The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese Army in late April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War. After more than a decade of fighting that brutally snuffed out 58,000 American lives, who could forget the pathetic and pitiful scene on the morning of April 30. As the NVA ominously and murderously approached the capital of South Vietnam, the last U.S. Marines were evacuated from the U.S. Embassy by helicopter. As the helicopters whirled off into the great blue yonder, panicked Vietnamese poured into the grounds around the Embassy. Many of them had been employed by the Americans but were now left to their bitter fate.
It was not America’s finest hour. The war had been lost not by the military, which certainly made their share of blunders, but by Congress who felt beleaguered by the war’s political unpopularity at home. Depressed and devastated by our sojourn into Southeast Asia, many Americans had resolved never to enter a war they were not prepared or willing to win. War is a much too costly and tragic affair to take half-measures with.
I congratulate parents and teachers on their protests on Common Core curriculum and testing. I wonder if the authors of Common Core have any idea of the cognitive readiness of the children for the content at each grade level. The [State Education] commissioner is throwing out “educanese” policies which are meant to intimidate. To the credit of the people he is not succeeding. In my 49 years of teaching I have I never witnessed such widespread disapproval of an education program; and confusion. But we have never had such radical change thrust on us.
A few years back, I wrote an article on the decriminalization of marijuana. The next weekend, I attended a retirement party in which a middle-aged woman, professionally distinguished and temperamentally conservative, told me she read the article and then with a wink and a smile gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up.
I felt somewhat aghast because the last impression I wanted to give was that legalization of marijuana is something to celebrate. I think legalization is more of a necessary evil than a great blessing. When Colorado, on January 1, became the first state to legalize marijuana sales for recreational use, it unleashed a fusillade of oracular disputations; giving a chance for those in favor of the measure to dilate grandiloquently on its libertarian virtue and, those opposed, on its multifaceted evils. That such a philosophical asymmetry exists between the two sides is not necessarily a deficiency of ratiocination but rather the inherent perplexities of human behavior that surrounds this question.
It’s a new year and much is already being made over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech. As one of the most powerful people in New York, liberals, conservatives and everyone in between were waiting to hear the tone and substance of the speech, sizing up where the supposed “battle lines” will be drawn.
The governor’s position is magnified because it’s a re-election year for him, and it is rumored that he has presidential aspirations. Naturally, a big win at the home-state polls this year would strengthen his position among Democratic frontrunners, so it’s easy to see why this speech carries a heck of a lot of baggage. So far, in his first term, he has tried to maintain some balance, but Cuomo’s unfortunately coming under increasing pressure from New York City Democrats, led by newly-elected Mayor Bill DeBlasio, whose ultra-liberal agenda doesn’t necessarily mesh with the goals of the state. Indeed, the new mayor made many promises, some of which will be impossible to keep unless Cuomo yields to that pressure.
One thing I always tell my clients when they are about to start working with me as an organizer is that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better. They think I’m joking until we are about two hours into a session and there is a gigantic pile of belongings that used to reside inside a closet sitting in the middle of their bedroom floor. I am usually standing somewhere on the other side sorting and taking inventory of what needs to be done while the client is getting a good look at all their private “treasures” and feeling very anxious.
I don’t set out to create anxiety but it is part of the process. The mess has always existed only now it exists on the bedroom floor instead of inside the closet. Facing the disorder, seeing the chaos, can be alarming. But we need to be alarmed to take action sometimes. We need to really see the problem so that we can face it and, eventually, solve it. We need to make the mess in order to clean it up.
The Floral Park Memorial High School PTSA would like to thank these businesses and families for their support. Fabulous raffle prizes are a key element of any successful fundraising event. Their generous donations have allowed the PTSA to host Supermarket Bingo Night. We raised money to fund our scholarship awards for graduating seniors and other programs for the school.
“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” So wrote the British historian Bertrand Russell, and if you’ve read the papers this week you may think he was absolutely right. Years of education do not translate into intelligence let alone an enlightened insight into truth.
I write specifically about the American Studies Association (ASA), a nationwide organization of university professors. In an effort to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, its members overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel’s academic institutions from collaborations with the universities here in the United States. Among local institutions affiliated with the ASA are New York University, Cornell, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook. To be fair, the administrations of many of these affiliated universities have slammed the boycott but are just sitting on the sidelines.
On Dec. 16, 2013, the SafeWise Report released its “50 Safest Cities in New York” list. To compile this report, SafeWise used the most recent FBI crime data from 2011 for municipalities with a population of at least 15,000, and other ranking factors, like unique safety initiatives and security programs implemented within the past few years. From the hundreds of cities in New York, they narrowed the list down to 50 and assigned rankings according to how the city met their criteria.
The Village of Floral Park has been honored as the safest city on their list, stating the following in their report:
I’ve always been fond of the saying, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” It’s the kind of advice you would expect to find in Montaigne’s Essays. But alas, it’s nowhere to be found in any of his priceless gems. Indeed, attribution is impossible since I
have no clue of its author. But it’s pithy and wise and therefore fitting of Montaigne, whose essential message to his readers is that we don’t have to justify or validate our existence. If you can manage your own life, Montaigne confides to us, you have done the greatest task of all. He understood that ruling your own spirit can be more challenging than ruling a state.
We’re from the government and we’re here to help you. These ten most feared words in the English language viciously pound the eardrums in the wake of the egregious Obamacare rollout. Every step menaces with pitfalls and booby traps of higher premiums, higher deductibles, co-pays, penalties, mandates, hidden taxes and subsidies. It’s an awful mess with the Democrats hoping that a civil war for the soul of the Republican Party distracts public attention from this never ending boondoggle.
While the Republican Party has been making a yeoman’s effort to stab themselves in the back at a time they should be reaping benefits from the health care meltdown in Washington, no amount of bickering within the GOP can overshadow the calamity afflicting the president and his party over what was supposed to be the crowning achievement of his administration. Enrollment rates for the eponymously named Obamacare have been shatteringly low. At least 12 Democratic senators running next year in Red States have charged the White House as if they were the French demonstrators storming the Bastille in 1789. The guillotines have not yet been deployed, but knives are sharpened to cut ties with the president over Obamacare if a quick fix is not imminent. None of these senators wants to have the angry, minatory index finger of the electorate rudely pointing at them for screwing up their health care plan. Senators tend to like their jobs and the country does not seem to like any part of Obamacare, at least this side of Sandra Fluke and her free contraceptives.
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