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John Chuckman


“Sergei Skripal poisoning: Nerve agent used on former Russian spy and daughter, police confirm’

Well, that means it could come from any of the U.S.’s disgusting allies busy in the effort of trying to destroy Syria.

Following Qaddafi’s murder and the reduction of Libya to chaos, small supplies of that horrible stuff, taken from Qaddafi’s stocks, were sent to people who supplied weapons for all the horrors being carried out in Syria.

Dear old Hillary was in charge of the operation.

And we know this to a certainty because the great investigative journalist, Sy Hersh, told us so.

The whole idea was to create a modest-sized provocation so that Obama, full of his self-righteous rhetoric about “crossing red lines,” could send in fleets of bombers to finish the job his and his allies’ rag-tag army of mercenaries – groups like ISIS or al-Nusrah – could not quite manage to bring off – overturning the leadership of a peaceful country and seeing the country Balkanized for Israel’s benefit.

The effort failed, but only because of the extraordinary statesmanship of Russia’s Putin. Syria, under international supervision, gave up its stocks for destruction. Syria has no nerve agents.

But that established fact hasn’t stopped the shameless liars in Washington from attempting the same dirty trick several times more, including the time Trump idiotically sent 59 cruise missiles hurling into Syria, killing more people for nothing, partly in response to his daughter Ivanka’s brainless plea over a clearly staged event.

Of course, Israel also has this poison in its arsenal.


John Chuckman


“If Sergei Skripal was poisoned it will have been a warning from Moscow’

Gee, nothing like jumping to conclusions.

I can’t help wondering why a newspaper would even publish such a questionable effort.

In general, I tend to have little sympathy with the fate of spies, much as few of us has any sympathy with the fate of mafia figures.

And indeed, the two – security services and the mafia – have more in common than they have differences.

But it is interesting the way our press almost immediately jumps to conclusions in these cases, as it very much did with the late Litvinenko.

At least, that is, whenever the circumstances in the story permit accusations against Russians.

It is a selective effort by the press.

In other cases, there is little speculation or investigation.

We had a few Russian Ambassadors killed in recent years. Very suspicious cases, but very little speculation in the press.

The one case that comes immediately to mind was the assassination of Arafat. We know it was an assassination because of the polonium discovered in his toothpaste, there being no way such a rare and poisonous substance could get there by accident.

Who was interested in seeing his death? Who had access to radioactive materials? There are not a lot of candidates.

But we didn’t see this kind of article in the press.

John Chuckman


Putin Schools Megyn Kelly: The Arms Race Was Started in 2002 When US Abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

I think I understand Putin’s reluctance to admit to or discuss a new Cold War with the United States.

And, as seems obvious from the Russian side, there is no desire for one.

But I do think he misspeaks when he says analysts who speak of Cold War are only doing propaganda. That is in fact quite wrong, although he likely says it out of concerns of state.

There are very powerful forces in the United States looking to start a new Cold War, whether you choose to give it that name or another.

I don’t know what other name to apply to a seemingly endless stream of provocations like the coup in Ukraine, provocations like the NATO roll-up of tanks right to the Russian border, efforts to sabotage Russian armament sales abroad, efforts to prevent Russian gas sales in Europe, provocations like America’s illegal occupation of parts of Syria, constant slights by the State Department in its statements, the idiocy about Russian election interference, and a whole list of still other matters.

If that isn’t a deliberate effort to regenerate the Cold War, then we need new language for what it is they are doing.

Those in America’s establishment who adhere to the doctrine, “full-spectrum dominance” and who are spending absolutely sinful amounts of money on the Pentagon and security services sure seem like Cold Warriors to me.

They view Russia as a unique problem, the only country in the world that can obliterate them, and it endlessly rankles them. China will likely reach a similar capacity, but it is not there yet.

The Neocons, very influential elites in Washington for about two decades and generators of a whole stream of destruction in the Middle East with the Neocon Wars, certainly look at Russia this way.

Their basic axiom is that the United States should use the power it has to dominate. They do this, I believe, mainly because they are focused on Israel and have come to believe only a fairly ruthless United States can provide Israel’s best security guarantee.

Israel enjoys a rather unusual position in the world, being both an ostensibly independent country – and one with an inordinate set of demands, given its size – yet also being a de facto colony of the United States, a dual reality fraught with dangers.

Now, Russia keeps reasonably good relations with Israel, but Israel’s drive to dominate its region can only unavoidably come into conflict with Russia’s aim of increasing its influence in the region, assisting its allies, and perhaps gaining new ones. The case of Syria sticks out.

So, while I am an admirer of President Putin, I cannot agree with just what he has said here, but I know he has good reasons for saying so.

John Chuckman


Liberal democracy is at a critical point. Authoritarians are on the rise, and electorates are seduced by extremes. To fight back, mainstream politicians need to grasp the causes of popular discontent and rebuild democracy’s moral foundations

I have no idea where this author sees “liberal democracy’ in the West.

It does not exist in Britain, nor does it exist in France, and it has never existed in the United states.

You want proof? A Prime Minister in Britain, like David Cameron, can rule with the support of about 35% of voters.

And a man like the very much-disliked Tony Blair can lie his whole time in office and take the country to a war the people do not want, a war with no legality at all, and a war killing a million people.

So, we start with a theme of “fighting back” for something which does not exist.

And what is the author really pursuing here?

“Authoritarians are on the rise, and electorates are seduced by extremes.”

Well, that “on the rise” stuff is pretty vague, to say the least. Sounds like a 1930s movie-theater newsreel narrated by a baritone-voiced announcer and complete with sound effects of boots tromping in the background.

It pretty much boils down to a few leaders or parties of which the author – and this newspaper – doesn’t approve.

Does that in any way sound democratic?

I very much think not.

As for authoritarians, if we do indeed have democracy, how do they have power? How did Tony Blair gain power?

Is there anything a government can do more authoritarian than taking a people to an unnecessary and unwanted war?

In the United States, the entire post-WWII period has been spent doing so. Millions killed in a list of countries invaded.

The American toll abroad over the last half century is pretty much indistinguishable from some dictators we all hate.

And that “electorates are seduced by extremes” reflects a pretty arrogant attitude towards voters, as much as saying they are fools. Is that a democratic attitude?

If you study history, you know that fascistic governments are not voted in almost ever, but a remarkable number of people writing columns seem unaware of the fact. Many times, I’ve seen the foolish claim that Hitler was elected.

Despite Germany’s terrible economic conditions in the early 1930s and the terrible burdens of the punitive Treaty of Versailles, Hitler was never able to get more than 37% of the vote.

He ended up being appointed by an elderly and exhausted von Hindenburg, who represented exactly the kind of elites that a Cameron or a Macron represented. It was not the peoples’ work.

So, then in fairly quick order we get the death of Hindenburg, the fire at the Reichstag, terror, terrible new laws and an absolute dictatorship. None of it the work of the people.

Polls after that naturally gave Hitler big vote numbers, but that’s like giving credibility to an election total in Stalin’s USSR. Ridiculous, but it is not uncommon with writers making this kind of inaccurate case.

Maybe, what we really need in the West is reform that would finally bless us with “liberal democracy.”

Right now, we don’t have it, and the author’s red herring argument is just part of the inaccuracies here.

John Chuckman


President Trump Using John Kelly To Push Ivanka And Jared Out Of The White House

Well, we can hope.

But not for the reasons the Alt-right would like to see them go, the fantasy idea that they are “liberal.”

In fact, their presence is one of the greatest testimonials to Trump’s incompetence.

Ivanka is not very bright, but she brims with unwarranted ambition.

She has little to offer anyone. She already has made some gross mistakes, including some costing lives.

Jared is a very shady operator who comes from a crooked family and is friends with the crook running Israel.

That is someone who should be in the Oval Office, enjoying top level security clearance?

He also has little to offer but empty ambition.

Neither of them has any expertise. Neither of them represents anything but privilege.

Yet Trump brought them in, and with trumpets blaring.

And please note here how Trump confirms yet again his instinctive cowardice.

Instead of just firing them himself, he has an underling scrambling around trying to do it by subterfuge.

I just do not see how Trump supporters can still embrace the “Beverly Hillbillies” President.

He simply does not have what it takes, no matter what you think of his views, views which are indeed at best confused.

Good God, trade wars are good? The words of an ignoramus.

John Chuckman


Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’

Trump, once again, makes no sense whatsoever.

Of course, the invasion of Iraq was a terrible decision. Every informed person has known that for years.

The invasion had many effects, all of them negative.

But that invasion was the years-long wish of Ariel Sharon.

And he represented exactly the same interests being now slavishly served by Trump.

Move the embassy to Jerusalem? Sure.

Continue to hack away at Syria? Sure.

Threaten Iran for abiding scrupulously by its agreement? Sure.

Support Saudi Arabia’s terror in Yemen? Sure.

Have a United Nations’ Ambassador who sounds as though her paycheck comes from Tel Aviv? Sure.

Treat Russia like shit because they help Assad? Sure.

Have family lobbyists for Israel right in the Oval Office? Sure.

And on and on.

Really Trump is a tiresome, ignorant, and inconsistent man.

John Chuckman


Labour ‘in total disarray’ over antisemitism allegations, campaigners claim
Activists warn anti-Jewish sentiment becoming ‘institutionalised’ in party and call unit responsible for tackling complaints ‘disjointed, confused and chaotic’

These attacks over unproved anti-Semitism are horrible, just gutter politics.

A return of McCarthyism, with a new devil substituted instead of communism.

There has not been one hard piece of evidence offered to support any charges of anti-Semitism, and, to my mind, it is libelous to hurl this term around, but it is done all the time with few willing to challenge the shameful practice.

This behavior is a way of intimidating others into doing what you want them to do. That is not democratic. That is not acceptable. And that is not even civil or decent.

Trying to influence democratic elections in this way is serious stuff, far more serious, and far more real, than all the fantasy accusations made about Russian interference in Western elections.

I would suggest there is only one genuine cause for all of this ugly bellowing, bellowing which keeps returning regularly since Jeremy Corbyn was first elected leader of the Labour Party.

It is about Jeremy Corbyn’s being fair-minded on the matter of Israel and the Palestinians – a terrible charge, that.

But, you see, being fair-minded is not allowed on this topic.

We live in a world where Western governments are ceaselessly lobbied to make laws which violate the democratic rights of their own citizens. Perhaps the best example is the tireless campaign to create laws making support for BDS – a peaceful and democratic form of protest against the clearest oppression in Israel – illegal or punishable by economic sanctions.
The Lobby has already succeeded in getting such laws passed in about 20 American states, and they are nothing more than a minor form of tyranny. Just how does great injustice anywhere get changed if no form of effective, peaceful opposition is allowed? It doesn’t.

You must be completely “with us or against us,” effectively, is what the Israel Lobby asserts.

And our press, for the most part, supports the unscrupulous claim.

Well, you get the government you deserve in the end.

Never forget the much-despised Tony Blair, the man who lied his way to assisting in killing a million people, was a creature of the same forces hacking away at Corbyn, someone who is an infinitely more honorable man.

Blair wasn’t given the Israel Peace Prize of a million dollars plus a whole lot of other sinecures and preferments for nothing. He earned them.

He helped do Ariel Sharon’s dirty work, the destruction of Iraq having been a favorite project of Sharon’s from the beginning. Indeed, we know from the comments of a number of high-level observers – including one slip of the tongue by George Bush himself – as well as the logic of the actual events, that that is the only thing the invasion of Iraq was ever really about.

Blair and his acolytes are still active in an unprincipled, low-road anti-Corbyn campaign, which keeps flaring up with name-calling and absolutely zero evidence of any wrong-doing.

John Chuckman


“Jared, Ivanka, Cohn, Gen. Kelly, McMaster — Palace Intrigue Swamps Donald Trump White House”

I agree with that headline, but the cause is Trump himself.

He’s incompetent and cowardly.

Incompetent in making appointments and cowardly in dealing with powerful people such as the Pentagon and CIA.

He’s made bad appointment after bad appointment.

And bringing his not-overly-bright daughter and her shady husband into the Oval Office?

Surely an exercise in monumentally bad judgment.

And policy by sudden blurt over Twitter? Just lunatic.

And almost his every initiative shows poor judgment and threatens war.

Israel and its “capital.” North Korea. Syria. Russia. And now a possible world trade war.

No, the “Beverly Hillbillies” President has proved himself in one year, proved himself unfit for office.

John Chuckman


Steve Bannon: ‘China, Persia, and Turkey’ Forming ‘New Axis’ That’s ‘Confronting the Christian West’

“Christian West”?

Where in God’s name do you get that, Mr. Bannon?

It’s nonsense, to say nothing of exhibiting rather extreme prejudice.

You also leave out Russia, a country working closely with at least two of the states you include as being in your “axis,” and a country which likely better qualifies as “Christian,” if we must use that term, than the United States or Western Europe.

Russia is building a very large number of new churches, some big ones. Russians want what they were deprived of for so many years under the Soviets.

In the US, churches have been dying for years. There are lots of derelict ones. This is even more true in Britain.

All over the advanced West, Christianity is in decline. Polls of people’s beliefs and statistics on church attendance show growth in non-belief and secularism.

I don’t know what Mr. Bannon thinks he’s doing here but he seems to promote a “Crusader” attitude.

Anyway, when it comes to world affairs, religion is best left out altogether. Including it inevitably brings more violence.

Look what the Neocon movement in the US has achieved in the Mideast. About two million deaths, millions more made refugees (which the US ignores), plus whole well-ordered societies like Libya left in chaos.

And all that in support of a rather theocratic state called Israel. Beliefs there are pretty secular too with many unbelievers, but the place nevertheless is run by and for only one religious group.

John Chuckman


“Putin’s new arms race is all about his need to be taken seriously”

I’m sorry, but I follow these matters closely, and this author is offering something unrecognizable to any informed person.

Putin is on record, a number of times, saying Russia will enter no arms race.

But he would be an irresponsible leader were he to neglect Russia’s ability to deter aggression, and he most certainly has not done that.

The President made it clear in his words what these announcements represent.

The author either did not read him or ignored him.

Context is everything in this vital matter.

America’s just-announced changes in its nuclear weapons posture plus America’s known efforts to develop “more usable.” yield-adjustable nuclear weapons plus its efforts to ring Russia with anti-missile missiles plus its highly aggressive activities in Europe plus its treatment of the INF Treaty are without question unnecessarily frightening, destabilizing, and threatening.

America is launching a new Cold War, but one this time where the rest of the world does not see the dark threatening shadow of a Stalin. Instead we see a peaceful modern articulate Russia willing and ready to cooperate and to do business with everyone. No, this Cold War has only one truly dark presence, and that is a Pentagon-security agency complex, bloated with money and dedicated to the malignant principle of “full-spectrum dominance everywhere.”

And this threat comes from a United States which has spent the last 15 years terrorizing and bombing and setting fire to the Middle East, acts which tell us that It means business.

It has shed not a tear for the two million or more souls that it has killed there. Nor for the many millions it has reduced to hopeless refugees. Nor for de-stabilizing Europe with those same refugees, which it ignores and for which it even expresses contempt. Nor for the previously well-ordered societies it has reduced to chaos.

America’s new nuclear posture and its demonstrated hostile attitude towards Russia must be seen in light of such a determined march of terror. Washington’s belligerence and threats must be taken very seriously indeed.

And thank God from all the rational people of this earth Mr. Putin has told them he does take it very seriously.

John Chuckman


Putin in his state-of-the-nation address on new US nuclear stance: If attacked, Russia will use nukes

President Putin has given us precisely the statement needed. Sober and firm but non-threatening. It set me back on my heels a little this morning, and that, I’m sure, is just the effect intended.

America’s just-announced changes in its nuclear weapons posture plus America’s known efforts to develop “more usable.” yield-adjustable nuclear weapons plus its efforts to ring Russia with anti-missile missiles plus its highly aggressive activities in Europe are without question unnecessarily frightening, destabilizing, and threatening.

America is launching a new Cold War, but one this time where the rest of the world does not see the dark threatening shadow of a Stalin. Instead we see a peaceful modern articulate Russia willing and ready to cooperate and to do business with everyone. No, this Cold War has only one truly dark presence, and that is a Pentagon-security agency complex, bloated with money and dedicated to the malignant principle of “full-spectrum dominance everywhere.”

And this threat comes from a United States which has spent the last 15 years terrorizing and bombing and setting fire to the Middle East, acts which tell us that It means business.

It has shed not a tear for the two million or more souls that it has killed there. Nor for the many millions it has reduced to hopeless refugees. Nor for de-stabilizing Europe with those same refugees, which it ignores and for which it even expresses contempt. Nor for the previously well-ordered societies it has reduced to chaos.

America’s new nuclear posture and its demonstrated hostile attitude towards Russia must be seen in light of such a determined march of terror. Washington’s belligerence and threats must be taken very seriously indeed.

And thank God from all the rational people of this earth Mr. Putin has told them he does take it very seriously.

John Chuckman


Donald Trump ridiculed by late night talk show hosts over claim he would have run into Florida school to tackle shooter

“What are you going to do, stab them with your bone spurs?’

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Readers may enjoy this which also clarifies the comedian’s reference:

In discussing Trump’s “courage,” it’s important to note his already-established record while President.

None of Obama’s foreign affairs horrors have been overturned – from efforts to have mercenaries in Syria use poison gas (taken from the murdered Qaddafi’s supplies) as an excuse for American bombing to threatening a peaceful Russia.

The Pentagon has been given more money than it knows how to spend.

The tanks’ engines are still roaring at the Russian border.

The CIA, which runs America’s extrajudicial killing program, has been given a free hand in choosing whom it kills.

Afghanistan is still suffering under American occupation and increased bombing with no end in sight and absolutely nothing achieved.

American forces are illegally ensconced in Syria, busy helping terrorists.

The entire Mideast is in flames.

Israel is given whatever it likes and is allowed to threaten a peaceful Iran and continue its own atrocities and human rights horrors.

Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, pretty well speaks for Israeli interests.

And all this from a man who in his campaign said that we should get along with Russia and asked why the Middle East was in flames.

He was strong on those vital points. Then.

But when he first actually sat down around a big polished oak table with all that Pentagon brass and those big suits with the stern faces from the CIA, he shrank down into his chair like an 8-year old boy and peed his pants.

The man is beyond ridiculous.

George Bush was contemptible, but I’m not sure Trump hasn’t outdone him in a single year for contemptible behavior.

John Chuckman


Jared Kushner stripped of top-level security clearance
President’s son-in-law is one of several White House staff to have clearance downgraded

That Jared Kushner ever enjoyed the highest level of security clearance is astonishing.

He has no standing in government. No history. No record of expertise. Never elected to anything. He is under no formal oversight. He possesses no expert qualifications of any kind.

His father is a convicted felon.

Jared Kushner himself maintains the most intimate relationship with a foreign power, Israel, and its flagrantly-corrupt Prime Minister.

Kushner has already done some things for his family business which are extremely questionable, as his promoting a family development by telling Asians they would be able to obtain American residence if they bought into it.

All this, while half the government of the United States insanely busies itself looking under beds and rugs, tearing itself apart, for evidence of imagined Russian influence?

You worry about a few Russians buying advertising while at the same time a seriously questionable character like Jared Kushner enjoys the highest-possible access to secrets?

Even if the Russians had hacked into the DNC’s computer to obtain the dirt on Hillary we all saw from Wikileaks (and it is certain they did not, several top-level security experts have told us) the only accusation would be one of over-enthusiastic investigators hacking into someone’s personal incriminating information.

It all had nothing to do with government secrets, even in the most extreme claims by Democrats. And nothing to do with election interference, unless you call the release of embarrassing facts, things voters should actually know, a form of interference.

But here is a man of no standing in Washington, other than being the President’s son-in-law, an intimate of a foreign power including of its corrupt Prime Minister, a man whose father is a felon active in business, and a man whose business practices are already seen as questionable, and this man is given the highest secret clearance?

It’s appalling. Why did Jonathan Pollard go to prison for 30 years if a guy like Kushner can just prance in and see everything, then go over to Israel to discuss top-level secrets with a crook like Netanyahu and a crook like his own father?

Trump has brought the practices of the American government to the lowest level ever imagined.

John Chuckman


‘People are being killed every day’: Life trapped inside ‘Hell on Earth’

Put the blame squarely where it belongs.

And that is on the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – paymasters and service providers for terror.

And by the way, for a long period, Britain and France were willing helpers. Cameron used to pretend to bomb ISIS while bombing Syrian infrastructure to, in effect, help them. France did the same.

It is absurd for any newspapers to charge Syria’s national government in this horror of East Ghouta.

It is still a fairly popular government, supported by a majority, and it is a government which defends religious minorities.

They are fighting well-equipped, bloodthirsty foreign-paid mercenaries.

Just what would Westminster do with huge gangs of well-armed foreign thugs holding a British city captive?

Good God, we hear a huge amount of noise over just a few returning ISIS volunteers.

And I recall the bloody efforts against the IRA.

Further, what does Israel do when some poor frustrated people held in Gaza send some over-sized fireworks in protest into Israel, something involving no genuine threat to the state and certainly no threat from outside?

They kill them, by the thousands with jets and bombs and tanks, and then hold them without any access to repairs or services, leaving them to suffer interminably.


Boris Johnson ‘backs air strikes’ against Assad regime if has used chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta
Foreign Secretary agrees there is case for ‘limited strikes’ if there is ‘incontrovertible evidence of further use of chemical weapons’

You are a liar, Boris.

And a particularly filthy one – in the best Tony Blair tradition.

The same game has been played by America-Israel-Saudi Arabia a number of times.

Find an excuse. Do air raids. Destroy a legitimate government.


Because the United States, under immense pressure from the Israel Lobby, wants it that way.

It’s an effort to repeat the same filthy business as we saw in Libya.

That was a peaceful place whose people received a lot of benefits from their government.

Now, thanks to America and its friends, it’s a hopeless violent chaos.

Just what Israel wants in all its Arab neighbors who don’t closely toe the American line.

Response to a comment which asked who supports them:

Caches of Israeli-made weapons have been discovered several times in Syria. American-made weapons too.

Al-Nusra’s paid terrorists are treated in hospitals in Northern Israel.

US helicopters have been photographed moving some of the scum around in other locations.

By the way, the original ploy with chemical weapons was created by Obama/Clinton after they destroyed Libya.

Stocks from Qaddafi’s armed forces were shipped to Turkey for insertion into Syria.

At least once, an innocent, honest Turkish border guard caught some of it being shipped into Syria under cover of Turkish intelligence and it made the press.

It doesn’t get any lower than the game America has been playing here.

And British governments support it.


They are afraid of offending the Israel Lobby.

John Chuckman


Pieczenik thinks the shootings in Florida are diversions from what is going on in the Middle East and Korea as in WW3 about to break out

You are free to say what you like, but this is utter intellectual slop.

Mass murder as a diversion?

Good God, next you’ll be saying the Prophet Mohammed was in on the plot.

You know, every human population produces a certain percentage of mentally ill individuals, just as it produces a certain percentage of geniuses and idiots, a certain percentage of men and women.

Create a society where powerful weapons are available to the seriously mentally ill, and this is what you get, regularly.

And you have created such a society. It is called America.

John Chuckman


“We are burning through the planet’s resources, living an unsustainable way of life”

I’m sorry, but this claim is inaccurate, and it is getting tiresome with countless repetitions. It is a kind of secular religious mantra.

It resembles the words both of those crazed Old Testament prophets who lived in caves and bellowed about everyone’s transgressions and of Chicken Little warning about the sky.

The fact is that what is defined as a resource changes through time.

Things become resources or cease being resources with changing technology over time. Resources are not a fixed thing like a pile of stones.

8,000 years ago, iron deposits were not a resource, just an impediment for someone trying to clear or use some land.

150 years ago, crude was an undesirable mess in some plots of earth, not a resource.

This is true of every resource you can name.

Even farmland may cease being a resource for growing food in a century or so. Our food will all come to be manufactured in a manner we find perfectly acceptable.

Nothing stays the same, except some people’s minds.

John Chuckman


Bio Warfare: US Army makes lethal viruses, bacteria, and toxins in blatant violation of the United Nations Convention

I don’t know why this would surprise anyone, and I have little doubt of its truth.

You live in a quasi-fascist country run by the military and security services on behalf of the wealthy establishment.

You have the trappings of democracy, but they are only the trappings.

The big-mouthed bully now in the White house has proved incapable of changing any of the operations or plans of the military-security forces.

The Pentagon now gets more resources than it knows what to do with.

Ditto CIA and NSA, etc. Now, there’s a real blow struck for freedom and rights.

Every stupid and destructive initiative from Obama’s time has continued. Indeed, some have accelerated.

The big coward in the White House hasn’t offered the slightest resistance to the stupidities in Syria, the stupidities in Afghanistan, the stupidities in Ukraine, the stupidities on the Russian border, etc.

Indeed, in some matters, he’s simply washed his hands of the whole thing, as when he handed complete control over the national program of extrajudicial killings by drone over to the very CIA that does the killing!

You are hopeless, America, because most of you still believe in fairy tales.

Fairy tales like the one that the elected president is commander-in-chief.

No, he’s a figure head, a glorified servant, his role is not all that different from the role of Queen Elizabeth in Britain. She, too, is kept abreast of confidential matters, she too must sign off on new laws, but she has no power at all for stopping or altering any of the things which the real government does.

John Chuckman


“Free speech matters, and the people worried about it aren’t all bigots”

I should say so.

The fact that the author even has to say “the people worried about it aren’t all bigots” is extremely worrying.

Of course, they’re not. It is a pathetic statement to have to make.

But there are signals from all over the establishment – and certainly major corporate news media, including very much this newspaper – of a clear preference against genuinely free speech.

As though you could just precision-snip this or that bit you don’t like and leave the principle sound.

Human affairs simply do not work that way.

John Chuckman


“Moscow Is Building Grand Churches at a Furious Rate”

I do think the program enriches the country.

I am not religious, but some of these churches are simply beautiful and reflect a very old culture.

The Russian people did without religion for an awfully long time under the Soviet Union.

If they are keen to pay for them, that’s just fine.

Of course, churches in general are not only about religion. They also serve as non-commercial social organizations.

Putin sees them as a way of unifying. That’s his motive, and it’s not a bad one.

Response to a comment about no churches built in Britain only mosques:

That’s certainly an exaggeration, likely one based in prejudice.

But Christianity has been on a serious decline in Britain for a long time.

It has almost become a minority without any new group like Muslims. I do believe polls show that, and British churches sit idle with low attendance.

Anyway, a beautiful mosque is also an asset for any community.

Saying otherwise – as Trump acolytes from the trailer parks and gun clubs very much do – is just pure ignorance.


Response to a comment which said “I still believe that the religion is opium for people”:

Well, that is a very narrow view and one that originated with a now-discredited source, and I am not religious at all.

John Chuckman


Lack of models, not charging points, ‘holding back electric car market’
Analysis shows just 20 battery models on sale in Europe against more than 400 conventional ones

Electric cars are not practical at this time. Full stop.

The graph you display in this article is highly deceptive, and a person can only know that by reading the labels on the axes carefully.

These “Full year new registrations for pure electric cars” represent a drop in the bucket in absolute numbers or as a portion of the total car pool, close to insignificant in numbers while the graph, at a quick glance, gives an appearance of rocketing growth.

You know, it is just the nature of numbers that when there is very little of something, a small amount of growth looks big in percentage terms. When you have two of something, and you get one more, you have an amazing 50% growth.

If the technology emerges for durable, lighter batteries that hold a long charge and do not take long to charge, then you will see some genuinely dramatic numbers.

But we are not there, despite all the blow-hard claims at Tesla. The sales of cars like Tesla in many markets depend entirely on subsidies which are starting to falter.

We’ve had electric vehicles since at least 1908, but they have never claimed a serious market share – except for special-purposes like trucks running indoors in plants – and with very good reason.

It isn’t “perceptions” that affect electric vehicles – that is, quite simply, the thinking of marketing and promotional types with a pie-in-the-sky bias.

It is their basic inability, still, to do almost all the jobs for which we use cars and trucks.

And that, as anyone should be able to see, is a pretty serious shortcoming.

When they can do those jobs, you won’t need questionable articles like this one.

By the way, this entire matter is larger and more complex than simple stories make it appear.

We do have evidence that current electric cars – analyzed over their entire life-cycle as they should properly be – are as, or more polluting than, our efficient petroleum-powered ones.

There are many effects involved, including the weight of batteries creating more polluting debris dust from tires and road surfaces.

So, hold on to your very premature enthusiasms.

John Chuckman


“Exclusive: Chuck Norris proposes bold plan in battle to protect America’s kids”

Why, he’s even dumber than I thought.

And I simply don’t understand all the whiney-baby stuff is over another school shooting. As so many Americans like to say, “Shit happens!”

After all, in America’s almost continuous wars, we always hear of “collateral damage,” don’t we? What’s to cry over when there’s some back home now and then? God, the whiners just aren’t ready to pay the cost of freedom, are they?

America is simply crazed with the military identity and aggression.

It extends to most of what you do and affects everyday life for everyone.

It is a form of sickness, but it is a sickness America has worked hard to develop (rather than cure) for over two centuries.

Look at your insane record in foreign affairs. Meaningless war after meaningless war. Always ready to push people around. Millions killed since WWII, and none of it for defense.

Well, your lunatic gun culture and all that it implies, including periodic mass shootings, provides the greenhouse or nursery to develop all those killers you are going to need to set loose on the world. Hell, all those killers don’t spring forth full-grown from the cradle. It takes effort.

America’s police have long had it right. They just kill whenever the spirit moves them. Over 1,100 citizens killed each year by their own police. About three a day. Just show me the terrorists who can match a record like that. Then there’s the best part of thousand who die mysteriously in the nation’s prisons every year.

I’d very much go along with your idiot President’s suggestion about arming every teacher. Over 700,000 of them. Not because it would solve any whiney-baby, imagined problem concerning mass murders in your schools, but just because it would add to the fun and sure juice things up.

Opposition here will deprive us of countless hilarious tales.

Teachers accidentally shooting themselves in the foot.

Teachers deliberately shooting annoying parents.

Little Johnny sneaking into the desk drawer where his teacher keeps her gun and taking it out to recess.

Bulletin board notices pinned up in the office about boxes of ammo missing.

School finances could be improved, too, by holding annual neighborhood gun shows and sales in schools across the country.

All this and much, much more – all genuine Americana.

John Chuckman


“Time to Admit the Afghan War is Nonsense”

From the very start, the entire war has been nonsense – albeit, very violent nonsense.

Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11. All that it did was allow Osama bin Laden to live there.

Bin Laden himself has never been shown to be responsible for 9/11. There is not a shred of proof offered by America. The corporate press has just assumed his guilt from the first. He’s a handy symbol for presumed jihadi extremism.

And that’s what the Taleban government, all those years ago, said when the US first asked for his extradition.

They said, “Show us some proof.” Providing some proof is the normal procedure in any request for extradition, but the US arrogantly refused and prepared to invade.

After all these years and countless billions of dollars, American achievement in Afghanistan amounts to killing and terrorizing a great many people, causing the Taleban to shift and move around, and releasing upon the entire Western world waves of opium-based poisons to such an extent prices fell and extreme gang violence has broken out in American cities.

The Taleban government originally had banned opium production, but the US changed all that with their heavy-handed blundering, and the CIA has undoubtedly used opium sales as an off-the-books source of income, the kind of thing it so often does.

John Chuckman


Ahead of the Academy Awards, Jonathan Freedland celebrates Steven Spielberg’s timely tale of press freedom

“Why The Post should win the 2018 best picture Oscar”


Steven Spielberg is, and always has been, a mediocre director.

He has indeed made a fortune with his pictures, but that is precisely because he is the greatest maker of schlock in history, and, in case you hadn’t noticed, schlock sells, just like junk food or Barbie Dolls.

Although I am one who strongly believes that the Oscars do not represent merit – there being a long record of counter examples and even embarrassments – still, newspapers and columnists play the Hollywood promotion game and pretend they do represent merit.

So, let’s pretend for a moment they do represent merit. I don’t think Spielberg can possibly compete on merit.

And this movie is full of crap. Katherine Graham was anything but an admirable person.

There is even the distinct possibility she had her hubby, an embarrassingly deranged man and owner of The Post, murdered. But even without that unproved claim, she was a very nefarious establishment figure.

As for The Washington Post, well, if you like American imperialism, that’s one of your papers of choice. It promotes war ceaselessly.

Ben Bradlee, Graham’s editor was, without question, a CIA insider, the kind of guy often in the past the security agency has planted in outfits like the New York Times and Washington Post a number of times.

There were many reasons for publishing the Pentagon Papers. It did not happen without major establishment insider support. To portray it as a brave battle with truth and the brave decision of this one woman is simply inaccurate, although it may be good drama.

I find it questionable at a time of fading influence by the mainline commercial press that we have a film making one of the club’s big members look heroic.

The long-term record of The Post is appalling. Always, always a supporter of war and the Washington establishment, the kind of paper that has undoubtedly done far more harm than good over time.

Praise them? I don’t think so.

John Chuckman


“The slaughter in Syria should outrage us. Yet still we just shrug”

Yes, indeed, but it very much does outrage me.

And perhaps, were the general population given the truth about Syria, they would be outraged too.

But they are not told the truth, not at all, by any of our major news sources.

Instead we get half-truths, incomplete information, and a good dose of downright lies.

Look at this statement of yours, Mr. Freedland: “gassing children, and the only consequence was a limited US cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield. So long as I wasn’t too blatant, and kept the murder within agreed limits, I would be left alone.”

We know to a certainty that Syria gassed no one. It gave up its entire stocks of gas under international supervision.

We equally know to a certainty that some of the American-Saudi-Israeli sponsored pseudo-jihadi mercenaries trying to destroy Syria very much did.

The evidence, if you look for it, is quite overwhelming. There has even been the odd event of small quantities of poison gas in canisters being transferred, as one discovered at the Turkish border some years ago.

The war is again heating up because America and Israel are both extremely unhappy about how their costly project in Syria has largely failed.

Some project, reducing a beautiful and relatively peaceful land to ruins because you hate its leader. Of course, exactly the same thing was done in Libya, just more successfully, with a leader who was extremely good to his people and kept them at peace being murdered and his country reduced to chaos.

So, America illegally occupies a portion of Syria now and trains and protects Kurds, preparing the ground for hiving off part of Syria, a la Kosovo, against all international law. It simply acts above the law and goes totally criticism by our press in its quest for “truth.”

Israel regularly bombs Syrian military targets, using this or that excuse, and “demands” an even larger slice of Syria as a security zone for its completely illegal occupation of the Golan Heights.

The total horror is a created event, created by outsiders who want to rearrange the Middle East as though they were gods above all law.

Most of the “mock” shock over it in the West is little more than an effort to have the powers causing it to intensify their efforts.

Just shameful.