Letter From New York June 20, 2015 Of Pride Parades and Barbecues…

Yesterday, I started but didn’t finish my Letter. I was still writing when it came time to go to dinner and when I returned home from dinner my friend Lionel was here, sharing our traditional “cleansing vodka” before retiring. We got that name from a friend of mine’s grandmother, who would never go to bed until she’d had her “cleansing vodka.”

It is Pride weekend in Hudson, a tradition started just a few years ago here. The day began grey and overcast but at this moment, the sun has broken through with shadows and light playing across the deck, outside the dining room, where I am writing.

Today there will be, of course, a parade down Warren Street, which I will watch in my usual spot outside the Red Dot. In the evening my friend Matthew Morse will be hosting a barbecue at his house. The day is shaping up to be a pleasant Saturday.

Wikileaks had a very busy day yesterday.

They posted on their website 200,000 more Sony documents from the now infamous Sony hacking incident. And they began yesterday to release something like a half million documents from the Saudi government. Plus, yesterday, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, celebrated his third anniversary holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Busy, busy, busy…

Not so busy as he was, Prince Harry, the playboy Prince, has left his career in the Armed Forces and is returning to civilian life. He will spend the summer working on conservation projects in southern Africa, where his foundation is based.

Dylann Storm Roof, the young man who allegedly shot to death nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, at a historic Black church, was arraigned to stand trial for nine murders. In court, via video link, families of the dead told him how they felt. At least one family told him that they forgave him.

A long time NRA Board Member, Charles Cotton, posted comments on a website, blaming the Pastor of the Church for the slaughter because he was for gun control. Pastor Pinckney was one of the victims. The comments have since been taken down and Mr. Cotton has been unavailable to reporters.

In Colorado, the prosecutors in the case against James Holmes, on trial for the death of 12 people in the Aurora Theater massacre, have rested their case. It is now the defense team’s turn.

In Oklahoma, Chancey Allen Luna, was sentenced to life in prison for the death of an Australian baseball player attending school in Oklahoma. Christopher Lane was shot in the back while out jogging. At one point, Chancey told police he did it because he was bored.

It is not news that Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. Who knows? They might get their way but if they do, there will be a cost. If they use an accounting method preferred by the GOP, it will cost about $130 billion. Using the Congressional Budget Office’s normal methodology, the cost is almost triple that. Hmmmm.

There has been a possible sighting of the two escaped murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, down near the Pennsylvania border. If true, it means they have covered a lot of territory since their escape, 15 days ago. They are on the “Most Wanted” list and there is a $50,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

On June 19th, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, slaves were informed they had been freed by the Emancipation Act more that two years before. It has become known as Juneteenth, a holiday to celebrate liberation and empowerment for African-Americans. The statement made by Obama yesterday acknowledged the day and referenced the sorrow and mourning that marks the death of the Charleston Nine. We live in a world in which racism and bigotry are still very much alive.

In Australia, a straight married couple has pledged to divorce if same sex marriage comes to Down Under. A wag started a Facebook page asking people to pledge to party if they do divorce. 175,000 have joined the page and pledged to party hardy if the couple divorce, both straight and gay are represented.

Ah, the sun has slipped back behind the clouds and the land has turned a shade of grey again. Soon, I will go off to the Parade and then my barbecue. Hope your day is as pleasant as mine promises to be.

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