Sunday, July 31, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GETTING THINGS REALLY WRONG - CONTROVERSY OVER DEAD SOLDIER'S FATHER AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION - UGLY POLITICAL EXPLOITATION AND DISHONESTY


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN AND THE INDEPENDENT


"Donald Trump has 'black soul', says father of fallen Muslim US soldier"

Cheap, exploitative political tricks don't come much shabbier than this, but then we are dealing with Hillary's corrupt crowd.

It's an attack of the lowest kind, and it deserves answering.

I love that press use of "fallen," too, sort of a way to elevate things to the level of a war memorial engraving.

The soldier was killed, full stop.

And he was killed in an illegal war of aggression.

He was a professional soldier, the only kind the US uses after the fiasco in Vietnam, paid and trained to kill, not some innocent babe.

He was not defending anyone and certainly not the United States.

He was attacking a country that never lifted a finger against the United states.

And Hillary Clinton voted to start that horrible war, which in total, now with all the terrible aftermath, has killed around a million Iraqis, sent millions running from their homes (Syria took most of them - how terrible man that Assad is), and set back the lives of everyone for a generation in what had been the Arab world's most advanced country, leaving many for years with no drinkable water and no electricity.

Mighty fine accomplishment, one that I'm sure Hillary is proud of.

The United States now has tried doing the same thing to Syria with proxy thugs and mercenaries instead of its own soldiers. It's done a lot of killing there, too, and almost destabilized Europe with the volume of refugees running for their lives, but so far they've failed to destroy one of the Mideast's reasonable, independent-minded rulers.

The ugly woman for whom the parents are shilling, Hillary, has already promised to go after Assad for still more war and terror and death for everyone.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NICK COHEN OF THE GUARDIAN OFFERS A TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE OF TRASH PROPAGANDA ABOUT TRUMP - ON THE EXTREME AND CARELESS USE OF WORDS IN NEWSPAPERS


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN


(Reference Nick Cohen article today, where, as is normal in his case, readers are not allowed to comment.)

"Extremism thrives because of cowardly collaborators"

Well, it doesn't come much trashier than what you've written, M.r Cohen.

"Collaborators"?

Isn't that a trifle pejorative? Of course, it is, as you meant it to be. Suggestive of WWII Nazi stuff, no less.

"Cowardly"?

Well, what is more cowardly than calling people names, as you do, and allowing no response? Afraid of what you'd hear?

"Extremism"?

Oh, I suppose you mean a 69-year old entrepreneur who has made about 8 billion dollars doing hard-nosed, traditional business deals, the kind of activity on which America was built.

Sure sounds like an extremist to me.

Of course, he is against the kind of American imperial overreach which the neo-cons have pushed the U.S. into, wars everywhere, but I hardly think that can be called" extremism." "Sensible" is more like it, unless you are a war-monger like Hillary.

And the "extremism" is "thriving,” no less.

What does that mean anyway? That Trump is gaining in the polls in a democratic contest? Why does that so bother you?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY'S PROMISE TO GO AFTER PRESIDENT ASSAD OF SYRIA - HER PAST RELATED ACHIEVEMENTS IN BLOODSHED INCLUDING NERVE GAS USED IN SYRIA AND THE KILLINGS AT BENGHAZI - ISRAEL'S PET PIT BULL


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Of course she would go after Assad.

Just as she went after Qaddafi, a decent leader in Libya who was toppled and murdered, although she managed to screw that effort up pretty badly.

Assad is supported by Syria's public, and he is an independent-minded leader who offers religious freedom to all groups. 

Israel, which does not itself even have true religious freedom, hates him, so, according to a neo-con servant like Hillary, he has to go.

Since when does the U.S. claim the right to decide who governs countries thousands of miles away, countries doing it no harm? It's simply arrogance beyond understanding.

American policies have already caused great harm in beautiful Syria and sent millions fleeing for their lives, almost destabilizing Europe.

But that's not enough for this brute. There'll be more death.

Hillary is also on record as threatening literally to “obliterate” Iran.

That's quite a fascist statement about an ancient land which attacks no one. Of course, it just happens to be hated by Israel's government.

The woman resembles a pet pit bull ready to tear the throat out of anyone her master doesn't like.

She is sick and corrupt and dangerous.

You want more war and mass killing, you support this woman with absolutely zero ethics.
_____________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment:

You have things quite wrong.

America hasn't taken sides in Syria, and it most certainly is not a civil war.

America deliberately created this horror we see with some help from friends.

What do you think Hillary was doing in Benghazi when the American Ambassador was killed?

They were running a covert weapons and willing-thug collection business in the ashes of the Libya they helped destroy.

The weapons and thugs collected were sent to Turkey for transshipment to poor Syria, most expenses, such as the thugs' salaries and supplies, being paid by absolute monarchs of Saudi Arabia.

But the covert operation went sour, as does happen in such operations, and the Ambassador and others were murdered by some thugs who preferred the target before them, the Ambassador, to anything being promised in Syria. Why else do you think she never wants to talk about the whole dirty business in which she was intimately involved?
_______________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment:

The Sarin gas almost certainly came from her Benghazi operations, parts of murdered Qaddafi's stockpiles.

Small quantities were shipped to Turkey to be transshipped into Syria where it was really used - in a certifiable war crime - on civilians in an effort to create a reason for Obama to start bombing Assad just as he had previously done to Qaddafi. Remember Obama’s crap about “crossing a red line”? Only here the U.S. not only was the one setting a “red line,” it was the one, through its cutthroat mercenaries, crossing it. Only Putin’s masterful diplomacy saved the day.

Here is a woman responsible for war crimes threatening more war. Just sick.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY'S WHINING ACCUSATIONS ABOUT RUSSIA AND DNC HACK WITHOUT ANY PROOF - NEVER A WORD OF REGRET ABOUT BENEFITING FROM DISHONEST BEHAVIOR THOUGH - AN INTERESTING LINK TO SOME INSIGHT ABOUT HILLARY


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


A whining accusation without one scrap of proof, quite apart from the fact she has not expressed a regret for benefiting from her former DNC Chairman-friend's manipulating.

But it is in line with Hillary's historic approach to matters.

Here's an interesting bit of insight from old political adviser and pollster, Dick Morris, who worked with the Clintons in Arkansas - quite fascinating:



JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CONGRESSMEN SHILLING FOR MORE MONEY TO ISRAEL -WHY? AN INTERNATIONAL BLACK BOX CALLED THE ISRAEL LOBBY GIVES BACK TO EACH OF THEM A PORTION FOR THEIR EFFORTS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON THE HILL SITE


The very people shilling for more subsidies to Israel would have a fit if you asked for comparable subsidies for almost any worthy cause you can name.

This has become totally bizarre.

Israel already is quite simply the most subsidized entity on earth, given its total subsidies from all sources.

So why do these shills advocate so much cash thrown at Israel?

Because money given to Israel effectively goes into an elaborate international black box where a portion of it is returned as campaign contributions to the very guys doing the shilling.

The name of the black box is the Israel Lobby.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: FOOLING MOST OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME IS WHAT AMERICAN POLITICS ARE ABOUT, EVEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR


FOOLING MOST OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME IS WHAT AMERICAN POLITICS ARE ABOUT, EVEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR


John Chuckman


I read a column recently, and it was imbued with hopeful thinking about America’s political establishment dealing with its constituents concerning the now increasing threat of nuclear catastrophe.

The author said the piece was intended as "Drano" to clear the political pipes, but I am afraid that much as I sometimes enjoy the same author’s pieces, this one for me had to be characterized as illusion. It may have a lot to do with the author not being a native of the United States, and I do think my background in that country and having studied its history removes any possibility of illusion ever seriously taking hold.

When did America’s establishment ever discuss, in elections or at other times, issues of war and peace for the people’s understanding and consent?

Virtually never.

There was no mandate for Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or a dozen other conflicts.

Of course, once a war gets going, there is a tendency for Americans to close ranks with flags and ribbons and slogans such as "Support our troops" and “Love it or leave it.”

The senior leaders know this psychological pattern, and they count on it, every time.

The fundamental problem in America’s government is an elaborate political structure much resembling democracy but with actual rule by a powerful establishment and a set of special interests - all supported by a monstrous security apparatus and a huge, lumbering military, which wouldn’t even know what to do with itself in peace.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any apparent solution to this horrible political reality, and, while once it affected primarily Americans themselves, today it affects the planet.

There is an intense new element that has been added to America’s governing establishment: the drive of the neo-cons for American supremacy everywhere, for complete global dominance, and it is something which is frighteningly similar to past drives by fascist governments which brought only human misery on a vast scale.

The neo-cons’ underlying motive, I believe, is absolute security for America’s colony in the Middle East, Israel – put another way, their concern is for Israel’s hegemony over its entire region with no room for anyone else to act in their own interests. It is only if the United States is deeply engaged all over the planet that Israel can constantly benefit from its strange relationship with America.

It did not require the neo-cons to interest America’s establishment with interfering in other people’s affairs. America has a long history of doing so, stretching back to the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the brazen seizure of Hawaii from its people and going right up to the pointless War in Vietnam and Cambodia in the hope of keeping the Pacific Ocean effectively an American lake. But the neo-cons have added a new force, a new impulse to something which would be better left alone, and they are very influential in American affairs.

Ordinary Americans are not interested in world affairs, and there is a great deal of evidence to support that statement. American Imperialists of earlier times disparaged this tendency to just want peace at home with the pejorative name, isolationism, and avoiding isolationism became an excuse for a whole series of wars and interventions.

So, Americans today cannot be allowed to fall back into their natural tendency of not caring. Thus we have the drive of the neo-cons and, tragically, thus we have America being driven into direct confrontation with Russia. And with China, too, of course, but Russia is my focus since Russia is the only country in the world literally capable of obliterating the United States. There is unquestionably a sense here of Rome wanting to go after Carthage, although cavalry, swords, spears, and catapults no longer can settle such conflicts.

The situation is compounded by the American establishment’s dawning realization that its days of largely unquestioned supremacy in the world are fading into memory, as other countries grow and develop and have important interests in world affairs. In many respects, it has been a long downhill slide for the average American since the economic heyday of the 1950s. Decline in real incomes, decline in good job opportunities at home, the export of American industries abroad to areas of less costly labor, and the virtual collapse of American towns and cities in many places, Detroit being perhaps the most sorrowful case of many – all these are evident year-in and year-out.

I do think the American establishment simply does not know how to handle its role in a brave new world, but do something it clearly thinks it must, and that is an extremely dangerous state of mind. It is armed with vast armies and terrible weapons so that it retains a sense of being able to act in some way to permanently reclaim its place, an illusion if ever there was one.

We know from scholars of the past the role that the mere existence of terrible military power can play in disaster. Huge standing armies were one of the major underlying causes of the First World War, a conflict in which twenty millions perished. Germany repeated the effort with Hitler’s government working tirelessly to create what was to become the finest and most advanced army the world had ever seen until that time, but it, too, ended in disaster, and of even greater proportions. America has not discovered the secret to making itself invulnerable, although I fear that its establishment believes that it can do so, and that represents the most dangerous possible thinking.

Contrary to political speeches, America’s establishment has never shown great concern over the welfare of ordinary Americans, and today its lack of concern is almost palpable. Washington’s white-maned, over-fed, crinkly-faced Senators spend virtually every ounce of effort in two activities: raising funds from special interests for re-election (estimated at two-thirds of an average Senator’s time) and conspiring on how to keep America dominant in the world. Anything else is just piffle. America’s unique place in the world of 1950 took care of ordinary Americans, not any effort by government. Again, the utter contempt for ordinary Americans perhaps offers a dark element in the thinking of America’s establishment when it comes to possible nuclear war.

Russia is not, of course, a direct threat to neo-con interests, except when it comes to matters like Syria, a deliberately-engineered horror to bring down the last independent-minded leader in the Middle East and to smash and Balkanize his country, parts of which, Israel has always lusted after in its vision of Greater Israel. The coup in Ukraine, which borders along a great stretch of Russia, represented a direct challenge to Russia’s security, offering a place ultimately to be filled with hostile forces and missiles and American advisors – all of which was expected to silence Russia’s independent voice in the world and its ability to in any way thwart neo-con adventures, if not, in the longer-range, savage dreams of some, to provide a platform for the ultimate destruction or overthrow of Russia herself.

Russia’s effective countering with skillful moves in its own interests both in Syria and Ukraine has driven some of America’s establishment to the edge of madness, and that madness is what we see and hear in Europe. Europe is once again being turned into a vast armed camp, and it is now seething with anti-Russian rhetoric, threats, and activities such as huge war games, the largest of which occurred around the anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Russia, the single most destructive event in all of human history.

America has created deliberately a situation almost as dangerous as the days of the Cuban missile crisis, which itself arose from the American establishment’s belief that it had every right to interfere in Cuba’s affairs.

We have another element, now compounding the danger, in a far greater variety and level of sophistication of weapons, including some nuclear weapons whose controlled yields are regarded by America’s military as being perhaps “usable” in a theater like Europe. The installation of anti-missile systems near Russia is very much part of this threat since these systems not only are intended to neutralize Russia’s capacity for response to a sudden, massive attack but to provide a cover for future covert, easily-done substitution of other kinds of missiles into the launchers, faster-arriving, nuclear-armed missiles which would indeed be an element in such an attack.

Russia, a country twice invaded with all the might of Germany and before that by Napoleon’s Grande Arme├ę, cannot be expected just to sit and do nothing. It won’t. It cannot.

The world must not forget that America’s military, a number of times in the past, created complete plans for a massive, surprise nuclear attack on what was then the Soviet Union, the last of which I am aware was in the early 1960s, and it was presented as being feasible to President Kennedy, who is said to have left the Pentagon briefing sick to his stomach.

Nuclear war, just as with any other kind of war, can happen almost by accident through blunders and careless acts and overly-aggressive postures. Just let the blood of two sides get up enough, and an utter disaster could quickly overtake us. Constantly decreasing the possibilities for accidents and misunderstandings is a prime responsibility of every major world leader, and right now the United States is pretty close to having completely abdicated its responsibility.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: YOUNG KILLER OF FRENCH PRIEST LABELED AN ABOMINATION - PRESS'S CONTINUING ROLE IN PROMOTING HATRED OF MUSLIMS AND VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST - FEW WORDS ABOUT PERSPECTIVE AND OBJECTIVITY


COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY CAROLINE MORTIMER IN THE INDEPENDENT


And why is this undoubtedly mentally ill young man called an "abomination"?

This is ridiculous language.

And why have you featured a picture of him wearing a cap with a big logo for Algeria? Would this have anything to do with inciting more hatred of Muslims? With promotion of more violence in the Middle East?

My guess would be that perhaps 500 people were murdered that same day in various parts of the world. Some of them undoubtedly in even more brutal fashion.

And only days ago American and French pilots killed about a 140 innocent people in Syria. You didn't label them as abominations. How come?

How about just a little bit of perspective in your writing and coverage?

The truth is that perspective is everything. You cannot accept anecdotal events as evidence in science, which determines truth only with statistics.

It should be no different with journalism - that is, if you believe journalism should be objective and impartial. But we know that in general it completely lacks those qualities, don't we?

Again, here is a site which tracks the brutal murders in just one city of the world, Chicago:





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: STILL MORE GUARDIAN PROPAGANDA ON HILLARY AND BERNIE AND GETTING TO WORK TO DEFEAT TRUMP - NOTE ON A NEW POLITICAL PHENOMENON - PRO- AND ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT INSTEAD OF LEFT AND RIGHT


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN


"The Sanders movement is bigger than Bernie. Now it must defeat Trump"

That statement is distorted nonsense, otherwise known as propaganda.

It misses the whole point of current events.

The Sanders movement was exactly and precisely about people like Hillary. So is the Trump movement. So was the Brexit movement. So is the internal war going on in the Labour Party.

It was just one aspect of a greater movement taking hold in several places, as people wake up to the political reality which has grown up around them, almost like a thick patch of noxious weeds. A sense of an oppressive establishment – despite nominally democratic institutions - has people working hard against the establishment.

Left, right, this, or that almost does not matter now. The issue for so many is whether you are with the establishment or against it.

The establishment - perfectly symbolized in America by Hillary and in Britain by Tony Blair - almost does not deal with the people it governs, only dropping phrases in speeches and doing the odd photo-op, smiling with ordinary folks.

The establishment is about money and the power that money can buy.

It is aloof, has become almost a kind of international class, and it has priorities of its own, which include the anti-democratic stuff we've seen from Hillary's camp plus a major interest in enforcing a given order on the world.

It embraces war with no concern for what the people think, and it does nothing helpful for its own people.

Almost all of its efforts are towards securing money and power and alliances with other members of the establishment.

Newspapers and journalists, like yourself, virtually all support what they are doing because journalism today is just a small wing or department of the establishment, its publicity department.  Most newspapers and broadcasters today are not about genuinely informing people. They are about influencing them.

After all, newspapers are just corporations the same as any other corporation, and they depend for their existence on the establishment, to gain advertising, privileges, and the odd tip or leak by virtue of their loyalty.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE IDEA THAT RUSSIA IS INTERFERING IN THE U.S. ELECTION - PRESS PROPAGANDA SUPPORTING HILLARY'S NEW TACTIC


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARY DEJEVSKY IN THE GUARDIAN


"Russia may well be meddling in the US election. Why wouldn't it?'

Just completely transparent propaganda, Mary Dejevsky.

In effect, you are supporting the crooked behaviors of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (by the way, who was just hired by Hillary’s campaign after resigning in disgrace as DNC Chairperson) and Hillary Clinton, the most corrupt candidate in memory, by switching subjects, and indeed supporting the very line of attack Hillary’s people now have taken.

A little concern over this troubling anti-democratic behavior might better be in order.

First, Putin is too wise a man to get himself in the mess of American politics.

As an old senior intelligence officer, he is well aware how easily such a thing could go wrong, creating what intelligence services call "blowback.”

There was plenty of motive here for others to act, and there are a lot of skillful hackers on the planet, or didn't you know? Gluccifer from Romania gave us Clinton's State Department stuff she so carelessly left available, having broken half a dozen laws in the process.

By all accounts, Russia had that information, too, but declined to use it and get involved. An unknown named Gluccifer 2 is responsible for the DNC hack. And by the way, the DNC was hacked many times. It even complained about it publicly at one point.

Second, a very clever man with computers, Edward Snowden, has just said, and he should know, that it's entirely possible to find out easily who hacked the DNC. He names a special facility which he used once to confirm a Chinese hack.

I haven't heard any claims or evidence from the FBI or NSA along those lines, have you?

But, no, we journalists just go ahead, making new, unproved charges and innuendos, don’t we?

Charges which just happen to cast a shadow of foreign conspiracy on Trump, which is a cheap and unethical trick in my view and which effectively support Hillary, the direct beneficiary of all this terrible behavior in the first place.

Of course, Putin would have a preferred candidate, as he is entitled to have, but that is a zero argument for Russia's involvement.





JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FACTUAL ERROR OR TWO IN MICHELLE OBAMA'S SPEECH AND WORDS ABOUT WHICH SHE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


'I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves'

That's a re-tread. She's used the line before. And it's so obviously insincere

This woman's whole life is middle class to upper middle class.

She knows nothing of slavery, or even, for that matter, hard physical work.

And, what is perhaps most pertinent, the statement is simply not true. Most of the construction was by paid skilled workmen, stone masons, carpenters, and plasterers.

Slaves who had those kinds of skills were not at all common, and when they were "rented out" for a special job, they were typically paid a wage the same as any other skilled person.

The final whitewashing of the stone, ironically, was done by slaves.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RESPONSE TO A BRAINLESS COMMENT ABOUT TRUMP FROM SOMEONE QUOTING DEMOCRATIC TALKING POINTS ABOUT ALL OBAMA HAS ACCOMPLISHED - THE TRUTH ABOUT OBAMA


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Response to another reader’s comment:
“What have you [trump] done over the past 8 years?
Besides instilling the fear, mass hysteria and the paranoia of a dictator, what does Trump stand for?”

Instilling fear?

That's all Obama has done in the world.

It's been kill, kill, kill in half a dozen lands.

He's the first president to have an organized system for extrajudicial murders around the world, too.

The economic growth in America reflects only non-stop money-creation, something that very much is going to catch up.

Not one real problem in the financial sector, the sector causing the 2008 crash, has been corrected by Obama. There has been no reform of any kind.

Obamacare is pretty much a disaster, slowing crumbling as insurance groups formed to serve it, leave the business. It was an abortion of a creation, an ugly compromise between those wanted some system for healthcare in the US and massive private interests grabbing for all the money they could get out of it. Obama showed little leadership and settled for third-best.

America's racial divide today is worse than any time I can remember.

And America's violence and meanness on the streets is appalling when you know the facts.

The very rise of Hillary is a reflection of fundamental decay. It's been a record set of corrupt primaries.

Her record against Bernie represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.

We now know from a huge Wiki-leaks release that the DNC, under Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a friend and fanatic supporter as chairperson, was plotting before the primaries began.

Only someone blindly quoting official Democratic Party talking points could write what you have.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRINCE HARRY REVEALS HIS REGRET IN NOT TALKING ABOUT HIS MOTHER'S DEATH UNTIL RECENTLY - HARRY LIKELY THE BEST ARGUMENT TO END THE MONARCHY


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Who cares?

Prince Harry is a boring man, indeed a rather foolish one, displaying his mother's worst emotional characteristics.

I can't think of one good thing he's ever said or done.

But I can think of a number he should not have said or done.

He's one of the best living arguments for abolishing the monarchy.

Readers may enjoy:


http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2013/01/harry-is-prince-mad-he-does-have.html

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ANOTHER CORBYN HATE-PIECE - THE DUMBEST YET - THE CHARADE ABOUT BEING PROGRESSIVE CARRIED ON BY THE GUARDIAN'S CURRENT MANAGEMENT


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JULIAN BAGGINI IN THE GUARDIAN


"Jeremy Corbyn is a great populist. But that’s no good for our democracy"

Well, Julian Baggini, you have the distinction of having written the most thoughtless Corbyn hate-piece I've seen.

I understand why The Guardian's current editors publish junk propaganda - they've literally wallowed in bias and hate-promotion ever since Corbyn was elected - but I cannot understand why anyone writes it. Desperate for a publication credit?

The ultimate irony is The Guardian's old reputation as progressive. The current management carries on a charade in this regard with limp pieces on this or that social issue such as the trials of being left-handed, but the entire force of its work - in editorials, columns, selective interviews, and in selective coverage - is overwhelmingly biased towards the interests of a war criminal's pack of followers.

It's a pretty shabby show.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ BOOED AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION - WELL EARNED - NOW WHAT BERNIE MUST DO


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


This is only good and proper, but I must say if were not for important sites on the Internet, bent people like Wasserman Schultz would never be uncovered.

The conventional press does virtually no investigative reporting. Even more, it actually consorts with people like Wasserman Schultz to carry out anti-democratic plans. This is particularly true in the United States.

Now, Bernie, you need to act, too. You asked for her resignation, but that is not enough.

Your admirers and supporters have been hurt by your endorsing Hillary Clinton, the beneficiary of all this crooked business, Wasserman Schultz being a close friend of Clinton as well as a biased supporter.

You must withdraw your endorsement of this terribly crooked candidate who has worked to cheat you at every turn.

Her record against you represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.



Saturday, July 23, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RESPONSE TO SOME NEGATIVE AND NOT-VERY-THOUGHTFUL COMMENTS ON TRUMP'S SPEECH - THE ECONOMIC CONCEPT OF BUNDLING AND ITS APPLICATION TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES - TO GET CHANGE IN ONE OR TWO KEY AREAS YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT SOME THINGS YOU DO NOT LIKE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Many making comments here show no understanding of the way political systems work.

Picking a candidate resembles buying a product in a number of ways.

There is a principle in economics called “bundling.”

This says that with some goods or services, you must buy a bundle of qualities or disparate things to get what you want.

People who assemble record collections of great hits or top hits use this principle to increase record sales.

No one album put up for sale will have everything that each buyer wants.

To get certain songs, you must buy more than one album.

It is much the same with politicians.

You need to focus on one or a few attributes you greatly want.

The rest come with "the bundle," whether you want them or not, and this holds for every candidate.

Trump represents some serious re-thinking in international affairs, and for this old boy who hates war and neo-cons and re-shaping the planet in America's image, that is immensely important.

Hillary, by contrast, is a life-long supporter of killing and pushing people around - from Waco and Serbia to Iraq and Libya.

The woman has the same kind of blood on her hands as Tony Blair.

Only Trump has indicated his preference for new directions, and only Trump has the strength and resources to stand up against the monsters in the State Department (neo-cons like Victoria Nuland, a best buddy of Hillary’s), Pentagon, and CIA. He may, like Kennedy, die in the effort, but he will make an effort.

As far as stuff like walls and selected migration, an American president requires the consent of Congress, and I believe he will not get it.

But we should keep in mind that walls everywhere are going up. In Austria. At Calais. Even the White House fence is being raised. And all over the place in Israel. So there’s nothing special about Trump’s view.

Keep your eye on the ball, as they say in America, and don’t drift off with slogans and empty rhetoric.

You get a bit of needful change with Trump. You get more stupid war and killing with Hillary, and that’s quite apart from her unbelievable corruption.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMN ON "TRUMP'S DARK VISION" OFFERS A RIDICULOUS QUOTE ABOUT THE PARTY SOMEONE WORKED FOR BEING DEAD WITH HIS NOMINATION - THOUGHTS ON POLITICAL PARTIES AND JOSEPH SCHUMPETER


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY DAN ROBERTS AND BEN JACOBS IN THE GUARDIAN


'The party I worked for died tonight': Republicans decry Trump's dark vision

Fairly ignorant piece.

Parties die. Everywhere. All the time. Just like companies, just like distinguished families, and, indeed, just like countries, dozens of which have risen and fallen in the last century.

In politics it is no different than economics. One of the great economists of the last century, Joseph Schumpeter, wrote about the "creative destruction" of capitalism, one of the more insightful remarks of his time.

Indeed, the modern Republican Party was born just before Lincoln with the deaths of other parties, such as the Whigs, the No-nothings, etc.

More than a few observers over recent years have observed that the Republican Party has long out-lived its usefulness.

For example, for years it has desperately tried to expand its base by serving the interests of Christian fundamentalists and "family values," sometimes threatening to bring America into the camp of theocratic states with official school prayer, flag-burning laws, and other brainless nonsense.

Just because America has a rather rigged anti-democratic system in its two-party system, so carefully regulated with many anti-democratic regulations and barriers-to-entry, does not make it good or even ethical either or give it any worth.

This rather uninteresting observer seems to impute moral worth to something which has none.

Donald Trump is a new invigorating force, and, as with all politicians, he represents both good and bad ideas.

By the way, Joseph Schumpeter was also a political scientist.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST SAYS HILLARY ON TRACK TO BEAT TRUMP BUT IT DEPENDS ON BERNIE SANDERS


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT


"...but it all depends on Bernie Sanders"

Well, if it does, she richly deserves to lose.

Her record against Bernie represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.

We now know from a huge Wiki-leaks release that the DNC, under Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a friend and fanatic supporter as chairperson, was plotting before the primaries began.

Many Bernie supporters were crushed by his turning around, after all his legitimate criticisms, acting just like the usual hack politician. He lost his shine completely. He sure lost it for me.

Anyway, the columnist much overrates the importance of the support of former opponents in American politics.

Hillary is not only dirty (as in corrupt), she is a genuine war-monger.

The trends in the polls - and trends are what is important - could not be clearer. Trump is ascending, Hillary is descending.

She will lose and lose big, unless, of course, she brings her cheating into the actual election, but in that, she faces a much tougher and better-resourced opponent than Bernie. Bernie ate crap. Trump simply doesn't do that.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHO IS TOM KAINE - HILLARY'S PICK AS VP - HAS MADAME DEFARGE LOST HER KNITTING?


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SABRINA SIDDIQUI IN THE GUARDIAN


I’ve heard him on the radio, and he's a rather insipid-sounding man, but of course Madame Defarge would not likely pick a forceful ego with which to share a room.

I’ve just checked out a few facts, and he does prove a genuinely odd choice.

First, as mentioned below, he is a booster of TTP. Not the kind of thing a lot of the Democrats’ base is fond of and fairly anathema to organized labor.

Second, he is associated with crime initiatives which put a lot of black people in jail over some years. Given her pretentions, and they are pretentions, of sympathy with blacks, this is strange. It’s rather in keeping with a comment she was recorded on video making years ago about “black super-predators.”

Third, and this amazes me, he is against abortion.

Of course, she is trying to appeal to some Republicans, but that is a desperate hope. Hillary is, without a doubt, the most disliked Democratic candidate in memory, especially by Republicans.

Maybe Madame Defarge has lost her knitting?


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN EDUCATION'S WORST EXCESSES OF WHINING AND EMPTY CONCEPTS RAISED TO SIGNIFICANCE APPEAR TO BE CONTAMINATING BRITAIN - THE ASININITY OF THE "PUNCTUATION POLICE"


COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY SECRET TEACHER IN THE GUARDIAN


"My pupils' creativity is being crushed by the punctuation police"

I cannot tell you how sickeningly familiar this kind statement is for those exposed to American elementary school teachers in one of the world's most failed education systems.

Punctuation is as important as the alphabet in writing.

This frivolous notion of "creativity" is just devoid of meaning.

It's rather like talking about pouring concrete without a mold.

Likely wise that this teacher is keeping his/her identity secret.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: TO PARAPHRASE CHURCHILL, TURKEY RIGHT NOW IS A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA


TO PARAPHRASE CHURCHILL, TURKEY RIGHT NOW IS A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA


John Chuckman

Events in Turkey just become stranger with each passing day.

We now have Middle Eastern and Persian sources, cited by Russian and German papers, that Russia’s security agencies overheard helicopter radio transmissions by the coup participants, and President Putin warned Erdogan about what was happening, likely saving his skin.

If true, this would help explain the apparent ineptness of the coup forces. My first hypothesis explaining this ineptness plus other peculiarities of the coup was that the plotters were unwittingly working in a dark operation run by Turkish security forces, intended to make them fail while flushing them out and giving Erdogan a free hand.

This possibility of Russian advance warning put together with Erdogan’s own belief that the coup originated in America should yield some serious geopolitical shifts in the region.

We could have an even stronger rapprochement between Turkey and Russia than was already underway, a rapprochement, by the way, which could well have helped tip the United States into giving a wink and a nod (and of course, as always, some cash) to Turkish rebel forces.

But that would not be the only reason for America’s supporting a coup. The truth is, from the American point of view, Erdogan’s erratic behavior – shooting down a Russian war plane, firing artillery into Syria at American Kurdish allies, blackmailing Europe over large numbers of refugees resident in Turkish camps, and still other matters - over the last few years has added uncertainty and potential instability to a strategically important region.

Even if the United States were not involved in the coup, although right now Turkey’s government appears to believe firmly that it was, Putin’s warning would add a powerful positive element to Russian-Turkish relations.

Just as America’s failure to warn Erdogan adds a new negative element to Turkish-American relations. After all, no one is better equipped for international communication interception than the NSA. If the United States were not involved, why didn’t it warn Erdogan? Either way, the outcome is negative for Turkish-American relations.

One of the strongest suggestions for American involvement is the fact that Turkish jets, for bombing and fuel supplies, took off from the ─░ncirlik Airbase during the coup. This airbase is Turkish, but has many Americans resident, including some high-level ones, since there is not only a sizable air force stationed there but an estimated fifty thermonuclear bombs. The Turkish commander, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, was in daily contact with the Americans and sought asylum in the United States before he was arrested by Turkey.

If it is true that Putin warned Erdogan, this would also be the second time Putin has blunted the success of a major American-inspired coup, as he very much did in Ukraine.

Seems as though poor old America, for all its grossly swollen and over-paid security services, just cannot run a good coup anymore.

Putin is disliked by Washington’s establishment precisely because he successfully blunted a huge and costly operation in Ukraine, so disliked that NATO has been pushed dangerously into something resembling the terrifying preparations for Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa in Eastern Europe, 1941.

And, of course, Putin also has thwarted the American effort to overthrow President Assad with paid and supplied proxy forces of mercenaries and religious maniacs. Interestingly, Erdogan has been a key player there. French intelligence has just estimated that even now about a hundred thugs cross the border from Turkey into Syria each week.

If Putin has now also stopped a Turkish adventure, the hissing in Washington will likely become much louder.

A new relationship between Turkey and Russia offers a lot of possibilities, none of them favorable from America’s point of view, the restart of the Turkish Stream natural gas project being just one.

And if Europe speaks up or acts too strongly against Erdogan’s counter-coup measures, there’s always the possibility of a new release of refugees from Turkish camps, something which could genuinely destabilize the EU after so many other recent woes. And smooth control of the EU has been one of America’s chief policy objectives for years.

Of course, we should remember that Churchill’s famous quote originally applied to Russia in the days of Stalin. It does not apply to contemporary Russia, and Putin’s deft moves have made some of America’s clumsy efforts at re-ordering the world rather make it resemble Stalin in international affairs.




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRESS COVERAGE OF MELANIA TRUMP'S CONVENTION SPEECH - THE SAD NATURE OF TODAY'S MAJOR PRESS ORGANIZATIONS


COMMENT


Plagiarism, in normal life, is a serious charge and not one to be uttered lightly, and it is never one to be shouted from the rooftops, but in politics things are different.

So we see stories everywhere, literally everywhere, saying Melania Trump “plagiarized” a paragraph from Michelle Obama’s convention speech of 2008.

In fact, this is a very good measure of how totally bent the press is against Trump.

Melania is not a politician.

She does not write speeches.

She did not write this speech.

I doubt very much she ever listened to Michelle Obama. Actually, few people do.

While Melania is a very intelligent woman – she speaks four languages - how could she possibly know whether a speechwriter on her husband’s staff borrowed a few phrases?

Clearly, she could not. So how can she be accused of plagiarizing Mrs. Obama as the press is almost universally asserting?

The whole point of such “speeches” is just to show off a candidate’s spouse, not really to say anything. All such speeches, including Mrs. Obama’s of 2008, are just fluff, filler, devoid of significance, excuses to be put on stage before lights and cameras and to be judged for poise and tone.

And Mrs. Trump delivered her modest words with great success, and this genuinely beautiful woman just sparkled on camera.

The press should be ashamed of the accusations, but the press - as we can see from the way it handles a whole panoply of serious and deadly world events - no longer has much to do with digging out information and presenting it with impartiality.

Sadly, its role now is largely as a propaganda machine, one just as clumsy and obvious in its way as Pravda was in the heyday of the USSR.



Monday, July 18, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ERDOGAN USING COUP TO FURTHER ISLAMIZATION? - NO, ERDOGAN IS ABOUT AUTHORITARIANISM AND STATE TERROR - ISLAM IS A CHARADE FOR THIS MEGALOMANIAC - THE WAY REPUBLICANS USED THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT


"President Erdogan could be using the coup against him to turn Turkey towards full-scale Islamisation"


Patrick Cockburn, I believe you really do have it wrong here.

The error you make is a common one in the press.

Erdogan is using (manipulating) the coup for sure.

But not for the purposes of Islamization, our present world's favorite demon word, endlessly chanted by press and politicians.

Erdogan uses (manipulates) Islam for his own political ambitions.

In this he much resembles the right wing of the Republican Party a couple of decades ago when they were exploiting Christian fundamentalists and "family values."

The danger from Erdogan is authoritarianism and state terror.

The authoritarianism is already there. So are elements of terror including his treatment of Kurds, opponents, Syrians, and others.

The man is a genuine megalomaniac, as we can plainly see from his recently completed 1000-room palace, an unbelievably ugly and graceless monument to himself.

I do not believe a man of his mental state has much room for Muhammad or any other figure.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE IDEA THAT IDEALISM IS INADEQUATE TO OPPOSE TRIDENT MISSILE SUBMARINES - AMERICAN WEAPONS-PURCHASE PRESSURE ON NATO


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM PECK IN THE INDEPENDENT


There's no idealism required in being against Trident.

Pure, old-fashioned good sense is completely adequate.

Its costs are unbelievable - and note how the government has been very coy in telling the full story there - and you, quite simply, can do nothing with it.

A deterrent cannot be a deterrent if you can't use it, and it is very much the case that you cannot use Trident.

Here, again, the government is being very coy, but the fact is that part of the package you "buy" with Trident are controls against your ever using it independently.

You can only use it with American approval and against American-allocated targets, full stop. Any other possible use has built-in controls against it, and believe me any British enemies know that as well as I do.

American top-level policy does not allow independent nuclear deterrence anywhere. When countries like Ukraine and Belorussia separated from the Soviet Union, they were briefly nuclear powers themselves with Soviet weapons based on their territory. The U.S. quickly disabused them of any illusions, explaining that if they did not give them up for dismantling, they themselves would be targeted by American ICBMs.

All Trident does is make you feel like you're playing in the big leagues, but it's a silly illusion, enjoyed at immense cost.

Moreover, if you want to give Scotland a serious new issue for independence, then buy Trident. The Scots do not like having it based in their country, and Independence leaders there would love to have a hot new issue.

In the end, Trident is at least as much an illusion as "the special relationship" itself is, yet of course we know important people still go on about their special relationship, oblivious to the fact that disgraced Tony Blair provides the quintessential example of what America means by a special relationship.

For America, Britain's having Trident is just one big fat, lovely, long-term subsidy from British taxpayers to the Pentagon, a pretty insane deal from the British point of view.
____________________

Response to a comment about Britain developing its own weapons:

The US would not allow it. Behind-the-scenes pressure would be immense.

British-made planes and other armaments have greatly declined over the decades precisely because of American pressure.

It's yet one more way NATO is exploited by the US to insist on the same weapons - American ones - wherever possible. Qualities like compatibility are emphasized.

This again is just a giant Pentagon subsidy. In effect, you pay part of the freight for America's continued dominance of European affairs, kind of like paying the costs of your own occupation.




JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST WRITES THAT THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND ARE THREATENED BY ASSAD'S TAKING ROAD TO ALEPPO - WHAT WOULD BRITAIN DO IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES?


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY HARRY COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT


Just gross propaganda.

Assad, the legitimate head of his country, is just doing his job in fighting the scum sent there by America, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

I wonder, do the editors ever try imagining what would happen if thousands of mercenaries and fanatics, armed with many weapons courtesy of the above four countries, were set loose in Britain to kill?

No, you worry yourself silly about a few possible terrorists making their way in among some refugees.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: "TRUMP COULD STILL BEAT THE ODDS AND WIN" - REALLY OUT-OF-TOUCH STUFF


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES MOORE IN THE INDEPENDENT


I don't know what the writer is going on about.

The latest polls show Trump near neck-and neck with Hillary. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times shows him leading by three points.

Now, that's quite an achievement from his starting point and tons of negative press.

And you must consider if you are looking at polls, there are few quite manipulated ones out there showing a big lead for Hillary. It is a biased press game to publish such polls, and it is often done in Britain too.

Hillary has not yet felt the full impact of her genuinely corrupt and murderous career, but I'm sure she will. The trend is clear, and that’s one of the main things we learn from polls, the trend.

The only way she will win is with more of the same dirty tricks we saw in the primaries against Bernie Sanders - destroyed ballots in California and voter suppression techniques in New York, Arizona and other places.

But in such an effort, she up against a much tougher and better-resourced opponent.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADA'S DEPLOYMENT OF TROOPS TO RUSSIA'S BORDER - SOME TRUTHS ABOUT CANADA'S REALITY AND OUR PLEASANT JUSTIN TRUDEAU


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARK TALIANO IN RUSSIA TODAY


Well, many of us in Canada do oppose it, but we also recognize how little ability our government has for independent action in foreign affairs.

We are, as unpleasant as it sounds, almost totally colonized by America.

The US government has many, many options for making us uncomfortable - financial, economic, military, and diplomatic.

It is also true that the pleasant Justin Trudeau does not possess his father's fiercely independent intelligence, but even father Pierre might face frustration with today's neo-con Washington, a decidedly more aggressive and unforgiving place.

I wish it were otherwise, but it is important for people abroad to appreciate Canada's reality, no matter how embarrassing it is for us.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: REFLECTIONS ON THE FAILED COUP IN TURKEY - SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES - ERDOGAN'S AIMS AND MOTIVES


COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


This could well be a big dark operation engineered by Erdogan's security services. It smells of Reichstag Fire.

There were many suspicious circumstances, including people being sent out into the streets to confront revolting soldiers.

When I say "engineered" I don't mean that there weren't genuine opposition officers - indeed, there have long been rumors of serious dissent to Erdogan's dictatorial ambitions - but they may well have been "guided" into taking an apparent opportunity that was not really there, thus showing their hands and giving Erdogan complete freedom of action.

This gives Erdogan the freedom to "cleanse" the armed forces and to take new repressive measures in Turkey.

Erdogan is, quite simply, one of the most dangerous leaders of a significant country in the world.
_______________________________

Reader comment:
A government that sails too close to extreme Islam.


It really is not the Islamic aspects of Erdogan's policies which are troubling.

This man uses religion, much the way America's right-wing Republicans used for years Christian fundamentalism and "family values," to buy the loyalty of Turkey's many devout Muslims.

A genuine Muslim leader does not build a 1000-room palace, of exceeding cost and ugliness, as a monument to himself. Yes, that's right, a 1000-room palace opened not long ago.

It is the state terror aspects of Erdogan’s Turkey which are deeply troubling.

He helped create the horrors in Syria, and honest Turkish journalists who reported seeing some of the weapons crossing the border are doing hard time in prison.

A few years back there was even a delivery of Sarin nerve gas that was caught being smuggled. It was hushed up, but enough got out to tell us what was likely happening. This horrible stuff, of course, was used on people a few times in an effort to blame Assad. It likely came from flattened Libya's old stockpile, courtesy of Hillary Clinton.

Many people concerned about civil rights in Turkey have been arrested and even assassinated.

He has slaughtered the Kurds mercilessly.

There are documented reports of Turkish border guards shooting refugees dead who were approaching the border.

The huge number of refugees in camps in Turkey also have communicated reports of abuse, and the threat of their being sent into Europe is being used as a powerful lever to squeeze privileged concessions for Turkey from the EU.

Erdogan has stolen Syria's crude oil shamelessly to help pay for all his dirty work in Syria. His family reaps much of the profits.
_____________________________________

Response to reader comment:

Erdogan was elected with stolen ballots, a lot of repression, and plenty of dark operations.

Everyone knows, except apparently people such as yourself, democracy under Erdogan is a fraud.




JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IN THE WAKE OF THE COUP HILLARY SAYS DEMOCRACY IS SACROSANCT IN TURKEY - BUT WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


But, dear Hillary, the real question is whether democracy is "sacrosanct" in the United States.


You've got your presumed-nomination through a record series of dirty tricks in the primaries, from destroyed ballots (California) to voter suppression tricks (New York).

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IN RESPONSE TO AMERICANS WHO BLAME FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS FOR LOWER WAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES - THE WAY FREE TRADE ACTUALLY WORKS AND HOW IT GENERATES INCREASED WEALTH


COMMENT


The economic truth of free trade is fairly simple.

Both, or all, countries involved become richer over time.

However, that does not apply to every individual or industry in either country. It applies to the average.

The additional wealth of free trade is generated by the economic principle of specialization under which each country does more of what it does best and less of what it does less well. Clearly there must then be winners and losers in the various sectors of an economy. There's no escaping that outcome.

You must distinguish between community interest on this topic and individual interests.

In the rearrangements which take place under a trade treaty, there will always be individual winners and losers.

Also, since all free trade agreements are actually administered free trade under a detailed set of rules (as opposed to theoretical completely free trade), there may actually be sectors of either economy almost targeted for sacrifice as gains are permitted in others.

The overall validity of free trade is proved by Western history. Centuries ago, individual villages, never mind nations, tried to do everything for themselves from shoe-making to bread-baking.

But transportation opened access from one village to the next, and people discovered the bread-maker in one place was better than in the other place, and just the same for the shoe-maker.

Thus, free trade was born, and the modern era got going, and our wealth has grown immensely.

Exactly the same principles hold on a global scale, too, now that we have efficient global transportation and communications. There's simply no stopping it in the long term, unless you want to be a kind of modern Luddite.

The world inexorably will move to be truly globalized, with shifts in population too and rules and laws governing all international movements.

This is the future classical economics dictates, unless you want to work against them, much like some shoe-maker of poor skill in a village in 1521.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BUSH DANCES AT DALLAS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SLAIN POLICE - WHAT BUSH'S TIME AS PRESIDENT PROVED


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


George is back into the sauce.

Apart from the fact that the man is the closest to a moron ever to serve in high office, Bush has had a drinking problem his entire adult life.

So serious, he once resorted to fisticuffs with his father.

And so serious, his wife threatened to leave him at least once.

He has sobered up various times, but it seems he can't stay that way.

By the way, he has been a substantial user of cocaine, too.

If there is anything Bush's presidency proves, it is that America really does not need a president. The boys behind the scenes can handle everything, just asking the figurehead to sign papers once in a while.

P.S. A revealing picture of Bush’s behavior is found here:

http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2016/07/john-chuckman-grotesques-bush-yes.html


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE APPOINTMENT OF BORIS JOHNSON AS BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER - A HAPPY CHATTY FACE ON BRITAIN'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS - PRESS REACTION TELLS ME A LOT


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY WILL GORE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Boris is an excellent choice, if you must have a Conservative government.

He represents some assurance that people's will - Brexit - will be carried out.

He also puts a rather happy and chatty face on Britain's foreign affairs.

And has proved an astute observer in private.

He once called George Bush: “a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy.”

He also said, deadly accurately, of  Hillary Clinton: “She’s got dyed blond hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”

By the way, some of the press, especially certain columnists at The Guardian, is going after the appointment of Boris with genuine malice. That fact instinctively confirms me in my view that his appointment is a good one.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GEORGE BUSH PERE AND THE CIA


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ERIC ZUESSE IN RUSSIA INSIDER


Good piece.

George Bush pere, besides being psychopathic, was a lifelong covert CIA man.

They did not name the headquarters building after him just because of one stint as CIA Director.

There are many references to his being involved in the whole gigantic anti-Castro terror operation the US ran in the early 1960s, including an obscure FBI memo mentioning a CIA Agent George Bush.

And It very much was this whole ugly anti-Castro business which ultimately led to Kennedy's assassination, only some of the details remain unclear.

The CIA has long practiced paying secret pensions to promising politicians in Europe and Asia to secure their future and future cooperation.

It is a very dirty business, striking at the foundations of democracy, but now it has been extended into the United States itself. After all, having a CIA president is much like the Mafia having a "made man" on the Supreme Court.

The CIA, now pretty much out of control as a state within a state, is also in the business of having members elected to high office within the United States.

Bush was the first of which I am aware. Obama quite possibly is another. There are serious gaps in his resume, and his policies couldn't make the CIA more contented for the most part.




JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISIS IS REPORTED TO TAKE CREDIT FOR NICE - BUT THIS REPORT IS NOT VERY CREDIBLE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


I'm not inclined to believe this claim.

First, it comes rather late.

Second, all such communications, as from al Qaeda, are highly questionable as to authenticity.

For example, we know to a certainty that some of the communications supposedly from Osama bin Laden, after America's bombing the hell out of Afghanistan, were phony, likely engineered by CIA to keep the old hot breath of a war on terror going.

Third, why is France a target, and time after time?

In fact, Hollande has been nowhere in the genuine fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Just a lot of hot air.

Hollande has supported America's policies, which effectively created and supported ISIS.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE HORROR IN NICE - THE IRREPONSIBLE PRESS IMMEDIATELY JUMPS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT IS ORGANIZED TERROR


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


This is a terrible event, but the papers are all screaming "terror" immediately afterward.

This is not good reportage.

How can we possibly know?

There are madmen who do violent things without any political meaning.

Indeed, reports say the driver of the truck, who was shot, was not known to security forces, but he was a known petty criminal and had apparently been just fired from a job.


Monday, July 11, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BLACK LIVES MATTER AND THE INSANE VIOLENCE WE SEE IN AMERICA - SOME PERSPECTIVE ON THE UGLY REALITIES OF AMERICA


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


Some perspective.

Below is the link for a site examining American violent crime statistics, ones just for the city of Chicago.

While the illustrations are cartoonish, the data are authoritative, and the authors have created some bizarrely interesting comparisons.

I do not ever defend for a moment what violent police have done, but the truth is America is such a hopelessly violent place that I'm sure most British people cannot imagine it.

Remember "the troubles" of Northern Ireland? Well, Chicago and many other American urban centers experience something like that on a perpetual basis.

Newspaper talk about terrorists almost seems trivial when compared to the year-in, year-out realities of a place like Chicago (or Detroit or Newark or New Orleans or Washington or a lot of other American places).

Study the site a bit, and you will gain some insight into what makes American police fearful themselves.

It is also what truly drives America's ongoing relationship with guns, something rarely spoken of in gun-control debates.









Saturday, July 09, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP'S VP CANDIDATE - GEN MICHAEL FLYNN SUGGESTED - WHY TRUMP ABSOLUTELY MUST PICK A WOMAN

                
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER


He may well be a "good guy," but Trump absolutely needs to pick a woman.

It would be a major error not to do so.

Trump must offset, to the degree he can, the vague fear some voters undoubtedly harbor that in voting against Hillary they vote against a woman running for high office.

Hillary and her associates will be playing on this fear for all they are worth.

With the threatening international situation, this may be the most important American election of my lifetime.

Hillary just could not be a more soulless creature of the neo-cons, and she will bring even more ugliness to a bad international situation. She will not oppose the awful people in the military-security complex, she will embrace them wholeheartedly.

Trump is no hero, but he says some important things right and is willing to talk, and, what is extremely important, he has the personal strength and experience to deal with the bullies at the Pentagon and CIA. Likely no one else could deal well with them.

We've seen Obama, and he has been a disaster at dealing with the government within the government. I'm convinced they are running things, not him.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE FATUOUS NOTION THAT TONY BLAIR SHOULD HAVE FOCUSED ON A LEGAL WAR IN AFGHANISTAN - THE REAL BASIS FOR THE INVASION OF IRAQ AND BLAIR'S GLIB WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF


Yes, of course, although even America's Afghanistan attack was dubious, the UN having been browbeaten by the American administration after the attack which had horrified so many.

But Iraq was not merely a mistaken turn. It was quite simply what Israel wanted, and it lobbied for it as only Israel can. Everyone from its prime minister to that self-proclaimed man of peace, Elie Wiesel, directly lobbied for an invasion of Iraq. There was a chorus.
               
And Bush and his key people were highly attentive to what Israel wanted.

The invasion was never about WMD or oil, as was often said at the time.

It was about Israel's hegemony in the Middle East, which is often given the misnomer, security.

Blair was a virtual acolyte of Israel and its leaders, so he did not take any pushing. An important strategy of his "New Labour Party" was an approach to the British Jewish community for more support, especially financial, the Conservatives traditionally receiving much of it because governments in Israel are unfriendly to progressive or genuinely liberal governments in the West.

Supporting the smashing of Iraq was Blair's beau geste to those of the Jewish community in Britain who are intense supporters of Israel. Britain's Jewish community is rather smaller than in some countries, as in the US, but it includes some immensely powerful world financial and business figures.

Well, Blair succeeded in his own terms handsomely, even earning himself a one-million dollar Israel "Peace Prize" for his efforts.

I doubt he was capable of acting otherwise than he did under the circumstances. He is a man destroyed by his own ambition and complete lack of ethics.

He now has been left by Chilcot to take virtually all the blame and shame for unjustified mass murder, and he deserves a great deal of it, but Iraq was a dirty deal for mass killing that involved more than Blair or Bush.


JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA'S MEANINGLESS WORDS ON THE DALLAS MASS KILLING OF POLICE - OBAMA'S LACK OF ACHIEVEMENT EXCEPT IN KILLING - AMERICA IS A HOPELESSLY VIOLENT PLACE - NOTE ON BLACKS KILLING BLACKS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT


“Vicious, calculated, despicable attack on law enforcement”

My, what an informative statement from Obama.

And very interesting, too, coming, as it does, from a man who has spent years ambushing people with drone-fired missiles, people guilty of nothing under law.

It just all points out what a mindlessly violent place America is.
________________________
Another reader’s comment:
“Obama has done nothing for black people he is a classic uncle tom”

This is true, but of course he has done nothing for anyone else either, except for the military, the intelligence services, and some powerful special interests.
_________________________
Another reader’s comment:
‘Black lives don't matter, when it's "blacks kill blacks".’

There is harsh truth in that.

The fact is, as not many may appreciate, that the high rate of black urban violence in the United States is almost all blacks killing blacks.

On a long weekend in a place like Chicago, as many as 25 people are shot in the streets, virtually all of them black.

Most do not die, but a significant number do.

Readers may be interested:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/04/us/chicago-shootings.html