MontClairVoyant: Buzz, Trump, and Democrats on the Presidential Stump

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Your thoughts on Montclair’s brave, brilliant, accomplished hometown hero astronaut Buzz Aldrin being a Trump guest at February 5’s State of the Union address?

Sincerely,
Rhea Publicans-Sticktogether

I’m troubled as a human being and Buzz Aldrin Middle School parent that he allowed himself to be associated with a man whose many flaws include a profound disrespect for science. Aldrin, who grew up on Princeton Place, spent some time in “Trump Place.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Meanwhile, the field of declared and possible Democratic presidential candidates is as diverse as Montclair’s population. Female and male, black and white, gay and straight, etc. Do you have an early fave?

Sincerely,
2020 Vision

I admire the long-held progressive views of Sen. Bernie Sanders, even as I’m conscious of the optics of a white male nominee. Ask me again on May 12 — the 52nd anniversary of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Perhaps the most majestic rock song ever. What about New Jersey’s very own Cory Booker? The former Newark mayor/current U.S. senator is an impressive Oval Office candidate, eh?

Sincerely,
Not Gary Brooker

In some ways, but it’s hard to forgive Booker’s frequent cozying up to Wall Street and his backing of charter schools — one of which our town thankfully dodged in 2016 after fierce opposition from many Montclairites overcame support from a few Montclairwrongs.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Booker was certainly a cheerleader for charter schools in Newark and elsewhere, to the delight of several prominent charter advocates living in Montclair. Why are you against those schools?

Sincerely,
C.S. (Charter School) Lewis

They take much-needed tax money from public schools, have no public oversight, cherry-pick students, have few unionized teachers, and are loved by far-right privatization pushers like Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos — who may or may not bring their Billionaire Buffoons band to the Wellmont.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Other Democrats in the presidential picture also have some issues — including Sen. Kamala Harris being right-wing at times when serving as California’s attorney general and former senator Joe Biden being “tough on crime” and badly treating Anita Hill in the 1990s.

Sincerely,
Say It Ain’t So, Joe

Sadly, Biden helped increase mass incarceration of black men and helped put ultra-conservative Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Democratic skeletons in the closet are still alive today, partly thanks to those skeletons eating great Montclair takeout.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Still, wouldn’t most people competing/possibly competing in the Democratic primaries (including the admirable Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown) be better than Trump, who’s emblematic of just how far-right, white, and male most national Republican politicians are?

Sincerely,
Mr. Obvious

Of course. I just wish 29-year-old congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was old enough to run for president in 2020, but the minimum age is 35. Which explains why no parakeet from Montclair has ever won the Electoral College.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of Trump, he’s apparently pals with the owner, coach, and quarterback of the New England Patriots. Did that make the team’s Super Bowl win especially galling on February 3?

Sincerely,
Rams Were Rammed

Sort of, but the Pats’ sustained excellence for nearly 20 years is the opposite of Trump’s lack of excellence for many decades. Still, as Montclair currently marks Black History Month, I’d have to say the Embarrassment-in-Chief excels at racism.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Your thoughts on Black History Month? I like it, yet black history should be remembered EVERY month.

Sincerely,
24/7/365

Montclair public schools do that. And with a Montclair High stairway partly collapsing in 2018 after not being regularly checked following a 2016 repair, don’t forget No-Inspection-History Month.

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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22 COMMENTS

  1. “I’ll pay more attention the next time I go down Park, which I live steps away from.”

    Did you take that walk?

  2. Frank, I have — several times — and also frequently drive on Park. But I wasn’t sure what to look for. 🙂

  3. Yeah, I get that a lot. I’m just pushing it now and then, but with much less passion. I know that the younger generations will simply switch from their smartphone to a tablet if they want to see a hi-res gif of the stars. I know that dark skies freaks them out. Sad.

  4. Too much light at night? Okay, now I’m remembering. 🙂 Will check that out as soon as I can, hopefully this weekend.

  5. Frank, I drove down Park Street tonight between Gordonhurst and Mount Hebron Road. Some houses definitely overdo the lawn lighting (as opposed to just porch lighting). Some also overdo inside lighting, with lights on in many rooms. Other houses keep things more understated when it comes to illumination. Verdict: mixed. 🙂

  6. I agree. We have our laggards, but are doing well overall.

    I drive a SUV because they are safer – for me and my passengers. I go green by racking up the considerable majority of my mileage out of town.

    I stopped buying books and real x-mas trees years ago to save the trees. It has worked out well, I think. Mills Reservation is unchanged.

    I use only an electric leaf blower and never, ever get out of bed before 8am to use it .

    I don’t want to use up my remaining supply of 40W and 60W incandescent light bulbs. I use an Energy Star rated, 48″ flat screen monitor to illuminate the main room. I supplement this with motion-activated, way-finding lights to help the dogs find their way around indoors. I can manually turn on – with 1 switch!- a ½ dz 150W kitchen high hats to illuminate the front walk when I walk the dogs at night. My wife will leave them on for security (that much wattage robs robbers of their night vision).

    So, as to your original point. We all do our part here. I shouldn’t pick on Park St.

  7. To save on all that wattage and stay safe from the robbers outside, I would walk the dog in the house. Also, it would be more energy saving to stay in bed til at least 10am.

  8. Don’t get me started over the needs of the dogs. The rescue org never told us that dogs, apparently, treat each new day as a good day…starting @ around 5:30 am. They’re perpetual happiness emoters.

  9. Thank you, Frank and Frank, for all the Sunday-morning laughs about lighting and dogs! Hilarious! 🙂

    I’m thinking we could also design miner-like hats with attached high-beam flashlights for dogs to wear. With a chip that plays “You Light Up My Life” on an endless loop. Would increase the popularity of cats…

  10. LOL

    I used to dog sit for an adorable Papilion from NYC til one day it ran into the woods and was fortunately found several hours later. The police old me that dogs like that become prey for the wildlife… like hawks…. I nearly croaked.

  11. Yikes, Frank! Glad the dog was okay. The wonderful act of pet-sitting can have its scary moments — for the animal and the human.

  12. Dave,

    Most cats can be great. Then there are the ones with the attitudes. I have never run across a condescending dog. I wouldn’t know how to describe one. On the other hand, I have a photo of such a cat. Apparently they are fairly common. Anyway, we did well with the other 2. One was the brightest animal I have ever been around. Another was 29 lb tabby with the disposition of a labradoodle.

  13. A 29-pound cat — wow!

    Frank, I agree that most cats are great, albeit often “attitudinal.” 🙂 I’ve lived with seven kitties in my life — including my current gray tabby Misty — and loved them all. Misty is affectionate and intelligent (he does some tricks and knows exactly when to get his asthma inhaler twice a day). He also really enjoys his daily leashed walk outside.

  14. Your first sentence was rather poetic, Frank. 🙂 Yes, Misty is not exactly living the typical cat life. We had no idea he had asthma when we adopted him in late 2017, but things are now under control after some experimentation (first pills, now the inhaler). More vet and medication bills than I like to think about, but c’est la vie. As for the outside leashed walks, a high-energy cat like Misty needs more room to roam than our apartment can offer.

  15. Ha, Frank! Like many cats, Misty has muse-like qualities — when he’s not sitting on my computer and preventing me from writing. 🙂

    Speaking of writing, I’m waiting until after tonight’s Planning Board meeting about Lackawanna Plaza before starting my 2-14 column. I’m not expecting a final decision tonight, but it should be interesting…

  16. Interesting? Maybe if one is into gratuitous displays of public hand wringing. As Mr DeSavlo said, this is a straightforward decision tree. I would be shocked if there is a member that is on the fence after a year’s worth of testimony. The PB has had a month to get whatever legal advice they need. The details will be assigned to the Revisions Subcommittee out of sight of the public. It’s a simple preserve or not preserve choice…unless the PB wants to do the ad nauseam thing all night. That is not interesting to me.

  17. Well, “interesting” was a euphemism for “disgust” (if the Planning Board approves the developers’ bad plan), “surprise” (if the PB says no), and “yup, this continues to be endless” (if more meetings will be held before a vote is taken). One would indeed think all PB members have a decision in their heads by now.

  18. Well, Dave, what will you write about? The majority view of the residents prevailed. Resoundingly so. The minority view didn’t. You don’t want the column to sound like Monday-morning sour grapes or “interesting”.
    Maybe just move on to the 2019-20 school budget?

  19. Frank, I will definitely comment about last night’s Lackawanna Plaza decision in Thursday’s column. (Currently writing it.) I’m very angry about the Planning Board’s vote, especially given that there were much better alternative plans — such as your excellent one. I still think more people spoke against the developers’ LP plan (at meetings, in Baristanet comments, in “Share Montclair” Facebook posts, etc.) than spoke in favor of it — whether those opponents live near LP or elsewhere in Montclair. The bottom line is that there could have been both a supermarket and TOTAL preservation of what was left of the train station.

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