Focusing on national and regional politics with a healthy dose of sports and entertainment, the RFL Blog offers readers a chance to further explore today's headline news through the writings of industry insiders, commentators and special guests.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
– Noam Chomsky
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President Barack Obama signed a $50.5 billion emergency relief bill last month for Hurricane Sandy victims affected by the Oct. 29 storm blamed for more than 130 deaths in the U.S. and widespread property damage. Three months later, communities hardest hit, especially in New York and New Jersey, are gradually rebuilding their homes, businesses and livelihoods with the help of state and local government. But, it can't stop there with many still left to cope with massive loss and bureaucratic red tape.
Grand Central Terminal speaks volumes without saying a word to thousands of travelers passing through its majestic halls every day. This year, the architectural wonder in the heart of Midtown Manhattan celebrates 100 years of public service, with official centennial festivities held on Feb. 1, which marks date the iconic landmark opened in 1913. Poignancy of an all-day re-dedication ceremony was felt as news quickly spread about the death of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch last week.
So, Alex Rodriquez thinks the Yankees and Major League Baseball are conspiring against to get his contract voided. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry was being coached by George on how to beat a lie detector test. George said, "Remember it is not a lie if you believe it."
I will always remember my friend Ed Koch. He made all of us proud to be a New Yorker.
The fact of the matter is they don’t make politicians like Koch anymore. Koch was not a phony. You knew exactly where you stood with him. Over my 30-year relationship with the mayor, he was the same person in private as he was in public.
Every week for many, many years I interviewed Koch on Television. I saw him at his best, and when his health started failing over the years, but Koch would always bounce back.
It was 66 years ago that the single biggest moment in baseball took place on a little patch of green grass in Brooklyn known as Ebbets Field, a moment that transcended the sporting world and continues to have an impact on society. Of course, it was the day Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier and with it, lifted the curtain on the era of civil rights in the United States.
As we embark on the 2013 baseball season which begins with spring training report dates in a few weeks, another Performance Enhancing Drug scandal has been put on there for all the world to see. According to published reports, some notable major league players have been linked to a drug supplier who handed out PEDS on a regular basis. Those players include Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez as well as Bartolo Colon and Gio Gonzalez.
Last week, New York State passed the most sweeping and restrictive gun laws in the nation - In the wake the Newtown tragedy that killed 20 innocent children.
I ask… will this law completely solve the problem?
I acknowledge you don’t need a machine gun to protect your home. However, it is a Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Effective gun laws are necessary to protect innocent citizens. There are some people that act recklessly and they should be punished – But not responsible gun owners.
We live in a society that is becoming increasingly more evil.
It seems like yesterday that I was in Parkersburg, West Virginia. A bunch of friends from the University of Charleston had driven a few hours to hear President Ronald Reagan speak. This was the fall of 1984 and Reagan was our guy and we knew the Republican Party was where we wanted to be. The GOP was the Party of big ideas, less government interference and fighting Communism at every turn. Most important to me was the fact that Reagan made me feel like no matter what problems we confronted Americans always had the ability, with a smile on our face, to make tomorrow better.
The Journal News came under fire recently for publishing an interactive map showing the location of registered gun owners in the Hudson Valley region. After much negative publicity, harassment and admonishment from local law makers the newspaper decided today, to remove the map from their website.
Below you can find a copy of today's letter to their readers.
The scene out of Albany last night was one of common sense winning out, but sadly in today's electoral landscape that qualifies, as uncommon as political valor. New York Democrats, and a lot of Republicans decided that assault weapons designed for our military to fight wars shouldn't be stocked on the shelves of Wal-Mart in the Empire State. Among other things they said that it would be a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Yes America, even after Newtown these are legislative hills, okay for Albany, but too steep to climb in Washington.