Ooh, you can’t do that #1 and #2… a new BogPo wends its weary way to the surface. Do you want to see censorship at work?… GW: forming like a distant thundercloud

Quote of the minute….

“Saying no to Trump is like saying no to God, and I won’t do that.”

– American evangelical “Prosperity preacher” and “spiritual advisor to Donald Trump”, Paula White. (PS Paula, darling, those fake big eyebrows in black and dyed yellow hair with black roots isn’t a good look, although I can see you think Jesus thinks it is.)

TYT’s fragrant beauty and Audrey Hepburn lookalike, Ana Kasparian explains, “Prosperity preachers” are high-pressure callers who threaten poor people they will go to hell if they don’t give money. Welcome to the USA! (unless you’re a journalist. Anyone declaring they’re a journalist on entering the US now is grilled about their media content, and if the lowbrow Border guy decides you’re “fake news”, i.e. not a Trump supporter, they put you on the next plane out. I heard that somewhere.)

 

Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson

“It’s not how long it is, Boris, it’s what you do with it that counts.”

(Your Uncle B. notices from the above photo, btw, that not only has Johnson’s neckwear reached Trumpian proportions and coloration, so have his tiny, pudgy, doll-like hands. Are they related, by any chance?)

 

Ooh, you can’t do that

Boris Johnson’s mother (yes, gentle Reader, he has one) has Parkinson’s. She has long campaigned with a charity for a return to days when the NHS had specialist nurses who would make home visits. No longer, thanks to the government’s austerity program and cuts to the service.

Charlotte Johnson had signed up to a joint letter to the Times from the charity committee, drawing attention to the plight of homebound sufferers. But, “following an intervention from Downing Street”, she has been forced to withdraw her name.

Her lovely fornicating cheat and liar son, Johnson has only gone and censored his own mother.

What, are you actually ASHAMED of something at last? You dirty pig. (And do be careful not to be photographed in profile, it makes you look foolish, greedy, weak and ingratiating. Let’s not give Nature too much help, eh?)

This stands in stark contrast to the performance of his father, the ebullient Stanley, who appeared at the Extinction Rebellion protests in London this week to give his support.

Boris, whose actual name is Alexander, or Al, he’s only Boris to the elderly Express-reading dumbfucks who love his tiresome shtick, and to brain-dead tabloid newspaper editors, criticized the protesters as “unco-operative crusties”, alluding to the Corbyn-like appearance of the many environmentally concerned, largely middle-class people blocking the streets.

Stanley the Magnificent got up and spoke. He told the assembled multitude, many of them superglued to the sidewalks and government buildings, daring police to arrest them, that he was delighted to be an unco-operative crusty.

The Guardian has been running all week with a campaign of in-depth investigations into “just what the hell is going on”, to quote the Orange One. More people are only now becoming dimly aware, and wondering what to do about the fact that Johnson’s improbable rise to power was fuelled in part with American money via the tobacco industry promoting, alt-right Christian, anti-abortion, pro-energy-bidness, anti-regulation, anti-tax, climate-change-denying lobby, (just name any fucking horrible cause you can imagine), Institute for Economic Affairs – the Tufton Street mob – which in turn sponsors the Tory party’s internal cabal, the European Research Group, led by that arrogant, languid Pre-Raphaelite throwback and Catholic recusant, Jacob Irish-Mogg.

Fourteen members of Johnson’s cabinet have apparently received money from that source. So it’s not a great surprise that he’s ordered his Big Red Bus conductress, Home Secretary Patel to get the police to bite down harder on the protestors this time. Over a thousand arrests have been made.

Al’s entire family have come to detest him, as any sensible human might. His younger brother Jo resigned from his government; his journalist sister Rachel has pointedly joined the Lib-Dems. Christmas at the Johnson’s should be interesting.

Clearly Charlotte, his mother, is the only one left at home who is sick enough to bully.

 

Ooh, you can’t do that #’2

A letter from the prime minister’s lawyers sent on Monday said that the London assembly’s oversight committee had “no right or remit to investigate” his relationship with busty, blonde “businesswoman” and former pole-dancer, Jennifer Arcuri, while he was in office as married* Mayor of London.

Ha ha! Nice try. How very Trumpian. Don’t provide an alibi or mitigating evidence, don’t bother proving innocence – just challenge the investigator’s right to investigate in the first place. Who are you to set yourselves above an important criminal we represent? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!

Okay, I volunteer.

Image result for Images Arcuri

The committee asked Johnson, who was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, to explain why grants and expensive top-tier immigration rights and privileged access to overseas trade trips were awarded to Arcuri, a supposed technology entrepreneur, in fact a 27-year-old student, during his time as mayor. He refused to answer.

“The letter, which was leaked to HuffPost, said the oversight committee “is not and should not be in effect a standards body’” (Guardian)

Not only, but also… “Your application will be reviewed by an organisation that’s related to your qualifying field, called a ‘designated competent body’”. Like, the Royal Society! Or…. TechNation. (Where she got the deal.)

How would the London Assembly’s Oversight Committee not have the right to oversee allegations of abuse of public money by the Mayor? Is not the name a clue to the duty?

View image on Twitter

What, would they “oversee” the standards of the Thames at sunset, or merely have responsibility for the feral parakeets in Hyde Park? Or perhaps they might take an interest in a photograph of Arcuri, left, with Johnsons’ youngest brother, Max, and the chair of London & Partners, on a trade mission to Kuala Lumpur, to which the American “entrepreneur” had absolutely no right to tag along unless she was fucking the head of the delegation.

What are they there for, to look into how a “friend” of the then-Mayor received £126 thousand in public funding, Tier One immigration visa status and three foreign freebee trips accompanying the priapic Johnson? Or what? Just dazzled, I suppose.

“You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as: a recognised leader (exceptional talent) … How much you pay to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa depends on your circumstances.” – YouGov.

Given that her business model ran on existing applications of the technology, Ms Arcuri must have had exceptional talent as a leader. Although for what, we wit not. Actually, I’m warming to her. She seems quite naive; kookie, even. Shallow opportunism is not in itself a crime. Not in America, anyway.

I have a feeling that lawyers are, as a species, being driven mad by huge fees, and inhaling enhanced levels of carbon dioxide and methane with their cocaine.

A photographic trail going back eight years has revealed the first moment Arcuri set her wide eyes on Johnson and thought the bumbling waffler was “electrifying”.

Obviously she didn’t see him in profile. A fat boy, desperately sucking up to the room. No Sir, please don’t beat me! I’ll give you money! Anything!

The Bogler recalls the moment a lunatic management consultant, indubitably the most ignorant person he has ever met, and that is saying something, first set eyes on the derelict Georgian mansion in the middle of nowhere, in which he was struggling to entertain a few dozen B&B guests a year.

She breathed the fateful words: “Gosh, this would make a great 5-star hotel!” (It wouldn’t, as I perfectly well knew, having read the specifications, and it didn’t. But so dimwitted, gullible and venal was the owner, that £5 million later she eventually prised me out of my job.)

But the Bogler knows how it is. He is currently lusting after a relatively low-cost, pre-owned Fender “American Deluxe” Stratocaster guitar in tip-top condition, and cursing the day a month ago when he bought a far lesser version, thus interdicting the purchase of a marginally more expensive but very much more convincing item.

*Okay, look, we’ve all done it. But perhaps not while our wives of 24 years were having radical treatment for ovarian cancer, which there is a medical possibility we gave them.

 

Respect: To Jane Fonda. She’s been arrested again. Climate protest in Washington, obstruction charge. She’s 81 and still looks great. You go, gal!

 

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SterlingPound

I agree (with previous post), as we’re having to make do with a couple of WAGs having a spat and there’s nothing coming out of No 10 by way of flying crockery, I’ve given up caring how the unfathomable EU talks are going, or not going, and am following the Trump impeachment with gob agape. (Although living in Wales I’m curious to know where this hard border in the Irish Sea might end up – avoid the M4, anyway.)

But the news that two of Trump’s “personal lawyer”‘s “business associates” – Russians with US passports – had helped Giuliani to get the US ambassador to Ukraine fired by Trump, set up a scam to smear Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden – laundered half a million dollars via a phony energy company in Florida, tried to start-up a skunk farm on the side, put most of the money into Trump’s re-election fund, and then we found out that the money came from a multibillionaire Ukrainian gas supply oligarch close to Putin who’s in Austria fighting an FBI extradition warrant and hoping to persuade Trump to lift the sanctions on him, and the two “business associates” were pulled by cops off a flight to Vienna… I see there’s an interview with John Le Carre elsewhere on the Guardian today, but I doubt he could have made this up and I’m sorry, but it’s a lot more exciting than Jennifer Arcuri – although, were she to be somehow involved…..

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There’s something wrong with The Guardian, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but miserable, pathetic little weasels might cover it for now. There is a huge story here they are ignoring because it’s foreign and complicated. Alternatively they have a team already on it and don’t want me butting in, who knows.

Nothing in my main Comment didn’t come from mainstream sources, the BBC and NBC, by the way. I’m just connecting dots, and believe me, you’d need someone from Bletchley Park to do that. I just hope American lawyers are up to the task.

Meanwhile, articles on Trump’s – I’m sorry, I’m looking for the appropriate adjective and none will come to mind, that does not involve the passionate invocation of an illegal assault on the White House employing a savagely mutated Ebola virus and an enema nurse – Trump’s vile and grotesque betrayal of the US’s allies in Syria, purely for financial advantage.

Let’s put it like that, because his dumbfucks are as convinced as Johnson’s dumbfucks are, that you can just walk away from your honorable commitments without consequence – articles, as I say, that are speaking of ethnic cleansing, as the other demented ideocrat, Erdogan hoovers up nativist votes by threatening to relocate 3.5 million Syrian refugees everywhere – especially in ethnically cleansed northern Syria – if we in the West don’t turn a blind eye to his filthy genocide.

Not unlike the one in Armenia, which I can be imprisoned for mentioning.

Lebensraum.

 

Anti-vaxxers: Pursuant to our Post lecturing a dangerously idiotic US Congresswoman who speaks out against vaccinating children, we should mention that 4 thousand people (ages unknown) have died in a measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where village herbalists perpetuate the superstitious belief that the WHO is trying to poison everyone with their evil Western medicine. That’s twice as many deaths as are reported from the outbreak of Ebola there.

 

GW: forming like a distant thundercloud

Japan: Honshu island was going into lockdown mode today, Friday 11 Oct. as 800-mile-wide Cat 4 supertyphoon Hagibis approached the Tokyo region with 144 mph peak winds. Bullet train services were being cancelled, supermarkets and theme parks closed. Car production at Toyota plants has been suspended. Qualifying for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix was postponed and two World Rugby matches cancelled. People are being advised to prepare for several days without electricity or running water, and to tape up their windows as the worst typhoon for 60 years is anticipated.

Japan Times reports, residents in Chiba are still recovering from the havoc wrought by Typhoon Faxai a month ago, and emergency supplies there have not yet been replenished. A farmer is quoted: “Things are so severely damaged already we really can’t do anything more.” Record rainfall is forecast, with potential flooding and landslides. 3 of the top 10 most damaging Japanese typhoons have occurred since 2018.

Update Sunday 13 Oct: Japan Times reports: “Hagibis, the 19th named storm of the season, tore through Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday and early Sunday packing winds of up to 144 kph at landfall, killing 33 and leaving 19 unaccounted for as of Sunday afternoon, according to Kyodo News. NHK reported 166 people were injured.

“Cities and towns across the country — including in Nagano, Niigata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures — were inundated by flood waters after levees failed in the face of record rainfall,forcing many people to abandon submerged homes. The damage could worsen in the coming days as the water levels may rise along flooded rivers.”

Ivory Coast: At least 2 people have died and 1 is still missing after heavy rain and flash flooding on 5 Oct. in the capital, Abidjan. 1 person died after flooding caused a building to collapse. Another person is still missing after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters. Some areas recorded more than 120mm of rain. Roads were severely damaged, causing major traffic disruption. (Floodlist)

Honduras: Sudden flash floods in western Honduras damaged around 50 homes in Copán Department earlier this week, forcing around 200 people to evacuate. Heavy rain in the north of the country over the last few days has caused flash flooding in Tocoa, Colón Department, where military personnel have evacuated residents in affected areas. (Floodlist)

USA: “A fast-moving wildfire jumped into neighborhoods in Los Angeles overnight forcing evacuations, destroying homes and closing two freeways and an interstate. It was one of two deadly fires burning Friday in Southern California. At least 3 deaths were being blamed on the fires.

By later Friday afternoon, the Saddlewood fire had spread to about 12 square miles in the northern foothills of the San Fernando Valley and was only 13% contained. The Los Angeles Fire Department deemed the fire a “Major Emergency,” the highest classification there is for a fire emergency. (Wunderground)

A slow-moving coastal storm with 65 mph winds centered about 200 miles southeast of southeast Massachusetts transitioned into Subtropical Storm Melissa at 11 am EDT Friday. Moderate coastal flooding is expected along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to western Long Island (Wunderground)

Weather buffs were dancing in the streets on Thursday when a rare type of storm known as “thundersnow” made an appearance over Nevada. “It happens when cold air passes over (relatively) warm water and produces convective snowfall” says Severe-weather.eu. You get thunder and lightning, but instead of rain it’s snowing.

Severe-weather.eu. also reports: While the southern half of Europe is in for a period of very warm weather: “temperatures will be well above average for mid-October, with some places pushing into low to mid-20s through into next week”, another huge zone of intensely cold Arctic air has descended, records tumbling again, across much of the northwestern USA and Canada. “Some locations went from T-shirt weather to snow in a matter of hours!” Parts of the Dakotas may see 3 feet.

“Rapid City, South Dakota, experienced a drastic change in conditions, going from a high of near 80 F on Tuesday to heavy snowfall early Thursday, with temperatures plunging into the mid-20s F.” (Accuweather)

Tunnel approaching…

Methane: Recent field data gathered by an expedition led by Tomsk University’s Arctic methane expert Igor Semiletov “report stunning methane levels 9x higher than global averages.” They found one place where the sea off Siberia was “boiling” with a concentrated methane plume erupting from the shallow seabed. (Paul Beckwith, citing Global News) “No-one has ever recorded anything like this before”, Semiletov warned. (Similar observations have been made in permafrost karst lakes onland in Alaska. GW.)

Earth: “This September was the warmest September ever recorded, continuing a streak of months with above-average temperatures, new data has found. Last month was 0.57 degrees Celsius warmer than the average for September from 1981 to 2010,” according to new data released Friday by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. (Global News)

You would have to be 45 years old to have ever known a month that was colder than the same month the previous year. (Guardian Australia contributor)

 

 

 

 

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The Pumpkin – Issue 103: Trump’s donors are such a gas… The madness of King Donald #195 – ‘Great and unmatched wisdom’… The liar-in-chief strikes again… Nya nah! You suck! No, you suck!… A funny Comment found under Rachel Maddow… GW: A knockout blow.

Quote of the Week

“Speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech.”

– spokesperson for Chinese State TV, as the entire nation rises up against one US National Basketball Association coach who dared to tweet a message of support for the Hong Kong protestors. War looms….

 

Trump’s donors are such a gas

Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas police photos

Take a look at the faces of these two men. They are said to be “business associates” of Mr Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York, Trump’s “personal lawyer” and bafflingly weird media motormouth, who were (allegedly) involved with him in a plot (supposedly inspired by dim but dim Energy Secretary, Rick Perry), to remove the US ambassador and set-up the Bidens for a corruption charge over dealings with a gas company in Ukraine. They are both Russian, but apparently with US nationality.

(For some reason, Mr Giuliani has not been arrested.)

The BBC has described them as illegal “donors” to the Trump campaign, having allegedly laundered over $400 thousand through a fake energy company in Florida (!)*, $325k of which has ended up in a Trump 2020 PAC, courtesy of an “unidentified” foreign individual. They were arrested at Dulles International, 10 Oct. on their way to Vienna.

Why Vienna? You don’t suppose it’s because that’s where Ukrainian multi-billionaire Dmitry Firtash, the “gas king”, the expensive “middle man” for all Russia’s gas exports that go via Ukraine to Germany, is out on bail in his own recognizance of £137 MILLION while fighting an extradition warrant from the FBI on money-laundering charges, do you?

Who, as Ms Maddow of MSNBC has suggested, is keen to persuade the Trump administration that it would be greatly in their interest to make the investigation and the sanctions on him go away?

Who is everyone trying to kid? Look at them! What are you thinking right now? Probably what I’m thinking. That I wouldn’t want to meet either of these businessmen in an alleyway on a dark night, let alone at a financial service providers’ convention at Mar-a-Lago, right? But we mustn’t jump to conclusions, looks aren’t everything, book, cover…. pussycats, probably.

*Funny, you never seem to get these numerous references to organized crime links in states like Montana, Vermont or Idaho. Does Mr Trump have no bidness interests there?

 

The Madness of King Donald #374

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!”

Insane Trump tweet, following a phone call with Erdogan, announcing the immediate withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria, abandoning their allied Kurdish militias to the tender mercies of the Turkish army. By Monday night Turkish forces were reportedly shelling Kurdish positions.

Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us with Normandy as an example – they mention the names of different battles, they weren’t there. I learned this in a very powerful article…”

For God’s sake, Republicans, this catastrophic individual has lost his mind, can’t you see that? He was already the most intellectually inadequate man on the planet and in the light of events in the Ukraine now clearly a criminal, but you gave him absolute power.

Please, if you still support this crazy old mobster, make sense of this if you can:

“I, we, altogether, you, defeated and took over 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate, everybody said that was going to be an impossible thing to do, I did it, and I did it quickly because we have a great military now. When I took over our military we didn’t have ammunition. I was told by a top general (loud sniff), maybe the top of them all, Sir, I’m sorry Sir, we don’t have ammunition. I said I’ll never let another president have that happen to him or her. We didn’t have ammunition. Now we’ve captured ISIS, we’ve done what we’ve done, we had fifty soldiers in the area you’re talking about….”

It is all stream-of-consciousness, mad bullshit, every bit of it. Who was the “top general, maybe the top of them all”? Maybe, General Mattis, his Defense Secretary, who quit over Trump’s dangerously whimsical policy in Syria, on which he was not consulted. Mr Trump blames Mr Obama for failing to buy ammunition, despite spending only $680 billion on the military in 2017. Mr Trump’s additional $64 billion for the military was, he now says, to buy more ammunition. That’s a lot of rounds.

Americans must take full collective responsibility for allowing this mentally disturbed and chronically undereducated old man who refuses to take advice from anyone, who lives entirely in a world of his own spinning, who is unused to strategic thinking, to carry on serving in a capacity he was never fitted for in the first place.

GET HIM OUT, ANY WAY YOU CAN.

 

The liar-in-chief strikes again

“’I consulted with everybody. I always consult with everybody,’ he said when asked if he consulted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“That appeared to conflict with reports that Trump’s decision came as a surprise to the Pentagon, which had no forewarning of the move. As Fox News reported, even top Pentagon officials were ‘completely blindsided’ and ‘shocked’ by the order, which came after Trump spoke with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

– from inquisitr website.

Lying again. Fucking insane, lying Adderall-addicted old numbskull, he’s been on the phone again and we bet that call is stashed in the Top Secret drawer along with his Putin calls and the notorious Zelenskiy call.

So we ask, what deal, what “favor” did Trump extort from Erdogan, what help with his Trump 2020 campaign will those Kurdish militia allies pay for with their lives? According to reports, he’s still making $1 million a year profit from Trump Towers, Istanbul. Maybe that’s what he’s protecting, Erdogan is blackmailing him, who knows what these rootling fascist pigs get up to in the privacy of their phone calls?

Talk about corruption, this atrocious man’s is seemingly bottomless.

Tonight even Trump’s most craven enablers, Senators Graham and McConnell are demurring. Is this just another sackful of cats he’s chucking into the room to drain media attention away from the impeachment hearings, or from the New York court order to release his taxes?

A serious implication is that the Kurds are holding thousands of ISIS prisoners who may just be allowed to walk if their captors have to fight the Turkish army crossing the border

NBC News reports former U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS (whose other members were not informed either), Brett McGurk, as saying Trump’s decision is causing chaos at the White House:

“This is very serious. No one knows what to do. I see the administration scrambling to make sense of what is happening. The president is all over the place. His tweets indicate he has no real idea or conception of what is happening on the ground.”

US troops have reportedly begun pulling out. American allies, the Kurds, who did all the heavy lifting removing ISIS from Syria, lost 11 thousand fighters helping to defend America from this barely-existent threat. Trump doesn’t give a damn. How would he, he’s a psychopath.

This is what you get when you put a demented old drug addict* who thinks he’s a genius, a man of infinite wisdom – more like Norman Wisdom –  who “knows more about ISIS than the Generals”, in charge of US Defense forces.

*More evidence is emerging tonight of Trump’s decades-long addiction to “uppers and downers” – amphetamines and caffeine.

 

Salmond branded him a “loser” and Trump retaliated by describing the then former first minister as a “has-been”.

Nya nah! You suck! No, you suck!

This is the President of the United States of America we are talking about. A toddler in an outsize suit and his daddy’s tie.

It seems “Mini-me” Trump, Boris Johnson is not the only one doing battle in the Scottish courts. “Maxi-me” Trump is there too.

Trump Organization is reportedly refusing or, in its familiar way, somehow failing to meet an order for “£tens of thousands” (peanuts, surely, to the man who once boasted of being the wealthiest man in America? Ed.) in costs awarded against it after losing a fight that went all the way to the UK Supreme Court to stop the Scottish government siting a small wind-farm directly offshore of Trump’s Balmedie, Aberdeenshire golf course, alleging the visual impact would damage his loss-making business.

He also failed to intervene to stop a much larger windfarm out in the windy Shetland Islands, claiming that all windfarms suppress tourism. He has no tourism interest in the Shetlands!

This is why Trump hates wind farms, and will tell any lie to keep them out of America. The pitiful corpses of thousands of decapitated sacred American Bald Eagles litter the ground around the windmills. People’s TV sets go dark whenever the wind drops, and they miss the rest of the ballgame. The endless whirring of their sails causes people to develop cancer…. (Yes, he said those things.)

Anyway, Balmedie, also known as Trump International, Aberdeen. That’s the golf course he built over a Site of Special Scientific Interest, after former First Minister, Alex Salmond foolishly intervened in favour of job creation – the promise all gullible local officials fall for, every time; the numbers never actually being achieved, and then they’re usually imported specialist jobs, not local at all. (Or they simply pocket the brown envelope. Ed.)

The golf course where, when local residents refused to move out, he cut off their water and built high banks around their homes.

Trump and Salmond later fell out over the small, 11-turbine development, that Trump said would ruin the view. It was then that Salmond was accused out of the blue of being a groper – a sexual predator, just like Trump! Was that a story Trump let loose from David Pecker’s little black safe at the National Enquirer? It was a mishandled accusation, anyway, for which the former cruise line crooner received very substantial damages from the Scottish parliament earlier this year.

Trump’s local manager at Balmedie has denied the report, saying the matter was in the hands of the Scottish courts. Yes, Ms Malone, it is. They want you to pay up!

The list of things Trump knows more about than anyone else was comically extended during the hearing, when Trump famously declared that the planning committee did not need to call any witnesses to verify his claims.

“I am the evidence,” he said. “I’m an expert in tourism. I have won many, many awards…”

Oh well, case closed then. Will the Chosen One be the evidence at his own impeachment hearing? He has already made it abundantly clear that he knows more about “perfect” phone calls than anyone, because he made that one to the president of Ukraine.

The Guardian concludes its report, from which the above is extrapolated, thus:

“The Trump International Golf Club posted a £1m annual loss for 2018 last week, the seventh loss in a row. Trump and his family firm have now loaned the business £43m and it has yet to turn a profit.”

It would be instructive to know where the money came from in the first place to develop the complex site, built on a well-known beauty spot comprising miles of shifting sand-dunes: the lonely sea and the sky, sadly no longer. Mr Trump’s sons have told the media at various times “We get all the money we need from Russia”.

A website investigating Trump’s Russian connections, The Moscow Project, recently reported:

“During the campaign, Trump reportedly requested a loan from Deutsche Bank for his golf course in Scotland. According to The New York Times, Deutsche Bank officials rejected the request, claiming it was too risky. … As Trump prepared to take office in December 2016, he owed nearly $364 million in outstanding debts to the financial institution.”

The BogPo has in the past noted drily that, 20 miles up the A49 from Balmedie lies the formerly wealthy oil city of Aberdeen, home of Aberdeen Asset Management, one of Europe’s largest financial institutions, with £312 billion under management. Following its very big merger with Standard Life last year, AAM is now known as Aberdeen Standard Management, but we’ll ignore that.

AAM is the child of the “ebullient” socialite, Martin Gilbert, once described in the House of Commons as the “unacceptable face of asset management”, now a Knight of the realm. We wondered idly, how it was that this firm that nearly went under, owing £650 million to small investors in 2002, was able to get back on the acquisitions trail almost immediately, and to buy “most of” the UK asset management arm of Mr Trump’s favorite bank, Deutsche, in July 2005, for £265 million? (As well as a substantial slice of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV, now sold to Disney.)

We have yet to discover the answer, although we’re pretty certain there’s “nothing to see here”. What we have just read, however, coincidentally in the Financial Times, peeking naughtily over their paywall, is basically this: that Sir Martin Gilbert was an invited guest (along, as it happens, with Kremlin lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya and the two Russian former GRU men with money-laundering expertise involved in the notorious 9 June, 2016 meeting with Trump campaign officials) at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2017.

“The two had met on the golf course….” the FT reported.

Sir Martin announced just days ago that he would be standing down as CEO in November, joking that he was quitting before he was pushed.

It would be an enormous stretch indeed to link the timing of the announcement in any way with the continuing inquiries into why Deutsche Bank continued to lend to Trump over $2.5 billion in total (Mother Jones) – despite his being red-flagged as a possible money-launderer and a serial loan defaulter – and with the Southern District Court of New York’s successful subpoena of Deutsche Bank last month for a vast trove of financial records relating to the Trump Organization.

Happily I know nothing whatever of high finance, or even much about low. I just sit here and fiddle with the internet all day. It’s here somewhere….

themoscowproject.org/dispatch/trumps-fraught-history-with-deutsche-bank/

http://www.ft.com/content/3278866c-e5cd-11e9-b112-9624ec9edc59

 

A Funny Comment found under Rachel Maddow:

“Future dictionary definition of “trumping”: Trumping – behaving in an absurdly corrupt manner; expelling wind verbally; acting without morality or regard for consequences; perversely manipulating those who are vulnerably minded; flirting with or otherwise “sucking up to” those who display evil or psychopathic behaviour; imbuing oneself with an orange hue for the purpose of distracting golfing opponents and/ or disguising vampirism; engaging unsuccessfully in combat with an umbrella; hiking in pristine woodlands whilst leaving a trail of sweet wrappers, oil and small fires in your wake; relaxing at work; offending cinema goers by wearing a tall hat composed of human hair; patrolling the perimeter of ones lawn in ones underpants with a stick for the purposes of intimidating ones neighbors; the act of a group of people spinning and flailing around until they fall; sleeping with someone you dislike who has no creditable qualities and regretting it for all time; trolling ones own husband under a pseudonym on a public forum; crossing the irradiated wastelands formed under the ancient Trump administration.”
Nice one, Parslow!
“In 2018 the richest 400 families in the US paid an average effective tax rate of 23% while the bottom half of American households paid a rate of 24.2%.” – University of California, Berkeley research. All together now: thanks Mr Trump.
GW: A knockout blow

Japan: At last, it takes a Category 5 superstorm bearing down on a world sporting event to get mainstream  journalists interested!

“Super Typhoon Hagibis” writes The Guardian‘s Gerard Meagher, “had initially threatened Ireland’s key match in Fukuoka on Saturday, but has altered its course and is now zeroing in on Tokyo and Yokohama. It has escalated from a tropical storm into a supertyphoon with wind speeds estimated at 160mph in one of the most dramatic intensifications of any tropical cyclone since records began. According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency it is on course to be the strongest to hit Japan this year.”

Other sources suggest it could be the strongest storm ever recorded in the western Pacific, with peak winds of 195 mph.

Rugby bore alert

England is scheduled to play France in a Pool C fixture this weekend, followed by a Sunday bout between Scotland and home team Japan. If either match has to be cancelled a draw is automatically awarded, with 2 points per team. England and France are already through to the quarter finals, but a “scoreless draw” would see Scotland knocked out. It’s also possible the Japan F1 Grand Prix might have to be cancelled, and the racing schedule doesn’t allow for re-runs.

Venezuela: Heavy rain in the Sierra de Perijá triggered flooding of the Kunana river in the town of Toromo from around 5 Oct.. Around 400 homes, as well as livestock, schools and material possessions suffered damage. Civil Protection said they were searching for 6 people, believed to be from the same family, who went missing in the floods. (Floodlist)

Kenya: Heavy rain in border areas between Kenya and Ethiopia has caused flooding in parts of northern Kenya. Around 1,000 people from 200 households have been displaced after homes were damaged or destroyed, and many livestock were swept away and drowned. Damaged roads are making relief efforts difficult. (from Floodlist)

Darfur: At least 367 homes collapsed and a large number of livestock were killed after heavy rains and flash floods hit Um Kedada in North Darfur at the weekend (4 to 6 Oct). No casualties were reported but many people have been left homeless. Two schools were reportedly destroyed. (Floodlist)

Vietnam: High tides and rising river levels left wide areas of the city of Cần Thơ under water from around 1 Oct., with homes and roads flooded and close to 30,000 people affected. As of 01 October, the water level of the Hau River reached 2.25 metres, the highest level in 30 years. The reason for flooding is the coincidence of high water levels in the Mekong River with very high lunar tides in the South China Sea.” (Floodlist)

USA: The second major storm in 10 days will dump several inches to 2 feet of snow over the northern Rockies and shock areas farther to the east over the northern Plains with blizzard conditions. The storm system will bring another round of early-season accumulating snow to nearly a half a million square miles of the interior United States, and, in some cases, the snow will fall less than 24 hours after temperatures have … been in the 80s F. Up to 50% crop losses have been reported through adverse weather and the snow is likely to hit the harvest. (Accuweather)

Over in California, hundreds of thousands are suffering rolling power blackouts as the utilities shut down sections of the grid to avoid very strong winds blowing down power lines and starting fires. So far in 2019, there have been 4,609 fires in California, which have burned 40,712 acres. (Accuweather)

Australia: New South Wales has over 40 fires burning at the moment. The Busbys Flat fire, south of Casino, and another further inland at Drake that has been burning for 5 weeks and destroyed 78,000 acres were still at emergency warning levels on Tuesday night. NSW Rural Fire Service said a “significant number” of homes across the north of the state had been destroyed, including in the village of Rappville, with a population of about 250 people. (Guardian)

 

“Gizza job!” (but what kind of “job”, nudge nudge!… The Munchetty bunch… GW: blowin’ hot and cold (with a bit of wet thrown in)… Douglas Murray: An open letter to a climate denier.

 

Emmanuel Macron talks to Boris Johnson during their meeting in Paris in August.

“Merde, monsieur Johnson, je crois qu’il est coming from zis shoe…”

 

“Gizza job!” (but what kind of “job”, eh?)

“Johnson was listed as a reference on Arcuri’s application for a role at Tech City, which was launched by David Cameron to bolster digital companies in east London. The Sunday Times said Arcuri was a 27-year-old student when she applied for the £100,000 a year job in 2012.

“In an email leaked to the newspaper, she allegedly later wrote: ‘I still have the letter of rec from Boris. hahaha. To think that we asked him to write us a recommendation for the CEO of Tech City is just hysterical.” – The Observer

This utterly lamebrained and gullible buffoon, this absolute bell-end who, tragically at the age of 55, visibly losing his trademark hair, will apparently do or say anything it takes to get to have sex with attractive young women, how is he still the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

He has clearly been taken for the most gigantic ride.

Where would he draw the line? Would he betray his country, say with a Russian prostitute (“We have the best!” – Vladimir Putin) for one more shag?

This is the creep who abandoned his wife of 24 years while she was having radical treatment for ovarian cancer, to shack up with a party worker 22 years his junior.

As well as being a terrible role model, who says he has no idea how many children he’s got, a serial liar utterly without shame or morality, he is clearly a major security risk. He can’t be trusted with women. He certainly can’t be trusted with public money.

How in God’s name do Johnson’s Conservatives have (admittedly only on one poll) a 15-points-and-growing poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, with this well-composted shitshow of a government clinging to office?

It is inexplicable, other than in terms of a collective madness, general despair, or a cloud of sheer ignorance that has taken hold of the population.

I’m not attracted to Corbyn, any more than I would want to have a stubborn old billygoat in the barn rather than a placid young milker. But believe me, if he fired a couple of unreconstructed Stalinists in his coterie, he would make an infinitely more sensible and trustworthy PM than this unmade bed in No. 10.

I mean, it’s understandable that people are fed up with normal politicians, but why would you vote for something so obviously much, much worse?

According to the Observer report, Ms Arcuri continues to deny that the stories about her and Johnson are true. But she will neither confirm nor deny, as does he, that they had sex.

In which case, why is her lawyer continuing to invite bids from the media, that are already approaching a quarter of a million pounds?

And why is the media apparently happy to pay it?

Once upon a time, this would have been curtains for Boris. The head of the 1922 committee would already have handed him the loaded revolver and quietly closed the door.

There’s a crisis of shame in the world today.

 

Boris Johnson claimed on Monday not to have heard the EU’s thoughts on the UK’s text.

“See, hand’s on the table!”

The Munchetty bunch

The row over BBC breakfast show presenter, Naga Munchetty, and her allegedly biased comment about Trump’s racism, or – as one might say – racial bias, shows signs of never ending.

The broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, has weighed in with “serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints process”, the Guardian reports. Unsurprisingly, as the original decision of the BBC complaints committee to discipline Ms Munchetty on the basis of just ONE viewer complaint was never fully explained; while it has required the intervention of the Chairman of the BBC Board, Lord Hall, in the face of a staff mutiny to get it reversed.

The arrogance of BBC executives mirrors that of an increasing number of politicians encouraged by the existence of Mr Trump, whose response to any criticism of their performance is basically to circle the wagons and break out the Gatling gun. There is something positively Trumpian about the manager responsible, Mr David Jordan, loftily responding to Ofcom’s intervention by offering his opinion that it was none of their business, and refusing to answer their questions.

Had Ms Munchetty been casting an actual news bulletin, there would obviously have been a case for saying she had breached the impartiality guidelines. Newscasters may not offer comment, and that’s fair enough. Just read the script and pick up your £350 grand a year. (£150g if you’re female.)

However, when you’re a morning chatshow host whiffling to your equally half-witted co-host from the comfort of a sofa in a fake living-room, joshing about this and that to a bleary-eyed audience putting on kettles, burning toast and getting the kids off to school, you might be expected to let out an occasional opinion about something.

In fact, they have all expressed their opinions from time to time; while some senior broadcasters like Mr Soapbox Humphrys, Mr Jeremy Paxman and Mr Andrew Neil never stopped making their opinions abundantly clear on any subject, preferably ones they knew least about.

A flick of the head, a raise of one eyebrow, a sneer in the voice, a demand for proper contrition… there are many ways to indicate your view of a story without directly saying it. While, of course, the best way of expressing an opinion on the BBC has always been to invite someone opinionated onto your show and let them do it for you.

Hence, the unceasing barrage of Farage. No bias there, obviously, Mr Jordan. (Actually, I’m starting to smell the unmistakeable whiff of fascist sympathiser rotting behind the skirting-board. Aren’t you?)

It therefore seems more probable that, rather than breaching the general guidelines on balance and fairness, Naga’s crime was to breach the BBC’s private “Never say anything bad about President Trump” guideline, which thanks to the oversight of North America correspondent, John Sopel, or Sopoor as I prefer to call him, has been in place since before the orange madman was elected by a minority of American voters.

Barely a word of criticism of this big, fat liar, his ineptitude, his sexual incontinence and his many crimes – including now, it seems (and has seemed since Helsinki) treason – has thus far been allowed to enrage the ONE member of the viewing and listening public who apparently objects to Mr Trump’s politicised racism being called out for what it is.

Anyone invited by the BBC to comment on Mr Trump’s performance, even his opponents, will generally leave the audience with the impression that there is nothing wrong, that while Mr Trump may be endearingly eccentric, possibly even a little confusing, nevertheless his presidency is all quite normal, respectable and falls within the historical bounds of presidential propriety.

Which is, of course, very, very far from the truth. Mr Trump is claiming Presidential immunity from prosecution and under it, has committed Federal crimes including multiple instances of obstruction of justice, and numerous egregious breaches of his constitutional duties; while thumbing his nose at the Congress, a co-equal branch of government with a legal duty to hold him to account.

His presidency is not “normal”!

I don’t suppose the complainant called himself John Barron, by any chance? (That’s the name Trump used to use whenever he wanted to plant a juicy story about himself in the New York Post – he pretended to be his own PR flack.) Perhaps it was just someone from the US embassy, putting on a false nose, glasses and mustache.

I was reminded this morning that a little over a year has passed since the New York Times published over 30 pages, on 2 Oct. 2018, documentary evidence of the astonishing extent of the Trump family’s financial crimes and Donald’s years-long PR campaign to present himself as a brilliant and attractive self-made billionaire, when in fact his disastrous business decisions and many bankruptcies had required the writing of, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bailout checks by his father, Fred C Trump; whose successes the miserable failure, Donald claimed for his own.

All in the most tax-deductible ways possible. And, of course, certain of his lenders have also been on FBI lists, suspected of involvement with organized crime gangs.

And yet he’s still in office, and – the Pumpkin forecasts – may still be when he comes up for re-election next year; still whining about “Presidential harrassment” by Nancy Pelosi and the Deep State (catch their latest recording!).

The last real BBC investigation of Trump’s shitty dealings was John Sweeney’s brave March 2016 Newsnight special documentary concerning his extensive connections with organized crime in New York and Moscow. Earlier this year, Panorama looked into Russian interference with the 2016 and 2020 elections, but Newsnight reports inbetween have been characterized by Emily Maitliss and others conducting anodyne interviews with brazen White House apologists like Trump’s atavistic “missing link”, Gorka; never once calling them out on any of the outrageous lies they would tell to defend the man who had probably just fired them.

Does he have people’s kids chained to a radiator in a basement somewhere? What is the reason for these halfwitted baboons he hires and fires, even retired 4-star generals, who will never work anywhere again, other than stacking supermarket shelves, to be so protective of his blatant lies and criminality, his horrible policies?

Why do they do that? Lewandowsky has been a staunch Trump supporter ever since he was fired, to be replaced as chair of the election campaign by an even bigger criminal wih Russo/Ukrainian connections, Manafort – now serving 7 years in a Federal corrections facility. Only yesterday, Fox News had to pull the plug on an interview with Lewandowsky, as he was clearly drunk.

In fact it seems fairly instructive that Googling “Trump Mafia” produces two consecutive hits in particular: one on The Guardian‘s report of last April, “Teflon Don: How Trump the Mafia Boss Fought the Law”; followed immediately by an unassociated link to the Wikipedia entry on Russia’s top crime boss, the terrifying Semyon Mogilevitch. (That’s top, as in “not including you-know-who.”)

And now Trump is facing impeachment proceedings for attempting to blackmail the president of Ukraine into helping him win the 2020 election. Nothing has been said recently about last year’s attempt – successful, as it happens – to get Saudi Barbaria to bully Qatar into bailing out Trump’s near-bankrupt son-in-law, Jared Kushner to the tune of half a billion dollars. Not even though it might have resulted in a war.

(You may have wondered why Trump continues to refuse to accept that MBS had anything to do with the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi?)

You may wonder too why he has chosen to repeat the behavior that got him into so much trouble with the Mueller inquiry, and to do it on camera this time? His refusals to allow key staffers to testify to Congressional committees he has described as “a kangaroo court” is clear obstruction of justice, and he either doesn’t know it, or he doesn’t care.

You will find 102 issues of the BogPo’s sister bogl, The Pumpkin, devoted almost entirely to Trump’s insanity and his dangerously dodgy dealings – most of which have already been forgotten by the media as each day brings new evidence of instability and outrageous behavior. (The Pumpkin never forgets.)

This is the president the BBC has been trying for almost three years to pretend is entirely normal. Hardly surprising, then, that a perfectly innocent and heartfelt comment from a member of a racial minority (in the West, at least – India is full of Naga Munchetties, perhaps not all as attractive) should cause such frightful outrage, in a once-respected institution weakened and corrupted by political forces determined to swing the balance of popular media toward disruption, division and social breakdown.

Where, of course, it would never occur to a dead middle-aged white man like David Jordan that, to a significant proportion of his audience, the large south Asian-British community, Munchetty would only have been reflecting exactly what they were thinking.

Maybe like Trump, he thinks they should all go back to where they came from?

 

GW: blowin’ hot and cold (with a bit of wet thrown in)

Iran: At least 5 people have died and over 300 displaced after a period of heavy rain from 01 to 04 October 2019 caused flooding in provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, South Khorasan, Fars and Hormozgan. (Floodlist)

Yemen: Thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooding caused widespread damage over the past week. The UN reported on 3 Oct. that a total of 2,775 families have been affected by the floods in southern areas of the country; while damage to camps for internally displaced people was reported in Aden and other areas. (Floodlist)

Ireland: Although its arrival in the British Isles sandwiched between two wetter weather fronts last week was disappointing from a disaster-chaser’s point of view, ex-hurricane Lorenzo brought 80 km/h storm-force winds, flooding and damage to western parts of Ireland on 4 Oct. (Floodlist). Lorenzo had at one time been the largest and most powerful storm ever recorded in the eastern Atlantic, briefly attaining the top Category 5, but was undone by wind shear and colder waters.

Guam: Supertyphoon Hagibis intensified over the Mariana Islands in the West Pacific, exploding at the weekend from a 30 mph tropical disturbance to a 150 mph, top-end Category 4 storm in under 24 hours, bearing up to 10 inches of rain. Severe-weather.eu has peak windspeeds approaching 190 mph by 8 Oct. Accuweather reports, after departing the Northern Mariana Islands, Hagibis will begin to turn northward on a possible collision course with Japan. Some modest weakening is possible from Wednesday into Friday as Hagibis moves over the open waters of the West Pacific. Tokyo may have some of the most significant impacts from the storm.

USA: Hot, dry “Santa Ana” winds are forecast to bring an enhanced fire threat across California and much of the West, including Nevada, Utah and Arizona this week. Fanned by the winds, the “American Canyon Fire” near San Francisco consumed 500 acres and burned down a ranch in its first 5 hours. (Accuweather ). With snow in the Rockies, as deep cold in the northwest (that broke late September/early October records) runs into the warm air from the recent heatwave in the southeast (that broke late September/early October records), thunderstorms, rain and snow are forecast across the whole of the midwest from Texas to the Great Lakes. Yippee, more rain!

Great Falls, Montana recorded a low last week of 9F (-12.7C), beating its previous early Fall low of 22F set in 1959. On 1 Oct., mercury in Cut Bank, Montana plunged to just 1F (-17.2C). At the same time, by lunchtime it was hitting 97F (36C) in Washington DC, the hottest recorded October day… etc. (Wunderground)

Red sunrise by London skyline

Sunrise over London, 7 Oct. Intense vermilion skies were seen over the whole of the eastern half of the UK this morning. (Photo: Dr Hock, BBC Weatherwatchers)

Azores: Following the blast from Hurricane Lorenzo, which hitting at Cat 2 caused extensive damage but no major loss of life, a casual browse led to a stumble over a GW item from June last year, in which it was reported that two of the volcanic islands had suffered severe flooding then, after receiving two months’ worth of rain in under 24 hours.

Getting wetter, folks.

 

An open letter to a climate denier

Douglas Murray, Spectator associate editor and author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It. (Sorry, must have missed something. Who needs it? Ed.)

Dear Douglas

I understand that moronism is the order of the day among certain classes of person who appear to find it amusing, politically expedient or profitable, but yours I feel is of a lower order. I’d call it attention-seeking.

First of all, let me say that if you wish to continue denying what is staring you in the face, that “climate change” – the dangerous overheating of the atmosphere and oceans as a result of emitting 37 billion tonnes annually of additional carbon and heat-absorbing gases to a finite system, causing adverse changes to the world’s weather systems, with consequent food insecurity, mass migrations and socio-economic breakdown – poses an existential threat to our and other species, and in the very near future, that’s fine by me. It’s already happening.

Your childish protestations against reality won’t make the slightest difference, as there is no expectation of some technological miracle that will provide our salvation. We have already passed the point of no return and must expect to live – perhaps not for very long – with the consequences. Atmospheric methane has nearly quadrupled over pre-industrial level and warming is only releasing more. Methane, 80 times more heat-retentive than carbon dioxide – these claims are nuanced, by the way, I don’t have space to detail them – decays to carbon dioxide. There is a runaway effect in train, now.

The question is, what do we tell people about it? What is in their best interest to know? How should they behave? How should we manage the fallout?

Your definition of what drives those questions as “fascism” I find quite lacking in charm. Fascism in its proper definition is a system of direct, extraparliamentary governance in the interests of military, corporate, sometimes religious and state-sanctioned bodies, united under one all-powerful dictator; the abolition of one-man, one-vote democracy; the undermining of the judiciary and the rule of law; the cult of personality; a populism often based on a false myth of some previous “golden age”, the licensing of citizen violence and the dehumanising of hated minorities; the abandonment of accepted norms of social behaviour; military expansionism in pursuit of the recovery of mythical “boundaries”.

All combined with the kind of double-standard you support as a kind of “neocon”, that what is awful for the “undeserving” majority is good for you.

Fascism has nothing whatever to do with a leaderless popular movement hoping, probably in vain, to extend the span of human life on earth through raising consciousness of other, possibly ameliorative modes of behaviour we could all adopt, given that the ecosystem of the planet clearly does not allow for infinite growth and the expenditure of energy derived from finite resources, to support the rising expectations of an unsustainably large population.

But then, you already know that. I’m sorry, this must be very boring for you.

Anyway, please feel free to continue lying your assinine head off about the lack of scientific consensus on the subject. I feel sure I can almost trace that particular meme back to Messrs Charles and the late David Koch, now making his own personal contribution to global warming; or to one of their well-paid PR shills from inside the Washington beltway, Mr Myron Ebell, possibly; or “Lord” Nigel Lawson, a dishonest paid proselyte whose entire knowledge of atmospherics is confined to cigar-smoke-filled rooms.

It would be traced too, to Exxon-Mobil, the world’s richest privately owned oil and gas company. But look, they’ve confessed to the true scale and nature of the problem on their public website, you know, the problem you refuse to believe exists; and suggested that something – what? – might be done about it. Too late, alas, but a creditworthy attempt, given the money they have outlayed over the years on supplying ready-to-go misinformation to opinion-shapers such as yourself. The tragedy is, they’re probably not even paying you.

You might be surprised to learn that the warming effect of burning fossil fuels – I am sorry if you find this difficult – actually, I doubt you even care, which makes you a true sociopath – was predicted in the latter part of the C19th, and fairly precisely calculated by the 1960s. It is not some new affectation. True, some collective action is required, that must conflict with your belief in the value of rugged individualism. I assure you, many rugged individuals are taking to the hills to survive the coming storm. Others are banding together in the hope of seizing power through group action – well-armed militias.

The fact that climatologists cannot predict precise outcomes in such a complex arrangement of competing forces as our turbulent atmosphere is surely obvious to any person with a modicum of intelligence, although not, obviously, to a journalist such as yourself, employed on the sort of low-circulation publication where you would expect to find a sneering contrarianism fashionable among the better funded set, imagining their money makes them invulnerable to environmental forces.

(I was born among them, Mr Murray. I know them. Having oodles of money does not improve them. But you continue poncing off them, pandering to their more absurd vanities if you will.)

Precise weather forecasting is not the point. Nor, really, is an exact knowledge of the likely degree of average warming: it is not the mean increase that kills, it’s the extremes. And there is no doubt that with a warming mean they are becoming, statistically, more extreme. We see the effects everywhere; especially in the damage to the jetstream winds; the warming oceans and the increases in the intensification, duration and precipitation of storms. Many countries are experiencing declining agricultural yields.

Your children, should you have managed to engender any while admiring yourself in the bathroom mirror, are going to die anyway; or certainly your grandchildren, well before their time, as a direct result of the crisis you are denying; whether as a result of your self-delusion or their own; although I doubt that, should these young people exist in your life, they have any respect for your atavistic gruntings and fartings. “There he goes”, they say, “the old fool, lying to himself and everybody else, and for what? His own self-aggrandisement? Fuck him.”

But I would rather mine didn’t have to die too soon because of your money-grubbing cynicism and the corrupted system of rotten, selfish values you live by, thank you. I’m sure many people would like to try to help, if they could. If they had the kind of information you’d prefer to deny them, to keep your rich friends rich.

In fact, I’m quite surprised to find you exist at all. Your ancestors must have had great trouble believing in the existence of smilodons, until they wuz gobbled up, one by one.

Yours truly,

GW

The Pumpkin – Issue 102: The Method of King Donald… Where did the story about the Bidens in Ukraine originate?… The madness of King Donald (#137), etc. … GW: There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonite… Short essay: Impeachment: the rules of the game

QotW….

“The impeachment saga that is only just starting will revolve around whether Donald Trump is unfit to hold the office of the president. But we already know the answer to that. The real question is whether Trump is fit to hold a pack of Tide pods.” – Richard Wolffe, in The Guardian.

 

Boris Johnson rolls up his sleeve

“Now, Siri, let’s see if I can get my entire arm up my nose.”

 

The Method of King Donald

Those following Trump’s “Chopper talk” appearances to selected hacks on the White House lawn, posed in front of his military helicopter – the one that doesn’t fly in the rain – will be aware of his latest rambling excursion into Trumpworld.

The one where, having called for both the Ukraine phone call whistleblower and Congressman Schiff to be executed for treason (and don’t imagine obsessive little claques of his well-armed Nazi dumbfucks aren’t responding to the call), he then doubled down on his Federal crime of asking for foreign help in his 2020 election campaign, by publicly calling on Ukraine again, and also this time “Jina”, to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his dodgy son, Hunter.

I say dodgy, although Hunter Biden (who was born in the same city as my grandmother, Wilmington, De., fancy that!) is like most of the offspring of wealthy and influential men, valuable for his connections – and hence, in demand as a well-remunerated non-executive director on the boards of companies of whose business sectors he probably has little knowledge. He’s not there as the production manager! Nor is he, like Trump’s sons, congenitally useless and stupid – he has a law degree from Yale, and worked for three years in a lobbying firm, after all.

So if Daddy gave him some legs up, ignoring his drug conviction, well, that’s what makes the wheels go around. It’s a practice you’ll find all over the world, it stinks pretty much, but it happens. And if, for instance, BlackRock wants to pay former UK Chancellor Gideon “George” Osborne £650,000 a year for a weekly chat over lunch, well, that’s their business, not ours.

That being said, to date both men have been cleared by media fact-checkers of any suspicion of actual corruption or grubby dealings in either country, and Trump’s vague insinuations about Biden being part of some scam to steal $1.5 billion from the Chinese government has yet to be shown to have any basis in this reality or the next.

You might as well ask, how it was that $100 thousand came to end up in Trump’s 2020 election fund, apparently illegally donated by a Malaysian businessman wanted by Interpol for his role in the disappearance of much of a $4.5 billion “sovereign wealth fund” that may or may not have been the personal account of a former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, now in gaol.

Anyway, if there’s evidence of corruption involving “Jina” – Trump’s famous Adderall addiction messes with his sinuses – you could look closer to home. Forbes magazine reported in February, 2018 in a piece called “Trump’s Biggest Potential Conflict of Interest is Hiding in Plain Sight” (it’s a long extract (with apologies) so I’ve cut and pasted a few bits):

“The largest American office of China’s largest bank sits on the 20th floor of Trump Tower, six levels below (Donald Trump’s office). The bank doesn’t welcome visitors, a man guards the elevators downstairs – one of the perks of forking over an estimated $2 million a year for the space.

“Trump Tower officially lists the tenant as the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, but make no mistake who’s paying the rent: the Chinese government, which owns a majority of the company. And while the landlord is technically the Trump Organization, make no mistake who’s cashing those millions: the president of the United States, who has placed day-to-day management with his sons but retains 100% ownership. … Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. could well be negotiating right now over how many millions the Chinese government will pay the sitting president.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2018/02/13/trump-conflicts-of-interest-tenants-donald-business-organization-real-estate-assets-pay/#10b583cb48f9

In 2016, The Hill reported that no-one knows exactly how much money the Bank of China has lent to the Trump Organization, or how much he owes.

“The state-owned Central Bank of China has loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars. The New York Times has reported that American companies owned by Trump have at least $650 million in debt and the Bank of China is among the lenders.”

(Let’s recall. $650 million isn’t massive by real estate development standards. However, Trump hasn’t built anything for years, he merely licenses his name and sends in Ivanka to rape the world of its rarest woods and animal hides as a “design consultant”, charges $millions for the use of his brand and then waltzes off with the money from the ensuing fire sale when the project goes tits-up. Now, carry on….)

Meanwhile, Bank of China was involved in a deal Trump’s son-in-law and “Senior White House Advisor”, Jared Kushner was desperately trying to do, as a huge mortgage loan repayment was looming on his loss-making retail-and-residential tower, 666, 5th Avenue, NY that while trying to impress his dad, Charlie, who was in gaol at the time and barred from running a business, he massively overpaid for in 2007, just before the Crash.

Billions of dollars in debt, Kushner and his dad went running around many sources before obtaining an offer of a half-billion-dollar investment from the Emir of Qatar – but it was contingent on a huge loan from Bank of China, within which it appeared Kushner had stashed a $400 million lollipop for himself.

Fearful that this would get out – which it did – Bank of China withdrew the offer, and so then did Qatar. Not long afterwards, the UAE and Saudi Barbaria launched a blockade of Qatar, demanding absurd terms (close down Al Jazeera news!). Within weeks, a Canadian investment trust funded by the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar took a 99-year repairing lease on the entirety of 666, 5th Ave., paid for in cash up-front, a highly unusual arrangement, and the blockade (mostly – the UAE and MBS hate Qatar) went away; as did the Kushners’ debt.

The “quid pro quo” is suggested to have been the provision to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman, of a classified CIA file naming and shaming many opposition figures within the Saudi royal family and the business community, 200 of whom were rounded up and imprisoned in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh until they agreed to pay huge ransom sums to the Crown Prince. Some were tortured and one died. Was the name of Jamal Khashoggi on that list?

Trump had better be careful which countries he strongarms into investigating Sleepy Joe and Hunter Biden!

Mr Trump would indeed do well to avoid mentioning “Jina”, the country against which he has declared a trade war that is crippling American exports and seriously pissing off Premier Xi – a trade war whose only rationale is that Candidate Trump used to campaign to the MAGA dumbfucks on a somewhat generalized assertion that, in future trade relations, he would be putting “America First!”, claiming that  “Jina” was screwing America over! Currency manipulators!

Former Republican candidate and serial adulterer, Sen. Mitt Romney has at last broken ranks to declare Mr Trump’s attempts to suborn US foreign policy to the whims of his devious-but-dumb campaign director, Brad Parscale, and the sinister racialist college vampire, Stephen Miller, ‘brazen’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘wrong’ and ‘appalling’. But they’re just words. In politics, votes are everything.

The acid test will be if Pelosi can push impeachment forward to the Senate and rely on a 2/3rds majority to get the demented old fucker out and into the dock.

Thighs and whispers

Meanwhile, try to put out of your mind the news that a thousand Australian couples have already applied for just six opportunities to be married at weddings sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken, complete with free “buckets” of fried chicken.

40 billion chickens are slaughtered annually, worldwide.

 

Where did the story about the Bidens in Ukraine originate?

Trump watchers will remember, no doubt, the “Uranium One” saga, in which Hillary Clinton was alleged to have done a deal with a Russian state-owned company to sell off America’s entire surplus uranium stocks, from which she personally benefitted to the tune of $2 million.

Subsequent investigations showed she had had nothing to do with the deal, which was signed off by no fewer than nine separate government agencies and involved only a small quantity of uranium.

Intensive press coverage, however, greeted the book in which the allegation was originally made, “Clinton Cash”, written by a man called Peter Schweizer. Typically, the New York Times published excerpts that had not been fact-checked, while the Fox News/Sean Hannity echo-chamber went into overdrive for months.

If they had been, writes Jane Mayer in The New Yorker (4 Oct.), they might have noticed that Schweizer was an editor at Breitbart News, the notorious “alt-right” website funded by billionaire hedge-fund manager, Bob Mercer and managed formerly by Trump-whisperer Steve Bannon; and president of The Government Accountability Institute, another rightwing vehicle, a “think-tank” whose CEO is listed as Mercer’s daughter, Rebecca, and which was founded by Bannon.

The Mercers were among the very largest of Trump’s election donors in 2016 although later on they distanced themselves from him, as did the Koch Brothers, apparently because he wasn’t right-wing enough.

It appears from the New Yorker story that Trump’s wildly swingeing allegations about the corruption of the Bidens, not only in Ukraine but also in China, over which impeachment hearings have begun, have been based entirely on a subsequent book by Schweizer, “Secret Empires”. The story that Vice President Biden had intervened to stop an inquiry into his son Hunter’s role on the board of a Ukrainian gas company owned by a corrupt oligarch was picked up by Rudy Giuliani and amplified by an op-ed writer on conservative website The Hill, John Solomon, who developed the story into a piece asking “Did Ukraine try to secretly help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election?”

Just that question has enabled Trump to seize on the possibility that it was not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election to get him into the White House, but Ukraine that interfered to get Crooked Hillary elected; thus encouraging him to legitimize his claim that his failure to achieve an overall popular majority was due to the election having been rigged against him; although somehow, he won anyway.

There is a possibility that he is so crazy, he genuinely believes this to be true. He is certainly crazy enough to imagine that it still matters: he won!

No-one has produced a shred of evidence to back up this “fake news”, which seems to rest on the fact of a trip to Ukraine Biden Sr made, several days after the state prosecutor abandoned an investigation of the company, Burisma.

Because the prosecutor then happened to be fired after complaints from a number of governments that he had been on the take, Schweizer and then Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani joined the dots backwards to suggest Biden had misused US foreign policy to pressure Ukraine’s then-president Poroshenko to get the inquiry, that would have incriminated his son, stopped.

But the inquiry into Burisma had started long before Hunter Biden was appointed to the job.

It all looks have been part of a deliberate campaign to discredit leading Democrats, as well as one of Trump’s rivals for the 2020 presidential election. But thanks to Trump and his rambling press “gaggles”, and Giuliani’s demented TV interviews, in which both men accepted that Trump had leaned on new Ukrainian president Zelezniy to force him to back the story up, and “so what?”, it has descended into a morass of claim and counter-claim.

Once again, voters are being asked to make up their minds on the basis of propaganda, relying on their own opinions and interpretations, rather than hard facts, that are out there if only they would look.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-invention-of-the-conspiracy-theory-on-biden-and-ukraine?source=EDT_NYR_EDIT_NEWSLETTER_0_imagenewsletter_Daily_ZZ&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_100519&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bea02c03f92a404693ca086&cndid=49581041&esrc=&mbid=&utm_term=TNY_Daily

 

The madness of King Donald #137…

“Trump has at various times claimed—in all seriousness—that no one knows more than he does about: taxes, income, construction, campaign finance, drones, technology, infrastructure, work visas, the Islamic State, “things” generally, environmental-impact statements, Facebook, renewable energy, polls, courts, steelworkers, golf, banks, trade, nuclear weapons, lawsuits, currency devaluation, money, “the system,” debt, and politicians.” (George Conway, in The Atlantic)

The Conway marriage is, surely, one of the more extraordinary phenomena of the Trump maladministration era.

Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, made herself famous with her  excuse for Trump’s early blindsiding about his inauguration rally numbers, that he dealt in “alternative facts” that were no less true than the actual facts.

And she continues to hurl her emaciated body in front of the tanks of the nightly news shows, irrationally defending Trump to the point where you imagine she might suffer a mental breakdown on the spot, if her interviewers didn’t have one first.

Yet her corporate lawyer husband, the well-filled George T Conway 111 continues calmly and rationally to demolish the myth that this is a “normal” president, fit for office, in any conceivable stretch of the word; but is instead a tyrannical, abusive, sociopathically narcissistic, dysfunctional liar. Who nevertheless continues to employ his wife!

Togetherness: but where is Trump in this strange marriage of opposing political views?

Drawing on a convincing range of sources from modern psychology to the Founding Fathers, his latest exegesis is absolutely worth reading, in The Atlantic magazine: a ten-thousand-word forensic examination of Trump’s glaring unfitness, as obvious to anyone, he says, as the badly broken leg of a footballer; public diagnosis of which requires no medical degree.

(In fact, your Pumpkin made exactly the same point only a week ago, including the broken leg analogy. Morphic resonance, or does he have more fans than hitherto suspected?)

Conway deals capably with the accusation that such amateur diagnoses are just more evidence of snobbish Washington elitists and the Deep State attempting to bring down the brash, populist New York real-estate developer who tells it like it is, and who brushes boring convention aside, in reality a clever man with a multidimensional chess-playing brain.

He digs down deep into the roots of the narcissistic sociopathic personality, coming up with unarguable proof with innumerable examples, that the president’s most notorious psychopathic disorder is only the beginning of his mental health issues; but that it is his inexperience, his native ineptitude and refusal to read briefing documents, ignorance for which the true narcissist seeks to overcompensate, that exacerbates the problem.

Other presidents, he says, have not been handicapped by their health issues. Abraham Lincoln for instance being what we would now call bipolar, or “manic depressive”; they have otherwise had what it takes, the right stuff as defined by, say, Alexander Hamilton – that “fiduciary responsibility” to the nation which Trump so signally lacks, his presidency being entirely devoted to himself. If anything, they were able to use their deficiencies to the good, which Trump simply cannot do.

As for being clever and multidimensional, a “stable genius” as he insists on calling himself at every opportunity, well, as Conway reminds us, the former $75 thousand-a-day CEO of the world’s largest oil corporation probably wasn’t far wrong, when he described Trump as “a fuckin’ moron”. Nor is Trump’s recollection of his legendary academic prowess totally aligned with the opinions of his former teachers.

Not many of his former staffers who have come reeling in confusion out of the White House over the past three tortuous and turbulent years, often fired on a jealous whim by tweet or rumor, would disagree. But the Republican party is stuck on the freeway and can’t find the exit ramp, as Trump biographer Tony Schwartz put it on MSNBC last night.

“The essential feature of narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) 

Trump, Conway concludes, quoting several clinical psychologists busily collecting evidence for probably the most complex example of sociopathic narcissism they’ve ever had to work with, is “a textbook case.”

As for winkling him out, Conway explains with legal clarity, both the 25th Amendment designed to remove an incompetent President, and the legal remedy of impeachment for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”, whatever lawyers think those are (Conway argues it’s more a matter of failing to fulfil the duties of the office than committing actual crimes), are not as easy as they sound.

As the impeachment process wears on, he warns, Trump’s mental state can only get worse, with the very real possibility of some kind of dangerously psychotic episode.

We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

The madness of King Donald….

“In February 2017, Trump was given a private tour of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, and paused in front of an exhibit on the Dutch role in the slave trade. He turned to the museum’s director and said, ‘You know, they love me in the Netherlands.'” (George Conway, in The Atlantic)

Boris Johnson, with Jennifer Arcuri, guest speaking at the Innotech summit in July 2013.

“Hey, look what I found up her nose! My thumb!”

The madness of King Donald….

“On Christmas Eve last year, Trump took calls on NORAD’s Santa Tracker phone line, which children call to find out where Santa Claus is as he makes his rounds. Trump asked a 7-year-old girl from South Carolina: ‘Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?'” (George Conway, in The Atlantic)

 

GW: There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonite…

USA: “In the first 3 days of October, over 30 cities set new all-time high temperatures for the month. New Orleans hit 96F, 35.5C on Wednesday, breaking the old October record of 95F – set on Tuesday! Birmingham, Alabama topped out at a record-shattering 103F, 39.4C on Wednesday, hotter than any days in July or all but three days of August. Some schools were closed. New York City hit 93 degrees on Wednesday – the second-highest October temperature ever recorded in the Big Apple.” (from Accuweather)  Temperatures swelled to record-setting levels yet again on Thursday 3rd, with over half a dozen cities reaching the 100-degree mark. No relief is expected before the weekend.

For a time on Wednesday afternoon, every weather station across eight different states was reporting temperatures higher than that of Death Valley National Park in California, one of the hottest places on Earth.

 

Short essay….

Impeachment: the rules of the game

I’m far from being an expert on US constitutional law but what I glean from those who are is that a) impeachment does not automatically mean the removal or resignation of the subject, ie Trump, because b) the term “High crimes and misdemeanors” coined after much debate by Founders Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton does not have to involve a crime in statute law, it merely refers to the failure of an official to properly execute their oath of office, or to a breach of fiduciary duty. Impeachment can be just a warning or reprimand and the official could carry on, as Bill Clinton did; although the likelihood of them repeating the same actions has to be taken into account.

In Nixon’s case, once proceedings began he resigned, in return for a pardon from Vice President Ford. He was never impeached. If Trump were to be found guilty of a federal crime or crimes in an impeachment hearing, as I understand it, having impeached him Congress would need to get the DoJ to execute an arrest warrant as it has no powers in that regard.

Only two previous counsel’s opinions have said a sitting president cannot be indicted, it is not written anywhere in the Constitution; but it is a principle being stoutly upheld by the current Attorney General, whom Trump appointed precisely for the purpose. Hence Trump remains officially an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case against his former lieutenant, Michael Cohen, for misusing election funds to buy the silence of a mistress. On leaving office, provided the statute of limitations has not run out, that indictment could be raised against him.

In the meantime it is difficult to see how one would actually remove him, if he doesn’t want to go! I don’t somehow see Federal marshals getting involved in a shoot-out with Trump’s security detail on the White House lawn but there are reports of far-right groups threatening armed insurrection in support of the president, regardless of his legal standing, should he be impeached. As he has warned, they are well armed and he also commands the military and, via the DoJ, the police.

Trump has indicated more than once that if narrowly defeated in 2020, he might refuse to leave office; he uses that to milk applause from the MAGA audiences at his non-stop rallies. He has also expressed the view that as President, he is legally inviolable and may do whatever he pleases. Which, in itself, could be seen as a “High crime” or misdemeanor, a refusal to honor his oath of office, as the President is technically a public official and is not there simply to please himself.

The best outcome then would be for him to go before 3020 with a full pardon for himself and his children, and probably a decent pension, say ten billion – cheap at the price – in return for a comfortable and obscure retirement free from public controversy and an end to the Trump Organization and its shady business shenanigans.

Somehow, one can’t see him accepting that as a condition!

 

Tories. Lock them up!… Word of the month… Not fit for purpose, #1, #2, #3… A state of surveillance (Miracle on Boglington Street).. GW: It never rains but it rains

Happy Birthday to Me! (70th.)

 

QotW:

Spotted by Private Eye:

“Brexit bombshell: why Tony Blair is behind Supreme Court ruling on Brexit shutdown (D. Express, 13 Sep.)

“Brexit revelation: why Europe is behind Supreme Court ruling on Brexit shutdown  (D. Express, 26 Sept.)

Next week: “Brexit supernova: why alien lizards from Planet X are behind…”, etc.? (Both stories went on to elucidate some purely tangential connection between Blair, Brussels and the Supreme Court ruling on, etc. with no evidence offered at all of the direct influence of either on the Supreme Court.

This is the ersatz journalism we have to put up with, that is bidding to tear the country down. Who are the real traitors behind this shitshow, the judges or the editors?)

(Photo: Neil Hall/EPA)

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove at the Conservative party conference.

“It’s alright, Michael, it’s not Hurricane Lorenzo, just the wind of change.”

For a clip of the early Rees-mogg, go to:#www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcfour

Tories. Lock them up!

The rigidly, almost insanely authoritarian Home Secretary, as dim and far to the right as any since “Something of the night about him” Michael Howard, Boris’ Big Red Bus conductress, hardline anti-immigration campaigner and rabid Brexiteer, Priti Patel, 47, the thinking liberal’s trigger-harpie, gave a rabble-rousing speech on Laura Norder at the Tory party conference.

“This party, our Conservative party” (just to remind you, in case you voted for Farage’s frothing Brexit lot in the European elections), “is backing those who put their lives on the line for our national security.” (Sure they’re pleased to know you’re behind them, Priti, stirring it up and making things worse – see recent Police concerns about rightwing terrorism, radical and racial violence).

“So as we renew our place as the party of law and order in Britain, let the message go out from this hall today:

  • To the British people – we hear you.
  • To the police service – we back you.
  • And to the criminals, I simply say this: We are coming after you.”

(I’ve always reserved a soft spot I’d like to hit with a croquet mallet for soapbox orators who spout Victorian cliches like “to you, I say this!”, as if people are too stupid to realize they’re speaking to them. Ed Miliband used to drive me mad with it. Now carry on….)

Mentally at least, foaming at the mouth, Patel went on to assure the bigoted old dumbfucks, Express readers, caravanners and crochet-knitters in the hall that she would end “freedom of movement” for people from Europe “for once and for all!”.

Er, is it okay to ask why? What is wrong with freedom of movement, Ms Patel? We took your parents in, after all. Without it, you wouldn’t be here. I’d quite like to be allowed to move freely, thanks. Or would you like us all to stay exactly where we were born? I’m afraid I can’t afford to go back to central London, not on my State pension.

Do you use the National Health Service? Ever popped in to Costa Coffee? Who do you think is going to man our essential services?

Silly cow.

A transcendently awful speech, by the sound and fury of it, fully characteristic of all pusillanimous, porage-faced Tory Home Secretaries (and David Blunkett) down the decades, with no regard for the actual consequences of their hardline policies, the social costs, that have failed time and time again here and in any country you can name, it met with wearily familiar subdued applause from the faithful and the Dreary Mail editorial team.

It seems not to have occurred to Ms Patel, a former tobacco industry lobbyist, who, let’s remember, was fired from her previous job as International Development Secretary for holding unauthorized, private talks with Israeli hardliners, that included suggestions she might divert UK aid – taxpayers’ money – to the Israeli army of occupation, that on top of all the admissions from senior Tories about their university drug habits, the biggest lawbreaker of all is her boss.

Perhaps she should have added:

  • And to the senior Law Lords, the Enemies of the People, we will ignore your rulings, traduce you in the scumbag press and put you in the Bloody Tower where we’ll have your heads lopped off for treason if you don’t let us do whatever we like, and to hell with the law.

Meanwhile, police at the conference in Manchester were “looking into” an altercation between Blimpish Tory MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, and a security guard who tried to prevent him bringing in an unauthorized guest; the room had to be put into lockdown, following which Clifton-Brown, 66, was ejected, still ranting and raving, from the building. (To think, his father – quite a courteous man – used to be our landlord!)

The party of law and order, indeed.

In the meantime, it’s been revealed in The Guardian by “a whistleblower” that a Ms Paola Cuneiri, who worked for two-and-a-half years in “a senior post at London & Partners (L&P), the official mayoral promotional agency which Johnson had responsibility for while he was in City Hall”, moved on from there to head the Sirius program.

That’s the government scheme she claims to have invented, so she should have known  the rules, despite which Johnson’s alleged mistress, or one of them, the American “former model” Jennifer Arcuri, a “businesswoman” with a pole-dancing pole fitted in her Shoreditch flat, as they do, was awarded a prestigious £100 thousand cybertech grant, for which two thousand companies had applied; 1,800 unsuccessfully.

The award came with an expensive and hard-to-get Tier 1 immigration visa, despite Arcuri’s firm not meeting the qualifying criteria of being actually based in, or having anything much to do with, Britain, apart from a Companies House registration; or, indeed, with cybertech development. Innotech/Hacker House is basically just an online events management support service.

The whistleblower confirmed, too, that Johnson’s department had granted Ms Arcuri around £26,000 in startup funding, and that she had travelled abroad three times on official trips with the Mayor, who had appeared on video and at events endorsing her company.

(Despite the existence of multiple photos and documents, Ms Arcuri has issued a statement denying any of this ever happened. It was all a dream, little Princess. And now she’s giving hugely expensive interviews with the dumbfuck UK press, under the watchful eye of her lawyer, although she says they didn’t actually, you know. She just gave him technological advice.)

“A friend” confirmed to the Guardian, Arcuri had told her she was having an affair with the married Johnson, who was seen “regularly” leaving her east London flat. He has refused to deny, or confirm it. Whether she overlapped with current squeeze, Carrie Symonds, has yet to be determined by the sound of breaking plates upstairs at No. 10.

Is it looking bad for Johnson? Not as long as his dithering and malevolent waffle over Brexit, his abusive populist tirades against MPs, EU officials and judges, his viral coffee-cup blunders, his halting improvisation of a terrible, unprepared closing speech to Conference and his harebrained scheme for an Irish customs border in the middle of a bog somewhere in Ireland, over which he appears to have stitched-up a deal with – yes, them again – the DUP, continue to hog the headlines.

He’s learned a lot from Trump.

 

Word of the month….

Treason /ˈtriːz(ə)n/ noun

  1. “The crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government.”
  2. Disagreeing with the idea that Boris Johnson can defy the law with impunity.
  3. Thinking leaving the European Union is a bad idea.
  4. Voting Lib-Dem.
  5. er, that’s it.

 

Not fit for purpose #1: The Home Office

“We welcome international academics from across the globe and recognise their contribution to the UK’s world-leading education sector. All UK visa applications are considered on their individual merits, on the basis of the evidence available, and in line with the immigration rules.”

Thus, a Home Office spokesmouth, defending with the standard press response their refusal to allow the two very young children of an American academic at Oxford to join their mother in the UK, forcing her to have to decide whether she can remain in her job, or even in the country.

(Oh, yes, forgot. Her husband, who is working away on contract in his home country of Cameroon at the moment, is, er, black. Tsk.)

Hundreds of overseas academics are being refused visas, often on spurious legal or procedurally incorrect grounds, sometimes suggestive of racial profiling.

Even invited conference delegates and speakers are being shut out, especially from the African continent, and some universities have started automatically rejecting overseas applicants for fear of getting entangled in Home Office red tape.

Welcome to HM Prison Hulk Britannia.

Home of the terminally thick.

Not fit for purpose #2: The President

In the 12 months to June, almost entirely owing to Trump’s trade war with China, nearly 13 thousand US farmers declared bankruptcy.

Those, that is, who have not contributed to the record rate of suicides among small farmers.

Meanwhile the madness of King Donald continues unabated.

He’s now accusing House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff of inventing the telephone conversation in which he has already admitted asking Ukrainian president Zelezniy for a favor in digging dirt on Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, which he now says is fake nooze.

Er… but that’s the report the Committee is investigating! It came from the Inspector General of Intelligence, not from the Committee! (No, “Shifty Schift” is a traitor and a liar who makes stuff up and must be put on trial!)

And today, Trump doubled-down on Biden (who is no longer the Democratic front runner anyway), claiming “what he did in China was terrible” and maybe he will ask President Xi to look into it…

There is no evidence whatever that Biden did anything in China, any more than in Ukraine, where Trump once again admitted he had pressured President Zelenskiy but it was a “perfect conversation”…!

It is horrible watching the spectacle of this tortured man unravelling under the pressures of his job. He needs to be taken out of the pressure-cooker and put in a secure mental facility for his own good, but no-one in office has the guts, the perspicacity or the wisdom to see it; nor has anyone the power to do it, except the Vice President – who is himself under suspicion of assisting in the commission of a crime.

Trump is seriously not fit for purpose. Nor, indeed, is Secretary of State, Mike “I can’t believe he’s not Bunter!” Pompeo, who after five days of outright denying to the media that the phone call ever took place, that there was a report (of which he only read “two paragraphs”) or that he or anyone else, let alone the whistleblower, had any knowledge of it, has now confessed he was in the room at the time, on speakerphone.

Mr Pompeo is in Italy currently, with a brief to continue the president’s important foreign policy campaign to persuade world leaders to say it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled with Trump’s 2016 election, which he won, to get Hilary Clinton elected; that Paul Manafort and Mike T Flynn are innocent bystanders, and that the Mueller investigation was all a hoax.

Even Bunter is beginning to look a little uncomfortable.

Not fit for purpose #3: Britain

Downing Street, according to the Mail on Sunday, for which read evil genius, Dominic Cummings, is “investigating” several of the 21 rebel MPs expelled by the Tory whips’ office last month for voting with opposition parties on the “surrender” bill.

That’s the one denying the sexually incontinent oaf, Johnson, the right to simply walk Britain out of the EU at the end of this month with no agreement to discuss future trading and security arrangements with the market of 450 million consumers just 26 miles away across the Channel.

It is yet another of the extraordinary correspondences between the Johnson administration – for want of a less organized word – and that of the paranoid Trump, who has his tame Justice Department under “Shill” Barr, busy “investigating” his political rivals too; even the ones like Clinton who’ve already been investigated.

In both cases, what is being “investigated” is the allegation that the two men’s political opponents are somehow in the pay of foreign countries and their secretive interests: exactly the same accusation that has been made against Mr Trump and Mr Johnson – but with much, much less evidential justification.

It is in fact just one gigantic smear, designed to intimidate and menace those calling for responsible governance from these two megalomaniacal, sociopathic sex-pests.

This is para-Nazism at its finest, the only difference being that we have not yet started to cause people to disappear into forest graves.

Former Justice Minister, David Gauke, one of the so-called “traitors”, was moved to warn at the party conference yesterday – he is still a party member even though he cannot stand as a candidate or vote with the Tories – that Britain is descending into Trumpism.

As if to prove it, Tory party chairman, James “but not very” Cleverley has this morning again warned of civil disorder breaking out if Johnson doesn’t get his way. Make no mistake, guys, it’s a threat, not a warning.

I suspect few of the frothing old dumbfucks sensing victory for the way of life they misremember from their youth – no dogs, Irish or blacks – no Europeans, except waiters and comic detectives – Camp coffee and proper lightbulbs – toad-in-the-hole for tea, will give a monkey’s, not even when their grandchildren are being arrested off the streets and hauled out of their school classes, Polish overstayers being interned, machine-gun nests dug into the White Cliffs of Dover, avocado toast criminalized (if there are any avocados) and Jewish and Muslim shops being firebombed.

“But I know we’ll meet again some sunny… er, rainy day.”

 

A state of surveillance

Now look. An hour ago I printed off a letter of complaint I had written to my optician as yet a third pair of these O’Neill glasses has fallen apart in my hand after less than three months.

I didn’t email it, or platform it, or anything – I just wrote it in Word and fucking printed it.

Now sitting on top of my inbox is an unrequested email from a company I don’t know, SelectSpecs.com, advertising prescription glasses.

Update… Friday morning, top of my inbox: “New sock is helping seniors turn back the clock…” “This new funeral plan is finally released to Brits over 50…” Oh, did they notice I turned 70 yesterday?

I’ll say it again, Google.

FUCK OFF AND STOP SNOOPING ON MY STUFF, OKAY?

Miracle on Boglington Street

Although, a strange miracle occurred this morning (02 Oct.). (Wouhaaouwaahouwah!)

Friends, I’ll admit, I’ve been having trouble with muh li’l laptop. F’rinstance, once it goes to sleep, you can’t wake it up again. You have to switch it off, wait 5 seconds and then on again, for which purpose I keep a small stick beside the computer, my “on-off stick”, to press the power key with, otherwise if you use your finger you can’t see the little light.

(I’m very practical, although my son thinks I’m mad!).

Also, the desktop icons ‘n stuff are never in the same places two mornings running, and occasionally you get this bluescreen warning of impending cyberdeath. Again, off-and-on-again does the trick. It’s all a bit unnerving.

Well, this a.m. when I started it up, I got a red warning sign urging me not to switch off, as the Operating System was regenerating, like Dr Who. The text of the sign had partly slipped out of the frame of the box it was contained in, and there was no attribution to any source such as Microsoft, raising suspicions of a hack.

Anyway, after a few minutes it finished its operation and an illiterate note appeared, saying “Sucessful complete” (sic). Naturally, I ran a full security scan, as I speak Kyrzgystani, but it produced no evidence at all of anything untoward.

And then, wonderful to relate (mirabile dictu, as the Romans say), as it rebooted automatically, the old pretty photo background image re-emerged, that you get with Windows 10, a different one every day, that I’d forgotten I hadn’t noticed not being there for the past several months, and I was welcomed as before to log in, which I can do because it’s not password-protected.

(I figured that would drive anybody crazy, who tries to guess my password in order to break-in to my system!)

And the very next time I let it go to sleep, the computer woke up immediately I pressed any key! Quite astonishing.

If I’ve been attacked by Hacker House or someone, well, okay, Jennifer, I’m all in!

(And after posting this, what next on my Google inbox? “Norton antivirus-plus…” For Christ’s sake, is this the world I’m bequeathing to my children? Well, at least they can’t blame me for this part, I don’t understand a fucking word of it.)

(Photo: Nikola Mijic)

Lightning illuminates a funnel-cloud forming during a storm over Bosnia, 2 Oct.

GW: It never rains but it rains

Azores: “Winds were rising and intermittent showers were hitting the northern Azores Islands Tuesday afternoon (1 Oct.) as huge Cat. 2 Hurricane Lorenzo sped towards a Wednesday morning encounter with the islands. At 11 am EDT Tuesday, Lorenzo was racing northeast at 25 mph with 100 mph winds.” (Wunderground). 7 of the 9 volcanic islands have been put on the highest alert – 250 thousand people live in the path of the storm. The islands, which are Portuguese territory, could be hit by waves up to 22 meters – 70 feet in height.

Update Thurs.: “Lorenzo brought sustained hurricane force-winds to Corvo Island, gusting to 101 mph. Winds of this strength have rarely been experienced in the Azores. AP reported numerous downed trees and power lines (a maximum gust of 128 mph was recorded on Flores). Civil Protection Agency said the main port on Flores had suffered “grave damage” – part of the dock, the port’s building and some cargo containers had been “swallowed” by the sea. (Wunderground)

UK: Torrential rains have swept across the UK, 1 Oct., causing floods, closing roads and railways, and leading to some places being evacuated. Over 150 flood warnings were  issued and some areas were hit by a week’s rain in just an hour. On the Isle of Man, a major incident was declared as a flash-flood trapped people in their homes. Elsewhere, drivers were rescued from cars. A change of wind direction spared coastal communities in Norfolk on evacuation alert from being flooded by a King tide. (BBC) The rain has moved away into northern Europe but further heavy rain and high winds are expected on Thursday as remnant Hurricane Lorenzo arrives. (Accuweather).

Update: The latest NOAA track suggests the worst of it will veer to the northwest of Ireland and Scotland’s Cape Wrath by Friday. Its sheer size, however (300 miles in diameter), will bring 70 mph gusts, torrential rain and heavy swells from its outer bands to western Britain. The Irish Met. Service has issued an “Orange Alert” wind warning for the entire western coast, with possible 45-foot waves.

India: More than 100 people have died due to flooding caused by “completely unexpected” late-monsoon rains in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Snakebites have caused several fatalities. Rail and road traffic, hospitals, schools and power lines have been disrupted. Patna was underwater as the Ganges overflowed; Varanasi reportedly awash with sewage. The Deputy Chief Minister and his wife had to be rescued from their flooded home. (BBC)

Senegal: At least 6 people have died and over 4,500 displaced by flooding around the capital, Dakar. 4 people were struck by lightning. Large areas of farm crops have been spoiled.

Korea: “At least 5 people have died and several are missing (in floods and landslides) after Typhoon Mitag swept through southern and eastern regions of South Korea on 3 Oct.” (Floodlist reports). Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, recorded rainfall rates of 104.5 mm per hour, the highest since authorities began compiling the data in 1971.

USA: Accuweather reports: “Flash flood warnings remained in effect across several states (in a 1,500-mile corridor) stretching from New Mexico to Michigan on 1 Oct., as a narrow swath of soaking rain targets the middle of the nation. The combination of tropical moisture and a temperature battle zone will set the stage for the relentless rain, which (with ground soaked by endless rains all year) could result in widespread flooding.”

The heatwave stretching from Florida to New York, that has brought record-setting early Autumn temperatures to the East into the high 90sF, will be replaced by colder air this week.

Mexico: “Narda” made landfall near Lazaro Cardenas on 30 Sept. before weakening into a tropical depression. However, on Monday, the storm moved back over open water and strengthened back into a TS. Narda then made a second landfall in Sinaloa on Monday night. Acapulco recorded 7-in. of rain. “Tropical moisture will be pulled northward into New Mexico and Texas, where there will be additional flooding concerns.” (Accuweather)

Guatemala: 1 death has been reported and many buildings destroyed, highways blocked and schools closed, with over 5,000 people evacuated and 1,300 left homeless as heavy rains have caused flooding and landslides since the end of September. (Floodlist)

Australia: In a stuttering start to summer, Sydney experienced near-record October daily temperatures yesterday before the mercury suddenly plunged 15 deg. C in one hour. Mostly, though, heatwave conditions are building again across the entire country, and it’s been the worst start to a fire season on record.

Tunnel approaching….

Terra trema: The town of Dublin in the bay of San Francisco has had 36 earthquakes in the past week, 14 just yesterday (30 Sept.) It lies on the Hayward fault, which is part of the San Andreas. The town of Snyder in Texas was shaken by a M4, right in the middle of a fracking zone. (Mary Greeley)

The evidence is that quakes caused by fracking go on getting bigger, UK Gov. kindly note, as they’re getting bigger here too. There’s a serious environmental health risk on top, according to more than 1,200 research papers. Ban, now!

No sweat: “Hundreds” of migrant workers are dying of heat, working on World Cup football stadiums and other construction sites in Qatar, according to an investigation for the Guardian. Causes of death are registered by the authorities as cardiac arrest, but among apparently healthy young men experts believe this is masking numerous incidences of heatstroke as summer temperatures approach 50C.

Poo story: In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, where sea level has risen 4 inches since 1994, 105,000 residential properties still use septic tank sewerage, according to a new report. More than half are regularly “compromised” by higher tides and increasing rainfall and the situation is expected to worsen. (From: Wunderground)

Ironic deaths corner….

Your Uncle B. has long been interested in reports of “ironic deaths”. The latest such is that of respected US weatherman Bill Lapenta, “former director of the NOAA/NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction”, who drowned in rough surf off the coast of North Carolina this week.

Surf that, er, weathermen had been predicting…. RIP, Bill.

 

The Pumpkin – Issue 101: Can you hear the whistle blow?… They’ve all got it infamy… GW: Oh, the weather outside is frightening

QotW….

“… people would rather see their children die than forego the preservation and defense of their culture or religion. In places where climate chaos is already underway, we are seeing a solidification of tribalism and battle lines drawn between communities who have formerly lived together in relative harmony. These pressures are bound to increase.” – Catherine Ingram blogpost: http://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/

 

Michael Gove giving a thumbs-up during the British Conservative party leadership campaign

“I’m just going to see if I can get my whole thumb up my nose.”

Michael Gove appears as himself in the new production of The Phantom.

 

Can you hear the whistle blow?

It seems the entire strategy for defending Trump against impeachment charges is to discredit, or maybe murder, the whistleblower.

It seems rather odd, given that every detail of the 9-page allegation, endorsed by both the Inspector General of Intelligence and – more uncomfortably – the Acting Director of National Intelligence, that White House staffers had expressed genuine concern over the President’s mobster-like extortion phone calls to foreign leaders to obtain their connivance in fixing his re-election, in a word treason, and that they sought to bury the evidence in a Top Secret, offline Intelligence server, has been confirmed to be accurate.

And given that the White House itself, under the direction of President Trump, then put out a summary transcript of his call to the newly installed Ukrainian president that confirmed he did indeed seek foreign assistance in direct contravention of the emoluments clause of the Constitution and US Federal election law; his answer to which being, that he never said what he said he’d said, the Democrats were “savages”, the whistleblower was a “traitor”, and that what he had just admitted doing was all a plot to discredit him.

The one possibly exonerating factor being the apparent removal, if such had existed, of any direct link in the conversation between his illegal order to delay sending a Congress-approved $390 million in military aid to the Ukraine, to the benefit of his friend Putin, and his request to President Zelenskiy to do him “a favor, though” in digging for “dirt” on Democratic hopeful, Joe Biden.

(White House apologists are denying he used the word “though”, which would strongly link the threat to the demand. It is there in the transcript, though.)

Mr Putin then to some extent wiped his nose with Donald Trump, letting it be known that he would be displeased if the transcripts of his own phone calls with Trump were to escape the black hole of the intel server.

And, since the President is on public record as opining that there was nothing wrong with soliciting foreign aid and that he would welcome more, from whatever source, despite its illegality, it would seem a bit odd to try to pretend that anyone finding evidence of such a request was lying about it. It might suggest Trump himself was lying about it when he admitted it!

Update: And today (1 Oct.) it’s being reported, Trump also leaned on the Prime Ministers of Australia, Italy and Great Britain in phone calls (subsequently buried) and in sending emissaries Pompeo, Barr and Giuliani to misuse their state resources to find evidence supporting his belief that the Mueller investigation was a “hoax”; and attempting to shift the emphasis from proven Russian interference with the 2016 election to “Ukrainian interference”, a charge so ridiculous as to defy contradiction.

In the meantime, he has also demanded that House Intelligence committee chair, Adam Schiff should be arrested and charged with treason. His crime? Putting on a silly voice briefly mocking Trump while questioning Maguire, the Acting Director of Intelligence.

Trump claims that proves all the charges against him are false and that Schiff has “lied to the American people”, because Trump did not say those things – which he has already admitted he did say.

I know, double-take time.

Why does the Republican party continue to defend this sort of insolent behavior, this clear and indisputable evidence of the insanity of the man in the White House – and of his own treason?

We should understand that this troubling series of events is only one small part of a vast nexus of possibly illegal, covert or damaging actions this president has undertaken since coming to office less than three years ago, a concerted abuse of his powers, which in turn have to be set against the background of extensive criminality alleged against him and his family over the years.

Mr Trump is not an innocent party, or the victim of a “witch hunt”. He is still named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case of fraudulent misuse of election expenses against his former lieutenant, Michael Cohen; and in 2017, was found guilty by a New York court of operating the fraudulent scheme known as “Trump University”, a “pay-to-play” scam involving a very expensive, totally underwhelming “course” in Real Estate management, basically a 4-page leaflet, for which he was ordered to pay $25 million in costs and compensation to the victims.

Court records also show at least two prior convictions for tax offences in the 1980s. Although Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, stopped short of indicting him, handing that responsibility over to the Congress – whose pursuit of the case has since been stymied by Trump’s threats to witnesses, ordering them to defy legal subpoenas, alleging they are covered by some non-existent Executive privilege – he produced a mass of evidence showing Trump had attempted illegally to obstruct justice many times during the inquiry into his acceptance of Russian (and probably Saudi) help in the 2016 election.

Or, as Senator Graham brazenly said on Fox yesterday: “nothing there”.

We are still awaiting, too, the outcome of some 16 separate cases before the Southern District of New York’s District Attorney, alleging bank fraud and money laundering; while serious questions remain over the possibility that Trump suborned US foreign policy to collude with Saudi Barbaria in pressuring Qatar to refinance Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s loss-making company; and may thereby have inadvertently assisted through the release of classified documents in the death of Jamal Kashoggi.

Some 3,500 civil suits are pending around the USA, involving the president either as litigator in chief or as defendant. This is not normal presidential behavior, and Trump’s continued, frenzied efforts to transfer blame for his own crimes and misdemeanors onto his opponents don’t make it so.

The inexplicable Lindsey Graham, cherub-faced Republican Senator for South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, who volubly prosecuted the impeachment of Bill Clinton on moral grounds, arguing that he was cleaning out the cesspit that was the Democratic White House, and who is on record as saying previously that Trump was wholly unsuitable to be president, is leading the defense.

He seems to blow hot and cold over the actions of this, the most wayward of US presidents, whose record on morality makes Clinton look like St Francis. Some actions and statements he seems to criticize; others, even worse, he stoutly defends. It’s hard to know where he stands on any issue, but in this case he was overheard on a plane, loudly discussing strategy down the phone with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The whistleblower, he says, is not credible, because the information on which he blew the whistle was “hearsay”, having come at secondhand from anonymous sources. (It now appears that Secretary of State, Pompeo was invited in on the Zelezniy call.)

Verifiably, palpably true, almost certainly illegal, definitely damaging to national security and the interests of the United States, a clear misdemeanor abuse of powers – but “hearsay” and hence, non-evidential. As if the crime and the accusation are two entirely separate matters.

Mr Trump has already attacked those who expressed their concerns to the whistleblower, apparently a member of the intelligence community, as “spies” and “traitors”; adding with a tone of menace that “we used to have different ways, better ways” of dealing with such people. A remark he shrugged off as an example of his curious sense of humor.

It’s not the first time he has suggested executing his political opponents: we recall his thinly veiled red-meat exhortation to the “2nd Amendment people”, i.e. rabid gun fanciers, to assassinate Hillary Clinton. We recall, too, his warning that his supporters were a well-armed militia, he had the police and military in his pocket and they would take necessary action if he did not get his way.

ABC News has amassed a file of 36 instances in which Mr Trump’s aggressive or menacing statements and his apparent support for rightwing extremist elements have been followed shortly afterwards by acts of violence against minorities.

Coincidentally I’m sure, here in the UK Prime Minister Johnson is also being accused of threatening to unleash mob violence unless he gets what he wants over the Brexit deal. Were that to happen, it’s being rumored that he would consider locking the country down under the Emergency Powers Act. He’s dismissed the suggestion as fanciful.

He created a furore last week when he appeared to minimize the significance of the murder of a Labour politician in 2016; and had to defend himself against a barrage of criticism over his use of bellicose language, which he initially did by doubling-down on it, calling his critics “traitors” and labelling Opposition moves to force him to make a deal as “surrender” to the EU.

He has also uttered words of defiance against the Supreme Court, that judged his shutdown of Parliament illegal, claiming the 11 senior law lords were legally “wrong”; and encouraged a new campaign of vitriol against the judges in the hard Brexit-supporting rightwing media.

Johnson, who recently deserted his wife of 24 years while she was undergoing radical treatment for ovarian cancer*, and has taken up with a vivacious party worker twenty-some years younger, who he has (in my rather elderly view, scandalously) moved into the upstairs apartments at 10, Downing Street, further demeaning his office, is also increasingly embroiled in his own scandal involving payments from public funds and favors (and “regular visits”) to a blonde former model, implying possible abuses of office and conflict of interest when Mayor of London. (He has since said she was “too boring” to have an affair with! You can tell, he’s a real toff.)

I wasn’t aware that Trump had published a playbook, “Popular Fascism for Dummies”. Perhaps they’ve both been reading Mein Kampf together. Advised by malevolent, shadowy rogues, both men having previously been metropolitan liberals have committed themselves similarly to the path of popular anarchy in the (hopefully mistaken) belief that the best and the quickest road to absolute power is through the brutish “will of the people”, regardless of who gets hurt.

They need to be stopped.

*I’m slightly surprised not to have seen any of the Guardian‘s usually strident feminist columnists mentioning that ovarian cancer is known to be caused, among other things, by the sexually transmissible Human Papilloma virus, which is carried by men.

Addendum

As it happens, the whole sordid Ukraine affair may have been entirely unnecessary. Mr Biden’s poll numbers are fast slipping behind those of the didactic Senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard lawschool perfesser, Elizabeth Warren.

Bullish and shifty: Boris Johnson on The Andrew Marr Show.

“With this thumb, Mr Marr, and a well-filled nostril, I can remove £350 million worth of snot a week. And if not, I will declare bogey law.”

 

They’ve all got it infamy

“Look at me, Ma, I’m flying!”

Added to the catalog of Trump’s psychological problems, paranoia is a word increasingly heard on liberal media as his ongoing tweetstorm in response to the announcement of Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry reaches new levels of, frankly, foaming insanity.

He is demanding to meet the whistleblower in person, who is reportedly in hiding under federal protection as Trump’s hardier dumbfucks have been posting death threats and have offered a $50 thousand reward for a name and address. It is his “right” as a freeborn American to meet his accuser! Yes, in court, possibly.

Whistleblowers in government are in theory protected by the law, and this one went through all the appropriate official channels. Trump wants him dead.

Trump has quoted a Fox news contributor who suggested that impeachment of the President would result in a “civil war-like fracture” in the nation “that will never be healed”, Trump adding that he would NEVER be removed from office.

This is not the first time he has covertly incited his followers to violence, and already far-right groups are calling for an armed insurrection.

The whistleblower’s report has been fully corroborated, in part by the “memo” that came from the White House under Trump’s own orders, in which he is clearly seen to have illegally demanded dirt on the Bidens as a quid pro quo for arms exports to Ukraine.

Trump is now lying that the whistleblower and his treasonous staffers have made it all up, what he said, and they are part of a Democrat-controlled Deep State conspiracy to overthrow him. He continues to double-down on his belief that Joe Biden and his son acted corruptly, without a shred of evidence. Indeed, the prosecutor at the center of the Ukraine case has said they broke no laws.

(Will Trump have anything to say about Republican Representative, Chris Collins, “the first member of the House to back Donald Trump for president”, who has just resigned his seat ahead of a court hearing into corruption charges to which he is pleading guilty? “Collins was indicted in August 2018, accused of using inside information about a biotechnology company to help his son make illicit stock trades”. – CBS News)

Trump has made other, thinly veiled threats to have the whistleblower and their informants murdered, a threat he has now extended to Democratic Congressmen Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler and Elijah Cummings, the committee chairmen investigating him, who he has described as “savages” and “traitors”.

And he has sent out a very small platoon of his closest remaining advisors to lie repeatedly to the media about what is there in black and white for all to read – not that his Republican party apologists have read it, on their own admission – on his own transcript, so clearly that even Fox News interviewers are unable to spin this and are now being included in his wider conspiracy theory.

The ending of the film, The Third Man, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, seems peculiarly prophetic, as the cynical American black-marketeer Harry Lime (Orson Welles) gets his just desserts after a desperate attempt to escape justice through the reeking sewers of ruined, postwar Vienna.

As he dodges this way and that, his every exit blocked, the sociopathic racketeer previously so self-admiringly full of his own importance increasingly resembles a cornered rat.

Or perhaps we recall smalltime gangster James Cagney in Little Caesar, trapped by the Feds atop the water tower, with no way out but down: “Look at me, Ma, I’m flying!”

 

How are the mighty mighty

It’s time we stood up against these triumphal “progresses” by US Presidents and their absurdly huge entourages.

Why should these overmighty satraps, elected for a brief space, be allowed to swan about the world, demanding obeisance wherever they go?

Seriously, who the fuck do they think they are? Could a US president not occasionally express a little humility, or show some sympathetic good manners towards their hosts, instead of riding roughshod over every other political leader on the planet?

Details have emerged, concerning a two-day visit to Ireland for a meeting with PM, Leo Varadkar, of Trump – the most egregiously boastful, pompous and expensive of all American presidents.

Ireland is a relatively small country, that has had economic problems in the past but is now, we trust, over the hump.

Why, therefore, were they forced to detail over three thousand, two hundred police working overtime to guard the presidential panoply at a cost of €7.5 million? What did they imagine was going to happen to him, that we don’t all devoutly wish for?

Why couldn’t he have stayed at an official residence in Dublin, say the US embassy, instead of patronising his own business over 100 miles away… er, right, no need to answer that.

Because why did Trump’s tacky golf resort at Doonbeg (Room: €220 a night), where he stayed, send the Irish government a bill for €113,000 just for feeding his own security entourage for two nights? Money, the profit margin of which ends up in Trump’s pocket?

This is disgusting.

Even when travelling about the USA, mostly to his own leisure resorts, Trump incurs huge costs, that are passed on to the taxpayer or to the local authorities, whose pleas for reimbursement are not being met.

It’s alleged that the cumulative total cost of Trump’s golf habit alone is approaching $150 million. And we note that a goodly proportion of that comes back to him in the form of profits from serving Cockroach Surprise in the restaurant, renting rooms and other essential facilities, such as golf carts.

If American presidents wish to swan around the world, swanking and showing off how hubristically powerful they are, let the bloated parasites pay their own goddam bills.

Fore!

Dominic Cummings.

Homelessness is on the increase under the Conservatives. After pawning his gilet, Ramblin’ Dom Cummings goes to visit his friend Bannon to see if his sofa is free.

 

GW: Oh, the weather outside is frightening

British Isles: “In a remarkable burst of rapid intensification,” Wunderground reports, “Hurricane Lorenzo vaulted to Category 5 status late Saturday, becoming the Atlantic’s second Cat 5 storm of the year, the strongest hurricane ever observed so far east in the Atlantic, and one of the northernmost Cat 5s on record. As of 11 pm EDT Saturday (28 Sept.), Lorenzo was packing top sustained winds of 160 mph. Lorenzo’s sudden strengthening took even veteran hurricane forecasters by surprise.”

As to where this enormous brute of a storm is headed, buckle up, chaps….

Probability of sustained winds of tropical-storm strength (39 mph) along the track of Lorenzo as predicted at 0Z Sunday, September 29, 2019

And Thursday, 3 October just happens to be your Old Granny’s 70th birthday! What a treat.

Seriously, no weather forecaster expects Lorenzo to arrive at hurricane strength but it will add to days of gusty winds and, in places, heavy rain that has left surface flooding covering many parts of the country and rivers like the Wye at flood stage. The first snow of winter is forecast for the Scottish highlands later this week.

Postscriptum: Promised “two weeks of rain will fall in one hour” today, with 78 amber flood warnings, I throw a coat on over my T-shirt and take Hunzi for a precautionary stroll past the sewage works. After 20 minutes of blazing October sunshine it is 20.5C and I am perspiring heavily. The mercury hits 22.2C by 13.00 before dropping 5C in 2 hrs. as a little rain arrives. Happy days.

Europe: Letters from researchers in Geophysical Research assert that so-called “cold” days in European winters, the coldest days are on average 3C warmer than 70 years ago.

USA: North of the looping jetstream, another of those wayward Arctic plumes has descended across Canada, the Rockies and the northern states of the USA. At the time of writing snow depths in northern Montana were up to 2 feet, but another 2 feet is expected as the weekend wears on, spreading to lower elevations, with 60 mph whiteout gales – a historically life-threatening storm for September, according to Accuweather. Roads are freezing faster than they can be gritted, and there are reports of power outages and downed trees.

Meanwhile: The unseasonal heatwave affecting southeastern states is moving northward, and will bring temperatures in the mid-90sF, mid-30sC to New York – a <20F anomaly – this week.

India: “Unusually late monsoon rainfall has caused severe flooding in northern India, where over 120 people have died in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Meanwhile officials have confirmed that the death toll of last week’s flood disaster in Pune, Maharashtra, now stands at 21, with a further 5 people still missing.” (Floodlist) The Guardian reported, 27 Sept., that the monsoon season has overrun by a month, causing crops to rot in the ground and food prices to rise.

Japan: Yet another typhoon “may approach western Japan from Wednesday to Thursday, the Meteorological Agency said Sunday. Typhoon Mitag, the season’s 18th, is expected to gather strength Monday and move close to Okinawa Prefecture, the agency said, warning of possible strong winds and rough seas.” (Japan Today)

Turkey: “Heavy rains hit the northeast of the country on 28 September, causing flooding and landslides. Buildings were damaged and several roads closed after landslides and streams overflowed. 13 people trapped in buildings by floodwater were rescued.” (Floodlist)

Tunnel approaching…

Overpopulation: The leader of a popular Japanese minority party whose central policy is to close down NHK, the national broadcaster, has called for genocide to reduce the world’s population of “idiots who breed like dogs”.  Mr Takashi Tachibana suggests that discrimination and bullying are forms of divine providence. “Isn’t it good for things to be natural? The natural order God created. People killing each other is part of God’s system, too,” he says. (Japan Times) At the last election, Mr Tachibana got close to a million votes.

Divine intervention: The default for politicians preparing to do pretty much nothing to help people avoid approaching natural disasters is to offer their “thoughts and prayers”. A new US study conducted in the wake of Hurricane Florence found that while Christian participants were willing to part with money to receive thoughts and prayers from others, atheists were more willing to pay to avoid them. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, cited in The Guardian, 16 Sept.)

Moving ahead: Michael Mobbs, a former environmental lawyer who converted his Sydney, Australia terraced house into the country’s first self-sufficient, off-grid city eco-home, is selling up and moving to a remote coastal community. He fears the city is not best placed to survive the complete climate-change-induced socio-economic breakdown he foresees within the next 3 to 5 years. (Guardian Australia)

A very uncivil war… The Diversion bell… Uphill, down Dale… Down with the count… GW: it’s all going swimmingly. Plus: Essay, The march of the anti-Vaxxers: an open letter to a Representative from Maine.

 

 

QotW

“The drab truth of tyranny is a life spent in waiting. But the perennial romance of tyranny comes from its promising its subjects a life more interesting than any they can contrive for themselves.”

– John Gray.

 

Boris Johnson addressing parliament

“By the sacred finger of IDS, I flick my superior bogeys at you, women of humbug.”

A very uncivil war

“Even after you cut off the head, the chicken still runs around the yard.”

Trump mini-me, Johnson raced back from the UN on Tuesday (24 Sept.) to confront Parliament, recalled by the Speaker after the Supreme Court ruling that the unelected Prime Minister with a magnificent Commons majority of minus 44 MPs had lied to the Queen to get her to shut down Parliament for five weeks while he pretended to negotiate a new exit deal with the EU; although their deadline for him to present new terms, including a replacement for the Irish border “backstop”, had expired days earlier with no positive proposals from Whitehall.

It was some confrontation, and it’s still ongoing.

Against a background of scandal – the house is investigating £120,000 in public-money grants and foreign official trips he appears to have given to a busty blonde American ex-model turned smalltime internet entrepreneur, Ms Jennifer Arcuri, whose London flat he was seen leaving a number of times while he was Mayor – Johnson caused a furore when he said the Supreme Court was “wrong” on the points of law, seeming to back rightwing newspaper (and Farageist) slurs of “treason” and anti-Brexit bias against the 11 senior law lords and ladies on the bench. A familiar story.

The BogPo should have thought the judges would be well within their powers to summon Johnson to court to explain his disgraceful remarks, and possibly put him in gaol for a couple of weeks to expiate his contempt.

He then drew gasps from the assembled MPs when he appeared to traduce the late, passionately pro-Remain Labour MP, Jo Cox, who was shot and hacked to death by a white nationalist in 2016, saying the best way to honor her memory was to leave the EU.

He told women Labour MPs they were talking “humbug” when they said they were receiving regular rape and death threats as a result of his and other Brexiteers’ violent rhetoric, a verbal assault which drew cheers from the wife-beating Brexit faction on the benches behind.

Not long afterwards a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of throwing a brick at the window of the constituency office of Labour MP, Jess Phillips.

Johnson described opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn as a “coward” and a “chicken” (normally more than enough to get an MP barred from the chamber) and despite objections, continually called a vote he lost by a wide margin two weeks ago on a bill making it illegal to leave the EU without a deal, the “surrender” bill, setting the goal of a no-deal Brexit in terms of a war against the 27 remaining member countries of the EU.

(He frequently makes allusions to how Britain “stood alone” and eventually “won” the Second World War, “saving Europe” – whose people should be more grateful – knowing perfectly well that that is a mindless piece of historical revisionism that plays well with the elderly dumbfucks of Farage’s extreme pro-Leave community, who would love us to do it all over again with Boris playing Winston, because they only just missed out the last time and it sounds fun. Except it wasn’t.)

Meanwhile, officials have been frantically assuring us that Mayor Johnson never gave any grants to Ms Arcuri, although the office of the Mayor does appear to have donated £15 thousand directly to her little business. Perhaps his best defence would be to admit that he’s been a bit of a chump? Everyone forgives Boris, he’s so disarming. Like a little boy, really.

Despite, or perhaps because of, his wrecking-ball, cynical, abusive, adulterous, tyrannical, atrociously rude behavior, and a verdict delivered from the highest court in the land that he is a lawbreaker and a Royal liar; a verdict to which he has responded with open contempt and threats to ignore it, triggering a constitutional meltdown, Johnson still has a healthy percentage lead among the dumbfucks in the opinion polls.

We await his imminent arrest, trial and conviction with bated breath.

As with US President Trump, what to do with his millions of frothing, deluded supporters, who cannot tell the difference between the world they see on TV or on their little screens and reality; who are bored and fractious and poorly educated; easily distracted by bogus patriotic nostrums, and who don’t care what criminal capers the leader gets up to as long as he’s entertaining them and hates foreigners enough, is another question.

Even after you cut off the head, the chicken still runs around the yard.

Postscriptum

Oh, and two minutes later I see he’s just lost another vote and won’t be allowed to suspend business again during the Tory party conference next week. He might be delighted by that, as it moves us a step closer to the election the opposition won’t grant him. Given that he can’t govern, and the opposition refuses to move a vote of no-confidence so as to keep him twisting in the wind, he surely has to resign and trigger an election he knows he can’t lose.

Can you believe a word he says? corner….

“The firm’s collapse came after Johnson told parliament his government would do everything it could to help Wrightbus. However, a government source strenuously denied any such assurances had been given.” (Observer)

Following the collapse of Rightbus with the loss of more than a thousand jobs that Northern Ireland can scarcely afford to lose, it emerges that one of the Wright family directors had been donating £millions of company money to his evangelical church.

Boris Johnson speaking in parliament.

“Gentlemen, I give you a finger. It is a finger in search of a well-filled nostril…”

The Diversion bell

“Alpha-males are rarely the answer!”

(This article was constructed yesterday, before the latest revelations concerning Ms Arcuri’s companies, all of which appear to owe large sums of money or have been wound up. Ms Arcuri herself is being chased for $100 thousand in unpaid student loans, yet she appears to have “lent” $1m to her company in recent accounts. I don’t think that takes much away from the sentence that follows.)

Has Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Alexander “Boris” dePfeffel, dePfaffle Johnson been the victim of a classic honeytrap scam?

He is currently being referred to the Police watchdog over a possible “conflict of interest” situation that may have arisen when he was Mayor of London. Following revelations in Murdoch’s Sunday Times, the Guardian reports:

“Johnson has been formally referred for potential investigation into whether he committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office, over allegations about a conflict of interest with a US businesswoman while he was mayor of London.”

The phrasing makes the affair sound quite innocuous, commonplace almost. Conflicts of interest between public officials and businesspeople arise all the time. They may be serious, they may be incidental. The Mayor’s office probably has bigger things to do, like buying buses, than deal with minor grant applications for business start-ups.

The egregious nature of the case as reported however arises, in the view of the BogPo, from the many understated circumstantial details to be found between the lines.

The “businesswoman” in question was reportedly an MBA student who had started up a rather vague-sounding internet service, Innotech, that spawned other obscure company registrations. I’m not sure I understand what it really did, I’m sure Mr Johnson probably didn’t, but it was to do with putting one lot of people in touch with another lot.

Not the most original of business plans, seemingly. I ought perhaps to confess that I got a little carried away myself when submitting an internet-based project to my tutors while on an IT course a few years ago, and ended up having to explain widely that no, it wasn’t a real business….

The MBA student has been described as a “former model”, and the former model was, or rather is, what those terrible sexists in the popular press might describe as “busty, blonde, 23-year-old Jennifer Arcuri”. (I am guessing her age at the time.)

Other details leap out at you. In order to qualify for a £100,000 government cybertech development grant, half of which has now been witheld pending enquiries, Ms Arcuri, an American, needed to have a Tier One British residency visa, which she didn’t. They’re rather expensive and hard to get. Except that some time after meeting Johnson at a techfest, she did. Any connection has been strenuously denied.

Her subsidiary company, provocatively named Hacker House, also needed to be registered in Britain, which it was, only there’s no sign of it. It was registered to her rented flat, which she vacated last year. She’s no longer in the country. Mayor Johnson is said to have been a “regular visitor” to the flat in East London, for what purpose he declines to say.

Another qualification, the business needed to employ British staff and to train British apprentices. Ms Arcuri was listed as an employee, also her American “husband”, there were three other names but thus far none seemingly has checked out.

Journalists on The Guardian telephoned the number registered at Companies House and were put through to a number in Florida (the Guardian is now referring to yet another number in California) , where a “receptionist” – not improbably Ms Arcuri herself, or her mom – was unable to confirm an address.

Madame Arcuri seems to have been adept at making contacts on a higher plane. It was when yesterday’s Guardian update on the story mentioned the name of UK “business ambassador”, Prince Andrew, with whom she had apparently embarked on some other sort of business liaison, that the fire bell in your Uncle Bogler’s conspiracy-minded old brain began clanging insistently.

Has anybody checked to see if this lady has any prior connection, spiritual or otherwise, with the “late financier”, Jeffrey Epstein?

To enlarge upon the notion of conspiracy, I would mention Mr Trump’s known habit of collecting “dirt” to use against his political and business rivals, or on people of potential advantage; and speculate on what may eventually come out, that his former cohort Epstein, pimp and abuser of vulnerable young girls, was blackmailing his wealthy and influential clients.

As Gilbert and Sullivan wrote – “I’ve got a little list”.

The Russians call it “kompromat” – compromising material, in the form of video, photographs or letters. Was Epstein feeding Trump helpful “kompromat” on his clients?

But I’m positive there are no such connections.

I feel sure however that MI5 will be looking closely at the case, as the security implications are fairly alarming. There is a possibility, is there gnotte, that our Prime Minister, a man about whom it has been said that he finds some difficulty keeping it in his pants, may have been the victim of a classic honeytrap scam – Florida being basically known for three things: retirement homes, alligators and swampy goings-on.

Where oranges, someone wrote, are not the only fruit.

In which case there must be some concern about the possibility of the existence of kompromat, collected on the prominent Mayor of London, a useful idiot, on a just-in-case basis. But now he is Prime Minister, the keeper of the nation’s secrets, the man with his pudgy forefinger on the nuclear button.

The hope will be that we are still friends with the CIA and that any such material can be swiftly recovered.

Oh, Tory party! You keep doing this! From Profumo, through Lord Lambton, Cecil Parkinson and David Mellor, your sense of entitled inviolability so frequently lets you down. If the stench of sleaze, the “faint aroma of performing seals” is rising once again in the land, you have only yourselves to blame.

Alpha-males are rarely the answer!

Postscriptum:

Responding to the allegations using Trump’s favorite flavor of smokescreen, “it’s all a plot against me!”, a Government source said: “The public and media will rightly see through such a nakedly political put-up job.”

Clearly, in Conference season Downing Street is not without a seaside postcard sense of humor.

Ed Note: a number of the details in this piece have since changed or been clarified. I’m too tired to rewrite it, but essentially Ms Arcuri’s lawyer has auctioned the rights to the Daily Mirror, who interviewed her in a car park in Fresno or somewhere, and she says Johnson never had sex with her, she only gave him technology lessons, and there’s no kompromat. Hope that clears everything up.

Thunberg and Trudeau meet in Montreal on Friday.

“Sorry, Mr Trudeau, I didn’t recognize you without your make-up on…”

Uphill, down Dale

The shambling albino bear-man, Johnson has, as reported, casually dismissed fears of violent retribution against female MPs supporting either revocation of Article 50, or a “soft Brexit” – i.e. one that keeps Northern Ireland in the European Customs Union for another two years while a solution is found to the Irish border question.

I count 10 DUP “angels” dancing on the head of that particular pin.

Mr Johnson’s aggressive language, his constant use of inflammatory imagery from the Second World War, his blatant xenophobia, misogyny and phoney patriotic cliches are widely criticized as being – less strong-willed, than ill-bred. They are all transparently a ruse to de-fang the Farage “Brexit Party” (which isn’t a party, it’s his private company), but he says he regards any suggestion that it might have an actual effect on his deluded dumbfuck supporters as “humbug”.

Oh, really? So there’s no connection at all between the Prime Minister’s bellicose rhetoric, the screaming, hate-filled headlines in the populist press, the breakdown of democratic institutions and the rule of law under assault from the alt-right, and real life?

“Jolyon Maugham QC has revealed that his local police and crime commissioner was sufficiently concerned by recent threats against his life that he was advised to buy a stab vest” … and hire a bodyguard when attending public events. (Guardian)

Other, seemingly quite serious security precautions are being taken by the police to protect the human rights lawyer and his family, who is one of three litigants prosecuting the case in Scotland – the first leg of which they won, thus triggering the Supreme Court review – against Johnson’s illegal prorogation of Parliament. He has even spoken of having to leave the country if he wins the next stage of the case.

There are clearly some very real, scary people out there, who the police think may be capable of taking things beyond mere threats and bluster. Beyond, even, the increasingly dreary and repetitive arguments of the Brexit debate. The question surely is, who is behind them?

At this point I need to make an apology. Referred to in the story is another of the litigants, Mr Dale Vince, “millionaire CEO” of a green energy supply company called Ecotricity. Mr Vince is a leading Remainer, I understand, who is reportedly funding a team to monitor threats against Mr Maugham on the internet.

Many years ago, wouahouhouwaah, eerie flashback music….

In 1992 Dale Vince was a small-scale entrepreneur and lobbyist, pushing hard to erect a prominent windfarm in poshest Gloucestershire, where I had my PR agency. It was a project from which he might have profited. The local media and public were ranged against him.

We were a new startup, with only £5 thousand liquid capital, specializing in supporting small green enterprises, environmental groups and NGOs, working to help them professionalize their communications, which were (and are still) generally woeful. Small as we were, we had years of individual experience between us in bigger media companies.

As someone who had been following the ecology movement since the mid-’70s, I’d devised an ethical charter on which we operated under conditions of full accounting transparency, in order to shake off the general impression among those client groups that the advertising industry was just a bunch of overpaid liars, sharks and charlatans.

Which it pretty much was, as I knew after seven years working in it. Except for the overpaid bit.

And, impressively as I thought, we also shared our office space (at my invitation) with the country’s leading environmental campaigner, Jonathon Porritt, and his little team of helpers.

Asked to pitch for writing and designing a leaflet for his renewable energy campaign, I quoted Vince a derisory amount – £150 – just as a token fee, for what would have been a full day’s work for two creative people and more hours for our print-buyer. Beyond that first small brief, I was eager to propose a longer-term working relationship.

After we had driven 15 miles to his office and spent an hour discussing his needs, all on my and my MD’s time, he sneeringly dismissed us as being, basically, rapacious capitalist lackeys, and rejected the offer as being too absurdly expensive.

I have said bad things about him at any opportunity ever since, as I regarded him as being a hypocrite, a bully, a timewaster and an all-round slimeball. Worse, now he’s also a millionaire.

So no, sorry, Dale. I haven’t changed my opinion, but I’ll keep quiet about it from now on, okay?

Take one for the team.

Take 2…

A second apology is due to Mr Arron Banks, the self-promoted millionaire, frequent visitor to the Russian embassy in London, possibly Britain’s Ugliest Man, and the money behind Nigel Farage, his £1.2 million house and the unofficial Leave.EU party.

We were obviously wrong about him and would like to be sorry.

The National Crime Agency, I think it is, has declared there is “insufficient evidence” of criminality, apart from the extensive evidence with which they were presented, obviously, to warrant further investigation into his sources of funding.

As Mr Trump, he kno’, “insufficient evidence” to prosecute a successful case is not the same as total exoneration. Saying won’t make it so, so this apology is, at this stage, a little tentative. But hey, in the interests of national unity, etc.

In a previous statement, the forces of law and order had admitted, their investigation of Mr Banks, who has extensive obscure offshore holdings and apparently unproductive mining interests in South Africa, in addition to his loss-making Gibraltar-based insurance businesses, and frequent dealings with Russians (he has a Russian wife) yet who somehow funnelled £7 million to Leave.EU out of feelings of pure patriotism towards Britain, had been delayed for over nine months, since it was “too political” to start work.

Your Uncle Bogler therefore trusts there will be no ill-feeling, in the light of previous Posts, which were based on exhaustive private investigations by the indefatigable journalists at Open Democracy dot Org, and Ms Carole Cadwaladr of The Guardian group.

Although I still feel ill, to be honest.

 

The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard receives a threat from Command to hive the oldest members off to the Civil Defence corps:

Captain Mainwaring: “I have to tell you, Wilson, that I too have taken steps to look more virile…”

Sergeant Wilson: “Oh my God, it’s not monkey glands, is it?”

– Dad’s Army.

 

Down for the count

I’ve just this minute had through the post, as I imagine have millions of other householders, an official government form that I’m being requested to complete and return.

Extending to 32 pages of densely packed questions about myself, where and in what condition I live, it purports to be, not exactly a census, but a “census rehearsal”.

The next official census, taken every ten years, is not due until September 2021.

But this form is the census! It’s the actual script! The same questions! There is no difference! And we are not, so far as I know, legally obliged under the 1801 Censuses Act, whatever, I shall have to Google it all shortly, to complete the national census, wasting hours of our time, in 2019.

The government is currently in a state of dangerous disarray and showing all the signs of administrative incompetence and bitterly divisive rancour one would anticipate shortly leading to total socio-economic breakdown. Incipient public disorder portends the imposition of what, for want of another term, one can only describe as a quasi-fascist regime under Mr Farage; one of über-nationalistic authoritarianism and suppression of liberal dissent.

This new, as-yet unborn government will, should we complete the form, be in full possession of a vast amount of my personal data with which to oppress me at its leisure.

As it does not seem to carry any legal penalty, I do not need to rehearse carrying out my solemn and onerous duty to provide the enemy State with intrusive details of my life, thank you. I’m quite prepared for when the actual performance comes.

I think I should write to them and say so.

 

GW: it’s all going swimmingly

India: At least 12 people have been killed and several are missing after heavy rain and flash floods in the district of Pune in Maharashtra state, on 25 Sept. 5 people died when a wall collapsed. Around 150 homes were also damaged. 5 other victims died when buildings were washed away by flood waters in Shivapur. Schools and colleges in Pune district have been closed. Of major concern are low-lying areas following a controlled release of water from the Nazare dam on the Karha river. 15 thousand people have been evacuated as a precaution. (Floodlist)

USA: “Parts of the Northwest and southern Canada are bracing (27 Sept.) for a potentially ‘historic’ storm that will unleash heavy snow, fierce winds and record cold — meteorologists say the timing of this storm will add to the dangers” (people aren’t prepared for winter yet). “Hazardous travel conditions and power outages will result as blizzard conditions will unfold in some areas”, with up to 3 feet of snow a possibility. “As the storm evolves, temperatures may plummet 50 deg. F. (25C) or more in some locations.” (Accuweather)

Meanwhile: “Millions of Americans across the Southeast will face record-challenging temperatures into early October as an area of high pressure remains anchored over the region” (Accuweather). Atlanta last week hit a high of 95F, 35C – 18F above average and breaking a 1950 record. “Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, both topped 97F while Columbia, South Carolina, had the high for the day at 99F, topping the previous record set in 1984.”

Record rainfall and flooding plagued Nevada and the Southwest all week, while Wisconsiners recorded a 150mph, EF-3 tornado. Three injuries were reported.

Caribbean: Tropical Storm Karen refuses to lie down. After dumping heavy rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it’s expected to hook a left and head for the east coast USA, or perhaps Cuba first, maybe as a low-end hurricane depending on wind shear which, if strong enough, could finally rip it to pieces.

“Hurricane Lorenzo, currently spinning over the central Atlantic, first became a hurricane on Wednesday, but by Thursday afternoon, it had rapidly intensified into a major Cat 4. On Thursday evening, Lorenzo was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, but meteorologists believe it could continue to strengthen and eventually become a Cat 5 storm with winds exceeding 157 mph. If Lorenzo achieves Cat 5 status, it would be the farthest east that a Cat 5 hurricane has ever been observed in the Atlantic Ocean.” (AccuWeather) “After passing the Azores, Lorenzo will then track toward Europe as a weakening TS and could impact areas like the British Isles.”

Tunnel approaching….

UN: “Earth is in dire straits, and rising sea levels will cause ‘sweeping and severe’ consequences for humans, an expert United Nations climate panel (has) warned. … sea levels are rising at an ever-faster rate as ice and snow shrink. Oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen (up to 3% now…).

“The agency warned that if steps aren’t taken to reduce emissions and slow global warming, seas will rise 3 feet by the end of the century, with many fewer fish, less snow and ice, stronger and wetter hurricanes and other, nastier weather systems.” (Reporting: The Weather Channel)

Scientists on the panel were at pains to point out that UN IPCC panellists are directed to be conservative and things are probably twice as bad as they say.

What the media is not mentioning while it is fixated on the avoidable consequences of sea-level rise is the part of the report where, according to the team at Arctic News: “there is 1,460 to 1,600 Gt of carbon present in the” (permafrost – plus a possible 2,200 Gt more on and under the seabed, just in the shallow East Siberian shelf alone) … The IPCC report projects permafrost (top 3–4 m) to decrease in area by up to 89% by 2100 under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), leading to cumulative release of tens to hundreds of billions of tons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere by 2100.” … “The report fails to warn that, as the Arctic Ocean keeps heating up, huge seafloor methane eruptions could (also) be triggered (Shakhova, et al.).”

In other words, cackles yer Old Gran, as this is based on a current linear warming trajectory that is already being disrupted by nonlinear feedbacks – it’s curtains.

Plague: Deaths are being reported in the USA from mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which has a more-than 30% mortality rate. There’ve been a dozen cases in Massachusetts, while “in hard-hit Michigan, they’re warning people in high-risk areas not to go outside after dusk and before dawn.” (Accuweather) Officials are praying for a cold winter.

Terra trema: There’ve been some fairly severe earthquakes in the past few days. At least 25 people were killed by a M5.8 in northern Pakistan; 100 injured in Albania’s worst quake for 30 years, also at M5.8, and worried people took to the streets in Istanbul after a third M5.8 rocked northern Turkey, damaging buildings. A M6.0 hit off the coast of Puerto Rico at the height of Tropical Storm Karen, followed by a M4.9 that damaged buildings on land and more aftershocks. There was also a M6.0 off the coast of New Zealand.

Your money: “Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing (has) said central banks like the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve ‘have used their tools to a large extent already’ to avoid global economic risks. He said they have ‘no conventional measures left to effectively cushion’ the hit of a ‘real economic crisis’.” (Express) He was speaking as the latest German numbers showed the European powerhouse led by the car industry sliding into recession. (NB – The Express is a virulent anti-EU fascist snotrag, however this does look genuinely a bit bad.)

Former Bank of England monetary policy committee member, David Blanchflower is accusing the Bank of “fiddling while Rome burns”, and says the UK economy is probably already in recession as the figures have a long lag time, while all the indicators are looking very much like 2008.

Heat the rich: 1% of English residents are responsible for 19% of all UK flights abroad. The 10% most frequent flyers took 52% of international flights in 2018. The aviation sector accounted for about 7% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. (Guardian)

Hope springs: “People who have an upbeat outlook on life have a lower risk of cardiovascular conditions and premature death”, says a new report (Guardian Science)

x

Long essay:

The march of the anti-Vaxxers: an open letter to a Representative from Maine

Rep. Heidi Sampson

House of Representatives

Washington DC

Dear Ms Sampson

I saw you interviewed tonight on a BBC documentary about the anti-Vaxxer movement in your country.

I have rarely heard such a malicious and tendentious tirade before. Well, I probably have, as I follow American politics, and I’ve also watched Adolf Hitler’s speeches. But you know what I mean. You disgracefully constructed a doctrinaire, ultra-conservative political platform from an avoidable threat to your nation’s children.

You are, of course, entitled to your uninformed medical superstitions.

Sixty million of you, after all, were easily persuaded in 2016 to vote-in as President, a superannuated playboy and ex-TV reality show host with no political, economic or diplomatic experience: a malign and vindictive solipsist – an uneducated, emotionally retarded, bullying sociopath with a history of serial bankruptcies, bank defaults, business failures, compulsive lying, gross sexual misconduct, grift, blackmail, tax fraud, money laundering and dealings with organized criminals at home and abroad.

All of that was known or strongly suspected beforehand, even to us in Europe. Your own intelligence community warned you against this fateful step, yet you still supported him. Now he stands accused of treason against your country and covering up crimes – yet your party still supports him.

Why then would I imagine you could possibly, on any day of the week, not regurgitate a ludicrous conspiracy theory promoted by someone like Alex Jones of InfoWars; like you, a leading medical specialist in epidemiology, and also someone clearly in want of secure psychiatric care, about vaccines?

It’s a truly bizarre phenomenon, human nature.

Ten thousand competent, practising medical doctors with years of training and experience will tell you one thing. One discredited, disbarred and thoroughly dishonest British practitioner, a known charlatan promoting a bogus scientific theory for financial gain on a worldwide publicity tour, a desperate individual whose reputation is thoroughly sullied, career self-destroyed, hopelessly pursuing a dangerous fallacy that has been thoroughly investigated and statistically disproven, will appear on a notorious conspiracy-theorist’s website to tell you another.

Who do you choose to believe? Don’t tell me! It’s such a romantic story, that poor Dr Wakefield. So wickedly, unfairly persecuted by evil scientists!

But they contain aluminum! No, Heidi, vaccines contain a harmless salt, aluminum hydroxide. Not the metallic aluminum, many millions of atoms of which you consume daily from your own cookware. And formaldehyde! They embalm corpses! You, Heidi, manufacture formaldehyde naturally in your own gut, from the digestive process. It comes and goes. In vaccines, it’s a necessary preservative.

My God, Heidi, do you ever look at the lists of ingredients on the packs of food in your supermarket? What you’re eating is lingering death, to put it kindly – dozens of known carcinogens like nitrates (preservative); aspartame; butane; propyl gallate. Tests show your fresh food is rich in chlorpyrifos, a commonly used agricultural pesticide your government has just re-licensed, after the President received a million dollar donation from the makers, Dow. A chemical banned everywhere else and proven to damage the brains of unborn children.

But you still force yourselves to eat it. Pro-Life? Anti-vaccine? Please, Heidi, do try.

It’s frankly astonishing; although to me, it’s equally astonishing that so many Americans believe Jesus is going to rapture them up to Heaven at any moment, or that a clump of insentient and possibly malformed cells is a human being, worthy of more respect than a born child who might die without vaccination. Are you all on some wonder drug I haven’t heard of? I’m not sure Fentanyl quite does it.

Surely, your cult of rugged individualism must clash with the obvious need for more altruistic communal responsibility? As vaccine uptakes fall, it’s other people’s kids that are going to bear the brunt of your individual selfishness. And where do you stand on lead pollution in drinking water?

I’m 70 years of age, Ms Sampson. During my childhood years I so enjoyed being made sick and missing school for weeks by the common viruses and bacilli of Measles, German Measles, Pertussis, Chickenpox and Mumps, all of which I survived. The one thing I didn’t get was Polio, which was endemic when I was very young.

That was because your brilliant Dr Jonas Salk invented a timely vaccine, which I was given, and I didn’t get Polio. Tens of thousands of children did, and a few still do. It’s a vicious, disabling disease: you die when the muscles you use to breathe go into paralysis. You suffocate, slowly. But not in my country, not yet, although thanks to your anti-Vaxxers it’s sure to return here one day.

I hope your kids didn’t get Polio, Ms Sampson. I guess to you that would have been God’s will. Your greatest president of the 20th century, and certainly of the 21st so far, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, got polio when young, because there was no vaccine. He could stand only with a back-brace, walk barely  at all, and much effort was expended by the White House staff to make him appear electable in public.

I wonder, Ms Sampson, if he would have been an anti-Vaxxer?

If you have ever visited the Indian subcontinent or Southeast Asia, you may have seen many older people with deeply pockmarked faces, some of them blind and/or deaf. That was caused by an even more deadly virus, Smallpox. Millions died from it every year. The poor things, they wouldn’t have been raptured up to Heaven by Jesus, like your sick babies, because they’re only Muslims and Hindus.

Back in the 19th century – it sounds disgusting – Edward Jenner noticed that dairy workers seemed not to get Smallpox as much as others. He experimented with scraping pus from cows infected with a related common disease in cattle, Cowpox, into the bloodstreams of healthy subjects, then exposed them to Smallpox sufferers. None of them got Smallpox, and an industry was born.

An industry whose motives you deeply suspect, of course, because you’re an expert, but one that has saved millions of lives.

Were I able to transport you back in time to 1918 and the last months of the First World War, there in a camp in Kentucky where men mustered to go fight in the trenches, an avian virus called H1N1 took hold. Sick men could not be spared, so they were sent on packed and insanitary troopships to fight in Europe. Many never got there. Others did. In the subsequent influenza pandemic that swept the world, half a billion got sick, and 90 million people died, struggling for breath until their lungs ruptured and they drowned in their own blood.

Have you been getting your ‘flu jabs, Heidi? Your annual protective inoculations? Have your parents and kids, because, you know, the old and the young are especially vulnerable. Pharma labs work continuously to keep up with the latest viral mutations, because the world isn’t the lovely place you’d like it to be. Evolution – which I doubt you believe in – goes on at the microbial level. We live in a soup of constantly mutating viruses and bacteria. Deadly pathogens emerge. They’re taking it seriously, even if you aren’t.

You asked – shockingly, I thought, mendaciously, but perhaps naively – on camera if the World Health Organization is a trusted source? What do you think, are they any less trustworthy than your own Centers for Disease Control? Why would you assume that? Oh, Heidi, it’s not because they’re not American, is it? They’re only World?

Do you know how backward, how narrow-minded your country is beginning to look, with its lowbrow medievalism, its millions of poor, uneducated, low-income families unable to afford any kind of healthcare, let alone vaccinations, or sanitary housing, and its burgeoning epidemics of long-ago childhood diseases?

Your poor, demented President retreats visibly and audibly from the complexities of a world he doesn’t understand, but in which he foolishly imagines himself omniscient: a classic Dunning-Kruger personality. He drags millions of gullible, childlike people down with him, victims of a cruel and arbitrary system of corporate greed, billionaires and corrupt politicians benefitting from astounding inequality; ordinary folks who will believe in absolutely anything he wildly promises because it seems more exciting than everyday reality. Victims who even believed his false promises on healthcare.

You’re not wrong when you say the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in selling its products expensively. Why wouldn’t it? The profit motive seems perfectly in line with the rest of the capitalist system you wholeheartedly endorse. Do you not accept that there is a little hypocrisy there? The prices are a disgrace, no doubt. Diabetics are dying for the price of a shot of insulin.

But the principles on which they operate are no different from those of any other sector of industry. And your President lied: he promised voters to bring those prices down. He gave huge tax breaks to Big Pharma, and instead they pushed their prices up. That’s the capitalist ethic. Do you imagine he cares?

Neurotic Americans are notoriously over-medicalized: laxatives, painkillers, slimming pills, snake-oil – but that is not your proof that vaccination is bad, only that the methods by which it does good might be bad. Your pernicious oil and coal industries also have a vested interest in making the whole world sick, but would I ever hear you castigating them, those fine American globalist corporations that prevent so many of your colleagues in Congress from going hungry?

The World Health Organization has successfully eradicated Smallpox from the world through a determined, multi-decadal program of vaccination. Aren’t you glad your children don’t die from Smallpox? It’s a filthy disease. Rotting pustules bursting all down your digestive tract, in your eyes, your vagina. Happily, thanks to vaccine, nobody gets Smallpox anymore.

Currently, they’re battling an epidemic of the Ebola virus in the dark heart of the Republic of Congo. There’s a vaccine, not yet fully tried but showing promising effectiveness. Nevertheless, over two thousand people have died agonizing deaths, their organs failing as the alien virus replicates inside and bursts out through the cell walls, spewing blood, who might well not have died but for the ignorance and animistic superstitions of the inhabitants, who – just like you Americans – regard Western medicine as a conspiracy and its vaccines taboo.

Aren’t you better than them?

And then there’s the Human Papilloma virus, that men unwittingly carry, and women develop ovarian cancers from, and many die, like my first wife, Trish… There’s a vaccine today, but I don’t really need to go on, do I?

If there was a vaccine against ignorance, superstition and criminal stupidity, Heidi, I’d make it compulsory. On the basis of what I heard you say you don’t deserve to be in office, you have no credentials: you imagine yourself to be a responsible person, a rectitudinarian in the finest traditions of public service, a crusader for individual choice and freedom, but you’re not – you’re a menace!

As a result of your wilful ignorance and doctrinaire conservatism, children are dying. Happy Jesus!

Go home, Heidi. Bake cakes. Watch TV.

You truly, utterly silly woman.