Posts Tagged ‘Walter Palmer’

Letter From Martha’s Vineyard 08 19 15 Pristine sea, cloudless sky, and trouble on land…

August 19, 2015

In the room where I am staying on the Vineyard, there are floor to ceiling windows that look, across the balcony, onto Edgartown Harbor. The water is a dark blue, the sky is lighter but both are crisp and clean. The sky is cloudless and pristine.

I have spent the morning on the porch, reading a book and doing some emails. After a late breakfast, all the batteries on my devices were running low, so I came up to my room to plug them back in. My kindle is charging, as are my phone and laptop. My poor laptop, three years old, is beginning to feel its age and I am afraid it will soon be time for a replacement.

This evening will be The Grand Illumination, a lighting of the old cottages in the Campgrounds with antique Japanese lanterns and more. I’m looking forward to it and will do my best to give you a good description tomorrow. That’s why I am writing early today. I’ll be out in the evening, taking in the Grand Illumination.

Grand are also the ambitions of Donald Trump, who is now, unbelievably and, to me, horrifyingly, being treated more and more as a viable candidate. In some polls he is within striking distance of Hillary. As I sit here looking out at the placid waters of the harbor, I am stunned.

Trump has declared that, sadly, Heidi Klum is no longer a ten. She wonders what that has to do with the election while, at the same time, mocking him back on social media. One often wonders what Trump has to say has to do with anything.

In another pre-election year kink, Al Gore is said to be thinking about a run in 2016.

IS today beheaded an 82 year old archeologist, Khaled Assad, in Palmyra. Author of many books and articles, sire of 11 children, he was one of the world’s, if not the world’s expert, on Palmyra. He refused to divulge to IS things they wanted to know. His headless body is hanging from a lamppost in town.

Turkey is restless. Following the failure of Erdogan’s government to win a majority for the first time since 2002, the country has been unable to form a government and new elections are expected soon. Two terrorists attacked the Dolmabahce Palace today, popular with tourists and home to the Prime Minister’s Istanbul offices. Kurds killed eight soldiers in the southeast.

Zimbabwe has arrested the man who owned the farm where Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist, killed Cecil the Lion. That brings to three who have been arrested. Not charged so far is Walter Palmer, whose Minnesota dental practice reopened today, but without him. He was photographed recently in Eden Prairie, MN, not far from his Bloomington, MN practice.

Jared Fogle famously became a spokesperson for Subway when he claimed that Subway helped him lose over 200 pounds. He is now infamous for child pornography charges and he has agreed to plead guilty to charges of child pornography and paying for sex with minors. He faces over a decade in jail. Sad end to a success story.

The UK is saying the e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco and is, if not exactly endorsing them, coming very close to doing so.

A female “Viagra” has been approved for sale.

Ashley Madison is a website for spouses who want to cheat. It has, like many other sites, been hacked. Millions of names have been released to the “dark web.” Only good thing: most people can’t get to the “dark web.” Not a good day to be a cheater.

The day is beautiful and I am restless writing. I want to go back outdoors and read some more and soak in the harbor’s beauty.

Until next time.

Letter From New York 08 02 15 Striving toward the light…

August 2, 2015

It is a little after five and I am, once more, sitting on the deck. It has been another perfect day in Claverack; the day dawned gloriously. I sat on the deck reading and having coffee before showering and heading down to church. The air was pristine and the creek a mirror, just like it is now.

From far away, I can hear an occasional truck on 23, a road to the north of the cottage. It has to be exceptionally still for me to hear one. There are birds singing and a few insects buzzing.

The entire scene is so serene; I can’t believe sometimes I am living it. Year round, I am endlessly fascinated by the changes in nature that unfold before my eyes. The sun is warm on my back but not so warm as to be uncomfortable. There is almost a suggestion in the air that a light jacket would not be unreasonable this evening.

In a little while, I’ll be heading into Hudson to meet my friend, Jeremiah, and to go to dinner. It feels like a Sunday for a trip to Hudson for dinner.

Jericho, brother to the slain Cecil the Lion, was himself rumored dead but he has been now reported alive and safe. Walter Palmer, the man who hunted and killed Cecil, has apparently, through a representative, reached out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officials who want to have a conversation with him. A petition regarding Palmer to whitehouse.gov has garnered over 200,000 signatures. The result will be some sort of White House response. The Executive Branch, as I understand it, has to give a response to any petition with over one hundred thousand signatures. This is twice that.

Zimbabwe wants Palmer extradited to face charges there. I am sure he will not want to go.

Shira Banki, a sixteen-year-old Israeli girl, has died from knife wounds inflicted when she was marching in a Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, allegedly carried out by an extremist Orthodox Jew who had recently gotten out of jail after serving ten years for having performed a similar attack years ago.

Her death and that of an eighteen-month-old little Palestinian boy in an arson attack, also by suspected Jewish terrorists, has resulted in thousands of Israelis participating in peace marches. President Rivlin of Israel has asked that the attacks “be a wake up call” for all Israelis.

It has resulted in widespread outrage in the country though the backlash against Rivlin on Facebook and other social media outlets has his security forces asking for help from the Israeli police.

In 1995, Prime Minister Rabin of Israel was assassinated as he was departing a peace rally.

All that hate and anger seem so far away as I sit on my deck, smiling at the beauty of the creek.

But it’s everywhere.

Turkish soldiers killed by Kurds, Syrians killing Syrians, IS just being IS…

My friends, Alana and Patrick, sitting on the deck with me yesterday, talked with me about how unfathomable the horrors are that men will wrack on other humans. But we do.

And we do march against the darkness, as Israelis have been doing, in the thousands. I truly believe we strive for the light though the dark souls of some would drag us down.

Letter From New York 07 30 15 A party on the train and a missing dentist…

July 30, 2015

The moment I stepped out of the apartment this morning, my glasses steamed up. It was that kind of day. Stopping at CVS to pick up prescription, I exited into a torrential downpour. I stood for ten to fifteen minutes getting a cab, while balancing a suitcase, knapsack and CVS bag before one arrived.

The reason I was weighted down with all this “stuff” is that tonight is July 30th and I was appointed bartender for tonight’s Empire Regulars’ Retirement party for Ray, one of the most beloved conductors on the Empire Service. I think tomorrow is his last day; today is his last time conducting on one of our regular trains.

Emails have been racing back and forth all day about who was going to bring what…

Cheese and crackers and cold meats and Italian sausages, soft drinks and my “Ray Martin” drink, a concoction of limeade, seltzer, ice, and vodka, topped by a maraschino cherry.

It’s been my job for nearly ten years this fall to come up with a signature drink for our train parties. I did “Baby ‘Tinis” for a baby shower, held for a couple of regulars having their first child. One was pink; one was blue. They had opted not to know the sex of their child so I did one for each possibility. For a Halloween party, I created a “Pumpkin Tini” and so it has gone for all these years.

Ray has been great to all of us and we want to send him off in our signature style, a party on the train.

Not very much a party was Gay Pride in Israel. An ultra-Orthodox Jew named Yishai Schlissel stabbed six people in the Pride Parade. Just a few weeks ago, he was released from prison, having served his time for stabbing three people in the 2005 Pride Parade.

The plane part found on Reunion Island, a French territory in the Western Indian Ocean, is being closely examined to make sure that it is truly from a 777. If it is, it is probably from MH 370, as there are no other missing 777’s. There is no desire to give friends and relatives of the flight’s passengers anything but 100% certainty.

Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati policeman, has been charged with murder of a black man, Sam Dubose, after he shot Dubose following a stop for a missing license plate. Tensing was wearing a body camera. The Cincinnati prosecutor has called it “senseless and asinine.” Tensing has pleaded not guilty and is held under a million-dollar bail.

The Greek Debt Crisis continues roiling. Tsipras is being confronted by the far left of his party and he has thrown down the gauntlet to them. Germany wants the IMF to be part of the bail out. The IMP says not right now; it wants to know Greece can succeed. Who knows what will happen?

Tsipras remains incredibly popular, even after his U turn. He seems refreshing to the Greek populace, so used to career politicians.

Walter Palmer, the Bloomington, Minnesota dentist who has brought down the world’s wrath by killing Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, has disappeared. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officials have been relentlessly attempting to contact him. It’s not the first time they’ve been in touch with him. There was an incident a few years ago here in the States.

No success. Silent as a tomb, where some people would like him to be.

But if I am going to be successful at tonight’s party, it’s time for me to finish this and head for Penn Station to join my fellow revelers. Shhhh! It’s a surprise.

Letter From New York 07 29 15 Of missile launches, lion hunts and other things…

July 29, 2015

It is a sunny and blistering hot day in New York. I had a lunch today at Sarabeth’s in Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. It is not a terrible walk but by the time I arrived there, I was more than damp and glad I had topped off with a cold drink of water before I left. Coming back, I caught the bus right outside the store and rode it to Penn Station, walking from there to the office.

When I left the apartment this morning, I turned off the air conditioning but it may have been wiser to leave it on. Heat warnings are in effect for NYC until tomorrow at 8:00 PM. People are to restrain outside activities between 11 and 4 and cooling centers are open for those who might not have air conditioning.

As the day begins to fade, I am gathering my thoughts about the events of the world.

Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban, has apparently been dead for the last two years, according to the Afghans. US Intelligence is examining the claim closely. Supposedly, he died in a Pakistani hospital of an undetermined illness. If he is dead, it may help the peace process. Or not. Some of his supporters have broken from the Taliban and proclaimed their allegiance to IS.

The murkiness continues.

Some parts of a plane washed up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. They are being examined to see if they are pieces to the missing MH 370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared in March of 2014, leaving behind no trace. Despite huge search efforts, nothing has been found and the mystery has been unabated.

Another Malaysian Airliner was shot down over Ukraine. Effort has been being made to initiate a UN tribunal to look into the events surrounding the downing of the flight but they are being blocked by Russia.

Two young Florida boys went fishing. Their boat was found capsized 180 miles from where they started. The search continues, without a trace of them so far.

There is a religious festival that is held every five years in Nepal. Five hundred thousand [500,000] animals have their throats cut. It won’t be happening this year. Priests at the temple of Gidhimai have said that there will be an indefinite halt to the sacrifices to this Goddess of Power. Animal activists are pleased but don’t intend to lower their watch. I think it’s the use of the word “indefinite” that concerns them.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an old saying that is not holding up between the Turks and the Kurds. Both are fighting IS but they haven’t quit fighting each other. Erdogan, President of Turkey, is concerned because the Kurdish party won 13% of the vote in the last election. Something it has never done. Erdogan is accusing some of the Kurdish members of Parliament of having ties to terrorism. The Erdogan accusations are getting a lot of play; Kurdish rebuttals are receiving little attention.

The Government of Kim Jong-un, everyone’s favorite pudgy little dictator, looks like it is getting ready for a new missile test, having just finished upgrading its rocket launch facility. It will raise tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world, again, and probably result in more sanctions. It will probably happen in October when there is a big political celebration.

Over the last couple of days, hundreds of migrants have stormed the Chunnel, between England and France, desperate to make it to the UK. Riot police have been called out. The Mediterranean problem is sweeping north.

A Minnesota dentist paid $50,000 for a big game hunt in Zimbabwe. He hired a couple of locals. They lured a lion out of a park and he was felled with a crossbow. It turns out the lion was a local tourist favorite, Cecil the Lion. The uproar is horrific. Walter Palmer, the dentist, is apologetic, saying he relied on the locals to ensure a legal hunt. But it looks like the website to his practice has been taken down and he has been thoroughly trashed on social media.

I was not aware that one could still legally hunt wild game in Africa. I thought the only shooting that could be done was with a camera. I was wrong.

It took the hunters forty hours to locate Cecil and to end his misery with a gunshot.

And in ending today’s blog, how better to end it than with an update on The Donald? He has gone on record saying he would welcome Sarah Palin in his administration.

Oh my.