This is a page I have created for updates, short posts, requests for community input, etc. Please use the contact form if you have input, questions, suggestions. Thanks!

From Russia With Love and Money

November 1, 2016

The New York Times and Washington Post recently have downplayed Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, which puzzles me, as the connections–the financial ones at least–seem to have been well established in reports earlier this year from sources as various as Time, the Los Angeles Times, Vox, and more. Without crying “conspiracy” or claiming that Trump is actually an agent of the Kremlin (I wouldn’t be the first if I did), I do think that the relationships among Trump, his inner circle, and Russian financiers is worth more scrutiny. It appears that Trump nurtured connections with Russian investors after American banks soured on lending him money (hmm, wonder why), and that the paper trails led to interesting places. At the very least, we know that Trump views Putin’s worldview far more favorably than mainstream American experts on foreign policy.

Which is why Stephen Cohen in not considered a mainstream expert–in fact he refers to himself as an “American dissident.” He has made a career (Princeton, NYU, scholarship, articles in The Nation, etc.) of trying to understand and explain Russia from a Russian perspective. This has led him to, among other things, criticizing US policy on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and defending, to a point, Trump’s support of Putin.

I’d love to hear the pillow talk: Cohen is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Copyright 2016 Stephen Leon

Seeking Stories About Finding Common Ground

October 26, 2016

I am looking for stories of people in or around Albany, New York, who had conflict and/or antagonism with one or more other people due to differences of race, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, etc.–and who found common ground to resolve their conflict, possibly even becoming friends. If you have a story you’d like to share, please summarize it for me and leave contact info for setting up a potential interview. Please use the contact form, or write me directly at stephenleon7@gmail.com. Use “common ground” as the subject line. Thank you!