The New York Times reports on the utter stupidity of Republican governors who have turned down federal funding for high speed rail travel.
The report talks about the northeast corridor, Florida and California but overlooks an equally important line in New York State that will revitalize an economically distressed region stretching from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany with access to New York City.
This line would pump billions into the region creating jobs and a real estate boom. The line would deliver commerce in the form of business travelers and tourists.
Chess is a war game that does in contradistinction offer insights into world unity.
You see chess can be traced to India. From there it spread to Persia then to the Arab world and finally Europe. So it was an Eastern game that became beloved by both the East and West.
It is an ageless game that shows how the world can all enjoy the same pastime. Better to play at war than to actually engage in it with all its misery.
Like sports chess is an alternative to war having the challenges of battle without the bloodshed. And again all can safely enjoy chess the world over.
Whenever I travel overseas I try to be an ideal citizen, a good American. More often than not I fail at this not because I am xenophobic but because I'm a pushy New Yorker no matter how hard I try to suppress that nature.
On my first trip to the UK everything went great and I even defended a tour guide against an ugly American. But then at the airport chaos broke out at the boarding gate and I made a comment and everyone looked at me.
It was not a rejection of liberalism but perhaps a rejection of America's excesses in the late 60s and 70s whereas liberalism just happened to be in power on both sides of the political aisle at the time and so took the blame though without fault.
So this excess this hedonism gave rise to conservatism even among progressives. But it was not a rejection of a political belief but of excess.
Americans still believed in helping one another, in social security and medicare and paying taxes as part of collective whole for the benefit of all.
It would seem in this new age of draconian budget cuts and trillion dollar tax breaks for corporations and the rich that the sacrificial lambs in all of this are medicare and social security programs vital to working class and disadvantaged Americans.
Meanwhile half way around the world two wars of no strategic importance to us are sucking the life blood out of the nation. These wars, one of which should have ended years ago and the other which should never have been started, are draining the national treasure.
Reading the Hemlock Cup a book about Socrates and Ancient Athens our first democracy one realizes how much things have not changed. For instance the Greeks had a show trial and killed Socrates and we had McCarthyism.
One might say this is an inevitable symptom of democracy and we should just accept it because the benefits of our system outweigh the adverse side effects.
This is truly a foolish acceptance of a wrong doing that must be corrected by both ethical rules and legislation.
My home is within 20 miles of the Indian Point nuclear reactors well within the 50 mile exclusion zone advised by the United States for the destroyed Japanese reactors.
A friend of mine told me Indian Point was perfectly safe. He lives on Long Island outside the 50 mile zone. I'm the one who loses his home, health and life in the event of a meltdown.
Capitalism is a means to ascent. When we reach the summit it will die and we will all be free.
Capitalism equals competition and that advances civilization in a brutal yet necessary way forcing us toward some type of utopia.
Once we reach that state the need to compete and to advance and for capitalism ends for we have arrived at our destination.
The tragic events in Japan may in the long run help improve the world economy. Right now you have centers of industrial output around the world. All our eggs are in a few baskets.
The centers in Japan have come to a grinding halt because of the disasters there driving down economic recovery. In order to avoid this in the future businesses should turn to a risk allocation model.
This model can easily be seen in mutual funds where instead of putting all your money in one stock you spread it around to a diverse portfolio of stocks.
It was with deep regret that I read of Frank Rich's departure from the Op Ed page of the New York Times. Its hard to imagine who will fill the center of that Sunday page. Perhaps it will be more than one columnist.
I think I speak for many bloggers when I say I am always waiting for the phone to ring with the New York Times to be on the line asking me to join the paper. Its not an ego thing and its not that I think I am a great writer.
Governor Andrew Cuomo should grab federal super train money that short sighted Republican governors have rejected so as to build a bullet train line from New York to Albany to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.
The rejected funding could overcome hurdles that the New York to Albany run is too curvy for a super train. Perhaps running it along the Thruway would help.
Lady Gaga has been outing opponents of gay rights in and out of New York State for a while now most recently putting marriage equality pressure on a Buffalo area senator during a concert in that city with the New York Times speculating more of the same at a future Long Island concert.
Some elected officials are recklessly tossing out the idea of a "no fly zone" over Libya without thought to the consequences of U.S. involvement. The most notable proponent of this is a man who thinks we should still be fighting the Vietnam War.
Our involvement in Libya could change the dynamic of the battle tipping people in that country towards Qaddafi out of distrust for the West leading to a defeat of the rebel forces.
The developments in this winter of discontent in the Arab world leaves Western observers wondering if this is either an Arab renaissance or reformation.
Well it cannot be called a reformation because the protesters are targeting autocrats seeming to hopscotch over religious leaders reaching instead for their own independent place in the sun.
As for a renaissance it is too early to tell but one thing is for certain if this rising sticks to its current trajectory you will have the birth of democracies that will lead to an Arab renaissance for certain.
The opening of March On is scheduled for January 30th at the New York City LGBT Center and on January 28th at the Proctor in Schenectady where it kicks off the capital region’s Q Fest and it may prove to be a game changer for the movement in favor of marriage equality in the United States as the film puts a human face on the inequalities of the institution of marriage and the trials and tribulations of same sex couples as they try to adopt to a country that has chosen, for the most par