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4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism

“Problems are solvable. That does not mean that they will solve themselves, but it does mean that we can solve them if we sustain the benevolent forces of modernity that have allowed us to solve problems so far, including societal prosperity, wisely regulated markets, international governance, and investments in science and technology.” ~Steven Pinker

Humanistic environmentalism is the way forward if we wish to survive in harmony with the planet and to evolve in a healthy and progressive way.

This means being proactive in the de-escalation of carbon, unsustainable material excess, poverty, and overreaching bloated militaries.

This means not only placing our best efforts in building something new, but also in systematically dismantling the unsustainable system that outflanks us. As Arundhati Roy said, “Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness.”

This means going beyond merely being eco-aware, but also being eco-centric and eco-moral. Precisely because we are interdependent beings. We are the earth, and the earth is us: self-as-world and world-as-self.

The rising ecowarriors are the spearhead of this revolution-turned-evolution. They are the voices of logic and reason in the Desert of Conditioned Ignorance. They are the embodiment of healthy change amidst all the unhealthy stagnation. They are a personified force of nature. And they are willing to die bringing water to wasteland.

Decarbonization

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ~Aldo Leopold

As it stands, the excessive use of fossil fuels does the exact opposite of preserving the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.

Forget the ongoing debate about climate change and global warming. Some people’s cognitive dissonance is so powerful that no amount of arguing will convince them. It will only solidify their hardheaded stance.

Focus instead on the real problem; something we can all agree on: pollution. There is no denying that the excessive use of fossil fuels is a dangerous pollutant. From oil-based plastics choking plankton at the bottom of the food chain, to oil-slicked coastlines clogging our waterways. From non-biodegradable plastics piling up in landfills, to orange-hazed ozone poisoning the air we breathe. Nobody can deny that pollution is a huge problem in our world.

The new eco-warriors are focusing on scaling back the use of fossil fuels. They are co-creating new, healthier, more sustainable technologies while also shaming and mocking outdated, unhealthy, less sustainable technologies.

Dematerialization

“The real revolution is the revolution of consciousness and each one of us first needs to eliminate the divisionary, materialistic noise we have been conditioned to think is true; while discovering, amplifying, and aligning with the signal coming from our true empirical oneness.” ~Peter Joseph

Unfortunately, the predominant paradigm in our culture is ego-centric, materialistic and ownership-based. We live in a world where human relations are mostly based upon materialism, ownership and immediate gratification. It’s almost like we’re conditioned to consume to the point that we “consume” each other. Even the words we use toward each other imply ownership.

It’s sad. But no condition is insurmountable. We can recondition ourselves to form healthy relationships based upon respect, honesty, and trust.

This process begins by first dematerializing our lifestyles. By investing in healthy experiences rather than unhealthy material excess. It begins by transforming our lifestyles into relationship-based rather than ownership-based lifestyles; into courage-based rather than fear-based lifestyles. It begins by doing as Gandhi wisely suggested: “live simply so that others may simply live.”

Let us not be possessed by our possessions. When we escape the linear, ownership-based matrix and discover the interconnected, relationship-based paradigm, we remove ourselves from the dead-end state of coercion, victimization and the subliminal desire to bend others to our will. We move, instead, into the open-ended embrace of cohesion, relationship and the holistic compassion of motivating and bringing people together.

Deimpoverization

“From the point of view of morality, it is not important that everyone should havethe same. What is morally important is that each should have enough.” ~Harry Frankfurt

Extreme poverty and starvation are avoidable in this age of extreme surplus. The utter failure of our distribution system undermines freedom itself. It prevents people from thriving because they are expending all their vital energy on merely surviving.

It behooves us, as both reasonable and moral human beings, to make sure that we each have enough by fixing the corrupt system of distribution. Fixing the problem of distribution and then creating a way where everyone has their basic needs met will go a long way in preventing unnecessary poverty.

The deeper psychological problem is that we believe that our sense of worth is wrapped up in how skilled we are at something, because we were raised and conditioned in a culture that values competition over cooperation. This creates ego-centric specialists concerned only with narrow-minded one-upmanship over open-minded compassion.

But we are social creatures, first and foremost. We need each other to survive. Competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species (Darwin).

So, our worth is actually wrapped up in how much we care for each other. The problem is that we’ve had the cart (competition) in front of the horse (compassion) for too long. It’s time we got the horse back in front of the cart. This will be an arduously Herculean task, considering our cultural conditioning. But it is very important, for the survival of our species, that we get it right.

Demilitarization

“The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have.” ~John Rawls

The U.S. military is larger than the next seven militaries in the world, combined!

Let that sink in. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015 alone. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of that total. If that’s not a bloated military, I don’t know what is.

It’s time to scale back. It’s time to see the military industrial complex for what it really is: a terrorist-generating war machine propped up by profiting weapons manufacturers. As Arundhati Roy said, “Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons.”

Rising eco-warriors understand that violence is not the answer. The non-aggression principle is paramount. Only self-defense is needed. Overreaching bloated militaries with plutocratic political agendas is never needed. Unless your goal is to keep the rich richer and the poor dead.

At the end of the day, our militarized culture of violence and war is only fruitful through a vigilant rebellion against it. Demilitarization is the systematic dismantling of the war-machine while maintaining an organic adherence to the non-aggression principle.

The new eco-warriors realize that a species hellbent on violence against itself is unhealthy and eventually destroys itself. While a species determined to be healthy, on the other hand, only uses violence in self-defense.

The hardhearted tyrant juts his ugly head, violently declaring himself free at the expense of the freedom of others. The defiant hero rises-up in self-defense, denying the tyrant’s violent oppression while affirming freedom through the freedom of us all. That’s what Albert Camus meant when he wrote: “I rebel –therefore we exist.”

About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article (4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism – The Rise of the New Eco-Warriors) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Loud Boom Shook Ground as Daytime Meteor Fireball Explodes over Cape Town, South Africa

A bright meteor exploded over Cape Town, South Africa around 18:05 UTC on January 16, 2019 (20:05 local time). Bright light produced by the object was followed by very loud sound and ground shaking.

The American Meteor Society has so far received 6 reports about this event. If you witnessed it, please fill out this form.

People from all over the Cape, from Hermanus to Franschhoek, Cape Town and all the way to the Swartland, have been talking about the ‘massive flash of flight’ that appeared suddenly in the twilight sky, The Citizen reports.

According to witnesses, this bright object was followed by a loud bang that shook the ground and rattled houses and windows.

Trajectory and eyewitness heatmap - South Africa fireball, January 16, 2019. Credit: AMS

Trajectory and eyewitness heatmap – South Africa fireball, January 16, 2019. Credit: AMS

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) confirmed that it had received hundreds of reports, The South African reports.

While no official statement has yet been issued by the organization, Riana Steenekamp, media spokesperson for Overstrand Municipality, says that she has been in contact with SANSA, and that they have indeed verified the event.

Initial analysis suggests parts of the object landed in the Helderberg vicinity.

The Watchers

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Planet Earth

Fireball Meteor Captured by Home Security Camera in Michigan

Last week, reports from states all over the Midwest started pouring in about a brilliantly bright meteor that streaked across the sky in the middle of the night.

Dan Kloosterman’s home security camera in Byron Center was facing in just the right direction to catch the glorious sight at 3:10 a.m. Friday. In Plainfield Township, Christine Ford’s security camera got the image from another angle.

The video verifies several reports filed with the Amercian Meteor Society of a fireball meteor that night.

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According to the society, a meteor is considered a “fireball” if it is exceptionally bright, or as bright as the planet Venus, in the night sky. The video submitted to 24 Hour News 8 is exceptionally bright.

As with most fireball meteors when the sky is at least partially clear, reports have come in from several states.

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If you happen to see a fireball meteor through our mostly cloudy West Michigan skies, be sure to report it here and send any photos or video you get to ReportIt@woodtv.com

Ellen Bacca
WOOD TV

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10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in History

Women influenced the course of world history no less than men did. They intrigued, seized power, and changed the map of the world.

In this article, there are the most famous women who influenced the world through their activities. But before reading about ancient women, you can get some info that will break any Ukrainian woman stereotype.

1. Cleopatra

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in the movie Queen Cleopatra of Egypt(1963), directeed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Cleopatra seduced the famous dictator Julius Caesar and gained the throne of the Egyptian queen. Also, she seduced Mark Antony and helped her son become the heir to the throne, and most importantly, contributed to the development of the history of Egypt.

2. Livia Drusilla

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Livia Drusilla: The first Roman Empress

Her influence leaves no doubt. Livia was originally the wife of Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Roman diplomat. From him, she bore two sons. Over time, Libya brought one of her sons to power. According to rumors, clearing the way for her children, Livia contributed to the death of all relatives of her second husband, Octavian.

3.Hypatia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Hypatia of Alexandria was a true sight to behold. And she was killed because of it.

As you know, ladies-scientists were something unusual for a long time because women were not allowed to study. However, it all began in ancient Greece. Few people today know the name of Hypatia, a woman-mathematician. It is interesting that we still use her inventions in everyday life.

4.Vannozza dei Cattanei

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Vannozza dei Cattanei was charismatic and clever enough to run not one, but two inns, or ‘osterias’ as they are called in Rome. It is likely there that her charms caught the attention of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, whom she scandalously entered into an affair with, despite his vows of celibacy. He later became Pope Julius II.

This woman became famous for her romantic relationship with Pope Alexander VI Borgia. The result of their love was four children, and Vanozza became one of the most influential women of her time. By the way, Pope officially recognized his children.

5. Zenobia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Queen Zenobia’s Last Look Upon Palmyra, by Herbert Gustave Schmalz (1888 CE). Original on exhibit, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

She was the second wife of King Palmyra Odenat II. However, soon Odenat dies at the hands of an assassin (there is a version that his loved wife killed him). Anyway, Zenobia became the ruler of Palmyra with her son. The famous philosopher Longinus educated him. Her troops quickly conquered Egypt, Syria and the eastern part of Asia Minor.

6. Mania

When Mania’s husband Zenid died, the aggressor was awake inside her. She hired Greeks and seized several cities in the district, personally taking part in battles, giving orders, and sharing loot – in general, everything that the commander-strategist did in antiquity. Nobody managed to defeat her, but one man seduced her daughter, got into trust, and then killed Mania.

7. Lucretia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Detail of Lucretia by Rembrandt van Rijn

Lucretia was a wife of the commander Tarquinius Collatin, lived in the 6th century BC. She was beautiful and generous. Once, the son of the Roman king Tarquinius Proud seduced Lucretia, threatening to kill her. She didn’t hide anything from her husband, but the burden of shame was great, so she committed suicide. This case was a turning point in the history of Rome.

8. Elena Augusta

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
The Vision Of St Helena, Paolo Veronese

Helena Augusta spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire which became important in history. Under her leadership, the Life-Giving Cross and other important relics were found in Jerusalem. Thanks to this woman, a large number of Christian churches were built, some of which survived to the present day.

9. Agnodice

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Agnodice | 4th Century BCE Athens, and was the first female physician to gain an official practice.

This Greek woman was the first gynecologist in the history of medicine. Agnodice, being dressed as a man, secretly attended medical classes. In the end, the fraud was revealed, and Agnodice received the right to practice medicine officially, thanks to which she opened this path to all subsequent women-doctors.

10.Joanna Papissa

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Legend has it that a pope who ruled between 855 and 877 AD, Pope John, was actually a woman.

This is the woman who allegedly sat on the Pope’s throne. There is neither the evidence that she is a mythical person nor the facts of her existence. Until the 15th century, there were no denials of her existence, but later, the identity of Papissa began to be questioned.

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