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Sun, 29 Mar 2020
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MindMatters: Living the Good Life - The Stoic Way

stoicism
What good is philosophy? For the Stoics, among other schools, philosophy is dead if it is not fully lived. That's why the Stoics presented not just a system of logic and cosmology, but also a way of living - to put into practice the principles on which the system is built. But while the Stoic schools that taught this way of life died out many years ago, that doesn't mean that Stoicism is no longer an option for people today. Stoicism has experienced a revival in recent years.

Today on MindMatters we take a look at one modern presentation of practical Stoicism, laid out in William B. Irvine's Guide to the Good Life, as well as complementary methods and practices from other systems, like G. I. Gurdjieff's "Fourth Way." Whether you go "full Stoic", like Irvine, or merely adopt some of their practices to integrate into your daily life, there's a lot to learn from the Stoic sages of old, and their modern interpreters.


Running Time: 00:59:16

Download: MP3 — 54.3 MB


Die

Russia's Big Gamble in Libya

putin erdogan turkstream
First, the background. When the United States abandoned the Iran agreement, that left Turkey's oil imports adrift due to newly imposed US Treasury sanctions on Iranian oil exports. By December 2018, Turkey was forced to look elsewhere for its oil imports, with Libya being the most logical choice by price and proximity, despite the violence there. Misrata rebels allied with Libya Dawn in charge of Libya's largest free trade port, arranged oil exports from Zawiya and Sirte to Italy* and Turkey, at favorable prices.

Recall that Tripolitania (west) and Cyrenaica (east) are at war, and Cyrenaica has its own oil production and storage terminals in the east while most proceeds (for both belligerents) in the Libyan conflict are settled by Libya's National Oil Company (NOC). But little of that mattered to Turkey's oil import market and Turkey signed an energy corridor agreement with Libya. Then in April of 2019, the Libyan National Army's offensive versus Tripolitania's Government of National Accord (GNA) began, resulting in the fall of Sirte early this year.

Turkey's foray into Libyan oil ran into trouble by June of 2018. Turkey objected to LNA rogue oil deals free of NOC oversight, where the NOC's mandate was to enforce the UN arms embargo by disbursing funds only for civilian government use. Then the LNA's April offensive resulted in air strikes on Misrata and the west, impacting Turkey's oil imports. The fall of Sirte and LNA strikes on NOC offices and the Zawiya oil terminal late in 2019 dealt serious blows to Turkeys' oil ambitions in Libya.

Gift 2

More Duma, Less Prezident: Putin Announces Democratic Changes to Russian Constitution

putin state union constitution
President Vladimir Putin has introduced changes which could dramatically affect Russia's international image and respond to decades-long criticism of the country's political path from the global mainstream media, say international observers discussing the president's historic decision.

Addressing lawmakers, ministers and other high-ranking officials on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined a number of changes to the country's constitution concerning the executive, legislative and the judicial branches which would give more powers to the Russian parliament and limit the president's prerogatives.

Shortly after the president's speech to the Federal Assembly Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government will be resigning.

'Elegant Solution' That Will Reinforce the Checks & Balances System

The proposed changes triggered a lively debate in foreign media which often seeks to depict Russia as an autocracy with the president possessing much of the power. The Western press often places emphasis on the fact that Vladimir Putin has remained at the helm of the country either as president or prime minister for nearly two decades. Citing the Russian president's latest address CNBC even went so far as to allege that it is aimed at "circumventing or scrapping" the rule that prevents someone from serving more than two consecutive terms as president, given that his fourth term is due to end in 2024.

Airplane

Iran Jet Disaster Setup: Was Electronic Warfare in Play?

tehran plane crash
© AP / Ebrahim Noroozi
The 19-second video published by the New York Times last week showing the moment an Iranian missile hit a passenger jet has prompted much social media skepticism.

Questions arise about the improbable timing and circumstances of recording the precise moment when the plane was hit.

The newspaper ran the splash story on January 9, the day after a Ukrainian airliner was brought down near Tehran. It was headlined: 'Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran'. All 176 people onboard were killed. Two days later, the Iranian military admitted that one of its air defense units had fired at the plane in the mistaken belief that it was an incoming enemy cruise missile.

"A smoking gun" was how NY Times' journalist Christiaan Triebert described the video in a tweet. Triebert works in the visual investigations team at the paper. In the same tweet, he thanked - "a very big shout out" - to an Iranian national by the name of Nariman Gharib "who provided it [the video] to the NY Times, and the videographer, who would like to remain anonymous".


​The anonymous videographer is the person who caught the 19-second clip which shows a missile striking Flight PS752 shortly after take-off from Tehran's Imam Khomenei airport at around 6.15 am. This person, who remains silent during the filming while smoking a cigarette (the smoke briefly wafts over the screen), is standing in the suburb of Parand looking northwest. His location was verified by the NY Times using satellite data. The rapid way the newspaper's technical resources were marshaled raises a curious question about how a seemingly random video submission was afforded such punctilious attention.

Comment: Not the Americans. They were 'playing war' with Iran that night, in which they essentially 'agreed' to let Iran conduct limited airstrikes, then immediately 'de-escalate'.

For the probable culprit, ask: Who is it that likes waging war by deception?


Brain

How the Incoherent Theory of Evolution Distorts Our Thinking

Mutant spiderman
In my experience, most people who believe in Darwinian evolution know very little about what the theory really says and how this evolution is supposed to work. They believe that it most certainly works, but when you ask questions about the specifics, you won't get much out of them. And if you do, it will likely turn out that what they say isn't actually true.

The theory of evolution by natural selection is like a rich folklore, full of persistent myths that refuse to die no matter how many times you prove them wrong. We have a very flawed educational system that promotes established dogma instead of looking seriously at the science that's supposed to support it, and questioning this dogma is often met with downright aggression.

You go to school, you get served the standard version of EvolutionIsTrue™, you're told in no uncertain terms that it's 'proven' (even though nobody can show you any actual proof), and if you're like most people, you probably never question it or think about it much after that. You see references to evolution in nature documentaries that regurgitate the same misguided ideas that your teachers used to tell you, and your completely false idea of evolution keeps getting reinforced.

You think you know a lot about evolution because you went to university, though the reality is that you know exactly as much - or as little - as the university wanted you to know. If you meet somebody who has actually done any research into the matter and tells you something different from the standard version, you just laugh and don't even consider there might be anything to it.

But how much is the standard version actually rooted in reality? And how much does the popular version that everyone 'knows' have to do with the real version that scientists deal with in their labs? Let's have a look at a few examples of how what's being presented to us has little to do with reality and what it does to our minds and way of thinking.

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Objective:Health - Breast is Best! Mother's Milk Much More Than Just a Meal

O:H header
The human body, when looked at in enough detail, is truly miraculous. A study in 2009 found that human breast milk actually varies its composition throughout the day, sending circadian signals to the infant to help regulate its biology appropriately.

Among many different nutritional factors, the milk varied in composition by providing more cortisol in the daytime and more melatonin at night. Another study has found that, when the baby is ill, the mother's breast milk provides more immune factors to help the infant body to fight off the infection.

Such amazing findings have wide-ranging implications (not the least of which questions the value of infant formula in providing all the 'nutrition', or more accurately information, the baby needs).

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we explore the amazing benefits of breast feeding.


And check us out on Brighteon!


For other health-related news and more, you can find us on:
♥Twitter: https://twitter.com/objecthealth
♥Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/objecthealth/
♥Brighteon: https://www.brighteon.com/channel/objectivehealth

And you can check out all of our previous shows (pre YouTube) here.

Running Time: 00:32:08

Download: MP3 — 28.9 MB


Question

Was Iranian Missile Operator Tricked Into Shooting Down The Ukrainian Airlines Plane Over Tehran?

ukraine airlines plane crash tehran site
The Iranian confession that their military shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane near Tehran is the end of the matter as far as international diplomacy and the media is concerned. The official story then about what happened is this:

It's 2am on January 8th 2020 and our guy is sitting in a Tor-M1 air-defense missile system about 10kms north-west of Imam Khomeini international airport, west of Tehran.

General Soleimani had been buried the day before, and in the last half-hour or so a couple dozen Iranian ballistic missiles had been fired from western Iran at two US bases in Iraq.

The entire Iranian military is on alert and stress levels are particularly high. There's been a lot of chatter about a likely US response to the Iranian missiles and our guy is one of several teams positioned around Tehran tasked with shooting down anything on his radar screen that fits the profile. But as the hours pass without incident, he starts to doubt he'll see any action - at least, not tonight.

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MindMatters: That's the Spirit! The Stoic Philosophy of Pneuma

pneuma zeno
While the ancient philosophy of Stoicism is experiencing a comeback, many are still unfamiliar with some of its more esoteric concepts, like the role of pneuma or spirit in cosmology. The primal stuff of the cosmos - informing matter and mind at different levels of tension - for the Stoics, pneuma is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end of the cosmos.

Today on MindMatters, we take a look at some of the basics of Stoic cosmology, how it informs their ethics, and the role it had on early Christian theology, specifically in the letters of Paul. For Paul the Holy Spirit actually has more in common with the Stoic Divine Pneuma than you might think, and has some far-out implications for what Paul thought about things like the "resurrection", "pneumatic" bodies, and the growth of knowledge and being.


Running Time: 54:53

Download: MP3 — 50.3 MB


Vader

US as The Globe's Judge, Jury And Executioner

us drone strike
Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian major general, was assassinated by a US drone air strike, at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). Soleimani was traveling with one Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was an Iraqi, born and bred. Al-Muhandis was even elected to the Iraqi Parliament, in 2005, until the US intervened. (Yes, we intervene in other nations' elections.)

Iraq's caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was furious, denouncing "What happened [as] a political assassination." Unanimously, Iraqi lawmakers "responded to the Soleimani assassination by passing a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to end foreign-troop presence in Iraq."

Yes, it's a complicated region. And America, sad to say, still doesn't know Shia from Shinola.

The consensus in our country is that "Soleimani deserved to die." That's the party-line on Fox News — and beyond. It's how assorted commentators on all networks prefaced their "positions" on the Jan. 3 killing of this Iranian general.

Airplane

Why Iran Came Clean And Stopped Covering up Its Role in The UIA-752 Tragedy

Iran Flight 752 Ukrainian plane
Giving Credit Where It's Due

Iran, to its credit, quickly came clean and admitted to its culpability in accidentally shooting down UIA-752 last week after vehemently insisting for the past few days that any such claims were nothing but a "big lie...(a) psychological operation...adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families". Tehran didn't do this just because it's the right thing to do, but because it realized that its international reputation would continue to suffer if it hadn't reversed its narrative course when it did. The author explained everything that went wrong with his previous analysis on the topic in his most recent article titled "Iran's Shoot-Down Admission Is A Mea Culpa Moment For Alt-Media (Myself Included)", where it was promised that a forthcoming analysis would soon be published about the reasons behind Iran's about-face, ergo the purpose of the present piece. That aforementioned work, however, should be reviewed by the reader in order to obtain a better understanding of just how counterproductive Iran's previous stance was to its soft power.

Comment: That's the end of the matter as far as international diplomacy is concerned.

But what remains to be answered is how an air-defense system operator mistook a Boeing 737 for a cruise missile.

Unless it was fiddled with in some way, the Ukrainian Airlines jet's transponder should have told the operator of the TOR-1M system that the object he was seeing on his radar screen is a Boeing 737.

Additionally, the plane's appearance on his screen should have in no way surprised him - it was the TENTH flight out of Tehran's Khomeini Airport that night. Prior to Flight 752, the last flight movement there was the departure - from the same runway and in the same direction - of QR8408 at 05:39 local time.

Why then was the air-defense operator surprised by this flight?