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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 31,967

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Hurricane Gloria


It was October 1985. My mother was living in a small Cape Cod home in Southampton, on the South Shore of Long Island. I was living and working in northern New Jersey. (My parents had a home in northern New Jersey as well.)

I was at work, typing medical reports. Mom called to tell me that her car had a hole in the gas tank and it couldn't be repaired until next week. Meanwhile reports of the impending hurricane warned not only would it hit Long Island the next day, but the eye of the storm would go over exactly where Mom was. I told her that I'd be there in a few hours.

So in my small Ford Escort, I drove three hours to Southampton. Bad rain and wind. But I made it by 5:00 and it was still light outside. My illusions of rescue were shattered when Mom cheerfully greeted me with "You're just in time for the Hurricane Party!" And no, she was sober and she wasn't kidding. She thought that I left work and risked my life on the Long Island Expressway to get drunk during a dangerous hurricane.

I had a fit of anger. Told her to look out the window at my car, because in 30 minutes, it would be leaving and I didn't care if she was in the passenger seat or not.

Grumbling, Mom decided to return to New Jersey, to safety with me. We then drove with bumper-to-bumper traffic BACK on the Long Island Expressway for four hours with greater wind and greater rain. It was amazing that I had any gas left in my tank. Mom constantly complained about missing the damned party during the ride.

Once home, Mom promptly poured herself a Scotch and attended the Hurricane Party by phone conversation. I was beyond words to express my dismay. I did the right thing. It was just the most bizarre experience I had had up to that point. (But then again, it WAS my family . . . . . )

Epilogue: Gloria did in fact hit Southampton hard. Many old trees were uprooted and laid across streets. No electricity for 10 days.

Generally, Trump reminds me of my father when he was 92.


Dad had to have two cataracts removed, obviously one at a time. He chose to have the surgery in NYC, about 45 minutes drive from our home in NJ. His status post-op would be one eye with a cataract, one with an eye patch, and effects of anesthesia.

I offered to drive him there and back. He refused outright. I asked if he were ordering a car service. Nope. How did he intend to safely return home as he wasn't staying overnight? Taxi? No, he intended to drive to the hospital and drive back.

I outright told him he wasn't going to do that as his vision would be severely compromised, he wouldn't be alert, and he'd be attempting to drive Midtown during midday during midweek. And three major highways. There would be a great chance of an accident with injury(ies) of other cars and/or pedestrians.

While I was in the bathroom, he snuck down to the garage, got in his car, and drove to the hospital. While I wasn't going to call the Police, I did the next best thing: I called the surgeon's office and advised them not to release him as he didn't have a driver. I further advised the office if they did let him drive home and there were an accident, I'd call the victim's (victims') attorney and give the law office the surgeon's name, address, and phone # to add to the Complaint.

To my horror, the surgeon and hospital released my father and he drove home himself. How he managed NOT to hit anyone or anything still amazes me.

My point: My father was a dangerous driver even without the surgery. But short of a court order and/or an arrest, you couldn't keep him from driving. My siblings and I knew he was dangerous and felt helpless. Like Trump, out father had poor judgment and impulse control. And a mercurial temper.

Epilogue: Dad died because he rear-ended a van at a gas station, hitting his chest on the steering wheel (no airbag). He didn't tell any of us about the accident. For one week, he internally bled from a torn aorta, thus suffering a fatal heart attack.

I don't know what, but there IS something wrong with Trump's mentation.

That is, mental activity.

It's so similar to my friend's brother. While this brother was an alcoholic and Trump abstains from alcohol, both men speak similar tomes.

This brother was the kind of alcoholic who would be celebrated patron at the local bar. They even reserved his seat (sort of like Norm in "Cheers" ). And this guy would sit and drink beer after beer after beer and proselytize politics, sex, religion, life from his bar stool. And nobody corrected him. He just reached around and pulled "facts" out of his ass all night. And he'd make these statements with certitude. And the other bar patrons loved him because he blew his money on drinks for the house. (See any parallels so far?)

He'd come back to his home and try the bar routine and he wasn't as popular as he was in the bar. He'd claim, insist, stuff like "We Will Rock You" was originated in Germany in the 1970s and that Queen stole the song. I mean he'd get worked up about this nonsense. Nearly hysterical. And this was even when he was somewhat not as drunk. (At best, he was dry, but not sober.)

One incident convinced his brother that this drunk was beyond help and redemption. His brother was hyperpatriotic. (He served in Vietnam). In Germany, this guy was anti-American but as soon as he moved back, he was hyper-American. One day, my friend was driving around town with his brother who was screaming and raving, just getting worked up. My friend inadvertently fed him some fuel when he popped in a tape of "God Bless the U.S.A." Instead of calming down his brother, this was like throwing gas on a fire. Whoosh! This guy was leaning towards dangerous with his screaming and hysteria.

My point: I've seen this movie before. I figure not only will Trump not level off, but he'll get worse over time. He needs these rallies where his ravings are welcomed and integrated. He feeds the audience and they feed him back.

It doesn't matter that Trump doesn't drink. He's acting exactly like my friend's brother.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Wed Aug 1, 2018, 10:52 AM (6 replies)

It's easy to understand why Trump's base would be OK with Russian interference.

Because Russia helped to elect their boy. Otherwise, the Base would remain a political minority. Nobody taking them seriously. Their prejudices unaddressed. Their wish for their religious views to be enacted into law ignored. Democracy was passing them by every election.

So whatever it took to get them to the front of the line, they're down with it! Trump knows and appreciates that. Democracy is not how inadequate candidates get elected. Russians are cool (until their boy no longer matters to them).

Not to take away from the compelling saga of Patty Hearst,

but I find the story of one of her kidnappers, Angela Atwood, to be just as interesting, if not more.

Angela DeAngelis (yes, that was her maiden name), grew up in the town next to where I live, North Haledon, NJ. I've taught in the school she attended. In High School, she was Honor Roll, head cheerleader, Queen of the Prom, star of the school musicals. Most Likely To, etc.

She graduated and enrolled in Indiana University and knew Jane Pauley. Continued to study theater. Married Gary Atwood. They left Indiana with Bill and Emily Harris, to live in California. Angela separated and divorced Gary because he wasn't radical enough for her anymore.

She was teaching literacy in prisons when she became involved with a guy who was eventually arrested and jailed. And he was her entree into the Symbionese Liberation Army.

You likely know the rest of the story, esp. how she died in the shoot-out and fire in Los Angeles. She's buried in a Catholic cemetery in Paterson, the same one as Fr. Mychal Judge (Saint of 9/11). Buried with her family with just the name "Angel", her nickname.

I can understand how Patty Hearst suffered from the shock of the kidnapping and being held a hostage and being raped. I can also appreciate Stockholm Syndrome.

But to me, I just can't understand how Angela DeAngelis Atwood voluntarily and willingly went from Prom Queen to terrorist. To me, THAT'S the story not being told.

When I was a kid (decades ago), I loved comic books.

Superman, Superboy, Dennis the Menace, Archie/Veronica/Betty, Leave It to Binky

I had about maybe 20 that I would read over and over and over.

When I was 12, my father was agitated about my comic book habit. (It wasn't like I was buying 25 new ones a week. I just liked what I had.) He made me throw them out. As you may imagine, I felt that to be a violation on several levels.

It was August, 1969. In the dead of night, I stole outside and took them back. (I was lucky: they were on top of the garbage and not ruined.) I hid them from him for about six months before I became afraid of the consequences if he discovered that I was secreting them. So, again in the middle of the night, (albeit, now 10 degrees with snow outside), I sneaked out of the house and put my beloved comic books on top of the garbage and said a reluctant goodbye.

I don't know why my father was so angry. Maybe he believed that crap in Readers Digest about comic books leading to juvenile delinquency. Maybe he wanted me to read "Little Women" and other "classic literature". He's gone and so are the comics.

It's nearly 50 years ago. I still wish I had those comics. I just do.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Sat Feb 3, 2018, 09:04 AM (9 replies)

Chuck Schumer offered to (partially) fund "The Wall" on Friday.

He didn't do it because he wanted the Wall.

He did it like a bluff in Poker.

He suspected that Trump was going to continue his line of "No Deal" no matter what the Democrats offered at that point. And he was right and Trump fell into the trap.

Schumer destroyed Trump's accusation that the Democrats truly wanted a government shut-down and were not negotiating in good faith and Trump would use that position to resurrect the 2018 Midterms across the nation.

Trump's MO: Make a promise, rescind that promise, deny he made that promise. Now the Dreamers are "illegal aliens" after HE gave them that status by rescinding Obama's EO.

My Point: Even when Schumer offered what Trump said he wanted to make a deal, in the end, Trump didn't want a deal.

P.S. Do any one of you not think that Trump could and would have extracted incredible concessions FROM the Democrats to avoid the Shutdown? Like a 20-week abortion ban AND "The Wall"? Or something similar?

My opinion of why Trump supporters are unnaturally loyal to him.

There's been a symbiotic relationship established. They more than identify with Trump. They are him. He literally speaks for them.

When Trump is criticized, insulted, not appreciated for all the hard work he's done for everybody (in their minds, not mine), etc., they absorb the criticism as though it was originally directed at them. When Trump is called stupid, a dullard, crazy, insane, a racist, it's the same as if the critics were calling them dirt-eating white trash who count for nothing. And perhaps more importantly, this criticism challenges, if not destroys, their republican delusions that they too can become impossibly rich like Trump with the right economy in place.

And that's why they'll never leave his side.

You could have video of him, caught in flagrante delicto, in bed with half a dozen hookers peeing on him and it won't push an inch between them and him. They blindly follow him like their minister (more or less the same thing in their eyes) because they've given up hope with everyone and everything else.

I had an interesting day while teaching.

I substituted as a class aide and was assigned at the end of the day to the preschool class for special needs children. I've been with them about 10 times in the last six weeks. I know the staff and the kids.

A boy was put in our class one minute after his third birthday. He is autistic and can't use words to communicate. He uses a variety of screams and shrieks. I've come to recognize a pattern or two, and realized he was trying to communicate the only way he knows how.

When I first met him, he was anti-social insofar as he was suspicious of people he didn't know. He was frightened and made for the door any time the thought occurred to him. While he didn't bite or was violent, he made it clear he didn't want to be in the class and school. He was also noticeably intelligent and seemed to love the I-Pad.

Fast forward to this afternoon. The kid was acting up a little and needed focus. The head teacher put him in a make-shift cubicle with games and activities, not very large. I was asked to sit on a chair near him to observe him (and to block the only exit of escape he would likely try). He played and seemed intent on what he was doing. Then -- without warning -- he approached me, climbed onto my lap and hugged me. He did this three times. This came as a surprise to me as we didn't exactly have a rapport established. I haven't seen him do with other teachers, although it's possible he has as I haven't been with this class for about a week.

BTW, this school has a very advanced program for special needs children from preschool to second grade.

When my father was barely "there" mentally and physically during his last years,

he enlisted a witless neighbor to enable him in the charade that everything was okay.

Repeatedly the neighbor would tell me, with admiration no less, that my father "really knows what he's doing".

In the meantime, just the opposite was going on. My father let his dog piss and shit all over the house as well as let the dog tear up the cushions on a sofa. When I tried to clean up the aforesaid, my father would get hysterically angry at me. My father also broke a front upper tooth and refused to get it addressed, repaired, etc. for more than a year. He would joke that he looked like Alfred E. Newman. (My father was a retired physician. He knew better and he had the money for a dentist/dental surgeon.) He didn't pay his bills for 6+ months and refused to allow me or my sister to get them ready for payment. He got into numerous fender-benders because he lacked the concentration and reflexes to drive safely. He had gouty knees and refused my offer to take him to the ER but preferred to call the EMS to take him there via ambulance. (He refused treatment once he arrived at the hospital. He then accepted my offer to drive him home, BUT he wanted me to stop at a take-out for some food AND wanted to get out of the car to walk the aisles. At that point, I had it with him; I told him if he did that, I'd drive away and leave him there.)

I respected my father's wish to remain in his home and not to move to an adult facility. But yet, he couldn't handle living alone and he just didn't "know what he was doing".

Trump brings back a lot of bad memories for me.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Sat Jan 6, 2018, 09:31 AM (0 replies)
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