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AN AMAZING QUESTION ASKED BY EASTERN EUROPE Print E-mail
Written by Paul Belien   
Thursday, 28 February 2008

During the past two centuries, three major European continental nations have tried to impose their will on the rest of the continent, indeed, on the globe. First France in the early 19th century, then Germany in the first half of the 20th century, and finally Russia.

In the second half of the 20th century, France and Germany each realized that on their own their importance on a European and global level was going to decline. Hence, they became the motors of the so-called European unification process. Many - especially in Britain, but also in smaller countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands - perceive the European Union to be a joint Franco-German effort at dominating Europe.

Eastern European nations such as the Baltic states and Poland fear that one day the Franco-German axis might be enlarged by bringing in Russia.  They realize that the biggest threat to their independence is a Franco-German-Russian axis. If one day Paris, Berlin and Moscow decide to join forces the rest of Europe will have to do as they are told.

So they have begun to ask themselves an amazing question.
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EUROPE'S CHOICE: STATISM OR FREEDOM Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Thursday, 28 February 2008

Ljubljana, Slovenia.  As I gaze out on the prosperous and exquisite "old town" of this ancient city, it seems far removed from the country of Yugoslavia of which it was part.

After a brief battle in 1991, Slovenia won its independence, and is now a part of the European Union. The tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, the final remnants of Yugoslavia, are felt not much more deeply here than in most other parts of the EU.

By almost any measure, Slovenia has been an economic success during the last 18 years, and now enjoys a per capita income (on a purchasing power parity) almost equal to that of the average EU country, and about 60 percent of that enjoyed by the average American.

Despite Slovenia's success, it now faces many of the same problems found in the larger EU countries. Back in 1991, Slovenia, tucked up against the Austrian Alps, had the goal to be a little Switzerland with its economic prosperity and personal liberty. Yet, two decades later, the economic system in Slovenia looks more like that of France than Switzerland.

Thus the debate here, as it is emerging in so many places in Europe, between retreating into stagnant statism or moving forward into freedom.
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CYNICISM IS BAD FOR YOUR HUMOR Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 29 February 2008

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."  Groucho Marx

"By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."  George Carlin

When you read those quotes, how do you feel?

Those are two examples of cynical humor, from two very funny people (who are not always cynical)

There are a lot of benefits to having a sense of humor. The laughter and perspective that humor provides has been shown to boost immune activity, increase arterial blood flow comparable to aerobic exercise, and is correlated with healthier heart function - in addition to the obvious, that it tends to be fun and to feel good.

But there are different kinds of humor. There is playful humor, friendly humor, joyful humor, and then there is sarcastic humor, biting humor, cynical humor. It turns out that cynical humor measurably negates the positive effects of humor itself.
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A THANK YOU FROM AMERICA'S NEXT PRESIDENT Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 29 February 2008

My fellow Identity-Americans:

As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for their ... well, support.

Your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Kadaffi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bipartisan agent of change.

I would also like to thank the Kennedy's for coming out in support of me. There's a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though Teddy killed a female employee with whom he was having an extra marital affair and was pregnant with his child.

And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support.  Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.
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MCCAIN LEMONADE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 21 February 2008

Aren't you just so surprised?  The infamous article I authored three weeks ago that went viral on the Internet and got McCainiacs in a total tizzy, How the Clintons Will Destroy John McCain, warned of the wardrobe full of McCain skeletons nicely arranged on hangars just waiting for the lib media to take out and display to the world.

I warned, for example, of "media disclosures of the lady lobbyists in Washington having adulterous affairs with McCain - there are at least three of them."

I didn't, however, think that the New York Times and the Washington Post would jump the gun so soon and wait a little longer - but they decided Michelle Obama's incredible not-proud-of-her-country admission was so damaging to her husband's campaign that attention had to be re-directed to a juicy McCain adultery scandal, replete with color pics of the hot blonde lobbyist involved.  This morning (2/21), the photo of Vicki Iseman is up on Drudge for millions to see.

In response, McCain did exactly the right thing:  he attacked.  He didn't simply denounce the story as a "smear," but he had his campaign manager, Charlie Black, announce that McCain would now "declare war on the New York Times."

Perfect.  When you've got lemons, make lemonade.  And that's just what conservatives must do now with the lemon of John McCain.
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HALF-FULL REPORT: 2/22/08 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 22 February 2008

I have been saving a very special bottle of wine - a 1992 Chateau Vieux French Bordeaux - for a very specific occasion:  to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro.  Looks like I'll be opening it soon - for the best news of the week is Castro's announcing he has one foot in the grave by ending his 49-year run as Cuba's El Jefe Maximo.

I chose the vintage not just because 1992 was a great year for French reds, but because I went to Cuba that year.  I told the story a couple of years ago in Cuba Libré.  A meeting with Castro had been set up, at which I intended to tell him the Cuban people would some day urinate on his grave.  He got wind of it and canceled the meeting.  My wife was very relieved.

Dagny D'Anconia explained the dictator's slow and awful descent towards demise some time ago in The Partial Assassination of Fidel Castro.  Drawn-out lingering nightmare agony - just the sort of hell a piece of murderous human garbage deserves.

What's hilarious is the lib media's portrayal of Raul Castro as a Cuban Mikhail Gorbachev reformer.  Raul is a 76-year old alcoholic who hasn't much longer to go himself.  The army and secret police still run everything, but with Fidel gone the regime has no legitimacy.  Odds will increase for a really bloody revolution.
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BARACK THE SHADOW BOXER Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 21 February 2008

Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson had an embarrassing moment the night the candidate he is supporting for president won the Wisconsin primary.  MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked him to name a legislative accomplishment of Sen. Barack Obama.

"I'm not going to be able to do that tonight," Mr. Watson replied.

Or any other night.  Barack Obama, noted National Review's David Frum, has the thinnest resume of any candidate for president since William Jennings Bryan in 1896. 

Then 36 (the youngest man ever nominated for president), Bryan had been a congressman for only six undistinguished years when, on July 9, he electrified the Democratic convention in Chicago with his Cross of Gold speech.

"Men and women screamed," wrote one eyewitness reporter, and "like demented things, divested themselves of their coats and flung them high in the air."  He won the nomination the next day.

Bryan got creamed in the general election, which suggests there is a limit to how high a populist with little on his resume besides a charismatic personality and a silver tongue can rise.
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HOPE FOR IRAQ IN DENMARK Print E-mail
Written by Michael Ledeen   
Friday, 22 February 2008

I'm in Denmark this week as an observer at an Iraqi "reconciliation conference" that has brought nearly two dozen political and religious leaders to Copenhagen. It's a fascinating group.

The clerics range from Sunnis and Shiites to members of little-known pre-Islamic sects like the Yezidis (who seem to be historically linked to the Zoroastrians) and the Mandaeans (the central figure of whose faith is John the Baptist), all of whom have suffered ghastly depredations in the terror war following the defeat of Saddam Hussein.

Political figures include National Security Adviser Muwafaq al-Rubayie, who spent a long and intense day here on Tuesday (2/19), and remains in close contact as the participants try to hammer out a collective document.

It's probably sheer coincidence that this conference takes place at the moment General Petraeus is expressing considerable hope for reconciliation, and his statement that Iraqis need to shout instead of shoot is very much in the forefront of the discussions here.
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PUBLIC EDUCATION AND HIGHER TAXES Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Friday, 22 February 2008

Why do individuals and countries engage in self-destructive behavior? Many books have been written on the topic, but given the U.S. election campaign, it is worth examining why some politicians and other opinion leaders advocate policies contrary to both good theory and empirical evidence.

Despite this evidence of success, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to increase the top tax rates, though there is no evidence that raising the top rates will result in any more revenue but there is evidence it will result in slower growth.

They can get away with it because voters have had their brains mangled by public education.

Since education in almost all countries these days is chiefly in public institutions, except for relatively small numbers of students educated in U.S. private schools and universities, it should come as no surprise that the government employees doing the "educating" are biased toward the public sector and are anti-business.
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WHAT ARE CONSERVATIVES TRYING TO CONSERVE? Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 22 February 2008

People on the left think of conservatives as stodgy, bigoted, selfish, mean, uncaring, money-grubbing fat cats trying to slow down the progressive agenda of the left; people on the right sometimes see themselves as nothing more than glorified handbrakes, standing athwart history yelling "STOP!"

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is from the French Revolution of course that we get the terminology of left and right. The left were the future murderous radicals of the Reign of Terror, too impatient for change to wait for persuasion and reason to sort things out; the right were those like Thomas Paine whose vision was along the lines of the American Revolution, building a structure of laws and a restraint on power to guide their passion for liberty.

The left has continued to follow this historical template ever since - witness Obama's push for change, and his wife informs us that, "Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." The left will make you change... or else.

What about the right?  What is it exactly that we conservatives are trying to conserve?
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A CONGRESSMAN'S FAVORITE BAR JOKE Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 22 February 2008

This is a tad risqué but since a Congressman told it to me (whose name will go unmentioned, although I can tell you he's a Republican), I can't resist sharing it with you. ---JW

A fellow walks into a bar with a dog.  He sits on a stool at the bar and his dog hops onto the stool next to him.  "Bartender," he calls out, "I'll have a scotch and soda, and a beer in a bowl for my dog."

The bartender walks up and says incredulously, "Are you out of your mind?  We don't serve dogs in here!"

The guy looks at the bartender condescendingly.  "Bartender, you don't understand.  This is Harry the Talking Dog."

Harry looks at the bartender with a low growl.  "That's right, I'm Harry the Talking Dog," he says.  "Now gimme a beer!"
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MCCAIN AS THE ANTI-REAGAN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 14 February 2008

It's going to take a while for conservatives to become fully resigned to John McCain's securing the Republican presidential nomination.

They may never be if he does some incredibly dumb thing like picking a Preacher Socialist - Mike Huckabee - as his running mate, or his supporters continue to demonize conservative heroes like Rush Limbaugh for not genuflecting at the saintly image of Sir Galahad McCain.

No Knight of King Arthur's Round Table, like Sir Galahad who McCain pretends to be, possessed "a strutting self-righteousness... that goes hand in hand with a nitroglycerin temper."  That memorably accurate description of John McCain by Mona Charen explains why McCain is the Anti-Reagan.

Aside from Ronald Reagan the politician, statesman, or political conservative, Ronald Reagan the human being was someone of great-hearted likeability.  It was almost impossible to dislike him.  The contrast is stark.  It is almost impossible to actually like, to be genuinely fond of John McCain because at the bottom of his character he is an insufferable jerk.

Because of his essential unlikeableness, McCain cannot create conservative passion for him.  This truth will outrage the McCainiacs, who will thus angrily blame his loss in November upon conservatives.  But as anyone should know on this Valentine's Day, you can't force someone to love you.

You've got to entice them instead.  You don't angrily stomp your feet and call them deranged if they don't love you.  There's no bigger turn-off than that.
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THE HALF-FULL REPORT Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 15 February 2008

You know the old glass half-empty/half-full perspective.  Whenever it's mentioned I always think of Dennis Turner

Many years ago, we were having a discussion whether the future of freedom was bright or bleak.  Arguing for the former, I mentioned Reason Magazine's "Trends" feature, which itemized recent pro-freedom developments.

Dennis instantly responded, "Yes, but it's mis-named.  It should be called "Anomalies."

But we are not eternal pessimists here at To The Point.  We aren't naïvely Pollyannic either, but are instead rationally optimistic, always on the look out for opportunities and solutions instead of being bummed out on dangers and problems.

And we'd like you to participate in the hunt.  So we are instituting the TTP Half-Full Report.
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WHAT A BEACH PARTY! Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 14 February 2008

sarasota_sunset

Sunset on the beach at Sarasota, Florida, with good friends and an adult beverage.  Can't beat that, especially when those friends are fellow TTPers.  All of us sure did have a good time.  Here's a synopsis of what we did and what we learned.
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JW ON YOUTUBE: THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Thursday, 14 February 2008

While at the Sarasota Rendezvous, Brussels Journal webmaster Luc Van Braekel videoed Jack Wheeler holding forth on the Islamization of Europe while walking on the beach.  Luc then posted it on YouTube.

It was spontaneous and unprepared, so be prepared for Jack to unload on Europe.  It won't make him many friends among the Euroweenies.

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