Posts Tagged ‘Kim Davis’

Letter From The Train 09 07 15 Going up the river…

September 8, 2015

The train is moving north; it is dusk. A soft rose glow dominates the western sky causing the Hudson to also glow with a soft rose gold color. The moment is magical. Members of my family, my brother, his wife, his daughter, her husband were in New York this weekend. They went to the U.S. Open and we spent time together, wining, dining, walking, and seeing “Kinky Boots,” the Broadway musical that burns with exuberance and joy. While I didn’t walk out humming tunes, I walked out feeling alive and exhilarated.

The weekend winds down and I am heading north for a couple of quiet days at the cottage. The city was hot over the weekend but never felt as warm as the temperature recorded. The city today seemed deserted, people and motor traffic minimal. It was almost serene.

I’m looking forward to the quiet in the country for a couple of days.

While I have been enjoying the city and its delights with the joyful company of my relatives, the world has been seething with its usual issues. Europe is struggling with the refugee crisis. The UK, unwilling until now to help, has agreed to take on 20,000 refugees while France will take 24,000. Arab nations have been taking very, very few refugees and the world is beginning to wonder why.

David Cameron has informed Parliament that British forces have killed some Britons who had gone to fight with IS. They were targeted because there was, according to Cameron, evidence they would return to the UK to carry out terrorist acts.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, has filed an emergency appeal with a Federal Court, petitioning her release. It asks the Governor of Kentucky to grant her an exemption from having to issue marriage licenses.

If obeying the law conflicts with her beliefs, I have wondered why she does not resign?

Speaking of getting around the law, teenagers have always been at the forefront of attempting to circumvent rules. Today’s teenagers are using e-cigarettes to now vaporize pot. Very clever and not entirely surprising…

When I was young, I was a great fan of “Route 66,” a television series starring Martin Milner and George Maharis as two young men wandering around the country in a Corvette, encountering adventures in every new city. It seemed romantic and I wanted to do just that.

I did one summer, in my Mustang, driving all over the country, sleeping on friends’ couches and having my share of adventures.

Martin Milner died today. RIP.

It is just past 8:00 PM and the world is dark, a sure sign the seasons are beginning to change. The long and lovely summer evenings are now in the past and the days will grow ever shorter until, at last, they will begin to grow longer.

I’ve never liked snakes. I have a morbid fear of them. Today Sanofi-Pasteur has announced it will no longer manufacture one of the most powerful anti-venom drugs because it is no longer profitable. 30,000 die of snake bites every year in sub-Saharan Africa and 8,000 lose limbs to amputation. It makes me shudder.

What causes great awe in me is the fact we exist at all. Some 13.8 billion years ago, scientists believe, the Big Bang occurred and the universe blossomed into existence. Scientists now have found a galaxy nearly as old as the universe. It makes me glow with wonder.

Other scientists and archeologists have found a “Superhenge” about two miles from Stonehenge. Apparently it makes Stonehenge look tiny. Still buried but found by earth penetrating radar it has scientists and archeologists panting in excitement. One has said that everything about Stonehenge will need to be re-written.

The bigger, older brother of Stonehenge was built 4,500 years ago about the time Egypt was rising and pyramids were being built.

Labor Day Weekend is coming to an end. Unlike in my childhood, I have no tension about moving on. I regret the passing of summer and will relish the coming of fall, a season that has always been my favorite.

Letter From New York 09 04 15 Refugees, destruction and murdering grandmothers…

September 4, 2015

It started as a lovely day here in New York that has gradually become grey but it is not blistering hot, as it was yesterday. My brother, sister-in-law and his daughter and her husband, are out at the U.S. Open and so the weather should be kind to them as they are going to be out there all day long, not expected back until near midnight.

I met them for breakfast and then came down to Broderville to do some work though I found myself easily distracted today as we slip into the Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of summer.

The advent of this weekend always makes me a little sulky, as I know the winter is in front of us; we can’t quite touch it but it is definitely coming. The feel of fall was in the wind that channeled through the concrete valleys of the city this morning.

Tonight, while my family watches tennis matches, I will be having dinner with my friends David and Bill at their West End apartment, where David has lived since he was in law school at Columbia. His decision to go to law school was triggered by a conversation with none other than Ruth Bader Ginsberg, now sitting on the Supreme Court.

Their refusal to hear Kim Davis’ appeal regarding providing marriage licenses to same sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky, and her continuing refusal to obey the law, has resulted in her finding herself in jail, in contempt of court.

Rachel Held Evans [@rachelheldevans] tweeted today: No one’s being jailed for practicing her religion. Someone’s being jailed for using the government to force others to practice her religion.

Much re-tweeted and frequently shared on Facebook, including by me, I thought her insight offered a bit of clarity.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have leapt to the defense of Kim Evans and she is becoming a potent symbol for the Christian right. I wonder where the Christian Left is on this; don’t recall hearing anything from them.

While some of us are melting down over the Kim Davis situation, IS has blown up three “Tower Tombs,” ancient artifacts that were uniquely Palmyran. UNESCO is calling their actions: intolerable crimes against civilization. The ancient world must have felt the same toward the Romans when they tore down buildings as they conquered towns or the barbarians as they overtook the Romans. We have a new set of barbarians loose in the land and they are taking with them what we had at long last started to preserve.

The death of little Alyan Kurdi, the three year old who died with his mother and brother, attempting to cross to Greek Kos from Turkey, was brought home to Kobane in Syria for burial.

The heartbreaking images of the boy seem to have stirred the EU into sorting out what they are going to do with the masses of refugees swarming upon them.

Cameron of the UK has said it will take 65,000 refugees. Individuals in the UK are gathering together, offering to help. Local Councils are beginning to do the same. Iceland has a movement agitating for their government to listen to the individuals and organizations that are willing to help with refugees.

A little boy has died; he will not soon be forgotten.

Hungary has been attempting to contain refugees there but they have broken out and are walking toward the borders. Nearly a thousand refugees are marching across Hungary after trains and buses to Germany were denied them.

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s right wing Prime Minister, has had the borders closed and raised a razor wire fence to prevent refugees from crossing the border. His actions have been denounced across Europe.

Right and Left are at odds all across Europe as the crisis continues.

An Egyptian billionaire has said he wants to buy an island from Greece or Italy to provide a new homeland for refugees.

Putin has admitted that Russia is giving logistical support to Assad’s government in Syria, something that has been suspected but had remained unconfirmed. The Russian President has left the door open for Russian troops though he has said he wants to keep conferring with his “partner,” the United States.

And, out of Russia, came the story of an elderly woman who has been jailed, suspected of perhaps as many as eleven murders. She was caught on video as she was disposing of a woman after having used a hacksaw to remove her hands and head. She then boiled them.

Her home contained books on black magic. The latest victim was a 79-year-old woman who was in her care. The Russians are calling her “Granny Ripper.”

Today is Force Friday. I hadn’t a clue about it until I read the Times this morning. Stores like “Toys R Us” and Walmart opened at midnight to start selling merchandise related to the upcoming Star Wars movie that is premiering in December. There is a new version of the Lego Millennium Falcon; an item that is on the top of many lists of must have items.

The day is ending. The sky is less grey and there’s more sunlight. I am heading out to buy a bottle of wine to give to my dinner hosts.

Letter From New York 09 02 15 Deliciously happy while refugees flee…

September 2, 2015

It’s been a warm but not unpleasant day in New York. The sun glittered down on the city and people moved about without seeming to be too uncomfortable though there was one man who got on the 1 train with me whose shirt was drenched. As I was walking up to the subway to head to my first appointment, I was thinking I was deliciously happy. Everything in my universe seemed quite right.

Of course, it isn’t. Since my friend, Robert Murray, mentioned it, I have noticed that there seem to be more beggars on the streets of New York this year. For months, Mayor DeBlasio has been downplaying homelessness as an issue. He has apparently realized it is a problem; the deputy mayor in charge of the issue, Ms. Barrios-Paoli, announced her resignation this week and more funds have been allocated for mental health care for the homeless.

The Syrian Crisis went viral today when its intensity and tragedy were captured in photographs of a drowned Syrian Kurd washed up on the shores of Turkey after failing to reach the Greek Island of Kos. He was three years old. His brother, five, also was lost. There are eleven million Syrian refugees, half the total of that country’s population.

Here is the picture if you would like to see. It broke my heart.

https://twitter.com/LizSly/status/639042438984699904

It makes the New York crisis seem small.

Chaos continues in Budapest as migrants attempt to make their way to Germany. For the second day in a row, trains have not run. Many migrants hold tickets but are not being allowed on the trains. EU officials continue to attempt to cope.

Greece, stuttering along under a caretaker government until elections on September 20th, is facing a huge crisis at a time it can least afford it. Kos is only a few miles from Turkey but the journey is dangerous and will become more so with the autumn.

IS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. At least 28 people are dead. I wonder how history will interpret this orgy of Muslim killing Muslim? It makes me think I should study the Hundred Years War; Christians were killing Christians in fierce numbers during that conflict.

I confess I don’t understand it.

I don’t understand Kim Davis who is the County Clerk in Kentucky who continues to refuse to give marriage licenses to gay couples. [Or anyone for that matter.] She has been married four times, twice to the same man. She found Jesus four years ago. When elected to office she pledged  “[I] will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.”

That she hasn’t done.

Someone launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her. So far, it’s not raised a single dime.

Tomorrow she and her staff go to court to explain why she/they shouldn’t be held in contempt of court.

In another court matter, a Baltimore judge refused to throw out the cases against the policemen indicted in the death of Freddie Gray. His death set off days of riots in Baltimore. In a win for the defense, the cases will be tried separately, something the prosecution wanted. Baltimore has cancelled all leaves for policemen during this period though early protests have been mostly peaceful.

In San Antonio, controversy continues over the death of Gilbert Flores. Video apparently showed him with his arms up though he may have been holding a knife. It’s a stretch, hence the controversy, that holding a knife in a hand upraised in a surrender signal, constituted a real and present danger to the police that were present.

Outside my window, the day is shading gray and I’m going off to get some food at Thai Market and then head home to read. I’ve taken to falling asleep in bed, reading off my Kindle. It’s a nice way to slip into the arms of Morpheus.

Letter From New York 09 01 15 Hot day, hot news…

September 1, 2015

It’s a sunny, warm day in New York. Waking up in the New York apartment, I was disoriented and not quite sure where I was. Then I got a cramp in my left leg that catapulted me out of bed and into the realization I was in New York. During the morning I worked out of the apartment and then headed down to the offices of Broderville.

It is supposed to scrape ninety degrees today but it didn’t feel that warm when, around noon, I reached the office. Since then, I have been cossetted in the air conditioning while doing my afternoon’s online work.

While I have been hammering on the laptop’s keys, the market has been swooning over more bad news from China. The Wall Street Fear Index is up again today but not as high as it was a week ago.

No longer standing at all is the Temple of Bel/Baal at Palmyra. Satellite photographs have shown clearly that it has been demolished. Until these shots came through there was some hope but it is now gone, forever, a temple which has stood since the time of Christ.

Video of a man who appeared to have raised his arms in San Antonio and was then shot by police is posted online by a local television station, KSAT, and can be seen on their website. http://www.ksat.com/news/ksatcom-exclusive-unedited-video-of-fatal-deputy-involved-shooting

I couldn’t watch. I didn’t want to see a man gunned down, rightly or wrongly, though it is looking very suspect at this moment.

In Chicago, a manhunt is on for three men who allegedly shot a police officer there.

All in all, according to a NY Times article I read, murders are soaring in a number of cities. People are struggling to understand after years of falling murder numbers. One reason posited is that gangs are better organized and better armed.

Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to prevent her from having to issue gay marriage licenses.   The Supreme Court was having none of it. Nope. No way. We’re not hearing this.

This morning a rowdy group showed up demanding their marriage licenses. She now must show up in Court on Thursday for a hearing. Gay couples that want licenses don’t want her to go to jail but do want her fined.

Rand Paul, erstwhile candidate for the Republican nomination for the Presidency, thinks Ms. Davis’ protest is all just part of the American way. Unfortunately, I agree with him but not for the reasons he has, I suspect. I’m only surprised there aren’t more holdouts like Ms. Davis.

The migrant crisis is growing in Europe. Today, trains were halted in Hungary and migrants, even those holding tickets, were not allowed to board. Hundreds have died at sea, attempting the crossing from Africa to Italy, just in the last week.

The number of Syrian refugees accepted by Britain would barely be enough to fill a car on the Underground, hence all the rush to get to Germany where Angela Merkel is fending off a rising right that wants to put a stop to it.

The EU has had, at best, a slapdash approach to the refugee crisis, ignoring or suspending its own rules willy-nilly with no central government organized response.

All of this, after the Greek Crisis, further strains the credibility of the EU.

My credibility is not feeling strained today. I’m going to close up shop for the night, head up to Café du Soleil for a bite to eat and then go back home and read a book for a while.

All good. Hope it is for you, too!