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Howard Barbanel
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Howard Barbanel is Editor of the new website
. Additionally he's the Chief Wine Guru at Abarbanel Brand Wines along with being a GOP political consultant and the VP of Marketing at Design2Pro, pre-press producers of more than 200 newspapers and magazines around the world. Barbanel also has his own personal blog,

Entries by Howard Barbanel

Un-True Detective: HBO Noir Series Misses the Mark

(13) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 12:51 PM


The Stars of True Detective Season Two: Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn


Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in Season One of True Detective.

Although the second season of True Detective on HBO...

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The End of Mourning: Closure on a Year of Remembrance

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:10 AM

2015-04-13-1428957208-373931-Candle.jpg A Jewish Yahrtzeit (Memorial) Candle

A Typical Jewish Tombstone

The Ba'al Tefila (prayer leader) was old, probably in his 80s, his complexion wan, his hair snow white and thin, his posture stooped, but...

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Ridley Scott's Exodus: Splitting the Sea for a Whole New Generation

(2) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 4:36 PM


Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton at the Pharaoh Ramses the Great in Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings


Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brenner as Ramses in Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments.

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ISIS vs ISIL -- What's in a Name?

(6) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 2:59 AM

ISIS or ISIL head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He's no Romeo.

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the Bard of Stratford posited and Juliet articulated "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Juliet, vexed...

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The 90 Day Post-Mortem Mourning Report on Mom

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 4:53 PM

Portrait of my late mother Alice Barbanel as a 21 year-old.

I don't know where to put Mom. Not Mom in actuality, but her portrait. Mom passed away roughly three months ago and my conundrum is where to hang a wonderful...

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Why the Current Incarnation of ISIS Is No Joke

(2) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 7:13 AM

Isis TV series from the '70s
ISIS Logo from Archer TV Series
ISIS fighters in Iraq

Back in the mid-70s, there was a groundbreaking female superhero on...

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No More Mother's Day for Me: I Remember Mom

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 4:55 PM

To paraphrase the Soup Nazi character on Seinfeld, "No Mother's Day for you!" That's because on Tuesday afternoon, April 29th, my mother passed away. And that was kind of a good thing because her suffering is now at an end.

During the past two years of her...

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Play Ball! Play Ball! Instant Replay Makes Its Debut for Baseball's 2014 Season

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 2:43 PM

As baseball's 2014 season gets underway, fans, players, managers and umpires are faced with the specter of the game becoming both faster and slower at one and the same time thanks to the new instant replay rules that have been put in effect for the first time this year.


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Israel's Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox) on the Front Lines: How the New Conscription Law Will Change Everything

(2) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 12:21 PM

On Wednesday, March 12, the Knesset forever changed the shape of Israeli society by passing a law that will conscript most Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) young men into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) starting in 2017.

Heretofore completely exempt from national service, Haredi circles met the proposal for this sea change...

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In a Free-Market Economy 'Income Inequality' Will Always Be a Fact of Life

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 1:30 PM

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal." Only three divine "inalienable" rights were then named, those being "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street events of...

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A Kid's Memory of November 22, 1963: The World That Was and Is No More

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 12:26 PM

I was 5-years-old on Friday, November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Even we kids could perceive the paradigm shift that took place as a result of that horrendous event and recall the somber and mournful tone of the next few days.

My parents and I...

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Lhota Dead on Arrival for Televised Mayoral Debate; Historic GOP Loss in the Offing

(3) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 2:31 PM

On Tuesday evening October 15, Bill de Blasio hammered in the nails on Joe Lhota's coffin. In a televised debate on WABC Channel 7, de Blasio was animated, forceful and forthright while continually tarring Lhota with the brush of "Republican trickle-down economics," "Tea Party extremism," "Giuliani administration divisiveness" and as...

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James Gandolfini: As Important As Brando in the Firmament of Fictional Mafia Bosses

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 8:35 AM

We now know how The Sopranos really ends -- Tony is taken out by the big capo di tutti capi in the sky. The series finale was left ambiguous but the boss of bosses up above doesn't go for unresolved endings, so ascending to heaven is New Jersey native James...

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With Yankees Impending Invasion of CitiField, Why Is Mr. Met Smiling? Dismal Days for Mets Fans.

(1) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 5:09 PM

Over the course of many years, Esquire magazine ran recurring cover photos of the late former President Richard M. Nixon with the headlined question, "why is this man smiling?" The New York Mets baseball team has the distinction of having put the first mascot ever in major league history on...

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Over-40 Singles Still Need Somebody to Love on Valentine's Day

(2) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 3:20 PM

"... Don't you want somebody to love, don't you need somebody to love, wouldn't you love somebody to love, you better find somebody to love.."

Back in 1967, those lyrics were belted out by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and hit the number-five spot on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming...

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Ed Koch: He Did Just Fine

(15) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 7:23 AM

Ed Koch was a member of The Greatest Generation and not just by accident of birth. Sergeant Koch fought his way on foot across Europe in 1944 and '45, winning two battle stars for his service. His tenacity and courage would make him a star as a politician later in...

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None So Blind as Those Who Will Not See: GOP in Denial Over Legislative Victory in Fiscal Cliff

(51) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Some Republicans don't know a victory when they see one. All you hear out of presidential hopeful Marco Rubio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is doom and gloom but this is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Tuesday the House passed the Senate's bill avoiding...

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Joie de Vivre vs. Pursuit of Happiness: The GOP Needs to Help Make the Good Times Roll or Have No Future

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 2:48 PM

In France most of the cows are white. I know this because I was just there two weeks ago, rambling around the countryside. Their horses look different than ours, too. So do their houses, their toilets, their trains, their cars and even their sandwiches.

On their highways they...

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Live and Let Die: The Ghoulish Gaza Culture of Death

(40) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 3:40 PM

By September 12th 2005 Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. By that date every last Israeli settler, farm, building, synagogue and even cemetery plot was uprooted, sometimes forcibly and brought back to within the pre-1967 Israeli borders. Even all military and security installations were dismantled and everything handed over...

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Nice Guys Finish Last: Deconstructing the Romney Loss

(16) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 8:43 AM

About 56,870,551 people think Mitt Romney is a nice guy. And therein was the problem for the GOP standard-bearer.

After the first of three presidential debates Romney saw his momentum and poll numbers surge. He gave a decisive prosecutorial performance against a nodding-off President Obama while concurrently coming off as...

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