“…yet he already knows the answer: they’re shitholes.”
It never ceases to amaze me, how puritanical many Americans still are. Or, are perceived to be by their moral guardians. Little old ladies in lace, fanning themselves on the porch: “Why, ah do declare, Mistah Butler! Hortense, please fetch ahr guest some julep tea…”
After decades of hearing words like ‘motherfucker’ in films starring, mainly, foulmouthed black Americans, ABC News, for instance, is still totally unable to stomach even the word ‘ bullshit’, despite the fact that ABC News, its editors and journalists, many of its viewers and their political masters need to use the word daily. Oh, they’re so COARSE!
Dialogue on the West Wing consists almost entirely of profanities, as we have known since the release of the Nixon tapes. Your political and moral masters have mouths like the gazunder beneath your bed when it needs emptying. You probably do too, in private. Yet the quaint old mainstream media cannot bring itself even to quote in reported speech, the salty language of everyday parlance.
The word “fuck” is never heard on the BBC’s Radio 4 documentary and drama channel, for instance, other than under strictly medical circumstances. In drama productions, with due caution, only after-hours; in case we offend the tender sensibilities of our potty-mouthed children, who aren’t listening anyway. But never on news shows.
And it is just about acceptable in BBC TV dramas, provided the show is preceded by a man with a red flag warning about “strong language”. Who the hell cares? Well, it seems there are still these sensitive souls in old folks’ homes, ear trumpets glued to the BBC for any signs of moral slippage, who probably take a secret delight in linguistic indiscretion but still feel the need to take umbrage. What else have they got to live for?
The Guardian newspaper decided a few years ago that even the word “cunt”, elsewhere known as “the C-word”, was acceptable to print, provided somebody else had said it, and it was context-specific. Where is there left for our moral guardians to go, when a coarse term for the female mons veneris goes public? Especially when it has been borrowed as a pretty harmless loanword to describe someone as a bit of a thoughtless idiot?
The benefit of these words, often incorrectly described as Anglo-Saxon, is that they are short, pithy, plosive – to the point. That’s all.
One could imagine that a new word might be invented: “squip”, for instance, that would be given some blasphemous or sexually explicit meaning: I don’t know, it could technically mean buggering choirboys on the altar, or something, so that a ‘squip’ would be an unholy person willing to take risks…. “Squip” would be banned everywhere, on radio, on TV. Imams, rabbis and vicars would denounce the Sq*** word from the pulpit, Pakistani politicians demand execution for bloggers emitting the word.
But it’s just a sound! It has no meaning other than the one we ascribe to it. We have those other words for what we mean to say. We know them already. We don’t need new ones.
When you print “F***” we already know what it means. We know it means “Fuck”. So where’s the point in printing “F***”? We already fucking know what it means! What, are our eyes to be blinded by the redacted letters of a word we thoughtlessly use a hundred times a day, and probably at the moment of our death?
THIS IS ABSURD!
Across the pond, things are no different. It’s as if some corporation has cornered the market in asterisks.
And here we have a President, for want of a better word, describing certain countries from which, after a few centuries of east-west traffic, re-exported slaves keep turning up with their damned PhDs, asking for a better life, as “shitholes”, and the majority of the US media dare not, are terrified of what will happen if they, repeat even the word so sanctified by their precious panjandrum; while the nellies of the United Nations rise as one country to protest his racism over a word the BBC will describe only as: “a foul-mouthed Oval Office outburst”.
Face it, Haiti, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Congo, South Sudan, Libya, Syria, Chechnya, Somalia, Uzbekistan – those countries ARE mostly shitholes. They’re fucking horrible!
Do they pass the “Would you live there?” test?
Let us not beat about the bush, there are dozens of barren, underdeveloped countries around the world run by gruesome, brutal kleptocrats in the pockets of giant global corporations, most of them US-based, remitting their bribes to Swiss banks while the people go hungry, where life expectancy is less than 40 years, where child mortality rates are horrific, where the water is foul, sanitation non-existent, hospitals just UN-funded shacks, kids are starving, they don’t go to school, women don’t exist (especially when they’re menstruating) and militias go about raping and slaughtering people – where all the money goes to the army and the ruling elite, where there are no trees and grass and lakes and birdsong – only dust and potholes and shit everywhere; where opponents of the government and honest journalists go missing on a daily basis… .
Trump is absolutely right about that.
In fact, he could quiz his soon-to-be former Secretary of State, the smarmy Tex-Rex Tillexxon, about why countries producing billions of dollars’ worth of oil from holes in the ground, much of it extracted by Tillerson’s former employees, are still – after decades of exploitation – among the poorest countries on earth?
But he already knows the answer: they’re just shitholes. That’s why he does bidness with so many of them.
Trump refuses to acknowledge the responsibility of his own country, home to over 40 million people struggling below the poverty line, to do a damned thing about it. And you know what, he’s doing exactly the same as their leaders, lining his pockets and those of his rich friends at the expense of the poor and needy, turning the US into one giant shithole, and he’s cutting the overseas aid budget to pay for it. He just doesn’t see the connection between US corporate hegemony and third-world debt. He’s the asshole from which the shithole is filled.
For, among the improving economic statistics for which Trump is greedily taking credit, although the recovery and the rising global economy began years ago and he can’t even get a temporary spending budget through Congress, is the telling one: homelessness in the USA has been rapidly rising since he took office.
Pardon me for saying so. Here’s an asterisk kit, little furry balls of print. Stick them wherever the f*** you like. ************************
Should Trump be invited to the wedding?
I’m not sure he should, no.
Not to punish him, or because he might start grabbing the bridesmaids’ pussies, or launch cruise missiles over the chocolate cake.
Harry is only what they call a “minor royal”, in other words after Kate has stopped throwing up and they’ve christened another Windsor he’ll be only sixth in line to the throne. Is that senior enough to warrant automatic invitations to heads of state?
It’s a small, relatively discreet affair, in St George’s Chapel rather than Westminster Abbey, as Markle is a divorcée, a foreigner – and the Church of England still doesn’t fully approve of divorce and remarriage, although they’ll go through the motions, especially for a royal. Windsor is a bit of a shithole, I’m afraid, Donald.
Harry has no personal relationship with Trump as he might have bonded, say, with the Obamas over their mutual philanthropy. Trump is from a different era and culture. He claims to have handed out millions to charity, though no-one has ever been able to trace the amounts claimed, while the supposed recipients all agree, they’ve never seen a cent. Besides, we’ve seen him dancing. The Saudis made damned sure to humiliate him with that.
If any Trumps are to attend it ought perhaps to be the Kushners. I have no idea if the couples know one another, but they are of the same age and Jared sees himself very much as a player among the rising generation of global leaders; while, according to Michael Wolff, Ivanka has plans to inherit the Presidency someday. Besides, they’re quite shiny.
And it’ll be great to see if Jared gets slapped with any legal injunctions while he’s out in the open. He’ll be good with the homeless of Windsor town, too, his family firm likes to make people homeless.
And, of course, Markle has the tainted Creole blood Trump so despises. He might start cracking jokes with Philip about their kids turning out chocolate ginger cookies….
So maybe, all in all, it’s better he should sit it out at Mar-a-Lago.
I plan to.
‘Sweden’s economy has surged over the past years, helped by a record inflow of migrants, all-time low interest rates and a recovering global economy,’ Bloomberg reports.(Thepaneuropean.eu)
What is that thing Trump has about Sweden?
Sweden now has a budgetary surplus running at twice the size of the country’s debts. US debt at $19 trillion is slightly larger than its GDP of $18.5 trillion, but Mr Trump’s tax bill will increase the debt to $21 trillion. He is gambling on the super-rich beneficiaries of tax cuts to push up GDP through added investment and spending leading to higher taxable employment.
Good luck with that.
He does not recognize the contribution migrants make to his or any economy, especially with an ageing and underskilled native population. Except when he brings in Polish workers on his building projects and fails to pay them, threatening them instead with deportation when they’ve finished their contracts. That’s the kind of shit he is: a liar, a fraudster, a bunco artist. He has frequently alluded to a high crime rate among refugees and southern migrants to Sweden – a statistic the Swedish government and police say is just not borne out by the facts.
We feel sure he will not be alluding to Swedish migrants as an asset to the economy, whatever Bloomberg reports. His ideas about other countries and races are as fixed as the moon and stars in their orbits.
The “fucking idiot” (as Rupert Murdoch calls him), Trump has just announced, anyone hailing from El Salvador who is not a naturalized citizen (many were allowed to settle as refugees under the Bush regime after a series of devastating earthquakes) has 18 months to leave the USA, as part of his campaign to rid the country of 11 million ‘undocumented’ migrants, many of whom have settled, got families with US-born children and started businesses employing Americans.
That’s 200 thousand people he’s talking about. But Mr Trump’s stated view is they are all drug gangsters, rapists and benefit fraudsters, so the spics have to go.
Then, as we have said time and again, Mr Trump is a witless, cruel oaf; a bombastic troll with no understanding of economics, socio-politics, geopolitics or industrial management. And certainly no understanding of human beings, other than as resources to be exploited. He is just a monstrous, self-promoting creature of appetite and instinct: a manifestation of all that’s worst in humanity.
A genius ‘TV star’ whose ratings have fallen like a meteor to earth.
What a whopper!
Glenn Kessler and his Fact Checker team at The Washington Post report as of 11 January that Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims while in office.
Most recently, he observed that he had been “very tough” on commercial aviation safety, and as a result there had been no fatal crashes involving a civil airliner in 2017: the “best and safest year on record!”
Actually, there have been no fatal crashes in the US commercial aviation sector since 2009. Like, eight years before he became President. A timeline curiously coincident with his hated predecessor’s term of office.
Not only was he being prolix with the facts, he also appears to be delusional. As far as anyone knows, he has nothing to do with commercial airline safety.
He has also boasted on no fewer than 85 separate occasions that he is personally responsible for the continuing boom in the Stock Market – disregarding the resultant collapse in the value of the dollar (Stg £1.22 in January 2017, £1.35 in January 2018, despite the weakness of Sterling post-Brexit.) In fact Trump was on record many times as claiming that the long bull market that began in Obama’s final two years was “artificial” and just “a bubble”. Clearly, he can’t have it both ways. (Does he still imagine it has “halved” the national debt – with which it has no actual connection?)
Both the above examples are referenced from Washington Post opinion writer, Dana Millbank, in an article criticizing President Trump’s “Fake News awards” he proposed to make last week, to add to a year of assiduously undermining the credibility of the mainstream media, accusing all journalists of being liars.
Awards that were in themselves ‘fake news’ – he has not made any awards. There aren’t any.*
And today (12 Jan) it’s reported, he’s stamped his foot and is refusing to go to London to cut the ribbon on the new US embassy, relocated from swanky Grosvenor Square to a gigantic £750m barn in darkest Nine Elms, appositely the site of an old fruit market and on the wrong side of the river. An American on a high horse, US correspondent Charles Wolffe complained about British ingratitude, yadda yadda, treacherous disrespect for the great office of the Leader of the Free World, slurp slurp, on the Today programme, but Trump’s tweet makes it fairly plain: it’s not because he wouldn’t get to see the Queen, it’s because of the O-word: Obama, who of course cut another lousy deal over the lease.
Except it wasn’t Obama who did the deal, it was W Bush.
Verdict: it’s not impossible for a person to be a) stupid, b) insane, c) criminal d) a habitual liar, e) vindictive-obsessive, f) pig-ignorant and g) senile, all at the same time.
If The Pumpkin has a criticism of his critics, it is that they all try to isolate some one defining characteristic of Donald Trump and then debate the merits and demerits of the theory, generally concluding that obtaining more expert testimony is advisable before leaping to conclusions on the basis of what most of us would consider to be ample evidence, without ever once considering him in the round: the possibility that this utterly bewildering individual could have many character flaws and imbalances, all seemingly bad. (The Pumpkin will award a prize to any Reader who can point to even one redeeming quality in this President.)
You need to judge him by his horrible deeds, not by his mental state. What man would deliberately rollback an order protecting she-bears with cubs from being hunted from helicopters, who is not profoundly mentally damaged?
The Pumpkin has tried arguing that anyone as sick as this demented old sack of rotting fishburgers must be in pain and in need of humanitarian aid. But the more he slashes the US’s contributions to UN programs, the less he does for hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, now in its fourth month without substantial infrastructure rebuilding, electricity and food aid, the more he continues to support the genocidal scumbag regime in Saudi Arabia (does Bin-bag Salman seriously imagine humanity is impressed with his ordinance permitting segregated women to watch football is going to make up for the millions of Yemenis starving, repeatedly bombed and infected with cholera?), the more folk he bullies and demeans, the more pleased I am that he continues to burn in a hellfire of his own making and hope that the heat only intensifies until he cries out to his money-God to save his fat ass.
Sadly, there are no more pejoratives. I have run out.
*He has since. By tweet.
F U-2? No(r)way!
“In November we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets,” Trump said. “We have a total of 52 and they’ve delivered a number of them already a little ahead of schedule.” Trump was reading from a statement, and it appears he combined the figure of 52 planes with the “F” designation assigned to fighter jets in the U.S. inventory, such as the F-35 Lightning II.” – from a Washington Post report, 12 Jan.
No sooner has the laughter died down over Mr Trump’s idiotic bragging in December about the USAF possessing “invisible planes” – F-35s with so-called Stealth paint jobs – that are very hard for the enemy (ISIS?) to combat because “you literally can’t see them”, but that will “make their souls tremble when they hear them overhead”, than he has done it again, inventing – or rather, referencing – a non-existent aircraft he called the “F-52”.
The trillion-dollar F-35 program is the most expensive aircraft the Pentagon has ever ordered and its development has been dogged with design problems. The F-52 on the other hand is a fully-functional, fictional aircraft featured in the computer game, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It doesn’t exist anywhere else, except in Donald Trump’s World of Clusterfuck.
According to a report in the Washington Post, he simply got his numbers muddled up. It was 52 planes they had sold, not “F-52″s. Another senior moment to add to all the rest; and was there a shlight shlurr as he shaid it?
A different theory proposed by The Pumpkin is that he confused them with the B-52, the so-called Flying Fortress used in the saturation bombing of North Korea between 1950 and 1953, when the USAF killed over three million civilians to no very useful end. It was perhaps a case of wistful thinking…
But he still took the credit for having delivered them “a little ahead of schedule”, as if he had personal responsibility for the contract and probably also for actually designing, building and flying the planes. He’s a very strange individual, it must be said.
Furthermore, the speech marked a turning-point. The planes were being delivered, not to Sweden, but to Norway, for defense against his friends, the Russians.
The Pumpkin suspects he’s gone off the boil as regards Sweden, because they told him he was being stupid over a thing he said about refugees and crime; although an incident two nights later involving some migrants in Stockholm throwing stones at police cars does seem to have been manufactured to make his crass and inaccurate remarks look a bit more prescient.
No, it’s Sweden’s neighbour and rival, Norway that is now Mr Trump’s favourite Scandinavian country: pure, white and free. The land of fjords, Grieg and Anders Behring Breivik.
Where the trollfolk come from…
After meeting Erna Solberg, the jolly-looking Norwegian Prime Minister earlier this week, overlooking the 200-year-history of slavery, Trump reportedly made some pretty scathing off-the-record remarks about immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti and Africa, complaining that he would much rather people immigrated from… Norway!
Why would they want to do that, one wonders? Despite the cold and perpetual darkness, the famed taciturnity of its alcoholic fisherfolk and reindeer herders struggling to survive in the face of the climate change Mr Trump so assiduously promotes on behalf of his funders, Norway is one of the best, the wealthiest per-capita, cleanest and most egalitarian countries in the world to live in, according to numerous polls.
Why, it even has socialized medicine, advanced education and cares for its poor. It’d be like importing Communism!
Nothing to see there, Donald. Move on.
GW: throwing snowballs at the sun
USA: At least 17 people have died in mudslides and flooding in California after a powerful coastal storm followed weeks of unseasonal Santa Ana wind-driven heat and wildfires to drench hillsides scarred by the huge Thomas fire and denuded of tree cover. More than 30 miles (48km) of the main coastal road have been closed and police said the scene “looked like a World War One battlefield”. A group of 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon neighbourhood east of Santa Barbara. 163 people have been hospitalized. The death toll is expected to rise.
Africa: 48 people have died in floods and landslides around the capital of the DR of Congo, Kinshasa. Powerful storms with hail have pounded South Africa after several days of 40 deg C (104F-plus) temperatures. Namibia is basking in 100F-plus temperatures. For the second year running, it has snowed in the Sahara. Cat 2 cyclone Ava killed 49 in Madagascar, now threatened by strengthening Tropical Storm Six.
China: at least 21 people have died in heavy early winter snowfall in the eastern part of the country. Up to 30cm fell in Henan province.
Australia: the Weather Network reports roads melting in the Canberra region of Western Australia as temperatures exceeded 40C for the fifth day. Sydney hit 47.3C, almost but not quite the record (1939). Fires broke out around Melbourne on 6 and 7 Jan. Now the northwest is experiencing Tropical Cyclone Joyce, a cat 1 storm with 95 mph gusts.
S America: wildfires around Mendoza, Argentina consumed more than 200 thousand hectares (490 thousand acres) in the space of three days. Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Colon in Panama were underwater on 2 Jan after torrential rainstorms
Europe: Avalanches have blocked the railway line out of Zermatt, where 13,000 tourists have been stranded for several days by 7ft deep snow. A British snowboarder is feared dead. “Switzerland’s WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research said Tuesday afternoon that at least 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) of snow had dropped on the Zermatt area over the last 24 hours, raising the avalanche risk to a maximum level of (‘almost unheard-of’) five on an avalanche-warning scale.” There’s been heavy snowfall too in northern Italy. New wildfires have broken out on Corsica, while Poland and Hungary have been experiencing a record warm ‘early spring’ – here in my part of the UK, daffodils are flowering a month early. In France, the river Seine flooded parts of Paris, in Germany the Rhine was closed to shipping.
World: despite talk of a new mini ice-age, the latest global temperature anomalies map from the University of Maine’s climate change unit shows that while the north and east of Canada and the USA are looking like the arctic, the arctic is looking more like California… outside the USA the world is still warming up fast. It’s frankly chaos!
BBC News/ Wunderground/ Climate & Extreme Weather News #89, citing China’s the World Today, Euronews, et al/ The Sun/ Pattaya Mail/
Spectrograms show the lines of ‘melt’ (molten rock) on the Yellowstone charts are continuing to rise as more and more magma is flooding into the chamber. The ground uplift charts for all areas are no longer reading normally, but thanks to some deft recalibration now appear almost completely flat where last week they were showing a chaotic pattern of continuous upward movement over the previous 30 days. You can no longer tell anything from them. Yesterday there were more than 20 small earthquakes in one hour. The seismographs are showing constant vibration and ‘drumbeats’ – regular pulses believed to indicate an imminent eruption. Despite an air temperature of only 24F, snow is melting on the ground. Local people have gotten so used to the deep rumblings under their feet that they no longer report quakes. The USGS is not reporting many quakes that are visible on the charts.
Thus on 12 Jan spake the Blessed Mary – Greeley, whose almost daily updates from her home in S Dakota on what the official monitors are saying and doing is about the only serious-sounding coverage this slightly worrying story is getting, although she’s not a qualified geologist and, frankly, her contributors are a bunch of prayerful religious nutters. Annoyingly, she is building up a kind of Fortean news service of strange happenings alongside her Yellowstone monitoring, that only serves to detract from the authority of her reporting on the main event. Plus, she’s been forecasting an imminent eruption for the last five years. But no-one else is really reporting the evidence with the same apparent objectivity and obvious affinity with the Beast, independently of the muted and scarily reassuring official sources – which is in itself strange, dontchathink?
And she’s worried now, so I’m quietly buying up cans of tuna and beans and dried pulses, assuming there will still be water. Given what hasn’t happened with the relatively small Puerto Rico hurricane disaster, like a proper relief effort, what use are Trump and the FEMA gang going to be when this monstrosity blows?
Delicious moment though it will be when he has to beg the Mexican president to allow millions of US refugees in through the wall….