53 posts categorized " AUTHOR FRANK BATAVICK" Feed

Bill Barron, formerly of Gloucester City; Hong Kong Univ. Professor, World Traveler, and Author

He was quite a man and did Gloucester City and Gloucester Catholic proudly... ~Frank Batavick, Classmate and Friend William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (CNBNewsnet)--William F. Barron, of Portland, Oregon (photo) lost his battle with kidney cancer on January 4, 2018. He was 73 years old. Bill grew up in Gloucester City, NJ and received his elementary education from St. Mary's Grammar School. He graduated from Gloucester Catholic High School in 1963. He was predeceased by his parents, Edward and Delores Barron. He is survived by his siblings, Judy, Joe, Ed, and Tim. Also many cousins, nieces, and nephews living in this area. Private funeral services were held in Portland, Oregon. His uncle, Hank Miller, of Kitakyushu City, Japan wrote the CNBNews... Read more →


(Photos) Where Has The Time Gone? GCHS Class of ’63 Reminisce at Il Villagio in Cherry Hill

photos credit Larry "Gus" Danks CHERRY HILL, NJ (CNBNewsnet)—Seventeen members of Gloucester Catholic High School Class of 1963 met for dinner in early May at Il Villagio in Cherry Hill. The next dinner is scheduled for the first Thursday in October. All classmates are welcome. Related: Rams Alumni Lions Alumni Gloucester Catholic Gloucester City St Mary's Grammar/Parish Gloucester City History Author Frank Batavick Read more →


Op-Ed : Media Literacy | BATAVICK

Related: Frank Batavick by Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet I was in the check-out line at the supermarket doing our weekly grocery shopping. Alongside of me screamed the headlines of the “National Enquirer”: “CORRUPT” was in 72 point type and accompanied by a photo of Hillary Clinton with arms outstretched and a “what-are-you-gonna-do” look on her face. The smaller headlines around her read, “On the Take: $139 Million for Political Favors,” “Fraud and Bribes: Foundation Used as Slushfund,” “Top Aide Exposes Crooked Hillary,” and “Breaking News: New FBI Indictment.” Talk about over-kill! I then started to think about how many people would be media literate enough to read between these headlines and understand the background behind this vicious attack. Would they know that the “National... Read more →


Some Thoughts on Hillary Clinton | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet Given the findings of the FBI and the State Department's Inspector General, there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton willfully disregarded State protocols by using a private email server and lied about it in numerous ways. Their reports also show her to be arrogant and self-dealing. Regardless, there is no evidence that she violated the letter of the law or that her server was successfully hacked, thus putting American personnel and interests at risk. Clinton has earned her place in the sweep of history after more than 40 years in public life, and her role as the first woman to be a major party’s presidential nominee is certainly her resume’s high point. There is no doubting her intelligence and ambition,... Read more →


Op Ed: Make America Great Again | Batavick

by Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet Dear Donald Trump, I really like your “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, even though you “borrowed” it from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. No big deal. I know how hard it is for some folks to come up with something original. However, I do have a number of important and honest questions for you. If you wish to “Make America Great Again,” then: Why are your Trump-branded men's suits, dress shirts, and ties made in China and Bangladesh and all of Ivanka Trump's clothing line (shoes, dresses, purses and scarves) made in China? You said, “I want to see the day in the not too distant future where Apple makes its phones in this country." You have control... Read more →


Op Ed on the Ill Effects of a Trump Presidency by Frank J. Batavick

Attention Trump supporters! Hop into my time machine and transport yourselves back to early June 2015. Now, what if I had told you back then that the candidate you would eventually champion for the U.S. presidency would also have the solid support of the KKK, North Korea, ISIS, a European fascist, and the Chinese Communists? What would your reaction have been? Still the simplistic “Anyone but Hillary”? I doubt it. I think you would have thought me delusional, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Last February, white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, David Duke told his radio audience, “Voting for these people (other primary candidates), voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage… I support voting for him... Read more →


CNBNewsnet Stats Report for August 2016...Average Number of Daily Visitors 3,675

RELATED:CNBNews stat report for September 2015 RELATED:CNBNews stat report for October 2015 Returning Visits- Basked purely on a cookie, if this person is returning to our website for another visit an hour or more later First Time Visits - Based purely on a cookie, if this person has no cookie then this is considered their first time at your website. Unique Visitor - Based purely on a cookie, this is the total of the returning visits and first time visits - all your visitors. Page Load - The number of times your page has been visited. Data provided by www. Statcounter.com Monthly Stats Report: 1 Aug - 31 Aug 2016 URL: http://www.gloucestercitynews.net Summary Page Loads Unique Visits First Time Visits Returning Visits Total 113,935 64,801... Read more →


Op-Ed : Disney Stereotyping | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet When I was teaching a Mass Communications course at McDaniel, I covered many topics that should have been incendiary— Internet privacy, violent video games, media bias, censorship—but was barely able to get a rise out of the students. No incensed comments. No outrage. It wasn’t until I showed a video from the Media Education Foundation that things got tense. Titled Mickey Mouse Monopoly, the documentary tackled sexual and racial stereotyping in Disney’s animated features. Though the film had some heavy-hitter psychologists and media scholars and under-girded its arguments with supportive clips, the students weren’t buying any of it. My lecture was toward the end of the semester, and this was the angriest I’d seen them. They had grown up with... Read more →


Op-Ed: China's One Child Policy | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet The term "failed social experiment" has taken on the character of an epithet in our fractured political climate. Republicans have used it to decry everything from the "Common Core" curriculum to Affirmative Action policies in higher ed. There is no doubt that some progressive attempts at social engineering have less than spectacular results. President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty can’t be considered a success, though a host of unexpected events exacerbated the problem, from the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs to off-shore sites to the drug epidemic and its misguided sentencing guidelines. These factors decimated families and added to the ranks of the poor. But what if a country decided to enforce some social engineering that cut at the very heart... Read more →


OP- Ed : If China sneezes, the U.S. Could Catch a Cold

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet We should all be familiar with the iconic World Trade Center at Baltimore's inner harbor. At 32 stories, it has towered over Harbor Place for almost 40 years. Now I'd like you to picture eight such buildings, cheek to jowl, and perhaps a few storeys higher. Next conjure up another grouping of similar buildings a few blocks away, different in style, but just as densely packed together. Then, think of riding for 50 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic on an expressway with the view almost never changing—repetitive clusters of 20 to 30 storey buildings, most of which serve as apartment houses and all of which have been built in the last 10-15 years. This is Xi'An, China, a city of nearly... Read more →


Op Ed on China and Freedom of the Press

It was the first day of our eagerly-awaited trip to China, and I wanted to check my email and catch up on the news back home by reading the on-line versions of this paper and the "Washington Post.” I tried to connect to the Internet, using the password given us by the pleasant young man at the reception desk, but was having no luck. Once I reached the desired websites, I couldn't get them to build any content. I finally went back to the desk and told the clerk of my problem. Without hesitation, he gave me a broad smile and explained, "You won't be able to. The government blocks Gmail and sites like that (meaning foreign newspapers and magazines).” With that brief exchange, I... Read more →


Op-Ed: Being Mortal | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet We are all on the same arc—birth, life, death. Of course, we don’t have any control over the first stage, and sometimes the last can come unexpectedly, like a clap of thunder. But we can all be rulers of our own domain during the middle stage, especially if we subscribe to humorist Leo Rosten’s belief that “The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” It turns out that this philosophy is also essential to the final stage of our arc, death. If we are granted a long life, we all want and need to feel productive and useful until... Read more →


Philadelphia Democratic Convention Photo Album

PHOTO CREDIT CNBNews photo journalist Amanda Stevenson PHILADELPHIA PA July 27, 2016--A hodgepodge of photos taken at the Democratic National Conventions held July 25-28 at the Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center to officially name former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee with Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. The convention comes the week after Republicans held their gathering in Cleveland to nominate Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence. More than 4,700 delegates are attending the Democratic convention. Link to Democratic Convention Album http://www.amandastevensonphoto.com RELATED: Philadelphia Auto Show Album Read more →


Op- Ed : Being Invisible | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet If you had a choice of superpowers, would you rather be invisible or able to fly? In 2001 actor and comedian John Hodgman conducted an unscientific poll on this topic for National Public Radio’s This American Life. Responders had to pick just one of these superpowers and they’d be the only person in the world to have it. The answers were very telling about a person’s moral bent. Those who chose invisibility more often than not did so to spy on exes, peak into showers, sneak into movie theaters, or shoplift. The fliers just wanted to get places faster or give kids rides on their back. Lacking any other powers, like super-human strength or X-ray vision, fliers opted not to... Read more →


Op-Ed : Technology and the Rear View Mirror Theory

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet Earlier this year I attended an exhibit at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Titled “From Pen to Press: Experimentation and Innovation in the Age of Print,” the display focused on how the old world of hand-written manuscripts coped with the radical changes wrought by Guttenberg’s printing press. As with many innovations, mechanically printed books were considered a passing fancy. A German Benedictine abbot, Johannes Trithemius, wrote a treatise in 1492, “De laude Scriptorum Manualium” or “In Praise of Scribes,” in which he opined that, “Printed books are a fad.” To gain acceptance, some of the first printed books tried to mimic traditional manuscripts by using vellum made of cured calf or sheep skin instead of paper. The publishers also... Read more →


Op-Ed: Unplugging at the Beach | Batavick

The tranquil Sea Isle Beach, Sea Isle N.J. (photo credit Sea Isle City) Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet The placid ocean shimmered in the evening sun. Undulating ribbons of foam-kissed waves gently petted the shore. Long fingers of color — moss green, marine gray, midnight blue — softly vibrated across the surface like rippling beach chair fabric. As a laughing gull soared silently above, a 40-something, bikini-clad woman — tall and tan and middle-aged and lovely — came ambling by ... texting … tap, tap, tapping … staring at her iPhone. And nature gently wept. Forgive my tortured prose, but you get the idea. This woman's violation of my summer reverie really bothered me. Here I was with my wife on an almost deserted beach... Read more →


Op-Ed: The 4th of July | Batavick

Photograph of Princeton Battlefield State Park, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Author Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet On each patriotic holiday my wife gets up early to put out the flags. Back on July 4, 2007 we were living in a town just outside Princeton, N.J., and she retrieved the bundle of 30-inch tall American flags that we stored in the hall closet. Some were freebies from past parades and others used to belong to her dad. These are a bit faded and frayed and at least two have only 48 stars, but they represented a way for that first generation German to sincerely tout his loyalty and pay his respects to Old Glory. Soon she lined our sidewalk with red, white, and... Read more →


Op-Ed : The New and Old South | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet It was a little over 150 years ago on April 7 that Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, marking the end of the Civil War. We have just about closed the book on our nation’s Civil War sesquicentennial. But has the war ever really ended? It is not difficult to answer this somewhat rhetorical question. There are too many symbolic and actual instances of the South’s refusal to concede defeat, from Confederate flags in yards and on license plates to objections to the Affordable Health Care Act on the basis of states’ rights. Look at any map of the U.S. showing those states whose legislators have agreed to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid... Read more →


Op-Ed: Inconvenient Truths of History | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet You can call it misinformation, spin control or propaganda. Regardless, there are things that some people insist on believing that collide with the inconvenient truths of history. The assertion that this nation was founded on Christian principles flies in the face of the fact that many of our founders were Deists and not pure-bred Christians. Thomas Paine, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, and James Monroe may have been baptized into the Anglican Church, but as contemporaries during the Age of Enlightenment, they adopted a belief in the primacy of human reason. For them God or Divine Providence represented a supreme being who created the universe but then stepped back, much like a clock-maker. This God also handed... Read more →


Op-Ed: The Atomic Bomb

by Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet Imagine laughing at death that's delivered from the air. In 1939, the renowned radio dramatist Arch Obler wrote a short and startling play for the NBC network. He centered the plot of "The Laughing Man" on a book that had been discovered in the ruins of a civilization some 20,000 years old. Those who studied the book found its narrative totally incredible. It described warfare between races and abetted by amazing flying machines that dropped "horrible tearing things" on the beings below. The play's narrator found the idea so absurd that all he could do was laugh uproariously. This summer marks the 71st anniversary of an event that was far from laughable. On Aug. 6, 1945, a U.S. B-29... Read more →


Another View: The Great Orson Welles | Batavick

Orson Welles, March 1, 1937 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Author Frank J. Batavick CNBNewsnet The Germans always have a word for it. In this case it is wunderkind or wonder child, and it applies to any youth who has skills and accomplishments far beyond his or her age. There are many prodigies in human history, but few as fascinating as Orson Welles. On my 50th birthday I was living in Bloomington, Indiana, the home of Indiana University and the Lilly Library. Among its many treasures are the papers and effects of Orson Welles. I decided to treat myself on my big day by skipping work and spending the morning rummaging through the Lilly’s Welles collection that includes everything from old radio and film scripts to passport... Read more →


Another View: On Immigration

Author Frank J. Batavick CNBNewsnet I am the grandson of a one-time illegal alien. The Batavicks (née Batović) have been in the U.S. since 1910 when my grandfather and his brother jumped ship in Yonkers, New York and made their way to Philadelphia. Like many immigrants, they were escaping the poverty and endless wars in a homeland that considered them nothing more than cannon fodder. Nicholas and his brother George hailed from Croatia, a region of Yugoslavia and then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country’s unfortunate geography had made it a welcome mat for the conqueror of the moment dating back to Alexander the Great. In 1910 Croatia’s serfs and citizens could smell gunpowder in the air as animosities sizzled and neighboring countries ramped... Read more →


ANOTHER VIEW: Social Justice vs. Objectivism

Author Frank J. Batavick | CNBNews Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is a big fan of Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and his approach to creating a national budget reflects his beliefs. But what exactly does this mean? Imagine this: The legions of heaven gathered for the big debate. The topic- Social Justice vs. Objectivism, or more precisely, the belief that everyone should have equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities vs. the belief that we are only entitled to what we’ve earned and need not care about the welfare of others. A Higher Authority had chosen his only begotten son to defend Social Justice. The Authority had also waived the rules and granted the originator of Objectivism a travel visa from her home... Read more →


Another View: Spring, A Time for Planting | Batavick

Author Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet On March 2 I planted my garden. Or to be exact, I started an array of seeds that would comprise my garden once sprouted and grown into strong seedlings. I sowed bell peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, four varieties of tomato, and a selection of annual flowers, like Zinnias and Marigolds. I have two large planters in the basement that I bought at an auction over 20 years ago. They have built-in fluorescent lights with industrial quality timers and I’ve rigged each planter with electric heat tape. In them, I sit Styrofoam trays, each with 24 cavities filled with a starter soil mix. A wicking system waters them from beneath, and I only need to keep the water in these... Read more →


Another View: Gun Violence | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet Sometimes it feels as if our nation is lost hopelessly in the mirror maze of a fun house. Even when easy and logical courses of action lie before us, we illogically take wrong turns and end up where we started. Déjà vu meets déjà vu on a regular basis here. On December 2, two radicalized Muslims committed a horrific act of terror in San Bernadino, California, claiming the lives of 14 people and wounding 21. The perps were a Chicago-born, Pakistani-American male, Syed Rizwan Farook, who traveled freely to the birthplace of radical Islam, Saudi Arabia, and a Pakistani female, Tashfeen Malik. She moved to Saudi Arabia, but returned to Pakistan, a bubbling cauldron of terrorism, to study until... Read more →


Another View: Democrats are Better Stewards of the Economy than Republicans | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet I saw an editorial page cartoon of Hillary Clinton in a basket powered by three, small hot air balloons. The balloons were labeled “Tax & Spend” respectively, the two sandbags hanging over the side of the basket were labeled “Debt,” and the basket itself carried the legend “Obamanomics.” To top it off, the caption from Hillary’s mouth ironically read, “We can’t go back to the old policies that failed us before.” Any reasonable person would look at this cartoon and assume that President Obama had not been a good steward of the economy and that, given her mode of transportation, Hillary was promising to follow in his flight path. This assessment of Obama’s economic performance has become common fodder... Read more →


Another View: The Food Revolution and Change | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet If you want to study the velocity of change in this country, just compare restaurant menus from the early 1950s with today’s. Back then our Main Streets sported steak and chop houses, Italian and Chinese restaurants, seafood eateries, and the dependable diner. Fast food in the form of burgers and shakes was still an unexplored notion. Gino’s Hamburgers didn’t open its doors until 1957 and McDonalds was still marching east. Families seeking respite from tuna noodle casserole dinners could find only a limited menu in restaurants. For entrees, they had their choice of baked and fried chicken, steaks, pork chops, lasagna, ravioli and spaghetti with meat sauce, baked fish and ham, plus clams, oysters and crab cakes in season.... Read more →


COMMENTARY: The U.S. Fight Against ISIS

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet The slow, staccato sound of the drums of war that began faintly a year ago is now echoing off the studio walls of the Sunday talk shows. The President’s critics claim that his “lead from behind” strategy on Syria and the Islamic State isn’t working, and that we need a change. Amid the undisguised admiration for the unfettered Czar Putin and Russia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign, there is the demand that we do more; be more proactive. Often overlooked is that these Russian bombs have fallen largely on anti-Assad rebel forces that we’ve equipped and trained, and not on ISIS targets. Also, what the critics don’t appear to take into account is that by mid-November, the U. S. had conducted... Read more →


ANOTHER VIEW: TAXES | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet The Egyptians levied them on cooking oil. The Greeks and Romans enacted them to fund their military adventures and extend empire. Even one of the apostles was once involved in this unholy business, and when the British applied them to a favorite beverage, it helped gave rise to American independence. I’m talking, of course, of taxes. After enjoying a spate of fun holidays that started in late November, we now face a date that few welcome— April 15. Aside from tax software vendors, local accountants, and those who prefer to use the IRS as a bank that pays no interest but refunds excess deposits, no one gleefully anticipates this date. It means gathering receipts, filling out multi-paged forms with... Read more →


Another View: Fear of Muslim Immigration | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet It lurks deep in the temporal lobe of the brain’s cerebrum. It is almond-shaped and scientists call it the amygdala. It is where the emotions of fear and anger reside. A protective mechanism shared by all, it requires the right cue to spring into action. The terror attacks in Brussels and the saturated media coverage that followed were the trigger this time. Like a clarion call, the attacks first summoned fear. Fear of injury, of death. Fear that our own family members may be endangered. Then this fear turned to anger when images of the victims and their grieving families flickered on TV and computer screens. The anger is understandable and righteous, and paybacks are called for. But the... Read more →


Agnus McGlade Berenato Named Head Women's Basketball Coach at Kennesaw University

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016) – Agnus McGlade Berenato, (photo) a 1975 graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School and a former resident of Gloucester City N.J., has been named head Women's Basketball Coach at Kennesaw State Univeristy. Berenato is the winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech. Berenato, who played for the late Bert Nolan, played alongside her sisters in the 1970's. During her time at Gloucester Catholic Berenato was part of two state championship teams in 1973, and 1974. Related: Rams Alumni in the News Pitt coach, player impacted by Sandy Gloucester City's Agnus McGlade Berenato stresses family values - Former Gloucester City Resident on Troop Tour The announcement was made Wednesday by Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams.... Read more →


Another View: Death and Dying | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick Columnist CNBNewsnet Ecclesiastes 3 and no less an authority than the Byrds remind us that, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven— a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap….” I think of this Bible verse and pop song every fall when I prepare to rip out my garden each fall. The task is satisfying in a way that is hard to describe. In spring there’s a real joy in gently placing small and fragile tomato and pepper plants in the freshly cultivated soil, but there is also an odd pleasure and feeling of god-power in ripping out their desiccated and brown stems after a summer... Read more →


Commentary: United States Exceptionalism | BATAVICK

FRANK J. BATAVICK | Columnist CNBNewsnet Zealously rooting for a home-town team must be ingrained in our DNA and probably began when the Neanderthals first took on the Homo sapiens. Whether the team is the Phillies or Manchester, England’s United football club, fans wear their colors, religiously watch their games, and wish ill for whoever the competition is. In our workplaces and schools we gently disdain anyone who doesn’t cheer for the local team, living by the philosophy of “you’re either ‘with us or against us.’” This “us vs. them” dynamic is literally fun and games until someone goes too far and injects vitriol and violence. If in doubt, just Google “football hooliganism.” Unfortunately, we are now witnessing another version of this tribalism in our... Read more →


Another View: The Popularity of Tattoos Continues to Grow | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet Back in the late 1970s when I was working at Maryland Public TV, an instructional TV producer was taping a math series for middle schools. He had the scriptwriter compose a rap song for one of the programs to teach the process of multiplication. When classroom teachers were asked to critique this program before its broadcast, they expressed concern about the use of rap, worrying that it was a fad that would soon date the series. Almost forty years later, the top ten songs of the week still feature rap artists and “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the late 80s rap group N.W.A., was one of last year's highest grossing movies at over $160 million and counting. So... Read more →


WATCH: Conowingo Dam Bald EagleS, Maryland

CECIL AND HARTFORD COUNTIES, MARYLAND--The Conowingo Dam is a Hydroelectric Plant located on the Susquehanna River a few miles north of where the river dumps into the Chesapeake Bay. A great video of Eagles fighting over fish. This film was a Finalist for the Nat Geo Wild to Inspire competition and screened at The Sun Valley Film Fest. One of four finalists of 350 entries. For more info email Mikelemery@yahoo.com or go to mikelemery.com “Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles” shows the resurgence of the bald eagle population at the Conowingo Dam in Maryland, where hundreds of bald eagles fiercely fight for the stunned fish that make it through the dam’s turbines. Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles from Mike Lemery on Vimeo. submitted by Babe T. Related articles... Read more →


Another View: Supply-Side Economics | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet It is all well and good to spout challenging ideas and theories, but the true assessment comes where the rubber meets the road or, more precisely, when the merit of any idea gets tested in the forge of real life. In 1974 economist Arthur Laffer met with Ford Administration staffers Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Laffer supposedly sketched a curve on a napkin to explain an economic concept that would come to bear his name— the Laffer curve. His graph began at a 0% tax with “0” revenue, increased to the greatest amount of revenue at a tax rate that’s in-the-middle, and then dropped back again to “0” revenue at a 100% tax rate. He was making the point... Read more →


Another View: A World Without Privacy| Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet A few summers ago my wife and I were preparing to visit an old college buddy in Boone, North Carolina. To fill some time over the long weekend, I suggested to my friend, via e-mail, that we visit the magnificent Biltmore estate, about 90 minutes from his house. Thereafter for the next few months, I received a steady stream of ads on my Gmail page about the delights of Biltmore. It was uncanny. Some Internet robot, commonly called a “bot,” had picked up “visit Biltmore” in my message, relayed it to a central server, and either a human or another automated bot was charged with inundating me with promotional material. I had no say in the matter. This past... Read more →


ANOTHER VIEW: Toxic Charity | BATAVICK

Related Frank J. Batavick Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet The U.S. is a generous nation. Giving USA 2013 estimated that contributions by individuals totaled $228.93 billion in 2012. Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy found in 2007 that 24 percent of a person’s annual donations occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. During this time charitable appeals and donations enter warp speed, motivated by the spirit of the coming holidays and nudged along by the end-of-year calendar and what Uncle Sam considers deductible under tax law. Additionally, many soup kitchens plan special meals for their clients at Christmas, and volunteers for church “Adopt-a-Family” campaigns collect and deliver toys and clothing to the needy in their communities. The aura of all this should make one feel... Read more →


Another View: Defusing a Nation's Paranoia

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet Fear is a wondrous instinct. Those of us lucky enough to be walking this good earth can thank our genes, for it was our ancestors’ fear of saber tooth tigers and the like that ensured we’d be here today. But as with anything, too much fear can be crippling, warping our view of the world and constraining us from making rational decisions. Today, a certain debilitating strain of fear stalks both this country and this county, and we need to take precautions against it, lest it paralyze us as a people. Just after the last presidential election, petitions were being prepared first in the South and then in all fifty states to secede from the United States. In Texas,... Read more →


Another View: Drowning Ourselves in the Digital Stream | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet This past summer we went out to eat breakfast at the Jersey Shore. A mom and her 18 month-old daughter were seated near us, and while the mother talked to others at her table, the toddler played with a tablet that had 24 short Disney cartoons on it. As young as she was, she was able to access a full screen menu of clips, select the one she wanted, and then watch it. As I talked to the folks at my table above the usual restaurant din, our conversation was annoyingly underscored by the character voices, sound effects, and music of the cartoons. Using her modern day pacifier, the baby never looked up, either at the people around her... Read more →


Another View: Group Think | BATAVICK

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet I have a friend of forty years whose politics are diametrically opposed to mine. That would be fine if he didn’t insist on e-mailing me opinion pieces and news articles that articulate and support his way of thinking to the exclusion of all else. When I protest and fact-check the pieces and discover that they would cause Pinocchio’s nose to grow to the size of a Buick, any statistics and facts I proffer don’t impress him in the least. My friend simply tells me that my thinking has become muddled by what I choose to read and watch. Social scientists have long been intrigued by this phenomenon. In 1960 Columbia University researcher Joseph Klapper studied the effects of mass... Read more →


Another View: What the Future Holds | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick Columnist | CNBNewsnet Do you ever get the feeling that you are suddenly in the distant future, the future you used to read about all of the time but didn’t think you’d be around to experience? Well, I do. When my wife and I were undecorating the Christmas tree in early January her iPhone rang. Two of our grandkids, ages seven and four, were calling and, as it happened, they also were undecorating their tree. Using FaceTime, we could see each other as we spoke and they showed us where they had dumped their now-forlorn tree outside. For them, it was just another experience in another day. For me, it was a Buck Rogers moment. Technological change is happening at warp speed... Read more →


ANOTHER VIEW: There Are Too Many Police Brutality Stories | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet Growing up in the 1950s in Audubon, I lived across the street from one of our town’s policemen, Sonny Thomas. He was my idol. Once he took me to the station house, showed me the offices and jail, and even gave me some old wanted posters. I remember Sonny as a sweet, caring soul who, when he wasn’t a cop, saved lives by serving on the rescue squad. When he passed away, a story in the local press reported that he had fired his weapon only once in the line of duty, and that was to wound a man who threatened to kill him. Today I wonder what Sonny would think of all of the police brutality stories grabbing... Read more →


Another View: The Similarities Between the John Birch Society and the Tea Party | Batavick

Frank J. Batavick | Columnist CNBNewsnet One of my favorite movies is 1964’s Dr. Strangelove and one of my favorite film characters is the paranoid but bravado-filled Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper. Ripper, as played by Sterling Hayden, is convinced that the Russians have introduced fluoride to our water supply to poison our “precious bodily fluids.” He claims, “That's the way your hard-core Commie works.” In retaliation Ripper launches a back-door nuclear attack on Russia without the knowledge of his superiors. The story ends in a rhapsodic display of mushroom clouds underscored by, “We’ll Meet Again.” Ripper’s convictions about fluoride echo those of the John Birch Society (JBS), a far-right organization that rose to political prominence in the 1960s. The JBS was against fluoridation, considering... Read more →


Another View: My Pet Peeves | BATAVICK

By Frank J. Batavick Columnist | CNBNewsnet This column has given me a wonderful opportunity to vent on a broad variety of topics, but some things that get under my skin just aren’t worthy of a column-length discussion. They fall into the category of pet peeves, so herewith are some of the things that have bugged me lately. Paying $10 at a movie theater and then having to sit through a string of blatant commercials. It is especially galling when the ads are for upcoming TV series. If I wanted to watch TV, I wouldn’t be sitting in a movie theater. Guys like Dick Cheney and Bill Kristol who regularly elbow themselves onto the national stage to speak out on foreign affairs. Don’t they realize... Read more →


Op-Ed: Terrorism in France

By Frank Batavick CNBNews Op-Ed It was a time of increased immigration to a previously imperialist country from a former possession. The newcomers settled in its biggest city and continued to speak their native language and maintain their cultural practices. Assimilation proved difficult. Jobs were scarce. The young, especially those 15-25, felt alienated and marginalized and were much influenced by the media. They were prone to violence and crime soared. The public demanded answers to this new curse on the land. The above describes the influx of Puerto Rican immigrants to New York City after World War II. An estimated 40,000 settled there in 1946 alone. They faced discrimination, racism, and an antagonistic job market. Some of the teens turned to crime, becoming part of... Read more →


Op- Ed: The So-Called God Gene or VMAT2

FRANK BATAVICK | CNB Columnist Christmas is almost upon us, and soon Christians throughout the world will be honoring the birth of a God-child and seeking a connection to the divine on bended knee. But in parts of Maryland, God is being sought with powerful electron microscopes and through a potent but still illegal drug. At Bethesda’s National Cancer Institute, molecular geneticist Dean Hamer announced that he had isolated the so-called God gene. He dubbed it VMAT2 and claimed to have found it in those people who were spiritual and had a belief in a higher being. This gene regulates the flow of those mood-altering chemicals to the brain that trigger feelings beyond words, feelings that appear to give us a link to all of... Read more →


Op-Ed: Some Thoughts on Climate Change

by Frank Batavick Columnist What if you were to receive a diagnosis from nine doctors, some of them from the finest hospitals in the country? They all say your symptoms and medical tests establish that you suffer from a severe narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve, a condition that is fatal if not remediated immediately by surgery. Then a tenth doctor tells you that the tests are inconclusive and he thinks you are suffering from a psychosomatic illness. In other words, it’s all in your head. Who would you believe and what measures would you take? Let’s further suppose that everyone from the Pope to the Secretary of State to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence to the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet takes... Read more →


Op-Ed: A Personal Look at Bigotry

BY FRANK BATAVICK CNBNEWS It’s gets personal for me. Perhaps that’s because at various times in my life I have felt the sting of prejudice and even anti-Semitism. Though of Croatian/Slovak/German/Irish stock, the Croatian genes are dominant, gifting me with Adriatic features topped with thick black hair. (You’ll have to imagine the hair part when you look at my photo.) I also have a last name that is tough for some to categorize ethnically. As a result, when I was in my early twenties I twice felt the sting of bias in the workplace. In one summer job, a supervisor repeatedly singled me out for the most menial tasks. He finally admitted in an angry outburst that it was because I was Jewish. Perversely, his... Read more →


Op-Ed : Love and Marriage

By Frank Batavick CNBNewsnet Frank Sinatra once crooned “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage.” Leaving aside Sinatra’s checkered history in the marriage department, you have to admit that these lyrics sound somewhat old-fashioned today, and I don’t mean the “horse and carriage” part. I was at my doctor’s office recently and heard one woman congratulate another for her quite visible pregnancy. The pregnant one exclaimed that she was so happy. Her boyfriend already had two children and this baby would make three. She added she always wanted a big family. My ears zeroed in on the “my boyfriend” part, giving me cause for concern, if not alarm. Some of the much younger members of my extended family have... Read more →