To the honest stranger of Grabby Trail: Thank you for my net and the reminder

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

A national campaign to have state legislatures condemn House Republicans who support Trump’s election fraud claims

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

Followup: Senate passes Henrietta Lacks bill filed by the late Elijah Cummings

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

Andy Harris again criticizes government action to control spread of the virus

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

Evangelicals really don’t believe what the Bible says

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

Four states gave Biden at least a million more votes over Trump. Maryland is one.

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.

Algonquin wisdom: The Way of the Heron

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 Queen’s Gambit’ is a great story, but it never happened. You know that, right?

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?

Barring prison or flight, Trump will still be with us and pose a threat

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

First love in politics: 1952 and ‘Madly for Adlai’

                                                  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’

Thinking about voting for Trump? Think about this.

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.

Dearest Trump supporters: You moved to the fence. It’s time to jump and end the crazy

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

The wretchedness of those selfish old people who fear the COVID

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

Vote for Biden, avoid Exxon, save the Planet

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

Unmasked in the Rose Garden: A judge’s questionable judgment

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

Consequences of the con: Trump was a bad businessman, even worse president.

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.

Bob Gibson and the appearance of the duende in the 1967 World Series

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

An obnoxious ‘entertainer’ and little else

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

Unplugging From the Trump Noise Machine: The river restoreth my soul

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

“There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

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.”

What we take from the amazing life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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

Richard Striner, Maryland historian, on the Eisenhower Memorial and the ‘Trump nightmare’

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’

Climate clock: What a colossal waste of time the Trump presidency has been

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

Direct connection: Trump’s admitted dereliction and Kushner’s scrapping of a national testing plan

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

Don’t panic. Just look up your ballot status for the November election

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

After Trump, we need a new Selective Public Service effort.

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.

The peppers-and-eggs sandwich is the official meal of Labor Day in the U.S.

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.

Letters: About the rare American elm trees, and where to find some that survive

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

Over-Wired: Calling on Baltimoreans who want to do something about this problem

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