I was in Cuba with the family. Whaddya want, a substitute? I suppose I could have left an "Out of Blogosphere" message, but I do appreciate your concern, really. Now that Americans can easily go to Cuba you'll hear tons of people saying (nasally whine) "oh, I just got back from Cuba and I'll bet you want to hear ALL about it." Yuck. So...let me tell you all about it! Next post. Hint - don't expect culinary genius or inexpensivity. And pretty much everything you take for granted is out the window.
While I was trying vainly to find an internet hotspot in Old Havana, y'all were not attending the local CB9 meeting, a sort of monthly ongoing mini-Town Hall where since 2013 that familiar "disrupt and dismantle" playbook has been followed ferociously by MTOPP. Once again, common sense and compromise were wrestled to a choke-hold by the misguided, misinformed and thoroughly unhinged Ms. Alicia Boyd. Get a load of this terrific footage from DNA Info's write-up on fiery NY Assembly member Diana Richardson's attempt to talk sense:
Then came an ACTUAL Town Hall, also not at a Town Hall but at a just-south-of-secular Reform Synagogue on Eastern Parkway, hosted by your suddenly awakened Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. A bit of vid can be found here. I gotta be honest here. I don't find her to be terribly inspiring. She seems a solid C+, the plus for voting the right way. But she's been damn near nowhere for YEARS, and trust me I've actively sought her out. She's not particularly well-respected or even well-known in D.C. She's not much of an orator or interviewee. But you know how this game goes. Reps in NYC tend to be there a long, long time. At least until they move on to higher office or get indicted. Only once in a blue moon does a Rep even get close to losing their gig. But I do hope that the political moment will bring out the best in her, and I was glad to hear positive reports on this week's shindig. The "town hall" was overflowing, quite literally, since many folks were unable to breach the official fire code capacity figure.
What's to become of all this angst and chutzpah?
Take away the absurdity of DJT himself, there is a certain symmetry in this political moment just 7 years on. What were they claiming about Obama? Socialism, communism, even Islamism. Yes, tons of folks still think he's a Muslim. What are we claiming of Trump? Fascism, Racism, Nationalism. Tons of people still think he's an Asshole. Symmetry. (Difference being reality vs fiction. Right?)
Obviously, America's got some issues to resolve, or it only gets uglier from here. We have yet to shut the back door on our ugliest past, or open the front door to a more egalitarian future. As far as I can tell, no neatly defined "group" has offered itself up to be the last through that front door. You never know who's going to slam it shut in your face, right?
Say this for the Donald. If we weren't watching closely enough before, he certainly got our attention.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.