There is a group of human beings whom I find to be unintelligibly mysterious. In fact, I believe them to be aliens who, while visiting earth occasionally, actually reside in a space ship floating in the interstellar ether. I am referring, of course, to currency traders.
For the most part, other kinds of traders — guys who make it their profession to trade things like stocks or bonds or commodity futures — are normal people. For the most part, currency traders are nuts.
There is simply no explanation for the euro rocketing up far above the dollar since the US Continue reading
I could not suggest more strongly that you read Bernard Lewis’ latest book, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (Modern Library, 2003). Its compact 164 pages contain an abundance of revelations.
We are so often told, for example, that a basic cause of the hatred radical Moslems feel for the West is the Crusades. Yet, Mr. Lewis explains, the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099 was largely ignored by the main Moslem powers in nearby Damascus and in Baghdad. After Saladin retook the city in 1187, the Moslem world forgot about it for 700 years, until Continue reading
The World Health Organization or WHO announced today that “the worst is over” regarding the SARS epidemic in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Canada. WHO pronounced Vietnam for being the first country to eradicate the disease, and praised it for doing so transparently, quickly, and efficiently.
One reason Vietnam was able to do so is because it closed its border with China. For notably absent in the WHO announcement was any praise for China. The worst is not over for China. The worst — far worse — is yet to come.
90% of SARS cases worldwide to this day are Continue reading
My youngest son Jackson and I will be making a trip to the North Pole this month. I started leading expeditions to the North Pole in 1978. This will be my 21st time to 90 North, the apex of the world. It will be Jackson’s 3rd. He’s 10 years old.
People often ask me: "Why in the world would you go to the North Pole so many times?" My stock answer is: "Because people keep paying me to take them there." But it is so much more than that.
Standing on the sea ice of the frozen Arctic Ocean, the Continue reading
This month we’re going to focus upon books on Islam. The first thing to do in this regard, however, is to go into the To The Point Archives and read the Myth of Mecca article. It explains how the religion of Islam was invented as a religious rationale to justify Arab imperialism. At the end of that article, you’ll see a list of sources, all of which I strongly recommend as works of serious professional scholarship:
• Al-Rawandi, I.M. Origins of Islam: A Critical Look at the Sources. Prometheus, 2000 • Crone, P.M. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. Oxford, 1987.** Continue reading
STRATEGIC INVESTMENT, January 2003
One hundred and sixty years ago, in 1843, the Commissioner of the US Patent Office, Henry Ellsworth, reported to Congress: “The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.” (This is the source of the spurious quote attributed in 1899 to Ellsworth’s successor, Charles Duell, who never said “Everything that can be invented has been invented”).
Human improvement did not come to an end in 1843, nor will it in 2003. In fact, I think 2003 is going to Continue reading