The Weekly Watch

The Business of War

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Last week Michael and Richard described the US as a pentagon economy in their 45 minute conversation with Nima entitled "Why are China and Russia the US No. 1 Enemy?". However, what inspired this week's topic was Nima's conversation with Dmitry Orlov with whom I'm not familiar. Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad, USSR, into an academic family, and emigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. I found his comments and observations on target: The US continues wars until they are not profitable, for example we left Afghanistan because Fentanyl replaced heroin, The MIC isn't about winning wars, it is about maximizing profits, and many more.

(52 min)

The Weekly Watch

The Waste of War

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Wars are largely created to enrich the elite at the expense of everyone else. The cost can be measured in lives, money, environmental destruction, social and mental health, and much more, as the oligarchs count their profits. Yesterday used to be Armistice Day, the end of the war to end all wars, but now we honor war and warriors, not peace.

This year we celebrate the 105th anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice that ceased hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. With this instrument, nations still recovering from the dreadful nightmare of WWI, one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, collectively embraced peace as a universal principle and called for an end to all wars. Armistice Day was initially designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated."

(17 min)

Why Egypt will never open their border to Gaza

We know that Israel wants to ethnically cleans Gaza. They are openly calling for that (and worse). Their plan is to push them all into the northern Sinai (I guess the irony of pushing a slateless people to wander for years in the Sinai desert as been lost on the government of Israel).

The Weekly Watch

Continuing COVID Confusion

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Discussion of the lab leak hypothesis on the origin of the pandemic is finally allowed. Is that because it adds fuel to fire a war with China (even though the US provided funding and support for gain of function research in Wuhan)? However, interestingly use of ivermectin as an effective treatment is still out of bounds and unacceptable. No, TPTB are suggesting an third dose of vaccine instead. Speaking of vaccines, I must admit it was nice to gather with old friends last week. We were camping outside, and I think everyone was vaccinated. About thirty folks gathered at the Florida Faux Festival, and our usual cadre of ten or so camped together. Made lots of music, and I feel like I'm getting my musical feet back. We also got in an eight mile canoe trip on the Suwannee, and went to four different and unique springs along the river. It was my first real dip back into normalcy since the pandemic began in earnest March of '20, and it was as refreshing as diving in the springs.

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For. The. Love. Of. Christ.

Look, people, words mean things, and, Humpty Dumpty notwithstanding, they mainly mean what they are understood to mean by the people who create and employ them. Wittgenstein also notwithstanding, we mostly don't have trouble agreeing about most of the things that fall into most of the categories we choose to assign to the phenomena we observe.

And now for a moment of sanity (diplomatic edition)

Every once in a while, not often but once in a while, the people whose job it is to skirt ever so carefully around a clear statement or position throw up their hands and take a position (of sorts) anyway.

The Weekly Watch

Is This the Moment to Build a Movement?

I think it is time...past unite the fight to end poverty in the world's wealthiest country, address the systemic racism reflected in our immoral prison system and police shootings, stop environmental degradation, and fund these cultural transitions (and restore a sense of humanity) by ending war. These four issues - poverty, racism, ecological destruction, and endless war – are intrinsically bound together. The Poor People's Campaign began forty days of action last Monday. Each week represents a different theme, and there are concurrent actions in thirty capitols.