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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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  • Blood of Dragons
    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Ran

    U.S. Politics: For Whom the Bell Polls

    This is a fanciful example. But it's worth noting that the FEC is responding to petitions on stuff like this, and the public is welcome to add its comments here.
  2. Ran

    U.S. Politics: For Whom the Bell Polls

    The FEC has issued administrative terminations to hundreds of PACs that failed to be involved in meaningful political activities both before and after the time of that article, so I'm not certain how much of a loophole it really is. But sure, that's one of the areas where scummy stuff can happen, which is why more campaign finance regulation is needed.
  3. Ran

    U.S. Politics: For Whom the Bell Polls

    Obviously, he charged his campaign for providing Trump water and Trump steak and Trump function space and so on, to be sure, and there's all sorts of irregularities that have been turned up and examined. But I was refuting the idea that he could just pocket all the money without even making a pretense of campaigning. Campaign finance law regarding the money a campaign actually has is actually fairly transparent (the movement of money outside of a campaign, and on used on behalf of a campaign, is of course much murkier in some areas, which is a problem) which is why irregularities in presidential campaign funding always comes to light in the press.
  4. Brilliant writer, Gentle. Her 1610: A Sundial in a Grave is also terrific. Ilario is a bit slighter but fun as well, and ties into Ash.
  5. Ran

    U.S. Politics: For Whom the Bell Polls

    Duncan Hunter is being charged with misappropriating campaign funds for personal use. So, no, this would not happen. I suppose what he could try to do is some shell game fraud of setting up firms that provide services with fake billing that somehow ultimately end up in his pocket... but no, wouldn't expect it.
  6. Ran

    The Deuce

    Not smart, Bobby. Have to say the realization dawning on Candy that the proper ending of her film was the reversal of roles, Little Red and her "aunt" luring the wolf into their den, was terrific. Reminds me of some revisionist fairytale takes I've seen on Little Red Riding Hood. Some really great work all around with this episode. Kind of concerned that Frankie isn't going to mention the fact that he gave 25% of the take away to the mob for that $20k until they've burned through all the money... but this mirrors the situation with Deep Throat, so no surprise. What to make of Lori's and Candy's conversation in the car? Feels to me like Candy has sold herself on a story of how and why she and pretty much everyone else turned to prostitution, and was angry when Lori denied it because she's interpreting it as a lie rather than accepting that maybe she's the one who's lying to herself. But maybe I'm overthinking it.
  7. Ran

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Stay polite, folks.
  8. I believe George has also recommended Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome series.
  9. Ran

    Shows like Discovery of Witches?

    Another British series I would mention is Hex, which starred a young Michael Fassbender before he made it to Hollywood. Witches, ghosts, fallen angels, boarding school setting. Was good, pulpy fun as I recall, and Wikipedia tells me that it had generally positive reviews at the time, which I think makes sense. It had a couple of good twists.
  10. Ran

    The Witcher on Netflix 2

    From the wiki, it sounds like steppe peoples are in Hakland (horsed archers, drinking from skulls), that desert-dwelling Semitic peoples are in this Zerrikania place, and other groups can be found "overseas" in places like the port town of Zangvebar (which, the wiki notes, is an alternate spelling of Zanzibar). I'm guessing that a Polish writer is not someone who would be shy of putting forward the idea that ethnic peoples would stick with their own and head out in different directions to populate the world. @SweetPea I don't know more than what the wiki tells me, but Fringilla being Nilfgaardian seems fairly incidental rather than important to her character. If they wanted to say she was an orphan after her parents from overseas died of sickness and was adopted by some childless Nilfgaardian noblewoman, would it really impact anything in terms of world-building? Sort of how Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos are Summer Islanders who've settled in Lys and Qarth (respectively) on GoT. And for all we know, maybe that's actually what they'll do. Maybe the best choice when changing a character a lot is to rename them as well, as GRRM asked D&D to do when their ideas for Jeyne veered wildly from the novels, but otherwise... I'm not sure anyone knows whether this character is being changed a lot or not.
  11. Ran

    The Witcher on Netflix 2

    I don't really know much about the setting, haven't read the books or played the games as of yet, but was curious and Googled and apparently you are wrong. There is one, explicitly black character, and one possibly black character, both hailing from "overseas".
  12. Ran


    LynnS, Right. Melisandre's shadow baby couldn't pass the barrier, which is why she needed to be transported within then walls. So, still, a creature or creation of magic thing somehow.
  13. Ran

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Got no quarrel with 10k. You'll find Northman does.
  14. Ran

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Some lords are playing it cautious, but they already sent men to die with Robb and with Ser Rodrik, so how much more do they really have? Most don't have much left. 25k more waiting around to mobilize in the time of the novels really is just a pipe dream. It won't happen.
  15. Ran

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    You're making some very large assumptions in your attempt to estimate your way to numbers that are not visible on the page, as I think anyone reading the above can see. This is okay. But those assumptions strike me as no more defensible than the assumptions that ADwD shows that the greater part of what the North can manage to mobilize is now mobilized, and that there's not a lot more left. By my count, you're insisting there's anywhere from 20k to 25k men out there ready to be raised. That's a number that would surpass the forces Robb took south. That's a number almost equal to all the men that mobilized in the North across five books. I don't buy it, anyways, but I suppose if one wants to dream on behalf of the North, that's what one should dream for. Re: the Reach, the Stormlands are not very populous, and it was suggested that some of their numbers were held back in the Marches due to the threat from Dorne that Tyrion arranged, so it's unlikely that they provided such a large number of forces. There's also the fact that we know there was a force of 10,000 more at Highgarden during all this, and if you assume everyone held some normal reserve, 100k doesn't seem wrong. 90k certainly seems very reasonable.