Saturday, July 23, 2016
John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. John regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like 3 million Vietnamese in their own land because they embraced the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada, which he is fond of calling “the peaceable kingdom.”
John’s writing appears regularly on many Internet sites. He has been translated into at least ten languages and has been regularly translated into Italian and Spanish. Several of his essays have been published in book collections, including two college texts. He has published a book, The Decline of the American Empire and the Rise of China as a Global Power, published by Constable and Robinson, London. John also writes book reviews.
Apart from his writing since retiring from the oil industry, John has taught university courses in economics, done a good deal of private tutoring, served as a professional newspaper restaurant reviewer (he likes cooking), followed his favorite hobby of photography, and created a popular family of image blogs on the Internet.
John may be reached directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME INTERNET SITES FROM JOHN CHUCKMAN:
CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY
CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)
CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY
CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)
CHUCKMAN PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: CHICAGO NOSTALGIA AND MEMORABLIA (SELECTED POSTCARDS AND RESTAURANT ITEMS)
CHUCKMAN’S PLACES ON WORDPRESS
CHUCKMAN’S PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: TORONTO NOSTALGIA AND MEMORABLIA
CHUCKMAN' S NON-SPORTS TRADING CARDS OF THE 1950s VOL.1/4
CHUCKMAN’S GALLERY OF GROTESQUES
CHUCKMAN’S CARTOON COMMENTS
CHUCKMAN'S MISCELLANEA OF WORDS
CHUCKMAN'S COMMENTS FROM THE WORLD PRESS
CHUCKMAN'S POLITICAL ESSAYS
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RESPONSE TO SOME NEGATIVE AND NOT-VERY-THOUGHTFUL COMMENTS ON TRUMP'S SPEECH - THE ECONOMIC CONCEPT OF BUNDLING AND ITS APPLICATION TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES - TO GET CHANGE IN ONE OR TWO KEY AREAS YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT SOME THINGS YOU DO NOT LIKE
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Many making comments here show no understanding of the way political systems work.
Picking a candidate resembles buying a product in a number of ways.
There is a principle in economics called “bundling.”
This says that with some goods or services, you must buy a bundle of qualities or disparate things to get what you want.
People who assemble record collections of great hits or top hits use this principle to increase record sales.
No one album put up for sale will have everything that each buyer wants.
To get certain songs, you must buy more than one album.
It is much the same with politicians.
You need to focus on one or a few attributes you greatly want.
The rest come with "the bundle," whether you want them or not, and this holds for every candidate.
Trump represents some serious re-thinking in international affairs, and for this old boy who hates war and neo-cons and re-shaping the planet in America's image, that is immensely important.
Hillary, by contrast, is a life-long supporter of killing and pushing people around - from Waco and Serbia to Iraq and Libya.
The woman has the same kind of blood on her hands as Tony Blair.
Only Trump has indicated his preference for new directions, and only Trump has the strength and resources to stand up against the monsters in the State Department (neo-cons like Victoria Nuland, a best buddy of Hillary’s), Pentagon, and CIA. He may, like Kennedy, die in the effort, but he will make an effort.
As far as stuff like walls and selected migration, an American president requires the consent of Congress, and I believe he will not get it.
But we should keep in mind that walls everywhere are going up. In Austria. At Calais. Even the White House fence is being raised. And all over the place in Israel. So there’s nothing special about Trump’s view.
Keep your eye on the ball, as they say in America, and don’t drift off with slogans and empty rhetoric.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMN ON "TRUMP'S DARK VISION" OFFERS A RIDICULOUS QUOTE ABOUT THE PARTY SOMEONE WORKED FOR BEING DEAD WITH HIS NOMINATION - THOUGHTS ON POLITICAL PARTIES AND JOSEPH SCHUMPETER
COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY DAN ROBERTS AND BEN JACOBS IN THE GUARDIAN
'The party I worked for died tonight': Republicans decry Trump's dark vision
Fairly ignorant piece.
Parties die. Everywhere. All the time. Just like companies, just like distinguished families, and, indeed, just like countries, dozens of which have risen and fallen in the last century.
In politics it is no different than economics. One of the great economists of the last century, Joseph Schumpeter, wrote about the "creative destruction" of capitalism, one of the more insightful remarks of his time.
Indeed, the modern Republican Party was born just before Lincoln with the deaths of other parties, such as the Whigs, the No-nothings, etc.
More than a few observers over recent years have observed that the Republican Party has long out-lived its usefulness.
For example, for years it has desperately tried to expand its base by serving the interests of Christian fundamentalists and "family values," sometimes threatening to bring America into the camp of theocratic states with official school prayer, flag-burning laws, and other brainless nonsense.
Just because America has a rather rigged anti-democratic system in its two-party system, so carefully regulated with many anti-democratic regulations and barriers-to-entry, does not make it good or even ethical either or give it any worth.
This rather uninteresting observer seems to impute moral worth to something which has none.
Donald Trump is a new invigorating force, and, as with all politicians, he represents both good and bad ideas.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST SAYS HILLARY ON TRACK TO BEAT TRUMP BUT IT DEPENDS ON BERNIE SANDERS
COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT
"...but it all depends on Bernie Sanders"
Well, if it does, she richly deserves to lose.
Her record against Bernie represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.
A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.
We now know from a huge Wiki-leaks release that the DNC, under Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a friend and fanatic supporter as chairperson, was plotting before the primaries began.
Many Bernie supporters were crushed by his turning around, after all his legitimate criticisms, acting just like the usual hack politician. He lost his shine completely. He sure lost it for me.
Anyway, the columnist much overrates the importance of the support of former opponents in American politics.
Hillary is not only dirty (as in corrupt), she is a genuine war-monger.
The trends in the polls - and trends are what is important - could not be clearer. Trump is ascending, Hillary is descending.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHO IS TOM KAINE - HILLARY'S PICK AS VP - HAS MADAME DEFARGE LOST HER KNITTING?
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SABRINA SIDDIQUI IN THE GUARDIAN
I’ve heard him on the radio, and he's a rather insipid-sounding man, but of course Madame Defarge would not likely pick a forceful ego with which to share a room.
I’ve just checked out a few facts, and he does prove a genuinely odd choice.
First, as mentioned below, he is a booster of TTP. Not the kind of thing a lot of the Democrats’ base is fond of and fairly anathema to organized labor.
Second, he is associated with crime initiatives which put a lot of black people in jail over some years. Given her pretentions, and they are pretentions, of sympathy with blacks, this is strange. It’s rather in keeping with a comment she was recorded on video making years ago about “black super-predators.”
Third, and this amazes me, he is against abortion.
Of course, she is trying to appeal to some Republicans, but that is a desperate hope. Hillary is, without a doubt, the most disliked Democratic candidate in memory, especially by Republicans.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN EDUCATION'S WORST EXCESSES OF WHINING AND EMPTY CONCEPTS RAISED TO SIGNIFICANCE APPEAR TO BE CONTAMINATING BRITAIN - THE ASININITY OF THE "PUNCTUATION POLICE"
COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY SECRET TEACHER IN THE GUARDIAN
"My pupils' creativity is being crushed by the punctuation police"
I cannot tell you how sickeningly familiar this kind statement is for those exposed to American elementary school teachers in one of the world's most failed education systems.
Punctuation is as important as the alphabet in writing.
This frivolous notion of "creativity" is just devoid of meaning.
It's rather like talking about pouring concrete without a mold.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: TO PARAPHRASE CHURCHILL, TURKEY RIGHT NOW IS A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA
TO PARAPHRASE CHURCHILL, TURKEY RIGHT NOW IS A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA
Events in Turkey just become stranger with each passing day.
We now have Middle Eastern and Persian sources, cited by Russian and German papers, that Russia’s security agencies overheard helicopter radio transmissions by the coup participants, and President Putin warned Erdogan about what was happening, likely saving his skin.
If true, this would help explain the apparent ineptness of the coup forces. My first hypothesis explaining this ineptness plus other peculiarities of the coup was that the plotters were unwittingly working in a dark operation run by Turkish security forces, intended to make them fail while flushing them out and giving Erdogan a free hand.
This possibility of Russian advance warning put together with Erdogan’s own belief that the coup originated in America should yield some serious geopolitical shifts in the region.
We could have an even stronger rapprochement between Turkey and Russia than was already underway, a rapprochement, by the way, which could well have helped tip the United States into giving a wink and a nod (and of course, as always, some cash) to Turkish rebel forces.
But that would not be the only reason for America’s supporting a coup. The truth is, from the American point of view, Erdogan’s erratic behavior – shooting down a Russian war plane, firing artillery into Syria at American Kurdish allies, blackmailing Europe over large numbers of refugees resident in Turkish camps, and still other matters - over the last few years has added uncertainty and potential instability to a strategically important region.
Even if the United States were not involved in the coup, although right now Turkey’s government appears to believe firmly that it was, Putin’s warning would add a powerful positive element to Russian-Turkish relations.
Just as America’s failure to warn Erdogan adds a new negative element to Turkish-American relations. After all, no one is better equipped for international communication interception than the NSA. If the United States were not involved, why didn’t it warn Erdogan? Either way, the outcome is negative for Turkish-American relations.
One of the strongest suggestions for American involvement is the fact that Turkish jets, for bombing and fuel supplies, took off from the İncirlik Airbase during the coup. This airbase is Turkish, but has many Americans resident, including some high-level ones, since there is not only a sizable air force stationed there but an estimated fifty thermonuclear bombs. The Turkish commander, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, was in daily contact with the Americans and sought asylum in the United States before he was arrested by Turkey.
If it is true that Putin warned Erdogan, this would also be the second time Putin has blunted the success of a major American-inspired coup, as he very much did in Ukraine.
Seems as though poor old America, for all its grossly swollen and over-paid security services, just cannot run a good coup anymore.
Putin is disliked by Washington’s establishment precisely because he successfully blunted a huge and costly operation in Ukraine, so disliked that NATO has been pushed dangerously into something resembling the terrifying preparations for Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa in Eastern Europe, 1941.
And, of course, Putin also has thwarted the American effort to overthrow President Assad with paid and supplied proxy forces of mercenaries and religious maniacs. Interestingly, Erdogan has been a key player there. French intelligence has just estimated that even now about a hundred thugs cross the border from Turkey into Syria each week.
If Putin has now also stopped a Turkish adventure, the hissing in Washington will likely become much louder.
A new relationship between Turkey and Russia offers a lot of possibilities, none of them favorable from America’s point of view, the restart of the Turkish Stream natural gas project being just one.
And if Europe speaks up or acts too strongly against Erdogan’s counter-coup measures, there’s always the possibility of a new release of refugees from Turkish camps, something which could genuinely destabilize the EU after so many other recent woes. And smooth control of the EU has been one of America’s chief policy objectives for years.
Of course, we should remember that Churchill’s famous quote originally applied to Russia in the days of Stalin. It does not apply to contemporary Russia, and Putin’s deft moves have made some of America’s clumsy efforts at re-ordering the world rather make it resemble Stalin in international affairs.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRESS COVERAGE OF MELANIA TRUMP'S CONVENTION SPEECH - THE SAD NATURE OF TODAY'S MAJOR PRESS ORGANIZATIONS
Plagiarism, in normal life, is a serious charge and not one to be uttered lightly, and it is never one to be shouted from the rooftops, but in politics things are different.
So we see stories everywhere, literally everywhere, saying Melania Trump “plagiarized” a paragraph from Michelle Obama’s convention speech of 2008.
In fact, this is a very good measure of how totally bent the press is against Trump.
Melania is not a politician.
She does not write speeches.
She did not write this speech.
I doubt very much she ever listened to Michelle Obama. Actually, few people do.
While Melania is a very intelligent woman – she speaks four languages - how could she possibly know whether a speechwriter on her husband’s staff borrowed a few phrases?
Clearly, she could not. So how can she be accused of plagiarizing Mrs. Obama as the press is almost universally asserting?
The whole point of such “speeches” is just to show off a candidate’s spouse, not really to say anything. All such speeches, including Mrs. Obama’s of 2008, are just fluff, filler, devoid of significance, excuses to be put on stage before lights and cameras and to be judged for poise and tone.
And Mrs. Trump delivered her modest words with great success, and this genuinely beautiful woman just sparkled on camera.
The press should be ashamed of the accusations, but the press - as we can see from the way it handles a whole panoply of serious and deadly world events - no longer has much to do with digging out information and presenting it with impartiality.
Sadly, its role now is largely as a propaganda machine, one just as clumsy and obvious in its way as Pravda was in the heyday of the USSR.
Monday, July 18, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ERDOGAN USING COUP TO FURTHER ISLAMIZATION? - NO, ERDOGAN IS ABOUT AUTHORITARIANISM AND STATE TERROR - ISLAM IS A CHARADE FOR THIS MEGALOMANIAC - THE WAY REPUBLICANS USED THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT
"President Erdogan could be using the coup against him to turn Turkey towards full-scale Islamisation"
Patrick Cockburn, I believe you really do have it wrong here.
The error you make is a common one in the press.
Erdogan is using (manipulating) the coup for sure.
But not for the purposes of Islamization, our present world's favorite demon word, endlessly chanted by press and politicians.
Erdogan uses (manipulates) Islam for his own political ambitions.
In this he much resembles the right wing of the Republican Party a couple of decades ago when they were exploiting Christian fundamentalists and "family values."
The danger from Erdogan is authoritarianism and state terror.
The authoritarianism is already there. So are elements of terror including his treatment of Kurds, opponents, Syrians, and others.
The man is a genuine megalomaniac, as we can plainly see from his recently completed 1000-room palace, an unbelievably ugly and graceless monument to himself.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE IDEA THAT IDEALISM IS INADEQUATE TO OPPOSE TRIDENT MISSILE SUBMARINES - AMERICAN WEAPONS-PURCHASE PRESSURE ON NATO
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM PECK IN THE INDEPENDENT
There's no idealism required in being against Trident.
Pure, old-fashioned good sense is completely adequate.
Its costs are unbelievable - and note how the government has been very coy in telling the full story there - and you, quite simply, can do nothing with it.
A deterrent cannot be a deterrent if you can't use it, and it is very much the case that you cannot use Trident.
Here, again, the government is being very coy, but the fact is that part of the package you "buy" with Trident are controls against your ever using it independently.
You can only use it with American approval and against American-allocated targets, full stop. Any other possible use has built-in controls against it, and believe me any British enemies know that as well as I do.
American top-level policy does not allow independent nuclear deterrence anywhere. When countries like Ukraine and Belorussia separated from the Soviet Union, they were briefly nuclear powers themselves with Soviet weapons based on their territory. The U.S. quickly disabused them of any illusions, explaining that if they did not give them up for dismantling, they themselves would be targeted by American ICBMs.
All Trident does is make you feel like you're playing in the big leagues, but it's a silly illusion, enjoyed at immense cost.
Moreover, if you want to give Scotland a serious new issue for independence, then buy Trident. The Scots do not like having it based in their country, and Independence leaders there would love to have a hot new issue.
In the end, Trident is at least as much an illusion as "the special relationship" itself is, yet of course we know important people still go on about their special relationship, oblivious to the fact that disgraced Tony Blair provides the quintessential example of what America means by a special relationship.
For America, Britain's having Trident is just one big fat, lovely, long-term subsidy from British taxpayers to the Pentagon, a pretty insane deal from the British point of view.
Response to a comment about Britain developing its own weapons:
The US would not allow it. Behind-the-scenes pressure would be immense.
British-made planes and other armaments have greatly declined over the decades precisely because of American pressure.
It's yet one more way NATO is exploited by the US to insist on the same weapons - American ones - wherever possible. Qualities like compatibility are emphasized.
This again is just a giant Pentagon subsidy. In effect, you pay part of the freight for America's continued dominance of European affairs, kind of like paying the costs of your own occupation.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST WRITES THAT THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND ARE THREATENED BY ASSAD'S TAKING ROAD TO ALEPPO - WHAT WOULD BRITAIN DO IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES?
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY HARRY COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT
Just gross propaganda.
Assad, the legitimate head of his country, is just doing his job in fighting the scum sent there by America, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
I wonder, do the editors ever try imagining what would happen if thousands of mercenaries and fanatics, armed with many weapons courtesy of the above four countries, were set loose in Britain to kill?
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES MOORE IN THE INDEPENDENT
I don't know what the writer is going on about.
The latest polls show Trump near neck-and neck with Hillary. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times shows him leading by three points.
Now, that's quite an achievement from his starting point and tons of negative press.
And you must consider if you are looking at polls, there are few quite manipulated ones out there showing a big lead for Hillary. It is a biased press game to publish such polls, and it is often done in Britain too.
Hillary has not yet felt the full impact of her genuinely corrupt and murderous career, but I'm sure she will. The trend is clear, and that’s one of the main things we learn from polls, the trend.
The only way she will win is with more of the same dirty tricks we saw in the primaries against Bernie Sanders - destroyed ballots in California and voter suppression techniques in New York, Arizona and other places.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADA'S DEPLOYMENT OF TROOPS TO RUSSIA'S BORDER - SOME TRUTHS ABOUT CANADA'S REALITY AND OUR PLEASANT JUSTIN TRUDEAU
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARK TALIANO IN RUSSIA TODAY
Well, many of us in Canada do oppose it, but we also recognize how little ability our government has for independent action in foreign affairs.
We are, as unpleasant as it sounds, almost totally colonized by America.
The US government has many, many options for making us uncomfortable - financial, economic, military, and diplomatic.
It is also true that the pleasant Justin Trudeau does not possess his father's fiercely independent intelligence, but even father Pierre might face frustration with today's neo-con Washington, a decidedly more aggressive and unforgiving place.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: REFLECTIONS ON THE FAILED COUP IN TURKEY - SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES - ERDOGAN'S AIMS AND MOTIVES
COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
This could well be a big dark operation engineered by Erdogan's security services. It smells of Reichstag Fire.
There were many suspicious circumstances, including people being sent out into the streets to confront revolting soldiers.
When I say "engineered" I don't mean that there weren't genuine opposition officers - indeed, there have long been rumors of serious dissent to Erdogan's dictatorial ambitions - but they may well have been "guided" into taking an apparent opportunity that was not really there, thus showing their hands and giving Erdogan complete freedom of action.
This gives Erdogan the freedom to "cleanse" the armed forces and to take new repressive measures in Turkey.
Erdogan is, quite simply, one of the most dangerous leaders of a significant country in the world.
A government that sails too close to extreme Islam.
It really is not the Islamic aspects of Erdogan's policies which are troubling.
This man uses religion, much the way America's right-wing Republicans used for years Christian fundamentalism and "family values," to buy the loyalty of Turkey's many devout Muslims.
A genuine Muslim leader does not build a 1000-room palace, of exceeding cost and ugliness, as a monument to himself. Yes, that's right, a 1000-room palace opened not long ago.
It is the state terror aspects of Erdogan’s Turkey which are deeply troubling.
He helped create the horrors in Syria, and honest Turkish journalists who reported seeing some of the weapons crossing the border are doing hard time in prison.
A few years back there was even a delivery of Sarin nerve gas that was caught being smuggled. It was hushed up, but enough got out to tell us what was likely happening. This horrible stuff, of course, was used on people a few times in an effort to blame Assad. It likely came from flattened Libya's old stockpile, courtesy of Hillary Clinton.
Many people concerned about civil rights in Turkey have been arrested and even assassinated.
He has slaughtered the Kurds mercilessly.
There are documented reports of Turkish border guards shooting refugees dead who were approaching the border.
The huge number of refugees in camps in Turkey also have communicated reports of abuse, and the threat of their being sent into Europe is being used as a powerful lever to squeeze privileged concessions for Turkey from the EU.
Erdogan has stolen Syria's crude oil shamelessly to help pay for all his dirty work in Syria. His family reaps much of the profits.
Response to reader comment:
Erdogan was elected with stolen ballots, a lot of repression, and plenty of dark operations.
Everyone knows, except apparently people such as yourself, democracy under Erdogan is a fraud.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IN THE WAKE OF THE COUP HILLARY SAYS DEMOCRACY IS SACROSANCT IN TURKEY - BUT WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
But, dear Hillary, the real question is whether democracy is "sacrosanct" in the United States.
You've got your presumed-nomination through a record series of dirty tricks in the primaries, from destroyed ballots (California) to voter suppression tricks (New York).
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IN RESPONSE TO AMERICANS WHO BLAME FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS FOR LOWER WAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES - THE WAY FREE TRADE ACTUALLY WORKS AND HOW IT GENERATES INCREASED WEALTH
The economic truth of free trade is fairly simple.
Both, or all, countries involved become richer over time.
However, that does not apply to every individual or industry in either country. It applies to the average.
The additional wealth of free trade is generated by the economic principle of specialization under which each country does more of what it does best and less of what it does less well. Clearly there must then be winners and losers in the various sectors of an economy. There's no escaping that outcome.
You must distinguish between community interest on this topic and individual interests.
In the rearrangements which take place under a trade treaty, there will always be individual winners and losers.
Also, since all free trade agreements are actually administered free trade under a detailed set of rules (as opposed to theoretical completely free trade), there may actually be sectors of either economy almost targeted for sacrifice as gains are permitted in others.
The overall validity of free trade is proved by Western history. Centuries ago, individual villages, never mind nations, tried to do everything for themselves from shoe-making to bread-baking.
But transportation opened access from one village to the next, and people discovered the bread-maker in one place was better than in the other place, and just the same for the shoe-maker.
Thus, free trade was born, and the modern era got going, and our wealth has grown immensely.
Exactly the same principles hold on a global scale, too, now that we have efficient global transportation and communications. There's simply no stopping it in the long term, unless you want to be a kind of modern Luddite.
The world inexorably will move to be truly globalized, with shifts in population too and rules and laws governing all international movements.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BUSH DANCES AT DALLAS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SLAIN POLICE - WHAT BUSH'S TIME AS PRESIDENT PROVED
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
George is back into the sauce.
Apart from the fact that the man is the closest to a moron ever to serve in high office, Bush has had a drinking problem his entire adult life.
So serious, he once resorted to fisticuffs with his father.
And so serious, his wife threatened to leave him at least once.
He has sobered up various times, but it seems he can't stay that way.
By the way, he has been a substantial user of cocaine, too.
If there is anything Bush's presidency proves, it is that America really does not need a president. The boys behind the scenes can handle everything, just asking the figurehead to sign papers once in a while.
P.S. A revealing picture of Bush’s behavior is found here:
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE APPOINTMENT OF BORIS JOHNSON AS BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER - A HAPPY CHATTY FACE ON BRITAIN'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS - PRESS REACTION TELLS ME A LOT
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY WILL GORE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Boris is an excellent choice, if you must have a Conservative government.
He represents some assurance that people's will - Brexit - will be carried out.
He also puts a rather happy and chatty face on Britain's foreign affairs.
And has proved an astute observer in private.
He once called George Bush: “a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy.”
He also said, deadly accurately, of Hillary Clinton: “She’s got dyed blond hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ERIC ZUESSE IN RUSSIA INSIDER
George Bush pere, besides being psychopathic, was a lifelong covert CIA man.
They did not name the headquarters building after him just because of one stint as CIA Director.
There are many references to his being involved in the whole gigantic anti-Castro terror operation the US ran in the early 1960s, including an obscure FBI memo mentioning a CIA Agent George Bush.
And It very much was this whole ugly anti-Castro business which ultimately led to Kennedy's assassination, only some of the details remain unclear.
The CIA has long practiced paying secret pensions to promising politicians in Europe and Asia to secure their future and future cooperation.
It is a very dirty business, striking at the foundations of democracy, but now it has been extended into the United States itself. After all, having a CIA president is much like the Mafia having a "made man" on the Supreme Court.
The CIA, now pretty much out of control as a state within a state, is also in the business of having members elected to high office within the United States.
Bush was the first of which I am aware. Obama quite possibly is another. There are serious gaps in his resume, and his policies couldn't make the CIA more contented for the most part.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISIS IS REPORTED TO TAKE CREDIT FOR NICE - BUT THIS REPORT IS NOT VERY CREDIBLE
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
I'm not inclined to believe this claim.
First, it comes rather late.
Second, all such communications, as from al Qaeda, are highly questionable as to authenticity.
For example, we know to a certainty that some of the communications supposedly from Osama bin Laden, after America's bombing the hell out of Afghanistan, were phony, likely engineered by CIA to keep the old hot breath of a war on terror going.
Third, why is France a target, and time after time?
In fact, Hollande has been nowhere in the genuine fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Just a lot of hot air.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE HORROR IN NICE - THE IRREPONSIBLE PRESS IMMEDIATELY JUMPS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT IS ORGANIZED TERROR
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
This is a terrible event, but the papers are all screaming "terror" immediately afterward.
This is not good reportage.
How can we possibly know?
There are madmen who do violent things without any political meaning.
Monday, July 11, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BLACK LIVES MATTER AND THE INSANE VIOLENCE WE SEE IN AMERICA - SOME PERSPECTIVE ON THE UGLY REALITIES OF AMERICA
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Below is the link for a site examining American violent crime statistics, ones just for the city of Chicago.
While the illustrations are cartoonish, the data are authoritative, and the authors have created some bizarrely interesting comparisons.
I do not ever defend for a moment what violent police have done, but the truth is America is such a hopelessly violent place that I'm sure most British people cannot imagine it.
Remember "the troubles" of Northern Ireland? Well, Chicago and many other American urban centers experience something like that on a perpetual basis.
Newspaper talk about terrorists almost seems trivial when compared to the year-in, year-out realities of a place like Chicago (or Detroit or Newark or New Orleans or Washington or a lot of other American places).
Study the site a bit, and you will gain some insight into what makes American police fearful themselves.
It is also what truly drives America's ongoing relationship with guns, something rarely spoken of in gun-control debates.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP'S VP CANDIDATE - GEN MICHAEL FLYNN SUGGESTED - WHY TRUMP ABSOLUTELY MUST PICK A WOMAN
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER
He may well be a "good guy," but Trump absolutely needs to pick a woman.
It would be a major error not to do so.
Trump must offset, to the degree he can, the vague fear some voters undoubtedly harbor that in voting against Hillary they vote against a woman running for high office.
Hillary and her associates will be playing on this fear for all they are worth.
With the threatening international situation, this may be the most important American election of my lifetime.
Hillary just could not be a more soulless creature of the neo-cons, and she will bring even more ugliness to a bad international situation. She will not oppose the awful people in the military-security complex, she will embrace them wholeheartedly.
Trump is no hero, but he says some important things right and is willing to talk, and, what is extremely important, he has the personal strength and experience to deal with the bullies at the Pentagon and CIA. Likely no one else could deal well with them.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE FATUOUS NOTION THAT TONY BLAIR SHOULD HAVE FOCUSED ON A LEGAL WAR IN AFGHANISTAN - THE REAL BASIS FOR THE INVASION OF IRAQ AND BLAIR'S GLIB WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF
Yes, of course, although even America's Afghanistan attack was dubious, the UN having been browbeaten by the American administration after the attack which had horrified so many.
But Iraq was not merely a mistaken turn. It was quite simply what Israel wanted, and it lobbied for it as only Israel can. Everyone from its prime minister to that self-proclaimed man of peace, Elie Wiesel, directly lobbied for an invasion of Iraq. There was a chorus.
And Bush and his key people were highly attentive to what Israel wanted.
The invasion was never about WMD or oil, as was often said at the time.
It was about Israel's hegemony in the Middle East, which is often given the misnomer, security.
Blair was a virtual acolyte of Israel and its leaders, so he did not take any pushing. An important strategy of his "New Labour Party" was an approach to the British Jewish community for more support, especially financial, the Conservatives traditionally receiving much of it because governments in Israel are unfriendly to progressive or genuinely liberal governments in the West.
Supporting the smashing of Iraq was Blair's beau geste to those of the Jewish community in Britain who are intense supporters of Israel. Britain's Jewish community is rather smaller than in some countries, as in the US, but it includes some immensely powerful world financial and business figures.
Well, Blair succeeded in his own terms handsomely, even earning himself a one-million dollar Israel "Peace Prize" for his efforts.
I doubt he was capable of acting otherwise than he did under the circumstances. He is a man destroyed by his own ambition and complete lack of ethics.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA'S MEANINGLESS WORDS ON THE DALLAS MASS KILLING OF POLICE - OBAMA'S LACK OF ACHIEVEMENT EXCEPT IN KILLING - AMERICA IS A HOPELESSLY VIOLENT PLACE - NOTE ON BLACKS KILLING BLACKS
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
“Vicious, calculated, despicable attack on law enforcement”
My, what an informative statement from Obama.
And very interesting, too, coming, as it does, from a man who has spent years ambushing people with drone-fired missiles, people guilty of nothing under law.
It just all points out what a mindlessly violent place America is.
Another reader’s comment:
“Obama has done nothing for black people he is a classic uncle tom”
This is true, but of course he has done nothing for anyone else either, except for the military, the intelligence services, and some powerful special interests.
Another reader’s comment:
‘Black lives don't matter, when it's "blacks kill blacks".’
There is harsh truth in that.
The fact is, as not many may appreciate, that the high rate of black urban violence in the United States is almost all blacks killing blacks.
On a long weekend in a place like Chicago, as many as 25 people are shot in the streets, virtually all of them black.
Most do not die, but a significant number do.
Readers may be interested:
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH JOURNALIST WRITES THAT THIS WEEK THE LABOUR PARTY'S JEREMY CORBYN FINALLY LOOKED LIKE A PRIME MINISTER
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY FADUMA HASSAN IN THE INDEPENDENT
I do not agree with Faduma Hassan that it was just this week.
Corbyn has stood up well under fire, a set of unprecedented attacks, both personal and political, from many quarters.
I like him more than ever.
First, the many calls for a different leader right after his overwhelming election.
And the attacks by human scum like Tony Blair.
The attacks by disloyal party members like Hilary Benn.
The mass walk-out of Tony Blair's loyalists, admirers of a mass murderer, all of them.
The damnable attacks by the press and a truly shabby prime minister about non-existent anti-Semitism. A true wave of hate modeled on Sen Joseph McCarthy's name-calling filth from the 1950s.
The same shabby prime minister's insults about Corbyn's choice of clothes, unwarranted insults with absolutely no apology.
Standing up to the disastrous consequences of the prime minister's embarrassing referendum campaign, which indelibly marks David Cameron as the most incompetent man ever to hold his office, a fact which should influence everyone's thinking about his party's policies.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITAIN'S DAVID CAMERON TO SEND HUNDREDS OF BRITISH TROOPS TO RUSSIA'S BORDER - A FAILED PRIME MINISTER DOES THE BIDDING OF A FAILED AND MURDEROUS PRESIDENT
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY GABRIEL SAMUELS IN THE INDEPENDENT
Oh, what a devilishly clever man our David is, posting troops on Russia's border.
But why settle for half measures when you could post a Trident nuclear submarine off the coast of Latvia?
Gee, you just never know about those damned Ruskies!
Pure idiocy, every step of it about as clever as David’s mind-bogglingly dumb referendum.
Does anyone have confidence in a man proved so obtuse?
Groveling after the murderous, failed man in the White House whose entire behavior towards Russia represents no principle whatever, only the American elites’ anger with a Russian leader who has outplayed them at geo-strategic chess.
Putin has not committed a single act of genuine aggression.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MATTHEW NORMAN COMPARES IRAQ AND BREXIT - SAYING LEADERS HAD NO EXIT PLAN - THEY HAVE NOT LEARNED - BUT COMPARING THESE TWO MATTERS IS EVIL - AN ILLEGAL MASS KILLING VERSUS THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MATTHEW NORMAN IN THE INDEPENDENT
I think the writer has done a genuinely evil thing.
Comparing Brexit in any way with the Nazi-like invasion of Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed a society for a generation, is completely unacceptable.
Comparing a lack of plans by politicians in these two massively different events reduces mass murder and illegal invasion to the same level with a democratic decision on membership in an organization.
Wrong way to regard mass murder, but still more wrong way to regard a democratic decision.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT BRITAIN'S CHILCOT REPORT AND THEIR ANGER AT BUSH HAS SUBSIDED - RAW TRUTH ABOUT AMERICAN CONCERNS OVER THINGS BRITISH
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but it is a fact that Americans, the great bulk of them, care nothing about anything that happens in Britain.
Remember Bush bragging during his 2000 campaign that he never read the international section of the newspaper?
That's why the "special relationship" imagined by British politicians is such a fantasy idea.
Oh, yes America's government, when up to some new no-good project, likes to drag Britain along to make things look more international, but that is as far as it goes.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH CHILCOT REPORT - WE STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY DIED - A NOTE ON AMERICA'S WAR STATISTICS
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Yes, there were many attempts to estimate the dead, and all the credible ones come up with a large number.
I think the best was around half a million.
I also think though that you must include all the chaos and death since the end of initial hostilities.
None of it would have happened without the damned invasion. That likely brings us to around a million.
By the way, it has long been an American practice to hide any statistics showing the real effect of American aggression.
In the previous Gulf War, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers - mostly poor conscripted farmers - were crushed by B-52 carpet bombing. Their bodies were just bulldozed into the desert without accounting.
Again, in the no-fly zone and embargo imposed afterwards, many tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and a lot of children, died miserably. The US never bothered to investigate, and we have the ghastly, memorable words of Madeleine Albright when asked it that "we thought it was worth it."
Readers may enjoy a piece written some years ago on the topic. The numbers used in it were conservative in light of later knowledge:
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BLAIR SAID TO BE SEMI-BROKEN MAN WITH IRAQ AND LIBYA LEGACIES - SPECIAL PLEADING - BLAIR IS TRUE EVIL
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK
He is a truly evil man but one who doesn't have any awareness of the fact, a narcissist who thinks whatever he does or did must be correct.
Of course, Britain's refusal to cooperate would not have stopped the American invasion, driven by Cheney and Rumsfeld, two men who might comfortably have worked for Hitler's Germany had they lived then.
But it might have slowed them down, not having any "allies" in the criminal adventure.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DOCUMENTS ON POSSIBLE SAUDI TIES TO 9/11 - AN OLD FALSE LEAD - BUT WE HAVE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND NEGLECTED TIDBITS OF EVIDENCE - AN INCOMPLETE SUGGESTION ON WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY
Response to a comment from another reader who said:
“J. Michael Springmann, the former chief of the visa section at the US consulate in Jeddah (where 15 of the hijackers got their visas), has testified that his denial of visas to potential terrorists was repeatedly countermanded by the CIA station chief there.”
Yes, I am aware of this, and it is one of the most important tidbits of information we have on the events around 9/11.
I very much believe that the CIA (with Israel, who had a number of agents in two groups working in the US at the time) was running a special operation of which we have never been advised.
Something backfired, I don't know just what, and 9/11 happened.
Rather a classic case of what security services call "blowback."
We'll likely never learn the truth, especially since the truth would tend to implicate CIA and Mossad with the general public, and I guarantee the 28-pager from the Congressional Committee will do little to enlighten us.
After all, just look at the congressmen supporting its release.
These are not people searching for truth but people looking for someone to vaguely blame so America’s professional class of victims finally gets off their backs.
The only revelation of the 28 pages is likely about the Saudis’ financial support for bin Laden.
But we already knew about this from Anthony Summers' book about 9/11.
Besides, the Saudis were only paying bin Laden to keep him out of their hair. They were not commissioning terror.
And yet again, we have never had an ounce of proof of bin Laden’s guilt. Everyone just takes it for granted because it has been repeated a million times by the CIA’s loyal associates in the American press.
So, we know as little as ever, and are quite unlikely to learn the truth.
Just as is the case with the assassination of John Kennedy – almost certainly the work of CIA Cuban refugee terrorist-associates at the time - or the destruction of TWA Flight 800 - which all reliable evidence, including eyewitnesses, strongly suggests was brought down by the accidental release of an anti-aircraft missile by a US Navy ship in the area.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITAIN'S NAZ SHAH READMITTED TO LABOUR PARTY AFTER "ANTI-SEMITISM ROW" - REFLECTIONS ON THE ORIGINAL ATTACKS OF JOSEPH MCCARTHY IN AMERICA - THE OLD FAIRY TALE OF THE BOY WHO CRIED "WOLF" TOO OFTEN
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ALEXANDRA SIMS IN THE INDEPENDENT
"Naz Shah readmitted to Labour party following anti-Semitism row"
As well she should be.
The 'anti-Semitism row' is one of the more shameful events in recent British history.
This whole thing was an ugly wave of McCarthyism employed in a shabby effort to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership, full stop.
It was led off by the now appropriately-disgraced David Cameron. It was pushed along by disloyal party members like Hilary Benn. And it was kept fired up by much of the press, including The Independent and The Guardian, a paper once regarded as liberal-minded and progressive.
The simple fact is if you check Israeli sources, you can easily see the government of Israel hates Corbyn. They do not like any independent-minded leader, much less one who is largely anti-war.
That fact automatically triggers a chorus from Israel's apologists abroad and those who insist that it is right even when it is dead wrong, as it frequently is.
Part of that chorus clearly includes a great deal of the press, and as a person who follows some news and political events closely, I can say I have never since childhood (I grew up in the US in the Cold War) seen such deeply biased and almost embarrassing coverage.
Check on the Internet for old clips of the dangerous Sen. Joseph McCarthy at his height - who was by the way in private a violent drunk who simply needed to fire up a flagging political career - and you will see similar charges and behavior.
For a considerable period of time, that hideous man's drunken lies, all intended merely to further his ugly career, made the whole United States tremble. There were remarkably few prominent Americans who dared to stand against him.
At the same time there were lines of people shamelessly supporting him and working hard to destroy the careers of prominent, decent people. This was especially notable in Hollywood and in government, at the State Department. The press for the most part joined the noisy shouts.
Britain's event was not as extreme, but it was frightening for all fair-minded observers, and there are still echoes of it in the press.
Nothing Naz Shah did was in the least "anti-Semitic." Nothing. And exactly the same for others accused, including Ken Livingston.
What is perhaps not appreciated by Israel's more ferocious and single-minded apologists is that the tactic of always and invariably calling anyone "anti-Semitic" who is the least critical of Israel gradually turns the expression into empty words, drained of all meaning.
The old fairy tale about the boy who cried "wolf!" over and over again falsely just to see the effect on people and who was finally ignored by everyone when a real wolf approached applies perfectly here.
I believe we all recognize genuine hate where it exists. We don't need to be told by others, and especially by others who are being either dishonest or irresponsible.
Not one bit of genuine anti-Semitism was involved here, but there was sure plenty of name-calling and libel and huff-and-puff over nothing.
Extremely disappointing, the whole affair.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CLAIM MADE THAT BLAIR GENUINELY BELIEVED THERE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN IRAQ - NO HE DID NOT AND HERE IS WHY
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
No, he did not.
This is a flimsy defense being "put out there."
I lived through that time and followed events closely.
There was absolutely no question that there were no weapons of mass destruction.
We had the expert testimony of weapons inspectors, ones working in Iraq at the time and ones who worked there earlier.
After Bush pere's Gulf War (1990-91), the entire infrastructure for Saddam's serious weapons was destroyed, every bit of it.
Saddam had built, running up to 1990, some serious facilities for producing fissile material. The existence of these facilities was the real reason for Bush pere's Gulf War.
These facilities and documents were entirely destroyed.
Later imposed weapons' inspectors working in Iraq worked diligently, following up every lead, and never found a scrap of anything that mattered.
Their findings were later confirmed by American military and intelligence services working there following the unjustified and illegal (under international laws and treaties) invasion of Iraq.
We also had before the invasion several Iraqi scientists who told us nothing was being done along these lines.
We also had the intelligence services of several significant states confirming that nothing was going on.
We also had leaders in neighboring states making such statements.
Now, if I and others understood this much, how much better were Blair's sources?
There was no possible basis for this claim that he "really believed," else why did he force manipulative activities like creating the dodgy dossier?
The whole thing was a feeble excuse to destabilize and effectively Balkanize the most advanced Arabic country in the region, leaving millions with no employment, no electricity, and no clean water for years.
And that's over and above the million or so who perished, the several million driven out as refugees.
By the way, Assad's Syria took something like 2 million refugees from the war. He really is a terrible man, isn't he?
The US, of course, as so often took none.
Now America and its allies, after repeating the dirty business in Libya, are doing the same thing to Syria, only cowardly using proxies, lunatics hired and trained from all over.
The real strategic purpose in all this murder and destruction is to secure Israel's hegemony in the region and eliminate all independent-minded leaders and movements.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY CLINTON ACCUSES TRUMP OF USING "BLATANTLY ANTI-SEMITIC" IMAGE - BUT HER WORDS ARE SO MINDLESS THEY SHOULD NOT EVEN BE REPORTED - A NOTE ON SIX-POINTED STARS AND THEIR USE IN ADVERTISING
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TIM WALKER IN THE INDEPENDENT
Oh, please, what an utterly ridiculous statement.
First, The Independent has already tried squeezing this lemon of a non-event, Trump’s Tweet image, for some juice.
Now, you try again, only putting the ghastly Hillary's name to it.
Would it be fair to conclude:
One, that you hate Trump;
Two, that you like Lucretia Borgia;
Three, that you just cannot get over the McCarthyite anti-Semitism theme you ran with so many times trying to smear a decent man named Jeremy Corbyn.
Anyone with an eye for graphics can see why a six-pointed star was used.
The copy placed at the center has probably twice the area that it would have in a five-pointed star of roughly the same size.
A six-pointed star has a large central rectangular area.
In addition, it is easy to find scores of examples using this geometric shape in advertising and art.
I'm sorry to shock readers, but six-pointed stars are not uniquely Jewish.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NETANYAHU PERSUADED POWERS TO WATER-DOWN REPORT ON ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS - YES BUT IT DOES NOT TAKE PERSUASION AND BESIDES NETANYAHU IS A BULLY NOT A SALESMAN
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Please, it doesn't take much persuasion.
Besides, Netanyahu's skills are far more those of a bully than a salesman.
None of the leaders wants to touch this tar baby.
None of the leaders has much ethics anyway.
An implicit threat is always there working for Israel: that Israel's supporters in the various Western countries will withdraw financial support from any party leader found wanting in his or her groveling to Israel's government.
Believe me, that's all that required, especially in the United States whose government leaders almost trip over each other in trying to come up with new ways to please Israel's government.
And if the US is onside, how do the weak leaders of Britain, France, or Germany dare to go in a different direction?
They don't, ever.
And that is why the world's most shameful abuse of human rights and ethics just rolls on, year after year.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FBI DIRECTOR SETS A NEW LOW STANDARD FOR THE FBI AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IN NOT CHARGING HILLARY CLINTON - NOTE ON FBI HISTORY
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Oh my, how surprising!
And just shortly after her husband barged in on the Attorney General (who is the FBI Director's direct boss) for a secret, unscheduled, utterly inappropriate, half-hour meeting.
By the way, the Attorney General lives just two floors away in the same building as Hillary's national campaign headquarters and she was appointed by Obama who is out campaigning for Hillary, using facilities like Air Force One for private party business.
Hillary broke a number of laws in this business (over and above other matters, ignored, such as corrupt practices in the huge Clinton Foundation).
It just could not be clearer. Federal laws on the use of computers by officials are not ambiguous.
But she gets to prance on, smiling and waving, much like Tony Blair, two of the most corrupt people ever to hold office.
Well, just as in 1750, there is a set of laws for you and me and another set for the powerful and well connected.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FAMILIES OF FORMER POSTWAR REFUGEES WANT TO LEAVE BRITAIN FOR GERMANY CLAIMS COLUMNIST - NEW LOW POINT IN PRESS'S ATTACKING THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE IN BREXIT - THE FALSENESS OF MAKING GENERAL STATEMENTS ABOUT ANY GROUP
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KIM SENGUPTA IN THE INDEPENDENT
A genuine rubbish article.
First, you simply cannot talk about Jewish people, or any other people, in general, unless you've done some intensive polling with regard to every topic discussed.
Second, if some people, of any ethnic origin, want to migrate to Germany, so what? It's not even news.
What this shabby piece really represents is a continuation of The Independent's massive effort to make everyone regret Brexit, perhaps with just a soupcon of the bitter anti-Semitism theme you’ve so liberally used in recent attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.
You've had all kinds of special interests and special pleadings to this end. Now, I think you've reached the desperation level with this.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST WRITES OF THE FACT THAT DESPITE FIFTEEN YEARS OF CONTINUOUS WAR NO ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT HAS ARISEN IN THE UNITED STATES - HERE ARE SOME GOOD REASONS WHY THIS HAS HAPPENED
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ROBERT PARRY IN RUSSIA INSIDER
A genuinely depressing set of facts.
In part it is the much-consolidated press affording less genuine information than ever. Indeed, the relatively few sources are hand-in-glove with the military-security establishment, and they almost never broadcast or print genuine analyses of foreign situations. You can hear items on the major television networks that are just re-writes of junk from the CIA or Pentagon propaganda staffs.
Indeed, these major news sources today often do not even have much in the way of foreign correspondents and bureaus. All America's press has suffered a terrible decline in advertising revenues owing to technology. Classified ads, for example, once the bread-and-butter of newspapers, has disappeared.
With rising costs and threatened revenues, the first area to be pitched overboard is foreign coverage. Remember George Bush Jr talking, bragging actually, about never reading the foreign news section? He was addressing some common attitudes.
But even domestic news is empty of real content. Just look at the way Hillary's people have stolen several primaries - including importantly, California - by some combination of ballot-handling tricks and voter suppression tricks. Where's the outrage? You'll find it on the Internet to some extent, but it is virtually missing from the news most people read or hear.
The security services have had so much experience and practice at generating false stories or suppressing real ones that a great deal of what Americans read or hear is just empty nothing, informing them of nothing and reassuring them things at home are just fine.
After all, there has been a long record of events never genuinely explained to Americans – everything from the Kennedy assassination to the accidental shooting down of TWA Flight 800 and, of course, 9/11 – and at some point people just shrug and get on with their lives. America’s security services have become expert at suppressing and hiding information people should know. And the emergence of international terror has given them a great cover-up theme with which to play.
In part it is the fact that Americans have been working increasingly hard. They don't have the time or resources for political activity.
Some must have two or three part-time jobs. Some must work extremely hard to pay for their more-expensive-than-ever college and university educations.
Good jobs are not just out there waiting as they were in the 1960s.
The American per capita real income for middle class people has fallen steadily for many years.
In virtually all young marriages, wives and husbands both must work now. And if they want to do right by young children, there are serious demands on their free time with lessons, sports, etc.
I also believe there has been a genuine shift in attitudes in America. The people are just conditioned to these horrors. The fact is, humans can get used to almost anything and they make quiet, almost automatic adjustments to bad situations. The truth was at Germany’s extermination camps during the Holocaust, people became, for the most part, completely conditioned to the world in which they were forced to live. Contrary to myths about heroism, there are many actual stories of prisoners cheating one another or jumping ahead in a line or stealing food. That’s just how humans behave.
Back in the days of Vietnam, seeing their own conscript sons die weighed heavily. The one thing the Pentagon learned was not to run big wars with conscripts. Absolutely cynical but true.
Today, the professional armed forces - all volunteer and relatively well paid - do not exert the same emotional pull on ordinary people.
But we also have an unprecedented level of activity by America’s military-security services today, pressing in many directions. The sheer variety is likely confusing to the general public when compared to a single focus like Vietnam. This is a result of the influence of the neo-cons and the American establishment’s fears of losing its preeminence in an emerging multi-polar world.