America does not need a younger, leaner Donald Trump

At the airport I see a copy of Bloomberg Businessweek which poses on its cover the stark question: If America were a company, would you keep this CEO?

Such a worldview is so ingrained that even in the face of its unavoidable and catastrophic failure it somehow stumbles on, eyes burnt out and arms outstretched, groaning for more brains – smarter ones in presumably less decrepid bodies. Even a sterling Democrat like Michael Bloomberg, with his sincere and laudable statements about Climate Change and sanctuary cities, is unable to see beyond it. For almost a decade American TV viewers were sold the idea that their country needed a CEO, and that pitch was accompanied by the face and the voice of the country’s most iconically successful ‘business leader’. Enlightened neoliberals like Bloomberg must surely be starting to understand that it is their zombie ideology of letting the market run rip through all institutions that has led to this point, that in order for democratic values to remain intact prices have to be kept at bay. The problem is not that the Presidency was sold to the wrong person. The problem is that if we think of the country as a corporation the most brutal corporate interests will govern and destroy every aspect of our lives. Those who argued that there was nothing to choose between Macron’s Neoliberalism and Le Pen’s barely disguised fascism were absolutely wrong, but genuine liberals – of which Bloomberg is undoubtedly one – urgently need to be reminded of one of Mussolini’s most terrfying definitions of fascism: the point at which corporate and state power are indistinguishable.

Why can’t the USA be more like Saudi Arabia?!

I’ve often been accused of political bias on this site, so to ensure balance I’ve asked my Trump-supporting friend Ralph to share his thoughts on the President’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Like all Americans I’ve been mighty impressed by the royal welcome extended to our President Donald J. TRUMP in Saudi Arabia. They certainly know how to greet a world LEADER. They had fireworks, flypasts and US flags galore. The hotel where the Commander-in-Chief is staying was bedecked in images of President TRUMP and his Saudi counterpart. To quote a fellow PATRIOT on Twitter, seeing Trump’s triumphant arrival in the Middle East was akin to watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon*.

Such images must be hard to swallow for so-called American liberals. They were probably hoping he’d get a frosty reception. Instead the Saudis, rich and poor, have literally LAID OUT the red carpet for someone who they clearly see shares their values and view of the world.

Maybe THE DONALD will end up taking some inspiration from his hosts. Because you know something they don’t have in KSA? LIBERALS! And they certainly don’t have any time for FEMINISTS! Plus they’re not held back by a so-called ‘free’ press and fake political ‘parties’. As for PROTESTERS, they know how to deal with them! Nor will you find a member of the Saudi Royal Family telling you that the lives of black people ‘matter’, allowing women to drive motor vehicles, permitting Jews to own property, or campaigning for the rights of so called ‘transsexuals’ to go to the ‘bathroom’! What’s more, while we in the backward old US of A go through the same bullshit charade every four years of electing new faces to ‘run’ the country, in countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE (and who wouldn’t want to live in DUBAI?!) they just have the best FAMILIES take care of everything. And what better FAMILY do we have than the TRUMPS?

I’m sure that some of these ideas have already occurred to PRESIDENT TRUMP as he is driven along pristine streets from luxurious PALACE to sumptuous BANQUET with not a living demonstrator in sight. There’s so much that could be done to make the USA much more similar to KSA, and I’m sure that in Mike ‘Mad Mullah’ Pence and Steve ‘Al Jihadi’ Bannon he’s chosen the perfect team to move things in that direction. After all, any country that can secretly dispatch a group of dedicated, well-trained and above all BRAVE individuals to take down some of the most emblematic symbols of an enemy power must have some other great lessons to teach the world! LET’S MAKE AMERICA MEDIEVAL AGAIN! #TRUMPBINLADEN2020!! ALLAH AKBAR!!!

*Actual quote from Twitter.

23 things you have an ‘absolute right’ to do

Immagine

  1. Shout ‘puppy dogs make me so horny!’ on a crowded subway train.
  2. Put human feces on a BBQ grill and try to feed it to your family.
  3. Stop any random stranger on the street and tell them they’re the ugliest person you’ve ever seen.
  4. Take a running jump out of the nearest window.
  5. Tell everyone you work with that you’ve joined the KKK or BNP.
  6. Go to a tattoo parlour and get the words ‘AVOID THIS ASSHOLE’ written on your forehead.
  7. Go for six months without taking a shower or a bath.
  8. Vote Republican or Conservative.
  9. Give up your job, throw away all your cash and cut up your credit cards, taking care to dispose of all the food in your house before you do so.
  10. Change your Facebook status to ‘I hate all my so-called friends, especially you’.
  11. Up your cigarette intake to 160 a day.
  12. Tell everyone you meet, no matter how fleetingly, the most unambiguously shocking thing you’ve ever done.
  13. Put your house on the market for $10/£9.
  14. Individually email all the members of your family asking them never to contact you again or you will kill yourself.
  15. Sit in the park in the rain eating dog food out of a can.
  16. Contract herpes and shun treatment.
  17. Refuse to share your name with anyone you meet in a professional context.
  18. Throw your cellphone and carkeys into the nearest river or stream.
  19. When introduced to friends of friends, immediately tell them a horrible lie about your mutual friend.
  20. Go to the theater and shout ‘fire’ when the play’s just about to start.
  21. Tell your partner that you have a terminal disease when you don’t.
  22. Cut off both of your ears and then try phoning for an ambulance.
  23. If you should inadvertently find yourself in the position of President of your country, give top-secret intelligence information to a foreign power in order to try to make the representatives of that foreign power think that you’d be a cool guy to be friends with, then get your subordinates to lie on your behalf, and then use social media to admit you did exactly what the news reports said.

Wikileaks boss appeals for ‘any’ information regarding Donald Trump

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has made a public appeal for “any” information relating to US President Donald Trump.

Speaking from the cupboard in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has for the past few years been hiding from trial on several well-substantiated rape charges, the Australian-born hacker asked for “anyone out there” to provide his organisation with “any” details relating to Trump’s “public life or private dealings”.

“We at Wikileaks would be very grateful if anyone could google Mr Trump’s name, do a screen shot of the results page and email it to us”, he said. Referring to Wikileaks’ “stainless” reputation for exposing corruption among public figures and its track-record of campaigning for transparency, he requested details such as Mr Trump’s place and date of birth, his middle name and information relating to any major controversies or scandals he may have been involved with in the past.

Mr Assange also specified that his organisation is “very interested” in allegations of Russian collusion in the recent US election (won by Mr Trump) and asked that anyone sympathetic to the aims of his organisation visit the New York Times or BBC websites, find articles containing the basic facts as they stand, print them out and send them to ‘Wikileaks, Utility Cupboard, Ecuadorian Embassy, London’.

He also urged supporters of Wikileaks to look beyond the “mainstream media” and visit sites such as Reddit and Twitter in order to track down any information relating to Mr Trump, particularly in relation to the sort of business activities he may have engaged in before becoming President and also what political program he campaigned on during the election.

Asked why, given that Wikileaks normally works by drawing on an extensive global network of secret informants, hackers and whistleblowers, he did not use other more surreptitious means to investigate Mr Trump and his alleged Russian contacts, Mr Assange paused and said that he “hadn’t thought of doing that” but that he “didn’t want to get in trouble with (at this point he appeared to adopt a comedy Russian accent) ‘you-know-who’. 

Mr Assange stressed that Wikileaks will continue to do “whatever it can” to expose misdeeds in public life, “regardless of political bias”. In response to questions as to why his organisation had not sought to investigate allegations of corruption against far-right French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen, and had instead endeavoured to diffuse disinformation against her centrist opponent, Mr Assange was nonplussed, explaining that he personally had been “away” for the last few weeks in another part of his utility cupboard, and that Wikileaks must have been “hacked, or something”. He appealed to anyone possessing or with access to any basic biographical information on Le Pen or any details regarding France (its geographical coordinates, the name of its capital city and any major landmarks generally associated with it) to send it marked for his personal attention at “the usual address”.

Mr Assange then excused himself, explaining that he had a “very important health-data related project” to complete for “a group of private clients”.

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days

original

Our daughter was born ten days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. I sometimes wonder if the viral piece I wrote a few days before her birth, in which I predicted an imminent mental breakdown on the part of the new President, was actually more of an expression of anxiety about my own readiness to perform the demanding role of becoming a parent. Although sadly (?) my prediction about Trump has yet to come true (or maybe it has…), our daughter is doing wonderfully, and we’re coping magnificently with being parents, one day (or rather one night…) at a time. I thought this was an opportune moment to reflect on Trump/our daughter’s comparative progress so far in ten key areas.

1. Inauguration

Her speech was a great deal more coherent than anything Trump has come up with in the last three months. It went ‘whiirrrARRRGGGHHHNNNNGGGGGGGGAAARRGGHHH I’M ALIVE!!!!!’. Recently, gratifyingly, she has incorporated cooing noises into her vocal repertoire. This may be an attempt to reproduce the lilting and melodic voice of Paul McCartney (she’s going through a bit of a Beatles phase). When she was extracted she was, to my surprise, covered in all this white stuff, as opposed to her presidential counterpart, who has a strong lifelong preference for orange gunk. When it comes to knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the President as defined by the Constitution of the United States of America, she’s miles ahead. Where Trump forced both the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to write letters calling for the sacking of FBI boss James Comey in a desperate and catastrophically misguided attempt to cripple the investigation into his links with Russia, our daughter would have just looked around the room gurgling randomly and harmlessly to herself. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

2. North Korea

Given that she is unable to rationalise and is driven solely by the desire for simple selfish gratification, she would be able to relate to the behaviour of both leaders. I read somewhere once that as babies we often wish that our parents would die, because our fury at not having our needs met immediately is not conditioned by any mental conception of what that would imply for our own survival prospects. In a strikingly similar way, it’s possible that neither Kim Jong Un nor Donald Trump have any idea what the consequences of nuclear confrontation would be. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

3. Climate Change

She’s not been born into a normal spring. Any one of her cohort has a better and more responsible attitude to the climate crisis than any so-called adult and certainly much more of a mature understanding of basic climate facts and their consequences than anyone in the current US administration. If you asked her whether or not the US should withdraw from the Paris Agreement she’d probably look at you a bit blankly and then might, if you were lucky, give you a massive lopsided grin, one which would, in contrast to Trump’s mangled death beam, give you hope and faith in the future of the human species. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

4. Healthcare

Although in theory this is free in Italy, in reality it’s very expensive. You very often have to buy a ‘ticket’ in order to access services. Sadly our daughter hasn’t been able to change the situation in her first hundred days. She would nevertheless understand healthcare policy to be a very complex area, which puts her ahead of Trump, who thought it was all really, really simple. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

5. Immigration

Her father (me) is an immigrant, so presumably (although we haven’t yet discussed this in any detail) she feels instinctive solidarity with people who choose or are forced to cross national borders for prolonged periods during the course of their lives. Oddly enough, although Italy is, like all European countries, experiencing a sickening rise in xenophobic sentiment, no one has yet told her to go back where she came from and stop being such a parasite on essential public services. As for her, she’s never uttered the phrase ‘America First’ or talked openly about a ‘Muslim Ban’. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

6. Russia

While it’s unclear whether or not Trump has ever met Putin, I can say with some certainty that our daughter has had no contact with the Russian President/failed election meddler. At six weeks old she started grinning, mostly in response to others’ smiles. It’s unlikely she’d recognise Putin’s pseudo-Machiavellian smirk as a positive facial expression, as anything indicating goodwill. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

7. Mexico

She was conceived there and has a Mexican name. She would have difficuly grasping the concept of a wall but, like with healthcare, would at least appreciate the logistical challenges in building one between two particularly wide and mountainous countries. Trump is lagging way behind her on this second point. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

8. Suspended reduction of Federal Housing Mortgage Insurance Premium rates

Our daughter has no opinion of this and no influence on it that we know of. It’s certainly not her initiative. To be fair, though, I doubt it’s a priority for Trump either, given that it’s got nine words in it and several of them have more than two syllables. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

9. Bottle feeding

Trump apparently doesn’t drink alcohol. As Hasan Minhaj pointed out this week, that carries the bewildering implication that all his 3am tweets are written when he is sober. Perhaps one reason for his myriad psychological complexes and mental disorders is a traumatic failure to adjust to the different kinds of flow and teat involved in getting milky-wilky out of a bottle. Our daughter is responding slightly better each day but still has moments when she wants to stress VERY FORCEFULLY that she is AWARE that this bit of transparent plastic is NOT a part of mummy-wummy and she will NOT be accepting it as a permanent replacement. However, knowing the risks failure could one day represent for future global peace and security, we will have to keep insisting. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

10. Nappy habits

I’m at ‘work’ at the moment so I don’t know anything about the present contents of my daughter’s nappy. However, taking a quick look at Trump’s Twitter feed it appears that the President needs his diaper changing. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.

So, on the basis on their performance in key areas over their first 100 days, OUR DAUGHTER gets 100!!! points, and DONALD TRUMP gets a big fat orange despite having had ten more days than her to make a good impression. When I get home this afternoon I’ll give her an extra celebratory helping of milky-wilky from the bottle…or at least, I’ll try to. In the meantime, who on earth is going to be tasked with changing Trump’s nappy now that Nanny Comey’s gone?!

Donald Trump must really suck at chess

I’ve always been a loser when it comes to chess. That thing of thinking several moves ahead, factoring in the plans and responses of the other player, all the psychological back-and-forthing…I guess it means in several important ways I’m just not at that intelligent. Someone else who’s not very clever is Clown-in-Chief Donald Trump, of whom someone, in a must-read article that contains no hyperbole or exaggeration whatsoever, just wrote: 

(There’s) a fundamental truth about Trump that I have been trying to get people to understand since he announced his latest presidential campaign in June 2015: Trump doesn’t know anything.

I also predicted some months ago that the intellectual and emotional demands of the job would be way beyond him:

Trump is utterly incapable of governing. He is a man who will clearly be unable to master the complex tasks inherent to the job. Being President of a large powerful nation involves dealing with huge amounts of detailed information. Although there is some limited evidence that Trump has some ability to understand short written sentences, there is no way that someone of his *extremely* restricted intellectual prowess will be able to read the morass of documents he will have to handle on a daily basis, or even to understand the most basic gist when they are explained to him. There’s also the question of workload. Here is Obama describing an average day in his life as President. It’s demanding stuff, and the mere fact that the word ‘intelligence’ is used three times suggests strongly that the new President will struggle…Much has been made of his lack of political experience but few have considered the possibility that this is man so lacking in concentration and stamina that he has probably never sat through an entire episode of the West Wing. (Neither have I, but no one has suggested making me President.)

Now he’s made a move that not only reveals that he doesn’t have a strategy – he doesn’t even know the basic rules of the game*. He doesn’t know what moves the cheap made-in-Russia orange-painted piece that’s called the ‘President’ but looks like a gormless orangutan is allowed to make.

His reasons for taking James Comey off the board are so transparent they would shame an 8-year-old having his first chess lesson with his grandfather. Every pawn in the world knows that Trump was grateful to Comey for stealing him the election. That’s not why he was sacked. Trump got rid of the FBI director because he’s investigating the Russian connections of the Trump election campaign. Trump doesn’t understand enough about being President to know that with very rare and apparently honourable exceptions, Presidents don’t sack the boss of the FBI.

In making a move which reveals that he doesn’t know how the game works, Trump has also demonstrated that he’s not capable of thinking more than one move ahead and has no ability to predict how his opponent will respond. I predict that at some point very soon he will, as I’m sometimes tempted to do when obviously losing, angrily sweep all the pieces away and storm off. The geopolitical implications of my doing that would of course be very limited. In the case of Trump, Republican leaders – as I argued a few months ago – have to step in and gently lead him away from the table before he wipes us all off the board.

 

* Trump has actually claimed to be “slightly, no, a lot better than you at chess”, whoever you are.

This is what I hope happens when Trump meets the Pope

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I like this Pope. Okay, he may not smoke dope and he’s got some pretty obnoxious views on what women should and shouldn’t do with their own bodies, but he’s also genuinely and deeply concerned about poverty, inequality, racism and climate change and has spoken out forcefully against those who perpetuate injustice in those areas. Now it’s been reported that he is to meet with Donald Trump, aka the worst person in the world, a human shaped-turd in an ill-fitting million-dollar suit with a badge on it that reads (tragically for us) ‘I AM THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON ON THE PLANET’.

The following is the scenario which I hope will play out when they meet up.

Setting: A room in the Vatican, sparsely furnished with just the odd bit of velvet on the chairs, nice plush drapes and a couple of crucifixes and the like on the walls. On the left there is a line of seven people wearing suits, some of whom have bulges in their jacket pockets and three of whom are known members of neonazi organisations. To the right there stand three monks, two archbishops, a couple of swiss guards, a cardinal and one or two deacons. Pope Francesco and Donald Trump are sitting next to each other on two of the velvet-backed chairs.

THE POPE (addressing the hangers-on): EXEUNT!
(they all leave, except one)
THE POPE (looking slightly irritated): EXIT!
(the last one leaves)
TRUMP: I…
The Pope reaches over and with a surprisingly swift jab breaks Donald Trump’s nose. The Commander-in-Chief gasps and puts his tiny hands over his face. The Supreme and Sovereign Pontiff stands up and, demonstrating astonishing agility for an eighty-year-old man, pulls his left leg full back and kicks over the tycoon’s chair. The 80’s playboy’s huge bulk goes crashing backwards and his head lands with a sickening thump. He’s making a curious keening sound, like a man very unused to being subjected to physical violence. The Bishop of Rome as head of the Roman Catholic Church turns to face the wall, takes two steps towards it and then swiftly turns and executes a full body slam on the alleged child rapist’s torso. From the look on the robber baron’s face, which is rapidly turning purple and emitting wheezing noises, there seems to be some damage to his internal organs. When the heel of the His Holiness’s right boot makes contact with the tax avoider’s chin, there’s a snapping sound. The real estate mogul is really suffering now – it’s not even clear that the reality TV show star is conscious. The climate liar has blood pouring out of what is left of his nose and his jaw is at an unnatural angle to the rest of his face. The Holy Father stands over the pretend billionaire’s bloated and beaten face breathing evenly, then reaches down, rips off the mendacious mafia frontman’s wig, then steps to the window and hurls it down to the cheering crowd watching the battle unfold on huge screens down in Saint Peter’s Square. As the tinpot tyrant lies whimpering on the floor, the religious leader formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio strides over to the immense oak door and raps on it sharply, crying ‘DA MIHI IPHONE!’. He grabs the smartphone with pontifical impatience and shoots a smily selfie with the rapidly soon-to-be-former autocrat expiring in the background, then tweets it to his 10.6 million followers. Within ten minutes it has received many more likes than any other tweet in human history and the Combover Con Artist, aka the Orange Hitler, aka the Cheeto Benito, aka King Leer, aka the Last of the Mango Mohawkans, aka Fuckface von Clownstick, is no more.

FIN

Are Republicans and the ‘alt-right’ now our allies against Trump?

Rand Paul, the alt-right and probably some guy in Idaho who’s covered his mom’s basement in swastikas and ‘Make America Great Again’ posters have suddenly decided that Donald Trump shouldn’t be President. The fact that for the last year they have continued to support him in the face of dire warnings that he was absolutely unsuitable in every possible way didn’t fase them in the slightest. They have gone along with all the most deranged and hateful things he has done in office without blinking. In fact, they’ve cheered him on over the Muslim ban, the cancellation of Obama’s climate measures, his attempt to destroy the healthcare system, and his appointment of lifelong nazis, outright morons and billionaire swamp-creatures to some of the most powerful positions on earth. They’ve sneered at every one of his detractors and victims, and aggressively dismissed any suggestion that he’s personally corrupt.

Now, as it happens, he has done exactly what we – people who think and feel – knew and said he would, ie risk a global war in an act of puerile petulance. As soon as the media quite rightly pointed out his hypocrisy over Syria – criticising Obama for not having done what he himself was explicitly and repeatedly opposed to – he, in his teeny tiny fizzing-on-and-off brain, has decided to dispatch missiles over which we knew and said again and again and again that he should not have control.

Far-right Republican politicians and the teenage trolls of the hipster KKK are grievously offended on behalf of their idol: Putin. He, rather than this demented orange playboy prick, is their anointed Hitler. Now they’re showing up in progressive forums online asking for admittance to the resistance. They want to replace Trump with someone even worse as soon as possible.

Should they be welcomed as part of the burgeoning movement against the kind of worldview of which Trump is the culmination? Are anti-Trump supporters going to accept white supremacists as part of their networks? Will such groups therefore be asking their non-white members to leave to make way for a bunch of actual full-on no-holds-barred fascists?

Hell, no. Trump was never any more than their puppet. Now his strings have snapped they want our help to build a new one. Fuck that. They are our enemy.

Instant Psychopath Test: is this “fake news”?

It’s a relief to see that the world as a whole can still respond with horror and revulsion at the sight of something as unambiguously horrifying and revolting as the chemical attack on civilians in Syria. A Kremlin spokesperson nonetheless dismissed it as “fake news”, implying it had been staged to discredit the regime. Pro-Putin propaganda outlet Infowars blamed the supposed attack on George Soros and other Jews.

According to University of Kent psychologists Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton in the British Journal of Social Psychology, “At least among some samples and for some conspiracy theories, the perception that ‘they did it’ is fueled by the perception that ‘I would do it,’”. In the case of Vladmir Putin, he already has done something similar.

Here are some facts about what Putin was responsible for in 1999. They are facts because they cannot be disputed by any reasonable means. The Russian Government has failed to put together any other plausible explanation. 

(If you are among that growing number of people who are inclined to automatically dismiss such features of reality as the violence and corruption of the powerful or the findings of science with regard to the climate, you are probably in need of some form of therapy. Luckily it’s never been easier to seek out such help. Google ‘mental health services’ in your area. You may be directed to a practitioner who is willing to negotiate a lower rate. Tell him or her that your short-term objective is to read some facts about Vladimir Putin without allowing your judgement to be clouded by denial. That will give you a reasonable and not too ambitious goal to work towards.)

In September 1999, on the eve if elections to choose Boris Yeltsin’s successor, a series of explosions took place in four apartment buildings in Russia. They killed hundreds of civilians and were swiftly attributed to Chechen terrorists. However, local police in a town called Ryazan arrested secret service (FSB) agents planting a bomb in a fifth building. The head of the FSB claimed it was a ‘training exercise’, but was unable to explain why the explosives being used were real. There was a quick cover-up, and amidst a febrile atmosphere Putin was elected three days later and soon started a new war in Chechnya. A number of those who continued to investigate the bombings (including Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko) were subsequently murdered. Putin’s Government has gone on to assasinate dissidents at home and abroad and to murder journalists and anyone else who tries to share information about real events.

It’s also become very expert at disseminating false news stories. One key figure in Putin’s regime is Vladislav Surkov, the former Deputy Prime Minister, who in that role “directed Russia like a huge reality TV show”:

He would meet once a week with the heads of the television channels in his Kremlin office, instructing them on whom to attack and whom to defend, who is allowed on TV and who is banned, how the president is to be presented, and the very language and categories the country thinks and feels in. (from The Atlantic.)

Such insidious propaganda is not just for a domestic audience. During the US elections targetted individuals with false news stories via Facebook, as The Washington Post documented

Again, these are facts. If you’re interested in this area then you need to take them on board. Otherwise they will sink your case.

One tool apparently used to spread disinformation is Facebook groups. Rachel Maddow reported on one ‘pro-Bernie Sanders’ group that is based in Albania, while the Daily Beast details how Putin’s operations targetted those who think of themselves as ‘progressive’. This may explain why so many posts in such (ostensibly anti-Trump) groups dismiss out of hand any suggestion of Russian involvement in the US elections.

The bombings in Saint Petersburg followed two major anti-government protests. The images of death and destruction will have the effect of allowing the Government to clamp down on such dissent. Two days later came the chemical attack in Syria. Even such a malignant, deluded narcissist as Trump felt compelled to condemn it. His way of doing so (implying immediate military action in order to satisfy his insecurity complex wrt his predecessor) is incredibly dangerous. I’ve argued here several times that Trump’s Presidency is and remains an impossibility. In such a prominent role, consistently disrespecting the truth gets you into trouble. Up until he became President, Trump led a mostly consequence-free existence, and it seems he has only got this far by following the dictats of Steve Bannon, an actual psychopath whose explicit short-term goal is to provoke a world war. The fact that in response to this sudden geopolitical crisis they have sidelined Bannon suggests that know they will also have to get rid of Trump. Somehow.

As for Putin, he’s a monumental liar. Does saying that somehow mean that I think that Hillary Clinton is morally impeccable or that I believe the recent history of the US with regard to foreign interventions to be free of reproach? No, it doesn’t mean any of that. Bizarre as it may seem to some who think of themselves as ‘progressive’, opposing Putin and opposing Trump are highly compatible. Putin, like Assad, is a brutal tyrant who murders ordinary people to achieve his political objectives. He’s no friend of anyone who regards themselves as even remotely progressive. And anyone who professes to ‘believe’ the Kremlin’s claim that the chemical attack is ‘fake news’ is probably either in the pay of the Russian Government or in dire need of psychiatric treatment, or both.

Brexit and the Climate

The noted child psychologist and pediatrician Donald Winnicott wrote that the greatest danger to the child’s developing self is that it be faced with demands for precocious adaptation to the environment. The parents must protect the infant at all costs from aspects of reality that are incomprehensible or beyond its grasp, and gradually present the world in manageable doses.

On the 58th day of our daughter’s life, the US President signed an order which cancelled all the previous Government’s regulations regarding Climate Change. On the same day, several members of the British Parliament who had campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union walked out of a select committee meeting because the facts they were being presented with in relation to the consequences of Brexit were ‘too gloomy’.

I see that the top trending topics on social media right now are ‘Messi’, ‘Ken Barlow’ and something called ‘Skeletor and He Man’.

We’re going to have a hell of a job in a number of years trying to convince her that not all adults are completely fucking stupid.