Letter From New York 12 15 15 From Vegas Debates to Plumber’s Strife

Penn Station. Acela Lounge.  Republican Debate. CNN.  Pataki. Santorum. Graham. Huckabee. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Arctic Warming.  Walruses. Los Angeles Threat. Saudi Arabian Coalition.  Yemen. Sunni.  Shia. Houthis. Plumbing truck with jihadists.

I’m sitting in the Acela Lounge at Penn Station, waiting for the 7:15 train up to Hudson.  The television monitor in the Lounge is on CNN and the final debate of this year for the Republicans.  It is the “B” team, Pataki, Santorum, Graham and Huckabee.  When Rick Santorum was announced, I actually was surprised.  I thought he was gone.  He’s not.

I am debate weary and there is almost another year until the election. 

The debate is being held in Las Vegas, which somehow seems appropriate. 

One of the things Las Vegans are working to find out is who owns their most important paper, The Las Vegas Review-Journal.  It was sold at a premium to a recently formed group that no one can find out anything about.  The reporters at the paper are stumped.  Seems like a Las Vegas kind of story.

It was sunny and balmy here in New York, the temp was up to 64 degrees.  On some of the last few days, New York has been warmer than Los Angeles.  It is the subject of many watercooler conversations in the city.

The Washington Post reported this afternoon that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thinning ice and endangering the walrus population.

There was a bomb hoax against the Los Angeles school system today.  It disrupted the city and gave students a day off, while wondering what was going on.

Now on the train, we are sliding out of Penn Station and I’m away from the debate.  I will be catching up in the morning about what happened, particularly in the major round.

It is doubtful to me that any of the gentlemen that were in the first round will be the nominee.  Santorum and Graham made it clear they would support Trump if he were the nominee.

Saudi Arabia has announced a coalition of 34 nations to fight IS.  Reading the details causes the mind to hurt.  Not included in this coalition are Iran and Iraq, who are primarily Shia while IS and Saudi Arabia are Sunni.  The Sunni Saudi Arabians are working to put fellow Sunnis back in control of Yemen, which has been overrun by the Houthis, who I think are Shia-centric.  Following the players in this drama is always confusing.

The Sunnis and Shia consider each other apostates but they are still Muslims.  Saudi Arabia is attempting to overcome complaints that it hasn’t been doing enough to stop IS, which actually seems to have much of its ideological roots in the Arabian Peninsula.  There are certainly strong similarities between the Islam followed by IS and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia had elections in which women could vote for the first time.  A few have been elected to office though they can’t drive cars to get to their work.  A Saudi Princess who runs a department store in Riddyah said Uber is becoming very popular with her “sales girls.”

Someone said to me: something is always better than nothing.

A hotel guest in Alva, OK, went to the front desk and said he had been charged twice.  The hotel reversed the charges but he didn’t believe them so he drove his truck through the lobby.  When arrested, he told the police he did it because they hadn’t believed his threat that he would do it.

Another truck in the news is one that was owned by a plumber in Texas.  He traded it in for a new one and asked that the decals of his plumbing company be removed before sale.  They weren’t.  It ended up in Turkey and a photo of it filled with jihadists ended up going viral.  The plumber, Mark Oberholtzer, had to clear out of town for a while because of all the threats he was receiving. 

The dealership, he said, in the lawsuit he just filed, hung up on him when he called to complain.

It is dark outside the train.  When I get home, I need to wrap Christmas presents and get them to UPS in the morning while also cooking for a dinner party tomorrow night.  Thursday takes me back to the city.

Good night, all.

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