News & Politics


What's Good for the Duck Is Good for the Gander

The season five premiere of Duck Dynasty aired this past week and posted its first season-to-season drop in ratings: among adults 18-49, the show was down 33%. The two back-to-back episodes marked the first appearance of the Robertson family since Phil the patriarch’s less than politically correct, unfiltered, unconsciously hateful comments about gay men and blacks in GQ.? While still huge numbers for cable, the drop is “newsworthy”. But I’m interested in the visceral reaction to this negative statistic.? Are you happy? Indifferent? Perplexed? Here are a number of possibilities explaining the......

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Chris Christie: A Failure of Leadership

Governor Christie has committed trafficide. As fast as he rocketed to presidential hopeful, he has fallen to being “compared” to Tony Soprano. All I know is what I have read in the papers. Two of Christie’s aides have been fired for shutting down lanes of the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York and is the busiest bridge in the world. For four days, thousands of commuters were terribly delayed in order to create a shutdown of the roads leading to the bridge in the town of Fort Lee?-......

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A Gun Activist on the Firing Line

You might not have read this news item unless you are a gun enthusiast but this may bode well for our gun control debate. Dick Metcalf, a pre-eminent gun journalist, was recently removed from Guns & Ammo magazine and taken off the roster of star speakers reviewing new firearms for gun companies. Why? Metcalf wrote a column for Guns and Ammo called “Let’s Talk Limits“?in which he suggested there was a difference between infringement and regulation, writing that, “way too many gun owners still believe that any regulation of the right to......

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DDD: The 'Duck Dynasty' Deflection

My resolution for this year: I promise to no longer take seriously any mock public controversies, especially those involving celebrities engaged in the culture wars. When all is said and done the ten day media driven frenzy surrounding Phil Robertson?- patriarch at the heart of A&E’s smash reality hit Duck Dynasty?- who equated homosexuality to bestiality and claimed blacks were happy working in cotton fields was itself a reality show. The cast of characters played its role perfectly according to script. First, we had our left wing stars who turned some carnival......

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"What If?": Inside Llewyn Davis

I walked out of the theater after seeing?Inside Llewyn Davis,?the Coen brother’s phenomenal new film feeling as I always do after seeing a Coen brother’s film: humbled, dazed, out of breath at the mysterious, subtle, and unpredictable relationship between our own individual stories and dramas with all their twists and turns and the cosmic, metaphysical reality which we have absolutely no control over. With their unique attention to detail, aesthetic, and character, the Coen brothers invite us to reflect upon the meaning of life in general and of our own life in......

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Santa Is White, Really!

You can’t make this stuff up. FOX News’ Megyn Kelly reassured her viewers that Santa really is white. At first, at least, it sounds nuts. Where to begin? The claim that a mythic figure is “really” anything? Ms. Kelly’s need to reassure people that a much loved icon could be anything other than white? It really is hard to know where to begin. And then I wonder, if in addition to those serious questions about the sanity and ethics of Ms. Kelly’s assertions, something quite sane and more than a......

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Video: Hope and Gardens on the Moon

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: This week, NASA announced that they plan to do the “first life sciences experiment on another world” in 2015 when they send a terrarium with basil, turnips and cress to the moon via their Lunar Plant Growth Habitat project.? It’s exciting not just on its own merits, but for the message of hope and optimism it sends, says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, “…we don’t just build what we need in the present, but we actually invest the future because in investing in the future we......

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The Rise of Slum Tourism

Have you ever heard of slum tourism? Vacationers on holiday arrange sight-seeing visits to poverty-blighted neighborhoods so they can take in some of the poorest communities in the world. (An estimated one in eight people worldwide live in so-called slums.) Although controversial – it has been labeled “poverty porn”- this new kind of tourism has become a popular way for tourists to engage with poverty on a close-up level. But now there’s a twist: I honestly don’t know what to think about this trend, though I do know how I feel: I’m......

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Video: Our Shrinking World and the Typhoon in the Philippines

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: “Can our sense of neighborhood expand to those who are 10,000 miles away?”? That’s the question Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership asks in the wake of the typhoon in the Philippines which has taken the lives of thousands of people.? As the initial media coverage recedes in favor of front-page stories that are more immediately relevant to our lives as Americans, how do we respond to the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold? Odyssey Networks......

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Dodging Default Bullet Doesn't Equal Peace

Peace.? It’s not just the absence of war. ?And security, whether it is military, economic, or emotional, is about much more than the absence of an active battle. “The U.S. economy dodged a bullet today. But the reprieve will be short,” Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight, said Wednesday in an analysis. ?Scary stuff, because dodging bullets is not the same as making peace — just ask any soldier who has gone to war. We need more than bullet dodging. ?We need to address an imperiled economy, persistent......

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