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Hasn’t America had enough of the person who occupies the White House? The person who lost the 2016 election popular tally by 3 million votes? The person who has driven the national debt up to historical, and hysteria-producing, levels? The person who has saddled every working American with a tax cut that did a penny-worth of benefits? The person whose tax cut was merely a sugar-high for mega-corporations — and we all know what happens at the end of a sugar high? The person who has lied, deceived, misled, and now claims through his Attorney General that he is above the law.
It’s time to say HI to a new day. Give every American quality healthcare and impeach the obstructionist who cannot be indicted — for now.
After watching all of the shenanigans with the release of the Mueller report I am very dismayed and disappointed.
Doesn’t the Attorney General of the USA trust the judgement of the American people?
Doesn’t the administration of the President who-shall-go-nameless respect the intelligence of the American people?
Let’s settle the national nonsense once and for all. Every citizen of the USA should chant in unison…
“SHOW ME THE MUELLER!”
This is the house where our President grew up. Yes, our current President. You know, the same guy who claims he’s from the “streets” of New York City.
Technically this house in Jamaica Estates is part of New York City since Jamaica, Queens is a NYC borough. So that much is true. But what was life like in Jamaica Estates in the 1950’s when our President was growing up in this colonnaded manse?
To quote the New York Times, “The Jamaica Estates of Mr. Trump’s boyhood was an exclusive and nearly all-white place, resistant to outsiders and largely impenetrable to minorities.”
Ah-hah! Growing up in the Bronx in the 1950’s I had never heard of Jamaica Estates or even visited the neighborhood of Jamaica until I was in my late teens. But from this snippet of a NY Times description I have a pretty good idea of what this enclave was like.
In my neighborhood, which would today be considered the Morrisania area of the west Bronx, we kids knew of places like Jamaica Estates. We called them the Grand Concourse or Riverdale. If you lived on the Grand Concourse or in Riverdale then you had money and were well-off. You most likely didn’t go to the local public school or played very much in the empty lots or schoolyards that served as our fields of dreams.
Coming from those areas your father probably had some sort of job that didn’t require dirty fingernails or tedious manual labor. And your mother didn’t work. You can take that fact to the bank — or Wall Street if you lived in Riverdale.
We didn’t have a clue what an “enclave” was because we never heard of the word. But we knew our neighborhood which extended from Tremont Avenue to Featherbed Lane geographically or the Park Plaza movie theater to Dooney’s Bar.
We knew stickball and off-the-stoop or off-the-curb when the old ladies chased you away from the stoop and ring-a-leave-e-o and other games that required crowds of kids who simply hung out on street corners and found ways to entertain themselves.
The kids were also from every ethnicity you can imagine. Ethnicity is another word we had never heard of. You were either from the neighborhood or not. Beyond that fact we didn’t much care.
As for houses such as the one seen here we never saw anything like that in our neighborhood. If there was it would have stood out like a gilded thumb.
Today the apartment building I grew up in no longer houses people. Now it’s just a bulldozed space where cars are parked.
The Grand Concourse also isn’t like it used to be. Gone is the Loew’s Paradise movie. Krum’s Ice Cream parlor. And countless other once-thriving retailers.
But Riverdale is still Riverdale. I should know. My sister lives there and I visit Riverdale on occasion. The funny thing is that when I do I still feel like I don’t belong there.
But our President probably would.
So it’s a new year. A fresh set of 365 days to jump into. So what will we do with them? The scariest thing for me at least is that if I fill every 24 hour chunk with productive work and activity will it matter to anyone other than myself?
Now that I’m a few months into my 69th year I’ve made a realization which I would like to share with everyone– if you will allow me to get philosophical for a moment.
You throw a pebble into the water. Then you watch the pebble sink. And the pebble disappears from view. You think to yourself, “That’s it? I picked up that pebble, threw it, and it just sinks out of sight?”
Well, yes, that is what happens when an action is taken. But watch carefully after you throw that stone. Once it cuts through the water and sinks an interesting thing happens on the surface.
Ripples appear and they flow outward from the point where the pebble broke the water surface. In most cases the ripples are circular and flow outward in every direction. From our perspective all we see is the tiny rock sinking. We never pay attention to the slight ripples of water as they disrupt the water surface while flowing outward. And who knows what effect those ripples are having as they spread out?
This might not be the most profound thought you’ve ever encountered but for me it justifies the pebbles I throw every day. Each action I take has a ripple reaction that is affecting the world around me.
How it affects the people, places and things around me is invisible or so slight it will go beyond my notice. I just need to know that it does and as long as I’m not throwing a poisonous pebble then the end result is probably going to be OK.
So my advice is: go throw a pebble…or a rock…or a stone.
I heard on the news today that the “acting President” feels, and has consistently felt, that the American people don’t care. According to him they don’t care about the various scandals, diatribes, tasteless comments, unethical acts, and downright lies the “acting President” has pummeled America and the world with for the past two years.
Maybe they don’t. But maybe they should.
Here are a few numbers I researched that make me care. Perhaps they will provoke the same reaction in you, too.
325.7 million men, women and children made up the total population of the USA.
137.5 million votes were cast in the 2016 Presidential elections or 43% of the total population.
63 million of those votes went to the “acting President” or 20% of the total population.
Today, in 2018…
30% of the “acting President” voters still support him or 7% of the total population.
7% of the total population of the USA are making life miserable for the other 93% of us.
Now do you care?
I want to vote on November 6, 2018. I mean I REALLY want to vote on that day. But I won’t be in the town where I live to vote. I’ll be working and keeping the economy afloat.
So I decided I would contact my Board of Elections to find out how to obtain an Absentee Ballot. When I called I had to go through recorded voice message after recorded voice message to finally discover that I had to go to either the US Post Office or a Public Library to get an Absentee Ballot application form.
So I did. I went to big Post Office on West 23rd Street in Manhattan and asked the clerk for an application form. He pointed to a woman standing nearby and said, “She’s the election expert. See her.”
So I did. She said that the Post Office had never received any Absentee Ballot applications. But she did have Register to Vote applications. No need for those. I’m already registered. I want to vote. This nice lady suggested I go to the nearby Public Library and see if they have the application I need.
So I did. I walked two blocks over and asked the librarian for an Absentee Ballot application. He said the person “in charge” of election materials was out to lunch but would return soon. I waited…and waited…and waited. Finally the fellow I originally spoke with said he would go online and print an application form out for me. Which he did. I read through the form and saw the following right on top of the page….”This may be used if you are not going to be in your county on Election Day but in New York City.”
Well, I am going to be in New York City on Election Day so I thought to myself I’ll just vote in Manhattan. But then I thought about it. Why would a vote in New York City qualify for an election in my county which is 100 miles away? This didn’t make sense. I thought I better call the Board of Elections.
So I did. I got a very nice lady on the phone. She was a seasoned election vet in my home county. I told her what the application said about New York City and she said…”That makes no sense.” I said, “Right!” So what should I do?
She said I should fill out the Absentee Ballot form and get it in the mail as soon as possible. The application envelope had to be postmarked by seven days before the election. This meant the application had to be in the hands of the Post Office and postmarked by Tuesday, October 30 — one day before my wedding anniversary on Halloween, October 31. I had to fill out the application immediately.
So I did. I sat down in the library and completed the form. But then I had to find a postage stamp and an envelope to send everything out. This took another excursion. Who carries stamps with them? I had to find a stationery store.
So I did. And I mailed out my application. Now I wait and hope that the paperwork arrives at my home before Election Day so I can vote. I want to vote. I REALLY, REALLY want to vote.
And I will.
At 4:45am on a recent weekday morning, I was all alone walking down a dark side street in the village of Southampton where I live. The only creatures stirring were myself and a flock of deer breakfasting on a homeowner’s expensive plantings.
I was on my way to the Southampton High School where I was going to work for the Board of Elections as a poll inspector. I had to be there by 5am to join the other poll workers to open the polls.
Since I live about a quarter of a mile from the school it’s a simple walk.
That’s where I was going and why I was out before the sun came up. I live in a rural area where few people walk. Being a city dweller most of my life walking is second nature to me. The thought of driving a few blocks to get somewhere has always struck me as strange and lazy. So I walk almost everywhere as long as my legs and feet can take the distance and conditions.
As I neared the school a glow on the road came up behind me. I then heard the sound of a car engine. Wondering who else would be out at this hour, I turned around quickly to be sure I was seen and wouldn’t get clipped if the driver didn’t notice me walking, even though I was on the sidewalk. A car pulled up alongside me and stopped. I also stopped. I looked over and saw that it was a Southampton Village police cruiser. I immediately thought I was going to be rousted because I was the only person around…it was dark and I was wearing dark clothes…and I was walking in an area where no one walks!
I stood there waiting to get grilled when the car window descended and the officer stuck his head out the window. I was expecting a flashlight to be beamed in my eyes but the officer simply said, “Are you heading to the voting place?”
Surprised I replied, “Yes, I have to be there by 5am.” At that point the policeman did something I never expected. He said to me, “Want a lift?”
I said, “Sure” and instead of jumping into the front seat I climbed into the back. The officer seemed surprised but said nothing. The ride to the school only took a minute so we didn’t have any other conversation other than my thanking him when we arrived.
But when we did arrive my fellow poll workers were waiting outside the school for the security guard to open the door. As the police car pulled up and I climbed out they looked at me and said, “What happened? What did you do?”
I said I was exercising my right as a citizen and taxpayer to get a tax-free ride from a public employee.
On a side-note, there is zero legroom in the back of a police squad car.