Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

Letter From New York 07 25 15 Morning musings as the day warms…

July 24, 2015

I feel asleep early last night and woke early this morning, the sun bursting through the windows of the cottage. Getting my coffee, I went outside for a moment but it felt too chill to sit and sip on the deck so I retreated to my bedroom, went over the morning headlines, read the NY Times’ Briefing for today, and then went online to find a recipe for dinner tonight. Friends are coming over and I am grilling, a thing I always do with trepidation.

We will see how it goes, another adventure in the world of cooking.

There was another mass shooting last night, at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. Three are dead, including the shooter and nine are wounded, one critically. The film that was playing was “Trainwreck.” The suspected shooter, John R. Houser, was a “drifter” from Alabama.

Hours before the shooting, President Obama, in an interview with the BBC said that his inability to get gun laws passed was his greatest frustration.

It was a wide-ranging interview in which Obama also expressed his belief that the UK should stay in the EU that resulted in grousing from Britain’s anti-Euro factions.

He is off to Kenya shortly and said he will speak out “bluntly” on human rights while there.

Scrolling through the news as I write this, I’m glad I’m not flying out of LaGuardia today. A power outage of as yet unknown origin is causing three-hour delays.

Amazon has done something it rarely does: it turned a profit in the second quarter, astounding all and boosting tech stocks ahead of the market’s open. The uptick in its share price now makes Amazon more valuable than Walmart.

Turkey has authorized the U.S. to use its airbases in its fight against IS while at the same time it has begun its own aerial operations against them in various parts of Syria. Earlier this week there was a suicide bombing that killed 32 that has been blamed on IS, motivating Turkey to become more proactive in the fight against IS, something the U.S. has sought for a long time.

Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server continues to haunt her; two inspectors general have requested a criminal investigation. No comment from the Clinton camp and no decision on action from the Justice Department.

I haven’t seen “Jurassic World” yet and may not but it is the third highest grossing film in history and a sequel is planned for 2018. I am a fan of Chris Pratt and suspect he is getting a sizable pay bump for the sequel. I am looking forward, eagerly, for the sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Speaking of the pre-historic world, it astounded scientists when they discovered that an ancestor of the snake had four legs, used for grasping. The unusually complete skeleton was found in Brazil and is over a hundred million years old. Personally, I don’t like snakes at all.

Russia has sentenced the leader of a neo-Nazi group to life in prison; he was convicted of ordering the killing of five, including a human rights lawyer. Ilya Goryachev had been hiding in Serbia but was extradited.

Interestingly, on the political scene today, Pew has issued a report saying that Republicans have a dimmer view of themselves than six months ago. Their self-respect has dropped by 18 percentage points since January. 68% of Republicans approve of their party today.

Democrats think as highly of themselves now as they did in January; 86% of them think well of their party.

While many I know look at The Donald with astonishment, from both sides of the political spectrum, he is touching a vein of something in the American psyche. A friend called it “rage.” Whatever it is, it bears looking into because it is powerful, strong and a force in this election.

It has climbed fifteen degrees since I woke up this morning. I have some errands to run and then am off to a lunch with a literary agent that I met two weeks ago in Rhinebeck at the “T Space.” We’re meeting at Earth Foods in Hudson at one. In between there are things to do, places to go, adventures to be had.

Letter From New York 06 09 15 From gloomy days to bright news…

June 9, 2015

Yesterday, I spent the day in meetings and in transit. On the train coming back to New York, my laptop was low on battery power and the outlet seemed a bridge too far as I was in an aisle seat on a train going north and the outlet was near the window, occupied by chargers owned by the young lady sitting next to me. So I settled in and napped and read a book. She got off the train at Metro Park and I powered up as much as I could in the short time between there and New York City.

The result: no letter yesterday.

Today is another grey and gloomy day in New York, as it was mostly grey and gloomy in Baltimore over the weekend, as it has seemed mostly grey and gloomy for the last month or so, which, according to reports, was the wettest May in years, hence the grey and gloomy.

In a bit, I’m off to have lunch with my sister-in-law’s sister and her husband, who are in New York. Cliff and Barb are lovely people and we attempt a lunch or dinner whenever they are in New York.

Mostly, I am in a good mood this morning though I wonder what my mood would be like if I was Albert Woodfox, a Louisiana man who has spent forty-three years in solitary confinement. He has been ordered released though Louisiana says they are going to fight it. He was accused of killing a prison guard in a riot. Twice tried, and twice the verdict was overturned.

I think of myself as reasonably self-reliant but forty-three years alone would cause me to go over the edge, I suspect. Louisiana has temporarily blocked his release though hope remains.

In other prison news, the search is on for two killers who escaped from Clinton in upstate New York. They used power tools to escape – and one wonders how they got power tools – cutting through steel, down six floors, through a steam pipe, out the steam pipe and through a manhole. Authorities are guessing they had inside help. They are questioning a female prison employee but have not charged her with anything.

They could, at this point, be anywhere and the search has expanded across all of North America. I am sure they are looking for a new life though it is going to be hard to find when everyone is looking for you.

As Caitlin Jenner starts her new life, some things are still following her from her old life. When still Bruce Jenner, she was involved in a car crash in Malibu that resulted in a fatality. The dead women’s stepchildren have filed a lawsuit, as has the woman who owned the third car involved in the pile-up. At this point, it is not expected that Jenner will be charged.

There was an extensive article today from the BBC outlining life in Mosul under IS. It does not sound pretty. Woman must go out in black from top to bottom and their faces must be covered. If a man is convicted of adultery, he is thrown from the roof of a tall building; a woman is stoned. Thievery is punished with the removal of a hand. Minorities are being persecuted and thus areas of Mosul once occupied by them stand empty as minorities have fled for the most part. You will probably be flogged if you are caught smoking a cigarette. People seem to be living in terror and stay shut up in their houses.

As we all know, it is the summer of Presidential candidates. Rick Santorum is stumping through Iowa and an astounding four people showed up at an event. There were more reporters than voters. Rick brushed it off and said it was all part of “the plan.” Jeb Bush will likely announce his candidacy next Monday. Probably about time – he has begun to get questions about acting like a candidate without actually having declared his candidacy.

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House, declared his innocence today of lying to Federal investigators about movements of money, allegedly made to “Individual A” as a result of “past misconduct” on Hastert’s part. He’s been accused of sexual abuse to male minors during his time as a wrestling coach in Illinois but that’s not what he’s been indicted for; that’s for lying about the money movements.

The Fifth Circuit Court, highly conservative, upheld the toughest provisions in Texas’ Abortion Laws, which might result in 13 of 21 clinics closing in that state.

102-year-old Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport, was denied the right to defend her doctoral thesis in 1938 because she was part Jewish. Today, the University of Hamburg awarded her a Doctorate after her successful oral defense. According to the University, she was “brilliant” and not just for her age.