Archive for the ‘China stock market rout’ Category

Letter From New York 02 01 2016 Working to be Tickety Boo…

February 2, 2016

Nick Stuart  Tickety boo  James Green  Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders  Marco Rubio  Jeb Bush  Zika Virus  Brazil Olympics WHO  Apple  Google  Alphabet  Yahoo  Melissa Mayer  IS Boko Haram  Assad  American Airlines  United 

When I drove into the drive of the cottage, behind me was a brilliant rose gold sunset illuminating the western sky.  After spending the afternoon running a variety of errands, I was grateful to be home.

My very English friend, Nick Stuart, if he is concerned about either my physical or mental well being, will text me a message that says, “Everything tickety boo?”

And tonight, not everything is tickety boo. 

I have been headachy and achy since about noon today and so, once the errands were accomplished, I slid home and lit a fire, changed into comfortable clothes, also warm, and began to rest. 

I don’t want to get sick.  I have class on Wednesday; my friend James Green is Skyping in to discuss digital advertising.  It is not possible to get sick; the show must go on! 

The show that is going on right now, as I write, is the Iowa caucuses and the let the games begin.  The first “showdown” is happening.  Hillary and Bernie are neck and neck.  Trump has a lead over everyone.  Marco Rubio is desperately hoping he will come in third in Iowa.

I am worn to a frazzle by all this.  This campaign will go down in history, I hope, as the longest election campaign in the country’s history.  I can’t imagine anything longer than this.  Shouldn’t the elections be next Tuesday so we can get this all over with?  We have something like another 280 days of all of them slugging it out.

As the caucuses begin, Jeb Bush is on his way to New Hampshire where he hopes to do better.  Once  the wind was in his sails and now he finds himself becalmed.  The son of a President, the brother of another, he seemed anointed.  Not so much now…

While we are bemoaning the campaign cycle [or at least I am], the Zika virus has become worse than originally thought.  Brazil is harder hit than first thought.  The World Health Organization has declared an emergency.  And the world will be traveling to Brazil this year for the Olympics.  Bring lots of mosquito repellant and use birth control while there and afterwards until you’re sure you don’t have it…

For three years now Apple has been the most valuable company in the world.  Today Google became more valuable.  Alphabet, the holding company for Google and its other enterprises, rose sharply as there has been a renaissance in its advertising.  Ah, heavy is the head that wears the crown…

Yahoo, which once wore that crown, is now shedding 15% of its workforce.  Ms. Mayer has not turned the corner.

Oil prices continue to slump and there is a slowdown in manufacturing both in China and the US.  Worrisome.  Pundits are wondering if we are in for another recession.  Say it not so…

IS is working its wrath upon the world.  Boko Haram, which has declared its loyalty to IS, killed 70 in a suicide bombing attack in Nigeria.  Not to mention the trouble in Syria; 3500 have fled into Turkey as Assad’s forces advance.  The Taliban have killed twenty in Kabul. 

And my oh my… Free snacks have returned to American and Untied.  Is this an alternative universe?  Free snacks on planes?  Have I been transported back to the 1990’s?  No, don’t think so. Not until they make the seats bigger.  I’m not big and the seats are a challenge to me.  To get a good seat in economy one must upgrade to Economy Plus, which I usually do.

My fire is burning happily.  I am happy and feeling better, more “tickety boo.”  The flood lights illuminate the creek and I am more ready than ever to crawl into my great queen sized bed and pull the covers up to my neck, watch a little video and head off to sleep.  I need it.

The show must go on!

Letter From New York 01 10 16 Thoughts in a worrisome world…

January 11, 2016

It is Sunday evening and I am at the dining room table, looking out at the creek, lit by the floodlights I have set up to illuminate the creek at night.  Soft, classical jazz plays in the background.

For the most part, Christmas is behind me.  The tree is down and headed for recycling now that most of the lights have burned out.  I think I’ve had seven years from the tree so I can’t complain.

Though I realize as I look around I forgot a few things which I’ll have to take down over the coming week.  There is still a wreath on my door and one hanging in the dining room.  How I missed that I don’t know.

My heart is not into taking down Christmas.  I tend to become a bit melancholy in the process and apologized to young Nick about my moodiness as he dismantled Christmas while I assiduously cleaned up after last night’s dinner party.

While I sit here writing, the world is gearing up for the Golden Globe Awards, which I won’t watch but is the official opening of awards’ season.  I did my PGA voting as soon as it came in because I didn’t want to forget.

The question being asked in this awards’ season is whether “Revenant” will finally propel Leonardo DiCaprio towards an Oscar?

I don’t know nor do I much care, truth to be told.

Since 1992 I have been a member of the Television Academy and my membership is up for renewal and while I suspect I will renew I am not sure why.  It feels much less relevant than it did when we were fighting to make cable an integral part of the Academy and then to make a place in the tent for “new media.”

I salute my friend Bob Levi, retired now from Turner, who with Jeff Cole and myself and a few others fought and fought hard to make a place in the Academy for those digital pioneers way back in 1999.  Jeff and I were the Founding Governors for the Interactive Media Peer Group though I have discovered since then there are others who make that claim.  Excuse me!  I was there.

It’s Sunday night and most people are wondering what the market will do in the morning.  Continue to swoon or make a comeback?  Don’t know.  I’ll check the futures in the morning.

Sean Penn did an interview with Mexican Drug Lord “El Chapo” at his HQ in the Mexican jungle.  It appeared in Rolling Stone.  Some laud it, some hate it but it is interesting reading.  Celebrity triumphs in journalism in this case…

Ted Cruz was born in Canada of an American mother.  Donald Trump is questioning whether is he meets the legal requirements to be President.  Some time ago Ted Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship but that hasn’t stopped Trump who is currently trailing him a bit in the polls in Iowa. 

I think it will get worse between now and the caucuses in Iowa.

The world is an unbroken trails of woes right now – and I’m not talking about the Republicans. 

Merkel’s generosity to refugees is under question after New Year’s attacks on women by men described as North African or Arabic. 

We have people of white origin holding a bird preserve in Oregon demanding a rollback of Federal control of lands in the West.

North Korea may or may not have tested a hydrogen weapon but it did test an atomic something which is always worrisome.

And, you know, everything is worrisome.  It always has been and will always be so and so tomorrow I will get up and live my life as best I can in this worrisome state.

Letter From New York 01 07 16 Thoughts on a hard day…

January 8, 2016

Stock market rout   Jamison Teale   Christ Church  Hudson  Roy Moore   Alabama Gay Controversy  Tiffany Martin Hamilton  Tommy Ragland  Charlie Hebdo Anniversary  Oklahoma earthquakes  Netflix  Bill Clinton  Hillary Clinton  John Kerry  Syrian Peace Process  Iran  Saudi Arabia  California storms  Ted Cruz  Burns, Oregon

Well, I was smart enough today to not look at the market as it was another BAD day as China’s market shudders riled every other market in the world.  While they were plunging, I had a pleasant day. 

Answered emails, ran errands and wrote out the first draft of my syllabus for my class that starts on the 20th.  It was actually kind of fun, if headache inducing.

Now it is evening and I have turned on the lights outside, classic jazz is playing and I think I will light a fire as it is going to be chill again tonight.

My Christmas tree is still up and I am not taking it down until Sunday.  Having been gone for two weeks, I feel I deserve a little more time with it.  It is a white artificial tree and I think this is its last year.  But it has been a beautiful, for me, tree.

Jamison Teale, the Senior Warden at Christ Church [where I attend services] and his longtime companion, James, were married on New Year’s Day by Hudson’s first woman mayor in her first official function.  They are coming for dinner on Saturday with the church’s Musical Director, Tom Martin, father to Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton of Hudson.

One of my errands today was to find them a small wedding present.

While James and Jamison married easily here in New York, the Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, Roy Moore, has ordered that state’s probate judges not  issue marriage licenses to gay couples.  Federal authorities immediately ordered them to do so.  Some have thrown up their arms and aren’t giving marriage licenses to anyone.

Ah, Justice Moore, this has been decided.  No back pedaling allowed I think.

One probate judge, Tommy Ragland, summed it up best, saying, “We have a Chief Justice who is confused.”

One of the other errands I did today was to look for a clock radio to replace my ancient one that no longer works.  You know, they are rather hard to find.  Not nonexistent but hard to find.  I am going online to see what I can find there.

My toaster also broke and I looked at those too and thought they all looked shoddy.  More investigation needed.

It is the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.  Let there be a moment of silence.

The French police killed a man brandishing a meat cleaver today, who was screaming “Allahu Akbar [God is Greatest].”  He was wearing a fake suicide vest.  That confuses me.  Why bother?

Oklahoma had a swarm of 70 earthquakes yesterday.  In 2013 they had a couple of hundred.  In 2014 they had over 5,000.  That is an exponential increase.  2015 statistics are currently being gathered.  There is a suspect:  fracking.

Earlier this week Netflix was available in 60 countries.  Today it is in 190 countries.  130 countries “turned on” Netflix while its President and CEO was giving a speech at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

I’ve attended a couple and they are always mind boggling.  This year is not quite so much according to pundits but still generating lots of wow.

Politics continues.  Bill Clinton is stumping for Hillary in Iowa.  Lots of people I know would like him back but since he can’t….

Cruz is cruising in Iowa which frightens the bejesus out of me. 

California is pummeled by storms and that worries me about friends there though I hope it is helping the drought.

In Burns, Oregon the unlawful occupation of a wildlife center continues.  On social media people have been asking what would be happening if the occupiers were black or Muslim instead of gun totting white guys who are outraged over Federal land policy?

There are no easy answers to anything.  Kerry says that the Saudi Arabia/Iran feud will not slow down the Syrian peace process but how can it not?  I mean, how can it not?

I am taking solace in the cottage and in my hope that our better angels will prevail.

Letter From The Train 08 25 15 Black holes, Putin’s justice and barbarians on the march…

August 25, 2015

It was a hot, muggy day in New York. About four this afternoon, as I was strolling back to the office after a meeting on Park Avenue South, a walk of about fifteen minutes, I determined that I would go home even though I have a meeting tomorrow in the afternoon.

It’s a gorgeous day and I want to be home, sleep in my own bed and listen to the insects buzz outside while I sit on the deck and watch the creek, lit up by floodlights beneath the deck.

The markets bounced upwards most of the day before closing another 205 points down. The China rout continues; one Chinese billionaire by the name of Wang has lost thirteen billion dollars so far. That’s a big bucket of dollars.

The outrage of the world about the destruction of the temple to Baalshamin continues. Much has been destroyed by Islamic militants in the last year, including the temple to Baalshamin as well as the two statues of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan some years ago and treasures in Timbuktu.

Barbarians. Barbarous in the way they treat treasures and barbarous in the way they treat people.

Refugees are swarming across the world. The island of Kos in Greece is overrun and the Mediterranean is filled with boats of every size carrying souls from Africa. From Kos, thousands have made their way by hook or crook through the Balkans to the border of countries like Hungary, which is scrambling to build a fence to hold them back. The refugee problem is the worst it has been since the end of WWII.

Germany alone will be taking in 800,000 refugees this year, four times last year’s total. I don’t think we take in that many immigrants in a year and Germany is a fraction of our size. If I am remembering correctly, Germany has some eighty million people living there. They will be adding one percent to their population this year. That is a lot of assimilation.

The Baltic countries are balking about taking in even a couple of hundred refugees and anti-immigrant rallies are all over in Germany. The immigrant problem has overwhelmed Merkel’s agenda as thoroughly as Greece did.

Putin’s Russia has just sentenced Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director, to twenty years in a Labor Camp for plotting terrorist attacks against Russians after their annexation of the Crimea. The Russians say the bruises on his body after his arrest were from S&M sex he had before his arrest.

The chief prosecution witness against Sentsov withdrew his testimony halfway through the trial, announcing he had been tortured to get it.

Ah, the joys of Putin’s democracy…

Think of Sentsov in the months to come. He will haunt my thoughts for a while.

Megyn Kelly is flourishing despite The Donald’s tirades against her on Twitter. She has been gone on an eleven-day vacation, which may or may not have been scheduled. Her return resulted in her best ratings of the year, even though she didn’t mention Trump.

Her boss, Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News, has demanded that Trump apologize. What is an ice cube’s chance in hell?

Sex sites have taken a beating recently. Ashleymadison.com was hacked. 15,000 of their email accounts were linked to .gov or .edu addresses, causing some wonder about our government officials and our educators. Josh Duggar was a member, furthering the nation’s perception of him as the sleaziest man alive. Lawsuits are landing on their doorstep.

Today rentboy.com was raided and six present and past employees were arrested. It is alleged it was actually a site for prostitution and not for companionship. I think the allegation may prove true.

Stephen Hawking, the legendary physicist, speaking is Stockholm has said that if you fall into a black hole, don’t worry. There is a way out. You might pop out in an alternative universe. Do I find that comforting? I’m not much worried about black holes, not having encountered one in my life but, if I do, I will remember this as I am sucked in.