Archive for October 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EFFORTS BY DEMOCRATIC OFFICIALS TO DISCREDIT FBI DIRECTOR COMEY OVER HIS NEW E-MAIL INVESTIGATION – WHAT LIKELY IS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES – HILLARY BEWARE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

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.

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Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST OFFERS NEW APPROACH TO TRYING TO HIDE WHAT HE DOESN’T WANT PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION TO – THE FBI CACHE OF E-MAILS – CLINTON CORRUPTION

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY THOMAS FRANK IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“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.

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FORMER GHOSTWRITER FOR TRUMP BOOK GOES SLEAZY WITH STUFF ABOUT BEING DR FRANKENSTEIN TO THE TRUMP MONSTER – PRESS OF COURSE DUTIFULLY RUNS ANY DEROGATORY MATERIAL IT CAN FIND – THE EXPECTED NORMS OF GHOSTWRITERS AT HIGH LEVELS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DAVID SMITH IN THE GUARDIAN

 

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.

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COMMENTS ON THE PLAY AMADEUS MADE TO A REVIEW OF A NEW BRITISH PRODUCTION – THE TRUTH ABOUT SALIERI AND MOZART – HOW THIS PLAY PERPETUATES MYTHS AND UNFAIR CHARACTERIZATIONS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A THEATER REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN

 

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.

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A VISITING FOREIGN JOURNALIST’S LOVED BRITAIN SAID TO BE FALLING APART WITH BREXIT – THE COMPLEX PHENOMENON OF XENOPHOBIA – THE REALITIES OF RAPID CHANGE FROM HEAVY EXTERNAL INFLUENCES OR MIGRATION – THE INEXORABLE CHANGING FACE OF MANY PREVIOUSLY NON-IMMIGRANT COUNTRIES

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

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.

 

 

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME AMERICAN DEATH DRONES REVEALED TO BE TARGETED BY AMERICANS IN BRITAIN – COMPUTER GAMES PLAYED WITH REAL LIVES – OBAMA’S EXTRA-LEGAL KILLING IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF MAGNA CARTA AND TRIAL BY JURY

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

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?

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE MOTIVES OF SOME OF THE GREAT WWII AND AFTER SPIES FOR THE USSR – NEW BOOK ON STALIN’S AMERICAN SPY NOEL FIELD – AMERICA’S TERRIBLE INTENTIONS WITH A NUCLEAR MONOPOLY OR DOMINANCE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A BOOK REVIEW BY MARTIN PENGELLY IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“… 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.

 

Posted October 31, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized