Is Socialism Better Than Private Enterprise?

You say that socialism means “sharing the burdens”. I am not sure what you mean by this, but if you mean offering more government programs and services at taxpayer expense, I guess that is where we should begin. BUT is the government really the best entity to offer these services? Do they offer the best quality services? I think NOT. Take the example of public education which is offered by the local and state government in America and by the national government in Paris, France for instance.

That is a good beginning point because it is a common service that we all share whether in America, Britain, or France. I have an MED in English Education which means master’s in English Education at the high school level. My mother was also a high school teacher. I did student teaching and even had a job teaching English for awhile. I came to the conclusion that no matter what they did, public education was always going to be second best. I went to a public grade school and high school. I didn’t learn very much there other than what I taught myself. But when I went to college, which was a private school, I learned much more. But public education remains because it is better than nothing, though it is a shocking burden at the local level because of local property taxes which support the schools.

The previous occupant of the White House was trying to expand the federal government’s reach into health care. All he succeeded in doing was to make it difficult to impossible for real people to buy health insurance plans. He made it so that you can’t even get a doctor to call you back on the phone since there is now a doctor shortage for no good reason except that he made it hard for doctors to have private practices anymore. Health care became second rate. Hopefully Trump’s tax bill which also included a provision to kill the mandate has started to change things.

Not that the government can’t do anything in regard to services. It would be hard to see how public highways could be private. it would be hard to see how the military could be private. However as a footnote, when armies WERE private back during the days of the late Roman Republic you had legendary and famous armies as well as the most famous general in history, Julius Caesar.

Cheops Books LLC publishes various Roman novels such as Livia: A Novel, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Pliny: A Novel, and Julia: A Romance.

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Helen of Troy On Special Christmas Promotion NOW:

Starting today and continuing through the weekend you will find Helen of Troy on special promotion on Amazon. You can download the Kindle edition of the historical thriller for free. Don’t miss it! But hurry! An offer this good won’t be repeated this year.

First-novelist Dora Benley recounts the fall of Troy from Helen’s point of view—in this spirited page-turner that placed in the National Writers Book Contest.

Though brought up to inherit the role of her mother, Queen Leda, as keeper of the ancient mother-goddess cult increasingly suppressed by the reigning kings, beautiful Helen of Sparta initially fails to hear the Goddess of Heaven’s voice within her. And no wonder—the hormone-bedeviled teenager lusts after handsome Menelaus, whose family has offended the Goddess by looting her temples for bronze. Upon Leda’s death, the Goddess offers Helen the choice of marrying Menelaus at the cost of a life of misery and the destruction of Sparta, or sacrificing him in favor of older, craggy-faced Odysseus—the “wisest among the Achaeans”—with whom Helen would enjoy a long, happy reign as Sparta’s queen. Naturally, Helen chooses Menelaus, and thus follows betrayals, misunderstandings, and intrigues that lead to the destruction of Sparta and Troy. Kidnapped by Paris, forced to marry him and bear sons by his cleverer brother, Deiphobus, Helen concentrates on protecting the hordes who worship her—whether as the Goddess on Earth in Sparta or as Inanna in Troy.

Her efforts to play out the Goddess’s maternal role are at cross purposes with the male rulers’ ambitions, however—and constant misunderstandings result. Herding her subjects out of besieged Sparta, she is accused of abandoning her post. Refusing to abandon her Trojan sons when Menelaus arrives to rescue her, she commits treason. Then, attempting to free the Trojan people from their despotic rulers by allowing the Trojan horse within the city walls, she betrays her Trojan husband.

Kirkus Reviews says of the Helen of Troy novel: “Dora Benley’s portrayal of Helen as supporter of the people and clever, if misunderstood, female in a world of men—as opposed to the more familiar fickle housewife—keeps this classic, action-packed tale bubbling to the last huzzah. An auspicious beginning —and a delightful read.”

If you liked Helen of Troy you will enjoy other novels by Dora Benley including the Julius Caesar: A Novel, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Medea the Witch, Minotaur, and Cleopatra’s Stone.

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Helen of Troy On Big Christmas Promotion:

Starting tomorrow Helen of Troy will be on special promotion.

First-novelist Dora Benley recounts the fall of Troy from Helen’s point of view—in this spirited page-turner that placed in the National Writers Book Contest.

Though brought up to inherit the role of her mother, Queen Leda, as keeper of the ancient mother-goddess cult increasingly suppressed by the reigning kings, beautiful Helen of Sparta initially fails to hear the Goddess of Heaven’s voice within her. And no wonder—the hormone-bedeviled teenager lusts after handsome Meneleus, whose family has offended the Goddess by looting her temples for bronze. Upon Leda’s death, the Goddess offers Helen the choice of marrying Meneleus at the cost of a life of misery and the destruction of Sparta, or sacrificing him in favor of older, craggy-faced Odysseus—the “wisest among the Achaeans”—with whom Helen would enjoy a long, happy reign as Sparta’s queen. Naturally, Helen chooses Meneleus, and thus follows betrayals, misunderstandings, and intrigues that lead to the destruction of Sparta and Troy. Kidnapped by Paris, forced to marry him and bear sons by his cleverer brother, Deiphobus, Helen concentrates on protecting the hordes who worship her—whether as the Goddess on Earth in Sparta or as Inanna in Troy.

Her efforts to play out the Goddess’s maternal role are at cross purposes with the male rulers’ ambitions, however—and constant misunderstandings result. Herding her subjects out of besieged Sparta, she is accused of abandoning her post. Refusing to abandon her Trojan sons when Meneleus arrives to rescue her, she commits treason. Then, attempting to free the Trojan people from their despotic rulers by allowing the Trojan horse within the city walls, she betrays her Trojan husband.

Kirkus Reviews says of the Helen of Troy novel: “Dora Benley’s portrayal of Helen as supporter of the people and clever, if misunderstood, female in a world of men—as opposed to the more familiar fickle housewife—keeps this classic, action-packed tale bubbling to the last huzzah. An auspicious beginning —and a delightful read.”

If you liked Helen of Troy you will enjoy other novels by Dora Benley including Julius Caesar: A Novel, Medea the Witch, Cleopatra’s Stone, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, and Minotaur.

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Hitler’s Agent Visits Paris, France:

In the wake of Trump’s visit to Paris for Bastille Day we have been discussing France. I have used France occasionally as a setting for my novels. I did use the French part of Belgium, Wallonia, as the setting for Inn at the Crossroads, my novel about Napoleon. But France itself has managed to wedge its way in there once in a blue moon. For instance Dora and Edward meet Churchill at the Ritz Hotel for a long luncheon right after they escape Hitler’s clutches in the novel Hitler’s Agent, which I am about to publish on October 15. They have just escaped Mussolini in Venice and sailed through the Mediterranean out past the Rock of Gibraltar to Paris going in that direction. Dora has Thomasina with her and is surrounded by guards that she has hired for the occasion to protect her from the Nazis. Helga, who is Hitler’s Agent, and Herr von Wessel make an entrance into the dining room. They send Dora notes about the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, with the cooperation of the waiters. Helga is seated by a statue of Venus. But Dora puts an end to that, too. It is one of the few occasions where Helga is in the same room with Churchill. The two don’t mix well as characters, mind you. But at least on that occasion Dora and Edward managed to escape back to Ware Hall in the south of England for more adventures. For the historical thriller, Hitler’s Agent, does not end there.

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France In The Edward Ware Thrillers At War Series:
Where all have you traveled in France? I came close to returning there two years ago. We were not far away, but it was a no go. The closest we got was Luxembourg City in 2015. Then we went to Waterloo instead of Dunkirk.
But when I was a kid, I went to Paris, of course. We went to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (where we saw the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Mona Lisa the quick tour route), Versailles, Fontainbleau, Napoleon’s Tomb, Montmartre where I also spent a Bastille Day watching Frenchmen dance in the streets and shoot off fireworks, and the Ritz where my brother and I actually ate lunch. I also arranged a special driver to take me to Illiers where Marcel Proust was born. In those days he was my favorite French writer. I got to see his teacups and his petite pastries that he made so much of. On the way back to Paris we saw the Romanesque Chartres Cathedral.

On the Bastille Day that we spent in Paris I don’t think I ever saw a bigger fireworks display anywhere else.

Our only French setting in Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series is in Wallonia instead of France itself. Wallonia is the French section of Belgium near Waterloo. And Waterloo is the subject of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC.

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Parlez-vous Francais? Do You Speak French?

Do you know French? When I was in third grade I had a teacher named Maya Monsieur who taught children to speak simple French after school. I took the course. It was the only French I ever had. I still remember how to count to ten in French. I know a few simple phrases such as “Thank you very much” in French which came in handy two years ago when I found myself in French-speaking Belgium in Wallonia. This was in stark contrast to Germany. I am 100% ethnically German but I can’t speak one word in German. I was mute during my travels there while Gary did all the talking. I can sing a complete song about Napoleon in French to this day, but I don’t know what I am saying. So much for third grade French!

It is interesting to hear that Trump is visiting the Jules Verne Restaurant at the Eiffel Tower. I, too, visited the Eiffel Tower. I am sure you did, too. I didn’t go up in it. But I was there. I even have a photo. More recently Jules Verne has been influential on what I write. I really like Journey to the Center of the Earth for instance. Have we ever discussed Jules Verne before? My current novel Old Faithful Plot is actually influenced by that novel. Do you remember the ending? A Scottish scientist leads a team of scientists and one wife of a scientist under the earth. They discover the Lost Continent of Atlantis. Then at the end they get spewed up into the ocean by a volcano. Well, Old Faithful Plot is all about the Yellowstone supervolcano and what it might do someday. I need not say more.

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In Map Plot, soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, Lieutenant Sir Edward Ware, must undertake a spy mission to Venice for Winston Churchill. In the early 1920s Adolf Hitler is coming to power in the new National Socialist Workers Party. His financial backer is trading magnate Herr von Wessel. Edward must find a trail of letters between the two at Herr von Wessel’s palazzo in Venice. When he gets the goods he has to escape fast, but in his day and age one hundred years ago there is nothing faster than the Orient Express that slowly wends its way from Venice to Paris. The time it takes allows ample space for intrigue. Herr von Wessel and his new wife, Helga, go after Edward on the train. The big confrontation occurs in the dining car. And he still had to take a ferry to Britain and then another train to London to reach Churchill! But if Edward had the advantages of the modern Eurostar Train that goes from Brussels to London practically at the speed of an airplane, Edward could have gotten there in a flash and no one would have been the wiser.

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