Archive for the ‘AMERICA AND CANADA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW WORDS ARE USED IN OUR NEWS SOURCES TO GIVE IMPRESSIONS THAT MAY NOT BE ACCURATE – A NOTE ON THE PERNICIOUS AND WIDESPREAD PRACTICE OF “FACT CHECKING”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY THOMAS DAIGLE ON CBC NEWS

 

“Toronto-based fact-checking site tries to loosen Iranian regime’s grip on the truth

“FactNameh purports to reach 1 million Iranians”

 

“Iranian regime”? Why are you using that term?

It is the Iranian government.

Its president is elected. Very much so. The Leader is not, but he serves a role similar to the British Queen in many ways.

Use of the word “regime” in any news source is always a signal that what follows is propaganda.

Please note that you do not use the term “Saudi regime” despite its being a genuine tyranny. Nor do you call the British government serving the unelected Elizabeth II a regime.

Poor work, CBC, but then you’ve been rather active in promoting America’s line on Iran, the line our Prime Minister embraces and promotes. A Prime Minister, by the way, elected by just less than one-third of voters.

And note the claim of reaching one million Iranians, even if true, is actually a pretty small one. That’s slightly more than one-percent of the population of the country.

I’ll add the thought that the term “fact checking,” used virtually anywhere in media is an inappropriate claim. It not only often represents pretensions by people not qualified by their hard knowledge, but more generally it represents a mechanism for persuasion – that is to say, propaganda.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE DEATH OF FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR PAUL CELLUCCI – NO TEARS IN CANADA   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Paul Cellucci likely qualifies as the most ignorant and rude American ambassador ever appointed to Canada.

He criss-crossed the country saying things ambassadors are never supposed to say, negative things about our national policies, as for instance berating us about our military expenditures and internal affairs.

And he had no grace in the way he barked out his inappropriate comments.

He should have been declared persona non grata as an ambassador – and he would have been thus treated by many countries.

But our governments were timorous and afraid of the dangerously vindictive police state emerging south of the border in the wake of 9/11., and they just let this unpleasant man spread his diplomatic poison.

You are not supposed to say unpleasant things about a person who has died, but this man never did much in Canada that was not unpleasant.

His loss will go un-mourned in this country, except by the likes of John Baird and the other uninformed loudmouths of Harper’s American-wannabe government.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: YES, TRADE WITH AMERICA BUT NOT MAKING IT AN ECONOMIC MODEL – GROSS INEFFICIENCY OF THE MILITARY – PARTIAL LIST OF THINGS WHERE AMERICA IS NUMBER ONE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Not an economic model, indeed, but also not a social or political model.
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“The US has a very poor history of government-run enterprises, except the military…”

Except the military?

You have to be kidding. America’s military is the most inefficient enterprise on earth.

Billions just disappear into holes.

Projects go over their development costs and time horizons by vast amounts, everything from the V-22 Osprey to the F-35 just in recent years. Billions and billions and billions over budget.

Most of the time, all the military does is sit around consuming resources and doing nothing real or economically beneficial to the majority of society.

Men being paid pretty fair wages, earning early retirement benefits, consuming government food and clothing, and most of them unskilled guys who could not hold on to a decent ordinary job.

Yes, they do something beneficial for America’s wealthy establishment, and everyone one else, those who pay taxes, pay the bills. They keep the world safe for American policy and economic expansion of corporations.

The Founding Fathers, most of them, knew a standing army was a terrible waste and a threat to civilian values, but they would have no idea of how dangerous it could be.

It is a fundamental principle of our species – for whom, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – that a great powerful force will be used for some purpose or another by politicians.

Just so Vietnam. America killed an estimated 3 million Vietnamese in horrible fashions and wrecked their land with mines and poisons, ultimately to no purpose whatsoever.

Just so Iraq, with about a million dead owing to America’s pointless invasion and a once-prosperous Arab country set back for a generation.

And just so countless coups and intrusions and small conflicts – almost all pointless from a larger point of view and all having nothing to do with the actual defense of the United States.

Even the post office looks efficient and purposeful compared to America’s Frankenstein military which consumes the GDP of a decent-sized country every year.
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“Canadians have cornered the market on self-righteous sanctimony, moralistic whining, and self-congratulations.”

My God, the American who wrote that either never attends his own local Fourth of July celebrations or is simply blind to what he is used to.

Is there ever a speech in America that does not grate the sensibilities of thoughtful people across the planet?

Just listen to the meaningless rhetoric about democracy or human rights or ethics or blessings from God or freedom from representatives of a government that has crushed democracies time and again, ones that disagree with it, a government which today runs an international torture gulag, and a government in which money determines pretty well everything, from the direction of national policy to the outcome of elections.

You are of course, by those Fourth of July claims, the greatest at everything on the planet.

Perhaps, it is thinking that way that makes you so eager to bomb the crap out of anyone who disagrees with you?

By the way, here is just a small list of comparisons and matters of record where the United States is genuinely number one. I could easily expand it.

Infant mortality is higher in the United States than in Canada.

Average life expectancy is lower in the United States than in Canada.

More people per capita go to prison in the United States than in Canada, but not just Canada, more go to prison than in any other advanced nation, by a long measure.

America has the highest illegitimate birth rate of any advanced country, although its noisy Christians always blubber about that kind of thing and America self-righteously refuses to fund international projects that involve abortions and even birth control.

Americans consume as many illegal drugs as the rest of the world combined.

America spends more on its military each year than the rest of the planet.

America is the world’s largest arms dealer, by far.

America’s murder rate is many times that of Canada.

America’s police forces have an international reputation for brutality, having been cited by organizations like Amnesty International on many occasions.

America has a unique sense of environmentalism, building Jack and Jill bathrooms and three-car garages across the deserts of Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California with never a thought where future water for all those toilets is going to come from and never a care about all the electricity needed for around-the-clock air-conditioning of five-bedroom houses, nor for all the roads and parking lots and cars in an arid region.

No thought for tomorrow could be the new national motto, just as we’ve seen with the irresponsible financial arrangements which threw the world into a crisis.

You cannot even go to a movie from Hollywood without being led to believe America has done everything. It won WWII even though it sustained a loss of about one-third of one percent of the dead in that terrible war where over 50,000,000 died.

There was even a movie some years ago in which America’s broke the German enigma code, not the British who actually did it.

God, what a ridiculous people you’ve become.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A JOURNALIST WRITES ABOUT WHAT THE F-35 BRINGS TO THE FIGHT – MISSING THE POINT THAT THIS IS LIKE A RESIDENT OF GEORGIA BUYING A DELUXE SNOW-BLOWER AND MISSING TOO HOW WARS START   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY PAUL KORING IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This guy is shilling for Harper.

We can “maintain our air defense” with much less costly weapons.

Besides, there are no serious challenges to our air defense. None.

We need planes to escort errant air liners and the like. That doesn’t require the ultimate sophistication.

Having a large storehouse of highly sophisticated weapons is an open invitation to getting involved with nonsense like Libya or war crimes like Iraq.

Many of the best historians agree that the useless horror of WWI started in large part because all of Europe was a heavily armed camp.

Politicians and military people will always use power if it is there.

Just so right now in Libya, a lunatic business we do not even discuss.

And just so America’s pointless crusade in Afghanistan where we have spent a considerable number of lives and great treasure.

A sheer waste.
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“However, if you throw your back out trying to shovel deep snow when it does fall, you can be very uncomfortable for a long time. That event can make the snowblower look cheap and handy.

Note to Putin or any other aggressive interloper – we understand the need for snowblowers. Don’t even think about messing with us or our pals.”

A totally false analogy.

A snow-blower is a useful and time-saving tool, used many times a year.

And snow-blowers never start wars, the most wasteful and savage enterprise on earth.

A high-tech supersonic fighter is useless unless something extraordinary happens.

It just sits on the tarmac most of the time, gets its exquisitely fine-tuning put out of tune by jet jockeys taking it out for a playful spin, and absorbs vast amounts of cash on maintenance.

Even mentioning Putin marks the writer as something of a right-wing crank.

Its the cheap Harper ploy on Arctic sovereignty, ignoring the genuine threat against which these planes are useless.

We have infinitely less to fear from Putin’s Russia truly than we do from the United States, a country which now regularly attacks and bombs countries it doesn’t agree with.

Arctic sovereignty and Great Lakes water are two great targets for American interests.

Were the United States inclined to flex its muscle on us, this small number of jets would be shot down in a day.

The contract represents little more than a subsidy to the Pentagon trying to develop this costly machine.
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Further on the silly snow-blower analogy.

If you live in Georgia, a snow-blower is an utterly useless thing with no conceivable use ever, a vast waste of money and time.

In terms of geo-politics, we actually do live in Georgia.

The world’s Frankenstein military resides next door, watching with unblinking eyes.

No one else, but I mean no one, is going to come calling.

So we do not need this plane for any possible circumstance.

The Pentagon wants us to buy it – as it wants other NATO countries to buy it – to help subsidize its astronomical cost.

Just as when the US fights its various wars, it is always cajoling and pressuring its allies to join them – effectively a subsidy of activities they chose alone to engage in.

What a damn poor way to blow tens of billions of dollars.

Remember, Harper is the most pathetically servile prime minister towards the United States in our history.

He supports and goes along with whatever they choose to do but he is always disingenuous about just what he is doing, and just so this silly plane.

His stuff about Arctic sovereignty is a cheap political game because he entirely ignores the genuine threat to it, instead serving its interests without hesitation, and even completely adopting the political methods and language of the Republican Party.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BLUBBERING BY MICHAEL VALPY ABOUT THE PROUD RETURN OF WARRIOR CULTURE TO CANADA   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MICHAEL VALPY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Oh, sure, Michael Valpy, we sure have done ourselves a great service.

Serving as loyal minor satrap to the Pentagon in its pointless quest for vengeance in Afghanistan – now, there surely is a fine thing.

The lives of hundreds of Canadian soldiers destroyed or now driven by mad hideous memories of abominations like the very common rape of boys tolerated in Afghanistan. Again, surely, a fine thing.

And the proud achievement of our handing over prisoners for torture. Now, that is an exceptionally fine thing.

Warrior culture is a stupid term for Canada to adopt. We have no enemies who can seriously threaten us, except if you count the United States.

In that case, I’m afraid our “warrior culture” wouldn’t buy us one day’s success against their military Frankenstein monster.

Warrior culture and great standing armies are among the world’s great outdated and dangerous traditions. They rank with burkas and holy inquisitions and heavy nuns’ habits and meaningless superstitions. Indeed, warrior culture is a form of superstition.

When genuine threats occur, no one needs to tell Canadians about outdated nonsense like “warrior culture.” We would all respond. But that is a very different thing than going for adventures abroad, a very different thing than killing and being killed as part of lunatic crusade.

Powerful armies constantly seek outlets for their dark powers. The record of the United States since WW II is proof of that, and a shameful record it is.

Stupid pointless war after stupid pointless war.

Overthrow of government (even democratic ones) after overthrow of government.

It’s a terrible record which has only kept turmoil going in the world and achieved almost nothing of worth.

Historians rank as one of the most important causes of WWI, a pointless bloodbath if ever there was one, Europe’s great standing armies and military competitions of the time.

And, of course, WWI was only the warm-up for WWII, an even greater bloodbath which need never have happened but for WWI.

One last, terribly important point about “warrior culture.”

Even were the people of the United States to come to believe they were under a form tyranny, with the country’s vast occupying armies and National Guards, equipped with awesome weapons, there isn’t a chance they could rebel, despite all the silly talk about private arms keeping tyranny at bay.