The image of a Capitol police officer being crushed in a door by the Trump mob Wednesday afternoon should disturb everyone. It prompts this citizen to join with others calling not only for the impeachment of Trump but his prosecution for inciting the deadly riot. This dangerous president has announced that he will not attend … Continue reading Trump should face arrest and prosecution
Munich, Germany, November 8-9, 1923: The Beer Hall Putsch was a failed coup by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, his entourage and other Nationalists against the Weimar Republic. Hitler plotted to kidnap the Bavarian commissioner at a beer hall on the first night of the putsch. Some 2,000 Nazis marched on the city centre, hoping … Continue reading Quick History: The Beer Hall Putsch
There is a trail along home waters, the Big Gunpowder Falls in northern Baltimore County, that reaches out and grabs you. There are varieties of thorny bushes and clinging trees that love, even in the dormant winter months, to pull on your sleeve or grab your fly line as you walk by. If I was … Continue reading To the honest stranger of Grabby Trail: Thank you for my net and the reminder
Years ago, I asked Wally Vait, a fly fishing instructor and guide, if it really mattered whether you caught trout, considering how great it is just to be there -- to be in the water, the environment of the trout, and usually cool and clean water, and often shaded by big trees or crowned in … Continue reading Sometimes, fish don’t matter
What Republican Senators Hawley, Cruz and the rest of the rat pack have decided is this: They will aid and abet Trump’s proliferation of the Big Lie about the 2020 election in order to advance their standing among the #MAGA they hope to inherit for the elections of 2022 and 2024. They have announced the … Continue reading Aiding and abetting the Trump lie
(With earnest apologies to Bob Dylan) May God bless you and keep you. May your wishes all come true. May you find your way through darkness. And lead others through it, too. May we see a gold horizon, See our country start to mend. May we stay forever faithful Faithful to the end. Farewell 2020, … Continue reading Forever Faithful
For me, it’s between the separation of migrant children from their parents at our border with Mexico and now the pardon of Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough, the four Blackwater mercenaries (above) convicted for the 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left 14 Iraqi civilians dead and 17 wounded. Picking the worst … Continue reading Trump: The absolute worst
I suggested this for the Maryland General Assembly in my most recent column in The Baltimore Sun, but there's no reason it can't be done in state legislatures throughout the country: Filing resolutions to censure the 126 Republicans in the House of Representatives who signed their names to a legal brief supporting a ridiculous Texas lawsuit seeking … Continue reading A national campaign to have state legislatures condemn House Republicans who support Trump’s election fraud claims
On Friday, the Senate passed the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act requiring the Government Accountability Office to investigate federally funded cancer trials and outline options to make them more racially inclusive. The act addresses the problem of racial and ethnic diversity in cancer research. It was the subject of my recent column. The late … Continue reading Followup: Senate passes Henrietta Lacks bill filed by the late Elijah Cummings
Please pardon another post about the Maryland Republican congressman Andy Harris, but, in a radio interview posted to his Facebook page, he just went off on restaurants being linked to the spread of coronavirus. He says they are not “significant contributors” to community spread. He’s basically quoting what you can hear on FOX “News" any … Continue reading Andy Harris again criticizes government action to control spread of the virus
I need to thank Thomas Lecaque, a historian and assistant professor at Grand View University in Iowa, for the explanation I have been seeking: Why would 80 to 90 percent of evangelicals support the Pandemic President in the recent election? Now, keep in mind, I knew a lot of that support was there. I understood … Continue reading Evangelicals really don’t believe what the Bible says
Maryland is among four states that gave Joe Biden at least one million more votes than it gave Trump. The final numbers -- still listed as unofficial by the Maryland State Board of Elections -- were: Biden: 1,985,023 Trump: 976,414 And, of course, Maryland's Republican governor, Larry Hogan, who apparently couldn't bring himself to vote … Continue reading Four states gave Biden at least a million more votes over Trump. Maryland is one.
I learned about "The Way of the Heron" one Thanksgiving from Evan Pritchard, a descendant of Algonquin-speaking people, director of the Center for Algonquin Culture in New York, a professor of Native American history at Marist College and the author of several books, including, "Native American Stories of the Sacred" and "No Word For Time, … Continue reading Algonquin wisdom: The Way of the Heron
The Republican Party, having done next to nothing to become the "big tent" it was advised to become after Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama in 2012, embraced Donald Trump and allowed him to trash all aspects of American democracy. They did this because it's the only play they have -- eschew precedent and norms, … Continue reading Make them pay a price for supporting Trump
Thanks to Max Weiss, editor-in-chief of Baltimore magazine and long-time critic of film, for taking on "The Queen's Gambit," not so much to review it -- that has been done aplenty elsewhere -- but to explain why it's a hit. When a crusty, old fishing friend from Florida told me he had binged all seven … Continue reading ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is a great story, but it never happened. You know that, right?
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Everyone pretty much agrees that 2020 has been the worst year we've ever experienced. For people of a certain age, the only year that comes close would be 1968 -- nearly 17,000 U.S. military personnel killed and nearly 90,000 wounded in the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King … Continue reading Is 2020 the worst year ever?
In the most famous novella about fly fishing in Montana, Norman Maclean referred to his brother Paul’s special way of getting a rise out of a trout by repeatedly making a long false cast over a feeding lane or pocket: "He called it shadow casting. Keeping his line above water long enough and low enough … Continue reading Shadowing casting, East Coast style
My son, a certified guide now, goes about fly fishing like a scientist; he's very focused and precise in his choice of flies and his presentation of them as he prospects along the river for trout. I was sort of scientific in my approach once, and, recognizing that, I find it interesting and amusing to … Continue reading Transfixed by water, woods and light
Last December, during a political discussion on an MTA bus in downtown Baltimore, an older gentlemen remarked: "It's not Trump I'm worried about as much as the 63 million who voted for him." Now the count is 70 million. I am as happy as any Biden-Harris supporter today. I can’t wait until Inauguration Day and … Continue reading Barring prison or flight, Trump will still be with us and pose a threat
Chris Zogby drove from Virginia into Maryland to fish the Gunpowder River above Big Falls Road in Monkton, north of Baltimore. He caught a few brown trout — and the credit card you see pictured here. “Late morning, I decided to switch tactics and use nymph patterns instead of streamers,” he wrote me in an … Continue reading What the river turns up
Guest post by Tom "Bush Hog" James Now could be a time when lessons are learned, when corners are turned — maybe not, but maybe. And, whether or not the lessons are learned or the corners are turned, a word that stands out is "indefatigable." My first full-time job was at a daily newspaper in … Continue reading The dance of the Indefatigable
Guest post By Steve Sachs Steve Sachs Politics, they say, is like a young love affair: It makes you passionate, naïve and sometimes blind to reality. The Reagan years were that way for his adoring adherents. So was the brief time we had with JFK. Judged by such romantic metrics, however, the 2020 presidential contest … Continue reading First love in politics: 1952 and ‘Madly for Adlai’
I have heard it several times stated, as a way of explaining why intelligent people still support Trump, that they don’t like his vulgarity but they appreciate the things he’s accomplished — tax cuts for corporations and millionaires, deregulation of industry, more conservative judges in federal courts and the relocation of the U.S. embassy to … Continue reading Thinking about voting for Trump? Think about this.
As a fan of the Great British Baking Show, now in Season 8 on Netflix, I’ve got to say this: Challenges make great television, but too great among amateurs and the result is something I’d rather not see. Specifically, I’m speaking of the Bread Week episode and its final assignment for each of the contestants: … Continue reading British Baking Show: A bread too far
Remember when Trump, in his unfounded ravings about election problems, kept insisting that mail-in voting would cause delays in the counting? He said we would not know the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election for weeks, months or even years. "You know what? You're not going to know this — possibly, if you really … Continue reading Voting is the cure: ‘I felt good immediately’
You, who voted for Trump — some of you will insist he’s behaving badly now because of the drugs they gave him at Walter Reed for his coronavirus infection. You will say he’s under a lot of pressure and that the Democrats and liberals in the media never gave him a chance to succeed. You’ll … Continue reading Dearest Trump supporters: You moved to the fence. It’s time to jump and end the crazy
One of my elders, Bush Hog James, writes this epistle from his retirement home in Arizona, after having watched a segment on FOX News: Laden with self-disgust, I search about in the predawn gloom for a suitable tool with which to flay myself. I had been attempting, in my befuddled way, to find my niche here in … Continue reading The wretchedness of those selfish old people who fear the COVID
I don’t know that Vince Bagli, who died Tuesday night at the age of 93, ever read a book by the late psychotherapist Robert Moore, but he certainly embraced one of Moore’s profound instructions: That men have a responsibility to admire and encourage younger men. “How many of you have admired a younger man in … Continue reading Vince Bagli and the gift of encouragement
You run out of things to say about this guy. Every time we think we've hit bottom, Trump pulls out a shovel and digs deeper into the darkness. Now it's some cheap theater trick -- removing his mask after a weekend in the hospital for coronavirus -- and, pretending he's fully recovered and feeling 20 … Continue reading A danger to himself and others
Had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic, Exxon Mobil Corp. might have by now increased, rather than decreased, annual carbon-dioxide emissions, eventually by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece. That’s according to Bloomberg, based on a review of internal Exxon documents. The company had plans to spend billions more … Continue reading Vote for Biden, avoid Exxon, save the Planet
The Rose Garden ceremony in which Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a justice of the Supreme Court appears to have been a coronavirus super-spreader event. Trump did not wear a mask and few of his guests did. They also mingled like old times and sat shoulder to shoulder. … Continue reading Unmasked in the Rose Garden: A judge’s questionable judgment
Millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 thought they were getting a successful businessman to run the country, despite ample evidence that Trump had in reality been a failure at several huge undertakings, his Atlantic City casinos most notably. His run as the host of “The Apprentice” on NBC was where the … Continue reading Consequences of the con: Trump was a bad businessman, even worse president.
It always takes a little explaining to my son and daughter: Back in the day, before cable television and long before the Internet, the dividing line between the National League and the American League was very clear. In the 1960s and even into the early 1970s, televised baseball was limited to regional markets; you watched … Continue reading Bob Gibson and the appearance of the duende in the 1967 World Series
During Tuesday night's debate, Trump proved once and for all -- if you needed further proof -- that he's little more than an obnoxious entertainer, and 'entertainer' in the vein of some annoying freak in tights on WWE's SmackDown Live. He's in the realm of the professional wrestler, but without any of the physical skills … Continue reading An obnoxious ‘entertainer’ and little else
One of many reasons to end the Trump presidency: To eliminate all the noise he makes and causes others to make about him. Millions of us are sick of the daily Trump show, sick of the hyper-tweeting, the blather, the idiotic statements and fraudulent assertions. It’s practically constant. And while we’re used to American presidents … Continue reading Unplugging From the Trump Noise Machine: The river restoreth my soul
We are accustomed to Trump's blather, lies, exaggerations and jabberwocky. After a while it bounces off. Double that in an election season. But this week we got something special, something different. Pay strict attention to the most horrifying words to pass through his puckered lips: "We'll want to have --- get rid of the ballots and you'll … Continue reading “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”
Few politicians can match Lindsey Graham at his craft. The Republican senator from South Carolina is a master of hypocrisy, and the Trump era has been a breakout time for his robust talents, with his finest work on display. In 2015, he famously called Donald Trump “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” then became his golfing … Continue reading Lindsey Graham’s hissy fit hypocrisy
We are long past the point where things “go without saying.” So much of what we took for granted — that, for instance, medical science would predominate and prevail in a pandemic — has been attacked or left for dead that I no longer assume that a majority of Americans agree on basic values and … Continue reading What we take from the amazing life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Attention must be paid: The presidential historian, Lincoln scholar and prolific author Richard Striner, longtime professor at Washington College, served as a senior writer and advisor to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. In fact, Striner and Louis Galambos, professor emeritus of Johns Hopkins University, were among scholars who recommended Eisenhower quotes for inscription in the stone … Continue reading Richard Striner, Maryland historian, on the Eisenhower Memorial and the ‘Trump nightmare’
What a colossal waste of time these Trump years have been. Look at California. Look at Oregon and Washington. Look at the weather maps. Listen to what the climate scientists tell us. Go back and review their warnings, their predictions. What a colossal waste of time the Trump years have been. His first year in … Continue reading Climate clock: What a colossal waste of time the Trump presidency has been
Here's what I wrote for The Baltimore Sun on the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. My own children were 11 and 8 at the time of 9/11, so I was thinking about them, their schoolmates, teammates and friends, a whole generation stuck with the memory of what happened on that day in 2001. I … Continue reading From the archive: A letter to the children of 9/11
Given what the Woodward book confirms, with Trump’s own recorded words, Americans might want to note -- because you don't have enough to be outraged about yet, right? -- its connection to the nation’s lack of a diagnostic testing plan as an early check on the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Other reporting, and Trump’s … Continue reading Direct connection: Trump’s admitted dereliction and Kushner’s scrapping of a national testing plan
Marylanders: Did you do what I did last month and request an absentee ballot from the Maryland Board of Elections? Are you worried that you haven't seen it yet, or confused because you received by mail a "Maryland Application for a Mail-in Ballot"? Let me help you out. (Of course, all these explanations and reminders … Continue reading Don’t panic. Just look up your ballot status for the November election
It is impossible to imagine any American saying what Trump is reported — reported, and now verified — to have said about soldiers killed in France in World War I, or while attending the grave of General Kelly’s son, or saying what he did about John McCain in 2016, questioning why we considered the late … Continue reading After Trump, we need a new Selective Public Service effort.
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 in the U.S.
Seventy-five years ago, September 2, 1945, the Empire of Japan signed articles of unconditional surrender in a solemn ceremony on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay thus bringing the Second World War to its formal end. Stephen H. Sachs, who grew up in Baltimore and served as U.S. Attorney here and as … Continue reading On V-J Day, a hero’s wisdom remembered
Here is some reader mail on Sunday's column in The Baltimore Sun about the rare American elm I discovered in my neighborhood. Always like to see an Elm get it's due. There are some stupendous Elms on the North East side of town. There is one on Harford Road at Kentucky Avenue that has some … Continue reading Letters: About the rare American elm trees, and where to find some that survive
Unless you live in a Baltimore neighborhood — and, more specifically, a Baltimore rowhouse neighborhood — you might not be able to relate to this problem: Wires. Not wires that are needed for electric power or communications, but wires now dormant and left hanging in tangled messes by the companies that installed them. I wrote … Continue reading Over-Wired: Calling on Baltimoreans who want to do something about this problem