The Weekly Watch

It's 1, 2, 3 What Are We Fighting 4?

I keep waiting for some group to promote a people's platform. Since I haven't seen one, I decided to produce a wish list myself. Over four decades ago my partner worked with Paul Torrance http://stateofcreativity.com/dr-e-paul-torrance/ I learned through their work that in order to accomplish things we need to develop a positive future image (which is why Paul developed a future problem solving competition for children). So what follows is my list of goals for a positive future in the US and world. Of course there will also be the usual summary of this week's news.

positive future.jpg


A US Plan... proposing a path toward peace and prosperity for people and the planet.


(each item could, and has been, the subject an entire essays, but in brief here's my suggested agenda)

1. Stop the insane wars and bring our troops home from... Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Niger, the South China Sea, North Korea, and Russia's European border. Additionally remove the CIA operatives fomenting dissent in Ukraine, Venezuela, and elsewhere. (In fact it might be best to disband the CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and highly regulate the FBI). It is past time to stop corporate imperialism and promote a military focused on national defense. As the constitution suggests, require a congressional declaration of war for all military actions.

2. Reform the tax system in order to minimize inequality and maximize green energy. Examples include: taxing investment income like all other income, raising rates on higher incomes, removing caps on Social Security and Medicare taxes, begin annual gas (and other fossil fuel) tax hikes, provide tax incentives for green energy projects, worker coops, employee business buy outs, and so on. Hire more IRS staff and regulators.

3. Corporate reform is needed. Break up the big banks and re-instate Glass-Steigel (separating investment banking from public sector banking). Re-define the US (petro)dollar (perhaps valued on a solar/green kilowatt?). Do not allow offshoring of corporate headquarters and profits of US businesses. Provide tax relief for worker owned businesses and those with employee profit-sharing. Corporations and nonprofits should not be allowed to make political contributions.

4. Establish single payer healthcare. It will be more economical and effective. https://www.healthcare-now.org/blog/single-payer-system-would-be-a-boon-...

Use the savings generated in proposals 1-4 to accomplish the following

5. Build long term national wealth with free public university/college education and community/teacher directed (non-corporate) community schools. (Include debt relief for those graduates who were burdened).

6. Create a National Jobs Program...provide a living wage job for anyone in need. Provide positions that create a green infrastructure and add staff to public services like schools, libraries, parks, hospitals, environmental restoration, and so on.

7. Grow a green revolution with clean and local energy, water, food, and transportation. Protect natural areas by making population centers more livable. http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20206:Clean-Energy-is-a-%27Powerful-Engi...

8. Create an honest, citizen verified news media. To be called “News”, it should be evidence based with sources provided. Accessible, affordable high speed internet should be available nation-wide.

9. Election reform and reliability. First repeal “Citizen's United”. Limit contributions to $200 per candidate per cycle. Citizen contributions only...no corporate nor non-profits allowed to contribute. End gerrymandering with nonpartisan algorithm created districts. Make voter registration as easy as possible. Provide a web-based ballot with links to candidate positions (and amendment explanations) at least three months prior to elections. Making voting easy as well...perhaps using mail-in ballots. (In this day of the internet we could have direct voting on major issues, like war?)

10. Prison and police reform. No more privatized prisons. Work release (halfway homes) for nonviolent prisoners. Retrain police as public servants rather than militarized enforcers. No more using the FBI to infiltrate (and destroy) social movements like Black lives Matter and Standing Rock.

So there is my ten point plan. I know it is pie in the sky, but if we don't have goals we don't get anywhere. Besides I was tired of reading about a nonexistent people's platform and decided to lay out some talking points at least. When I started dreaming about having a little farm, I was 18 or so, it was a pipe dream (that took decades to achieve). Now I've been working on this farm for over thirty years. On a national scale I think we have quite a mountain to climb, but I know educating people and setting goals is a big step forward.

construct a future dream.jpg

So much for dreams... how about this week's news?

Let's start with some interesting interviews from this week.

Renowned Afro-Latinx activist and scholar Rosa Clemente sits down with Abby Martin to discuss her experiences running for Vice President, organizing under Obama versus under Trump, advice for new activists, identity politics and more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER_6rkllhNk (26 min)

The Intercepted podcast also had a focus on race this week. Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about Trump, Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and more. “The Color of Money” author Mehrsa Baradaran breaks down the roots of economic apartheid in the U.S., the ongoing impact of slavery on black communities, and offers a provocative history of black banks. And finally Jeremy speaks with lead singer Hamed Sinno about being queer and Arab in the Middle East and Trump’s America. https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/intercepted-podcast-the-white-stuff/ (1.5 hrs text soon)

From last week, Chris Hedges discussion with George Lakey about nonviolent protests
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGURjOjUIZM (28 min)

World-Renowned Artist Ai Weiwei on His Childhood, Art, Activism, Prison & Freedom
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/9/world_renowned_artist_ai_weiwei_on (video and text)
and his new film about refugees...”Human Flow”
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/9/human_flow_world_renowned_artist_...
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ai-weiweis-harrowing-film-refugee-cris...

Julian Assange interviewed by Amy had no patience with Russiagate and had to keep things on track. https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/10/julian_assange_accusations_of_wi...
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/10/julian_assange_marks_55_years_in... (video and text)

Jesse Jackson was on Democracy Now this week (video and text)
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/11/rev_jesse_jackson_defend_the_con...
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/11/rev_jesse_jackson_colin_kaeperni...

Amy also had a conversation with Robert Jay Lifton, leading American psychiatrist (with text)
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/13/robert_jay_lifton_on_the_apocaly...
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/13/psychiatrist_robert_jay_lifton_o...

Lee Camp speaks with John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman about how the War on Terror protects corporate interests. They also discuss how media has become the arm of the war machine. (1st 15 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaQ6iLRbcVM

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Around the World...

Puerto Rico three weeks after destruction (video and text)
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/11/puerto_rico_3_weeks_after_hurricane
Go Green Puerto Rico!
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/13/promoting-renewable-future-...
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, gives his view
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/13/rep_luis_gutierrez_trump_wants_to
Trump has threatened to withdraw federal emergency workers from the Puerto Rico as much of the island remains in dire straits, says Julio Lopez Varona (7 min or text)
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20215:Trump-Threatens-the-Aid-that-Puert...

Columbia
Coca cultivation and the lack of alternatives to escape poverty continue to lie at the root of the ongoing violence in Colombia, despite the peace accords, explains Mario Murillo of Hofstra University
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20219:Colombian-State-Escalates-Violence...

Venezuela...
goes to the polls today to elect regional Governors. A country T-rump accuses of being a dictatorship has better voter participation and fairer elections than the US. Kinda like the irony of Saudi is our friend but democratic Iran is our enemy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG9x_PZiJdY (2 min)

Chaos in Catalonia
The vote was organized in secret. The organizers spoke and texted in code ...
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/12/catalonia-referendum-independence-se...
Julian Assange helped design the approach (video and text) https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/10/as_catalonia_plans_independence_...

mistakes.jpg

I started the column with Country Joe and the Fish...continuing in the same vane...is the next stop Iran? It seems we can't learn...

President Trump's decertification of the Iran nuclear deal and targeting of the Revolutionary Guard is a dangerous escalation, says Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council (12 min and text)
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20220:Decertifying-Iran-Deal%2C-Trump-Es...

T-rump's Friday speech sure did sound like the same lies that led us to war with Iraq. will we fall for it again?
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trumps-propaganda-iran-nuclear-deal-si...

The Iranian President and most world leaders slammed T-rump for withdrawing from the deal.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/13/iranian-president-rips-delu...

Medea Benjamin suggest several reasons to support the Iranian deal
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/10-reasons-u-s-stick-iran-nuclear-deal/

T-rump pulled the US out of UNESCO...how foolish. Max Bloomenthal weighs in on the topic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCmzN0VqGpk (4.5 min)

What UNESCO has done has to raise the red flag and to point out that Israel has systematically undermined major sites, including the sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, because of Israeli excavations, colonization, and other actions. http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20222:US-and-Israel-Show-UNESCO-their-An... (video and text)

Hey...if we can't provoke a war with Iran, we can put more pressure on North Korea
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/11/bomber-flyover-trump-denoun...
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trump-threatens-genocide-crimes-humani...

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The Empire

American society is embracing its inner empire. Eventually, its long reach may come for us all.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176337/tomgram%3A_danny_sjursen%2C_embra...

The tactics of the FBI are exposed in this one man investigation. We are our own worst enemy.
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/10/recordings-capture-brutal-fbi-tactic...

ICE is as bad or worse than the FBI as this leaked document about asset seizure reveals
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/13/ice-hsi-asset-forfeiture-handbook/

The FBI terrorism unit's report warning that 'black identity extremists' are a violent threat is only the latest in a long tradition of targeting black activists, says the Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&...

Interesting how white terrorists fly under the radar. Shaun King comments on a recent case...
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/terrorist-donald-trump-airport-bombe...
Jimmy Dore adds his two cents...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJdIGYgoFmU (9.5 min)

Lee Camp wonders if we can unite against the corporatocracy (11 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma3FTNWjzvE

Noam Chomsky on America as Empire (6 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD1nq7btqtw

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The Economy

There are better ways and examples of sane banks. In addition to the Grabeen bank mentioned last week - http://www.grameen-info.org/about-us/ - there's Banco Popular which was established in 1969 by the Costa Rican government to promote economic development. Its mission is to serve the social and sustainable welfare of Costa Ricans.
http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/703-thomas-marois/33...

Noam describes some examples of worker coops (3 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5almt4az284
And Richard Wolff suggest coops promote democracy (3 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WMKL8HhHjY

We are witnessing what may be a new Golden Age for Goldman Sachs. President Trump has handed the job of shaping economic policy over to alumni of Goldman Sachs in particular. These appointments add up to a level of inside influence that is unusual even by Goldman’s historic standards.
https://inequality.org/research/government-sachs-trump-administration/

Jim Hightower notices that T-rump's pledge to roll back a hedge fund loophole has mysteriously vanished from his tax plan.
https://inequality.org/research/happened-trumps-pledge-close-billionaire...

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President Trump's new effort to undermine Obamacare through "association plans" would increase the healthcare costs of those who need it most, says Michael Lighty of National Nurses United
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20213:Trump%27s-Obamacare-Sabotage-Burde...

Kill health care by cutting subsidies "Trump doesn't get that when he tosses a grenade into the healthcare system in broad daylight, we see who did it."
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/13/sadistic-sabotage-uproar-af...

How do you sell more guns? FEAR and mass shootings...
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/13/gun-sales-bump-stocks-las-vegas-shoo...
Professor Richard Wolff interviews Dr. Harriet Fraad on economics, psychology and mass murders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TirfzEaB-pc (3 min)

history crosses future.jpg

Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' school choice agenda has run into roadblocks on Capitol Hill. But, from her perch at the department, she has other levers to get states and districts to offer kids more schooling options, without help from anyone in Congress.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2017/10/betsy_devos_choice_...

DeVos is just starting to dismantle public education
http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/betsy-devoss-attack-on-public-edu...

Schools touted by Betsy DeVos aggressively recruit at-risk students, offer bare-bones courses, and boost revenue by inflating enrollment.
https://www.propublica.org/article/for-profit-schools-get-state-dollars-...

How for-profit charters that serve dropouts turn their students into promoters in order to score state funding. https://www.alternet.org/profit-schools-reward-students-cash

Look to Minnesota to see what DeVos' charter school plan is like
http://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/what-does-devos-charter-s...

And to make things worse, rethugs and corporate democraps are working against teacher's unions
https://www.alternet.org/teachers-unions-under-attack-both-parties

Jimmy takes the Washington Post to task in a series of stories
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMjElYUI87E (15 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDSWuuRPF9k (12 min) interview about picketing The Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVGaEU7mY1Y (15 min) making fun of Bezos

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Prisons and criminal justice

There are nearly 100,000 people being held in solitary confinement today in America’s prisons.
https://www.alternet.org/activism/100000-us-prisoners-are-trapped-isolat...

The front-runner in the Minneapolis mayor’s race was convicted of burglary as a teenager in the 1970s, an experience he says inspired his entry into politics decades later.
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/12/minneapolis-mayor-race-raymond-dehn/

The Environment...

Last week it was Hurricane Nate in my focus. This week it is the western fires. Climate chaos is with us, and we're still promoting fossil fuels.
9,000 firefighters battling 17 large fires across northern California
90,000 forced from homes and 5,700 homes and businesses destroyed
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/13/california-wildfires-crews...
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/11/as_deadly_wildfires_rage_in_cali... (video and text)

Professor Matthew Hurteau says 100 years of fire suppression and human-caused climate change are fueling California's historic wildfires http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20226:Climate-Change-and-Fire-Suppressio... (video and text)

A ban on bottled water in 23 national parks prevented up to 2m plastic bottles from being used and discarded every year, a US national park service study found. Despite that, the Trump administration reversed the bottled water ban just three months later, a decision that horrified conservationists and pleased the bottled water industry. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/26/national-park-plasti...
No wonder coke is increasing their plastic bottle production...
https://www.alternet.org/environment/coca-cola-produces-tons-plastic-bot...

Ten US national monuments are in the Trump administration’s sights to be either resized or re-purposed, in order to allow mining, logging and grazing within their borders.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/18/national-monuments-a...

At least there was some good news about divesting from tar sands dirty oil
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20210:In-Historic-Step%2C-Banking-Giant-...

And just to keep things in perspective...maybe we'll all join Elizabeth if the Yellowstone caldera explodes...
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/12/forget-trump-huge-volcano-c...

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There's much to fight for...and much to stand against. We all have to find our place of balance working toward positive futures and against the evils of greed and destruction. Here in Alabama I face the real prospect of religious zealot Roy Moore becoming my senator (there's a reason we called the time of theocracy the dark ages). How much worse will he be than Jeff Sessions? Probably not much. At least I can vote for Doug Jones and hope enough others do the same, but currently Roy has an 8 point lead.

I guess what I'm suggesting this week is we have to stand for something. What do you think about my ten goals? Are those the issues you think we should address? Did I miss something in need of reform? I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

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Comments

Lookout's picture

RT (Russia Today) has become more reliable news than US MSM. Nice 5.5 min overview of the Iran nuclear deal and T-rumps comments.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xQkYifjPyc

Just posted this morning...

Chris Hedges speaks with Alex Vitale, author of "The End of Policing" and Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing & Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. They discuss the origins of modern policing and how to prevent law enforcement from stripping away citizens' rights.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWZq_XBP3eg (19 min)
(edit - for some reason youtube cut off the last few minutes. Here's the entire show from RT's site). The interview is quite good and relates well with the tenth point in my list of goals...
https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/406723-alex-vitale-brooklyn-college/

And for a little comedy is SNL news from last night
A focus on Weinstein (5 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEfa-HjlSAs
T-rumps 1st wife is interviewed (4 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1en_6uoDq9s
and more fake news...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0He5xKdrN3I (6 min)

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12 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Lookout

The 17th century was riven by religious wars and religion-based hatred from Europe to America, and the memories of that time of horror were what prompted the "freedom of religion" clause in the First Amendment.

It's just too bad that they didn't spell out that "freedom OF religion" must necessarily include freedom FROM religion....

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7 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Lookout's picture

@TheOtherMaven @TheOtherMaven

Of course it is difficult to tell which horrors are worse. I think we agree that theocracy is not a good form of government. Yes, freedom from religion is indeed a goal!

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

riverlover's picture

@Lookout from any religious notions. Other than the Golden Rule, which seems to hold stable as a moral choice. And I would define as civility.

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6 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Meteor Man's picture

@TheOtherMaven
is that everyone wants to be Theo.

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5 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Meteor Man's picture

@TheOtherMaven

"Donald Trump and the Dawn of the Evangelical-Nationalist Alliance: In their eyes, religious conservatives aren't making a cynical bargain by embracing a president with dubious religious bona fides. They finally have the street brawler they've always wanted": "[F]or many evangelicals and conservative Catholics, 'Make America Great Again' meant above all else returning to a time when the culture reflected and revolved around their Judeo-Christian values.

When there was prayer in public schools. When marriage was limited to one man and one woman. When abortion was not prevalent and socially acceptable. When the government didn't ask them to violate their consciences. And yes, when people said 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'Happy Holidays.'"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/14/trump-evangelical-nati...

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5 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Meteor Man

and made all the rules. Blum 3

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Meteor Man's picture

@TheOtherMaven
And wealthy white men of privilege explain them on His behalf, because The Popehat says so.

Then there's Pat Robertson for example:

https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/where-disneys-outrage-about-pat-robe...

Naturally enough there are troublemakers who question the All American Prosperity Gospel:

https://usnewz.com/2017/10/14/their-values-are-cash-and-not-christ-rev-b...

All of our problems started with that hippy socialist peacemonger Radical Jesus:

http://www.radicalthebook.com/

In Radical, David Platt invites you to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what you have heard. He challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. With passionate storytelling and convicting biblical analysis, Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ's followers today. Then he proposes a radical response: live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.

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3 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Centaurea's picture

3. Corporate reform is needed.

Under this item, I believe we need to change the laws regarding the corporate profit motive.

At present, corporations are legally mandated to maximize profit (and increase share value) to their owners-shareholders. This doesn't mean simply "make money", but "make as much money as possible, in any way possible".

The corporate purpose as publicized by the corporate PR department -- providing health care services, or making consumer products, as examples -- are not the true corporate purpose. Those are just the means to accomplish the actual purpose, which is to make as much money as possible.

That's why nowadays CEOs don't receive huge bonuses because of excellent customer or employee satisfaction results. The bonuses are a reward for making as much money as possible in any way possible.

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11 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

Lookout's picture

@Centaurea @Centaurea

at essentially 0% interest, and buy back your stock....thereby driving its value up and thus generating bonuses for the CEOs. It is a game....a rigged game. That's why it needs reform!

Thanks for your comment.

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Centaurea's picture

@Lookout That brings Wall Street into the picture, and the financialization of every doggone part of existence.

Really, "reform" seems too mild a word for what needs doing. We need to rethink our entire relationship with money.

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5 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

Lookout's picture

@Centaurea

perhaps radical reform is a better descriptor....even maybe re-invention.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cassiodorus's picture

@Centaurea The goal is to make as much money as possible in any way possible, and it's been that way since the 15th century when capitalism was made to work to provide sugar in Madeira for the nobility in Europe. See Patel and Moore's book.

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5 users have voted.

"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

Lookout's picture

@Cassiodorus

Some see it...others don't.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

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10 users have voted.

Betty Clermont

Lookout's picture

@Betty Clermont

openly discussed and debated...and even promoted by a peoples party.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout most on your list are on the DSA's platform.
And...If you don't see it there, you can pretty easily advocate for it's inclusion.
Start at your local chapter and go for it.
I know, it's a small party. Now.
Now +1 helps.
Agree with your ten points btw. Thanks.

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1 user has voted.
Lookout's picture

@peachcreek

I'll check them out. It's been awhile.

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0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

Beautiful roundup today. I heard the Intercept podcast earlier this week. They are always interesting.

I loved when Julian Assange got after Amy on Democracy Now! I was in my car driving home when he blasted her. Finally, someone with credibility called her on that shit.

So much is happening, very quickly, in our world, we need to be very alert - that's what you and this site do - keep us well informed based on reality. There is so much I need to go back up and read and listen to.

I love your 10 points. We need to start somewhere and those 10 are great starting points!

Have a beautiful day, everyone! * pleasantry*

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11 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Julian was so on target, and I too loved his call out on russiagate. Thanks for dropping by!

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
I was getting pretty fed up with Amy seemingly having her head up the DNC butt. She won't acknowledge any criticism of the dems. She's becoming too much like Maddow in that respect. I used to be a very loyal listener. Now, I pick and choose depending on who is on. We'll see if this has any impact on her in shows to come.

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8 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

as a pawn in the discussion. As with Amy, I don't always agree with Oliver, but I found his movie "Ukraine on Fire" the only real discussion of our role in the ongoing conflict.
Here's the trailer... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVdvp188rk4 (2 min)
OLIVER STONE accuses the CIA for UKRAINE'S COUP and the KIEV MASSACRE. He believes the Western Media is NOT reporting the TRUTH about the developments of the Ukraine Crisis and is PRODUCING a NEW DOCUMENTARY based on the Truth.

And his untold history of the US is really good as well.. Here's an episode about Bush...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBfAQjaderc (1 hour)

He may have over played his hand in the Podesta Wikileaks, but sure was a waste of interview time.

Like you, I used to listen to Amy everyday...now it depends on the guests. I have a friend who is so anti-trump that they are pro-maddow. That seems Amy's problem too. Sorry, truth is truth and I'm not supporting lies to make a point.

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10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
threw me, too. I don't mind him. He made me question my thinking on Ukraine, which is good. His interviews with Putin were worth watching, too.

Also, thanks for posting the John Perkins interview. Ever since I found and read The Economic Hitman, I've followed him. That must have been 2010 or so. It really made me question my government in a way I never conceived of. I have a rethuglucan friend who thinks its CT - of course he does!

Cheers!

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4 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Lookout's picture

up
3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

now we need politicians willing to run on this platform.

I posted something similar a while back. basic outline is-

1. war
2. healthcare
3. economy
4. education
5. justice system
6. honest govt./elections

a majority of the country would vote for people to implement these reforms, but we are not given that chance by duopoly.

that's the deal.

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9 users have voted.

@irishking
This might actually be possible, now that so many people are so thoroughly fed up with it. And for good reason. Both Parties are irredeemably corrupt, and neither Party is anywhere near being widely admired. The fact that both Sanders and Trump were outsiders (rebels of a sort) is no accident -- it is a harbinger of things to come. People need to stop supporting either one of these Parties simply because they fear the other one. That notion is absurd -- and profoundly undemocratic, and it hasn't been getting anyone (except for Wall Street) anywhere. The idea that D Party vs R Party encompasses the whole of American democracy has outlived its usefulness.

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6 users have voted.

native

Big Al's picture

They're similar to other lists I've seen going back to Occupy. The problem I have with these lists, no offense they are needed, is how to accomplish them. That goes directly to democracy, we can't accomplish any of our goals unless one primary goal is achieved, democracy.
As long as we're ruled, as long as our political system remains so inadequate to our needs, we won't achieve our other goals of living well together on this planet. I don't believe election reform is the answer, we have to force a major change this political system from an oligarchy controlled duopoly.

I think the goal is the problem. My only goal at this point is to end oligarchy and plutocracy and institute democracy so we can (try to) achieve our other goals.

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9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Big Al

Until it effects their pocketbook the oligarchs don't give a damn about what us peons think. Sadly I don't think the citizenry is prepared for the sacrifice require to oust the bastards...in fact many are so brainwashed they would fight for the elite and against their own interest.

So as a teacher, I still grapple with trying to educate people about the state of the state, and hope that words and ideas like these ten points inspire others to reach for change.

I agree it is actions that are needed, but ideas inspire action. We need to pull the plow in the same direction... another reason to lay out goals.

Thanks for your valid and accurate comment.

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Big Al's picture

@Lookout with so few unionized jobs and so many people already living on the edge. A day off work, possibly getting fired, hard to do.
No one has the answers, we all have the answers, we can't seem to agree, we can't seem to find a way to make it work.
I don't know.

I think the goal lists are necessary and helpful to educate people, show them what the possibilities are. It is going to take an organized educational and informational campaign to enact any type of major change.

That's why I've focused more on democracy as a goal. My other goals may not be the same as your goals or others' goals. I might want socialism, they might want capitalism, I might want a nationalized health care system, they might want to keep it in the corporations hands, I might want to end imperialism, they might want to continue it, etc. The 99% are not going to want the same things, but if we all had a equal say in how we are governed as opposed to our being ruled by the rich, the people can decide those things. I can live with that.

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7 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Big Al @Big Al

You always draw our attention to our senseless wars, and call for a better system. That's good. We do what we can do.

If we all worked together we could pull off a general strike...those with resources helping those without. During the civil rights movement, our house (midway between Atlanta and Mississippi) was a safe house for whites and black traveling together. As a child I was influenced by the Bus boycott and saw the power of economic strikes. I continue thinking it is our best strategy for instituting real change. That is my poor answer to your question about..."how to accomplish them."

Look at the success of the "fight for $15"...certainly not complete but showing progress in some places...it was fueled by the nonunion fast food workers (out on strike)...not exactly wealthy folks. If we had a national will to become a better country we could improve.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
people have very little to lose. as long as they're clinging to their mortgaged homes, folks are not going to skip a paycheck.

it may take another 20 years for enough americans to be renting, rather than owning, that a general strike becomes feasible.

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4 users have voted.

Sigh

Lookout's picture

@UntimelyRippd

(as was suggested down thread) is a more realistic approach.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

general strikes aren't going to happen until people have very little to lose. as long as they're clinging to their mortgaged homes, folks are not going to skip a paycheck.

I suspect that this is a major driving factor behind "the American Dream" incorporating home ownership to begin with.

Bad

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2 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

@Big Al
... but from a tactical perspective, i think the value in discussing/promoting specific objectives like healthcare for everybody and ending imperial wars, is that these no-brainer objectives highlight the failure of the current "democracy" to function in the interests of the people. otherwise, you're shouting at people that we need fundamental remaking of government, and they're wondering why ...

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7 users have voted.

Sigh

ggersh's picture

Congressional Reform Act of 2017

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.

2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

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9 users have voted.

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

― Chris Hedges

Lookout's picture

@ggersh

Guess we need similar legislation at the state level too.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Meteor Man's picture

End it don't mend it. The case against mass incarceration is solid gold and has been sorely neglected. Prisons do nothing to stop crime or correct deviant behavior.

Incarceration is the a primary tool of political and social oppression. Incarceration is the foundation of America's police state.

Critical Resistance is an initial first step to complete abolition of all prisons.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Resistance

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5 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Lookout's picture

@Meteor Man

It is all about punishment ... not reform.

Great discussion about policing and prisons on Chris' show this AM (28 min)
https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/406723-alex-vitale-brooklyn-college/

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Really about putting Israel first rather than the US, or the UN, or the world

The pull out of UNESCO of US and Israel is yet another clear statement of where we stand.

Short interview with Max. I followed him a lot, but then his tweets became too much and other issues, like those in your article, and reading background about what is going on, all this have put Max on the back burner. He is on target on short interview.

Then the longer interview is also excellent.

Things look bad and no sense that they will get better soon.

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4 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@DonMidwest

I like Max Bloomenthal too. I must admit I find alternet (where he does most of his work) a little weak in general.

I also find Vijay Prashad to be insightful on issues of the ME
Here's a recent interview with him (but I'm sure you've encountered him before)
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&...
Vijay Prashad says the US targeting of Hezbollah may ultimately benefit groups like ISIS

And indeed it does appear things will get worse before they get better.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I had not read much about Hezbollah and did't realize that there had been a 20 year effort against them from the US and their ally Israel.

Excellent information.

I had not noticed him before.

I followed up with a search on the web and saw articles that there might be a war in Lebanon.

Have had the hope that the military is the adult in the room. But look at what they have done and they need a war to spend their huge budget increase

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2 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@DonMidwest

he has a pretty interesting website with guest articles.
http://vijayprashad.org/

He teaches at Trinity College in CT
http://internet2.trincoll.edu/facProfiles/Default.aspx?fid=1000767

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Meteor Man's picture

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans said it received a report from the National Response Center at 1:30 p.m. Friday of a discharge from a damaged pipeline associated with a subsea well about 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured.

According to the Coast Guard, the volume of oil released is estimated to be between 333,900 and 392,700 gallons. Initial overflights identified three light sheens in the vicinity.

http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/article178904441.html

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5 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Lookout's picture

@Meteor Man

Obomber opened more off-shore gulf drilling sites while the BP well was pouring crude into the Gulf. We can't seem to learn.

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

we hope to preserve our republic.

I would respectfully add:

1. Tax on all WS transactions, in addition to the other taxes you have proposed. Maybe a exemption for one time send a kid to college kind of stock sales, but in general, pay a sales tax for these transactions.

2. About prisons, added to your excellent ideas, I suggest we need a truth and reconciliation commission county by county, city by city across the country, beginning with non-violent offenders, to examine the merits of every sentence and every trial. Then, do the same for violent offenders, with thorough reviews of trial transcripts and all evidence, including DNA, establishing fair and just sentencing guidelines across all jurisdictions.

About corporations, we have been induced to forget that they operate at our sufferance. Maybe an automatic renewal of charter every 20 or 30 years to determine if the corp has been a good citizen?

3. You must include farm policy. Particularly, reinstatement of commodity price supports, WHICH DO NOT COST THE TAXPAYER A DIME, which give farmers a minimum price for their crops, and price ceilings, which prevent speculators from running up food prices.

As for general strikes, I would suggest targeted strikes AND boycotts. Remember Chavez and the grape boycott? It is easy to sneer at limousine liberals giving up...table grapes, wow, what a sacrifice, they had to make their salads with melon balls instead. But, however, the reason that boycott was effective was that it was easy, AND, because it was easy it exposed the fragile underpinning of most wealth in a capitalist system. Boycotts can be devastatingly effective, which is why there is a bill in congress right now to make BDS illegal. I have known flag waving, pro-life conservatives who for years after the Alaska oil spill would not buy gas from Exon. It has been years since I have even seen an Exon gas. station.

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4 users have voted.

Nastarana

Lookout's picture

@Nastarana @Nastarana

Yes, these ten goals are not well fleshed out. The WS transaction tax was Bernie's idea for paying for college costs...great concept!

Farm policies could be addressed in the green plank. As a small farmer, I have no problem provided the system is designed to reward and promote small local farms rather than large agri-businesses (where most subsidies go).

Targeted boycotts are also an excellent strategy. Let's start with big banks. Put what little money we have individually (which adds up to a great deal collectively) into a credit union or community bank. I'm sure many of us have done so.

Thanks for your great ideas!

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

it.

Sorry. Tomorrow is another day.

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1 user has voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Lookout's picture

@mimi

Chris Hedges had some great comments about nonviolence on his show last week
https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/406026-antifa-charlottesville-protes...

And he argues with an antifa proponent about violence two weeks ago.
https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/405200-mark-bay-anti-fascist/

Buckminster Fuller suggested we "think global, and act local" Personally that's my approach. Working to make my community better as I think on a broader level.

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
non-violent resistance, which convinced me and calmed me down.
Only Nonviolent Resistance Will Destroy the Corporate State

“Remember who is actually running things, and we keep our focus on them both politically and economically, Lakey said.

“The group I’m involved with [Earth Quaker Action Team] loves to go after corporations,” he said. “We went after a bank [PNC], the seventh largest bank in the country but it was the No. 1 financier of mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia. We forced that bank out of [the] business of financing mountaintop coal mining. Nonviolently. Disrupting. Disrupting. We were in bank branches all over the place. We shut down two shareholder meetings. We led a boycott in which people took out money from that bank and were putting it in their local credit unions. So there’s more than one way to go after the 1 percent.”

“These days, a very smart way to do that is to focus on the economic entities that are owned by the 1 percent, who are basically responsible for the oppression that we experience,” he said.

Resistance, he stressed, will come from outside the formal political system. It will not be embraced by either of the two main political parties or the establishment, which is now under corporate control.

There you go, that's what I find convincing.

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1 user has voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Lookout's picture

@mimi

Thanks for the link.

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0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

I've got a couple of items to contribute to this week's WW.
While Puerto Rico Fights For Aid, This Long-forgotten Island Remains "Slum of the Pacific" -
EcoWatch
On the State of the Left: All Worked Up and Nowhere to Go - The Baffler
More Jimmy Dore: Bernie Speaking At Women's March - Corp. Dems Outraged - YouTube (9 min.)

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4 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Azazello

I guess we got the Marshall Islands after the Spanish-American War of 1898? I see on wiki that after we contaminated them with nuclear fallout...Politically, the Marshall Islands is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, with the US providing defense, subsidies, and access to U.S. based agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Postal Service.

The American way...destroy countries and then set them free.

The Baffler piece makes my earlier strike argument... from the conclusion.

Only labor can make it happen. Only workers can shut down production. Only workers can close the ports. Only workers can take capital hostage and make the whole world stand still.

I caught Jimmy's piece earlier...thanks for posting it here.

Have a good Sunday!

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

@Lookout
I even bought a coffee mug. Here's another one, about Russian "meddling":
YouTube(12 min.)

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4 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Azazello

I like the new comedian with Ron and Steph.

I neglected to post any of Max and Stacy this week. You introduced me to them.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

@Lookout
I first saw the Keiser Report in the EB.

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1 user has voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

(In fact it might be best to disband the CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and highly regulate the FBI).

Don't forget the DEA! We need that mal-agency disbanded too!

It is past time to stop corporate imperialism and promote a military focused on national defense. As the constitution suggests, require a congressional declaration of war for all military actions.

The Constitution demands that. And none of this "authorization for use of military force" bullshit, either. There needs to be a declaration of war, called by that very name and no other, issued by Congress before our military gets entangled in any other country but our own.

Great points there! Smile

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3 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Lookout's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Getting rid of the DEA should be part of criminal justice reform. I like Portugal's approach -
https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA_Fact_Sheet_Portugal_D...

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”