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ISLANDS OF MYSTERY AND LEGEND II

easter-island-heads hms-bounty [This is the second article in TTP’s new Monday feature on Adventure & Exploration.  Hope you enjoy it – JW.]

In the Spring of last year, 2018, we conducted our first Islands of Mystery and Legend.  For those of you who weren’t able to join us then and requested a second opportunity, here we go.  It’s this coming August:  August 14-27, 2019.

For those who regard our planet as endlessly fascinating, there are few places on earth they yearn to see more than the world’s two great Islands of Mystery and Legend lost in the remotest South Pacific – Easter Island and Pitcairn Island.  You’ll see why with all the photos.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 03/22/19

downsyndrome-kids-in-the-white-house Yesterday (3/21) was World Down Syndrome Day.  The President and Vice President celebrated it by welcoming DS kids to the White House.  Gotta love the boy on the right wearing the iconic neon red Trump tie.

trump-tweet-032119 What a contrast to the Death Cult the Dems have become, who insist mothers kill such children in their own womb for not deserving to live.

Here’s another contrast.  Why is Congressmoslem Ilhan Omar (D-Sharia) in tears now?  Saddle up, you’re going to love this HFR….

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ACROSS THE SAHARA

[Today we introduce a new feature of TTP: on Mondays, my column on Adventure & Exploration.  Each Monday we’ll explore some astounding but little known part of our world.  Our initial exploration will be across the Sahara Desert.  It’s an experience unlike anywhere else.  I hope you enjoy it. – JW] 

sahara-expedition

©2019 Jack Wheeler

A Trans-Sahara Expedition, crossing the remotest heart of the world’s largest desert, has always been one of the truly great explorations possible on our planet.

Unfortunately, it’s far too dangerous to do today, with banditry and terrorist attacks on travelers.  Someday this will cease.  So I thought I’d show you what an extraordinary experience it was to cross the Sahara when it was safe back in 2003 – for it will be again.

sahara-map In the center of the Sahara is the country of Niger.  We’re going to cross it from one end to the other to find one of our world’s special places, of achingly lonely beauty, of fascinating and friendly peoples, and mysterious lost cities, hidden oases, and camel salt caravans.

We’ll end by exploring on foot an astounding region where Niger, Libya, and Algeria come together – it will blow you away.

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SORRY, NEW YORKERS, BUT YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELVES

Today, March 21, 2019

Today, March 21, 2019

A recent article in a Beltway publication warned about a potential recession and considered how it might affect President Trump’s chances at re-election. The story began—no joke: “The luxury real estate market in Manhattan is sagging.”

It goes on to argue that softening in the real-estate market in high-tax Northeastern states is caused by the 2017 tax-reform law. Thus the claim is that because taxpayers can deduct only $10,000 in state and local taxes from their federal returns, America is heading for a recession.

Nonsense.

The tax-reform law stops high-tax states from burdening the rest of us with their irresponsible decisions. America is a marketplace where states are competing with each other, and New York is losing. Their loss is Florida’s gain—and Texas’ and South Carolina’s and Ohio’s and Indiana’s.

I would like to tell New Yorkers on behalf of the rest of America that our hearts go out to you for your sagging luxury real-estate market. But you did this to yourself, and you can fix it yourself. If you cut taxes and make state and local government efficient, maybe you can compete with Florida again.

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MAKE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS LIKE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS

symphony-orchestraWhen classical musicians audition for a symphony orchestra, they play behind a screen.  They are completely anonymous to the committee on the other side of it, who knows them only by a number.  They are prohibited from speaking to the committee.

Prior to the audition, the musician is given a list of classical repertoire pieces from which he or she will be asked to play a number of excerpts, anywhere from one to three minutes of each selection.  The selections of music will vary depending on the player's instrument.

This process is one of the fairest on the planet.  Not the age, sex, or race of the player is known to the committee who will be deciding which musicians will be chosen.  Candidates are selected on expertise, musical merit alone.

Obviously, the system of college admissions is the farthest from this level of fairness as it can possibly be, but what if it were reformed to be as fair?

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WHERE IS SAINT PATRICK WHEN IRELAND NEEDS HIM?

Sunset on the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

Sunset on the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

Sunday (3/17) was St. Patrick's Day here in Ireland, and around the world as well.  In places like New York and Boston, it's a day to celebrate Irish heritage and to get disgracefully drunk, but not in Ireland, where it's also a national holiday.

Ireland is changing in other ways as well. Gay marriage (we have a gay Taoiseach, or prime minister) is in, and so is abortion.  Having joined the EU against its will, Ireland has now come to embrace the enervated "modernity" of France and Germany.

It's like watching a child parading around in its grandfather's tie-dyed bell bottoms and thinking he's now a sophisticated grownup. Ireland needs St. Patrick again.

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THE LAND GRAB THAT COST RUSSIA ITS FUTURE

crimea-on-map Five years ago in mid-March 2014, Russian “little green men” soldiers in unmarked army uniforms and masks took full control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

little-green-men On March 18 of that year, President Vladimir Putin made a jubilant address to the Russian Federation Council (upper chamber of parliament) on the “reunification” with Crimea, asserting, “In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia” (Kremlin.ru, 3/18/2014).

The forceful dismemberment of Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea produced an explosion of jingoist triumphalism in Russia, which effectively made most of its citizens accomplices in that blatant violation of international law and 21st-century norms of European inter-state behavior.

Since then, the “patriotic mobilization” has mostly dissipated and Russian trust in Putin’s leadership has hit a low of 32 percent, according to the official pollster VTsIOM (Wciom.ru, 3/03/2019).  More and more it’s looking like Putin’s seizure of Crimea has cost Russia its future.

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HOW CAN PRESIDENT TRUMP KEEP OUR ECONOMY GROWING?

keep-it-growingWill the economy grow in the next two years?

President Trump had a plan to grow the economy when he took office — cut tax rates and get rid of many counterproductive regulations. It worked. The economy grew at a 3 percent rate last year, and employment grew to the point where there were more jobs available than workers to fill them.

The world economy is slowing, particularly in Europe. This slowdown will have a negative effect on the U.S. economy as the global demand for U.S. goods and services will be lessened. The Trump administration needs a new economic game plan or growth will diminish.

Without new pro-growth policies, economic growth will wane, for the following reasons.

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