Letter From New York 02 08 15 As the snow falls…

About fifteen hours later than was predicted, snow has begun to fall in Claverack. We are supposed to get another eighteen inches tonight if the forecast actually holds. It will be interesting to wake up in the morning and see what we actually have gotten. I am supposed to go into the city tomorrow but have a feeling I may have to cancel my meetings and reschedule them.

Freshly back from the Red Dot, my favorite local place, I am sitting at my desk, looking out at the small snowflakes which are falling, growing slowly in their intensity and size. It’s been another one of those grey and gloomy days and I went down to the Red Dot for both a bite to eat and a bit of company. Living alone sometimes leads to a bit of isolation, which I do my best to counter with forays into the world.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and the de facto leader of the EU, is facing her biggest challenges right now. Desperately, Europe is attempting to defuse the growing crisis in the Ukraine and the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine are meeting tomorrow in Minsk to see if they can avert a spiral into chaos. Meanwhile, she is also attempting to manage Greece’s rebellion against austerity. The former chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan, has predicted that Greece will leave the Eurozone and that the Eurozone itself is doomed unless there is greater political connectivity – in effect, a United States of Europe. That’s grim.

Brian Williams’ problems continue to grow. More and more folks are calling for him to resign and it seems that he will be irrevocably damaged even if he keeps his job, which is becoming more doubtful by the day.

Out in the Mideast, Jordanian planes continue to pound ISIS. Jordan is claiming it has destroyed 20% of ISIS’s military capacity. The immolation of the Jordanian pilot, Moaz Al-Kasasbeh, has apparently united the Arab coalition against ISIS, which is the opposite of what they expected. The globe is uniting in their condemnation of ISIS in a way they haven’t before.

In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing a crisis and may well lose his leadership position in his party, echoing what happened to his predecessors. Internecine warfare seems to becoming the norm in Australian politics, regardless of party.

Iran is indicating this is the best opportunity there will ever be for a nuclear agreement. President Rouhani of Iran, a moderate, is walking a fine line against the religious leaders of Iran while our Congress is talking about more sanctions, which could scuttle the talks. President Obama has said that he will veto such sanctions but everyone is walking a tightrope right now. Rouhani’s Foreign Minister, Zarif, was criticized for taking a walk with Secretary of State John Kerry. Rouhani struck back at the critics but he is playing a very limited game of cards. He is not the final say in Iran. Khamenei, the religious leader, has the final say.

Ah, what a world in which we live, full of discord and violence, while at the same time, so full of beauty. My deer are crossing the yard as the snow falls around them, moving slowly off to the west, beautiful in their passage and innocent in their lives. Jazz still plays on Pandora and soon I will leave to watch the Grammies with friends.

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One Response to “Letter From New York 02 08 15 As the snow falls…”

  1. Ann Koplow Says:

    Thank you for a beautifully crafted post, Mat.

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