Monday, December 25, 2023

The Nightmare Before Christmas 2023 - Fred Smith Does it Again

December 25, 2023 --

Another year, 
another poem from Fred.
Not a lot of cheer
in a dismal year. 
But do not fear,
We have Fred's Photo with NY Jets Dancers
For us to share
--- Norm's feeble attempt at rhyme

Fred Smith has been posting his xmas messages here and elsewhere for many years. This year's message is a bit gloomy but have no fear, Fred ends with a cheer.

I first met Fred, a testing expert who used to work as a statistician for the old NYCBOE, when he contacted me about getting ICE members to assist in gathering data for his exposures of the evils of testing I think sometime around 2008. He then got involved with groups like GEM and Change the Stakes and was a co-winner with me and Danny Dromm of Leonie Haimson's Skinny Award in 2018 - (June 19 - I'm a Skinny: Honored to be honored by )

Fred Smith has done it again for 2023 with his yearly Xmas special. 

If it's Christmas, it must be Ed Notes.

Here it is.  Happy holidays and good health in 24.     

The Nightmare Before Christmas 2023

The news flash and photos showed that Santa was dead
When the elves came upon him face down by his sled,
His red cheeks turned white as the new fallen snow.
A voice cried inside me “Please, say it ain’t so.”
The reindeer stood silent—eyes brimming with tears.
Mrs. Claus draped in black.  No more jolly years.
I refused to believe Saint Nick really had died,
But the cables broadcast his sad fate far and wide.

Could it be so surprising to find he was gone
In a year that had been one grim tragi-thon?
Guess his big heart could not endure all the stress,
The suff’ring he saw; an imploding-world mess.
The ongoing bombardment inside of Ukraine;
Now Middle East slaughter again and again;
Children murdered in classrooms with their schoolmates;
The armed killings by sickos in psychotic states.
And he knew from the annual missions he flew
Our planet ‘twas rampantly spinning askew.
Disasters both natural and wrought by man,
A list of plagues exceeding the biblical ten:
Heat waves and wild fires; floods, drought and tornadoes;
Icebergs floating freely, earth quakes and volcanoes;
Starvation, diseases, poisoned water and air;
Species disappearing, migration despair.
Folks sleeping on cold streets and families without homes;
No chimneys for them, nor sweet Christmas Eve poems.
'23 would bring us no large cornucopia.
Was Santa the victim of raging dystopia?
And literally, had he done his last laps,
Leaving kids to sit blankly tapping their apps?
So, as I conjectured on his deep pain and grief,
I became more distraught and sought instant relief.
A sleeping pill, two shots of rye, thence off to bed,
Fell asleep with the covers fast over my head;
But I couldn’t hide from the ensuing bad dreams,
Flowing through my unconscious in noxious streams.
Demon visions came rushing into my brain
Aboard a veritable Walpurgis Night train,
A juggernaut of sleighs from the bowels of hell,
Bearing legions who’d succumbed to a vicious spell;
A crazed reindeer named Rudolph with the mug of a hog
Was steering this mad squadron straight into the fog.
First came the invaders, rabid-eyed and on fire,
Destined to become the Proud Boys prison choir.
Their leader was a flamer with a fat orange face,
Surrounded by trumpeters known as his base,
Spewing satanic curses, purely laden with hate
That howled once again to make Amerika great.
There was a blonde screamer blazing down laser beams
Near a scruffy podblaster preaching righteous extremes;
And in the back of the pack, trying to hide,
Were two black-robed impostors stealing a ride;
Then white-collared George Santos popped up to exclaim
He was coming to town—Santa was his real name.
Now I threw off my blanket in a cold sweat;
Our country divided. The Master had no regret.
But soon I awoke to a joyous surprise;
Nick’s demise was a cruel crock of big fake news lies.
Some are already dubbing it, “Tucker’s Last Stand!”
But whatever you call it, Christmas remains grand.
And we’ll hear jingling bells chime from on high.
Goodness rings eternal.  The truth shall not die.

Here are his previous years, each with a different theme. 2019 seems to be absent.
Fred is also a statistician for the NY Jets - don't blame him for their absence from the Super Bowl for over 50 years.

Fred Smith convincing Jets dancers to boycott field tests - he's the one in the middle

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Being surreal at December UFT Retiree meeting - the Morning Joe Edition

I'm still reeling from Tuesday's retiree chapter meeting and then I get deja vu all over again while watching Morning Joe, with former Dem Senator Claire Caskill bragging about the record amounts of drilling Biden is doing. That's a sure way to capture the votes of the young people who see climate change as an existential threat.

It's surreal to watch how they talk about all the great Biden stuff but can't understand why the polls are so low, especially within his own coalition -- They admit that Biden hasn't laid out a second term agenda -- only talks about what has been done while ignoring what hasn't been done. A guest says people have to have a real sense that a second Biden term will make a difference in their lives. It's not enough not to be Trump. But no worries. They think people will come to their senses, especially after Tom Murphy rouses the masses in the UFT retiree chapter meeting. So, watching Morning Joe this morning is like a nightmare repeat of Tuesday's RTC meeting where I was more convinced than ever that Trump will be our next president.

December 21 - last day of fall/first day of winter -- brrr.
Tuesday started off peaceful enough. The day began with a gym, swim and sauna. Done by 8:30 AM. Downloaded the flyer for Retiree Advocate to hand out at the RTC Dec. meeting later that day. Dropped by the FedEx on Lexington and 40th St and the ladies there were so helpful in sending the pdf to the copier. Then off to oatmeal and coffee at the Pret at Park and 40th, followed by the library on 40th and 5th and then off to check out the Bryant Park holiday fair and the ice skating - watching, not skating. Then off to Grand Central to head downtown.

So I was pretty mellow when I got to 52 Broadway to meet with the Retiree Advocate crew with leaflets and sign up sheets for RA. We got a pretty good response to our leaflet - a lot of people seemed to know us and wanted a copy. One guy referred to the last meeting where we saw a presentation on seniors avoiding fraud when "the biggest frauds of all were sitting up there running this union and RTC." 
And once again the frauds were in action.
So.....I spent an angry hour and a half at Tuesday's Retiree Chapter meeting. I wasn't the only one pissed. Arthur wrote about the meeting from a remote point of view. (When Is the Best Time to Dump UFT Unity?
Here's a sense of the meeting from Arthur:
...when someone actually has a question, Murphy interrupts her relentlessly. That’s off topic. That’s not a question. Murphy sarcastically calls her “nice.” The woman wants to know what AFT’s position is on Medicare. The woman says if the whole city gets off of it, the program may be in danger. Murphy snidely says, “Thank you,” over and over again, until some Unity hack finally grabs the mike from her. 
Lucky for Arthur he wasn't in the room where there was a lot of rage from both sides -- Unity hacks upset at how dare anyone challenge them. And he missed out on those stale bagels in cellophane wrappers. At the top of my platform for the RTC election would be promising to bring back real bagels and real pastries - strudel for sure. Maybe lox. Arthur also missed some awful xmas cookies. But you know me - I ate the bagel and the cookies.

I usually don't get too excited at the shenanigans by the gang running the UFT/Unity Caucus syndicate and its retiree chapter subsidiary, but I had to listen to stuff that set me off. At one point Tom Murphy made a mistake and actually pointed to me for a question but when he recognized it was me he looked horrified and said "NO" and pointed in the other direction. He should make better use of the UFT welfare eyeglass fund. 
The meeting, as usual, got off to a rousing start with moments of silence for death notices. (I wanted a moment for the death of our healthcare). RTC leadership loves death notices - which may explain why they want us off Medicare and in a MedAdv managed care program, a sure way to increase death notices. 
I can't wait for Murphy to filibuster an entire RTC meeting dedicated to moments of silence, though a recent meeting dedicated to the death of George Altomare where he comes back to life to sing Solidarity Forever - and he means Forever - repeatedly because Murphy couldn't hear it well enough, qualifies. Murphy should make better use of the UFT Welfare hearing-aid fund.
I was sorry to hear of the death of Bernie Zemsky, longtime Unity Caucus member, who soured on the leadership and communicated his feelings to people in the opposition. I was told he was fired by the union and sued them and there was a settlement but he had to sign an NDA. I had planned to get in touch with him to ask him to run with RA in the chapter election. He probably would have. Ooops. I gave Bernie away. Look for Unity to rescind the moment of silence at the next meeting. 
When I'm gone I want one minute of people screaming at the leadership "U Suck!"

"Why aren't we talking about retiree issues," someone calls out a few minutes into the meeting. The meeting reinforced the inept AFT/UFT gang as part and parcel of the inept Democratic Party leadership which is a major reason the Trump phenomena exists. And yes, we retirees get the danger Trump presents. Don't waste our time beating our heads over it and take care of our healthcare. We don't need to go to a meeting to tell us how bad Trump is and how good Biden is. Trump is strong because the Dem Party is so inept. And it's not only about perceptions but policy.
Using UFT Retirees a political force while ignoring their health needs
This meeting was about the role for retirees for political action. Randi's NYT Sunday ad warning about the Trump danger to democracy was referenced. How ironic to talk about democracy at an undemocratic UFT meeting. 
Using the Trump threat as a way to distract people from the healthcare issue is not a surprise. The Trump threat is real but so is the healthcare threat the UFT foisted on the retirees. 
What will kill us first? Trump or Aetna? 
The idea that getting the UFT retirees wired up about the Trump threat in the face of the assault on our healthcare by our own union is what made this meeting surreal.
The major theme in the opening presentation by John Ost, AFT Director of Political Mobilization was all about how Trump is a danger to democracy and is leading Biden in all areas. DUHHHH! He was interrupted constantly by Mulgrew riding in a car trying to talk but all we heard and saw was static -- which is how I always view Mulgrew talking. 
Arthur's report:
Murphy says we’ll bring on a speaker from AFT, but we’ll interrupt him whenever Mulgrew sees fit to show up. As soon as the guy starts to speak, he’s interrupted by Mulgrew, evidently in a car, and no one in the room can hear him. After we waste time on that, Mulgrew says he’ll drop in on the meeting later.
Back to Ost. But of course it's not the fault of Biden or the inept Democrats, which includes our UFT leadership from the top national down to the locals they control. UFT/AFT is inbred with the right/central Dem Party -- which is controlled by the corporate wing. They will sit by while the Israeli lobby wipes out the progressives. 

John Ost posted charts - he charted us to death about how much of a danger Trump was and how bad Biden was doing in the polls. I kept calling out WHY? But they are not interested in WHY and when you don't want to know WHY, you will never have an answer. The WHY is that the corporate Dem agenda sucks and alienates the progressives and opens up Biden to weakness on both flanks. 

And they don't get why young people are deserting Biden in droves? Student debt - inept. Climate change - inept. Healthcare improvement: inept. Note: Biden ran on extending Medicare. Don't just blame Republicans. Biden never mentions it.
So they talked about Biden bringing down drug prices and medicare negotiating for lower drug prices. But always watch what they don't say: the delay until 2025, that it's only a few drugs, etc. A Unity former VP made a point that Medicare and Social Security would be in more danger if Trump won? I slapped my head -- The UFT leadership has been a threat to Medicare so far, not Trump, who is one of the few Republicans who chastise them for talking about cutting Medicare -- one of his few redeeming points - even if he's probably lying.

You see the problem is that the wonderful work Biden has done is just not getting through. Like people who can't pay rent or buy a house should bow down.
In the first minute of the presentation I was more convinced Trump may win than ever because these people are so clueless. They are hoping to beat Trump by getting states to not put him on the ballot or the courts to convict him. Why so many people are either supporting Trump and rejecting Biden? Not interested.
And how about those Dems in states like Florida, Massachusetts and Tennessee manipulating or cancelling primaries to protect Biden? Dems are not a threat to democracy? 

Biden's insistence of running may end up being the biggest threat to democracy, enabled by his enablers in support groups like the UFT.
We heard a long report from the UFT’s new political director, Venecia Wilson.  
Arthur reports:
She is charming as she relates a few personal anecdotes. I had expected her to answer the question, but she doesn’t. She then talks about Santos and says the GOP has picked a candidate for his seat, but we’re waiting to hear from the Democrats. Oddly, I heard yesterday the Democrats had picked Tom Suozzi, and a member later brings it up. (It’s a little disconcerting our political director seemed not to know this.)

I try to get a question in on Suozzi who is to the right of Hochul but Tom ignores me again. Joel Burger shows Newsday which announces Suozzi and leaves egg on their faces. Did they not know or were they hiding that this is the guy we are going to be asked to support? Not all good news on Suozzi either as he's blamed for running a dumb primary campaign against Hockul which helped Republicans in numerous ways -- maybe even the House loss is partly his fault with Santos replacing him.

Mulgrew walks in and he's in a good mood --- I'm glad he wasn't driving the car. He's handling the heckling with a hearty "Happy holidays". 

Back to Arthur.

Mulgrew shows up at 2:15. Says this chapter will work harder than any other chapter. Other people have to go into classroom. Evidently, he assumes we have nothing else to do. He criticizes corporations who want unfettered control. This strikes me as ironic. Mulgrew, despite professing that the Delegate Assembly is the union’s highest decision-making body, opposes the NY Health Act, twice endorsed by the DA. He himself has unfettered control.
Murphy, to his evident dread, has to allow questions. He says there are “lots of health question, or statements posing as questions,” in yet another barb at those of us who want to keep our insurance. Belittling us yet again, he snaps, “Here’s an apt question,” which turns out to be about Tier 6.
Murphy finally allows ONE question on health care to reach Mulgrew’s ears.
Sarah Shapiro—Why are you more concerned with the city’s health than our health? NYS Supreme court found Advantage would cause us irreparable harm. Isn’t that enough of a reason to preserve the coverage we have now?”
Mulgrew—We are at war with the health care industry. We can’t just say no, no, no. We see around the corner with what will happen in the future. We will make sure every member gets the best health care with the same benefits, I know the city’s appealing. Keep hearing the rhetoric and the same lines. Responds “Happy New Year and God bless” to people. I support your right to your opinions. I will give you facts and you have a right to agree or disagree. Moving on to next question.
Mulgrew did not answer the question. He implies we are contrary imbeciles, and suggests he has vision, but offers absolutely no supporting evidence. I’m glad he’s not in my class writing a persuasive essay. (He should be glad too.)
There are a few statements on health and welfare. Notable is this one:
Bennett FisherRetiree Advocate had very well attended general meeting. Discussed health care going forward. Discussed health care with UFT other unions, and NYC Retirees, Very happy most recent lawsuit went into our favor. If anybody has interest in learning more about RA, please come see us and sign up.
Murphy tried to interrupt, but Bennett got to complete his statement. There was another speaker, and then Murphy loudly cried, “Meeting Adjourned!” Clearly, there was nothing he wanted in life more than to end this meeting.

Bennett was speaking under Good and Welfare which is where anyone can get up to the mic and say something. Well, not everyone. I'm waving my hand and shouting Good and Welfare. "Meeting adjourned" says Murphy, 20 minutes before it was supposed to end.

More info on the Suozzi story:

NYT: Inside the Secret Meeting That Cleared the Way for Tom ..

Politico: Not everyone’s welcoming back Tom Suozzi

Anna Kaplan doesn’t like George Santos. And she isn’t so sure about Tom Suozzi either.

“After almost a year of this district having embarrassing representation, Tom Suozzi thinks voters on Long Island have forgotten that he abandoned us to George Santos,” Kaplan, who is running in the 3rd Congressional District as a Democrat, said in a statement. “The Democratic Party is a pro-choice party, and unlike Tom Suozzi, I will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose — period.”

That was just a preview of just some of the attacks that fellow Democrats will make against Suozzi after the longstanding, though divisive figure in New York politics launched his own campaign Tuesday to win back his old seat.

Suozzi “abandoned” the Long Island district last year, forgoing re-election to challenge Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary from the right.

Team Hochul viewed Suozzi as a nuisance, at best. And she slammed him for initially supporting the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funds like Medicaid from being spent on abortion care.


Monday, December 18, 2023

Ugly Democracy and Ugly Sweater Day for Unity Caucus - and Ugly Truths too - Breaking: Mulgrew says a truth, Lawsuit Filed in NYS Supreme Court against MTA & TWU Local 100 to Demand Access to Promised Medicare Benefits

A certain former congressman has been voted out. DC  can’t get anything done... Michael Mulgrew, Dec DA

Monday, December 18, 2023

Finally, some truth from Mulgrew. How dare people say he lies and lies and lies and lies?

Another thing Mulgrew doesn't hide - the increasingly open strangulation of democracy in the UFT. 

People look to Trump to kill democracy if elected - his model can be Mulgrew.

There actually was a time when any UFT member could walk into a Delegate Assembly. Now you can't even get in the building.

I was in the back lobby of the UFT the other day and a retiree told me a story. She was there for two issues, one a welfare fund story. She couldn't go up to see the people she had to see. Instead the security guard had to track down each person and it took some time. Then each person had to come down to the lobby to meet with her sitting at one of the rickety tables instead of their office upstairs. Are they afraid to show members how comfy they are? The process took over an hour when she could have settled each item in ten minutes.

Arthur talks all about our vaunted UFT Welfare Fund -- the absolute best according to Mulgrew.

We Have the Best Welfare Fund in the Country

I was struck by several remarks made by UFT President Michael Mulgrew at last night’s Delegate Assembly. He’d said he’d have a major announcement on health care, but simply reiterated that there were two finalists—Emblem/United and Aetna. (Mulgrew just can’t wait to dump Aetna on retirees, so I suspect he’ll lean toward them regardless.)

That said, this is very disturbing—As Daniel Alicea pointed out on Twitter, there’s a slide from the PowerPoint they used last night that speaks to “real managed care”. Mulgrew also said that members would need to declare a primary doctor. This suggests the new plan may be more of an HMO than a PPO. If that’s the case, you will have far less choice among providers (despite Mulgrew’s happy talk about paying 10% less for something “as good or better”).

 Continue reading

Mulgrew continues to claim his Aetna Medicare Adv is no different than Medicare -- maybe even better. Even better than the Emblem MedAdv plan he claimed was the best just two years ago.

Even the corp media on NBC exposes Mulgrew as a liar:

NBC segment: :

I was outside the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday (Dec. 13) with Retiree Advocate colleagues and retirees from New Action handing out our leaflets. It was cold and some of us old folks wanted to in to distribute - a right we always used to have but in the increasing restrictions on democracy in the UFT, we had to fight to even stand inside the warm lobby.  As for the table the opposition always has had - that is long gone -- according to sources under the orders of LeRoy Barr.  As for our right to actually watch the DA even at the 19th floor - well that is long gone.

Adding to the ugliness, it  seemed to be ugly sweater day for the Unity Caucus gang. And of course Mulgrew made sure not to call on any opposition people who might actually challenge his lies. 

Nick wrote up the minutes.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Rambling on 2 - the 24 hour saga continued - RTC Meeting ends, Hitting the Museums - Morgan and Met

I began my report on an interesting 24 hour period with the Retired Teacher Chapter meeting on Tuesday which ended at 5:20.

Surviving almost two hours of Mulgrew and Murphy, I needed fresh air. There was a segment on how seniors can avoid scams right after Mulgrew spoke and took questions. The presentation didn't include how to avoid the Mulgrew/Murphy healthcare scam. Luckily Marianne broke down the Mulgrew lies with 4 videos that add up to almost an hour --- it took an hour to debunk Mulgrew. To set the stage:

Mulgrew: I believe in democracy 

Marianne: Laughs out loud.

part 1:

part 2:

part 3:

Part 4:

I needed to wash off the propaganda so I headed uptown where I had two conflicting events at 6. Oh the choices. 

One was the tree lighting at Bryant Park winter village with entertainment and watching professional ice skating.

The other was a members' invitation to the Morgan library for a two hour special tour of various exhibits with an expert talking about each one. I chose the latter.

Lots about Gutenberg and the bibles and also some great stuff about books on nature from 500 years ago. Morgan is a great museum and only a few blocks from my place so I go often.

The Morgan


Then off to one of my favorite diners - Murray Hill Diner on 33rd and Lex. Soup and sandwich - but no rice pudding.

On way back to my apartment I passed a storefront with about 20 women doing what looked like yoga but on some machine - I went in to talk to the young lady in charge and she said it was Pilotes. Do any men take this class? One guy was in there. I told her ti do hot yoga and she slapped me 5. I may try it one day -- with women who could be my grandkids.

The Met

I had to get up early on Wednesday for a press event at The Met for their upcoming exhibits this year. I love these events and they serve breakfast. And best of all the museum is closed on Wednesdays so imagine empty galleries. They introduced the upcoming exhibits (see below) but also after the program was done we had the opportunity to explore the newly opened European painting gallery until noon. I wish I had read this article before but I had fun just roaming around. I will go back. Read this before you go: 

700 Paintings, 45 Galleries: A Guide to the Met's New ...

Nov 24, 2023700 Paintings, 45 Galleries: A Guide to the Met's New European Wing.


Shortbread cookies

entry to European painting

My new girlfriend

And an opera


The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces Exhibition Program for Winter and Spring 2024

Highlights include The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism (opening February 25); Hidden Faces: Covered Portraits of the Renaissance (opening April 2); and Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion (opening May 10)

The Museum also revealed the artists for the 2024 commissions series: Petrit Halilaj will present a site-specific installation for the Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden; Lee Bul will create sculptures for The Met’s Fifth Avenue facade; and Tong Yang-Tze will create two monumental works of Chinese calligraphy for The Met’s Great Hall

(New York, November 30, 2023)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced its schedule of exhibitions and programming that will activate the Museum’s galleries and featured architectural spaces in the coming months.

“The Met’s upcoming season will offer dazzling presentations of art from the ancient times to the present day and reflect the breathtaking scope of human creativity through new scholarship, commissions, and groundbreaking exhibition displays,” said Max Hollein, the Museum’s Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited for audiences to visit and take part in this thrilling next chapter of our programming.”

Winter highlights include Women Dressing Women (opening December 7), a timely exploration of the creativity and artistic legacy of women fashion designers; Don’t Forget to Call Your Mother (opening December 18), examining how artists use family photographs and archival material to reflect on the complicated feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality; Cycladic Art: The Leonard N. Stern Collection on Loan from the Hellenic Republic (opening January 25), a landmark international loan exhibition presenting 161 Early Bronze Age sculptures from the esteemed private collection; Vision and Verse: The Poetry of Chinese Painting (opening February 3), exploring the interconnection of painting and poetry in Chinese culture; Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting (opening February 6), presenting the Museum’s recent acquisition of Indian paintings from the 16th to the 19th century from the collection of artist Howard Hodgkin; and The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism (opening February 25), a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and nationwide.

In the spring, The Met will present Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art (opening March 5), analyzing the striking connections between textile artists of the ancient Andes and artists of the 20th century; The Art of the Literary Poster: Works from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection (opening March 7), introducing audiences to a subgenre of posters from the 1890s publicizing magazines, journals, books, and other types of literature; The Real Thing: Unpackaging Product Photography (opening March 11), illustrating how commercial camerawork contributed to the visual language of modernism; Hidden Faces: Covered Portraits of the Renaissance (opening April 2), the first exhibition to examine the Renaissance tradition of multisided portraits in which the sitter’s likeness was concealed behind hinged or sliding covers; Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion (opening May 10), reactivating the sensory capacities of masterworks in the Museum’s Costume Institute collection through first-hand research, conservation analysis, and diverse technologies; and Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. (opening June 9), displaying the work of the silversmith for Tiffany & Co. alongside his expansive personal collection of global decorative arts, which inspired his creations.

The Met also announced new artist commissions for the 2024 season. Petrit Halilaj will present a site-specific installation for the Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden (April 29); Lee Bul will create four sculptures for the niches of The Met’s Fifth Avenue facade (September 12); and Tong Yang-Tze will create two monumental works of Chinese calligraphy for The Met’s Great Hall (November 21).

Programmatic highlights include a series of talks about cultural heritage sites in Africa, Oceania, and the Americas presented in partnership with World Monuments Fund and leading up to the reopening of the reenvisioned Michael C. Rockefeller Wing in 2025, as well as the return of two popular celebrations—Lunar New Year (February 3) and Teens Take The Met! (May 13). The Museum also previewed its winter MetLiveArts season, which will include the world premiere of Handel: Made in America (February 15 and 16), a new work written and performed by Terrance McKnight with opera stars Davóne Tines, J'Nai Bridges, and Noah Stewart.

Visitors arriving at The Met during the current season can explore the must-see exhibitions Manet/Degas (through January 7) and Africa & Byzantium (through March 3) as well as Look Again: European Paintings 1300–1800, the renovated suite of 45 permanent collection galleries situated atop the Great Hall stairs. Through January 2024, The Met’s holiday season is in full swing with comprehensive festivities at both The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, including beloved annual displays and seasonal dining and shopping opportunities.


November 30, 2023



I got the ferries back to Rockaway Wed afternoon. 24 hour away and it felt like a week.


News Update: So what's a little mistake? Or was it a mistake if you are a conspiracy theorist?

The New York Times reports on how Israel knew about the Hamas plan a year ahead and did nothing. Not exactly nothing. Bibi actually withdrew forces and sent them to the West Bank to protect the murderous settlers. If I were a conspiracy theorist I might say the attack is exactly what he wanted as an excuse to destroy Gaza.

The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named 'Jericho Wall,' outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people. ...
Then, in July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel's signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint.
But a colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by The Times.

 For the pro-Putin crowd:

Russian Supreme Court Bans the 'International LGBT Public Movement' Activists are advising "LGBTQ+ Russians to flee the country, and call[ing] on international rights organizations to help people from those groups find refuge outside Russia." via the Washington Post and the Guardian.