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What's Bugging Me

What's Bugging Me
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BY BETH PORTOLESE

Well of course what can you say about Paris except that it is awful for the people there and people in other places like Lebanon murdered by this terrorist group. You have to wonder how it will end.   I do like to keep things a little lighter in my rants however, so I’m going to make a turn to other things I’ve noticed.

As I sit here writing this, I’m watching Access Hollywood (embarrassing I know) and Christie Brinkley is on the show telling the hosts her beauty secrets to looking like she does at 61. She seems to have a lot of good skincare habits, but something tells me that just washing your makeup off before you go to bed at night probably is not the only reason she looks so young. She has written a book with a lot of her tips in it. Unfortunately, the problem with all of this is that I think in order to look as good as Christie does at 61, you probably had to look like Christie at 21 in the first place.

Speaking of looking young, recently people have started to offer me their seats on the subway! To be honest, I’m a little insulted. I was on a bus once and this guy offered his seat to a woman and she said to him, “Are you doing that because I’m pretty or because I’m old.” I thought it was funny but lately I have had the same thought. I don’t really think I look infirm or that I can’t stand up for the whole ride so I’m wondering why this phenomenon has started. Even women have offered me their seats recently…..and they look to be about my age! For my own peace of mind, I’m going to chalk it up to the well-known kindness of the people of New York City.

There is certainly a lot to talk about with the political season upon us. The election is a whole year away and people started campaigning over 6 months ago. It’s getting tiring to hear it all especially some of the weird comments some of the candidates are making. For example, most anything Ben Carson says. I just can’t really get behind a candidate who actually took science courses but doesn’t believe in evolution. I also can’t get behind someone who says that if the Jews had had guns, the holocaust might have been avoided. Really? Maybe if they had them in Paris too? Oh, right, Donald Trump just said that. He’s the other crazy in the race. I’m sure I’d like Ben if he performed brain surgery on me and I’d like to be on one of Donald’s reality shows (if for no other reason than to meet Gary Busey) but as president? I don’t think so. While we are on the subject of politicians, I know this is old news but how about Marco Rubio missing all those votes in Congress because he is out campaigning? When someone asks him about it, he is offended. Really? He is offended? How about the people who pay your salary to actually go to Congress and represent them by voting on these bills? Shouldn’t they be a bit offended by your not showing up? Only a politician would think that it is okay to ignore the job you have while trying to get another one. Think of how it would work out for any of us who didn’t do our work because we were too busy applying for other jobs. I don’t think we would have a job for long. Apparently if you are in politics, that is okay though.

If I could be a little more serious again, I have another thing thats bugging me. I grew up in a small town in Northern New York called Massena. When I was a kid, Massena was small but there were a lot of things happening. We had three manufacturing plants, Alcoa, Reynolds and General Motors that kept many people employed. We had a nice little downtown area with stores like Fishman’s and Newberry’s (remember them?) along with clothing shops. Looking back from my vantage point now, it was a nice place to grow up. When I finally did grow up, I could not see myself staying there but as you get older, you can see the benefits of living in a place like Massena. Through the years, a mall was built and a Walmart opened which decimated the downtown area, General Motors closed its plant and eventually Reynolds was bought and closed down. The only plant left was Alcoa but it employed a lot less people than it did when I was a kid. A lot of people left the area because there were less jobs and businesses closed also. The last time I went home, I couldn’t help but notice the large amount of houses for sale and the general quietness of what had been a bustling place. Recently, the last plant, Alcoa, announced it was shutting down a large part of its facility, putting 500 more people out of work. I have to say that when I read it, I actually started to cry. It made me so sad to hear. I don’t know what is going to happen or how the town will recover. I know this has happened in many small towns across the country but this is my hometown so it is personal. While our political candidates talk about shutting down the gov’t over Planned Parenthood funding (really?), Ben Carsen stabbing his friend with the lucky belt buckle and Donald Trump’s opinion of immigrants (wasn’t this country built on immigration?), this type of thing is happening all over the US and not one of them (Republican or Democrat) seems to have a creative solution. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Until next time.

 

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