Friday, December 15, 2017

IF YOU HATE HYPOCRISY AND POLITICAL STUPIDITY OF EVERY DESCRIPTION, THEN YOU'LL LOVE THIS SITE...



ABOUT JOHN CHUCKMAN

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:  formersouthsideboy@gmail.com

SOME INTERNET SITES FROM JOHN CHUCKMAN:


CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY
    http://chuckmanportstanley.wordpress.com/
CHUCKMAN'S MONTREAL
     http://chuckmanmontreal.wordpress.com/
CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)
     http://chuckmanmagdalenislands.wordpress.com/
CHUCKMAN'S GODERICH
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 ROBOTS
 CHUCKMAN’S ART
 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


ME, ROUGHLY: THE DECLINE IS RAPID NOW

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN SLUMS AND SQUALOR CAN SHOCK EUROPEANS - BUT IT AIN'T NEW AND IT AIN'T TRUMP - WASHINGTON FOR DECADES HAS IGNORED ITS PEOPLE WHILE IT SPENDS TIME AND RESOURCES ON KILLING FOR EMPIRE



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Trump turning US into 'world champion of extreme inequality', UN envoy warns
Special rapporteur Philip Alston, fresh from fact-finding tour, issues devastating critique of US society and condemns ‘private wealth and public squalor’

"Trump turning US into 'world champion of extreme inequality', UN envoy warns"

I'm sorry, but that is an uninformed statement.

I grew up in the United States, in a large city, and the kind of slums we see here have been around since I was young.

Detroit, Baltimore, Toledo, New Orleans, parts of Chicago, parts of New York, Newark, Gary, and dozens of other places would shock Europeans who are used to seeing only travel photos and Hollywood movies.

The stark poverty and ugliness are not in way distinguishable from parts of the third world.

And it’s not just cities. Many years ago, I was taking some photos of river bridges near Joliet, Illinois, and I turned onto a small road to get one of the shocks of my life. There was a sizable settlement of homemade shanty structures ahead on both sides of the road. It looked exactly like something from Soweto, South Africa, and perhaps worse.

The United States is full of such surprises. You find them in Appalachia and out on the Southwestern desert, quite apart from all the vast urban slums. A great many Americans live in beat-up little trailers in places like rural Maine or Arizona.

It isn't Trump, although I’m sure he won't be helping.

And it isn't just Republicans.

Democrats in the national government along with Republicans have done nothing about this.

Obama, the first black president, did nothing.

The places I've listed plus many others have looked like scenes from hell for forty or fifty years.

America's government has busied itself with creating new ruins in many parts of the world. instant ruins with bombs. That’s how it spends its time and resources.

Washington has shown no interest and made no effort for decades to help the American people. Washington resembles more an occupying power than a government “of the people.”


Thursday, December 14, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NEW PHONY BOOK ON TRUMP AND RUSSIA - WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON WITH ALL THE MUMBO-JUMBO INSANITY IN AMERICA? THE REAL TARGET AIN'T TRUMP - NEOCONS AND RUSSIA



COMMENT POSTED TO A BOOK REVIEW BY CHARLES KAISAR IN THE GUARDIAN


Secret meetings and dirty money in a compelling investigation of the US president’s 30-year relationship with Russia
“Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House by Luke Harding"

I cannot believe people continue to generate this kind of stuff. Talk about “conspiracy theories,” here we have a deep new vein of them being mined to yield mountains of uninformative articles, political speeches, books, and a range of activities about Trump and Russia.

I am not a Trump supporter, but I follow current events closely. Trump is not really the target in this onslaught although his behavior and unpopularity serve to stoke the fires.

I have yet to read one fact that supports as much as a charge of public nuisance for urinating on a sidewalk.

The United States literally has been reduced to mumbo-jumbo insanity.

But, in fact, like Polonius's observation of Hamlet, "there's a method to his madness."

The real target is Russia.

I believe the genuine underlying cause for all this viciousness is the anti-Russian Neocons who have seized control of American foreign policy.

Russia is seen as an enemy by them because it is the only country capable of ultimately opposing the United States, capable of ultimately obliterating the United States. China, owing to geography and its state of weapons’ development is not quite there yet, but it will be, and already, it, too, is being treated abusively.

Russia also has become one of the more fair-minded and balanced players in world affairs today. It has become everything people once railed against the Soviet Union for not being – business-oriented, communicating with the world, ready to trade and make big business deals anywhere, and with reasonably democratic institutions.

Its behaviors are measured and restrained, quite the opposite to those of the United States.

But none of that is palatable for America's Neocons who are dangerous ideologues intensely focused on the assertion of American power. The official, accepted goal for international affairs today in America’s power establishment is termed, “full-spectrum dominance worldwide,” about as odious and dangerous a goal as you could come up with.

Fairness and reasonableness are not what is being sought by the folks who created a coup and civil war in Ukraine, started a terrible bloody war by phony-jihadi mercenaries in Syria, destroyed Libya, flattened Iraq, and are busy with a whole list of ugly, murderous projects.

We live in truly dangerous times because in matters of war and power conflicts, it is never a specific ideology – as, communism or fascism – which is truly dangerous, it is simply the existence of powerful ideologues of whatever description bent on getting their way.

And that is precisely what we have in Washington.

So, at every opportunity Russia is attacked as though it were "An Enemy of the People," when in truth, just like Dr. Stockman in the powerful Ibsen play, it is the one opposing irrationality and aggression in the present world.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE IDEA OF SURVEILLANCE THAT NEVER ENDS - IN AMERICA THAT'S NOT A THREAT BUT A PROMISE - MORE DARK STUFF FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE - A DRIVE TO CONTROL EVERYTHING - IKE'S WARNING



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH


The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America: Surveillance That Never Ends

Absolutely, and I believe there is no going back.

The not-too-far future for Americans is to be wired into government information-collection systems in virtually everything they do.

It will include everything from data from all advanced household electronic appliances, ticket agencies, grocery stores, airlines, railroads, all state and local governments - all with a system of facial recognition cameras positioned at every important transportation node.

I doubt that anyone, and certainly not a coward like Trump, can stop this now from becoming reality.

It's what the people with real power want. So, unless, they were somehow magically to be changed, it is what you will get. Of course, we’re already a good way along.

Americans will become effectively a herd of cattle with machine-readable tags stapled to their ears.

The entire phony War on Terror with its outrages in the Middle East, launched by Neocons for their own purposes, working with a bought-and-paid-for Congress, provides the driving force.

There are no effective checks and balances worth talking about in America. And one may easily speculate darkly about the somewhat more distant future. Already America has police forces with an international reputation for violence, but in future they will be equipped as never before.

And with the CIA running a huge computerized extrajudicial killing operation abroad, how long can it be before the same practice slips into becoming part of life in the good old USA?

It’s all self-induced and could have been avoided, but it may well be too late now. I don’t see the least bit of meaningful opposition in the “land of the free,” close to everyone being heavily conditioned now to accept the psycho-babble about “international terror” and “them and us.”

The harmless little squib fired off against the Deep State by Trump in his campaign has been silenced. He proved an extremely unchallenging opponent and in fairly short order. Indeed, he has become part of the problem.

Remember Dwight Eisenhower’s eloquent warning in his farewell address about the risks of the “military-industrial complex?” His words were often talked about but effectively ignored. Now, the threat is immensely greater and growing daily. It includes gigantic intelligence agencies, powerful and secretive lobbies, and monopolistic, entrenched media of every kind. It is an advanced metastasized cancer in the body-politic of America.

America’s plutocracy, supported by powerful and lethal agencies with the best technology, wants to run everything, and not just abroad.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FURTHER THOUGHTS ON THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION - SOMEONE SUGGESTS THE INVOLVEMENT OF ISRAEL - A REAL POSSIBILITY - BUT CIA STILL IS INVOLVED



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER


“JFK Took a Bullet When He Tried to Make Peace With Russia, Trump Bent the Knee Instead”
_______________________


Response to another comment which said, “I still believe that the assassination was Israel's response to Kennedy’s pressure exerted on Ben-Gurion, to shed light on Dimona's nuclear reactor in Israel”:

This is a possibility. Israel sure had motive. And Israel acts with no conscience or ethics regularly.

Jack Ruby who featured as a central figure in the plot was more than a small-time Mafia figure. He identified very strongly with his Jewish heritage.

Of course, the CIA, on Cuba, was already in bed with the Mafia, too. And a big Mafia figure, Meyer Lansky, was an intense Israel loyalist.

So, a mix of actors is quite possible.

There is even a theory that CIA had set up a phony assassination attempt to scare Kennedy into doing something about Cuba.

This phony set-up included the Oswald imposter going to Mexico City to associate Oswald's name with Cuba and Russia.

This theory says that other covert actors became aware of this effort and used the opportunity in Dallas to really kill Kennedy from the grassy knoll.

No matter what the details, CIA had to be involved in some fashion if only for the reason they have done nothing but lie and hide stuff ever since.

LBJ and J Edgar Hoover both hated the Kennedys and were glad for the chance to go along with anyone getting rid of him.

LBJ removed the investigation from Dallas and put it into the hands of the phony Warren Commission.

Hoover did all the investigation for the phony Commission. They did none of their own. And Hoover was fixated for no known reason on Oswald almost from the very start.

Of course, CIA itself had lots of reasons to kill Kennedy.

He fired the three top men after the Bay of Pigs, including the legendary Allen Dulles.

He threatened more action against CIA.

He ignored their advice during the Missile Crisis, and formed an extensive backchannel communication with Premier Khrushchev.

He promised never to invade Cuba again.

And he had as his closest girlfriend, Mary Pinchot, a well-off and well-connected woman who talked extensively of peace in private with Kennedy and is known to have introduced him to some drugs.

Mary was herself murdered, in professional assassin-style, less than a year after Kennedy at a time when her own investigation into his death may have been having some success. She was extremely well-connected, knowing everyone who was anyone in Washington, and her ex-husband was a very high CIA official.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOMEONE WRITES "INEQUALITY IS NOT INEVITABLE" - THEY ARE WRONG BUT THERE IS STILL AN IMPORTANT ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN   


"Inequality is not inevitable'

You really do have to be careful using words like those.

Defining "inequality" is not easy, and you cannot measure it in just dollars.

And that "not inevitable" is an assertion with which I cannot agree.

Free markets always generate inequality. It is part of what capitalism is about in the concentration of capital resources.

Good governments work towards constant amelioration of the effects of this ongoing force upon citizens. They do so through taxation, redistribution policies, and social services.

But their goal can never be true equality, which is undefinable and unreachable and can only cause the economy to lose its drive.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PERSPECTIVE ON THE LOSS OF TRUMP'S CHOICE ROY MOORE IN ALABAMA'S SPECIAL SENATE ELECTION - A LOSS RICH WITH IMPLICATIONS



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Roy Moore loses to Doug Jones in humiliating Senate result for Donald Trump

For British readers unfamiliar with politics in the American South, this may be helpful.

All the Deep South was once solidly Democratic, but it was always a subtle battle with principles to keep it so.

It was Democratic, not out of any principle about social welfare, but because of Republican Lincoln and the Civil War. Grudges last a long time in this part of the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt once approached Franklin after another lynching in the 1930s, asking him to speak out.

In this neck of the woods, they actually used to hold family picnics when there was to be a lynching. It was treated as free public entertainment.

FDR explained that he couldn't speak without bitterly alienating Southern Democrats.

And he was right. The term "Southern Democrat" actually named a special sub-party group that had its own party rules. All that changed after Lyndon Johnson's Civil Rights Bill put an end to Jim Crow laws and suppression of voting.

The Southern Democrats became Republicans, almost overnight. Public school integration - a topic of big publicity in the 1960s - was put an end to in novel fashion, by opening private "Christian" schools and academies all over. The public schools became black.

The South's new Republicans have pretty much remained that way since.

So, this victory is a pretty big deal, just in case you are influenced to think by the relatively small differences in total vote percentages that it was not.

It is important too because Trump staked a great deal of his very scarce (both with his own party and the opposition - he is still regarded as an outsider and a party hi-jacker by many big-shot Republicans) political capital on this nasty Republican candidate, and Trump won this state in his election.

I am not sure what all went into the mix - sex scandals, an aggressive Republican candidate's personality, weariness with Trump, actual quiet support by some big Republicans who still don't like Trump, plus other matters - but I know it is important. Trump and the Republicans in Washington know that too.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ANOTHER "DEEP STATE IS AFTER TRUMP" PIECE - THE ALT-RIGHT IS LOADED WITH THIS SILLINESS - WHY WOULD YOU BE AFTER SOMEONE WHO GIVES YOU EVERYTHING?



COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY DAVID STOCKMAN IN RUSSIA INSIDER


Stockman: Why the Deep State Is at War With Trump
"The Deep State has turned its own crimes during and after the 2016 election into nothing less than a coup d'etat against American democracy."

A rather silly and unperceptive piece, in line with a lot of stuff you can find on Alt-right Internet sites.

I do not believe the Deep State is after Trump, not anymore anyway.

There was some opposition early on, but it has dissolved away.

The Democrats are very much against him, but what else would we expect? Stunts and lies and cheating have long featured in American politics, making them toxic, but that is not to be confused with the Deep State’s work.

Trump has made every concession to the deep State he can make, to the point of demonstrating himself a coward.

The Pentagon gets just whatever it wants.

The CIA gets just whatever it wants.

The Israel Lobby gets just whatever it wants.

The idea that Trump is now even pretending to "drain the swamp" is actually laughable if you look at the facts.

What was originally deeply resented by many in his own party and others was his hi-jacking a major party which had been pretty much adrift and seemed without direction or purpose.

In America's anti-democratic party system, in either party, you have to earn your "creds" over years of work and support and successive offices. The whole mechanism is effectively a vetting system making America safe from any sudden changes.

The two official parties are nothing but two branches of a single Imperial Party. They do not like outsiders. They do not like anyone who might "rock the boat."

But Trump's days of being seen as a potential threat are over, long over. He's completely compliant with what the establishment wants. The only thing different about him is his big mouth and his crudity, but those threaten no one's position or power.

Today, Trump is as much a threat as one of those huge cartoon character balloons they use each year at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Full of hot air and nothing else.

But his loyal followers, the Alt-right crowd, just don't get it. They pathetically cling to him and see him as a savior under attack by Romans or a great general on a white horse doing daring deeds against the foe.

But it is all a bad joke, he is nothing of the kind. He's a big hot-air balloon, a threat to no one’s power, simply a national embarrassment in taste, manners, and judgment.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP SEEN AS A THREAT TO THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM - BUT THE WRITER IS WARNING US 50 YEARS TOO LATE



COMMENT POSTED TO ARTICLE BY PAUL BUTLER IN THE GUARDIAN


Pushing the judicial system to the right has been the objective of every Republican president since Ronald Reagan. Now Trump is doing it

'The right-wing takeover of the US court system will transform America"

Well, the author is right, but he's about fifty years late.

The US court system was hijacked by conservatives, extreme conservatives, years ago.

The US Supreme Court today literally stands for almost nothing.

The scholastic-like doctrine of "original intent" (of the Constitution's authors), is dominant, and it has already been withering.

Good God, the court ruled years ago that money was free speech.

No single idea has been more destructive to America.

Politics and political office are literally a bidding war for the favors of special interests.

American policies are the concepts of special interests, and this has been destructive beyond telling.

Indeed, it is hard to see how the country can ever go back to responsible government.

It stumbles along like a drunk who knows he is a drunk but can doing nothing to stop himself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ROBERT MUELLER IS HOT ON TRUMP'S TRAIL? A MUCH EXAGGERATED NOTION - BUT I DO THINK OTHER EVENTS MIGHT WELL FINISH TRUMP



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MAX BERGMANN AND MAX BOOT


Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump. Congress must protect his investigation

"Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump"

Sorry, the claim is hyped beyond any resemblance to reality.

Mueller has nothing worth talking about in legal terms, especially the kind of legal standards applied to impeachment.

The stuff about Flynn is almost laughable. The man was doing his job, a job many others have done, and he misrepresented it slightly under questioning. Not a capital crime. Indeed, a big fat nothing outside of a witch-hunt environment.

And given the total of lying, cheating, stealing, etc. we see in Washington, it really makes you wonder about priorities.

And I do not understand why any writer is still salivating over the prospect of Trump's impeachment.

If presidents were to be removed for the kind of nothing stuff we know, America's government would become more unstable and elections more meaningless than they already are there.

Not that I like Trump's proven abilities to govern, which are poor. But I don't think we want to see this kind of suggested nonsense.

And not that I think Trump is safe. I think the credible threat comes from other sources, such as a number of women saying his behavior was lewd and inappropriate.

If supported, it's hard to see how he can ride through that in today's environment, and it won’t require the immense effort of impeachment.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GUARDIAN DOES ONE OF ITS FEEBLE SEE-HOW-LIBERAL-WE-ARE STUNTS WHILE IGNORING HORRENDOUS OTHER ABUSES



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


'We're here to stay': the Guardian invites Dreamers to guest-edit our US edition
The Trump administration has put the future of young, undocumented immigrants at risk. Meet our guest editors and hear what they have to say

Well, this is all very nice, and of course Trump has done something stupid here.

But we do have a number of other far more terrible situations in the world, many of which are also the result of acts by the American government, generally with full support of Britain's government.

I don't see a trace of the same treatment by The Guardian.

These Dreamers are an easy, not controversial, sympathetic case.

But what about the more controversial and far more terrible cases in the world in which either the American or British government is responsible?

The terrible bombing of and starvation of Yemen, for which Britain's good armaments customer, Saudi Arabia, is responsible, a customer supported also, and heavily, by America?

The 3 million refugees temporarily housed in Turkey, their situation being totally the responsibility of America's brutal wars in Syria and Libya, supported by Britain?

The unrelenting horror in Gaza, a giant concentration camp in all but name?

One can easily name other terrible cases, and in each case, the government of the United States, supported by that of Britain, is responsible or could easily reverse the situation with the muscle it so readily flexes in selected other places.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON'S REDOUBTABLE OLD SIMPSON'S IN THE STRAND REDOES THE MENU - LIKE CHURCHILL IN A BEANIE INSTEAD OF A HOMBERG




COMMENT POSTED TO A RESTAURANT REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN


Simpson’s in the Strand: ‘I can’t love it any more’
After serving Londoners for 189 years, Simpson’s needed a makeover. But did they have to change the menu, too? 


I can't believe what they've done.

Don't we have enough places with those godawful servings of something or other piled up in the center of an otherwise empty plate and with little daubs or squiggles of sauce randomly distributed?

It is a tiresome presentation. It was tiresome 20 years ago. To go that way now shows an incredible lack of imagination.

These plates at this kind of place are like seeing Churchill in a pinwheel-beanie instead of a Homberg.

One expects something George Smiley would have liked at a place like Simpson's.

Instead they're serving the kind of thing Trump gets at one of his resorts.

Yuck!


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NOAM CHOMSKY ON THE EFFECT OF ANTIFA ON THE FAR RIGHT IN FACT MIRRORS THE EFFECT OF NOAM CHOMSKY HIMSELF ON ISRAEL'S ABUSE AND CRIME



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


"Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a gift to the far right and US state repression"

I think that may well be right, Mr. Chomsky.

But the truth is that the situation with Antifa closely parallels your own.

Your long-standing position in America effectively supports the terrible abuse and oppression of Palestinians by Israel.

That ghastly situation in the Mideast is an American imperial creation, but your brand of criticism from the left leaves it untouched as though it were something entirely unrelated to the America you so readily criticize for so many other things.

And your position effectively supports the horrible Neocon wars raging through the Mideast, all of them having to do with reshaping the Mideast to accommodate Israel, wars having killed a couple of million and made hopeless refugees of millions more.

No wonder you understand Antifa so well.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SERIOUS STUPIDITY OVER THE MATTER OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT - AN EFFORT TO CONFLATE VIOLENT CRIMES AND NASTY MISDEMEANORS WITH THE EMPTY CONCEPT OF HATE-CRIME TOSSED IN



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SALLY KOHN IN THE INDEPENDENT


Misogyny is hatred. Time to start fighting it that way
'Why sexual harassment should be treated as a hate crime'

A truly dumb piece.

The photo of Weinstein at the top only highlights the author's light-headedness.

Weinstein, if all the charges are true, is not guilty of sexual harassment.

He is guilty of serious, violent crimes.

Things like rape, forcible confinement, and uttering threats, plus a whole lot else.

The author doesn't seem to realize that she is effectively minimizing serious crimes, treating violent felonies as unpleasant misdemeanors.

"Hate crime" is a weak and ineffective and poorly-defined term., a mighty poor substitute for charges of violent crime. It is in such cases, a truly irrelevant notion.

And harassment in general, as I understand it, is unpleasant, annoying, and unacceptable, just as any other form of bullying, but it is not violent crime.

And I must say this is the second or third time a piece has appeared in a British paper associating the photo and acts of a violent criminal who belongs in prison with harassment. That blurring is just unacceptable.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ONLINE ABUSE AN EXCUSE FOR SUPPRESSING FREE SPEECH - GUARDIAN PREACHER OWEN JONES EMBRACES THE CAUSE - GUARDIAN EDITORS DELETE CRITICISM



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWEN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN AND PROMPTLY REMOVED BY EDITORS


"Online abuse must be curbed. But who decides where the line is drawn?"

Unbelievable set of thoughts jumbled together, using of course, Preacher Owen Jones' favorite word, "must."

What is abuse?

Would that include McCarthyite false accusations of anti-Semitism which Mr. Jones and his newspaper indulged in for considerable periods?

Would that include the pack of lies told by Tony Blair in his rush to see a million people crushed, lies unchallenged by all of Britain's press?

I expect respectable sources on the Internet to distinguish themselves by their own words and tone. All intelligent readers are able to distinguish these things.

We require no one to explain - and most certainly not, control - what we may read or see or think about.

That ugly notion goes against three centuries of Enlightenment, and it is in keeping with the philosophies of such ugly, retrograde states as Stalin's or Mussolini's or Hitler's.

It is a complete contradiction of terms for anyone regarding himself as a liberal-minded figure to be saying such things.

Contrary to the advocates of control and repression of free speech, the danger in society is always those who would control and repress. It is not the material they want to repress.

The right to repress is much like the right to jail those you don't like. Where does it end? It does not. There's always, always another disliked person or view that "must" be repressed.

Well, as to the author's "who decides?" all thinking people know the answer to that before the question is asked. No one can decide. Not governments. Not a demonstrably biased press. And certainly not preachers.

I regard an article like this as a form of abuse, but I would never advocate its suppression.



Friday, December 08, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA WARNS ABOUT HITLER AND RACISM AND TRUMP - THE HYPOCRITE PREACHER BACK IN FULL FORM - STILL AMERICA'S HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS IS VERY DARK - WHY THERE CAN BE NO RETURN TO "FOUNDING PRINCIPLES"



EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO INVESTMENTWATCH


“Obama Compares President Trump To Hitler, Says ‘America Is Heading Towards Genocide’”

Obama has become in my view a ridiculous figure, one who failed in most things and isn't even aware of the extent of his failure.

He carries himself around with a great deal of arrogance and likes making dark pronouncements in the style of a preacher, and like most preachers he is a noisy hypocrite.

I can never forget his “Yes, we can” slogan when he first ran for office. It had a great deal of appeal for those with little. But just what was it that he really meant by it? Yes, we can have more war, and lots of it? Yes, we can have a national extra-judicial-killing program? Yes, we can be even bigger bullies in Europe and in other places? And, yes, we can be even more intrusive into the private lives of Americans?

I don’t think that for millions of ordinary Americans, many with tears in their eyes at the sight of America’s first black man running for president, that the slogan meant anything resembling those things, but those things are what proved to be the real meaning of the words over eight years.

However, people who write articles such as this one, are, if anything, even more pathetic than Obama.

America does in fact have a deep and seemingly intractable racial problem.

It has had it since the very beginning, and it has nothing to do with Obama or the things he speaks of.

I wouldn't even describe it as racism the way Obama does, although that is a term commonly-enough used. It is something far more complex than simple hatred based on color.

It is part of the very fabric of the country. It is sensed in everything from gated communities, out-of-control police who kill more Americans every year than any terrorist could dream of (more than 1,100 each year), vast ghettos, a culture of worshipping guns and violence, and a lot of other very unpleasant stuff.

What America has inherited comes from those wonderful hypocrite Founders like Jefferson and Washington, who, in the words of Doctor Johnson, were "drivers of negroes, yelping about freedom."

The country was founded in deep dishonesty, and no one can admit this. Indeed, far from admitting it, they pretend it has strayed from its original "principles." As soon as someone starts writing or talking in that way, you know for sure that they are either exceedingly naïve or just ignorant.

It does tend to be that way with religions, and there is on earth today no more conspicuous example of a fiercely fundamentalist religion, one with millions of intense and unthinking adherents, than American Patriotism.

Of course, by principles American Patriots mean things like the Bill of Rights. But for most of the country’s history, the Bill of Rights has served as an adverting or public relations document. In this it is not so very different to the various teachings of Jesus dutifully praised and publicized, but in practice ignored, by the many churches founded in his name

Originally, the Bill of Rights wasn’t even enforceable by the Supreme Court, and a man like Thomas Jefferson threatened secession if it were made enforceable against the wishes of states. Over most of the country’s history, the Bill of Rights has simply been ignored or suppressed for one reason or another. Ignored for slavery and states’ rights, ignored for the country’s countless wars, ignored by the police almost constantly, ignored in the many intense practices to hype patriotism, ignored in legislation of many kinds from loyalty oaths to immigration practices, and today ignored in the name of national security, a situation which will only grow in future and never recede.

But America has not strayed from its true principles, which certainly are not a set of words on parchment, the principles which continue to guide its every act. America, as a state today, functions with a great deal of violence, injustice, boundless greed, endless war, and self-delusion. Just as at the beginning.

The Founders, in fact, created problems which have never been dealt with, and, indeed, I think never will be dealt with.

The thin mask worn by a state pretending to honor democratic principles and defend human rights has badly slipped, to reveal the harsh, underlying reality of a wealthy establishment supported by its powerful, well-funded government agencies working to almost no other end than in an endless quest for dominance.


Readers may enjoy these anecdotes:

Hitler was supported by Ford, IBM's boss, Texaco, the Bushes, Wall Street Investment Banks, and many others.

Indeed, Hitler kept a photo of Ford over his desk in the chancellery since Ford was virulently anti-Semitic, advocated racial "purity" policies, and a number of other charming ideas.

America had an involuntary sterilization program of "the unfit" before Hitler. Tens of thousands of "undesirables" were involuntarily sterilized in the good old USA before any such program began in Germany.

The American Bund movement was a big one. You may see what it was about here:


By the way, here is how American children used to say the pledge of Allegiance (itself a rather fascistic requirement for children):


Hitler's first choice to make Germany free of Jewish people was to ship them off to other places. This was tried a number of times.

Guess who wouldn't take a shipload of Jewish people and indeed turned them back?

You're right if you guessed America.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: WHAT TRUMP IS DOING IN JERUSALEM AND WHY HE IS DOING IT



WHAT TRUMP IS DOING IN JERUSALEM AND WHY HE IS DOING IT


John Chuckman

“‘Declaration of war’: Trump’s Jerusalem decision lights Middle East powder keg” - Russia Today

Trump does seem like a dangerous idiot suddenly and unexpectedly set loose on the world of international affairs, a world which normally assumes an appearance of restraint and order and careful words.

With virtually everything he touches, he resembles a big, ungainly child breaking things – International trade agreements, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia, and, now, Jerusalem.

He seems to enjoy creating new problems and tensions, he does it so much. It’s certainly a way to maintain yourself as the center of attention, much as with his stream of “tweets,” only notable for their ability to shock and surprise millions unused to such words from a man in high office.

Trump’s psychological make-up has something in it of the Oscar Wilde line about it being better to be talked about badly than not talked about at all.

Of course, there is only one explanation for this decision on moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.

It is not an act to promote peace in the region. It is not even an act in America’s own long-term interest. Quite the opposite, indeed. It goes against the cautions expressed by many statesmen. And Trump is not religious, neither Jewish nor a practicing Christian, so Jerusalem and efforts to push dusty old Biblical texts into contemporary world affairs mean nothing to him.

Netanyahu is known to have heavily lobbied for this move, over and over. And we know from the inadvertent testimony some years back of high-level witnesses – former Presidents Sarkozy of France and Obama of the United States - what a relentless, headache-inducing man Netanyahu can be. Obama opined to Sarkozy, during an accidental open-mic event, about having to deal with daily calls from him after Sarkozy had complained about having to deal with him.

Trump has most certainly been assured that there will be favorable reciprocity for his taking this action, and deals are what Trump likes. There simply can be no other motive for what he is doing. What form could that reciprocity take, apart from generous campaign contributions, which are perhaps less needed by billionaire Trump than most other candidates?

Trump is a man with a massive, unquenchable ego, and he is undoubtedly tired of being attacked in the press. He has had a terrible time with the press - the big national press, what the British used to call “the quality press,” both print and broadcast - where he has been treated in a relentlessly hostile manner.

It is not prejudice to observe, but simply a fact, that a large portion of America's high-end press and broadcasting is owned and managed by Jewish Americans.

And the practice of that press’s journalism always has been to treat Israel extremely favorably, whatever views, liberal or conservative, they may take of domestic American affairs. As just one example, the New York Times has long had the practice of submitting all stories concerning Israel to the official Israeli censor before publication, hardly the stuff of unbiased journalism.

So, it is probable that we will see a definite, but gradual, change in the tone of Trump's treatment by the press.

Any easing of the intense opposition to him, any effort to make him look more sensible and friendly and palatable, especially in the high-end press, can only ease the constant controversy under which he works and help his chances for re-election.

Remember, we know from his own words, Trump relishes being regarded as “presidential,” even if he is so frequently incapable of behaving so. He likes dressing “white tie” even if his conversation resembles that of the manager of a small trailer park in Arizona on the Mexican border who sells XXX videos as a sideline.

Trump’s action, of course, means that any Democratic candidate in 2020 will be at a disadvantage publicity-wise, unless that candidate raises the Israel-Palestine stakes still higher. Which is always possible. Just consider the past words and acts of a number of Democratic candidates, as for example, Hillary Clinton, who was once recorded screeching insanely that she was ready wipe Iran, a country of about 80 million people, off the map.

This explains just one of the reasons Trump’s action is not in his country’s long-term interest. America has suffered a great deal already in a bidding war that way, a bidding war for press support and campaign funds, over the narrow interests of a small country which seems never to be able to live in peace with its neighbors and seems always to demand increasing levels of American support and subsidy.

Israel is a country which seems incapable of controlling its behavior, but it one also blessed with the extraordinary birthright resource of a large and successful and influential group of co-religionists in America plus an even larger population of Christian fundamentalists who regard the plain nightmare madness of the Book of Revelations as sacred text and promise.

Never mind what Trump’s act does for international affairs. The contemporary American view, and certainly the view of Trump, is that most of “those people” out there don’t count anyway, especially most of the Muslim world.

After all, America has spent the last decade and a half killing about two million of them, creating countless refugees, and literally destroying several countries. And the last year’s rhetoric from Trump and some of his supporters might well make you think America views Muslims as the just target of a new Holy Crusade.

Muslim refugees – who are the direct result of America’s destructive Mideast wars, wars conducted largely for Israel’s benefit – are frequently not written and spoken about in America as refugees, they are shamelessly regarded as undesirables, as security risks, as criminal elements. Such stuff flows daily like an open sewer from articles and reader comments in that part of Internet journalism which has served as Trump’s unqualified source of support, the Alt-right.

It, of course, plays right into the hands of Israeli politicians and lobbyists who relish anything which makes their aggressive, law-breaking efforts to seize still more of the property of others resemble some kind of worthy campaign against the forces of darkness.

I can only imagine what Trump’s reaction would be if a large group of Mexican migrants squatted on his beloved Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Rather than support them in their claim, he would most certainly strap on his six-shooter and help drive them off, undoubtedly driving them all the way to the Mexican border, shouting wildly the whole time.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA'S LARGE-SCALE AIR DRILLS IN KOREA - EVENTS EASILY CONFUSED OR USED AS AN OPENING FOR AN ATTACK - AMERICA'S FRIGHTENING IDEA OF DIPLOMACY



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RT


US, South Korea launch large-scale air drills amid spiraling nuclear tension

The problem with this nonsense is that it is so easy to turn a large-scale wargame into an actual attack.

North Korea will be acutely aware of this fact and set its forces of high alert.

Then it is just so obviously easy for someone to make a mistake.

God, the US is irresponsible.

And what's happened to that new leader in South Korea who seemed so very promising?

He has been beaten into an unrecognizable pulp by American "diplomacy."

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE MYTH OF PRECISION AIR STRIKES - YET AMERICA HAS ITS REASONS TO KEEP THE MYTH ALIVE



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT


“There's no such thing as precise air strikes in modern warfare"

Absolutely, and saying otherwise is American propaganda from the time of the Gulf War.

Remember General "Stormin' Norman" giving press briefings with an impressive video of a smart munition going down a smokestack?

At the time he did that stunt, only 1% of the bombs America was using were "smart" bombs.

The rest were the same kind of stuff used in the carpet bombings of Vietnam and North Korea.

Indeed. the poor Iraqi recruits in the desert behind sandhill forts were carpet-bombed by B-52s. Untold tens of thousands were pulverized into the sand, the US refusing to reveal how many were killed, but the number was horrific.

B-52 carpet-bombing was used again extensively in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, American used many dumb bombs, a fair amount of white phosphorus (its substitute for napalm after all the furor over Vietnam), and, worst of all, cluster bombs.

Independent and Al-Jazeera photographers captured many sickening pictures of lacerated children or women smashed into pulp.

The fact is that whatever kind of bomb you use, there is the greatest need for good intelligence and bomb-spotting. This is a risky and expensive business to carry out with special forces gathering information about planned targets.

The US proved very poor at doing this in Raqqa and other places. It likely killed more people than ISIS.

Still, the vast majority of bombs dropped in many cases are old "dumb" bombs. "Smart" bombs cost a whole lot more money, and they very much need ground-based intelligence to be at all effective.

The fact is that war is horrible, that all of it is a vast atrocity. It should be only the last resort, but an imperial power like the US makes it pretty well the first choice.

And it doesn't care about leaving behind a lot of mangled people and a lot of hideous stuff like tons of depleted uranium dust (or, in Vietnam, millions of pounds of poisonous Agent Orange) and the shrapnel-loaded mini-canisters of cluster bombs – all of which keep killing for many years after.

Some years back, Israel dropped a million of those horrific cluster-bomb canisters along the Lebanese border to shred farmers and children for years to come. It was an atrocious act, but I heard few speak up about it.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY LIBERALISM ISN'T VERY LIBERAL ANYMORE - ESSENCE OF TRUE LIBERALISM



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TIM FARRON IN THE GUARDIAN


Liberalism has eaten itself – it isn’t very liberal any more

I don't agree with the analysis, but saying liberalism isn't liberal anymore is just a fact.

Look at the paper this appears in.

If you pay close attention, you will see that a number of positions it espouses regularly could not possibly be called liberal.

The essence of true liberalism is a kind of generosity of spirit and trying to be guided by the largest principles.

That is not what we see in a world constantly yanked at by special interests.

Our governments and our press serve special interests faithfully.

The odd word of concern for the poor or disadvantaged or minorities does not make any one a liberal in the true sense of the word.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA HAS REACHED THE STAGE WHERE ALMOST ANYTHING GOES IN POLITICS - THE CASE OF GENERAL FLYNN



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ROBERT PARRY IN CONSORTIUM NEWS


The Scalp-Taking of Gen. Flynn


This is an excellent article on the FBI's Flynn charges, a subject which has been wildly misrepresented and has generated the most sensational (and meaningless) headlines in the commercial press.

Sadly, this tells us how low American politics have sunk, and you sure do not have to be a Trump supporter to say that. I can’t imagine tales from the old USSR or from some third-world political hellhole that could be any more embarrassing or distasteful than what we’ve seen in America since 2016.

You have never had much of a democracy in the United States. You have money and special interests guiding affairs of a corporate/imperial state with an elaborate regular stage play of an "election."

In the past, many corrupt and anti-democratic practices have come to light, but with this election a new low standard has been set on many fronts.

Complete corruption at DNC with stealing the primaries. Just in California, a million votes trashed. Record amounts of money spent, almost beyond ordinary imagination. An embarrassingly bad set of presidential debates. An almost constant stream of lies. A serious effort to overturn an election conducted under the rules, no matter how much you may disagree with the Founders’ anti-democratic provisions like the Electoral College. Ongoing dabbling and interference by the former president. Such disgraceful stuff as Bill Clinton’s tarmac meeting with the Attorney General, and no investigation or charges over abuse of office so obvious. An idealistic young man murdered on the street, undoubtedly over his role in leaking Democratic Party secrets, and no investigation worthy of the name conducted.

Perhaps it all reflects the record poverty of the American political institutions. Such a huge and powerful nation, and the best it could do was run two very unappetizing candidates. One a big-mouth, often rude buffoon, a man who has proved a coward. The other, a woman with an immense record of being caught in lies and with a great deal of blood on her hands.

Trump won only because of the intense dislike of Hillary on the part of many men and women. But the Democrats had to run Hillary because the Clinton money connections were so important to them.

The election actually added strong proof to the concept of America as a plutocracy. A record well-funded candidate who spent special-interest money like a drunken sailor could only be defeated by a multi-billionaire.

Obama seems to have skated over a lot of thin ice, too, with a number of arrogant behaviors, while his actual record both in local efforts and especially in bloody foreign affairs should make him a contemptible figure. At least half a million killed under his supervision, yet many continue to think of him as kindly, perhaps a good measure of how confused and bamboozled many Americans are. His post-election secret political work is totally inappropriate, too. He has shown himself a secretive, arrogant, unprincipled, and brutal man. Yet all the while we have the big boyish (psychopathic?) smile.

I think we’ve reached the stage in American politics where we can truly say, “anything goes.”



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MY LETTER TO JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADA'S PRIME MINISTER - WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT HIS GOVERNMENT IS



LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA JUSTIN TRUDEAU


I cannot say how disheartening it was to learn that a lovely family from Sri Lanka who had lived for five years in Quebec was deported.

This family represents exactly the kind of migrants we need and want. They are industrious, intelligent, speak both of our national languages, and all had managed to fit in well where they lived. I don’t care about the technical details of their migrant history, they were exactly the kind of immigrants we should seek. Sending them away is shameful.

I have to say Prime Minister Trudeau is such an immense disappointment. I cannot imagine why he allowed this to happen.

But there have been a number of things from Mr. Trudeau that I cannot understand. Major arms sales to the killers of women and children in Saudi Arabia was sure one of them. If you preach to China about human rights, why on earth are the truly awful princes of Saudi Arabia an exception?

Sending troops and tanks to Europe also was regrettable act because the entire American establishment’s focus on Russia today is not based on any principle beyond keeping itself primary in Europe. We don’t have to give that a vote of confidence. What is going on is unnecessary and dangerous.

Mr. Trudeau’s complete turnaround on ballot reform was a major disappointment. He had campaigned strongly for it, and I took an interest because a couple of years ago I wrote Mr. Trudeau in Parliament and suggested that ballot reform should be a top issue.

Again, we had an outstanding person as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mr. Dion, the kind of person I feel represents Canada and its values handsomely. But Mr. Trudeau dismissed this excellent and thoroughly decent man.

Mr. Trudeau’s appointment of Chrystia Freeland as Minister of Foreign Affairs is the closest he has come to aping Stephen Harper. She was a terrible choice, a clearly biased person, an unsympathetic person, a person whose tone frequently reminds me of some of the unpleasant Harperite appointments.

Well, all I can say is that I see mainly the superficialities of a politically-correct “niceness’ from this government, photo-ops and sound-bites, and remarkably little of the sweat and toil of working for what is principled and important, and I am sorry that that is so.  


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY TALK OF CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON'S GOVERNMENT IS BESIDE THE POINT - AND IT IGNORES THE REAL PROBLEM



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS IN INVESTMENTWATCH


Is Washington the Most Corrupt Government in History?

I think Mr. Roberts has it wrong.

The issue with Washington is not corruption, per se, although there's plenty of that.

The truth is that America's government is not responsible to anyone except a group of special interests.

And the truth also is that the elevation of money to the level of free speech is twisted beyond description, and it has twisted the country.

Money is central to American politics, ergo, the special interests who supply it are in the driver's seat. Senators spend two-thirds of their time soliciting campaign funds.

The political structure of the United States actually totally lacks that old concept, checks and balances, in any real or effective form.

And with the exaltation of money in politics, it is impossible to rearrange the badly damaged machinery because doing that is not what the serious money wants.

Because politicians really are answerable mainly to special interests, they have little tie to voters.

Washington cares almost nothing for American voters, except at election time when a whirlwind of costly advertising and sound bites will appeal for a vote. It almost is like fulfilling a technical requirement more than conducting a real campaign between policies.

The truth is that from the power establishment's point of view, it almost doesn't matter who wins. They will both answer to the same lobbies.

Democrat or Republican is much like Coke or Pepsi: the establishment is never threatened by either one. Two branches of one Imperial Party.

This all creates a permanent lack of connection between the American people and their national government, a government free to busy itself with running an empire on behalf of special interests.

Idiots like George Bush, always a figurehead, used to joke to appeal to silly voters about never reading the international news section of the newspaper, but, in fact, that is most of what Washington does care about. That and the taxes and regulations affecting special interests.

You have a corporate/imperial country.

End of story. Stuff about corruption, stuff about the swamp, stuff about the founding principles are all childish nonsense having nothing to do with the realities of contemporary America.

What difference has Trump made to the world set on fire by Obama and Bush? Nothing. He continues down the same path. He has no choice, except in the noisiness of the way he does it. He takes orders from the same folks.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT AS SECRETARY OF STATE OF REX TILLERSON WITH MIKE POMPEO



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"White House reportedly has plan to replace Rex Tillerson with CIA chief"

Makes sense to me.

After all, Tillerson actually does say some intelligent things on occasion.

We just can't be having that, now can we?

Mike Pompeo?

Trump couldn't pick a better mouthpiece for CIA and the intelligence establishment.

I don't say that just because Pompeo has briefly served as CIA Director (isn't all service brief in this chaotic administration?)

He has a record in Congress and before.

Trump is so weakened and flawed, the security-military establishment is grabbing for all the power it can get.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH TALK ABOUT DITCHING THE "SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP" - BUT IN FACT THERE NEVER WAS SUCH A RELATIONSHIP FROM AMERICA'S POINT OF VIEW



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN


In the age of Trump, it’s time to ditch the special relationship

There never has been a "special relationship" except in the minds of some British people who are either naive or deliberately deceived.

We have a number of incidents over decades, including sarcastic private references by a President, giving harsh insight into how the American regard the supposed relationship.

Beyond that simple fact, Britain has acted time and time again very foolishly at America's beckoning - from the slaughter in Iraq to participation in the fake-jihadi mercenary operation in Syria.

Surveying all the hard evidence of the past couple of decades, some would come to the conclusion that Britain's role for America has been that of water boy.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PROBLEM WITH HILLARY'S OFTEN-QUOTED LINE ABOUT HER HAVING WISHED SHE SAID TO TRUMP IN THE DEBATES "BACK OFF, YOU CREEP"



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DECCA AITKENHEAD IN THE GUARDIAN


Hillary Clinton meets Mary Beard: ‘I would love to have told Trump: “Back off, you creep”’

“Back off, you creep”’

I have a real problem with that much-repeated line of Hillary's.

Yes, he is creepy, as he has proved as President.

But Hillary uses this expression, as a number of others, to distinguish herself from Trump for the sake of, especially, women listeners and readers.

What is deeply troubling about this is that Hillary is most definitely also creepy in her own fashion.

Her actual record in office includes the horror at Benghazi which was "blowback" to the operation she was running of collecting and transferring weapons and lunatics in the Libya she helped Obama destroy to secretly help the effort to destroy Syria too.

This woman has a lot of blood on her hands.

We have also caught her innumerable times lying about past events. In that she resembles Tony Blair.

The real tragedy of the last American election is that the best this gigantic, powerful nation could come up with is Trump and Hillary as candidates. It's enough to cry over. In the end, Trump only won because of way so many people, males and female, feel about this creepy woman.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE POINTLESSNESS OF FOLLOWING TRUMP'S "TWEETS" - LIKE KEEPING AN EAR TO THE GROUND NEAR A CATTLE RANCH



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN NAUGHTON IN THE GUARDIAN


Twitter, Trump and the distortion of the public sphere
"And yet, as a result of Trump’s retweeting, millions of people probably think that Britain First is a power in the land.'

Well, that statement is almost as ridiculous as some of Trump's tweets.

It is completely unwarranted.

Paying close attention to the noises of "social media" is itself hazardous and unhelpful.

A bit like keeping your ear to the ground near a cattle ranch.

Every mindless opinion, every twisted desire has always been out there somewhere in the mass of humanity. None of it is new. None of it is remarkable. And certainly, none of it is newsworthy.

The Internet only records a lot of it for others to read, but it is mostly just passing noise like the hooves of cattle, fads like hemlines, and superstitions like ghosts.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA'S UNWARRANTED ARROGANCE PUT ON DISPLAY OVER CLIMATE CHANGE - BUT HE IS RIGHT ON ONE DETAIL



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON GOV'T SLAVES


"Obama Says He Can’t Have A Discussion With People Who Say ‘Climate Is Not Changing’"

It's an arrogant statement, but Obama is right so far as climate itself change goes.

It is a reality.

But the key issue always is whether human activity has anything to do with it.

That last idea has not been convincingly demonstrated.

Otherwise, there simply would not be so much disagreement and controversy.

And, of course, over earth's history, the climate has changed countless times, sometimes extreme changes as with desertification or ice ages and in relatively recent times, and human activity had nothing to do with it, any of it.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CAN PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MAKE BRITAIN WHOLE AGAIN? - IDIOTIC STUFF FROM BRITAIN ABOUT THE BORING MARRIAGE OF A LOOPY PRINCE AND AN AMBITIOUS AMERICAN ACTRESS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"Can Harry and Meghan make Britain whole again?"

Is the author serious?

A loopy young man who has never done a worthwhile thing in his life and a ferociously ambitious American woman - and why else would she even consider marrying the loopy prince? - are going to make a country, any country, "whole again"?

And we have this, "...she symbolises an America far better than Trump’s."

Yes, but so what? Trump's America is real, and it ain't going away even if he does. Trailer parks, shot-gun racks, bellies over the belt, televangelists, gated communities, violent police...

What on earth does symbolizing matter, even if I were to agree with the author about what she symbolizes?

Santa symbolizes generosity and kindness, but does that help our condition?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME PERSPECTIVE ON NORTH KOREA'S REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT OF BUILDING AN ICBM - WHY AMERICA CANNOT SHOOT DOWN SUCH MISSILES WITH ANY CERTAINTY DESPITE CLAIMS



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


North Korea missile launch - live updates: Kim Jong-un regime holds wild celebrations after firing ICBM towards Japan

This is a remarkable achievement for small, fairly poor state.

It appears to have been a true ICBM and with a nose cone suitable for re-entry.

I think every nation that chooses has the right to develop missile technology. After all, space is going to be immensely important in upcoming decades.

And I am not aware of the passage in the Bible telling us that certain Western nations are permitted such technology, but others are not.

And whenever anyone opens the subject of threats, unless that person lists the United States first, his/her words are meaningless.

North Korea is not bombing anyone. The United States is bombing at least half a dozen countries.
________________________
Response to reader comment about shooting down such missiles:

It is doubtful the US can shoot it down.

Their anti-missile program is full of bluster and spends tons of money, but there is no solid evidence that it is dependably capable.

The only tests with success are tests with very unrealistic circumstances, and there are scientists who say that under realistic circumstances, the technology simply cannot handle the job.

I am sure the Pentagon is very reluctant even to try shooting down a North Korean missile, coming as it does, with the considerable risk of having the whole world witness their failure.

Of course, by foisting its anti-missiles off on other countries, the Pentagon effectively receives a subsidy for more work.

Also, we should keep in mind, when speaking of the anti-missiles America is now busy lining up near Russia and China, a concern Russia has clearly stated, that the tubes and facilities which house these so-called defensive anti-missile missiles may easily be converted to house very dangerous shorter-range offensive (nuclear) missiles.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ROLE OF MENTAL DISORDERS IN KILLINGS



COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY MARY O’HARA IN THE GUARDIAN


"Why is mental illness so often blamed for US mass shootings? It perpetuates ugly stereotypes and distracts us..."

All murderers have some kind of mental disorder, stretching over a spectrum from the temporary insanity of extreme rage to the extreme case of enjoying killing we find in psychopaths.

The word "stereotype" has no place here.

People however use the completely wrong words, often. Language usage here is very important.

Indeed, I don't think the term "mental illness" is really suitable since that includes many conditions which do not make people prone to violence at all.

One comment here uses "insanity" but that is an extreme and not well-defined term.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AUTHORITATIVE REPORT OF HILLARY CLINTON HAVING SOLD NERVE GAS TO TERRORISTS IN SYRIA - A PARTIAL LIST OF AMERICA'S BULLYING - MAYBE NOW WORSE THAN EVER



COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOV’T SLAVES


Seymour Hersh: Hillary Clinton Sold Nerve Gas To Syrian Terrorists To Use Them As an Excuse to Invade Syria 

When Seymour, one of last great investigative journalists, says it, you can pretty well bank in it.

I've always assumed Clinton-Obama somehow supplied nerve agent in limited amounts to Syrian phony-jihadi mercenaries. Obama’s talk about “red lines” was just clap trap to set up a large-scale American intervention.

But selling it? There’s an interesting and explained detail.

I've never doubted that the attack in Benghazi was part of this - blowback to the dark operations of collecting weapons and thugs to send to Syria, operations in which the murdered American Ambassador was involved.

"According to Zero Hedge: “By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.”'

That particular bit from Zero Hedge leaves out Israel, always an important part of the Syrian dark operations and long a secret ally of Saudi Arabia trying to regain American favor following 9/11.
__________________

Response to a reader who said America is the number-one world terrorist:

That statement isn't even controversial for those with a bit of knowledge.

20% of North Korea's population wiped out by American carpet bombing in the early 1950s.

About 3 million Vietnamese were roasted, poisoned, and bombed in their own country.

A million Cambodians died in the “killing fields” after the US destabilized their neutral government.

About a half million Indonesians were hacked to death with the fall of Sukarno. The American State Department was in the business of supplying names for the slaughter.

A million killed in Iraq and a couple of million made refugees.

Going-on half a million killed by phony-jihadi mercenaries in Syria and several million refugees created.

Libya reduced to chaos.

Yemen experiencing horror after horror.

Bombing in Somalia.

The overthrow of a democratic government in Ukraine and the support of neo-Nazis and a needless civil war.

Turning Europe back into a Cold War status.

Boundless support for Israel as it practices its barbarities in Gaza and steals from people in the West Bank and Jerusalem and continues to hold millions as prisoners.

Support for a new tyrant in Egypt.

Support for the tyrant in Saudi Arabia.

Support for the tyrant in Bahrain.

Chile? Guatemala? Iran and its former democratic government? Trumped-up charges against Noriega in Panama?

Iran-Contra.

And on and on and on.

The world's bully, perhaps worse now than ever.