Archive for February 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BERNIE SANDERS CALLS FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY – SHOWING HOW INEFFECTIVE A LEADER HE WOULD HAVE BEEN – NEITHER PARTY CAPABLE OF SERIOUS CHANGE – BUT PARTIES ARE ONLY TOOLS NOT CAUSES – AMERICA’S FUNDAMENTAL FLAW IS ELSEWHERE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

 “Former US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called for a “transformation” of his political party to win more support among the American public.”

Bernie is dreaming in Technicolor.

The Democratic Party is beyond becoming what he paints word pictures of.

It is a representative of the power establishment and totally dependent on that establishment.

But there is this consolation.

The Republican Party is mired in the just same place.

One man does not change a thing like the Republican Party.

Besides, the two parties are not the establishments, just useful tools.

And with each passing day it becomes clearer that Trump himself is being sucked into the same establishment.

Amazing parallels with Obama.

Trump’s press thing is an entertaining show only. It’s real, but it is surface not substance, being itself a reflection of changes underway with technological change in the news industry and aspects of Trump’s own personality.

Look at where the serious money is going.

$54 billion more dollars for America’s already immensely-bloated military?

Nothing about any kind of change in that.

The proposal could have been made by Hillary.

You create and sustain a massive military/security apparatus like America’s, and it takes on a life of its own.

And that’s where the American establishment’s real power is seen and felt, day-in, day-out.

You cannot run a huge empire and also a decent traditional society. It cannot be done. And whether the society has a superficial right or left tone makes absolutely no difference.

It’s like talking about Pepsi or Coke being best or being important in human affairs.

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Posted February 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SLOGANS AND PARTY PLATFORMS MATTER ALMOST NOT AT ALL – THE TRUE MEASURE OF A POTENTIAL LEADER IS HIS OR HER INTEGRITY

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Response to another reader’s comment about globalization, migration, and automation having made Labour’s traditional purpose a thing of the past.

Very true, however what really matters with leadership is not slogans or platforms.

It is integrity.

I think Corbyn has it.

Blair and his acolytes lack it entirely.

The truth is we are in a state of constant change now owing to technology.

No slogan or platform can alter that.

And it will only get worse.

But the people making decisions through that change remain important, at least at this stage of evolution.

My idea of a leader is the person who can be trusted with making decisions from a perspective which is large.

The Tony Blairs of this world are quite the opposite. Dishonest, bought-and-paid-for, and willing to be ruthless enough to see millions die.

 

 

Posted February 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESS BIAS, FAKE NEWS, DISHONEST JOURNALISM, TRUE COSTS OF KEEPING YOURSELF INFORMED, AND EVEN THE BIASED NATURE OF THE INFORMATION FROM INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MANUEL ROIG-FRANZIA AND PAUL FARHI IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Breitbart News Network, accused of being a mouthpiece for xenophobes, racists and misogynists – and thrown into the spotlight this week by the resignation of its poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos for remarks on paedophilia – is so right wing it makes Fox News look like the BBC. Now that its former boss Steve Bannon is Trump’s chief strategist, nothing stands between its extremist stance and US presidential policy.”

There is no such thing as an unbiased press, always and everywhere.

Whoever pays for a press organization plus whoever feeds it information – those are the people whose interests are served by the organization.

There are no exceptions.

If you read only The Independent or only The New York Times or only Pravda, you will, to a certainty, be misinformed on certain important matters.

Saying anything else is just pure fantasy.

So, in a sense, the critics of new press organizations like Breitbart are correct – it is biased – but they are also wrong because everything else you can possibly read is also biased.

The critics are telling a partial truth, a partial truth being by its very nature not the truth at all.

That is the fundamental reason why the whole “fake news” controversy is itself fake. It’s just a new slogan from one of several biased sources attacking others.

You know the old warning about how nothing is actually free, no matter what the advertising claims say otherwise?

Well, it is exactly the same with accurate information. No one is offering it to you free, or even at the very modest price of a daily newspaper. Just think of the great cost of higher education or superb skills training of any kind.

Information, accurate information, is costly, and not always being measured in currency. It is often measured in the hard effort needed to obtain it.

The only way a conscientious individual can try to be informed, on either politically sensitive or international policy matters, is to read, or listen to, a significant variety of sources.

You must then interpolate, taking into account what each of them is trying hide or feature, and judge roughly where truth is.

It is much what a juror must do in a criminal trial, listening to two sides make arguments in opposite directions. The juror judges everything from the tone of voice to the facial expressions to determine who may be telling truth.

Lawyers know, too, and quite famously, that eyewitnesses are often highly undependable, peoples’ perceptions and mental abilities to process them varying greatly, to say nothing of vast differences in the quality of memories. Yet jurors still must make a determination in a trial based at least in part on what they say.

As a citizen, you are in a sense a juror in a trial, the trial of the veracity of your own press and your own government.

We all understand that government does many things for which it has no mandate from the people. And we all understand that the commercial press almost always supports a government in these deceptive acts.

If you look back, you’ll have a hard time finding press organizations who worked against Tony Blair’s criminal invasion and mass murder. And the same for Lyndon Johnson when he first started the holocaust in Vietnam (eventually, about 3 million Vietnamese were slaughtered, and for nothing but embracing the wrong loyalty).

By the way, the method for getting at approximate truth would be the same even if you were getting information directly from folks like CIA or MI6, organizations which also have tremendous bias and always use their privileged positions to influence their audience of high government officials in the direction they want them to go.

So-called “big intelligence” is infamous both for offering what it knows high government officials want to hear and for using their intimate access to advocate for things they themselves desire. There is simply no known way of avoiding this inevitable set of behaviors.

That is one of the reasons why Trump does not hold these people in quite the same regard as they themselves think that they should be held. The truth is, President Kennedy felt exactly the same way about the CIA. He just didn’t have the kind of personality Trump has, one which just blurts out what he is thinking.

We have many historical examples demonstrating the fact of security service bias and dishonesty -e.g., the CIA during the height of the Cold War never got its annual estimates of the USSR even close to right. The reason: they always wanted large increases in budget for themselves and for the armed forces, and they got them.

Honest journalism? It simply does not exist. Free press? A wise man in America said many decades ago that the only way to have a free press is to own one.

 

Posted February 26, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME IMPORTANT DEFICIENCIES OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION – NO, DEAR PATRIOTS IT WAS NOT IMMACULATELY CONCEIVED AND IS NOT PERFECT – THE PRESIDENT’S ROLE AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF AND CONGRESS’S EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO DECLARE WAR

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RON PAUL IN RINF

 

Contrary to followers of the American Civic Religion – people otherwise known as Patriots – who embrace America’s Constitution as a document of almost scriptural perfection, I’ve long believed that it was written containing many flaws and mistakes.

Or, to put the best possible face on it, America’s Constitution was written in a time (1787) immensely different in character to our own and by men whose interests – including, importantly, rich slaveholding planters – were not those of the majority of people even then, let alone now.

Over time, a few flaws have been corrected – e.g., the election, rather than appointment, of Senators in 1913. Although even with that change, the method of election deliberately maintains some of the characteristics of the original appointment provision, as with the election of Senators being staggered in such a fashion as to protect that powerful body from being held accountable to public opinion at any given time.

But many flaws remain, such as the antiquated and anti-democratic Electoral College, the Founders, most of them by their own admissions, being no admirers of democracy.

I’ve always included the Constitution’s designation of the President as Commander-in-Chief as one of these flaws, a very serious one.

The Founders felt safe, as a balancing measure, giving Congress the sole power to declare war, but that has become an irrelevant provision.

None of America’s wars – colonial dirty wars, virtually every one of them – is started by formal declaration of Congress.

Posted February 26, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WRITER CLAIMS THERE ARE SHOCKING NEW POWERS FOR AMERICAN POLICE – I DON’T SEE HOW YOU COULD POSSIBLY MAKE AMERICAN POLICE ANY MORE UNPLEASANT AND THREATENING THAN THEY ALREADY ARE – AMERICA IS JUST AN EXTREMELY BRUTAL PLACE AND ALWAYS READY FOR WAR

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARGARET REGAN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“These are the shocking new powers police will have under Trump’s immigration measures” 

Sorry, but this author doesn’t know what she is writing about.

Police powers in the United States are, and have long been, frightening and extreme. That is nothing new.

Police kill about 1,100 people in the streets every year, plus wound many others, and there are almost no consequences for any of them, including those who shoot people in the back.

American police also ruthlessly employ RICO laws (anti-organized crime laws) to seize people’s personal effects, even when they are not the products of criminal activity. And they often do not return them.

They also routinely send in the armored guys in black suits to break down people’s front doors, sometimes in the middle of the night, ordering everyone to hit the floor and leaving them terrified. They do this sometimes on a mere malicious false tip about drugs. There’s even a word for doing this to someone as a dirty joke. It is called “swatting.”

Wake up to the fact that America is an extremely brutal place. I grew up there. I know.

That’s why the country is hyped and ready, at any time, to start some new killing abroad. Americans think nothing of it.

Posted February 24, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NEW HIGH HOMICIDE LEVELS IN SEVERAL AMERICAN CITIES – WHAT IS GOING ON?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ZERO HEDGE

 

“Homicides In 4 Cities Are Spiking to The Highest Levels In 20 Years”

I don’t pretend to know all of the causes, but I know for a fact that a majority of this violent activity is black-on-black. The statistics tell us this.

It is likely motivated by the drug trade and protection of territories.

Street drugs like heroin have increased markedly, and that reflects one thing primarily.

It is America’s war in Afghanistan, largely pointless and highly destructive, which has tremendously boosted the flow of heroin. We know this from a number of sources.

So, you can probably thank the US Army and the CIA.

Talk about Muslims being responsible, as I see in comments above, is completely uninformed and badly prejudiced.

The Taleban had drugs completely under control in Afghanistan before the US stupidly invaded, achieving nothing but a lot of death and whole new waves of drugs. After all, American official finance some of their operations off the books this way, and they also encourage various allied groups to assist by overlooking their drug activity.

It is just one more example of the in-built conflict between being a world imperial power pushing everyone around and having a government which concerns itself about its own people and having a decent society.

I had hoped Trump would be able to remedy some of America’s pointless imperial violence abroad, but it is beginning to look as though he’ll fail.

The unaccountable powers in Washington are that great, and they have almost unlimited resources.

Posted February 24, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COMMENTS ON “COLOR REVOLUTIONS” AND THE NEOCON WARS – AMERICA’S DESCENT INTO MADNESS – DARK AGE AHEAD – ISRAEL’S ROLE – TRUMP DOES NOT APPEAR ABLE TO CHANGE COURSE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“Moscow has managed to break the chain of color revolutions in the Middle East, the Russian defense minister said

The so-called “color revolutions” and the Neocon wars demonstrate that America has learned how to apply dirty tricks to world affairs on a grand scale.

It is a very disheartening development.

But we know even from ordinary life that there are people among us who only want to hurt and destroy, people with various mental disorders.

Most laws in most places work to restrain such people.

But now we have an unbelievably well-financed institution like CIA which not only employs such people, they do so on a large scale and in many countries.

Free rein for the kind of sick people every human population produces in some proportion while supplying them all the resources and encouragement needed.

Actually, one might think the original model for this came from Israel, a place which has done nothing but attack and abuse those who disagree with it for over half a century.

But, of course, it is always possible to forget what Israel really is. It is an American colony in the Middle East, nothing more but nothing less. It has been so since the beginning, serving much the same purposes British colonies in the region served in the days of the Raj.

The colony has also served as a kind of large-scale experiment in warfare and in the control of large hostile native populations, yielding many useful lessons for America’s power establishment, the kind of lessons militaries learn from testing new weapons and tactics in regional interventions, lessons to be applied later to larger theaters.

It is truly possible that a very dark age lies ahead in world affairs.

And I am sorry to say that in the case of the United States, the man I had hoped might be able to put a stop to some of it is starting to look as though he will fail, utterly.

Rather than draining the swamp, Trump seems to be drowning in it.

Posted February 21, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized