Letter From New York 04 12 2016 Too hard to think about children suicide bombers…

It has been a long day; I was up early because I am getting new appliances and the Columbia County Habitat for Humanity was coming early for my old stove.  They came and went and I waited for the new appliances to arrive. 

It all started with my dishwasher finally starting to give up the ghost which proceeded to all new appliances — a new stove, refrigerator, over the stove microwave and, of course, a new dishwasher.

When they arrived, the dishwasher, which started all of this, was the wrong one and so it had to go and the right one finally arrived.  In the meantime, I spent the day preparing for tomorrow’s lecture on magazines for “Media & Society,” the class I teach at Columbia Greene Community College.

Term papers were due last week and I graded them over the weekend, sending three back for revisions as I was working to help them achieve their goals for “good” grades.  One of the students got very upset with me for trying to help her get a better grade.  She had too many other things to do.

Such is the life of a teacher.  It was this way when I taught high school and it is now when I am teaching at a community college.

The good news story of the day is that a 72 year old woman, who was lost in the Arizona wilderness for nine days, was found alive after drinking pond water and eating plants.  She spelled help in twigs, stones and bones and was seen.  Suffering from exposure, she’s in the hospital in fair condition which is pretty good for an elderly lady who had been lost in the wilderness.

Paul Ryan has told the world to count him out.  He is not, repeat NOT, going to be the Republican candidate for President if it comes to a brokered convention. 

That is what Kasich is counting on; a brokered convention that will take him to heart as the only sane person in the party who could conceivably win. 

The Governor of North Carolina is back pedaling on the anti-gay law he signed into law as he is, rightfully so, rocked by the backlash he has received.  Hell hath no fury like corporate CEO’s who don’t agree with what you have done.

And that includes the very important banking community that has moved into North Carolina in recent years.  Deutsche Bank, who was going to build a presence there, has said:  no, not now, not because of this.

It was a year ago that Freddie Gray died in police custody in Baltimore and there is a feeling there that the mindset has changed.  I hope so.  It was one of those shocking moments in American life that leave you gasping.

What I have also learned in the last year is the passionate way people who live in that city have love for that city.  My friends, Lionel and Pierre, moved there the week before the riots and are now huge boosters of the city, passionately engaged there and loving it.

David Gest died in London today.  A successful producer, he married Liza Minnelli and that may be the thing for which he will be forever remembered.  It was a huge affair with Elizabeth Taylor as a Maid of Honor and Michael Jackson as Best Man and in a year they were divorced with all kinds of ugly rumors abounding.  He had been living in York in England for the last few years, far from the madding crowd, regretful for the cosmetic surgery he had, which did not turn out well.

Tonight, I am focussing on lighter things.  It’s the mood I’m in —  who wants to process that Boko Haram is manipulating children into being suicide bombers?

Yuri Milner, a Russian businessman, has joined forces with Stephen Hawking, wanting to send probes about the size of iPhones to Alpha Centauri, the star system closest to us.  They need to raise ten billion dollars but it sounds interesting.

I have always been a great proponent of space exploration.  “Ah, but man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or what’s a heaven for?”  Robert Browning…

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