The Pumpkin – Issue 48. The old 1-2… Enjoy your retirement, Mr Secretary… What should we do about Russia?… Attack on Boglington: Russia suspected… But seriously….

The old 1-2

“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.” – John Brennan (former head of the CIA) tweet to Donald Trump on his firing the deputy director of the FBI.

“Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to US national security. He is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr Putin.” – Tweet from retired 4-star Army General Barry McCaffrey.


“They’re clearing the decks for war. Operation Desert Stormy has begun….”

Enjoy your retirement, Mr Secretary

So, farewell then, foxy Texy-Rexy Tillexxon, silvery-haired Secretary of State for the USA.

Despite your air of distinction you were fired over ‘chemical’ differences with the President (he doesn’t have any chemicals, he’s pure physics… That’s the difference.)

He complains about your body language: while he sat in meetings with his arms defiantly folded like a three-year-old refusing broccoli, bottom lip pouting against a roomful of hateful courtiers queuing to advise him about stuff he already knows more about than anyone ever, sucking up their grovelling effusions of sycophancy and lust for power, he says you slouched and looked sour when you didn’t agree with him, which was most of the time.

You never told him bedtime stories over cheeseburgers about the Greatest President a Grateful World has Ever Lavishly Heaped Praise On for His Many Mighty MAGA Triumphs.

You never told him he could be President for Life.

Why you stayed so long is a mystery as he was continually sidelining you. And Little Donny always hated you because you were a real bidnessman, unlike the negative-billionaire reality show clown invented by NBC.

You in turn called him a “fuckin’ moron” and opposed his vain attempts to make foreign policy on the hoof, such as promising a completely unprepared and unstructured meeting with the cuddly North Korean tyrant, hailed as a ‘reset’ of all the failures of previous Democratic administrations (actually, it was W Bush advised by wolfish neocons who screwed up a Clinton-era agreement to halt N Korea’s nuclear program while Kim’s dad discussed a rapprochement with the South. Who knew he was Il?).

Of course, the Kim summit won’t happen. It was all to divert salacious media attention away from the big bribe his lawyer gave a porno actress not to say they’d had an affair while Melania was still having little Barron wetnursed by illegally trafficked Rhinemaidens, especially the bit as he fucked her (in the normal way, obviously, Ms Daniels recalls nothing outstanding) about her reminding him of his daughter, Ivanka.

Trump doesn’t do serious, the show has to go on despite his terrible ratings, his love of family and his obvious mental incapacity. Add to which, incest?And as he’s now suing Ms Daniels for $20 million while it appears the money his lawyer gave her came out of campaign funds, it’s likely to run and run, the big sap.

Not helpful. And we have not forgotten how earlier, Mr Trump had undermined his chief diplomat, having his pet missing-link, Gorka state publicly that Tillerson had “nothing to say” on the subject of negotiations with… North Korea.

Nevertheless, you lasted a little more than a year in the job, Rex, longer than most, during which your department was hollowed-out, losing all its key staff and failing to appoint senior diplomats to posts including the rather essential ambassadorships to Japan and South Korea.

You weren’t popular with your junior staff, especially when the order went out that they were never to address you directly or look you in the eye. What, are you God? We should be told.

But how much of it was your fault? Mr Trump doesn’t do diplomacy, only great deals (“pay me or I send in the boys…”)

Thirteen months is a long time in the Trump White House, where more than fifty staff the Gilded One personally appointed, all of whom did a great job, obviously, because he only hires the best, had already quit or been fired by March 2018. Another record he can trump about.

Even that didn’t give you a hint you were only there because of your $9 trillion deal to drill the hell out of the melting Arctic, that you did while you were making $100 thousand a day at Exxon, happy days, with Trump’s only remaining friend, Mr Putin.

A bigly successful deal the Great Dealmaker would no doubt have killed his own mother to have been able to do, if he weren’t so poor on detail. If only she hadn’t despised him so.

And when the Congress refused to lift the blocking sanctions, as Trump had so clearly promised Veselnitskaya they would do if her boss Mr Putin helped him with the little matter of getting his fat furry orange ass elected, Rosneft pulled the plug on the deal, leaving you standing in your stripy silk underpants with nowhere to pee but on the Aubusson rug.

Last night you perfectly correctly sympathized with the UK government over the unbelievably messy and dangerous chemical warfare attack by the GRU on an emigré Russian double-agent living openly in Salisbury, an ancient and sleepy county capital at the heart of the British defence industry, incidentally poisoning a policeman and 131 others, and made it clear the US blamed the enigmatically smiling Mr Putin.

Who else would it have been?

That was the last straw for his friend, special agent Trump, who despite being frequently waterboarded by the White House press corps has steadfastly refused for nine days to condemn Russia on a wait-and-see if anyone else confesses basis.

So that’s the last we’ll hear about it from our Special Relation. (Lord knows what Trump thinks is a Special Relationship. Should we ask Ms Daniels before he destroys our steel industry?)

Mr Secretary, The Pumpkin is hoping you have secretly compiled a shedload of dirt on this dirty orange sack of rotting cheeseburger and will take huge pleasure in dumping it over him.

But no, you’ll just head on home to the ranch with your $240 million pension fund, to dandle your grandkids on your knee while you explain to them why, thanks to you, they will never dandle any of their own.

Meanwhile, paraphrasing dear Oscar, to lose your Secretary of State might seem like a misfortune; to lose your Chief Economic Adviser and another Communications Director within seven days, after all three of them had reluctantly come to the conclusion you’d be better off in psychiatric nursing care, looks like a real coup d’êtat for the dumbfuck tendency.

As if to make the point:

Steve Goldstein, a top State Department official under Tillerson, told reporters that his boss learned of his firing through social media and was “unaware of the reason” he was forced out.

Goldstein was terminated by the White House soon thereafter. (Washington Post)

No-one is safe from the Wrath of Don. Not even the last out of six Under-Secretaries of State still standing.

For now we can look forward to a State Department run by Mike ‘waterboarding is too good for ’em’ Pompeo, an insane advocate for invading Iran and noted Trump bumguzzler, ably assisted at the CIA by a psychotic Rosa Klebb, a terrifying middle-aged librarian in a twinset who looks like everyone’s favorite central-casting Auntie Jane, but who ran a black torture site in Thailand for illegally renditioned Muslim prisoners, and had the tapes burned afterwards.

Well, it was International Women’s Week.

You’re well out of it, you’ll soon come to realize. They’re clearing the decks for war. Operation Desert Stormy has begun….

Enjoy your retirement, Mr Secretary.


What should we do about Russia?

Russia suffered an unimaginable 27 MILLION casualties in the Great Patriotic War against Hitler.

That’s a hell of a sacrifice we must surely honor. More so, maybe, even than the Holocaust of the 6 million European Jews, as it contributed so mightily to the ultimate defeat of the Third Reich.

But it was not a war against Nazism in Europe. It was a defensive, scorched-earth kind of war to save their vast country.

Retaking Poland was part of the plan – you murdered my ex-wife’s uncle at Katyn, then tried to blame the SS.

What difference? It might just as well have been them, but it was Stalin’s idea to execute 20 thousand Polish intellectuals, doctors, teachers and army officers in case they were taller and smarter than he was,. A difficult problem for Churchill, as both countries were notionally our allies.

And, I suppose, our gratitude should reflect the obvious fact that, if Hitler had not turned eastwards in 1941, imagining that Goering’s Luftwaffe would never prevail to a sufficient extent to protect his invasion barges collecting in the Channel, England – maybe the British Isles – would have been subjugated to the Nazi yolk, as were the Channel Islands and much of Europe.

But as Marshal Zhukov massed his tanks in 1944 and pushed the Germans back to Berlin, finally overrunning the Hitlerbunker where Adolf and Eva’s corpses lay smouldering in the garden and raising the red flag (twice – once for the cameras) over the ruins of the Reichstag, The Pumpkin wonders if he ever acknowledged his debt to the British merchant seamen, whose convoys had kept his country supplied with food and arms in the dark days after Operation Barbarossa launched in 1941?

I am haunted by the memory of one particular, tiny group of astonishing heroes, to whom these thieving, cowardly bloodsuckers in the Kremlin offer no respect when they sneer at our highly advanced investigators looking at their salty fingerprints all over this crude, politically motivated murder mission to poison one of our more agreeable cities.

To try to deflect the war of attrition, as von Doenitz’s U-boats began to inflict unsustainable losses on the North Atlantic supply line and thousands of gasping, terrified, brave, oil-soaked, non-combatant seamen, Britons and Canadians perished, burning alive or drowning in the freezing gray waters as their ships slipped below the waves, a thousand-mile skittle-alley northeast of Orkney, in desperation merchant ships were hurriedly fitted with catapults to fire off just one solitary Hurricane fighter aircraft, armed with two small bombs, to attack the submarine wolf-packs.

British pilots who volunteered to fly those missions knew it was suicide: there was no way back. The ships had no landing decks. Sitting here, I cannot conceive of so much heroism on behalf of an alien people they would never know, I cry bitter tears of gray Atlantic salt even while trying to type these words.

If your mission was successful you might possibly ditch in the heaving waters close to an allied ship and survive long enough – four minutes you were allowed in that cruel sea – to be picked up barely alive. Few were.

The alternative was to try to make it to Russia: Murmansk, Archangel, 500 miles with the added risk if you managed to make landfall without running out of fuel that you might be shot by some pig-ignorant Soviet collectivist mistaking you for the invading Germans.

Still, I’m sure it takes a kind of courage to perch like a house-elf behind an outsized desk in an enormous room with gilded moldings, two chocolate soldiers at your door (Sugarplum and Fairy?), issuing deniable orders to stockily built comrades to go and commit mayhem on other people’s territory, knowing your friends’ superyachts are going to be impounded as a result.

Never again, you lying little shits.


Putin’s Puppet

In the body of international law relating to chemical and biological warfare, for whatever it’s worth, it is laid down that one nation accusing another of a violation must give the presumed transgressor ten days in which to produce evidence of innocence before taking retaliatory measures.

So when after roundly condemning the outrage Mr Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, responded with a speech to the Prime Minister’s unequivocal assertion that Russia had launched an all-out attack on a park bench in Salisbury using a banned 1980s ‘just add water’ nerve agent they no longer make, although it has been admitted that it could take the police months to prove or disprove the details which politicians have imagined in a matter of hours, he asked if she intends to comply with Foreign Minister Lavrov’s perfectly legitimate demand for evidence?

And is instantly branded a traitor and a puppet of President Putin.

The British gutterslime press in full cry, again.

Someone who is evidently not a puppet of President Putin is President Donald Trump.

After ten days during which he refused point-blank to condemn the outrage in Salisbury other than in general terms, refused to point the finger at the Kremlin, ten days during which he fired his Secretary of State by tweet only minutes after Fox News reported on a rash statement Tillerson had made, blaming Putin for the attack on the double-agent and his daughter, Mr Trump has changed his tune.

Fuckabee has been sent forth to inform the waiting press corps of her master’s displeasure with the Kremlin.

“Gee, Vlad, I gotta say something, we’re losing elections here…”

“Okayski, comrade, just this once. I’m winning mine…”


Radiation nation

According to BBC News just a moment ago, the death of TV darts show compere Jim Bowen, 80, is trending three places higher than that of Professor Sir Stephen Hawking.


Attack on Boglington: Russia suspected

From: The Boglington Post, 14 March, 2018. (Sponsored by Boglers Windowcleaner’s, your friendly local windowcleaner’s).

Police (Constable Cadwaladr) were combing pubs and clubs around Boglington-on-Sea this morning, after the recumbent form of a man known to neighbors only as Special Agent Boglovitch was found in his garden room, groaning and sneezing, clutching a box of soggy tissues and typing rubbish.

“There seems to have been some sort of a biological attack from the Soviet era”, explained Constable Cadwaladr kindly. “Mr Boglovitch has not been found to be in this condition for many years since relocating to Boglington at cost to the ratepayer, but now as anyone can see, he has gone viral.

“Look at his eyes, man, they’re positively streaming!

“Persons sighting any Russians should not attempt to answer their jovial, heavy-handed request for directions to the station, but instead call 999, go home and take a hot shower with your clothes on”, he warned. “Nobody once they are here ever gets out of Boglington alive.”

Neighbors spoke of Mr Boglovitch as a quiet man with a funny accent, who occasionally could be heard through the wall, screaming abuse at tiresome Today show presenter, John Humphrys.

“He moved here about six years ago”, said Mrs Annie Nannie, 36 and counting. “We didn’t think he’d fit in at first, and he hasn’t. Keeps himself to himself, know what I mean? He’s got this magical cat, see, and a dog with orange eyes…”.

Following an urgent council meeting, the Mayor, Mrs Mairi Mayer, 61, issued an ultimatum to the Kremlin. “Come on now, own up, who was it?” she tweeted furiously. “Who have given Mr Boglovitch his dreadful cold, risking the life and limb of every resident?

“Unless we hear by four o’clock when the council office closes”, she continued, “this borough will be at war with Germany! Make no mistake, we shall keep the whole class in until I find out who dunnit.”

President Putin was unavailable for comment.


But seriously…

Pompous Parliamentary blowhards pining for the days of Empire and The Great Game ought to be reminded, no good ever came of trying to invade Russia. Nuclear war really is not such a good idea, either.

Calm down, dears.

For a properly thoughtful and balanced review of the situation, here’s Simon Jenkins in The Guardian, 16 May:

GW: snorezzzzz
Uganda: flood. lp1 dead,

Romania – Hundreds Evacuated as Rivers Overflow. “Qn 14 March, 2018, seven people were rescued after they were left isolated by flooding in areas around Șercaia and Mândra in Braşov county.”

Brazil: one 20-minute rainshower turns the streets of Belo Horizonte into a raging torrent as hundreds of cars are swept away. Towns all across this vast country have experienced torrential rains and flooding.

CEWN #103 pt1/ Floodlist





Walkies-talkie… School Shooting News… Russia hour… Would you like to meet my hero?… Bidness on the Cheep… uSwitch if you have to… GW: and the Beast Goes On.




“The scientists found dogs were more likely to want to spend time with the speaker who had used both “dog-directed” speech and dog-related content. … This suggests that adult dogs need to hear dog-relevant words spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice in order to find it relevant.”

…there are no plans to carry out the same tests with cats.” – BBC News

Just as well. They’d think we were idiots, getting all squeaky and emotional over cat-related content.

They already do.


School Shooting News

Trump crony, billionaire Dick’s wife, Betsy DeVos, the fully unqualified, Bible-Truther Education Secretary of the USA (Imoji: wry smileyface throwing up), went to Florida the other day to case the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland for a photo op.

Ms Carly Novell, the editor of the school’s newspaper Eagle Eye, said she was allowed to photograph DeVos, but not to accompany her on the campus tour.

DeVos spoke briefly with reporters after what she said was “a very sobering and very inspiring visit” and contradicted the students’ account of the meeting:

“There were a number of student newspaper reporters who walked around with me (she fibbed) and they are obviously very interested in seeing what adults are going to do about this whole situation,” she said. (BBC News)

P/Matronizing cow. Did your English teacher never chide you about the over-use of ‘very’ when amplifying your adjectives unnecessarily for effect?

ADULTS??? Fuck you!

Meanwhile, after the teenage survivors finally persuaded the Florida assembly to introduce a modest law restricting the ownership of military-grade assault weapons only to alt-right psychopaths over 21, the National Rifle Association announced that it is suing the representatives for damages. Can you get a sicker species than Americans?


Kleimenov: a talking facelift made from Leonid Brezhnev’s old hair and a soggy ginger biscuit (BBC)

Russia hour

Botox-faced frat-boy and Putin bumguzzler, w/anchor Kirill Kleimenov had some words of comfort on the Russian government-controlled Channel One’s flagship Vremya news program, for ‘retired’ double-agent Sergei Skripal, who with his entirely innocent daughter Yulia was sprayed with nerve agent and found paralysed in a Salisbury, UK park at the weekend, both now on life-support:

“The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world,” Kleimenov opined, (with complete journalistic objectivity. Ed.) – adding that few who had chosen it had lived to a ripe old age. … warning anyone planning to defect: “Don’t choose Britain as a place to live.” – edited from BBC News

I’m assuming that sentiment also goes for the other spies Skripal was exchanged for?

And would anyone not assume from his choice of kind words, that Kleimenov was merely confirming what all his colleagues were embarrassedly trying to deny, that this was indeed a Russian hit, aimed less at Skripal and more at the voters? And that, given the directorship of Channel One is Kremlin-appointed, on the assumption his script was cleared with official Komplianz, the message probably came from further on high?

Britain prepares an ICBM in retaliation.

Wittily, Kleimenov referred to another 13 incidents of Russians who have died in suspicious circumstances in Britain in the past few years: “Maybe it’s the climate, but in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with grave outcomes there.” Ho ho, our terrible English climateski…. Have you ever been to Moscow, comrade? If it’s not fucking freezing it’s a sweatbox. And if the Big Blini don’t like you, you’re dead regardless. (Killer pun there, too. “Grave” outcomes!)

No words were naturally forthcoming to memorialize the nine or so Russian citizens based in America, involved with or having knowledge of the cyberattacks on the US election, including the UN ambassador, who mysteriously suffered heart failure and fell from roofs shortly after Mr Trump was trampolined into office last year. Even true patriots take their lives in their hands when you work for this lot.

One of the Polonium killers, two blundering FSB goons who left a radioactive slime trail across London in 2006 before poisoning another traitor, Putin’s old KGB mate Alexander Litvinenko, also managed to think up a wry comment of his own. Dmitry Lugovoi, now an MP, remarked: “The English suffer from phobias.” Yes, we’re a bit phobic about dimwitted mafia hitmen sneering at our national aversion to murder and causing mayhem on our streets and in our tearooms, actually. Especially from kulaks whose asses our North Atlantic convoys saved in 1941.

So comforting, these moral certainties.

On the other hand, it seems odd. Why choose exile in Salisbury, of all places, agreeably ancient county capital of Wiltshire, home to major defense industry contractors Qinetic, the Ministry of Defence tank ranges, close to the notorious Porton Down biological warfare establishment and RAF Lyneham (from where our troops embark for Afghanistan) and within an hour’s drive of our key naval establishments on the south coast?

You’d think he’d have been keener to vanish in Soho. Unless of course he knows something about Trump’s collusion? What, was he a connection to Christopher Steele?

I don’t suppose we shall be told.


Would you like to meet my hero?


Doing Bidness on the Cheep

“Fast-food chain KFC has returned to its old supplier after suffering chicken shortages that forced it to close hundreds of outlets. Last month, the chain experienced widespread distribution problems after it decided to switch its logistics contract from Bidvest to DHL.” – BBC News

If you have to ask what’s in it, you’re probably a paramedic.

What is the matter with British management? What did the bread-encrusted baboons at KFC Central think would happen if they fired a specialist food distribution company they’d worked with for years and instead hired a bloated global conglomerate of self-employed Amazon parcel couriers owned by the German post office to keep their outlets supplied with crummy chunks of raw animal torture-porn, just because they were cheaper?

The move damn nearly destroyed their business, with an outburst of social media opprobrium and thousands of ironic memes online, fights breaking out and street protests requiring probably a couple of million poundsworth of reputation management PR to get them back on course. Who knew KFC, with their repulsive ‘buckets’ of fried chicken aimed at grossly obese, piss-stained sofa-dwelling slobs with tattoo’d necks and calf-length shorts, were such a national institution?

But apparently The People cared. (Then they voted… and you know, DHL could just be their salvation, having developed systems for managing customs controls.)

This crazy nonsense of ‘best value tendering’ must stop soon. It’s destroying businesses, jobs – lives.

We’ve just had the Carillion disaster, where a hairy-assed housebuilding firm gets huge government contracts to run cut-price prisons, military housing and hospital services into the ground so the directors can stuff their sagging back pockets with wads of taxpayer cash, gaily spewing out profit warnings until the business hits the wall. Wikipedia notes:

The liquidation announcement had an immediate impact on 30,000 subcontractors and suppliers, Carillion employees and pensioners, plus shareholders, lenders, joint venture partners and customers in the UK, Canada and other countries.

But what the hell, the directors got paid.

This kind of shit killed my little business in the 1990s, when companies with no sector experience or creative expertise just starting throwing in spoilers to separate us from our clients, adding no value whatever and driving our margins down to the point where we couldn’t pay the staff.

There is really something to be said for contracting people who know and care about what they’re doing.

For loyalty.


uSwitch if you have to

Yet again we had a contract. I would pay them £70 a month, in advance, for my minuscule usage of electricity and gas. We would review the amount again after six months. Five days later, their computer emailed me, demanding £130 a month: “to avoid surprises”.

How they work out your bill.

It was probably the seventh time in two years OVO had tried it on, and I finally hit the ceiling. I am paranoid about my use of energy, living much of my life in the cold and dark, wearing two sweaters in bed and going about by the light of a small hand-torch. My piece of ‘real estate’ comprises two rooms downstairs, 12′ x 12′ sitting-room and only slightly more spacious kitchen/diner, and two up: bedroom, bathroom and 7′ x 9′ boxroom, where my son was kept folded until he moved out.

In the small back yard is this, muh Li’l House on the Prairie, as I call my exotic shed. I spend 80 per cent of my life out here, using the actual house only to cook and sleep and you-know-what. Although I mostly pee in the yard, I get so little warning.

Subsisting thus, I could not possibly be using so much energy, but no-one seemed willing to address the question I kept asking them: if I spend only £22 a month on gas, including 27p a day ‘standing charge’, when gas heats all my water and cooks my meals, how would anyone imagine I can also be using £94-worth of electricity just to sit here alone, by the light of a single LED lamp, writing this stuff on a laptop I keep pouring wine over?

Attempting furiously to switch to another supplier, saving £176 a year (how do they know?), I set up the account using a number they gave me. The next day they emailed to say my existing supplier had objected, so we could not proceed. I would have to phone my existing supplier and then when the problem had been resolved, call them back.

There were some arrears, it turned out. Actually an improbable amount I had overlooked, fondly imagining that ‘balance’ meant plus, not minus. I cleared the outstanding debt immediately and obtained permission to switch. The next day I went back to my new supplier and, in person over the phone with a charming Irish lady called Maggie, spent half an hour setting up a new account with a new number – the first number now being inoperative.

And the following day got an email saying there was still an objection and they couldn’t switch my account.

So I phoned my old supplier again – they were beginning to sound quite sympathetic – and there genuinely was no objection. At least not from my old supplier.

The objection, it turned out, now came from my new supplier.

They were telling me I couldn’t have two account numbers, so they had cancelled both and I was to phone again and set up my account for the third time, with all the same information, the same tariff and contract, the same bank details, that I had verbally already signed – and be given a new number.

A typical IT manager in the Independent Energy Sector.

So sorry, but no.

The UK Energy Supply sector is broken. Apart from the overcharging “Big 6” companies, there is a plethora of tiny indie operators selling “green” energy and other attractive-sounding deals. But just wait until you try to sign up with one. You will never have another moment’s peace of mind. Nothing is as advertised, nothing real.

Their systems have been designed and are operated on the cheap by a heap of groaning IT baboons, who have consumed far too much fermented fruit for their own good. Or ours.

To quote the children’s story character, Catweazle the Incompetent Wizard:

“Nothing works.”

Postscriptum: A day or two after this Post appeared we read in The Guardian that a record number of consumers have been switching supplier this winter, largely owing to exorbitant bills.

How they manage it I don’t know, but it seems they’re choosing the smaller suppliers. Caveat emptor, is all I can say.


Russia’s “Cold Snap”: Sakhalin Island (Denis Sergeev/Siberian Times)

GW: and the beast goes on…

Australia: “Several rivers have burst their banks in North Queensland after 4 days of heavy rain. Disaster areas declared. Many areas have recorded 500 to 700 mm of rain during that time. This is the fourth serious flood event in the state in the last 2 weeks.”

New Zealand: flooding at Hawkes Bay. Vanuatu battered by Tropical Cyclone Hola, bringing torrential rain.

Albania: “Heavy rain and melting snow have caused flooding and landslides over the last few days. Shkodër County in the north west of the country is the worst affected area where the Drin and Bojana rivers have overflowed. Local authorities there said that 2,285 hectares of land were under water.”

Thailand: powerful cyclonic storm strikes Sakon Nakhon. Flooding in Bangkok. Extensive flooding in Indonesia, Bangka Belitung & Cirebon.

Brazil: Many central areas continue to experience unusually heavy rain, thunderstorms and flash-flooding in cities.

Argentina: huge storm trashes Villa Gesell on the northern coast with 140 kmh winds.

USA: Storm Quinn – the third Nor’easter this year and the second in a week – dumps three feet of snow and knocks out power on the east coast. State-wide states of emergency declared in New Jersey, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia battered. North of the border, Canada however seems to be basking in a warm spell. As again are California and the southwest…

USA: March 10, temperature in Austen, Texas hits 34C, 94F. 2 die as hailstones the size of baseballs batter Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas. Wunderground reports that, OVERALL, from September to March the USA has had a drier and warmer winter season than average. Although they have to admit, there has been record snowfall. And record flooding. With another freezing spell and another storm forecast for the East this week (Accuweather).

Portugal, Spain, France: Storm Felix brings wind, torrential rain, damage and flash-flooding to a wide area.

Kazakhstan: Heavy rainfall above river ice-jams causes extensive spring thaw floods. Many evacuated.

Africa, India, China: heatwave with temperatures “more like May/June than March” continues across a broad swathe of the globe. Temps in S. Sudan hit 48C, 118F. Floods in drought-stricken Malawi. 16 killed when lightning strikes a church in Rwanda.

Arctic: “The situation is desperate”. In February, 260 mph moisture-laden high-altitude winds split the polar vortex into 4 parts. The jetstream was looping and broken. Feb 25 the temperature at the North Pole was 1.1C, 34.1F  a 30C anomaly. The mercury hit 6C, 42.8F in northern Greenland; 8.9C, 47.9F in Hudson Bay. That’s before the sun has even risen above the horizon.

Sea ice extent was at record low for the time of the year and is due to start receding toward the summer about now: driven by gales and big waves, 5-metres thick sea ice between northern Greenland and Svalbard had given way to open water by Feb 27. Peak sea surface temperature near Svalbard rose from 12.4C, 55.4F on Feb 23 to 15.6C, 60F by March 2 – a 26F/16C anomaly above the 1981-2011 average. The rise was accompanied by a measurable methane release. March 1, CH4 levels as high as 3087 ppm were recorded, getting on for twice the global concentration averaged in 2015 (NOAA).

Floodlist/ Climate & Extreme Weather News #101/ Wunderground/ thehumptydumptytribe/ Arctic News, 3 Mar/ CEWN #102


Life, the Best Medicine…

I found a note shoved through the door this morning, the postman hadn’t been able to deliver a parcel.

I know. It was my new doorbell…



The Pumpkin #47: A Portrait of Success… A fascist coup in motion… Go the Kush… Trade Wars… The way we prefer it… And finally: GW

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. Does anyone know where the fuck we’re going?” (Photo@TheBogPo)

As of 1 March, in the first 13 months of his Presidency a total of more than 50 staff members appointed by the Trump administration have left their jobs in the White House and/or the Pentagon. (MSNBC report)

A Portrait of Success

Hi again. Yes, it is I.

As you know, The Pumpkin has a hopefully temporary vision problem. Some karma there, no doubt. Am I turning a blind eye to some other problem in my life? You bet. I didn’t need to go half-blind to know that.

I can’t spend long on-screen, so I may need to lean on other people’s efforts to shore up my case that Donald Trump doesn’t need nuclear weapons to destroy everything around him, he just needs to remain the lovable,  pig-ignorant oaf he is.

As the last staffer departs the White House, appropriately named Hope, I’ve stolen the following Comment post from someone on the MSNBC website calling themselves Edit Halk, made in response to a video of Trump arguing insanely for an import tariff wall for steel and aluminum to protect the US’s inefficient and underinvested dinosaur industries, flanked by heavy-set party donors who look like their dads were probably leading lights in the Cosa Nostra.

“Edit Halk” writes:

“List of regulations Trump has cut:

  • Canceled a phaseout of the use of private prisons.
  • Erased net neutrality rules established by the FCC under Obama.
  • Repealed a rule mandating that Internet service providers seek permission before selling personal information.
  • Canceled a rule mandating that financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients.
  • Blocked the Clean Power Plan –
  • Ended a rule that barred employers from taking some or all of the tips given to service employees.
  • Ended a rule that allowed consumers to file class-action suits against financial companies.
  • Blocked implementation of a rule that would have made it easier for farmers to sue big agricultural companies.(I could see big business profiting from this one easy)
  • Repeal of a bill that mandated that employers maintain records of workplace injuries.
  • Killed a rule mandating that government contractors disclose past violations of labor law.
  • Overhauled and scaled down the Department of Justice and the State Department.
  • Rescinded a rule mandating that rising sea levels be considered when building public infrastructure in flood-prone areas.
  • Rejected a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos. (Damages unborn children’s brains. Ed.).
  • Postponed an EPA rule that would have had chemical plants better evaluate and inform the public about possible safety issues.
  • Rescinded a limit on the number of sea animals that can be trapped or killed in fishing nets.
  • Repealed the Waters of the United States rule. This rule expanded the definition of water bodies that were protected by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Reversed a policy instituted by the Obama administration to expand punishments for campus sexual assaults.

“Obviously there are a lot more bull$hit things that Trump does (such as reversing an Obama law limiting the engineering of microbiological agents – Ed.) , and this is only a short list, but you get the idea.”

No wonder Little Donny believes himself to be the most successful President in history! If you set out to lay waste to every advance civilization has made in 200 years, and no-one has the power to stop you, the job’s a cinch.

And somewhere in the dim and distant past of The Pumpkin, we recall, we listed over 30 rollbacks of environmental protections this lunatic signed into law in his first days in office without reading them, including attempts to ban climate research.

Why doesn’t he just arm businesses with poison gas and let his buddies just kill us?

Oh, he is.


A President who can blatantly claim “trade wars are good” while brushing aside the alarm of even his own appointed economic advisers is not a man who should be in charge of the economy.

A fascist coup in motion

A piece by Alan Burdick in the New Yorker today (03 March) headed: “Donald Trump’s Know-Nothing Science Budget” points to Trump’s profound ignorance and suspicion of learning, that has developed into a frenzied assault on the scientific community and on Federal agencies relying on research, including killing key earth-observation satellite programs and environmental monitoring services, even into the post-midterms future:

“Trump’s newly proposed federal budget for 2019 continues the assault on knowledge and reason. Funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the E.P.A. would each be cut by eighteen per cent or more, compared with the final 2017 budget.” 030318&CNDID=49581041&spMailingID=13044707&spUserID=MTkwODY5NzgyMTM0S0&spJobID=1360228381&spReportId=MTM2MDIyODM4MQS2

This, possibly more than his latest threat to raise a tariff wall against German car imports, clearly aimed at the liberal elite, is what ought to terrify us most about this unstable President, whose tenure promises to bring about a new Dark Age. The assault on knowledge is precisely calculated to match the political attacks on democratic institutions and the promotion of atavistic tribal instincts among the gun-owning population in the heartland.

Regardless of the President’s total lack of historical awareness and tendency to act instinctually (as with his trade tariffs, which he seems to have made up on the spot in response to a question during a press conference at a time when aides described him as being in a foul mood) rather than from any predetermined political philosophy, the Trump administration IS a fascist coup in motion.

It is not necessary for him to don dress uniform, muster an army of brownshirts, stage vainglorious parades, invade neighbors, smash windows, burn down the Capitol building; to arrogate special powers to himself and pander to all the other familiar tropes of 1930s National Socialism, for his administration to display profoundly fascist tendencies.

Call it neofascism if you must: it is enough merely to subvert the knowledge-base to the benefit of the party’s private backers, while increasing the powers of the security State to crush opponents.

You cannot dismiss as liberal fantasy, the fascistic nature of Trump’s unfolding legislative and budgetary programs. His every instinct is autocratic: he has no interest in collegiate government. His multifarious attempts at measures, when taken together, fully meet the definition of fascism as autocratic rule supported by an alliance of corporate-funded State, Church and Military, achieved through:

  • cronyism,
  • attacks on prevailing cultural norms,
  • ignoring inconvenient parts of the constitution,
  • glib lies passing for official communication,
  • falsification, exaggeration or downplaying of official statistics,
  • threats against the free press targeting individual journalists,
  • abuse of process and packing of the judiciary,
  • disinterest in independent advice and contempt of colleagues,
  • flirting with extreme points of view and the possibilities of nihilism,
  • re-engineering and gerrymandering of the electorate,
  • encouragement of informal local militias and police violence,
  • personal attacks on critics and opponents,
  • persistent claims to “victim” status,
  • appeals to imaginary past glories,
  • erection of isolationist barriers to free trade,
  • abrogation of international agreements,
  • claims that you have ‘the only answer’ to the nation’s problems,
  • tub-thumping militarism,
  • exploiting fear and suspicion of foreigners to encourage…
  • the dehumanization and deportation of minorities.

What else would you call it? A textbook manifesto? Oh, it’s “only Trump’s inexperience of politics that makes him think this is how a President is supposed to run the country, he’ll soon learn”? Do me a favor!

“Judge him not by what he says but by what he does”, they said, So, what’s he been doing? Oh, right. Okay. So now it’s legal again to import his son Eric’s hunting trophies. Constructive use of powers there.

Only the last of the triumvirate remains, for now, outside the ambit of the Oval Office. Thus far, the Military has been seen as a counterbalance to Trump’s subversive foreign policy; although it seems fully and happily compliant with the operational free hand he has licensed to it abroad, and the huge boost he has ordered to its funding and arsenal of planet-destroying weaponry.

The seemingly comic chaos of a White House that has turned-over more than fifty staff, many of them utter incompetents, professional lobbyists and family friends placed in key roles, in the first thirteen months of the administration is set to take a much darker turn.

There will surely come a point where a brooding and vengeful Trump is no longer seen as a figure of fun and speculation as to his mental condition, but will start to demand respect not only from his cowed minions, but from the country at large – and “tomorrow, the world”. Disturbingly, despite a catalog of disasters and a bizarre flip-flop on gun control, his historically low approval ratings last week began to show signs of improving.

Where this groundswell of sympathy or approbation is coming from it may be too early to say: it is possible, however, that his new belligerence on trade has convinced many that he is serious about putting America first, whatever longterm damage the reviled “experts” predict it may do to the world’s economy and his own. A President who can blatantly claim “trade wars are good” while brushing aside the alarm of even his own appointed economics advisers is not a man who should be in charge of the economy.

But despite the months of controversial and tendentious nonsense, the ad hominem attacks spewing from his overheated Twitter account; despite the months of plodding federal bureau investigations into his well-documented financial criminality; despite the revelations about Russian interference, despite the barbs and scorn of the late-night TV shows and the professional concerns of the psychiatric community, there he remains, apparently unmoved and unmovable; his unique view of the role of the President as chief disruptor and autocrat daily turning into a new and frightening normality.

It’s not looking good, is it.


Go, the Kush

If you’re following the other saga of the Kushners, you’ll know that plastic boy’s lost his maximum security clearance and so can’t do the job he was singularly unqualified to do in the first place.

The latest trail of damage revealed by the New York Times is that his bankrupt companies are being heavily invested in by the CEOs of businesses that have had numerous meetings and privileged access to the Trumpenführer himself at the WH.

Nothing to see there, move on.


Trade Wars

Who in Europe does actually buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle these days? Given the 20-grand-plus cost of an iconic machine that finds hills a bit of a challenge?

Every bank holiday, dozens of thick-waisted, leather-clad elderly men with gray ponytails and droopy Zapata moustaches arrive in convoy in our remote seaside town to congregate collegially on the seafront, their leaking single-cylinder engines pounding in concert, teardrop fuel tanks and monkeybars gleaming with nostalgia for the late 1960s.

These are presumably the same old retired local government officials and bank clerks who still buy Levi’s jeans, once fashionable rough work apparel that fails to comply at any point with the human form.

I forget what else Jean-Claude Juncker was threatening to raise tariffs on in retaliation against Trump’s insane 25% tax on steel imports, a self-destructive move to protect the inefficient US steel industry which has brought fresh jitters to world markets and will only push up the price of a Harley-Davidson for the American buyer.

It was a pretty short and desperate list of American export goods, anyway*.

What do we actually buy from America, apart from nuclear weapons and Amazon Prime subscriptions? Wouldn’t it be worth taxing those? What do they actually make, apart from oil and Coke? They no longer supply us with proper-sized avocados and Dole raisins, or decent r&b music.

Even if Juncker recognized the existence of sugary Californian wine, he wouldn’t dare admit it.

The only thing I’ve consciously bought in recent years that had a Made in USA label was a pair of shoes I ordered online, because no UK shoe shops now stock half-sizes. Out on a wet day, a month later the soles separated gloopily from the uppers and refused to stay stuck back together again, even with Araldite – so I struck a blow for free trade and binned them.

  • Yes, the third thing was ‘Kentucky Bourbon’. Revolting sugary Irish whiskey. And now peanut butter. Whatever next?


A bad Scituation: Massachusetts coastline at Scituate, 4 March (Image: Ralph Karl Swenson/Wunderground)

The way we prefer it. GW writes:

This not-unprecedented, but in recent years quite rare event, a 2,500-mile wide and deep Arctic ‘plume’ stretching from northern Norway to the Mediterranean and far across Russia, which the BBC has with time-honoured insularity referred to as “the UK’s cold snap”, in bringing late-winter weather to these islands serves to remind us to “Expect the Spanish Inquisition”, in more ways than one.

We were lucky to escape a similar weather phenomenon in 2016, that affected other parts of the hemisphere. For whatever reason, the jetstreams are not behaving themselves. They have become loopy and broken, allowing more unusual and extreme weather events around the globe. Such as the bizarre sight of large hailstones smashing through car windscreens after a sudden 20C plunge in temperature in Saudi Arabia.

Powerful storms are pushing warm air and water up into northern latitudes, reducing the ice cover and creating unprecedented temperature anomalies north of the Arctic circle. Blue-water and methane feedbacks and the sooty deposits from forest fires threaten even worse to come.

Globally, in 2017/18 there has been an inexorable increase, both in droughts and in rainfall amounts; weird ice storms, record levels of flooding, bizarre temperature gradients and shifts. There is already a detectable effect on food production everywhere, and hence on prices and availability. Only a few agronomists, a few insurers are trying to draw attention to the $trillions cost of our new chaotic climate. President Trump would seemingly rather ignore it.

As is its wont, the media is capable of concentrating on only one issue at a time, and often fails to connect the boldest of dots. As we sit here shivering, ears glued to our wireless sets for news of fresh disasters, it still seems that the only threat facing the British economy is Brexit: along with the Irish land-border question, which will almost certainly end in a last-minute fudge of an agreement with Brussels, avoiding the necessity to reassemble the Black and Tans.

Not one commentator so far as I can see – which at the moment is not very far, owing to retinal surgery, the disintegration of the NHS being yet another pressing matter – has thought to ask, what if the threats multiply?

So, here we are in March, 2019.

In just a matter of days we will walk away from our 46-year-long commitment to our European allies, into a Turneresque sunset. The markets are jittery, the pound sinking, interest rates rising, the Bank of England furiously printing money to hedge against economic collapse. Destroyed by the currents from the Amazon, retailers overinvested in real estate have been going bust all year; thousands more shopworkers are on the dole. US hedge funds are having a field day gobbling up our pensions; US banks have moved from the City to Dublin and Frankfurt. The Treasury is obliged to consider the fiscal implications of new tariffs and falling receipts. There’s customs chaos at the borders, a river of lorries stretching all the way to Sevenoaks.

But then… another unseasonal finger from the polar vortex descends, another “1-in-500 years” flooding event washes out the Spanish salad vegetable market, a trail of superstorms smashes through the Caribbean. Transport is brought to a halt, food begins disappearing from the supermarket shelves. 2018’s crops in Europe have again been heat-blasted – thanks to a new heatwave named Son of Lucifer, wheat, oil and grape production in Italy and Spain has fallen another 60 per cent, wiping-out farmers – for a second year. Prices rise inexorably.

War breaks out between the Gulf states, Iran and Turkey, with the peripheral involvement of the Russians. Both US and European foreign policy are in disarray following 2018 elections that have seen more extreme nationalist elements advance in Europe and the Republicans hold on to their slender Congressional majorities with an emboldened Trump clinging to office as the leaderless Democrats implode and the real impotence of the Mueller investigation is exposed.

A limited nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea, together with incursions in the South China Sea, brings China into conflict with the USA.

Oil prices soar like drones in the Spring sky.

As we obsess day after day over the pointless hypothetical questions, the economic implications of a hard or a soft – a chewy, or a floppy – Brexit, May’s inevitable defenestration by the neo-Thatcherites, the possibility of a Corbyn government to add to the chaos enveloping Westminster, no-one here seems to be thinking strategically in terms of the global economic threat multipliers.

Here in Britain, it is so often as if the outside world does not exist, until it pushes its chilly fingers over the Channel to remind us we are not immune to world events. Once again, we have to gird up our loins to sort the beggars out.

It’s just the way we prefer it.


And finally… GW

Boston, Ma. engulfed by 14ft sea surge as Storm Riley trashes the NE coast, 7 dead… 7ft of snow dumped overnight in California’s Sierra Nevada… 60 dead in Europe’s Beast… small child killed by massive hailstorm at La Quiaca, Argentina… “The Rain in Spain” brings flooding – and to Java, the Solomons, Argentina, Brazil, Rwanda, Angola, Malawi, Indonesia, Australia… More idiots driving into 3ft of water and floating away. Large parts of central India – Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat – experiencing heatwave, with temperatures of 38 to 40C degrees being 6-10C above normal for the start of March… Hottest summer on record for New Zealand… Cat 3 cyclone Dumazile heading away from Madagascar… tornados in Spain, Portugal… record lows again for both Antarctic and Arctic sea-ice extents.

Here we go round again, another year, and Climate & Extreme Weather News #98, #99 (and they couldn’t wait!) #100 are out on YouTube, over an hour of all the latest extreme flood, fire, heat and beastly cold events – anomalies – from all around the world, as caught on camera by you, the people.

Catch up at

Snap Chat… a short Post with a nod to old GW (and a Happy Birthday, BogPo)

A man uncannily resembling your Uncle Bogler in a German helmet ferries dead pensioners across the Styx as millimetres of snow blanket the UK. (Rex/Shutterstock)

Snap Chat

Possibly the least bearable effect of leaving the EU is going to be a steep rise in the level of British insularity.

(After all, I’m retired. Why should I care if you’re out of work and there’s no iceberg lettuce in the shops?)

The provenance of the notorious Times headline: “Fog in the Channel, Continent cut off” is a perfectly checkable fact that no-one seems sufficiently bothered to check. The BogPo finds no verification. While the story supposedly dates from October 1957, well within living memory, the sources seem unable to remember it. Did they really print that?

Conflicting Google results for instance quote the editor of the Boston Globe as opining that it was just a bit of fake news put out by the Nazis to ridicule stuffy British attitudes to Europe. That doesn’t quite fit the 1950s timeline, as I think you’d agree, although they’re back in fashion. And the attitude hasn’t changed.

But no matter. When it comes to fake news, it’s the thought that counts. Put it this way: knowing us, it’s not unlikely that a subeditor on The Times did write it, albeit possibly with poorly paid tongue in cheek.

The Boglington Post is, as I’m sure you know, the infallible internet journal of record de nos jours, so let me just post here for posterity a genuine, confirmable headline from this morning’s BBC News feed:

“What’s behind the UK’s Cold Snap?”

Snowflakes bring the UK shuddering to a halt. But is it all just a Russian plot? (BBC News)

(With apologies to the woman in Cumbria who still has a 22-foot deep snowdrift outside her front door a week after the storm…)

Readers unaware of the existence of a wider world might indeed be taking a spot of cold weather personally. But what’s “behind” it is in fact a massive, barely moving high-pressure system that has allowed a plume of sub-Arctic temperatures to descend over most of Russia and northern Europe, stretching fifteen hundred miles from Norway all the way down to the Mediterranean coast.

That’s because the northern jetstream has failed, owing to a superheated stratospheric air mass and warm ocean currents driven by a succession of Category 3-level storm systems invading the polar region, where temperatures have been at record highs for many months, and is to be found hovering nervously somewhere over North Africa.

Or, total fucking chaos, as fully qualified meteorologists put it.

It is a similar “Cold Snap” in fact to that experienced by the eastern states of America in the New Year, where they now have  a “Hot Snap”, with record 80-degree February temperatures and record rainfall and record river highs and floods again in the midwest. Only then it was known as the Polar Vortex and it was pretty cold. Here is weather historian Christopher Burt, quoted on Weather Underground:

“At least 24 cities recorded their hottest February temperature on record on Wednesday, including New York City (78°), Hartford, CT (74°) and Concord, NH (74°). …  February 20 – 21 marked the most extraordinary heat event to ever affect the Northeastern quadrant of the U.S. during the month of February, since official records began in the late 1800s”

Yet not much more than a month ago, the town of Erie, Pa. was buried under a record five feet of snow, that fell in 48 hours, while up on chilly Mt Washington the windchill factor dropped to minus 104F. Not a mention of that in the Wunderground post! How soon even weather historians forget. And the forecast? From the Express website/ABC just last week:

“The nation’s midsection is bracing for a winter whiplash, radar is showing a new system that has been slamming the west and now moving east. An ice storm is bearing down on much of the mid-west threatening to blanket everything with up to half an inch of ice.”

And more of that sort of thing.

I wonder, what was behind America’s worst “Cold Snap” in generations? Clearly, the thermostat’s gone haywire. Whatever it was, they’re feeling it now in California, where – well, you guessed it – they had a record warm and wet January after the record summer heat and wildfires in December, but it’s now really cold; Sacramento recorded just 26F yesterday, a slight change from 106F in October.

Meanwhile Alaska has experienced both record heat and record snowfall in the past three months; as indeed have large parts of India and China enjoyed record heat, record rainfall, record snowfall, record smogs and record flooding during 2017, while record numbers of dead bats and dehydrated koalas have been dropping from the trees in Australia, and Vietnam, Indonesia, Vanuatu and New Zealand have become one enormous state of emergency running into another.

It’s these startling anomalies and the sharp gradients between them, the way huge pools of moist air have been moving slowly around, driven by unprecedented warming at the poles, fierce storms and strange, high-altitude currents, that are “behind” the world’s “Cold Snaps”, and the many conspiracy theories accompanying them.

I’m sure then that lots of people baking, freezing and drowning everywhere around the world must be asking themselves, “I wonder, what’s behind the UK’s Cold Snap?”

The “UK’s Cold Snap” has of course nothing to do with the weather chaos afflicting the rest of the world. It is ours, it’s peculiarly British, we are shortly to become a sovereign nation once more, the people have spoken, and we can jolly well complain about our own weather without interference from those beastly Europeans. It’s probably just that Siberia acting up again.

Amber warnings aplenty are out for a horrifying 5 to 10 cm of snow in Eastern parts, with windchill as low as minus 5C! Top scientists with knighthoods and years spent tramping the trackless wastes of the Antarctic with their expensive research teams are woken out of hibernation and dragged to the Today program studios to advise us to wrap up warm; it being all that is left to say after the weather person has already girlsplained the technical stuff about the stratosphere and the jetstream and been complimented on how clever she is by the £200k a year presenter, Mr Justin Webb. (Is the Beeb ever going to #”get it”, I wonder?)

No-one does a late winter “Cold Snap” quite like us. It matters not that it’s probably minus 30 in Moscow or Warsaw or Berlin, while it’s 80F in parallel Cincinnatti, as what some are calling the Beast from the East improves the prospect of reducing our surplus population of the elderly and homeless with, who knows, the added bonus of a few unwanted asylum-seekers bereft of the recommended extra layer.

The sun rises and sets, as we know, uniquely on all things British. In another month or so we’ll be fainting all over the place, flocking to Margate Sands with our trousers rolled up and knotted hankies on our heads, marveling at the excessive heat of a record 30C day, as the headline writers scrabble around for scorching puns and the experts crowd onto the airwaves to advise us to stay indoors and drink plenty of fluids.

Which is, let’s face it, the other national pastime.



Some Like it Hot

In case you’re snug and warm, well wrapped-up against the Beast from the East in front of a snuggly, hyggely fire with a glass of well-chilled Chardonnay in hand, this is just a note to anyone considering not donating to sex-pesty NGOs this year:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reported on 26 February that the torrential rain and flooding in Iraq 10 days ago have damaged shelters and communal infrastructure in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the central region of Iraq. …flooding occurred in at least 24 camps, affecting some 201,661 people. (Floodlist)

Camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Syria have also been hit by torrential rain and flash floods. That’s on top of extreme cold that has seen many refugees including children freezing to death.

What the hell are we doing?

Oh dear, as Saudi Arabia is hit by a bizarre mix of hot dust storms and freezing giant hail storms capable of pounding cars to bits, with a 20C temperature gradient between, I fear a GW coming on…

USA: 5 dead as tornadoes rip through Osceola, Ar. 3 dead and “several” missing as tornadoes rip through Kentucky. Floods pretty well everywhere they haven’t got a heatwave or a “Cold Snap”.

Brazil: Tangara underwater. São Paolo (again) underwater.

Australia: A sudden 130km/h cyclonic storm springs up and trashes Rockingham, a town near Perth, ripping off roofs and pulling up trees. Apart from that it looks bloody hot, mate.

China, Myanmar: “extreme” heatwaves forecast for the first week in March.

Europe: the Beast, etc. is still sitting mainly over Russia where it’s unspeakably cold. Meanwhile low-pressure warmer wetter air pushing up from Africa is meeting the high-pressure freezing air over Europe, so northern Italy and the Balkans are again buried in snow.

The view from a Young Bogler’s window on the east coast of England this morning.

Britain: Atlantic storm Emma is on the way in, just passing Portugal now, threatening up to 40 cm of snow as it duels with the frosty Beast gently gliding westwards over the whole country. The Met Office has issued its first ever Red snow warning, for Scotland and the Northwest of England.

Arctic: Records, records.

CEWN #97, quoting others inc. ABC Australia. Floodlist.


Editor’s note:

I know, I said I’d be off the air for a while owing to these horrifying eye surgeries and on account of the spare eye being so longsighted, it hurts to look at the screen for long. I can manage a little at a time now, thank you, and so may visit occasionally as the BogPo can never resist the opportunity to express a modicum of sarcasm when the need arises, or to re-edit my error-ridden stuff.

Gratifyingly, this little Post has already received one Like and it was still not quite finished! Thank you, Liamjcrosswritingandediting. Nice website. Mine’s looking tired, I may need to engage another teenager.

(OMG, another Like just popped in. Hi, Jo! Glad you’re still around.)

(OOMMGG! A third, and they’re Following me! I should go blind more often!)

And we’re back into the 20s for viewers! It’s a red letter day!





Hello, me again!! Postscriptum by a week or so, this has had yet another thumb-up, from blogger Emily Raper. Thanks, Emily.

And you’re a jazz fan too! Have I met Ms Right?

Emily is a B.S. student who blogs about writing, so I guess she knows her onions. Your Uncle Bogler was seriously considering submitting a thousand well chosen words to her website, with its curly type font ‘n’ all, where she invites Guest Posts, until he read the rules.

No swearing, no politics, no offence caused to anyone…

Like life, really.







British values… American carnage… Meanwhile, back at the OK Corral… The War on the Poor… It looks like Issue 43 of The Pumpkin (Maybe the last for a while)

British Values

Shortly before this bus exploded, as the fire took hold detainees were forced to remain inside to be handcuffed by Capita goons, who ought now to be put on trial and receive long prison sentences along with their lying, conniving managers, and the Home fucking Secretary, crooked financier Tony’s daughter, Amber Rudd. Decent British people are sickened by this growing abuse of migrants.


American Carnage

“It’s amazing the amount of carnage that one individual can carry out in such a short period of time.”

Thus Florida’s Junior Senator Marco Rubio, marvelling at the power of the AR-15 semi-automatic military-grade assault weapon to tear apart a young human body at close range in the wake of the St Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in idyllic Parkland, Fla.

Little Marco, as the fatuous oaf Trump famously (and seemingly accurately) dubbed him, apparently has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. It means he’s all for it, and they’re all for him, laundered Russian dark-money an’ all.

But he still wants to reserve judgement on the killings until all the facts are in as to how amazing it was.

Like, that the 19 year-old killer, Nikolas Cruz, was legally able under Federal law to purchase an assault weapon at 18 – but not a small handgun, or a beer. You have to be 21 for those.

Like, that the FBI had already recorded the miserable little dork posting on Twitter that he wanted to become ‘a professional school shooter’, but somehow couldn’t trace him even though they knew his name. (How does that level of competence play out when trying to trace the President’s money-laundering operation?)

Like, that the BBC is reporting, social media reveals Cruz to be a paid-up member of a white supremacist gang. (The gang leader has claimed him, the police say the evidence is inconclusive. This being America, others will no doubt link him with Hillary Clinton.)

Like, that he went for a post-spree McDonalds, and had been photographed wearing a Trump: MAGA hat. A true patriot.

So, nothing to see there folks, no Muslims, move on…

It was the eighth school shooting in the US in the last six weeks. Don’t hold your breath for Trump to actually do anything more than wish everyone concerned a happier Valentine’s Day next year and blame the victims for failing to report that Cruz  – fostered after his mother died in 2016 – was depressed and angry.

Trump’s promise to look in on the folks of wherever it was will no doubt coincide conveniently with yet another golfing weekend at Mar-a-Lago, just down the road.

Maybe chuck them some paper towels, mop up the mess.


Meanwhile, back at the OK Corral

Addressing a roomful of bloodstained Conservative murder accessories,

“The head of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) has broken his silence more than a week after the Florida school shooting with a vituperative attack on gun control advocates, accusing them of exploiting the tragedy to push their agenda. “They care more about control, and more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the second amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all individual freedoms… They hate the NRA, they hate the second amendment, they hate individual freedom.” – Guardian

If the insane, whining little bitch, gun industry shill Wayne La Pierre has any grandchildren, please God the next school shooting does away with them, the lousy, sick motherfucker. And that the cancer that kills him should be slow and painful.

Thank you.

(PS The Pumpkin has patiently explained before about the Supreme Court ‘Scalia’ ruling on the 2nd Amendment, that it does not prevent controls on the buying, keeping and carrying of guns. Prior rulings on the 2nd have also interpreted ‘militia’ as meaning just that, not some phantom freaking bunch of 21st-century neoNazi redneck zombie psychopaths self-identifying as survivalists in the face of nonexistent threats to their precious fucking liberty. Nor does the 2nd say anything about permitting people on terror watch lists, convicted felons and the mentally ill being encouraged to carry a concealed weapon, as has happened in certain states.)

Twice in the past week The Pumpkin has dreamed of terrible omens. He is ushered into a big room with hundreds of people and invited to take a seat. He looks around at the faces. They are all dead. In another dream he is in a car, in a place with thick walls. A nuclear bomb is exploded alongside them. He is with a group of people. They are dying from radiation sickness. His hair is falling out.


But wait half a mo!

“After a golden era of sales under Barack Obama, America’s gun manufacturers are in trouble. Sales have tumbled, leaving the companies with too much stock on their hands and falling revenues. The crunch claimed its biggest victim this week when Remington filed for bankruptcy.”

Yes, welcome to ‘The Trump Slump’ – a bizarre effect of Trump’s presidency being that gun sales have fallen off a cliff in the past year. Apparently, the dumbfucks don’t need no mo’ hardware when they think they’ve got a Prezudent in the White House who is not going to take away their 2nd Amendment ‘rights’.

Gun sales actually rocketed during the Obama years as drooling rednecks fantasized about the coming war with Washington.

Overall, gun ownership has been declining since the 1970s and there are now fewer gun owners than ever, according to New York Prof. Robert Spitzer, author of five books on guns (so he should know).

“The US has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world with 88 guns for every 100 people. But just 3% of the population owns an average of 17 guns each, with an estimated 7.7 million super-owners in possession of between eight and 140 guns apiece.”

And apparently it’s these crazies who buy most of the guns, and now America is Great once more, they’re just not interested. Either that, or they’ve noticed that prices of a whole range of day to day household necessities, like food, are already shooting up in the wake of the Trump “bust the budget” tax reforms.

Good news.

Great. And the High School massacre might have come just in time to save Remington and the others. For, every such incident produces a flurry of talk of gun control, and that sends the dumbfucks crazy to the gun store again, clutching their grimy dollars.


“What an utterly unspeakable atrocity this man is”

Proof if proof were needed that Donald Trump is in character a thing less than the dirt under the fingernails of humanity has come in his latest Sunday morning tweet.

Not only has the balding sex pest launched another of his pathetic teenage tweets blaming the FBI for the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, he has again made it all about Donald J Trump and his persecution mania.

Because, he says, the FBI have been too busy trying to prove he colluded with Russia, which everyone knows is a Democrat hoax, to police the safety of the nation’s children.

What an utterly unspeakable atrocity this man is, to turn this horrible tragedy into political point-scoring and a desperate bleat for sympathy, not for the bereaved families, or for the wounded (facing horrific medical bills) but for his loathsome self.

No blame of course attaches to him for ratcheting up the level of rightwing violence in his benighted country. The killer at times sported a Make American Great Again baseball hat, of the kind that Trump’s dumbfuck fans like to wear in their moments of maximum inanity.

Of the kind the President of the United States sells (made in China?) and personally promotes in order to profit from his office.

No blame attaches to him for taking $50 million in Russian ‘dark’ money channeled via the National Rifle Association to support his election campaign, the latest allegation to come from Hillary Clinton, the failed Democrats and their puppets in the lying fake-news media.

He is just like some unpleasant residue you can’t shake off your shoe .

And still the Republican Congress wallows in shame, their corrupt, lying faces firmly jammed up his furry old rectum, smelling heavily of cheeseburger.


Trump crooked? Surely not.

This Rachel Maddow story will prove to you as if it needed proving, that this President is a complete crook.

Basically, the NYT has hold of a report as to where the spare change from Trump’s inaugural went.

To his wife’s best friend.

$26 million.


“…thanks to the idiotic #metoo and other pro-women campaigns, no-one now dares to challenge the narrative agenda, to see this for what it is.”

A war not on poverty, but on the poor

Another inadvertent hostage to fortune in the campaign against NGOs has been offered by Brendan Cox, the widower of the Labour MP murdered for supporting Remain in the EU referendum by a former member of Britain First!, the deeply patriotic Mosque-burning organization supported in his infinite witlessness by President Donald J Trump.

Since the brutal slaying of his highly-regarded wife, hacked down and shot outside her office by a delusionary neoNazi, the not-unpleasant-looking Mr Cox, caring for their two young children, has been a favorite target of the unspeakable Trump knobgobbler, Nigel Farage and mercilessly trolled with threats of kidnap and murder by the toxic alt-right, claiming absurdly that his charities are “supporting Islamic terrorism”.

Now he’s been outed by the gruesome Mail on Sunday, purportedly a newspaper, as an office Lothario, and he’s had to resign from the charities he set up in his wife’s memory, although the allegations refer to his previous position with the megacharity Save the Children, where the media has been trying for the last fortnight to link them with the Oxfam abuse story.

Now they have all the proof they need that all charities are evil sinkholes of vice and a waste of public money. Well done, Brendan. What did you do, invite a pretty girl out for a drink? Pay an intern a compliment? You monster.

The business of a certain section of the British press is to demonize minorities, and this month it’s the turn of the charity sector, that has seemingly ignored too many of the complaints of its women staffers and volunteers that they’re being propositioned by randy men. No stone has been left unturned in what appears to be an orchestrated campaign from the right to undermine public trust in the sector, which has long been perceived on the international political stage to be inimical to the interests of corrupt oligarchs.

And thanks to the idiotic pop-up #metoo and other pro-women campaigns, no-one now dares to challenge the narrative agenda, to see this for what it is. Yet how quickly the Conservative right has moved to announce that it plans to defund the lefties of Oxfam over the bad behavior of one of its Belgian staffers and a handful of others in the field.

Was it meted in their 1948 Charter to have to declare their internal disciplinary proceedings to the Daily Express? ‘Transparency’ is not something that bothers most large corporations, why should Oxfam be bound by different standards invented on the spur of the moment by hypocritical tabloid editors and their Tory shills?

The giant Medecins Sans Frontières has since come clean. Of its 20 thousand staff and volunteers globally, it has received 24 complaints of sexual harassment in six years, resulting in the firing of 19 people. Perhaps the Conservatives would like to close them down too, withdraw their doctors and nurses from the hellish underground hospitals of Syria and just let the bomb victims and the amputated children bleed out?

Wake up, women. Your noble crusade against Hollywood scumbags has been rapidly misappropriated by disruptors to undermine social organizations of which the right disapproves, believing them to be anti-globalizing forces of the socialist left, opposed to profitable corporate corruption and exploitation. Have they not been moaning for years that Oxfam and others had become too political? Well, now they have their comeuppance, thanks to you. This could have been handled better, no?

Kneejerk patsies like Bishop Desmond Tutu, who has pompously withdrawn his support for Oxfam, could look at the devastation wrought on the global Catholic church by successive abuse scandals and see a pattern. What Oxfam is essentially being accused of is weak supervisory management, that has allowed a tiny number of abusive individuals out of thousands to get away with their behavior. No-one is making the point: you don’t have the same controls over volunteers as you do over employees. You don’t have an economic sanction with which to govern their behavior. Volunteering is about trust.

From that one instance, the rightwing politicians and media have seized on whatever other historic criticisms they can find to build a picture of malevolence, waste and incompetence to bring down a movement that has intended to do only good since their founding 70 years ago. Tutu should be on the side of the weak and use the power of Christian forgiveness to help realign the organization’s values if need be. Instead he has walked into the trap of helping the wealthy and powerful to destroy it. What will be the outcome of that for the weak, the hungry and dispossessed of the world, I wonder?

Then, Tutu always was a bit of a self-promoting idiot.

It’s all part of the “War on the poor” being enthusiastically prosecuted by the US Republicans and their disruptive billionaire pals in Russia and around the world. Defunding the NGOs will kill more poor people, without a doubt. Is that what #metoo and others want? There are real consequences to gender politics.

No-one is advocating sexual violence or harassment or the exercise of male dominance in the workplace. The Pumpkin ought however in the interest of balance to mention that he met both his wives through work, there being nowhere else for driven work-obsessives in the pre-Tinder age to meet potential partners – and that in both cases after a suitable period of observing his behavior at close range and finding him charmingly diffident it was the women who took the initiative (and did the proposing!).

In addition, the Pumpkin modestly but also proudly asserts that he was once voted Rear of the Year by the women in an otherwise all-female editorial office where he worked, and put up with the same lousy wage. While at college, he was made an “honorary lesbian” by the feminist couple who ran the canteen…

Despite a small number of instances at other times of no-doubt inappropriate conduct, boy-on-girl things for which he apologizes, although most of the time he has been rigorously abstemious to the point of cowardice, he explains that it was not an exercise in male dominance, it was just hoping we could have pleasurable sex.

He therefore feels no guilt at saying, women cannot at one and the same time insist that they are strong, yet demand compensation for their relative weakness.

Something more is going on here than meets the eye.


A detached view

Speaking of which, things have gone awr-eye. Just as he was seemingly recovering from the last one, the Pumpkin has had to have another operation to reattach the retina and is finding it hard to gaze at this screen for long, being once again totally blind in the shorter-sighted orb.

With tears streaming down his face, he announces what he hopes will be only a temporary suspension of bogling activities. (NB some minor editing may still occur from time to time.)

GW an update

Just to mention, Granny W says episode #94 of Climate and Extreme Weather News is online at YouTube, you can go watch it now. The enhanced seismic activity around the globe is continuing unabated, see the Dutchsinse website, with another M7.1 in Mexico and even a M4.4 in the Bristol Channel; while the Yellowstone swarm and magma intrusions are continuing into their record-breaking 9th month.

Christchurch and two other districts on New Zealand‘s South Island have declared a state of emergency as former cyclone Gita hit the country. Dozens of schools have been shut and roads closed on the South Island as the storm made landfall on Tuesday. Broome in farthest NW Australia has too been hit by yet another cyclone and the town is underwater again – BBC

Temperatures at the North Pole have again gone Celsius-positive, the Bering Straight is ice-free and another hurricane-force system is pushing warm water up into the Arctic.

Yellowstone: 200 more earthquakes have been recorded in the last 10 days.

Pack a bag. Stock up on canned tuna. Read a bible.

CEWN #95 also out 20 Feb. and #96 on 23rd.



Oxfam: Only trying to help…. GW: stumbling blindly through the blizzard… Yellowstone News: It’s been a blast!… A higher gear…

“…the Bronze Age states (c. 1250 BC) were hit by multiple events. Not just sustained droughts and famine, but also numerous volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, civil unrest, mass refugee migrations, trade disruptions and war.” – BBC feature: Economic Collapse: the real message of the fall of Troy.

Ring any?

Oxfam: Only trying to help

Like John Milton I’m going to struggle with my near-blindness for a bit, because I need to say something. (Unlike Milton we’re hoping it will go away eventually…)

I’ve just lost it again with a harmless old chap I run into most days on my walk, who keeps triggering my inner libtard by parroting toxic ideas he gets from the rightwing media, mostly about ‘foreigners’ (although he tells me he was born in America).

A bit ashamed of that, actually. Sorry, dear old chap. I treasure you really.

Today, he was most exercised that ‘we’ give money to Oxfam so they can exploit 10-year-old Haitian prostitutes.

I agree, that’s not good. However, it’s probably more shocking in my more expansive view that ‘we’ pay the officers of Oxfam half a million pounds a year to fly first-class and stay at the best hotels just down the road from the disaster zone, while allowing 10-year-olds to ply the oldest profession in the street outside.

The economics of prostitution are generally related to a failure of good governance at many levels, but it is invariably born out of necessity, of a kind one had imagined charities like Oxfam have for more than 50 years been paid to relieve.

While Oxfam probably employs many thousands of good people around the world in difficult situations where they can’t always be supervised, there are a few bad apples in every large organization, who in this case were fired as soon as Oxfam found out. That’s not good enough for the British press, however.

But do we really want to destroy institutions that still do some good in the world, while yet there is a British parlour wall unhung with a 60-inch TV screen?

The occasionally atrocious behavior of a tiny handful of employees is a lot less unexpected than the broader failure of the organization to do its work. There should be no 10-year-old prostitutes in the first place in an earthquake disaster zone where international charities are thick on the ground. That’s the outrage – not that a few wicked and licentious officials may be tempted to exploit them.

The elderly party thinks it’s a disgrace anyway that the government gives ‘our’ money away to people in foreign countries when we should spend it instead on the National Health Service and other poverty-stricken causes in ‘our’ own country.

I agree… many of ‘us’ also need help. But… Don’t ‘we’ already get help? Maybe not quite as much as we feel we deserve. But there is no famine in Britain. No militarized mass rape. No genocide. No rampaging warlords or traffic in “blood diamonds”, beyond a few isolated cases of exploitative gangsterism. Influence-peddling, some inequality, but no kleptocracy to speak of; and very few earthquakes.

As I have recently experienced, in Britain you can walk in off the street to a clean, professionally run hospital and, provided you have the right condition, be swiftly assessed and treated expensively for free. Every child receives a free education to the age of 18. Comply to the nth degree with the miserable conditions and endless bureaucracy of the Government’s rotten means-test and you can at least get a few tens of pounds a week in benefits to help you survive to an age when the State grants you a pension.

And who left those “shithole” countries in the state they’re in? They’re mostly former colonial territories of ours, the French, the Belgians, the Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Portuguese – and they didn’t have much to begin with.

I try explaining that ‘we’ give just 70 pence out of every hundred pounds we earn, our Gross National Product, to the aid budget because some people on earth are even more desperate than we are, the sixth richest nation in the world – and we’re nominally a Christian country. Does the old guy really think that if ‘we’ took back that 70p, they’d give more to people like him? Ha ha! Sillyface.

The NHS already swallows twelve whole pounds out of every hundred we earn; the problem seems to be (forgive me, I’ve spent too much time in hospitals lately) a mismatch between the facilities available, the staff available and the patients’ medical needs, which are seldom serious. That’s a management, not a money problem. £40 billion goes to Education; a similar amount to defend ourselves against the North Korean menace. Good God, we’ve spent 7 billion pounds building two leaky aircraft carriers with no aircraft, and propose to spent 60 billion more on useless nuclear submarines we can only operate with the permission of the Pentagon – 60 billion more still on a superfluous and destructive 110-miles of railway line on which you and I will not be able to afford to travel.

Isn’t that selfish enough for the average Daily Mail reader?

Indeed, £38 in every £100 the nation earns goes into the pockets, the country estates, the offshore accounts and the Bentley Continentals – who knows, maybe also the 10-year-old prostitutes – of the top 1 per cent of wealthy people in ‘our’ country – among them that braying, bullying egoist, the £2.5m a year editor of the Daily fucking Mail – people who prefer you not to think of them when you’re begrudging the world’s poorest their 70 pence.

I should like to explain that only some of the aid budget, that 70p in every hundred pounds, goes to famine and disaster relief. Some goes to useful development projects that intendedly help to increase ‘our’ export sales. Some goes to preventing refugees from coming to Britain. Some goes to maintaining embassies abroad. Some goes to the United Nations. And some even goes to the military to pay for peacekeeping missions that ultimately increase security on ‘our’ streets.

This huge generosity is what the editor of the Daily fucking Mail, the world’s nastiest, greediest, most selfish, fascist-supporting so-called newspaper, a privileged Jingoistic swine who owns a 17 thousand-acre Scottish estate and gave himself a 60 per cent pay rise last year, a bullying brute by all accounts pandering profitably to the worst instincts in stinking humanity, describes as ‘madness’.

But I don’t explain. What would be the point? Instead, I tell this elderly party, who’s probably no older than I am, ‘oh, fuck that Daily Mail bullshit’, and walk away angrily, because I don’t expect him to understand what I’m saying to him. No-one wants to hear they’re being played for fools, or that they’re just normally thoughtless, selfish, dog-eat-dog human beings.

I’m sure he was only trying to be helpful.


GW: stumbling blindly through the blizzard

Look, I’m still not really up to writing loads of copy. Staring at this screen hurts my eyes. I’m going to just give you a link to Climate & Extreme Weather News #92 pt 2, the latest issue, and you can draw your own conclusions. They’d better be the right ones. Video footage from Iowa includes instructions (from 08’53”) for how to build a traffic jam out of idiots – 12 of whom died trying.

And now there’s CEWN #93 and it’s just overwhelming:

Cyclone Gita: Samoa, American Samoa & Tonga …The Philippines: Tropical Storm Basyang …Bolivia: Tiquipaya mudflows …Brazil: Porto Alegre storm …Argentina: Cordoba hailstorms … The USA: Midwest snowstorm & south-east flooding …Europe: Western Europe cold & France snow …Iceland: Reykjavik blizzard …India: Maharashtra thunderstorms …Japan: Snowstorms …Australia: Queensland heatwave & Brisbane thunderstorms …New Zealand: Opotiki flooding …Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event…. and more!

To summarize (more winterize, actually):

5 dead in the Philippines as TS Basyang batters Mindanao. Cordoba experienced quite a few giant hailstones of 10 cm dia. and more, but we recall it is the city that had five feet of hail in fifteen minutes last August. 12 people have died in record snowfalls over coastal Japan in the past week. Central Queensland is heading into a possible record heatwave for next week. 4 people died in a cyclonic hailstorm in Maharashtra, with extensive crop damage.  Reykjavik experiences total whiteout and hurricane-speed winds with 5-ft snowdrifts burying cars overnight. Arctic sea ice is at another record February low, while a heatwave in the stratosphere is intruding over the Arctic and expected to play hell with the polar vortex over the next few days.

The forecaster fails to mention however that the subArctic jetstream is somewhere over North Africa.

USA: “Heavy rain, flooding and landslides have affected areas of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee since 10 February 2018.” 2 die as Chicago experiences 9 straight days of snow.

Bolivia: “Heavy rain and flooding has left 6 people dead and 9,600 families affected. As many as 14 municipalities have declared a disaster.”

Mediterranean: “Severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rain and high waves, caused damage in Malta on 10 February. 1 man was killed and a passenger injured when a car was hit by a fallen tree. A large ship ran aground during the storm. Over 100 mm of rain fell in some areas in 24 hours.”

Pacific: “Days of heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Cyclone Gita have caused flooding and landslides in Samoa. The storm dumped massive amounts of rain from 07 to 11 Feb. Some areas recorded over 600 mm in a 24-hour period. Heavy rain in eastern areas of Malaysia caused flooding in parts of Sarawak from 03 Feb. Samarahan Division recorded almost 200mm of rain in 24 hours to 06 February. Schools and hospitals have been closed and thousands of people affected.”

Africa: “The south of Malawi is enduring a dire dry season that the country’s ministry of agriculture says will leave more than 700,000 farmers with less than 40 percent yield from their crops.” Mob violence has accompanied rumors that the drought is due to witchcraft. (Washington Post, 08 Feb).

Last week, however, GW was relaying news from Floodlist that northern Malawi was yet again underwater owing to intense rainfall. Maybe a pipeline or some buckets would be useful?

Anyone there at Oxfam?

Thanks to Floodlist/ Washington Post/ Climate & Extreme Weather News #92 pt 2, #93.


It’s been a blast

Yellowstone is “under strain” according to a group of seismologists who are monitoring the potentially catastrophic volcano, prompting fears an eruption is imminent. 15 Feb a new earthquake swarm up to M2.9 is recorded (but not reported) in the park.

Food security: “Some areas of Australia have seen up to 70% (grain crop) reductions compared to last year’s output. Reasons are drought and cold related issues.”

Mary Greeley website quoting the Billing Gazette and an unsourced scientific paper/ ABC News


A Higher Gear

I don’t normally give a shit about the BBC’s noxious car show for drooling petro-cretins and their embarrassed-looking girlfriends, Top Gear. I’m just watching for the first time the stilted, amateurish, characterless new autocue-stumbling presentation team going through the motions while waiting for something better to come on.

A dreary presenter is having an orgasm driving the latest Ferrari round a track somewhere. It goes at 300 mph, you can’t legally drive it on the road and it’s not race-licensed either. Only 40 will ever be made, it costs only £2 million, comes with its own fulltime team of mechanics – the tyres last only a few miles – and you can’t just buy one, you have to be invited as a deserving person to own one (Lewis Hamilton, enjoy!).

It is, of course, exquisite. Out of this world. It even limits the number of laps you’re allowed to drive it, before you die of smugness. And has a button that lets you drift excitingly round corners at 200 mph with no traction control, just for the hell of it.

FXXK? FXX that.

You’re taking the piss, right?

Or is this a new series of Pointless?



No title, no views… GW: world weather (‘there is no more normal’) and refugees (sadly, there is normal).

Hi y’all

Still partially sighted after the op., your Uncle Bogler is finding lengthy screeds hard to type as I’m seeing different realities with either eye, one side in wobbly sepia. Not to mention that damned keyboard shortcut I still can’t identify, easy to miskey when you can see, let alone now, that accidentally causes the entire screed to vanish and you have to try to get it back from Drafts.


The Pumpkin, too, is taking a break from Donald Trump’s endless fantasies about his own greatness. He’s really not at all great: basically, a narcissistic bigoted poorly informed fucking moron, a has-been 1980s publicity-vulture misogynistic TV creampuff; cheating racist grifter, dated bidness con-man in the pockets of billionaires and the Russian Mafia, with a stupid orange fake-Mussolini piss-on-you face and fascist obsession with military might, a pissed-off wife and three vampire sons, he’s getting really boring now. As are we, talking about him. Just ignore him, he’ll go away.

So here’s a bit more weather-related stuff, and then I’ll go on to talk about refugee children, as I’m playing a character in a play about the ‘Kindertransport’ lifeline that rescued hundreds of Jewish kids from the Germans in the nick of time before the Holocaust, so I was interested in this story. But first….

“…as of late January 2018, the global total of sea ice was close to the lowest level measured since satellite observations began in 1978.”

If Granny Weatherwax weren’t buried up to her turkey wattles in an avalanche, I’m sure she’d be telling you about Paris – Seine overflows, 1,000 people and the basement at the Louvre evacuated – the Rhône has also flooded at Lyon – torrential rainstorms (again) in Argentina and Guatemala, large parts of Mexico and Bolivia (new rainfall records set and beaten) underwater, tens of thousands evacuated from rising rivers – floods in Scotland, etcetera.

Postscripta: 1: the supposed-to-be minus 40C winter temperature at the North Pole is about to go 1.5C POSITIVE over the next 24 hours. 2: there is a massive low pressure (957 mb) area equivalent to a Cat 3 hurricane moving northwards in mid-Atlantic pushing warm air up into the arctic.

In the USA the east has been experiencing record WARM winter temperatures again after the horrendously cold start to the year and a winter hurricane, however the polar vortex is expected to return by the weekend and to stretch down right into Florida. Meanwhile a huge area of the midwestern USA: Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and especially Kansas and part of Missouri is under a wildfire advisory warning today, with sustained, very dry wind of 25 mph and a lot of dead, dry prairie grass to burn.

And with the jetstreams completely fucked, polar air is expected to descend over northern Europe into next week, followed by another warm spell. Meanwhile Morocco has had a record cold spell, with a six-inch snowfall at altitude. It’s also been snowing heavily in Tehran, with roads blocked… and in Saudi Arabia. However, a winter heatwave is forecast to engulf the Arabian peninsula by 7 Feb. Northern Malawi in Africa is underwater again, 1 death reported. The extreme cold affecting Siberia has relocated to China, Japan, Korea and as far south as Vietnam. Minus 30C in Harbin City reflects the lowest-ever cold alert that’s gone out for most of northern China. (Sad image: Adelie penguins in Harbin zoo, shivering!) 05 Feb, major flooding in western Java, Indonesia, 4 dead.

While in Australia, the 108F-plus heatwave that roasted tennis players in Melbourne at the weekend gave way to ‘freezing’ (54F) temperatures yesterday as a mass of antarctic air settled over much of the country – remember, it’s high summer there. But the forecast is for blistering heat to return next week. And when is a cyclone not a cyclone? When it’s a tropical “low”, according to defensive weathermen in Western Australia, where: “the tropical low has brought near record rainfall across the west Kimberley, dumping more than 639mm in four days over the Broome region — just shy of the four-day total record of 653.8mm in 1978. (After another day it beat the 5-day record since ever.) Winds reached 100 kilometres per hour — with gusts of up to 125kph.” (ABC News). (A cyclone apparently needs to form over the sea. This one just happened, causing widespread flooding.)

A postscript, 01 Feb Floodlist reported: “After causing severe flooding in New Caledonia (43 cm of rain dumped in 24 hrs), the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Fehi brought severe weather including thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the South Island of New Zealand from 31 Jan, 2018. Thousands of homes left without power, local states of emergency declared in Buller and Dunedin…” Add this to the busy earthquake swarm yesterday all along the east coasts of the two islands. Is NZ really the safest place for climate-refugee billionaires to buy their boltholes, we wonder?

As the Understanding Climate Change website writes: There is no more normal.

Also GW (that’s right, it also stands for Global Warming!) might write about Donald Trump’s amazing assertions, completely unfounded and unchallenged – on dimwitted bumsucker Piers Morgan’s low-rated, failing ITV breakfast show – that the world (that experienced its hottest year on record in 2017 on El Niño-adjusted figures), has been cooling for decades and polar sea ice is at a record extent (it is. Record low…).

Those are what are called LIES, Donald. I know, you can’t tell the difference. You need psychiatric nursing, but you’re too fucked-up to know it.

Another lie he told, was that the phrase Global Warming had to be substituted by the more obscure Climate Change because of all the cooling going on. For a clearer exposition of what those terms mean and when they came into use, see today’s Weather Underground article from senior meteorologist Bob Henson:

Interestingly, Wunderground’s local weather report ‘where you are’ appears to have moved me back to Grangemouth, an old northern coaling port on the freezing North Sea coast. I don’t like it here, guys, it’s too cold! And I don’t speak Viking… Please, put me back in palmy West Wales.**

So, I’ll try to keep up maybe later in the week, adding a bit at a time. Anyway, my viewing figures have fallen off a cliff this month, nobody at all viewed yesterday and WordPress have had to recalibrate the graph to show sub-10 values, so it probably doesn’t matter.

What the hell does ‘hangry’ mean, btw? They’ve just put it in the dictionary, I read.


I Got Algorithm #2

**OMG. They’re reading this, muh bogl, the little Wunders! They’ve put me back overnight in Boglington-on-Sea! How do they do that?


EU must be kidding

Anyone who still thinks leaving the EU is a great idea and that they’re really intelligent people to think so should look at the bar graph halfway down this BBC story about our wonderful new trading partner, China, and consider what that faux-posh jackass, Mogg thinks it would be funny to throw away.x


“We shall not forgive this pusillanimous bunch of despicable, self-centred Tory cunts. Even Thatcher would be revolted by them.”

Rumble out of the Jungle

“Britain currently leads the EU in resettling refugees” – Lying HM Government spokesmouth on being questioned by the BBC, following a petition to Downing Street by WW2 Kindertransport survivors concerned about our appalling record on Syrian children in particular.

It’s difficult to find figures from later than June last year, old ones even then, since when I imagine we have been too exercised about Brexit to have kept an account of anything or anyone else, but the following is a pretty good indication of how seriously we in Britain take our humanitarian responsibilities:

“In 2016 there were 39,000 (total) applications for asylum in the UK, among the estimated 600,000 immigrants who came to work or study. 21,000 of the 39,000 applicants for asylum were turned down by the Home Office. Of the 4.9 million Syrian refugees there are around 1.9 million in Turkey, 1.2 million in Lebanon, 650,000 in Jordan, 250,000 in Iraq and 130,000 in Egypt.”

(Red Cross, June 2017)

“According to the latest Immigration Statistics, 5,453 Syrians were resettled to the UK under the VPRP (Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme) in the year ending March 2017. Separate to those granted humanitarian protection under the VPRP, there were 1,507 grants of asylum (or an alternative form of protection) to Syrian applicants at initial decision in the year ending March 2017.”

(, June 2017. That’s as against a Cameron target of 20 thousand by 2020 – he assumed the crisis would go on for another four years, presumably.)

158,215: Number of child asylum-seekers in Europe between January and November 2017″  (Eurostat, 10 January 2018)

In February 2017, following what looked suspiciously like an orchestrated media furore over ‘too old’ children among the first to step off the boat, the Home Office tried to cap the number of vulnerable children admitted to the UK provided they had relatives settled here at just 350, but later were forced to add a further 150 to account for local authority offers of homes. That is against a Cameron-government target of 3000 children by 2020. Out of 158 thousand.

Meanwhile an uncounted number of Syrian refugees have frozen to death in the harsh winter conditions of southern Lebanon.

It is a shameful disgrace, for which ghastly May, the dreary suburban vicar’s daughter, and her xenophobic wrecking-crew of Daily-Mail-hostage Little Englanders should be slung out on their ears, preferably exiled to the ruins of Mosul or Aleppo. Let’s remember, shall we, the 27 thousand Hungarians we managed to take in in 1956, despite having no culture in common, and the similar number of Ugandan Asian families in 1972.

We shall not forgive or forget this wretched bunch of despicable, pusillanimous, self-hating Tory cunts. Even Margaret Thatcher would have found them quite revoltingly incompetent, pathetic.

(I would have posted this information on the BBC News website as they don’t appear to have Google, but Comments were disinvited, no doubt in anticipation of a spray of liquid diarrhoeia from the piss-stained, pay-nothing-now sofa brigade.)


A wealth of music

The “world’s richest man”, Jeff Bezos of Amazon owes me a drink.

It’s uncanny, but every time I go off on a buying spree, his share price surges. I’ve had four of the six new CDs delivered, that I bought while mildly drunk the other night after selling my saxophone, and already his share price has surged 4% on the news, bringing his personal net worth to $119 billion. He apparently got $20 billion richer just in the last year, making him possibly the world’s highest paid store manager*. And my stats are showing, I made more than 50 purchases last year. No coincidence.

Well done me. (You owe me a drink, Jeff! Now stop the inertia-selling of Prime. Which part of I don’t want it do you not understand?)

Of course, we don’t really know who is the world’s richest man. President Putin owns Russia, so maybe he is, and I’ve had very little influence on his success, it must be admitted. Not being a fan of Balalaika music.

Then again, looking at my CD collection, you might want to consider the possibility that I might be.

I own lots and lots of wonderful notes!


United we stand

On the subject of workers’ wages, various local dignitaries including the MP have written to the board of Manchester United football club to point out that while their latest signing, Sanchez, is being paid £600 thousand a week, many of the people who clean and tidy the ground and the toilet and stuff, and look after the public, aren’t even getting the minimum wage (£7.25/hr).

It is just so typical of the BBC and their dimwitted addiction to “balance” in the news, that we then read that the club spokesmouth has simply retorted that they pay everyone better than minimum wage, in fact all the support staff are on the higher, “living wage” of £8-something – about what Sanchez ratchets up every second, even when he’s asleep.

So which is true? It cannot be both. The BBC dare not say. Either they cannot be arsed to find out, or they fear the Curse of Fergie will fall on them again and Mourinho will refuse to speak to them for months on end if they show lack of respect for these overpriced ninnies, not one of whom has any connection with Manchester.

It must be about 50 years since Peter Jay and John Birt came up with the phrase: “A bias against understanding”, to describe BBC News policy. Nothing changes.


xPassed partout…

“A flight was forced to turn back to Oslo Airport because the on-board toilet facilities were out of order – despite the presence of 60 qualified plumbers on board.

“The sanitation technicians were travelling as part of a work trip, according to the report.” – ‘The Local’ (Norwegian newslog)