Essay and photos: Sunset and candles at Antietam

Sharpsburg, Md -- On Saturday, one thousand volunteers placed 23,000 candles on the Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. It was the annual illumination of grounds where nearly that number of Americans were killed, wounded or reported missing in the violent struggle to end slavery and preserve the union. The battle of Antietam took place on Sept. … Continue reading Essay and photos: Sunset and candles at Antietam

Online premiere: ‘Hidden In Full View,’ the Matthew Williams lynching in Maryland

This Saturday, December 4, from 1pm-3pm ET  the #breathewithme Revolution and the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project present the World Premiere of Hidden in Full View, a short film that documents the lynching of 23-year old Matthew Williams in Salisbury, Maryland 90 years ago. The release is part of a national campaign that includes the upcoming publication of a book about the Williams … Continue reading Online premiere: ‘Hidden In Full View,’ the Matthew Williams lynching in Maryland

Giving daily thanks: A Native American tradition

Haudenosaunee refers to the Six Nations of Native Americans commonly known as the Iroquois — that is, Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, Tuscarora and Seneca. The Haudenosaunee (pronounced hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) are known for a tradition of giving daily thanks. “Haudenosaunee people give thanks everyday, not just once a year,” says the National Museum of the American Indian. … Continue reading Giving daily thanks: A Native American tradition

What if Rittenhouse had taken on the Jan. 6 mob?

In the wake of the Rittenhouse trial and verdict, here's a hypothetical to ponder from Arnold "Skip" Isaacs, former Baltimore Sun correspondent and editor: Isaacs Imagine that last January 6 a concerned citizen -- let's call him LyleKittenhouse -- became worried that the Capitol police were beingoverwhelmed by the mob, that he picked up a … Continue reading What if Rittenhouse had taken on the Jan. 6 mob?

On time, crime and punishment: More on the David Gordon case and juvenile justice

I always have more to share after I write a column, and today is no different. There are more things you should know about David Gordon and about the whole question of what we — this state, this country — do about teenagers who kill.  Clearly, there needs to be punishment for the taking of … Continue reading On time, crime and punishment: More on the David Gordon case and juvenile justice

11/11/18: The horrible, absurd end of the ‘War To End All Wars’

Today is Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, originally meant to commemorate the end of World War I and the sacrifice of Americans who died in that absurd war’s last 18 months. But here’s the thing about 11/11/18: There was a period of time on the final day when, instead of quietly receding into history, The … Continue reading 11/11/18: The horrible, absurd end of the ‘War To End All Wars’

The Do-Nothing Party and Know-Nothing Politicians

In the recent New Jersey election, a Republican truck driver (in photo above) with no political experience beat the incumbent Democratic state Senate president while the Democratic governor narrowly won re-election. And now The New York Times declares that the “Republican Party seems to be marching back to relevance.” Only the Times could come up … Continue reading The Do-Nothing Party and Know-Nothing Politicians

From the archive: Raoul Middleman, the artist at work in Baltimore, his city forever

I wrote this column about Raoul Middleman in December 2013. The artist died Friday night. His obituary appears in today's Baltimore Sun. The photo above shows Raoul with one of his portraits of the Great Dantini. The photograph is by Algerina Perna This update on the life of Raoul Middleman was not meant to be … Continue reading From the archive: Raoul Middleman, the artist at work in Baltimore, his city forever

Dear Mike Bloomberg: A request and an invitation

Dear Michael Bloomberg: Now that you’ve given another $43 million to Johns Hopkins University, on top of the amazing $3.55 billion you already gave your alma mater, maybe you can do something directly for Baltimore. I’ve suggested it before in my column. Here’s another try: Give $1 billion over 10 years to the nonprofit Baltimore … Continue reading Dear Mike Bloomberg: A request and an invitation

Catching up with Living Classrooms, a Baltimore do-good that’s grown far beyond ‘field trips for kids’

My latest column in The Sun is another about Living Classrooms, and I'll tell you why:  Until recently, I considered myself to be among the many Baltimoreans who think of Living Classrooms as “field trips on boats for kids on the Chesapeake.” But it’s turned into a lot more than that over the last 36 years. I … Continue reading Catching up with Living Classrooms, a Baltimore do-good that’s grown far beyond ‘field trips for kids’

Harris quacks while Mizeur raises a million

The above photo of Heather Mizeur and Andy Harris was taken when Mizeur recorded her "Soul Force Politics" podcast with Harris in December 2017. Marylanders of the First congressional district got what they voted for — an extreme right-wing, sedition-supporting Republican who has accomplished little during his six terms in Washington. Andy Harris has a … Continue reading Harris quacks while Mizeur raises a million

Civil war sounds crazy, but so did a Trump presidency

Ordinarily, I don’t engage or indulge topics such as this: The prospects of another civil war in the United States. Such things seem too far-fetched, speculative, even ridiculous to bother with, unworthy of 900 words. But the prospect of civil war — an actual split in the country and violent confrontations between red and blue … Continue reading Civil war sounds crazy, but so did a Trump presidency

Joe Manchin’s legacy: Wealth from fossil fuels and putting the nation at risk of more Trumpism

Updated post, with this New York Times story: As Manchin blocks climate plan, his state can't hold back floods Having read my Oct. 3 column in The Sunday Sun, my friend Tom recalled a trip to the Louisiana Gulf Coast a few years ago to do some birding with his wife, Gaile. As they travelled … Continue reading Joe Manchin’s legacy: Wealth from fossil fuels and putting the nation at risk of more Trumpism

Great news: Intentional Balloon Releases Banned in Maryland

I've written about this problem in the past. Glad to see this new law on the books. Here's the press release from the state: The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remind Marylanders that a new state law that prohibits intentional balloon releases takes effect October 1, 2021. … Continue reading Great news: Intentional Balloon Releases Banned in Maryland

A carved sun face, a for-sale sign and the ‘General’s House’

Beauséant  So this is what happens: I'm driving through Mount Washington after visiting my old and beloved Evening Sun editor, Ernie Imhoff, at Springwell retirement community. I see this amazing carved sun face in the remainder of an old tree and, inspired by memories of Ernie assigning stories in the newsroom, I snooped around. I … Continue reading A carved sun face, a for-sale sign and the ‘General’s House’

9/26/2021: Justin Tucker’s foot records his greatest feat

Please note and mark the moment: Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal to win today’s NFL game in Detroit for the Baltimore Ravens belongs among the Greatest Feats in Sports History. It’s up there with Bob Beaman’s amazing Olympic-record long jump in Mexico City (1968), Don Larsen’s perfect game in a World Series (1956) and Usain … Continue reading 9/26/2021: Justin Tucker’s foot records his greatest feat

History lesson: The contradictions of Maryland and its Governor in the Progressive Era

In doing some research on the Progressive Era — in part, the subject of my Wednesday column in The Baltimore Sun — I tripped into a fascinating corner of Maryland history and the record of a long-gone governor from Conowingo named Austin Crothers. He was a man of contradictions in an age of ambiguity, a … Continue reading History lesson: The contradictions of Maryland and its Governor in the Progressive Era

A wow-inducing new mural for Little Italy

The pandemic cancelled Little Italy’s Madonnari Arts Festival again. The next one is scheduled for September 2022. Still, art is happening in the old neighborhood. During the hiatus, the organizers of the festival invited Mexican street artist Carlos Alberto Garcia-Hernandez to create a permanent 3D mural on the wall of the Hospital Support Services building … Continue reading A wow-inducing new mural for Little Italy

America is facing something much bigger than a difference of opinion

What we are facing, my fellow Americans, is not simply a difference of opinion. You all know what a difference of opinion looks and sounds like. What we are facing is not mere disagreement about how much the nation should spend on defense or whether undocumented immigrants should be given a path to citizenship. What … Continue reading America is facing something much bigger than a difference of opinion

American grotesque: Blue marlin killing for money

From Sunday's column in The Baltimore Sun: Nobody asked me, but few things seem more anachronistic — that is, belonging to a time gone by — than a fishing tournament where someone wins thousands of dollars for killing a massive and beautiful blue marlin. This year’s victim at Ocean City weighed 1,135 pounds, and the Florida … Continue reading American grotesque: Blue marlin killing for money

A beautiful symbiosis: Eels and mussels

Allow me to elaborate on something I report in my Sun column today: The significance of a project underway in Maryland to move hundreds of thousands of eels upstream of the Conowingo hyrdoelectric dam on the Susquehanna River. If Democrats and Republicans could work as well together as Anguilla rostrata and Elliptio complanata do, we'd … Continue reading A beautiful symbiosis: Eels and mussels

The peppers-and-eggs sandwich is the official meal of Labor Day

A reminder that, while Labor Day was never identified with a particular food item -- in the way Thanksgiving demands roasted turkey, St. Patrick's Day requires corned beef and cabbage, or the Fourth of July comes ringed in hot dogs -- the peppers-and-eggs sandwich has been the official sandwich of the first Monday in September … Continue reading The peppers-and-eggs sandwich is the official meal of Labor Day

Imagine all of those parking lots covered with solar panels, generating renewable energy

If you haven't been to the Ikea in White Marsh, outside Baltimore, for a while -- or at all during the pandemic -- you'll be surprised to see solar canopies covering the parking lot there. I devoted a recent Baltimore Sun column to the topic of large companies with large parking lots turning them into … Continue reading Imagine all of those parking lots covered with solar panels, generating renewable energy

Biden and Pelosi lead while Republicans make playground noise

An Irish writer named John Waters defines authority as “the capacity to endure unpopularity in the interests of the good.” He adds that a defining quality of fatherhood through the ages has been “a preparedness to be resented.” The two are very much related in the context of American political leadership: Some of the adults … Continue reading Biden and Pelosi lead while Republicans make playground noise

Republicans fall in line behind Marjorie Taylor Greene

You can call her a right-wing QAnon nut. You can call her election last year to the House of Representatives a tragedy. And even some Republicans might distance themselves from her. But yesterday, with their infantile mask protest in the Capitol, Republicans pretty much fell in line behind the awful Marjorie Taylor Green. They embraced … Continue reading Republicans fall in line behind Marjorie Taylor Greene

Yes, Andy Harris, even anesthesia , your specialty, comes with risks

My latest Sun column is about Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md-1) and his claim that the University System of Maryland should not mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 because of the risk of a side effect that, according to the CDC, occurs about 12 times in every 1 million doses. The column is available at this link. Risk … Continue reading Yes, Andy Harris, even anesthesia , your specialty, comes with risks

Getting to inmates before they get back on the street and continue their criminality

In 2016, the Baltimore Police Department did a data dive on people involved in shootings in the city — victims as well as the suspected shooters — and the BPD found this:  Among suspects, 76%  had prior criminal records, 62% percent had prior drug arrests, 52% had been arrested for violent crimes, and 41% percent … Continue reading Getting to inmates before they get back on the street and continue their criminality

Vaccine resistance is about many things, but mostly the warped, fevered politics of the right

Friday's column in The Sun — available at baltimoresun.com — is about the very strange and dangerous trend of right-wing politics and extreme ideology affecting a basic health decision: Whether to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. We have had the vaccine since December, but only half of the country is fully vaccinated, and public health … Continue reading Vaccine resistance is about many things, but mostly the warped, fevered politics of the right