The Lydster: Feeling the Bern

I swear I saw Joe Bruno.

Trumpcar2On Monday, April 11, not one but THREE Presidential candidates were going to be in the Capital District of New York State: John Kasich (R), Bernie Sanders (D), and Donald Drumpf (R). A day or two before, The Daughter started wheedling me – why didn’t she bug her mother? – to see one of them, the one alphabetically last.

I said no. I said no because I was afraid she might get hurt. She said that no one was going to hurt a little girl, but I noted that she is taller than most adult women. She should watch him on television. (I was also afraid I might get hurt, but I didn’t bring that up.)

Her counter-proposal was to see Bernie Sanders. I noted that he too would be on TV, and he was speaking during the school day.

“But it would be educational!”

She wanted ME to contact her teacher to ask if she could go, but I said she could go if SHE asked her teacher and she said yes; she can be shy in these matters.

Monday morning, I had to get a blood test, which I ended up going to TWICE because I forgot my insurance card the first time. I kept checking my email to see if her teacher contacted me. The Wife came home early – she had an eye test in the early afternoon – and she checked HER email, where she received a positive response from the teacher to MY inquiry.

By this time, it was already noon. The Washington Armory opened at 11 a.m., and the rally was at 2 p.m. I got the Daughter out of school. The Wife dropped us a block from the Armory, because I figure the traffic at Washington and Lark would be crazy, and so it was.

We went to the end of the line, which was down Washington Avenue, across Dove Street, up Elk Street to behind the armory; had we realized, we would have gone the shorter route.

I engaged a young man, 33, behind us in conversation. We decided that this was very educational for the Daughter, because it addressed sociology (the nature of the crowd), history, political science, meteorology (it was very windy, raining briefly; his girlfriend was freezing), and undoubtedly other disciplines.

A green car drove by a couple times, with Drumpf USA, etc. painted in splotchy white, as though he’d used a huge bottle of Wite-Out. It had two huge American flags.
Even as the Armory was in sight, I knew the capacity of the Washington Armory was 3000 for basketball games, maybe 1000 more for something like this, and that we probably wouldn’t get in. This turned out to be the case.

Still, we stuck around. I ran into my friends Dan and Lynne. I bought The Daughter a Feel the Bern T-shirt and a couple buttons.

She started taking notes, as we listened to the activities inside via a couple speakers that kept cutting out. The audio in front stopped playing music, and we heard, “I’m sorry the venue wasn’t big enough.”


He gave a seven-minute speech on his main topics: end fracking, Medicare for all, free college, climate change is real. “We can’t spend trillions in Iraq while we leave our cities at home.” Some families are spending 50-60% on housing each month. There’s too much police violence. We need a $15 per hour minimum wage.

He noted that movements develop from the bottom up: trade unions, civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights.

After that, we caught a bus and went home, and watched the last 50 minutes of the speech on TV. We also saw Kasich speak in Troy.

The Wife took us out to dinner; it was quite good. In another room, I swear I saw Joe Bruno, the former state Senate Majority Leader, surrounded by a dozen others.

The Daughter was trying to rush The Wife home, because she (and I) wanted to watch The Donald. He didn’t say anything in that way he generally does: read some reviews. All in all, an excellent day.

The next day, The Daughter confessed that she didn’t REALLY wanted to see Donald, she wanted to see Bernie, but used the DJT request as an opening salvo in what she REALLY wanted. Well played, Daughter, but I would have said yes to Bernie, eventually, even without the chicanery.

Photo credits: car (c) 2016 Kate Intelisano. Bernie (c) Daniel Van Riper

April snow

The first time I wore boots in the winter of 2015-2016: April 5, 2016.
The first time I SHOULD have worn boots in that period: April 4, 2016, which ended up generating four inches, about 10 cm. I should have worn them mostly because people seem to have forgotten how to shovel snow. This includes, BTW, the building I work in. With temperatures hitting 70F (21C) in the past couple weeks, temperatures in the 20s F (just below zero C) is a shock to some.

But it was a non-event winter here, so I’m not complaining about a little April snow. It has snowed in Albany in April before Continue reading “April snow”

College, and a LOT of politics (ARA)

Do I say to him what he ought to do in order to try to save the relationship OR assume those facts to be immutable. and advise him how to survive it better?

My friend Mary wrote:


Hi Roger- Re: “Ask Roger Anything” – I’m helping [my son] plan his courses for next semester, and so these questions come to mind: What was your very favorite course taken as an undergrad? Most useful later in life (for any reason)? One you struggled to get through but was worth it? Etcetera…

Favorite course: American Government and Politics, the intro course, which has also been quite useful for me as a librarian in ascertaining which federal department might have jurisdiction over different issues. Given his proclivity for politics – I follow his Facebook page – it might be a good fit.

I also liked a music intro course where I got a little music theory, composed some little ditties, and had a lot of fun.

Most useful later Continue reading “College, and a LOT of politics (ARA)”

Drumpf link dump

Have we finally reached peak Drumpf?

trump uCynicism requires some to suggest that the action by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman against Drumpf University to be politically motivated. However, this investigation has been going on for months, as they are wont to do.

John Hightower, who went to my church when I ws growing up – he was about a decade older, wrote this on Facebook this past week. He wrote “Drumpf,” but the software on my computer changed them all to “Drumpf.”

IN TWO DEPOSITIONS taken over the last three months, Donald Drumpf acknowledged under oath that he had no role in selecting Drumpf University’s instructors, despite claiming in a promotional video that they “are all people that are handpicked by me.”

Drumpf University, a now-defunct sales ploy that promised to teach Donald Drumpf’s real estate “secrets” to enrollees and make them rich in the process, has become a flashpoint in the Republican presidential primary debates. In the GOP debate in Detroit, for instance, Sen. Marco Rubio lit into Donald Drumpf over the “handpicked” instructors. Drumpf retorted with a fabrication, claiming that the Better Business Bureau had given Drumpf University an A rating. As Rubio pointed out in the exchange, the most recent rating was a D minus.

A critical part of Drumpf University’s SALES PITCH to prospective students was the claim that Donald Drumpf PERSONALLY SELECTED the program’s instructors Continue reading “Drumpf link dump”