My Favorite Year: 40 years on, still my favorite movie

In 1954, the number of TV stations in the United States more than doubled, advertising revenue surpassed radio revenue for the first time, and Swanson introduced the TV dinner. NBC telecast the Tournament of Roses Parade for the first time in color. ABC broadcast the Army-McCarthy hearings live. And on CBS, the crusading Edward R. … Continue reading My Favorite Year: 40 years on, still my favorite movie

‘They still think we’re all a bunch of superstitious peasants’

My weekend column is about the Catholic Church, the Maryland Attorney General’s report about clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the latest meeting of the U.S. bishops. The first letter I received from a reader missed my point about the priesthood being the same – that essentially no fundamental change has occurred … Continue reading ‘They still think we’re all a bunch of superstitious peasants’

Extra thanks: From an Orioles outfielder

In my Sun column today, 11 people, including the Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, give their reasons for thanksgiving. Here are a couple more Thanksgiving reflections I picked up just after deadline: Anthony Santander, Orioles outfielder and slugger: “I'm thankful for the excellent season we had as a team. I think that it's a really good … Continue reading Extra thanks: From an Orioles outfielder

How to make Portuguese stuffing for Thanksgiving

I am just going to wing this because I don’t have the recipe, but I know how to make it. It’s a great stuffing, a traditional New England recipe adopted by a Portuguese immigrant named Justina Gomes Rodrigues (the little lady in the photo, my paternal grandmother) and made to her Madeiran tastes. Ingredients:One pound … Continue reading How to make Portuguese stuffing for Thanksgiving

Updated: Oregon Ridge, no bikes in the master plan

After Saturday's public hearing, Ken Rosenstiel wrote this report: The meeting went well and it started with Elisabeth Lardner of Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects announcing that they decided three weeks ago that there would not be any bikes in the park and that got the biggest round of applause. The rest was fairly boilerplate; new Nature … Continue reading Updated: Oregon Ridge, no bikes in the master plan

On Americans who support election deniers, doubters and other dopey politicians on the right

If you caught Jordan Klepper’s most recent report on election deniers on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” you’d think half the country had lost its mind, or, at the very least, had never had a class in American government, had never developed the ability to think critically, had never grown up. Klepper travels among … Continue reading On Americans who support election deniers, doubters and other dopey politicians on the right

Do level-headed Americans still outnumber those who’ve lost their minds? We shall soon see.

The 2022 election isn’t really about ideology. It's not about whether the nation should spend trillions on fixing infrastructure or addressing climate change. It’s not about forgiving student loan debt or closing our southern border with Mexico or even abortion rights. The latter is clearly on the minds of many voters. But something much bigger … Continue reading Do level-headed Americans still outnumber those who’ve lost their minds? We shall soon see.

Ben Civiletti, Merrick Garland and the push for independence at DOJ, then and now

Ben Civiletti, who died on Sunday at his home near Baltimore, served as U.S. Attorney General when the abuses of Watergate were still fresh and the Department of Justice badly needed reforms. It is worth noting that one of the men at Civiletti’s right hand during that period of recovery from Watergate was the present … Continue reading Ben Civiletti, Merrick Garland and the push for independence at DOJ, then and now

Trump subpoenaed and diminished, but the damage done

With yesterday’s vote by the January 6 House committee to subpoena his testimony, Donald Trump gains yet another opportunity to remain on the national stage. Once upon a time, former presidents disappeared into the golden sunset of horse rides and fishing trips, planning their libraries and playing with grandchildren. Trump remains a criminal suspect, a … Continue reading Trump subpoenaed and diminished, but the damage done

Tickets now on sale: A One-Man Play with a Cast of Seven

Directed by Will Schwarz with original music by Mat Lane. Longtime journalist Dan Rodricks tells stories from his more than four decades as an award-winning Baltimore Sun columnist and radio and television host. A theatrical memoire, the play allows Rodricks to bring to life from the wings some of the many people he has encountered … Continue reading Tickets now on sale: A One-Man Play with a Cast of Seven

A Baltimore justice and a Maryland enslaver played a part in the legal history of insurrection

In my column in Wednesday’s Sun, I reported that Mark Graber, a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and constitutional expert, helped make the case for the disqualification of a New Mexico official who took part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Graber testified that the words and actions … Continue reading A Baltimore justice and a Maryland enslaver played a part in the legal history of insurrection

Blessed release: A Jewish ritual at the water’s edge

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which began Sunday evening, September 25, includes a ritual that brings people to the water's edge for a spiritual experience. It's called Tashlikh, and I'm a Catholic who has developed a keen appreciation for it. I first witnessed Tashlikh one autumn afternoon along Cross Country Boulevard in Northwest Baltimore, … Continue reading Blessed release: A Jewish ritual at the water’s edge

“For 12 years, we’ve paid him $2 million in taxpayer salaries and he’s passed one law, to rename a post office.”

The quote in the headline of this post appears in my weekend column in The Baltimore Sun. It is how Heather Mizeur, the Democratic candidate for Maryland’s 1st District congressional seat, characterizes the record of her Republican opponent, Andy Harris. The post office mentioned is in Salisbury, and Mizeur is correct: It was a bill … Continue reading “For 12 years, we’ve paid him $2 million in taxpayer salaries and he’s passed one law, to rename a post office.”

Duende works both ways — this time against the Baltimore Ravens

Eleven months ago, I declared Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson as one of the few earthly beings with duende. Defined by the playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca, duende means star power, charisma, a kind of ghostly spirit that gets into the blood of artists — dancers, singers, writers of verse — and takes over. It … Continue reading Duende works both ways — this time against the Baltimore Ravens

Republicans again back immigrant cruelty even as the U.S. faces a severe worker shortage

Republicans of the #MAGA Cult were amused and downright giddy after Florida’s horrible governor tried to out-Trump Trump by flying 50 unsuspecting immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard to “own the libs.” It was a cruel act, and yet the #MAGA thinks the Ron DeSantis Airlift made a damning point about the Biden administration’s immigration and border … Continue reading Republicans again back immigrant cruelty even as the U.S. faces a severe worker shortage

About Baltimore: No, Mr. Tufaro, the city is not dying

David Tufaro, a Baltimore attorney and developer who once ran as a Republican for mayor, says he doesn’t see or hear hate expressed for the city as I do, a subject I addressed in Sunday’s column. How ironic. While not hateful, Mr. Tufaro’s recent letter to the editor of The Sun certainly qualifies as a … Continue reading About Baltimore: No, Mr. Tufaro, the city is not dying

Upper Marlboro wants to draw a crowd to update this 1922 photo

The centennial of Crain Highway prompts a celebration in Prince George's County Press notice: “We are excited and proud to bring people together to re-create the photo that was taken 100 years ago,” said Upper Marlboro Town Clerk John Hoatson, who is organizing the Oct. 1 festivities. (The photo session is scheduled for 11 am.) … Continue reading Upper Marlboro wants to draw a crowd to update this 1922 photo

Air show: A squadron of cedar waxwings caught a lot more than I did

At midday, while hiking along the river, I saw trout rising in a bubble line flowing below a fallen white pine. It is always exciting to see rising trout, but, ambivalent about fishing for trout on a summer day, I did not have my fly rod or waders with me. Still, overcome with temptation, I … Continue reading Air show: A squadron of cedar waxwings caught a lot more than I did

How to run a food or farming business after the pandemic: Free course offered

I am a fan of Baltimore Community Lending, a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution that has made loans in parts of Baltimore where the big banks refuse to invest. BCL's involvement in the project described below -- to train and prepare new food growers and other food and beverage entrepreneurs for the post-pandemic world … Continue reading How to run a food or farming business after the pandemic: Free course offered

Lawsuit against Baltimore schools a ‘political publicity stunt’

I’m sure I fried some brain cells reading through the lawsuits (original and amended) filed as a taxpayer action against the Baltimore City public schools by a West Baltimore couple, Jovani and Shawnda Patterson. I reference the Patterson suit in my column about the political actions of members of the wealthy family that owns the … Continue reading Lawsuit against Baltimore schools a ‘political publicity stunt’

Postmortem: Lingering questions about EMT response to Jeremy Davidson’s medical emergency

My columns run 900 to 910 words each, so I don’t always have space to get into every detail and angle of a story. Today’s column is an example of that: I have far more information about the death of Jeremy Davidson than I was able to fit into the space allowed, and a question … Continue reading Postmortem: Lingering questions about EMT response to Jeremy Davidson’s medical emergency

Feast of the Assumption: Sun, surf, girls in bathing suits, old ladies in black dresses

This day, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption in the Roman Catholic Church, was the day we took old women in black dresses — or sometimes nice blue-and-white polka dot dresses — to the beach.  This is the day when the BVM went sky. Translation: It’s the day the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother … Continue reading Feast of the Assumption: Sun, surf, girls in bathing suits, old ladies in black dresses

Whacko House member says Andy Harris supports her resolution calling for AG’s impeachment

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the whacko Republican from Georgia famous for nothing but incendiary comments, claims Awful Andy Harris of Maryland is among four House members supporting her resolution calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Merrick Garland. Greene said this in tweets yesterday, thanking Harris and the others for joining her absurd effort. She … Continue reading Whacko House member says Andy Harris supports her resolution calling for AG’s impeachment

Why not ignore Maryland’s Trump candidates for governor and lieutenant governor?

Today’s Sun column addresses Dan Cox’s “constitutionally stupid” ideas about Trump and the FBI — specifically, Cox’s pledge, if elected governor, to “stand against” federal agents who — um, what? — try to execute a search warrant against a Cox ally? It’s not clear. Obviously, this Republican candidate was so eager to get on the … Continue reading Why not ignore Maryland’s Trump candidates for governor and lieutenant governor?

The ridiculous ravings of the right-wing extremist supported by the Republican Party in Maryland as our next Attorney General

As I reported in Friday’s Sun column, the right-wing extremist Michael Peroutka, now enjoying the support of the Maryland Republican Party as its candidate for Attorney General, has been a prolific essayist for a website called “News With Views,” sponsored by My Pillow. The website touts itself as a place “where reality shatters illusions,” and … Continue reading The ridiculous ravings of the right-wing extremist supported by the Republican Party in Maryland as our next Attorney General

50 years of cheers for Baltimore’s Young Vic

Congratulations to Brian Goodman, general manager, and the Young Victorian Theater Company on its 50 years of staging the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan in Baltimore. Any time someone keeps anything — particularly a theater company — rolling for a half-century, attention must be paid. And keeping G&S on the summer stage as the decades … Continue reading 50 years of cheers for Baltimore’s Young Vic

Former White House counsel: Trump ‘a severely wounded narcissist’

Ty Cobb, featured in my Sunday Sun column, served as a special counsel to the Trump White House during the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He left when his job was done, in 2018. He had this observation the other day when we spoke about his former client: "Trump does not … Continue reading Former White House counsel: Trump ‘a severely wounded narcissist’

A City Councilman challenges the angry narrative about squeegee workers of Baltimore

On Monday night, City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett of the 8th District said if squeegee workers were white, the narrative around their plight would be different. “The response would be different,” he said. While that comment makes headlines today, I thought it important to share the longer prepared statement Burnett made earlier in the day. Burnett … Continue reading A City Councilman challenges the angry narrative about squeegee workers of Baltimore

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