Archive for the ‘AMERICAN ELECTIONS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICROSOFT’S INVOLVEMENT IN YET ANOTHER BIG BROTHER HORROR – “ELECTIONGUARD” FOR VOTING MACHINES JOINS “NEWSGUARD” WITH ITS 1984 CONCEPT OF ASSURING READERS ABOUT THE TRUTH OF WHAT THEY READ – A FEW WORDS ON MICROSOFT’S UNINSPIRING HISTORY   1 comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY WHITNEY WEBB IN MINT PRESS

 

“Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a Military-Industrial Takeover of US Elections”

 

“The fact that we are handing over the keys of American democracy to the military-industrial complex — it’s like giving the keys to the henhouse to a fox and saying, ‘here come in and take whatever you want.’ It’s obviously dangerous.

“Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft announced its solution to “protect” American elections from interference, which it has named “ElectionGuard.”

“In this investigation, MintPress will reveal how ElectionGuard was developed by companies with deep ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities and Israeli military intelligence

“Newsguard [an insidious “truth-in-Internet-media-guarantee” system] was among the first initiatives that comprise Microsoft’s “Defending Democracy” program, a program that the tech giant created under the auspices of protecting American “democratic processes from cyber-enabled interference [which] have become a critical concern.” Through its partnership with Microsoft, Newsguard has been installed in public libraries and universities throughout the country, even while private-sector companies have continued to avoid adopting the problematic browser plug-in”

 

Quite apart from all of Microsoft’s connections with the military and state security, to my mind it is one of the last hi-tech companies I would trust about any important matter.

Over many years, Microsoft indulged many predatory practices in its designs and marketing. It worked to put other firms out of business with deliberately-created compatibility problems.

Such sharp practices are part of how Bill Gates accumulated enough money to have a Foundation where he can pose as a kind of secular Dalai Lama and spend his days telling people who’ve approached him for project money whether they’ll get it. As Robert Mitchum once said about film acting, “It sure beats working.”

Microsoft’s treatment of millions of customers during its introduction of Windows 10 was just shameful in my view, intruding into people’s computers without being asked and replacing something people had purchased with something none of them had asked for.

It truly bordered on theft or vandalism, only Microsoft styled the activity as giving something free to its customers.

In the process, Microsoft caused countless incidents of damaging people’s files. Large numbers of people discovered incompatibilities in what was downloaded that Microsoft had not anticipated. There were many stories of small businesses hurt and people literally crying over what had been done to their computers.

And it left people with a new operating system that had some dark corners to it in the way it transmitted customer information to Microsoft, all without transparency or permission.

No, Microsoft is an extremely disagreeable company, and putting them into a central role around American election ballots does seem to me reckless.

We also have numerous anecdotes from Africa concerning vaccines associated with the Gates Foundation which proved to contain unauthorized birth control chemicals. I have no way of knowing the truth of such stories, but there have been so many, it seems impossible they are without foundation.

All in all, an outfit to avoid wherever possible, and certainly not one to hand your elections over to.

By the way, another outstanding article on a very important topic by Whitney Webb.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE ABOUT WASHINGTON’S LACK OF WILL OR WISDOM TO SOLVE THE MIDDLE EAST MESS – HOW THE IMMENSE ROLE OF MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS MAKES THIS SO   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON SPUTNIK

 

What many readers in Russia undoubtedly do not understand is Washington’s election campaign finance rules and their relationship to special interest groups like the Israel lobby and the never-ending turmoil of Israel-Palestine.

There are basically – despite a complex web of rules – no limits on money given to candidates for election to office.

The Supreme Court, under the influence of decades of conservative appointments, has ruled that money is free speech.

Well, you could not come up with a more corrosive rule for democracy if you tried.

The best organized and financed special interest in the United States – the Israel lobby – is able essentially to buy the loyalty of most congressmen and senators and presidential candidates.

That sounds like exaggeration, but it absolutely is not.

Money is so important in Washington elections because you must travel extensively, buy television air-time, have professional commercials produced, commission endless polls and studies, and purchase the services of costly experts. It all precisely resembles the marketing and selling of a product by a great multi-national company rather than an exercise in democracy.

This is especially true of American presidential elections, which effectively stretch out over a year including primaries and caucuses.

A year of spending like a drunken sailor!

Imagine the vast costs?

That is the American presidential campaign system in a nut shell.

This system achieves several things. One, an entrenched, well-financed special interest can stay entrenched indefinitely. Two, all the serious candidates – those with hundreds of millions in their pockets from donors and the promise of more (the Hillary Clintons or Jeb Bushes) – are effectively vetted by their existing establishment donors. They are safe bets on key matters. Nothing can really change, including major policies. The system is built to achieve that result.

Then along comes an ambitious character like Donald Trump who can finance his own campaign, there being very few people who have or are willing to spend a billion dollars of their own on a campaign.

This is part of what makes the Israel lobby in the U.S. extremely suspicious of him. Then add the fact that he is very independent-minded and says America should get along with Russia and China and that it shouldn’t be in places like Syria, and a form of panic ensues.

I dislike most of Trumps’ views, but on the Middle East and some foreign policy he could represent important and overdue change. The Israel lobby understands that and already on many fronts is getting ready for one ugly fight. We see former New York Mayor, and billionaire, Bloomberg talk of running as an independent, The Weekly Standard, voice of Neo-cons and the Israel lobby is screaming about Trump, and some newspapers have already engaged in underhanded stuff like reporting that a distant relative of Anne Frank’s says “Trump sounds like Hitler.”

If Trump gets the nomination, there’s going to be a really dirty fight with the Middle East at its center, but Trump’s opponents will not openly make the Middle East the issue as it is much safer with the general public and easier to talk about Trump’s sometimes wild words and more extreme ideas. But the intensity of the fight will be about the Middle East.

It will be an interesting political year.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICHAEL BLOOMBERG SAYS HE MAY RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT – PART OF WHAT IT MEANS IN LIGHT OF TRUMP’S SUCCESS AND CLINTON’S POSSIBLE COLLAPSE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

There is some truth in the idea that the Republican establishment is shaken by the possibility of a Trump candidacy.

But the folks who are really shaken by Trump, without question, are the Neo-cons and the Israel lobby, already extremely influential groups in America.

They do not trust Trump’s independence of mind with regard to Israel and the American foreign policy which keeps that failed venture afloat. This is the one leaning of Trump’s which many people, doubtful or disliking most of his views, would welcome as a relief and a fresh start from the sick status quo of endless wars, many of them catering to Israel.

Of course, Trump’s more extreme statements on other matters give the Israel lobby plenty of ammunition to make it seem as though they are concerned with issues of interest to a wider audience of Americans. But when you consider the people vociferously engaged against Trump, you know that is not the case. They simply are not people with any record of great concerns over human rights, genuine democratic values, and imperial aggression.

Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York who is exploring running as an independent candidate, is well connected with Israel lobby crowd.

As is the publication, Weekly Standard, which has been making very loud noises about Trump. Founded and run by William Kristol, the publication functions as a major mouthpiece for Neo-cons and the Israel lobby.

It would appear possible now that not only does Israel determine a good deal of American foreign policy, it may as well play a key role in the next election.

That’s a pretty bizarre situation when you think about it: a nation of about 7 million weighing so heavily in the most intimate affairs of a nation of about 320 million. Not only do Israel’s narrow self-interests constitute a supremely influential special interest in the internal affairs of the United States, but Israel’s long-term interests are often directly at odds with America’s long-term interests. America’s own election-finance system is responsible for the situation, but that is something unlikely to be sorted out within the lifetime of any reader.

The relationship between Israel and the United States resembles one of those marriages we read about now and then in the news that is so dysfunctional one of the spouses kills the other.

Readers may enjoy this analysis of a while ago:

 

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/john-chuckman-essay-donald-trump-is-electable-as-president-but/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE RISE AND FALL OF SARAH PALIN – WITH A FEW REFLECTIONS ON CONTEMPORARY AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

I don’t know about Sarah Palin’s “soul,” whatever that is, and I very much doubt anyone else does either.

But I do know she is a perfect example of a person almost exploding with ambition and having almost no talents beyond a pretty smile.

Her entire career is an example of someone completely ignoring the wise and ancient words, “Know thyself.”

First, she is genuinely stupid. It took her 6 years at 5 different institutions to finally get a BA in a vacuous subject like “communications.”

This says a lot because anyone who knows American post-secondary education knows there are thousands of marginal colleges which award BAs pretty much just for attending and paying your fees.

She lacks the most basic qualities of application and perseverance, having resigned half way into what is certainly the simplest executive government job in America, the governorship of thinly-populated Alaska.

She was also involved in minor corruption in Alaska.

She did some incredibly stupid and embarrassing things as John McCain’s running mate.

Most notably, the Republicans gave her a generous line of credit to keep her wardrobe up for the campaign. This woman grossly overcharged the account, buying clothes not only for herself but for her entire family. It was a scandal, but it was kept fairly quiet.

Later, she was advised to “make hay while the sun shines” with speaking engagements, which have become something of an American institution for anyone enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. She went around giving speeches with zero content at $100,000 a pop, making millions from suckers who seek celebrities, even silly ones. This is, after all, the Age of Oprah Winfrey who has become a billionaire giving America such little circus acts accompanied by moral bromides.

Sarah even got her pathetic daughter into the act at $30,000 a pop, this a woman with literally nothing to talk about, not even “family values.”

These are pathetic people who should never have been involved in politics, but the example of George Bush was prominent and had set a precedent.

Bush was almost certainly the most ignorant and unintelligent person ever to serve as president. In some ways he proved America does not even need a president. Of course, the real power in those years was Dick Cheney, an intelligent, ruthless, and malevolent man, assisted by Donald Rumsfeld.

Some thought the trick could be repeated but with a pretty face, and Sarah had so little sense of herself she went along gleefully for the ride.

It is hard to have any sympathy for a person of her demonstrated lack of good sense, thinking she could be so much more than she almost certainly had to know she was.

At any rate, she is a success, of sorts. She’s worth millions, doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, and still has a following in trailer parks across America.