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

Across the Eutaw Place divide: Summer music to unite Baltimore neighborhoods

On my drives from downtown Baltimore to points north, I often take Eutaw Place, between Dolphin Street and North Avenue, and it’s one of the best trips in the city — nine blocks of great rowhouses and a wide, shady median that pretty much constitutes a public park. On Friday, I did it again, driving … Continue reading Across the Eutaw Place divide: Summer music to unite Baltimore neighborhoods

Tony Shore’s Baltimore narrative continues at 1/6 scale

My Sunday Sun column (available at baltimoresun.com) is about artist Tony Shore’s Tiny Tony project, something that might seem completely whimsical — and I’m a sucker for Baltimore-style whimsy — but it’s really an extension of the narratives Shore first developed in black velvet.  For more than half his life, Shore has been painting on … Continue reading Tony Shore’s Baltimore narrative continues at 1/6 scale

Everyone has a rescue story, and maybe even one in the family. Here’s mine.

I state in today’s Sun column — available at baltimoresun.com — that we all have stories of rescue. We have all heard a story about some quick-thinking someone saving another someone, often a stranger, from drowning or fire. Or we know someone who did. Some stories are family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. … Continue reading Everyone has a rescue story, and maybe even one in the family. Here’s mine.

Home from prison? Looking for help? There’s a job fair for you Thursday in Baltimore

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore along with the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Baltimore State’s Attorney and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement are sponsoring a one-stop reentry resource fair on THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2021 FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M. at the War Memorial, 101 N. Gay Street.    Several organizations will be on-site … Continue reading Home from prison? Looking for help? There’s a job fair for you Thursday in Baltimore

Trey Mancini: Courage, strength and the gift of medical science

Trey Mancini, leader of the struggling, losing, rebuilding Baltimore Orioles, was already the best story in professional sports, and then he put on a show in the home run derby on the eve of the Major League All-Star game. Amazing. Last year at this time, he was just a couple of months from finishing his … Continue reading Trey Mancini: Courage, strength and the gift of medical science

Reckoning with the past: The potential of a Harlem Park Renaissance in Baltimore

My Sunday column — available at baltimoresun.com — is the second one I've written since meeting Matthew King, founding president of the Harlem Park Community Development Corp. and one of Baltimore's most determined citizens. He and his collaborators have taken on a big challenge — redeveloping and repopulating a once-thriving neighborhood that tells the long, … Continue reading Reckoning with the past: The potential of a Harlem Park Renaissance in Baltimore

The absurd anti-vaxxers have been drenched in a 40-year flood of toxic rhetoric and lies

Of all the absurdities we have suffered in this country since Trump came down the escalator and announced he was running for president, none beats this: The refusal of millions of Republicans — not just a few stupid thousand, but millions — to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly half of Republicans told the Washington Post-ABC … Continue reading The absurd anti-vaxxers have been drenched in a 40-year flood of toxic rhetoric and lies

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How did this happen? How much will the defendant pay? And who is that anyway? Who is to blame? What will the damages be? Lives crushed, the shock of unbelievable, tremors felt in blood lines, immeasurable pain turned goddamn angry, families condemned to heirloom nightmares. Are we not exceptional? How did this happen? Are we … Continue reading Collapse

Retail won’t be what it was but it ain’t dead

You might call this wishful thinking — it’s certainly the wish of many small business owners like the ones I met in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood the other day — but, as stated in today's Sun column, I think the death of brick-and-mortar retail has been exaggerated. I suspect that, coming out of the pandemic, people … Continue reading Retail won’t be what it was but it ain’t dead

‘Difficult to articulate a level of threat or resistance to justify those knee strikes’

My colleagues from The Sun newsroom — Tim Prudente, Jessica Anderson and McKenna Oxenden — have a story today about the police in Ocean City and the videos of their violent confrontations with young men on the Boardwalk. The story quotes a retired police captain and use-of-force expert named Ashley Heiberger, and Heiberger focuses on … Continue reading ‘Difficult to articulate a level of threat or resistance to justify those knee strikes’

Father’s Day Creek: A book for outdoors lovers, anglers, and anyone who had a father.

A narrative memoir about fly fishing, fatherhood and finding your last best place on Earth. Published by Apprentice House Books at Loyola University Maryland. Available now in softcover and hardcover. Publication date: May 2019. Foreword by Lefty Kreh. . . . . . "Where would you want to be if you knew the world would … Continue reading Father’s Day Creek: A book for outdoors lovers, anglers, and anyone who had a father.

Memorial: A French homage to the Private John Kreiner who did not come home to Baltimore

As a columnist, I have interviewed many American combat veterans. That includes veterans of World War II, several of them when my editors in Baltimore sent me to Normandy to cover the 40th anniversary observances of the D-Day invasion and the beginning of the liberation of France. But, of all the stories I wrote -- … Continue reading Memorial: A French homage to the Private John Kreiner who did not come home to Baltimore

Republicans dishonor long-gone Americans who died to save the Union

Given the events of the last five years — and, in particular, the January attack on the U.S. Capitol fueled by Trump’s Big Lie about the November election — I was drawn this Memorial Day weekend to the one monument in the city of Baltimore that honors the more than 65,000 Marylanders who fought for … Continue reading Republicans dishonor long-gone Americans who died to save the Union

Why would any rational American want to remain a Republican?

Last week in my Sun column I suggested that Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and Republican national chairman, leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat. You can read my reasoning in the column — here’s the link — but anyone who has listened to Steele talk on MSNBC about the party knows … Continue reading Why would any rational American want to remain a Republican?

Bananas on Fire: Never judge a horse by a wacky name

You look at the list of Preakness winners over the years and, for the most part, they have names that range from serious to charming to the mildly whimsical: Citation, Secretariat, American Pharoah, Affirmed, Silver Charm, Spectacular Bid, Red Bullet, Lookin at Lucky. But some horses on the daily racing charts have truly wacky names. … Continue reading Bananas on Fire: Never judge a horse by a wacky name

Was that a turning point we just witnessed in Means’ no-hitter? Anyone remember Billy Rohr?

I don’t know if John Means’ no-hitter is a turning point for the still-in-last-place Baltimore Orioles, but — who knows? — we might look back on Means’ nearly perfect game in Seattle as an important marker in the club’s redevelopment. I know what you're thinking: "Let’s enjoy the moment, dude, but let’s not get carried … Continue reading Was that a turning point we just witnessed in Means’ no-hitter? Anyone remember Billy Rohr?

Does one bad opinion erase an expert?

Journalists are drawn to experts. We use them to add context to stories or to provide perspective in controversies. As a generalist in print and broadcasting, I have for years cited as sources people with great expertise in various sciences, all manner of medicine, criminology, the law, foreign policy, literature, immigration, climate change. They have … Continue reading Does one bad opinion erase an expert?

Knocking down the JFX and making a new city boulevard

In my Sunday Sun column, I again advocated that Baltimore find money, perhaps in the coming bundle of Biden infrastructure spending, to tear down the elevated Jones Falls Expressway (Interstate 83) south of Penn Station and create a grand city boulevard instead. The 1915 postcard to the right shows what the area of Penn Station … Continue reading Knocking down the JFX and making a new city boulevard

Life sentences for minors: Trump’s cruel and unusual Supreme Court

A couple of weeks ago, Maryland's progressive General Assembly, led by Democrats, abolished life without parole for defendants convicted of murder before the age of 18 -- and they did this over the veto of the Republican governor, Larry Hogan. (The legislature also took the Maryland governor, present and future, out of the parole process … Continue reading Life sentences for minors: Trump’s cruel and unusual Supreme Court

On racism and the moment upon us: Do Americans really want a better country?

My brother in Massachusetts had converted to DVD home movies that were shot by an uncle of ours in the 1950s and early 1960s. Many families have these old movies. Many families had one person who owned perhaps a Bell & Howell 8-mm movie camera, projector and screen. A lot of these old films are … Continue reading On racism and the moment upon us: Do Americans really want a better country?

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