Letter From New York 01 25 15 Acts of men and weather must be left to others…

Waking early, sunlight danced off the creek while the geese sailed up it, as if there were no concerns in the world. All day, it was bright and sunny. Now, as I sit down to write, the light is beginning to fade and the temperature is about to plummet. Another storm is on its way, threatening inches of snow and deep cold.

As I usually do, the day started with coffee and the NY Times.

The Greeks went to the polls today and, as the day ends, it appears that the Anti-Austerity Party is going to win the day. No one has been hurt more in the west than the Greeks by the recession. They have depression levels of unemployment and social programs have been cut back; the Euro Zone has imposed harsh measures on the country. It has been a brutal period. Suicides became more common and an air of despair settled on the country.

Now, they seem to be saying: we’re not taking it anymore! If the anti-austerity party has won, there will be shaking across Europe. Lots of people in Spain and Italy are tired of austerity, too. The French aren’t so keen either. This will embolden their movements.

Antipathy runs particularly high toward Germany, the largest economy in the Euro Zone and mother hen to austerity as a way of life.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the morning. Will the markets across the world panic? This is exactly what they didn’t want. Alexis Tsipras is head of the Syriza party, which is anti-austerity. To actually govern he may have to become more centrist and he may not have won a clear majority so he’d have to create a coalition government, for which some are hoping.

But this is a turning point and there will be fraught days ahead for Greece and for Europe, with financial tensions high. Hopefully everyone will keep their heads and wits about them.

Greece, poor Greece, could end up significantly worse if things don’t get played correctly.

While Greece teeters on the edge, Obama is in India to cement relations with that country. From there he goes to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects at the passing of King Abdullah, who, from some reports, couldn’t stand Obama. But appearances must be kept.

In Nigeria, the Boko Haram has started an offensive against the major city in the Northeast, Maiduguri. Secretary Kerry is in Lagos, the commercial capital, visiting with the current President and his chief rival in upcoming elections, about how to deal with the Boko Haram. While we are closely watching ISIS as they try to establish their “Caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram is attempting to do the same thing in Nigeria and they are just as deadly and cruel as the fighters of ISIS.

And that is all far away; here the deer are roaming the yard and the fading light is being reflected off the snow. The blizzard watch is being upgraded to a blizzard warning and I can feel the temperature dropping. It is now developing into a major – if not historical – storm with potentially two feet of snow coming for the city and here. The Mayor of New York is saying it may be the worst in the history of the city. Blimey!

In a fun bit for today: 100 years ago the first transcontinental phone call was made between Alexander Graham Bell in New York and his former lab assistant, Thomas Watson, in San Francisco, 39 years after their famous first call. Added to the call were the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, and the President of AT&T, Theodore Vail. So it was also the first conference call.

In the not too distant future, a martini awaits and I will focus on other things. There is little I can do about the impending Greek crisis and less that I can do about the Boko Haram. I will leave them to other, hopefully wiser, men.  And both them and the weather to God.

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One Response to “Letter From New York 01 25 15 Acts of men and weather must be left to others…”

  1. Bruce Thiesen Says:

    A perfectly good way for me to learn of today’s events and developments. Enjoy your cocktail.

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