The Pumpkin – Issue 67: No cigar… If, maybe, then (20 October LATEST)… Warren Peace… Trump’s Khashoggi Register… GW: A perfect day for a snooze.

“The US Government’s $523 billion in interest payments to service its debt in 2018 – the highest ever – was more than the entire economic output of Belgium this year.” – Huffington Post.

“The deficit jumped 17 percent (or by $113 billion) to $779 billion at the end of Trump’s first fiscal year, according to final figures released Monday by the Treasury Department.” (TYT) So much for Trump’s economic competence, then. (It’s mainly down to his tax cuts and so will be a lot worse when they’ve had a full year to bed in.)

 

“How dare you say my friend Bin is guilty before we’ve even agreed he’s innocent? Here we go again!”

Lock her up!

“This is a con on such a scale, he even has his own currency!”

No cigar

A major investigation by ProPublica into the workings of the Trump business empire has revealed that he and his family might have been lying their heads off for years about the great deals they do.

In the process, they’ve built a reputation through canny use of the media and assiduous marketing of the brand, that has persuaded a lot of ambitious, unsuspecting spivs in many shithole countries into wanting some of that Trump magic stardust, that’s been paid for by other people, to rub off on them.

They’d better count their fingers.

It’s not really that shocking or surprising that Trump lies constantly about the value of his investments, and who his business partners are, but here it all is in black and white, with a damning “No Comment” forthcoming from the White House.

And we have the gigantic New York Times revelations about his father’s business practises, his creative accounting and huge non-repayable loans to the boy Donald to back all this up: the Trump family has been mired in sleaze, these dogged investigators allege, for three generations.

More than self-made, it’s said, he’s a self-invented man: a conman, in other words. It’s all been done on borrowed money and illegal transfers, And his children are part of a well-trained act, each with their own role to play. Less a family, than a gang.

Trump lies that he merely licenses his name to projects around the globe, and that developers – many of whom turn out adventitiously to be the most enormous crooks and politicians, some of whom even end up in gaol – revere his manufactured reputation so much as a triumph of gangster capitalism, they are happy to pay millions of dollars just to put the word Trump on the outside of their buildings; while daughter Ivanka dabbles in a bit of high-tone interior design, ensuring that mysterious Trump je ne sais quoi (mostly at the expense of endangered species) is stamped through every project.

In fact, says ProPublica, as has already been revealed here and there, not least in Adam Davidson’s sterling work for the NYT, they are involved with those developments up to their fat necks, using borrowed money to sweeten deals and then walking off with the pot. As Davidson writes in a new piece for The New Yorker today, “It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the language of business schools, the Trump Organization’s core competency is in profiting from misrepresentation and deceit and, potentially, fraud.”

An ambitious hotel and condominium project in Panama, for instance, the 1,000-apartment “Trump Ocean Club”.

“Trump licensed his name for an initial fee of $1 million. But that was just the beginning of the revenue streams, a lengthy and varied assortment that granted him a piece of everything from sales of apartment units (5%, win or lose – the cheaper they sold, the higher his cut) to a cut of minibar sales, and was notable for the myriad ways in which both success and failure triggered payments to him.

“Consider the final accounting: In the wake of the project’s bankruptcy, a 50 percent default rate and his company’s expulsion from managing the hotel, Donald Trump walked away with between $30 million and $55 million.” (ProPublica)

They’re not always so successful, as may be evidenced by Ivanka Trump’s inveterate lying about her sometimes non-existent sales numbers to try to persuade buyers to sign up for apartments even before they were built. (We knew already that she and Jared barely escaped prosecution for this practise in New York in 2016, when the case against them was suddenly dropped. It may shortly be reopened, if it is shown that the prosecutor, Cyrus Vance*, took money to close it down. An investigation is underway.)

His dubious relationship with investment bank, Bear Stearns (one of the rotten financial institutions at the heart of the banking crisis, it collapsed in 2008 and was picked up for next to nothing by JP Morgan-Chase), seems too to have been based on optimistic overvaluations of his assets, aimed at conning investors into buying virtually worthless development bonds issued against Trump’s non-existent wealth.

This is a con on such a scale, he even has his own currency.

Many of the apartment sales in Trump Ocean Club seem merely to have been a vehicle for laundering money:

“For example, some buyers bought blocks of units. Purchases were typically made anonymously through shell corporations registered in Panama. That allowed some buyers to change the ownership of the unit in secret, simply by changing the ownership of the company. They often used so-called bearer shares, allowing a stake in a company to be transferred simply by (anyone) passing a piece of paper.”

But the units hadn’t been bult! This was typical of the activity exposed by the leak of the so-called Panama Papers from the legal offices of Mossack-Fonseca. Some figures connected with the sales had dodgy connections of their own:

“One high-selling broker, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, was linked to money laundering by Global Witness and a joint Reuters-NBC investigation. Nogueira confirmed in that article that some of his partners and investors on the Trump Panama project had connections to the Russian mafia. … Among the buyers Nogueira landed was a Colombian businessman who was subsequently convicted in the United States of conspiring to launder drug money.”

All, of course, denied: all there was on paper was Trump’s hands-off licensing deal, and his massive, totally manufactured, reputation as a Great Businessman.

Sure you would be wary – but if you thought you were beating him, a bigly successful guy like Trump, with all those women and a gold airplane, you’d invest.

The art of making money, Trump-style, appears to be: find a mark – preferably impressionable small fry with bigger fish in the background – borrow as much as possible – it turned out, he didn’t have a penny of his own money invested in the Panama complex – set up the biggest, most prestigious development deal you can sell to unwitting punters and crims needing to launder a few million dollars – make whatever you can out of them legitimately – go bankrupt – cut a deal with the lenders, payback half – sue everyone, and walk away with the rest.

A pattern ProPublica describes as “Pump and Trump”.

But all this is currently under investigation by the Mueller team – and Trump knows it. To the Pumpkin, what is emerging is that he’s discovered the equivalent of those spectacular TV or Las Vegas magic acts; say, Penn and Teller, or David Copperfield. Taking simple magic tricks, by scaling them up a thousand percent – instead of a rabbit, you produce a live tiger out of the hat – same trick, biggest scale money can buy – even an elephant, the more spectacular the better, you can walk away with $millions rather than mere $thousands.

You have to admire him, really. Especially as you kind of suspect Ivanka is the brains behind the whole scam!

Eventually, a group of genuine Ocean Club buyers sued Trump and the development partners for misrepresentation: the case was settled out of court, and since then no-one involved has been willing to talk about it. Presumably the famous Non-Disclosure Agreements with which Trump saws all his victims’ legs off have come into play.

To obtain entry to the three-ring financial circus that is the First Family of the United States of America, that shining city on a hill, if you have an hour or two to spend, go to ProPublica:

features.propublica.org/trump-inc-podcast/trump-family-business-panama-city-khafif/

And to The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/is-fraud-part-of-the-trump-organizations-business-model?mbid=nl_Daily 101818&CNDID=49581041&utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily 101818&utm_content=&spMailingID=14457406&spUserID=MTkwODY5NzgyMTM0S0&spJobID=1501430193&spReportId=MTUwMTQzMDE5MwS2

And to the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html

To hear Trump described by so many people as ‘a crook’ is one thing. Politicians? They’re all crooks! So what? We all know the stories: the multiple bankruptcies, the dodgy investors, the payoffs to mistresses, how he stiffs his workforce and his suppliers, posing as a Mafia boss; the huge unpaid debts to gullible foreign banks; the unpublished tax returns.

And we can blithely refer to the made-for-TV star “business mogul” as a “confidence trickster”, a buffoon who has put one over on a section of the American public. We liberal elites can share the painful joke. Ha ha! Stupid Trumptards!

To see how the trick is done, however, is quite another thing. Because it appears that he IS a professional A-movie-standard grifter, not just a smalltime bunco artist. And has been, all his rotten life.

With that sudden realization, scales will fall from your eyes.

Trump is the real deal.

And the dumbfucks love him for it.

*Not the late, former Secretary of State under the Carter administration.

Khashoggi murder

If, maybe, then

This morning, it was reported in the news that Trump has moved somewhat on the Khashoggi murder, that so far he has refused to believe in.

In a statement, he says he now thinks it is likely something happened.

Jamal Khashoggi

Everyone else concluded days ago, there is more than ample evidence, including: Khashoggi is lured to the scene and has reservations but nevertheless goes; two private Saudi jets arrive, carrying 15 operatives to Istanbul, military men among whom at least five have been identified as members of Crown Prince bin-Salman’s personal entourage; video of them arriving at the consulate. The local staff at the consulate have been sent home early; a security recording apparently made by a bug inside the consulate has Khashoggi screaming as his fingers are “sliced off” (a detail perhaps only available on a video), the consul pleading with the killers to “please do it outside” – he’s gone missing, incidentally – the team doctor suggesting the killers listen to music while hacking up the victim’s body. A team of cleaners is then seen arriving with mops and buckets; evidence of cleaning fluids, fresh paint on the walls, DNA and other traces are found at the scene, and much, much more.

But the story has been pieced together, only by leaks from the staff and police. There is no “official version”, and it is thought there might never be, as clouds of doubt and false trails are even now being concocted by those parties who have most to lose from a breakdown of the cozy relations betwen Saudi and western politicians, against a backdrop of Turkish ambitions in the region.

The president has complained until now that his friend the Crown Prince has been traduced, just like his friend Justice Kavanaugh, the world unfairly finding him guilty until proven innocent. Much as he feels about himself.

If they are indeed guilty, says the president, who has so far said only that both the King and bin-Salman have denied it and so it could have been “rogue operators”, so that’s fine by him, there will be “severe consequences” short of econiomic sanctions. So, what?

Then astonishingly last night at one of his Nuremberg rallies for his dumbfuck supporters, he praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a reporter last year.

“Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy …. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters when he said: “Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.”

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: “Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.” After praising Gianforte, Trump acted out the motion of throwing a person violently to the ground.” (Guardian, 19 Oct.)

The incredible double-standards this degenerate oaf manages to maintain show clearly, he has no standards at all.

Get rid of him.

 

20 October LATEST:

“YouTubers will be being recruited already by the White House to suggest that perhaps the Turks haven’t yet finished recording it….”

An admission has finally arrived from Riyadh, two and a half weeks after the event, that Khashoggi is indeed dead. They’ve just discovered, instead of him leaving normally, as they honestly thought he must have done (although he has not been seen and his fiancee was waiting outside), he died by accident in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after taking on 15 burly security men who had gone to seize him on a misunderstanding, militarily trained bodyguards of Prince bin-Salman, in “a fist-fight”. This podgy, mild-mannered, 59-year-old man wearing glasses.

Suspects have been rounded up, senior officials sacked: especially the one President Trump suggested might be responsible, as he’d been photographed in a meeting with the Prince just days before the accident, and just happened to be among the party of tourists visiting the consulate.

I doubt we shall be hearing much from him.

This ludicrous explanation worthy of the direst banana republic has been greeted by Mr Trump, desperate both to protect a lucrative personal source of income and to give no hint of possible job losses in the defense sector before an election, as “credible”.

It has perhaps not occurred to him to ask, then, where is the body? Or any of the other 101 questions the Prince’s bullshit explanation raises. No, instead he has sent his “condolences”, his usual “sorry your dog died” message, to Khashoggi’s family.

Now, normally when an inconvenient person is made to disappear, the lies are cooked up in secret, in advance, behind the office door. In this case, however, the story is being developed retrospectively out in the full glare of the media spotlight. It’s precisely the tale Trump and Pompeo have been publicly prompting bin-Salman to put out, if he knows what’s good for him.

It’s standard Mafia reasoning: Khashoggi must have killed himself in a fit of remorse, before sawing his own body into handy, suitcase-sized chunks and disposing of it in a nearby forest, where men with spades were seen going on a nature ramble shortly before he died.

It’s an indication of how Mr Trump has conducted his entire shitty career, on the basis of lies so preposterous and frequently repeated that enough people will believe them. The arrogance of both these profoundly damaged, autocratic individuals is breathtaking: “you will believe whatever garbage dribbles out of our mouths because we are the rulers and you’re not.”

The good thing is, nobody does believe this one. But what’s to be done? The fallback now, of course, is that “we must wait for the outcome of the official enquiries”.

You will hear this a lot in the coming days, and it is perhaps one of the mysteries that this “audio tape”, or even rumored video of the murder does not appear to have been played to anyone outside the highest levels of the Turkish government, and possibly the police investigators. Pompeo has denied hearing it, but then he would. Why the delay in posting proof of what the Turks’ve been saying so far? There’s no shame in admitting they bugged the consul, everyone does it.

YouTubers will be being recruited already by the White House to suggest that perhaps the Turks haven’t yet finished recording it.

With the midterm elections so close, Mr Trump will be hoping at the weekly White House Evangelical pray-in tomorrow, that it’s all blown over by the time Congress, in whatever new form it may have taken, reassembles later in November.

Sickening.

x

“Nothing Trump ever says or does is ever said or done without some nasty little game plan in mind…”

Warren Peace

The Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is the next most plausible Democratic presidential candidate qualified to become the First Woman. A Harvard Law professor, she has a reputation for steely questioning of political and administrative miscreants in committee, for being on top of her brief, for her obvious passion for justice, her forensic mental clarityand her absolute probity; her strength of character.

Everything Trump can’t manage to be and do.

There is of course always a possibility, based o n precedent, that such a butter-wouldn’t-melt person might be a total humbug, only time can tell.

At some time in the distant past, she ticked the box on an application form claiming to be of native Indian descent, as her mom had told her they were. According to Snopes’ fact-checking website, it was just the once. They quote the president of Harvard Law School as saying they don’t hand out well-remunerated professorships on the basis of candidates’ ethnic backgrounds. But political opponents – notably the President – have accused her of dishonestly benefiting from lying about her ethnicity.

Well, she could hardly claim to be black. She has also spoken on behalf of First Nation causes on the basis of her kinship. Neither is a crime.

Warren, seen in 3-D?

Trump, who speaks only for his own cause, spent several years blatantly lying that he had evidence that President Obama was born in Kenya, and therefore disqualified from holding office, evidence he never somehow managed to produce, before turning his poisonous attentions a while ago to accuse Sen. Warren of lying about her origins, derisorily christening her “Pocahontas”.

Clearly Trump has issues with his own origin story: a draft-dodging, undocumented German grandfather who fled to Canada and opened a whorehouse; a property developing, rack-renting, tax-dodging racist father deeply embedded within the New York mafia; an estranged, emotionally dead mother and a retrospectively documented immigrant trophy wife who can barely wait to divorce him.

One time, Trump offered to pay a million dollars to the charity of her choice if Warren could prove her claim to Indian ancestry.

Much to the annoyance of the Cherokee nation, Senator Warren has now taken a DNA test proving that her background is indeed, at several generations removed, nevertheless partly Native American (tribe not specified). So not entirely a lie, then. And who hasn’t tickled up their CV once in a while, to sound more interesting? Trump won’t have, he doesn’t have a CV. Not until Mueller is finished writing it.

Asked by a courageous reporter if he would now pay up, Trump, who may well be one of the most dishonest incubuses to walk the earth while claiming unverifiable human origin, vehemently denied that he had ever in his life promised such a thing.

A thing that he is elsewhere seen on tape, at a rally in front of several thousand of his pet dumbfucks, loudly crowing about.

Needless to say, no apology has been forthcoming.

Instead, in true Trump style, graceless and shitty as ever, the great liar, phony and cheat has doubled-down on the good Senator, getting his insults in early, repeating his view that she is a liar, a phony and a cheat, saying he will only pay up if he can redo the test himself. (He doesn’t believe in DNA, any more than he understands why the planet is melting.)

And given that Stormy Daniels has just failed in her bid to get a court to allow her to sue the President for widely publicized defamation, whereupon he described her in a tweet as “a horseface”, it appears he can now say whatever he damn well likes about anyone he doesn’t like. Another step down the road to lawless autocratic rule by illiterate tweet.

“You will not beat him with honesty, decency or facts.”

Don’t be fooled. Nothing Trump ever says or does is ever said or done without some devious little gameplan in mind, that he hopes will produce results somewhere down the line. He may be an ignorant, bloviating oaf, but he’s a shrewd and calculating ignorant, bloviating oaf, well practised at dirty infighting.

Unfortunately, by commissioning that test, Warren has played into his hands.

Senator Warren is a woman, and Trump is a bullying misogynist who is going to try his best to make her cry, the way he destroyed Hillary Clinton with that “Crooked Hillary” tag, enlisting his dumbfucks in two-minute “Lock her up!” hate sessions based on no more than poor mad Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories, that she’s a pedophile-enabler who murdered the US Ambassador to Benghazi and sold America’s vital uranium assets to the Russians.

Trump doesn’t play by anyone’s rules whom you would comfortably know. You will not beat him with honesty, decency or facts. Thuggery is his trade. Whatever he may have learned at Wharton college, which wouldn’t have been much, he learned a lot more from his dad’s mafia lawyer, Roy Cohn.

He knows Warren is probably the Democrats’ best hope of beating him in 2020, so he’s going to try to defeat her now, two years before she has a chance to defeat him. He knows, she’s far too polite and straightlaced to retaliate in the same coin, going in hard with a knee to the nuts, although God knows, she’d have enough ammunition. Let’s face it, the Orange Pussygrabber’s the one under investigation for treason, obstruction of justice and financial shenanigans – she’s not.

And he knows that what she has going for her, that he doesn’t, is people’s respect: she’s direct, honest, well-briefed and cleverer than he is. But if she runs in the primaries, goes head-to-head in the debates, she knows already, from today, exactly how it’s going to play:

“Pocahontas!”. Nyah-boo! Your mom lied… You’re a phony!

He will never let up on that sneering racial insult until she capitulates.

Or until someone throws him in jail.

And frankly, with the courts now packed with lifetime Trump appointees who owe the boss a favor in return, all the way up to the highest court in the land, corrupted beyond saving, your Pumpkin just doesn’t see that happening.

It’s the classic Mafia playbook takeover of your country: “Fascist Dictating for Dummies…”.

I have frequently commented with the question: what collective insanity possessed the authors of your Holy Constitution to give a free pass to a criminal President with a majority in both houses to abuse such powers as to be able so easily to rig the governmental, fiscal and juridical systems; even subverting US foreign policy, in cahoots with an inimical foreign power, in his own electoral and financial interests, supported by a disaffected, gun-toting minority of religious maniacs, with absolutely no comebacks?

As soon as this criminal, lying motherfucker is gone from office, which he will be one day, assuming we’re all still alive to wave him good riddance or to follow his gun-carriage with crocodile tears down to Arlington, you might possibly give some very serious thought to that question.

“Yep, he was the president who put the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral’… hashtag sadface!”

x

“Two-faced liars with a shameful human rights record that makes Japan’s insistence on the cultural importance of exterminating whales sound convincing….”

Trump’s Khashoggi Register

Trump’s attempts to get Prince Mohammad bin-Salman off the hook over the murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of regime critic, Jamal Khashoggi get more and more desperate, and more bizarre by the minute.

His sympathetic message is that, like his poor friend Judge Kavanaugh, like himself, poor Bin is being judged guilty by everyone in the world before he can be allowed to prove his innocence.

Of course, there’s an economic imperative behind Trump’s apparently uncritical, blind acceptance of assurances, both from King Salman, who has Alzheimer’s, and Crown Prince bin-Salman, who hasn’t, that there is no Khashoggi blood on their hands, or it may have been a rogue hit squad from somewhere else, China probably – or it was all an unfortunate accident that ended with them chopping him in manageable pieces

Trump’s pathetic dissimulation is designed to protect Saudi investments he profits from, and his famous $110 billion arms deal, “Possibly the biggest in history!” (not true. He’s such a con man. Actual contracts total $380 million, much dating from Obama’s time. The rest is all “letters of intent” – Snopes/Washington Post) Oh, and all those jobs at Boeing and Raytheon.

Has anyone ever thought to ask the people who work in the armaments factories that make the aircraft and the guided bombs that kill children in Yemen and around the world – the people these sanctimonious humbugs in government pretend they’re protecting –  if they care what the awful things they make are doing? People with families and children themselves?

These are skilled engineers, programmers, systems analysts, designers, finishers, metallurgists, explosives experts, project managers. They could be making things all over the developing world that would benefit humanity, maybe tackle the real problems facing the world – not this grotesque shit. Have they so easily convinced themselves their efforts 9 to 5 are making America a safer place?

We are constantly told by politicians, oh, we mustn’t be beastly to the Saudis, or whoever, they’ll take their contracts elsewhere. Think of all those jobs we will lose! Think of the votes!

You are all, quite frankly, self-interested, cowardly liars.

Where? Where else will they go? Because if there was anywhere better, they would already have gone there. They come to us because we make the best stuff at the best prices, but we still imagine we have to offer them huge bribes they can stuff up their jalabas in return for their oily patronage.

And if they could sell their oil elsewhere, they would. They’ve got money, let them manufacture their own weapons of death. Oil dependancy, job dependancy, money dependancy…. Those are our WEAKNESSES!

Why are we so weak?

If we had the will to do it, we could bankrupt them in the morning. They know that, they’re not going to do anything.

(This piece has been edited for length. Ed.)

 

“I don’t want to talk about any of the facts.” – Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, on his return from Riyadh, in a statement confirming his boss’s belief in Saudi protestations of innocence in the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

“I guess after shaking hands with you, Mr Secretary, I’d better count my fingers!”

GW: A perfect day for a snooze

Wake me up if anything happens…. it’s all gone pretty quiet. There’s ex-Tropical Storm Lara, pushing in across the US southwest with another dollop or two of rain over the desert, the sun’s been shining all day here, and that’s about it from around the weather news sites.

Oh, September was globally the 4th warmest ever, according to the NOAA. So we’re still good for 2018 being in the top 5 hottest years, despite it being a La Niña year – the other four being 2014,15,16 and 17 (not in that order). 2019 should be hotter, as an El Niño is 70 percent likely, based on current temperatures in the Pacific.

Forecasters are expecting anything up to 50 cm of rain in Spain and North Africa tonight as a massive weather thingy is moving through the Straits of Gibraltar. Last week southeastern Spain and the Balearic islands experienced very heavy rainfall, with 13 fatalities – this looks way worse.

And stand by for a blistering cold spell in Scandinavia and northern Europe after the weekend.

Now, buzz off. Zzzz.

 

If at first you don’t succeed

To explain evolution to an idiot, this link might provide them with learning material, and some amusement:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06p4cnx

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To @Tweety-pie, terrorism is as terrorism does… Goodnight, Keith Olbermann… Fuck off, Trevor Kavanagh… Mr Trump is demented (as if we didn’t know)… GW: On the Prom with the global emergency sandwich-board.

“With Tweety-pie on our team, how can we lose?” Jim Dowson and friends hold back the Muslim hordes at the gates of Vienna. (Photo: Searchlight Magazine)

To @Tweety-pie, terrorism is as terrorism does

“Andreas Hollstein, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, was at a kebab shop in the west German town of Altena when a man asked whether he was the mayor, then shouted criticism of his asylum policies and lunged at Hollstein with a foot-long blade … Hollstein was badly wounded, but saved after the kebab shop’s owner — a man of Turkish origin — and his son overpowered the attacker.”  – Washington Post, 29 Nov.

Over to you, Herr Trump. Oh, nothing to say? Righto, carry on.

And he has…

“Donald Trump’s Twitter account has retweeted three inflammatory videos from a British far-right group. The first tweet from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, claims to show a Muslim migrant attacking a man on crutches. This was followed by two more videos of people Ms Fransen claims to be Muslim. Britain First was founded in 2011 by former members of the far-right British National Party (BNP).” – BBC, 29 Nov.

Further proof, if proof were needed, that this man is a succubus in vaguely human form: a criminal imbecile, a proto-fascist and a danger to life. He may also have committed an offence in British law and must be refused entry or arrested at our border.

Nevertheless, to safeguard British trade with our biggest market (after the whole of Europe) and to ensure a receptive environment for more US health company carpetbaggers to come in and rob the NHS blind, Mrs May says the orange Nazi pig is still welcome to his crappy state visit.

The Brexit bunch have no shame, no decency, no perspective on history, no morals. Only greed and a lust for power.

Russia, Russia, Russia

‘Tweety-pie’ ought to be made aware that Britain First was originally the spiritual home, among others, of Scottish-born ‘millionaire’ (how? Ed.) Jim Dowson, until he left after questions were asked about his management of the organization’s funds. According to the anti-fascist Searchlight Magazine, Dowson is a self-averred Brexit ‘disruptor’ and virulent Islamophobe with an office in Hungary funded by oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, a ‘mysterious billionaire’ (HuffPo) with connections to the resurgent Russian Orthodox church, and to Putin’s ‘spiritual advisor’ Aleksandr Dugin. Dowson is also the progenitor of the fake-news, hate-news filled US Patriot News website (see Posts, passim).

“Dowson is active in Loyalist circles and helped launch the Protestant Coalition, who have links to Britain First. He is also an ex-Calvinist minister and anti-abortionist (he charmingly posts the names and addresses of clinicians) and set up a BNP call centre in Northern Ireland.” – Searchlight Magazine.

US readers might care to note that Britain is just waking up to the extent of ‘dark money’-funded ops that preceded the Brexit vote. Questions are being asked (though not answered) about the (Scottish) origin of one half-million dollar donation funneled to Leave.EU, an unofficial pressure group, via the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland – where donations are not required to be registered – into anti-European media advertising, and who paid for it.

Appealing to US supporters for money and volunteers to combat the Islamic invasion of Europe, Mr Dowson said this:

“This is not political, this is a fight between good and evil, black and white, a fight of the cross, a fight of Christ.”

And Mr Dowson has been caught on video, supplying support materièl to an armed vigilante group hunting Syrian refugees on the Bulgarian border.

This is the man whose repellent ideology Tweety-pie, the President of the United States of America is supporting with his little thumbs:

searchlightmagazine.com/2016/10/britain-first-extremist-filmed-joining-hate-filled-vigilante-group-hunting-down-asylum-seekers-in-bulgaria/

FOR GOD’S SAKE, REPUBLICAN DIMWITS, GET HIM OUT NOW!!!

x

Goodnight, Keith Olbermann

In a shock announcement last night, Keith Olbermann announced his retirement from active criticism of one Donald J Trump.

Who? You may ask. I offer the following heavily redacted biography from the invaluable Wikipedia:

“Olbermann was a sports correspondent for CNN in the 1980s, winning a Best Sportscaster award three times. From 1998 to 2001 he was a producer and anchor for Fox Sports Net.

(We have to forgive him that…)

“From March 2003 to January 2011 Olbermann hosted the weeknight political commentary program Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. He received attention for his pointed criticism of right-wing politicians and public figures. He has tried to resist being labelled politically, stating, “I’m not a liberal. I’m an American.”

And this has been… The Resistance (photo: hollywoodreporter.com)

Olbermann’s four times weekly articulate and erudite anti-Trump rants on the GQ Magazine YouTube channel have been a welcome and entertaining antidote to all the nasty garbage, the flattery, the fawning, the hatred, the fake news, the distractions and diversions and the outright lies spewed by Fox News and the rest of the putrid, alt-right establishment pond-media.

Keith’s new book, Trump is F*cking Crazy, a collection of his broadcasts has been my bedside companion for a couple of weeks now, so if I may be permitted one criticism of Olbermann both as an author and broadcaster, judging by his output it is that he does have rather a mighty opinion of himself at times.

We can forgive him that too. As a former broadcaster myself, I have been awestruck by his professional technique.

Last night on the show, before announcing that his theme has run its course – that he was not being given the bum’s rush (it wouldn’t be the first time), giving up in despair, being threatened or bribed to stop, as far as anyone knows, all four could be true – but simply had nothing left to offer, he identified seven strands of Fate that are fast closing in on Herr Clusterfuck, any one of which he believes will be enough imminently to end this disastrous chapter in the short but turbulent life of American democracy.

I trust we may see Olbermann again in the not-too distant future. For if there is one thing Trump knows very well how to do, it is to slip the noose.

If, however, we don’t, then I recommend the YouTube podcasts of Mike Malloy, a more emotive and scatological commentator altogether, and a disgraceful (but poignantly truthful) old renegade perhaps more after my own heart and style of polemicising than the urbane and well-tailored Mr Olbermann.

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(Warning: the following article contains very strong language, extreme opinion, profound personal animus and probably fake news. But no nuts.)

Fuck off, Trevor Kavanagh

  1. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) ruled Trevor Kavanagh’s column was “capable of causing serious offence” but did not breach the Editors’ Code.
  2. Mr Kavanagh said it was “acceptable to say Muslims are a specific rather than a cultural problem”.
  3. The Sun said he had already apologised.
  4. The regulator said the comment could be compared to language used at the time of the Holocaust.
  5. But a spokesman for The Sun said: “[He] didn’t realise that his words could be compared to the phrase ‘the Jewish Problem’. – BBC News

Jesus fuckin’ H Christ.

What, the ‘Editor’s Code’ sanctions articles supporting racial and religious violence? Incitement to genocide? Hate speech?

The “capability of causing serious offence” is not an infringement of the Editors’ Code?

Then what the fuck is?

God knows, I enjoy causing offence. But this?

What the hell is a “specific problem” applied to Muslims in general? Mr Kavanagh is, in the opinion of the BogPo, and has been for many years, representative of a repulsive lying bucket of putrefying dog-vomit known as the Murdoch press.

But never mind, the “senior political correspondent” of The Sun fake-newspaper, an ageing lamprey fastened to the arsehole of organized corporatist disruption, “didn’t realize” that he might have been behaving like a racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic old cunt?

(The BogPo would like to apologize to Mr Kavanagh, deeply and with maximum contrition, for any offence caused. In fact I said sorry last night while brushing my teeth in the bathroom mirror, so no need to bother again now.)

Oh no, of course anyone wouldn’t realize, who had just arrogantly dismissed 1.2 billion people as “a specific problem rather than a cultural problem”. Who the fuck does this fortunate fellow, this postcolonial “thing”, this hitman from the 4th Estate (that’s the one the Council flogged off) think he is? Donald Fucking Trump?

And the IPSO had little option but to vindicate the lying little fascist bullyboy, as – mirabile dictu – he’s on the fucking board!

Does corruption have any clearer a face than that?

Miqdaad Versi, assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the decision was “deeply disappointing, albeit not unexpected. What is truly astonishing is that regardless of the specifics of the Code, IPSO does not seem to have any concern that one of its board members used this Nazi-like phrase about Muslims.”

Though the BogPo regards all religion as a basket of deplorable superstitions, genuflections to the Invisible Man, and feels that self-identifying special interest groups are whingeing and whining a sight too much about their tragic sensitivities these days, we sympathise with Mr Versi.

The thing the comparatively well-paid Kavanagh-troll fails to understand is that his words have weight. Glib propagandistic generalizations are not journalism; they are a provocation to violence. To steal the clothes of Steve Bannon, Roy Moore and David Duke, to promote a white supremacist, post-colonial agenda in circumstances where the far-right is on the rise in Europe is naive, risky and, frankly, lazy and unprofessional.

If it is none of those things, then Mr Kavanagh is surely a traitor in search of a fascist dictator to validate his very bad-smelling excreta and he must resign his overprivileged position.

Kavanagh, fuck off. Just retire, you decrepit old whore. You and that tendentious old humbug, John Hymnphrys. Your time is over, you’ve had your quota, your world has passed you by, you understand nothing now.

Just fuck off and die, will you?

(Uncle Bogler is 68.)

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Mr Trump is demented (as if we didn’t know)

“Trump first startled reporters with talk of an invisible plane in October, when he discussed the F-35 at a military briefing in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico. “Amazing job,” Trump said then. “So amazing we are ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the air force*, especially the F-35. You like the F-35? … You can’t see it. You literally can’t see it. It’s hard to fight a plane you can’t see.” – Guardian

To see this image literally, you will need a special pair of orange-tinted glasses. (jetairlinezz. blogspot)

He was particularly excited about the Lockheed-Martin F-35 fighter; an aircraft he believes is “invisible” and therefore hard to find, I should imagine.

It isn’t. Look! (Luckily none have been assigned to coastguard duty, otherwise distressed mariners might have trouble noticing they were being rescued.)

It nearly was invisible, because its development has been so afflicted with problems – for instance, test pilots were blacking-out when the oxygen failed, and the plane had a distressing tendency to stall in a climb – that the project risked cancellation. The breathing problem still hasn’t been solved:

“A team of engineers, test pilots, medics and others experts are ‘digging into this problem 24 hours a day,’ to try to identify the cause, an Air Force spokesman said. ‘It could be lack of oxygen. It could be too much oxygen, too much carbon dioxide.’ ” – Mail Online

Not that there could ever be too much carbon dioxide for Trump, who has evolved gills.

Pound for pound, it’s also about the most expensive military project in history, after the invasion of Iraq. But Mr Trump was prepared for that, too – informing the bewildered hardy seafarers in his customarily boastful and self-congratulatory fashion that he had managed to negotiate a deal with his buddies at Lockheed to cut the price, which no other President in history would have been willing or able to do, especially his favourite genocide, Gen. Andrew H Jackson; killer of many Pocahontases.

He hasn’t. Not according to military sources.

But just in case anyone thought the military was spending too much on the F-35, Mr Trump then divagated into the subject of the rest of his wonderful weaponry and how he has INCREASED spending to $700 billion, making it the greatest military in the world.

He lives in a fantasy world, a Wonderland of his own imagining, in which a heroic individual called Trump is at the centre of everything, a General controlling fast-moving, complicated events with skill and wisdom.

He isn’t.

He is completely fucking demented.

And now he is once again returning to the theme of That Tape, the Hollywood Access ‘pussy-grabber’, claiming it was all faked-up by CNN or whoever – although he admitted its authenticity only a few months ago, saying it was just ‘locker room’ bantz. Now in his diseased mind, it was a fake after all. He wasn’t there, whoever he was.

He is clearly rattled that his stout defence of the cretinous Republican candidate to replace Jeff Sessions in Alabama, ‘Judge’ Roy Moore, against whom the accusations of molestation of underage girls have been stacking up, has blown up in his face as the even-more women Trump has allegedly assaulted over the years have become emboldened against his efforts to silence them.

He really has no barriers, does he? He just doesn’t know when to keep his stupid trap shut.

Get him out!

*To date, Congress has voted less than 10% of the money needed to restore vital services to the 3.5 million stricken Americans in the hurricane-ravaged US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; but $54 billion more to the military, whose already obscenely bloated budget the compulsive liar Trump yet again has falsely claimed was being eroded by his predecessor.

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“For some time, it has been warmer than the 1.5°C guardrail that the Paris Agreement promised should not be crossed.”

GW. On the Prom with the global emergency sandwich-board and a soggy packet of chips

Bit by bit we are being washed away… Jamaica last week. (Daily Mail)

Caribbean: Four hours of torrential rain – a ‘month’s worth’ for November – creates impressive flash flood in coastal resort of Montego Bay, Jamaica. overwhelming drainage defences.

Indonesia: Sidoharjo, East Java trashed by slow-moving tornadoes. Idiots shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stand out in the street gawking and videoing and are pelted with debris as trees, roofs, scaffolding and anything not nailed down fly off… 35 hospitalized, whole buildings destroyed. City then battered by heavy rain, 380mm falling in 24 hours.

“7 deaths were reported when a landslide struck in Klesem village in the Kebonagung Sub-district of Pacitan Regency. 2 further fatalities occurred in a separate landslide in Sidomulyo village,  also in the Pacitan district in East Java. 2 other victims reportedly drowned in flood water in the same area where rivers have overflowed.”

Thailand: Phetchaburi river overflows after heavy rain, floods – city under 3ft of water. Hundreds evacuated. 2 more die in renewed flooding in Vietnam as Tropical Depression Kirogi crosses the country.

New Zealand: “a slow moving storm that began around 15:00 on Sunday 26 November caused flash flooding in the small town of Roxburgh in the Central Otago District. Local media said 42.2 mm of rain fell in just a few hours.”

Australia: there’s concern for electricity supplies as an unprecedented November heatwave over Melbourne continues into its second week and air conditioner sales boom. Records were broken too in Hobart, Tasmania, where a peak of 31.5C last Friday (24 Nov) was 13 deg. C. above average for the time of year.

USA: record November temperatures ‘from the west coast to the plains’ are running 15 to 20 deg. C. above normal as strong winds, more cold and snow affect more northerly and eastern states; SW states continue to be plagued by tornadoes. Anaheim, Ca. recorded a temperature of 100F on 22 Nov. “According to climatologist Guy Walton: November will be the 36th month in a row where U.S. daily record highs outnumbered record lows.”

UK: After a run of unusually warm winters, this year’s La Niña, a weak jetstream and colder air displaced from the Arctic have brought endless rain, gales and temperatures now falling into low single-figures (and forecast to continue downward in places to -10C (14F) to much of the British Isles, with night frost and disruptive snow in the north. Nevertheless as GW reported a few months back, average winter temperature in the UK has increased by 2 deg. C. since 1981.

Two rivers burst their banks at Mountmellick, Ireland, flooding homes. Elderly residents couldn’t recall anything like it in their lifetime.

World: “Warming is accelerating. For some time, it has been warmer than the 1.5°C guardrail that the Paris Agreement promised should not be crossed. This conclusion follows from analysis of NASA land+ocean data 1880-October 2017, adjusted by 0.59°C to cater for the rise from preindustrial and with a trend added that also indicates that the global temperature looks set to cross the 2°C guardrail soon, with 2021 falling within the margins of the trend line.

This, warns Arctic News, does not take account of sub-surface ocean warming (93% of total warming has gone into the seas) and feedbacks that might speed up the process.

Arctic: From 1981 until 2011, averaged over the year ocean temperature off Svalbard island remained stable – even showing a slight cooling trend. Measurements this year (2017) however show that the Arctic ocean has warmed at the surface during this two-month early winter period since 2011 by an average of 13.9 deg. C. The blue line on the graph shows 1981 to 2011 (30-year) average sea surface temperature in Oct/Nov. The red line plots daily temperatures during Oct/Nov this year. (Graph: Arctic News/Sam Carana)

 

 

 

 

Arctic News/ Floodlist/ Climate & Extreme Weather News #83/ Wunderground

The Pumpkin – Issue 23. Grenfell: Oven foil. Trump: Blood libel. Cough Please, That’ll be 50 dollars. Plus: Voters on a roll; and: Putting all his eggs in one Brexit.

“Aw, Miliband only had to eat one sandwich and it was curtains for him.” (Mr Mogg takes tea at the Leadsoms.)

Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Oven foil

“Its chief executive, Robert Bond, is understood to have told Gould in a letter that her “inflammatory statements are highly damaging to our reputation and our business and will be defended by us in the strongest terms possible”.” – The Guardian, 30 June

Thus the firm that fitted the lethal cladding to Grenfell Tower responded to the leader of Camden Council, Ms Georgia Gould, with a threat to sue her for ‘damage to their reputation’, after she expressed disappointment that the polystyrene-filled aluminium-foil panels Camden had paid them to fit on their own high-rise blocks had failed safety tests, along with the interiors, resulting in the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the middle of the night.

Irony is truly dead on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr Bond is clearly unaware of what his lawyers wrote in reply, otherwise he would surely have removed the word ‘inflammatory’ before clearing it for press release.

He seems also to be unaware that regardless of the outcome of the inquiry his company no longer has a ‘reputation’, certainly not of the kind he would prefer, and will have to start building one all over again.

There are reputation-management agencies that specialize in putting these things right, if he cares to Google one. He can form an orderly queue behind Kensington and Chelsea Council’s jug-eared leader, the impermeable Mr Nick Paget-Brown.

Postscriptum: Five minutes after saving this Post, in a fast-moving news environment Mr Paget-Brown has obviously seen what I wrote and announced that he will do the honourable thing as soon as anyone else can be found who is too cloth-eared and rhino-skinned to refuse the opportunity of hauling the Royal Borough through the rest of this unholy mess. Deputy ‘Rock’ Feilden-whatever has also announced he is stepping down. I don’t suppose knighthoods will follow, but at least they’ll escape the twitstorm.

Claiming that time would show there had been no lack of help or leadership from the council in the wake of the fire, last night Mr Brown terminated a cabinet meeting rather than face questions from his own councillors, having just discovered there were journalists in the press gallery. Journalists who had had to get an emergency High Court injunction to be allowed in; unlike the relatives and survivors kept outside for fear of ‘disturbances’. This morning word came from Number Ten: Theresa is displeased.

Our public officials and company directors are just completely fucking clueless, aren’t they?

Being largely white, middle-aged, conservative boobies-in-bubbles, they obviously have no idea of the way the world has been changed by social media to ensure that no-one can now get away with these kinds of incompetence, evasions, bluster and bullying. Their lives and those of their blameless ghastly wives and children will become a perpetual misery until they throw their hands up and resign.

The current issue of Private Eye magazine contains a horrifying litany of Tory refusals at local and national government level over the past seven years to pay the slightest heed to public and expert concerns about fire safety in social housing and schools, largely on the grounds that any regulation is bad for business. Not just refusals, but actual sneering at people’s wimpish requests for antediluvian safety standards to be updated.

Thus, the strategy of the Brexit leave campaigners, of Trump, to put about the nonsense that the needs of the ‘business community’ (a bunch of undereducated, overpaid sexist bores in bad suits, with bad-breath and dandruff for brains, basically) must necessarily for the sake of the nation be placed above any consideration of human life and dignity. (It’s not, incidentally, something which the majority of business owners in the UK insist on, it’s just Tory dogma that they do.)

The current Communities Secretary, Mr Sajid Javed, for instance, who now finds himself having to oversee the government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, was responsible previously as Mr Cameron’s Business Secretary for a Tory initiative to deregulate, among other sectors, the building industry, the ‘red-tape challenge’, in a race to the bottom of the heap to save £10 billion.

His predecessor, the morbidly obese Mr Eric Pickles, is said to have responded to a possibly costly Welsh Assembly initiative to fit sprinklers and save lives in social housing with a witty tweet: ‘Will the last housebuilder driven out by Labour from Wales to England please turn off the cement mixer?’

Fat cunt, as the trollers say.

Rock on

These fatuous and cynical, self-serving oafs will, one assumes, never share any of the responsibility for the disaster. Meanwhile, we are learning that the safer type of cladding originally specified in the Grenfell Tower contract was substituted at the last minute by one costing £293,000 less to please the deputy leader of KCBC, the improbably named Mr Rock Feilding-Mellon, who had been moaning about the budget and the colour scheme.

The report is in The Times but you have to pass a paywall to read it.

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“He is seriously psychotic and must be removed from the White House immediately. This is no longer funny…”

Blood libel

Childe Donald has been at it again.

Only women bleed.

In a bizarre early morning assault on cable news channel MSNBC’s soon-to-be-married presentation couple, ex-Congressman ‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, daughter of former Carter White House security advisor, Zbig – holder of the Order of the White Eagle (‘officially instituted on 1 November 1705 by Augustus II the Strong’) – among a fusillade of childish insults Trump tweeted that they had begged him to visit Mar a Lago ‘for three days’ at Christmas but he wouldn’t let them stay because she was ‘bleeding heavily from the face’ after having plastic surgery.

In fact, age 50 she had recently had a chin-tuck; rather less surgery than most residents of Palm Beach. Photographic evidence shows no sign of heavy bleeding, but we know what Mr Trump thinks of photographic evidence and we are surprised he has not convened a commission at public cost to examine the evidence for signs of tampering. Mr Trump too, seems remarkably taut around his demented old eyes for a man of 71.

Mika B’s offence had been to poke fun at the notoriously thin-skinned president, alluding to a request from Time magazine that Trump take down a fake cover he seems to have had designed-up with his own face on it, framed copies of which had been found adorning the walls of several of his tacky golf resorts; a story that originated with the New York Times, adding copyright theft to his list of many crimes.

On the show this morning, the couple contradicted Trump’s version, saying that he had invited them (shades of Guess Who’s Comey to Dinner?); that Joe had gone alone but Trump had insisted in his best Godfather style that Mika also came, that she interviewed Melania (‘who I like very much’) for 20 minutes and then they left.

The story got weirder when Scarborough revealed that someone on the Trump team had previously tried to blackmail him, telling him in a phone call that the notorious fake news tabloid the National Enquirer had a salacious story on the couple ready to print but they would spike it if he stopped criticizing the President. Followers of the show look away, but Scarborough was a big Trump supporter until the scales fell from his eyes as things started to get really, really bad.

(You’ll never hear any of this from the BBC, that continues to maunder on appreciatively as though Trump was not a significant risk to humanity and a cannon so loose you’d never catch up with it, but just the President of the United States on a normal day at the office.)

Where it all shades into a Stephen King novel is that, according to Scarborough today, Trump had previously gone off on a rant about Brzezinski in front of an entire room of Republican politicians, again fantasising about her bleeding from her ‘eyes, from her ears’… Something, Joe said, his informant had found ‘frightening’.

Then there was that other precedent when, after one of the candidates’ debates, he described the interlocutor, Megyn Kelly (late) of Fox News, who had asked him a pointed question about his referring to women as ‘fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals’, as a ‘bimbo’ and claimed she too was bleeding: ‘she had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her – wherever’.

He is seriously psychotic and must be removed from the White House immediately. This is no longer funny. To have elected a president who openly fantasises about women bleeding from the eyes and the vagina, and who has frequently boasted of assaulting women in the belief that they welcome it because he is so rich and powerful – he’s not actually wealthy, he appears to be a net debtor, along with his entire shitty cut-price TV crime-family – is a devastating wound on America that has to be cauterized.

That the revolting old slug almost certainly relied on the furore his tweets would create – indeed, even many leading Republicans were appalled, although they don’t dare impeach him for what it might do to their funding – to draw attention away from any other disturbing things he might have been doing since yesterday, the Muslim ban perhaps, ‘Trumpcare’, Russiagate or his renewed threats against China and North Korea, against Germany and NATO, where do you stop?, is not a reason to doubt that the very real nature of the disturbing sexual fantasies which he shares with the nation ought to result in his being removed to a secure unit, pdq.

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A half-Nelson with dumb stuff

In advance of the G20 at which he has been booked to go head to head with his macho money-idol Mr Putin, Mr Trump has stepped outside the ring of Presidential gravitas with an internet video ‘meme’ he has had produced, portraying him (in a suit) at a wrestling bout assaulting and overpowering a character with a CNN logo for a head, before being victoried with a raised arm by the hunky black wrestler in the ring.

The 45th and last President of the United States of America counts to ten. Missing nine.

He has actually spent your and my tax dollars on this witty but somewhat crapulous ‘meme’, a one-man party-political his dumbfucks are just going to love, so illiberal and unelitist is it, so not at all clever, so redolent of their own fuckwittedness. Dumb stuff rules, okay?

It’s a bit liberal snowflakey of me, but I know, and you know, that when their parents and kids start dying from curable illnesses they can’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to treat, just maybe a tiny light will go on in their mushy brains.

But by then the Tangerine Dream will have told them, it’s all Obama’s fault.

And they’ll go yeah, right. Obama.

He was a bad dude. Re-elect the Orb!

Death is good.

 

Postscriptum: The Pumpkin recently speculated that billionaire Republicans might be planning to escape from the uninhabitable cinder their greed is turning the world into, by starting a colony on Mars. Lo and behold, Commander Trump yesterday held a hastily convened conference to announce that he is reviving a long-defunct quango, the National Space Council, to drive toward a colony on Mars.

“Our travels beyond the Earth propel scientific discoveries that improve our lives in countless ways here,” Trump drivelled, listing “new industry, technology and space security” among the benefits. (Washington Post)

Odd, coming from a President who has signed countless Executive Orders in his first weeks in office destroying scientific research, raising trade barriers and putting heavily polluting dinosaur industries centre-stage of his doomed plan for economic revival.

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“Even other Republican Congressmen hadn’t seen the ‘final’ version until it was announced on Tuesday night…”

Cough please. That’ll be fifty dollars

According to a KFF Kaiser Foundation poll, only 38 per cent of Americans have so far understood that the so-called Obamacare replacement health bill currently in front of the Senate provides for $800 billion cuts to their basic Medicaid care program.

Sixty-two per cent have no idea what is in the bill. Many Trump supporters among them still believe his pre-election campaign promises to substitute Obama’s ‘failing’ (actually, pretty successful) American Healthcare program with something much, much more beautiful and have not bothered to check the horrifying truth.

That the Affordable Healthcare Act is going to force – not 22 million, the latest estimate is 32 million – mostly children and elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions from the poor and lower middle-class – out of health insurance altogether; while it gives carte blanche to the drug companies and clinics to raise prices.

The cuts in the Medicare and Medicaid safety-net programs to fund a tax giveaway to the top 1% will then finish them off; the implication being that this is yet another Republican attack on the black and ethnic minority communities, to go with their attempts to force such people off the voting rolls in many states.

‘Obamacare’ took seven years to pass both houses of Congress and underwent hundreds of amendments and thousands of hours of debate. The AHCA – ‘Trumpcare’, has had a paltry few hours of consideration by a select cabal of conservative Republican Senators in closed-door sessions. Even other Congressmen hadn’t seen the ‘final’ version until it was announced on Tuesday night, and it’s actually worse news than the original bill that passed the house of Representatives last month; a bill even Mr Trump derided as ‘mean’.

So ashamed of this shit was the supine old Trump-sucking leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, that he had to postpone a final vote scheduled for last Thursday over the 4th of July holidays to allow for some reconsideration.

Meanwhile, many house Republicans are now deeply worried that if they don’t pass the bill, billionaire backers allied to the notorious Koch Brothers might defund their hugely expensive re-election campaigns next year; while if they do support it, the voters will eventually cotton on to what they’ve done and kick them out anyway.

So in the meantime, two things have happened.

One, Mr Trump is luxuriating in the furore created by his over-the-top disgusting campaign of insults and blackmail tweeted at the MSNBC presenters Joe and Mika, which is ongoing. This has provided helpful distraction from criticism of all the other disgusting things he has been doing, of which more in a mo.

Two, it is diverting media attention from the Wall Street Journal story that an elderly party fixer called Peter Smith, who died in March, had given them an interview in which he confessed to having put together a ‘team’, including computer specialists and a Russian interpreter, to try to get the Russians to release the Hillary Clinton ‘private server’ emails to the Republican party – and that he was reporting to, among others on the Trump campaign, General Flynn.

Mr Smith, it seems, was responsible twenty-three years ago for masterminding a Republican campaign to discredit President Bill Clinton. In what came to be known as the Troopergate scandal, two State troopers were persuaded to lie about escorting the married President to private assignations with a number of women and standing guard while he, er, dallied.

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“The Nuremberg Race Laws formed the cornerstone of Nazi racial policy. Their introduction in September 1935 heralded a new wave of antisemitic legislation that brought about immediate and concrete segregation.” – Holocaust Encyclopedia

On a roll

Resistance is reportedly growing among State officials to a letter demanding that they hand over to a special inquiry Mr Trump has set up to look into ‘voter fraud’ at the last election, complete lists of voters amounting to more than 200 million registrations, including details of their religious and voting affiliations, social security numbers, military service records and much, much more.

Appointed by Mr Trump to head the inquiry is Mr Chris Kobach, an obsessive anti-immigration campaigner who has lobbied assiduously for a national register of Muslims, similar to the one ordered of the Jews by the Nazis in 1935.

“As Secretary of State of Kansas, he has implemented some of the strictest voter ID legislation in the nation and has fought to remove nearly 20,000 properly registered voters from the state’s voter rolls. After considerable investigation and prosecution, Kobach secured six convictions for voter fraud; all were cases of double voting.” – Wikipedia

Insane, clearly. Another one.

Faced with a revolt by 44 state governors, one of whom suggested Mr Kobach could ‘go jump in the Gulf of Mexico’, a furious Mr Trump has come out with a strong statement demanding to know what they have to hide?

More to the point, what is he hiding?

It is yet another of Mr Trump’s famous diversionary tactics, an irrelevant accusation making the Governors the villains and inciting his dumbfuck supporters, who will undoubtedly interpret just the question as clear evidence of wrongdoing, there being no smoke without fire. (The smoke/fire principle of course does not hold good in relation to the FBI’s protracted investigations into their golden hero’s murky financial dealings and possibly treasonous activities, of which there is obviously not a shred of proof.)

The answer is probably nothing, as Mr Trump’s claim that ‘three, maybe five million’ illegal voters deprived him of an overall majority of the popular vote, which went to the hated rival Hillary Clinton, has already been thoroughly investigated by independent experts and found to be wholly without foundation.

The number of duplicated or illegal votes, they found, was vanishingly small.

Mr Trump, however, has never accepted that he did not win, both in the Electoral College (which he won) and overall in the popular vote. Like a dog at a bone, he cannot let the knowledge go that Mrs Clinton proved more popular with 2.8 million voters, it sears his soul that he is not universally loved and admired for his great successes.

Meanwhile as the farce continues, in which Mr Trump’s fragile ego syndrome hogs centre stage, the Middle East is falling apart; relations with the Chinese have sunk back into South China Sea, North Korea remains unresolved, Gen Mattis still wants to invade Iran and over a thousand administrative posts remain unfilled; including 500 at the State Department, where Secretary Tillexxon is tearing his hair out for lack of support.

So, as with everything he does, you are left wondering whether the Orb is just vindictive, untutored, thin-skinned, childish and senile, or whether there is some underlying rationale, some strategy behind the endless self-incriminating abusive tweets, the rain of Executive Orders (many of which cannot be carried out without a vote in Congress), the huge waste of public money and growing loss of confidence among America’s allies around the world, the mounting contempt and shame at home for his Presidency, reversing all the limited progress made under his hated (more popular) predecessor.

If you want to know where this obsession with voter numbers is headed, what this unprecedented and probably illegal demand for supposedly private voter details is about, remember two things:

One, it is the clear aim of the Republican majority to gerrymander the vote in their favour by disenfranchising tens of thousands of Democrat voters, kicking them off the rolls before next year’s midterms. This was partly what the Russian intervention was about, to get at the voter data. The information which Kobach initially said would be publicly available, but has now rowed-back and said will be confidential (except to the security forces, Russian hackers and anyone who will pay for it, presumably), is invaluable in the process of controlling the mass of the American people.

And two, Mr Trump vowed many times on the campaign trail to remove all Muslims from American soil; a policy clearly espoused by the likes of Steve Bannon, funded by the spectacularly rich alt-right orthodox Christian fundamentalists, Bob and ‘Bekah Mercer, and others who have espoused the cause of a holy war against both the forces of Islam and scientific modernism in the USA.

To date, in six months a furious Trump has managed to force through almost none of his legislative program, which is why the Healthcare bill means so much to him. He complains that the opposition Democrats keep inconveniently opposing him, he continues to blame Obama for everything (when he is not screaming abuse at his staff), he refuses to initiate any action over Russia’s role in the election… blaming Obama for that as well.

And he is a bad enemy to make. For, as Melania’s PR has tweeted, you hit him once, he hits you back ten times. A true son of Roy Cohn, the ruthless Mafia solicitor ‘friend of the family’ who figured so large in the young Donald’s business education, let’s hope she is not speaking from bitter experience.

Nevertheless he is determined to force through somehow, by hook or by crook, all the absurd, overblown promises of Bannon’s nihilistic, destructive policies he made last year to the dementedly screaming, hate-filled dumbfucks in a hundred aircraft hangars across America; egged on by Flynn and his Russian observers.

So to find out what happens next, after Mr Trump and the Republican party fixers get to know exactly who is voting where, how and out of what conviction, and to what religious creed they affiliate, you should turn to:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007901

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Steel yourselves

‘And finally’… only joking, finality is a pipedream.

Despite overwhelming evidence and advice that it would be a disastrous move and lead to a global trade war, the Golden Orb has announced yet another inquiry, this time into how Chinese aluminum and steel prices are destroying American jobs and are thus A Bad Deal for Murca.

It is simply impossible to believe this disastrous tangerine effigy actually cares a damn about American workers, otherwise he would not be so keen to kill them all off. So one has to assume he imagines slapping a 20% tariff on imported Chinese steel, of the kind he uses in his own construction businesses and his new friends, the Kochs, use in their tar-oil pipelines, will somehow benefit their employers. (Things go better with Koch.)

“China has many predatory practices in the way they deal with us, with intellectual property and trade barriers for us.” – said Trump, reverting to his old gripes against China after a brief period in which he was being nice to them in the hope that his new ‘friend’ Mr Xi would clobber North Korea for us.

Mr Xi has clearly made the mistake of not fulfilling the loyalty pledge Mr Trump squeezed out of him over sticky chocolate cake at Mar a Lago.

These are presumably the same ‘predatory practices’ in ‘intellectual property’ that have seen Mr Trump and his non-US slave-employing daughter, feminist icon Ivanka, gain more than fifty exclusive product licences between them – including one for Trump-branded prostitution – using a Xi-ordained fast-track that might otherwise have taken them millennia to obtain.

There’s no gratitude among oligarchs.

x

All his eggs in one Brexit

Richard Cuck, seen wearing second prize at the Portadown horse show.

Does this slackjawed man look genetically damaged to you? No, he doesn’t much to me either. Just a mite depressed. You don’t get that Louis Vuitton luggage under the eyes at his young age by not imbibing copious drafts of misery juice.

No need to worry, though. Mr Richard Cook (for it is he) won the EU referendum. We’re leaving, God knows how – when, or why. Possibly it was due to an unexpected donation to the Leave campaign from Mrs May’s new friends in the Democratic Unionist Party, who are refusing to say where the money came from.

The caption to the photo in The Guardian says : ‘Richard Cook, the chairman of the Constitutional Research Council, which has no website, publishes no accounts and is not obliged to reveal its donors.’ Photograph: Universal News And Sport (Europe).

The CRC appears to be a by-blow of Mr Cook’s own small business, Cook Consulting, and a temporary parking-lot he registered, Five Star Investments. Another director of CRC/Five Star was listed as Mr Peter Haestrup, a Dane.

According to The Guardian: “Haestrup was named in an investigation into an arms scandal in 1995. Hundreds of AK-47s, anti-tank grenades, pistols and rocket launchers were dropped from a transport plane into West Bengal in what the Indian authorities described as “the biggest crime in the country’s history”.

No wonder Mr Cook looks so worried. Vengeful Thuggees might emerge at any moment from the undergrowth with death in their eyes.

Entirely concidentally, Richard – a former vice-chairman of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party –  also has interests in former West Bengal. Fancy that! The Guardian reports once more: ‘In 2012 his company, Cook Consulting, signed agreements to deliver environmental projects in Karachi worth more than £600m.’

A 13 July, 2012 BBC report reprinted what reads like a stock press release hailing the agreement, which mainly consisted of a £550 million desalination plant to provide drinking water to the city. The story gave no indication as to where Cook was getting the money: another blind alley. Mr Cook’s sources remain just as opaque four years on.

The absence of any evidence of Mr Cook’s finances is linked with a substantial donation, almost half a million pounds, in advance of the Brexit vote, via our new friends the Democratic Unionists (DUP), to the Leave.EU campaign and current Go On, Let’s Leave the EU as Painfully as Possible minister, the freshfaced empire-loyalist Tory baboon, Mr Steve Baker.

In default of a Leave vote in Northern Ireland, the money is said to have found its way to the UK mainland via a special dispensation that says donations received in the Six Counties don’t have to be declared to the Electoral Commission, in case they explode or perhaps come from one banned organization or another.

“In his register of interests, Baker states: “As chair of the European Research Group (ERG), I accepted £6,500 from the Constitutional Research Council to fund hospitality for ERG members and their staff at an event on 19 December 2016.”

So that can’t explain the total donation of £435,000, most of which according to The Guardian was spent on printing and distributing a ‘wraparound supplement’ to the Evening Standard newspaper, a modest enough project urging Londoners to vote Brexit – which they didn’t by a majority of 2:1, so that was a bit of a waste. Never mind! We’re OUT!

Ah, these think-tanks. Endless hospitality, ’tis a wonder they have time to think. You often wonder, too, where they get the money – who from, and what for. Possibly from wealthy speculators keen to advance their private interests, bypassing the tedious framework of democracy? Who can say.

While, bizarrely – perhaps like Alan Bennett he is 40 years older than he looks, or just one of those people you occasionally see written-up in colour supplements as having an unusual hobby – Cook:

“…like Baker, has been a supporter of the Freedom Association, the organization founded by a group of Tory MPs alarmed by the rise of trade unions and Irish republicanism.”

Neither cause has been exactly fresh in the public mind since the Thatcher era. But you know Unionists, easily alarmed.

Not all the money appears to have filtered through Northern Ireland to the mainland, though. Some went west.

According to Open Democracy UK, there appears to have been a payment of £32,000 to a Canadian company thought not to be many miles through snow-tracked wastes from Aggregate IQ, an obscure data analytics firm and referendum fixer whose ownership is, according to the Observer (articles passim), traceable to Mr Robert Mercer, the multibillionaire hedge-fund manager, ultra-orthodox Christian ‘disruptor’ and IT whizz behind the Breitbart News website.

The exact origin of the money remains shrouded in the misty Celtic twilight. Except that the third director of Cook’s short-lived Scottish-registered company, Five Star Investments – now wound up – is a known Saudi Arabian intelligence officer.

Now, a noted conspiracy theorist, I can imagine any number of reasons why the Saudis might want us out of Europe, but it’s hard to articulate one.

The Pumpkin should have thought the deal might possibly have attracted a more productive investigation as a possible case of money-laundering, than as a breach of the pathetic and toothless Electoral Commission’s barely enforceable rules on cross-border political donations and election spending.

Luckily, the Serious Fraud Office is being wound-up also and merged with the stationery purchasing department at Mrs May’s whizzo new National Crime Agency, so the DUP can sleep easy on their £billion pile, another cash bonanza from the endlessly gullible British taxpayer when it comes to Northern Ireland.

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All Change…

In the space of four days:

  • More than 35 wildfires are burning across the SW United States. The uncontrollable fire at Brian Head in Utah has consumed over 54 thousand acres and continues to spread. The forecast is for continuing 95 deg. heat and rising windspeeds. (Less than a month ago, the governor of Arkansas was declaring a federal emergency owing to extreme flooding and storms.)
  • A flash flood has left parts of Mexico City underwater. (A number of people were killed the previous week including eleven trapped in a bus in floods and landslides in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.)
  • Multiple wildfires are reported in Siberia as the boreal forest and tundra continue to blaze due to record temperatures ‘not seen in the past 10 thousand years’, according to Russian meteorologists. Krasnoyarsk sweltered in 37 deg. C. last week and is still in the mid-20s this week. In the North Caucasus, record rainfall has caused devastating flash floods. Moscow has been hit for the second time in five weeks by an abnormally violent thunderstorm, leaving two dead and a dozen injured.
  • Gerona in Spain was battered on Friday by a freak hailstorm, leaving rivers of ice two feet deep flowing through the streets. Watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqfa6do4u50, at 25’30” in, it’s a most bizarre sight. 150 mm of rain falling in a few hours has left parts of Berlin underwater.
  • Greece has a 42 deg. C-plus heatwave, with wildfires and melting roads.
  • The city of Chennai in drought-stricken Tamil Nadu state, India, has run out of water and rationing has been tightened. North of there large parts of Assam state are underwater, as are neighbouring areas of Pakistan, with deaths reported.
  • More severe flood warnings are out across Hunan province, central China, but the list of Chinese regions afflicted with major floods is over 40, too long to include.

(Climate and Extreme Weather News #39, 26-30 June/Floodlist.com)

Welcome to Post No. 600!

Hi y’all

Welcome to Post Number 600!

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

Believe me, it’s so great.

You too can subscribe to our Special Offer: 600 Free Posts! Just dial-up the month you’d like to revisit, and be instantly whisked back to happier times.

Send as much money as you can, right now, and that way WordPress won’t need to put more ads on my site, that I get nothing out of.

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

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

Coming or going

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is that even a sane policy?

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

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

Where has this microcephalic Tory cipher been all these years?

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

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

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

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

Exceptionally stupid, if you ask me.

Waking up screaming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was the cat.

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

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

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

Yes, he did.

So are we likely to find out more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selfish cunt.

x

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

The massacre of the innocents

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

From the BBC report:

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

“The hospital admitted that failings occasionally occurred.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because they “believed” their own lies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not enough beds. Not enough resources.

Not enough compassion in Lizard-land.

Not enough competence in the Trusts.

Not good enough.

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Clickbait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plutocrats.

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

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

Is this President the most evil man on earth?

Or just clickbait?

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

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

WARNING: DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS WOMAN.

Wake Up, Britain, you’re being Disrupted!

Okay.

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

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

Now.

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody picked up on it.

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

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

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

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

Nobody picked up on it.

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

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

The opening summary paragraph states:

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

Nobody picked up on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet nobody has picked up on it.

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

That’s what the Russians DO.

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

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

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

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

And quickly?

Because we’ve been conned!

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

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

Postscriptum

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

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

Postscripta, please add to brain:

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

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

Oops.

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

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

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

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

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

x

BIG DADA: A Guide

Who are the Disruptors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

x

At last, I am vindicated!

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

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

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

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

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

The BBC reports:

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

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

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

Exactly!

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

That’s one in the eye for the wife:

“Forgotten baby syndrome”.

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

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

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

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

“Simple life syndrome”.

The joy of letting go.

 

The Boglington Post: Another Enormous Brexit Lie…. Not Feeling Hungary… Death by Financial Services… + Bonus material

Suck it up, Brexwits.

So call me a liar, punk –  if you’re elite enough.

“Liam Fox, the international trade minister, accepted last week he did not know of any new free trade deal that did not also include liberalisation of migration rules between the two countries signing such agreements.” – The Guardian, 10 February.

Another enormous Brexit lie

The principal reason people voted to Leave the EU last June was, of course, a mass outbreak of cretinism.

Definitive, detailed research carried out for the BBC last month showed conclusively that those voting for Brexit were, as I suspected all along,  a confused rabble of credulous, self-deluding, elderly dimwits and skinhead internet trolls who had failed their GCSEs, left school at 12 and flunked the police entry exam, but nevertheless thought they had a perfect right to decide the future of the country based on their detailed knowledge of Daily Mail front-page headlines over the previous thirty years.

Asked generally by none-too-scrupulous pollsters why they had voted Leave, of course 99 per cent of them mentioned that there was too many of them furrin immigrants comin’ ‘ere, being housed at the public expense, claiming asylum, spreading diseases, starting-up successful tech companies, propping up the NHS, chewing garlic and generally driving down wages.

Enthusiastically taking up this theme, basing her profound knowledge of the public mind purely on an ‘in-out’ vote with no room whatever for grey areas, Mrs May, the enigmatic Prime Minister, a shoe-in (haha) from leafiest Thameside villaville, announced that ‘regaining control of our borders’ by massively reducing inward migration from friendly EU countries was ‘The Will of the People,’ and vowed to follow the rubric to the letter.

Now we’ve discovered it was another massive voter fraud. A fraud, that is, on the mass of voters.

Because the best estimates we’re getting, now Parliament has lent its sovereign voice to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, indicate that inward migration ‘might’ fall by 15 per cent or so, only it’s not possible to say how much it might also go up by at the same time, if we have to let in hordes of American refugees fleeing the police state of Der Trumpenführer in exchange for repatriating Ford Motors’ Dagenham plant to Deerborn, Michigan, where they can make American cars great again, wid’ fins an’ all.

(Kindly note that in one of his unread Executive Orders, the Orange Precedent has proposed to close down the agency responsible for consumer protection. Yes, he has. Another of his Execution Orders effectively abolishes any local oversight of animal welfare. What kind of monster have you elected, American baboons, who can’t even sign his own name but just draws a picture of a spring unravelling, and hates dogs, cats and horses?)

I’ve been asking the question of my beloved Spammers, Likers, Followers and those no longer reading (25 yesterday, what’s going on, Man?) for over three years:

“What is the point of replacing a working set of trading arrangements that allow us to operate pretty much anywhere within a safe framework to quality standards we helped to design, with instead a ragbag of hopeful, one-off deals with nasty countries that manufacture dangerous electrical fittings and children’s toys with metal spikes for eyes, who will be out to screw us?” (Something like that, I seldom quote myself accurately.)

Now the Fantastic ‘Dr’ Fox, our Bounceback Brexit Business Baboon and ‘disgraced former defence minister’ (New Statesman) has had to admit, he can’t stop vast numbers of foreign fuckers swarming in from darkest Turkey in the wake of some terrible deal to export fridge-magnets to Ankara.

I warned you about this character. I told you he shows more loyalty to the USA than he does to you, and you wouldn’t fucking listen.

So suck it up, Brexwits.  Migrants is a comin’.

Only you won’t know where from!

Sorry folks, party’s over.

Feeling too elated this weekend? Annoying joyousness of the heart? Spring in your step? Love in the air? Need bringing down to earth with a bump?

http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk/

Nice knowing you.

Not Feeling Hungary

I’ve been reading about a little village adrift somewhere out on the Great Gromboolian Plain that has passed new by-laws and put up official-looking road signs banning Muslims and all displays of Islamic culture. According to the BBC report:

“The new local legislation bans the wearing of Muslim dress like the hijab and the call to prayer and also outlaws public displays of affection by gay people. Changes are also being brought in to prevent the building of mosques, despite there being only two Muslims living there currently.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38881349

Laszlo Toroczkai is the mayor of Asotthalom, “a remote village in the southern Hungarian plains, situated around two hours from the capital Budapest.” He says:

“We primarily welcome people from western Europe – people who wouldn’t like to live in a multicultural society,”  he told the BBC. “We wouldn’t like to attract Muslims to the village.”

We are not told how many gay people there are in the village, or how many people from western Europe it attracts to live there, but it reminds me of the long-running joke in the show Little Britain about Dafydd, the only gay in Llanddewi Brefi (a small village in mid-Wales, small Welsh villages being known for their intolerance of difference, apparently. As an Englishman I’ve occasionally felt that too.)

It’s possible the two Muslims go around holding hands, behaviour between male friends that is totally accepted in Muslim countries and not really at all gay, although it might look it. Or maybe they’re actually buggering one another silly, we aren’t told.

Now, the Hungarian metropolitan elite is dubious about the legality of all this, arguing that it’s racist and against the constitution. But is it? There’s a history of vicious persecution of religious minorities in Hungary going back more than a thousand years.

Hungarians are either a proud warrior race, or a bunch of nasty, intolerant thugs, depending on your point of view. Mr Toroczkai puts it thus:

“We can see large Muslim communities in western Europe that haven’t been able to integrate – and we don’t want to have the same experience here,” he says. “I’d like Europe to belong to Europeans, Asia to belong to Asians and Africa to belong to Africans. Simple as that.” (Ibid.)

As ordered, presumably, in the Bible. There’s clearly not a lot of logic in the idea that people who are barely represented on the demographic map should not be allowed to live somewhere because they can’t integrate in numbers, integration being a two-way process, but ignorance and intolerance make strange bedfellows. I’d have trouble integrating with small Hungarian villagers and I’m white and Western. So would you.

The total Muslim population of Hungary is only 5,500 – a little over zero per cent. The majority polled regard themselves as Hungarian. It wasn’t always so. I’m grateful to muh gudfriend, Ms Vicky Pedia, for the information that – the history is complicated – Muslims first arrived in Hungary in the 10th century, practically before the West existed, and have been there ever since.

Even then, when there were only around 30 Islamic settlements in the whole country, Muslims were persecuted.

“In the 11th century, St. Ladislaus and later Coloman passed laws against the non-Christians (Synod of Szabolcs). These laws subdued Islam by coercing Muslims to eat pork, go to Church and intermarry and to forbid them from celebrating Friday. – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Hungary

Any Muslim caught, basically, not eating pork or offering it to their guests  could be dragged off to Budapest for a dressing-down from the king, while the informant would be granted a share of their property. These rules were pretty extreme and quite similar to laws in other European countries passed against their Jewish minorities. But they kick-started the Hungarian goulash industry.

In the 16th century, large parts of Hungary were under Ottoman (Islamic) rule and apparently integrated. The Ottoman Grand Vizier, Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha (d. 1602), was a Hungarian-born Muslim. In 1944 Hungary was occupied by Germans. 800,000 Jews were killed before Hungary was ‘liberated’ by the Soviet army. Stalin relentlessly persecuted Muslims, but the Germans courted them as allies and potential supporters in the eradication of the Jews – although hundreds of Muslims in Eastern Europe were accidentally murdered by SS ‘Einsatzgrüppen’ goons who couldn’t tell the difference just from a short-arm inspection, both Muslims and Jews being Semitic peoples practising circumcision.

The collaboration with the Nazis led to reprisals after the war and may very well be partly the cause of modern Islamophobia in the east. (History Today – http://www.historytoday.com/david-motadel/muslims-hitlers-war)

With the arrival through Greece of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Syrian civil war moving north towards Hungary, and the passing of welcome-in quotas by the Council of Europe, of which Hungary is supposedly a member, Hungarian “Christian” sensitivities have once again been outraged and, encouraged by the re-election of the authoritarian nationalist, Viktor Orban,  racial purity defended on the Right. A fence was hastily thrown up to keep the desperate Syrians out.

But the persecution of religious minorities had already begun again.

In 2011, Hungary passed its notorious  Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, which does not include the right of Muslims to any such freedoms. “It recognizes only 14 religious groups. Islam is not included in this list and Muslims have to apply to get official recognition.” (Wiki.)

“It’s very important for the village to preserve its traditions” says Mr Toroczkai. Presumably he means the traditions of persecution rather than the traditions of actually being an Islamic republic. “If large numbers of Muslims arrived here, they would not be able to integrate into the Christian community.” (I know, you’re making mayonnaise, you put in too much oil…)

To which one can only wonder, why the hell should they ‘integrate’?

What’s so great about Christians, that they go around persecuting minorities of two, for holding hands on a Friday? I suppose it’s only a matter of time before some prissy little postcard village in England or Germany starts putting up signs banning whoever, whatever.

Metropolitan elitists, possibly?

I don’t recall Western countries putting up razor-wire fences when a quarter of a million Hungarians fled from the advancing Red Army tanks during the 1956 Soviet putsch against a peaceful centrist revolt. Britain took in 27 thousand.

Fuck ’em, send ’em back, useless spongers.

(News just in: residents of Leipzig have started putting up a fence unofficially around a refugee resettlement centre.)

Death by Financial Services

Maybe I’ve wrote about this before.

Since my mum died in December, I’ve been on a twin-track strategy of trying to clear her apartment so the new landlords can send in workmen to turn it from a slum created by the previous landlord into a £6,000 a month Central London cash cow, or possibly a multimillion pounds demolish-and-rebuild luxury sale proposition; while at the same time ploughing through boxes and boxes of yellowing tragic papers I’ve lugged back to my tiny sitting-room to try to find anything left of the £130,000 she was apparently worth just 13 years ago so we can all get a break from Brexit and Trump for a couple of weeks.

It’s been pretty dispiriting on both fronts, without even beginning to consider that my amazing mum just died, leaving me a chain-smoking, whisky-drinking, 92-year-old friend short of a Christmas party for two. I’m a rather elderly orphan now, living on my own with just Hunzi and Katz.

That’s a bit of a lifestyle changer, knowing you’re next on the list.

Most dispiriting is that in terms of her finances, her total net worth when she died was probably less than £3,000; the final numbers aren’t in, but we sold pretty well everything; while the £130,000 investment bond side of the financial equation ended up as worth just £102 when you take away fees and redemption penalties. And to think that once upon a yesteryear, after months of battling my stepfather in the High Court, she actually owned two properties in Knightsbridge.

For about five minutes.

£102 is not a lot to show for 70 years of exposure to professional financial advisors, a breed of optimistic middle-aged ex-merchant-banking baboons it behoves every single young person to understand they should avoid and ignore and shun and disparage and mock and throw stones through their chintzy Sunningdale windows and write rude words on their gated compound walls throughout their lives, if they know what’s good for them.

That’s a list of not-to-go-nears, including: bank managers, credit card issuers, solicitors, accountants, tax consultants, Independent Financial Advisors (IFA = I know Fuck-All), Chancellors of the Exchequer, fund managers, stockbrokers, insurance underwriters and actuaries, financial PRs and marketing people, City journalists, company agents, estate agents, property developers, share tipsters, taxi drivers – and, finally, ex-husbands; all of whom have been to a special school where they teach you to exude overwhelming confidence and knowing sophistication without a shred of expertise or knowledge to back it up: a School for Scoundrels (it was a movie. See it.)

And they all get a special dark green polyester tie with a bold crest you’ll come to think of as a perfect target, to wear along with the blazer with the shiny buttons.

Anyone, in short, who affects to be able to predict the financial future with such certainty as to dare to advise you what to do with that £50 windfall you got from Auntie Ethel on your birthday. Don’t listen, they’re lying to you. Spend it now on something you like, anything, before the Financial Services industry gets its sticky mitts on it.

You’d do better giving it away to a rough sleeper. At least it won’t end up being invested by an ‘expert’ in fucking BP shares, like mine did.

There’s a financial instrument known as an ISA, a partly tax-exempt savings scheme with a grudgingly generous upper limit cooked up by some previous government money-baboon to encourage saving and boost bank liquidity. Once upon a time an ISA would generate a few tens of pounds a year in tax-free interest. No longer: the interest rate on a typical ISA is nowadays less than half of one percent and still dropping. Inflation is at two per cent.

But it could still go lower. Would you have known when you created it that you might end up actually paying the bank to hold your £15,000 ISA? Take it out,  mate. Invest it in a campervan, certain types such as the VW Caravanette hold their value remarkably well and may even appreciate over time. (Warning: investments may go down as well as up, as if. You may lose your house if you do not keep up the unaffordable repayments. Terms and conditions apply, naturally.)

Only, don’t take my word for it. I’ve still got the ISA.

(to be continued)

Suffer little children

I’m sorry, some news just makes me mad as hell.

“The private security company G4S is to take over from a children’s charity the contract to provide welfare support to detained families facing deportation, the Home Office is expected to announce on Friday.

“The Home Office has privately insisted that the much-criticised private security company can provide the “same key aspects of welfare support to families” as have been delivered by the current providers, Barnardo’s. – The Guardian, 9/2/17

Is there a reason to replace Barnardo’s, a charity established over 130 years ago with the original object of caring for London’s teeming horde of orphans and rejected children, other than the growing suspicion that the cosy relationship between G4S and the UK Home Office may be a corrupt one, given the inept, not to say brain-dead, management of custodial facility contracts by this blundering poster child for Thatcherite privatisations?

Is there any hope for terrified families in the clutches of these, frankly, thuggish goons? Do I want my tax money to go to this Dickensian bunch of money-grabbing capitalist pigs? (No, I don’t. Let those poor people alone, Tory cunts.)

“Kent police investigating alleged abuse at Medway child prison, run by G4S, made five more arrests. The same day a report by prisons inspectors revealed that a child at another G4S prison, Parc, in Bridgend, Wales, had been strip searched while held under restraint, one guard had been dismissed for using “excessive force”, and children reported being verbally, physically and sexually abused.

“G4S-run Medway secure training centre has been under close scrutiny since BBC Panorama broadcast undercover footage, in January, of children there being subject to physical and emotional abuse.” – Open Democracy UK

http://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/shinealight/carolyne-willow/five-more-arrests-and-another-critical-inspection-report-for-g4s-chil

G4S was founded as The Wackenhut Corporation in 1954, in Coral Gables, Florida, by George Wackenhut and three partners (all are former FBI agents). In 2002, the company was acquired for $570 million by Danish corporation Group 4 Falck (itself then merged to form British company G4S in 2004) (Wikipedia).

The list of their incompetently managed contracts is a long one and includes the standout failure to recruit and train enough security staff for the London Olympics, a contract worth £284 MILLION, so that the army had to be called in to bail them out at the last minute.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_G4S

As is the list of individuals whose ‘security’ they have managed to compromise, in too many cases fatally.

Why then does the Home Office keep throwing public money at these tossers to replace existing contractors and formerly stable, properly trained, state-run workforces?

We should be told.

In the meantime we can only guess.