The Weekly Watch

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,
Who is the Greatest of Them All?

Mirror, mirror on the Wall.png

I guess I have a problem with greatness. Great at what? Great perpetrator of violence? Great extractor of resources? Great polluter and destroyer of the environment? Great military power? Great imprisoners? Great torturers? Great liars? If those are the categories...
then America is G R E A T !

If we're talking about the best country in which to live, then the US is way down the list. I'm not a magic mirror so I can't really say which country is best...probably depends on your lifestyle, but my money would be on one of the Scandinavian countries...or maybe New Zealand...or Bhutan...or...? Regardless of which country is best, many other countries offer their citizens better opportunities and lives than the US offers its citizens. The entire concept of being great is a farce.

So let's begin this issue with a look...

around the world.jpg


What got me thinking about the greatest country was the opening of a twice-per-decade congress convened by the Chinese Communist Party. Xi spoke with confidence as he described a China that is on the cusp of greatness. (summary text with 25 min video)

New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern will be New Zealand's next prime minister and hopes to take the country on a more liberal path following nine years of rule by the conservatives. At 37, she will be the nation's youngest leader in more than 150 years.

Spain is in a mess...Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced he would take control of Catalonia by invoking Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, weeks after the region's independence referendum.

Austria shifts to the right. The resounding success of two anti-immigrant parties in the Austrian elections, with the right-wing Freedom Party (FPO) delivering one of the strongest performances in more than a decade, is a direct result of Europe’s open border policies, analysts say.

The rightward lurch in Austria, coinciding with the showdown between Catalonia and Spain, is also a reminder that the populist ferment in Europe takes different forms but is far from dead.

Germany - Talks for forming a coalition government began in Berlin on Wednesday. it remains unclear whether a coalition will be established.

UK PM May went to Belgium this week to work on Brexit.


The Middle East

The Iraqi military quickly conquered the oil-rich area of Kirkuk in an effort to block Kurdish statehood. But why didn't Kurdish forces put up more of a fight? TRNN speaks with Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for the Independent (12 min video or text)

Donald Trump promised to “deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.” But it is Israel, which possesses an estimated 80 nuclear warheads, with fissile material for up to 200, which poses the major nuclear threat in the region.

Africa is being us. It is intriguing that the US military so rarely informs the public of their global operations, yet much of the world knows about them down to the last detail. (video too)

Unless the U.S. and African Union change their failed strategy, Somalia faces many more deadly bombings like the one in Mogadishu, says Professor Abdi Samatar of the University of Minnesota (14 min video with text)

Investigators believe the attack on Saturday may in part have been motivated by a desire for revenge for the botched US-led operation in August.

We can't seem to learn the lessons of war. Robert Scheer sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen discuss U.S. power over Vietnam and the country’s political future. (30 min podcast)

Closer to home...


The Intercepted podcast was broadcasted from Toronto this week featuring three Canadians – Naomi Klein, Desmond Cole (a black activist), and hip-hop artist and director Yassin Alsalman, better known as Narcy (1 hour podcast with text)


Puerto Rico

A quick view of conditions on the Island (1.5 min)

The House-approved relief package contains $5 billion in loans for the island, rather than grants. On an island already suffering under an un-payable $74 billion debt (and another $49 billion in unfunded pension obligations), Puerto Ricans understand all too well that debt is not relief.

As the vulture capitalists circle overhead, four out of five Puerto Ricans are still without electricity, and food and water remain in short supply. (video and text)
Longtime Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera shares his view
...and Rosa Clemente, just back from Puerto Rico, shares her experience.

There are also plenty of neglected storm victims on the mainland too. Abby Martin interviews forgotten people in Houston (23 min)
Guess which which neighborhoods were ignored (26 min more with Abby in Houston)

US politics....


At least three of our reps are working to end our role in the war in Yemen.

The basic way people’s thinking is controlled today is by confusing them and creating a perpetual state of mental vertigo. Muddled and disordered by double-speak, illogical reporting, and a kaleidoscopic merry-go-round of conflicting reports, the average person is reduced to a mental mess.

The gist of this propaganda campaign is that “Western democracy” is under attack by a confederacy of Russians and white supremacists, as well as “the terrorists” and other “extremists”. Meanwhile we have entered an epoch in which historical events are being driven, not by sovereign nations but by supranational corporations.

Despite the comments in the previous article, it does seem white supremacy is more mainstream and acceptable. Hell, here in Alabama it always has been (despite George Wallace's apology).

Spencer didn't have much success with his supremacy speech at the University of Florida

How about the NYC cops having consensual sex with a handcuffed 18 year old girl? Sounds sick to me.

Chris Hedges discusses the police state of America with Alex Vitale, author of "The End of Policing" and Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing & Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College (28 min)

the coronation.jpg

T-rump is stacking the court with RW nut jobs

...and just having nominees show up for work illegally before appointment (got to destroy schools and the environment quick while they can).

Plus other ways of filling positions like serving as a “special government employee,” a designation that exempts him from certain ethics and disclosure rules for members of the executive branch.

His staff is as evil as he is...


According to Mike Pompeo, the agency he leads—which has supported coups across the globe, engaged in targeted killings, and led a detention and torture program—has not been harsh enough.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lied on Thursday when he falsely claimed that Rep. Frederica Wilson had loudly boasted about obtaining money for an FBI building in Miami

A directive to immigration officials across the country to try to portray undocumented immigrants swept up in mass raids as criminals came directly from then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly

give em back.jpg

The Corporate Democraps

John Pilger shares his view in a good article...Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment.

For some reason the Clinton Uranium deal finally goes mainstream. Jimmy Dore discusses the irony. (12 min)

The corporate leader of the DNC, Perez, has alienated even more democrats. Boy are they blind!

Jimmy Dore provides a righteous rant about the sell out (10 min)

This piece gets it right...

Perez accepted a teaching position at Brown University after opponents to Keith Ellison's DNC Chair bid who supported Perez argued that running the DNC should be a full-time position. He's made little to no progress in establishing unity within the Democratic Party, and refused to support progressive policies like Medicare For All. Perez deflates enthusiasm within the Democratic Party. He opted to maintain the corrupt super delegate process, and has no interest in re-enacting the ban on corporate lobbyist and PAC donations to the DNC. His leadership has made it clear the party establishment has no intention in enacting reforms or changes, instead is predicated on maintaining the status quo against progressive pressures from within and outside the party.

After firing the Sanders supporters, Tom Perez just appointed a lobbyist for an anti-minimum wage group in the Georgia as a DNC Finance Chair.

A purge of party officials loyal to Keith Ellison is putting the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee in a difficult position, calling into question his ability to shape DNC decision-making.

The progressive wing of the Democratic coalition won a small victory on Friday when the Democratic National Committee voted down a resolution demanding Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) join the party.

The real political story....Government Sachs owns both parties...

Oh, The Irony of This 90's Time Cover

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The Economy

Michael Hudson explains... Industrial capitalism has been sacrificed to a form of finance capitalism that is looking more pre-capitalist (or simply oligarchic and neofeudal) with each passing year.

The first half hour of Ralph Nader's podcast is  Margaret Jane Radin, author of “Boilerplate: the Fine Print, Vanishing Rights and the Rule of Law: “We’re back to indentured servitude status.  The fine print is stripping consumers and employees of core legal rights, especially their right to their day in court the Constitution says we have.”
(the second half deals with preventing slips and falls)

The cycle of poverty is revealed in a new film “The Florida Project,” which focuses on families living in a low-rent motel right outside Walt Disney World in Florida. The movie surveys the depth and range of personalities and emotions of those living in poverty on the edge of paradise.

Neither Trump nor Obama (nor their respective party establishments) can conceive of the economic problems and threats they face as systemic in nature. A careening, out of control capitalism is nothing they see in past or present. Richard Wolff

Ryan sucks trump.jpg

The tax plan

Here's a review of the Sanders/Cruz debate (10 min video or text)

The Kansas experience is especially relevant today because the GOP tax plan largely replicates key provisions of the Kansas tax cuts.

Looks like were screwed again...
The non-binding resolution agreed to on Thursday night lays out Congress’s spending priorities for the 2018 fiscal year, which began on 1 October. But most importantly for GOP priorities, the measure unlocks a special parliamentary procedure that will allow Republicans to cut $1.5tn in taxes with just 50 votes in the Senate, where they hold a two-seat majority.


51 Republican Senators just voted to cut Medicaid by $1 trillion and Medicare by $500 billion so that millionaires and corporations can get a tax cut.

The number of US adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare undermine coverage gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low.

A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength... Christopher Glazek, the Esquire reporter (video and text)


(or the lack thereof)

Children in the for-profit foster care system are dying at alarming rates, but there's no investigation.

As schools serve the public, DeVos urges parents to choose education options other than their public schools and insults anyone daring to defend our public education system.

Looting the public coffers to fund for-profit schools....

Not only are voting districts are school districts.


Energy cooperatives and what they’ve been able to accomplish as well as the opportunities and challenges before them.

Danny Sheehan and Chase Iron Eyes, with the Lakota People's Law Project, discuss the ongoing legal battles in the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (text only)

Meanwhile James Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of the chemical giant Ineos Corporation, is pushing for a dangerous pipeline through Pennsylvania, while the company quietly works to start fracking operations in Scotland and the UK, says Food & Water Watch's Patrick Woodall (10 min or text)

climate change.jpg

The Environment

Dr. John Abatzoglou and Dr. LeRoy Westerling explain how a warming earth has exacerbated the impact of forest fires, and how climate action could save lives (9 min with text)
They continue the conversation about how climate action, public awareness, and adaptation planning could lessen the impact of California forest fire. (10 min with text)

Max Moritz, fire research scientist based at UC Santa Barbara, suggest this is not a classic wildfire situation. This is really an urban conflagration. (video and text)

A roundtable discussion with environmental leaders Lindsey Allen, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network; Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network; and May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action. (video and text)

A study published this week reveals that flying insects surveyed on nature reserves in Germany have declined by 76% in 27 years. Perhaps we are next?

Let's support our parks. At the present moment the trails and roads, the bridges and buildings and other infrastructure on our national parks are crumbling

be kind.jpg

So in conclusion, I don't think being great should be our goal. How about being kind? I like that idea. I want to imagine a country...a world...where the goal is kindness. We can do that as individuals and hope it spreads. Here's hoping your corner of the world is treating you with kindness. As always, I'll look forward to your comments.

21 users have voted.


Raggedy Ann's picture

Another healthy round-up this week. Can't wait to go back up to read and listen.

You say you want more kindness? Let's do what Bhutan did. They decided to base their economy on GNH - Gross National Happiness. There are four or five major points to achieve in their plan. We can become the nation of Gross National Kindness. I'm liking it more and more!

Cool front moving in. November ever closer. Looking forward to spring!

Have a beautiful day, folks! Pleasantry

14 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

We have had 40 and 50 degree mornings and the leaves are beginning to turn. The feel of fall is in the air. I mowed out all my trails this week because it is my favorite time to walk through the ticks, chiggers, nor snakes about, plus as leaf fall proceeds you get deeper and deeper views into the forest. Deer are gathering here as hunting season progresses. Turkey are bunched up too. I like fall.

The news feed got a little long this much so fast so soon...I think that is the strategy to keep everyone off balance and their attention misplaced (Russia...).

I hope your day is a good one!

13 users have voted.

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

ggersh's picture

@Lookout @Lookout it appears the pivot east is coming.

BTW, GREAT links!

EDIT: adding from Zero Hedge

Air Force To Recall Up To 1,000 Retired Military Pilots After Trump Unexpectedly Revises Sept 11 Executive Order

In a stunning and unexpected development, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots to address what the Pentagon has decribed as "an acute shortage of pilots"...
OCT 22, 2017 1:11 PM

1 user has voted.

"In 2008, Beijing and Washington pumped in massive amounts of money to bail out speculators in the name of saving the economy and helping workers. The reality is that they used workers’ money to enrich parasites." Andy Xie

Lookout's picture


Glad you found some interesting links!

1 user has voted.

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

Meteor Man's picture

@Raggedy Ann

The phrase “random acts of kindness” is a shortened form of “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” which comes from a 1993 book of the same title by Anne Herbert and Paloma Pavel.[6] It is a reversal of “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty”, a common newsspeak phrase in the 1980s.

And a helpful guide!

10 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

@Meteor Man

We’re the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, though we also go by ‘RAK’. We’re a small, but mighty team making huge strides towards building a kinder world. We come to work live every day working to make kindness effortless and have selfless acts be the norm. But we’re only a few kind-hearted people and there are millions of us (you) out there. We are here to provide tools to make it fun and easy to spread kindness while creating a ginormous impact.

7 users have voted.

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

Meteor Man's picture

I expected a few hits when I searched, but was very pleasantly surprised at how many pages the results revealed.

3 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

mhagle's picture

Yeah . . . I like that better. Couldn't add "Again" because I am not sure it ever was. There have always been and still are pockets of kindness though.

9 users have voted.


"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Lookout's picture


I live about a mile from a trail of tears containment camp from the 1800's. We start our country with genocide and enslavement. Kindness never has been our forte. No reason why we can't just start the movement as individuals. No need to wait for politics nor party.

Hope you find a little kindness today! My buddy sings Glen Cambell's song "Try a Little Kindness" (try a little kindness and you'll overlook the blindness of the narrow minded people on the narrow minded streets) (2.5 min)

11 users have voted.

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

mhagle's picture


No reason why we can't just start the movement as individuals. No need to wait for politics nor party.

6 users have voted.


"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mimi's picture

9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture


thought I would share my meager efforts to educate myself with all of you. Hope all is well in "paradise"!

7 users have voted.

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

I guess I have one now I need some good pot dirt for a tiny winter crop.
sticky buds like cannabis but with fluff, kind of stinky too
babies on board
This is what happens when you call the cops! Man fatally shot by police

Cloverdale police shot and killed a man in a Cloverdale backyard last night, after a neighbor called and reported a prowler.

That's all we need to know for the last 24 hours, while they "investigate", just like they investigated Erik Gelhaus, all the way to a promotion. Yeah, I don't anything yet. Lots of cannabis is grown in the area across from the fire station, everyone knows about that.
Cloverdale Police Department
- snip stereotype sarcasm -

good luck
edit: fixed link to PD, and the apostrophe type, argh. update: The prowler's weapon was a hammer. I feel lucky to have not been shot dead prowling around the railroad tracks armed with my trowel and garden scissors Sunday morning. Phew. Bang bang Maxwell.

8 users have voted.
Lookout's picture


call a hippie.jpg least the won't bust down your front door...

use the side door.jpg

Good luck with your lettuce! Looks good. We've got ours under row covers...keeps out bugs, keeps it warm at night, and cool during the day.

row covers.jpg
8 users have voted.

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

@Lookout and thus ends my brief stint in the Cloverdale Conservation Corps. FUCK! I cannot believe it. Just met Officer Gastineau, he rolled up behind on the wrong the side of the street where I was pulling star thistle and scared the living hell out of me. After I jumped back in to my skin he informed that someone had called in about "stealing railroad spikes". Nothing says YOU'RE NOT WANTED like calling the cops before getting a clue. So much for that.

not across

8 users have voted.
Lookout's picture


"Smile, You're on Hidden Camera"
"Please Don't Litter"

Lasted about two months, got shot, then knocked down and stolen. Guess they didn't believe the camera part?

Sorry about the cops stopping your public Alice's Restaurant...
I said, "Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage."

8 users have voted.

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

@Lookout thanks. Sign sign, everywhere a sign. I could put one on a stick, like a protest sign with two sides.


- or -

Have a nice trip!
See ya next Fall!

bye felicia

2 users have voted.
Meteor Man's picture

From the Chris Hedges interview about The End of Policing. In 1987 there were about 80 per day. Thanks once again to the Clinton/Obama Crime Cartel.

Holy Canole Batman! The good news is that a whole 37% of the raids actually discover drugs or guns, so only 2/3 of the raids are simply to terrorize the local populace.

9 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

@Meteor Man

Especially the SWAT types. I don't think peace officer is an appropriate title (nor public servant). It is really out of hand.

The Hedge's interview was interesting.

7 users have voted.

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

Lookout's picture

Venezuela had elections last week. Notice that there has been no media coverage? Heavens, we can't report fair and honest elections in the dictatorship of Venezuela. The irony of the Brazilian coup played against the blatant attempted CIA coup of Venezuela.... What hypocrites! (22 min with text)

Compared to our silence about Brazil... In 2016, the justification for what is now being recognized as a “soft coup” was that the country needed to be “cleansed” of the progressive Workers’ Party and that, having lost her political and popular support, Rousseff was unfit to finish her term.

6 users have voted.

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

dkmich's picture

I get a happy feeling inside every time I publish this to Facebook and see the photo you inserted. What size is the photo you use? I'm having a hard mastering the technique.

4 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Lookout's picture

in this multitude of links. How can we not be distracted when it world situation is so rapid fire? Like watching a magic trick, it is difficult to see what is being really done.

I sent you a PM on the photo issue. Hope it is helpful. Thanks for your work publicizing all our work!

8 users have voted.

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

QMS's picture

a lot of brain food there! something to share from a previous battle...

Dear Relatives,

On behalf of the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) and Water Protectors facing charges we offer our deepest gratitude and in Lakota, Wopila Tanka for your generous contribution. Our vigorous advocacy in fighting these cases has proven successful. Of the 831 cases filed, over 400 have been dismissed or closed thanks to WPLC,  local North Dakota public defenders and appointed counsel.

On October 19, for the first time, two Water Protectors were convicted of misdemeanor charges and are currently doing jail time. We are asking at this time for prayers for these Water Protectors and realize your contributions are more than ever needed now with 400 remaining cases.
WPLC is not just attorneys defending cases. WPLC is helping to show through the defense of these cases that, almost all the arrests and charges against Water Protectors should not have been made or maintained. These charges represent a continuing disrespect of indigenous rights; they are attempts to silence free speech; prevent religious expression; and crush opposition to the spoiling of sacred collective resources.
We still have over 300 state cases to resolve though, which are calendared out through July of 2018 and therefore need additional, continued support for those still awaiting the resolution of their cases.  
If you have questions or want to know more about our work and how to support us, please contact us at 701-566-9108 or You can also visit our website: or Facebook at Copyright © *2017* *Water Protector Legal Collective*, All rights reserved.

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5 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

Lookout's picture


The effort to stop Dakota Access continues. Thanks for the info.

"North Dakota’s judges see that the accusations against water protectors are baseless," said Chase Iron Eyes, Lakota People’s Law Project lead counsel, in a statement. "In February, I was arrested along with dozens of other water protectors, including HolyElk, a fourth generation Lakota woman activist in the indigenous rights movement who stood tall until the very last day on the front lines at the Oceti Sakowin camp. In two weeks time, our legal team will begin conducting videotaped depositions. And when we walk into the courtroom next year, the evidence we’re compiling will expose injustices perpetrated by the pipeline’s owners and their private, militarized security firm.”

8 users have voted.

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