Commentary & Opinion

This week marks the beginning of the semester for most colleges in New York State.  As students begin their next collegiate experience, families tackle how to pay for it.

Karen Magee: Drawing Meaning From The Meaningless

Aug 30, 2015

Earlier this month, the State Education Department released student scores on state standardized tests. Yet, most of the media coverage centered on the 220,000 students who opted out of those tests.

Bill Owens: Chinese Currency Manipulation

Aug 29, 2015

The recent Chinese government devaluation of its currency by approximately 4.4 percent is a cogent reminder of how the Chinese manipulate their economy, and the world economy.  There is no doubt that what the Chinese are doing is an effort to make these exports less expensive, which has been blatantly confirmed by senior leaders.  These actions continue a decades-long attack on US manufacturing with little or no negative consequences.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: Apple Trees

Aug 28, 2015

One afternoon, as my wife and I watched a summer lightning storm from our front steps, she noticed some perfectly round green apples hanging from the thin tree branches outside our front window. All summer long, I had been gazing at the beautiful apples hanging from the tree across the street from us, their red skins dazzling like rubies in the sun, set against the deep green of the tree’s thick leaves. Now, I was smitten with child like wonder at the gentle intrusion of these green apples on our property. We had never planted any apple trees in our front yard, and I could not even identify for you any of the flora that guard the front of our house. Where did these fruits come from? How could we not know that an apple tree was alive and well in the tangled growth that we thoughtlessly passed by every day? Though two of our three children actively farm, my wife and I limit our agricultural consciousness to buying the best local produce that the supermarket has to offer. Our serendipitous apples became for me a source of fascination, and they are currently competing for my attention with their juicy red cousins in our neighbor’s front yard.

The New Geography

Aug 28, 2015

Everywhere I go, people stop to tell me how much they love this radio station. I really appreciate those on-air testimonials that people volunteer to record, attesting to their “WAMC-hood.” Now that we are all “apped” up and you can hear the station anywhere in the world (I heard it as clear as a bell in Colombia S.A, and in Italy), people listen all over.

Sean Philpott-Jones: A Delicate Balance

Aug 27, 2015

Long the subject of science fiction stories, fertility treatments and sex-selection have been in the headlines lately. Our commentator Dr. Sean Philpott-Jones of Union Graduate College calls it a delicate balance. 

Herbert London: Money & Iran

Aug 26, 2015

Lead performers in “Cabaret” sing “Money makes the world go round.” Little did these performers know about the Middle East where money not only makes the world go round but props up dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Iran is presently spending billions to keep him in power and prosecute a war in which more than 230,000 people have been killed and poison gas has been employed.

Stephen Gottlieb: Amtrak Subsidy

Aug 25, 2015

I’d like to talk about an issue that has been below the surface of the news but reflects a constant disagreement in our politics. Economic conservatives would displace almost everything in favor of the marketplace. But when you decide what to pay for, what are you including or excluding from the transaction?

Blair Horner: Summertime - Beaches, Ocean And Trash

Aug 24, 2015

As the nation begins to cram in its end of summer vacationing, many Americans head to the beach, particularly those on the ocean. Little do they see the increasing reality: the oceans are choking on garbage, particularly plastic waste.

David Nightingale: Bikinis And Bombs

Aug 23, 2015
nuclear test at the Bikini atoll
Wikimedia Commons

 In 1946 a Parisian engineer, whose mother owned a lingerie business, designed a women's swim suit consisting of 3 -- or at most 4 -- tiny triangles. A little earlier in 1946 explosive testing of nuclear bombs had been resumed after the horrific damages in Japan of 1945. These nuclear tests were on the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The engineer knew his swimsuit design would also be explosive, and he named it the "bikini".