Bill Moyers on the shocking shift in US politics that has seen “the delusional” move from the marginal fringe to the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress

“One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.” Bill Moyers: Democracy in the Balance

Advertisements

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.

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!

Interesting New York Times editorial about Barack Obama’s chances in Southern States.

Interesting  editorial today in the New York Times: (learn about the Blue Dog Democrats, here.)

“THE interim between the primaries and the parties’ nominating conventions is, according to ancient writ, a fertile period for presidential campaigns to talk about how they plan to expand the political map in the fall. This year is no different. Barack Obama’s strategists are suggesting that the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party can parlay increased turnout among black voters into a string of victories in the South.

Given that roughly half of all African-Americans live in the 11 former Confederate states, the idea seems intuitive enough. It’s also wrong. Prying Southern electoral votes away from the Republicans is not so simple.

Two pervasive and persistent myths about racial voting in the modern South are behind the notion that Mr. Obama might win in places like Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi.

The first myth is that African-American turnout in the South is low. Black voters are actually well represented in the Southern electorate: In the 11 states of the former Confederacy, African-Americans were 17.9 percent of the age-eligible population and 17.9 percent of actual voters in 2004, analysis of Census Bureau data shows.

And when socioeconomic status is held constant, black voters go to the polls at higher rates than white voters in the South. In other words, a 40-year-old African-American plumber making $60,000 a year is, on average, more likely to vote than a white man of similar background.

The second myth is that Democratic presidential candidates fare better in Southern states that have large numbers of African-Americans. In fact, the reverse is true, because the more blacks there are in a Southern state, the more likely the white voters are to vote Republican.

Mississippi, the state with the nation’s highest percentage of African-Americans in its population, illustrates how difficult Mr. Obama’s task will be in the South. Four years ago, President Bush beat John Kerry there by 20 points. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Mr. Obama could increase black turnout in Mississippi to 39 percent of the statewide electorate, up from 34 percent in 2004, according to exit polls. And let’s assume that Mr. Obama will win 95 percent of those voters, up from the 90 percent who voted for Mr. Kerry four years ago.

If that happened, the black vote would yield Mr. Obama 37 percent of Mississippi’s statewide votes. To get the last 13 percent he needs for a majority, Mr. Obama would need to persuade a mere 21 percent of white voters in Mississippi to support him. Sounds easy, right?

But only 14 percent of white voters in the state supported Mr. Kerry. Mr. Obama would need to increase that number by 7 percentage points — a 50 percent increase. Mr. Obama struggled to attract white Democrats in states like Ohio and South Dakota. It strains credulity to believe that he will attract three white voters in Mississippi for every two that Mr. Kerry did.

Keep in mind that this analysis (and the speculation that Mr. Obama will generate unprecedented black turnout in the South) does not consider the possibility that white voter turnout will rise, too. Passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act led to an upsurge in black voting in the South, but it also caused many white Southerners to register and vote as well — for the Republicans.

Granted, Mr. Obama’s campaign isn’t counting on Mississippi. What about Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, the three states that are routinely cited as new possibilities for the Democratic column this fall?

Mr. Obama can write off Georgia and North Carolina for the same reasons that Mississippi is beyond his reach — although the math in those two states is slightly less daunting. Virginia, however, is the one Southern state that Mr. Obama has a reasonable chance of winning. And it’s precisely because the home of Robert E. Lee, as NBC News’s political director, Chuck Todd, has suggested, is seceding from the Confederacy.

The demographic makeup of the electorate in Virginia is unlike that of any other state in the South. The black population in Virginia is, as a percentage, among the lowest in the region. And during the last two decades, the state has also experienced a huge influx of upscale non-Southerners, who have taken over the Washington suburbs of northern Virginia. (Florida is a perennial target for similar reasons. With a relatively small black population, a big Hispanic voting bloc and a large contingent of relocated retirees from the North, it is the least Southern of the Southern states.)

In the rest of the South, Mr. Obama cannot overcome reality. Even if unprecedented numbers of black voters turn out to vote for him, the white vote will serve as a formidable counterbalance. Mr. Obama should not hope to capture states in the country’s most racially polarized region.

Thomas F. Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is the author of “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South.”

Not happy with the three choices for President this year? Makes you wish you voted for Ron Paul, huh?

Just Click play, you might like it: