Commentary & Opinion

Commentary & Opinion
3:48 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Stephen Gottlieb: Reality Check On Iran

I recently attended a meeting of former Peace Corps volunteers who had served in Iran. We shared the fundamental perspective that Iran should be an ally, not an enemy, and that the current standoff is the result of government mistakes on both sides.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:48 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Paul Elisha: Remembrance: The Past As Prologue

The year was 1936 and this now grizzled and sometimes forgetful WWII Veteran sat in the front seat of the family Chevrolet with his father;  a good spot from which a fourteen-year-old could observe and prep for that future day, when he might become a responsible driver.  We had just pulled up to the tanks, in front of the local gas station and the proprietor came out to greet us, the ever-present chamois in hand.  “What’ll it be, Al,” he asked, to which my Dad replied: “The usual; fill’er up, John.”  To which John responded, as follows:  wiped both the rear window and windshield; checked the tires, then opened the hood to check both water and oil.  When all of these were done, he filled the gas tank.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:50 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Blair Horner: The First Economic Benefits Of Health Reform

Last week some of the economic benefits of the federal health care reform law became evident.  The Cuomo Administration released its estimates on the costs of health insurance for those who must pay for coverage – people who don’t get health insurance from the government or their employer.  Virtually all New Yorkers will have to have health coverage by January 1, 2014.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:50 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Rob Edelman: More Apocalypse

These days, there seems to be an endless flow of contemporary action/sci-fi adventures featuring evil forces that are determined to destroy humankind. The latest of the lot is PACIFIC RIM, and it involves what happens when the world-- the entire world-- must unite to thwart some colossal, murderous monsters of the Godzilla variety.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:38 pm
Sun July 21, 2013

David Nightingale: Rails-With-Trails

The last train into the Catskills left Kingston in September 1976, returning a few days later with essentially every freight car that had been on that Ulster & Delaware line.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:40 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Audrey Kupferberg: Unfinished Song, British Art House Cinema Film

A few years ago, it was unusual to come across a film made for the post-sixty-year-olds.  Even among art house cinema films, the focus was pretty much on the thirty-somethings.  Then, in 1999, Tea with Mussolini and its aging cast of Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith received art house distribution and made some money.  Five years later, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith reteamed for Ladies in Lavender which also made a profit. 

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Commentary & Opinion
3:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Dan Ornstein: Buying Two Stairways To Heaven

A few months ago as we drove to an appointment, one of my daughters and I bonded around the British rock band, Led Zeppelin's 1971 classic, "Stairway To Heaven."  With some uninterrupted time and the windows rolled up tightly in the car, we let loose.  Every word, melody change, and voice inflection of lead singer Robert Plant's that we could remember, we imitated.  We even tried to imitate those famous instrumentals that build the song up in a crescendo from a quiet renaissance style recorder solo to a battle of angsting, angry guitars and screaming lyrics.  Finally, we put our voices together to echo Plant's heartrending acapella solo: "And she's buying a stairway...to heaven."

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Commentary & Opinion
3:50 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Keith Strudler: Tyson Gay

If 40 is the new 30, then American sprinter Tyson Gay has a long decade ahead of him. Because at 30, he’s suddenly looking quite old, especially compared to the emergent track stars Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake of Jamaica, who at 26 and 23 make Gay look like at parent at a Taylor Swift show. Gay has certainly aged years in the past several days, when it was revealed that he tested positive for a banned performance enhancing substance. That has forced him to withdraw from next month’s world championships in Moscow, where he would have but faint hopes of topping a field that has since passed him by.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Herbert London: Wishing Doesn’t Make It True

President Obama recently noted that “This war, like all wars, must end.” In other words the president is outlining revisions in the legal and moral framework that have guided policies since 2001. Presumably this speech is guided by the president’s belief that we have “turned a corner” in the war with al Qaeda and other terrorist entities. Moreover, the president argued that the 2001 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force adopted after the 9/11 attack should be revised and eventually repealed to recognize the diminished capability of al Qaeda as a terror organization.

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Commentary & Opinion
4:04 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Stephen Gottlieb: The New Jim Crow

 While coming to record last week's commentary, I was listening to Michelle Alexander on Alternative Radio. If you haven’t heard her or read her book, The New Jim Crow, I strongly recommend it. Some of us knew the basic facts but she fills in the details and makes the argument brilliantly.

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