Over dinner a friend said that he believed that fascism in America was a real possibility. But he confessed that he preferred fascism in the US over fascism in Europe. Even though he said that the US can be a brutal country and spending time in prison here is not a joke. But there's no refuge.


This week


Der Spiegel on chemical weapons, Russia and the West:

'The key to the Skripal case is to be found in the toxin that was used. When the British briefed their German colleagues this week, they didn't go into great detail, according to sources in German security circles. Intelligence services suspect that could be because the British no longer completely trust the Americans and are particularly wary of Donald Trump.

The British didn't even tell their German counterparts which variation of the nerve agent they believe was used. Western intelligence experts suspect that it was Novichok of the A-232 variety, which is fluid enough to be used as a spray.

The vocabulary used by the UK and its allies indicates that British intelligence officials are highly confident in their assessment. Yet although it is clear which substance was used and that it very likely came from Russian stockpiles, there is no definitive proof that the Russian state was behind the attack, according to a senior German official on Thursday evening. The official has read through all of the documents that have thus far been presented. He said that intelligence officials are viewing the evidence laid out in those documents -- several tightly printed pages -- as a "compelling chain of clues."'

Read the article here.

The British no longer completely trust the Americans. Without distrust no secret service could be able to survive, but the American president and his allies in the Republican party have worked hard to undermine the trust in American diplomacy, in American secret services, in short in the U.S. itself.


Right away


Back home. Right away a pilgrimage to my favourite restaurant. It was almost empty, but the minestrone was unchanged.




Jim Tankersley in NYT on Trump's pick to lead the national economic council: '

'In the CNBC interview, Mr. Kudlow distilled the economic philosophy — including his love of tax cuts — that has animated him for four decades.

“I believe, first of all, the greatest and most important thing for this or any other country is rapid prosperity for everyone,” Mr. Kudlow said. “If you keep tax rates minimal, if you keep regulations and government spending minimal, if you keep the dollar sound and steady, you are going to have a terrific economy.”

He also emphasized how he, like Mr. Trump, viewed the stock market as a barometer for economic success. “Look, I love the stock market,” he said. “I love wealth. I think rising stocks help everybody.”'

Read the article here.

Love wealth, love the stock market, love God between 6 and 7 p.m. and spread stupidity relentlessly.