Throughout the summer of 1381 there was a general ferment. Beneath it all lay organization. Agents moved round the villages of central England, in touch with a “Great Society” which was said to meet in London.
The Tramp Abroad Recounts An Amazing Series Of Events
In the early 1970s, a US citizen named Billy Hayes got caught trying to smuggle hashish (as it later turned out, for the fourth time) from Turkey to the USA. He was convicted and initially imprisoned for five years, which later became a thirty year sentence. Billy was moved to a high security prison on on İmealı Island in the Sea of Marmara. In 1975 Billy was able to escape, make his way to Greece and, ultimately, back to the USA. His factual account of the experience was published in 1977 as a book titled Midnight Express (more info here).
The film version of the 1977 book appeared a year later. Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay and Alan Parker directed. Unfortunately the two men perverted Billy’s account badly, maligning Turkey and the Turkish people. Throughout the film, Turks are always depicted in a negative light. In an interview, Billy said, “They had me killing [the guard] … I have a problem with that” (because it wasn’t true). In all the interviews Billy gave, he expressed his desire to go back to Istanbul.
The biggest problem was that for several decades, Turkey and the man on the street everywhere could not differentiate between Billy’s true story and the made for Hollywood bastardization produced by Stone and Parker. Everybody in Turkey, simply everybody, hated Billy Hayes. Once his interviews were shown on TV and YouTube, however, the truth was available, and even the Turkish Police invited him back to Istanbul to set the record straight. In June 2007, he was finally able to make a visit.
Here is the trailer for Midnight Return (2007), the story of Billy Hayes’s return to Istanbul.
For many years, the Stone-Parker film was yasak (forbidden) in Turkey. In the late 1990s or early 2000s, it was finally shown on Turkish TV. Here it is, with Turkish subtitles.
Billy has moved on, without trying to deny the impact and unexpected consequences of his terrifying adventure. Do read this very good interview in which Billy discusses his current one-man show, Riding the Midnight Express (fast forward to 15:25, where the actual interview starts). There’s more on the show here and here.
In 2004, Oliver Stone traveled to Istanbul and Ankara to give an apology to Turkey for “over-dramatizing” Billy Hayes’s story.
Addendum: this is a moving video made at this year’s celebration in New York City of the 91st anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish republic. Billy was invited to help hoist the Turkish flag.
Bogus Prophets, Ambitious Felons, And Hideously Lousy Cops: The Impending US Elections
Will the Republicans take the Senate? Many in the news media have pored over and “analyzed” the results of opinion polls, pretending to be able to predict the future. It’s voodoo journalism. The winners and losers will not be known until it’s over, for voter demographics and responses to surveys are irrelevant.
This newsletter has repeatedly stated that the Democrats will do what they feel they must to win. Whether those measures will be legal appears to depend entirely on how moral the various segments of the Democratic political apparatus are.
Some “wingnuts” are presenting evidence of past criminality — and predicting massive election fraud. Their view is rational.
The best evidence that they are correct: the attorney general of the USA, Eric Holder, continues to repeat the shameless lie that voter/election fraud does not exist.
The corrupt absence of federal law enforcement means Republicans can not deal with criminal manipulation of the election results. States, counties, and precincts need only follow the attorney general’s example and calmly deny that a problem might exist. Flaccid enforcement is tantamount to permission — even encouragement — to break the law. Accordingly, predicting the outcomes of this election is simply impossible.
The White House Versus Science
Anthropogenic Global Warming has been from the first a myth with monumental political implications. Al Gore and Jim Hansen crafted their cult to promote the imposition of legal restrictions and new taxes on corporations and individuals. That agenda was then promoted in a clever campaign that capitalized on pre-existing “green” sentiments. True science was prostituted, lies were fabricated (South Seas islanders had to be relocated from their atolls to New Zealand, polar bears were threatened, AGW melted the snow on Kilimanjaro, the Little Ice Age was restricted to northern Europe, the IPCC was a competent body), and predictions of impending catastrophe were broadcast. Those false claims were supposed to convince the polity to demand intrusive governmental regulation.
The scam endures, for the Obama administration still preaches the alarming false predictions and bogus details of the AGW fable.
The weakness of this cynical fabrication is that AGW is bad science. Asked to reveal the studies and assertions of scientists who insist that AGW is a fact, the White House backpedaled immediately. Of course it did, for allowing scrutiny of the mock science behind AGW would threaten the cult’s credibility and influence.
Accordingly, this newsletter reprints below an article that clarifies this latest twist in the AGW story.
Lawsuit: White House Won’t Show Evidence To Back Up “Polar Vortex” Claims
By Michael Bastasch, Contributor to DAILY CALLER
1:50 PM 10/29/2014
A free-market think tank is suing the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy over its withholding of documents linked to the claim that global warming caused last winter’s polar vortex. The free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit on Wednesday demanding documents related to the White House’s polar vortex video. The suit comes after CEI previously petitioned the White House to correct the video, which was criticized by climate scientists and ran counter to peer-reviewed studies.
But the White House said the video, in which White House science czar John Holdren connected global warming to the harsh winter, was based on Holdren’s “personal opinion” and exempt from data quality laws. When CEI tried to obtain federal documents related to the video, officials said they were part of the “deliberative process” and exempt from records requests. “If this video really represented Dr. Holdren’s personal opinion, then it’s bad enough that OSTP spent taxpayer dollars to produce and post it on the White House web site,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman. “But for the agency to refuse to disclose documents related to the video in order to protect what it claims are internal deliberations is doubly ridiculous.”
The White House released its polar vortex video last January. In the video, Holdren claimed a “growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.” The idea is that melting Arctic ice sheets weakens the swirling mass of cold air in the polar region, called the polar vortex. As the vortex weakens, its pattern becomes more erratic and pushes cold air farther south.
But the video was quickly debunked by climate scientists and peer-reviewed studies showing the polar vortex is not a product of global warming (or climate change, or whatever). “While perhaps it could be argued that Holdren’s statement is not an outright lie, it is, at its very best, a half-truth and even a stretch at that,” wrote scientists Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger with the libertarian Cato Institute. “For in fact, there is a larger and faster growing body of evidence that directly disputes Holdren’s contention.”
“It’s an interesting idea, but alternative observational analyses and simulations with climate models have not confirmed the hypothesis, and we do not view the theoretical arguments underlying it as compelling,” five top climate scientists wrote in a letter published in Science Magazine in the wake of Holdren’s claims.
Studies done before Holdren’s claim that global warming is causing frigid winters also cast doubt on the integrity of the White House polar vortex video. Research by Colorado State University’s Elizabeth Barnes in 2013 found that claims that “amplified polar warming has led to the increased occurrence of slow-moving weather patterns and blocking episodes, is unsupported by the observations.”
A study published before Barnes’s by Australian scientists James Screen and Jan Simmonds found that statistically significant changes in the jet stream depended largely on the methodology used by scientists. Screen and Simmonds noted their findings have “different and complex possible implications for midlatitude weather, and we encourage further work to better understand these”.
A recent study from Japanese scientists, however, claims that melting Arctic ice will bring colder winter with it. The study found that severe winters happening in Europe and Asia have doubled due to melting ice sheets.
Despite the conflicting evidence on the Arctic’s role in cold winters, the White House has not backed off from its claims that global warming is driving frigid weather. Even though Holdren purportedly espoused his opinion in the video, that has not been disclosed nor has the video been changed. “Perhaps OSTP should give us a new video titled The Holdren Document Vortex Explained in 2 Hours“, Kazman quipped.
Addendum: This newsletter is pleased to link to some additional sources of information on the controversy over the arctic vortex.
In the recent review of Hamburger’s book Is Administrative Law Illegal?, this newsletter gave short shrift to Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments. In fact Levin agrees with Hamburger, and proposes a constitutional amendment to end the absurdity that is administrative law. Memory simply did not serve when the review of Hamburger’s volume was written, and the reviewer regrets that lapse. Levin devotes the sixth chapter of his book to the federal bureaucracy — which is to say, to administrative law. Levin’s reasoning is strongly supported by Hamburger’s definitive historical and legal scholarship.
Giving The Lie To Nonsense
Begin with some histrionics designed to get ratings for a TV show (yes, it doesn’t get much more banal and mercenary than that, but the year is 2014, and one can’t swim against the tsunami): watch this clip. Then watch as, hours later, Sam Harris sums up what happened on HBO’s version of Wrestlemania Smackdown For Politics Junkies.
What’s going on here? Well, one way to think of it is to note that Afleck is not just an idiot — he’s ignorant, inarticulate, volatile, ideologically block-headed, and childish. He’s an actor, and when he pretends to be wise, he’s acting.
Or one could say this is theology, sociology, politics, and showmanship blended and flavored to produce instant gratification.
This newsletter pointed out the immature status of Islam long ago. In Number 47 of the NTG, which appeared in December of 2008, the infantile ethics of Islam were noted, and the bloody history of Christianity was cited as evidence that in another four centuries, Islam might be peaceful (a copy of that Number is yours if you want it — and that might be a good idea, for it contains a brilliant argument against a Christian-led holy war with Islam).
Then in January of 2012, this newsletter again referred to the problem with violent jihadis as based in the relative youth of Islam (you will find Number 232 here).
Harris is right. So is this newsletter. If you doubt either fact, you have some homework to do.
Climate Change Is Important
You should know more about weather, climate, how the two change, and why they change.
This is, therefore, a plea for you to educate yourself.
What to do? Well, rather than try to read all the AGW-related items published by this newsletter (ugh, boring!), go to this web page and settle back. At one minute forty seconds into the video, you will learn how and where to find an excellent collection of invaluable information on climate change. It’s all on video, which means the facts are both more informative and easier to absorb than if they were in any other format.
There is no easier, more entertaining way to find out what is happening — and understand it.
You are welcome.
Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad
Maybe the new model for the Middle East is Tunisia, rather than Turkey.
The Vatican’s reactions to changes in science have made the news: the Pope now says that creationism and evolution could coexist. This is historic news, so you might want to learn more about the sea change the Pope has initiated. Begin with the Vatican Website. Then more information is to be found on the following web pages: One, Two, Three, Four.
In case you have any doubts about that for which the IS/ISIS stands, read this.
Yes, you can opt out. (Ed.: Yikes!)
On the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (10 November 1938), here — for you Generation Z types — is a thoroughly modern short biography of this 20th Century giant. (Ed.: Katie, bar the door! This bio is highly recommended.)
German Bürger have learned to love their burgers. And they leave it to a Turkish businessman to establish a high-end burger chain in Berlin.
Nazi sympathizers in Britain during WWII.
Do you recall Peter Max? In any event, his Corvettes have just made the news.
In spite of RTE or perhaps because of him, this Flash Mob assembled in August 2014 at the Ankara Train Station to perform the “İzmir Marşı” (Izmir March), a song that commemorates the Great Smyrna Offensive that took place from 26 August until 9 September 1922. I submit this link not so much to draw attention to the battle or celebrate the cause: rather I wish to show how modern the train station and the waiting passengers are. Turkey is neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia, neither Syria nor Iraq. (Ed.: don’t skip this. It’s fun and eye-opening.)
Is Netanyahu a “chickenshit” Prime Minister?
Would you prefer living on the fault line or living close to a volcano? My brother and sister-in-law live(d) in Pahoa, near Hilo. I am not sure, but it seems that their house is no longer habitable.
Past Predictions And Current Cautions
In Number 75 of this newsletter, Obama was described as seeming to be a bigot, a secret Jew-hater who would poison the USA-Israel relationship. That was in April of 2009, and there was at the time scant hard, objective evidence for the calumny.
The bitter words were based on almost preternatural impressions. Here are selected quotes from the indictment:
(Obama)’s no gentleman; he’s a lout in an expensive suit.
The One would seem to agree. He knows he must cling to his teleprompter, and that could well be because he will call New York “Hymietown,” or angrily blurt out an even more vile slur, if he does not read his prepared remarks. Expect fewer Q and A sessions with the press, fewer opportunities to give quick responses to unanticipated questions, and fewer exchanges likely to provoke irritated, snap remarks.
(This newsletter) suspects that (Obama) is a cynical, close-mouthed Jew-hater. … He’s not a good enough actor to hide his empty core completely. It is sometimes glimpsed, sometimes felt as it makes his words ring hollow. He has guilty pleasures. He’s capable of saying some astonishingly hateful things.
…expect Obama to lock horns with Netanyahu.
In February of 2010, Number 131 of this newsletter included this dyspeptic prediction:
Candor requires that TLB confess to a nauseating anxiety that some day, somewhere, a tired and frustrated Obama will deliver himself of a slur against Jews. The waking nightmare just won’t go away. Maybe that nutty “spiritual adviser” in Chicago has something to do with it.
Then in January of 2013, this appeared in Number 290:
This newsletter has expressed the view that no one should be surprised if The One, exasperated by some trenchant criticism or reversal of fortune, blurts out a vile epithet expressing Jew-hatred. One can only hope that an “open” microphone captures it….
In November of 2014, this newsletter sees no reason to retract or apologize for its criticism of Obama.
Three questions: first, would this be constitutional? Second, is the report that it will happen a practical joke? Third, can you even imagine what form and degree of intensity the reaction to it would take, if it were to occur?
Here’s a point for the faithful to ponder.
Compare the USA’s culture war then (in 2009) with the current hostilities. This commentary was linked in Nr. 82 of this newsletter. Have things changed?
How would Eric Holder explain this away? It can’t exist, according to the Attorney General. But there it is, and it appears that it could have been prevented by a law requiring voters to present valid official identification that includes a photo of the voter.
The AGW cultists are still at it, and they show no signs of accepting reality. (This one is a doozy.)
Quelle horreur! Obama’s current unpopularity is due to racism. Well, bigotry is a persistent phenomenon; how, then, was he twice elected?
See a rascal proved a liar. Of course exposing this nasty fellow will not reform him, but the video is fun to watch.