Posts Tagged ‘UKIP’

Letter From New York 08 25 2016 From the banks of Claverack Creek…

August 26, 2016

It has been a grey and gloomy day in Claverack, always threatening to rain but not managing it.  Tomorrow is also supposed to be this way though with more chance of rain.  I was out for a couple of meetings and errands and have been home since then working on a few projects, mostly getting ready to teach Public Speaking in the Fall at Columbia Greene Community College.

It is dark earlier now.  It is not yet 7:15 and the light is leaving quickly.  Behind me is the thrum of the dishwasher; otherwise there is silence.  I told a friend I woke up happy, which I did.

As I lived my quiet day, rescuers in Italy searched the ruins left by a lethal earthquake, looking for survivors as the clock ticks the chances away. Aftershocks rattled them as they searched. At least 250 are dead and another 350+ injured. A Polish immigrant living in the town of Amatrice, said she will remember until she dies “the evil murmur of moving walls.”

Those who have debilitating allergies often carry EpiPens with them, a now common safety device.  Mylan, the company that makes them, has raised the price dramatically as a generic alternative will become available in the not too distant future.  Apparently, this is not unusual for drug companies to wring the last round of profits from a medicine in the months before a generic alternative becomes available.

It happened to me, a few years ago.  Something I was taking suddenly skyrocketed in price and I had to switch to an alternative.

Nine years ago, an EpiPen cost $47, today, $284.  No wonder there is an outcry.  And the EpiPen, it seems, was developed by the US Department of Defense as something for soldiers in the field to use for nerve gas and then it was discovered it worked on allergies.

Congress is talking an investigation.  I have friends who carry them.  In the meantime, people who need them maybe are being out priced from having them.

I love nights like this.  Outside the floodlights illuminate the creek.  Beatrice, my ever growing banana plant, continues her climb to the ceiling.  And I enjoy the tranquility of the cottage.

The Chairman of Vice Media, Shane Smith, who runs the digital behemoth that has attracted investment from Disney and Fox, says that a “digital media crisis is coming.”  Yes, it is.  It has been for twenty years now, growing slowly until it now has become the crisis no one can avoid.  When I was, long ago and far away, working in the cable business no one in broadcasting thought of us as a menace, until we were.  So with digital… It was not a menace, until it was…  The crisis is here and has been from almost the moment it began but media has been an ostrich in the sand.

The political campaigns go on.  I don’t pay much attention right now.  Trump has accused Hillary of being a bigot.  She’s done the same to him.  The beat goes on.  It will until it is over.

Nigel Farage, once head of UKIP and a leader in BREXIT, campaigned today with Trump, basically endorsing him for President.  I am not sure that is going to mean much to Trump’s core constituency…  Or maybe it will mean a lot to that constituency.

As I have been writing this, an email came in.  Vidya, wife of my friend Tim Sparke, let me know he passed away yesterday afternoon.  He waged a remarkable war for years against brain tumors and is now gone.

Hats off, Tim.  You worked to stay for your children and your wife and you went on longer than any of us would have dreamt that you could.  You would not give up.  I was changed by knowing you.  When I was remarkably low eleven years ago you did your best to raise my spirits and cause me to laugh.

You were a generous spirit.  Since you have been sick and I have been going to church, I have been lighting a candle for you and I will again this weekend, to celebrate the wonderful moments we had together, the generosity you gave me and the spirit you were in this world.



Letter From New York 03 30 15 Safely back in Delhi…

March 30, 2015

There is one thing I have learned from my times in India. The people drive with cheerful, careless, reckless abandon. After we left the guesthouse at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, I made sure my seat belt was tightly fastened. As we started down the long road to Delhi, I realized that more often than not we were on the wrong side of the road.

Drivers seem to feel that a steady use of the horn gives them both right of way and immunity. After watching death bear down on me at 60 kilometers an hour once too often, I surrendered to the experience and closed my eyes, saying a prayer and hoping to doze.

Once I opened my eyes to see us just avoiding rear-ending the car in front of us; another time to see us squeeze between two other vehicles on a two-lane road. I closed my eyes again and thought pleasant thoughts about arriving in one piece in Delhi.

We drove past ramshackle buildings that could never have been new and past new buildings that looked old before they were finished. In air-conditioned comfort, I looked out at the faces of people, many smiling in the wonderful way Indians have. Some looked intense but most seemed content, living in the world they did. A woman in a red and blue sari passed me, intent on getting where she was going with her burden of groceries in a bag.

I drifted off again and then, before I really knew it, I was at India Habitat Center, where I will be staying the next two nights before heading down to Jaipur.

An old friend surfaced this morning, via Facebook, and I am going to see if I can get to Goa to see him. I had thought he was living in Haridwar but it turns out he has not kept his Facebook profile up to date and is now in Goa.

Tonight, I will see if I can work that out.

At this very moment, much to my frustration, I am Internet challenged. While it says I am connected, no pages load so I have no connection to the greater world.

The Times of India this morning was bursting with reports about dissension in the AAP, a relatively new party that swept elections in Delhi in the last two months. Two of the founders of the party seemed to have been banished for “seditious” activities. Made American politics seem almost tame.

In Roorkee, I met an Australian named Jo, who now works at the University of Southampton in Britain and who has been on loan to IIT Roorkee for the last six months helping them revamp their administrative policies. She goes home tomorrow and is deeply sad after having become very attached to Roorkee and India.

She, Ron Eglash and I had a spirited conversation yesterday night about the differences between British and American politics at the given moment. She was fascinated and intrigued by the sharp differences right now between Republicans and Democrats. Her feeling is that Tories and Labour in the UK have become too similar though the advance of UKIP, a newish party that wants to pull away from Europe and which is gaining a surprising degree of popularity, frightens her. Jo’s opinion is that UKIP has a racist streak up its spine.

The Iranian talks are coming down to the wire and it may well be there will be no resolution though Iran still says it is “doable.” Tomorrow is the last day of the self-imposed deadline and negotiators seem willing to talk until 11:59:59 PM of March 31st.

The Times of India, which was left at my door at the guesthouse in Roorkee, also reported on the continuing Saudi airstrikes against Yemeni rebels.

It was actually cool when I left the guesthouse and I wore a sweater for the first time since being in India.

Now that I am safely back in Delhi, I look forward to the rest of my time in India. I am hoping I can find a way to Goa to see William, who has lived here since 1969. He was 19 when he arrived and has never really left.

I have plans tomorrow to do some Delhi shopping with my friend Raja and am going to put together a list of people for whom I would like to bring home something. It’s part of the fun of traveling, finding delights for friends and relatives.