One year ago exactly — a reminder of what a total goon we were dealing with then! Worth reposting it all.

Note: 500,000 more Americans have died from Covid since this first appeared. The 700,000 was passed yesterday.

On Donald Trump’s miraculous recovery

Posted on  by Neil

When Donald J Trump performed that characteristic attention-grabbing stunt yesterday and also tweeted about how much he had learned about Covid, I had a short exchange with my niece on Facebook. I had said “A showman to the end! Will be interesting to see what he has learned.” She replied: “Nothing I expect. You don’t end up in your 70’s and suddenly change.” Well, turns out my niece was right.

First, let me quote the ABC’s go-to person on the virus, Dr Norman Swan, on ABC News Breakfast a short time ago.

The ABC’s medical expert Dr Norman Swan said that Mr Trump being given “unproven therapies” was interesting. Dr Swan said this was because Mr Trump was either more seriously ill than the White House was saying or they had panicked and were, “just throwing everything at him. The reality is though, if he’s going to fall off the cliff with this, it’s going to be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday of this week,” he said. “So, he may well be returning to hospital. I hope not and the signs that they are sending him home are good but I imagine that this is the patient from Hell.”

On MSNBC the opinion was:

To be sure, the competition is fierce, but this might be the single most dangerous thing Trump has ever tweeted. The president wants the people of his own country not to “be afraid” of a deadly virus that’s already claimed the lives of nearly 210,000 Americans? There’s a significant percentage of the population that, for whatever reasons, is under the impression that Trump knows what he’s talking about. These people are now being told that if they get infected, they’ll be treated with “really great drugs [and] knowledge,” and ultimately feel the best they’ve felt in 20 years.

In announcing that I would write this post, I said: “I am about to write a second blog post today prompted by the 210,000 dead Americans and their families who are so grateful to Donald Trump for being told COVID should not dominate their lives.”

You will recall what Dr Phillips said after the motorcade stunt:

So the leopard has not, cannot, change his spots. As I said after that dreadful “debate” — and I do not repent my words:

On a slightly lighter note:

It is a White House where lies are normal and bullshit and spin rule. I do not go for any of the conspiracy theories that have emerged either on the right or the left. It is simply that Trump and it appears the toadies and fans around him are so far gone into the delusionary mindset of a Willy Loman or a Jay Gatsby that there is no way back. They have not realised that for all the worthy characteristics Arthur Miller and Scott Fitzgerald gave those characters, they both — like this presidency will — ended badly.

Do revisit Dr Norman Swan’s clever son.

And this US voter — a lifelong Republican — shows that not all Americans have drunk the Kool-Aid. Posted TODAY!

Then on 10 October 2020 this marvellous song appeared on YouTube:

Just wonderful!

May this creature vanish until he is a distant nightmare, or a cautionary tale for the future and nothing more….

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 61 — good sense is out there

One does despair at times — when for example seeing the abysmal level of live comments when NSW Health is updating us on the Covid situation. So it is nice to find on YouTube that sane people — even sane young people — do exist, and that indeed some are in America!

Poor things!

But how refreshing to have found this young man. I will share two of his reaction vlog items.

The first is about how workers are treated in America, compared to other countries. He does not mention Australia, but I would hope we will never follow the USA in this respect, as much as some in the government here and of course the bloody IPA want us to. The second is about health care. Enough said really. What an honest, clear-sighted and articulate young man this Jps is!

On Facebook when I shared the following video — the first of his I had watched — I said: Have a look at this nice young man — and what he is watching even more so! And take another look at ourselves too…. You may well conclude that trade unions really are necessary and that anything the IPA wants we shouldn’t do….

Now the second on medical care. On Facebook I said:

I am so glad that I live in Australia where (for example) next Wednesday [today!] I have an appointment at the Wollongong Medical Centre for some necessary podiatry. Cost charged to me? $0. Had my second Covid jab on 9th September. Cost to me? $0. Had some medications made up at the chemist. Cost to me? Around $6 each. And so on…

Even if you have a specialist consultation and are charged, say, $200, Medibank will normally refund around 75% of that.

The American Way? Keep it! Not interested! The killer for me in this video was the cost per arterial stent in the USA @$19,000! I had a stent put in at Wollongong Hospital in 2011, including 9 days in the cardiac ward. Cost of my stent? $0!

I had then — and have since maybe 6 times — needed an ambulance. Cost to me? $0!

There are many intelligent comments on that video — and an advocate of revolution. That always sounds attractive but why should it be necessary? However, here in OZ…

DEFEND what we have zealously, people, and vote in a government without those who really do want to white-ant it, even when they make the right noises because they know attacking Medicare in Oz is political suicide. As it should be!

“You can’t go to the hospital to get help, it’s too expensive.” In what civilised country in this modern world does that make sense? It’s about time for another revolution over there guys. The American people are being walked over by these big companies and all you are doing is whining about it… Hell, a lot of you aren’t even doing that! Just shrugging your shoulders and saying ‘It’s capitalism; what ya gonna do?” ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING! Land of the free my ass!

In the present febrile climate too I think it does not hurt to look seriously at these.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 19 — a year ago…

I notice looking through my posts for August 2020 that I hardly mentioned COVID. That is because by then here in NSW (and The Gong in particular) we were pretty much back to normal life. Well all that changed when one driver ferrying people to and from quarantine led to the monster Delta starting up around Bondi Junction. The NSW government was slow to realise what was going on. So came the lockdown we are now in — Illawarra Leagues Club, for example, putting up the shutters on 26 June 2021.

In the USA in August 2020, under that incompetent narcissist Donald Trump, things were going from bad to worse. What a nincompoop he is! This was there for all to see in an interview with an Australian journalist which I posted about on 7 August: Donald Trump meets Dr Norman Swan’s clever son. Who can ever forget it?

With the US election looming I posted several very genuine views from Republican voters who for one reason or another had had enough of The Donald. For example:

One of the few times I mentioned COVID was on 17 August: COVID takes me back to that old school again. Just over a week later came Sydney High — lively Facebook discussion about that slogan — do look if that seems interesting to you. It was a very good exchange of views, in my opinion. The issue was a slogan the school now uses:

There were some good family history posts too, for example That convict Jacob again on 20 August. That post included this remarkable document:

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New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1830 for Jacob Whitfield

There were so many good posts in August 2020, but I will finish with another family-oriented one from 13 August: Bird flies in at last.

This bird: the original post follows.

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That painting of a Palm Cockatoo is by my sister-in-law Aileen….

There is quite a back story to this painting. First you have to understand that my brother Ian and Aileen married in 1955 when I was 12. Their marriage lasted for around ten years, producing four children, two now in Queensland and two in NSW. And lots of the next generation all over the place — some I have only discovered through Facebook quite recently.

I did not see Aileen, with one exception at the Cecil Hotel in Cronulla in 1978-9, after the marriage ended — so that’s over FIFTY years! In the past couple of months I have spoken to her on the phone. She lives around 100 kilometres further down the NSW south coast and was affected by the summer bushfires of 2019-20. Contact arose when her youngest, Maree, got in touch — through Facebook.

In due course Maree posted this image on her feed:

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I praised it, and next thing I knew Aileen was asking me if I would like to have it. Well, what would you have said? There was a mix-up over my address and the package was returned to Aileen by Australia Post. We sorted that and the package was delivered to the local post office last Friday — but not to Wollongong Post Office. Instead it went to Keiraville, a nearby suburb just north of West Wollongong, but not on my usual bus routes. Then came the rain! So it wasn’t until yesterday that I got to Keiraville to collect.

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Had coffee with the package — much bigger than I expected! And the coffee was a nostalgia trip in itself because they source from the excellent The Coffee Roaster which back in Elizabeth Street Surry Hills days was my coffee shop of choice, being in the same complex I lived in!  So I think I will be returning to Keiraville shops which is, as you can see above, charming. “The Village”, they call it.

I caught the 10 bus to Wollongong — there being just one other passenger, a lady who had been living in Keiraville for 58 years! One more joined us on the way. I was masked, and social distancing was not a problem. What a scenic, wandering route the 10 takes!…

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Lunch at City Diggers, where on Facebook I shared the day’s doings:-

So now I am at Diggers — well fed with an odd but tasty dish of curried sausage and jasmine rice!

The #10 bus from Keiraville to Wollongong proved to be very scenic. In this photo I am in the Keiraville coffee shop with the Mystery Package — collected at last. Let’s just say it is from someone I hadn’t seen or spoken to since 1978-9 — and that in Cronulla at the Cecil Hotel. I suspect we are all getting far too old to be hanging on to past issues. And this is a gift I am glad to have. More later perhaps.

It’s bigger than I expected though so that limits today’s shopping.

LATER

What is in the Mystery Package. I am still at Diggers and about to go, but decided not to leave you in suspense. Thanks to my niece Maree I can share an image of quite a wonderful painting by my (former) sister-in-law Aileen, who quite literally until very recently I had not spoken to since 1978-9. I won’t bother you with the details, except to say none of it was really anyone’s fault. Aileen is now 81. I think we have both decided life is very very short….

But what a painting!

And I am now the recipient of it… I suspect my brother Ian would not be unhappy. Hope the same is true of all our family — though I have a strict policy of not taking sides. How can I? I was only 11 or 12 when Ian and Aileen were married.

That painting, whatever, is bloody good!

There were plenty of other topics raised in my August 2020 posts — but that will do, save for some music I shared, something of a favourite.

Call me naive, but why can’t our focus be on things like this music, which we can all share?

The world really is mad — and I refer here both to our lot and the others… In politics we seem too often to fall into utter incompetence. I think particularly of our relations in the West with the now powerful China — back where it was centuries ago, perhaps, as a world hegemon — and I am not taking either side. All I know is that I have been able to speak heart to heart, person to person, with people from Mainland China just one mortal being to another. Is it that hard? Why is it that hard? How come our leaders so often seem so dumb?

Well, I do know that this music is superior to all their politicking….

The last two are part of a co-operation between the Carolina International Orchestra in Raleigh North Carolina and members of the China National Orchestra Touring North Carolina in 2013. I wonder if that orchestra is still going; their last Facebook post is 2016.

Since writing that (last night) I have found a back-story in a North Carolina newspaper (4 October 2013).

The opening concert of the new Carolina International Orchestra — with guest artists and conductor from the China National Orchestra — brought the house to its feet again and again Tuesday evening.

“Trans-Pacific Melodies,” an East-meets-West concert presented by this new orchestra, had its debut at Lee Auditorium Tuesday night. It was the first leg on a tour heading up the East Coast.

He Jianguo, permanent conductor of the Chinese orchestra, led performers playing both Western instruments like violins and violas and traditional Chinese instruments many in the audience were hearing for the first time — though the artists themselves are among the elite, at the top in their field.

This new orchestra — blending music, instruments and artists from East and West — is a joint venture begun by concert master Yang Xi and fellow violinist Jenny Zhou following the success of last spring’s first collaboration. In February, musicians from North Carolina hosted visiting Chinese instrumentalists in a series of concerts shared with musicians from the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra….

Ties between Moore County and China’s Hunan Province were forged in World War II when 2nd Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, a Flying Tiger pilot from High Falls, lost his life in aerial combat helping China fight the Japanese invasion.

This concert, featuring its unique and international blend of musicians from China and the United States, is a legacy of that bond, as Blake said just before the Arts Council’s Chris Dunn welcomed the crowd.

“It is such an amazing story — you know he wrote home and said, ‘Don’t worry if I don’t make it home. I’m not married, and in two or three years you will forget me,’” Blake said. “The Chinese built a beautiful monument to him, and now the world knows Hoyle Upchurch.”

An organization dedicated to building cultural, educational and business links — the Carolina China Council — grew from these events. North Carolina and Hunan Province are sister states….

That there is nothing about the orchestra on FB since 2016 makes me wonder whether the Trump era was curtains for this wonderful cross-cultural project.

Later

So I have done a little digging and note that North Carolina has a Democrat Governor, re-elected in 2020. The Carolina China Council was still active in 2019 at least.

On October 4, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper congratulated the opening of the 2019 Raleigh China Arts Festival by proclaiming September 29-October 5, 2019 as Carolina China Council and China Arts Festival tenth anniversary week. Secretary of State Mrs. Elaine Marshall attended the opening ceremony of the 2019 Raleigh China Arts Festival at the Fletcher Opera Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh and welcomed the world class performers to North Carolina in her opening remarks. Distinguished performers from China, Italy and the United States presented a two-hour world class musical gala to a full-house audience. Mrs. Kacy Hunt, Chairwoman of Raleigh Artsplosure which organizes the annual Raleigh Arts Festival, congratulated the success of this year’s Raleigh China Arts Festival. She is looking forward to a long-lasting partnership between Artsplosure and Carolina China Council to promote East-West exchanges of arts and culture.

Interesting — but nothing in the news section since 2019. COVID would no doubt have affected them.

Back to “The Music of the Night”

Yet another connection, as the competition “Super-Vocal” is from Hunan TV.

Super–Vocal (Chinese: 声入人心; pinyin: Shēng rù rénxīn) is a Chinese reality television created and produced by Hunan TV and iQiyi. It is a singing competition focused on classically trained singers, singing both operatic and musical pieces. It features 36 male singers, with six winners after a total of 100 days of training and filming. “Super-Vocal” Season 1 premiered on November 2, 2018, while Season 2 premiered on July 19, 2019.

The singer Ayanga (b. 1989) is Mongolian, Sheng Yunlong (b. 1990) is from Shandong Province.

I am proud that I saw through the Orange Fake pretty much from the beginning…

But it didn’t really take talent. The man was obviously an enormous mistake pretty much from Day One! And yes, I did piss off quite a few people by the line I took — but history is justifying that line in spades! The Stable Genius who among other things confused his dementia screening test with an IQ test, who comprehensively stuffed up US reaction to COVID-19, who thought being a performing seal in North Korea was some kind of policy…. And one could go on….

Nowadays six months on from being trounced in the Presidential elections he still maintains “we woz robbed”! Sadder still there are idiot commentators in such places as the New York Post and Sky in the Bog who go along with such obvious guff!

A comment on a YouTube post gave the best insight into what this global laughing stock now is — reprising day after day one of the great scenes from the golden years of Hollywood!

Cut off perfectly correctly from both Facebook and Twitter, the Dunce-Once-In-Chief has become a blogger — nothing wrong with that in itself of course — after pumping up his retreat to 1990s Internet as a great advance in truth, justice and the American way — it’s SuperTrump. I will grant he may indeed have come from another planet….

I rather enjoyed that back in the day in Kirrawee in 1956-7….

Here is what I posted before about this dolt….

He exposes himself every time he opens his mouth.

Another suggestion is that Trump is Miss Havisham spending her life beside her mouldering wedding cake lamenting that she was jilted on her wedding day and devoting herself to revenge:

The only appropriate response to this man is contempt.