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A look back at history through clear glasses

17972 miscellaneous nuclear explosion explosionI am a child of the 1950's and 1960's and have also witnessed the challenges of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and where we are now in the 21st century. I experienced the Cold War first-hand and remember quite vividly practicing shelter drills in P.S. 213 by taking cover under my desk in case we were attacked with an atomic bomb. Even at that age I questioned the effectiveness of that particular strategy.
As a student in J.H.S. 166, I remember the anxiety of the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the leadership provided by our young president in addressing the threat to our nation. I remember quite vividly, while in Brooklyn College, the feeling of panic when the student deferment was pulled during the height of the Vietnam War as well as the relief I felt when my lottery number was 272.

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A closer look at the first two amendments to the Constitution

Bill of RightsSome recent events have made it an opportune time to take another look at the first two amendments to the Constitution.
Let's begin with the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the Constitution covers a great deal in very few words. Specifically it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
If there is one word that is the most significant among the 44 words that comprise the amendment it is the word "Congress." The amendment is intended to prevent "Congress," and by Congress meaning the government, from enacting laws that would violate an individual's right to practice his or her religion or exercise his or her right to free speech, a free press, assembling peaceably, or petitioning the government.

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No room for aristocracy in today’s society

Anthony Andrews Scarlet PimpernelThere is no place for an aristocracy in our government. That concept was fairly well-established by our founding fathers. It is this well-established concept that makes the travel decisions by former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, so disturbing.
When you consider how he railed in 2009 against government use of private planes (granted, 2009 saw a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat-controlled Congress, but still--!), and then, in 2017 chooses to spend in excess of $25,000 of taxpayer money to travel to Philadelphia from Washington via private jet, the operative word is likely “HYPOCRISY!”

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Cardin meets interfaith group following Charlottesville riot

  • Published in Local

20170831 153445 1Sen. Ben Cardin (D) stands with interfaith clergy at discussion on community unity after Charlottesville rally violence in August. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  While there was much agreement expressed by the 45 interfaith clergy members who attended Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) Aug. 31 meeting on how to unite the community after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., there was also dissent.

While united against President Donald J. Trump’s statement equating white nationalists with the counter protesters at the Virginia rally last month, those attending the 90-minute discussion in Rockville also complained about conditions for their individual communities.

“Why, all of a sudden, does it take one person, one white person, to die, to forget all about the other 19 who were injured,” asked Bishop Paul Walker, of HYOP Life Skills Reentry Program. The death of an African-American doesn’t rile up the community the way the killing of a white person does, he said.

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From Russia with love…

From Russia With Love switchblade shoeI will readily admit that I was never under the impression that Donald Trump personally coordinated with Russian counterparts to influence the 2016 presidential election and hand him the White House. However, I am convinced of the following three key points: (1) it is likely that certain members of the Trump campaign did, indeed, do just that, (2) Trump does have definite financial ties to Russian entities that go back decades and are problematic for various reasons, and (3) to prevent both items one and two above from being exposed for all to see, Trump did attempt to impede and obstruct the investigations underway to determine the levels of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Further, by doing so he continually obstructs a critical step in preventing the recurrence of this influence in future elections.

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Casting Call for “Trump: The Movie”

child movie director3There is absolutely no doubt that after the current national disaster that is the Trump presidency mercifully comes to an end, and it will, there will be a movie made about this embarrassing episode in American history. I am not talking about a Michael Moore documentary of which there certainly will be one. I am talking big Hollywood production by a Scorsese or Coppola or Spielberg with a star-studded cast.

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Propaganda is not news

Bundesarchiv Bild 102 17049 Joseph Goebbels sprichtThe definition of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” Propaganda is not news. It is spin. Propaganda is what viewers of cable's Fox News ordinarily receive. Fox News is a propaganda outlet for the simple reason that it is very selective in what issues it covers and how it chooses to cover those issues almost entirely focused doing so in a manner that places its own political cause or point of view in a positive light without any regard to the other side's argument or position.
To say that Fox News is the personal political media outlet of one Donald J. Trump is an understatement. Michelle Obama going sleeveless: inappropriate. Melania going clothes-less: no big deal. President Obama playing golf: why isn't he doing his job? Trump weekly golf outings: he needs his time off.
All this said, the fact of the matter is people in this country have the right to listen to Fox News as much as they want. Their choice. When they tune into Sean Hannity they have every right to buy his hypocrisy and inconsistency and absurd spin to whatever extent they choose. This is the relatively new world of cable news. However, this is NOT supposed to be the way it is with regard to local network news over the airwaves.

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Democrats look for opportunity in healthcare

  • Published in State

One week ago Republican Senator John McCain stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate floor and with a thumbs-down gesture and a firm and loud “no,” killed the last Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The possible end of Republicans’ “Obamacare” repeals now opens a bipartisan window for some healthcare reforms according to congressional Democrats.

“I am of the view that we just closed the door on these repeal and ravage campaigns,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8).

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