Thoughts — 22 August 2011 including Travel to Lake Placid, NY

Jeremy’s 4th birthday party and scenes from Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid NY

Our kids keep surprising us. Elizabeth was at a toy store and saw an origami kit; the salesperson assumed she didn’t know what it was and told her that she wouldn’t understand it. Elizabeth said I know what origami is; it is from Japan and it deals with folding up paper…..Jeremy got some candy by the rabbi in synagogue this past Saturday and he asked the rabbi Is it kosher?

Did you notice that the Guy who threw pie at Murdoch inside the British parliamentary meeting got 6 weeks in jail. Murdoch meanwhile hasn’t even been fined. You can screw everyone, but you better mind your manners in England…..All these Republicans lost more in the market this last month than the amount of taxes they might have had to pay had they agreed to compromise in Congress. The market is fed up with these phony baloney budgets out of Washington.

Arab Spring all in all is an opportunity. Libya and Tunisia are side shows. But Syria will go Sunni. Egypt will be Sunni. Iran will lose its arc. The Saudis and Bahrainis just married off each other’s royal son and daughter to each other cementing their ties. Turkey will be Sunni and its army is in conflict with its own government. All in all, I think it’s a good thing. Israel will have an easier time getting regional support for a peace if it doesn’t have Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran stirring the pot and if it doesn’t have to go to war against Iran because they lose their foothold in the region all over Israel. Problem solves itself in a rather unexpected way. This Egypt chill has an interesting byproduct the Egyptian army is taking over Sinai which has been run for the past decade by the Egyptian police. It was all very corrupt and disorganized. The Israelis are happier to deal with the army that seems to be interested in getting the area under control. I expect the two countries to get over the current spat and to deal with the Sinai region seriously.

Israel summer demonstrations are cute but no threat; its concentration of 10 families for 30% of its economy is like Switzerland and less than Sweden…. Azerbaijan is Israel’s 4th largest trading partner and shares a long border with Iran. Israel presumably has listening posts on Iran within A-jan. It is also a base for Israeli agents infiltrating Iran… Jordan has 5,000 troops in Bahrain wearing Saudi uniforms which explains why Saudi invited it into the GCC. People thought they were just trying to bring them into their orbit, but it came with a price. Probably a good jobs program for Jordan though!

Rick Perry He is governor of Texas and Republican presidential candidate. I would take him very seriously. In fact, he would be my outside guess to be Republican candidate and the next president if this is the best the Republicans have. According to a reporter who has covered him for many years, he is disciplined, and works morning to night creating jobs in Texas. He has a lot of friends and he is great at raising money. He has never lost an election and served as governor now for over a decade. He seems to be good at moderating his message for New Hampshire and he is going to get points for picking a message and sticking to it. You might not like what he says, but he genuinely believes what he says and I think people want to see some integrity in a politician, and Obama has consistently shown a lack of it. The liberal media will pounce on things he says he will do it purposely knowing that his base of supporters eats it up like chocolate. If he can get independents to vote for him, he’s going to be very tough for Obama to beat because I think that Obama is coming across as a professor and a guy who is not able to get things done while the country burns and people are not getting jobs. Perry is all about jobs and the next election is going to be about the economy because it just ain’t happening here now and it won’t be for the next several years. He might quack like George Bush but I think he has a shot, especially since I don’t see anything else on the horizon yet. I saw Michele Bachmann on the news last week and my reaction was Are you kidding?

This past month I traveled to Lake Placid NY. You can drive there in 6 hours from here or fly to Burlington VT and drive about 2 hours; some of it is a ferry crossing. It is a pretty drive. This used to be a big area for tourism and some 5-star hotels were recently rebuilt. The Lake Placid Lodge is the most interesting of them; it is a lovely property right on the lake. You can get a cabin right on the lakeside and the picture windows make you feel like you are on the lake while you are sitting inside. The decor is beautiful and the restaurant has a terrace overlooking the lake and the Whiteface mountain. The owners of this hotel also once owned the Point Resort at Lake Saranac, about an hour away. That is twice the price (3x the price if you get the boathouse suite which is the best of the bunch) and it is a different feel. There the property only houses about two dozen guests in total and every night is a dinner party to which you feel obligated to attend, two nights a week in black tie. You have to want to be there to go there. It’s great if you want to drink open bar roughly every 100 feet or so. Not much to do in these places besides sit in your cabin unless you’re sporty. About a mile from the Lake Placid Lodge is the Whiteface Lodge which is a more traditional hotel and more suitable for families kids are not allowed at the other two places. Problem with Whiteface is that it’s not on any lake, it’s not much scenery and the hotel itself and the rooms are rather dark. I didn’t care for it. Lake Placid village is pretty hokey and I didn’t feel any need to go into town. It’s a bit far to get over here; you could almost fly to Wyoming in the same amount of time it takes to fly to Burlington and then drive over here and then stay in some cool place right by the airport in Jackson, Wyoming. By the way, Burlington VT has a pretty downtown with a long pedestrian street and it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. But if you were thinking of Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Lodge is a great hideaway for the sounds of silence, nature and romance.

I guess Khaddafi is soon to be out in Libya. My work is done. I am leaving on 2 weeks vacation with Karen and the kids to Austria. Vienna and Salzburg await.


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