Commentary & Opinion

Sean Philpott-Jones: Tempering Sheen’s Shame

Dec 17, 2015

Television actor and Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen revealed that he was HIV positive last month, breaking four years of silence during which he allegedly paid out millions of dollars in extortion in an attempt to keep his diagnosis private.

Herbert London: Iran Cheats Again

Dec 16, 2015

Despite the murder of at least 1200 Americans, including service personnel at Khobar Towers; despite lying about its nuclear weapons program; despite the largest terrorist attack in the western hemisphere before 9/11 that killed 85 Argentinians; despite support for Hamas and Hezbollah attacks against Israel; despite trumped up charges  against Americans who have been imprisoned or murdered; despite being a refuge for al Qaeda leadership; despite the apparent murder of Alberto Nisman who was investigating the terror attack in Buenos Aires; despite the cries of “death to America;” despite repeated cyber attacks against the U.S. ; despite the export of weapons to Syria and Yemen in violation of the arms embargo; despite the egregious violation of the nuclear accord with the UN Security Council with the testing of nuclear capable ICBMs; despite all of this and so much more that hasn’t been mentioned, the United States continues to assert that with the nuclear deal now completed – albeit still not signed by Iranian leaders – Iran will enter the ranks of a responsible nation.

Stephen Gottlieb: Political Correctness

Dec 15, 2015

I want to address one of the issues coming out of recent events on college campuses, not to mention the rhetoric of Mr. Trump.

Blair Horner: Can Albany Fix Itself?

Dec 14, 2015

Another week, another conviction of a high-ranking elected official. It’s hard to know if this is the tipping point for change. New Yorkers can only hope so.

David Nightingale: JJ & GP Thomson

Dec 13, 2015
J.J. Thomson
Wikipedia Commons

This essay is about Nobel prize winning fathers and sons in physics, of which there are quite a few, focussing here on JJ Thomson and his son GP Thomson.  JJ is famous for having discovered the electron, and 30 years later his son discovered that it was a wave. Today we can correctly describe all particles, be they electrons or Volkswagens, either way.

With the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, one question that remains is what state lawmakers will actually do to prevent corruption.

WAMC's political observer Dr. Alan Chartock offered his thoughts to Lucas Willard on Midday Magazine.


As many of you have learned over the past couple of months, The College of St. Rose asserts a significant deficit. In response to this revelation (but without ever actually opening the books), the president, cabinet, and board of trustees eliminated some 40 staff positions in the spring and announced a process in September they have termed Strategic Academic Program Prioritization (SAPP) in order to meet the goal of eliminating the deficit by 2019. According to President Stefanco, this process calls for a market-driven approach to divert more resources to programs that are growing in demand and eliminating or shrinking programs in which students indicate little or declining interest. Announced to faculty only in early September, the President set a deadline for final recommendations (to the tune of 3 million dollars from the academic affairs portion of the College, its heart and soul) to be submitted by late October for consideration by the Board in its November meeting. While on its face such a plan might sound reasonable, a great many students, faculty, alumni, and community members have joined together in vocal resistance to this approach, because it violates our system of shared governance, imperils the academic mission and ethical responsibilities of the College, and, if implemented, will short change students. Worst of all, similar processes at other colleges have failed to produce the cost savings predicted.

Microaggression, or a slight intended or unintended, has influenced public discourse from universities to world leaders. Yet it is interesting to note some slights are acceptable and others are not. It is considered inappropriate to use an adjective such as militant or radical to modify the noun Islam. However, it is increasingly appropriate to use the expression Zionist aggression, even when most Israeli military activity is defensive – a retaliation for violence inflicted on the Jewish state.

For some people, the best solution to every problem is to shoot at it, and presidents aren’t leaders unless they’re yelling “charge” into battle. I want to bite off a domestic piece of that nonsense. In the wake of every terrorist tragedy, senators, sheriffs, NRA officers and supporters propose more guns, carry your guns, be ready to defend yourself, ourselves, wherever and whenever occasion arises.[1]

Bill Owens: A Rational Approach To ISIS

Dec 8, 2015

In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, Beirut (receiving virtually no media coverage), and now San Bernardino, California terrorism is in our consciousness. The immediate reaction from almost all of us is one of revulsion and anger.

Pages