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Monthly Archives: May 2016

John Chuckman



They don’t, at least in the long term.

The coming of robots is effectively the next stage of evolution.

I suspect, on any of the many worlds out there in the cosmos with life, that the ones capable of reaching or communicating with us are likely robotic. They have no interest in us.

The entire great saga of evolution seems to me to be about the emergence of intelligence, of the universe becoming self-aware.

Humans are just one long step in the great effort, and they have no more long-term future purpose than would dinosaurs.

That’s hard for us to swallow, given our huge egos.

The real difficulties will be in an interim period of maybe a century in which robots do take virtually all the work and begin reproducing and improving themselves.

Will they be hostile to us the way we were to, say, Neanderthals?

Or will they tolerate us the way we do chimpanzees?

In any event, there definitely will not be room for seven billion or so of us with all our pollution and demands and murderous stupidities.


Readers may enjoy:



John Chuckman



Well if true – and that’s a big “if” because measuring such things accurately is not easy – it would not surprise me.

In much of America this is very true despite the end of all formal segregation many years ago. It has been replaced by informal or voluntary segregation.

There are many reasons for this, and people should avoid jumping immediately to saying “racism.”

First, blacks tend to be, on average, less economically successful for whatever reasons, so there are differences in worth or wealth. More well off people always live in different places than less well off.

Second, it is an easily observed fact that people of one type or another tend to show a preference for having people of their own kind as neighbors. This is just as true of blacks as it is for whites. And, of course, it explains phenomena like China Town or Korea Town or Spanish Harlem or many other such concentrations.

Three, all the stats from places as diverse as the United States, South Africa, Jamaica, and other places say that places with large concentrations of black people tend to suffer more crime. That’s not an opinion, it’s just what the stats say, millions of them.

In America, for example, cities or states or regions with high black population concentrations – Detroit, Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, and increasingly, Chicago – there is a much higher incidence of crime, especially violent crime.

In a state like Maine with few blacks, crime rates are comparable to those in Canada. That is a major reason why whites often flee to new locations as the population in an area changes noticeably. It’s called “white flight.”

White flight also happens out of parents’ concern for children in changing schools, concern both over violence and a sense of declining achievement in the schools.

These are very hard facts, but they are facts and society cannot pretend to deal with a situation unless it starts with facts.

Prejudice owing just to skin color is much less common than many people imagine. We see this in the United States, which, despite its history and despite its voluntary segregation, has twice elected a black man as president.

John Chuckman



Microsoft has spent its corporate lifetime ruining people’s days.

It consistently sells incomplete or faulty products, repairs them in a half-assed way as you use them, and then comes out with another faulty product.

And that’s apart from its long record of unfair competition and squeezing the little business guys.

Now, they’ve hit upon the notion of Windows as a service you keep renting – like anti-malwares – rather than a set of bits you pay for once. To really get the new money-machine rolling they decided to make the first install free and to basically dump it into people’s computers willy-nilly. There are reports on the Internet of all kinds of problems with incompatibilities and lost files.

It’s actually a pretty ugly outfit, and I always get a laugh out of Bill Gates, a man who made his money as a pretty ruthless corporate predator, putting on his Dalai Lama air while protecting control of his fortune from taxes by ladling out charity here and there, all the while keeping himself center stage, for that is precisely what American foundations were designed to do.

Seriously, you can prevent this corporate burglary in your computer by downloading something called GWX Control. A software engineer built it, and it’s free, and it really works.

You can always change your mind later, but it has given me peace of mind for many months. Windows 7, while far from perfect, is probably the best operating system they ever built. All the sharp guys tell me Windows 10 is not as stable and that it has some undesirable features, to say nothing of having been installed against your will.

This highly aggressive behavior is only intensifying in the next few months.

John Chuckman



There are three suggestive facts around this crash.

1) The plane flew right through the area of a joint naval exercise called Phoenix Express 2016.

2) The plane was detected by the Greek Defence Forces taking unusual evasive action like nothing involved in normal flight. Although the Egyptians already are saying this isn’t so.

3) A Greek recorded some video of a “fireball” across the sky at the time. At least to my eye it resembles a rocket trail.

The shooting down of civilian airliners by the American military has happened about half a dozen times. These events are always either completely lied about (TWA Flight 800 off the US East Coast) or presented as something other than what they were (The downing of an Iranian airliner during the Iran-Iraq War).

It should come as no surprise if this proves to be the case here. America’s ships and jets are in many locations and carry many deadly missiles. We also live in a time of extremely elevated tensions thanks to the US, so such weapons are all the more prone to being fired in error.

Of course, Egypt will never tell us the truth just as the US lied about TWA 800 and as it lies about Ukraine’s role in downing MH-17.

Already Egypt’s government is contradicting the experts at the morgue who said the bodies proved an explosion.

John Chuckman



Why do you print anything with this man’s name on it?

He may have the title President but he is a mass killer, a killer of Kurds and Syrians.

He suppresses freedom of the press throughout his own country, and he makes lunatic demands of other countries such as insisting Germany prosecute a television comedian for making fun of him.

Never mind he has refugee camps, it is mainly his fault that there are streams of Syrian refugees in the first place.

And now he is blackmailing the EU around the future of the refugees.

He has sent wave after wave of cut throats and maniacs, gathered from all over, covertly there to destroy the country.

He has sent weapons, including Sarin nerve gas taken by America from Gadhafi’s stores, and he arranged an entire system for stealing Syrian oil and selling it on the black-market to help finance all his dirty operations.

Indeed Turkish journalists who uncovered his filthy shipments are now spending five years in Turkish prison.

President or not, he is simply a bloody thug, one of the world’s worst.

The Guardian should know that, yet you give him space.

I guess it can only mean you support his goal of getting rid of Assad, a leader who in fact is far more tolerant and intelligent than Erdogan.

But the United States wants Assad gone – in part because Israel hates him and in part because he doesn’t do some things America has demanded which he views as not good for his country – so you fall into line with David Cameron in effectively telling a country’s people who their leader should be. There is no other way to interpret any support for Turkey or Saudi Arabia on this matter.

In supporting this and giving a killer space in the paper, The Guardian effectively embraces a world where only might makes right, hardly the position of a truly liberal or progressive publication.




John Chuckman



It is well known that Obama has a strong distaste for whistleblowers. The man is an ugly fanatic on secrecy.

And so too, Bloody Hillary.



Another reader comment: I recall Snowden saying something like courage is contagious. This is good news. I’m hoping for a pandemic.


I hope so too.

The real truth is that you cannot have a truly democratic state and massive secrecy at the same time.

It is a fundamental almost like the Uncertainty Principle in physics.

And America, by any reasonable reckoning, today is not a democratic country. It only has the props and staging of one. It also is not a genuinely free society.

The truth is that the massive vaults of secrecy in Washington – literally billions of documents – mostly serve two purposes, neither of which has anything to do with genuine national security.

One, they hide a great deal of embarrassment for members of the government over failures, stupidities, and even crimes.

Two, they hide the fact that government is doing things – things of great consequence – about which they have never consulted the people, let alone sought their consent.

In a country like the United States, the total of military and secret services (17 agencies, no less) have been bloated into a major portion of the economy. You simply cannot have a free society this way, which is the kind of pattern one expects in an East Germany or North Korea.

The military and security services effectively form a government within the government, an ongoing one, never elected, and answerable to almost no one. Even Presidents often are not privy to its secrets. This known to have happened with a number of Presidents, including Eisenhower and Kennedy.

And the security services have a claim, allowed to stand, that even in Congressional investigations and other authorized agency investigations, they have a right to simply lie. Richard Helms, former head of CIA, once openly made this claim.

So how can they ever be accountable? They cannot. And if they cannot, given their vast budgets and resources and privileges, it follows that you do not have a free society.

It is not just an academic argument but goes to the heart of the very nature of our society. This is only going to get worse, too, without serious change. The government of today’s America has literally arrogated to itself the right to decide life or death, or to subject to torture, and to interfere in the internal workings of countries across the planet.



By the way, while I salute Edward Snowden for what he has done, my heart always goes out to Chelsea Manning for unparalleled courage and ethical concern.

John Chuckman



“Families of Flight MH17 victims attempt to sue Vladimir Putin and Russia for £165m”

Simply absurd.

All the facts that we know point to Ukraine.

But we don’t know all the facts.

And why is that?

Because America suppresses them, afraid of their effect upon world opinion of their new client state, Ukraine.

Again, America has never released either the spy-satellite images or the military radar tracks of this event that we know to a certainty it possesses.


Protecting its client.

And Holland’s sad investigation has been suppressed in exactly the same way.

It has been a shameful embarrassment of partial information and agonizingly long time spent deliberately to let the public’s memories fade.

The case should and could have been completely established in a couple of months at most, as happens with many crashes. This was not a hard one to figure out, but they have made it so.

No court worth talking about could possibly bring a verdict on this situation.

Although, one can’t rule out more pressure from dear old America to do so.

John Chuckman



Well, there are only a few officials we haven’t heard from yet on the terrors of Brexit, and I’m keenly waiting for them to speak up.

The head of London sanitation services should warn of the adverse effects on the flow of the city’s sewers and the pick-up of rubbish.

The head of London Transport should warn of the adverse effects on the scheduling of trains and buses.

The head of Britain’s weather service should chime in with something about an increased level of thunderstorms.

And perhaps we should hear from the Royal Observatory on a possible shift in the Prime Meridian.

All this orchestrated rubbish from officials is absurd because, if they were being factual, the only conclusion anyone should reach is that David Cameron is a fool for ever having started the whole business rolling.

Well, now there is an honest piece of information: David Cameron is a fool.

John Chuckman



“Across the world, the rule of law is losing out to rule by the mob”

Natalie Nougayrède appears to exceed the usual boundaries for her bizarreness here. Where in the world does she see that?

Actually, if we were to name a trend in governing, that trend is towards government absolutism, and we see it in many places.

Governments today take serious and even deadly actions without informing their people, much less gaining their consent.

This has become standard operating procedure for America, Turkey, Israel, Britain, and for many others.

John Chuckman



“Why won’t Bernie Sanders step down for the sake of the American Left?”

I suppose it would be possible to write a dumber, less informed piece, but Rupert Cornwell would have to work very hard at it.

Please, everyone in Britain, understand that Hillary is not Left and never has been, even remotely.

Hillary is a woman who started as a supporter of Barry Goldwater, proceeded to become the enabler mate for her predator husband, has always and everywhere supported wars and violent acts like the FBI at Waco, and today is virtually the official candidate of the neocon fascists who have brought us almost back to the Cold War.

Bernie Sanders himself is a rare bird in America today, a genuine liberal, but there is almost no genuine liberal movement in America as any writer worth his salt should know.

The phenomenon his success represents is the general public’s loathing of Hillary Clinton’s character, nothing less. The woman is quite literally a contemporary Lucretia Borgia, and an awful lot of Americans know it.

This is so true that a lot of Bernie Sanders’ supporters have indicated they will vote for Trump over her.

Indeed, in two recent polls, including Fox News, Trump for the first time actually leads Clinton.

If she runs, she is going to lose and lose big.

Mr. Cornwell, your plea would be far more rational applied to that ugly mass of blind ambition, Hillary herself.

John Chuckman



“Yep – and this from one of America’s most trusted news sources!”

NPR is today a pathetic shadow of what it once was, and this is because of years of attacks by American conservatives against what Newt Gingrich called, “a sandbox for yuppies to play in.”

Over decades it has lost much of its original government funding, and now depends a great deal upon advertising like any other commercial network.

However, while it once had a few trusted news people, NPR was never a truly independent voice.

Can you just imagine the reaction in Congress, its prime funder, if on any big international issue it even once presented matters as they actually were as opposed to how Washington wanted them to appear?

It never happened.

However this new NPR claim goes far beyond its historical record of following the official line.

This claim is as ham-fisted as the claims of some old Soviet Apparatchik of decades back, claims which many in the West greeted with derision.

No thinking and informed person can treat this NPR claim with anything other than derision.

It is so beyond absurd that it is actually a bit scary to consider that NPR editors now believe this sounds informed or reasonable.

But that is precisely because American policy today is itself beyond absurd.

What a dangerous and irresponsible thing to say.

It is clear that the NPR effort serves both to continue America’s serial attack on Putin in efforts to get Europe to turn its back on Russia and to defend America’s appalling record in Syria, the reality of which is support for terror while pretending to fight it, America’s definition of terror always changing depending on whether it likes the victim or not.

What a bleak place we are brought to by America’s first black president, a man who once seemed to offer promise and be liberal-minded but has proved to be a dangerous promoter of the worst kind of American exceptionalism and international aggression.

Maybe he really is a CIA plant as some in the past have speculated.

John Chuckman



Even very intelligent men sometimes say and do stupid or dangerous things.

We are not pure rational brains stuck on top of a body, but intelligent creatures with residual qualities in our make-up from reptiles to murderous chimpanzees.

History is full of examples of brilliant men making statements that were best forgotten.

From Einstein talking about “the Old One” and “God not playing with dice” to lifelong slaveholder Thomas Jefferson writing about freedom and rights.

These words of Noam Chomsky just add a contemporary example.

John Chuckman



More arrogant American nonsense. The country seems only to grow dumber in its acts with each passing day.

We’ve known for a while that the Saudis paid bin Laden to keep away from Saudi Arabia. That fact was in Anthony Summers’ book on 9/11.

But paying someone to stay away from your country is not the same thing as supporting acts of terror.

The simple fact is that to this day we have never been supplied with evidence Osama was even involved.

The American congressmen making a lot of noise over this have a special agenda.

First is to divert suspicions about Israel’s involvement. We do not know exactly how Israel was involved, but it most certainly was.

Two gangs of Mossad agents were working in the US at this time. One a gang of “art students” travelling around, and the second a smaller group posing as house moving company. They were actually reported to police when seen taking video of the impact and generally dancing around. They were arrested, questioned and eventually deported. We know nothing else.

The second reason for this act is just to open the plundering of Saudi assets by “survivors” through the US courts. I’m sure some congressmen get quite tired of hearing from them about when something will be done. This gets them off the congressmen’s backs.

There is no way at all a court could make an informed decision on this matter, but that may not stop US courts, which quite regularly make stupid decisions. After all, some US judges are elected and must play to the crowds.

John Chuckman



“US ‘Promotes Regional Stability’ With War Games In Russia’s Back Yard”

I just love that headline, and it is right on the mark.

Every act of the United States these days seems positively Orwellian in nature.

Intimidation and threats are called promoting regional stability.

Half destroying Syria by proxy terrorists is called seeking peace in the Mideast.

Passing a law to permit Americans to use American courts to plunder Saudi assets is called justice for 9/11 survivors.

Intimidating China in its regional waters is called keeping sea lanes open.

I do think things could reach an extremely dangerous point.

All of this plus other stupidities are the result of America’s unwillingness to accept the reality of a multi-polar world emerging, one in which it will no longer be able to pretend it is still 1957.

That and the terrible influence of the neo-cons – like the genuinely repulsive Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs – sick people who want a world in which America’s word is the law everywhere.

We certainly will see only a continuation of this for years to come if Hillary Clinton is elected, a sickening prospect.

I’m not even a conservative, but I do see as our only meaningful hope in these matters, the election of Donald Trump. He’s a realist, not a dangerous, seething ideologue.

John Chuckman



General Sir Richard Shirreff’s statements are just more dumb propaganda, using highly irresponsible language.

It is unbelievable that he even gets quoted by newspapers.

There are no tensions with Russia, absent the ones America has deliberately generated.

This guy wants more of the same?

Ever notice how many Americans speak lightly of nuclear war?

It reveals something very telling in their attitude.

And this British fossil general just mimics them.

After all, he was a high-ranking official in America’s organization which serves to keep Europe occupied, NATO.

Remember, Americans are the only people ever to actually use nuclear weapons, twice, and on purely civilian targets.

John Chuckman



There are three suggestive facts around this crash.

1) The plane flew right through the area of a joint naval exercise called Phoenix Express 2016.

2) The plane was detected taking unusual evasive action like nothing involved in normal flight.

3) A Greek recorded some video of a “fireball” across the sky at the time. At least to my eye it resembles a rocket trail.

The shooting down of civilian airliners by the American military has happened about half a dozen times. These events are always either completely lied about (TWA Flight 800 off the US East Coast) or presented as something other than what they were (The downing of an Iranian airliner during the Iran-Iraq War).

It should come as no surprise if this proves to be the case here. America’s ships and jets are in many locations and carry many deadly missiles. We also live in a time of extremely elevated tensions thanks to the US, so such weapons are all the more prone to being fired in error.

John Chuckman



“Has celebrity feminism failed?”

Please, mention Hollywood and any person of sound mind knows that what follows on just about any subject is rubbish.

Genuine feminism never, never has had to do with celebrity.

It starts with real needs in a changing economy.

The millions of women who became an army of workers after WWII.

And many of them with children, so new needs for child care etc.

They were brave, tough women doing real work, not speech-makers doing the dinner circuit.

The celebrity feminists are exactly comparable to the people who write essays about this or that technological change, after it has happened.

The complete disappearance of celebrity feminists would have no effect on the real economy, except for their own bank accounts.

The economy employs huge numbers of women in all kinds of fields today because they are quite simply needed.

We’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel for men otherwise.

And as we proceed, new demands for women arise in every segment of activity.

Their brains are needed now in most fields.

It will all come quite naturally with time.

But if you like celebrity feminists making speeches please enjoy.

Even Hollywood once had real feminists who achieved great things through their work and helped set patterns for the future, Bette Davis perhaps being the most notable.

But their work wasn’t giving speeches.

John Chuckman



‘Antisemitism is abhorrent, and the values of our movement mean that it cannot and must not be tolerated. That was the starting point for my inquiry.”

Gee, do ya really think?

I would recast the sentence to: ‘Witch-hunting and name-calling are abhorrent, and my values mean that they cannot and must not be tolerated. That was the starting point for my comment.”


Response to another comment:


It seems clear that there is an undercurrent or agenda here, running from David Cameron and Tony Blair to The Guardian’s editors.

The Guardian likes to think of itself as liberal, in the best sense, but there is nothing liberal, in any sense, about dark accusations and name-calling.

We’ve had no proof of anything. None.

Yet the witch hunt goes on.

Very effective tactic for destroying Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

John Chuckman


I am sorry, but mental health care is lagging everywhere.

And the simple reason is that science does not yet understand the causes of most of these problems.

Medicine offers some pills which suppress symptoms in some, and that’s about it.

And some of the pills for some of the conditions, as schizophrenia, are actually rather dangerous.

Talk therapies are mostly an ineffective joke for serious mental illnesses.

Our science has many areas of primitiveness and failure so far, and mental health is a glaring one.

It will be while before meaningful help is available anywhere.

John Chuckman



The US military is simply the world’s biggest dumb bureaucracy, much resembling a school board with a trillion-dollar budget.

Most of what it does is reckless and even counter-productive, typical of big dumb bureaucracies.

Russia works with far more limited means and it skillfully husbands them.

Russia is also gifted with the most extraordinary leader of our generation, and he does not busy himself with crazed efforts to control all outside events, something America’s rather poor leadership has specialized in since WWII.

America displays pretty much the behavior of huge unthinking schoolyard bully, and often creates its own problems as it keeps pushing countless people around.

John Chuckman



Hillary Clinton can only convince the extremely naive or those already singing in her choir – that is, the kind of special interests who’ve created the nefarious Clinton Foundation’s wealth.

Anyway, I doubt Bloody Hillary is even going to make it through the contest.

John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, has now said more than once he sees her withdrawing in light of the ever growing scandal around her State Department e-mails.

The FBI is seriously into investigating. The Russians are rumored to hold 20,000 of her e-mails from hacking her insecure computer and to be debating between agencies whether to release some of them.

And a Rumanian hacker has said he saw the trails of ten hackers when he broke into her server.

We also see many comments on what a tired and lacklustre campaign she is running.

Bernie Sanders is only trailing because of considerable vote fraud by her insider contacts.

John Chuckman



I don’t understand why anyone looks to screen actors such as George Clooney for political advice.

They are, in general, not a very bright bunch, as the late Truman Capote famously observed.

John Voight and his daughter, Angelina Jolie, have made some astoundingly dumb political comments.

Jolie, especially, keeps making them and the press keeps dutifully giving her publicity even though what she says borders on the absurd.

I guess it is all a reflection of the magic of the big screen which converts some rather unimpressive people into demi-gods by virtue of their photogenic faces and resonant voices, all larger than life.

This is the same psychological effect we see with advertising on television.

People effectively have suggestions planted in their heads which have very little to do with reality.

John Chuckman



You are right, John Harris.

The fact is that in our Western politics with political parties, choices are almost never simple, black or white, good or evil – although some people never stop pretending that they are so.

Voters are faced always with a choice between two or more highly complex bundles of goods.

No single leader’s positions on every issue that can satisfy all individual voters.

We all make (sometimes regrettable) choices in favor of this or that leading issue.

For working class Americans, this choice is going to be about a long period of decline in their opportunities.

For others, concerned about America’s having put itself into a perpetual state of war and descended into many horrors such as drone-murders, it is foreign affairs which matter.

Both of these matters, as well as a few others such as the financial crisis we have been in since 2008 leave a great cynicism and distrust of the ruling American establishment, who themselves do very well under all these conditions.

What Americans have been experiencing for decades now is a long, slow come-down from being the world’s only great manufacturer left standing after WWII to the birth of a multi-polar world where other countries can do many things as well or better than America.

Much of the world no longer buys America’s goods, choosing the products instead of other countries. America’s own great manufacturers have responded by themselves becoming firms which do much of their work abroad.

That is a set of realities that a single nation on its own cannot greatly alter, and I do not think Trump can do much about the working class situation although he sincerely believes he can, much like, say, Democrats of the 1960-70s.

But in foreign affairs, Trump offers a bit of genuine hope. He has made a number of encouraging statements which head in the direction of ending the long, bloody, pointless reign of the neo-cons. He doesn’t see why America should be in conflict with Russia and China. He doesn’t see why America busies itself in Syria, with Russia being quite capable of sorting the terrorists. He believes Israel should pay for its own defense, a stunning truth almost never heard in American politics.

The neo-cons in America have had a terrible war-inducing influence. Much of the Middle East is in flames thanks to them, and likely a million souls have been killed. The hordes of refugees in Europe are virtually completely the doing of neo-con policies. The needless, artificial hostilities deliberately re-kindled in Europe towards Russia are not only senselessly dangerous, they are costing everyone money and jobs.

Obama has proved a complete tool of the worst people guiding American policy. He is a disappointment from his hopeful start beyond describing, a smiling, baritone-voiced killer and devotee of American exceptionalism.

Here, Trump can really help, or at least stands a good chance of helping. In military and foreign affairs, Presidents have some real power.

And what is the alternative? Blood-drenched Hillary who oversaw the mess at Benghazi, approved shipments of arms (including Sarin poison gas stocks) from there to Turkey for insertion into the horrors of Syria, who never saw a war she did not support, and who has a long record of being caught lying and participating in screamingly blatant corruption.

Yes, in at least a few areas, Trump seems to have something to offer.

Readers may enjoy:


John Chuckman



“…but not intervening carries a price too”

Pure, thoughtless crap, Mr. White.

These weren’t “interventions,” they were aggressive wars by proxy and otherwise.

A million or so people destroyed.

Many portions of beautiful lands destroyed.

People’s jobs destroyed for a generation.

Refugees by the millions created.

Only people with no feeling for humanity or the servants of special interests can speak this way.

It’s pure Hillary-speak with no sense of moral or ethical values.

George Orwell would have been appalled by the word “intervention” as used here and by the neo-cons.

If it’s okay to “intervene” in this fashion, then pretty much all everyone from Tojo to the Argentine Junta did in the past is just fine, and we live in a world without values, except for the value of might makes right.


John Chuckman



Sadiq Khan doesn’t like Jeremy Corbyn, that’s clear because he is allowing himself to be used in the anti-Semitism witch hunt.

I don’t know why he doesn’t like Corbyn, but I am sure it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

Maybe he’s already making Boris noises about succession?

Maybe he is bending over backward to be acceptable to the establishment?

But I am disappointed that this man who seemed decent and was himself a victim of Conservative name-calling, has turned out the way he has.

Is there nothing better for the Mayor of London to do than have armchair chats attacking members of his party?

Very disappointing man, Sadiq Khan.