Commentary & Opinion

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.

I encountered two images last night worth talking about.

What A Drive!

Oct 31, 2016

Oh, what a fund drive it was! It was surely some sort of a record breaker. First off, thanks to you we made over $400,000 in our locked before the drive even started. We went on-air Monday morning and ended, a million dollars later, on Thursday around noon. That's a lot of money andmany of you followed us every minute of the drive. It's always interested me how some public stations never tell you how much they've raised. We think that it's incredibly important to keep you in the loop as we go. After all, we are all in this together. 

Blair Horner: The Myth Of Voter Fraud

Oct 31, 2016

As the national election season races to the finish line, one issue that has made its way to the top of the debate is voter “fraud.”  It is stated frequently and consistently that voter fraud is a huge problem that could undermine the results of the national elections. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is no exaggeration to observe that ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, Fred Peabody’s provocative new documentary, is extremely timely as it puts forth its point-of-view. That point-of-view may not be original, but it still is well-worth repeating and pondering. And that is that politicians tell untruths as frequently as the daily sunrise.

David Nightingale: Bricks

Oct 30, 2016
Stack of bricks
ArnoldReinhold / Wikimedia Commons

On a sunny mid-October Saturday, reading that the Hutton brickyard 'Market' -- Smorgasburg -- was closing down for the year, I drove to Kingston. I'd never visited the Hutton brickyard, but many times when putting my little Sunfish into the river at Kingston Point, had noticed all the broken bricks labelled 'Hutton' lying north of the beach.

On October 30, the National Geographic Channel will broadcast the first episode of the second season of a series entitled Years of Living Dangerously.  The series explores the dangers of global warming and associated climate change.   The first episode, A Race Against Time, focuses two compelling stories:  the promise of solar energy in India and the political obstacles to wider use of solar energy in the U. S.

Imagine a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence has disappeared.

Herbert London: The Radical Turn In World Affairs

Oct 26, 2016

The voice of an angry populace will be heard. Recent elections in Germany, Austria, and Spain suggest the migration of displaced Syrians across the continent is leading to political convulsions rarely seen since World War II. Some will describe it as the radicalization of conventional politics. Others will describe these convulsions as a safety valve for the Europeans obliged to deal with the migration issue. For many, any party willing to say “stop” will receive a hearing.

Stephen Gottlieb: A Scary Election

Oct 25, 2016

Over a century ago, populism was sweeping the country, with white and African-American workers standing together, until a scared Southern aristocracy started race-baiting. Whites took the bait, breaking the back of Southern populism. The rest of the country surged forward because their governments cared about the people, the regular people, not just the fancy financiers. But not in the South, which languished.

Fred Kowal: SUNY Under A Microscope

Oct 25, 2016

Corruption. Fraud. Bribery

A bid-rigging scandal that involved SUNY Polytechnic Institute and other upstate nanotechnology development projects. The result: federal charges leveled against nine people, including Alain Kaloyeros, the now former president of SUNY Poly.

During the lazy, hazy days of last summer, the Cuomo Administration approved a plan to hike New Yorkers’ electric utility bills by billions of dollars. The hike is to bail out three upstate nuclear power plants in central and western New York. Some of these plants, built during the Vietnam War era, were slated to be shut down because they were no longer efficient or profitable, having run well past their projected lifespan of 40 years.

Jeffrey Reel: The Presidential Election

Oct 23, 2016

When Michelle Bachmann appeared on the political scene in 2007, I wondered how a person that uninformed could be popularly elected to federal office. At the time, I thought that it doesn’t get much worse than this.  

Keith Strudler: Chicago Cubs Fans

Oct 19, 2016

Cubs fans, it is now time to get nervous. A few days ago, you were up one game to zero in the National League Championship Series. Three more wins against the Dodgers, and it was off to the World Series, where you would be the favorite to win over what now appears to be the Cleveland Indians, who are up three-nil on the Toronto Blue Jays. This would be your first trip to the Series since 1945. And if you won, the first time since 1908. As you’re well aware as a Cubs fan, this is the longest championship drought in professional baseball. Or more precisely, in all professional sports.

Herbert London: Watermelon Politics In America

Oct 19, 2016

Watermelon politics are on the rise in the United States. The green Islamist groups intent on undermining the West through self-proclaimed “civilizational jihad” have aligned themselves formally and informally with the red radicals such as Black Lives Matter (BLM). For many, this union seems unlikely. Islamist’s want to turn the clock back to the Seventh Century and BLM is eager to push the clock ahead to a time when race consciousness is a national preoccupation.

Stephen Gottlieb: Fugue For Pledge Breaks

Oct 18, 2016

Hi folks. When you hear this I’ll be boarding a plane for Pittsburgh to give a talk, and I’ll be missing a couple of days of the fund drive, though friends and family from our Peace Corps days will be helping out at the station as well as contributing from home. This station is important to us – and this election season makes clear why. On WAMC we get news that is fact-checked. We get opinions that are explained, not just thrown at us like so many ipse dixits. We get interviews with people on both sides of political campaigns. And we get cutting edge science about energy, water, the climate, the economy and other matters of interest and importance. This station is a treasure.

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