1 Los Angeles, CA Summerslam HHH as Special Guest Referee
350. Randy Orton 9 August 18, 2013 28 Los Angeles, CA Summerslam HHH as Special Guest Referee, Randy Orton cashes in his Money in the Bank contract for the Hardcore Championship
351. Daniel Bryan 3 September 15, 2013 1 Detroit, MI Night of Champions -
--- Vacated --- September 16, 2013 --- Cleveland, OH Raw The controversy surrounding Daniel Bryan’s win at Night of Champions results in him being stripped of the title.
352. Dolph Ziggler 2 September 16, 2013 1 Cleveland, OH Raw Defeated Dean Ambrose for the vacant title
353. Curtis Axel 1 September 17, 2013 3 Cincinnati, OH Main Event -
354. CM Punk 7 September 20, 2013 108 Lexington, KY House Show -
355. Roman Reigns 1 January 6, 2014 5 Baltimore, MD Old School Raw -
356. CM Punk 8 January 11, 2014 16 Glens Falls, NY House Show Three on One Handicap match against the Shield
--- Vacated --- January 27, 2014 --- Cleveland, OH Raw CM Punk retires from wrestling, vacating the title
357. R-Truth 5 January 27, 2014 1 Cleveland, OH Raw Defeats Fandango for the vacant title
358. Alberto Del Rio 2 January 28, 2014 19 Toledo, OH Main Event -
359. Batista 3 February 16, 2014 8 Las Vegas, NV House Show -
360. Alberto Del Rio 3 February 24, 2014 4 Green Bay, WI Raw -
361. Sin Cara 1 February 28, 2014 8 North Charleston, SC House Show -
362. Bad News Barrett 3 March 8, 2014 80 Salt Lake City, UT House Show -
363. Sheamus 4 May 27, 2014 14 Atlanta, GA Smackdown -
364. Cesaro 1 June 10, 2014 11 Green Bay, WI Smackdown -
365. Sheamus 5 June 21, 2014 8 Reading, PA House Show Triple Threat match against Cesaro and Jack Swagger
366. John Cena 11 June 29, 2014 49 Boston, MA Money in the Bank Ladder Match against Kane, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Alberto del Rio, and Sheamus
367. Brock Lesnar 1 August 17, 2014 224 Los Angeles, CA Summerslam -
368. Seth Rollins 1 March 29, 2015 36 Santa Clara, CA Wrestlemania 31 Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to turn the Hardcore Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns into a Triple Threat match
369. Dean Ambrose 1 May 4, 2015 13 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Raw -
370. Seth Rollins 2 May 17, 2015 19 Baltimore, MD Payback -
371. Randy Orton 10 June 5, 2015 9 Jackson, MS House Show Steel Cage match
372. Sheamus 6 June 14, 2015 1 Columbus, OH Money in the Bank Ladder Match against Dolph Ziggler, Roman Reigns, Neville, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, and Kane
373. Dean Ambrose 2 June 15, 2015 5 Cleveland, OH Raw -
374. Sheamus 7 June 20, 2015 21 Las Vegas, NV House Show -
375. Randy Orton 11 July 11, 2015 43 Nashville, TN House Show -
376. Sheamus 8 August 23, 2015 6 Brooklyn, NY Summerslam -
377. Randy Orton 12 August 29, 2015 45 San Juan, PR House Show -
--- Vacated --- October 13, 2015 --- Cincinnati, OH Main Event Randy vacates the title due to shoulder injury
378. Stardust 6 October 13, 2015 4 Cincinnati, OH Main Event Defeats Fandango for the vacant title
379. Neville 1 October 17, 2015 3 Lubbock, TX House Show -
380. Kevin Owens 1 October 20, 2015 6 Austin, TX Main Event -
381. Roman Reigns 2 October 26, 2015 27 San Diego, CA Raw Fatal Four Way against Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens, and Dolph Ziggler
382. Sheamus 9 Novmber 22, 2015 22 Atlanta, GA Survivor Series Sheamus cashes in his Money in the Bank contract for the Hardcore Championship
383. Roman Reigns 3 December 14, 2015 41 Philadelphia, PA Raw Roman Reigns must win the title or be fired
384. HHH 8 January 24, 2016 67 Orlando, FL Royal Rumble Royal Rumble match for the Roman’s title
385. Roman Reigns 4 April 3, 2016 76 Arlington, TX Wrestlemania 32 -
386. Seth Rollins 3 June 19, 2016 <1 Las Vegas, NV Money in the Bank -
387. Dean Ambrose 3 June 19, 2016 84 Las Vegas, NV Money in the Bank Dean Ambrose cashes in his Money in the Bank contract for the Hardcore Championship
388. AJ Styles 1 September 11, 2016 5+ Richmond, VA Backlash -
What's really interesting to me about this list is that the title tends to find its way to an Intercontinental or WWE/World Heavyweight champion, even after vacancies. It's an odd bit of insight into WWE's booking - the long reigns tend to be during WWE/World title reigns, as people at the top of the card almost never lose clean, and anyone can be a jobber for them.
It's also interesting to note some of the odd things. Shad Gaspard's push must have been based on his tenure as Hardcore champion. And, of course, AJ Styles couldn't contain himself to picking up one title at Backlash - he had to go for two.
I plan to keep track of this. It's interesting and weird, and a bit of light fun. So enjoy.
submitted by SaintRidley to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2016.04.01 01:47 TheMonsieur The American/Canadian second division, the North American Soccer League, kicks off in two days. Here's my preview for those who want to learn a little more.

Whether you knew it or not, the North American Soccer League (NASL), America's second division, is kicking off in two days' time. There's been a whirlwind of activity in the preseason, with new teams coming in, broadcast deals being signed, and recognizable players joining up. I'm someone who follows the league pretty closely, and while I'm certainly not an expert analyst, I've taken some time to put together a capsule for each club competing to provide a brief introduction to the league.
With that said, a quick overview of the NASL and its structure: The NASL is the second tier of U.S./Canadian soccer, having formed in 2011 after breaking away from the USL First Division. It is in no way connected to MLS. Twelve teams will compete in 2016 across two seasons - Spring and Fall. The Spring Season, being previewed here, consists of 10 games and will only feature 11 teams (Puerto Rico FC enters in the Fall). The Fall Season starts in July and will consist of 22 games. At the conclusion of the Fall Season, four teams - the Spring and Fall Season winners, along with the two remaining teams with the best overall records - will enter the Championship playoffs for a chance to win the Soccer Bowl Trophy.
For a short recap on last season, you could watch my attempt at making a season review video. Oh, and be sure to check out /NASLSoccer! I'm over there a lot, and it's a good place to learn more.
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and a star player missing, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away U.S. TV
3:00 CAR MNU ESPN3
7:00 FTL MIA beIN
7:30 TBR IND OWS
8:00 OKC FCE ESPN3
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT OWS
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit. Feel free to add any comments or questions below.
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2016.03.31 23:27 TheMonsieur TheMonsieur's SupercalifragilisticUpbiparipovic NASL Spring Season Preview

Whether you knew it or not, the North American Soccer League (NASL), America's second division, is kicking off in two days' time. There's been a whirlwind of activity in the preseason, with new teams coming in, broadcast deals being signed, and recognizable players joining up. As someone who follows the league pretty closely, I've taken up the task of putting together a brief capsule for each club competing.
With that said, a quick overview of the league and its structure: The NASL is the second tier of U.S./Canadian soccer, having formed in 2011 after breaking away from the USL First Division. It is in no way connected to MLS. Twelve teams will compete in 2016 across two seasons - Spring and Fall. The Spring Season, being previewed here, consists of 10 games and will only feature 11 teams (Puerto Rico FC enters in the Fall). The Fall Season starts in July and will consist of 22 games. At the conclusion of the Fall Season, four teams - the Spring and Fall Season winners, along with the two remaining teams with the best overall records - will enter the Championship playoffs for a chance to win the Soccer Bowl Trophy.
For a short recap on last season, you could watch my poor attempt at making a video. Oh, and be sure to check out /NASLSoccer! I'm over there a lot, and it's a good place to learn more. We'll even be revealing a redesign tomorrow night just in time for the season!
I'm not an expert analyst, but hopefully this can provide a good introduction for you to each team.
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and last year's star gone, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away TV
3:00 CAR MNU
7:00 FTL MIA
7:30 TBR IND
8:00 OKC FCE
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit.
submitted by TheMonsieur to MLS [link] [comments]


2016.03.31 18:10 TheMonsieur TheMonsieur's "SupercalifragilisticUpiparipovic" 2015 NASL Spring Season Preview

Hi all, and welcome to my short preview that extends far too long for the Spring Season. I'll be sharing it tomorrow in /MLS and /soccer to promote our redesign (edit: No I won't, everyone's going to be distracted by April Fools, so I'll share it tonight), so consider this a sneak peek. Enjoy reading through and calling out my errors, or just skip down to the bottom and tell me why my predictions are all wrong (they probably are). Anyway, I've got a brief capsule of each team in here and a short evaluation. Most of it is also now posted on our Newcomer's Guide, which is a helpful tool for any new fan this season.
Also, check out my attempt at making a video if you want a season recap on 2015 to get you ready for this year. We're only two days away!
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and a star player missing, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away TV
3:00 CAR MNU
7:00 FTL MIA
7:30 TBR IND
8:00 OKC FCE
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit.
submitted by TheMonsieur to NASLSoccer [link] [comments]


2015.03.08 06:51 PinkRangerBestRanger Angelic Possession? experience

I spent three years in the Military, I was posted to a place in Ontario (Canada). I had met someone in a paranormal research team, and we had begun dating after about a year of spending time together and getting to know each other. I am an Empathic Sensitive, this is to say that I can feel spirits and people and experience their emotions. Sometimes to a point where I can have my body possessed, which has happened a few times on my investigations. So A and I began seeing each other seriously, A is a powerful medium and the house A lived in was extremely haunted. One night A and I had arrived at A's house after a long drive through back country roads and meninite communities. A and I put the kids to bed and were relaxing on the couch, for as long as I knew A I had a bad feeling when we were together. I knew it wasn't A that I felt it from, but an external presence that was always around A. I decided that we had been dating long enough that I could comfortable question A about it. A explained to me that a few years back A was in an extremely abusive relationship with another person and it put A in a really dark place. This person used to really lay into A, one day A was at a friends house after having to leave the partners apartment because of a fight. A explained, when walking up the friends driveway A and the friend spotted a horned dog sitting on a old and rotting stump. They ignored it and went into A friends house. Later that night A woke up to the horned dog sitting at the foot of the bed. It transformed into a man and extended his hand to grab A's hand, A accepted and woke up the next day with a horned dog following A around wherever A went. A went on to explain that A looked into this entity and found out it was a demon a demon who's name I won't say aloud because you should never speak a dark entities name aloud anywhere. A told me that this Demon became part of A's Wiccan pantheon and was around all the time now. I, being a Christian at the time, told A that this dog man wasn't a good thing to have around. A explained that the demon had attacked The ex many times in defence of A, so it was trying to be a good entity. I accepted it with reservations realizing this was a bad path A had been walking for years and when I went home on Sunday I looked into the Demon and its background. This demon was actually said to be wrongfully ejected from heaven and was trying to get itself back up there as an angel. Which made me feel a tad better. That night I recieved a text from A's phone which read something along the lines of "You are going to get hurt, stop interfering." I immediately knew what was texting me and ignored it as I had a feeling that whatever it was was keeping an eye on me now and perceived me as a threat. I received a few more texts from A's phone reading stuff like, "it's not what you think." And "mine." By this time A had a restraining order on the ex, so it couldnt be that for all you skeptics. I went to sleep, turning my phone off. This is where things get strange. I remember having a dream of a shining light. I opened my eyes, but it wasn't me, I was there but wasn't in control, normally when a possession occurs I feel cold and scared, this was different. I was warm, full of hope and light, I felt like someone had me in a loving embrace and felt like I could fly. I remember my body sitting up and turning my phone back on, it was 3:00 am on the dot. The room was dark but through my eyes it was in a soft hue of light. Whatever was in control of me sent a message to A's phone. It said, and I remember this vividly, "(Demons Name) you aren't to interact with (my name) anymore, in any way. Our brothers are giving you a single warning. You overstep your position. You are not to interfere with (A's Name), (A's childs name), or (A's Childs name)." I don't remember what happened after that, there was a response and it was like whatever was in control made me unconscious. I woke up the next morning, and my roommate told me that I woke up at 3 am as he was entering the room, he had turned on the light and asked me something. He said I looked at him then answered in another language then looked at my phone for a few minutes before laying back down and snoring. I checked my phone and the conversation had been deleted. I called A later that day and A said the conv was gone from A's phone as well. i went to A's house the next weekend and was pushed by something into the corner of A's wall and split my lip really bad, after that both A and I never had any interaction with the Demon again. I'm not a Christian anymore I'm a Wiccan, I don't believe the Bible is the word of God, I believe it is an Account of a high power written by men. So this angel business is hard to stomach for me. I have no idea what it was or where it came from, I've never felt anything like that again. Edited for anonymity
submitted by PinkRangerBestRanger to Paranormal [link] [comments]


2012.04.02 04:24 tabledresser [Table] IAmA 25 Year Old that Was Just Elected Mayor

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-04-01
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Religious beliefs? Non-church going (non-pushy) Christian.
Party alignment? Republican. Secularist, but still conservative. None-of-the-above attitude at the primary.
Thoughts on the right wing? Too much religious influence. Think that the party should bargain on economic policy and embrace initiatives like gay marriage.
Thoughts on the left? Too much farther left influence. Needs to push for bipartisan solutions (boy, this comment'll get me killed)
How much did it cost you to become mayor? Were you rich prior to the election? Cost about $1,000. About $400 on signs, $600 on materials. Also, about 300 hours of door-to-door and planning. I'm meticulous with planning and charted out hundreds of voters. Not rich, make about $30k a year teaching history at a local college. Mayor only makes $3,400 a year. In fact, it was $3,500 (the last mayor gave himself a raise) but myself and the Board are taking pay cuts to help make up for falling tax revenue due to the flood.
Do you feel gagged by your new job? Do you have to watch what you say and not be yourself? Does that stifle you as a person? Yes, but to be expected. I watch my mouth in public, but I still act like myself. I tend to be candid and honest almost to a fault, and it's lost me votes. Seems like a lot of people like that about me.
Thoughts on Gay marriage? Pro.
Ever see a grown man naked? Ever watch a movie about gladiators?
I like you. You seem to be a great mayor-to-be. Don't become another "good guy gone corrupt" case. When we suspended the Fire Chief I thought my political career might be finished. Still, I needed to do the right thing whether it cost me or not.
How do you make ends meet after the mayoral salary? Local officials usually are retired or have another job around here. I teach history at the college where I got my Bachelor's (SUNY Oneonta) and do some subbing at local schools on my days off.
A Republican actually interested in governing? Now I've seen it all! We're a non-partisan Board. My deputy mayor is a left-wing independent and we have one more Republican, a libertarian, and I believe another lefty.
BUT we all work well together and love the community. That's what's most important at the local level.
Needs to push for bipartisan solutions. Knew that comment would get me. But still... there's some things the non-crazies in both parties believe in.
Do you even pay attention to the congress? lol almost everyone on the left is roasting congress/obama for being way too conciliatory to the right. see: health care fight, etc. I work well with liberals and may have gotten the majority of their votes because I'm young and full of good ideas.
Who is winning the presidential race in November? Call it! Barack Obama with 51%
Do you have a red telephone that can contact the Powerpuff Girls in the event of a disaster to save the day? No, but I do have a mustache, too. No monocle, though.
Have you considered consolidating services or even the village itself with other surrounding villages? At what point does it not make sense to be a village anymore? Good question. Consolidation of our department of public works with the town is one of my top priorities. Both DPWs are headed by the same person and did a great job during the flood. The DPW eats up half of our budget, so even shaving some off would be a great savings, especially with all of the best tightening. They're partially consolidated already and both crews already work together. Looking to take the next step.
As far as dissolving the Village, that would be a long-term goal. About 20 years ago the Village looked into it. NYS is pushing for more consolidation, but unfortunately there's a bit of rivalry between Town and Village Boards, which hinders progress. However, our Village Board is now in my "party"'s control (non-partisan election) and a new Supervisor for the Town, which may help the process out. This would be a 5-10 year process. There's a lot of overlap that is unnecessary in the 21st century.
trees? I would like to be re-elected. No comment.
How many people in your town do you think actually go on reddit? Considering.... two? I know there's my brother and I, so there's two already.
What is your favorite porn website? www.realclearpolitics.com
So, you're a Republican, then? How did you know?
In terms of picking up the pieces, what do you think will be the toughest issue to fix/modify to make Middleburgh the community people can fully appreciate again? What/who are your biggest opportunities and threats in this rebuilding process? Congrats on your election! Part of it's physical rebuilding. We have 550 buildings in the community and about 50 were heavily damaged/destroyed in the flood. Many are in the process of being fixed up, but a lot of those residents are barely hanging on financially. Keeping them here is a top priority. One of the top things flood victims say they need are new businesses and stable (not necessarily lower) tax rates. On top of that, the majority of the business community was badly damaged and half of our businesses are empty, including our only grocery store. I was able to organize over $16,000 in donations that we spread out to many businesses and the the homeowners that had severe damage. We're looking to raise even more.
To try and bring some vitality back, I'm planning multiple community events. Such events can bring in 500-1,000 people that can spend money at our businesses and plant Middleburgh into their consciousness. This infusion of cash is a valuable resource for the businesses. One put in over $100,000 just to reopen.
This is going to sound really weird, but I grew up in a village just like that in Southern Ontario -- 500 people, got flattened by Mad Cow disease and a drop off in tourism thanks to the value of the loonie in comparison to the USD. We approached it with very similar community solutions. I was in southern Ontario over the summer (girlfriend lives near border). It's a nice area and I particularly like Ottawa.
One group got involved in an international program called Communities in Bloom. Basically for beautifying the town (and coming together AS a town), judges came around and we actually won the small village level for all of Canada in our first year because of a focus on community involvement and protecting native species. Gardening brings a lot of people together, and by incorporating some sort of community garden for vegetables you can also help to provide food for a longer period at a low cost. Might be something for someone to look into. The other thing the village did was start a pumpkin festival (yeah, super odd I know). We invited neighbouring towns to compete for the largest pumpkin, one farmer made a corn maze, that sort of thing. It really increased tourism, which boosted our local economy, and it gave everyone something to look forward to in October. I have no idea what your community climate is like -- maybe y'all could be the geranium capital of the US or something equally ridiculous. But with minimal advertising and a lot of spirit (and maybe some involvement from the schools nearby?) it works better than you think. You'll be pleased to know we're opening up a community garden this year and are planning other civic events.
Ever watched Parks and Rec? Ben on the show was elected mayor at 18. Asked above. Seen snippets (Model UN episode-- I used to be the head of my colleges MUN, too), but not really.
Sorry didn't read all the questions, and thanks for answering, shows you're a real man of the people. But its a good show, it helps if you start from the beginning. What I saw I liked, but I've been so busy I don't really watch too many series anymore. Reddit's not helping with not having enough time.
What are the major industries/employers of your city? How do you plan to attract new businesses to Middleburgh? What are your thoughts on New Urbanism? Do you dig Jane Jacobs? Many of the jobs come from agriculture or gov't jobs. We have some light industry, but about 10 years ago one of the main factories in the County shut down. It had employed 700 people (we have 30,000 people in the County).
One of the ways to bring in business is to foster stability. People fear another flood (last year was the worst in 500 years) and raising tax rates. On the one hand, we publicize the community while organizing our existing businesses. This would include accentuating the positives-- we have a lot of accessible, cheap property and are in between many of Upstate, NY's important regions. On the other hand, we keep the tax rates steady and consolidate services to try and keep the already struggling businesses.
Not familiar with Jacobs, but I like the concept of New Urbanism. Some communities, like Burlington VT do a good job balancing economic development with modern planning. Unfortunately, our budget is too small ($750k annually and dropping) to do major development. For future projects, I aim to work with the local community groups to share the load.
*People fear another flood (last year was the worst in 500 years) and raising tax rates. * Unfortunately we've been looking at options. It would cost millions to do so and the state has been very tight-fisted with grants over the last five years.
Flood-wall project. Seek state money. Even worse, even if we could do so, we had so much mountain runoff it hammered much of the area away from the creek.
Do you need a college education to be mayor? what should someone study to be mayor? like political science or what? You do, but you don't. I have an MA in History, which really helped contrast my age. The first time I ran for Board (at 19) a rumor started that I was a college dropout (not true, but I lost). If you're already a respected person in community, you can get away with no degree. However, respect takes time and effort.
As for studies, Public Administration is a good one. I used to work for our Assemblyman, who started in politics young. He got a Master's in Public Admin, which has come in handy as he came up the ladder.
Are charges being filed against the assistant chief? Shouldn't you not name who specifically attempted to coerce you? It was splashed in the paper, so it's pretty open. As for charges, we're trying to balance dealing with the problem without having the entire department quit (they're volunteers who put in a lot of time).
Fire him, promote someone from the group of volunteers. Most of them support him and they elected him chief five straight years.
Got it. Those who matter know already, and know you have better ways to spend your time. I would not want to mess with the volunteers. Next important pressing question: do you watch Parks and Recreation? I've seen a little, but sadly no.
On a related note, I've been the Parks Commissioner for the last five years.
What are your plans for getting new businesses to come to town? Part of the problem is that neighboring Schoharie is also suffering. They're about the same size as us and lost over 50% of their buildings damaged/destroyed. We were lucky with "only" 10-15%.
You might check and see how Greensburg, Kansas is doing and how they did it. They were wiped out by an F5 tornado and had a TV show on Planet Green that followed their recovery. We're working on organizing the businesses into a commerce association and I'm naming a business liaison (which hadn't existed before). I'm also going to try and free up a five-digit grant that's been held up for years. On top of that, one of the top priorities is a grocery store (which we lost during the flood), hopefully one with a pharmacy (went out right before flood). I have a good working relationship with the businesses that need 1. new community events, 2. stable tax rates, and 3. more parking. I plan on tackling each.
I'm a student taking a class at Binghamton University where we meet with local officials and ultimately present recommendations on revitalizing businesses, which were also affected by the flood. There is a group, BRSC, whose mission is starting a cooperatively-owned grocery store (food co-op) in a part of Binghamton which doesn't have any grocery stores nearby. Does it sound viable? What are the obstacles for this is in your neighborhood? Our area could sustain a co-op. Any store would be supported by Middleburgh, nearby Schoharie, and the area to the south of us-- so about 7,000 people.
Links here: Link to binghamton.indymedia.org Link to www.binghamtonsustainability.org. I would be happy to work with them for our area. We need it.
You might see if Wal Mart will do a Neighborhood Market there. It is basically a grocery store and a very limited Wal Mart. It might have a pharmacy in it. We have a Walmart in nearby Cobleskill (11 miles away), but I never realized the neighborhood market option. I've worked with them before-- I was able to get a grant for our Youth Commission last year.
Did you lose any government buildings? Unfortunately, as a 25 year old you'll have 'sucker' written on your forehead (whether you are or not). You can learn from Birmingham, AL on how not to finance government projects. Our Village Hall was literally about 3 inches from having the first floor ruined. The buildings on either side were badly damaged, but the Hall used to be a bank and is raised about 2-3 feet off the ground. We had damage in our water pump plant, but it's up and running. Being 25 has not (usually) been an asset. Some people see me as full of energy and new ideas. Meanwhile, the Mayor sought to portray me as just a "stupid kid." It worked with some people. Luckily being on the Board five years and my actions in the flood dispelled this with most people.
Are you scared that you might be in a fire, and not receive the same level of emergency services as the guy next door? Well.... it's crossed my mind.
If fire chief were made an electable position ( or if it currently is ), you wouldn't have to deal with that feeling for long. The current way it works is the officers are elected by the members of the Dept every year. The Board is supposed to reject or accept them.
But if you reject any you run the risk of the majority quitting.
Have you interacted with politicians at other levels of government and if so, how do they vary in your opinion? I worked a summer for the NYS Assembly and the place is like a rat race. A lot of local politicians can get sucked into the NY whirlpool and struggle against the might of NYC.
Also, what politicians at the national level do you like the most? I like Ryan, too. I've always admired John McCain, but I know he can't run again. I've actually seen some good things from Andrew Cuomo (believe it or not) and have hope for some of the new GOPers on the block: Rubio, Kirk, et al.
How did you spend election night? Election night we went to the polling place a little after polls closed (9pm). Counting took twice as long as usual. The former Mayor was there with his wife, as were about 5 of my supporters, and some people from the Fire Dept awaiting my loss. The count was nerve-wracking and took twice as long as it normally did. Still, we won and went back to the (new) Deputy Mayor's house. I had a lot of happy calls to make and we shared some beers (Blue Moons if you're curious) and champagne.
How much of your decision making process is focused on reelection and how much on simply trying to do the right thing? See, this is where it gets tricky. It's too early to think about being re-elected. We could get a lot done in four years-- and I'm not sure if I'll even want to run. It's far too early to say. Idealism on the local level is pretty quickly met with practicality-- there are some things that I want to get done that won't happen or will become scaled down. Some decisions require a delicate touch-- but on matters of right and wrong I'm willing to go down in flames than become corrupt.
Your thoughts? My email's on my campaign site if you wanted to stay in touch.
Thanks for the response! Having worked on the state assembly, do you know Eric Ulrich? He did his site through us and sent a lot of other business our way. I love his attitude and work ethic when it comes to the position; based on your previous responses you sound very much like him. Can't say that I do. I worked there in 2007 for only a few months. I'd be happy to work on anything with you in the future. Keep me in mind.
Need a good IT Guy? ill come work for you and put the towns computer system back in shape! Appreciate the offer! Luckily being 25 has left me (somewhat) computer savvy. Many of our records are paper-only, which I'd like to change.
Ah dangit, well if you ever want a guy who would be cheap and move cross country, let me know. I'd be happy to help with resume building-- any ideas, just PM me.
I have a job, heh, I just would like to work with a maverick mayor who doesn't play by the rules. We could form a duo Sweet Frugal and stamp out corruption at the local government level. And you'd be happy to know that I subscribe to frugal. I'm really thrifty-- both in my personal life and in politics. Right now I'm fixing up a foreclosure that was damaged during the flood (I should be there now, actually). My email is on my campaign site if you had a project in mind!
Well I live literally across the country from you. You sure you don't want to hire someone you can call into your office and scream about being a loose cannon and demanding my special IT badge? Sounds tempting...
I am a 19 year old male, thinking about running for city council within the next few years. Tips? Pointers? Advice? Thanks for doing the AMA! Glad to hear of more determined young people getting involved.
A lot of it depends on the size of the city. If you're dealing with less than 10,000 you're talking a LOT of door-to-door. That's by far the most effective way to get votes. If you can articulate yourself and are well-versed in the facts, you can have a lot of people that will become loyal supporters. Of course, you're also going to get people that don't want to listen no matter your personality or personal persuasion.
Advertising helps, but often times it's more expense than value. One effective strategy is to blanket the community with information. Get people talking early. Work out getting signs up the first day of the campaign. I had about 50 up the first day and about 80 by the end. It took my opponents well over a month to get a single one up and both combined didn't come close to mine. It would also help to get a whole lot of fliers (simple 8.5x11"-- I can email you a copy of mine if you want to PM me) and put them on doors the first week. It starts buzz and would probably throw your opponent off balance.
Don't promise what you can't/won't deliver. People remember. Keep promises simple-- stuff you know you'll do. You can say-- "I hope to do xyz, but I know it needs more looking at. In the 2011-2012 budget, the city spent $x on the project and it really should be $y.
And stay positive... even when people are negative or it appears like you may lose.
Email me (on my campaign site) and I'll be happy to fill in more detail.
How old were you when you got your college degrees? It seems like you finished college extremely early. 19 for an AA in Social Sciences. 21 for BS in History 23 for MA in European History.
Elected to Board at 20, re-elected at 23. Was legislative assistant for our Assemblyman at 20 (don't do it any more).
What school did you go to? High school: Middleburgh Central School AA: SUNY Cobleskill BS: SUNY Oneonta MA SUNY Albany.
1) Did you call up the mayor to talk shit about how much he sucks after you beat him? I was actually very gracious. He was not. He almost seemed surprised.
2) Do you agree that career politicians are merely scum sucking up our resources and doing nothing useful for us? In many cases, yes. There are some that really do care and can use their experiences. Often times it's ex-politicians (lobbyists) that can cause a lot of problems.
So essentially... You set up a coup? Bad ASS. Six years and five elections later, yes. We have the entire Board.
General political views? Look below.
What's your favourite Pokémon? I'll go with... Charizard.
If you run for president, can you commit to using even more Pokemon quotes than Herman Cain? I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was.
What's it like living in a town with 1500 people? The quaintness of the community is a major draw. My parents came up from NYC when I was about 4 and it's been my home since. Since I grew up with it, it's normal to me. Many of the other local communities are of similar size. One of the good things about being in such a small town is that I know the vast majority of voters. Sometimes this isn't always beneficial, but face-to-face tends to work better than indirect means.
What's your plan for careers? Planning to move out of the town long term? I recently bought a house here and plan on staying for the long haul. Teach history at a local college and like it.
Damn, didn't think it would be that bad. How can there be a local college if there were only 83 high school grads? It's in Cobleskill, which has about double our population. It draws in students from across the County (about 30,000 total people). Every county in NY is required to have at least one college (to the best of my knowledge).
I don't get it, isn't being Mayor a full time job? If you have to keep your day job, when do ypu plan on doing your "mayoring" job? Being Mayor in a small town is a 10-15 hour a week job. So, I need to keep my normal job because this pays $3,400 a year.
Is this how you feel? Sometimes nervous but surprisingly confident.
Has the Village considered implementing a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) system to help encourage rebuilding and potentially raising property values? Would consider, but part of the problem is the flood issue. When FEMA purchases flood-damaged homes, that property can NEVER be built on again. Further-- a lot of our open areas are outside of the Village in the Town.
We do have the Empire Zones across Upstate, but basically don't work because they've become ubiquitous.
Are you going to...ahem...legalize marijuana? No comment.
Have you contacted the Army Corps of Engineers about what their plans for Levying the area might be? It's possible that if you could get a construction project kicked off it would give a little jumpstart to the community also. Http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/ *edit- corrected link. The way the creek runs, levying would likely be impractical. The biggest problem we have is the Gilboa Dam nearby, which is structurally unsafe. We thought it might bust during the flood. Google it.
Congrats! Do you forsee yourself getting further into politics on a more grander scale in the future? Not sure. It was a contentious race, but I will consider it. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it could change in four years when my term is up.
Do you have any ambitions to move beyond mayor of your town? Yes and no. Answered this a couple of times somewhere on the thread. Considering my options but have a lot of work to do.
Are you going to fire the fire chief, or are you just as corrupt as your predecessor? He has a forcible retirement later this month. Problem solved (for now).
How many bribes have taken yet, and what was~the average cost? Zero at an average of $0.
This is a serious question
Are you worried of not having enough political maturity to navigate into old-skool politics? Especially in your dealings with the county and possibly state authorities? Being on the Board for five years has helped immensely. Basically, that and the work done during the flood has brought me a lot of respect, even among those that still think I'm a kid.
Still, there are worse things than people underestimating you.
Local news to me. My kid goes to Schoharie school. I'm glad when the good old boy network gets thwarted. I sub there, you know. Have been for three years.
You really need a better website. Let me do a website for you. Appreciate the offer! Luckily since the election's over, I don't need it anymore. I did it myself from blogger and it only cost me $10. Most of the voters in Middleburgh aren't always web savvy. It's the face-to-face that makes the most impact.
If you end up looking to improve/redo it, let me know. I don't want any money for it, having something like that on my portfolio would probably be worth much more than I would ever dream of charging. Please email me (my emails on my campaign site) so I have it on file.
You should find a really ugly street name. 'Meme Street,' maybe.
Nobody would know how to pronounce it though. David Letterman did a show on neighboring Schoharie so they named the sewer treatment plant road "Letterman Road"
Pass a policy that anyone found to be complicit in the coverup can never serve in town politics again. Anti-corruption. Problem is you can't. State law won't allow it. If the people want you, they want you.
The state has a law against laws against corruption. That is so messed up. It's not a law protecting corrupt officials-- it's just the basic requirements of office holding. To become a local official, you just have to a) be a citizen, b) live there and c) be 18.
That's it. Even if you were convicted of embezzlement.
Some people seem to think that by paying politicians less they won't be as corrupt. Consider it the "Nigerian Model of Governance". One of the most telling quotes I've heard in politics is more or less: "Don't run for office because you need the money."
What you get instead is a legislature stacked with retired people. Just ask Vermont. There's been cases of bribery around here and even more suspected bribery. Unfortunately, the good ol' boys often cover stuff like that up.
The asian dude from high school just got elected mayor of my city. His only 21! That's awesome.
You have a majestic beard. We need more of those in politics. Thank you. I used to have just the beard but no mustache. People thought I was Amish.
My students tell me I look like Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
You seem like a decent person. Please maintain your moral compass and look out for your fellow human beings. Don't get caught up in dirty politics and money. No questions, I just hope my generation can help repair what's broken. I know I'm not perfect and will make mistakes. However, the mistakes will be well-intentioned and not over bribes!
I am 21, have worked for companies doing online marketing for three years, and am studying statistics. I am very interested in getting experience in politics and government - let me know if I can volunteer my time/knowledge with you. I'd be happy to work with you. PM me and we'll chat.
You have obviously not looked at the map, the entire town is the flood plain. A large portion is, unfortunately. Including the vast majority of our businesses.
Last updated: 2012-04-05 21:28 UTC
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