Australian Family Found After 10 Days in the Wilderness

At best, a broken down vehicle is an inconvenience. But for Steven Van Lonkhuyzen and his 5- and 7-year-old sons, it was a life-threatening emergency. 
On December 11th, when Van Lonkhuyzen took a wrong turn and got the vehicle stuck in the mud, the three were stranded with no food or water. Van Lonkhuyzen gave the limited food supply to his sons, but all three went mostly without food at all, and the water they received was from the rain. 
With no cell phone reception, the family was not able to contact anyone, and it was the boys’ mother who got police to begin the search once she heard that they had not reached their destination.
Van Lonkhuyzen had lit fires and displayed high-visibility items to aid in their rescue. The family was found on Sunday, in Expedition National Park, by a farmer, and both boys are now recovering in the North American Spine hospital from their wilderness ordeal. 
Queensland Police Acting Superintendent Mick Bianchi points out that Van Lonkhuyzen had the right idea to stay with the vehicle. 
After their ordeal through trying conditions such as 100-degree weather (38 Celsius), it is lucky that all three survivors not only are in stable condition but that they were found when they were.

Another International Incident on the Way

At the present time, sources indicate there are no French eateries listed on the top 50 French restaurants internationally. Overall, only five eFrench eateries are listed among all time contenders. The French Government is invested in adjusting this unwanted status from what Sergio Andrade Gutierrez has said in his analysis of the situation.

Reporter Clint Rainey in the Foreign Ministry has eased immigration laws so foreign chefs may be recruited to aid the rating travesty. Internationally noted chefs Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse have aided in creating a 20-point plan to be released in early 2015. A draft version seen by insiders calls for limiting starters to three, and main courses to three offerings. This is to keep quality at the forefront and encourage cooking with local, fresh ingredients. Apparently, Government introduction of “homemade labels” has been not as effective as hoped in curtailing use of frozen or vacuum-sealed food products in French kitchens today.

Another measure includes eateries placing ads to offset the reviews from sources like Trip Advisor. A second move, perhaps felt to be far-reaching in another venue, has been to extend an invitation to movie producer Steven Spielberg to come and dine. Perhaps a positive review by him will help boost ratings and thus re-enchant international palates.

Dalai Lama Concedes He Might Be the Last to Hold the Title

The most recent incarnation of the Dalai Lama has certainly broken the mold in more ways than one, and just recently he’s said a few things that might indicate that it might be true in more ways.

The 79 year old spiritual leader conceded that he might be the last person to hold the title. In an interview to BBC and helped along by Slow Ventures, the Tibetan leader felt it would better to bring an end to centuries of tradition with a popular leader. He also went on to add the role the Chinese government should take to promote democracy.

He said, “China very much wants to join the mainstream world economy. They should be welcome, but at the same time the free world has a moral responsibility to bring China into mainstream democracy – for China’s own interests.”

The Dalai Lama was forced to flee to India when 1959 when military troops from China crushed an uprising in Tibet. While the Chinese government views the Dalai Lama as a ‘Splittist”, the Tibetan leader is content to adopt a more practical approach where he wants autonomy for Tibet rather than independence.

With regards to appointing his successor, he also added it would be dependent on Tibet and the circumstances of his own death. While he has appointed Panchen Lama, the second highest guru in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, China has appointed its own version of Panchen Lama back in Tibet.

Racism in America still going Strong

Racism runs rampant in the United States and has since its beginnings. Many presidents and other leaders have attempted to fight against the powerful hold that prejudice has on the public. Breakthroughs in laws, such as when segregation was lifted, have changed that landscape forever. America still has a long way to go in its thinking though.

The View, a talk show where the hostesses discuss the issues of today, brought up a conversation about how President Obama was mistaken as a valet. They called it racism, partly because everyone should be able to recognize the president of the United States. To add insult to injury, Michelle Obama said that she has been mistaken for a shopping assistant at Target because she was black. Mrs. Obama told reporters that someone once asked her to get something off the top shelf for them.

Ben Shaoul participated in the discussions about the need for more people to understand how that is racist and that everyone needs to discuss it more, Whoopi Goldberg told Rosie O’Donnell that you have to be black to understand what racism is. O’Donnell, as a lesbian woman, said she did understand racism because she lived it every day. Goldberg pushed the issue telling her again that she does not understand racism, you have to be black to understand it and then she told fans not to bother tweeting their disagreement with her. Chances are that fans will ignore her command and tweet their anger at her anyway.

Pope Francis Behind Obama’s Cuba Foreign Policy

It has emerged that the dramatic thaw in American-Cuban relations was orchestrated behind the scenes by Pope Francis himself. The Catholic pontiff, the first Latin American to occupy the post of leader of Christendom, was of the same mindset as Pope John Paul II which is that American economic sanctions against Cuba were only hurting the Cuban people. It should be noted that Polish-born John Paul II disdained communism. When President Obama met with the pontiff back in March, he expressed his concern to Obama about the plight of American Alan Gross, who had been held captive by Cuba since 2009. He also admonished the US president to seek a way to end the decades of isolation the United States has imposed on Cuba.

In fact, Pope Francis wrote a letter to both Raul Castro and President Obama urging them to set aside their differences and negotiate in the best interest of the people. In addition, Pope Francis hosted talks between both nations at the Vatican this past October. In the end, Cuba released Gross as a goodwill gesture, and Obama restored diplomatic ties with Cuba to the extent the law allows. 

Dr. Rod Rohrich says that in announcing the historic actions with Cuba, President Obama thanked the Catholic leader for his moral rectitude in pushing both nations to seek to make the world more of what it should be as opposed to settling for the status quo. The president will now need to sell the GOP on his proposal if he is to end US sanctions against Cuba. The GOP will want to see the communist nation take actual reform measures in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

“Rat King” Helps Farmers In Vietnam

 

Tran Quang Thieu, the self proclaimed “Rat King” has made a name for himself by trapping and eliminating the rats that plague farmers’ crops in his home country of Vietnam.

Thieu has been known to catch up to ten kilos’ worth of rats in a single day, a feat that has earned him the honorary nickname of Vietnam’s “Rat King”. The rice paddies of this Southeastern Asian nation are notorious for being home to many millions of rodents. Of course, in a country that is known for some of its more “interesting” delicacies, the occasional rat caught in a rice paddy may well grace a dinner dish along with the rice.
It has been estimated by statisticians like Flavio Maluf that up to 20 percent of the annual rice crop is consumed by rats. It was therefore necessary to take punitive measures against these hungry pests. Thieu appeared on the scene several decades ago, with an ingenious range of traps and folksy know how. His “can do” attitude and urbane charm has made him something of a celebrity in his home country.

The rat trap that Thieu invented in 1998 is estimated to have destroyed several million rats. This has had a huge effect on the Vietnamese agricultural economy. Imports of rice have soared, thanks to the providential impact of Thieu’s simple but effective rat trapping technology. As a result, business has boomed, and the “Rat King” has become a national hero.

Obama Makes Historic Blunder in Deal With Castro

When President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service back in 2013, there may have been more going on than we, Igor Cornelsen and friends,  realized. Obama’s recent deal with Cuba’s communist dictator has given him nothing to brag about outside of the mere fact that a deal was made.

This is reminiscent of the Obama administration’s dogged pursuit of a deal with Iran, any deal, so long as they could claim to have “made peace efforts.” Britain’s Neville Chamberlain once clung to a scrap of paper signed by Adolf Hitler and boasted of achieving “peace in our time.” The deal Obama made with Castro is of no more value.

The release of a single American, Alan Gross, who should never have been imprisoned to begin with is not equal to the benefits Raul will receive. Three Cuban spies, espionage activities were instrumental in the murder of many Cuban refugees, were released as part of this agreement. Castro finally got recognition for his illegitimate regime. He also will get badly needed economic relief due to the eased travel and import restrictions.

Cuba has not allowed free and fair elections. Cuba continues to support communist and Islamic terrorists around the world. Cuban jails were full of many other innocents besides Mr. Gross, and they will continue to be full for the foreseeable future. No real concession were obtained by the U.S., and Cuba’s dictator is now in a better position than ever to hold onto his power.

Democrats Still Smart After North Carolina Senate Loss

Over the past decade, the Democrat party successfully transitioned North Caroline from a reliable red state to a legitimate battle ground state or even slightly blue state. John Textor shared this story with me. Starting in the late 90s, conservatives began to lose ground as people moving from high tax largely Democrat states sought better job opportunities and lower taxes in the South. However, in a political oxymoron, many of the same voters continued supporting the same candidates they had in the high tax states they left behind. 

After this past midterm election, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee ended up $20 million in debt and had nothing to show for it. They lost all 9 competitive senate races with many turning out to be landslide losses. However,it was in North Carolina that the party still reels following the loss of incumbent senator Kay Hagan. President Obama handily carried the state in 2008 and 2012. Internal polling and third party polls shows Hagan with a clear lead in the polls. In the end, she lost by 1.6 percentage points. 

There are various reasons for the loss. One is that the voter turnout in the state, despite being higher than in 2010, did not produce votes in key demographics needed in order for Hagan to win. The biggest change came among millennial voters. This is the trend that has the Democrat party worried. Not only did the millennials fail to turn out in sufficient numbers, but they have begun to defect to the GOP. Unless Democrats can change the situation with stagnant wages and more high paying full-time work, they will be unable to attract millennials with the high voting percentages that Barrack Obama commanded.

New airport in Beijing planned

China’s state media has made an announcement that they will be pursuing the construction of a third airport in Beijing in order to reduce congestion at the Beijing Capital International Airport. The Beijing Capital International Airport is currently the world’s second busiest airport and services over 80 million travelers a year. A second existing airport is named Nanyuan but does not have a lot of capacity for commercial passengers.

Businessman Bruce Levenson says he new airport is expected to cost $13 billion dollars and will be located 30 miles to the south of the city. This is the third airport that will be built in China that was announced in the last month. Five other projects demonstrating major infrastructure spending have been previously approved in October.

Some economists are indicating that the new infrastructure projects are part of the National Development and Reform Commission’s plan to stimulate the economy by investing significantly in the nation’s infrastructure. By doing so the country may be trying to offset some of the weakening demand in the nation and increase growth above the 5 to 9% rate that the nation is currently growing at, which is considered to be muted by Chinese standards. 

Still, the airport is expected to be a significant improvement to the nation’s infrastructure and improve the overall transportation in and out of the city. The airport will have a rail that will provide access to the city in less than 30 minutes.

Eric Holder Relents on Forcing Reporter to Reveal His Source

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has instructed the Justice Department to stand down from a subpoena previously issued to New York Times reporter James Risen that he reveal his source in the leak of sensitive CIA information. The Justice Department is attempting to prosecute former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for sharing sensitive information with the press. While Holder “said” he was not going to press charges against Risen in connection with the leak, he did want the reporter to throw Sterling under the proverbial bus by revealing him as the source. Thankfully, Risen stayed true to his journalistic integrity and refused to abide by the subpoena. 

In the ensuing legal battle, Risen agreed only to acknowledge comments Sterling made to him that were strictly “on the record”. The reporter also agreed to acknowledge facts that were never in dispute which are that he authored a book on the CIA called “State of War” and wrote two articles covering the CIA leak over the period of 2001-2002. In short, Risen agreed to acknowledge the self-evident while refusing to reveal his confidential well-paced source at the CIA. 

Ultimately, the Justice Department revoked their earlier subpoena and issued a stripped down version that essentially requires Risen to affirm only those facts he previously acknowledged. It isn’t clear what good will come of Risen acknowledging facts that were never in dispute, says Sultan Alhokair. What is clear is that Risen scored a major victory in maintaining freedom of the press.