Letter From New York July 02 15 Of debt crises and Presidential Candidates…

Well, the grey summer is still holding. Yet another warm but grey day here in New York. I’m getting ready to leave for Baltimore and it looks like it might be on the grey side there too. It wears on me a bit, day after day of grey. It could be winter out the window.

It’s another day without a solution in Greece, a country pretty much shut down until the referendum on Sunday. One reporter there described the situation as “weird.” Hotels are pretty full, the sun is shining there, restaurants are pretty full but the country is running out of money and might have to start issuing IOU’s as early as this month.

On Sunday, the Greeks are voting for a deal that doesn’t even exist anymore as it expired on Tuesday night. That is part of the weirdness. European leaders are saying vote “yes” while the Greek leaders saying: vote “no.” The Greek voters are not sure what they’re voting on. Their government is saying “no” as they think it will give them more leverage in the negotiations with their creditors and the creditors are saying that a “no” means: bye-bye!

Tsipras wants the biggest “no” vote he can get, thinking it will send tremors through Europe. It probably will send tremors but maybe not the kind he wants.

The Boko Haram have killed approximately a hundred people praying at mosques in Nigeria. They target mosques where clerics are too moderate, according to them.

The deadline has passed for the nuclear talks with Iran but everyone is still talking and shuttling between countries to see if a deal can be done. Obama is saying he’ll reject a bad deal and conservatives are saying, nah, he won’t.

Angela Merkel has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to her office to discuss the latest revelations that the NSA may not have just eavesdropped on her but also on over 60 German officials, including some of her ministers. I wouldn’t want to be the student in that principal’s office.

This is for everyone who fears Artificial Intelligence. A robot in a German auto factory picked up a 22 year old man and crushed him to death. The auto plant is thinking bad programming. You might note that Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking are all worried about the potential for AI to decide we are too imperfect to be continued.

Probably will not happen in my lifetime unless I stumble into some rogue robot like the poor young man in Germany.

While it seems there is Republican entrant to the Presidential basis on a daily basis, today another Democrat has thrown his hat into that ring. Jim Webb, former Senator from Virginia, has declared he is a candidate. A former Republican turned Democrat over his opposition to the Iraq war, he will do his best to make his voice heard, though he fears being drowned out by the avalanche of money. Yes, it is hard to be heard sometimes in the waterfall of dollar bills unleashed by Citizens United.

You’ve heard of “Shark Week” I’m sure. It was thought up by a group of young programming executives more than twenty years ago at Discovery Channel as counter programming to the political conventions. One of those young programming executives was Steve Cheskin, now head of programming for Reelz Channel. Reelz is going to air the Miss USA Pageant from which NBC and Univision have run since co-owner Donald Trump opened mouth, inserted foot about most Mexicans who come to the United States. Steve knows a programming opportunity when it’s around and this is one. Good work, Steve, on the programming front. Still, I kind of wish everyone had boycotted Trump.

Macy’s has sent him packing. One of the products that bear his name is underwear. Creepy.

Trump is suing Univision for a half a billion dollars and says he’s going to sue NBC too. It will be interesting to watch this play out, some good reality television, I’m guessing.

Uber, the car calling app, is fighting the City of New York, which wants to halt its expansion while a study is completed to see what effect it is having on congestion and pollution and on the fate of yellow taxis. Uber called for a big rally yesterday here in New York and offered free rides to those who wanted to go but not many showed up. They brought food that ended up being given away to hungry tourists, of which there are lots in the city right now.

PAnyway, I’m now on the train, getting ready to pull out for Baltimore. Until tomorrow…

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