Calexit and Trump

In the US secession, including Calexit, is illegal. Voting for secession is also illegal. This is why California cannot get it on the ballot for initiative and referendum, and remember California was once part of New Spain, that land where the Catalonians now want independence from Madrid. If California would try to put it on the ballot it would be held up by the courts forever and ever. Beyond that we get into the movie script I was suggesting about Calexit.

Obviously there is nothing to Calexit. It doesn’t matter about what businessmen you heard chatting. This is all jocular stuff. It is NOT serious. It is like me talking about it as cocktail party conversation. You could also discuss it in an academic situation. It is not illegal to DISCUSS it even quite openly. But not only is it illegal to act on it, nobody WOULD seriously act on it if they are sane.

What such a thing would do to the business community of California is movie stuff. Part of my suggested movie script would have Tim Cook of Apple fleeing to Ireland where Apple keeps all its cash because the Feds were after him for donating to the Calexit cause and thus leading Trump to seize Apple and all its assets. Of course to get back at Trump in the movie script Tim Cook (seemingly safe in Ireland before a spy gets him) turns off all the iPhones in the US. Trump is giving an order as he speaks into his iPhone and it goes blank. It doesn’t work anymore. It is Apple’s revenge.

Obviously Silicon Valley and the Valley of California with all that agri business and the wine country, too, is worth too much money to risk it all on political silliness. What about the stock holders? They would revolt! The business of California is too well integrated with the business of America to seek independence even if it were possible which it is not. And who are the Californians? People move in and out of the state every day. It is a shifting political base.

Also California is in effect already occupied by Federal troops. What about San Diego, home of the Pacific Fleet? What about Andrews Air Force base? Army bases everywhere too? And what about Federal enclaves such as Yosemite National Park? Sequoia National Park? Redwood National Park? There is also a huge Federal Recreation area in downtown San Francisco right by the harbor. Very strategic, right? Good for snooping on all those California rebels.

Things in history don’t happen for whimsical reasons. California doesn’t seek independence because it makes good party table conversation. There would have to be a real underlying cause, also a reason why now? And when you think of it, California has never had a better time to be part of the Union. I think the biggest money maker is the port at Long Beach where they conduct the trade with China. The exports comes from all over the US and Canada. The imports go to all the states, not just California.

This is where Dora’s father, Winthrop Benley, would be getting the rubber to make his tires one hundred years ago in the first novel in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, Key to Lawrence: Special Edition. And Mr. Benley certainly was a patriot who contrasted America with Europe, that land where countries do break up, the land of Balkanization.

The secret to America is that things here are too well integrated to break up. That is what holds the union together like cement.

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Donald Trump Becomes Dictator of California With Help From Crassus:

Calexit, unlike the Spanish situation with Barcelona and Catalonia in rebellion and ready to declare independence which is all too reminiscent of the Spanish Civil War, would make a good movie. You could have a fantasy what if. It could be quite humorous. It could also make an excellent action thriller all about Donald Trump and the Californians.

But the reality of the situation in California is that the Calexiteers won’t be able to get the proposition on the ballot. There are limits to initiative and referendum! As soon as they try, it will be legally challenged, and the objection will be upheld in court. Even the Ninth Circuit will not be able to help them t here. And since such an initiative to seek independence for the Gold Rush State is illegal, the permission to put it on the ballot won’t be granted. If it got to the point where the attorney general of California had to decide whether to put such a proposition on the ballot, he could be impeached if he agreed to put it there and let Californians vote on it. At the very least he could be disbarred.

What is most amusing is that Calexit is motivated by a dislike of Trump and if they exited they would give Donald Trump more power, not less. He could appoint the governor of California himself WITHOUT congressional consent for instance. He is the head of the army, navy, and air force all of which have bases in California. San Diego for instance is the home of the Pacific Fleet. Get it? Donald Trump is the commander and chief of the armed services. He would be in charge of rebellious California almost as if he were a dictator. This is what would make a good movie.

Trump could even bring in his trusted aide who has secretly been living in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House ever since last December 2 when I first reported it in my blog post “Trump and Crassus”. Marcus Crassus, the Roman, could go riding into California on his horse and chariot to take up residence in the governor’s mansion as the imperial legate and give sage advice to Trump about how to be Dictator of California Roman style.

Crassus

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A Whole New Ending Julia: A Romance

Dora Benley is busy at work writing a whole new ending for the popular historical romance novel, Julia: A Novel. It is almost like a series. Did you like the first ending? You will like the second ending even better. The new title? Julia: A Romance, of course! And the authoress promises it will be even more romantic than before.

Julia has every reason to wish that she had not been born the daughter of a Roman senator during the Roman Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla. Her father, Rufus, is trying to escape the proscriptions lists and save his life by betrothing his only daughter in marriage to Marcus Sisenna. Marcus Sisenna is the right hand man of Marcus Sulla, one of the leading men of Rome of the day. Rufus needs his armies and the protection both Sulla and Sisenna can provide. But Julia does not want to marry a man who has already had five wives and who is just marrying her for her father’s money and estates. She does not want to be added to his collection of trophies.

Julia wants personal happiness despite the time period into which she has been born. Her father thinks only of keeping his wealth and estates together. Her divorced mother is interested only in her own lovers. To whom shall Julia turn for assistance? The answer may surprise you. For it is obviously just the opposite of what the desperate Julia might expect.

If you liked Julia: A Novel you will like Julia: A Romance even better! Dora will keep you posted. And meanwhile you might try a few of her other historical romances such as Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Cleopatra’s Stone, Curse of Egypt, Helen of Troy, and Salisbury Plot.

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The Mystery: Point Of View in Cheops Books LLC:

A first person mystery such as “I dreamed I went back to Manderley” in Rebecca, yes, you can certainly have it. But most mysteries and almost all thrillers are third person limited nowadays. If your heroine is called Jan Friedman, everything in the story is what Jane knows and nothing can be admitted that she wouldn’t know. This is the “limited” part.

If you have just third person you have Charles Dickens and writers like that. And of course when it suited Dickens he would break into omniscient and tell you all about his characters, too. Moralize. Stuff like that which contemporary readers wouldn’t like.

All of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series and all the Edward Ware Thrillers YA novels are third person limited with a handful of first person stories thrown in for good measure. The Dark Series by Dora Benley coming out this autumn is all third person limited. So are Hitler’s Agent and Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 coming out on October 15 and on December 15 respectively. Try them out. You will see what we mean.

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Reflections On Warwick Castle:

I’m looking at an article in the Guardian from last year about Warwick Castle. It says that the Castle built by William the Conqueror is now in the hands of Merlin Entertainments. It owns Legoland, Alton Towers, Sea Life Centers, and the London Eye. It claims that the place has been turned into a theme park. They claim there is an “adventure maze” as well as a comedy show telling the 1000 year history of the place in a half hour play. There are six history zones from a Viking ship to WW1 trenches. There is a swordsmanship workshop, a falconry display. There is piped medieval music in the garden. Stalls sell toy swords. Apparently they sell fast food, and you exit through the gift shop.

Obviously they have not altered the castle itself! I doubt if the British government would allow it. But there is something to be said for atmosphere. Too much honky-tonk takes away from appreciating your surroundings. At least they are sticking to historical exhibits in general.

One thing I like about Warwick Castle compared to Marksburg Castle along the Rhine in Germany is that it is more accessible. We tried to drive up to Marksburg but the road was too narrow. We got pushed over onto the shoulder of the road by a bus and Gary thought it was too dangerous to proceed. We admired it from below only. Warwick at least isn’t on top of a mountain! However, to judge by the reviews of the castle on Trip Advisor you would think there was some problem accessing the place anyway. Lots of tourists including Brits complain about the car park or parking lot. They claim it is too far away. They sound as if they should be like you and practice hiking 3 miles a day before they visit. Maybe they should take a tip from Disney World and build a mono rail! Or they should have a shuttle to pick you up in the parking lot and take you to the attraction.

Cheops Books LLC publishes historical thrillers such as Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German as well as Hitler’s Agent.

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The German Question In Literature:

You may have hit upon a very central conflict in European history. Germany was not largely occupied by the Romans and from the time of the Romans you have the “German question”. The Romans wrote about it themselves. There is a lost work by Pliny the Elder, the author of the Natural History, probably called the Germania, and I make much of this in one of my novels. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote about the subject, too. And Pliny the Younger’s friend, Tacitus, wrote the only surviving work on the subject entitled the Germania for sure. Tacitus’s work was the subject of the fascinating audio book I listened to on the subject at the beginning of last year.

Tacitus’s Germania has been a subject of discussion for the past two thousand years. It is the earliest work we have on the habits and customs of the early pagan Germans which emphasizes their warlike qualities and the “German question”. The Romans themselves were scared of them. No wonder! During the ugly Battle of the Teutoburg Forest Roman legionaries were captured in wooden cages and burned alive in the forest, sacrificed to pagan gods.

Richard Wagner during the 19th century made much of this ancient and medieval heritage in his operas. Heinrich Himmler was later to try to seize upon this material as the “origin” of what he called the Nazi identity.

I have looked up various works on Roman Britain on Amazon and curiously enough the British archaeologists have all noted that the British attitude about Rome differs from the attitude of France and Germany, and this influences their attitude about the “German question”. In France they celebrate Vercingetorix from Caesar’s Gallic Wars. He is supposed to be a national hero in France. In Germany they celebrate Herman the German, or Arminius. In Britain they celebrate the Romans. As many have noted, Britain seems to take on the identity of Rome itself. It all comes from the days of the British Empire and Imperial Britain. Nobody else on the Continent has anything like this and so recently, too! They look dubiously upon rebels against Rome such as Vercingetorix and Arminius.

It has also been said that the British have a better attitude about preserving ruins than they do in Italy. So the Roman ruins in Britain are better preserved than their Italian counterparts. You can get a better feel for the Roman world there including all those villas and mosaic floors that are much talked about.

Cheops Books LLC has two upcoming works about the “German question”. The concern Roman Britain and the ancient Germans battling the Romans: Pliny: A Novel and Caesar’s Legions, both works in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.

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Cheops Books And The Mystery Genre:

What occurs to me about mysteries and style is that the mystery genre could not have evolved at all if it were not for the development of the third person limited point of view. Think about it. If all you had for a point of view was omniscient or the omniscient narrator (all-knowing) it would be impossible to have a mystery and the mystery genre. The narrator would be like God. He would always know who did it. All this happened in the 19th century, so mysteries are a newer kind of fiction unlike romances which go back to ancient times and the Hellenistic period.

Cheops Books LLC issues almost all of its books in the mystery genre and all of them use the third person limited. This autumn our entire line up consists of mysteries and thrillers. On September 15 we published Dark 3: Special Edition, the third book in the Dark Series. On October 15 we will publish Hitler’s Agent, book 6 of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. On November 1 we are scheduled to publish Dark 1. On November 8 we are scheduled to publish Dark 2. And finally on November 15 we are to publish Dark: A Trilogy, a collection that includes the text of all the Dark novels including Dark 1, Dark 2, and Dark 3. It features a special cover designed by Andrew. On December 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German, the first issue in a foreign language. This novel is also making a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany this autumn.

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Merkel and May Should Listen to Trump

Angela Merkel and Mrs. May both have recently won re-election with very narrow margins that have required coalition forming. Last autumn Donald Trump was elected President by a much greater margin. The two ladies should listen to him in his message about immigration.

In Sunday’s German election for chancellor, Angela Merkel “won” but it will be her last term. Her center-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) (along with their sister party in Bavaria), had the worst showing since 1949, winning only 33% of the vote. The reason: Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders wide to nearly a million refugees from Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Approximately one million Germans who had voted for the CDU in the last election decided to vote for the new anti-immigration, right-wing party, the Altenative for Germany (AfD), which received 13% of the vote, enough to surpass the 5% threshold for representation in the German Bundestag.

Sunday also saw Donald Trump announce his administration’s new travel restrictions, which will replace the Trump Administration’s original travel ban, as of October 18, 2017. Oral arguments on the original travel ban executive order are due to be heard by the United States Supreme Court on October 10, 2017.

Merkel’s vision of a super-cosmopolitan Europe that can easily handle the assimilation of millions of refugees from other parts of the world has been put on permanent hold. Meanwhile, Trump’s vision of the world – as he recently confirmed by his address to the UN General Assembly – as a collection of nation states who look out for their own interests – including by placing restrictions immigration – is on the rise.

The reason is obvious. Merkel’s vision is simply unrealistic. Neither Germany nor Europe’s other nation states, can digest unlimited immigration from countries that do not share the Western culture and values of Europe. Trump’s vision, on the other hand, allows the nation states of Europe and the rest of the world to maintain their singular identity and thereby thrive.

England, Germany, and America are all settings in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels published by Cheops Books LLC. Hitler’s Agent, book six of the series, will be published on October 15.

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Did Pliny’s House Look Like The Getty?

Pliny the Elder obviously lived in what we would call a Governor’s House in Roman Trier. What did such a place look like? None of the original Roman villas survives to this day intact, not in Trier, not in Italy, and not in Great Britain. In such places you don’t usually have more than a few standing columns or perhaps a floor full of mosaics to give you a clue of its former grandeur.

Probably the best example of such a villa nowadays exists in a place that Romans never visited and Romans never dreamed about. Such a villa has been painstakingly reconstructed on the California coast, land of dreams and elaborate reconstructions such as Disneyland and Hollywood.

It is no mere fantasy. In fact, it is an elaborate reconstruction of the villa of Calpurnius Piso, the father-in-law of Julius Caesar and father of Caesar’s last wife, Calpurnia, the one with the dreams and nightmares in Shakespeare’s play. It would be very similar to anything that Pliny would have owned. Both men were intellectuals of their day. Calpurnius Piso was a Stoic philosopher. Pliny the Elder was the author of the Natural History, the first of all encyclopedias in the western tradition.

This California villa was reconstructed by John Paul Getty, the billionaire who had a hobby of collecting Greek and Roman antiquities on a large scale. He wanted to build a place to house them. The Getty Villa opened in 1974. The Los Angeles Times interviewed John Paul Getty. Getty said: “It is fortunate that the United States has one ancient private building which is authentic in spirit. One could say go to Pompeii and Herculaneum and see Roman villas the way they are now — then go to Malibu and see the way they were in ancient times.”

Pliny also owned a villa on the seacoast along the Bay of Naples, so this comparision seems appropriate. It is inspirational to think that Pliny strolled through his peristylium and viewed the classical sculptures you find at the Getty.

Pliny the Elder is a character in two upcoming volumes of the Edward Ware Thriller Series: Old Faithful Plot and Pliny: A Novel.

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Pliny: A Novel Has A New Cover:

In Pliny: A Novel the grandson of the hero of Augustus: A Novel, Caius Antonius — who is also an ancestor of the hero of the Edward Ware Thriller Series, Colonel Sir Edward Ware — is working for Pliny the Elder in 79AD. Pliny is the Roman governor of Germany and is residing in Trier on the Moselle River. Suddenly a German warrior attacks the governor’s residence and throws a warning into his reflecting pond. It is payback time for the Romans. The Germans want revenge.

The Germans kicked the Romans out of their province in 9AD in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. But Germanicus returned five years later to make the Germans pay. What will happen next? That is up to Caius to discover, or the German warriors may push Pliny and the Romans out of Germany all together. This time they may even follow them all the way back to Italy in Pliny: A Novel, part 2 of Augustus: A Novel, coming soon from Cheops Books, LLC. It is the latest book in the Edward Ware Thriller Series.

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