Commentary & Opinion

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: Frozen Poetry

Feb 28, 2015

Throughout my neighborhood, the icicles hang down from the eaves of the roofs like colonies of bats clustered along the walls of caves.  Emerging from the heavy cover of melting and re-freezing snow, each icicle begins as gently dripping water which never quite makes it to its destined place on the earth, even under the spell of gravity. The drops congeal and are frozen in the grip of arctic temperatures which transform them into mute winter sculptures. 

Bill Owens: Those Oil Cars

Feb 28, 2015

I was traveling through Albany the other day and passed over the railroad tracks in downtown Albany, and as I did so, below me was an endless stream of oil tank cars.  I couldn’t tell if they were the famous DT111s, or the “safer 1232s.”  The recent accidents in Mount Carbon West Virginia and a remote area north of Timmons, Ontario, both resulted in substantial derailments and oil spills.  If you are stopped at any railroad crossing in northern New York, you will see endless streams of oil tank cars, as I observed in Albany. 

Rogovoy Report for February 27, 2015

Feb 27, 2015

A string quartet, street dance, an exhibit of early modernism, boogie-blues, Jewish world-beat jazz, an alternative circus, Southern bluesy folk-rock, and an original work of multimedia performance art are just a few highlights of our cultural weekend in the greater region.

One For The Books

Feb 26, 2015

Here we are, just a few short weeks after the historic WAMC fund drive. Between the locked box that raised half of the money before the on-air drive started and three and a half days of actual fund drive, we ended up with a million dollars in the bank.

Sean Philpott-Jones: When Doctors Discriminate

Feb 26, 2015

Most of you have probably never heard of Jami and Krista Contreras, a Michigan couple and the proud parents of six-month-old girl named Bay. Shortly after Bay was born, the Contrerases began interviewing pediatricians, looking for one who practiced holistic medicine.

Anyone who has seen the shocking video of a Jordanian pilot being immolated, understands the savagery in the Islamic State (IS). President Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech on February 5 responded with nonjudgmental relativism to this act and other recent horrific events, “remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” It doesn’t seem as if he does understand.

Bill Owens: A DHS Shutdown

Feb 25, 2015

The recent threat to shut down the Department of Homeland Security for those of us in the North Country, given our proximity to the US/Canadian border and our dependence upon it, is truly troubling.

 In this world the grossest of inhumanity is euphemistically described as ethnic cleansing. The mutli-directional genocide of the old Yugoslavia has become routine. Boko Haram takes aim at education and at religious difference in Africa, targeting connections with America and the west. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Middle East, with tentacles into much of the Muslim world, target whoever doesn’t belong and subscribe to their version of Islam or dare question their authority, They have targeted America, England, Spain, France Norway and counting. It is terrifying how quickly decent peace-loving communities have been dismembered and destroyed.

Paul Elisha: True Blue

Feb 24, 2015

From the end of this month, through the next two that follow it, we find the most intense succession of religious holidays on the American calendar.  For one of the first popular democracies to guarantee personal religious freedom but bar all formal ties between officials and offices of government and any entity of organized religion, is truly an anomaly but a crucially purposeful one, at that.  Though most of this nation’s founders were either deists or adherents to some religious belief, all had seen or suffered enough of the iniquities of ultra-orthodox fanaticism to imbue determined opposition to any tie that might deny believers or nonbelievers unfettered freedom of choice.  This resistance was embedded in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Blair Horner: Albany's "Watergate" Moment

Feb 23, 2015

The recent indictment of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is simply the latest in a series of scandals involving the conflicts created by allowing sitting legislators to earn unlimited, unrestricted income from outside jobs.  But the controversy surrounding the former Speaker’s “moonlighting” is not the first time the issue has been raised.  The ability of sitting lawmakers to profit in any profession or business has been central to other recent scandals.  Here are some of the most high profile examples: