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Monthly Archives: June 2016

John Chuckman



There are, of course, no guarantees, but Trump at least offers possibilities.

With Clinton, you have certainty, certainty of hostilities and aggression generated by her “America (and Israel) first” attitudes.

The woman started as a Barry Goldwater supporter many decades ago, and that’s pretty much the political territory to which she still clings, albeit with minor adjustments.

She is owned, completely owned, by the neo-cons, the same ugly bunch whose members in the State Department recently circulated a call for war on Assad.

The last decade and a half has been a disaster with America sinking, quite literally, to the level of National Socialist Germany in its international affairs.

The country is devoid of ethical or moral purpose, although the same tired platitudes fall off the lips of folks like John Kerry.

America’s overwhelming international purpose today is control, control of Europe, control of Asia, control of the Middle East, etc. It is all quite sickening and very tiresome.

Frankly, I’d take a chance with the devil if he were running.


John Chuckman



The good old mainline press has learned its lesson.

No more big coverage for Trump.

His rise was so spectacular that it generated a lot of press, and of course, as is always the case, the coverage assisted his rise.

He’ll be treated the way Bernie was treated – documented in a recent Harvard School of Government study – with the press simply failing to talk of him at key times.

There are only about a half dozen key news sources in the US, and they all favor the Hillary camp.

This is just one of many reasons you cannot call America a democracy in any meaningful sense.



Comment to another reader’s comment:

“Why don’t you ask the Ukrainians, the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Latvians etc what they think of Russia.”

Actually, your comment is exceptionally obtuse.

Those countries have old sore spots and antipathies from the days of the USSR, but I hardly think it wise to build a future on those.

The United States understands exactly how to manipulate those old feelings, and it does so.

Of course, anyone interested in peace, genuine peace, would not do so.

But the American establishment is interested only in control and manipulation for its own strategic interests.

Strong positive relations between Russia and Europe would not only bring stability and peace, everyone would be richer with greatly increased trade and prospects. Russia has immense resources, both human and mineral, to work with Europe’s more advanced economy.

The classical economics argument for the EU’s existence, expansion of trade for all and increased wealth, goes double for the case of Russia.

So apart from threatening peace, the US position is quite literally making Europeans poorer and missing opportunities in the name of “containing” Russia.

Just pathetically stupid.

John Chuckman



This is about one matter only: the neo-cons’ perception of Israel’s security.

The US is literally being dragged into war after war over the ultra-neurotic and ultra-selfish concerns of the neo-cons.

In the end, if Israel cannot survive without this kind of aggression by America, it simply does not deserve to survive.

The neo-con agenda represents the single weightiest matter left virtually without discussion or debate in America.

The insiders running the show have killed perhaps 2 million people, created millions of refugees, and destroyed vast sections of economies in the last decade and a half.

It’s an appalling record, and really when you think about it, not all that different in quality to the record of National Socialist Germany.

And always the phantom of “terror” is conjured up, as though all the people resenting America’s dreadful work were just mindless idiots. Indeed, in many cases, the terrorists actually are employed by America as proxies to further the neo-con agenda.

Because of America’s powerful economic and financial and diplomatic strengths, used to threaten and blackmail behind the scenes, all of our international institutions, such as the UN, stand oddly silent as they watch the ghastly show.

John Chuckman



I don’t know why he’d say that.

Cameron’s entire record is pretty much doing s**t, isn’t it?

So, on top of everything else he’s done wrong, he goes out on a note of spite.

Wonderful man, our David.

John Chuckman



Yes, but I’m certain, if you looked, you’d find many voters regretting their vote of “remain.”

They were thrown off balance by the Jo Cox murder and the shameless exploitation by Cameron and most of the press.

A vote just before that event or even a week later when minds calmed down would almost certainly have produced a bigger majority.

But of course you are not looking since you’ve been exceedingly biased on this issue from the start.

John Chuckman



If true, it is a sad reflection on how easily fooled and manipulated many people are.

Just look at the cover page of this paper with its many stories and videos of Jo Cox if you want a good lesson in propaganda and manipulation.

The best propaganda is always based in some truth, and it always builds like a crescendo on that.

You see it here before your very eyes.

I’m truly sorry that this promising woman was killed by a deranged man, but the press is treating her death almost as though Nigel Farage’s car was filmed running over a puppy.

It is indecent, to say the least, but David Cameron has demonstrated on numerous occasions his capacity for being indecent.

John Chuckman



Yes, it is true about CIA involvement in the creation of the EU, however once or twice in its history the CIA has supported some projects worth supporting.

But that time is long over.

Today, the EU in its relationship with America has moved from ostensibly independent to a complete, and rather servile, dependency.

This is largely a reflection of America’s new fiercely aggressive stance in international affairs under the guidance of the neo-cons.

I have long been a supporter of the EU as a concept, always in the hope of a more diverse, multi-polar world emerging, but America’s abuse of the organization and the organization’s complete lack of thoughtful leadership and independence have given me second thought.

The classical economic arguments for free (actually administered, relatively free) trade still apply.

But all such organizations affect not just economics but also political life, international relations, culture, and social life, and it is reasonable to become against the concept when the total relationship is destructive of these things even while remaining positive economically.

I believe that is the point we are at.

The EU has been reduced to a one-stop-shopping window for America’s warrior diplomats. Recent events with America’s dirty killing games in Ukraine and Syria and the EU’s blind acceptance of them, despite hurting its own interests, provide a turning point or watershed for me.

Forcing German troops to Russia’s border on the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the most violent event in human history, is insane and immoral. Interfering in the free flow of trade between Europe and Russia also makes everyone poorer in economic terms. And there are the terrible migration consequences of America’s savagery throughout the Middle East, sending millions running for their lives.

And now the US is going to cram TTIP down Europe’s throat, a treaty which reflects largely American corporate interests, so even economic benefits come into question.

Moreover, there is not a single outstanding leader in today’s Europe to stand up for Europe’s own interests and for principled behavior in international affairs.

It would be better now to dissolve it, and perhaps start all over again in future.



John Chuckman



Sorry, but I just do not believe this story.

It smacks of being contrived.

And not every person in government is without fears, anxieties, paranoia, or other less-than-ideal mental states.

There are more than a few “flaky” characters in government, and then there are the ones – Hillary Clinton being a notorious example – who will say or do literally anything to win.

If you want proof of those propositions, just look at the behavior of the man who started this entire gigantic circus going, David Cameron. He really does border on a figure from Monty Python while believing himself the reincarnation of Churchill.

However, even if this story is true, I know this: real killers, madmen like the one who attacked Jo Cox, do not give advanced warnings. They kill on impulse, without exception.

So, whether true or false, this story is pretty much a wad of propaganda aimed at reigniting the influence the Jo Cox murder had on polls.

And since when do sensible people decide the fate of millions owing to the act of single madman?

Voting “remain” because of the Jo Cox murder is simply as mindless as the man who killed her.

John Chuckman



This piece by Dr Julia Shaw is feeble.

You cannot compare nearly half a century ago with today in a rigorous way, controlling for the effects of being in or out of the EU.

Science is not about anecdotes, but this author offers anecdotes and pretends to explain something by a rather flaky psychological concept.

And if you do attempt to do a rigorous comparison, which this author does not, you cannot drag in nonsense like “false memories” to explain things.

The data must speak for themselves.

This is an example of the classic “junk science” so often used in American courtrooms to influence verdicts by juries.

It rightly has a very bad reputation because it has been carefully demonstrated that you can always find an “expert” with the desired theory or interpretation of theory to support your case. Always, and that is not science.

This especially is the case in the social sciences, which have a very tenuous claim to the second word of their title.

And now The Independent has added junk psychology to junk economics and junk diplomacy and junk international affairs to influence events.

John Chuckman



It has nothing to do with “blood-sucking.”

It’s just poor, unimaginative management.

Buying your own shares is just proof that the management does not know what to do, what to invest in, so they buy their shares and boost the price of their shares – something which temporarily hides management’s lack of drive and competence.

This is just one example of why the stock market, over the short term, is not indicative of economic health.

Just as great tycoon families generally go into decline by the third generation, just so once-great companies.

Sears in the 1910s and 20s was a miracle. It’s hasn’t shown a spark of originality since the 1960s.

John Chuckman



“This is NOT democracy.”

Well, that could apply to the entire American political system, not just super-delegates.

The Electoral College is not democratic, and it is what actually elects the president.

The two-party system is not democratic but a kind of political duopoly. You can start a new party if you like, but the nation is an absolute web of traps and barriers created by the two establishment parties against your success.

America’s press is not democratic in its practices or desires. It completely favors one of the two institutional candidates. A Harvard School of Government study has just shown that in the Bernie Sanders’ campaign, at key points the press played a significant role in giving him little or no voice. After all, the press is owned by the 1%.

Big money for campaigns is not democratic. Automatically, the requirement for big private money leaves the 1% pretty much determining who can run and what major policies of the winner will be.

Trump only squeezed through because he is so rich he can pretty much finance himself, and even that fact is not democratic.

And when any newly-elected president comes to Washington, he is immediately faced with a massive establishment which is effectively an unelected government inside the elected government, the military-security monstrosity and special interests. They blanket everything.

And, in the last instance, should a person manage to rise and be elected, a person who really does want to change some of the established practices and institutions, there is always the fact of John Kennedy’s assassination (plus that of his aspiring brother) to provide a powerful deterrence.

There is no way a reasonable person can look at America and call it democratic.

And it is stunning how many Americans do not understand that basic fact.

America is run by a set of globally-powerful elites, differing only from 18th century France in the fact that every four years one of two people, both pretty much proved and vetted by the establishment through their careers, gets to be called leader.

John Chuckman



“Distortions over Isis involvement in Orlando play into the hands of the jihadists”

Maybe, but I think far, far more important is the fact that distortions play into the hands of the American establishment which now works night and day now to control events throughout the world, establishing what is so charmingly termed “full-spectrum dominance.”

Fear – often groundless fear – is the chief tool for this effort, and it works extremely effectively as men such as Hitler and Stalin knew full well in the past in making it a weapon of choice.

America’s efforts domestically include the NSA and 16 other security agencies plus intelligence-connected corporate allies like Facebook and Google and Microsoft plus a totally compliant, often groveling, press literally to spy on every detail of everyone’s life.

Its international efforts include about a dozen wars and conflicts, some using proxies and some using its own troops, plus a junta-like extra-judicial killing program plus the fomenting of coups in half a dozen places plus extreme, unwarranted aggression against Russia and China.

Its military/security efforts include everything from facial and behavioral recognition programs to a gigantic secret effort to upgrade its thermos-nuclear arsenal.

Its diplomatic and foreign relations efforts include efforts ranging from pressuring Ban Ki-Moon to remove Saudi Arabia from the UN’s list of child killers – where it very much belongs owing to its many atrocities in Yemen, including the use of cluster bombs on civilians – to the insane economic pressure being applied to Russia through Europe at Europe’s expense and to the continued complete toleration of one of the world’s most repressive states, its colony in the Middle East.

It needs public support for all this and more, and it keeps feeding logs to the fire to make people sweat.

Obama’s “home-grown extremist” and the crazed rhetoric of Clinton and Trump serve only to raise the intensity of the fire.

Please, this is just ignorant nonsense serving the purpose of scaring people into supporting more resources for the military and the security services.

The facts in this case are simple, and they have nothing to do with terror.

The man was a psychotic. His ex-wife says he was a manic-depressive who was very abusive to her and who had an intense dislike of gays.

Anything else you say is beside the point, if not deliberately blurring what should be the focus.

Whether he was Muslim or Zoroastrian makes not one whit of difference.

Add to his mental instability the fact that this man was freely able to buy powerful weapons and to work for a security firm handling weapons, and the blame for this horror is significantly on the shoulders of obtuse officials who made it all possible.

A proved psychotic person should never be able to buy guns, full stop.

While we have had many examples of events in the Age of Terror Superstition where newspapers and government officials make fools of themselves, this one is the topper.

His religion or ethnic background is just about as relevant as that of some paranoid schizophrenic who stabs a person on the street claiming he is Brutus and had to kill Caesar.

Every instance of this kind of twisted thinking is dangerous to our society.

Please think. The number of actual terror events is so small that they represent about the same risk you have in breaking your back in getting out of the bath tub.

And mass murder in the United States is not only not unusual, it is a regular part of the fabric of life in this extremely violent and aggressive society.

Meanwhile, American police shoot 1,100 Americans each year in the streets, and don’t think all the foolish hype about terror makes them even more trigger happy?

Meanwhile, America fights vicious and illegal wars, killing thousands monthly.

Meanwhile, American drones assassinate innocent people regularly.

Meanwhile, Israel holds 5 to 6 million people against their will, abuses them terribly, and gets off as free as a bird, being treated as a victim rather than the perpetrator it certainly is, and for the most part the press says nothing and our governments say nothing.

Our world is full of genuine horrors, and we don’t need to focus on fantasies about “terrorists. The word “terrorist” has become a kind of witch’s charm used without any thinking, the situation in Israel being the origin for this language. There people who make any effort for their own freedom or rights are immediately labelled “terrorists” and our press simply accepts the usage.

Now, I am certainly not saying there are no genuine terrorists in the world. After all, we had the IRA and ETA and others for years (and I might add Irgun and the Stern Gang), but the astute observer will have noticed we never treated those situations as we now treat so-called “international terror.”

There is good reason for that. Today’s so-called terror is mostly the natural reaction of many peoples to America’s huge, global program of aggression and control. And part of today’s so-called terror is the deliberate manipulation of people such as the members of ISIS by the United States and others to achieve their own dark purposes.

A violent, unstable person with guns is a formula for disaster, and that is just what we have in the Orlando events. It was not terror of any description, but it already being exploited as terror to make people fear.

Oh where do we find a statesman capable of words like, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”? We have none.

John Chuckman



“…this is what Allah would have said about Orlando”

Oh, please, I appreciate what the writer is trying to do, but this is pathetic.

Islam has nothing to do with Orlando, and the world’s huge number of decent Muslims should not validate the ignorant accusations that it does.

The man was sick. The man was violent. The man hated gays, even though he may have been one. The man had guns.

What his religion was or for that matter any other personal characteristic of his matters not at all.

Society has gone off the deep end with Orlando, and there’s a reason for that.

The reason is we’ve been fed a complete diet of suspicion and hatred of Muslims now for about fifteen years.

It’s ignorant superstition for the most part where it is not deliberately stoked propaganda to serve America’s rampage through the Middle East and Israel’s murderous occupation.

It’s amazing how well it works though.

We really are a pathetic species.

John Chuckman



“Was the Orlando shooting worth it for the freedom to carry a gun?”

I’m sorry, but that’s pretty close to sick.

You are twisting a hideous event – in its nature, much like a random strike by lightning – to make a political point.

And your facts are not even right.

“The Second Amendment of the US Constitution clearly outlines the right of all Americans to own a weapon.”

Simply not true.

It authorizes holding of guns for ” a well ordered militia.”

In the 18th century, this was the inexpensive way for a government to be prepared for attack, just as we see in Switzerland. It wasn’t even an American idea. It was adopted from Britain, which, for long periods, since the time of Elizabeth tried to minimize state costs of defense.

And the majority of the “Founding Fathers” did not believe in the concept of a standing army (they wouldn’t even recognize today’s America).

 “But that particular piece of legislature [sic] was created in a time of immense instability…”

Wrong on all counts. It wasn’t just legislation, it is part of the “Law of the Land,” the written Constitution which supersedes all other legislation and which can only be changed in a long and costly fashion, even when the will exists to change it.

There was no special instability at the time of the Constitution’s being written, which was long after the War of Independence was over.

You really should get your facts straight before writing an argument.

And while I criticize your words, I am not a gun supporter.



A few really dumb comments below, including some about the Second Amendment which could easily have been avoided by reading what it is you are talking about. Amazing how that works.

The facts of The Second Amendment are:

“One version was passed by the Congress, and a slightly different version was ratified.

“As passed by the Congress and preserved in the National Archives, with the rest of the original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights prepared by scribe William Lambert, the amendment says:

“‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

“Here is the amendment as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State:

“‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'”

John Chuckman



Angela Merkel is a complete mystery.

She is a highly intelligent woman effectively leading the EU, a bloc of 500 million people.

Yet she seems to have not the least shame at her groveling behavior towards America.

And her groveling comes at a time of unprecedented American aggressiveness.

It’s not as though she doesn’t know what’s going on in Syria, in Ukraine, in Eastern Europe, in the Baltics, in Libya, in the South China Sea, in Brazil, in Venezuela, and still other places.

America literally has gone on a terrible rampage, threatening to become a 21st century re-incarnation of Tojo’s Japan.

All the world’s citizens have reason to be deeply concerned with these developments.

Yet Ms. Merkel, effective leader of one of the world’s most powerful groups, only smiles at Obama and says, “Yes Sir, yes Sir, three bags full,” every time this psychopathic man asks or suggests anything.

Since we have some of weakest most ineffectual leaders in modern history in Britain and France today, only Ms. Merkel could bring some change in direction, but she makes no apparent effort.

I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.”




John Chuckman



Well, the first issue is why The Independent features this man making his lunatic claims?

You don’t do the same for Anders Breivik, who is the closest in personality traits to Tony Blair of any person in the news I can think of.

Well, I suppose publicizing him has some merit, something like publicizing the circus is in town.

The totally twisted nature of what Blair is saying might not be apparent to all readers since it involves misinformation along several lines at the same time.

First, he’s still defending the mass terror perpetrated on Syria by America, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia – with Britain and a few others in the cheering section – now for five years.

Now, I’m perfectly sure he knows otherwise in private, but he continues his tradition of lying, and lying on a grand scale. That’s what he did, of course, to assist in killing a million people in Iraq and basically destroying its economy for a generation.

Second, he’s still condemning President Assad who is not only the legitimate leader of Syria, widely supported, but a pretty decent leader overall for his people. In some areas, especially religious freedom, Syria is freer than most parts of the Middle East, especially some of those parts where the leaders commission Tony at sky-high rates on special tasks. Or those who’ve awarded him prizes and medals for his good work in mass murder. This is a real friend of democracy and human rights speaking here.

He’s continuing the entirely inaccurate American line about barrel-bombs, which is complete nonsense. Barrel-bombs are not terror weapons, they are weapons against terrorists. They are cheaper – important when your back is to the wall with American proxy killers – and they in some ways minimize greater damage. Only an idiot would assert that Assad deliberately drops them on his own people. Well, I’ve never regarded Tony as an idiot, just narcissistic, ravenously greedy serial liar.

And where was Tony’s voice when America shipped quantities of deadly Sarin gas from collapsed Libya to Turkey for transshipment into poor Syria, where it was promptly used on civilians by America’s proxies to create an excuse for a larger war directly involving America? Why, he was probably over in his counting house busy counting the latest shipment of blood dividends from America and Co. which is always generous afterwards to its bloody minions. It’s rather like “blood diamonds” from which Tony has generated all his wealth.

Of course, he’s also attacking Jeremy Corbyn, yet again, an incredible low-life attacking a decent man. Tony can’t seem to stand the fact that a man of some honor and honesty might actually rule the country one day, so he does all that he can think of doing to throw mud.

After all, Tony worked very hard – it is hard work selling your soul and lying incessantly – to help create the mess we see in today’s world, and he undoubtedly has a bit of pride of ownership about the rampage through the Middle East which likely has killed two million souls. So he sure doesn’t want any decent man coming along to muck it all up.


John Chuckman



“Anti-Semitism is all the craze these days.”

Simply mindless.

I can’t believe an intelligent person could write such a sentence, and the author should be absolutely ashamed for doing so.

But I know he isn’t because he is not writing to communicate facts or ideas.

He is writing propaganda.

Shameless propaganda, but given a playful tone as though it were the furthest thing from the writer’s mind to create propaganda.

Another shovel-full of the ugly, smelly stuff we’ve had, on and off, for many weeks. Quite literally a witch hunt used as a political tool.

Get Corbyn and all like him. David Cameron hates him. Tony Blair hates him. The government of Israel hates him. And every opportunity will be taken to tear him and his supporters down for being nothing beyond decent politicians.


Response to another reader’s comment about the writer referring to Jews in bondage in Egypt:

This statement is beyond “corny.”

The author, obviously busy with his propaganda purpose and self-indulgent attitude, apparently has no idea that the enslavement in Egypt never happened.

Not one archaeological find, not one, has supported a myth which is the same class with Jonah and the big fish and Lott’s wife. And archaeology in Egypt has been deep and extensive. Indeed, the name “Moses” is of Egyptian origin and not Hebrew.

We also know today that the men used to build monuments like the pyramids were not slaves, but well-looked after workers. We have discovered where they lived and a good deal about how they were treated, which was rather well.



I think Robert is into his decline.

This analysis is not convincing, nor is the piece especially informative.

No matter who is Defense Minister or any other official, Israel keeps millions of people in a kind of perpetual prison with no rights whatever, unless you count having your home or farm stolen, whenever it pleases the Israelis, as a kind of perverse right.

Actually, I am always amazed at the general passiveness and peacefulness of the Palestinians.

Just as I remain amazed at the West’s indifference to the nightmare situation Israel perpetuates virtually without censure.

We often hear empty words about how restrained Israel is, as in not eliminating all those people in one fashion or another, and I cannot believe what I hear.

Restrained is keeping 5 to 6 million people with no hopes, no rights, no votes, and no future? Actually, some might view the situation as just as terrible as mass murder, and we are well into a third generation being kept this way. Truly, one of the most disgraceful situations on the planet.

And we always are dishonest about it, as in calling it a war. It isn’t a war and never has been. It is overwhelming oppression with the rare small explosion of violence from a few of the oppressed.

How can anyone be surprised by any such event, given the context? And how can anyone speak of wanting to provoke anyone? The only surprise is that there is not a massive explosion of human frustration and rage.

John Chuckman



I mostly liked this.

Lincoln’s speeches were biblical in cadence and phrasing, even though Lincoln was not in the least religious, as we know from his intimate friend biographer, Herndon.

This likely reflected the largely self-taught nature of his education. He went to school less than two years, but his native intelligence pushed him I’m sure to read and re-read the few books available to him.

Actually, and I know some readers will object, Trump has aspects of John Kennedy. No, he isn’t literary. No, he isn’t fascinated by history. And, no, he doesn’t have the kind of “class” Kennedy had.

But Trump shares with Kennedy a bold spirit and some disdain for conventional wisdom of the establishment of his time.

Kennedy in private was extremely disdainful of the military, the State Department, and the corporate chiefs of his day who were not willing to compromise for the country as a whole.

I don’t recall anyone’s observing the fact, but that outlook is very much shared by Trump.

Both men were raised in wealth so that they were comfortable and self-assured, yet both men reflect a bit of a higher purpose as it were.

Trump’s patriotism is genuine and deep, and, while I am not an admirer of excessive patriotism, it seems to motivate him to do something good for his country.

If he gets a chance, he could prove a great president.

Yes, he has policies I don’t agree with and, yes, he could disappoint, but I am pretty sure there’s something there of considerable worth.

You simply do not get everything when you elect someone as a leader. You get a bundle of qualities, some of which you like and some of which you don’t like.

America’s recent policies have made the world a very dangerous place, and they have put America in the position of being a mass killer comparable to the old Argentine junta. If Trump can moderate these poisonous tendencies, he will have done a good work for the world, not just America.

As for Hillary, she’s simply a blood-stained, lying psychopath. She’ll choke us in blood and venom.

John Chuckman



‘To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want – even president’

Most people would agree with the generality.

But here we are dealing with a specific case.

Likely the most unethical woman on the planet, a truly ruthless person with a ferocious, almost uncontrollable temper, and one who has gladly supported every major piece of bloodshed in her time.

So, this specific case is not one to celebrate.

Quite the opposite, should she manage to be elected, we will all regret it deeply.

The staged photos of the smiling face with arms always outstretched is not the face of Hillary Clinton. It is the extremely well-rehearsed act of a near-psychopath.

John Chuckman



I’m glad you put “clinching” the nomination in quotes.

She is only candidate presumptive, and she is only that because of the undemocratic business of Super-delegates in the Democratic Party.

And this announcement on the eve of the country’s largest primary is a highly questionable tactic, intended undoubtedly to discourage supporters of Bernie from voting in the primary.

No one becomes the candidate until the convention, and many things can happen between now and the convention.

This move of Super- delegates to her is nothing less than an insider pressure tactic on Bernie to withdraw.

But I’m pretty sure he’s made of sterner stuff than that.

They’ve already appealed to him in private, but he wishes, rightly, to continue his magnificent effort.

If Bernie wins in California today, the Party insiders are going to look very foolish, although more acts of voter suppression by Hillary’s followers may prevent that embarrassment, and there are rumors about extensive questionable use of provisional ballots. This very press announcement on the eve of the nation’s largest primary is of course itself a bit of underhandedness.

If he does win, they will have created an impossible situation by crowning a presumptive candidate who simply is not popular nor well-liked.

Trump is certain to defeat her, absolutely certain.

Bernie is their only hope, but the fact that he is not viewed in that way is testimonial to the overwhelming power of money in American politics.

The Clintons are literally bought and paid for, many times over, with big money. The Party’s Super-delegates are only reminding us of the fact.


FOOTNOTE:  I note, after writing this, that the Los Angeles Times reports more than two million ballots not counted yet, a substantial portion of the total.

John Chuckman



How very true, and regrettable.

Not even a hint of a genuine leader in the West.

The statesman of a lifetime in Russia.

Opportunities missed.

Dangers increased.

Everybody made poorer.

That, in a nutshell, is what America’s policies of recent years are doing.

John Chuckman



I greatly admire Ali, but my admiration is not just for his boxing prowess.

It is for his genuine courage in standing up for what is right, and he did so against a great ugly roaring crowd.

He refused to go to the insane Vietnam War, citing his beliefs as a newly-converted Black Muslim.

He said “I beats ’em up, but I don’t kills ’em,” and “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” among other memorable lines on the matter.

He paid for his beliefs. Many of the ugly crowd called him names, with the usual bellowing American Patriot stuff about “Love it [America] or leave it!” heard. The political establishment worked hard to ruin his career and succeeded to a considerable extent, but he was just too big a world figure for them to crush him, as they would lesser people.

He stuck to his beliefs, and of course he was always right. Vietnam proved a disaster for all involved, a genuine holocaust with an estimated 3 million Vietnamese killed and their land left wrecked with bomb craters and land mines and saturated with ghastly Agent Orange, something which is crippling and killing children to this day. More bombs were dropped there than in all of WWII, including early versions of cluster bombs to cut bodies to ribbons and shiploads of hellish napalm to burn flesh right off the bones of living people.

Much of this is forgotten today, both the complete horror America inflicted on a country which never attacked it and the courageous stand of Ali. Had there been more like him, perhaps the foul Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would have failed earlier before creating so much destruction.

Ali stood tall against the crowd, much like Dr. Stockman in “An Enemy of the People,” and he eventually prevailed, regaining his career with his talents and natural charm, and eventually became one of the most loved popular figures of the century.

I feel honored to have met him once, in Vancouver in 1971. We spent a couple of minutes chatting after he finished a demonstration of rope-jumping tricks in a hotel lobby, sharing the background of living on Chicago’s South Side.  He put his fist up for me to put mine against as he returned to his room. I’m sure he could see the admiration in my face, something he was used to seeing in the faces of fans, but I will always regret not telling him why I really so admired him.


Footnote: I’ll just add that today in Syria we can see that America’s establishment learned nothing from a decade’s slaughter in Vietnam, except to not use drafted troops in its deliberately created horrors. Once again, they are killing and maiming and making armies of refugees, only now they use proxies gathered and supplied from the four corners of the earth.

John Chuckman



The Declaration of Independence, while having some good opening lines, is on the whole a pretty tedious thing to read, a special pleading of great length.

The opening lines were written by Jefferson in draft but edited significantly by Franklin.

The document would have been even more tedious than it is (after the opening) had it not been for the Continental Congress’s extensive effort at reducing Jefferson’s verbiage, an act which appalled Jefferson.

The part of the Declaration which is most annoying, and laughable, is Jefferson’s effort to put the slave trade as a terrible British crime, an amusing effort “to have your cake and eat it too.”

Well, Economics 101 tells you need demand, not just supply, to have a market.

What the grand hypocrite, Jefferson, was doing here is expressing concern over the falling price of human flesh. He owned over 200 slaves (and freed not one at his death) and new supplies were reducing his stock’s value.

The document is only regarded for the opening words, but even those words aroused great cynicism as when the great Dr. Samuel Johnson dismissed “drivers of Negroes talking of freedom.”

After the opening words, we have a long list of silliness, which in some ways today resembles what you might expect as a list of grievances against white males from BLM or a radical feminist professional protester.

It really is that silly in what it tries to blame on Whitehall, especially when we have the words of contemporary visitors from Europe telling us how free the early colonies seemed compared to many places.

The slave-trade stuff was the topper though. It reminds me of America, as the world’s greatest arms exporter whining about this or that place that just having sold a small quantity of arms somewhere.

There’s junk about taxes, too, although we know, again from contemporary visitors, the colonists were not heavily taxed by standards of the day. Of course, Americans still hate taxes and portray that hatred almost as something from Scripture, always forgetting taxes are essential to good government anywhere, and I think we all know America today has anything but good government.