John Supine fails to strike again
If anyone doubts my rebranding of the BBC’s senior editor in Washington as the totally uncritical “John Sopoor”, or “John Supine”, one has only to visit BBC News, 01 August, and his reporting of a new, really disturbing, mentally deranged series of tweets from Trump.
“The president’s tweet today might be seen as relevant.”
What is this pathetic little man reporting on?
Well, let’s look at the case of the fascist thug, “Tommy Robinson” (not his real name), who has just been freed on bail by the Appeal Court in the UK after a few weeks in chokey, pretending to have been starved and abused by the Government. His crime was to broadcast his forthright views on the criminal trial of a dirty cabal of Pakistani immigrants accused of exploiting children for prostitution. We have laws relating to commenting on criminal trials while they are ongoing, and he happily made a martyr of himself by pleading guilty to contempt of court; something for which he was already on probation.
Mr Trump, who has previously attempted to minimise the role of Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman in 2016, has just tweeted out that the trial of Mr Manafort that began yesterday on a range of charges including money laundering, tax fraud and acting as an undeclared foreign agent for the kleptocrat, Viktor Yanukovitch, ousted premier of Ukraine and friend of Putin, should be halted for obscure reasons, one being apparently that, unlike Al Capone, Manafort hadn’t actually killed anybody.
It is perfectly clear that Mr Trump is terrified that Manafort will ultimately be forced by the prospect of life in prison to break and tell the Mueller investigation what he knows about “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, about which Trump has lied expansively.
The “relevance” of which Supine feebly speaks is in fact yet more evidence, atop a vast pile of incriminating tweets in the possession of Special Counsel Mueller, of Trump’s increasingly risky and desperate attempts to shut down the investigations – perverting the course of justice; a justice that is bearing down heavily on his own past crimes; a justice he affects to despise, to which we can now add contempt of court.
“In voting to Leave the EU, people obviously imagined that minimizing the numbers of foreign workers in Britain would restore their value in the jobs market.”
Ausweise, bitte #2: deregulation and the rise of the investocrats
“We also strongly recommend re-opening the debate about ID cards or some form of national identity management system to reassure people in a world of ever rising human flows that we know who is in the country, for how long, and what their entitlements are.”
Thus, Mr David Goodhart, author of The Road to Somewhere (“about the best book-length guide to Mayism anyone has produced – Guardian), “whose reservations about mass migration and support for the principle of native favouritism in the allocation of public services have made him a bête noire for liberals.” – Guardian, 30 July.
I’m afraid the BogPo is not entirely reassured. People who use expressions such as: “ever-rising human flows” do seem to have a certain sociopathic detachment from the human race, nicht war? Especially as net immigration has actually been falling, more for economic reasons than because of hostile natives like Mr Goodhart.
In other words, if you are currently an EU citizen who, probably for work purposes, needs or just wants to Remain in the UK after next April Fool’s Day, and you do not take out expensive residency rights, you should have to buy a ticket to obtain the services of the NHS, to sign-on at the JobCentre, to obtain employment, rent a room, get married, or travel in and out of the country.
(Spend too much time out and you may not be let back in.)
It seems odd to think of all those 400 thousand French illegals in London next spring, finance industry workers undocumented and skulking in the shadows, waiting for the knock on the door.
A previous attempt under the Blair government to introduce ID cards resulted in a furious public backlash, people channeling Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner: “I am not a number, I am a free man!”; and frankly, in a free country, one could see why. However, post-Brexit Britain will no longer be such a free country, despite the twisting of the f-word in the lying mouths of the Brexit conspirators.
We have already seen exposed, under Theresa May’s zero-tolerance policy towards undocumented migrants, that netted hundreds and thousands of people who were here legally but did not have the correct paperwork because their arrival predated changes in the rules, the dark underbelly of a Britain that is hostile towards outsiders, however benign and useful their presence may be*.
And frankly, my dears, when Brexiteers talk of “regaining control of our borders”, well, after 69 years in this country, born to British nationals, I have observed that on the very few occasions I travel abroad, even just to France for a week, I am obliged to enter details of my passport and nationality on applying for travel tickets, to pass through two passport controls on the way out, another on entering France, two on leaving France, and again through one more passport checkpoint on re-entering my own country; as well as being subjected to Customs declarations and sometimes searches and pointed questioning, both on leaving and re-entering the UK.
And that’s inside the borders of the EU, where the law (it’s more a theory) clearly states that you may freely travel – without a passport! Any form of ID, such as a driver’s license, should do.
If all that implies that we have somehow “lost control” of our borders, I shall hate to see what life is going to be like in HM Prison Britain, post-Brexit.
Those Brexiteers have been selling you a pile of smelly pants for years. Their authoritarian instincts qualify for a broad definition of modern “fascism”: that unholy alliance of State, capital, military and church empowered by an atmosphere of engineered mistrust, nativist exceptionalism and a confected mythology of a past golden age that conceals the virtual enslavement of an entire population.
The immigration argument has nothing to do with the facts: unemployment has continued falling throughout a period when large numbers of European immigrants have been arriving, but still a majority of Britons believe migrants are “stealing our jobs” and – perhaps more pointedly – “driving down wages”.
Importation of low-cost labor might fairly be categorized as part of the capitalists’ strategy to reduce costs and boost shareholder value. The export of manufacturing jobs to lower labor-cost countries (“globalization”) was no longer proving as cost-effective as it once did, owing to the rise of the middle-class in those countries. As workers in China became wealthier and more negotiable, China ceased to be primarily a producer-economy and is now seen more as a promising consumer market.
The obvious answer was to find people in countries like Romania and Bulgaria, new EU arrivals, who were able to sustain themselves somehow on minimal wages because of pre-existing economic and currency differentials betwixt here and there. In an era of already stagnant wages, native British workers were naturally going to resent any further drag on their incomes, and willing to ignore the real reasons for their misfortune in favor of targeting the immigrants.
In voting to Leave the EU, people obviously imagined that minimizing the presence of foreign workers in Britain would restore their value in the jobs market. There is no evidence whatever that that will happen. The unemployment rate in the USA is 3.8%, a historic low – migrant workers are being discouraged and deported wholesale – corporate taxes have been massively lowered as a bribe to raise the living standards of low-paid workers – yet wages continue to fall.
Shareholder greed – the rise of the investocrats – rampages on unabated.
With Parliament in recess and a dearth of actual politicians, who will, if they have remained awake for the past nine months, have hightailed it as far over the horizon as EasyJet can take them, it is the turn of the lobbyists to crawl out of the woodwork.
The BogPo wrote last week of the relationship between Mr Dominic Raab, the swivel-eyed Brexiteer, ardent privatizer, deregulator and advocate for free trade with anyone on any terms, who is now the fox in charge of the Brussels negotiating coop, and a hard-Brexit think-tank funded from the USA.
Our Post was based on an article in Open Democracy, but it seems other eyes too have been on the think-tank, the Institute for Economic Affairs, that since 1955 has been lobbying for an economic system based on the vaporings of Professor Hayek, the grandfather of neoliberalism and godfather to the Friedmanite monetarist economics pursued so disastrously in the 1970s by Thatcher and Reagan.
Mr Raab and the IEA have it seems enjoyed a close relationship, but the IEA has extended its tentacles deep into the Conservative party and the Leave campaign, obtaining much funding from Conservative and Christian lobby groups in the USA.
It now stands accused of, effectively, selling access to government ministers via its contacts in the party; the specific case in point being hormonally-enhanced beef producers in the state of Colorado (the beef, that is, not the producers, one hopes), two of whose representatives were caught up in a sting operation by a Greenpeace agent working undercover in collaboration with The Guardian newspaper.
“The director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (Mark Littlewood) was secretly recorded telling an undercover reporter that funders could get to know ministers on first-name terms and that his organisation was in ‘the Brexit influencing game’.
“The IEA chief was also recorded suggesting potential US donors could fund and shape ‘substantial content’ of research commissioned by the think-tank and that its findings would always support the argument for free-trade deals.” (30 July)
Such as the one-to-one free-trade deal being assiduously lobbied for by the Colorado beef producers: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/30/brexit-influencing-game-iea-us-rancher-tucker-link
But the operative question is surely, in whose interest is it to go shipping carbon-intensive meat halfway around the world, undercutting British beef producers on the basis of lower welfare and consumer safety standards than those imposed by the EU; inevitably driving down production standards in the UK and admitting rapacious US factory farming corporations and their chemical overloads to British soil on a low-or-no regulation basis.
Why do we need to buy American beef, when we can perfectly well produce our own? (Answer: because this is about a globalist ideology, not about common sense.)
And do we imagine this will be the only deal British ministers will be desperate to do, to mitigate the lunatic decision to abandon a bigger market just 26 miles away across the Channel? When the dam bursts, thousands of producers around the world will be queuing to do deals that are most definitely not in the interests either of British consumers or British producers.
But if you can drive down prices at the till, the Brexiteers will privately argue, regardless of whatever shite you are palming off on the consumer, however many British producers you drive to the wall, you can keep wages at rock-bottom, and thus sustain a higher return on capital invested; enabling shareholders to maintain the bare minimum level of investment in production capacity and pocket more of the profits for bonuses, tax-free offshoring and stock buybacks.
Claiming to be entirely a research institute for educational purposes, the IEA is a registered charity qualifying for special tax status. The Guardian story is, there are growing doubts as to whether it is in fact operating as a charity under its memorandum and articles, or whether it is a quasi-political lobbying entity undeserving of charity status; that played a key role in conning the British public into voting to leave the shelter of a well-regulated European economy.
We think the answer is pretty clear, don’t you?
It’s unbelievable! 3500 lies and counting.
Roughly 40 per cent of Americans polled say they believe everything or most things Donald Trump says. The other 60% think he tells the truth some of the time, rarely or never.
The President’s dedicated truth-checking team at The Washington Post confirms, even before the North Korea summit, in 497 days he had told over 3,250 outright, verifiable lies. Many of them are about those “enemies of the people”, the failing fake news media.
It’s a relentless assault on an objective reality he avoids living in, and upon anyone or any entity that might, if the veil were rent and the truth be told, destroy him and his carefully constructed personality cult.
Analysts seem to agree, his constant, almost hysterical undermining of alternative sources of facts is deliberately designed to enhance the tendency of his poorly educated voter base to believe only in his version of events; a classic hallmark of the dictator down the ages.
He has to do this, because he actually has no cards in his hand: he is totally out of his depth in the job and being elected to the White House has exposed his lifelong career of minor crime and business deceit to potentially prisonable scrutiny.
So we’re probably well over 3,500 now. The volume is increasing, as is the outright dishonesty of his many tweets and self-serving false statements about trade, the economy, Russia, NATO, immigrants, Brexit, the Mueller ‘witch hunt’ against him, public healthcare, tax, Senator McCain… his wealth… NO COLUSION! and the maundering garbage he spews over his adoring fans in aircraft hangars across the nation, where he has been campaigning for re-election since the day after he was elected the first time.
The frightening thing is, the adoring dumbfucks neither know nor care. What matters is that Trump says it, not whether or not it is true. For millions of Americans of the more deplorable sort, he remains the triumph of hope over expectation. Even leaders of evangelical Christian churches are instructing their congregations on pain of hellfire, never to question his innumerable marital infidelities. He has changed the landscape of America in unimaginably short order.
40% of a voter population is easily enough to create the momentum for a frighteningly authoritarian regime, of the kind Americans have ever experienced only in small doses, as perhaps during the McCarthy Communism hearings, under the anti-sedition president John Adams, or the four-term FD Roosevelt, whose authoritarianism was essentially benign, although many believe he was – horror of horrors – a Socialist.
The brainwashing is absolute. The more illusory it proves, the more the myth of the rugged individualism of the white man is invincible.
An interesting discussion of Trump’s pathological assault on reality can be found on the PBS Newshour channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNSFBgWlVyI
GW: “Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting” (Lennon-McCartney)
USA: Temperatures in the triple digits will remain into the first weekend of August across northern and central portions of California. Temperatures have averaged about 4 degrees above normal this summer. This includes in Redding where the explosive Carr Fire continues to blaze a path of destruction. Highs typically range from the middle 80s at the start of June to near 100 in late July in Redding. (Accuweather)
Video of the Carr fire is truly heartbreaking. Over 100 thousand acres gone – 159 square miles. How does the wildlife escape this horror? How does anyone even start to try to put it out? The sound of air burning is just terrifying. One thinks of Dresden. (CEWN #131) Are you watching, Trump, you fat, useless old cunt?
The Washington Post reports on a record-breaking hot month in California: “In July of 2017, Death Valley experienced the hottest-ever month in recorded history. On Wednesday, it will break its own record, concluding a month in which the average temperature of the valley—both day and night—was an incredible 108 degrees. (The max. 127F over five days was not quite the hottest ever reached.)* Rain falling on the town of Imperial, Ca. was measured at 119F, 48C, the hottest rain ever recorded (Wunderground).
Weirdly, temperatures on the California coast have been barely into the mid-60s F. all this time; while there have been severe storm, tornado and potentially catastrophic flood warnings out across a broad swathe of the midwest as an unusually loopy jetstream pattern persists.
Pacific: Storm Hector intensifying to a Cat 1 hurricane south of Hawaii, some trackers have it passing 50 miles from Big Island, where Mt Kilueia continues to erupt.
Caribbean: Grenada was hit by heavy rain and flooding from 01 August. The rain was caused by a tropical wave interacting with the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Landslides, flooded homes and roadways and land slippages throughout the island. Full damage assessments yet to be carried out. (from Floodlist)
Japan: Typhoon Jongdari smashed into Honshu island Sunday with 115 mph winds and heavy seas. 140,000 homes were left without power and over 36 thousand evacuated, with around 40 injuries reported. Jongdari arrived in the wake of a record-breaking heatwave causing 80 deaths and 22 thousand people to be hospitalized, following the record rainfall, floods and landslides in the south around Hiroshima at the beginning of the month, in which around 200 people died and 8 MILLION were evacuated. 4 thousand people are still homeless.
The heatwave in Korea continues. South Korea set a new all-time heat record of 41.0°C (105.8°F) at Hongcheon, a town in the northeastern province of Gangwon. Temperatures in Seoul reached 38C, 100F and no relief in sight. Farm crops failing, fish dying, food shortages feared. (CEWN) Weather historian Maximiliano Herrera avers, this is the worst heatwave in Korean history, since last year’s. (Wunderground)
There’s further monsoon flooding in Myanmar, 10 dead, 100 thousand displaced, while 100 people are still missing following last week’s dam burst in Laos (Floodlist reports). The death toll in India‘s monsoon floods is put at 537, 58 dying in Uttar Pradesh on the 27th. Assam has re-flooded, 5 dead. 2 died in floods in the capital, Delhi, affecting 10 thousand homes. There’s severe flooding again in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
China, 176 thousand Ha (435 thousand acres) of Heilongjiang province underwater, 250 thousand homes affected. (CEWN)
Parts of eastern Australia are suffering their worst drought in living memory. About 98% of New South Wales is drought-stricken, and two-thirds of neighbouring Queensland. As a result, farmers are having to buy in food for their livestock. The government’s aid for drought-hit farmers has now topped A$1bn (£564m). Parts of Australia saw the second warmest summer on record between December and February, and the country as a whole saw its driest July since 2002. (from BBC News)
Colombia, Venezuela both experiencing severe flooding, population movement exacerbated by a MILLION refugees from Venezuela, many needing food assistance. Santo Domingo del Táchira in western Venezuela, recorded 818.6 mm of rainfall in July, 2018. This is the second highest monthly rainfall amount ever recorded in Venezuela (normally 500 mm.) (from Floodlist)
Europe: 28 July, The Washington Post reported:
“It’s the longest heat wave in Europe since 1976, and although expectations for Friday’s heat were tempered somewhat by widespread summertime storms in Britain, places in mainland Europe still baked. Amsterdam and Rotterdam posted their hottest temperatures ever recorded Thursday, 94.6 and 97 degrees (34.8 and 36.1 Celsius). London and many other cities also recorded their highest temperatures of the year over recent days. About a three-hour drive north of Paris, the French border city of Lille recorded an all-time record high of at least 99.7 degrees (37.6 Celsius).
After a cooler spell, temperatures are forecast to push up into the high 40s C in Spain and Portugal this week, possibly even touching 50C, sending a plume of hot air over the rest of Europe up into the British Isles by Friday. Holidaymakers have been warned not to go out in the daytime and 11 thousand firefighters are on standby.
Greece: The death toll in the Attica fires has risen to 91. Since 26 July Athens has been hit by powerful cyclonic winds and deluged by heavy rainfall with local flash floods. (CEWN #131). Severe flooding in Romania. Sweltering heat has trapped much of France and Germany, with crops shrivelling in the fields. In Paris, the temperature did not fall below 20C overnight for 10 nights.
Israel: record-breaking heat has encouraged widespread fires. (CEWN)
Arctic: The sea surface temperature near Svalbard (77.958°N, 5.545°E) on July 18 was 17.2°C or 63°F. This compares to an average sea surface temperature at the same location on roughly that date between 1981-2011 of 5°C or 41.1°F.
On 28 July the temperature in Banak, northern Norway, at 70 degrees of latitude, was 31.2C, 87.8F.
Arctic sea ice volume on July 9 was at a record low for the time of the year. “Sam Carana” (Arctic News blog) points out that while the extent of the ice has hardly changed, owing to fresh meltwater freezing, over a meter of thickness has gone, and “complete disappearance of Arctic sea ice in September 2018 is within the margins of a trend based on yearly annual minimum volume”; which, they warn, can happen abruptly as more heat and wave energy are pushing northwards into the region and the circumpolar jetstream is slowing down again.
Methane levels are again very high, reaching 2817 ppb on 9 July.
Criminal acts by the Trump regime
A 2014 ban on neo-nicotinoid pest killers
* This matter of day and night temperatures raises an interesting point. When the International Panel on Climate Change or whoever reports that the average global temperature has increased by, whatever – 0.59 degrees? since whenever – 1981? they are taking the average as the median point between the highest and lowest temperatures recorded around the world, day and night, summer and winter.
Actually, if you take the average of only the highest, i.e. the noonday temperatures, which is where the heating effect is most obvious, global warming is between 2C and 4C already (and much higher at both poles). It’s the extreme temperatures that do the most damage, and record heat events vastly outnumber record cold. Hot is getting hotter!
This is not happening!
Five million Facebook viewers have now allegedly viewed a video by ultra-evil energy lobbyist Marc Morano, throwing up a totally spurious case to deny that man-made climate change is real and ongoing.
“Morano’s only evidence to dispute the (97%) expert consensus on human-caused global warming is to quote an economist who agrees the consensus is 90–100%, and that the experts are correct that humans are responsible for global warming.”, writes Dana Nuccitelli in The Guardian, 25 July.
Morano’s other theses, that it’s impossible to separate the effects of industrial CO2 emissions from natural background changes and other causes; and that “scientists can’t say with 100% certainty that 2016 was hotter than 2015 due to the margin of uncertainty in the data”, are also lies easily debunked, if only by looking at more than the limited number of sources he has selected to feed his confirmation-bias.
(There is, for example, a single Danish survey that climate-change deniers have fixated on, showing global temperature was actually static for 19 years between 1989 and 2008. In fact the Danish scientists have since stated that their data were selectively misinterpreted by a climate-change denial blog that was picked up and amplified in the rightwing media; global temperature has NOT been static; besides, we know that each of the past 402 months (totalling 33 years) has been fractionally warmer than the equivalent month the previous year, without a break.)
Those are in any case pretty feeble premises on which to deny what anyone can see is happening just by going for a walk in the park, or by viewing the disturbing citizen-generated cameraphone images of floods and wildfires on a reliable website like Climate and Extreme Weather News. The cumulative impact is terrifyingly persuasive.
True, those things have happened in the past, but not with the intensity and frequency with which they are happening simultaneously all around the globe today. We are heating the planet many thousand times faster than the planet has ever heated itself before, the logic is remorseless: you cannot keep changing the balance of gases in the atmosphere without it having an effect – and the current weather anomalies are entirely in line with the forecast symptoms.
Endearingly, when interviewed Morano openly admits he is lying. It’s his job, his business (he runs a number of false-front climate-change denial agencies masquerading as expert scientific institutions) to try to create a case for denying the reality of a planet being dangerously warmed as a result of (mainly) carbon dioxide emissions from burning the fossil fuels profitably extracted by his paymasters.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earnestly explained in the face of growing catcalls and a record-breaking vertiginous plunge wiping £billions off his stock value that Holocaust deniers posting on his platform were wrong, but might perhaps have good intentions.
Fake news is everywhere, possibly even on this site, although here we do our best to insult our victims on the basis of whatever evidence of malfeasance and cretinism we can stand up through logic, prior knowledge, reason and a little superficial research.
There’s nothing any of us can really do about global warming, it’s too late anyway. The weather will go on getting more extreme, more chaotic; more people will suffer, first the poor and then creeping up the wealth scale until billionaires are huddling in their extensive underground climate-controlled bunkers, at the mercy of their private security armies; more regions of the world will cease to support normal life, to produce food and shelter, until there is nowhere left to escape to.
So if Marc Moron wants to go on yelling into the firestorm, let him. He’s (possibly) a bestial, money-grubbing American ignoramus who fucks camels in the zoo at night, just sayin’, but the only harm he’s really doing is to lull stupid teenage Facebook subscribers into a false sense of security.
It’s perhaps the best place for all of us to be now.
There were three women wearing white coats wandering around, seemingly doing nothing in particular, opening and closing drawers, gazing into space, in the pharmacy section of the supermarket.
I asked one if they had some astringent lotion and she replied: “Yes, but I’m sorry, I can’t serve you before two o’clock, it’s the lunch hour. We’re only allowed to dispense prescriptions.”
No-one was there having a prescription dispensed. No-one was eating lunch. The board announcing the Opening Times made no mention of a 1 p.m. hiatus.
It was just the rules.
Sometimes I feel like we’re still living in the 1950s, and it’s not particularly comforting, whatever you may think.)
The BogPo is closing down now for a week of fun and frolicking with a catheter bag, sandals and a microphone. I know, but what can you do? It’s August. You’ll just have to think for yourselves.