weekly watch

The Weekly Watch

Reformation, Reclamation, and Restoration

The three R's that need to be taught

We sit at the intersection of multiple related crises. Climate chaos, environmental degradation, economic instability, social disintegration, political corruption, public protests, declining health and lifespan and more. Can we find opportunity in the midst of this changing landscape? Is it darkest before the dawn or is it the middle of a long night? Perhaps this chaos does provide an opportunity to reform, reclaim, and restore our natural and social systems. People seem ready for something to change, but the oligarchs are playing every trick in the book to maintain the status quo. These questions came to me after I listened to Jimmy and Dylan Ratigan ...watch about 8-10 minutes to hear the debate about crisis versus opportunity. For some reason the time code isn't embedding but a click (or copy and paste) should take you to the cued portion at 1 hour 28 min and 40 sec. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23Dc2ZfpKmo&t=1h28m40s

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The Weekly Watch

Escaping Capitalism?

Human survival requires escaping capitalism according the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report … “The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key requirement to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet.” Capitalism has never factored in the environmental costs of our activities. It has one goal - profit. It is past time for a broader look at priorities. Not only do we need to stop the degradation of our ecosystems, but we must begin the long term task of restoration. We have much to do, and that's one reason I support Bernie's guaranteed jobs program over Yang's UBI. Today I want to touch on the role agriculture can play in reversing our climate catastrophe, and touch on the insanity of a capitalist health care (or better stated -disease and perscription) system. We'll also take a stroll through some of this weeks news cycle.

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The Weekly Watch

Going Undercover and other Cover-ups

As we turn the corner (Halloween is the midway point of fall) it is time to think of covering your fall crops during freezes and heavy frosts. We'll look at some different approaches to protecting garden crops. Depending on the severity of the winter we often over winter lettuce and other leafy greens. Today we'll also look at some of the stories that are covered up and ignored. I loved Noam's explanation of COINTELLPRO to a smug BBC reporter several years ago...I've got it cued up and it last about 3 min (but the entire 30 min clip is great if you've not seen it)

The Weekly Watch

Systemic Corporate Cons

I've been thinking this week about the spectrum of corporate deceit, propaganda, and misinformation. Among my pondering includes the poor reasoning for war and coups...profits for arms manufacturers and fossil fuel. Name one of our dirty little wars that benefited people. The denial of our climate disaster and business as usual promotion of fossil fuels. The wholesale devastation of ecosystems like tropical forests and the polar regions. The lousy state of our health and health care system promoted by big ag, big pharma, and some doctors. I understand much of the manipulation is a function of corporate media spewing misinformation, but it is much wider in scope. Research in all domains is largely funded by corporations. I spent time in the publish or perish world of hustling research monies and climbing the academic ladder....something I'm glad I escaped. Universities like politicians are purchased by the oligarchs. There is some push back, but we have a systemic problem across the spectrum.
Remember this example? The seven CEOs steadfastly refused to budge under stringent questioning that they knew cigarettes were addictive. Each stated under oath that they did not believe nicotine was addictive. (1.5 min)

The Weekly Watch

Fertile Soils and Fertile Minds

The YouTube algorithm has delivered some interesting comments/statements by teachers on my feed. I want to share a few of those. I'm so glad my teaching career was in a smaller rural school with quite a different environment. At any rate those interviews make it obvious why we don't have a thinking, civil population. My original notion for today's column was to focus on soil fertility. This is really the time of year to address that, so when its time for spring planting the soil is already prepared. Then I started putting these two concepts together in my mind...we can use agricultural practices to make soil fertile and we can use educational techniques to create healthy fertile minds capable of independent thought. Both touch the future in profound ways.

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The Weekly Watch

Variety, Varmints, and Victims

It's been a week of protest around the world. Do any of you remember such a global protest movement? Thousands of people have been arrested world wide.
I've been struggling with a groundhog all week. The varmint mowed down my broccoli in one night. Its groundhog day all over again.
We're losing diversity and variety of our food plants. This week we'll examine some attempts to maintain and grow many types food producing plants.
This first clip is dedicated to 'The Voice In the Wilderness' our resident tree grafter (11 min)

The Weekly Watch

Whistling with a Mouthful of Crackers

How ironic to talk of whistleblowers and never mention Chelsea, nor Julian, nor Ed Snowden who are all being persecuted by the very people hollering about protecting whistleblowers. Not to mention it was a CIA agent within the white house spying on Trumpilini....and he worked his way through channels? Let's see how did that work out for John Kiriakou or Tom Drake or Jeffrey Sterling? They all served time. Like Russiagate, Ukrainegate looks like a CIA propaganda tool. Now instead of discussing real issues we'll be observing the circus of clowns dancing around and around and getting nowhere. Meanwhile there are real things happening like:

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The Weekly Watch

Gut Feelings

There really is something to a gut feeling. Seems our gut biome influences not only our brain but also the expression of our DNA. Before we get into the biology, let's use our gut feelings to examine and speculate about our politics, economy, and militarism. Then we'll listen to some doctors views on how we can improve our microbiome. Whether that improves our thinking or not I'll leave up to you.

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The Weekly Watch

Summer's Striking End

Let's see...drone strikes, climate strikes, and autoworkers strike...three strikes and summer is out! But is the game lost? Well it ain't over till it's over. Tomorrow morning at 2:50 AM Central, the sun will shine directly on the equator and summer will be over and fall will begin. The weather here seems anything but fall like. It's been hot and dry for weeks now. We are watering the fall veggies. Tomorrow they are attempting to shut down DC, and next Friday another massive global climate strike. Millions participated in the global climate strike last Friday. The UAW strike is the largest US strike in over a decade. Do these actions give you hope?

The Weekly Watch

The Game is Rigged

I tried to watch a bit of the debate this week. I thought the part I saw was a farce. Rigged from the start by cherry picking polls to make sure Tulsi wasn't there. Asking gotcha questions instead opting for substance. The moderators doing their best to slam Bernie. Bye-done bumbling through his incoherent answers as the DNC PTB shove him down our throats like they did the $hill in 2016. But it isn't just the political arena, the rigged game extends deep into almost every avenue of our society... voting, economics, military conquest, environmental collapse, and so on. And almost everybody knows.

The Weekly Watch

The Oily, Greasy, Slippery Slope of American Empire

Last week I posed the question asking why the oligarchs are destroying our ecosystem when they too will suffer the biological consequences. The more I thought about this question, I started hypothesizing that they too are owned by the very corporations they started...or at least operate in order to promote their corporations' profits rather than improving the human condition (and their own condition despite their claim of philanthropy). The oil companies make my point ...destroying ecosystems for profits in order to fulfill their bank loans.

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Look at the Alberta Tar Sands...the dirtiest oil Extraction process imaginable

The Weekly Watch

Laboring to Understand

I just don't get it. How could any amount of money be more valuable than the life of your child or grandchild? Has the extinction of our species and destruction of our biosphere got a dollar value? Is the audacity of the powerful so extreme, they think they will be exempt from ecosystem collapse? I'm serious folks, I just don't understand. I can't imagine a rationale for releasing more methane and the promotion of pipelines and fossil fuels, allowing the rape of Alaska's temperate rainforests and the tropical forests (all over the planet)... as ice caps melt, the arctic and tropics burn, and species are disappearing faster than we can count them. It is truly madness. We have reached a cascade of tipping points... as the oligarchs accelerate the actions that got us here. They already have more money than God/dess, so what could be their real purpose? Is it simply the intoxication of power that drives them destroy the only habitable system we have? I'll say again, it is insanity.

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The Weekly Watch

Fall for Gardens

Many people think gardening season is winding down, and it is true the summer crops are playing out. However, fall is a great gardening season in my corner of the world. It is the best time for some of the healthiest garden produce...leafy greens. Those of you in more northern locations can still put in young plants. Most garden centers offer plants or sets. So, it is still hot and dry here and it makes it difficult to think about cool fall season crops, but it is time...past time. After we get the fall garden going today we'll take a glance around the world to see what's happening...

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The Weekly Watch

Hope or Despair?

(or something in between?)

There are several approaches to address our ecological disaster, but the rub is in the adoption of these practices. This week we'll look at ways in which we can green the planet and absorb more carbon. I don't know how we get TPTB (the powers that be) to stop and limit emissions and extraction. Perhaps the Climate Strike on September 20 will have some impact here? I continue to use gas...in my tractor, car, weed eater and chain saw...but I'm trying to minimize...biking into town, walking when possible, buying less and growing more. However, there are large scale ecosystem level ways to restore environments. Many are counter intuitive. Others more obvious.

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The Weekly Watch

What You Say?

I heard several interesting interviews over the last couple of weeks and thought I would feature a few of them for your listening pleasure in today's column. There will also be plenty of articles to read as well. As a homesteader, I lead an active life, so I use a couple of tricks to listen to these sorts of conversations. If I'm working around the house I put them on the stereo that includes outside (on the porch) speakers. That way I can do my chores and be informed at the same time. My other trick is to use an audio conversion program (like https://online-audio-converter.com/ ) to create a MP3 file which I put on my little player (most people use their smart phone, but I don't have one). Then I can listen while I mow or travel (my truck radio has an auxiliary plug). So like most of you I love to learn from people, but we need to be active to stay healthy. I try to do both.

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