Posts Tagged ‘European migrant crisis’

Letter From New York 09 01 15 Hot day, hot news…

September 1, 2015

It’s a sunny, warm day in New York. Waking up in the New York apartment, I was disoriented and not quite sure where I was. Then I got a cramp in my left leg that catapulted me out of bed and into the realization I was in New York. During the morning I worked out of the apartment and then headed down to the offices of Broderville.

It is supposed to scrape ninety degrees today but it didn’t feel that warm when, around noon, I reached the office. Since then, I have been cossetted in the air conditioning while doing my afternoon’s online work.

While I have been hammering on the laptop’s keys, the market has been swooning over more bad news from China. The Wall Street Fear Index is up again today but not as high as it was a week ago.

No longer standing at all is the Temple of Bel/Baal at Palmyra. Satellite photographs have shown clearly that it has been demolished. Until these shots came through there was some hope but it is now gone, forever, a temple which has stood since the time of Christ.

Video of a man who appeared to have raised his arms in San Antonio and was then shot by police is posted online by a local television station, KSAT, and can be seen on their website. http://www.ksat.com/news/ksatcom-exclusive-unedited-video-of-fatal-deputy-involved-shooting

I couldn’t watch. I didn’t want to see a man gunned down, rightly or wrongly, though it is looking very suspect at this moment.

In Chicago, a manhunt is on for three men who allegedly shot a police officer there.

All in all, according to a NY Times article I read, murders are soaring in a number of cities. People are struggling to understand after years of falling murder numbers. One reason posited is that gangs are better organized and better armed.

Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to prevent her from having to issue gay marriage licenses.   The Supreme Court was having none of it. Nope. No way. We’re not hearing this.

This morning a rowdy group showed up demanding their marriage licenses. She now must show up in Court on Thursday for a hearing. Gay couples that want licenses don’t want her to go to jail but do want her fined.

Rand Paul, erstwhile candidate for the Republican nomination for the Presidency, thinks Ms. Davis’ protest is all just part of the American way. Unfortunately, I agree with him but not for the reasons he has, I suspect. I’m only surprised there aren’t more holdouts like Ms. Davis.

The migrant crisis is growing in Europe. Today, trains were halted in Hungary and migrants, even those holding tickets, were not allowed to board. Hundreds have died at sea, attempting the crossing from Africa to Italy, just in the last week.

The number of Syrian refugees accepted by Britain would barely be enough to fill a car on the Underground, hence all the rush to get to Germany where Angela Merkel is fending off a rising right that wants to put a stop to it.

The EU has had, at best, a slapdash approach to the refugee crisis, ignoring or suspending its own rules willy-nilly with no central government organized response.

All of this, after the Greek Crisis, further strains the credibility of the EU.

My credibility is not feeling strained today. I’m going to close up shop for the night, head up to Café du Soleil for a bite to eat and then go back home and read a book for a while.

All good. Hope it is for you, too!

Letter From the Train 08 31 15 Ruminating about a long good weekend…

August 31, 2015

This morning, I sat on the deck, looking over the creek, fog wafted through the little valley in which the creek lies. The sun was hidden in the haze; the effect was magical. I read the New York Times and from the BBC app.

For the last three days, I have not written, wanting a little perspective on my world. I worked on my Emmy judging and my CINE Golden Eagle judging.

I strolled down Warren, noticing the new shops and old ones that seemed flourishing. As I walked, I exchanged nods with a few people who I knew by sight. It was a pleasant, warm evening, not too hot.

Arriving at the Dot I visited with friends there after perusing the new Rivertown Lodge opening on Warren Street, extending the gentrification of Hudson eastward.

This weekend was “The Travers,” a $1.25 million dollar purse at Saratoga. American Pharaoh was running, winner of the Triple Crown this year. That night, the word among aficionados of horse racing was that if any horse could beat American Pharaoh, it would be Keen Ice. And he did.

Saturday was running errands while Nick and his younger brother Mikey restacked the woodpiles and got the fountain working.

Saturday afternoon was spent on the deck and the evening watching movies. Up early on Sunday, I did all kinds of backlogged paperwork and stopped my desk from overflowing.

Sunday I lunched with my friend Alicia at Passing the Thyme, a little Kinderhook café that is closing in September. Alicia and I made plans to go there the final day. She goes frequently; this was my first time, to my regret.

Next to it is the Columbia County Museum. I was surprised to discover there was a County Museum and will go back soon to see what it contains.

They were good and mellow days, wandering the back roads of Columbia County, cornfields ready for harvesting, green fields that seemed to go on forever, people out on their decks or working in their yards. Rural America toward the end of a lazy summer, it was gloriously simple.

This morning I took paperwork to Columbia Greene Community College. If there are enough students I may teach a class this fall. Whenever I get the chance, I’m looking forward to it.

Of course, while I was relaxing in the simplicity of the country, the rest of the world was wrestling with all varieties of tumult.

IS used dynamite on another temple in Palmyra, this one built in 32 AD, to the god Baal. There is no consensus on whether it has survived or not.

More migrants drowned off the Libyan coast and 71 were found dead in a truck in Austria. The sense of crisis is growing all over Europe, a continent that feels on the verge of being overwhelmed by refugees.

The Greeks have called new elections. Trump is still leading the Republicans. In Iowa, two thirds of Republicans want a President from outside the government.   Hillary’s email debacle percolates all around her, a reality she is working her best to ignore.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, a 21-year-old African American, the first black man to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” on Broadway, died when he fell from a fire escape where he had been sitting with a friend. It is said he had an amazing voice; he was scheduled to be in the new production of “A Color Purple.” His death, so young, reminds me of the fickleness of life.

That fickleness of life seems remote during times like this past weekend when time seemed to stretch on endlessly and pleasantly.

My train, ninety minutes late, is roaring down the track, doing its best to make up lost time. I may make the dentist on time, after all.