Saturday, January 28, 2017



John Chuckman

The chance for greatness is not something offered every leader.

The opportunity requires both a set of extremely adverse circumstances and an exceptional person in power who overcomes them.

All too briefly, Obama seemed to have the chance in 2008, but he very quickly proved himself incapable of rising to the challenge.

So, Obama goes down in history, despite his remarkable achievement of becoming the first black President, as an extremely mediocre leader who was bent by the very forces he should have controlled. He almost melted away before our eyes, proving definitively that there is a great difference between the talents required for political campaigning and those required for success in office.

Trump now has an opportunity for greatness, more so than any politician I can recall. He is faced with huge problems, many of the them the work of the failed Obama, and they are more than just any set of problems, for they involve the deaths and misery of millions and the risks of an international nuclear holocaust.

It is already clear that Trump has the strengths required – immensely energetic and hard-working, absolutely not intimidated by a powerful and pervasive establishment, and a surprisingly resourceful mind.

But there are clouds on the horizon. Trump is one of those people whose mind seems to crackle with ideas and notions, and, just as is the case with others of this type, including many famous scientists and creative talents, a fair number of the ideas and notions are not worth pursuing and some are complete rubbish. I put into this category notions like a national Muslim registry or the round-up and deportation of millions of Mexican illegals or crippling the United Nations.

I would certainly add Trump’s words around the utterly repulsive subject of torture, but here we find an example of Trump being really clever, showing the kind of skill a statesman must possess. With his words on torture, Trump got to tell the belly-over-belt segment of his followers that he will do literally anything for dear old America, but he then played the game of deferring to the wisdom of one of his most intelligent appointments, General James Mattis, who opposes torture. Who can argue with a “Marine’s Marine” on such topics? The Iron Chancellor himself would be proud of the whole performance.

Trump’s wall with Mexico for me is neither here nor there. Lots of countries build walls, and while I am opposed to them in general, I recognize the arguments for them, and of course every country has the right to protect its borders.

But you cannot round up and deport millions, even if they are illegals, without great adverse consequences. It is a non-starter as an idea. What we have is a situation created by the ineffectiveness of past governments over many years. That is a reality you must accept unless you want to create, to put it mildly, one of the worst public relations fiascos of the century. Remember, we live in the age of cell phone videos and the Internet, an entirely different situation than what prevailed the last time America did the very thing Trump is proposing, roughly ninety years ago.

Not many Americans likely realize that there was a precedent. Starting in 1929 and for some years after, huge numbers of Mexicans – estimated to have been between half a million and two million - living in America were deported summarily. It is not a precedent to copy, smelling as it does of activities we associate with the fascist governments of that same dark period. It is something that cannot even be done without many extremely unhappy scenes.

Trump should build his wall and keep strict compliance with law afterwards, but mass deportations will not go down well anywhere and will only create big and ugly barriers in many of America’s relationships, and not just those with Mexico.

Trump needs a filtering mechanism for his bubbling, teeming thoughts because his better ideas and notions are the ones that promise to mark him for greatness. I include here the end of America’s interfering and overthrowing foreign governments, the end of the terrible Bush-Obama Neocon Wars that have killed a couple of million and created millions of desperate refugees, and his bold efforts to bring jobs to millions of Americans living in what can only be called squalor. Those are the goals of a great leader.

And if he can succeed, I believe it is possible for Trump to build a new coalition for his party. This kind of thing has happened before, and if he could succeed at it, it would be yet another great achievement. The Republican Party, before Trump hi-jacked it and gave new purpose, was moribund, lacking any clear purpose beyond trying to achieve power and divvy up the spoils of periodic victory.

The interesting thing is that the Democratic Party Trump defeated has been in a somewhat similar state. Perhaps that fact is part of why it morphed into the War Party. That party’s de facto leadership since the 1990s has been the Clintons with their bounteous, mafia-like money connections. But the Clintons were not only defeated by Trump (literally, both of them), but their defeat was accompanied by shocking revelations about them and their party’s inner workings which I do not believe can be easily lived down, and there remains a substantial probability that one or both of them is going to be prosecuted, either for the frauds of the Clinton Foundation or for the flagrantly illegal behavior of Hillary as Secretary of State.

Those facts make Trump’s opportunity even greater. He can rise to it, or he can fall over his worst ideas and become just one more failed American President.



The letter is, of course, completely sensible.

However, these are all things that those of us who are able to work at being informed on important matters already understood. Nothing here is new.

The problem with the approach of the academics is that "Western media" are treated as though they were something they in fact are not.

Western media, the major broadcasters and newspapers, are actually owned by relatively small group of large corporate interests after years of mergers and take-overs.

Moreover, they have lost some of their most traditional sources of revenue – as, for example, classified advertising in big cities, something which now belongs to the Internet. So, their financial ability to do more extensive or better quality reportage is greatly reduced.

None of them is in any way an independent source of journalism. None.

And they proved that to us overwhelmingly with Trump’s election, during which they lined up like the troops of a foreign power rather than as objective journalists. The case of Syria was even worse, but many ordinary people had no way of fully understanding what was going on. They never saw Syrian or Russian speakers or independent critics the way they saw Trump on the hustings contradicting the corporate press’s claims.

To even expect large corporate interests, who depend on the American government for many things - from permissions and licenses to favors with leaks and interviews - to behave much differently than they have done is actually pretty naïve.

It is only new competition that will stir things up a bit and create some change, and we are very much seeing that happen before our eyes on the Internet.

Alternate media were very influential in Trump’s victory, and he knows it. He has already demonstrated in a few ways that he intends to formalize the changing media situation – from giving accreditation to an alternate media site to asking questions of reporters at the back of the press room and to avoiding the traditional wave to the press corps when he leaves on Air Force One.

One thing is certain, things in the Western press are changing and changing fast.

Friday, January 27, 2017



"Anti-Semitism rising across West as result of 'populism and isolationism', Jewish leader to warn Pope Francis”

I'd swear they were kidding, but I know better.

The Pope is being used as a photo-op or sound-bite opportunity to create publicity for unwarranted charges.

How in the hell does isolationism cause anti-Semitism?

You might, with equal implausibility, say that staying at home causes anti-Semitism.

And where does anyone see isolationism today? What I see are raging wars and destruction in many places, ceaseless interference in the affairs of others – all of it deliberately started and all serving no good purpose.

And populism causes anti-Semitism? How about democratic elections, do they cause anti-Semitism? Just utter nonsense.

And the assertion of rising anti-Semitism is question-begging. Various Jewish groups do keep statistics on anti-Semitic events, but are those statistics of any value when we see events and people regularly being characterized as anti-Semitic which plainly are not?

Just a few examples demonstrate this with frightening clarity. Jimmy Carter, the most decent man to serve as America’s President in a century as well as a man of exceptionally keen intelligence and powers of observation, was widely labelled as anti-Semitic for his words on the oppressive situation in Israel and on the true nature of Hamas.

Jeremy Corbyn, another genuinely decent man, just after being elected as leader of Britain’s Labour Party, faced a months-long firestorm of false accusations over anti-Semitism from Britain’s corporate press driven by a powerful insider group of Tony Blair loyalists in the party. Of course, it just happens that Blair earned that support by having joined America’s illegal and bloody invasion of Iraq, an invasion conducted almost exclusively for Israel’s benefit, one pleaded for by Ariel Sharon many times.

While various Israeli politicians freely express themselves in threatening or prejudiced or even violent terms almost without criticism, anyone of prominence who criticizes what they see in Israel and advocates peaceful measures, such as boycotts, to create pressure to change it is typically called anti-Semitic. Among many efforts by Israel to lobby for protective legislation in Western countries have been efforts for legislation literally equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, a totally self-serving, repressive, and anti-democratic idea.

So, when we hear that anti-Semitism is on the rise all over, we really do have to question the validity of the claim, insulting claims about anti-Semitism being so often used to cover Israel’s own dark acts and to attack the credibility of those who question them.

How is it that among all the cases of injustice in the world, we are effectively told that in the one case of Israel, observers are supposed to suspend their usual ethical standards and that not doing so makes them guilty of some nasty charge? Human nature is such that the basest human instincts are always and everywhere working their way towards power over others. No group with power over others can ever simply be blindly trusted to do the right thing and be exempt from criticism - not prison guards, not police, and not armies of occupation. There is no other way for an informed and ethical person to look at things.   

So, what are we to say of charges that anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially, coming as they do, at a time when Israel feels free to simply march in and destroy the homes of others? To build new homes of its own on the property of others, violating time and time again that most basic Western concept of the sanctity of people’s ownership of homes and farms? A time when Israel’s Defense Minister is a former bar-room bouncer who makes outrageous statements which, coming from someone in any other country, we would immediately condemn as hate-filled and violent?

A time when Israel’s Prime Minister is a man who has raged and made threats for years in all directions, someone past presidents of both France and the United States are on record as having called a non-stop liar? A man who killed 2,200 people with complete impunity, people living in what is effectively a giant, open-air refugee camp surrounded by fences and machine-gun towers? And a man who has left the victims and survivors of his savagery just to rot in destroyed homes and public facilities by forbidding the import what they need to rebuild? This is also a man who dropped a million cluster-bomb bomblets in Southern Lebanon some years back, a violation of all international norms and standards for these horrible weapons? A man whose intense drive to start war with Iran was only blunted by Obama’s reportedly telling him that he would shoot down the planes if sent?

Any honest and dispassionate observer would say there is no anti-Semitism to speak of in Western society today. It has no significant influence anywhere in the West. It has no official status anywhere in the West. It is the position of no political party in the West. Its clear expression is even a crime in many places.

However, Israel's ugly behavior naturally affects people and what they say in response. It cannot be otherwise, and Israel’s unacceptable behavior seems only to increase with time. Can anyone not understand how that would incite both hatreds and behaviors which can be deliberately misinterpreted as hatreds?

The question always remains unanswered, and indeed it is never even asked in our press or by our governments, just what is it that Israel sees itself as doing? In not making peace? In not returning to its own previously-accepted borders? In maintaining an abusive occupation for more than half a century? In marching out regularly and stealing homes?

The answer seems clear, even if all the details remain unclear because Israel’s government always maintains the same kind of ambiguity on this matter that it does on its illegal atomic weapons. Israel is creating what is called Greater Israel, a vague, supposedly Biblically-based and religiously-charged concept that simply should have no validity in today’s world of legal boundaries, treaties and protocols and international standards.

It is conducting ethnic-cleansing in slow motion across an extensive territory. By making the territory’s inhabitants miserable through countless unfair laws and abusive acts and by, bit-by-bit, taking their land.

The intended fate for these millions is completely unclear, whether they will be driven out entirely, as has been advocated by a number of prominent Israelis, whether they will simply be reduced to an existence in South African-style Bantustans under the perpetual authority of an Israel in which they can never enjoy citizenship and rights, or whether they will be made so miserable and hopeless that they will flee to other places?

What other places? Names like Jordan or the Sinai crop up, almost as though they were reasonable suggestions, but what thinking person believes any other state in the region would willing to take millions of refugees? They won’t and they can’t, but no one in authority in Israel appears to care in the least about this. We see in Europe the effects of vast numbers of refugees, and it is not pleasant and its shock waves are affecting many parts of the world, stirring anti-refugee sentiments.

And it is important to note that these terrible refugee problems, stretching as they do from Turkey to Britain, problems which have shaken the foundations of so staid an organization as the European Union, are in fact the result of deliberate and violent American activities in the Mideast.

And for whose benefit have those American activities been taken? Clearly, “the birth of a new Middle East,” as American officials sitting in armchairs casually term the destruction of whole countries, the killing of a couple of millions of people, and the creation of millions of desperate refugees, has a great deal to do with Israel. Its own leaders in the past – notably the monstrous Ariel Sharon - openly advocated for it. The reduction of these places leaves Israel, a land of alien European and American migrants, as the dominant and unquestioned power in the region.

Although there is one other, unintended result of America’s destructive work, as there so often is in dirty affairs, and that is the re-emergence of Iran as a regional power. And that is why we are already hearing new calls against this essentially peaceful country, new calls for sanctions, new calls for military action. It is all very bleak.

I think these men who talked with the Pope know all or much of that, but the charge of "anti-Semitism" is one of Israel’s main weapons for deflecting attention from Israel's morally repulsive and violent behavior.

Dragging in anti-Semitism as a charge against those rightly upset with Israel’s behavior is rather like shouting out in a court room that the honest witness to a crime is just a prejudiced liar.



Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more wasteful than military spending.

It consumes huge amounts of resources and produces nothing of economic value.

And when the spending is done in gigantic amounts, as it is the United States, it only provides a machinery with a constant temptation for politicians to use, producing even more waste.

Quite apart from all the human misery generated.

Wars and big armies are consumers and destroyers of resources, but the egos of many politicians love them.

Why? Because it is such a nasty-little-boy pleasure to watch things be crushed and blown-up.

Bad things are done simply because they can be - that is satisfying to some exceptionally large egos, the kind often found in politicians.

This is true of some politicians regardless of their position on the political spectrum. It has nothing to do with Left or Right.



Well, this the first thing ever from Albright's mouth for which I have any respect.

Perhaps, she is feeling twinges of guilt over all those Iraqi children she helped kill?

Or is she thinking of the horrors of Rwanda that she assisted Bill Clinton in suppressing wider knowledge of at an early stage when they conceivably could have helped instead?

Her whole record, including as UN Ambassador, is one of working for the forces of darkness.

But on this matter, she is right.

And were I living in America, I absolutely would do the same.

I truly hope Trump, who is sometimes given to knee-jerk responses, avoids making this nasty idea a reality.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017



“Defies wishes of Republicans in Congress”

Well, I am glad to learn that he has done something worthwhile.

But let's put Obama’s gesture into perspective.

$221,000,000 for the genuinely needy Palestinians and $38,000,000,000 just went to the folks who are picking their bones, the Israelis.

That's just over one-half of one percent.

Really impressive.

And, finally, he gave the little bit of money to the government of the Palestine Authority which does not even represent all of Palestine, has gone without any election for years, and has generally pretty much served as a useful stooge for Israel. The people of Gaza, with their elected government, are allowed to continue sitting in the rubble and pollution Israel created for them in 2014.

Response to a reader comment:
“Obama elected to make the American people the focus of his Presidency and has left them in a far better situation than when he started…”

Oh, yes, indeed.

After all, he dropped more than 100,000 bombs on 7 countries, and there was not a single day of his eight years during which the United States wasn't killing people.

There’s also his new hi-tech system of extra-judicial killing, something which makes the old Argentine junta's style of "disappearing" people seem primitive and brings such honor to the name of America and its claims over human and democratic rights.

And, at home, he oversaw record funds for intelligence agencies spying in new ways on their own people.

He topped that all off with having done absolutely nothing to stop creating the greatest debt in human history.

And this was accompanied by no effort to even reform the financial industry whose poor regulation and oversight created a financial crisis we are all still seriously threatened by.

My, that is a genuinely remarkable set of achievements, isn't it?

The only act making anything better in eight years of this strange murderous man with the big smile is his final departure.

Trump may well prove a disappointment, I am prepared for that distinct possibility, but Obama is perhaps the most disappointing figure in modern history. We all thought he had such promise in 2008, and it all turned literally to ashes.



Muammar Gaddafi always impressed me with his intelligence and his understanding of the underlying realities of international affairs.

He also proved an exceptional leader for the welfare of his people, having used the oil wealth to provide them everything from free schools and health care to imaginative projects for water supply.

Further, he made important efforts in creating new ties in black Africa.

When asked once in an interview, years ago, about Israel, he astutely answered that it would simply drown in a sea of Arabs.

Is it any wonder he was hated by folks like Hillary Clinton and her close Neocon associates, murderous people like Madeleine Albright or Barbara Nuland?

In the long term, history I believe will have a much more favorable impression of this man than Western public opinion, force-fed by corporate establishment lines, today.

It was such a fine thing America did in Libya, killing a good leader of a stable society and pitching the society into chaos.

Thanks, Obama. Thanks, Hillary.

Sunday, January 22, 2017



"The Women's March on Washington represents the America I know and love"

This is just mindless. Much like the “poem” I read about which was recited to a crowd by some air-head celebrity, a poem written by a teen-ager, undoubtedly the product of the miracle of American education, which compared Trump to Hitler and abusively said he had wet-dreams about his daughter.

Indeed, another mindless celebrity at the event, a rather older one perhaps trying to re-ignite a fizzled career, said she has had thoughts of blowing up the White House. High-minded stuff indeed.

It just does not come any shallower or more ignorant than that. In fact, it is downright dangerous to be spouting such stuff and ignoring other terrible matters.

Trump has done nothing yet of which to be afraid.

But Obama leaves office, having, quite literally, killed tens of thousands of women and their families, women just like some of these women demonstrating.

He dropped more than 100,000 bombs.

On seven countries.

Every day of his eight years was marked by war, by America killing people, somewhere.

And this wonderful man created a hi-tech version of the old Argentine junta's "disappearing" people - a hi-tech version with "kill lists" dropped regularly into his office in-box for an approving signature.

If Trump starts looking anything like the world's greatest contemporary mass-murderer - Obama having killed more people than any dictator of our day you can name - I will immediately turn against him.

But it is acts, not words, which count.

Response to another reader’s comment:

Absolutely, and more.

But these kinds of unthinking persons care only about their own kind.

You know, the big turmoil in America’s streets over Vietnam, turmoil which for a time came to resemble civil war, was over (relatively small, in terms of wars) numbers of American caskets coming home for a while. And especially when those caskets contained draftees.

Never mind the estimated 3 million slaughtered in their own homes by America - napalmed, carpet-bombed, and sliced up with early versions of cluster bombs. Americans could have quite happily gone on going to dances and movies and slurping beer, had it not taken a fair number of American lives to achieve the grim task.

Never mind the million who died in Cambodia, the killing fields having been a direct result of America destabilizing a neutral country in its mindless Vietnam crusade.

Americans cry over Americans and ignore the millions they have murdered and maimed in far-flung points on the globe. The dead simply remain invisible in the most immoral behavior to be imagined.

Response to a comment about the number of votes which Hillary actually won by:

Uninformed gibberish.

The Constitution is the Law of the Land - it is indeed called that - and in America it takes legal precedence over all other laws.

In fact, every high official and every member of the armed forces takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.

The Constitution was deliberately written to be rigid and a number of its provisions are and/or were anti-democratic - eg, until 1913, American Senators were appointed, not elected.

The Founders were not democrats, many of them even said so, and America's laws refer to that vaguely-defined entity called a republic, not a democracy.

The Constitution can be changed, but it's an immense task to do so, one that a sound-bite politician like Hillary could never give any time to. She was always too busy running for office or collecting money to run for office to actually do some slogging work changing or improving anything real.

Again, here are the facts:



"Social media isn’t doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism. Thankfully, Angela Merkel is stepping in"

Oh, please, not more anti-Semitism!

The fact is that the genuine article is virtually non-existent in our society, at least in any public or genuinely influential way, but that does not stop the charge being freely used by lobbyists regularly to leverage either anti-free speech measures or to secure changes in political leadership.

The Independent and other British papers, notably The Guardian, spent months not very long ago attacking so decent a man as Jeremy Corbyn with this McCarthyite-like charge.

Their actual goal in doing so? To replace an independent-minded man with some shabby acolyte of Tony Blair, a man who lied and killed on a massive scale in the service of those who wanted to create “the birth of a new Middle East.”

It's just horrible.

Lobbyist, too, use the charge to attack supporters of the perfectly peaceful and legitimate tactics for securing human and democratic rights called BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), a set of tactics which were used to oppose apartheid in Nationalist South Africa and Jim Crow in the Southern United States.

There have actually been intense, shameful efforts by Israel’s government and its apologists to make support of BDS illegal in many jurisdictions. Such backward-looking bills are signed quite regularly in various states and cities all over as a result of the pressure.

As for Angela Merkel, she has been a devastatingly bad leader, a worthy example to no one in anything.

Read this recent analysis of her:


Response to another reader who said that any unwelcome criticism can be branded as "malicious". Like "fake news", what is decided as malicious will be decided by the establishment agenda:

That sums it up.

The comment below accurately refers to the Stasi, too.

Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany, and it shows in many things.

Response to another reader’s comment:

Well said on the Bible. It is simply full of vile things.

And, as Mark Twain said, upwards of a thousand lies.

Perhaps it should be banned or censored?

As for the notion “Semites,” that is a narrow avenue down which to travel.

The modern rulers and founders of Israel are Ashkenazi, a Germanic, European people.

They follow the same religion as the ancient Hebrews, but they are not the same people.

Adopting the Hebrew language in Israel was an artificial measure, because Yiddish, closely related to German, is the native language of most of these people or their immediate ancestors.

Hebrew studies were of course maintained in religious schools by the Ashkenazi in Europe and America, just as Muslim religious schools maintain Arabic for religious studies, but Hebrew was no one's actual day-to-day language since ancient days.

DNA studies clearly show the European origins of the Ashkenazi, who arose about 1,000 years ago.

The fact of their embracing the religion of Judaism undoubtedly reflects an unknown historical period when the Hebrew people, some of them, came to be evangelical.

After all, they had the dramatic example of the amazing success of Christianity, which itself had started as a small Jewish sect.

There is some DNA evidence of Semitic origins, too, but this would reflect the intermarriage centuries ago of members from various Jewish communities in a diaspora of evangelical Jews and Hebrews, the generally small size of Jewish communities always having represented a problem for marriage and children.

Of course, the final topper, as it were, is that the Palestinians are almost certainly the main body of what remains of the ancient Hebrews.

They, of course, through two millennia, have changed with conquest and inter-marriage and religious evangelism of other kinds, those of Islam and Christianity.



First, the silly pope is speaking only for the establishment, something senior levels of the Church have always been an intimate part of.

This pope's entire term has been characterized very much by his own form of populism.

 All the show and publicity over no traditional papal apartment, no fancy cars, etc.

The papacy obviously is not a democracy, but what is wrong with "populism" in a democracy anyway?

Nothing, of course.

What these establishment words really intend to suggest is that we are seeing incipient fascism, and despite that notion being promoted daily by our dishonest and self-interested corporate press, it is utter nonsense with no basis in fact.

This false theme just reflects the establishment lashing out over the seeming loss of its new world order, and, by the way, was there ever a more creepy, fascist-tinged phrase than "new world order"?

Second, Hitler was not elected, and talking this way reflects pure historical ignorance, yet I’ve read it a number of times. So much for the idea of people learning from the past.

Hitler, in his period of trying to be elected, never got more than about 37% of the vote.

He was appointed Chancellor by an aged (some would say, senile) President von Hindenburg, who was tired of the political turmoil in the streets of the time.

Hitler then quickly proceeded to seize absolute power with a wave of measures following the staged Reichstag fire event.

Now, more than a few observers have seen parallels between the Reichstag fire and all the measures which followed 9/11 and the beginning of the effort in earnest by America to establish a “new world order.”

I don’t know and remain open to whatever full evidence would reveal, but it is always true that big, sudden, watershed events in history, plotted ahead by leaders, were accompanied by massive lies.

Saturday, January 21, 2017



I have before called The Guardian, once a broadsheet newspaper of respectable dullness, today’s worst newspaper in the world when it comes to journalism.

As if to further bolster its claims, below is a list of items taken from the front page around noon on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The titles – ranging from genuinely childish to asinine – tell the story of a newspaper which has become almost a case study in “fake news,” fake news from the establishment, the most dangerous kind. A paper that was once respectably tedious has become flashily, even garishly, irresponsible, bombastic, and prejudiced.

When it isn’t conducting all-out assaults on someone its editors hate – examples have included Jeremy Corbyn, a thoroughly decent political leader of the British Labour Party, against whom they conducted a months-long McCarthyite campaign over completely unsupported charges of anti-Semitism to comments on his dressing in an unacceptably ugly way, and Donald Trump, who has had everything from the speculated small size of his penis featured to a hundred unsupported claims of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia hurled at him. 

When they aren’t furiously attacking someone, they literally are falling over themselves trying to build up someone they do like for whatever reason – examples include proven criminal lowlife and liar, Tony Blair, inept, never-closes-his-mouth politician, Owen Smith, and London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, who does nothing but grant self-promoting interviews. Establishment all, and quite dismally so.

To spice things up and maintain some kind of vague claim about still being a progressive publication, we get a long trail of useless or genuinely rubbishy articles along the lines of what it is like trying to have sex when you have wooden legs or the perils of a vegetarian in a restaurant trying to avoid inhaling the smoke from barbequed meats. Then we have declarations of how someone bravely faces all the waves of misogyny that are crashing over us, or why I am getting a German passport to leave the UK, horrible place that it has become for racism and prejudice. These articles enlighten no one about anything, but they do make loud self-applauded claims of tolerance and allow for eye-catching, trashy headlines to raise readership, and they employ the well-established advertising principle of great repetition keeping a theme on readers’ minds as though it really were something important.

In eight years of Obama’s continuous killing in half a dozen countries, there was never a concern raised, never a doubt expressed over what was going on. More than that, there was very little truth told about those events, the bloody events of Syria’s induced horror, for example, always being blurred over, never explained, and indeed, outright lied about many times, with re-written versions of the official line from Washington being offered as reportage and analysis. Shabby almost beyond belief because, while it is all just what we expect from a Washington Post or New York Times, this is a British paper and one with historic attachments away from the power establishment.

That is because today’s Guardian marches shoulder-to-shoulder not with the ordinary workers of its past, but with the ghastly establishment who brought us the bloodshed, refugees, and terror-blowback of the Neocon Wars. It joined their team, so to speak, some years ago. We see that in everything from its reportage and comment to its regular efforts to rehabilitate an utterly discredited lying killer like Tony Blair and its sycophantic support – and that’s not in the least an exaggeration - of Hillary Clinton, who, without a doubt, would have proved the most duplicitous and murderous President ever.

Here is The Guardian dump of Trump-hating articles for Inaugural Day:

“The honeymoon is already over for President Trump”
Richard Wolffe     - whom I would like to ask, what honeymoon would that be?

“Late-night hosts on the inauguration: 'How is that a president?'”
Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers took aim at the inauguration proceedings and shared concern over the future: ‘We’re so fucked’     - note the language declaring how tolerant The Guardian is.

“Women will march against Trump. We may lose, but it’s still worth it”
Suzanne Moore     - who undoubtedly writes from a leather wing chair in a comfortable Mayfair flat.

“Music: this week's anti-Trump songs reviewed’
Michael Hann     - note that is just “this week’s.”

‘I'm going to speak out as often as I can, otherwise I can't live with myself'
Paul Auster     - well, I don’t think he has to worry about an outlet: The Guardian will print his every gasp.

“How to Trump-proof your life (in a minute) – video”        - now, there’s assinity, and writ large.

“The Peace Ball: black brilliance and resistance on the eve of the Trump era”
Steven W Thrasher     - who should be asked: resistance to what?

“Why the next four years will be a test for all of us’
Yaa Gyasi     - a test in what? Writing meaningless article titles?

“Why my seat at the inauguration is empty”
 “I will not be celebrating the swearing-in of a president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House”   
Barbara Lee      - she may have left some name-calling quality out, but I don’t know what it would be.

“Terrified of Trump: What we learned at Davos 2017”       - someone was sent to Davos to learn nothing.



Headline from 10,000 years ago:

“Mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, and giant sloths facing extinction”

Headline from 60,000,000 years ago:

“Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Brontosaurus facing extinction”

Well, species do come and go.

Evolution is non-stop, and it destroys as well as creates.

Those who think the world and its species should just be static are simply offering a new secular version of the Old Testament with God in a single stroke creating all the species of an unchanging universe.




Melania was stunning in her powder blue dress. Wow!

Here is the most beautiful first lady ever. She leaves Jackie Kennedy in the shadows.

Michelle appears to have gone out of her way to look like a frumpy school marm from 1959, with a truly ugly brown dress and her hair parted down the middle.

Was she trying to make a statement?

With her ugly dress and hair parted down the middle, Michelle suggested a member of the White House kitchen staff given the day off to attend the ceremony.



I don’t understand the concerns over whether Obama’s legacy will be changed.

It simply cannot be changed.

Corpses, hundreds of thousands of them, are susceptible to no change of which I am aware, except rot.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017



"We have 'taken back control' from the EU – only to give it to President Trump"

Well, if you wanted an example for teaching how to write something utterly meaningless, Mr. William Wallace has obligingly provided it here.

Taken back control?

America runs Europe now, just as It runs Britain. You have no significant freedom of action in foreign policy at all, and you haven't had for decades.

Do you see Obama's tanks roaring around Europe pretending to oppose a "newly aggressive " Russia?

Do you see billions of dollars’ worth of American-imposed sanctions helping cripple Europe's economy?

Do you see Europe struggling with the massive human migrations American violent policy in the Mideast has generated?

Do you see Britain stuck with paying tens of billions for a new set of American Trident nuclear submarines which cannot even be used without American authority?

Do you see Britain hamstrung buying the costly and badly-designed F-35?

Independent editors, where do you get such writers from? Simply lame.



"The Left Is The New Right"

I'm sorry, but this is a really dumb idea currently being widely propagated on the Internet.

What is Left In imperial, pounding-fist America?

Hillary Clinton?

George Soros?

Only a person who confuses slogans with substance identifies such people as Left.

They are the wealthy establishment, some of its very heart, and the establishment really has no Left and no Right, only its own narrow interests, often murderous and manipulative interests.

A genuine Left simply does not exist in America, and it has no history. There was a brief time during the Depression that America had a Left, but it faded away with rising prosperity and war and the coming of world empire. And while it existed, it was under constant assault from J. Edgar Hoover – a ferocious man approved by president after president.

As for America’s origins, the Left simply did not exist. Early America was a kind of hinterlands aristocracy, one with boundless greed for expansion westward, real estate speculation with a market of newcomers, and a great and vibrant slave industry. George Washington, far from in any way being a self-sacrificing idealist, was right at the center of such efforts with a reputation for hard-nosed dealing. Even his war service was profitable for him.

America’s “Great Emancipator,” the most beloved president who is much sentimentalized in popular lore, was in many ways a hard man. He worked impossibly hard for his father, a man he came pretty much to hate, on a hardscrabble farm and he became through his own determined efforts a lawyer, eventually quite a successful one, effectively a corporate lawyer for interests like the growing Illinois Central Railroad.

Such connections led to his candidacy for president in the newly-emerged Republican Party. He fought the Civil War, not over slavery, as he himself told us, but over a harsh notion that a state could never be permitted to leave the United States. He created the united and war-forged industrial power that became today’s metropolitan center of world empire.

Today, I think America’s so-called Left could be typified (or is it parodied?) by Michael Moore, multi-millionaire director, a man styling himself as a kind of humble everyman shuffling around in a beat-up baseball cap, but whose actual political choices have run to Hillary Clinton and General Wesley Clark.



Silly French Finance Minister, speaking, by the way, for a French government literally dead on its feet, much resembling a tired waxworks tableau about to be replaced at Madame Tussaud's.

Why on earth not?

There have been tons of criticism of Merkel from inside Europe.

She has been pretty close to a disaster as leader.


Response to a comment about how Trump’s criticizing the EU was not how friends act to a country, it is an enemy act.

No, it is not.

And the EU is not a single country, not even close to being one.

You might think someone from Britain would understand that, the country having just agreed to leave the EU.

The last time a state of America's Union tried what Britain is doing, there was a massive Civil War, which still, by the way, remains the bloodiest war America in which was ever involved, one with about double the deaths America experienced in WWII.

The EU has always refused to go far enough to become a country, always taking half-measures, as with the way the Euro was established with no strong central banking.

The EU is neither fish nor fowl but a kind of zoo organization where both sit side by side.

Saturday, January 14, 2017



This story of Christopher Steele and his dossier on Trump and Russia is as phony as it gets.

Steele, an ex-MI-6 officer now working as a private consultant, was commissioned for a large fee (said to have been £130,000) from a Republican opponent of Trump to dig some dirt out on Trump. My guess would be the extremely sleazy Ted Cruz who had more campaign funds than he knew what to do with.

After Trump won the nomination, payments were continued by a Democratic source. Gee, I wonder who? Perhaps a dishonest candidate who won the Democratic nomination with dirty tricks, who also had more campaign funds than could be used sensibly, and who proceeded to spend $1.2 billion on a failed campaign?

After Trump’s election, Mr. Steele is said to have continued his work for free because he “was so concerned.” Have you ever heard of such wealth-connected operators working for nothing? Out of concern? It’s the equivalent of a top corporate lawyer claiming he worked away on a brief out of pure concern. It just does not happen. It is preposterous.

The public can be so gullible about such matters simply because most of people are honest, and security service people, including former ones earning big livings on commissions from sleazy politicians, are anything but. Many of them are even borderline psychopaths who enjoy throwing monkey wrenches into things, especially when they are paid handsomely for doing so.

Steele’s information supposedly came from “solid gold” contacts in Russia, but please remember that the politics of any large country includes wealthy or influential enemies of its current government. Would it be hard to find such people in America if you were inquiring about the Clintons or Obama? It would not. Such a statement about sources tells us precisely nothing, and we have no supporting evidence at all for this silly dossier just as we had no evidence for claims of Russia’s hacking the DNC.

Steele is said to have given information to MI6 and to have cut his communication with the FBI, to whom he had earlier supplied it, out of frustration with their inaction sometime before the election. Finally, he is said to have turned to the press, to the American magazine, Mother Jones.

For those who don’t know, Mother Jones is a kind of slushily-progressive publication in part supported by a foundation. It is almost certainly one of many publications secretly subsidized by CIA. Virtually any liberal or progressive publication in the United States since the Cold War has been secretly subsidized by them.

Such support arrangements are not even always even known to a magazine’s management. CIA used to secretly finance many progressive publications in the US, such as the old Saturday Review of Literature. It gathered information from them and used them for planting stories.

Other publications, such as those of the former Time-Life, were associated secretly to CIA through family ownership connections, in that case, Henry Luce. It was no accident when Time-Life immediately bought the Zapruder film of Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and it was kept out of the public domain for years with suggestions, when it finally did surface, of expert editing.

So, we come around full circle back to the CIA associated with some of the original phony stuff about Trump, undoubtedly manufactured under Obama’s direction. This is what they do. They did it for the First Gulf War. They did it for the invasion of Iraq. They did it for the horrors in Syria. More than half a century later, they still are lying about the assassination of a president, as well as a host of other matters.

Please remember that much of what security services, such as MI6 or CIA, do is foment trouble for others, manufacture documents, and create deliberate confusion and dark operations. They are not harmless information collection agencies.

Steele is not some honest information broker handing over his findings a bit late. That is a completely disingenuous, and an unquestionably contrived, description of what has happened with this dossier.

The description plays to the publicity-created image much of the public have of security services like MI6 or CIA being honest public servants. They are not. They have never been. They were not created to be. 

The reality is something far closer to a dirty trickster doing what dirty tricksters do, and for big pay.

Why else has Steele run away into the night?



I actually doubt the author knows much about Martin Luther King, a man whose name has come to be used as a kind of cheap slogan by many.

Just to start with, comparing a non-politician to a politician is always a sign of shallowness in a writer.

"Why can't you be more like Jesus?" you could say to Tony Blair, but what a waste of breath it would be.

"King’s dignity against Trump’s coarseness..."

I liked Dr. King very much and wept when he died, but studying his life in some detail certainly proved he was a human being and not a walking monument.

He did regularly have liaisons with various women as he travelled on the road, including women who in some cases were little more than the "I did it with a celebrity" type, society types, well-off white women, and others.

Hardly dignified.

There is a kind of deep connection between the two men nevertheless.

King was unquestionably a brave man, and he, in his last days, had switched from just being a civil rights leader to being an opponent of the establishment, especially where the murderous Vietnam War was concerned.

I do think that switch is what cost him his life. The establishment at that time was afraid with less tame leaders like Malcolm X (killed earlier) having taken over some of civil rights and the first thunder of the Black Power movement.

Suddenly, there was King speaking against an American War and lending his support to things like strikes by black workers, and that sent shivers through some. He was supposed to just be just a preacher leading rights marches, after all.

Not only were blacks about a quarter of the bodies they sent to Vietnam - out of all proportion to their share of population, which including just men is around 6% - but the double threat of Black Power and direct opposition to a major American policy and getting mixed up in labor strife was for them scary stuff.

I do believe that King's assassination was no accident of one semi-retarded man with a rifle deciding to shoot him.

Now, Trump also very much disturbs the establishment, very much, or otherwise someone like Cornwell wouldn't even be writing this thoughtless nonsense.

Trump has different aims than King, but they not entirely different. He wants to put an end to the insanity of the entire Middle East being in flames - having killed about 2 million in the Bush-Obama era - and to the US being in the business of overthrowing governments on a regular basis.

In its way, it is as radical as King's stance on the holocaust of Vietnam, a place where the US eventually slaughtered about 3 million people.

And Trump has been threatened with assassination, a number of times by people who support the godawful Neocon Wars.

You know, heroism is about what a person tries doing despite opposition from powerful forces, and Trump may just prove something of a genuine hero.

He definitely has King's courage, even if he lacks the eloquence, and that's something the establishment fears too.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: OF WIZARDS AND WASHINGTON AND THE DREARY, UNRELENTING REALITY OF AMERICAN POLITICS... A raw and sometimes darkly comic survey of America’s treacherous political terrain


A raw and sometimes darkly comic survey of America’s treacherous political terrain

John Chuckman

The books about The Wizard of Oz were written as satire on American politics, but Hollywood, in its inimitable way, turned them into a song-and-dance picture for children. Still, one scene in the film has a sense of the author’s intent. That scene is when Dorothy, in Emerald City, approaches a closet-like structure, which, as it happens, is the Wizard’s control booth for sounds and smoke and lights, his special effects for intimidating visitors and impressing them with non-existent power.

The entrance curtain happens to be open, so Dorothy sees a modest man busily pulling levers and pushing buttons and speaking into a microphone which alters his voice into a great booming one, echoing like a great organ in a cathedral. When the man realizes that he is being watched, he makes a last effort and booms out words along the lines of “Pay no attention to the man in the booth.” Of course, the jig is up, and we all understand there is no wizard.

What better allegory for events in Washington today could there be? We have booming noises and smoke and glaring lights, and it all comes from a rather sad little – little in the sense of failed - man with about two weeks left to sit at his big desk and pretend that he is great and powerful wizard. Except, when you are President, as this man is, you can never be observed in your control booth and you have your stunts and booming claims seconded by a chorus of flacks, hangers-on, and political appointees, presumably lending a semblance of authenticity and substance.

What the controversy engendered by “the Russians did it” has achieved is almost the opposite to what was intended. Dubious claims and pretend evidence have caused lights to shine brightly over what is a blanketing fabric of dishonesty in America's establishment. The fabric covers everything from foreign affairs and the military to the details of domestic affairs. It is immense, complex, and carefully constructed covering, and those who created it have very little tolerance for any of it being scrutinized under spotlights. Achieving this scrutiny may be regarded as Obama’s final act of failure.

Whether it is “the Russians hacked the DNC” or “America has been bombing ISIS in Syria” or “the Russians threaten Eastern Europe” or “the Russians committed atrocities in Aleppo” or “Russia shot down Flight MH-17,” the same tiresome actors making the same unsupported claims have for eight years expected that just their inflated job titles should intimidate us into believing them. Proof? Who needs that? Would I lie to you about such matters? Once you start something foolish as Obama has done, and it is widely understood as being foolish, you only weaken your authority over all the other less-obviously dubious claims you have been making. The fabric of lies becomes weakened, and that is one of Obama’s small, but unintended, achievements now.

Even as I write these words, the first big wave of the Obama-Clinton unsupported claims, unsupported, that is, except by hack appointees like James Clapper, is receding. The world quickly reached a verdict of “nonsense.” But a second wave now laps up with an equally unsupported claim that the Russians have a compromising dossier on Donald Trump, an attempt to plant the idea that Russia will have direct influence over Trump’s policies. This malicious effort at “poisoning the well” for a political successor, brings to mind the time, some years back, when the ugliest of clutch of Israeli settlers, those who swaggered around Gaza behind barbed wire enclosed-compounds, full of attitude and always toting light machine guns while under the malevolent guard of Israeli soldiers, decided to leave their hopeless situation. They quite literally poisoned the water wells they had used before strutting away. I cannot imagine a much shabbier act. But here is Obama and his appointees doing much the same thing, effectively hacking away at what little democracy America has left out of sheer maliciousness. 

I don’t mean to say that such gross lying began with Obama. The wizard’s control booth for smoke and lights and thundering sounds was not invented by him. There was nothing but eight years of lies from the weird triumvirate presidency of Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush and from the corrupt and often-inept Clinton government. Lies are what big countries or organizations do when their activities will not stand up to public scrutiny. When countries secretly play dirty tricks, when they kill, and when they apply mafia-like pressure on allies and international organizations to do as they are told, they simply lie about all of it, always. Such activity has characterized America for a very long time. How can it be otherwise when you try to control the planet?

It’s just that eight years ago, we had some reason to believe Obama would be different, at least a little different, but he is not. He is just as shabby, murderous, and deceitful as his immediate predecessors, sometimes even more so. He has been at war somewhere every single day of his eight years. He has bombed seven countries. In his last year alone, he is said to have dropped over 26,000 bombs. Literally hundreds of thousands have died at the hands of the Peace Prize winner with the big boyish smile. I’ve often asked myself what it is that motivates Obama, and I don’t know. Sometimes he seems to fit the well-known pattern of the charming, smiling psychopath who secretly likes to kill.

Sometimes he just seems weak and, yes, cowardly, someone who has allowed the brass and big suits around those conference tables to run roughshod over him, leaving him with nothing but the pretense of authority. This could explain what is a remarkable sense of arrogance observed at times when he is around outsiders as a kind of psychological reflex to his living in his job under constant bullying. After all, Bush’s whole presidency was a pretense: he pretended to be president, and Cheney and Rumsfeld - the precise quality of men who, had they lived in 1930s’ Germany would have been seen happily “working towards the Führer” as they used to say - deferentially allowed him to do so as they ran everything. Bush was the first president to prove America doesn’t even need a president except to sign documents, much like the formal requirement for a witness’s signature on a legal document.

We know, too, that Bush was as close to a moron as ever held the office, because we watched his insipid face and listened to his inability to articulate a clear sentence for eight years. Sometimes, we do see glimmers of something similar from Obama, statements and behaviors that would not be expected from someone of forceful intelligence – the unsupported Russian hacking accusations being one, but also such matters as his foolish public dismissal of Russia, the only country which can literally obliterate the United States, as a great power - only with Obama we don’t see Bush’s Alfred E. Neuman look, we see a serious, stiff mien and a tone and posture of arrogance. A well-practiced cover-up behavior for inadequacies?

I don’t know, and it really does not matter. He has been a terrible president in every important respect, but he maintains a fair number of supporters who I guess are impressed with the big boyish smile, although that is seen far less often now, the baritone voice, and perhaps the sheer, unprecedented fact of a black man standing in his position. There’s no accounting for taste or popularity, as we see in every corner of contemporary celebrity culture, and American politics absolutely has an important element of celebrity culture, just as it loves to use celebrities as endorsements. Think of the last days of Hillary Clinton’s tired campaign when she had, yes, Beyoncé and Jay Z appearing in Ohio. It is hard to imagine what political or economic or social information that pair of pop celebrities had to offer voters, and it was reported by some that they were quietly paid millions for some minutes of effort to help swing the state with razzle-dazzle. After all, this was the Hillary Campaign, a glorious travelling circus that is estimated to have burned through $1.2 billion.

Many do expect something different from Trump, and we can hope their expectations are well-founded. His entire path to the presidency does show some unorthodox attitudes and methods – unorthodox, that is, by the claustrophobic standards and practices of that center of world empire, Washington, not unorthodox in some wider sense – and they show a very tough and driven man. It is simply a fact that anyone missing the last quality cannot function effectively as President in 21st-century America. The general environment in Washington, without the least exaggeration, may be compared to the proverbial snake pit or to scenes from the last days of Roman Empire.

That is why, for example, Bernie Sanders is such a hopeless hope. The man conducted an impressive crusade, displaying considerable skills, yet he just folded in the end, leaving his enthusiastic followers in limbo and giving up to Hillary Clinton who represented almost everything he opposed and who stood before him as someone who had just clearly cheated him out of the nomination through a whole range of cheats, ploys and gimmicks. Yet, he just accepted her and even did some campaigning for her.

Such a personality offers zero promise in face-to-faces with Pentagon generals, CIA Big Suits, mega-corporation presidents, and some foreign leaders who are closer to Mafiosi than politicians. What do you expect out of a little place like Vermont? It’s lovely. I’ve spent time there. But it resembles a great deal something from a backlot set for “Lassie Come Home” or “Anne of Green Gables.” I know, I know, Bernie originally came from hard-bitten New York, but the operative word there is “came.” Whatever his reasons for seeking bucolic, low-stress bliss, they do not make him material for presiding over Washington’s Chamber of Horrors.

Many Americans themselves, including both liberals and conservatives, are well aware of the dishonesty of their government, if only in a vague sense, but they know the task of doing anything about it is just too overwhelming and difficult to consider. After all, peasants on a 17th century estate hardly dared dream of changing the “natural order” in which they lived. And ordinary Americans work extremely hard to raise their families, and a great many of them do not work at all. They do not command great resources for all the costs and activities of a crusade. The general human condition in Western countries has not changed quite so much as some like to imagine over a few centuries of enlightenment and progress. A huge number of Americans count only for brief moments when their ballots are sought with sound-bites and vacuous ads. Afterwards, the establishment goes on just as before, ignoring them and getting back to the business of lying.

The papers people read – and, thanks to the spreading, corrosive effects of American imperialism, I include other Western countries, not just the United States - and the broadcasts to which they listen are uniform in discouraging any truly fresh way of looking at things and in suppressing the hope that arrangements can be much different. They universally avoid telling the truth where government prefers that they don’t. The idea of independent and principled journalism is something you only find in brochures for journalism schools or in Hollywood films.

The two major American political parties - together forming a duopoly of political power little different in overall its effect from the kind of monopoly power American authorities like to disparage in other, “less free” places – certainly do not provide much room for fresh voices or new initiatives. Over long periods, they can actually be quite stifling, much like high officials in a church concerning accepted truth and doctrine. The parties are totally dominated by money - money that can only come in the volumes required for marketing, advertising, polls, make-up artists, wardrobe consultants, facilities of every kind, publicity, and travel expenses from extremely wealthy people and special interests who are not the least interested in any significant change to a very cozy and comfortable situation.

The dominance of the Clintons in the Democratic Party through their money connections has been an arrangement to defend the status quo. It was a clever construction. The Clintons got to be center stage, play-acting as liberals and agents of change, in exchange for the kind of money which absolutely guaranteed that they never for a moment could forgot that they were just playing parts, not really doing anything of consequence. Bill Clinton’s record as President is interchangeable, remarkably so, with what might have been expected from a traditional Republican. Hillary’s record as Secretary of State made her promise for the future, if anything, far more extreme in the same direction, and especially when it came to serving special interests and waging bloody war. The woman wore $11,000 Armani suits regularly and commanded $300,000 a pop plus expenses and comforts (right down to a standard demand for a certain bottled water to be supplied) for a long series of tedious speeches on America’s military given to investment bankers, and she made private jokes about people dying, as we know she said of Julian Assange, “Couldn’t we just drone him or something?” Or there was her appalling joke about the murder of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, a man who had been a good leader to his people, “We came, we saw, he died! Ha, ha, ha!”

The Democratic Party, given its distant past, especially the now all-but-forgotten legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, is the one from which an outsider viewing America, with no close knowledge of it, might reasonably have expected to find some prospect for change. But that seems a naïve hope if you understand who are the interests keeping the wheels of the organization turning.

The Democratic Party has become completely an establishment party, and one that literally morphed into the War Party along the way. Today, it offers a menu of the lightest possible offerings of social interest – the political equivalent of a platter of Ladies’ Tearoom sandwiches and dainties served by waiters in white gloves - just to differentiate itself from the Republicans and to make Americans of any degree of genuine liberal sentiment feel a little more comfortable. Since there aren’t a great number of the latter left in America by all appearances, the offerings can indeed be extremely modest.

Of course, these menu offerings consist of suggestions, attitudes, and slogans, not hard proposals for change, real change, in anything. The Democrats’ recent history of political behavior much resembles what mega-corporations do when they stick an image of a pink bow on their product packaging for a while and run a few, likely tax-deductible, ads promising purchasers that they will be helping in the fight against breast cancer by buying the brand. Imagine a package of Marlboros with a pink bow printed on it, and you get the picture.

Nothing better represents this modern Democratic leitmotif than Hillary Clinton’s long record of sound-bite concerns on many topics accompanied by a record of no actual effort spent on doing anything beyond getting elected. She started her last campaign saying every woman who is a rape victim deserved to be believed – something surely many young women and sympathetic men found re-assuring - yet she herself had dismissed privately, out-of-hand, for years a platoon of women pointing to her own predatory husband with the same charge.

Again, her displeasure with the Electoral College – echoed recently after her defeat - was first declared back in 2000, when George Bush won with a popular minority, but there is no record of her doing any work towards amending that outdated and anti-democratic provision of the Constitution, as during her eight years as a Senator. No, that would be a huge task to undertake, and political rewards are greater for sound-bites than they are for actual slogging hard work on anything most people do not even understand. Captains on the bridge with their gold braid and brass buttons on immaculate uniforms get noticed, not the sweating engineers actually running the ship down in the boiler room.

Make no mistake, the Democrats are bedrock establishment today, a party defending mostly backward views of the world and of American society. They are nothing more than the political Coke to the Republican’s Pepsi, or vice versa. And all the endorsements and advertising in the world do not change the reality of two sugary, dyed, fizzy drinks, indistinguishable in taste to many. Eight years of Obama - a man whose first campaign saw him sometimes wearing sandals and eschewing a totemic, imperialistic American flag pin on his lapel and intoning to cheering crowds, “Yes, we can” – proved that beyond all doubt.

Political figures like Ralph Nader or Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein are pretty close to irrelevant in the steaming boiler room of real American politics. Ideas are virtually never an issue in American elections. Neither is improving government’s service to citizens, from education to healthcare. Neither is the proper financing and budgeting of government. Neither is a reduction to insane military and security spending. How can it be otherwise in this “pounding fist” of an imperial society? All such American politicians tend to remind one of some naïve political science professor lecturing a rapt first-year audience of undergraduates excited about being out of high school and entering “the real world.”

This is the center of a world empire. It maintains a gigantic military which virtually never stops fighting wars, none of them having anything to do with defense. It has created an intelligence monstrosity which makes old outfits like Stazi seem almost quaint, and it spies on everyone. Indeed, it maintains seventeen national security establishments, as though you can never have too much of a good thing. And some of these guys, too, are engaged full-time in forms of covert war, from fomenting trouble in other lands and interfering in elections to overthrowing governments.

Barack Obama is not one of those marginal American politicians, having gained the leadership of one of the two great parties, and yet in eight years he changed almost nothing worth changing. Whether the plight of whistleblowers in America or the third-world conditions prevailing in American cities where many of his fellow black people survive in squalor. He did nothing to reform a financial system that gave the world a collapse from which it still has not recovered. He did virtually nothing about the nation’s rotting schools or rotting infrastructure. He whined about guns but never acted in a serious way on the huge problem of police who shoot people dead on the nation’s streets, more than 1,100 of them last year alone

Yet he signed, time after time, record legislation for squandering money on the military and Big Intelligence.  Under his command, the Pentagon literally burned pallet-load shipments of cash on bad programs such as the failed F-35 fighter, a new super-aircraft carrier that doesn’t work, a new type of littoral combat ship that doesn’t work, and a new Zumwalt-class destroyer that has proven an embarrassment. And there are the hugely expensive and highly intrusive NSA Supercomputer Data Centers. This is not a record of which to be proud, and it is about as far from liberal or progressive as you can go.  

And, of course, this “liberal,” as so many insist still on calling him, ended by killing more people than any dictator or demagogue of this generation on earth you care to name, several hundred thousand of them in his eight years. And he found new ways to kill, too, as by creating the world’s first industrial-scale extrajudicial killing operation. Here he signs off on “kill lists,” placed in his Oval Office in-box, to murder people he has never seen, people who enjoy no legal rights or protections. His signed orders are carried out by uniformed thugs working at computer screens in secure basements where they proceed to play computer games with real live humans as their targets, again killing or maiming people they have never seen.

If you ever have wondered where all the enabling workers came from in places like Stalin’s Gulag or Hitler’s concentration camps, well, here is your answer. American itself produces platoons of such people. You could find them working at Guantanamo and in the far-flung string of secret torture facilities the CIA ran for years, and you could find them in places like Fallujah or Samarra or Abu Ghraib, at the CIA’s basement game arcade killing centers, and even all over the streets of America dressed as police who shoot unarmed people every day, sometimes in the back.

Obama has told more lies than anyone could possibly count while conducting so much killing and destruction, and he has done so unblinkingly. If you have ever noticed, government officials doing shameful and illegal things do tend to lie about what it is they are doing. And when Obama wasn’t telling lies, he made secrecy and lack of transparency hallmarks of his administration. He is said to feel very harshly towards whistle-blowers and leakers. He ends his grubby term of office with baseless, self-serving public accusations comparable in every way to those of Senator Joe McCarthy of the early 1950s.

McCarthy, a Republican, was also someone the establishment quietly supported for a time. He served their purposes, until he started weaving dangerously on the road, much like a drunken driver. He departed from the accepted script and began hurling accusations everywhere, and not just accusations about “commies” in the State Department, a place the establishment of the time hated. He came to relish accusing some targets of being sexual perverts, and he attacked new target after new target, threatening the ability of government even to function. For those who don’t know, J. Edgar Hoover, perpetual director of the FBI and an early supporter of McCarthy, was gay and a cross-dresser in private.

Of course, the establishment doesn’t have to worry about the embarrassing excesses of Obama and pompous appointees like James Clapper, as they finally did about those of McCarthy, because this pair of vicious clowns faithfully did just as they were supposed to do, and they are now headed for the exit doors. But they do have to worry about Trump, a man who already has expressed intelligent skepticism over the offerings of Big Intelligence as well as intelligent skepticism about the shameful and immense waste of the Pentagon. Importantly, he has asked why the entire Mideast is on fire and why Russia should be viewed as an enemy. And that is why the likes of Obama and Clapper have taken on a last-minute, rearguard destructive operation on behalf of those fearful of change.

It is certain that Joseph McCarthy’s rise to power could not have happened without important silent support, and his fall, after pretty much disgracing himself, allowed members of the establishment to congratulate themselves in public over protecting America from such demagoguery. All of this, from beginning to end, was complete hypocrisy, the very kind of hypocrisy we have screaming at us today from Washington. A similar claque of powerful people today congratulates themselves on efforts to interfere with the proper and peaceful transition of power to a man they’ve arbitrarily labelled a demagogue.

America’s mainline press has supported the claque by painting Trump as a dangerous demagogue, and I think it is largely over their resentment for his literally hi-jacking a very tired, almost worn-out, Republican Party - which resembled a becalmed antique sailing ship going nowhere - and promising to power it off in new directions. Of course, those loyal to the Clinton-Obama War Party greedily join in the accusations against Trump, seemingly completely innocent or even unaware of behavior ranging from insider plots to steal Hillary’s nomination from a contender to killing a third of a million people in Syria and who knows how many in Libya.

Also, they literally hate the prospect that the War Party, which they have faithfully supported for years, may be crumbling. And, who knows, even the possible further prospect of its demise after recent events revealed it to the public as a mafia-like operation with little respect for democratic process or principles of any kind? Stranger things in politics have happened, and political parties are no more guaranteed eternal life than the crowds at American revival meetings who raise their arms in child-like fantasy towards some huckster-preacher banging the Bible at the podium.

You must always remember, America’s press, which loves to congratulate itself regularly on its journalistic principles, is a mature and in some ways declining industry which is owned, through consolidations, by a very small number of corporate interests who completely support the Neocon Wars and a highly aggressive American foreign policy which puts American corporate interests first, everywhere, and reduces foreign governments, such as those in Europe or Japan, to American satrapies. The dominant views of America’s establishment are not enlightened, not democratic, not open-minded. They are “me-first” and keep competitors abroad under your thumb.

The subject of the Neocon Wars raises the related issue of the Israel Lobby’s influence in American politics. These destructive wars and an associated hyper-aggressive American foreign policy reflect this influence. The term “Neocon” refers to a coterie of influential people in Washington over the last fifteen years or so, people who have openly advocated for a highly aggressive policy of asserting American global dominance, always including a subsidiary aim, expressed with the euphemism, “the birth of a new Middle East.” Eliminating any independent-mindedness in the countries of the Mideast and assuring Israel’s complete imperialistic dominance over the region are the primary goals of the wars and interventions which have cost about two million lives and immense destruction over the Bush-Obama era. The extent of much of this holocaust is allowed to remain hidden from the public by our obliging corporate press, and efforts at explaining the causes has been a great throbbing engine for the production of lies.

But what is the long-term sense of assuring total dominance by eight million people, many of them immigrants, over hundreds of millions of others with centuries of history in the region? Eight million people who have no relationship or common history or culture and views with the great masses over which they are to dominate? An essentially European, urban people who share only a religion – and many of them not even that since Israel has a high proportion of non-believers - with the ancient Hebrews who once lived there? Even that number of eight million is deceptive since it includes over a million Arabs who are accidentally, and not with full equality, technical citizens of Israel.

These terrible Neocon Wars are, in addition, largely responsible for two devastating developments in our time. The first is huge movements of terrified refugees into Europe, millions of them, causing immense difficulties and putting great stress on the very foundations of the EU.

The second is the phenomenon we call international terror, which in fact is a side effect of the Neocon Wars. A huge amount of weaponry has been scattered around in the region by supporters of the American policy. Then, large numbers of mercenaries and rootless, violent people have been deliberately recruited, paid, and supplied to assist in carrying out America’s policy, as in Libya and Syria. Finally, there are large numbers of angry young men now who seek revenge for what has been done to their homes and families. It is a witches’ brew our press deliberately confuses by calling it international terror while constantly promoting the idea of Arabs and Muslims being undependable, unstable, and backward people, a concept welcomed and supported by the residents of the American crusader fortress we call Israel. The entire effort has been a guaranteed formula for instability and human misery.

In reality, what we call international terror is largely the “blowback” of American policies which themselves amount to state terror. Israel, of course, finds comfort in headlines in the West about “international terror” since the fear of that notion helps Americans and Europeans feel a bit more bonded to the fears Israel has always felt in its position as a colony planted by violence in an alien region. Many Israelis undoubtedly feel about their millions of neighbors much the way the Old South’s planters used to feel about the large number of inhabitants in the slave quarters as they went to bed each night with pistols and daggers kept under their pillows. Fear of rebellion was constant and worked like a poisonous substance in the Old South society, even though there was only one rebellion, a small one too, that ever happened. That endless unease explains why Old South society was well known for its inclination to violence, as in the infamous “code of the Old South.” Doesn’t Israel have much the same reputation?

America’s assistance and policies keep a garrison state not only going but growing, growing through the regular seizure of their neighbors’ property, a terrible practice which successive American governments fear addressing. Why? I think the Israel Lobby’s extremely well-organized efforts in American politics explain that. Support Israel, almost unconditionally, and you will receive large campaign donations and positive press coverage (remembering, it is a much-consolidated American press owned by quite a small number of companies). Criticize Israel and your opponents will get the donations and you will get negative press coverage. This has been an on-going pattern since the days when Harry Truman first agreed to recognize Israel, against his private best judgment, at a time when he felt vulnerable because his own re-election was quite uncertain.

While in the short term this massive bloodshed and destruction may be reassuring for Israel, having pretty much everything around it flattened, over the long term I do not see how this can be anything but destabilizing.

Destabilizing just as is the $38 billion, ten-year military-assistance agreement Obama just extended to Israel, a country perfectly able to pay for its own defense. This amount vastly exceeds what the United States gives any other country, even far larger ones in far greater economic need. The amount represents an increase of more than a quarter over the previous decade’s assistance agreement. And Obama gave it without a single condition imposed on Israel at a time when Israel’s government is constantly violating laws, rights, and international norms and agreements. I can’t think of any other place on earth where it is regarded as just fine suddenly to march out and seize someone else’s farms or homes. You cannot not build a sound future society for yourself that way, quite apart from the injustice and misery inflicted on others.

Yet, the press often gives the impression that Obama is no friend to Israel. It is well-known that Obama and Netanyahu personally dislike each other intensely, and Netanyahu has gone out of his way to demean or embarrass Obama several times. So, does the immense size of this military-assistance agreement reflect the influence of the Israel Lobby? I think it does, and it all points again to Obama’s total inability in office to fight for anything worth fighting for, such as conditions at least placed on a criminal government being handed a vast fortune, something approaching $500 each year for each citizen of Israel, almost a national basic personal income, if you will, supplied by America.

It is often asserted that the term “Israel Lobby” indicates prejudice, but saying that is just a form of reverse-prejudice, another version of the worn-threadbare accusation that if you criticize Israel, you are, ipso-facto, anti-Semitic. Indeed, this false idea has become as common as rain, and Israel has made considerable diplomatic efforts through the years, with some success, in Europe and in North America to have criticism of Israel criminalized in one fashion or another.

Two distinguished American scholars - John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government - wrote a serious book on the subject of the Israel Lobby, establishing the fact and of its existence beyond question. Others, too, have contributed to understanding the phenomenon.

And we also see, from time to time, events which bring the reality forcefully home. Israeli diplomats in London were just caught on video discussing bringing down British MPs regarded as unfriendly to Israel. Well, talk about direct interference in the internal affairs and elections of others! Newt Gingrich, when last running for his party’s presidential nomination, went around making speeches about how there really was no such thing as a Palestinian after receiving the best part of $20 million dollars in campaign donations from a very wealthy and avid supporter of Israel. Freshmen American Congressmen after an election are routinely “offered” – I put that in quotes because it is not an offer to be declined without political consequences - paid holidays to Israel for indoctrination. Recently, the New York Times confirmed the discovery that all of its stories concerning Israel are routinely passed by the official Israeli Censor before being published. Hillary’s most massive contributors over the years are members in good standing of the Lobby.

One of the most predictable and bordering-on-absurd regular happenings in Washington around this subject is Senator Lindsey Graham suddenly leaping to his feet at any mention of Israel which has even a hint of less-than-fulsome praise or at any proposal to give a less-than-lordly hand-out and going into paroxysms. I’ve asked myself why that would be. Why should Senator Graham, who represents Baptists in South Carolina, choose the role of political pit bull on guard for Israel? Why should he care so intensely and constantly about Israel? Well, I spent a short time reading about him and looking at photos, and I couldn’t help being struck by the distinct possibility of Senator Graham’s being gay.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, unless you happen to represent South Carolina, surely one of the more backward and least tolerant states in the Union. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that Senator Graham was caught, years ago, in a “honey trap” by Mossad, and he has been given to understand that compromising photos exist. Today, he is a tireless defender of all things Israeli. It is hard to explain such sustained motivation otherwise. Exactly the same kind of thing happened to the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover early in his career. The Mafia is said to have had compromising photos of him and a male lover, and that old bull dog-faced lawman eventually became notorious for not pursuing the Mafia, allowing it decades of comfortable growth after the repeal of Prohibition.

He always chased instead almost non-existent Communists, keeping the Communist party of America’s ranks packed with undercover FBI Agents and its coffers filled with their expensed donations so that it kept the appearance of something formidable when it wasn’t and served to justify constant FBI budget increases. It might be called the “self-fulfilling prophecy” approach to spying, much like the CIA’s approach to its annual Soviet estimates during the Cold War. The estimates were always wildly inflated, and the CIA always got the budget increases it sought. Security service empires have a way of growing exponentially regardless of the threat level. They share with the military the almost magical ability to be always discovering dire new needs for their services.

The whole set of matters concerning Israel forms a huge indigestible mass at the very center of American politics. Clearly, it is better in every way to halt the Neocon wars. Clearly, also, it is better to force Israel to make peace and define its still undefined borders by accepting the status quo of 1967. Clearly, it is better to have a stable, peaceful region with good long-term relations with the United states. But, these things are easier said than done, and precisely because of the Israel Lobby which always defends Israel, even when it pursues destructive policies and goals, as it so frequently does.

A lot of people hope Trump will halt the stupid wars, and a lot of people, recognizing his political history of being an upstart without a lifetime’s obligations to the usual political crowd, think he may be in a good position to do something important in the Mideast. There is ambiguity here though, owing to some references about moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a non-starter for peace, if ever there was one, but the references are also quite possibly a deal-maker lure, for there can be little doubt that Jerusalem will be the capital of both Israel and Palestine in the end.

At least, ending the wars is the sine qua non of anything to be called progress. It is also part of a needed de-escalation in America’s current hyper-aggressive global posture. If you want a better domestic economy, there are few better places to start than paring back the unbelievable waste of great masses of ships and planes and tanks rumbling around everywhere and creating nothing of economic value. Nothing is more wasteful and destructive than maintaining such a military establishment. No one better knows how to waste money than the military with its every movement of a truck or plane costing immensely more than the same act in the civilian economy and none of the movements producing any worthwhile good or service. And the nonsense of keeping Europe and Russia as near-enemies rather than flourishing economic partners only impoverishes everyone.

But it is not sound economic thinking or a sensible approach to world affairs which has governed America’s use of its military for years. It is indulgent, uncaring pride, the arrogance of a wealthy establishment which does what it does simply because it can. It is a formidable barrier against progress which is not going to just fade away. And Trump’s political base, while clearly excluding Neocons, does include the belly-over-the-belt types who, perhaps unthinkingly, like to see Old Glory waving everywhere. So, there is a big set of difficulties for him to work through, and it is not at all clear how he can do so.

The establishment’s waste and arrogance and paying-no-attention to ordinary people really are what motivated a lot of Americans to vote for Trump, especially when the other choice was the very embodiment of those arrogant qualities, annoyingly and patronizingly taking a moment, here and there, to nibble a piece of fried chicken with the folks in some obscure diner. Good photo-op. Americans very much feel they have a national government which behaves more as an occupying power than as a legitimate institution to serve them. And the fact that it spends so much time and money and credibility on trying to control the planet does have a tendency to influence its resources and its very attitudes at home. After all, they are occupied with earth-shattering matters abroad, and you, well, you just don’t count in the scheme of things.

But politics never provides complete change, as some naïve political thinkers like to believe. America remains a huge imperial power essentially run by wealthy people for the interests of wealthy people, and that is not going to change any time soon, but that does not preclude some changes in the way things have been conducted because not all wealthy people see their interests as being identical, and wealthy people making decisions do sometimes make very bad ones. Never mind how the Pentagon and CIA, under Obama and Bush, have stomped their heels into the necks of countless thousands of innocents and wrecked whole societies, just look on the home front at the shabby way corporate giants can behave.

We have Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post and turning it into a more complete propaganda factory than ever, publishing, for example, a scurrilous, libelous list of Internet sites said to be under Russian influence, a list obtained from an “anonymous source” which almost certainly just happen to reside in Langley, Virginia. We have Facebook’s shuffling, t-shirted multi-billionaire appointing himself American Guru of Truth and Fakery in the News. This from the founder of one of the most fake-filled sites on the Internet, notorious previously for fake reader “likes” which affect advertising rates, but, more importantly, an outfit which ceaselessly censors and spies on its users, sucking information from them like a Dyson whirlwind vacuum cleaner to sell to marketers and send along to the security services. Recently, when I use my Google bookmark link for Russia’s Sputnik (formerly, RIA Novosti, The Voice of Russia), an informative and entertaining site I have checked for years, Google frequently inserts a warning page telling me that it is dangerous to proceed, a page which includes a button marked “Back to Safety,” as though I were approaching a phishing or pornographic site. This from the company that started years ago with a motto, “Do no harm,” but, of course, today Google is a vest-pocket affiliate of CIA, an outfit which does almost nothing but harm. And look at the way Microsoft introduced Windows 10, including violations of fundamental conventions on the Internet such as a pop-up “install” box whose “dismiss command” did precisely the opposite when the “x” was selected, or the way another giant, Apple, has treated some of its customers, including things like “bricking” their costly phones if any effort is made to change or repair anything.

It is simply about the arrogance of power, a phrase the late Senator Fulbright wrote years ago to describe America’s murderous and pointless crusade in Vietnam.

Politics can shake-up a few institutions which need shaking-up, expose a few rotten actors and send them packing, turn around a few dangerous policy paths, and it can grant the people at large a sense of some new possibilities. Sometimes, and this may be one of those times. But the fanatical wing of Trump supporters, especially those on the “alt-right” are almost certain to be disappointed when he does not re-create America the way “accepting Christ” is supposed to re-create a sinner.

Trump seems a man of enough independent-mindedness and independent wealth and seasoned toughness of personality to withstand the assaults he will face from the establishment in Washington. Actually, I shouldn’t say “will” because he is facing waves of them before he even takes the oath, and he is doing admirably well at handling them. There is a claque of very rich and influential people who are not going to disappear into the woodwork despite losing control now. However, he is himself a rich man with a rich man’s interests, and he is not likely to lose his sense of direction in a wave of patriotic fervor which some Americans confuse with religion. He will have done as much as any candidate could if he ends the killing and the mindless interference in the affairs of others and creates some programs which bring jobs to large numbers of now-hopeless Americans. He actually does have a chance at genuine political greatness, but I would not bet the farm on it.