My Perspective

November 29, 2018

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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For millennia, scientists and philosophers have attempted to discover the furniture of the universe. How did it all begin? Can we really know anything? What exactly does the universe consist of? Through the ages, wise men and women have found the courage to examine and even challenge established ...

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Our character is the product of many factors. For me: my parents, my teachers, my sister, people I’ve met along the way and even an occasional role model found in literature or cinema have all contributed to who I am today. I can remember at age 15 watching with rapt attention the movie, “To ...

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I am presenting for your consideration an interview with a second Democratic candidate vying for his party’s nomination to run for the position of state senator in the 40th Senate District. Should he win the Democratic primary in September, he will face off against Republican state Sen. Terrence ...

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Over the centuries, one of the questions that has plagued philosophers and scientists alike is the mystery of consciousness. What is it? What does it do? How did it evolve? Of course, philosophers and neuroscientists approach the question in vastly different ways. Twenty years ago, there was a ...

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The following is the second part of my recent interview with newly elected Westchester County executive, George Latimer. Can you update us on what’s going on with the county’s role in Westchester Airport? I know your predecessor had plans to sell off the county’s interest. We’ve endeavored to ...

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George Latimer, our new county executive, has been in office now for a little over half a year. I thought it might be a good time to check in with my friend to see how things were going. You can see the interview in its entirety on Channel 74 (Optimum) at 9 p.m. Wednesday nights. What happened ...

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A recently published article by behavioral scientist, Clay Routledge, points out an alarming increase (25 percent) in suicides over the last 19 years, which applies across ethnic and racial lines. The question that plagues him is why? This is not the first time this exact issue has been ...

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It was the fall of 1955 and, for me, all seemed right with the world. I was living in Ansonia, a small Connecticut town, where the most dramatic event of the year was the annual high school football game against archrival and neighbor, Derby. Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Yankees were in the ...

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It’s funny how current events can sometimes produce flashbacks to memories decades old. I recently recalled my first day of ethics class at Fordham University as my professor valiantly searched our minds to find a starting point on which to base an ethical theory. What he suggested was that a ...

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The seat in the 40th Senate District of New York, currently occupied by Republican Sen. Terrence Murphy, is up this year. Senator Murphy, who has announced he is seeking re-election, has already started campaigning. On the Democratic side, newcomer Robert Kesten entered the race. Challenging him ...

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I’m not the type of person who is prone to hero worship. Witnessing people screaming hysterically during rock concerts never sat well with me. Yes, I did see many a great group (the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, the Who, the Doors), yet my demeanor was always one reflecting inner peace ...

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Although normally self-sufficient, autonomous beings, how often do we find ourselves in a bind and in need of assistance from a trusted friend or parent? Even the most brilliant and famous are not immune from requiring a helping hand now and again. In his youth, Albert Einstein attended the ...

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Never before in the history of the republic have we been faced with the daunting task of keeping our democracy alive and well. We must be able to discern fact from fiction, truth from lies. Our forefathers established walls between our institutions to keep our democracy in balance. As we undertake ...

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In his thoughtful work, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” Thomas Kuhn reflects on the revolutionary contributions of such giants as Copernicus, Newton, Darwin and Einstein. But he is quick to remind us that it’s often the scientists whose names we never hear of who make the vast majority ...

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Seven years ago, when I first began sharing my thoughts with you, I posed the question: What are the neurological mechanics of decision-making? I was referring not only to decisions about our actions, but also to the method by which we form our beliefs and preferences, political and otherwise. What ...

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Aging has given me a renewed appreciation for truth seekers, famous or otherwise. In all walks of life, those who have spent their lives seeking the truth have earned my undying respect and admiration. On a philosophical level, that sentiment has motivated me to turn to the writings of Plato and ...

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