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Help Us Decide:  If You Want the Smugtown Beacon to Continue, We Need Your Help with Content
Help Us Decide: If You Want the Smugtown Beacon to Continue, We Need Your Help with Content
Tuesday, July 8, 2014  Rochester, NY - As I'm sure you've noticed, our article output recently has not been up to historical standards.  Combined, Aaron Wicks and I have written and published over 1,000 articles for the Smugtown Beacon during our six year, eight month run (not that I am counting the passing months and years, but I am).  If any of you would like this publication to continue, we ask that you submit ideas--and fully developed articles--to the Smugtown Beacon, & help us continue our effort.  We do not do this for money, we do it for love of the subject matter.  But we are becoming exhausted, and could really use your help.  We cannot, and will not do it without you.  Thank you! Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

Radical Islamic Horde Must Be Fought, and Vanquished

The always humane ISIS thugs carrying out their thoughtful and impartial 'justice': Public-private executions (Source: Slate.com)
Radical Islamic Horde Must Be Fought, and Vanquished
Wednesday, June 18, 2014  Rochester, NY -  ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is maurading through Iraq, leaving a path of beheadings, public executions, and rape, on their way to Baghdad.  The Iraqi goverment appears too weak and disorganized to fight off this medieval gang of murderers.  Should the U.S. military act even if the Iraqi government cannot get its act together?  An emphatic YES. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot - 1 opinion posted

World Cup Fever:  Humanity's Only Unifying 'Religion' is Both Utterly Spectacular, and Deeply Troubled

'Cristo Redentor' (Christ the Redeemer) overlooks the former largest stadium in the world: Rio's Maracana (once thought to seat as many as 220,000).
World Cup Fever: Humanity's Only Unifying 'Religion' is Both Utterly Spectacular, and Deeply Troubled
Thursday, June 12, 2014  Rochester, NY -  ESPN began their World Cup coverage this afternoon, and the opening match did not disappoint.  Did the ref hand the game to Brazil over Croatia?  And, will the massive corruption of the 2014 World Cup in the still-third world nation of Brazil make staging the event for any host nation far more difficult in the future? Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

Can Race and Class be Discussed with Some Balance & Real Honesty?
Can Race and Class be Discussed with Some Balance & Real Honesty?
Monday, June 9, 2014  Rochester, NY - I know the company line on discussions of race and class.  Hell, I was brought up that way.  I know how to write about these issues wholly from the perspective of a progressive-liberal.  And my morality teaches me to treat these difficult issues with fairness and sensitivity.  But, does there exist another side to discussions of race and class in America?  A perspective that isn't necessarily racist or bigoted, but one that gives all sides an adequate airing of grievances?  A discussion that holds all parties accountable? Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot - 1 opinion posted

Riot or Rebellion?
Riot or Rebellion?

Friday, June 6, 2014  In July 2014, Rochester will observe (or in some cases ignore) the 50th anniversary of historic civil unrest in the city that lasted three days and took four lives – three in a helicopter crash related to the event. But was this event a “riot” a “rebellion” or something else? Does it matter?

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Aaron E. Wicks - 1 opinion posted

Rochester News & Politics

Need a Job?  They're Out There  (Read On)

It's not too late to apply for a job at inner city Rochester's newest full service grocery: Hart's, on Winthrop St.
Need a Job? They're Out There (Read On)
Thursday, May 29, 2014  Rochester, NY -  We hear it all the time:  "Rochester's a great place to live, but there aren't any jobs out there!"  Not true, or so says the data.  If you are out of work, you may want to click inside. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot - 1 opinion posted

Rochester's Future
Rochester's Future

Monday, May 26, 2014  A thought recently occurred to me that I cannot resolve: is Rochester on its way back after a long decline or are we witnessing the last gasps of a dying city? The objective evidence is mixed; the subjective assessments are all over the place. Any care to place a bet?

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Aaron E. Wicks - 1 opinion posted

Why I Now Loathe Writing About Local Politics

Overly sanctimonious Bill Johnson, with his OTB funded fellow anti-casino cohorts: While certainly 'some' anti-Henerietta casino types were sincere, the group's shameless acceptance of lobbying money from Off-Track-Betting taints their message, forever.
Why I Now Loathe Writing About Local Politics
Tuesday, May 20, 2014  Rochester, NY -  From Bill Johnson's shameless advocacy for OTB against gambling competitors in Henrietta, to local Republican opposition to logical governmental mergers and consolidatoins, Greater Rochester likely contains some of the most shortsighted, unimaginative, and frankly, boring elected officials this side of the Mississippi. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot - 1 opinion posted

Richards Irredentists Resurgent?

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!! (Maybe)
Richards Irredentists Resurgent?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014  Well, it was inevitable: the ghost of Duffy-Richards may be rising from the grave – just a few days after Easter, nonetheless. Could Democrats (predictably) be on the verge of another internecine battle over the party? The rumored next battleground? The Northwest District City Council seat.

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Aaron E. Wicks

In the Words of WHEC TV-10:  "Who Killed East High School?"  We All Did.

East High School: Death be not proud (photo: D&C).
In the Words of WHEC TV-10: "Who Killed East High School?" We All Did.
Monday, May 5, 2014  Rochester, NY -  WHEC TV-10's Berkeley Brean recently commenced a very interesting investigative news piece about the academic demise of the RCSD's East High School.  Brean asks viewers, "Who killed East High?"  He mentions possible culprits:  RCSD Superintendent Bolgan Vargas; East High School's principal Mr. Anibal Solar; East High teachers, their students, and parents.  Truth is, all 750,000 residents of Monroe County killed East High, through caustic indifference, ethnic and racial tribalism, and a general unwillingness to integrate Monroe County's public schools. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

Global News and Opinion

In 2014, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Highest in Nearly 1 Million Years

Nearly 37 Billion metric tones of C02 is pumped into our air and oceans every year, all produced by human emissions (Source: C02Now.org).
In 2014, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Highest in Nearly 1 Million Years
Monday, May12, 2014  Rochester, NY -  About 800,000 years ago, a small band of ancestors of modern humans, probably Homo Erectus, otherwise known as 'Pioneer Man', left footprints near present day Norfolk, England.  Also on that day, 800,000 years ago, was the last time that carbon dioxide levels in the earth's atmosphere were as high as they are presently, nearly one million years later, in 2014.  What can we do to address this environmental calamity? Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

The Death of the Oceans

A sea turtle, muching on some delicious plastic. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
The Death of the Oceans
Thursday, April 10, 2014  Rochester, NY -  Our planet's oceans are in worse shape now then at any other time in the past 300 million years.  If you love the beach, if you enjoy eating fresh seafood not raised on a farm, then read on, and find out why it might not be too late to save our oceans. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

Local and National Media Analysis

Media Analysis:  CNN's Obsession with the Missing Malaysian Airliner.

The disappearance of the Malaysian airliner is indeed a tragedy, but does it compare to 21,000 people every day dying of starvation, worldwide?
Media Analysis: CNN's Obsession with the Missing Malaysian Airliner.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014  Rochester, NY -  Which media outlet is better at reporting news and policies that have a real impact on your every day life:  CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, or MSNBC?  Would it surprise you to learn that none of the above is probably the correct answer?  Read on... Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot

Facing Race in Rochester

Race and Privilege: Missed Opportunity and Rochester’s Ambition
Race and Privilege: Missed Opportunity and Rochester’s Ambition
Friday, May 16, 2014  While the nation talks about Donald Sterling’s racist comments and the likely loss of his NBA team, some Rochesterians are preparing to force a more substantive conversation in Rochester. Can Rochester succeed where the rest of the country has failed? Read More ...
Aaron E. Wicks

War on Poverty: Changing Battlefield?

President Johnson shakes hands with the Rev. Martin Luther King after signing into law landmark civil rights legislation.
War on Poverty: Changing Battlefield?

Monday, April 7, 2014  With 2014 being the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s “unconditional war on poverty in America,” many have reflected on what has and has not been accomplished during that time. But more important than arguing over successes and failures (there have been both), is whether our community or our country is in a position to finally win this war. Despite plenty of cause for cynicism, there is good reason to believe that economic, demographic and political trends might converge on some constructive steps toward a more equitable society. 

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Aaron E. Wicks - 2 opinions posted

Society and Culture

Time to Boycott Corporations & Chain Restaurants in Favor of Ma & Pa Local Alternatives?

While certainly Home Depot & Lowe's have greater selection, Mayer's will give you better service, and that hometown feeling.
Time to Boycott Corporations & Chain Restaurants in Favor of Ma & Pa Local Alternatives?
Tuesday, April 29, 2014  Rochester, NY - When I was in my early 20's, it was a thrill to frequent chain restaurants like TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut, and Chi-Chi's.  I'm not sure why it was, except that perhaps because I was so heavily influenced by TV advertsing, it seemed to me as a young adult that coporate chain restaurants must have had superior food quality and service.  I am 52 now and of a different mind.  Herein, a list of locally owned alternative retail establishments and eateries to counter the continued onslaught of corporate everything in this community, in this country. Read More ...
Christopher J. Wilmot - 1 opinion posted