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©2019 Jack Wheeler

©2019 Jack Wheeler

The first time I went to Mongolia was in 1963.  I was 19 and by myself.  It was a colony of the Soviet Union back then.  No arat (Mongol nomad) living in a ger (conical tent like those above) had ever heard of America much less met somebody from there, so I was a real novelty.

I was a novelty again when I got back home.  Just about the most obscure course in the UCLA history department was on Mongolian history.  There were about a half-dozen students, and when the professor asked us each why we were in the course, I answered, “Because I’ve just been there,” he couldn’t believe it.

All those 35mm slides from back then are in one of the many boxes containing my pictures of yore.  By 2005, however, when I ran an expedition of some 2,500 miles criss-crossing the country north to south, east to west, there were digital cameras so I can share a few pics with you.  It took a while for Mongolia has no roads, just 4WD tracks.



game-over Happy Good Friday!  This is a day of celebration for all Christendom – as the ancient Catholic catechism says, on this day, “Christ showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing.”

And tonight, Passover begins for Jewish people around the world.  Pesach Sameach!

Coincidentally, this is a good Friday for America, as proclaimed on the cover of today’s (4/19) New York Post:

trump-clean And we’re just getting started.  What a week – here we go!



africa-on-map We’ve seen maps of Africa all our lives – but most people have little if any grasp of just how large Africa is.  It’s gargantuan – and with a bewildering number of countries. 50 in all.  I’ve had the good fortune to have been to every one.

As I have learned, often the hard way, traveling in Africa is daunting – and often outright dangerous, extremely so.  It is Africa’s misfortune that out of its vast size and over four dozen countries, there is a surprisingly small number of places that are both safe and worth going to.

Political instability, ethnic strife, humongous corruption and street crime are so widespread across the continent, you have to search hard for exceptions.

Plus, even if those were absent, where are there places that are really cool, bucket-list cool worth all the expense, time, and effort to get to and experience?



trump-strassel-tweetWhat’s in the special counsel’s findings is almost as revealing as what’s left out.

By the fall of 2017, it was clear that special counsel Robert Mueller, as a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was too conflicted to take a detached look at a Russia-collusion story that had become more about FBI malfeasance than about Donald Trump.

The evidence of that bias now stares at us through 448 pages of his report.

President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out.



The Trollmaster encourages the Dem Circular Firing Squad

The Trollmaster encourages the Dem Circular Firing Squad

No wonder Obama talks of a circular firing squad, because Democrats are drawing a bead on other Democrats with malice. aforethought, and mayhem in their hearts.

Being intersectional (enjoy all the Urban Dictionary definitions) means never having to say you're sorry, and it also means demanding that everyone else say they're sorry.

Feminists like Pelosi are Islamophobes, gays like Buttigieg are racists, blacks are homophobic, and white men like Biden and Sanders are misogynist and classist, as the case may be.

No goofier notion ever invaded American political thinking than the idea of a coalition based on entitled victimhood and invented identity.  Do Democrats want a Trump Landslide in 2020?




The Mayor of South Bend

Pete Buttigieg is the latest star to emerge from Democrats’ 2020 pack, which is no surprise since he exhibits all the tropes we have come to associate with this party in the era of its Trump derangement.

On the evidence just of his attacks on Vice President Mike Pence, Buttigieg is a shameless liar, a calculating character assassin and an anti-religious/anti-free speech bigot, motivated by a virulent hatred of his political opponents, especially those who have been good to him like Pence.

Buttigieg’s chosen target is one of the most decent human beings in politics, who was supportive of Buttegieg both before he revealed he was gay and after.

Using a gracious and decent opponent as a prop in a hate campaign against Christians for political gain, tells you how low Democrats have sunk this electoral season.



s-bend-crime-indexThe media’s bias has never been subtle, but its disinterest in a presidential candidate’s track record has never been this blatant.

Mayor Buttigieg’s candidacy is being covered as if he weren’t the mayor of an actual city with actual problems. Instead his prospects have been covered purely in terms of his identity, a gay millennial, his past career before taking office, and his current witticisms and applause lines.

At no point in time does the media stop to tell the viewers and readers it is regaling with stories of Mayor Buttigieg’s charm that he runs “one of the most dangerous cities in the United States,” according to USA Today.

South Bend is a crime-infested bloody mess, for which its mayor for the last eight years bears responsibility.   And he has the gall to run for president?



notre-dame-in-flamesI used to be a professional bridge player, a member of the “Omar Sharif Bridge Circus.” Sure, I believe in omens. Like most all card players I’m superstitious.

But my Italian friend Christian Rocca is surely right to point out that we have to start with the hard facts about the Notre Dame fire: the cathedral wasn’t destroyed, most of its treasures were saved, the damage will be repaired, nobody died, and the fire was not an omen of the decline and fall of Western civilization.

If anything, the very sad accident—as it seems to have been—suggests a very different theme, a theme of Western strength and endurance, perhaps even Western vitality and faith that many of our wisest and most eloquent thinkers see in perilous decline.

Take two examples from two or our very best, Rod Dreher and Dennis Prager. I must disagree with both.



Sudan’s now former dictator

Sudan’s now former dictator

Today (4/17), the Islamist dictator of Sudan for 30 years, Omar al-Bashir, was incarcerated in Kober Prison in Khartoum, the maximum security prison that held so many of the political prisoners Bashir put there.   He was overthrown by his own military last Thursday (4/11).

Putin has now lost his key to his goal of an African Empire for Russia.

On orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, his agent Yevgeny Prigozhin—popularly known as “the cook” because of his ownership of a catering company—has inserted “political technologists” in at least 20 African countries.

The Kremlin has for years viewed Sudan as an important base for this operation on the African continent. But the recent coup in this country shows how fragile and changeable is the foundation on which that Russian effort is based.



xi-jinping-trumpDonald Trump says “trade wars are good and easy to win” if your foes depend on your market and you can break them under pressure.

You see, he knows that China’s majestic and elegantly-stable GDP figures are best seen as an instrument of political combat.  Which is why he proclaimed victory when the Shanghai equity index went into a swoon over the winter. This is classic Trumpian gamesmanship.

It is in China’s urgent interest to puncture such claims as trade talks come to a head. Xi Jinping had to beat expectations with a crowd-pleaser in the first quarter. The number was duly produced: 6.4%. Let us all sing the March of the Volunteers.

“Could it really be true?” asked Beijing-based Caixin magazine. This was a brave question in Uncle Xi’s evermore totalitarian regime.

Of course it is not true.

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