Letter From New York 05 31 15 Musings on a dark and sullen day…

It is a dark and sullen day; at ten in the morning it looks as if night is about to fall. The sky is dark and leaden. Wind whips through the trees outside my bedroom windows. Rain fell in the night, puddling on the deck outside.

After a troubled night’s sleep, perhaps from caffeine too late in the day, I woke early and have begun to do household duties. The second load of laundry is already in the washer and I am deep into my reading of the Sunday NY Times. The chimes of the clock in the foyer have just sounded the top of the hour.

While I was in Delhi, I learned that its air was the worst of any city in the world, worse than Beijing. This morning’s Times had a story about the terrible Delhi air effect it has, particularly, on children. I thought of my friends there, Raja and Jag, whose daughter, Noor, is eight. She has trouble with the air sometimes and, as I recall, needs an inhaler.

Sidelines at soccer games are littered with inhalers, the report said. India has 13 of the top 25 polluted cities. Beijing, which I had always thought was number one, is actually 79th.

The cost to children in such polluted cities is hard to calculate but it is huge, with permanent damage being done to the most vulnerable in the population. It is a sobering fact.

While the day is dark and sullen, the air in the Hudson Valley is absolutely pristine compared to places such as Delhi.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Narendra Modi’s election to Prime Minister of India. For the most part, he seems to be getting good marks though in the religious diversity arena he gets rather poor marks. His party, the BJP, is avidly pro-Hindu and after his election there were forced conversions and attacks on churches across India. He remained too quiet about the matter until prodded by President Obama during his State visit there earlier this year. The Ford Foundation has been put on a security watch list because it has funded an Indian group that has had conversations about religious violence. 9000 NGO’s have had their licenses cancelled.

Not a good way to project its mantle as the world’s largest democracy.

Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, succumbed yesterday to brain cancer at the age of 46. He was a promising politician and was planning on running for Governor next year. He had served a tour of duty in Iraq with the National Guard. It feels as we have been deprived of what might have been a valuable future voice.

Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in France while bicycling and is now on his way to Boston for treatment by the same doctor who replaced his hip. The peripatetic Mr. Kerry has been on the road for 356 of the last 365 days. This will tie him down for a while and he will be attending at least one conference by video link.

In Nepal, the country is attempting to return to some form of normalcy. Schools have been reopening while remote villages still struggle to get supplies. Normalcy is a long way away for that country but the first steps are being made.

A magnitude 8.1 earthquake shook Japan yesterday with 12 injured but no major damage. Still it was the sixth largest earthquake since 1885.

“San Andreas” set off a tremor at the Box Office, bringing in $53 plus million over the weekend, while Bradley Cooper’s “Aloha” bombed. We love our disaster films, apparently, especially with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The U.S. and China have toned the rhetoric down a bit about the artificial islands being created in the South China Sea but we’re a LONG way to any kind of resolution.

With my second load of laundry done, I am going to depart for the Red Dot and my usual Sunday brunch there, perhaps adding what I can to the weekly solving of the NY Times Crossword Puzzle – and that usually isn’t much.

Good Sunday, all!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: