Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

The dreary gloom outside matches my mood inside, so … It’s time for some snarky snippets!  Granted, most of what I write these days is snark-filled, but still there is more … it’s never-ending.


AR-15 vs pandemic

Junior, aka Donald Trump, Jr., has contracted the coronavirus.  He says he is doing well … too bad.  He also said he will pass the time in isolation battling with the virus by cleaning his collection of guns.  I wonder just how many he has?  And what … does he think if he gets those guns all nice and clean (how did they get dirty, anyway?) that he can just shoot the virus and make it go away?  Or perhaps he’s planning another killing spree with his brother soon …

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The last party …

Meanwhile, Karen Pence, has invited Congressional Club members to an afternoon “Christmas Craft” at the VP’s residence on December 9th at 1 p.m. Attendees are requested to wear ‘Holiday Attire’, but the invite makes no mention of masks. The event comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has discouraged holiday gatherings, and as we have set new records nearly every day for new cases and deaths due to the pandemic. Her husband, Vice-president Mike Pence, is allegedly the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, which has said indoor gatherings should be limited.  Oh, the irony!  The delusion!  The stupidity!

Karen-Pence-invite

Thankfully, this will likely be the last time she gets to use that title.


Poetic justice …

Merrick-GarlandIn a bit of fun irony, it is reported that President-elect Biden is considering Merrick Garland for the position of Attorney General!  You’ll remember that moderate Garland was President Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left open on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2012.  Mitch McConnell single-handedly refused to allow the Senate to even interview Garland or consider the nomination, claiming the seat should remain open for the next ‘president’ to fill.  Funny, isn’t it, how he changed his tune this year after the death of Justice Ginsburg?  I wonder if Moscow Mitch will find some objection to Garland as Attorney General?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the other republican senators grew a pair and stood up to Mitch … just once?


mnuchinGiving Americans a middle finger

It isn’t bad enough that Trump is certifiably insane and is throwing roadblocks up all over the place to deny President-elect Biden access to information that would allow for a peaceful, smooth transition in January, but his minions are playing the game also.  On-his-way-out treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to end a variety of programs aimed at helping markets, businesses and municipalities weather the pandemic and asking the central bank to return the funds earmarked to support those efforts.

By ending the programs, Mnuchin is taking away a source of economic support just as the new administration comes into office and as rising virus cases dog the recovery. By asking the Fed to return the money that enables the emergency efforts, he could make it harder for Democrats to restart them at a large scale and on more generous terms.  This is another trumpeter giving We the People a middle finger.  Again.  If this country goes into a deep recession next year, don’t even think of blaming the Biden administration … put the blame where it belongs, in Donald Trump’s court.


The murderer is back on the streets

Remember Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old white supremacist punk who shot and killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin back in August?  Well, he is out of prison on $2 million cash bond as of yesterday.

Hours after the release, one of his attorneys, Lin Wood, posted this picture of Rittenhouse alongside actor Ricky Schroder.

rittenhouse

“Free at last!!!,” Wood wrote, above the smiling photograph in which the newly freed Rittenhouse is wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company t-shirt.  Well, not exactly ‘free’, since he faces five felony charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.  In another tweet, Wood called Rittenhouse “a hero”.  And this may well define just what is wrong with half of this nation today.  When we applaud killing, when we call cold-blooded killers ‘heroes’, then we have for damn sure lost all shreds of humanity.

Personally, I hope Rittenhouse goes to prison and doesn’t come back into society until he is too old and doddery to even walk straight, let along shoot straight.


A final note …

And last but not least, Fox News’ idiot Geraldo Rivera thinks Trump should be honoured by having the coronavirus vaccine named after him.  Personally, I think it would be more appropriate to name the virus itself after Trump, for he has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands due to his intentionally inept response.  Yes, the trumptanicvirus … or TTV … sounds about right to me.

Snarky Snippets Volume MLXIV

I don’t honestly know how anybody can not have an overload of angst these days, but some appear to be perfectly content doing whatever it is they do and largely ignoring the fires that are burning all around them.  More power to them, I suppose, but I just don’t understand it.  I, on the other hand, have such an overload of angst that I punched my coffee pot this morning and called it a b*tch, even though it is a male!  What … you didn’t know appliances had gender?  Of course they do, just like cars, eagles, puppies and people!

Anyway … lucky you, dear friends, get the dubious honour of listening to me vent my snarkiness!  Hold on tight …


Politicizing food …

Back in April, as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) started a program called the Farmers to Families Food Box Program whereby the Department purchases agriculture products and distributes food boxes to local food banks for distribution to people in need.  The food boxes contain a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meat products.  A worthy cause, for certain.

Recently, however, the boxes began to include something else … a letter in both Spanish and English, signed by none other than Donald Trump.

The utter arrogance of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office should not surprise me, right?  Nothing should surprise me anymore, but … I find my hinged jaw still drops when I read stuff like this …

Trump requires food aid boxes to come with a letter from him

This, my friends, is a sign of a desperate and despicable ‘man’!  This is, in the words of one food bank director, ‘egregious’.  I think there is no word in the English language that can fully describe what a foul act this is by a foul ‘man’.  It is reported that this was Ivanka Trump’s idea in the beginning.

Anti-hunger advocates and food bank workers are outraged, saying the move violates the Hatch Act and compromises relationships with the food-insecure people they serve, but attorneys say that since the election is not mentioned, there is no Hatch Act violation.  Personally, I think that since Donald Trump has not contributed one single dime to this program, nor was it his idea, then he has no right to mandate his name be included.

Many food banks are removing the letters from the boxes at the distribution sites, which of course takes extra time.  Some recipients who received the letter have thrown them out of their car windows.


Banned again …

twitter-6Well, Twitter has once again banned Filosofa, this time only for 12 hours, though … last time, when I referred to a female Fox News ‘host’ as a bimbo (she really is!), I was banned for three whole days!

So, what did I do this time?  I happened upon this tweet

Trump-tweetAnd my fingers were flying before I had time to stop them.  Still, what I said wasn’t all that bad … not a single bit of foul language, no threat, no name-calling.  I simply said that if he honestly believed he won Tuesday’s debate, he is deranged and belongs in a mental institution rather than the Oval Office.

Within minutes, I received this email from Twitter …Twitter-noticeNow, I think it is hilarious that what I said is considered “glorifying violence”!  How does this in any way, shape or form ‘glorify violence’???  I’ve seen far worse things on Twitter by Trump’s two sons, Junior and Eric, and in fact I’ve seen worse by Trump himself.  I could have appealed, but I don’t care enough to waste my time … Twitter can ban me for life and I won’t lose a moment’s sleep over it, but I just thought it was ridiculous.  Ah well, I wear my suspension as a badge of honour!Badge_Honour


Breonna’s murderer wants your help

It was just over a week ago that I wrote of the fact that none of the three officers who fired the shots that killed an innocent woman, Breonna Taylor, were indicted.  The only indictment handed down in relation to the case was against one officer who fired shots into a neighboring apartment, where nobody was injured.

Myles-CosgroveToday, I was incensed to read that one of the three officers, Myles Cosgrove, who whether officially or not, did indeed take part in the murder of Ms. Taylor, has set up an account on a “Christian crowdfunding site” GiveSendGo so he can “purchase the remainder of his service time” and retire!  That’s right, folks, he says that it will be impossible for him to return to work because he feels that he and his family are in danger.  But, what really galled me … well, two things actually.  The first is a portion of a statement by his family …

“With regards to the media, nationally and locally, the Breonna Taylor case has been forged into a tool for an agenda that has no regard for the lives that are being destroyed.”

Lives that are being destroyed???  What about Breonna Taylor’s life???  He and two other officers, men entrusted with the safety of the public, robbed Breonna Taylor of her life!  And he has the unmitigated gall to ask people for help and say he is the victim here?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The other thing that angered me was seeing that already the fund has received 943 donations totaling $44,838!  Apparently there are a lot of fools out there who would rather support a murderer than donate to a legitimate charity that feeds the poor or shelters the homeless!  Oh, and by the way, the same site, GiveSendGo, hosts another murderer, Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and murdered two people.  His account has received 12,596 donations totaling $535,361!  What the hell is wrong with people???


And now, Filosofa will take a few minutes to catch her breath and listen to some music to try to calm the snark monster within!  OH … By the way … I almost forgot that today is World Smile Day!  Since I won’t be doing a separate post about it this, year, please do take a minute or two to check out my post from last year!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4

Conspiracy Theories Abound … From The Oval Office

Conspiracy theories abound, more than any other time I can remember, except perhaps in the aftermath of 9/11 when the theories ran rampant for a brief time.  WHY??? There is no simple answer, but in part it is because this nation is so divided right now.  In part, we can blame the pandemic that has kept people from many of their everyday activities and given them too much spare time to sit around making up stupid shit.  And in part, we can blame the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office and his minions who lick his boots clean on a daily basis.

conspiracy-2Take, for example, his statement on August 31st during an interview with the nefarious Laura Ingraham of Fox ‘News’:

“We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.  It’s under investigation right now. But they came from a certain city. And this person was coming to the Republican National Convention. And there were like seven people on the plane like this person, and then a lot of people on the plane, to do big damage.”

conspiracy-trump

Perhaps Trump has missed his true calling … perhaps he should be a writer of Science Fiction, for that story is as far from reality as I am from the planet Jupiter!  There was no such plane, no such ‘thugs’, and no such plot.

Remember the conspiracy theory he is most famous for, the ‘birther’ theory that President Obama was not, in fact, born in the U.S.?  Obama was born in Hawaii, but apparently Trump failed history/geography in school and did not realize that Hawaii actually became the 50th state in 1959, two years before President Obama was born?

Or a month ago, when he said …

“And you have people coming over with bags of soup — big bags of soup. And they lay it on the ground, and the anarchists take it and they start throwing it at our cops, at our police. And if it hits you, that’s worse than a brick because that’s got force. It’s the perfect size. It’s, like, made perfect.

And when they get caught, they say, ‘No, this is just soup for my family.’ And then the media says, ‘This is just soup. These people are very, very innocent. They’re innocent people. These are just protesters. Isn’t it wonderful to allow protesting?’”

Bags of soup? Seriously???  How can anybody not question his sanity?

And he has engaged in some of the QAnon conspiracy theories, such as the ridiculous notion that the world is run by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles that is plotting against him while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.

Lately, a few republican members of Congress have begun parroting Trump’s unsubstantiated lies to their own constituents.  (See Keith’s post from yesterday) There is a very real danger in all of this, my friends.  Yes, it’s laughable when he spews some of this, such as bags of soup being used as a tool of the anarchists, but the danger is in the people who listen to him.

Don’t believe me?  Step back, if you will, to October 2018.  It began on October 22nd, when a package containing an improvised explosive device (bomb) was found in the mailbox at the home of Democratic donor George Soros in Katonah, New York.  Over the course of the following week, similar packages were mailed to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Maxine Waters, John Brennan, Joe Biden, Robert DeNiro, Cory Booker, James Clapper, Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer, and the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

The FBI, with assistance from other federal agencies and law enforcement organizations, arrested Cesar Sayoc in Southern Florida.  Sayoc had a history of mental illness and criminal activity, but what prompted him to target the above-named individuals was that after watching Fox ‘News’ and viewing social media platforms, he concluded that Trump’s critics were dangerous, unpatriotic, and evil.  At his sentencing, Sayoc said his idea was “first was how to tone down the liberal left violence platform.” He wrote that he believed prominent Democrats were encouraging violence.  Again, yes Mr. Sayoc has a history of mental illness and violent episodes, but where did he get the idea to send mail bombs to prominent Democrats?  From hearing conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric.

Most of the targets were people who Trump had targeted in his campaign of hate, such as Hillary Clinton, whom he has not shut up about even now, nearly four years after the election in which she beat him, but he walked away with the electoral vote.  John Brennan pointed directly to Trump’s rhetoric, saying that Trump …

 “… fuels these feelings and sentiments that now are bleeding over into potential acts of violence … Unfortunately, I think Donald Trump, too often, has helped to incite some of these feelings of anger, if not violence, when he points to acts of violence or also talks about, you know, swinging at somebody from the press or the media.”

Or, consider Kyle Rittenhouse about whom I wrote a few days ago, the 17-year-old punk who took an assault rifle into an area where violent agitators were mingling in with peaceful protestors, and killed two people.  What was his inspiration?  Well, he was a Trump supporter and was in the front row of a Trump rally in January in Des Moines, Iowa.  Just speculation on my part, but I think he absorbed every word Trump said and thought he was carrying out Trump’s wishes.

Brennan’s words are no less true today than they were two years ago.  There are people in this nation who are not deep thinkers, who have little or no moral compass, and who will believe anything they hear from Donald Trump, and some will act on their beliefs.  It makes no difference how many times his conspiracy theories and hate speech are debunked, for they hear only what they choose to hear.  For the ‘man’ who holds the highest office in the nation to engage in such dangerous rhetoric is unthinkable … and yet, that is where we are today.  And sadly, with the easy availability of all sorts of firearms in this country … it is a recipe for major disaster.  Take a look at some statistics regarding people who buy into conspiracy theories.  Note, especially, the 2nd one …conspiracy-theoriesI believe that Trump will dial up his hate speech, conspiracy theories and ridiculous rhetoric even more over the next nine weeks.  We are already seeing enough violence in this nation today … if Trump has his way, what we see today will seem like a day in a kiddie zoo compared to what we will see in October.  We cannot control what people think, but we should have some control over what the ‘president’ says in a public forum.  Never before has it seemed necessary, but it sure as hell does today.  A roll of duct tape for his mouth?

Musings From The Rabbit Hole – A ‘Shared National Identity’????

As I am still inhabiting the rabbit hole – I swear, the rabbits are digging it deeper and deeper by the day – I cannot seem to stop my mind from wandering.  Well, in truth, it is aided and abetted by the chaos that would seem to have become the definition of Donald Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

One of Trump’s statements I read yesterday set the current train of thought in motion:

“The only path to unity is to rebuild a shared national identity focused on common American values and virtues of which we have plenty.”

I’m not sure what country he thought he was in when he got out of bed and later uttered that inanity on Monday morning, but it is the furthest thing from the truth here in the formerly United States.  A shared national identity?  Who is he kidding?  This country is the most divided it has ever been.  EVER.  On the one side there are those who seem to value “ethnic purity”, who are white-skinned and feel threatened by any who aren’t.  Those who support police killings of unarmed black people.  They applaud taking young children from their parents and keeping them in cages simply because they weren’t born in this country and their skin is not pale.  They support a madman in the White House who basically promises to give preferential treatment to their white-skinned friends & family.

And on the other hand, there are those of us who believe that “All ‘men’ are created equal”, even though the original author of that statement, Thomas Jefferson, had a more narrowly defined view of ‘all men’.  Those of us who understand the significance of “Black Lives Matter”, for far too many in this country seem to think Black people are somehow of lesser value.

And then there are the divisions of wealth.  There are those on the one hand who would argue that the right to earn and keep money supersedes the responsibility to others who are less fortunate.  They eschew higher taxes on the wealthy millionaires and billionaires, put profit ahead of the environment and ahead of people, and have the basic attitude of “I’ve got mine, you go get your own.”

On the other hand, there are those of us who have little, but believe it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our natural resources.  We believe we all have a responsibility to help feed, clothe, educate and provide health care to those who are unable to do so themselves.

I have come to realize that these ideological, humanitarian differences have always existed, but in the past they were tamped down by leaders who understood there is no place for bigotry in this relatively new nation.  Today, though, we have a leader who sees this ideological gap as a wedge that he can use to drive us further apart than ever before, for his own political benefit.  And We the People are letting him do just that.

Much of what divides us seems to have its roots in bigotry of one form or another.  Immigration, guns, religion, abortion, health care, programs to help the poor, climate change, civil rights … all trace their roots back to discriminatory views, whether against Black people, women, LGBT people, immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, atheists, or other groups.  And it is ripping this nation apart.  No, that is not an exaggeration, not hyperbole … it is a fact.  And we are letting it.

Our politicians feed on the divisions between liberals and conservatives, the wealthy and the poor.  They pour gasoline on the racial unrest that is a logical result of the systemic racism that exists in our police departments.  And Donald Trump, the so-called ‘president’ of this nation, is among the worst, for by his denigration of minorities and immigrants, his refusal to condemn racial killings, his support of white supremacists, he has turned this nation into a tinderbox just waiting for the right spark.  And yet he is the one who says we have “common values and virtues” and that we must work to rebuild a “shared national identity”?

He has done less than nothing to bring the people of this nation together, to help each side understand the other, to find common ground and a meeting of the minds somewhere in the middle.  Instead, he has encouraged violence since before he even took office.  If Hillary Clinton had been inaugurated in 2017, do you think that Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old punk who killed two people last weekend, would have been in Kenosha, Wisconsin, armed with an assault rifle and looking for trouble?  We’ll never know for sure, but probably not, for a President Clinton would almost certainly have followed through with the police reform measures started during the Obama administration.  In fact, in all likelihood, Jacob Blake would not have been shot 7 times in the back by a rogue police officer in Kenosha and there would have been no protests, no violence.

As I sit here pondering, it seems to me that the United States is truly two nations.  Until we learn to respect each other’s opinions, to listen to others, to put away the damn guns and use our brains to solve problems and resolve our disputes, there can be no “shared national identity”.  Can that ever happen?  At the moment, I think not.  A lot of things will have to happen in order for us to resolve our major differences, and it for damn sure is not going to happen with a person like Donald Trump at the helm.  I think it more likely that this nation will actually become multiple nations at the end of the day … if, that is, we don’t continue to be the single worst polluters on the globe, for if we continue down that path, life on this planet will cease to exist and it won’t really matter who had how much money or what colour anybody’s skin was.divisive

No Sympathy For A Cold-Blooded Killer

A 17-year-old punk leaves his home in Illinois, travels to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where there are protests against the police brutality that left Jacob Blake paralyzed from the waist down, and walks up and down the street carrying an assault rifle.  Seventeen years old.  He should be home studying, or working at the local McDonald’s to save for college, but instead he is about to become a cold-blooded killer.  He did not have a permit for the gun, and in fact was too young to obtain one … he was not legally allowed to have that weapon in his possession.

As Kyle Rittenhouse walked down the streets of Kenosha with another armed man, a police officer in an armoured vehicle asked him if he needed some water, then tossed him a bottle of water, saying, “We appreciate you guys, we really do.”  A short time later, Kyle Rittenhouse used his AR-15 to shoot three people, two of whom died.  Since police were all over the place, it only makes sense that he was arrested on the spot, right?  But no … even though at this point, people were shouting to the police that he was the shooter, and even though he walked right up to the police, police officers simply waved him away and told him to get off the streets!  He returned to his home in Antioch, Illinois, a short time later, without any interference from law enforcement in Wisconsin.  He was arrested by Antioch police the following afternoon.

Kyle Rittenhouse would have been shot dead on the spot by police if he had been a black teenager instead of a white one.  But wait … for it gets even worse.

It may have started with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson when, rather than condemning a 17-year-old killer, he attempted to justify it …

“So, are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone could see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour.”

Or perhaps it started with the Facebook post by Arthur Love, a member of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s staff, sympathizing with Rittenhouse, saying in one post …

“I’m grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person.”

A “good person”???  Good people do not even own assault weapons, let alone go looking for an excuse to kill!!!  Mr. Love was fired on Saturday, and rightly so.

Wherever and however it started, there is growing support for this 17-year-old murderer, and funds have even been started to help pay his legal fees!  One fundraiser, on a Christian crowdfunding website called Give Send Go, raised more than $65,000 as of last Thursday evening. People have donated $7,460 to the teen through a site called Free Kyle Rittenhouse.

GoFundMe, one of the most popular and widely used crowdfunding websites, has taken down multiple fundraisers for Rittenhouse. GoFundMe spokesperson Angelique McNaughton said Thursday the platform removed the fundraisers because they violated GoFundMe’s terms of service which specifically forbids people from using the platform to raise money for “the implicit or explicit purpose of or involving for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, serious disabilities or diseases, financial crimes or crimes of deception.”

And, according to an article in The Guardian

“Fundraisers, messages of support and celebratory memes for the alleged Kenosha, Wisconsin, mass shooter are being shared widely on Facebook and Instagram, despite the company’s assurance on Wednesday that it was working to enforce its policy banning content that “praises, supports, or represents” mass shooters.

One fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was shared more than 17,700 times on Facebook, including by 291 public groups and pages with more than 3.9m aggregate followers, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data analytics tool. A second fundraiser garnered 1,698 shares on the platform, including by an additional 17 pages and groups with nearly 400,000 followers.”

I encourage you to read the entire article, for it is truly shocking.

This, perhaps more than anything else, defines what is wrong in this nation today.  That people have empathy for a young punk using an assault weapon to kill people is … well, it just blows my mind.  Personally, I would like to see him tried, convicted, and spend the rest of his life in prison.  I would also like to see his parents pay a price, for it is obvious to me that they failed miserably in raising this child.  Since he was only seventeen, he was legally still under their guardianship, and it seems to me they must share some of the blame.

Rittenhouse claims it was self-defense, but he went there looking for trouble, so the self-defense argument simply does not fly.  How can people support this punk?  How can anyone justify what he did?  Those who can, it seems obvious to me, are people who value their guns more than human life, people who believe in vigilante justice, and people who are, at the core, white supremacists.  They are part of what is wrong in this nation today, and is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Where Is The Real Threat?

This week there has been enough news to boggle the mind, to make one want to hide in a closet until sometime after November 3rd … maybe even until around 2025.  The coronavirus is out of control in the U.S., but we no longer get accurate numbers of new cases because testing has slowed to a crawl.  The shitshow last week put on at our expense by the Republicans was depressing … was naught but an expensive circus with the nastiest clowns ever seen, half of them with the last name “Trump”.  Multiple times during that circus, we were told that only Trump will bring “law and order” to the streets of the nation, but … it is he and his enablers who have created the most disharmony and disunity this nation has seen in more than 100 years.  Robert Reich, a man with much more experience and understanding than most, sums it all up nicely for us, thankfully, for I am too tired to do so today …


The real threats to American law and order are Trump’s craven enablers

The president railed against ‘violent anarchists, agitators and criminals’ but he surrounds himself with lawless lackeys

Robert Reich-4By Robert Reich

One week ago, Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha, Wisconsin, police department, fired at least seven shots at the back of a Black man named Jacob Blake as he opened his car door, leaving the 29-year-old father of five probably paralyzed from the waist down.

After protests erupted, self-appointed armed militia or vigilante-type individuals rushed to Kenosha, including Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old who traveled there and then, appearing on the streets with an AR-15 assault rifle, allegedly killed two people and wounded a third.

This is pure gold for a president without a plan, a party without a platform, and a cult without a purpose other than the abject worship of Donald J Trump.

To be re-elected Trump knows he has to distract the nation from the coronavirus pandemic that he has flagrantly failed to control – leaving more than 180,000 Americans dead, tens of millions jobless and at least 30 million reportedly hungry.

So he’s counting on the reliable Republican dog-whistle. “Your vote,” Trump said in his speech closing the Republican convention Thursday night, “will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens.”

“We will have law and order on the streets of this country,” Vice-President Mike Pence declared the previous evening, warning “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Neither Trump nor Pence mentioned the real threats to law and order in America today, such as gun-toting agitators like Rittenhouse, who, perhaps not coincidentally, occupied a front-row seat at a Trump rally in Des Moines in January.

Pence lamented the death of federal officer Dave Patrick Underwood, “shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California”, earlier this year, implying he was killed by protesters. In fact, Underwood was shot and killed by an adherent of the boogaloo boys, an online extremist movement that’s trying to ignite a race war.

Such groups have found encouragement in a president who sees “very fine people” supporting white supremacy.

The threat also comes from conspiracy theorists like Marjorie Taylor Greene, the recently nominated Republican candidate for Georgia’s 14th congressional district and promoter of QAnon, whose adherents believe Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. Trump has praised Greene as a “future Republican star” and claimed that QAnon followers “love our country”.

And from people like Mary Ann Mendoza, a member of Trump’s campaign advisory board, who was scheduled to speak at the Republican convention until she retweeted an antisemitic rant about a supposed Jewish plan to enslave the world’s peoples and steal their land.

Clearly the threat also comes from hotheaded, often racist police officers who fire bullets into the backs of Black men and women or kneel on their necks so they can’t breathe. Needless to say, there was little mention at the Republican convention of Jacob Blake, and none of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor.

And the threat comes from Trump’s own lackeys who have brazenly broken laws to help him attain and keep power. Since Trump promised he would only hire “the best people”, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W Giuliani – who ranted at the Republican convention about rioting and looting in cities with Democratic mayors – has repeatedly met with the pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach, whom American intelligence has determined is “spreading claims about corruption … to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party”.

In addition, federal prosecutors are investigating Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine with two men arrested in an alleged campaign finance scheme.

Trump’s new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, who had been a major Trump campaign donor before taking over the post office, is being sued by six states and the District of Columbia for allegedly seeking to “undermine” the postal service as millions of Americans plan to vote by mail during the pandemic.

Not to forget the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who spoke to the Republican convention while on an official trip to the Middle East, in apparent violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits officials of the executive branch other than the president and vice-president from engaging in partisan politics.

You want the real threat to American law and order? It’s found in these Trump enablers and bottom-dwellers. They are the inevitable excrescence of Trump’s above-the-law, race-baiting, me-first presidency. It is from the likes of them that the rest of America is in serious need of protection.