In 1987, a columnist at a small New Mexico newspaper discovered a story that would win her the 1994 Pulitzer Prize.
How did she do this? She had a superpower. She actually read things.
But, Patrick, you're thinking to yourself, almost everyone can read.
Yes, but do they actually do it?
In 1987, Eileen Welsome was reading an otherwise boring report on the Air Force's effort to clean up its nuclear waste sites. While reading, she discovered an inventory list of radioactive materials buried at Kirkland Air Force Base. The list included animal carcasses.
This discovery made her wonder why the animal carcasses were radioactive. To find out, she called the records custodian at Kirkland. He assembled a stack of reports about the experiments and welcomed her to come on base to read them.
When she read the reports, she discovered, buried in a footnote, that the experiments included not just animal, but also human experimentation. The footnote described a specific set of experiments where government scientists injected humans with Plutonium, in most cases without their knowledge or consent.
Ms. Welsome spent the next several years reading and researching. Through her work, she was able to track down and identify individual test subjects, despite the fact that government documents chillingly identified them as "HP," for "Human Product."
Now, I am citing Ms. Welsome's work to make my documentary series "The Truth About Oppenheimer."
In this Newsletter, we will be studying ways to uncover dark history and geopolitics—and discovering interesting stuff along the way.
The very first lesson that I can teach you, is to actually read things. Like Ms. Welsome, you'd be surprised where this will take you.
For instance, I cannot tell you how many times lawyers assume that a law or procedure is the way it is because that is the impression they have.
Two days ago, Supporting Members got early access to my latest episode of Vital Dissent, "How to Stop Your Ex from Vaxxing the Kids." In it, I describe how I won a vaccine custody case because I read the case law and the other lawyer did not.
So yes, you can turn a skill as mundane as the commitment to ACTUALLY READ THINGS into a superpower.
Notes in the Margin
This post is an example of where we are going with this newsletter and membership website. My focus is to offer you value worthy of your financial support.
I turned comments on. Please do say hello at the bottom of the post and offer your feedback! There are also quick feedback buttons down there. Let me know what kind of content you'd like to see more of.
I hope I am providing value added that is worthy of your support. If you agree, please become a Supporting Member today for $5/month or $55/year.