My Perspective

March 22, 2019

At some point in our lives, we’ve all heard the Zen master’s riddle: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Personally, I remember struggling over this riddle for hours in graduate school. Today, we will try to solve it! In order to do so, we first need to review the tradition from which this ...

Read more »

As spring approaches, I yearn for warmer, longer days when I can sit under a tree with a favorite philosophy text, pondering the mysteries of the universe. My hope has always been that this exercise will lead to an intellectual breakthrough, which I can then share with you. Although I’m still ...

Read more »

One of my fondest memories as a young boy is sitting in the family living room watching television with my mother. Among the many shows that she enjoyed, she especially loved the old Charlie Chan movies. Charlie Chan, a fictional creation of Earl Derr Biggers, was a brave, brilliant, heroic and ...

Read more »

I dedicate this column to my cousin, Joey, who passed away on Presidents Day after a valiant fight to survive a massive stroke. He possessed all the good things you look for in a person: fun, insight, love, warmth, and a dedication to his wife and family. Even though he suffered greatly the last ...

Read more »

This week, I find myself once again contemplating the meaning of life. During our recent snowstorm, nature’s fury profoundly affected my mood, but the news that my cousin, Joe, suffered a massive stroke yesterday forced me into an even deeper contemplative state of mind. Joe, who lives in Atlanta, ...

Read more »

Unless you are leading a hermetic existence, you, like me, are witnessing the extreme polarization of today’s political world. The chasm between the values and supporting arguments among the various political groups has never been wider. Public perception has also changed. In 1980, a national ...

Read more »

The annals of history are dotted with unfortunate examples of individuals who have succumbed to the allure of fame and fortune over what they know to be sound judgment. One notable instance was triggered by the demise of someone who has most definitely earned a prime position in my Intellectual ...

Read more »

Every year, I’m eager to learn which of our fabled baseball stars will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown. As a lifelong Yankees’ fan, this year proved especially delightful because two former Yankees, Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina, made the grade. Adding even more ...

Read more »

In the 1980 movie, “Atlantic City,” there’s a scene where an aging small-time mobster, Lou Pascal, played by Burt Lancaster, reminisces about the good old days. “The Atlantic Ocean was something then. You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean in those days,” says Lou. Anyone who feels the sting of ...

Read more »

Ever since I realized it was an avenue to my father’s heart, I loved baseball. If we weren’t watching the games together, we were talking about them for hours. It truly cemented our relationship. Two decades after my dad’s passing, I still enjoy our nation’s pastime. And now, thanks to philosopher ...

Read more »

It’s a Herculean task for most of us to disconnect from the relentless demands of daily life to take some time for self-reflection. Finally, in my quiet space, I was startled last week when I received a call from someone I hadn’t heard from in 49 years. Before I reveal whom the surprise caller was, ...

Read more »

Now that the ball has dropped, and we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that another year has passed, we often make resolutions we think will improve our lives. But, because making lasting change can be a real challenge, and so many of us often give up, it is perfectly legitimate to question why we ...

Read more »

It’s a wonderful time of year! It’s a time for family, fun and hopefully some time off from the demands and pressures of work (and, for many of us, a stressful commute). But, before we close the book on 2018, let’s take a moment to reflect. Every year, New Year’s celebrations provoke in me an ...

Read more »

At a time when community and good cheer seem to be in short supply, I hope these festive times remind us that we are all family. In the coming year, let’s make an effort to open our hearts to civility, compassion, love, and, most of all, empathy for one another. In 2019, I hope we will continue to ...

Read more »

In the wonderfully comedic movie, “The Big Sick,” the protagonist hilariously attempts to downplay—in his stand-up routine—that he forgot his girlfriend’s birthday. He suggests that, in light of all the cosmic facts of the earth and universe, his faux pas is rather insignificant, and therefore ...

Read more »

When I turned 16, I was lucky enough to land a part-time job. I worked after school and on weekends in the housekeeping department of a local hospital in Derby, Conn. At the time, the minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. If I had managed to work 25 hours in one week, I was ecstatic on payday. I had ...

Read more »

My recent trip to Japan left several lasting and indelible impressions on me. One of them was made on my first day.     The first stop on day one of my trip was a tour of the Mazda headquarters in Hiroshima. My interest in Mazda was fueled, to some extent, by the fact that I had once flirted ...

Read more »

I just returned from a short trip to Japan, where I attended a Buddhist wedding in Hiroshima. This wedding had added significance—the groom was a Buddhist priest who was marrying into the Aoki family, a very important Japanese family. What makes the Aoki family so prominent is the fact that they ...

Read more »

Two amazing women passed away this fall: Judge Phylis Skloot Bamberger and Mary Midgley. While I knew Judge Bamberger well, I’d never met Mary Midgley. Yet, like Judge Bamberger, I admired her work immensely. Phylis Skloot Bamberger was a jurist I appeared in front of countless times over an ...

Read more »

Aldo Leopold was a forester in New Mexico in the early part of the 20th century. As fate would have it, he was hired to rid the nearby mountains and hills of bears and wolves that sometimes preyed on local livestock. One day, he mortally wounded a female wolf while on the side of a mountain. As he ...

Read more »

I was delighted to hear from state Sen. Terrence Murphy this week as he took time out from his busy schedule to respond to my questions. First of all, I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Always good to talk to you, Jim. We go back a long ways and I ...

Read more »

Last week, we heard from Assemblyman Kevin Byrne. This week, his challenger, Vedat Gashi, gets the final word. We are entering the home stretch—how’s the campaign shaping up? I am incredibly proud of the progress our campaign has made. Every day, I am knocking on doors and we have a dedicated ...

Read more »

We are only days away from an election and a local race is heating up. In Assembly District 94, political newcomer Vedat Gashi is challenging Republican incumbent Kevin M. Byrne. I reached out to the candidates this week to see how things were shaping up in the final days. I am printing the ...

Read more »

As we enter the home stretch of this year’s election cycle, I’ve started to reach out to all the local candidates. Their responses will be highlighted in this and forthcoming columns. My hope is that the information provided may in some way assist you in your electoral decision. My policy has ...

Read more »

Most everyone I know has suffered the loss of a loved one due to cancer. I lost my dad and several very close friends to the dreaded disease. I’ve often wondered why it is that—with all our advanced scientific research—we still can’t find a cure. Perhaps now we’re not that far away. Last week, ...

Read more »

In my youth, I was greatly influenced by John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage.” Back then, I believed that the world was replete with courageous people who put the public good above their self-interest, often at great personal cost. In today’s world, such role models are few and far between.

Read more »

By the time you read this, I will have had another birthday (Sept. 22). Unfortunately, I am at that stage of life when birthday bliss has been supplanted by the somber recognition of the ominous validity of actuarial tables. Seventy may not seem like an extraordinarily high number, but when I find ...

Read more »

Last week, we talked with Democratic Assembly candidate, Vedat Gashi. I think it’s only fair that this week we spend some time with our present assemblyman, Kevin Byrne. He was nice enough to grant me this interview. For the readers who may not know, can you tell us about your background? Where ...

Read more »

There have been for some time now a number of “Gashi for Assembly” signs around Yorktown. In case you were wondering who exactly is Vedat Gashi, I thought it would be appropriate to find out more about him. It turns out that he is the Democrat who is running this November for the 94th Assembly ...

Read more »

Recently, I began to consider constructing a bucket list. At first, I wasn’t sure if this desire was the result of my upcoming 70th birthday or just a melancholy lament triggered by the end of another all too short summer. Upon reflection, it was the product of neither. I can trace this entire ...

Read more »