Letter From New York 06 09 15 From gloomy days to bright news…

Yesterday, I spent the day in meetings and in transit. On the train coming back to New York, my laptop was low on battery power and the outlet seemed a bridge too far as I was in an aisle seat on a train going north and the outlet was near the window, occupied by chargers owned by the young lady sitting next to me. So I settled in and napped and read a book. She got off the train at Metro Park and I powered up as much as I could in the short time between there and New York City.

The result: no letter yesterday.

Today is another grey and gloomy day in New York, as it was mostly grey and gloomy in Baltimore over the weekend, as it has seemed mostly grey and gloomy for the last month or so, which, according to reports, was the wettest May in years, hence the grey and gloomy.

In a bit, I’m off to have lunch with my sister-in-law’s sister and her husband, who are in New York. Cliff and Barb are lovely people and we attempt a lunch or dinner whenever they are in New York.

Mostly, I am in a good mood this morning though I wonder what my mood would be like if I was Albert Woodfox, a Louisiana man who has spent forty-three years in solitary confinement. He has been ordered released though Louisiana says they are going to fight it. He was accused of killing a prison guard in a riot. Twice tried, and twice the verdict was overturned.

I think of myself as reasonably self-reliant but forty-three years alone would cause me to go over the edge, I suspect. Louisiana has temporarily blocked his release though hope remains.

In other prison news, the search is on for two killers who escaped from Clinton in upstate New York. They used power tools to escape – and one wonders how they got power tools – cutting through steel, down six floors, through a steam pipe, out the steam pipe and through a manhole. Authorities are guessing they had inside help. They are questioning a female prison employee but have not charged her with anything.

They could, at this point, be anywhere and the search has expanded across all of North America. I am sure they are looking for a new life though it is going to be hard to find when everyone is looking for you.

As Caitlin Jenner starts her new life, some things are still following her from her old life. When still Bruce Jenner, she was involved in a car crash in Malibu that resulted in a fatality. The dead women’s stepchildren have filed a lawsuit, as has the woman who owned the third car involved in the pile-up. At this point, it is not expected that Jenner will be charged.

There was an extensive article today from the BBC outlining life in Mosul under IS. It does not sound pretty. Woman must go out in black from top to bottom and their faces must be covered. If a man is convicted of adultery, he is thrown from the roof of a tall building; a woman is stoned. Thievery is punished with the removal of a hand. Minorities are being persecuted and thus areas of Mosul once occupied by them stand empty as minorities have fled for the most part. You will probably be flogged if you are caught smoking a cigarette. People seem to be living in terror and stay shut up in their houses.

As we all know, it is the summer of Presidential candidates. Rick Santorum is stumping through Iowa and an astounding four people showed up at an event. There were more reporters than voters. Rick brushed it off and said it was all part of “the plan.” Jeb Bush will likely announce his candidacy next Monday. Probably about time – he has begun to get questions about acting like a candidate without actually having declared his candidacy.

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House, declared his innocence today of lying to Federal investigators about movements of money, allegedly made to “Individual A” as a result of “past misconduct” on Hastert’s part. He’s been accused of sexual abuse to male minors during his time as a wrestling coach in Illinois but that’s not what he’s been indicted for; that’s for lying about the money movements.

The Fifth Circuit Court, highly conservative, upheld the toughest provisions in Texas’ Abortion Laws, which might result in 13 of 21 clinics closing in that state.

102-year-old Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport, was denied the right to defend her doctoral thesis in 1938 because she was part Jewish. Today, the University of Hamburg awarded her a Doctorate after her successful oral defense. According to the University, she was “brilliant” and not just for her age.

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