Sunday, September 23, 2018

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



ABOUT JOHN CHUCKMAN


ME, ROUGHLY: THE DECLINE IS SO RAPID NOW





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 PLACES ON WORDPRESS: FEATURING THE BELOVED URBAN VILLAGE OF SOUTH SHORE CHICAGO

CHUCKMAN'S PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: CHICAGO NOSTALGIA AND MEMORABILIA

CHUCKMAN'S PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: TORONTO NOSTALGIA

CHUCKMAN’S MONTREAL

CHUCKMAN'S PHOTOS ON WORD PRESS

CHUCKMAN'S KODACHROMES ON WORDPRESS: JOHN AND BOBBY LONG AGO

CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY

CHUCKMAN'S BAYFIELD

CHUCKMAN'S GODERICH

CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)

CHUCKMAN'S ART

CHUCKMAN'S ROBOTS

CHUCKMAN'S GALLERY OF GROTESQUES

CHUCKMAN'S CARTOON COMMENTS

CHUCKMAN'S PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: 1920s ARCADE CARD BEAUTIES – THEIR CHARM AND GRACE AND WHIMSY

CHUCKMAN'S WORDS ON WORDPRESS: POLITICAL ESSAYS

CHUCKMAN'S WORDS ON WORDPRESS: COMMENTS FROM THE WORLD'S PRESS

CHUCKMAN'S MISCELLANEA OF WORDS

CHUCKMAN'S NON-SPORTS TRADING CARDS OF THE 1950S VOLUME 01 (OF 4 VOLUMES)


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A COMMENT RIGHTLY ASKS: WITH TRUMP DOING EVERYTHING THE ESTABLISHMENT WANTS WHY DO THEY STILL WANT TO GET RID OF HIM? - I THINK THESE ARE THE ESSENTIAL REASONS

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS



“The New York Times as Judge and Jury”

_____________________________

Response to a comment which asks, “…he [Trump] has sanctioned Russia more than the last two Presidents combined, and now he is even killing some Russians and knocking their planes out of the sky. So why do they want to impeach him?

“WHY WOULD HE PRESENT A THREAT TO THEM OR ANYONE? I don’t get it.”



You have a real point. Here is my explanation.

In fact, Trump has demonstrated what a weakling he is - despite his noisy self-praise and bravado all the time - by literally giving the establishment everything it wants, and then some in certain cases, leaving behind the few things he seemed originally intent on doing, things that were worthwhile - better relations with Russia, leaving Syria, and stopping some of the horror of the Neocon Mideast Wars.

He has simply left all those worthwhile concepts behind in a desperate effort to be loved and to survive. What's left is his junk program of disparaging migrants and Muslims, a pastiche of barely-hidden prejudices, and still wanting to build a giant stupid wall plus plenty of stupid flag-kissing by a guy who avoided military service - a program that is tailor-made for the Walmart-NASCAR-gun meet-Pledge of Allegiance crowd that constitutes his base. It has no appeal for the establishment.

When he publicly criticizes (mainly black) football players who make a respectful gesture of protest, something they are entitled to do and which is none of his business as President, he is throwing still-bleeding chunks of meat to the base who adore him for it. He even goes beyond inappropriate criticism to suggesting penalties NFL management should implement, as though that were any business of a government official who is supposed to represent all the people.

The establishment types do like, at least, to appear enlightened, it's a matter of style if not substance, and many wealthy Americans greatly benefit by the loose system of illegal migrants as cheap labor which has prevailed for years. It provides a great informal system, complete with an endless supply of labor, the opportunity to pay low wages and to get rid of any worker causing trouble. Why else does any person think it has continued for so long? Do people really believe that only the lack of a "heroic" figure like Trump has allowed this situation to happen? Yes, Trump's base does hold to that pathetic idea, and he encourages them to hold the thought.

So, he ends in the worst possible of all worlds, a man who has just continued the policies of Obama, even intensifying them, and tearing up what little worthwhile Obama achieved. There's irony here, because Trump loathes Obama. Well, Obama bombed every day of his eight years, and Trump just continues. Obama was responsible for the mess in Ukraine, and Trump just continues. Obama was responsible for the pivot towards China, and Trump just continues. Obama created America's vast extrajudicial killing program, and Trump just continues, indeed, giving the CIA an even freer hand.

In another aspect of his desperate cowardice and wish to be liked and re-elected, he destroyed the Iran Nuclear Agreement - Obama's only serious worthwhile achievement in my view - owing directly to influence from Netanyahu and Netanyahu's biggest booster, American billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, who undoubtedly promises Trump tens of millions of dollars for his 2020 campaign. That Agreement was praised and supported by every Western statesman and by all technical experts. Now, it is replaced by threats and name-calling and instability.

Indeed, again to buy favor, he has given Israel's lobbyists everything they ask for. It is embarrassing to see such subservience to a small state which makes huge, often inappropriate, demands. Moving the embassy illegally to Jerusalem. Ending aid program after aid program for the Palestinians, including even heartless acts like hospital support in East Jerusalem. Berating the UN constantly, despite its now weakened voice after years of American browbeating, and withdrawing from important UN agencies like UNESCO to please Israel. It is simply an appalling and chaotic set of activities.

It all reflects Trump's very weak character, and it is all driven from a desperate effort to please the American power establishment.

He knows they dislike him. I think there are several aspects to their dislike. He is viewed as a political pirate, having no real background and having hijacked a major political party that was adrift. He is also viewed as a kind of crass nouveau riche type by all the old money. His crassness is measured by the fact that his past rickety real estate empire has only survived by endless legal maneuvering and, apparently, a big hand in the past from investments from Russian mob money.

Of course, there is also his basic awkward way of communicating, a jumble of half-thought notions that have appeal to people in Trump’s base, but these are people for whom the establishment has only contempt, nicely revealed in words characterizing them by Hillary Clinton during the campaign. The privileged who actually run America and its politics have little regard for average Americans who think they are entitled to anything just by virtue of being born in the country.

The Russian thing is important. While I think the whole Hillary Clinton claim about Russia helping him is complete crap, Trump nevertheless is where he is in part owing to Russian shady-money connections in the past propping up his shaky business empire. And if there is one thing the American power establishment can agree on, it's viewing Russia the way Rome viewed Carthage.

Russia is loathed because it represents a serious obstacle to the current driving hormonal rage of America in asserting its dominion over the planet. The rage is a development which reflects the establishment's unwelcome realization of America's relative decline in world trade and economics since the glory days just after WWII. There are a lot of countries out there now looking for their place in the sun, countries which were flat on the ground in the Ozzie and Harriet's days that encouraged the myth of the American Dream - a myth, by the way, which Trump uses on his trailer-park political base under the “Make America Great Again” slogan. It’s utter nonsense, and the big boys in Washington know that it is. They have other plans.

America is actually not able to compete with all those new competitors, and its position will inevitably further slide relative to them. That is not easily swallowed by the privileged folks who really run America and have enjoyed god-like positions for much of the time after WWII.

And their attitudes have been catered to by Washington's influential Neocon crowd, influential people well entrenched in Washington's establishment. The Neocons say America should just use its brute power to get what it wants. It is an "Israelized" point of view, and the Neocons have an ongoing relationship with Israel. Their advocacy for a newly aggressive United States is in part based on their belief that an aggressive United States is good for Israel.

So, we have a big aggressive drive - "full-spectrum dominance” is one of its official mottos - to literally tell people all over the planet, "It's my way or the highway" and to use force, almost in a Mafia protection-racket style, to carve out favorable advantages that couldn't be had by fair competition. There are many examples, but a good recent one is the effort to push out reasonably-priced Russian gas from Europe and replace it with far costlier American LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). And now we have sanctions against people for buying Russian hi-tech weapons rather than American ones, as though that were a crime.

The establishment, given this new wave of aggression as one of its basic drives, just does not trust a Trump whose business interests in the past were “rescued” by Russian money and who talked the way he did during the campaign about normal relations with Russia, something, indeed, which is one of his only sensible views. Those establishment attitudes Trump just cannot overcome, and they have nothing at all to do with “Russia-gate.” The Russia-gate myth only exists owing to the pre-existing establishment attitudes about Russia, and Hillary Clinton has only been able to make her pathetic, half-baked claims about why she lost the election precisely because of the accepting environment of those pre-existing attitudes.

Not to defend Trump, whom I find appalling, but it is all a dirty and dangerous situation with the Democrats just as much behind the imperial drive as the Republicans. They are all establishment, with no distinctions to be made between them in foreign affairs and the aggressive imperialism.

The Trump drama only provides a kind of noisy sideshow, a sideshow unfortunately which contributes only more instability as this pathetic man struggles to survive against America’s establishment, almost trying to outbid them in the stupidities he will attempt.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE NEW YORK TIMES - SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT - IT SIMPLY AIN'T WHAT IT PRETENDS TO BE

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS



“The New York Times as Judge and Jury”



I don't think things at The Times are quite so innocent as the author seems to think in parts of this.

For example, I do not believe they got the story of Iraq's imagined “weapons of mass destruction” wrong.

They simply lied, as they have done many times, to support American and Israeli imperial interests.

And that was what the Iraq War was, part of an imperial adventure through the Middle East.

The so-called Neocon Wars and the Arab Spring, following the illegal invasion of Iraq, are just a set of dirty operations to re-make the face of the Middle East to Washington's liking. Part of the whole business has been about building a kind of cordon sanitaire around Israel.

By the way, since the Iraq invasion was largely about Israel and done after considerable and lengthy inside pressure from Israel, would you really expect The Times to report honestly on one of the government’s main devices (so-called weapons of mass destruction) used to confuse people and justify the invasion?

George Bush himself in a little-noted comment after the invasion, a comment made concerning Ariel Sharon’s incessant pressure to attack other states in the region, said something along the lines of, “Geez, what does he want? I invaded Iraq for him?”

Even then, every expert weapons inspector told us the claims were not true after the First Gulf War, but their voices were drowned out in the artificial rush to start a new war. Before the First Gulf War, Iraq was indeed working on such weapons, but that war put a stop to it, and all their facilities were destroyed.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, the guys really making the decisions in George Bush’s White House, were both fierce supporters of American exceptionalism and imperialism and supporters of what Israel defined as its interests, Israel being viewed as a key part of America’s empire, its pied-a-terre in the Middle East.

Since Iraq, America has indeed attacked a number of states in the Mideast, just as Sharon wanted, always done with ruses and devices as justification for what is really just outright aggression. This series of bloodbaths is called the Neocon Wars.

Its aims include eliminating any government that is independent-minded and does not toe the new American imperial line. Some very decent local leaders have been destroyed in the process, but since when does Washington care about anything like good leaders or the people they serve?

Never. Washington, and now more than ever, is about imperial power abroad. Under Neocon influence is essentially telling the planet, "It's my way or the highway."

So much so, domestic American matters, for both parties, almost don't matter anymore except in campaign rhetoric. There’s no room or resources left for them.

The Times' management is smart and connected well enough to know all of that.

After all, as was not long ago revealed, every story that The Times gets concerning Israel is passed to the official Israeli censor before being published. It would be hard to come up with a poorer way to demonstrate independent journalism and integrity.

And did you ever see an American imperial adventure in all the years since WWII that The Times did not support and beat the drums for (and ditto, The Washington Post)?

The New York Times has been called, quite accurately I think, the official house organ for the American power establishment.

Did you ever read a corporate house organ that criticized its parent corporation? Of course not. The job of such publications is boosterism for the corporate interests.

The Times maintains some credibility by doing good reporting in relatively small things or in the arts or travel or business, but on any story of real life-and-death importance to world affairs or national politics, I find The Times just plain dishonest, and often.

I don't understand anyone's taking the paper seriously in such matters.

Of course, The Times also has a record of assisting CIA and has been discovered more than once with CIA on its staff.

It also uses many little journalistic tricks over time. A favorite is getting something wrong, and later, when the desired impact has already been made, humbly retracting it, as though being terribly honest.

Mainline newspapers are about influence. News on the big issues takes second place, at best.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES "TERROR ATTACK" TRAINING FOR THE PUBLIC - A USELESS CONCEPT EXCEPT FOR ITS PSY-OP VALUE IN HYPING THE PUBLIC ABOUT ALMOST NON-EXISTENT TERROR

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“British public to be given knife, bomb and shooting first aid training for terror attacks”



This is just a form of psy-op. It is pointless except to scare people and hype them up.

There is virtually no terror in Britain.

You must look at the numbers out of a population of around 60 million and compare them to all the other ways of death, from the slaughter on the roads to medical malpractice to get some perspective.

When you are talking about "terror" in the West, you are literally talking about something as threatening as the total annual number of fatal falls in bathtubs.

What a frivolous waste of time and money in terms of genuine need.

But a government like Theresa May's - one with no sense of proper values and a confused leadership and complete servility to the blood-shedding American imperial efforts underway everywhere – is always ready to lend a helping hand with tales of witches and psychological operations like this.

_________________

Response to a comment:

“The Yanks” are not acting so much as "world policeman" as they are acting as self-appointed re-shapers of world civilization.

And they don't like being seen alone doing it, so they always like some compliant tag-alongs such as Britain and France. Leaders of the quality of May or Macron are only too keen to help.

Friday, September 21, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FRENCH COURT USES DISCREDITED OLD SOVIET TACTIC AGAINST POLITICIAN MARINE LE PEN - ORDERING HER FOR A MENTAL EXAM - WE SEE MANY UGLY ACTS NOW AS SIDE-EFFECTS OF AMERICA'S NEW DRIVE FOR GLOBAL DOMINANCE

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test after tweeting pictures of Isis executions

“'I'd like to see how the judge would try and force me do it', says former presidential candidate”



"Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test"



This court order is beneath contempt.

It does not matter what you think of Ms. Le Pen.

The court's behavior is straight out of George Orwell or Arthur Koestler.

This is completely unacceptable in a society which styles itself as free.

I can only admire Marine Le Pen's pluck in responding to this state effort at degrading and embarrassing her.

I wonder what role the smarmy Macron had in this?

The French establishment is quite tight-knit. A word to a couple of judges over coffee?

It does seem that since the United States began its new campaign to dominate the planet, we are getting countless stupidities all over the West. It resembles travelling down a highway where there is a constant stream of litter being tossed from the windows of cars.

Prime Minister May's totally baseless accusations in every direction.

The Prime Minister of Israel’s butting into British politics, making unfounded charges.

An idiotic former call-girl in Salisbury saying Putin is trying to poison her with rat poison.

A Canadian, a member of goofy stunt-performing outfit, Pussy Riot, claims to have been poisoned.

The President of the United States goes to the Security Council about something for which none of us has been given a lucid explanation or convincing facts, the Scripal Affair.

The lunatic United States is now ready to apply sanctions to China for having the temerity to buy some Russian planes and missiles!

Meanwhile, Israel conducts a regular sniper slaughter of unarmed civilians, and we hear not a word of outrage.

"Whom the gods would destroy…."











JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY CLINTON IN INTERVIEW CONTINUES EXPANDING ON FANTASIES ABOUT WHAT DEFEATED HER - "THEY WANTED ME OUT OF THE WAY" - "THEY"? THAT'S THE WAY PEOPLE WITH PARANOIA TALK

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TYLER DURDEN IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“'They Wanted to Get Me Out of the Way'

“Hilary still imagines it was Putin rather than American voters who put her on ice”



The woman has no shame.

She cannot accept losing, so there must be another reason for having lost.

Her reason puts her at the very center of things, of concerns of major states, of East-West relations.

Events pivot around her.

This is authentic paranoia, a clinical example.

Were it not for the Russophobia dominating the United States, constantly stirred and fired up by an aggressive government with hostile intent and its support from a dutiful press, I think she would be laughed at, not given interviews.

But with her words she continues to soothe her own ego while serving the interests of the establishment who run the whole unfortunate show. And she returns, if only for brief times, at the center of things in interviews. Who knows, she may even sometimes imagine they'll give her another crack at running with enough people having realized how very important she is?

We must never forget that the Wikileaks material proves genuine wrongdoing and immense corruption, but the content is all forgotten by her and by those whose purpose she serves.

And we must never forget that a bright and principled young man who worked for her party, almost certainly the real source of the material, was murdered on the streets of Washington, the crime going unsolved.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITAIN'S THERESA MAY ACCUSES EU OF SHOWING "US" NO RESPECT AFTER HER PREDICTABLE DEFEAT FOR BREXIT PROPOSALS THEY HAD ALREADY SIGNALLED WOULDN'T BE ACCEPTED - SHE STARTS TO GROW AS DELUSIONAL AS HILLARY CLINTON EXPLAINING WHY SHE LOST THE ELECTION

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



I just love the games cheap politicians play.

Show "us" some respect, Theresa May tells EU after her embarrassing failure in getting her Brexit terms accepted.

She is, of course, deflecting responsibility for her own failure while at the same time trying engage the sympathies of British voters for an attack on "us."

She won't admit she is incapable of doing the task she set for herself, which is the real truth here.

The EU has never that I am aware of displayed a lack of respect for Britain or its people.

But it has given Theresa May a long trail of hints and outright warnings concerning her own efforts.

She simply ignored them, and drove ahead in a hopeless effort that is now tuned in her own mind into Europe's lack of respect.

Actually, this reminds me a lot of the psychology of Hillary Clinton still out trying to tell anyone who'll listen how it wasn't she who lost the election.

It was taken from her by nefarious forces, the same nefarious forces who busy themselves even now in Salisbury with rat poison to attack call-girls, now they have apparently run out of Novichok.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON CHINA FOR THE MERE ACT OF BUYING SOME RUSSIAN PLANES AND MISSILES - THE WORLD'S BULLY ONLY GROWS WORSE

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



Trump administration imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles

Experts say appearance of 'US bullying' likely to push countries closer together



"Appearance" of bullying?"


What else can this possibly be called?

I'm afraid we're facing a huge storm of such legal and ethical garbage from a United States now trying to muscle its way everywhere.

"Full-spectrum dominance" is what they call it.

Jimmy Stewart's America can only be found in old films.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE SERENA WILLIAMS CARTOON CONTROVERSY - I DON'T SEE IT - HER BEHAVIOR WAS REALLY UGLY - SO IN THE TRADITIONS OF CARICATURE SHE RECEIVED UGLY TREATMENT - IT JUST WAS NOT OUTSIDE NORMAL BOUNDS

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE CONVERSATION



“That racist caricature of Serena Williams makes me so angry”



I just do not agree with the author at all.

The cartoon is not racist by any reasonable reckoning.

Cartoonists always make a recognizable caricature of their subject. Always. She was not treated in any special fashion, so you cannot call the cartoon prejudiced or unfair.

When this angry woman unloaded on two officials with a lot of furious stuff about prejudice against women, she was so angry she forgot her opponent was also a woman, and a member of a minority.

It was a ridiculous display, well deserving of cartoon treatment. Just look at this photo, and there are others perhaps even uglier:  http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.com/2018/09/john-chuckman-grotesques-williams.html

Why was she so angry? I think we all know - she really, really, really doesn't like losing and she has a terrible temper. We've seen her temper and accusation to officials before. There are no real issues here, beyond her ability to control herself, and, certainly, there are no larger principles, as of fairness or prejudice.

Yes, John McEnroe used to do this, and he's always stood as one of my most disliked players for just that reason. He was truly ugly at times, although, I'm not aware he ever gave us one of his explosions quite as furious and extended as this one by Williams.

I like to see some class in tennis, a la Roger Federer.

Umpires must do their job, they are necessary for the game, and they should be able to do their jobs without abuse or intimidation.

There really is no excuse for such performances. They demean the umpire. They demean the winning opponent. They demean the paying audience. And they demean the game.

And it seems to me, after doing this to so many, you have no right to be angry over a cartoon summing it up.

Because of her empty charges about prejudice, some of the press actually treated the matter as though it had some substance. Nonsense, and very unfair nonsense.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SHOOT-DOWN OF RUSSIAN PLANE IN SYRIA - RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER AND PUTIN SAY DIFFERENT THINGS - WHY THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT - ISRAEL'S UTTER LAWLESSNESS YET AGAIN

John Chuckman

E
XPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“Syria accidentally shot down Russian military plane, Kremlin admits”



In Putin’s remarks, after earlier, rather harsher remarks by the Russian Defense Minister, this is the direction taken, but there is still no question Israel is responsible here.

It used an old tactic of letting its fighters seek cover behind the Russian plane, making it possible for Syria’s older, less-sophisticated missiles to strike the Russian plane.

Israel was also negligent in giving Russia almost no advanced warning, 60 seconds apparently, of its intended attack on Syria, and that is not in keeping with existing understandings. The Russian plane which was about to land, had virtually no advanced warning and couldn’t take evasive action.

So, the earlier statements by the Russian military are accurate.

But Putin is a very cautious man, and his public statement about a series of accidents creating the incident buys time to consider future steps.

Of course, Israeli planes have no business whatever in Syria or firing missiles at Syria, but we all know the kind of law-abiding state Israel is.

I do think, perhaps quietly, Putin will act to limit Israel's abused freedom of behavior.

Options range from a more widely dispersed the Russian forces’ air defence with their top-of-the-line S-400 missiles to further upgrading Syria's own air defence, something they have done a fair bit on but not gone anywhere as far as they could.

Of course, that last is precisely why Israel might use the cowardly trick of dodging behind another plane. The Syrians have done pretty well with their old, Soviet-era (but upgraded) S-200s and an earlier version of the Pantsir system.

But the Russians could go much further than they have, if Putin thinks that is to his advantage.

Putin in his remarks said he would ensure that security for Russian servicemen was increased. What exactly does that mean?

Russia, of course, could also start supplying certain things to Hezbollah which would be extremely disturbing for Israel. Lawless behavior like Israel’s does have consequences.

I rather doubt there will be any repeat of this kind of Israeli stunt.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A LIST OF MEDIA COMPANIES WHO HAVE ENDED READER COMMENTS - OBSERVATIONS AROUND THE PHENOMENON - THEN THERE ARE "GUARDIAN GAMES" - ALSO NOTE COMMENTS AT MANY SITES NOW CONSOLIDATED UNDER ONE PROVIDER

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH



“Compiling a list of media companies that have shut down their comment sections.”


http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/compiling-a-list-of-media-companies-that-have-shut-down-their-comment-sections/



Interesting effort on a quite noticeable phenomenon.

But comment sections cost money to run, especially for operations with large numbers of readers.

As I'm sure you know, the mainline press has been experiencing economic decline for a long time as the entire model for news and advertising is undergoing dramatic change from the effects of the Internet.

So, it's not just driven by the wish to suppress dissent, but that, I'm sure, plays a role, something easily enough discovered as in the example I offer just below.

Also, this list would be enlarged greatly if you included all the publications which, while still having comments, actually work actively to limit or discourage them in many ways.

The Guardian newspaper is one of the best examples I know.

It severely limits the number of stories upon which readers may comment, and there is a discernible pattern in the subjects of stories subjected to the limits.

Its editors remove comments regularly. Selected commenters, after having had some comments removed, are put under a watch regime of moderation before publication.

And the editors periodically remove all privileges from commenters they have taken a dislike to, always claiming, of course, high-blown stuff about house rules.

It is quite a sinister operation behind a facade of open comments for readers, providing almost a case study in hidden control of supposedly free speech.

Real Western values? I think not. Yet a newspaper like The Guardian wants that Western-values reputation as part of the framework in which it presents its stories. A form of camouflage, for sure.

Other publications severely limit the number of words you may use, so much so that it becomes hard to say anything meaningful. Commenting reduced to a form of “likes” and “dislikes” is no commenting at all.

Actually, there are relatively few generous comments sections left in the West’s on-line press. The Golden Age of Internet Freedom, as it were, so refreshing and exciting as it came into being, has already largely passed.

Of course, pay walls also serve the purpose of limiting comment, and pay walls have become pretty ordinary.

Still one more limit and control mechanism that has become fairly widespread is allowing access to comments only through an unpleasant operation like Facebook.

Also note, the way Disqus now does the comment sections for many of those remaining.

Disqus does a good job, for right now, but what if they turn Google-Facebook-Amazon?

Power in the hands of a few is not healthy.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SMARMY U.S. POLITICIAN MARCO RUBIO ATTACKS VENEZUELA'S MADURO OVER EATING A TURKISH CHEF'S STEAK DINNER - LEADERS IN ALL ORGANIZATIONS EVERYWHERE ARE INSULATED FROM THE WORST OF SOCIETY - THAT'S JUST WHAT HUMANS DO - IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOCIALISM

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“Marco Rubio condemns 'weirdo Salt Bae' after Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro dines at his restaurant

“Footage showed Mr Maduro dining on expensive steak at the Istanbul restaurant on a stopover travelling to China”



I am not aware of any country or organization or religious institution in the world where the high leaders are not insulated from the worst situations of their society.

That certainly includes the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury and Britain’s Prime Minister and the President of France and the President of the International Red Cross right down to the chief official of any agency in any jurisdiction dealing with poverty.

So what? Society always acts this way. It's just what humans do. It has nothing to do with socialism or any other “ism.”

This is an unthinking attack, using a cheap "populist" theme, from a particularly unpleasant American politician, Marco Rubio.

____________

Response to a comment:

Indeed, and if you really want to see some grim stuff a lot of people aren't familiar with, I can tell you where to go in the United States to find it.

Absolutely Third-World situations in every respect. Not just poverty, but bleakness and filth and decay.

Just, as one very small example that did make the news, the subject of American poverty and degradation being one generally avoided in America’s press, I think of the people of Flint, Michigan and not having decent drinking water supplied, with no urgent rush to remedy the situation even after some bad publicity.

Monday, September 17, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PUTIN AND JAPAN'S ABE AND THE KURILE ISLANDS - THE DEEP QUESTION OF WHY JAPAN, AN ANCIENT AND PROUD COUNTRY, HAS BEEN SO SUBSERVIENT TO THE UNITED STATES SINCE WWII

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY GILBERT DOCTOROW IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“Japan's Abe Made a Mighty Fool of Himself at Russia's Eastern Economic Forum

“But then his entire Russia policy has been a joke -- dangling the prospect of measly economic investments in return for the Kuriles while ignoring Russia's very real concern that Japan is a military satellite of a hostile USA”



The article does sum up the situation, although the author tends to some over-the-top statements which, in my view, detract from what he has to say.

But still, this captures the situation in important respects. Abe did look very out of place.

I like the way Putin keeps plugging away at the matter of a Peace Treaty with Japan. His surprise, sudden offer to quickly sign one was a stroke of genius, letting the world know that it wasn't Russia holding things up and at the same time setting Abe a bit off-balance.

I have never been able to understand why Japan became such a cringing supporter of the US.

It has a long, proud history, and achieved miracles in recovery after the disaster of WWII. I've always admired that achievement as well as admired aspects of Japan's culture, being a big fan of their interesting cinema and much enjoying their traditional food.

America's bombing command at one point in WWII couldn't identify much in the way of decent secondary targets left standing. There were no primary ones left.

Such was the devastation by American bombing. Indeed, the atomic bombs, while terrible, did far less damage than the ferocious fire-bombings that were being conducted.

The brutal American General Curtis LeMay conducted a massive campaign of fire-bombing Japanese cities called Operation Starvation.

So, why is Japan so subservient?

Maybe, a form of the Helsinki Syndrome in which a victim begins to identify with his captor?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE ASKS ABOUT LIFE AFTER ABBAS - THE TRUTH ABOUT ABBAS AND WHY IT IS HARD TO GET GOOD LEADERSHIP FOR THE PALESTINIANS

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SOUTH FRONT



“Life after Abbas”



Abbas unfortunately has been a pretty ineffective leader.

And he hasn't stood for election in years.

He simply hangs onto the title, president, with no legitimacy.

Israel actually secretly favors him, precisely because he is ineffective. Of course, Israel would rather see no Palestinian officials at all, and they are working towards that end, but for now they need someone to roll out every once in a while.

After all, the last effective president was Arafat, despite his extensive corruption, but, of course, Israel detested him and had him quietly assassinated with Polonium in his toothpaste.

Not long before that happened, Ariel Sharon met with George Bush, and the news leaked out that he actually asked Bush to relieve Israel of its pledge not to harm Arafat. George, of course, complied.

A recent book on Israel's assassinations says there have been about 2,700 of them.

Mighty hard to get good new leaders under such circumstances.

Hamas was an effective, democratic new party, but Israel managed to label it, falsely, as "terrorist," and it has killed and threatened some of its members.

Interestingly, and revealing of the duplicitous way Israel behaves so often, Hamas was originally secretly supported by Israel to provide an opposition to Arafat’s Fatah, but when they actually had some political success - winning a clean election, many Palestinians having grown tired of Fatah’s corruption -  and gained some power, they suddenly became “terrorists.”

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EVEN ON THE CBC WE GET AMERICAN PROPAGANDA - VENEZUELA'S MADURO AND CHINA

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY EVAN DYER IN CBC NEWS



Why some Venezuelans fear Maduro is selling them out to China

"Flailing regime is seen as easy pickings for China's 'debt-trap diplomacy'"



I find the tone of that quite objectionable.

Venezuela is failing mainly because CIA has been working away for several years with sledge hammers at its foundations.

All kinds of nasty tricks and manipulation. Washington just hates this government, a freely elected government mind you, but a number of times Washington has destroyed democratic governments - Chile, Guatemala, Iran, and others.

China is extending its relationships in all directions where it is welcome. In Africa, China has been a model foreign investor and it maintains good and respectful relationships with governments there.

And given the situation, why wouldn't Maduro welcome them?

Trump and his band of Neocons have openly spoken of invading Venezuela. What kind of diplomacy is that?

And what kind of diplomacy in general does the United States maintain today? Threatening Iran. Threatening Russia. Bombing half a dozen countries. An organized hi-tech system of extrajudicial killing going on daily. Destroying and destabilizing international trade everywhere.

China is at war with no one. China carries on trade with all willing countries. China is building some of the world's most helpful and promising projects, like the new Silk Road.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ONTARIO'S PREMIER DOUG FORD AND USING THE "NOTWITHSTANDING" CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION ON A TRIVIAL MATTER - THE RECORD OF DOUG AND HIS LATE BROTHER ROB IS JUST TOTALLY SHABBY

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE CONVERSATION



“Doug Ford’s attack on the ‘Court Party’”



Doug Ford’s proposal is an inappropriate use of the "notwithstanding clause."

Why do I say that?

Because the clause is a very large and dangerous weapon, and he is proposing to use it for a relatively trivial matter, the number of city councillors in a particular city, and changing that number under rushed conditions just before a new city election.

And, of course, I'm sure there is a big element of revenge intended in what he is doing, revenge for the way his late brother, then Mayor of Toronto, was treated by the council when they stripped him of many authorities.

The council was right in what it did because Rob, the brother and mayor, was a total shabby, law-breaking disgrace.

Doug, of course wouldn't agree, but then we know something of Doug's background from an investigation by the Globe and Mail.

Doug a few decades back was a drug dealer, and in one reported instance he actually kidnapped a man behind on his bills and kept him secreted somewhere outside the city.

Some Premier! Some legal mind!

The trouble is Ontario is structured so that the cities are virtually creatures of the province, a situation which should not be for a number of reasons.

It is unfortunate that someone of Doug's character was elected Premier, but for that we have a decade of the most incompetent and wasteful Canadian politician to thank, Dalton McGuinty. And his successor proved every bit as terrible, not leaving a lot of choice.

I wrote an essay some while back that readers might enjoy. It was at the height of brother Rob's insane circus in office:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/time-wounds-all-heels-what-torontos-rob-ford-fiasco-is-about-and-what-we-can-learn-from-it/

You might also enjoy:

https://chuckmangalleryofgrotesques.wordpress.com/?s=rob+ford&searchsubmit=Find+%C2%BB

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ABSURD SAGA OF RUSSIA'S "PUSSY RIOT" - MEANINGLESS NOISE AND STUNTS TREATED AS WORTHY PROTEST BY OUR PRESS ONLY BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT-INDUCED RUSSOPHOBIA

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



'Poisoned' Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov flown to Germany for treatment

Leading anti-Kremlin activist’s symptoms allegedly include loss of sight and ability to speak



I am really tired of reading stories about "Pussy Riot" as though they were significant and meaningful.

They are treated by the mainline press as if they were inheritors of the mantles of Martin Luther King or Ghandi. It's ridiculous. Degrading actually.

The group reminds me of nothing so much as American college students of decades ago doing all kinds of stunts such as seeing how many could cram into a telephone booth or a Volkswagen Beetle.

They make noise, not reason. They don't even state a coherent case for their noise.

Their original cathedral stunt in Russia would, if repeated elsewhere, cause all kinds of grief. In parts of America, doing that at a fundamentalist church could put you at risk of serious bodily harm.

Just try it at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and see what happens.

I don't think it would go down well if repeated in Westminster Abbey either.

As for running out on a playing field to interrupt a major world sporting event, another of their stunts, that will get you arrested anywhere. It says nothing about the state of Russia.

The only reason we keep hearing about them is our government-induced and press-supported environment of Russophobia.

As for this young man's "poisoning," we know nothing. Maybe he did a drug overdose? Maybe he has an undiagnosed neurological condition?

I always support those who protest injustice. I support America's NFL football players who are heaped with hate and scorn for a simple meaningful gesture, even the President of the country joining in.

But everything I've seen about this group suggests exaggerated self-importance and silliness.

Are we really so far gone that we treat that as bravery?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL'S DIRECT INTERFERENCE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF BRITAIN - THE TWO REASONS JEREMY CORBYN IS SO HATED BY ISRAEL'S LEADERS TELLS US A LOT, AND NOT VERY PLEASANT, ABOUT THEM

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



"Labour antisemitism row was created by Israel trade union boss suggests”



He's absolutely right. Please recall that Netanyahu himself stuck his nose into the affair, even getting what he was charging quite wrong.

The head of Israel's Labour Party also butted in with a letter that was published.

And there have been other voices from Israel.

It truly has been the most blatant interference in the internal political affairs of another state, making anything Putin has been accused of look silly.

The "anti-Semitism" line does not give people a free pass to do things that are recognized everywhere as completely unacceptable.Israel hates Corbyn for two facts.

One, he is a "Leftie" and Israel's government hates "Lefties" in general because they invariably speak to concerns over human and democratic rights in the world.

And, two, he has a balanced view of the Mideast and treats Palestinians as though they were full human beings with fair claims to decent and equal treatment.

Now, those are truly terrible things Corbyn stands accused of, aren't they? I am sure he would plead guilty.

Monday, September 10, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SERIOUS RENEWED THREAT OF WAR BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES IN SYRIA - WHAT IS BEHIND THIS AND IS NEVER MENTIONED IN OUR PRESS - TRUMP "THE STRONG MAN" HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE PATHETICALLY WEAK CONSISTENTLY

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE FROM VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY IN RUSSIA INSIDER



Ex-US Intelligence Officers Warn Trump Over Syria Attack: 'Don't Be Surprised When the Russians Start Firing Their Missiles'

"We know that your advisers tend to be dangerously dismissive of Russian capabilities and intentions"

"Russian missile-armed naval and air units are now deployed in unprecedented numbers to engage those tempted to interfere with Syrian and Russian forces trying to clean out the terrorists from Idlib"



https://russia-insider.com/en/ex-us-intelligence-officers-warn-trump-over-syria-attack-dont-be-surprised-when-russians-start



An excellent statement of the situation.

Unfortunately, what John Bolton represents, as do Nikki Haley and a number of others in the administration, are the Neocons and the Israel lobby.

Those are the people pushing the renewed aggressiveness in Syria.

Just as with Trump’s (illegal) recognition of Jerusalem which was pushed hard for by Netanyahu and American Sheldon Adelson, billionaire and dogged Netanyahu supporter.

Trump should never have agreed to this de-stabilizing illegality, but he is worried about being re-elected in 2020, and Adelson offers tens of millions of dollars, as he has done many times for the politicians he likes. He literally keeps Netanyahu afloat with money and publicity support.

The truth is America has no genuine interests of its own in destroying Syria, and Assad is a pretty decent head of government for the region, but the men running Israel loathe him, and Washington is constantly made to feel their pressure.

After all, Israel’s government wants to keep the land it stole from Syria and perhaps steal more. Already, a Trump-appointed American official has publicly mused about the United States recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel, and that goes against all international law and order.

The Neocons and the Israel lobby are entrenched and powerful in Washington.

But no one can say so openly in Western media.

Trump has buckled every time these people push him.

He likes to be regarded as strong and decisive, but he is not at all.

His weakness has been on display for all those who want to look, taking off their blinders of ideology. Why is Bolton even in his post?

Everyone has known what a horror he is for long years. You could not find a worse character if you tried.

There is a terrific interview in Sputnik from a rare American politician giving a fair-minded assessment of Syria. It is only the truth that many who study the situation understand, but it is so unusual to hear from an American political source.

I assume the Senator is not dependent on funds and publicity in his state from the Israel lobby or he would never speak this way. See:

https://sputniknews.com/interviews/201809101067877625-us-senator-black-syria-interview/

Further on John Bolton and the Neocons, as I write this, we have this development:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/trump-administration-palestinian-mission-embassy-washington-israel-john-bolton-plo-a8530656.html



Friday, September 07, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: UKRAINE AND RUSSIA AND THE DONBASS - HOW THE SITUATION NOW STANDS - PUTIN HAS DONE A TRUE STATESMAN'S JOB WITH THE MESS DUMPED ON HIM BY AMERICA'S ENGINEERED COUP - HIS OVERALL POSITION IS UNASSAILABLE - FUTURE POSSIBILITIES

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“Backing Rebel Donbass Costs Moscow Very Little, Betraying It Would Be Far Costlier”



America, meaning its Washington power establishment, is just angry and embarrassed over what has happened in Ukraine.

The engineered coup was supposed to hurt and intimidate Russia right along a major border.

But it hasn't worked out that way at all.

You do have to expect a lot of bellowing and fuming when you frustrate a big bully from finishing an ugly piece of work.

I think this is a situation Putin has handled as a master statesman.

He has struck the right balance between accepting Crimea - historically Russian and whose people voted overwhelmingly for the change - and assisting Donbass in its troubles but not accepting it as part of Russia, all while helping create the Minsk Protocol to solve the mess.

I regard his overall position as unassailable.

Who knows how this will all turn out? The government in Kiev is very weak and has often been threatened by some of its own citizens. People in Western Ukraine have run away from its military draft in droves.

Large semi-fascists outfits like the Azov Battalion continue to make their presence felt. Poroshenko avoids implementing Minsk because he is weak and feels threatened by Ukraine’s Right Wing. Europe can see what has been happening, and, despite its American-influenced rhetoric against Russia, it knows Putin is fully committed to a settlement according to the Minsk Accords.

The Right Wing running the United States keeps rattling Ukraine’s chain, but so far it does nothing too serious to arm it and encourage war, something the Europeans would not appreciate.

One way or the other, I’m inclined to believe the Minsk Accords will come to prevail, but who knows? Donbass may be able to sustain itself as an independent state while Ukraine is never ready to make the effort or is not strong enough to overpower it.

I’m don’t think Ukrainians in general are keen to fight a serious war on behalf of the pathetic current Ukrainian government, weak and ineffective as it is, riddled with corruption, and having brought the economy crashing down.

It all could go on for some times. But Putin is the figure who stands out from all the rest in his handling of it.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL'S HATRED OF LIBERALS AND THE LEFT - AND THE WAY HISTORY SOMETIMES ENDS UP TURNED ON ITS HEAD - CORBYN AND NETANYAHU

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

____________________

Response to a comment:

Yes, but that's always been the case.

Israel's establishment absolutely hates liberals and "Lefties."

Why?

Because by their very nature, they criticize abuse of human and democratic rights.

Israel's government can't stand that.

It's interesting the way things sometimes get turned on their heads in history.

Men like Corbyn are the ones who spoke out in 1930s Germany, and some were sent to concentration camps.

Men like Netanyahu or Lieberman are the very kind of violent fanatics who sent them there.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP'S FUMING OVER NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED - WHY I THINK THE WHITE HOUSE WON'T BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY ITS AUTHOR

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS



“Trump fumes over NYT op-ed as top administration officials deny writing it”  



There are various efforts underway to discover who did this, both inside the administration and outside by curious reporters, but I think they are likely doomed.

Whoever did this is undoubtedly an intelligent person, and he or she would have taken precautions against discovery.

The person would have had his or her notes re-written by someone else, so that there would be no clues in the use of words or syntax.

The person re-writing the author's notes may even have been staff at The New York Times.

This would also provide plausible denial when a member of Trump's staff is asked whether he or she wrote what was printed.

This is just too high-level and risky to have been done in a fashion that would allow discovery from written language.

It is simply a gobsmacking political event, and coming, as it does, on top of other embarrassing revelations in books, Trump will not be able to fully recover his composure. His is a monstrous ego that cannot take deadly embarrassment well.



Thursday, September 06, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE SKRIPAL AFFAIR DRAMATICALLY RETURNS WITH SUPPOSED SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS OF THE WOULD-BE ASSASSINS - JUST ONE VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH A PAIR OF THE PHOTOS: THEY APPEAR TO BE FRAUDS - REVIEW OF THE MANY QUESTIONS IN THE CASE AND GOVERNMENT ASSERTIONS MADE WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CRAIG MURRAY IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“UK Releases IMPOSSIBLE Photo of Supposed Russian Suspects in Skripal Case

“Hilarious. You'd think the British gov't could have produced a photo that is not an obvious fake”

https://russia-insider.com/en/uk-releases-impossible-photo-supposed-russian-suspects-skripal-case/ri24682



Great point raised, and truly an important one.

But even were we to accept the photos of the two men, what do they prove?

Nothing, and certainly nothing about the Skripal Affair.

Britain has gone far beyond the photos, too, identifying them as GRU.

Where's the evidence for that?

But even if we were to accept what Britain asserts, what does it prove?

Still nothing relative to the Skripal Affair.

As with almost everything about the Skripal affair, despite months of publicity, investigations, and charges, we know almost nothing, nothing worth knowing, that is.

We have no explanation for the time sequence of the attack, so very great a length of time between presumed exposure and the pair's being stricken. That is not the way nerve agents work.

We have no explanation for how it is that an antidote delivered so very late possibly could be effective. These agents require the antidotes to be administered within minutes.

We have no explanation for how doctors and authorities even knew which antidote to administer.

And no explanation for how the substance was identified at the time. Nor where it was identified. Hospital labs couldn’t even attempt such a task.

To my knowledge, you can only make a positive identification with such chemicals if you have a sample. So where did that come from?

And it is not an easy task to identify something like nerve agent, starting from scratch, and not even any evidence to warrant a particular suspicion. Who would ever think of nerve agent to begin with?

And no explanation for where the antidote was obtained.

We have no explanation of events around the discovery of the sick pair on a bench.

A woman doctor said she worked with them for half an hour at the bench location. She noticed nothing that might be a chemical agent, and she herself was not affected although she handled them extensively. And the same for someone else who assisted her, there being two sick people.

The emergency response crew at the bench location suspected a fentanyl overdose, a fairly common event in the town.

We have no explanation for why authorities took so long in warning the town’s people. Or for why the town wasn’t sealed off.

We have no explanation for why the father and daughter have been prevented from seeing reporters, except for that one brief, extremely controlled appearance and statement by the daughter.

We have no explanation for the clear fact that the daughter wasn’t even told what the British government is charging, that the Russian government is being held responsible. The daughter spoke of returning to Russia.

We have no explanation for why a relative has been denied a visa to visit.

We have no explanation for the treatment of the home. The government is buying it.

No explanation about pets in the home. Two Guinea pigs were found dead and a ”distressed” cat (after, euthanized), facts which could be explained simply by their lack of water in a police-sealed house.

We have no explanation for why Theresa May’s government behaved as it did. Again, lacking any real evidence, it made impossibly strong public accusations against another government and started a serious international diplomatic row.

We have no explanation for the British government’s complete lack of cooperation with Russia despite numerous offers of cooperation.

Theresa May has set a new international standard of inappropriate behavior through the entire matter, and British newspapers have done little but run stories around every government assertion as though it were fact. There has been absolutely no investigative reporting despite many possible lines to pursue.

Again, as I've said before, I would embrace any outcome of the case which is proven. I completely reject claims made and extreme actions taken without proof. I do confess to a bias for facts.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE LUNATIC HUNT FOR RUSSIAN "TROLLS" SHOULD TELL US SOMETHING - IT REALLY ISN'T FAR FROM SCHOLASTIC INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE NUMBER OF ANGELS THAT FIT ON THE HEAD OF A PIN

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ALTERNET



“Here's How Russian Propaganda Trolls Act Differently Online from Regular People”



I'm sorry, but I find this kind of thing – analyzing Internet traffic to the purpose of identifying “trolls” - nonsense.

It is, of course, in keeping with the current waves of anti-Russia hysteria, but such claims go beyond that.

The efforts seem inherently dishonest, much like Facebook, one of the most dishonest operations on the Internet, trying to tell us what is “true.”

I read a lot of newspapers, and, being concerned with public and world affairs, I comment on a good many.

I have a pretty good intuitive grasp of the comment environment in the collection of papers from several countries which I read.

First, I have, on more than one occasion, been labeled myself as a Russian troll, and that is only because I try to inject some realism and balance into many articles I find without those qualities, articles that are sometimes the most blatant propaganda, and there really are a lot of those in these days.

Simply ridiculous, but it is the kind of loose-mouthed stuff that goes on all the time now, Trump himself being a prime example. Instead of calling people "commies" or "pinkos" today, terms which sound very dated, people who want to attack opinions they don't like call their authors "trolls." Name-calling instead of dealing with arguments and facts.

It really is childish.

I am not na├»ve, and I know organized efforts, by states, to influence opinion do exist. But why the focus on Russia? There is only one reason, and that is the Washington power establishment’s current hysteria.

The United States itself has a very large set of efforts. Why would they not? In the Cold War, the US poured resources into the non-digital equivalents - everything from Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, both CIA operations, to stories planted in papers like the Washington Post or New York Times and the use of “friendly” magazines like Time or Life or Readers Digest to get stories “out there.” Plus, many, many other efforts.

The one “troll” effort I do find quite noticeable is the one from Israel in the comments sections of some newspapers in Britain. Israel apparently has both an IDF unit doing this kind of thing and it has a program paying people such as students to do it.

Sadly, the comments are mostly terribly transparent, and I don’t see how they would influence many readers. The use of language, the lines repeated as from a crib sheet, and even sometimes the pseudonyms used make them transparent.

I just do not see it is a serious problem to be talked about all the time. But then I’m not part of America’s official “Hate Russia” campaign.

I try to judge everything I read by the reasonable standards of someone like the late I. F. Stone when he talked about trying to get some truth from newspapers, which we know have always been, and still are, larded with bias and favoritism and deliberate disinformation.

Trolls are a minor subject for a school civics course, at best.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL HANDS OVER MAIL TO PALESTINIANS IT HAS HELD BACK FOR 8 YEARS

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON GOVT SLAVES



“Palestinians Receive Mail Blocked By Israel For The Last 8 Years”



Holding back people’s mail for 8 years - it's a small thing compared to the mass shootings and bombings we've seen from Israel, but it is just so revealing.

So full of hatred and spite. Pettiness. Illegality.

General Dayan said, after his conquests in the deliberately-engineered Six Day War, that it would be necessary to make the Palestinians miserable so they would want to leave.

For half a century, Israel has tried everything it could think of to follow Dayan's advice.

It's all so shameful.

And the fact is a fair-minded United States could clear most of it up in no time, but it is anything but fair-minded, and it is just as much to blame for the unceasing abuse and oppression.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW JOHN MCCAIN SAW HIS ROLE AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR - SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS - NOTES ON THE WAY VLADIMIR PUTIN DEALS WITH AMERICA'S NOW QUITE REGULAR PROVOCATION

John Chuckman


EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“Provocations Have a History of Escalating Into War”   

“The Russian Government and President Putin are coming under pressure not from US sanctions, which are very good for Russia as they force Russia into independence, but from Russian patriots who are tiring of Putin’s non-confrontational responses to Washington’s never-ending insults and military provocations.”



"What is being eulogized is McCain’s hatred of Russia and his record as a warmonger. What Washington is eulogizing is its own commitment to war."

Yes, but slightly more than that.

McCain was a faithful servant for the Neocons (and other portions of America’s Israel lobby such as AIPAC), the Neocons being a highly influential group in Washington's power establishment who help drive the great new wave of American aggressive behavior, including the anti-Russian activities, Russia being seen as a barrier to complete American dominance.

McCain made his Neocon efforts close to a full-time job, and that earned him many rewards including plenty of campaign fund support, good press in the high-end newspapers, and helpful, influential contacts in his work.

We saw this in every step he took, in his many trips abroad, in those he supported and opposed abroad, and right up to his meetings with such ugly characters like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Neocons fervently believe an aggressive US is good for Israel, and McCain supported the concept wholeheartedly.

He held irrational attitudes towards a number of subjects, including Iran and Russia, and these attitudes lack any reasonable explanation except through his alliance with the Neocons. There is no innate reason for a Senator from Arizona to hate Iran as much as he seemed to. He was almost deranged-sounding on the subject.

It simply reflected the same phenomenon we saw in 2012 when Newt Gingrich tried to get the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich went around giving speeches in which he said things like, “You know, there really is no such thing as a Palestinian.” It just made no sense, suddenly blurted out and with no connection to any issue anyone cared about, but the reason for its appearance can be found in the fact that American billionaire, and huge Netanyahu supporter, Sheldon Adelson, was reported to have donated the best part of $20 million for his campaign.

A politician from Georgia concerned with telling Americans that there was “no such thing as a Palestinian” comes from the same place as a Senator from Arizona who goes on and on about the evils of Iran, a country which has attacked no one and a place most Americans couldn’t even locate on a map.

McCain was completely irreligious, as his personal behavior and language always showed, so the Old Testament mumbo-jumbo about Israel, something which does influence Christian Fundamentalists in America, had no hold on him, and, in 2000, when running for the Republican nomination, he even briefly revealed his contempt for America’s Fundamentalist Christians, big supporters of Israel. That included a harsh attack on Jerry Falwell, an influential Fundamentalist whom Israel’s Netanyahu has in the past sought out to talk with privately.

The whole big explosion in Florida got McCain lots of press and enabled him to put another notch in his belt as a maverick, but, in classic McCain fashion, as he has done many times, he was apologizing the next day, realizing he might have hurt his political career. He did the same thing with George Bush, who won the nomination, literally performing a public penance of hugging Bush desperately and wet-eyed at the Convention, for having verbally attacked the winner. Even Bush was embarrassed (see photo: http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.com/ ).

Indeed, all the events around McCain’s funeral – the inordinate praise for a man of few substantial achievements, the lavish bestowing of the title hero on someone who most certainly was not one, his virtual beatification in speech after speech and editorial after editorial - point to the influence of his powerful Neocon (and other American Israel lobby) connections.

You’ll find some other material on McCain: https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/john-mccain-a-matter-of-character/

Here’s a further thought on Putin's perceived (and disliked, by some Russians) non-confrontational behavior towards America. He is always a pragmatist, a clever one, and he never truly reveals ahead what he is intending. He plays his cards "close to his vest," as they say. So, I think many hasty and impatient suggestions about him are just that, hasty and impatient.

Much as with the new impressive Russian weapons systems created on a defense budget literally one-tenth that of America’s, he tries to squeeze whatever advantages he can from a difficult international situation and looks for little openings and opportunities to exploit without noise and bluster. He is in many ways the opposite of blow-hard, close-to-non-achiever Trump.

I think we can take it for granted that he is a sincere Russian patriot and that he does not want war. We can see that in many of his behaviors and speeches in the news. War is not good for Russia, a Russia making great strides in leaving behind the depression and ruin of the collapse of the USSR.

He is also a very proud man, and rightly so. He certainly doesn't work towards any kind of humiliation, ever. But he doesn’t let himself be pushed where he does not want to go.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ANOTHER "TRUMP'S PLAN IS SUCCESSFULLY PROCEEDING" TYPE OF ARTICLE - BUT ANY ASSOCIATION OF TRUMP WITH A PLAN IS NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY - AGAIN HIS WEAK POSITION IN THE AMERICAN POWER ESTABLISHMENT

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY TOM LUONGO IN RUSSIA INSIDER



Trump Doesn’t Want Peace With the EU, A Deeper Schism Fits His Plans Perfectly 

"So, Trump doesn’t want a solution to this trade spat. He wants to inflict maximum pain on them to force a radical realignment...At the same time this gives Macron and Merkel all the breathing room they need to patch things up with Russia"



Well, I'll give the author credit for imagination.

But anything which links the two things, a "plan" and Trump, cannot be taken too seriously.

A man who slurps down McDonald's hamburgers in bed while watching three television sets and tweeting whatever outrageous thoughts happen to come into his head is not a planner.

Further, the American President is just not ever completely in the driver's seat, either in domestic affairs or foreign policy.

The Constitution is designed that way, and the power-sharing arrangements which have evolved in modern America also work against it.

There very much is a power establishment in Washington, and the consensus of its members is what really drives American foreign policy.

Trump is not even in good standing with parts of that establishment, but where he does have any standing, it derives from his almost going overboard in supporting what they want - eg., all of his moves on Israel and the UN or his lavishing money on the Pentagon.

It is hard to believe that the same establishment which today drives to dominate every corner of the globe supports the idea of arrangements in Europe crumbling. NATO serves many American establishment needs, including the de facto occupation of potential rival, the EU.

Washington's power establishment consists of the Pentagon and CIA (plus 16 other security agencies) supporting an empire that benefits American plutocrats abroad. It includes most of the Senate and Congress who are beholden to the plutocrats for their very election, and it includes powerful lobbies like the Neocons.

I am not saying the existing situation in Europe couldn't change, but if it does, it will be the result of Trump's many blunders and having offended almost everyone.

And the threat of impeachment is now starting to look like a serious possibility to end Trump's rampage. The establishment is very much working away on this.

At any rate, November's Congressional elections are almost certain to turn him into a lame-duck for the second half of his term even if he keeps his job.

Related to these matters, readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/john-chuckman-comment-trump-and-foreign-policy-heres-a-man-making-lots-of-noise-and-pretending-to-be-in-charge-but-on-all-really-important-matters-he-is-not-in-charge-any-more-than-obama-was/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF CORPORATE PRESS PROPAGANDA - RUSSOPHOBIA TUCKED NEATLY INTO A POP SCIENCE "WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED?" KIND OF ARTICLE

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“What a Novichok attack on Heathrow Airport would look like”



Shame on you, I just don’t think propaganda comes in any sillier and more transparent form than this.

Why is Novichok featured? Simply because the name is associated with Russia.

But it is only one of many nerve agents - Sarin, Tabun VX, Soman, and still others.

And many of these nerve agents are kept in the arsenals of the United Sates and Israel, countries which have not yet complied with the international protocols on poison agents as Russia has, disposing of its stocks, and ditto for Syria.

You, of course, could also have used an attack with anything else from the gigantic arsenals of many countries.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE ASKS WHETHER TRUMP IS LOSING HIS MIND OR IS JUST A LIAR - MY RESPONSE

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ALTERNET



"Has Donald Trump Lost His Grip on Reality or Is He Just a Liar?"



Both.

I am convinced he often doesn't even know when he is lying.

A sad case altogether.

But he perfectly suits the noisy confusion that is America today.

All the stuff coming out of Washington today on many topics is literally nothing more than confusing noise, although some of it is quite dangerous, too.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR WRITES ON THE UNHOLY MARRIAGE OF FACEBOOK AND THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL - FREE SPEECH UNDER ATTACK AS WASHINGTON'S NEW AGGRESSION FOR EMPIRE IS PROTECTED - ROLE OF THINK TANKS - EXPLOITING MARKET-DOMINATING OUTFITS LIKE FACEBOOK WHICH SHOULD IN FACT FACE ANTI-TRUST ACTION

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CRAIG MURRAY IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“Facebook Identifies Former British Ambassador as Russian Troll, Deletes His Post History

Beware, the Atlantic Council is now in charge of curating your social media content”

 “Craig Murray is a former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan”



https://russia-insider.com/en/incompetent-facebook-identifies-former-british-ambassador-russian-troll-deletes-his-post-history



Good piece.

And this is scary stuff.

You just can't help wondering where all this American government-inspired activity is headed.

And, remember, it comes on top of all the vast intrusions into the public’s privacy by the NSA, CIA, and FBI. On top of outfits like Facebook and Amazon already often assisting the work of secret state security.

Of course, outfits like Facebook should long ago been subjected to anti-trust legal action, and just on grounds having nothing to do with political activity but on the traditional basis of their inordinate size and market dominance, just as once the massively powerful Standard Oil Company and Trust was legally broken-up.

But that is not likely to happen so long as they can serve the needs of the political establishment, and serve they will. Which is exactly what they are doing here.

It is interesting to note in these activities that the traditional political identities, “Left” versus “Right,” do not apply. Just as the divisions “public” versus “private” and “government” versus “civilian” no longer apply.

The Atlantic Council would undoubtedly be understood as being on the traditional Right, a height-of-the-Cold-War, drum-beating outfit, one given a make-over to look more stylishly contemporary.

But it is “the same old, same old.” Cold War warrior-type stuff. Military-spending promotion and fear-mongering under a guise of impartial expertise.

Indeed, that is the traditional situation with virtually the entire fleet of American “think tanks,” some just having focuses other than NATO and the Pentagon.

They are advocacy groups, generally privately-endowed and churning out slick propaganda, all while assuming the pose of almost academic, truth-seeking research institutions, effectively claiming impartiality and truth for biased information and propaganda. This is the case for a huge range of these outfits from the Heritage Foundation to the American Enterprise Institute. The Atlantic Council is different only in that it gets a flow of resources from government through NATO.

Facebook is often accused of being Left, on the basis of its working actively against Trump's interests as well as the sort of precious, whole-earth “guru in grey T-shirts” image of its boss.

But what we really have here is two large and extremely well-financed outfits working together concerning nothing about Left or Right but about promoting and protecting the position of imperial America in the world, especially now that it is on such a vast tear to expand and intensify its global dominance.

And doing so by effectively suppressing free speech and the principles of a free society.

Just as neither American political party, Democrats or Republicans, represents anything but a continuation of America’s imperial position.

_____________________

Response to a comment, “I think this Bot-babbling is just an expression of the uneasiness the western establishment is starting to feel about being despised by their subjects”:

Yes, and it is just a stylish new form of name-calling.

Calling someone "commie," as they did in the 1950s, sounds primitive today.

Calling someone a "bot" seems less encumbered with old ideology.

Of course, it also picks-up on a term that is stylish with young and technically-oriented people.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH RABBI JONATHAN SACKS IS AT IT AGAIN COMPARING JEREMY CORBYN TO ENOCH POWELL - NOW ADDING THE THREAT OF JEWS LEAVING BRITAIN - TIRESOME MUCH-REPEATED AND DISHONEST STUFF JUST AS SEVERAL COMMENTS TO WHICH I RESPOND - THE DECENT GILAD ALTZMON A JEW AND A HUMANIST IS ALSO CALLED "ANTI-SEMITIC"

John Chuckman


COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT



“Labour antisemitism causing British Jews to consider leaving country, says leading rabbi

“Jonathan Sacks insists he needed to 'issue warning' by comparing Jeremy Corbyn to Enoch Powell”



Jonathan Sacks is a tiresome, repetitive act in the theater of the absurd.

And this silly idea of British Jews leaving Britain has been pushed from the beginning of the orchestrated attacks on Corbyn, especially over at The Guardian, which did several articles in the last year or so on the theme, each by a separate person supposedly thinking about leaving the country.

But we don't see people leaving a large and dynamic society where Jews flourish, such as Britain, for a troubled and troubling place like Israel. Indeed, that wouldn’t make much sense in many ways.

Of course, if the Rabbi wanted to set an example, he could, and I don’t mean making a visit, I mean moving permanently, but that seems highly unlikely.

It all reminds me of all the Hollywood types who said they would leave the United States if Trump were elected. Not one has yet been spotted in Canada or Argentina.

The fair and decent-minded Gilad Altzmon, himself Jewish, has treated this very subject:

https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/

________________________

Response to a comment:

Yes, indeed, but people are so afraid of speaking out on any matter of this nature.

In effect, the Rabbi takes advantage of this fear to spout nonsense.

Hiding behind a clerical collar, of any faith, to advocate narrow-interest politics, negative attack politics yet, is unacceptable to fair-minded people.

__________________________

Response to a comment:

Sorry, but you really do have it so wrong.

Israel, sadly, has long ago joined the ranks of the bad guys.

It did so for the same motives as so many bad guys, to increase its size and influence at the direct expense of others.

Constantly starting conflicts, threatening others, holding millions in oppression and abuse, and following in no sense whatever the rule of law that is expected of every nation.

If there indeed has been any increase in anti-Semitism in the world - and I seriously doubt that, at least in any place I’ve been - it would not be owing to the decent likes of Jeremy Corbyn.

It would unquestionably be owing to the savagery of someone like Netanyahu.

He has killed at least four thousand people in Gaza, including about a thousand children.

He keeps the people penned up in something resembling a concentration camp, not even allowing them to repair the terrible bombing damage and the effects of derivation.

And he lies and cheats constantly.

The people of Gaza are treated every bit as terribly as the Rohingya of Burma.

_____________________

Response to a comment calling Gilad Altzmon an anti-Semite:

That is the same kind of cheap slander used against Corbyn.

He simply is not, but he is critical of Israel, as he has every right to be.

These slanders do tend to become ridiculous.

Altzmon, who is Jewish and a humanist, is an "anti-Semite"?

Corbyn, who has a lifetime of defending rights and decency is an "anti-Semite"?

The absurdity speaks for itself.

___________________________

Response to a comment quoting a sentence to support the idea of Gilad Altzmon being an anti-Semite:

He was using the word in a special sense.

I read him every now and then, and I would never read anyone who promoted hatred of anyone.

I just have no interest in hate or stupidity or prejudice.

Altzmon’s is a decent voice overall.

You know, you can always find little lines or phrases from anyone who writes or speaks a lot that seem questionable in isolation.

But your quoting that, out of context completely, is just the kind of unfair activity being conducted daily against Corbyn. There's no fairness or honest research effort in it. No effort to seek truth.

And speaking of awful quotes, how about General Dayan, following his conquest in the Six Day War, saying the Palestinian residents would have to be made to feel so terrible, they would leave?

Well, that’s just what Israel’s government has done for half a century.

Or Golda Meir’s “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” No such thing as six million people? But that too has provided a template for the government of Israel’s behavior.



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON USE OF THE TERM "WORKING CLASS" IN AMERICAN POLITICS - IT WENT THE SAME WAY AS "CITIZEN"

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED AN ARTICLE BY ANDREW LEVISON IN ALTERNET



“What Democrats Still Don’t Understand About Winning Back the White Working Class”



Working Class?

I thought that phrase had been abolished in American politics.

Hadn't you noticed, for years now, American politicians always use the term "middle class" in their speeches?

No hints of class conflict allowed in America.

And everyone is flattered with a socio-economic status promotion.

It is a little similar to the disappearance of the word "citizen" in American political speeches, a word which carries burdensome connotations of responsibilities as well as rights.

They are all "consumers" now - a nation of mouths connected to a massive corporate conveyor belt.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME MISCELLANEOUS INTERESTING FACTS CONCERNING AMERICA AND CANADA AND THE MILITARY - RESPONSE TO A READER OF AN ARTICLE BY DAVID BERCUSON

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DAVID BERCUSON ON ALTERNET



“Here's Why Canadians Pay Little Attention to Their Military”

_____________________

Response to a comment asking, “What's wrong with having a military that just defends the country? Why did Alternet publish this?”:

Well said.

The writer is not a figure I associate with traditional Canadian values and attitudes towards the military.

It is hard for Americans to understand sometimes because in America the military has become almost a quasi-religious cult, much like the heavily-militarized police forces, which incidentally kill an average of three Americans every day, a greater toll than any terrorist could dream of.

On WWII, it is important to note that Canada entered the war two years before America and suffered on a per capita basis double the deaths.

America's losses in WWII were remarkably light for all the frequent hype about participating.

Just under 300,000 men killed while deaths overall in the war exceeded 50,000,000.

The USSR lost 27,000,000 in the greatest holocaust of all of human history.

So, Russians know something about war on a personal level Americans cannot begin to appreciate.

Maybe that's why they are not as keen on starting wars, an occupation America has pursued relentlessly since WWII.

America's colonial wars and interventions in that time have killed somewhere between - there are various estimates - 8 and 20,000,000 people, all "darned fur'ners"

American loses in its vast postwar set of combats have been very light owing to the ruthless use of air power. In Vietnam, despite all the noise once some body bags started coming home, America lost about 60,000 over 10 years.

While they managed to kill about 3 million Vietnamese. And by rights, the million killed in Cambodia's "killing fields" should be added since that horror only happened owing to covert American incursions and bombing toppling a neutral government.

It was much the same in Korea, light American losses, but an estimated 20% of the entire population of North Korea wiped out in three years of carpet bombing.

On Afghanistan, you might enjoy:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/afghanistan-is-no-ones-war/

Saturday, September 01, 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP AND FOREIGN POLICY - HERE'S A MAN MAKING LOTS OF NOISE AND PRETENDING TO BE IN CHARGE - BUT ON ALL REALLY IMPORTANT MATTERS HE IS NOT IN CHARGE ANY MORE THAN OBAMA WAS

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK LAWRENCE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS



“The Trump Administration’s Spoiler Foreign Policy

“U.S. strategy abroad is assuming a curious shape. Whether the president or his minders are running affairs, Patrick Lawrence sees the U.S. being reduced to playing a spoiler role in the Middle East and Northeast Asia.”

___________________

Response to a comment:

Noisy, ugly, and unpleasant – all qualities Trump possesses in abundance – have nothing to do with the power relationship between a President and the Washington establishment.

My point is that Obama, from whom we expected a little heroism, proved almost a complete coward. He did as was expected of him by an establishment with which he previously had no experience – in Libya, in Syria, in Bahrain, in Egypt, in Ukraine, and in China. He gave us industrial-scale drone murder, something every American should be deeply ashamed of.

Trump had no promise at all in most areas, but on the crucial matter of the Neocon Wars across the Middle East and relations with Russia – both extremely important matters – he did offer some promise of change. And he has been completely unable to deliver. He’s paralyzed. And you might well think all the constant ugly noise that he makes reflects in part his frustration and his immense ego’s need to pretend that it isn’t so.

George Bush was the first convincing proof that America doesn’t even truly need a President, except for the legalities of signing papers put before him by powerful establishment figures such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. A huge imperial state with many powerful organizations and institutions deeply embedded in its structure is guided in foreign policy by a consensus of its establishment. It is Presidents who must adjust and conform, no matter which party they represent or what rhetoric they used to be elected.

Obama’s sad time proved the observation further, as the man, who once wore sandals and eschewed a ridiculous American flag pin on his lapel when campaigning, ended up killing more than half a million people across the Mideast, creating millions of refugees to nearly destabilize Europe, and supporting a dangerous and destructive coup in Ukraine. And then there’s those drones, a program he created, killing thousands of innocents, because even the targets are legally innocent, let alone the “collateral damage.”

And Trump hasn’t delivered on one important imperial matter. The killing goes on across the Mideast, and an important country like Russia is treated in a dangerous and de-stabilizing fashion. Utterly needless antagonisms and threats are generated against a rules-abiding, large, and important state like Iran.

These are things the American power establishment wants in its new drive for complete global domination, and no mere elected official, not even a President, can successfully challenge that reality.

So, it’s what America gets, no matter who is elected, rendering American elections, realistically, close to meaningless. There would appear to be some room in domestic policy for differences between candidates, but realistically these don’t greatly matter because it is the empire which consumes all resources and rivets the attention of all ambitious politicians. Actually, it consumes more than existing resources because it is financed with huge debt.

You know - and I’ve said this many times, but it is a fundamental truth worth repeating - you can either have an empire or you can have a decent country. You cannot have both, and Americans very much do not have both.

Great empire - with its vast, anti-democratic and authoritarian military and its many secret security agencies and its great plutocratic corporations who benefit from military and security arrangements - is about as far from decent and truly democratic government as you can go.

That’s America today.

You may find interesting:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/?s=beast+bellowing

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/the-cia-and-americas-presidents-some-rarely-discussed-truths-shaping-contemporary-american-democracy/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A BIT MORE ON JOHN MCCAIN'S LEGACY - THE COMMON PRACTICE OF PRAISING FAMOUS PEOPLE FOR BEING WHAT THEY IN FACT WERE NOT - AMERICA'S MANUFACTURED HERO

John Chuckman


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER



“Top Russian Politicians Crush McCain's Evil Legacy on #1 Russian TV Show

“Public response to McCain in Russia and the US says everything about the two countries.”



While there is some very over-the-top language in this article, the basic truth is that John McCain was indeed a nasty piece of work.

His boyish smile and family connections (his father and grandfather were American admirals, and he married a wealthy woman) and America's desperate need, out of the total squalor of Vietnam, to manufacture a hero, took him a long way.

By whatever measure you choose, McCain was not a hero, something readily discovered if you look at some facts. He actually was the opposite of a hero in most things, from his driving support for imperial wars and dirty tricks abroad to the ethics of great parts of his personal life.

While it is a fairly common phenomenon, I think his is the perfect contemporary example of a man being praised for what he most certainly was not.

Obama - with his peace prize and mass-killing and his reputation for a liberalism he simply does not possess - of course is another, but he has not died and we are not immersed in all the empty praise and hypocrisy that we are for McCain.

And I’m pretty sure that even the largely soulless Obama was not quite the utterly dark creature that John McCain assuredly was.

Of course, since McCain was a truly dutiful servant of America’s Neocons, people who enjoy great influence in the American power establishment and its current global imperial drives, their considerable resources are being applied to echo and magnify his praises.

I published an article back when he was running for president which discusses his character and some unpleasant aspects of his life. It is all researched material, not just an empty attack.

See:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/john-mccain-a-matter-of-character/