Welcome to Post No. 600!

Hi y’all

Welcome to Post Number 600!

On the most informative, innovative, foul-mouthed and stimulating organ available, anywhere on the inter-thing, ever.

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Helping the BogPo to celebrate its 600th edition is Mr Ed Sheeran, the ginger oligarch. Well why not, he’s everywhere else!

“Why are we choosing now in a surly fashion to abrogate all our treaties with friendly neighbours, to cosy up to the most dangerously incompetent and out-of-control, protectionist administration in US history?”

Coming or going

As the PM this morning chucked the paper dart of Article 50 into the eye of our new French teacher, Monsieur Barnier, the dimly illuminated Empire-loyalist, neo-Thatcherite Tory MPs whose support for this lunacy persuaded me years ago that whatever the many flaws of the EU I would never vote to leave it, bellowed their delight like the cattle they are.

So bovine are they that they haven’t even noticed that Mr Putin is dancing a jig: they have played straight into the hands of the Disruptors, imagining that the European bureaucracy they’re bringing crashing down for the benefit of the Russian Federation is somehow worse than what will follow it.

It never occurred to these preposterously entitled, Cicero-quoting oafs and their malcontent Morlocks, the fish-porters of Sunderland, that we were not ‘giving our sovereignty away’: we were extending it over our neighbours. Now we shall have no further say in how they carry on their trade in the world, nor in what we can sell to a market of 450 million buyers we have simply handed over to our competitors. We shall just have to chance it, while these made-for-TV caricatures practise their silly walks up and down the white cliffs, waving their little flags and braying at foreigners.

Writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland argues today that Theresa May’s speech to Parliament setting out her ambition for a negotiated departure from the EU contains virtually all the elements that would have made it worthwhile not leaving in the first place:

“The free trade, the close cooperation on security, the collective stance for liberal and democratic values, the soft, almost invisible, border between the Republic of Ireland and the north – these are the things she wanted. Yet the unavoidable truth is that this is what Britain already had and could have kept on having – but which it has chosen to discard.”

Exactly. I have asked many times, what was possibly to be gained by replacing one complicated set of trade rules and regulations that we’ve spent over 40 years cementing into place, with ad hoc speculative arrangements under the WTO where we have to start over again with unknown and possibly untrustworthy or hostile actors who are never going to add value with investment in our underperforming regions, research, higher education and industry sectors as the EU has done, in a more dangerous world that has already changed out of all recognition since the campaign began?

How is that even a sane policy?

Why are we choosing now in a surly fashion to abrogate all our treaties with friendly neighbours, to cosy up to the most dangerously incompetent and out-of-control, protectionist administration in US history? Why are we apparently prepared to put up with a situation wherein the number of EU nurses registering to work in the NHS has already fallen by 90% a month, while we’re scrapping educational supports – bursaries – for British trainee nurses? What do the Brexit mob think is going to happen to their precious NHS? It doesn’t run on money, it runs on people.

The illogicality of the Brexit position could not have been more clearly spelled out than by that egregious weasel, Bernard Jenkin MP, who told Newsnight on Monday that everything would be fine: we would be welcomed to go on trading in Europe because ‘our cars are the same as theirs’. (Yes, Bernard, the Yanks have just sold our GM Vauxhall plants to the French. Watch that space, you smarmy fuckhead.)

Where has this microcephalic Tory cipher been all these years?

My first client as ‘Head of PR’ for a gritty provincial advertising agency in 1985 was a company that made replacement exhaust pipes for cars. Every new model of car has a different floor-pan and hence, a different conformation of exhaust. There are thousands. Thanks to gaining EU ‘type approvals’ Harmo was able to sell its products to motorists driving VW and Fiat and Skoda and Citroen and Morris and Renault and Volvo cars made in France and Germany, in Britain and Spain, in Sweden and Italy and – eventually – the Czech Republic.

All Jenkin and his disconnected ilk would make of that list is ‘Immigrants’. Trade is something we do with the Empire, not with foreigners.

Had we not joined the EEC in 1973 and accepted a regime of ‘type approvals’, none of this would have been possible. What will happen, not tomorrow but in ten or fifteen years’ time, is very likely that standards in all product categories will drift apart again and markets will be lost. What interest would a French or German exhaust-pipe manufacturer have in giving away market share to the British?

It’s not a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater: we’re letting the water run all over the floor, bringing down the kitchen ceiling and smashing up the bath to get it through the door. And all for some anachronistic principle of British Exceptionalism.

Exceptionally stupid, if you ask me.

Waking up screaming

In the final days leading up to the triggering of Article 50 I felt numb with despair.

Not one media outlet in Britain had noticed something I had.  The ‘Westminster terror outrage’ was, yes, appalling, sickening – an inexplicable tragedy for the victims and their families – but probably rated a one on the seismograph of terror outrages, the salient point for the journo-political conspiracy being its location outside the Houses of Parliament, pricking for a moment the cosy security of the ‘Westminster bubble’.

What it did do was fill in the news agenda for almost the entire week before the 29th and Mrs May’s suicide letter to President Tusk, conveniently obscuring an uncomfortable truth that emerged for just an instant during the tedious five-hour marathon of a US Congressional Intelligence Committee hearing the previous Monday; the proceedings of which I partly followed on YouTube.

I did not know who to tell. To be more precise, having no access to the appropriate social media in this day and age, no Bookface or Whatsagram or whatever is the current  ‘platform’ of choice for news editors, I could not think of a way to alert anyone, even if they would listen. Why had nobody noticed? Were editors deliberately turning a blind eye, or had there been simply too much going on with the new White House administration, its disasters and chaos, its incompetence and spectacular crony capitalism, its nepotistic appointments and barefaced kleptomania for one more minor detail to reach the surface of the swamp?

I managed to write about it three times on The Guardian website, but who reads those Comments apart from other trolls? It was difficult to find an opportunity as Comments are disallowed beneath so many stories involving ‘haram‘ issues – anything to do with Muslims, immigration, Theresa May – and US politics. Comment threads, too, are shut off arbitrarily: a story might appear overnight and Comments be closed by the morning, regardless of whether it has 50 or 1500 contributions. At other times your Comment might be rejected with a curt note to say the thread is closed, when it doesn’t say anywhere that it is.

I wrote then to my MEP, who has an active noticeboard campaigning with her colleagues in the Assembly – first to Remain, which was brave as the majority of Welsh constituents had obviously decided they’d had enough of freeloading on huge subsidies from Brussels and preferred to slit their own throats; and later to try to obtain the best deal possible for Wales from our new dictatorship in Westminster.

There was no reply, obviously, so I wrote next to my long-suffering MP, a pro-Remain Lib-Dem. But by then it was too late, only two working days to go and realistically no way to stop the process.

One morning during all this, very early in the still-darkness, I woke up screaming. Has that ever happened to you? Something about the sleep routine  means you are almost never aware of becoming unconscious: your cognitive process shuts down milliseconds before lights-out. But on rare occasions you wake up at the exact moment when you are falling asleep, in a state of paralysis, with a terrifying impression of some existential crisis about to overwhelm you: a huge wave crashing through the window, the blast of a nuclear explosion – or, in this instance, an assassin come to kill me for writing this stuff.

It was the cat.

What had so exercised me was the point in the proceedings apparently unnoticed by the world when the FBI Director, James Comey, giving testimony, agreed with the Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Schiff, that the Russians had almost certainly interfered with the ‘Brexit’ process, as they had done with the US general election in November. He gave no details, alluded to no evidence – yet he would of course not have said it if there were none.

Mr Comey had just confirmed that the agency is – or was, it appears the White House is doing whatever it can to divert or shut down such enquiries – looking into the role Russia played, both in the hacking of servers used in the Democrats’ campaign and in the possible abuse of process that may have involved extensive undeclared ‘foreign agent’ connections involving people close to Mr Trump, maybe the President himself. Connections a number of transition-team members and Trump appointees have been caught out lying about.

Naturally he was unable to reveal the evidence on which the enquiry is proceeding. It’s obviously a serious matter as a number of Russian diplomats and bankers have died of  ‘natural causes’, such as falling off a roof, since Mr Trump took office; including the UN Ambassador, whose post mortem results were immediately labelled Classified. And so we have only that brief, tantalising answer to the question put by Mr Schiff: did Mr Comey believe the Russians also interfered with ‘Brexit’?

Yes, he did.

So are we likely to find out more?

Well, possibly no. The chairman of the Intel committee, Congressman Devin Nunes is behaving so strangely that no-one understands what is going on, but it seems he is unilaterally refusing to hold any further hearings; which, according to the New Yorker, he has claimed have already been held in private at his home, although no other members of the committee, whether Democrat or Republican, were informed.

Why? What is going on? Everyone agrees, Mr Nunes – who refuses to recuse himself from an inquiry in which he obviously has a conflict of interest – has been ‘persuaded’ to prevent at any cost the former Acting Attorney General, Sally Hughes, from testifying about what she knows about General Flynn and how he came to be sacked as National Security Advisor. Mr Flynn has now let it be known, he is turning States evidence against the Trump clique.

Mr Manafort, Trump’s disowned former campaign manager too is reportedly considering his options as his activities on behalf of foreign governments and the apparent use of money-laundering in order to provide him with undeclared payments amounting to many millions of dollars are seemingly incriminating him to a fatal degree.

You must therefore understand that if a ranking Congressman can be got at in this way, the Russia thing, which points to some treason on the part of the President’s ‘closest advisors’, to put it circumspectly, is a very big deal indeed. Minor details like interference with a British referendum that could ultimately wreck the EU aren’t going to exercise anyone much in Washington.

And I have been a bit obsessive lately over the work of renegade individuals – mostly ultra-wealthy men or groups supported with laundered Russian money – whom I call ‘Disruptors’.

These are non-political party affiliated actors seeking to disrupt the normal workings of our democratic institutions in a variety of opportunistic ways: whether to gain influence over elected representatives, to defeat what they perceive as attempts to curtail their business activities, to establish a global theocracy or to assert the dominance of the ‘white race’; all of which themes have emerged from my lazily superficial researches.

You see, it’s not only the Russians. I’ve become acutely sensitive to the slightest signs of conspiratorial behaviour involving individuals, organizations, governments and countries on my low-wattage radar.

Thus it was that, meandering for a little peace and quiet through the pages of this month’s issue of The Oldie, a bedside vade mecum for intelligent upper middle-class readers of my generation and beyond, I came across just the briefest mention of something that made my right eyebrow rise sharply in a Bondian rictus of disbelief.

About halfway through an otherwise gentle stroll in the park by regular contributor Stephen Glover, criticising the curious decision to appoint the former Chancellor and sitting MP, George Osborne to the editorship of the London Evening Standard, a post for which he has no other qualification but celebrity*, I read the following (you will know of course that the Standard is 70% owned by a recently downgraded billionaire Russian exile, Mr Alexander Lebedev and his playboy son Evgeny, 37, who is the managing director):

“Rather bizarrely, when Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were plotting Brexit at Johnson Towers in Islington a little over a year ago, the young Russian was in attendance at dinner.”

Literally intrigued, I read on. Nothing; the author was in haste to come on to Ms Liz Hurley, as any of our generation might be, another invited guest; and speculate as to why she had failed to attend, so that no further illumination was forthcoming.

All we have are those two introductory words: ‘Rather bizarrely’. What does Mr Glover mean? What is ‘bizarre’ about an influential young Russian oligarch privately dining with two senior British politicians?

I have no evidence that Mr Lebedev is a Disruptor, he seems too caught up in his busy social life, including being friends with former Prime Minister, David Cameron – the varnished buffoon who bet the house, literally, on Britons voting in favour of the European Project, and lost.

Mr Cameron has had some fairly ‘disruptive’ friends in the past, indeed he seems to invite them, especially from the Murdoch camp. (Mrs May seems more enamoured of Mr Dacre of the Mail.) And now here is Mr Cameron’s friend and fellow Remainer, Mr Osborne, receiving some sort of – is it a reward? from the Lebedevs – at least one of whom was party to a private conversation between the two leading plotters against Mr Cameron to, effectively, bring down the European Union.

And we all know who is pushing that envelope, or whatever the expression is.

If you’ll pardon me saying so, something smells not quite right.

31 March: It’s reported this morning that Mr Osborne is absent from his desk at the Standard on only his second day in the job as he has had to pop across to Paris to deliver a lucrative speech about something or other. Clearly neither Mr Lebedev nor the BlackRock corporation is paying Mr Osborne enough between them to keep the wolf from the door, or his feet to the floor. It seems clear already that his appointment is simply going to put more work onto his underpaid minions.

Selfish cunt.

x

“If you have a system that prioritises emergency cases over merely urgent ones, it must inevitably lead to a situation where the urgent case becomes an emergency, and you still can’t manage it.”

The massacre of the innocents

At what point does organisational failure become more like institutionalised murder?

From the BBC report:

“Kayden Bancroft was 20 months old when he died at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), following repeated delays to urgent surgery. Whistleblowers allege the trust’s focus was on “ballooning” waiting lists rather than emergency care.

“The hospital admitted that failings occasionally occurred.”

Which execrable moral imbecile from the Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust’s PR department made that callous comment, calculated to reassure Kayden’s family that everything possible was done to save children’s lives, occasionally?

The kid was admitted after an accident. He’d suffered a hiatus hernia – basically his stomach had penetrated his diaphragm. A simple operation would have  fixed it. Instead, he was deliberately left to die in a general ward for a week while no intensive care bed could be found owing to “other emergencies”. The injury temporarily stopped his heart. He died from anoxia – brain death due to lack of oxygen. It took two days.

They couldn’t even keep him alive on a ward.

But oh, yes, sorry, we do occasionally murder small children, admitted the Manchester Fred Karno’s army, because we’re a bunch of incompetent, uncaring cucks with clipboards, who couldn’t run ten yards let alone manage a place where 20-month-old children aren’t supposed to die from easily remediable causes. In fact we’re thinking of turning ourselves into a suburban-estate convenience store on Monday, we might possibly be able to manage that if we can get the staff and work out how to pay them.

“Senior surgeons at the hospital told the BBC that they had repeatedly tried to warn trust management about problems, including a shortage of emergency operating theatres and intensive care beds at the hospital.

“But the trust told the BBC: “We believe that there are sufficient theatres in our children’s hospital to cope with the demand for emergency cases; however, on occasions some children (they have names, you fucking cowards) do have to wait for urgent surgery while emergency surgery takes place.”

Note that: “We believe”. Actually, ladies and gentlemen, first-degree murderers, it’s your job to KNOW, not to fucking “believe”. Life on the medical frontline isn’t a matter of “belief”. Systems management isn’t a matter of “belief”. Reliance on “belief” in systems management is or should always be a sacking offence: professional misconduct. You should fucking KNOW. And where it leads to such easily avoidable loss of life of a small child, for Christ’s sake, a SMALL CHILD with a remediable condition, it should be a POLICE matter.

You see, if you have a system that prioritises emergency cases over merely urgent ones, it must inevitably lead to a situation where the urgent case becomes an emergency, and you still can’t manage it.

Would you like me to say that again? Just in case the logic escapes you?

So if there weren’t sufficient theatres and beds in a children’s hospital in a large city to treat an injured little boy, in obvious opposition to their “belief” in their flawed system, why didn’t they just fly him to Great Ormond Street, or anywhere – Bristol, Poland – where he might have got the urgent treatment their own experts said he needed?

Because they “believed” their own lies.

So a bright little kiddy with all his life ahead of him has to wait a week to become an “occasional” statistic because the Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust is a bunch of bungling, murdering incompetents, amateurs and delusionary liars, believers in their disastrously theoretical system, who could not be “trusted” to look after a public toilet, let alone something as complicated as a hospital; as simple as an injured child.

And you imagine in the wake of Article 50 that with a quarter of EU-citizen doctors and nurses already leaving the country because the Lizard Woman is using them as pawns in her little game with Europe, more little Kaydens aren’t going to be murdered by our dysfunctional, rotting health service, its doctors who are terrified of speaking up against the little Hitlers with clipboards, incapable of managing their own departments, of taking charge in an emergency where the clipboards have so clearly failed?

Last week we heard from the Health Secretary, Mr Hunt, when he turned up at a memorial service for another toddler, William Mead, 2, from Cornwall, who died of septicaemia – an increasingly common condition – after a desperate call to the 111 service was dealt with by someone with no proper training or medical knowledge.

The Health Secretary said he, the NHS and the Government had “let down” William Mead, who died in December 2014.

“Speaking at the private service in Truro Cathedral, Mr Hunt said: “I as Health Secretary, the Government and the NHS let down William.”

“Mr Hunt said he also accepted he had failed William’s parents Paul and Melissa, who had organised the service to thank to the local community for their support following the tragedy. “I’ve come here to say sorry,” Mr Hunt told the congregation.” – The Telegraph, 26 March.

Well, that was big of him. It’s the first sign that the Government is starting to understand that they’re not only failing children, and the elderly, parents and communities – but also the NHS itself. It’s the first sign of how very unhappy Mr Hunt is in his impossible, lousy job. Government ministers are not supposed to show humanity, to crack under pressure and start apologising for the deficiencies of their departments; the consequences of their inaction. They’re supposed to say things like; “But we’re spending ten billion pounds between now and the next election, so there’s no problem, whatever the experts are telling you.”

And today we learn that waiting times for surgical procedures will have to be extended beyond the current target of 18 weeks.

Not enough beds. Not enough resources.

Not enough compassion in Lizard-land.

Not enough competence in the Trusts.

Not good enough.

x

Clickbait

On top of a measure to reverse ALL environmental legislation passed during President Obama’s eight years in office, including the US signature on the now futile Paris Accord – we’re already way past that – Orange Satan just signed away your right to any remaining privacy you might have enjoyed on any of the major internet platforms. Gone. Finished.

Not just the privacy of your personal communications; not just for security purposes, but all your data, for commercial and any other purposes one might think of. Blackmail, possibly? Bank fraud?

Now, that doesn’t mean They’re reading this, muh li’l bogl, practically no-one is, which is fine by me, I’ll accept posthumous recognition. And the betting on Capitol Hill is that it won’t pass the Senate. Nevertheless.

What Mr Trump is happy for Google and Amazon and Apple and Verizon and all the other ‘knowligarchs’ of the internet world to do is to use their records, not just of the content but of, literally I am told, every keystroke, every mouse-click – they can even see when you’re only hovering over a button with your mouse or your trackpad, what you’re only considering looking at – and every search term you enter, in my case however confusing, to find out more about you than you know yourself, more than your mom knows, and to pass those assessments on to anyone who will pay them money for it – or attempt to influence your voting habits.

I suppose encryption will be made illegal, too, opening you up to financial fraud on a colossal scale (the Russians deserve some reward) and bringing down the banking system again.

To advertisers, sponsors, e-tail portals – local government authorities, insurance companies – the security services; not what you bought online, or voted for, who you contacted – but what you even thought about looking at or voting for or contacting…. Information I should have thought was mostly pretty useless, but maybe not.

What kind of business would even consider keeping all this stuff which you or I would throw away? It’s trashcan investigation; going through virtual dumpsters to check your ready-meal wrappers, your supermarket receipts, notes of phone numbers – to sniff your worn shoes for traces of cocaine, traceable dogshit – whatever. They’re even collecting your face, your fingerprint! (You think fingerprint recognition is so you can be secure?)

I think 600 Posts might be just about enough to last my lifetime. The option of disconnecting from this heap of shitty spyware I seem to have allowed into my home at great expense is beginning to look real and sensible. Why? Am I a spy, a fifth columnist, a hacker, a demonstrator, a criminal – a terrorist?

No, none of those things. I am a human being – not a number, a free man – and I expect to have control over my own life without being coerced and manipulated and pried-into and assumed to be this or that,  by the kind of prurient garbage-suckers who infest this subterranean sewer; the  intrusively authoritarian and exploitative, self-appointed Disruptors of our rapidly disintegrating liberal democracy, the fucking Stasi of post-consumer-capitalist corporations and their databases.

Yes, I occasionally write about myself on The Boglington Post; revealing only a version of me that I feel in control of. This is different.

You see, what this is about is not public safety. Don’t fucking use the word ‘innocent’ to me, no-one is innocent, no-one, of crimes yet to be defined as such.

It’s about reinforcing the legal rights of corporations over those of the ordinary citizen.

Which is why, for example, the Conservative ‘Freedom caucus’ of the Republican party in Congress is threatening ‘the nuclear option’ (they probably mean it literally) if Judge Neil Gorsuch is not confirmed as Trump’s appointment to the Supreme Court bench.*

US news sources find that the man even the liberal media have been saying is not such a bad pick, a reasonable-sounding if a tad conservative guy, has never, not once, in a case involving a legal argument between a registered company and an individual citizen, ruled against the corporate interest – even in one notorious case when he was the standout ruling in a circuitappeals court where the complainant, an employee of a major distribution company, had been dismissed for disobeying a company order which, if he had obeyed it, would have cost him his own life.

The judge ruled for that big company against the little guy – who’s been blacklisted and out of work ever since. (US ‘justice’ takes a while, it was seven years.)

To establish the pattern I am trying to expose by this example, they also find that Judge Gorsuch – who has presumably never personally been ordered by his employer to stay with his broken-down trailer rig in minus 30 degrees an hour after the repair truck has failed to make it through and he’s out of gas – has been financially sponsored, perfectly legally, throughout his career by one Philip Anschutz.

Mr Anschutz’s personal worth is estimated by Forbes magazine at $18.5 billion. He owns a 300 thousand-acre ranch in Wyoming, and two five-star resorts. “Over five decades (from, they write, a position of near-bankruptcy when he took over a small bidness from his dad) Phil Anschutz has built fortunes in oil, railroads, telecom, real estate and entertainment.”

You imagine Judge Gorsuch, the protégé of such a man, would ever rule against the corporate interest? Thus, he is the darling of the Conservative caucus in the Republican party, a 29-strong group composed entirely of late-middle-aged rich men with hearts of purest flint.

If he has a saving grace, it is that Anschutz owns a private windfarm – the largest in America – and endowed a modern art museum from his own collection. He’s a billion-dollar philanthropist, a throwback to the Rockefellers, the Mellons, the Carnegies and the Rothschilds; the endlessly renewable generation of  gentlemen and ladies who rammed their stakes into your ground, turned your commons into cash, set their goons on you when you asked for your share, took you for every penny you had and brilliantly invented a form of plastic money called credit to lend your money back to you at 29.9% interest when you couldn’t afford to buy their stuff working for them on minimum wage.

And when their banks bundled up your debts and sold them to one another for 70% commissions and went bust, you bailed them out to the tune of $13 trillion.

*Justice Gorsuch was indeed confirmed, following a change to the rules. His first ruling within a week has been to use his casting vote to overturn an appeal against a man’s death sentence.

Get it into your head, America. To ‘drain the Swamp’ you have voted instead for a great, black, stinking cesspit of murderers, liars, rapists, environmental criminals, traitors and conmen.

Plutocrats.

To quote the indefatigable Wikipedia: “Plutocracy or plutarchy, is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.”

These are the people to whom in the past 30 years the internet and its capacity for seemingly infinite storage has granted the capability to rule your world by any possible means, to monitor and manipulate through ‘data capitalism’ every aspect of your life from your political allegiance to your purchasing habits to your medical records, discovering what you do in bed, or in the bathroom; what you have in your fridge; where (and if) you work – who you know, where you are, where you’ve been, what your penis looks like – because you were dumb enough to show them – even to the bit where you hover over the Off button and say to yourself, this is not my world, not the world I want to leave to my grandchildren – if they survive Mr Trump’s forthcoming environmental apocalypse.

Is this President the most evil man on earth?

Or just clickbait?

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The Pumpkin – Issue 14. Trump Arrested: Development

Editor’s Note: Apology

Sorry, our headline today should have read ‘Trump: Arrested Development’. Our apologies to readers who may have been harmed by this inadvertent clickbait, a misplaced colon that could have happened to anyone.

Carry on.

E. von-und-zu B.

Fake noose!

“Cities unfortunately have a chequered history of harbouring violent political movements. You can be anonymous in a city, until you decide it’s time to sign your name in blood.”

Follow the money!

Hi, Americans.

I’m British and concerned about our media coverage of the Westminster ‘terrorist’, Masood, because  I don’t want you to imagine this was a typical  ‘jihadi’ of the kind you need to fear (why Americans are so pathetically fearful I don’t know, your chances of dying in an Islamist terror attack in any year are about 100 million to one. Your chances of being shot to death by another American or your infant kid are just 10 thousand to one.  That’s less, by the way. Ten thousand times less.)

You need instead to understand that there is a new current in our overpopulated, socially  unjust world. It’s not just ISIS, or whichever demons your government wants you to fear. There are other evil forces who want to pull down your democracy. Like hyenas, the billionaires have evolved special skills to scent weakness; there’s scant morality in their methods. And what they are doing through your ‘social’ media is licensing citizens to act unilaterally, to act out their violent thoughts, to undermine any sense of normality and to provoke overreaction. Islamic jihad is their smokescreen, providing as it does a constant supply of ‘useful idiots’, whose buttons of malcontent are so easy to press.

It was, really, a relatively minor incident. Not, I know, for the victims, their families and friends; the injured. It was far from a normal day in the city. But – four dead, plus the perpetrator. It could have been worse: it has been elsewhere. I don’t wish to sound callous or complacent, but with guns and explosives, or a bigger vehicle and more intent, it would have been a lot worse. But that’s the point: at a higher level of organisation the security services stand more chance of nipping an attack in the bud. I’m sorry, too, that another elderly American tourist was unlucky enough to be among the dead. But out of how many? Tens of thousands. It is so vanishingly  rare.

It was amplified by the setting – the Houses of Parliament and its busy concourse, the bridge  – the extraordinary scale of the police response – the killing of a policeman, which is, I have to assure you, also very rare in Britain (was he wearing a stab-vest? No-one asks. Is there something strange about the Bogler mind, that so often he asks the questions that don’t seem to engage the professionals?)  – the expectation that something would eventually occur (threat level: Severe) (this probably was not it, by the way. Worse is probably lurking out there somewhere) – the cynical anticipation of the British press, who have been just dying for a Paris-size attack to get their teeth into, to boost sales; or a reason to reignite their phoney Jingoism over ’foreigners’ and refugees, who we are being taught we must hate and fear.

But to reiterate, the last severe terrorist attack on London  – again by home-grown Muslims – was in 2005, when 56 people were killed as four suicide bombers – British-born – attacked the public  transport network. Twelve years ago. In the thirty years before that, you could have been blown to bits instead by the Provisional IRA. Funded by Irish-Americans and the Libyan leader, Col. Gadaffi, they set off dozens of bombs at random across the country for decades, regardless of who they killed.

The Provos came within an ace of blowing-up Mrs Thatcher in Brighton; they blew her friend up, the MP Airey Neave, who survived being a PoW in Colditz castle, outside the House of Commons in the carpark. They blew-up Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS – Prince Philip’s uncle, on a fishing trip. And then there were the Red Brigades, the Angry Brigade – Carlos the Jackal.

Muslims don’t even come close.

Cities unfortunately have a chequered history of harbouring violent political movements. You can be anonymous in a city, until you decide it’s time to sign your name in blood.

Cities, as Mayor Khan almost commented, are melting pots where this sort of thing happens from time to time. It’s unavoidable. The ‘Little Nazi’, Donald Trump Jr, in his puerile ignorance, has seized on this rational comment to prove that Khan, a Muslim, is most probably a terrorist sympathiser. Like his bizarre parent, an elected terrorist who has discovered a new weapon of terror: administrative chaos and confusion; belief in ‘alternative realities’ and a turgid stream of incontinent, rambling bullshit. Plus, a tiny finger on the nuclear button.

Are you more afraid of ISIS than of your own President? You shouldn’t be. If you still think he is Presidential, a safe pair of hands, just watch the press conference following his humiliation over the Americare fiasco, and tell me he knew what was in the hapless weasel, Paul Ryan’s hastily cobbled-together bill. He hadn’t even read it! Pressed on which parts he would improve, because he had just said there were parts he would improve, he was unable to recall a single thing he would improve, but there were things he would improve, and it would be a great bill, you’ll see (the effect of the bill was to deprive 24 million low-income Americans of health insurance, by the way – his idea of the ‘greatest health insurance ever’). He went on to blame the opposition party, the Democrats, bitterly for not voting for it, when in fact it was a rebellion in his own party, the Republicans, that brought the votes up short. What he imagines the role of an opposition party to be, God alone knows.

Is he a complete fool? Does he have dementia, or is this masterly misdirection?

Last Wednesday’s was not a severe attack, it was not an ‘attack on our democracy’, which frankly no longer exists, or our ‘way of life’, which has altered greatly since the Editor were a lad; it was a lone operator, a clearly disturbed man with a violent history armed with a car and a kitchen knife.

The claim by ISIS that he was a ‘soldier’ is pathetic, vainglorious nonsense – they are facing military defeat. ISIS has only a tiny minority following outside its conquered territories, that it is fast losing. The media and the administration will use the incident to smear the Muslim community (I’m not Muslim, by the way, I’m an elderly white atheist). But really it’s nothing to do with them.

Try to understand, this perpetrator was not an ‘immigrant’ or a refugee; like the Paris attackers, perhaps, French-born, petty criminals, but still in their twenties. Masood was a 52-year old, British-born product, as I understand, of a casual mixed-race relationship between an African man and a British woman, single-parented. His leafy middle-class neighbourhood, his sporty schooldays, old friends remembering a good guy they lost contact with – his birth name was Adrian Elms; his stepfather’s name Aoji. He was confusingly married to several women, perhaps not at the same time, with kids.

Masood seems to have become a drifter, rootless and increasingly despairing of his life. He sounds rather pathetic; trapped in his own insignificance.  He had a record of minor offences, assaults, mainly connected it seems with being racially abused – a stabbing that got him a two-year stretch.  He may have been radicalised and converted to Islam in prison, 12 years ago. That happens a lot in our prison system, which is increasingly dangerously run on the cheap by greedy and uncaring private US contractors.

In 2008 he is found working in Saudi Arabia as a TESOL English-teacher. Maybe that set him off; it nearly did me. (The teaching, I mean, not being in the home of well-funded global terrorism.) He had occasional jobs, but seems never to have settled for long back in the UK and we don’t know how he supported himself here. Police have been raiding addresses all over the country where he seems to have tried living for a time. He was briefly on the MI5 radar twelve years ago as peripheral to a jihadi group, as thousands of Muslims have been, but there was no evidence of activity to justify keeping him on watch. It’s fatuous to blame them. Was his constant criss-crossing of the country deliberate deception? Was he a Sleeper? We don’t know. Where did he get money from, to rent cars for weeks at a time, to stay in hotels and rent apartments? We don’t know. A man of mystery.

After spending a week agreeably in a hotel in the south-coast holiday resort of Brighton, home of arty ex-London bohos, a ‘gay capital’, hardly a place where a fanatical Muslim would choose to vacation, Masood launched his attack using a hire car, and then reverted to a kitchen knife before being shot, as he must have expected to be. The Paris attackers by contrast were armed with assault rifles and suicide vests, and killed 130 people. It’s quite hard to get hold of guns and explosives in Britain. We don’t allow them. Masood took four lives, including, tragically, that of one of our unarmed police who chats to tourists at one of the entrances to Parliament. A good man, by all accounts. More of our police are armed than you might think, Masood was taken down by a security detail of the Defence Secretary, who was nearby. It might have provided more evidence of intent if they had shot only to disable him, but it’s probably what he wanted.

And then the vastly well-paid, alt-right motormouths of patriotic moonshine, the publicity-sucking Farages and the Morgans, the rabid fuckbitch Hopkins, inevitably weigh in. It’s all the fault of Tony Blair; libtards; multiculturalism; prison-averse judges; flip-flop politicians; Remoaners; the Facebook generation; the soft-option; decent human beings who stupidly cling to a belief in civil society. Bring on more POWERS! Build more PRISONS! Bring back HANGING! Sell more PAPERS! Op-ed pus merchants,  who said nothing, felt nothing, were out to lunch when Remain campaigner, the MP and mother of two Jo Cox was hacked to death in the street and her white supremacist assassin gaoled forever. And then publicly attacked her husband, like the bestial dog-fucking cowards they are.

We like to pretend that ours is an open, democratic society, symbolised by the myths of our unarmed ‘Bobbies’, warm beer and red buses.  But the training, the assumption is always, ‘suicide  bomber’. Barbaric religion. Other. And everywhere you are, you’re being watched.

Something needs to change. But demonising a whole section of the population isn’t going to change it the right way.

Nor is ignoring what is happening elsewhere in the world. Without wishing to make false comparisons, or justify suicidal protests – and, by the way, Masood appears not to have made it clear what exactly he was prepared to die for, but it wasn’t religion – Muslims are dying in droves, and for what? Two hundred civilian dead in US bombing raids this week on supposed ISIS positions in Mosul might convince your incompetent, out-of-his-depth President that he’s a great military leader, but we’re not fooled. Thousands dead in Saudi war-crime attacks and kids starving in Yemen – no Comic Relief going there, I fear. Hundreds of brown-on-brown deaths in suicide bombings on harmless Islamic sects considered ‘haram’ by purists and paid agitators in Pakistan.

Instead of focussing your fear and loathing, your righteous anger on strangers, America, understand: this religious stuff is just distraction. Smoke and mirrors.

Follow the money, is my motto.

You’re being fucked.

 

And we’re being Foxed…

British TV viewers are being deprived by the curiously lacklustre performance of the BBC of so much exciting news about President Trump and his international business activities.

You may very well not know that his organisation is under investigation for sanctions-busting, in connection with a deal Trump did in New York in 2014 with an Azerbaijani billionaire to lend his name and tasteful design expertise to a project to convert an unfinished tower building into a ‘luxury’ hotel in an insalubrious neighbourhood of the capital, Baku. A project that netted him $4 million, but was hastily abandoned when Mr Trump arrived in the White House.

There seemed to be some discrepancy between what was paid for the project, which was overseen by Ivanka in fastidious detail right down to its endangered tree-wood panelling, and the original cost. A bewildering trail of contracts pointed to a connection between the Mammadovs and an Indian family connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – a ‘state-within-a-state’, financing Hezbollah and other Shi’a groups abroad, and listed in part as a ‘terrorist organization’.

Writing in the New Yorker earlier this month, journalist Adam Davidson exposes a web of connections and an unexplained failure by the Trump Organisation to carry out due diligence on the spectacularly wealthy Mammadovs, who were notoriously corrupt even by the standards of former Soviet republics, now largely family dictatorships.

Such a failure could expose Trump executives to lengthy prison sentences.

“The available evidence strongly suggests that Ziya Mammadov conspired with an agent of the Revolutionary Guard to make overpriced deals that would enrich them both while allowing them to flout prohibitions against money laundering and to circumvent sanctions against Iran.”

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal

Davidson reports that the man who signed off the contract, Trump lawyer Jason Greenblatt, is now employed at the White House as the President’s special representative for international negotiations.

But let’s not hold our breath. According to a report in the Irish Times, following a story that Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev has also been massively enriching himself and his family:

“The United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Aliyevs’ Azerbaijan, including millions for military and security training. Azerbaijan’s government is one of the largest buyers of influence in Washington DC and, together with its lobbyists, spent at least $4 million in 2014 alone burnishing the country’s image.”

irishtimes.com/business/panama-papers-how-family-that-runs-azerbaijan-built-an-empire-of-hidden-wealth-1.2597762

Nor is the USA the only country up to its withers in the well-oiled strategic arse of the Azeris. Mrs May’s pick for International Business Secretary, the man chosen to replace all the business we expect to lose in Europe, post-Brexit, is ‘Dr’ Liam Fox – frequently known as ‘the disgraced former Defence Secretary’, and the author of a little-known book, Rising Tides. (Cover price £20. 13 copies available, used, from Amazon at £0.1p)

From the Amazon blurb:

“The world has changed more and faster than any of us could have imagined. While that may be accepted in terms of global business and financial markets, and to some degree the worldwide web, people including their political leaders may have been slower at grasping what these new interconnections mean for the way we operate in this new era.”

‘Dr’ Fox indeed has not been slow to grasp the new ways of doing interconnected business in the new era. From The Guardian, August 2016:

“The register of MPs interests shows that the oil-rich dictatorship of Azerbaijan, via its London lobbyists, paid Dr Fox £5,700 for the right to translate Rising Tides into an Azerbaijani Turkish edition. The generosity of Azerbaijan’s rulers did not stop there. On 1 February 2015, the regime flew him and an aide to Istanbul to launch the book and put them up in a luxury hotel. The cost of the four-day trip was £3,579.94.

“It wasn’t his first overseas promotion. The Azerbaijani press reported that Dr Fox was in Baku in September 2014, where he was received by no less a magnifico than President Ilham Aliyev… The Panama Papers showed that the Aliyevs and their accomplices (the Mammadovs, in a joint conglomerate called ATA Holdings – Irish Times) controlled assets worth $490m via offshore accounts.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/07/liam-fox-azerbaijan-relationship-book-publishing

This was, of course, through the busy Panamanian law firm of Mossack-Fonseca.

Where too we find the name of Paul Manafort, Trump’s now oublietted campaign manager – who in 2016 was found to have set up a number of offshore companies to decontaminate the assets of his Ukrainian employer, the exiled dictator Viktor Yanukovitch, who seems possibly to have paid him £12.7 million for the work.

It is indeed a new world we live in. ‘Dr’ Fox needs to be careful however who he chooses as Britain’s new friends: US authorities may be watching carefully to see where the web of sanctions-busting connections goes next.

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Duck, you’re not covered

Five weeks ago, there were protests coming close to rioting in seven French cities, every night for a week and sporadically thereafter, following reports that a young black man had been gang-raped round the back of a street protest in Paris, by police with batons.

These evenements were widely reported in online websites such as The Telegraph, The Express, The Mail, New York Times, Breitbart News etc. and on US TV. From The Telegraph, for instance:

“Police fired tear gas to disperse about 400 protesters, but smaller groups then went on a rampage in other parts of the capital, smashing windows and overturning dustbins in near Place de la République and in the Marais, another popular area for holidaymakers.

“Disturbances also erupted in the northern city of Rouen, where 21 people were arrested. Nearly 250 people have been arrested around France since unrest began in the Paris suburbs after police were accused of assaulting a black man on February 2.”

So, not an insignificant series of events. But despite keeping at least four ‘correspondents’ and editors on permanent station in Europe, including Katya Adler in Brussels and Lucy Williamson in Paris, it was only on the fourth or fifth night that the BBC bothered to mention it.

Again, two nights ago there was a shooting outside the train station in Lille, in which three people were injured, including a 14-year-old boy. Widely reported on US media, it turned out to be gang-related violence and not a terrorist attack. Even so, to begin with there was no way of knowing who might have been responsible, yet the BBC failed to report it at all.

They are still reporting in the news police operations, which have been wound down, to investigate any possible accomplices of Masood, the lone Westminster attacker, days after the last of the suspects has been released. The current affairs slots are still filled with increasingly boring speculative pieces about Masood, his history and motivation, about Britain’s security and our anti-radicalization programmes providing, as Simon Jenkins has sagely pointed out, endless publicity for the IS.

And indeed, the BBC is currently reporting another nightclub shooting, this time in faraway Cincinnatti,  in which one person is so far known to have died and others injured; although they report that it is not thought by local police, who say there’s always trouble at the venue, to be a terrorism-related incident. It’s another gun-crime related incident, of which there are thousands in the US every year.

The report appears second on the bulletin-board, beneath the main story about Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, calling for a ban on encryption of messaging apps, so the police have access to them. This follows a report that Masood sent a coded message shortly before his suicide bid.

Good luck with that.

I’m still trying to work out what strange biasses are operating in the BBC’s increasingly inaccurate and dysfunctional ‘cross-platform’ news operations; where the toll of dead and injured in the Westminster attack seemed to blow with the wind. Was it five dead, four, three? Twenty-nine injured, 40, or 50? All these figures were wildly thrown out, sometimes at intervals of only minutes, depending on who was doing the reporting; and still are being.

Get your stories straight!

Or tell the Tory MPs moaning about your post-referendum ‘negativity’ about their beloved Brexit to fuck off and mind their own sodding business. Until, that is, Theresa’s got the dirty business out of the way on Wednesday.

 

The son-in-law also rises

Now, see what I said about how the BBC covers Washington politics in the Trump era?

“Mr Kushner, 36, told the newspaper the “government should be run like a great American company”. He is a property investor and media executive who is married to Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He already advises the president on foreign relations, and is said to have been influential in helping President Trump choose staff for his campaign and in government.” (BBC report, 27 March: “Jared Kushner to be questioned over alleged Trump-Russia ties”.)

You fuckin’ shittin’ me? As Americans are wont to ask?

The sickening deference shown to ‘Mr Kushner’ – a little plastic rat under investigation in the Senate over relations with one of Putin’s banks – ignores what just happened last week. ‘Mr Kushner’, it seems, finally managed to offload No. 666 Fifth Avenue (yes, I know!), a piece of real estate that he lost a packet on when he acquired it in 2007 just before the banks hit the skids. Running a great American company can be hard on a fourteen-year-old, especially in the shadow of his bigly successful dad-in-law.

What was unusually odd about the deal was that half the dough didn’t appear to be tied to the property, but seemed to be more about a large ‘bung’ that neatly covered Kushner’s $400 million loss. CNBC quotes Bloomberg:

“A deal with Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group has brought in $400 million dollars for the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The $4 billion deal for a New York City office building located at 666 Fifth Ave. includes the large cash payout to the Kushner’s real estate company Kushner Companies.

“Some real estate experts consider the terms of the deal’s agreement unusually favorable for the Kushners.”

Given that it also paid off a large slice of his mortgage, you can say that again. It’s always useful being married to the favourite daughter of the President of the United States, especially when he says scary things about China.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/13/chinese-firm-invests-400-million-in-building-owned-by-kushner-family.html

‘Mr Trump’ is himself also reported to owe rather a lot to the Chinese. The Mother Jones website has been keeping track. In addition to the £364 million he owes Deutsche Bank – a marker thought by some to have been picked up by the Russians – we find this:

“According to his own public disclosure, Trump, as of May, was on the hook for 16 loans worth at least $713 million. This list does not include an estimated $2 billion in debt amassed by real estate partnerships that include Trump. One of those loans is a $950 million deal that was cobbled together by Goldman Sachs and the state-owned Bank of China—an arrangement that ethics experts believe violates the Constitution’s emolument clause, which prohibits foreign governments from providing financial benefits to federal officials.”

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/guide-donald-trump-debt

And to reinforce ‘Mr Kushner’s’ authority in advance of the Senate hearing, ‘Mr Trump’ just promoted him – again. In addition to multiple portfolios including China and ‘Middle East peace’, the plastic rat – a  successful, Chinese-financed New York real estate mogul connected now to a sanctioned Russian bank, VEB, and its KGB-educated chairman, Sergei Gorkov – has been put in charge of a new office called the Office of American Innovation. With not one minute’s experience in government, he’s got a brief to ‘reform’ the United States government.

Interesting to see what emerges. Some Russian ideas, maybe.

Please, BBC, stop grovelling to these monsters. It’s beneath you.

 

 

The BogPo: wake up Britain, you’re being Disrupted! (Plus: A guide to Big Dada – and, NEW: “I am vindicated” syndrome).

“We needed stronger leadership, so I got Lars von Trier  to give me a fakeover.”

WARNING: DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS WOMAN.

Wake Up, Britain, you’re being Disrupted!

Okay.

We have less than a week to go before May triggers Article 50 to take us out of the EU.

Once that happens we’re bound on an irreversible course that will almost certainly lead to the breakup, not only of Europe, but of the UK. I bogld about that last bit in The Pumpkin – Issue 13, if you care to look; and how a Belfast-born political disruptor, anti-abortion fanatic and alt-right website owner based in Eastern Europe, Jim Dowson, backed by a Christian-right Russian billionaire close to Putin, is now set on splitting Scotland away.

Now.

“Millionaire” Mr Dowson also boasts of his work on-line, encouraging people to vote for Brexit. Have his claims resulted in the merest suspicion that the referendum may not have been conducted “on the square”, as the Freemasons put it? Or is it simply accepted that in a democracy people are free to campaign for any cause they believe in, in any undeclared, underhand way they please – even the overthrow of the State?

A clue to Mr Dowson’s activities and interests (other oligarchs are available) may be found in a Guardian article of 20 March. I warn you, they are somewhat incoherent:

“I have been a fanatical defender of the union, but I am a pragmatist, and England is finished. It is not just finished because of the Muslim problem and immigration, but also because as of now we are looking at permanent Tory rule … This is a global network that I believed helped elect Donald Trump and backed Brexit to win. “

theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/20/jim-dowson-back-scottish-independence-patriotic-news-agency-far-right

So did Dowson interfere in the referendum process as an undeclared pro-Leave lobbyist? Was he acting alone?

Nobody picked up on it.

A few months ago, the BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg, who has since been subjected to a campaign of vilification in social media, published a piece on the BBC website speculating about the clandestine use of ‘bots’ by the Leave side in the EU referendum campaign. This followed an earlier report in June of a disrupt:

“An online petition calling for a second EU referendum has been hijacked by automated bots adding false signatures. Posts on the 4chan** message board indicated that some users had scripted programs to automatically sign the petition. Thousands of signatures appeared to have come from people in Vatican City and Antarctica.

“The House of Commons petitions committee said it had removed 77,000 signatures and was investigating.” (BBC News)

Did this indicate a level of external interference in the referendum itself? Resulting, perhaps, in the crashing of the voter registration website in the last 48 hours of registration and the addition of another two million voters who appeared to come from nowhere?

Nobody picked up on it.

A couple of months later, an article in The Guardian referred to a US company, Cambridge Analytica, owned (possibly) by the Breitbart News backer and ultra-rightwing multi-billionaire IT whizz, Robert Mercer, that had apparently been ‘data-harvesting’ millions of voters in the UK, secretly analysing their likely voting intentions and responding with a flood of personalized disinformation bots on behalf of the Leave campaign (about whose real intentions the BogPo has already intensively, and with fruity swearing, speculated). CA has downplayed but not denied the allegation.

Cornell University (ironically founded by a great-uncle of Kathy Cornell Gorka, a White House advisor on the dangers of Muslims – See Pumpkin 13) has conducted a study of the use of bots in political campaigning: arxiv.org/abs/1606.06356

The opening summary paragraph states:

“Political bots are automated accounts that are particularly active on public policy issues, elections, and political crises. In this preliminary study on the use of political bots during the UK referendum on EU membership, we analyze the tweeting patterns for both human users and bots. We find that political bots have a small but strategic role in the referendum conversations: (1) the family of hashtags associated with the argument for leaving the EU dominates, (2) different perspectives on the issue utilize different levels of automation (i.e. it’s an iterative process. Ed.), and (3) less than 1 percent of sampled accounts generate almost a third of all the messages.”

Nobody picked up on it.

Now, all this activity is not illegal, but it’s unfair, because it’s not what people are used to. Voters get used to election tactics, but this is something new, when someone from your Contacts folder pops up to tell you, by the way, such-and-such a candidate is a child-killer and a drug addict, you’re inclined to believe it. False: it’s not anyone you know, it’s a bot. And when both sides are bludgeoning you incessantly with the phonus-bolonus, it can get wearing – people will switch off.

And that’s the idea. Boredom brings down democracies.

On Monday, Mr James Comey, the head of the FBI, answered a question at a Congressional hearing to obtain confirmation that the security services were investigating both Mr Trump’s claims of having been “””wiretapped””” by President Obama*, and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

The question from the excellent inquisitor, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff was, did he think the Russians were interfering elsewhere, as perhaps with the Brexit referendum?

And the equally excellent, and imposingly tall Mr Comey replied ‘Yes, I do’.

And nobody, not even the media, has picked up on it.

Now there is evidence that not only was Russian military intel, the GRU, ‘Guccifer 2’ hacking the Democratic party servers for info useful to the Trump campaign, but they then ‘weaponized’ the data against the Clinton campaign, using bots to flood social media with misdirection in response to individual voting preferences. They also did this to supporters of Bernie Sanders, with a massive campaign of disinformation helping to persuade his voters, who, you may remember, he had asked to vote for Hillary when he gave up his bid for the White House, not to vote for her.

So we know they can do it. And the aforementioned Irish  ‘millionaire’ Dowson (I can find no evidence that he is a millionaire. Where does that come from?), who has extensive East European, English nationalist and Russian connections, has boasted of the disruptive ‘meme’ he created on his US Patriot News website, alleging the existence of a worldwide paedophile ring involving Clinton. Did they do it here too?

Nobody in Britain has yet picked up on it, to join the dots; or seems to understand that the FBI believes the EU referendum was in all likelihood interfered with by the Russians as a disruptive tactic in their new-style hybrid warfare, as well as by rightwing US ‘disruptors’ linked with wealthy, non-official Leave campaigners in the UK; and that the BBC and the Guardian and even Cornell University know there is evidence the EU campaign was targeted in a campaign of disinformation by automated computer-generated bots masquerading as genuine information sources:

Yet nobody has picked up on it.

Because, as the following instructional clip from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (21 March) explains,

That’s what the Russians DO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy1vk1mZhiw

And for a more official summary nearer to home, of the unofficial ‘dark money’ campaign that helped swing the UK referendum for the Disruptors, read:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/01/dark-money-threat-to-uk-elections-integrity?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=219998&subid=19570602&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

So will somebody in authority, like Parliament, the police or MI5, the Electoral Reform Society – anybody – please pick up on it?

And quickly?

Because we’ve been conned!

Is the Government blind to this? Does it just not want to worry the British people that the Russians and their fifth-columnists on the alt-right are even now waging cyberwar on us? Have they just not picked up on it? Or has the Thing, this global crusade for racial and religious purity and the confusing disruption of our political, economic and social institutions funded by Russian ‘laundromat’ money, prising open the divisions and contradictions in our liberal democracy, already penetrated the higher echelons of the British government to put the blinders on – as it has the White House?

Mrs May, you were in charge of the national security apparatus for six years, can you tell us, possibly?

Postscriptum

And here’s another story worth reading, concerning Russia’s disruption tactics, on the BBC News website, two days after Article 50 got triggered – and no mention of interference in the referendum:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39401637

Postscripta, please add to brain:

*Mr Trump is now claiming he was at least partly right about being wiretapped – having been informed by the CIA that, yes, they did listen in to some conversations in which he was a participant. Unfortunately for the President, a man for whom the word ‘consequences’ seems fraught with difficulty, it has not apparently occurred to him why his voice was inadvertently recorded on those CIA files?

It was because, not him, but the thus-far anonymous people he was conversing with, were themselves suspects under surveillance.***

Oops.

That did not however stop the sucky little asshole with the terrified eyes, Congressman Nunes, inexplicably Republican chair of the Intelligence Committee, from immediately running down to the White House on the orders of the doe-eyed Congressional leader Paul Ryan, who is in deep doo-doo with Trump over his crappy American Healthcare bill, that seems likely to disaffiliate millions of poorer Trump voters, to show Orange Satan the CIA report, in clear breach of his duty of confidentiality to the committee – and then unilaterally cancelling the second hearing.

Most of the unfolding disaster is being put down to ‘inexperience’. Right, we’ve never experienced incompetence and venality on this scale, anywhere.

**The 4Chan site has been linked to Internet subcultures and activism, most notably Anonymous, the alt-right and Project Chanology. (Wikipedia). An open website guaranteeing anonymity and storing no data, 4Chan is an ideal breeding ground for disruptors.

***And it now appears accusations of British snooping were also partly accurate, in that the initial intercepts of conversations between the Trump camp and the Russians came from standard traffic monitoring by GCHQ, who are miffed that they passed the intel on to the CIA, the FBI, the NSA in late 2015 and no-one took any notice, presumably because they were focussed on their own monitoring of Mr Carter Page, a deniable, no-account former Trump campaign advisor, self-imagined man of mystery and go-between on ‘foreign relations’.

Both Mr Page and Russian spokes deny Page ever met with ‘oil’igarch, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, which probably therefore means that he did.

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BIG DADA: A Guide

Who are the Disruptors?

The Pumpkin identifies disruptors as political activists with no party allegiance who seek to disrupt conventional channels of communication and institutions in order to bring about change in random and unspecified directions and create chaos, from which a ‘new politics’ will emerge.

Funded in part by a flood of Russian money, the Disruptor movement is being enabled and amplified by borderless communications and social media networks.

In that sense they resemble the artists, writers and musicians of the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly from Central Europe, inspired by political revolution and the emerging horrors of industrialized warfare, who promoted manifestos calling for the destruction of conventional society and the creation of a new order arising from the wreckage: groups like the Futurists, the Stridentists, Wyndham Lewis’ Vorticists, the Ashcan School and most successfully the Dadaists, building on the writings of Kropotkin and other anarchist or nihilist movements.

Some disruptors will by the nature of the activity simply be ‘merry pranksters’ – teenage hackers, acting with no more ultimate motive than to do some mischief and earn kudos. Others however find the internet and its influence on, especially, the millennial generation a useful vehicle for turning teenage anarchy to their advantage in putting forward an alt-right, Christian-right, racial purity, revivalist agenda.

There is in the view of The Pumpkin little difference in execution between the cynical radicalisation programmes of extreme Islam and the attempts by the alt-right, etc., to engage the idealism, naivety and adventurous spirits of young people via their social media for some dark project leading to supposedly exciting and beneficial social change, exploiting their hormonal uncertainty and natural altruism; like the recruitment tactics of religious cultists such as the Moonies and the Scientologists; the Hitler youth or the Comsomol.

(The symmetry between the Disrupt and IS is there to see. It’s always about the corruption of innocence.)

There is evidence of Russian, Balkan, North Korean and Chinese State involvement in disruptive tactics – not only the ceaseless hacking and probing denial of service attacks on banks and hospitals and utilities and local authorities and transport undertakings, but the further weaponization by the military of Big Data. Under the so-called Gerasimov Doctrine of hybrid warfare we will not be conquered by invasion, or by counterproductive nuclear strikes; rather by an insidious process of undermining our faith in our institutions.

Others in the background, ‘useful idiots’ – very wealthy (mostly) men – seek to advance their own private networks by destroying the centrist, liberal-democratic consensus they perceive is weak, failing – corrupted by multiculturalism – but which nevertheless persists in its attempts to rein-in their lucrative transactions. The suspicion must be that some at least of the $billions pouring out of Russia from the criminal skimming of former State-owned assets through dodgy banks, offshore trusts, insanely overpriced art auctions, arms traffic and property megadeals is being used to fund these willing and greedy Western accomplices in the takedown of the West.

Disruption is the modern equivalent of the old military tactic of  ‘harrying’ – mounting low-cost, lightning raids here and there along the enemy’s defensive lines, to disrupt communications and movements; to take a few prisoners, seize supplies; to demoralise and test the strength of the enemy. If my personal data were among the millions of mobile phone company records seized in some spectacular hacking operation, as I’m sure they must have been (I was a Yahoo! subscriber for years) I shouldn’t be too concerned: the Russians probably aren’t going to do much with the information, they just want to send a message that our Western technology is weak and cannot protect us; but they will use it if provoked.

This is polygonal politics: economic,  religious and cultural warfare in the internet era, and our politicians had better understand it and find ways to combat it, soon.

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At last, I am vindicated!

A woman in Australia has walked free from court after her baby died when she forgot he was in the car, on a hot day.

It is not a precedent one would wish to set, obviously. People have a natural attachment to babies, a protective, hopeful instinct that ignores the awful teenagers they will grow into one day, the drug addicts, jihadis, corporate lawyers and US Presidents they go on to become. People still get upset, hearing about babies left to die like dogs in hot cars.

It’s a brave jurist who exonerates a parent for such a careless approach to their duties. The poor woman, what was her name? Lindy Chamberlain, who battled for years to explain that they went for a picnic in the Outback and a dingo must have taken her baby while her back was turned? The poor woman went through hell for years, accused of all sorts. ‘A Psychologist’ had not yet been born who would tell the court, yes, there is such a thing as ‘Taken baby syndrome”.

Australia often has hot days, I’m told, so one might think the Coroner would have asked the obvious question; not: “Why did you forget your baby was in the car?” but: “Why did you leave your baby in the car in the first place?”

But then, I wasn’t there. I cannot account for the circumstances; unlike in my own situation.

The BBC reports:

“A psychologist told the inquest he believed Ms Zunde suffered a memory lapse called “forgotten baby syndrome”.

“If you are capable of forgetting to post a letter, you are capable of forgetting to take your baby out of the car,” said Matthew Mundy, an associate professor at Monash University. “Your memory is limited, it’s limited in the number of things you can remember at any given time, and it’s limited in the amount of time you can remember a thing for. Your brain at the neural level doesn’t discriminate between [posting] a letter, a baby or remembering to pick up your mobile phone.

“In his opinion the lapse could happen to anyone, he said.”

Exactly!

So my reprehensible behaviour in frequently forgetting to collect my infant son from his nursery during those months of turmoil, when my business was failing and I was stuck in meetings with the bank for hours while struggling to meet all my other commitments to creative output and to pay the staff wages, so that I would often of an evening find myself having to do a U-ey and hurtle at illegal speed the twelve miles back from my home driveway where the realization usually dawned, to find the poor mite cradled in the arms of a fuming ‘pudding’, as I called the dumpy little creche nurses, sitting locked-out on the doorstep, finally has a name! A syndrome!

That’s one in the eye for the wife:

“Forgotten baby syndrome”.

It explains, certainly, why I have no idea currently where I have left my mobile phone. I haven’t seen it for days. The battery will be flat by now, so there’s no point in emailing my son – about whom I still forget for long periods – and getting him to phone it, so I can identify its whereabouts.

Letters, too, sit in the Documents file on muh li’l laptop, unprinted – perhaps I have forgotten that the toner has run out again – or in envelopes ready to go, with expensive first-class stamps on, on the bureau, unposted, until I think better of sending them and tear them up. Complaining to utility companies and writing to my MP about the traffic makes no difference, they shrug it off, the world turns, a politely worded but anodyne defence is received, no action taken – why create all that aggro? Just forget it.

Unposted letter syndrome, lost phone syndrome… life’s a beach, ain’t it? I spent the better part of £600 on a new laptop three weeks ago. I still haven’t found the energy, the commitment to spend another week setting up all those files, the passwords, the lost data, the fumbling back and forth to read the instructions from one machine screen to another. It’s just sitting there, one tiny light winking futilely. Soon it will vanish under the pile of angry letters accumulating around, the cat sleeping on top of it and be forgotten.

“Forgotten laptop syndrome” will be added to the list of my many syndromes, exculpating me from the failing memories of my past, the unbidden responsibility to the future. Life can be so simple with the right diagnosis.

“Simple life syndrome”.

The joy of letting go.

 

The Pumpkin – Issue 13: Jim’ll Brexit: There is no end to this conspiracy. And: Hey everybody, Rex Tillerson!

It’s Budget Day on the Hill

Okay guys, I found the money, Vladimir extended the overdraft. Let’s get spending.

Jim’ll Brexit

The question The Pumpkin would like to ask is, to what extent is Russian interest in the US election a continuation of the old Cold War and Putin’s ambitions to destabilise the West – or is it something quite new and excitingly different?

While the media focus is  on the Congressional Committee hearing at which FBI Director, James Comey, confirmed with his lovely eyes that the security police are looking into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, hopefully not forgetting the money-laundering, the ‘Enemies of the People’ may be ignoring other, perhaps more disturbing connections between far-right Christian fundamentalist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic groups in Eastern Europe, possibly funded by Russia, to members of the current Trump administration.

Former Methodist minister and convicted criminal, Jim Dowson is a virulent Scottish-born anti-abortion campaigner and extreme Protestant loyalist from Northern Ireland (no jokes about ‘Orange men’ now. Ed.), with connections to Bulgarian and other East European nationalist groups who like dressing up and marching around.

He’s frequently labelled in the press, ‘millionaire Jim Dowson’, although The Pumpkin’s limited researches have been unable to establish any source for that fact. He owns no businesses, seemingly; is CEO of nothing. Wherefore then, apart from having been a fundraiser for nationalist charities (and not apparently well trusted in the role) does he become a millionaire?

dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/exclusive-bnps-scots-fundraiser-is-criminal-1025700

Among things we have established is that he is an unpleasant piece of work who delights in publishing the names and addresses of employees of family planning clinics. He has also been videoed dressed in camouflage gear on a ‘hunting expedition’ with armed vigilantes on the Bulgarian-Turkish border – hunting Syrian refugees.

According to Wikipedia, who got the info probably from the anti-fascist group Searchlight:

“Dowson has been observed in eastern European countries with his latest venture, the Knights Templar International (KTI)*, along with former BNP (British National Party) leader Nick Griffin and a Hungarian anti-abortion campaigner, Imre Teglasy.

“Dowson’s last sighting, according to the Daily Mirror, was on the Turkey-Bulgaria border with the KTI supplying equipment to a vigilante paramilitary group, the Shipka Bulgarian National Movement, to hunt down asylum seekers.

“Dowson was subsequently reported as having developed close links with Russian extremist Aleksandr Dugin, with Dugin aiding Dowson in the establishment of a Belgrade office for his internet activity in support of the ‘alt-right’.”

* No immediate relation to the late-medieval religious order that committed unspeakable atrocities against the Muslim population of the Holy Land.

nytimes.com/2016/12/17/world/europe/russia-propaganda-elections.html

Now, Dugin is a bit different: not your average fascist bully-boy, he is a well-bearded Russian philosopher – the son of a KGB man – respected on the far-right, and spiritual guide to Vladimir Putin. He has said he wants to bring on the ‘end-times’. Thus he fits in almost perfectly symmetrically with Steve Bannon. Described as a modern Rasputin, Dugin in turn is sponsored by “Konstantin Malofeyev, a multimillionaire with ties to the Russian Orthodox Church” (Independent. See below).

Dugin is said to have been instrumental in bringing about a rapprochement between Putin and the increasingly paranoid and authoritarian Turkish president Erdogan in the wake of the shooting down in 2015 of a Russian fighter over the Syrian border: thus, Islamic Turkey is moving out of the ambit of Europe and more towards a pro-Moscow line of pragmatic non-opposition to the war-criminal Bashar al-Assad.

Russia and Turkey being two countries where, it may be noted, President Trump’s sacked National Security Advisor General Mike T Flynn was doing bidness last year. Turkey is, of course, a NATO country.

“…Dugin, whose views on the evils of liberalism have been cited by Bannon and other far-right leaders … also moved Russia a step closer to fulfilling his vision of unwinding the US-led global order, in part by luring Turkey away from NATO and creating a “Russo-Islamic pact” that includes Iran.” (Ibid.)

Dowson is linked too with László Toroczkai, the extreme right-wing mayor of Assotthalom, in Hungary – the village where, the BogPo reported some time ago, Muslim migrants are ‘banned’ from settling, even to the extent that specially designed traffic signs are to be found, excluding people wearing Islamic dress. (BBC report)

And alt-right watchers will have noted the name of Nick Griffin, one-time leader of the British National Party, who is now based in Hungary – not a million miles from Dowson’s Russia-funded Budapest office, one might assume. Clearly, they have patched up their differences following Dowson’s departure from Britain First – a group he founded, but whose attacks on mosques he felt were ‘un-Christian’.

This story is positively trammelled with such weird contradictions: indeed, the KTI website specifically states that attacks on other religions are against the Biblical traditions of Christianity. There seems to be an element of fantasy in Dowson’s crusade for some long-ago, lost age of purity and chivalry. This puts him in the same league as some of Trump’s immediate circle: not racist, but purist, could be Stephen K Bannon’s motto.

But all agree, the coming war will be between Christianity and Islam for the soul of the world.

The founder of an alt-right website called ‘The Patriot News Agency’, Dowson also interferes in other countries’ elections. Again from Wikipedia:

“Dowson described his strategy as spreading “devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and soundbites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”

Yet Dowson has no apparent dog in the US election fight; nor any specific reason to support Trump, other than a generalised desire to cause trouble benefitting the Russian campaign of destabilization.

Among the ‘memes’ he is alleged to have spread is the story of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, operating a worldwide paedophile ring from the basement of a Washington pizza restaurant – a story so preposterous that only forty per cent of Donald Trump’s supporters were inclined to believe it.

And his next ‘project’ is to bring about Scottish independence and the dissolution of the United Kingdom. According to the New York Times:

“The ex-Orange Order member, who along with his family is based in Northern Ireland but spends considerable time running the rightwing agency in eastern Europe, claims his networks have a global reach of 50 million online viewers, 17 million of whom live in Britain.

“A one-time member of the far-right Britain First organisation, which he resigned from three years ago, Dowson said he would be directing the pro-independence online media campaign from his bases in Hungary and Serbia as well as in Britain, including from an office in Stirling.

“(He said) ‘This is a global network that I believed helped elect Donald Trump and backed Brexit to win.'”

For many people prepared to overlook the obvious point that Britain held real powers within the EU and extended its influence into Europe, rather than having genuinely been in the position of surrendering sovereignty to “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels” – a meme so simple and easy to spread among the British Dumbfucks that even Dowson might have thought of it, Brexit was about ridding Britain of foreign influences. For some, like Dowson, the Brexit campaign was a moral crusade to restore the ethnic and religious (i.e. Christian) purity of the British race; although he now sees that it might have to lead to a federal Ireland rather than a hard customs border.

How like Islamic fundamentalists Christian fundamentalists are.

theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/20/jim-dowson-back-scottish-independence-patriotic-news-agency-far-right?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=218243&subid=19570602&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

Postscriptum

In May 2018, Dowson and Griffin were expelled from Hungary as a danger to the State. Given Mr Orban’s anti-liberal, anti-immigrant proclivities, that is really saying something.

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Power Hungary

Dr Sebastian L v. Gorka “attended St Benedict’s School in west London, and received a lower second-class honours (2:2) Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Theology from Heythrop College, of the University of London.” (Wikipedia). Heythrop was founded in 1614 in Louvain, Belgium, at the height of the Inquisition, by the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits, to whose stern moral code its website suggests it retains some residual connection.*

Born in Britain to Hungarian refugee parents, nationalists who fled from the Soviet repression of 1956 (we gave refuge to 27,000 Hungarians, rather more than we seem to have managed with the desperate Syrians), Gorka re-migrated to Hungary in 1992, where he ended up in 1998 as an advisor to the authoritarian nationalist premier, Viktor Orban.

In the meantime he had somehow converted that pretty poor degree into a PhD in Political Science from Corvinus University, Budapest, and become an expert on Islamic terrorism. In 1996, he married an American heiress from an old Methodist family in the ironmongery business, Katherine Fairfax Cornell. A trawl of the sources fails to produce an estimate of her worth, or indeed that of the family business, that nowadays makes architectural steel products. All we find on their website is that the company used scab labour to break a strike in 1987 and probably turns over $10 million a year.

Yet what Katy Cornell Gorka’s family has in common with Donald Trump is that girders from the original iron smelting works took “New York’s buildings from four stories in the 1850s to thirty stories by 1899.” (Wikipedia). Even the Statue of Liberty stands on Cornell iron.

“Katharine C. Gorka is the President of the Council on Global Security, a think tank that works to develop, advocate, and build support for policies that will promote freedom of belief and defeat extremist ideologies*. From 2009 to 2014 she served as Executive Director of the Westminster Institute, based in McLean, Virginia. Her company, Threat Knowledge Group, provides counter-terrorism training and expertise to the FBI, Special Operations, local law enforcement and military. She co-edited the volume Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism and appears frequently in the media, including FOX News, Breitbart, EWTN, CBN, and al-Hura. Most recently she co-authored the report ISIS: The Domestic Threat.” (Amazon book page biography)

*The website for this organization is non-responding. A message merely says it is not currently available.

On November 30 2016, The Intercept reported that Gorka had been appointed to be part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s transitional “landing team.” (Wikipedia) Her role, like her husband’s, was to advise der Trumpenführer on the causes and growth of Islamic fundamentalism. (You recall, he ‘knows more about ISIS than many generals, believe me’. Gorka’s input may be why he thinks so.)

Yet there is something quite peculiar about her.

Living in Hungary for 12 years, Katy Gorka is a former director of the National Forum Foundation’s Budapest office – whose URL brings up only ‘Freedom House’, a think tank founded by the Roosevelts in 1941. “The organization’s annual Freedom in the World report, which assesses each country’s degree of political freedoms and civil liberties, is frequently cited by political scientists, journalists, and policymakers. Freedom of the Press and Freedom of the Net, which monitor censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists, and public access to information, are among its other signature reports.” (Wikipedia/Freedom House website)

Political freedom? Civil liberties? Freedom of the press? Almost nothing could be further from the domestic policies of Viktor Orban, to whom in 1998 Katy’s husband Sebastian was an ‘advisor’. But amid all the high-minded talk about monitoring the kind of intimidation against journalists which her Presidential employer is busy practising, she is also a contributor to Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News – an alt-right website pushing a racially pure, Christian agenda; often of false news, and whose former editor warned the press a month ago to ‘shut its mouth’ and think carefully about what they print about the President in future.

And one of Trump’s first executive orders, which none of the media has seen fit to protest about, was the gagging of  public access to information in the shape of the normal dissemination of news and scientific papers through the federal Environment and Parks agencies, and NASA’s Earthwatch program. Where did he get that from? He’s not thought to have any ideas of his own. An unusual approach to ‘freedom of belief’.

In 2012, ‘Dr’ Sebastian Gorka applied to become an American citizen.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr. Gorka concealed the material fact of his membership in the Vitézi Rend, a far-right anti-Semitic Hungarian organization, when he applied for U.S. citizenship. As you know, it is unlawful to make a false statement in naturalization proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1015) and procuring naturalization by concealing a material fact or willful misrepresentation is punishable by denaturalization (8 U.S.C. 1425, 8 U.S.C. 1451).”

So wrote three US Congressmen recently upon learning that Gorka is, or may be, an illegal immigrant.

businessinsider.com/sebastian-gorka-vitezi-rend-nazi-trump-2017-3: 3 US Senators calling for inquiry into his immigration declaration

According to some sources, through his father Gorka – who includes in his full name the telltale lowercase letter ‘v’ for Vitez – is a virtually lifelong member of Vitézi Rend, an extreme Hungarian nationalist group with maybe as many as twenty thousand members. His membership has been admitted by its leaders, although he’s denied it. How did anyone know? He appeared on TV wearing a jacket of the type worn ceremonially by members of the society, the Bocskai tunic, and sporting their pin-badge – which he later explained was only a tribute to his late father.

Again, when we look at the origins in the 1920s of this secretive society we find that same element of East European chivalric mysticism and a yearning for racial purity, enshrining the virtues of the knightly warrior caste that had once stood against the advance of Islam, that formed such a strong part of the National Socialist ideology in Germany in the 1930s. Indeed, the Order of Vitez, founded by Admiral Horthy to celebrate the heroism of fallen Hungarian soldiers of the First World War, was encouraged by – and perhaps even assisted – the Nazis during the occupation in 1944 as they hastened to eliminate 800,000 Jews ahead of the advancing Red Army.

Gorka is a naturalized American citizen. He gained his citizenship in 2012 but his acceptance may now be in doubt as it is reported he made no mention on his application form, a compulsory question, of his membership of Vitézi Rend, which is listed in the US as a banned organisation for its associations with the wartime Nazi occupiers in Hungary.

In addition to being cited as a member of and contributor to, a speaker at, numerous academic institutions and think tanks, in January 2017 Gorka assumed the position of Deputy Assistant Security Advisor on Terrorism in the Trump Administration. How did Trump get to know about him? Gorka immediately became a member of an internal White House team known as the Strategic Initiatives Group, which was set up by Trump’s Chief Policy Advisor, Steve Bannon, together with Trump’s annointed, his son-in law Jared Kushner, to act as a counterweight to the normal channels of advice the President might receive on matters such as national security and foreign policy, to prevent him being led astray by outside experts infected with things like knowledge and sanity.

thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/31/steve-bannon-builds-a-new-node-of-power-in-the-trump-white-house.html

While some academics and military people say he’s pretty sound on Islamic jihad, basically arguing that the West is at war with Islam already, the peer-reviewed journal of terrorism research, Terrorism and Political Violence, has never used him as a reviewer, because according to associate editor Lawrence P Rubin, he “is not considered a terrorism expert by the academic or policy community.” (Wikipedia)

From 2014 to 2016, Gorka was an editor for National Security Affairs for the Breitbart News Network, where he worked for Stephen K. Bannon.

Surprise, fucking surprise.

Everything to do with Trump sooner or later comes back to Bannon, Breitbart and the illegal movement around the globe of vast sums of Russian money: the so-called “Global Laundromat”.

How much of that money is finding its way over to ‘whiter-than-white’ organizations led by agitators, disruptors and misty-eyed, medieval-Christian revivalist ‘millionaires’, we wonder?

*On re-reading, I have just spotted this potential connection with Steve Bannon, who is associated with the conservative leader of the Jesuitical Catholic fringe group, Opus Dei, Cardinal Burke.

Correction: Cardinal Burke is not the ‘leader’ of Opus Dei but merely ‘associated with’ the leadership.

Postscriptum, 1 May

Following a shakeup or ‘palace coup’ instigated by ‘Mr Kushner’ and the new Pentagon hawks installed in key advisory roles – a military takeover – both the Strategic Initiatives Group and ‘Dr’ Gorka are no longer part of White House policy advisory arrangements; Steve Bannon is no longer a permanent member of the Security Council although he retains his role as ‘senior policy advisor’.

Ivanka Trump is now the ‘First Daughter’ – her stepmom remains a prisoner in the penthouse at Trump Tower in New York – and officially in post as ‘advisor’ to Orange Daddy. She continues to advertise Trump businesses, including Trump Tower, Manila – Mr Trump has welcomed the squalid little thug, President Duterte of the Philippines, to visit the White House, in line with his general policy of admiring ‘strong leaders’ who remind him of his father.

x

There is no end to this conspiracy.

I’m trying to remember what I was doing at the age of 42. It’s a bit hazy. I think I’d just started a small PR business with an ethical charter, supporting small ethical environmental businesses and NGOs by devising joint promotional programs with industrial clients needing to improve their ‘green’ credentials. It folded five years later because none of the bastards would pay their bills on time.

At 42, billionaire investment manager Constantin Malofeyev (see above) is one of the movers and shakers behind a religious revival movement that has captured the White House without a shot being fired. From Vanity Fair:

“As a believer in the Russian empire on a cultural and religious level, Malofeyev’s goals align with those held by some of Europe’s fringe parties. Both would like to see the weakening of the European Union.

“In 2014, Malofeyev attended a Vienna-based conference for Europe’s far-right parties. Also in attendance were Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, who openly supports Putin (she has called for the removal of sanctions) and accepted at least 9 million euros in Russia-backed loans in 2014; and Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Freedom Party, which was recently defeated in national elections.” (Presumably not the outcome General Michael T Flynn was hoping for at Trump Tower in December when he discussed doing a bit of PR for him. Ed.)

vanityfair.com/news/2016/12/mike-flynn-nazi-sympathizers)

thinkprogress.org/trump-russia-sanctions-1b20f8d48ded#.46jtlm8e1

The Pumpkin is sort of waiting for the links between the Brexit campaigners and Putin’s Christian-right crusade to become more obvious. A less obvious link might be to Mr Paul Manafort, Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, said to have been the recipient of a $12.7 million fee for ‘campaign advice’ (Oh, come off it! Ed. Really, where do I sign?) to the exiled Ukrainian kleptocrat, Viktor Yanukovitch; and also, of a $10 million a year PR retainer for several years from the Russian government.

The Daily Beast (August 2016) reported:

“The Associated Press has also found that Manafort helped route “at least $2.2 million in payments” from the Party of Regions “to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012” and did so in possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Was either of those firms possibly linked to General Flynn, The Pumpkin asks, idly? Or Mr Tony Podesta?)

“According to a leaked document that was “brought” to Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration, the takeover of Crimea may have been mooted in mid-February 2014, as independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported. Likely prepared in part by “Russian Orthodox businessman” and future separatist-financier Konstantin Malofeyev, the text envisioned a “launching of the process of the ‘pro-Russian drift’ of the Crimea and eastern Ukrainian territories” along with a “PR strategy” in advance of “referendums raising the question of self-determination and further possibilities of annexation to the Russian Federation.” – Daily Beast.

I guess if it can work in Ukraine, and Britain, it can work in Texas or Arkansas.

Remember the Alamo. Remember Dunkirk! Build that wall!

x

A Game of Leapfrog

Over in France the waters are just as murky.

Already under investigation for allegedly paying his wife half a million Euro out of public coffers to do a few hours’ secretarial duty, with only days to go before the first round of Presidential elections that could see the alt-right ‘Marianne’, Marine le Pen, do well, former Prime Minister François Fillon is now accused of taking money from a Lebanese ‘businessman’ to fix a meeting between the head of global French energy company Total, and… President Putin.

The release of these allegations looks like perfect Russian intel ‘Kompromat’.

An  article in the venerable satirical journal Le Canard Enchainé, reports that Fillon’s consultancy company 2F Conseil had earned $50,000 for setting up the 2015 meeting. According to a Guardian report:

“Fillon’s spokesman vigorously denied the allegation, saying Canard Enchaîné’s “insinuations” were “completely without foundation”. The Kremlin dismissed the report (encouragingly) as “fake news”.

“The claims are the latest in a string of accusations levelled at the beleaguered rightwing candidate, who languishes third in the opinion polls for the first round presidential vote in a month. He is also under scrutiny for accepting an undeclared €50,000 loan from a French businessman in 2013 and for the gift of bespoke suits worth up to €48,000 from another wealthy friend.

“Fillon has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing … saying … “I’ve made mistakes. Who hasn’t?”

Quite so. It explains perhaps why The Pumpkin has almost nothing in the bank, having made the mistake of failing to become a highly paid political lobbyist. (Oh, I thought you said ‘hobbyist‘!).

Thanks to social media, the vast amounts of dirty money sloshing around and the power-seeking ambitions of extra-national third-party actors it’s getting too easy for disruptors in the Kremlin and elsewhere to try to affect the outcome of elections, in what is increasingly evident is a deliberately orchestrated campaign to shake up the existing alliances in the West.

Their task is made easier still by the appalling venality of politicians like Fillon and, in Britain, George “eight jobs” Osborne.

As has been widely reported, with no prior journalistic experience the former Chancellor of the Exchequer has accepted an offer presumed to be somewhere in the mid-six figures to become the new editor of the London Evening Standard, formerly a newspaper but now the personal fiefdom and social diary of exiled Russian oligarchs the Lebedevs, père et fils.

That bloody country just won’t lie down.

And while The Pumpkin is conspiracy theorising, Mr Osborne and his friend, Mr Cameron, showed blinding incompetence in their ‘leadership’ of the failed campaign to keep Britain in the EU, focussing on what the Leavers dubbed ‘Project Fear’, an entirely negative assessment of the economic risks which they plugged relentlessly at the expense of any more positive reasons for remaining in Europe.

Is this a reward?

x

Hey, everyone! Katy Gorka?

‘Hillary for President’ contributions to the 2008 primaries:

  • Gorka Enterprises LLC: $750
  • ‘Cornell’: $550

Big spenders! But get this… Hillary’s campaign coffers in 2008 also contained $800 electo-bucks donated by… 21st Century Fox TV!

Nothing like hedging your bets. Or mislabelling your post.

x

Hey, everyone! Rex Tillerson?

A story on today’s Guardian quotes ‘sexy Rexy’, Trump’s normally taciturn Secretary of State, as saying he didn’t want the job. (It shows. Ed.)

He was looking forward to retiring to his ranch in Texas, he says, to enjoy his grandchildren (good luck with that, Rex – most people won’t get to enjoy theirs), his Old Age pension buoyed up by $245 million in free Exxon shares, but after Trump – whom he hadn’t previously known – offered him the post out of the blue at a surprise meeting called to “discuss the world”, and presumably how to end it, his wife told him: “God isn’t through with you yet”.

I’ve always felt I was appointed to high office by God, haven’t you?

I felt, you see, that God wanted me to be the boss of a bloated global corporation that endlessly lies and cheats and gouges the poorest people on earth while raping it of its commons for my own obscene enrichment and that of my billionaire friends at Davos, that tramples God’s Creation into the methane-pluming ground, heedless of warnings of the dire future it’s creating for the very survival of Mankind (we’re making the eye in that old needle as big as we possibly can.) And that He wanted me to be paid $70k-a-day plus £200 million in deferred options* to do His Work, fucking-up Creation.

Sadly, as the Almighty is only a figment of the boundlessly optimistic American imagination, I’m sitting here writing this stuff instead.

Mysterious ways, and so forth.

Next time, eh?

 

Very Post-scriptum…

*You see, even that doesn’t make him one of the billionaires in Trump’s cabinet. Plus the fact he’s only 5’10” and you can see why Trump despises and belittles him. Seriously, I’m not sure what it takes to become a billionaire. Obscene as it is, an annual salary package of $25 million plus perks gets you nowhere near. It seems incredible that no criminality would be involved in achieving billionaire status. Most seem to work in positions where you can skim a fat percentage off the top of endless and vast financial transactions on the global money carousel, or where you can parlay a high-subscriber ‘trending’ media opportunity into a $billion takeover target for some huge sucker corporation, and you own all the stock.

Meanwhile, the rest of us run our yachts on $18k a year.

The Pumpkin – Issue 12. The great wiretapping scandal: Pumpkin indicted by Grand Jury. Flynn-flam #2.

“Ya know, like this. “””Wiretapping”””. I speak, sick Black Satan listens. So bad.”

The President is really wired

It’s all my fault, as usual.

Several days ago, on or about 7 March, not long, anyway, after President Trump had sent his 4 a.m. Sunday 4th tweet accusing the 44th President of illegal wiretapping, and the FBI had said it was nonsense, I made what I thought was a joke. (It’s a habit of mine, I’m really, really sorry.)

I wrote on a Comment thread under a US cable TV story that the FBI must then have borrowed the UK government ‘listening post’, GCHQ in Cheltenham, to spy on the goings-on in Trump Tower.

I reasoned that, while it’s illegal in the USA to wiretap people without a warrant from a Federal judge or FISA, a ‘security court’ that handles this stuff, in Britain under the new Investigatory Powers Act – the so-called Snoopers’ Charter – brought in by former UK intel boss, the ice-woman Theresa May, it’s probably legal to snoop on anyone, anywhere.

Even your Smart dumpster bin is reporting your every movement. As for your microwave….

But I had no knowledge of that, it was just – I don’t know, a satirical suggestion – a joke. I watch a lot of clips from US TV cable news sites on YouTube. The more reputable ones, mind, not the crazies. Sometimes I make jokes or score points underneath. Bad (sick), I know. But I’m retired, I make my own reality.

And now there’s an incredible row going on at the highest level between Britain and America over sharing intel. We’re practically at war.

Hey, you know those cases on TV where someone goes missing and the police decide with no evidence they’ve been murdered, there’s no body, and they start a big murder inquiry, and the person eventually turns up in Guatemala unaware anyone was looking for them, after the supposed killer has already been jailed or worse? You know, it’s true, it was on, like, Inspector Montalbano or Murder She Wrote?

Well, it’s like that.

Here’s The Guardian story this morning, hold on to your hat. But before you read it, just bear one small fact in mind:

There was no wiretap at Trump Tower.

Okay, now go ‘head…

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/17/white-house-will-not-be-repeat-claims-gchq-spied-trump-?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=217901&subid=19570602&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

You see what I mean?

And it’s all my fault. I am so, so sorry.

 

“The unravelling Press flack, Sean Spicer, crawled once more to the battered podium, wounds visibly bleeding, to defend his Master’s madness, seizing on a morning panel show discussion on Fox News as the smoking gun”

24 hours ago…

So, Mr Trump has been a chump. It seems that one of his staffers slipped into his morning reading – The Beano, New York Post, Mad Magazine, National Enquirer, etc., a page pulled from Breitbart News, claiming Barack Obama had “wiretapped” the Trump Tower.

Mr Trump immediately went cuckoo-shit crazy. Instead of checking with the FBI, who would have been able to carry out the wiretapping only with a warrant and would therefore know if Trump had been eavesdropped or not, and would have had to tell him, because he’s the President, as we now know, at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning he Tweeted out, accusing Obama of a federal felony.

Breitbart had most probably picked up the story from the clinically insane InfoWars website of Alex Jones (who – genuinely – believes Michelle Obama is a transgender male who had the comedienne Joan Rivers killed to stop her saying so); who in turn had got hold of it from another crazed rightwing radio shock-jock and millionaire motormouth, Mark Levin, who seems to be the one who originally made up the fake news; although who told him, we have yet to find out – if it didn’t come from the White House as a distraction from ongoing investigations into one or other of the President’s many crimes.

Confronted not only by the FBI director James Comey, but also by the leaders in the Senate of both Republican and Democrat parties, and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who all said the story was complete bullshit and without a shred of evidence, Mr Trump, who can sometimes be a fatuous, childish oaf, but with tenacity, dug in his little heels. Were these not his sworn enemies who were saying these nasty, unfair things? Of course, their denials prove Black Satan bugged his office! Why, for proof just look to Fox News! The New York Times!… er…

The unravelling Press flack, Sean Spicer, crawled once more to the battered podium, wounds visibly bleeding, to defend his Master’s madness, seizing on a morning panel show discussion on Fox News as the smoking gun. Did not no less a personage than former Judge Andrew Napoletano just say that it was the British GCHQ secret spy headquarters that had conspired with the FBI and the demon, Obama, to (frantic air-quotes) “”””wiretap”””” the Presidential candidate? (He has already explained that the President didn’t mean “wiretap” when he wrote “wiretap”, he meant just any old kind of surveillance we might find evidence for, like sentient microwave ovens.)

Don’t all Hollywood villains have British accents? Case closed!

And today GCHQ has gone public with not just a self-effacing British-type apology for not being guilty of the crime, but with a full 32-gun broadside that has resulted in an actual APOLOGY from somewhere in the Administration and a promise not to do it again. How dare the Colonials make such a ludicrous and damaging assertion, that GCHQ eavesdrops on people! Nonsense, the toroidal structure is just an indoor greyhound racing stadium! A particle accelerator! A starship left over from Prometheus!

And if you think about it, which Trump clearly can’t now allow himself to, even if he had the necessary apparatus under the thatch, because he criminally  libelled ’44’, the previous POTUS; and ‘Judge Nap’ clearly hadn’t thought about it either, before he verbally retweeted my Comment, any such request from the US would have had to come from the FBI via the State Department to the Home Office and thence on up to the Prime Minister herself.

Of course, as Wikileaks tells us, everyone monitors everyone else’s diplomatic traffic.

But if the Prime Minister of a friendly country had personally approved an illegal wiretap on a US Presidential candidate without a reason, such as an imminent security threat to the UK, we’d be at war by now. And if the FBI had obtained a warrant from FISA, it could only be because they’d been able to present convincing evidence of serious wrongdoing. And if that was the case, they would have confronted Mr Trump personally.

So the entire thing collapses into a puddle of liquid shit, quite honestly. But…

Oh. My. God.

Did Judge Napolitano possibly read my Comment?

I was only joking, honest, your Honor.

 

Postscriptum

And now I have meanly Googled Hizzonner ‘Judge Nap’, and it seems he is a member of Ron Paul’s slightly unhinged Libertarian Party and the author of a book comparing Americans to sheep, in which he asks why they are letting the Obama government get away with trampling over their Constitutional rights and ” systematically dismantling the rights and freedoms that are the foundation of American democracy”?

Should be an interesting conversation with Steve Bannon, then.

 

Oh God, make him stop!

Mr Trump has finally met Mrs Merkel, leader of the most powerful economy in Europe, after a flight delayed by ‘less snow than expected’.

And immediately made a comment remarkable for its cretinous banality and diplomatic ineptitude: “We have something in common, we’ve both been wiretapped… perhaps.”

No-one apart from Trump and 60 per cent of his pet Dumbfucks – no-one in a position to actually know, that is – believes his bollocks about wiretapping by President Obama at Trump Tower during the election campaign. He is just obsessed with symmetry.

It’s an election campaign Orange Satan is still running in his head, obsessively over and over – to the point where he keeps having to go out on the road to engage with aircraft hangars packed full of adoring, slobbering, AR-15-toting millennialist cretins, angry people with Bibles and frustrated, weeping housewives dying for him to grab their pussies with his little orange hands – as he can’t bear knowing he really lost and has to find someone to blame.

The head of the FBI and senior Congressional leaders have all said they don’t believe it. There is no evidence of “”””wiretapping””””, as Sean ‘Melissa’ Spicey calls it, with frantic wiggling of his little chubby fingers. Challenged to produce evidence, after two weeks Trump has come up with precisely nothing. Nada. Zilch. He has had to row back on speculation started by a feral pundit on Fox News (or ‘Fake Fur’ as it’s known in fashion circles) that it must have been British intel – he says we don’t know that, so, ya know…. No, Donald, we don’t.

Because it didn’t happen, okay?

There is not a shred of evidence that Trump Tower was bugged – other than probably by Trump himself, on behalf of the Russian FRS (Bogler, you’ve been warned! Ed.) – other than an article in Breitbart News based on the ravings of Alex Jones, a congenital moron with a toy website.

Fake news, in which the paranoid and delusional President increasingly believes. (Or does he? It’s a wonderful diversion, is it gnot, from the many and several FBI and Senate investigations into possibly treasonous criminal financial links between Trump, his campaign people and the Russkies, the Iranian National Guard, Beelzebub…. )

Mrs Merkel however was “””wiretapped””” – at least, her official telephone conversations were listened-in to. The evidence – the complaint and the apology – is all there for anyone to see. Admitted.

By the CIA. Probably via GCHQ. Or lizards from the ninth planet, Nibiru…  (Just shut up, Bogler! Ed.)

She was not impressed.

* If you don’t believe in conspiracies, pray tell me how, hours after making that last facetious comment, I got a ‘recommended for you’ in the YouTube sidebar, from some crazies offering me documentary proof that Earth is menaced by the planet Nibiru? Huh? Is The Pumpkin being tapped? (It sure as hell isn’t being read…)

x

The Flynn-flam #2

And a new point of interest is set to emerge, regarding General Flynn’s relations with the Russians.

It appears from records supplied to MSNBC News by his agent that Flynn was paid $33 thousand for PR work – he claims, a speaking engagement – apparently by a defunct Russian airline in connection with the successful Russian bid for the Sochi olympics, in possible contravention of a rule preventing retired Army personnel from receiving payments from foreign powers without permission from the Pentagon. (That was when he was pictured having dinner with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.)

During the Presidential campaign, it also emerged, he had been in contact with Russia several times, but had denied it when asked by V-P Mike Pence – for which he was later fired as Trump’s National Security Advisor. At the same time, his PR firm was also earning $530,000 for work on behalf of the Turkish government, requiring a special registration under restrictions on lobbying for foreign governments, for which Flynn applied only retrospectively. This was known to the White House, who then waited three weeks before doing anything about him.

It later emerged that this stuff only came to light because Flynn’s contacts with Russia had been under surveillance by the security agencies. Security agencies are by law only allowed to monitor US citizens on a warrant issued by a special court on the basis of evidence alleging strong suspicion of criminality or security concerns. But they can “””wiretap””” non-citizens, and as it takes two to make a conversation….

So what was it Flynn was supposed to have done, how if he was suspected of criminal associations or security concerns did he manage to obtain security clearance at the very highest level in order to become the man in charge of national security, and why did the White House and Congress approve his appointment seemingly without due diligence?

This information has been subpoena’d from the security agencies by Congress and is due possibly to emerge blinking into the light anyday now*.

I’m grateful entirely to Rachel Maddow at MSNBC for this story, broken yesterday, which I just thought I’d drop in here for you by way of a PS, on a ‘need to know’ basis, obviously, as The Pumpkin has previously shown an interest in General Flynn’s son’s PR activities in generating fake news about Mrs Clinton, a pizza restaurant and the worldwide paedophile ring.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, you might say.

*As of close-of-play-Friday’s deadline, both the FBI and the CIA were reportedly still refusing to release the information on Flynn demanded by the Congressional Intelligence Committee. A constitutional crisis appears to be looming.

x

“The logical concomitant of this crazed theory is that Russia could conceivably outbid NATO for the use of America’s gargantuan and overbloated military forces.”

Mr ‘two-percent’

Asked whether the US would provide military defense to Baltic countries if Russia were to attack, Trump said: “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.” – Trump, interviewed at The New York Times. Guardian.

So, this will be the first pay-as-you-go war.

“You pay us two per cent of your GDP and we’ll defend you. If not, we’ll hand you over to the Russians.” It could make for a very interesting geopolitical strategy: they’d defend England, for instance, but not an independent Scotland – unless Scotland were to stump up the cash and England not. They’d let Russian forces leapfrog over the defended Baltic republics that have paid, to get to undefended Germany or Spain that hasn’t.

What the fuck goes through this bizarre man’s mind when he wakes up every day, not knowing what day of the week it is?

The logical concomitant of this crazed theory is that Russia could conceivably outbid NATO for the use of America’s gargantuan and overbloated military forces. If Russia offered Trump more money, America would come in on their side and help them conquer Europe.

(Oh, did I just say something? No, forget it.)

Not everything in the world is a purely financial transaction, Donald!

It is quite astonishing, not that Trump is an ignorant fool who has throughout his wasteful, boastful and selfish existence paid no attention whatsoever to anything outside his own desperately limited universe of ‘deals’, shitty TV shows with lots of ‘pussy’ and tax-avoidance scams, but that even now he has been handed the most important work in the world he cannot be arsed to brief himself on any subject related to the job.

It turns out that he has actually believed all along that NATO pays America to defend Europe.

Which is why he’s been bitching for months on the campaign trail that too many NATO members aren’t paying their way, to deserve being ‘defended’ by America; and that therefore NATO is a bad idea and should be replaced with something else.

Like ‘Trumpcare’, maybe?

Since he hasn’t the faintest idea of what a treaty is, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s just say, I’ve bogld before that ‘two per cent of GDP’ is a meaningless comparison between countries, as each spends its defence budget in different ways depending on its perceived defence needs. I wrote in those terms, because it had not occurred to me that Trump actually thinks the money has to be paid to the US treasury, or the Pentagon, or Boeing or something, rather than internally within the member countries; and that it’s an aspiration, a target – not a price ticket for admission.

Britain spends approximately 16 per cent of its defence budget – in turn, theoretically 2.1 per cent of our £1.5 trillion GDP – buying arms from America. Much of the money is wasted, as we don’t have the homegrown technical staff needed to build and operate the advanced weapons platforms America supplies us with, and rely on imported American personnel operating here. And of course, there are US bases on British soil. Does that count as a plus or minus, in terms of our GDP?

The two new aircraft carriers we have been building for years at monstrous cost, vulnerable, slow and outmoded coffin-ships gobbling money stripped from the old, the sick, the disabled and schoolchildren, are proving a disaster in trials: the best you can say about them is they do appear at least to float. The new Type 45 destroyers, the F-35s, all have had major and excruciatingly expensive teething troubles. If the kit doesn’t work, is our 2.1 per cent of GDP being better spent than Denmark’s 1.37 per cent ($3 billion) – bearing in mind, Denmark is a third the size of the UK? Whenever you see a NATO operation, the Danes are there, with their horned helmets and their axes.

You see, our defence capability depends on what ‘two per cent’ buys you. It doesn’t stop the Government from running down our actual force capability to the point where the generals have been warning it cannot meet our overseas commitments and defend the country against our invisible enemies.

But at least we’re spending lots of money, showing our colours, unlike those lousy freeloading Germans. No sooner had Merkel departed from Washington with relief predominant among the mixed emotions she clearly felt at having spent a day with the most bewilderingly ignorant and undiplomatic man on the planet, the orange loon Tweeted in his familiar, illiterate style:

…vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany! @real donald etc.

But the US doesn’t pay ‘vast sums’ of money to NATO, it doesn’t work like that! NATO is a treaty organisation between countries guaranteeing mutual assistance, not an independent military force like Blackwater or Boko Haram. NATO’s budget is just to keep a bunch of bureaucrats in a building somewhere and hold the odd conference. When ‘NATO forces’ go into action, as they have in Iraq, in Afghanistan, as they did in Korea, on the side of the Americans, they are made up of scraps and units from lots of different countries within the alliance; they’re not some ‘European army’ as he seems to imagine, that he is paying for, that needs bigging-up.

He has no comprehension of history or international politics. And if anyone is advising him about this, who isn’t being paid by the Russians to ix things up, then he ain’t listening. But he certainly understands the concept of gouging the poorest people in the country to bloat his own military-industrial complex, pouring cash down the throats of the global corporate arms-peddlars for the greater glory of Trump Family Inc.

The tragedy is, his many adoring fans will never wake up to what he has done to them.

You’re being Dumbfucked, America.

Postscriptum

And then there is the entirely believable story that Trump handed Merkel a fake invoice claiming $390 billion to pay for the past 70 years of US defense of Germany.

The ‘joke’ was to point up that Germany spends only 1.7% of its GDP on defense. As I’ve bogld previously, Trump believes there is an arrangement whereby every NATO member has to pay the USA 2% of its GDP to belong. He has no idea what a treaty is, or what the Cold War was about.

The execrably stupid Mr Trump is not only unfit to be the President of the United States.

He is unfit, period.

 

Job for the boy

I’ve just learned there is a Mr Skellytanne Conway.

Yes, Trump’s vanishing factual advisor has a husband. And he’s just been given a job on the Transition Team, or wherever the hell we are after two exciting months trapped on the rollercoaster from hell. So there’s two of them now.

That’ll teach the ‘Enemies of the people’ not to make stuff up.

 

 

Did the Russians fuck with the referendum? And we’ll leave the comments page to ‘Mr Osborne’.

Her Majesty the Queen today signed the bill giving Theresa May the go-ahead to send a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, formally invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, requesting permission for Britain to leave the European Union.

The Dumbfucks have won. And I’ve taken down my Remain poster. I may slit my wrists later.

Postscriptum: 20 March

Whooosh… over to Capitol Hill, where the excellent Democrat Representative Adam Schiff, chairing a Congressional hearing, put one very interesting question to FBI Director James Comey, who had just repeated for the umpteenth time that there was no evidence that President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, even with the help of the British – something demented Orange Satan is STILL continuing to insist is true, even though his only source was Fox News, who got it from Steve Bannon.

Asked if he believed that Russian intelligence could have been in any way likely to have interfered with Brexit and European elections, Comey replied, in so many words, ‘Yes’, he did.

Let’s hope this tiny incidental detail gets magnified out of all proportion in tomorrow’s press, as no-one appears to have noticed it yet: the FBI believes Russia interfered in our referendum.

Time for a re-run.

 

“The turkeys didn’t bother to wait for Christmas, they voted for Easter.”

Tuesday morning dawns

Urgh. Was that last double vodka before bed a good idea? On top of the wine?

I seem to remember, too, posting a fairly blunt and offensive comment just before I toddled off, on the worthy and wholly undeserving of scorn Guardian Today website, having immediately read that 300-odd gutless, supine and hypocritical, £75k a year Members of the House of Commons, most of whom would at one time have supported the Remain camp, had voted down two perfectly sensible and civilized amendments the House of Lords had inserted into the bill allowing the dried-up old stork, Theresa May, to trigger Article 50 on the basis of having no plan at all for getting out of the EU.

Davis, ‘Doctor’ and Boris (centre)

One amendment tried to offer some residency protection for two million EU nationals living perfectly legally in the UK, many of them with British families; hopefully thereby also to protect our own citizens working or retired abroad. Who could possibly object to that, or argue with any sanity that it ‘ties Mrs May’s hands behind her back’ (it’s a thought. Ed.) when it comes to her comedy trio of hapless negotiators, the Wilson, Kepple and Betty of Chevening House,  trying to screw some sort of hastily cobbled-together ‘deal’ out of the 27 before we float away and sink with all hands?

What it tried to do, a last despairing gesture, was to offer some kind of hope that we still live in a decent and humane society, an open democracy where our elected representatives can still stand up for the right.

Sadly not.

Nor, it seems, do we any longer live in a Parliamentary democracy. It has been the unelected Mrs May’s devout wish that Parliament should not stand in her way when it comes to Brexit, a theoretical process she once decried, but now over which she has grasped total control, embodying as she does, like fucking Boudicca on her chariot, ‘the Will o’ the People’.

So the second amendment proposed by the Lords, who have also now folded their arms for fear that Dacre of the Mail will set his patriotic bloodhounds on them, was that Parliament should have a vote on any final deal.

And she has got her wish. The turkeys did not bother to wait for Christmas, they voted for Easter.

Pathetic, pusillanimous, scared little self-protecting baboons, lacking all resolve in the face of threats of deselection by the Dumbfucks in their constituencies, they voted to save their own fat or scrawny arses, selling their principles for a peck of power – little realising, or maybe they did, that they’ve just committed the British constitution and the sovereignty of Parliament to a dictatorship.

Like her friend Mr Trump also unelected by the majority vote, Mrs May, who clearly massively overestimates herself, seems intent on ruling sola through an unelected, faceless cabinet of assorted advisors and cronies, in a bubble of dubious provenance and with no published strategy other than to take charge. Seriously, does she appear to have any political friends and allies outside her own inner circle of PR wonkettes?

Are we to expect an alt-right, Christian fundamentalist platform to emerge? Will the Daily Mail rename itself Breitbart News? Is there some massive corruption of the billionaires and the free, unfettered movement of stolen capital behind the coup? Has Britain too been taken without a shot being fired, by the Putin global power machine?

These are dark days. We are all good little boiled frogs now.

x

Oceans apart

A mystery Tweet has apparently been posted on McDonalds’ official bulletin board – and then hurriedly taken down – describing Mr Trump as a ‘Disgusting excuse of a President’.

Unimpressed, Mr Trump is known to be a fan of the fast-food restaurant chain for undiscriminating fat people with baseball hats and no teeth. His favourite burger is said to be ‘Fish Delight’.

So do we now have another clue as to his sexual preferences? ‘Fish Delight and pipi-shake to go. And make it fast, Pussy.’

To spoil the show, however, it appears that even this is an example of the President’s alternative fake news machine (brain): there is no such mouthwatering recipe on the McDonalds’ menu as Fish Delight. It’s actually called, in Franglais, ‘Filet-o’-fish’.

No excuse. None. So bad.

 

Okay, I’m sorry, but.

By: Ernst von-und-zu Bogl, professor emeritus of Crony Capitalism and Influence-Peddling Studies at the University of Wagga-Wagga, Australia. ©2017. @tryprovingit.con

Hailed by some in the business as ‘fake news’, not without justification, it’s been reported just now that the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is to be the new editor of the London Evening Standard; believed to be a newspaper, as well as the personal social diary of owner, Yevgeny Lebedev.

It is almost impossible, in my view, to counter the 99.999% probability that since this time last year we have somehow wriggled through a wormhole in space/time, to find ourselves in another universe – of which, I am told, there are many.

This universe bears a strong relationship to, and may very well therefore be the same, as the one in which Oxford mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as the author Lewis Carroll, woke up in 1871, shortly before creating his best-selling children’s story, Alice Through the Looking Glass.

According to a BBC report apparently based on a press release and a few hastily telephoned quotes,

“Mr Osborne had ambitions to be a journalist as a young man. He failed to get a place on The Times’ trainee scheme after graduating from Oxford University in 1992 and was briefly a freelance reporter on the Daily Telegraph’s diary column.” (for which read, intern with wealthy parents and an allowance enabling him to barely survive living in a dumpster).

“If at first you don’t succeed…” is of course the Osborne family motto.

‘Mr Osborne’, who resigned his post as Chancellor last June after he and his close friend, ‘Mr Cameron’ failed to get a majority for the Remain side in the EU referendum, fully intends to carry on as the £75k a year-plus-expenses backbench Conservative MP for Tatton, in well-heeled Cheshire; although his liberal leanings were, apparently, one of the reasons why his appointment makes so much sense, according to Aleksandr Lebedev’s socialite son Evgeny, who manages the title for papa.

Another is presumably his experience at devising austerity policies.

There is no word as yet of ‘Mr Osborne’s salary, but it is unlikely to be less than the mid-six-figures. ‘Mr Osborne’ has also in the last fortnight taken up a £650k a year ‘advisory’ post, hardworking one day a week for top global fund management porker, BlackRock.

And then there’s the family business, the top-people’s wallpaper company Osborne & Little (£200 a roll). Oh, and he has also become visiting  ‘Kissinger Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership’ in the USA. Yes, that’s the wanted war-criminal and geriatric Nazi, ‘Dr’ Henry Kissinger and chipmunk-faced ex-POW Senator John McCain, who President Trump doesn’t much like.

Blimey, he’s going to need his Bob the Builder hard-hat to cover all that ground.

His new employer – the father, not the son – is an interesting character, isn’t he. An ‘oligarch’, although Forbes magazine has pushed him out of the billion dollar bracket, the former KGB economics specialist Alexander Lebedev owns, or owned, a Russian investment bank that is in turn a part-owner of Sberbank (see previous Pumpkin).

He is reportedly no friend of Mr Putin’s. According to The Telegraph, he risks assassination or imprisonment if he should return to Russia.

Curious, because he has often defended Putin in print. In April 2016, writing in his own paper (Lebedev promised publicly on acquiring his British newspaper empire, including the now-defunct Independent, that he would never interfere in editorial policy), the philanthropic proprietor used his pages to distance himself from allegations that Putin was skimming sales of State assets and laundering vast sums, instead using the piece to settle some old scores with fellow oligarchs he claimed were colluding with Western banks to launder their ill-gotten gains; writing:

“…the executives who stole from me did so with the help of blue-chip banks and law firms in London, Switzerland and New York. Highly paid, professional British, American and Swiss bankers and lawyers — not just “dodgy Russians” — assisted in suspicious, and in many cases, absurdly bogus transactions.”

A quite extraordinary thing to claim in a column in a local newspaper! (Except that London is where much of the money ends up being invested in insanely overpriced properties.)

We, that is the Editorial board of The BogPo, of which I myself am the sole oligarch, hope and trust fervently that the new Editor of the Evening Standard will maintain as rigid an editorial framework as his predecessor (now the editor of the increasingly bland and supine, formula-driven Today show on Radio 4), Ms Sarah Sands.

And by the by, I’m sure readers will wish to lift a magnum of Bollinger and join me in wishing Sir Philip Green many hearty congratulations on his 65th birthday!

– Herr Professor Doktor Ernst von-und-zu Bogl, is owner and editor-in-chief-at-large of The Boglington Post.

(Sent from aboard the BHS Arcadia, Boglèry-sur-Mer, France-sud)

 

 

 

The Pumpkin – Issue 11: The environmental crimes of Donald J Trump. Not microwaving, but moaning. And another Russian bank, O Lord.

(Offensive language warning. Look away now if you are easily upset by liberals who say unkind things about President Trump.)

Let’s just kill everything, Steve says it’s easier to start from scratch. Squiggle-wiggle.

The environmental crimes of Donald J Trump

President Trump is worse than a murderer.

Lock him up good.

This trainwreck of a President, this incompetent, pig-ignorant, foul-mouthed man, widely accused of money-laundering, sanctions-busting and connections with organized crime; a vainglorious, Satanic orange slug you could easily mistake for dog-crap, with a brain made of congealed greed and a tongue stiff with lies, an overgrown spoiled semiliterate brat with ADHD, easily distracted by shiny things, owing vast sums to pliable foreign bankers, has in less than two months done more to ensure the extinction of life on earth than the next asteroid impact.

(Of course, should it be confirmed that he has senile dementia, I will apologise.)

Does he even know it, given he believes anything he hears on InfoWars and signs everything Steve Bannon shoves in front of him?

He is an ecocide: a world-criminal; a Dementor. Someone who should be seized, head shaved, zippered into an outsize orange jumpsuit and dragged in shackles and handcuffs before the International Court on capital charges of crimes against humanity, before being publicly hanged on global reality TV wearing only a pair of Argyll socks with pink suspenders.

What good has he done anyone, except to have the Chinese bail out $250 million debts of his little plastic son-in-law, Kushner, his ‘White House advisor’, who made an ill-judged property investment in 2007 that orange daddy couldn’t fix ‘cos he too had gone tits up?

His insistence that Obamacare should be abandoned before anyone had come up with an actual plan to replace it, to back up his lies on the campaign trail that such a plan existed and it would be ‘the greatest plan ever’, providing the most people with ‘the greatest care in the world’, his ignorance and overweening vanity, his hatred of his racially impure predecessor, his insane need to do him down at any cost, have condemned hundreds of thousands of even his own Dumbfuck supporters to an early death.

He doesn’t care. He doesn’t even know it. He’s a complete amateur, an over-geared small businessman who has never worked for anyone but himself; never run a large organisation of any kind; never been subjected to critical assessment; never had to sort out anyone else’s problems: a weak-minded, poorly educated, reality TV-show compère in the grip of evil forces plotting the downfall of the American republic.

And you voted for it. The decrepit man-baby with his tiny index finger on the nuclear button. The plastic children running riot, growing their shitty business interests untramelled from offices in the sacred White House, polluting your democracy.

You dumb fucks.

But all that ineptitude and vainglory pales into insignificance when compared with another threat he poses, literally to the future of the human race; and much other life on the planet.

(Understand, I’m writing this off the top of my head because every time I start Googling stories related to his criminal lunacy I just get more and more links to more sites speculating about his astounding venality and desperate willingness to please evil authoritarian men, like his dad, like Putin; while not paying his debts.)

Among the environmental crimes this Putin-inspired American Carnage has already announced, I recall statements concerning just these actions among possibly many more (later additions dated):

  • An Order signed by Secretary Pruitt, 03 April, preventing a ban coming into effect next month on pesticide Clorpyrifos, known to inhibit brain development in unborn children, despite many reports on the danger. Why? A $1m donation from Dow AgroSciences might have helped.
  • A pledge to the US car industry to scrap the ’54 mpg performance’ target set to help reduce CO2 vehicle emissions by 9 billion tonnes a year, that they are already close to meeting. “Bad for jobs.” – no evidence of that, quite the contrary.
  • A pledge to row back on the Paris accord setting an ideal (already exceeded) 1.5 deg C. worldwide warming limit, signed by 179 nations, arguing that ‘climate change is bullshit’.
  • The removal of any other carbon reduction targets.
  • The relaxing of consumer protections on a wide range of goods and services; and (among other rules), presumably the requirement for banks to hold sufficient capital; the removal of banking regulations and oversight bodies.
  • The dismantling of the Environment Protection Agency and the Parks Departments. (The vast National Parks are a cherished American heritage. Trump’s executive orders open them up to exploitation and industrial development.)
  • Permits to drill on Federal land, and in the formerly protected areas of the Alaskan arctic (where there are massive methane deposits; trillions of tonnes just waiting to be released to the atmosphere).
  • The removal of protections for wildlife and endangered species, including: ending restricted areas and seasonal bans on hunting, permitting the taking of cubs, the use of automatic weapons and shooting wolves and bears from helicopters. (This is a completely insane, sadistic order that surely must be resisted by genuine hunters?)
  • Ditto, laws regarding the proper care of domestic animals including dogs, cats and – in the USA? You’re shitting me! – horses.
  • Overturning a requirement for oil and gas companies to declare payments to even the most kleptocratic foreign governments for drilling rights.
  • Imposition of a ban on two thousand government-employed scientists publishing or presenting the results of climate research.
  • Another ban on EPA, Parks Department and NASA earthwatch departments issuing press releases and other public information relating to environmental and climate issues. The winding down of staff; a 32 per cent budget cut to start with.
  • Appointment as advisor to the transition team of toxic Washington swamp creature, rent-a-liar Exxon-Mobil lobbyist and rancid climate-change denier, Myron Ebell.
  • Nomination of  Chief Scientist, Prof. William Happer who argues that all papers published by climate scientists must be ‘vetted’. Not peer-reviewed: ‘vetted’.
  • Appointment as Secretary for Environment of Oklahoma’s Attorney-General Scott Pruitt, notorious climate-change denier and frequent litigant on behalf of energy-extracting interests against the EPA, known or thought to be in the pocket of third-worst polluting energy conglomerate, Koch Industries.
  • Removal of Reagan-era ban on polluting waterways with coal slurry, benefitting £100 billion Koch brothers’ mining interests.
  • Appointment as Secretary of State of Mr Rex Tillerson, CEO and long-term company servant of Exxon-Mobil; known or thought to be negotiating with Russia’s Rosneft over drilling concessions in the Arctic, for which the removal of sanctions would be required. Even in office, Tillerson stands to benefit substantially from any rise in Exxon stock. According to Fortune magazine:

    “His biggest conflict by far is his huge interest in Exxon, through the direct ownership of about $54 million worth of shares, plus another $175 million in a financial contract called restricted stock units (RSUs). Those units entitle Tillerson to receive Exxon shares in the future for his past years of service.”

  • To remove ‘Obama-era’ economic and travel sanctions on Russia; and to blind-eye covert Russian military operations in Ukraine, to achieve the aim stated above.
  • Granting permission for the construction of controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines to bring dirty oil from hugely polluting Canadian tar-sands extraction sites 1,900 miles overland to refineries and exporting ports in Texas.
  • Appointment as Attorney-General (i.e. the man who could turn a blind eye to the behaviour of energy companies and developers, and savagely prosecute protestors) of supine and compliant Confederate-era throwback, Jefferson Beauregard ‘Jeff’ Sessions 111.
  • Removal and non-replacement of long-serving officials from the State Department and federal agencies ensuring weakened oversight, loss of global influence, confusion and lack of continuity.
  • A (so far) failed attempt to abolish the House ethics committee.
  • Removing controls on methane releases from extractive activities.

Yes, these are all genuine ordinances, as far as I can tell, that have come out of the not-so White House since he took office. I’ll be adding more as you or I think of them – or as Orange Satan himself does.

(Incidentally, Mr Trump has taken three different positions on climate change: it’s a hoax, it might be true but scientists don’t agree, and it’s probably true, but it will hurt the American economy to do anything about it (actually the opposite would be true). Showing that a) he doesn’t know what it is, b) his friends are urging him to ignore it, and c) he doesn’t give a fuck anyway.

WKB3

The Koch Brothers. Charles (l.) and David, on vacation in California. 1927.

Meanwhile, I recommend you visit Arctic.news.blogspot.co.uk for the latest updates on Arctic methane emissions (highest ever), ocean temperatures (up12 deg C.), ice cover (lowest ever); 50 deg. C. anomalies and the second El Niño (warming Pacific) event in two years, that has already begun.

And you could follow that up with some new Chinese research into the severe smog event that covered an area the size of Europe with choking, poisonous fumes for weeks on end this winter:

“The work is the latest to show that changes in the rapidly warming Arctic are already leading to severe impacts for hundreds of millions of people across North America, Europe and Asia. The US has also seen a rise in episodes of stagnant air, which may be leading to higher air pollution there.” – The Guardian Today

theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/15/airpocalypse-smog-events-linked-to-global-warming-research-reveals

But the poor old car industry, having to produce fuel-efficient cars – now, helping their shareholders to survive is more important than your grandchildren’s lives, isn’t it? And the $100 billion Charles and David Koch have personally got stuffed under the mattress, piled eighty feet high, above sea level? Give ’em a break. They work hard a diggin’ that good, clean American coal. They deserve it.

America, you’re being screwed by this murdering, tax finagling Antichrist and his shitty administration of Russian-employed Deplorables.

And you’re not the only ones. We have to share this planet with you, fuck you.

Dearly beloved

A minor theme began to emerge from some of the nasty things I’ve been writing about that nice Mr Trump and his clean-living friends. You know how they’re all religous nutters? Well, Trump isn’t, but religious nutters love him anyway, bringin’ on dem End Times, Jedoof poppin’ up agin to judge them sinners Gorsuch can’t reach. Not Trump, of course.

So anyway, I went online… and found as ever I’d been beaten to it.

Alleged wife-beater Donald Trump picks two other alleged wife-beaters for his administration

That’s from The Palmer Report. In total:

  • Vladimir Putin recently supported a change in the law, decriminalising wife-beating.
  • President Erdogan recently supported a change in the law, decriminalising wife-beating.
  • Trump has three times been accused of violence, including rape, towards his wives. Allegations withdrawn.
  • His cabinet pick for Employment (Labour) Secretary, Andrew Puzder, once labelled America’s Worst Employer, has frequently been accused of beating his wife and once claimed he was only ‘drunk-driving’ as a defence against an assault charge after an incident in the car. (I believe he’s resiled from his nomination because of it.)
  • Steve Bannon was accused of assaulting his wife, but for some reason she left the state before she could testify and the charge was dropped.

But it’s okay, the Bible says so.

“There is a subculture called “Christian Domestic Discipline” that promotes corporal punishment of wives by husbands. While its advocates appeal to the Bible to support their views, the movement has also been described as a form of S&M and there is a FetLife page devoted to it. It has also been described as inherently abusive and as primarily appealing to mentally disturbed individuals.”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_domestic_violence

Look out, ladies, here come the Christian husbands!

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“What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately, including “microwaves that turn into cameras, etc,” Conway told New Jersey’s The Record newspaper in an interview on Sunday. “So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”

Ping

Ohmigod, before I could learn to pronounce Lollykanne… Kollyanne… Pollyanna… Skellytanne, whatever, my boring old microwave just turned into a camera.

And I thought it was a TV set (© Sarah Palin, 2011). Hot dang.

Instead of heating my disgusting Morrison’s ready meal – I generally buy them only when I have a busy evening ahead and no time to not have to survive on par-broiled dogshit accompanied by Uncle Ben’s 2-minute racist rice with added hominy grits and black-eye peas – I could swear it was watching me.

“You don’t really know how to operate me, do you?” said a tinny, accusing voice that seemed to be emanating from an area with holes at the side. “You’re a technocretin.”

No I’m not, I replied hotly. “I’ve got a media degree and stuff!”

“So how come you just pressed the shutter button to start the video instead of the four-minute defrost? How come you just took a picture of yourself looking puzzled as you tried to work out how to reset the timer once you’d accidentally put me into time-delay mode and I wouldn’t switch on, huh?”

“Er… did you just see me pouring a large vodka and tonic?” I asked, nervously.

“You mean the third one? Yeah, sure. I’ve already sent a memo to your GP surgery, they’ve no-platformed you. Don’t say you weren’t warned.”

The data were already on their way to Langley, Va, via GCHQ in Cheltenham, an agreeable and thoroughly civilized Regency spa town in the west of England marked for instant nuclear obliteration thanks to the secretive toroidal building on its outskirts, the ear on the world that we don’t talk about.

I was a marked man too; someone without a Facebook account, found nowhere on Instagram, inked-out of Linked-in; having no idea what Snapchat or Deliveroo is; someone who bought a harmonica on Amazon last night out of sheer boredom, just to get a parcel, evidencing an eclectic browsing history no secret new Google NoCaptcha algorithm could make head or tail of; now revealed to be completely ignorant of the operation of my old Panasonic micro-whatsit pungent with last week’s fish, dessicated shreds of exploded salmon fillet still clinging to the walls and ceiling.

What more suspicious invidual could there be, you wonder?

“You’re a member of The Resistance,” intoned the microwave, accusingly. “Give us the names of your accomplices, if you know what’s good for you!”

The box emitted a burst of microwaves that came close to frying my liver. “That’s just a warning, Bogler!” it snarled, menacingly. “So what are you going to write about Donald Trump tonight, eh? It had better be good. Real nice. I have some good news stories you can put about. For instance, I just created another million jobs. So good, lotsa people goin’ back to work, 45 per cent employed, 50 per cent, maybe 55… tell your friends. (Hey, I just got a retweet from some guy in England. Do we let them in still?)”

The microwave panned around the room taking in the unwashed dishes, the rumpled and stained tablecloth, the dried splotches of old catfood on the grimy timber flooring; the unopened statements, the air of depression.

“Oh, I forgot, you don’t have any, do you?”

“Fake News!” I cried. “So fake!”

With a final ping, the cooker light went out. I stood there in the dark, wanting to cry. How come this gibbering Conway bimbo has a job, and I don’t?

“America the beautiful… from shore to slimy shore…”

Pong

So now there’s yet another investigation going on into Trump’s financial connections with Russia. Does it never end?

A report on TYT quoting CNN yesterday quoting practically everybody else on the internet as the story goes viral introduces us to yet another name, Alfa – one of the biggest banks in Russia, said to be Mr Putin’s private fiefdom.

Unusual lookup traffic has apparently been observed running continuously between Alfa Bank’s server and a server located in a small town in Pennsylvania, whose ownership has been traced back to the Trump Organization.

No-one seems to know what is in that traffic, but it seems to be almost a dedicated server, as 80% of the traffic is from Alfabank – far too high to be accidental. Is it email – or is it data? Is it fan mail, or is it financial information, like money movements?

In a further intriguing detail, it’s reported that most of the other 20% – we can presumably rule out a few spams for viagra and winks from an orange dating site – comes from a healthcare company that looks very much like spinoff from his old Amway do-it-yourself health products pyramid-selling operation, Spectrum Health.

Yes, pop-up again ‘Dick’ DeVos, the multibillionaire Republican party and Trump campaign donor ($22 million) whose wife Betsy got made Education Secretary, despite apparently not knowing the first thing about public education except that it’s not worth wasting federal budget on the coloured folks and the Dumbfucks. (True, they have created a number of scholarships for budding Christian entrepreneurs like themselves, and own at least one company hounding down student debtors).

Both the DeVos’s do however know quite a lot about the healthcare market.

Now, emails from a healthcare company could well be the viagra spam connection, I have no idea. Or it may be professional advice, how to structure what we’re not being encouraged to call ‘Trump-care’ to ensure the private clinic sector gets more traffic at higher prices from the insurers after Obamacare has ended up in the sterile bin, and 24 million Americans are abandoned to Jesus.

Its website describes Spectrum Health as a full-service private medical business located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, DeVos’s hometown. One of its services is a phone-in diagnostic and recommendation service for non-life-threatening conditions. For 45 bucks they’ll tell you to take two paracetamol and go to bed. That sounds like Amway.

Is Trump possibly getting medical treatment on the quiet from Spectrum? Knowing as we do that he almost certainly faked his medical reference, telling everyone he was the healthiest Presidential candidate ever? The Pumpkin would love to know.

But that’s probably not it either.

“Alfa Bank JSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is the largest private commercial bank in Russia. It was founded by Russian businessman Mikhail Fridman, who is still the controlling owner today. It is headquartered in Moscow. It operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 40,000 active corporate customers and 5.3 million retail clients. Alfa Bank is particularly active in Russia and Ukraine, ranking among top 10 largest banks in terms of capital in both countries.” – Wikipedia

What does Mr Trump’s organisation have to do with a major Russian bank? A Ukrainian national, Fridman (net worth $18 billion) has fingers in many pies, principally oil and banking. And he’s long been one of Putin’s magic circle. From Forbes Magazine:

“What’s fascinating is how many of these billionaires have some sort of connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Fridman, Viktor Vekselberg, Len Blavatnik, German Khan, Alexei Kuzmichev and Pyotr Aven each made a billion or more selling their stakes in oil giant TNK-BP to Kremlin-controlled Rosneft.”

And those sales, we know, form part of a mosaic of divestments from the public sector of a whole range of commodities formerly controlled by the Soviet State, from sales of which to the private sector Mr Putin has allegedly amassed a personal fortune close to $100 billion.

But it still doesn’t get us closer to a connection with Mr Trump, other than someone not a million miles from the President of the United States of America seems to be using one of his company servers as a dedicated pipeline to or from Alfa Bank – which also has branches in the USA, including a major investment arm in New York; and to the DeVos’s Spectrum healthcare company. So there may be nothing to it. Share price movements? Horse-racing tips? Travel offers?

A clue to a different coincidence is however to be found in the following report in Fortune magazine:

“…the bank (Alfa) has in any case been run at a respectable arm’s length from the corporate skulduggery its owners have engaged in elsewhere. Its founder, Mikhail Fridman, has now largely cut his links with the country where he made his billions. He has applied for permanent residency in the UK, and said in July that he intends to invest most of what he made selling his ($billions, remember?) share of oil company TNK-BP in U.S. healthcare…”

fortune.com/2017/01/11/donald-trump-intelligence-russian/

Maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree?

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Taxing square

So he paid $38 million in tax in 2005?

He’s reported to be steaming that the return was leaked. How embarrassing, when you built your case to the electorate on being too smart to pay tax. And when you’re about to scrap the special billionaire tax rule he had to pay it under.

But even $150 million a year income doesn’t, I’m afraid, make anyone a ‘billionaire’. Trump’s indebtedness probably makes him a negative billionaire; but as he appears to have no intention of paying the banks back, what does it matter? Same difference.

While on analysis, the $38 million appears to be a chimera. Analysts have noticed that the sum seems significant. They’ve worked out that he might have paid $5 million tax on his declared $150 million income, after offsetting against £100 million ‘losses’ (the Great Businessman!) – the rest being invested in an IRS scheme for the mega-rich, allowing them to not actually pay the tax owed this year, but to park it in escrow and pay it whenever the time is more convenient; in the meanwhile hanging on to any interest earned.

So fake. But did he release the papers himself? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s pretended to be a leaker, or his own PR agent. And now the rest of the media are wondering, was Rachel Maddow at MSNBC, who broke the story, deliberately fed with the two pages, the most convenient pages showing the President actually paying tax out of the past 20 years during which most experts believe he didn’t? Because it seems they were posted in New York…

Actually, to the mailbox of financial journalist and veteran Trump-watcher, David Cay Johnson, who vouches for them and suggests they may have come instead from the busy, multidepartmental desk of Jared Kushner.

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You’ve got $millions

Marissa Meyer, the attractive young CEO of Yahoo!, is reportedly on the way out of the door following the takeover by rapacious comms giant Verizon, which already owns AOL. (They don’t seem to have antitrust laws anymore in Trumpsville.)

With a severance package worth $23 million, according to Variety magazine.

Ms Mayer was heavily criticised during her time in charge for presiding over numerous breaches of security, not only through mass hacking of millions of records, but in freely handing customer data over to the NSA without even a token struggle.

Meanwhile, leaving the Bank of England only hours before she was due to take up a more senior post, having been fingered by a Commons committee as failing to register a conflict of interest on the application form she herself helped design – her brother works in Securities at Barclays – Charlotte Hogg, for whose family the word ‘Establishment’ had to be invented, gets nothing.

Ms Hogg, 47, and a genuine high-flyer, the former CEO of venture capital angels 3i, had ample warnings and persisted in claiming she had filled the form in correctly, so you could see her departure as a form of career suicide. She went, despite Governor Carney refusing to accept her resignation until the very last minute. She was that valued, he put his own career on the line to save her.

Her actual entitlement was three months’ salary: £65,000.

She chose not to take it.

And they say bankers are corrupt.

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