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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: THE TOMB OF CYRUS THE GREAT

jw-cyrus-the-great-tombIn the vast valley of Pasargadae there stands this simple tomb with nothing around it for miles and miles. It has been like this for many centuries, for it entombs the founder of Persia, Cyrus the Great (600-530BC). Revered as the liberator of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity in 539 BC, hailed by Herodotus for his humanity and wisdom, this small structure symbolizes the humility of an extraordinary man. Yet the tomb is a structure of engineering genius, the oldest built on principles of base-isolation withstanding the countless earthquakes Persia has suffered for the last 2500 years.

I was first here in 1973 when Persia (renamed Iran in 1933) flourished under the Shah. Here I am in 2014, when everyone I met expressed admiration for America and their contempt for the mullah tyranny they endured. I hope to return once more when the Land of Cyrus will be free again. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #146 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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HALF-FULL REPORT 04/22/22

Yes, my son Brandon was in Ukraine. Just as a Captain in the Marine Corps he was in Afghanistan protecting Afghans from Taliban terror, now he is protecting Ukrainians from Russian terror.

Last week, he took President Trump’s last Secretary of Defense, Chris Miller, to Kiev, meeting with President Zelensky’s top generals.  Subsequently, Brandon and Chris were interviewed on the Jordan Harbinger podcast.

The podcast is 90 minutes long, which you can listen to via the link under the graphic above.  While there are lighter moments, like Brandon taking Harbinger aback telling him how his father once beat Putin in arm-wrestling, it is a serious discussion as befits an existential struggle between good and evil.

There are no words to express how proud I am of my son Brandon.

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SKYE’S LINKS 04/21/22

happy-musk Latest on Musk versus Twitter censorship:

Musk Speaking To Co-Investors As Twitter Board Adopts "Poison Pill" To Thwart Hostile Takeover

Good comments on Musk and Twitter from I guy I frequently disagree with:

Elon Musk's Bid Reveals Twitter Is The Poison Pill To Be Cured

putinkabob

This is going to make Putin really popular with his FSB (the KGB with smaller hats).  And these are the guys he assigns assassinations to.  How well are you sleeping these nights, Vlad?

Putin Purges 150 Intelligence Agents For Ukraine Failures

 

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HOW AMERICA BECAME LA-LA LAND

la-la-landAmerica these last 14 months resembles a dystopia. It is becoming partly the world of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, partly the poet Homer’s land of the Lotus-Eaters.

Nothing seems to be working. And no one in control seems to care.

What explains an America that suddenly no longer works?  Here are three reasons.

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THE ISLAND OF SARK

la-coupeeThere are five Channel Islands in the English Channel. Best known are Guernsey and Jersey. Least visited is Alderney, along with tiny Herm. Most fascinating is Sark, Europe’s only remaining feudal fiefdom. No motor vehicles are allowed, excepting a few farmers’ small tractors. The governor and chief constable is called the Seneschal. He rides to his office on his bicycle.

It’s an ancient office with a tradition of many centuries. When I was there in 2010, it was held by Reginald Guille, a very friendly fellow as all Sarkese are. We rode our bikes around the island, even along La Coupée, the connecting path along the razor sharp high isthmus connecting two parts of the island – it’s pictured above.

There are gorgeous pocket beaches here, and beautiful natural swimming pools. Flower gardens are everywhere, the island could not be safer, cleaner, calmer, and more exquisitely charming. A few days here will do wonders for you. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #131 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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I’M DONE TALKING

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On Monday night (4/18), Malcolm Nance, a longtime analyst for the network and a former U.S. naval intelligence officer, appeared on MSNBC's "The ReidOut" hosted by Joy Reid.

Nance told Reid that he joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense in Ukraine.

"The more I saw of the war going on, the more I thought, I'm done talking. 

It's time to take action here. So, about a month ago, I joined the international legion here in Ukraine, and I am here to help this country fight, you know, what essentially is a war of extermination." 

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WHY ARE WOMEN UNHAPPY?

women-workingA little over a decade ago, two researchers at Wharton published a paper showing that, despite women’s increasing work and educational opportunities, their self-reported happiness was in steady decline. Back in 1970, women were on average happier than men; they are now less happy than men.

Broadly, since 1970, everyone has gotten more miserable. But the decline in women’s overall happiness has outpaced men’s, and the happiness curve inverted sometime in the early 1990s. The paper also documents increasing anxiety and neuroticism, as well as decreasing social cohesion among women.

The researchers couldn’t come up with a good explanation for their observations. So here’s mine:

Maybe women don’t want to fill traditionally male roles. Is it conceivable (or is it inconceivable) that women have traditionally lived a certain way and derived happiness from certain things not because they were weak and forced into it by men, but because that is what they actually preferred?

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PANTELLERIA’S MIRROR OF VENUS

pantellerias Between Sicily and Tunisia in the Mediterranean lies a secret hideaway of Europe’s rich and famous – the small Italian island of Pantelleria. Peaceful and quiet, the opposite of glitzy places like Ibiza, wealthy elite retreat here in luxurious yet very understated villas to get away from it all. It helps that the shoreline is all volcanic rock cliffs, which dissuades hordes of African “migrants” attempted to claim “asylum” in the EU welfare state by landing here.

The most beautiful spot on Pantelleria is this volcano crater lake known as “The Mirror of Venus” – of such magic color that, the legend goes, the goddess Venus would admire herself in its reflection. Come here for a tranquil escape of your own. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #164 photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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UKRAINE AND THE END OF RUSSIA

russ-desired-borders-mapRussia’s impending doom is a driving force to invading Ukraine.

For centuries, Russia’s rulers have thought Russia’s border regions are indefensible. There are few geographic barriers to block potential invasion, forcing the Russians with their dwindling numbers to attempt to defend massive stretches of territory.

What barriers the Russians do have now — Crimea and the Caucasus come to mind — are only because of the sort of strategic adventurism that Putin is now threatening to Ukraine as a whole.

There is a method to the madness. To paraphrase Catherine the Great, Russia can expand, or Russia can die.  Today, that means Russia is going to die.

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CHINA’S BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND IT

[Michael Beckley is a Professor of political science at Tufts University. He is gaining international recognition for his insightfulness and meticulous research on global power politics. Here he presents a short synopsis of China’s serious shortcomings]

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