Blogging the 2010s — 120 — December 2016

Getting ever closer to the end of these selections from the 2010s…. And look what 2016 delivered!

Not unpresidented: Donald J Tweet embraces plutocracy

We all had a chuckle:

trump tweet-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8 tells the full story. I really do commend to you as there are so many fake stories out there:

While many Twitter users shared captured screenshots of the “unpresidented” tweet, other viewers were skeptical that it was real. After all, several fake Trump tweets had previously been created and spread as genuine.

In this instance, however, the viral tweet was real.

I gather this one is real too.


So the move to get the Electors to “unpresident” Donald J failed – not surprising. So we are stuck with him, it seems. Here is where the putative champion of all those Americans who feel the American Dream has been closed to them for years hangs out:


Go up to the penthouse, furnished in the most over-the-top “let them eat cake” style:


That’s from a site in Ghana that takes you through the highlights of this apartment that makes the White House look like a log cabin. See also Trump Tower’s very own website.

Beginning in 2004, Trump Tower gained even more notoriety with the premier of the popular television series “The Apprentice”, featuring the celebrated boardroom, team suites, and other location shots within the building.

Today Trump Tower stands as a world famous testament of Mr. Trump’s grand vision.

Related: On New York’s Fifth Avenue, Trump’s White House North.

“It’s befitting a king,” the retired production manager said, standing behind a velvet rope and taking in all the pink marble, golden mirrors, gleaming escalators and ever-tinkling, four-story waterfall that define Trump Tower’s lobby.

The White House may be the nation’s time-honored symbol of power, but Trump is establishing his 58-story colossus at 725 Fifth Avenue as a stage for his new role, potentially nipping at Washington’s reputation as the center of American authority and the stature of its most famous address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And we have seen with whom President-elect Tweet is surrounding himself:

As president-elect, Trump has so far nominated a number of billionaires, three Goldman Sachs bankers and the chief executive of the world’s largest oil firm to senior positions. Responding to liberal consternation at the sheer wealth of the prospective appointees, Trump told his audience: “A newspaper [the New York Times] criticised me and said: ‘Why can’t they have people of modest means?’ Because I want people that made a fortune. Because now they are negotiating for you, OK? It’s no different than a great baseball player or a great golfer.”

Trump’s cabinet, which is not yet fully filled, is already said to be worth a combined $14bn – the richest White House top table ever assembled. His team – if all are confirmed by the Senate – will be worth 50 times the $250m combined wealth of George W Bush’s first cabinet, which the media at the time dubbed the “team of millionaires”. For Trump, those figures are simply a confirmation of competence: in Trumpian politics, the richer you are, the better you must be at cutting a deal. And “deal-making” is what the next White House will be all about…

This commentator thinks that is all just dandy: Donald Trump’s Cabinet is awesome.

Me? I can’t help recalling F Scott Fitzgerald:

In 1925, Fitzgerald wrote a short story titled “The Rich Boy.” In 1926, it was published in Red Book magazine and included what became a very popular collection of Fitzgerald’s early short stories, titled All the Sad Young Men.

The third paragraph of the story says:

     “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

Clearly, that’s not a favorable view of rich people.

I still think “God help us all!” is a not unreasonable line on the upcoming presidency.

Little did we know!

Eating Oz-style in Wollongong in 2016

Posted on January 24, 2016 by Neil — Yes, I know: but I reposted it in December!

At our best we have kept in mind our national anthem, as Deng Thiak Adut reminded us recently.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We’ll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

Thanks to the diversity that is Australia – specifically Wollongong – in 2016 we can see, hear and taste so many different things every day. Taste especially, as I and friends – Chris T in particular – do regularly. Yesterday’s Saturday lunch was Chris’s first at Ziggy’s House of Nomms. You may recall my post last month: Ziggy’s House of Nomms.

I road-tested Ziggy’s on Christmas Eve and I shall no doubt return. The variety of tea is amazing: I selected Dragon Well 龙井茶. Mind you, I suspect they don’t have Jin Jun Mei: see Wollongong to Surry Hills, Shanghai and tea and Bargain eats in The Gong, and that tea from China…. I’ll ask them one day. The dumplings were very good but I ordered too many. Doggy-bagged some home for laters.

I went a bit early to speak to Kevin and Steen, following Kevin’s comment on that post. I also took some Jin Jun Mei to share. Mind you the tea situation at Ziggy’s is even better than last time. The tea menu is now highly informative and beautifully presented. Chris T tried a green tea called Silver Needles; there is also the white tea version — 白毫银针. Very good.

And the dumplings, the dumplings! This from the Ziggy’s Facebook page says it all.


Nomm nomm!….

And speaking of lamb – as we should around Australia Day!


That is the most delicious lamb shank you will ever taste! Truly! It comes from Shiraz Persian Restaurant in Wollongong, Wonderful food. delightful people. See Facebook and my posts, particularly  Reclaiming Australia Persian-style in Wollongong. Yes, it is halal. No, that’s not a problem. The “patriots” don’t know what they’re missing.

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.


Alas, Shiraz is now a memory only…


2016 – surreal year goes at last

Looking forward though: 28 January 2017 is Chinese New Year, a Year of the Rooster. I just can’t resist this:


Love it! See Chinese Year of the Rooster marked with huge Trump sculpture.

With the Year of the Rooster approaching, a Trump-inspired sculpture is on display at a shopping centre in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. The designer told Chinese media he was inspired by both his iconic hairstyle and hand gestures.