Commentary & Opinion

On January 2, a group of armed protesters walked into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns Oregon and vowed to remain there until their concerns were addressed.   What initially triggered this “protest” was the re-sentencing of two ranchers who had initially served a few months in prison for arson – setting fires that spread to federal land.   The protesters felt new sentences (requiring both defendants to serve 5 years) were too harsh.  In a January 6 statement, they announced that in addition to freedom for the two men, they wanted the land currently owned by the federal government to be returned to the people. They wanted “loggers get back to logging, ranchers get back to ranching, miners get back to mining and farmers get back to farming.” [part of this quote is from a press conference January 6 reported at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/militia-occupation-leader-in-oregon-were-like-rosa-parks/.  

Fred Kowal: Friedrichs

Jan 7, 2016

A historic moment in America’s struggle for economic and social justice is upon us, though few Americans are aware of it.  On Jan. 11th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, the latest attempt by political extremists to turn back the clock on social progress in the U.S.

Herbert London: Los Abandonados Of Argentina

Jan 6, 2016

In 1994 the western hemisphere suffered its worst terrorist attack up to that time. A massive car bombing destroyed the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Society, killing 85 people and leaving hundreds wounded.

President Obama commented a few weeks ago that Muslims in America must do more to stop Muslim violence and many have suggested that the Muslim community has not been doing enough to stop it.(1 ) That struck me as very false, given my own contacts in the Muslim community. So I reached out to learn what is happening in the Muslim community.

Bill Owens: Facts About The Borders

Jan 5, 2016

A recent report produced by the majority staff of Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, dated November 23, 2015, provides some interesting data and insight about the security of our borders. The report, entitled “The State of America’s Border Security,” misses the target as it focuses on identification of immigration threats, with just a fleeting reference to the facilitation of legitimate trade. If you ignore the trade issue, then the feared threats will likely multiply as the number of jobs in the immigrants' home countries decline.

Blair Horner: Will Albany Open Up In 2016?

Jan 4, 2016

2015 was a bad year for openness at the state Capitol.  It ended with Governor Cuomo vetoing two bills which had been supported by the Committee on Open Government.  The Committee is a widely-respected state agency created in the 1970s to offer an independent judgment on New York’s Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Dec 31, 2015

Most of my friends, upon learning that I was raised in sunny California, are shocked to find that winter is my favorite season. Since first moving to this area in the mid-90s, I’ve relished in the fact that I now live in a place with seasons, a region of the country that enjoys subzero temperatures and frequent snow during the darkest months of the year. No wonder then that the Snow Miser from the classic cartoon ‘A Year Without a Santa Claus’ is my yuletide Facebook avatar.

Keith Strudler: Straw Men, Sports And The Media

Dec 30, 2015

If Peyton Manning had known six months ago that he’d be on the bench backing up an unproven fourth year quarterback who had thrown all of thirty passes in his first three years in the league, while he fends off accusations of performance enhancing drug use, he might just have thought twice about coming back for an 18th NFL season. Granted, Manning assumed he had ample life left on his cannon of an arm, if last year was any guide. And his team the Denver Broncos stood to be a favorite to make the Super Bowl, giving him another chance to put a second ring on his finger, at least equaling his brother Eli and making a stronger case for his place in the pantheon of greatest QB’s of all time. And the $15 million he’s paid this year didn’t hurt either.

Herbert London: Perversion Of Islam?

Dec 30, 2015

In what can only be described as a “reassurance” speech is, President Obama in addressing the terrorist murders in San Bernardino, California said we should not be overcome by fear. Once again, he noted this terror is not a reflection of Islam. His Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, went further in contending that the real fear is anti Islamic prejudice, even though there is little evidence to support her concern.

Okay, dear readers, here are my fearless predictions for the coming year. I offer them every year with the following warnings. Some of them predict things that I don’t want to see happen so I offer them to put the evil eye on them. Then sometimes I offer predictions that I don’t necessarily think will happen but I want to make them self-fulfilling prophecies. Finally, there are those that I really think will happen. As always, it is up to you to figure out which is which.

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