Donald J. Drumpf, blood diamond profiteer

Part 2 of the Zembla investigative report on Drumpf’s strange business buddies.

Who is Lev Leviev, and what are his ties to the infamous Chabad movement, as well as the blood-diamond trade in Africa…and the theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank? AND a mysterious Chinese firm with ties to North Korea? Watch and see.

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Posted in All the Tea in China, Deepest Darkest Africa, Der Drumpf, Fascism Without Swastikas, Filthy Stinking Rich, Human Rights FAIL, Israelly Uncool, Korean Kimchi, Teh Russkies, The United States of Amnesia | Comments Off on Donald J. Drumpf, blood diamond profiteer

Music for a Sunday: Can’t hold you up…

They’ll be blooming in the dooryard soon. And I’ve already got the song for them cued up.

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Donald J. Drumpf, mafia racketeer

The sensational Dutch documentary that made the rounds of the Internet today.

There’s so much more to this story, too: For example, FL Group, the blandly-named Icelandic holding company that did business with Bayrock, was one of the first dominoes to fall during the Icelandic financial crisis of 2008.

But in the 1990s Iceland’s tiny neoliberal political elite had what they all told themselves was a brilliant idea: “Let’s privatize our state-owned banks, deregulate capital markets, and turn them loose on the world!” By the time all three of the resulting privatized banks, as well as FL Group, failed in 2008, the combined bank loan portfolio amounted to more than 12.5 times Iceland’s GDP—the highest country debt ratio in the entire world.

For purposes of our story, the most interesting thing about Iceland is that, long before this crisis hit and utterly bankrupted FL Group, our two key Russian/FSU/Brooklyn mobster-mavens, Arif and Sater, had somehow stumbled on this obscure Iceland fund. Indeed, in early 2007 they persuaded FL Group to invest $50 million in a project to build the Trump SoHo in mid-town Manhattan.

According to the Kriss lawsuit, at the same time, FL Group and Bayrock’s Felix Sater also agreed in principle to pursue up to an additional $2 billion in other Trump-related deals. The Kriss lawsuit further alleges that FL Group (FLG) also agreed to work with Bayrock to facilitate outright tax fraud on more than $250 million of potential earnings. In particular, it alleges that FLG agreed to provide the $50 million in exchange for a 62 percent stake in the four Bayrock Trump projects, but Bayrock would structure the contract as a “loan.” This meant that Bayrock would not have to pay taxes on the initial proceeds, while FLG’s anticipated $250 million of dividends would be channeled through a Delaware company and characterized as “interest payments,” allowing Bayrock to avoid up to $100 million in taxes. For tax purposes, Bayrock would pretend that their actual partner was a Delaware partnership that it had formed with FLG, “FLG Property I LLC,” rather than FLG itself.

The Trump Organization has denied any involvement with FLG. However, as an equity partner in the Trump SoHo, with a significant 18 percent equity stake in this one deal alone, Donald Trump himself had to sign off on the Bayrock-FLG deal.

Gee, Donnie lost money in Iceland! Karma? Yup. For a man who likes to surround himself with so much gold, Donnie sure has the reverse Midas touch. Everything he has a hand in, turns to shit.

And there’s more to come, too, since this was only Part 1. There’s also a rumble of impeachment coming out of Washington. It’s a question of when, not if, the Big Bigot will be frog-marched out of the White House.

Stay tuned.

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Wankers of the Week: Stoopidgate

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And what a crappy week it’s been. Teh Stoopid has not only broken out all over the place, it’s erupted…like a bad case of boils. I’m not even going to list the main cause of it all (you know who THAT is) — I’m just going to list everyone else who was caught fapping. And this week, in no particular order, they are:

1. Raul Fucking Labrador. No one in the US dies from lack of access to health care? Uh, actually, THAT HAPPENS ALL THE DAMN TIME UNDER CAPITALISM. It did before Obamacare, during, and now that medical costs for “pre-existing conditions” are about to go through the roof, it’s going to happen at a downright criminal rate. And speaking of criminal: If you voted for that, why the fuck are you not in jail?

2. Matt Fucking Dean. Oh sure, it’s only the anti-fascists who are thugs. Never mind the actual neo-Nazis, with actual guns, who came to your little pro-Drumpf rally, eh? I hope you lose, BTW. Bigly.

3. Rick Fucking Wiles. At this point, I have to conclude that this guy is just trolling us all, because how else to explain the idiotic conspiracy theories and grotesque language he uses?

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4. Ted Fucking Cruz. Whatsamatter, Teddy Boy…did the nice lady scare you and John Fucking Cornyn? So much for the macho-man right-winger. Hahahahaha.

5. Glenn Fucking Grothman. Women can get birth control at the grocery store? Well, now we know who DOESN’T do the shopping in HIS family. Yup…this fuckin’ idiot.

6. Tom Fucking Cotton. You’re blaming the Dems for the fact that the Russians hacked them? That’s cute, sonnyboy. How be we blame you for your mama dropping you on your head when you slid out of her birth canal?

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7. Conrad Fucking Hilton. Between the racism, the homophobia, and the “do you know who I am?”, this one’s hit the trifecta of turdiness. Sucks to be you, Con-boy.

8. Richard Fucking Henry Fucking Patterson. Why the double Fucking? Well, because when you’re a Florida Man, and you claim your huge-ass dick choked your ladyfriend to death during oral sex, and you then want to whip it out and show it to the murder jury, how the hell could you not earn that distinction?

9. Sarah Fucking Huckabee Fucking Sanders. And another double Fucking! And why not. When you’re Fuckabee’s brat, were hired for nepotistic reasons, and you make ridiculous statements about the Drumpf criminal investigation on FUX Snooze, you double-fucking have it coming. PS: Ha, ha.

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10. Kellyanne Fucking Conway. You can’t ask questions of Drumpf or the government? It’s “inappropriate”? Who the hell do you think you are, Mussolini Piccolomini?

11. Tom Fucking Price. And here’s another one who can’t stand the heat and shouldn’t be in the goddamn kitchen. And just think, he’s in charge of health and welfare. Hope everyone’s got their caskets and burial plots picked out, because that’s all you’re gonna get out of him. Answers to media questions? HELL NO! Arrest the impudent journalists instead!

12. Sean Fucking Spicer. And yet another wimp who can’t bear simple questions or the light of day. Hiding in the bushes like a good little White House Easter Bunny, of course! PS: Ha, ha!

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13. Roger Fucking Stone. Not that anyone particularly cares what a professional ratfucker and dirty trickster thinks, but in case you wanted to know his thoughts on the matter, now you do. Know what I think? Can’t wait to see him in handcuffs and leg irons with the rest of them!

14. Alex Fucking Jones. And in case you wanted to know HIS thoughts on the matter, they’re as messed-up and confused as ever. Considering how little he knows about how states work, his talk about the “Deep State” is especially unenlightening.

15. Bibi Fucking Netanyahu. And of course, Bibi is now on the “fake news” bandwagon, too. Predictable and boooooring.

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16. Bryn Fucking Hendricks. Never mind that police have been harassing and arresting LGBT people in Toronto for decades, and have still been at it in recent years. No, he wants them in uniform at Pride, and if he doesn’t get his way, he’s just gonna show those Black Lives Matter meanies and have his OWN Pride! Whine! Stomp! Pout!

17. Orrin Fucking Hatch. Why is this horrid old coot not dead yet? Oh yeah…he’s milking the public dole — that’s his gold-plated government health insurance — for every dime he can get. Just like he accuses the public, who pay their taxes to get bupkus from the health system and him, of doing. Dude, get your Big Insurance lobbyists to pay for your healthcare, and give the public back value for its tax dollars by resigning!

18. Betsy De Fucking Vos. Ah yes, the victim of reverse discrimination yet again! Surely it has nothing to do with how she crapped all over the education system and students in general, and impoverished black students in particular? Nah…perish forbid!

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19. Stephen Fucking Harper. Whatever happened to him, you say? I’m glad you asked. Little Stevie Peevie is still alive, well, and I’m happy to report, petulant as ever. How petulant? So much so that an unnamed Conservative party spokesdroid had to cover his ass. He’s almost as thin-skinned as Big Bigot, but mercifully, a lot less orange.

20. Tom Fucking Cotton. Diaspora Jews are spies for Israel? That’s news to all my anti-Zionist Jewish friends. And proof positive that you don’t need intelligence to sit on an intelligence committee in the US of Amnesia. The glory of affirmative action for stupid people, folks!

21. Rick Fucking Brattin. Being gay makes you somehow not human? Being so religious that you can’t see the humanity in LGBT people is actually dehumanizing, dude.

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22. Alexander Fucking Downing. Surprise! Drunken masturbatory islamophobic ranting on a Texas beach will get you arrested! Yes, even Drumpf’s Amurrica isn’t so far down the tubes yet that they don’t still know a drunken wanker when they bust one.

23. Kevin Fucking McCarthy. The US congress serves at the pleasure of the president? That’s news to me. And news to anyone else who knows anything about the system of checks and balances in the US government. Or the simple fact that it’s voters who elect the congresscritters, and not the president.

24. Jeff Fucking Sessions. Longer prison sentences for minor drug offences are a must, says the most racist US AG in history…because after all, his private prison lobby buddies must get their pound of flesh!

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25. James Fucking Wiedmann. I’m now at the point where I just skim-read every inane thing the self-styled “Heartiste” scribbles. And while I skim, I hear the “whaa whaa whaa” of Charlie Brown’s teacher in my head. It can’t be helped. He’s equal parts illegible and insufferable.

26. Tucker Fucking Carlson. How’s it feel to learn that your “proof” of rapey undocumented immigrants just went poof? No, no, don’t tell me now. Wait till you’ve mopped all that egg off your face.

27. Mike Fucking Pence. Shorter: Blah blah blah Christians, blah blah blah persecution, blah blah blah martyrdom. And that about wraps it up. Fundie-Christian theocracy, anyone?

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28. Andrea Fucking Hardie. Pro tip, Judgy Moron: If you want to prove how totally not a Nazi you are, don’t go around wearing Nazi shirts in public. (The same also applies for not getting sucker-punched upside the head, BTW.)

29. Jenni Fucking Murray. Trans women are “vicious, vulgar and threatening” for daring to suggest that they too are women? Methinks someone doth project too much.

30. Richard Fucking Spencer. Look at that fuckin’ hipster! And also, WHAT A FUCKING WIMP. White supremacists so macho! On the plus side, though: No one will punch him in the gut, snap his spine, or kick his balls up into his throat…because he hasn’t got any.

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And finally, to Alex Fucking Jones and Gavin Fucking McInnes. You two shit-witted fuckleberries aren’t debating anything. You both think any woman who’s out after dark without male “protection” is “asking for it”, of course. Never mind that it’s most often the male “protector” who’s doing the abusing. So, in honor of your little “debate”, I’ve been debating with myself what to do about you two if ever it came down to it: sucker punch, or groin kick? Decisions, decisions…

Good night, and get fucked!

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Donald J. Drumpf, love destroyer

Am I surprised that Presidunce Pussygrabber is ruining relationships? Not even hardly. That man is a walking libido kill. Two failed marriages under his belt, and a third one still pending. His ugly sexual propensities are so well known, it’s hard to believe anyone isn’t repulsed by now.

And I’m not even sorry for those who got dumped for supporting him, either. If you’re a dumb enough fuck that you think racism, xenophobia and crotch-grabbing sexism are normal and acceptable in a political candidate, you deserve to die unlaid. You probably can’t be trusted not to mess up the minds of children either (HE certainly can’t), so you really shouldn’t reproduce. Hardcore stupidity shouldn’t be rewarded with a second glance, never mind sex.

One good thing about all this, though: This is proving so many old myths false. The myth of the “alpha male”, for one; the myth of opposites attracting, for another. Opposites don’t attract that much, after all. Compatibility is still far more compelling in reality.

And while some political disagreement is normal in any relationship, it should never be at the point of total polarization…much less with one partner thinking that someone like Drumpf is great. He’s not a dealmaker, he’s a dealbreaker.

I, for one, am glad that so many people are breaking up with their respective bad bargains.

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Posted in Der Drumpf, Good to Know, Isn't It Ironic?, Schadenfreude, She Blinded Me With Science, Teh Heterostoopid, The "Well, DUH!" Files, The United States of Amnesia, Uppity Wimmin | Comments Off on Donald J. Drumpf, love destroyer

Found: Actual footage of Sean Spicer fleeing the media!

Looks like he’s had some help from Monty Python there. But basically, this is what happened the other night. Really!

EDIT: I also found a photo of the incident in question…

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Posted in Crapagandarati, Der Drumpf, The United States of Amnesia, The WTF? Files | Comments Off on Found: Actual footage of Sean Spicer fleeing the media!

Drumpf’s latest, lamest move: Firing James Comey!

Not that I’m a fan of Dubya’s FBI chief, but holy shit, get a load of THIS:

And even worse, he did it on TV:

FBI Director James Comey learned of his firing from a television news report, according to CNN and The New York Times.

Comey was in Los Angeles speaking to employees at an FBI field office when he saw the news break that President Trump had ousted him, the reports said.

According to the Times, Comey laughed when he saw the report, believing it to be a prank. Staffers then pulled him aside.

Keith Schiller, the director of Oval Office operations at the White House, hand delivered a letter from Trump to Comey informing him of his firing late Tuesday afternoon. But Comey was not there to receive it.

Trump’s letter stated that he was dismissing Comey because it was time for a “new beginning” at the nation’s “crown jewel of law enforcement.”

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote.

Wow. Just wow. The cowardice of it all. And shades of Tricky Dick, too:

Get the butter, folks, he’s toast.

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Japanese nun arrested in Argentina for child trafficking

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a nun in full habit being schlepped off in shackles. What did she do? Well, she’s charged with something so awful that I’m going to just issue ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS, right here and now:

Handcuffed and in a bulletproof vest. That’s how Japanese nun Kumiko Kosaka appeared during her appearance before the Argentine courts. The religious woman is accused of covering up for priests who, for years, sexually abused deaf children in their care at the Provolo Institute of Mendoza, in Argentina.

“I’m innocent. I didn’t know of the abuses. I’m a good person who has given my life over to God,” the nun swore during her testimony. For the justice system there is sufficient proof against her, and for that reason, her request for house arrest was denied. The nun will remain incarcerated at Agua de Avispas, near the Almafuerte prison.

The events came to light following several testimonies by deaf minors who had been raped, who made their declarations assisted by sign-language interpreters and under the guidance of psychologists, since they were minors and disabled.

The victims’ attorney, Sergio Salinas, of the NGO “Xumek”, explained the three cases for which Kumiko was imputed: “The denunciation of a young girl, 17 years old, who declared that she was abused when she was 5 years old and that Kumiko had put a diaper on her to stop the bleeding the rape had caused.

“The other victim said that the nun took her to the residence of the priest, Horacio Corbacho (also detained) and she ended up being abused. Other testimonies state that the nun participated on more than one occasion in touching the girls, as well as asking them to touch each other and making them watch pornography with the security guard, Jorge Bordón (another detainee) on a TV set.”

Salinas commented that the nun denied the incidents before the Mendoza court, but did not submit proofs, for which she must submit herself to psychological examinations due to sexual offences. The judge himself has called her “the demon in the form of a woman”.

The objective of the 60-year-old Japanese was to identify the children who were most vulnerable, and cover the crimes committed by her superiors. The testimonies against her were mounting, and when the police came looking for her, she fled. She had been on the run for more than a month when, last Tuesday, she turned herself in at a police station in Buenos Aires. She is also accused of beating deaf pupils who attended the school, and forcing them to eat until they vomited onto their plates.

Alongside the nun, there are five men detained, two priests and three employees (the guard, an altar boy, and the gardener). Of the two priests, the one with greater power in the institution, an Italian named Nicolás Corradi (82) was accused of sexually abusing children since 1984, in Verona, Italy. He was transferred to Argentina to cover up his aberrant acts.

Translation mine.

I really don’t know who’s the worst here: the priest who ordered the nun to pick out vulnerable deaf children for him to violate, or the nun herself for not calling the police on him, and for complying with the abuses. The fact that she not only provided victims, but abused some herself and covered up the crimes, tells me that the priests and male employees also facing charges aren’t the only monsters here.

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Quotable: Eugene V. Debs on socialism

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Thoughts and impressions on the French election

The flags are tricolor; the supporters of the new president, multi-colored. The margin of victory, at latest count, stands at exactly two to one for Emmanuel Macron. A decisive victory over his nationalist rival, Marine Le Pen.

And yet.

It’s not so much a question of who the French voted for as what they voted against. Fascism needed to be defeated, as it was in 1945. Nothing could be taken for granted. This time, however, the French did not need to rely on their allies; they did the job themselves. For that, they deserve much commendation. Even the best and most modern fascist gambit, a sensational last-minute hack attack, failed spectacularly. The pity is that it came down to a “centrist” neoliberal banker, rather than a genuinely progressive leftist candidate, as the one to defeat Marine Le Pen, the heiress of her father’s old fascistic tendency. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the reason the abstention rate for the run-off vote was at a near-record high.

But here’s the thing: Even with so many disgruntled French voters staying home, no doubt feeling that each was as shabby a candidate as the other (albeit for widely differing reasons), the anti-fascist voice carried the day.

Emmanuel Macron is no rabble-rousing leftist; he’s a banker, a young fogey (one might say), no doubt dedicated to the economic policies of the EU, and the military policies of NATO. Despite his radical-sounding “movement” name, there’s nothing terribly radical about him. Look beyond the youth and the glamour, and you see something rather like the current establishment. In other words: More of what the French (and indeed all Europeans) are heartily tired of. More of the same merde that bogged down the so-called Socialist, François Hollande. The clamor for change has resulted in a change of face, yes, but will it result in a change of policy? Qui sait?

Meanwhile: Anti-war and anti-austerity sentiment are on the rise. The French are rightly concerned about the safety of their social programs, and whether these will adequately accommodate the stream of refugees pouring in as NATO’s Middle Eastern wars displace more and more Arabs and North Africans from their homes. This as bankers and industrialists continue to carp against local labor law, pleading “too much competition” from overseas, where exploitation is rampant and will lead to civil unrest before long; look for terrorism and civil wars in the same “booming” economic zones the capitalists are exploiting right now.

France is located at a critical juncture; it borders on the Mediterranean, as well as the Alps, and so finds refugees coming in from both directions. Some, mainly francophone Africans, come in from the sea itself; others through Italy, journeying up the shaft of the boot after landing at Lampedusa. The overland route into Europe from the Middle East runs through Turkey, Greece, and again Italy; France is the next station stop. Human smugglers are making a literal killing by transporting desperate souls.

It’s this stream of refugees, more than anything else, that enabled Marine Le Pen to rise as far as the run-off. She really ought to thank them for that. Her own policies alone were not sufficient to do it; no, nothing less than the fear of a steady influx of non-white faces could propel the fascists to mobilize en masse. But at the same time, it all proves the emptiness and futility of fascism, and explains why all efforts to re-brand it as “pro-French” have failed. When the only thing that defines one’s Frenchness is the bare fact that it’s not African or Arabic, what is there to be so proud of?

The rest of France, even the disgruntled abstainers, are not so insecure in themselves. For them, being French is a question of how one lives, not just how one looks. They pride themselves, justifiably, on having an effective social-security system. When someone falls through the cracks and turns in consequence to crime (further motivated, no doubt, by NATO’s wars against their own people “back home”), it is cause for acute chagrin. The terrorist attacks on the Bataclan and in Nice, as well as the violent electrocution deaths more than a decade ago in one of the Paris banlieues, are proof of that. And while there is no shortage of knee-jerk resentment, and calls for the outsiders to “assimilate” (the recent burkini controversies reveal that), this masks the fact that exclusion is what’s causing those cracks that the unassimilated fall through in the first place. Even those who are willing to assimilate still feel the sting of nativist rejection. There is resistance, even at the state level, to giving newcomers an incentive to fit in, and an unspoken but thoroughly felt desire to shove them off elsewhere as quickly as possible. The police are still arrogant and vicious. There is also the old religious hypocrisy: official secularism is enforced to a ludicrous degree upon non-Christians, but Catholicism is still ungrudgingly tolerated; no one tears off nuns’ veils, in contrast to those of Muslims. The social-security system of France works at its best only for the ethnic French entre eux, and that needs to change if the refugees are to become French citizens in full.

I hope that Macron can do it, but I have my doubts. He’s not stupid, far from it, but he is still a product of his milieu. And that milieu is stubbornly conservative, for all its talk of republican ideals. It’s a problem that seems to have resisted all his predecessors, as well as his more progressive political rivals. While I share the vast relief that fascism has been defeated pour le moment, the social and economic forces that gave it such a strong footing are not overcome yet. Not by a long stretch.

Bonne chance, monsieur le président.

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Posted in Deepest Darkest Africa, Economics for Dummies, EuroPeons, Fascism Without Swastikas, Isn't It Ironic?, Morticia! You Spoke French!, The War on Terra | Comments Off on Thoughts and impressions on the French election