Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Graham’

Letter From Saba 02 14 2017 Happy Valentine’s Day from a sliver of paradise…

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  While I don’t have a specific Valentine, I do have many people to whom I would like to send Valentine’s greetings.  Consider them sent.

This is a day devoted to love.

Unless you live in Saudi Arabia where celebrating Valentine’s Day could get you into a whole lot of trouble.

When I was in grade school, we always sent everyone else in our class a Valentine’s Day card.  Years ago, I stumbled upon a cache of them and smiled at our cursive, much struggled over.  Now they don’t even teach cursive writing, which seems a shame.  Handwritten letters are such a joy to receive in this day of electronic communication.

At this minute, I am sitting on the deck outside my room at Selera Dunia, the little hotel on Saba where I am ensconced for the next few days.  It is owned by a Dutchman, Hemme, and his wife, and their raison d’être seems to be making me happy.  YES!  I’m all for that.

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It is decorated lavishly with objects they have brought back from their sojourns abroad, mostly from Indonesia but beneath me, I’m told, is a treasure trove from their time in Africa to be utilized when they add the next few rooms.

I slept wonderfully last night, my doors unlocked.  Crime has not crept onto Saba yet and may it long stay away.

Ah, but here I am, far away, in a crime free piece of Caribbean paradise while at home who knows what crimes are afoot?

Michael Flynn, the NSA Advisor to President Trump, has resigned after he seems to have had discussed our sanctions against Russia prior to the time when he should have and then misled Vice President Pence as to his actions.

MIC, a website devoted to news by millennials for millennials, wrote today that the crime, to them, in the Trump Administration seems not to be the crime itself but the crime of being caught. Is this what millennials are thinking about our government?

JFK was profoundly flawed in so many, many ways.  At least his words lifted us to some better place and inspired us.  Not so in these our Trumpian days when Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President, declared there would be a time when the President’s word would be absolute.

Seth Meyer mocked him, saying it could only be more frightening if he had said it in German.  And Stephen Miller is Jewish.

So, this is what millennials are seeing:  a young man [he’s 31] saying the President’s word will be absolute.  Do call me horrified.  There are three branches of government [as Trump, to his annoyance, is finding out].

Mitch McConnell is saying it’s “highly likely” there will be an investigation of Michael Flynn’s actions.  “Highly likely?”  Mitch, oh Mitch, my low opinion of you sinks even lower.  Had you said, “Absolutely,” I might have thought you were standing on the right side of history.  And you’re not.

Thanks to Lindsey Graham and a few other Republican Senators who are working to see this is not brushed under the rug until we know the truth.

The Ethics Office has suggested it would be appropriate for Kellyanne Conway to be disciplined for her “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” moment from the White House Briefing Room.  They felt it was tantamount to a TV commercial.  Let’s see if it happens.  Personally, think it should but…

If you are a millennial, you probably know PewDiePie, a Scandinavian YouTube star with millions and millions and millions of followers.  He’s been the hottest thing on the net for a few years now, making 14.5 million dollars last year.  He has deals with Disney and others and it’s all falling down today because he made some anti-Semitic jokes in his postings and Disney and YouTube are running in the other direction.

The sun is beginning to set; the mountain across from me is sun kissed at this moment, full of deep foliage and limitless green though now the island is beginning to move into its dry season.  Water is scarce.  My friends are taking what once was a pool and making it into a cistern for grey water to help with the plants.

Tonight, we are going down the hill to a BBQ joint in the little enclave that is their town.  Hygge.  More soon.

 

 

 

Letter From New York 12 21 2015 Car rampage and a Miss Universe Gaffe

December 21, 2015

It is Monday morning and Christmas is four days away.  It is noon and I am sitting at the dining room table looking out at a grey world.  Across the creek, barren trees are swaying in the gusting wind.

My friends, Lionel and Pierre, arrived at their home across the street late last night and we had breakfast together this morning, scrambled eggs, bacon and toast while carols played in the background.

While we breakfasted news came flashing across our devices that some dozens had been injured and one killed in Las Vegas when a woman plowed her car into a crowd on the sidewalk outside the Paris Hotel and Casino.  With a toddler at her side the woman repeatedly plowed into the crowd. 

The police said it appeared intentional but not an act of terrorism.  The three year old with her was not harmed and the woman was taken into custody after doing her damage and then leaving the scene, parking some blocks away.

The 1996 Oldsmobile had Oregon plates and the woman had reportedly recently moved to Nevada.

How?  Why?

Lindsey Graham has suspended his presidential campaign. Not so long ago he complained that he couldn’t believe that Trump had so outdistanced him in the polls.  Obama has stated that Trump is “exploiting” anger and fear among working class men to propel his candidacy.  Yes, I think that’s true.

Also true is that Blatter and Platini, the two most powerful men in world soccer, have been banned from the sport for eight years for ethics violations. 

Near Bagram, Afghanistan, six NATO soldiers including some Americans, have been killed by a Taliban suicide bomber who plowed his motorcycle into a NATO/Afghan foot patrol.

Donald Trump sold the Miss Universe Pageant.  It was held in Las Vegas last night not far from where the car rampage occurred.  In a ghastly gaffe, Steve Harvey, the host, announced Miss Columbia was the winner when it was actually Miss Philippines.  Miss Columbia was first runner-up. 

You can imagine what the Twitterverse was like!  Lots of jokes about where was Trump when you needed him?

In other entertainment news, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has broken all box office records for a weekend opening, topping “Jurassic World.”  538 million dollars worldwide.  The Force has opened our pocketbooks.

Space X, Elon Musk’s space company, is launching from Cape Canaveral a payload of 11 satellites for Orbcomm, a communications company.  All eyes will be on what happens after the launch, to see if the rocket can land safely on land.  It would be the first time a rocket carrying an orbital payload will have done that.

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company, successfully launched and landed a test rocket last month.

Space is becoming the last frontier for billionaires, out to make even greater fortunes by making space more accessible.

It reminds me a bit of the 19th century’s railroad millionaires, battling it out to conquer the continent with their rail lines.

Shortly, Lionel and I are going grocery shopping for dinner, having our friend Matthew Morse over.  I have a few more packages to bag and need to start packing for my Christmas trip.  It is a funny sort of day for a funny sort of beginning to winter.  It will be in the 50’s this week in the Hudson Valley.

It will be a white Christmas only in our minds.

Letter From New York 07 06 15 On the train, riding north…

July 6, 2015

Another grey summer day… Outside the sky is filled with clouds, hiding the sun, casting a great pall on the day. It has become the norm not the exception. So I am taking it all in stride and not allowing the grey to take my good spirits away, as I am in good spirits. Having had a good weekend in Baltimore, I am now on the train, gliding north, slowing down for a stop in Philadelphia before heading out for the stretch into New York, including the now infamous curve where a Regional train derailed.

The world’s markets have had a muted response with far less turbulence than had been feared. The Euro slipped against major currencies. Yanis Varoufakis, the Minister for Finance in Greece, resigned. Statements that he made saying Greece would start to use an “alternate” currency seems to have pushed him out. He said other European Ministers did not want him at the table. He will “wear the creditor’s loathing with pride.”

Probably good he is gone, replaced by Euclid Tsakalotos, a Greek negotiator called in when Varoufakis got too strident.

The European Central Bank is not pumping further money into the Greek banking system, a reality that is putting more pressure on those banks, which will stay closed for the next few days. Greeks are stocking up on staples, as they haven’t a clue what the future will hold. Some Greeks think Europe is purposely is working to push Greece out of the Euro and back into the Drachma.

It is a Greek drama being played out.

The British press is still having a field day with Princess Charlotte’s Christening and it is also taking time, in a hundred different ceremonies, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres. In an act of genocide, thousands of Muslim men and boys were gathered up and slaughtered in that town. Serbians hate it when the world calls it “genocide” but it probably was…

President Obama made a rare visit to the Pentagon today to be briefed on the progress we are making against IS. He states that we don’t have a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi troops. And that is true.

An Iraqi jet accidentally bombed a section of Baghdad, killing twelve. How does one “accidentally” bomb one’s own capital? Enquiring minds would like to know.

Hundreds of thousands gathered for the Pope’s Mass in Guayaquil, Ecuador where he extolled the virtues of the family. He has chosen to go to three of South America’s poorest countries with his message of hope and spirituality.

In South Carolina they are debating whether to remove the Confederate Flag from the grounds of the state Capital. Lindsey Graham, Senator from that State, is, like many Republicans, attempting to distance himself from The Donald and his anti-Mexican statements.

I am almost feeling sorry for the GOP. But not quite.

Not feeling sorry for but definitely impressed by Warren Buffet, “The Oracle of Omaha” who just deposited $2.8 billion in five different foundations’ accounts. Worth $70 billion, he is determined to give much of it away.

Prince Alwaleed, the 34th richest person in the world, has just announced his is giving away his entire thirty some billion dollar fortune.

The Grateful Dead have played their last concert, closing with an exhortation to the crowds to “be kind.” I doubt there will ever be a band like them again. Never a great fan, I did honor their iconic place in American music. Go in peace; enjoy the next part of your lives.

The next part of my life is an evening in New York. The train is sliding through New Jersey and shortly we will be in New York. I am going to drop some things at the office and then I will head north to the apartment, drop some things and find myself some dinner, probably at Thai Market, my favorite Thai restaurant in the city.

Good evening, everyone!

Letter From New York 04 18 15 The most beautiful day yet…

April 18, 2015

Today is the most beautiful day the year has given us yet. A cloudless sky, warm but not hot with a soft, gentle wind blowing across the landscape.

This morning, for the first time this year, I saw the hedgehog that makes my property his home. I watched him out the window for a while and then he ran off, quickly, as if he sensed me watching him.

Returning from an errand and before I left for a lunch, I stopped and introduced myself to the people who have moved into the house just east of me. John and Stacie, with two German shepherds. I think the dogs are the reason the deer have found a new route and keep away from my land. They stopped crossing the creek at that point once the dogs arrived.

Down in Rhinebeck, I met Jack Myers, an old business friend, at Market for lunch and we spent a couple of hours catching up and mutually ruminating about the media business, which is, as almost everyone knows, going through tumultuous changes.

Returning home, I closed my eyes for forty minutes and then got up to write, feeling invigorated and interested. On my way down to Rhinebeck, I was thinking how much I am enjoying this time in my life and how I am interested in seeing what comes next.

This morning, as I do mornings at the cottage, I read articles from the NY Times and from my BBC app, looking to see what was going on in the world.

A phalanx of Republicans is in New Hampshire, working to make their mark and stake a claim to the nomination. From Jeb Bush to Marco Rubio to Lindsey Graham, they are there to see what impact they might have and what momentum they might pick up. Rather than attack each other, they have been focused on their ire at Obama and sharpening their political swords for Hillary.

In Washington, DC there was a rally today for Earth Day, which is actually this coming Wednesday. There was an announcement from Earth Day officials and executives at Rovio that there would be an in game experience in Rovio’s Angry Birds game to raise environmental awareness. Angry Birds has been downloaded 2.8 billion times.

IS, seeking to grow its influence, has carried out an operation at a bank in Afghanistan that has killed 33 people. They also carried out a suicide attack in Iraq that killed two Turkish nationals.

Australia has arrested 5 young men, accused of planning an IS inspired attack on Anzac Day, celebrating the first military co-venture between Australia and New Zealand at Gallipoli in 1915. The Australians believe 150 of their countrymen are in Iraq and Syria fighting with IS and that 200 have been prevented from leaving Australia to join them.

Google’s regulatory problems in Europe could be pretty severe and alter the way the company manages search. The EU is thinking of attempting to break the company up.

Apple has pre-orders of over two million of its watches, surprising some tech pundits who didn’t think the watch would go this far this fast.

It appears that in the UK, Labour is slipping behind the Conservatives in the polls. Elections are May 7th and it is going to be a rough slide to get there for all concerned.

Migrants are flooding into Italy from Africa and the Pope is calling for the international community to help with the crisis. Prime Minister Renzi of Italy has stated the solution to the migrant problem rests with finding peace in Libya, which is absolutely true but it’s a far way off at this moment.

South Africa’s President Zuma cancelled a trip to Indonesia to stay home and deal with the anti-immigrant riots that are racking the country.

And now the afternoon is coming towards an end and I am going to get ready to go down to the Hudson Opera House to see if I can get a ticket for a young Russian exile who is going to appear tonight, playing contemporary and classic Russian composers on his violin. It should be good. I’m looking forward to it.