Archive for September 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLONIZING MARS – ELON MUSK THE LATEST IN A LIST OF ADVOCATES – WHY THIS IS AN IDEA WHICH REALLY MAKES NO SENSE EXCEPT IN BOYISH FANTASIES

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

“Elon Musk: SpaceX can colonise Mars and build moon base”

Musk is a very intelligent man, so what can you say of such a nonsense assertion?

Well, it keeps excitement going and likely keeps speculative investors investing.

Mars is a totally hostile environment, making even the most polluted earth imaginable look cozy by comparison.

Mars offers zero promise of anything except maybe minerals which could be better exploited by robots.

Yes, there are always adventurer types willing to go anywhere, and in the days of the New World being opened, they were important.

But we already know Mars in remarkable detail from all our robots and satellites.

It has almost no atmosphere. It is incredibly cold. Its surface is a vast wasteland which makes the Southwestern American desert look lush, and it now turns out that it is poisonous too.

The only possibility of any life would be bacteria under the surface. Future robots are infinitely more suited to discovering it than people.

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Posted September 30, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DONALD TRUMP’S PLAN TO OVERHAUL AMERICAN TAXES – MORE FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY AND MORE CORPORATE CONCENTRATION AND MORE IMPULSE FOR WAR – THE SERIOUS DANGERS TO US ALL THAT THIS REPRESENTS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SABRINA SIDDIQUI IN THE GUARDIAN

Donald Trump unveils ambitious plan to overhaul US tax system

The United States, right now, is running massive, massive deficits in its budgets.

And those are destined only add to the greatest heap of debt in recorded history.

At the same time, the great corporations of America are so unbelievably flush with cash, they don’t know what to do with it.

Of course, one of the things they will inevitably do is buy up other companies and extend themselves into still new areas.

Already, a number of them are troubling-sized multi-corporations, butting into every corner of our lives.

Also, at the same time, individual wealth in the United States has reached grotesque levels, and the division between wealth and poverty has grown frighteningly large.

Personal fortunes like those of Mr Microsoft or Mr Facebook or Mr Amazon are only possible under a tax system already badly axed by the likes of George Bush.

This all means not only great inequality, but, almost more importantly, it means vast concentration of power.

The United States already is more of a plutocracy than a democracy. It took a multi-billionaire to defeat the best-financed candidate in history, one who spent somewhere between $1.2 and $1.8 billion on her defeat.

Too many people in the United States do not appreciate the intimate connection between concentrating personal wealth and lack of democracy because of the deep attachment to the concept that what you earn is yours and yours alone. It is a very dangerous attitude over the long term.

I fear that these measures will only add to the horrors we see in the world. The American establishment – the plutocrats supported by their huge military-security establishment – has been on a non-stop tear for years to dominate everywhere, its Pentagon-generated slogan being, “full-spectrum dominance.”

Increased concentration of wealth in the United States threatens all of us long-term militarily but also economically. Financial instability in the United States has the capacity to put us all back into a Great Depression. Of course, Trump further adds to this possibility with his wolf-pack approach to international trade and destabilizing arbitrary acts.

And here comes boy genius Trump to say we need to pay even fewer taxes. He is playing what likely is the last round of a nasty game played by Republican leaders from Reagan through Bush, reduce taxes to gain votes but also to increase the flow of campaign finances from grateful billionaires, money so crucial to America’s money-drenched politics.

It is actually a nightmare scenario, and we are all going to be forced to live through its results.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THREE GUARDS SHOT AT AN ISRAELI SETTLEMENT – WHAT IS BEHIND SUCH ACTS OF VIOLENCE? – A FEW BRIEF NOTES ON THE TRUE EVENTS OF 1948

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Israel shooting: Palestinian kills three at Jewish settlement near occupied West Bank

All of the trouble and violence was started by Israel.

When you do what Israel has been doing in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, you can expect to make serious enemies.

How would the average person in Britain, or anywhere else, act if a bunch of bullies threw you off your farm or out of your house and simply stole it from you, setting up armed guards against your return? The men shot were guards.

And Israel just keeps this kind of ferocious and immoral activity up, using its American-supplied military muscle to abuse almost beyond our imagination.

Israel arrogantly ignores all pleas to behave otherwise, blubbering about democracy. Some democracy!
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Response to a comment offering a dishonest brief account of Israel’s birth:

That is a dishonest summary of what happened in 1948.

It was complex, not simple, and the yet-to-be Israelis were brutal then too, employing terror regularly with gangs of thugs like Irgun and Stern and Lehi, killing and raping to make Palestinians run away in terror.

Several later-to-be prime ministers were terrorists who killed many people. Begin and Shamir for example.

Israel was founded in terror, and it has never ceased to maintain (early Zionist) Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall rule towards the native people.

Those unbelievably-mistreated people of Gaza are only where they are because they fled terror in 1948.

The early Jewish terrorists wanted them all to leave the area completely, not caring what became of them, but large numbers huddled together around Gaza for safety, and the Jewish terrorists were not ready for mass killing on quite that scale.

The horrific publicity would have made American recognition impossible.

But the Iron Wall just keeps slowly moving out, crushing more unfortunates out of their property and lives.

It would be hard to think of a more painful, brutal injustice on the planet, one which just continues year after year, one largely ignored thanks to America’s massive and dishonest influence in the West.

Posted September 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GUARDIAN’S OFFICIAL PHONY-ANTI-SEMITISM ATTACK DOG (AKA JONATHAN FREEDLAND) ROARS BACK INTO ACTION ON CORBYN’S LABOUR PARTY

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN AND PROMPTLY REMOVED

Labour conference 2017: Jeremy Corbyn’s leader’s speech – Politics live

“Labour’s denial of antisemitism in its ranks leaves the party in a dark place’

That’s The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland in another article about Labour, an article on which we are not allowed to comment.

To my mind, that’s just the worst form of reverse prejudice.

That headline works to tar the party with an ugly accusation without the slightest indication of a fact.

I don’t see how The Guardian can go about in this fashion, claiming as it does to be a voice for the liberal spirit, yet making dark accusations without an ounce of proof.

America’s Senator Joseph McCarthy personified the very opposite of a liberal spirit, and just so anyone who copies his shabby behavior.

Posted September 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: KEN BURNS’ INSIPID VIETNAM FILM REVIEWED AGAIN IN THE GUARDIAN – MY FURTHER OBSERVATIONS ON AMERICA’S DELIBERATELY-ENGINEERED ASIAN HOLOCAUST

COMMENT POSTED TO A REVIEW BY TIM DOWLING IN THE GUARDIAN

The Vietnam War review – Ken Burns makes a complex story immediately comprehensible

This is the second review of Ken Burns in just a few days.

I cannot agree with this reviewer’s “The Vietnam War review – Ken Burns makes a complex story immediately comprehensible”

I am familiar with the work of Burns, and his glossy, pop documentaries cannot do what is claimed for a profound and disturbing event. Baseball, maybe. Hell, no, and the Vietnam War was a jump straight into hell.
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Response to a reader who said “After watching last night it struck me the real baddies were the French?”

The French were supported and encouraged and pushed every step of the way by America.

Nixon, as Vice-President, actually wanted to provide direct American air support for their efforts.

Eisenhower wasn’t having any of that because he always tried to avoid direct military colonial conflicts to preserve his image – it was under Eisenhower that the Allen Dulles’ CIA was heavily used to covertly attack people America didn’t like, from overthrowing democratic governments in Guatemala and Iran to other governments in a dozen other places. Old smiling Ike was responsible for the growth of the ugly CIA we see today.

Anyway, Eisenhower gave the French everything he thought he could, and by Kennedy’s election (1960), the CIA was deeply entrenched in Vietnam as were a fair number of military “advisors.” The (temporary) division of the country, after the French defeat and departure (1954), was itself an American-engineered business.

America wanted a pied-a-terre in mainland Asia, and the whole war which burst out with Lyndon Johnson was nothing more than an effort to establish that permanently. The military-intelligence establishment had been very frustrated by Kennedy’s approach to Vietnam. When he conveniently died, they had their man in Lyndon Johnson.

But he had to get elected on his own first, and he lied his way through doing that – remember the controversial ad of a young girl with a flower and an atomic explosion, an ad aimed at Barry Goldwater saying he was a threat to peace? – before starting the full-scale war he hungered for, wanting to be seen as a great war-president, a new Roosevelt, never dreaming America would be defeated.

The American establishment and leaders in Vietnam were very dark figures, evil, if anything deserves to be called that, but you will never hear that from insipid Ken Burns.

Posted September 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IRAQ’S KURDS – MY DISSECTION OF A PATHETIC ARTICLE BY THE GUARDIAN’S SIMON TISDALL PROMOTING THEIR INDEPENDENCE AND USING THE KIND OF WORDS THE PENTAGON MIGHT SUGGEST

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SIMON TISDALL IN THE GUARDIAN

“The Kurds of Iraq have been loyal allies. The west must repay its debt”
Kurdish independence is under threat from powerful neighbours. The west should not stand by and see this dream of self-rule crushed

Loyal allies? Loyal to what? American imperialism in the region? Debt for what? For helping America make a bloody mess of the place?

‘…the Kurds have proven loyal and valuable allies in the struggle against Islamic State”

What struggle with ISIS is the writer talking about?

The real one involving Syria and Russia or the shadow-play version involving the US and its coalition?

Yes, the US finally did some real bombing, after a few years of fake bombing, against ISIS in the last little while, but that was really only in preparation for its fallback plans in the region, having failed in Syria with its support for folks like ISIS and Al-Nusra.

There is nothing heroic or principled or even ethical in the American effort. And use of that loaded and outdated term, “the West” is just an appeal to sentiments from the Cold War that have no application here.

We should be grateful for an invasion which killed about a million people and destroyed a prosperous state for a generation? I don’t think so, but I’m sure Tony Blair agrees.

It did pretty much manage to destroy Iraq, and Iraq’s being split into mini-states was anticipated years ago in an expert book.

You see, the US wants to separate the truncated Iraq from its oil in the Kurdish area. It also wants to put this oil at the disposal of Israel. And it wants the Kurds in Syria to join in, truncating that state too.

The author is right that the Kurds have been badly treated, for sure, but one of those historically mistreating them was the US itself. Henry Kissinger succeeded in getting them to revolt against Saddam with promises and aid. When Saddam ruthlessly suppressed them, the US just watched.

I normally support referendums, but this one has no legitimacy. You see, Iraq is still occupied. Its affairs are manipulated, the US having built a fortress-like embassy/CIA operations center there which is the largest in the region. A vote has no legitimacy under those conditions.

Moreover, the combination of Turkey, Iran, and Syria are going to make it very hard for such a state to succeed. They each have their own reasons for opposing it.

By the way, if loyal allies” automatically deserve something, then the subsidized and trained mercenaries posed as radical Muslims of ISIS and al-Nusra surely also deserve something?

Lunacy begets only more lunacy.

Posted September 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CHARLIE ROSE’S RIDICULOUS INTERVIEW WITH HILLARY CLINTON – WHAT IT REALLY SHOWS US – AMERICA IN A BAD PLACE

COOMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

Hillary Again Says Putin ‘Kills Journalists’ – Charlie Rose Doesn’t Blink RI
So here his Hillary on his show Monday night with her truly delusional ideas about why she lost the election.

You don’t need to call him names.

Charlie Rose has always been a mediocre interviewer/journalist. He could only pass for deep in America.

His interviews, many years ago when I last heard him, always left you feeling as though you had heard a lot of inflated nothing, much like the feeling you get from eating a McDonald’s hamburger.

He spent years on PBS, and for anyone who really knows that insipid network, that pretty much says it all.

You cannot be a hard-hitting journalist on any American television network, much less PBS which is always just getting by fighting political battles in Washington over its very existence. Controversy simply is not allowed, unless its the kind of manufactured fantasy-controversy you get from a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump.

That Hillary still goes about speaking the way she does is pathetic. Here is a major American political figure with nothing to say except attacking a foreign leader and blaming every official in her own party and the last president’s government for her election loss. She is as devoid of real content as the McDonald’s hamburger.

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is an underlying theme in this shabby interview, a theme which literally is symbolic of contemporary America.

Nothing that really matters is ever discussed, from terrible domestic problems of poverty and racism to the horrible colonial wars which have killed and crippled millions and to the overwhelming role of big money in national politics which literally reduces the country to a plutocracy.

No, a national issue in today’s United States is whether football players are being Patriotic enough when they peacefully protest, their gesture being so mild and insignificant you’d miss it if you blinked.

America simply cannot tolerate real talk or criticism of any kind, and It lives in an intellectually-mushy environment of fantasy-problems and political correctness, except when the topic comes around to foreigners, whether foreign leaders who do not take their lead from America or migrants of any kind, all of them being pretty much regarded as horrible and undesirable.

This is an unhealthy national intellectual environment, to say the least. It perhaps reflects all the doubts and uncertainties Americans feel as they sense the coming of a new world, one which before too long will not regard America’s view as quite so important as it has been since WWII. That is a hard thing for any highly privileged and fortunate group to accept, their coming loss of privilege with a threatening set of changed circumstances clearly approaching.

A world where the views of other states are important, with compromises to be made and international arrangements and institutions for governing relationships, something which is highly repulsive to a large part of Americans, both Trump’s Trailer Park supporters and supporters of Hillary’s vicious War Party. In a word, the decline of the American Empire, something whose first indications can clearly be felt.

Posted September 27, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized