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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