Posts Tagged ‘Nikki Haley’

Letter From Claverack 09 04 2017

September 4, 2017

It is an excruciatingly beautiful day at the cottage, the sun is warm, a wind blows to temper it, the only sound is soft jazz in the other room.  I have just finished a late lunch of eggs, sunny side up, steak and toast, eaten on the deck.  The first leaves have begun to fall, scattered on the table top, reminding me of the fleetingness of time.

Soon we will be in another season, fall, which I love and loathe, as I always seem so alive in the fall and, at the same time, so painfully aware life is short and death is long. It’s been that way ever since I was a kid, walking down the leaf strewn streets of south Minneapolis, knowing winter was coming and being entranced by the magic in the air.

It is Labor Day, 2017.

“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the holiday is ‘a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.’ Labor Day is a ‘yearly national tribute’ to the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and wellbeing of our country.          Newsweek, 9/04/2017

And it is a holiday with a bloody history.  “Labor” wasn’t always celebrated.  Suggested reading: Walter Lord’s “The Good Years.”

The summer is unofficially ending when this day becomes part of history.  When I was a kid, it meant school was starting the next day so this was a day I always endured fearfully.  Today, I am not fearful about returning to school.  There are other things…

Kim Jong-Un has me a little fearful as does having Trump be the president who is facing him.  There was some analysis this morning that the timing of Kim’s tests of bombs and missiles has more to do with tweaking President Xi of China than with President Trump.  The latest bomb test came just as Xi was greeting officials from the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China.  Took the wind out of Xi’s sails in terms of making news.  Kim does these things lately just as Xi is set to make some news.  Hey, I’m HERE, President Xi!  Got it?  I’m here and I’ve got some pretty big toys!

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has said North Korea “is begging for war.”  President Trump is saying, “All options are on the table.” This might not end well.

Down in the Caribbean sits the Dutch island of Saba, part of the Leeward Islands, which I visited in February.  Friends have retired there and are sitting directly in the path of Hurricane Irma, now a category 4 storm.  An email today said they will be in the eye of the hurricane tomorrow and were busily preparing, friends helping friends prepare for what could be a very nasty ride.  If you pray, think of them.

Michael Eros, son of my longtime friends, Mary Clare and Jim Eros, is returning to Houston today after the Burning Man Festival.  He left Houston before Harvey hit and he will now find out what it has done to his city.  He and friends built a giant figure which they burned, leaving behind the metal shell.

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Harvey will likely be the most expensive storm in history; it is believed 180 billion dollars of damage has been done.  Ted Cruz is having a hard time now explaining why he voted against Sandy help now that he is asking for Harvey help.  The phrase, “people who live in glass houses,” comes to mind.

There are joyful things happening in the world. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.  Peggy Whitson has returned from the International Space Station, having notched more time in space than any other American.  There will be another Indiana Jones film, without Shia LeBeouf’s character.  A young girl in Harvey’s floodwaters got herself and her family rescued by asking Siri to call the Coast Guard, which rescued her as she was slipping into a sickle cell anemia crisis.

Bad things will happen.  Good things will happen.  All we need to do, to keep moving forward, is not to blow ourselves up.  I’ll pray for that.

 

 

Letter From New York 06 22 15 After me, the deluge?

June 22, 2015

Last night, I slept very deeply and forgot, as I was waking that I was in the city. I thought the beep beep beep I was hearing was the alarm going off and I was attempting to turn it off when I realized it was not the alarm but the sound of a truck backing up outside. I had a hard time waking up this morning but when I finally found consciousness, I found myself in a happy mood. No reason particularly. I was just happy.

Henry IV, Part 1 was delightful last night. Hotspur was played by a woman, which I found interesting. And she played it with such passion. I’d give you her name but the program is back in the apartment and I’m sitting at the Café du Soleil. I had been in the apartment most of the day and needed to see some new scenery so I came here to have a martini and to write my blog.

Nick, the bartender here, is leaving and I’ve grown fond of him. I often come here to have a glass of wine and a bite to eat when I find myself alone and hungry. So I am trying to stop by here once a week until he leaves for Miami.

It’s interesting when you eat at bars as much as I do. Whenever I joined my friends Lionel and Pierre for dinner in the city, which was often, we always ate at the bar. That’s Lionel’s preference. I went along even though I prefer a table usually.

It’s a New York night tonight, warm, a little humid but not unpleasant. The folding doors of the Café du Soleil are open and the sidewalk tables are bustling with folks. People are treasuring the night as tomorrow it’s supposed to rain and be very hot.

It’s so hot in Pakistan that over 200 people have died, mirroring the carnage in India earlier when thousands died from the heat.

The Greeks have offered proposals to resolve the debt crisis. Markets went up today on hopes that it will come together. Bonds went down. So goes the strange world of global finance.

In a very surprising move, Senator Lindsey Graham and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley have both called for retiring the Confederate flag, putting it in a museum. In one online article I read, it stated that the Confederate flag was never authorized by the Confederate Congress and really came to the fore under the KKK. Ouch.

Obama did an interview today for a podcast where he used the “N” word. Not for the first time but the first time since he has been President. He will give a eulogy for Pastor Pinckney who was one of the Charleston Nine. They were personal friends. His anger is more to the front than it has been during his Presidency. As are his emotions, he has been know to tear up when talking about his daughters and choked back tears as he gave the eulogy for Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Biden.

Interestingly, the leader of the White Supremacist group with whom Dylann Storm Roof, the alleged killer, is associated, has given to the Presidential campaigns of several Republicans, including Rand Paul.

Taylor Swift, all of 24 years old, has brought Apple to its knees. They weren’t going to give royalties to artists while subscribers were on their trial period. She called them out for it and they are now going to pay royalties. She seems to be quite an amazing young woman.

The Taliban attacked the Afghan Parliament. The attackers were killed. Parliamentarians were safe but it was a brazen attack in the capital. So the beat goes on in the world.

According to the Pope, we live on a dying planet. But then so does the BBC, who thinks we have entered the next extinction phase. Slower than when the meteor knocked out the age of dinosaurs but still happening.

Cheery news to think about, as I will go to sleep tonight. But it is a perfect summer night in New York and I will enjoy the night. What did Louis XVI say: after me, the deluge? Let’s hope we avoid the deluge of this age.