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1.

What would you say if I bought an orange kitchen?  Tangerine or blood orange?  I’m very excited.  The house is full of light reflected from the snowy lawns.  There are huge icicles hanging from the gutters.  Everything is melting.  Everything is dripping.  The stoop, partially renovated, is covered with a blue plastic tarpaulin. I make porridge and coffee every day after I make my bed.  I use raw milk from Churchtown Dairy, Abby Rockefeller’s Linlithgow farm designed by Rick Anderson.  Sometimes I find myself wearing both pairs of reading glasses and a woolen hat and scarf inside.  Dude hates the snow, The Little Dog loves it.

Most days I eat lunch at Murray’s on Broadway.  The women who writes the menu is very creative. Yesterday I ate mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish usually made with plantain but cook improvised, replacing the plantain with sweet potato.   A big ball of crushed sweet potato, bacon and garlic sitting in a bowl of chicken soup.  Fragrant.

There are a few dishes I cook all the time.  I don’t mind cooking for myself.  I like one particular dish, I cooked it last night.  Chicken thighs with white beans.  I threw it together years ago.  Perfect for a chilly night spent at home.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a heavy bottomed casserole with a well-fitting lid melt butter into hot olive oil over a medium flame.  Add well seasoned chicken thighs to the casserole and fry until golden on both sides.  Remove thighs from pan and reserve.  Add bacon to the oil and butter, fry for 3 minutes then add one finely chopped leek, one chopped onion, two stalks of chopped celery and 3 crushed cloves of garlic.  Saute vegetables until translucent.  Add salt and pepper, bay leaf, the reserved chicken and one tin of white beans or beans you have soaked over night, I use Barlotti beans but any bean will do. Barely submerge ingredients with equal measures of good, home-made chicken stock and white wine.  Bring to the boil, cover, then bake in the oven for 70 minutes.  Serve with sautéed spinach or cauliflower cheese.

2.

At Trump’s behest, immigration raids sweep further and deeper into our rural and urban immigrant communities. Friends remind me these raids happened discreetly the past 8 years.  Obama deported millions. To Obama’s shame he deported more undocumented workers than any president before him. He scored no points by doing so with the republicans whose approval he so desperately sought.  Unlike Obama, who encouraged ICE agents to focus on less sympathetic groups, Trump’s ICE directive has no such qualms. Agents are knocking on multiple doors in immigrant communities demanding papers. There are checkpoints on busy roads. They take anyone who cannot prove they have a right to be in the USA.

People vanish into the system.  People vanished in Chile or Argentina, after the coup. Bodies appearing years later in unmarked, mass graves.  Meanwhile, the elderly dictator lives elsewhere in luxurious accommodation… claiming he is innocent of crimes against humanity.  This is how it begins.

Nobody really seems prepared. Everyone thinks the ACLU are going to save the USA.  The courts put an end to the ‘Muslim Ban’ but border officials ignore the court.  People.  This is what a right-wing revolution looks like. The dictator and his trusted generals. This fledgling third world junta.

For the time being you may not notice any real difference. Resistance may mean… adding to the chorus of outraged voices on social media about this trump abomination and that executive order but mostly your circumstances will not change.  

Today is just like any other day… last month, last year, the year before that.  There’s food in the store, the train runs on time, the sewers are functioning.  The big difference for most of us are the stories currently captivating us. The daily drama, each report more outrageous than the next.  The cast of new characters.  The crazy president who you, yes you… you think he’s going to be impeached. You hanker for his removal, you pray his corruption, his lies, his business deals, his baddest badness will get him removed from office… but he’s not going anywhere.  He’s staying put.  The impeach Trump story line is just another red herring designed to engage and disillusion those who hate/love Trump.

My friends are panicked, but I say: don’t worry affluent white friends. You’ll be the last ones to suffer.  Trump is creating this alt right paradise just for you! A brand new Eden made of paper trees and wax fruit for compliant white folk… and believe me, you will comply. This is what it must have been like in Germany… when they started raiding Jewish neighborhoods. But nobody believed it. Nobody really cared… because they were just rounding up illegals, Mexicans. Oh… I mean Jews. Then one day you faint because the gardener cuts his thumb the next you are crawling over a mountain of corpses.