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Rise Again

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 8, 2015


  “This is all because of Joe McCarthy.” John McCutcheon, folk musician and songwriter extraordinaire, was on the stage at Proctors Sunday night. He was talking about the network of folk venues and series like our ...


And Many More

by Paul Rapp October 1, 2015


  Well, it’s silly season on Facebook again, where the more gullible among us get their knickers in a twist over some fake nonsense about Facebook’s inherent evility. Both of the things that popped up this ...

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Opportunity Blocked

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 24, 2015


  Want to be that one person who bootstraps themselves out of poverty and makes it, against all odds? Not if Facebook has anything to do with it. Now that’s already a stretch without Facebook. We already ...


Just Take a Walk?

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 10, 2015


  Last spring, as I walked to a board meeting of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region on Orange Street in Albany, I passed a memorial to a young man who had been shot ...


Boobishness and Popery

by Paul Rapp September 3, 2015


  You’ve not doubt caught wind of the painted topless ladies cavorting around Times Square in New York City. It’s a hilarious coda to the decades-long reinvention of Times Square from a seedy porn mecca to ...


In Defense of Saggy Pants

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 27, 2015


  “Pull up your pants already.” “All these guys with their pants around their knees, waddling...” Hey look, it’s the fashion police. Seems like everyone has something to say about sagging pants, from the president to the ...



by Paul Rapp August 20, 2015

  It seems like all of a sudden free speech is under serious attack. Two epic Atlantic articles lay it out. In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” writers Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt dissect and ...

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Policing for Dollars

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 13, 2015


  Some people are a little bit upset about the city of Albany’s decision to install red light cameras. OK, perhaps I am understating a little bit. Many people—most, from my unscientific survey, though not all, white ...

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This Is Not My Beautiful Career

by Paul Rapp August 6, 2015


  I’ve criticized the always-fascinating David Byrne in the past for some of his public proclamations about the music business. In 2006-2007 he was wondering aloud whether record companies were necessary in the digital age, which ...


Pipeline Whack-a-Mole

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 30, 2015


  Didn’t I write this column already? The one where I say, hey, it’s so awesome that New York state banned fracking, but companies are still trying to criss-cross our state with new pipelines that allow gas ...


The Copyright Sky Is Not Falling

by Paul Rapp July 23, 2015

  It’s starting again. I’m getting messages from frantic clients whose professional trade organizations are telling them that Congress is about to take their copyrights away. “How can they DO THIS?” “How can we stop them?” We’ve ...


Zone It Right

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 16, 2015


  In case you missed it, Albany is redoing its zoning code. Given that portions of it date back to 1968, conflict with each other or are too vague to consistently interpret, and are scattered through ...


Around the World

by Paul Rapp July 9, 2015


  A while back I wrote about these hideous lawsuits brought by porn producers against people whose Internet accounts where identified as being used to download porn torrents. It was the ultimate shakedown: They demanded thousands ...


On Flags and Losing

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 2, 2015


  I am glad the Confederate Flag is coming down in so many places. I am also glad that the attention on it has allowed its actual history as a explicit symbol of race hatred and ...

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Taylor Swiftboat

by Paul Rapp June 25, 2015


  Apple finally announced that it was going to launch a music streaming service, years too late. Here’s the company that singlehandedly revolutionized the music business 10 years ago with the one-two punch of the iPod ...


The Anti-Bucket List

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 18, 2015


  I’m turning 40 soon. Like so many of my cohort who are doing the same, I never expected it to be a big deal. I remember being really turned off by “over-the-hill” jokes when my ...


The Artists Facetiously Known as Prince

by Paul Rapp June 11, 2015

The Internet got highly agitato last week with news of Richard Prince’s latest art-world gambit: making comments on other people’s Instagram photos, then putting a screen shot of the photo plus comments on big pieces ...

Stitching the City Together

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 6, 2015


  The map of Albany on the screen, at quick glance, looked a little like a heat map of poverty and distressed neighborhoods, with one large red area over the Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill and West ...

If Biden Calls, Duck

by Rami G. Khouri May 28, 2015

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Copyright ©2015 Rami G. Khouri -- distributed by Agence Global If I were Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi, I’d be slightly worried that I received a phone call from U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Monday assuring ...

Safe Trains

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 21, 2015


  As regular readers may know, I’m a big fan of train travel. I intend to be taking a train home from New Orleans in less than a month. It will pass through Philadelphia, as do ...

The Wired, Wired West

by Paul Rapp May 14, 2015


Wonders never cease. It looks like my mountain house in this tiny Berkshire mountain town is gonna get some serious broadband Internet. We’re talking fiber, and we’re talking something like $50 a month. I live in ...


Beware the Self-Defeating Prophecy

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 7, 2015


  Yesterday I saw a link to a set of well-wisher cards intended to be sent to people with serious illness, like cancer. Some were unusually blunt (“happy last day of chemo, let’s eat anything that ...

Unfair Trade

by Paul Rapp May 4, 2015


You may have caught wind about a bizarre firefight going on between President Obama and some prominent Democrats, most notably Elizabeth Warren, over some trade agreements with catchy acronyms like TPP, TIPP, and TAFTA. This ...

How “Islamic” is the Islamic State?

by Juan Cole February 26, 2015

  Copyright © 2015 The Nation—distributed by Agence Global Last week a debate erupted over how “Islamic” the so-called “Islamic State” group (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria and Iraq is, and whether it is legitimate to speak ...

Well, This Changes Everything–I Think

by Paul Rapp February 20, 2015


  In my last column we talked about the Flo & Eddie lawsuit seeking performance-right payments for pre-1972 recordings. The lawsuit is going very well for them, and as I explained, it highlights what a putrid ...