Letter From New York 01 30 16 Uncommonly happy…

Hudson Valley  Lionel White  Pierre Font   Downton Abbey  iTunes  Hillary Email Crisis  Hillary Clinton  Bernie Sanders  Iowa Caucuses  Zika Virus  Putin  Russian Economy  Ammon Bundy 

It is a beautiful day in the Hudson Valley, the sun generously warming us into the mid-forties with a high of fifty promised for tomorrow.  The light glints off the creek and the wind is shaking the branches of the trees just outside the dining room window.

When I found myself cognizant this morning, I realized I was happy — for no particular reason, just caught up in a pleasant kind of joy that has remained with me during the day.

Tonight I am cooking for Lionel and Pierre and we’ll watch a movie from my collection.  Having subscribed to iTunes in order to watch the program, I now am in possession of the rest of the season of “Downton Abbey” and can binge if I so choose.

Not one of my students had heard of “Downton Abbey” when I asked them.

A LOT, I suspect, is going to be heard in the next few days about the twenty-two “top secret” emails found on Hillary’s server.  The question remains whether they were “top secret” when she received or sent them; there has been much classification after the fact with her emails.  One of the “top secret” ones seems, according to sources, to have been a publicly published article. 

Whatever the truth, it will be made much of in the days to come and it is especially inconvenient as it is only three days to the Iowa caucuses and Hillary has been losing ground to Bernie.

Suddenly, the Zika virus has become a major health threat, spreading rapidly through the Americas but nowhere more prevalent than in Recife, Brazil.  An impoverished city is being made more miserable by the mosquito born virus which results in some infected mothers to give birth to children with microcephaly, with heads and brains smaller than normal.

At least five countries have advised women not to get pregnant until more is known.  Some are saying Zika could be more of threat than Ebola.

A Russian plane violated Turkish airspace again.  Turkey did not shoot it down but did warn of consequences.

One wonders if Putin is playing with fire because he needs diversions from the rapidly declining Russian economy?  His budget has been slashed again because of the declining price of oil.  The Russian budget has been built on the basis of oil at $50.00 a barrel, which it’s not. 

There are reports that the average Russian citizen is beginning to get restless and are beginning to protest, particularly in towns away from Moscow.  Retirees are having their pensions cut.  And, after a taste of a better life, Russians may not want to suffer silently for Mother Russia.

While I sit watching the placid Claverack Creek, the European Refugee Crisis continues; 37 drowned yesterday while attempting to reach Greece.

Three dangerous inmates escaped from an Orange County, California jail and all three have been returned to custody.  One turned himself in and the other two were captured in a stolen van in a Whole Foods parking lot in San Francisco after an alert woman notified police of the presence there of a van matching the description of one being used by the escapees.

While Ammon Bundy is in custody, the Oregon stand-off continues with some of his followers still at the refuge even though Bundy has told them to stand down. 

The sun is beginning to set, a golden light is falling on the barren trees across the creek.  It is time for me to sign off and begin to cook, distracting myself from the world’s woes.

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