Commentary & Opinion

Stephen Gottlieb: Is Democracy In America Coming Apart?

1 hour ago

I wrote Unfit for Democracy to warn that American democracy could collapse in coming decades. But the problems are coming home to roost sooner than I expected.

Bill Owens: NAFTA - What Happens Now?

4 hours ago

Much has been written in the Canadian press about the US/Canada relationship, particularly since the recent US presidential election, while the US press has largely ignored this relationship and instead has focused on the US/Mexico relationship.

Blair Horner: A Special Session?

Dec 5, 2016

The talk of a special legislative session heated up last week.  State legislators – particularly those in the Assembly – were still smarting from the governor’s moves to kill their long-awaited pay increase.  In 2015, the governor and the legislature created a pay commission to establish whether lawmakers – and top ranking members of the executive branch – should get a pay hike, and if so how much.

Rob Edelman: Ida Lupino

Dec 5, 2016

From the early 1930s through late 1970s, multi-talented British-born Ida Lupino acted onscreen and on television here in the U.S. She was at her best playing strong-willed, neurotic and cynical (but occasionally vulnerable) heroines in such films as HIGH SIERRA and THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT, both with Humphrey Bogart; THE LIGHT THAT FAILED, with Ronald Colman; and THE SEA WOLF, with Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield. And she is cast to perfection in ROAD HOUSE, released in 1948, which recently came to home entertainment from Kino Lorber.

Well, the die is cast. The election is over and now we have to live with the results until 2020. My best guess is that those who have differences with the incoming President will have to make adjustments. From where I'm sitting, WAMC is one such adjustment. We have a budget that hovers around $7,000,000. About $419,000 comes from the federal government. Because of you, I am not worried. Our fund drives are marvels. It has always been true that the rougher things are, the more we all end up pulling together. That really is the story of WAMC from Day One.

November 8 was a shock. I believed that Trump’s misogyny, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and basic dishonesty would lead to a rejection by a large majority. I have come to agree with Greg Palast and others that years of Republican strategies to suppress the votes of members of the Obama coalition paid off in some key states. Palast persuasively argues that the election was actually stolen. For details see: http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/

High-stakes testing — and the over-testing of students — have been a point of conflict in New York State for several years now.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Leadership. Commitment. Hype.

Dec 1, 2016

Today is World AIDS Day. It is, in fact, the 29th annual World AIDS Day, which is held every year on December 1st to honor the 35 million people who have died from the disease and to support the 40 million who currently live with HIV/AIDS. The theme for this year’s event, at least according to the US federal government? “Leadership. Commitment. Impact.” You’ll have to excuse me if I scoff openly at the audacity of that motto.

Herbert London: Leadership And National Unity

Nov 30, 2016

The recent American election raised a host of hypotheses about how to make America great again, to quote Mr. Trump. What it suggests is what made America great in the first place. Clearly America is based on a Constitution and Bill of Rights that give and constrain simultaneously in a symphony of Judeo Christian beliefs. The free market opened avenues of wealth and opportunity. Most significantly, the nation was blessed with great leaders from Washington to Reagan.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Don In Giovanni

Nov 29, 2016

I don’t usually tell stories, but sometimes an ancient story seems to have contemporary relevance.

Blair Horner
C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday shopping season.  It is a time when many adults look for gifts for children.  And while the holidays are a time for fun and giving, it is important that it be a safe time as well.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which is at Proctors Theater in Schenectady through Sunday, is a remarkable piece of theater.  It’s that rare work that has you leaving the performance a changed and enlightened person.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: Massasoit And Migration

Nov 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is the ideal time to recall that wonderful folk story of how the pilgrims of Plymouth Colony feasted for a full week of Autumn harvest in 1621 with the Wampanoag Indians, the real first Americans, and their chief, Massasoit. 

Herbert London: Israel And UNESCO

Nov 23, 2016

In 1945 UNESCO was organized to respond to the belief political and economic agreements are not sufficient in themselves to create a lasting peace. Peace, it was argued, must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. And so UNESCO exists to build understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

Stephen Gottlieb: Melting Pot

Nov 22, 2016

I walked by a lovely cathedral in Milwaukee and then another of the same faith one block  away. Then I noticed someone I knew and asked her what gives. She pointed out that the two cathedrals were built by people divided by their ethnic groups. How far have we traveled! These days we happily rub shoulders with people from all different backgrounds.

Blair Horner: Ethics Reforms Are Proposed, Again

Nov 21, 2016

Corruption and ethics continue to dominate the headlines out of Albany.  Last week, the verbal sparring over ethics reforms spilled into public view.

David Nightingale: "Where does it go?"

Nov 19, 2016
Electrical wiring at the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland.
Aatu Liimatta / Wikimedia Commons

My friend has just hooked up his new rooftop solar panels, and been delighted to see his meter run backwards. "But," he said to me "where does the electricity go?"

For those who believe President Obama is a lame duck simply waiting for his departure from the White House and the commencement of wealth pursuits, there is a likely surprise coming. The president has signaled that he may seek a U.N. Security Council Resolution which embodies a Palestinian state with pre-1967 lines, notwithstanding a different stance by President Elect Donald Trump.

Stephen Gottlieb: Post-mortem

Nov 15, 2016

I feel like I’m in mourning. The presidency has been taken by a con man and we all deserve better – those he’s duped as well as the rest of us.

Blair Horner: A Look At Election 2016

Nov 14, 2016

One of the notable surprises of last week’s Presidential Election is that it appears that Donald Trump has become President-elect while getting fewer votes than Mitt Romney received in his losing Presidential bid in 2012.  You heard that right, while there are still results being counted in Michigan, as of now Donald Trump received roughly 60.3 million votes, while Mitt Romney in 2012 received nearly 61 million votes. 

Garett Argianas' Evening Forecast

Nov 14, 2016

Meteorologist Garett Argianas delivers the evening weather forecast for Monday, November 14, 2016.

Keith Strudler: Finding Solace In Sports

Nov 9, 2016

I know most all of you don’t want to hear me talk about sports right now. You don’t have the appetite to consider the college football playoff rankings. Or whether NFL officials are missing too many calls. Or if baseball is a regional game. None of these topics sound important, and to be honest, they aren’t. Not relative to the fact that, in the estimation of a lot of reputable sources, we have just put our children’s future at considerable risk and destabilized the world. And potentially validated a pattern of bigotry, xenophobia, and sexism that’s largely unknown to this current generation of Americans. So I get that it’s kind of hard for you all to listen to me talk about sports right now without wanting to either change the station or, more likely, shove something down my throat. Let’s all agree that sports is simply not so important right now, even if it’s kind of what I’m supposed to do.

For those who follow popular culture, the slide into debasement is palpable. From the f-bomb to pornographic exposure, America has become the land of anything goes. The once provincial, laced up nation, challenged by the liberal view of expression, has lost. Victorian notions of modesty are as outmoded as horse-drawn plows.

Stephen Gottlieb: Against Whom The Rebellion?

Nov 8, 2016

This is my last chance to talk with you before the polls close.

Bill Owens: A New Game Plan For Jobs

Nov 8, 2016

On a recent Saturday morning I was catching up on some reading and happened across an article by Eric Levits in the Daily Intelligencia chronicling a recent speech given by Janet Yellen.  And that same day in the New York Times there appeared an article about “cleaner” Wal-Mart stores (that’s not the real story).

Blair Horner: Governor Pushes Ethics Reform, Again

Nov 7, 2016

As the election staggers across the finish line, the question for New Yorkers is what next?  At the state level, Governor Cuomo weighed in to support legislative candidates who embraced his agenda.  The governor went so as far as to circulate a questionnaire to candidates quizzing them on their support for ethics law changes, asking their position on limiting lawmakers’ outside income and stricter campaign contribution requirements for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs).

Have you ever heard of the economist Steve Keen?   In 2010 he received the largest number of first place votes for the “Revere Award in Economics.”   This award was created to identify the three economists whose writings most strongly warned of and anticipated the financial meltdown of 2008.  Listeners may recall that I have repeatedly referred to the work of Dean Baker who as early as 2002 wrote that the rise in housing prices had all the characteristics of an unsustainable bubble.  It turns out that Steve Keen had done similar writings and in fact “beat out” Baker for first place in the Revere Award.   (Baker garnered 3rd place, the financial expert Nouriel Roubini took 2nd).

Fred Kowal: A Better Future For All?

Nov 3, 2016

Like most of you, I have heard many disturbing statements during this year’s political campaigns.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Under The Knife

Nov 3, 2016

I nearly died last month. This is not an exaggeration. What started out as a bad bout of influenza quickly developed into something more. After five days sick in bed, I was struck with stabbing abdominal pains, a fever that spiked over 105° F, and a severe case of sepsis. Had I not gotten myself to the emergency room, I might have ended up in a coma, or worse, as a result of the raging infection coursing through my blood stream.

Herbert London: The Reemergence Of Tribalism

Nov 2, 2016

For those who believe in a “one-world” thesis - the union of people in a harmonized legal system – these are unsettling days. Rather than singing kumbayah each morning, tribes are displaying a form of loyalty bred in the bone. In fact, tribalism is alive and well and driving political judgments across the globe.

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