Editor's Notebook

Getting to know you


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There I sat on the back of a horse. We’d stopped for a moment on the trail last week when my wife began talking about riding horses when she was younger - long before I had the privilege of meeting her.

As we sat there tall in our saddles on our respective mounts sharing a cool libation she told me she used to ride bareback.

I was stunned. I’ve known this beautiful woman for 35 years and never knew she used to ride horses bareback.

Getting to know someone can take a lifetime.

Makes you wonder how you can pick a presidential candidate after six months of them auditioning by doing nothing but talking.

How can you ever know if you can trust someone on the national stage if you can’t talk to them and you don’t know them?

Wonder if Hillary or The Donald ever rode bareback? Hopefully they won’t volunteer to show us now. It could be disastrous.


Remember Malcom

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We will never know what Malcom Winffel, 45, thought as he took his last breath in that wet Montgomery Mall parking lot last Friday.

We can say with some degree of certainty he didn’t get up that morning, eat his breakfast and go about his business thinking it would be his last day on the planet.

But when he heard a woman screaming for help at the mall, he and a friend automatically jumped to her aid and in doing so saved her life.

But in so doing, he put himself in harm’s way and an atavistic gunman ended his life.

Malcom didn’t know the woman he saved. He never got the pleasure.


Police Get It Right

MP113848Prosecutor John McCarthy stood outside of the Aspen Hill Dunkin Donuts candidly discussing the shooting incident that occurred there last Friday.
“It’s really weird,” he said. “Fourteen years later to be in almost the same place and under similar circumstances.”
He was talking about the infamous D.C. Sniper incident that occurred in 2002 and the more than three weeks of terror and fear residents of the area endured while police hunted and captured a man and his stepson responsible for a number of killings.
The opening salvo occurred in Aspen Hill at nearly the same location as Friday’s shooting.
For those of us who were covering the events 14 years ago there was a scary similarity to the two shootings.
But when Montgomery County police surrounded and arrested the man they say is responsible for the current shooting, the similarities ended.
Make no mistake. In 2002 there were some very dedicated men on the police department and there were many dedicated police officers from around the country who put in the time and put their lives at risk trying to catch the men responsible for the shooting spree.
But the differences in leadership and the organization and tactics of the police are extremely different today versus 2002.
We didn’t endure 23 days of terror this time. Indeed the man said to be responsible for the shooting was picked up less than 24 hours after he is accused of gunning down his estranged wife in front of their children in Prince Georges County.
Police tactics have a lot to do with that quick response and the safe apprehension of the suspect.
The former federal protective officer accused of the current killings apparently shot his wife and then randomly killed two others the following day as he tried to obtain new transportation by carjacking two women he’d never met.


And equal opportunity for All


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Someone suggested to us at the end of Donna Edwards’ concession speech after she lost to Chris Van Hollen for the Senate seat currently occupied by Barbara Mikulski she should have dramatically dropped her microphone.

In her scathing comments she decried the plight of our state as she lamented we were about to send an all-male contingent to represent us in the federal government.

That would be a bad thing according to Edwards.

Her concern, a well-founded one, is that women and minorities are underrepresented in government.

But her logic fails because she implies that under no circumstances should it be okay to have just male members of Congress representing the state.

What if the shoe were on the other foot? What if someone were to say there should be, under no circumstances, an all-female contingent from the state representing us in D.C.?

Why we’d have a politically correct fit and a right proper one at that.


By the cold light of day

Jamie Raskin

The 2016 Maryland primary is history and we may in fact be tempted to look back on this moment some 20 years from now as a turning point in the electoral process.

In the U.S. Senate race between Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards we had two elected officials with track records running for the seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski.

In the 8th Congressional race we stared into the abyss of an election that at the moment is being vilified as the most expensive congressional primary  race in U.S. history.

It appears the cold light of reality is providing some warmth for those who profess to still have faith in the system.


And so now we vote...


It’s that wonderful time of the year following the cherry blossoms and prior to the dreary dog days of summer when the ground bakes and your head aches.


It’s that delicious time when it’s too hot and too cold all within a 24-hour span and we can expect rain, hail, maybe some snow and definitely some sunshine.

It’s spring when a man with a political fancy turns to voting.

This primary season there are about 70 candidates on the ballot in Montgomery and all of them have something to offer.


A dirty little bathroom secret

5485ab649cec4.imageOf all the columns I’ve written for this newspaper in the last decade, the one I recently penned regarding “White Privilege” garnered the most hate mail I’ve ever received.

Being accused of being a “reverse Oreo cookie,” a lover of people of color and “the stupidest human being on the planet” as well as having intimate knowledge of my mother, sister, brother and several of my pets was the tip of the iceberg.

I suppose I should be angry.

I am not. I was amused and surprised, but anyone who knows me also knows I really don’t care.

However, I applaud the imagination of the reader who made the scatological death threat. I had to laugh at that as it is a unique method of torture I hadn’t actually thought of before – so thanks for that.

If the prospect of “White Privilege” angers you, then I’m destined to anger the rest of the world this week.

The issue this week has to do with using the public restroom. We received dozens of letters and many comments on social media about “Keeping our restroom experiences pure” and how people dressed as one gender shouldn’t be allowed to be in a public bathroom if their genitalia are that of the opposite gender from their attire - or opposite from the label on the restroom door.


My dad’s dirty laundry



My father taught me a lot. So did my grandfather, grandmother, my mother and every other adult who had influence over me when I was younger, including but not limited to coaches, teachers and the guy who ran the Convenient Food Mart across the street from the Showcase Cinemas and King Fish Restaurant in Buechel.

My dad, in particular taught me some ideals which have stuck with me. “Any idiot can start a fire,” he told me. “It takes an adult to know how to put one out.”


The case of the media vs. Sir Donald Duck Trump


constitutionLet’s talk about Journalism. The Free Press.
We media folk recently got a lot of flak for the extensive amount of coverage given to Presidential aspirant Donald Duck Trump.
It is estimated the Donald has been the recipient of almost two billion dollars worth of free advertising since he tossed his clown nose in the ring which may or not be true, but for the sake of argument let’s say it is a fact.
No less than President Barack Obama recently took the press to task for our infatuation with Donald and all things Trump related.
“A job well done is about more than just handing someone a microphone. It is to probe and to question, and to dig deeper, and to demand more. The electorate would be better served if that happened. It would be better served if billions of dollars in free media came with serious accountability,” The President is quoted as saying at a Washington D.C. dinner and in an online Fortune Magazine article.


The matter of White Privilege


GODI tried to listen quietly as the woman on the phone berated me regarding privileged youths, indulging and sheltering our children and matters of racism.

It is on the issue of race where I began to chafe.

If you, as the woman on the phone do not believe there is such a thing as white privilege, then you are sadly and horribly mistaken.

The color of your skin affects the way everyone interacts with you. So does your religion, the way you dress, your gender, your socioeconomic standing, your job and your politics.

To ignore these facts is to be delusional.

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