Tag Archives: tiled steps

An Imperial Grifter

17 Apr

plant_thief

Recently I escorted program participants along a green hairstreak butterfly corridor created by the non-profit Nature in the City.  We stopped at the 16th Avenue tiled steps, 163 steps adorned with tiles at 16th and Moraga (the project was led by artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher).  The hill to each side of these stunning steps is rich in gardens.  But I noticed trouble in paradise.  A small sign nestled amongst succulents recounted the theft of plants by a woman driving a Mercedes Benz, who had been caught on camera.  A photograph of this woman appears on the sign.  I spoke at length with one of the neighbors about the theft.

I believe that if this woman can afford a Mercedes Benz, she can afford to buy her own plants.  Is this sound logic?  Perhaps not.  After all, the pr*sident of the United States could afford to pay the $35,000+ that the Secret Service agency has spent in golf cart rentals to protect this man at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida resort.  The purchase orders for these Palm Beach excursions amount to $35,185 (see Cathy Burke, “Secret Service Has Spent $35K on Golf Cart Rentals at Mar-a-Lago,” Newsmax, April 17, 2017, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/secret-service-spends-golf-cart/2017/04/14/id/784507/; accessed 04/17/2017).  But he does not.  The American taxpayer foots the bill.  In essence, we are paying Donald Trump’s property, Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, to host his golfing excursions.

This is ironic given the fact that Trump railed against Barack Obama from 2011 through 2016 about Obama’s trips golfing (for an example of a Trump tweet criticizing Obama for golfing over focusing on international affairs, see Jessica Chia, “Trump hits the links AGAIN as war looms: President enjoys his 16th golf course visit since inauguration – despite Iran and Russia threatening to retaliate over his airstrikes on Syria,” Daily Mail, April 17, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4396154/Trump-makes-16th-trip-golf-course-inauguration.html; accessed 04/17/2017).

This excess does not stop with Trump.  We can also learn from Burke’s article that “the purchase orders were among those reviewed by CBS News – including Secret Service costs for Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who have traveled overseas on Trump Organization business, that’ve topped $190,000 since January.”

Welcome to the royal coffers: your tax dollars.

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