Posts Tagged ‘D’

Letter From the Train, going south 10 28 2016 Mindful and grateful…

October 28, 2016

The bright sun that launched the day has become hidden behind clouds as I progress south on the train into New York City.  The fall colors still show themselves and we are definitely making a walk toward winter.


It snowed yesterday, three inches, quickly gone with the cold seeping deeply into my bones while I layered clothes for the weather.

Today and tomorrow, I am going to be attending “Produced By,” a conference held by the Producers Guild of America, of which I am a member.  There are several sessions that should be helpful as I work on producing “First Guru,” a film about Vivekananda, who brought Yoga and Hinduism to the US in 1893.  WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago, will be the presenting station.  Near the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda gave his first speech, there is a Vivekananda Way.

There is much talk in the world today of “mindfulness,” pausing a moment to find yourself in the clutter of noise that surrounds us.  As I was writing that sentence and attempting to be mindful of myself and the beauty around me, I received an email that put me out of mindfulness into gratitude.

Several weeks ago I was requested to submit a proposal to The University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Presidential Politics and Policies to do a consulting assignment for them and an email arrived while I was on the train that they had accepted my proposal and wanted to start moving.

Which generated a flurry of activity as I reached out to thank my references for graciously supporting me.  Followed by other things and setting up a conference call with The Miller Center for Monday afternoon and before I knew it, the train was gliding into Penn Station.

After stopping at Tracks Restaurant in the belly of Penn Station for a bowl of their clam chowder, I am now at the apartment, finishing the letter before going off to the first session of the conference.

As I was driving to the station today, I noticed that there were many Trump/Pence signs and no Clinton/Kaine signs.  Pondering that, I wonder if the liberals in Columbia and Greene Counties tend to be “closeted.”  Political discord can run deep in the Hudson River Valley.  I’ve been told the tale of a Greene County resident who years ago registered himself as a Republican because until he did his County services were, shall we say, spotty…

There is another FBI look into Clinton’s emails.  The two big burly men seated next to me at Tracks as I chowdered were none too happy about that.

Anthony Weiner, who fell from Congress because of his sexting problems, apparently had some emails that somehow connected to the Clinton case on the computer the FBI seized after his most recent sexting troubles.  His wife, a close confidante and aid to Hillary Clinton, left her husband after it was discovered he was sexting someone while their son slept next to him.

The “Produced By” Conference is being held at Time – Warner Center.  Time Warner has just been purchased by AT&T.

The single most catastrophic merger in the history of corporations was the merger of AOL and Time Warner.  Now, it is hoped that Time Warner and AT&T will do better.  But as a friend of mine, Jeff Cole, Executive Director of USC’s Annenberg School of Communications Center for the Digital Future, has observed that it is a little hard to imagine a phone company meshing well with a Hollywood behemoth.

We will see, if the regulators allow it to happen.

And, in Jerusalem, researchers have opened, for the first time in centuries, what is believed to have been Jesus’ tomb.  Since the days of Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, there has been a building there to make the spot.  Constantine sent his mother, Helena, to Jerusalem to find it.  [Maybe a good way to get a pesky mother off your hands for a few years?]

Marble has encased the slab where is body is said to have rested.  Careful archeological work will be done over the next months and years.

Off to the conference…



Letter From New York

October 4, 2012

October 3, 2012

Where I stand…


It rained most of the past weekend; a gentle but steady rain that left the ground soft to the foot.  It was a good weekend to snucker down in the cottage and watch old movies and read magazines.  

It was a good weekend for contemplation.  Since I have cut the cord to cable I watch fewer commercials and since I am not in a battleground state, I am spared the political din that battered me when I was in DC this past week.

It is a fascinating Presidential campaign to watch.  When it began lo these two years ago, it seemed inevitable that Obama would be booted out of 1600 Pennsylvania and a Republican [almost any Republican] would take his place.

When it seemed that Romney would tie up the nomination after a bitterly contentious campaign, I wasn’t terribly troubled.  I actually thought he might make a decent President, not my choice, but a decent President.   Like many, I was feeling disappointed in Obama but not so disappointed I would abandon him.

As I started to get to know Mitt Romney, the more disturbed I became and the less I liked him.  It began with the sense that he would say anything, do anything to get the nomination and then the Presidency.  It seemed the man has no mind of his own, bending his words to his Party’s winds.  I have come to think he has no spine.

He made a trip to abroad and managed to muck it up with thoughtless, ill-considered comments bound to arouse anger in important sectors.  He chose Ryan to be his Vice Presidential partner and solidified my concerns. Between them, the grip of the Republican ticket on international affairs seems Palinian.

Then came Romney’s blistering remarks about the 47%…

It was a moment that should have faded quickly but which hasn’t because it sums up what many have been afraid of with the Republican candidate for President – he doesn’t like or respect a good many of us.  

I am probably of the 47%. I got through college partially with help from Social Security received after my father passed away.

Somehow that seems to make me a “victim” in his eyes, wanting to suck at the teat of government, a person who doesn’t want to stand on his own.

So what with being part of the 47% and listening to Romney sound like a retreaded neocon with a loose grip on reality, I’ve gone from slightly negative to grossly negative.  

The thought of Romney as President scares the bejesus out of me.  He knows how to make money.  But that doesn’t make him qualified for the highest office in the land and most of his actions since his nomination have lead me to believe he is grossly unqualified – partly because I think to get this far he has comprised almost everything he has ever believed in.

I realize that while Obama appears to have disappointed, he has actually accomplished a good deal.  Not as much as I might have wanted but a good deal and in the economic malaise we have forgotten some of those things.

We didn’t have the Great Depression Two; we have had a debilitating recession but not a Depression.  And that’s the cliff for which we were headed. We have had health care addressed.  DADT is dead.  And Obama, unlike Romney, realizes that Russia is not our worst enemy anymore.

I know my Republican friends and relatives will vehemently disagree with me and I vehemently support their right to disagree.  We do have the right to free speech in this country.

So between now and the election, I will donate enthusiastically to the Obama campaign as I am afraid of his opponent.  The prospect of a Romney Presidency scares me on every level while a re-election of Obama does not.