Letter From New York 02 01 15 The Beat Goes On

In advance of Winter Storm Linus, I headed down to the city tonight as I have a couple of meetings tomorrow that I hope won’t be cancelled because of the weather. If they’re not, I want to be in place to have them.

Upstate, they are predicting nine to eighteen inches of snow and some bitter cold. In the city, it’s freezing rain and then some snow. Unpleasant but hopefully manageable.

Earlier today, I went to the Candlemas service at Christ Church Episcopal in Hudson, a lovely service that officially ended the Christmas season. It celebrates the presentation of the Baby Jesus at the Temple, as was required for all first born Jewish males.

On my way home I stopped at the Red Dot for an omelet while reading the NY Times on my iPhone.

The news of the day is grim, as seems to be usual, with some bright spots in the headlines.

The Egyptians released and then deported Peter Greste, an Australian who had been working for Al Jazeera and was arrested in December 2013, for allegedly supporting the recently deposed Muslim Brotherhood. He and two other Al Jazeera journalists were tried and sentenced to prison. An enormous international outcry ensued and the Egyptians have been looking for a way out ever since. A recently enacted law allows Egypt to deport convicted criminals who are not Egyptian citizens. Hence, Greste is on his way home today.

But the other two remain in prison. One has dual Egyptian/Canadian citizenship and may be allowed to renounce his Egyptian citizenship and then be deported to Canada. The other poor chap is only an Egyptian citizen and hence may spend the next years in jail.

That’s the pretty good news.

The really dark news is that Kenji Goto, a Japanese journalist kidnapped by ISIS, has apparently been beheaded in another gruesome killing. The fate of a downed Jordanian pilot who is being held by ISIS is unknown.

As I write this, the Super Bowl is about to start. I was going to watch but Linus intervened and I will keep up my record of not watching Super Bowls. My brother, an avid sports fan, surprised me by telling me he is NOT watching. He has not gotten over the Green Bay Packers loss to the Seahawks.

The tabloid press is all over the reports that Bruce Jenner, champion of the 1976 Olympics, is preparing to transition to being a woman on an E! Reality program. I have to respect his decision though some of it seems as if this is another Kardashian franchise and that feels a bit cheesy.

AMERICAN SNIPER continues to break Box Office Records while continuing to feed controversy. Michael Moore, the documentarian, has taken some swipes at the film apparently and apparently Sarah Palin was seen yesterday holding a sign that said: F**k you, Michael Moore.

Ah, Sarah, you are so classy.

California is working on legislation that will raise the legal age for smoking to twenty-one. Smoking is not what it used to be. A friend has an apartment in New York he can’t rent because the woman below is a heavy smoker. No one wants to live above her.

Long way from the days of Bogart and Bacall…

Just days shy of the three year anniversary of her mother’s death by drowning in a bathtub, Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her home by her husband. Tonight, she is in a medically induced coma.

Over in Minsk, parties were to have gathered to see if another truce could be patched together in Ukraine. Talks lasted four hours before they contentiously broke up, each party blaming the other. In the meantime, the dying continues.

In other words, the beat of life goes on. War continues to rage. ISIS continues to behead. Troubled young women get in trouble and the Super Bowl is being played. By my next posting, a winner will have been declared. New York is about to be iced in and I’m going to go to Thai Market for dinner.

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