Commentary & Opinion

Stephen Gottlieb: I Have A Dream

Aug 22, 2017

The North was segregated after Brown outlawed segregation in 1954. It didn’t happen by private individual choices but by government decisions that blocked banks from lending to African-Americans in both the suburbs and inner cities. Those now well documented decisions created many of the inner cities’ problems and the struggle to make equality real. But who cares?

Blair Horner: Colleges Open Up

Aug 21, 2017

All across New York State, colleges and universities are opening up for the Fall 2017 academic semester.  This annual rite of passage is life-changing for the students and deeply impactful for the families.  One key way that college can impact is the cost.

WAMC's political observer Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the crash of the destroyer USS John S. McCain, President Trump's Afghanistan strategy, anti-racism rallies across the U.S. over the weekend and today's solar eclipse.

Not only is the production of the “The Elixir of Love” a wonderful professional offering of a delightful comic opera, it is probably one of the most charming entertainment experiences you can have this season.

Keith Strudler: Both Sides

Aug 16, 2017

The other side. That phrase, or a variant thereof, has gotten an unusual amount of play in the past several days. We’ve been told, by the President, no less, to look at both sides when assessing blame. Most every mediator or manager wants to hear both sides before making a decision. No matter your posture or position, it seems there’s always the other side to consider, even if it sometimes seems intuitively one-sided. Like the world is round. Or ice cream is delicious.

Herbert London: Never Trump and The Trump Presidency

Aug 16, 2017

For the so-called Never Trumpers, the president’s coarse cultural style is an unforgiving trait, one that undermines the dignity of the office. Never Trumpers (NTs) contend that even if there are policies President Trump embraces consistent with their philosophical suppositions, they will remain firm in their opposition.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Dagger In The Heart of Labor

Aug 15, 2017

Last week I spoke about labor. Next week is the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech at the 1963 March on Washington. I intended to connect the two. After hate intervened in Charlottesville, that’s even more urgent.

Blair Horner: The State Of The Climate

Aug 14, 2017

Last week the nation’s top science agencies released a report on the planet’s deteriorating climate.  The report, State of the Climate 2016, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made it official: 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history.  And it was the third year in a row that the record was set.

Ralph Gardner Jr: Grocery Shopping In Third Gear

Aug 12, 2017
Ralph Gardner's backup bike
Ralph Gardner, Jr.

The food scene in the Hudson Valley – forget the Hudson Valley, I just mean on our road – has become developed enough that we can purchase everything we need to make an excellent dinner during our Saturday morning ten-mile bike ride.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Playing God

Aug 10, 2017

Earlier this month, scientists at Oregon Health Sciences University announced that they had successfully edited the DNA of a human embryo in order to remove the cause of a relatively common but extremely dangerous genetic disease.

Herbert London: Imposing Social Dogmatism

Aug 9, 2017

There are no longer any limits in the radical secular mission to indoctrinate youngsters in the West.

Jason Caterina's Midday Forecast

Aug 9, 2017

Meteorologist Jason Caterina delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

I was driving home from the grocery store. The radio was tuned to this station. Wanda Fisher was playing a song that I hadn't heard but I knew what the woman was singing about – it was the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Hundreds of girls died because the doors were locked shut. They died from the fire, the smoke or jumping from windows like people did on 9-11.

Robin Christenson: Affirmative Action

Aug 8, 2017

Recent information leaked from the Department of Justice suggests that changes are afoot that would undermine affirmative action in college admissions processes, potentially punishing colleges that undertake policies to promote a diverse student body.

Every year, the American Cancer Society reviews each of the 50 states’ cancer-fighting programs.  The report, How Do You Measure Up, was released last week and identified some good news and bad for New Yorkers.

Rob Edelman: Garfield’s Breaking Point

Aug 7, 2017

The career of one of the great, unsung Hollywood actors is being spotlighted this month with the DVD and Blu-Ray Criterion Collection release of one of his lesser-known, underrated films. The actor is John Garfield and the film, which dates from 1950, is THE BREAKING POINT.

David Nightingale: Pool in the Woods

Aug 6, 2017

A hot humid day, and as I walked through the forest toward the pool I saw someone was already there -- but I could only see the head and a small hat. Perfectly motionless.

Ralph Gardner Jr: Dissecting August Light

Aug 5, 2017
Ralph Gardner Jr.

There’s something about August light that makes it superior to the light at any other time of year.

Fred Kowal: President Trump And The Press

Aug 3, 2017

It’s one thing when a candidate attacks the media on the campaign trail, or a politician isn’t pleased by—or is critical of—a news story or report.

Keith Strudler: Olympic Planning

Aug 2, 2017
Olympic rings
wikipedia.org

Every now and then, I get into an argument with my mom about vacation planning. It’s usually because she wants to plan a trip a year in advance, and I have a hard time seeing past lunchtime. For a whole lot of reasons – two of them being my children – I’m not really good at long range personal planning. In other words, I barely know what I’m doing next week, much less next year.

Herbert London: The Trump Doctrine

Aug 2, 2017

In his July 6 speech in Warsaw, President Trump pledged America to the “defense of civilization itself.” Here in simple terms is the emergence of a Trump doctrine: “the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.” By referring to the spiritual foundations of western civilization, the President echoes our collective civilized humanity: the laws and culture that undergird western civilization.

Stephen Gottlieb: Religion, Chautauqua Style

Aug 1, 2017

Instead of the mess in Washington, let’s talk about something positive. We just got back from a brief vacation in Chautauqua. I've been going there whenever possible since 1955 and I think it is valuable to talk about what it has meant to me, especially in this time when discussion of religion is so fraught.

If you enjoy theater that makes you think and feel, you will truly appreciate “The Boy in the Bathroom,” playing at Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls.  The characters and situation will stay with you for a long, long time.

The nation’s Capitol seems gripped in the absurd. The Congressional majorities in each house are hell-bent to take away health insurance from millions of Americans. Despite promising to make health care better and more affordable, the President and the Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives seemingly cannot rest until they have torn away health insurance coverage from low and moderate income citizens. An effort, by the way, that would lead to misery, financial insecurity and a much greater risk of serious illness and early deaths for those without coverage.

These days, “immigrant” and “immigration” have become dirty words among certain segments of the American populace. If your surname is what some Americans judge to be a “funny” name, or an “UnAmerican” name, well, the person with the surname is not to be trusted. 

Ralph Gardner Jr: Going Overboard For Lobster

Jul 29, 2017
Pedro Leitao buys a hundred pounds of lobster for his annual Maine vacation
Ralph Gardner, Jr.

What is it about lobster rolls? A trip to Maine would seem incomplete without one of these tasty treats. About the only thing that can compete on a consistent basis in the counter food category is a charcoal-grilled cheeseburger and fries.

Keepin' On Keepin' On

Jul 27, 2017

In just a few days, my body will be 76 years old. That’s incredible. I don’t feel 76. People tell me I don’t look 76 but maybe they’re just flattering me. I suspect what’s keeping me going is a combination of three things: watching what I eat, exercising every day and most of all, loving my job. 

Sean Philpott-Jones: Hard-Headed For Football

Jul 27, 2017

Growing up, I was never a big football fan. I didn’t care to watch the NFL on television (not even the playoffs or the Super Bowl) and I rarely went to watch my high school team play on Friday nights (except for homecoming). This isn’t to say I was a sports aficionado, but I preferred more individually oriented sports like tennis, cross-country, and martial arts. In fact, it is only in the last five years or so that I have developed an interest in the game – largely as a result of marrying into a family of rabid Buffalo Bills supporters.

Herbert London: Venezuelan Misery

Jul 26, 2017

Winston Churchill made the telling observation that socialism can provide equality, but it is the equality of misery; while capitalism offers the inequality of prosperity and plenty. History has reinforced this belief many times and now we are living through this nightmare yet again in a place Hugo Chavez of Venezuela a called socialist paradise.

Stephen Gottlieb: The World Beyond the Tweets

Jul 25, 2017

News media look for succinct sound bites that encapsulate one’s message. Even so, Bush simplified political language considerably. Things were good or bad, the right or wrong thing to do. When Al Gore confronted him with carefully researched numbers, Bush simply responded that Gore’s was “fuzzy math.” That was a put-down; not an explanation. It gave people no reason to agree or disagree except the bare fact that Bush used a put down.

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