Author Archives for Ben Miller

About Ben Miller

Ben Miller is a History major and writes about national and city politics and policy at NYULocal. A Boston native, music lover, and believer in the Oxford Comma, he tweets @benwritesthings. Ask him about Harry Hay and be prepared to hear more than you want to know.

Ross Douthat, Christian Bigots, And The World’s Smallest Violin

March 3, 2014 3:30 pm Published by 1 Comment

It’s no secret that (with the exception of Paul Krugman and the forever-perfect Gail Collins), The New York Times op-ed columnists are not the great lights of wisdom and commentary they ought to be. There’s Frank Bruni, who rises to mediocre heights of confusion and good intentions. There’s Thomas L. Friedman, a perpetual-motion machine dedicated to the production of racist... View Article

Uganda Ratifies Anti-LGBTQ Laws With Support From American Evangelicals

February 25, 2014 1:15 pm Published by 1 Comment

For the past two years or so, the world media has been talking about anti-LGBTQ bills in Uganda. Variously called the “Kill-the-gays” bills, they have taken various shapes over the last few years. In their latest form they increase penalties against homosexuality in Uganda to life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality,” and up to seven years in prison for a person... View Article

Draft Prospect Michael Sam Came Out, And NFL Execs Are (Anonymously) Horrified

February 10, 2014 9:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Last night, in an interview with the New York Times, University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam came out as gay (Outsports had a fantastic behind the scenes look at planning the big reveal). Sam, who graduated from Mizzou from December and is considered a top potential NFL draft pick, contributed to a 12-2 season and was named defensive player... View Article

Burying The Rich In Snow and Giving The Poor Sick Days AKA De Blasio’s First Month In Office

January 30, 2014 12:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Earlier this week, we explained what happened in Ukraine when you were away for break. Today, we turn our focus to New York City. When you left for break – by plane, train, or automobile – you probably passed by a sign welcoming you to New York. And when you came back, you arrived to a subtly different one. Gone:... View Article

What You Missed During Our Polar Vortex Of A Break: Ukraine Has Not Yet Died Edition

January 28, 2014 11:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Your first inclination when confronting today’s lovely temperatures is probably to click through some slideshows of Caribbean beaches, not to think about ugly geopolitical conflicts taking place someplace even snowier and colder than NYC. But if you have any interest in understanding what’s going on in Eastern Europe right now (and you really should), then you need to know some... View Article

“Confrontation Sells”: Ray Kelly Gave An Interview To Playboy, And Things Got Ridiculous

November 20, 2013 9:32 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Despite New York City’s historically low crime rates, Ray Kelly, New York City’s Police Commissioner, hasn’t had the best few months. His signature stop-and-frisk policy got trounced at the polls. Anti stop-and-frisk candidates Bill de Blasio and Letitia James won their primaries decisively and trounced their pro stop-and-frisk opponents in the general election. The policy was declared unconstitutional in federal... View Article

Local Went There: MIXNYC Film Festival, Gowanus

November 18, 2013 12:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

MIX NYC, New York’s queer experimental film festival, ran last week in a 12,000 square foot factory space in Gowanus, Brooklyn; the event was huge, with seventeen video and art installations running around the clock in addition to four or five daily curated screenings explored facets of contemporary queer cinema. It was nuts, in the best possible way. It would... View Article

Of Beach Vacations And The City Council Speakership

November 15, 2013 2:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Literally every major New York politician went to Puerto Rico last week to pick the new city council speaker. I’m not making this up, you know. If you click the link, you’ll read about the the annual Somos El Futuro retreat organized by Latino legislators throughout New York. The entire Council will be there and meet to discuss this. The... View Article

Omertà Is Real And It’s A Real Problem

November 14, 2013 11:30 am Published by 2 Comments

As you’ve surely heard by now, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin walked off the team, citing abuse and harassment from fellow players ringled by fellow lineman Richie Incognito. The abuse allegedly included physical harassment, financial demands, and racist abusive language. One voicemail message transcript, left on Martin’s phone by Incognito, reads: Hey, wassup, you half n****r piece of s**t. I saw you... View Article

Bill De Blasio Is Our Next Mayor, Collective Farming To Commence In Central Park

November 6, 2013 12:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The results are in – by a lopsided margin of roughly 75%, Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York City in a victory that crossed racial, economic, geographic, and demographic lines. Speaking at the Park Slope Armory surrounded by his photogenic family (we learned that Chiara de Blasio has a third floral crown), De Blasio drove home the... View Article

Russell Brand Calls For Rev-bro-lution And I Am Not Impressed

November 1, 2013 2:45 pm Published by 4 Comments

Someone famous and pretty just noticed that things are kind of messed up, guys, and maybe we should, you know, do something about it. Comedian Russell Brand guest-edited an issue of British magazine New Statesman that contains a long essay in which he semi-incoherently calls for a revolution of some kind or another. The piece has its strong points: as... View Article

So A Leprechaun, A Badger, And Karl Marx Walk Into City Hall…

October 30, 2013 1:22 pm Published by 1 Comment

Here at NYULocal, we love and respect and listen to your comments. Especially the ones that ask us to do more “real journalism.” This week, despite the major snooze-fest that most of our citywide races have become, I bring you a hard-hitting investigative piece that JUST KIDDING. LET’S PHOTOSHOP PEOPLE INTO SILLY COSTUMES. Our most likely next Public Advocate, Letitia... View Article

Lhota Badgers New Yorkers With Ridiculous, Racist Ad

October 21, 2013 11:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Joe Lhota’s in trouble, everyone. There’s a little more than two weeks left til voting day. He’s 40 points behind in the polls. He has a distinct lack of telegenic children with iconic hair. His policy book is 1/4 pictures and includes sentences like “Diversify the New York City economy” and “Raise people out of poverty by creating a larger,... View Article

The Republican Party Is Controlled By Terrorists Who May Force Us Into A Depression For Fun

October 11, 2013 2:00 pm Published by 2 Comments

The Republican Party is controlled by terrorists, everyone. Hate to say it – hate to be a demagogue – but it’s true. Today is the eleventh day that the federal government is shut down. It’s the first time the government has been shut down during wartime. Ever. And it’s because the House Republican caucus has decided that unless they get... View Article