Debate Questions For Old Faithful Affair:

Here is the substance of the debate that took place today at 10AM. Want to see the fascinating photos? Go to the website at http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. Click on Old Faithful Affair Debate.

1)How likely is the Yellowstone supervolcano to blow in the near future?

Linda Lacey: I hope not very soon.

Professor Evans: Yellowstone is a seething, supervolcano with active forces beneath the earth’s surface. What we know of the park is merely a caldera of a giant, ancient and yet still active volcano for sure. Someday it will explode with catastrophic results. But the odds of it going off anytime soon are very low.

Linda Lacey: But if it is that dangerous how do you know?

Professor Evans: Geologic time is much longer than human history. All of human history is just a blip. What we think of as a long time is nothing. In fact current superintendent of Yellowstone is more afraid of Old Faithful ceasing to erupt when he is superintendent than the chance of the park blowing up.

2)Could Hitler have engineered an eruption?

Linda Lacey: I bet he could have. He did everything else bad and evil.

Professor Evans: There is no known way to engineer a volcanic eruption. There has been much discussion and even experiments. But nothing has resulted from it yet.

Linda Lacey: Is is the realm of fiction?

Professor Evans: Exactly. That is what you encounter in the alternative history thriller, Old Faithful Affair.

3)What would Pliny the Elder have thought of Hitler? Is there evidence over 2000 years?

Linda Lacey: How could there be?

Professor Evans: Pliny the Elder was one of the chief Roman intellectuals and learned men. He wrote the first of all encyclopedias used for hundreds of years afterwards and referred to by people as late as the eighteenth century. Jefferson admired him for instance.

Linda Lacey: Pliny wasn’t one of the Founding Fathers!

Professor Evans: He could have been as far as learning goes. And despite being a Roman we have plenty of evidence he would never have approved of Hitler or any tyrant or dictator.

Linda Lacey: But wait a minute! In the first century AD when Pliny lived, emperors ruled Rome. They were dictators and tyrants. So what do you mean?

Professor Evans: Pliny laid low and wrote only about leaves and plants during the reign of Nero. He did not want to attract attention to himself. But the Spanish Emperor Vespasian was a personal friend of his and patron of the arts and learning as was his son and successor Titus, another friend of Pliny. He believed in enlightened despots.

Linda Lacey: That isn’t what Americans believe in. There aren’t any Emperors here, not even kings.

Professor Evans: No, but for a Roman in antiquity that was pretty advanced. It was before the Industrial Revolution, before the Reformation, and before everything necessary to create democracy and capitalism. All they could hope for was enlightened despots. Otherwise they thought they had the rule of the mob.

Linda Lacey: I’m glad I didn’t live back then.

4)Why didn’t the Romans defeat the Germans in ancient times?

Linda Lacey: They seemed to defeat everybody else.

Professor Evans: The Romans didn’t devote the resources to defeating the Germans in ancient times. They thought the Germans were like the Gauls, easy to conquer and civilize. They expected them to grow grapes along the banks of the Rhine and perhaps further East the Elbe, too, as they had taught them to do. They were surprised when the Germans under Arminius attacked their legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD and slaughtered them. Ever after they never advanced the borders of the Roman Empire past the Rhine.

Linda Lacey: I thought the Romans were really good at conquering tribes and stuff.

Professor Evans: The Germans were also good at imitating military techniques that they learned from the Romans. That is what Arminius did. He learned from the Romans and then betrayed them.

Linda Lacey: I thought the Romans were really good at conquering tribes and stuff. The Romans wouldn’t take an insult sitting down.

Professor Evans: Yes, they sent Germanicus to get the Romans’ revenge in 14AD under Tiberius. But they didn’t stay. They retreated to the Rhine and the Moselle and remained there for the rest of antiquity.

 

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Trump Acts On Roman Scale Against Syria:

It would be totally impractical to consult Parliament or Congress about the Syria strikes. First of all they have to be secret. They can’t be discussed in a public session of Congress or Parliament. In order to keep up with the US, England gave the PM the power to make strikes without consulting Parliament. The US President has evolved this power since WW2 even though if he wanted to start a formal war he would have to get Congress to agree the way Bush did.

Cameron consulted Parliament in 2013, and they voted it down, making Britain “look like a jerk.” The previous occupant at the White House added to the jerk quality of the lack of response by claiming he was going to consult Congress. That is why May did not do it this time and Trump certainly did not. Democracies are not good at making war. Think of the Roman Republic. During the Punic Wars, at first the consuls who were elected for one year each and were not doing well fighting Carthage. They didn’t have enough power to carry on the wars. They had to learn to appoint a Dictator for the duration of the war or they might lose. Finally they appointed Fabius Maximus. Even he did not stay dictator for very long. Cato the Elder during the Third Punic War had the power of being a Dictator without the title because of his speaking ability.

Finally the Romans got the idea in the first century BC and Sulla became Dictator when fighting the Athenians. This resulted in Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon and riding into Rome with his troops, not laying down his power at all. And finally Augustus became Princeps or first citizen of Rome, really the First Emperor. Battles required a chain of command and real authority.

Before the Romans the Greeks had a terrible time conducting military campaigns. Athens wasn’t a modern democracy. It was more like a democratic oligarchy. But it was disorganized, and their wars and battles often suffered from lack of real leadership. It is ironic that the greatest Greek general was Alexander the Great of Macedon who was a King.

During World War 2 Britain followed this Roman tradition and suspended elections for the duration of the war. Churchill was like a Roman dictator more than the US President was who had to stand for election no matter what. Churchill was the most successful British PM of the twentieth century.

No one would suggest that the common foot soldiers get to vote on the next strike in the war. So why should the populace of the country get to vote on the next moves? That is the same sort of nonsense.

Churchill is a major character in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. He appears in many different novels.

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