News & Politics


Eric Garner, Peaceful Protests and Leviticus

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week a grand jury on Staten Island, NY decided not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. Whatever you think, pick the guy you identify with more and remember the guy you identify with less is every bit as much your brother. Watch my video below for more reaction and discussion. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wide range of issues including peace, tolerance,......

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Why It's So Hard to See the Real Bill Cosby

I wrote this review of Michael Whitaker’s 500+ page definitive biography of Bill Cosby, Cosby: His Life and Times, a week before the eruption of sexual assault and abuse charges against Cosby. I held back posting it on TWD because, like Whitaker, I consciously chose not to mention in my review the longstanding charges of Cosby’s sexual predatory behavior. Last week Whitaker tweeted, “I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively.” Listening to the close to 20 women who have come forward......

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Video: How to Respond to the Jerusalem Attacks

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week in a bloody attack at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem, four men, including three rabbis, were killed as they prayed. It is the latest act in a part of the world plagued by religious violence. As horrible as these events are, the best response never comes from a place of despondency, desperation, depression, fear or anger. Watch my video below for more commentary: Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories......

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Is Football the New Tobacco?

Could football really be the new tobacco, as suggested by the cover of the NY Times Magazine and to be fair, by The Dish’s Andrew Sullivan 2.5 years ago?? Before you go calling me some nanny state, un-American alarmist just looking for one more legitimate pleasure that people should be free to enjoy, watch this video which details the brain damage sustained by high school football players. Even if it’s only one study, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Should we really be celebrating a game that almost by definition is harming......

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Video: Is All Murder Equal? The Death of London McCabe

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week, Jillian McCabe threw her autistic 6-year-old son London from a bridge to his death. The murder has provoked many reactions, among them a surprising amount of sympathy for the mother, who was by many accounts overwhelmed by her son’s condition. When our sense of mercy for one person is built on the message that the person they have harmed or killed is less than human because of whatever affects them, something is terribly wrong. Watch my video commentary for more thoughts: Odyssey......

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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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