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Monthly Archives: October 2016

John Chuckman



Well, the rest of us thought he was discredited by his previous behavior.

Now, he is trying to regain his place, reportedly owing to an internal revolt of senior FBI agents and opposition from his own wife.

It would be criminal indeed to ignore 650k (that’s right, 650k) e-mails on a computer where they have no business being.

When Hillary previously supplied selected e-mails, she provided them in paper format, making searching them awkward and time-consuming.

Now, with an actual hard drive, they can use high-speed computers programed to search and go through them quickly.

Hillary beware.


John Chuckman



“Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run”

First, no, no one in his right mind should forget the FBI cache which very likely contains evidence of serious crimes by Clinton.

At the very least, they can prove she did not comply with subpoenas and destroyed evidence and lied to the FBI.

Second, yes, the Podesta e-mails do show us something of how America is run, but the picture is far from complete.

We’ve not had enough of a look into the Clinton Foundation and its intertwining with the affairs of a very senior official and the President himself.

One very much suspects Hillary of playing “pay for play” with foreign governments, much the kind of corruption the US loves to accuse less-developed countries of.

After all, when the Clintons were in the White House, fund-raising gimmicks reached unprecedented levels. President Bill came up with the offer of a sleep-over in the Lincoln Bedroom for rich supporters who coughed up a $250,000 campaign contribution.

There are many indications, but no hard proof, of just how corrupt this foundation is. One analyst who has spent some time studying it has called it a huge criminal scheme.

Let’s not forget that Julian Assange, the man who gave us the Podesta material, has promised revelations “which could put Hillary in jail” before the election.

John Chuckman



You just keep reaching for new derogatory material.

And the items just keep getting more and more ridiculous.

This man – paid handsomely for his work, I’m sure – is doing something really sleazy.

Every book and every speech and every article written by every politician – from FDR to John Kennedy was written by ghost writers.

When David Frum, speechwriter for George Bush, happened to mention at cocktail party he wrote George Bush’s line about “axis of evil,” he was promptly fired from his post and never worked again at that level.

So what is the merit of this man’s words?

Nothing, absolutely nothing.

But they are derogatory, so the mainline press dutifully runs them.


John Chuckman



While I loved the Miloš Forman movie, I do wish people would stop producing Amadeus.

The story is simply wrong in all its essentials and deserves to die a quiet death.

Salieri was not anything like the man the play portrays, and he most definitely did not kill Mozart or even attempt to do so.

Mozart almost certainly died as the result of poison administered in some food by the husband of a beautiful singer with whom Mozart had had an affair.

That is why his funeral was such a somber and insignificant thing and not Joseph II’s enlightenment rules about funerals.

As for Salieri, he was actually quite a significant composer in opera, although he fell out of favor with the public’s changing taste.

He admired Mozart’s work, and Mozart admired his talents which were widely regarded then as great.

He continued in music after retiring from opera and eventually fell victim to dementia for which he was committed.


John Chuckman



I find this piece a bit muddled.

The simple fact is, as anyone knows who has read enough 20th century British writers or followed British history, that varying degrees of xenophobia have long been part of the British national character.

So much so, it is almost a cliché. Jokes and remarks about the French, for example, are part of the fabric of traditional British culture. During WWII, many British people made jokes about Americans, such as: “They’re over-paid, over-sexed, and over here!”

You may observe mild xenophobia in many cultural artefacts from writers to politics to a television series such as Fawlty Towers.

In a more serious vein, Churchill made some quite rude remarks and used epithets about people from other places, as did a number of other politicians and public figures.

It seems clear they did not fear ridicule or being disparaged.

The fact is that xenophobia works on at least two levels, and not all the parts are automatically bad.

On one level, there is simply love and affection for the culture you have and no wish to see it change, including mild joking about the influence of others who will, ipso facto through their presence in any numbers, change it.

At the other extreme, there are the louts of football clubs who go abroad and get into fights, insulting foreigners and making themselves repulsive.

Theirs is the set of attitudes you would certainly find in what used to be called “naavy pubs,” there being an example of a word used by Orwell that has largely disappeared.

In light of Britain’s becoming, as virtually all modern nations are destined to become, more cosmopolitan with migrants from many places, I’m sure these things gradually are changing.

And there is no use pretending otherwise, enough change and you are simply not the same place anymore.

The smaller the size of the country’s population, the more this is true. America’s more than 300 million can absorb many with no visible effect, although America’s long prevalent xenophobia has always worked against newcomers, one of the great ironies of a “land of immigrants.”

Denmark’s five million or so cannot, which explains some fairly tough legislation in that country concerning migration. All other countries fall somewhere between.

However, much of what the world thinks of as British will pass away with substantial migration. Just look at British spelling and grammar under the onslaught of American culture, as in the very newspaper you are reading. A great writer such as Graham Greene already reads as a bit antique in his language. So also, George Orwell, and neither of them is in any way ancient, being both contemporaries of at least some people still living.

The Britain of umbrellas, bowlers, fry-ups, careful language, and eccentrics, including truly eccentric comedy, is already in large part gone.




John Chuckman



Ah, you should be proud.

Fine young Americans in their crisp uniforms with their buzz-cut hair sitting at computer screens in some basement playing computer games with real human lives.

After a kill, do they pump their arms like Americans at sporting events when their team gets a goal?

And perhaps on the way to the mess for some snacks and treats?

How can anyone view with indifference this organized system of extrajudicial killing being stationed in their country?

Britain, the birthplace of Magna Carta and Parliament and juries of peers?


John Chuckman



“… a man whose motives might genuinely be described as good who ended up working against his own country”

I’ve always thought that was true of all the famous Cambridge spies.

I do think there were a number of thoughtful men who did not want the United States to completely dominate the planet.

It is easy to forget that in the late 1940s and into the 1950s, America’s military was literally keen to obliterate as much of Russia with nuclear weapons as possible.

That horrible attitude continued into the 1960s when the Pentagon presented just such a plan, a massive first strike, to John Kennedy, who said he left the room sick to his stomach.

You did not have to delude yourself about Stalin – although, undoubtedly some did – to want to prevent complete American domination.

If we think dictators are undesirable for a single country, how much more so for the whole world?

And Lord Acton’s profound words about absolute power remain as true today as when first set down.

This matter remains a critical issue to this day, as we can see from events in Eastern Europe and in Syria.

We have, thank God, a multi-polar world emerging so that a single bully will not be able to direct everyone, but it will still take a little time.

It is essentially that fact, a change underway in the world’s power balance, that today makes the American establishment so ragingly angry at Russia and China.


Response to another reader:

Stalin’s “humint” was the best anyone ever had.

But he was so paranoid he didn’t trust a good deal of it.

A little like the ancient Greek’s tale of Cassandra.



John Chuckman



Well, it wasn’t Theresa May who brought on Brexit.

Seems a bit dishonest to pile on her now for this.

It was Britain’s most incompetent modern Prime Minister, good old David Cameron, whose poor judgment is responsible.

And I have to say, that over his time in office, David got a lot of favorable publicity from The Guardian.


John Chuckman



“Israel should declare sovereignty over the occupied territories in the West Bank, which is home to Israeli settlers, if the UN adopts any Security Council resolution further condemning illegal settlement activity, Israel’s education minister said.”

When, oh when, are the world’s governments going to stop accepting being threatened and blackmailed by Israel?

Everyone should condemn this kind of criminal, thuggish speech.

Our press is full of State Department propaganda calling Assad, a perfectly decent leader, unfit for office.

Well, here is the very definition of a government unfit for office, that of Israel.

And what in God’s name is an “education minister” doing making such pronouncements?

Does she have nothing else to do?

Or is this just a way to put a soft young face to the words of a thug?


John Chuckman



“Climate denial often centers around myths about the importance of coal in alleviating poverty”

I am sorry, but claims do not come much shakier than that. Coal has generated jobs and wealth for generations, and in many locations.

Of course, as is the case with any industrial product, it does not continue forever.

The economy endlessly goes through change and evolution. There never is a final, idealized equilibrium, a kind of heaven on earth, green or otherwise.

And the claim comes wrapped in language repellent to all fair-minded people, “Climate denial,” nothing but a hideous, contrived expression intended to create a thought-crime.



John Chuckman



Van Gogh was at one and the same time:

One of the century’s most gifted, original, and memorable artists – one whose best work is simply so deeply engraved into our memories that it forever changes our perceptions of the world;

A man whose writing was passionate and captivating and may still be read with intellectual and spiritual profit;

A somewhat pathetic person who could not earn his way in the world and depended upon his brother;

And a man who suffered from a terrible psychosis such as manic-depression or schizophrenia, a fact which, when combined with his immense talent, should always serve to remind us not to be arrogant or contemptuous towards those with such afflictions.

The name of Damien Hirst, one of the great, successful con-artists of our time, really should not be mentioned in the same breath or article.


John Chuckman



Hillary’s professional accomplishments?

Really, what would those be?

Marrying a young successful politician and enjoying years of genuine power, with no elected office, as wife of a Governor and a President, enjoying that power because she tolerated his endless predatory sexual behavior, something which gave her rather immense power over him?

By the way, Michelle, during Clinton’s campaign against her husband for the presidential nomination in 2008, is on record as saying a number of times words to the effect, if you can’t run your own family affairs, how are you qualified to run the affairs of the country?

She sings a different tune now that her husband has in the balance a rumored promised appointment to the Supreme Court should Clinton win.

Serving as junior Senator from New York for about 8 years, the only time she has ever been elected to anything, without a single notable accomplishment? She has to her credit precisely three pieces of genuinely insignificant legislation that she sponsored.

Serving as Secretary of State with her advocated horror of destroying Libya and overseeing weapons transferred to kill more people in Syria? Overseeing the disastrous mess at Benghazi?

The kind of human being Clinton is perhaps nowhere better summed up than her video-recorded remarks on Gaddafi’s murder, “We came, we saw, he died, ha, ha,ha!”

Real class act.

And what can we say of Michelle out selling a woman we know she never liked simply because her husband might get a juicy appointment? Pure Bernie Sanders.


John Chuckman



Tiresome, really tiresome.

Assad is the legitimate president of the country.

And by all critical accounts, he is a rather decent one, demonstrating tolerance for Syria’s many religious groups.

The country’s Christians regard him as a protector.

He remains the most popular political figure in Syria.

The armed forces have remained loyal to him through five years of hell on earth, and that despite many efforts to bribe them by the same foreign states sponsoring Syria’s agony under imported terrorists.

John Kerry’s pronouncements from Washington on Assad’s fitness for office carry about as much weight with thinking people all over the world as David Cameron’s words on the EU.

There is nothing unusual in Britain or Syria with friends and relatives receiving responsibilities. Just look at David Cameron’s honors’ list.


John Chuckman



“Never give a straight answer: how I learned to talk like a politician”

The ultimate answer to this annoying practice is remarkably simple: stop interviewing politicians.

You never get any information anyway.

But the press would never do that, would it?

So who is the real villain?

Or is it a dark marriage of convenience?


John Chuckman



Truly, these are the words of an immensely ignorant person.

Obama and Clinton have turned the Mideast into a charnel house, but Trump is dangerous?

And dangerous because of his relationship with the most logical and sensible statesman on the planet, Putin?

Oh, and by the way, he in fact has no relationship with Putin.

The Independent is fast approaching becoming a graphic novel, which is the fancy term for a comic book.


John Chuckman



I’m sorry, but there are seriously questionable assumptions here.

“… the unquestioned racism of Donald Trump…”

While it commonly enough thrown around in the anti-Trump establishment press, it is, in fact, simply an insupportable statement.

Trump has demonstrated no racism, and I think it quite unfair to assert that he has.

The assertion very much resembles the long series of Guardian accusations directed towards Jeremy Corbyn concerning anti-Semitism. They were themselves the ugliest form of McCarthyism.

Such accusations, made glibly and with no evidence, surely are themselves a form of racism.

“If the country’s first black president could not disrupt the racial status quo, what can we expect Clinton to accomplish?”

Again, sorry, but the nation’s first black president, sad to say, has been an extraordinarily ineffective one. You cannot name one thing he did or even tried to do for his own people.

Obamacare, his only big domestic legislation is failing badly. Bill Clinton himself has been quoted saying so in speeches. Word is, Hillary regards it as a failure too.

All Obama has proved is that if an attractive black person – and he was attractive in 2008 – runs, he can be elected. That ain’t much of an achievement.

In international affairs, he has been a disaster, falling under complete control of the Pentagon-CIA establishment and simply engaging in wholesale killing. And that includes the deaths of a lot of black people too.

Hillary is as far from a friend of black people as you can get. We have her on video back during her husband’s term of office talking about “black super-predators.” You may find that easily on the Internet.

She of course championed the destruction of Libya to Obama and is recorded on video laughing about Gaddafi’s murder. Gaddafi was one of black Africa best friends and allies as well as being a good leader for his people.

We also have the testimonial, again recorded, of a chef, a man from Buffalo, who prepared a big meal for the Clintons and friends, and says he heard Mrs. Clinton shout the n-word at a black man who upset her.


John Chuckman



“Elizabeth Warren is the US president we need, but can’t have – this time”

If you, in fact, knew more about Elizabeth Warren, Owen Jones, you couldn’t write that.

She is just another Bernie Sanders, speaking liberal-sounding phrases but retreating to dark political opportunism with some regularity.

Years ago, for example, Ms Warren gave a very convincing interview on a specific issue of interest to her, and the key information in the whole thing was how while Hillary seemed to listen to her advocacy and speak against the legislation with which she was concerned, the same legislation made its way into law not that long after with Clinton support.

And today she supports Clinton, likely the most corrupt and dishonest candidate ever to run, characterizations continuously confirmed by Internet leaks.

And what of the 15 years of imperial Neocon Wars, killing countless thousands of women and their families in the Middle East, wars embraced and advocated for – and even, in part, run by – Clinton?

Absolute, pure, unadulterated opportunism, having nothing to do with the kind of loftiness of which you write.


Response to another reader’s comment about Guardian always overlooking Jill Stein and a genuine reform party in America, the Greens:

Well said, indeed.

The likely reason: Jill Stein is against the Neocon Wars.

People favoring that long series of horrors – “giving painful birth to a new Middle East” to quote Condoleezza Rice – are running The Guardian.

You can see it in everything from the attacks on Corbyn and Trump and against Brexit to the unexamined generalities repeated about Syria or Libya or Russia.


John Chuckman



The choice is so simple that it is painful to realize how many Americans do not understand it.

But the entire establishment press of the United States (and Britain) has pounded unrelentingly against Trump. I don’t recall anything quite like it in my lifetime.

And you have to ask yourself why that is. I guarantee that it is not because of some rude speech and oddly-styled hair.

A potty mouth is one thing, but dropping bombs on women and children in Libya, Syria, and Yemen is another.

Trump has shown some careless speech about women. Clinton literally has assisted in tearing apart thousands of women and their families.

And that’s why America’s establishment press is so overwhelmingly in her corner. They embrace wholeheartedly the Neocon Wars. After all, they’ve helped promote them for years. Papers like the New York Times or Washington Post and networks like CNN have been out beating the war drums from the start.

And maybe any too genteel or ineffectual type such as Obama simply lacks the capacity to get his way with the powerful men at the Pentagon and CIA.


It is stunning how rude and brainless the Pentagon is in these matters.

Of course, always supported by the rather insignificant man who sits in a big chair in the Oval Office, pretending to be President.



John Chuckman



No, you certainly do not have to accept a prize, but ordinary civility dictates telling them that’s the case.

This way of handling things is simply bizarre.

We may have a wee bit of mental illness at work here.


John Chuckman



The cheated being expected to vote for the cheater?

A cheater, moreover, with the personality of a werewolf?

I believe there is a lot of play in this population in casting a secret vote for Trump.


Response to a comment about “Left or right nothing will change

Same kind of people are running both sides”:


That is, for once, wrong.

Hillary represents no change, except possibly for the worst in war and world affairs.

Trump, no matter what you think of his personality, represents the possibility of some real change.

Just ask yourself, why does the establishment press, including very much the one you are reading, so overwhelmingly oppose Trump?

I can guarantee you that it isn’t because he has had a nasty mouth or wears his hair oddly.


John Chuckman



I think it very revealing that the United States is doing this.

However, in a larger sense, observers at polls are becoming an obsolete concept.

With computerized voting, fraud is just a hack away.


John Chuckman



“Donald Trump’s ‘rigged election’ claims ‘undermine democracy’, says Barack Obama”

Well, Mr. Obama, I might have thought rigged elections themselves undermine democracy far more than any words about them.

But these insipid words from Obama are what we’ve come to expect from a badly failed leader.

He and Clinton still speculate and make unsubstantiated charges about the source of WikiLeaks material rather than focusing on their content.

Well, there is one area in which Obama has been focused, and that is killing people – tens of thousands of them in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and a number of other places.

And Hillary has been his willing helper. Here is a woman who has helped tear thousands of women and their families to pieces.


John Chuckman



Oh, please, Independent editors.

Fact-checking by an organization which has demonstrated almost insane bias in recent matters?

Your treatment of Trump?

Your treatment of Corbyn?

Your treatment of Brexit?

The ridiculous pomposity of your claim to being able to do this is the stuff of parody.

Monty Python checks out the facts.


John Chuckman



The American hypocrisy and brutality in all of this are breathtaking.

The Russians are called criminals for legally assisting the Syrian government in fighting the monsters, mainly al-Nusra, the US and its willing helpers have supported in Aleppo, Syria. Even today, new American TOW missiles are showing up there.

But it’s okay for America to attack ISIS in the large city of Mosul?

I have no clear idea why the US has allowed ISIS to occupy Mosul for so long. After all, a determined effort would have eliminated them long ago.

But whatever the dark reason was, now they are finally assisting in driving them out.

But are they actually preparing another front, under the guise of fleeing America in Iraq, for a new assault against the government of Syria, given its recent successes against other groups of American-backed terrorists?

There are already reports of something like 9,000 ISIS fighters being given safe passage out of this region of Iraq to go to Syria.

If the history of ISIS is ever written – an authentic history, not a CIA-written one – it will be interesting, making a fascinating read.

When ISIS first left Syria and started its campaign in Iraq, it was a mob of guys with AK-47s and Japanese pick-up trucks. Six modern heavy tanks could have eliminated them, and Iraq had some modern tanks.

The ISIS forces made a lot of publicity for themselves with various beheadings and atrocities. This served the purpose of intimidating their future targets, the governments of Iraq and Syria, and also making prearranged running away of government troops seem a little plausible.

When the pick-up truck mob approached Iraqi forces, the soldiers fled, leaving their equipment behind. Undoubtedly the soldiers were bribed with wads of cash supplied by Saudi Arabia and Oman.

When ISIS had collected enough equipment to represent a bit of a serious force, they headed for Iraq’s government. Interestingly, this was a man the Americans and Israelis hated, and he fled for his life.

After securing good portions of Iraq with no real opposition, many of the ISIS forces returned to Syria, now equipped with serious weapons to pursue America’s (and Israel’s) main target, Assad.

However, all the terror tactics had the unfortunate side-effect of horrifying the people in some of the very countries who were secret sponsors, as Britain and France along with the US.

So those countries, to keep up pretenses, had to announce campaigns against ISIS, campaigns which more fraudulent than real. Much American and allied bombing in Syria actually assisted ISIS, its primary mission of toppling Assad unfulfilled, by destroying government infrastructure.

Now finally, America has got around to really help get rid of them in Iraq, or at least seems to be doing so, for they may well just intend to drive them into Syria where America and its allies still want to eliminate the legitimate government of the country, having, in rather god-like fashion, declared it unfit to rule.

By the way, recent WikiLeaks material confirms what we have always believed: Hillary and Obama long ago were aware of huge amounts of assistance being sent to ISIS terrorists by Saudi Arabia and Oman. Of course they knew, it was all part of a brutal and hypocritical plan to destroy the beautiful, peaceful land of Syria simply because they didn’t like its leader.




John Chuckman



‘Stop whining’

That’s a pretty shallow approach to a very serious subject, but then, in most things, apart from all his killing in the Middle East, Obama is shallow.

Election fraud has been a reality in America all of my lifetime.

And I’m sorry to say, but Democrats have featured large in it.

Lyndon Johnson’s first congressional election in Texas is documented by eminent biographer, Robert Caro, as fraudulent.

John Kennedy only was elected by Mayor Daley’s ‘boys” in Chicago working into the wee hours to see how the returns came in from Republican downstate Illinois so they could know how many Chicago votes they needed to generate to offset them.

I lived in Chicago then, and the fraud was painfully obvious. And, yes, there were names registered as voters from cemeteries, just as Trump speaks of.

Lyndon Johnson, lifetime crooked politician, also gave them Texas, which was the job expected of him as VP candidate.

As recently as 2000, we had large-scale fraud in Florida under Jeb Bush and in a couple of other states. Even with the fraud, George Bush was elected with far fewer total votes than Gore, owing to the peculiar and deliberately anti-democratic Electoral College set up by those non-believers in democracy, The Founding Fathers.

There are many, many such stories.

But I have to say, in my adult lifetime, I’ve not seen such blatant ballot fraud and voter suppression as happened in Hillary’s campaign. Voter suppression – sending people to the wrong place or other fraternity-boy dirty tricks – seems to be growing in popularity.

Her record against Bernie in the primaries represents the most corrupt effort ever, and I’m not even thinking of the Wasserman interference at the DNC which only added to the whole thing.

At least a million ballots were destroyed in California and went uncounted.

Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters were removed from the registration rolls and unable to vote in New York when they showed up.

Voters in Arizona were sent to the wrong place and at some polling stations there were no ballots for people waiting to vote.

The early Caucus in Iowa, desperately needed by Hillary with her defeat in New Hampshire’s primary, was highly irregular according to many witnesses.

In the Nevada caucus, fist fights almost broke out over the irregularities.

There are no formal remedies for most of these abuses in the United States, except of course for law suits which take a long time. Nevertheless, lawsuits have been started over Hillary’s “victory,” but it’s not possible to “unelect” someone sitting in high office, so the remedies available to those bringing suits are doubtful.

An academic’s statistical study of the 2016 primaries recently concluded that it was most likely Bernie actually won the vote, but we all see the results. Cheating works in America, and, judging by 2016, it is prospering.

Many outside the United States do not realize that voting procedures and rules and scrutiny for even national candidates are the responsibility of the individual states. So you have fifty sets of rules and at least fifty ways rules can be bent by local interests.

Also there are fifty sets of rules for even getting a name on the ballots for a national election, and these usually reflect much long-time local crafty party trickery and manipulation.

Another thing many outside America do not appreciate is that there is absolutely no federal agency in America to oversee elections or to insure fairness and uniformity in local voting. And that applies to the actual elections. As far as the primaries go, the things which can determine who will run in the actual election, they are understood as internal matters of a political party.

It is all a chaotic situation and easy to take advantage of, as Hillary’s people very much have done.

The whole thing is rather a joke, but those who’ve seriously studied American history know that country is only nominally democratic, even without the vote fraud.

By the way, vote fraud is likely easier now than ever with the advent of computerized voting. The machines widely used have been shown to be not very secure, and we’ve all seen what hackers can do today.

In addition, billionaire George Soros – one of Hillary’s biggest contributors and someone we know from WikiLeaks material has intimate access even when she was Secretary of State and further the funder of such phony NGOs as MoveOn and White Helmets – is said to have serious board connections to the firm supplying voting machines in 16 states.

After all, we have the actual ads which were run during the primaries by a Soros’ organization to hire people at $15 an hour to disturb Trump rallies with violent noisy attacks.