Posts Tagged ‘Caroline Ely’

Letter From New York 05 27 15 FIFA in trouble with Germany “a bordello”

May 27, 2015

It is a warm day in New York City, a day that started cloudy and is ending with sun shining down. In not so very long, I’ll be off to a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen to meet my friend Caroline Ely for a drink. It’s been awhile since we have seen each other and time to catch up.

While drinking my morning coffee, the news was being splashed all over the place that FIFA officials had been arrested early in the morning in Zurich, Switzerland. The Swiss made the arrests in an understated way, giving the men time to dress and gather their belongings and, in at least one case, had the hotel staff hold up a sheet to shield the arrestee from the news people who had started to gather.

It’s another blow to FIFA, an organization that has been dogged by rumors of corruption for years. American officials are seeking the extradition of a number of FIFA officials for having taken over $150,000,000 in bribes, “year after year, tournament after tournament,” according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

In Texas, hundreds have been ordered to evacuate after at least fifteen people have died in weather related accidents, as storms pounded the state with torrential rains. Oklahoma, too, is suffering from the pounding from Mother Nature, who, my friend and writer, Howard Bloom, has pointed can be a b**tch.

The Republican race for the Presidential nomination has become more crowded now that Rick Santorum, last seen in 2012, has thrown his hat into the ring also. There will be enough of them soon that they can form their own team though I don’t think they will want to as they’ve got some intense competition going on between them. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana set off a storm when he tweeted that Rand Paul was unfit to be Commander in Chief.

I don’t see the two of them cooperating on the field of play.

Jindal is only thinking about joining the Republican fray but it’s likely he will. Rand Paul is already in.

The Vatican has declared that the Irish vote to constitutionalize same sex marriage is a “defeat for humanity.” I feel a little defeated that they feel that way.

The Queen, Elizabeth II of Great Britain, arrived today in great pomp and circumstance to deliver “The Queen’s Speech,” which she has done sixty times during her reign. Before she arrives, the Houses of Parliament have their basement swept by the Queen’s Guard to ensure there is no Guy Fawkes in waiting. He led the Gun Powder Plot in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament.   He has a day named after him in England.

What the Queen said was dictated by what Cameron wants but it gets said with such grand style.

Tony Blair, once Great Britain’s Prime Minister, has been, for the last eight years, the envoy to the Middle East. He will step down next month. He resigned to Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN. He had been working on the behalf of the Quartet [Great Britain, the European Union, the United States and Russia]. Diplomacy gets complicated.

Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes, ruling a country that has now become known as “the bordello of Europe.” Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 and a huge sex trade has built up worth $16 billion a year. There are fancy places for the prostitutes to practice their trade and sex tourists load onto busses and head for Germany. It doesn’t seem to bother Angela much.

Also in Germany, there was an evacuation of part of Cologne today when WWII bombs were found undetonated while working on a construction project. Apparently happens not infrequently. Something like a thousand bombs were defused last year. They are a hazard out in the North Sea where wind farms are being built. Clearing bombs is more than a cottage industry in Germany.

I had coffee with a friend this morning who told me that Germany blew up two “dirty” nuclear bombs during the final days of the war. I had never heard that and when I attempted to research it, I found stories about it, including one that Hitler was a German traitor, actually an Illuminati and he did what he set out to do, break Germany’s back.

There is a lot out there on the Internet and it’s not all true or pretty. Beware.

And now I am going to publish this and head for drinks with my friend Caroline.

Letter From New York 05 06 15 One hundred years later…

May 7, 2015

It was a day in which rain was predicted in New York but with the exception of a few sprinkles this morning, the day was dry – cloudy but dry. I had an early morning meeting and then went to have lunch with a business friend. We worked out that we had both been on a panel at Silver Docs down in Maryland back in the early 2000’s. He had wondered where we had met each other.

I had a good catch-up call in the afternoon with a friend, Bill Graff, who has just been chosen to head up the American end of a Chinese Documentary Festival. I was able to give him some leads for speakers.

Then I went to have dinner with Kevin J Malone, whom I refer to as my nephew. He is not. He is the only child of my oldest friend, Sarah, whom I have known since I was about three. He grew up thinking I was another of Sarah’s siblings and went through a small existential crisis at nine or ten when he realized I was not actually a brother of his mother.

We have had an extraordinary relationship. When I first met him, he was nine months old and was lying on the floor next to another baby, cooing for all the world was worth. He was born happy and has remained happy.

For two and a half years he served in the Peace Corps in Zambia where he met the woman who is now his wife, Michelle. I attended their small but wonderful wedding fifteen months ago in DC, where, right now, Kevin is a cog in the wheels of the American Empire. He works at the intersection of Medicare and Medicaid, striving to make the two systems work together. I can only imagine the difficulties.

Tonight, more than ever, I realized he had grown up. It was marvelous to have witnessed his progression from child to adult, an adult that is intellectual, engaged, striving to do good, with good humor and great grace. He is one of the most remarkable human beings I have had the privilege to encounter.

Returning to the little apartment, I sorted the laundry that had returned and sat down to write today’s Letter From New York.

The world is in its usual shambles. To no great surprise.

Netanyahu has managed to form a coalition at the last possible moment and now must present his plan to the Knesset. It is a fragile coalition and is not expected to last for long but who knows what miracles “Bibi” might pull off.

Britain, too, has elections tomorrow and from all accounts the very active betting markets in Britain are flummoxed by this one. No one has an idea on how it is going to turn out. As my friend Caroline Ely pointed out to me, David Cameron should have had this one in the bag but that’s not what happened. His Conservative Party will probably get the most seats but not enough to form a government on its own.

Horse trading will be happening in the UK as it did in Israel today.

In what is not good news for any of us, the numbers of refugees and internally displaced people has risen to the highest number in a generation. Combined, there are over fifty million people who have had to flee their homes because of violence. The ongoing tragedy of these people is unlike anything seen since the end of World War II.

IS is responsible for many of the displaced persons in the world. In Iraq, over two million have fled them as nearly a million have in Nigeria. Count in the numbers who are displaced in Syria, well that’s at least ten percent of the count. But IS has reopened a five star hotel in Mosul for its commanders so they can relax and recuperate. It is being called the “Hotel Caliphornia or the Shariaton.” Seems out of context with the kind of state the Caliphate seems to be working to form.

Tomorrow is May 7th. One hundred years ago tomorrow the Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. It did not immediately pull the US into World War I but was a contributing factor to the decision to enter the war two years later. Over one hundred Americans perished in the catastrophe out of a total of 1198. “Remember the Lusitania” became a rallying cry in the run up of our involvement in WWI.

Now it is the end of the day and I am headed off to sleep. It’s been a good day if a little disjointed. But aren’t many days like that? Good night.