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Commentary & Opinion

  • Max Cane at the site of an 18th century homestead on the writer’s property
    Ralph Gardner Jr.
    When a stranger comes walking down your driveway during hunting season, experience suggests they’re about to request permission to hunt on your property. But this stranger wasn’t wearing Hunter Orange camouflage or toting a shotgun.
  • I assume many listeners to WAMC know who John Katko is. He is a Republican Congressman representing New York’s 24th Congressional district (centered in Syracuse). He was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 insurrection. He also attempted to work with his Democratic colleagues in the House to create a bi-partisan committee to investigate the January 6 events.
  • I cannot stop thinking about Aaron Rodgers. I know the story is now old and gone, and he’s back on the field, and he’s allegedly paid the price – a whopping $14,650 – but, well, he lied, and in a big way.
  • New York’s colleges and universities have seen the state slashing support for years. That systematic disinvestment coupled with a declining number of college-aged students has brought colleges and universities to the financial brink. The financial squeeze has left many colleges – both public and independent – forced to reduce student services and hike student costs. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has, not surprisingly, made it all worse.
  • Commentator Bill Owens checks in with his thoughts on events of the past week.
  • Much has been made of the demise of print journalism. People get their news these days on their computers or phones. Sadly, I’m one of them. If you’d told me a dozen years ago, or even half that number, that uncorking the print version of the New York Times wouldn’t one day be as integral a part of my morning as freshly squeezed orange juice, I’d have said you were nuts.
  • This is, of course, the giving season, something most us mark by scouring the Internet during work hours to find the lowest price on an ever bigger screen TV that won’t arrive until March. It’s the giving season in college football as well. More specifically, this is the time of the year when especially big time college football programs tell their struggling head coach that they’re done at the end of the season, and then they give them some exorbitant buyout balloon payment to no longer coach the team.
  • I live on land that I purchased in the city of Albany, New York in 1994.I live on land whose previous owners included African Americans and American Jews who moved to Albany, New York at different times in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.
  • Making a great America is a driver of American politics. People wear MAGA hats, short for Make America Great Again. So what made America great?
  • A few weeks ago, I spoke about the summer journey my wife and I took to the Big Sky Country of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. As I indicated then, the sky wasn’t so big. In fact, it was gray, with smoke from huge fires farther west, obscuring many of the mountain vistas we were used to seeing. At the same time, oil, natural gas and coal extraction was everywhere.
  • Three months ago, former Governor Cuomo resigned from office after a devastating report issued by the Attorney General. The Attorney General had been asked by the governor to investigate allegations that he, the governor, had harassed women in government.
  • John Deere’s union ratified a six-year contract ending a prolonged strike, which began on October 14th. The package contained a 10% wage hike, one-time bonus of $8,500, and a 5% raise in 2023. Obviously, those are significant pay increases, and reflect the need for employers to increase wages to recruit and retain workers. This wage package clearly will contribute to inflation, which is something of a double-edged sword.