The Weekly Watch
I always thought it was about the buds.
Can the grassroots crumble the corporate culture? Roots do break apart rock. This week's edition features some stories of efforts to change the system. As usual we'll look at the whirlwind of news from Alabama to Asia, from Saudi Arabia to Russiagate, from armistice day to veterans day, from war to peace and prosperity, and more....
Let's start on a positive note....
Ralph's radio show focuses on people driven success stories. Sarah van Gelder discusses her book, The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America, which is about her solo road trip around the United States, seeking out the people who are making change happen. The second half of the show features Mark Pertschuk director of Grassroots Change “The grassroots work that’s going on is so important. And it in some ways at the moment feels like our last hope for being involved in our own democracy.” (1 hour podcast)
This article is on positive work that people are doing to change current systems in ways that reduce the wealth divide, meet basic needs, ensure sustainability, create economic and racial justice and provide people with greater control over their lives.
Is it good news that we discover how the 0.01% hides money around the world? I think so...
The Paradise Papers is a global investigation into the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies. Read the leaks and analysis at:
- Reveals offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II, and 13 advisers, major donors and members of U.S. President Donald J. Trump's administration
- Exposes the tax engineering of more than 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike and Botox-maker Allergan
- Reveals tax haven shopping sprees by multinational companies in Africa and Asia that use shell companies in Mauritius and Singapore to reduce taxes
- Shines a light on secretive deals and hidden companies connected to Glencore, the world’s largest commodity trader, and provides detailed accounts of the company’s negotiations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for valuable mineral resources
- Provides details of how owners of jets and yachts, including royalty and sports stars, used Isle of Man tax-avoidance structures
This is funny...or is it? Stealing is legal...It's paradise! (1 min animated video from Mark Fiore)
While mainstream media zeroes in on the GOP tax plan, the week’s most important economic revelation remains under-covered: information gleaned from “the Paradise Papers,”
Bernie Sanders has warned that the world is rapidly becoming an “international oligarchy” controlled by a tiny number of billionaires, highlighted by the revelations in the Paradise Papers.
Jon Swaine, senior reporter for The Guardian, is part of the team that is publishing stories on the Paradise Papers (video and text) https://www.democracynow.org/2017/11/8/paradise_papers_expose_cleverest_...
More good news? The democrats did surprisingly well in Tuesday's elections...
Did the Democraps win, or is it T-rump that lost, or both?
On Tuesday, populist candidates won in places you may not expect — from Manassas, Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/08/a-year-after-trump-democrats-sociali...
Zaid Jilani, a reporter for the Intercept, discusses the previous article and more (video and text)
Will the democraps get cocky after their wins and continue to edge out the left?
The danger now is that the wins vindicate an idea that might as well be hard-wired into the minds of leading Democrats: that the way forward in 2018 and beyond is to reconstitute the Democratic Party as it was before its 2016 defeat, allowing only for cosmetic changes in the party bureaucracy.
Progressives scored big Election Day victories, but for Trump to be defeated, they need to win control of the Democratic Party, says Jeff Cohen, author, professor, and co-editor of "Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis" http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20423:Progressives-Win-on-Election-Day%2...
Bernie still wants to reform the democraps
Caitlin lays out the “head in the sand” DNC approach http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/706-caitlin-johnston...
If you missed this last week, watch Jimmy Dore host the $hill on the Tonight Show (2.5 min)
Despite the wins they continue pushing their false meme...
Russiagate and the new democrap McCarthyists.
Max Bloomenthall, Ben Norton, and Arron Mate discuss Russiagate and the distorted facts used to promote the myth.
http://moderaterebelsradio.com/russia-america-racist-video/ ( 1 + hour podcast with text)
And includes their humorous new Burn's docudrama ad...(6 min)
How the Russians created racism in America (hat tip meteor man)
More from Max Bloomenthal about the effort to suppress media in the name of Russiagate.
CIA Director Pompeo met with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was “leaked,” not hacked, “by a person with physical access” to the DNC’s computer system.
Binny speaks for himself (15 min)
No Wonder we are so ill informed...Glenn Greenwald explains,”... one of the primary ways that democracy is degraded by platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is... the way they are used by American journalists to endorse factually false claims that quickly spread and become viral, entrenched into narratives, and thus, can never be adequately corrected. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/05/four-viral-claims-spread-by-journali...
Jimmy Dore explains Twitter Is Censoring Your Tweets And Bragging About It (14 min)
On to Asia...
Joanna Chiu, China correspondent for Agence France-Presse, and Rajan Menon, professor of political science at the Powell School at the City University of New York discuss T-rumps trip.
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/11/9/in_china_trump_talks_trade_north (video and text)
There were some protests describes Professor Bruce Cumings, who just returned from Seoul.
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/11/10/on_asia_trip_trump_met_by (video and text)
But as T-rump navigates the Far East, the real mischief is happening in the Middle East...
There were major shake ups as the Saudis look to accelerate their aggression in the Middle East. Did they force or coerce the Lebanese prime minister to resign? They are obviously pushing for confrontation with Iran. I guess if you buy all those weapons, you need to use them. However their motivations are sometimes difficult to fathom.
Remember the Saudi aggression against Qatar? Seems its about the World Soccer Match. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/09/uae-qatar-oitaba-rowland-banque-havi...
What’s going on in Saudi Arabia? Over 200 bigwigs detained and billions of ‘illegal profits’ of some $800 billion confiscated. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/11/what-craziness-going-saudi...
The prince’s frontal assault on significant segments of the kingdom’s elite; assertions of unrest in the military and the national guard, and a flood of rumours, including allegations that a prominent member of the ruling family died under mysterious circumstances suggest however that the struggle may be far from over. http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/473-james-m-dorsey/3...
Prince Mohammed is creating enemies and opening himself up to accusations of selectively targeting people in a bold move that appeared to be more about grabbing power than rooting out corruption. http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/473-james-m-dorsey/3...
After being accused of forcing him to resign, Saudi Arabia's apparent detention of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has boosted support for Hezbollah, says author and professor Amal Saad http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20435:Saudi%27s-%27War-on-Lebanon%27-Bac... (video and text)
Prince Al-Waleed is one of Saudi Arabia's richest princes and profited enormously from Saudi arms purchases. Andrew Feinstein, the author of 'Shadow Wars,' on the legal risks of corrupt arms dealing (video and text) http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...
Toby Jones, associate professor of history and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University, and with Afrah Nasser, Yemeni journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of the Sana’a Review share their impressions (video and text)
What the deal here? Is Macron, the Banker, addicted to oil...or just money?
French president Emmanuel Macron has effectively called the Iran Nuclear deal into question, saying it needs revising, (8.5 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsrn6BTQCgE
Macron has proposed to amend the nuclear deal with Iran to cover ballistic missile development to avoid a “North Korean” scenario in the Middle East. (5 min)
The US is doing it's share of meddling and promoting discord too...
Venezuela's recession is making it difficult for the country to meet its debt payments, but US sanctions are making a difficult task almost impossible explains CEPR's Mark Weisbrot (video and text)
Is it Really all about War?
Now we're going to expand the forever war into space. The latest US defense budget proposes the creation of a sixth military branch – a Space Corps. Congress amended the bill so that any US military space activities will be controlled by the US Air Force. (3.75 min)
Bezos is already eyeing his profit on future purchases from the military. House and Senate negotiators tweaked the controversial “Amazon amendment” this week, but waved it through nonetheless. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/10/amazon-amendment-ndaa-congress/
Robert Scheer talks with veterans Ron Kovic, an anti-war activist and author, and filmmaker Oliver Stone about war, peace and the American military-industrial complex. Kovic and Stone served in the Vietnam War, an experience that shaped their lives and their politics. (6 min clip with text)
full 1.3 hour conversation here: https://www.truthdig.com/videos/veterans-ron-kovic-and-oliver-stone-in-c...
The culture of war is a celebration of death, which is what President Trump is promoting and which we must confront, argues Vijay Prashad at the Code Pink Summit (video and text)
Several members of Congress have introduced legislation to invoke the War Powers Act with an aim to shut down US support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, but the resolution will not pass because the vast majority in Congress doesn't oppose war explains Col. Larry Wilkerson (video and text)
At least there's a growing number of progressive members of Congress have come forward to challenge the consensus that arming Saudi Arabia is in America’s interest. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/09/ro-khanna-congress-yemen-war-saudi-a...
This week Intercepted podcast (with text) features Rep. Ro Khanna who tells us that he is now calling for a complete end to all U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia. He also discusses the horrendous catastrophe in Yemen, charges of Russian interference in the U.S. election, and the state of the Democratic Party. Then former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay prison, Col. Morris Davis, fought the Bush administration, was fired under Obama, and now shares his views of the history and presidents of the past 17 years. As the Paradise Papers rock the world of the rich and the elite who use off shore banks and law firms, we get analysis from Nomi Prins, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/08/intercepted-podcast-say-hello-to-my-...
The Secrets revealed?
Did Roy Moore blow it?
One Republican strategist who declined to be named said Moore’s problematic history with women was common knowledge in political circles, but the specifics were unknown until this week.
I think Doug Jones, democratic opponent to Roy Moore, will benefit from this weeks news...but Moore may still win. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/10/top-5-reasons-roy-moore-co...
Here are a variety of views. I think a Doug Jones win would tie the senate at 50-50 w/o Pence
Peter Kornbluh, an analyst with the National Security Archive and director of the archive’s Cuba and Chile documentation projects sits down with Robert Scheer to explain what was uncovered from the newly released JFK documents. (30 min podcast with text)
CIA anti-torture whistleblower and frequent RT guest - John Kiriakou - was invited to speak at the EU Parliament on national security whistleblowing, but he was removed from the panel at the last minute.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL0mpR5sIDY (8 min)
If you don't think stealing is legal, then take a look at the impending Tax cuts...
Ralph Nader speaks with Economist James Henry as he takes apart the Republican tax plan, calling it “the largest wealth transfer in history to the ruling class” And activist, law student, Pete Davis, tells us how he’s trying to get Harvard Law School to fulfill it’s stated mission by funneling fewer of its graduates toward powerful corporate firms and more toward the public interest. (1 hour podcast)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday became the latest Republican to admit the GOP is trying to ram through massive tax cuts for the rich to satisfy its wealthy donors, telling a journalist that if the party's tax push fails, "the financial contributions will stop."
I found this conversation very interesting...
In the second half, Max interviews Dr. Michael Hudson of michael-hudson.com to discuss the Democratic party in an era of dodgy pee-pee dossiers and no economic policies. (last 15 min)
In the second half Max continues his interview with Dr. Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism. They recount the history of labor, socialism, Minneapolis and more. (last 15 min)
Pankaj Mishra, author of "Age of Anger: A History of the Present", discusses the poisoning of civil society and undermining of political liberty that is fueling “a global turn to authoritarianism and toxic forms of chauvinism.” speaks with Chris Hedges (26 min)
A complete transition from fossil fuels would create millions of jobs and save money while protecting planet from harmful emissions https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/09/new-study-shows-urgently-ne...
Bill McKibbin explains “We want it both ways, where, having rejected the Paris accord, we now want to screw up any efforts to keep it going forward by other countries.” (video and text)
Meteor Man taught me about the Charter of the Forests this week http://charteroftheforest800.org/
Eight hundred years ago this month, after the death of a detested king and the defeat of a French invasion in the Battle of Lincoln, one of the foundation stones of the British constitution was laid down. It was the Charter of the Forest, sealed in St Paul’s on November 6, 1217, alongside a shortened Charter of Liberties from 2 years earlier (which became the Magna Carta).
The Charter of the Forest was the first environmental charter forced on any government. It was the first to assert the rights of the property-less, of the commoners, and of the commons. It also made a modest advance for feminism, as it coincided with recognition of the rights of widows to have access to means of subsistence and to refuse to be remarried.
… It is scarcely surprising that the political Right want to ignore the Charter. It is about the economic rights of the property-less, limiting private property rights and rolling back the enclosure of land, returning vast expanses to the commons. It was remarkably subversive Sadly, whereas every school child is taught about the Magna Carta, few hear of the Charter.
Yesterday was beautiful here on Lookout Mountain. It was Veteran Day....well actually it was first Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day an annual holiday.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.
In 1954, to honor veterans of all wars, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day.
In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985.
U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.
The irony of the transition is telling. We didn't honor the veterans of WWI, the war to end all wars. We disavowed our obligation to pay them their bonus.
Bonus Army was the popular name for an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 U.S. World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1932 to demand cash-payment redemption of their service certificates.
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945. Each service certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier's promised payment plus compound interest. The principal demand of the Bonus Army was the immediate cash payment of their certificates.
The veterans were ordered to be removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the Army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned.
So in typical US fashion we transition from honoring a peace agreement to honoring those we send into senseless war. I suspect it was odd honoring the end of the "war to end all wars" while we were engaged in other wars...it became a bit too hypocritical even for TPTB.
Another busy week with lots to think about. As ever more wealth flows to the rich, we learn more of their schemes to hide it from us. Of course it's not new. It wasn't long ago we had the equally damning Panama Papers. Just look at the way those revelations were acted on...oh yeah, there was no reaction. They just sweep it out quick as possible. Its all about perception and coverage...let me remind you...Russia!
Wherever you are I hope you can grow your roots and feel a connection with other folks and our planet. I look forward to your stories, ideas, and reactions. Have a peaceful Sunday!