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Category Archives: JOHN CHUCKMAN

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Well, it is about time.

The review facility on Amazon is quite valuable. I’ve always applauded Amazon for allowing reviews and making them virtually uncensored.

But it has been clear for quite some time that it is being abused.

Books or films of no merit get great praise – undoubtedly, coming from the author’s friends or colleagues or publisher.

These are not only of no help to any one, they crowd up the job of sorting through reviews to find meaningful ones.

I’ve written a good number myself, always making an effort to have them be genuinely helpful, so it is quite off-putting to see the flood of dishonest, unhelpful ones.

Go get ’em, Amazon.

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Response to a comment about Amazon not running critical reviews:

Haven’t experienced this at all. I’ve given the lowest ratings to both some books and some films. They were all published. The fact is one of the reasons I admire Amazon.

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Response to a comment about Amazon prices and a suggestion people not shop there:

Yes, but the selection on Amazon is unparalleled, and generally they deliver quickly. I also very much appreciate and use the offers for independent sellers, both in books and films whose prices sometimes much undercut Amazon’s. That’s also a rather brave approach.

Fake reviews generally are fairly easily spotted (although not always), but it takes time and effort to read through a number of them, making the whole facility less valuable.

We do now also very much have on Wikipedia the same business going on.

Articles stuffed with bias are deliberately posted by folks like the good old CIA or by the press agents for celebrities.

It is a little sad that the world has so many people who like to abuse and destroy. It’s why we have all those malicious codes on the Internet, and why in the end we have so many wars and conflicts.

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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TORONTO STAR

I nominate Sam Hammond as the most tiresome, uninteresting person in the news.

Drone, drone, drone – the same inaccurate phrases, over and over. Never a word that isn’t predictable, and all of it just about getting more, wrapped in insincere phrases about education and children. He’s about as engaging as an old Soviet apparatchik giving the official party line.

As a teacher, he undoubtedly put many students to sleep.

No teacher worth anything as a teacher could possibly threaten to strike against children.

Striking by teachers is effectively outright blackmail by playing with the anxieties of parents.

I only wish our politicians were not so cowardly.

If they even once called the bluff of intellectual stevedores like Hammond and took a strike, it wouldn’t last long and proper order would be restored.

Teachers are employees, already considerably overpaid in light of the qualifications they have: general BAs, no specialist knowledge, and an academically-worthless piece of paper from a teachers’ college where studies include unscientific notions and attitudes passed off as rigorous professional content. Half of them cannot even use a computer.

Not one elementary teacher out of ten could obtain a job with those meager qualifications that paid two-thirds of what they earn now. Many would find their next best opportunity to work at Wal-Mart. Moreover, nowhere could they obtain similar benefits and privileges, as twelve months pay for about nine months work and a six-hour day.

The economic pressure generated by teachers’ unions is only speeding the day when the current model of public school will literally collapse.

Our model is outdated, inefficient and costly, and there are several better ways of doing things.

Finally, it is just a hard fact that our Ontario public schools do not in any way stand out for achievement. They are nowhere near world-class while costing a great deal of money, almost all of it going to salaries and benefits.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO THE GUARDIAN

I’m happy for Mr Blatter.

I have no idea whether American corruption charges against other officials have any validity. After all, America lies to us pretty much around the clock about what it is doing in many things.

In a very real sense, there is no more corrupt organization than America’s government. Its members are the best government money can buy in a set of elections based on vast fortunes donated by special interests. Even much of America’s foreign policy is for sale.

I have no idea whether Blatter was aware of any corruption by others, but it doesn’t really matter.

I don’t think there can be any doubt that America had an agenda here to take away the World Cup from Russia. America really will stop at almost nothing to punish Russia’s rational response to an America’s induced coup and chaotic war in neighboring Ukraine.

Sometimes you even have to cheer for bad guys when the only option is a much greater bad guy.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Is there a sillier leader on the planet than David Cameron?

“Calamitous”? What an utterly inappropriate and inflated word to describe his own fears of losing office.

I won’t comment on Mr. Cameron’s handling of Britain’s domestic affairs, although my reading is that a great many people in the country are considerably less than charmed.

But Mr. Cameron’s record in running Britain’s foreign affairs is just a dreary and embarrassing series of daily salutes to Washington, each time asking, “Yes, Sir, what do you want me to say or do today?”

I didn’t think it possible that Tony Blair could ever be outshone in pure obsequiousness, but Cameron seems to be making a great and mighty effort to do so.

God, what a relief if a Labour-SNP coalition could put an end to that.