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Lessons Oprah Taught Me

26 May

 Oprah used her last show yesterday for what she called a love letter to her audience.

She talked about the lessons she learned from us, and reiterated the lessons she most wanted us to remember.Several of those lessons in particular of resonated with me. They took the tone of  her “what I know for sure,” regular feature each month on the last page of her “O” Magazine.

The first is that we are each responsible for the energy we create.  “You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

“All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all little beaming little signals like radio frequencies, and the world is responding in kind.”

The second is that we can all hear God’s voice if we listen.

“Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me. … I know I’ve never been alone, and you haven’t either. And I know that that presence, that flow—some people call it grace—is working in my life at every single turn. And yours too, if you let it in. It’s closer than your breath, and it is yours for the asking.”

“I have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still—I wait and listen for the guidance that’s greater than my meager mind. “

And the last lesson that really spoke to me was “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

“Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies.  In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have.”

Those of us who respect the magnitude of what Oprah Winfrey has brought to us,   the success and influence she has achieved beyond imagination for a girl from her background,  and the way in which she asked us to apply that to our own lives – we salute you for a job well done.

To reach her entire last show message, go to

Jesse Ventura’s Gonzo Journalism

18 Oct

Jesse Ventura has been a Navy Seal with Top Secret clearance, a professional wrestler, a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones and the 38th governor of Minnesota.  Now he’s begun his second year as host of “Conspiracy Theory,” a show on TruTV (very high on the dial) where he “will hunt down answers, plunging viewers into a world of secret meetings, midnight surveillance, shifty characters and dark forces.”  According to TruTV, the first episode drew 1.6 million viewers, a record for a new series on the network.

The second season premiered Friday night with an investigation into Plum Island, a tiny island off the tip of Long Island, New York that houses a federal biological animal research testing facility that is believed by many to be the main birthplace in the U.S. of Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus.  Much of what Ventura “uncovers” has been known for ages and especially common knowledge among many Lyme Disease victims.  While the show is very informative in a zealous and dramatic manner, the entire subject of Plum Island is so extraordinarily complex and byzantine that Ventura could only hit the highlights.

Ventura focuses on Erich Traub, a Nazi scientist of the highest levels recruited by the U.S. government to run the Plum Island facility and its animal experiments. Before coming to America, Traub was ordered to research germ warfare viruses for the Soviets.  In 1949 he managed a daring escape to Berlin and ultimately came to the United States. Traub was part of  the top-secret Project Paperclip, a program near the end of World War II where the U.S. and the Soviet Union raced to recruit German scientists for postwar purposes. They were supposed to be only small bit players in Nazi activities, however, the U.S. military went overboard and recruited more than 2,000 Nazi scientists, many with dark Nazi track records. They were given full U.S. citizenship and never brought to trial.

The history of Plum Island is so rife with clandestine operations that one brief show can only begin to tell the story.  It was initially established by the Army to research ways of destroying Soviet farm animals and worked with bacteria and viruses that can be passed from animals to humans. There is overwhelming evidence that Traub conducted experiments of injecting diseases in ticks for release into the environment.  Through the years there has also been an enormous amount of focus on security breaches, especially during Hurricane Bob in 1991.  In his show, Ventura talks with a man who witnessed workers at one time placing duct tape over door seals to keep potential viruses and bacteria from escaping.

Ventura also makes a surprise visit to New York Congressman Tim Bishop whose district contains Plum Island. He says he believes what he’s been told that no experiments take place there where diseases can be transferred to humans. Then Ventura makes another surprise visit, this one to Dr. Roger Breeze who ran the Plum Island lab in the ’90s. Now that it has been taken over  by Homeland Security, he’s one of the head honchos overseeing it. He tells Ventura he knows nothing about Erich Traub which is dumfouding given that he’s considered the godfather of Plum Island. But he also contradicted Congressman Bishop and said that they do in fact conduct experiments that can affect humans.

The most amazing admission, however, was that he says any workers who go inside the lab where they conduct Foot- and- Mouth disease testing and experiments leave with the virus in the back of their throats and that is why there has been a long-standing policy that they cannot own any animals it might affect or go to places such as the zoo or circus.

Dr.  Breeze also played dumb about the “Montauk Monster,” a bizarre creature that washed ashore near Plum Island that many believe to be a product of the lab. Ventura investigates a subsequent creature that also washed ashore that did not seem to garner national attention like the first  one.

The truly scary development, however, is the plan to relocate the lab to Manhattan, Kansas in the middle of tornado alley.  Couldn’t  one  bad tornado put all those animal diseases airborne in the middle of livestock country?

To learn more about Plum Island, I highly recommend Michael C. Carroll’s book Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory.

You can also view “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura” online here with divided in three parts. One   Two   Three