The Weekly Watch


The world around me is greening. Trees are budding, blooming, and leafing. Last year's sugars stored in the roots return to the growing tips and are converted into green leaves - solar powered carbon fixers. Creating sugar from air and water is the nature of plant growth. The sugars are used to build more plant tissue as they reach for the sun. I guess we have to strive toward a goal ourselves to experience growth - the human equivalent of reaching for the sun. We could use more of the sensibility and sustainability of cyclic plant growth, relying on the sun and water for our power and energy. Perhaps we could grow to be a sane and functional society focused on the needs of people and the natural system rather than the cancerous growth of profit hungry war mongers in the US and around the world.


American Conservative critique of Sanctions on Venezuela

Daniel Larison's writing on Venezuela may have been discussed here previously and I may have missed the discussion, but I just want to point to the humane nature of conservative communities we can relate to.

From our friends at The American Conservative:

The Weekly Watch

Fixating on Nitrogen and Spreading Manure

Nitrogen is the most common substance in the atmosphere, existing mostly as two atoms held together by a triple bond. Nitrogen enters the system through the activity of various bacteria (some associated with plants but others free living). Nitrogen in natural systems also falls with rain... lightening will fuse nitrogen and oxygen together in several water soluble configurations (also fusing oxygen to itself forming ozone, O3). Ever noticed how green things look after a thunderstorm? In part because there was a dose of N added.

N cycle.jpg

The Weekly Watch

Round and Round We Go


Deja Vu All Over Again

This week I want to focus on the myriad of cycles in which we live and interact. When I first thought of this topic, my idea was the cycle of seasons, the carbon cycle and its balance of photosynthesis and respiration, the slow geologic gyre of the rock cycle and soil formation, the phase changes of the water cycle, the chemical cycles like nitrogen which orchestrate a dance between the atmosphere, soils, and biosphere, and so on...all natural processes on which we depend for stability of the ecosystem. However, as the week progressed I couldn't help but think back to my youth and the Vietnam war. I fear our immanent invasion of Venezuela will be like multiplying the Vietnam and Iraq fiascos...and then squaring it. With the appointment of Elliot Abrams it really is deja vu all over again.

The Weekly Watch

The Cancerous Growth of the American Empire

Is There a Cure?

The United Snakes of America is spreading its poison again...this time declaring the elected president of Venezuela is a dictator, and recognizing the leader of the assembly as president. That's like Russia and China announcing Pelosi is now our president. The Carter Center stated "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." Old tiny hands, the liar in chief, is at it again. We use slightly different strategies in different countries to prop up corporate hacks as president. Both parties have been complicit. Consider Honduras and the stolen election the US recently recognized. Not to mention the coup supported by Obomber and the $hill. Brazil provides more evidence of our support of corporatists with the illegal removal of Dilma, and the imprisonment of Lula on trumped up charges. Bannon was in Brazil promoting Bolsonaro as was the CIA.

I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

― Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: by America's Most Decorated Soldier

In defense of socialism, again

In my experience, the most confident and strident defenders of capitalism are the ones who know the least about socialism. I can't fully blame them for this because there is so much intentional misinformation, as well as suppressed information, that it takes a herculean effort to get a more accurate viewpoint.
This essay is a follow-up to this previous one.