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The following article was an OP-ED piece in the New York Times Monday, July 3rd.  It was written by Charles M. Blow who clearly is not faint of heart or one to mince words.

EVERY NOW AND THEN we are going to have to do this:  Step back from the daily onslaughts of insanity emanating from Donald Trump’s parasitic presidency and remind ourselves of the obscenity of it all, registering its magnitude in its full, devastating truth.

There is something insidious and corrosive about trying to evaluate the severity of every offense, trying to give each an individual grade on the scale of absurdity.  Trump himself is the offense.  Everything that springs from him, every person who supports him, every legislator who shields him is an offense.  Every partisan who uses him – against all he or she has ever claimed to champion – to advance a political agenda and, in doing so, places party over country, is an offense.

We must remind ourselves that Trump’s very presence in the White House defiles it and the very institution of the presidency.  Rather than rising to the honor of the office, Trump has lowered the office with his whiny, fragile, vindictive pettiness.

The presidency has been hijacked.                                                                                                        

Last week when Donald Trump attacked two MSNBC hosts, people were aghast.  The condemnation came quickly and from all quarters.

But his words shouldn’t have shocked.  His tweet was just another pebble the mountain of vulgarities.  This act of coarseness was in fact an act of continuity.  Trump was being Trump:  the grossest of the gross, a profanity against propriety.

This latest episode is simply part of a body of work demonstrating the man’s utter contempt for decency.  We all know what it will add up to: nothing.

Republicans have bound themselves up with Trump.  His fate is their fate.  They have surrendered any moral authority to which they once laid claim – rightly or not.  If Trump goes down they all do.

It’s all quite odd, this moral impotence, this cowering before the belligerent, would-be king.  A madman and his legislative minions are holding America hostage.

There are  no new words to express it; there is no new and novel way to catalog it.  It is what it is and has been from day one:  The most extraordinary and profound electoral mistake America has made in our lifetimes and possibly ever.  

We must say without ceasing and without growing weary by the redundancy, that what we are witnessing is not normal and cannot go unchallenged.  We must reaffirm our commitment to resistance.  We must always remember that although individual Americans made the choice to vote affirmatively for him or actively withhold their support from his opponent, those decisions were influenced in ways we cannot calculate by Russian interference in our election, designed to privilege Trump.

We must remember that we now have a president exerting  power to which he may only have access due to a foreign power, he has proven mysteriously avert to condemning them or even acknowledge their meddling.

We must remember that there are multiple investigations ongoing about the degree of that interference in our election – including a criminal investigation – and that those investigations are not constrained to collusion and are far from fake news.  These investigations are deadly serious, are about protecting the integrity of our elections and the sovereignty of our country and are about a genuine quest for truth and desire for justice.

Every action by this administration is an effort to push forward the appearance of normality, to squelch scrutiny, to diminish the authority and credibility of the ongoing investigations.

Last week, after a growing number of states refused to hand over sensitive voter information to Trump’s ironic and quixotic election integrity commission, White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the pushback as a “political stunt”.

But in fact, the commission itself is the political stunt.  The committee is searching for an illegal voting problem that doesn’t exist.  Trump simply lied when he said he would have won the popular vote were it not for millions of illegal votes.   And then he established this bogus commission  – using taxpayer money – to search for a truth that doesn’t exist, to try to prove right a lie he should have never told.

This commission is classic Trump projection:  There is a real problem with the integrity of our last election  because the Russians helped power his win, but rather than deal with that very real attack on this country, he is tilting at windmills concerning in-person voter fraud.

Last week CNN reported: “The Trump administration has taken no public steps to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election.  Multiple senior officials said there are few signs the president is devoting  time or attention to the ongoing election-related cyber threat from Russia.

Donald Trump is depending on people’s fatigue.  He is banking on your becoming overwhelmed by his never-ending antics.  He is counting on his capacity to wear down the resistance by sheer force.

We must be adamant that that will never come to pass.  Trump is an abomination, and a cancer on the country, and none of us can rest until he is no longer holding the reins of power.                                                   

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After a night of howling wind, slashing rain and rattling windows, I woke up this morning to a new world.  The sidewalks of the Upper East Side were covered with leaves, large branches and in some cases whole trees were on the street.  People were out in huge numbers as the result of yet another day with no public transportation and most non-essential businesses closed!  Going out for breakfast in New York on the weekend or in this case a day off is practically a national pastime.  This morning we joined our friend, Gail for a late breakfast/lunch at Gracie’s, a coffee shop across the street.  The line to get in was out the door and to the end of the block!  Luckily Gail had gotten there before us and we were able to go right in and get a table.  I ordered one of my usual breakfast.  I said, “I’ll have scrambled egg whites on a toasted bialy with one slice of turkey bacon”.  The waiter said, “Just white or rye”.  I said, “Ok, I’ll have two poached eggs in a cup and…” at which point he interrupted me and said, “we only have scrambled eggs”.  So I laughed and said perhaps he ought to just write out the order himself!!!  So scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, rye toast and home fries was breakfast du jour.

Walked over to 87th St to watch the trees being fed into an automated garbage truck, not something you see around town.

Once back home an online, the horrors wrought by Sandy the night before began to reveal themselves.  Between fielding phone calls from friends around the country who were checking in on our safety and well-being and trying to access the internet to see what was written on Blogfinger, I watched the news.  Switching from NBC to ABC to CNN I was horrified by what I saw.  Massive destruction of the Jersey Shore!  Subway tunnels flooded and our own Eastside #6 line under water.  The crane still dangling over West 57th St.  My cousin Marian called me and asked if they could stay at our apartment on Wednesday as she is still banned from her building due to the threatening crane.

Extel, Billionaires building, Manhattan, W. 57th sT

How ONE Crane Ate A Neighborhood

Another telling photo, this one from Hoboken, NJ

Hoboken, NJ, fleet of taxis, Hurricane Sandy

The Yellow Submarines

Every borough was severely affected by Sandy. Below is a freak incident brought about by high winds and a stupendous storm surge.

Sandy took a wrong turn on Staten Island

Photo courtesy of (AP Photo/Sean Sweeney)

Late in the afternoon, I was able to go online at a friend’s house and view Blogfinger – THE DAY AFTER: Assessing the Damage

The following photos are from Blogfinger, a great source of community information.  If you read the comments, you will see how many home-owners such as myself rely heavily on the blog to find out what is happening in the town when we’re not there.  The bad news was right there in black and white. No power, more trees down, the board walk a twisted and buckled wreck, a former restaurant ripped open by the sea.

Ocean Grove NJ, boardwalk, Hurricane Sandy

Ocean Grove boardwalk covered in sand, benches strewn around like toys,

Photo by Paul Goldfinger

And then I called Jane at the Lillagaard to find out what damage had been done.  The news was NOT GOOD.  The storm surge broke the entry door to the Tea Room, not only pushing the door open but also bending the door frame.  Can you imagine the forces of nature at play with this ferocious Frankenstorm?  As of tonight the kitchen was still flooded and the Tea Room is closed till further notice 😦

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Talk about air time, yesterday was the Mayor Mike/Guv Christie show all day long!! Mike Bloomberg was determined that New York City under his watch would be prepared for the impending disaster.  By and large, most New Yorkers followed his lead.  Murray took the photos of Grand Central Terminal just before it was shut down (nobody’s leavin’ this town) – https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/high-noon-in-new-york-city-irene-is-on-her-way/ and some other pre-Irene photos.  Today he went out and captured some great photos of Irene’s aftermath.  Here they are for your pleasure.

new york city, hurricane Irene

Cut the Red Tape, Use the Blue

new york city

Armed and Ready for Action

hurricane Irene, Apple store

We ARE Open 24/7

apple store new york city

Except When Irene's in Town

hurricane Irene

Park Avenue

A Fly Amid the Rain Drops

Some diid not survive the storm

new york city

The Mayor said "Stay Home"

purple flower

Fragile BUT A Survivor

Storm Sewer Detritus

hurricane Irene

Whew! What A Storm!

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It’s only Saturday morning and already this weekend, I am struck by the assortment of friends and acquaintances I have in my life and the different world we all live in.

First and foremost because of the gravity of the situation, there’s my friend, Josh.  Josh called me (actually woke me up) this morning with a phone call and one sentence, “Turn on CNN and call me at the office!”.  Groggily I went into the den, and tried to remember what channel CNN was on.  OMG what a horrible shock – an MAJOR earthquake in Santiago, Chile.  Josh’s partner and my friend, Ricardo lives in Santiago.   Josh had spent the holidays there and was expecting to meet Ricardo in Prague on this coming Tuesday.  Thank God, Ricardo called Josh’s cell phone at 3:00 am and had left a message that he was safe as was his father who lived even closer to the heart of the city.  No further communication from Chile; you can’t get through on the phone, you can’t reach LAN airlines, the airports are closed and since Ricardo is a chief resident at the hospital, we can only assume he is there.   Please keep Chile in your prayers, it is so upsetting that this event is following so closely on the heels of Haiti.

ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE – My nephew Justin, lives in Japan and I have just tried to reach him thru Facebook because I’m not sure how close he is to the epicenter of the earthquake that struck there.  Apparently that quake hit offshore and the major concern is a tsunami – I know he surfs so he must be somewhat close the shoreline.  As I type  this and listen to the CNN minute by minute coverage in Chile, I am learning how quickly a tsunami can spread from shore to shore, country to

The volcanic Ring of Fire

country and even continent to continent – especially if the country is in the Ring of Fire (see photo). Do I have to worry about my own surfer son, Joel, who lives in San Diego and lives well within tsunami wave range?

Closer to home, several of my friends are clearly living in worlds apart. Last night I took Peter and his lifelong friend Murray out to celebrate their joint birthdays.  After a delightful dinner at Compass, a restaurant on the Uppper West Side, we went to see the show, BAWDY at the Triad BAWDY is an old time burlesque show; complete with bumps, grinds and tasteful striptease.   The show is headlined by Jesse Lutrell, a very talented, very energetic and very gay performer.  He is a gifted young song and dance man and he sings in a story-centric style, so reminiscent of the cabaret and nightclub acts dating back to the American birth of vaudeville.  SO how did we happen to be at this show?  In two words; Grace Gotham.  It so happens that Grace Gotham a/k/a Sarah Liston is a friend of ours.  We hadn’t seen Sarah and her husband, Dave in quite a while and were we ever surprised to learn that our friend, wife of an Episcopalian  Deacon and member of our local Community Board, was actually performing burlesque!!! Well why not? Sarah is a published writer and you can read all about her journey into burlesque in an article published in the magazine, Marie Clare which I have published on this blog.  She’s a hoot and very good I must add – and yes she really can make her tassles twirl.

Then this is the weekend that The Glen Beck show airs where my sister-in-law, Juanita is in the front row of the audience.  She sent an email blast to all of us with the air times.  I told you she wasn’t a blood relative!! So I am DVR’ing this program (with explicit promises to Peter that we will only just see her and shut it off) at a time when I’m sure it won’t interrupt another really important show I might be watching like Grey’s Antatomy!! LOL Now we know she is in another world.

Next, my dear friend and mentor, Joyce is in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery.  She is in her mid-seventies and has the body and muscle tone of the someone 20 years younger but any surgery as you get older is serious.  I’m happy to report that she seems to have come through it very well and may even be home tomorrow.  And then rehab starts.

Lastly, we are leaving in an hour to get out to Port Jefferson, LI to attend a surprise birthday party for my daughter’s mother-in-law.  Because of the misery of the snow, our car is snowed in and this being Manhattan, even if we dug it out (good thing we bought that extra shovel last week!), we would never find a parking place when we got home.  The streets in Manhattan are very messy because when they plow, all the snow builds up around the cars.  We have to take the LIRR and to board that train, we have to go diagonally across town to Penn Station.  Believe it or not, we will be leaving our apartment at about 1:55pm and should arrive in Port Jefferson Long Island at 4:40pm.  In that amount of time, I could have driven to the Jersey Shore and back or to Connecticut.  And then we have to come home again.  It’s going to be a long day….

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