May wins: Election Special. Plus: Striking a blow for intelligent pensioners everywhere. And: The Guardian – Hell hath no fury like a 50-year-loyal reader scorned.

“I have accepted in the interests of national unionism that the earth is strong, stable – and completely flat.”

 

“…if they rumble me, already at 34 a lifelong Labour voter, I could end up as several trays full of bleeding, raw-meat canapés…”

Election Special

Three words I never imagined I would hear in my lifetime:

“Labour wins Kensington”.

This election has thrown up many wild surmises and strange portents, but the idea that one of the country’s wealthiest boroughs should in a thousand years by a majority of 20 votes have elected a Labour politician to represent it, the posh part of London where indeed your Uncle Bogler first drew breath and shortly afterwards inhaled his first Capstan Full Strength, is possibly the most unexpected.

I can only conclude that so much property has been flogged off at inflated prices to UHNW (Ultra-high net worth) foreigners laundering their ill-gotten gains, Qataris and so forth, that their much put-upon housekeepers, bored chauffeurs and window-box trimmers are the only ones actually living in Kensington during the week, who are eligible to vote.

I recall, indeed who could ever forget, being invited to an election-night party at the Knightsbridge cottage home of Lord St Aubyn, an old school chum of my stepfather’s.

It was 1984, and Mrs Thatcher was in the process of securing a resounding majority from a nation grateful for her torpedoing of the Argentinian capital ship, the General Belgrano, with the loss of hundreds of young lives, in a cowardly attack while it was steaming away from the Falkland Islands.

The tiny house – more of a pied à terre – was packed with identical-looking 30-something city boys wearing identical striped Jermyn Street shirts and red braces, their identically self-satisfied, blue-jowled faces flushed with champagne and the smell of power.

“They set up a terrible baying noise”

Each time the TV anchors announced another Conservative gain, they set up a terrifying animal baying noise and stamped their Gucci loafers like rutting stags. Rare news of Labour MPs clinging on to their traditional heartland seats produced a low, threatening rumble of hatred, boos and howls of derision – cries of ‘out with the smellysocks!’.

It was clear these Masters of the Universe were historically unaware of where their money had come from in the first place.

After about forty minutes of this I thought, God, if they rumble me, already at 34 a lifelong Labour voter, I could end up as several trays full of bleeding, raw-meat canapés, and fled into the chilly March night.

I don’t recall that Lord St Aubyn received a thank-you note from me, rude I know, but ever since that awful night when the scales finally fell from my eyes, I have hoped (in the Trumpian sense) to someday witness the beautiful sight of a Tory MP dangling from every lamp-post in Whitehall.

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“…I feel I have as much right to satirise the Golden Orb as anyone sipping cocktails in libtard snowflake Manhattan…”

 Too much of a coincidence

The election has been a satisfying victory for we conspiracy theorists.

Who would have dreamed last Thursday that Her Majesty’s Government would end up as the hostage of a tiny bunch of incomprehensible flat-earthers from Belfast?

Clearly, some hidden hand is engineering all these close-run things producing political turmoil around the world?

It is surely not a coincidence that the US Congress has found itself since last November in a similar situation, a minority government dominated by wealthy loonies who believe the world was created in six days and global warming will be fixed by God.

If you haven’t been keeping as close an eye as I have on the incredible events in America – perhaps you’ve not yet retired, I can recommend it – you will not for instance have heard Senator Mark Green of Tennessee defending the disastrous Trumpcare health bill, that on independent analysis threatens to deprive 23 million of the poorer sort of person of their affordable medical insurance while putting $ billions more in the pockets of the wealthiest, whitest 1 per cent.

Sen. Green’s thesis is that the poor don’t need health insurance because Jesus will take care of them. If they have insurance, he argues, they will be less inclined to go to church and pray for salvation; consequently if they get sick it’s their fault.

I assure you he is not the only Republican to express similar sentiments.

Indeed, we find Republican administrations all over the country emboldened by the election of President Trump to pass barbarically regressive legislation, for instance criminalizing the popular protest that is protected by the First Amendment.

Lawmakers in Elk Bend, Minnesota were forced to flee the building after passing a law enabling the county to arrest and charge protestors for the costs of policing demonstrations against themselves; such that had forced them to flee the building. In Washington, a GOP lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would consider protesters to be domestic terrorists (salon.com). North Carolina is hoping to make any kind of public protest illegal, Tennessee having already tried to pass a law protecting car drivers from prosecution if they accidentally run over and kill a protestor blocking the street.

Now, we all know that 97 per cent of the population of Tennessee wake up every morning in their coonskin caps to find themselves still living in the seventeenth century. They can count their lucky stars and stripes on the seven fingers of each hand for Jesus’ love and mercy every day of their blessed lives, and look forward to another sunny afternoon burning witches, scalping injuns, defending the Alamo and marrying their first cousins.

Draining the Swamp: Mr Trump goes to Wall Street.

But this is now the tradition proclaiming Trump as the Great Reformer, returning the US and indeed the world to the era of commonsense, no-nonsense, working-class, outdoorsy American exceptionalism; a viewpoint that is one thousand percent flat-out contradicted by everything the man has said and done since he bullshitted his way into office on a minority vote, appointed five Goldman Sachs executives to his otherwise oil-soaked cabinet and set about lighting a bonfire under every piece of socially progressive legislation that has ever helped the ‘common man’ survive the heartless brutalities of the ruling elite; while drilling the hell out of their cherished monument lands.

(There are currently moves to permit uranium mining in the Grand Canyon and fracking under formerly protected national parks. EcoWatch reports that the federal government is privately subsidizing with taxpayers’ money the already vastly wealthy fossil-fuel bidness to the tune of $700 billion a year.)

America: land of living history

Living in so many time-zones, America must indeed be a strange place. I’ve never been there, never had a desire to go there, but unlike President Trump I am in a very small sense a US taxpayer. I have an IRS number, thanks to a residual trust fund set up by the great-grandfather I never met, whose Irish daughter from Delaware married my gold-digging English paternal grandfather.

Consequently though with every word I write I drift further away from ever being allowed entry via General Kelly’s closing homeland security gates, I feel I have as much right to satirise the Golden Orb as anyone sipping cocktails in libtard snowflake Manhattan or snarfing at their own jokes and cynically milking the witless audience whooping it up on one of those terrible late-night ‘comedy’ shows.

While from the safety of distance I have observed pithily on the subject of time-zones that America has 21st-century technology, mid-20th-century infrastructure, a 19th-century political system, 18th-century justice and 17th-century religious beliefs, based on a 16th-century sense of entitlement to steal anybody else’s land in the name of God and the Crown.

Living history, indeed.

It seems too much of a coincidence, as I say, given events in the USA, that Theresa May has delivered her political agenda into the clutches of a tiny handful of politicians belonging to a minority party founded by that monstrous, bellowing bigot, the Revd Ian Paisley*.

As does the Republican-controlled Congress, so do DUP members of Parliament include proclaimed anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Catholic, climate-change denying, alt-right fundamentalist Christian Bible truthers and six-day creationists (to be taught in schools, etc….).

Most importantly, they demand the return of loyalists’ right to have a British Union flag flying provocatively over Belfast City Hall – one of the most contentious issues of recent times. A campaign strangely reflected in the recent controversy over flying the Confederate flag and displaying the statues of heroic slave-owning Civil War generals in darkest Alabama.

You see where this has to go?

But at least the minority of DUP followers voted to Leave the EU, unlike the rest of the population of Northern Ireland, so that’s alright.

Strong and stable, then. Not a coalition of chaos.

*We do not forget, however, ‘Dr’ Paisley’s remarkable late-life conversion and friendship with the late Martin McGuinness, former commander of the Provisional IRA.

The flat-earth society awaits the arrival of the mothership.

A time of contradictions

Someone who will no doubt be delighted by this happy turn of events is Mr Jim Dowson.

The Pumpkin has previously commented at length, based on various press and webnews reports, on the activities of this Belfast-born, DUP-supporting, refugee-hunting, alt-right Christian ‘millionaire’ disruptor, who applied his US Patriot News website last year to helping secure both victory for Donald Trump and the Brexit vote – as he believes.

‘Now where did I put my pen?’ Mr Biros Johnson, author of ‘The Idiot’s Guide to Managing Stationery’.

Although Mr Dowson will be disappointed that thanks to significant Tory gains over the Scottish National Party he has been unable to secure a second independence referendum for Scotland, another of his disruptive ambitions, nevertheless Mrs May seems fixed on course for the ‘hard Brexit’ he has campaigned for (ie total economic separation from Europe and an end to EU immigration).

Assuming, that is, she survives the attempts by Boris Johnson, Michael Fallon, Amber Rudd and others to replace her as leader, there being no creature as feral as a Tory scenting blood-loss.

It is of course a time of contradictions, where the old left-right political certainties no longer hold. There is a problem with hard Brexit, specifically in Ireland, where the DUP is in fact supporting the idea of a ‘soft border’; a ‘harder border’ with the Republic would undoubtedly lead to a return to smuggling, gang warfare, IRA violence, Loyalist violence and the complete breakdown of the already fragile Good Friday agreement.

Mr Dowson might not mind that. As described on Wikipedia, in 2012 he co-founded the Protestant Coalition, described as an ‘anti-politics party’, in the wake of which there were violent demonstrations over the vote in Stormont to ban any flags from being flown over City Hall:

“Dowson, a Christian fundamentalist, also led an anti-abortion campaign, the UK Life League. In May 2011 he and (Paul) Golding had launched a new far-right, nationalist movement in Britain, Britain First, to protect “British and Christian morality” and campaign against Islam, immigration and abortion.

Dowson left Britain First, apparently feeling that burning mosques was ‘un-Christian’. At the same time there was some interest in his fundraising activities.

Nevertheless he has been videoed supposedly supplying equipment by night to a party of Bulgarian neo-Nazis hunting down Syrian refugees along the border. His Budapest office is home to his self-styled ‘Knights of Malta’ group, as well as to former BNP leader, Nick Griffin; the Knights’ funding, it’s reported, comes in part from Konstantin Malofeyev, a deeply conservative nationalist oligarch who is a patron of the Russian Orthodox church and yet another ‘spiritual advisor’ to President Putin.

So there’s plenty to feed your conspiracy theories there, guys.

Get to it!

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Who guards the Guardian?

There are two kinds of people, aren’t there. People who read a newspaper because it reinforces their deepest prejudices, and people who read one because they love a bloody good argument before breakfast.

Were I entirely in the latter category, I should purchase a paper copy of the Daily Mail every day, however I don’t. I have an aversion to people who use words like ‘purchase’. The Daily Mail reinforces my deepest prejudice against the middle class, and against the half-human child-eating succubus who edits the paper on a salary of nearly £2 million a year.

Instead, I’ve been a Guardian reader for almost 50 years.

Much of the time I do it because of the pain it causes me. Guardian writers are so fucking smug. Yet their suburban university-educated liberal opinions broadly sit alongside and seldom disturb my own rather more furious vision of the world. I find them trustworthy on facts, anyway, whatever the angle.

Of course, I stopped buying the printed paper version several years ago, while trying simultaneously to give up drinking a bottle of wine every night. I came back to the online version, which is for now at least paywall-free (why call it a ‘paywall’, like something Donald Trump would insanely demand Mexico should pay for? Of course no-one is going to pay for something that prevents them from enjoying it. Call it a ‘special offer’ or something.)

However, I am getting sick and tired of The Guardian‘s prejudice against me.

Here, for instance, is Zoe Williams pontificating sonorously on the election outcome, having invented a new word, ‘subliminating’:

“It is entirely right that, one day, someone would have the genius idea of putting something in a manifesto that actually offered something to the under-60s. We have had decades of decisions made in the interests of the older voter, which have locked the young out of everything, from housing in their own country to the freedom to move to a better one.”

You see? I’m the one who’s been prevented by ignorant and deluded middle-class Daily Mail readers from moving to a better country by their grossly irresponsible, shortsighted and selfish action in voting to drag Britain out of the EU, preferring to transfer our precious ‘sovereignty’ to Boris fucking Kerfuffle Johnson.

Yet for the past year The Guardian has been moaning lazily in cliche-ridden article after cliche-ridden article that, because I’m in my late 60s, while squatting in toadlike isolation in my £1 million, five-bedroomed house and forcing my children to flip burgers to pay exorbitant rent for living in my wine cellar, I must have voted Leave and screwed it up for everyone younger.

Of course I bloody didn’t, and I don’t know anyone here of my own generation who did. What do you think, we’re stupid or something?

Fuck you.

I’m the one who can’t now risk selling up and retiring abroad as I’d been planning, to teach, paint, make music and live on flavourful ripe tomatoes, bread and artisanal cheese and rough red wine, in case I get chucked back out again.

Not only that, but here on the BogPo I was warning as long ago as 2013 that we were heading for the brink of the White fucking Cliffs of Dover. Did you take any notice, bloody Guardian? No, you just sailed on smugly imagining no self-respecting Islingtonians could possibly take issue with your remote-viewing psychic analysis of the state of the nation.

Then for a year after the disaster of the referendum your failed sociologists and Sir Simon Jenkins have wasted thousands of column-inches wringing your liberal hands over the poor misunderstood middle-class and desperately trying to work out what’s gone wrong with the nation when the fish-porters of Sunderland are able to pervert the course of the future?

Wankers.

Yet day after day The Guardian‘s well-paid columnistas continue to drip this ageist poison into the ears of the millennial libtard readership (that’s the second millennium, not the first, which I remember so fondly) whom they are hoping to cultivate beyond the inevitable paywall, insinuating – nay, declaiming that it’s the elderly who are responsible for their economic misery.

Bollocks to that, frankly.

On the one hand you have the Mail, edited by the bullying chauvinist son of a military service-shirker who, unlike Ralph Miliband, sat out the war in New York quaffing champagne with movie stars, blaming it all on the immigrants.

On the other, is The Guardian persuading my 20-something children by my second marriage that euthanasing the old man with the tiny house in the thundering outskirts of a busy seaside town and paying off his retirement mortgage is the only solution to their economic woes.

Well.

Guardian readers who are increasingly confronted with heartbreaking messages about supporting free journalism with voluntary (for now) subscriptions and cash donations, and who may have read with alarm that the title lost £69 million last year and is treating its journalists as if they worked for Sports Direct, need to know about an item that appeared in Private Eye a couple of months ago.

According to the Eye, the Scott Trust, that owns The Guardian and guarantees its independence, is sitting on a cashpile of £700 million.

The Boglington Post. Striking a blow for intelligent pensioners everywhere.

 

Postscriptum

“Hell hath no fury like a 50-year-loyal reader scorned.”

OMG. Only a day after I wrote this piece, the Guardian editor, Katherine Viner, has announced that as part of her extreme austerity agenda, it and its Sunday sister paper The Observer are to go … tabloid.

Her weaselly excuse being that it is somehow an inevitable development of print technology in the 21st century.

That is the fucking end of civilization as we used to know it. The Berliner format was a thing of rare beauty, that gave the paper its distinctive market appeal, branding its readers as a cut above.

If this was Ms Viner’s idea, she should be boiled in oil, doused in animal slurry and handed over to the Taliban for re-education.

Oh, sorry, she is the Taliban.

The paper was getting dire enough as it is, months of snide articles briefing against Jeremy Corbyn being followed in the wake of the election with a wave of sycophantic, hypocritical drool hailing him as the New Messiah; in most cases by the same writers, clearly under marching orders from the appalling Viner woman.

I vow here and now that I will never touch this scabby little organ with a bargepole, ever again. You have now totally fucked it with me and I am converting my laptop thing to the New York Times forthwith.

Hell hath no fury like a 50-year-loyal reader scorned.

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A ruddy good show

A propos well-paid Guardian columnists, Matthew D’Ancona today contributes a bizarre piece confessing that he ‘radically’ failed to notice that there was a groundswell of support building for Jeremy Corbyn, ‘like many other Commentators’.

Yes, Britain is a long way from North London, isn’t it.

Having confessed that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he then goes on to anticipate – indeed, to request – in arrogant Guardianista fashion, publication of a timetable for Theresa May’s resignation.

Finally, on the topic of the inevitable Tory leadership backstabbing bloodfest, that has already begun, he writes thus:

“…do not discount Amber Rudd. In fact, give the home secretary the serious consideration she deserves. In the seven-way shouting match of the BBC leaders’ debate on 31 May, she stood in for the prime minister, though her elderly father had died only days before, and did so with poise, dignity and emotional intelligence as six other politicians berated her. She looked like a leader in waiting.”

Of course, he doesn’t fancy her. As leader of the charge to rehabilitate the saintly Ms Rudd, and sounding like a thoroughly polished and professional PR practitioner looking for a special advisor role in Downing Street, Mr D’Ancona has obviously failed to read the newspaper that has employed him for many years; he may be losing his memory, or he has a ‘radically’ different take on reality from most of us.

On 21 September, 2016, for instance, David Pegg and Holly Watt reported:

“Amber Rudd’s business career has come under scrutiny following a Guardian investigation that reveals her involvement with two companies in an offshore tax haven, and another where her co-director was jailed for fraud.

“The Guardian has also discovered new details about her previous career in venture capital during the boom and bust 1990s. One enterprise led her to become a co-director of Monticello, a company that was at the centre of a share ramping investigation.

“She was also involved in a company prospecting for diamonds in Siberia that was traded on a notoriously unregulated stock exchange.”

This was shortly after her white-haired old ‘venture capitalist’ father Tony had been investigated for the umpteenth time by the financial regulator and declared to be totally unfit to be trusted with other people’s money.

The authors of The Guardian report concluded:

“Though there is no suggestion she was involved in any wrongdoing, the disclosures may cause her some embarrassment…”

Well, if I were Michael Gove or Boris Johnson, Michael Fallon, Nicky Morgan – any Tory politician indeed circling just offshore scenting blood in the water, I’d say they just may.

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And what’s the naughtiest thing Amber Rudd ever did?

No, not running through wheat. According to an old school chum, on their last day at Cheltenham Ladies’ College she tied the legs of the chairs together in the dining-hall!

And then became a merchant banker.

Lock her up!

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The Pumpkin – Issue 20: The IQ Test; You sick sack of shit; How Trump is drawing us into war.

“Boris Johnson has said he sees no reason to rescind the invitation to Donald Trump for a state visit, despite the US president’s attacks on the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, after Saturday’s terror attack.” – The Guardian, 6 June.

“I see no shits?”

‘IQ’ test?

‘I Quit’ is what we would all prefer to hear from this odious character.

As the Comments expressing horror and shame at what America has done to itself mount up on the web, many commentators are calling for White House staff to simply take away President Trump’s cellphone.

He previously had a Samsung, but has now apparently acquired a more American-sounding iPhone, manufactured – like his daughter’s fashionable shoe range – by slave workers in China. Separating him from his Twitter feed may be difficult. He seems to have an unlimited budget for replacement cellphones.

For, like your Uncle Bogler, he is at heart an overgrown teenage baboon in the first stages of dementia, who compulsively evacuates in 140 characters or less, a medium that might have been invented for an untreated ADHD individual with a 15 seconds’ attention-span, the thoughts produced by his diseased brain and spews them out into the world through the little magic window; a digital megaphone.

He’d sleep better without it, that’s for sure. But is anyone really receiving his thoughts?

It appears that, of the 30 million or so Followers of @realdonaldtrump Twitter feeds, almost half – over 14 million – are fake accounts.

You can go online and buy Followers? Yes, apparently, for a few hundred bucks you can pick up a million or so non-existent names, according to online newsmouth, David Pakman. And, mirabile dictu, there are other websites you can lookup, that tell you whether someone’s Twitter account is genuine or fake; and how many fake accounts they have, and 14 million is the figure they give @real.

Isn’t technology amazing.

And it doth indeed appear that Mr Trump, or someone ‘close to him in the White House’, the pizza chef, maybe, the butler who brings him his constant supply of fizzy drinks, Jared Kushner perhaps, has been buying up fake Twitter accounts to make the chemically poisoned Prez look better.

Whether the activity is designed to impress the public with his popularity which is about at rock-bottom; or just privately to bolster the confidence of the most insecure and thin-skinned leader since Caligula, or to boost revenue from his click-throughs or whatever (The Pumpkin does not entertain knowledge of the workings of social media accounts) is anyone’s guess.

But how bizarre is it, that he should be so obsessed with his personal popularity ratings, that he is prepared to lie even to himself about the number of people hanging on his tweets, that are mostly just incoherent late-night tirades of abuse directed at Meryl Streep, or Mayor Khan, or the ‘failing New York Times‘, or anyone else he’s seen on Fox News who arouses his foul-natured spleen?

Possibly not as bizarre as the deep denial of the majority Republican party that an elderly man with arrested development who sits up all night tweeting pathetically that everyone is out to get him, can possibly be considered unfit to hold the office of President of the United States a moment longer?

Ghastly and devious though the fundamentalist Vice-President, Mike Pence, may be, the ‘snow-capped walking advert for Anusol’ nailed to a cross, he at least isn’t a mad, childish buffoon given to sudden intemperate reverses of 70 years of US policy, directing a stream of complaints and abuse towards its allies, a diseased Emperor indulging in paranoid nepotism, blatant corruption, blabbermouth security breaches, vain and unwarranted boasting, launching hysterical attacks on his opponents, deliberately impoverishing his subjects’ life chances, compulsively lying, throwing screaming fits at his staff as though they were his own employees and not the Government’s – costing the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars in gratuitous holiday expenses* and keeping his wife a prisoner in a New York tower-block.

Nor is Pence entirely prey to the devious blandishments of the Iago of the Oval Office, Steve Bannon, and the Breitbart conspiracy.

The Vice-President does have the power through the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove the President, at pistol-point if need be, if he shows he is so unstable that he cannot be thought of as fit to continue as Commander-in-Chief.

Which he obviously cannot.

That would be quite in line with the First Amendment right of the People to protest and remove if necessary, an oppressive autocrat.

Trump’s revolting campaign of tirades against the mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan, are nasty and racist and personally motivated by hatred of a man who came out months ago with a comment opposing his eagerly anticipated State visit later this year.

It would be wholly inappropriate in the view of The Pumpkin for Trump to be entertained by the frail and ageing Queen, 92, as if he were somehow worthy of the honour of a State visit. He’s done nothing to deserve it. We feel sure she is dreading the occasion, being forced to eat steak with ketchup on, tune all the palace TVs to Hannity Guy and have the Buckingham Palace lawn turned into a putting green.

The Prime Minister puts out that Trump was ‘invited’ by the Queen, but the Queen does not issue those invitations, some aristocratic flunkey in Whitehall does that at the request of Downing Street. We imagine she would rather entertain a ruthless dictator like Robert Mugabe, a British-educated and punctilious man of her own age, than have the vulgar Trumps to dinner and sit through their unspooling marital disaster while waiting for the President to make some abusive attack on Prince Charles, a dedicated tree-hugger; or thrust the poor Duke aside to get to the front of a photo-op, wearing his fake ‘Presidential’ face like the late comedian Frankie Howerd being sodomised by a camel.

Nor do the British people wish to be obliged to watch the spectacle of this ludicrous, vain impostor swishing down the Mall in his hundred-ton motorcade, the all-conquering hero. Fuck that. (Worse still, he’s said to have requested a gilded coach… ’nuff said?) The best thing we can do to protest is just to not turn up at his parade, then he can spend the next six months mumbling and crying like a lovelorn snowflake over the non-existent numbers.

The President who rails against the ‘Fake News’ media is not above descending into the swamp of Fake News himself, fabricating (as he did when he called-out Obama for ‘wiretapping’ the Trump Tower) a libellous and paranoid case that mayor Khan is somehow responsible for encouraging terror attacks in London, fatuously challenging him to an ‘IQ test’.

‘IQ’? ‘I Quit’ is what we would all prefer to hear from this odious, self-serving character.

*Now totalling 23 golf vacations in 19 weeks, at a cost to the public purse of over $30 million….

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A view more charitably expressed if in many ways more alarming can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2jqohySZz4

You can stop at 12 minutes, where he goes to phoned-in questions. Reich – Robert Reich – is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Not just some schmuck.

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You sick sack of shit

“Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

“…while donors to the Eric Trump Foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids, more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses. All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors.”

What’s this about?

Okay, so according to the highly respected financial journal, Forbes magazine, the Trump family has an extensive network of tax-exempt ‘foundation’ charities, and every year the Little Nazi, Uday (Eric), uses his personal foundation to borrow one of Orange Daddy’s golf resorts, he says for free, to host a fundraiser for a kids’ cancer charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

All the money, he tells the wealthy attenders, goes to help the kids.

Only turns out it’s not exactly free. Orange Dad has been billing Eric for the use of the courses at an eyewatering rate, the money’s coming out of the celebrity and business attenders’ donations and instead of going to the charity is being siphoned off to other Trump ‘charities’, from where it’s been used to pay bills.

This, says the story, is not Eric’s idea – it’s the ‘billionaire’ President of the United States who is insisting on getting paid.

In other words, Donald Trump is reportedly bullying his own son to steal money from kids with cancer to line his own pockets.

And Eric Trump has just been on the ratings-loser Sean Hannity show on Fox News, telling the world that Democrats ‘aren’t even human’ because they attack his dad and make things difficult for him? The opposition party? Surely not!

This reinforces The Pumpkin’s theory that it has not dawned on the President that he is a Government employee, not the CEO of some giant corporation he has already admitted is too complicated for one man to run. The functionaries he is screaming abuse at in his mad tantrums are not his employees, they are his colleagues – other Government employees.

That’s because a President is not supposed to ‘run’ the country, he embodies the Constitution, a system of checks and balances that Donald Trump is racing to dismantle because it’s inconvenient and gets in the way of business.

If the story holds up, if they’re bilking genuine charities to fund their phoney ones, I don’t personally think these bottom-feeders should wait to go to hell before they start burning, do you?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/06/06/how-donald-trump-shifted-kids-cancer-charity-money-into-his-business/#d2602d46b4a3

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“Western nations are totally out of their depth in the labyrinthine religious, tribal and political twists and turns of this intensely fractured region”

Does he really want the job?own c

The Syria situation has taken a very strange twist, as Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and the UAE, together with Egypt, have turned on their former ally, the tiny oil principality of Qatar, in a bizarre row over supposed Qatari support for Israel and Iran.

Qatar is a strongly Sunni country and, like Saudi Arabia, finances Wahabbism (rightwing fundamentalist Islam) all over the world. The same puritanical beliefs are also held to the extreme by so-called Islamic State and other groups, as well as the Taleban in Afghanistan, that appear to be fuelling a wave of terror attacks, not only in the West but in the Philippines, Indonesia and even as far away as Australia.

Yet Qatar is supporting to the hilt, the allied offensive against ISIS – as is Iran. Russia and Turkey are listed, too, as friends of the Qataris; both oppose Saudi hegemony in the region, and both are actively engaged in the US-led programme to eliminate ISIS while supporting or opposing other militias and the Free Syrian Army, that are also fighting ISIS; but which, beyond the fight against ISIS, are deeply distrustful of, and possibly even fighting against, one another.

In the view of The Pumpkin, this is not a situation in which the West should be involved.

Israel is – well, Israel, and Iran is a Shia theocracy, sworn enemy of both the Israelis and the Sunni Arab tribes. The idea of any Arab state suddenly deciding to support both its sworn enemies in the region against its friends is unusual, to say the least. However, it is Qatar’s perceived support for the universally hated Muslim Brotherhood, as purportedly expressed through Quatar’s global TV news operation, Al-Jazeera, that is uniting the Gulf states against them.

Seizing the moment, Trump has blundered along with the narrative and has been tweeting furiously against the Qataris, calling them terrorism funders, taking boastful credit for the new hardline stance by ‘the leaders’ of the Arab world against the progressive, pro-Western Emir and proclaiming fatuously that his speech in Riyadh was ‘the beginning of the end of terrorism’ – despite, as The Guardian describes it (6 June):

“While in Riyadh, Trump met regional leaders, including the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He said the US and Qatar had been “friends for a long time” and that the two leaders discussed the Qatari purchase of “lots of beautiful military equipment.”

Now he has performed a 180 degree flip, clearly in the hope of boosting his flagging ratings, or because he forgot, claiming personal kudos for another diplomatic disaster – yet (again) completely undermining his own credibility at the same time.

And he doesn’t get it. His vanity is blinding.

Far from being ‘the beginning of the end of terrorism, Trump’s speech was the starting-gun for Saudi Arabia to flex its muscles in the region, relying on a mountain of ‘beautiful military equipment’ to be supplied by the US arms industry.

Of course the oppressive Saudis are happy to blame little Qatar for all the terrorism, diverting attention from their own monstrous regime. And Qatar’s perceived attempts to mediate with Iran are a perfect excuse to substitute a little terror for all-out war.

Which is all deeply embarrassing to the US military, on the brink of the final ‘push’ against IS in Raqqa. For Qatar hosts the giant al-Udeid airbase, the most important facility in the allied airforces’ Syrian war armoury: and it appears President Trump has forgotten, or maybe never knew, the strategic necessity not to upset the Qataris just yet if he wants to impose the final solution on IS.

White House officials rehearse for Mr Trump’s forthcoming visit to Israel.

So, the Pentagon and White House ‘officials’ (whoever they now are, most have quit or are in hiding or, like Secretary Tillexxon, in constant movement around the globe to avoid encountering his abusive boss) are once again scurrying to distance the administration from deranged tweets fired off like cruise missiles from the iPhone of the lunatic upstairs.

Thus far the Arab states have withdrawn their ambassadors, imposed a blockade on food and other imports coming in over the border and closed most airspace around the small but wealthy city-state on the Gulf, a major oil and gas exporter. It’s pretty serious – about as serious as it gets without a fullscale war breaking out, that could draw in Qatar allies like Turkey, whose troops are already on the way.

But given the tribal and religious dimension, an alliance between Qatar – which has hotly denied the links with terrorism – Israel and Iran seems highly unlikely. While the major exporter of Wahabbist terrorism around the world is, of course, Saudi Arabia. So what could be the reason for the flare-up?

When you go on websites to try to find out what’s afoot in the region, one little word keeps popping up, that may well prove the eventual connection with all this:

Gas.

Qatar shares an enormous gas field with Iran. And we know the Russians are trying to limit output from the gas-rich Middle East to maintain a higher price for their own gas exports, hoping to maintain a strategic advantage over Ukraine and EU consumers and a possible stranglehold in time of conflict.

Similar shenanigans seem to be going on in the Eastern Mediterranean, where various companies including the US-based Noble Energy, a Trump-connected operation, are vying to pipe gas from Israel’s offshore fields under the sea, bypassing Syria and through Turkey, but are being blocked by an Israeli court.

Is part of the Russian rationale for its presence in Syria to prevent that?

Well, CNN has been reporting today that a Russian hack was probably responsible for starting the rumours about Qatari moves to reconcile, both with Iran and Israel.

“US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/russian-hackers-planted-fake-news-qatar-crisis/index.html

Thus far The Pumpkin has not been able to confirm what that ‘fake news’ story was.

And today there have been two terrorism-related incidents in the Iranian capital: a shootout at the Parliament building and a suicide bombing at the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the revolution, with seventeen now dead. ISIS has claimed it, but the Iranian military is pointing the finger at the Saudis, who threatened them with just such an attack a month ago. Ooops. And in response, in a sinister and vaguely repulsive tweet the White House is blaming Iran as a ‘sponsor of terrorism’ for the attack on its own soil, at one of its most sacred shrines. Ooops.

Something is on the move, guys. Tectonic plates shifting. But what this whole murky affair reinforces is The Pumpkin’s thesis that Western nations are totally out of their depth in the labyrinthine religious, tribal and political twists and turns, the power-plays of this intensely fractured region.

Get the hell out, is our advice. We should surely have learned our lesson after 800 years of this.

But the arms industry won’t let you.

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I’d like you all now to watch this interview and you will learn how Trump is drawing us into war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh16ZF1eWbc

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While we’re linking to interesting and educational stuff, here’s a cogent demolition of our own depressing relationship with Saudi Arabia:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-wants-to-talk-about-extremism-lets-start-with-our-ties-with-the-saudis

(Kindly note: Some of our links may no longer be live, if they ever were. Cut-and-paste, me hearties! Cut-and-paste.)

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Live by the Saud, die by the Saud

In case you don’t get the point about Sunnis and Shia, the following report from Press TV news might help:

“International rights groups say Saudi Arabia plans to execute 14 Shia civilians following a “grossly unfair trial” over political protests.

“The rise in death sentences against Saudi Arabian Shia is alarming and suggests that the authorities are using the death penalty to settle scores and crush dissent under the guise of combating ‘terrorism’ and maintaining national security,” said Human Rights Watch’s Sarah Leah Whitson on Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia carried out 153 executions across the kingdom last year….. Saudi officials execute convicts by sword and then dangle their corpses from a helicopter to make sure the public can see the result of the execution. According to Amnesty, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world.”

Indeed. Higher than Arkansas. Higher even, probably, than ISIS.

 

And when I blow like this, bubbles come out. It’s so great.

When once we practise to deceive

With the election ‘n all, if you’ve not been glued to US cable TV news you might have missed the story.

In 2015, Candidate Trump leapt to the forefront of the so-called ‘birther’ campaign against President Obama, claiming his agents had uncovered earth-shaking evidence that 44’s birth certificate was indeed a forgery. Black Satan had in documented fact been born in Kenya, not as claimed in Hawaii, and was therefore not entitled by birth to be the President.

(The story gained further credibility when the original Hawaii births registrar lady died in a light plane crash.)

After a while some suspicion fell on this theory, as Mr Trump seemed almost as unwilling or unable to actually produce the goods on Obama’s origins as he has been over his tax returns. Nevertheless the story gained traction and was widely believed by the dumbfucks who support Trump come hell or high water.

An interview has however resurfaced from last year, in which Jared Kushner, Trump’s plastic toy son-in-law and now chastened former senior White House advisor and property billionaire debtor, battered and deep-fried in the FBI’s investigations into the Russia links, admitted that it was all made up; Orange Dad had not believed for one moment that Obama was not an American citizen.

He had, said Kushner in so many words (I try to forget the exact quote), explained that: ‘Republicans are so dumb they’ll believe anything’.

And they said Mr Trump was a refreshing change from real politicians.

 

The Pumpkin – Issue 19: ‘Slumdog Billionaires’; The Only Way Is Ethics.

 

“For some reason I don’t seem able to breathe?”

I’m sorry, but your President is a racist hypocrite

A few days ago, two American men, one an army veteran, who stepped in to try to stop a white supremacist dogturd yelling abuse on a Portland, Oregon train while waving a knife at two terrified young muslim girls, were stabbed to death.

In the dock the gross-looking, unrepentant, arrogant little piece of trailer-trash shouted Trump-like slogans about ‘America First!’ – apparently unaware of the fact that he’d just butchered two fellow white Americans.

‘America First!’ is of course the English for ‘Allahu akbar!’

From the White House there was only silence until, three days later, in face of a growing public campaign to get the President to at least say something appropriately condemnatory, if only to express some sympathy with the dead men’s families, the orange fatarse tweeted that the killings were ‘unacceptable’.

While his official Twitter feed, that he doesn’t write, grudgingly admitted that ‘the victims were standing up to hate and intolerance’, the following day the President of the United States of America posted this on his personal feed:

“The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don’t want America to hear the real story!”

This is an intolerable situation for any American, to have elected as President a self-serving Philistine with arrested development and zero affect, a grossly spoiled, solipsistic child-man who is more concerned about his personal fucking reputation than about the lives of the more decent of his citizens, or even the fate of his country, now branded around the world thanks to him as a pariah state.

As if to rub in the point, within minutes of the latest outrage in London, in which eight bystanders and three perpetrators were killed on Saturday night, and many more injured, in a car-and-knife rampage on London Bridge, this treacherous racist pig was on the phone to Prime Minister May, hypocritically offering any help and support the US could give.

He knows, we feel certain, that it was British intelligence that alerted the National Security Administration in 2015 to the suspicious activities of his wrecking-crew on the campaign staff and their many contacts with Russian spies and money-laundering oligarchs. We feel sure therefore that the phone call was intended merely to suggest that we could still be friends, despite the scornful attitude of the EU and the rest of the world.

To add insult to injury – this outrage on our streets is none of his fucking business but he seems determined to make political capital – he has since launched an astonishing attack on the muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The Guardian reports:

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack,” the president wrote on his personal Twitter account, “and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

“The mayor, Sadiq Khan, did not use the phrase “no reason to be alarmed” in a statement overnight or when he spoke in a television interview earlier on Sunday.” – The Guardian

So, more shameless inventions squirting from the President’s lying Twitter feed. When will he be imprisoned? He would be an embarrassment if he weren’t so incredibly unpleasant.

What Khan actually said was:

“This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night,” he said. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.” (Ibid.)

No longer trusted by the European allies, like the school bully toadying up to any kid who isn’t already his victim, desperate for validation, America and Brexiting Britain now need one another more than ever.

For Trump, those two American heroes were just a pair of losers. As far as he is concerned the only evil terrorism is Islamic evil terrorism, which he proposes to continue bombing into submission, at whatever cost to the rest of us, because he sucked up the Bush line about the ‘war on terror’ and he liked the sound of that.

He will make what propaganda he will out of terrorist attacks abroad – Islamic resistance that his own foreign policy is clearly exacerbating – while remaining sanguine about the vile tide of white racism he has unleashed in America.

That pleases his loyal band of dumbfucks, who are just now waking up to the news that he’s put their taxes up and slashed their healthcare to enrich his billionaire friends and funders, and swamped his administration with Wall Street insiders and fossil lobbyists; but who don’t seem to mind.

We are reminded that two weeks from today will mark the anniversary of the horrific murder on a Yorkshire street of the rights campaigner and pro-Remain MP, mother-of-two Jo Cox by Thomas Mair, a deluded ‘Britain First!’ loner with ties to a neo-Nazi group in South Africa.

A murder celebrated at the time on ‘social’ media by many of Donald J Trump’s extremist supporters with howls of delight.

Evil. Sick. Demented slime-dwelling creatures with a grossly overinflated sense of their importance, granted to them by the capitalist illusion of unregulated ‘social media’.

Unacceptable.

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Slumdog Billionaires

Amid the global contumely and condemnation both abroad and at home of Mister Trump’s singular repudiation (against the best advice available) of the Paris accord, as now doth America, so stands he sadly alone.

And that’s just where he seems happiest, bathed in the refulgence of his own self-pitying solipsism.

Poor Donny, nobody loves you now.

Except he’s not really alone, despite not being able to recruit staff to replace the ones he’s already fired because he doesn’t trust them. I mean, would you?

For Steve Bannon is back in the shadows, having thrown Mister Trump’s politically inexperienced son-in-law, plastic boy Mister Kushner, 36, a successful millionaire property developer (as the supine and compliant wankers at BBC News keep calling the billion-dollar bankrupt), under the giant crunching wheels of the FBI juggernaut last week with a well-aimed leak to the New York Times about his undeclared meetings with Russian officials.

We could possibly swallow the line about opening a back-channel to Moscow, were it not for two clues that it might not be true.

One, he lied about it; or rather, failed on oath to tell the truth. Why? If opening back-channels with known spies when front-channels aren’t working is a good thing for foreign relations, why not say so? But why not wait until Trump was inaugurated before playing footsie with the enemy? And why did other members of the transition teams – Flynn, Sessions, lie more than once about their meetings with Russians?

And two, what on earth was Kushner then doing, having meetings with Sergei Gorkov – the head of VneshEconomBank, or VEB, a Putin crony heading a known FSB intelligence service slush-fund operation, who has no diplomatic credentials whatever?

Add to that, Kushner was not an accredited government official with a security clearance at the time of the meetings, and was thus not legally in a position to hold unofficial meetings with Russian diplomats. It’s illegal under the Logan Act for an ordinary citizen to treat with a foreign power; which possibly explains why he wouldn’t own up to it as it made him an unregistered foreign agent.

Just as had been General Flynn, now thought to be pouring what remains of his heart out to the FBI; Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, all under the spotlight now but all sometime Trump appointees to the campaign team. Not to mention poor Nigel Farage, whose overweening vanity appears to have landed him in the compromising rats’ nest of slumdog billionaires surrounding Orange Satan.

Let’s be charitable. Let’s say, Mister Trump was innocently ‘cucked’ by a conspiracy of Russian agents. His known past associations with New York and Russian mafia figures seem to have been based merely on a mission to do business and to win, whatever it takes; rather than on any desire to personally run drugs or pimp trafficked women. In the mafia, loyalty to the family is everything. Trump is loyal to no-one but his great big beautiful self.

Nevertheless he seems to have a history of courting shady characters while assiduously avoiding criminal proceedings. He perhaps sees criminal types usefully as ‘winners’ rather than ‘losers’, because they have money to flash around and a total disregard for the norms and conventions of society, which he sees as a conspiracy of the losers.

It’s possible, is it not, that he was willing to work with, to turn a blind eye to, a nasty little cabal of traitors, sanctions-busters, money-launderers, PR sloths and verminous oil-industry lowlifes willing to go-between where you and I wouldn’t, because he saw only the advantages for his campaign of playing dirty.

The downside – life imprisonment for treason, possibly – never crossed his greedy old mind, other than as a Freudian transference of his own culpability onto his political opponent, ‘Crooked Hillary’.

It’s an old mind that appears to be failing, to judge by some of his TV appearances. I especially recommend the one where, in the middle of a meeting with Kushner’s mentor, Israeli hardman Binyamin Netanyahu, the Donald just stands up looking confused, brushes away a handshake opportunity and stumbles off the stage as if he has no idea where he is, leaving Bibi clearly puzzled and annoyed. It’s not the first time he has gone wandering off like that.

But his spoiled infantilism, his apparent auto-immunity from responsibility, his notorious Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder that means briefings have to be presented to him in short comic-strip form, the overbearing narcissism that means to retain his interest those briefings have to include frequent mentions (in a positive light) of his own name, praising him for his wisdom and maturity; those abusive meltdowns when he feels he is the only person he can trust to do things properly, or when he’s no longer the centre of attention – Entrepreneur Syndrome – a burning desire to please his authoritarian father – those are the attributes that leave him intensely vulnerable to the Iago of the Oval Office, Stephen K Bannon.

The Pumpkin feels that Trump – sorry, Mister Trump – is in fact in the grip of two separate but conjoined conspiracies; we have previously shown they are linked by money and religion. There is the Russia thing, where it still has not been shown that he is not financially compromised by private bankers, as many people seem to suspect, or worse; and then there is the alt-right nationalist, fundamentalist Christian Breitbart News connection, fronted by Bannon and backed by the Mercers, Robert and daughter Rebekah.

Did Mercer weaponize the Russian-hacked Hillary intel through his Cambridge Analytica company to fix the election of his boy Donald? Just askin’.

Anyway, so, whatever, back to Kushner – sorry, Mister Kushner – and his dealings with the Russians. You see, lots of cable TV news anchors are putting two and two together, and leaping to the unlikely conclusion that the meetings with Ambassador Kislyak were to get a deal whereby Orange Dad would lift Obama’s sanctions and restore the two Russian embassy ‘holiday compounds’ in New York State and Maryland that Obama shut down because of the Trump campaign’s close Russia connections, to which he had been alerted by foreign intelligence services in 2015.

Was that in exchange for a bailout from the VEB’s Gorkov to cover the Kush’s huge losses in the property market? Essentially putting the son-who-also-rises in the same bad applecart as Orange Dad? As in “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” – Eric (Little Nazi) Trump.

It is obviously much too fanciful to speculate that the whole thing might have been Vladimir’s idea. ‘Don’t worry about the $1 billion Steve Bannon accidentally told the Fake News press via his back-channels that you owe twenty banks, plastic tovarich, don’t bother getting it from Soros, he’s not happy with you anymore. We’ll consolidate the loan in exchange for a few simple concessions, like you let us have the cozy rats’ nests back that the nasty black man took away; and if you take off those silly financial sanctions too we’ll let Tex Tillexxon drill the fuck out of the Arctic, now you’ve melted it for us.

How’s that for improving relations?

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The only way isn’t Ethics

Yes, sorry.

While all this may or may not have been deniably going on, Mr Trump back from holiday abusing the EU and NATO ‘allies’ has rediscovered what his right hand is for and signed into Executive purgatory pending congressional rubber-stamping a number of useful new measures we in Britain probably aren’t going to hear about on the credulous BBC news, courtesy of our man in Washington, John Sopoor.

For instance, Congress purportedly has oversight of what used to be known as ‘ethics’ in government. You know, anti-corruption, influence peddling, nepotism, illegal acceptance of foreign emoluments, peddling of US immigration visas, obstruction of justice sort of things.

Among the latest edicts to emanate from the Oval Office has been the suspension of ethical oversight for President Bannon and 16 other members of the cabinet.

All these Trumpointees were in the anomalous position of having worked until recently as paid lobbyists, or as persons with clear conflicts of interest, having previously worked in private-sector companies and now finding themselves in positions of authority over branches of the government responsible for matters pertaining to their previous employments, as it were.

Those conflicts of interest were just about mitigated by a two-year separation rule. Now, the New Swamp has been granted immunity from ethical oversight, to enable them to more quickly and efficiently carry out their mission of destroying the administration and unpicking the regulatory environment, especially where good governance conflicts with the interests of their billionaire backers.

It’s all more businesslike, you see.

And as we recall, Mr Trump has never quite understood the role of an Opposition party in the two houses of Congress. Obama was a Democratic Party choice, so obviously the President hates Democrats, especially more popular ones; as they don’t have a majority in either house, which makes them poor losers.

But when it came to getting things like the wonderful healthcare bill through, the Democrats were just a complete nuisance, weren’t they, opposing everything he is trying to do to make America great again?

Donny’s not sure he can abolish Democrats entirely, but he can make certain of one thing. They won’t be interfering in this tiresome, Fake News thing about Russia and the FBI. Why, he’s never had any dealings with Russia, except the ones he has had.

His latest diktat therefore seeks to prevent any Democratic party politicians, such as the Ranking member, Senator Warner of the Intelligence committee, that is due to hear more possibly damning testimony from that bastard Comey on Monday, from requesting information from the FBI without first getting permission from the Republican chair of the committee, Senator Burr.

Because he doesn’t have power to order the Democrats around, he’s using his position as Chief Executive and therefore head of the security services (bypassing General Kelly, the head of Homeland Security) to tell the FBI instead that they are under no circumstances to co-operate with Democratic representatives and senators investigating his connections with Russian intelligence, unless authorised so to do, effectively by him.

To what lengths, one wonders, does Trump have to go in the obstruction of justice to earn himself an indictment on grounds of a federal crime? Well, it seems his new Italian lawyer buddy has told him, the Prez is immune to prosecution for pretty much anything unless and until he’s been impeached and removed from office for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’.

Anyway, it’s now being reported that he is weighing-up with his lawyers the possibility of using executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying. How incriminating would that be? In the words of the repellent former Exxon contractor and current Trump energy adviser Myron Ebell, on hearing of opposition to the withdrawal from the Paris accord, ‘Who cares?’

So he seems like Nixon to be at liberty for now to go on trying to impede or make go away the many lines of investigation into himself and his cronies; but he is surely stacking up a mountain of trouble if the House Republicans eventually understand they’re going to be the biggest losers in history in 2018 if they don’t Dump Trump and find someone more capable and less disaster-prone – although for the GOP that’s going to be a stretch.

They’re almost all straw men, fossil-fuel shills and fundamentalist cretins who couldn’t find anybody better than the ineffective and appalling Trump the last time. Ted Cruz? Rick Santmoron? Mike Pence? Please God, not the spaniel-eyed nodding-dog Paul Ryan? while no-one in their right mind would want to follow Trump into the White House, with all the media attention and odious comparisons that would create; and with Trump’s paludine appointees still in place.

No, the genie is out of the bottle, the evils out of Pandora’s box, the system broken. President of the United States is just not a viable employment any longer for any normal, sane human being, which is why you have Trump now. Get rid of him, and get rid of the office. You don’t need ’em.

Free yourselves from institutionalized tyranny, is our advice.

Postscriptum

The Pumpkin has just been watching Mike Nichols’ clever movie of Joseph Heller’s bleakly comic novel, Catch 22, again.

He’d forgotten how like the young Donald Trump is the character of Milo Minderbinder, the heartless entrepreneur who swaps the aircrews’ parachutes for a consignment of cotton-wool balls he coats in chocolate to sell as cakes. Later on, he persuades another US squadron to bomb his own base so he can collect the insurance on the cotton-wool balls he can’t shift.

Of course, such things could never happen in real life.

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I love Paris in the Springfall

“…the target for restricting warming to 1.5 degrees C is already tragically out of date.”

The Pumpkin went slightly overboard on Wednesday night, trolling several Trump supporters in base language over the Paris thing. He blames an incipient 24-hour virus and a bottle of inexpensive Merlot.

In fact it seems unlikely that serious environmental damage will be done as a direct result of abrogating the treaty. It’s more a matter of the global shame and embarrassment most Americans were feeling the next day, the loss of leadership, knowing that everyone now thinks they’re a bunch of uneducated, small-minded ecocidal maniacs who want to withdraw from the world behind a big wall and overthrow the postwar applecart, playing right into Mister Putin’s relatively large hands for such a small man.

There are two reasons why abandoning the accord will make little difference.

One is that the target for restricting warming to 1.5 degrees C is already tragically out of date. The Paris accord is a feelgood declaration, something for the nations of the world (except only Syria, Nicaragua and the USA) to come together over, but it’s far too little and too late to stop a life-denying six degree rise occurring before 2030.

But the second is more encouraging. Many US State governors and big-city mayors have come out in force to tell the deluded President he’s wrong and they’re going to go on aiming for carbon reductions whatever Bannon, the religiose fuckwits and fossil-fuel shills in the White House and in Congress are saying, and have recommitted to the Clean Energy policy of the Obama administration, which was actually working.

After all, they’re the ones who are having to mop up the floods and beat out the wildfires, find the water for agriculture, hold back the sea and reconstruct the tornado-smashed suburbs and trailer parks, that are costing the nation $billions.

And they’re being supported from the most unlikely quarters; apart from the filthy, rich Koch Brothers, the creepy uncles you wouldn’t want at your wedding, almost every energy corporate CEO and tech billionaire has come out of the bunker to tell the President he’s wrong about controlling emissions; that renewables are a business opportunity, not a threat; that there are five times more jobs in solar than in coal. (You have to admire their principles.)

That’s likely to make him even madder and more isolated, but even so.

Anyway,he’s not listening.

The Pumpkin is also feeling very positive about President Macron of France. So far he appears not to have put a foot wrong, apart from one of his ministerial appointees being hauled out of the Quai d’Orsée and charged with tax fraud. Can happen to anyone – and frequently does nowadays. He’s got a crushing handshake one has to admire.

In fact The Pumpkin is thinking positively again about moving to France, if possible, now the threat of Marine le Pen has temporarily receded, to get away from Theresa May – although Corbyn’s poll ratings have been dramatically narrowing since he bought a suit, so it might be worth hanging on.

And a brilliant speech from Macron, a blast against the Monstrous Trump: ‘make the world great again’ – in English, too. Classic. And he’s told Putin where to get off. Formidable!

It’s also a very good sign, we feel, that the governing Fine Gael party in Ireland has chosen by a big majority, as its new leader and Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, a second-generation Indian immigrant doctor who came out as gay in 2015.

That, and gay marriage too? Ah, da toimes, dey are a’changin’. It certainly spells the end of the shameful history of domination by the Catholic church in Ireland.

Excuse the poor attempt at a Dublin accent.

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Death: the art of the deal

BTW, where does Britain stand as a major exporter of probably illegal arms to war-criminal Saudi Arabia, now that Mister Trump has bought the shop?

His $300 billion deal ought to cover most of their child-killing needs for the foreseeable future, closing-out BAe as a key supplier. So much for Mrs May’s supine adherence to the postwar protocol that Britain supports the USA in any of its adventures, advisable or otherwise (except Harold Wilson, who courageously kept us out of the Vietnam war – thus sparing my life. Ed.)

And as usnews.com reported: “A new administration and a new arms deal in the Middle East sends shares of defense contractors soaring.”

It seems no amount of bribery makes one immune to a bigger deal.

Kushner was impressively able right there in Riyadh to persuade the CEO of Lockheed-Martin to lower the price of some high-tech arsenal of death or other with a single phone call to clinch the bargain.

God knows what that’s cost the American taxpayer: while Mrs Kushner was no doubt delighted to accept a $100 million ‘donation’ from the shameless Saudis on behalf of a private charity she runs, promoting – all together now – women’s rights. (She has of course recused herself from benefiting personally, under the Foreign Emoluments clause, while in office.)

Women’s rights. From the Saudis!

Women’s rights.

 

 

The Pumpkin essay: They hate our way of life. (‘I never mentioned Israel’).

“The fact that no British politician other than poor Mr Corbyn dares to admit that we have been bringing this on ourselves for 150 years …. is itself the very root and branch of last night’s tragedy.”

They hate our way of life

The suicide bombing that killed 22 young concertgoers and waiting parents in Manchester last night was a filthy atrocity that is still raw and resonant in the light of dawn. The Pumpkin debated with itself long and hard during the sleepless toothaching hours of this morning whether or not it was too soon to share certain thoughts with our Spammers, Likers, etc. that rose to the surface about, particularly, the timing of the attack.

The Pumpkin however is not known for the longevity of its memory and so felt it better to set matters down now. If you don’t wish to be irked today, come back some other time.

It was possibly just fortuitous. Some commentators pointed to the fact that it is the fourth anniversary of the murder in London by extremist Islamic ‘converts’, two African men of low intelligence, of Fusilier Lee Rigby, an off-duty soldier seemingly victimised at random as the symbolic target of some incoherent malcontent.

But the two events seem barely tangential and there is plenty else going on to explain an outrage at this time, if explanation is required (which, as I go on to explain, it isn’t… at least, it will not be encouraged).

The circumstances are as they are: the identity of the perpetrator will no doubt be pieced together in the coming hours, their contacts file raided before dawn, possible accomplices arrested, CCTV and phone images and witnesses interviewed, photos of the tragic victims sourced – the media will (indeed, judging by the headlines emerging from online press it already has) brush down the narrative of the ‘men of evil’ who ‘hate our way of life’.

Amid the hand-wringing pieties, the COBRA meetings (that must be getting a bit repetitive by now) and defiant rhetoric of politicians who have nothing left to say we shall no doubt hear the sound of stable doors being resolutely bolted to ensure that ‘nothing like this ever happens again’, while knowing in our heart of hearts that of course it will.

The one thing that can be done to honour the dead will not be done: end the war.

The last criminals to bomb Manchester were the Provisional IRA in 1996, a huge demolition job that injured over 200 people but, thanks to a partial warning given in advance, led to no deaths. The IRA were less interested in killing people en masse than in demonstrating that they could if they wanted to. Though, of course, ‘regrettably’ people were occasionally killed, three thousand on all sides over 20 years, the conflict was eventually ended not with semtex and the Armalite, but by negotation and seeking the other person’s point of view.

Some other people will draw moral equivalence between this random attack on our children and the many, many instances of civilian collateral deaths in the so-called war on terror, that is visiting appalling hardship and mounting casualties daily on poor villagers from what is inaccurately claimed to be ‘precision-guided’ aerial bombing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan – aimed (but not very well) at terrorising the fanatical army of Abubakr al-Baghdadi – IS – into submission.

An army born of Western interventions and supplied by America’s persistent arming of the Gulf states and supposedly friendly militias.

Appalling, but no longer, by example, unimaginable. From time to time we feel the backlash and gain a glimpse. Or rather, we don’t. Our ‘glimpse’ of their pain is invariably subsumed by the authorities into a narrative of inexcusable hatred of ‘our way of life’ – as if we don’t hate theirs back. Any other response is considered profoundly unpatriotic.

It might all make more sense if the authorities – the government – would openly admit to what the national policy in Syria and Iraq actually is; the problem being, they don’t know. There isn’t one. It’s all about blindly following some agenda set by ‘the West’ – whatever that is – that we have passively gone along with for decades since ceasing to be the imperial power in the region.

Perhaps the real crime is that what is being done there in our name makes so little impression on us here, three thousand miles away, where we go about our business in denial, blind to the suffering of others – until the refugees arrive on our doorstep and the media and the politicians conspire to affect surprise and consternation as they force shut the gates against them.

Perhaps they have not rejected the refugees because of who they are, but in order not to alarm the population too greatly as to WHY they are.

The Pumpkin regrets that, whatever the historical justification, the official version, the uncomfortable fact is that there is a war on, and that the inexplicable, evil ‘terrorist’ acts are also acts of war is simply not an argument it is permissible to make in our country. Let us just say then that the number of civilian deaths (including many ‘beautiful babies’ and wedding parties inadvertently reduced by Allied ordnance to unidentifiable body parts) in those one-sided conflict zones has increased markedly since the arrival in office last January of President Trump. (See link below)

In his determination to impress the dumbfucks with his toughness and singleminded ambition to ‘make America great again’, Trump has removed even the flimsy cover of the rules of engagement, while imposing the equally flimsy cover of a news blackout on military affairs. But does it amount to a strategy? We can see how this may be giving certain elements on the opposing side, which appears to be losing its grip both on human unreason and conquered land, cause for yet greater anguish; while, from a British dimension, Mrs May’s unconsidered support for Trump’s circus of the grotesque will not have gone unnoticed (see below).

While Mr Trump insists that his intensification of the Kissinger doctrine of ‘just bomb the shit out of them’, encouraged by the manufacturers of bombs, will ‘keep people safe on our streets’, elementary logic dictates that it will have precisely the opposite effect – and elementary cynicism suggests that that is precisely the intention.

Safe streets do not require the imposition of authoritarian regimes through dubious stratagems well-funded by uber-capitalist billionaires hell-bent on extracting for themselves the last ounces of wealth from a dying planet.

Rather than looking to the anniversary of the killing of Fusilier Rigby, one might look to the more contemporaneous speech Mr Trump delivered in Riyadh three days ago to the representatives of the Arab world, a speech written (it’s said) by his notoriously Islamophobic, obnoxious young advisor, Stephen Miller, calling for a final push to end violent extremism.

As if!

The Pumpkin respectfully suggests that as long as there is a cause for extremism there will be extremism. Trump could bring about the ‘beginning of the end’ of the war on terror by calling off his bombers first and not selling another $300 billion-worth of armaments to Saudi Arabia, a medieval terror-sponsoring autocratic patriarchal petrodollar state hagridden with hypocritical royal princelings, that seems to thrive on glut.

Instead, he brings the terrorists within his own limited compass, describing them as ‘losers’.

For Trump, life is simple: you are either rich, or you are nothing. A winner, or a loser. The president is sick beyond redemption, scarcely even human: a brash, vain money-breather with a brain made from congealed greed. Yet in a way, he has hit the nail on the head. Violence is the last refuge of the ‘loser’, when economic power is denied them and the violence of superior wealth, the violence of the winners, is visited daily on their nation.

(It should be pointed out respectfully that if it should prove to be the case that the Manchester bomber was a Muslim, he or she will almost certainly have been inspired by one or other branch of the faith that has its roots in Sunni wahabbism as practised, promoted and financed by Saudi clerics, and not in Shi’a or Sufism. Thanks to its insatiable demand for oil, America has always had great difficulty in determining who its real enemies are.)

We are living in a very odd time, are we not?, at which our rulers are prosecuting a war over our heads, largely hidden from the sight of the population at large; so that it is only brought home to us that ‘something is going on’ when atrocities are perpetrated on our own soil, in our concert halls, whereupon they are invariably represented to us as somehow inexplicable and random instances of ‘evil’, devoid of meaning or context.

It is simply not permissible to question the nature of this ‘evil’ or even to suggest it may have roots and cause and reason; as to do so would be to start to pull aside the veil. All that may be said of it is that there is an ‘enemy within’, who might be the hateful stranger next door; fear is turned against us and we are helpless in the face of it, reliant entirely on the State apparatus, on State power and secret knowledge, to ‘keep our streets safe’.

And when, inevitably, it is brought home to us – thankfully very rarely, this was the first bomb attack (we are told) on the UK mainland since 2005 – that our streets are not so safe, and can never be, the first instinct of the State is to add extra layers to the cocoon of platitudes that stifles rational debate.

No-one suggested the bomber wanted to destroy British values, Mrs May. That’s you talking out of your book of post-outrage homilies. It seems far more likely the bomber wanted to make a point by destroying Western children, which is why he targeted a concert for the young fans of Ariana Grande.

But yes, the element of Salafism, the religiously motivated Puritanical disdain for our soft, decadent pleasure-seeking, our lotus-eating lifestyle, which we indulge briefly in the few hours between work and work, in much the same way as Saudi wahabbists love to come to London and New York for the brothels and the casinos, that’s enough to say ‘they want to destroy our way of life’.

Which is another way of saying: they have a clear target and a cause they can use to recruit disaffected young men to attack it in pursuit of their war. It’s not such a difficult idea.

It takes perhaps a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of modern ‘hybrid’ or asymmetrical warfare than has yet caught up with the majority, fed on stirring tales, who may still think of a war as a confrontation formally declared and conducted between States with armies and navies and airforces, between ‘our boys’ and their ‘terrorists’ (our ‘heroes’, their hate-filled ‘murderers’) along more or less equal lines.

The so-called ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ however introduces precisely the mix of random and inexplicable events as elements of a wider picture, of present and future conflicts conducted in many ways and on many levels wherever opportunity arises, through computer hacks and disruptive malware, propaganda coups, ‘fake news’ and confusion, financial chaos and the encouragement of political instability, inexplicably shifting allegiances and illogical interventions; yes, occasional ‘terrorist outrages’ too – with only the thrust and parry of actual armed conflict from time to time to indicate that anything is going on.

As this ‘war against terror’ as Mr Bush defined it has no State enemy, is prosecuted in our name under a cloak of secrecy and deniability wherever the State chooses to pursue it, in whatever way, it is simply not possible for us to address the underlying narrative, the historical causes, of the violence – perhaps even to end it – to put finite limits on it without admitting that, yes, there is a reason, there is a cause, a historic injustice to which the word ‘unacceptable’, that favourite epithet of politicians, cannot be applied without undermining everything we are told we must stand for, our sacrosanct ‘way of life’, against which all argument such as this essay is ‘unacceptable’ – treason.

‘Our way of life’ is code for an increasingly fractious and irresponsible society where glaring inequality, economic stagnation for the many, unprincipled accumulation of wealth by the few, ersatz kultur, gargantuan waste and the growing signs of unsustainability are skated over, as the supermarkets struggle to keep up the appearance of infinite abundance in the face of rising commodity prices and crop failures; as the Arctic warms to boiling point.

Yet it is our government that has put our values, our ‘way of life’ on the line.

We are, it seems, here in Britain trapped in yet another election period, characterised by the de facto Prime Minister’s insistence that the principal motive for holding this election now, four years early, is to cement her in power, on the grounds that ‘only she’ can provide the ‘strong and stable leadership’ required to navigate us through the choppy waters ahead.

How many times have we heard this same bullshit from the vain and the overweeningly ambitious?

Mrs May has already demonstrated that she is not interested in Parliamentary democracy, by fighting a (losing) legal battle to deny Parliament the right of even a hint of a veto or any discussion over negotiations which she will personally oversee in order to obtain the best deal for Britain, a ‘red, white and blue Brexit’, in the minor matter of our shameful abandonment of our treaty obligations to 27 other European states, regardless of the damage to our long-term economic and security interests. Inasmuch as there is a long-term.

Indeed, so autocratic is the diffident lady that she has virtually abandoned her own Conservative party. There is almost no mention of the name in her communications with the public, who are henceforth to refer to the venerable party as ‘Team May’. Just what the hell is going on?, to quote former Candidate Trump. (Well, we now know, as details emerge of massive contributions to her election war-chest from three leading oil industry executives, while millionaire fund managers openly propose to buy politicians amenable to their profitably disruptive model of a ‘hard Brexit’.)

Three days ago, however, Mrs May’s seemingly unassailable poll ratings began to tumble, as she was forced through audibly gritted teeth to defend the presentation of, and possibly even backslide or even flip-flop on, a number of unthought-through promises contained in her manifesto, hastily drawn up by her exclusive inner circle of unelected advisors – including a former regional editor of the Daily Mail – policies that would have devastating financial consequences, both for poorer children and the frail elderly.

It is of course churlish to say what The Pumpkin is going to say next, outrageous and unacceptable, in very bad taste indeed; not the time, if ever there could be an appropriate time to discuss such an appalling event in such dishonourable terms. (There is of course not the slightest suggestion of any direct link or any such inference to be drawn here.)

But it is an ill wind, they say, that blows nobody any good.

Following the Manchester bombing, it would be invidious of some unscrupulous blogger fairly high on the Asperger’s scale not to point to the likely effect on the election outcome, which must surely now be beyond doubt.

The former Home Secretary, having presided over the security apparatus for six years previously; the architect of so much anti-terrorism legislation, despite successive governments having denuded the police, the military and the security services of the manpower and resources to actually implement the legislation or defend the country, Mrs May has created around herself an invincible aura: the impeccable credentials of a Boudicca who will ‘guarantee’ the safety of our streets.

The saintly and sanctimonious Mr Corbyn, on the other hand, has been ruthlessly tarred in a long-running campaign with the twin brushes of flakey pacifism and fraternising with terrorists – one of those Islingtonian libtard snowflakes who prefers ‘jaw-jaw’ to ‘war-war’ and thinks one should negotiate with one’s enemies before squishing them –  ever since he was first elected to the leadership of the Labour party.

Why, the hoary old traitor would even refuse to commit our US-controlled nuclear ‘deterrent’ to a British first-strike if pushed to it! He’d be too scared to press the button! How can such a cowardly man be allowed to run the country?

There is now, surely, no contest. The crux of the election will already have swung from ‘Brexit’ to the rhetoric of ‘safe streets’. Once campaigning resumes, only Mrs May, channelling Thatcher, than whom she is allegedly more popular, will be said to have the strength and stability to stand up to the men of violence, etcetera.

The fact that no British politician other than poor Mr Corbyn dares to admit that we have been bringing this on ourselves for almost 150 years of meddling in the oil- and blood-soaked affairs of the Middle East against the stony backdrop of a centuries-old history of violent schism within Islam, invasion and crusade, empire-building and collision, the gerrymandering of artificial states and the finagling of corrupt and brutal autocracies, is itself the very root and branch of last night’s tragedy.

‘Evil’ has nothing to do with it. ‘Evil’ is indeed part of the same delusionary medieval mindset as that of the fundamentalists on both sides who are prosecuting this filthy and in large part covert war; an unending conflict between proxies of greater Powers, petrol poured over it and replenished daily by the arms trade, inasmuch as life here on the Western front mostly carries on as if nothing was happening; until it does.

The Pumpkin has tried for several months now to point to the quasi-mystical aspect of the current political paradigm-shift in the West, driven in part by wealthy ‘disruptors’ linked to ultra-nationalist movements with roots feeding deep on past glories, when heroic knightly Christians and evil profane Moors collided with one another at the gates of Jerusalem, of Vienna, Byzantium, Granada and Omdurman; and partly by the ‘global laundromat’ of hot money.

It is simply folly to deny this history and not see the contemporary resonances. They may be largely symbolic nowadays, with the entry of gangsterism and drones into the equation; but symbolism has become the rationality de nos jours. And those people want war, they crave instability, uncertainty. It’s good for markets.

It would be folly, too, not to try at least to comprehend the enormity of; the incredible complexity, the tangled warp and weft, the thrust and plot of labyrinthine Mid-Eastern politics on so many levels; the role of Israel, the machinations of the energy business and the Deep States, with their endless lethal games; the ancient tribal power struggles… we interfere at our peril, we understand nothing. These ought not to be our affairs.

Atrocities such as Manchester’s cannot be reduced to the one simple absurdity, the old cliche of an act that is purely ‘evil’. People just don’t blow themselves up in crowded places because they are ‘evil’, they do it out of desperation, they go crazy and do these things because nothing else is available to them; no other remedy for the pain in their heart, the confusion in their head; not even the acknowledgment that they are fighting in a war which we have imposed on them: only the epithets ‘terrorist’. ‘Loser’.

We can manage our own atrocities, thank you.

Further reading: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/24/mosuls-children-were-shouting-under-the-rubble-nobody-came

 

Postscriptum

And if you want to know how prescient is The Pumpkin, JC has indeed today (26 May) made a speech attempting to explain that there is a war on, just as I said – and if you want also to know what utter cunts the Tories are, here is the text of a reply from bully-boy expenses hypocrite, Michael Fallon:

“This is a very badly timed speech, showing some very muddled and dangerous thinking (That’s two ‘verys’, Ed.). He seems to be implying that a terorrist (sic) attack in Manchester is somehow our fault, it’s somehow Britain’s fault.

“Jeremy Corbyn is far to ready to ready to (sic) find excuses and far to (sic) slow to support the police and the security services. This is a man, by the way, who has opposed every piece of terrorist legislations (sic), who thinks we should talk to terrorists, and who’s even questioned should be right to shoot to kill (What? Ed.).

“You see the contrast today between Theresa May acting in the national interest and Jeremy Corbyn confirming that he’s simply not up to the job.”

So that’s what you get in wartime Britain for merely telling the truth. Of course it’s not the sort of thing you’d put past Fallon, to make political capital out of the deaths of children. He’s the most disgusting chinless apology for a human being, isn’t he?

Fuck them. DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM.

In the long run we’re all dead.

Isn’t he just priceless?

You may remember, there was a fuss the other week because, having fired the man investigating him over his dodgy Russian connections, the very next day Trump entertained the Russian foreign minister and the ambassador-spy at the White House, at the suggestion of Mr Putin?

And there, in front of a Russian photographer he blurted out information so secret that it came with a ‘Code-only’ security rating, that the US has ‘great intel’ such as was coming from right inside ISIS thanks to an ally in the region; the inference being that Israeli intelligence had an asset in Raqqa?

And when this was leaked, Trump got General McMaster, his head of national security, to deny that he’d given any secrets away? And then Trump went on TV and said he had an ‘absolute right’ to tell anyone anything he wanted, because he was the President. But he would never say where the intel came from, of course he wouldn’t?

So Trump is in Israel, there’s a press conference with Netanyahu, and the Trumpkin gets up and announces to the world’s press, ‘first I want to tell you, I never mentioned Israel. I never said it was Israel.’

And meanwhile it has emerged that Trump also informed his new buddy, the pockmarked litle thug Duterte of the Philippines, in a telephone call two weeks ago, of the whereabouts of two ‘very powerful’ US nuclear submarines.

This man’s IQ is very definitely somewhere in the 90s. Maybe lower. Immeasurably low. Especially when he tells the assembled Israeli ministers: ‘We just got in from the Middle East…’

And it appears that the lawyer he has briefed to defend him against the FBI’s investigation of his links with Russia is working for a leading Russian bank… his business partner is former GOP senator, Joe Lieberman, Trump’s (probably now abandoned) pick for director of… the FBI…

And it also appears that Comey was not the only one Trump begged to abandon the investigations into connections with Russia, a prima facie case for a federal charge of obstructing justice, but he also called the heads of the CIA and the National Security Administration and tried to get them to put pressure on Comey to back off the investigation into Flynn….

It’s like he’d rather be in gaol than in the White House.

What a loser.

x

xAmericans? Fuck ’em, says Trump

And if you want to know who really hates your way of life, please watch Senator Elizabeth Warren’s dissection of Trump and DeVos’s proposed $11bn education cuts in the federal budget, to pay for the Mexican border wall:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma5AsvIgbhw

It is so shocking you will not believe it. So if you don’t believe it, catch the full version with Senator Chuck Schumer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98a3Uq3ML9A

(btw you may hear him refer to student loans. Mrs DeVos owns a company that buys up student loans and pursues students for payment with threats and property seizures.)

You may wish to conclude that Donald J Trump is a demented old orange slug and his placemen incompetent, self-interested, profoundly corrupted lunatics.

I couldn’t possibly comment.

The Pumpkin – Issue (where are we – 18?): The Sabotage Diaries; “What Is Wrong With You?”; Did you hear the one about the ISIS asset?

Editor’s note: apologies for the delay in getting this issue down – I’ve been busy and then I got an abscess and off my face on painkillers. Still not too coherent, I fear, trifle wobbly, but we can’t let the fan down. Bear with.

 

Special “What is wrong with you?” Issue

You let Hillary lose? You’re FIRED!

The Sabotage Diaries

By Skellytanne Conwoman ©2017 #desperationrow

Can no end be put to the relentless sabotage of Mr Trump’s inspirational and well-run American government for all the people?

It seems a piece of non-copyright music was added to the soundtrack of a wonderful video Mr Trump has tweeted-out to his millions of adoring followers around the world, explaining his entirely logical reasons for firing the head of the FBI, the showboating, disloyal little garbage-snooper, James Comey.

We don’t know who decided to use the stirring theme, or why. Astute Twitterates have tracked the music to a library, from where the following description is available:

“… “News Anchor” …  Powerhouse news theme with a classic network vibe. Designed for news broadcasting, newscast, breaking news, special news reports, financial reports, Wall Street, election returns, corporate branding, trade shows and infomercials. Instrumental, News, News Openings”

Notice, there is no mention of the Fake News that so stains the reputation of our treacherous media, enemies of the glorious people. But ‘election returns’? Surely, they taketh the pee-pee? The vile baboons who added this snatch of subversive, disloyal muzak to the video while totally lacking a sense of irony must be found and fired.

The Pumpkin is not a member of Twitter and cannot find the video, in which – ABC News says – Mr Trump has personally recruited a montage of leading Democrats being rude about Mr Comey at the time the FBI chief treacherously swung the Presidential election against Mrs Clinton who, as you recall, was a notorious criminal user of a private Internet server not unlike Mr Trump’s own private internet servers that are not, I repeat NOT, in constant communication with Russi… sorry, start again.

Of course it is outrageous that Mrs Clinton should have won the pop… sorry, sorry. I just can’t seem to avoid not lying about this… despite Mr Comey’s best/worst efforts (delete according to how much sleep the old bastard had last night and whether he’s taken his meds today – xxxSpicey, Lt, USN res. c/o USS Carl Vinson, somewhere). And she really wasn’t elected, honest.

Nevertheless the President has been seething for months about the FBI meddling in his international relations, as that surely ought to be the job of the CIA, and detests Mr Comey for being six inches taller (probably better endowed) and disloyally refusing to tell the White House first, unlike the new Director of the FBI, Mr McCabe, what he plans to say about his investigations about the White House to the Senate committee.

PS I see Flynn has been subpoena’d by those devious shits in Congress. What next, Special Prosecutor? Impeachment? Ha ha, don’t-think-so face!!!

(Remind self – get back on the media, tell them they’re never again to criticise any decisions of our glorious leader, refulgent in his golden aura. Etc – make it up as you go. Keep ’em confused! Hail Trump. K-A C.)

Postscriptum

Mr Reince Priebus (what is that, white South African? I think we should see his birth certificate) the White House Chief-of-Staff, has let it be known that if this sort of thing carries on the President intends to repeal the First Amendment to the Constitution, that he regards as a traitor’s charter for all that boloney about free speech and not making Betsy DeVos’ Bible Trutherism the State religion.

Oh, and also the bit about Americans’ right to protest against and even remove lying, overbearing, biddable, corrupt and incompetent, pouting monsters in the White House if they don’t care to be governed by that sort, he especially doesn’t get that part.

HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS MAN LATELY?

$1bn REWARD, KILL OR CAPTURE . LAST SEEN PENNSYLVANIA AVE. DISTRICT, FRIDAY 5th MARCH.

WARNING: DO NOT APPROACH. MAY OFFER DANGEROUS OPINIONS FOR MONEY.

IF SEEN CONTACT THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVICE SQUAD ON 0101 911911

In a daze

I’ve been in a daze since 3 a.m. Monday with a worrying abscess on one of the three remaining teeth to which my astonishing piece of bridge engineering, my entire smile is anchored.

It flared up either luckily or as a direct consequence only after my final appearance on stage Sunday night in our production of The Merchant of Venice. Some people have linked the two events, while I confess that having as yet no toothache, yet I had been unusually grumpy on Sunday afternoon, even for me.

The younger members of the cast I find particularly annoying as they’re either messing about, dancing around and chatting loudly, making too much noise backstage despite endless warnings from the director; or they’re coming offstage and straight on to their bloody mobile devices.

How the hell do you perform to your best level if you can’t concentrate on what you’re supposed to be doing for more than a nanosecond at a time? Those phones and tablets and even notebooks are a beastly distraction and yet, despite the entire history and culture of the human race being contained therein, no-one under 50 seems to know anything about anything anymore, being endlessly fascinated merely to gaze into the digital mirror.

Grrrr! (gnashing of elderly gums).

Looking up the range of side-effects of paracetamol, I can safely say I’ve had them all this week, only not yet death. Two 500mg caplets are supposed to give four hours’ relief, I was getting about 20 minutes. It became impossible to observe a four-hour gap between doses. I started to fly, my heart racing, saliva tasting – pee smelling – of paracetamol; chest pains, stomach pains, kidney pains, joint pains – rumblings and gurglings, headaches, tinnitus, shortness of breath and more.

The chemist pointed out that I could safely mix Ibuprofen between doses of paracetamol, so I started doing that. Then, one of those awful coincidences, in the supermarket I passed a newspaper stall and one of the tabloids was carrying a headline story: Ibuprofen doubles your risk of a heart attack.

I’m now on antibiotics and slowly coming down – as is my face, which yesterday swelled up like… a Pumpkin?, my top lip dragging downwards like a stroke victim’s, huge swellings on my gums, my left eye half-closed, my speech slurred like a drunk’s. At least the poison spreading from the root of my eye-tooth in finding an escape route through my sinuses had relieved the pressure on the nerve and, though tender, my top teeth were no longer firing darts of pain throughout my face, spreading through my body and keeping me awake in the throbbing small hours.

Anyway, I’ve been living on mush; soup, mashed potato, crême brulée. Anything that didn’t require teeth to eat. And, of course, no alcohol. 24 hours after my last fistfull of paracetamol I essayed an uncharacteristically small glass of Semillon-Chardonnay last night and slept until nearly 11 this morning. I forget what I was dreaming about, it seemed to go on for ages.

Which is all by way of saying two things:

  • First, I’ve been too mentally bewildered to write coherently about the latest, most amazing goings-on in Trumptown.
  • And secondly, even now I’m not sure I can keep up any longer, since every hour brings startling new revelations and reports of portentous signs in the sky. (I also find I am running out of pejoratives, can anyone help me there?)

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions ‘was present at the meeting’.

For instance, Mr Trump sent his notorious letter firing FBI Director James Comey, that he said was based on info given to him by Deputy Attorney-General ‘Rod’ Rosenstein, whereupon he had no option but to act urgently, but which it later transpired he had ordered Rosenstein to write in order to ‘cover’ his firing of Comey and the fact his supposedly ‘recused’ Attorney-General was present at the meeting which touched on the very matter, the Russia enquiry, he had recused himself from.

No sooner had Trump inserted another brazen lie, that Comey had assured him, like St Peter, ‘three times’ he was not personally under investigation, than MSNBC was reporting that the acting director of the FBI, the former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a 20-year man with a permanently worried expression, may have attempted to sabotage the investigation into General Flynn’s highly lucrative contacts with the Russians or otherwise broken ‘house rules’ by disclosing information about it to the White House.

In other words, he is not:

New FBI Acting Director McCabe Considered a Respected, Bureau Man

…as reported by MSNBC’s mainstream parent company NBC News, but is now – only one day later – said to have pedalled round to the White House on 14 February, two days after Gen. Flynn was resigned, in order to brief the President on the state of the investigations into Flynn (that may go on to compromise the President), and to reassure Chief of Staff Priebus that a report in the New York Times the previous day stating that the FBI was investigating ‘a number of’ Trump campaign staffers was ‘bullshit’.

Only it wasn’t. Numerous sources including British, French and Dutch intelligence, it’s now known, had been warning the National Security Administration of serious, repeated and ongoing contacts between members of the Trump team and Russian intelligence, since 2015. In the frame were Flynn, the reptilian ‘fixer’ Roger Stone, Carter Page (a minor go-between and energy ‘consultant’) and former campaign director, Paul Manafort – fired in July 2016, probably the first of Trump’s ‘bodies on the floor’: bodies connected with or looking too closely into the connections with Russia, Ukraine and the online sabotage of the election.

We know this, because NSA chief James Clapper told the Senate hearing so, two days ago. That’s the hearing at which Sally Yates, the former Acting Attorney General fired by Trump because she twice warned the White House legal advisor about Flynn, was finally able to confirm that Flynn, Trump’s ‘National Security Advisor’ – a man Trump tried for weeks to protect before ‘resigning’ him on a feeble pretext – a man who had previously been fired as unsound by President Obama – was possibly embedded with Russian intelligence.

The Pumpkin and a’ would like to know what Trump knew about Flynn while Flynn was merrily chanting ‘Lock her up! and encouraging the dumbfucks to revolt against the Obama regime, that had fired him. Was Flynn acting on his own, for his own PR company – or as a high-level go-between for Trump Campaign with the Kremlin? Or for Trump himself?

We now know, of course, that Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian ‘diplomats’ in December 2015, a move curiously not resisted by the Kremlin after Trump condemned the move, was not because of the GRU’s hacking of the Clinton and Weiner emails, as the White House explained – but because of the ongoing direct contacts between Trump’s transition team, including Flynn, and Russian intelligence. Did Trump tip Putin the wink, that it was okay, he would put everything back again once in office?

And what did Flynn’s PR efforts have to do with lurid tales of a plot to kidnap and render Dr Fetullah Gulen, Erdogan’s nemesis, to Turkey. Was luring former CIA Director James Woolsey to that meeting just a way of ‘confirming’ a false-flag decoy operation? Was Flynn really working for Noble Energy to get an undersea pipeline built to sell Israeli gas to Turkey?

And why is almost everyone in this story called James? We should be told.

With the cadavers mounting up in the closets of the Oval Office, anyone with information possibly leading to his impeachment for treason, it surely has to be clear even to what Lord Chief Justice Denning famously termed ‘The Man on the Clapham Omnibus’, the definition of any reasonable juror, that Trump is in a state of blind panic and desperately manufacturing any nonsense to try to push the FBI and Senate investigations away from himself.

Careless talk costs lives

He seems too, to be rapidly losing support. He’s reported to have screamed abuse the other day at the reliable Gen. McMaster; while no-one has heard the name Steve Bannon mentioned for at least a week. And Priebus has apparently had to order staff to stop slipping fake reports to the President as he reacts instinctively to tweet out about everything that comes across his desk; a number of people have lost their jobs as a result of internal plotting.

Indeed, the Pumpkin might travel a stop beyond Clapham to ask whether the Trumpkin might not have had the chief reason in pursuing the presidency he’s never really wanted and is scarily bad at, being to obtain the one position in the USA where he might be immune from criminal prosecution?

The Pumpkin gathers too that Trump has hired a firm of rottweiler Washington lawyers to go after the press and anybody else who doesn’t think he is wholly innocent of what he has already admitted, that he has had dealings with Russia, maybe not ‘in’ Russia as he says, that may have seriously compromised his position.

Yet he continues to incriminate himself. In an embarrassing interview with NBC he prevaricated over which of two accounts he should give, saying both that Comey had requested a private dinner-meeting in January to discuss the Russia investigation AND that he, Trump, had requested the dinner. He has since also denied Comey’s memorandum of the meeting, saying he never asked Comey to declare his personal loyalty – a promise Comey as Director of an internal security agency with powers of law enforcement would obviously have had a problem giving, especially to the prime suspect.

Nor, one hopes, did he actually ask Comey about the possibility of locking up journalists guilty of writing unfavourable ‘fake news’ about him. Only Comey apparently thinks he seriously did.

And today Trump has invited to the Oval Office, Russian ambassador Kisliak and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. Right at the height of the fevered speculation of the world’s press as to his possibly compromised relations with Russia – or indeed about his fetish for pee-pee (if you think all this is planned policy for ‘improving relations’ with Russia and a Good Thing, get a brain).

Not to the State Department, as would be the normal protocol, but to the heart of the administration which Director Comey was beginning to prove they paid for. Is the President in their pocket, or just unbelievably stupid and reckless? And why was Lavrov there, what was the point of his visit?

But of course, Lavrov was going to be sent over to check on how much trouble Trump is really in. And Trump has already let slip that the meeting was arranged at the personal request of… Vladimir Putin, and that he ‘could not refuse’ it.

What, no horse’s head?

And the only media allowed in was the Man from Tass, following which Trump protested like a complete booby that he had been ‘tricked’ by Russians-who-lie into thinking this was Lavrov’s ‘personal photographer’. In fact The Pumpkin is not even certain if the Secretary of State, Rex Tillexxon was invited along, let alone the nurse who administers President Trump’s reality medication.

Yes, he actually invited an unknown Russian from a Kremlin-owned news agency with a camera and no security clearance into the Oval Office, along with the local chief spy and his Moscow handler.

And then boasted about his wonderful connections with Israeli intelligence, look, they’ve even got a guy inside ISIS who told us about the thing with the laptops you already knew about….

So dumb.

Donald, we all know you inhaled. It doesn’t matter, sweetie. Just come out with your hands up.

x

Four

For many months now Trump has been swearing and protesting loudly that he has and had no financial or business connections whatever ‘in’ Russia. It’s not a question of belief, everyone knows it’s a Big Lie. It’s more a matter of definition.

How do we know?

Because before his election campaign he was forever boasting about his connections with Russian oligarchs, having organized a beauty pageant in Moscow and attended a party where, he announced breathily, he had ‘met them all’

Yes, all those delightful, very smart, very rich people he owes money and favours to, but whom he sucks up to because they’re richer and more dishonest than he is. He just adores guys who get away with stuff the press wouldn’t let him. He admires people who kill people.

And because he has produced a letter, written a full two months before the accusation even arose, from some accountants in Washington swearing he has no links with or income from Russia – except for a few, and maybe just a bit. Why did he get them to write that? Oh, right. Flynn.

And because he has lavishly praised President Putin and had a strange financial relationship with Putin crony, ‘The Fertiliser King’ Dmitry Rybolovlev – a part-owner in Bank of Cyprus, a known money-laundering outlet with Russian and US shareholders and a direct connection to Deutsche Bank’s Moscow-based Real Estate investment branch, to whom Trump owes over $350 million of a $640 million loan he reportedly defaulted on in 2008.

And because he has borrowed money – hundreds of millions – from Russian (and Chinese) banks, both private and State – American banks will no longer lend to him, such a credit junkie is the President that he long ago maxed-out his Platinum cards in the USA – to whom (and others, including RBS) his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also owes $1bn.

(If Trump is indeed a billionaire, why is his poor son-in-law, whom he has also brought inside the protective shield of the White House, having to finance his own property developments with massive unrepayable loans from foreign banks?)

This latter was confirmed by Eric Trump, the ‘Little Nazi’ who wonders why women don’t just put up with being groped, three years ago while unwisely playing golf with Arnold Palmer’s biographer, golfing writer James Dodson. According to a report in The Telegraph (07 May):

“Mr Dodson told Boston radio station WBUR: “This is the journalist in me, I said ‘What are you using to pay for these courses?’ And he (Donald Trump) just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.

“So when I got in the cart with Eric, as we were setting off I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks, because of the recession, the Great Recession, have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.'”

“Mr Dodson claimed Eric Trump then told him: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programmes. We just go there all the time.”

“We just go there all the time”…. To play pitch’n’putt on the Kremlin lawn? Maybe Eric was just being puppyishly naive in blurting out some nonsense he might have thought would impress Dodson? Maybe Trump was too?

Wikipedia reports:

“Golf in Russia is not yet widespread, not only because of adverse natural conditions, but also because the construction of golf courses requires large capital investments (a few tens of millions of dollars, usually more than a hundred). The first 18-hole golf course was built in the suburban area of Nakhabino in 1994, and remained the only one in the country for many years.”

Only a handful of Russians who ‘really, really love golf’ are professionals, maybe four or five. The Russian Open has been won pretty much every year by outsiders – few of them household names – since Konstantin Lifinov lifted the first trophy in 1993. There are only nine golf courses in the whole of Russia, with another ten ‘under construction’.

The question might then be, if Trump has to borrow to build, who funded the controversial Trump International course at Menie Park near Aberdeen, to the tune of $120 million? It’s obviously losing money, its Google entry is offering ‘no reservation fees’ and ‘half-price hotel’ deals.

Clearly Russia is an area the Trumps would like to get into, if they had the money.

Or might I put on a fiction writer’s hat and outline the latest James Bond plot, a conspiracy to launder $billions of Russian oil wealth through covering the free world in tasteless, unused golf resorts patrolled by thuggish staff, funded by sinister oligarchs, and bring down Western democracy in the process?

x

The wisdom of the innocents

Trump’s latest poll figures somewhat belie his claim that his first 100 days have been a rip-roaring success. CNN reports his overall approval rating at 35%, and when asked to give one adjective to describe the President of the United States, 38% replied: ‘idiot’.

“Businessman” was the word least associated with President Trump by those polled.

 

“Since taking office, Mr Trump has mounted a frenzied, hate-filled, childishly resentful onslaught on the Obamas’ legacy by every possible means, heedless of the immense damage he is doing to ordinary Americans in the process.”

38% of Americans believe this poor fellow is an idiot. Please give generously.

“What is wrong with you?”

The Pumpkin believes that Michelle Obama has struck, with customary charm and wit, upon the exact slogan The Resistance needs to confront this tyrannical and abusive old moron.

What indeed is wrong with you?

Since taking office, Mr Trump has blundered around, unable to concentrate for more than a few moments on any issue other than the precipitous nature of his election, making rambling, confused and self-contradictory, self-justifying statements blaming everyone and everything for things he just can’t do right, appointing certified cretins, racialists and sinister lobbyists to positions of power ranked according to wealth and insanity; screaming abuse at subordinates and trolling people and institutions at random with vacuous, illiterate Tweets.

What is wrong with you?

Well, we wonder.

His handling of the James Comey firing has been completely cackhanded, even for the CEO of a one-man business. After first driving his newly appointed Deputy Attorney-General, the formerly well-regarded Rod Rosenstein, to the point of resigning over a lie that he, Trump, had had to move against Comey urgently on the basis of a letter which, it transpired, he had forced Rosenstein to write (there’s always a letter), Mr Trump tried to shift the blame onto his hapless little Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

Spicey has been effectively suspended for his abject performance (on ‘Naval reserve duties’ he is, as usual, all at sea) in attempting to defend his demented Master without being briefed about the circumstances and the reasons behind the precipitate decision. Mr Spicer was discovered by the press pack, hiding in the dark among the bushes on the White House grounds, imparting a Keystone Cops dimension to the story you could not make up.

This poor creature, once human, has been trapped for 110 days in the White House: Please Give Generously.

With further contradictory statements by the Vice-President, the snow-capped advert for Anusol, Mike Pence; Sarah ‘We hate Huckabees’ Sanders (Spicey’s unpopular-fat-girl-dorm-monitor deputy) and the increasingly loopy and defeated-looking Kellyanne Conway, the story was being spun everywhichway, including by the Orange Glow himself, even during the course of a single interview with NBC in which he as much as admitted what he didn’t want anyone to know, that it was to stymie the FBI investigation into his Russian connections.

What is wrong with you?

In the middle of the night he sits alone in the Oval Office, firing off dangerously abusive tweets about things that have upset him, that he has seen reported on Fox News, the unreliable TV channel he apparently watches obsessively all day, and which, aides say, is – along with the Breitbart News website – his principal window on the world as he refuses to receive briefings from actual experts: a clear sign of paranoia.

And – The Pumpkin is not a qualified psychologist but a nearly 70-year-old observer of human goings-on – to that amateur diagnosis must be added Mr Trump’s two main drivers of policy – if you don’t count the attraction of his weekly three-day golfing holidays at Mar-a-Lago, that have as of last weekend racked up a total of $27 million in travel and security costs to the taxpayer in only four months and cost the local community many more $millions in lost trade; which he has been told about, but does not care.

What is wrong with you?

One driver of policy is the unbearable knowledge that he really lost the election.

It preys continually on what remains of his mind, that he actually got 2.8 million votes fewer than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, despite the vitriolic campaign of hate which he and his team of fascist brownshirts, frustrated housewives and Russian agents spewed at her, unprecedented in modern politics.

He won the election, only because the numbers were affected in the Electoral College process by Republican gerrymandering in a few key ‘swing’ states, disenfranchising tens of thousands of potentially Democratic voters.

The campaign of dirty tricks included putting out fake-news messages on social media giving Democratic voters incorrect information about registration and polling dates; reducing the number of voting machines in poorer wards (sometimes through fake burglaries) in order to create unacceptable lines, and sending out to large numbers of mainly black and Latino voters who had previously been removed from the electoral roll without their knowledge ‘on suspicion’ of duplicate registration, non-valid polling cards. Such tactics affected tens of thousands of voters.

Nevertheless in his confusion, the 70-year-old Trump was told, presumably by Bannon, to keep tweeting that between three and five million unregistered immigrants had voted for Clinton – a completely preposterous meme that over 60% of his supporters came to believe; prompting ‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough on NBC to comment was the first case he had encountered, of a ‘sore winner’.

Add to Mr Trump’s equally neurotic obsession with trying to rationalize the relatively small number of people who turned out at his inauguration parade – for which he had raised $107 million in special donations (nobody knows where the money has gone, three times what it cost to bring out three times as many Obama supporters in 2008) – and the weekly ‘campaign rallies’ he keeps re-running all over the midwest, and you have a potent cocktail of grievance on which to endlessly brood.

His actual unpopularity haunts him night and day; indeed, he has been especially vengeful in shutting down the activities of the Parks Department, that reported the true official figures for his poor turnout and published the incriminating photographs showing an almost deserted plaza.

It is as if his great triumph in becoming President, the ultimate ratification of a life spent selfishly cheating people, never lasted beyond the moment of declaration and only the euphoria of that moment, the feeling of being swept along on an adoring tide, makes up for the sheer agony of having actually to do a job for which he is totally unprepared and unqualified. So many of his actions shout ‘Help, get me out of here’, even as he swaggers and bullies and lies his way daily deeper into trouble.

What is wrong with you?

There is no other route to political power in America, than through The Money.

His other great motivation is his equally strong hatred of the Obamas and their enduring popularity. How dare the uppity n-words get above him in social prestige? Especially when he and his dad invested so much in racially excluding tenants from their rack-rent housing projects.

President Obama was not quite the great black hope everyone imagined. Sadly, he is just another Wall Street white guy in disguise; a constitutional lawyer beholden to The Money. But what else could or should we have expected? There is no other route to political power in America, than through The Money.

Nevertheless, he is not a bad man. He did not try to grind the faces of the poor as the Republicans delight in doing, when they can be bothered to think about them at all between elections*. He genuinely did his best to bring about social reform, to extend free healthcare and to protect the environment. Despite his sorry record of extrajudicial killings, he is not thought to be an ecocidal money-launderer and serial bankrupt with connections to global criminal enterprises.

And Michelle has done sterling work all over the world in advancing the cause of public education and the advancement of women, a genuinely inspirational and gracious figure some say they wish would run for the Presidency.

Which is how she came to be at a conference in Washington yesterday on children’s nutrition.

Since taking office, Mr Trump has mounted a continued, frenzied, hate-filled, childishly resentful onslaught on the Obamas’ legacy by every possible means, heedless of the immense damage he is doing to ordinary Americans in the process.

He has attacked and attempted to rollback every single piece of legislation, every appointment the 44th President succeeded against the political odds in making during his eight years in office – including a tiny, inexpensive and inoffensive order requiring schools in the public system to meet proper standards of nutrition when providing pupils with meals.

When you consider that one State (Republican, naturally – what is wrong with them?) recently ruled that Pizza counts as a vegetable towards the ‘5-a-day’ target on account of it’s got tomato paste on it, duh, along with the processed cheese, you can see why it might be important to insist on a healthy balance of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

“We have a lot more work to do, for sure, but we’ve got to make sure we don’t let anybody take us back because the question is, where are we going back to?” Obama told a Partnership for a Healthier America summit in Washington.

“This is where you really have to look at motives, you know. You have to stop and think: why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you?” – Guardian Today report

It’s not an argument Sonny Purdue, the Agriculture secretary, would go along with, as, presumably in response to a Trump order, he has simply scrapped the requirement, the Pumpkin imagines in the face of lobbying pressure and much to the relief of the US’s vastly powerful junk food lobby, the ‘stuff everything with soya and sugar’ industry that is killing people around the world in large numbers for profit – another key plank of Republican policy.

What is wrong with Mr Purdue is easy to answer: he’s an asshole.

Mrs Obama’s comments, her appeals to Moms to fight this kind of Trumpenshit, apparently met with rousing applause; and not only from Jamie Oliver.

“What is wrong with you?” should be the question loudly demanded of every bribed Republican energy, arms, medical insurance industry and food-lobby shill in Congress, every member of Trump’s incompetent wrecking crew of billionaire Deplorables, every dumbfuck who voted to cancel their own healthcare, every supine journalist who goes along respectfully with the Office of President that is being daily disgraced and diminished by this lying, self-deluded old monster – and of the monster himself.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, TRUMP?

*As, for instance, the disgusting old Senate leader, Orrin Hatch, who has likened single-payer healthcare to being ‘on the dole’.

x

Did you hear the one about the ISIS asset?

Every new dawn brings news of yet another Trump gaffe, yet another hastily cobbled-together attempt by his frazzled staff to put him back in his box. And still no-one has the guts to have him removed from office, by force if necessary.

That meeting with the Russians? The Washington Post and others have been reporting, like a large orange baboon-child he blurted out to Lavrov a secret so secret it has a higher security rating than Top Secret.

It can, literally, only be spoken of in code.

Hey, guess what, I’m the President! Gee whillikers, who’d a’ thought it? Did you hear the one about the ISIS asset? Yeah, we’ve got one! His name’s dtgjk,skjiudcgtudjk, right?

Now, the subject matter of the coded secret isn’t actually a secret at all, it’s been in the papers for days. We all knew selected national security administrations around the world were making airports ban travellers from carrying laptops onboard as hand-luggage because of a tipoff that IS were planning to bomb one or more aircraft.

It must have been a pretty specific threat. But the real secret is who leaked it? The highest classification was designed to protect the source inside the IS, who given the difficulty of penetrating IS may be one of the most valuable assets on the planet. Trump apparently gave Lavrov enough background to enable the Russians to identify the source.

Now, the Russians, the US, Iran/Hezbollah, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, the Kurdish PKK militias, Bashar al-Assad and many others in the grand coalition are opposing IS. So we’re all on the same side, right? Well, no. The US is opposing Iran/Hezbollah on behalf of the Israelis, and the Russians are allies of Iran – Turkey wasn’t an ally of Russia but now is, only it’s an enemy of the Kurds… God, it’s a complete mess and I’m not even confident of finishing this paragraph.

Somewhere in the mess is Saudi Arabia, the oligarchic C15th dynasty that barbarously decapitates more people for less reason than ISIS ever did, where Trump is off to on a grand mission, his first trip abroad, to kiss the ring of the senile King and sell yet more $billions of arms to slaughter and starve more children and doctors in Yemen. (But not before he’s chocolate-caked President Erdogan in a summit of the world’s two leading authoritarian paranoiacs.)

And now the entire Gulf States region knows that Trump cannot be trusted with the secret of what day it is.

And Trumpski’s response to the shitstorm that even leading Republicans are gulping about?

“I’m the President. I have an absolute right to tell the Russians whatever I like.” (Actually, he doesn’t.)

The question must then surely be, if the info is fine to be given to the Russian Foreign Minister, what compulsion was there to send Lavrov in person all the way to Washington to receive it, when it could just have been exchanged via the normal channels?

He knows, he understands, he can be trusted with, nothing. Nothing whatsoever. He has become a grave concern to US allies and a laughing-stock at NATO, where it’s said they are preparing for his forthcoming visit with instructions to keep all speeches to under four minutes, in simple language and make them visually entertaining.

But the FBI has a way of eventually dealing with people like Trump, dangerous subversives, incompetent loose-tongued lunatics with dodgy connections, and you get a National Day named in your honor after the gun-carriage has passed by.

The Pumpkin – Issue 16: “Take away that shining bauble”; Cromwell’s message from the grave. Hiding in the Shadows: connections with Fundamentalism. Protecting the Light of Reason. There’s always a letter: Trump, terrorism and Islam.. Sleaze in the Pacific….

 

“Look, you put the money in here and out comes another load of demented, self-contradicting shit!”

Dear America, ye have long revered the Gettysburg Address as a founding statement of your democracy. Here is an equally brief but pertinent, epoch-making speech you need to nail to the White House door now, even though it has not yet been 100 days:

Dissolution of the Long Parliament by Oliver Cromwell, given to the House of Commons, 20 April 1653.

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practise of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

“Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

“Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil’d this sacred place and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you who were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

“In the name of God, go!”

x

“Freedom of speech is at stake, even as freedom of belief is being shut down by these insanely corrupted religionists”

Hiding in the shadows: Connections with fundamentalism

The Pumpkin has recorded in a previous Post now over 40 policy statements, ‘executive orders’ and congressional bills introduced during Mr Trump’s first three months in office, aimed at destroying the independence of the scientific community.

These range from the appointment of powerful billionaire Exxon-Mobil oil boss Rex Tillerson as the senior US ‘diplomat’, Secretary of State, a man with no departmental background and an apparent disdain for career-diplomatic expertise, and ‘the King of Fracking’, Harold Hamm’s shill Scott Pruitt to the EPA; via the rollback of environmental protections introduced under Obama, to the defunding and banning of publication of scientific research and public information by federal agency employees in the field of environmental protection or climate monitoring – even the National Parks.

If you need to know what – apart from the vast amounts of money paid to lobbyists in the Washington ‘swamp’ by the Energy industry, evil climate disruptors like Myron Ebrill, and funnelled into the Presidential campaign to ensure a Republican victory (many Republican politicians are so in hock to oil and coal barons that they have no independence of thought or action) – lies behind Mr Trump’s climate-change denialist policies, merely consider that Stephen K Bannon is Trump’s chief policy advisor; and that Bannon is in turn funded by the Mercers, spectacularly wealthy hedge-fund manager and IT whizz Robert and his terrifying daughter, Bekah – rabid Christian fundamentalist plutocrats who have ploughed tens of millions of dollars from their bottomless money-pit into ultra-rightwing causes, including the notorious Breitbart News, which promotes a reconstructivist – almost nihilist – agenda, advocating pulling down the rotting edifice of Western democratic institutions and rebuilding society along orthodox religious lines, guided by the wisdom of the money-makers.

“I don’t know about hands, but my strange cranium has space for three of your human brains.”

Bannon, a co-founder and former editor of Breitbart News, has fallen from grace lately as the appalling administrative shambles, the endless policy failures and reversals and faux pas of the President’s first 100 days in office have been partly stabilized by a palace coup. The military has effectively taken over much White House policy, driven by the hawkish new National Security Advisor, Lt-Gen HR McMaster, a man with a face made of endangered tree-wood and a curiously elongated cranium hinting at some extraterrestrial origin; and by Mr Trump’s most trusted aide, his son-in-law, the 36-year-old property speculator and plastic toy, Mr Jared Kushner.

However, Mr Bannon clearly had a profound effect on Mr Trump for a good long while, and despite his dissolute appearance he holds certain views of the world which include a kind of purist Crusader mentality when it comes to the global supremacy of the Church Militant.

This affiliation may account for the strange relationships between the Trump campaign, elements of his subsequent slimmed-down administration, and religious Orthodoxy, such as:

  • the discredited racialist, Confederate and Christian fundamentalist, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, the little Yoda dwarf, busy licensing the police to commit any acts of violence against protestors and minorities, locking up people who dare to interrupt his hearings and threatening to jail the producers of medical marijuana;
  • the unqualified ‘Education Secretary’, the Creationist Betsy DeVos (another heavyweight backer of the Trump campaign, whose husband Dick’s Spectrum Healthcare company is thought to be linked to the Ukrainian owner of Russia’s largest private bank, Alfabank, Mikhail Fridman);
  • the Commerce Secretary Mr Wilbur Ross, consigliere to the Trump family and part-owner of a part-Kremlin-owned money-laundromat called Bank of Cyprus, whose chairman Dr  Joseph Ackermann was CEO of Deutsche Bank in 2008 when Trump defaulted on a $640 million loan; the bank fined $14 billion for money-laundering;
  • and the Kremlin – where a powerful movement supported by Mr Putin and some of his pet oligarchs and spiritual advisors like Aleksandr ‘the new Rasputin’ Dugin, bids to restore the hegemony of the Russian Orthodox church. (Dismissed as phoney patriotism by the New American, in an article arguing that Putin is using Christianity as a weapon to control his people and bring down the decadent West. Now read on…)

Leading the conservative charge against the pernicious influences of both science and ecumenicism in the Vatican, profoundly opposed to the ‘liberation theology’ of Pope Francis, is the American, Cardinal Burke – staunch Republican (he threatens to excommunicate Democrats); friend of Steve Bannon, and friend of the crusading Opus Dei movement.

Like the Masons and the Illuminati, Opus Dei is precisely the kind of secretive, creepy ‘resistance’ movement machinating against the liberalisation of Christian orthodoxy to spark off endless conspiracy theories. A trawl of websites commenting on the subject displays a Manichean struggle for the soul of the Mother Church, with deeply opposed viewpoints – sometimes within the same outlet.

The complete Burke.

Stories, both hotly confirmed and denied, have been swirling around, suggesting for instance that Mr Bannon and Opus Dei may be on the same course politically, their aim being to discredit and undermine the current liberal-democratic consensus – the ‘permissive society’ – and its allies in the irreligious scientific community, which is now something like 98.8 per cent convinced of the reality of a planet heating to a dangerous degree as a result of manmade changes to the atmosphere; a thesis inimical to the interests of billionaire fundamentalist Christians, many of whom are tied to the fossil fuel industry – and to the Trump administration; but which excites the teleological wings of both the Christian and Muslim faiths with the prospect of the ‘End times’ perhaps even in our lifetimes.

http://churchandstate.org.uk/2015/05/opus-dei-the-vatican-pentagon-connection/ (Warning: Do not read this unless you were planning to kill yourself anyway.)

God, the reasoning goes, promised after the Great Flood by the sign of a rainbow that he would never again attempt to destroy his Creation. The great extinction threatened by climate change and warned about by so many increasingly alarmed scientists cannot therefore be real and must instead be a worldwide conspiracy to obtain more tax dollars for research programmes (I know, it’s rather silly, given we’ve known the effects of burning fossil fuels for over 100 years. Some conspiracy!).

Amplified by a hatred of government, this ‘Green tax-grab’ of course is a profound meme among America’s gun-toting Bible Belt Christians, Trump’s core dumbfuck supporters, played on for all it’s worth by the Energy industry lobby, that has benefitted from ‘Dark Money’ funding, both by American and often illicitly ‘laundered’ Russian petrodollars.

And behind that, is surely a drive to lift the regime of sanctions imposed against Russia over its illegal annexation of what Mr Putin has described as its ‘spiritual home’, Crimea, to enable co-operative agreements with Exxon-Mobil to drill for oil in the Arctic, where trillions of dollars’ worth of oil reserves are thought to lie. (Conspiracy theories not being necessarily always to do with the secret genetic bloodline of Jesus…)

For an ‘alt-right’ Christian view of Mr Putin, in case I haven’t convinced you, New American quotes the following passage from a notorious practitioner:

“Vladimir Putin Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize: Putin took over as President of Russia in 2000 when the country was in an economic mess. Putin has brought economic prosperity…. Putin put the crooked Jewish billionaires in prison and supported the Christian churches against the gays. He kept America out of war in Syria and Iran. Putin is aggressively combating the financial shenanigans of the New World Order.” — Texe Marrs, author, founder of Power of Prophecy Ministry (New American, April 22, 2014)

(The Pumpkin couldn’t resist looking up the entertaining Mr Marrs on Wikipedia. A virulent anti-Semite and anti-Papist, anti- actually pretty much anything, “In 1999 he alleged that former United States President George H.W. Bush would be involved in a black mass in a chamber within the Great Pyramid of Giza…” Yes, there’s more.)

On 10 April 2017, Mr Bannon’s Breitbart News – a rightwing website of dubious editorial integrity, funded by the Mercers and frequently quoted as gospel by the ‘useful idiot’, Trump – reported that Cardinal Burke had ‘denied ever meeting Steve Bannon’. On 12 April, however, it reported Cardinal Burke as agreeing that he might have had a ‘brief interview’ with Bannon in 2014. Other websites of a profoundly conservative kind hotly deny the claim that the two are linked; however, on 22 April, the Catholic spiritualist Aleteia website wrote:

“In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.”

http://aleteia.org/blogs/deacon-greg-kandra/steve-bannons-vatican-ties-a-meeting-of-hearts-with-cardinal-burke/

The Bannon thesis of course presupposes that ‘Islam’ is some sort of centrally organised and co-ordinated, monolithic conspiracy, rather than a fissiparous world religion with deep doctrinal divisions and degrees of adherence, like Christianity.

Now…

Opus Dei is linked with the White House via an individual called Joseph E Schmitz, a former Pentagon wonk and, naturally, a ‘security advisor’ on the Trump transition team.

Schmitz is a former director of Blackwater, now defunct (after massacring too many innocent Iraqi civilians by mistake) – but once the world’s largest private army, founded by Erik Prince, who is the brother of… Betsy DeVos, and who is also a Trump security advisor and a Dark State ‘fixer’ available for clandestine overseas missions.

(Please bear in mind that there is almost no-one left in any official positions in the State Department and that the actual Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is excluded from key foreign policy meetings. Now read on…).

His Wikipedia entry also states that Schmitz is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (I’ll leave the link in. You’ll go freakin’ crazy!)*.

And Blackwater has also been linked with SMOM, among whose members are… well, a lot of people whose names you may recognise, not a few of whom instigated the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Interviewed on Democracy Now, Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept said:

“Joseph Schmitz is, in many ways, in Washington a total clown and a joke because of his insane worldview that has no bearing in the modern world, and yet he continues to get government contracts. He was—he was getting paid by the inspector general on Afghanistan under the Obama administration. And, you know, so he’s part of—I wouldn’t even put him in the category of neoconservatives. I mean, it’s really more the neo-crusader crowd that Joseph Schmitz is a part of.”

Bloomberg News (April 18, 2017) reported:

“Prince was very much a presence, providing advice to Trump’s inner circle, including his top national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, according to people familiar with his activities. Trump was weakest in the area where the stakes were highest — foreign affairs. Among those his aides turned to was Prince, a man whose specialty is paramilitary security forces.”

And the bonkers Illuminati News, with whose general thesis you may find it hard to agree, in 2007 nevertheless reported:

“Blackwater is a religious army serving the Pope in Rome through the Order of Malta, which is itself considered under international law, as a sovereign entity with special diplomatic powers and privileges. Like Blackwater, the Order of Malta is “untouchable” because it is at the heart of the elite aristocracy. … Then we come to another SMOM member, important to what is transpiring in Iraq. Educated at the Jesuit Georgetown University, former Pentagon Inspector-General Joseph Edward Schmitz, Blackwater’s operations chief, is a member of both SMOM and Opus Dei.” – http://www.illuminati-news.com/2007/1014.html

And when you carry on with that article, you will find appended a list of other supposed members of SMOM providing links back in time to some of the backers of the Nazi party – less far back, to politicians like Tony Blair and George HW Bush, media mogul Rupert Murdoch – and also to worldwide Freemasonry and… the Carlyle Group, a private club linked to the global arms industry, that networks billionaires with politicians.

Yes, them again.

The key point is not the accuracy of the information, but the extent to which conservative Catholicism may have penetrated the upper echelons of the Pentagon and those current and former members of the State and private security establishments most closely involved with the so-called War on Terror, who are advising the ‘useful idiot’ in the Oval Office.

And Trump has, basically, told them to just get on with it and to hell with the rules.

Now, you will not find this web of connections actually presented to you in one single place, unless you investigate them one by one it may not appear so evidential. We have not yet found conclusive evidence that Trump is the Anti-Christ…. What the BogPo has dug up in just a couple of hours from online sources both reputable and weird can be explored further, using the small selection of links (both dead and alive) I have given in these Posts.

Please make up your own minds! I think by now you may have grasped the somewhat perplexing nature of the Trump administration and its many connections to a web of conspiracy theories, both persuasive and far-fetched; to world Catholicism, Russian Orthodoxy, shadowy ‘secret societies’ with ultra-nationalist agendas, and their disruptive billionaire funders. The links are there, even if the proof isn’t.

And as most of the stories date from long before Trump was even adopted as the Republican candidate, his Presidential coup d’etat can hardly be blamed for the rash of speculation about his financial and spiritual connections; the ‘Fake news!’.

 

*Try not to confuse the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta with the Knights of Malta, who only come out at night… (ha ha) and, indeed, the Knights Templar, which no longer exists except as a pastiche organization hunting Syrian refugees in Bulgaria.

Every web site about the Knights of Malta has the same text: “VATICAN CITY The Knights of Malta, an ancient Catholic order which operates as global charity, has its headquarters on one of Rome’s most exclusive streets, the … ” so they must really just be an innocent Catholic charity operating in 105 countries, who according to a news story just fired their Grand Whatsit for distributing condoms through an aid agency.

Whereas the actually real Sovereign Military Order etc. also claims to be based on the Via Condotti in Rome, has quasi-national status at the UN and operates ostensibly as a worldwide medical charity.

For the terminally confused, read: http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/01/19/who-are-the-knights-of-malta-and-what-do-they-want/

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Pumpkin vindicated: shock horror

Readers, Spammers, Likers, Followers and Those no longer reading this, muh bogl, will be all too aware that The Pumpkin has been bogling for weeks about the sinister connections between Russia, Wikileaks, Super-nationalists and the Billionaire Disruptors behind an attempted take-down of Western political institutions.

Finally – well, almost, we hope, finality might rest with the Good Guys, if they can be found – Carole Cadwaladr, The Guardian‘s point-woman on this story, has begun to make the connections herself. For the unfolding drama, see:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/23/when-nigel-farage-met-julian-assange?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=222804&subid=19570602&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

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“Curious how money makes words so worthless”

Protecting the Light of Reason

Today’s march by, hopefully, tens of thousands of scientists worldwide (several of them probably religious believers) protesting Trump’s fatuous attempts to muzzle them and to discredit more than a hundred years of patient, evidence-based and increasingly worrying climate research, will of course achieve nothing. Opponents will point to unity among scientists as proof of collusion.

However, the curiously muted coverage to date by even the most reputable independent media, such as The Guardian and the BBC, of Trump’s brazen evisceration of the federal agencies, his attempts to silence communicators and pervert inconvenient truths, and the outright lies, fabrications, insane beliefs and denials of the profoundly corrupt Energy-bidness shills in the Republican-controlled Congress, their mouths stuffed with petrodollars – curious how money makes words so worthless – the silence of the press needs to be broken.

Freedom of speech is at stake, even as freedom of belief* is being shut down by these insanely corrupted religionists. The media must speak louder, must shout this from the rooftops, that thought itself, the light of reason is under attack.

Instead, it remains shamefully quiescent.

Why?

The Pumpkin would like to know. Mere suspicion is not proof.

*Rumour hath it (05 May) that a Congressional bill is in preparation declaring the primacy of the Christian religion in matters of faith such as LGBT rights, gay marriage, abortion and discrimination against minority faiths. Watch this space for further news of attempts by the administration to destroy the First Amendment prohibiting the creation of a State religion.

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There’s always a letter

“Paris Champs Elysées gunman named as Karim Cheurfi. Officials say a note from IS group was found near his body.” – BBC News

Look. The most intelligent thing we can say about this credulous urban baboon who shot and killed a policeman, Xavier Jugelé, and wounded two others before himself being killed is that, whatever else his motive might have been, it was almost certainly not to advance the cause of the worldwide caliphate.

Cheurfi was 39, a French-born, minor career-criminal who had recently served ten years of a 15-year stretch for a previous attempt to kill policemen in the course of a robbery. Hardly Imam material, then.

You or I could probably concoct a suicide bid and then offer to take a few kafirs with us, and IS would happily endorse you and publicly claim a victory after the event, as they are losing badly on the ground in Syria and Iraq and need the publicity, which world leaders in the throes of elections and enclosed in their campaign bubbles are all-too wont to give them over every small-scale incident possibly ascribable to the worldwide Islamic conspiracy.

But in writing?

A Reuter’s report clarifies:

“Released on probation in 2015 from a further two-year jail term imposed for lesser offences, Cheurfi was arrested again in February after threatening to kill police officers – but released for lack of evidence.”

The evidence that was lacking was any indication of Islamic radicalisation: in other words, he was probablyt just another nutter with a grudge against the authorities and a wish to go out with all guns blazing, who happened to be a Muslim. Just like Khalid Masood, the Westminster Bridge attacker, in fact. French security services say they have ten thousand names of such people on their database; far too many to monitor.

You have to ask yourself if these attacks are quite what they seem?

Could such people – embittered loners, petty criminals, ex-cons, the rootless unassimilated children of migrants – be persuaded to carry out these almost inevitably suicidal attacks, perhaps by cash payments for their families, on behalf of political causes not always connected with religion? Both Cheurfi and Masood were well above the age at which radical Islamists generally launch their planned assaults, usually with the aim of taking down as many “unbelievers” as possible.

If French officials did indeed find a note “near his body” signed: “Best of luck, save us a virgin! From your mates at IS HQ, Raqqa, Syria”, an old cynic like myself might jump to the conclusion that either he wrote it himself or someone perhaps from or acting on behalf of (or imagining they were acting on behalf of) the anti-immigrant Front Nationale might have written it, to provide some broader incriminating evidence to justify an anti-Islamic platform four days ahead of the first round election. (Four days is the required interval – in 1924 the Daily Mail notoriously published an incriminating letter from Moscow, urging Labour supporters to commit acts of sabotage. Four days later the Tories won the General Election. It was an MI5 forgery.)

The bombs in Dortmund that targeted the Borussia coach were, for instance, laid at the door of Islam by the Kremlin-shill, Farage and the usual ultra-nationalist suspects until it became clear from a ‘note’ found at the scene that it was an unusually imaginative attempt to profit from a share-price dip by an individual in the finance industry, unrelated to the worldwide war on terror. His arrest has occasioned not one word of comment or contrition from the right.

But someone must have provided Cheurfi with the AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle. They don’t grow on trees, even in the Schengen zone. Just the type of weapon an IS terrorist might use? Too much so?

The principal beneficiary from this timely incident involving a Muslim man will, of course, be Mme Le Pen, whose comments on the incident have been predictably inflammatory, even though the tougher security measures she is promising are already in place following earlier attacks. Guided presumably by the indefatigible Sebastian L v. Gorka, his British-Hungarian alt-right Christian advisor on the global war against Islam, see above and elsewhere, Mr Trump was quick to inveigh against the terrorists, tweeting:

“Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”

…the word “terrorist” being now synonymous only with global jihad in The Oxford Dictionary of Bannonisms.

Mr Trump does at least seem to remember where Paris is, although he underestimates by far the resilience of the French people, who survived five years of occupation under the Nazis who, believe me, were infinitely more dangerous than the Islamists; and presumably got the news of the attack from his favourite Fox TV, reeling from the loss of their popular and entirely innocent show host, Bill O’Reilly – a man in late middle-age with racist and mysogynistic (I’m waiting for someone to come up with ‘raceogynist’) tendencies who, it’s said, was wont to phone his female work colleagues with the news that he was masturbating as they spoke.

Mr Trump supported his friend Mr O’Reilly in tweets only last week. Thus he probably wouldn’t have seen or taken onboard the other news that three policemen had simultaneously with the Paris shooting been shot in Seattle during the course of an ordinary robbery; or that

“Race is what drove a homeless African-American man in Fresno to shoot and kill three white men on Tuesday – bringing his homicide total to four since last week, the city’s police chief said during a news conference. “We don’t believe it’s a terrorist act,” Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters about the Tuesday rampage led by suspect Kori Ali Muhammad. “We believe it’s a hate crime.” – USA Today.

A statement freighted with prejudice: a hate crime can’t be a terrorist act because terrorists… what?

Anyway, you see, in the USA – unlike France – such shootings happen every day. So often, in fact, that they go largely unnoticed. Only when there is the faintest possibility of an actual Islamic jihad operation do the demagogues bother to tweet their outrage. “Hate crimes”, racially motivated police shootings and attacks by white racists go unremarked. And some of them may be carried out by disaffected minorities and criminals without any reference to ISIS, or the results of elections. Even though some perpetrators might be amused to shout “Allahu akbar!” as the police take them down.

But Mr Trump’s immediate assumption, without yet having the slightest idea who had carried out the shooting, or why, was that it was religiously motivated. He shoots from the lip – bleats from the tweet, whatever whimsical expression you prefer to employ.

He doesn’t think, because he can’t. Intellectually perhaps the laziest man on the planet, sufficient entirely unto himself, he lacks the mental acuity, the background checks, the perspective.

But it will no doubt have an effect bigly on the outcome of the French election, he hopes. I’m sure he would love Le Pen to win, not only one more lady-leader pussy to grab but one on the right side of the alt-right Wall, whose intemperate actions in office might well justify his own lunacy.

After all, both are supported and funded by the Kremlin.

NOW… having written all that, the Reuter’s report goes on to say that French police are interested in a second man named as Youssouf al Osri, a “very dangerous man” who is indeed linked with IS, a known organiser of atrocities and who, according to Belgian police, crossed the border into Belgium by train before the attack but later “turned himself in” at a police station in Antwerp.

And it seems IS may have thought the Paris attack was carried out by him, which is why they claimed it and thereby unintentionally put their man in the frame, perhaps compromising a bigger operation. As yet no connection has been established between the two men.

Oops.

So all we can take from the pointless murder of poor Officer Jugelé, a veteran of the Bataclan massacre, is that nothing in the world makes much sense right now, except confusion.

But Donald Trump, at least, cares about him.

Although he doesn’t know his name, obviously

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South Pacific

Christ, is there no end to the astonishing litany of sleaze, corruption and filthy dealings surrounding this orange slug and his slimy billionaire cronies, before he has even spent 100 days in office? (That’s not in THE office, he has spent virtually three days a week playing golf, at a cost so far to the taxpayer of over $30 million.)

According to investigative journalist Allan Nairn, interviewed on the Democracy Now cable channel, it appears the US has a familiar grimy hand once more in the politics of another of its backyard dominions, Indonesia; where, in 1965, after an unannounced summit meeting on board a US destroyer at Reykjavik between the young and dashing President Kennedy and the elderly grandee Tory walrus, Harold Macmillan – who got on surprisingly well – an almost bloodless coup was mounted, that ousted the left-leaning reform populist Sukarno and brought to power the kleptocrat Colonel – then General – Suharto.

There followed an attempted genocide, supported by the CIA and the British Navy, of the supposedly “Communist-leaning” ethnic Chinese population. Around a million died or were left to rot in island jungle camps. Later, Suharto – known as “Mr 10 per cent” for his habit of skimming contracts with foreign companies – licensed multinational US and Australian mining companies and Japanese logging companies to ravage the pristine landscapes of the islands, as they continue to do today with horrific effect. A secessionist movement in East Timor was brutally suppressed by the army, until intervention by Australia put an end to the genocide. Eventually “Mr 10 per cent” was ousted in a popular uprising and retired to live on his $30 billion fortune before dying, of “multiple organ failure”, in 2008. Hanging was clearly too good for him.

The New York Times wrote:

“As the leader of one of the world’s most populous countries, Mr. Suharto and his family became notorious for controlling state enterprises and taking kickbacks for government contracts, for siphoning money from state charities and for committing gross violations of human rights. Yet Mr. Suharto remained virtually untouchable to the end…”

One gets the impression he would have earned maximum respect from the White House.

Thanks, indeed, to the USA – paranoid about a possible communist takeover and another Vietnam; greedy for natural resources, the rapid Islamisation of the archipelago has only lately impinged upon the consciousness of the State Department – which has now been gutted by a Trump administration better fascinated with shiny military toys going bang than with the dreary grind of diplomacy.

Indonesian politics have been rent for years as successive dictators supported by the US have done pretty much what they liked to line their pockets provided they did not conflict with US corporate interests. That, and the growing influence of radical Islam – Indonesia has the highest population per head of Muslims in the world, but is said to be “moderate” with pockets of violent al-Qaeda-afiliated extremism – and the turbulent conflicts between ambitious leaders of factions within the nation’s enormous and frequently genocidal army, some for the president, some against – all out for themselves – appears to be leading imminently towards another coup.

The Pumpkin is even now learning about connections with Trump’s pick for tax reform czar, the multi-billionaire Carl Icahn: “Secretary for Deregulation” (his principal qualification appears to be an interest in deregulating his own businesses, the slimy fucker); his mining interests in Indonesia, his use of a local IS-affiliated militia in promoting a coup against the elected moderate President Widodo, who has begun to impose controls on Icahn’s massively polluting and environmentally destructive mining interests; the Indonesian military and Trump’s own business connections in Jakarta.

For, yes, Trump Organization has hotel building projects ongoing in Jakarta. And yes, the Orange Oligarch has been videoed in amicable meetings with known corrupt Indonesian politicians with whom he has business connections. And yes, it looks like no-one will find the time to do anything about it because the stench of sleaze and corruption and treason hangs so thickly about him and his scumbag administration of all the Christian billionaires that it is becoming impenetrable and impervious to rational analysis.

Did you need to ask?

Nairn’s article can be viewed at: theintercept.com/2017/04/18/trumps-indonesian-allies-in-bed-with-isis-backed-militia-seeking-to-oust-elected-president/

Democracy Now interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSf4Q8eWWtk (and see Pt 2)

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I see no ships

What can one say?

Mr Trump made a speech threatening North Korea with dire retribution if Kim Jong-Un went ahead with another nuclear test to celebrate his daddy’s birthday, Kim il-Sung Day. A big “armada” was sailing towards the region, bristling with missiles.

Mr Trump’s officials, including General McMaster and the futile press secretary, Sean Spicer, a bullying and inarticulate little cretin, the snow-capped walking advert for Anusol, Vice-President Mike Pence, all backed him up.

We’re comin’ to get you. Don’t mess with Murcah! USA, USA!

And off went Mr Pence to reassure America’s allies in the region, South Korea, Japan, that they could rely on the good ol’ US of A to protect them, despite all the awful things President Trump had promised on the campaign trail, that he would do if South Korea and Japan didn’t nuke-up and defend themselves.

And then, as we know, it turned out that the “armada”, a battle squadron consisting of the Nimitz-class carrier USS Carl Vinson, a couple of destroyers and a frigate, probably a supply ship too, were in fact 3,500 miles away on the other side of the Pacific, heading for a long-planned joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean.

For five days, the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful armed force in the world in all history was threatening nuclear war against a tiny adversary nation, based on the entirely erroneous belief that he had a force in the area capable of carrying out his executive orders.

And nobody contradicted him, because he never listens to expert advice, preferring Breitbart, Fox News and The Beano to provide the vital briefing he needs to get round the golf course this weekend.

Mr Trump then made another speech in Cincinatti, in which he was unable to remember the name of the Speaker of the Senate, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, his closest ally in the House and co-author of his failed healthcare bill. Several times he called him “Ron”, clearly confusing him with retired Congressman Ron Paul, founder of the flakey Libertarian Party.

Since the occasion on which he got up and wandered out of the Oval Office forgetting to sign the Executive Orders that had only just been put in front of him by the team of gurning sycophants with which he insists always on decorating the empty space behind his chair, to big-up his image, apparently put off his stroke by a question from a journalist, there has been growing speculation that the President is suffering from dementia.

Not Congress, not the FBI that is grindingly slowly pursuing at least three separate investigations involving possible treason and money-laundering charges, not the Vice-President who is constitutionally authorised to immediately remove a President who might remotely be considered unfit to be in charge of the nuclear codes, seems willing or able to act, paralysed by self-interest, respect for the Office and confusion engendered by such a plethora of possible causes for impeachment that it is impossible to know where to start.

And now Mr Trump having screwed-up the chances for a North Korea war, Mr Tillerson, an oil company executive for 30 years who knows fuck-all about diplomacy, and who has no counsel from any experienced career diplomat as there is no-one left at the Middle East desk in the State Department, where hundreds of vacant specialist positions remain to be filled, whose only relevant know-how is negotiating lucrative drilling rights and bribing bloodstained dictators, has started making threatening statements and entirely unjustified assertions against Iran.

I fear we’re all fucked if they don’t get this guy and his incompetent gang of pirates out within the next two weeks. As Oliver Cromwell so succinctly put it:

“Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation.”

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Now concentrate

The American Jewish Committee said the Pope should rethink his “regrettable” reference to concentration camps. The term “concentration camp”, which predates World War Two, is nonetheless evocative of the centres set up by the Nazis for slave labour and the extermination of millions of Jews and others.” – BBC News.

They can’t resist any opportunity to require people to “rethink”, can they? Even the Pope!

Of course the Pope was thoughtless to say it of Muslims. We live in an era where none but the self-appointed monitors of linguistic imprecision dares to speak words like Holocaust; Nazi; Hitler; “concentration camp” in any context other than narrowly, specifically of the historic suffering of the Jewish people. To raise those old tropes merely allegorically is to court political and spiritual disaster: the opprobrium of the powerful Israel media lobby, ever vigilant for cultural misappropriation; the fierce retribution of the Representatives, who bid to own language itself.

Of course, refugees are not being systematically persecuted, worked to death, starved, shot – gassed.

They are instead dying from an excess of hopefulness: by the thousand in deserts and at sea. The survivors, many of them are being trafficked into slavery, hunted by vigilantes, others rounded up and, yes, those not yet assimilated through some civil process are being concentrated in camps; deprived of livelihood, liberty and identity.

It’s a matter of definition. And when you are the Pope, especially this Pope, are you expected to stay silent on the matter, in case you give offence to some other aggrieved, self-aggrandizing minority?

It is surely counter-productive to aggregate to yourselves the term “concentration camp”, in order to deny the wrongs done to Muslim refugees and others, the historic wrongs done to civilian internees from the Boer Wars onwards, perhaps even further back during the American Civil War – the thousands of gays, people of colour, the mentally and physically disabled – Jehovah’s Witnesses, for God’s sake – resisters, who perished under the Nazis’ systematised racial purification programmes, who were not Jews – the hundreds of thousands, millions who perished for other reasons in the Soviet gulags, the Japanese internment camps, Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields, Suhartos’s Indonesian hellholes, Assad’s torture dungeons.

Against six million Jewish lives, where do we place, how do we honour 27 million Russians slaughtered by the same tyranny? Comparisons, Shakespeare probably wrote*, are odious. In the annals of mass-murder, every life should count as all lives.

Counter-productive, because by censoring self-appropriated language the Israel media lobby provides the perfect hiding place from which those horrors are again bidding to re-emerge.

“Regrettable”? “Evocative”?

Where are their voices? What words should they be denied?

*No: “The earliest recorded use of this phrase appears to be by John Lydgate in his Debate between the horse, goose, and sheep, circa 1440.”

 

We no longer vote, we purchase. Woman of the Dunes. And NOx? Get rid of the fucking thing!

“What opinion polls have taught us is that politics is not about practicalities: it’s about opinions.”

We no longer vote, we purchase.

By: Chief Political Correspondent, Laura Facebook ©2017. @Laurasweeplace.

Director Comey demonstrates his strange thumbs. And Gary Cooper’s lovely eyes…

Ten days ago I wrote a piece called Wake Up Britain, You’re Being Disrupted!

I seemed to be the only person who had noticed that the FBI Director, James Comey, had agreed at a Congressional Intelligence Committee hearing on 20 March that Russia had had a murky little hand in the Brexit referendum.

So although I still appear to be the only person who has noticed, as there has been no mention of it anywhere, nevertheless I was delighted to read an article on the Guardian Today website this morning, in which various politicians appear to have woken up to the threat posed to the democratic electoral process by ‘Dark Money’ ops.

Except that the article had appeared since I went to bed at midnight and was already Closed for Comments by half-past ten this morning, indicating that its quota had been filled by ‘Dark Thoughts’ while Britain yet slept.

The Comment I wanted to make was that the Electoral Commission, which looks into such matters, seems to be living in the previous reality; worrying that ‘political parties’ may be using technology to get away with influencing voters outside the normal rules of election spending. It is something they feebly admit they can do nothing about, since the bulk of the spending is invested in creating the technology and that can be done outside the period during which spending is controlled.

And actually, my point is that it is not political parties generally that are sucking-up vast volumes of data like a Korean trawler in a Yellowfin tuna shoal, and using it to target automated messages – bots – against individual voters; it’s hostile governments and wealthy private individuals – Disruptors – seeking for their own ends to undermine our democratic institutions.

Political parties have ceased to have any relevance in the Facebook age of individual realities. They haven’t quite noticed yet: but in the USA, for instance, the traditional two-party system is completely broken, as it has become impossible to show that there is any degree of unity within the philosophical boundaries that were once defined by the party labels. Politicians affiliate with whoever is going to spend the most money getting them elected; not with one another, or with blocs of voters united in opinion or aspiration.

This is also completely true of Britain’s disintegrated Labour party; and increasingly of its Conservative rivals. While voters might still retain some measure of loyalty to one side or the other, it’s purely symbolic: they want what they want. MPs generally don’t. When it comes to party agendas and manifesto pledges ideology has become amorphous, out of shape; broadly malleable, and responsive to individual needs and single events – such as a Daily Mail headline.

The more important vote politicians are chasing now is the consumer preference. We no longer vote, we purchase. What opinion polls have taught is that politics is not about practicalities, policies, outcomes: it’s about opinions.

This matter of choice has arisen, I contend, as a result of fifty or sixty years of consumer capitalism, whereby the acquisition of products and the commoditisation of debt; the availability of plastic money as a substitute for the real thing, that does not have to be earned; individual preference, brand loyalty if you like, has replaced the group dynamic – the social altruism – of political affiliation.

People long ago ceased to be referred to as ‘customers’ or ‘passengers’, whatever defined them as the users of specific services; we all became ‘consumers’. The idea took hold that as consumers we had general rights, rather than a specific contract. Thus students became consumers of education, entitled to achieve a degree regardless of academic attainment. Sick people purchased with their National Insurance tax subvention, medical services of which they had a right to demand cure.

The internet has enabled the widest possible exchange of subjective performance reviews of individual experiences consumers have with purchases – of products and services, but also of political policy outcomes as they affect the purchaser. Hence the widespread view that politicians are all the same, all corrupt, all out for themselves – it’s not true, necessarily, but it accurately reflects the attitude of the perennially dissatisfied purchaser – who is indeed ‘out for themselves’ in demanding exceptional treatment related to their private situation and aggravated when it is not forthcoming; principally because someone else is getting it unfairly.

Thus in politics, voters have become consumers of political services at every level, from the right to expect working drains and less immigration, to the right to demand that we leave the European Union, or the United Kingdom – as political outcomes, or products we have purchased with our votes; regardless of the wisdom of such actions from a historical and economic perspective. Our consumer satisfaction is reflected in the polls, and is thus invarably negative – as all products and services are marketed with an expectation of built-in dissatisfaction in order to keep us consuming.

Another win-win-win for the uber-capitalists, I fear. And still they keep on grabbing more.

Anyway, it’s a worthwhile read:

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

And for a companion piece that restates what I have said many times on this, muh bogl, that the EU was our last line of defence against the corporatist Big Data takeover of our country, here’s Will Hutton:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/26/finally-reacting-disruptive-supermacy-of-facebook-and-google

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans to charge the owners of diesel vehicles £24 a day to enter the Inner London area.

Cough, splutter, croak: the ‘yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-pane’ (TS Elliot)

I was just three years old, born and living in London, in December 1952 when the Great Smog arose, and in five days of choking, sulphur-yellow emanation carried off twelve thousand of my fellow Londoners.

Of course, I wasn’t really aware of it. Maybe I was even shipped out for safety to my grandparents in the western suburbs, I have no memory of it. I survived, anyway, although my repeated bouts of “bronchitis” – actually, undiagnosed asthma – put me in the school sanatorium with great regularity thereafter. I got through a lot of books; a lot of watery, concentrated National Health orange juice, the only cure.

But I do remember other, similar events as I grew up.

Most of those who died were elderly people whose health had been damaged long before, in the privations of the Great Depression and by years of war rationing, inhaling brick-dust and smoke from the bombing. Most of them had smoked heavily all their lives; many lived in mouldy, draughty, damp and dusty, unheated housing with coal or gas fires, and worked in unregulated industries.

It was in that sense a culling of the weak-chested.

So I do sympathise, I really do, with city dwellers. I left London 35 years ago, moving erratically westwards until I arrived on the coast at Boglington-on-Sea, where fresh, onshore Atlantic breezes blow the filthy stuff – air – up the valley, across the hills and far away, back into the begrimed faces of the people of Birmingham whence it probably came.

Even so, our sunny days are often masked and cooled by a thin veil of brownish cloud, or the diaphanous wisps of con-trails merging overhead; while out at sea, the coast of Ireland sixty miles away may be identified by a line of darker sky staining the horizon.

Pollution.

In the light of growing health concerns, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khani has announced plans to charge the owners of polluting diesel vehicles £24 a day just to enter the Inner London area; and other measures. Furthermore, after chatting to his counterpart in Paris, he proposes to have diesel cars banned from London altogether by 2025, via a strategy of limiting their access during the daytime.

It isn’t a problem for me, as I no longer have a reason to drive into London. But I do, I have to confess, own a car with a small diesel engine, that I use dreadfully inefficiently as a local runabout, seeing as I never go anywhere nowadays. My Committee of Discarnate Entities has been prompting me to sell it for months now, but it’s just too damned convenient. Besides, I like it.

For I was one of the thirteen million motorists conned into believing diesel cars were nowadays cleaner and cheaper to run than petrol; although the instant you think about it, it can’t be true. All of us have at some time in our motoring lives been stuck behind a lorry grinding up an incline in second gear, belching black stuff. We secretly know, don’t we, that we’re pumping out the same greasy mix of gases and sooty particulates; only less visibly. (In my defence, I have never seen anything nasty coming from my exhaust.)

We believed diesel had changed its spots. Thanks to improvements in refining, the stuff was practically drinkable. It would carry us further on the same quantity, and be less damaging to our engine. It had low sulphur. And when burned, it was 25 per cent less laden with CO2, the greenhouse villain. We knew diesel emits more particulates; but particulates were good, because they cut down the sunlight that’s heating the planet. And anyway, the particulate filters in the new generation of smaller, more efficient diesels would take care of it; just as the catalytic converter and the removal of lead ‘anti-knock’ additives, new engine designs had taken care of the problems with petrol.

Diesel has a high content of nitrogen which, when burned, produces various oxides of nitrogen: NOx; while the filtration of larger particulates leaves the smaller, more damaging particulates unaffected. These get into the lungs more easily and can trigger asthma and cause children’s lungs not to grow fully. Three hundred thousand British children live within 150 yards of a main road. Burning any fossil fuel has its downsides; which sounds like a rather cynical underestimation of the probability that we are on the verge of the greatest mass extinction since the Permian, 250 million years ago, thanks to our brute stupidity and selfishness.

Nitrogen oxides at ground-level react to produce O1 – ozone, a poisonous gas (not to be confused with good ozone way up in the stratosphere which cuts down life-destroying UV radiation.) Plus, of course, if everyone reverted to petrol-driven cars, logic tells us the CO2 emissions targets couldn’t be met… 13 million petrol-fuelled cars output 61 million tonnes of CO2 annually, so we’d expect an additional 15 million tonnes of the warming stuff from any mass changeover.

So electric cars are the answer in cities… No, you’re just shifting the emissions from the cars to the generators.

Listen, don’t let anybody – least of all, the Mayor of London –  tell you atmospheric chemistry is easy, or free from ‘fake news’. Wikipedia describes NOx thus:

“NOx is a generic term for the various nitrogen oxides produced during combustion. They are believed to aggravate asthmatic conditions, react with the oxygen in the air to produce ozone, which is also an irritant and eventually form nitric acid when dissolved in water. When dissolved in atmospheric moisture the result can be acid rain which can damage both trees and entire forest ecosystems.”

But, as an example of how complicated the arguments are, it is necessary only to turn to the website of Science Daily, which scoops up the latest reports – such as:

“Climate researchers are warning that efforts to reduce air pollution could, if not well designed, make global warming worse. Limiting emissions of manmade nitrogen oxides, a strategy to control ozone in the lower atmosphere, would result in increased methane abundance and lead to additional greenhouse warming.” – American Geophysical Union

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010417075108.htm

For, as we know, methane is many times more efficient at absorbing heat than is CO2.

Now, this raises several questions. Is the effect on climate change and citizen health so strong as to really make a difference, given the relatively small quantity of NOx produced by however many diesel vehicles there are in a city like London? Aren’t the supposedly cleaner gases produced by burning ordinary refined petrol just as likely to have indirect harms too? Sulphur is one, that turns in rainy weather to H2SO4 – sulphuric acid.

Nitric? Sulphuric? Carbonic? You takes your choice.

Then, we have to consider what proportion of nitrogen pollution in the city is attributable to smaller, more efficient diesel-engined private cars, and what to the many other sources of NOx – including commercial vehicles, boats on the river, fashionable wood-burning stoves, aircraft overflight and many industrial processes. A 2005 report from the University of Washington found that 22 per cent of NOx – over 8 million metric tons worldwide – comes from natural background emissions in the soil. (Ibid.)

So maybe the Mayor of London needs to order the Royal Parks tarmacked over, as they produce more NOx than private cars?

As I’m not an atmospheric chemist, I have to write ‘finally’ here. Although it’s a lot more complicated and convoluted I’ve reached the limits, both of my understanding and of my interest. But in defence of us poor diesel drivers, who paid a premium price for this extra efficiency and environmental kindness we were promised, that since the scandal of VW’s clever software that ‘fixed’ the results of lab tests turns out to have been a bit of a hoax, and who now stand to lose a lot of money, I should point out:

The unpleasant and unhealthy smogs that have returned to London since the 1956 Clean Air Act ended the winter misery of coal-induced sulphurous miasmas have one element in common with them: the weather.

This winter over large areas of the northern hemisphere, high pressure systems predominated, creating what are known as ‘inversion layers’, where lighter, warmer, smog-laden air becomes trapped under a layer of heavier, colder air and with the lack of wind at low altitude can neither dissipate nor get blown away. As little is done at the time to reduce the sources of these emissions, the air gets progressively fouler. Indeed, some studies suggest that in the centres of the world’s megacities, vital oxygen levels can drop to dangerous lows.

Climate scientists have blamed these high-pressure systems on a weakening of the jetstream wind owing to warming of the Arctic reducing the ocean temperature differential with the north Atlantic and Pacific. It seems likely therefore that we can blame this last winter’s smogs on global warming caused by the very gases that are choking our citizens.

What I have not yet heard anyone say in regard to this, I would say irreconcilable, argument between the advocates of diesel versus petrol-engined cars, and the damage they are doing, both to the environment and to our children’s and old people’s health, is the blindingly obvious:

There are far too many cars in our cities.

You don’t need a car in London! Get rid of the fucking car, it’s costing you a fortune to park, to run. You’ve got 24-hour public transport, you lucky things! Just think how much money – and how many lives – you’ll save.

So, wake up, Sadiq. Ban them all!

x

Spring is Sprung

Despite the belief among a growing number of scientists that we’re doomed and life on earth has nine years to go before a Permian-level extinction, hasn’t this Spring just been fucking spectacular?

I suppose it depends on where you live, but here on the west coast we had no snow this winter, a couple of days and a few nights of ground frost only; only one winter storm (max 94 mph) and average rainfall.

Last week the sun came out and everything just exploded into leaf, blossom, flower and growth confusingly all at once. Lawns became suddenly snowy with a thick carpet of daisies; bluebells lurked in odd corners, yellow anemones and cheerful dandelions clashed vibrantly with the gorse – never have I seen gorse so thickly covered in acid-yellow flowers. Birdsong fills the air as the little feathery tweets vie for territory over the constant thrum and roar of the traffic.

My neighbour dug over his scabby front garden to make a lawn. Within five days the grass he seeded was already up and two inches high. Not all of this ought to be happening so early in the year. Even holidaymakers were arriving, months early.

I’d been noticing for the last few years that vegetation cover in the shit-strewn exurban river valley across the road, that passes for our local park, has been getting denser. We boast a variety of environments and habitats, from marshland and succession woodland to the sewage farm and a cricket ground; all of it is thriving as never before.

I read that it’s down to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.

Spring, as they say, is in the air! Enjoy it while it lasts, peeps.

x

Woman of the Dunes

You may be following the latest twist in the Watergate saga.

A Scottish judge has ruled on a legal technicality against a case brought by retired social worker Rohan Beyts, who was suing the Trump Organization for breach of her Data privacy after three Trump employees at the International Golf Course near Aberdeen photographed her ‘taking a whizz’, as Americans say, in the rough.

They subsequently sent the photographs to the police as evidence that a criminal offence had been committed. A prosecution was brought, but rapidly dismissed as the law in Scotland allows ramblers in the open countryside to take a discreet pee if they need to; even on the hallowed sands of a $120 million Trump links course.

I may move to Scotland in that case.

This intrusion on her private moment, argued Beyts, as she had committed no crime, violated her right to privacy under the Data Protection Act.

Sadly, Sheriff Donald Corke was reluctantly unable to convict because, despite bristling with CCTV cameras and computers containing visitor and employee records, the loss-making TIGC had somehow overlooked the legal necessity to register under the Act and could therefore not infringe it.

Nevertheless he had some pretty strong words to say about Trump’s hired goons:

…she was entirely within her legal rights at the time, and her distress at being photographed and charged was very real. She had “a reasonable expectation of privacy”. She shouldn’t have been photographed, Corke said. “I have to emphasise that officious bystanders who photograph females urinating in the countryside put themselves at very real risk of prosecution”, he added. (BBC News)

So the poor woman ended up paying £300 costs, although that’s been more than covered by the £3,000 raised from a crowdfunding website.

It’s a 9-iron short of a sand wedge from at least two points of view; not least showing as it does how poorly Donald Trump’s thuggish business methods have gone down in the locality.

First, any mention of women urinating in the same breath as the name Donald Trump must raise a wry smile; and secondly the Orange Buffoon just signed off on another of his larky Executive Orders, effectively abolishing the US equivalent of the Data Protection laws relating to internet service providers and platforms.

They can now make whatsoever use of your data pleaseth them, without your knowledge; and it’s an ordinance that hasn’t gone down very well, even with the Dumbfucks: the ruling has polled an 80 per cent national disapproval rating, to match Mr Trump’s historically unprecedented personal low 35 per cent approval after only 75 days in office.

So bad.

Added to which, the new Director of Homeland Security, ‘retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly’, is reportedly considering extending ‘extreme vetting’ to ALL non-US nationals entering the country – not just terrorists and brown people, but even returning residents and nationals of friendly countries with reciprocal visa waivers.

Yes, Brits too, we’re so special.

‘Extreme vetting’ means examining your social media and other data usage for signs of anti-Americanism, or even connections to it. Visit Disneyworld next holidays and you may find yourself having to hand over your laptop, all your passwords, your email Contacts folder, your mobile phone (to inspect the photo files and see who you’ve been talking to) and answer a battery of new questions about your attitudes to ‘right to life’ (abortion), ‘religious beliefs and affiliations’ and the ‘war on terror’ (Islamism), with a very good chance that if you aren’t sufficiently onboard with the program, they’ll send you home – or worse.

Among the checks he expects to add would, of course, be intense scrutiny of blog Post contents.

Ooops.

Ah well, at least my numbers might start to creep up.

Mr Kelly is quoted as saying, if you don’t like America, don’t come. He’s got a funny way of being likeable. Tourism numbers are already substantially down as a result of the failed Muslim ban, so this latest Trump-pleaser is likely to send them crashing through the floor, costing the hotel and resort trade billions of dollars.

Therein lies hope for travellers, as many of Trump’s oligarch cronies and indeed the Orange Hotelier himself depend on tourism dollars for a sizeable slab of income, and are likely to notice when they have shot themselves in both feet.

The chance is, of course, that outrage among the US’s allies around the world could also result in retaliatory measures against US tourists entering our quaint old countries. Tourism employs three million people in the UK, 75% of them British nationals; and Americans, our number one visitor nation, spend around £3 billion here.

Suck on that, Theresa.

Next time don’t hold his hand, reminding us of Clint Eastwood and Clyde the orang-utan – just push him down the fucking stairs.

x

Scumbag News

Britain awoke this morning to a photograph of ‘Dr’ Liam Fox, the Business Brexit, palling-up with Rodrigo Duterte, the underdressed Philippines dictator who has likened himself to Adolf Hitler – for stupidly mentioning who’s name Mr Ken Livingstone is – again – being investigated, although he has said nothing illegal as far as anyone can see; just dumb.

In Duterte’s Philippines, around ten thousand people have been murdered by police death squads and vigilantes at his express instigation since he came to power, for having any connection with the drugs trade – even just alleged users. Indeed, he claims to have murdered a few folks himself, just to show how it’s done. And of course not long ago he was referring to the US President as ‘that son of a whore’, and so on.

Why is Dr Atlantic even speaking to this potty-mouthed, pockmarked little psychopath? It’s not for medical reasons, but to try to set up some squalid trade deals to replace our perfectly good existing arrangements with the EU; to which end, Fox uttered the immortal words:

“We have a foundation of shared values and shared interests”.

What a total cunt. But yes, you probably do, ‘Dr’ Fox.

Britain is proud of you.

(Photo: The Guardian/British Embassy, Manila)