Posts Tagged ‘Josh Duggar’

Letter From The Train 08 25 15 Black holes, Putin’s justice and barbarians on the march…

August 25, 2015

It was a hot, muggy day in New York. About four this afternoon, as I was strolling back to the office after a meeting on Park Avenue South, a walk of about fifteen minutes, I determined that I would go home even though I have a meeting tomorrow in the afternoon.

It’s a gorgeous day and I want to be home, sleep in my own bed and listen to the insects buzz outside while I sit on the deck and watch the creek, lit up by floodlights beneath the deck.

The markets bounced upwards most of the day before closing another 205 points down. The China rout continues; one Chinese billionaire by the name of Wang has lost thirteen billion dollars so far. That’s a big bucket of dollars.

The outrage of the world about the destruction of the temple to Baalshamin continues. Much has been destroyed by Islamic militants in the last year, including the temple to Baalshamin as well as the two statues of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan some years ago and treasures in Timbuktu.

Barbarians. Barbarous in the way they treat treasures and barbarous in the way they treat people.

Refugees are swarming across the world. The island of Kos in Greece is overrun and the Mediterranean is filled with boats of every size carrying souls from Africa. From Kos, thousands have made their way by hook or crook through the Balkans to the border of countries like Hungary, which is scrambling to build a fence to hold them back. The refugee problem is the worst it has been since the end of WWII.

Germany alone will be taking in 800,000 refugees this year, four times last year’s total. I don’t think we take in that many immigrants in a year and Germany is a fraction of our size. If I am remembering correctly, Germany has some eighty million people living there. They will be adding one percent to their population this year. That is a lot of assimilation.

The Baltic countries are balking about taking in even a couple of hundred refugees and anti-immigrant rallies are all over in Germany. The immigrant problem has overwhelmed Merkel’s agenda as thoroughly as Greece did.

Putin’s Russia has just sentenced Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director, to twenty years in a Labor Camp for plotting terrorist attacks against Russians after their annexation of the Crimea. The Russians say the bruises on his body after his arrest were from S&M sex he had before his arrest.

The chief prosecution witness against Sentsov withdrew his testimony halfway through the trial, announcing he had been tortured to get it.

Ah, the joys of Putin’s democracy…

Think of Sentsov in the months to come. He will haunt my thoughts for a while.

Megyn Kelly is flourishing despite The Donald’s tirades against her on Twitter. She has been gone on an eleven-day vacation, which may or may not have been scheduled. Her return resulted in her best ratings of the year, even though she didn’t mention Trump.

Her boss, Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News, has demanded that Trump apologize. What is an ice cube’s chance in hell?

Sex sites have taken a beating recently. Ashleymadison.com was hacked. 15,000 of their email accounts were linked to .gov or .edu addresses, causing some wonder about our government officials and our educators. Josh Duggar was a member, furthering the nation’s perception of him as the sleaziest man alive. Lawsuits are landing on their doorstep.

Today rentboy.com was raided and six present and past employees were arrested. It is alleged it was actually a site for prostitution and not for companionship. I think the allegation may prove true.

Stephen Hawking, the legendary physicist, speaking is Stockholm has said that if you fall into a black hole, don’t worry. There is a way out. You might pop out in an alternative universe. Do I find that comforting? I’m not much worried about black holes, not having encountered one in my life but, if I do, I will remember this as I am sucked in.

Letter From A Train… 08 21 15 Of lights, meeting and trains…

August 21, 2015

It is Friday afternoon and I am on the Acela heading north from Washington, DC. Tuesday I left New York and went to Martha’s Vineyard for a quick visit to see The Grand Illumination, the lighting of the cottages in the Campground in Oak Bluffs. It was a spectacular if short visit to the Vineyard.

Arriving Tuesday afternoon, I ended up immediately going on a sail with Jeffrey and his hired mate, Tim, scudding across the harbor and out into the open waters, a good sail with a good wind. They worked; I watched. We sailed past a boat called “Infinity” which was the first super yacht launched in 2015. It was a beautiful boat, registered in the Cayman Islands and, though we tried, we could not find out who owned it, a secret well shielded.

We went into town, had dinner at Behind The Bookstore, and then headed home. I fell asleep with my Kindle in my hand, the light still on, waking at one and turning it off and drifting from there into a deep, rich sleep.

The next day was spent on the veranda, reading, looking at the stunning views and napping.

Jeffrey drove us to the Grand Illumination and while he looked for parking, Joyce and I wandered amongst the cottages, all lit with lanterns, some older than my grandparents. People sat on their porches, ready to tell you the story of their cottage.

The crowds were deep and only once did I engage with the owners, an elderly couple who bought their place in 1992. She was eighty; I have no idea how old he was. They were dressed in costume. They came from the theatre and had performed in thirty musicals together and had been married for 57 years. They were charming and worth the visit.

Yesterday morning I went with Jeffrey to the restaurant, had breakfast while he had coffee and then off to the airport.

Direct flights from the Vineyard were ruinously expensive on the return so I chose a flight that connected in DC. Alas, all flights yesterday afternoon to LGA on US Airways were cancelled because of “traffic congestion.”

I went to Baltimore, stayed with Lionel and Pierre, and had a lovely dinner with them. Today there was business in DC and now I head home.

The market is swooning, having had its worst day since 2011. There are fears the slowdown in China is worse than thought. The specter of a rate hike by the Fed hovers over the market and the price of oil has slipped beneath forty dollars a barrel, the lowest it has been since the depth of the Great Recession, signaling the world economy is slowing down.

Oh my! Not good. My portfolio is battered as I expect yours is too.

I think I mentioned in my last Letter that the site AshleyMadison.com had been hacked. It’s the site for married people who want to have an affair. One of the married people who wanted to have an affair was Josh Duggar, of “19 and Counting” who has admitted to molesting his sisters and a baby sitter. The kink just goes on.

15,000 of the hacked email addresses are .gov and .edu. Why would people use their work email addresses in a situation like this? I don’t know but it causes me to wonder about the intelligence of the American public.

On a French train a man with an automatic weapon and a knife wounded passengers and was subdued by two Americans on the train. No motive is known at this point for the attack. Kudos to the Americans on the train.

Ted Cruz sparred with actress Ellen Page over LGBT issues at the Iowa State Fair. Scott Walker equivocated about whether he would meet with folks from “Blacks Lives Matter.”

Two women have qualified as Army Rangers, the first time this has happened. I don’t think they can fight with the Rangers but they have qualified and it’s a great first step. Congratulations to 1st Lt. Kristen Griest and Capt. Shaye Haver. Good job!

A male colleague described one of them as a “physical stud.” Wow!

Not a physical stud is the pudgy, petulant dictator of North Korea who has declared his state to be in a “quasi” state of war with South Korea. He is upset about a number of things. The US is staging “war games” with South Korean troops. South Korea has been blaring propaganda over loudspeakers into North Korea.   North Korea is now blaring propaganda into South Korea. If only he didn’t have nuclear weapons…

And, lastly, alas, Trump is moving from sideshow to main stage and that is a particularly harrowing statement about America in the 21st Century. Oh my…