Dr. Jack Wheeler
You all know that I once worked for Ronald Reagan, and now often wonder what he would say about this Woke State supporting Ukraine while destroying their own country – and about some conservatives rooting for Russian Nazi barbarism to win and America Western Civilization to lose. Everyday, you see in places like ZeroHedge rooting for the destruction of the dollar and ruination of the US economy while cheering Russia on.
One thing I’m quite sure of – that if our greatest president were in the White House today, there would be a Reagan Doctrine for freedom in Ukraine and for doing to Russia what he did to the Soviet Union – and for freedom in America by dismembering the corrupt institutions of woke fascism that are its enemies.
Please take the time to watch President Reagan’s speech more than once – then ask yourself, is there anyone running for president today who could come remotely close to his moral brilliance, clarity, and courage?
Yet, that is perhaps not the right question. For in 1980, we Americans proved worthy of electing such a president. Are we now today? When do normal Americans start taking responsibility for the moral and corrupt degradation of our country? We must prove ourselves worthy of having the president we need before we can have him. It is us to whom Ronald Reagan is giving the solution for saving our country: WE MUST FIGHT!
In the Mediterranean, experienced travelers know the French Riviera from St. Tropez to Menton, and the Italian Riviera from Ventimiglia to Cinque Terre. There is one Riviera in the Med they may not know – Albania’s. The Med has many beautiful coastlines, and just about all of them have been “discovered” by jet-setters to backpackers. Not yet, however, for Albania from Saranda in the south across from Greece’s Corfu to Vlora across from the tip of Italy’s Boot Heel.
Here you find an abundance of gorgeous coves and pocket beaches tucked away with hardly a soul there. The one pictured above isn’t even named on a map – there’s just a tiny wharf for local fishermen. Yes, the Albanian Riviera is getting discovered, with boutique hotels and nightclubs sprouting up here and there. But as for now, it’s still the Unknown Riviera, gorgeous with so much untouched. You might want to experience it before it’s overrun. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #82 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
These Mongol nomads in the vast grasslands of central Mongolia milking their goats have a way of life unchanged for centuries. All of our concerns, worries and fears that plague us are totally irrelevant to them. They don’t know about them and wouldn’t care if they did.
Spending time with people such as these gives you an invaluably broader perspective of life on our planet. Our concerns, the issues that dominate our headline news, suddenly seem more parochial and far less important. An evening drinking kumiss (Mongol beer, fermented mare’s milk) in their yurts, telling stories, laughing at jokes – you realize how easy it is to relate to them through the core humanity we all have in our souls.
Exploring Mongolia in this way is a priceless adventure. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #9 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Ha Long Bay near Haiphong, Vietman – meaning Descending Dragon – is a World Heritage Site as one of our planet’s great scenic wonders, with thousands of limestone karst rock pinnacles, towers, and islets. The most beautiful time is dawn, peaceful and serene, with small fishing boats of local villagers out for the morning catch. A few days aboard a comfortable junk cruising Ha Long will do wonders for you. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #160 ©photo Jack Wheeler)
[This Monday’s Archive was originally published on July 15, 2016. It’s one of TTP’s Histories in a Nutshell, and I thought you’d enjoy it simply as fascinating and informative history, just to take a break from all the current lunacy we are all enduring.]
TTP, July 15, 2016 – all photos ©Jack Wheeler
Ternate, Spice Islands of the Moluccas, present day Indonesia. I am here in the place that started the Western exploration of the world.
It was the goal of Columbus in 1492 to get here – which of course he never did with the American continents getting in the way. Vasco da Gama decided to try the other way around Africa – which he did, reaching the southwest coast of India in 1498.
By 1512, Vasco’s fellow Portuguese made it all the way – to the fabled Spice Islands, the only source on earth for nutmeg, mace, and cloves. Since the Middle Ages, they were esteemed by Europeans for their medicinal and culinary properties.
As such, they were fantastically expensive, especially because the Arabs had a monopoly on the overland trade routes. Breaking the monopoly with sea routes meant unbelievable profits. So the Portuguese cashed in. A pocketful of nutmeg seed pods could buy you a home. Imagine what an entire shipload was worth.
Ferdinand Magellan convinced Portugal’s rival, Spain led by Charles V, that he could break the Portuguese spice monopoly by sailing west – for by now (1518) everyone knew there was an ocean on the other side of the Americas but no one had crossed it. Magellan did it, but was killed in the Philippines in 1521 before he got here.
So the Portuguese got to keep the Spice Islands, where they built their first fort – called Kastela – here on Ternate in 1522. The Spanish found there were almost unimaginable amounts of gold and silver for the taking in their new colonies along the west coast of South America and forgot about the Pacific Ocean.
Fifty years later, history was about to shift.
We’re now well over 100 Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World since we instituted this daily feature on TTP last July. So to refresh your memory of them, we’ll be sprinkling a recycle of them from now on in the series.
Our very first was Surrealistic Art in Nature, which you’ll find unsurpassed in Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon near Page, Arizona. No artist could paint something more surrealistic than what nature has created here. It’s a photographer’s fantasy land – enhanced by a Navajo Indian guide who knows all the best lighting and perspectives.
You can explore the world to experience the greatest wonders of nature, but they are also to be found here in the American West. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #1 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
I’m at 17,500 feet with the Khumbu Ice Fall behind me. To the left in the photo is the West Shoulder of Everest, to the right is a flank of Nuptse. Climbers begin from where I am to ascend the Icefall, thousands of gigantic ice blocks all shifting and moving, reaching Camp I at the top, up a steep glacier-filled valley called the Western Cwm to Camp II, up the even steeper face of Lhotse that adjoins Everest to Camp III, then on to the saddle between Lhotse and Everest called the South Col at Camp IV. To summit, they start at night up the Southeast Ridge hoping to beat the crowd standing in line at the summit ridge.
The irony of being at “EBC” where I am is that you never see Everest itself – it’s hidden behind the West Shoulder. Unless you’re a climber doing all the above, the only way to see the world’s highest mountain is on one our Himalaya Helicopter Expeditions (HHE). We fly over the Khumbu Ice Fall and into the Western Cwm where we see the entire Southwest Face of Everest from summit (29,028 feet) to base and the entire face of Lhotse as well. There are no words adequate to describe the experience.
To have this experience yourself, you can join us this October. We will operate two HHEs, with one already sold out – but there’s still room for the other: Himalaya Helicopter Expedition Oct 21-28. This is beyond doubt the greatest one-week adventure on earth. Carpe diem! (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #267 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
You’re looking at something historically and scientifically astonishing. It is what remains of an astronomical observatory built 600 years ago – in 1420 – by a Sultan in Central Asia who loved science and mathematics more than war and conquest.
It was in Samarkand, the most fabled oasis of the Silk Road, that Sultan Ulugh Beg built his circular observatory, three stories high of white marble. All that’s left today is part of the underground sextant that you see in the photo.
For the full story of what he achieved, with many more photos, click on The Sultan Astronomer in TTP I wrote in 2020.
This Glimpse is to whet your appetite to learn about this amazing Sultan and his scientific achievements.
It’s also to whet your appetite for joining your fellow TTPers on our Heart of Central Asia expedition this September. The story of The Sultan Astronomer is but one example of what awaits you in exploring Central Asia, an enrichment of your life beyond description. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #212 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Famboun, Cameroon. This is a Ndiki Drum. It is used by the Sultan of Bamoun to call his subjects to their end-of the-year Nguon festival over which he presides. It can be heard for miles.
The carved wooden forearms and hands propped up at the drum’s end are not the original drumsticks. They are symbolic for what the real drumsticks used to be. Until the British and French put an end to the custom in the 1920s, the Ndiki drumsticks were human arms, amputated at the elbow off captured slaves. Four drummers were needed to properly pound the drum, each requiring two drumsticks: eight amputated human arms in total.
The horror of slavery in Africa was ended by Western colonialists. In its place they introduced roads, railroads, electricity, an impartial rule of law instead of law favoring one tribe over another, and other benefits of civilization. They did a lot of stupid damage to African cultures, true.
But that is vastly outweighed by getting rid of slavery – exemplified by how this drum was pounded until less than 100 years ago. If you have a child or grandchild in school with woke teachers, you might have them bring this picture to class, and explain how the benefits of Western Civilization so greatly outweighs its liabilities. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #124 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
It’s not a cat, nor raccoon, nor lemur. Genets are part of a small carnivorous mammal group called viverrids, distantly related to hyenas, mongooses, tigers and lions. They hunt animals smaller than them like mice both on the ground and in the trees which they are very good and quick at climbing. You see them in Tropical and Southern Africa, but rarely will one pose like this as he did for me. Going on an Africa safari is not all about seeing the big iconic animals, but being lucky enough to spot small yet beautiful creatures such as this. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #144 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
[This Monday’s Archive, “No Apology, No Future,” was originally published on April 28, 2005. 18 years ago, a prediction that Russia would disintegrate as did the Soviet Union was almost unheard of. Now it seems ubiquitous. Google Russia + collapse, +dissolution, or +decolonize will result in millions of hits. The List of active separatist movements in Russia in Wikipedia advocating secession from Moscow will astound you. Russia is accelerating into centrifugal chaos, which won’t take TTPers by surprise, as they were forewarned many years ago.]
Budapest, Hungary, October 1997. I was in Budapest speaking to a conference of international business leaders. Another speaker was a Moscow television news commentator well-known in Russia, Boris Notkin.
He informed his audience about how humiliated Russians felt, losing their Empire and the Cold War, not winning many medals in the Olympics, and having their Mir space station go belly-up. He warned of a dangerous anti-Americanism emerging among Russians, who resentfully blamed America for their problems.
A gray-haired gentleman with a Central European accent stood up and asked Boris a question:
“In addition to their feelings of humiliation and resentment, do Russians have any feelings of remorse for inflicting Communism upon so many countries? After their defeat in World War II, the Germans apologized to the world for being Nazis and for the horrible atrocities Nazism committed. After their defeat in the Cold War, will the Russians ever apologize to the world for being Communists and the equally horrible atrocities Soviet Communism committed?”
Boris looked straight at the man and coldly answered, “No. Russians feel no remorse. They will not apologize.”
In hidden dunes of the Takla Makan Desert of Chinese Turkestan, you find pilgrimage sites such as this devoted to Sufi saints revered by the Uighur (wee-ger) people who live in oases on the great desert’s edges. The trade route connecting the oases is the Southern Silk Road traversed by Marco Polo in 1273.
Sufism is the ancient peaceful interpretation of Islam. Just as Jesus advised the Pharisees to seek God in their hearts, not through the robotic repetition of religious laws and rules, so do the Sufis. Just as Jesus preached a philosophy of non-violence and benevolence, so do the Sufis. Sufism teaches that the path to Islamic enlightenment is not through compulsion of any kind, but through a personal ecstatic experience of the Divine.
Thus these ramshackle shrines in an uninhabited roadless wilderness – you get to them by donkey cart – are havens of serenity in a chaotic world. This is one of the remotest places on earth, but if you ever manage to get here, you will feel serenity in your heart. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #183 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Afghanistan, 1984. Yes, that’s me with the legendary Qari Baba, Commander of the Harakat Mujahaddin waging a war of liberation against the Red Army of the Soviet Union – and my dear friend. I told him he looked like a combination of Genghiz Khan and Buddha, and he couldn’t stop laughing. We had so many extraordinary experiences together – like blowing up the Soviet High Command of Bala Hissar in Ghazni.
After the war was won with the final Soviet retreat in February, 1989, Qari Baba became the Governor of Ghazi Province. Then Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) created the Taliban to seize control of the country. Qari Baba had to take up arms anew against them. In March of 2006, he was assassinated by a Taliban hit team on orders from the ISI. I will never ever forget him. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #111 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Cleese’s reaction reported by the NY Post: ‘Monty Python’ Star John Cleese Has ‘No Intention’ Of Cutting Controversial ‘Life Of Brian’ Scene.
Yes, that’s the only way to deal with woketards, tell them to eff off. The really good news here is that Cleese is far from alone. Countless millions have had enough of the whole Rainbow Mafia-Tranny-Pride-LGBTQWTF woke tyranny shtick and are voting with their wallets against it.
As of Wednesday (5/31): Bud Light Parent Anheuser-Busch Sees $27 Billion Gone, Shares Near Bear Market. This won’t stop – Bud Light is toast, and so may be A-B because nothing it’s doing is working to float their sinking ship.
Could this be the fate of Woke Fascism across the board? Well, maybe. Read on, jump right in, let’s have an enjoyably provocative time in this HFR!
This is Spain’s most famous and beloved castle, high on a rocky promontory above the city of Segovia some 60 miles northwest of Madrid. The site of a Celtic settlement, Roman trading post, and Arab wooden fort, when the Reconquista of the Christian knights removed the Islamic invaders from their land in the early 1200s, the building of the idyllic fairy tale castle you see began.
For centuries it was the palace residence of the Kings and Queens of Castille. It was here, on December 13, 1474, that Isabella, daughter of King John II, was enthroned as the Queen of Castille. When her husband Ferdinand, whom she married in 1469, became King of Aragon in 1475, they jointly ruled a unified Spain. As we learned in our early school years, it was Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille who sponsored Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in 1492.
Today, the Castle of Segovia is a World Heritage Site, serving as a museum of the history of Castille and National Archive of Spain. Immaculately preserved and maintained, it’s a thrilling experience to explore. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #266 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Over a thousand feet on a mountain ledge above Amalfi on the Mediterranean, you’ll find the Terrazzo dell'lnfinito, considered by poets for centuries the most beautiful view in the world. It is part of the magnificent gardens of the 11th century Villa Cimbrone, in the hilltop town of Ravello, built by the Romans in the 5th century.
The Sorrentine Peninsula is a finger of land south of Naples sticking out into the Med’s Tyrrhanean Sea, off the tip of which is the legendary island of Capri. The main town of Sorrento is on the north side facing Naples and Mount Vesuvius. But it is the steep southern shore of the Amalfi Coast that is our planet’s most spectacularly scenic drive with its ancient ports of Amalfi and Positano.
Exploring this magical part of the world is an ultimate “bucket list” experience. And to top it off, on the way down from Naples, you get to visit Pompeii, the excavated Roman city buried and preserved by the ash of Vesuvius in 79 AD. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #115 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
800 hundred years ago in 1221, Genghis Khan established the capital of the Mongol Empire he created at a place called Karakorum in the grasslands of central Mongolia. It became a city of palaces, temples, and mansions of the Mongol nobility, a place of fabulous wealth that left Marco Polo in awe when he visited in in the 1270s.
When Mongol rule over China ended a hundred years later, the Chinese rulers of the Ming Dynasty ordered Karakorum razed to the ground with all evidence of its existence obliterated. All that was left was this solitary stone turtle lying in mute witness to the glories of what was here once and is no more. Known as the Stone Turtle of Genghis Khan, it’s all there is for you to try and imagine the magnificence of the past amidst what is now an empty wilderness. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #149 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
[This Monday’s Archive, “Beyond Treason,” was originally published on July 30, 2003. Written just a few months after TTP’s inception, it is my first statement explaining the pathology of the liberal – in today’s parlance, progressive or woke – mind. Please consider commenting on the Forum as to what extent it remains explanatory now, almost 20 years later. I’m really eager to learn what you think.]
TTP, July 30, 2003
Reading Ann Coulter’s new book, Treason is a lot of fun. But let’s go beyond all the fun and outrage and cut to the chase. Coulter is fabuloso at explaining what aid and comfort three generations of liberals and Democrats have given to any and every anti-American cause and group on the planet, but she is at a total loss to explain why.
Further, America is hardly the only thing liberals are treasonous towards. Calling someone a traitor to their country doesn’t explain why they are a traitor to their race, their culture, their civilization, and their species.
We thus need a deeper understanding of what motivates liberals that goes far beyond simply hurling epithets of treason and traitor at them.
For such understanding, we need to travel to the Amazon. Among the Yanomamo and other tribes deep in the Amazon rain forests, it is an accepted practice that when a woman gives birth, she tearfully proclaims her child to be ugly.
This is Mysore Palace, home of the Wadiyar Rajas who ruled Mysore from 1399 to 1950. It is one of the many wonders of Southern India that’s far less known than traveler’s meccas up north like Agra and Rajasthan.
There’s the Nagarhole Tiger Sanctuary, more Asian elephants than anywhere else in the world, over 100 tigers, scores of leopards, their prey in profusion. Christian churches founded by Christ’s disciple St. Thomas in the 1st century AD. Towering Hindu temples covered with tens of thousands of eye-popping multi-colored sculptures. The gorgeous beaches of Goa, the serene peace of the Kerala Backwaters – “one of the most beautiful locations on earth” according to National Geographic, that you explore by luxury houseboat. It goes on and on.
And here also you find the business metropolis of Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. We did all of this and more a few years ago, and may again in ’22 or ‘23. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #81 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
My skydiving buddy Chris Wentzel and I made this flag jump on Memorial Day years ago to pay tribute to those in our military who gave their lives for America. I’m on the right, Chris on the left. The jump was performed at the Skydive Perris drop zone in Perris, California. It’s only fitting I post this on TTP in honor of those whom we memorialize in gratitude on this Memorial Day weekend. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #207 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Dar al-Hajar, the Rock Palace, was built by Yemen’s ruler, Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamiddin (1869-1948), atop a rock pinnacle as his summer residence. It lies in a valley about 10 miles outside Yemen’s capital of Sana’a. While an iconic example of Yemeni architecture, it’s impossible to visit now with civil war raging in the country. Someday we’ll be able to safely return to Yemen again. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #143 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Sometimes you run across something that no matter how it grosses you out, you have to take a picture of it. The thousand year-old medina or walled city of Fez is a World Heritage Site as the spiritual and cultural capital of Morocco. Uniquely epitomizing this is the stall of the camel butcher in the medina’s vast bazaar. To garner the attention of ladies shopping for their family’s dinner, he proudly displays the head of the camel whose fresh meat is on sale. Traveling in Morocco is always an adventure. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #188 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
You’ve seen this spooky place called King’s Road in HBO’s The Games of Thrones – but where is it and what is it really? It’s in Country Antrim in Northern Ireland near the town of Armoy. Originally it was the driveway to a mansion built in 1775 by James Stuart, descendant of King James I of England (1566-1625), who lined either side with beech trees. Now almost 250 years old, their branches intertwine eerily, giving rise to its name of “Dark Hedges,” and legends of ghosts haunting it like the “Grey Lady.”
Northern Ireland has had its terrible Troubles as we all know, but that’s history now. It’s a place of stunning scenery and natural wonders like the Devil’s Causeway and Marble Arch Caves, and those man-made in addition to Dark Hedges, such as Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Then there’s the Victorian opulence of the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast. All in all, Northern Ireland is a marvelous place to visit. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #43 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
[Welcome to this Monday’s edition of TTP Archives, to reprise a TTP article of years ago and to ask what you think how it applies to today on the Forum. ‘The Tyranny of China’s History’ was originally published on December 1, 2004. It’s now almost 20 years later, and sure enough, Chicom is still stuck in the past – not just of two decades ago, but twenty two centuries ago. Yes, it’s that goofy, spooky and crazy dangerously so. As always, the TTP is anxious to know what you think about this, especially this week’s TTP archive. See you on the Forum.]
TTP, December 1, 2004
Chinese, written and spoken, is my candidate for the weirdest major language on earth.
At the Monterey Institute, where US diplomats are taught foreign languages, it takes on average 600 hours of instruction to be fluent in a European language such as French or German, 1200 for Arabic – and 2400 in Chinese.
(This means, of course, that for China and the world to communicate, Chinese must speak English, as the world will never speak Chinese).
Beyond the technical difficulties lie far deeper problems, resulting in a grossly myopic view of China’s history and future. The one buried most deeply is the way Chinese grammar reverses time: the past, in Chinese, is in front of or before you, while the future is behind you.
Chinese culture is oriented towards the past, reading Chinese history through a distorted lens, and stubbornly attempting to apply illusory lessons to the present.
This is precisely what China’s military and government leaders are doing with their strategy towards America today.
Nagas are multi-headed dragons who rise up to protect the former royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang. The city along the Mekong River has been the center of Lao culture since the 600s. The Kingdom of Laos, “Land of a Million Elephants,” had to struggle for centuries to avoid being absorbed by the empires of Siam and Khmer (Cambodia). It was the French who wrested Laos from Siam (Thailand) in the 1890s, giving it independence in 1953.
For centuries, devout Buddhists have been building beautifully ornate shrines and temples called Wats here in Luang Prabang. Every day at dawn, hundreds of red-robed monks living in the Wats parade through the city streets for donations. Since the Pathet Lao seizure of power in 1975, moving the capital to Vientiane, Luang Prabang is free of politics, preserved as a religious haven and treasure house of Laotian culture.
A few days here is not to be missed. As you enjoy a glass of good French wine at a riverbank café watching the sunset over the Mekong, give thanks to the Nagas who are still protecting this sanctuary city. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #24, photo ©Jack Wheeler)
I showed this picture to my mother after my latest sojourn with the Afghan Mujahaddin fighting the Soviet Union and she didn’t see anything unusual. She didn’t recognize her own son standing in the middle. Good thing – if I had been caught by the KGB or Spetsnaz, it would have been, ahh… unpleasant. I was there with the “Muj” at least a dozen times until they defeated the Soviet Red Army in early 1989 – which led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall eight months later and the extinction of the Soviet Union itself by the end of 1991. It was one of the most thrilling – and consequential – adventures of modern times. ( Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #80 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Porto, Portugal. Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) is famous for launching for launching Europe’s Age of Discovery. Here in this city where he was born, he is revered for more than that. He is immortalized in this gigantic painting of over a thousand azulejo tiles at the city’s São Bento train station for, at age 21, his conquest of Ceuta in Morocco.
Ceuta on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar was a Moslem pirate haven notorious for conducting slave raids on the Portuguese coast to enslave Christians in the name of Allah. Here Henry is shown in victory over the Moslem slavers who are surrendering their swords and bowing in submission to him.
Portugal remains proud and confidant of its history as tragically America is no longer. Today, America has been overrun by a ruling fascist elite intent on enslaving us. Today, Americans are in desperate need of a Prince Henry or a large number of them to rid our country of their menace. Who might that be?
Reading Joel’s beautiful Keeping Your Sanity with a Sense of Awe posted on October 4th 2021, with its mention of the sun reflecting off the kelp beds of Monterey Bay, I couldn’t help thinking of a similar experience I had.
I learned how to scuba dive off the California coast, particularly in the waters off Catalina Island. Kelp plants grow to spread their leaves on the ocean surface, but it’s underwater you experience their true beauty. They rise from the bottom rocks of the shallow ocean floor near the coast as a forest, and when the sun’s rays shine through them, it is a magical sight to see them turn the color of gold.
The first time I saw this on a dive off Catalina I was transfixed in a true moment of absolute awe, in a transport of appreciation of the Creation in which we are privileged to exist.
The photo you see is not mine as I did not have an underwater camera, I could only take a picture with my mind’s eye which I have never forgotten. So the photo is an approximation of what I saw, yet it brings back that memorable moment of awe I had years ago. Thanks, Joel. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #162)
“To Sua” means “giant swimming hole” in Samoan. It’s a collapsed lava tube hole on the south coast of Upolu in Samoa. On top of lava cliffs overlooking the South Pacific, you clamber down the ladder for a memorable swim. To Sua is but one of the attractions of Samoa: gorgeous waterfalls, marvelously friendly people, and the historic home named “Valima,” of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), where he and his wife Fanny spent his last years.
On a hilltop rising above Valima is the gravesite of “Tusitala” – Stevenson’s Samoan name, meaning “Telling of Tales.” Engraved on the side of his tomb is his famous epitaph he wrote himself:
Should you be lucky enough to come here, you’ll fall in love with Samoa as did Tusitala. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #136 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you 'grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
The “Springs of Intensity” in Persian are a series travertine terraces in remote northern Iran of such impressionist beauty they look like a masterpiece of Claude Monet. For thousands of years, water flowing down a mountainside from two hot mineral springs depositing carbonates have built these natural multi-colored staircases.
Iran is an enormous country – almost the size of Alaska, four times the size of California – filled with wonders, natural and cultural. We were welcomed in every part of the country in our exploration of it in 2014. While the current political climate does not allow that today, the day will come before long when we will return. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #130 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
[Welcome to this Monday’s edition of TTP Archives, to reprise a TTP article of years ago and to ask what you think how it applies to today on the Forum. ‘The English Godfather of Palestinian Terrorism’ was originally published on December 15, 2003. Twenty years later, the headlines of the last few days are full of reports on Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israel with Israel responding with air strikes on their locations in Gaza. So it’s timely to be re-familiarized with how this started with one Englishman deranged with Anti-Semitic hatred. The TTP Team is looking forward to your thoughts on the Forum!]
TTP, December 15, 2003
The founder of the Palestinian terrorist movement was Amin al-Husseini (1897-1974).
As Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, he organized Arab rampages killing Jewish settlers in Palestine throughout the 1920s, and formed an alliance with the Nazi Party of Germany in the 1930s.
He met with Adolph Hitler in Berlin in November 1941 to encourage him to slaughter Jews in Europe so they couldn’t escape to settle in Palestine, and ordered Arab families to flee Israel upon independence so Arab armies could invade in 1948.
As one of the founders of Palestine Liberation Organization, he mentored his nephew Rahman Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, and turned the leadership of the PLO over to him. His nephew assumed the alias of Yasser Arafat.
But just how did Amin al-Husseini become Grand Mufti?
The horrifically heroic Battle of Tarawa was fought November 20-23, 1943, with the US Marines determined to take the entrenched Japanese – which they did, both sides suffering ghastly losses. The Marine amphibious force assaulted the Japanese garrison on the small island of Betio in Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands – now the country of Kirimati.
The spearhead of the assault was led by the Marine’s Charlie Company, 1st Corps Tank Battalion and its M4-A2 Shermans on what was codenamed Red Beach. One particular Sherman sank a few yards offshore and lies there to this day. It’s easy to wade out and clamber upon it, as these friends of mine did when I brought them there in 2016.
We hear a lot about “climate change” causing “the oceans to rise.” But as you can see, the sea level at Tarawa has been the same for the past 77 years. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #124 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
On a Wheeler Expedition to the top of the world, we landed our ski-equipped Twin Otter on a configuration of ice called an “old frozen-over lead” precisely at 90N. My clients got out, we took the fuel drums out, rear door off, took off again with me, the pilot and co-pilot. I had pilot Rocky Parsons go up to 8,000 feet for a mile of freefall, directed him to the spot – tiny black dots of our people on the ice – told him when to cut the engines, and I was out the door.
OMG what a rush, falling straight down on the very top of our planet, a world of ice below – meadows of rubble ice, rivers of open water called leads snaking through the ice, lakes of water called polynyas, pressure ridges of turquoise ice, terminal velocity, back flips, somersaults, fun in the sky. Altimeter shows 2,500 feet, time to go – pull out the hand deploy, see the canopy furl out in full, grab the hand toggles, spin around for more fun, line it up to come in next to everyone, stand-up landing, Guinness Book. Totally cool. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #5 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Baihanluo Catholic Church is the remotest Christian Church on earth. The isolated village is in a roadless region high on a Himalayan mountain ridge deep in “The Great River Trenches of Asia” – one of our planet’s most dramatic geological features where four major rivers – the Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze all spill off the Tibetan Plateau coursing south in tight parallel for 100 miles.
In the late 1800’s, French Catholic missionaries made their way far, far up the Mekong from the French colony of Laos to befriend the Nu and Lisu tribespeople up here. They responded by building this beautiful wooden church that has been lovingly cared for by the local parishioners ever since.
I led an expedition traversing all three of the great trenches twenty years ago (2001). We were welcomed so warmly by the devout villagers. It’s hard to get more remote than this, yet they have retained their faith for at least four generations now. You can imagine how powerful and experience it was to be with them. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #138 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
We camped here overnight in May 2019 crossing Turkmenistan’s Kara Kum (Black Sand) Desert, and we’ll be here again this May. The Darvaz Gas Crater – known to locals as “The Door to Hell” – has been burning nonstop since 1971, when Russian engineers set it on fire expecting it to burn off and it never has. We’ll be here again this September, and you can be with us. This is a night -- and a sight -- you’ll never ever forget. My son Brandon can vouch for that! (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #44 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)
The world’s most spectacular nature park is the 130-acre Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. In the gigantic greenhouse of the Flower Dome, virtually every rare flower on earth flourishes in abundance, while the Cloud Forest is a wonderland of tropical waterfalls seemingly falling out of the sky high above.
Dominating the park are the 160-foot high Supertrees, towering vertical gardens covered in orchids, ferns, vines, and exotic plants. There are elevated canopies and walkways between them. Exploring the astonishing display of hi-tech botanical artistry and genius that is Gardens by the Bay is absolutely awe-inspiring.
TTPer Cassowary was kind enough to guide me through the park as Singapore is his home. Perhaps he’ll tell us more about it on the Forum. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #102 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
[Welcome to this Monday’s edition of TTP Archives, to reprise a TTP article of years ago and to ask what you think how it applies to today on the Forum. “We Owe Us: The Real Case for Reparations” was originally published on February 19, 2004. Yes, for close to 20 years now we’ve been plagued by this exploitative beggary which is now reaching an apotheosis of lunacy. Memes to express this have been added below. The TTP Team is looking forward to your thoughts on the Forum!]
There is only one way to put an end to the Reparations argument, and that is by explaining just who owes reparations to whom. Let’s be clear about this:
To claim some kind of voodoo tribal guilt regarding slave-ownership that mystically applies to all Americans no matter if they immigrated here last year, their parents immigrated here forty years ago, or none of their ancestors owned any slaves whatever is an assertion beyond reason and evidence, and resides in the realm of religious faith.
For there to be the slightest shred of justice pertaining to slavery reparations claims, the claims must be upon – and only upon – those people whose ancestors owned slaves beyond any reasonable doubt.
It turns out there are millions of descendants of slave-owners among America’s citizenry today. They are the only people of whom the reparations crowd could possibly claim should pay reparations.
Who are they and how do we know they are descended from slave-owners? Let me relate a little story.
We’re all familiar with the famed Rock of Gibraltar, huge and imposing from the outside – but inside the Rock itself is the enormous St. Michael’s Cave with fantastical formations colorfully illuminated.
For millions of years, rainwater created fissures in the Rock’s limestone widening into huge caves with the steady drip of mineralized water creating massive stalactites hanging from cave ceilings and stalagmites rising up from cave floors. A phantasmagorical experience.
Gibraltar has been a British territory since 1713 when Spain ceded it in the Treaty of Utrecht. Thus also high up inside the Rock are the Great Siege Tunnels the British dug then lined with cannon emplacements to defeat Spain’s attempt to seize Gibraltar in the 1780s.
Walking through the tunnels, you peer below looking down where the Spaniards and their French allies were vainly dug in – and where there is now an airplane runway stretching across the isthmus.
That’s just a glimpse of what to discover visiting Gibraltar, as there’s so much more! (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #12, photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Rizong is a Gompa or monastery for lamas or monks of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is built like it is virtually glued onto a steep cliff in a hidden side valley of the Upper Indus River in the remote region of Ladakh or Indian Tibet.
Ladakh is culturally and geographically Tibetan, yet the British were able to sequester this region for India and away from Chinese-Occupied Tibet, so it is here that real Tibet still flourishes. Visiting Rizong is one of the many extraordinary sights and experiences we have on our India Tibet Expedition this coming August. Hope you’ll be with us. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #206 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Welcome to the Cinco de Ridiculoso HFR! For that’s what “Cinco de Mayo” is. I could not encourage you more to read TTP’s Cinco de Verdad explaining la verdad, the truth, about today.
And here’s the real news about Mexico right now: that Mexican President Obrador and the ruling elite of Mexico are waging outright war upon America. And in partnership with China.
So, “If a foreign army tried to come across our border and kill tens of thousands of Americans, Congress would authorize the use of military force. It would demand that the commander in chief use that force to stop them.”
Why doesn’t the current occupant of the White House? Because he’s controlled by people who hate and want to destroy America as much as does the ruling elite of Mexico. We have to be rid of them in 2024.
But the Dems & Dominion have it all rigged in advance, you say? Well, how about a rational pro-American Dem, then? They don’t exist anymore, they’re an extinct political species, you say?
Not quite. It’s looking more likely, day by day now, that there’s one of these rare people very much alive. Anyway, it’s high time to rid America of Wokeism. Here’s one way. There’s lots more in this HFR, so come on in!