Posts Tagged ‘Greek Crisis’

Letter From New York 06 28 15 Thoughts on a rainy Pride Day…

June 28, 2015

It has been unremittingly; resolutely grey for the last two days, creating another set of grey days in a summer of grey days. It is so chill; I have actually turned up the heat in my bedroom to warm the room where I am writing. I’m wearing a sweatshirt and it is about to be July! After the long, hard winter it is as if the world is not willing to give us summer. It has been grey and wet more than it has not.

I am at my desk at the cottage, looking out at the verdant green that are my God’s two acres. I just wish it wasn’t this chilly.

Down in New York, it is Pride Weekend and the parade is being rained upon. I’m not there but texts from friends have informed me of the weather conditions. It’s a joyous weekend for gays in this country. The Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a constitutional right for all.

As I have said, I didn’t think this would happen in my lifetime but it has. And I’m grateful for all the people for whom this will mean so much. I never really understood what it meant to be married until two men that I knew, Gary and Angel, got wed and I understood, for the first time, on a visceral level, what it meant to celebrate your relationship in front of other people. Their love, as I said at the time, was incandescent.

On this grey afternoon, I am thinking about marriage and I am thinking about race relations. The murder of the Charleston Nine has caused a reaction in the South I didn’t expect. Alabama has taken down the Confederate Flag and uprooted the flagpole. Time to move on.

The South, which is becoming a haven for so many international businesses, cannot afford to focus on the past but must look to the future. Which is why, in Alabama, they took down the flag of the rebellious South, even though that was the place Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy.

All the Republican candidates have, I think, denounced the Supreme Court’s decision about marriage. Jeb Bush has been moderate in his comments, as has Marco Rubio. Huckabee has been vitriolic. As have most of them.

Sorry, friends, I think the field of Republican candidates, are an embarrassment. I was raised Republican. Who are these boobs? Narrow minded souls who might win the nomination but I doubt could win the election. And for that, I’m relieved, as I think it would be a catastrophe for the country to have all three parts of the government controlled by Republicans. They’re not intelligent enough.

I am on my soapbox as I am so disturbed by this field of Republican candidates.

Outside, the rain has relented. It will return during the night, I’m sure. Flash flood warnings are in place until 9:00 AM tomorrow morning.

In the background, jazz is playing and I am feeling warm now that I have turned on the heat. Thank goodness. I have been chilled all day.

The world is wobbling on. Greece is a mess and I think we have a not pretty outcome happening there. Hopefully, world markets have factored in the Greek drama so that no matter what happens it won’t shock the markets the way it would have a few years ago.

In Tunisia, a shooter killed something like 39 tourists. He was targeting them. There was an attack in France on an American owned plant that left one person beheaded. A Saudi born suicide bomber killed dozens at a Mosque in Kuwait. Sitting here, surrounded by my trees and the quiet of my world, it is so hard to understand the need to kill. But it is a need for those who do. The Tunisian terrorist was 23 and was dead before he left the beach but behind him were the dead.

Why this hate? Why?

Letter From New York 01 20 15 Having a good visit…

February 20, 2015

Train travel has been unpredictable today so to ensure that I am up in Hudson for dinner with my good friend, Paul Krich, I have moved my train up to the 3:15 Empire Service so that I will actually arrive in time for dinner.

I am sitting in the Acela Lounge in Penn Station waiting for my train, hoping that another of my very good friends, Robert Murray, will be making the journey with me. He needs to get home in time for a Soccer League Board Meeting. Always good company, his presence would be a boost but he might not make it until the 4:40. Last night we had dinner and drinks at Thai Market, having a good visit or, as my Australian friends would say, a good “chin wag.”

Waking this morning, it was blistering cold in New York with wind chills of minus eleven. And the heat didn’t seem to be working well last night so it was cold inside and out. I huddled under the covers, reading the Times and drinking coffee, took a long, hot shower and went out to brave the world.

When I reached Penn Station, I treated myself to a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at Tracks Restaurant on the lower level and then came up to wait for my train.

In the background, CNN is on the television. They are reporting on three British schoolgirls who have apparently flown to Istanbul with the intention of crossing into Syria to join IS. Their parents are understandably frantic.

My heart goes out to them. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to wake up and find that your daughter has gone off to join IS.

IS has made an art form of their murders and have gained huge attention to them. Also very real is that everyday many are dying from barrel bombs being dropped by the Syrian Air Force, wretched weapons designed to do maximum civilian damage. But they have not gotten the attention that IS has gotten with its gruesome videos. Yesterday, I said they were clever with their messaging.

In breaking news, it appears the Eurozone has come to some sort of agreement with Greece, which is good news for everyone – until we lurch into the next Greek crisis. It may be a case of kicking the can down the road. I haven’t seen any details yet.

Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani declared that Obama doesn’t love America. It has become a bit of a case of “open mouth, insert foot.” Reactions have not been very good though Gov. Jindahl of Louisiana agrees, sort of.

Speaking of Obama, he was at the winter meeting of the Democratic Party, both mocking and criticizing Republicans, being relentlessly upbeat and energizing his party.

In Libya, 45 were killed in IS bombings. In Somalia, some government officials died while saying their prayers, killed by suicide bombers. More Muslims killing other Muslims.

Closer to home, the former First Lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell, was sentenced to twelve months and one day in jail. Her husband, the former Governor, was sentenced to more time than she was.

Brian Williams has resigned from the Board of the Medal of Honor Foundation and is not allowed to make public appearances during his suspension, confirmed by Bob Wright, former Chairman of NBCUniversal and close friend of Williams. A poll has indicated 52% of Americans think he should be given another chance while 40% think he should be canned.

Jeb Bush has hired a top-notch researcher, firming up convictions he is running for President.

SIM card maker, Gemalto, largest in the world has announced its SIM cards were hacked by US and UK intelligence services, a fact revealed in the mounds of documents that surfaced from Snowden. Gemalto wants some answers, not surprisingly.

Riding the train with me tonight is Brian Gallagher, the number 2 man at Amtrak. A gruff, blunt and honest man, I knew him from riding the Empire Corridor for a long time before I knew he was the number 2.

I suspect the train will arrive on time.