The Weekly Watch

Now returning as the Sunday...
Open Thread image.jpg

CStMS will be moving her essays to Wednesday to relieve el of creating two open threads every week. So as usual please feel free to chime in with whatever is on your mind. I'm calling today's edition:

Burnt Out, Washed Up, and Blown Away

In homage to powers of nature... wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and the erosion of social cohesion. Perhaps we can find some good in the tragedies as any rational person must admit to climate chaos, a failed political system, a collapsing economy, and a polarized society. Awareness is a first step toward change. We can't force societal change, but we can as individuals select a better path to survival. I'm fine, but the young people deserve our best effort.

Fascist Police State Run Amok... Forevermore?

Who will stop it?  Those who must…and can.  Stay tuned.

‘Colorado police conduct militarized arrests of Party for Socialism and Liberation members’, Jacob Crosse, 19 September 2020, wsws.org (with permission)

“In an alarming escalation of state retaliation against opponents of unending police violence and murder, at least six protesters, four of whom are members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), were arrested by police and SWAT officers with the Aurora, Colorado police department on Thursday.

Friday Open Thread: "What are you reading?" edition. ~ Fire Monks


When a massive wildfire surrounded Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, five monks risked their lives to save it. A gripping narrative as well as a portrait of the Zen path and the ways of wildfire, Fire Monks reveals what it means to meet a crisis with full presence of mind.

Zen master and author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi established a monastery at Tassajara Hot Springs in 1967, drawn to the location's beauty, peace, and seclusion. Deep in the wilderness east of Big Sur, the center is connected to the outside world by a single unpaved road. The remoteness that makes it an oasis also makes it particularly vulnerable when disaster strikes. If fire entered the canyon, there would be no escape.

More than two thousand wildfires, all started by a single lightning storm, blazed across the state of California in June 2008. With resources stretched thin, firefighters advised residents at Tassajara to evacuate early. Most did. A small crew stayed behind, preparing to protect the monastery when the fire arrived.

But nothing could have prepared them for what came next. A treacherous shift in weather conditions prompted a final order to evacuate everyone, including all firefighters. As they caravanned up the road, five senior monks made the risky decision to turn back. Relying on their Zen training, they were able to remain in the moment and do the seemingly impossible-to greet the fire not as an enemy to defeat, but as a friend to guide.

Fire Monks pivots on the kind of moment some seek and some run from, when life and death hang in simultaneous view. Novices in fire but experts in readiness, the Tassajara monks summoned both intuition and wisdom to face crisis with startling clarity. The result is a profound lesson in the art of living.

Video by Mako Voelkel.


I'm feeling that separation is the toxin that we have to overcome in order to find an antidote/vaccine, during this time of covid.

My wish is for each of us to find a solution that is mutually beneficial, as well as safe. Wherever volunteer help is needed and possible to be offered would be a good start, I think.

key witness for Assange’s defense: John Goetz of der Spiegel [Updated]

at the bottom with Leon Panetta's comments in a recent German documentary on WikiLeaks.

John Goetz

Now that Judge Baraiter has told the defense to STFU about Julian’s extradition being ‘political’, in the second superceding indictment is his (WikiLeaks) having ‘put people in harm’s way’.  Now his Aussie attorney Jen Robinson said that i) if he had, there would have been reports of it, and two, even if anyone had been harmed, the issue was still moot under  his (their)  First Amendment rights to have done so.  As per Kevin Gostola yesterday, it was unclear whether or not Baraitser would allow Jen to testify for the defense.

Noteworthy is the fact that of all the media organizations who’d profited from publishing WikiLeaks work, Goetz is the only one willing to testify for the defense and tell the Truth.

‘Former Der Spiegel journalist exposes US government lies that Assange “failed to redact” and “put lives at risk”,  Laura Tiernan, 17 September 2020, wsws.org (Given permission, I’ll use it all, as he’s da bomb!)