American carnage… The War on the Poor… It looks like Issue 43 of The Pumpkin (Maybe the last for a while)

“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 in Parkland.

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 him 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.

 

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.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/13/remington-bankruptcy-guns-trump-slump-sales

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 on their side.

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

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.

“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, 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 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 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 faces firmly jammed up his furry old rectum, smelling heavily of cheeseburger.

 

“…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 neoNazi organization supported in his 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 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? 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 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.

The giant Medecins Sans Frontieres has also 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 Conservative 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 globalizing forces of the socialist left, opposed to 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.

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.

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 bevavior 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. 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, 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 awry. 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 very 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.

GW

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 is continuing into its record-breaking 9th month.

Pack a bag. Buy sardines.

 

 

Advertisements

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 into 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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djg7FEuxQCI

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.

Spud-u-look.

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 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:

http://www.wunderground.com/cat6/how-did-climate-change-and-global-warming-turn-misleading-trump-talking-point

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.

UB

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

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42821084

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

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.”

(www.parliament.uk, 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 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.)

x

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!)

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.

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 £400 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.

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.

x

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)

Last week’s post resumed – THE SCREAM… The United Kingdom Instability Party… GW: Kickin’ up a storm in me floral wellies and me snowboard… the latest scary Arctic news, Plus: Signs and portents, and… WARNING: Capitalists.

The Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at the age of 91, the company has announced.

No jokes about flatpack coffins now, guys…

 

Men driven to extremes by #metoo take to carrying their own sheds about. (BBC)

THE SCREAM

Watch this.

Do not not watch it. It contains important information everyone needs to know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S6QvJOTAVQ

 

Introduction

As I unexpectedly went blind in one eye last week and required a retinal reattachment procedure, which involved miniaturizing Raquel Welch with an arc-welder and injecting her into my optical jelly wearing only an aqualung, my Post got delayed and now I’m struggling a bit as I appear to have half my head inside a goldfish bowl with an oil slick on the surface, my remaining ‘good’ eye being so longsighted already, I can’t really see to type.

So I hope you’ll forgive me recycling an old Post, but this article was relatively free of unforced typos and seemed so prescient it was worth a rerun. It’s about the chaos in a fragmenting political party of once-popular protest, that didn’t quite cut the mustard post-Brexit – UKIP. Not now, but eighteen months ago. It was first posted in August 2016.

No fool like a middle-aged fool.

Last week’s extraordinary sequence of events in which the recently elected leader of the UKIP rump party, the anally retentive, 50-something, ex-military chap, Henry Bolton, has been refusing to stand down in a row over a pretty vile racist tweet about Meghan Markle posted by his new girlfriend, “25-year-old topless model” Jo Marney, whom he publicly repudiated but was then spotted having a clandestine meet with, there being no fool like a middle-aged fool – he’s also married, and now says he intends to stand by the floozy – despite the resignations following a vote of No Confidence of almost the entire party committee, and the spectacularly unhelpful interventions of the self-promoting narcissist, Trump bumsucker and “person of interest” to the Mueller investigation, Farage, have brought us pretty much full circle to previous disastrous UKIP “leadership” trials.

This (with minor edits) is what we wrote:

The United Kingdom Instability Party

I suppose it is a bit fatuous to suggest that politicians could or should ever be brought to book for misrepresentation of anything other than their expenses and constituency accounts.

In a recent Appeal Court ruling it was, for instance, decided that, to avoid lengthy explanations, it was okay to slightly misrepresent the facts on which you have based an insurance claim, provided the claim itself is valid.

It’s called ‘collateral lying’.

‘Collateral lying’ is pretty much what all politicians have done throughout political history. It’s the inevitable consequence of having to provide ‘pie-in-the-sky’ today, with ‘jam tomorrow’ as dessert for the yearning masses.

Voters would simply not know what to do, if politicians were not in some sense lying to them about most matters of public policy. Candidates are expected to lie extensively about the shameful past record of their opponents, and to lie more about what they plan to do themselves when in office; how a newer, pinker, fluffier world will come into being.

While, of course, in Islam, the concept of Taqqiya allows the devout Muslim to deny his religion – or anything else – under torture.

I’m not sure, however, that I’ve ever come across a case before, where a new political party built on a mass movement driven by disaffection with the status quo has, in only three years:

  • terrified the government of the day to the point where a stupid, hasty and disastrous plebiscite has wrecked both the economy and the nation’s standing in the world;
  • put its candidates up for election on a platform of root-and-branch reform of the political landscape;
  • won a substantial number of local authority and European Parliament seats, and then:
  • its founder and incessantly yarping mouthpiece has owned up to several ‘collateral lies’ and resigned to spend more time making money, while the party organisation has…
  • immediately evaporated in a welter of procedural wrangling and top-level resignations, as it…
  • struggles to elect a new ‘leader’ from among what one senior officer describes broadly as a squabbling bunch of obscure ‘megalomaniacs’.

In other words, a party that has obtained votes and seats and spent public money and caused global chaos entirely under the false pretence that it was ever a serious political entity.

This seems to me to go rather beyond ‘collateral lying’ to outright misrepresentation.

Do we expect UKIP to apologise and call for a re-run of elections in those areas where it has gained local authority seats at the expense of the other parties?

Do we think they should pay the money back, that they got from the EU? (Not to mention Russia… Ed.)

Not really. That wouldn’t be politics.

x

GW: Kickin’ up a storm in me floral wellies and me snowboard

(some of these reports date from the previous week)

It’s a good look… how long before it appears in Vogue?

Russia: According to the State weather bureau, Moscow had its darkest December ever, recording just 6 MINUTES of sunshine over the entire month. “The cold in Yakutia, in the far east, dipped below -60C (-76F)”. (Schools are normally closed in Russia’s coldest province at -50C…) “Some residents recorded temperatures as low as -67C, -88F… in touching distance of -67.7C, the coldest-ever officially recorded for a permanently inhabited settlement anywhere in the world”. In Anzhero-Sudzhensk, the body of a 26-year-old industrial climber was found frozen to the outside of a building.

Kazakhstan: Black snow has fallen on the city of Temirtau. Residents are blaming industrial pollution from the local steelworks. “In 2016, nearly 600,000 tons of harmful substances were released into the air in Karaganda according to Kazakhstan’s statistics committee. In December 2017 alone, the national meteorological agency recorded levels of hydrogen sulphide in Temirtau exceeding the government-mandated limit by more than 11 times.”

Mauritius: Tropical Cyclone Berguitta is likely to be the most powerful to hit the Indian Ocean island in over 30 years, with wind gusts of 130 mph. That’s according to the Meteo France/BBC report: Wunderground’s NOAA tracking map has the storm veering away from the island out to sea. Either way, the smaller islands of Réunion and Maurice are fully in its path (PS and were badly damaged but suffered no casualties).

Mozambique: 11 die in floods. 78 thousand people displaced by a tropical depression, 2 thousand properties affected. 240mm (10-in) rain fell in 24 hours.

Burundi: “severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rain and flooding has left almost 2,000 displaced and destroyed or severely damaged hundreds of homes since 14 January. Over 12,000 people have been affected.”

South Africa: After three years of intense drought, the first major city in the (modern) world is set to go dry in April: ” “Day Zero is the day that the water resource system runs out of water,” said Mark New, Research Chair in Climate Risk at the University of Cape Town. What does this mean? “No water coming out the taps. Toilets cannot be flushed. Fire services cannot get water out of the fire hydrants. People will have to walk to water tankers to fill up drinking water bottles.” And there will be knock-on effects, such as schools considering whether they can operate with no water on campus.”

New Zealand: hottest January on record (100 years). In nearby Australia, parts of New South Wales are experiencing 48C, 116F. in Melbourne, Australian Open tennis final invokes ‘extreme heat’ protocol and closes the roof (28 Jan)… still 90F at 11pm, power cuts hit thousands of homes. Cooler conditions forecast, plunging to only 64F by Tuesday!

Philippines: “Heavy rain since 12 January has caused flooding and landslides in Eastern Visayas and Davao Region. Authorities say that at least 11 people have died and around 8,000 have been displaced.” 264 mm rain in 24 hours fell on Catarman – Jan 12 to 13.

Malaysia, Indonesia… more flash floods reported as storms hit Kuala Lumpur and Denipasa respectively.

USA: The death toll from the Montecito mudslides continues to rise. “At least 20 people (now 21/2) have died and 3 remain missing as a result of the mudslides and floods that devastated Southern California, according to a Santa Barbara County Press Release on Jan. 15. The mudslides occurred early on Tuesday, Jan. 9, destroying an estimated 115 homes and damaging hundreds of others.”  Shocking footage on CEWN, see below).  In the East, very cold weather is set to return after a short lull.

Colombia: “At least 13 people have died in a landslide near the town of Túquerres in Nariño Department, Colombia. The landslide occurred on 21 January, 2018 after a period of heavy rain. A huge section of a hillside along the Tumaco-Pasto highway fell onto the road, pushing a bus carrying at least 15 passengers into a ravine.”

  • In fact much of South America has been badly hit by floods and landslides in the past week. Video reports showing powerful storms, torrential rain, urban flash floods, buildings wrecked and streets turned to debris fields have come in from SE Brazil (São Paolo/Santa Carina), Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

UK: 80 mph winds and heavy snow are forecast this midweek, with amber warnings out for most of Scotland. It’s already bloody windy here in the west, with gusts to 65 mph. The 6th storm of the winter season, it’s been named Ffion in Ireland – doesn’t seem to be named at all in the UK (eventually, Georgina), where it’s caused widespread power outages in the southeast – but the Germans have called it Friederike.

  • Sunday 21 Jan: snowing in London (a rare event), minus 13C in Scotland, plus 14C in the Southwest (10C here…) as warm front meets cold. Met Office says 20C temperature gradient dividing the British Isles in half is ‘quite unusual’.

Europe: “4 people have been killed by falling trees or debris as a fierce storm tears across northern Europe. Storm-related accidents killed 3 people in the Netherlands and 1 in north-west Germany. Gusts of up to 140km/h (90mph) caused transport chaos. … Police temporarily closed the centre of Almere, a Dutch city with about 200,000 residents.  … warning people to stay at home because of risk from the storm.”

Paris after the fall… (NBC)

France: Sunday 21 Jan – virtually the entire country is covered by yellow and amber flood warnings. These convert to numerous avalanche warnings in mountain resorts affected by recent heavy snowfall. Meteo France reports, the country overall has seen 4 to 5 times the normal rainfall for December to January. Many rivers, including the Seine at Paris, are giving concern.

Far north… Temperature anomalies in the Arctic region are truly disturbing. “The sea surface near Svalbard was as warm as 15.9°C or 60.8°F on January 12, 2018, compared to 2.4°C or 36.4°F on January 12 for the period 1981-2011. … On January 1, 2018, Arctic sea ice extent was at record low for the time of year … Temperatures as high as 18.5°C or 65.3°F were recorded on Jan. 14 and 15 in Metlakatla, Alaska. … surface temperatures as high as 7.4°C or 45.2°F were reached on Jan 16 in Yukon Territory, Canada.” Record high methane levels are also being detected.

World: Figures adjusted to account for annual anomalies caused by the El Niño/La Niña currents show 2017 was ‘significantly’ hotter than 2016 – on unadjusted NASA and NOAA figures, 2017 was either the second hottest between 2016 and 2015, or the third after both. According to the anonymous team of climate scientists posting as ‘Sam Carana’ (Arctic-news.blogspot.com): “Global warming has crossed 1.5°C / 2.7°F above preindustrial* and looks set to cross 2°C / 3.6°F soon. Due to accelerating warming in the Arctic, that could happen within one or two years’ time, i.e. much faster than the trendlines … may suggest.” After reviewing feedback loops now being triggered that will speed the process, they conclude: “Add up the impact of all warming elements and, as an earlier analysis shows, the rise in mean global temperatures from preindustrial could be more than 10°C in a matter of years.”

*Grannysplaining note: The IPCC figures showing warming has still not yet met the 1.5C ‘threshold’ are taken from 1981 onwards and don’t include the 0.59 deg of warming post-roughly 1750 when we started burning coal industrially. Warming since 1981 has been increasing exponentially but we don’t imagine there will be any immediate recognition from the powers-that-be, that we have gone over the irreversible 2 deg. mark.

Meteonovosti / Siberia Times/ BBC Weather/ BBC News/ Floodlist/ Accuweather/ Wunderground/ Meteoalarm/ Natural Resources Wales/ Arctic News, posted 22 Jan./ Climate & Extreme Weather News #90, Pt 1 (10-24 Jan). Below: Mary Greeley website, et al.

x

Signs and portents

The famous marriage-and-divorce city of Reno in Nevada has been experiencing an unusual swarm of small earthquakes, known as ‘temblors’. Since last Thursday night (18 Jan – today’s Sunday 21) they’ve had more than 260, in what is normally the least geologically active part of the state – although there are many, hopefully extinct volcanoes nearby. Nobody seems to know what it portends, if anything, although some have pointed to its concentration around a hydrothermal borehole. The BogPo notes after extensive research that a similar swarm of temblors up to M2.1 was previously reported in Reno in April, 2008.

Mt St Helen’s last erupted with cataclysmic force in 1980, killing 57 people.

A continuing series of M3+ earthquakes is occurring in Washington State, inside the craters of and close both to Mount St Helen’s and Mount Rainier, the State’s two largest active volcanoes. There’s no sign either of the Yellowstone swarm stopping, now the longest ever recorded. Instruments recorded a plume of rising magma last week, that almost broke the surface. A new USGS newsletter confirms, the total extent of the Yellowstone magma field is 248 MILES in diameter….

Volcanic activity in the so-called Ring of Fire in the Pacific has been off the scale in the last week, with hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from islands in the Indonesian archipelago and Vanuatu. Mount Kadovar in Papua-New Guinea blew for the first time in recorded history. 23 Jan, 1 person is killed and several skiers injured when the sudden eruption of 7-thousand-foot Mt Kusatsu-Shirane in central Honshu island, Japan, with no prior seismic activity, sets off an avalanche and a rain of sooty boulders. On the eastern side, large earthquakes included a 6.3 in Baja, Mexico/California, a 6.5 in Peru and a 7.1 in Honduras, just in the last week – a shallow (8km) M6.2 off Kamchatka and a whopping shallow (10km) M7.9 (to 8.1) that’s just struck this morning at Kodiak Island, Alaska, triggering a tsunami warning that thankfully produced just a 7-inch wave… leading all the YouTubers to worry about why so little?

Meanwhile, the weather blogger and Fortean, MrMBB333 continues to track the increasing number of strange, apparently non-lunar tidal retreats of the ocean for long periods at a time – including the now well-observed disappearances of the Mississippi river at its delta. There’s still no clue as to what is causing these events, although environmentalists are blaming overextraction and new flood defences for the problems of North America’s longest river.

 

Massive climate-change cretin dies

John Coleman, founder and CEO of The Weather Channel – the pioneering trans-continental US cable weather station – has died at his home in California at the age of 83.

Bizarrely, Coleman spent much of his later life vehemently contradicting the views of his own meteorologists, dismissing climate science as a ‘massive scam’ – possibly the greatest in history – and an affront to the interests of US business.

As such, he may be largely or even entirely responsible for Trump’s misinformed opinion on the matter, that has led to US withdrawal from the now largely symbolic Paris accord.

In a thoughtful and balanced obituary by Dr Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, we read:

“As recently as 2017, Coleman was referring to climate change as “baloney” on CNN and called it a “totally failed theory” on his blog.

“It’s tremendously unfortunate that Coleman later devoted the same energy to dismissing climate change science and the people who carry it out. Coleman’s brightest legacy by far will be his accomplishments in making national-scale weathercasting an important part of U.S. culture.”

http://www.wunderground.com/cat6/weather-channel-founder-john-coleman-dies

(GW writes: let’s recall that both the US Petroleum Institute and several global energy corporations including Shell and Exxon-Mobil have recognized, researched, documented and been fully aware since the early 1960s of the likely consequences of emitting vast quantities of greenhouse gases from burning fossil biofuels. Every UN-recognized country in the world is a signatory to the Paris accord, except now thanks to this massive asshole the US – some ‘conspiracy’!

So whatever Coleman’s motive was in claiming they were all merely hoping to get research grants – he was a TV weatherman, not a climatologist, and that bogus claim can be traced right back to the Koch-funded campaign of deception – let’s all join in saying, fuck him.

We hope it’s hot as hell where he’s gone. If you deal with the devil you must expect one day to have to go live with him.

 

WARNING: Capitalists.

Major owner of The Weather Channel is Blackrock investments spinoff, private equity firm Blackstone Group ($387 billion under management).

To read what they have to say about their market positioning, please position a sickbag beneath your chin as you read the annual report from nearly literate founder and CEO, Steve Schwarzman:

“…we moved aggressively into Europe early in the recovery, focusing on fundamental value or situations where dislocation created compelling opportunities. This enabled us to ride out the shorter term volatility brought on by some of the issues they’ve had, like the Greek debt crisis, Brexit, and the ongoing impact of populism on several elections.

“These types of dislocations provide opportunity for a firm like Blackstone.”

He left out “of total cunts”, before adding: “You can make enormous money doing the right things in our business.”

You certainly wouldn’t want a little thing like 10 degrees of warming by 2026 to get in the way of that, now would you? I mean, that’s a dislocation you can make a freakin’ shedload of wonga out of.

As far as Steve is concerned, the ‘right thing’ mainly involves buying up a raft of totally disassociated companies and selling off only the best bits, dumping the rest along with the workforces. It used to be known as ‘asset stripping’, which Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath once famously described as ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’.

It’s not like caring for people. Wikipedia reports:

“The purchase and subsequent profitable IPO of Southern Cross led to controversy in the UK. Part of the purchase involved splitting the business into a property company, NHP, and nursing home business, which Blackstone claimed would become “the leading company in the elderly care market”. In May 2011, Southern Cross, now independent, was almost bankrupt, jeopardising 31,000 elderly residents in 750 care homes. It denied blame, although Blackstone was widely accused in the media for selling on the company with an unsustainable business model…”

Capitalists. Dontcha gotta love ’em?

 

The Pumpkin – Issue 41: Shitholegate… Should Trump be invited to the wedding?… What is that thing Trump has about Sweden?… What a whopper!… F U-2? No(r)way!… GW: throwing snowballs at the sun… Goodnight, Irene.

My security blanket and I will make the Shithole great again!

“…yet he already knows the answer: they’re shitholes.”

Shitholegate

It never ceases to amaze me, how puritanical many Americans still are. Or, are perceived to be by their moral guardians. Little old ladies in lace, fanning themselves on the porch: “Why, ah do declare, Mistah Butler! Hortense, please fetch ahr guest some julep tea…”

After decades of hearing words like ‘motherfucker’ in films starring, mainly, foulmouthed black Americans, ABC News, for instance, is still totally unable to stomach even the word ‘ bullshit’, despite the fact that ABC News, its editors and journalists, many of its viewers and their political masters need to use the word daily. Oh, they’re so COARSE!

“Did you just grab my ass, motherfucker?” The cast of the West Wing portray the reality of life in Burbank.

Dialogue on the West Wing consists almost entirely of profanities, as we have known since the release of the Nixon tapes. Your political and moral masters have mouths like the gazunder beneath your bed when it needs emptying. You probably do too, in private. Yet the quaint old mainstream media cannot bring itself even to quote in reported speech, the salty language of everyday parlance.

The word “fuck” is never heard on the BBC’s Radio 4 documentary and drama channel, for instance, other than under strictly medical circumstances. In drama productions, with due caution, only after-hours; in case we offend the tender sensibilities of our potty-mouthed children, who aren’t listening anyway. But never on news shows.

And it is just about acceptable in BBC TV dramas, provided the show is preceded by a man with a red flag warning about “strong language”. Who the hell cares? Well, it seems there are still these sensitive souls in old folks’ homes, ear trumpets glued to the BBC for any signs of moral slippage, who probably take a secret delight in linguistic indiscretion but still feel the need to take umbrage. What else have they got to live for?

The Guardian newspaper decided a few years ago that even the word “cunt”,  elsewhere known as “the C-word”, was acceptable to print, provided somebody else had said it, and it was context-specific. Where is there left for our moral guardians to go, when a coarse term for the female mons veneris goes public? Especially when it has been borrowed as a pretty harmless loanword to describe someone as a bit of a thoughtless idiot?

The benefit of these words, often incorrectly described as Anglo-Saxon, is that they are short, pithy, plosive – to the point. That’s all.

One could imagine that a new word might be invented: “squip”, for instance, that would be given some blasphemous or sexually explicit meaning: I don’t know, it could technically mean buggering choirboys on the altar, or something, so that a ‘squip’ would be an unholy person willing to take risks…. “Squip” would be banned everywhere, on radio, on TV. Imams, rabbis and vicars would denounce the Sq*** word from the pulpit, Pakistani politicians demand execution for bloggers emitting the word.

But it’s just a sound! It has no meaning other than the one we ascribe to it. We have those other words for what we mean to say. We know them already. We don’t need new ones.

When you print “F***” we already know what it means. We know it means “Fuck”. So where’s the point in printing “F***”? We already fucking know what it means! What, are our eyes to be blinded by the redacted letters of a word we thoughtlessly use a hundred times a day, and probably at the moment of our death?

THIS IS ABSURD!

Across the pond, things are no different. It’s as if some corporation has cornered the market in asterisks.

And here we have a President, for want of a better word, describing certain countries from which, after a few centuries of east-west traffic, re-exported slaves keep turning up with their damned PhDs, asking for a better life, as “shitholes”, and the majority of the US media dare not, are terrified of what will happen if they, repeat even the word so sanctified by their precious panjandrum; while the nellies of the United Nations rise as one country to protest his racism over a word the BBC will describe only as: “a foul-mouthed Oval Office outburst”.

Face it, Haiti, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Congo, South Sudan, Libya, Syria, Chechnya, Somalia, Uzbekistan – those countries ARE mostly shitholes. They’re fucking horrible!

Do they pass the “Would you live there?” test?

Let us not beat about the bush, there are dozens of barren, underdeveloped countries around the world run by gruesome, brutal kleptocrats in the pockets of giant global corporations, most of them US-based, remitting their bribes to Swiss banks while the people go hungry, where life expectancy is less than 40 years, where child mortality rates are horrific, where the water is foul, sanitation non-existent, hospitals just UN-funded shacks, kids are starving, they don’t go to school, women don’t exist (especially when they’re menstruating) and militias go about raping and slaughtering people – where all the money goes to the army and the ruling elite, where there are no trees and grass and lakes and birdsong – only dust and potholes and shit everywhere; where opponents of the government and honest journalists go missing on a daily basis… .

Trump is absolutely right about that.

In fact, he could quiz his soon-to-be former Secretary of State, the smarmy Tex-Rex Tillexxon, about why countries producing billions of dollars’ worth of oil from holes in the ground, much of it extracted by Tillerson’s former employees, are still – after decades of exploitation – among the poorest countries on earth?

But he already knows the answer: they’re just shitholes. That’s why he does bidness with so many of them.

Trump refuses to acknowledge the responsibility of his own country, home to over 40 million people struggling below the poverty line, to do a damned thing about it. And you know what, he’s doing exactly the same as their leaders, lining his pockets and those of his rich friends at the expense of the poor and needy, turning the US into one giant shithole, and he’s cutting the overseas aid budget to pay for it. He just doesn’t see the connection between US corporate hegemony and third-world debt. He’s the asshole from which the shithole is filled.

For, among the improving economic statistics for which Trump is greedily taking credit, although the recovery and the rising global economy began years ago and he can’t even get a temporary spending budget through Congress, is the telling one: homelessness in the USA has been rapidly rising since he took office.

Pardon me for saying so. Here’s an asterisk kit, little furry balls of print. Stick them wherever the f*** you like. ************************

x

Should Trump be invited to the wedding?

I’m not sure he should, no.

Not to punish him, or because he might start grabbing the bridesmaids’ pussies, or launch cruise missiles over the chocolate cake.

Harry is only what they call a “minor royal”, in other words after Kate has stopped throwing up and they’ve christened another Windsor he’ll be only sixth in line to the throne. Is that senior enough to warrant automatic invitations to heads of state?

“Did you just grab my royal ass?” When Meghan met Harry. (Photo: Dianalegacy.com)

It’s a small, relatively discreet affair, in St George’s Chapel rather than Westminster Abbey, as Markle is a divorcée, a foreigner – and the Church of England still doesn’t fully approve of divorce and remarriage, although they’ll go through the motions, especially for a royal. Windsor is a bit of a shithole, I’m afraid, Donald.

Harry has no personal relationship with Trump as he might have bonded, say, with the Obamas over their mutual philanthropy. Trump is from a different era and culture. He claims to have handed out millions to charity, though no-one has ever been able to trace the amounts claimed, while the supposed recipients all agree, they’ve never seen a cent. Besides, we’ve seen him dancing. The Saudis made damned sure to humiliate him with that.

If any Trumps are to attend it ought perhaps to be the Kushners. I have no idea if the couples know one another, but they are of the same age and Jared sees himself very much as a player among the rising generation of global leaders; while, according to Michael Wolff, Ivanka has plans to inherit the Presidency someday. Besides, they’re quite shiny.

And it’ll be great to see if Jared gets slapped with any legal injunctions while he’s out in the open.  He’ll be good with the homeless of Windsor town, too, his family firm likes to make people homeless.

And, of course, Markle has the tainted Creole blood Trump so despises. He might start cracking jokes with Philip about their kids turning out chocolate ginger cookies….

So maybe, all in all, it’s better he should sit it out at Mar-a-Lago.

I plan to.

x

‘Sweden’s economy has surged over the past years, helped by a record inflow of migrants, all-time low interest rates and a recovering global economy,’ Bloomberg reports.(Thepaneuropean.eu)

What is that thing Trump has about Sweden?

Sweden now has a budgetary surplus running at twice the size of the country’s debts. US debt at $19 trillion is slightly larger than its GDP of $18.5 trillion, but Mr Trump’s tax bill will increase the debt to $21 trillion. He is gambling on the super-rich beneficiaries of tax cuts to push up GDP through added investment and spending leading to higher taxable employment.

Good luck with that.

Sweden. Not a vegetable.

He does not recognize the contribution migrants make to his or any economy, especially with an ageing and underskilled native population. Except when he brings in Polish workers on his building projects and fails to pay them, threatening them instead with deportation when they’ve finished their contracts. That’s the kind of shit he is: a liar, a fraudster, a bunco artist. He has frequently alluded to a high crime rate among refugees and southern migrants to Sweden – a statistic the Swedish government and police say is just not borne out by the facts.

We feel sure he will not be alluding to Swedish migrants as an asset to the economy, whatever Bloomberg reports. His ideas about other countries and races are as fixed as the moon and stars in their orbits.

The “fucking idiot” (as Rupert Murdoch calls him), Trump has just announced, anyone hailing from El Salvador who is not a naturalized citizen (many were allowed to settle as refugees under the Bush regime after a series of devastating earthquakes) has 18 months to leave the USA, as part of his campaign to rid the country of 11 million ‘undocumented’ migrants, many of whom have settled, got families with US-born children and started businesses employing Americans.

That’s 200 thousand people he’s talking about. But Mr Trump’s stated view is they are all drug gangsters, rapists and benefit fraudsters, so the spics have to go.

Then, as we have said time and again, Mr Trump is a witless, cruel oaf; a bombastic troll with no understanding of economics, socio-politics, geopolitics or industrial management. And certainly no understanding of human beings, other than as resources to be exploited. He is just a monstrous, self-promoting creature of appetite and instinct: a manifestation of all that’s worst in humanity.

A genius ‘TV star’ whose ratings have fallen like a meteor to earth.

 

What a whopper!

Glenn Kessler and his Fact Checker team at The Washington Post report as of 11 January that Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims while in office.

Most recently, he observed that he had been “very tough” on commercial aviation safety, and as a result there had been no fatal crashes involving a civil airliner in 2017: the “best and safest year on record!”

Actually, there have been no fatal crashes in the US commercial aviation sector since 2009. Like, eight years before he became President. A timeline curiously coincident with his hated predecessor’s term of office.

Not only was he being prolix with the facts, he also appears to be delusional. As far as anyone knows, he has nothing to do with commercial airline safety.

He has also boasted on no fewer than 85 separate occasions that he is personally responsible for the continuing boom in the Stock Market – disregarding the resultant collapse in the value of the dollar (Stg £1.22 in January 2017, £1.35 in January 2018, despite the weakness of Sterling post-Brexit.) In fact Trump was on record many times as claiming that the long bull market that began in Obama’s final two years was “artificial” and just “a bubble”. Clearly, he can’t have it both ways. (Does he still imagine it has “halved” the national debt – with which it has no actual connection?)

Both the above examples are referenced from Washington Post opinion writer, Dana Millbank, in an article criticizing President Trump’s “Fake News awards” he proposed to make last week, to add to a year of assiduously undermining the credibility of the mainstream media, accusing all journalists of being liars.

Awards that were in themselves ‘fake news’ – he has not made any awards. There aren’t any.*

And today (12 Jan) it’s reported, he’s stamped his foot and is refusing to go to London to cut the ribbon on the new US embassy, relocated from swanky Grosvenor Square to a gigantic £750m barn in darkest Nine Elms, appositely the site of an old fruit market and on the wrong side of the river. An American on a high horse, US correspondent Charles Wolffe complained about British ingratitude, yadda yadda, treacherous disrespect for the great office of the Leader of the Free World, slurp slurp, on the Today programme, but Trump’s tweet makes it fairly plain: it’s not because he wouldn’t get to see the Queen, it’s because of the O-word: Obama, who of course cut another lousy deal over the lease.

Except it wasn’t Obama who did the deal, it was W Bush.

Verdict: it’s not impossible for a person to be a) stupid, b) insane, c) criminal d) a habitual liar, e)  vindictive-obsessive, f) pig-ignorant and g) senile, all at the same time.

(Image: Zeltzer.com)

If The Pumpkin has a criticism of his critics, it is that they all try to isolate some one defining characteristic of Donald Trump and then debate the merits and demerits of the theory, generally concluding that obtaining more expert testimony is advisable before leaping to conclusions on the basis of what most of us would consider to be ample evidence, without ever once considering him in the round: the possibility that this utterly bewildering individual could have many character flaws and imbalances, all seemingly bad. (The Pumpkin will award a prize to any Reader who can point to even one redeeming quality in this President.)

You need to judge him by his horrible deeds, not by his mental state. What man would deliberately rollback an order protecting she-bears with cubs from being hunted from helicopters, who is not profoundly mentally damaged?

The Pumpkin has tried arguing that anyone as sick as this demented old sack of rotting fishburgers must be in pain and in need of humanitarian aid. But the more he slashes the US’s contributions to UN programs, the less he does for hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, now in its fourth month without substantial infrastructure rebuilding, electricity and food aid, the more he continues to support the genocidal scumbag regime in Saudi Arabia (does Bin-bag Salman seriously imagine humanity is impressed with his ordinance permitting segregated women to watch football is going to make up for the millions of Yemenis starving, repeatedly bombed and infected with cholera?), the more folk he bullies and demeans, the more pleased I am that he continues to burn in a hellfire of his own making and hope that the heat only intensifies until he cries out to his money-God to save his fat ass.

Sadly, there are no more pejoratives. I have run out.

*He has since. By tweet.

x

F U-2? No(r)way!

“In November we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets,” Trump said. “We have a total of 52 and they’ve delivered a number of them already a little ahead of schedule.” Trump was reading from a statement, and it appears he combined the figure of 52 planes with the “F” designation assigned to fighter jets in the U.S. inventory, such as the F-35 Lightning II.” – from a Washington Post report, 12 Jan.

No sooner has the laughter died down over Mr Trump’s idiotic bragging in December about the USAF possessing “invisible planes” – F-35s with so-called Stealth paint jobs – that are very hard for the enemy (ISIS?) to combat because “you literally can’t see them”, but that will “make their souls tremble when they hear them overhead”, than he has done it again, inventing – or rather, referencing – a non-existent aircraft he called the “F-52”.

The invisible F-35.

The trillion-dollar F-35 program is the most expensive aircraft the Pentagon has ever ordered and its development has been dogged with design problems. The F-52 on the other hand is a fully-functional, fictional aircraft featured in the computer game, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It doesn’t exist anywhere else, except in Donald Trump’s World of Clusterfuck.

According to a report in the Washington Post, he simply got his numbers muddled up. It was 52 planes they had sold, not “F-52″s. Another senior moment to add to all the rest; and was there a shlight shlurr as he shaid it?

A different theory proposed by The Pumpkin is that he confused them with the B-52, the so-called Flying Fortress used in the saturation bombing of North Korea between 1950 and 1953, when the USAF killed over three million civilians to no very useful end. It was perhaps a case of wistful thinking…

But he still took the credit for having delivered them “a little ahead of schedule”, as if he had personal responsibility for the contract and probably also for actually designing, building and flying the planes. He’s a very strange individual, it must be said.

Furthermore, the speech marked a turning-point. The planes were being delivered, not to Sweden, but to Norway, for defense against his friends, the Russians.

The Pumpkin suspects he’s gone off the boil as regards Sweden, because they told him he was being stupid over a thing he said about refugees and crime; although an incident two nights later involving some migrants in Stockholm throwing stones at police cars does seem to have been manufactured to make his crass and inaccurate remarks look a bit more prescient.

No, it’s Sweden’s neighbour and rival, Norway that is now Mr Trump’s favourite Scandinavian country: pure, white and free. The land of fjords, Grieg and Anders Behring Breivik.

Where the trollfolk come from…

After meeting Erna Solberg, the jolly-looking Norwegian Prime Minister earlier this week, overlooking the 200-year-history of slavery, Trump reportedly made some pretty scathing off-the-record remarks about immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti and Africa, complaining that he would much rather people immigrated from… Norway!

Why would they want to do that, one wonders? Despite the cold and perpetual darkness, the famed taciturnity of its alcoholic fisherfolk and reindeer herders struggling to survive in the face of the climate change Mr Trump so assiduously promotes on behalf of his funders, Norway is one of the best, the wealthiest per-capita, cleanest and most egalitarian countries in the world to live in, according to numerous polls.

Why, it even has socialized medicine, advanced education and cares for its poor. It’d be like importing Communism!

Nothing to see there, Donald. Move on.

Finland?

x

GW: throwing snowballs at the sun

USA:  At least 17 people have died in mudslides and flooding in California after a powerful coastal storm followed weeks of unseasonal Santa Ana wind-driven heat and wildfires to drench hillsides scarred by the huge Thomas fire and denuded of tree cover. More than 30 miles (48km) of the main coastal road have been closed and police said the scene “looked like a World War One battlefield”. A group of 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon neighbourhood east of Santa Barbara. 163 people have been hospitalized. The death toll is expected to rise.

Africa: 48 people have died in floods and landslides around the capital of the DR of Congo, Kinshasa. Powerful storms with hail have pounded South Africa after several days of 40 deg C (104F-plus) temperatures. Namibia is basking in 100F-plus temperatures. For the second year running, it has snowed in the Sahara. Cat 2 cyclone Ava killed 49 in Madagascar, now threatened by strengthening Tropical Storm Six.

A child arrives at school in China after walking three miles to class. (BBC)

China: at least 21 people have died in heavy early winter snowfall in the eastern part of the country. Up to 30cm fell in Henan province.

Australia: the Weather Network reports roads melting in the Canberra region of Western Australia as temperatures exceeded 40C for the fifth day. Sydney hit 47.3C, almost but not quite the record (1939). Fires broke out around Melbourne on 6 and 7 Jan. Now the northwest is experiencing Tropical Cyclone Joyce, a cat 1 storm with 95 mph gusts.

S America: wildfires around Mendoza, Argentina consumed more than 200 thousand hectares (490 thousand acres) in the space of three days. Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Colon in Panama were underwater on 2 Jan after torrential rainstorms

Europe: Avalanches have blocked the railway line out of Zermatt, where 13,000 tourists have been stranded for several days by 7ft deep snow. A British snowboarder is feared dead. “Switzerland’s WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research said Tuesday afternoon that at least 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) of snow had dropped on the Zermatt area over the last 24 hours, raising the avalanche risk to a maximum level of (‘almost unheard-of’) five on an avalanche-warning scale.” There’s been heavy snowfall too in northern Italy. New wildfires have broken out on Corsica, while Poland and Hungary have been experiencing a record warm ‘early spring’ – here in my part of the UK, daffodils are flowering a month early. In France, the river Seine flooded parts of Paris, in Germany the Rhine was closed to shipping.

World: despite talk of a new mini ice-age, the latest global temperature anomalies map from the University of Maine’s climate change unit shows that while the north and east of Canada and the USA are looking like the arctic, the arctic is looking more like California… outside the USA the world is still warming up fast. It’s frankly chaos!

BBC News/ Wunderground/ Climate & Extreme Weather News #89, citing China’s the World Today, Euronews, et al/ The Sun/ Pattaya Mail/

x

Goodnight, Irene…

Spectrograms show the lines of ‘melt’ (molten rock) on the Yellowstone charts are continuing to rise as more and more magma is flooding into the chamber. The ground uplift charts for all areas are no longer reading normally, but thanks to some deft recalibration now appear almost completely flat where last week they were showing a chaotic pattern of continuous upward movement over the previous 30 days. You can no longer tell anything from them. Yesterday there were more than 20 small earthquakes in one hour. The seismographs are showing constant vibration and ‘drumbeats’ – regular pulses believed to indicate an imminent eruption. Despite an air temperature of only 24F, snow is melting on the ground. Local people have gotten so used to the deep rumblings under their feet that they no longer report quakes. The USGS is not reporting many quakes that are visible on the charts.

Thus on 12 Jan spake the Blessed Mary – Greeley, whose almost daily updates from her home in S Dakota on what the official monitors are saying and doing is about the only serious-sounding coverage this slightly worrying story is getting, although she’s not a qualified geologist and, frankly, her contributors are a bunch of prayerful religious nutters. Annoyingly, she is building up a kind of Fortean news service of strange happenings alongside her Yellowstone monitoring, that only serves to detract from the authority of her reporting on the main event. Plus, she’s been forecasting an imminent eruption for the last five years. But no-one else is really reporting the evidence with the same apparent objectivity and obvious affinity with the Beast, independently of the muted and scarily reassuring official sources – which is in itself strange, dontchathink?

And she’s worried now, so I’m quietly buying up cans of tuna and beans and dried pulses, assuming there will still be water. Given what hasn’t happened with the relatively small Puerto Rico hurricane disaster, like a proper relief effort, what use are Trump and the FEMA gang going to be when this monstrosity blows?

Delicious moment though it will be when he has to beg the Mexican president to allow millions of US refugees in through the wall….

 

 

 

A Very Stable Genius… Dogged by their lies… Floaters… GW: warning – no surfing on ice floes, ya hear? Plus: Do not travel to Egypt without memorizing your catechism; Yellowstone update.

A Very Stable Genius

Unexpectedly, we shall start with That Book.

(Postscriptum: which, as I read it, I have to say contains execrable, slapdash writing; pretentious malapropisms, and needed a better editor. Now carry on!)

There is nothing at all surprising that has been quoted in the media this week, editors all a-tremble, as preselections of the juicier bits from That Book. Nothing that The Pumpkin has not seen, heard or read from many other sources since Trump was adopted as the Republican party’s fall-guy in July whenever, 2016 – a century and a half ago.

So no, it’s not fake nooze. I think it’s mostly pretty much real. Trump is really a culpable person: a monster, a lazy and incompetent administrator, a self-deluded fool and a defensive liar, way off his pay-grade and clearly so temperamentally unfit to have his finger on the Big Red Button.

Yet one gets a weird sense that the author, Michael Wolff, quite admires him. And thereby hangs perhaps the greatest mystery of the Trump phenomenon: why are so many people in his immediate circle and among his support base of dumbfucks so undyingly loyal to this horrible, destructive man?

A genius at managing his own PR, Trump brings relief to paper-towel-stricken Puerto Ricans.

The sources I have relied on for US news the past 18 months have been commenters like: Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and Joe Scarborough from MSNBC – and their regular panel guests, including David Korn of Mother Jones and David Frum from The Atlantic; Ari Melber of NBC’s The Beat; Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper from CNN; Thom Hartmann, late of RT; Keith Olbermann, late of GQ (come back, Keith… please, you are needed now, he’s crazier than ever!); Cenk Uygur, Jon Iadorolo and Ana Kasparian of TYT; David Pakman, of his own channel; Farron Cousins of Ring of Fire; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; and the wonderful Mike Malloy, most definitely of Mike Malloy.

Plus, of course, comedians Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Samantha Bee; and public intellectuals like Robert Reich, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges.

These in their own ways are all thoughtful, serious people, and I hail and recognize the journalism they do, which is often dependent on other reputable sources, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, and sometimes flies in the face of what appears to be growing internet censorship and ripoff defunding being practiced by the big platforms. To which I must add another source I rely on, the New Yorker magazine, together with PolitiFact, Buzzfeed and The Guardian.

All of these sources and more (but not, sadly, the supine, overpaid tossers at the BBC) have consistently reported the views of White House insiders, Congressmen and women, foreign leaders and diplomats that Trump is an overgrown, spoilt child, unfit for office; thin-skinned, vain, ignorant, malicious and vindictive; a dangerous, overreactive bully with minimal attention span, demanding simple cartoon explanations of not very complex briefings; a man of bizarre personal habits, a loose-mouthed, compulsive liar who defines national policy from minute-to-minute after watching “news” items on rightwing cable TV, who often incriminates himself with his own vicious Twitter spats and word-salad interviews accusing others of crimes and appalling misalignments in which he is the more probably guilty party.

Senator Corker’s description of the Oval Office as an ‘adult daycare center’ seems, by all accounts, spot-on: insiders frequently say Trump has to be nursed and fed on MacDonalds pap, guzzling diet Coke, kept entertained and happy 14 hours a day, which involves presenting him with only relentlessly approving and upbeat assessments of the many successes he has not in fact had today, pandering to his loony solipsistic view of a Trumpian Universe in which he is somehow transformed by the endless adulation of craven minions into Caesar Augustus; when he is, in real life, more like Caesar Nero: a demented, uncontrolled and uncontrollable demiurge; a thug with tyrannical tendencies (principally based on total ignorance of the constitutional powers and functions of the President) and an absolutely misplaced belief in his own omnicompetence.

On top of everything, and the much-investigated evidence of past criminality and misdeeds while in office, there is the mounting evidence of senile dementia: the rambling and repetitive narratives, the sudden losses of concentration, the forgetfulness of names and faces, the sudden outbursts of anger, the quirky off-topic comments, the obsessive rerunning of things that have upset him, the comical wanderings-off and changes of subject while in the middle of important business, often with important foreign leaders, whom he either looks up to or disparagingly insults. (No-one is more important than Trump himself.) The brain-damage becomes clear from watching the interviews, the half-insane public speeches (those, that is, not written for him by staffers who can string two coherent sentences together – I challenge you to read the verbatim transcript of his inaugural address to the CIA without assuming the worst), the press conferences – after which minions have to be sent out to cover for his many gaffes and lie about what in fact he said (or meant to say).

A stable genius, Trump demonstrates what he learned today in anger-management class.

His supporters, acolytes and sycophants have rushed to condemn That Book as a pack of outrageous lies, falsehoods and inventions. They have cast aspersions on the author, and on the star interviewee (out of 200, so the author claims), Steve Bannon. Trump himself has threatened to sue, as he always does, while rushing to deny, as he always does, that whoever has criticized him, such as his former chief policy advisor, ever really existed – and anyway “Sloppy Steve” is just an unimportant loser who has lost his mind, he “cried and begged for his job back” when he was fired.

That’s the essence of Trump: a vengeful liar who will say and do anything, however disgusting, to distract attention from his own monstrousness: that “malignant narcissism” which psychiatrists worry could, if unchecked, one day trigger a global conflagration.

Reportedly, Chief of Staff Kelly has ordered all staffers even close to the Oval Office to hand in their cellphones while on the premises, although he knows full well that the source of most of the leaks Trump complains of is the demented orange fuckwit himself, calling-up billionaire “friends” like Murdoch and indiscreetly moaning about everything; then expressing bewilderment at how the stuff gets out into the ‘fake nooze’ media and blaming his advisors!

Either it’s a leak, or it’s fake – you can’t have it both ways. But he tries.

The Pumpkin (for this is he) will hold further fire until Amazon delivers That Book to his door. He ordered a copy immediately on hearing Trump’s lawyer was trying to injunct it, but it seems the great online retailer has already got an out-of-stock problem; although Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff (not the Guardian contributor of the same name, nor the economist – nor is it the book of the same name that people are rushing to buy by mistake, about the fire-bombings of Hamburg and Dresden…) does seem to be available in (and fast selling out of) all good bookshops. Sad. (Also, there are a dozen probably better books on Trump’s first year on the stalls.)

Believe me, there’s almost certainly nothing in it we haven’t heard before, it’s all bad, but it will be good to have a copy on my bedside table to remind me where I went wrong.

(PS In case you still don’t believe he’s dangerous, while the book furore has been running, Trump has slipped-in the repeal of an Obama-era law forbidding anyone from micro-engineering new and deadly disease-causing agents, which with easily available gene-splicing technology you can now do in your garage. Among items specifically banned was, reportedly, an airborne version of the Ebola virus. He’s also closed down the HIV/Aids research council. Sick.)

 

“My name is, I imagine, now on a list down at the local nick…”

Dogged by their lies

Dear Readers, Spammers, Followers, Likers and Those No Longer, etc. will know, the BogPo’s Uncle Bogler has a burning, pathological hatred of injustice.

And not only on behalf of innocent victims everywhere.

I have written before about an incident which occurred unforgettably on 21 July, 2016. I was walking Hunzi through the exurban space that passes for our local park, a somewhat tame wilderness of cycle paths, railway lines, sports fields, river, heathland, marshland and dense plantations transected by muddy footpaths – also home to the town’s major sewage works – when I observed a group of people cavorting with their dog on the sacred turf of the Boglington Cricket Club’s first-team pitch, in defiance of signs requesting people politely not to do that.

A cretin in calf-length shorts and on-backwards baseball cap; a woman, a small child and a large brown dog.

Observing that the ineffectual gate to the ground was indeed locked, ironically I raised my cellphone and pointed it toward them – they were a good 150 yards away and a photograph would have been useless for identification purposes, so I did not take one. As we trudged on, with a sudden feeling of doom I heard a rough voice behind me shouting “Oi! Fuckin’ paedo!” I decided not to get involved.

The exurban space that passes for our local park. (See any children?)

On arriving home 40 minutes later, I was surprised to find two policemen on the doorstep, accusing me of going about ‘taking photographs of children’. What do you say? How did they know where I lived? Had I been followed? There had been a complaint, naturally therefore I must have been going about taking photographs of children, even though I hadn’t been. It’s not the sort of accusation you can deny, since where taking photographs of children is concerned – something the policeman who could articulate verbally (the smaller one was being paid by me just to stand there and glare accusingly) instinctively knew – denial is the clearest proof of guilt.

He reassured me, however, that it is not illegal to go about taking photographs of children. Were I a more robust individual and not a strange old man with a posh voice living alone with a spawny-eyed dog and a magic cat in a tiny cottage in the grimy backstreets of a Welsh seaside town, a social anomaly and so obviously someone on an offender-management program, I should at that point have told them, in that case, they could piss off. Instead, I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and politely said, “see for yourself, I do not take photographs of children”.

At my age, policemen are supposed to be looking younger. Instead, they just seem to be getting smaller. I recognized my tiny accuser as having been quite helpful once over a matter of neighbors plastering Do Not Park! stickers illegally (and irremovably) on my windscreen.

“Hmmph”, he sniffed disbelievingly, flicking through the folder and finding there no photographs of any class of human – I take pictures generally of unusual cloud formations and wildflowers, my guitars (for insurance purposes), my lovely dog and my half-finished DIY projects. ‘Well, you might have another camera somewhere’. Ignoring that it would be a very perverted person indeed who would take a photo of a small child, fully dressed for the outdoors, together with its parents and family dog, at a distance of 150 yards, and somehow find it titillating. And insisting without legal justification (while standing on my property) on knowing who I was and where and when I was born, like I’m some common thief.

An interesting cloud formation. Not many children.

My name is, I imagine, now on a list down at the local nick of persons of interest, to be routinely hauled in for questioning the next time a child goes missing. That’s if I haven’t been dragged out into the front garden by my working-class neighbours, beaten to death and set on fire, as happened to a harmless immigrant in Bristol a while ago after a misunderstanding concerning broken windows, pleas for help ignored for months by the police, and a gang of lying, feral children.

I have still not recovered from the depression the incident brought about. It is so easy to turn someone’s life into a permanent horror-show with one stupid, malicious falsehood as, I believe, Dostoevsky may have commented.

“I plead daily in vain for the Committee of Discarnate Entities, who guide my doings, to get me out of here…”

And now, I have learned that other neighbours of mine, nice, middle-class retirees with shiny cars and campervans living in the link-detached, manicured suburban homes across the road, have been conspiring together to lie to the police that my lovely Hunzi has attacked and bitten someone, in order to protect their own, similarly black-and-white, demented border collie. “No, it’s that man across the road!” they told the police. The owner lies to them that he does not even own a dog; his neighbor backs him up; the police loyally believe them, locals both, despite all the evidence.

I see them both out dog-walking most days and they wave and smile and nod and say good morning, terrible weather we’re having. And then they lie and tell the police I own a dangerous dog that bites people and deny that they own a dog at all.

Hunzi: calm, gentle, obedient and loyal.

Collies are not considered to be vicious. Hunzi has never so much as growled at anyone in the seven years we have lived together. He has references. At least 20 people if asked would confirm tomorrow he is the loveliest, most gentle, loyal, calm, patient and obedient dog they have ever known. Several tell me they can’t wait for me to fall under a bus, so they can adopt him.

This is a monstrous injustice, that could lead to a terrible consequence for us because of poisonous, hateful, hypocritical, conniving locals and their lies.

An elderly, harmless, dumpy little man with a slightly scrambled brain who cycles about collecting bits of scrap machinery to “do up” and buttonholes passers-by to give us all the latest gossip about people of whom we haven’t the faintest idea who they are, Old Tommy tells me this is the fourth time the dog has attacked him, and he has had to go to the hospital. This time, there was a witness. He tells me, he knows it is not my dog that is responsible, my dog is a good dog, but that the two neighbours have now lied three times that it is Hunzi who goes about attacking people so he thought he ought to warn me about them.

Of course he doesn’t attack people, the dog is under my control at all times and never out of my sight. If I thought for one moment that he was dangerous, I would muzzle him and keep him on the leash. But he isn’t, so I don’t. That doesn’t stop half the people we encounter at a distance from nervously shouting and grabbing their dogs and putting them on the leash whenever they see us coming. It is incredibly annoying that they will not let their dogs socialize, as is the advice of the RSPCA to do for their mental wellbeing.

I have never known so many paranoid neurotics in any other place where I have lived or visited. They do not understand how by doing this, they are only training their dogs to be aggressive toward other dogs. People are not like this in parks in London, they know dogs are happiest running around together, and do not attack one another.

I never wanted to live here in the first place. I do not belong here, sandwiched between the decaying council estate and the trim suburban lawns across the road, among people with whom I have absolutely nothing in common. I belong in an agreeable West-country rectory built of honeyed brick, with three acres, a library, a wine cellar and chestnut trees along the driveway; or in a balconied, book-lined, inner-London apartment on a Georgian square, walls covered in prints, of the kind nearby where I used to live many, many years ago until to escape myself I began my futile anabasis westward to the sea.

I plead daily in vain for the Committee of Discarnate Entities, who guide my doings, to get me out of here. But they don’t. Not this time, our kid. Suck it up, they tell me.

I am here now only through the accident of a business misfortune many years ago, compounded by a subsequent chain of events: losing the house, the uneconomic farm, foot-and-mouth disease, lack of employment, middle-age, two divorces – the years living in accommodation tied to my job looking after a rotting country estate for absentee owners, a job that became redundant when they turned it into a hotel. I bought the little house for quite another purpose, was obliged in extremis to move here myself, have been quite unable to sell it again, and shall have been stuck here for six years next month, despairing of ever escaping.

Were it not for Hunzi and his care requirements I should probably more seriously contemplate exiting this world, being as I am totally surplus to anyone’s expectations but his; a drain both on the Exchequer and a diminishing supply of oxygen. I live for him and he, seemingly, for me. For that reason alone, I consider the injustice being done to him, and by extension to me, of an order of seriousness that could justify a threat of violence, which would be stupid I know, as it is not the sort of thing I do. I prefer to keep relations with the neighbors at a distance, but on an even keel.

But, by God, it would give me satisfaction to make those smug little bastards eat their lies.

 

“Migraines don’t always produce headaches…”

Floaters

As I squint at the big TV screen attached to my frustrating little laptop, on which these words are magically appearing in 20 pt, a grubby-looking twist of gristle is hovering, just out of focus, in the centre of the field of vision of my shortsighted right eye. I cannot blink or rub it away. Whenever my eye moves, the thing moves the other way, then returns to rest in the middle.

It is but one of a number of unwanted objects that have arrived to interrupt my normally clear vision.

Others over the past few days have included: a small, round, grey patch with a tail, on the end of which is a black speck, drifting from right to left; other black specks, some of which appear in sharp focus, like when the titles at the start of a 3D movie spring out in mid-air, appearing to be an arm’s length away, moving around like annoying small flies. I can follow them with my fingertip. There were the flashing lights in the periphery of my vision, thin streaks of light like small meteors flashing down the sky. And then when I am looking at any flat, white surface, with a bit of close focussing I can detect a faint, thin film moving gently downwards like a waterfall, made up of hundreds of tiny, circular dots with, among them, more of the little black flies.

Nothing two weeks on a sunny beach wouldn’t fix.

Have I been staring at this screen from too close-up, for too long? Next month will mark my sixth year of writing this daily drivel. Am I just exhausted, all sugared-out from Christmas wines and chocolates, and was my doctor’s warning nine months ago that I may be borderline Type-2 diabetic too unamusingly prescient? Or could the phenomena be connected with my terrible old teeth, that have been playing up over the holiday – with resultant persistent rhinitis and weeping eyes, and a borderline addiction to Panadol?

Observing this new waterfall effect while browsing in Waterstone’s bookstore on Wednesday, I finally broke and fled next door, which happens to be my opticians, where the very nice new lady optician seemed somewhat alarmed at my description, which I could not resist elaborating for her benefit, as I wanted to keep her laughing. She could not fit me in immediately, she explained, so I should go straight across the road to SpecSavers, where they are better equipped to diagnose the fault – but, she warned me, I should go as a matter of urgency, right now, and report back.

Dutifully, I accosted one of the senior-looking opticians in SpecSavers, and explained the situation. “I can’t examine you now either”, he said, “so you must go straight away to the Accident and Emergency department at the hospital, as your retina is detaching and you will go blind in your right eye.”

Or soothing words to that effect.

Well. What to do? I explored my reluctance, as a) I imagined the A&E department would be facing its busiest time of year, what with post-New Year’s traffic casualties and the swelling number of victims of the Australian ‘flu pandemic; judging by reports, the waiting time would be considerable; and that b) they wouldn’t have an opthalmologist on duty. How, I asked, would my retina be detaching, as I had suffered no blunt-force trauma to the head (I watch too many CSI shows…)? Kindly, he explained that it was sometimes an age-related thing that could be propelled by something as simple as a sneeze. I’ve not been looking too good lately, lined, pouchy and gray – and I’ve sneezed at least once this week, thanks to the sinusitis.

Anyway, it seemed the hospital would prioritize my case on his say-so and summon the duty opthalmologist from wherever they spend their evenings, whereupon I would be sent on to the eye clinic as an emergency, but would not be allowed to drive for four hours afterwards owing to the pupil-dilator they would need to apply to examine my eyes.

I calculated in that case I could be in town until two a.m. What to do about Hunzi, and the food shopping?

The eye clinic. Where, two years ago, I was sent after reporting symptoms involving large, fuzzy grey patches fringed with sparkly colors, and the locum doctor didn’t know how to operate the new computerized photo-the-backs-of-your-eyeballs tomography camera and the technician couldn’t be found and the nurse couldn’t anyway find the printout paper rolls so I had to come back a month later, by which time the symptoms had long gone and it had already been explained to me that migraines don’t always produce headaches – just fuzzy patches with glittery fringes.

And so, gentle reader, I decided to risk the blindness and drove home to feed and walk Hunzi, rather than spend five or ten hours amid the unpredictable drama of the local health service, anxiously perusing months-old copies of My Home! magazine. And here we are, two days later, and my old eyes feel so strained and tired, and this fucking blob keeps floating around – the fly-specks have gone for now, they come and go – but they’re both still just about working.

It’s funny how neither of them on their own produces much of an image, but with both eyes working together I could shoot a person off a hillside two miles away, and often think about who I’d most like it to be.

And so we soldier on.

Stupid? Typical male. But you know, after years of messing about with doctors investigating my enormous prostate, I stopped taking the pills, the hospital has seemingly forgotten about me, there’s anyway an 18-month waiting list in urology for six-monthly follow-up appointments – does it not occur to anyone that our civilization is genuinely broken? – and it’s not perfect, but it’s at least settled down and I’m getting the bad nights and embarrassing days less and less often and it seems my urinary tract is learning how to behave itself despite the many free tests and the impressive medicalization of my condition, MRI scans, peeing in a funnel and all.

With a group of friends last night, I raised the issue of floaters in the eyes and several people said, cheerily, oh yes, we have those too, all the time, annoying isn’t it.

I figure it’s nothing two weeks on a sunny beach wouldn’t fix.

Like, that’s going to happen.

Postscriptum: Eventually I broke and ran, and was operated on the next day. The eye still isn’t working normally, but at least I made £300 from work…. Gentle reader, never be so fucking silly.

 

GW: warning – no surfing on ice floes, ya hear?

Is anyone detecting a pattern?

The last week in October, there were still a dozen locations in the northern hemisphere where temperatures were exceeding 100F during the day. Within a week there were none. Temperatures fell steadily, until in the week before Christmas we started getting reports of record cold, where a few months earlier there had been record heat; and record snowfall, where previously there had been record flooding. And not just in the USA.

2017 was a year with no Autumn; straight from high summer to deepest winter.

It’s tempting to ask, what is going on?

USA: Storm Grayson – ‘The Cyclone Bomb’. Grayson’s central pressure dropped 59 mb in 24 hrs to just 950 mb off Cape Cod Thursday – a record.  “Heavy snow and high winds are beginning to pound the US East Coast along a front stretching from Maine in the north to North Carolina in the south, knocking out power, icing over roadways and closing hundreds of schools. The storm moved governors of multiple states – including New York and New Jersey – to declare states of emergency, a step already taken by governors of southern states.” Thousands of flights have been cancelled. The snow is falling on top of last weekend’s record snow.  Spring tides and a storm surge have brought coastal flooding to many areas, including Boston.

Frozen: a somewhat suspect image of an iguana by an unfrozen Florida pool… (Telegraph)

Temperatures all along the eastern seaboard haven’t risen above 20F (-6C) all week and a further plunge is forecast from Friday night. Niagara Falls is a spectacular ice-palace, Cape Cod Bay is a jumbled mass of ice floes while, down in Florida, deep-frozen iguanas have been photographed, supposedly falling from trees.

(Looking at prior news coverage, the BogPo notices that the eastern USA had winters not dissimilar to this in 2013, ’14, ’15 and ’16… It’s just that this one starts further south and features a rare winter hurricane that will no doubt spin over to the British Isles in the next week. Also, he has learned with fascination that green tree-dwelling iguanas occupy the same niche, being pestilential non-native immigrants to Florida, as green ring-necked parrots do in London.)

Canada: “The storm plowed directly into Canada’s Maritime Provinces, where the New Brunswick capital of St. John recorded a surface pressure of 951.1 mb—its lowest reading at any point in records going back to 1953.”

China: Possibly 10 dead after sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls froze water features, cut power to millions and disrupted travel. 16-in snow fell on Shangxi, Shenan and Hubei provinces. Another 12-in of snow is forecast in parts of the country over the weekend.

India: “New Delhi – Cold wave continues to sweep North and East India. Dense fog at several places in the region has affected normal life. In Uttar Pradesh, four people died of cold in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. The mercury in Muzaffarnagar plunged to 3.4 degrees yesterday, while Sultanpur and Fursatganj recorded minimum temperatures of 2.8 degrees Celsius. … In Bihar, normal life has been paralysed due to intense cold. Gaya remained the coldest place in the state where 3.8 degree celcius. 24 people have died due to severe cold in the state this season.”

“Reports say seven people died in two separate incidents in Delhi and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state on Sunday after inhaling carbon monoxide from coal fires in their rooms to keep themselves warm. The dead included four children in a family in Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh. Kashmir: Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.8C on Sunday.”

Malaysia: the “annual northeast monsoon brought further heavy rain (and flooding) over the last 2 days. Malaysia news agency Bernama reports that 2 people have died in the floods, one in Kuantan and another in Sungai Lembing, Pahang state.” More than 12 thousand people have been displaced.

Vietnam: Tropical Storm Balavan is arriving with more heavy rain, the third TS to cross the Philippines in a month, killing 2.

Madagascar: Up to 20-in of rain expected, as “Tropical Cyclone Ava was on track to produce what could be the planet’s first hurricane-strength landfall of 2018.” Friday: Ava hits Madagascar with 110 mph wind, killing 6, but is forecast to dissip[ate and wander back out into the Indian Ocean. Capital Antananarivo flooded, rivers on red alert.

New Zealand: “Winds were over 90 mph in some parts, with at least 274 lightning strikes and nearly 9 inches of rain in areas around Mount Taranaki. (Parts of Auckland flooded out.) The massive rain storm followed an unusually dry summer. 1 woman died after a tree fell on a car.” Campbelltown, Sydney, Australia, (06 Jan) the mercury hits 47.3C, 117F, 0.5C off the city’s hottest ever. Hundreds of ‘Flying Fox’ bats die from dehydration; koalas rescued.

Eleanor froths up a storm (ibtimes.co.uk)

British Isles: Heavy rain, strong winds and a tidal surge from Storm Eleanor brought flooding to the west of Ireland. Galway and Cork cities were partly underwater. In England, “winds of 100 mph (160km/h) were recorded at Great Dun Fell in Cumbria. At least four people were injured by fallen trees.” Masses of frothy sea-foam whipped-up by the huge storm were reported along the entire western seaboard of Europe, from Portugal to Northern Ireland. The Thames barrier was closed to protect London from the storm surge.

France: “Storm Eleanor brought down trees and left thousands of homes without power. Winds of up to 147km/h recorded in the Nord department.” A skier in Haute-Savoie was killed by a falling tree; 2 other deaths were reported, and 2 more earlier in Spain. 2 -ft of snow at the ski resort of Chamonix was greeted with delight by operators until it turned to rain and the avalanche warning indicator reached 5/5, curtailing sport. At one point over 200,000 homes in France were without power.

Known in Germany as Burglind, Eleanor led to a falling tree derailing a train near Luenen, while flooding was forecast for Cologne and other cities along the swollen Rhine.

Thousands of tourists have been left stranded after heavy snow in the Alps cut off towns and villages across Switzerland, France and Italy. 13,000 tourists are trapped in Zermatt. More than a metre (39in) of snow fell in parts on Monday alone. On Tuesday, a metre more is forecast. In the Simplon region of Valais, where Zermatt is located, two metres (6.6ft) of snow fell in a 24-hour period, the Swiss ATS news agency said.

Wunderground/ Independent/ Floodlist/ Newsweek, quoting ABC News, South China Morning Post/ India Newsroom Post/ BBC News.

(PS Where is Climate & Extreme Weather News #89? 7 days overdue… Frozen up? )

 

End of civilization as we knew it

WARNING: Do not travel to Egypt without memorizing your catechism (or redacting your bogl Posts…)

Image: Fanpop.com

Deity of the Jackal: an Egyptian god you can have fun choosing to believe in (and stay out of gaol).

“The Egyptian parliament has commenced processes to criminalize atheism in the predominantly Muslim north African country. A legislation proposed on the eve of 2017 Christmas was given consideration by the parliament on the eve of New Year’s Day, the USA Today website reported.

“Under existing Egyptian laws, it is illegal to insult or defame any religion. Blasphemy arrests carry a conviction of up to five years. The new development if approved means just refusing to believe in God could be punishable by law.” (Africa News, 04 Jan)

For a list of Egyptian gods in which you may safely choose to believe, visit wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Egyptian_gods_and_goddesses

Boom time

In Yellowstone news, the unusually intense earthquake swarms that began on 12 June last year are continuing, inside and outside the caldera, with pronounced tremors, outgassing, indications of rising melt and magma movement, water and ground heating, ‘dead fish’ events and strong ground uplift. USGS says “condition green, all normal”.

The Express reports: “UFO hunters have now added more fuel to the fire by claiming to have spotted alien spacecrafts hovering over the Yellowstone volcano, claiming they are monitoring it before its imminent massive eruption.” (The story then goes on to deny itself. We’ll see.)

 

 

The Pumpkin – New Year Edition: Happy New Year from Granny Weatherwax (fuckin’ moron)… The BogPo InHuman Awards, 2018.

Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

“For President Trump to be the principal spokesman for a now totally discredited campaign to deny these facts and to refuse to take action to mitigate them for the safety and security of the American public is, or should be, a criminal act for which he most certainly ought to be impeached.”

Happy New Year, fuckin’ moron (From your old Granny)

President Troll proved himself to be the ultimate internet Chump with a teatime tweet, 28 Dec., boasting that the record cold spell that’s seen parts of Minnesota buried under five feet of snow and temperatures plunge as low as minus 37C in International Falls, Mn. (“America’s Coldest Town”) proves that global warming is a hoax, as he has frequently said, and that by pulling out of the Paris accord he has successfully saved America from having to pay “trillions of dollars” to combat something that doesn’t exist.

“And if you think these hugest ever hands are small, you should see the size of my intelligence!”

I honestly don’t know where to start unpicking the lies, dangerous ignorance and confusion of this demented old sack of composting fishburgers. Especially as there seemed to be some sly tongue-in-cheek humor in back of his tweet. Does he really ever fully tweet with conviction, or are his tweets just little hoaxes he likes to perpetrate, little teasers to annoy decent, liberal-minded internationalists like the staff at The Pumpkin; to keep himself in the nooze?

He must know, surely, that global climate is not the same as local weather. And according to NOAA, the US weather bureau, despite the big freeze this has still been the third warmest year across the US since their records began in 1895 – the top two being 2016 and 2015. Parts have seen their hottest temperatures ever. (And by the way, fish-breath, this is already costing you hundreds of billions in damage.)

I’m only a visual arts graduate, I failed Physics-with-Chemistry, my only O-level flunk, although I got 100% in Geometry! Nevertheless by reading what scientists write and watching their podcasts over the past year I feel I’ve gained quite a useful impression of what meteorology has discovered, and must thank my Committee of Discarnate Entities for not engineering a life for me in which I need to make uncomfortable field trips to measure things for myself. It’s bad enough out today just walking the dog.

It makes you wonder why Trump cannot be bothered to do the same? He doesn’t need to read, there’s a lot on YouTube.

America (will go) First

Temperature, pressure, windspeed and precipitation are recorded at frequent intervals at thousands of points all around the globe, not only in the USA, simultaneously at the equator and the poles and all points inbetween, on mountaintops and in the oceans, and monitored by internationally accredited scientific bodies from satellites with instruments so sensitive they can register a 1 mm change in sea-level. These data are not simply conjecture.

Heading for Florida – Hurricane Irma. Rising sea temperatures are making hurricanes more violent.

All the data are then plugged-in to big computers – machines – that apply them to various models that are insistently telling us things are going haywire, although there are hairs’ breadth differences in the trends and trajectories. That’s the point of computer models, unlike politicians they don’t conspire against the US economy. And they show the planet is warming, without any doubt. They don’t explain why, but that it is mostly caused by human activity, as we shall see, is really no longer a matter for debate.

(It’s completely illogical to believe we’re not having an effect.)

Any increase in global average temperature naturally perturbs cold regions as well as hot. But the knock-on effects are not evenly distributed: global climate is the overall condition, local climate variations are sets of lesser conditions, and “the weather” is a product of local climate when acted on by other variables: wind, ocean currents, solar energy, the rotation of the globe – air and sea temperature, and barometric (air) pressure.

When the delusionary old man in the White House calls for ‘America First’, a slogan he borrowed from the good old-timey brownshirts in the 1930s, and thereby imagines that the only things that have any meaning are American things, like the weather in Minnesota, he imagines there is no rest of the world to bother knowing about! But the area of the US and Canada currently affected by the Arctic plume is just 1% of the world’s land mass.

1.7 degrees of industrial-era warming, where we roughly are now, is interfering with the seasons and creating many problems, but it does not yet mean there can be no winter and that we shall all bask forevermore in eternal summer. Of course there are still winters. When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is summer in the southern – and Australia, which is in the southern hemisphere, Donald, has already set new records for heatwaves this summer. It’s a matter of balance, and the marginal 1.7 degree tipping of the scale over the whole globe has more complex effects than just causing the fundamental differences between summer and winter in Minnesota.

Your primary-school way of looking at the science is not how it works, Chump.

The sudden arrival of global cooling in the US set tongues wagging…

Climate change is visible mostly at the extremes of normal weather events. Without 1.7 deg. of warming, a minus 37C winter’s night in Minnesota could have been a chilly minus-38.7C. We don’t know! Next year, perhaps, the record 56C (133F) experienced in Iran last summer will be 57.7C, who knows? Generally, like boiling frogs we mostly experience more gradual effects somewhere in the middle, where it’s easier not to notice.

The cold air mass has penetrated so far south this winter because warming oceans are weakening the jetstreams, which are broken and loopy and no longer function to keep cold air penned up in the Arctic. This winter in the northern hemisphere too we have a strengthening La Niña effect, for the second year running, moving the warmer waters northwards, prolonging the ice melt season and displacing the colder, fresher water.

At the same time as the cold has penetrated far southwards, Alaska, to the far north of both America and Canada, is experiencing record warmth, with temperatures up to 20C above normal for the time of year. Unusual dry heat and wind are continuing to create a risk of wildfires in California, long beyond the usual season. The Arctic ocean, too, is showing around 8 deg. C of warming.

These anomalies are a cause for alarm, rather than for lamebrained internet trolling about snow in December.

The fatuous oaf, Trump does not mention that; or that it is unusually hot in parts of Australia – again. Nor does he understand that his well-funded lies have an effect on gullible Americans and will undoubtedly lead them to catastrophe if he doesn’t stop.

(Of course, many Americans are fervently praying for the end of the world, as they are longing to meet Jesus. The Rapture can’t come soon enough for them. The Pumpkin however doesn’t see why my children should suffer to encourage the suicidal delusions of credulous backwoods baboons in Arkansas. I’ll back my Enlightenment over theirs anyday.)

They already know the truth so why are you lying?

There is ample evidence that the earth’s temperature is warming faster than any effect of natural background heating can explain. Even the powerful oil and gas conglomerate, Exxon-Mobil, accepts this and urges – unenthusiastically – governments to take action.

Exxon has known for over forty years that there was a problem with continuing to burn its products, but tried to keep a lid on it, as an academic research project paid for by the Los Angeles Times comparing Exxon’s internal and external communications revealed back in July.

Here is what Exxon now say on their own corporate website:

“The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken…” – Exxon-Mobil website

Suck on that, Trump.

And if you want further reassurance:

“Significant temperature changes are almost certain to occur by the year 2000, and these could bring about climatic changes. […] there seems to be no doubt that the potential damage to our environment could be severe. […] pollutants which we generally ignore because they have little local effect, CO2 and submicron particles, may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes.”

That’s from an American Petroleum Institute report, commissioned in 1968. While astonishingly, physicist Edward Teller, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’, had lectured the Institute 9 years earlier on the problem with CO2, saying presciently:

“At present the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 2 per cent over normal. By 1970, it will be perhaps 4 per cent, by 1980, 8 per cent, by 1990, 16 per cent [about 360 parts per million by his reckoning). …if we keep on with our exponential rise in the use of purely conventional fuels … our planet will get a little warmer. It is hard to say whether it will be 2 degrees Fahrenheit or only one or 5”

That, he calculated, would be enough to start melting the polar ice caps, with the ultimate effect of drowning New York. Read the full story of the release of papers:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/01/on-its-hundredth-birthday-in-1959-edward-teller-warned-the-oil-industry-about-global-warming

For President Trump to be the principal spokesman for a now totally discredited campaign to deny these facts and to refuse to take action to mitigate them for the safety and security of the American public is, or should be, a criminal act for which he most certainly ought to be impeached.

Is persistently lying to the American people about a major threat facing the country not sufficient of an impeachable ‘Misdemeanour’ at least?

A Chinese hoax? Don’t think so!

The risk of global warming as a result of human industry releasing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) and other ‘greenhouse’ gases was known about even before the API report, certainly in the 1890s. Much of the CO2 released from burning billions of tonnes of coal each year during the early C20th is still in the atmosphere. It can persist for a thousand years, transferring heat to land and sea. Does Trump really see sense in putting out more, while lying that to do so is creating “millions of jobs”?

2017 wildfires in the US destroyed entire communities and burned 10 million acres. 44 people died. Trump has yet to visit the devastated areas: California did not vote for him.

It would have to be some hoax to have run on this long without apparent purpose or outcome, and to have convinced so many tens of thousands of unsuspecting scientists with PhDs over all that time of something that cannot be demonstrated experimentally to be true, namely that greenhouse gas emissions are not warming the planet.

(It is not logical to believe you can fill a bath and then piss in it without the water turning yellow, even if some does go down the overflow pipe.)

Founded only in 1947, modern China did not begin to industrialize until the 1970s, so the idea that Chinese “scientists” created a hoax at the height of the Boxer rebellions for the purpose of gaining global economic dominance is clearly absurd. Trump fails to explain how pretending the world is warming dangerously would help to achieve China’s foreign policy objectives in the 1890s?

In any case, being so dependent on coal for so long, China has suffered more than most from the problems of global warming and is doing more than most at greater cost and speed than most to try to mitigate the effects.

Mr Chump conveniently ignores that the credit for discovering in 1889 that CO2 is a greenhouse gas – i.e. it stores heat over and above the background temperature of the other atmospheric gases, oxygen and nitrogen – has already gone to a Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius.

So it’s a Swedish hoax to rule the world?

Saving you $trillions? No, but costing you $billions

“2017 has been the joint-costliest year for extreme weather events in US history”

No-one is asking the USA to pay anything!

  • The Paris Accord does not place financial targets or obligations on signatory nations, who following the accession of Syria to the treaty last July now include every country in the world – except Trump’s laughably isolated America.
  • The evidence is that the move to renewables can be equally profitable for the energy industry, employment and the economy.

“They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round…” It appears the moron-in-chief couldn’t be bothered to read or understand the Paris document, which is only 30-odd pages, before making a pariah state of his country.

Alternative energy sources to coal, oil and gas – wind and solar power generation – are now demonstrably cheaper even than nuclear, and require much smaller federal subsidies. To promote fossil fuels as Trump does is unnecessarily costing the nation, if not trillions of dollars, certainly billions. But it does inflate the profits of global corporations to whom he is beholden for the coup that brought him to power. Nor does Trump appear to understand that going hell-for-leather to pump American energy into the world market is depressing the price and hence, causing jobs in the energy sector to vanish like leaves in the Fall. He’s an idiot, but you voted for him! (Well, probably not you personally.)

As for the price of mitigating their environmental and climatic impacts, 2017 has been the joint-costliest year for extreme weather events in US history (the tie being 2011 – Katrina). It has been the third hottest year in the record-book, according to NASA, by about one-twelfth of a degree behind 2016, but the hottest ever to occur in a year without an El Niño event (they’re warmer) – and despite the cold weather this week in the eastern US may still catch up to it. Fifteen of the hottest years in recorded history have occurred in the last 17 years. It’s not coincidence.

And every degree increase in temperature increases the energy of storm systems, the height clouds reach (precipitating hail) and the amount of water they can hold (by about 7%). Stalled by rogue jetstream winds over Texas, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than five feet of rain on Nederland, near Port Arthur, in 72 hours last August. Later in October, five feet of hail fell on the city of Cordoba, in Argentina, reportedly in just 15 minutes…

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, the death toll in the US territory of Puerto Rico may have risen to more than 1,000. The authorities admit they don’t know how properly to count the victims. Three months after, despite Chump crowing about his great success tackling the aftermath: notoriously chucking paper towels at the survivors, blaming the victims for being lazy and praising the turnout on his arrival, 36% of homes were still without power at Christmas and many survivors still homeless. Several Caribbean islands were devastated in 2017, Barbuda being rendered possibly permanently uninhabitable.

This scene in Jamaica in November was repeated endlessly around the world in 2017.

Many new records were set in 2017 for rainfall, snowfall, floods, heat, drought and wildfires. Even Greenland suffered a wildfire in August that burned for two weeks over 3 thousand acres. Prolonged dry, hot conditions promoted record wildfires over millions of acres in Canada and Siberia, and in West Africa. In September, 1,050 people died in a landslide in Sierra Leone after torrential rain fell over several days. Up until December, 187 records had been broken in the USA for hottest cities, while only 17 had been set for the coldest.

The UK’s Meteorological Office survey recorded that the six winter months of 2016-17 had been 2 deg C above the 1981-2011 winter average. Disappointingly, however, 2017 was only Britain’s 5th hottest year since 1910; possibly owing to the weakening of the Gulf Stream current. The Boglington Post reported in April on a visible CO2-induced increase in biomass in the local area. The Arctic News survey announced that daily surface temperatures off the coast of Svalbard island, the northernmost settlement in the world, measured during the month of October/November 2017 had continuously exceeded the October/November average for all the years between 1981 and 2011 by 13.9 deg. C.

These changes have consequences, not least that they promote through what are known as positive feedback loops, greater and faster warming. Just one example, it was explained this year that warmer soils create a more conducive environment for bacteria to speed up their breeding cycles. The increase in bacterial population produces a greater quantity of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, further warming the soil.

Dozens of these feedbacks are known about, and many are already irreversible; such as the increase of methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas with up to 100-times more latency than CO2, from warming Arctic permafrost; the lowered albedo (hence increased heat absorption) of Arctic and Antarctic melt-ponds; the release of CO2 and the inhibition of further uptake caused by wildfires – not to mention the depositing of heat-absorbing soot particles from fires on distant sea-ice and glaciers.

Ottawa University’s Paul Beckwith identified the fragmentation, and the unprecedented crossing of the equator by broken segments of the northern jetstreams (upper-atmospheric winds) last July, merging with the broader southern jetstreams, bringing unpredictable chaos to the world’s weather systems. Abnormal was becoming the new normal. A kick in the tail, a fairly normal SW Pacific typhoon season ended unexpectedly with a blow that killed 25o people in the Philippines. “A-68”, a trillion-tonne iceberg the size of Cyprus, tantalizingly broke off from the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica and floated away, spawning “small bergy bits” – some up to 10 sq km in area.

Take a breather

“Your bogus, braggadocious and bought opinions are not worth a fart in a candle-flame.”

After a recession-induced pause, CO2 emissions started to climb again in 2017, showing a 2% increase over 2016. Global CO2 is now concentrated at 405-410 parts per million – pre-industrial (mid-C18th) CO2 has been estimated as 285 ppm. Regions affected by wildfires such as Southern California in December registered as high as 922 ppm. At about 570 ppm, we can expect a geopolitically destabilizing and potentially unsurvivable 5 deg. of warming not seen in the fossil record. While most predictions push the extinction event away to 2050 and beyond, ‘the turn of the century’, some climate scientists are predicting we could be there in as little as eight years from now.

In 2017, the Trump administration made strenuous attempts to censor the science, removing advice on climate change from their websites. All of the federal agencies responsible for environmental research and management, parks and agriculture were headed by climate-change deniers without scientific qualifications. Around 700 government scientists left their posts and were not replaced. Protections capping emissions and protecting waterways were removed. In June, Trump announced the US’s intention to pull out of the Paris accord, the only country now not signed up to it. The US delegation to the Bonn climate conference consisted entirely of executives from the energy industries, who gave a presentation on the benefits of “clean coal”.

In a speech in West Virginia, Trump made it evident that he thinks “clean coal” is coal that has been washed before burning.

Fanned by unseasonal Santa Ana desert winds, the flames of the Thomas fire in Ventura County, the biggest in California’s history, were visible mid-December from the international space station. 1800 homes were destroyed, tens of thousands driven from their homes. Tragically, many horses did not survive. A month earlier, the vineyards of the Napa Valley were decimated and over 40 people killed as wildfires swept through parts of northern California, destroying whole suburbs of the city of Santa Rosa. Cities all up and down the west coast became smokelogged. Rainy Seattle enjoyed a record drought, chilly Portland posted record heat, while over the border fires destroyed over 2 million acres of British Columbia.

Fox59’s graphic explaining what Trump doesn’t know. Climatologist Paul Beckwith identified the unusual turbulence of the northern jetstreams last summer.

Cereal production in the US was down 15% in 2017. 25% of the country is officially in drought conditions. Agricultural production is failing all over the globe – crops in Southern Europe were reduced by drought and record heat this year by around 60%, winter floods led to a Europe-wide shortage of Spanish salad vegetables; while millions of acres of crops were destroyed by excessive monsoon flooding in India and China. Hundreds of people drowned or were buried in mudslides; millions displaced.

While other areas may be brought into cultivation, the amount of new land available for growing crops is shrinking fast, in competition with non-food agricultural production imposed by multinational corporations. The onward march of deforestation in the Amazon was resumed. Meanwhile, overexploited and undernourished, soils around the world are rapidly degrading and becoming less productive. Several papers reported finding that key food crops have a limit to their tolerance of CO2, after which their nutritional content rapidly declines.

There is a growing threat to the food security of all of us as a result of a warming climate changing weather patterns and intensities.

In October, 14 elderly people were drowned in the suburbs of Athens as a ‘Med-icane’ hit Greece. Most of southern Europe endured a gruelling, 110 deg. F. heatwave that even earned a name: Lucifer. Temperatures in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan regularly topped 120 deg. F. By November, the Arabian peninsula was hit by widespread flooding. Massive ice storms bombarded Spain, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, central America, Australia. The Iberian peninsula was ravaged by drought and wildfires; in June, 64 people burned to death in central Portugal; in September, another 49 died in the north. By November, it was snowing. Lingering high-pressure systems allowed vast smogs to build up, over China in January, in India in November. Thousands died from respiratory complaints: the World Bank estimates as many as 2 million extra deaths worldwide. In New Delhi, toxic particulates exceeded WHO limits by a factor of 18.

But you carry on, O Great Orange Asshole. Carry on lying to yourself, deceiving your people, encouraging a climate of blissful ignorance and brute stupidity for the enrichment of your party’s corrupt and greedy corporate backers. It won’t last.

Your bogus, braggadocious and bought opinions are not worth a fart in a candle-flame, Trump. At 32% approval (AP, Qinnipiac) you’re already considered by Americans to be the worst President in polling history: 52% think your embarrassingly inept first year in office has been bad for the nation, making it less great. Your staff turnover rate is running at 34%… even the people who work for you, hate you; your former confidant, Mr Bannon, whom you now lie (as your former Chief Strategy Adviser) had nothing whatever to do with your government or your election ‘success’, has turned against you.

Unofficially, it’s been said, even your Secretary of State thinks you’re a “fuckin’ moron”; while your friend, Rupert Murdoch thinks you’re a “fuckin’ idiot”. Which is it?

Happy New Year, fuckin’ moron.

For a disturbing analysis of his foreign policy, such as it is (“a wrecking ball”) I can offer no better opinion than that of Susan Glasser, senior foreign policy analysis at Politico. Read it and be slightly more afraid:

@www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/02/donald-trump-foreign-policy-analysis-dangerous-216202?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

Happy New Year, everyone. (Photo: Gideon Mendel)

USA/Canada: Storm Jonas brings even worse wintery conditions to east-coast states on New Year’s Eve, stretching from Florida (and even the Bahamas) to Labrador, with up to another 2 ft of snow on top of already record falls and a ‘brutally cold’ storm-force wind. 2018 is shaping up to be the worst winter experienced in the east for more than 50 years; maybe in 100. A ‘cyclone-bomb’ followed – Storm Grayson was one of the fastest-intensifying cyclones ever measured. ? 20 dead (5 Jan). Ireland and Britain are hit by 85 mph Storm Eleanor, gusting up to 100 mph, disrupting transport, closing bridges and bringing power outages across the country and on into northern Europe, where 3 people have been killed.  The video has probably gone viral, but in Newfoundland an exhausted wild moose had to be dug out of the snow, buried up to its head.

Material drawn from various sources of weather news previously credited. For a more credible scientific overview of 2017 visit:

http://www.wunderground.com/cat6/new-years-freeze-out-it-can-still-get-cold-even-warming-climate

 

Prof Simon Bell, Professor of Innovation and Methodology:

“The end of Project Fear. 2017 has seen a wave of populist responses to threat and anxiety – often promulgated and reinforced by social media manipulation. In 2018 there will be a push back against this … with empowering messages of holism and rational response to unstructured worry.”

Prof Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences:

“Maybe a big meteorite will fall and rock civilisation to its foundations? Maybe the interstellar comet will come back and we’ll find that it is a spaceship full of aliens.”

From: BBC – Tomorrow’s World scientific predictions for 2018.

Good to see scientists in agreement for once…

 

May God strike them down and all their works

The BogPo InHuman Awards, 2018:

 

5 Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to Britain

At the risk of being branded an antisemite, which if he reads this I shall be, since he does it to everyone who criticizes his paymasters, Regev has been the chief apologist for the worst crimes of the apartheid Likud regime in Tel Aviv (now renamed Jerusalem) and after threatening and bullying the BBC for years was rewarded in 2016 with the ambassadorship. Whereupon this Aussie migrant, who changed his name from Freiberg, abused his position in 2017 to bully the authorities into, essentially, no-platforming a Holocaust survivor invited to speak at Manchester university, on the grounds that she supports the rights of Palestinians to equal treatment and likens Likud to the Nazis; while demanding total editorial control of the conference. Arrogant little fascist, basically.

4 Nigel Farage, architect of Brexit ( a wobbly edifice)

Late in 2017, Farage confirmed he would be accepting his £70 thousand a year pension from the European Parliament, where he has been a UK MEP for a number of years, whilst sworn to destroy the very institution that employs him on a handsome salary and glamorous expenses. Employed too as a gobby rightwing talkshow host on a local radio station mainly for elderly London cabbies, Farage is for some reason almost a permanent BBC panellist who continues through sheer force of his obnoxious personality to dominate the fractious debate over how Britain is to leave the EU, a problem the combined forces of the government and the civil service have no solution to, other than to walk away and destroy the British economy for a generation. Yarp, yarp, yarp, could he shut the fuck up for once?

3 Global capitalism, a cancer on the face of the earth

Global capitalism has delivered unparallelled, not to say obscene wealth for the few, short-term relief from absolute poverty for the many, nothing for the hated middle-class and an iPhone or Google Android spy device in every pocket. It has taken political power through subverting democracy and the primacy of the individual. It is about to deliver the unprecedented miracle of universal redundancy conferred on people by AI, 3D printing and robotics, but has no answers to the socio-economic implications of its technological developments. One interesting example of the operation of global capitalism: we have known for two decades that antibiotic resistance will soon be killing millions, yet the pharmaceutical companies obeying the dictates of shareholder greed see no financial benefit in researching new drugs to combat infectious disease ahead of diet pills and antidepressants, so none exist. Amoral genocide.

2 Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America

No human being in the history of the world has been so criticized, analyzed, abused, insulted and dismissed, with good reason – yet Trump is so thick-skinned, it’s all been water off a duck’s back… Seriously, he doesn’t know it! There he sits, putting on his Mussolini face for the cameras, guzzling Diet Coke and MacDonalds’ fishburgers, the least popular President in the history of polling, under investigation by the FBI for multiple crimes, glued to admiring cable news reports and screaming abuse at his acolytes, having to be fed predigested cartoon security briefings, firing off childishly vindictive tweets at 4 a.m., golfing in Florida three days a week; believing he is the greatest US President in history because he orders his kow-towing minions constantly to tell him so… What a dick!

A senile tyrant with untreated Attention Deficit Disorder, a spoilt and profoundly ignorant, narcissistic old thug to whom no-one has ever dared to say no – a climate-change-denying threat to the planet, armed with nuclear weapons, that he has publicly wondered why we don’t use more often? Where to start? By voting him only second worst InHuman of the year!

1 Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Chief Counsellor of Myanmar

BogPo InHuman Award, 2018 WINNER

Suu Kyi – British-educated, Nobel peace prizewinning daughter of the great liberator of Burma (from British rule) – was once the darling of the Oxford set. How we libtards all wept when, a prisoner of the military regime, after years of house arrest, smuggling out messages of hope, laden with honors, her British husband Michael Aris was dying of cancer and she wasn’t allowed to visit him or go to his funeral. Known as ‘The Lady’, this fragrant, aristocratic midget has presided in 2017 without a qualm over the ‘final solution’ genocide of her country’s persecuted and disinstated Muslim minority: mass rape, child murder, arbitrary executions, village-burnings, mass expulsions (through minefields) and more; nothing the military is doing has been too awful to touch her hardened little Buddhist soul – added to which, she refuses to acknowledge that it is happening, or that those poor bastards ever existed.

Wizened, hypocritical, lying old racist cunt, the BogPo says she goes down in ’18. Lock her up (again)!