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Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events January 14 – 20

Amityville Music Hall
Dr. F**ks and friends unleash a vast array of sonic heal-alls at Amityville Music Hall on Jan. 14!

The Supernaturalists Starring Criss Angel
Too bad Houdini slipped this mortal coil long before Criss Angel dared to cross over the threshold of magic and impossibility with his amazing mind-blowing illusions he calls “mindfreaks,” because the great escape artist would have been thrilled to check him out. Certainly, Criss Angel admires Houdini, whom he first encountered growing up in East Meadow and helped inspire this magic show Angel produced called The Supernaturalists. Fortunately for us mortals, we share the same space-time continuum with this phenomenally talented contemporary magician who is always pushing the envelope between what is unbelievable and what is absolutely insane. It’s no wonder why millions of fans (he calls them his “loyals”) have connected with Angel’s message that “anything is truly possible when you believe in the power of the mind, body and human spirit!” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $69.50-169.50. 8 p.m. January 14  

A Night Of Reformulation
Crushing guitars. Machine gun drums. Mesmerizing horns and keys. This cataclysmic supernova of all that is sublime and evil and salvatory in music offers that all-too-rare opportunity to wrap yourself in rhythm, absolutely drench yourself in melody and lose your very soul in explosive, mind-altering, all-healing, all-intoxicating noise while somehow finding yourself again resurrected, floating atop sheer unapologetic sonic avalanches spanning myriad musical genres and jumping uncontrollably, raising your glass, flailing your arms, shaking your tuckus, laughing and singing and dreaming, shouting to your friends, loved ones and all who will listen: “Yes! Oh, yes! True love exists!! I can feel it! I can touch it! I can taste it! I can sing it!!!” Local and regional purveyors of this divine revelatory experience include the enigmatic Dr. Fucks, More Than Skies, Brian Bonz & The Major Crimes, and Cosmic Harvey & Celestial Mind. Come, let’s witness the apocalypse together on a canvas of non-redemptive revolutionary joy. Let’s share in the extraterrestrial-terrestrial amplifications of emotive wanderlust fury. Let’s dance. Amityville Music Hall, 198 Broadway, Amityville. amityvillemusichall.com $10. 7 p.m. January 15

Macabre Faire Film Festival
As many as 146 independent films from around the world will be screened in different rooms simultaneously. The cinematic journey continues as the guests are led to the exclusive Red Carpet Gala Ceremony attended by filmmakers, actors and producers on Saturday night. It all builds up to an “amusement park of films”, with panel discussions, screenings and a vendor room on Sunday. Upsky Hotel, 110 Vanderbilt Motor Pkwy., Hauppauge. MacabreFaireFilmFest.com $20-$125. Times vary, January 14-16

Invitational Art Show Reception
An artists’ reception will kick off an exhibit featuring the works of Ginger Balizer-Hendler, Andrea Davide, Kasmira Mohanty and Alan Richards. Main Street Gallery, 213 Main St., Huntington. huntingtonarts.org Free. 6 p.m. January 15

Psychic Medium Bobbi Allison
Find out what’s lurking beyond our normal understanding when renowned psychic and spirit medium Bobbi Allison holds forth for an intimate evening of gallery-style readings to benefit the Plainedge Scholarship Fund. This entertaining, illuminating event is presented by the Plainedge Council of PTAs. Plainedge High School Theatre, 241 Wyngate Dr., North Massapequa. brownpapertickets.com $35. 7 p.m. January 15

Craving Strange
Hailing from Amityville, Craving Strange have been proving that the LI music scene is alive and well. Combining humor and melodic pop while retaining an aggressive edge, the band has achieved much within a small time frame. From their hilarious YouTube video remake of Britney Spears’ “Hold it Against Me,” to their Grammy Award-winning producer Rob Jacobs, Craving Strange continue to bring solid performances, making strange fans crave even more. Supporting acts include Acey Slade, Revel 9, Sweet Tooth, Last Turn Off Broadway and No Angelz. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $10, $12 DOS. 7:30 p.m. January 15

Bob Nelson
The rubber-faced funnyman from Massapequa will unquestionably leave all those in attendance in absolute stitches, yet the question remains: Who will assist Nelson at this special evening of bring-down-the-house hilarity!? Jiffy Jeff? Eppy Epperman? Perhaps Wilby Stuckerson and Mr. Pingyeh? If Jacques-Yves Cousteau shows up, or Nelson unleashes his infamous “Football Act” (YouTube it!), then the laughs will linger long after this gig, for sure. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$45 8 p.m. January 15

Reggae Explosion
Over a decade since the Shaggy stepped up to the microphone, the reggae king returns with jams old and new. Classics such as “Angel” join his latest hit “I Need Your Love.” His 2013 album Out Of Many, One Music scored a nomination at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Also performing will be Gyptian, Kreesha Turner and Shane Hoosong. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20, $30 DOS. 8 p.m. January 15

Comedian Adam Corolla (Photo credit: Adam Corolla/Facebook)
Comedian Adam Carolla (Photo credit: Adam Carolla/Facebook)

Adam Carolla
The host of the “most downloaded podcast” in 2011, “The Adam Carolla Show,” the outspoken comedian and commentator unabashedly tackles controversial social, political and religious issues. He will be performing a special live presentation of his bestselling book Not Taco Bell Material, about growing up poor in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Pulling no punches, Carolla exposes, with pictures and video, the ridiculousness of his ’60s-era Hippy parents raising their kids on good vibes, top ramen and government cheese. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50. 8 p.m. January 15

Bill Staines
His music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers who make up this land of ours. Many of Bill’s songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals, and scouting campfire songbooks. Composer David Amram recently described him as a “modern day Stephen Foster… His songs will be around 100 years from now.” Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $10-$15. 8 p.m. January 15

Philip Edward Fisher
This pianist is widely recognized as a unique performer of refined style and exceptional versatility. The centerpiece of this afternoon of music will be all four of Chopin’s beloved Ballades, some of his most popular and enduring compositions. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center,  1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $30. 4 p.m. January 16

Jon Pardi
From native California to Nashville, Tennessee, the country singer delivers exciting song lyrics about life and love from the bottom of his heart. Join a nation-wide fandom in “yeehawing” to his jams all night as he takes his All Time High Tour on the road. Warming up  the crowd will be the Brothers Osborne. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20- $45. 8 p.m. January 16

Sister Hazel
Named for a Florida nun, this charitable-minded band’s well-crafted, hook-infused songs complimented by solid instrumentation and lush harmony vocals has built an army of faithful fans dubbed “Hazelnuts.” Indeed, the quintet has been called “one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years” by Performing Songwriter Magazine. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. January 16

Broadway Salute Motown
For this special salute to some of the best American music ever made, the roster of talented performers include Sabrina Sloan, an American Idol finalist and Smithtown native who played Diana Ross in “Motown the Musical;” Curtis Wiley, who performed in “Jersey Boys” and “The Lion King”; Jonny Rosch, a singer/keyboardist who performed with Cyndi Lauper, Carly Simon and Tommy James; Jacqueline B Arnold, who performed in “Shrek the Musical,” “Hairspray” and “Rent;” and Frank Canino, the musical director of “Hairspray,” “Motown the Musical” and “Rent.” Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $39-$45. 8 p.m. January 16

Popa Chubby
Beneath the surface of this intimidating, towering, and heavily tattooed man is a lovable musician still rocking his heart out and redefining the blues with his great guitar jams since he first took the stage in the early ’90s. This guy is the real deal, so come and get an earful. He’ll fill your lovin’ cup ’til it’s overflowing. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $30. 8:30 p.m. January 16

French Montana
Debuting in 2007, this rapper is best known for club hits such as “Choppa Choppa Down,” “Shot Caller” and “Pop That.” He was most recently featured in MTV’s Wild N’ Out with Nick Cannon. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $27, $40 DOS. 10 p.m. January 16

Indian Kite Festival
In the western Indian state of Gujarat, Uttarayan is a colorful, uplifting holiday that takes place every year in mid-January. It is a day of outdoor fun for the whole family. People of all ages fly kites from dawn to dusk. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry, music, performers and delicious traditional feasts are the hallmarks of the day. Manhasset Public Library, 30 Onderdonk Ave., Manhasset. facebook.com/events Free. 2 p.m. January 17.

Nick Griffin
For more than 20 years, Griffin has been tickling people’s funny bones. This comic’s smart, sarcastic and hilarious style has landed him on Conan and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and given him his own half-hour special Comedy Central Presents: Nick Griffin. He is a frequent guest on the nationally syndicated The Bob & Tom Show. Maybe he’ll go easy on you this time and you’ll only laugh until your insides hurt. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $17-$47. 7 p.m. January 17

Holy Holy
Fateful timing it was that this David Bowie-endorsed tribute band—named for one of the influential British icon’s b-sides released during his androgynous period—is coming to Long Island a week after Bowie died at age 69, prompting a wave of nostalgia for his many hits. Here to help fans grieve will be bandmates Tony Visconti & Woody Woodmansey, who with Glenn Gregory, will play The Thin White Duke’s tunes from 1969 to 1973, including his entire third album, The Man Who Sold The World. This show already sounds legendary and not a single note has yet been played. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$34.50. 8 p.m. January 17

Dreaming with Dr. King
Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and explore his remarkable legacy. Be inspired by his vision of peace, love and equality to paint a colorful portrait of Dr. King!  Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City. licm.com $3 with museum admission. 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. January 18.

Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. (Photo credit: Policy Exchange/Flickr)
Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. (Photo credit: Policy Exchange/Flickr)

Ray Kelly
The two-time New York City Police Commissioner and bestselling author will be appearing in conversation with his son and Good Day New York co-anchor Greg Kelly about his new book Vigilance. In it, Ray opens up about his remarkable life, taking us inside 50 years of law enforcement leadership, offering chilling stories of terrorist plots after 9/11, and sharing his candid insights into the challenges and controversies cops face today. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. January 19

Donny Osmond
Spanning five decades of delivering beloved performances and topping the music charts, the world-renown singer takes to the stage for the first time in four years to relive the magical moments in his awesome entertainment career. From teen idol to Broadway star and TV host, he’s been there and done that, whether it’s Las Vegas or Disneyworld. This one-of-a-kind music man is out on the road again in what’s dubbed “The Soundtrack of My Life Tour.” Maybe some of his songs are the soundtrack of your life, too? Why not sing along! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $59.50-$119.50. 8 p.m. January 20

–Compiled by Chuck Cannini, Spencer Rumsey Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events January 7 – 13

Jim Morrison Celebration
Wild Child’s Dave Brock steals the stage for a third time as rock legend Jim Morrison, honoring the energetic magic and emotional depth of the 1960s lizard king and legendary frontman for The Doors. To pay your respects, go to Paris where Morrison is buried. To relive his greatness, come see Wild Child’s Dave Brock in person. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$25. 8 p.m. January 7.

Peter Noone in conversation with Micky Dolenz
These two have entertained you for decades as members of Herman’s Hermits and The Monkees, respectively. But for one night only fans will get the chance to see these musical icons in a completely different way. Join Noone and Dolenz for an evening of conversation as they together share stories about what really happened during their life in the Rock & Roll spotlight both on stage and off. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35-$125. 8 p.m. January 7.

Devon Allman Band
This young Allman did not come on the music scene riding the coattails of a famous parent. Devon has been living his own musical life for decades. After playing in local bands and working in Guitar Center in St. Louis and touring with various bands, Devon is committed to performing dates with his own band, with a renewed intensity. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $35-$40. 8 p.m. January 7.

Hoda Kotb
This bestselling author and beloved co-host of the Today Show’s fourth hour will speak and sign her new cookbook, Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way. The book includes inspiring stories of people who find their life’s purpose in unexpected ways, often surprising themselves and the ones they love. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. January 8.

The Cast
These former members of Beatlemania recreate the sights and sounds of The Fab Four so faithfully that you will feel like you’re witnessing the first wave of the British Invasion. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $40-$49. 7 p.m. January 8.

Upright Citizens Brigade
Catch the best new improv comedians from the acclaimed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatres in New York and Los Angeles. In this 90-minute, unscripted and totally improvised performance, four improvisers at the top of their game perform a high-energy, surprising and hilarious show that has never been seen before and will never be seen again. The UCB Theatrefounded by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walshhas been home to some of the biggest stars in comedy today. Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main Street, Suite 1, Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $22-$27. 8 p.m. January 8.

Friday Night Fever
The ‘70s disco is “Stayin’ Alive” thanks to The New York Bee Gees Tribute Show. Rainere Martin embodies the grace, energy, and of course, voice of Donna Summer; Sir Duke captures Stevie Wonders’, well, musical wonder. It’s a sparkling night of nostalgia not to be missed. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $10-$40. 8 p.m. January 8.

Teddy Kumpel’s Swamp Soireè
The Swamp Soireè is Teddy’s party band. They play all kinds of covers and originals in a swampy style that matches well with Cajun food and party atmospheres. Joining Teddy will be Grammy-award winning producer Bob Stander on bass, Matt Miller on drums and Adam Minkoff on bass. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. January 8.

British Regiments
Come experience the pomp and the glory of the Band of the Royal Marines and the Pipes, Drums & Highland Dancers of the Scots Guards as they perform popular classics, Big Band hits, and military marching music with their signature precision. The evening’s program, British Isles of Wonder, features famous songs of the British Isles, including “The Highland Fling,” the “Armed Forces Medley,” and new favorites, “Ice & Fire,” from Game of Thrones and “the Skye Boat Song” as featured in Outlander. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $25-$80. 8 p.m. January 8.

Count To Ten
Born out of coping with the tragic loss of a close friend, three Wantagh boys came together to unleash therapeutic original jams and perform occasional song covers, and out of that experience came the foundation of a solid teen band. Aligning with Airgo Entertainment, this up-and-coming pop/punk group is creating all sorts of Internet and Long Island buzz. Opening the show are Nexus, Gianni Paci, Girl Nowhere and Collide & Cope. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $10, $12 DOS. 2:30 p.m. January 9.

O-Town
This boy band, which includes Trevor Penick, Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Ashley Parker Angel and Dan Miller, are reuniting as friends with a renewed passion for making music together again a decade after they broke up. They’ll play their hits, including “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing.” YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $30-$35. 8 p.m. January 9.

The Three Tenors (Who Can’t Sing)
Vic DiBitetto, Richie Minervini and Freddie Rubino are three of the strongest headliners in comedy today. Here they combine (or collide) in a show that features not only their vastly different styles of hilarious humor…but puts them together on stage in a “last act” of incredibly funny storytelling, spontaneous human combustion and hilarious responses to questions from the audience. McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia mcguires.govs.com $28-$58. 7:30 p.m. January 10.

Our Gang: Pint Size Comedy Masters
Join film historian Glenn Andreiev for a laugh-filled class in comic short films spotlighting visionary producer Hal Roach’s revered “Little Rascals.” The Depression-era antics of Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla and the rest of Our Gang have become embedded in popular culture as gems of American folklore. Clips from their silent-era comedic beginnings, their early talkie zenith, and their later years at MGM will be presented. Included will be a look into Hal Roach’s prolific comedy factory. Relive the fun along with Pete the Pooch, as these Little Rascals face down bizarre criminals of all types, outwit Butch the bully, wrestle with Algebra the crazed Mule, run from pirates, serve a prize-filled groaning cake, and endure many more hilarious hijinks. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. January 11.

The Musical Box
Most have only heard about the English rock group Genesis’ first concert in 1973: a breathtaking and dramatic production of music legend. Now, The Musical Box recaptures the stunning artistry and wonder of that night in passionate detail. Transport back in time and relive this historic concert like never before. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50 8 p.m. January 13.

–Compiled by Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

Op-Ed: Donald Trump Is Our Rhinoceros; Courage & Truth Will Defeat Him

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

By Arnold Dodge

 Dorothy: “Your majesty, if you were king, you wouldn’t be afraid of anything?”

The Cowardly Lion: “Not nobody! Not no-how!”

The Tin Man: “Not even a rhinoceros?”

The Cowardly Lion: “Imposerous”

Many are baffled and appalled by the rise of Donald Trump as he vies for the Republican nomination for president. How did this happen? How can those who claim allegiance to the principles of the Constitution and the values of democracy follow someone who is bigoted, ill-informed, narcissistic and tyrannical in his pronouncements, someone whose hubris and grandiosity are unparalleled in public discourse?

Maybe Eugene Ionesco, playwright extraordinaire, can shed some light on the subject.

Written for the stage in 1960, Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros portrays a bizarre world slowly and inexorably overcome by an invasion of rhinos.

The play’s protagonist, Berenger, becomes the focal point of a maelstrom of fantastical proportions taking over his French village. A rhinoceros is spotted making its way through the quiet streets. The townspeople are flummoxed; then a second one is sighted. Suddenly rhinos are spotted all over town. Most astounding of all, citizens begin turning into rhinos, terrorizing their neighbors.

And the rhino numbers continue to rise.

Meetings are held to see what can be done. Some say the rhino invasion is a hoax made up by journalists to sell more papers. Some say the village residents are too intelligent to let the creatures take charge and change their way of life. Others deny the existence of the threat. Nevertheless, the siege continues. More and more rhino sightings are reported. More and more townspeople are morphing into the brutish creatures. Friends begin to attack friends. Before Berenger’s eyes, a friend grows a horn and his skin turns green.

And the rhino numbers continue to rise.

Townspeople—realizing that they cannot stop the changes—begin to see an inevitability in the new order. Those who have yet to be transformed suggest that the best way to deal with the situation is to understand the rhinos and, maybe, even experience the changes themselves. Others venerate the strength and force of these large mammals. Some believe that it is their individual right to make up their own minds about their associations. Others cannot bear to be an outsider when everyone else has joined the group. All resistance collapses. The townspeople have succumbed.

And the rhino numbers continue to rise.

The lone holdout, Berenger, keeps looking for signs to see if he is changing into the beasts that have ravaged his town. He promises himself that he will never give in to the transformation. He remains adamant; he refuses to conform.

Until he has doubts.

Maybe to be human is monstrous, he muses. He compares his body to the rhino’s body and laments, “My skin is so slack. I can’t stand this white, hairy body. Oh, I’d love to have a hard skin in that wonderful dull green colour—a skin that looks decent naked without any hair on it, like theirs!”

Berenger is ashamed of himself. He stands alone, forlorn, confused and self-hating.

But, at story’s end, Berenger resolves to fight for his individuality. He will remain strong. He will fight the menace that is robbing people of their humanity.

Story over.

What is the point?

In a Jan. 17, 1960, interview in Le Monde, Ionesco explains the message behind his work:

“I have been very much struck by what one might call the current of opinion, by its rapid evolution, its power of contagion, which is that of a real epidemic. People allow themselves suddenly to be invaded by a new religion, a doctrine, a fanaticism …. At such moments we witness a veritable mental mutation. I don’t know if you have noticed it, but when people no longer share your opinions, when you can no longer make yourself understood by them, one has the impression of being confronted with monsters—rhinos, for example. They have that mixture of candor and ferocity. They would kill you with the best of consciences.”

Which leads us to Donald Trump.

When we watch the cheering, adoring crowds in the stadiums, we are dumbfounded. With impunity, Trump attacks the president, his presidential primary opponents, women and minorities. Despite his target practice—or perhaps because of it—his fans promise more allegiance. The dedication to their standard-bearer seems to have no limits. Legions are pledging their support for him, joining his juggernaut, morphing into citizens unrecognizable to the rest of us.

And Trump’s national poll numbers continue to rise.

Some hold gatherings to discuss the changes. Many believe that the Trump followers are under some kind of spell. How else to explain their behavior? Can Trump actually win the Republican nomination…and maybe the presidency? Impossible, most critics say. A sophisticated nation would never elect the likes of a Donald Trump. Yet, as they look around, they hear more and more people echoing simplistic messages about toughness, strength and brute force. People, once thought reasonable, are joining the herd.

And the poll numbers continue to rise.

The crowds swell. There is hysteria unlike anything seen before at Trump rallies. His audience becomes unhinged when he delivers his self-serving remarks, sarcastic asides, absurd and unfounded declarations and abusive rants.

Those who are brave enough to challenge the speaker at a rally are subject to angry, vicious, even violent responses. In Trump’s words, maybe these protesters “need to be taken down.” Left to their own devices, it appears that the throngs will stampede and crush the dissenters.

And the poll numbers continue to rise.

When Trump speaks, raw energy is unleashed:

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down.”

                “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

                “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

                “When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time.”

                “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

                “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”

                “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?”

And how about this one? Here’s the narration in Trump’s newest campaign ad, which he’s reportedly spending $2 million a week to air: “…he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what’s going on.” In a statement posted prominently on his website he takes a firmer position: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

And the poll numbers continue to rise.

Some may argue that Trump’s campaign is just filled with energized and passionate followers who want their candidate to win. On the other hand, others could argue that a rabid crowd is following a fanatic, hell-bent on the destruction of the constitutional foundations of our democracy. A “mental mutation” is occurring for all to see on the 24-hour news cycle. The whole town is talking about it and wondering what will come next. Like Ionesco’s rhino takeover, will we all succumb to the beast?

What can we do?

Ignore it? Laugh at it?

Or, get serious about the threat.

If we are not vigilant about attacks on our freedom, tyrannical forces will fill the void, with dire results for the community—and the country. If we are seduced by the power of tyranny, we too may become confederates in the fascist state.

Like Berenger, maybe we should promise not to capitulate, even if we find ourselves alone.

Like the Cowardly Lion, maybe we can summon what we most need:

Courage.

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” —Edmund Burke

 

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the Chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his forty-fifth year in education, Dr. Dodge’s particular interest focuses on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for January 2016

By PsychicDeb

Aries – Pluto squared Natal Sun – put off important decisions for another month. You’ll do better to attend a musical or theatrical event, watch television, or listen to the radio. If you’re all alone, make good use of your time in developing self-understanding. Pisces plays a key role. Your lucky number is 7.

Taurus – Mars opposite Natal Sun – the accent is on privacy, secrets, confidential groups or organizations. Keep thoughts to yourself, especially romantic dreams. Time spent alone can be very rewarding.

Gemini – Venus and Saturn opposite Natal Sun – business talents are emphasized. You’ll make enterprising moves, possibly concerning real estate. You feel the desire to settle down permanently. Success arrives with contacts with successful people and the number 8.

Cancer – restrictions lift, life becomes more exciting and a fascinating member of the opposite sex shows up. Promote special services, new methods and more cooperation in daily tasks. An intimate discussion with a Gemini provides new views. The lucky number is 5.

Leo – Mars Squared Natal Sun – the low lunar cycle suggests that you play a waiting game. Don’t force issues where your mate, partner or associate is concerned. Spend time on practical matters, clearing up minor details. Get help from a professional if needed. Your lucky number is 4.

Virgo – Jupiter Conjunct Natal Sun – an aura of mystery surrounds money matters. You could be working in the dark unless you enlist the cooperation of a family member. Eliminate wasteful extravagant habits, learn to manage better. Mutual agreement is necessary on a large purchase. Your lucky number is 6.

Libra – Uranus opposite Natal Sun – you open up to new vistas. Foreign ideas, higher education and travel plans are on your mind. Attention will be scattered over a vast range of possibilities – try to be more discriminating in choosing the best path open. Sagittarius and Gemini play key roles.

Scorpio – Mars Conjunct Natal Sun – a conversation with a top authority in the field brings excellent results. You have the knack of getting beyond trivialities to the real subjects at hand. Your conversational ability will attract a bright member of the opposite sex. Much fun, variety and fast pace are promised.

Sagittarius – Venus and Saturn Conjunct Natal Sun – an inspiring message sets you off on a mission to help someone in need. Your generosity is accented. You’ll be concerned with charity drives, fund-raising or visits to hospitals and convalescents. Romance behind the scenes is possible. An Aries figures in the picture.

Capricorn – Mercury and Pluto Conjunct Natal Sun – it’s time to circulate; you’ll be the center of attention at any party or social event. A fascinating stranger compliments you on your intelligence and sense of humor. A versatile approach will work best. Don’t take on more than you can handle; take good care of your health.

Aquarius – Ruling planet in the 2nd house – the accent is on the “big picture”. A feeling of confinement can be overcome by increasing your interest in the world beyond your front door. Don’t allow a narrow-minded relative to interfere with your humanitarian outlook and practices. An Aries serves as a reliable guide.

Pisces – Jupiter opposite Natal Sun – the emphasis is on routine tasks and attention to details. You’ll derive the greatest pleasure from services to others. Realize that devotion to duty will result in greater rewards than you expected. An Aquarian surprises you with bright ideas. Your lucky number is 4.

IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.

Psychicdeb has been a professional astrologer for over 25 yrs. Self-taught, she began her studies in astrology when she was 8 yrs. old learning what she could from her mother’s astrology magazines. As she got older and learned geometry, she searched for books on Astrology and taught herself how to construct a chart. She teaches Astrology for a nominal fee. Psychicdeb also uses the tarot to do psychic readings channeling her spirit guide Helen. Reiki is one of her obsessions. She is a Reiki Master and loves to teach others the benefits of Reiki. Namaste. You can find her at the Original Psychic Fairs on Sundays. A listing of the Fair dates can be found on her website at: www.astro-mate.org

Op-Ed: High School’s Misguided Islamic Art Assignment Shows Ignorance On All Sides

By Mark Grabowski

A Virginia high school geography teacher’s controversial Arabic calligraphy writing assignment last month is the latest unfortunate example of ignorance in America.

Ignorance of history and the law, that is.

Located in rural Shenandoah Valley, the Augusta County public school district made national headlines on Dec. 18 when it closed all of its facilities after outraged parents voiced concerns over a homework assignment asking students to write Islamic religious statements by copying Arabic calligraphy. One parent even accused the school of “Muslim indoctrination.” Many observers have criticized the school parents for being ignorant and intolerant. The county sheriff reportedly said the school received messages that called for firing the teacher and putting “her head on a stake.”

While some parents have undoubtedly overreacted and deserve ridicule, the assignment seems to have been in violation of “separation of church and state,” a legal doctrine set forth in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And that’s not OK, either.

Although students may be taught about religion, public schools may not teach religion. It’s an important distinction, and the line was arguably crossed in Cheryl LaPorte’s geography class at Riverheads High School in Staunton, Va.

Given that the assignment’s stated learning goal was to “give [students] an idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy,” why have students copy—of all things—the Shahada, the Islamic creed? The unnecessary injection of religion into the assignment put the school district on very shaky legal ground.

The “lesson plan was problematic,” observed Americans United for Separation of Church and State in a press release. “A statement of faith could be studied as part of an objective course about world religions, but students can do that without writing it out. If students were expected to copy passages from the New Testament, Hindu scriptures or even Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, there would be obvious problems. If [the teacher] wanted to help students understand how challenging calligraphy can be, there are other examples she could have chosen.”

This controversy harkens back to a similar situation faced by Long Island school parents.

In 1962, a group of families of public school students in New Hyde Park complained after the Board of Regents had authorized a short, voluntary, nondenominational prayer to “Almighty God” be recited at the start of each school day. In a landmark case, Engel vs. Vitale, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that by providing the prayer to students, New York officials officially approved religion, which was unconstitutional.

Subsequent court decisions have further limited school-directed classroom activities involving religion. For example, in a 2009 case involving a suburban Philadelphia public school district, a federal court ruled against allowing Bible verses to be read aloud as part of a show-and-tell assignment.

The lawsuit, Busch vs. Marple Newtown School District, stemmed from an assignment inviting kindergarten students to present important aspects of their lives to their classmates. In addition, the students’ parents were asked to “share a talent, short game, small craft, or story” with the class that would highlight something about their child. One student made a poster displaying a church and asked his mom to read five Bible verses to the class.

The principal blocked the presentation, saying it was “against the law … of separation of church and state,” and the parent sued. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the parent, stating that “reading from the Bible or other religious text is more than a message and unquestionably conveys a strong sense of spiritual and moral authority … Parents of public school kindergarten students may reasonably expect their children will not become captive audiences to an adult’s reading of religious texts.”

If school officials can’t create a prayer that students may voluntarily recite and if a student’s parent can’t read a handful of verses from a religious text, it follows that a teacher requiring students to write a prayer found in the Quran would also be problematic in the eyes of the law.

As the Joint Statement of Current Law on Religion in the Public Schools, which is co-signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, American Muslim Council, American Jewish Committee, and many other religious and legal organizations, states: “Teachers may not require students to modify, include or excise religious views in their assignments.”

The Augusta County high school’s assignment arguably violated those guidelines, since it required students to write out in Arabic the Shahada, the Islamic statement of faith, which translates to: “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.” These phrases, present in the Quran, are recited by Muslims as part of their worship.

Some parents who objected to the assignment may have been motivated by the wrong reasons, such as Islamophobia. But those who defended the teacher are equally ignorant—about the Constitution.

Mark Grabowski is a lawyer and an associate professor at Adelphi University in New York, where he teaches communications law. For more information, visit markgrabowski.com.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 31 – January 6

50 Cent The Emporium
50 Cent kicks off the New Year in style at The Emporium in Patchogue on Jan. 2!

[50 Cent kicks off 2016 in style at The Emporium in Patchogue on Jan. 2!]

Jack’s Waterfall
Jack Licitra has released eight CDs with his project, Jack’s Waterfall, performing with some of the best musicians in the world, including Levon Helm, Jimmy Vivino and Bakithi Kumalo, as well as opening shows for legends such as Richie Havens, Buckwheat Zydeco, Pinetop Perkins—and even playing for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton! Come welcome the New Year by enjoying his truly amazing musical gifts and kick off 2016 in jazzy, soul-soothing style! Let Jack’s Waterfall flow over you! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $25-$100. 9 p.m. December 31.

Jessie’s Girl
Break out the Converse, strap on a headband and dust off the jean jacket, because this Back to the Eighties Show will do everything short of taking you in a Delorean back to the decade when Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Gibson ruled the airwaves. That’s because Jessie’s Girl is more than just a cover band. They’re here to party like it’s 1989! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington.paramountny.com $25-$55. 10 p.m. December 31.

A Rat Pack New Year
Direct from Las Vegas, this spectacular show recreates one of the famous “Summit at the Sands” nights, when the swingin’ ring-a-ding group known as “The Rat Pack” was creating hipster legends with a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred nightclub act starring Vegas’ favorite good ole bad boys: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. The show features uncanny vocal recreations and unbridled humor. The men are backed by a smoking-hot orchestra that sends audiences straight back to the coolest time in history. Hits include “That’s Amore,” “My Way,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “Fly me to the Moon,” “My Kind of Town,” “New York, New York,” and many more! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $60-$95. Times vary, December 31-January 3.

Badfish
Covering everyone’s favorite punk/reggae/ska/pop songs by Sublime is this very cool tribute band, named after the original’s classic tune. Bradley! Bradley! Long Live Bradley! Oops. Mulcahys Pub and Concert Hall: 3232 Railroad Ave, Wantagh. muls.com $10. 10 p.m. January 1.

Shiffley
This Long Island band’s indie/synth-rock beats have opened for several energetic and fun multi-band shows. Their latest hit album Anthem City was released back in August. Opening the show are The Serotones, The Como Brothers Band and Flid. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 6:30 p.m. January 2.

Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot
This is the only Billy Joel tribute band featuring musicians, namely Mike DelGuidice, who have actually shared a stage with the most famous Long Islander, The Piano Man, himself. Big Shot schedules tour dates around Billy Joel’s monthly Madison Square Garden concerts. A true fan, DelGuidice guarantees a proper homage to his idol—and the performances are absolutely stellar! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington.paramountny.com $15-$35. 8 p.m. January 2.

John Ziegler
As a single, never married adult, John finds his humor in the world of dating and his observation of the married people he knows. In addition to being a self-proclaimed relationship expert, John also fancies himself an authority on the workplace. Growing up the youngest of six children in a Jewish family within an Italian/Irish Catholic neighborhood has given John a unique perspective, which has him happily confused to this day. Get ready to laugh, hard! He’s one funny man. McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia. mcguires.govs.com $17. 9 p.m. January 2.

50 Cent
His head-bobbing and sometimes-unsettling beats range from more than a decade of top-selling albums, but 50 Cent’s latest drop, The Kanan Tape, shows a matured, reflective, entertaining-as-ever veteran of the music industry—and the streets. His recent bankruptcy and Instagram wars aside, 50 Cent still has serious lyrical skills that set him apart. He’s also got another album, Street King Immortal, set to be released in 2016. With Funk Flex. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $25-$40. 10 p.m. January 2.

Bill Murray Movie Marathon
For the first time since the ’80s, catch Stripes and Caddyshack on the same big screen. Too bad the PGA couldn’t make Carl the Groundskeeper the ambassador of the links at the US Open. Laugh, giggle, roar—do what you will—this is Bill Murray, and he is king! Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com Admission free with $20 food/beverage purchase. 6 p.m. January 3.

Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
Obsession, redemption and spectacular performances are on the menu at the cinematic celebration that is this showing of The Bard’s timeless tragicomedy. Co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in Manchester and Manhattan, expect a memorable evening of theatrical splendor with the fantastic re-telling of this absolute classic, featuring Judi Dench as Paulina and Kenneth Branagh as Leontes. Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org Public: $12. Members: $7. Seniors (62+) & Students (w/ID): $9. Children: (12 and under): $5. 7 p.m. January 5.

Rocco DiSpirito
This celebrity chef and bestselling author will speak about his culinary mastery and sign his new cookbook The Negative Calorie Diet. In it, he explains how true health and real weight loss come from a whole-foods diet that is rich in negative calorie foods. Best of all, there is no limit to the quantity of negative calorie foods you can eat, because those calories don’t count! Gotta get us some ah that! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. January 5.

–Compiled by Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

2015 was a Strange Year for New York Sports

 

 

 

Another sports year has passed, marking the fourth consecutive year that none of New York’s major professional sports team has won a championship. It’d be funny if NY’s futility weren’t so embarrassing.

Only one franchise—the Mets for Pete’s sake—made it all the way to the finals in its respective sport, and the Rangers, which boasted the top record in the NHL, fizzled in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, killing any hopes of consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearances.

As for the Mets’ American League counterpart, the Yankees, well, the bombers depleted their already-anemic arsenal by the time October came around, stinking up the Bronx in a do-or-die playoff game against the up-and-coming Houston Astros.

NY’s hardwood franchises did not even put up a fight, with the Knicks amassing only 17 wins in an 82-game season, a historic low even by Jimmy “Guitar” Dolan’s standards. The Nets managed to slide into the playoffs but were ousted in the first round, making us all yearn for the days of Dr. J’s rocket-like pursuits to the basket inside Nassau Coliseum during the Nets’ glorious ABA days. On the ice, the Islanders couldn’t quite give NY hockey fans a dream playoff matchup against the Rangers, but what a magical season it was! The Isles had The Old Barn rocking again, reminding everyone why old, decaying arenas like the Coliseum hold a soft place in our hearts forever.

By the time September rolled around, Giants fans had high hopes that Eli Manning’s arm would be enough to win the lousy NFC east. A handful of last-minute losses coupled with an injury-ravaged defense had us in a Big Blue daze that we have yet to wake up from. Leave it to Gang Green to prove anything is possible by embarrassing the reviled Patriots in overtime last Sunday, setting up a must-win game against that blowhard Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills with a spot in the playoffs on the line.

Despite a mostly joyless sports season, Long Island boasted some highlights—none bigger than American Pharaoh’s dramatic Triple Crown-clinching win at the Belmont Stakes in June and a successful title-defending campaign for the North American Soccer League’s Cosmos, who have now won two titles in as many years. The Cosmos also engaged in a bit of soccer diplomacy, becoming the first professional sports team in the United States to play in Cuba since Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles in 1999.

Things weren’t all bad. The Mets—wait, was it a dream?—played their first MLB Championship since 2000’s Subway Series but were done in by the pesky Kansas City Royals.

Instead of wasting time on the losers that still get to call NY home despite their travails, we decided to honor the team from Queens. The Press enlisted our resident Mets fanboy, senior editor Spencer Rumsey, to genuflect over those lovable, maddening Metropolitans.

Here it is:

Finally, the “wait until next year” mantra was over and nobody could deny it. That’s right, New York. The Mets, of all teams, actually made it to the World Series in 2015. What a crazy season it was: full of agita, tears and miracles. From being no-hit by a no-name pitcher in July to sweeping the Cubs and winning the National League Pennant in October. Who can believe it?

But, to quote the baseball bard, Tug McGraw:

Ya gotta believe!

The bearded Daniel Murphy, our unpredictable second baseman, went on an amazing post-season streak: homering for six consecutive games and setting a major league record. One of his greatest contributions came when he stole third base against the Dodgers’ distracted ace, Zack Greinke, in game 5 of the NLCS. We’re gonna miss you, big guy, but can you do us a favor when you’re playing second base at Citi Field for the Nats next season and do that thing you used to do with your glove that would drive us fans to distraction? Just asking.

As for our fearsome young flame-throwers on the mound, not only did our pitchers live up to the hype, they set the bar even higher! The lanky long-haired Jacob deGrom was brilliant. “Thor” Syndergaard unleashed his mighty hammer. Long Island’s lefthander Steven Matz had his dream come true when the Ward Melville High School grad got to make his MLB debut with the Mets on June 28. He struck out six, went 3-for-3 (including a double), and got four R.B.I.’s that day, too. An achievement that made his grandfather a fan for the ages when SNY cut to the family’s jubilation in the stands.

This year, back from Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey raised the stakes—and exceeded his pitch count when it mattered most to the team’s chances. The Dark Knight may have had his darkest night in the ninth inning of game 5 in the World Series—with the Mets holding a slender 2-0 lead over the Royals and desperately needing a win to send everybody back to Kansas City—when he bluntly told our silver-haired manager Terry Collins there was “no way” he was coming out so our closer Jeurys Familia could come in from the bullpen and get the save. It was probably the only move Collins made that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.

Ah well, it’s only a game, but we’ll take it, and be grateful for the good times. For this happy recap, let us recall how great was it to have Bartolo Colon in a Mets uniform! Never a dull moment watching this 42-year-old athlete at work—especially whenever he came up to the plate to hit.

When the final scorekeeper in the sky comes to tally up the 2015 season, the chance to see our heroic captain, third-baseman David Wright, overcome his painfully debilitating spinal stenosis, which almost ended his season in April, and wind up playing fateful baseball in October is something truly special that Mets fans can treasure for a long time. What a year to remember!

 

 

Some final thoughts…

2015 may very well be remembered for what happened off the field. The Giants’ Jason Pierre Paul blew up his hands during a July 4th fireworks accident, forcing him to sit out the majority of the season.  The injury, which was very much avoidable, may spell the end of his career as a Giant since he’s a free agent next year. Knicks coach Derek Fisher reportedly got into a physical altercation with a former teammate whose ex Fisher is apparently dating. Perhaps the most embarrassing moment of the year came in Week 15 of the NFL season when Giants superstar receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., was penalized three times for physical altercations against agitating Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. It was a shame Giants coach Tom Coughlin did not pull Beckham from the game. Beckham’s stupidity cost him, as the NFL suspended the dynamic pass-catcher for last week’s game against the Vikings. Not that it mattered, the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs one day earlier when Washington claimed the NFC east with a win over Philadelphia. And to cap off the year, Knicks benchplayer Derrick Williams was robbed of more than a half-million dollars in jewelry, and fellow benchwarmer, Cleananthony Early, was shot in the leg and robbed by masked gunmen who surrounded an Uber car he’d hailed after leaving a Queens strip club. As for the Knicks, at least, they have something to look forward to with the arrival of Latvian sensation Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-foot-3 20-year-old is averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds per game in his rookie season, and appears to be the real deal. Keep it up, KP. New York is desperate for a winner who could go all the way.

Top 15 Long Island News Stories of 2015

15) American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown
Down the stretch no other horse could come close to beating this great American Thoroughbred. American Pharoah won the 2015 Triple Crown in terrific fashion, becoming the 12th horse in history to cross the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes—a feat that hadn’t happened in 37 years. The drought came to an end on June 6 when American Pharoah drew away from the pack to the roars of 90,000 fans packing Belmont Park and won the daunting 1½-mile race by 5½ lengths. Behind him all the way were his owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert, jockey Victor Espinoza and Zayat Stables racing manager Justin Zayat. The three-year-old colt rode off into the sunset, so to speak, after earning more than $8 million in his racing career. “We owe American Pharoah everything,” said Ahmed Zayat. “He is a once-in-a-lifetime horse…He runs with his heart and he is brilliantly fast.”

14) Port Ambrose Sunk
Two years after Liberty Natural Gas, a company backed by a Canadian hedge fund, proposed building a liquid natural gas (LNG) port about 20 miles off the southern coast of Long Island—whipping environmentalists into a frenzy of opposition—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month he would exercise his veto power to kill the plan. Aside from the threat of a spill, critics were concerned that the estimated 45 LNG supertanker deliveries annually would be a target for terrorists, encroach on an area eyed for an offshore wind farm and would negatively impact the fishing industry. Alas, the Democratic governor followed the lead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who had vetoed an earlier LNG port that the same company proposed closer to the Jersey Shore years earlier.

13) Drones Gone Wild
Call 2015 the Year of the Drone. Six reports of drones last year on LI quintupled to 34 for the first eight months of ‘15, bringing to at least 40 the number of increasingly popular radio-controlled unmanned aircraft reported by pilots, air traffic controllers and citizens on LI in the past two years. The local increase in drone sighting reports suggests that LI is outpacing the estimated nearly threefold national increase in sightings of drones and other such devices reported to the Federal Aviation Administration since last year. Although none of the drone sightings over LI indicate a close call with a plane, 16 were well above the 400-foot ceiling set by the FAA and four were within a five-mile radius of an airport, which is also a violation of federal rules. Suffolk and Huntington town lawmakers passed drone regulations this year, Nassau lawmakers are discussing a similar proposal, as are officials in the Town of Hempstead, plus the Village of Saltaire on Fire Island.

12) Common Core Uproar
The first “conscientious objector” on Long Island, Comsewogue teacher Beth Dimino, inspired a movement known across the land as #diminoeffect by refusing, with the support of her superintendent Dr. Joe Rella, to administer the mandated controversial Common Core exams this April. She called the tests “child abuse,” a claim she made to riotous applause at Ward Melville High School more than two years ago when New York State Education Commissioner John King (now the newly appointed Secretary of Education) was on stage. By refusing to proctor the tests, Dimino stood with the 20,000 children across Long Island who refused to sit for the exams. The LI-led “Opt-Out” movement has become an inarguably oppositional force to be reckoned with across the state, culminating with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (second) Common Core task force and state-wide concessions for a four-year moratorium to revise Common Core State Standards.

11) Cutchogue Fatal Limo Crash
The Long Island tragedy of the summer came July 18, when a Peconic man allegedly drove drunk and crashed his pickup truck into a limousine, killing four women and injuring six others who were touring the North Fork wine country celebrating a birthday. The fatal crash on Route 48 in Cutchogue came six days after an allegedly drunk driver crashed into a car on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore, killing a man and his two children. In the Cutchogue case, Steven Romeo, crashed into a limo that was making a U-turn, killing Brittany Schulman and Lauren Baruch, both of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, of Commack. All were 23 except Baruch, who was 24. Prosecutors said Romeo, 55, told police that he drank several beers before the crash. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

10) LI’s Lynch Confirmed as AG
Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which prosecutes federal crimes on Long Island, was confirmed at U.S. Attorney General in April, five months after President Obama nominated her for the position. Lynch became the first black woman in US history to hold the title as the nation’s chief prosecutor. As has become the norm in Washington, DC of late, Lynch’s Congressional confirmation was often contentious as Republicans bristled at her support for Obama’s executive action on immigration. But Lynch’s resume was hardly in dispute. During her career she had overseen high-profile cases involving terrorists, corrupt politicians and gangsters. She replaced Eric Holder, who resigned in late 2014.

9) NYPD Officer Brian Moore of LI Killed
Tens of thousands came to St. James Church in Seaford to pay their respects at the funeral held for NYPD Officer Brian Moore, who had died in the line of duty in Queens. On May 2, the 25-year-old cop, who worked at the 105th Precinct in Queens Village, was shot in the face by an ex-con wielding a .38-caliber handgun stolen from Georgia in 2011. At the funeral, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton posthumously promoted Moore to the rank of detective first grade. Coming from a family of police officers—his dad and his uncle are both retired NYPD sergeants—the young officer was still living at his father’s house in North Massapequa. Moore, who had made more than 150 arrests since joining the force five years ago, was patrolling in an unmarked police car with his plainclothes partner around 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday evening when they spotted a man suspiciously “adjusting an object in his waistband” and decided to question him. Their suspect turned out to be Demetrius Blackwell, 35, who allegedly whipped out his gun without warning, fired at them and fled.

8) Casino Wars
After the Nassau Regional Off-track Betting (OTB) Corp. nixed plans to build a video lottery terminal parlor—aka, a mini-casino—in Westbury last January in the face of intense public opposition, the Nassau OTB was slow to declare another location, but just this week it announced that Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont is Plan B. Another round of vocal grassroots opposition is sure to follow, but whether that community will be as successful as Westbury remains to be seen. Meanwhile in Suffolk, Medford residents continue to fight against a similar proposal by the Suffolk OTB to build an estimated $40-million, nearly 100,000-square-foot parlor on a vacant lot near the Long Island Expressway. Place your bets on whether either project can overcome LI’s odds-on favorite: NIMBYism.

7) Oyster Bay Scandals
First, Frederick Ippolito, the commissioner of planning and development for the Town of Oyster Bay, was arrested in March on six counts of tax evasion for allegedly failing to report more than $2 million in consulting fees over a six-year span. Six months later, Harendra Singh, a Syosset-based restaurateur, was arrested for allegedly bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official, inflating the amount of Sandy recovery aid one of his properties qualified for and perpetrating tax fraud, among other charges. Meanwhile, Newsday reported that federal investigations may lead to additional legal action regarding the town and related players. It was almost enough for longtime Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto to lose his bid for a 10th term in November, but the veteran Republican clung to his job with less than 100 votes in a race against a little-known Democratic challenger.

6) Madeline Singas Takes Over as Nassau DA
The career prosecutor cruised to victory over her better-known Republican challenger, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, in the race for Nassau County District Attorney in November. Singas, who had been serving as acting DA since her former boss, Kathleen Rice, went to Congress in January, was considered the underdog. But Singas managed to convince enough voters that her resume was superior to Murray’s, who had spent the last decade running Hempstead. Singas touted her prosecutorial experience on the stump and painted her competitor as unfit to oversee such an important office. Murray’s defeat was shocking to some political observers who thought the Republican machine that dominates Nassau politics would prevail against a novice campaigner. Come the New Year, Murray is out of elected office and Democrats get to keep the district attorney’s office—the only major political office Democrats currently hold in Nassau. But don’t cry for Kate, Nassau. The board of trustees at Nassau Community College have appointed Murray to handle “governmental affairs” as acting general counsel, which pays $150,000 a year.

5) Suffolk Conservative Party Chair Ed Walsh Charged
Ed Walsh, the powerful Suffolk County Conservative Party leader and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant, found himself facing the wrong side of a jail in March when he was indicted on federal charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud. He has pleaded not guilty. This case began when an FBI investigation looked into Walsh’s time sheets from 2011 to 2014 and claimed to have found that Walsh had been paid $80,000 for working while he was actually out golfing, gambling and doing party business instead. His lawyers say he’s always had a flexible schedule. As one of his attorneys reportedly said: “It’s not like he was a clerk at King Kullen.” His trial is set to begin March 15, 2016, just after the pension for his $121,000-a-year job will fully vest because he will have been on the county payroll for 25 years in February. It’s no secret that Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative Party member, does not hold his own party leader in the highest regard: he’d suspended the lieutenant and tried to fire him too. But Walsh, 49, remains a formidable figure, still heading the largest Conservative county organization in the Empire State.

4) Altice Announces Purchase of Cablevision, Newsday
Qu’est-ce que c’est?! A French telecommunications giant made a $10 billion deal to buy Cablevision in September and suddenly Newsday employees are running around Melville practicing their high school French in anticipation of having new owners in 2016 who care nothing about the Knicks. Zut alors! Altice said it would offer the Dolans’ company $34.90 a share but the stock has done nothing but drop below the asking price as concerns have increased. Recently New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he might put the kibosh on the deal if he decides that it isn’t in the public interest. Altice is notorious for imposing drastic cost cuts after it acquires something new. It’s said it wants to find $900 million in savings and “synergies” here, which could involve curtailing customer service and slowing down upgrades in the future for Cablevision’s current 3.1 million subscribers. Plus there’s the prospect of draconian job losses, which doesn’t sit well with the Communications Workers of America, the union representing 300 Cablevision employees, let alone the hapless workers at Long Island’s paper of record. The city may not have a say in this deal but the state’s regulatory body, the Public Service Commission, certainly will. Whether Newsday is about to run its last word is another story.

3) Ex-SCPD Chief James Burke Arrested
Burke, who served as chief of the Suffolk County Police Department until his retirement in October, was indicted in December for covering up a retaliatory assault on a suspect who stole a duffel bag from inside his department-issued SUV. A federal district court judge held Burke without bail, calling “the corruption of an entire department by this defendant shocking.” The charges against Burke stem from the December 2012 arrest of Christopher Loeb, then 27, who was suspected of breaking into vehicles, including Burke’s. Burke went to Loeb’s house in St. James during his arrest and retrieved his duffel bag, which contained his gun belt, ammunition, a box of cigars and a number of other items, including sex toys and pornography, authorities said. Federal prosecutors allege that it was the porn that served as Burke’s motivation for beating Loeb inside Suffolk police’s Fourth Precinct. Burke has pleaded not guilty.

2) Isles Leave With Billy’s Encore
The Islanders could not seal their end of their deal and give hockey fans a dream postseason matchup against the Rangers, but they did give Long Islanders plenty to root for. And what a magical curtain call it was. In the final year of playing at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Isles finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and had arena faithful partying like it was 1984. But the Cinderella story was not meant to be, with the Isles losing in Game 7 to the Washington Capitals. They now play in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and are in danger of skating to the bottom of the barrel in average home attendance. Despite the Isles’ loss in April, The Old Barn roared one final time when Billy Joel closed out the arena during a sold-out show in August. The Coliseum is currently going through a $261-million renovation, which developers hope to complete next year.

1) Ex-Sen. Dean Skelos Corruption Conviction
Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was simultaneously the highest-ranking Republican in the state, one of the three most influential lawmakers statewide and arguably the most powerful politician on Long Island. That is, until he resigned his leadership post when he and his son, Adam, were arrested on federal corruption charges in May. The senator was expelled from office after his conviction earlier this month. Prosecutors convinced a Manhattan jury that the disgraced senator used his power to extort $300,000 in payments to his son for work Adam either didn’t do or was unqualified for over a four-year span. While potential candidates line up for the special election to fill the seat that Skelos held for three decades, defense attorneys for the father and son prepare to mount their appeal. And political observers are placing their bets on which lawmaker from LI the feds arrest next. As U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said: “Stay tuned!”

-Compiled by Timothy Bolger, Jaime Franchi, Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey

Op-Ed: Donald Trump Is Our ‘Monster From The Id’

Donald Trump
(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

By Arnold Dodge

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” –Aldous Huxley

The 1956 classic sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet is considered by many the progenitor for all science fiction movies to follow. Nominated for an Oscar for best special effects, it is replete with spaceships, ray guns and a robot named Robby. Among many firsts for the genre, the thriller dabbled in psychology.

The Krell, an advanced civilization—centuries ahead of humans technologically and intellectually, the first inhabitants of a distant planet called Altair IV—perished 2,000 centuries ago but not before leaving a bizarre and destructive legacy. With all their brilliance, the Krell forgot to include one element in their master plan: “monsters from the id.” In the movie, the primitive, hidden and unstoppable power of the id visits destruction and death upon the characters. Only when the force of the id—a creation of the mind of the madman who controls the planet—is vanquished, does the terror subside.

For more about the id—and its companion elements of the psyche—we consult Dr. Sigmund Freud.  In brief, the id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world. It operates on the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational and fantasy-oriented. The ego, on the other hand, develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. The ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The superego controls the id’s impulses, especially aggressive behaviors.  It also has the function of persuading the ego to pursue moralistic goals.

What does this have to do with Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a fabrication invented by a portion of the public nostalgic for the “real America ” who crave a vision of the world which is simple, aggressive and hostile to those who are different. In short, the id unleashed.

To roar and chant and lionize their hero—and offer unwavering support in the polls—those who  feverishly hope, as Trump’s baseball cap proclaims, to “Make America Great Again” are irrational, illogical and fantasy-oriented, yet they are millions strong and growing. The driver for the movement is not affected by reality; the id will metabolize any idea that fuels its existence. How else to explain Trump’s drumbeat of obvious lies and distortions being swallowed whole by his minions?

Among many frightening aspects of the juggernaut is the parallel to George Orwell’s prediction that lies will become truths in the dystopian world of tomorrow. In Trump’s world, the crazier the lies, the more popular they become. And, acting on behalf of the “thought police” (another Orwell gem), Trump combs the media for calling him out and doubles down on the lie.

H.L. Mencken, one of the most influential American journalists, once observed: “There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.” Nonetheless, the easier the solution offered by Trump to complex issues, the more excited the crowds. He quickly follows his remarks with the mantra: “I refuse to be politically correct.” What better way to grant a wishful impulse—regardless of the consequences—than with a short burst of fire-breathing one-liners?

The fever that consumes Trump supporters mystifies. How can seemingly intelligent people (although many may quarrel with that characterization) embrace his demeaning views of immigrants, women and blacks? How can they support his views on foreign policy, which include face-to-face confrontations with world leaders until they break down and cry under his imperious glare?

To insist that there should be a database to track American Muslims and to defend the take-down of those protesters who voice their displeasure with him at events is beyond the pale. Yes, beyond the pale even for Trump. To accept and support these views means that a large portion of the electorate is willing to destroy their constitutional rights in order to satisfy their lust for a champion.

But here’s an interesting twist on the “id” thesis. It is not Donald Trump that is the problem—for those of us who believe there is a problem. Instead, it is the vitriol spewing from the Trump acolytes that make the mission possible. Like the lightning bolts that sparked Dr. Frankenstein’s creation to life, the Trump followers have produced the heat that has created their leader.

It’s alive!

Latent paranoia and resentment have been building for years in certain precincts of American society. These people have watched their country “taken over” by minorities, gays, immigrants and women, and they have been longing for a hero. Their anger is boiling over. Their id-like impulses thirst for attention.

Finally they have found someone who understands. Trump, the perfect avatar, has been selected as the messenger. Raw, vicious, bloodthirsty and threatening, the monster has its marching orders.

Trump is a circus act. His buffoonery is obvious to any literate child over the age of 10. That’s why it is all the more distressing to see millions of adults whipped into a frenzy. Are they somehow hypnotized, forgetting their values, their lie detectors silenced, their common sense annulled?

Or is it something else?

Maybe they are writhing in pleasure as they release the constraints of public politesse. Maybe they have become disenchanted with the rational ego, mistrustful of the moralistic super-ego. It’s time for super-ID. A release of the pent-up anger, a catharsis for the disgust, a fantasy of primitive urges satisfied. And the liberation is legitimized—perhaps sanctified—when your spokesperson is a candidate for the presidency.

But what about the rest of us? Do we believe this is harmless bluster soon to go away? Are we bemused because we see this as a sideshow? Or are we too timid to push back, fearing that we will be the target of a menacing response?

Is it time to summon the best parts of our own psyche—dormant throughout the verbal violence of the Trump campaign—to challenge the unapologetic aggression visited upon our fellow citizens?

Before we answer, we may want to remember a time, not too long ago, chillingly described by Ursula Hegi in her 1994 novel, Stones from the River:

“Many thought that all this talk about Rassenreinheit—purity of the race—was ludicrous and impossible to enforce. Yet the long training in obedience to elders, government and church made it difficult—even for those who considered the views of the Nazis dishonorable—to give voice to their misgivings. And so they kept hushed, yielding to each new indignity while they waited for the Nazis and their ideas to go away, but with every compliance they relinquished more of themselves, weakening the texture of the community while the power of the Nazis swelled.”

So, will we become a forbidden planet? A place where primitive impulses destroy innocents? A place where the loud, the profane, the illogical rule? A world where lies are king and truth the enemy of the state?

While we have been paying attention to scientific and technological advances, have we forgotten that the id, left unchecked, will take up residence in a demon hell bent on annihilation?

It’s too late for the Krell. Their civilization was destroyed. If we act fast, we may be able to save our own.

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the Chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his forty-fifth year in education, Dr. Dodge’s particular interest focuses on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 24 – 30

The Roots Paramount
Acclaimed hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots groove The Paramount on Dec. 26!

Acclaimed hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots groove The Paramount on Dec. 26!

School’s Out! Holiday Camp
These full-day programs during school vacations get kids involved in hands-on science experiments and explorations with opportunities to explore 17 acres of natural wonders, see live animals, conduct experiments, and take part in science shows and demonstrations conducted by a staff of professional science teachers. Center for Science Teaching and Learning, 1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre. cstl.org $55-$65 per day. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. December 24-31.

Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Hike
Over the river and through the woods, a-hiking we will go! This 10-mile trek on Christmas day is just what the doctor ordered to burn off all that holiday fruitcake, eggnog and corruption cake! Take in the best nature sights Long Island has to offer as you traipse through wetlands and meadows, and yes, these trails actually do go over rivers and through the woods. Blydenburgh County Park, Smithtown. ligreenbelt.org Free. 10 a.m. December 25.

Evening Lighthouse Tower Tour
Is there anything more picturesque than a glorious moonrise over the lapping ocean waves viewed from atop the majestic Fire Island Lighthouse? No, there isn’t. See the last full moon of 2015 and all the wintertime constellations from a new perspective. Don’t forget your list of wishes–you want to be ready when those shooting stars streak by! Come early for a tour of the lighthouse, and bring your flashlight for the walk back to the parking lot.
Fire Island Lighthouse, Robert Moses Causeway, Bay Shore. nps.gov/fiis $15-$20. Sunset is at 4:31 p.m. December 26.

Patent Pending
Hometown pop-punk heroes are making the long drive from their native Mt. Sinai to Amityville for their latest show to remind all the emo kids to cheer up and smile. Warming up the crowd are This Good Robot, The Cavalry Is Us, Older Than Oceans, The End Period and Mint State. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 6 p.m. December 26

Christmas Day Skate Party
Start this night off with laser-light skating before the DJ takes over at 9:30 p.m. to pump up your favorite jams for dancing-while-you-skate. Games, contests, prizes and more, this beats going to the movies on Christmas night. Hopefully you asked Santa to bring you new skates for Christmas! Man, that Skate-O-Saurus can move! United Skates, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford. unitedskates.com $11 plus $5 rental fee. 6:30 p.m. December 25.

The Roots
These hip-hop neo-soul juggernauts from Philadelphia have been wowing fans and critics across the country with their irresistible style and infectious grooves. Many know the acclaimed group as Jimmy Fallon’s house band on Late Night and The Tonight Show, and expect them to severely rock The Mountler on this special night! Not to be missed. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $65-$110. 8 p.m. December 26.

The Gospel According to Jazz
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum continues his annual “A Gospel According To Jazz Christmas” tour, bringing excellent holiday entertainment to all. This year’s celebration will feature Gerald Albright, Norman Brown and female vocalist Sheléa. Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. madisontheatreny.org $45-$75. 7 and 9:30 p.m. December 26.

Joe Devito
A veteran of more than 100 TV and talk show appearances, this comic’s dead-on timing, unexpected twists and sheer flights of lunacy make him a favorite at the top comedy clubs in New York City and across the USA. His performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival was rated “9.5 out of 10” by The Montreal Gazette. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $17. 7 and 9:30 p.m. December 26.

Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim Vanbebber
Director Victor Bonacore will be presenting his latest film on the inaugural night of this new film series, Cult Cafe! The documentary follows his life from his early super-8mm films to his strange days in Hollywood. It features interviews with an eclectic group of artists, such as Phil Anselmo (Pantera), Richard Kern (Trangressive film director), Nivek Ogre (Skinny Puppy), R.A the Rugged Man, Heidi Honeycutt, Stephen Biro, Damon Packard, Jessie Sietz and many more. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave. Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $7 public, $5 members. 10 p.m. December 26

Thomas Gold
Touring in support of his latest drop, Thomas Gold vs Lush & Simon – Morphine, expect ultra-lush synths, uber-heavy bass, and a soundscape that simply washes over each and every audience member with mega-waves of all-cleansing, all-healing, melodic fury. Yes! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $25-$35. 10 p.m. December 26.

Mrs. Claus Saves the Day!
Ever wonder what Mrs. Claus was up to on that foggy Christmas Eve when Rudolph became famous? This play tells the classic story from Mrs. Claus’ point of view. This heart-warming show will delight audiences of all ages. Bayway Arts Center, 265 E. Main St., East Islip. broadhollow.org $11. 2 p.m. December 26, 12 p.m. December 27.

Joe Roberts Trio
Sunday afternoons were made for smooth jazz tunes and sipping on Chardonnay. Or Cabernet. Or Pinot Noir. There’s plenty of choices at this award-winning North Fork winery and vineyard, so come chill out with Joe Roberts on piano, Dave Ice on bass and Rob Lamonica on drums. You won’t regret it! Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead. marthaclaravineyards.com 1 p.m. December 27.

Kung Fu
This concert, billed as the “Save Montauk” event, aims to raise awareness of opposition to a federal beach project underway at the tip of the South Fork, and is a fundraiser for the eastern Long Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group. Aside from the nu-funk band headlining the show, opening acts include The Montauk Project and Soundswell. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $17.50-$35. 7 p.m. December 30.

O.A.R.
The Maryland-based indie rockers headlining this show will play all their hits, undoubtedly including “This Town” and “Shattered (Turn the Car Around).” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. December 27.

A Little Bit of Folk: From Activism to Lyricism
Join host film archivist Bill Shelley for a celebration of the incredible musicians and the powerful social messages that made folk music an inspiring vehicle for change. This program will concentrate on much-loved musicians and the social causes that informed their music. As 2015 comes to a close, let us always remember that the power of music can change this world for the better, a good reason to celebrate this uplifting genre. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. December 29.

Candlebox
The Seattle-based hard rock band known for their hits “You” and “Far Behind” will play an acoustic performance. Opening the show will be The Infinite Staircase, Midnight Mob, Sharks In The Shallows and Year Of The Locust. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 7 p.m. December 30.

Harlem Globetrotters
Those amazing, bedazzling b-ball-handlers extraordinaire, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, will hold court in New York during the holiday season, when Knicks fans could well use an extra bounce in their step. These legendary athletes and consummate entertainers have spread their skills and comedic timing around the world, delighting everyone from popes to presidents to paupers to people who don’t have a clue what a three-pointer is. The team will be sure to bring their A-game. But will the Washington Generals finally pull off an upset? Come on! No matter who wins, it’s a slam dunk everybody will have fun. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex, Hofstra University, Hempstead. hofstra.edu $21-$104. 2 and 7 p.m. December 30.

–Compiled by Desiree D’orio, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III