Posts Tagged ‘Caitlyn Jenner’

Letter From New York 03 04 2016 Far from Damascus…

March 4, 2016

Chet Baker’s “Jazz in Paris” plays while I am typing, courtesy of Amazon Prime, the service I am learning it is hard to live without.  It pays for itself with free shipping around Christmas not to mention being able to find things there I can’t find easily in stores.  I mean it seems like everything is there.  They have just released a new device, Amazon Tap, that works with their Echo.  Have to learn more about that…

When I woke this morning, it was chill but bright and light speckled on the creek as I looked out the window waiting for my electric kettle to boil the water for my tea.

It was an easy day.  I spent the morning in the annual great American adventure, preparing information for my taxes for the accountant who does both my business and my personal returns.  Finishing that, I went to Hudson and had lunch with my friend Dena Moran, who has moved her shop, Olde Hudson, into larger digs.  Afterwards, I had my oil changed and then came home and gathered the piles of receipts and prepared for them to be stored away.

While we were at lunch, Dena and I both checked out what Mitt Romney said about Donald Trump.  While I was doing taxes, Mitt was skewering The Donald, calling him a “phony,” “a fraud” and many other things.  Good for Mitt… It’s the most I have respected him in years.

Trump responded in The Donald’s way.  He looked back on 2012 when he said Mitt would have dropped to his knees to have The Donald’s endorsement.  That’s not a pretty picture…  According to The Donald, Mitt’s a failed candidate and the only person who “chokes” more than Mitt is Marco Rubio.

Does anyone get tired of this?

Shockingly, among Muslims who vote Republican, he’s the most popular candidate.  What?  Not something I understand but it’s real.  It seems they think once elected, he’ll become pragmatic and work on economic issues, which is their greatest concern, and forgot all the anti-Muslim rhetoric.  There is a part of me that suspects they are delusional, rather like Jews who couldn’t really believe Hitler was serious.

Caitlyn Jenner is supporting Ted Cruz, which seems as crazy to me as Muslims supporting The Donald.

In other happy news, Kim Jong Un of North Korea has ordered his military to be ready to use nuclear weapons at any time.  Perhaps preemptively, as the UN voted in the most severe sanctions in twenty years against his country.  The pudgy young man is determined, desperately determined, the world give him respect.  I suspect bad parenting.

In Syria, the fragile truce has given some respite to the desperate inhabitants of that poor country.  Thinking about them helped me realize how grateful I am to be here, poised above the Claverack Creek where sun speckles in the morning on the water, where I can listen to jazz and think about the issues of the world while not dodging mortar fire or bombs from above.

Letter From New York 06 02 15 Muddling through…

June 2, 2015

It’s been downright chill in New York City today and I wish I had worn a wool sweater instead of a cotton one. I am heading this evening up to Hudson; Alana, my friend who is the owner of my favorite bistro, The Red Dot, is having a special Japanese meal at the restaurant and asked me if I could be there for it. Hard to say no to such a good friend so I am up tonight and back tomorrow.

When I get to the cottage, I may have to turn on the heat, as it will be chiller there than it is in the city. If I weren’t coming back to the city in the morning, there’d be a Franklin stove fire in my future.

What is not in the future for Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, is more time as head of FIFA. I subscribe to VICE News and its news of the resignation popped up on the upper right corner of my screen while I was on a conference call. The paper trail is moving closer to him in regards to the corruption scandal. His right hand man, Jerome Valcke, apparently was a recipient of a letter that links him to the alleged $10,000,000 bribe for the World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Bruce Jenner has now officially become Caitlyn Jenner, doing so with a splash in a Vanity Fair spread. She gained a million twitter followers more quickly than Obama did when he launched @potus. As someone who remembers her when she was Bruce and the triumphant Olympian, I can only imagine what a journey this has been for her. So public a life, so private a journey.

Last night on the Yangtze River, a river cruise ship named the Eastern Star or Oriental Star, depending on how you translate its Chinese name, was sailing through a storm when high winds struck and the ship capsized. So far, only fourteen people have been found alive of the 456 aboard. One survivor, a cruise director, floated fifty miles downriver before rescue.

There was no distress signal and the first realization of the disaster was when a few survivors reached shore and raised the cry.

Most of the passengers were elderly Chinese on holiday.

The Patriot Act, with some revisions, was resuscitated on the Hill today and will go to President Obama for his signature, which he has pledged to do. I have some mixed feelings about this. I have friends who rant that the Patriot Act has turned us into a police state while others are equally adamant that it is absolutely necessary for protection.

The process has elevated Rand Paul who worked against it and weakened Mitch McConnell, who thought it should be passed without revisions. Somewhere along the line he miscalculated the misgivings of his fellow Senators.

To me, whatever you think of Snowden, he revealed some unsavory aspects to our spying that have left, at least me, uncomfortable.

The situation in Syria is deteriorating. IS has begun to encroach upon Aleppo and non-IS affiliated rebels are accusing Assad of using his air force to support IS against them. Which in the convoluted realities of Syria today might actually be true.

A meeting of anti-IS countries concluded a meeting with Secretary of State Kerry attending by video link. Everyone agreed more needs to be done but didn’t seem to come up with any concrete steps beyond muddling along in the same way they currently are.

Which is what we’re doing, muddling along through one of the great crises of our time.

The EU seems to be muddling along through the Greek crisis, with more meetings scheduled for tomorrow. The EU financial ministers can’t seem to get their arms around the political realities on the ground in Greece.   Greece is living through a Great Depression experience and is desperate, which is why Tsipras was so overwhelmingly elected. He promised to change that and Greece needs some positive changes.

In a startling rewrite to biology books, the endangered smalltooth sawfish, has found away to avoid extinction. They have now seemed to have mastered “virgin births.” Seen occasionally in animals in captivity, it is not entirely unknown but what happens to men when women can experience “virgin births?”

On the train going up north, it has been a frustrating ride. North of where we were, a Metro North train had become disabled and we waited thirty minutes for the track to be cleared. I will probably arrive in time for dessert. But so it goes when you travel the rails, in America.