Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:
I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.
History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.
Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.
The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.
But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.
The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.
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Democracy, Initiative, And Referendum:
In a democracy laws are made by majority voting BUT only on certain issues. First of all, it is a representative democracy. You cede your right to vote on every issue to your congressman and senators. Other issues you cede to the courts to decide and still other issues you cede to the President and the executive branch. Theoretically Congress could hold another Constitutional Convention and decide that individual states have the right to secede from the Union. But nothing short of that could authorize it including the courts. The courts themselves don’t have the power.
If you have a democracy that can VOTE to “come apart” on some whim, you have created an unstable structure that sounds more like mob rule than a true democracy. In such a society freedom of the press itself becomes dangerous because it is subject to “yellow journalism” and forces that try to influence your vote. The average person might vote for things for which he would be sorry later or for which he doesn’t realize the consequences.
I think Europe ought to get over this referendum stuff, which is something you cannot do in the US. I thought you yourself had decided that you were tired of votes and referendums. Look what problems they have caused in Britain in only a couple of years! In Spain they would cause even more problems.
Where did all this referendum stuff come from anyway? I don’t think Napoleon held referendums. The Romans certainly didn’t.
There is no way to talk about Calexit and be serious. It is a satiric, humorous subject. I have taken up blogging about the subject and in many of my blogs to show you have satiric it is, I have Trump accompanied by Marcus Crassus, the Roman billionaire and financier of Julius Caesar. He was a member of the First Triumvirate. He lost big at the Battle of Carrhae in Parthia and learned a lot to tell Trump. He accompanies Trump to California and advises him about how to conquer it while criticizing all the Roman baubles and costumes on a back lot in the Hollywood studios. That sort of thing.
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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.
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Is Christopher Columbus a Fascist?
On a more serious note, I was looking up statues of Christopher Columbus online and came across one in Barcelona, Spain of all places. Would you believe that the article said the people over there in Europe want to pull the Columbus statue down? Have you heard about this? This is a very large,prominent statue of some artistic merit showing Columbus pointing out to sea. Apparently they don’t like the idea that Columbus oppressed native peoples in the New World either. But I said to myself why would there care over in Spain? When I read some more it said that the Catalans in Barcelona think of themselves as a “native people” too. They think they are being oppressed by the government in Madrid. They call Columbus a “Fascist” as well as Madrid and look back to the Spanish Civil War where they were on the losing side. This sounds like trouble to me, more trouble than anything going on in the United States about Columbus statues. For instance apparently Seattle has replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, but how many Italian Americans live in Seattle? Here it is just silly political correctness if it is anything at all.
Cheops Books, LLC publishes historical novels about Europe including Inn at the Crossroads, Cherusci Plot, and Vesuvius Plot.
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Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco and Gibraltar
Here is your answer to a lot of things. This may even answer what my aunt remembered about Franco in 1972. I get the chills when I hear in the news that Spain sent a gunboat into your territorial waters near Gibraltar. You say it has been going on every five years for the past 300 years. No American would permit such an intrusion. Here it would be considered suspicious and odd that a country like Spain would even remember Gibraltar for 300 years let alone act on it. It would get everybody stirred up on this side of the Atlantic, and the population here would demand it be stopped. In Britain you say it does not mean anything to you. Your nerves have gotten used to more violence, more intrusions, more gunboats, more soldiers, more air force planes, more shooting, more everything that has to do with war. To us here in the US the gunboat in Gibraltar’s waters seems to spell real trouble in the future. The Spanish are not to be trusted. I bet you anything that when the Brits were staying in Madrid during the time period of Franco, too, they saw soldiers in the streets, they noticed that the soldiers were trying to keep them isolated from the other Spanish citizens, and they had a hard time coming and going as they wished. The difference is that Brits and Europeans in general think nothing of this sort of behavior. They may even prefer it in fact because it brings peace and order to the capital city of Spain under the Fascist Dictator Franco, and we all remember that the Brits were willing to make another deal with another Fascist Dictator. It was the same thing in 1968 with De Gaulle and I’m sure it was the same thing in Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. What even western Europeans may think odd is what my aunt experienced in Athens in 1973 with soldiers in the street. But here things were so disorderly that even the local population was not listening to the soldiers. And terrorists were sneaking into the Athens Airport. In fact, they did not even have to sneak. They could just walk right in because there were no guards on duty at all. Employees of any kind were hard to find in the Athens Airport in those days which is why only weeks later Americans really were massacred there. When you say that “gunboats are part of the drama” in Gibraltar, I know I am onto a real difference between Americans and Europeans.
Mr. Benley in Key to Lawrence: Special Edition is always lecturing his daughter, Dora Benley, about her fiance, Edward Ware, the British lord. Winthrop Benley is the quintessential successful Robber Baron type who berates the Old World for starting World War. Later it would be World War 2. Americans are still having a hard time getting used to this sort of thing. Even the terrorists come from the Old World. Certainly Franco did.
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On The Road Again: The Tower of Hercules
Will you find Cheops Books LLC at the base of the Tower of Hercules in La Coruña, Spain this summer staring up at this Worl Heritage UNESCO site? It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world built in Roman times in the first century AD at the town the Romans considered to be at the end of the world. This was La Coruna Harbor in northwest Spain, the Roman Hispania. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century attach to the tower that the Romans originally called the Farum Brigantium constructed on a 57 meter high rock.
The lighthouse would blend in perfectly with several novel series and plot ideas already being published by Cheops Books LLC. It could become part of the Edward Ware Thrillers YA novels series of young adult mysteries and thrillers. An eccentric but diabolical millionaire could move the lighthouse to the rugged coast of Maine and leave teenagers to wonder what is going on when they sight a skiff at sea that crashes against the lighthouse in the early dawn hours. They could try to figure out what curse is attached to the building for the past two thousand years.
The lighthouse would also be the perfect place for Pliny the Elder to visit. It was first built at about his time period. He could have something to do with its construction as he traveled about the Roman world studying birds, flora, and fauna for his encyclopedia series, The Natural History. Why would he make the trip by carriage and horseback far from Rome? Perhaps he wants to hide something there for future generations that he does not want to be found by the barbarians that are always trying to follow him about. Later in his own peregrinations Colonel Sir Edward Ware could find it.
And lastly Colonel Sir Edward Ware and Dora, Lady Ware, in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, could visit the lighthouse. It would be an ideal place to hide the Lawrence maps, key to world domination. Hitler would never guess that they were in a Roman lighthouse. Perhaps even Hitler’s spies, Helga von Wessel and Herr von Wessel, would not guess.
The Tower of Hercules is full of mystery and pregnant with possibilities. That is the kind of place that Cheops Books LLC likes to discover.
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