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THE HANGING MONASTERY

hanging-monasteryThe architectural wonder of the Hanging Monastery was built on a vertical cliff face by the Tuoba people of Inner Mongolia over 1,500 years ago (in the 490s). Devout Buddhists and brilliant engineers, they defied gravity by inserting huge wooden crossbeams deep into the cliff to suspend the monastery’s temples, shrines, and monks’ living quarters, connected with bridges, corridors, and boardwalks, out into space.

Liao Mongols in the 900s rebuilt and sustained it, and it has been carefully refurbished and restored in the centuries since. While it remains primarily Buddhist with statues and depictions of Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha of 5th century BC) and Maitreya (the future Buddha), the monks welcome reverence to Taoism and its founder Lao Tzu (4th century BC), as well as Confucius (551-479 BC). Thus you also see shrines and statues of them like nowhere else.

It is a unique and inspiring experience to be here. We’ll be here again in our next exploration of Inner Mongolia sometime soon. ((Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #116 photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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WHISTLEBLOWERS REVEAL – JOE SOLD U.S. NATURAL GAS TO CHICOMS

gastochinaRepublicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee have obtained bombshell documents proving that Joe Biden was deeply involved in the family business of selling American natural gas to the Chinese–while he was planning to run for President. According to multiple whistleblowers, the Biden family made promises to those who worked with them in 2017 and onward that they would “reap the rewards in a future Biden administration.” These explosive revelations “pose national security concerns,” Oversight Republicans proclaimed Tuesday night.

The Biden clan enriched itself by selling the natural resources to a Chinese firm closely affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—just a few years before the cost of gas in the United States hit record highs, the Oversight Republicans stated.

In a letter to United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee, alleged that according to whistleblowers, Joe Biden was heavily involved in this treachery.

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EQUAL JUSTICE… FOR THE FEW

lady-injusticeWhat once distinguished the United States from illiberal regimes following the Orwellian mantra “some are more equal than others” was the hallowed American idea of “equal justice under the law.”

The phrase is engraved above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court—an ideal that took centuries to achieve. Yet it is an ancient concept—what the Greeks called isonomia that distinguished classical democratic Athens from its anti-democratic rivals. Isonomia later became enshrined as the central criterion of all Western consensual governments.

Does it still exist in Joe Biden’s America?

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THE CITY OF ALMATY

city-of-almaty This is Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan with over one million people. Originally named Alma Ata or Father of Apples, as here in the western foothills of the Tien Shan mountains is where apples were first domesticated and cultivated.

Almaty is a thriving prosperous city as the financial/economic- but not political- capital of independent Kazakhstan. And but a stone’s throw away from the magnificent snow-clad Tien Shan, a trekker’s paradise in the spring, summer, and fall, a skier’s in the winter. It’s a modern, spotlessly clean city with gorgeous parks and flower gardens- and there’s a terrific Irish Pub flowing with Guinness. What more could you want? (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #220 photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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THE QUEEN AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

the-queen_classic-photoThe historical illiteracy of the Queen's critics is impressive, even for a bunch of hate-filled activists. But these professors and historians and activists don’t simply hate a woman who’s passed on: They deeply and viciously hate Queen Elizabeth II — a person they’ve never met and who, to much of the world, symbolized grace, dignity, and poise in the face of dramatic world events.

Where does this level of vitriol come from? It stems from the reality that the queen was one of our final connections to a Western Civilization that believed in itself — a civilization her critics wish to destroy.

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THE NY TIMES SUDDENLY FINDS TRUMP CHARMING

charming-trumpRon DeSantis is scaring the hell out of the Left. This makes me very very happy. As a huge fan of DeSantis I get shivers of delight every time the Leftists attack him.

How scared are they? Scared enough that they are developing a new appreciation for famed Devil, Russian mole, and confederate insurrectionist Donald Trump.

Suddenly Trump is a charming eccentric with soft edges, unlike the meaner and more competent Florida governor. It’s almost as if all those mean things said about Trump weren’t entirely warranted.

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THE BORU HARP

boru_harp The Boru Harp, attributed to the one and only High King of the entire island of Ireland, Brian Boru (941-1014), is the only musical instrument that is the national symbol of a country - the Republic of Ireland. It is also on the label of Guinness beer. Beautifully and exquisitely made, the Boru Harp is on display in the famous Long Room of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. You’ll experience a sense of awe when you see it for yourself. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #219 photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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KEEPING YOUR SANITY: MONEY, TRADE, AND INNOVATION

trade-innovtion_1When we focus too much on money as stacks of paper bills, or numbers on a ledger - or, God help us, trillions (!) of dollars in government spending bills - we can miss the powerful forces that we interact with every day that make those bills and those numbers meaningful.

Wealth is created through innovative ideas that save time and energy, and/or that increase the quality of life for enough people. The less time and energy it takes to do something, the more time and energy is freed up to do something else.

It's the freedom and respect given to regular people with new ideas – with which they could give a try toward making a lot of money - that has led to the greatest expansion of prosperity in history, and the greatest improvement in nearly every facet of life, for nearly all of humanity.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: RIDING A YAK AT RANGDUM

yak-riding-at-rangdum Rangdum Gompa, Zanskar, August 1993. Ever ridden a yak? Brandon did when was 10 at the Rangdum Tibetan Monastery or Gompa atop a small hill at 13,225 feet high in an extremely remote region of the Himalayas in India called Zanskar. It was part of our Indian Tibet expedition which will be repeating soon – and this time Brandon will be leading the expedition. I’ll just be along for the ride. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #161 photo ©Jack Wheeler)

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