I have never considered myself a reviewer. But if I like a play, movie or opera, I do love to tell people about it. Talking about a production usually winds up in a profound discussion of the major points, positive or negative. I do enjoy these back-and-forth, stimulating conversations.
Mary Tillman is the mother of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan. She wrote the book Boots on the Ground by Dusk, which detailed her attempt to find out the truth about her son’s death and exposed a cover-up by the Pentagon and the White House. Mary Tillman dedicated the book to “all military families, who are seeking to understand the sacrifices their sons and daughters have made. They too are entitled to the truth from their government.”
It’s just wrong. Secret campaign cash should have no place in our American democracy. But now we are seeing huge sums of money from secret sources going into campaign advertising. Special interests are spending millions and millions of dollars in this election and it threatens to drown out the voices of individual voters. And because of changes in the law, there are no disclosure requirements- even foreign government corporations could be funding these ads.
The League of Women Voters has been calling attention to secret money being spent on political advertising for months, but the U.S. Senate has refused to act to require disclosure, even after the House of Representatives passed a strong disclosure bill.
Last week was a movie and play extravaganza!
Lorraine and I saw three movies and one play on consecutive nights. All four of these attractions were worthwhile, although they were worlds apart in their storyline and dramatic presentation.
1. The Social Network
The story of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, played ably by Jesse Eisenberg. We are thrust into Harvard in 2003 in a dark, melancholy time in Zuckerberg’s life. He is a sophomore on the lowest level of the social stratifications. We see him as super-bright but obnoxious. His jerky actions drive him away from Erica, a lovely, intelligent girl whom he desires. Computers are his life and he speaks like a computer, in short bursts. He is hostile to his environment as a method of self-defense. I was also impressed by the acting of Justin Timberlake who played Sean Parker, founder of Napster. We see the outsider as he succeeds and yet fails.
In September I watched the annual fall migration in three different places on the Island and Queens: a marsh, a hawk observation platform and a wildlife refuge. This is how that busy week unfolded.
Due to a typographical error, an incorrect e-mail address was printed in the last column. However, some of my readers persevered and managed to get the correct answers to me.
The movies just keep pouring forth from Hollywood.
They have become an integral part of our lives.
People who love showers always demean us people who prefer baths in this manner: “How can you lie there in your own filth?”
People who love baths answer, “Don’t be silly, a bath is so much more relaxing. You wash leisurely and carefully but you are rested and less stressed.”
There is no doubt that a shower is faster. If you are going to work or time is a factor, a shower is much more practical. Actually both are used to wash your body and rinse your hair. I prefer to shave in the shower as all that rushing water affords a better and closer trim.
(Howard Weitzman is the former Nassau County Comptroller.)
No matter who won the last county election it was clear the County would be going down a tough financial road. A difficult economy, falling tax receipts, an increasing structural gap along with the political difficulty in raising additional revenues have combined to create a perfect storm for all local governments. But the new Mangano administration seems to be drowning in a fiscal tsunami, without a tree to climb. His rescue plan is based on an old copy of Tom Gullota’s guide to County government – borrow, over estimate revenues, under estimate expenses, sell property, and if that’s not enough borrow more.
The budget press release heralds a no-tax increase budget without the use of one shots – and then, in a shocking and frightening return to the past, proceeds to call for the biggest revenue one shot of all - $350 million in new borrowing for real estate tax refunds. When added to the $86 million borrowed for early retirements and the 2010 capital plan, the County Executive will have borrowed or proposed to borrow close to $500 million – a half a BILLION in new borrowing in his first nine months in office, over 85 percent of which is for operating expenses. This is like borrowing on your credit card to pay for your living expenses. Even for Nassau County this is a huge amount to be repaid by our children and grandchildren, and will certainly earn a negative reaction from the rating agencies, increasing Nassau’s cost of borrowings by millions.
We live in unprecedented and difficult economic times. Thousands of jobs have been lost, careers have been destroyed, and retirement savings have vanished. The value of our homes has decreased; more homes have been foreclosed in Nassau County than ever before. We are facing challenges that have not been seen in our County since its founding in 1899.
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