“…cheap nativist populism…”

Originally shared by Helen Ikua

Is Trump a commoner who rallied the peasants for the greater good, or is he as much a son of privilege and a cynical agent of the status quo as the Washington royalty that he professes to detest?

Washington’s elite as well as vast swathes of a nation were recently united in their grief, even as they took a moment to say goodbye to one of America’s most recognizable sons. But notable by his absence at such a sombre event where America bid farewell to an eminent senator, was the man whose boorishness and ornery dispostion has turned him into persona non grata at the funerals of America’s great and good.

And the fact that Trump’s presence does not seem to be particularly required or welcome at the funerals of former First Ladies and senators, has only convinced Trump’s MAGA audience that Washington’s crowd have got it in for the underdog in the White House, which is why the nation’s political elite have latterly taken to hijacking the funerals of Washington’s erstwhile denizens, so that they can coalesce around their deep seated loathing of Donald Trump.

However, pictures of a jovial Trump hobnobbing with the Clintons on his wedding day to Melania, show that far from being spurned for being a barefoot country boy who fell off the turnip truck, and far from being a quixotic outlier who doesn’t care for the machinations of power, and far from being a man who doesn’t secretly crave the approval of Washington’s parading courtiers, Trump has not always been on unfriendly terms with the infulence merchants that he purports to despise for the titillation of his MAGA base.

And while contrarians are known for their ideals for which they’d be willing to suffer and be shunned for, Trump is hardly a contrarian who espouses a disgreeable if lucid philosophy on many things. In fact, the cognitive dissonance that comes through in Trump’s daily tweet attacks, shows him to be a man who’s driven less by ideology, policy, or principle, and more by evolving grievances that can escalate quite suddenly into ferocious displays of petulance.

In a man of studied thoughtfulness and considerable intellect, Trump’s blunt refusal to adhere to Washington’s code of conduct, might even pass muster as a revolutionary’s gallant efforts to shake things up for the benefit of ordinary Americans. But there’s a fine difference between irreverence for established systems that have failed to deliver, and the kind of rhetoric that can easily be misconstrued as just plain bad manners. Going out of one’s way not to say anything laudatory about an American senator whom many Americans revered, or claiming that men who get captured in combat are not made of the stern stuff of legend, does not exactly detract from the fact that one pretended to have a bad case of the bone spurs in order to avoid military service.

For all his bombast and cheap nativist populism that sells well to a certain cadre of white person who’s convinced that he’s been left out of a pie eating contest, Trump was never going to be the new broom that swept Washington clean. Far from draining the swamp of all its slimy inhabitants, or reining Wall Street in like the runaway bronco that it is, and all the yatta yatta promises which he made on the campaign trail, the New York real estate guy who rose to power simply by posing as an America first nationalist, has only enabled the kind of chaos and administrative dysfunction in which influence peddlers, special interests, and lobbyists tend to thrive.

And by choosing to conduct the business of state at Mar-a-Lago, instead of appointing ambassadors and key government officials who are vital to the smooth running of bureaucracy, Trump is not only showing that he has little interest in representing America properly to the world, but he has not even begun to do away with red tape. Indeed, Trump’s unorthdox style of leadership far from being a breath of fresh air, has only encouraged a disorderly feeding frenzy in which factionalism has become the default setting for his administration.

“America’s vacuous masses…”


Originally shared by Helen Ikua

More than just political gamesmanship? July 27 2016, Trump’s public plea to Russia: Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

Those who’ve convinced themselves that Robert Mueller is conducting a witch hunt by unfairly targeting Donald Trump instead of going after Hillary for crimes that have never been proved against her, should try and remember that rain does not come out of nowhere. For, when candidate Trump very publicy and with much aplomb invited an unfriendly foreign power to hack into Hillary’s emails and likely release sensitive information contained in those emails, candidate Trump must have had an inkling that he was not speaking into the thin air, but to Russian friends who’d only be too happy to acquiesce this most public of flirtation with conspiracy to commit a crime against the United States.

Now, some might argue that Trump’s friendship with the Kremlin is for all intents and purposes an imaginary friendship, and those who’d propound such a proposition would probably be right. In fact, judging by the ease with which Russia has sown discord in America, sometimes by hacking the DNC, sometimes by responding to Trump’s direct urging and hacking into Hillary’s emails, or sometimes by planting disinformation about vaccines for the express consumption of America’s vacuous masses, it’s clear that Russian intelligence does not think much of the general IQ of Americans and does not mind toying with Americans every which way.

Still, one cannot erase the fact that Russians, though only imaginary friends of Trump who see him as a useful chump that they can troll, nonetheless came through for Trump during critical moments in his campaign. Releasing hacked emails for instance, just for purposes of detracting from scandalous material that was contained in the Access Hollywood tape which featured Trump trumpeting his sexual prowess for the benefit of novices who don’t know a thing about grabbing pussy, easily counts as one of those moments when Trump’s pals in the Kremlin dove into the milieu of America’s politics in order to make good their pseudo-friendship with Trump.

And while it’s not entirely unexpected that Trump would try and deflect attention away from the Russia probe by lashing out at Mueller, at Hillary, at Obama, at the Democrats, or even by throwing his own employees under the bus, and while it’s no longer surprising to hear that Flynn met with Russians, Carter Page met with Russians, Manafort met with Russians, Don Jr met with Russians, Jared Kushner met with Russians, what must never be lost on Americans is that Trump’s inner circle were peddling something to Russian intelligence, they were peddling influence in exchange for promises to dole out certain favours to Russia should candidate Trump win the 2016 election.

The sky was a ruddy haze this morning.

The picture is the hood of my car. The dust and white specks are ash from the fires north of here.

The “Mendocino Complex” fire is “the largest wildfire in California history”, according to a headline.

Meanwhile, the Ferguson fire in Yosemite is still burning. All park entrances except the east side Tioga entrance are closed.

Putin is leading him around by the nose and saying “heel”

It’s clear at this point that Putin is just playing with Trump — leading him around by the nose, saying “heel” when the whim strikes.

It’s also clear that Putin is perfectly willing to let Trump burn. Either Trump is blind to this possibility (hard to believe at this point, but after all, Trump is a narcissist), or Trump is terrified past the point of being able to think. In any case, whatever Putin has on Trump, it must be far more serious than peegate.

Of course, one thing that Putin does have on Trump is that Trump is a traitor. But by now this is public knowledge, so there must be something else — something that would send Trump and his family to jail for the rest of their lives.

Slow motion zombie apocalypse

It’s like we are in a slow motion zombie apocalypse.

People are being infected with a strange disease that leaves their bodies more or less intact, but affects their minds in strange ways. People with the disease become paranoid. They develop a tendency towards violence, both verbal and physical. They recognize each other, and are suspicious of everyone who doesn’t have the disease.

There is no cure. Rare cases of spontaneous remission are known, but in general the prognosis is grim. In most cases an infected person will remain mentally damaged until they die.

At this point perhaps 35% of the population is affected. The rate of infection has slowed significantly, and most of the remaining population seems naturally immune. But unfortunately, the collective deranged behaviour of the large population of sick people is causing serious problems.

The good news is that it is a slow moving epidemic, and we may be able to contain it. The bad news is that we will be caring for a large number of sick people for many years.

Depressing list.

Originally shared by ᏖᏗ ᏦᏓᏂ

So in light of some of the recent reports of black people having the police called on them by white people for literally nothing, I thought it’s hard to really take in the magnitude of the issue

5/5/18: Woman calls police on a man inspecting real estate. He had already explained to the woman that he was removing the boards off of the door because he was an investor with a contract in inspect the property, even giving her a business card to verify he wasn’t lying. She told him he didn’t belong there and called the police. Luckily, these police responded appropriately and notified the woman if she interfered with the man further, they would arrest her. https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/us/investor-memphis-police-trnd/index.html

5/11/18: Of course you have the white woman calling the police on a black family BBQing in the park in Oakland. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/woman-calls-police-oakland-barbecue_us_5af50125e4b00d7e4c18f741 6/12/18: Food truck owner in Portland, Islam Elmasry, threw Gatorade and Srirachia in a woman’s face because she tried to pay for her meal in quarters. https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/06/portland_food_cart_owner_caugh.html

6/12/18: White woman calls police on black contractor working in a parking lot, just trying to do his job. Accuses him of being a danger because of his job there, but no charges for unsafe work conditions ever made. Basically, won’t let him work. He’s also being very polite. https://youtu.be/nezADvguDeI 6/22/18: White man (who owns a townhome but does not actually live in the community) uses his SUV to block a black woman doctor from entering her own gated community where she lives. In Buckhead, a black woman doctor was returning home to find a vehicle queued ahead of her. After waiting she realizes the vehicle was just sitting blocking the gate. She went to ask the person to make way so she could enter. The man tells her she “doesn’t belong here” and uses his car to prevent her from entering. Tells her he doesn’t believe she really lives there, then claims he’s protecting the community because there’s been an HVAC thief (like he thinks this dressed up in nice business clothes and heels driving a high end car is going to be going in there to load a central HVAC unit into her car that costs more than I could probably get a mortgage for). This complex uses key fobs for residents to open the gate, which she possessed. https://www.theroot.com/racial-profiling-at-its-finest-white-man-uses-suv-to-1827057448

6/24/18: White woman, Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, sees two black boys (age 15) at the local pool. They were the guests of a resident (i.e. were allowed to be at the pool and weren’t breaking rules). The woman violently treated the boys. She screamed “Get Out!” while threatening to call the police on them. She struck and pushed the boy in the chest and twice in the face, while he walked toward the exit, used racial slurs against them. The boys left politely, even saying “Yes, ma’am” to the woman. Luckily, due to the violence caught on camera, the woman was charged with third degree assault. Apparently, she bit a police officer. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/07/02/police-say-woman-screamed-racial-slurs-and-smacked-a-black-teen-at-a-pool-she-lost-her-job/?utm_term=.3bf7b1d322c4 6/25/18: Woman calls the police on an 8-year-old black girl selling bottled water on the sidewalk to pay for a trip to Disneyland. Her claim was that the girl was being too loud and she was working with her window opened. Too loud, on the sidewalk in the middle of the day in San Francisco…where it’s loud in general cause it’s a city. Then tries to play victim because of the backlash. https://people.com/human-interest/woman-called-police-8-year-old-selling-water/ 6/26/18: White woman gets in door of man’s car and refuses to let him close it to say he was in her way while he is in his car in a Cold Stone Creamery parking lot enjoying ice cream he’d just purchased there, instead of maybe just asking him to move or being nice. The man is nothing but polite acting. https://youtu.be/iP1CaqMsBNU 6/27/18: White cop in Ohio uses his daughter’s laptop to track her location and find her out with her black boyfriend (she’s 18 and not a minor, not that it excuses this but at this point who she dates is none of his business). Pulls over the boy and puts him in the back of the car blatantly saying he’ll “make shit up” to arrest him if he doesn’t get his daughter. The boy’s mother (I believe) comes out worried and is also threatened. When his daughter gets out of the car, he releases the boy and forces his daughter into the back of his car (ignoring an actual emergency call) – which at her age is abduction. All because her boyfriend is black. https://rollingout.com/2018/06/24/white-ohio-cop-well-make-s-up-after-stopping-black-boy-dating-daughter/ 6/27/18: Chicago police cuff boy and accuse him of escaping juvenile and having a gun. He’s 10, he hadn’t been in juvi nor did he have a gun. Boy is terrified, ya know, cause he’s 10. He’s obviously terrified seeing as how he was so scared he urinated himself. http://www.newsweek.com/chicago-handcuffed-michael-thomas-gun-juvenile-eddie-johnson-chicago-police-962873

6/30/2018: A white woman and her husband (who posts a bunch of racist stuff on FB as it seems) called the police on a 12-year-old black boy for cutting grass. The boy had started his own lawn care service and had a customer paying him to do her lawn. He accidentally went over the invisible property line between the two homes in a suburban neighborhood by about 12 – 18 inches, and the white woman called the police on him. She referred to her neighbor as “human garbage.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/06/30/a-white-woman-called-police-on-a-black-12-year-old-for-mowing-grass/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7677c6c9d701 7/2/18: A doctor at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin asks a black employee “if she wanted to get lynched” in a meeting. http://atlantablackstar.com/2018/06/29/milwaukee-doctor-who-asked-co-worker-if-she-wanted-to-get-lynched-claims-it-was-an-ignorant-mistake/ 7/4/18 White man, Adam Bloom, calls the police on a black woman because she was swimming in the community pool where she lives with her own daughter on the 4th of July. He had followed the woman around harassing her and telling her she needed to show him ID. No person should ever feel compelled to just give anyone their ID, especially a woman since this would tell some strange man where she lived and everything. Outside of that, this pool required a key card to enter, which this woman had and used to enter the pool. Obviously she was a resident since she possessed a resident’s key pass. With the pool secured like there, there’s no reason for anyone to be asking anyone for an ID: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/man-who-called-police-black-woman-north-carolina-pool-no-n889371 7/5/18: A black family is at a funeral at a local catholic church. Hundreds of people were in the church for the viewing, and during the viewing an individual accidentally knocked over the chalice while trying to hug the deceased (which makes sense people would be clumsy while in grief). The white priest stopped the funeral and told the mourners they had to “get the hell out of my church.” The family was forced to unceremoniously carry their own mother out of the church without completing the funeral because the priest called the police on them to force them to leave. They were escorted to a funeral home out of the county for an on-the-fly alternative funeral. https://youtu.be/ukXCsiV73XM 7/6/18: White woman calls police on black woman for smoking outside in the parking garage (at the edge of the deck not enclosed) of her own apartment complex. Police show up and tell white woman that the black lady isn’t breaking any rules. White woman also threatens to try to have the black woman evicted: https://www.ebony.com/news-views/newportnancy-white-woman-calls-cops-on-black-woman 7/6/18: Black family enjoying their pool in their own apartment community has a white man call the police on them accusing them of breaking the pool rules for a small party of 6 people politely enjoying the pool. Calls the police on them to report breaking pool rules (seriously think the police should come out and enforce fricken pool rules). https://youtu.be/n7FsZZ6f9Aw

Plus the well-known:

Yale student has police called on her for falling asleep in her dorm lobby while studying.

Two black men have the police called on them for sitting in a Starbucks while waiting for the person they’re meeting to show up.

Golf club owner calls the police on black women (who are members) for playing too slowly.

Three black boys shopping for prom in a Nordstrom Rack had the police called for shoplifting (they weren’t)

A black trio staying in an AirBNB had the police called because they “didn’t wave back to the neighbor.”


A black boy was violently choked and slammed by police at a Waffle House after his prom (http://www.newsweek.com/video-black-man-choke-slammed-outside-waffle-house-after-prom-white-cop-919948)

All of these are just the incident that managed to make the news between May and now….