Posts Tagged ‘Bloody Sunday’

Letter From New York 03 08 15 While the sky is blue…

March 8, 2015

When I woke this morning, big, white, puffy flakes of snow were falling lazily outside and continued to fall as I made my way around the cottage changing clocks to reflect daylight saving time. It felt like a short night, even though I headed off to sleep rather early.

Daylight savings time started in 1916, in Germany, during WWI, to save energy. The US took up the practice in 1918. Been going on ever since in most of the country. But turns out, it doesn’t seem to save any energy. Studies show electricity use actually goes up. So why do we do it?

After changing the clocks, I sat down with my coffee and iPhone and scanned the Weather Channel app, which predicted, correctly, that the snow would end shortly and the day would be relatively warm. It is a balmy forty degrees, a height we haven’t seen in months.

While I was safely in Morpheus’ arms, the Boko Haram’s leader announced his fealty to IS. It is seen as giving both of them propaganda boosts while in Africa and Iraq offensive attacks against them seem to be holding traction.

IS is claiming that it has launched bulldozers to destroy another ancient city, this time Hatra, which was the capital of the Parthian Empire and which survived attacks by Roman forces in the early centuries of the first millennium. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. NPR will have a piece tomorrow on archeologists who are risking their lives to save artifacts in Syria. What IS is not destroying; it is selling to raise funds for their campaigns.

Mohammed Emwazi, better known as “Jihadi John,” has sent a message to his family apologizing for the inconvenience the revelation of his identity has caused them. He is not sorry for what he has done. His father has called him “a dog, an animal and a terrorist.” The family has fled England for Kuwait and is under guard to protect them.

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has gone on record asking Hillary Clinton to tell us why she was using a private email address while at State, and that “silence is going to hurt her.” Straining my credulity, Obama said today that he didn’t know that Clinton was using a private server until he heard about it in the news.

A year ago today, MH 370 disappeared and has become, arguably, the biggest airline mystery of all time. A moment of silence for those on board. And we are nowhere closer to knowing what happened now than we were then. The four ships still searching for the lost plane have found no trace of wreckage. 45% of the area believed to be the most likely for the plane to have crashed in, has been searched. If there is nothing by the end of May, everyone will go back to the drawing boards.

In Russia, two Chechens have been arrested in the assassination of Boris Nemtsov. One is proclaiming his innocence and the other has, according to a Russian judge, confessed his part in the murder. Three other suspects have been arrested as accomplices while a sixth blew himself up with a grenade in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. What remains unknown is who ordered the killing.

Today is International Women’s Day and there is a march at the UN in New York asking for equality for all women. They are asking for action not just awareness.

Fifty years ago yesterday was “Bloody Sunday” in which approximately 600 peaceful marchers were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma by police with batons and tear gas. Images from that event helped galvanize the nation and give momentum to Civil Rights Legislation. The 50th Anniversary Commemoration continues today with thousands marching on that same bridge.   Tomorrow, many will make the march from Selma to Montgomery that followed “Bloody Sunday.”

The sun is shining wonderfully and the clouds are puffy and the sky is blue. I have two more clocks to change and then I’m off to dinner.

Letter From New York 03 06 15 Not Accident Prone…

March 6, 2015

It is around 4:15 in the afternoon as I begin this; the day is just beginning to fade. All day the sun has been bright and crisp, sharp shadows crossing the land. Despite the sun, it’s been cold outside though while I was in the city the ice on the creek did melt.

The trend is for warming weather here, getting up to 49 degrees on Monday, the first real break in the cold in weeks.

It’s been a busy day; finishing some numbers for the accountants and getting them and some paperwork delivered. I have waded through some other paperwork and am now sitting down to write.

While driving home from the accountants, I listened to a report on NPR about the destruction that appears to be happening at Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian city in the hands of IS. I’ve noted before they have posted pictures of them taking sledgehammers to ancient works of art. IS believes these artifacts are signs of idolatry and therefore must be destroyed. They’re taking with them the history of much of the world, including their own.

In another sad note today, Albert Maysles, the noted documentarian, passed away last night in New York City. He and his brother, David, made some of the most famous documentaries of the 20th Century, including “Gimme Shelter” about the 1969 Rolling Stone tour that included footage of a man being stabbed to death at Altamont and “Grey Gardens” about two cousins of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. He continued to work up until his death. I met him a couple of times at events. He was, deservedly, a legend of the documentary world.

Long a fan of space exploration [the only person I have ever asked for an autograph is Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon], NASA’s Dawn has settled into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, seeking signs of life on it while testing technology that may be used to carry supplies to a manned outpost on Mars.

Also, in technology today, but somewhat more frightening, is that Lockheed-Martin successfully tested its new ATHENA laser weapon today, destroying a truck’s engine from more than a mile away. Ray guns are here.

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Selma march that was disrupted by violence, captured by the news, and seen as a major turning point for the national attitude toward civil rights. Obama is leading the commemoration on Saturday, extolling young people to be active. One of the leaders of the Selma to Montgomery march was John Lewis, then only 23 and now a member of Congress.

Apple is joining the Dow Jones index of stocks while that index plunged today on the good news that jobs had grown more than expected and thus raised fears of an interest rate hike.

The political scene seems dominated by two conversations today. One is the specter that Hillary Clinton cannot manage a campaign. The email snafu is an indicator, say some pundits. And if she can’t run a campaign, will she be able to manage an administration?

The second big news in the political scene is that Democratic Senator Menendez of New Jersey is facing indictment on charges of corruption, trading influence for gifts.

Andy Lack is returning to NBC News. Having built The Nightly News and Today into powerhouses, he departed NBC. They are now bringing him back to fix the mess they have. Today is trailing Good Morning America and we all know about Brian Williams.

Veteran actor Harrison Ford, of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame, crash-landed a vintage World War II plane on a golf course in California yesterday. While he sustained injuries, he is expected to make a full recovery. He does seem accident-prone though.

Thankfully, I am not too accident-prone. The sun is slowly setting as I finish this; the world seems shades of brown outside my window. I am going online next to look at hotels in Delhi. It is only sixteen days until I leave.