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What Government Can Do

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 16, 2012


  “Government can’t do anything right.” It’s inevitable that Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan for VP is going to raise all sorts of conversation about Ayn Rand and libertarianism. It is, of course, as many people have ...

No, Really. Read It

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 1, 2012


When people started passing around Bill McKibben’s recent article in Rolling Stone called “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” I didn’t click through. Not even when it was my wife recommending it. I wouldn’t be surprised if ...

6 Reasons Not To Forget About Housing

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 19, 2012

  Housing as an issue has always struggled to be sexy and grab people’s attention. You might think that the housing crash and its continuing repercussions might have changed that, but this is a presidential election ...

Feed Each Other

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 5, 2012

I am as delighted as the next pragmatist who hopes we eventually get to true national healthcare that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. I think everyone should pause and read some of ...

Oh Frack

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 20, 2012


  There are some contentious issues where there are arguments about the likely economic, environmental, and health effects where it’s tough to decipher, where the details are technical, where there are ambiguous studies with unclear motivations ...

Two Cities? Or One?

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 7, 2012

I think it would be fair to say that I am rooted in my neighborhood. I work at home, I prioritize supporting local establishments I can walk to, and enjoy the sense of community and ...

Can I See Some I.D.?

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 24, 2012


  When Kristen Eck of Delaware Avenue, Albany, went to vote on the school budget last week, she took note of the signs saying ID was required. So did one of the people behind her in ...


Suburban State of Mind

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 10, 2012

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  Have you visited our lovely suburbs Schenectady and Troy lately? No, I haven’t become a proponent of some weird dedensification plan. I’m just following the classifications that Wendell Cox, author of War on the Dream: How ...

Bone Headed

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 25, 2012


  Cracked.com’s “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women” did not initially appeal to me, but after seeing it repeatedly recommended, if with warnings about it being “depressing,” I behaved like a predictable social ...

Just Say No (To Drugs)

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 11, 2012


  You probably don’t expect me to mean that literally. But I do. Let me tell you why. I assure you it has nothing to do with feeling any right to control what you put in ...

Raising Our Equity Grade

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 29, 2012

I adore the Capital Region, as most of you know. But when it comes to racial equity, we flunk. Don’t take my word for it. Take the Urban Institute’s, which ranked Albany-Schenectady-Troy 93rd out of ...

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Who’s a Socialist Now?

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 15, 2012

In a recent Doonesbury cartoon, a telephone operator at a company called MyFacts.com helpfully suggests to a grateful anti-Obama caller that an acceptable new definition of socialist is “A black man with power.” That is certainly ...

Ouch, My Wrist

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 1, 2012


For all the fanfare over the National Mortgage Settlement that was eventually agreed to by 49 state attorneys general, you’d think the banks were actually being held accountable or something. I know, that would be nice. It’s ...

Brother, Can You Spare Some Time?

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 16, 2012

  “As people become wealthier, time becomes their major scarce resource. Suppose that you are very rich but have only a few hours a week of spare time. Give some examples of steps you can take ...

No Theocracy, Thanks

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 1, 2012

This is what happens when we let people run for office unopposed. Consider yourself warned. Albany’s new county executive Dan McCoy—whom, for the record, I did not vote for despite his having no opponent, though I ...

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Indians in the House

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 18, 2012

  My older daughter has recently passed a major milestone: ability to handle any sort of plot tension. Not like we’re going in for scary movies or anything, but this does vastly increase the range of ...

New Year’s Permissions

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 5, 2012

  There are as many conflicting opinions on New Year’s Resolutions as there are on any other form of self-help or self-improvement. Which is to say, rather a lot of them. A quick survey shows that there ...

We Won’t Go

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 21, 2011

“Welcome here, or welcome not, old Father Christmas should never be forgot!” Where, you might ask might Father Christmas not be welcome? Perhaps if he is part of a rag-tag band of mummers, bringing a archetypal play ...

Fix It First

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 7, 2011

  Our car died this weekend. Blessedly, it chose a few blocks from home to do it, leading only to a Saturday night wrong-side-of-the-street parking ticket rather than a highway-side-with-two-kids drama. It was the hybrid mechanism itself ...

Things Fall Apart

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 22, 2011

  To the news hound it may seem that the hardest harvest is consequence: the richly deserved chicken slaughtered on her roost, the open-pollinated burrs of hypocrisy and insincerity, the mortar-eating ivy that can’t tear down the master’s house fast enough. But ...

Move Your Money

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 26, 2011


  Dear JPMorgan Chase, After many years, I’m leaving you. I tried to think of our credit card as a secondary sort of relationship. All my bank accounts have been with credit unions for over a decade. ...

Assembling Assemblies

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 13, 2011

  “Collective Thinking is born when we understand that all opinions, be these opinions our own or others’, need to be considered when generating consensus and that an idea, once it has been constructed indirectly, can ...

Main Street vs. Wall Street

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 28, 2011

As I write this Monday evening, the occupation of Wall Street by people representing the 99 percent of us whose interests are not served by privileging a bloated, predatory financial system over the real economy ...

Repeat After Me

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 15, 2011

Rick Perry is a hypocrite. Rick Perry and his cronies are hypocrites.        Perry’s supposed Texas miracle was built on stimulus money, government jobs, and undocumented immigrants. Though the state added public sector jobs, the ...

We’ll See Irene Again

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 31, 2011

  I used to quip that here in the Northeast, our natural disaster danger was Lyme disease. I guess that line gets retired as of this year. Especially since our region and our neighboring regions are focused ...