GoT Predictions (Season 7)

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We’ll get to the significance of this poster later

So, as a reminder, I made a list of predictions back in Season 6. I wanted to revisit those, see what I predicted incorrectly and also post what I think is going to happen in the rest of Season 7 and onto Season 8.

First, I’ll speak to my previous predictions, some of which were wrong.

Season 7 Predictions (from last year)

Past prediction #1. People with Valyrian weapons are going to be setup as heros. Brienne has one. Jon has one. Arya now has one. Everything is being setup for these men and women to be the tip of the spear in the defense against the whitewalkers. Still on track with this prediction, but we’re not going to see this in full bloom until Season 8.

Past prediction #2. Jon and Dany did team up, even if the alliance is looser than it will eventually be. Jon and Dany will eventually marry. That’s mine and most people’s predictions and has been mine since probably season 4 or so.

Past prediction #3. Neither Tyrion nor Jaime has killed Cersei, and I don’t think it’s going to happen this season. I think it will happen next season, and I’m still rooting for Tyrion to do it, but Jaime is the more logical candidate.

Past prediction #4 (with new direction). My wall prediction is changing due to the posters that have been released. My previous prediction was that the wall would be compromised by Bran passing through it with the mark (the same mechanism that doomed the previous three-eyed raven when Bran passed through the door and doomed Hodor). I think this is going to get a bit more complicated now that we’ve seen episode 5. Essentially, the northern hero group is going to kidnap a white walker to show Cersei. Their plan is hopelessly flawed and dumb. This is obviously not going to go well and is very poorly thought out.

The Night King is going to catch Jon Snow’s group in a melee (as you can see from the preview). What happens next is the prediction. I think at least 2 people are going to die here and possibly 3. At least Thoros (the drunken Fire God priest who has been bringing his friend back to life). Don’t worry, Gendry is going to survive. He is the Baratheon connection to the Starks and I think he’ll survive the series and be one of Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen’s closest friends.

There should be two people joining this battle to save the day. The first should be Daeny. She’ll be joined by at least one dragon and possibly two. She wants to see these whitewalkers for herself, and she gets more than she bargained for. Look at the teaser poster above. That is not one of Daeny’s dragons. Not anymore. That’s an ice dragon.

I think during this melee with the Night King, Jon Snow is joined by Daeny who helps them whisk away a white walker, but she loses something very precious to her. I don’t think it will be Drogon. I think we’re going to lose one of the smaller dragons to the Night King.

And I think that this dragon is going to be the thing the Night King uses to down the Wall. I’m not sure if the books are going to play out this way, but I do think the show is going to play out this way based on the production materials and general direction.

I have a feeling Jon Snow is going to continue on to Winterfell to see how things are going. I’m skipping ahead of things though. Let’s just stick with the past predictions and how we’re moving along.

Past Prediction #5. Arya’s kill list will become complete by the end of Season 7 was my original prediction, and I was wrong. The remaining list when I made the prediction was: Cersei, The Hound, The Mountain, Ilyn Payne, The Red Woman, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr. I feel like Beric and Thoros might die in the melee with Jon Snow and the Night King in episode 6 or 7 of Season 7. The Red Woman seems safe for now, but she has already told us in a talk with Varys that both he and she will die soon. I think they will both die in Season 8, and the Red Woman may die bloodily to Arya to show the power of the old gods to kill each other and new gods (The Stranger over the Fire God).

I still think The Hound and The Mountain are going to kill each other in combat. And I really, really want The Hound to embrace the Fire God and burn his brother The Mountain to death (bringing their arc full circle). If The Hound survives the Clegane Bowl, good on him, but it should complete his story arc.

Ilyn Payne was the executioner at King’s Landing. I believe Arya will kill him before all is said and done but that will be in Season 8, not 7. Cersei will die at the hands of “the younger brother”, as Maggy the Frog’s prophecy predicted. BTW, I believe Cersei is going to lose the baby in a miscarriage (the prophecy was very specific about the number of children she will have), and this is going to drive her even further into crazy town. Again, Cersei is in Season 8 at this point.

But I don’t think the list is the end of the names for Arya. There’s a big name on her list. She just hasn’t voiced it yet, and I think you’re going to see that this season. Let’s talk about that next, because it’s going to be fun!


New Predictions

New Prediction 1. Littlefinger is going to be added to Arya’s list. His chaos games are simply not possible in Winterfell. He’s vastly overestimating his ability to drive a wedge between Sansa and Arya, and he doesn’t quite seem to grasp that Arya is especially dangerous. She’s not just someone who can fight Brienne to a straight-up draw. She’s the kind of person who would never intentionally get in the fight in the first place. She’s a faceless one, and she will be Littlefinger’s killer. This is going to happen in Season 7. This is too juicy and fun for them to hold off on this one, and let’s face it, it’s time. Littlefinger’s game is played out.

Why? I think Bran is going to have something to do with this. Chaos is only a ladder if everyone is clueless. If you have someone omniscient thrown into the mix, then that person isn’t susceptible to chaos. If a plan requires chaos, then an omniscient slices through it. Bran bumbles his way through social interactions. He’s going to reveal Littlefinger and Sansa has never completely trusted him after he gave her to Ramsay. The three Starks will all turn on Littlefinger, but it’s going to be Arya who kills him. It’s her role. Sansa will sign off on it though. She’s the leader of the Stark family (Jon Snow is unlikely to remain “Jon Snow” for much longer and his real family name will switch to Targaryen, likely Aegon, since it’s a popular name in that family to signify power, conqueror, etc.

New Prediction 2. Dragon battle. No, I’m not talking about Dragons vs. the Lannister army. That was obviously a mismatch. No, I’m talking about Drogon against at least 1 of his siblings (Rhaegal and/or Viserion). I’m not sure which will be the one to turn into an ice dragon. We may see Drogon have to battle both. Rhaegal and Viserion are inseparable. If you remember, they were chained together in a dungeon while Drogon got to go around eating sheep and children (you remember this scene, right?)

It would of course make more sense for Drogon to be chosen by the Night King since he is the bigger and stronger one, but I think opportunity presents itself and the Night King gets to keep one of the others. My best guess is Viserion. Why? Because he/she is named after Daeny’s crazy, power hungry brother. This is one of those names that never should have been given out. What was Daeny even thinking here? Anyway, I think we’re going to see Drogon kill a sibling dragon in melee. We may even see Drogon have to fight both Viserion and Rhaegal, and I think maybe even all three die by the end of the series. If the latter happens, I think you’re going to see three new eggs lain by one of them though (whichever one chooses to be female, as dragons can apparently choose their gender, if you remember).

Again, due to promotional materials, I believe the wall in the TV series will fall to one of these converted dragons. I do not believe that Bran will accidentally bring the wall down, and I do not believe that the Night King will do it with his own powers. I think Daeny’s participation in the kidnapping attempt on a white walker will result in her losing a dragon.

New Prediction 3. Tormund and Brienne. It’s going to happen. Too fun to pass up, and it’s a fan favorite pairing at this point. This has to happen. It just has to. Unfortunately, it is not going to happen until Season 8 though.

New Prediction 4. Some more characters that are middling characters will die off. Benjen Stark (the guy with the flaming flail and Ned’s brother) will die off heroicly, probably saving someone in this melee north of the wall. He’s been due a good death in his state of undeath. Beric is going to survive the same melee, I think, but I don’t know why. His flaming sword trick is supposed to be saved for Azor Ahai, but the TV series is using this for effect for some reason.

In the legends, the original Azor Ahai plunged his sword into his wife’s chest to create that flaming sword that was used to smite the white walkers. Now? You can just turn it on like a lightsaber. This could have setup some really intense drama. Imagine if the only way Jon Snow/Targaryen could activate his full Azor Ahai powers was to plunge his sword into the heart of the woman he is destined to be with–Daenerys, and that she would offer herself willingly and with love, as this woman did 10,000 years ago with her husband, the original Azor Ahai. Well, you’re not going to get that–for better or worse. Maybe Beric’s only purpose will be to teach Jon how to do the sword trick or something–not that he really needs it since he can just use his Valyrian steel sword to kill whitewalkers without even needing a flaming blade.

As I mentioned before, Gendry will survive the series. I think he’s necessary to keep the Baratheon line going.

New Prediction 5. Jon will declare his undying loyalty to Daenerys by the end of Season 7. I don’t think they will be married yet, but I think he will pledge to serve her in some way after she saves his butt in the North (and loses one of her children/dragons doing it).

That’s enough for now. When the season is over and I see how far off I am, I’ll make another prediction/wrap up post. Really great season. Short but really great! 😀

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Winter is Coming (GoT)

But what does that really mean? We’re all expecting a showdown between the White Walkers and the Targaryens, and by a plurality here, I mean Jon Snow and Daenerys of course. But what if there is more to this? Are we expecting such a straight-forward ending, really?

There are some pretty great fan theories out there, and I’ve talked about some of my own plenty of times before (just check the got category on this site). However, I came across a really neat one from Nerd Soup regarding the motivations and lineage, really, of the White Walkers. It makes for some interesting watching, so please feel free to take a look.

George R. R. Martin has said many times that he hates good vs. evil tales that paint one side as overwhelmingly good and another side overwhelmingly bad. Any characters that we have previously had who could clearly be put into these molds have been mostly killed. Joffrey. Ramsay. On the other side, Ned and Robb, Catelyn Stark, etc.

So, what is up with the Night King?

There’s a lot of backstory and lore here, but the books have not presented the White Walker story in any meaningful way. They seem like a menacing force of evil. The show runners on HBO have said they look at the Night King not as an evil king but as Death himself. I think this is too simplistic, and quite frankly, I’m hoping they are simply misleading us intentionally, as they had to do to build suspense and disbelief about Jon Snow’s death.

The video above does a good job of presenting an alternate path forward, one that I hope is closer to how the series ends up. Instead of Good vs. Evil, humans have reneged on an old pact written during the creation of the Great Wall. It does not really make that much sense that a species of creature who live in winter and ice would be subverted by an ice wall. If anything, it makes more sense that they created it.

After all, the children of the forest did not appear to possess any true ice magic and were more focused on life and fire spells, which you can see in the series. So, they just don’t seem to be a likely candidate. Then, there is Brandon Stark “the Builder” and founder of House Stark, who is supposed to be the human architect of the Wall. However, a wall 700 ft tall and 300 miles long made from ice from a frozen lake doesn’t really seem like the best material men might use and it certainly would have taken a long, long time for men, even with the help of giants and the children of the forest (who don’t seem to do all that well in the cold).

Which leaves a far more likely builder–the White Walkers. They literally have ice for blood in the books and various ice magics. Would it make more sense for them to have built the wall to create a buffer line between men and the extreme north and they are only raising an army to attack again due to the continued presence of the Wildlings in their territory, the birth of the dragons which are igniting fire magic again, the strengthening of the Lord of Light (a fire magic deity), and the loss of the human sacrifices from Krastor that were helping them reproduce (according to Martin, White Walkers do not reproduce naturally but instead must convert a human child).

Don’t get me wrong. There are many theories about the White Walker motivations, including getting back at the First Men, the link between Bran and the Night King, and even the first Night’s King and the supposed White Walker bride that he had on the wall. But, I think it’s worth thinking about the White Walker motivations.

Since I’m in Portugal for another week, I’ll miss the first episode tonight. So, if you’re back home and streaming or watching, I’m a bit envious, but I’ll catch up and then we’ll figure this out together!

Honest reviews

Damonza_Lucifers_Odyssey_1BI love honest reviews. The good and the bad. Reading both are guilty pleasures of mine, but I’m going to call out a recent one because I think it does a great job of highlighting one of my absolute biggest disappointments about Lucifer’s Odyssey. Here’s the last paragraph:

Honest Opinion: After reading “Lucifer’s Odyssey”, I probably would not have bought “The Goblin Rebellion”. The writing style is simple and direct, and leaves the story feeling like a skeleton. That would have been a mistake. “The Goblin Rebellion” is worth reading, but one cannot begin to comprehend the storyline without the events in “Lucifer’s Odyssey”.

Lucifer’s Odyssey was my first novel, and I paid for an extensive edit of the novel from someone who had worked with David Dalglish and other authors I trusted. Since it was my first novel, I didn’t trust myself or my impression of the book, and I wanted to learn more about editing and really listen to this editor. I knew the story was controversial, and I really wanted to do it justice. The editor ended up recommending that I focus on show not tell and completely rewrite the book and try to make the characters not ramble on about what was going on in their heads or “preaching” about the meaning of what was going on. I was worried, but I was also completely invested. I agreed to rewrite, and for the most part, he really did help the book be more fun. I think the action of the book especially went to another level.

However, Lucifer’s Odyssey was always a meta fiction. There were plot lines and underlying themes that really shouldn’t have been left to “show not tell”, and it was, I think, unfair to readers. There was a complex multiverse underneath and a lot of characters. This was not the kind of book that should have been almost purely show and not tell.

I’ve gone back and made small changes to try to help fix what was done during editing–to let people know that if they can stick with the first book and see their way into The Goblin Rebellion and Shadows of Our Fathers, then I think they’ll really enjoy where the story ends up and the style of writing is more my own and not my original editor’s. As the 2nd and 3rd book were being written and I was processing feedback from readers and friends, I grew more of a backbone and stuck to my guns on the internal dialogue of characters and reiterating major trains of thought. I think it’s for the best. Shadows of My Fathers is my favorite book that I’ve written. I feel like it is more of the style that I hope to write in, with more thoughts from characters and a more natural story flow. The problem is that it is the THIRD book in a series, and the first book is more stressful to read than I think it should be because of our editing decisions.

Oh well, work still continues on the new series. High Fantasy. Elves, orcs, humans, kings and queens, intrigue, plots, necromancers and paladins. I’m not going to promise the series will be “normal”. When you see the eventual book blurb, you’ll see my penchant for enjoying bad guy characters who do good things.


Other things that are going on: giveaways

So, another day, another free giveaway on instafreebie. I know, I know. You may have to send yourself an epub from that site to your kindle account, and that’s inconvenient, but for many, that may be an acceptable amount of work. I sure hope so, because these authors have undoubtedly put a lot of work into writing their novels. Like I mentioned in the last post, I’ll be on the lookout for other sites to be a part of. What’s nice about instafreebie is that it’s inexpensive and helps authors build newsletters and ways to promote their books.

Anyway, last day of this giveaway. There’s a lot of books that seem to lean more into the romance category, but there are also some interesting military sci-fi, space sci-fi, and other genres that I like. Let me know if you find something fun and interesting in here!

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Website Link, in case the above image doesn’t work.


Anyway, to those of you who review books honestly, good and bad, thank you. You do a great service for readers, and we authors really do appreciate it!

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Giveaways

Congratulations to the five people who won full sets of paperbacks of The Primal Patterns series on Goodreads. I ended up personalizing the copies with autographs and messages, and I hope you enjoy the inscriptions :D!

There are a couple of other giveaways going on, and these involve a bunch of great independent Sci-fi/Fantasy authors. The giveaways are going on over the middle of this month, and you should definitely mosey on over and peruse the selection. Let me know if you find anything good, so I can grab something good for my to-be-read (TBR) pile too!

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In the above giveaway, there is also a giveaway for 52 free sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks, including books by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Hugh Howey and lots of authors. That contest is going on for 2 more months, I believe, and is valued at between 800-1,000 dollar value for the lucky winner.

I do plan on doing another Goodreads giveaway of paperbacks for my own Primal Patterns set, so stay tuned on that if you didn’t win the first full set giveaway!

There are also some really great $.99 deals going on, which includes The Goblin Rebellion out of the Primal Patterns set for a limited time (the duration of this promotion). So, if you want to recommend a friend to the series, take advantage of the free ebook edition of Lucifer’s Odyssey and the $.99 edition of The Goblin Rebellion. Also, check out the list on this site and let me and others know what else you see there that is worth putting on the TBR shelf.

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There’s another promotion I’m involved in on June 19th, but it’s not live yet. I’ll let you know more about that when it goes active.

Enjoy the free and discounted books and have a great rest of the week!!!

The Rise of the Necromancer

So, I’ve started writing a new High Fantasy series. I have outlined enough material for the first book, and I have created rough outlines for the second and third books.  For now, I believe the first book will be called “The Rise of the Necromancer”. The second book is likely to be called “The Dark Paladin”. There are a couple of possible names of the third book rolling around in my head right now, but the first two are pretty solid (imo). I have a feeling the first three books will likely be called “The Twisted Brotherhood” series, and it will involve humans, wood elves, high elves, dark elves, orcs, demons, and armies of undead.

 

I’ve written over 10k words and I’m pretty excited. I have a very tight deadline for the first book and a target of 60k-80k words. I plan to provide the novel with a box set of fantasy and science fiction from 20 other authors that will be released on January 1st, 2018. So, get ready for something different from me. I’m going to do my best to knock your socks off!

The End of the Marshall Plan

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General George C. Marshall, Author of the European Recovery Plan after World War II

I don’t usually do political commentary. I know it can roil even the staunchest of readers against an author, but after seeing today’s headlines and tweets from our Commander in Chief, I was so taken aback, that I had to say something. Which honestly, is a bit surprising if you know me. There’s been so many assaults on what I hold dear about America that maybe I just didn’t know where to begin.

This has been a trying 6 months for scientists. The assault on climate science has been really difficult to watch. It’s also been trying as someone who has family members on Medicare and Medicaid to watch the current plans to repeal such expansion. I have family members who will likely die due to lack of care by the time this is all said and done. These family members are all Republicans, btw. But there’s a part of me that understands the Republican mindset. Smaller government. Fiscal responsibility. Finding ways to have maximum impact with minimal spending. I get that. It’s part of each of our everyday financing, and it makes sense for our households.

But it doesn’t work for long term planning. When you are budgeting for a country’s future, especially a country that is interested in maintaining its position as a superpower, infrastructure and education are everything. Next comes healthcare, imo, but let’s stay off that subject for a moment and focus on the two things that I think everyone can agree on. Roads help commerce. Shipping aids an economy. Education creates opportunities for not just cultural expansion but more importantly research that can open up new economic opportunities. All of these are usually internally focused.

But infrastructure, education and healthcare are also important for your allies. Allies are strategic, not just in warfare, but also in economics and future prosperity. There are many strategies for how you might use allies, even how you might keep allies down to improve your own situation (e.g., keeping an ally as a buffer against a major enemy). However, there are major advantages to a plan that produces a prosperous stable ally who can contribute economically, scholastically, and politically to your overall vision.

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The Marshall Plan was necessary to help us rebuild Europe in order to foster U.S. economic and military interests after World War II.

For decades, ever since the end of World War II, we have had such a synergistic relationship with Western Europe. If you are a history buff, you probably understand how amazing that outcome is, considering where all of Europe was at the end of World War II. The war had touched every country in Europe. The extermination of whole populations, especially in Eastern Europe. Infrastructure in Germany absolute ravaged. We bombed the absolute hell out of that country. Anything standing was seen as a challenge. Any resistance was squashed with clusters of bombs.

A lesser country would have left the smoldering ruin that was there and used Germany as a buffer ally. Sort of like China treated northern tribes against Mongolian hordes for centuries. But that’s not what the United States did. Instead, we instituted what became known as the Marshall Plan (also called the European Recovery Program). The U.S. invested 13B dollars in 1948 (approximately 130B dollars in today’s money) into restoring Europe. We wanted strong allies, not weak buffer allies. We wanted democratic players in Europe. We wanted Germany and other countries to participate in capitalism, to enhance our own infrastructure and prosperity through the bolstering of an old enemy into a new, strong ally. Trade barriers were lowered. Goods flowed between both continents. New businesses emerged.

This wasn’t an easy decision. It was an extremely hard decision. How hard is it to be magnanimous to a defeated enemy? Think about it. Millions of fathers and sons had been killed. Loss was everywhere. Revenge is a natural emotion, but Marshall had different plans. On June 5, 1947, he delivered a speech at Harvard that outlined exactly what Germany and Europe needed and why it was America, not Russia or Eastern Europe or China or anyone else, that needed to be there.

The modern system of the division of labor upon which the exchange of products is based is in danger of breaking down. … Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all. It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health to the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is not directed against any country, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Any government that is willing to assist in recovery will find full co-operation on the part of the USA. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.

Prosperity was everywhere for decades, and the results were astounding. We took an entire continent operating at 83% of agricultural capacity, 88% of industrial capacity, and 59% of export capacity of its 1938 numbers and we supercharged the recovery. The famines of the post war were eliminated by 1950. By 1952, agricultural and industrial capacity increased by 35%, despite France’s requirement that German industrial productivity be reduced by 50% and maximum steel production set to 25% of its pre-war levels to prevent any future German invasion. The fact that Germany was even able to compete in a car market when restrictions championed by France forced it to operate at 10% of the automotive levels of pre-war Germany was remarkable. It spoke to the ingenuity and industriousness of the German people and the intellectual currency of the U.S. in supporting them. All of Western Europe blossomed.

France received 2.29B. Germany 1.45B. England 3.30B. Italy 1.20B. 2 enemies and 2 allies became our staunchest allies, and the beacon of democracy and capitalism shown brightly for decades, despite the Cold War. Our economy, aided by strong markets for import and export goods, blossoms more than ever before. We have more than just dead buffer allies between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. We have an amazing environment to develop as a superpower. Our allies go to war in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. whenever we ask them to. They pay it forward in a big way, even if they don’t agree with some of the demagoguery that happens in the cult of personalities that we have in the U.S.

Flash forward to Tuesday, May 29th, 2017. Trump has just lambasted the NATO alliance, demanding that the NATO countries finally pay their fair share. He literally labels them “bad” to their faces, both publicly and privately. On Tuesday, he tweets an official rebuke of Germany.

We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change. –Trump

So, what is Germany’s contribution to NATO?

While it is true that the U.S. contributes 72% of the overall defense expenditures represented in the NATO portfolio, this is mainly because so much of our annual budget is tied up into defense spending. The direct money funded to NATO operation is broken down as 22% from the U.S. and 15% from Germany. This includes “15 percent of the civil and military budgets and NATO’s security investment program for 2016 and 2017. France and the UK, the third and fourth-largest contributors, trail behind Washington and Berlin, providing 10.6 and 9.8 percent of the cost-sharing budgets and programs, respectively.”.

What other assistance is Germany currently providing the U.S.’s policy focuses? Berlin is maintaining a force of 980 in Afghanistan for the war efforts there. They have aided the U.S. with significant forces in Afghanistan for over a decade with virtually no benefit to themselves. 550 soldiers to the continued peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Germany had more than 6,500 soldiers involved in the Kosovo missions during the active war there. 450 soldiers deployed to Lithuania as part of the ongoing aggression in the Ukraine.

So where does the President’s current declaration come from?

In 2006, the NATO countries made a pledge to try to push member defense spending from current levels to 2% of their GDP. In 2014, they finalized this pledge into a more formal pledge to hit the target by 2024. Of those countries, four of them (Poland, the UK, Turkey, and Estonia) are operating at that level (7 years early). Germany is at 1.2%. The U.S. spends 3.6% of its GDP on defense.

There seems to be a major disconnect between what the President thinks NATO does and what it actually does. NATO is essentially a manifestation of a reciprocal alliance that was made possible by the Marshall Plan. Our President appears to misunderstand that relationship and the benefit our economy and military objectives have seen from NATO countries. As evidenced by his Tweet on March 10, 2017, in which he said:

Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

Despite these obvious strong-arm tactics, our allies have remained strong, taken the brow-beatings, and pushed onward. But two days ago, the entire tenor of European deference and reverence for the U.S. changed. After Trump’s first international visit, in which he literally pushed world leaders aside so he could be front-and-center and harangued European leaders on trade deficits, and publicly humiliated multiple countries, Germany’s Angela Merkel finally broke the happy facade and admitted: “The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days”.

As a longtime history buff who has been reading WWII books since I was a young teenager and has watched hundreds of WWII documentaries at this point, this entire chain of events is disturbing. Many of my family members have been stationed in Germany (one of the contributions of Germany to NATO is providing access to bases throughout Germany for intelligence, stationing, and exercises). A few years ago, I visited Germany and saw the bombed out churches that still stand in Berlin as reminders of how far the people have come (and how effective the Marshall Plan and infrastructure spending in allies is).

Isolationism, nationalism and strong words are what caused the problems that led to both WWI and WWII. I thought everyone else learned those lessons in World History in grade school, but we seem to have come full circle. If we reject our allies, they start looking for someone else, and the 13B (130B) initial investment of the Marshall Plan and the trillions of dollars spent since then in trade, education, infrastructure, etc. with Europe are lost. And what exactly are we asking for here?

Germany to spend 1% more of its GDP immediately instead of by 2024 on its OWN defense? This is not a contribution to NATO. It’s already paying for 15% of NATO’s expenses, as a good ally should. More trade? Germany currently imports $80B goods from the U.S., 2nd most in Europe behind only the U.K. It currently exports over $140B to the U.S. But the U.S. is also no longer manufacturing most goods. We aren’t exporting as much as we used to because we are now outsourcing most of our manufacturing and industry and focusing instead on other industries. Germany, on the other hand, has always been an industrial country that has focused on manufacturing and exports.

Does our President think that we are suddenly, as a country, going to export 60B more goods to Germany? Where would that come from? Why would they buy that? The low tarrifs of NATO and NAFTA work both ways. We are already making our goods inexpensive at our market prices for Germany to import (and 80B is a lot of money). This trade deficit also counts Germany automotive plan production in the U.S. as an import, despite the fact that the product is made in the U.S., because the company is headquartered overseas and overall profits flow there. And this is where the main deficit exists, in automative sales. 1/3 of the German exports to the U.S. are the 1.3M cars that Americans buy from German companies every year.

So, what is the idea here? Stop Americans from buying German cars by making them into new enemies due to Americans wanting to buy more German goods? How American is that? Is that how capitalism works?

This Presidential election was amazing to watch. So is the aftermath, and at this point, I can’t help but think of the ongoing crisis as such. The optimistic person in me says to not worry: that our allies will recommit to us once Trump changes his tone or a new President is elected who understands the benefits of the Marshall Plan and our ongoing mutual relationship in trade deals and NATO. But there’s another part of me that worries that the End of the Marshall Plan romance with Europe is coming to a close, and that America will be the worse for it. I love living here. I’m a proud citizen of the U.S., but I’m very worried about the direction we’re going right now. If it’s not an assault on our liberties and division of our people, it’s an assault and division of our allies. And it’s coming from the top down, which is even more disturbing.

The optimist inside of me is still winning out. I still hope for the best. I don’t even know how I would plan for the worst here. We currently have a group of supercarriers stationed off a nuclear state (North Korea) right now, and a single nuclear warhead on our continent would wipe out 3M+ from the fallout alone, especially if it hits almost anywhere in California. Same situation on the East Coast. It feels like we’re moving perilously close to the end of the stabilization we’ve seen since the end of WWII and especially the end of the Cold War. Where do we go from here?

I’m an author who loves to immerse myself in fantasy worlds. So, in a way, I understand the chilling effect of fantasizing about a world where Europe and the U.S. are no longer strong allies and where NATO is dissolved. But that doesn’t mean I want to live in that world. Let’s leave that to alternative histories. You know? Fictions! Pretty please!

Giveaways of Paperbacks and eBooks

Shadows-of-our-fathers_4ASo, in celebration of the release of Shadows of Our Fathers, I am giving away five full sets of paperback copies on Goodreads, and 100 eBook copies of The Goblin Rebellion. If you’re wanting to pick up some of these gorgeous paperbacks or get your hands on a free eBook copy of The Goblin Rebellion, be sure to sign up through Goodreads and LibraryThing, respectively.


Goodreads giveaway: 5 full sets of paperbacks Primal Patterns series. Includes Lucifer’s Odyssey, The Goblin Rebellion, and Shadows of Our Fathers. Giveaway starts on June 1, 2017. Sorry, they wouldn’t let me start it right away :D!


The-goblin-rebellion_4_BLibraryThing giveaway (Search for “Goblin Rebellion” or “Rex Jameson”): 100 eBook copies will be gifted via Smashwords coupons. With Smashwords coupons, you can download any eBook format you want, including mobi (Kindle), epub (Nook), PDF, etc.

If you are wanting to introduce your friends or family to the Primal Patterns series, there’s never been a better time than when they can get 2 of the eBooks for free (Lucifer’s Odyssey and The Goblin Rebellion)!

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