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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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.
Much of the talk after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's State of the State address Wednesday focused on his plans to "enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period."
If you listened closely, however, it wasn't his talk about guns in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy that those in the audience were most interested in. Instead, the greatest applause was reserved for his announcement heralding a Women's Equality Act.
It is the best NFL weekend of the year—4 games in 2 days that decide the sport’s Final Four. So grab some wings and your favorite adult beverage and be a couch potato for 2 days. Here are my picks for the games:
I am a lifelong New Yorker and covered sports in this town for over 20 years and I know how things work in The Big Apple. If the sports media wants to “get you” they will always have the last word unless, of course, you win a championship. They will run you out of town. I was a first-hand witness to how unfairly the media pictured Omar Minaya and I am starting to see the same treatment of Rex Ryan.
The Met fan has felt beat up the past few years and rightfully so. The record on the field has not been where it should be and the future was cloudy. I stress the word was because I firmly believe this team is on the rise. Are there unresolved problems? Absolutely---but Sandy has the ship steering in the right direction and in 12 to 24 months I think Met fans will be happy campers.
The RA Dickey story is a compelling one, a journey that touched the heart of every Mets fan.
His contribution to this team should not be minimized in any way. But Sandy Alderson did the right thing, dealing him for blue-chip prospects, even though Monday's trade with the Blue Jays was viewed as the incorrect move in some circles.
In talking to baseball scouts and team executives, many were amazed the Mets were able to get not only Travis d'Arnaud, who is generally regarded as the top catching prospect in the sport, but Toronto's top pitching prospect as well.
This coming January I'll turn 50. The first memory I have of tragedy in America was the shooting of Martin Luther King in April of 1968. At age 5 you only remember that something really bad happened. Only a few months later Robert Kennedy also was assassinated. The only reason this moment stuck with me a little more vividly was the train which carried the body of the New York Senator. For some reason, the Battle Hymn of the Republic still plays in my head as I think of Senator Kennedy and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Like millions of you, I went about my daily routine this morning, that included packing up the kids and dropping them off at elementary school. I was a better dad than this past Friday, before America’s latest reality, when I barked at one who forget her lunch, another who forget his jacket, and the oldest for taking forever to get out the door. Routines and realities changed in the last 72 hours, givens are replaced by worries, and our most precious commodities, the things we would all die for - our children suddenly seemed so fragile.