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John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH

Gun control: Felon accused of killing Chicago police commander

The writer simply doesn’t get it.

Well thought-out gun control works.

Just study Canada’s or Britain’s violent crime rates compared to America’s, and that’s with fairly heavy influxes of migrants, something so often (incorrectly) disparaged in the United States as contributing to big increases in violence.

Poor Chicago with its fairly strict gun laws is an island in a sea of American gun lawlessness. Just drive to another state and bring in a trunk-load of weapons to sell or distribute. Or just order on-line. Or have a friend mail you some guns.

They try, but it’s a bit hopeless when you literally are surrounded by lunacy.

Thoughtless people like the author of this article then take the city as an example of how misdirected gun control is. This is a case of deducing from nonsense assumptions.
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Response to a rather bizarre comment from a reader:

Your words are pathetic.

You clearly didn’t even understand what I wrote.

Our rates of violent crime and Britain’s are still extremely low compared to America’s.

“multicultural infestation”? God, what ugly words. You sound like either an Israeli settler or a member of some American Aryan “Church.”
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Response to a comment saying “Unfortunately the anti-gun-control side makes a very valid point too though: If a second Hitler or Stalin takes over the government, would you rather have all guns on the side of the population, or would you rather have an armed population that can fight back?”

Sorry, but I just cannot grasp how anyone accepts this Hitler/Stalin-type argument, although it appears with some frequency in America.

First, America’s governments are so massively armed that some clowns out in the street with rifles and shotguns or even machine guns would provide nothing but target practice.

A National Guard in every state loaded with all kinds of weapons, including armored cars and small air forces.

State police. County police. City police, and some of these have the equivalent of military weapons.

Then there’s national armed forces equipped to obliterate anything or anyone. A huge armed force.

Then there’s all the American security agencies – 17 of them in total, all armed.

By the way, these security agencies have been allowed to become so intrusive that every e-mail or text you send, every phone call you place is recorded by the NSA’s supercomputer centers. They know all your friends and contacts and family. This is even further reinforced by the data dumps of smarmy Facebook and Google who send NSA all the information you reveal about yourself on their sites and services.

Before long you will have to go through TSA inspection to take an inter-city bus or train. All of your personal information from library books checked-out to employment records are open to the FBI. Do you not understand that this huge pile of information, all collated and cross-checked in super-computers, will be used from now on to check on people and what they are doing, to identify “rebels” or “rebel movements” long before there can be any gatherings in streets?

Information is a powerful weapon, and your government has it, and you don’t. East Germany’s once-dreaded Stasi already looks like a gang of amateurs compared to what Americans now live under.

Americans are, whether they know it or not, likely the world’s most overwhelmed people with massive armies and weapons surrounding them and controlled by their government. Russia doesn’t even compare. It much resembles the situation of Palestinians versus the occupying Israeli army.

And you really believe putting on some camouflage and heading out with a weapon could intimidate a tyrannous American government?

You have to be on drugs to believe that silly idea.

Good God, you had revolts enough times in the US – Detroit, LA, etc. – and they all ended the same way with dozens of people shot dead in the streets. Forty-odd people were shot on the streets of Detroit in 1967, and that was just with the local National Guard operating.

And just day to day, recent research has finally revealed how many people in America are killed by their own police – over 1,100 per year. I don’t see how guns have ever had any effect on the slaughter.

In an extreme example, the bunch of far-out people at Waco were armed to the teeth with quite heavy weapons. They all died, and died miserably.

Americans are occupied by their own government, yet they seem blithely unaware of it.

Talk about opposing tyranny is a bad joke.

By the way, you’ve already had some destructive, horrible leaders – the example of Lyndon Johnson being a strong one. He started a major war, stole elections, did countless crooked deals, was likely complicit in Kennedy’s assassination, was definitely complicit in Israel’s 1967 War and the attack on the USS Liberty.

And what band of Patriots confronted him? Zero.

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John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Mueller investigation: Thirteen Russians charged with interfering in US election
The charges are the most direct allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling in the election”

Just trivial nonsense.

I don’t know whether Mueller is misguided or whether, far more likely, he is serving the interests who want to keep this nonsense going, and those interests are not just Democrats. Indeed, the Democrats have hitched themselves to this whole phony story only because they know other powerful interests are at work on Russia for far different reasons than mock concern over the integrity of elections. Why not just go along for the ride? And they have.

Those other powerful interests are the American security services and military. The whole tone of “Russia as sneaky enemy” has to be maintained in the New Cold War, a very serious project which includes everything from running tanks up the Russian border and spending new fortunes on weapons to a dangerous new statement of America’s nuclear weapons posture.

And the stupidest aspect of all this is that charges of interfering in elections comes from the very country which incessantly does more of it than anyone on the planet.

The American security services not only pay pensions to select politicians and work to discredit others in a constellation of countries, but of course actually overthrow selected governments, including elected ones, as they did in Ukraine and as they are trying now to do in Venezuela.

The United States also highhandedly pressures governments, as in Europe, to follow American direction, even when that direction is wrongheaded, as in the Middle East. All that bombing and killing in the Middle East drove Europe’s refugee crisis, as I’m sure the major European politicians understand but are afraid to say.

Amazing testimony to democratic and human values, isn’t it, when major countries cannot speak the truth to their own people? But Joe Biden – that smiling buddy of smiling Obama – only recently was embarrassingly frank on the subject of pressuring European allies. Obama himself spoke once of having to do a little leaning on allies to do as America wanted them to do. That isn’t leadership, that’s autocracy.

By comparison, we have trivial accusations about the release of embarrassing information through the agency of Russia, a function many might call investigative reporting, something the corporate press does not even attempt anymore.

Whoever obtained that information is known to Julian Assange, but Assange is effectively held in minimum security prison on trumped-up charges, again certainly under pressure from Washington.

We already know from Assange the information did not come from Russia. We also have very strong reason to believe it was the work of a disillusioned Democrat idealist, Seth Rich, who downloaded the embarrassing files and gave them to Wikileaks. That fine young man paid with his life.

As for the “dossier,” it has always been a transparent fraud, although it may well be peppered with some truths, as all good frauds tend to be. The Democrats paid or helped pay for that dossier. Now, there’s something to be properly investigated concerning election interference, but we see little sign of that so far.

Please recall how Hillary said something enlightened about Assange along the lines of “can’t we just drone him or something?” Almost as bloodthirsty as her infamous words after the murder of Libya’s Gaddafi, an ugly business she helped engineer under Obama. That is how dedicated to truth Washington’s crowd of scum politicians are.

After all, when you are pursuing world dominance, playing all kinds of dirty tricks, threatening and attacking all kinds of people, there is not a lot of room left for truth. You are busy hiding all your ugly, law-breaking activities like paying cutthroats in Syria or Libya or Ukraine and ignoring all norms of international law. That is the primary reason we live in a tissue of lies, and our press, without exception, manipulates and distorts what readers and listeners receive.

Where have we seen one shred of real evidence about Russian interference?

We haven’t. Not a scrap of anything a court would call evidence.

Yet right this moment, Washington is not only actively interfering in the internal affairs of a number of countries, it is busy bombing or arming others. It occupies a portion of Syria, completely against the will of Syria’s government and for the only purpose of trying to see part of the country broken off to serve the interests of that other lawless nation, Israel. It encourages and arms Saudi Arabia for its blood-soaked war on Yemen. It allows Israel to carry right on with appalling abuses.

By the way, in the end, underlying cause of America’s phony Russia hysteria is in America’s imperial ambitions and in its twisted relationship with Israel. The United States dislikes Russia because it is the only country capable of obliterating America, and American generals want things arranged so they are the only ones capable of obliterating anyone.

Israel also very much does not like Russia for standing in the way of the Mideast plans it has long ago worked out with the United States, plans which have included a long march of terror and war to build “a new Middle East” to Israel’s advantage. Israel also is a great booster of an all-dominant American military because it sees in that an additional line of protection for its various dark projects in the Middle East.

Talk about interfering in the affairs of others and constantly lying about it, the Neocon Wars are our greatest contemporary example. I can’t imagine any form of interference which exceeds killing a couple of million people, turning millions into desperate refugees, and dismembering several states.

So, I think the root cause of the nonsense about Russia is not just asinine Washington politics – Democrats versus Republicans and Trump acolytes versus traditional party people – although our press does enjoy diverting the public’s attention with such games. The real cause is Washington’s ongoing brutal imperial march, in lockstep with its Mideast colony, to rule the planet and leave everyone else intimidated.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“Abominably, European government officials are willing to risk plunging millions of citizens into a war with Russia based on lies and warped, self-serving prejudices.”
Halbe Zijlstra quit in shame on Monday as the country’s foreign minister after admitting that a story he had peddled about personally hearing Putin plotting to create a “greater Russia” was false.

The Dutch are a supreme disappointment these days.

They have always been one of my more admired people.

A great epic history. Fantastic industry and invention. And simply wonderful painting. All from a small country whose land is about a third recovered from the sea.

But now that they are so constrained by America’s imperial grip, they do shameful thing after shameful thing – at an official level.

This terrible lie by the Dutch Foreign Minister at such a troubled time. Yes, he’s gone, but I’m sure he did a lot of damage.

The Dutch air crash investigators looking into MH-17 have utterly shamed themselves with shady statements, half-truths, and incomplete efforts.

The very people you might have thought would conduct an honorable and competent investigation, but they have not. Just shameful.

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

“US: Calls for Lorde’s show to be cancelled over support for BDS”

Well, I do think all fair-minded people know who is right here and who is wrong.

Advocating BDS is a peaceful form of protest against an oppressive government. Boycotts have long been accepted as a legitimate form of protest.

Calling for the cancellation of a show because of the performer’s political views is just another form of oppression.
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Response to a comment about picking on Israel and ignoring others:

Specious nonsense.

Of course, there are other oppressive places, but Israel’s handiwork is right before our eyes with horrors like the Gaza concentration camp. And it claims to be an enlightened, democratic place, unlike so many others of the world’s abusive states.

Every Israeli should be ashamed.
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Response to a comment saying “I never heard of a concentration camp that has a 5-star hotel and shopping malls…Facts do not lie Muslims and their supporters do”:

You are a hopeless idiot to write such things.

We have lots of good sources of information about Gaza.

I don’t use words like “concentration camp” lightly.

Israel still doesn’t permit many needed supplies to repair the unsanitary mess from your last cowardly invasion with bombing runs.

Imagine, bombing runs over one of the world’s more densely populated areas?

And scores of charming Israelis were photographed sitting on lawn chairs up on the heights enjoying the bombing runs like holiday fireworks. All while many, many children died below.

I also saw pictures of some ground locations in Gaza with pools of blood running like flooding down the pavement.

And you’ve kept Gaza electricity supplies to a painful minimum for a long time. Who can live modern life without electricity? And the needs of hospitals? But you care about those as much as you care about some flies stuck to a piece of flypaper.

In your last two invasions, you killed about 4,000 people, including, to your eternal shame about a thousand children. When your ugly machinegun-toting settlers – a handful of lunatics from New York or London – left their barbed wire enclosures inside Gaza some years ago, they actually poisoned the wells for some of the limited fresh water supply.

You also sprayed large swathes of Gaza’s perimeter with nasty herbicides too, just right for more long-term damage to children. We know what America’s use of Agent Orange did in Vietnam. Still maiming and killing to this day.

And some of your worst savages were actually dumping their sewerage onto parts of Gaza.

Of course, any fisherman from Gaza is allowed only the smallest area from which to try to catch fish as their ancestors have for thousands of years. Israeli gun boats fire machine guns on them.

Your Gaza concentration camp is surrounded by towers with automated, radar operated machine guns, too. What civilized person on earth would do that?

And did you know that in the original blockade of imports, Israel actually had calculated exactly how many calories were needed to keep a person just alive? It was the resulting amount of food that was allowed to be imported. That’s why there were no chocolate bars in Gaza for a while.

Only intense international pressure behind the scenes put a halt to that Nazi-like policy. The blockade is still immoral and, truly, illegal, and creates countless hardships, but at least it no longer aims at starving-out a whole people.

When some peaceful, unarmed people on ships tried to bring needed supplies to Gaza by sea, your military savagely attacked them, killing about ten of them and then stole all their possessions. My, you do have a lot to be proud of. You came to a paradise and created hell.

Look, every informed person knows you just want them gone. You couldn’t care less if they all died. You seem to have many citizens who would gladly do the dirty work themselves (Oh, we have read some savage statements from prominent Israelis, including politicians and rabbis), but you just don’t want to be held accountable for doing so. General Dayan brutally said, in connection with your deliberately-engineered War of 1967, that if we (Israelis) made the Palestinians miserable enough, they would eventually leave.

And that’s just what you’ve done for half a century. That summarizes Israel’s policy. All these years later, you hold millions in abuse and oppression still. You want the land, minus the people.

And, like the cowards you are, you hide behind the skirts of the United States while doing so.

You know, your silly efforts to post slogans from the Official Handbook of Israel’s Ministry of Truth influences no one. Your words are as dishonest as your Prime Minister. But I guess it earns unemployed Israeli students a few shekels a day to keep posting them as part of the government’s idiotic organized effort to influence others on the Internet.

All Israelis should be ashamed of what has been done in their name.

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“The Israel Lobby – an ‘Epidemic’ of Wholesale Corruption”

It is important to understand that the damage done in America to honest and open politics is largely self-inflicted.

The fault is in America’s campaign finance laws as well as its laws governing lobbying.

The system is totally corrupt, and it serves as an open door to outfits like the Israel Lobby. But the Congress has no incentive to change things because it quite literally heavily benefits from the way things are arranged. It would also take a massive and uncomfortable adjustment to change the system.

Imagine a national Supreme Court ruling that money is the same thing as free speech?

Well, that is just what happened in America after years of Congressional and Presidential efforts to make it so and of appointments of judges who strain to guide affairs according to an inflexible interpretation of scripture-like ancient text rather than guiding the affairs of a modern, advanced state.

What America gets, and it really is no exaggeration, is “the best government money can buy.”

The Israeli Lobby is only one of the most intense and persistent. There are many others – as for defense contractors – also doing serious long-term damage to the country.

This isn’t democracy, it isn’t ethical or moral, and it isn’t even sane.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JULIAN BAGGINI IN THE GUARDIAN

“Is the Illuminati running the world? Maybe it’s not such a mad idea
Questioning the hidden power of elites – whether big pharma or secret societies – is really quite sane”

“Is the Illuminati running the world?”

I don’t like using that word, “illuminati,” for the elites because it’s the word mostly used by a seriously unbalanced crowd on the Internet.

But the simple truth is that, despite all our revolutions and changes over centuries, money still rules everywhere in the West, and many government institutions are dedicated to serving its interests.

The Deep State – very much a reality – is just the set of powerful government agencies – security and military – working to protect and promote the interests of our plutocrats and wealthy special interests.

A great part of government’s serious work is on behalf of these people, not on behalf of the average voter. Voters are given some things so they will continue accepting the whole set-up, but only enough so they don’t go out and start revolutions or radical movements.

All the trappings of our Western democracies are just that, trappings.

All of our “democracies” are structured to make sure democratic values do not “get out of hand,” as seen from the viewpoint of the wealthy and privileged.

A prime minister in Britain can rule a “majority” government with the support of 35% of the people.

An American presidential election is like a marketing contest between two brands of cola. No matter which you choose, what you get is a container of dyed, sweet, fizzy water. Both parties are just subdivisions of the American Imperial Party. America gets the best government money can buy, the money being supplied by the wealthy and by special interests.

No one ever objects to meaningless wars – not an Obama, not a Clinton, not a Pelosi, not a Biden, and certainly not any Republicans. And no one ever consults the people before launching wars killing millions.

Horrible injustices and ghastly tyrants are tolerated because they represent the interests of powerful lobbies.

Our press – which likes to proclaim integrity – only serves the government of the day and the powerful interests which put it there. It almost never even tries to explain what really is going on in places like Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, etc – let alone Westminster or Washington.

So, we have an elaborate stage play or illusion of being informed so that we can be voters in a democracy, but we mostly are not informed – unless you make a great effort at informing yourself by comparing sources but even then, much will be out of your reach.

Our elections are races between two collections of money, money which comes from people who very much expect something back. The votes are cast by voters who mostly have no idea of what is actually going on in foreign or domestic affairs but who respond to a deluge of advertising, slogans, ghost-written speeches, and photo-ops.

There is very much a Deep State. It remains rather in the shadows so voters do not come to understand that things really haven’t changed immensely from the days of Louis XIV so far as who actually controls what.

The plutocrats today are not exactly like the old dukes with great inherited estates, but they aren’t all that terribly different, only their wealth comes in different forms. The apparatus of state still largely serves them, not you.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Speaking at Dubai’s World Government Summit, De Niro told a packed audience he was visiting from a “backward” country suffering from “temporary insanity.”
The actor said that, in the country he was describing, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency had recently suggested global warming may be a good thing for humanity.

Well, De Niro is certainly an expert, isn’t he?

World-renowned expert on climate, to be sure.

But when he speaks more generally of “America as a ‘backward’ country suffering ‘temporary insanity,'” he is certainly right.

The only trouble is that it isn’t “temporary,” and it certainly isn’t just Trump, as De Niro’s statement implies, although I think we can all agree Trump does exhibit definite symptoms of a kind of insanity.

The Pentagon’s just-published “2018 Nuclear Posture Review” is, without a doubt, the most dangerous thing the United States has done in years. Although it is not Trump’s work, and I think it important to understand that, he certainly supports it, as he supports every action from the Pentagon and the CIA.

And when you add to the dangerous words of the Review, all the new aggression displayed towards Russia (started in Obama’s time, absolutely) and against China and against Iran, you have the most reckless and threatening new situation facing humanity.

Incidentally, I have not seen one word of objection to this Review (or, for that matter, to steps taken against Russia) from Obama, or Clinton, or Pelosi, or Biden, or any other well-known Democrat, and certainly not from any Republicans.

Just as none of them objected – and, indeed, did quite the opposite – to fifteen years of bloody Neocon Wars ravaging the Middle East and killing a couple of million people. Not one of them objected.

And look at the destructive idiocy still going on in Afghanistan. Fifteen years of slaughter and brutality, and it is still being expanded, all of it to no meaningful purpose. There are no objections, none from anyone.

All of America’s major politicians are on-board the imperial bandwagon as it rolls along crushing countless bodies under its massive wheels, all of them. The red stripes on the American flag today stand for more blood than ever before, other people’s blood.

The blood flows and the destruction continues no matter who is president. Only were the Congress to rise up against the powers of the Pentagon and the CIA and great lobbies, in a literal democratic revolt, would we see any change, and really what are the chances of that? You might as well talk of Harvey Weinstein getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Congress, every member of it, literally is groomed by special interests. They, all of them, have become extremely comfortable with special interests – whether defense contractors or destructive lobbies like that for Israel – and virtually none of them shows any independence. Meaningless movements like the Tea Party come and go or Trump’s comic-book battle with “the swamp,” and nothing changes.

As for De Niro – as with so many Hollywood actors who today regularly offer their political and geopolitical advice to us – I can only agree with the late writer, Truman Capote, who said he found actors tended to be quite dumb, the better the actor, the dumber. And he knew because he did a lot of work in Hollywood.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN NAUGHTON IN THE GUARDIAN

Theresa May thinks Facebook will police itself?
The PM has joined the social media ‘techlash’, but only new laws, not pious aspirations, will make a difference

“… and in particular the way they are allowing their users to pollute the public sphere with extremist rhetoric, hate speech, trolling and multipurpose abusiveness”

Very worrying statement for all those who embrace freedom of thought and expression.

“…pollute the public sphere…” sounds much like something from a Soviet Commissar or a Nazi Gauleiter.

No one in his right mind would trust someone like Theresa May or Tony Blair or the editor of this newspaper to police the internet.

In the matter of human freedom, it is always better to err on the side the internet giants now perhaps err on.

When it comes to Facebook, that most appalling of social media, the kind of stuff being talked of is the very least of its sins.

This is a genuinely controlling, high-handed, and almost police-state device by its very design and way of operating.

The way it treats all of its members and its dishonesty are what is most troubling, not the fact that it may contain this or that unacceptable postings by some reckonings.

But that doesn’t bother the establishment. No, what bothers them is that there are people saying things with which they disagree.
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Response to a comment about people subjected to all the name-calling on sites:

Well, this very newspaper conducted a long campaign of unwarranted name-calling.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARY DEJEVSKY IN THE INDEPENDENT

Iran is extending its regional power in Syria – this is Israel’s worst nightmare
The prospect of Iran having a direct corridor to its borders, and even military facilities inside Syria, not to mention the possibility of being able to link up directly with Hezbollah, is Israel’s current nightmare – and it has started issuing explicit warnings to this effect

It’s only a nightmare because Israel deliberately chooses to make it one.

Iran is a very large country – more people than any European country except Germany – and it is potentially a very wealthy one.

It is completely normal and natural for them to have contacts and arrangements and alliances throughout the region.

Why would any thinking person think of them as being somehow less worthy of relationships and influence among their neighbors than, say, France?

And what, in fact, Iran has done in Syria is to fight genuine terror, doing so at the invitation of the Syrian government. This of course contrasts rather sharply with American and Saudi and Israeli sponsorship of the very same terror, using it as a way to topple a government they do not like and to effectively partition the country.

Israel arbitrarily decided long ago that Iran was its enemy. Why would that be?

Not because Iran has ever threatened Israel because it has not, although the lunatic now running Israel has very much threatened Iran.

And look at the historical record. Iran has attacked no one in its modern history. No one.

Israel, by contrast, has literally attacked every neighbor that it has, some of them two or more times. Israel has also been the whispering voice behind America’s terrible Neocon Wars which have killed a couple of million people and destroyed several countries.

Israel’s behavior is based on the idea that it should be the region’s hegemon, despite its tiny population the size of London.

That automatically means that a very large and potentially powerful country like Iran is branded an enemy.

With this arbitrary view of Israel’s, there is a kind of anti-physics which comes into play in which a very small state feels that it should have a far larger state orbiting it. It is not unlike the idea of the Middle Ages’ scholastics that the sun and other large celestial bodies orbit the earth.

It is ridiculous, of course, but it is very dangerous and it only gains any traction because Israel’s subsidizing “mother country” pretty well does what is demanded of it in the region, as with the terribly destructive Neocon Wars.

It is about time for the international community to pressure Israel into living as a normal state, to stop threatening and attacking all its neighbors. That is the only real solution to the problems Israel generates in the region.

Iran is not going to attack Israel, but what we should all fear from concern for peace and decency is Israel’s attacking Iran or manipulating the United States into doing so.

Trump’s recent rhetoric about this absolutely law-abiding state is frightening. Everyone knows they have scrupulously kept their word on the nuclear agreement.

Just as everyone knows Israel has broken every international law and agreement on the books with its nuclear weapons and threats, as well as its nuclear proliferation work with the old Nationalist South African government, which briefly and secretly became a minor nuclear power thanks to Israel.

This kind of discussion of Israel’s fears is really not helpful at all.

We need to be less concerned with Israel’s endless and consuming fears (which are unwarranted and indeed used as a constant excuse to hurt others) and become more concerned with its behaving like a normal state honoring the rule of law.

Isn’t it time, too, to stop making the innocent people of the Middle east pay for what a European people (the Germans) did to another European people (the Askenazi Jews) three-quarters of a century ago? None of the Holocaust had anything to do with the Middle East.

There are many examples in history which closely resemble Israel’s threatening behavior towards Iran, examples which are extremely destructive and should provide us with a warning.

The Nazis claimed, from the beginning, that Russia (then the USSR) was a threat to Europe and the West. Using this fear/excuse, they launched the most destructive event in all of human history when they invaded Russia, eventually killing 27 million Soviets and millions of their own.

I think the parallels with Israel’s attitudes, statements, and threats towards Iran are clear.
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Response to a comment “The tyrannical Ayatollah regime has been creating havoc across the region”:

Thanks, Tel Aviv, but every informed reader recognizes the truth.

It is Israel that has generated endless war and turmoil for decades, invading everyone it does not like.

And please show us the millions who live under illegal occupation by Iran the way we clearly see millions living under Israel’s illegal occupation?

When was the last time a bunch of Iranians ran onto someone else’s farm or home and just stole it? It does not happen, but in Israel it is regular criminal event.

And, of course, show us anything Iran does that possibly compares to the hideous concentration camp for a million-and-a-half that Israel has made of Gaza?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

George W Bush: ‘There’s pretty clear evidence Russia meddled’ in US election won by Trump
Vladimir Putin ‘only thinks about how he can win’, says former President

Monkey-brain speaks, and you quote him?

Bush was the greatest case we have in modern history of high achievement by someone with a serious deficit of intellect.

Of course, he didn’t do it alone. He was buoyed by waves of American plutocratic and imperial interests (After all, Bush’s father, Prescott was a wealthy man and one of America’s leading Nazi sympathizers) to become the president who proved that America doesn’t even need a president, except to sign papers.

I often think what a bitter irony it was that Tony Blair had to follow this pathetic creature and do photo-ops with him, sometimes with the whole families joyfully walking along, holding hands, resembling a scene from the Sound of Music.

Blair had intellect, but was consumed by greed and the need to be world-important. If that isn’t evil, I don’t know what is.

Consigned to spend time with Monkey-brain, having to pay close attention and listen to him, did provide a very small but fitting punishment.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Palestinian peace negotiator tells US ambassador to UN Nikki Haley to ‘shut up’ over Abbas criticism
Saeb Erekat accuses US ambassador of calling ‘for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president’

“Shut up”

I can’t think of a better thing for anyone to say about anything Nikki Haley says.

The woman is completely weird and remarkably incompetent.
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Response to a comment “The US did a thorough job in Egypt, supporting the aggression that overthrew the elected leader (Morsi) then handing out $billions in ‘Defence aid’ to the military junta that seized power. I’m sure they have another clever trick up their sleeve for Mr Abbas’:

They did indeed help destroy Morsi because Israel was tired of the sound of his voice.

Israel loved decades of dictator Mubarak and now looks forward to decades of dictator el-Sisi.

That’s how “the Mideast’s only democracy” embraces democracy anywhere in its neighborhood.

Things are getting a little strange with Abbas. He served as the kind of soft leader, almost a figurehead, Israel likes having for the Palestinians (after getting rid of Arafat by poisoning him), fairly trouble-free.

They encouraged him, and they always like leaders who aren’t elected, Abbas having not subjected himself to election for a number of years.

But recently, Abbas has shown a wee bit of spunk and independence, and that definitely is not appreciated.
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Response to a comment “The US has always supported land theft and oppression by the Zionists. No surprise the Palestinians cannot stand it anymore”:

Yes, they have, and there is a simple reason.

Israel is a de facto American colony in the region.

It’s the control in the region that the US is concerned with, not sentiment about the Jewish people and certainly not any sense of justice or fairness for anyone, and it has a unique set of arrangements with Israel to enjoy that control.

Israel gets what it wants while America gets what it wants.

Israel pretends it is an independent country – it is not, being literally floated on subsidies – and the US always praises it and never criticizes it, even with its many brutal excesses.

All the sentimental mumbo-jumbo about the Jewish people is just that for the US policy-makers, mumbo-jumbo. It keeps the locals happy in their tasks.

Washington wouldn’t even take one boatload of refugee Jews when it counted in the 1930s.

Now, it pretends to be a great and matchless friend – now, that is, that the refugees went there instead of to America and so long as they serve American strategic interests.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN

“Trump’s desire for a military parade reveals him as a would-be despot”

Well, America had its first certified moron as President in George Bush, and who would have believed the country could top that?

But they have topped it.

Trump is America’s first “Beverly Hillbillies” President – a man with the tastes and drives and knowledge of America’s vast population of trailer-park and gun-show aficionados who happens to live atop a glittering tower in Manhattan.

And while he isn’t as dumb as Bush intellectually, he very much has a low emotional and social-relations quotient, not caring what anyone else thinks.

Now, France has a very old tradition in the Bastille Day Parade, but we must remember that France has a long history of various despots, from kings to emperors and other autocrats. I’m not sure it has ever got the balance quite right.

And what are we to say of Macron? He deliberately juiced up the Bastille Day Parade, knowing Trump would be attending.

Was that the behavior of an admirable leader? No, but it was in keeping with his whole rather chaotic approach to governing since France’s elites tipped him into power. He is not impressive. More polished than Trump, but that’s all.

As to Trump’s military record and Patriotic nonsense, readers may enjoy the facts laid out here:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/john-chuckman-comment-trump-as-the-most-american-of-presidents-a-claim-which-should-infuriate-both-his-supporters-and-opponents/

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH

Former FBI Boss – Let the Truth Out!
One former FBI Deputy Asst. Director for Counter-terrorism is appalled at the FBI’s lack of transparency.

Well, any relationship, ever, between the FBI and truth has been purely coincidental.

This whole controversy is remarkable only for the fact that so many Americans, worked up about the FBI’s possible involvement with political activity concerning Trump, have been blissfully unaware of decades of FBI political activity and corruption.

It is almost laughable, a little like only now discovering what the Mafia does for a living.

Please, the FBI was used by every president of both parties to get information or do dirt to opponents.

It has always been a fundamentally flawed organization.

An American Stasi.

And on top of that, its general law enforcement efforts provide a long history of incompetence, law-breaking, and shameful behavior.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

Canada’s Nazi Problem
“Chomiak [A Nazi], is Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather”

Vancouver, Canada held a significant event in the history of Canada on January 16th, 2018. Canada’s traditional peace-keeping role in international relations relegated to the historical dustbin, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland led the ‘international community’ in a song of war and genocide against North Korea.

Chrystia Freeland was a horrible appointment as Foreign Minister, and all thoughtful Canadians are ashamed to be represented by her.

I’ve written the Prime Minister to say so, but I suspect she represents Trudeau’s efforts to get along with the gorillas running Washington DC and that there’s no hope for changing it.

It does appear that in general the quality of leadership all over the West is seriously declining, almost like the value of Bitcoin.

May, Macron, Merkel, Trudeau, Trump – it is not an inspiring bunch.

I attribute the fact to America’s pulling everyone down. The Washington establishment is determined to act like General Ripper in Doctor Strangelove, and it uses all its influence to drag its allies along.

See this for the truth behind the mask of how America deals with allies:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201801301061187790-us-forced-eu-sanctions-russia/

Additional Note: Her husband is a journalist for the New York Times – which functions as little more than the chief house organ for the Pentagon and Washington power elites. That fact alone should have disqualified her, and it would have in Pierre (Justin’s father) Trudeau’s day.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KIM SENGUPTA IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Don’t be fooled by North Korea’s Winter Olympics charm offensive”

What a dumb piece of writing.

We should ignore people trying to be civil and cooperative?

Instead, we should stick with what?

Half a century of American refusal to talk or negotiate or sign a peace treaty while keeping an army on the border and atomic weapons within reach in Guam?

Now, add to that, big foolish Trump snorting and threatening and amassing a great armada.

The new South Korean President started with great promise, but there can be no question he was told to “cool it” by the US.

It does seem to me that it is the two Koreas who must work things out.

A nuclear armada, a bellowing clown-president, and threats are hardly things to embrace and certainly not the solution to anything.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

David Cameron’s former director of strategy says Tony Blair warned him about a ‘deep state’ conspiracy
Steve Hilton says the former Prime Minister told him the civil service ‘believe it’s their job to actually run the country’

Well, those nasty little civil servants aren’t very effective, are they?

They let Tony Blair get away with mass murder in Iraq, and they let David Cameron pull one of the great blunders of the century with his bone-headed referendum.

Please, a note on the use of the term “Deep State.”

It is not the civil service to which this term is usually applied. Indeed, I think it quite misleading to use it this way.

It is the hidden rulers – the plutocrats and special interests supported by security and military services – that are the Deep State.

Tony Blair served them faithfully. That’s why he got an Israel Peace Prize and a whole lot of sinecures.

So did David Cameron serve them, although far less successfully owing to his basic lack of competence.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

Exporting Hot Air: Tillerson Urges Mexico to Watch for Russian Meddling in Elections

“Exporting Hot Air”

Good headline.

Actually, no one should get too upset with Tillerson.

He’s only doing what he’s told.

He is no saint, but he is at least intelligent and rational and he is hanging onto office in the hope that here or there he can inject some rationality into Trump’s chaotic policies.

Trump is chaos. The Republicans are chaos. The Democrats are chaos.

America is a pretty sick country where little that is said by anyone has meaning, just as we see in so many places with American foreign policy.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

How dangerous is Jordan B Peterson, the rightwing professor who ‘hit a hornets’ nest’?
Since his confrontation with Cathy Newman, the Canadian academic’s book has become a bestseller. But his arguments are riddled with ‘pseudo-facts’ and conspiracy theories

I don’t know anything about this guy, and I don’t care enough about him to find out.

But when I read, “his arguments are riddled with ‘pseudo-facts’ and conspiracy theories,” and I read it in a corporate, mainline newspaper, I do have to laugh.

Does a day pass that The Guardian’s front page does not contain at least a couple of people promoting “pseudo-theories” or “pseudo-facts” (rather a goofy construct that last, don’t you think?).

And I don’t just mean all that glop about this or that fad idea concerning sex or race or nutrition, although you sure do use a lot of that.

But on deadly serious topics, from who is really responsible for all the horrors of Syria to whitewashing the bloodthirsty regime in Saudi Arabia.

Please, you cannot attack the views of people you don’t like with accusations about practices you often follow.

The sad truth is we live in a politically chaotic world in which someone trying to learn about what is really going on has to work very diligently comparing different sources.

In the Trump era, all the corporate press and the large internet media have played a very, very unfair game of labeling “false news” and “fact-checking” about anything or anyone not in step with the accepted set of views.

It really is tiresome and pointless.

If you haven’t earned the trust over time yourself for scrupulous truth-telling, pointing at others just adds to the total noise and clarifies nothing.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH

“Is Washington Nuts? Increasing Spending AND Cutting Taxes Will EXPLODE the Size Of The National Debt”

Yes, that is the way things tend to work.

But Washington’s priorities are quite different than husbanding the nation’s resources.

As in rewarding the America plutocracy and special interests.

As in grabbing some new headlines with recycled clichés about the effects of massive tax cuts producing new wealth for everyone, an effect otherwise known as creating something from nothing.

It would be nice to see some of the die-hard Trump supporters realize that they’ve bought a huge pig in a poke.

The man is incompetent and corrupt. Just like the Republican Party. Just like the Democrat Party. Just like the FBI. Just like pretty much the entire American ruling elite.

The country is headed for a big, big fall because it just cannot stop itself from constantly grabbing for more, from constantly over-extending itself.

It does this in its national finances. Even more dangerously, it is doing this with its military in making new aggressive policies and threats and spending money it doesn’t have on more weapons.

“The swamp” just received billions in subsidies from a country that cannot even pay its bills.

Trump will turn out to have been a bigger joke and a grander phony than Bernie Madoff.

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Tesla Car Shot In Falcon Rocket Has Missed Mars
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Response to a comment which said “the Chinese build a boatload more electric cars and solar panels than Elon Musk ever will”:

    Indeed, and China’s high-quality solar panels are being prevented from penetrating the US market by new unfair tariffs.

    As to electric cars, we’ve had them since at least 1908.

    There was a company called Woods in Chicago. They certainly became a big name, didn’t they?

    When the technology for lighter, longer-lasting batteries arrives – if it ever does – we won’t need Mr. Musk to build electric cars. Scores of firms will do it. It is not a super hi-tech project.

    Musk’s Tesla floats on subsidies and hype, and it is beginning to lose the subsidies and its financial performance is in a nosedive.

    Musk is of course a great promoter, but many of his ideas, exciting at first glance, are simply going to fail in the bright light of economic reality.

    Tesla cars. Hyper loops. Storage battery-run homes.

    The rockets, in case readers are unaware, have been heavily subsidized by American military efforts along several lines. They have a future.

    But all the stuff we read about great individualistic entrepreneur we see in columns and comments is pretty much hot air.

    He is imaginative. He is an enthusiastic promoter, especially of himself, but then so was P T Barnum or Garth Drabinsky or the first Dutchman who speculated in tulips in the early 1630s.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY OLIVER WAINWRIGHT IN THE GUARDIAN

The darkest building on Earth: ‘An angular black hole waiting to suck you in’
Sprayed with Vantablack Vbx2, a pavilion at the Winter Olympics in South Korea absorbs 99% of light. We talk to its British architect Asif Khan, who also invented the ‘selfie-building’

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/08/the-darkest-building-on-earth-vantablack-black-hole-asif-khan-south-korea-winter-olympics#comment-111971136

While the intense darkness of the outside, penetrated by the pinpricks of light, is interesting and certainly attention-grabbing, I think that it sustains interest only briefly. A building like this can only be viewed as a one-off, maybe even temporary, much like a pavilion for a World’s Fair.

It makes almost no sense in any other context that I can see, and the truth is that after the initial impression of interest, the building is not inviting. Indeed, it is quite off-putting.

Inside is worse. The one picture that you have is an interior devoid of humanity – white, bleak. I am reminded of a set from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, but then in that film he was trying to create a rather less-than-human atmosphere.

I’m sure others disagree, but I think the building a rather costly failure altogether. This is not a space anyone would want to spend time in or to pass by regularly in a neighborhood going to and from home.

I think it fair to describe it as a bit dehumanizing. The soul of a machine, as it were.

But, sadly, that is often the case now with special-event architecture. Just think of Tony Blair’s utterly vacuous Millennium Dome – uninteresting, ugly, and fairly useless from day one. I call it Tony Blair’s because he had a role in promoting the empty nothing rather than encouraging something which would make spirits soar on such an occasion. It suited him perfectly, like an empty bag of gas.

it is in fact too often the architecture of tyrants that we see today at World’s Fairs and the like. Not always, but it does seem to occur with increasing frequency.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN BREITBART

“16 Bombshells in the Nunes Memo the Media Do Not Want You to Know About”

Sorry, I just do not see all the clamor over the Nunes’ memo.

Yes, it says a few things of interest, but none of them are decisive or definitive.

First, we have no idea from this partial document what role the dossier played for a FISA warrant. Was it 100% of supporting documentation or 1%. I do believe anyone can see that makes a big difference.

The Dossier was understood by many quite early as a political product and not a genuine report. See: https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/john-chuckman-comment-everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-so-called-dossier-on-trump-and-russia-what-secret-services-like-mi-6-or-cia-actually-do-for-a-living/ It is corrupt, but what is new about corrupt political maneuvers in America? Of course, even corrupt products may contain threads of truth and, indeed, are more credible when they do.

Second, the Nunes’ memo is itself the product of a party partisan. I know very little about Nunes, but given the intellectual and emotional chaos under which Washington has worked for a year or so, no fair-minded person can take it as great authority. Counter claims about everything under the sun are to be heard and read. When you kick up that much dust, and from two sides, you can hardly expect to see anything clearly.

Third, I find it stunning that anyone is even the least bit surprised that the FBI may have been used politically.

If you are surprised, in what remote place have you been living or do you ever read anything? My God, the entire history of the FBI is dirty with politics, both Republican and Democratic politics, and that’s to say nothing of its shameful record of incompetence in criminal matters. There is a huge list of bent operations and anti-Constitutional operations, a huge list.

The FBI has functioned for much of its existence as an American Stasi. It has no honorable record of functioning as a proper, upright, and authoritative agency.

For those who do not understand this, please see this:
https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-dreadful-record-of-the-fbi/
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Response to a comment that Trump will win by a landslide in 2020:

“There are none so blind…”

Any Democratic candidate perceived as honest and decent will decisively beat Trump.

But before that, the Republicans are going to lose big in 2018 Congressional elections. Of that there is little doubt. Then, for Trump’s remaining two years, he will resemble a big, awkward bird with a broken wing.

His polls in the US are not at all strong even now, and he is immensely unpopular with people in key allied nations.

There is nothing he has achieved that is admirable, and his State of the Union address took credit for events which virtually have nothing to do with a president, any president.

Presidents do not control the economy, although they like blubbering about it. They take credit for good developments and hide from the bad. Trump is absolutely no different in this regard.

He almost looked silly claiming credit for a number of things which had no relationship to his office.

He also was pathetic on that stuff about religion and family.

We all know he isn’t in the least religious.

And he has never been anything in the way of a family man. He and Milania live virtually separate lives, even sleeping in separate beds.

And, please, while he undoubtedly earned some good press from the establishment for his dirty little Jerusalem stunt, does anyone outside the Israel Lobby think that was wise or even right?

And the American War Machine is roaring on all cylinders now. Trump has given them totally and in all cases what they want. In this, he resembles Obama closely. A coward.

I can’t see he has anything to take credit for except insulting migrants and Muslims and harshly throwing some people out of the country. Those are definitely not things admired by the majority.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Lotteries, sausages and manipulation: Vladimir Putin and his team look to fight his only election rival – low turnout
With the Russian president expected to be re-elected handsomely, the Kremlin wants a final result that projects globally

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Response to a comment saying Hitler enjoyed massive support from people:

Really ignorant.

You don’t know what you are talking about.

Hitler’s party reached the zenith of its vote-getting at about 37%.

He never had a victory.

He never had a minority.

He certainly never had a majority.

He was appointed Chancellor by a desperate, aged President von Hindenburg during times of great stress and turmoil in the streets.

After that, there was effectively a coup, quickly-written new laws, and a dictatorship.

“Votes” taken after the Nazis were in power are meaningless, just as voting under Stalin was meaningless.

Our world is not made better by promoting ignorance, as you do.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NEENA LALL IN THE INDEPENDENT

I agree the hijab should be banned for very young girls in primary schools – it’s not Islamophobic to say that
Neena Lall, the headteacher of a school in East London, has been overruled after attempting to ban the hijab for under-eights.

Stupid advocacy.

Religious garb of any kind should never be banned, unless it has proved dangerous.

I live in a city with a good number of Muslims.

We see hijab on the street and in shops regularly, worn by women and young girls.

It causes no problem. Indeed, it can be quite charming on some young faces.

If you just think about it, it is not very different to the scarves and babushkas many wore just a couple of generations ago.

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2010/04/hijab-montage-to-explain-why-i-laugh-at.html
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Response to a comment stressing that the article was about children, not adults:

And do young ultra-Orthodox have any choice about their much stranger appearance?

What people wear, as long as it is not dangerous, is not the business of the state.

And it is most certainly not the business of people like you.

Get a life.
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Response to a comment saying “There seems to be a misunderstanding here. We are not ‘banning’ the hijab. We are lifting the ban that has been put on muslim women by male, muslim clerics’:

Oh, please, what a pathetic rationalization.

It almost resembles something you would read on extremist sites or from the old USSR.

People’s religious garb is none of your d—d business.

And you only invite hostility and promote prejudice with your smokescreen rationalization for prejudice.

Children are guided by their parents in virtually all habits and customs until they reach an age where they begin to make their own decisions.

It’s a perfectly reasonable approach: keep the state out of all such matters as well as “buttinskies” like you.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet
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Response to “He’s giving away most of his money, which is more than most wealthy (and non-wealthy) people”:

Sorry, I think you have that wrong.

Creeps like Bill Gates thrive on such misunderstanding, and he is a creep owing to a career spent screwing both his customers and competitors. There is no evidence there of a large spirit.

There have been a few genuine philanthropists who literally gave most of their money away for truly worthy causes.

I think the best known, and one of the most admirable, was Andrew Carnegie with the countless libraries he bestowed on communities all over plus a few other worthy efforts.

He was a tough businessman but not the kind of man who dumped obsolete or inferior goods on the market.

However, the modern American Foundation laws, under which the likes of Bill Gates operate, achieve something else entirely.

Foundations such as his enable the owner of a great fortune essentially to keep control of it forever without taxes.

Gates and others only have to give a certain amount away regularly for the tax concessions.

In many cases this can be achieved by giving away the interest on the capital and not the capital.

Gates gets to sit on throne in effect the rest of his days, having people come and propose interesting projects to him and keenly hoping for some money.

It would be hard to imagine a more interesting and entertaining way to spend your days. Must often feel like ancient royalty being solicited for a favor.

So long as he doesn’t give away the capital, the game can go on forever, bestowing blessings on your name and memory, as well as jobs for progeny. Your family stays as “somebodies.”

We see this in older foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation still operating.

We perhaps need a new term for this American creation.

I think “philanthropist” is highly inaccurate. That could be Carnegie’s title but not Gates’.

He preserves both his fortune and his power over it and buys effectively with the interest a very entertaining lifestyle with many bright people seeking his favor.