You CAN see Russia from here.

Anderson Cooper 360 has a fun piece about the Alaskan island of Little Diomede, the one place where Americans can see Russian from their homes. (Click here to read article/watch clip) The following is an excerpt:

“When talking about what she says is her foreign policy experience, Sarah Palin told ABC news “…you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
That quote made us want to go to that island.

So we did.

The island is called Little Diomede. It looks like a rock plopped into the Bering Strait. Only about 150 Alaskans live on the whole island. And just about two miles away; in full view of every single house on the island is the nation of Russia. Specifically, it is the Russian Island of Big Diomede which sits about 25 miles from the Russian Siberian mainland (which you can also see from the American island.) Most everybody on Little Diomede had relatives who lived on Big Diomede.

But decades ago, the Russian government sent them all to the mainland, and today, Big Diomede is limited to a Russian military presence. It’s also a full day in front of Little Diomede because it’s on the other side of the International Date Line. Little Diomede is fascinating. It looks like the moon would if you built a lunar settlement. It’s full of rocks, dirt, and craters. We were curious if Sarah Palin has ever visited this island. According to the natives, the answer is no.

As a matter of fact, no Alaska governor in the state’s nearly 50 year history has ever visited the remote outpost that still has little running water. We were curious what the Little Diomeders thought about Palin’s claim of foreign policy experience because of the proximity of Siberia. Interestingly, many of these Alaskans had no idea who Sarah Palin was! It turns out they have no TV on the island, and therefore, many don’t follow the news.

The island’s mayor has heard of her though. No American mayor resides in a city closer to Russia than Andrew Milligrock, and he says being two miles from Russia doesn’t give him any foreign policy expertise.

He does say she seems like an okay governor, but exclaims she should probably pay a visit to Little Diomede sometime. It may not help her foreign policy experience says the mayor, but would definitely help her domestic policy experience.”

Advertisements

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer on “Leadership” -how it is defined and who actually leads us during this election season.

I am reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s book, Wisdom of the Ages, today and wanted to share the following passages with anyone who will listen as we close in on election day:

“I am frequently amazed at how many contemporary politicians refer to themselves as “leaders” by virtue of the fact that they hold public office. Historically it is clear that public office holders are seldom the true leaders causing change. For instance, who were the leaders of the Renaissance? Were they the public office holders? Were the leaders the mayors, governors, and presidents of European capitals? No.

The leaders were the artists, writers, and musicians who listened to their hearts and souls and expressed what they heard, leading others to discover a resonating voice within themselves!

(Ever consider the titles you are known by (father, brother, leader, coach, manager) and how you try to live up to them?) ….You may carry the title of mother or father (which is an awesome responsiblity), and your kids may see you as the leader of the family, and thus seek your advice, but remember that what you truly want is for them to be able to say is, “I did it myself,” rather than give you credit. and so, enhance your leadership by being constantly alert to the mistake of thinking that your title makes you a leader….True leaders are not known by titles! It is EGO that loves titles!”

[In this passage, Dr. Dyer’s line of thinking is inspired by the ‘Tao Te Ching’ (meaing ‘the way’), the basis for ‘Taoism,’ written by Sixth Century Chinese Philosopher, LAO-TZU, he expressed this truth about leaders this way:

“True Leaders
are hardly known to their followers.
Next after them are the leaders
the people know and admire;
after them, those they fear;
after them, those they despise.

To give no trust
is to get no trust.

When the work’s done right,
with no fuss or boasting,
ordinary people say,
“Oh, we did it.”

-LAO-TZU (6th century B.C.)

Dr. Dyer follows up with this, “…….True leaders enjoy the trust of others, which is very different from enjoying the perks and flattery and power that the ego insists are the signs of being a leader. You need to give trust to others in order to receive that trust and be a true leader.”

The Buddha on “knowing,” good advice for this Presidential election season?

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s outstanding book, Wisdom of the Ages:

Buddha on knowing:
(563 B.C.-483 B.C.) (anything that is still around after 2500 years must have some modicum of value, right?)

“Do not believe what you have heard.
Do not believe in tradition because it it handed down many generations.
Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times.
Do not believe because the written statements come form some old sage.
Do not believe in conjecture.
Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders.
But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it.

–BUDDHA
(363 B.C.-483 B.C.)

At age 29, Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), seeing the unhappiness, sickness, and death that even the wealthiest and most powerful are subject to in this life, he abandoned the life he was leading in search of a higher truth and a path out of unhappiness, sickness, pain and death.

The key point in this passage is that everything that you carry around with you that you call ‘your belief’ has become your own largely because of the experiences and testimonies of other people. And if it comes to you from a source outside of yourself, regardless of how persuasive the conditioning process might be, and of how many people just like you have worked to convince you of the truth of these beliefs, the fact that it is someone else’s truth means that you receive it with some question marks or doubts.

For example….If I were to attempt to convince you about the taste of a delectable fish, you would perhaps listen but still have your doubts. Were I to show you pictures of this fish, and have hundreds of people come testify about the veracity of my statements, you might become more convinced. But the modicum of doubt would still remain because you hadn’t tasted it. You might accept the truth of its deliciousness for me; but until your taste buds experience the fish, your truth is only a belief based on my truth, on my experience. And so it is with all the well-meaning members of your tribes (churches/civic organizations/families/network of facebook friends), and their tribal ancestors before them.

Just because you have heard it, and it is a long-surviving tradition, and it is recorded over the centuries, and the world’s greatest teachers have endorsed it, those are still not reasons to accept a belief. Remember, “Do not believe it,” as the Buddha instructs.

Rather than using the term “belief,” try shifting to the word “knowing.” When you have direct experience of tasting the fish, you now have a knowing.
That is, you have conscious contact and can determine your truth based on your experience. You know how to swim or ride a bike not because you have a belief, but because you have had direct experience.

You are being reminded by the “enlightened one” of 2500 years ago, to apply this same understanding to your personal and spiritual life. There is a fundamental difference between knowing something and knowing about something. “Knowing about” is another term for belief. “Knowing” is a term reserved for direct experience, which means an absence of doubt.

I understand that the persuasiveness of tribal (community/poitical parties/family/facebook friends :)) influences is exceedingly powerful. You are constantly being reminded of what you should or shouldn’t believe, and what all our tribal members have always believed, and what will happen if you ignore those beliefs. Fear becomes the constant companion of your beliefs, and despite the doubts that you may feel inside, you often adopt these beliefs and make them crutches in your life, while you hobble through your days looking for a way out of traps that have been carefully set by generations of believers before you.

Finally, I want to mention that the Buddha’s conclusion is the only line without the word “believe,” He says when it agrees with reason -that is, when you know it to be true based on your own observation and experience -and it is beneficial to one and all, then and only then, live by it!!!!!!!! 🙂

…..Oh, one more point. I know the idea of resisting the “tribal influence” is often perceived as being callous or indifferent to the experience and teaching of others, particularly those who care the most about you. But, I suggest you read the words of Buddha hear again if that is your only conclusion. He does not speak of rejection, only of being grown-up and mature enough to make up your own mind and live by your knowing, rather than the experiences and testimonies of others.

Africans against Obama…”Sarah Palin Rocks!!!” Watch video of The Honorable James David Manning, PhD, African American Religious leader voicing his support for John McCain and Sarah Palin against “Hussein” Obama.

This man exists, press play botton, watch and be amazed:

read definition of sycophant by clicking here.

John Stewart’s Daily Show form September 3, 2008: “The Sarah Palin Gender Card”…Politicians, “Newsmen,”Hypocrisy and double standards on tape…funny.

Politicians being politicians, speaking out of both sides of their mouths:  (click here to watch, sad and funny), click here to watch this very entertaining collection of prominent politicos (Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Bill O’Reilly to name 3 of the exposed) caught speaking out of both sides of their mouths and generally being hypocrites…click here to watch the video.

Matt Damon shares his opinion of McCain’s choice for Vice President, Sarah Palin, watch video here.

hit play on video below as Matt Damon gives his opinion on McCain’s Vice Presidential choice, Sarah Palin:

You need to read this article by CNN’s Jack Cafferty, “Commentary: St. Paul, Minnesota — the land of make believe…”

Below is an excerpt from an excellent comment made by CNN’s Jack Cafferty today:

” This week the Republicans gather for their convention. For four days, they will labor under the illusion their party is still relevant. It’s not.

It is entirely fitting that the headliner for this masquerade is a feeble looking 72-year-old white guy who doesn’t know how many homes he owns.

It’s more than symbolic that when a million Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, the Republican candidate for president has lost track of his holdings.

McCain surrounds himself with people like former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm who called America a “nation of whiners” and said we are only suffering a “mental recession.”

That’s the same problem the Republican Party has. It has lost track of what it used to stand for: small government, a disciplined fiscal policy, integrity.

In a way, the perfect storm of a rapidly changing population — old white people aren’t going to be in the majority very much longer (and isn’t that who most of the Republicans are?) — has combined with the total abdication of principles, Republican or otherwise, of arguably the worst president in the nation’s history to mark the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

Republican Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia said it best: “The Republican brand is in the trash can. If we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf.”

It is so bad that more than 10 percent of the Republican members of the United States Senate aren’t even bothering to attend their own party’s convention. They recognize dog food when they see it.”

Jack Cafferty wrote this interesting piece on CNN today, click here and read it all!