Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CHICAGO’S OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL CENTER IS A POORLY CONCEIVED PROJECT IN TERMS OF LOCATION, LOOKS, AND PURPOSE – A STERILE SUBURBANISH CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS-TYPE BUILDING TO BE PLUNKED DOWN ON TWENTY ACRES OF A MORE-THAN CENTURY-OLD PARK – IT IS TO OFFER FACILITIES FOR YOGA, BASKETBALL, A TEST KITCHEN, AND PARKING – AND, OH YES, A DIGITAL ARCHIVE, NOT THE ORIGINAL PAPERS SCHOLARS WOULD WANT TO SEE

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENT WATCH

https://ricochet.com/archives/what-obamas-billion-dollar-chicago-temple-will-look-like/

 

The proposed Barack Obama Presidential Center – or whatever it is to be called, it apparently is not going to be a traditional repository-of-presidential-papers library – intended for Chicago’s Jackson Park near the waterfront is an unwelcome project with its lack of respect for the city’s historic park system, unquestionably one of the greatest in the world.

It doesn’t matter whether you like Obama or not, the project is poorly conceived.

This park is more than a century old and is part of the “chain of jewels” America’s greatest landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, created for the city. No other American city has anything quite like it. Every acre of it is irreplaceable. This will cover twenty acres.

I know the park well. I’ve walked through its roughly 500 acres a number of times.

This isn’t even to be a presidential library but some kind of oddball complex of digital archive, yoga and cooking center, basketball court, and parking – all tucked into a whitish cement mausoleum covering twenty acres of prime lakefront parkland. Its architecture says “monument,” not friendly gathering place, and it seems very strange thinking, indeed, to me to say it can somehow be both.

It is like putting a huge parking garage in front of a beautiful garden. Chicago’s motto, urbs in horto (city in a garden), although adopted before the great parks existed, has come to be associated with the parks and associated boulevards for over a century

I don’t care if Obama wants such a monument built, but it does not belong in this location, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel already has had some mature trees cut-down to accommodate it.

In terms of its sheer aesthetics, the project belongs in a suburb. It looks like the headquarters for some corporation.

I grew up in the city, in and near the very neighborhood, and almost cannot believe what Obama is allowing. It is without respect for history. It is without respect for beauty. It is anti-green. It is without respect for a special space which already belongs to the people.

The notions of yoga, basketball, and a test kitchen are of course to make local residents feel it is their place, but the idea of neighborhood people going to a giant cement mausoleum to do such casual and fun activities seems a confused fantasy.

Such activities, if thought desirable, could have been dotted here and there in small facilities through neighborhood streets in a way far more likely to be of some real use.

And if all you are storing is a digital archive, you don’t even need the building. That can be done anywhere and accessed from anywhere. So, it seems to me we have an costly hulk going into an inappropriate place to do absolutely nothing needed.

A tallish concrete building right near the lakeshore of an historic and beautiful park – indeed, any concrete building, whether tall or not – simply does not belong there.

We must remember that the hard-nosed guy pushing this abomination is former Obama aid and greatly-failed Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

The last project he championed was a hideous Star Wars Museum, a giant concrete promotion center for the Star Wars movie franchise to be planked down in downtown’s beautiful lakeside Grant Park museum campus, home of such world-famous and architecturally distinguished institutions as the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Natural History Museum, and the Adler Planetarium.

Thank God, that effort failed, but this one is almost as bad.

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Posted September 24, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A COMMENT RIGHTLY ASKS: WITH TRUMP DOING EVERYTHING THE ESTABLISHMENT WANTS WHY DO THEY STILL WANT TO GET RID OF HIM? – I THINK THESE ARE THE ESSENTIAL REASONS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The New York Times as Judge and Jury”

_____________________________

 Response to a comment which asks, “…he [Trump] has sanctioned Russia more than the last two Presidents combined, and now he is even killing some Russians and knocking their planes out of the sky. So why do they want to impeach him?

“WHY WOULD HE PRESENT A THREAT TO THEM OR ANYONE? I don’t get it.”

 

You have a real point. Here is my explanation.

In fact, Trump has demonstrated what a weakling he is – despite his noisy self-praise and bravado all the time – by literally giving the establishment everything it wants, and then some in certain cases, leaving behind the few things he seemed originally intent on doing, things that were worthwhile – better relations with Russia, leaving Syria, and stopping some of the horror of the Neocon Mideast Wars.

He has simply left all those worthwhile concepts behind in a desperate effort to be loved and to survive. What’s left is his junk program of disparaging migrants and Muslims, a pastiche of barely-hidden prejudices, and still wanting to build a giant stupid wall plus plenty of stupid flag-kissing by a guy who avoided military service – a program that is tailor-made for the Walmart-NASCAR-gun meet-Pledge of Allegiance crowd that constitutes his base. It has no appeal for the establishment.

When he publicly criticizes (mainly black) football players who make a respectful gesture of protest, something they are entitled to do and which is none of his business as President, he is throwing still-bleeding chunks of meat to the base who adore him for it. He even goes beyond inappropriate criticism to suggesting penalties NFL management should implement, as though that were any business of a government official who is supposed to represent all the people.

The establishment types do like, at least, to appear enlightened, it’s a matter of style if not substance, and many wealthy Americans greatly benefit by the loose system of illegal migrants as cheap labor which has prevailed for years. It provides a great informal system, complete with an endless supply of labor, the opportunity to pay low wages and to get rid of any worker causing trouble. Why else does any person think it has continued for so long? Do people really believe that only the lack of a “heroic” figure like Trump has allowed this situation to happen? Yes, Trump’s base does hold to that pathetic idea, and he encourages them to hold the thought.

So, he ends in the worst possible of all worlds, a man who has just continued the policies of Obama, even intensifying them, and tearing up what little worthwhile Obama achieved. There’s irony here, because Trump loathes Obama. Well, Obama bombed every day of his eight years, and Trump just continues. Obama was responsible for the mess in Ukraine, and Trump just continues. Obama was responsible for the pivot towards China, and Trump just continues. Obama created America’s vast extrajudicial killing program, and Trump just continues, indeed, giving the CIA an even freer hand.

In another aspect of his desperate cowardice and wish to be liked and re-elected, he destroyed the Iran Nuclear Agreement – Obama’s only serious worthwhile achievement in my view – owing directly to influence from Netanyahu and Netanyahu’s biggest booster, American billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, who undoubtedly promises Trump tens of millions of dollars for his 2020 campaign. That Agreement was praised and supported by every Western statesman and by all technical experts. Now, it is replaced by threats and name-calling and instability.

Indeed, again to buy favor, he has given Israel’s lobbyists everything they ask for. It is embarrassing to see such subservience to a small state which makes huge, often inappropriate, demands. Moving the embassy illegally to Jerusalem. Ending aid program after aid program for the Palestinians, including even heartless acts like hospital support in East Jerusalem. Berating the UN constantly, despite its now weakened voice after years of American browbeating, and withdrawing from important UN agencies like UNESCO to please Israel. It is simply an appalling and chaotic set of activities.

It all reflects Trump’s very weak character, and it is all driven from a desperate effort to please the American power establishment.

He knows they dislike him. I think there are several aspects to their dislike. He is viewed as a political pirate, having no real background and having hijacked a major political party that was adrift. He is also viewed as a kind of crass nouveau riche type by all the old money. His crassness is measured by the fact that his past rickety real estate empire has only survived by endless legal maneuvering and, apparently, a big hand in the past from investments from Russian mob money.

Of course, there is also his basic awkward way of communicating, a jumble of half-thought notions that have appeal to people in Trump’s base, but these are people for whom the establishment has only contempt, nicely revealed in words characterizing them by Hillary Clinton during the campaign. The privileged who actually run America and its politics have little regard for average Americans who think they are entitled to anything just by virtue of being born in the country.

The Russian thing is important. While I think the whole Hillary Clinton claim about Russia helping him is complete crap, Trump nevertheless is where he is in part owing to Russian shady-money connections in the past propping up his shaky business empire. And if there is one thing the American power establishment can agree on, it’s viewing Russia the way Rome viewed Carthage.

Russia is loathed because it represents a serious obstacle to the current driving hormonal rage of America in asserting its dominion over the planet. The rage is a development which reflects the establishment’s unwelcome realization of America’s relative decline in world trade and economics since the glory days just after WWII. There are a lot of countries out there now looking for their place in the sun, countries which were flat on the ground in the Ozzie and Harriet’s days that encouraged the myth of the American Dream – a myth, by the way, which Trump uses on his trailer-park political base under the “Make America Great Again” slogan. It’s utter nonsense, and the big boys in Washington know that it is. They have other plans.

America is actually not able to compete with all those new competitors, and its position will inevitably further slide relative to them. That is not easily swallowed by the privileged folks who really run America and have enjoyed god-like positions for much of the time after WWII.

And their attitudes have been catered to by Washington’s influential Neocon crowd, influential people well entrenched in Washington’s establishment. The Neocons say America should just use its brute power to get what it wants. It is an “Israelized” point of view, and the Neocons have an ongoing relationship with Israel. Their advocacy for a newly aggressive United States is in part based on their belief that an aggressive United States is good for Israel.

So, we have a big aggressive drive – “full-spectrum dominance” is one of its official mottos – to literally tell people all over the planet, “It’s my way or the highway” and to use force, almost in a Mafia protection-racket style, to carve out favorable advantages that couldn’t be had by fair competition. There are many examples, but a good recent one is the effort to push out reasonably-priced Russian gas from Europe and replace it with far costlier American LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). And now we have sanctions against people for buying Russian hi-tech weapons rather than American ones, as though that were a crime.

The establishment, given this new wave of aggression as one of its basic drives, just does not trust a Trump whose business interests in the past were “rescued” by Russian money and who talked the way he did during the campaign about normal relations with Russia, something, indeed, which is one of his only sensible views. Those establishment attitudes Trump just cannot overcome, and they have nothing at all to do with “Russia-gate.” The Russia-gate myth only exists owing to the pre-existing establishment attitudes about Russia, and Hillary Clinton has only been able to make her pathetic, half-baked claims about why she lost the election precisely because of the accepting environment of those pre-existing attitudes.

Not to defend Trump, whom I find appalling, but it is all a dirty and dangerous situation with the Democrats just as much behind the imperial drive as the Republicans. They are all establishment, with no distinctions to be made between them in foreign affairs and the aggressive imperialism.

The Trump drama only provides a kind of noisy sideshow, a sideshow unfortunately which contributes only more instability as this pathetic man struggles to survive against America’s establishment, almost trying to outbid them in the stupidities he will attempt.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE NEW YORK TIMES – SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – IT SIMPLY AIN’T WHAT IT PRETENDS TO BE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The New York Times as Judge and Jury”

 

I don’t think things at The Times are quite so innocent as the author seems to think in parts of this.

For example, I do not believe they got the story of Iraq’s imagined “weapons of mass destruction” wrong.

They simply lied, as they have done many times, to support American and Israeli imperial interests.

And that was what the Iraq War was, part of an imperial adventure through the Middle East.

The so-called Neocon Wars and the Arab Spring, following the illegal invasion of Iraq, are just a set of dirty operations to re-make the face of the Middle East to Washington’s liking. Part of the whole business has been about building a kind of cordon sanitaire around Israel.

By the way, since the Iraq invasion was largely about Israel and done after considerable and lengthy inside pressure from Israel, would you really expect The Times to report honestly on one of the government’s main devices (so-called weapons of mass destruction) used to confuse people and justify the invasion?

George Bush himself in a little-noted comment after the invasion, a comment made concerning Ariel Sharon’s incessant pressure to attack other states in the region, said something along the lines of, “Geez, what does he want? I invaded Iraq for him?”

Even then, every expert weapons inspector told us the claims were not true after the First Gulf War, but their voices were drowned out in the artificial rush to start a new war. Before the First Gulf War, Iraq was indeed working on such weapons, but that war put a stop to it, and all their facilities were destroyed.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, the guys really making the decisions in George Bush’s White House, were both fierce supporters of American exceptionalism and imperialism and supporters of what Israel defined as its interests, Israel being viewed as a key part of America’s empire, its pied-a-terre in the Middle East.

Since Iraq, America has indeed attacked a number of states in the Mideast, just as Sharon wanted, always done with ruses and devices as justification for what is really just outright aggression. This series of bloodbaths is called the Neocon Wars.

Its aims include eliminating any government that is independent-minded and does not toe the new American imperial line. Some very decent local leaders have been destroyed in the process, but since when does Washington care about anything like good leaders or the people they serve?

Never. Washington, and now more than ever, is about imperial power abroad. Under Neocon influence is essentially telling the planet, “It’s my way or the highway.”

So much so, domestic American matters, for both parties, almost don’t matter anymore except in campaign rhetoric. There’s no room or resources left for them.

The Times’ management is smart and connected well enough to know all of that.

After all, as was not long ago revealed, every story that The Times gets concerning Israel is passed to the official Israeli censor before being published. It would be hard to come up with a poorer way to demonstrate independent journalism and integrity.

And did you ever see an American imperial adventure in all the years since WWII that The Times did not support and beat the drums for (and ditto, The Washington Post)?

The New York Times has been called, quite accurately I think, the official house organ for the American power establishment.

Did you ever read a corporate house organ that criticized its parent corporation? Of course not. The job of such publications is boosterism for the corporate interests.

The Times maintains some credibility by doing good reporting in relatively small things or in the arts or travel or business, but on any story of real life-and-death importance to world affairs or national politics, I find The Times just plain dishonest, and often.

I don’t understand anyone’s taking the paper seriously in such matters.

Of course, The Times also has a record of assisting CIA and has been discovered more than once with CIA on its staff.

It also uses many little journalistic tricks over time. A favorite is getting something wrong, and later, when the desired impact has already been made, humbly retracting it, as though being terribly honest.

Mainline newspapers are about influence. News on the big issues takes second place, at best.

Posted September 23, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES “TERROR ATTACK” TRAINING FOR THE PUBLIC – A USELESS CONCEPT EXCEPT FOR ITS PSY-OP VALUE IN HYPING THE PUBLIC ABOUT ALMOST NON-EXISTENT TERROR

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“British public to be given knife, bomb and shooting first aid training for terror attacks”

 

This is just a form of psy-op. It is pointless except to scare people and hype them up.

There is virtually no terror in Britain.

You must look at the numbers out of a population of around 60 million and compare them to all the other ways of death, from the slaughter on the roads to medical malpractice to get some perspective.

When you are talking about “terror” in the West, you are literally talking about something as threatening as the total annual number of fatal falls in bathtubs.

What a frivolous waste of time and money in terms of genuine need.

But a government like Theresa May’s – one with no sense of proper values and a confused leadership and complete servility to the blood-shedding American imperial efforts underway everywhere – is always ready to lend a helping hand with tales of witches and psychological operations like this.

_________________

Response to a comment:

“The Yanks” are not acting so much as “world policeman” as they are acting as self-appointed re-shapers of world civilization.

And they don’t like being seen alone doing it, so they always like some compliant tag-alongs such as Britain and France. Leaders of the quality of May or Macron are only too keen to help.

 

Posted September 23, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FRENCH COURT USES DISCREDITED OLD SOVIET TACTIC AGAINST POLITICIAN MARINE LE PEN – ORDERING HER FOR A MENTAL EXAM – WE SEE MANY UGLY ACTS NOW AS SIDE-EFFECTS OF AMERICA’S NEW DRIVE FOR GLOBAL DOMINANCE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test after tweeting pictures of Isis executions

“’I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me do it’, says former presidential candidate”

 

“Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test”

 

This court order is beneath contempt.

It does not matter what you think of Ms. Le Pen.

The court’s behavior is straight out of George Orwell or Arthur Koestler.

This is completely unacceptable in a society which styles itself as free.

I can only admire Marine Le Pen’s pluck in responding to this state effort at degrading and embarrassing her.

I wonder what role the smarmy Macron had in this?

The French establishment is quite tight-knit. A word to a couple of judges over coffee?

It does seem that since the United States began its new campaign to dominate the planet, we are getting countless stupidities all over the West. It resembles travelling down a highway where there is a constant stream of litter being tossed from the windows of cars.

Prime Minister May’s totally baseless accusations in every direction.

The Prime Minister of Israel’s butting into British politics, making unfounded charges.

An idiotic former call-girl in Salisbury saying Putin is trying to poison her with rat poison.

A Canadian, a member of goofy stunt-performing outfit, Pussy Riot, claims to have been poisoned.

The President of the United States goes to the Security Council about something for which none of us has been given a lucid explanation or convincing facts, the Scripal Affair.

The lunatic United States is now ready to apply sanctions to China for having the temerity to buy some Russian planes and missiles!

Meanwhile, Israel conducts a regular sniper slaughter of unarmed civilians, and we hear not a word of outrage.

“Whom the gods would destroy….”

 

 

Posted September 21, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY CLINTON IN INTERVIEW CONTINUES EXPANDING ON FANTASIES ABOUT WHAT DEFEATED HER – “THEY WANTED ME OUT OF THE WAY” – “THEY”? THAT’S THE WAY PEOPLE WITH PARANOIA TALK

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TYLER DURDEN IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“’They Wanted to Get Me Out of the Way’

“Hilary still imagines it was Putin rather than American voters who put her on ice”

 

The woman has no shame.

She cannot accept losing, so there must be another reason for having lost.

Her reason puts her at the very center of things, of concerns of major states, of East-West relations.

Events pivot around her.

This is authentic paranoia, a clinical example.

Were it not for the Russophobia dominating the United States, constantly stirred and fired up by an aggressive government with hostile intent and its support from a dutiful press, I think she would be laughed at, not given interviews.

But with her words she continues to soothe her own ego while serving the interests of the establishment who run the whole unfortunate show. And she returns, if only for brief times, at the center of things in interviews. Who knows, she may even sometimes imagine they’ll give her another crack at running with enough people having realized how very important she is?

We must never forget that the Wikileaks material proves genuine wrongdoing and immense corruption, but the content is all forgotten by her and by those whose purpose she serves.

And we must never forget that a bright and principled young man who worked for her party, almost certainly the real source of the material, was murdered on the streets of Washington, the crime going unsolved.

 

Posted September 21, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BRITAIN’S THERESA MAY ACCUSES EU OF SHOWING “US” NO RESPECT AFTER HER PREDICTABLE DEFEAT FOR BREXIT PROPOSALS THEY HAD ALREADY SIGNALLED WOULDN’T BE ACCEPTED – SHE STARTS TO GROW AS DELUSIONAL AS HILLARY CLINTON EXPLAINING WHY SHE LOST THE ELECTION

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

I just love the games cheap politicians play.

Show “us” some respect, Theresa May tells EU after her embarrassing failure in getting her Brexit terms accepted.

She is, of course, deflecting responsibility for her own failure while at the same time trying engage the sympathies of British voters for an attack on “us.”

She won’t admit she is incapable of doing the task she set for herself, which is the real truth here.

The EU has never that I am aware of displayed a lack of respect for Britain or its people.

But it has given Theresa May a long trail of hints and outright warnings concerning her own efforts.

She simply ignored them, and drove ahead in a hopeless effort that is now tuned in her own mind into Europe’s lack of respect.

Actually, this reminds me a lot of the psychology of Hillary Clinton still out trying to tell anyone who’ll listen how it wasn’t she who lost the election.

It was taken from her by nefarious forces, the same nefarious forces who busy themselves even now in Salisbury with rat poison to attack call-girls, now they have apparently run out of Novichok.

Posted September 21, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized