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SPRINGTIME IN LIBYA Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tripoli, Libya.  I - and events - are moving fast here, so I'm writing this on the fly.  I got here over the weekend after an incredible time in Socotra - which is more amazing than any pictures could show but no internet.

The night I arrived, Saturday 4/12, there was an attack on the family of Libya's latest Prime Minister, Abdullah al-Thinni.  The next morning, Sunday 4/13, he resigned. 

Day before yesterday, Tuesday 4/15, Jordan's ambassador to Libya, Fawaz al-Aytan, was kidnapped by masked gunmen in broad daylight right here in downtown Tripoli.

I only learned of these events on CNN's website.  There was no evidence of anything unusual driving around the city, no one I talked to thought they were worth mentioning.  By all outward appearances, everything seems normal.  Lots of traffic, everyone going about their business, traffic cops behaving normally, no military police with checkpoints all over, no heightened security that I could see.

The same outside the city.  There are two astounding World Heritage Sites - Sabratha 40 miles west of Tripoli, and Leptis Magna, 80 miles to the east.  I've been to both since I got here, and not a single checkpoint on the way to either, government soldiers nor any militia.  Everything and everyone seemed normal, no problem. 

There are some weird things, of course.  Libya is one of the world's major oil producers, yet there are long - really long - lines of cars at every gas station.  An appreciable number of drivers, over 10% at least, are majnoon, reckless madman crazy.  Huge auto junk yards filled with horrifically wrecked cars attest to their winning Darwin Awards.

The positive surprises, however, outnumber the negative.  You could say it's springtime in Libya.
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SIBERIA AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 03 April 2014

[Note:  I am off to Socotra and beyond.  Jack Kelly is also away on a well-deserved vacation.  In our absence, Joe Katzman will man the HFR ramparts.  He is asking TTPers to send him their suggestions for what recent events of note deserve inclusion in the HFR. "Send your suggestions etc. to our new [Half-Full Report email address ] at gmail dot com, the "person" is TTPHFR" - Thanks, and thanks, Joe!]

Here's an interesting question:  Do Russians and Chinese exist?  Obviously yes in an ordinary sense.  But do they possess any individual identity beyond being simply members of their tribal collective?

Human beings seem genetically hard-wired to be tribal.  Just about all of us derive at least part of our self-identity via membership in one or more tribes.  But most in the West do not submerge their identity into the tribe. 

An exception might be a substantial fraction of American Blacks, for whom being "black" overrides everything else.  This, of course, is racism, but all forms of racism are merely a variety of tribalism.

For most of us, however - and this includes a great many American Blacks - what we see in the mirror is an individual human being distinct and separate from others.  Our participation in the welter of groups and tribes to which we belong is something more of choice than necessity, something that we could withdraw from without feeling at a loss to know who we were.

This is not the case with the great majority of Russians and Chinese.  Having little sense of individual empowerment, the average Russian gets a frisson whenever his government pushes other governments and countries around.  They want Russia to be a bully.  They want other people to be afraid of them because they are Russian.
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THE 1974 OBVERSE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 20 March 2014

cruz_poster.png

Are you ready?  Are you ready?  History is about to change direction.  That a self-declared "rebel on the right" street artist named Sabo created this poster, then plastered it on streets in Beverly Hills over last weekend, is one indication.  Pictures of it went instantly viral on the Web, then went viral on stilts when Cruz tweeted his response:

cruz_tweet.png

Even the HuffPo was in awe of Cruz's perfect sense of humor, calling it "incredible."  Cruz then sent a signed poster back to Sabo, inscribing, "The fight for liberty never ends."  Say goodbye to a Republican Party being run by Rino squishes.  Here's the Pub Party of the future.  Cruz is cool.
 
Welcome to 1974 in obverse.
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THE POGO PRESIDENCY Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 13 March 2014

Ever hear of a guy named Walt Kelly?  He was born in Philly in 1913, moved to California in the 30s to draw Donald Duck cartoons for Walt Disney, and started his own newspaper comic strip in 1949.  It featured anthropomorphic animals in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, with the main character named Ponce de Leon Montgomery County Alabama Georgia Beauregard Possum - a dig at the South's pretentious aristocracy.

Kelly titled his comic strip after Ponce's nickname - Pogo.  If you grew up in the 50s or 60s, you grew up with Pogo, along with an innumerable cast of lovable animal characters (there were almost 1,000 over the years), all poking gentle fun at the human condition.  In 1971, two years before his death from diabetes, he published the cartoon for which he is best known.

pogo.png
This is more frighteningly relevant today than 42 years ago - and the "us" is all of us.  There are varying degrees of complicity.  At the top, of course, is an Anti-American President who hates his own country. 

Zero is an affirmative action baby, handed everything on a platter without earning it because of his race and made-up bio.  He's our #1 security threat because he doesn't want to defend us, and worse, doesn't know how if he did want to.  Bad combo.

Which bring us to the real security threat beyond our shores.  It isn't Russia, with its one-trick pony economy that can't even get itself above water with oil at $100 a barrel.  Putin is all bare-chested bluster, all hat and no cattle.  No, the real foreign threat we face is China.

I've been going to China since 1979, and as you know, just got back from there again last week.  Here are three pictures of the spectacular places we visited that I took with my Panasonic DMC-TZ5 compact camera.  There is a particular reason for me to show them to you.
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THERE IS NO PRESIDENTS DAY- IT'S WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 20 February 2014

This Saturday, February 22, is the 282nd anniversary of the birth of America's founder, the equal in nobility, heroism, and virtue of any human being who ever lived -- George Washington.

What it is not, nor is any day such as last Monday (2/17), is the phony holiday called "Presidents Day."  Let's be quite clear on this.  There is no such holiday.  It exists only in the minds of furniture dealers, car salesmen, and Hate-America leftists.

It wasn't until 1870 that there were any national holidays at all, recognized by the federal government and granting federal workers a day off, although four were recognized by most states:  the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  In 1870, Congress declared them national.

In 1879, Congress added Washington's birthday to the national list, which had been unofficially celebrated by most Americans for many decades. 

Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day after the custom of decorating Civil War soldiers' graves with flowers), was traditionally celebrated on May 30, but had no formal designation until 1968 with a law called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.  It was the Democrat Congress and President who damaged the memory of George Washington with this act of anti-patriotism.  Here it is:
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