Commentary & Opinion

Ralph Gardner Jr: I Brake For Tidal Pools

Jul 28, 2018
Courtesy of Ralph Gardner Jr.

The Hudson Valley has a lot going for it. But – correct me if I’m wrong – the last time I checked tidal pools wasn’t among them.

Andrew Pallotta: After Janus, Hope And Optimism

Jul 27, 2018

Late last month, the conservative right wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court did what most expected, ruling 5 to 4 against public sector unions in Janus v. AFSCME.

Nils Strand / Wikimedia Commons

Now we turn the microphone over to our listeners. Here are this week's highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Facebook's stock.  Dr. Chartock also discusses New York Governor Andew Cuomo's campaign efforts for November's election.


WAMC'S Dr. Alan Chartock discusses efforts by the U.S. and the European Union to avoid a trade war. Dr. Chartock also talks about the possibility of life on Mars.

Keith Strudler: Hockey Fights

Jul 25, 2018

There was a point in my distant past where I thought I would go to law school. This period came largely before I got to the heart of college coursework and realized that law school could be unpleasant and lead to unintended consequences- namely then having to be a lawyer. 

For most political analysts the liberal democratic malaise, so often discussed, is a byproduct of the liberal world order’s success. While it is easy to observe the evolution of events in the post-Cold War period as a sign of collapse, that, in my judgment, would be a mistake.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the tape released Tuesday by President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.  Dr. Chartock also discusses Maine Governor Paul LePage stance on expanding Medicaid.

Stephen Gottlieb: Trump’s Disloyalty

Jul 24, 2018

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to the studio to record but the surgeon said “Sit down, sit down, sit down, you’re splitting my stitches.” Well, I’m here at last. Trump and a number of Washington Republicans think the FBI investigation of the connection between Russia and the Trump Administration was biased against Trump because FBI agent Peter Strzok believed that the American people should have rejected Donald Trump for president. Since a large share of FBI agents are Republican, one could have credited Strzok as keeping them honest with regard to Trump. But the problem with the Trumpians’ automatic conclusion of bias goes much deeper.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's comments on Iran. Dr. Chartock also discusses the layoffs at The New York Daily News.

Last week’s news contained far-flung events that showed how global warming is increasingly impacting the world’s politics.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's visit to Great Barrington Sunday. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on President Trump's warning to Iran over the weekend.

Ralph Gardner Jr: The Novel In Performance

Jul 21, 2018
Performance artist Tim Youd at Thomas Cole National Historic Site
Ralph Gardner Jr.

I was unaware that when Hunter Thompson was a young writer he typed out “The Great Gatsby” and “The Sun Also Rises” to deconstruct how F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway achieved their effects and created their masterpieces. 

Rogovoy Report 7/20/18

Jul 20, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include blues, folk, classical, rock, pop, avant-garde, theater, Leonard Bernstein, and a whole lot more.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the possibility of a second meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's connection to the Buffalo Billion Case.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Trump's most recent comments regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. Dr. Chartock also discusses the potential political impact of one candidate's past rap career in New York's 19th House district.

Herbert London: Independence For What?

Jul 18, 2018

When the great American experiment began it was as a letter to King George III to explain why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. It was on June 7, 1776 at a meeting of the Continental Congress in the Pennsylvania State House that Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. On July 2 the Continental Congress voted unanimously in favor of Lee’s resolution, even though New York initially abstained. The White House held its first July 4th party in 1801, even though many thought of themselves as citizens of Great Britain. “Yankee Doodle,” one of the most popular songs sung on this holiday, had its provenance in a tune that marked the “Yankee” who British soldiers fought during the French and Indian War.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the fallout of the Trump-Putin press conference Monday.  Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on a New York Times editorial calling on Republicans to "grow a spine."

The ethnic slaughter in so many parts of the world – Kenya, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, the “troubles” in Ireland, Ukraine, the blood shed at the separation of Pakistan and India – make the uniqueness of American anti-discrimination rules stand out both for their moral high ground and for their protection of human life.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Trump-Putin press conference Monday. Dr. Chartock also discusses New York's gubernatorial race.

Another week, another conviction.  The political establishment took another hit last week with the corruption conviction of former New York State economic development czar Alain Kaloyeros and key private developers of a major state-sponsored project.  Kaloyeros was Governor Cuomo’s right-hand man when it came to the state’s investments in hi-tech economic development projects, and in the case of the corruption conviction, the governor’s signature project was the so-called “Buffalo Billion.”

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the U.S.-Russia Summit today in Finland. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on the California U.S. Senate race. 

Ralph Gardner Jr: Labor Is A Form Of Worship

Jul 14, 2018
Columbia County Historical Society’s "Shaker Baskets from the Shaker Museum"
Ralph Gardner Jr.

It’s typically the objects not the wall text that catch the eye at an art exhibition. But a few words at the start of the Columbia County Historical Society’s new show of Shaker Baskets from the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon resonated with me.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses Thursday's Buffalo Billion case verdict.  Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on the NATO Summit, which concluded Thursday.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the first day of the NATO summit in Brussels Wednesday. Dr. Chartock also discusses a nonbinding Senate resolution designed to give more power to Congress regarding international tariffs. 

Herbert London: Solzhenitsyn 40 Years Later

Jul 11, 2018

In June 1978 Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address at Harvard entitled “A World Split Apart.” It was a speech devoted to the emergence of “different worlds,” including our own Western society. On one side of the divide is a freedom diverted to unbridled passion with the accumulation of material riches to be valued above all else. Man is the center in this equation as there isn’t any power above him resulting in a moral poverty searching for meaning.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the NATO summit, which begins Wednesday in Brussels. Dr. Chartock aso shares his thoughts on a New York Times editorial that claims President Trump is misleading the public on U.S. trade tariffs. 

We hear a lot of talk about legality and illegality, about illegal aliens as a wrong inflicted on the U.S. I think we need to address the significance of legality and illegality head on.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday evening. Dr. Chartock also discusses the upcoming NATO meeting, which begins Wednesday in Brussels. 

Summers are getting hotter as the planet heats up.  The combination of hotter summers and strong storms are not only inconvenient; they also can cause serious health problems too.