weekly watch

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.

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The Weekly Watch

Looking for Allies in the Calm Before the Storm

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.
REPORTER 1: What’s the storm, Mr. President?
REPORTER 2: What does that mean?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Could be, the calm, the calm before the storm.
REPORTER 2: What storm, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have the world’s great military people in this room. I will tell you that. And we’re going to have a great evening. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.”
REPORTER 2: What storm, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You’ll find out.

Nate is heading my way...and it literally is the calm before the storm.

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The Weekly Watch

The disaster of capitalism has been on display this week
...and is insidious, hidden and obscured

As if it isn't obvious with our corporation-in-chief and oligarchy cabinet, our democracy has devolved to a corporate controlled society. All is geared toward making the rich ever richer at the expense of the poor and disadvantaged. It all happens so fast we get lost and numb. Think about this week alone...from the proposed tax plan that is a give away to the wealthy...to the vultures taking advantage of the destruction of Puerto Rico...to the failed T-rumpcare designed for profit and tax relief..to the privilege of the oligarchs chartering planes at tax payer expense for convenience. Yes it is obvious the system is failing.

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The Weekly Watch

History is Written by the Victors
and
... the microbes will have the last word


(top line attributed to Walter Benjamin and the bottom one to Louis Pasteur.)

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Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.
African Proverb

Napoleon once said, "What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”
(paraphrasing ~François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778), "Jeannot et Colin”)

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

The obscurest epoch is today.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains

The Weekly Watch

Happiness and Health as the Empire Collapses

I'm caught in a revolving door...seeing the completion of the corporate coup in almost every aspect of our lives. Although I rattle the bars, we are captured in a capitalist cage of corruption. Nowhere is it more obvious than our health care system...more concerned with profit than health or care. Last week we focused on the need for individuals and communities to act on their own to create meaningful lives. This week lets look at how we can manage our own health and health care (of course we'll look at news for the week as well). This essay was inspired in part by Bernie's “Medicare for All” bill, but was also heavily influenced by OPOL's essay (hat tip) on diet from earlier this summer.
https://caucus99percent.com/content/revolutionize-your-life-radical-self...

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The Weekly Watch

Clouds of Hypocrisy Surrounding the Storms and Fires

Did you hear T-rump this week in North Dakota? He's glad to have dirty tar sands oil flowing through a pipeline destined to leak. He's thrilled he got us out of the job killing Paris climate agreement. Then in the same speech admits we've had one disastrous hurricane and we're about to have another....and who knew North Dakota could have droughts? It reminds me of the tobacco execs denying that tobacco is addictive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_ZDQKq2F08 (1.5 min)

The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable that climate is becoming increasingly variable and intense, and yet the US government will not allow mention of global warming? Talk about heads in the sand. You know they know. They're lying just like the tobacco execs to save their profit (and lose our habitable planet).

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The Weekly Watch

Workers of the World Unite!

It's Labor Day weekend. It marks the end of the summer season for many, however we still have a few more weeks till the equinox and true Autumn. This summer was the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love”...a time when hopes and dreams of a better world filled many minds of my generation. At that time I thought our idealism would change the world. Sadly capitalism was a more powerful force than our aspirations. How far away we have drifted from that dream of a better world. Today's image of America in my mind includes it's militarized police, disregard for people in favor of corporate profit, massive incarceration of the poor people of color to benefit privatized prisons and probation services, large scale aggression across the world, destruction of the planet and climate for the benefit of the few, and top it off with a heapin' helpin' of our arrogance that we are exceptional (yes exceptionally evil).

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The Weekly Watch

Is a Weak Weekly Better than No Weekly Watch at All?

I guess that's kind of like asking if a weak cup of coffee (or tea) is better than none. So last week for the first time in about a year, I missed getting out my weekly news synopsis. I have a good excuse...I was kidnapped to play a dance last Saturday and then hauled across the state of Georgia to the NE corner to see the eclipse. Although I regret missing publication last week, I must tell you the eclipse was totally worth the loss. I hope you all got to see at least a bit of the event!

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The Weekly Watch

Minimalist Edition

It's been a busy week helping my 87 year old mom move to smaller easier apartment in Birmingham. So my news is a little scant. The MSM continues with the blaring Trump-it...Sabers rattling in N. Korea (and a no war game peace deal still unreported). And they all fiddle around as the planet burns. Perhaps extinction is best.

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The Weekly Watch

What Democracy?

Studies clearly show our government does the bidding of the 1% not the people.
Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/princeton-experts-say-us-no-longer...

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The Weekly Watch

Coups for Corporate Profit Define Our Foreign Policy


With all the distractions it is difficult for regular folks to see the steady move toward a disastrous war with Iran. We are well on the road to upsetting the social reforms and nationalized oil resources of Venezuela (as we discussed last week). Isn't it interesting how the terrorists and our existential enemies always seem to be where there is oil. Korea fired another missile...I'm sure our response will be bellicose, despite the fact the only request they have is for us to stop military exercises around their country. This week the health insurance conflict (it's not about health care) dominated the cycle. Russiagate perks along. T-rumps cabinet cleaning has been part of the media feeding frenzy too. So the firehouse sprays and the people are too overwhelmed to see what is obvious (like our idiotic Iranian policy) and what is hidden (like the arrest of Imran Awan).

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The Weekly Watch

American Arrogance is Based on Exceptional Ignorance

Working from the base of the brain stem, the tribal chant of we're number one is all it takes to convince most citizens the US is GREAT. A misleading and profit serving corporate media does its share to maintain the illusion. But what is so great about us? We certainly create great violence and mayhem around the world. We work hard to destroy nature in order to extract and pollute...and woe be unto the country that opposes our corporate misuse of people and planet...because we worship the God of profit.

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The Weekly Watch

Coups for Corporate Interests Define US Foreign Policy

With all the distractions it is difficult for regular folks to see the steady move toward a disastrous war with Iran. We are well on the road to upsetting the social reforms and nationalized oil resources of Venezuela (as we discussed last week). Isn't it interesting how the terrorists and our existential enemies always seem to be where there is oil. Korea fired another missile...I'm sure our response will be bellicose, despite the fact the only request they have is for us to stop military exercises around their country. This week the health insurance conflict (it's not about health care) dominated the cycle. Russiagate perks along. T-rumps cabinet cleaning has been part of the media feeding frenzy too. So the firehouse sprays and the people are too overwhelmed to see what is obvious (like our idiotic Iranian policy) and what is hidden (like the arrest of Imran Awan).

blinded.jpg

The Weekly Watch

Coups for Corporate Profit Define Our Foreign Policy



With all the distractions it is difficult for regular folks to see the steady move toward a disastrous war with Iran. We are well on the road to upsetting the social reforms and nationalized oil resources of Venezuela (as we discussed last week). Isn't it interesting how the terrorists and our existential enemies always seem to be where there is oil. Korea fired another missile...I'm sure our response will be bellicose, despite the fact the only request they have is for us to stop military exercises around their country. This week the health insurance conflict (it's not about health care) dominated the cycle. Russiagate perks along. T-rumps cabinet cleaning has been part of the media feeding frenzy too. So the firehouse sprays and the people are too overwhelmed to see what is obvious (like our idiotic Iranian policy) and what is hidden (like the arrest of Imran Awan).

blinded_0.jpg

The Weekly Watch

Media Obsessions Continue to Obscure the Obvious...

Why is it you never hear anyone in the media say Hillary and the DNC meddled in the primary election to defeat Bernie Sanders and become the nominee? It is the one obvious truth no one utters. Instead we continue the Russia T-rump witch hunt, as net neutrality is at risk, children in Yemen and Syria die because of our actions, and the mass extinction event accelerates. It is indeed a media of mass distraction and Amerika plays right into its hands.

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The Weekly Watch

Glimmers of Light in a Sea of Darkness

There was some good news this week. We had a couple of court rulings favorable to the environment. People came out in mass to protest the G20. One protester said it was a meeting of the 20 biggest criminals on the planet. There was movement toward a cease-fire in Syria after T-rump and Putin met. Jeremy Corbyn continues to gather steam in the UK especially among young people. Some cities are standing up to corporations (like Richmond, CA). Also worker coops are receiving some recognition. Let's look for success where we can!

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The Weekly Watch

Being a Citizen of the Evil Empire
...misdirected and ill-informed

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Perhaps war and greed is endemic to being human. Many years ago, a middle east scholar suggested the pattern of civilization is conquest, consolidation, expansion, degeneration, and back to conquest. The middle east certainly has the history to support that theory. Watch this 12 minute video tracing the story of empires in the region before the advent of Islam. Is anything new? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBpQiJt3MUQ

The Weekly Watch

Spotlight on Schools …

one teacher's perspective


Several years ago I was at an Alabama State School Board meeting when the state president of the Eagle Forum accused the Board of trying to use schools as social engineering machines. My thought was - aren't all schools by their very nature indeed social engineering machines. So, what kind of society do we want to engineer? To create a society we want, we have to focus on the nature of our schools.

(I miss the Red Clay Ramblers and Tommy Thompson)

The Weekly Watch

Truth is stranger than fiction


Life in the age of alternate realities

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It's been a big news week with the loudest scream being Comey, Comey, Comey, Russia, Russia....it keeps the people distracted. In the Middle East the big scream has been Qatar...better get rid of Al Jazeera as the Saudis start a war with Iran. In the meantime, the house votes to do away with the Dodd-Frank luke warm financial regulation. The Senate rushes to pass some sort of T-rumpcare, and on the day Iran was bombed by Saudi surrogates from ISIS, the Senate passed more sanctions on Iran for basically having elections. In the UK Labour made good election gains and the Conservatives are in a mess prior to the Brexit negotiations.

The Weekly Watch


The Corporate Coup


is it complete?

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The success of the corporate oligarchy is evident all around us.... from a “for profit corporation in chief” to his cabinet that owns as much as half the citizens in the country. Like it or not (aware or not) we are subservient to the oligarchs. Remember the fellow hauled off the airplane last month? How about the corporate mercenaries attack against the water protectors at Standing Rock? Or, what about our helplessness as we use our own tax money to finance corporate wars for fossil fuels?

The Weekly Watch

This weekend is the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs.
https://www.floridastateparks.org/folkfest

While I'm there, I thought I might share some memories of some of the musicians that have made this long running festival so special. I think I've been going to the festival for about 30 years. I was amazed my first year at the Florida Folk Festival to hear so many songs about Florida. They not only wrote their own pieces but also sang each others songs.

The Weekly Watch

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I Many Times Thought Peace Had Come
Emily Dickinson


I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away—
As Wrecked Men—deem they sight the Land—
At Centre of the Sea—

And struggle slacker—but to prove
As hopelessly as I—
How many the fictitious Shores—
Before the Harbor be—

The Weekly Watch

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Fantasy: Camouflage Cover Tracks Of Incognito Spy

Margaret Alice

Today I read a most fascinating
account of exciting conspiracy
theories – enough to feed the
imagination for hours to come:
US programs dealt with lasers,
time travel, computer chips,
antigravity systems, magnified
light lenses and genetic
engineering – each term can
be looked up on the Internet
and all this research makes me
feel like a rocket scientist –
just the right camouflage
to cover the tracks of an
incognito spy!

The Weekly Watch

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Lines Written In Early Spring
William Wordsworth


I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

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