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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DECCA AITKENHEAD IN THE GUARDIAN

Hillary Clinton meets Mary Beard: ‘I would love to have told Trump: “Back off, you creep”’

“Back off, you creep”’

I have a real problem with that much-repeated line of Hillary’s.

Yes, he is creepy, as he has proved as President.

But Hillary uses this expression, as a number of others, to distinguish herself from Trump for the sake of, especially, women listeners and readers.

What is deeply troubling about this is that Hillary is most definitely also creepy in her own fashion.

Her actual record in office includes the horror at Benghazi which was “blowback” to the operation she was running of collecting and transferring weapons and lunatics in the Libya she helped Obama destroy to secretly help the effort to destroy Syria too.

This woman has a lot of blood on her hands.

We have also caught her innumerable times lying about past events. In that she resembles Tony Blair.

The real tragedy of the last American election is that the best this gigantic, powerful nation could come up with is Trump and Hillary as candidates. It’s enough to cry over. In the end, Trump only won because of way so many people, males and female, feel about this creepy woman.

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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN NAUGHTON IN THE GUARDIAN

Twitter, Trump and the distortion of the public sphere
“And yet, as a result of Trump’s retweeting, millions of people probably think that Britain First is a power in the land.’

Well, that statement is almost as ridiculous as some of Trump’s tweets.

It is completely unwarranted.

Paying close attention to the noises of “social media” is itself hazardous and unhelpful.

A bit like keeping your ear to the ground near a cattle ranch.

Every mindless opinion, every twisted desire has always been out there somewhere in the mass of humanity. None of it is new. None of it is remarkable. And certainly, none of it is newsworthy.

The Internet only records a lot of it for others to read, but it is mostly just passing noise like the hooves of cattle, fads like hemlines, and superstitions like ghosts.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON GOV’T SLAVES

“Obama Says He Can’t Have A Discussion With People Who Say ‘Climate Is Not Changing’”

It’s an arrogant statement, but Obama is right so far as climate itself change goes.

It is a reality.

But the key issue always is whether human activity has anything to do with it.

That last idea has not been convincingly demonstrated.

Otherwise, there simply would not be so much disagreement and controversy.

And, of course, over earth’s history, the climate has changed countless times, sometimes extreme changes as with desertification or ice ages and in relatively recent times, and human activity had nothing to do with it, any of it.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

“Can Harry and Meghan make Britain whole again?”

Is the author serious?

A loopy young man who has never done a worthwhile thing in his life and a ferociously ambitious American woman – and why else would she even consider marrying the loopy prince? – are going to make a country, any country, “whole again”?

And we have this, “…she symbolises an America far better than Trump’s.”

Yes, but so what? Trump’s America is real, and it ain’t going away even if he does. Trailer parks, shot-gun racks, bellies over the belt, televangelists, gated communities, violent police…

What on earth does symbolizing matter, even if I were to agree with the author about what she symbolizes?

Santa symbolizes generosity and kindness, but does that help our condition?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

North Korea missile launch – live updates: Kim Jong-un regime holds wild celebrations after firing ICBM towards Japan

This is a remarkable achievement for small, fairly poor state.

It appears to have been a true ICBM and with a nose cone suitable for re-entry.

I think every nation that chooses has the right to develop missile technology. After all, space is going to be immensely important in upcoming decades.

And I am not aware of the passage in the Bible telling us that certain Western nations are permitted such technology, but others are not.

And whenever anyone opens the subject of threats, unless that person lists the United States first, his/her words are meaningless.

North Korea is not bombing anyone. The United States is bombing at least half a dozen countries.
________________________
Response to reader comment about shooting down such missiles:

It is doubtful the US can shoot it down.

Their anti-missile program is full of bluster and spends tons of money, but there is no solid evidence that it is dependably capable.

The only tests with success are tests with very unrealistic circumstances, and there are scientists who say that under realistic circumstances, the technology simply cannot handle the job.

I am sure the Pentagon is very reluctant even to try shooting down a North Korean missile, coming as it does, with the considerable risk of having the whole world witness their failure.

Of course, by foisting its anti-missiles off on other countries, the Pentagon effectively receives a subsidy for more work.

Also, we should keep in mind, when speaking of the anti-missiles America is now busy lining up near Russia and China, a concern Russia has clearly stated, that the tubes and facilities which house these so-called defensive anti-missile missiles may easily be converted to house very dangerous shorter-range offensive (nuclear) missiles.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY MARY O’HARA IN THE GUARDIAN

“Why is mental illness so often blamed for US mass shootings? It perpetuates ugly stereotypes and distracts us…”

All murderers have some kind of mental disorder, stretching over a spectrum from the temporary insanity of extreme rage to the extreme case of enjoying killing we find in psychopaths.

The word “stereotype” has no place here.

People however use the completely wrong words, often. Language usage here is very important.

Indeed, I don’t think the term “mental illness” is really suitable since that includes many conditions which do not make people prone to violence at all.

One comment here uses “insanity” but that is an extreme and not well-defined term.

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 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 trying 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 A COLUMN BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN

‘£50bn to leave the EU. What an unforgivable waste of money’

Yes, indeed, it is a terrible waste of money.

Of course, it points out how wrongheaded nations and politicians can be.

But we are experiencing another, and perhaps worse, example of terrible waste and stubborn national attitudes, too, one making us all poorer.

I refer to the American-enforced sanctions against Russia. They are costing Europe billions, every single year.

And their imposition results from no high motive, just American determination to keep the controlling hand in Europe and prevent new economic relationships from forming between Europe and Russia which would in fact increase everyone’s well-being.

Considering the fact that we live in a world under threat of serious economic calamity, both these behaviors are totally irrational and add only to our potential economic danger.

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.

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.