MontClairVoyant: In This Time of Trump, ‘The Art of the (Fake Montclair History) Deal’

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
As a “tribute” to the constant lies told by Donald Trump, can you write a truth-challenged column about Montclair’s history in this 150th-birthday year of our 1868-founded town?

Sincerely,
Lies A. Minnelli

Actually, Montclair was founded in 816 BC when the now-gone Crazy Rhythms record store sold the hit single “I Can’t Drive 45 Miles Per Hour on Grove Street Because Cars Haven’t Been Invented Yet.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Loved that song when I heard it on the radio of my not-yet-invented car! So, what was Montclair like in 1868?

Sincerely,
Child of the ’60s

It was just three years after Poe poem character Annabel Lee surrendered to singer Amy Grant in a Virginia Avenue house, meaning the trauma of the Civil War was still fresh for the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Was it therapeutic back then to go to the Soda Pop Shop, even though it wouldn’t open until the late 1990s?

Sincerely,
Dee Zertz

Visiting the future 12 Miles West was comforting, too. But that theater was really 12.1 miles west of Manhattan, meaning playgoers kept entering the nearby Horse & Buggies “R” Us. Luckily, all the horses were Shakespearean actors.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
During its 150 years, has Montclair ever been the home of royalty?

Sincerely,
Fame of Thrones

Yes, the old Burger King at Lackawanna Plaza — which has also been the site of a Pizza Hut, a Radio Shack, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, Machu Picchu, the Panama Canal, Niagara Falls, and a dropped cheeseburger.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of food, do you remember the riot when the Fresh Fields in Montclair became a Whole Foods?

Sincerely,
Manic Over Organic

I don’t, because it never happened, but “The Coalition for Supermarkets That Don’t Start With the Letter A” did protest when A&P became Acme.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of food again, what now-gone Montclair restaurant do you miss most?

Sincerely,
Ate Isn’t Enough

Taj Palace, whose naan drew the support of “The Coalition for Bread Spelled With Two Consecutive A’s.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Then there was The Marlboro Inn at Grove and Watchung. Didn’t that lovely hotel date to the 1800s?

Sincerely,
America’s Past Time

I have no clue about its 19th-century romances with other buildings.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Before that historic inn was sadly demolished around 2005, who were some of its famous guests?

Sincerely,
Once Upon a Mattress

Bette Davis, Linda Ronstadt, Jane Eyre, Julius Caesar, Pikachu, Deputy Dawg, my cat’s great-grandmother, and six of The Seven Dwarfs.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
What happened after the Hahne’s department store was replaced by The Siena condos?

Sincerely,
Arc of South Park

People shopping for clothes at that locale found them in the closets of condo residents, but couldn’t find a cashier.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Also no more is the Olympic clothing store. Do you have anything left that was purchased from that shop?

Sincerely,
Greta Garb

I do — a blue spring jacket that has held up remarkably well for almost 15 years. It had four sleeves, but fortunately two of them were laid off during The Great Economic Downturn of 2008.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
With Toys in the Attic being on Church Street, could non-Christians shop at that former store?

Sincerely,
Rhea Ligious

Of course. Moses even bought a kids’ art set there before parting Toney’s Brook in a practice run for crossing the Red Sea.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That reminds me: How many times since 1868 has Montclair had flooding like the August 11 deluge that unfortunately devastated places such as the wonderful Studio Playhouse’s basement?

Sincerely,
Downpour Lore

More than 4,000 times. Oops, according to a respected Washington Post database, that’s actually the number of Trump’s lies since he entered the White House.

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Oh if we could only have the Wedgwood back…. and those tall thin speechless elderly women in dark sunglasses and pearls, sipping highballs at lunchtime. Or the Claremont Diner with the metal bowl of garden salad. Sometimes they still would run the original Delaware Lackawanna cars from the Lackawanna Station and all of their brass fittings were original and in tact. They had wicker seats. Going to the Ida Rocklyn Eyeglass Store on Church Street was like visiting Cleopatra in person. The grand monumental mid century modern stair at Hahnes. Bragg & Sons. The Helen Griffin store that always seemed like it only had one dress at a time to sell . Grunnings and the light show before each film at the Clareridge. Luvis’s. The live chicken store with the bright yellow window. Crockett’s is still there (I hope) Wolinskys for the straight legged corduroy jeans. The real art supply store at Watching Center. Zaentz Hardware. Walking through the streets in total silence without the landscapers blowing leaves from property to property. The Marlborough Inn’s residing elderly ladies with canes, reading paperback novels in the sunporch. Interschool activities between Montclair Academy and the Kimberley School. The huge crooked slabs of bluestone sidewalks. The skyline before the World Trade Center and then with the World Trade Center. Charlie Browns once a week. What a blessing that Applegate’s has never changed in my lifetime.

  2. Thank you, Frank, for all those wonderful memories of Montclair scenes, people, and places — a number of which predate my time in town (I moved to Montclair in 1993). Such vivid and evocative descriptions!

    I’ll comment on just a few things you mentioned.

    When I got married in 2004 at the Montclair Women’s Club on Union Street, some of the guests stayed at the Marlboro Inn (a few months before it was demolished). I clearly remember them, and other people, reading on the inn porch.

    I have lived within walking distance of Watchung Plaza for all my 25 years in Montclair (in a house and then an apartment), and well remember that art store at the southwest corner of Watchung and North Fullerton. A really nice place, and it was great not to have to travel far for art supplies.

    And, yes, very heartening that Applegate has remained virtually unchanged for so long!

    Of course, some change is inevitable and welcome, but I think Montclair’s “powers that be” have been overdoing it during the past few years.

  3. Frankgg…what are you trying say Frank? ….. then the bleeding heart liberals from the UWS and Park Slope moved in and there went the neighborhood!
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The ancient history of Montclair (pre 1990, so about 3 generations in Montclair time) was pretty conservative. The Montclair of John C. Whitehead and Buzz Aldrin is long gone…and with it, many of the things you miss. But hey, we are hip now! The SJW capital of NJ. We love everybody except Republicans, it’s cool to hate them, they aren’t even people. We especially love illegal immigrants. Who in their right mind wants to clean their own house and rake their own leaves anyway?

  4. Thanks for the interesting comment, flipside! I realize it was addressed to Frank, but I wanted to weigh in a bit.

    I don’t think Montclair’s overdevelopment and gentrifying in recent years can be solely attributed to the arrival of people from Park Slope, the Upper West Side, and other places like that. Maybe partly. The developers driving a lot of the change are not exactly NYC-like “hipsters,” though they might like to think they are. They’re local businessmen (yes, mostly men) out to make a buck. Lots of bucks. And when it comes to elected or appointed town officials, a very prominent booster of all this development is our current mayor, who, as far as I know, has spent most of his life in Montclair.

    I realize your comment may have been partly exaggerated/satirical/humorous (I chuckled appreciatively at some of it), so I apologize for replying to it in a 100%-serious way.

    Last but not least, during the 21 years I was a Montclair homeowner, I always raked my own leaves, always mowed my own grass, etc. You could ask my former neighbors; they’ll tell you my lawn was the ugliest on the block. 🙂

  5. Dave… yeah, I was joking a bit but there was quite a bit of truth to what i said. Balance is a good thing and while Montclair is diverse it is not balanced. Not that the media incited 50/50 split of the country is a good thing. That’s not balance because there is no discourse. I get your TDS and outwardly no one can admire the president’s personality but he has been doing some positive things. Some of which is unintentional like exposing the incredible amount of sexual harassment in Hollywood and in the news industry. Everyone turned a blind eye for decades but you can’t throw stones from a glass house. If Hillary was president Harvey Weinstein would still be a god with influence in the halls of power and Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose would be telling you what to think. (Though the vacuum has been filled with even more divisive types) Life goes on…Montclair has it’s faults but it is still a good place. So is America…flawed but great. Sometimes we get agitated with change but change is inevitable and the newcomers seem to love what Montclair is becoming.

  6. Appreciate the reply, flipside.

    “Montclair has its faults but it is still a good place” — I totally agree. “(T)he newcomers seem to love what Montclair is becoming” — I suppose many of them do; that’s why they’re moving here. But there are many more people already here who don’t like what Montclair is becoming, or have mixed feelings.

    I think you’re right that the “MeToo” movement wouldn’t have (thankfully) exploded the way it has if Trump weren’t in office. Some of the movement was fueled by frustration that Trump became president despite a history of sexual harassment, and that, unlike a number of other powerful men, he has gotten away with it (so far). I’m very glad Democrats such as Weinstein were taken down, along with Republicans such as Roy Moore, Eric Greitens, Trent Franks, and Blake Farenthold.

    Media people (including those on Fox News and conservative talk radio) are partly to blame for inciting/worsening the sharp divisions in this country, but I think the biggest culprit is Trump with his policies, speeches, tweets, etc. My feeling is that liberal-leaning media people are understandably reacting to Trump’s meanness and provocations, not doing most of the inciting.

  7. I agree, Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc. are to blame for the sharp divisions in this country but I think they are more than partly to blame. I believe they deserve nearly all the credit…Facebook and print deserve the rest. As far as Trumps tweets…if they were ignored instead of parsed and spun no one would pay much attention. It is part of Trumps evil genius to feed out controversial tweets. I don’t like it but I get why he does it. The media loves it. As long as the ducks keep quacking he keeps feeding. Outrage (on both sides) sells….it was fun to be impartial and watch for awhile but the show is getting stale.

  8. “As long as the ducks keep quacking he keeps feeding” — great line, flipside!

    Yes, it would be nice if the media ignored Trump’s tweets. But he is the President, and Twitter is his main venue for communicating, so the tweeting is hard to ignore. Also, as you allude to when you say “the media loves it,” Trump’s tweets and other ravings are good for TV ratings, online newspaper page views, etc. Depressing.

    It would be nice, too, if the Washington press corps just boycotted Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ spin-crazy, jaw-droppingly dishonest media briefings. But they won’t.

  9. Absolutely not. Sarah is a daily reminder of sacrificing values for material gain. Please, if there is a good God, I would like to see her every, single, day and every single hour.

    To be a Republican today means either you fully support Donald or you have sold your soul.

    There is no middle ground Montclair Republicans!

  10. Well said, Frank! Thank you! And I see your drolly stated point about Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She is instructional in a way.

    Soul-selling Republicans supporting Trump definitely have to do all kinds of mental and historical gymnastics. The GOP is supposedly against deficits; the deficit has exploded because of Trump’s tax cuts and other reasons. The GOP has supposedly always distrusted Russia; now many Republicans are all in on Trump fawning over Putin. The GOP is supposedly for “family values”; now Republicans (including many Christian evangelicals) back Trump despite his history of sexual predation and cheating on his three wives. Etc. I see a 2020 Olympics gymnastic gold medal in the GOP’s future…

    Like national Republicans, many Montclair Republicans have indeed continued to support Trump despite all of the above. 🙁

    I’m not sure what Trump would have to do to finally lose local and national Republican support. Accidentally give the new Spike Lee movie a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes?

  11. Re my above comment, not supporting an undeserving-of-support politician doesn’t have to be a partisan thing. When Bill Clinton had his 1990s affair with an intern and lied about it, I was totally disgusted with that Democratic president. I wrote negative things about him, and stopped supporting him (support that was admittedly tenuous to begin with for reasons such as the allegations about his previous affairs). I admire the relatively few national Republicans who have consistently and publicly denounced Trump. If any Montclair Republicans have publicly denounced Trump, I’d love to hear about it.

  12. Oh yes it does have to be a partisan thing. It is ONLY a partisan thing. You can not separate policy support from support of the man.

    Trump is corrupt to the soul. But, we are light years beyond this. That the Republicans don’t see this scares the crap out me.

    Trump is not even a Republican. But, Republicans let Trump hijack their party in broad daylight…and they sit here like muppets and quietly protect him. Yes, here in Montclair, too.

    Bottom line is you can’t support Trump and be a patriot of this great experiment of ours. My generation and the one following will bear responsibility for the Trump Era. This will be our legacy.

    So, yes Dave, it is partisan.

  13. I hear you, Frank. Powerfully and eloquently stated. What Trump and the many fawning/enabling/also-awful Republican “leaders” are doing now is atrocious — much worse than what any modern Democrat would do or has done. I was just saying that I’ve also been willing to criticize Democrats who have done bad things. But, yes, there are degrees of wrongdoing. As problematic as Bill Clinton was and is, Trump “out-problematics” Clinton by a million miles with his (Trump’s) corruption, appalling personal behavior, heartless policies, and monumental ignorance. And, like you, I wish some Montclair Republicans would publicly say something about it.

  14. The Red Wave Republicans are no different from the Blu Wave Democrats. Sherrill is no different from Weber. Different flavors in the same store.

    Moving on to those moving from NYC to Montclair and what they offer…. not anything we didn’t already have. I was amused about Mayor DiBlasio’s initiative to eliminate the racial bias in their garbage transfer stations. Ok, New Yorkers are not the brightest population. I put them on the level of Iowans. Middlings. Well, in New York City, you just pay $500 and you can forego recycling. Yup, you just put your recyclables in the trash and all you have to worry about is which minority is bearing the unfair brunt of your stupidity. Yup, that is NYC. And then they move out here for closet space. I love it.

  15. And all fun aside, congratulations on your 25th anniversary in Montclair. 25 years does automatically give you a certain status and latitude…no matter what the local old fogeys say.

    And by our Township by-laws and unwritten laws, you have attained a level equal to the Mayor and surpasses several on the Council. Good for you.

  16. And David, yes, Maureen Edelson will make all kinds of excuses for Donald. She is working on obtaining a soul.

  17. Interesting comments, Frank — with serious and humorous/satirical/exaggerated moments!

    Mainstream Democratic politicians and conservative Republican politicians do have some similarities — both take too many corporate contributions, both are too quick to go to war (with other people’s kids doing the fighting), etc. But I think there’s a significant difference between the parties — a difference that has widened in this time of Trump as much of the GOP has moved to the far fringes of the right.

    Thank you for the 25th-anniversary congratulations! I moved to Montclair in February of 1993, and celebrated this past February by completing forgetting the anniversary. 🙂

    I disagree with Maureen Edelson politically, but think she is a great person. (She and I have met and talked.)

  18. I was unduly harsh and specific to one person.

    I do wonder where one’s politics ends and the person starts.

  19. “I do wonder where one’s politics ends and the person starts” — that’s a very good question, Frank. For instance, when one looks at three of the last four Republican presidents, we have Reagan and George W. Bush guilty of some harsh/heartless policies yet reportedly being congenial men on a personal level, while Trump is just as repulsive on a personal level as he is on a policy level. I guess Trump wins consistency points (“so much winning”).

  20. OK, so who do you recommend for NJ Senate seat? Menendez HAS to go. Hugin seems like another another Bresch. Ideas?

  21. Frank, Menendez is a corrupt centrist-liberal and, as you probably know, Hugin was a Trump delegate and raised the price of a cancer drug a shocking amount when CEO of a pharmaceutical company (see link). Given that painful electoral choice, I would favor Menendez.

    https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/politics/cancer-drug-price-hike-bedevils-hugin-on-campaign-trail/article_ef2dbc7b-83ab-5c66-bece-cbd9d1028e3e.html

    I’ve voted third party a number of times in my life, and would consider voting Green in November if it seemed like Menendez had a huge lead at that point. But if the race looks even remotely close, I’ll reluctantly vote for Menendez. At least one house of Congress has to go Democratic to put some kind of brake on Trump. (I feel both houses would easily go Democratic if elections were completely fair, but there’s all that Republican voter suppression, all that Republican gerrymandering, the GOP’s enormously funded negative advertising, etc. 🙁 )

  22. Not me.

    Voting messages have been sent to and ignored by the NJ Democratic Party for years. I am tired of voting for people who are the lesser evil and don’t represent me. Menendez is another one of those ‘the ends justifies the means’ votes. If I wanted to send a message, I would vote Republican. Messages are inherently spiteful, so this would maximize the effect for some short-term pain. Any message will still fall on deaf ears, so I’ll find a third choice that focuses on the long view.

    It goes back to my question about where politics stops and the person starts. People are trading some of their values (anti-graft & corruption, perjury, etc.) for one of their higher-valued ‘goods’ [fill in your choice[/b].

  23. You made excellent and important points, Frank. The Democratic Party’s corporate/mainstream wing DOES take many people for granted — figuring that liberals, women, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, LBQT citizens, etc., will, in the end, usually hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils. It’s infuriating, and, as I noted in my previous comment, I’ve pushed back several times over the years by voting third party. But Trump to me is the existential threat of existential threats. He, with the help of his spineless/heartless/amoral Republican enablers in Congress and elsewhere, is turning the U.S. government into an authoritarian nightmare. So, this year, I might vote for the ethics-challenged Menendez, whereas in another year I might not have.

  24. You two are like broken records…though not always playing the same tune. Let’s face it, Menendez is corrupt and if all the stories are true even a bigger creep than Donald. Hugin has the drug increase against him but you have to admit at least he helped build a company that invented drugs that help people. Dave, I assume you would like America to be like Denmark but a homogenous population of 6 million is not what we are…and thank God we are not. Though I guess playing with Lego’s and eating breakfast treats all day wouldn’t be so bad….but I’ll take the incentives of capitalism any day.

  25. flipside, in order to be more modern, I’d prefer to be called a “broken Mp3 download” rather than a “broken record.” 🙂

    Yes, Menendez is corrupt, as I said in a previous comment. But “even a bigger creep” than Trump? I think that’s false equivalency. Has Menendez been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen women? No. Has Menendez cheated on three wives? Not that I’m aware of. Does Menendez have a history of many anti-black actions and statements? Nope. And so on.

    As for Hugin, if one wants to say a major mission of his life was to “help people,” he should have become a social worker. Being a CEO who jacks up drug prices to amass many more millions of dollars makes it seem like he got into the pharmaceutical biz not to “help people” but to get REALLY rich. While risking the lives of suffering, vulnerable cancer patients who couldn’t afford his company’s price-gouging.

    And there’s no good reason why a multicultural country like the U.S. couldn’t have a social safety net even half as good as the more-homogenous Denmark’s, while staying plenty capitalist. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded being born in Copenhagen, but writing a column with the name of “Denmarkvoyant” would be too much to bear. 🙂

  26. Dave, Sorry bro but I think “broken record” is a more apt description…just own it! (I do)
    There was quite a bit of underage hooker smoke floating around Menendez and you know what they say about smoke and fire.
    Celgene invests heavily in R&D which is why they can develop drugs. That investment in R&D led to the creation of the drug in first place…better not to create the drug so you can’t gouge?? I am not a fan of price gouging but I think it is ok for someone to get rich. Also keep in mind that 40% of price gouge Celgene’s profits go to R&D to hopefully invent better medicine. You do know Bobby M has taken huge money from pharma and voted against keeping drug prices down. Look at this way, Hugin knows how to save a buck and make a buck. I want him on our side…plus he is already rich. He doesn’t need the job to get rich or to vacation in the DR.

  27. Celgene invests heavily in R&D

    C’mon flipside. Really? Pharma invests in R&D? THAT’S A SHOCKER.
    Just what else do you think pharma does?

    Marketing (endless tv commercials), “incentives” to doctors to prescribe, defending lawsuits against the aforementioned marketing and prescriptions. Maybe you meant they actually manufacture? Nah. That is such a small part of the business and none of the big pharma hire C-level for their manufacturing or sourcing skills.

    What exactly do you know about pharma?

  28. Let’s taker a common sense poll of television viewers.

    How many times in the last 24 hours do you recall seeing a pharma commercial? Less than 6? 6- 18? More than 18?

    Do you ever wonder where all the money comes from to fund all these commercials?

    Do you think for a moment it comes from the prices charged for the drugs?

    Do you ever listen to the symptoms that you were raised to think were normal and now there is a commercial ill saying you need to take a drug (IF YOUR DOCTOR WILL WRITE THE RX ;)) to help you live a normal life… that you clearly were so oblivious you were not living a normal life?

    Menedndez is corrupt. Hugin is greedy. Clearly, the $100MM was important to him.
    Thanks, but no thanks.

  29. Okay, flipside, I’ll “own” the “broken record” label. 🙂 I still have many long-ago vinyl records, including U2’s first album “Boy” and its hit single “I Will Follow.” Strange how the title of a 1980 single could presciently describe the Trump supporters who follow The Donald no matter what…

    Again, I’m no fan of Menendez. But even if he’s guilty of what you seem to be implying, he would still not occupy anywhere near the low moral level Trump occupies. Trump is indeed the best…at being the worst.

    It’s absolutely fine for someone to get rich, but not at the possible expense of people’s lives. I think we can draw the line there. And while a chunk of Big Pharma’s enormous profits go to R&D, huge pay packages for drug-company execs don’t help stop cancer, lower high cholesterol, ease pain, etc. Yes, Menendez has too-close corporate ties — something I don’t respect him for.

    Like Hugin, poor and middle-class people also know how to “save a buck and make a buck.” They just have less of those bucks, and usually don’t exploit others to get them.

    The end of your comment implies that only ultra-rich people can run for office. No thank you. (Though I realize that wealthy candidates are unfortunately almost the norm already.)

  30. Dave,

    Most readers will have to Google ‘broken record’. To them, owning this label is the same as having an AARP card in your wallet.

    Excellent point about the norm is only the elite/wealthy can run for office.

  31. Frank, I agree that the phrase “broken record” has become archaic. (Excellent AARP-card-in-the-wallet comparison!) I tried to change that label to “broken Mp3 download,” but flipside wouldn’t have it. 🙂

    Great points in your previous comments. Why indeed did Hugin have to make THAT much money. Isn’t, say, 20 or 30 million enough? And, yes, Big Pharma wastes tons of money on advertising and other things that aren’t R&D — pushing drug prices even higher, as you say. And, yes again, some drugs are clearly not needed for the well-being of people. Instead, they’re for the well-being of profits.

    My cat has asthma, and the little inhaler can I had to buy for the first time last month costs $280 for about two months’ worth of doses. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pharma’s actual cost for that little can was WAY below $100. The rest, profit. If my cat was living with a poor family, he might be dead now.

  32. Yeah, I am thin skinned about the subject.
    New Jerseyans have yet to figure out the opioid epidemic.
    We’re more than a little slow on the uptake.

    We have yet to figure out that many manufacturers made a whole lot of dosages.
    We have yet to figure out that many doctors had to prescribe a whole lot of dosages.
    We have yet to figure out that many pharmacies had to dispense a whole lot of dosages.
    We have yet to figure out that a whole lot of dosages got diverted right under law enforcement’s noses.
    We have yet to figure out what a US Attorney General actually does in NJ.
    We have yet to figure out who got rich under this system.

    So, we are just figuring out we have a opioid epidemic.
    We haven’t yet figured out it will only get worse.
    We’re kinda really, really stupid that way.

  33. Well said, Frank. Yes, many culprits in the opioid-epidemic chain, but the pharmaceutical companies deserve the most blame. Their obsession with profits, their $$ contributions that sway many politicians, etc.

  34. To continue the record analogy, the braintrust at Hampshire/Pinnacle has submitted new site plans! The Planning Department has issued a new comment via a new memo.

    This application is clearly going to Stupidville. The Council will undoubtably visit the developers there.
    The Planning Board will have no choice but to kick this can down the road.

    Of all the things the applicant can submit expeditiously, these are the the 2 key documents? Nothing else? Nothing that the Planning Board has requested – and insisted on?

    I think the applicant is basically showing the PB as impudent. There are worse things, but still not a desired condition. People like options.

  35. Personally, if I was a US AG with any sort of backbone, I would indict the CVS & Rite Aids along with a handful of the NJ-based pharmaceutical giants and the multitude of doctors under the RICO statue. But, that would take some professional integrity from the US AG’s office.

  36. “This application is clearly going to Stupidville. The Council will undoubtably visit the developers there” — LOL, Frank! The paragraph of the month! I don’t yet know what the new Hampshire/Pinnacle plan is, but hopefully it won’t be “a site for sure ayes.”

    As for indictments of large companies, those are few and far between. What they spend on lobbying and campaign contributions buys a lot of immunity.

  37. Dave and Frank…I could refute and debate much of what you say but it would be fruitless. I agree that the opioid crisis is/was created by drug companies and doctors but the whole industry is not involved and shouldn’t be lumped in with the offenders.
    It amazes how Trump haters use his same tactics when shouting down people they don’t totally agree with. The difference Trump has many accomplishments including becoming President. Is he sleezy? Yea, but most politicians are but they hide it. Obama’s book and Netflix deals smell awfully fishy. Who knows how else he is getting paid off. I am politically neutral so I try to see the good and bad in the actions and results of policies. Words from a politician are pretty meaningless. I am from the sticks and stones generation.

  38. Thanks for the response, flipside.

    I agree that many, many politicians are sleazy, but there are different degrees of that. Implying that most politicians are roughly at Trump’s level of sleaziness is just wrong. If you’d like, I’d be happy to list numerous examples of what Trump has done and said that go beyond what most other politicians have done or said, but those examples are well known.

    Trump’s “many accomplishments”? Starting on third base as the son of a wealthy real-estate developer. Multiple bankruptcies that belie his boast of being a great businessmen. The failed “Trump University.” Being elected President with the help of voter suppression, Russia, and the unfair/archaic Electoral College. Getting a tax law passed that’s so geared to the rich that most Republicans are barely mentioning it in their 2018 electoral campaigns. (Where are those promised big raises for many workers?) Earning the disdain of multiple countries that have been U.S. allies for a LONG time. Bequeathing the U.S. and the world a more toxic planet after pulling out of the Paris climate change accord and weakening various domestic environmental laws. Etc.

    If Trump’s positive accomplishments were put on a résumé, that résumé would be minus-one-page long. (I realize nothing can be minus-one-page long, but, heck, “truth isn’t truth.” 🙂 )

  39. Dave, Dave, Dave, you really need to stay off left wing websites. Watch some old Milton Friedman youtube videos and read some Paul Johnson. You may gain a different perspective. You will most assuredly disagree with every word but you will see how the other half thinks. You evidently despise businessmen or at least the ones you deem to be profiteers. (I am sure you must boycott Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft…to name a few.) To paraphrase Col. Jessep if he were a businessperson “and my existence, though grotesque and incomprehensible to you, provides jobs and the products we need.” We don’t live in an ideal world and we can improve but we have come a long in the last 200 years thanks to capitalism and a system of government that fosters it. You didn’t want to be a serf did you? Well, the odds are you would have been long dead by now.

  40. I seem to have two extra first names — the economy must be doing well! 🙂

    Seriously, flipside, I do look at progressive websites here and there in addition to being a New York Times subscriber, but I also sample right-wing media online: the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News clips, columns by conservatives such as Cal Thomas and Walter Williams, editorial cartoons by the conservative Michael Ramirez, etc. So I know what “the other half thinks.” Then I draw my own conclusions. I wonder how much progressive media is sampled by the average Fox News viewer?

    Yes, I do dislike the greediness of certain businesspeople and corporations, but I obviously can’t boycott the partly problematic Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft unless I want to live in a cave. It’s hard to find a reasonably priced cave in Montclair. Plus we all remember Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher getting lost in a cave in the Mark Twain novel…

  41. “…was created by drug companies and doctors but the whole industry is not involved and shouldn’t be lumped in with the offenders.”

    Oh yes, the Catholic Church sexual predator argument. Makes total sense. Priests serve God. Doctors like to think they share some qualities. Yes, got it.

    Didn’t seehow Trump figures into the opioid thing.

  42. Frank, as you mentioned earlier, pharmacies (including the big chains and the big mail-order ones) are certainly another spoke in the wheel of the opioid crisis. And, indirectly, also culpable are any institutions (such as corporations and Wall Street) that help perpetuate poverty, job loss, and other things that make people despair and thus perhaps medicate.

    The Catholic Church? We could write a whole lot of comments about predatory priests and the cover-up of their horrendous/indefensible sexual crimes against children. Would be interesting to hear what Catholic churches in Montclair have to say.

  43. I admit the Catholic Church was a very easy & topical example of where great numbers of relatively anonymous, or common victims are created by an inversely small number of criminals. The few inflict so much on the many. This is the argument. This is the value system. It is only a small number of unregulated practitioners, a few bad apples that any system or institution can have. It is the Anti-Victim Argument.

    Time and time again we see society at large protect the institutions and rituals at the expense of the expendable victims. It has not a Trump thing. Trump will go away at some point.

    It is a human thing. It is the collateral costs of a society. I purposely picked the Catholic Church/religion thing because religion is supposed to mitigate these conditions.

  44. “Time and time again we see society at large protect the institutions…at the expense of the expendable victims” — so very true, Frank, unfortunately.

    And, yes, perhaps a relatively small percentage of priests were/are guilty of sexual predation against kids. But with many local, national, and international church “leaders” protecting those predators and trying to keep everything secret, virtually the whole Catholic Church was/is stained.

  45. Great question, tidegirl2! I didn’t know a cat could use an inhaler until our cat needed one. I’m not sure if the one he uses (“Flovent HFA”) is just for cats, or is for humans and can also be used for cats. We insert the little “Flovent HFA” can into a chamber (with a breathing mask attached) called “AeroKat,” so I guess THAT’S just for cats. 🙂

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