Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Letter From New York 01 11 16 A temporary peace…

February 11, 2016

Amtrak  Hudson River  Gary and Angel Koven  The Knot  Bernie Sanders  Donald Trump  Hillary Clinton  Einstein  Theory of Relativity  Oregon Standoff  Ammon Bundy  NATO  Syria  Russia  Secretary Kerry  Lavrov  Saudi Arabia 

As I start this, I am riding south on Amtrak, heading into the city to see my primary care physician, who is in the city, to bring him up to date on my medical adventures.

The Hudson is a steely grey, occasionally looking like burnished silver when the sun breaks through the heavy cloud cover.  My friend, James Linkin, is sitting beside me, happy to see me up and walking.

The river is choppy, not surprising as the wind is up and biting, making it feel much colder than the temperature.  I am tired as I often am these days though grateful to be up and out of bed and on the move.

My world feels altered in some way by my sojourn in the hospital.  My friends often describe me as thoughtful and I am more so right now.  The last few days, I have lived in quiet, without my usual jazz playing in the background.  I’ve started to turn it on and then decided against it, preferring silence as my solace.

Tonight, I will have dinner with my friends Gary and Angel.  They have been married now for four + years and I was at their wedding.  Today their love for each other is as incandescent as it was the day they married.  I recommended them for a shoot for the 20th anniversary of The Knot, a website devoted to marriage.  One of the crew told me they were his favorite couple.

While I have been recovering, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won their respective races in New Hampshire.  Headlines wonder whether Hillary’s campaign is about to implode and I wonder about the future of the country.  The Trump juggernaut continues and that scares the hell out of me.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.  The Daily News had scathing headlines about his victory saying zombies had come out to vote.  One wonders…

Scientists are wondering less since they have found gravitational waves which fit into Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Great scientific excitement and my friend, James, was particularly excited.  He’s a fan of the physicist and shares his birthday with Einstein.

The Oregon Standoff is over.  Bundy, Sr. has been arrested, following son Ammon to jail.  And other standoff chapter is finished and this time, thankfully, without mass deaths.

NATO is sending warships into the Aegean to see if it can stem the flow of refugees, many being transported by human traffickers.  The seas are rough, dozens are dying and the fighting rages back in Syria.

Saudi Arabia is said to have made a “final” decision to send troops to Syria.  That is not going to uncomplicate things.

And while they might be sending troops, they’re not taking in their brethren, rather letting them suffer their fate on water than let them into their own lands.

Russia’s Foreign Minister, Lavrov, says this will result in an terminable, never ending war with the possibility of a new world war at the end of the game.  Loverly.

The Saudis might make their move in concert with the Turks, who have been engaged in verbal hostilities with Russia ever since they downed a Russian jet before the New Year.

Secretary Kerry is desperately trying to get the Peace Talks going but it seems hard to get the sides into the same building not to mention the same room.  Well, actually, they have no intention of being in the same room.  If there is any dialogue, it will be through messengers shuttling between rooms.  Could cost a lot of shoe leather but if there is progress, it would be worth it.

The Mideast already seems mired in that “interminable war.”  470,000 have died in Syria since the outbreak of protests against Assad five years ago.  Millions of Syrians are in camps and desperate to get out to a better life, somewhere.

The day has faded.  I am sitting in a deli in the city, sipping a cup of black coffee [I’m not allowed cream yet], looking out into the night that has fallen, the bright lights of cars heading down 7th Avenue, people scurrying from the cold.

All peaceful here.  But for how long?

Letter From New York 02 31 15 A Day in Delhi…

March 31, 2015

It is relatively mild in Delhi today; rain last night broke the heat. In the morning I am off to Jaipur. If I can swing it, I will go to Goa for a day but so far the flight schedules aren’t accommodating. A friend surfaced there and I’d like to see him before I head back to the States on Sunday.

My friend Raja and I were supposed to go together to his wife’s shop in Delhi but he got caught up in an unexpected shoot and so I hired a car and driver and set off on my own. In the long ago and far away when I first was in Delhi, I would sometimes walk around Connaught Place and so I did again today.

It is largely filled today with international brands. Spread out in three concentric circles, it must have at least three or four McDonald’s. I passed at least three Van Heusen stores, Tommy Hilfiger, Levis, etc.

There were a couple of folks eager to direct me but I didn’t take their suggestions; instead I continued on my walk.

I also went to Diili Haat [I think that’s how it’s spelled], an open market where I got into the spirit of the bazaar and haggled over things I was bringing back as gifts and souvenirs. I also went to one of the Cottage Industries locations and vaguely remembered having been at one before and feeling like it was a bit overpriced. Wonderful rugs but I wasn’t feeling like $8,000 on a rug.

It was a good time, by myself, with Soni, my driver always at the ready. If I don’t get to Goa, I will ask for him again on Friday to take me around to places. In the morning, I am off to Jaipur with my other Delhi friend, Sanjay, and Andy, one of his friends. They have business there and while they do their business, I will sightsee.

I won’t be sightseeing in Bangladesh anytime soon. Another blogger was hacked to death there, in broad daylight, with meat cutting machetes. He was young and anti-Islamist. Three young men cut him down; two are in custody.

Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who apparently crashed his plane into the Alps, had been treated in the past for suicidal tendencies.

Denmark has agreed to join NATO’s missile defense system with at least one frigate. They agreed to do this last August. This week the Russian Ambassador to Denmark wrote an op-ed piece in a Danish newspaper warning Denmark they risk nuclear attack by Russia for doing so.

That’s the second time in a few weeks that Russia has rattled the nuclear sword.

Still rattled is the State of Indiana. Many of its Republicans simply don’t understand the firestorm that has arrived over their Religious Freedom Act. They are attempting to clarify it and stoutly claim it is not a cover for LGBT discrimination. Utah, that most religious of states, passed a Religious Freedom Act and it specifically provided protection for LGBT individuals.
More to come on this.

It will be interesting to see if there is going to be more tomorrow on the Iranian Nuclear deal. There is a self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight and it appears there are still hurdles to jump, not to mention i’s dotted and t’s crossed. It is mid-afternoon in Lausanne and they will keep talking until midnight, I’m sure. We’ll know tomorrow if the talking produced any kind of deal.

In Nigeria the election for President is coming to a close. It appears current President Jonathan Goodluck is losing. Mostly, the elections were peaceful. Hopefully, peace will be maintained as the results are announced.

Saudi Arabia continues to pound Yemen and says it will continue to do so until the rebels are finished. Iran seems to be sending some help to the rebels, who are Shia, as is Iran.

We now know that Trevor Noah is going to replace Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.”

And I know that I am going to go to dinner tonight and then off to Jaipur in the morning. More to come from there…