Archive for the ‘JOHN CHUCKMAN’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE HAZY IDEA OF “RETURNING TO NORMAL” IN AMERICA WITH JOE BIDEN – AMERICANS WANT A SUGARY WALT DISNEY CARTOON WHILE THE KILLING AND DESTRUCTION ARE CARRIED RIGHT ON ABROAD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLAND JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President

“Wanting America to go back to how it was before Trump is like rewinding the same horror movie”

 

‘Trump is a very normal U.S. president”

Despite the seeming contradiction in those words, I completely agree with your meaning, Ms. Johnstone.

When it comes to real substance, America has been killing and torturing people, destroying homes and whole countries, ignoring the rule of law, for many decades.

Trump really hasn’t added much to that “normal behavior” except his crude style of presentation. And his insistence on inflicting his absolutely talentless family on the world, the Beverly Hillbillies of Fifth Avenue.

But many Americans seem to believe otherwise. Or perhaps, it’s just that they wish very much to believe otherwise?

Many are ashamed of Trump as the chief representative of the country, and of course with good reason. He is shabby and ignorant and often ridiculous, but they mostly have not been ashamed of the country’s destructive activities abroad for three-quarters of a century. I think it might be fair to characterize the perspective as somewhat superficial.

Just bury the Trump voodoo doll and everything will be fine, except that it won’t. But Americans look for no truth nor demand any from their government, so long as they feel vaguely at ease, as when wearing comfy old slippers. You could look at Joe Biden as a pair of comfy old slippers.

It really is going to be a dumb game show, the coming election. Even dumber than usual. The choice, after billions of dollars spent on marketing and advertising and trips, comes down to what one writer aptly called “Trump and not-Trump.”

If you know Biden’s record, you find the role of knight on a white charger to be serious miscasting.

This is a loyal party hack. He supported all the killing and destruction abroad, even though he now lies about his early support for the carnage of a million deaths inflicted on Iraq.

He supported all the internal dishonesty of his party, as revealed in the massive DNC and Hillary Clinton material published by Wikileaks.

He scoops up bags of campaign cash from American plutocrats behind closed doors, making them promises we know nothing about.

He pushed for Obama’s hellish extrajudicial killing system, complete with “kill lists” in the Oval Office’s in-box for approval. He never objected to any of the very harsh treatment of whistle blowers, including Assange and Manning, a category of people against whom Obama was relentless.

Biden stood by, watching as Libya and Syria and other countries were torn apart, governments guilty of nothing but independent thinking about American policy. He kept wearing his big smile as Israel bombed and shot the hell out of Palestinians locked by high fences in a big refugee camp, killing several thousand adults and about a thousand kids, some streets running red with blood in photos.

I never heard him once complain about Saudi Arabia’s grisly tyrant or about the blood-spattered Generalissimo running Egypt.

Biden happily served as imperial proconsul for America’s paid coup in Ukraine, a coup against an elected government. He smiled, shaking hands with such Nazi types as the commander of the Azov Battalion. And did all the dirty business he was bidden to do with the corrupt and smarmy President Poroshenko.

He scooped up all the bribes he could for his family. Imagine a big firm in Ukraine suddenly wanting to pay his son, Hunter, fifty thousand dollars per month (yes, that is, “per month”) for years of doing nothing? Yet somehow that wasn’t a grotesque bribe?

A disgusting politician for sure, but he doesn’t bellow like Trump or display laughable facial grimaces. He’s not embarrassing, except when he introduces his wife as his sister or forgets where he is during a speech, but I guess that kind of embarrassing can be endearing.

Americans do not want to see the truth about their country, and the country’s press happily accommodates their wishes.  It is the world’s bully, and it is engaged full-time in state terror. There is simply no other word to describe many of its acts abroad. And it never stops lying about all of it.

No, Americans don’t really mean “to go back to normal.” Normal has never gone away. They mean the normal of their undisturbed ability to pretend the country is something other than what it is.

Americans want a pleasant fantasy, sort of a sugary Walt Disney cartoon – “Uncle Remus’s Tales of Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross” – and that’s just what they’ll get from Joe Biden.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP AGAIN ATTACKS THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND MAKES THREATS – TYING IT IN WITH HIS SAVAGE ATTACKS ON CHINA – WE HAVE A MADMAN RUNNING THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY – I DON’T RECALL ANYTHING QUITE LIKE HIS WORDS AND ACTIONS EVEN DURING THE COLD WAR – AGAIN, ALL REAL EVIDENCE POINTS TO EVERYTHING HE KEEPS YELLING ABOUT CHINA BEING ENTIRELY WRONG – HE ALSO ANNOUNCED HE IS NOW SELF-ADMINISTERING A DANGEROUS ANTI-MALARIA DRUG AS HIS IDEA OF VIRUS-PREVENTION, EFFECTIVELY ENDORSING SOMETHING DANGEROUS TO MILLIONS OF VIEWERS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS T V

 

“Trump threatens to quit WHO, calling health body ‘puppet of China”

 

It would be nice to hear prominent Americans – politicians, writers, academics, scientists – speak out about this man and his ravings.

Some do, but remarkably few, I think, considering how serious the situation is.

We have a madman exercising power in the world’s most powerful country. He makes new absurd claims almost daily.

And the truth is, he achieves nothing except to make millions of people in the world miserable, as people in Iran, Palestine, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and many other places.

As if there weren’t already enough misery.

And he attacks such an important part of the world’s economy as China at a time of great economic fragility.

His behavior around all aspects of the coronavirus literally is criminal. His delays and blunders have cost many lives in his own country, but he’ll blame it all on China with no evidence at all.

What can one say of a leader who actually attacks the WHO at such a time? A leader who attacks instead of cooperating?

I don’t recall anything quite like it, even in the Cold War.

It is impossible to cite a single worthy accomplishment by Trump, but there is a long list of failures and threats and destructive behaviors. Is that really America’s idea of a leader?

By the way, he has just told the world that he is self-administering the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a preventive measure.

All experts warn against doing that – the drug has dangerous side-effects and should only be used in a hospital setting, if at all – but here’s the President telling millions that he does, thus effectively endorsing it for them. It is a very good measure of his sense of responsibility.

Just as is the fact that he never puts a mask on. I’ve seen a number of world leaders photographed with face masks on, including the President of China, but far be it from Trump to offer a responsible example to his people.

 

AFTERNOTE:

As I’ve already written, new evidence (dated X-rays) suggests strongly that the coronavirus appeared in France in November, 2019.

That re-inforces previous technical evidence about the origin of the virus having had nothing to do with a bio-lab or even the city of Wuhan.

At some point, it jumped from animals to humans, as viruses often do. All the evidence we have contradicts what Trump keeps yelling about China and its responsibility.

But what are facts to a man spewing hatred?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IMPORTANT NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THE CORONAVIRUS STRUCK EUROPE IN NOVEMBER 2019, HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH CHINA – BUT I DOUBT SCIENCE WILL GET IN THE WAY OF DONALD TRUMP’S WITCH-HUNT RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN – HE HAS ACHIEVED NOTHING AS PRESIDENT, EXCEPT A GOOD DEAL OF HUMAN MISERY – SO HE HAS TURNED TO THE METHODS OF THE INFAMOUS SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY, ANOTHER POLITICAL FAILURE WHO FIRED UP HIS CAREER FOR A WHILE WITH HATRED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – IMPORTANT NEW EVIDENCE CONCERNING DATES OF CORONAVIRUS STRIKING EUROPE

 

We have important new evidence about when the coronavirus struck France.

Apparently, there were cases in November, 2019, having nothing to do with China.

If further investigation confirms the existing evidence of dated patient X-rays, all of Trump’s ignorant attacks will be shown for just what they most certainly are, ignorant attacks.

Although I can’t imagine that will stop him, he and his loyalists not being the kind of people who are overly fastidious about proof. In the absence of any achievement in office, Trump’s re-election strategy is set on a bellowing witch hunt about China.

I find that interesting. The original American Cold War witch hunts were the work of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a drunk looking for something to rekindle a declining political career. Trump is a teetotaler, but his short political career has been an unmitigated disaster.

Science before politics, especially the ugly politics of name-calling and witch hunts.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/05/breaking-french-doctors-believe-they-may-have-treated-coronavirus-patients-in-november/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA PAUSES A MOMENT FROM ITS HARD WORK OF TERRORIZING VENEZUELA TO ACCUSE VENEZUELA OF “PROMOTING TERROR” – I SUPPOSE A TWISTED PERSON COULD INTERPRET VENEZUELA’S MERE EXISTENCE AS PROMOTING TERROR BECAUSE IT GETS AMERICA’S BLOOD UP, BUT IT WOULD BE A LOGICAL STRETCH – HERE’S A LIST OF DONALD TRUMP’S PROUD EFFORTS AGAINST A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, PAID FOR BY AMERICAN TAXPAYERS TO PRODUCE NOTHING BUT HUMAN MISERY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JESUS SILVA IN PRESS T V

 

“Washington targets Venezuela as promoter of terrorism”

“The US government has announced that Venezuela and Cuba along with some other countries have been included in a particular list of nations which Washington believes collaborate with terrorism”

 

My God, what an upside-down world it is.

Venezuela has been the target of a long series of terror attacks, many of them conducted openly by the United States, but here are US officials accusing Venezuela of promoting terror.

Here’s just a portion of recent American activity against Venezuela and its twice-elected government…

Shutting down the country’s electrical grid, several times, spoiling all the food in millions of poor people’s fridges, as well as endangering those dependent on life-saving machines.

Imposing severe sanctions against the health and welfare of millions. Sanctions always disproportionately hurt the poor and vulnerable, and it is important to stress that the way the US uses them, they are simply illegal. They are American laws being applied to people who are not Americans and without the authority of any international organization such as the UN.

Imposing a naval blockade against the same poor people, something which is considered an act of war.

Stealing some of Venezuela’s national assets and turning them over to an unelected man who pretends he is president.

Interfering in the country’s trade and commerce abroad in every way it can think of.

Sending a flotilla of gunboats, destroyers, into the area to intimidate.

Sending a group of private American mercenaries to kidnap or kill the President.

Putting a large bounty on the head of an elected government.

An earlier attempt to kill the President used a drone with explosives.

If that list doesn’t represent authentic terror, then I don’t know what would.

Venezuela has done absolutely nothing a thinking person would regard as terror. No, Venezuela’s “crime” is just peacefully conducting its own affairs with democratic elections and without American approval and supervision.

And just look at the set of unholy messes America’s incompetent government has put itself into. It cannot conduct its own affairs, yet it insists on telling others how to conduct theirs.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRUMP – STRIPPING AWAY THE HOLLYWOOD ILLUSIONS ABOUT AMERICA AND REVEALING SOME RAW, DISTURBING REALITIES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRUMP

 

This is a man who thrives on conflict and hostility. It is almost an appetite which needs feeding.

We see this characteristic in his every effort, from working relationships with staff and experts of various kinds to his threats and name-calling against other countries. His belittling epithets for foreign and domestic politicians. His relationship with the press is the same.

The only people who seem not subjected to his belligerence are extremely “safe” or “tame” individuals such as his doted-upon daughter, someone completely unchallenging, a cotton-candy personality, an Eloi-like creature, almost having the impact of a stuffed toy or dolly.

On top of the anger and hostility, there is his demonstrated lack of competence in almost everything he undertakes. If anyone, as a reporter just doing his or her job, is ungracious enough to touch a shortcoming or failing, as Trump’s lamentable handling of the pandemic, they immediately receive a hot blast of ferocious anger.

He insists on everyone seeing him as extraordinary, but extraordinary at what?

I’m not sure he could even answer the question himself. He just wants to be seen as extraordinary.

He has no perceptible talent. He is not even a good public speaker. His words are loud, bellowing, and demanding, demanding that his listeners understand how extraordinary he is.

His words offer no inspiration. He himself is the inspiration for listeners who ask very little.

As long as they hear some of the right sounds, words saying little but working almost like struck tuning forks with sympathetic vibrations – refugees, migrants, Muslims, America, Mexicans, foreign, troops, enemies, Democrats.

He has no body of knowledge about anything – from history and culture to science. Many of the assumptions contained in his words are ordinary, plodding, petty, banal. That is part of his appeal for his political base. He is “one of them.” His distance from them in wealth and position almost is not perceived.

He is “one of them” especially blessed by God in His wisdom and thereby worthy of admiration and loyalty. It is all on a gut or instinctive level. There are no ideas. There are no heroic words.

He is not at all a clever thinker, but he does possess a fierce animal cunning. It helps him in his savaging of people. He can almost smell weaknesses the way a predator smells fear.

In the end, I think the phenomenon of Trump says a great deal about America. It strips away sentimental Hollywood illusions and reveals raw, disturbing realities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JOE BIDEN AND TARA READE – READE IS CREDIBLE AND HAS OFFERED A FAIR-MINDED WAY TO END A SERIOUS CONFLICT OF CLAIMS – BIDEN IGNORES HER OFFER WHILE TALKING MEANINGLESSLY ABOUT HER BEING LISTENED TO – I FEAR AN ELECTION CATASTROPHE – THE WORLD CANNOT TAKE ANOTHER FOUR YEARS OF TRUMP’S VICIOUS LUNACY – BIDEN, ALREADY A WEAK CANDIDATE, MAY WELL HAND TRUMP THE ELECTION WITH THIS SCANDAL – IF THERE IS ANYTHING TRUMP KNOWS HOW TO EXPLOIT, IT’S DIRT – BIDEN SHOULD TAKE A POLYGRAPH ALONG WITH READE OR QUIT THE RACE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN HIDE OUT NOW

 

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said this week that those who believe the accusation of sexual assault against him by former aide Tara Reade “probably shouldn’t vote for me.”

http://www.hideoutnow.com/2020/05/biden-tells-large-group-of-people-they.html

 

That’s quite a set of statements from Biden.

“She [Tara Reade] should be listened to.”

“But I’m telling you this never happened.”

“Truth is on our side.”

I find Tara Reade quite credible, and she has the support of someone she had spoken to about the matter.

She has made a fair offer which would put this all behind. She will take a polygraph test if Joe Biden also does.

That appears to be part of her words Biden does not want to listen to, nor do the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party.

She also gains credibility through comparison with Biden’s well-known, long-term sleazy behavior around women. From pawing their necks and shoulders to pushing his face into their hair, sometimes startling them, and we have the recent revelation that he always swam in the nude in front of female Secret Service agents who did not want to be assigned to his protection.

I see the election as potentially a national catastrophe.

Trump is a dangerous incompetent. He literally generates crises. He made a crisis out of mishandling a disease. He has manufactured a crisis with China. He has given the world a whole set of terrible situations – Iran, Venezuela, Israel/Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Bolivia, and more.

There is a very good chance that if Biden runs for the Democrats, Trump will win. That would be catastrophic for the world, not just the United States.

Biden is not a strong candidate in the first place, a lifetime party hack with no distinguished achievements and now displaying fading cognitive abilities.

But this matter of Tara Reade makes him extremely vulnerable – and remember what a ruthless opportunist Trump is, ready to exploit any bit of dirt – and Biden seems not prepared to do what is required to make it go away, that is, accept Ms. Reade’s offer of polygraph tests.

He should either take the test or decline to run.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A WRITER SAYS “OBAMAGATE” WILL NOT RESULT IN ANY SIGNIFICANT OUTCOME – THE DARK STATE PROTECTS ITS OWN – AND I THINK SHE HAS IT JUST ABOUT RIGHT – I JUST WISH SHE WOULD AVOID USING THAT TIRED POLITICAL SALES-PITCH WORD “SWAMP”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Why ‘Obamagate’ Will Never Lead to Anything of Significance”

“You will never see Obama or his administration officials brought down by ‘Obamagate’ for the same reason Trump wasn’t brought down by the Mueller investigation, the swamp protects its own”

 

I think the author has it just about right.

There is no more justice in America than there is democracy, and for sure there is none of that.

Power is all that counts. The rest is stage play.

Most Americans simply cannot admit that truth.

As for change? Only under the influence of cataclysmic events would it be possible, events we are not likely to see.

Just a note, I wish the author avoided that tired political sales-pitch word “swamp.”

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CHILDISH IDEA THAT GLOBALIZATION CAUSED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND THAT THE PANDEMIC WILL PUT AN END TO GLOBALIZATION – THE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW WORLD BEING OPENED IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES WITH THE CONSTANT PRESENCE OF DISEASE – AMERICA OFFERS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO GOVERN TO NO ONE – AMERICA’S PARODY OF LEADERSHIP – THE OUTSTANDING EXAMPLES OF OTHER SOCIETIES – THE KNOW-NOTHINGS’ ROLE IN AMERICA – IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN GLOBALISM AND “NEO-LIBERAL” OR “NEW WORLD ORDER” GLOBALISM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – THE CHILDISH IDEA THAT GLOBALIZATION CAUSED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND THAT THE PANDEMIC WILL PUT AN END TO GLOBALIZATION

 

My title is a favorite conceit right now of America’s extreme Right, its super-Patriots, its Nativists, its Know-Nothings. I am sure it is something with which Trump is at least a little comfortable because it supports his poorly-conceived ambitions for America.

But it is ridiculous, both portions of the idea.

Think back to the early days of exploration and discovery, the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. What made all the vast efforts possible was new technology in the form of sailing ships capable of going thousands of miles over the seas accompanied by the learning and experience of hearty seaman-adventurers. It marked a new epoch in human history, and there was no going back. It is always that way with the great changes technology brings, there is no going back.

Almost as soon as explorers arrived in North and South America, they began transferring diseases in both directions, to the Indigenous people and back to Europe. And with the relatively fragile things early sea-going ships were, there were countless disasters in storms or on unknown shoals with ships going to the bottom and no coast guard to save their crews.

None of that ever truly threatened the new exploration and settlement and trade. No, in just a couple of centuries, we had sprawling colonies of Europeans all over the New World with communities and plantations and governments and institutions. And they made still more discoveries over time – such as new foods and products that Europe hadn’t known, chocolate, maize, potatoes, squashes, certain nuts and berries, tomatoes, tobacco and precious metals and gems. They established new regular trade routes with Europe and new enterprises grew just out of the transportation needs and arrangements. Malaria, Yellow Fever, Smallpox, and a host of other threats, despite creating setbacks, did not halt the progress.

Pandemics are awful things, but I do think we’ve had some extreme and entirely unwarranted speech and writing around this one. People saying things, with no perspective at all, such as doubting whether there will be much international trade and business again.

At another extreme, we have American Nativist types saying, “Hell, I’ll do what I please. I was born free, not to serve government’s grab for more power.” People showing no concern for how their own actions can hurt others and no understanding of the role constraints have often played in their own society. As though there never was in the past such common practices as quarantines, or the extreme practice of demanding part of millions of young men’s lives through the military draft, or experiencing martial law in an emergency.

The fact that there are so many Americans who object to simple and effective measures, such as wearing masks and “social distancing,” tells you something not very pleasant about large portions of the country. Trump and his immediate retinue play to those sentiments by refusing to wear masks. Imagine the Vice President touring a hospital, meeting patients, as he just did, and ignoring the hospital’s rule for wearing a mask? Imagine how many lives Trump might have saved just by setting the example of wearing a mask during his television appearances? His is leadership only to the Wagon Train crowd. And they are not the people who will inherit the earth.

We will get through this. We’ve already seen examples, like China’s immense effort and the far-sighted leadership here and there – I think of Singapore or New Zealand or South Korea. Our news is full of noise from the world’s worst example, the leaderless and willfully stubborn United States, a nation which has a tendency to believe it is the model for all to emulate in any matter.

The virus itself keeps mutating and could well become a more harmless thing to humans. And of course, a vaccine or a new drug treatment, if a vaccine is not possible, will likely be created. Whatever, we will learn to live with it just as we do with so many things, from Malaria to AIDS.

It never has been true that America provides a good model for others to follow, as in the way government is organized. The people who have followed it have generally been under the easy-to-understand illusion that such a wealthy country must be doing things right. The reasons for America’s wealth have little to do with the way its government and institutions are organized, and most of them cannot be duplicated by others. Circumstances of resource endowments, unique historical opportunities, the nature of migrants attracted over the years, and more go into the mix.

If the idea of America being a suitable model for others is not accurate, and it is not, it is even less accurate for the pandemic with all its accompanying side-effects. The President of the United States has frequently resembled a slapstick comedian, like one of the Marx Brothers, but with a super-grimacing face intended to be taken seriously in communicating his self-assumed sheer weightiness. He and his appointees have failed on a scale not seen in many places.

And the failure of so many institutions and organizations inside The United States – from the healthcare system itself to the distribution of vital supplies and the open squabbling among various levels and parts of government – has been monumental, anything but reassuring for the world. Even the country’s military handled the challenge badly, a senior Trump appointee in the Navy, Thomas Modly, traveled half way around the world, spending a quarter of a million dollars, to dismiss a warship’s commander and berate him in front of his crew, a crew, like many in the world, who considered the commander a hero.

The country – its leader and many of its institutions – foolishly ignored a detailed example containing hard-won knowledge from China. Just immense carelessness, ignorance, and arrogance. That has been followed by an organized campaign to accuse and vilify the very people from whom they should have learned, the Chinese.

I do believe that poisonous mix of carelessness and ignorance and arrogance is not unique to Trump. It is part of America’s mainline political culture, its establishment, for example, literally is unable to grasp and accept China’s miraculous rise and accomplishments. Washington, on all sides, is blinded by its own fantasies about itself.

We have a “turn the first victims into villains” campaign the like of whose viciousness I don’t recall even in the Cold War. Inhumanity and callousness in the service of getting a political leg-up with America’s darkest and least educated minds.

I do not see how it is possible to provide a more brain-crushing example of how to do things than cutting the funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of a pandemic. That action was intended to raise Trump’s political stature with America’s Know-Nothings – always a fairly sizable group which has over the years provided the human material for everything from private militias and the Klu Klux Klan to Aryan churches and the American Nazi Party – and taking it only emphasized his complete lack of concern with helping anyone except himself.

Trump’s record of decisions shows him literally toying with the health and security of both his own people and the world’s people. Somewhat in the fashion of a sick little boy who enjoys pulling the wings off butterflies to watch them struggle. Who on earth looks to someone like that for leadership? Only the Know-Nothings. The kind of people who confuse brutality with strength.

The re-openings being nudged along by Trump and some state governments are not planned to follow the best medical practices. It is likely they will, in short order, result in a new wave of infections and deaths.

The clear success of other societies in dealing with the crisis and working to share what they have learned greatly enhances their stature in the post-pandemic world. America looks a whole lot smaller, smaller in ability and in morality. Trump and Pompeo are the very worst, but we see so few prominent Americans doing anything to oppose them or to help others.

There should have been near-universal condemnation inside the American political establishment for Trump’s destructive action against WHO, as there should have been for his entire string of ignorant and uncaring statements during the early months of the disease, and for his appalling attack on China – an approach taken both by him and his Secretary of State worthy in every detail of Joseph Goebbels.

That’s not in the least an exaggeration. A lot of filthy, vicious words have been uttered by both men. A crisis for humanity has been reduced to a personal grab for political advantage. A bit like stopping to steal some stuff from a sick or dying man on the street.

Last, I think we must distinguish, many not doing so, between a globalized world, something I argue is inevitable and beneficial, and a globalized world led by America – sometimes called the new World Order or Neo-liberal World Order – something which is not inevitable, not all desirable, and I believe is on its way out.

I am always troubled by that use of “neo-liberal” because I consider myself a classical liberal holding to strong Enlightenment values. The “neo-liberals” really are contemporary global imperialists covered by a dissimulating name. Who could be more harmful and destructive than such American political luminaries as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or George Bush or John McCain? Lovers of empire and death, each of them.

America’s extreme Right insists on “throwing out the baby out with the bathwater” by echoing a welcome to the end of globalization. They are wrong, of course, but it is just part of the utter confusion that is contemporary America.

Posted May 11, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GOOD LEADERSHIP ESSENTIAL TO EVEN MAINTAINING YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD LET ALONE ADVANCING IT – THE UNITED STATES SIMPLY DOES NOT HAVE ANY – POLITICAL BANKRUPTCY TO GO ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER BANKRUPTCIES HEADING ITS WAY – EXAMPLE OF TRUMP AND SAUDI ARABIA – SAUDI OPTIONS – POTENTIAL FOR CHINA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL LAZARE IN STRATEGIC CULTURE

“From Overstretch to Collapse”

 

“So the collapse intensified, which is why America is now such a helpless giant. A crazy man is at the helm, yet the best Democrats can do is put up a candidate suffering from the early stages of senile dementia, who may be a rapist to boot. No one knows how things will play out from this point on. But two things are clear. One is that the process did not start under Trump, while the other is that it will undoubtedly continue regardless of who wins in November. Once collapse sets in, it’s impossible to stop.”

 

That is the closing paragraph of an article by Daniel Lazare, and I find it quite powerful in the way it brings things together. There is much in the same article with which I disagree, especially his interpretation of the Wars in the Mideast and of the coup in Ukraine. I regard him flatly wrong on those.

But while every writer has his/her agenda, an agenda I may not agree with it, that doesn’t preclude some truths being said along the way. And here is a perfect example.

Incidentally, that observation about agendas is why you cannot flatly condemn anyone for reading a certain writer or publication you know to have a bias or prejudice, maybe even an unacceptable one. Truth is most often found in little nuggets, and that holds for mainstream and alternative publications.

The collapse referred to is America’s imperial collapse, and I do believe that, with each passing day’s events now, the collapse is coming much more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated, and I agree strongly with the observation: “Once collapse sets in, it’s impossible to stop.”

Trump’s total mismanagement of the pandemic only piles on top of his mismanagement of relations with China and with Europe and in the Middle East. It is just one disaster after another, all leaving behind anger and resentment and lack of trust.

I agree it isn’t just Trump. America’s establishment had been headed on this destructive course for some years – under both Obama and Bush Jr – and then Trump jumped onto the stage with his blustering, offensive, and just incompetent ways, and things have started moving considerably faster.

Please note how most of America’s governing elites have made almost no serious effort to restrain or oppose him. The impeachment was about a far less consequential matter than almost every aspect of his foreign policies. He has definitely launched an assault on the foundations of what we know in the world, the set of international trade, diplomatic, and military relationships, almost without opposition.

He’s even at war with Saudi Arabia, the foundation of the American dollar’s special place in the world, a foundation without which much of America’s military and imperial activities would not be possible. The huge global demand to hold American dollars, owing to everyone’s needing some to buy oil, gives the US the exclusive privilege of printing far more dollars than the productive activity of its own economy would warrant and doing so without creating inflation. It has other advantages, such as giving America the ability to pay for many goods and services anywhere in the world with its own currency.

The Saudi situation is a very illustrative one. The Saudis want to increase their market share in the world.  Costly, uncompetitive American shale oil has filled some markets, but that was only possible because OPEC and Russia had held up prices earlier. American shale oil had a free ride. Well, the Saudis really aren’t willing to go on that way. The US shale industry can be largely collapsed in fairly short order with low prices, and both Saudi Arabia and Russia would be happy to see it.

Trump was not even willing to add a meaningful American contribution to the production decreases he was demanding of everyone else so that prices could rise. No, this stable genius wanted the higher prices and he wanted the flourishing American shale industry, wanted them both without any American sacrifice, just by force of his will, but that is not a sustainable outcome, not at all. Even if you cobble together a deal, as they did, it cannot hold because it works against the interests of major players.

Trump’s fixation on high American crude production (consisting heavily of shale oil) is much like his MAGA mantra. He literally believes that through force of will, he can make it be 1959 again for America, a time when America’s conventional crude production was high, just as its production of many manufactured goods it sold all over the world was high. His beliefs around the strength of his will – reflected I believe in the grim and grotesque grimaces we see in so many photos of him – actually somewhat echo those of Germany’s leader of the 1930s who frequently used the expression, “my unshakable will,” and we all know how that story ended.

To get better cooperation from Saudi Arabia, Trump is reported to have quietly threatened to remove America’s military umbrella for the Saudis. Only the other day, some Patriot missile batteries were reported to be leaving the country, likely a tangible demonstration to make the military threat credible.

But making Saudi Arabia vulnerable is not a wise thing to do. Nor is making its temperamental Crown Prince angry. And since we have rumors of a recent coup attempt in the country, Trump is playing with fire.

The de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince, is not a terribly flexible guy either, as his butchery of Jamal Khashoggi and the hefty increase in national beheadings amply demonstrate.

Actually, if that rumored coup attempt involved the US, as some reports suggest, Trump has already played with fire, and the Crown Prince has even more incentive to make changes in the Kingdom’s policies.

Saudi Arabia could reorient its policies and hurt the US. The atomic bomb of such measures would be changing the currency demanded for Saudi oil.

But there are many other measures that might serve Saudi Arabia’s interests and work against what the US regards as its interests, from ending the war in Yemen or ending support for the terrorists in Syria to altering its posture towards Iran, incidentally a country which stopped pricing its crude in dollars a while ago. After all, it is Yemen and Iran cited as the threats to Saudi facilities. That threat could readily be reduced or ended.

Any improved relationship with Iran would contribute to the forces beginning to nudge the US out of the region.

And there is China with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiative which could contribute mightily to the Crown Prince’s ambitious development plans for Saudi Arabia. China is ready to partner with anyone, and coming out of the pandemic, it is prepared to make every effort to get its economy humming again. China is an important oil customer too.

Good leadership is indispensable to even keep your place in the world, let alone improve it, and the US simply does not have it. Trump’s incompetence with the only political alternative being pathetic Joe Biden is itself living, breathing evidence of accelerating decline. Political bankruptcy, if you will, to go along with all the other bankruptcies headed its way.

Posted May 9, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA’S RECORD OF VIOLENCE AND DISHONESTY AND HARSH DEMANDS FOR SECRECY – HILLARY CLINTON AND JOE BIDEN AS AUXILIARIES IN TERROR – AMERICA’S PATHETIC POLITICAL LEFT – ROLE OF MODERN PRESIDENTS IN DETERMINING MILITARY AND IMPERIAL AFFAIRS – THE NEEDS OF EMPIRE – THE DEEP STATE IS AS REAL A DIVISION OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TODAY AS THOSE SET BY THE CONSTITUTION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO A (REPRINTED) ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“25 YEARS OF CN: ‘Obama’s Self-Deceit’—Sept. 29, 2015”

 

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/08/25-years-of-cn-obamas-self-deceit-sept-29-2015/?unapproved=400210&moderation-hash=c04fb841d8867b4abfc930dd211bdd31#comment-400210

 

Yes, a good piece, vividly recalling what a dishonest man Obama was.

It’s remarkable to me that so many remember him with nostalgia.

In part it was his appealing boyish smile and baritone voice. In part it was a kind of credibility he had gained by becoming the first black President. In part it was the relief everyone had felt seeing the end of George Bush, an embarrassingly ignorant, awkward, and vicious man.

I was taken in by Obama during his first campaign. A guy who sometimes wore sandals and briefly eschewed a dorky American flag pin on his lapel sure caught my attention.

I even started a small Internet tribute site with some extraordinary photos of him I discovered here or there.

But it wasn’t long before I took the site down. Perhaps that experience is why I react strongly against efforts to portray him as an admirable leader.

He bombed people every day of his eight years as President.

Obama overthrew the Qaddafi government in Libya, leaving behind chaos which remains to this day. Qaddafi’s was a government that actually took care of its people with free education and good water and healthcare. He also kept Libya out of wars.

His “sin,” for which he paid with his life and the destruction of his country, was in not adequately toeing the line of American imperial policy for the region.

Obama approved the ugly coup in Ukraine which still causes all kinds of unnecessary grief in the world, and that coup was against a democratically elected President. Indeed, it was under Obama that the whole Russo-phobia business was ignited. He’s the one who started running tanks up to Russia’s borders and creating unnecessary hostilities that fed off of the old Cold War fears, drummed into people’s heads for decades, fears which remain festering to this day.

I have no doubt he was secretly at the center of efforts to undo Trump’s election. Officials like the heads of the FBI and CIA do not speak out, as they did, without the President’s approval. It just does not happen.

Of course, Hillary was a close ally in the effort, keen on anything that explained away her embarrassing election loss. It is easy to say that Trump is such a horrible, incompetent man – and he is horrible and incompetent – that he deserved being unseated with secret plots, but that really is not the way to run a government with at least pretenses to democratic values and rule of law.

Obama supported the ugly, secret war against Syria, a pretend civil war using fake-jihadi mercenaries recruited from many places, a war that has killed almost three-quarters of a million people and destroyed much of one of our most beautiful and historic places. He even had Hillary Clinton running weapons and mercenaries from the smoldering ruins of Libya in a secret effort to introduce them into Syria, generally through Turkey.

Indeed, at one point, Obama talked about his “red line,” the use of chemical weapons by Syria. What he really was doing with those self-righteous words was setting the stage for a faked attack so he would have an excuse to declare a no-fly zone in Syria and bomb the crap out of it, the very approach he had used in Libya. Only Putin’s exceptional statesmanship saved the day for Syria.

By the way, a serious error of Obama’s was underestimating Putin. Obama treated Putin almost with disdain at times, speaking of Russia as producing nothing anyone wanted to buy but oil and gas. Judging from some photos, the two did not get along all that well in private.

The infamous incident at Benghazi, Libya, where an American ambassador was mysteriously killed by thugs – something never explained to Americans – happened as a part of the ambassador’s work on Hillary’s secret project to smuggle weapons and cutthroats into Syria. That is why it could not be explained.

We even know from one of our finest living investigative reporters, Seymour Hersh, that she also had a small amount of Libya’s stock of poison nerve agent shipped for ultimate use in Syria. It was to provide Obama with his “red line.” Qaddafi, just as several Arab leaders had done, kept such stocks as a counter to Israel’s secret nuclear threat.

The same charming Hillary who laughed when Qaddafi died an agonizing death – being bayoneted in the rectum while lying on the ground – “We came, we saw, he died! Ha, ha, ha!” The words were recorded. It is not a myth that she said that. Just as it is not a myth that she once said of Julian Assange, “Can’t we just drone him or something?” She’s a very enlightened and humane politician, much like Obama but more outspoken.

Obama made minimal progress in repairing the horrors America had inflicted upon Iraq. Years after the “Shock and Awe” [Hitler’s Blitzkrieg concept re branded] delivered by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, millions of Iraqis still had no electricity and no decent water and no jobs. What had been the most advanced Arab country was a shambles.

Obama maintained America’s unwarranted hostilities against Iran. Later, he distinguished himself once with the nuclear weapons agreement (JCPOA), but that came only after Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, made an approach to talk, Iran suffering under heavy sanctions levied against a nuclear weapons program which in fact never existed.

Obama supported many other bloody adventures, as in Somalia.

He never did anything of consequence to help the Palestinians see even a modicum of justice or relief from brutal abuse.

After all the horrors in the Middle East, Obama spoke, much like an arrogant general, about “now making the pivot to Asia,” which was code for intense new hostilities against China and its interests.

Once he lightly “joked” in a meeting, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this killing stuff!” A rather bizarre sense of humor, to say the least.

Obama holds the distinction of having created an industrial-scale extrajudicial killing system, incinerating people far away who were never legally charged or tried for anything. The method frequently kills bystanders, too, but even the targets are legally guilty of nothing.

Joe Biden was a big advocate for it at the time, perhaps just one of the reasons Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with tasks such as having served as Presidential proconsul in Ukraine to make sure America’s objectives in having staged a coup there against an elected government were adhered to. Biden is just another charmer from America’s supposed party of the Left.

It is notable that Obama never did one meaningful thing to help raise his own people back home, despite having campaigned to them on a “Yes, we can!” theme and often making speeches in the rhythms of traditional black preachers. He created that ugly, costly bureaucratic compromise with the corporate health industry, Obamacare, and that’s as close as he came to helping.

In addition to the immense amount of violence Obama oversaw as President, he had a compulsive need for secrecy and went after whistleblowers with a vengeance.

Poor dear Chelsea Manning was imprisoned under him, an ordeal she almost didn’t survive. Edward Snowden was forced into exile under his watch. John Kiriakou went to prison under him for revealing the CIA’s use of torture. And it was in his time as President that Julian Assange sought asylum from Ecuador.

The tight embrace of secrecy is also seen in the plots against Trump’s election.

The intelligence community’s massive new Utah Data Center, designed to hold frightening amounts of secret data about people everywhere was opened under this President.

I don’t think he did one thing to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. It was awarded in the hope it would encourage and fortify him to go a different direction than George Bush, but it proved a sad, empty hope.

He campaigned on closing down Guantanamo, just one portion of America’s international torture gulag where people were “rendered” by the CIA – that is, kidnaped, flown far away to a “dark site,” and tortured – Gina Haspel, the present head of CIA, having headed one of the sites. Then after Obama was elected, he changed his mind.

A man absolutely as inhumane and brutal as Bush or Trump, judged by his actual deeds, although he never bellowed and used foul language and openly threatened others as Trump does and he never sounded like the moron George Bush is. He carried a somewhat graceful and dignified appearance in public, but appearances can be so deceiving.

And, as you can plainly see in some of his photos and hear from some of his words, he is an extremely arrogant man. The boyish smile was missing more times than not.

Of course, what the details of Obama’s dark work tell us – just as is the case with Trump, from the other end of the American political spectrum, who has flip-flopped numerous times in foreign policy and has kept no campaign promise about the military and wars to speak of – is that American Presidents really do not control foreign policy, do not control the dark work of American empire.

They can perhaps tweak it here or there, they can give it a pleasant or unpleasant public face, but they do not determine it. That is the work of the so-called Deep State, which is just a living reality of the American “republic” with its supposed Constitutional divisions of power.

So, while American Presidents hold, under the Constitution, the title of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, they are simply not free to command them. And while they head the Cabinet, they are not free to command such Deep State forces as the State Department and CIA, organizations which work intimately together in every American embassy in the world, CIA having its own side of the house in all of them and working under State Department cover with phony diplomatic passports.

Those are just part of the results in a country whose power establishment serves the wealthy, using the tools of the military and security services to run a global empire benefiting the wealthy.

In terms of ethical and moral responsibility, the fact that American Presidents do not determine foreign policy doesn’t remove their responsibility for crimes. Obama voluntarily joined the vast imperial machine and served it faithfully, being rewarded at the end of his political career with a fortune worth many tens of millions of dollars, not the kind of money a President earns –  which is precisely four hundred thousand per year plus fifty thousand in expenses – and certainly not what an nontenured young university lecturer in law makes.

All American Presidents of the modern era leave office wealthy. The fact can help assuage a conscience. But I suspect there generally is not much in the way of conscience because it is extreme narcissists and moderate psychopaths who are attracted to run for an office like the contemporary American Presidency, and lack of conscience is a defining characteristic of those psychological conditions.

It’s an immensely long journey from some men in frock coats pledging their sacred honors, but it is the American reality, and we should never confuse American brute power today with charming tales of the Founders.

Posted May 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S DING-DONG COMPARISON OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TO PEARL HARBOR AND 9/11 – COMPARING A NATURAL DISASTER FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED TO A DELIBERATE ATTACK BY AN ENEMY – AND MOTIVATED BY HATE – THE MAN HAS NO SHAME OR DECENCY – HIS DOWNRIGHT INCOMPETENCE HAS CHANGED PERCEPTIONS OF AMERICA GOING INTO A POST-CRISIS WORLD   Leave a comment

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN YOUR DESTINATION NOW

 

“Donald Trump says coronavirus is an ATTACK on America worse than Pearl Harbor or 9/11 as the [American] death toll climbs to more than 74,000”

 

The world has two major crises – a pandemic and an economic collapse – plus many other serious ongoing problems, including wars and trade wars.

And at the very time of such great need for leadership, a demonstrated incompetent serves as the President of its most powerful country. A man who speaks only in dishonest terms, a man who refuses to cooperate with almost anyone, and a man seemingly bent on destruction.  Not just an incompetent, but a highly belligerent incompetent.

Trump’s efforts are going to make America anything but great again when all this is over.

A lot of old friends and allies – quite apart from those he needlessly calls enemies – are going to remember this ghastly performance which has included a savage lack of compassion for the sick – both at home and abroad – and America’s credibility and influence are going to be much reduced.

That will only magnify the effects of Trump’s previous clumsy, bludgeoning efforts to intimidate everyone into doing things America’s way. Well, it turns out, that in a crisis, America’s way is a disaster.

As well, we have his flash-fire intemperate readiness to tear-up important working international treaties and agreements, acts which only caution everyone about the value of obtaining America’s signature on an important document.

Trump’s America has the greatest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world, with a very great many more headed its way. America’s healthcare system, which knowledgeable people understood was poor and extremely unfair, has been put under spotlights for the world to see.

America has been shown not even able to marshal its own resources, as with medical supplies, an important area an unqualified, arrogant son-in-law was appointed to head.

America has been embarrassed by the firing of a very able Navy commander who was only looking after the health and welfare of his crew. At the same time, Trump pardoned another Navy man, one convicted of vicious murder abroad, a man some of whose past associates describe as sick, and even granted him a friendly White House chat.

But Trump is too wrapped up in himself to grasp the withering general impact of any of that. He is uncontrollably angry that the pandemic and its side-effects have interfered with his re-election, which he had earlier believed was pretty much “in the bag,” and which he regards as the world’s pivotally important event.

So, someone must be held responsible, and what better candidate for that role than China, a country he literally hates and has insulted many times over?

His obsession with China from the beginning has been to get it completely “de-coupled” from America. The world’s two most important economies “de-coupled,” and at a time of world disorder in finances, economics, and trade? He simply has no grasp of what he is doing, but he has astonishing depths of resentment and hate.

It’s a rather remarkable display seeing such incompetence and ignorance mated to insatiable drive and ego. But Nature is like that, often creating the most startling nightmare creatures as its long experiment with evolution proceeds, creatures much like the coronavirus itself.

I think it means that America’s relative decline in the world, already well underway and against which Trump has seen himself as heroically battling, can only be speeded-up, affected by perceptions of a President’s incoherent acts and words and the ensuing necessary heavy loss of confidence, in both America’s abilities and intentions.

Other countries, ones with far less resources, but endowed with generous cooperation and enlightened leaders, have simply done far better. How, after this, in any way can America be regarded as “indispensable” or “exceptional”? I think it cannot.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE VERY REAL THREAT OF WAR TRUMP NOW REPRESENTS – HIS OWN RE-ELECTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE FOR THIS PRESIDENT – AGGRESSIVE NEW EFFORTS AGAINST CHINA AND EFFECTIVELY THE ENTIRE WORLD, GIVEN ITS FRAGILE ECONOMIC SITUATION – PHONY NEW TRUMP-INSPIRED “DOSSIER” LEAKED ABOUT CHINA’S SUPPOSED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PANDEMIC – THE WORLD’S EXPERTS VERSUS A SELFISH POLITICIAN – DANGEROUS PROPOSALS ABOUT COLLECTING VAST “DAMAGES” FROM CHINA CAUSED BY THE CORONAVIRUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT -THE VERY REAL THREAT OF WAR TRUMP NOW REPRESENTS

 

To bury memories of his own grotesque mismanagement in the pandemic, Trump has opened an intense new verbal assault on China. His earlier attacks on China, although truly motivated by resentment at superior business success and no little tinge of prejudice, at least related superficially to economics and trade, but the new ones are something else entirely.

Trump’s record of ignoring serious advanced warnings about the disease, of belittling its nature for a considerable period, and of then advocating absurd efforts like injecting household disinfectant or heavily using an unproved anti-malarial drug, one with dangerous side effects, have left him looking absurdly incompetent in the eyes of many.  Especially in view of his country’s now running by far the world’s greatest toll of infections and deaths under the watchful eye of “the chosen one,” the unique American “stable genius.”

So, Trump has to create a distraction as he heads towards what in his eyes is the world’s most momentous event, his re-election. He has to generate some heat, some hatred and simmering resentment, because those are the kinds of intense feelings that make people forget inconvenient facts. Hate blurs all details the way a blast furnace melts iron.

New steps have been taken to block American government pension funds from investing in China as well as putting an end to any science grants which support the Wuhan bio-lab. These are unreasonable acts. Investment should go where investors feel it is best to go, and not be restrained by presidential diktats. And science grants are just part of the international system of support and information exchange involved with all top science.

I’ll briefly repeat a bit of what I’ve written before. Many facilities at Wuhan were installed by the French, who also have such a lab. Many of the technical staff at Wuhan were trained in Galveston, Texas, where the US has a facility. Wuhan has been given grants by the US National Institutes of Health and by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Wuhan’s findings are shared with the global virology community.

If anything, the pandemic should stress the immense importance of maintaining such work. Nature is constantly evolving new virus strains, and the only way people can be prepared to deal with them is by maintaining research. Trump’s approach is backward, not only in terms of assuming something for which there is no proof – that the virus came from the Wuhan bio-lab – but also because it goes against an important scientific principle.

Top scientists in the field say that there has never been a release of pathogens from a high-level lab like Wuhan. The labs are designed with many redundant safety features. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control last year closed the American military’s bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, over concern about its waste water treatment, but no release of pathogens was involved.

Remember, absolutely nothing has been proved about the Wuhan lab, nor is it in the least likely anything can be proved. Scientists studying the coronavirus have said that it did not come from a lab but made the kind of jump in nature from animals to humans often seen as viruses evolve.

Only recently, the US Director of National Intelligence said that there was “wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”

But those unwarranted measures by Trump are nothing compared to other possible activities being discussed. And at this writing a 15-page dossier compiled by intelligence agencies, has been leaked. Use of the word “dossier” is very telling, as in the “Steele Dossier” commissioned privately to defame Trump himself or in Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossier” compiled by British security services to justify the invasion of Iraq. Both the last two were proven frauds. But people trying to do what Trump is aren’t terribly concerned about accuracy. He just needs some red meat to throw to the animals.

Here is a man, demonstrated many times over to have no scientific understanding and little sound knowledge, suddenly telling the world that he knows things they do not. And those things add up to China somehow owing America for all the costs and damages of a new disease. Billions and billions of dollars. We’ve heard mumbling about unilaterally seizing those “damages.” After all, what court would be competent to judge such wild claims?

Certainly, stealing other people’s valuables is nothing new for Trump. We’ve seen him at it, always done under a feeble pretext, in every attempted coup and unwarranted attack on other states. In Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Palestine, and other places.

The idea of invalidating some of China’s vast holding of American T-bills, more than a trillion dollars worth, has been heard – in other words, reneging on your solemn financial obligations to benefit yourself, stealing from your customer’s account at the bank. Also heard is the idea of levying big new punitive tariffs against China, tariffs based on not even a pretense of trade arguments, but simply the claim that America is owed vast sums. Any of the approaches runs counter to international law and good practices. Any of them would further darken what’s left of the honor and credit of the United States.  And any of them would rightly infuriate China.

Any such behavior introduces a gigantic new destabilizing element into international relations. Well, the United States has long done such things, but it does them to relatively weak economies, ones having little influence on the world’s economic and trade affairs, countries such Venezuela or Cuba or even Iran.

But China is something else entirely. Its economy is almost the same size as that of the United States, and by some measures, is indeed already larger. In not many years, it is certain to be larger by every important measure.

Of course, the world’s economy is in a very shaky situation already owing to multiple causes. What kind of mind thinks up new ways to weaken it?  For surely, trying to seriously hurt China, often the world’s engine of economic growth in recent years, is directly attacking the world’s economy. Indeed, while the US is still struggling with the world’s greatest infection of coronavirus, China will be back comparatively to normal, having successfully dealt with the virus, and ready to provide the world economy some stimulus.

It is the same kind of mind that talks about people injecting household sanitizers to fight a virus. Or that takes credit for sweeping achievements that never happened, as millions of Americans supposedly saved by Trump’s (imagined) timely efforts in the pandemic. Or that gives his daughter and her husband – neither of them with any special competence or expertise or even talent – offices with big titles in the White House, with the son-in-law having a special role in the pandemic, an appointment very much in keeping with all of Trump’s dishonesty and bravado and incompetence during the early stages of the pandemic.

Somehow or other, rather than being seen as the disease’s early and rather heroic victim, China is now to be seen as responsible for all the harm done by it, perhaps sharing responsibility with the WHO, the kind of international organization Trump just viscerally dislikes. His reaction to international organizations being a mix of instinctive authoritarianism, hatred of outsiders, and readiness to harm those who believe they know better than he does, even if they clearly do. As well, we have a man with no regard for learning or expertise of almost any description, except for that which manipulates people and takes money from them.

No matter which method Trump fixes on, what he is really trying to do is to steal hundreds of billions of dollars from someone while at the same time heaping them with insults and accusing them of things they didn’t do. China did things right with the outbreak of the virus, as every international expert says. No one did things as badly as Trump’s America. All so that he can be re-elected to inflict still more incompetence and bellowing on the world. Does that sound like a scheme that a proud and ancient society will quietly accept? A remarkably successful society in the modern era, almost the polar opposite of America?

Of course, it isn’t. Trump, being the kind of vicious personality that he is, knows exactly how to inflict hurt and insult on others. That’s just what his kind of morbid personality does. But to believe China will just accept such treatment is to believe a fantasy, an extremely dangerous one.

Trump sharpens his insults with the most insensitive activity in China’s backyard, “freedom of navigation” trips by American warships in waters where China already guarantees all nations freedom of navigation, so long as they follow the basic rules. He adds new provocations about Taiwan, a place that Richard Nixon solemnly pledged America recognizes as an integral part of China, which in fact is just the historical truth, only politics in America having interfered with the fact.

How long before activity on all these fronts leads to war? Calling names. Heavy-duty false accusations. Provocations in China’s territory. And a plan to steal hundreds of billions of dollars. And more effort to undermine China’s remarkable economy at a dangerous time. America is pursuing a reckless course under the generalship of a genuine lunatic. One thinks of General Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s “Doctor Strangelove.”

Trump’s motive is to blame others for upending what he thought was going to be an easy re-election. For that he is willing to do almost anything, ignoring all the world’s many terrible problems.

Mike Pompeo might regard the lying, cheating, and stealing he did in the CIA as amusing and acceptable, as he once not long ago joked about at a university appearance, but applying that sense of values as working principles to China is not going to result in smiles and chuckles.

A figure like Trump is quite capable of calling down Gotterdammerung upon his head, seeing that his fantasies about himself, fantasies of great leadership, are proved just that, fantasies, ridiculous ones, in all the world’s eyes.

We are entering a seriously dangerous period, and the madman in the White House only sees the next six months as a barrier to his re-election that he believes he knows how to overcome. Yes, war would do it. When don’t Americans loyally endorse a president in time of war, even if he is completely wrong as most American presidents have been in their wars? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more – you name it. All pointless and destructive but all supported by the people as though it were impossible for Old Glory to do any harm.

 

NOTE:

Just the day after I wrote this, I read an item saying President Xi Jinping’s staff had prepared a memo for him warning of the risk of war from the United States.

 

ADDITIONAL LATER NOTE:

Trump at this writing has called the coronavirus pandemic the worst “attack” his country has ever experienced. He blamed China for not stopping it.

“This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center,” Trump said in the White House.

Dangerous words indeed, and as complete a lie as those he offered when he hurled missiles into Syria for a gas attack which never happened or when he assassinated Iran’s national hero, General Soleimani, claiming he had been up to an evil plan when the opposite was true, he was working on a plan towards stability in the region.

 

 

VARIOUS COMMENTS ON TRUMP AND THE CORONAVIRUS

https://wordpress.com/post/chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/19483

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/19469/

htps://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/john-chuckman-comment-some-trump-trash-about-china-and-the-coronavirus-hits-canada-in-a-free-newspaper-here-are-some-facts-about-the-wuhan-virus-lab-nature-of-its-work-c/wn-re-election-more-important-than-anything-for-the-lunatic-president-aggressive-new-efforts-against-china-the-world/

Posted May 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME TRUMP TRASH ABOUT CHINA AND THE CORONAVIRUS HITS CANADA IN A FREE NEWSPAPER – HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT THE WUHAN VIRUS LAB – NATURE OF ITS WORK – CONNECTIONS IN THE WORLD – ALL SERIOUS EXPERTS NOW HAVE SAID THE VIRUS WAS NOT MANUFACTURED – IT AROSE NATURALLY AND JUMPED TO HUMANS AS IT EVOLVED – JUST AS DID AIDS OR POLIO IN THE PAST – YOU DON’T HOLD COUNTRIES RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OF NATURE UNLESS YOU ARE IGNORANT AND HATEFUL – BUT THOSE WORDS DO DESCRIBE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO NOW RUN THE WHITE HOUSE – A FEW EYEBROW-RAISING STATISTICS ABOUT AMERICA AND THE VIRUS WHICH CONVINCINGLY DEMONSTRATE TRUMP’S GROTESQUE MISMANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“’Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by “Epoch Times” claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon

“Special edition delivered to homes to attract new subscribers”

 

I am sorry this kind of trash is being distributed in Canada.

Anyone who really keeps up with the news knows this is entirely wrong from beginning to end.

The Chinese lab at Wuhan is not for “bio-weapons.” It is a world-recognized place for the study of certain viruses.

Many of its staff were trained at a similar lab in Galveston Texas.

Much of its equipment was installed by the French, who also have such a lab.

It is in part supported by an American scientific grant.

Its work is reported world-wide. All top science is international in nature.

The disease has absolutely no affiliation with the lab, and top experts have already studied the coronavirus gene sequence and they say it arose naturally and, at some point, made the jump from animals to people, in a place a good distance away from Wuhan.

That is just something which happens at times as viruses mutate. The virus for AIDS did exactly that, jumping from chimpanzees to people many years ago in what used to be the Belgian Congo. That fact does not make Belgium or the modern D R Congo responsible for AIDS.

Polio is another virus-caused disease, although it is not known just when and where it first arose. An early large polio epidemic hit Vermont in 1894. Is the United States then responsible for all the many polio victims who followed?

The idea that China is somehow responsible is being promoted by politicians and officials in Washington at the highest level, people who hate China owing to its economic success.

It is a totally irresponsible thing to do, but clearly the effort catches the attention of some, just as all forms of hate-speech do.

Readers may enjoy these related discussions:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/19483/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/19469/

 

FURTHER NOTE:

America has 4.2% of the world’s population.

Yet America has 33% of the coronavirus infections and 27% of its deaths.

Trump’s government is desperately trying to blame the WHO and China for its own mismanagement.

Note, too, that back in the early days of China’s battle with the coronavirus, Trump was quoted in the press many times praising China’s brave efforts. But those quotes reflected a time when Trump was most focused on securing the best possible total trade deals with China.

Now his focus is on getting re-elected, despite his publicly-demonstrated incompetence in the pandemic, and doing so by blaming someone else, China and the WHO. This truly represents the worst possible kind of leadership, leadership that literally changes its facts to suit its latest purpose.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COMMENTS TO A STORY ABOUT THE RELEASE OF FBI FILES ON FAMOUS INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST ROBERT PARRY – THERE IS NO PLACE IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY FOR SUCH A POLITICAL POLICE FORCE, RESEMBLING EAST GERMANY’S OLD STASI IN MUCH OF ITS WORK – BUT WHO WOULD SENSIBLY CLAIM AMERICA IS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY? – FBI KEPT FILES ON ANY AMERICAN WHO THOUGHT, WHETHER IN POLITICS OR THE ARTS OR SCIENCE – UNDER J EDGAR HOOVER, IT SERIOUSLY INTIMIDATED AND THREATENED PEOPLE AND YET NOTE HOW HIS NAME REMAINS UP IN BIG LETTERS AT THE HEADQUARTERS – A WORD ON MARTIN LUTHER KING’S ASSASSINATION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The FBI Investigated Robert Parry

“The bureau’s file on Robert Parry, the founding editor of Consortium News, was released last month”

 

The FBI investigated virtually anyone whose work wasn’t on an assembly-line because the FBI had nothing useful to do, and largely still has not.

If you had a mind, if you thought about ideas – whether in politics or the arts or science – you were investigated. And likely still are. In many cases, “investigation” does not adequately describe what was invasive and intimate spying on prominent citizens.

The FBI has a long and terrible history of abuse, including J Edgar Hoovers years of quietly intimidating politicians in Washington with secrets from their private lives. He was even involved in intimidating Martin Luther King and trying to push him into committing suicide with threatening letters. More than a few serious people believe Hoover’s FBI was likely involved in King’s assassination, so intense was Hoover’s hatred of King.

The FBI is an institution which has no place in a truly democratic state, but then people who read and think know that the United States is not really a democratic state.

It runs a world empire by force of a gigantic military-security machine for the benefit of its oligarchs and giant corporations. It is a slightly-disguised plutocracy. And neither of its money-endowed political parties opposes any aspect of that reality.

Just as they don’t oppose the godawful FBI. Some of the top Democrats even worked with people in the FBI to try nullifying Trump’s election. Horrible as Trump is, truly horrible, that is not the way things should be done. The FBI was murkily involved in many aspects of the effort.

The past work of the FBI in many ways resembles the work of the infamous Stasi in East Germany.

You’ll note despite decades of abuse of every description, J Edgar Hoover’s name is still up in shiny big letters at the FBI Headquarters in Washington.

If you want a fuller idea of the FBI’s real record, see:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-dreadful-record-of-the-fbi/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FACTS ARE NOT ALWAYS STILL FACTS – AMERICA’S IMPERIAL HORRORS AND THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN WRIGHT IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“COVID-19: Neither China Nor the WHO Are to Blame for Trump’s Failures

“The U.S. president, in seeking to weaponize the virus to salvage his own reputation, has set his face against humanity.”

______________________

Response to a comment saying, “And inconvenient facts are still facts! Journalists should respect not distort them!”

That is so in science and in theory about other matters.

But it is plainly not the case for the United States in its international affairs.

For seventy-five years of American imperial wars and coups and intrusions, there has been no truth told about any of them.

Many countries overturned and some destroyed plus something on the order of eight to twenty million people killed.

You would not find an ordinary American citizen who could even sketch out the basic facts of any of that colossal toll.

And that very much goes for associated huge events such as 9/11 and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Truth in these matters is like the old “sound of one hand clapping.” You can’t hear it, and it may just as well not exist.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DISTURBING NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – TWO DISTURBING DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

 

Two new studies reveal disturbing characteristics of the coronavirus.

First, a study from Switzerland reveals how unlike colds or flu COVID-19 is.

Autopsies showed that the virus attacks blood vessels and causes multiple major organ failures in patients.

Second, Chinese scientists discovered that there are not just a few, but dozens, of virus mutations. It mutates rapidly.

The mutations affect deadliness, with the most aggressive strain having a “virus load” (the amount of virus per volume of body fluid) 270 times greater than the least potent.

The most potent strain is the one which came from Europe to infect New York. America’s West Coast is infected by a less deadly strain which came from China.

Rapid mutation of the virus is not encouraging for creating a universal vaccine, rapid mutation being the reason we have not developed a universal vaccine for the common cold or flu.

There are many things we still do not understand about the virus, including, importantly, whether a “cured” patient can be re-infected.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S SELFISH UNWILLINGNESS TO SHARE IN OIL PRODUCTION CUTS THAT IT DEMANDED HIGHLIGHTS SOME FUNDAMENTAL NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS – THOSE AFFECT FAR MORE THAN WORLD OIL MARKETS OR EVEN OTHER INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS – THEY EXPLAIN MANY UNPLEASANT PARTS OF AMERICA’S OWN SOCIETY – THE CURRENT SET OF CRISES HAS PUT THEM CENTER STAGE FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE – THE WORLD’S CHANGED PERCEPTIONS OF AMERICA WILL BE BUILT INTO FUTURE GLOBAL ARRANGEMENTS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MIKE WHITNEY IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“There Is No Russian-Saudi Oil War, it’s a US-Saudi War Because the US Can’t/Won’t Cut Production”

“Everyone else cuts production, everyone else sees their revenues shrink, and everyone else pitches-in to put a floor under prices. Everyone except the “exceptional” American oil producers from the exceptional United States. They don’t have to do a damn thing.”

 

Sharing the cuts is indeed a reasonable expectation to have, but when was the last time anyone observed the US doing anything reasonable?

“They don’t care about anyone but themselves.” That could readily serve as the official motto for the country.

The irony is Americans act the same way internally towards their own people in many matters. Outside observers perhaps don’t see that so much, but it is a reality of America.

That’s why there is no healthcare system. That’s why there are so many appalling slums and ghettos. That’s why American primary public education is so weak that in tests, kids in poor little Cuba beat American scores. That’s why American police kill an average of three Americans per day. And that’s why the political system is totally corrupt and serves only the interests of the wealthy.

This is not a nation which cooperates. It is not a nation which shares. And, the truth is, it is not a nation that gives a damn about almost anything.

Part of the true spirit of America was captured in the often-repeated angry words, “Love it or leave it!” yelled at peace demonstrators during the long bloody, pointless Vietnam War.

We have seen many examples of that spirit in the current crises. Everything from keeping sick people in poor countries under severe sanctions to literally seizing medical supplies belonging to other countries. Delaying crucial decisions and arguing with everyone, blundering and lying, America’s leadership has shown no leadership, even to its own people. And no cooperation with others, more concerned about the dark factions that will play a role in its re-election than doing the right things for hundreds of millions of people.

The current crises put America on show as never before for all the world to see. The new perceptions will get built into future global arrangements.

Old Hollywood fantasy notions about America are drying up and blowing away like so much topsoil in the 1930s Dust Bowl.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S ILLEGAL SANCTIONS ON IRAN IN A TIME OF FRIGHTENING PANDEMIC – WHY TRUMP HAS BEEN SO VICIOUS TOWARDS A COUNTRY WHICH HAS DONE AMERICA NO HARM AND STARTED NO WARS – THE GENERAL UGLY NATURE OF SANCTIONS IS NOW COMPOUNDED BY ILLNESS – TRUMP REFUSES TO SEE BECAUSE HIS ONLY GOAL IN LIFE IS TO BE RE-ELECTED – AMERICAN ELECTIONS ARE ABOUT MONEY, BIG MONEY, AND FOREIGN POLICY IS UP FOR SALE – IT IS A VERY CORRUPT COUNTRY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS TV

 

“How stupid have we been: Trump on US Mid East adventurism”

“We spent 8 trillion dollars in the Middle East, that’s with a “t”,… eight trillion. But if you need to fill a pothole, oh, we can’t do that. How stupid have we been, just stupid!”

 

What he says is, of course, absolutely true, but as so often with Trump, it is confusing and inconsistent.

He’s the one making trouble in the region right now.

What’s he’s done just to Iran is terrible. Iran has hurt no one. Iran has started no wars. Iran was absolutely meeting its obligations under the international nuclear agreement for over four years.

Yet Trump just suddenly ripped up the agreement, started imposing all kinds of (illegal) sanctions, and sent war machines to threaten the country. He then assassinated a national hero, one who had taken no action against America.

Sanctions always, even in normal times, hurt the poor and the weak in a society, the better-off and privileged managing to insulate themselves. That is just what they do anywhere. So, they are reprehensible, but at a time of world pandemic, with Iran being hit hard, it just despicable to keep sanctions on the country.

Trump does all this for one reason only, to please some American oligarchs who, in return, will give his re-election campaign large donations and perhaps other support.

Elections in America are about money, and the country’s foreign policy is essentially for sale. Just an awful state of affairs. A totally corrupt society.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CONCEPT OF RACE – SOMETHING OF THE WAYS IT WAS USED IN THE PAST – NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS A VALID CONCEPT – IT STILL DOES ARISE SOMETIMES CONCERNING THE TROUBLES OF THE MIDDLE EAST – BUT THE FORCES AT WORK IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH RACE – JUST WHY WE HAVE SUCH A HUMAN CATASTROPHE IN THE REGION – TRUMP’S “DEAL OF THE CENTURY” ONLY FORMALIZES A STRUCTURE FOR THE FUTURE OF EXISTING APARTHEID – A BARBARIC PROPOSAL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN MONDOWEISS

__________________

Response to a comment:

Indeed, all authorities today reject the term “race.”

It was always an artificial construct. It was used historically often almost as though you were talking about two different species, thus justifying abuse of one by the other. It has a history associated with imperialism and conquest and slavery, and it reached its height of destructiveness with the Nazis. The word has an indelible stain.

The word should be avoided, although you can find it repeated innocently in respectable places, being used as a short-hand grouping or sorting criterion.

There plainly are groups of people – whatever you choose to call them, as ethnic groups – who share many inherited physical characteristics such as skin tone and height, but that does not define a distinction called “race.”

But I think the word “race” has little to do with the terrible problems of the Middle East.

That situation arose because of the ugly effects of British and American imperialism, because of blundering interventions by American politicians, and because of the terrible abuse suffered by one group in Europe three-quarters of a century ago. Emotional connections with ancient cultural/religious things in the region for several religious groups also are thrown into the mix.

The almost constant intrusion of American politicians into the region’s affairs for decades has pretty well created a mess. This intrusion is a result of America’s campaign- finance system, an anti-democratic horror that should have been eliminated long ago, and not just because of the Middle East. It essentially sets up a reward system for American politicians to intrude on behalf of those whose lobbies in America are largest and best financed, with the Palestinians really not even being in the contest.

Trump’s maliciously named “deal of the century” is just a structure for formalizing long-term the apartheid which already exists. It reduces the Palestinians even further to living in a set of discontinuous “Indian reservations” inside the bowels of Israel, seizes still more of the property that’s been theirs for centuries, and leaves them at Israel’s mercy in everything from water to the electromagnetic spectrum. It leaves them with no rights of any description. As a final insult, the authors openly doubt whether Palestinians are capable of governing themselves.

It is barbaric. But what else would anyone expect from Trump? He is barbaric in virtually everything he does.

But it is also something else. It is a set of conditions which cannot remain stable, no matter how much Israel is given the upper hand. It is hard to understand how Israel doesn’t see that, but fanaticism and greed are things that don’t leave a lot of room for reason.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A RECORD OF TRUMP’S SLOPPY AND VICIOUS WORDS DURING A PANDEMIC   4 comments

John Chuckman

A RECORD OF TRUMP’S SLOPPY AND VICIOUS WORDS DURING A PANDEMIC

 

American intelligence warned the White House in November, 2019, about the outbreak in Wuhan, China. The warning had a number of specific observations about the nature of what was happening and was not theoretical.

Trump ignored the warning and took no action to prepare the United States, as at least making sure stocks of medical supplies were in order, which later very much proved not to be the case.

In late January, 2020, here was Trump being interviewed at Davos, Switzerland: “It’s going to be just fine,” Trump assured the interviewer. “We have it totally under control.”

In a speech in late February, 2020, Trump told a crowd, “Now, the Democrats are politicising the coronavirus… this is their new hoax.”

Imagine using the word “hoax” for a disease? One that would shortly infect 2 million of the world’s people and kill at least 150,000?

By the third week of February, 2020, advisers made a list of measures they thought would soon be required, measures such as school closings, sports and concert cancellations, and stay-at-home orders, but Trump did not act on them until mid-March.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview recently that imposition of those policies sooner would have saved lives. It made Trump and his followers very angry, and Trump may just have toyed with idea of firing Fauci, but Fauci has held his position for thirty-six years and received many high honors, and firing him would bring tidal waves of criticism.

In April, 2020, at a briefing, Trump used the smarmy methods of gossip to spread the unsupported notion that the coronavirus pandemic began when the pathogen accidentally escaped a Chinese laboratory, saying, “more and more we’re hearing the story.”

Note that contrived language, “more and more we’re hearing the story.” Yes, indeed, and the “more and more” is from Trump’s own shabby crew retailing exactly the same gossip.

It is also very much from Trump’s old favorite news source, China-hating Fox News, a network which has earned a reputation for undependable reportage, rumor-mongering, and playing to fears to boost ratings. It is the “yellow rag” (an old newspaper expression for publications with low-grade, cheap journalism) of television news networks.

Imagine the leader of a huge country depending, in any way, on that kind of source for information? And on top of the fact that he previously ignored accurate reports of intelligence professionals? He understands the difference of course. He is just being vicious. It just comes naturally to him.

Chinese experts say that although the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, there are no facts to support that it originated there. A gene sequence in the virus, compared to a world database of related viruses is said to demonstrate that the virus was imported to Wuhan.

The US National Institutes of Health had awarded a $3.7million research grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for work on such viruses. They certainly don’t do that for second-rate outfits. Top-level science is of course international in character, just as we see with the CERN particle accelerator or the International Space Station and the world’s huge network of international collaborations and conferences.

Yuan Zhiming, an expert from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said in an interview that it is absolutely impossible for the virus to have been leaked from the institute. The standards maintained there are world-class.

Dr Gerald Keusch, Professor of Medicine and International Health at Boston University, said that no release of virus from a high-level lab, such as the one in Wuhan, has ever happened. He added, “The Wuhan lab is designed to the highest standards with redundant safety systems and the highest level of training. Many of its research faculty trained at a similar laboratory in Galveston, Texas.” Note again, with the reference to training, the international nature of high-level science.

Trump’s many references to the “Chinese virus” and the “Wuhan virus,” instead of using the proper scientific name, is a direct appeal to prejudice and just one more in his long series of public efforts to denigrate and attack China – all of course reflecting resentment of Chinese economic success and competitiveness and not any wrongdoing. Trump’s effort was coordinated with the graceless Mike Pompeo, who tried imposing the same language on the G-7’s foreign ministers in a tele-conference. They declined to do so.

The White House was asked through diplomatic channels to stop using the terms, but when they wouldn’t, China took the unusual step – unusual, given that country’s quiet and respectful ways of conducting its affairs – of rebuking the American government in a public statement.

At the same briefing where Trump gossip-mongered about the virus’s origin, he also said with absolutely no evidence, “It took them a long time to realise what was going on, but I have a feeling they knew exactly what was going on.” He added, “Tragically, other nations put their trust in the WHO.” That from the man who shortly before had cut funding to the WHO (World Health Organization) in an effort to deflect public attention from his own blundering.

It would be hard to recall statements and acts by the leader of a major nation which were more irresponsible than Trump’s towards the world’s most important health agency at a time of global crisis.

Here’s Trump again, at this writing, “A lot of strange things were happening, but there is a lot of investigation going on, and we are going to find out,” Asked to comment on the likelihood of leaking from the Wuhan laboratory, he said, “All that I can say that whatever it came from, it came from China, in whatever form. 184 countries now are suffering because of that. And it’s too bad, isn’t it?”

All diseases arise somewhere. Evolution at the micro- and macro-level never stops anywhere. Studies of the devastating viral disease, AIDS, suggest it arose in what today is the Democratic Republic of Congo, then the Belgian Congo, likely in the 1920s, the virus changing form and passing from chimpanzees to humans. Is Belgium or the DRC to be held accountable?

Trump’s suggestions of blame for China are those of a vicious, ignorant man. Unfortunately, judging by the number of his followers, there are a good many such people in the country.

Dr. Fauci was asked to comment about a possible artificial origin for the virus. He said “There was a study recently that we can make available to you, where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there, the sequences in bats as they evolve, and the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with the jump of a species from animal to human.”

Posted April 19, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY THE IDEA OF A VIABLE THIRD PARTY IN AMERICA IS A FLIGHT OF FANCY – AMERICA’S CURRENT PLUTOCRATIC STRUCTURE AND WHAT KEEPS IT IN PLACE – THE DARK UNDERSIDE OF AMERICAN POLITICS – VOTER CHOICE? DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IDENTICAL ON THE MILITARY/SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT AND ITS ROLE IN GLOBAL EMPIRE AND BIG DOMESTIC SOCIAL PROGRAMS IMPOSSIBLE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN AUTHOR REGRETS HOW PEOPLE GIVE UP FREEDOMS IN THE NAME OF (WHAT HE REGARDS AS A NOT VERY DANGEROUS) PANDEMIC – BUT PEOPLE FOR THE MOST PART HAVE NEVER BEEN INDIVIDUALISTS – THERE IS MOSTLY HERD BEHAVIOR – A WORD ON MILITARY HIERARCHIES – OUR ANCIENT ANCESTORS AND OUR RELATIVES THE CHIMPS – A SPECULATION ON WHERE HUMAN EVOLUTION IS HEADED – ROBOTS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARKO MARJANOVIC IN ANTI-EMPIRE

 

“Terrified of COVID-19?”  

“It’s just going to get worse. we can’t even begin to imagine what is in store for us. Meanwhile, the herd will beg for more.”

 

Sorry, I think you have fantasies about humanity.

Nobel individuals standing up for themselves? Perhaps, Marko, you read too much Ayn Rand?

Humanity is, and always has been, much like a herd.

The apes we’re descended from lived in tribal groups with sets of rules, just as chimps do today.

And they’ve even discovered that those chimp tribal groups periodically go off to attack a neighboring chimp tribal group, and do so quite viciously.

Does that sound familiar?

______________________________

Response to a reader who said, “Evolution still has a LONG way to go.”

Evolution is headed, and rather rapidly, towards artificial intelligence and robots.

They are the ones who will travel to the stars.

Our herd will be regarded as we do monkeys.

I believe in the search for other intelligent life in the universe – and absolutely it is there abundantly – the planets that really are advanced are likely robotic and have little or no interest in communicating with us.

That would explain the lack of signals despite years of effort looking.

There may be is only a relatively brief window in time when an evolving species such as ours is capable and interested in communicating.

For most of humanity’s 200,000 years, we’ve had no ability.

And perhaps in another century, our successors, the robots, will have no interest.

The universe appears to have a “destiny” towards self-understanding, given the way evolution works and the way the earth keeps a record of its own history through fossils and geology.

Intelligence is the “arrow of time” in evolution, and robots can before a very long time far exceed us.

After all, we’ve been 200,000 years just about right where we are but learning over that period how to do things.

That effort to learn how to do things will continue, but human capacity will be inadequate to the need. Our successors will carry on, even periodically building more intelligent generations of themselves.

Regarding other civilizations in the universe, it is of course possible that in the “transition phase” in which we find ourselves, many perhaps destroy themselves with nuclear war and other severe perils.

Weapons too grave for monkey brains.

 

Readers might enjoy:

https://chuckmanrobots.blogspot.com/

________________________

Response to a reader saying, “It is truly terrifying to watch how the sheep have acquiesced in their own enslavement”

Hardly more terrifying than the destructive stupidities of WW I and WW II and Vietnam and the Neocon Wars.

An immense amount of resources and effort dedicated solely to killing many, many millions of people and destroying many, many things.

And, of course, what is the social order which directs all of that activity?

A pyramidal hierarchy just like ancient Egypt.

That’s the only way militaries ever function.

You find no Ayn Rand types ever functioning in a military. Nor any Mozarts or Bachs. They are outliers in terms of their genetic make-up.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENTS: ON LINCOLN AND THE CIVIL WAR AND SLAVERY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON LINCOLN AND THE CAUSE OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

_____________________

Response to a comment saying,” the US inherited slavery and, in fewer than one hundred years, fought a bloody fratricidal war to end it”

 Sorry, that is wrong.

The Civil War was not about slavery.

It was about the power of the Federal Government versus the states. States’ Rights.

Lincoln effectively conducted a second revolution to establish the pre-eminence of the central government.

He himself said he would welcome leaving slavery in place if the country could be whole.

Lincoln personally disliked slavery, but was never ready to start a massive war over it.

His legacy, sadly, is American imperialism.

The US came through the war having become a major industrial power, and afterward seriously began to use that power to take from others. Ironclad ships, Gatling guns, and other military technology.

Remember, this was a lawyer who did a lot of work in Salem, Illinois for the Illinois Central corporation.

As with so many events and people in American history, we have inherited rather childish, fantasy interpretations of them.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE CIVIL WAR AND SLAVERY – A WORD ON JEFFERSON   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

__________________________

Response to a comment about the American Civil War:

 

Thanks for that.

The cause of the war pretty much jumps out at you if read enough good material.

It is of course nice for a government to have loftier motives handy to use as propaganda. And entire studies have been done on what really was a revolution, far more of a revolution than the first one.

Also, the North felt under considerable pressure from parts Europe, especially Britain which bought Southern cotton for its textiles. Having such a motive to display was helpful in the battle of ideas.

During the horrors of Vietnam, politicians in America actually spoke about democracy versus communism, just an absurdity since South Vietnam was governed by dictators.

Studies suggest American slavery, left intact, would have lasted a fairly long time, but it would have died on its own as it became uneconomic, as from the competition of new machines.

It was, of course, a terrible institution, but America has never really honestly dealt with its ugly history. It keeps hiding from it actually. That’s why there are no grand and moving monuments. And no form of reparations were ever given to help millions of very poor people.

Jefferson has a big glorious monument, and the fact is Jefferson never held down a job. He lived off the avails of more than two hundred slaves. He died a bankrupt, owing friends money he borrowed. He had a great taste for luxury items, from shiny new carriages to silver buckles for his shoes and, yes, ice cream in 18th century rural Virginia.

And it is not as though everyone in the world thought slavery was normal. Many thoughtful people spoke against it.

The redoubtable Dr Samuel Johnson in Britain wrote of America’s founders as “drivers of negroes speaking of liberty.”

Johnson especially took aim at Jefferson, and the famous quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels” was said to have been aimed with him in mind.

 

Readers may enjoy this on Jefferson:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-remarkable-case-of-thomas-jefferson-he-wasnt-at-all-what-so-many-think-he-was-how-the-needs-of-politics-can-twist-and-exploit-historical-figures-and-myth-making-as-a/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FEW IMPORTANT FACTORS SEEN IN REVOLUTIONS AND AMERICA’S SITUATION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“COVID-19: The Craziest Things About America Highlighted by this Virus

“The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic bailout”

 

In revolutions, a common factor is the elites’ lack of response to wider social/economic problems.

This was definitely true of the French and Russian revolutions.

It should perhaps be noted what has arisen in America before the current crisis, and that is the immense divide between the “one-percent” and the great mass of the population.

The divide has arisen through things like a tax system which puts no responsibility on the super-privileged, while, at the same time, a great deal of the government’s activities serve those same people – eg, the Pentagon/security complex and the empire abroad that it is designed to serve.

Many aspects of that structure are not stable, and they now are to be put under great stress.

I think all bets are off as to the ultimate outcome.

America’s domestic future might well be very different than many would have assumed just a short time ago.

And that goes for its international arrangements too.