Letter From New York 01 05 15 Pays to be honest…

There is a soft, golden light piercing through the trees as the sun begins to set in the west. After several dark days, the sun was out in all its winter brilliance today. As I sit down to write, the temperature is going down with the sun and tonight will be the coldest one of the winter so far. Predictions, without wind chill, are for minus seven. It will be another night of letting the cold-water faucet in the kitchen drip through the night to avoid a freezing of the pipes.

It’s been a busy day, mostly inside busy with emails and conference calls, a few errands that were run and now my time to write. In the world of good intentions, I intended to bundle up and go for a walk but seemed to run out of time to fit that in before leaving for a dinner tonight with friends at Coyote Flaco, a little Mexican restaurant up the road. It is owned by an Ecuadorian and is staffed by folks from Guatemala. The food is good.

As the sun sets, so does the career of Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures. She is departing her job but as these things happen in Hollywood, she will have a production deal at her old company, a soft landing after all the leaked emails damaged her reputation in the Sony hacking event of last fall.

Perusing stories online today, I found one from the Telegraph in the UK positing that Europe is “too civilized” to take on Putin. There are more high-level meetings happening in Kiev. Angela Merkel of Germany and Hollande of France were in Kiev today and are flying on to Moscow tomorrow to have a sit down with Putin, who will probably nod as he listens but will go on doing what he wants.

The Russian voters are standing with him; they have a history of standing by their besieged leaders and they are used to suffering after centuries of it under the Tsars and the Communists. Even though they are buckling from the collapse in oil prices and the effects of Western sanctions, the majority of Russians are standing by their man. And he seems quite determined to either take part of Ukraine or have part of it as a vassal state.

Dreams of empire dance in Putin’s head. NATO is putting rapid response forces in a number of former Communist countries that feel threatened by Russia’s aggression, reassuring countries like Moldova that they chose the right side at the end of the Cold War.

In the hot war world, Jordan launched an air assault on the city of Raqqa and other ISIS targets today in retaliation for the gruesome murder of their pilot in January. They promise more. ISIS apparently was thinking that the death of Moaz al-Kasaesbeh would turn Jordan from continuing on with US led coalition bombing them.

They were wrong.

Preaching peace, the President and the Dalai Lama were both at the National Prayer Breakfast in DC but they were not “together.” Acknowledging the Dalai Lama though, Obama irked the Chinese.

That other great proponent of all things peaceful, Pope Francis, will become the first Pope to address Congress this fall when he visits the United States.

In the category of it pays to be honest, Brian Williams, NBC News Anchor, apparently had told the world he had been on a helicopter that was hit during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was corrected by the crew of the stricken helicopter; the newsman had not been onboard. Apologizing for his “confusion” Williams has damaged his credibility and has been made fun of by jokesters who have shown him broadcasting from the moon.

One man who was aboard the group of helicopters with Williams just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Whatever.”

The light has faded and I am leaving soon to go to Coyote Flaco and have something different than my usual chicken fajitas. I am going to do some culinary exploring.

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