Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

Letter From Claverack 09 25 2017 Fear, fear mongering, theater and more…

September 25, 2017

While it is now officially fall, the weather is summer-ish, scraping at ninety degrees today.  The train is rumbling into the city where I will be attending a talk today by my friend Jeff Cole of the Center for the Digital Future on “Driverless Cars and the Battle for the Living Room.”  I’m eager to see how those two very disparate topics get pulled together – or not.

Yesterday, I returned to the cottage from Provincetown where I had been visiting friends and attending the Tennessee Williams Festival, now in its twelfth year.  Mixing Shakespeare with Williams this year, I saw five plays, the most laudable being “Gnadiges Fraulein,” an absurdist Williams from the tail end of his career in which some see an allegory for that career.

The Festival was marred by weather from the last of Jose for the first three days; yesterday was magnificent.  Leaving after Shakespeare’s “Antony & Cleopatra,” I drove home, listening to the omnipresent exegesis of President Trump’s Friday comments on kneeling during the national anthem and Sunday’s reaction by athletes and owners of teams.

Trump had said that owners and coaches should get “the son of a bitch” players who kneeled during the national anthem off the field, suspending or firing them.

Owners and athletes defied the President.  Even Tom Brady locked arms with his teammates.  The Steelers stayed in the locker room until after the anthem had been played. All but two of the NFL’s owners and CEO’s issued statements calling for unity.

Some fans booed.  Most didn’t walk out.

Trump praised those who booed.

Such is life in today’s America.

And I’m on the side of the players and the owners in this kerfuffle.  The right to protest is as American as apple pie.

My weariness is growing daily with this President’s ability to be divisive.

Defying top aides, he has escalated the war of words with North Korea to the point that as I am writing this, the foreign minister for the pudgy, pugnacious little man who is the ruler of that country has said that Trump has declared war and they have the right to shoot down American planes.

This will not end well, I fear.

In Germany, Angela Merkel is on her way to a fourth term though diminished.  The far right AfD has won a troubling 13% of the vote and will have a place in the German parliament, a feat that no other far right German movement has managed in decades.

It is representative of the fear that threads its way through our societal fibers, in Germany and here at home, in France and the Netherlands.  The world is changing and change often results in fear and the world is changing so quickly right now.

Abe in Japan has called a snap election, riding high on North Korean nuclear fears.

The Senate is desperately working to pass another bill to repeal Obamacare but with McCain, Rand Paul and probably Collins and possibly Murkowski against it, tough sledding is a generous description of what is facing McConnell.

Trump is saying today that Congress doesn’t have “the guts” to repeal Obamacare and I’m hoping he’s right as this version seems to be the most mean-spirited of all the versions proposed so far.

I’m off soon to the presentation.  I’ll let you know how driverless cars and the battle for the living room fit together!

Have a good day!

 

Letter From New York 02 21 15 As the snow falls…

February 22, 2015

Outside my window, a soft swirl of fresh snow is falling. Soft jazz plays in the living room, with the sound drifting to my desk where I am writing. The day has turned grey and everything outside looks muted.  The big orange plow trucks are patrolling the streets but I am now in for the duration, a fire burning in the Franklin stove. My neighbors’ dog, Marcel, is asleep in the living room. I am babysitting him for the night; I have done so before. He is quiet, good company.

Around noon, I went down to Hudson to meet a friend at Stair Gallery, where he was bidding on some objects at their auction. Just before I arrived an enameled music box went for $120,000. He won the bid on a piece of silver, an articulated fish, and then we went off to lunch.

Post lunch, I dropped him back at the Gallery and came on home to tend to Marcel and to be off the roads, already treacherous when I was heading home at 2:30.

I have come to love these muted grey days, sitting at my laptop, working on this blog, music in the background, finding touch points with events of the day.

Like most days, this one started with coffee, very strong, and a dollop of the NY Times.

Yemen’s former leader left the capital last night, either released or escaped. No one seems to know. But when he reached his hometown of Aden in the south, he took up residence in the Presidential Palace.

In a startling kind of strategy, the Pentagon seems to be broadcasting its intentions to retake Mosul in the spring. Why, many are asking, would you want to broadcast that? Surely not! The response was that it was hoped that all the manpower being readied would discourage IS and encourage the residents of Mosul to rise up against IS.

Senator McCain is not amused. I am not surprised!

The truce in Ukraine remains fragile. The British Foreign Minister and Secretary of State John Kerry have been talking and they are talking about stronger sanctions against Russia.

Former New York Mayor Giuliani’s comment about Obama not loving America continues to get play. Not surprisingly, Rev. Al Sharpton is enraged while Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin commented that he really didn’t know whether Obama loved America or not. Walker is running for the Republican nomination for President.

Giuliani is no longer politically relevant and seems to be enjoying his moment, again, in the spotlight. He has no reason not to keep it up; he likes his name in lights. I agree with the White House on this one. It is sad.

The financial conundrum that is Greece continues to keep us on edge. A deal has been, apparently, reached.   In getting to this place, the Greek Prime Minister, Tsipras, has said: we won a battle, not the war.

Truer words were never said.

Tsipras has a lot to sell to the Greek public as the new deal, if it happens, has Greece still bowing to the Eurozone. It is a lifeline, not a solution.

Seeking a solution to a problem I didn’t know existed, Proctor and Gamble is selling off nearly a hundred brands in their portfolio, including Duracell Batteries, which will go to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway next year.

This year is the 50th Anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination and hundreds gathered in New York to mark the moment.

There continues to be an exegesis of Brian Williams’ fall from grace. There will be an almost uncountable number of them written between now and the end of his suspension and, depending on what happens after that, countless more. The world is not being kind to Brian Williams and the comparisons to Edward R. Murrow have been unkind.

Outside it has grown dark. The jazz continues to play and I am near the end of this blog, for today.

It is predicted that the brutal cold will not be so brutal but that the snow will continue. Boston is a slow moving tragedy. Different from a hurricane, the snow has been probably as destructive to Boston as a hurricane would be to some cities but because it is slow moving, no one is noticing.

Tomorrow is another day. It’s the day of the Academy Awards. I am going to watch BIRDMAN and BOYHOOD this evening, the top contenders for the Best Picture Award.