Posts Tagged ‘Iowa caucuses’

Letter From New York 01 24 16 Thoughts while missing Snowmaggedon

January 24, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas  Columbia County  JFK Airport  The Red Dot  Transform Films  “Newtown”  Nick Stuart  The Donald  Iowa Caucuses  The Revenant Leonardo di Caprio  Star Wars  Jeff Bezos  Blue Origins

The coastline of the United States has been brutalized by Winter Storm Jonas.  I fled on Friday so that I could be at home when he/it hit.  However, strangely enough, not a flake of snow has fallen in Columbia County.  It has been cold with a bruising wind but nothing like the snow in the city.

JFK had 30 inches of snow on the runway with thousands of canceled flights.  My friend Larry was stranded in the city on the way to spend her birthday with his wife in Mexico.  My friend Jerry was on one of the last flights out before they shut the airport down.

And here we are, in great shape.  It was my intention to go to the city tomorrow afternoon and I think I won’t, giving New York a few more days to clean itself up before I head in.

Down in Washington, DC my nephew Kevin is part of a group of volunteers who are shoveling the walks of the elderly and shut-ins.  So like Kevin, which is one of the reasons I am so proud of him.

In one of the most tragic of storm related deaths, a good Samaritan pulled over to help a motorist who had slid off the road only to have the motorist shoot him to death.

Up early today, I prepped for class this week, went to church.

It is my habit these days to light candles at church for a variety of things — a friend in the UK who is fighting a brain tumor, another friend whose daughter is suffering from traumatic brain disorder, for myself, for the world in which live.  Today there was only one match and so I managed to light only one candle for all those things.

I started lighting candles as thanks and hope when I was in my early teens after an incident in which I nearly drowned.

Following church, I was off to the Dot where I sat doing lesson plans until I either had to order or not.  After Eggs Benedict on potato latkes, I headed home to do some more work.

One of the things I did was to log on to Twitter and follow #Transformfilmsinc.

Transform Films is premiering a film at Sundance this year, “Newtown.”  It follows the ravaging of lives that has occurred since the mass shooting there a little over three years ago.  Nick Stuart, my best friend, is Executive Producer.

As I type, they are screening.

As I grow older, I am aware how lucky I am and have been.  I have had Death nip at my heels a couple of times and am still here to tell the tale.  The loss of my friend Paul has been sobering and a reminder of my own mortality. 

It is the course of life.  None of us get out of here alive.

While I am here, I will continue to observe and to comment as best I can, savoring the ability to shape words to some meaning.

In the fireplace, a small fire is burning.  The dishwasher is running.  The flood lights illuminate the creek.  I have missed Snowmaggedon.

To my political amazement, Trump has gained 15 points in the last two weeks in Iowa.  The Donald is a juggernaut to be sure.

In film, everyone I know is talking up Leonardo di Caprio’s “The Revenant.”  So much so I feel I must see it sooner than later.  I am late to seeing “Star Wars.” I will, eventually but my passion for The Force has cooled.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, also has another company, Blue Origins.  It successfully sent up a rocket and had it return to land upright, successfully, twice now.  Pretty impressive, I think.  One more step to realizing the reach out to space.

One of the things that has saddened me in my life was that having once reached the moon, we seemed to stop striving.  Now it is Internet billionaires who are revitalizing the race to space.  Good for them.

Letter From New York 10 23 15 From looking Presidential to Hurricane Patricia

October 23, 2015

Shakespeare. Relish. Benghazi. Hillary Clinton. Rep. Jim Jordan. Trey Gowdy. Fox News. Jeb Bush. Donald Trump. Ben Carson. Iowa. Politics. Paul Ryan. Tea Party Republicans. Obamacare. Assault with a carrot. AIDS. Turing Pharmaceuticals. Imprimis Pharmaceuticals. China rate cut. Pakistan bombing. Kurd hostages. Nigerian mosque killings. Hurricane Patricia. The Red Dot. Lionel White.

Outside it is a brilliant, perfect fall day, demanding a warm jacket but not necessarily needing to be zipped, a clear blue sky filled with sunlight that ricochets off the golden leaves. Turning a corner this morning near a pond, my breath was taken away by beauty; sun glinting off water and multi-colored leaves, all ablaze.

My friend Lionel is up from Baltimore, tending to his house across the street from mine. We had lunch together at Relish before doing errands after having lazy coffee moments this morning while he helped get my printer back online.

I have been having a time with my electronics this past week. Ah well, everything now seems back in working shape. As Shakespeare said: alls well that ends well.

Not perhaps ending well for the Republicans, probably much to their chagrin, was the eleven-hour grilling of Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. Today’s reports have been mostly favorable to the former Secretary of State and not very kind to the Republicans on the Committee.

It never looks very good when angry white men spend eleven hours yelling at a woman, and one who maintains composure when they do not. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio looked particularly bad, followed close behind by the Chairman, Trey Gowdy. One source said all that happened was that for eleven hours Hillary Clinton managed to look presidential while the Republicans didn’t even look Congressional.

And even Fox News had to acknowledge she did a pretty good job, which must mean she must have been spectacular.

In other political news, Jeb Bush is cutting his campaign spending and concentrating on early voting states. In Iowa, Ben Carson is leading Donald Trump, partly because he is evangelical and Trump is not.

With two more Republican groups signaling their support, Paul Ryan has agreed to run to serve as the next Speaker of the House but that doesn’t mean he is making Tea Party Republicans happy. He isn’t meeting their demands. One of which, according to The NY Times, translates, once stripped of arcane language, to: shut down the government.

Ah, Washington! That’s the place where Congress just voted to gut Obamacare, a move that will likely stall in the Senate.

A 14-year-old Virginia schoolgirl is facing assault and battery charges for throwing and hitting in the forehead her teacher, with a carrot. It is the center of much back and forth on the Internet.

AIDS is a devastating disease. Many of us lost friends and relatives to it in the 1980’s and 90’s. Then came drugs that did not cure but did extend lives and allowed people to live productive lives. It has become a disease that is not curable but is treatable.

Turing Pharmaceuticals sells one of those drugs, Daraprim. Recently, it jacked the price from less than $14.00 a pill to $750.00 a pill. A San Diego firm is going to offer an alternative to Daraprim for $1.00 a pill. You go, Imprimis!

The stock market soared today as China unexpectedly cut interest rates again, the sixth time in less than a year. The European Central Bank is thinking about another cut and The Fed probably won’t raise interest rates until early 2016.

Lest we forget, fighting continues all over the Mideast. An American soldier died in a raid to rescue Kurdish hostages in Iraq. Syria is still fighting. 22 Shiites died in Pakistan in a bombing while over in Nigeria, 42 were killed at mosques by suicide bombers.

The biggest hurricane ever, Hurricane Patricia, is about to hit western Mexico, right around the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Tens of thousands are being evacuated. Its effects will be felt all the way into Texas, where flooding is expected.

The sun is setting and I am shortly off to The Red Dot for dinner with Lionel, where we expect to meet some friends. There is a pink tinge to the sky so that harbors well for tomorrow’s weather. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight…”