Commentary & Opinion

In a pair of recent commentaries, I have addressed the Middle East, and particularly the misperceptions of Saudi Arabia and Iran. I’d like to return to the Middle East but this time in regard to Israel and Palestine. If there is any topic on which hate mail is assured, it is Israel and Palestine. It is also a topic on which many find it difficult to understand or acknowledge any middle ground. Commentary critical of Israel will be misunderstood by many of Israel’s supporters as an attack on its existence. Commentary critical of the Palestinians will be misunderstood by many of their supporters as an attack on their claims to live in the historic territory.

For many of us, the holiday season and the New Year are opportunities to reflect on the blessings we’ve enjoyed over the past year. For educators and working families, this has been a particularly good year, with much to be grateful for.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on New York Governor's Andrew Cuomo's 100 day plan. Dr. Chartock also discusses a New York Times report on Russian interference in U.S. elections. 

Blair Horner: Pay Raise Deal Rages In Albany

Dec 17, 2018

A week ago, a panel decided to give New York’s lawmakers, the governor, the attorney general, the comptroller and state agency heads big salary increases.  They did so under authority granted to them by the governor and the legislature and their decision tied pay hikes to limits for these state government leaders on outside income for lawmakers as well as a dramatic reduction in the number of additional stipends available to legislators. 

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Affordable Care Act, which is facing a new legal challenge. Dr. Chartock also discusses the 2020 presidential election.

Ralph Gardner Jr: Portrait Of A Town

Dec 15, 2018
Kendra Martin, 7 years
Richard Beaven

Here’s a holiday party throwing tip: if you want to make sure a desired person shows up make him or her your guest of honor. And if you really want to guarantee an impressive turnout, select, say, two or three hundred of your favorite friends and make all of them the guests of honor.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Donald Trump's claims he did not violate campaign finance laws. Dr. Chartock also discusses resolutions passed by the Senate recommending the U.S. end its aid to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen 

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the sentencing of Michael Cohen. Dr. Chartock also discusses New York State Senator Michael Gianaris' push back against the Amazon HQ2 deal.

Bill Owens: Trade Issues For The New Congress

Dec 12, 2018

I have commented on a number of occasions about the issues related to the passage of USMCA, Mr. Trump announced this past weekend at the G-20 summit that he will terminate NAFTA placing the ball squarely in Congress’s lap.  We will have USMCA or no agreement.  A question that remains open is, can Mr. Trump unilaterally take this action without Congressional approval.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on a possible federal government shutdown. Dr. Chartock also discusses the future of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is currently fighting a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

Stephen Gottlieb: Liberty And License

Dec 11, 2018

With this administration demolishing the regulatory state, we need to talk about the underlying claim of liberty. Conservatives once distinguished between liberty and license. Liberty was morally and socially responsible; license was not. That distinction seems to have disappeared from the conservative vocabulary. And with it the moral order in the country.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the latest developments on Brexit. Dr. Chartock also discusses the ongoing climate talks in Poland.

In the first year of the Cuomo Administration a deal was struck:  every year, for five years, the cost of attending a public college or university would go up no more than $300 and the state would ensure that the tuition hikes would be used to enhance the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems. 

Rob Edelman: Hot, Political Docs

Dec 10, 2018

One could not begin to cite the endless number of new documentaries that currently are examining an assortment of issues. I could focus on one each week and still be introducing worthy titles through the winter, spring, summer, and way beyond. Granted that, cinematically-speaking, some are more successful than others, often because of how their subjects are presented by the filmmaker. Still, in 2018, it seems as if there is controversy everywhere. 

Ralph Gardner Jr: Progress Is Knocking

Dec 8, 2018
The freshly polished Kinderhook Memorial Library knocker
Ralph Gardner Jr

My work is done. I’ve performed my annual act of civic virtue. From now until the end of the year I can devote my full attention to things like holiday parties and buying that thoughtful gift or two for my wife and children.

We all know that Donald Trump is an authoritarian (I say fascist) ignoramus who is only interested in himself.   His policies are terrible and have already done great harm to our country and the world --  His deregulations have helped polluters and criminals ---  His foreign policy has enabled dictators – including the Saudi government with its famine-inducing war in Yemen. 

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Mueller investigation. Dr. Chartock also discusses the recommended pay increase for the governor, Senators and Assemblymembers in New York state.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. Dr. Chartock also discusses an opinion piece in The New York Times about the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Mueller investigation. Dr. Chartock also discusses the latest updates in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Bush Middle East

Dec 4, 2018

George H.W. Bush, our 41st president, put together a coalition to turn Saddam’s Iraq back from its invasion of Kuwait. He wanted the cover of a Muslim, Middle Eastern force joining in that invasion. He promised many of the countries involved that he would go no further than the Kuwaiti border that Saddam had crossed. In retrospect, that decision postponed the bloodbath that Iraq eventually became. But skilled as he was, President Bush couldn’t avoid the curse of unintended consequences. American use of a Saudi airfield was enough to anger bin Laden and al Qaeda. Hence the first attack on the World Trade Center took place under Clinton, between the presidencies of the two Bushes.

Sean Mellott as Arthur de Bourgh and Connie Castanzo as Mary Bennet in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Capital Repertory Theatre.
Richard Lovrich

ALBANY -  If you like your holiday entertainments to be sweet without being saccharine, sentimental yet honest and familiar while seeming fresh – you should rush to Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany before “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” closes on December 23. 

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the possible presidential run of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in 2020. Dr. Chartock also discusses President Donald Trump's comments on his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Blair Horner: Pay Raises For State Lawmakers

Dec 3, 2018

Last week, a panel charged with making decisions on the compensation levels for state legislators and top agency officials held two public hearings. The idea of jacking up public officials’ salaries is as popular as a skunk at an outdoor party.

Andrew Cuomo seems to have turned over a new leaf. The common wisdom is that the man had a penchant for keeping his enemies in the doghouse, well, forever. That was not his late father’s way. I know that because I was Mario’s weekly interlocutor for a lot of years. Oh, you could tick off Mario but sooner or later, he would let you out of the doghouse. There was the time, for instance, when he said after a testy interchange, “Is that what you think?” I said, “Yes sir,” to which he replied, “Who cares?”

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the death of former President George H.W. Bush. Dr. Chartock also discusses the trade war truce between the U.S. and China. 

David Nightingale: Borodin, Chemist (1833-87)

Dec 2, 2018
Alexander Borodin
Public Domain / wikimedia commons

Alexander Borodin was not only a composer, but also a medical doctor and chemistry professor.

Rimsky-Korsakov recalls in his memoirs [ref.1, p34] ‘...I would often find him at work in the chemistry lab next to his apartment… When he had finished… he would come back with me to his flat … and we would play music together… Right in the middle he would rush back to the lab … all the while making the corridor echo with successive ninths or sevenths… bellowed at the top of his voice...’

Ralph Gardner Jr: And They Call It Pookstyle

Dec 1, 2018
Kaarin “Pook” Lemstrom-Sheedy and Bob Lemstrom-Sheedy
Ralph Gardner Jr

Walk down any street in New York City and you’ll see empty storefronts, lots of them. It’s sad and disturbing because retail is any great city’s lifeblood. The connective tissue between people and architecture. That’s what makes streets and avenues sing, lends them electricity; window-shopping is what turns a forced march into a stroll.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday. Dr. Chartock also discusses the possibility of single-payer healthcare in New York.

Dr. Alan Chartock
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday. Dr. Chartock also discusses the president's proposed state-run television network.

When you think about New York State’s public education system, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, it’s a teacher standing in front of a chalk board.

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