Letter From Claverack 05 12 2017 A Series of JDLR’s…

On Monday, I had a conversation with a friend; she stated she felt she was living with constant stress due to the political landscape in Washington.  Then I had virtually the same conversation on Tuesday with another friend, followed by one on Wednesday and then again yesterday, which resulted in my friend bursting into tears.

Lest you think these are bitter liberals, two of the four are folks who consider themselves moderate Republicans.

And then there were two bright young men I met at the studio who are going to launch a conservative talk show on the station and they are full of fervor and believe that Donald Trump is the best thing that could have happened to America.

And these conversations put the spotlight on the vast political chasm that is dividing the country today.

For those of a certain mindset, liberals and moderate Republicans, the constant torment of political news is causing them to feel they are living under a dome of stress on top of the stress of ordinary life.

Many Democrats and Progressives live in outrage.  My moderate Republican friends feel the party they knew has been snatched from them, finally, irrevocably.

Nearly everyone is taking, or talking about taking, a break from news, which I did, certainly, and chronicled in my last letter.

One thing I am doing is reveling as much as I can in the beauty around me and I am so fortunate to live in this beautiful spot.  Just now, outside my window, a blue jay landed and we shared a look before he winged away.

If I were not in this place, called “your Walden Pond” by a friend, I might be going quite mad.

Parsing the day’s news is daunting.

Comey’s firing has the world all a frazzle.  Keeping a promise to a very Republican friend, I do my best to look not just at the New York Times.  So, after the sacking of the FBI Director, I checked on reactions from all sides of the spectrum.  Some, both conservative and liberal, felt the guy had to go.  Most had a sense of dis-ease at the timing, days after Comey had asked for more resources for the investigation into Russian collusion during the campaign with Trump’s campaign.

Some likened it to the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Nixon’s Watergate debacle though I don’t think we’ve quite hit that yet.  And I have this gnawing sense we might get there.

Back in my Santa Monica days, my neighbor and friend, Susan Ottalini, was an editor for CBS News and had started her career as a journalist in small town California.  She would ride on patrol with the police and sometimes they would pull someone over because it “JDLR,” just doesn’t look right.

Comey’s firing looks to me to be a “JDLR.”

Along with Trump’s tweets today, seeming to threaten Comey about not leaking to the press.

The day after Comey’s firing, President Trump met with Russia’s Foreign Minister, Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador.  No U.S. photographers were allowed to capture Trump and Lavrov, only Lavrov’s personal photographer had access.

“JDLR” on a couple of counts.

The Alt Left and Alt Right are awash with conspiracy rumors.

And the hysteria requires me to concentrate on things like:  how the sun falls between the trees when I am sitting at my desk in the afternoon, how the wind moves the branches of blooming trees, how my kitchen smells after I have made something really good…

IMG_1779

My music choices are mostly upbeat swing jazz; it lifts my mood in the morning though earlier today I listened to folk from the 1960’s and it reminded me of those dark times, Viet Nam sliding into Nixon, Watergate, democracy lurching and then righting itself.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never is, but always to be blessed:

The soul, uneasy and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once, long ago, when I was living in Santa Monica, one of my neighbors was Susan Ottalini, an editor for CBS News, who started her career as a police reporter in a smallish California town.  Sometimes she rode along with officers as they were patrolling

As I start this blog, it is the evening of May 10th, the evening after President Trump fired James Comey, Director of the FBI, who found out he was fired from newscasts.  And the world is quite aflutter about it.

The White House seemed unprepared for the backlash which

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