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HALF-FULL REPORT 05/18/18

hug-the-president It was “The Hug Seen ‘Round the World.”

On Tuesday (5/15), President Trump spoke at the 37th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the US Capitol in Washington.  The link is to the full text of his heart-warming address, in which he pledged that his presidency’s policy is “to protect those who protect us.”  I encourage you to read it entire.

Yet the reaction to it, as with so much else the President did this week, exemplifies a main theme of this week’s HFR – that the party affiliation of “D” no longer stands for Democrat.  Rather, D now stands for Delusional.  Which means we must talk about her:

ate-goddess Quite a revelatory week – let’s get started.

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HIDDEN CENTRAL ASIA

The Registan - Samarkand

The Registan - Samarkand

Central Asia.  The very words evoke the ultimate in the remote, the exotic, the unknown full of wonders.

Here you will find the ancient cities of the Silk Road still in all their splendor, and one of the glitziest cities you’ll ever see built yesterday in the middle of nowhere. Here you will find the Mountains of Heaven, the Door of Hell, and the Seven Pearls of Shing.

An enormous area in the center of the Eurasian continent – larger than India at 1.5 million square miles – the “Five Stans” of Central Asia were once part of the Soviet Union. Now independent, each is different, fascinating in its own way.  While most all world travelers dream of visiting all five, few do.  What’s more, those few that do rarely experience the coolest places in each.

That’s what we’re going to do in September.  Ready?  Here we go.  And, okay – this is the Door to Hell:

Darvaz Gas Crater – the Door to Hell

Darvaz Gas Crater – the Door to Hell

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DONALD TRUMP IS A BLACK SWAN

Frblack-swanom its start, the Trump administration has been plagued by charges of “chaos.”

From the revolving door of senior staffers — including two secretaries of state, three national security advisers and two chiefs of staff — to the president’s brash and sometimes boorish personal style, to his politically incorrect taunt-tweeting, Donald Trump has refused to conform to his political opponents’ conventional notions of what constitutes an effective White House operation.

Yet, because Trump is such a Black Swan, his has been the most effective administration since FDR’s first term.

And it’s being accomplished in the teeth of the so-called “Resistance,” which includes the overt hostility of nearly all the mainstream media, the embedded civil service, the Democrats, the never-Trump Republicans, rogue elements of the intelligence and investigative agencies, and Robert Mueller’s witch hunt regarding charges of “collusion” with the Russians.

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DEMOCRAT HYSTERIA HELPS TRUMP

democrat-hysteriaIf you want to understand why Donald Trump is President today (and why he could very well win a second term), look to the Democrats' hysterical response to two of Trump's major foreign policy achievements over the past week.

Last Thursday (5/10), the President traveled to Joint Base Andrews to greet three American hostages whose release he had secured from North Korea. Unlike his predecessor, Trump did it without sending the offending regime an unmarked plane loaded with hundreds of millions in hard currency.

The return of these American captives should have been a moment of celebration and bipartisan unity. So how did Democrats respond? By blasting Trump for the way he welcomed the U.S. hostages home.

Seriously? How do Democrats take a positive event such as the release of American hostages and turn it into an excuse to attack Trump?  Are they so deranged with hate they can’t see their behavior helps Trump, not hurts him?

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WILL DONALD TRUMP ACTUALLY BRING PEACE TO THE MIDDLE EAST?

embassy-to-jerusalemWhatever uproar is occurring from and at Monday's (5/14) opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, that change of venue -- promised by several presidents of both parties and mandated by Congress in 1995 but accomplished only by Donald Trump -- constitutes an extraordinary development in the seemingly endless history of the Middle East.

And the suspicion is that, after not too long, it will be seen as a hugely positive one.

This isn't happening because of Trump alone, obviously.  But the man, possibly because of his lack of foreign policy preconceptions, has a unique knack for seizing the moment and moving forward as he is doing in Korea.

He allows his gut to prevail over the advice of a legion of experts.  Thanks to that, and believe it or not, Donald Trump may actually bring peace to the Middle East.

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OUR ENEMIES ARE ECONOMIC PYGMIES AND OUR PRESIDENT KNOWS IT

rrchart-051518The GDP of North Korea is less than half that of Fairfax County, Virginia, and only a little more than half of Vermont’s, which has less than 3 percent of the population of North Korea.

Iran has a GDP smaller than either Virginia (despite having 10 times the population) or Belgium (with seven times the population).

Russia has a GDP which is smaller than that of Italy, Texas or South Korea. The GDP of California is more than twice that of Russia, even though the Russian population is three-and-a-half times that of California.

The Trump administration has made a bet that it can reach agreements with each of these three countries (North Korea, Iran and Russia) to reduce military tensions because it understands that it is dealing with economic pygmies, whose economies are going nowhere.

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SECURING ELECTIONS

voting-machine[We all know how desperate Democrats are to rig elections with voter fraud.  Often, it’s the only way they can win.  It’s why they hysterically oppose Voter ID.  Yet as Joseph Stalin said, “It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes.”  Today, the “who” is computers.  Here, computer security expert Bruce Schneier explains what to do about this. –JW]

Today, we conduct our elections on computers. Our registration lists are in computer databases. We vote on computerized voting machines. And our tabulation and reporting is done on computers.

We do this for a lot of good reasons, but a side effect is that elections now have all the insecurities inherent in computers. The only way to reliably protect elections from both malice and accident is to use something that is not hackable or unreliable at scale.

Recently, there have been two graphic demonstrations of how bad our computerized voting system is.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 05/11/18 – A WEEK OF APPLIED LEADERSHIP

peace-through-strengthThis could have been the worst week for Trump’s enemies yet.

Hostages released, the Iranian deal was torn up, a new embassy at the speed of Trump, and some dark and twisted discoveries that the institutional left desperately tries to hide. More MAGA packed into one week than anyone thought possible.

We lost a national treasure. The Boy Scouts of America, an American icon for more than a century. RIP.

All this and more in this week’s Half Full Report.

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THE TTP PORTUGAL SUMMER RETREAT

summer-pt-retreat[Just wanted to make sure you saw this.  We have room for only one, possibly two more couples.  Carpe diem!]

What are you doing this Fourth of July?  You may be spending it with friends and family, of course.

But if not, consider that it’s on a Wednesday this year, the middle of the week, so you may be able to get the week off.  If so, how about celebrating the Fourth with your fellow TTPers in the most enchanting – and safest – country in Europe?

You first learned about Portugal’s history and why Rebel and I call it California in Europe back in January 2014.  We held three TTP Retreats there in that year and it’s time we had one again.

In the years since, Portugal has been discovered as the coolest “must-see” destination in all Europe.  That’s because Portugal has got everything.  Fabulous climate, beaches, food, wine, history, charm up the yingyang, and the sweetest, nicest people in Europe.

This is an intimate get-together of no more than a dozen TTPers to discuss the world in depth with me.  And I might as well give you a warning up front.

In addition to learning more about the world than you thought possible in under a week, you run the risk of falling head over heels in love with Portugal.  I describe it as utterly captivating, and once you are there you’ll easily understand why.

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