Commentary & Opinion

Commentary & Opinion
12:15 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Paul Elisha: The Home of the Wise

Paul Elisha's commentary for January 15, 2013

Despite the proud prose that presaged it and all the periodic pronouncements that sought to endow it with continuity, ours has, from the outset, been an aggressively promoted ‘Marketocracy.’  Though an apt description, “The land of the free” and “Home of the brave,” does not apply to everyone, equally.  It is and has always been subject to selective affirmation.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:18 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Blair Horner: The Battle Over Smoking Continues

Blair Horner
Credit C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

  New York State – and much of the nation – has made tremendous strides in reducing smoking rates.  In the mid-1960s, nearly half of Americans smoked; today it’s roughly half that nationwide and lower still in New York.

The successes have come as the result of scientific findings that have linked smoking to lung cancer and other health problems.  Those scientific breakthroughs also identified the health risks faced by nonsmokers who were exposed to second hand smoke from tobacco products.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:38 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Liz Benjamin - Fracking in New York

  Last Friday was the deadline for comments to be lodged with the DEC on its most recent set of regulations for the controversial natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking.

Predictably, the well-organized and vociferous anti-fracking crowd seized on the opportunity to make yet another public plea to Governor Andrew Cuomo that he reject the idea of drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

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Commentary & Opinion
11:52 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Rob Edelman: The Best and the Worst, Part 3

The Deep Blue Sea, box office poster

Not all of the top films of 2012 are big-budget, and high-profile. Indeed, quite a few are low-budget. They are independently produced American films, or they are foreign language titles. And so here is a sampling of some of the year’s outstanding under-the-radar titles.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:30 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Rabbi Dan Ornstein - Lessons at the Clark

Rabbi Dan Ornstein - Lessons at the Clark

The Clark Art Museum once hosted an exhibition of the works of the great French artist Jacques Louis David, whose magnificent scenes chronicled the French revolution and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte.  David was a close friend of Napoleon’s as well as his official painter. Napoleon was not at all a modest man.  He once declared, “Power is my mistress,” and looking at his life, we know that he meant it.  A brigadier general at twenty four, Napoleon’s vision of himself was matched fully by his ambitious successes.  Since it’s in the best interests of a court painter to flatter the rulers that he paints, David spared no effort to portray Napoleon, a man of no small ego and accomplishment, as smarter, braver, taller, and stronger than everyone around him.  My favorite example of David’s flattery is his painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps to defeat the Austrians.  Napoleon is dressed regally, exuding confidence, courage and power.  As his troops move forward in the background, he takes a moment from battle to look imperiously at the artist and at us. To lend even greater mightiness and grandeur to Napoleon’s image, David painted him on a sleek, muscular, white battle horse, an awesome example of natural beauty and power.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:30 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Sean Philpott: The Importance of Being Fat

Sean Philpott

Sean Philpott - the importance of being fat

For many Americans, the New Year is often a time to look back on both the successes and failures of the past. More importantly, it is also a time to look forward and to think about the changes we want or need to make in order to live happier and healthier lives.

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11:36 am
Thu January 10, 2013

James Taylor for Senate?

Lead in text: 
WAMC's Alan Chartock was quoted in a recent story on Politico regarding the James Taylor possibly wanting to fill Massachusetts Sen. Jon Kerry's Senate seat
Ben Affleck has bowed out, but now another famous name has been floated for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s seat, MassLive.com reports: A public radio broadcaster is now encouraging singer/songwriter James Taylor to enter the race for John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat. Alan Chartock is president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, an Albany,...
Commentary & Opinion
12:36 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Herbert London: Fascism In America

Herbert London

It is often argued by critics of the Obama administration that it is socialistic,  i.e. expanding governmental authority over the means of producing and distributing goods.  Alas, there is something to be said for this point of view.  As I see it, however, a more accurate way to describe the Obama government is corporatism or a political system in which the principal economic functions are designated and given favorable treatment.  The most appropriate way to assign meaning to this phenomenon is fascism.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:40 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Paul Elisha: I, the people

A strange and disturbing anomaly: How such self-anointed and selfishly directed, sectarian extortionists, like Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed can assert that they are appropriate spokespersons for the aspirations of any legitimate group of American citizens?  Any proud and proven representative of today’s news media, who still retains a shred of professional self-respect, should reject this notion.  The profit-pointed interest of these adventurers’ involvements should serve to stress their up-to-no-good intentions, to the most disinterested observers of Public Interest activity.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:35 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Stephen Gottlieb: Global warming demands a BTU tax

Last night at the Egg I heard Bill McKibben talk about climate change. I was very proud of Joe and Alan and WAMC for organizing it and proud of the WAMC audience for coming out in droves to hear him. The message he brings is not a happy one but it is a message we have to hear and understand; more, it’s a message we have to act on.

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