Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00
“A picture does [not] say a thousand words” unless you are looking at Dorian Gray. The politicians have started early this year due to the primary season. Noted guru Marshall McLuhan once wrote that “the medium is the message.” That being the case, what is the medium deployed by our politicians and what is the message?
Currently blighting our environment are political signs, illegally posted on both public and private lands. These signs tell us the name of the candidate, the office they are seeking and their political party — but that is all. The point is that candidates pray that signs will increase their name recognition causing voters to cast their ballots for them irrespective of their otherwise lackluster records.
Delusions of grandeur coupled with obscene campaign contributions build these candidates into truly minor, local celebrities where brainwashed voters are hoodwinked into electing them on the basis of party loyalty, pretty faces, road signs and false, negative advertising.
But what do these insulting road signs which obliterate the landscape, distracting us from traffic conditions, really tell us about these arrogant candidates? As in the case of most political advertising, they tell us nothing.
Road signs and campaign stickers are the cheapest form of advertising but not needed by candidates with legitimate name recognition and those with big money available for paid television advertising. So what does this mean for voters trying to navigate safely through this mine field of junk advertising? It means that you have to be more than informed.
You must be a psychologist as well to determine why candidates seek public office and whether they have the qualifications, knowledge, insight and courage to solve the problems which we face. We should need them more than they need us. Slogans do not suffice.
Most candidates secure nominations and even elections for all the wrong reasons. They have flown below the radar throughout their careers avoiding controversy and have joined the local church and Kiwanis Club. They want a title, paid vacations, pensions and medical insurance. Their mediocrity then becomes our mediocrity. Road signs are a symbol telling us that candidates expect that they can get by with a smile and a handshake. In the past that is all they needed.
Thomas F. Liotti
Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00
Members and guests of North Shore Synagogue’s Brotherhood BBQ and Erev Shabbat Service enjoyed a wonderful summer’s evening in early July with a classic BBQ and services led by Brotherhood, with help from Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet and Cantor Rich Pilatsky.
“This is a wonderful way to connect with other members of Brotherhood, which focuses on building camaraderie among our members, and instilling a strong sense of community away from the hectic pressures of our day-to-day lives,” said Brotherhood co-president Jeffrey Levine.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Kids love amusement parks, and they especially love one aspect of these fanciful places above all others — the twists, turns and death-defying loops of the mighty roller coaster. Given the chance, it’s likely that almost any child would love the chance to actually build one of their own.
Susan Sears of Port Jefferson runs an ongoing series of science classes aimed at stimulating the growing minds of children. Recently, she was holding one of them at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library on Roller Coaster design, which she described as “a physics lesson disguised as fun.”