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Monthly Archives: November 2011


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY ANDREW COHEN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The Kennedys were simply America’s Borgias.

The Borgias had grace and beauty and wealth, but they also were ruthless and murderous and had ambition beyond bounds.

The full story of the Kennedys’ greed and manipulation has not been – and likely never will be – told. Despite many revelations coming to light, the family has succeeded time and again in suppressing much evidence.

This film may or may not be what the author of this article claims, but it does seem strange to me a man who wants to be taken seriously would spend time criticizing a television show.

We know, absolutely, that such a show will be vapid, whether it dwells on the sleaze or not.

Here are some reflections on Kennedy, the president, people may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/the-dark-aspects-of-kennedys-road-to-the-white-house-were-far-darker-than-described-by-british-journalist-andrew-marr/
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Joe Kennedy wasn’t just a crook as a reader has commented.

He was a ruthless and highly immoral man whose behavior included acts like bringing home young women he picked up or paid for sex right in front of his family gathered in the living room.

He was also brutally anti-British in his views, and correspondingly somewhat of a Hitler admirer.

He was so stupidly outspoken in these unpleasant views that the British government asked the United States to withdraw him as ambassador to Britain, not a common occurrence in diplomacy, a request with which Roosevelt complied.

Joe made his fortune in illegal alcohol, working with some very unpleasant and murderous gangsters, a connection which was exploited later in getting funds and support for his son’s drive to be president.

Jack himself, while a far classier guy on the surface with his tailored suits and quotes and manners, shared a number of his father’s characteristics, albeit in varied forms.

John’s womanizing we all know about, although not everyone is aware that at least one of the women – Judith Exner, a woman who paid him calls right in the White House – was tied to high levels of the Mob.

And not everyone knows that one of his early relationships, while in the military, was with a woman German spy. J Edgar Hoover was on to it, and had it not been for the Kennedy wealth and influence, his career would have died right there.

The abuse of privilege, in avoiding responsibility for your actions, was just as big a part of the Kennedys as it was that dishonest mediocrity and ignorant frat boy, George W Bush.

Much was made of John’s PT-109 exploits at the time of his running, and he did help save a man’s life, but the entire incident – the loss of his craft and the misery of his crew – was owing to his incompetence and lack of appropriate caution as a commander.

The same behavior from anyone else, without the connections, might well have resulted in a court martial.

Kennedy’s good taste included taking on people like Theodore Sorensen as writer/advisor – his family wealth allowed them to hire what essentially became a platoon of smart flaks, people who helped very much in smoothing over the bumps in the road of family history and who gave an aura of intelligence and worth.

But it is certain that more dishonesty came into play here too. Sorensen almost certainly wrote Kennedy’s Pulitzer prize-winning book, although he was such a loyal follower he denied it always. Sorensen also, to a certainty, was author of speech phrases like “Ask not what….” If you read Sorensen’s book about Kennedy, the cadence and style of the writing are so recognizable.

John also played a very two-faced game in the White House with regard to Cuba. After the Missile Crisis blew up in his face – and the CIA, as well as attempting to assassinate Castro many times, had been very much in the business of planning another invasion of Cuba as Khrushchev feared when he considered sending missiles to Cuba – the agreement that ended the crisis was Kennedy’s agreeing to not invade Cuba as well as withdrawing certain missiles from Turkey.

Word of the agreement made the anti-Castro thugs the CIA had sponsored for years – Osama’s boys in the mountains made a peanut-sized operation compared to the multi-million dollar terror operation the CIA ran in the early 1960s (just one of countless examples of U.S. hypocrisy around the use of terror) – bitterly, fiercely angry, making them one of the prime suspects in Kennedy’s assassination.

Kennedy had his brother, as Attorney General and stand-in voice of the President, make a big show of raiding camps in the South where these thugs carried on with their CIA-provided weapons and training. Robert also secretly was in charge of more attempts to murder Castro.

The Kennedy brothers were always getting involved in heated battles. For reasons that still are not clear, Robert conducted a vendetta against a number of big mobsters, despite the fact that the Mob had financed his brother’s presidential campaign and kept such connections as Judith Exner. That behavior made the Mob another chief suspect for Kennedy’s assassination.

Both of the Kennedys actually, for whatever well-organized group killed Jack knew they also had to kill Robert if he was going to become President. Robert’s ruthless use of power meant that the full powers of the office of the president would go after his brother’s assassins, as the pathetic Warren Commission never made any attempt to do.

Sleaze in fancy suits, ruthless people with a veneer of class – that’s the Kennedys.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This is utterly paranoid nonsense from the CSIS official.

There is, and always has been, the risk of twisted individuals doing harm to the public.

It happens every day, but we do not call it terror unless the perpetrator happens to be a Muslim.

Just what do you think Clifford Olson or Robert Picton or Paul Bernardo were?

What do you think the creepy guys who shoot people in the Jane and Finch area are?

If we let our officials act the way the government of the United States has, we simply will no longer have the Canada we love.

The truth is no terrorist can take Canada away from us: we can only do that to ourselves.

The United States today is virtually a police state. Passengers are frisked and x-rayed even on local flights.

People are submitted to intense questioning on the least suspicion of a second-rate police-mind. The TSA now patrols some American internal highways and pulls people over arbitrarily.

The very books you borrow from the library are recorded by the FBI, an agency with its own past history of genuine terror tactics. The mails are invaded. Internet use is recorded. All phone conversations are recorded.

People convicted of nothing are secretly detained in prisons. The CIA continues to run an international torture gulag. The CIA murders people proved guilty of nothing every week by drones and missiles.

Is that the kind of environment the CSIS official desires?

I suspect it is the environment which is dear to the heart of a control-freak like our prime minister, a man who is also such an American wannabe he readily swallows whatever the American government dishes out.

God save Canada from the sick thinking of the CSIS official.
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“You have a better chance of falling off a ladder and dying or slipping and falling in the bath tub and dying than in a terrorist attack. Largely it’s a tactic to scare the population into allowing for infringement on rights and freedoms and herd the electorate more readily.”

Absolutely.

There are more deaths on bicycles every year even in the US than from any conceivable form of terror.

Americans murder their fellow citizens to the order of 20,000 each year.

Americans kill their fellow citizens on the highways to the order of 40,000 every year.

Half a million American children are seriously abused by a member of their own family every year.

Doctors making mistakes kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Thousands of young people are permanently injured every year in America playing violent sports like football.

Four hundred thousand Americans are taken by cancer every year – much of it preventable as in the case of smoking and exposure to other hazards.

Every society at all times has a substantial group of people who are subject to vague fears more than others and people who would like to closely control others for their own comfort: there is a natural distribution of them in any population.

But when you give such people – who tend always to be drawn to security or police or military work – too much leeway and resources in the name of paranoid fears, you begin to open yourself to the debilitating reality of a police state, whose ultimate limit is nothing less than  the horrors of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Reich.

The vigilance required to keep a genuinely free society is not the vigilance of outfits like the FBI or CIA or CSIS or the military: it is the vigilance of each of us against those who would abuse us in the name of terror or dark fears.
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“Can CSIS and the Harper regime tell us how many Afghans and Libyans have been killed in their own country by Canadians.”

Thank you.

The number of Afghans killed, mainly by the U.S., is in the tens of thousands.

The number of Libyans is in the thousands, again mainly by the U.S.

And we’ve assisted in bombing Libyan infrastructure back to the Stone Age.

That is no exaggeration, and no press in Canada will tell us the dark truth, not even CBC, these days quaking in its boots over its fate under the dark hulk we call prime minister.

Nothing to be proud of, any of it.

And if you really think about it, these were acts which only created legions of young men with grievances for the future.

Oh, but we do  have the buzz-cut thugs at the CIA playing computer games with drones and Hellfire missiles destroying the lives of thousands of others to protect us, don’t we?

That thought sure makes me feel safe. How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MICHAEL BELL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A message for Israel?

Yes, but far more importantly, the incident provides a message for the rest of the world.
When have we ever had such stunning first-hand evidence of Israel’s inappropriate access to the President of the United States?

Obama, leader of the free world and a man with the immense burdens of a country of more than 300 million people, has to give time, “every day,” to the the querulous leader of a country of 7 million people, about one-third of the population of Madagascar or one-half the population of Ecuador?

I’d bet Obama hears far less frequently from the governor of California, a vitally important part of his own country and a state with nearly five times the population of Israel.

This is the mouse that roared indeed.

And there can be only one reason why the president must give this huge portion of his precious time to the leader of almost exactly 1/1000th of the world’s people: the Lobby for Israel and the political need to keep them happy, that is if you expect the campaign contributions and favorable press it can deliver going into an election.

Any informed and critical-minded person knows there will only be peace in Israel’s region when the United States stops extending unheard-of privileges to this belligerent and demanding state puts genuine pressure on it to settle fairly.

You will never see peace if you must pick up the phone every day to speak politely and attentively to the likes of Netanyahu.

Netanyahu and most of his predecessors – killers and terrorists like Begin or Olmert or Sharon – do not want peace as almost anyone on earth understands the word. They have always wanted more land – that’s what the 1967 War was really about – and they want the land without its people. How on earth do you ever get peace out of that? You don’t.

So American pressure becomes essential, but America’s debased system of campaign financing – which sees people in high office scrabbling for money throughout their terms of office – makes it impossible to apply that pressure without serious political damage.

But when more people understand how bizarre the relationship between Israel and the United States truly is perhaps there will be a re-balancing of political forces.

Either that or we all must wait the two decades the CIA estimates have given the current state of Israel, enduring all the brutality and misery entailed, before all the dual-passport holders from America and Europe tire of the mess they’ve made and go home, leaving the true residents, both Jewish and Palestinian, to work out the details of single state, the only long-term settlement which can possibly succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Imagine a country invading the hypothetical countries of Greenland and Alaska and then saying they wanted to attack Canada because it has nuclear capability. What would you expect our leadership to do? Obey the aggressors and accept their demands we lay down on our backs?”

Indeed.

And further, Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers.

Where did the notion come from that only certain countries are entitled to nuclear weapons in perpetuity? Countries who are somehow appointed gods on earth?

Why was Israel ever allowed to develop nuclear weapons, breaking every rule in the book? And why is it allowed to keep them, always lying and dissembling but always ready to threaten?

Israel has certainly created enough division and destruction in the world just using its conventional weapons, which, by the way, it has used illegally numberless times, American supplied weapons supposedly being under strict contract for use only in genuine defense?

Israel’s record in the matter of nuclear arms is ghastly: it cynically helped apartheid South Africa develop nuclear weapons in exchange for strategic materials, offering the worst example of proliferation in the nuclear age.
I’m sure the various governments of the world all knew about it. Only the people were kept in the dark.

Further, Iran has never started a war in its modern history, unlike Israel who has attacked just about everyone within reach, twice-over, and screams every day about the need to attack Iran.

So far as any thoughtful and informed person can tell, Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, but if indeed it is, so what?

The balance of terror kept the peace in Europe for half a century, and an Iran with such weapons would provide exactly the same needed balance against an aggressive and always-demanding Israel.

Perhaps that is the only route to peace, not Israel’s bizarre idea of peace, but genuine peace.

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Israel is pushing hard now for one reason, and it is the same reason why they have Obama and Clinton looking like Neanderthals over the worthy agency, UNESCO.

Obama is extremely vulnerable going into the next election, and he needs all the campaign funds and good press he can get.

It is a nightmare situation in which we have a tiny state with extreme views and never-ending belligerent demands literally push around the world’s super-power.

Although they play a role, American fundamentalist Christian notions about Israel are really not what determine this poisonous relationship.

It is America’s campaign-finance system that does, and also, to some extent, the concentration of media in so few hands.

The United States’ government is so bamboozled by Israel that it will do close to anything if Israel demands it loudly enough.

Kill an American citizen with impunity? Israel has done so on many occasions from the attack on the USS Liberty to the piracy on the high seas of a humanitarian convoy.

Use American high-tech weapons, supplied in great abundance at knock-down prices, while totally ignoring the strict provisions about use only for self-defense contracted into their supply? It has done so on countless occasions.

Ignore America and the world’s strict regime governing nuclear weapons? And doing so even while pointing the finger at another state, demanding that it be attacked although innocent of the very behaviour of which we know Israel is grossly guilty?

Ignore America and the world’s strict regime governing the proliferation of nuclear materials and weapons? Israel got off with complete impunity for assisting the apartheid regime in South Africa to develop nuclear weapons.

Start a secretly-engineered war of aggression, the 1967 War, in which you quickly seize the lands of millions of others – lands which you feel you are entitled from a 2500-year old collection of religious mysticism – and reduce the entire populations to an apartheid regime in which you strip them of all rights and proceed gradually to steal their homes?

Have the name of the most damaging, treacherous spy in American history, Jonathon Pollard, honored in Israel as a national hero?

Patiently endure an endless stream of demands that Pollard be released, the latest to which it has been reported Obama was almost ready to agree, completely to the opposition of almost all high-ranking military and intelligence officers, this last being the only real barrier against the lunatic idea?

The very fact Pollard was not executed in the first place, his treachery being far more damaging than that of most of the spies the United did execute?

Having Israel’s argumentative and demanding and unpleasant Prime Minister with virtually open access to the Oval Office?

Having the United States fight proxy wars for Israel, the only genuine explanation for the horrors of the Iraq invasion?

Giving Israel unfettered access to American markets and technology, often in direct conflict with the interests of American companies?

There seems to be almost no limit to Israel’s impossible demands of America.

Now the thug, Netanyahu, wants war with Iran. Israel keeps blustering that it will itself attack Iran – using, of course, the very American weapons whose use for aggressive war is contractually forbidden. But Iran is not helpless, and Israel knows, that even if it does have the capacity to attack a thousand miles away that there will be serious (and deserved) consequences.

So Israel wants a get-out-of-jail-free card from the United States if it does prove itself to have the capacity for a first strike, and, if it does not have that capacity, it again wants the United States to do its killing.

We have here a black comedy of, pound-for-pound, the world’s most belligerent and lawless little country demanding an attack on a country which has attacked no one in its entire modern history. And it makes this irrational demand of the world’s super-power, whose current weak and pathetic president might just prove inclined to grant the evil wish.

God help the world of our children with the deadly legacy of a genuine Frankenstein monster now driving its maker.
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FROM A READER:

“Iran for 36 years has been taunting the Jewish State with “wiping it off the map”.. Constant anti semitism and hatred.. Now Israel will raise its mighty hand and nuke tipped Sam 44’s and lob one down the throat of the Beast! Happy Hunting!”

An incredibly ill-informed and violent comment.

Iran has not once threatened Israel, not once.

It does not even possess the means to do so seriously.

And every source of genuine intelligence tells us Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

The only support for your nonsense view was the current President of Iran’s mistranslated and endlessly repeated words.

What he actually said was no different to the CIA’s assessment of Israel’s future: Israel cannot maintain its current fantasy situation in the part of the world where it is located, in a sea of Arabs.

It will eventually meld with Palestinians and others into a single Middle Eastern state, with many of its non-Middle Eastern citizens, dual-passport Americans and Europeans, returning home.

Your comment serves only the purpose of exhibiting for all to see what irrationality and violence are at work in Israel’s demands.

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Well, the day before, Hillary Clinton said in Libya the United States would welcome his killing.

It doesn’t get too much shabbier than that.

Her brutal words reminded me of Donald Rumsfeld’s statement, early on in Afghanistan, that all the Taleban prisoners should either be walled away or killed.

And, what do know, a short time later, 3,000 prisoners the U.S. had held disappeared.

We know today they were driven out in batches in sealed vans onto the desert to suffocate. Then their bodies were dumped into mass graves.

Americans didn’t do the actually murders, they just facilitated and encouraged them. Its soldiers – who were in charge everywhere – just stood around picking their noses while mass murder was carried out.

America is up to its hips in blood, and there no longer seems to be much in the way of limits.

Gaddafi’s blood is definitely on Hillary’s hands. I knew she was a rather nasty piece of work, but now she is a murderer.

As is her boss with his 2 to 3 thousand killings in Pakistan in the last couple of years, virtually all of them civilians.

There’s no use pretending that only bloody dictators will be subject to extra-judicial killing in future.

Indeed, the United States has over the years been close friends and patrons of many dictators, and it still is today.

It’s just a question of whether the leader or a group of people toe the American policy line in deciding whether they will be attacked.

The emerging nightmare scenario is the United States playing God across the entire planet, striking down anyone who disagrees seriously enough with it.

This is not a time for exultation over the death of a dictator, but shame and profound concern about the nature of our children’s world.
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“The purpose of a trial is to determine guilt

“Perhaps there are only a dozen or so people in the world who so blatantly admit their crimes to the world that a trial would be unnecessary.”

You could not be more incorrect.

A trial is never, never unnecessary, full stop.

The purpose of a trial also is very much to proclaim that there is rule of law and openness in handing out justice – indeed, that part of the meaning of trials is far more important than determining guilt.

Only people or countries with something to hide encourage this kind of lawlessness, and that very much is the case for the United States.

We either have a society of laws, or we do not. You cannot have it both ways.

Although both the United States and Israel very much act as though they can.

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Yes, indeed, the university has become a commodity, as a reader below observes.

And of course the universities – since they are in effect paid by the pound – want to move as great batches through as they can, and at the lowest possible cost. Economic reality does not end at the doors to whatever hallowed hall.

But there is more to the issue than that.

Part of what we are seeing is the result of dozens of years of grade inflation and “social promotion” in our public schools.

It is also the result of “democratizing” higher education. In effect, we’ve said that almost anyone is entitled to a degree in something or other, and that we reject the long-held idea that university is for the best and brightest.

We even had a woman create a controversy because she could not attend with and assist her mentally-handicapped child in university – that case surely highlights some of what we are doing. As does the fact we are graduating tens of thousands whose costly degrees have virtually zero economic value in the day-to-day world.

Our universities are coming offer degrees in almost anything you can name. This is the American model in which “degrees” are offered in subjects like circus, playground management, television studies, etc. We’re well along the way to aping the practice.

Of course, degrees of that nature are virtually meaningless and of no real value as investments in education.

Our once wonderful polytechs and community colleges are all clamoring to get in on the action too by becoming universities. Then everyone working there becomes a “professor” and every graduate gets a “degree.”

My favorite example of the cynicism of “professional educators” today is found in our schools or faculties of education. Every year they pour out new batches nobody needs or wants. Schools mostly aren’t hiring. And even if they were, many of these graduates still would not be desirable as teachers, undergoing as they do an almost non-academic, even anti-intellectual, year of study.

But the staff at the teachers’ colleges are kept employed. And the students are kept off the streets for one year. And politicians like McGuinty can blubber about being friendly to education.

And the poor students, soon to be seriously disillusioned, pile up mountains of debt.

We really are building ourselves into a second- or third-rate educational system and making our country into a not-very-effective competitor for a fiercely competitive future.

High school graduates in Korea or China know far more than half of our university graduates.