Letter From New York 04 20 15 Thoughts from a Pain Quotidian…

It is a chillish, greyish, rainyish day in New York City. I am delighted I remembered to bring an umbrella into the city today when I left the cottage. It was drizzling as I left for the train and when I got off in New York, it was pelting down. Good thing I had only a short walk to my meeting from Penn Station.

Now I am at a Pain Quotidian having just spent some time with an old friend of mine, Fred Silverman. He’s in the process of selling his tech company and we talked about all things digital.

An old school journalist and filmmaker, he is troubled by the lack of fact checking in today’s digital sites, a thing which concerns me too. It also troubles him that many sites are paying low wages to their young workers, building very profitable businesses on the back of low wages.

It was an interesting talk; heightening the concerns I have about both journalism and the American work scene. All of it will work out, I’m sure, though probably not in my lifetime. There are probably some bumpy years ahead.

Fred is very attuned to the number of college students who are coming out of college saddled with heavy loans and without great job prospects. He has children in college and employs some shortly out of college.

It was, in fact, a subject that was covered in an interview with Martin O’Malley, a former governor of Maryland, who will probably challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination. He was on NPR this morning, talking about how students were coming out of college with loans that have interest rates of 7% when interest rates in general are at historic lows.

He gave careful, thoughtful answers to the questions asked him. I was impressed. I doubt he has a snowball’s chance in that warmer climate to get the nomination but I think it will be good his voice will be heard.

Jeb Bush is flying off to Europe right now in advance of his expected announcement about seeking the Republican nomination for President. He has a slight lead in polls but is no means in the position that Hillary has with the Democrats.

While Jeb jets, Hillary and Bill are facing the publication of a book called “Clinton Cash” on May 5 that tears them for their mixing of politics and philanthropy. The author is Peter Schweizer, a voluable conservative but the liberal press seems to think the book could be trouble.

The EU is scrambling to meet the needs of the immigrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Before this, it has been mostly left to Italy but the loss of 700 in the last week has stirred a regional response.

Another region that has heightened tensions is the area around Yemen. The US is sending warships there right now to intercept Iranian vessels potentially carrying arms to the Houthis. It could be a powder keg.

Ethiopia has declared three days of mourning for its citizens slaughtered by IS in Libya.

Six Minnesotans have been detained by authorities who believe they were attempting to join IS.

The US has started training the troops of Ukraine to bolster them in their fight against the rebels even while the ceasefire is marginally working.

Kim Jong-un of North Korea, the young and pudgy dictator of that country, claims to have climbed the nation’s tallest peak. Since the photographs of him at the top show him wearing pristine leather shoes and a slight overcoat, skepticism abounds over the validity of the claim.

In the British election, currently coming down to the wire, Nicola Sturgeon, Head of the SNP [Scotland’s National Party] has been indicating that if they are part of the coalition that governs with the Labour Party, they’ll be the ones calling the shots at Westminster. Ed Miliband, of Labour, disagrees.

Today stocks are higher on the news that China is stimulating its economy while the Euro is under pressure because of, what else, worries about Greek debt.

The Hubble Telescope is 25 years old and has provided us with some glorious pictures of the universe.

The rain seems to have departed and now it is time for me to depart from Pain Quotidian; the dinner crowd is arriving.

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