Posts Tagged ‘Founding Fathers’

Letter From Claverack 11/01/2016 The dichotomy of things…

November 2, 2016

After an unusually long day for me, I have returned to the cottage, turned on the floodlights over the creek, made myself a martini and am listening to the YoYo Ma station on Amazon Prime.

The bank I have used for a decade or more, First Niagara, was purchased by Key Bank.  My business account has been basically unavailable now for three weeks.  An earnest and very good young man by the name of Jeff Hannett has been working diligently to help me access it.  We’re about 80% there.  If it weren’t for Jeff, I would have transferred to another bank.  I intend to let the CEO of Key Bank know that.  A half dozen friends of mine have pulled their business from Key and gone to other banks.

That was my first stop this morning.  Then others and now I am home, looking over the floodlit creek and listening to soft and gentle music, sipping my vodka martini and finding the peace in a long day.

A week from today is the election.  I can’t wait for it to be over except that it won’t be over.  The rancor raised over the last eighteen months probably will continue until the end of my life.  Polarization has become the norm.  And worn as I am now, I will be more worn as the years go on.

Some Republicans are pronouncing they will work to see that Hillary Clinton is impeached in her first three months as President, if she is elected.

Some Trump supporters seem to be talking about violence in the streets if the election goes to her.

Earlier today while waiting for Jeff at the bank, I started reading an article that said our beloved “Founding Fathers” were even more rancorous than this election, even less civil, even more brutal.  That gives me faith we will get through this.  Please, let us get through this.  Please.

Bethany Thompson, an eleven-year-old who was left with a crooked smile after fighting for her life against brain cancer, killed herself today because of bullying.  She went home, found a gun and shot herself in the head.

My heart is broken and my soul is so angry…  So ANGRY.

Speaking of angry, Assad, President of Syria, said today that his country was better off since the civil war that has wracked his country, sent half of them away as refugees and killed a half a million of them.

He has just put his face next to the word delusional in the dictionary.

The pictures I have seen today from Aleppo will haunt me today until the day I die.  Another little boy on a stretcher, being treated, in pain and bewildered.  And I still wonder:  where is that bewildered little boy in the back of an ambulance that captured our attention a couple of months ago?  I wonder if he lives?  I wonder if he will ever be whole again, if he does live?

Also, in that part of the world, Iraqi forces are said to be on the doorstep of Mosul.  Families attempting to flee that are captured find the men separated from their families and are probably being sent off to an inevitable death.

My heart, tonight, is with them also.

In the world of corporate deal making, it is being talked about on “the Street” that Goldman Sachs is encouraging Apple to make a bid to capture Time-Warner from the clutches of AT&T.  Interesting.

Apple certainly could afford it.  AT&T seems such an odd match for Time-Warner.

Hulu will be launching an OTT service with multiple channels next year.  Its viability moved forward today with deals with Disney/ABC.

How can I be talking about the OTT opportunities in the same letter in which I am talking about the slaughter in Aleppo?

I care about both but at the end of the day, what is happening in Aleppo is far more important than what is happening in OTT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter From New York 01 08 15 Starting with the Magna Carta…

January 8, 2015

To the left of me, the Hudson River is steel grey, ice clinging to its shores. The sun is just beginning to set to the West. I’m headed north after a day in the city, going home to see if my pipes have frozen.

It is bitterly cold here; not as cold as the Midwest but nearly so. I don’t remember a time when the wind chill was predicted to reach minus thirty-five in Claverack, not in the fourteen years I have been here.

It is beautiful, this ride up the Hudson, good for thinking and pulling together one’s thoughts or to just absorb the beauty. In the clear channel of the river, barges plow their way through the frigid waters.

In France, the hunt for the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo killings is focused on northern France. In New York, at Penn Station, squads of State Police were present as security throughout the city has been heightened. Extra police are stationed at various news outlets today in case anyone in New York should decide to play copycat.

For a moment today, distracted by the cold, I had forgotten about the massacre in Paris and the ramifications it would have in New York. Whenever there is violence in a western city, New York beefs up security reflexively. We go about our business but never forget we feel like a bull’s-eye is on our back.

Mayor DeBlasio phoned the Mayor of Paris and offered his condolences.

There has been much written today about freedom of the press and Charlie Hedbo, including a very moving one from a journalist from Wired, reporting from the Consumer Electronics Show happening in Vegas. I tweeted his article out today.

In Yemen, thirty-seven were killed in a car bomb attack. In Nigeria, two thousand have died in the latest onslaught of the Boko Haram. But those two events have not captured the world’s attention in the way that the Charlie Hedbo killings have. The articles I’ve read today have speculated it was because they were journalists and freedom of the press is one of the sacred tenets of the West.

800 years ago in 1215, a group of rebel Barons coerced the Magna Carta out of King John, beginning the ongoing process that resulted in our Constitution. 800 years of growing freedom and a few masked men want to roll it all back.

It may be that this assault on journalists has forced us all to think about the freedoms we have as evidenced by Charlie Hedbo exerting its privilege to be provocative, profane, rebellious, etc. It is a privilege that has been earned over generations from the Barons of England to our rebellious Founding Fathers to the peasants who stormed the Bastille in Paris to those who are fighting today in various parts of the world to hold back the darkness.

And that is why, I think, Charlie Hedbo has been so deeply felt by so many. The killings were designed to kill something greater than the poor souls who died; it was an assault of our Western sense of freedom.