Thursday, August 31, 2017

North Korea Is Not The Problem

Thomas Riggins

This article is really slanted against the North Koreans: "rogue dictator," etc., why not "rogue president" for Trump (leaving the Paris climate agreement). The North Koreans are making rational demands and the US is refusing to act rationally . They have agreed to negotiate for an end to their nuclear weapons program for 1. a no first strike guarantee from the US; 2. an end to provocative joint military exercises with the South Koreans (war games to threaten the North); 3. initiate steps to sign a peace treaty to officially end the state of war leading to normal diplomatic relations. The only "rogue" behavior is the US refusing every rational solution to the problem and insisting that North Korea give up its major defensive bargaining chip against continual US bullying (its weapons program) before we will negotiate! Anyone with a half a brain can see this whole problem is the result of the US wanting to throw its weight around in this region (as in every other) of the world. North Korea is not the problem.

In a Twitter post, the president said the country has been paying North Korea for 25 years, though it was not clear what money he was referring to.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trumpty Dumpty After Charlottesville

Trumpty Dumpty sat in his bower,
Trumpty Dumpty fell out of his tower,
And all of Fox News and the President's men
Couldn't put Trumpty Dumpty together again.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Russia-gate and the Democrats (Robert Parry's View)

Thomas Riggins

We can thank the Clintoncrat leadership in the DP and Congress as well as the GOP for the war rhetoric or worse surrounding the DPRK"s defense program. I hope the elements on the left that still mourn for the HRC gang will abandon their support for US imperialism (objectively if not subjectively) and get back to supporting working class internationalism. HRC was a necessary evil in the fight to prevent Trump's victory, now she is an unnecessary evil and we should acknowledge the fact and get on with the fight against Trump.

Exclusive: By pushing the Russia-gate “scandal” and neutering President Trump’s ability to conduct diplomacy, Democrats and Congress have encouraged his war-making side on North Korea, writes Robert Parry. By Robert Parry There was always…

Friday, August 04, 2017

Russia worse off without the USSR by Thomas Riggins

This article indicates that the decline of Russia, despite its resurgent military, is entirely due to the fall of the Soviet Union and abolishment of Soviet socialism based on central planning (which allowed Russia to rise from a semi-feudal backwards peasant country to a major industrialized world power) and its replacement by a capitalist economic system manipulated by oligarchs. The NYT, of course, doesn't put it quite that way, but it's there if you read between the lines (it's the unconscious subtext).
Contrary to President Vladimir V. Putin’s claims of population growth, rural areas — long considered the wellspring of Russian culture and identity — are dying.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cold War Games

Thomas Riggins
Just substitute USA for Russia, CIA for KGB and other relevent substitutions and this article could be a Russian oped about the US and its attempts to interfer and subvert the Russian government. This is what the cold war was all about and it really is not in Russia's interests to start it up again but it seems that both military and political forces in the USA that benefited and profited from the cold war would like to restart it. The Russians are reacting to our pokes and pushes, they are not deliberately trying to antagonize us. (New York Times Comments)
Russian intelligence was probably behind Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Kremlin-linked people last year, and they meant for it to be discovered.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Richard Dawkins and Free Speech

Thomas Riggins
Considering all the different views people have it seems impossible not to express religious and political views that might "hurt people." Richard Dawkins has said some incredibility stupid things about Islam and Moslems but should he be banned from giving a talk on evolution, or science, or atheism when he is internationally recognized as a scholar in these fields? 
The station's general manager says “We believe that it is our free speech right not to participate with anyone who uses hateful or hurtful language against a community that is already under attack.” So he cancelled Dawkins' talk. His comment amounts to "We believe in free speech as long as we agree with it." Well we couldn't use "hurtful" language against the Nazi movement since it's a community being attacked.
Granted that as a scientist Dawkins should not get carried away with his emotions and make really dumb unscientific pronouncements about Islam but pointing them out should be sufficient remedy without attacking free speech rights.
Examples: Nobody calling himself a "rationalist" would make this stupid Dawkins tweet: "I think Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world today. I've said so, often and loudly." There is no such thing "Islam" tout court -- there are Sunni's, and Shites, and Alawites, and Sufi's, etc., and many permutations of all the above -- saints and sinners just like any other group of humans. Such a general tweet is just foolish ("evil" isn't even a useful term for a rationalist).
" In 2015, he wondered whether Ahmed Mohamed — the boy in Texas who was suspended after bringing a homemade clock to school that officials said resembled a bomb — wanted to get arrested given that the episode led to an invitation to the White House and crowdfunding." Dawkins must think the young man has prescience.
Just like the rest of us Dawkins says stupid things and doesn't always let logic and science overrule his emotions. As a "passionate rationalist" we can hope he will be more rational and less passionate but even if he isn't he shouldn't be censored and have his talks canceled by hypocrites.

A Berkeley radio station canceled an event promoting Mr. Dawkins’s new book, citing past comments and tweets that it said had “hurt people.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chit-Chat or After Dinner Conspiracy?

Thomas Riggins

Undisclosed? They sat and talked in full few of the people at the dinner. This article is so slanted it looks like the liberal version of a report by Bill Riley. Look at this ridiculous comment the NYT reproduces from one of its hearsay sources who wasn't even there: “We have the worst relationship as a country right now with Russia that we have in decades, and yet we have these two leaders that, for reasons that do not make sense and have not been explained to anyone’s satisfaction, are hellbent on adoring each other,” Mr. Bremmer said. “You can take everything that’s been given to us, and it doesn’t add up.” Really? 1. It makes perfect sense to try and improve the "worse relationship" so Trump's initiating a one on one talk at a dinner is a positive development. The idea that he was lured into this by Putin (expressed elsewhere in the article) is laughable -- he went over to talk with him on his own. 2. Nothing either of them has done indicates that Putin is "hellbent on adoring" Trump (or vice versa). This is just propagandist hyperbole more suited to the NY Post but becoming more frequent these days in the NYT as well. What doesn't add up is the nonsense passing as "news" concerning Russia and Putin in the mainstream media. There are millions of our fellow citizens completely ignorant of anything going on outside of their own backyards, their occasional contact with the press should alleviate not reinforce this ignorance. They should especially check out, online, The People's World (while occasionally succumbing to this meme it provides a much more realistic portrayal of realty than the mainstream corporate reality).
There is no official American record of the prolonged discussion between the two presidents on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting.