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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,...
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.
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.
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.
After long and contentious negotiations that extended late into New Year’s Day, Congress passed a measure to at least temporarily avert the most immediate consequences of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” As you no doubt saw in media coverage over the holidays, on New Year’s Day Democratic and Republican leaders settled on a fared-down package of income tax rate increases for the well-to-do and did little on spending reductions.