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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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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Why The Merkel Election Isn’t Like Trump’s:
In the US when you get Trump elected President the election means Isolationism. Americans want to pull back from being involved in lots of international affairs. They want to cut back on immigration and make sure that they themselves have jobs and money before they invite anybody else in. But in America you can’t completely cut off immigration. The US is a country of immigrants. None of this is very deep or very serious or very old.
In America there is no core ethnic group like the Cherusci tribe from ancient Germany from whose ranks arose the traitor named Arminius who pretended to take on a Roman gloss when being educated at Caesar’s expense back in Rome. Then when he was “helping” to guide the Roman troops towards the Elbe River he and his fellow Germans fell upon the trusting dupes and slaughtered them. Germanicus appeared in 14AD, five years later, to seek revenge on the German tribes. But the Romans never again pushed toward the Elbe River. The line was drawn at the Rhine instead. This is terribly significant for western civilization and makes the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest one of the most important battles in history.
Merkel visited the site of the battle in 2009. Germany issued a stamp to celebrate 2000 years. Can you believe it? I bought one of these myself and put it up on my website under the novel in question.
There is a Hermann the German (Arminius’s German name) statue in Germany right now located on the A7 near Detmold. We unfortunately missed it. No one in Germany is talking about taking it down the way people here are trying to take down Robert E. Lee statues. No way! As has been pointed out the leader of the Alternative for Germany Party just used the word “volk”. He invoked the “volk”.
Merkel’s election echoes through the centuries. Trump’s does not.
Cheops Books LLC will publish a novel about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest next year as part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
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Smoke and Mirrors: Trump’s Speech
We just got done listening to Trump’s weekly address, Trump’s speech. He is calling for unity. But if he is talking about Charlottesville, I can’t see how anybody could think that was real. Talk about a staged media event! Soros probably was involved. People in America are ahistorical. They don’t think about history or care about history. Probably you couldn’t have had a conflict about a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War in the nineteenth century either. People in New York don’t care what happens in Virginia and visa versa. America has a great regionalism and the citizens are content to leave it that way. People should be suspicious about a pretended conflict about something like that now. Who is trying to stage what? Who is trying to grab the attention of the news? There are no real political conflicts in contemporary America about the old Confederacy despite Trump’s speech. Charlottesville is all just smoke and mirrors.
Cheops Books LLC publishes historical novels such as the upcoming Inn at the Crossroads, Vesuvius Plot, and Cherusci Plot.
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At the end of The Far Pavilions, M.M. Kaye’s mystery thriller novel about the British in India and Afghanistan, the hero and heroine leave India behind and escape into Afghanistan. The British never prevailed in Afghanistan I think for all sorts of reasons including geography. I don’t know how the US will prevail there either given present circumstances. Trump is right not to quit though. This tendency to think you can quit and back out of wars is definitely contemporary and not something the Romans could have done. Weird mind set. But I wouldn’t trust the Taliban further than you can throw them. Aren’t they the same ones who were allied with Osama bin Laden in 2001? I thought you weren’t supposed to make deals with terrorists?
As far as NOT exporting American notions about government to Afghanistan and leaving it to the Afghans to decide and then praising India in the same speech as being the world’s largest democracy, that is absurd. And that is what Trump did in his speech. How does he think that India got to be the world’s largest democracy anyway? It was the British, stupid! They exported not only their language but their own notions of government to India and helped to reform the religion as well. Think of suttee. If it weren’t for the British, widows in India would still be burning themselves alive on their husband’s pyre.
But I think traditionally where you had empire building and were really influencing places like India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, you had to bring economics into the formula. The military by itself doesn’t cut it. America would have to send businesses to Iraq and Afghanistan to hire people and build roads, infrastructure, restaurants, etc. They would no longer have to make money on bribes, terrorist camps, and illegal drugs. Then you would really, really get progress. You would have fewer terrorists and rebels all over the world. Ultimately no one would want to be a terrorist if he could find employment doing something else.
Cheops Books LLC publishes historical thrillers such as the upcoming Cherusci Plot, Vesuvius Plot, and Inn at the Crossroads.
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Edward Ware Thrillers at War in History:
Edward Ware Thrillers at War discusses themes of British and German history. I don’t think England ever had anything like the Thirty Years War in Germany, the big bad religious war between Catholics and Protestants that according to Gary made WW1 and WW2 look like a picnic by comparison. The Thirty Years War left more people dead than the Black Death. It was the worst war in German history by far. Henry VIII was pretty bad but he wasn’t as bad as the Thirty Years War with all his monastery burning, etc. In fact England has been pretty dominant in Europe since the days of the Tudors, certainly since the days of the Glorious Revolution. And England was where the Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century. England obviously had more colonies than anybody else and a much bigger Empire, too. Even at the beginning of WW1 there were articles in American newspapers about the British Navy off the coast of North America PROTECTING US. People in the US felt safe with Great Britain there.
Then came WW1 and WW2, and we know the story. Since that takes us to the present era, we can’t say what will be the next chapter for England. But it has the strange and unusual advantage of having its language be the dominant one in the world. Also the US speaks English. Britain is allowed all sorts of special advantages in Europe because of its relationship with the US. The Germans will go only so far because of this. But in a sense I think it is the Germans, not the Russians, who are still the real opposition to the US and to England despite the fact that they have almost no armed forces.
Germany was the home of both Communism and Facism. I think East Germany was propping up the whole Soviet Union somehow. Hitler and Stalin were playing at dividing up Eastern Europe. More recently Merkel and Putin came up with some natural gas or oil or both agreement which is what Poland doesn’t like because it remembers the days of Stalin and Hitler. Putin speaks German. He feels comfortable in Germany and the Netherlands. So did Peter the Great of Russia who tried to model St. Petersburg on Amsterdam. Germany has been a big influence in Russia for a long time. Catherine the Great came from Germany and was originally Lutheran. There is something going on between Russia and Germany that has been percolating for centuries. Just remember the extreme leftist riots that greeted Trump a few weeks ago in Hamburg.
Also Germany since the mid 19th century has been expanding and trying to create an empire. My mother had a book from college called Germany Will Try It Again about a theme of modern German history. That is why I say they are the real enemy.
These are the themes that controlled the race to find the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, that are featured in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Will it be the Germans under the Kaiser or Hitler? Or will it be the British and Americans under Churchill and Roosevelt? The battle continues to the present day.
Turn the page and find out what happens next.
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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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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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Trump and Titus the Emperor:
We will have to see what Trump will do. Frankly last night at dinner we were looking at photos of Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I looked up Josephus and got out my Titus coin to examine more carefully. The Roman response to Judea in those days was one which I have never seen in my lifetime. I thought I was seeing it on 9/11. But it petered out. WW1 still casts a long shadow. I think that war is still going on as a kind of 100 Years War. One of these days we have to get over it and start remembering Titus and generals like him. He settled the Judea issue for the next 1900 years, almost 2000 years. Don’t kid yourself. Back in ancient times the Jews were acting like the Arabs. They were the same Middle Eastern people. They had constant civil wars and acted fractious. So Rome conquered them. I think it is horrible that the governments nowadays do little or nothing to really end terrorism such as what you just experienced in Manchester. They make speeches and say they are against it. But their reaction says in so many words we just have to put up with it. This is something that the Romans would never have done. Not that I am advocating slavery which is one of the means they used to deal with it. Lots of the Jews were made Roman slaves. But a decisive military response would be in order.
The War on Terror has failed because nobody takes it seriously except George W Bush, and he only had 8 years in office. Besides even George W wasn’t pursuing the War on Terror the way Vespasian or Titus would have. You need to march into the Middle Eastern countries, take over, send in military governors for the next several generations and build modern forms of amphitheaters and baths, build roads, create jobs, etc. That is what the Romans did. That is the only thing that works in the long run. You are not fighting an “idea”. You are fighting a civilization that is way behind the times and needs to get up to date.
Titus appears as an important character in the upcoming Cheops Books, LLC historical thriller, the Vesuvius Plot.
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