Commentary & Opinion

Oh brother! Oh sister!

Here comes the fund drive. We did amazingly well in run-up to the drive but now we all have to show our stuff. A lot of people put money into the locked box -- some because they want more regular programming and less on-air fund raising and some because they will be out of town.

Herbert London: The Debacle In Ambar Province

May 27, 2015

The Islamic State dealt a crushing blow to the Iraqi army in Iraq’s largest province (Ambar), including the city of Ramadi – once home to nearly half a million people. What this victory revealed is the fragility of the Iraqi army, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to train it.

Stephen Gottlieb: Money In Politics

May 26, 2015

For decades before the Supreme Court decided Citizens United, political scientists concluded that more money helped our democracy by increasing competition. They had also concluded that it did not disadvantage Democrats, who would hold their own in fundraising. Even after Citizens United, those conclusions still seem true. But those scholars did not address other ways that money changes politics.

David Nightingale: Robert Frost (3/26/1874 - 1/29/1963)

May 24, 2015

Long ago, looking for a particular physics text in a London bookstore, I found, not far from the "P"s for physics and philosophy, a Penguin paperback simply called 'Robert Frost' [Ref.2.]. Browsing through the book, I was completely taken. I really couldn't afford such, from my meager graduate assistantship, but knew I would have to buy it.

Karen Magee: Why Do The Rich Need More Tax Credits?

May 21, 2015

Two recent events — one political, one cultural — offer a glimpse into two worlds.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Patents Over Patients

May 21, 2015

At a press conference in New York City yesterday,  a group known as the Institute for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) announced that it was filing legal challenges in Argentina, Brazil, China, Russia and Ukraine to invalidate patents on the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi. That drug was developed and is sold worldwide by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences.

Herbert London: Kerry And Putin Talk

May 20, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin met recently in what they euphemistically described as a kumbaya moment. Presumably there was a pledge to work together to resolve crises in Syria and the Ukraine, Secretary Kerry said neither side was seeking a “major breakthrough,” but instead they seek to keep “communications open,” this is “diplospeak” for resolution isn’t in the cards.

Stephen Gottlieb: Canadian Comparative Religion Case

May 19, 2015

I’d like to tell you about a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada regarding religious education.[1] Quebec has a “mandatory core curriculum” which includes a Program on Ethics and Religious Culture, to teach “about the beliefs and ethics of different world religions from a neutral and objective perspective” as the Court described it. It “requires teachers to be objective and impartial” and “to foster awareness of diverse values, beliefs and cultures.” The court decided that freedom of religion required Quebec to allow a Catholic school, to teach about Catholicism from a Catholic perspective, but the Court held that the school nevertheless needed to present other faiths in a neutral way, a position that the school largely accepted.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: Kayaking

May 19, 2015

As the summer approaches, I am beginning to think about one of my favorite activities:  kayaking.  I love kayaking so much, I would kayak every day, if not for one small impediment:  I am a lousy kayaker.


When Senator Skelos was arrested for alleged corruption on May 4th, a clock started ticking.  In previous arrests, Governor Cuomo would weigh in with a raft of ethics changes within a couple of weeks.  When former Assembly Speaker Silver was arrested on January 22nd, the governor waited until the Assembly sorted itself out and then gave a major speech to advance ethics measures on February 2nd – ten days later.

Pages