Letter From New York, via the Vineyard 06 30 2016 Acts worthy of Shakespeare…

It is a bucolic time of day on Martha’s Vineyard; the sun is beginning to set.  A sailboat has gone by, heading to the north.  Its sail is designed like a huge American flag while moving to the south is the Edgartown Water Taxi, ferrying people to their docks.  The light is a marvelous gold and the water is steel blue.  Jeffrey’s sailboat rides at anchor directly in front of me, looking stately.  The scene is peaceful, other worldly, of another dimension than the rest of the world.

The rest of the world is not peaceful.

Britain is in spasms.  Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, a prime supporter of Brexit, poised and desiring to be the next Prime Minister, found himself outflanked by the man who was to have been his campaign manager, Michael Gove.  Long saying he was not aspiring to higher office, he released a statement hours before Boris was to make his speech announcing that he was seeking to be Prime Minister saying that he could not support the former Mayor of London and that he was running for the position himself.

As Boris’ father said, “Et tu, Brute?”  It was an act worthy of Shakespeare.  Boris then announced he was not seeking to be PM. 

A nasty race is ahead for the Tories with Boris gone and characters worthy of “House of Cards” rend against each other.

The Labour Party is also rent.  Their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been given a “no confidence” vote by his party and it seems every politician in Britain is urging him to depart but he clings to his position with a kind of astounding ferocity surprising in so absolutely colorless a man.

Turkey says that the bombers in the terrible attack at Istanbul’s International Airport were all from the former USSR and were directed by IS out of Raqqa in Syria, their erstwhile capital.  One of the victims was a father attempting to prevent his son from joining IS.

Tomorrow is July 1st.  A hundred years ago marked the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in WWI.  In the eighteen months it raged, there were a million casualties. Today Prince William, Prince Harry and Princess Kate were there to honor the dead, to let the world know they were not forgotten.  In the first day of fighting, nearly 60,000 were wounded and a third of those died.  During those awful eighteen months “the flower” of English youth died in one of the bloodiest, if not the bloodiest, battle in all of history.

The Taliban killed 33 Afghan police recruits today, a number that is dwarfed by that of the Battle of the Somme, but like the English, French, South Africans who died in France in 1916, those 33 had families, wives and children perhaps, lives that will never be found again.

Hopefully found again will be a commerative coin given by President Obama to the country’s oldest Park Ranger, 94 year old Betty Reid Soskin, who was attacked last night in her apartment by a young man who punched her and robbed her.  She wants the world to understand she is not a victim but a survivor.  94!

I am winding down now as the harbor slips into a soft silver lavender light.  Faraway, a dog barks, a soft breeze is blowing off the harbor.  I am far away from all the madness.  A week from tomorrow I leave to return to my cottage, itself a haven from the madness.

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