Hillary and the Six Coin Tosses in Iowa and Epilogue

An article in today’s ‘Counterpunch’, which was entitled Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses”, brought me back to my post from the 2nd of February and when I was first made aware of the coin tosses in the six Iowa precincts which were too difficult to call. My own scepticism regarding Hillary winning the toss in all six precincts was, perhaps, contained in the sentence that we “might wonder if we got to see both sides of the coin either before or after it was tossed.” In other words it was implied rather than explicit.

However, with the article in ‘Counterpunch’, I can be a little more explicit and apparently “the probability of winning all six tosses by chance alone is 1/64. That is 0.016 or 1.6 in 100 or 1.6%.” In other words it is highly likely that the coin tosses were not left to chance and that they were manipulated. Indeed, it is difficult not to ask the same question that the author of the article, John V. Walsh is asking,  “Why has no one in the mainstream media looked into this?”

Will Turkey invade Syria?

RT reports that Turkish troops have killed sixty “terrorists” in Cizre in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, which is close to the Syrian border and, although the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, states that his government is paying “incredible attention so that civilians are not harmed by operations,” it isn’t difficult to agree with the contention that: 

“Turkey fears and loathes Kurdish independence anywhere in the world more than it fears and loathes anything else. Kurdish independence in Syria, from Ankara’s point of view, could at a minimum escalate a three-decades-long conflict and at worst threaten Turkey’s territorial integrity.”

Moreover, this contention would appear to be substantiated further by Turkish actions on the other side of the border where forces loyal to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara regards as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), are being targeted. Indeed, the evidence would appear to suggest that in a conflict where there are a number of parties and which is “defined by a chaotic web of shifting alliances”, Turkey’s greatest fear remains the Kurdish threat to not only to its raison d’ être as a homogeneous and unified nation-state, but also to its broader “dreams of empire.”

Certainly the PYD wanting to occupy a multiethnic area west of the Euphrates, which will lead to a contiguous Kurdish belt along the border, is a clear redline for Ankara. However, with the United States considering the PYD to be “a reliable partner” in the fight against ISIS, Kurdish ambitions, for the time being at least, are being pursued. Moreover, even if Washington were to heed Erdogan and back Turkey to the detriment of the  PYD there is another major player in the region and while Damascus might be the main beneficiary from Russian area strikes it is not the only one as these strikes also facilitate the YPG making advances.

Furthermore, while Angela Merkel might genuinely be “not just appalled but horrified” by the suffering caused by Russian bombing in Syria but there is also a temptation to believe that this and other soundbites from western leaders are solely there to ingratiate themselves with an extremely unreliable ally who is needed if the influx of refugees into Europe is to be reduced. However, the only way to temper that flow is to impress upon Turkey that it needs to negotiate with the Syrian government and with the Kurds, not only in Syria, but also in Turkey itself.

Of course, this not going to happen and, while certainly not the only one, a defining issue in the Syrian conflict in the months, if not years to come, will be Erdogan’s “Großmanssucht”. with some observers already believing that Turkey is actively preparing for a military invasion of Syria.

UN Rules in Favour of Julian Assange and America’s still looking to “drag his ass over”

In October 2015 the Metropolitan Police decided to strengthen its covert plan” at the Ecuadorian Embassy in lieu of police guards being on 24/7 duty. Of course, with the array of surveillance methods available to the Met these days, both legally and illegally, it might be expected that they could have dispensed with all of those conspicuous “Bobbies” from the word go and their decision should not be interpreted as any weakening in their commitment to send Mr Assange to Sweden and on the first step of an Odyssey that will end in the United States.

There is, no doubt, that London’s position hasn’t changed, despite the news that “a UN panel considering the alleged “unlawful detention” of Julian Assange has reportedly ruled in favour of the WikiLeaks founder.” Without getting too involved in the history of the case, which most of the readers will already know anyway, if Mr Assange does leave the embassy, he will be arrested and sent to Sweden. Moreover, with it looking like there is a sealed extradition order to the United States just waiting to be opened as soon as this happens, it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to conclude that from there he will end up in the United States.

Of course, with Chelsea Manning serving 35 years in an American federal maximum security prison for passing information on to Assange, it looks that the Wikileaks founder has more than enough reason to be worried, even if it could be argued that as an Australian citizen who was also operating outside of the United States, he couldn’t even be prosecuted in there, because that argument is extremely naive. Indeed, it is even doubtful that he will have the luxury of his day in court. This is a man who America has identified as its enemy and in order to get at its perceived enemies the United States has not only violated international law, it has also ridden roughshod over its own domestic laws as the extrajudicial execution of its own citizens demonstrates.

The federal criminal defense attorney and former CIA officer, David Adler said back in January 2012, “One of the major issues surrounding the Assange case is whether “we (the United States) can drag his ass over here.” The bombastic rhetoric used by Adler is almost an omen of what is in store for Assange should he ever land in the United States. It is that rhetoric, along with the USA’s track record in international law and the sealed indictment mentioned above that led to him seeking political asylum in Ecuador. On 19 June 2012, Ricardo Patiño, the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister announced that Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It might be that Julian Assange is about to leave, but there is neither evidence to suggest that anything has changed, nor that they will no longer be looking for the first opportunity to “drag his ass over”.


American Democracy: The stolen elections and tossing a coin to decide in Iowa

In an article taken from his book, ‘The Best Democracy Money can Buy‘, the investigative journalist, Greg Palast points out that in the 2000 presidential election there were 1.9 million votes cast that nobody counted and that over half of these votes were cast by African Americans despite the fact that they only constitute some 12% of the electorate. A detailed account of how exactly this was done was provided ten years after the event by Patrick Martin on the ‘World Socialist Website’. Of course, by 2010 there was a broad consensus that agreed with both Palast and Martin and it is with a fair degree of certainty that we can now say,  “George W. Bush stole the 2000 election.”

Nevertheless, it is to Palast’s article, which was written about five months before the 2004 election, that I would like to return, because, after making the point outlined in the first sentence of this post, Palast went on to say, “this year it could get worse.” That, of course is a reference to the elections which were to take place in November 2004 and, with Republicans preventing more than “350,000 voters in Ohio” from casting their votes, which would have been enough to put Kerry in the White House,  there is indeed evidence to suggest that the 2004 elections, like the 2000 elections, were stolen.

Anyway, the wheels are turning in “the best democracy money can buy” once again and we have just had the Iowa caucus where Donald Trump has, for the time being at least, suffered a setback. However, it is not to Trump that I want to look, but to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, which apparently was too close to call, but call it they did and, instead of blatantly manipulating the count, what did they do? Well, “a coin toss was used to decide whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders won at six precincts in the Iowa caucus” , ….. and, wait for it, Hillary won on all six occassions. One might wonder if we got to see both sides of the coin either before or after it was tossed. What a farce and you might think that where it was too close to call they would either have a proper recount or just give each of the candidates three precincts.

Donald Trump might become the next President of the United States and a lesson from History

A number of years ago I read Friedrich Meinecke’s ‘Die Deutsche Katastrophe’ and while it is not for this post to discuss either the merits or limitations of that book, or, indeed of the historian himself, there was a sentence which left an impression and which could be roughly interpreted as Meinecke bemoaning the fact that Germany, a “Kulturnation” could be seduced by, and ultimately succumb to, Adolf Hitler, who was, in his opinion, a person of the crudest half-education.

The book, which has about 180 pages was published in 1946 and even if it can hardly be expected that a member of Germany’s “Bildungsbürgertum”, who was so close to the events and whose own class facilitated “Die Machtergriefung”, can provide us with any worthwhile analysis of what had happened that one conclusion, namely, how was it possible for someone like Hitler to come to power, is worth thinking about.

Of course, for those thoughts to be expressed a far more substantial book than the one written by Meinecke would be required and its substance might include a worthwhile look a Brüning’s Chancellorship from March 30, 1930 to May 30, 1932, and the austerity policies which, no doubt, contributed to Hitler’s NSDAP getting more votes than the SDP and the KPD combined in 1932. Certainly, a number of other important factors also come into play, but the reality is by January 30th 1933 the ongoing political and social crisis, which Brünings austerity had accentuated rather than solved, meant that not only German capital was willing to put its faith in Hitler.

One of the reasons for studying history, however, is that it can help us understand the present and that is why, it might be appropriate to turn our attention to what is happening across the Atlantic, where another person of the crudest half education is looking to seize power. More than five years ago in his book, The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power’, Paul Street exposed Obama for what he is and this might simply be summarized as someone who is in the pockets of the military industrial complex. This is not a man who was ever going to go up against either Wall Street or the Pentagon and, with the poor getting poorer and increasing in numbers on a daily basis, there is every reason to see parallels with what was happening in Germany before Hitler came to power. Moreover, just as Brüning’s measures led to many Germans and ultimately capital turning to Hitler, it might just be that the corporations, Wall Street, and the Pentagon are ready for the ultimate throw of the dice.

Of course, the throw of the dice being referred to is particularly frightening and all the more so when the United States, with its nuclear arsenal, unlike Germany in 1933, is already involved in wars here, there, and everywhere. Nevertheless, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that Donald John Trump might just become the next president of the United States. and it could be that an infantile system, which throws all sorts of tantrums when it doesn’t get its 3% compound growth, is ready to throw in its lot with a particularly childish bully. A few days ago the UK’s Channel 4 broadcast the embedded documentary above and as scary as it is this clown really might be the “free world’s” next leader.

Media suppression of how the West contributes to the war coming to the West

It is an obvious point, but it is, nevertheless, one that has to be emphasized. On watching RT’s ‘Going Underground’ from the 25th of November, which was given just before the UK Parliament decided to bomb Syria, John Pilger quite rightly says that the propaganda coming from the so-called serious papers is even more lethal than the blatant puerile poppycock spouted out by the gutter press.

Why does that particular point have to be emphasized? Well, if it was only the Murdoch Press, the Daily Mail, and their ilk that were hammering out unadulterated propaganda and mind-boggling bigoted bias, recourse might be sought in some sort of search for the real story. However, in a world where we are continually bombarded with “news” the pseudo liberal press is there to ensure that there is very little cognitive engagement with the topic and, while there might be some affective disagreement with “four legs good, two legs bad” hysterics of the gutter press, the “qualities” “subtly” attempt to provide us with the necessary rationale to indeed accept that “four legs good, two legs bad”  thesis. In accepting that rationale no real thinking is required.

Of course, for those of us who do like to chew the cud other methods are employed and information might simply be suppressed as was the case when ‘The Guardian’ simply suppressed comments that the West might have something to do with the bombings in Paris and this is the real point and the one which has to be emphasized for as Pilger says in the interview mentioned above, “Hollande supplies the weapons for the enemy that he denounces.”

Still, we shouldn’t be too surprised, after all he also supplies weapons to the Kurds, to the Saudis, to just about everyone, apart from Assad, but then he is hardly alone there. That, of course, would be the real news, the real narrative, and the narrative which, at least, supports the fact that the West is behind what is happening in the Middle East and that is why that war is already coming to Europe. It is one of the many stories which the so-called liberal press conveniently ignores, while bombarding us with drivel and half-baked truths.





Putin was “probably” involved in Litvenenko’s murder

Interesting that the Chairman of the Iraq Chilcot Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, received a knighthood due to a grateful Blair” , who “worked closely with Chilcot on the Northern Ireland peace process,”  after he became Prime Minister on the 2nd of May 1997. Not really surprising then that Sir John agreed not to publish the correspondence between Blair and Bush in full. Seems there was a whitewash here, but then there would probably have been a whitewash anyway.

Still, this “probably” is not going to be enough to have Theresa May want to accuse Tony of breaking international law and an “unacceptable breach of civilised behaviour”,  or for David Cameron to accuse him of “appalling behaviour” . However, this is the language May and Cameron use when referencing Vladimir Putin after the Litvinenko Inquiry, which was only started on the 31 July 2014, or at a time when Russia’s relations with the Britain were at a particular low point, revealed that he “probably” knew about the killing.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t done much research into Putin’s involvement, but what is particularly irritating is the almost mind-boggling hypocrisy here. On the one hand we have a cover up regarding possibly the one of the greatest war crimes of the century and on the other we have a thoroughly politicised Inquiry setting out to prove the particular culpability of the leader of another country in the killing of someone who was on the pay role of Her Majesty’s intelligence services. Of course, how his killing was carried out and indeed his killing itself cannot be condoned.

Nevertheless, the pompous holier-than-thou preaching from a country which breaches international law time and time again and which has been, and still is, providing Saudi Arabia with those weapons, which are being used on a daily basis to kill men, women and children in the Yemen, and which indeed is in the process of getting involved directly in that killing, really might make one puke.

Might, but that, of course, won’t happen, after all the sanctimonious drivel that comes out of London on a daily basis is nothing new and if we were to be sick every time we hear Cameron talking about renewing NHS funding, while asset stripping on a criminal scale, or bringing democracy to a country that in fact ends up far worse off than it was before the British got involved ….. Well, if we were to be sick every time we took note of their sanctimonious, pompous, hypocritical drivel, we would end up looking for a hospital bed, which I am told is becoming increasingly difficult to find these days.