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Monthly Archives: November 2017

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NATALIE NOUGAYREDE IN THE GUARDIAN AND DELETED BY BUSY GUARDIAN EDITORS

“The US sanctions bill is a timebomb for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin”

A genuinely obnoxious piece of Russia-phobia.

“In Russia, propaganda-generated hope springs eternal, and no more so than at the news agency Tass”

Sorry, but I look at Tass each morning, and I recognize no such thing.

The remarks of some Russians quoted are in no way more out of touch than remarks you may easily find from American politicians, American politics at this time actually resembling a form of barely organized insanity.

‘Europe is wising up to the fact that its sanctions policy against Russia is “senseless and futile”’

Well, first that quote is simply right. There is a long list of major figures in Europe who have spoken out against the aggression of sanctions, including major figures in Germany and Italy.

Second, sanctions are senseless.

Europe and the entire Western world are threatened by economic problems. Does any thinking person believe that it makes sense to cut down trade at such times?

The Great Depression was in part induced by American legislation, the Smoot-Haley Bill, which cut into trade out of American protectionist sentiment.

Today, America’s insane protectionist legislation takes a different perspective. It is designed to sever as much as possible the natural economic relationship between resource-rich Russia and industrial Europe, especially Germany.

The truth is that from a long-term economic perspective, this much resembles peeing against the wind.

Europe is effectively occupied by the US, and the US establishment very much wants to keep it that way.

American sanctions have nothing to do with Russian aggression, although that is the pretense. The simple fact is that there has been none. But America’s $5 billion coup in Ukraine against an elected government, including support for hideous fascist groups like the Azov Battalion, is genuine aggression.

Russia’s entire response has been calm and reasonable in response to an act which was the equivalent of Russia’s creating a coup in Mexico. And we know the exact amount spent owing to the State Department’s big-mouthed Victoria Nuland being overheard.

America has willing helpers in its new aggressive effort, helpers in the form of NATO bureaucrats and writers like Ms. Nougayrede.

But in the end, they will fail because economic rationality prevails.

Nevertheless, they can cause a lot of trouble in the meantime. And writers like Ms. Nougayrede will applaud them every step of the way.

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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MAY BULMAN IN THE INDEPENDENT

“‘appallingly disproportionate’ number of black and minority ethnic children being arrested”

Please, this is a classic non-argument.

Disproportionate to what?

The author claims, as a hundred others have, disproportionate to share of population.

But that simplistic idea can never be our guiding principle.

Arrests and punishment must be proportionate to overall real criminal activity.

And, I’m sorry, but the stats – and not just the stats for Britain – just couldn’t be clearer.

Young black males commit a hugely disproportionate share of crimes, especially violent crimes.

This is true in every country for which I’ve seen stats. You may check them from countries as diverse as America, Jamaica, and South Africa.

But take the United States as an example since its black population is roughly equal to half of Britain’s entire population.

The millions of stats over many decades just could not be clearer: young black males commit violent crimes at about 8 times the rate of the rest of the population.

It has been suggested, and I think not without merit, that it is this very same propensity which has long driven young black males into such extremely physical sports as boxing or American football, sports in which they absolutely dominate, “out of all proportion.”

Readers may be interested in stats for just one large city. You find the same thing, in proportion to percentage of population in every American city, Baltimore at present being perhaps the most violent. But illustrated and well- maintained official stats, so far as I know, are only found for Chicago:

http://heyjackass.com/

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“the US Should Admit Its Crime [in Syria], Face Punishment”

While I agree completely with the sentiment, the words do not reflect reality.

The essence of imperial government is non-responsiveness to the mass of people.

Were the United States to accept the author’s view, where would it stop?

Vietnam? Cambodia? Iran? Guatemala? Panama? Somalia? Bahrain? Afghanistan? Cuba? Venezuela? Iraq? Libya? Palestine? Chile? Ukraine? the Philippines? Etc., etc.

A brutal imperial power that never looks back and never apologizes, and it is really little more responsive to its own people than to those in the foreign lands it abuses.

Although it certainly has a very great deal for which it should apologize, a vast trail of death and broken lives and broken countries over decades.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“The American Mind Melts Away”

Despite being an amusing line, I am not sure that “melts away” is the right verb.

Something more along the lines of “The American Mind Was Never There,” better fits the facts.

Americans are navel-gazers. Big kids who, for the most part, find anything outside the United States boring.

They are, as a whole, about as unsuited to the role of directing or governing world affairs as any people you could find.

That being said, however, the truth is that Americans do not direct anything.

The American power establishment very much does.

A plutocracy and some major lobbies supported by the massive resources of CIA and the Pentagon.

That’s who runs the world.

And the attitudes of ordinary Americans, certainly not discouraged by the establishment running their education and politics and entertainment, have nicely served the few in America who really do matter and who really do run things.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN HARRIS IN THE GUARDIAN

“Do we really want Mark Zuckerberg to run the world?”

I think the answer is obvious to all but a few senior people at The Guardian who push his name and presence relentlessly.

The plain truth is that thoughtful people don’t even want him running Facebook, one of the most abusive and dishonest mass sites on the Internet.

And what a tiresome shtick he has with the gray t-shirts and the imploring hands, almost like a tent-preacher or carnival pitchman.

The very fact that this man of such limited achievements – limited, of course, not in monetary terms but in absence of meaningful contribution and downright honesty – is talked up as presidential material should tell us what a sad state American politics have reached.

But I suppose that it would make little real difference.

It is clear, from the examples of two extremes of temperament and political inclination, Obama and Trump, how insignificant is the person sitting in the Oval Office when it comes to “running the world.”

American policy is on a kind of automatic pilot run by the power establishment in Washington – American plutocrats and major lobbies assisted by CIA and the Pentagon.

No one can turn that around in our lifetime, but sometimes it is nice to have fantasies, fantasies like Obama’s first days or Bernie Sanders.

But Zuckerberg doesn’t even offer that. It’s like pretending a cartoon character can pose as a hero, a cartoon character, moreover, who is proved a shady one.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry engagement – live updates

She’s pretty, but so what?

There are tens of thousands of pretty women.

He is handsome, but he is as thick as tree.

This is a hyped non-event.

I really do think the time has come, with Elizabeth’s passing, to pension-off this tiresome bunch.

Few even want Charles, but if the ancient idea of monarchy means anything, it must include the concept of succession.

Diana’s two boys are neither of them interesting in the least. The one is a pleasant smiling boring man, and the other, Harry, is clearly mentally off-balance as he has demonstrated so many times.

Why go on with a charade in the 21st century?

Pension the lot of them off, turn the palaces into public museums, and put in place a President in the fashion of many European parliamentary governments.

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2013/01/harry-is-prince-mad-he-does-have.html

http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2015/08/john-chuckman-grotesques-royal-family.html

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOV’T SLAVES

54 Years Later, the Same Reasons to Assassinate a President Remain the Same

Nonsense.

Kennedy was assassinated for a series of acts extremely hostile to the CIA and related power establishment interests.

He fired three top CIA officials, including the top of the house, a man regarded as a demi-god. He threatened further action against CIA. He compromised with Khrushchev on the Cuban Missile Crisis, promising not to invade Cuba and removing missiles from Turkey, and indeed established backchannel communications with him. He also began to establish backchannel communications with Castro. He also did not listen to Pentagon and CIA on immediately invading Cuba at the time of the Crisis, and a damned good thing since the Russian troops had armed Luna tactical nuclear missiles to protect themselves. Kennedy offended the Pentagon in these acts and further offended them when he signed executive orders the Pentagon did not agree with concerning Vietnam. Quite an anti-establishment load in 3 years.

Absolutely nothing of that kind is coming from Trump who, indeed, has demonstrated himself a coward when it comes to dealing with powerful elements of the establishment. You can’t name one act of his which in any serious way opposes those interests.

He has backed off time and time again, if indeed he was ever genuinely opposed in some matters as he suggested in his campaign that he was.

The CIA gets everything it wants. The Pentagon gets everything it wants. Israel, Washington’s most influential lobby, gets everything it wants.

Where’s the motive for his assassination? There is none.

He has proved an embarrassment to many with loud mouth and buffoonish behavior, but that isn’t the kind of thing which motivates powerful people to extreme measures.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A FILM REVIEW BY DAVID SMITH IN THE GUARDIAN

Churchill ‘in the year of Trump’: Darkest Hour feeds America’s love for Winston

I regard Gary Oldman as one of the finest screen actors of our time.

And I’m sure he did a fine job as Winston, but I won’t be seeing it.

In general, I don’t like actors mimicking figures I have embedded in memory.

As a child, I saw many documentaries (as the “Valiant Years”) and newsreels of Churchill and as an adult I read several major biographies as well as a good amount of his own writing, including his complete history of the war.

He is definitely embedded in my memory.

The reading though provides another reason to avoid the film. Never mind “darkest hour,” Churchill himself was actually in many respects a dark figure.

The popular image of the smiling face with cigar and hat, homburg or bowler, hand held in the victory sign, has become something of a democratic symbol.

And it served a real wartime purpose, but it was something of an act. He also frequently wore a top hat on big occasions, and that was perhaps closer to the essence of the man.

Churchill was not a democrat in his bones, not at all.

He was what he sometimes quite seriously called himself, “a great man,” and he was one of the most dedicated imperialists of his time, surely close to the opposite of a democrat.

He certainly had no qualms about applying brutality against those in the far-flung corners of empire who disagreed that British Crown should represent their identity.

His own writing contains some very disparaging comments about meeting the average voter when running for office.

There was no doubt about it, he provided a great wartime symbol, and of course, that is what the film features. But I can’t see, no matter how well done, a mimicry of what was itself a kind of dramatic acting role.

Outside of war, he was neither an inspiring nor particularly able leader in government, had many outdated notions and beliefs, and advocated some terrible policies.

The people understood that and turfed him after the war, despite the notion that should be grateful for his wartime role.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Unlike Donald Trump, I embraced being Time Person of the Year (a satire)

While likely very ego-satisfying, it is not a great distinction to be Time’s Person of the Year.

The old Luce Publications – Time and Life – reflected the American power establishment’s drives and tastes.

There was a close relationship between them and CIA. Luce had Allen Dulles, long-term Director of CIA, in his close social circle.

The publications were known as frequently-used covers for agents posing as reporters.

The magazines served as intermediaries for CIA various times in domestic transactions, as when Life bought the famous Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination which was then quickly analyzed in CIA labs.

The cover person was often someone CIA was actually trying to influence, with various other types, like artists or scientists, filling out the balance.

Muammar Gaddafi was on the cover several times.

Hitler enjoyed being Time’s Person of the Year in 1938.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY

Up to 30 gunmen under ISIS flag attacked Egypt mosque, killing 305 people – Public Prosecutor

I don’t see the motive for this attack.

We can make no sense of it without a motive.

We know what ISIS is about, and this attack does not, at first look, fit in.

The sponsors of ISIS – Saudi Arabia, America, Israel, Turkey, Britain, and France – have no motive for creating trouble in Egypt, a nation whose government is a fairly faithful American follower.

ISIS is not, and never was, an independent operation.

Were they others posing?

Was this a false flag attack?

I just don’t know.

As for Egypt’s air strikes afterward of “suspected terrorists,” this kind of military response is public relations and bravado.

And just ask yourself, if the Egyptian military actually where to able to target ‘terrorists,” why wait until after a disaster to strike? Wouldn’t that be irresponsible?

Likely just bunches of poor peasants killed by the Egyptian planes, in exactly the same fashion as American bombing in half a dozen countries does regularly.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN UNZ REVIEW

Boy, Is This Stupid or What?
Did the US allow ISIS to escape to keep the fighting going?

Well, you do have to consider that some say ISIS stands for Israel Security Intelligence Service and that its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is never found because he resides in Tel Aviv and they never look there.

Even if both are untrue, they still point to an important truth.

The operation in Syria has always been an American-Israeli one, part of America’s long march through the Middle East that has set fire to half a dozen countries. It manipulates and employs also the interests of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar – a grouping that is starting to fall apart – with Britain and France serving as secret willing helpers.

All the “international terror” events of recent years in Paris and London are in fact blowback from the secret participation of those countries, the work of young men who have lost family and friends in this dark state-terror operation and seek some vengeance. America and its allies then use such attacks to further fire up their own populations to keep supporting all the dirty work in the Mideast.

From time to time, America is ready to attack some ISIS elements for various reasons. Some have gone beyond their brief, some have outlived their usefulness, and sometimes really bad publicity demands a show. There is little real loyalty or sentimentality when you are dealing with cut-throat mercenaries and the world’s greatest terror state.

Ever notice how ISIS (aka Daesh) has never attacked Israel or Israeli interests or indeed the unbelievably corrupt princes of Saudi Arabia – all of which would be the prime targets of a genuine jihadi band?

Syria, again and again, has uncovered weapons caches with US or Israeli markings. And those pick-up trucks ISIS originally ran around in were supplied by Saudi Arabia. And who do you think pays all the salaries for those thugs? And supplies weapons and food and intelligence?

It’s all a big fraud, a very nasty fraud putting the lives of millions at risk.

ISIS is a tool, not a cause, a tool in America’s long campaign to literally pave over much of the Middle East so that its colony there feels secure and can dominate effortlessly.

With the extremes of bad publicity ISIS has had frequently, you can hardly expect its real benefactors to admit the truth.

First ISIS got rid of a government in Iraq the US hated. That didn’t take too much of an effort, and Iraqi troops running from them, leaving behind weapons like tanks, were undoubtedly all bribed to do so by America’s ally Saudi Arabia.

Then they turned and went back into Syria to try destroying a government there America and its colony, Israel, hate. But they have failed in their efforts.

So, the beautiful country of Syria was torn apart, historic sites destroyed, a people put through hell, about 400,000 were killed, and several million made refugees (almost destabilizing Europe) all for the American-Israeli notion of a new Middle East which should closely resemble some planned town in Disneyworld, complete with picket fences and barbecues.

That’s America today. Unbelievable that it still has a shred of decent reputation left anywhere. But good information is costly to obtain, whether in dollars or personal effort, and America’s press and Internet media, the convenient go-to sources of “information” for most people – along with various government agencies, such as the State Department – work hard constantly to promote myths and suppress truth in these matters.

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOV’T SLAVES

Seymour Hersh: Hillary Clinton Sold Nerve Gas To Syrian Terrorists To Use Them As an Excuse to Invade Syria

When Seymour, one of our last great investigative journalists, says it, you can pretty well bank in it.

I’ve always assumed Clinton-Obama somehow supplied nerve agent in limited amounts to Syrian phony-jihadi mercenaries. Obama’s talk about “red lines” was just clap trap to set up a large-scale American intervention.

But selling it? There’s an interesting and explained detail.

I’ve never doubted that the attack in Benghazi was part of this – blowback to the dark operations of collecting weapons and thugs to send to Syria, operations in which the murdered American Ambassador was involved.

“According to Zero Hedge: “By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.”

That particular bit from Zero Hedge leaves out Israel, always an important part of the Syrian dark operations and long a secret ally of Saudi Arabia in order to regain American favor following 9/11.
__________________

Response to a reader who said America is the number-one world terrorist:

That statement isn’t even controversial for those with a bit of knowledge.

20% of North Korea’s population wiped out by American carpet bombing in the early 1950s.

About 3 million Vietnamese were roasted, poisoned, and bombed in their own country.

A million Cambodians died in the “killing fields” after the US destabilized their neutral government.

About a half million Indonesians were hacked to death with the fall of Sukarno. The American State Department was in the business of supplying names for the slaughter.

A million killed in Iraq and a couple of million made refugees.

Going-on half a million killed by phony-jihadi mercenaries in Syria and several million refugees created.

Libya reduced to chaos.

Yemen experiencing horror after horror.

Bombing in Somalia.

The overthrow of a democratic government in Ukraine and the support of neo-Nazis and a needless civil war.

Turning Europe back into a Cold War status.

Boundless support for Israel as it practices its barbarities in Gaza and steals from people in the West Bank and Jerusalem and continues to hold millions as prisoners.

Support for a new tyrant in Egypt.

Support for the tyrant in Saudi Arabia.

Support for the tyrant in Bahrain.

Chile? Guatemala? Iran and its former democratic government? Trumped-up charges against Noriega in Panama?

Iran-Contra.

And on and on and on.

The world’s bully, perhaps worse now than ever.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON INVESTMENTWATCH

“GOOD-BY AMERICAN DREAM”

Sorry, but the expression “American Dream’ was never anything but an advertising slogan.

Yes, America for a while was a place like no other for making money and raising your status, but that has been over for a while.

Only with the complete flattening of all competitors in WWII did it have any meaning, but that time is over.

Competitors of every kind are now developing around the world.

The slogan can never have the same meaning.

Of course, a regrettable side effect of using this slogan was applying it to all things American, including its corrupt and not-very-democratic political system as though it were somehow responsible for all the bounties that were truly just the result of good luck.

When the phrase dies a natural death, it won’t be missed by anyone but ideologues and morons.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Bilbao on the prairie: why does tiny Saskatoon need an $85m art gallery?
Saskatoon’s awe-inspiring new Remai gallery has vast ambitions. But does the overspend and hype about indigenous art justify all the bluster?

Bilbao resembles a crash-landed spaceship.

It has no relationship with its surroundings.

Yet The Guardian keeps talking of a Bilbao Effect?

The building is essentially a memorial to wealthy family, a giant, self-indulgent monument or sculpture.

I just don’t see how you can talk of Saskatoon’s Remai gallery in similar terms.

Its total cost wouldn’t pay to keep the stainless steel polished at Bilbao.

And the building is in keeping with its site on the river with its low-slung profile and mainly earthy color.

It is undoubtedly a bit ambitious for the city, but not very at CDN$85 million.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/23/the-remai-effect-gallery-saskatoon-indigenous-art

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Francis Crick Institute’s £700m building ‘too noisy to concentrate’
Some of the 1,250 people working at the year-old laboratory say its open plan layout, designed to produce collaboration, makes it hard to focus on work

This is a striking building from outside.

But the design inside is not at all successful aesthetically, and, from what I know of other contemporary buildings with something of the kind, huge open spaces as the atrium area here, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if its noise levels were bad.

I’ve been in school buildings built in this fashion inside, and they absolutely failed their purpose and condemned generations of students to a poor learning environment.

Such a design inside also wastes a huge amount of potentially usable floor space and actually makes it awkward to move from one side of the building to the other.

I regard such efforts inside as violating a prime dictum of good architecture. Le Corbusier said a house is a machine for living, and of course it follows that such an institute is a machine for the activities of the institute, not a place just to gaze at other levels.

An internal design which makes it unnecessarily difficult to move around actually violates the purpose of this building stated to be a place where scientists work together to make breakthroughs. Work together? In an interior like this? I don’t think so.

And, of course noise levels only further defeat the purpose.

A sadly failed building, I think, but one with an extremely handsome presence on the street.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/21/francis-crick-institutes-700m-building-too-noisy-to-concentrate#comments

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Trump lashes out at UCLA basketball players: ‘I should have left them in jail’

Could you create a shabbier little international incident?

Idiotic American basketball players shoplift while visiting China.

By the way, in doing so, they idiotically confirm every stereotype we have about young black males.

An idiotic President of the United States calls high connections in China to get them out of a jail which they very much deserve to be in.

The idiotic President, of course, is concerned only with politics and appearances. If he were really concerned with things like corruption in Washington, he would never set this crummy example of misusing influence in high places.

The idiotic father of one of the idiotic basketball players, a man named LaVar Ball, criticizes the idiotic President instead of condemning his idiotic son, indeed suggesting something along the lines that shoplifting is no big deal.

So, the idiotic President responds publicly that he should have left them in jail.

Yes, indeed, you should have.

And could there be a better small example of how stupidly corrupt the United States is from top to bottom?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Michelle Obama: Sexual harassment allegations ‘make me sick’
Former first lady addressed growing number of men being accused of abuse and assault

What a tiresome woman Michelle is.

Always ready to step up to the microphone, even with nothing to say, which is more often the case than not.

Here, of course, she is just jumping on the popular press bandwagon, not saying anything original or helpful to anyone.

By the way, I read quite some time ago that the Obamas’ youngest daughter was serving as an intern in the Weinstein office.

Wonder what became of that?

Of course, the Obamas knew Weinstein well and fawned over him because he was a sizable campaign contributor to Democrats.

You could easily find photos of them fawning with the sexual criminal.

Judgment? None because there have been stories about this criminal for many years.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Joe Biden says we are living in ‘one of the most dangerous times in modern history’’

Oh please, that’s American televangelist stuff.

And the dangers we do face – Neocon Wars in the Middle East and treating Russia as a threat – were all created by folks like Joe Biden.

Biden is the insider’s insider in Washington. Flexible principles to meet the circumstances. The full embrace of American empire. Tool of lobby groups. And a man who has never really stood up to be counted on anything.

By the way, America’s hideous extrajudicial killing operation was strongly advocated for by Joe Biden. He helped sway Obama.

‘Do you think [Trump] really cares about the kids I grew up with in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as far as their economic well being?’

Now that statement comes close to being absurd in contemporary America.

Does Hillary Clinton care? Does Barack Obama care? Does Joe Biden care?

Well, if indeed they do, there’s little they’ve ever done to demonstrate it.

That Biden rhetoric I actually find quite offensive. Not because I think Trump needs defending, but because the rhetoric is so plainly fraudulent.

It harkens back to Democratic Party values from FDR to JFK, and it cheaply plays on those memories and emotions.

But those are not the values of today’s Democratic Party, not at all. The economic welfare of average Americans has not featured in American government for half a century.

Washington politicians long ago stopped talking about the “poor” or the “needy.” They long ago stopped talking about ruined cities that need rebuilding. Just listen to their speeches. They speak only of “the middle class,” and this is just as true for Democrats as it is for Republicans.

America has spent literally trillions and trillions of dollars for war and the dirty work of the CIA over the last half century as it marches off to various corners of the world enforcing its empire and making others toe its line.

Even a fraction of that money could have remade millions of lives in America. But guys like Biden have been quite content to support the whole ugly business, only using the old sentimental rhetoric when they want a vote.

And since America does not even really have the money to pay for all the horrors it inflicts on others, it does it by adding to the most titanic debt in human history. And just who do you think pays for that debt and its interest?

You’re wrong if you said Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or their many wealthy campaign contributors and lobbyist friends.

No, it is precisely the little people Biden is exploiting in his rhetoric who pay, who cannot avoid paying, who cannot afford high-end tax attorneys, who cannot use offshore tax shelters, and who do not have taxpayer-funded foundations.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DAVID MITCHELL IN THE GUARDIAN

“The Earth may not be flat, but it just might be doomed’

Well, what can I say?

In the 21st century, a presumably educated man writing about the notion some obscure people somewhere have that the earth is flat?

I have news for the writer, somewhere on earth you will find some people embracing almost anything you can imagine.

Humans are not completely rational. And we have a range of intelligences from brilliant to dullard. We are also the victims of all kinds of mental and emotional glitches, nature’s little random gifts and mistakes, from anxiety or paranoia or depression to various manias or psychopathy.

We are the product of a hugely complex evolutionary process, and many are also its innocent victims.

The Internet, like a gigantic supplementary memory serving everyone, keeps all the weird stuff we believe and imagine handy so that any eyes can read it or gaze on it.

But the stuff was always there. It is not new. It is not even remarkable.

After all, we have people believing there’s an old man with a beard up in the sky somewhere who takes a personal interest in each of our mostly uneventful little lives.

“because the Earth being round is a classic example of an issue where, unless you’re an astronaut, you sort of do have to take somebody’s word for it.”

That’s simply untrue. The spherical shape can be understood, but it requires a far better than average intelligence. Eratosthenes calculated a roughly accurate diameter of a spherical earth more than 22 centuries ago.

The information for many was simply not known or could not be grasped, but that is hardly remarkable given the variations in human minds.

What concerns me most about this article is that it quietly slips in something unpleasant which is becoming very popular in the corporate press, and that is that there is danger out there on the Internet and perhaps it needs some controlling.

That is an idea, anti-intellectual and politically-loaded, that is at least as foolish as, and probably more dangerous than, the idea that the earth is flat.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN TRUTH NEWS

Guardian, NYT Paint Power-Grabbing Saudi Dictator As Roguish, Visionary ‘Reformer’

The Guardian, under Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner, has become a key British voice for Israeli interests, a full working member of the Israel lobby in Britain.

You cannot but come to this conclusion if you read it for even a week.

For example, it conducted a long and multi-pronged attack against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party on the basis of completely unsubstantiated charges of anti-Semitism.

The real reason working against him is of course his reasonably balanced views on Israel and Palestine, a reason to hurt his chances of coming to power at all costs. With a deluge of comments and complaints about their McCarthyism against Corbyn, they backed off a bit, but still take regular little opportunities.

Every so often, we see plainly ridiculous articles like a Jewish person in Britain explaining why he or she is seeking to get the German citizenship to which they are entitled. I recall three of these over some months.

The Guardian regularly promotes, or tries to resurrect, Tony Blair, the best servant Israel ever had at 10 Downing with his help in destroying Iraq and receiving such rewards as the Israeli Peace Prize plus many sinecures for his dirty work.

Blair’s concept of “New Labour” – threatened by Corbyn’s leadership – actually at least in part amounted to a quiet pact with the Israel lobby in return for their vigorous support, both in campaign funds and press enthusiasm.

It all represents quite a turnaround from what the paper once was, a stolid and somewhat dull voice for working people and the Labour Party in Britain. Every issue of today’s Guardian includes material that can only be described as pamphlet-style advocacy for sympathy and support of Israel. Some dilute attempt is made to seem balanced, but it is in a ratio of maybe 1:10.

As for the New York Times, well, it wasn’t that long ago that the paper actually admitted that every story that it receives concerning Israel or Israeli interests actually is sent to the official Israel Censor’s Office for approval before running in The Times. So much for impartiality.

Of course, readers always understood, without the additional information, what a completely biased publication The Times is. Its flagship columnist, Thomas Friedman, is an embarrassingly biased advocate for Israel, as well as for the Pentagon too.

And the truth is simply that the new Saudi Crown Prince is Israel’s man in Saudi Arabia.

Readers may enjoy:
https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/john-chuckman-essay-what-is-really-going-on-in-saudi-arabia/

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOVERNMENT SLAVES

US-led war against ISIS is killing 31 times more civilians than claimed

Well, of course, we could start with the fact that America is largely responsible for ISIS and all of its horrors in the first place. The times it has actually fought ISIS involved opportunistic considerations, embarrassment by bad publicity, or changes along the way in its policy.

But, please, when has the US ever shown any concern for civilians in all of its ugly colonial wars?

In Vietnam? In Cambodia? In Somalia? In Libya? In Iraq? In Syria? Or in the genocides in Indonesia and Rwanda?

In North Korea during the early 1950s, American carpet bombing for three years was claimed by the Pentagon to have exterminated 20% of the entire population.

In Vietnam, at least 3 million people were killed for nothing.

America’s record, for those who care to investigate, is appalling.

Of course, the American corporate press rarely if ever hints at any of this.

The American government pats itself on the back in every speech for how good America is, for its values, for its humanity, etc. Every word of it, complete rubbish.

America, in fact, has killed many millions of people in the last half century. All of them needlessly.

John Chuckman

LETTER TO CBC RADIO’S THE HOUSE

What a complete waste of airtime and effort your show was this morning.

Just one tired NATO propagandist and apologist after another with absolutely nothing to say that hasn’t been said a hundred times.

All of them taking as truth America’s complete dishonesty about Ukraine.

Have things now under Justin Trudeau reached such an impoverished state that we must be subjected to this kind of intellectual nonsense?

America spent $5 billion destabilizing Ukraine – we know the exact number from former State Department official, the ugly-mouthed Victoria Nuland – and generated a coup against an elected government.

That is where the aggression is, not in any Russian response, all of which have been reasonable and moderate.

America’s efforts support Nazi-like outfits like the Azov Battalion and several doubtful political parties.

The government installed is so incompetent it alienated all the Ukraine’s Russian speakers (a huge minority) and resulted in civil war in the East. It actually tried to suppress the Russian language.

Russia’s entire record in this whole extremely provocative business has been balanced and reasonable. It might easily have sent tanks and planes into Ukraine and over-run it in two weeks. It did not. It never threatened to.

And while it accepted the appeal of Crimea, following a referendum, to rejoin Russia (in fact, part of Russia since Catherine the Great), it has not become involved in Donbas, the much larger mess created by the idiot coup-created Ukrainian government. It has accepted refugees and it has sent humanitarian assistance. It has not even recognized the self-declared government of Eastern Ukraine, although it would not be an inappropriate to do so at some point.

Please, I thought the title of the show was “The House.”

You might well have headlined this show: “America’s Defense of Its Interference in the Affairs of Others.”

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ACTIVIST POST

Retired FBI Agent Accuses 9/11 Commission of Lying About Saudi Connections

This is crap.

Not that I like Saudi Arabia, but we’ve known for years that they used to pay big bribes to bin Laden to stay out of Saudi Arabia.

He was much disliked there although his family was part of the establishment.

The payments had nothing to do with attacking New York. Nothing.

Although interests like Senator Charles Schumer would very much like you to believe that they did.

The Saudis were in bed with establishment families like the Bushes and did them all kinds of favors over the years.

They had no motive whatsoever to attack the United States.

Besides, nothing could be clearer from studying the facts than that those plane strikes alone could not possibly bring down the towers.

Whoever knew well in advance that those plane strikes would happen – and there was lots of time since those were elaborate plans for the plane strikes – used the event to bring down the towers with controlled demolitions.

The evidence is exceedingly convincing.

Readers may enjoy:
https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/john-chuckman-comment-the-saudis-and-911-a-fraudulent-theme-that-keeps-returning/

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON INVESTMENTWATCH

“Biggest Shooting In US History And We Have All These Unanswered Questions!“

The behavior of officials and law enforcement around this event is bizarre.

It is not at all clear what information is being suppressed, but information is certainly being suppressed.

But such behavior by officials seems to have become something quite ordinary in the United States.

That’s because there are so many ugly things going on behind the scenes that when an event like this happens, it becomes necessary to keep some information suppressed.

I embrace none of the more extreme notions around the shooting, but official behavior smells to high heaven, something which of course itself promotes extreme and fantastic notions.

America quite literally has become a strange country where many things are not what they seem.

Perhaps the watershed event leading to what we see routinely now was the Kennedy Assassination.

It has never been explained, and even the release of recent “documents” leads only to the question of why such unhelpful junk, which is what it mainly is, was ever made secret in the first place.

Government’s ability to successfully cover-up the facts in the public murder of a president bolstered its readiness and ability to use the same approach over and over, especially now that America has become a global imperial power engaged in many dark activities, at home and abroad, not intended to be explained to anyone.

The United States is embroiled in so many unwarranted foreign wars and plots now, suffering many failures and “blowback” events, it has a good deal to hide at any given time, and its permanent shadow government, the establishment and its military-security supporters, has a completely successful record now of hiding things.

You name it: the lies around Vietnam, the lies around Flight 800, the lies around 9/11, the lies around the Neocon Wars, the lies around Syria, the lies around Russia, it just goes on and on, and there is no authority from which to demand clarification.

A Donald Trump has proved that even a hard-driving outsider cannot crack the protective shell in Washington. Instead he has become part of the entire operation.

This is just what happens when you become an imperial power that feels it owes no explanations to anyone for its acts, and least of all to its own people, when the powerful and wealthy establishment of a country adjusts to playing God, as America’s very much has.

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

An Inconvenient Sequel – the science, history, and politics of climate change

“Al Gore’s new film is worth watching”

Oh, please, this man is one of the biggest hypocrites in America.

Ever had a look at his huge mansion with outdoor swimming pool on the edge of ocean-side cliffs?

The guy flies first-class on airliners all over the globe flogging his latest stuff.

Yet he manages to sound much like a humble Baptist preacher with his half-informed appeals.

There’s an old American expression used by ordinary people, “…as phony as a three-dollar bill.”

I think it applies perfectly to this American huckster.