Letter From New York 01 05 16 Musings as heading and reaching home….

There is a pinkish tint to the sky as I head north on the train, heading home after thirteen days of being away.  The sun is beginning to set and the Hudson River flows south on my left.  We have just passed Bannerman’s Castle, a munitions depot that blew up long ago on a small island in the river.  Its wracked remains still stands and, sometimes, in the summers it is used to create a light show.

Bruce Thiesen, who reads my letters from time to time, commented that 2016 might test my optimism and it already has.

Yesterday, the market had a nose bleed after the Chinese market plummeted.  On its way to closing, it is up modestly today but hardly enough to get anyone breaking out champagne glasses.

Donald Trump has found himself used in a recruiting tape for terrorists.  He shrugs his shoulders about it, indicating there is nothing he can do about it.   While he is doing nothing about it, the British Parliament is getting ready to debate whether or not they will ban The Donald from Britain. 

That would be interesting.  I don’t think that’s ever happened before. 

The Sunni Saudi Arabian kingdom executed a leading Shia cleric and government critic.  The Shia of Iran rioted and burned the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran.  Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran, further inflaming the Mideast.

The Iranians have announced this will not cover the crime committed by Saudi Arabia but today one of Iran’s generals condemned the attack on the Embassy. 

Meanwhile, the Iranians are showing off another underground missile, likely to give conniptions to the US and some others who hoped the nuclear treaty would lessen Iranian obsessions with things military.

The US has remained silent about the executions as it needs Saudi Arabia in its fight against IS, which is mostly Sunni as are the Saudi Arabians.  The Iraqi and Syrian Shia get huge abuse from IS as do any others who don’t believe as the Shia do, including Christians and others.

In Washington, President Obama has issued Executive Orders regarding gun sales while surrounded by victims of shootings, including some of the parents of children killed in Newtown.

The proposals are modest but Rand Paul has already denounced them and the NRA has called them theatrics to deflect from his failed presidency. 

Anti gun advocates are gathering some big donors like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and are working state by state to tighten gun laws.

One result of his actions will be that the gun issue is now politicized and will be sure to be a topic of debate in the 2016 elections.

Not too surprising if disheartening is that gun sales have soared since news of Obama’s actions leaked out.  It is a good time to own Smith & Wesson stock I guess.

The journal Science is calling for more human computational effort in solving the world’s problems.  It took only ten days for humans using a computational game to solve a protein problem associated with HIV.  Let’s do more of that, say scientists. So do I.

I am now back in the cozy clutches of the cottage.  Returning home, I discovered my kitchen pipes have frozen and I am working to thaw them out.  Nothing, thank God, burst.

It was also forgotten by me that I left behind the detritus of my last night here.  I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it but can’t run it until the pipes thaw.

Before I left, I checked the 14 day forecast and it was all in the 40’s.  That changed as it hit 4 degrees last night, the point at which the kitchen pipes freeze. 

Having missed the season premiere of the last season of “Downton Abbey” I am off to catch up.  It’s good to be home, more than I can tell you.  Here, I feel cosseted by the comforts of my cottage and the joy it brings me. 

The world outside is dangerous and it is tempting to retreat here and ignore it, I can’t.

The world exists and I must live in it.  As must we all…

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