Letter From New York 03 13 15 Greater love than this…

It is around nine in the morning as I begin writing; early for a Letter From New York but I fear if I don’t write this on the train ride down to New York, it just won’t happen today. I will arrive in the city in time for a meeting, then a lunch and then another meeting and then home on the 5:47, which tends to be occasionally a riotous ride as it’s the train many “Empire Regulars” take home on Friday. Unlike most trains on our route, it has a bar car as it continues on past Albany to Rutland, VT. Then I am scheduled for dinner with friends, making a long and busy and probably fun day, despite this being Friday the 13th.

It was a little hard to wake up this morning and I hit the snooze feature on my phone twice before actually rising so I scurried through my morning rituals this morning and only began to peruse the Times as I was sitting having coffee at Relish, the little restaurant across from the Hudson Train Station.

The morning lead story in the NY Times app was that IS [or ISIS or ISIL] is still fighting fiercely, attacking Ramadi while being pushed back at Tikrit. In months of heavy bombing, they have actually lost relatively little territory and are proving to be a tenacious enemy. Islamic groups in Africa, Boko Haram in Nigeria and a group in Libya, have claimed allegiance to the “Caliphate” as has a group in the Sinai Peninsula.

Various groups in Iraq, such as forces loyal to Shiite Cleric al-Sadr, are beginning to join the fray, sensing victory in Tikrit and jockeying for places of power in the event of a win.

While tenaciously fighting, IS is having some internal struggles to fight while governing. They are viciously executing anyone they suspect of wanting to flee the fighting. There is a nascent resistance to them that seems to be slowly growing and while about 8,000 have been killed, they are being reinforced by approximately a thousand foreign recruits each month.

Some IS fighters are repulsed by the violence of the group, causing restlessness in the ranks. And there is tension between the locals and the foreigners who are leading IS.

After the shooting of two officers, protests have resumed in the streets of Ferguson, MO. The protests were calm.

The House Oversight Committee is going to formally ask for answers from Hillary Clinton about her State Department email. Not unexpected. They also want the electronic versions and not the printed copies she gave to State.

A Univision host said on-air that Michelle Obama resembled a character in “Planet of the Apes.” He was fired.

In a sad note, Michael Graves has died. A postmodern architect, he is perhaps best known for the household wares he designed for Target, Alessi and Disney. He continued vibrant work even after he was paralyzed from the waist down in 2003 as a result of a spinal cord infection.

Perhaps the most awaited literary event of the decade, if not the century, is the release of “Go Set A Watchman,” the sequel to Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.” The announcement set off a great debate as to whether Harper Lee, now 88, had been manipulated into agreeing to publish the book. The State of Alabama started an investigation to see if there had been elder abuse. It has now closed the investigation, saying its questions had been answered to its satisfaction. The debate had divided the small town in which she resides in an assisted living center.

In a move that will make little girls around the world swoon, Disney has announced a sequel to “Frozen.”

Sweden is sending people to the UK to question Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, who has for the last few years received political asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, over sexual assault allegations.

The world has a new island, created in Tonga by the eruption of an undersea volcano.

As we know, Tim Cook went on to replace Steve Jobs at Apple when Jobs died. What we didn’t know was that Cook offered part of his liver to Jobs to attempt to save his life when he was rapidly declining before actually getting a liver transplant. Jobs angrily refused, shouting at Cook almost before the words were out of his mouth, according to a new book, “Becoming Steve Jobs.”

Greater love than this, no man has…

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