Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum’

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.

Letter From New York 06 05 15 The Adorable and the Horrible…

June 6, 2015

The weather app indicated that it would rain this afternoon in Baltimore, which is where I am, but at least for now, sun pours down on Fells Point, a charming part of Baltimore where friends live. It’s not too warm and later we will walk about twenty minutes to La Scala, a restaurant in Baltimore’s Little Italy section.

We all went walking this morning to Alexander’s Tavern for brunch and then around Fell’s Point and then some shopping for tomorrow’s meals. Monday I am in DC for some meetings and then back to New York in the evening.

As we left to go to brunch, CNN was carrying live the funeral of Beau Biden, the 46 year-old son of Vice President Biden, who succumbed to brain cancer. Losing a child is incredibly difficult. Biden has lost two. His infant daughter was killed in a car crash along with his first wife and now he has lost his oldest son, Beau, by all accounts a very good man and a rising leader in the Democratic Party.

Obama gave the eulogy. Chris Martin performed. A thousand people mourned.

Mourning is racking China; the death toll in the Eastern Star capsizing has risen to over 400. The ship was righted today and body after body was removed. The company that owned the ship has apologized and will “fully cooperate” with the investigation. The captain and engineer, who survived, are being detained by police.

Putin was in the news. He stated that the West had no need to be frightened by Russia. [I wonder if Hitler ever said anything like that?] But what is true is that Russia has been stepping up its military efforts, modernizing and maintaining an army that is 850,000 strong with 2.5 million reservists. He is diverting some recruits from active service into working in factories producing military equipment. None of this sounds benign to me.

China seems to be doing the same, especially with the military build-up in the South China Sea. Experts place the U.S. as the world’s greatest military power, followed by Russia and then China.

Sarajevo was once known as a city where interfaith harmony reigned. Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Christians lived together in peace. Then came the ‘90’s, when interfaith harmony fell apart in the midst of the Balkan conflict. Today, the city seems to be moving back to its peaceful ways. Francis arrived today to encourage Catholics to stay and work with Muslims and Orthodox Christians to find peace fully again.

He has also taken up the banner of climate change prevention, something which Rick Santorum, once again seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, has said he thinks the Pope should just keep his mouth shut about climate change. Could Santorum keep his shut?

In a little less than eight hours, polls will open in Turkey. President Erdogan is hoping to set in process a motion that will give him more power. Currently, Turkey has a parliamentary system much like Britain’s, with real authority in the hands of the Prime Minister, which Erdogan used to be. He faced term limits and couldn’t run for Prime Minister so he ran for President. His former Foreign Minister is now Prime Minister and it is pretty clear Erdogan is calling the shots.

But he might not be able to pull it off. Polls are indicating he may get a trouncing, which might be a very good thing for Turkey as a democracy. He has been cracking down on any media outlets that don’t like him. In a final rally yesterday, he reminded the crowds that the New York Times was funded by “Jewish capital” and the British Guardian should know its limits. Good thing they’re not Turkish media companies. They might have been shut down. Will be watching this one closely. I am not an Erdogan fan.

The Saudis shot down a SCUD missile launched by the Houthis, aimed at a Saudi Air Force base, using a US made Patriot missile. The Houthis and the government of Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, have agreed to meet in Switzerland even as the fighting seems to be escalating.

In a very worrying turn of events, IS is suspected of recruiting scientists so it can make chemical weapons.

But for something that will make you smile, look at the pictures of Prince George and his sister, Princess Charlotte. Adorable.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/princess-charlotte/11655903/Princess-Charlotte-Prince-George-first-family-photo.html

As I close out for today, I chose to focus on adorable more than horrible.

Letter From New York 05 27 15 FIFA in trouble with Germany “a bordello”

May 27, 2015

It is a warm day in New York City, a day that started cloudy and is ending with sun shining down. In not so very long, I’ll be off to a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen to meet my friend Caroline Ely for a drink. It’s been awhile since we have seen each other and time to catch up.

While drinking my morning coffee, the news was being splashed all over the place that FIFA officials had been arrested early in the morning in Zurich, Switzerland. The Swiss made the arrests in an understated way, giving the men time to dress and gather their belongings and, in at least one case, had the hotel staff hold up a sheet to shield the arrestee from the news people who had started to gather.

It’s another blow to FIFA, an organization that has been dogged by rumors of corruption for years. American officials are seeking the extradition of a number of FIFA officials for having taken over $150,000,000 in bribes, “year after year, tournament after tournament,” according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

In Texas, hundreds have been ordered to evacuate after at least fifteen people have died in weather related accidents, as storms pounded the state with torrential rains. Oklahoma, too, is suffering from the pounding from Mother Nature, who, my friend and writer, Howard Bloom, has pointed can be a b**tch.

The Republican race for the Presidential nomination has become more crowded now that Rick Santorum, last seen in 2012, has thrown his hat into the ring also. There will be enough of them soon that they can form their own team though I don’t think they will want to as they’ve got some intense competition going on between them. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana set off a storm when he tweeted that Rand Paul was unfit to be Commander in Chief.

I don’t see the two of them cooperating on the field of play.

Jindal is only thinking about joining the Republican fray but it’s likely he will. Rand Paul is already in.

The Vatican has declared that the Irish vote to constitutionalize same sex marriage is a “defeat for humanity.” I feel a little defeated that they feel that way.

The Queen, Elizabeth II of Great Britain, arrived today in great pomp and circumstance to deliver “The Queen’s Speech,” which she has done sixty times during her reign. Before she arrives, the Houses of Parliament have their basement swept by the Queen’s Guard to ensure there is no Guy Fawkes in waiting. He led the Gun Powder Plot in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament.   He has a day named after him in England.

What the Queen said was dictated by what Cameron wants but it gets said with such grand style.

Tony Blair, once Great Britain’s Prime Minister, has been, for the last eight years, the envoy to the Middle East. He will step down next month. He resigned to Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN. He had been working on the behalf of the Quartet [Great Britain, the European Union, the United States and Russia]. Diplomacy gets complicated.

Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes, ruling a country that has now become known as “the bordello of Europe.” Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 and a huge sex trade has built up worth $16 billion a year. There are fancy places for the prostitutes to practice their trade and sex tourists load onto busses and head for Germany. It doesn’t seem to bother Angela much.

Also in Germany, there was an evacuation of part of Cologne today when WWII bombs were found undetonated while working on a construction project. Apparently happens not infrequently. Something like a thousand bombs were defused last year. They are a hazard out in the North Sea where wind farms are being built. Clearing bombs is more than a cottage industry in Germany.

I had coffee with a friend this morning who told me that Germany blew up two “dirty” nuclear bombs during the final days of the war. I had never heard that and when I attempted to research it, I found stories about it, including one that Hitler was a German traitor, actually an Illuminati and he did what he set out to do, break Germany’s back.

There is a lot out there on the Internet and it’s not all true or pretty. Beware.

And now I am going to publish this and head for drinks with my friend Caroline.