Posts Tagged ‘Ammon Bundy’

Letter From New York 01 11 16 A temporary peace…

February 11, 2016

Amtrak  Hudson River  Gary and Angel Koven  The Knot  Bernie Sanders  Donald Trump  Hillary Clinton  Einstein  Theory of Relativity  Oregon Standoff  Ammon Bundy  NATO  Syria  Russia  Secretary Kerry  Lavrov  Saudi Arabia 

As I start this, I am riding south on Amtrak, heading into the city to see my primary care physician, who is in the city, to bring him up to date on my medical adventures.

The Hudson is a steely grey, occasionally looking like burnished silver when the sun breaks through the heavy cloud cover.  My friend, James Linkin, is sitting beside me, happy to see me up and walking.

The river is choppy, not surprising as the wind is up and biting, making it feel much colder than the temperature.  I am tired as I often am these days though grateful to be up and out of bed and on the move.

My world feels altered in some way by my sojourn in the hospital.  My friends often describe me as thoughtful and I am more so right now.  The last few days, I have lived in quiet, without my usual jazz playing in the background.  I’ve started to turn it on and then decided against it, preferring silence as my solace.

Tonight, I will have dinner with my friends Gary and Angel.  They have been married now for four + years and I was at their wedding.  Today their love for each other is as incandescent as it was the day they married.  I recommended them for a shoot for the 20th anniversary of The Knot, a website devoted to marriage.  One of the crew told me they were his favorite couple.

While I have been recovering, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won their respective races in New Hampshire.  Headlines wonder whether Hillary’s campaign is about to implode and I wonder about the future of the country.  The Trump juggernaut continues and that scares the hell out of me.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.  The Daily News had scathing headlines about his victory saying zombies had come out to vote.  One wonders…

Scientists are wondering less since they have found gravitational waves which fit into Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Great scientific excitement and my friend, James, was particularly excited.  He’s a fan of the physicist and shares his birthday with Einstein.

The Oregon Standoff is over.  Bundy, Sr. has been arrested, following son Ammon to jail.  And other standoff chapter is finished and this time, thankfully, without mass deaths.

NATO is sending warships into the Aegean to see if it can stem the flow of refugees, many being transported by human traffickers.  The seas are rough, dozens are dying and the fighting rages back in Syria.

Saudi Arabia is said to have made a “final” decision to send troops to Syria.  That is not going to uncomplicate things.

And while they might be sending troops, they’re not taking in their brethren, rather letting them suffer their fate on water than let them into their own lands.

Russia’s Foreign Minister, Lavrov, says this will result in an terminable, never ending war with the possibility of a new world war at the end of the game.  Loverly.

The Saudis might make their move in concert with the Turks, who have been engaged in verbal hostilities with Russia ever since they downed a Russian jet before the New Year.

Secretary Kerry is desperately trying to get the Peace Talks going but it seems hard to get the sides into the same building not to mention the same room.  Well, actually, they have no intention of being in the same room.  If there is any dialogue, it will be through messengers shuttling between rooms.  Could cost a lot of shoe leather but if there is progress, it would be worth it.

The Mideast already seems mired in that “interminable war.”  470,000 have died in Syria since the outbreak of protests against Assad five years ago.  Millions of Syrians are in camps and desperate to get out to a better life, somewhere.

The day has faded.  I am sitting in a deli in the city, sipping a cup of black coffee [I’m not allowed cream yet], looking out into the night that has fallen, the bright lights of cars heading down 7th Avenue, people scurrying from the cold.

All peaceful here.  But for how long?

Letter From New York 01 30 16 Uncommonly happy…

January 30, 2016

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.

Letter From New York 01 27 16 Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson all get in a car…

January 27, 2016

As I type, the train is sliding south towards New York City.  To my right, the sun is setting and the fading glints of golden sun are reflecting off the ice floes in the Hudson.

Friends warned me yesterday when they heard I was coming in to bring my boots.  The city is warming up and the snow is melting, creating rivers at the intersections.

There are a couple of meetings and then I get to see Kevin, my nephew, and to give him his wedding anniversary present to carry back to Washington, DC, where he and Michelle live.

Ammon Bundy, of the Oregon Stand-Off fame has been captured while one of his top lieutenants and frequent spokesperson for the group, was shot down after, reportedly, charging at the police.  According to reports, the dead rancher, LaVoy Finicum, had vowed to die before he went to jail.

About eight occupiers are still within the Refuge and are managing a live YouTube stream from there.  One faced the camera and said, “They’re coming to kill us.”  The FBI has been taking a patient stance on this one, letting time play out.

Playing up, or perhaps acting out, is Donald Trump who won’t appear on the Fox Republican Debate because Megyn Kelly is one of the moderators.  He used the word “bimbo” in relation to her in a tweet.  The tweet went : “I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!”

What would a day right now be without another piece of mind from The Donald?

Perusing the entertainment news this evening, I fell upon a story of a new film, based on a Vanity Fair story, that has Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando all jumping into a car together to reach New York after 9/11.  The movie that will star Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.  Brian Cox is Marlon.  Wait, Joseph Fiennes is a white actor best known for “Shakespeare in Love.”  Ahhhhhh, what are they thinking?  We’ll find out someday.

But what a concept, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson in a car crossing America, together!  Sounds like an absurdist play… I think.

The Iranian President is visiting Italy.  A museum there covered its statues of naked men and women to be sure he wasn’t offended. When Italian journalists questioned this, no one has taken responsibility.  It happened but no one seems to have ordered it.  President Rouhani didn’t ask for it.  The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, didn’t suggest it.  The head of the museum is shrugging his shoulders.

Do you remember the DeLorean?  It is making a comeback!  A company has been formed and will make about four a month, to be sold for about $100,000 a piece.   It’s the car Marty McFly and Doc Brown flew into the future with in the “Back to the Future” series of films.

The Fed has hinted today that it is possibly still on track for a March rate hike which caused another day of market swoons.  But not for Facebook, it soared on rising revenue! But Apple, darling Apple, fell after reporting its best quarter ever but folks are worried it doesn’t have much up its sleeve for the future.

After the Nazis occupied Denmark and began ordering Jews to wear a yellow star, the Danish King started doing the same in an act of solidarity with his Jewish subjects.  Today Danish lawmakers passed a law that allows Denmark to seize the valuables of refugees seeking asylum there. 

It doesn’t seem a very Danish thing to do and underscores how frightened Europe is about the influx of immigrants.  The Danes are going to make the immigrants live in specific areas or camps which is going to increase their isolation and their dependance on the Danish government.

The US, historically, simply lets immigrants in and lets them go about their business, making us incredibly diverse and relatively peaceful in our diversity.  Europe doesn’t seem to be following our example — we haven’t done it perfectly but over time we have gotten more right than wrong.

The golden tinged sun has set; it is dark, the city approaches…