Archive for the ‘NEWT GINGRICH’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PROPAGANDA PIECE ATTEMPTS TO COVER THE IDIOTIC ANTICS OF CANADA’S JOHN BAIRD IN EAST JERUSALEM – WHAT PEACE MEANS – ISRAEL’S COMPLETE LACK OF INTEREST IN WHAT MOST CALL PEACE – BUYING POLICY   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

EXPANDED FROM A POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY EINAT WILF AND NOAH SLEPKOV IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This piece is a set of words strung together almost without meaning and certainly without logic. Its only intention is to plant certain suggestions in readers’ minds, one of the key purposes of any propaganda. According to the authors, John Baird, Canada’s current foreign minister, was not guilty of provocation in blundering into East Jerusalem as a guest of Israeli politicians, rather he was being “brave” in the cause of peace.

Brave? John Baird?

Baird has always been a coward because only a coward acts aggressively towards the weak, as he does regularly in both domestic politics and in trips abroad, and certainly the Palestinians are weak, living at the mercy of Israel’s brutal and dishonest behavior.

The leaders of Israel do not want what any normal person calls peace. Their behaviors over decades make that abundantly clear to all but biased observers.

Israel has always followed the policy advocated by early Zionists called “the iron wall” in its attitude towards the Palestinians.

How much better would have been a policy of generosity towards its neighbors, but no, generosity in Israel’s attitude has never received the slightest consideration. The one prime minister who came just a little closer to altering the county’s brutal policies was assassinated, as it happened by an Israeli.

Israel holds all the cards – armaments, economic power, American influence, and absolute rule over millions of people – but it has never made a truly honest effort for genuine peace. Words, words, and more words combined with arrogant and impossible preconditions set even for discussions.

What we see is a garrison state, armed to the teeth, threatening its neighbors constantly, ready at the smallest provocation to kill thousands, and we see that state rule over 4.5 million conquered people with a heavy-handed system of apartheid, a system recognized as apartheid by every sensible and decent observer in the world from Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu to Jimmy Carter.

And, week by week, Israel slowly steals the land on which those 4.5 million people live, stealing it through all kinds of cynical and dishonest laws – an ongoing, slow-motion practice of ethnic-cleansing in every sense of the term.

What other state could accurately claim as its national symbol a D-9 armored bulldozer used to destroy the homes of others and sometimes simply to crush opponents?

Canada’s arrogant and ill-informed foreign minister, John Baird – and Canadians all know that he is arrogant and ill-informed owing to his everyday behavior at home – steps in to validate Israel’s ghastly behavior in East Jerusalem, never once saying anything about human or democratic rights.

And why does John Baird choose to behave in this obtuse fashion?

Because he is a creature of the Harper government which has as its goal, by its leader’s own admission, the elimination of the Liberal Party in Canada, a party which was always been even-handed in the Middle East, reflecting the attitude of a majority of Canadians.

Harper’s strategy includes having ended state support for political parties, using every disagreeable parliamentary dodge he can think of, being an enemy of transparency in government, suppressing the voices of experts in the civil service, and actively seeking a new and substantial flow of private financing, as it happens, from apologists for Israel eager to fund a turn in Canada’s historic and fair-minded policies.

In the United States, this pattern of funding is now an integral part of its foreign affairs. In just one example – and there are countless examples – the unpleasant Newt Gingrich received the best part of $20 million from just one wealthy American heavily involved in Israel’s affairs to run his presidential bid.

The price for that money? Newt’s peppering his speeches with ignorant assertions like “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” In another notorious example, Dick Armey, former House Majority Leader, once openly suggested that Israel just go ahead and run all the Palestinians out of the occupied territories – surely the kind of assertion that does not come naturally from an ultra-conservative economics major for whom property rights are virtually religious dogma.

And just so, John Baird’s bull-in-a-china-shop behavior in East Jerusalem and at the UN or Peter Kent’s sudden outbursts, almost like someone given to speaking in tongues, about Canada defending Israel or Harper’s regular speeches claiming credit as a warrior against (virtually non-existent) anti-Semitism and deliberately conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

In the normal world, we know peace in any violent disagreement is often only obtained by outside intervention and patient talks and mutual respect, but somehow when it comes to Israel, this common understanding just disappears. Israel is never pressured to treat its neighbors with respect, and it is never pressured to talk to them without arrogant preconditions. Never.

No one dares say a word about the decades of abusing 4.5 million people, of Israel’s endless torture and assassinations. Nor do the “brave” John Bairds of this world raise their voices when Israel kills 400 children as it did in its invasion of Gaza or when it commits piracy on the high seas or when it murders a Canadian officer serving as a UN observer or when it drops a million hideous cluster bombs on civilians as it did in Lebanon. No condemnation over the theft of farms and homes is ever heard. Not a word about endless illegal arrests and the imprisonment of thousands. Nor a word about the seizure of taxes and foreign aid moneys from their rightful owners.

Of course, there is never a word about the Six Day War so many decades ago, the very event which put all those people at Israel’s mercy, a war which Israel cynically started knowing it could win, aiming ultimately to create what is known as Greater Israel. Nor was a word said about Israel’s attacking a well-marked American intelligence ship, of which they had been advised in advance, during that war to silence signals informing Washington that Israel was turning around its armor to seize all of what it controls today. And there was not a word about the mass murder of hundreds of Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai to expedite that turnaround.

Does anyone in his right mind believe peace is obtained the way Israel has claimed to pursue it? Only if your definition of peace is Israel’s taking all the additional land it covets without any of the people who own it and live there, which is pretty much what the concept of Greater Israel involves. I suppose that is a kind of peace, the kind of peace brutal American soldiers achieved in My Lai, Vietnam, or in Fallujah, Iraq.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JEFFREY SIMPSON SAYS CONSERVATIVES PREACH THE GOSPEL BUT FORGET THE CHAPTERS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Exactly.

But that is because they are not accurately called Conservatives.

Harper’s party is a Northern affiliate of the Republican Right, which also is not in any way a genuine conservative party.

It is the party of the imperial establishment, full stop.

Whatever Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” wants, it gets.

Whatever measures represent traditional, responsible conservatism are irrelevant.
________________________________________

“conservatives are actually on point — starve the beast.
they won’t admit to it, but that is their true calling.”

Wrong.

That is what they like to pretend they are doing.

In effect, they are spending irresponsible amounts of money on new matters.

How is the F-35, a gulag of new prisons, a pointless war in Afghanistan, and a host of other measures starving anything?
____________________________________________

“They? They great unwashed majority that does not agree with you? They?”

How do you know the majority?

And how do you know it is unwashed?

Are you Canada’s preeminent secret pollster?

Of course you are not.

Expressions like yours are simply a display of the same kind of ignorant arrogance we see from Harper regularly.

Or from the shabby likes of Newt Gingrich.
_____________________________________________

Harper is just a far less garrulous and amusing version of Newt Gingrich, albeit wearing a red-and-white tuque instead of being wrapped in Old Glory.

________________________________________

“How about ADSCAM, where did that money go…?”

Simply pathetic.

Harper’s thugs stand in contempt of Parliament, in violation of all principles of an open society, and now in violation of our election laws.

In sum, Harper has pissed on our democratic values.

The Adscam business involved a genuine effort to preserve the country’s integrity, an effort abused by a small number.

There’s no comparison – none.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BELINDA STRONACH REVIVES A TIRED OLD MATTER FROM THE REPUBLICANS OF 20 YEARS AGO – TERM LIMITS AND WHY THEY ARE WRONG   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Sorry, Belinda, but this is just a mild rehash of notions that the nasty wing of the Republican Party mouthed a couple of decades ago.

We had ambitious politicians blubbering about everything from term limits to instituting a part-time government in Washington.

The skills and experience gained by thoughtful politicians in their careers are not contemptible stuff and, in a number of ways, serve the public well.

The problems facing national governments in today’s world – and I don’t mean just the current economic setback but all the immensity of globalization and world-scale problems like global warming and war – are complex and demanding, not the stuff for dabblers and part-timers.

Indeed, the idea that people would move regularly from industry into government and back again can be a formula for even greater influence of special interests in government.
________________________________________________

I’ve always defended Belinda against the stupidities of people like Peter MacKay.

But that does not mean that I accept her as in any way innovative or creative or even effective.

She was a sort-of CEO under daddy’s watchful eye, and she was a largely unsuccessful politician, leaving no lasting mark beyond a scandal.

So she is hardly qualified to offer advice in these matters.

And the advice she does offer is Newt Gingrich a la 1992.

Not impressive.

Again the formula of out of industry into government and back into industry is one for even more inappropriate influence by special interests.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PALESTINIANS DON’T EXIST: NEWT GINGRICH’S IGNORANT COMMENT DURING A DEBATE – ISRAEL’S INAPPROPRIATE INFLUENCE ON U.S. – FACTS ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST’S HISTORY – MYTHS MIXED IN POLICY   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Gingrich reaches new levels of the ridiculous here, reminding me a bit of the time some years ago when apologists for Israel insisted no one should use the accepted term, suicide-bomber, inducing George Bush to give a speech in which he used the non-existent term, homicide-bombers. Of course, it sounded ridiculous, but no more so than much of what George Bush said.

Gingrich has always, always been a two-faced politician, a slimy manipulator, and a man who has served various special interests for a large enough wad of money.

Here he claims what is, is not.

Even the Bible speaks of the Philistines, albeit with a negative perspective.

And why does he do this?

To attract large campaign donations from The Lobby.

There is no other explanation, because Gingrich has always been a man of shallow and rather easily altered convictions.

What an absurd business to inject into the political debate in America, especially considering here is a nation with scores of serious problems, but that’s what a politician without ethics is willing to do.

And one has to believe The Lobby is desperate to the point of insanity to invite this kind of garbage.

The world is becoming totally disillusioned with Israel: its behavior is consistently aggressive, unethical, and malevolent, and no ignorant, shallow words from Newt Gingrich or anyone else is going to convince them that what they see daily is not the truth.

Israel’s credibility with people all over the world keeps falling, and indeed has not much further down to go.

All that rather than just make peace and treat its neighbors with respect. It does say something very unpleasant about Israel that no blind insistence by manipulated American politicians can overcome
______________________________________________

“. . . despite what some folks say, it turns out that Christians are VERY open-minded. Doing whatever you want is perfectly OK with them … as long as once in awhile you say that you’ve sinned but have now — SHAZAM ! like MAGIC ! — been forgiven by God.”

It’s an aspect of one of America’s favorite continuing themes: eternal youth and being born again.

Redemption is a concept repeated in America to the point of being sickening, day after day.

You can do anything – and Newt has done some disgusting stuff – and have redemption.

The popular culture is replete with stories of drunken or drugged hillbilly singers who find redemption, along with endless tedious stories of sports figures and politicians.

There’s always a new prospect for everyone so long as they just believe.

Believe in what?

Essentially believe that you are special, going to live forever, and truly cannot do anything wrong.

By the way, Newt is not just a serial adulterer, one of his egregious stupidities was announcing to his past wife, dying in a bed of cancer, that he was divorcing her.

Doesn’t that just say something profound about this man’s character? I do believe we are dealing with a psychopath here, a relatively mild one but a psychopath.

That being understood, how easy for him to deeply cut and hurt millions of people already suffering decades of abuse from his campaign-fund paymaster.
_____________________________________________

“…Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here’s what he said:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”

What an abysmal comment.

First, how in God’s name can you honestly quote one man as representing the truth on so profound a matter and speaking for millions of people? You cannot.

You might as well quote Mordechai Vanunu on the nature of Israel.

You are just repeating an immensely tiresome and deeply dishonest idea that Jordan is where Palestinians belong.

Jordan does not want millions of Palestinians.

Millions of Palestinians do not want Jordan.

No, the Palestinians just want the homes and farms they have resided in for centuries and centuries.

And they don’t want the migrants from Europe and America who pretty well define the establishment of Israel stealing any more of their homes and farms.

And what does Israel and apologists for Israel’s abuse, like yourself, want?

To ethnically-cleanse millions of people, stealing all their homes and farms.

In a futile effort to make that palatable, you spew nonsense like this about there being no Palestinians.

The existing apartheid situation in Israel and occupied Palestine is only intended by Israel’s establishment as a temporary one, intended to make these poor people get up and go from endless abuse and deprivation.

Go where? Go anywhere so long as it is not in the territory of what has now become that malevolent fantasy of Greater Israel.

As all apologists for Israel’s abuse, you conveniently forget that all the countries of the Middle East, including Jordan, have no long history, but that does not render any of them invalid.

The shape of the modern Middle East arose out of matters like the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the imperial adventures of Britain and France.

And the bottom-line truth is that all nationalism is pretty much a child of the 19th century. National states, as we know them today, virtually did not exist before then.

Europe and other parts of the world were divided into princedoms and empires everywhere, entities which included a polyglot of languages, religions, and ethnic identities – the Austro-Hungarian Empire being perhaps the most obvious example with its Germans, Tyroleans, Italians, Hungarians, and many others.

Nationalism is almost a virus that infected Europe in the 19th century with the idea that Germany should be for German-speakers and Italy for Italian-speakers, etc.

We saw where that virus led: in the limit, Hitler’s Reich with its absurd racial theories is where blind nationalism goes.

The early Zionists were infected with exactly the virus of nationalism sweeping Europe, and today in few places of the world is there a more backward-looking sense of identity than in Israel.

Israel for Jews. No room for others.

That sounds terrifyingly familiar.
____________________________________________

“It seems that the Jews of modern Israel are the invented people; not the Palestinians.”

Indeed.

A fine Israeli academic has written a serious and scholarly book on the Jewish people and Israel’s identity.

Everyone concerned about the Middle East should read it.

You’ll find my book review here:

http://chuckmanmiscellanea.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-of-shlomo-sands-invention-of.html

But even were the findings of this research to prove inaccurate, there still would be no excuse for Israel’s abuse and oppression.
_______________________________________________

“ Clearly, the anti-Israel posters here have no real notion of the history of the region and are simply parroting Palestinian talking points.”

I would be willing to match my knowledge of the region’s background with you or any other apologist here for Israel’s interests.

There is nothing more intellectually dishonest than repeating endlessly the same technically true but trite observation, an observation which is meaningless.

Again, no country in the Middle East has less historical basis than Israel, a place largely founded and governed by Europeans and Americans.

And modern scholarship seriously questions whether these founders and rulers even have any legitimate connection with the place called Israel because they are likely not descendants of the ancient Hebrews.

The Palestinian people most likely include most of the direct descendants of the ancient Hebrews.

The Romans were known not to throw all the population out of their conquests, and there is no record of them doing so despite the modern notion that the Jews have been wanderers since being thrown out.

Both the Biblical stories and some Jewish notions of ancient history we know to be incorrect.

There is for instance no record – and this among some of the world’s great past record-keepers, the Egyptians – of Israelis being enslaved or even living in Egypt.

Moses is an Egyptian-origin name, not Hebrew.

And somehow or other I have doubts about Jonah living in the whale.

You don’t base boundaries and world affairs on myths and superstitions, but if you do you get just the kind of mess we see today in Israel.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MODERN CONSERVATIVES’ FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY – NOTE ON AMERICAN DECLINE – AND A FURTHER NOTE ON SARAH PALIN   Leave a comment


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Well said, Jeffery Simpson.

I believe there is an important contemporary political phenomenon with conservatives few have carefully observed.

As you say, fiscal conservatism has been dead for decades.

Both Reagan and Bush were big, big – truly reckless – spenders.

Yet they always were reluctant to pay the bills for their spending, typically cutting taxes again and again.

Not paying your bills is a fundamental violation of traditional conservative views and ethics, the one part of conservative philosophy I have always regarded well.

So what is a contemporary conservative?

A politician who tries to buy votes with tax cuts. Long ago, conservatives would say that liberal politician tried to buy votes with big, new programs. The conservatives finally hit upon a counter strategy of buying votes with tax cuts.

Tax cuts had the additional advantages of crippling the government’s ability to grow and creating a temporary Keynesian stimulus to the economy.

It has been an effective cheap trick, especially in the United States where hatred of the “fed’rah” government is bred in the bone.

And again, as you say, the one area where there are never cuts, only increases, is in so-called defense (so-called because just ask yourself, when was the last time the United States launched a war to defend itself?). This part of conservatism has applied primarily to the United States, a nation that regards itself as democratic yet continually behaves as a rather arrogant world imperial power.

Indeed, many Americans through a long and complex process of indoctrination Mussolini would have admired – in everything from marching bands, pledges, football homecomings, flags on porches, speeches, songs, social pressures of every description, plus the presence of the military everywhere including recruiters in every campus and high school – almost regard the very meaning of their country as a grotesquely-enlarged cartoon eagle, with its talons out, ready to strike.

And for so many young Americans of humble origin and limited prospects, the military is the key to a paid education, their part of the cheap political slogan, the “American Dream.” Plus a sense of worth, unavailable in McJobs, in a place which so exalts uniforms.

The only way you keep that whole thing rolling forward is with more spending and, truly, more wars – completely against the attitudes of most of the Founding Fathers who were generally traditional conservatives and afraid of standing armies.

So mindless support of the military-industrial complex – thank you, President Eisenhower, the last right-thinking Republican – has become a fundamental part of American conservatism.

Only recently, with the intense influence of the United States in Alberta and thereby on Stephen Harper do we see a bit of this poisonous philosophy coming to Canada.

Of course, the great game American conservatives have devised has within it the seeds of its own destruction.

Much as the former Soviet Union always contained the seeds of its own destruction – immense inefficiencies and endless spending on the unproductive military and security establishment.

The United States is unquestionably stuck on a downward path towards losing its imperial status with vast economic and fiscal inefficiencies and unbelievable spending on a military which never creates anything but waste and destruction.

While the United States remains frozen, much like the proverbial deer in the headlights, countries like China, India, Brazil, and even Russia are making genuine progress as efficient competitors on a grand scale.
____________________________

“And this is why there’s a Tea Party movement spreading across North America. Less taxes, less government spending.”

Sorry, the Tea Party is nothing but more of the same old, same old.

There is nothing new in it, whatsoever.

There have been many versions of the same thing, including the “contract with America” of that pudgy old phony, Newt Gingrich.

Just look at the party’s hooking up with Sarah Palin, truly a pitifully ignorant person who understands nothing of economics or, indeed, much of anything else.

The Party is a vehicle – paid for by some wealthy people – to harness the discontent of so very many Americans who really do not understand what has happened to them.

And so many Americans are virtually trained to look for quick and easy answers, trained to respond to celebrities like Palin, and trained not to question the fundamental assumptions of their society.

America’s middle class is in an unavoidable spiral of decline. Real wages have fallen for many years. Its efforts to maintain its situation – through two people working per family and moving out to distant suburbs for cheap land – is about played out.

The world of suburban sprawl and two large cars is coming to an end with oil prices which are only going to go up long-term. And America’s lack of competitiveness in many fields only grows vis-à-vis up-and-coming states. So does its debt of every description. And so do the foolish expenses of its military-security complex.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ASSASSINATION THREAT-AS-JOKE OF TOM FLANAGAN AN AMERICAN ACADEMIC WHOSE POST IN CALGARY IS USED AS A TOXIC DUMP   Leave a comment


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

There is nothing new in learning anything which confirms that Tom Flanagan is a nasty piece of work.

The man is pure, unadulterated American Right-Wing, a thrust-the-imperial-flag-into-the-chests-of-those-working-against-America’s-sacred-interests man, without a trace of decent traditional conservative.

He literally represents in Canada everything you find in that ugly mob which includes Dick “kill the turbanhead scum” Cheney, Tom “the money launderer” DeLay, Sarah “the idiot witth super-sized glands” Palin, Newt “I divorced my wife dying of cancer” Gingrich, and all the other charming Washington folks who work tirelessly for war and imperial interests. The influence and the money for promoting Right-Wing values come up alongside the same pipelines which carry Alberta’s crude and natural gas South.

I have never understood why the Globe gives him column-inches periodically, other than the well-know fact that he has been adviser to Harper, truly the most divisive politician in living memory and a man who already has succeeded in corroding away like spilled battery acid a great deal of Canada’s past wonderful international reputation.

Flanagan’s columns have never demonstrated anything beyond the academic quality or interest of just another second-rate social scientist. He is in academic terms a truly undistinguished thinker.

But there is nothing second rate or undistinguished about his visceral instincts for plotting against and trying to destroy traditional Canadian values. The man is an instinctive predator, a perfect hunting-mate for Harper.

I note the comment that Flanagan’s comment about killing Assange was made in the form of a joke, but then only rather sick people make such jokes or laugh at them.

Shouldn’t people who say such things be treated as terrorists, or at least as people having made a criminal threat?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NEWT GINGRICH AND SARAH PALIN AND THE EMPTINESS OF AMERICA’S RIGHT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN IN THE TIMES

Newt Gingrich’s comments show how devoid of any content the American Right is.

Here is a woman who could not finish one term as governor of one of the smallest-population states in America, and yet she is spoken of in the same sentence with the presidency?

Palin’s real reason for quitting as governor may never be known, but the two most likely explanations are a scandal-prosecution suppressed by a secret promise to resign or her recognition she just could not handle the pressures of the job.

In either case, she is about as qualified to run for president as Bozo the Clown.