This is Passover, a holiday that comes straight out of the Bible, the Almighty commanding us to tell the story of the Exodus to each new generation as well as reminding ourselves. The Exodus, of course, is a story of freedom from slavery. The Biblical story is about the Hebrew exodus from slavery in Egypt. But we are very explicit about relating that story to the freedom of others.
Once again, New Yorkers have had to hope that federal prosecutors can clean up Albany. When Governor Cuomo unceremoniously pulled the plug on the Moreland Act Commission Investigating Public Corruption as part of a deal with legislative leaders in exchange for weak ethics reforms, even the most optimistic New Yorkers were left depressed.
Although the epidemic likely started a decade or two earlier, AIDS wasn't identified as a new disease until 1981. It took a few more years to isolate HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and to develop reliable tests for diagnosing infection.
The last few weeks have been rocky for Steve Masiello, to say the least. It started back in early March, when the Manhattan College head men’s basketball coach led the Jaspers to a berth in the NCAA tournament, where they almost upended the highly regarded Louisville Cardinals. On the backs of that, Masiello was offered the head coaching spot at the University of South Florida, a step into the big leagues for the high rising 36-year-old.
From the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the 1980’s, comments about this Jewish nation were uniformly and reflexively positive. Jews and non-Jews alike took pride in the resourcefulness of a people who could make the desert bloom and who had the backbone and will to defend themselves against Arab invaders.
I just got back from Chicago where I attended a national meeting of political scientists. One of them described at length the local, national and international barriers to doing anything about climate change. His basic point was that those whose livelihood seemed to depend on activities that are bringing on climate change are strategically placed to prevent the rest of us from doing anything. His point is that to make anything happen it would be necessary to make people come to think about what they are doing as wrong in the teeth of evidence that it is good for them in their own lifetimes. That also makes them totally resistant to the idea that climate change is happening, that human activity is a substantial cause of the change, that it will do any damage and that it is worth dealing with. Ouch for the rest of us.
In the past week, an important event in theatrical history celebrated an even more crucial event in our nation’s political history, when Gerald Rafshoon and Lawrence Wright (confidante and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright) presented “Camp David,” a dramatization of the thirteen volatile days of intense debate that produced the first negotiated agreement on a peace initiative between Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin; the most historically vital achievement of the Carter Presidency.
The nation hit a milestone last week: the deadline for signing up for coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. Despite an unbelievable torrent of mistakes, criticisms, deceptive ads, and outright lies (remember the claims of so-called “death panels”?), enrollment in newly-created health marketplaces hit an estimated 7 million enrollees – the goal set by the Administration last June.