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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Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:

Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.

Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.

I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.

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