Letter From New York 01 30 15 Tensions and tolerance…

To the west there is a pink glow to the horizon, hopefully signaling decent weather. Last night and this morning, four inches of white, puffy flakes fell, once again burying the landscape. According to the weather reports, we might get down to minus 25 degrees wind chill factor, the coldest I remember in my fourteen years at the cottage.

It could be brutal! I’ll leave the cold-water faucet running in the kitchen; that’s the one that tends to freeze.

It’s been a good day albeit not the most productive day I’ve ever had. Lingering for a long time over the NY Times and my coffee, I got a later start on the day than I wanted. But, all in all, it was a pleasant one here in Claverack, a few errands run after shoveling and digging out. After a cup of Earl Grey tea, I sat down to write.

It’s been a busy day out there in the world.

First of all, Mitt Romney shook up the game board of the Republican Party by announcing he was NOT going to make a third run for President, much, I’m sure to the relief of many. It doesn’t make Jeb Bush a shoo-in but it does relieve the tensions some were feeling about having to choose between the two of them.

Speaking of tension, the new Greek Finance Minister, Mr. Varoufakis, has announced that Greece will not negotiate with “the Troika.” That’s the IMF, EU and ECB, who lent the money to Greeks to bail them out after they were on the verge of defaulting over all the other money they had borrowed. The Eurogroup’s Chairman, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, was not amused when he was in Athens yesterday. Not amused at all.

In Pakistan, dozens were killed at a Shia Mosque by some elements of the Taliban who have declared the Shia their enemy even though they are all Muslim. In all the raging within parts of Islam about the West, the real carnage is between Muslims themselves.

In Paris, the “Treatise on Tolerance” by Voltaire is climbing the Best Seller list. He wrote it 250 years ago to address the violence between Catholics and Protestants. Do you think we might get it translated into Pakistani and distributed there?

Rap mogul Suge Knight was arrested last night for murder. He allegedly got very angry with two men and drove over them in his red pick-up.   Violence seems to follow the man wherever he goes; last August he was shot several times in a club.

The NY Times was trying to peer into a crystal ball this morning, speculating on Katy Perry’s half time show at the Super Bowl. One burning question: what color will her hair be? I have friends who will be watching Sunday for the commercials and Katy Perry. Admit it, you have friends who will be doing the same thing!

The NFL has taken into its custody 108 footballs, 54 for each team on Sunday, to ensure there is no Deflategate in Arizona. A graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, Thomas Healy, has published a paper that purports that the deflation of the footballs may not have been an act of malfeasance but rather the result of going from a warm, dry room to a wet, cool field. The Patriots should give him tickets to the Game on Sunday. He will be in Arizona but has no tickets for the game.

With or without tickets, I will not be in Arizona for the game and will probably be wishing I were in a warmer clime on Sunday if the predictions for continued cold hold. I dreamt last night about going to the Caribbean, laying on a sandy, sunny beach with a cold glass of Sancerre at my side.

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