Letter From New York 08 03 15 Thoughts trundling south on the train…

The west bank of the Hudson River is a verdant green as the train slowly rumbles south toward New York. It is a bright day, warmer than it has been but still very sweet. I am coming down to New York for a few meetings and a lunch and then am heading home to get ready to go to my friend’s Jeffrey and Joyce’s home on Martha’s Vineyard on Friday.

I’ll linger with them for four or five days and then head back to the Cottage and then down to New York for a meeting on the 13th. Jeffrey calls Martha’s Vineyard “the land of off” and it seems that way though I am not sure how “off” their summers have been since the bought the Edgartown bookstore. It will be interesting to see what changes they have made since I was last there two years ago.

They had ambitious plans and I am sure they have been realized.

The water in the Hudson is browner than usual; the river stirred by the recent rains. It quietly laps the shore. For some reason, it is causing me to think of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis where we’d go as children to swim and sail.

Having spent a few days surrounded by a delicious amount of natural beauty, it seems reasonable that President Obama is issuing today a set of environmental regulations that is intended to reduce, sharply, the amount of greenhouse emissions from power plants. They promise to remake the industry.

There is a controversy happening in Columbia County regarding new power line towers. Most people I know think we don’t need them and intend to fight to stop them from blighting the natural beauty of Columbia County. They are strongly supported by Democratic Governor Cuomo. It is going to be an interesting fight.

And Obama’s regulations will set off a firestorm of lawsuits. Again, it will be interesting to watch. At the end, I suspect there will be change and the lawsuits will determine the extent.

At one point in my life I spent several months in Canada and was impressed with Canadian friendliness. Some Canadian researchers built a “hitchBOT,” a robot that hitchhiked its way across Canada and most of Germany and the Netherlands. He came south two weeks ago to attempt to cross the United States. He was found destroyed beyond repair around Philadelphia, “City of Brotherly Love.” Shame on whoever did this. He was only the size of a six year old and reportedly quite charming.

IS, which is known for its clever and relentless use of the Internet to tell its stories, is now relentlessly cracking down on those inside its territory who are using the Internet. Anyone connecting must now do it through an open network that is being watched. IS is showing signs of fear.

The French are leading the investigation of the wing fragment found on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean. Islanders are searching for more debris to see if it might be from the long missing Malaysian Airlines MH370.

The Chinese are having trouble with their escalators. Not so long ago a woman died saving her child in an escalator accident. Today, a man lost his foot and his leg had to be amputated. Both incidents, I believe, happened in Shanghai. Be careful.

Secretary of State John Kerry is making a round of visits to Arabic neighbors, drumming up support for the Iran deal. He seems to be having some success though I am sure it comes at a price, weapons and new pledges to counter Iran.

Donald Trump is still leading in the polls. The Republican mainstream is running in circles, unsure how to counter The Donald. The Koch brothers, rich as could be, with eighty some billion dollars between them, are simply freezing him out. David Koch and Trump are reputedly friendly but the organizations they fund have not given him any opportunities to speak. They own data firm i360, the best data and voter analytics company on the right, and it won’t do business with the Trump Organization.

The big winner at the Box Office was Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation” which not only claimed the top spot in dollars but also garnered very good reviews.

Without doubt, this is the longest it has ever taken me to get to the city on Amtrak. I have been traveling now for three and a half hours. Traffic ahead. The compensation? The Hudson River is beautiful. I’ve had time to read and write and contemplate.

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