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THERE'S GOT TO BE AN ELEPHANT IN HERE SOMEWHERE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 07 November 2008

Ronald Reagan was fond of describing the ultimate optimist as a young boy happily digging through a huge pile of horse manure while yelling, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

So after six weeks in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and 7,000 kilometers overland across Chinese Turkestan, I've returned to Washington and the biggest pile of political manure in the history of America.  I can't help thinking that Ronald Reagan would say, "There's got to be an elephant in there somewhere."

First, though, let's dispense with two alleged "silver linings" to this debacle.  Both are stupefyingly naïve. 

One is that this election "heals" the wound of racism and the legacy of slavery, so that nevermore can Sharpton-type race hustlers claim that America is an incurably racist nation.

This is delusionary. 
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1977-1983: RESURRECTION Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 07 November 2008

Her name was Jacqueline.

I thought of her as I stood on the beach looking out at the waves. It was a lonely stretch of beach in north Malibu, near the Ventura County Line. Far away from the frenetic bustle of L.A., I had moved up here where it was peaceful and quiet, where I could walk on the beach in solitude and recover from her loss.

She was born in the French Alps, the daughter of a cheesemaker. Growing up in the rustic village of Villette‑par‑Aime in the province of Savoie south of Mont Blanc, she had had a Heidi‑like childhood ‑‑ herding sheep, milking cows, gathering wild raspberries and mushrooms in the forest.

She grew up to be a tough strong mountain girl, helping her family eke out the montagnard (French mountain peasant) way of life amongst the glaciers and waterfalls, the high alpine pastures strewn with wildflowers, the valleys and crags of the Alps.

Finishing the local school, she made her way to Paris as a magician's apprentice in a traveling magic show that toured through the small villages and towns of France, from Provence to Gascony, from Brittany to Champagne. Once in Paris, she struggled at part‑time office jobs while taking singing and dancing lessons at night.

The lessons paid off when she was hired by the legendary Folies Bergère.

With her spectacular beauty, she quickly became the world famous show's principal showgirl, idolized by all of Paris and surrounded by a horde of admirers ‑‑ writers, directors, millionaires, and playboys.

"Every night," she had told me, "there would be so many roses in my dressing room I hardly had any space to change costumes. And just two years before, I was digging potatoes with my mother and herding cows with my father!"

Her life had become a dream. But her greatest dream lay beyond Paris ‑‑ it was to come to America.
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WE NEED NEWT Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 07 November 2008

Ordinarily, the identity of the party chairman doesn't matter very much.  The proof of this is that the current chairman of the Republican National Committee is Mike Duncan.  I hadn't heard of him, either.

The party chairman is usually mostly a fund-raiser and a technician.  But this is one of those rare times in history when the chairman of the Republican National Committee will have to function as the chief spokesman for the party, its primary public face.

The RNC will select a new chairman soon. The new leader needs to be a man of ideas and vision who can communicate them well, and a superb fund-raiser who is comfortable with the new technologies.  But Ronald Reagan is unavailable, and Superman and Batman exist only in comic books.

But there is a man whose time has come, or, rather, returned.
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PALIN IN 2012! Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 07 November 2008

The week before the election, the Obama campaign ran a television commercial attacking the Republican candidate for vice president. To my knowledge, this has never been done before.

Within days of Sarah Palin's selection by John McCain to be his running mate, there was speculation in the news media that maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome; that Trig was really daughter Bristol's baby; that Sarah was a fundamentalist who believes dinosaurs and men coexisted; that she once belonged to a secessionist party; that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.

None of this was true, but this was how the news media introduced Gov. Palin to people in the lower 48.  No vice presidential candidate has ever been subjected to such a torrent of abuse.
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DON'T GET MAD, GET EFFECTIVE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Tuesday, 04 November 2008

The Republican Party blew it. We had power in the house and for most of the time in the senate for 12 years, and what did we do? Lots of good for a few years: Welfare reform, advocacy for free markets and deregulation, bringing down the deficit, and when we were attacked on 9-11, we struck back hard, and protected our country valiantly.

But we also let our representatives get sucked in to the indulgences of power. We increased spending dramatically, allowed Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and others to undermine our financial structure, and went along with so much that we were supposed to be against, that by the time 2006 came around, we had blown all of our political capital on "going along to get along".

That's not the mantle of Ronald Reagan. That's not the brand that won us the Congress and the Senate in 1994, and the White House in 2000. We lost our way, allowed our representatives to lose their way, and that's our fault.

So, the question now is: what are we going to do about it?

Throw metaphorical bombs and rocks and try to hurt the Democrats as much as possible?

Call Obama lots of names? Write books and articles on how dumb Obama is, or How to Hate Obama?

That's what people do when they feel helpless.
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THE SANDS OF THE TAKLA MAKAN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 30 October 2008

Charklik, Chinese Turkestan.  Since I was a young boy with dreams of exploring the world, the essence of remote mystery was summed up by the innermost heart of Asia called Chinese Turkestan.

What defines the region is one of the world's great deserts, an ocean of sand the size of France yet so empty and vast it has been known for many centuries as The Takla Makan (tah-kla mah-con), meaning, "If you go in, you don't come out."  The Desert of Death.

Thus the fabled Silk Road split in two to go around it to the north or the south.  In 1273, Marco Polo took the south.

What I as a young boy fifty years ago most dreamed of doing was following the route of Marco Polo through Chinese Turkestan, to those lost and forgotten oases of the Southern Silk Road that hardly anyone in the world knew about much less had been to, with the magical names of Yarkand, Khotan, Charchan, and Charklik.

For all but the last few of those fifty years the Southern Silk Road was completely off-limits to foreigners, and the road itself a thousand mile-long four-wheel track of mud and sand.  Now it's open, the road is paved, and here I am, having traversed Polo's route from Kashgar to Charklik.

I was expecting an ultimate in the exotic and remote, for things to have changed little since Polo's day.  In some ways that's what I found.  But for others, I am in a state of shock.  What I have found here astounds me, and I thought I'd share it with you.

For after all, Chinese Turkestan, or Xinjiang as Beijing calls it, is Moslem China.  The native inhabitants, whose homeland this has been for millennia, are Turkic, not Chinese.  Culturally, ethnically, and historically, this place is not Chinese.  But in reality - and reality is what counts - this is China.  Of that there is no doubt, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
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1981: NORTH POLE SKYDIVE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Tuesday, 28 October 2008

With the wind chill, it was around 50‑60 degrees below zero. I sat on my heels in the back of the Twin‑Otter and looked out the open door of the plane to the sea of white below. We were 8,000 feet above the ice and making our jump run. Some tiny black specks appeared on the ice in the distance. "Left five degrees!" I called out through my face mask, and Rocky nudged the Otter toward the specks.

"More left!" I yelled again, and as Rocky looked around to make sure, I nodded and pointed left with a gloved finger. When the spot was set, I pointed ahead, yelled "Straight!" to Rocky, then closed my eyes and turned inward. About thirty seconds to go.

"All right, man, how do you feel?' I asked myself. "Are you nervous?" I took a deep breath and relaxed, just letting whatever emotions were there come up. I had expected the reply to be, " What, are you kidding?!? I'm terrified!!" But no, to my surprise, I felt incredibly calm and peaceful.

Memories of the past four years raced through me like a flash flood. All the ecstasy and magic ‑‑ then all the pain and grief and mourning. A year ago, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to live or not. Learning how to sky‑dive when you don't know if you want to live is a good way to find out.

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A CIPHER AS PRESIDENT Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 30 October 2008

"After all this time with him, I still can't say with certainty who he is," wrote Peter Nicholas of the Los Angeles Times Tuesday about Barack Hussein Obama, with whom he's spent roughly 18 hours a day for most of this campaign.

Sen. Obama rarely engages in banter with the reporters who travel with him, and typically is in "robo-candidate mode" on the rare occasions he does speak with them, Mr. Nicholas said. "Ironically, those of us who were sent out to take his measure in person can't offer much help in answering who he is, or if he is ready.  The barriers set in place between us and him were just too great."

Less is known about Barack Hussein Obama than about any major party candidate for president in modern history.  His public resume is thin -- eight years in the Illinois state senate, four in the U.S. Senate, with two of them being spent running for president.

And no candidate for president has had more problematic associations.  Here's a quick list of them that the media refuses to investigate.
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KEEPING AFLOAT IN DESPERATE TIMES Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Monday, 27 October 2008
When the U.S. economy catches cold, the rest of the world gets pneumonia. That's because much of the wealth of the rest of the world depends on selling stuff to us, and/or on investing in our economy.

The cold we've caught from the subprime mortgage crisis is pretty serious. As of Oct. 22, our stock market was down 40 percent for the year.

But, as the erudite cynic who writes for the Asia Times under the pen name "Spengler" notes, it's a lot worse almost everywhere else.

The financial crisis will push already troubled -- and nuclear armed -- Pakistan further towards radical Islam.  Turkey, heretofore the most peaceful, democratic and pro-Western of Islamic countries, also will drift towards the dark side.

By far the most dangerous wild card is...
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DEMOCRAT CONTROL OF CONGRESS IS BAD FOR THE STOCK MARKET Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Thursday, 30 October 2008

Does the value of your stock market holdings depend on which party controls Congress? There is overwhelming evidence it does.

As can be seen in the accompanying chart, over the last quarter of a century when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, the stock market rose by an average of about 20 percent per year.

When the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, the stock market only rose at an average annual rate of 6.9 percent for the Dow Jones and a tepid 5.1 percent for the Standard and Poor 500.
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YOU LOSE, SOROS WINS Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Monday, 27 October 2008

Have you ever wondered why billionaires like George Soros financially support politicians who say they will "increase taxes on the rich"?

The answer quite simply is that the tax increases are most often put on people trying to become rich, not those already rich. Hence, the rich, big government advocates can gain far more by "buying" the politicians. The "bought" politicians then provide them with confidential information about administrative decisions, which these donors then use to place big bets in the market, making themselves much richer. If you have deep financial pockets and inside information, you can make huge amounts of money when markets drop.

Mr. Soros, the Democrats' financial angel, is often referred to as the "man who broke the bank of England" in the 1992 Sterling crisis. During that episode, he made $1 billion in one day at the expense of British taxpayers. The relevant question is, did Mr. Soros bet a couple of billion dollars on mere guesses of what the German, French and British officials would do, or did he have inside information?

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RUMINATING ABOUT THE FUTURE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 31 October 2008

I've talked a lot about the harm you can do to yourself by ruminating: chewing over and over on negative thoughts or fantasies. Every minute you spend ruminating is a minute you could be spending living, doing something that contributes to your life and the lives of others. It's a minute that you could be spending feeling grateful for someone or something. It's a minute you could be spending being happy.

When you ruminate, you are not happy, and you are not practicing anything that will lead to greater happiness.

While this can apply to the past by going over and over hurts or resentments from your personal history, you can also spend hours and hours ruminating about the future - like I've been doing too much lately. Like I'm sure many of you have been doing as well.

We're all worried about the prospects of an Obama presidency. We're worried about what will happen to our economy, to our military, and more fundamentally to the character of America that has been built on the ideals of liberty, individualism, and self-responsibility.

There are glimmers of hope -

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KINDNESS Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Monday, 27 October 2008

When you're anxious, angry, irritated, scared, and troubled, it can be very easy to get caught up in yourself, in your feelings, in your own fantasies and thoughts. Everything about what you're thinking and feeling can seem so much more important; and that's when it can be especially hard to think of other people, the people you love, your friends, the people at work and in your community who you see and interact with every day.

That's also when thinking about those people, and doing things that recognize them and express caring for them can be the very best thing for you to do. Not just for them, or for your community or your relationships, but for your personal well being.

Being kind to other people is one of the actions you can take to reliably and significantly increase your own happiness.

Face it, when you are worrying about the financial crisis, or the potentially tragic political mess we could end up in - unless you are actively involved in solving these problems, or taking actions that will help you and your loved ones weather the storm  - what are you mostly doing but ruminating? This is the worst possible use of your time.

One of the best uses of your time is expressing kindness.

When our kids were little and my brother Mike's kids were teenagers. he told me something that he figured out as a Dad:

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OBAMABASHI Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 23 October 2008

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.  I did it.  I've been searching all over the world for a place suitably appropriate for Barack Hussein Obama Junior's megalomaniacal egomania, and I found it here, deep in the middle of Central Asia.

Here is where he can be worshipped as the Messiah he believes he is, worshipped on a scale beyond even his hyper-hubristic fantasies.  America will never give him what he wants.  Here is a place that can.  Here is where he can be Obamabashi.  Obamabashi the Great, the Supreme, the Magnificent.

Here is where he belongs - not in America.

I'm convinced:  there isn't a better place on earth for Barry Hussein and his followers to move to after he loses on November 4.  It's absolutely perfect for him and them.
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LOST ON THE CASPIAN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Baku, Azerbaijan. Have you ever tried to go to sleep during fireworks?

It's not easy, but for such occasions I always bring earplugs while traveling (along with other necessities such as a flashlight, duck tape, and a Leatherman tool kit).  I happened to arrive here late at night as the latest phony election was being celebrated.  Fireworks in place of freedom.

Yet however Azerbaijan is a lost backwater on the Caspian for Americans, it has amazing potential to screw things up or make things better not just for this whole part of the world but for us as well.

We need to study the map to understand why:
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