Pointman’s look back at the year 2017.

When evidence against a person in a criminal trial has been obtained illegally or improperly, it automatically becomes inadmissible in a court of law. It’s called the fruit of the poisoned tree and can’t be used. Indeed, even mentioning the existence of such excluded evidence by a prosecuting attorney to a jury is seen as such a serious breach of professional conduct, that it would almost certainly result in a formal reprimand or even a disbarment, since it would taint the jury and therefore necessitate a complete retrial with a fresh jury.

If the exact details of the inadmissable evidence are reported on in the mass media, not even a retrial is possible since any potential juror will inevitably factor in unconsciously the poisoned fruit they’ve probably heard about into their final deliberations. Whether such evidence obtained is true or accurate is irrelevant; it’s simply a matter of its admissibility into a court of law that counts.

But there is another type of poisoned fruit.

It’s when the supposedly objective people doing the investigation and evidence gathering are found out to be motivated not by any professional urge to seek an impartial verdict, but rather are pursuing some sort of vitriolic political or personal vendetta against the accused. Yes, it happens, and when it’s uncovered, its impact on any investigation or trial has the same devastating result. In law, you simply can’t proceed using any evidence obtained by such a person, and indeed since it’s almost impossible to say which items of evidence they might or might not have had a direct or indirect influence on, the whole process has been corrupted.

How much of the evidence did they plant, manufacture or just plain make up?

Beyond the essential idea of some fairness in law, if you decided to continue on with the legal process, any half-decent defense lawyer will get his client off by simply exposing in excruciating detail to the jury the bias of the people doing the evidence gathering. Any jury will let an accused walk in those circumstances. In commercial law cases they’re instructed to come to a judgment on the basis of a reasonable doubt, but in criminal cases, the instruction is it has to be beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that shadow in such deeply compromised circumstances is all too easy to introduce into the minds of a jury, and deservedly so.

It gets worse though. Any case that person was involved in for the previous years of their career, and in which a guilty verdict was reached, now almost automatically becomes subject to appeal and with the credibility, never mind integrity, of the evidence gathered by a now seriously undermined person, a lot of people get the magic get out of jail for free card. No prosecutor with a decent case load is ever going to re-fight a case which was based on the evidence of an investigator who turned out to be a liar.

One of the chief evidence gatherers in the Robert Mueller investigation into supposed collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign has just been outed as a fanatic Trump hater and if rumours are to be believed, other people connected with the “investigation” are looking down the barrels of the same kind of career ending accusation. Given Mueller’s lifelong friendship with James Comey and Comey’s distinct lack of integrity when it came to discharging his duty to a properly elected president of the USA he doesn’t like, the whole basis of the investigation has been suspect from the very start.

The seriously retro Reds under the bed scare got old in the aftermath of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s investigations in the 1950s, but it’s amazing how many elderly rabbits like that can be pulled out of the hat by the Clintons, and even more amazing how many people are stupid or gullible enough to give them any credibility.

To a lot of people the perception has been the investigation has only been a year long circus with noise, media fanfare, son et lumière, and smoke and mirrors everywhere, but at end of year, and as far as most people can see, uncovering absolutely nothing, and even that absolutely nothing has now been totally undermined as having any admissible, never mind evidential value. The common perception, and it’s right, was that it was always there to somehow provide an excuse for removing Trump from the White House and installing Hillary Clinton in his place, and thereby the Washington establishment reversing the unpalatable result of last year’s election by the ordinary voters.

As usual, Trump has been two moves ahead of them. I find the timing of the revelations against one of Mueller’s principal investigators to be just too exact, and sense Trump’s hand in it or at least his Luca Brasi aka Steve Bannon. At a stroke, any evidential basis for any conclusions the show trial may come up with have been made into a joke, and the Obama lackeys in the Department of Justice and the FBI are  running for cover while at the same time furiously deleting every social media text they ever made about Trump. It’s the message and not the medium of transmission that matters.

That has been the pattern in American politics for the whole of this year. Trump’s opponents are always aiming for the momentary sound bite of notoriety on CNN whereas he is looking for the minimum move he can make at a safe and anonymous distance. Their move barely survives the 24 hour news cycle before it’s forgotten and replaced by the next sensational news item concerning some celebrity culture dimwit shagging or being shagged by someone inappropriate – his moves tend to have a lasting and growing impact.

One by one throughout the year, he’s destroyed his enemies on his own leisurely schedule and make no mistake, he’s totally calculating and ruthless, because he knows how to operate the levers of public opinion so much better than them.

The Democrat party has become a joke, most especially amongst those endangered species of minorities it took it upon itself to represent. It seems to lack any self-critical faculties and because of the dead weight of failed and unfashionable albatrosses hung around their neck like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who simply won’t go away, is going nowhere as long as they’re around. No fundamental reconstruction of the party, which is chronically needed, can begin before they walk off the political stage, and bloody-well stay off it. All they’re doing at the moment is hammering home the nail of a demonstrably failed style of politics nobody any longer has any remaining interest in.

The wheels are spinning furiously but the car is going nowhere and will continue to do so until them can sever any connection with the establishment Washington swamp dwellers. Trump, like him or not, has created a more demanding political reality, which is more responsive to the real needs of common people. The politics of identity, while in the Obama years being electorally successful in getting people into power, have in common perception by middle-America resulted in nothing more than fewer jobs and a pervasive feeling that they should be ashamed of themselves for being straight white Christian Americans.

The dirty secret nobody wants to acknowledge, is that it’s not just straight white Christian Americans who responded to Trump last year. It’s anyone, irrespective of the colour of their butt, who know they’ve had to work harder and harder for less and less and for year after year, and want some prospect of change. The way it was going, things looked to be even harsher for their children, and at least el Trumpo was offering out a turn upwards in their family fortunes. Change. When there’s nothing left but your last very long shot, that’s what you take, and to be fair, he’s seen as having been flailing away very patiently against the cess pit of Washington for them for the last year.

Every win the Washington establishment makes there is actually a growing loss, because it’s perceived as privileged politicos who’ve made it to the safety of a safe seat in congress and now feel safe ignoring and raining down piss on the everyday person, and who’ve grown to despise you more every day.

Trump, like Reagan in the post Vietnam era of despair in the early eighties, has been saying from day one of his campaign it’s okay to be American and middle-America have responded to that. On the current showing and ignoring a deeply compromised main stream media, realistically, Trump will win big in next year’s mid-terms.

The mainstream media have become irrelevant outside of their very own narcissistic self-admiring bubble of righteous people staring hypnotised into that pool they momentarily thought they were just stopping by for a handcup of water. All they do now is look at their own beautiful sculptured face in the water’s reflection, and are paralysed by the sheer perfection and beauty of it. They’re by now fixated and can’t look away. Nobody, outside the swish fashionable conurbations of east or west coastal America, believes a damn word the mass media is now blasting at them, and indeed is slowly tuning them out; they’re becoming progressively more obsolete with every day as the viewing numbers, and therefore the revenue, drop.

You see, a god dies when people cease to believe in them.

Trump, by using social media like Twitter, speaks directly to the electorate and by some estimates has 65 million followers, but that’s an old estimate. Effectively, and with their help in generating demonstrably fake news stories, he’s made them obsolete and perhaps that’s an inevitable extinction as we move into the new news communication media of the twenty-first century.

After all, when’s the last time you saw a typewriter in an office? It’s the message and not the medium of transmitting it that matters. Things come and go, and nothing has a shorter half-life than nostalgia about things that have become labour intensive or surplus to requirements in modern times.

The showbiz luvvies, because of their sneering at the people who voted Trump, are now heading towards their worst year in the last thirty. It’s not so much the product, but the by now the almost de rigueur political message that is pissing people off. When you have the arrogance to use every showbiz award presentation as an opportunity to insult and disrespect the millions of people who voted for him, don’t be surprised when the box office takings fall off a cliff. In the age of the Internet, there are a lot more alternatives to the unimaginative and increasingly formulaic grind out products of Hollywood. It really wasn’t helped by the exposure of a systemic culture of sexual abuse for decades by the very people lecturing everybody else on how to behave.

The NFL, because of its indulgence of infantile millionaire players who won’t stand for the national anthem, have seen their ticket sales plunge as they went from number one to number three in the sports viewing stats inside a few months and are still going southwards. If the NFL goes down to Hell, I won’t have a problem because I think there’s a point to be made about indulging players whose talent is a lot smaller than their ego or sense of self-importance.

Sport on one side, politics on the other. You can’t have both and I like most sport nuts won’t have it otherwise. Anyone wanting to mix the two; I’m happy to point at the total destruction of American football, and I’m to this day a Pittsburgh Steeler’s fan who long ago threw the yellow towel into the dog patch end zone. As someone who played sports as long as he physically could, I’m happy and supportive of burning down the NFL, reluctantly and not through any lack of love, but because an example has to be set.

As a sports fan, they can fuck with us, but we can also fuck them back. I’m happy to take the loss of the NFL, a sport I love to watch, if it stops our other sports becoming embarrassing political statements. A sports contest is our thing, so stay the fuck away from it if you’re a third strike QB and have a compulsion to have your 15 minutes of fame.

Watching a decent warrior game of anything is the only break most blokes get from the pressures of a working week, and anyway, they’re fully armoured up pussies compared to the men who play rugby. Sorry, had to say that because it’s true. If you’re a refugee from the NFL, you could do a lot worse than giving watching some rugby a try. People would rather watch paint dry or just watch damn all nothing than have their basic sense of being a sports fan or a patriot so badly abused.

It’s blue-collar America that pays their exorbitant salaries, and that’s the same blue-collar America that can’t forbid their sons’ wish to voluntarily test their metal by going in harm’s way. You can’t stop them. It’s against every elemental parental impulse in their body, but with pride of their service to their country. They’re also the ones who at times get to bury the remains of one of those blown up sons who’ve been returned to them in sealed aluminum coffins with the sticker “remains non-viewable” on it. Try explaining that one to your wife who wants one last look at her baby’s face.

Of late, the establishment Republican party, who consider themselves to be that last cunning resistance to the groundswell of popular opinion against the useless utility of the Washington swamp, have found themselves to be in his cross-hairs. They’ll pull off a few tactical victories like Alabama, but the general course of next year is clear; you will get with the programme or Trump or his guided missile Luca will see to it that you’ll be destroyed. My feeling is that one or two examples in that direction will still have to be made, because too many of the swampers in Washington don’t accept the world has moved on from the old way of doing business.

I started off talking about the fruit of the poisoned tree, which does sound legalistic, but the same principle applies to all the foregoing organisations and groups I’ve mentioned. Once the common person doesn’t either trust them, or has a fundamental divergence in politics with them, they’re history. Like it or not, if the people don’t like the tune the piper is playing, they won’t pay him, nor will they pay for any variations, however artful, of a tune they don’t like.

That has been the shape of last year – a recognition of a deep betrayal of trust to the people by organisations whose integrity was formerly unquestionable, but on the plus side a determination by those selfsame people to root out such corruption and duplicity by senior members of those organisations. “By their fruits, you shall know them”.

The fruits of so many poisoned trees have now been become obvious to all. As any gardener or husbander of nature can tell you, there will come a point where limbs have to be lopped off the tree or reluctantly, the whole tree has to be chopped down and burned and a fresh, vigorous and untainted one planted.

The next year will tell which of those equally brutal choices are required to be taken.


Related articles by Pointman:

How to get run over by the Trump juggernaut.

The great purge of the Republican party begins.


Find them, fix them and then destroy them.

An analysis of the Trump election victory.

Click for a list of other articles.


23 Responses to “Pointman’s look back at the year 2017.”
  1. beththeserf says:

    Masterly, Pointman. Constant vigilance – bottom line of a functioning democracy,
    non-arbitrary equal rule of law for all. Wisconsin recent politically activated John
    Doe dawn raids another case of corruption by those who put politicized ends
    before transparent justice.



  2. Adrian says:

    Great stuff. I only hope that you are right. If we lose Trump the western world will be gone.


  3. Pointman – the problem of belief (or lack of it) goes both ways. You’re only looking at the logical reaction and there’s another side. My American ex-wife and her family are staunch Democrats and refuse to accept that Trump is changing things for the better. Every time they see the news, of course their opinions will get reinforced since the media will immediately jump on any perceived Trump error or failing, and a wall-to-wall media attack on Trump will convince a lot of people. That “attack Trump” attitude also happens here in Europe, and it’s only occasionally that we get some somewhat-sheepish admission that yes, tax cuts will make businesses more profitable and unemployment lower, and raise wages too, but it’s going to cost the US treasury 1 trillion dollars. Seems they’ve never heard of the Laffer curve and haven’t looked at the way Hong Kong got to be such a powerhouse of manufacturing (and retains those tax-laws under China since they don’t want to kill the golden goose).

    Meantime, a friend in Oregon has just told me that over the last year businesses have been picking up and unemployment is dropping. He’s looking forward to a booming economy once the main tax-cuts actually start to come in and have their effect. Of course, it could be that he’s mistaken, but I doubt it. More money around tends to be unmissable.

    The weight of consensus (or apparent consensus)…. I can point out that Trump is doing the right things to sort out the USA’s problems, but that’s not what the news is about. Instead we have arguments over locker-room talk that, if treated as evidence in a court of law, would be rejected since Trump wasn’t informed that he was being recorded. I’d also think very few men could honestly say they haven’t discussed women and what they’d like to do to them (or sexual conquests real or imagined), or haven’t gone further at times than their girlfriend/companion would allow. I’ll also point out that women talk about men that way too – in private when they go in pairs to the toilet. While we have two or more sexes, we’ll have people doing things in private that they don’t want made public. Where it’s consensual, no problems. Where there’s coercion, there could be problems, but let’s not pretend it never happens. People in power have always found ways to use that power on the people around them, and sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes not.

    Judge Moore also seems to have lost the election (not certain yet) through allegations of sexual misconduct when he was a lot younger. These days, it seems that the accusation is enough to damn someone. It wouldn’t be accepted in a court of law, but a good media frenzy is enough to change the votes. I’d doubt if there are many people in public life who would be proof against those allegations, or indeed in the media who are publicising the accusations. I’d think very few young men won’t have some sexual misconduct that could be blown up that way (it’s almost built-in to the culture unless you’re Amish), and of course young men get older, more mature, and “settle down” and get a position in society. Judging by my experience, maybe 60% of the lawyers of around the 50-70 years age-group will have smoked pot whilst at college, and the same for the bankers and politicians (and indeed all the professions). Most of them will also have some sexual experiences before getting married. They’re all open to such a deep-digging attack.

    People with clay feet shouldn’t throw stones. Or something…. Dig deep enough and we can make anyone look bad. Given the sheer quantity of laws and legal data, where it’s probably impossible to even read them all in a lifetime, it’s likely that we each break some law or other every day. Personally I take the French peasant’s attitude to laws now – if no-one complains about it at the time, it’s not a problem.


  4. philjourdan says:

    I like your comparison of Bannon to Luca Brasi. But if you recall, while fiercely loyal, he was not too bright upstairs. So these machinations are all Trump, not Bannon. And I agree with you there.

    And yes, while the swamp of DC “reacts” to a checkers move, Trump is playing chess. I have commented on several occasions that the timing was suspicious of a revelation or exposure of one of the opposition players. But what can the swamp do? Even if they realized they were being played, they are being outplayed, so they are going to protest the public finding out about illegalities? I am sure they would if they could. But they are not that stupid.

    It is fun to watch Trump play them like “a harp from hell”. And each time another pretty boy gets outed for lying about the news, or another player is mortally wounded by suspicious leaks, I just smile and watch the clueless swamp dwellers grow purple in the face with impotent rage.


  5. Santa's little helper says:

    The contempt the establishment have for ordinary folk is now universal thanks to the main stream media. In the UK a clear majority of people voted to leave the cess pit called the eu. What does sharia may say? She weakly agrees to every demand on the advice of her, mostly Southern English supporters . This has happened before and if you read wikipedia on Dane geld, you will see it was the same class of folk who advised Ethelred to pay off the Vikings. It wont end well for the UK. The only real solution is to eliminate the politicians, who once elected ‘know better’ and fail to implement promises made. I think some form of direct democracy is called for, and in the digital age it must be possible. More referenda on important subjects are required, not less, just like Switzerland. The politicians might then be allowed to argue to minutiae of the petition. Sorry…. must wake up, it’ll never happen of course since we must all be frightened, so the politicians can save us! Now who must I be frightened by this week? Oh, the crash of bitcoin, North Korea? or the Russians perhaps?


  6. hoppers says:

    Mueller at the moment is desperately trying to get himself fired by Trump (Illegally obtained material leak)
    All else has failed. It is his last hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pointman says:

    ‘They Should All Step Aside’: Ingraham Says Mueller Deputy Represented Clinton Foundation




  8. Pointman says:

    More Anti-Trump Messages Reportedly Sent By Members Of Mueller’s Team: “A Lot More Is Going To Come Out”




  9. gallopingcamel says:

    As usual Pointman illuminates US politics with more precision and clarity than 99% of people who live here. There is nothing useful I can add to improve his laser beam.

    However us windbags are driven to comment no matter what so here is my take on the comparison between Rugby and football (NFL). Pointman says:
    “…….they’re fully armoured up pussies compared to the men who play rugby.”

    In the 1960s I played for the Coventry RUFC that dominated Northampton, Leicester, Bath, London Welsh, London Irish, Blackheath and the rest of the English Rugby clubs. The only teams we feared were from Wales (my homeland).

    I used to think we were pretty good but a couple of years ago I paid 40 pounds to watch Northampton hosting Leicester. The pace and quality of the Rugby amazed me. These folks were playing at a much higher level than I ever did. I guess that is what happens when amateurs training on beer and pickled eggs are replaced by professional players with paid coaches.


  10. 42david says:

    Excellent article as always Pointy. Your analysis of US politics is fascinating to those of us who find the system “different”. Though I sometimes wonder that there may be some malign “presence” that inflicts creatures known as politicians on us as some form of retribution for some perceived slight.

    However your statement “When evidence against a person in a criminal trial has been obtained illegally or improperly, it automatically becomes inadmissible in a court of law.” does not hold true in all jurisdictions particularly those based on the British Common Law principles.

    In simple form the statement “if it is relevant it is admissible” applies. For interest sake you may wish to start with Kuruna -v- The Queen [1955] and go on from there. The legal argument is fascinating even to those “not learned in the law” as a QC friend of mine is want to say.


    • philjourdan says:

      Yes, but as his reference was to the American system, his statement is 100% correct. Many a guilty have gone free here because the evidence was obtained illegally.


      • Lionell Griffith says:


        It is fundamental to the American system of Justice that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty AND the Government may not compel a person to testify against himself. Obtaining evidence illegally or improperly is the very essence of compulsion. Initiating the use of force to obtain evidence is also an instance of a fundamental violation of individual rights. If done by a Government, no matter how well intentioned, it thereby becomes a thug rather than an instrument of Justice!

        This is one of the important issues that was settled in the “discussion” we colonists had with the British Crown in the latter part of the 18th Century. Many of we US Citizens are having a similar discussion with our own Government today. It has not yet turned violent. Our hope is that it can be settled with properly held elections. That has some doubt today but we remain hopeful and will persist with the discussion.


  11. Margaret Smith says:

    I remember Trump supported Strange in Alabama and did so because he thought Moore couldn’t win. Turns out he was right so maybe Americans should trust Trump….
    Being British I am watching closely with interest, and hoping another Thatcher (either sex, and there are only two) turns up – and soon!


  12. Shoshin says:

    Mueller was given free rein to plant unlimited numbers of Clintonian Swamp Dwellers and they played it out true to form, with their unbridled corruption and bias stripped free and clear for all to see. Swamp dwellers can’t operate in the limelight, but their arrogance and hate made them forget that.

    Trump knew that the Swamp could never turn down the apple they were offered and now he’s making sure they choke on it. Mueller is making a fool of himself and ironically, draining the swamp for Trump.

    Popcorn time. No need for Trump to fire anyone. Mueller will be begging to get out of the trap he’s created for himself before this is all over. Trumps best play now is to keep holding their feet to the fire and not let them stop. Trump had this won before these bozos even showed up.


    • gallopingcamel says:

      Trump does not need to fire Mueller. All he needs to do is instruct Jeff Sessions to release the information Congress has already requested while making sure that there is nothing to prevent the resulting hearings from being conducted in public and under oath.

      He also needs to insist that the government stops resisting requests for documents under FOIA laws. The present scandal scandals involving Peter Strok et al were triggered by partial compliance with FOIA requests by Judicial Watch.

      In a nutshell Donald Trump can only gain by shedding a “blaze of unwelcome light” (See Sebastian in “Brideshead Revisited”) on the misdeeds of the Obama administration.


  13. John W. Garrett says:

    IF you’re right (and I hope you are), it’ll be the new “Greatest Show On Earth.”

    The Green Blob and the swamp-dwellers are not going to go down without a fight. They are well aware that this is an existential struggle. We will see guerilla tactics and house-to-house fighting.


  14. gallopingcamel says:

    My guess is that you don’t love Sarah Palin as much as I do. Your idea of a hot momma is Rosie O’Donnell.

    Liked by 1 person

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