Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Letter From Claverack 06 28 2017 Too beautiful a day to waste…

June 28, 2017

Yesterday, I determined I would go down to the city to attend the Producer’s Guild Annual Meeting.  This morning, walking out of the studio after my program, I made an abrupt determination that I was not going.  It is just too beautiful a day to be in the city; when I left the studio, I knew what I wanted to do was to be sitting on my deck, a good strong mug of coffee next to me, with my fingers tapping on my laptop, which is where I am now.

The sky occasionally greys over but it is still a pleasant day, a little cooler than I would like but not by much.

The creek is clear, meandering gently to the west where it will eventually pour itself into the Hudson River.  The coffee is a rich mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan beans, freshly ground, from Tierra Farm, a local business that is at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and from whom I buy my coffee.  Now that I know they have a retail store, I won’t need to worry about stocking up between the Summer and Winter Markets.

On Wednesday afternoons, during the summer, there is a smaller market in the park across from Proprietor’s Square.  Perhaps I’ll go down there this afternoon; I have friends who sell their flavored D’arcy butters there.

Once I made the decision not to go the city, I felt playful.  When I woke this morning, as the sun was just beginning to ascend in the eastern sky, I was thinking it would be fun.  Then I read an article about the deteriorating state of the subway system and remembered the achingly long waits for the C Train last time I was in the city but was still determined to go.

Until the moment I walked out and saw how beautiful it was and breathed in the sweet air and thought: why?  Yes, I would like to go to the Annual Meeting but was it worth a two-hour ride down and two hours back, an overnight stay, especially when my other meetings had cancelled or not confirmed?  And I decided the beauty of where I was would beat the beauty of where I was going.  I came home, threw my overnight bag onto the bed to be unpacked, made coffee and came out to the deck.

Opening my email inbox, I ruthlessly deleted anything that was not personal.  Delete, delete, delete to all the emails from all progressive causes pleading for money.  Delete, delete, delete to all emails referencing politics while savoring several teasing me with recipes I would like to make one day.

In the political chaos of our time, I have been seeking solace in the carefully laid out steps in recipes, promising a decent outcome if one follows the road map.  Out there in the real world, there is no real road map and anyone attempting to create one, is not having much success.

McConnell’s gamble on secrecy in creating the Senate version of the American Health Care Act, seems to have backfired on him, leaving him postponing debate and a vote until after the July 4th recess.  It does not go far enough for the conservatives and too far for the moderates while the Democrats are not having any of it.

The U.S. spends more than any other country on healthcare and, in at least some studies comparing it to other countries of similar economic status, comes out dead last in quality.  Just fix it, please. Go ahead, guys, get together and put together a plan that works. Republicans! Democrats! Please.  Aren’t we all Americans?  Can’t we do better?

Everywhere I wander on news sites today, I am flooded with ads for Pepper, a Soft Bank Robotics robot, that they are offering to help in retail and offices.  One package will replace your receptionist.  It’s about 4 feet high with big eyes, a wide range of movement and what looks like an iPad plastered to its chest.  They may be coming for us.

There is another ransomware attack hitting, mostly in Europe and Asia right now.  It’s called “Petya” and is derived from code hacked from the NSA.  Perhaps the next war won’t be fought with tanks, ships, planes and soldiers but by bunkered hackers working to bring their enemy to its technological knees.

Outside, it’s a beautiful day, a good moment, jazz standards are playing on my Echo and I am going to head to the Wednesday Market and see what’s for offer today instead of plying the subway lines of New York City.  Yes, that sounds like a very good idea on a beautiful day.

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Letter From Claverack 05 12 2017 A Series of JDLR’s…

May 12, 2017

On Monday, I had a conversation with a friend; she stated she felt she was living with constant stress due to the political landscape in Washington.  Then I had virtually the same conversation on Tuesday with another friend, followed by one on Wednesday and then again yesterday, which resulted in my friend bursting into tears.

Lest you think these are bitter liberals, two of the four are folks who consider themselves moderate Republicans.

And then there were two bright young men I met at the studio who are going to launch a conservative talk show on the station and they are full of fervor and believe that Donald Trump is the best thing that could have happened to America.

And these conversations put the spotlight on the vast political chasm that is dividing the country today.

For those of a certain mindset, liberals and moderate Republicans, the constant torment of political news is causing them to feel they are living under a dome of stress on top of the stress of ordinary life.

Many Democrats and Progressives live in outrage.  My moderate Republican friends feel the party they knew has been snatched from them, finally, irrevocably.

Nearly everyone is taking, or talking about taking, a break from news, which I did, certainly, and chronicled in my last letter.

One thing I am doing is reveling as much as I can in the beauty around me and I am so fortunate to live in this beautiful spot.  Just now, outside my window, a blue jay landed and we shared a look before he winged away.

If I were not in this place, called “your Walden Pond” by a friend, I might be going quite mad.

Parsing the day’s news is daunting.

Comey’s firing has the world all a frazzle.  Keeping a promise to a very Republican friend, I do my best to look not just at the New York Times.  So, after the sacking of the FBI Director, I checked on reactions from all sides of the spectrum.  Some, both conservative and liberal, felt the guy had to go.  Most had a sense of dis-ease at the timing, days after Comey had asked for more resources for the investigation into Russian collusion during the campaign with Trump’s campaign.

Some likened it to the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Nixon’s Watergate debacle though I don’t think we’ve quite hit that yet.  And I have this gnawing sense we might get there.

Back in my Santa Monica days, my neighbor and friend, Susan Ottalini, was an editor for CBS News and had started her career as a journalist in small town California.  She would ride on patrol with the police and sometimes they would pull someone over because it “JDLR,” just doesn’t look right.

Comey’s firing looks to me to be a “JDLR.”

Along with Trump’s tweets today, seeming to threaten Comey about not leaking to the press.

The day after Comey’s firing, President Trump met with Russia’s Foreign Minister, Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador.  No U.S. photographers were allowed to capture Trump and Lavrov, only Lavrov’s personal photographer had access.

“JDLR” on a couple of counts.

The Alt Left and Alt Right are awash with conspiracy rumors.

And the hysteria requires me to concentrate on things like:  how the sun falls between the trees when I am sitting at my desk in the afternoon, how the wind moves the branches of blooming trees, how my kitchen smells after I have made something really good…

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My music choices are mostly upbeat swing jazz; it lifts my mood in the morning though earlier today I listened to folk from the 1960’s and it reminded me of those dark times, Viet Nam sliding into Nixon, Watergate, democracy lurching and then righting itself.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never is, but always to be blessed:

The soul, uneasy and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once, long ago, when I was living in Santa Monica, one of my neighbors was Susan Ottalini, an editor for CBS News, who started her career as a police reporter in a smallish California town.  Sometimes she rode along with officers as they were patrolling

As I start this blog, it is the evening of May 10th, the evening after President Trump fired James Comey, Director of the FBI, who found out he was fired from newscasts.  And the world is quite aflutter about it.

The White House seemed unprepared for the backlash which