News & Politics


Lincoln's Words of Wisdom on Bridging Our Divides

We have come to learn over the past few years that elections, as critical as they are, do not ensure a healthy democratic society. Citizens who are committed to freedom and a public culture with institutions that enable deliberative conversations and political compromise make real the promise of democracy implied by free elections. We face the future with the same, if not greater, political dysfunction and cultural polarization than we had before the latest votes were cast. A recent Pew survey showed that, increasingly, conservatives and liberals tend not to reside in......

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Going Public with Your Political Beliefs

With hotly contested debates and elections in the news, I recommend this piece on The Wisdom Daily about the secret ballot, reminding us that in a political culture of bumper stickers and soundbites, stepping back (from the snap decisions often engendered by those things) might make us more than just smarter voters, but genuinely happier, healthier people as well. I want to add that this truth: Political identity, as with most any identity we claim for ourselves, is both private and public. We define ourselves not only based on internal ideas, but......

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Video: To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: The question of whether or not to quarantine those returning from West Africa who have been caring for people with Ebola is in the forefront of many people’s minds. This is a question that has plagued man since Biblical times and that while the risk is real, so was the need for people to take care of one another. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace,......

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The Privilege of Seeing The Death of Klinghoffer

I had the privilege of attending the opening performance of The Death of Klinghoffer on Monday night at the Metropolitan Opera. I say privilege because after months of listening to protests and nasty threats by fellow members of my tribe (Jewish), almost all of whom admittedly never saw the opera, seeing The Death of Klinghoffer was an extraordinary cultural and musical experience. The atmosphere, given the vocal demonstrations outside and the intense police presence inside, was crackling with energy. With so much public culture these days that’s either banal and trivial or......

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Solving the Prisoner's Dilemma: The Death of Klinghoffer at the Met

From Forbes.com article by Irwin Kula and Craig Hatkoff: “Game theory’s famous?Prisoner’s Dilemma?has many variations. Consider the case where two “rational” individuals who might not cooperate even when it’s in their best interest; “irrational” behavior, albeit riskier, can lead to a better outcome for each. Are we witnessing a solution to the Prisoner’s Dilemma unfolding at the Metropolitan Opera? Controversy surrounding the Met’s production of?The Death of Klinghoffer?that premiers at Lincoln Center tonight has pitted passionate advocates for the freedom of artistic expression against claims that John Adams’ critically acclaimed opera is......

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Conflict Kitchen: Eating Our Way to Understanding

Do you realize how little we know about the countries with which we’re in conflict? Outside of the polarizing rhetoric of politicians and the narrow lens of media headlines, what do we know about countries we consider our enemies? An eatery in Pittsburgh has an innovative and savory way of addressing this. Conflict Kitchen, a takeout restaurant opened by artists Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, only serves food from countries the United States is in conflict with. Operating seven days a week, the restaurant rotates its menu – and its design scheme......

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New Female-Only Taxi Service Attracts Women... and Controversy

SheRides is a taxi and car service app tailored to the needs of women – an Uber by women for women. Launched in New York City and its surrounding area on September 16, SheRides provides all female drivers – sporting hot pink pashmina scarves – to exclusively female passengers. Its priority is to offer safe, reliable, and trustworthy women drivers to women passengers who feel uncomfortable being driven by men. SheRides attracts women across all demographics including women concerned about sexual harassment from male drivers, as well as women (as both drivers......

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Video: ISIS - Political Correctness and Honesty

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: As the world comes to grips with the threat of terrorism from ISIS, I believe this is a moment when all people must make an honest choice about who they want to be in the world, including in a war which very much has religious overtones but isn’t a war against any one religion, nor can it be allowed to become so. Please watch my video commentary below for more: Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the......

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How an Erosion of Trust in the NYC Subway Spells Trouble for Society

Here is a story that is emblematic of so much of what is wrong in our republic. As with many cities’ transit systems, you can buy a card – in New York City it’s called a MetroCard – and add value to it so that you do not need to buy a single ride each time you travel. Inevitably, at some point you swipe your card and the dreaded words “Insufficient Fare” appear. But here is the thing, somebody has actually figured out how to insure that what is left on your......

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Video: Genocide, Religious Warfare or A Third Option

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Christians are increasingly at threat of ethnic cleansing throughout the Middle East and North Africa. How do we talk about that real possibility without turning this war into a religious war? Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment. To view more of Brad’s Faith on the Record discussions, please click here....

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