Home » Uncategorized » The Pumpkin – Issue 6, The Bannon Doctrine. Goo goo, ga ga, dribble wibble. The President is 100 per cent not to be questioned.

The Pumpkin – Issue 6, The Bannon Doctrine. Goo goo, ga ga, dribble wibble. The President is 100 per cent not to be questioned.

Okay, so he phoned the ambassador fur time. FAKE NEWS! So bad.

Okay, so he phoned the ambassador four times to talk about sanctions and we forgot to tell Pence. FAKE NEWS! So bad.

Goo goo, ga ga, dribble wibble. The President is 100 per cent not to be questioned.

“It’s a big deal,” Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office as he signed the resolution. “The energy jobs are coming back. Lots of people going back to work now.” –  Guardian Today

You can just about understand a politician using simple, dumbed-down soundbites when addressing a large hall full of ecstatic supporters, or when given thirty seconds to summarise their latest policy initiative on a morning radio show.

But it seems Trump still uses baby-language when addressing apparently grownup  ‘reporters in the Oval Office’ (how the hell did they get in there?).

“Wow, you guys! So cool! See, lots of mens goin’ back to work!”

It’s almost as if he sees in his diseased mind, a million and a half people actually “going back to work”: alarm clocks sounding, people yawning, stretching, putting on clean underwear, tucking in heartily to their chocolate Cheerios, kissing the wife goodbye, emptying into the streets, thronging the thoroughfares, crammed onto trains, buses, cars… fuming in traffic… jetting across the globe, barging confidently past check-in desks at sleepy Siberian airports… choppering intrepidly out into the mist over grey northern seas… hacking through jungle, stumbling across desert sands… cycling (maybe not), marching, marching, ever onwards back to work, exploiting the riches of the earth, puttin’ America first…

A heavenly host of craggy-faced wranglers in hard hats, Caterpillar boots and hi-viz jackets, whom no-one else can actually see.

But because they exist in Mr Trump’s Fantastic Universe, there they are; and Mr Spicer will just have to tell the assembled cowed hacks about the millions of new oil industry jobs his demented master has magicked into being with a stroke of the Presidential pen, an illiterate squiggle  graphologists are rolling around on the floor laughing over, on a document he probably hasn’t read because, well, he just doesn’t, okay? He waits to see what he signed when it pops up later between the commercials on Fox News. He especially likes the cartoon ones.

The man is a delusionary, narcissistic thug in second infancy.

But look. We know it, already. Is there any point in going on and on and on and on mentioning it? That the President not only has no clothes, but no self-awareness or education either?

When banks ask for their money back, he sues them for lending it to him in the first place. He’s never going to change. Either someone is going to take the shot, or Republicans need to grow a pair and impeach him, because there is indeed a clause that says they already have about a thousand times more evidence of incompetence, lying and mental instability than they actually need, to do that now; maybe even to throw him and Flynn in jail under the Logan Acts, for, basically, conspiracy to treat unofficially with an adversarial power while not in office.

Trump is fine with Flynn phoning the Russians: ‘it’s his job’. No, Donald, you hadn’t even been sworn in when he was doing that, remember? He didn’t have a job. Neither did you – you’ve never had one, okay? Until now, and you haven’t turned up for work yet, have you? You still can’t get over the bit where you were elected by a minority of the voters, can you? – (he’s set up a series of rallies around the country, just to make sure they elect him properly this time.)

The only fear about impeaching him is of then having to install a plodding, anti-birth-control Christian fundamentalist ayatollah and stuffed tailor’s dummy with a curiously-shaped snow-capped head and suppositories up his ass, called Mike Pence. Although even that might be an improvement.

Many watchers of online and cable TV from the US are already beginning to detect satire fatigue setting in. (Well, it’s probably just me, but enlisting the assumed view of The Many is the analytical tool de nos jours, is it not. Because I said it is, okay? Enough with the questions.) The night-jocks of kneejerk derision are not as funny as they were at the beginning; except maybe Melissa McCarthy. The whooping is getting less enthusiastic, the gags more predictable and worn. And will somebody please dissuade Bill Maher from snarfing at his own scriptwriters’ cleverness? Bill, it isn’t you saying those things, okay?

My favourite is Keith Olbermann, a sometime sports commentator for CBS fired for political bias, now described as ‘One of the most provocative voices in American politics’. His nightly anti-Trump rants delivered straight to camera: ‘The Resistance’, on the GQ channel, are probably the most thoughtful, enjoyable, fearless  and articulate comments  out of all the many minority news channel ‘personal’ shows covering Trump’s first 25 days in office. We’ve especially enjoyed the lists of Trump’s ‘crimes’, now running over several slots at almost 250 outright lies which Olbermann has exhaustively researched and expressively enumerated.

It’s only a shame these commentators have no effect whatsoever.

He’s going to love this latest Executive Order.

What Trump has done is to overturn a law requiring energy companies to declare payments to foreign governments for extraction rights. Claiming – without a shred of evidence, obviously – that transparency disclosures have made US companies uncompetitive and cost thousands of jobs, Trump has in effect handed a blank cheque to Exxon-Mobil to deal in secret with Russia.

(We vaguely recall, of course, that Mr Rex ‘Sexy Rexy’ Tillerson, the former head of Exxon-Mobil, is Trump’s appointed Secretary of State, responsible for the entire foreign policy of the US and a close acquaintance of a very powerful friend of Mr Putin’s, the head of the Rosneft oil company, Igor Sechin. This is another angle in the evolving story of Mr Trump’s suspected connections with the Kremlin that has yet to be joined-up, along with his curious relationship to the Moscow branch of bad-boy Deutsche Bank, to whom it’s said he owes a very, very large sum of money; but I expect the press will get round to it.)

Does Trump know, or maybe not know, that the heavy loss of jobs there has been over the past two years in the global oil industry – which also affects Shell and other non-US players, Exxon’s competitors – is clearly and entirely the result of his allies in Saudi Arabia pumping too much oil in a suicidal bid to retain market share against the newly-resurgent domestic output of the USA, combined with recession, causing a collapse in world oil PRICES? But that it also no doubt suits the oil companies as their exploitation costs have been mounting, to shed labour they are not going to re-hire just because they can now get away with offering corrupt inducements to Trump’s fellow dictators around the world?

It has nothing whatever to do with disclosing the massive bribes it’s reported Exxon paid for drilling rights to brutal and kleptocratic African presidents-for-life in desperate countries like Chad and Equatorial Guinea, filling their Swiss boots at the expense both of gouging their people, who are among the poorest, least educated and least protected in the world, and their environments, among the most threatened on the planet.

Anyone who still imagines the Trump regime and its shadowy billionaire backers are not exclusively bent on carving up the world and raping  its remaining resources before we enter the End-time, which if the growing number of reputable scientists signing up to Extinction 2030 are to be believed is rapidly approaching, any Dumbfuck Trump supporter not actually on their knees fervently praying for Lord Jesus to pop back up like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and smite the heathen, who cannot see that Trump is the President only for the point-one per cent that owns eighty percent of the wealth and does not give a fuck for you losers on less than a million dollars a week, and understand that he intends to go on and on ruling by Presidential Decree, bypassing the wusses in Congress and the so-called judges, is an even bigger infantilised moral imbecile than the President.

Time for your milk and rusk, Donny.

Oh, God. Here he goes again.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” Trump said.

Halfway through his official ‘phone call’ with Putin last weekend (we have to keep up the pretence that they don’t phone up to wish each other goodnight) it’s reported, via the home-delivery White House Leaks service, the giant baby had to break off to ask an aide to explain the New Start strategic arms reduction treaty, originally negotiated under President Reagan that Obama brought up to date in an attempt to achieve some balance of forces, that he had no idea about – and then informed Putin he didn’t think it was such a ‘good deal’ and he wanted to cancel it – thus licensing the leader of a foreign power at a stroke to forge ahead with the programme of modernising and expanding Russia’s nuclear arsenalthat might one day be brought into play against Mr Trump’s own nation.

As far as can be assessed, this major policy decision potentially affecting the future of the entire world came straight off the top of his head, out of his demented old brain, without prior briefing, knowledge, benefit of professional advice or democratic debate; and could be regarded as a major breach of national security, if not treason.

But it gets worse.

Now Trump has met the blunt and intransigent theocrat Netanyahu, who shares his cretinous faith in the efficacy of long, tall, ugly walls, held a press conference at which he reduced the Israeli hawk to laughter over his proposed peace plan, interrupted himself to thank some woman in the audience for being so helpful to his wife Melania, and then blurted out the above self-revelatory confession of utter ignorance of world affairs, a bunch of completely uninformed, unprepared crap that overturned in an instant, decades of patient and painful international diplomacy based on US support for the two-state ‘solution’ to the Palestinian ‘problem’.

‘I thought for a while it looked like the two-state might be the easier of the two’… It is beyond words, beyond parody. The man is a total ignoramus, a destructive lunatic. He speaks of this horrifically complex and frequently lethal situation as if he is buying a new suit. ‘Well, I like the one with the pinstripe, but I also like the plaid. You decide, Bibi.’

Who knows, it might just work!

I have actually heard American political commentators concurring that what Trump said at his press conference with Israeli PM Netanyahu actually passes for a rational policy and that it is a shrewd calculation that the two-state solution is dead in the water, so let’s boil the water a little and see what happens.

Well, okay, the ‘reality TV star’ is a magnificent, Oscar-winning actor. Because anyone watching that would really believe he hasn’t ‘thought’ about the problem for even one second in his entire dumbass life, has he? He comes across as seriously believing that blurting out these vainglorious boasts in the language of a fifth-grader is going to impress the adoring invisible multitude with the depth and significance of his Presidential ‘thinking’.

But he doesn’t attend security briefings! How does he know anything about the Israel-Palestine situation?

Look at ‘Bibi’s’ body language (look at Abe’s, the Japanese PM, a day earlier. It’s not just me, they know he’s an idiot.) Trump knows as little about convoluted Middle Eastern politics as he knows about manufacturing industry or algebra or how to grow cabbages or economics or what science is or what the moon is made of or how to boil a four-minute egg (handy in a nuclear war, he knows those are ‘bad’) or even how to show common courtesy to subordinates – not to mention his ignorance of the US constitution.

No-one has dared to say No to him in his sordid life. His entire world is reduced to one simple non-Cartesian formula: ‘I am, therefore I don’t have to think’. He lacks the ditzy, self-effacing charm and good manners of a Reagan, the last man on the throne with dementia. He’s, frankly, not very nice.

And he demands respect for the office of President. Is he on drugs or something?

 

Postscriptum – The Bannon Doctrine

Okay. I am someone who takes nothing at face value. I’m mindful of the possibility that there is another level of reality with Trump that the media is missing in all the discussion of is he crazy or just stupid? That the Bannon Doctrine is deliberately creating confusion, targeting and attracting the opposition of liberal institutions, setting up a reaction he can use to feed ‘The Movement’, as he calls his supporters.

Almost immediately after his press conference, that everyone found so weird – rambling and disjointed, full of bizarre checkable ‘alt-facts’, racist and anti-Semitic tropes – he tweeted-out the media yesterday as ‘the enemy of the people – where last week Bannon had merely labelled them ‘the real opposition’, and told them with an air of menace to think carefully before speaking out.

They may have got it from the Daily Mail labelling British judges as ‘enemies of the people’ when they ruled in law that Theresa May’s office doesn’t have powers to trigger Brexit without a vote in Parliament.

So running scared are MPs of the Mail and its demented followers: nationalists, racists, empire loyalists, nostalgics, when the vote finally came they voted three-to-one in favour, with no amendments. Before the referendum MPs had been polling three-to-one against Brexit.

Gina Miller, the black businesswoman who brought the Brexit case, has faced-down the most terrifying onslaught of racist, misogynist vituperation possibly ever levelled at a British citizen. Her co-litigants pulled out. The suspicion has to be, doesn’t it, that (like the assassination in June by a white supremacist of ‘Remain’ Labour MP Jo Cox)  the sheer murderousness and vile sexual threats against her and her kids, what has been slung at her is deliberate, orchestrated: designed to send a message to anyone else opposing the rise of the far-right mob.

Don’t mess with us, we’re coming for you – along with the blacks, the Muslims, the liberal media and the Jews.

This is fascism, maybe in its infancy but well on the road. The first rule of the fascist is: Invent enemies; the second: Create fear, the third: Exploit it for all it’s worth.

Let’s recall that ‘enemy of the people’ is a very specific accusation that got millions arrested and murdered by totalitarian regimes throughout the 20th century. Let’s recall, too, the shameful role of the Daily Mail in promoting naked fascism in Britain in the 1930s, often exploiting fake news to manipulate politics. Do you think they can’t come up with a new version for the 21st century, that citizen media will save you?

Authoritarian governments of whatever stripe have in recent years ratcheted up the security apparatus to stifling levels – ‘for our protection’. Free speech is no longer even an issue, it’s gone. I get away with writing the things I do, only because practically no-one reads my li’l bogl; because I don’t advocate terrorism or threaten violence; and because I’m careful to avoid libel, and to maintain the context of satirical intent, a partial defence in law. Insulting politicians as a matter of opinion is still, just about, legal.

Let’s try and keep it that way; but remember: politicians don’t have the power any longer. They’re irrelevant in context of the C19th multi-party state. Corporations – legal organised crime syndicates – are the Orwellian face of the future, respecting no boundaries, no alliances.

Deep in the swamp

“As we begin to take further actions,” Miller said, it will be shown in the end “that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” – Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon’s foreskin, interviewed on NBC, ABC and Fox News.

David Pakman show issues R-rating over terrifying Nazi pronouncement…

Online commenter, David Pakman prefaced his 13 February broadcast with a warning to parents to send their kids out of the room while he revealed the naked face of power in the hooded dead-eyes and sinister receding hairline of one Stephen Miller, 31, White House aide and college vampire, excerpted explaining confidently from autocue that his master has absolute authority over Congress and the courts and cannot be overruled on security and immigration matters by any exercise of the US constitution.

He was also confident that the media would shortly not be continuing to question the President’s wholly unsubstantiated and frankly barking obsessive theories as to why he won the election on the basis of five million votes fraudulently cast for his opponent by illegal immigrants, and informed the stunned audiences of studio guests that they should agree the beleaguered Press muppet, Sean Spicer was “100 per cent right” about everything he announces; even when it’s blatantly a lie.

‘Oh My God!’ exclaimed MSNBC’s hard-to-interrupt  ‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough, his tiny slot of a Postman Pat mouth working furiously to predict a Trump impeachment within six months before his more intelligent blonde co-host known only as Mika can get a word in. “There are some anti-constitutional forces in that White House.”

Yes, it is beginning to look like Mr Trump’s favourite movie scene is the one in the Disney animation of Aladdin where the genie (the late lamented Robin Williams) just goes on growing more and more ridiculously huge and mad with power.

Trumpy like this bit. So cool.

Facts and more facts

‘Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.

‘“So many people are fed up of listening to the government lie to them about margarine and climate change that when something is actually true and beneficial they don’t listen,” he said, citing childhood vaccines as an example. “The government should have a reputation of being completely reliable about facts – real facts.”’ – Guardian Today

Trump’s likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’

‘William Happer, frontrunner for job of Chief Scientist providing mainstream scientific opinion to officials, backs crackdown on federal scientists’ freedom to speak out.’

I suspect most scientists are politically naive, rather than actual fascists. Except possibly Dr Josef Mengele.

Naive enough to lump spurious claims for the health benefits of margarine with ‘climate change’ as equally ‘confusing’ issues in the public mind? Does he seriously imagine crass comparisons like that will gain him public credibliity as a top science guy, when ‘dumb jerk’ seems to be the more appropriate epithet? Maybe ‘Judas’?

It has not, for instance, occurred to Prof Happer – a respected physicist and margarine obsessive at Princeton, who should really think about his career prospects before accepting a job with a White House in meltdown over its seeming encouragement of Russian espionage against the US – a White House that is all-but toast (joke!) – that any scientist who recommends the health benefits of margarine over butter, or maybe a scientist who recommends the health benefits of butter over margarine, is likely being PAID by the margarine industry on the one hand and the butter industry on the other to skew their research in favour of their paymaster’s product.

How would anyone not know this? It’s not an essential flaw in the process of informing people what might be good for them, like not driving SUVs two blocks to the supermarket every day; bad in so many ways. Misinformation is a fact of daily life in the consumer-capitalist West.

Money talks.

But it seems doubtful that any scientist who points to a 30 deg. C. anomaly in polar temperature is being paid to say so, even by the Chinese fucking solar panel industry. They can’t pay them all to say that.

Prof Happer only sees that the government health agency is confused by constant flip-flopping and so therefore are the people. What is needed is not a physicist to unentangle the dilemma, but a psychologist who can explain why some people prefer to believe the butter scientist and some the margarine scientist, while both conclude the government is lying.

That, or an education system that teaches children to think for themselves rather than spend any time in later life worrying about fucking butter. Or margarine, which is a disgusting industrial effluent. Some hope, with Betsy DeBoop in charge.

Prof Happer’s belief in ‘facts – real facts’ is touching, ironic really, when he is a candidate to be nominated for appointment as Trump’s chief science advisor, because Trump as we know would not recognise a fact if it stuck its dick in his ear; nor would any member of his transition crew if it did not support their position on a) Russia, b) global warming, c) Jesus and d) war with China, and/or Iran.

All we ought to know is that government scientists, in not working for large corporations, are ‘in fact’ likely to be more impartial than the ones bought and sold on the commercial rack. Oh, and I know of very few scientists of any stripe who are actual billionaires.

Unfortunately, while he no doubt believes the value of e=mc2 is a real fact, because it has been shown to be time and again (although there are no doubt a growing number of physicists operating at the extreme edge of quantum mechanics where nothing at all is certain who might think Einstein was okay but only up to a point), Prof Crapper doubts that climatologists know anything about the climate as, he says, whenever he talks to one they are evasive and not sure of the facts.

Are you sure, William, that they are not merely being honest, whereas physicists are mostly just speculators at the edge of reality? Was it not a physicist, Heisenberg, who formulated the Uncertainty Principle? It’s quite difficult to replicate a rain shower to prove that water vapour condenses in the atmosphere, but the principle seems sound enough to persuade one to take an umrella.

Climate and weather are different, weather is the product of climate and is predictable as anyone knows only up to a point. A climatologist cannot tell you if it is going to rain on any particular day next year; he or she can however take measurements and run models and warn you that we’re running out of fresh air and pH neutral water, that you’re likely to see more rain and stronger tornados, and if you don’t feel like listening because you’d rather believe someone who’s being paid by a coal company to tell you CO2 is just great, well, you’ll die in the wreckage of your house or starving to death and don’t say you weren’t warned, albeit in a rather uncertain tone of voice.

Climatologists who do say they are sure enough of the facts, such as that the temperature at the North Pole was 0.1 deg C above freezing on 8 February when it should have been 30 below, thus threatening a runaway feedback in methane release, or that the weakening jetstream is bringing the current Arctic weather to Arizona, where (according to Happer) Trump thinks solar power ‘makes sense’; as opposed to, perhaps, many other latitudes where there is also daylight you can use to make electricity – light, not heat, being the operative principle – should not be silenced because they are in the opinion of a non-climatologist a ‘glassy-eyed cult’.

No scientists, not even the egregiously obtuse Prof Happer, should ever  be silenced.

But Prof Crapper goes further.

Government scientists, he thinks – lesser beings than Princeton professors of Physics – ought not to be allowed to publish their research at all unless and until it has been properly ‘vetted’.

That is what he said, ‘vetted‘. Not ‘peer-reviewed’, but censored by some apparatchik in his office beneath the White House and massaged to accord with the profoundly scientific views of the madman upstairs and his crooked backers in th’ orl bidness.

So, Herr Crapper, you need to think carefully about your career. Who would ever trust even one of your ‘facts’ again, knowing you’ve been bought and paid for by these lying, fascist cunts?

Margarine? I can’t believe it’s not butter.

 

End-time

Is Trump hoping to bring the Russians in to sort out the Arab-Israeli thing, like they did Syria? He did sort of hint at at it while seeing if Bibi Netanyahu could withstand his death-grip tiny handshake while the taxi was waiting.

We should be told.

I hate to die in ignorance.

 

Is he bonkers?

There is a rule adopted by the American Psychiatric Association, known as the Goldwater rule.

Senator Barry Goldwater was an ultra-right wing Conservative who ran for the Presidency against Lyndon Baines Johnson back in the early 1970s. Ultimately, however, he adopted socially liberal positions on a number of issues, and a Republican newspaper editor decided he must have gone mad, and hired some psychiatrists to say so. Goldwater successfully sued – New York Times and Washington Post please note – and won $75,000.

The Goldwater rule, Rule 7.3, on the face of it seems professionally sound, not to say prophetic:

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement. (Wiki.)

I agree, it’s not very well written; ambiguous, vague even.

On the other hand, what do you do when, even from four and a half thousand miles away from Washington, the President appears to everyone to be dangerously out of control?

Loose-lipped on matters of State security; boastful, irrational and capricious; fantasises about his popularity, lies about his wealth, overinflates the importance of his wilder ideas, makes contradictory, bombastic and clearly untrue statements, indulges obsessively in watching TV and sending out Presidential edicts based purely on what he has seen, often making personal attacks on perceived critics in the middle of the night; gives erratic, rambling and incoherent press conferences; sponsors unethical behaviours; talks in baby-language, trusts only sources everyone else knows to be lying, refuses to listen to experts or read reports, flies into rages when denied, rails against the treachery of his junior staff, tries to rule by decree and shows tendencies so authoritarian that he roundly abuses Congressional figures, judges and the media – indeed, anyone he perceives as arguing with his obviously warped version of reality – exhibits paranoid tendencies with no respect to his political opponents even after they have been defeated at the polls; ignore security protocols and does no preparation, resting entirely confident in his own prejudiced and populist version of reality?

Plainly, such a man – said to have ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’, which seems a fairly nebulous diagnosis of anything other than what it says it is, not an actual mental illness, and is shared by not a few individuals I have worked for – may be a danger to himself, to his country and, armed with the codes to fire off a nuclear arsenal he thinks is too small (penis envy? Who can say?), the world.

What is anyone to do, even a member of the APA, confronted with such a dinner-party conversational dilemma? Do you defer to the power of the office, regardless of the sanity of the incumbent? Or do you use your position to speak out, maybe hope to influence the President’s own supporters to bring him down, and save the world?

Is Trump’s mania merely the product of an obscenely wealthy upbringing by a doting mother, a career where he started out in the top-dog position, in which no-one dared oppose him and he had no experience of ever being a subordinate, the madness of kings – or is his solipsistic, paranoid and domineering behaviour, his obsessive need to prove how popular he is, how successful, evidence of some more serious condition? (Arrested development, for instance?)

Some 15 psychiatric professionals have broken Rule 7.3, the Goldwater rule, and lent their names to a petition to have the bonkers President examined. Other psychiatric professionals have abreacted, arguing that proferring an opinion on the state of the President’s mental health without actually examining him is an ‘insult’ to genuinely disordered people. A significant number of congressional members of his own party are uneasy.

What then do you do with a man of 70, with the power and the settled inclination of his ego, living in a fantasy world of his own success, surrounded by ruthless henchmen, to indefinitely postpone such an examination?

But Trump is clearly disordered! He is so obviously unfit to occupy the position of President of the USA and Commander in Chief of the most powerful armed force in the world, with the technology to wipe out all life on the planet. Senior security officials were trying to point this out, six months before the election – when they privately knew he was also a security risk, as one could cross-current several reports and rumours – Fake News! – and conclude Russia may have picked up his marker for $300 million he owes to Deutsche Bank; while there is possible evidence of sexual blackmail and collusion.

It is not so much a question of mental illness, as of mental imbalance.

Trump has boasted that a few years in his teens forced to attend a private boarding school run on military lines (which he clearly resented) makes him ‘better trained militarily than a lot of those guys in the military’, and claimed that he knows ‘more than the generals, believe me’. His militaristic fantasies are potentially lethal.

He will brook no argument either that he is the greatest businessman, the greatest ‘deal maker’, probably in the history of the world – America’s leading expert on tax planning! A couple of ghostwritten books prove it. Yet his businesses have failed time after time: the property ‘billionaire’ owes hundreds of millions of dollars to the banks. Only his ruthless lawyers keep them at bay, while clever accountants shelter him from tax.

Is the psychiatric cabal to be ruled by fear of protocol? To be prevented by legal and professional niceties from speaking the truth? Or are we to accept the lessons of history whilst stumbling about dying in a post-nuclear wasteland in order to preserve the dignity of the profession and the office of President?

Should the experts perhaps say, well, boys will be boys, maybe it’s all for the best – he’s just a bit prickly and defensive, but he’ll soon calm down. Or should they act now to nip impending catastrophe in the bud?

I’m not a psychiatrist, just a bloke in a chair listening to Freddie Hubbard.

You tell me.

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