Editor's Notebook

Trying to make my dad proud

Peace Sign

When my father was my age he had about three months to live. The lung cancer which cost him his life ravaged his body for close to two years.
The doctors in their infinite wisdom had given him but three to six months to live when he was diagnosed, but pop was a contrarian by birth and it was joyful to see him in his element telling doctors to kiss his nether regions.
He told me his greatest regret in life was spending too much time working and not enough time with his children – and that knowledge guided me in bringing up my own children.
I want to apologize to them for that – they spent a lot of time with me growing up.
Moreover I believe my generation as a whole should apologize to their children. The actions of the last few weeks, neigh the last few years have driven home a very salient point – we as a country have not overcome our prejudices and we seem unwilling or unable to learn from past mistakes.


Giving Thanks - Not Lip Service


mysweetyWhen I was but a wee lad and the extended family met for the holidays, most notably for Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner, we’d separate into two camps.
The adults had a long, extended table where my grandparents and their children and spouses ate dinner. The kids, well we were assigned a couple of card tables replete with paper plates, plastic cups and dishes while the adults ate from the fine china.
While the kids constantly fought and argued about cartoons or football, the adults held discussions about art, literature and business – for my grandfather forbade any discussions on politics or religion.


And these children that you spit on


MPI Protest-0382On Monday students at Blair and a handful of other nearby high schools marched peacefully through Montgomery County to protest the Presidential election – and some of the proposed appointments by President-Elect Donald Trump.
While no educator authorized the Blair students to leave a proposed demonstration on the school’s football field, no one put up serious opposition to the students when they decided to leave the school and meet up with others.
The County Police escorted the protesters, urging them to keep to the sidewalks. There were no arrests and only one incident of violence reported – someone threw a bottle with no injuries.
The event began trending nationally on social media websites as it coincided with other protests across the country.
Many of the comments were denigrating toward the high school kids – saying they should be suspended or kicked out of school. Some of the comments were sexist, misogynistic and racist. Some were dismissive. Few were supportive.
I laughed.
The students we interviewed at The Sentinel – and some of them are available online on our website and through Twitter and Facebook for all to see – were cogent, thoughtful and very mature – unlike the adults who dismissed the kids.
While the high school students could see shades of gray in the election – mostly bitter adults could only see things as black and white.
For a voter who grew up and came of age during the Vietnam War this is really hilarious.


Media responsibility and the new American political dynamic

Media responsibility lacking



With the nation stunned and Donald Trump’s minions giddy as teenagers on ecstasy, it’s time to take a good hard look at the national media.
After all, the national press has a lot to answer for in how the recent presidential race was covered and the inability to see the wave of anger, fear and hatred of Washington D.C. and traditional politics that has swept the electorate and Heir Donald into the White House.
Trump has destroyed both major parties and is set to spread his demagoguery across the country via his newly won bully pulpit.
To quote Mencken, “… it is to the interest of all the rest of us to hold down his powers to an irreducible minimum and to reduce his compensation to nothing.”


The ONE question to ask in the voting booth


votebuttonOf all the asinine comments I’ve heard in the last few weeks, and there have been many, the topper is how the alt-right is defending Donald Trump’s endorsement by the American Nazi Party and the Klu Klux Klan.

“The Democrats are filled with Nazis and they started the Klan,” one GOP supporter told me after watching his daily dose of Faux News and reading his favorite tainted blogs.

Let me be clear – this is That type of column. It’s not that the mainstream media is ignoring “Your” facts. It is that “your facts” are merely opinions repeated ad nauseam without verification. We don’t print those because we print vetted facts.


A most special kind of party

Clockwork Orange
Torture – n. anguish of body or mind v. to cause intense suffering

Thus we come to the end of a beautiful campaign season. It has been a remarkable campaign season replete with the things which make us the strongest, last great hope for the world.
Two candidates have discussed the issues like no others have before. We’ve been witness to history at its finest as members of our ranking political parties discussed various ways to bring us all together on the planet as brothers and sisters.


Nothing to fear but . . . what?



When did we become so damn scared? When did fear overtake us? Was it on 9/11? Why is everyone so afraid of Donald Trump? Or, why is everyone so afraid of Hillary Clinton?
Fear is nothing I would use to describe either one of them.
It isn’t just the Presidential race which strikes fear in our hearts.


The problem isn't Trump or Clinton


20150601 181848-X3I think I’m done. Let me check. Yes. I definitely am done with people blaming the media for the ills of society.
The loud cry across the land of biased reporting and “Lame Stream” media falls on my ears like so much dust on the evening newspaper nobody buys any more.
Make no mistake there are a great many problems in journalism today. You know what? The audience is responsible for a lot of it.
Journalism is a capitalistic venture. We produce a product that we can sell. Most of the time it means honest weather reporting and cheesy sports reporting intertwined with assorted crime, fires with good flame video and a macabre conglomeration of celebrity gossip, biased political, science and entertainment news.


Okay it really isn't that sexy

Faucet Running Water

Mayor Bridget Newton of Rockville nailed it.

Infrastructure “isn’t sexy.”

It’s one of those issues that attracts about as much attention as a quiet yawn in Church.

You know it’s there, but you pretend it isn’t – that is until it fails.

The residents of the Washington D.C. Metro area are only too familiar what happens then.

Our subway cars burst into flames. Our exploding water mains create previously unknown and definitely unwanted white-water rafting rides on local city streets.

The power goes out and on occasion homes explode or burst into flames.

Of all the natural resources at man’s disposal, however, it is how we treat our water supply that should be of most concern.


Scarred for life and then some


At the end of the day, I will be held accountable for my actions – but do not try to hold me accountable for anyone else and whatever lunacy that strikes their fancy.

This comes after a liberal friend of mine said I was a “Cis-Gen” and that’s what Donald Trump’s troubles are all about.

Apparently, according to this logic, I am an example of “toxic masculinity,” and so is Donald Trump.

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