Thursday, September 29, 2016

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 ESSAY: AMERICA DESERVES BETTER, BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WORLD DESERVES BETTER


AMERICA DESERVES BETTER, BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WORLD DESERVES BETTER

John Chuckman


The one verity going into the first presidential debate, not widely recognized, was that it did not matter how Clinton managed and what she said, although a collapse on the stage clearly would have been a decisive-enough matter.

Her comportment or responses did not matter precisely because she has a record, a long and detailed political record which absolutely tells us the kind of leader she has been and will continue to be, although, given that the position at the very top of the political pile allows more latitude for a person’s attitudes, biases, and quirks, one might reasonably expect an even more extreme version of the unpleasant past.

Clinton could no more change what she has been than she could change the size of her shoe. As a politician, she is fixed in amber much as a prehistoric dragonfly.

Extreme precautions were taken against her fainting or having a spastic event or coughing seizure or having her eye wobble – all of which have previously been observed in her deliberately limited number of public appearances and all of which are solid evidence of a sickness she dishonestly hides from us. She was even ushered in and out of the building through a kind of temporary, custom-built tunnel with Secret Service agents using special lights so that no might photograph another sudden episode. I’m certain for the debate proper she was pumped with enough drugs to raise a corpse temporarily to life. 

Clinton will be Clinton no matter the debating points, and Clinton represents the very darkest heart of a governing establishment many Americans and most of the world are simply sick of, an unresponsive group of privileged people who lie consistently and squander resources doing horrible things. They bomb and destroy and support tyrants in a dozen places, always lying about what they are doing, and they take no interest in the sheer lack of justice and decency at home, unless you count their token words at election time. There is no more perfect representative of this pattern of behavior than Hillary Clinton.

And it was Trump’s task to make that clear to listeners, but he did not do so, and he left the unattractive impression of someone offering nothing new beyond some corporate tax cuts and rental fees for NATO members.

From the viewpoint of those desperate for change, Trump’s debate performance was disheartening. From cybersecurity to ISIS and America’s financial meltdown to Russia, Clinton said things which opened her to the most devastating responses and revealed her inability to anticipate the consequences of pat generalizations, but the responses never came.

She should have been pinned to the backdrop, much like an insect being pinned to a display board in an entomology collection, with reminders of her actual record as well as that of her husband, a dark and questionable figure whom she insisted on dragging in, much like a proud cat entering the house with a nasty-looking dead bird in its mouth. Trump seemed flat on his feet.

And, it must be mentioned, we have a photo of Hillary showing quite clearly she was wearing a communications device similar to what George Bush wore some years ago. I don’t know why the debates are not free of such gimmickry, but clearly they are not. (See footnote)

On the economy, Trump statements were truly disheartening. He has said a couple of pretty interesting things on the campaign trail, especially in his Michigan speech directed to black Americans, but in the debate what we heard was tired old stuff, re-tread notions dating back to Reagan or before, about corporate tax cuts and little else.

On the topic of foreign affairs, a desperate subject and the one area of his greatest hope for many, he said surprisingly little. And how could you help but be disappointed when, out of this vast topic, he chose to mention his meeting with the leader of one of the world’s smallest countries, one designated by the United Nations as having the world’s worst human rights record, and called the bloody man by his affectionate nickname?

Even on the causes of the financial collapse of 2008, Clinton spoke vague nonsense and reflected on Bill’s illusory economic achievements when in office. Well, Trump should have said that some of Bill’s own work contributed, with a time lag, to the 2008 mess. He should also have said that Bush’s lackadaisical attitude towards good regulation, much resembling his attitude and response to Hurricane Katrina, had a direct effect on the financial disaster. And he certainly should have said that Obama, Clinton’s direct boss and political supporter, has in eight years done nothing to correct the regulatory disorder. He told the ugly truth that Obama had done nothing but print money to keep the economy afloat, but he did not articulate it or its implications forcefully, and that should have been his territory.

But what he should have said most of all was that government does not make the economy, a lot of people, including Hillary, talking as though the Oval Office had almost a set of start and go levers for the economy which, if used by an appropriate leader, made things hum. That is a genuinely silly but persistent idea, and it is really time for the American people to have this quasi-religious myth laid to rest. She certainly believes this nonsense as demonstrated by references to her husband’s past success and by her unwelcome and repulsive promise, a while back, to put “Bill in charge of the economy” when she is elected.

Government’s real role is to maintain a national environment favorable to economic activity with fair regulation and taxation and avoidance of frivolous or vexatious legislation, and it must avoid totally counterproductive burdens like wars. It must also avoid favoritism and special interests. It must do what is necessary maintain the nation’s essential infrastructure from roads and bridges to broadband and airports. And it must assure that education and justice flourish. But the American government for years has done none of these things, and that is what exhausts the American people and much of the world.

Endless, unbelievably costly wars, crumbling infrastructure, injustices to be seen in every corner of the land, poor schools in ten thousand places, poor drinking water, the dominance of special interests and favoritism in government, and more. These are built-in weaknesses, not only impairing the lives of millions of citizens but leading to decline. Changing that is what good government is about, and it what people hope for from any candidate who beats the Clinton we all know so tiresomely well.

A good friend, in discussing my disappointment with the debate, did offer an interesting perspective, saying that Trump might have said just enough in generalities to buoy his supporters and would-be supporters, who of course do not all think in the same terms or expect the same details. I hope so. What this world needs more anything is an American leader who is not Clinton, a woman who was recorded saying about the destruction of Libya she helped engineer and direct as Secretary of State and about the assassination of a decent leader who kept his country out of war and supplied his people with everything from free health care to education, “We came, we saw, he died. Ha, ha, ha!”

We indeed have little to lose in giving someone a chance to start at least a few things over again. I am not even certain that is possible, given the heavy shadow of America’s massive, unelected security and military establishments, but it is worth a try. In terms of the hundreds of thousands killed and countries torn apart under Obama and Clinton, the world has a great deal to gain by some change.

And if that is not possible under the American political system, I think the genuinely dark thing America has become, an immensely well-armed bully and thief who lies about every act, is what we are all fated to suffer under until its eventual and inevitable decline. It is the Obamas and Clintons - pretending to liberalism while expending their total energy on killing and destabilizing and pushing others around in hopes of custom-molding the lives of the planet’s many peoples, an activity much resembling the way a psychopath toys with victims before killing them – that quite possibly will bring us to a nuclear holocaust with Russia and/or China.





Sunday, September 25, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITAIN'S INDEPENDENT SHOWS JUST HOW STUPID PROPAGANDA CAN BE WHEN IT SAYS BRITISH GOVERNMENT BOWED TO ASSAD TO SEIZE AN ACTIVIST'S SYRIAN PASSPORT


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


"Bows to Assad"?

Totally stupid piece of propaganda.

Assad is the elected president of Syria.

His government is the legitimate government of Syria.

In international affairs, you either comply with the norms or you do not, in which case you become a pariah state.

The norms include complying with legitimate government requests such as this. Passports, indeed, are the property of the issuing governments.

God, it is difficult to believe I am not looking at The News of the World here.

Ignorant and shameful.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST SAYS OBAMA'S ASIAN PIVOT FAILED - LET'S HOPE SO



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SIMON TISDALL IN THE GUARDIAN

"Barack Obama’s ‘Asian pivot’ failed. China is in the ascendancy"

Let's hope that's right.

What business does the United States have claiming ascendancy ten thousand miles away in Asia?

It's ridiculous on the face of it, and it is only a possible source for conflict.

And just look at what it is that Obama was "pivoting' from: the entire Mid East in ruins and strewn with dead.

My God, I am grateful if he cannot repeat the horror.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY CLINTON AND ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI, SUPPOSED LEADER OF ISIS - WHAT SHE WILL FIND WITH HER PROMISE TO GO AFTER HIM



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Hillary is simply laughable.

If she gets her wobbly eye to stay in place and if she doesn't faint too often and if she doesn't cough so much no one can understand what she is saying, she will go after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

And what will she discover then?

A man who was once an American prisoner and is reputed to have received training by American agents.

A man who is known to John McCain, and you may easily find photos of them together at meetings in the Mideast on the Internet.

And a man who, it is whispered in a number of places, is actually an Israeli agent with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being an assumed name.

You go girl.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PSEUDO-HEROIC WORDS FROM SONJA MEYER ABOUT IGNORING THE BOMBS AND CONTINUING HUMANITARIAN AID IN SYRIA - THE TRUTH


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SONJA MEYER IN THE GUARDIAN


We will ignore the bombs to continue delivering humanitarian aid in Syria

Sorry, but that is a truly a phony headline.

That convoy was torched by the US-affiliated terrorists in the neighborhood through which it was passing and/or Hellfire missiles fired from an American drone. These missies leave no bomb craters, and that is what we see in videos, no bomb craters.

After the Russians released some drone video showing a non-military vehicle with a large-scale mortar going by the trucks and also images of an American Predator drone overhead, the US shut up its phony yapping about Russians or Syrians attacking this convoy.

Motives for this attack included getting the American war crime of bombing Syrian soldiers just days ago off the front page. It worked, and we've read little but phony angst and false claims in the press.

When you bomb a country with which you are not at war and kill more than sixty soldiers and injure another hundred, I think we rightly call that a war crime. The bombing enabled ISIS to gain a small initiative.

Then your funded cut throats follow up and destroy a convoy. Nice work, America.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ASSAD UNLEASHES INTENSE ATTACKS ON ALEPPO SAYS A PHONY HEADLINE - THE TRUTH


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


"Assad unleashes intense attack on Aleppo - with Russian jets in support"

A total misstatement of the situation.

Assad can hardly do what in fact the US has already done, make a wreck of Syria.

Let's not forget American jets bombed Syrian soldiers just days ago, a complete war crime and one which allowed ISIS to make progress.

Then, shortly after, we saw a convoy destroyed - this time likely by local American-supported terrorists and/or American drone-fired missiles in the area.

The U.S. lied, up and down, about both events until some Russian proof was released.

And the second event, the convoy, was intended to remove the sting and the headlines of the first, killing soldiers with whom you are not even at war.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TERRIBLE PROPAGANDA ABOUT GIRL ORPHANED BY ASSAD'S WAR ON HIS OWN PEOPLE - WHAT THE WAR IN SYRIA IS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Assad's war on his own country?

I'm sorry but that is simply a lie, and a gross one such as we'd expect from Pravda in 1954.

This war is a total artificial creation by the U.S. and its willing helpers.

They want to get rid of a leader they don't like and, importantly, Israel doesn't like.

The US also wants to run a pipeline through Syria which the legitimate government has declined to approve. For those reasons, mayhem has been unleashed and 400,000 have died.

Once you unleash the dogs of war, as America and its helpers have, all kinds of ugly things happen.

The country's armed forces are fighting gangs of cut throats inserted and armed under American auspices.

With rubbish like this article, The Independent of course joins the ranks of helpers.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRESIDENT ASSAD SAYS AMERICAN AIR STRIKES IN SYRIA WERE DELIBERATE SINCE THEY LASTED AN HOUR


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


They were indeed.

Some suspect the Pentagon and the Neocons in the State Department did this in a direct challenge to Obama's even dealing with Russia.

A scary idea, indeed, the military challenging civilian authority, but not unprecedented for the U.S. military.

The second attack, on the UN aid convoy, a bombing as reported, was likely the work of the local terrorist allies of the Pentagon in the area it was passing through.

Those trucks - the UN convoy - were either hit by artillery or burnt. They were not bombed, as is apparent in photos.

This was an attempt - quite successful - to get the American war crime of attacking Syrian soldiers off the front pages.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST JILL ABRAMSON ATTACKS TRUMP THROUGH VAGUE WORDS ABOUT HIS FOUNDATION - IGNORING THE TRULY SMELLY ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM CALLED THE CLINTON FOUNDATION


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JILL ABRAMSON IN THE GUARDIAN


"The Trump Foundation: what's known is shocking. We need to know more"

Jill Abramson, this this is pitifully poor stuff.

Basically, you should do some homework before you start typing attacks.

The Clinton Foundation is the most suspect institution of its kind in America, and, while currently protected from investigation by Democrat appointments in the Federal government, it is not protected in the states.

The FBI is working on it right now in New York, and there are reports they believe they have some serious stuff.

We have some very serious observers saying that it is a giant slush fund, money-laundering scheme, and family employment gimmick.

We have all kinds of hints, and believe me, they are indeed shocking.

The pay-out in actual charity as a percentage of the budget for the last year we have data was on the order of five percent. All the rest was administration and expenses for high living officials like Chelsea.

Hillary's tax return told us she personally gave charitable donations of about $1,040,000 which sounds a tiny bit respectable for the world's highest-income (rated in a survey) woman politician.

Then we read that a million dollars of that went to the Clinton Foundation.

This immensely wealthy woman gave a trifle to real charity and claimed another million dollar deduction for essentially giving it to herself.

Bill pocketed more than fifteen million in fees as an official of the Foundation's "university."

The Foundation's involvement in charity for Haiti following its catastrophe sounds pretty close to big-time fraud.

Of course, we don't even have good, clear, complete data on operations. They keep it as vague as possible.

That Foundation is going to bring both crooked Clintons down eventually.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY ADVOCATING MODERATOR "TRUTH CHECKS" FOR DEBATES - WHY THIS IS JUST A SHABBY TRICK - SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ON JOURNALISM AND ITS FAILINGS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Asking for “truth checks” by the debate moderator ranks as one of Hillary's shabbiest tricks, and that really is saying something.

It really smacks of something the Stasi might have come up with in order to confuse people.

First, the press simply is not qualified to be granted as a position as arbiter of fairness or authority on facts. It has through its own acts demonstrated this conclusively.

Regardless of whether you like Trump, an objective observer has to admit the mainline press is overwhelmingly, often insanely, biased against Trump.

This true in the United States where a relatively small number of networks and newspaper empires disseminate most of what Americans hear or read about politics. The bias on television and in newspapers has been almost frightening at times.

It is even true in Britain where nobody can have missed the solid wall of opposition and bias and constant innuendo from BBC, The Guardian, and The Independent, among others.

We know that, year-in and year-out, the press is not unbiased and academic standards of journalism rarely are allowed to override the interests of press owners, but in this case - as in, ironically, that of Jeremy Corbyn, a man on the opposite side of the political spectrum, but also an enemy of establishment interests – all attempts at even an appearance of fairness and balance have been trashed.

The raw drives and wishes of owners and their management have been allowed a grossly free run. These are people who completely support the existing establishment and its ugly wars, and they fear Trump’s even slightly altering America’s 15-year history of hyper-aggressive policy, just as they know Hillary is their safe bet for a continuation.

So why would anyone in Trump’s position agree to “fact-checking” by these very people who run the debates? The ploy puts Trump in the position of having to refuse “truth checks” or “fact checks,” thus giving the press even more material to manipulate unfairly, as in “Trump is afraid of truth.” And if he accepts, he will be interrupted with “facts” which may not be facts at all but nuanced attack stuff, and there will be no opportunity to rebut unless the debate gets mired into a shambles of “he said” and “she said.”

But it is impossible to point out even one undisputed truth or fact about, for example, the years-long, hideous war in Syria published or broadcast by anyone in the establishment press. Deception has almost become an unconscious part of the business, as they all act in the daily interests of the ruling establishment. Why would any rational person expect them to behave any differently towards the one political candidate who questions these wars and practices?

Joseph Pulitzer said, “Newspapers should have no friends.” A. J. Liebling said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” These two quotes should always be kept in mind when discussing the press.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A MAN DECLARES GEORGE BUSH A POLITICAL HERO BUT DECLARES HE CAN'T VOTE FOR TRUMP - ONE OF THE MOST ASININE AND MEANINGLESS ATTACKS AGAINST TRUMP WE'VE HAD


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY BEN HARRIS IN THE INDEPENDENT


"George W Bush is one of my biggest political heroes..."

All I can say, Ben Harris, is that anyone who can make that statement does not have a single word worth reading or hearing.

It's a bit like declaring yourself mentally unfit before getting up to speak

George Bush was likely the most feeble-minded and ethically-empty man ever to be president.

And he launched a totally unnecessary war in Iraq that killed perhaps a million people in total, destroying one of the Mideast's most prosperous countries.

And his invasion of Afghanistan too was not necessary because the Taleban government had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with 9/11.

Yet the US invaded, killed a lot of people, and achieved virtually nothing, leaving the place in a shambles.

What I suspect is actually Mr. Harris's undeclared agenda here is Trump's opposition to the Neocon Wars, a hateful 15-year crusade of murder and destruction.

In the US, the group that is most vociferous and even vicious against Trump is the Neocons and the Israel Lobby.

The reason is simple: Israel likes having everyone with any independence of mind around it flattened, and that is what these American wars have done. Also, Israel feels good that a muscular, hyper-aggressive U.S. remains that way in world affairs. It comforts them in their horrible occupied territory in which about 6 million suffer daily.

Most of the world's people would like to see some peace and constructive engagement in America's world affairs, and that is Trump's greatest promise.

Hillary, a pathetic willing helper of the Neocons for years, offers only more war and violence.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PROBLEMS AND INSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS MAKING AMERICA'S POLICE WHAT THEY ARE - AND A REMINDER ALSO OF THE TERRIBLE REALITIES BEING MET BY INADEQUATE LAW ENFORCEMENT


COMMENT POSTED TO ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Response to another reader’s comment:

It is not just a simple thing like training, although that is important.

It is stupid hiring practices with no screening process for psychological indicators of unsuitable people.

It is no system of following up on those hired. It works much like teachers with the same poor results. Once hired and in the union, you're in pretty much for good even though you may give all kinds of signs of unsuitability. Few if any have long-term practices of being evaluated before being made permanent.

Many of these failures come down to costs, and the truth is Americans hate paying taxes in a visceral way, and you very much get what you pay for.

American urban sprawl reflects people constantly shifting out to newer-built suburbs where taxes are lower and where they are expected to be kept low. The higher taxes of older cities and towns are widely viewed with contempt. This sprawl also puts revenue pressure on the governments of the older places being left.

The US has so many "urban-sprawl" towns and communities, tens of thousands of them in places that were cornfields only a brief time ago. In many cases, these simply do not have the resources to do things right. Thus, training or other specialized facilities do not exist.

A prime source of hiring cops for many communities in America is the military. The gigantic armed forces are constantly producing a stream of people leaving. So people leaving the military - where all they've learned is obedience and killing and where the average intelligence is not high - are often readily accepted as police.

The problem is also a set of widespread attitudes about how policing should work. The generally accepted model in the U.S. is military.

There is also an undercurrent not spoken of in the press of the need to keep undesirables (with various definitions) away in communities.

In the end, it is the sheer fact that the U.S. is a very violent society, far more so than most British people can fully appreciate.

Again, below is the kind of violence which occurs in just one large U.S. city. The stats are authentic and regularly updated. This kind of stuff sends shivers through everyone as they read about it or see it on television. It is part of the air, if you will, everyone breathes, and it affects everyone with anxieties and fears.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FAILED POLITICIAN DAVID MILLBAND ATTACKS JEREMY CORBYN AS "UNELECTABLE" - TRANSLATION OF WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"David Millband claims Corbyn has made Labour 'unelectable'"

Declaring someone unelectable when there has been no election seems pretty stupid to me.

Perhaps the answer is, Mr Millband, is to just stop holding elections?

Why bother asking the people what it is they want in a government?

We have you to tell us.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ESTABLISHMENT FLACK WRITES ABOUT JEREMY CORBYN AS POPULAR BUT DIVISIVE - WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS - ATTACKING THE FOUNDATIONS OF DEMOCRACY


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN CURTICE IN THE GUARDIAN


Jeremy Corbyn is not unpopular – but he is divisive'

A truly absurd claim.

The real situation is that a gang of Tony Blair's acolytes has not liked Jeremy Corbyn from the first moment of his leadership.

And they have worked ceaselessly and quite unethically to harm his leadership.

This has included the most hateful tactics I can recall in a major party in a major country in modern times.

You really do have to go back to the days of Senator Joe McCarthy in the United States to find something as detestable as the long campaign over non-existent anti-Semitism.

Simply filthy stuff, ugly name-calling and innuendo, dealing with no issues.

We even had stuff as brainless as David Cameron's arrested-adolescent jokes about Corbyn's wardrobe.

Everyone involved in that should be ashamed, and that very much includes the editors of The Guardian as well as David Cameron, Tony Blair, and Owen Smith.
_______________________

Let me add a thought or two.

When you admit someone is popular but..., you are attacking the very foundations of democracy, full stop.

When you speak of a popular person being divisive, you are literally saying that you and some associates know better than the people.

I do believe that is the attitude of aristocracy.

That is what this whole ugly matter is about: the establishment is uncomfortable with Corbyn and believes it has the right to attack him relentlessly.

In all of its attacks, there is Tony Blair-style dishonesty in telling people what it is they are really concerned with.

In this sense, Tony Blair's ugly involvement in a genuine large-scale war crime, the invasion and destruction of Iraq, something he never stopped lying about either before or after the carnage, has produced a lasting, poisonous legacy in British politics.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE CHEAP GRANDSTANDING FROM LONDON'S NEW MAYOR -THE UGLIFICATION OF LONDON IN RECENT YEARS - THE PROPOSED GARDEN BRIDGE AS A START IN CORRECTING THINGS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"Sadiq Khan sets up inquiry into garden bridge project's use of public money”

More cheap grandstanding by that most disappointing politician, Sadiq Khan.

The fact is that the garden bridge is the best idea to come to London in a couple of decades.

It is an interesting and potentially beautiful concept.

It will be a tourist magnet and provide a stimulus to new businesses associated with it.

The sad fact is that most of the recent and contemporary built structure in London has been appallingly ugly stuff.

The city has literally been "uglified" by much of it.

Let's get started with doing something right, and the garden bridge is an excellent place to start.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON'S SILLY NEW MAYOR SAYS THAT IF A FILM WERE MADE OF HIS LIFE, GEORGE CLOONEY COULD STAR -A PLANETARY-SIZED EGO AND ITS WET DREAMS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Sadiq Khan has an ego the size of a small planet.

A film of his life?

God, what has he done that anyone would want to make a film about him?

What audience would there even be for such a tedious idea?

And then, for the piece de resistance, this planetary-sized ego thinks George Clooney should play him.

Wow, talk about wet dreams?

I wonder what he has in mind for a title for this fantasy film no one would dream of making or going to see?

"Sadiq: the Movie"? "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told"? "The Ego That Swallowed London"? "Khan's Flying Circus"?

I could suggest, perhaps most appropriately, "Betrayal."

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MYSOGYNY AS A HATE CRIME - A DANGEROUS AND CLUMSY USE OF WORDS - ORWELL MEETS CONTEMPORARY SILLINESS


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY LAURA BATES IN THE GUARDIAN


"...misogyny as a hate crime..."

After an unthinking statement like that, there can be nothing worth saying or reading.

Please, misogyny is a state of mind, not a crime.

And this kind of clumsy use of words runs the risk of making a society of laws either hopeless or ridiculous.

"Hate crime" in general is a concept right out of George Orwell.

If you can't see that, you shouldn't be writing.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST NICK COHEN WARNS OF DEMAGOGUES AND CLAIMS TRUE LIBERALISM OUR BEST DEFENSE - STALE BREAD CRUMBS BEING TOSSED TO THE PIGEONS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NICK COHEN IN THE GUARDIAN


"Only true liberalism can thwart the demagogues"

Where do you see one genuinely liberal spirit?

I consider myself a liberal, and I can sincerely say I see nothing of what I care about in Clinton.

She's a war-monger, and nothing can be further from the meaning of "liberal" than that.

And why do you use the word "demagogues" for those you do not like?

Trump is not a demagogue, and when the press keeps repeating that false claim, it only loses what credibility it has left, which, by the way, is not a lot.

Trump is sincere, of that I have no doubt. I believe he is mistaken in a number of matters, but I also know that he is right on some crucially important ones.

The truth is he cannot do any worse than the greatest mass killer on earth, Barack Obama, and I'm convinced he can do a good deal better.

In politics, you don't get everything you want, but too often, you get nothing, which is very much the case with Obama, a man who has failed to do almost anything worthwhile either at home or abroad.

I really think the views expressed here resemble stale, old crusts of bread being tossed on the walk to feed the pigeons.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST JONATHAN FREEDLAND TRIES PUMPING UP TONY BLAIR, AS HE ANNOUNCES HE IS PUTTING ASIDE BUSINESS INTERESTS, SAYING IT MIGHT SOFTEN THE RAGE AGAINST HIM - THE TRUTH ABOUT WAR CRIMINAL AND PROFITEER TONY BLAIR


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN


Oh, I don't think so.

But, of course, there you are, Jonathan Freedland, doing just what Tony's advisers undoubtedly suggested might happen with his gesture, already offering him publicity and planting positive suggestions.

And that's all it is, a gesture.

This man has made more money than he knows what to do with, and of course a great deal of his fortune involves direct and indirect rewards and emoluments for helping destroy Iraq, helping kill half a million in the process, create floods of refugees, and leave one of the Mideast's most advanced society pretty much in ruins for years.

The country as a unified has pretty well ceased to exist, and at least another half million died in after-shocks. But Tony sat comfortably in his limo doing nothing of any account but answering phone calls for awards, endowments, and sinecures.

America always takes good care of the creatures who faithfully serve its purposes, and Tony fully realized that with the literal shower of gold he experienced.

Actually, I’m inclined less to believe he is putting away business than the shower of gold has trickled its last for him, and he has a tale to tell in hopes of gaining some bizarre merit of some sort.

In any case, he can be assured that the Jonathan Freedlands of this world stand ready to get out the good word for him.

Then again, maybe he just plans to spend more time with Rupert’s ex?
________________________________
 Response to a comment about Blair’s sinecure at the Quartet:

Oh, he did such a bang up job.

I recall once when he cancelled going to some meeting out of fear.

He is a true coward, after all.

Monday, September 19, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DOES AMERICA NEED A PRESIDENT WITH A PULSE? HOW AMERICA ALREADY PROVED THAT IT DOES NOT BY HAVING A PRESIDENT WITHOUT A BRAIN FOR 8 YEARS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL PATRICK WELCH IN INVESTMENTWATCH


"The Elite Don’t Need A President With A Pulse Says Political Analyst"

This is true, and we already have experience.

George Bush served for 8 years, but he was in charge of virtually nothing.

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld ran the show.

Bush just signed where he was directed to sign and gave the speeches he was asked to give.

The flim-flam was obvious to any good observer. Bush totally lacked effective intelligence and even the ability to articulate clearly. He was a life-long ne'er-do-well and had not a genuine success of any kind on his own in his entire life. He was happy to be propped up and put on display as though he had finally succeeded at something.

Cheney and, to a slightly lesser degree, Rumsfeld were super-driving, ambitious men of considerable intelligence with glandular views of how things should be ordered and performed, both completely untroubled by conscience or ethics. Either of them might comfortably have worked for a Hitler or Stalin, but they were luckier than that in where they landed, in charge in all but name.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA REPORTED TO DECIDE IN OCTOBER ON CUTS TO NUCLEAR ARSENAL - THE TRUTH ABOUT ANY CUTS - OBAMA'S RECORD FOR PEACE IS A SICK JOKE


COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY JULIAN BORGER IN THE GUARDIAN


Yes, but the cuts will likely be technical in nature or in upgrades which are not very cost-effective. After all, the Pentagon is now spending at record levels in an economy which does not even possess the means to pay the bill on its own. Add to that the disappearing trillions discovered years ago in Pentagon accounts and still never explained, you certainly have some little pressure to pause just a bit.

Nevertheless, Obama recently committed to a long-term trillion-dollar (yes, that’s indeed a “t”) program to upgrade and update and further develop many American nuclear weapons.

For instance, the B-61 bomb is having its yield changed and its accuracy in delivery, a concern to many since the view amongst the Pentagon attack dog pack - the Gen Breedlove types - is that this will make the bomb more usable in places like Europe. The older version is just what you have stored at several locations in Europe, including in Turkey.

If we judge leaders by their acts and not their rhetoric, as we must to maintain any sanity for ourselves, Obama is absolutely not a man of peace, although he seems to like styling himself that way and using the language.

Readers should always be aware that one of the greatest speeches for peace ever made, as judged by such an astute observer as writer William Shirer, was made by Adolph Hitler on virtually the eve of WWII.

Obama’s acts include not only record savagery in the Mideast – killing as many as two million and generating world record numbers of refugees, to the point of nearly de-stabilizing Europe - but pushing, completely unnecessarily, into the very teeth of Russia and into a sea of China ten thousand miles from home. And what can you say of a man who runs an organized system of extrajudicial killing complete with “kill lists”?

And what further can you say of a man who is working through a deal for the sale of $115,000,000,000 in arms to Saudi Arabia, a country which is right now savagely killing civilians in Yemen, contributes to the horrors of Syria, and keeps its own people in repression?

 And he has just produced a new ten-year deal for Israel to supply it with what is effectively a $40,000,000,000 line of credit for weapons purchases. He does this without a single demand on Israel over its illegal occupation and continued annexation of other people’s land and severe repression of Gaza. After all, the UN agency responsible for such affairs has just declared Israel has the worst human rights record on earth.

It truly is a nasty joke, a bitter sarcasm, to write as though Obama were concerned with nuclear weapons in any but a technical way, suggesting once again, quite tiresomely, that he is a man of peace. He shares none of the spirit of a Jeremy Corbyn. He is, in fact, a direct spiritual relative of blood-drenched Tony Blair.
__________________________________

Response to a comment that The Guardian has gone right wing:
That is so true.

As we've seen in so many areas, such as its horrible and shameless treatment of Corbyn.

The current editors, it is painfully obvious, fully embrace America's New World Order stuff and the associated Neocon Wars. They are comfortable with killer-leaders like Obama and Hillary Clinton.

I don't see how you can get any farther away from truly progressive or liberal.

It publishes a lot of fluffy items about minorities as a way to keep a finger or two dipped into the progressive stream, but the main driving engine of the paper - displayed strongly in editorials, columns, and selection of news stories - is the establishment.

I don't perceive a hair's width of difference with the Rupert Murdochs of this world, and that is a shame.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA DISPLAYS HIS UNBELIEVABLE ARROGANCE AND DETACHMENT FROM REALITY IN ADDRESSING BLACKS AND TELLING THEM HE WILL CONSIDER IT AN INSULT TO HIS LEGACY IF ANY OF THEM VOTE FOR TRUMP


COMMENT POSTED TO A VIDEO ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


‘I will consider it a personal insult – an insult to my legacy – if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election’

What an amazingly arrogant thing to say.

Just insulting.

"Personal insult"? Who does he think he is, the king?

"Insult to my legacy"? He begins to sound delusional.

This garbage is addressed to black voters from a man who has done absolutely nothing for his own people. Nothing.

He has not even sorted out the problems of the financial collapse. He has done nothing to reform the financial industry or revise taxation. All he has done is print dollar bills.

His "legacy" is about two million dead in the Middle East and millions of desperate refugees trying to find safety.

The man has been a complete failure, except in his own eyes.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GUARDIAN SAYS RUSSIA ACCUSES U.S. OF BOMBING A LARGE NUMBER OF SYRIAN SOLDIERS - WHAT A WORLD OF DECEPTION IS IN THOSE WORDS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"Russia accuses US of bombing Syrian troops and risking ceasefire”

As is quite usual for The Guardian when it comes to Syria or Russia, you are reporting these events incorrectly.

There is no "accusation."

It is simply a fact that the US bombed Syrian troops. The Russians even have some pictures of the results.

It is direct aggression since the US has no government permission to even be in the country. Syria has asked the UN to act, but the UN is pretty much under America's thumb.

The US has not been cooperating since the agreement went into effect, and this is along several lines.

It is still protecting some terror groups.

It has not communicated well with the Russians, sometimes declining even to answer the phone.

And it is refusing even to let the agreement be published as the Russians keep requesting.

Were the terms published, we would all be in a better position to determine just where they are failing to be met.

Why does the US refuse this simple, fair-minded request?

You'd have to ask the shady Mr Kerry or the even shadier Mr Obama.

Note: Later America did admit the bombing.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA ACCUSES TRUMP OF HATE AND USES THE LAME GEORGE BUSH EXPRESSION "THAT'S NOT THE AMERICA I KNOW" - WHAT SHOWS GREATER HATE THAN KILLING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE?


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


"'That’s not the America I know': Obama accuses Trump of stoking hate'

So says the world's greatest living killer, a man who runs wars and bombings in half a dozen places as well as running an entire system of extrajudicial killing.

A man who destroyed Libya, has worked at destroying Syria for years, still kills in Afghanistan and Iraq, a man who has pushed, with no justification, his military into the very face of Russia and threatens the Chinese in a sea ten thousand miles from his home, a man who supports Saudi slaughter in Yemen, and still other horrors.

And I wonder how many readers are aware of his latest arms deal, the one with Saudi Arabia's absolute princes for $115,000,000,000? Nice piece of business as reward for supporting blood-drenched tyrants.

I don't know about you, but for me, killing hundreds of thousands of people, complete strangers, is about as great an expression of hate as is possible.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON'S NEW SILLY MAYOR SADIQ KHAN SAYS TRUMP'S RHETORIC HELPING ISIS - THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT WHO HAS HELPED ISIS



COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Sadiq Khan is arguing over a "straw man."

Trump is not anti-Muslim.

He's only reflecting public fears about large-scale Muslim migration.

These fears, which are real, are the children of the American government's policies for the last fifteen years and the truck-fulls of Islamophobic columns and editorials and bent news reports in the establishment press over that same period.

The US unilaterally decided to rearrange a major portion of the world to its liking, in the process killing a couple of million people, destroying several societies, and creating millions of refugees.

No politician of note and no newspaper or broadcaster is on record having opposed this horror.

Indeed, the press has regularly supported the monstrous effort and reinforced anti-Muslim fears with endless stories of terror.

Yes, there has been some terror, but it is insignificant compared to the mass murder and destruction conducted by America and its allies.

What we call "international terror" and the new record floods of refugees are both the direct product of American policy, which has included the destruction of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, a five-year effort to destroy Syria, Saudi Arabia's atrocities in Yemen, tolerance for Israel's horrors in Gaza, and an organized system of extrajudicial killing.

The press has only supported policy every step of the way, and in the process has generated waves of Islamophobic feelings.

Trump is the only leader talking about the root cause, the Neocon Wars, and bringing them to an end.

What he is saying is that in the interim, his country needs to be cautious about the waves of Muslim migration. He is not saying, and never has, said that in future there should be no Muslim migration or that all Muslims are undesirable.

His call for a migration pause is only the response to public prejudice virtually created by the press and poor leaders for 15 years.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST WRITES ON DAVID CAMERON'S FOLLY IN LIBYA - WHAT WAS ACTUALLY DONE TO GADDAFI AND LIBYA BY CRIMINALS LIKE OBAMA AND HILLARY CLINTON


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN


Someone styling himself "sidinthecity' has written a particularly obtuse comment featured here as Guardian Pick.

Gaddafi ran a decent government for decades. No African or Middle Eastern leader did as much for his people - everything from heath care to education free for all out of those oil riches.

Yes, he fell out of favor with Washington, but it was not about being a tyrant. Washington loves tyrants, but they must be tyrants who side with Washington, as in Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

Washington deliberately upset his government, pumping in weapons and financing gangs, and then, in the chaos which ensued, it bombed the crap out of Libya and had Gaddafi assassinated.

Its net product is a previously peaceful and prosperous country reduced to ruin and primitive tribal warfare.

Anything, literally anything, would have been better than that.

In his last days, perhaps many will not know, Gaddafi asked what they were doing trying to destroy his government. He said it was a wall against massive African migration into Europe.

And he was right, as he was on a many matters. No matter what anyone says of him, he was intelligent and thoughtful.

But in America's New World Order, there is no room for independent-minded leaders.

So bloody Obama and bloody Hillary destroyed this perfectly stable and in many ways good government.

That gave Hillary the opportunity for her Benghazi heroism and for sending arms scattered all over Libya and for maniacs scattered there too to be inserted into Syria to destroy another stable and fairly decent government.

Now that is all something of which to be really proud, isn't it?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EDWARD SNOWDEN AGAIN PLUGGING FOR HIS PARDON - RATHER TIRESOME AND HOPELESS - THE REAL HERO OF OUR TIME IN REVEALING GOVERNMENT'S HORRORS IS CHELSEA MANNING


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


I think it is a good thing that Edward Snowden has done, but I must say he is personally rather tiresome on this theme.

There is no incentive for an American President to grant Snowden a pardon. None.

I guess even American whistle-blowers come imbued with the sense of American exceptionalism.

At any rate, Snowden certainly does.

Given the list of grotesquely violent characters in the American military and security services, he probably should count himself lucky he is not dead.

The real hero of our time in matters of revealing government wrong-doing and the ugly face of war is, in my view, Chelsea Manning.

Her motives were some of the finest of which humans are capable, the very things which keep us human, and she is suffering horribly for her acts.

She deserves, unlike Obama, the Peace Prize.

As for Snowden, he is kind of a cold technocrat who acted out of libertarian principles, and now wants another cold technocrat to forgive him because he is tired of living abroad.
________________________________
Response to another reader’s comment:

I don't agree about the designation "hero," but true heroes, like prophets, are never honored in their own land.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA DOES ONE LITTLE THING RIGHT - PROMISES TO VETO BILL ALLOWING 9/11 SURVIVORS TO SUE SAUDI ARABIA IN AMERICAN COURTS - A CHEAP TRICK BY CONGRESS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Well, there's one small, sensible act by Obama.

American courts are notorious for idiotic decisions in tort cases.

There can be no legitimate basis for suing Saudi Arabia.

Yes, we know from the 28-page report just published that they paid bin Laden. Actually, we already knew this from Anthony Summers’ book on 9/11.

But that money was strictly for keeping him out of Saudi Arabia, not to pay for an attack on the US.

Saudi Arabia had no motive for 9/11. None.

They were on excellent terms with the American establishment, many of whom - like George Bush - benefited by their largess.

Besides, were there even a hint of Saudi responsibility, the US would have happily attacked the Saudis and taken control of their oil production.

It would have been a far greater prize than the backward wastes of Afghanistan.

The 28-page report was kept secret only because the government felt it would be misinterpreted by Americans, and now that it has been published, that is exactly what has happened.

The Congressmen releasing it have only done so to get a crowd of American professional survivors off their backs demanding "they do something."

It's all a big farce.

You must look elsewhere for those responsible for 9/11.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A SURVIVOR SAYS EVEN THE SIMPLEST QUESTIONS AROUND 9/11 HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED BY GOVERNMENT - YES, AND SOME DISTURBING TRUTHS AROUND THOSE EVENTS - THE SAUDI ARABIAN NONSENSE


EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY


‘It’s been 15 years. Not even the simplest questions answered’

DeSantis is right in his main statements.

This collapse has never been explained.

In the case of 9/11, one thing is indisputably true, and that is that the official explanation is incomplete, and that is true no matter who was responsible.

Those towers were so strongly built with their central core each of 47 massive steel caissons – 4-inch thick steel assembled into immensely-strong rectangular upright beams - that the crash of a plane could not possibly damage them. The underlying structure was deliberately designed to be impervious to the crash of a large airliner. The holes we saw on the airplanes’ striking the twin towers involved only the outer curtain-walls, which, along with everything else, were suspended from the caissons.  

Also, aviation jet fuel - a form of diesel - burns at about 1500 degrees. The steel of those caissons required a temperature in excess of 3000 degrees to melt.

You can see in the videos that, after the plane strike, there are huge billows of fuel which burn off fairly quickly. Their smoke is even a different color than what follows afterwards. If nothing else had happened, this would have been an event confined only to several upper floors of each of the twin towers. There is even a video shot at one point of a woman survivor looking out from a corner of the huge hole in the wall. She clearly is not experiencing the steel-melting heat which was to follow.

The images of collapse do make it clear that the central core began collapsing before the façade in each building, and you can see it most clearly in a video of the top mast of one of the twin towers which shows the mast hesitating and then beginning to sink down and through the roof. Something unknown has made the central core support caissons below the mast fail.

After that, the whole cascade downward, facades and core, begins. And we see a different color smoke – likely from oxygen-deprived burning in the central core, which was constructed in sealed-off intervals to prevent fire storms from moving through the buildings. And we see at intervals rivulets of melted metal pouring out of places on the façade, something not possible from the heat of burning jet fuel, almost certainly steel melted by a special explosive such as thermite.

I do not believe the entire series of events was possible without demolition charges having been planted along the length of the central caissons, shaped or thermite charges attached at intervals, wired together, and fired electrically. The third large building to collapse, Building 7, only suddenly collapsed many hours later, and it was not hit by an airplane. It went down in precisely the same fashion, literally moving downwards, suddenly, at just the speed dictated by gravity, a fact which has been carefully measured.

Steel-frame buildings simply do not behave this way. There have been hundreds of fires in different parts of the world in such buildings, and this behavior has never before been seen. The only exception is when they are subject to controlled demolition. Then we see exactly the same pattern.

Those caissons were in fact all reachable from the central elevator shafts, and security at those towers was quite lax with a number of contractors and service people doing work over an extended period before the disaster.

Who was responsible? I don't know, but it is clear that the official explanation of "pancaking" floors holds no scientific validity.

If the charges were set by the same people who arranged the plane hijacking, that fact alone would cause US officials to want to hide facts, needing to explain how weeks of work went ahead undetected inside the buildings.  

The lack of security - especially in light of the earlier effort to bring a tower down with a truck bomb in the basement by another group - is embarrassing and very difficult to explain.

As far as the role of the Saudis, that is a red herring. Saudi officials paid Osama to stay away from Saudi Arabia, not to attack anyone. That really is what was being hidden with that 28-page report not being published. It was felt people wouldn't understand and would misinterpret, which is just what they are doing now that it has been published.

The Saudis had no motive, none at all, enjoying good relations with the American government. If for any reason they had done this, the United States would have only been too happy to invade their country and seize its oil production, a far greater prize than the wastelands of Afghanistan.

No, the answer about who did this lies elsewhere, but don't expect the United States to explain any time soon.

We still don't know who killed Kennedy. We still don't know the truth about TWA Flight 800, which was almost certainly shot down by an American Navy missile in error. And, of course, we still don't know the truth about Malaysian Flight MH-17 in Ukraine, an event whose investigation the US government controls and deliberately delays so as not to embarrass its pet government in Kiev.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST ASKS HOW MANY YEMENIS MUST DIE BEFORE WE STOP SELLING ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA - YES, AND HERE'S A BIT ABOUT OUR SMILING PSYCHOPATH, OBAMA, AND HIS MASSIVE NEW ARMS DEAL WITH THE SAUDIS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KATE ALLEN IN THE GUARDIAN


“How many Yemenis need to die before we stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia?”

Excellent question.

And the most disturbing thing about this whole filthy matter is the Saudi use of cluster bombs which slash men, women, and children with flying razor blades.

And where do you think the Saudi's freely obtain those horrible things from?

Oh, by the way, Obama - that peace-loving man of the charming smile and baritone voice - is busy closing a deal with the Saudis for $1,015,000,000 in new armaments.

Nice piece of business, obtained through the embrace of Saudi atrocities and the willingness to re-supply them for yet more.

Does any clear-thinking person still regard Obama as a good and worthy or even decent leader?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NORTH KOREA CHARGED WITH "MANIACAL RECKLESSNESS" OVER ITS LATEST NUCLEAR TEST - SOME DISTURBING TRUTHS ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


'maniacal recklessness' ?

Why?

What God granted the exclusive right to possess nuclear weapons to the United States, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Britain, and France?

My guess is that were it not for North Korea's nuclear program, it would long since have found itself in the position of Syria or Libya - countries literally torn apart by American-inspired terror.

And what of the world's biggest hypocrisy in these matters, Israel?

We know reliably that Israel has roughly 150 nuclear weapons, or some combination of fewer finished ones and stockpiles of fissile material to quickly assemble new ones. We know this from a number of dependable sources, including former-President Carter. We've even seen, decades ago, a photo of one of its implosion-style fissile assemblies courtesy of an Israeli whistle-blower.

Israel made the argument early on, in the 1960s, to the American government that it believed it had to go nuclear to survive, and America and its allies have accepted that since.

How would that be less true for North Korea?

And of course when Pakistan started working intensely on nuclear capability, despite American-inspired sanctions, it argued the same thing vis-a-vis India. Moreover, it is thought Saudi Arabia financed the effort and has an agreement under which it can call on a certain number of bombs or warheads. But now all that remains unquestioned and in place.

And there’s the matter of proliferation. The father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Khan, got into serious trouble when he was discovered making certain blueprints available to others, but South Africa briefly became a small nuclear power under its Nationalist government, and we know it did so with the help of Israel, again with the survival-of-the-nation argument playing a role.

(Where South Africa’s stocks of fissile material ended up has never been established since the collapse of the apartheid government, although there was speculation around Israel. It has been plausibly suggested that the untimely death of Dr. Kelly in Britain, disguised as a suicide, around the time of the invasion of Iraq, Dr. Kelly being an expert who knew the facts in nuclear weapons matters, was related to his knowledge.)

The trouble today with a nuclear club or monopoly, is that a newly aggressive United States, its establishment upset over its relative decline in world affairs, seems ready to do almost anything to enforce its will. North Korea and others well know that.

And, in the end, the fact that there is one other country capable of obliterating the United States, Russia, has led America’s establishment to a new hyper-aggressiveness in world affairs, a new Cold War, in hopes of de-stabilizing Russia. Were it not for Russia, and, to a lesser degree, China, we would all be marching smartly to the barked commands of the United States in almost our every activity. A multi-polar world is far less dangerous than a single dictator or bully.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON MAYOR SADIQ KHAN CONDEMNS AIR CHINA TOURIST GUIDE OF LONDON, WHICH ADVISES AREAS TO AVOID, CALLING IT "RACIST"


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Well, I am sorry, but the simple fact is that no matter which urban place you visit, from London to Chicago and from Johannesburg to New Orleans, it is in the neighborhoods and areas populated largely by blacks where violent crime will be highest.

There are no exceptions to this generalization of which I am aware. It is an observation of easily checked facts and not an expression of "racism."

The Chinese words used no tact, but the intention was not malicious, just concern for the safety of customers.

Visitors to Chicago or New Orleans are also sometimes quietly warned by locals.


http://heyjackass.com/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JEREMY CORBYN AND OWEN SMITH TOLD LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP CONTEST HAS MADE THE PARTY LOOK UNELECTABLE - THE TRUTH


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


"Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith told Labour leadership contest has made both look ‘unelectable’"

Well, Independent editors and others, wasn't that the point of the whole operation from the beginning?

First, you threw every piece of filth - from Tony Blair to false accusations of anti-Semitism - you could lay your hands on.

Finally, you got a new leadership contest going...for a leader who only was given the post months before.

I don't see how this whole thing doesn't resemble a security services operation.

So, it's the likes of MI5 and Blair's acolytes who have effectively demolished the work of democracy.

Oh, you should be proud of yourselves.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MARK ZUCKERBERG ACCUSED OF ABUSING POWER OVER FACEBOOK ERASURE OF VIETNAM NAPALM GIRL'S FAMOUS PHOTO - THE TRUTH


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Mark Zuckerberg abusing power?

Oh, my, I can hardly believe it.

He has shown himself on so many occasions to be such a model citizen-billionaire.

Spying on the movements of those using his service. Collecting vast amounts of their personal information both to sell to marketers and to hand over to the CIA, with whom he enjoys a good relationship. Censoring pictures and words all over his site - everything from a woman's photo of what breast cancer looked like to critical statements about Hillary or Israel.

Of course, this picture of the little girl has become iconic, but many forget what it represented, an American holocaust in Vietnam, killing about 3 million people.

The forces which Mr. Zuckerberg serves faithfully are the very people who created that horror.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ANTI-ASSAD PROPAGANDA ABOUT GROUPS IN SYRIA REFUSING TO COOPERATE WITH UN OVER ASSAD'S INFLUENCE WITH UN - GEORGE SOROS AND HIS MANIPULATIONS RESEMBLING ONE OF THE MASTER EVIL-DOERS IN A JAMES BOND MOVIE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE POSTED IN THE GUARDIAN


Oh, God, do you never tire of doing anti-Assad propaganda?

The White Helmets are blighted by associations with George Soros, billionaire who spends his time and money thinking up schemes to hurt Russia, help Israel, and get Hillary elected.

Another Soros organization actually ran ads to hire goons - $15 per hour was the rate - to disrupt Trump rallies. Shades of the old Brown Shirts of 1934.

Soros is known to have worked hand-in-glove with the CIA in assisting in setting up infrastructures for coups with his NGOs.

He is also revealed in recent hacked e-mails of Hillary as coming pretty close to telling her how to run things at the State Department.

A very manipulative person with a huge agenda.

He's almost like one of those characters - the master evil doers - out of a James Bond movie secretly plotting the fate of the world.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY REGRETS CALLING HALF OF TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS DEPLORABLE - HILLARY'S HISTORY OF CONTEMPT FOR PEOPLE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


“Hillary Clinton says she regrets calling 'half' of Donald Trump's supporters 'deplorable' “

Really stupid remark for a supposedly intelligent person.

I think what she really revealed is her contempt for a lot of ordinary people.

However, that should come as no surprise given her whole history of treating many with contempt and lying to everyone.

And her penchant for war and violence over the years is related too. In her mind, there were ants to be stepped on.

An appalling candidate in every way.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY REGRETS CALLING HALF OF TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS DEPLORABLE - HILLARY'S HISTORY OF CONTEMPT FOR PEOPLE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


“Hillary Clinton says she regrets calling 'half' of Donald Trump's supporters 'deplorable' “

Really stupid remark for a supposedly intelligent person.

I think what she really revealed is her contempt for a lot of ordinary people.

However, that should come as no surprise given her whole history of treating many with contempt and lying to everyone.

And her penchant for war and violence over the years is related too. In her mind, there were ants to be stepped on.

An appalling candidate in every way.

Monday, September 05, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NO NEED TO DEFEND ALTERNATIVE MEDIA - A GLARING EXAMPLE OF THE MAINLINE PRESS'S DISHONESTY AND BIAS - A PEEK AT SOME NEW YORK TIMES' HISTORY AND ITS ROLE AS OFFICIAL U.S. ESTABLISHMENT HOUSE ORGAN


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER


It does not require a defense.

Just spend a bit of time with any mainline Western newspaper - The Guardian, The Times, The Washington Post, etc. - and, if you are an educated and reasonably informed person, you will soon see there is a serious problem.

Let me offer just one recent example. I could come up with many more, especially where Russia or Syria or Ukraine is concerned. This one involves a British politician.

I saw in The Independent today that a recent poll showed that the British people felt that their press had been biased in their coverage of Jeremy Corbyn, embattled leader of the British Labour Party.

My response was as follows:

"Biased” is really not an adequate word to describe what we've seen.

Just look back at The Independent and The Guardian over the period since Corbyn's first election.

What you will find is a long and complex propaganda campaign against the man and his associates. From trivial news items to calculated attack columns.

At times, it has been genuinely vicious, as with the unforgivable witch hunts for anti-Semitism.

At times, it has been downright silly, as with columns about his clothing.

I feel it fair to say these newspapers came close to ignoring the standards of journalism, making not even an attempt at fairness or objectivity.

Of course, pretty close to the same treatment by the same publications has been extended to Donald Trump.

I actually do not see how you can expect people ever to credit the integrity of your words on such matters in future.

How is the controlled press of an authoritarian government much to be distinguished?
______________________

The New York Times, often regarded without much reflection as the American newspaper of record, has been more aptly described as the house organ for America's establishment.

It contains enough good writing and general information to give it the "feel” of a credible information source.

But it marches in lockstep with establishment interests without exception.

It beats the drum for every war.

It regularly practices deliberately incomplete reporting and even censorship, it being learned only recently that all of its stories about Israel are passed under the scrutiny of Israeli censors before printing.

There have been a number of times that CIA plants have been discovered on staff, too, some having worked for years.

There never was a story that the CIA's "giant Wurlitzer organ" wanted placed that wasn't. And ditto for the FBI, the paper several times running actual campaigns against individuals with no basis in fact, just FBI gossip.

We saw this in the case of Wen Ho Lee, American nuclear scientist, accused of spying for China some years ago, but never convicted of anything of substance despite having his name dragged through the mud.

Richard Jewell, a simple decent security guard, was hounded over the Atlanta Olympics bombing of 1996, until it was finally discovered to be the work of anti-abortion fanatics. Jewell proved actually to have been something of a hero.

There is a long list of such events.

The Times also plays big favorites with establishment friends. For example, some years back when a Kennedy relative was accused of rape, The Times did all it could to build him up and even violated journalistic ethics by identifying the woman victim in print.

Of course, The Times regularly publishes the world's most irresponsible and unfair big-name journalist, a man by the name of Thomas Friedman, whose entire output for years has castigated Muslims, praised some unpleasant Israeli figures, and put out floods of pro-Pentagon stories.

You'll find entertaining stuff on Mr Friedman here:


and here:

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