Thursday, March 28, 2024

Can You Feel It?

 I’m sitting here watching the news, and none of it is good. It honestly seems like there is a mental health crisis, which nobody is addressing and which is manifesting itself in all types of violence and crime. That’s on the micro level, the level that is apparent in a neighborhood, borough and city. It’s also apparent on a national and international scale. Many countries seem to have similar situations going on, but none are as divided, angry and mentally ill as us. And by us, I mean, American people living in the United States. But it’s more than just that. As the weeks go on, and the months of 2024, I have an overwhelming sense of dread, waiting for something seriously bad to happen. Will this be the day? I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I can’t brush it off. I think something will happen, and I think the fuse for it is the upcoming election. Let me say right here that I am no longer a Democrat nor am I a Republican. They are two sides of the same coin. The country needs someone who can bring us together, not divide us further. I believe we’re right at the brink of some type of civil war. I hate even saying those two words - it’s so upsetting. If perchance there isn't an election, if Trump is assassinated, or he’s somehow barred from the election it will result in a … If he gets into office (and he will overwhelmingly win against Biden), he will most assuredly go on his revenge tour against individuals, municipalities, states and organizations. He will also set up a subtle and not so subtle authoritarian foundation that will be solidified and be with us for many years and this will also result in … Of course, I certainly hope that none of this happens.

 I came across this video recently, I think it’s excellent. The young guy who did it uses historical reference and offers some compelling information and insights. If I had to offer advice, I would say to think rationally and move yourself away from the tribalism and divisiveness that has become so common place. Teachers are the most intelligent and rational folks out there. We need to live up to that ideal.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Meandering thoughts this February (updated link)


Time seems to be flying by. The weather said nothing about rain, but it’s teaming right now and cold. I’ve been trying to exercise more and feel about 102 (years not pounds) on a good day. I was in the Bahamas the week before President’s week on a great Italian cruise line. (That’s one of the perks of being retired - you can take advantage of vacations when kids are in school.) I’m not much of a cruise guy, but my wife loves it. The food was great, but it comes with a price and it isn’t (only) money. But, enough about that. That is all trivial in reality. I still keep hoping that people can do something to bridge the growing divide and find common ground in anything. There is so much hatred and divisiveness everywhere now. I had hoped that it would die down once Trump was out of office. I really don’t want to see him back in again and not because his policies are wrong, but because of what he does to people. It’s a vicious cycle of hate. The people that hate him are as bad, or worse, than the people who love him. There’s very little difference. Their common ground is their mutual hate of one another. But, there’s no way that Biden should remain an office. He should be removed immediately. Not that I’m enamored or unconcerned that Ms. Word Salad 😵‍💫 would be in charge - its a very frightening thought. But hey, she’s the vice president - let’s see what she can do. It would be impossible to be worse than Joe Biden. In fact, it would have to be intentional. 

The hatred that was born out of the Trump presidency, and of those elected worldwide leaders that emulate him, have made the world a powder keg. That hatred has burned and spurred a worldwide progressive left movement to bigger and crazier ideas, regardless of efficacy, relevance or common sense. Good intentions seem to be the only thing that matters. One of the left’s major unspoken, unwritten and unpopular doctrines is unfettered immigration. It , in almost every western country, has become a rallying cry for the left and right. It’s causing a shift of seismic proportions - politically, demographically, economically and culturally. European countries are losing their identities and culture. There are areas in England, where people don’t speak English. It’s the same in Germany, France, and it’s quickly spreading to other countries who have historically and culturally been the oppressed and were not colonialists, such as Ireland. The United States has had a rich history of welcoming (and also of hate towards) immigrants, but never an open board policy that welcomes almost everyone, regardless of their preparedness or our’s. It is creating a volatile situation that will have long range repercussions. It is evident on a micro and macro level. Mayor Adams was right about one thing - that the immigration situation here in New York City has the potential to completely destroy it. I would venture to say we are well on that path. I believe that something needs to be said or done (heavens to Murgatroyd) by the Uft, because as the money runs out in New York City, it will up the rhetoric for our healthcare and potentially our pensions. (I know some of you will say that cannot be done because there has to be a constitutional convention. All they have to do is call an emergency one because of the lack of funds in this city.) It is that bad.

And let me add I have absolutely nothing against immigrants. It is unbelievably wrong to let millions of them in here without any type of plan or system of support in place. It’s wrong for them and it’s wrong for us. I also find it incredibly wrong that some of the students that are graduating with my daughter this May are facing deportation if they don’t find a job in their field of study. She has already seen several female friends deported who graduated last year with honors in engineering. These are incredible kids that speak the language, love the country and have much to offer our society. Have a great rest of the month. Spring will eventually arrive. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024


February is one of my favorite months. The winter is half over, but February reigns gloriously - not because of it, but in spite of it. February is incredibly generous and kind - especially to teachers - it gives us a week off, Martin Luther King Day, the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. The days are getting longer, and the sun is getting brighter. It gives us hope.

Last night I wasn’t feeling well and went to bed early. Trying to sleep, I was strongly compelled to pray for James, which I did. The first thing I did this morning was look to see if something had happened. When I saw the ICE blog, and it’s news, a great sadness enveloped me, but also a sense of peace - his struggle is over. 

James was a glorious person - magnificent in his kindness, generosity and friendship. May G-d bless James, his family and friends.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Mulgrew Cries to the Heavens!

     Being a public school teacher in NYC is difficult. One of the most basic challenges is simply getting to work. If one is fortunate enough to be able to live in the five boroughs, there is public transportation - an option which is increasingly dangerous, unsanitary, and unreliable. For those (the vast majority) who live outside the city, the only option is driving. For decades it has been a perennial challenge. It became increasingly difficult after Bloomberg’s initial eruption as mayor. The importance of parking cannot be underestimated. Many teachers accept or decline positions at a school based solely on its parking situation. Many union reps regard parking as the most important concern of their staffs. Their ardent pleas to city officials were/are often ignored. Those pleas were then taken to the Uft, which was viewed as a powerful organization that could actually get something done. Unfortunately, this was usually not the case, as many working in the union were unperturbed by what they viewed as a trivial issue. I remember being at one meeting with hundreds of ATRs who bitterly complained about the lack of parking (because we weren’t permanent staff members) and the union reps there making no attempt to even fake concern. (The last school I was sentenced to I paid $20 per day to park  -and was happy to have the option - I was in that school for most of a year.) So imagine my surprise when I read that Mr. Mulgrew is filing suit over congestion pricing for cars going into Manhattan south of 68th Street.  Mulgrew’s Shangri-La is located at 52 Broadway, which is of course south of 68th Street. He hasn’t filed this suit because there were mass meetings complaining about it, or union reps from across the city asking for it, or there was a vote taken or attempted. Mulgrew’s cries to the heavens are for the residents of Staten Island, the children of the South Bronx and anyone else he can think of (teachers are never part of that group). All are listed except the real reason - he and his staff’s wallets.,51736

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Greetings!

   Well, it’s that time of year again. I have the building decorated to the hilt. I have the ugly Christmas elves named after all of my enemies and I have a new custom made one. I usually buy all the building’s decorations at the Dollar Tree and charge the coffer 50 times the total amount. I gather various receipts from my inner cadre and use them as proof of expenses. Why am I telling you this? To let you quarter-wits know that I can’t be touched and even if I take everything from right in front of your noses, I will remain in power - because I am the PRESIDENT and I know what’s best for you. Do not question me on anything! I am going to shove Medicare Advantage straight up your keisters!  How dare you try to fight me on this! I just got back from the West Indies and had a beautiful doll made up with Marianne‘s face and measurements. I’m sticking pins in it as we speak. She’ll be praying for Medicare Advantage by the end of the day. Oh, what a wonderful Christmas! Try to enjoy it, while you can. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Nuanced Approach to the Israeli - Hamas Conflict

 I have to believe there are many people struggling to come to terms with what’s going on in the Middle East with Israel and Gaza. It’s complicated, in that there are so many facets to this situation that aren’t readily apparent to most people - it includes the manipulation of information, natural resources, currency, and the ultimate goal for a centralized absolute authority. In simpler terms it’s about money and power. There is a determined push to dehumanize us all. Just as Hamas dehumanized the Israeli victims which they tortured, killed and raped - Hamas, the military industrial complex and many eagerly desire a dehumanized response from Israel of hate and anger. The censorship of information here has resulted in many people protesting against Israel, refusing and denying that Hamas did anything at all. Amazingly some protesters will outright argue that Hamas did not do what they did on October 7th and that it is just Israeli propaganda - or worse that Israel had it coming. Here’s some clips I found this evening from two guys I respect and like to watch occasionally. I wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah. I know it’s very difficult time.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Opposite of What We Have - Is What We Should Want

 I watched this clip this afternoon, and started doing a slow burn. The slow burn came not from Marianne‘s actions, thoughts and comments, but from the absence of all that from Mulgrew and the Uft.  Marianne keeps everyone informed and casually answers questions straight up - this is in stark contrast to what can only be described as the intricate weavings of fabrication towards the ultimate goal of deceit, robbery and propaganda coming from the Uft and Mulgrew. Thus her grace and poise are strikingly distinct from Mulgrew‘s double talking, lies, and fawningly bad acting. Mulgrew is a complete disgrace.