Posts Tagged ‘Tiananmen Square’

Letter From New York 06 04 2016 Thoughts on Main Street in Edgartown…

June 4, 2016

The sun is laughing down Main Street in Edgartown, with cars slowly moving down the street, toward the water but without the congestion that is coming toward the end of the month when “the season” really gets going.  Across the street, Sundog, selling clothes, is as empty as we are. 

A few people have wandered into the store and have wandered out, rarely with a book in hand.  A lovely mother and daughter came in, the mother buying her daughter a copy of “A Man Named Ove,” by Fredrik Backman, a book she insisted her daughter read before they left the island next week.

It’s been interesting, watching people come and go, looking at books, some are wildly enthusiastic, some are just looking as they look languidly at titles, hoping something will spark their interest.

As I said to someone yesterday, I have a whole new respect for those who work in retail.

The morning was foggy, the afternoon sun blessed.  Music from the 1960’s plays gently in the background, the soundtrack of my youth.  It is easy here to put away the woes of the world and believe in the loveliness of life. 

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different in the off island world.

Muhammed Ali is being mourned everywhere.  A figure in my youth, I watched with fascination, not quite understanding his moves but also not being bothered by them.  If he no longer wanted to Cassius Clay, then why not?  There were days then I didn’t want to be Mathew Tombers. 

Many of his moves outraged the world and shook people up.  All for the ultimate good…  Rest in peace, Muhammed Ali, rest in peace and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Bernie Sanders has announced he will contest the Democratic Convention, fighting down to the last moment.

In France, floods are beginning to recede but not until after claiming three more lives.  My friends, Chuck and Lois, who have an apartment in Paris, are somewhere else with friends, waiting to get back to their place when the waters do recede.  Guards are standing watch at Louvre and artwork has been moved to higher ground as a precaution.  It has been nearly 34 years since this kind of flooding has been seen in the City of Lights.

It has been determined that Prince died from an accidental, self-administered dose of fentanyl, a pain killer 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. One doctor described self-administration of fentanyl as playing with death; it is not to be used outside of hospitals.

The opiate crisis is enormous.  Even here on bucolic Martha’s Vineyard, meetings are being held to combat the island’s heroin problem.  Everywhere you turn right now, opiates are a critical problem.  It may be that Prince’s death will be a catalyst for change.

It is the 27th Anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square and tens of thousands have gathered in Hong Kong to commemorate the event, shunning the official memorial because it has become too “Chinese” oriented.

In the Mediterranean, with the beginning of warm weather, more migrants/refugees are risking the sea to reach Europe and what they hope will be a better life.  It is believed a thousand have drowned in the past week alone.  It will only grow worse.

Many are fleeing IS, which now finds itself fighting on four fronts in Syria and Iraq.  The unofficial capital of IS is Raqqa and Syrian forces, under the cover of Russian airstrikes and with help from Hezbollah have reached the border of Raqqa province.

Attempting to follow who is fighting whom in that part of the world is not easy.  IS is struggling for control of a town called Marea, which is controlled by the anti-Assad Nursa Front, which is associated with Al Qaeda.  There is also heavy fighting around Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city and commercial center.

The sun is beginning to set in Edgartown.  The streets are still quiet.  Anita, who works in the shop, has gone home as we are completely quiet.  Last night, after everyone had left and I was closing down, I had the most remarkable moment of peace, surrounded by books with the walls resonating with the laughter and voices of the people who had passed through yesterday, just looking for a good read.

Letter From New York O6 04 15 An evangelical mess, among other things…

June 4, 2015

I am traveling down to DC on Amtrak, having five meetings in DC tomorrow before heading up to Baltimore for a weekend with friends. It is grey and gloomy again today, which has been the theme of this week’s weather. It doesn’t do much to keep the spirits up. I am yearning for a little sunshine though I think I have a couple of days more of this before the weather changes.

What isn’t changing is the growing numbers joining the Republican race for the Presidential nomination. Rick Perry, who ran in 2012, has thrown his hat back in the ring, hoping he will not open his mouth and insert his foot as much as he did last time.

Chafee of Rhode Island has joined the much smaller list of contenders for the Democratic nomination.

It will be an interesting nomination season, particularly on the Republican side as there are more to come. Jeb Bush will make an announcement on June 15th. Allee all outs in free!

As I was scouring some websites today, there was a quote from George Soros about his concern that we are on the brink of WWIII, certainly not a happy thought. And that remark was underscored by a Czech NATO officer, musing about what might happen if Russia overwhelmed the Baltic States. Could that result in a use by the West of nuclear weapons?

Even the whisper of WWIII should give us a major case of the willies. The sad thing is that the whispers are there as the global situation deteriorates. I have a slight case of the willies as I ride the rails into the nation’s capital.

The bright hope that infused the world at the end of Communism has grown dim. Can we bring back the light if we all clap loudly enough, the way Tinkerbelle is saved in Peter Pan?

US military leaders and ambassadors are being called to Stuttgart by Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter, to discuss preparedness in the face of Russian aggression. Ukrainian President Poroshenko warned of all out war with Russia as fighting renewed in the rebel east, near Donetsk. It appears the last suburb of that city has fallen to the rebels.

Meanwhile, Putin is going to be visiting Pope Francis on June 10. Think Francis can talk any sense into the man?

In what is shocking news, if true, is that the Red Cross, which raised half a billion dollars for Haiti relief, has apparently spent very little of that in Haiti and has built only six homes instead of the thousands it promised.   It seems unbelievable though the Red Cross is being very quiet about what they actually spent there, which is raising suspicions.

I’ll have to find another charity to donate to, I guess.

The rescue operation for the Eastern Star, the Yangtze cruise ship that capsized, has come to an end and it is now a recovery operation. During the day, dozens of bodies were brought to the surface. A hole has been cut in the hull of the vessel and the grim work continues.

Allegedly a group of grieving relatives who got too nosy were beaten by local police and shuttled into a building and told they were not to talk to the press.

It is the 26th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Leaders of the protest are no closer to returning home than they were when they went into exile. I will pause for a moment of silence in memory.

Former FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner, of Trinidad and Tobago, has announced his is going to spill the beans about the wrong doing in the football organization. Let the chips fall where they may, he says. And it will be interesting to see where the chips do fall.

Also falling was the stock market, rattled by Greece missing a payment, down by almost 171 points. Greece and the EU are playing a game of chicken. Let’s hope no one gets hurt. Because if someone does, it is not going to be good for the rest of us.

It’s not a good day to be a Federal Employee. The records of four million US government employees got hacked today. No word on who done it but employees were warned to check their credit reports and keep a watchful eye out for fraudulent activity.

I am not a great fan of Piers Morgan but he did a devastating article about the Duggar molestation scandal, which can be found here:

It’s an evangelical mess.