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CHUCKMAN - BUSH - GOD - EVEN THE CREATOR GETS IT WRONG - TINTED

Posted May 30, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S MILITARY AS THE GREATEST POLLUTER ON EARTH – A NEW BOOK REVEALS ABOUT ITS DUMPING GHASTLY POISONS INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN FOR MANY YEARS – BUT THAT IS ONLY A PART OF THE GIGANTIC MILITARY POLLUTION MACHINERY – 800 TO 1,000 BASES ABROAD TO BE SUPPLIED TO NORTH AMERICAN STANDARDS – BURN PITS – USED AMMUNITION – CHEMICALS AND OLD MACHINERY – DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – AGENT ORANGE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED ON PRESS TV

‘Poisoning the Pacific’ details US military’s secret dumping of poison into Far East

The new book, written by British journalist Jon Mitchell, details how the US military has been disposing toxic substances, including plutonium, dioxin, and VX nerve agent in the Pacific for many years

This kind of revelation is disturbing but not unexpected.

The American military is likely the greatest polluter on earth.

America has somewhere between 800 to 1,000 bases abroad. Imagine the pollution generated just by all the planes, ships, and trucks needed to keep them supplied, and to North American standards of consumption, and the endless mountains of trash generated.

And then there’s the filthy stuff like chemicals, used engine oil, and spilled fuel, broken or outdated machinery and equipment, and used ammunition scattered over land and sea in shooting practice.

Remember the controversy over “burn pits” used at military bases? Everything unwanted, vast amounts of stuff, was just dumped into them, soaked with fuel, and burned. The smoke and fumes made a lot of Americans very sick.

Depleted uranium dust is scattered all over the Middle East from American munitions, undoubtedly causing thousands of cancers over decades. The great weight of uranium produces shells which strike with great force so they can pierce armor, but every shell fired distributes a cloud of poisonous dust that will last for a very long time.

When the US left Vietnam, it left a beautiful land with so many bomb craters, areas were said to resemble the moon. And it had dumped thousands of tons of Agent Orange in the forests. And it left behind countless land mines that would keep killing farmers for decades.

Posted October 18, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE DESTRUCTION OF FLIGHT MH 17 IN UKRAINE – RUSSIA HAS LEFT THE CONSULTING PANEL OWING TO NON-STOP BIAS AND LACK OF GENUINE COOPERATION – REVIEWING SOME OF THE BACKGROUND – AN INVESTIGATION THAT SHOULD HAVE REACHED RELIABLE CONCLUSIONS WITHIN A FEW MONTHS IS NOW INTO ITS 7TH YEAR – CRUCIAL EVIDENCE NEVER SOUGHT OR SUPPLIED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NEIL CLARK IN RUSSIA TODAY

Plane bias: Russia’s decision to quit MH17 panel a logical result of Dutch provocations

Russia’s decision to quit the three-sided consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on flight MH17 is not surprising. It’s surprising that Moscow hasn’t done this earlier, having been declared guilty from day one.

I took an interest in this matter in the early days and followed the information released fairly closely.

Absolutely crucial to understanding are the facts that Ukraine never released radar data, which is something that should have been done as normal procedure, and that the United States never provided any photos from spy satellites.

The American Keyhole satellites have cameras with lenses almost like the Hubble Space Telescope.

And we know an American satellite was active over the area. Those satellites always are set to take a special interest in regions of conflict like the Ukraine. There absolutely must be high-resolution photos. Why do they remain hidden?

Those satellites read other kinds of data too, but no one has seen any from the US.

If you study the case, you know there are many other interesting and unexplained facts. That just shouldn’t be the case for such an event. Air crashes are often thoroughly investigated and reported within a few months.

Remember, the US very much had a motive to hide any responsibility by its coup-installed government in Ukraine. They had invested 5 billion dollars in toppling an elected government.

For more interesting facts, see: 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/john-chuckman-comment-latest-installment-of-the-years-long-foot-dragging-investigation-into-the-downing-of-flight-mh-17-over-ukraine-raises-old-concerns/

___________________

Response to a comment about the Dutch government:

I long have admired the Dutch as creative and industrious and scrupulous people.

This extremely poor investigation, done under America’s thumb, absolutely casts a dark shadow over their reputation, I am sorry to say.

I almost suspect the US chose the Dutch because their historic excellent reputation would add credibility to the cover-up.

I’m sure they were forced into a hard place. The US had a 5 billion-dollar investment in Ukraine’s coup. We know that number from the State Department’s Victoria Nuland being overheard.

Posted October 18, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN RUSSOPHOBIA BADLY INFECTS CANADA – CONSORTIUM NEWS, AN OLD AND DISTINGUISHED INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE, IS SUING A CANADIAN NEWS NETWORK FOR CLAIMING IT WAS PART OF A RUSSIAN-DIRECTED POLITICAL ATTACK – A FEW NOTES ON CHRYSTIA FREELAND’S CONNECTIONS IN WASHINGTON AND ON HER BIAS – SHE IS SOMEONE JUSTIN TRUDEAU MUCH DEPENDS ON OWING TO HIS OWN WEAKNESS – CANADA’S CHANGED REPUTATION IN THE WORLD – INTERESTING NOTES FROM THE CONSORTIUM NEWS’ INVESTIGATION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

Consortium News Sues Canadian TV Network for Defamation Over Report CN Was Part of ‘Attack’ ‘Directed’ by Russia

In January Consortium News sent a libel notice to Global News demanding a retraction and apology. The TV network refused. On Tuesday CN filed suit in Virginia.

Go get ’em, CN.

Just the most appalling stuff from a Canadian news network, but one which I have always regarded as something of a broom-closet, mop-and-bucket effort at being an authoritative news source. Maybe that’s why they did not adequately check facts and claims?

It does seem that in this era of consistently hostile American foreign policy, literally anything goes in the way of shabby speech – from Democrats or Republicans or American security services or allies abroad who jostle for a place at the hem of the imperial garment.

Chrystia Freeland – Canada’s former Foreign Minister and now Deputy Prime Minister with special responsibility for relations with Washington – is what I describe as a Neocon-Lite, although the “Lite” designation is debatable. You can easily identify her orientation from the set of her prejudices revealed over time. She has helped change Canada’s traditional approach to, and reputation in, international affairs under Liberal governments beyond recognition.

She gets on quite well with Mike Pompeo, perhaps the most poisonous senior diplomat in modern history. We never have a word against America’s current destructive set of foreign policies, including the horrors of Yemen. Indeed, Freeland and Trudeau supported Saudi Arabia by selling it billions of dollars’ worth of armored cars, and they are still doing it, selling armored cars to the bloodiest tyrant in the Middle East. American influence? Of course.

She advocates strongly for America’s ugly efforts to topple a twice-elected (six times-elected, if you also count the past leader) government in Venezuela. She supports America’s shameful use of severe – and illegal, having no authority beyond America’s say-so – sanctions against poorer states suffering under the pandemic.

She helped destroy Canada’s previous excellent relations with China because that is what Washington wanted. We hear never a word against Saudi Arabia’s many bloody horrors, wars and murders and record numbers of grisly executions. Never a word on America’s illegal occupation of part of Syria and theft of its oil. Never a word about America’s numerous public assassinations in Iraq. Never a word about America’s ugly new pressures against Cuba, a country Pierre Trudeau, father of the current Prime Minister, had befriended.

Never a word as Israel spent months regularly ambushing unarmed protesters in Gaza, killing over two hundred, including women and children, and wounding a few thousand, some mangled for life. Never a word about (clearly neo-Nazi) paramilitary organizations in Ukraine, such as the Azov Battalion and the Right Sector, organizations which are quietly used to keep the country’s elected government intimidated so that it doesn’t stray from the American line in trying to settle the country’s many post-coup problems. And never a word against Trump’s literally tearing up a whole series of important treaties concerned with nuclear weapons.

A sure sign of Canada’s decline in the world’s esteem was seen in Justin Trudeau’s recent fairly desperate and costly effort to secure a temporary UN Security Council seat. He was embarrassingly turned down by the General Assembly. Likely they didn’t feel they needed another echo of the United States in deliberations.

Distinguished past Liberal Party figures like Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien, and Paul Martin gave Canada an enviable international reputation, a reputation it has largely lost. The loss started under the rightwing Conservative government of Stephen Harper, but it has been reinforced by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government with Chrystia Freeland as its major player, always assigned top posts.

Justin Trudeau, unlike his esteemed and brilliant father, a man of many accomplishments and one who stood up to the United States during the Vietnam War and on relations with Cuba, is simply a weak leader. He has revealed that in many acts and words. He ran for office on his name and his smile and has amply demonstrated the adage about strong fathers often having weak sons.

He originally avoided politics, but Liberal Party insiders lured him to run for office in desperate hopes of defeating the longstanding Stephen Harper government. The Trudeau name had retained a lot of magic in Canada more than thirty years after Pierre left office.

Before entering politics not many years ago, Justin Trudeau’s career was as a drama coach and snowboard instructor at a high school. I think that’s about all you need to know concerning qualifications.

Ms. Freeland is both tougher and more intelligent than Justin, and he leans on her a great deal, but she is also something else, as you can see in the following quotes concerning a memo released by the American State Department.

‘The US State Department boasted in a declassified memo in March 2017 that Canada had adopted an “America first” foreign policy.

‘The cable was authored just weeks after the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister.

‘The State Department added that Trudeau had promoted Freeland “in large part because of her strong U.S. contacts,” and that her “number one priority” was working closely with Washington.’

She is connected, having worked as an editor for one of the news services known through the Cold War as an outlet for CIA disinformation. Her husband also works for The New York Times, the American establishment’s official house organ. She is noticeably biased on a whole range of subjects, and especially with respect to Ukraine and Russia, a bias not uncommon with Canadians of Ukrainian heritage, which is of course in line with American policy today.

NOTES

BELOW ARE EXCERPTS FROM THE CONSORTIUM NEWS’ INVESTIGATION OF CHRYSTIA FREELAND’S FAMILY BACKGROUND – AN HONEST JOURNALISTIC INVESTIGATION THAT SAW CANADA’S GLOBAL NEWS LABEL CONSORTIUM NEWS AS A “RUSSIAN COLLABORATOR” DISTRIBUTING DISINFORMATION.

CONSORTIUM NEWS, THE OLDEST INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE ON THE INTERNET (25 YEARS) AND ONE FOUNDED BY AN AWARD-WINNING AMERICAN JOURNALIST, THE LATE ROBERT PARRY, ONLY PICKED UP ON THE STORY AFTER IT HAD BEEN MENTIONED IN OTHER PLACES, INCLUDING CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS, THE GLOBE AND MAIL AND THE OTTAWA CITIZEN.

AS IS OFTEN THE CASE, CONSORTIUM NEWS DUG DEEPER INTO THE MATTER – THE LIST OF CONSORTIUM NEWS’ WRITERS AND DIRECTORS INCLUDES MANY DISTINGUISHED NAMES.

“Freeland presents her grandparents in the following way: ‘My maternal grandparents fled western Ukraine after Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact in 1939. They never dared to go back..”

“Chrystia Freeland’s dark family secret is that her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, faithfully served Nazi Germany right up to its surrender, and Chomiak’s family only moved to Canada after the Third Reich was defeated.”

“Of course, if she had told the truth, she might never have achieved a successful political career in Canada. Her fierce hostility toward Russia also might be viewed in a different light.”

“Freeland’s grandfather – rather than being a helpless victim – was given a prestigious job to spread Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler from a publishing house stolen from Jews and given to Ukrainians who shared the values of Nazism.”

“While it is true that the sins of a grandfather should not be visited on his descendants, Freeland should not have misled the public on history of such importance, especially when her deceptions also concealed how she partly developed her world view.”

Freeland has misled the public about these matters a number of times. Here’s a quote from 2016: ‘Thinking of my grandparents Mykhailo & Aleksandra Chomiak on Black Ribbon Day [A day which remembers the crimes of both Hitler and Stalin]. They were forever grateful to Canada for giving them refuge and they worked hard to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine. I am proud to honour their memory today.’

In her autobiography, she wrote: “My maternal grandparents fled western Ukraine after Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact in 1939. They never dared to go back..”

Posted October 17, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FEELING ALMOST SORRY FOR TRUMP – HE SEEMS TO BE LOSING THE ELECTION AND KNOWS IT – HE EVEN MAY HAVE RISKED HIS LIFE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL TO TRY TURNING THINGS AROUND – A RATHER SAD LONELY DESPERATE MAN WITH A RECORD OF NO ACHIEVEMENT – LIKELY THERE WILL BE NO SECOND DEBATE OWING TO A CHANGE IN BIDEN’S VIEW – LOW EXPECTATIONS IN MATTERS AT HOME AND ABROAD FOR BIDEN AS PRESIDENT – SOMETHING TO FEEL SORRY ABOUT, PROFOUNDLY SORRY, TOO IN THE NATURE OF AMERICA’S ELECTIONS – A CHANGE IN THE CAST OF CHARACTERS AND THE SAME PLAY JUST CARRIES ON   Leave a comment

COMMENT – FEELING ALMOST SORRY FOR TRUMP

I am now fairly convinced Trump will lose the election. The sense of things, including his own behavior, and not just polls, is going that way.

So, it is hard to believe, but I find myself feeling almost sorry for him now. Maybe it’s just a twinge of the belief I share with the great Graham Greene about the duty of writers always to support the underdog.

No, I do not in any way support Trump, and the world will be a better place without his influence, but there is something sad in his situation. As there is very much in his complete failure to deliver anything for peace and demilitarization in the world, things that he spoke of four years ago.

Quite the opposite, he has dumped huge quantities of weapons into a fragile world, torn up hard-won treaties, opened new intense hostilities, as against Iran and China, and actually murdered people as well as supported others who murder, such as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

I reject virtually everything Trump has done and said, but since leaving the hospital, I’m seeing a lonely, desperate figure, someone who believes he is heroically fighting for a cause. The belief is delusional, of course, but for those suffering with them, delusions are as real as anything else.

A man ready to risk his life (along, of course, with the lives of others) to be re-elected. There is an immense sadness about that, particularly when you consider the trail of chaos that his time in office leaves behind. He has made absolutely nothing better in the world.

He left the hospital against expert advice. And he remains not just sick, but infectious, perhaps highly so.

Biden has changed his view on a second debate. Plexiglass screens are not going to be enough. Now, he says there will not be a debate unless medical experts declare Trump free of the virus. How much chance is there of that, given the short time left?

Not much, and I think the Democrats have hit upon an effective political tactic to avoid any risks from a second debate. The first one was a record-breaking shame and disaster for all involved.

There is very little ever to celebrate in American politics. Trump is a horror; however, Biden is anything but a hero. His record in public office, a long one, is impressive only for being unimpressive and frequently downright shabby.

American elections really are designed as huge public events that get people excited but, in the end, do not make terribly much difference to the country’s many harsh realities. Both parties are war-and-imperial parties, only differing by talk about social policies which never are realized.

And the bought-and-paid-for nature of Washington’s entire political establishment, where “money is free speech,” means there is little in the way of a pool of leadership talent to call upon. Leadership is quite a different matter than performing tasks for those who pay your way. It must be nurtured, and it takes time to develop and mature, just as any other talent.

A former CIA man who writes articles on some independent Internet sites, John Kiriakou, wrote recently about John Negroponte’s support of Biden.

If you are not familiar with Negroponte, he is one of Washington’s true eminence grises. He is a Republican, but he is more than that. He is an insider’s insider, an advisor to Presidents, a manipulator, a Neocon, a true war hawk sharing responsibility for much of America’s global carnage over the last 20 years or so.

Negroponte says the country could not stand another four years of Trump. He will likely now be part of Biden’s inner circle. I don’t find that very comforting.

So, if you expect imperial America to tone down its many hostilities, demands, and its dangerous arrogance in the world under Biden, think again.

Biden’s entire 50-year political career gives no encouragement for such expectations. He has, just like the late John McCain on the Republican side, never seen an American war he didn’t like.

I’ve noted before that you don’t receive the Medal of Freedom – the one for politics and national affairs, as Biden did – for being a hero. Past recipients include Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright among a regular Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors.

In domestic matters, too, there will only be a bit of furniture rearranging. There was an incident a while back when some big Democratic donors expressed concern about Leftist noises coming from the Party.

For example, remember Bernie Sanders saying he believed Biden would be the most progressive President ever? Clearly, a case of Bernie’s getting carried away by his own hopes and enthusiasms. But the big-money people do not take such words lightly. They take no chances about what they are getting for their money.

That is just the way politics work in America, and in both parties. That is why so little ever changes, changes at least for the better. Changes for the worse are frequent. The worse for both ordinary Americans and the world’s people.

Biden was reported to have assured the donors that there would be no real change in the status quo.

At least, we will not have to hear the ugly words of Trump. Or watch his grimacing and grotesque posing. That’s about as much as any contemporary election in America can deliver. A change in the cast of characters for a long-running play which just carries right on.

And, of course, that fact, too, is something to feel sorry about, profoundly sorry.

Posted October 7, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COVID ENTERS THE ELECTION – CHANGES THAT IT BRINGS – NOTES ON TRUMP’S COMPLETE LACK OF EMPATHY FOR OTHERS – A WORD ON A SHABBY, EMBARRASSING DEBATE – MUSSOLINI DOES A STAGY EVENING RETURN-HOME SCENE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BALCONY – THE MOST TROUBLING THING ABOUT TRUMP’S TIME IN OFFICE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – COVID ENTERS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Polls showed that a majority of Americans thought Biden won the first Presidential debate, and he gained a little boost vis-à-vis Trump from the fact.

But it was nothing large or decisive, and I think victory in such a shabby, embarrassing event means very little in the scheme of things. Biden just scraped through. All perceptive commentators called the event a record low point in the country’s politics, which is exactly what it was. You don’t gain a lot of credibility just getting through something like that.

Now, we have a new entrant in the contest, COVID-19.

Trump’s coming down with what appears to be a relatively mild case of COVID could have some significant effects on the election.

First, Trump may well gain a certain “sympathy vote.” That is just the way large populations of people react. We already see lunatic prayer vigils for him. We can be certain he will milk the situation for all it is worth.

The irony is in his being a person of zero empathy or sympathy for anyone else, something we see demonstrated almost daily.

Months ago, it was projected that there would be 200,000 American COVID deaths by Election Day, November 3. But we have already surpassed that number with about 210,000 deaths at this writing and a daily toll of about 700 nearly thirty days before the election. Plus, all the experts expect a new surge in cases during the Fall. Yet these are matters Trump never addresses in his briefings, which are pretty much about himself, his own attitudes and uninformed views.

Other countries gained control early – outstanding examples include China, Singapore, Thailand, and New Zealand – but not the United States. Trump literally sat on accurate information early in the year, taking no meaningful measures. Any journalist who asked questions around those matters received anger and contempt as a response. Trump contradicted and opposed every true expert at home and abroad. He made efforts even to suppress American experts offering their views to the public. His ostentatious quitting – he called it “terminating” – the World Health Organization in May has to rank as a policy-act equivalent to his manic debate performance.

He has offered a world-class display of incompetence. And the reason? Because bad news would damage his re-election chances. So, tens of thousands died needlessly in order to help Trump get re-elected. See what I mean by demonstrated lack of empathy and sympathy?

Aspects of that could work against him, as I very much hope they do. There is a relatively large list of White House staff and others now revealed to have been infected by his recklessness. Some important Republican donors were exposed. Many Secret Service Agents have been infected with all his travel.

We had a story about Secret Service Agents anonymously saying Trump didn’t give a damn about what happened to them.

His little limo drive-by in front of the hospital certainly demonstrated how little concern he had for staff and those assisting him in a needless stunt. That armored limo is hermetically-sealed against gas attacks and provides an ideal transmission environment for people inside with a virus according to one expert.

The approval for his nominee to the Supreme Court is going to be slowed down owing to virus concerns in the Senate, quite possibly making confirmation of the appointment before the election impossible.

He may not get his tie-breaking vote for an election thrown into the Court. Will he still throw the election into the Court if Biden is elected without an overwhelming lead?

Who knows, but I suspect so. Trump will pretty much do anything offering him a chance at victory he would not otherwise have had.

He is an utterly unscrupulous man.

Perhaps, the most troubling fact about Trump’s time in office is seeing how many Americans still enthusiastically support him.

It does say dark things about a very large fraction of the American people because the enthusiasm comes after almost four years of demonstrated ignorance, incompetence, and lies. Plus, public murder, theft, and unrelenting aggression against hundreds of millions of people, unprecedented crudeness and incivility in international affairs, including towards traditional friends and allies, and generous support for some of the world’s bloodiest tyrants.

NOTE

As I write these words, Trump has left the hospital and shown up at the White House, where on the balcony in front of a row of flags he stagily removed his mask for a gang of photographers, assumed one of his grim-jawed Mussolini poses and pronounced, “Don’t let it dominate you.”

Such profound advice from the man who has been pumped full of exotic drugs and experimental treatments for four days at taxpayer expense. I am sure that relatives of the more than 210,000 dead Americans will appreciate his words.

Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, will begin in a week.

Posted October 6, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S GOLD-PLATED MEDICAL TREATMENT – HELICOPTERED TO WALTER REED HOSPITAL FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CARE WHILE MILLIONS OF OTHER AMERICANS RECEIVE NO HEALTHCARE AT ALL – AND TRUMP IS STILL OUT TO KILL OBAMACARE WHICH HIS SUPREME COURT NOMINEE THINKS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY

Trump flown to Walter Reed as ‘precautionary measure’ for Covid-19, will be working from military hospital for a ‘few days’

Trump’s treatment here is immensely symbolic of what he stands for.

He gets helicoptered to Walter Reed and will receive millions of dollars worth of treatment. And he is not even very sick by all reports.

Meanwhile, millions of ordinary Americans have no healthcare at all.

And he still works hard to destroy Obamacare, a system that is inadequate in many ways but still provides some protections to tens of millions.

His Supreme Court nominee is on record saying Obamacare is probably unconstitutional.

His poor management also helped greatly increase America’s toll, now at about 210,000 dead.

So, solid gold service for “The Chosen One” and nothing for the peasants.

Great man.

Posted October 6, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE FIRST AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE – TRUMP’S DANGEROUS INTENTIONS WITH STREET-GANG SUPPORTERS AND THE SUPREME COURT – BIDEN’S RELATIVELY INSIPID LEADERSHIP – A CANDIDATE WHOSE ONLY REAL ATTRACTION IS NOT BEING TRUMP – I HOPE I AM WRONG, BUT IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE SOMEONE WHO GENERATES SO LITTLE ENTHUSIASM GETTING THE DECISIVE VICTORY REQUIRED TO THWART TRUMP’S INTENTIONS – THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS DONE THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD NO SERVICE IN TAKING THE BIG RISK OF RUNNING HIM – EVERYONE COMES OUT OF THIS ELECTION SMELLING BADLY – THE DANGEROUS STUPIDITIES AND ATTITUDES TAKING HOLD IN AMERICA AS ITS ECONOMIC DECLINE IS MORE FULLY GRASPED – AMERICA DESPERATELY NEEDS LEADERSHIP BUT THERE IS NONE TO BE FOUND IN ITS MONEY-DRIVEN POLITICS – THE THINGS REALLY NEEDING CHANGE WILL NOT BE TOUCHED – AMERICA IS POLITICALLY BANKRUPT JUST AS IT IS MORALLY AND SOCIALLY AND ABOUT TO BECOME FINANCIALLY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS TV

 

“First US presidential debate for 2020 race in Cleveland, Ohio”

A good summary of some key points in the ugly, childish food-fight being called a Presidential political debate.

America just becomes stranger every day. While it has been a brutal country for all of my lifetime – both abroad in its wars and at home on its streets – it had kept that fact somewhat disguised with a softening veil of civility and seeming respect for law on the part of government. And much of the world saw America, quite unrealistically, in terms of sympathetic Jimmy Stewart movies.

But that veil has been torn down by Trump, completely, and there is no pretense of civility. There is just the most open contempt for others, again both abroad and at home. Unfortunately, there is a large population of Americans – approaching half of adults – who believe he is right and feel empowered by his extreme behavior, so the acrimony he has generated is not going to disappear even if he loses the election decisively. It is his legacy, a legacy of hate.

In the “debate,” Trump was unpleasant or frightening on virtually every topic, but I do think the most frightening are his words about the ballots and accepting the outcome of the election.

He works constantly to undermine the legitimacy of an election result that does not make him the winner. He thinks like Mussolini, and that isn’t the slightest exaggeration.

He is preparing the ground for two very unwelcome outcomes.

One, in a time of strife and division across the country, he is telling his supporters to be ready not to accept the election outcome, hyping already hyped-up people, a good many of them armed, to conflict.

That can only translate into rage on the streets.

Two, and most important, Trump is setting the stage for his own refusal to accept the election result. The rage on the streets will serve to support his demands, reminiscent of the way 1920s fascist leaders in Europe used organized groups of streetfighters – Germany’s Brownshirts and Italy’s Blackshirts.

He will want to throw the violently-contested election result to the Supreme Court for a decision.

That Court’s current Justices would likely divide, four-to-four, for and against him.

But the Justice he has just appointed – if she is approved by the Senate, which seems likely – will have the tie-breaking vote, and she will be immeasurably beholden to him for the judicial appointment of a lifetime. Indeed, it is, literally, an appointment for a lifetime, one of great prestige and privilege.

While she is very intelligent, it is obvious from her past words and associations, that she is extremely conservative, Right-wing is a more fitting term. And there is an unwelcome touch of the dark and mystical in what is known of her religious beliefs. History tells us, over and over, that pure intelligence does not overcome extreme emotional attitudes and biases in judgments. Many highly intelligent people have done terribly destructive things.

The chances of her supporting anyone but Trump have to be close to zero. And that will be a disaster for all of humanity.

NOTES ON BIDEN

Of course, all of Trump’s plotting cannot come to anything if Biden were to win a resounding election victory, in which case there would be no basis for an appeal to the Supreme Court, but how likely is that?

Despite Biden’s effort to appeal to the television audience in the debate, as by looking directly into the camera sometimes to create an impression of openness and concern for others, and his effort to appear as a calm and reassuring, rather avuncular figure in contrast with the sputtering rage of Trump, he only just barely got by.

He is not especially impressive in any way, either in his words or his range of views. And he does look old and somewhat washed-out. His Irish temper, something he has always been known for in politics, got the best of him several times, and he made insulting remarks. A couple of them were actually funny, but they had no place in a debate, no matter how maddening your opponent was. Of course, they just don’t come more maddening than Trump.

He had one or two good moments, but they were brief and only related to Trump’s insulting words touching his sons, which of course had no place in a political debate.

Biden does not even attempt to make a case for any great issues, and that is in keeping with his entire fifty-year political career. He is a man who inspires little enthusiasm, as opposed to the ferocious enthusiasm Trump arouses in his mob. The Democratic Party really has taken a chance with the country’s future by running him. Absolutely no one comes out of this election smelling good, although I think it safe to say Trump’s smell is about as rank as it gets.

Biden’s only real merit is that he is not Trump, and what an indictment of America’s political institutions it is to have to say that. America is politically and morally and socially bankrupt, and it is about to become financially bankrupt as well.

Its global relative economic decline, the result of natural evolutionary processes, is being met at home by nothing but stupidities and viciousness that will only increase the speed and extent of that decline. “Whom the gods would destroy…”

The very notion that America’s decline results from unfair competition and evil plotting is laughable, resembling something from a 1940 Hollywood movie serial like Flash Gordon. But that dangerous notion is entrenching itself in a people and in their political establishment who are stunned by the realization that someone else can be as good or better than America at doing many things. No matter who wins, I’m afraid America will pursue that barren path. A one-way trip to nowhere.

A real leader would deal with that immense challenge, which has implications across every part of American society, but I don’t see any real leaders in America. Its corrupt, money-driven politics has produced exactly the sad sight we see.

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https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/john-chuckman-comment-the-hazy-idea-of-returning-to-normal-in-america-with-joe-biden-americans-want-a-sugary-walt-disney-cartoon-while-the-killing-and-destruction-are-carried-on-abroad/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/john-chuckman-comment-biden-called-the-worst-candidate-in-recent-history-perhaps-but-something-worse-stares-us-in-the-face-the-worst-president-of-all-time/

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Posted October 1, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ENCOURAGING AMERICAN POLITICAL PHENOMENON OF “THE SQUAD,” FOUR REMARKABLY BRAVE AND OUTSPOKEN WOMEN NEW TO POLITICS – THEY PROVIDE SMALL RAYS OF HOPE IN AMERICA’S TRULY BLEAK POLITICAL LANDSCAPE – SURE, THEY MAKE MISTAKES, BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE ANY GREATER BLUNDERS THAN WHAT WE JUST WITNESSED IN A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE? ONE CAN ONLY HOPE A BIT FOR THE FUTURE HERE, REMEMBERING THEY ARE NEW AND FEW AND THEY WILL EXPERIENCE THE FULL FORCE OF MONEY-DRIVEN POLITICS UNLEASHED AGAINST THEM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN MONDOWEISS

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – just extraordinary women in American politics taking Washington by storm.

I am immensely impressed by their courage in speaking truth to the establishment.

They make mistakes, so what? Just look at that fiasco of the first Presidential debate.

Any of these women is head-and-shoulders above the two election debaters, a President and a former vice-President, in terms of honesty, openness, and fresh ideas.

It’s an amazing phenomenon.

So, we are seeing some small rays of hope in America’s otherwise bleak political landscape.

One can only hope.

Posted October 1, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP AND HIS SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENT – HE LIKELY WILL GET IT DESPITE ITS FLYING IN THE FACE OF LEGITIMATE CONCERNS ABOUT VERY LATE APPOINTMENTS BEFORE AN ELECTION – IMPLICATIONS FOR HIMSELF, WHICH OF COURSE IN ALL THINGS COME FIRST FOR TRUMP – DESPITE HER INTELLIGENCE AND CHARMING SMILE, JUDGE BARRETT’S PAST STATEMENTS ON IMPORTANT MATTERS AND HER ASSOCIATION WITH A GROUP CALLED PEOPLE OF PRAISE, A SMALL CHARISMATIC AND SOMEWHAT SECRETIVE CATHOLIC GROUP THAT BELIEVES AMONG OTHER THINGS IN “SPEAKING IN TONGUES,” ARE CONCERNING – HER APPOINTMENT, ON TOP OF TWO OTHERS BY TRUMP, WILL FIX THE COURT’S DIRECTION FOR DECADES AND MAY WELL SECURE TRUMP’S RE-ELECTION – A MAN OF THE MOST QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER EVER TO HOLD HIS OFFICE IS GOING TO LEAVE AN INDELIBLE IMPRINT ON AMERICAN SOCIETY – THOUGHTS ON THE NATURE OF THE COURT, WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT SHOULD BE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Democrats face limited options to prevent confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court pick [Amy Coney Barrett]”

 

Trump will likely get his Supreme Court appointment. He actually has an attractive conservative candidate. She has intelligence and a charming smile.

And what that means that is so terrible is that he will likely get a second term as President.

He is doing everything he can think of to discredit and question the election.

Unless Biden receives a strong majority – something which seems unlikely since he arouses little enthusiasm – Trump will tear into the results and get the election tossed into the Supreme Court.

The existing Justices would likely split, four-to-four, as Trump himself has noted.

But with this appointment, Trump provides the tie-breaking vote, a brand-new Justice immensely indebted to him for a lifetime, prestigious office, an office it is known she has long desired.

The Chosen One” indeed.

A man of the most questionable character ever to hold his office – as demonstrated by his name-calling, divisiveness, dishonesty, and violence – is going to leave an indelible imprint on American society.

Three Court appointments and perhaps his own re-election.

It is like something from a bad dream. It’s not his being conservative. It’s his character. It is just littered with hatreds, aggression, and selfishness.

And the appointment comes when the country is rocked by difficulties.

As is the world, thanks in large part to his own destructive work.

 

NOTES

Apart from valid concerns around making a Court appointment just before an election, this nominee brings some concerning views and associations to the Court, views which are the polar opposite to those held by the late and widely-praised Justice Ginsburg.

Yes, Trump has the legal right to appoint a Justice, but legal rights exercised in the face of traditions and political civility are the stuff of division, and the division comes at a time of many painful divisions already in American society. But it is only what we have come to expect from Trump.

Judge Barrett is on record questioning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare), legislation Trump has never stopped attacking. Obamacare was, as opposed to having created a genuine national healthcare system, perhaps no great achievement, but its destruction will hurt tens of millions of ordinary Americans. The Court previously upheld the Act, but Trump is still working to destroy it, his driving motivation being according to some, obsessive hatred for all things associated with Obama.

Judge Barrett has written about her conviction that life begins at conception. She has never spoken directly against “Roe versus Wade,” the historic Court decision that gave American women the right to chose an abortion, but she has written, negatively, that the decision used “judicial fiat” to create a framework for abortion and that it ignited a national controversy.

Judge Barrett is associated with a somewhat secretive, charismatic Catholic group called People of Praise that believes in “speaking in tongues” and is said to advocate sex only for married, heterosexual people, hardly surprising for devout Catholics. It considers abortion to be morally wrong though It enters into no policy matters on the subject. Members make a lifetime “covenant” to the organization after six years of association, and they pledge five percent of their income to support it. Some refer to the group as a cult.

Judge Barrett’s appointment will create a majority on the Court that will endure for decades.

As I said above, “A man of the most questionable character ever to hold his office – as demonstrated by his name-calling, divisiveness, dishonesty, and violence – is going to leave an indelible imprint on American society. Three Court appointments and perhaps his own re-election.”

 

NOTES ON THE NATURE OF AMERICA’S SUPREME COURT – WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT SHOULD BE

The basic problem with the kind of extremely conservative views often favored for the Supreme Court – what are often described, almost in religious terms, by the phrase, “original intent,”  is that the Court is reduced to a mere interpreter of words written nearly two and a half centuries ago, the words of the Constitution.

It is an almost conservative rabbinical role in offering guidance as to the authors’ intentions in ancient Scripture. That is a pretty thin and uncreative role at the center of a vast and dynamic society.

Yes, some of the words have been updated, but surprisingly few. It would be interesting to see a modern Court trying to deal with the “three-fifths of a person” rule the Founders settled on for setting each state’s representation, slaves being counted each as three-fifths of a person. Of course, the entire institution of slavery, violating every basic right and precept of the Constitution, the Court and its Justices managed pretty much to overlook for the best part of a century.

But America has modern situations which are just as perplexing and doubtful as slavery. As, for example, in the matter of war. All of America’s many modern wars are fought without what the Constitution so clearly calls for, a declaration of war by Congress. Not only that, but they are all wars of aggression, completely out of keeping with the sense of America’s Founding words and ideas. And what do you say of covert war and the kind of covert armies supplied by the CIA? Coups? Blockades? Assassinations?

How to any fair-minded person can any of that be lawful in an intellectual and legal and moral environment supposedly determined by the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence? It cannot, but America’s government has created all kinds of scholastic and arcane gobbledygook to make it seem so.

Secrecy in government is another such matter, as I’m sure many Founders would have understood, but they could not have imagined what would become the reality of America. How can you hold any kind of election when voters do not even know what is going on? You cannot. And America’s government today has enough secret documents to fill a fleet of ocean-going container ships.

It is plain to see that American society as a whole has outgrown the strictures of the Constitution, and a Court which concerns itself only with them is in many ways irrelevant to an advanced society.

Why can the American government play evil games like maintaining dark (torture) sites abroad, a situation violating every right and limit defined in the Constitution? The answer is given that the premises are not on American soil, and the prisoners are not entitled to American rights.

What a poor, threadbare answer that is. The agency and resources of American government are being used, yet somehow the Constitution and the Court have no application? In such matters, we see the basic hypocrisy of so much of American government. And the exalted pretenses of the Supreme Court are just that, pretenses.

Justices should be spokespeople for the Constitution’s best principles, able to overrule such foul disregard, but that is not an idea that anyone with power in America would support.

You will not find the face of modern America by reading the Constitution and other Founding documents. Not at all. So, it is a legitimate question how valuable a contribution is it to be mere interpreters of them?

Even absent the “original intent” philosophy, America’s Supreme Court is an inherently stolid and conservative institution, as demonstrated by a long history of supporting everything from slavery to unjust wars. It never really ventures much outside that identity, except in a very limited number of cases, as notably the Earl Warren Court of much of the 1950s and 1960s, but even there, the rulings that conservatives so hate are around a limited number of domestic social issues.

Even that “liberal” Court did not challenge the many terrible activities of government, and certainly ever since, the Court has even been far more restricted.

The Court is passive and reactive, judging only some of the limited number of matters brought to it. It should be proactive along certain lines, able to step into matters of clear abuse and illegality.

Justice Ginsburg, for all her admirable qualities and scholarship, might also be viewed as conservative in many matters, especially those around the American military and empire.

No one wants courts writing the law, but the Supreme Court is supposed to be a co-equal part in the American government and should have the freedom to exercise a sense of judgment beyond narrow interpretations of parchment. The realities of American politics, as seen in the operations of the Congress and the President, make it so.

But what role did the Supreme Court actually play? In addition to ruling that “corporations are people,” it ruled that “money is free speech.” It assumed the role of enabler, just as it did in the days of slavery. For it is without question the role of money, big money, that has reduced the Congress and Executive to what they are, servants of wealth who do not represent the country’s people.

However, that is not the kind of Supreme Court any of the powerful interests in Washington want to see, ever.

 

A LAST THOUGHT

Given that America’s population is roughly one hundred times the size what it was at the Founding, and given that the complexity of the society is now immeasurably greater, it is a very outmoded concept to have the Court defined as just nine justices in one city, Washington. There should be multiple branches of the Court, perhaps set up along regional or topical lines. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Posted September 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SHOULD BIDEN DEBATE TRUMP? – TRUMP IS NOT A PARTICULARLY SKILLFUL DEBATER BUT HE IS A MATCHLESS LIAR AND FANTASIST – OPPOSING HIM IS LIKE TRYING TO NAIL DOWN A BLOB OF JELL-O – TRUMP IS LIMITED BY NO FACTS, ETHICS, OR DECENCY – THE REMARKABLE THING IS THAT CLOSE TO HALF OF AMERICA’S ADULT POPULATION BELIEVES HIM, AND WITH CONVICTION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON SCOOPY WEB

“Pelosi Doubles Down, Says Biden Shouldn’t Debate Trump On Tuesday”

I am not clear what Pelosi’s intentions in saying that are. The Right-wing, of course, interprets her as fearing that Biden will stumble and fail in front of millions. Maybe, maybe not.

But how can Biden or anyone genuinely debate someone who almost never tells the truth and constantly exaggerates his own importance and central role in almost everything that happens? Someone who disclaims all responsibility for failures and claims victories that don’t exist?  It’s like trying to nail down a blob of Jell-O.

Black is white. Evil is good. Ineptitude is leadership. Violence is peace. Theft is policy. Trump regularly drifts beyond mere lying into a world of confused and malicious fantasy.

Whatever you say, Trump will say something else. He is limited by no facts, ethics, or decency.

There is no one to correct Trump’s massive assault of dishonesty and narcissism. A debating opponent cannot spend all his time attempting to do so, or he risks being perceived as having nothing of his own to say.

Debate with such a man as Trump, who is now hyped-up almost as if on drugs about his re-election, is an exercise in futility.

Trump’s America is a country where no one is responsible for anything. Unless there is someone he wants to accuse of being responsible, as the Chinese who stand accused for an act of Nature, the evolution of a new virus.

The remarkable thing for an outsider is that close to half of America’s adult population believes him, and with the same kind of head-nodding conviction you witness in the crowd at an Evangelical revival meeting. Yes, that is a big part of the character of the nation which claims to be so exceptional that it has a responsibility for telling the rest of humanity how to run their affairs.

And I am certainly not a Biden admirer. No career American politician, and Biden goes back fifty years, has much familiarity with truth.

Posted September 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EFFORTS IN MANY ONLINE PUBLICATIONS TRY EXCUSING THE KENOSHA COP WHO SHOT JACOB BLAKE IN THE BACK MULTIPLE TIMES AND IN FRONT OF HIS OWN CHILD – THE CONFUSED VIOLENT PLACE AMERICA HAS BECOME   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SCOOPY WEB

 

Cop Shot Jacob Blake After Hearing ‘Mother’s Desperate Plea’ That Blake Had Her ‘Kid,’ Report Says

Police Officer said he shot Blake “because he was afraid Blake, while attempting to flee the scene, was trying to kidnap a child in the backseat of the vehicle,”

 

We see this effort to excuse brutal behavior by a cop repeated on many Internet sites, almost resembling a heavy distribution of press releases from his lawyer.

What the father did before the shooting may well have been wrong, although you could not know that without investigation. But even if it was wrong, it wasn’t a capital offence for a man to try driving away with his own kid.

It happens somewhere almost daily with broken marriages and relationships.

It is always easy to find or to follow the man involved.

No one appointed a cop to be judge, jury, and executioner.

Shooting a man in the back?  Multiple times?

What dedication to duty. What heroism.

In front of his kid?

My, what touching concern for the child’s welfare.

Such efforts to excuse a plainly vicious act tell us a great deal about the desperately confused place America has become.

Posted September 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A MUSICOLOGIST WRITES OF BEETHOVEN’S “SCOWL” PORTRAITS INFLUENCING HOW WE HEAR HIS MUSIC – I DON’T AGREE – MY RESPONSE CONCERNING ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMPOSERS – THE DARKNESS IN HIS LIFE IS NOT FOUND IN HIS MUSIC, ONLY HIS HEROIC RESPONSE TO IT – MOZART’S LYRICISM AND BITTERSWEETNESS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Beethoven’s iconic scowl influences how we hear his work: musicologist”

 

I am not sure I agree with the thesis, and I certainly would not call Beethoven’s expression “a scowl.”

Much of his music is simply epic, heroic, and defiant – without the listener having any sense of what he looked like.

The genuine darkness in Beethoven’s life, of course, comes through in the portraits. Romantic, political, health, other personal disappointments, and, as is the case for a great many creative people, Beethoven suffered some form of depression. He died, having achieved musical immortality, at only age 56.

Remarkably, the darkness does not come through at all in his music, only his heroic response to it.

Imagine the tragedy of one of the most gifted composers and pianists, ever, realizing he was going deaf, and at a fairly young age?

And imagine, too, the grim determination that saw him continue his work, creating many masterpieces and new musical forms, culminating in the Ninth Symphony, our supremely heroic piece of music, a great hymn to the human spirit, composed while he was totally deaf?

He was an idealistic man in many ways who met with great disappointments, as in the story of the Third Symphony’s dedication to a young revolutionary Napoleon he admired and Beethoven’s later angry reaction to Napoleon’s authoritarianism.

I love his music.

Mozart’s lyricism and bittersweetness – qualities Beethoven also can display, but less often – are my most frequent and beloved work companions.  Beethoven demands attention.

Posted September 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP IS WORKING HARD TO DISCREDIT THE ELECTION BEFORE A BALLOT IS COUNTED – HE WANTS THE ELECTION THROWN INTO THE SUPREME COURT WHERE HE IS KEEN TO APPOINT A NEW JUSTICE WHO WILL BE IMMENSELY BEHOLDEN TO HIM IN DECIDING A LIKELY TIE VOTE BY EXISTING JUSTICES – WE HAVE A PRESIDENT ACTIVELY WORKING TO SUBVERT THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION – TELLING PEOPLE TO VOTE TWICE – LYING ABOUT THE NATURE OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS HE AND HIS WIFE BOTH USE – SAYING HE MIGHT NOT ACCEPT THE ELECTION RESULT – ALL IN KEEPING WITH HIS LONG SMARMY RECORD IN BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT – GIVEN AMERICA’S CURRENT UNHOLY MASS OF PROBLEMS AND DIVISIONS, THIS IS THE MOST UNFIT MAN POSSIBLE FOR HIS OFFICE – A POLITICAL NIGHTMARE – AMERICA HAS MUSSOLINI BRAGGING ABOUT MAKING THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY

 

“Trump says 2020 election may end up before US Supreme Court, so it’s important to fill empty seat”

 

It is neither necessary nor desirable for unelected judges to determine who is elected President. The Court provides only a dire-emergency fallback, but here is a President deliberately working to create a dire emergency.

This angry, uncooperative, and totally selfish man is doing everything that he can to discredit the upcoming election and toss it into the Court.

He actually told supporters, more than once, to vote twice in the election, publicly advocating a criminal act.

He constantly questions the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which in fact are used all the time in American elections, as by absentee voters. He and his wife use absentee mail-in ballots for Florida elections.

By threatening to throw the election into the Court, Trump is attacking the operation of Constitutional government. And please note that he does so at a time of serious civil unrest in the country, only adding to the burden of America’s many harsh divisions.

What on earth is the logic of saying that the Court will need its ninth member, appointed by himself in a rushed last-minute appointment, to avoid a four-to-four tie vote in deciding the election?

The logic is that a newly-appointed ninth Justice, beholden to him for an immensely prestigious, lifetime position, should decide whether he stays in office. Very ethical. Very democratic. Very faithful to the rule of law. But entirely possible under America’s feeble political system.

Trump has done many destructive things while in office, but in some sense, this behavior around election ballots and the Supreme Court is the very worst of them. He is literally subverting the American Constitution, doing so publicly with no shame or ethical consideration, and, please, note, virtually no opposition from the members of his party.

But it is consistent with his past – his theft of oil in Syria, his theft of gold in Venezuela, his theft of land in Palestine, his support for some of the world’s bloodiest tyrants, and his public assassinations. All things he has actually bragged about doing.

Remember, too, this is the only recent President who has refused to release his personal tax records for scrutiny, and there are many grave questions about his past business and tax-paying practices by some well-informed observers. A man who has his lawyer pay to silence women about their affairs and then lies about doing so. A man who bills the government outrageous sums, again and again, when officials or Secret Service details stay at one of his hotels, something they are pressed to do.

Talk about law and order in the nation’s streets – as he darkly does every day in coded racist messages to his political base – how about some law and order in the White House?

Given all the problems and terrible conflicts underway in America – the threat of economic and financial collapse; conflicts over racism, social justice, police brutality, extreme inequality; and the problems of the world’s worst response to a pandemic, poor healthcare for tens of millions, money’s total domination of politics, and the withering, putrefying effects of monstrosities like the Pentagon and CIA – it would not be possible to name a more unfit man to lead the country. Just a political nightmare.

Mussolini bragging about making the trains run on time.

Posted September 24, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ROLE OF DANGEROUS IDEOLOGIES AND SOCIETY’S WILLINGNESS TO EMBRACE THEM – THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO PEOPLE OF LOW INTELLIGENCE AND IT MUCH RESEMBLES OUR INCLINATION TO SUPERSTITITION AND PREJUDICE – OUR ABILITY TO DESTROY THROUGH RAPIDLY CHANGING MILITARY TECHNOLOGY IS STARTING TO OUTSTRIP SOCIETY’S ABILITY TO COPE – THE EMERGENCE OF A MULTI-POLAR WORLD, BUT WE MAY NOT SURVIVE TO ENJOY IT – AMERICA’S CONTEMPT FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND RULE OF LAW AND ITS CONTEMPT FOR OTHER COUNTRIES’ ARRANGEMENTS OF THEIR OWN AFFAIRS – THE CURRENT GENERATION OF LEADERS IN AMERICA, AND NOT JUST TRUMP, IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRAVDA

“The Human Species is Doomed”

 

I can’t agree with all the article says, but it contains some sound observations.

In my view, humanity’s great problems do not emerge from growing numbers of “stupid” people.

They emerge from ideologies and humanity’s readiness to embrace them – all kinds of ideologies, political, religious, social. Many very smart people are prone to behaving that way. I see innate emotional or psychological drives behind our great problems. In many respects, the tendency towards ideologies resembles closely the tendency towards superstition and prejudice.

Many ideologues are ready to sacrifice for their beliefs – especially when the sacrifice is imposed on others – much like members of a cult. American Patriotism – I mean the intense, knee-jerk stuff quite common in America, as opposed to natural affection for one’s place and culture – is just such a cult, and in many ways it resembles the destructive beliefs of previous cults or ideologies – such as the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages or fascism in the 1930s.

A great many patriotic Americans do seem incapable of perceiving the county’s serious and threatening flaws. The reaction to anyone’s pointing out the flaws resembles what you would expect from insulting someone’s family. They are blinded by ideology, making them incapable of working cooperatively towards improvement.

Indeed, ideology often effectively casts aside such principles as human and democratic rights and the rule of law. You cannot remain loyal to a greatly flawed system and genuinely embrace those principles which are essential to long-term rational human progress.

The inclination to embrace ideologies is not at all limited to people with low intelligence. Trump is an uninformed, rude, impatient, and aggressive man, but he isn’t stupid. Neither is Pompeo or Bolton or Abrams or Grenell or Haspel. If there really is such a thing as “evil,” this is it: those people are evil because they embrace a set of beliefs which are destructive for a great many others and are completely self-serving.

When such people have power on their side, I don’t see how we can solve the terrible problems that arise.

It could perhaps be sorted out by thousands of years of human evolution. It is not an exaggeration to say that it isn’t that long since our ancestors dropped from the trees. Only two hundred thousand years of homo sapiens out of a planetary history of four-and-a-half billion.

But I think it quite possible that we will not have thousands of years. Human affairs have reached an important turning point.

Our very smartest people have endowed us now with weapons of remarkable destructive power, and we see new, improved ones coming along ever more rapidly, just as is the case with all changing technology.

Our ability and inclination to destroy are starting to outstrip society’s ability to cope.

The current generation of leaders in America – and I don’t mean just Trump – is extremely threatening. They pretend to address elevated concerns in human affairs with their rhetoric, but in fact they work towards some of humanity’s worst inclinations – especially, the selfish pursuit of power over others, even at the cost of injuring and killing many others or starting wars.

We see this in any number of contemporary situations in international affairs – everything from contempt for international organizations and the rule of law to contempt for other countries and the way they have chosen to organize their affairs.

America’s elites fear losing the truly privileged place they have enjoyed since the end WWII, a place that was gained by the outcome of a vast world war. America remained safe across oceans and had invested heavily in industrial capacity to fight the war. Others were crushed. Thus, for a time, it dominated, unchallenged, the world economy and many of the world’s arrangements.

It is not hard to stand out when there is no real competition, but those days are over. There is competition, serious competition, and America’s elites do not appear able to cope with it. Indeed, they deeply resent it and are ready to take all kinds of destructive measures to hurt their competitors.

We are truly seeing the emergence of a multi-polar world, but we may not survive to enjoy it.

Posted September 23, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE NORMALIZATION OF TYRANNY IN THE MIDDLE EAST – A DEAL SEALED WITH A DELIBERATELY-CONSTRUCTED ARMS RACE – AND AMERICA IS SET TO RECEIVE ALL THE SALES ORDERS – NEVER MIND THE REGION’S WARS, POVERTY, INJUSTICE, TYRANNY, AND DIVISIONS – THAT IS AMERICA’S IDEA OF POLICY IN A CRUCIAL REGION OF ITS FOREIGN AFFAIRS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ROBERT COHEN IN MONDOWEISS

“From ‘Vision for Peace’ to ‘Normalization’ — 2020 is the year of forgetting”

Politics certainly is given to the misuse of words, generally their deliberate misuse.

The “Normalization” in the Middle East now being heavily publicized is the most grotesque example of that we have seen in a while.

What possibly can be normal about a situation where millions of people are being held against their will with no rights, no votes, and no hope?

Of course, what is being “normalized” is a relationship between a few 13th century-style monarchs in the Persian Gulf and the government that keeps those millions under perpetual occupation.

You might more accurately call it the normalizing of tyranny.

Its tangible benefits include a fresh round of American heavy-weapon sales into a fragile region. Israel has already placed a truly massive new order, something like you might expect from France or Germany, eight billion dollars worth of the latest stuff. The Gulf Monarchs also have wish lists for death machines.

And of course, earlier, Saudi Arabia placed a record-setting order, the same Saudi Arabia busy killing thousands of poor people in Yemen, subsidizing terror in places like Syria, executing record numbers of its own citizens, and employing kidnapping, extortion, and murder in the affairs of state.

The principle that Israel must always be kept well ahead of any Arab State in armaments combined with the new concept of bribing some Arab States into accepting “normalization” by giving them access to American weapons – which is exactly what the United States has just done – Is like a deliberately constructed regional arms race, one from which America receives all the sales orders.

It is a creative and promising scheme for a region top-heavy with tyranny and injustice and poverty and division. Just the kind of creative solution you expect from a man like Trump.

Another benefit is a new proposed intelligence and surveillance system to be constructed in a region with only authoritarian governments. The forces of Enlightenment just keep marching ahead.

My God, what a disastrous set of policies, but you would never sense that from the words of our press and politicians.

Orwell’s “1984” was about Stalin’s Russia, but it just as well applies to the Middle East under American influence.

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.

Posted September 21, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: STEPHEN COHEN, A GREAT AMERICAN SCHOLAR AND AUTHORITY ON RUSSIA, HAS DIED – A WRITER REMINDS US OF HIS WARNINGS IN RECENT YEARS ABOUT A NEW COLD WAR MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE OLD ONE – INDEED, AND HERE IS A LIST OF SOME OF THE AMERICAN ACTIVITIES MAKING IT SO – ANOTHER GENTLEMAN AND SCHOLAR, RUSSIA’S IMPRESSIVE FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEY LAVROV, REVEALS A SECRET OFFER TO RUSSIA IN THE TIME OF OBAMA CONCERNING CRIMEA THAT MAKES A BAD JOKE OF ALL AMERICA’S HYSTERICAL CLAIMS ABOUT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IN UKRAINE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

“Stephen Cohen Has Died; Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War”

I was long an admirer of Stephen Cohen.

Apart from his clear expertise and first-hand knowledge of Russian leaders, the power of what he had to say came from the fact of how rare it was to read or to hear an American expert who spoke about Russia as though it contained human society. The favorite experts selected by most American corporate broadcasting and press sounded as though they were giving a briefing in the Pentagon.

And I do agree with Cohen that the times we’ve entered are more dangerous than the old Cold War. I believe far more dangerous.

First, we have some of the most inadequate and ideologically-motivated men in high places I can recall, and I lived through the Cold War.

And they owe their positions to the fact that America’s power establishment is so fearful now of losing its post-WWII privileged place in a changing world. Such men in high places are potentially a serious source of instability through poor judgment.

America is now running tanks right up against the Russian border everywhere that it can, having packed NATO (against earlier commitments to Russian leaders) with militarily and economically insignificant states. like the Baltics, only because they give direct access to the Russian border and increase the blindly pro-American voting population inside the organization.

America has conducted a coup in Ukraine, greatly hurting that country’s economy and civil society, just to intimidate Russia along a lengthy border. It has even supported neo-Nazi outfits, like the Azov Battalion or the Right Front, to assure internal restrictions on elected governments making any concessions.

America now sends regular naval flotillas into the Black Sea, Russia’s back yard, as it were.

Most dangerous of all, perhaps, recently, America has had B-52 nuclear-capable bombers flying near the Russian border in Europe and they were practicing missile-launch and bombing runs in the direction of Russia. They did this from more than one location, including from Ukraine. Absolutely frightening stuff. The slightest miscalculation or misunderstanding could launch Armageddon.

America has greatly increased NATO’s large-scale exercises, on land and on sea, exercises large enough to resemble invading forces.

It is placing “defensive” missiles in launch complexes in a couple of European countries, the trouble being these launch complexes can just as easily accommodate medium-range cruise missiles to strike Russian territory as defensive missiles. A dangerous Jack-in-the-box situation.

Russia of course watches such events with great attention, and all of these actions raise fears and tensions which can affect judgment.

America has ripped up a number of important nuclear treaties, hard-won efforts from the Cold War. It has launched a new costly project to improve the flexibility and usefulness of nuclear weapons, and it is weaponizing space.

Western leaders, under the supervision of Washington, have publicly accused Russia of murderous behavior without any effort to provide proof.

And that kind of hostile behavior comes against a background of public displays by America of assassination (Iran, Iraq) and attempted assassination (Venezuela), open speech by an American President about assassination (Syria), and theft of national resources (Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Palestine, and other places).

It is indeed a more fearsome time we have entered.

And we just learned from Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s brilliant Foreign Minister, that under Obama, John Kerry secretly made an offer to accept the legitimacy of Crimea being part of Russia – they have a history together going back to Catherine the Great – if only a new referendum were held. Since the Crimean people, almost entirely Russian-speaking, had already voted openly, effectively twice, to secede from Ukraine and to re-join Russia, Lavrov thought it was an unnecessary additional gesture and expense.

So much for all the shrill claims at the time, still sometimes echoed, about Russian aggression. In private, America was quite ready to accept reality, given a public-relations concession.

Posted September 20, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE MYSTERIOUS NAVALNY CASE – WE HAVE BEEN PROVIDED NO EVIDENCE – RUSSIA’S CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS HAVE ALSO NOT BEEN PROVIDED EVIDENCE – WILLING TO ACCEPT ANYTHING WITH GENUINE PROOF – THE SKRIPAL AFFAIR DÉJÀ VU? – GERMANY’S USE OF THE OPCW, AN ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS – ALSO THAT ORGANIZATION’S HAVING BEEN COMPROMISED BY FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT POISON GAS IN DOUMA, SYRIA TO SERVE AMERICAN INTERESTS – SOME INTERESTING FACTS AROUND GERMANY’S VULNERABLE POSITION VIS-À-VIS DEMANDS AND THREATS FROM UNITED STATES – THE GERMAN-RUSSIA GAS PIPELINE PROJECT (NORD STREAM II) AND AMERICAN LNG – AMERICA’S VERY PUBLIC USE OF ASSASSINATION – INTERESTING NEW EVIDENCE FOR AMERICA’S USE OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE IN THE KOREAN WAR GIVES NO SUPPORT TO THE IDEA THAT AMERICA CONDUCTS ITSELF ABROAD ETHICALLY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – FURTHER ON THE MYSTERIOUS NAVALNY CASE

 

I don’t think there can be any doubt that something very unpleasant happened to Navalny in Siberia, and I would certainly like to understand just what it was. But, as I’ve said a number of times, I do have a bias for facts. I accept anything supported by facts, even if it should disturb comfortable assumptions.

It is simply the scientific method, under which, wonderful old ideas and theories get overturned regularly by strong new evidence that they are inadequate. That is how science advances, and for thinking people, the same approach applies to all important matters, including politics or criminal investigations.

What can you say about Germany’s behavior in the Navalny Affair?

Broad ugly charges have been made and no evidence provided, exactly, so far, as was the case in the Skripal Affair in Britain two years ago.

Insofar as Navalny being deliberately poisoned, that is a possibility. He has made many enemies of wealthy people with his anti-corruption campaigns. But, very importantly, the Russian doctors who were the first to treat him, ran many tests and found no poisons. And they still have their biological samples.

There is a definite “stink” around Germany’s charges.

First, a very costly air ambulance was sent to bring Navalny to Germany all the way from Siberia. Such efforts cost tens of thousands of dollars. Who paid for that?

A very odd-sounding NGO in Germany with a name of “The Cinema for Peace Foundation,” a name that almost screams “intelligence front organization.”

And did Russia in any way interfere with his being sent to Germany in this extraordinary manner? Not at all. The Russian doctors at the Siberian hospital gave all the facts of which they were aware to the German crew. The Russian doctors almost certainly saved Navalny’s life by administering Atropine, a treatment the Germans continued.

Once Navalny was in Germany, the Germans made a totally unsupported accusation about poisoning with an exotic military nerve agent.

Odd, the Russian doctors in Siberia found no such thing despite extensive tests, and they still have their test samples to prove it.

And then Germany insisted that Russia investigate.

Russia said, “Sure, we’ll investigate. Can you share your evidence?” It is normal procedure anywhere for investigators to receive evidence.

Germany did not respond except to say we gave our material to the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) in the Netherlands, and Russia should approach them.

The OPCW is an international organization having to do with control and oversight of chemical weapons, sadly one that we know the United States badly compromised previously in Syria with a false report about a poison gas attack in Douma by the Syrian government. Internal OPCW whistleblowers brought that to our attention through WikiLeaks.

In any event, it is an agency that has nothing to do with criminal investigations, so it is a rather odd place to send evidence for one while declining to provide evidence to criminal investigators in Russia about a crime which supposedly occurred in Russia, investigators responding in part to Germany’s own demand for an investigation.

The poison in question is a member of the family of military nerve agents called Novichok, the same agent that was named in Britain two years ago in accusations over the mysterious Skripal Affair, both the supposed victims of which have literally disappeared under British security service supervision.

Such chemical agents are known to kill almost instantaneously with even a very small exposure, but that is not what happened to Navalny or to Skripal.

Russia is known to have destroyed its stocks of such military nerve agents. It was done under international supervision in compliance with an international treaty. The United States, also a treaty signatory, has still not destroyed all of its poisonous stocks.

Germany, these days, is under immense pressure, including serious threats, from the United States, which deeply resents Germany’s multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project with Russia (Nord Stream II) and also resents Germany’s “inadequate” level of defense spending. As a measure of Germany’s desperation, the country just offered to build an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) facility for more than a billion dollars if the United States avoids its threat of (illegal) sanctions against the almost-completed pipeline.

That is effectively a bribe for American LNG producers. Germany doesn’t need the LNG, and LNG shipped from the United States is not competitive with natural gas shipped by pipeline from Russia. It costs money to liquify gas and ship it in special-purpose vessels and then store it at its destination. But Germany is willing to do this just for the right to buy natural gas the way people buy anything, seeking the best price and a dependable supplier, which Russia has proven over decades very much to be.

One can only imagine American politicians high-horse reactions to a third party coming along and telling them that they cannot buy a needed commodity or service from a certain country, but America does not think it is required to play by the rules it sets for others. America routinely for years, for example, has bought rocket engines from Russia. It has also bought transport for astronauts and supplies to and from the International Space Station. And it buys some important commodities from both Russia and China, despite all of its badmouthing of those countries.

I cite the natural-gas situation only to sketch out the kind of unfair pressure the United States puts on everyone these days, even traditional allies.

As I’ve said a number of times, I have a bias for facts. I accept anything which is proven. I admire Putin as one of the great statesmen of our era, but I would put that admiration aside were it proved he uses assassinations, assassinations which we know are part of America’s behavior abroad.

But I do not think there is going to be any need for setting aside my admiration for Putin because I don’t think we are going to receive any evidence – wouldn’t some good evidence be the first thing a government produced when making such extraordinary claims? – and we are too keenly aware of the  pressures Germany is under to do “favors” for the United States. Just as Britain’s Theresa May provided a “favor” to the United States with its murky Skripal Affair.

I cannot accept accusations against anyone with no supporting evidence. As in all matters, the larger the charge you are making, the greater is the need for evidence, good, solid evidence. But we are given no evidence, only grotesque charges just as was the case with Britain’s Skripal Affair.

At least Chancellor Merkel, in requesting an investigation, has not repeated the shabby performance of British Prime Minister Theresa May during the Skripal Affair two years ago. May directly accused the Russian government of the “poisoning” and took immediate serious diplomatic steps in retaliation, desired preplanned steps that likely were the whole reason for her accusation in the first place.

Still to this day, there is not a jot of real evidence for what May claimed and indeed a huge number of circumstances arguing dead against it.

We know these days that the United States and allies under its powerful influence regularly lie to us about events in the world. Just one grotesque example was America’s recent public murder of an Iranian national hero, General Soleimani.

Trump told us that Soleimani was on some dark and dire task when he was killed. In fact, we know he was working on a peace initiative, but even if he were doing something else, no one has appointed the United States as global judge, jury, and executioner. And, by the way, one of the reasons General Soleimani is a national hero in Iran is his major role in defeating the ISIS terrorists in Iraq, something the United States likes to boast about despite having done very little.

Trump murdered Soleimani to please Israel’s ruthless Netanyahu – “ruthless” because he has killed many thousands of Palestinians, wounded even more, and regularly steals their property, and he may just have played a role in the set-up for the assassination. Trump wanted to gain bonus points before the upcoming election with America’s Israel Lobby and some big campaign contributors. It would be hard to think of a more unconscionable reason for murder.

 

NOTE

Recently published material supports the long-held suspicion that the United States engaged in various forms of biological warfare against North Korea and China during the Korean War. Previous work along those lines had supported the assertion, but that work was rejected by the United States and its eminent author was belittled. The new material is a large volume of CIA documents from the time of the Korean War released a few years ago.

So much for America’s credibility in such matters, even seventy years ago. And so much for any doubts about its willingness to use Nazi-like methods when it feels they are to its advantage.

 

See: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/cia-intercepts-suggest-us-lied-about-biological-weapon-use-during-its-war-on-korea.html#more

Posted September 18, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP ACTUALLY BRAGS IN A CAMPAIGN SPEECH ABOUT THE REAL REASON AMERICA IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND IT IS NOT FOR THE OIL – HIS IMPORTANT ADMISSION GOES LARGELY UNNOTED IN THE CORPORATE PRESS BECAUSE IT RAISES THE SENSITIVE MATTER OF THE IMMENSE AMOUNT IN LIVES AND TREASURE AMERICA HAS SPENT FOR ISRAEL’S BENEFIT – THE SITUATION IN SYRIA – THE NEOCON WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS A YEARS-LONG 1960s-STYLE SLUM CLEARANCE PROJECT – THE WARS RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT 9/11 THAT WILL NEVER BE ANSWERED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PHILIP WEISS IN MONDOWEISS

 

U.S. is in Middle East ‘to protect Israel’ not for oil, Trump says

Donald Trump said the U.S. isn’t involved in the Middle East for oil, but because we “want to protect Israel.” He made the comment during a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Sept. 8. The comment has gone all but unreported in the mainstream press.

 

Thanks for highlighting this important truth.

You are right, Trump’s words received no attention in the corporate press.

I’ve long accepted Israel as America’s true motive for being in the region, but when you see virtually no confirmation of a matter that large, year after year, it is disheartening.

Control of the press is certainly a powerful tool even in the Age of the Internet.

We saw how the corporate press readily embraced and joked about Trump’s stated reason for remaining illegally in part of eastern Syria, the contrived nonsense about enjoying oil theft. I’m sure some security people worked overtime to come up with that line, one Trump could be comfortable with delivering because he thinks being a thug is amusing.

Never once did I see the truth about remaining in Syria, which is simply to act as a continuing irritant to the country’s government and to deprive it of some of its own resources so they can’t be applied to reconstruction, a set of American activities reflecting direct pressure from Israel.

Relatively few Americans understand the war in Syria. The press often falsely calls it a civil war. It represents a complex, covert effort to topple Syria, maybe even dismembering it, using hybrid techniques like hired mercenaries disguised as jihadis. They are recruited from many places and supported by the US and its allies, including Israel. Separatist-minded groups, too, such as the Syrian Kurds, have been supplied and encouraged to fight the national government.

A beautiful, historic land has been savaged, and about 600,000 people have been killed.

It has been largely for Israel’s benefit, so that an independent-minded government on its border could be eliminated. Israel also hoped in destabilizing Syria to secure its illegal hold on the Golan Heights, Syrian territory it seized in 1967. It hoped further, in the midst of induced chaos, to take still more Syrian territory as a “buffer” for the occupied Golan Heights, now claimed to be annexed as part of Israel, something international law does not permit doing with occupied territory.

That effort has mainly failed, thanks in large part to Russian and Iranian legally-provided assistance to Syria, but we have continued efforts here and there, including America’s seizure of oilfields, Turkey’s intrusion into the Northeast, and Israel’s regular low-level bombing of certain parts of a country that has not attacked Israel and that Israel is not at war with.

We really do live in a world of illusion in international affairs.

But it is not new. How many Americans ever had any idea of what the long slaughter in Vietnam was about? Vietnam was left littered with countless bomb craters, mine fields, and tons of poison like Agent Orange. Three million people were killed in Vietnam and another million in Cambodia, and for what? Just to secure an imperial foothold in Asia. Of course, you couldn’t sell it to the folks back home that way, so the filthy war morphed into something vaguely about defending freedom.

Just so, the War on Terror in the Middle East, more appropriately called the Neocon Wars. A couple of million killed, many millions made refugees, and some advancing, comparatively well-run societies destroyed.

The Neocon Wars are a gigantic years-long redevelopment project – what we called “slum clearance” in the 1960s – to bulldoze and pave over parts of Israel’s neighborhood, the parts containing any government not faithfully following American direction.

All the truly bloody tyrants from Saudi Arabia to Egypt and Bahrain are just fine with America and Israel so long as they keep their people in line and never question America’s activities. That fact is a major reason why the Middle East progresses so slowly towards democratic government. And it enables Israel to keep making the empty brag about being the region’s only democracy.

Some democracy where only one kind of people can immigrate and become citizens and where literally millions of others are held with no rights and no votes and no hope.

The dreary and brutal Condoleezza Rice, when the first explosions and screams were heard in the region, spoke about “hearing the birth cries of a new Middle East.”

Empires are ugly affairs and utterly without principle or compassion. And that description sums up contemporary America far more accurately than patriotic boilerplate about men in frock coats pledging their sacred honor to oppose tyranny. It also has a lot to do with the genuine brutality of America’s own society.

Of course, the real reason for the Neocon Wars inevitably raises questions around 9/11, but I doubt we will ever receive truthful answers. What we were provided is not even logical.

Posted September 14, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE 19TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 – A GIGANTIC EVENT NEVER EXPLAINED – SOME KEY FACTS ABOUT THE TWIN TOWERS – OUR MANUFACTURED REALITY, MANUFACTURED IN THE INTERESTS OF CORRUPT AND POWERFUL PEOPLE – PRELUDE TO THE NEOCON WARS – A SUPERB QUOTE ON OUR SITUATION ATTRIBUTED TO FORMER CIA DIRECTOR WILLIAM CASEY – MANUFACTURED REALITY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – ONLY IN AMERICA

Nineteen years after the most spectacular man-made disaster in memory, 9/11, the most striking fact is that it has never been explained.

It represents a testimonial to the power of the American establishment’s grip on America’s people.

None of the official explanation is acceptable because none of it is even logical.

Two buildings, each deliberately designed by engineers to withstand the strike of a large airliner, burn and collapse after being struck by just such airliners. Plus, a third building, not struck, burns and collapses, and it collapses in a pattern which precisely corresponds to a controlled demolition, both in its appearance and measured speed.

Those twin towers were so strongly built with their central core each of 47 massive steel caissons – 4-inch thick steel assembled into immensely-strong rectangular upright beams – that the crash of a plane could not possibly damage them. The holes we saw as the airliners struck the twin towers involved only the outer curtain-walls, which, along with everything else, were suspended from the caissons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who was responsible? I don’t know, but it is clear that the official explanation of “pancaking” floors and melting heat from aviation fuel holds no scientific validity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, the other remarkable feature of 9/11 is that it served as the prelude to nearly two decades of war, the so-called War on Terror, perhaps more accurately called the Neocon Wars, wars which have seared the middle East like unquenchable grassfires for two decades, killing a couple of million people, creating tens of millions of desperate refugees, and destroying several well-run societies. American troops still occupy parts of several countries.

But Americans and the rest of the world are now so used to American officials lying about what they are doing abroad, always supported dutifully by a compliant corporate press, that they ask few questions even when lied to about what is happening inside the country. We literally live in a kind of manufactured reality, manufactured by corrupt and powerful people.

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false” is a quote attributed to former CIA Director William Casey. Whether he said it or not, it sums up our 1984-like situation perfectly.

Posted September 11, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE DEATH OF ACTRESS DIANA RIGG   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – TRIBUTE TO DIANA RIGG

 

Diana Rigg was a memorable actress. A real beauty when she was young, but still an interesting and active actress when she was old.

I think of her as riding the same 1960s transatlantic cultural wave, in television and film acting, as “the British Invasion” groups in popular music.

Everyone remembers her from “The Avengers,” a fun (but dated) 1960s series that was very popular and served to make her widely known, but that role as a clever, beautiful, lithe, and stylish British spy was only a small part of her identity.

I loved her for her willingness and ability to do many interesting, offbeat things like “Three Piece Suite,” “Unexplained Laughter,” “Mother Love,” plus classics like Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.” Those are things worth seeing.

She was one of those actors you just enjoyed watching, and her range was extraordinary.

Posted September 11, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA SHOULD PREPARE FOR A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THIS ELECTION, NO MATTER WHO WINS – A BIT ON THE CANDIDATES’ POLITICAL RECORDS – A WORD ON KAMALA HARRIS – TRUMP BACK TO TALKING AGAINST WARS AND THE MILITARY BUT IT MEANS NOTHING BEYOND A PITCH FOR VOTES – HIS ACTIONS OVER FOUR YEARS HAVE IN FACT SET THINGS UP FOR BIG NEW WARS – BIDEN HAS NEVER OPPOSED WARS OF ANY DESCRIPTION, EVEN THOUGH HE, LIKE TRUMP, WAS NEVER IN THE MILITARY – BIDEN HAS MADE TERRIBLE STATEMENTS AFFECTING MILLIONS IN VENEZUELA AND PALESTINE AND IRAN – DEMOCRATIC PARTY TALK ABOUT A NEW PROGRESSIVE AGENDA IS JUST EMPTY ELECTION TALK USING POOR OLD BERNIE SANDERS AS A CHEERLEADER – BIDEN IS A “GOVERNMENT SERVICE “LIFER,” SHARING THE MEDAL OF FREEDOM WITH THE GHASTLY LIKES OF MADELEINE ALBRIGHT AND HENRY KISSINGER   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – AMERICA SHOULD PREPARE FOR A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT, NO MATTER WHO IS ELECTED

 

Apart from his reported abusive and politically-damaging comments about soldiers being “suckers” and “losers,” Trump has been making new noises about wars and the military, obviously trying to tempt back anti-war voters, people not otherwise attracted to him, people who supported him in 2016, helping give him the edge in key states. But in almost four years of waving his arms and spluttering, Trump has succeeded nowhere in making serious military reductions. He has made a couple of adjustments so he can talk in terms of bringing troops home.

The adjustments hardly mean anything compared to his happily approving massive budgets for the Dark State – the Pentagon and security services. Nor do they compare with his massive sales of weapons into politically fragile regions like the Middle East, making bad situations worse. He shares with most of the Washington establishment the belief that lots of weapons can change things for the better. It is the kind of faith you expect from the center of an empire, but it is entirely false.

Of course, Trump and the rest of Washington’s establishment are only too happy to see billions of dollars in weapon sales, a fact which tends to overshadow any claims about being motivated by sound policy. Historians have demonstrated how states armed to the teeth are indeed a cause for great wars, not a preventative measure. That was very much the case for WWI, as European powers stood bristling with weapons and great standing armies. Much like a pile of tinder and firewood waiting for a spark. The same can be said for America’s post-WWII military monstrosity. All it has done is engender wars simply by its being there, ready to use by vain and ambitious leaders.

But Trump’s pro-war efforts go much farther than big budgets and weapon sales. He is on very friendly and encouraging terms with some of the Middle East’s most terrible characters – Saudi Arabia’s murderous Crown Prince, Israel’s war criminal Prime Minister, and Egypt’s reigning Field Marshal, among others.  He still keeps troops where they are not wanted by local governments, as in Iraq and Syria, and he does so ultimately to please the imperial ambitions of Israel. There is no other genuine reason. That is hardly anti-war in any sense of the word, Israel having been at the very center of efforts for the Neocon Wars which have seared the region like unquenchable grassfires for two decades. And those are in addition to Israel’s own almost continuous attacks on all of its neighbors. Of course, encouraging Saudi Arabia to make a hell of Yemen represents the same kind of effort.

The surprise troop reduction in Germany is not part of anti-war thinking, not at all. It is, first and foremost, intended as an insult to Chancellor Merkel, whom he intensely dislikes, as he noticeably dislikes virtually all powerful, intelligent women. (Note his recent outburst that the idea of Democrat Kamala Harris becoming President was “an insult to our country.”) But it is something more too. It is a redeployment, and a dangerous one. Troops going to Poland as part of the change, going closer to the heart of Russia, are nothing less than a threat, and that is just how Russia sees them. There is no peaceful intention in that, not at all. It is just part of the general effort to re-create in Europe what existed before the Soviet Union collapsed, but even more so with new NATO states, new weapon systems, and heavy armor right next against the Russian border.

About two thousand troops are leaving Iraq. This comes seventeen years after the illegal invasion of the country. It reflects less an American initiative than a compromise with the Iraqi government after it recently asked the United States to leave entirely. The majority of American troops will remain there, under the excuse of fighting ISIS, but for the real purpose of intimidating Iran.

It does appear that several thousand troops will be leaving Afghanistan. For nineteen years the United States has been killing people there, having spent hundreds of billions of dollars doing so, yet still the Taliban controls major parts of the country, and Trump’s effort at withdrawing involves a deal directly with the Taliban and not with the country’s formal government, pretty much an admission that the entire effort for nineteen years had little point. And it does seem likely – after the final phase of his withdrawal, which, if it does take place, won’t be for more than a year – that the government set up by the United States will fall to the Taliban, leaving the country right where it was twenty years before. A remarkable achievement.

Recently, in a reckless new practice, American B-52s have been flying over Ukraine, practicing missile-launch runs towards nearby Russia. The slightest misunderstanding or miscalculation promises Armageddon. People who care about peace do not do such things.

Trump has killed a whole series of important treaties dealing with nuclear weapons, just as he is busy weaponizing space, something breaking still another treaty. These acts are threatening. They have nothing to do with reducing hostilities and opposing war.

While he has not started a new conventional war, he has come close, as with Iran, and his brutal efforts in Iran and Venezuela I think can best be understood as warfare, hybrid warfare. And just so, his constant hectoring and abuse of China. It is a form of warfare. His huge program of sanctions is definitely a form of warfare, and it is not free of death and injury. He has tried depriving tens of millions in Iran and Venezuela of earning a living and, even worse, depriving them of food and medicines and other necessities in a time of pandemic. His hellish “maximum pressure” philosophy – which strongly displays pride in muscular intimidation of others – almost suggests something like the days of the US cavalry giving Indigenous Americans blankets contaminated with small pox.

In sum, when it comes to all of Trump’s measures concerning arms and armies and war, I think it unmistakable that rather than ending wars or not starting new wars, he has set the stage for more and perhaps larger ones.

Biden is a “government-service lifer,” a disparaging term Republican Newt Gingrich liked using. No matter what you think of that language, his is not the kind of career that should spark any hopes for meaningful change, at home or abroad. He is an unimaginative man and one who has always gone along with the establishment crowd.

Right now, he and the Democratic Party are making big noises about how things will be different. They even had poor old Bernie Sanders telling us that Biden might be the most progressive President ever. That is just election blubbering, although I’ll credit Bernie Sanders with misguided hopes rather than dissimulation.

It has been reported that Biden spoke recently with important campaign donors who were concerned about the progressive sounds coming from the Democrats. He is said to have assured them that he will maintain the status quo.

In foreign affairs, Biden has already, almost unbelievably, attacked Trump for not having been tough enough in trying to destroy a twice-elected government in Venezuela. No, depriving that country’s people of electricity, of jobs, of food, and of medicine was not “tough enough.” Attempts to assassinate an elected president were not tough enough. Stealing assets held abroad was not tough enough.

Biden is committed to the concept that Trump is not going to “out-Israel” him, offering the bleakest possible outlook for millions of Palestinians Israel relentlessly abuses. And so, too, the prospects for eighty million Iranians who suffer like the Venezuelans simply because Israel wants to dominate the region.

Biden is a lifelong milquetoast political figure, getting by, very much, on a smile. If we can’t judge and predict from a career of more than fifty years in politics, then I don’t know how we ever can.

He is also one who has milked the political system, enriching himself and his immediate family members along the way, nothing at all unusual in American politics, but offering anything other than the promise of change. Interestingly, just like Trump, Biden is a teetotaller, people I’m by nature inclined to have a little doubt about. He is also someone who received a series of draft deferments during university, ending up on graduation getting an exemption for a medical condition, just as Trump did.

He is associated with not a single big idea or heroic political position. He goes along to get along. There is not a gene in his body having to do with great change, unless you are talking about the kind of vote-getting change like past legislation that put a great many more young men into prison. Young Black men.

His running mate, an intelligent and formidable personality, was closely allied with that “send ‘em to jail” approach. In America, there is a common general impression that most American politicians of color are on the Left end of the political spectrum, but that is not so, and it definitely is not so for Kamala Harris. She is solidly establishment and extremely ambitious as seen in the circumstances of her early rise to power, just as the younger Biden always was extremely ambitious. Reflect back on expectations for Obama, who is in character much along the lines of Harris. Many millions of Americans, who had read more into his smile and style of speech than was in fact there, were disappointed, both in domestic social matters and very much so in war.

When it comes to the military, Biden is a loyal trooper. He never opposed any of the Pentagon and CIA schemes for hurting other societies in order to benefit America’s establishment. That’s why he was given the country’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom, an award he shares with such luminaries as Madeleine Albright, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Donald Rumsfeld. The medal, in its political awards, not so much in the arts, is almost a guarantee of political dreariness and even revulsion. It perhaps should be renamed as the Order of American Empire.

 

NOTE

An interesting anecdote about the horrendous waste of America’s wars was revealed less than ten years ago. The troops’ quarters and facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq are air-conditioned, and the bill for providing that service in the middle of deserts was reported to be running at more than $20 billion a year, about the size of NASA’s entire budget.

Posted September 9, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE NAVALNY AFFAIR MEETS AMERICA’S CORRUPT AND DISHONEST CORPORATE PRESS – A SUPPOSED NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST WRITES ABOUT TRUMP AND PUTIN AND THEIR THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY – THE AUTHOR’S WORDS ARE A SICKENING REGURGITATION OF COLD WAR RHETORIC – THE NEEDS ACTUALLY SERVED IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND IN THE FBI BY CONTINUING THE UGLY AND PREJUDICED GAME OF RUSSOPHOBIA – AMERICA IS FLIRTING WITH DISASTER WITH ITS B-52s NOW IN UKRAINE IMITATING BOMBING RUNS TOWARDS RUSSIA WHILE ITS PRESS RUNS INFLAMATORY TRASH ABOUT THE COUNTRY – A LUNATIC PLACE WHERE YOU CAN’T REJECT TRUMP’S MUSSOLINI IMITATION WITHOUT BUYING INTO DANGEROUS CLAIMS ABOUT RUSSIA FROM SELF-SERVING BUREAUCRACIES LIKE THE FBI AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AN ARTICLE BY SAMANTHA VINOGRAD IN CNN (CNN DOES NOT ALLOW COMMENT)

“Trump is parroting the Kremlin line on the Navalny poisoning”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/07/opinions/navalny-poison-trump-putin-vinograd/index.html

Just the title of the article makes me want to puke.

The words are from the 1950s and the height of the Cold War with all of its ignorant bellowing. They are the stuff of Senator Joe McCarthy, the closet drunk who terrified many decent people with his obscene efforts to build a career.

They are the kind of crap J Edgar Hoover regularly deposited in television appearances and ghost-written books. Hoover, a man who was a known manipulator and liar – much like Trump, always focused on the continuation of his career – a man who kept many American politicians, Congressmen and Presidents, terrified with his secret-and-confidential files and the occasional suggestion to one of them in private that he was aware of something unpleasant.

That’s some standard for national journalism, but this is America, after all, center of a brutal world empire that it lies about daily, its lies being dutifully reported as facts by the corporate press, so it’s no big deal. The same old, same old.

I don’t like to appear ever to defend Trump, a politician I genuinely loathe, but my regard for decent politics and foreign policy is too high to allow an attack as shabby as that contained in Ms. Vinograd’s words.

She tells us,” The German government said last Wednesday that Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group — a Soviet-era chemical weapon. The same agent was used in a March 2018 attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.”

The German government has yet to produce an ounce of proof for its incendiary accusation, just as Theresa May’s pathetic British government never produced an ounce of proof about Sergei Skripal. Indeed, Skripal and his daughter have disappeared under the loving care of British security services. No one has seen them, and no one can speak to them.

Very high standards indeed of democratic process and transparency of claims.

But when it comes to Russia – and now, Increasingly, to China – any vicious accusation is perfectly acceptable. The effort is on a par with American B-52s now flying in Ukraine and making simulated bombing runs towards Russia. It just does not get more dangerously stupid.

Ms. Vinograd regards this as an accusation: “…in response to a question about the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, President Trump said the US had no proof yet about what had happened.” Had it occurred to her that even a habitual liar like Trump occasionally says something true?

There is no proof. Nor do I think there can be any proof because the Navalny Affair has all the hallmarks of a contrived event.

See:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/john-chuckman-comment-more-on-the-navalny-poisoning-in-russia-german-authorities-now-claim-the-poison-used-was-novichok-military-nerve-agent-which-also-played-the-role-o/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/08/28/john-chuckman-comment-the-alexei-navalny-affair-none-of-the-facts-that-we-have-so-far-support-assertions-of-poisoning-this-is-beginning-to-resemble-british-prime-minister-theresa/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-navalny-affair-belarus-claims-it-intercepted-a-conversation-between-berlin-and-warsaw-which-shows-the-affair-was-fabricated-transcripts-and-voice-recordi/

Equally important, there was no motive for the Russian government to poison Navalny. And doing so at this time only could work against its own interests. God, we have one of the cleverest, calmest, most pragmatic statesmen of a generation, and people like Ms. Vinograd make accusations which require us to assume he has lost all sense of himself.

Russia had nothing to gain from the death of Navalny while America, indeed, has a good deal to gain from the appearance of an attempt on his life.

Navalny is not an important figure in Russia. He is no threat to Putin who still enjoys wide public support. The Western press much inflates Navalny. Many Russians actually regard him as rather a flake.

And from Putin’s point of view, this is a terrible time for something like this to happen.

It could endanger the Nord Stream II project, the second Russian-German natural gas pipeline, which the US long has desperately tried to kill.

America doesn’t want a relationship to build between Russia and Germany, a relationship which has immense potential for both countries, marrying German industry to Russian resources. No, America still wants it still to be the 1950s with the threat of the USSR and the Red Army, both of which haven’t existed for thirty years. Because America simply wants to dominate Europe, a major potential competitor and rival, just as it wants to intimidate Russia and dominate so much of the world.

Chancellor Merkel has refused to kill the pipeline despite furious demands from the United States, including from Donald Trump in his Presidential role as frontman for the American Dark State (the Pentagon and CIA). Germany needs the pipeline for its energy future. Germany also resents American interference in its internal affairs, interference recently backed by threats of “crippling” sanctions.

This Affair puts Ms. Merkel in a very awkward position. Does anyone think Russia would do that? Ms. Merkel and Putin actually get along well. She speaks Russian, and he speaks German. Trump can’t even speak English.

Ms. Vinograd says, offering no examples or proof, “Trump’s been doing PR for Putin for a long time, and his actions pose a direct threat to our national security.”

I suggest rather that journalists the calibre of Ms. Vinograd are threats to national security.

She doesn’t know what she is talking about, yet she makes huge and inflammatory claims.

America has become such a lunatic country that you cannot reject Trump’s Mussolini imitation without buying into dangerous claims about Russia from the FBI and the Democratic Party, both organizations with long histories of dishonesty and manipulation.

There can never be enough Russophobia for such organizations. It provides people who have nothing to say with something to talk about. It provides excuses for failure. It provides the impetus of a threat to continue the good work of expanding America’s brutal empire by spending trillions on the military and security services.

Posted September 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CONTROVERSY OVER TRUMP’S REPORTED SAVAGE WORDS ABOUT DEAD SOLDIERS IS ACTUALLY A SIGN OF THE DEEP DIVISIONS IN AMERICAN SOCIETY – DIVISIONS WHICH INCLUDE WILDLY UNLIKELY AND DANGEROUS BELIEFS ALMOST RESEMBLING THOSE OF CULTS – THERE CAN BE NO SERIOUS DOUBT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE REPORTED STORY – HERE IS A LIST OF REASONS SUPPORTING THE ARTICLE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“U.S. veterans divided over reports Trump disparaged military”

“Some bristle at reports he called troops ‘losers’ and ‘suckers,’ others question claim”

 

I just do not understand how there can be any doubt about the truth in reporting of Trump’s words about soldiers.

First, the words almost match the words we all heard him speak in public about the late John McCain a couple of years ago.

Second, the article’s author is said to have had four good sources. It is of course, perfectly understandable, given Trump’s volatile and threatening personality, why sources would not want to be identified by name. First-class investigative journalism – like that of the great Seymour Hersh – has always had to use some confidential sources.

Third, portions of the claims already have been substantiated by independent investigation of several major news sources.

Fourth, the vicious tone is right in keeping with things we’ve learned from Trump’s niece and his older sister, a retired judge, first-hand witnesses both of them.

People who insist this is a plot or fabrication by “the Left,” just have not thought through what they are saying, just as Trump does not think about what he says.

Besides, there is no “Left” to speak of in America, and certainly old safe establishment Joe Biden is anything but “Left.” The woman who controls The Atlantic magazine is the multi-billionaire widow of the late Steve Jobs. Hardly a raging Leftist.

In the end, the question for Americans is that of former television host Phil Donahue when he did some incisive public affairs shows, “People, what kind of country do you want to live in?”

______________________

Response to a comment saying it was hard to understand how Trump rides out so many scandalous acts and words:

Superficially, yes, it is hard to understand.

But America has – a fact often overlooked – a bounteous population of hucksters and grifters and scam artists.

Their behavior is a significant part of the country’s history and culture.

Recall, the tender words of P. T. Barnum from a century and a half ago, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Mark Twain’s stories feature a number of such characters.

Herman Melville wrote “The Confidence Man.”

 

AFTERNOTES

Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, said his magazine’s story about Trump calling Americans who died in battle “losers” and “suckers,” was just the tip of the iceberg.

“I would fully expect more reporting to come out about this and more confirmation and new pieces of information in the coming days and weeks.”

 

“We all have to use anonymous sources, especially in a climate where the president of the United States tries to actively intimidate,”

 

“Carl Bernstein, the investigate reporter known for breaking the Watergate story, said that anonymous sourcing is often a crucial tool for reporters.”

“Almost all 200 of our stories about Watergate were based on anonymous sourcing.”

Posted September 7, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHERE DOES ANYONE SEE DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA? – GIVING PEOPLE A CHOICE BETWEEN TWO POOR CANDIDATES NEITHER OF WHOM OPPOSES ANY OF THE FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS AFFLICTING THE COUNTRY IS ANYTHING BUT DEMOCRACY – TRUMP’S EMERGING LUKEWARM FASCISM – EVEN IF TRUMP IS NOT RE-ELECTED, HIS PEOPLE AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE, AND THE COUNTRY FACES HUGE ADJUSTMENTS AHEAD, ADJUSTMENTS IT IS NOT PREPARED TO MAKE – NANCY PELOSI’S SECRET HAIR-SETTING STUNT SAYS ALL THERE IS TO SAY ABOUT THE COUNTRY’S LACK OF LEADERSHIP   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ALEXANDER PANETTA IN CBC NEWS

 

“A democracy at a boiling point: The view from a U.S. swing county”

“In a sharply divided Michigan county, residents agree on one thing: fear of what comes after Nov. 3”

 

“Boiling point” I can agree with.

But no one who is looking closely sees “democracy” in America.

You have two poor candidates, one poorer than the other.

Neither, if elected, will question militarism or wars of empire or plutocracy.

Biden’s very candidacy is owing to Democrats suppression of opponents like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

Remember, $1,000,000,000,000 a year to support the military and security agencies to keep an empire going and growing.

Ever hear of a democratic empire?  The phrase is an oxymoron. Same for a democratic plutocracy.

With Trump, there is an ominous sense of a kind of lukewarm American fascism taking hold. It is his temperament and language and scofflaw character combined with the abundantly clear nature of his followers.

But even without Trump, hatreds and resentments and fears will keep bubbling to the surface in America. There is nothing to drive them away because America’s deepest structural flaws as a society clash with an emerging new world where America no longer holds an absolutely central place. America, at all levels from ordinary workers to high establishment mandarins, is going to experience a painful transition to no longer being “exceptional.”

Trump’s P.T. Barnum medicine show, “MAGA,” could not possibly change the world’s emerging new realities, but then neither can anything else. There’s no taste in America for getting down to the hard, basic work of creating a better, more competitive and just society, and there is no leadership for it either. God, Nancy Pelosi’s disgraceful stunt of secretly breaking the pandemic rules in getting her hair done says it all, “I want mine, and I want it now!” But the world that permitted that kind of arrogant attitude to be widespread in America for decades is simply dissolving away.

With Biden, there will be a temporary breath of relief at having avoided something awful, but it will be unwarranted. America’s underlying divisions and major structural problems will remain, and Trump’s ugly ranks of followers aren’t going anywhere. They make up nearly half the American adult population. And all of the weak American institutions which made Trump possible remain unchanged.

Posted September 7, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A STORY OF THE LENGTHS TO WHICH AMERICA’S ESTABLISHMENT – HERE THE FBI AND THE NEW YORK TIMES – WILL GO TO ATTACK A SMALL INTERNET SITE FOR THE POLITICAL NATURE OF ITS CONTENT RATHER THAN ANY QUESTION OF ITS ACCURACY – THE NEVER-ENDING SAGA OF AMERICAN RUSSO-PHOBIA – DECLINING EMPIRES ARE DANGEROUS BEASTS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“RUSSIAGATE: NYT, FB & FBI Say Anti-Trump Site, Now Shutdown, Was Russian Effort to Help Trump Win”

“Misgivings about who ran this site can co-exist with legitimate alarm about the combined attacks by the FBI, the Times and other corporate media on the political nature — and not the accuracy — of its published content”

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/09/04/russiagate-nyt-fb-fbi-say-anti-trump-site-now-shutdown-was-russian-effort-to-help-trump-win/

 

An excellent piece of reporting giving the reader a good sense of perspective in this matter.

It is frightening to learn the lengths to which American officials and the New York Times go to attack a small site guilty only of saying critical and fair-minded things about American politics.

America is truly entering a new period of witch hunts.

Well, that whole establishment lies about everything from Syria and Iraq to Venezuela and China, so why not a little site too?

Are we reaching a time when saying something true is a crime in America?

The FBI is starting to sound like the Catholic Church hierarchy at the time of Martin Luther.

This just adds to a truly ominous sense about the country and where it is going.

Declining empires are dangerous beasts.

Posted September 7, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized