Letter From New York 03 01 15 Waiting, expectantly…

Classical music, mostly Mozart, plays in the background. As I left for church this morning, a dusting of snow was falling and then it stopped. None falls now but we are predicted to have another three to six inches tonight.

Church was followed by a long and lazy brunch at the Red Dot; folks from Christ Church populated the table. It seemed a good third of the restaurant were folks who had been to the 10:30 service there.

We talked of many things. Some church related. Some not. I met new people, always a nice thing. As it became 3:00, I had to bid my adieu and head home so that I might get today’s blog written and still have enough time to prepare dinner. I am planning a salad followed by chicken pasta with vodka sauce.

Simple but hearty, I hope.

Simple is not a word used for the world today.

As I type, Netanyahu is flying toward the US, with some signs of tensions easing as seen by a statement from Secretary of State Kerry that he was “welcome” to speak in the US. But half of US voters, according to polls, think that the speech should have gone through Obama.

Back in Israel, 180 former military and security officers held a press conference denouncing Netanyahu’s actions, declaring that the speech was making things worse for Israel. Some of the founding generals of the group, Commanders for Israel’s Security, are legends in Israel.

Netanyahu is sparking controversy, at home and abroad.

In Russia, between 30,000 and 70,000 people marched in remembrance of Boris Nemtsov, a Putin critic, who was shot down on Friday night. There are a number of Putin critics who have been eternally silenced in the last decade. Putin has called this murder “vile” and promises to find who did it.

We will follow this.

There is now video which seems to show the three British girls who left home to join IS, have actually crossed over into Syria. Nearly 60 young British Muslims have left the UK and made the journey to Syria. Back in Britain their parents are heart broken after the girls did not heed their appeals to return home.

Iraq is reportedly about to commit to an offensive campaign to reclaim Tikrit, hometown of Saddam Hussein. At the same time a few of the Assyrian Christians that were captured by IS have been released. No reason has been given for their release though it has been noted by the press that all of them were over fifty while another report states they paid money to a Sharia Court for freedom. In the meantime, another two hundred Assyrian Christians remain in the hands of IS.

In Venezuela, several Americans have been detained for espionage and a number of American politicians, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, as well as some sitting Congressman, have been banned from travel to Venezuela. President Maduro is accused by his critics of attempting to distract his country from a collapsing economy. Oil, the country’s economic backbone, has seen huge price declines in the last six months.

Down in the Washington, DC, area CPAC, a conservative political group met, and in their straw poll, chose Rand Paul over everyone else. At this conference, Scott Walker of Wisconsin said, “If I can take on a 100,000 protestors, I can take on the world.” Some took it that he was equating Union Protestors with IS and he has been having to defend his remarks, telling folks he was talking about leadership and not making a parallel between the two.

Scott Walker was number two in the CPAC straw poll.

Speaking of DC, a weeklong bill was passed that funds the Department of Homeland Security but there seems to be no long-term solution on the table. This is something to be watched this week.

I am watching the weather outside my window. The snow was supposed to have started in earnest four hours ago. It isn’t here yet and I am hoping it misses us. My snow tolerance is nearly exhausted.

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