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Casinos Just Aren’t the Answer

September 20th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

What Atlantic City could do today with the grand hotels it saw demolished 40 years ago to make way for casinos!

Gone forever

Casino gambling was to be the magic potion lightening the load of New Jersey taxpayers.

Now the casinos are closing.  But the likes of the Marlborough-Blenheim and Traymore Hotels will not return.

Meanwhile, New Jersey pols have come up with another “bright idea”: If casinos in South Jersey are failing, let’s build casinos in North Jersey.

CASINOS JUST AREN’T THE ANSWER

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Who cares what ideology drives the high-speed train

September 20th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

There’s a plan in Texas to built a high-speed rail system with private money.  California want to do likewise with public funds.

Let’s not have a one-track mind when it comes to paying for fast trains.

WHO CARES WHAT IDEOLOGY DRIVES THE HIGH-SPEED TRAIN?

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Racing the Pacific Crest Trail

September 20th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

As one who has an opinion on everything, I also have an opinion on trail racing — that is, using paths designed for nature hikes to set speed records.

I join some environmentalists in slightly raising one eyebrow on such activity.  I mean, if you’re intent on speed rather than breathing in the nature around you, why not just use the side of a road?

It’s no big deal, really . . . . still.

RACING THROUGH NATURE

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How NOT to get your country back

September 19th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Dwight Eisenhower

The tea party wants the return of an economically secure American middle class. Well, don’t we all?

But its tax-slashing, government-shrinking ideology is not the way to get there. Quite the contrary.

HOW NOT TO GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK

Mamie

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Travelers can be sad

September 12th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Passing through

“I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men’s”

Thus said the wise Rosalind to the melancholy traveler Jaques in “As You Like It.”

Lots of people have traded home for the supposedly glamorous life of full-time travel.

They seem fabulously content on their Facebook feeds — but are they really?  I’m not sure.

DO WE NEED A PLACE CALLED HOME?

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Spiral of Silence

September 6th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

With folks yapping all day on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the rest — how can there be such a thing as a “spiral of silence” online?

The spiral of silence is the theory that people are less likely to offer opinions when they are not shared by the majority audience.  It pre-dates the Web.

For a while it was believed that social media would free more people to make their minority opinions known.  Turns out that was wishful thinking.

A new Pew/Rutgers report says that people are actually less likely to speak out online.  Here are some reasons:

THE SPIRAL OF SILENCE

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A trip to 30 Rock

September 5th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Here are the links to my recent MSNBC gig:

http://www.msnbc.com/up/watch/the-real-life-of-opinion-column-writers-323568195881

http://www.msnbc.com/up/watch/how-opinion-writing-has-changed-in-modern-age-323568707731

http://www.msnbc.com/up/watch/what-we-learned-this-week-323570755582

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CelebsNix NudPix

September 4th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

The mystery behind Christina Aguilera’s allegedly stolen nude pictures is how much of her haven’t we already seen?

CELEBS NIX NUDE PIX: WHOSE PROBLEM?

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The Knee Defender is highly offensive

August 29th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Josh Barro in the NYT Upshot defends the Knee Defender, an obnoxious device that stops the person in the airline seat ahead from reclining back.  I do not:

THE SMALLNESS OF BEING IN ECONOMY CLASS

Many airlines ban the seat defender for a good reason.

And Josh, why must someone pay you off for exercising his or her right to use the features that come with airline seat?  And rights aside, how about good manners?

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Many airlines ban it and for a good reason.

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The phoniness of crowds

August 21st, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Twitter lands on Ferguson, Missouri

When the smoke clears, what will be left of Ferguson, Missouri?  The turmoil in this predominantly African-American community resembles that of past riots, with one major exception.

Social media — that is, Twitter — is both changing how the violence is being covered and promoting more violence.

#Ferguson was no doubt a trending topic, but there are many tricks to exaggerate certain points of view. Consider:  If one can buy 4000 fake Twitter accounts for $5, what exactly does “followers” mean?

As for covering news, how useful can “crowdsourcing” be when we  know neither the source nor the true size of the crowd?

IS FERGUSON A SOCIAL MEDIA VICTIM?

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