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Monthly Archives: July 2012

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Romney’s comments may well be racist.

But, without question, they are ignorant beyond comprehension for a man who worked in finance.

He’s comparing apples to oranges on a grand scale.

First, Israel is, without question, the most subsidized entity on earth.

Israel’s economy for that reason cannot be sensibly compared to anything.

It receives about $500 per year per Jewish citizen from the United States, and it has done so for decades.

But that is only the beginning.

There are periodic loan guarantees of tens of billions.

There is constant access at the highest level for this nation with the population of Ecuador, something virtually no other country, even far more important ones, has.

It has a plum free-trade agreement – indeed, without sending its subsidized crops to the U.S. Israel’s agriculture would disappear. It was a gift to Israel because it has no tangible benefits for Americans at all.

The opportunity cost of water Israel squanders on tomatoes and clementines to export is unbelievably high because it is the cost of desalination-plant water. It sends subsidized produce to the United States under free trade, produce the United States doesn’t even need.

Israel receives billions worth of intelligence and defense cooperation every year from the United States, something few other countries receive.

The two billion dollars a year going to Egypt is a bribe paid on Israel’s behalf by Americans since the Camp David Agreements.

Israel receives heavily below cost natural gas from Egypt, the result of U.S. pressure on Mubarak. Everyone knows this is scandalous, and the U.S. has offered to pay a subsidy to top up the price.

Israel also receives billions from the Jewish communities of America and Europe, and it receives important business intelligence and connections.

The great privilege granted to American Israelis to be recognized as dual citizens means they move back and forth regularly, all the while sharing business and other intelligence.

Israel’s farms and cities and water supply were all taken with absolutely no payment or reparations from other people. That is the biggest subsidy ever received, the very substance of the nation.

And it is not satisfied with what happened in 1948, it keeps stealing the property of others regularly, refusing to live in peace because it still wants more.

Israel has received tens of billions in reparations from Germany – wholly appropriate in view of the past – but still a subsidy.

The list is even longer than this, but I think the point is clear: Israel has, in no sense of the words, an independent national economy.

It is in truth a gigantic international welfare case.

Second, and equally important in the ignorance contained in Romney’s speech, Palestine has been under occupation for the best part of half a century.

But it is more than an occupation, it is a set of unfair rules and laws actually designed to discourage Palestinians from staying in their homes.

They are not even allowed to repair things without special permissions.

They are not allowed to build roads without special permissions.

They are not allowed to travel without permissions and going through check-points.

They cannot get supplies for businesses because of Israel’s embargo and controls.

They cannot even fly or travel by sea to do business as they wish.

Even international funds for assisting Palestine have been controlled, and plundered, by Israel.

The last I read, Israel even, in contravention of international treaties, controlled and limited the mail going into Gaza.

And, week by week, Israelis literally steal their homes, their farms, and their water resources.

How on earth can you compare an economy under those circumstances to anything?

You cannot.

And wouldn’t it be amusing to watch the arrogant and unthinking Mr. Romney himself try running an efficient business under the circumstances Israel imposes on Palestinians, instead of benefitting from the freewheeling environment of the United States and his ability to shelter his earnings from taxes in the Cayman Islands?

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JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“Owning the podium” is a genuinely stupid expression, full of the kind of unthinking arrogance that is the precise opposite of the character-building qualities so often claimed for sports.

Of course, that phrase is the official Olympics jingle of the politician the Globe endorsed in the last election, so politics play a role in your repeating it.

And, please, sports, while they can entertain and sometimes thrill, cannot “inspire” anyone, unless the person being inspired happens to think in the tired clichés of this sad editorial writer.

Pathetic language, but definitely in keeping with the new low standards for Globe editorials.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

He’s supposed to be running for President of the United States, a nation of more than 300 million people with plenty of problems.

So why is it that he goes to Israel to speak on matters which are of no concern to most Americans?

Indeed, why does virtually every candidate and elected Congressman take paid junkets to Israel, a nation of 7 million whose own problems are immense and whose interests mostly have nothing to do with those of the United States?

It’s certainly not the ex-pat vote because that amounts to a few hundred thousand people.

The answer of course is the relentless need for money by the American political machine.

These guys are going to burn through hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few months.

And the American Supreme Court has said that money is free speech.

Well, the single best organized and financed special interest there is is Israel and its American apologists.

When just one American billionaire can donate at least 18 million dollars to John McCain’s efforts to gain the nomination, as Sheldon Adelson very much did, it becomes clear that it is well worth while to make a trip or two, done a yarmulke at the Wall, and make outlandish speeches.

Mr Adelson among others was reported as intending to attend the campaign fund raiser in Israel.

This is the essence of government by and for special interests.
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What is always left unsaid in statements like Romney’s about supporting an Israeli strike on Iran?

Iran has the capability of striking back.

So after Israel bombs yet one more nation, and that nation turns its resources against Israel, as it will be entirely justified in doing after an unprovoked attack, what will Israel’s response be?

I think we all know that Netanyahu’s lying bluster and threats will immediately melt into special pleadings for help from the United States, and the United States will be dragged into yet another war.

It would be a war which serves not one genuine American interest, and, indeed, would do the opposite, alienating the hundreds of millions of people whose native region Western Asia is.

Making policy commitments with those kinds of consequences is beyond being stupid.

It may get him special-interest campaign contributions today while just giving the American people he is supposed to serve one more gigantic life- and money-wasting war.

That is how twisted American national politics have become.
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“Maybe its something to do with a fellow democracy in a part of the world that is ruthless and tyrannical…”

Oh please.

How is Israel a fellow democracy?

A democracy that insists on its being the “Jewish state”?

How is that different to an Islamic state?

What kind of democracy kills 400 children in Gaza, a giant refugee camp?

What kind of democracy drops a million cluster-bomblets on Southern Lebanon?

What kind of democracy keeps people under occupation for the best part of half a century?

What kind of democracy steals the homes and farms of those it occupies regularly?

What kind of democracy keeps thousands in prison with no proper legal proceedings?

What kind of democracy starts wars with every neighbor that it has?

What kind of democracy has systematic practices that some of the world’s best ethical minds have declared are apartheid?

What kind of democracy allows insane settlers to shoot people and cut down olive trees and take property with no penalties?

What kind of democracy doesn’t allow women to approach a national shrine from the same place as men?

What kind of democracy lets people exclude women from buses?

What kind of democracy makes atomic weapons deals with a rogue statel like apartheid South Africa?

What kind of democracy has secret agents running around assassinating people all the time?

What kind of democracy sends commandos to board a humanitarian ship in international waters and shoots a number of the unarmed people in the head?

The only past examples of “democracies” I can think of that are even close are the American Confederacy and the previous governments of South Africa and Rhodesia.
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“63% of Americans support Israel he is representing the will of the majority in supporting Israel.”

“It is hard for anti Israelis to understand democracy.”

As anyone familiar with statistics and polling knows it is always possible to get different answers to the same questions just by asking them in slightly different ways.

This matter came up in the Quebec referendum, and it is an age-old one for pollsters.

Example: “Do you think Romney is a resolute man?” as opposed to, “Do you think Romney a stubborn man?”

I guarantee different numbers to the two essentially-same questions.

Again, positive responses to broad open questions like “Do you support Israel?” are as meaningless as the question.

And quoting them, as you do, is dishonest.

Indeed, many respondents, afraid of being thought anti-Semitic by an unknown caller on the other end of the line, would be constrained to a positive response.

But if you ask the same question with some meat on the bones, you will certainly get a different answer.

For example, “Do you support Israel’s having illicit nuclear weapons?”

Or, “Do you support Israel’s shooting of 400 children in Gaza?”

Or even, “Do you support Israel if its policies take the United States into a costly war?”

And, no, it is not hard for critics of Israel to understand democracy.

Indeed, just the opposite is true.

Israel’s apologists seem blind to the traditional meanings of democracy when it comes to any discussion of Israel.

We went through centuries of oppression to get to the Enlightenment and to the institutionalizing of democratic and human values.

Today’s Israel simply represents a giant step backward.

Indeed, I would add that it is the worst tyrannies who have always been Israel’s secret friends: Mubarak in Egypt, the kings of Saudi Arabia, and the past government of South Africa.

Birds of a feather…

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

I honestly do not think “the world” fears for anything like that claim.

The United States and those mindlessly repeating its prepackaged phrases say they fear.

But what the United States genuinely fears is that this whole elaborate charade of mercenaries and misdirected idealists and smuggled weapons is going to fail.

After all, they’ve put years of effort and a great deal of money into these black operations.

In view of America’s bloody record, how could anyone there fear for a massacre anyway?

They’re busy murdering people daily with death-drones, and they’ve already killed several thousand in several countries.

They’re still running a special-forces Murder Incorporated operation in Afghanistan.

They left Iraq in a shambles with a million dead, two million refugees, no up-to-date services operating, and not a hint of a genuine democracy.

They left three million corpses in Vietnam.

They were responsible for the million or so who died in Cambodia after they destabilized the government with the same kind of crap they’re doing in Pakistan.

And American politicians show no shame in trying to outdo their tokens of support for Israel, the most blood-soaked per-capita government on earth.

As for much of the world, looking honestly at the situation, what they see is a government trying to defend itself against a proxy army put together by foreigners, and that is what armies anywhere are supposed to do.

No, there are no genuine fears of massacre.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The report has it about right, but it nevertheless seems a vast waste of time and energy.

The government of Ontario does not have the means to do what it did in the early 1970s.

And, yes, even in the 1970s, transportation was a problem.

The original project was actually not well thought out.

I remember Ontario – read: Toronto – was desperate to compete with Montreal after the World’s Fair.

Indeed, a funny little-remembered anecdote recalls this.

Toronto had built some modernistic benches to contribute the site of Montreal’s fair.

They were not of a very nice design, with a chunky flat wooden seat held by two large cement pyramids, whose points were above the seat, on each end, not the sort of thing to invite sitting.

But at the end of Expo, Toronto went to the expense of hauling them back from Montreal to place in some of its public sites. It seemed genuinely petty.

It was just how provincial we were then.

Ontario Place, I’m sure, was conceived as Toronto’s answer back for the glamour of Expo.

When it first opened, it was pretty boring, architecture on the lake with little to do.

The design of the pods sitting on the lake never made much sense: when you walked around these structures, there was absolutely nothing there, just structure to look at.

As they added attractions to the site, it began to generate a following.

However, it was all heavily subsidized, and as charges for things later climbed and as other attractions competed with it – new stuff at the Island and Canada’s Wonderland – and as transportation links were not good, it withered on the vine.

Nothing has happened to change that situation, and the government doesn’t have the proverbial pot in which to piss

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“Baird looks ahead to post-Assad Syria…”

And the great majority of Canadians look ahead to a post-Baird Canada.

What a servile and utterly undistinguished man is in charge of our foreign service.

Not a word about the dirty forces at work here causing many deaths, only the dishonest pretense that the revolt is a genuine uprising for democratic interests.

He gets all his cues from Hillary, and likely he called her for approval of his words before even opening his mouth.

He’s pathetic.
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“Baird looks ahead to post-Assad Syria? from the way i am seeing it Assad forces are defeating the western backed terrorists. How can Baird look at ahead at a post Assad Syria.”

A good point.

Despite increased American resources secretly pouring in, Syria’s army – and it is Syria’s army – is looking to be victorious in recent efforts.

Anyway, I hope so, and not because I support non-elected leaders but because I more strongly oppose non-elected international bullies like the US and Israel, and I generally support victims against oppressors.
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“So? Who died and made Baird God so that he can postulate the fate of the world?

“What’s in the air in Ottawa that gives these guys their I’m-the-king-of-the-world complex?”

That’s how Hillary makes you feel when you call her to grovel. She’s the inspirational speaker from Hell.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

If Harper is serious about Pacific trade, then there isn’t even an issue here.

The obstacle of course is the United States, which takes exception to major Chinese investments, a ridiculous position based on militarism and not economics.

So far as Canada’s genuine interests go, substantial Chinese investment is an excellent investment in future relations with this economic powerhouse.
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“Nothing like a Chinese State owned outfit, buying up large tracks of our energy resources…’

Since Alberta is already owned – virtually lock, stock, and barrel – by the United States, some diversification can only be good for Canada.
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“What a hot potatoe.”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the comments, she’s back!

Ericka from Americka.

And just like good old Dan Quayle, she can’t spell “potato.”
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“A lot of the West’s animosity of Chinese is pure racism. We don’t like Chinese unless they’re under our thumb.”

There is some truth there, undoubtedly, but it is far from the whole story.

The fact is that Alberta is in many ways an extension of America.

Going back to the days of offering Crown Lands, I believe something on the order of half the takers were Americans crossing the border.

The Alberta oil industry is virtually owned by Americans.

The towers in Calgary are filled with Americans.

Alberta’s only serious market, except for gas in Canada, is America which puts a crimp in producer prices.

The government in Alberta even sometimes styles itself in American fashion – for example, its website speaking of “the executive branch” when of course there is no such thing under a parliamentary government.

And note Preston Manning who runs an outfit that is a miniature replica of one of America’s “think-tanks,” institutions which are little more than well financed propaganda mills and sinecure positions for those who’ve served the imperial cause well.

And just so Manning, playing president of a propaganda mill financed by some of America’s most right wing oil boys.

Albertan views on the Senate too have nothing to do with genuine democratic interests. They reflect a desire to copy America’s most paralyzing and corrupt political institution.

Our Dear Leader has made many statements over time reflecting his obsessive American bias, and he too is a protégé of good old Preston Manning.
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“All the regular welfare unemployed lefties out in force today.”

Why are people who have a different point of view to yours characterized as “welfare lefties”?

Your views are rendered stupid simply by your choice of words.

You write without ever informing yourself of anything, and you write with contempt as well as ignorance.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The son of evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin, who has now taken over the giant ministry, is well known for his gifts of good pistols to people.

Franklin, charmer that he is, also is known once to have shot down a tree with a machine gun.

I guess that’s South Carolina values.
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“The US Constitution is an alien document that is distorting American society severely. It needs to be torn up, but I know this will never happen.”

A few points.

The Constitution is indeed distorting American society, as you say. After all it is an 18th century document, and its writers had not the least idea of the troubles they were creating in many of its provisions.

They also, of course, had no anticipation of how the world and technology would change, as, for example the very nature of weapons from the muskets they knew.

The trouble is that many Americans look at it almost as they would look at the Bible.

It is “perfect,” just as the Bible is the “perfect Word of God.”

Lunatic Right Wingers actually carry copies of it folded in their wallets or shirt pockets
to produce in arguments.

Yes, the Supreme Court may interpret it, but for most of American history the Supreme Court has been an unbelievably conservative institution. It much resembles at times Scholastic philosophers counting angels on the head of a pin.

It is only a Court interpretation of the “well ordered militia” amendment that turns it into a complete right to own unlimited personal weapons.

It is almost a matter for bitter laughter when right-wingers and survivalist-types and militia-types – the “gun nut” mob – believe they are guarding the freedoms of Americans with their weapons.

Their weapons are powerful enough to create a lot of personal havoc in American society but can only be regarded as puny and ridiculous when you begin speaking of Jefferson’s ideal of overturning a bad government.

America’s Frankenstein military and its internationally notorious brutal police forces, all armed to the teeth with the most modern and terrifying weapons, would sweep aside any Jeffersonian effort to overturn a government deemed tyrannous in very short order.

Indeed, there can be no serious argument against the idea that the American government today has many aspects of a police state.

There is a government within the government, and it consists of the military and intelligence services working on behalf of immensely rich and powerful special interests.

Who becomes president makes no notable difference anymore, Romney and Obama being almost indistinguishable from each other. Right now, Obama and Romney are out there talking up guns.

Anyway, any person becoming president who was foolish enough to believe he or she could seriously change the direction of American policy would likely find themselves repeating the experience of John Kennedy at Dallas.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Gee, what a surprise.

In America?

The death penalty?

It just couldn’t be clearer that the man is mentally ill.

Very likely he suffers from late-onset paranoid schizophrenia.

He belongs in an institution where he can do no harm.
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All first-rate judges and lawyers know, from long experience, that the death penalty has no deterrent value whatever.

This goes back to a fundamental analysis of human behavior in part.

Heavy penalties are of far less deterrent value than is the certainty of being caught.

When you add in the fact that every single instance of murder involves a degree of mental instability – either serious mental illness or temporary blazing rage or even psychopathy in the case of “cold-blooded” killers – there is no argument for the death penalty ever, other than the Nazi-like one of just eliminating the unfit.

Legal experts know that the death penalty is horrifically costly with all the appeals and legal ploys. It costs a small fortune and years of wrangling to execute one convicted person. From that point of view alone, it makes no sense.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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


“…we will all pay more in the long run.”

No disrespect to Dan Hill, the author of these words, but they are almost insulting to Canadians.

Did the poor Jews coming from Eastern Europe – fleeing poverty and prejudice – many decades ago tell us we needed to make special investments in their children?

Did the poor Irish – fleeing famine, poverty, and prejudice – come telling us we needed to make special investments in their children?

Did the poor Chinese, as they came and worked exhaustingly hard in their little family businesses, tell us we needed to make special investments in their children?

Do the migrant workers, returning each year doing very hard work, demand special investments for their children?

But we get this plea, time and time again, from our Caribbean community – the times generally being immediately after members of their community have broken many of our laws by carrying loaded guns, illegal guns, and opening fire in insane fashion.

And I would like to remind Dan Hill and others making these kinds of special pleas that we DO invest in them and their children, and a very substantial investment indeed.

We give costly free medical care to every child and parent, something an immigrant to the United States would not receive.

We give free schooling to every child, and the schools do not resemble the broken-down horrors you would find in American ghettos.

We give subsidized public housing to many immigrant families, subsidized housing that Canadians themselves in poor circumstances often have to wait long periods for.

We give what are, on the whole the safest streets in North America, on which your children can play.

We give what is as prejudice-free an environment in which to grow and learn and work as you will find anywhere. No American city has quite the same environment. And no city in Jamaica has this either.

The set of benefits and opportunities an immigrant to Canada receives are so generous and attractive that were we to “open the doors,” as it were, millions from many places would come running.

No one can make an immigrant a success if he or she is determined to break our laws and pour violence out onto our streets.

Immigrants to Canada get opportunity, generous opportunity and help, but they don’t get guarantees, and they certainly do not get exemptions from our laws.

No society in the world sees that any differently.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Cops and social programs?

Please, both are pretty much a waste of time and money.

When in the history of the planet was a cop on the scene to prevent a murder?

It never happens.

The problem here is unmistakable: the murder culture of Jamaica (on the order of 30 times the murders of Toronto every year, and a place of about the same population) has been imported along with the drugs and guns which are behind much of this depravity.

Handguns are clearly coming into Ontario at record rates, as are drugs.

And please tell me what “social programs” do for violent young men who think it’s just fine to go to a party with a loaded gun in their pockets and whip it out at the first provocation?

Such events never occurred before the last couple of decades in the peacefulness of Toronto, but they have been matter-of-fact in Detroit, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, and other places for time immemorial.

It really is not poverty at work here. We see young drug dealers living a high life, driving costly cars, wearing gold jewelry, carrying very expensive pistols. Men demanding things their education and skills could never provide.

Does anyone believe they would trade that for a menial-labor job or work as an amateur basketball coach?

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Searching for answers?

Why always the same tired verbiage?

From what we know of this young man, he is another “unibomber,” Ted Kaczynski, a highly gifted young man who abruptly withdraws from his work and starts behaving in dark and unpredictable ways.

Almost certainly, his is another case of late-onset severe paranoid schizophrenia.

And there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent this.

It should be looked at the same way any other natural disaster is, with the young man certainly regarded as one of the victims.

Nature is a heartless experimenter with its creatures, some of its constant experiments helpful and some terrible.

There is no meaning to be found here.

Of course, gun control might help in future, but that is useless to discuss in America because the United States embraces guns the way devout Catholics embrace their crucifixes.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

This is crap.

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister has already explained what they know and what they don’t know in their investigations.

And they certainly do not know this.

But then what would you expect from an outfit like NYP Intelligence, literally a contradiction in terms?

And whenever any source agrees with Mr. Netanyahu, you should immediately be on the alert for fraud.

We have the inadvertently recorded testimony of two major world leaders, the presidents of France and America, that Netanyahu is the most hopeless liar with whom they have to deal.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The Ontario Liberal Party should pay the bill for closing and removing it.

Only when politicians are genuinely responsible for what they do will we get better government.

I have trouble seeing any difference between a stunt like this and a kid who steals an expensive car, smashing it into a wall.

And I do not mean to be understood that only Ontario Liberals do these things.

To whom do we have to turn to get rid of the unpleasant McGuinty?

The nasty gnome the Ontario Conservatives offered up? The guy who wants chain gangs in the parks?

Do we even get one senior politician with a working brain and a set of ethics?

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

I love the accompanying photo of Peter MacKay at the controls.

You can imagine the photographer or a public relations flak telling Pete to place his head at a certain angle so that his eyes, which are too close together, don’t disturb viewers.

The posture, too, was suggested to demonstrate a man in control.

And the subtle lighting on the face to make him stand out from the background.

But despite all their efforts, and likely a $100,000 invoice for the session, in the end all I see is a fool trying to pretend he’s serious.

Or a twelve-year old playing grown-up.

Yes, with a guy of this caliber in charge, changes are definitely called for in DND’s authority over costly acquisitions.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Honorable John McCain?

Honorable because for once in his life he spoke against the utter stupidity of Republican zombies like Michele Bachmann, a woman who has made lunatic accusation after accusation in her career, and never before did the nasty little fly-boy speak up.

I don’t know just why McCain chose that moment to open his mouth, but it was certainly not a matter of honor. Likely his instincts told him there was political gain to be made, and he does have remarkably good political instincts.

If you want to inform yourself of just how dishonorable a man John McCain has been for most of his life, read this:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/john-mccain-a-matter-of-character/
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“The Muslim ideology is a threat to the whole western world, because its stated aim is to subjugate it, and rid the world of democracy and human rights law and impose Sharia etc. Any sane person who practices Islam is either very dumb, or they are devious subversives. Islam is a poison for the mind, which brings much violence to the earth.”

And what of the ultra-Orthodox?

They have bizarre laws too.

And their women are held in utter inferiority and subservience.

They can’t even ride on a bus with men.

They cannot divorce their husbands no matter how abusive.

If there is a divorce, the man will be awarded the woman’s children.

While there are not great numbers of them, they certainly do their share of nasty damage.

Shooting unarmed Palestinians frequently.

Chopping done olive groves and fruit trees belonging to others.

Defacing and sometimes destroying the dwellings of others.

Stealing the land of others frequently.

All done while using unacceptable language calling their Palestinian neighbors things like vermin.

And what about the spitting on people on the streets or kicking those who happen to be different, as Arabs or Africans?

I guess that’s all okay?

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

This is pure dreck.

What was the actual path of Ghomeshi at CBC?

They were looking for youngish folks who know about pop music, with the dubious idea that CBC should not reflect Canada’s best in brains and talent but what a young, not-very-serious crowd might like.

Ghomeshi, whose only talent is for record promotion, was one of several they started working with a few years ago.

First, they gave him a short show called The National Playlist, an absolutely pointless show which they dropped after not a long time, but it was long enough to know how uninteresting Ghomeshi was.

Then, they pushed him again, despite the failed show, by having him as summer host for Shelagh Rogers. That was likely the most pointless broadcast in CBC Radio history.

He demonstrated a lame sense of humor with a tiresome routine about his efforts to read James Joyce, over and over again. His other high point in humor included a conversation about shoplifting with another lame personality.

So what did the new management do after he twice proved himself a mediocrity?

Why they gave him a still another new show, after they got rid of the talented Shelagh Rogers.

Ghomeshi quite regularly managed to make a mess of things, demonstrating poor preparation for interviews and a clear lack of judgment over taste and ethics.

And on that new show, they spent what, for CBC, was a fortune on advertising and getting big-name interviews for him to fumble his way through, and fumble he did on many occasions.

I’ve never heard that kind of promotional effort for anyone else on CBC, including dozens of far more intelligent and interesting personalities.

Then they also dumped Bill Richardson, a class act entirely, from Canada Reads and gave that to, who else, Ghomeshi.

The question couldn’t help coming up: who was he in bed with at CBC management to get that kind of effort, especially after so many failings and lame efforts?

The one lesson from the whole thing reaffirmed the old cynical advertising and marketing principle: throw enough crap at the wall, and a lot will stick.
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Being an outlet for Canada’s best minds and talents, providing a place to go for young people curious about serious things, providing a showcase to the world, and giving guidance to Canada’s newcomers – those are goals worthy of a public broadcaster.

The CBC of Jian Ghomeshi, Evan Soloman, Laura DiBattista, Matt Galloway (the best of the lot, but still lacking in interview skills), Julie Nesrallah is not worth supporting anymore.

They are lackluster talents, and they are not interesting minds, the people they displaced being giants by comparison.

It has been a clear downward spiral, and it now provides remarkably little of which to be proud.

I was once a person to leave the station on a good part of the day, but now I rarely listen.

The whole spectrum of junk radio out there already supplies the kind of fluff stuff the Ghomeshi mob likes. What’s the point of paying taxes for more?

CBC management has managed to alienate its genuine audience, and it has in large part ceased to serve its legitimate purpose.

Why, even the language and grammar have been allowed to decay from the days when they tried setting standards.

But here’s another buddy of Ghomeshi’s praising the mediocrity to the skies, just as CBC management has spent so much on him for, oh, so little.

As I said, throw enough crap on the wall….
__________________________________

“to watch as so many of these Harper-loving, CBC-hating minions tied themselves into contradictory knots to actually defend ol’ Billy Bob was really . . . well, was really a sad and yet a delightful sight.”

I think you are quite confused.

First, Ghomeshi is not a “liberal” in any meaningful sense of the word.

He loves right-wing hacks like Margaret Wente and the infamous woman lawyer from Montreal who called an author names on the air.

He also likes American low-life hucksters like Billy Bob and Gene Simmons.

Second, those who seriously dislike Ghomeshi are not CBC-haters.

Again, quite the opposite.

He and his nasty little crowd have reduced CBC in quality, intelligence, and just plain civility.

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“It’s what the Chinese and Indians and Japanese and South Koreans and Malaysians and Indonesians and Filipinos and Vietnamese and all the others think of us that matters now.

“That’s where the growth is. That’s where we have to go. Even if the Pacific alternative is a much, much harder row to hoe.”

Yes, Mr. Ibbitson, that statement is very true so far as it goes, but in fact it doesn’t go very far.

I believe you are playing word games, being essentially dishonest while seeming to say true things.

Harper’s only “achievements” in widening our world trade has been to walk in lock-step with America, both in the pathetic little agreements with small states in Latin America and in joining the Pacific Rim effort.

Both of those efforts have more to do with America’s desire to lock-in these smaller states in geo-political terms than any meaningful extension of the world’s free trade.

Nothing of substance has been done by Harper concerning the world’s growing future giants: China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

Again, that failure relates to his servility towards the U.S., an imperial power which is very wary of closer relations with these countries and would not appreciate genuinely Canadian initiatives.

In fact, we have not had in my lifetime a prime who cares quite so much about what Americans think.

Indeed, in his words and actions, I think it completely fair to describe him as an American wannabe.

Yet he is your man, Mr. Ibbitson.

The basis for the rupture in American-Canadian relations, if it may be called that, is simple: Harper has been hit with the stunning truth so many leaders in the world have been hit with in the past: when you cozy up to the big bully to the South, giving him everything he wants and then some, you do not earn any reciprocity or special status.

In fact, you just keep getting asked for more. My favorite recent example is Tony Blair, a man who demeaned the office he occupied with lies and crimes serving American interests, and yet who was not even listened to on issues where he thought he could make a contribution to world affairs.

He became a pathetic figure, having money showered on him in his retirement (the way America tends to reward those who have served it acceptably), but having made no contribution to humanity worth mentioning and having served American interests with war crimes.

Harper has, along many lines, badly compromised the integrity of Canada’s traditional identity and role in the world while chasing the fantasy of becoming America’s favored son, a traditional identity which most American governments did not like but had some grudging respect for.

Now we look to American eyes as a rather pathetic figure, begging for pipelines, begging for inclusion in trade talks, begging for their honoring free-trade treaty terms which they have regularly violated when it suited their needs.

And we’ve compromised ourselves heavily, more or less cutting the attachments in the world that depended upon the perception of Canada as an honest broker, a fair-minded and progressive society reaching out to the world.

And we owe it all to your boy, Stephen Harper.

http://chuckmancartoons.blogspot.ca/search/label/CHUCKMAN%20CARTOON%20-%20HARPER%20-%20CANADA%27S%20HARPER%20-%20THE%20VISION%20THING%20-%20FLAG%20OVER%20ROCKIES

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

We have never even heard before of such an animal as a “major non-NATO ally.”

But now that the harridan Hillary has decided to bestow the never-before-heard-of honor, the press, including the Globe, seems to think it’s worth reporting as an event.

Her words are just one more cheap gimmick to keep some American troops in Afghanistan as long as possible.

Perhaps there’ll be some troops there, just as there are in Germany, three-quarters of a century after the war.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

I don’t think senators have any business advising a church or other private organization about how they should act concerning an ethical/moral problem.

The only way we will see any change towards fairness and justice is pressure applied to Israel, just as pressure was applied to South Africa.

South Africa, by the way, in its heyday of apartheid, was a good partner with Israel trading strategic materials for nuclear weapon technology among other items. That is simply an unarguable truth.

We have a very peculiar problem here because the United States’ government – owing to its insane money-based campaign funding – is proven incapable of exerting any pressure for justice.

Indeed, we regularly see the opposite with people like Newt Gingrich saying that “There are no such thing as Palestinians,” an exact repetition of an old Israeli government line first uttered by Golda Meir.

Dick Armey, former Majority Leader in Congress, used to go on about how Israel should just push all the millions of Palestinians across the Jordan River.

Does anyone believe that men in important positions say such outlandish things out of any motivation other than attracting large campaign funds?

The unethical and brutal practices of Israel are apparent to all people not blinded by ideology or desperate for campaign funds: abusive occupation of millions, regular property theft through specially-made laws, regular murderous raids, imprisonment of thousands with no proper legal proceedings, contempt for international laws and treaties, contempt for UN mandates, assassinations on a large scale, torture, and deprivation of means of making a living.

Only today the story has hit some of the press that Arafat was likely poisoned with polonium (his clothing tested for it), much like the famous case in London involving a Russian émigré. Now, who in the Middle East has access to such radioactive material?

There is simply no question – that is again, unless you are an ideologue – where all this is headed: towards making people miserable enough to go away, leaving their property to Israel.

It is a genuinely appalling situation, but as soon as you try calling attention to it, you are sure to be called a “Jew hater” by the platoons of apologists who work overtime scrutinizing every publication and broadcast.

And, sadly, now Canada has a government buying into the same American system – loud and even irrational public support for one of the world’s smallest countries of almost no interest to most Canadians in return for generous campaign donations – making it harder than ever to see even scraps of justice.

Israel could make everyone happy simply by declaring peace and treating its neighbors with decency. Go back to the Green Line, stop abusing and starting wars endlessly, and gain the world’s admiration.

It could have done so at any time for decades, but it deliberately chooses not to do so.

Then only genuine pressures can possibly make a difference.
____________________________________

The United Church was long known for a strong social conscience, and it participated in many worthy causes.

We unfortunately have not heard much from them lately on that score.

Likely, were they to return to those worthy roots, membership and support would increase.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Yes, indeed, it is a disgusting race for money.

But that’s only the “getting elected” part.

The actual job, once in office, is even more disgusting because it has become almost meaningless.

The major policies of the United States are, without question, driven by the military-intelligence-security apparatus in meeting the needs of imperial special interests.

The doltish George Bush was president in name only, formalizing decisions made by the Neo-con group – Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, etc – which worked hand-in-glove with the military-intelligence apparatus and key special interests.

Obama is yet another example, although a much brighter and capable man. He has made not a dint in the ugly creation of Bush’s crew. War, torture, restricted rights, intense special interests, the work of Bush’s ugly crew – all continue uninterrupted.

And why is anyone surprised? The military and intelligence have always been the antithesis of democratic and human rights.

And the larger they get, the more dominant they become, their leaders enter into every aspect of what should be civilian life.

The U.S. military now is busy deciding the future of several states abroad, and we know from the words, here or there, of several high officers and from documents like manuals that have leaked that there are plans for virtual military control of American society should some new crisis strike.

Besides, every day new police-state operations come into being. The TSA now patrols some highways and rides some inter-city buses besides being at airports and a number of other places. They have begun purchasing mobile versions of the back-scatter x-rays used at the airports mounted on vans to patrol streets. And drones are everywhere talked of and tested within the U.S.

The presidency simply means very little in the face of this massive assault on rights and privacy. No president, not wanting to share John Kennedy’s fate, can oppose it in any meaningful way.

And with no new revenues to be raised, only more deficits piled sky-high, there isn’t the slightest room to do anything for most Americans, those outside of the military-intelligence-security and special interest coterie.

And eventually, how will those unbelievable deficits be paid off? By gradual devaluation of the American dollar, leaving all the chumps out there in the world holding the reserve currency in fact holding the bag.

What decision by what candidate could in any way change that certain outlook?

Taxes? You must be kidding?

The refusal to pay taxes is part of what made America at its start.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The PRI ruled for more than 70 years of corrupt and dirty politics, always with the quiet blessing of the United States.

Never once was it called into question by any phony windbag American politician speaking on democracy or human rights, the way they so often address others.

A plot involving murder in the Party was finally its downfall.

But the governments which have followed have made the United States very unhappy, both in terms of failing to restrict illegal migrants and especially with the spillover of the drug-gang wars.

After all, American citizens just want the drugs – they consume half the world’s illegal drugs – not the turmoil.

You can be sure the CIA was active printing fresh hundred-dollar notes to send via diplomatic pouches for distribution to PRI officials.

That’s the kind of intrusion into democratic affairs the United States has busied itself with on countless occasions.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“We cannot let authorities like Mr Ford manipulate language in the public sphere in this way…”

Yes, indeed.

Although, for thinking people, when a man, a 315 pound man at that, tells us he was “accosted” by a TTC operator, you already know you’ve entered cloudcuckooland.

The mayor is an unbalanced man, and “unbalanced” is the kind word.
________________________________________

“I think we can agree, in the interests of public safety, that the city should hire a 24/7 driver for His Worship. The car should be a former police cruiser, with no handles on the back doors and a big, red siren so everyone knows when he is coming.”

Yes, but the vehicle needs to be something like the St Hubert Chicken delivery cars in Montreal.

With a big yellow, plastic, lighted-up chicken on top.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

This is real news, stuff that changes understanding of the universe and our ability to do things with the understanding.

Not the sad stuff that fills most of the columns and broadcasts, leaks and rumors and propaganda of various sorts to benefit the interests generating them.

What an admirable effort by the scientists.

What is especially interesting is the standard towards which they work: it involves levels of probability.

The big question is whether the CERN analysis to be announced yields five-sigma (0.0003%) certainty or just four sigma (0.005%). Five sigma is the gold standard, and it means there is only a 0.0003% chance that the finding is not real.

Most scientists, and people, would say that an event that has only a 0.0005% probability of being not real is indeed real. But the physicists have set a standard above that, giving themselves a huge analytical task.

Five sigma is a very high standard of certainty, but even at that, no statement can be made in the sense of certainty as most people use it.

The universe is stochastic in nature. There are no certainties and no “laws” as traditionally understood. Only probabilities.

To the person citing Einstein’s, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind,” all I can say is that the quote is the great mind at its worst. Even genius makes mistakes, sometimes very big mistakes.

Einstein, one of the most admirable people of the 20th century in many ways, also made a mistake when he spoke of God not playing with dice, rejecting early quantum mechanics.

But in fact, we understand now that quantum mechanics is a very accurate way of describing how things work.
____________________________________________________

There is apparently a genetic tendency in people’s minds towards credulity and superstition and belief in gods.

That is the root of all religion.

And when I say religion, I include such secular religions as communism or American super-patriotism – anything, in short, which is embraced as an ultimate cause or purpose or explanation.

Science cannot compete with this genetic tendency, in part because it cannot make statements with the kind of absolute certainty that people seem to crave.

But not everyone has that genetic tendency, just as a minor portion of people are endowed with left-handedness.

Neither of these divisions of humanity can likely ever convince the other of their point of view: it is much like expecting right-handed people to become left-handed.

But as science progresses, the apparent likihood of the religious explanation of things becomes more and more remote.

It is that implicit threat which always brings out the more tyrannous-minded of the religious camp to bellow and castigate and even threaten.

We should remember that for the first time in human history we have a world-wide culture of science: tens of thousands of very clever people are highly trained and equipped with equipment as never before and they work regularly towards understanding how things actually work. It is a process that perhaps will never end.

They will never speak with the same certainties as the religious-minded because they know the universe is stochastic in nature, but, bit by bit, they will astound us with their findings and ability to mimic nature’s ways.

The whole phenomenon of movements like the Religious Right are at least in part a fearful reaction against this reality, but it is very interesting that all the phony old pitchmen of fundamentalism bellowing against science still like their cars and televisions and plane travel.

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“…[Obama’s] the most formidable fundraising apparatus in the history of American politics…”

As with almost anything in American politics, you cannot make such a generalization.

In this case there are genuine reasons for change less than 4 years later.

In 2008, the entire world held its breath in anticipation of Obama, a seemingly charming and graceful figure with great promise, succeeding George Bush, a certified moron, and his ugly gang of war criminals.

Less than four years later, what do we have?

America is still fighting in Afghanistan, it is also assassinating thousands in Pakistan, Guantanamo is still open, the CIA’s International Torture Gulag still operates, America only has come even closer to being a police state, and virtually nothing of Obama’s promise has been realized.

Obama’s Peace Prize has become a nasty sarcasm with his most memorable contribution being the work of death-drones, a new form of South American death squads.

The second big factor here is Obama’s relationship with Israel.

He started in office with the right view for those who care about peace and justice, but that view earned him only hatred and contempt in Israel.

He was reviled and called names, and his Vice-President was insulted on a trip.

He has back-peddled, succeeding in making himself not only unliked by those wishing for justice and peace, but gaining no popularity with Israel or its apologists.

Wealthy American Jews are very important political contributors to a campaign system built on private money, with, only recently, just one man having given Newt Gingrich about $18 million for his brief nomination drive, the quid pro quo for that money being Newt making absurd public statements like “There are no Palestinians.”

Already Romney has make the statement that in the Middle East, he would do everything the exact opposite to Obama.

That is music to the ears of American donors who like to hear good things for Israel, and it will be re-inforced by government and private contacts in Israel privately expressing their contempt for Obama.

I doubt Obama stands a chance of matching Romney’s funds, unless he starts a new war with Iran, something not unthinkable and that would turn around the opinion of an important group of contributors.

It is all very sad from the point of view of democratic and other human rights principles.

America simply gets the best government money can buy.