Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth II’

Letter From New York 06 24 15 But it looked good in the movies…

June 24, 2015

It is a sunny day in New York City, the temperature is in the 80’s but the air is not sodden with humidity, as it was yesterday. Pleasant enough, with breezes, that I walked a mile to the restaurant where I met a friend, Guy McCarter, that I hadn’t seen in some years. It was nice, in that we picked up again as if no time had passed at all. We visited and then he headed to a meeting and I sauntered back to Todd’s office.

Tonight I am meeting a friend at 5:30 at the Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel, home of the “Round Table” back in the 30’s, and then to dinner with another friend at Nirvana, then home to read I suspect.

Last night, I stayed up too late finishing Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop,” a funny book about the newspaper business pre World War II.

Joseph J. O’Donahue IV, who I had the great pleasure of knowing, was born in 1912 and passed away 88 years later. He was a great bon vivant, considered one of the best looking men of his generation, and sailed, mostly, through life with grace and elegance.

Mismanaged trust funds left him hard up at the end of his life but he carried on with huge style and was a fixture on the San Francisco social circuit.

He declared that civilization had ended with World War II.

I don’t know that is true but certainly sometimes it seems that on some levels the world was more civil then.

Treatment of blacks was worse in this country. Joe once brought Josephine Baker, the African American dancer who had wowed France, to El Morocco in New York and was turned away. He never returned to the Club. If Josephine wasn’t good enough, he wasn’t either.

Now that I think about it, it wasn’t so terribly civilized then but it sure looked good in the movies.

There were the Nazis. And there had been the “War to End All Wars,” which was merely a prelude to the big show, World War II. Joe was asked to leave Germany by Adolf Hitler after protesting the arrests of Jewish friends.

And there had been the Great Depression, not a good time for anyone.

No, civilization didn’t end with World War II, a new age opened up.

And that new age, in which we live, isn’t particularly pretty either. IS militants blew up a couple of tombs in Palmyra yesterday. They were about 500 years old and held the remains of important Shia. IS is, you see, Sunni. They have also mined the classical ruins to discourage any efforts to take them back.

Palmyra was a place that was on my bucket list. It will probably have to stay in the bucket. In interesting news, if not a media stunt, is that Lexus is developing a hoverboard like the one used by Marty McFly in “Back to the Future.” They plan to test it out in Barcelona in the next few weeks. I’ll be following.

The Queen [Elizabeth II of Great Britain] is visiting Germany. While there, a small robot performed for her and charmed her.

She may not be charmed by the fact she may have to move out of Buckingham Palace for an extended period of time, as there is so much updating to be done. Wiring, plumbing and decorating all need to be brought into the modern age as, for the most part, nothing has been done for at least sixty years.

In September the Queen will become the longest reigning British monarch. She will overtake Queen Victoria that month. Given that her mother lived to be something 103 or 104, I am guessing we may have the Queen around for a while.

One of the things which has been around for awhile is the Greek Debt Crisis, described by one as the slowest moving financial train wreck in history, which could be a good thing. Had a collapse happened three years ago it would have been much worse.

Monday’s optimism that a deal could be done has faded and a meeting broke up early because of “major policy differences.” There are only six days left to the month. At the end of June, Greece needs to make a payment and it doesn’t have the money. The European Central Bank is propping up Greek banks as depositors remove a billion Euros a day.

I feel a little like I need propping up after having stayed up too late reading. I’m off soon to drinks and dinner and hopefully a pleasant night in New York.

You have one, too, wherever you are!

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.