Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Letter From Claverack 04 04 2017 Musings from yesterday…

April 4, 2017

It is dusk on the day that seemed to say:  Spring is here, for real.  Walking around today as I did errands, I was jacketless and soon, I thought, I will be wearing shorts.  All day today, I felt a letter happening in me.

It is an interesting time for me.  My work for the Miller Center for the Presidency is on pause while they work out budgets for the coming year.  It maybe I will be part of it and it may be that I will not.  To be decided.

The guest bathroom is being repainted and today I went and picked up the new medicine chest and lighting at Lowe’s.  The inside of the car was vacuumed and the winter’s gunk washed mostly away.  It needs a good detailing which will happen soon now that I have found a place in Greenport.

This time of day is brilliant.  Outside it is pearl grey, inside jazz plays and a martini is sipped.  The creek floodlights are on and it is all good and hygge.

Martini

 

Just finished watching my friend Medora Heilbron’s vlog about matzo place cards for Passover!  It was a treat, watch here.

All this is very comforting on a day when the Los Angeles Times published a scathing review of the first days of Trump’s presidency.  You can read it here.  It is the kind of editorial about a President that hasn’t been seen since the 1970’s.  Yes, since Nixon.

At 4:31 AM our President tweeted about whether Hillary had apologized for having been giving questions prior to one of the town halls.  Yes, that was wrong.  It’s over, Mr. Trump.  You are now the President.  You won.  Move on, please.  Please.

Are you capable of moving on?

Not moving on will be the people killed in a Metro explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia.  A bomb went off on a train, killing, at last count, eleven, and injuring dozens.  St. Petersburg is on my bucket list.  Over the years, I’ve read a lot about the city and feel a connection to it.  I will hold a thought and prayer in my heart for them tonight.

And for all the people who are facing starvation in Yemen and South Sudan and…

For all of them, I lit candles this week at church.  As well as young Nick, who continues struggling.

The web of Trump’s Russian connections keeps getting murkier with Erik Prince, a Trump supporter and founder of the infamous Blackwater Group, apparently having a meeting in January, days before the inauguration, with Russian contacts in the Seychelles.  Now this was reported by the Washington Post, a liberal newspaper but a credible one.

Along with every thinking person, I am finding this fascinating.  What is going on rivals, or equals, the Nixon years.  And Nixon was six years into his presidency when Watergate bit him in the you know where.

We’re not much more than seventy days into this presidency and the storm is not going to abate.

John McCain, whom I did not vote for nor would have considered voting for considering his choice for Vice President, but for whom I have respect, has been saying things like this is the most concerned he’s ever been about the state of our democracy.

And I agree.  With Nixon, one had a sense the system was working.  Right now, I am not sure the system is working.  And that scares the hell out of me.

 

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 03 07 2017 A day late but not necessarily a dollar short…

March 8, 2017

Written yesterday, having fallen into the arms of Morpheus before I could post or email…

This has been a very hygge kind of day.  There is a document I need to deliver to the Miller Center and I have been cozied up in the cottage all day working on it.  Outside, it has been drear, chill and damp.  Inside, it’s been warm and comfortable.

Waking, I started a fire in the Franklin Stove to help take the chill off the cottage.

Yesterday, I had started working on a document I owe the Miller Center on the Presidency and today I worked to complete the first draft so I could hone it tomorrow and send it off to them.

Since 7:00 this morning, I have been working.  First, I curled up in bed and handled the voluminous number of emails I receive. Then I made coffee in my Clever Coffee Dripper, a new investment on my search for a great cup of morning coffee. [Not bad…]

Since 9 this morning, I have been huddled over my laptop, working, sorting through a variety of documents, making sense of thoughts I’ve had.  It’s been good, exhausting but good.

It’s lovely to stretch my mind and this has been one of the greatest stretches of my recent time, putting together media recommendations for the Miller Center for the Presidency at this exact moment in time.

Wow! Juicy good.

Every morning I wake up and wonder what has happened while I’m asleep.  While it makes some of my friends crazy angry, I can’t do that.  It’s more like: Wow! At least to me.

There is a new Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and in reading articles right now, it seems DOA.  Conservative Republicans hate it; Democrats despise it and to some it doesn’t make much sense.  The games have begun and we’re off to the races.

Yikes.  It’s a mess.

As is the claim by President Trump that former President Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower.  The President has offered no back-up to his claim and has, per Sean Spicer, no regrets about his tweets.

Oh, dear.

Some of my friends wake up apoplectic about all of this.  I don’t.  History is playing out and I am very curious about history will play out.  It is incredible what is happening.

While the Trump allegations are playing out, Wikileaks has dumped a huge amount of information which lets us know that the CIA has been monitoring us through our Smart TVs, our phones and our cars.

We can’t blame this on Trump.  This has been going on before him.  Call me shocked.  What’s been going on?  Glad I don’t have a Smart TV but I do have a Smart Phone.  Wonder what they know about me?

This feels very “1984,” a book by George Orwell that became very popular after the Trump election.  All of this, though, started before that.

I, Joe Average Citizen, and I am a Joe Average Citizen, seem to have discovered my government is routinely spying on me and I am perturbed by that.

Really perturbed…

What world am I living in?  Has the CIA become the Stasi?  I am immensely confused by the world I am living in as it is not the world I expected.

Call me naïve. Call me stupid.  The CIA is watching our Smart TV’s?  My Smart Phone?

Wowza, that scary sci-fi future is here.

And so I am at home, doing my best to assimilate all this and also doing my best to be very hygge.  And it has been a hygge kind of day.

Great jazz.  Working on a project for which I have passion, fire in the Franklin Stove, watching the gray day slip by.  That has been hygge.  We need it, I suspect, in a world that seems to have gone mad around me.

Electing Hillary Clinton would have carried us safely down the stream for a while.  Donald Trump is forcing us to confront our democracy.

Oh, dear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 01 15 2017 Bemused but not amused…

January 15, 2017

It is early evening in Claverack; the lights have been turned on over the creek and I have asked Alexa to play the “Pop Classical” station so music is filling the cottage.  It is an idyllic night after a very nice day.

Waking before the alarm this morning, I cleared my email inboxes, showered and gathered things together for the food pantry at the church.  Post church, I went to the Red Dot and then to Ca’Mea to meet Larry and Alicia and it was a pleasant country afternoon.

Against the backdrop of the pleasant country afternoon is a tension about the political scene.

One of my neighbors, who, when he met me was a bit uncomfortable with me and who has become a very good friend, asked me why the LGBTQ community was concerned about Trump.  He voted for neither Hillary or The Donald, loathing them equally.

My response was that it wasn’t so much Trump’s views on gays but the views of the people who are around him.  Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana until Friday, then Vice President of the United States, worked to enact strident laws that jeopardized the rights of gays in his state.  Jeff Sessions, who is by all accounts is a gentleman of the first order in social situations, is homophobic, anti-immigration and anti some other important things.

My friend had no idea. And was concerned when he heard this.

Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a legendary figure in the Civil Rights movement, is not attending Trump’s inauguration because he does not feel Trump in a legitimate President.  I find that unfortunate and counterproductive.

And I find unfortunate and counterproductive Donald Trump’s Twitter storm against Representative Lewis, demeaning his part in the Civil Rights movement.  The man nearly lost his life on the bridge into Selma.  To denigrate him as Trump has is unfortunate and not in keeping with someone who is about to enter the highest office in the land.

Stephen Colbert discussed “truthiness.”  Donald Trump exercised a bit of it in his depiction of Representative Lewis’ district as crime ridden.  In fact, he represents one of the most affluent areas of Atlanta.

There is a good part of me that is sitting back and watching what is happening unfold with a sense of wonder, a sense of OMG is this real?  And it is…

Every time I turn around, I am astounded by our President Elect.

His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is going to be a Senior Advisor.  Is there not something somewhere about nepotism?  Ivanka may be the de facto First Lady as Melania seems to be content to remain in Trump Tower.

Who is this person?

Andy Borowitz, comedian and raconteur, described him as the “Kremlin Employee of the Month.”

The awful thing is that he MIGHT be.

The VERY unsubstantiated report about his actions with the Russians are, at one time, very amusing and incredibly disconcerting.  It has spawned a cottage industry in defining “golden showers.”

Right now, I am sitting back and watching it unfold.  Called me bemused, call me amused, call me frightened, call me whatever you like and I think we need to go back into the early 19th century to find anything similar.

Oh, wow!

And I will continue to watch with a carefully bemused eye that is also carefully turned on to what the new President might do as he needs, more than most Presidents, to be held accountable.

Please help with that.  Please.

 

 

Letter from Claverack 01 05 2017 God help us all…

January 6, 2017

For several nights now, I have attempted to write a letter.  A few sentences have dribbled out onto the digital page and then I abandon my effort, feeling unsatisfied, bereft of words. And hit delete.

When I spoke to my brother this morning, as we do most days, he, too, finds it difficult to think about, talk about or read about anything political.  He, too, feels bereft of thought and words.

Here I am in my cottage, Christmas bunting still glistening in the lights of my trees, the playlist, “Classical for Deep Thought” playing on my Echo.  And I am in deep thought.

A close relative of mine who voted for Trump has been forwarding me vicious articles on Hillary Clinton and the Obamas.  Going online, I seek to find out if there is any truth to these awful stories.  Most of it is balderdash concocted out of a single thread of reality.  “Unproven” is what Snopes says.

There seems no point in letting my relative know that it mostly or all  balderdash.  They don’t want to know.  This is their truth.

So, it is that for the last few nights, I have hidden out in the cottage where all things are good, listening to music, watching Netflix [just finished “Medici”].  I have been working on my consulting assignment for the Miller Center for the Presidency [oh, irony!] at the University of Virginia and diverting myself with helping some friends in California on the bible for a fictional series on which they are working.   It allows me to live another life.

Glancing at the evening headlines, I winced.  Republicans are working to defund Planned Parenthood.  Trump rebuts our spy agencies and doesn’t quite accept that Russia hacked us.  Certainly, not to help him.

And, oh my!  Putin’s popularity among Republicans is rising!  Why am I so not happy about that?

The Chinese are telling Trump to stop tweeting and that will probably only cause him to tweet more.

Trump has said that “torture works.”  Now that he is President Elect, human rights groups around the world are fearful that his remarks will embolden leaders who find torture a very reasonable way of getting their way.

It is just a discouraging world.

Republicans have been determined to unravel Obamacare since it was initiated.  They now will probably get their way.  My concern is that I haven’t seen any credible alternatives from them and, whatever you think of the flawed system that is the Affordable Care Act [aka Obamacare], there are far fewer uninsured than there have been.

Which also doesn’t much change the reality that while we spend more per capita on health care we are in the middle of pack in terms of health care results.

Look, Donald Trump is the President Elect.  I wish him well.

I am so concerned.  This Presidency feels as if it is going to upend the order we have come to accept for at least the last eighty years.  And that makes me concerned.

If it goes really bad, I hope my youthful activism will return and I will do my best to protest.  And I didn’t think at my age I would be asked for my youthful activism to return but it just might have to!

We will all have to see.  The roller coaster is leaving the station.

At least I have broken out of the paralysis of the last few days and written something.

We all care.  God bless America.  And God help us all.

 

 

Letter from Claverack 11 07 2016 God help us, it is almost over…

November 8, 2016

How could this not be a strange night?  Tomorrow we will be voting [if we haven’t already] for the next President of the United States.

This has been the wildest, most contentious, most upsetting campaign I have ever witnessed in my life.  It has been appalling.

Reading Steven Saylor’s mysteries set in ancient Rome, the democratic process then was even more horrible than now and maybe not by that much.

In some ways I have worked to insulate myself from the craziness.  Returning home from New York after a quick round trip, I came into the cottage, turned on the floods over the creek and reveled in my home and the beauty that surrounds it.  It is my anchor in this time of troubles.

While it is unbelievable to me, there is a path to victory for Trump.  On Sunday, I lit a candle at church, praying that path would not be found.

Soft jazz is playing as I write this, another comfort in all of this.

Because I am having cataract surgery on Wednesday, I may go to bed not knowing who will be President.  If that happens I will be afraid to open myself the next morning to the news.  In the past week or two I wrote to a Republican friend of mine that I was terrified Trump would become President.

I have not heard from her since…

Apparently, his team has found a way to control his access to Twitter and has “cut him off.”  No more Tweets from The Donald.

Several newspapers have reported that Ivanka Trump is attempting to distance herself from the campaign.  On my way to lunch at Sarabeth’s at Lord & Taylor, I passed the Ivanka Trump Collection.  No one there.

What I find horrible is that Trump’s supporters feel that even if loses, they win.  He has given legitimacy to their radical views.

We have always been a flawed republic and I am just praying that we get through this most flawed moment successfully.

In the meantime, the jazz plays and will continue to play no matter who wins.  No one will take that away from me in my lifetime.

Comey is, I suspect, on the coals after announcing today that the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer amounted to nothing and so there will be no FBI movement against Hillary.  The Daily News trumpeted:  NOW you tell us.

The Dow jumped 371 points once Comey announced there was no reason to pursue Hillary Clinton.

I speculated that Comey is cooked, having lost the respect of nearly everyone.

Today, Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General, passed away.  Sadly, I had almost forgotten her, though she weathered all the storms of the Bill Clinton administration.

Oklahoma suffered an earthquake today, linked, perhaps, to fracking.

And, really, can I make a request of the universe?  Let’s end daylight saving time, okay.  I am sorry. It just doesn’t seem worth it.  I am discontented this year, as I am every season when it happens.  Is there really a reason for this?

In New Delhi, the air is terrible and schools are closed.  It is worse than Beijing.

As the Iraqis advance on Mosul they are finding mass graves with beheaded men and I have no idea how they justify their behavior.  But they do.

It is not late and I am tired.

I am tired of this election season which has worn me beyond all reason and it will be over tomorrow, after which will come the next rancorous season and I will be here.

Commenting.

Thank you for reading.

I am honored.

 

 

 

 

Letter From the Train, going south 10 28 2016 Mindful and grateful…

October 28, 2016

The bright sun that launched the day has become hidden behind clouds as I progress south on the train into New York City.  The fall colors still show themselves and we are definitely making a walk toward winter.

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It snowed yesterday, three inches, quickly gone with the cold seeping deeply into my bones while I layered clothes for the weather.

Today and tomorrow, I am going to be attending “Produced By,” a conference held by the Producers Guild of America, of which I am a member.  There are several sessions that should be helpful as I work on producing “First Guru,” a film about Vivekananda, who brought Yoga and Hinduism to the US in 1893.  WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago, will be the presenting station.  Near the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda gave his first speech, there is a Vivekananda Way.

There is much talk in the world today of “mindfulness,” pausing a moment to find yourself in the clutter of noise that surrounds us.  As I was writing that sentence and attempting to be mindful of myself and the beauty around me, I received an email that put me out of mindfulness into gratitude.

Several weeks ago I was requested to submit a proposal to The University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Presidential Politics and Policies to do a consulting assignment for them and an email arrived while I was on the train that they had accepted my proposal and wanted to start moving.

Which generated a flurry of activity as I reached out to thank my references for graciously supporting me.  Followed by other things and setting up a conference call with The Miller Center for Monday afternoon and before I knew it, the train was gliding into Penn Station.

After stopping at Tracks Restaurant in the belly of Penn Station for a bowl of their clam chowder, I am now at the apartment, finishing the letter before going off to the first session of the conference.

As I was driving to the station today, I noticed that there were many Trump/Pence signs and no Clinton/Kaine signs.  Pondering that, I wonder if the liberals in Columbia and Greene Counties tend to be “closeted.”  Political discord can run deep in the Hudson River Valley.  I’ve been told the tale of a Greene County resident who years ago registered himself as a Republican because until he did his County services were, shall we say, spotty…

There is another FBI look into Clinton’s emails.  The two big burly men seated next to me at Tracks as I chowdered were none too happy about that.

Anthony Weiner, who fell from Congress because of his sexting problems, apparently had some emails that somehow connected to the Clinton case on the computer the FBI seized after his most recent sexting troubles.  His wife, a close confidante and aid to Hillary Clinton, left her husband after it was discovered he was sexting someone while their son slept next to him.

The “Produced By” Conference is being held at Time – Warner Center.  Time Warner has just been purchased by AT&T.

The single most catastrophic merger in the history of corporations was the merger of AOL and Time Warner.  Now, it is hoped that Time Warner and AT&T will do better.  But as a friend of mine, Jeff Cole, Executive Director of USC’s Annenberg School of Communications Center for the Digital Future, has observed that it is a little hard to imagine a phone company meshing well with a Hollywood behemoth.

We will see, if the regulators allow it to happen.

And, in Jerusalem, researchers have opened, for the first time in centuries, what is believed to have been Jesus’ tomb.  Since the days of Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, there has been a building there to make the spot.  Constantine sent his mother, Helena, to Jerusalem to find it.  [Maybe a good way to get a pesky mother off your hands for a few years?]

Marble has encased the slab where is body is said to have rested.  Careful archeological work will be done over the next months and years.

Off to the conference…

 

 

Letter From The Train 10 21 2016 Parsing the post debate world…

October 21, 2016

As the train moves north, the Hudson River is steel grey while bordered by trees with leaves of rust, gold, crimson and green.  The beautiful day on Tuesday is a but a memory; this Friday ride is on a day of grey and chill, with intermittent spits of rain.

My niece, Kristen, and I texted each other throughout the debate, commenting on both candidates.  While we both support Hillary, we are not immune to her faults.  It seemed such an effort for her to smile and when she did, it looked so forced as to be painful.  But being on the stage with Trump must have been painful for her.

The candidates did not shake hands before or after.  I don’t think I remember that happening before.

It was no effort for Trump to be dour and sour.  It is his natural state it seems.

During the first part of the debate, he held it together better than he had and looked like he was on track to do what he was supposed to do – not lose his cool.  But then he did; not as badly as before but enough that he was damaged and more Republicans are distancing themselves from him.

Somewhere after about twenty minutes, he began to lose the thread, veering off the script someone must have given him.  Calling Hillary “a nasty woman” may hurt more than he ever meant as it might well be a catalyst to some women who had been leaning toward him to back away.

The thing he said that had most up in arms was his failure to agree to accept the result of the election. He’ll keep us “in suspense” on that one.  Newspapers around the country led with his statement.

Trump clarified later.  He will accept the results of the election — if he wins.  It also seems he has backed away from that a bit more, saying he would, maybe.

Donald called Hillary “wrong” when she said he had supported the Iraq War before it began.  Hillary told people to google “Donald Trump Iraq.”  And many did.  There is the evidence, in a tape on Howard Stern’s Radio Program, of Trump supporting the idea of the war before it had begun.

Hillary claimed her plans wouldn’t raise the deficit.  That’s doubtful.  Trump refuted claims his plans would raise the deficit by twenty trillion dollars, double what it is.  He claimed that it wasn’t true because he would create so many jobs.  Also doubtful.

Every year of a presidential election, there is the Al B. Smith Dinner to raise funds for the charitable foundation named after the man who was the first Catholic to run for President.

Hillary was on one side of Cardinal Dolan and Donald was on the other.  The civility and joking that is the signature of this traditional dinner was soon lost to hostility.  Trump was booed when he went over the line by saying something like:  Hillary is here pretending she doesn’t hate Catholics, a reference to a WikiLeaks released email from her campaign expressing concern about conservative Catholics.

But they shook hands at the end, an event that was announced from the stage.

President Duterte of the Philippines is in China, where he has declared that his country will “separate” from the United States as we “have lost.”  However, he didn’t give China the carrot they really wanted.  He won’t walk away from the 1951 deal that gives the US bases in the Philippines.

Duterte is quite the character.  He has been accused of mounting squads of killers when he was a Mayor.  The Philippines Senate is looking into those charges and some senior officials have been saying: oh no!  He didn’t mean separation.

He has compared his crusade against drug dealers and users to Hitler’s Holocaust.

The battle to retake Mosul carries on while at the same time, IS has launched an attack on oil rich Kirkuk with suicide bombers and gunmen targeting police.  In Mosul, Iraqi fighters have made significant gains, probably better than expected.  But Kirkuk pointed out the shift in IS tactics to “pop up” attacks rather than holding territory.  And that even when vanquished from Mosul, they will not have been defeated.

In forty or so minutes, I will be back in Hudson.  In my mailbox, it is my hope, is my Cozmo, my robotic toy, which I hope will divert me from the trials and travails of the “real” world.

Though my world has not been harsh to me today.  Last night I watched my friend Todd Broder present to the NY Video Meet-up, had dinner with a friend and, today, breakfast with my friends Meryl and Ray before a pre-op physical [my eye] and now the grey ride home…

Later.

 

 

Letter From Claverack 10 18 2016 On the cusp…

October 18, 2016

The day is diminishing; the sunset flickers through the turning leaves, a panorama of burnished gold in the west.  Classical music plays in the background and a soft wind is blowing through this, the last great weather day we will probably have until spring unfolds over Claverack Creek.  It was 86 degrees today with a cloudless sky and a fall wind in a warm day.

Once I recall a day like this when I was very young.  It is the kind of day that holds intimations of immortality.  Tonight’s sunset reminds me of the brilliant ones I witnessed on trips to Santorini, up at Franco’s Bar, poised over the caldera, thinking that in the sunset I understood the hold Greek myth has had over us for twenty-five centuries or more.

Once, at Franco’s, I wrote a poem on that and now have no idea where it is.  But I remember the moment, sitting there, pen scratching in my notebook as the golden sun turned the waters in the caldera its ripe color.

We are in the cusp of fall and summer has reached out to hold us one day more in its warm embrace, harkening us to remember its feel so we will wait, patiently, for its return in another new year.

2017

Who would have thought? Certainly in my youth I never thought that year would see me inhabit it.  Yet chances are I’ll be here when it comes marching in or crawling in or bursting upon us.

Soon there will be an election and someone new will move into the White House.  If it is Hillary, she’ll have been there but in a very different role now than then.  If it is Donald Trump, it will, perchance, signal a new and different age in our political history.

Time will tell.  Tomorrow is the next debate and I will watch, though not waiting breathlessly for it.  But I will watch.  It is “must see” TV for me this season.

The tree tops are swaying in the wind; the burnished gold has become the color of smoky topaz.  Twilight is descending.

Iraqi troops are marching toward Mosul, meeting, as expected, fierce resistance from IS.  Some Iraqis, in a scene that reminded me of tales of our Civil War, went onto a mountain side to watch the battle unfold beneath them.

IS intends to hold Mosul at any cost and if it loses it, to make it a humanitarian disaster.  The word that crosses my mind as I type is “barbarian.”

Iraqis remaining in the city have become bolder in their resistance of late to IS, supplying Iraq with vital information.  IS is killing anyone found attempting to leave the city.

When I was with the Internet start-up, Sabela Media, Yahoo was the industry behemoth.

Its revenue declined again this quarter and Verizon is asking for a reduction in price to buy it because of the hacking scandal.

Because they were known as bullies in the early years, I have always found it hard to be empathic though it is sorry to see a once great company slowly self-immolate.  And from people I know who are dealing with them currently, some within Yahoo just can’t accept what is happening now.  Ostriches with their heads in the sand…

Dark has descended and I am sitting at the table on the deck, with candlelight for illumination, listening to the classical music but also listening to the sounds of woodland creatures making their noises.

It is very special tonight.  The world is swinging in its orbit, momentous things are happening and as they are happening, there are the sounds of birds in the night, classical music and, because of them, a murmur of hope for the future.

 

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 10 16 2016 From a place of tranquility…

October 16, 2016

It is a beautiful afternoon in October in Claverack.  The leaves that fill my vision as I sit here on the deck are golden and some fallen ones float regally down the creek toward the pond.

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It was a day when I had an enormously difficult time waking up; every time the alarm went off, I hit the snooze button.  Finally, I staggered out of bed and into the day.  Slightly ambivalent about going to church, I reminded myself of the bag of groceries I had purchased for the Food Pantry at the Church and so I made my way there, a little late but still there.

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From church, I made my way to the Dot for Eggs Benedict on potato latkes.  And then home to wait for my friend Larry to arrive, bringing me some wood from his farm for my winter woodstove fires.

He and I sat on the deck after it was stacked, and admired the beauty of the place, enjoying the moment while listening to jazz.  He has now left and I am here, at the end of the afternoon, still listening to jazz and enjoying the beauty of the spot, the moment, and basking in the long friendship Larry and I have enjoyed, stretching back now more than thirty years.

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It is always easy here to slip into an avoidance of the world.  This is a place of tranquility.

Beyond here – and sometimes I do not want to move beyond here – the world is a mess.

Aleppo is being pulverized and no one seems to know how to stop it.  Assad and Putin seem to have no respect or care for the citizens trapped there.  It is a strategic notch they need in their belts and so the dying continues.  Reports indicate Aleppo looks like Berlin in 1945, a decimated city.

Donald Trump has once more been skewered on Saturday Night Live, not that Hillary got off easily.  He has denounced the performance in his famous tweets.

He has increasingly been declaring that the election process is rigged.  Some observers think that if he loses he is doing his best to delegitimize a Clinton Presidency.

It is rumored that the CIA is preparing a major cyberattack against Russia for its alleged attacks on American institutions, including the Democratic Party.  This is a new kind of warfare.

And in thinking of a new world, a friend told me that every year from now on, 3% of jobs will be lost to robots.  I think I’m glad I am at the place in life I am.  It will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out.

Soon, I will let you know how my experience with Cozmo goes.  It should arrive this week.

It is supposed to learn from me how to react to me.  A robot pet of sorts, I guess, and I couldn’t resist experimenting with it.

Cozmo is my birthday present to myself.

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 10 10 2016 What might have been…

October 11, 2016

Well, it’s Monday evening and nearly twenty-four hours has passed since the debate.  It was as close to X rated as any debate in the history of the Presidential Elections, what with Hillary bringing up Trump’s vile language in his 2005 tape and Trump bringing up Bill Clinton’s well-documented infidelities.

Oh my!  Personally, I thought Trump looked terrible.  And that sniffling…

The NY Times [and my conservative readers will not like this] said that there was only one adult on the stage and it wasn’t Donald Trump.  I agree.

Trump had a little get together before the debate with four women who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual assault.  Look, Bill was a philanderer.  We all know that now thanks to Monica Lewinsky.  We know Hillary was brutal in her defense of her husband.

AND Hillary is running for President.  Not Bill.  Bill Clinton was JFK without a compliant press.

It was down and dirty, Trump dominating the stage, sniffling all the time, while Hillary [IMHO] was doing her best to both go there and not go there.  Trump’s tape was the elephant in the room.

It’s getting near the end of the day, thank God.  There’s not much more of this I can stand.

However, there was one bright spot in the debate.  His name was Ken Bone and he asked a question, wearing a bright red sweater and looking like the guy next door that we really like.

He asked about what the candidates would do to both protect legacy power and create environmentally safe sources going forward.  He was respectful, he was clear, he was concise and because he looked like the neighbor you wanted to live next door to you, the Internet went wild.  He was everywhere.

And that red sweater he was wearing?  There are now all kind of Internet leads that will help you buy that sweater.

He was sweet and real in a moment that felt neither real nor sweet in any other way.

Bravo, Mr. Bone.

But in the meantime, Paul Ryan has said he will no longer defend Trump and will concentrate on keeping the down ticket seats safe.  It is one of the rare things Paul Ryan has done with which I agree.

It is pitch black outside and the control to turn on the floodlights is broken, soon to be repaired.

This is the night I turned on the heat, the temperature will fall near to freezing this evening.  Soon, I may light a fire in the Franklin Stove and watch some video.

The new season of Poldark has started on PBS and I am catching up.

In the meantime, medics are asking to be let into Aleppo as there is no longer an infrastructure to help the wounded.  When last I wrote, two of the four working hospitals had been destroyed.  Who knows if the other two are still functioning.

The pound has fallen against the dollar due to Brexit.  It was $1.57 to a pound.  Now it is $1.23 to a pound.  Mayhap I shall plan a trip to Britain.

Nigel Lafarge who helped organize the successful campaign for Brexit, praised Donald Trump for acting like a silverback gorilla in the debate last night.

Please! Really?  Nigel, you lied through it all and once you’d won, you stepped down to avoid the consequences of your actions.

It is Columbus Day.  In many places it is becoming Indigenous Peoples Day.  We are beginning to make mea culpa over the damage we had done to the people who lived here when we arrived.

We destroyed them, all in the name of progress.  It makes me wonder what the world would be like if we had incorporated their beliefs into the way we developed our New World?