In the land of the free and home of the brave what is more fun than keeping abreast of the nefarious activities under way in the “republic” of Frederick, both city and county.
Since my earliest days on this planet the oft-used word “luck” has always been considered a blessing from the Divine. Nothing has changed since those formative times. If anything the celestial consents seem more obvious.
The day must be on the horizon when Maryland's elected savants, the ones mostly on the left side of any questionable sense, will decide which criminal laws are to be ignored.
How in the world can a man retire these days with all of the shenanigans popping up in all quarters of Frederick, Annapolis, the federal city and Ashburn, Va.? The news libido keeps pumping. There is no rest for scribes of yore.
On this meretricious day, not a national holiday by the way, practical jokes and hoaxes are often played on friends, enemies and most particularly politicians.
It's rather easy to take aim at government, politicians and all of the non-profit political parties that their fables are for the public's own good. Plus these entities are full targets for comment, good, bad and ugly
The matter of free speech surely, completely and without exception is certainly alive and well. Contrarians and other questioners need only remember the name of Fred Phelps. Thankfully he's not from Frederick.
Amid all the opinionating, commentating and general word-smithing, it’s fun to be a note taker and anecdotist of sorts. It can be amazing what can be seen and heard keeping one’s eyes and ears open.
A few miles south down I-270, Alexandria citizens have become a bit uneasy. Who can blame them? A serial killer is on the loose and apparently has been for over a decade.
Pleasant bonuses usually arrive when least expected. These joys aren't always of the financial kind, even though the latter can be more than appreciated. This story comes right in the middle of St. Patrick's celebrations, the time of year when everybody is Irish or would like to be.
Lots of illegal pot smoking goes on around these parts, according to those in the know. Large numbers of citizens, young and old, have been locked up for buying, selling and using cannabis. The latter results in criminal records.
Many people, wizened and otherwise, have long believed that Russia of the past and present is the Great Satan. It's probably a bit too late now, but the question looms: did American intelligence agencies drop the ball, completely and totally of late?
Finally, it's that time of year for some divergence from various "silly-nesses" of the past few months. This is especially true throughout the Frederick communities where the political windup is now well underway as politics moves into high gear.
Consider for a moment if Frederick's Board of County Commissioners or the City of Frederick’s aldermen decided to join the federal government and send agents, inspectors or political operatives into newsrooms of local newspapers, broadcasting houses and every online outlet.
The major cause for so little interest in conservative partisan politics these days is rather simple. People suffer from short memories. The current crop of supposed leaders is out of their league.
Enough already, everybody. It's time now for some questions real and rhetorical. Maybe we're snow-crazy, but that can probably be explained.
On this day when love may be bursting all over, we shut-ins have time to contemplate a world of this and that. Today in this space there is a correlation between sports and politics where amour is missing more often than not.
The recent ice storm was an attention getter first-class. And, for a lot of families and homes in Frederick County. It did serve to get our minds off various foibles like how terrorists were going to disrupt the Olympics, candidates for the new county executive and county council or the future of Vice President Joe Biden.
The fact is well known, all politics is local. The good things of public service should rise, bottom to top, and not the reverse. It's not good when outside and national consultants like to infringe. They do and the landscape changes.
From a shopping center it's now time to return to reality and to city streets where statistics are still roaring out of control. The exception is Frederick, and that's a star in the crown. At least for the time being.
With one swipe of a pen, and a poke in the eye, it’s what happened earlier this week during a joint session of Congress. About time, too.
There's no question that Saturday's shotgun murders and suicide at the Mall of Columbia is a high octane tragedy for everyone in every location local, state and nation.
Whatever the facts prove to be, federal corruption charges leveled against Virginia's 71st governor are nothing short of astonishing. No such thing has ever occurred in the state known as the "Mother of Presidents."
Hoopdorff, The Netherlands – A few days in this quaint town just kilometers from Amsterdam, is a recharging experience. Here, in the midst of a charity conference, plans have been made for more educational supplies, more hygienic facilities and reports on the success of providing milk cows for villages.
For over two decades, I've listened intently to the medical advice of the same physician, a superb boater and triage man first class. One time I ignored his words, "get a flu shot." Now that was dumb. He didn't say "I told you so," but he should have.
The travesty and tragedy of civil war, hunger and famine continues in Africa in the midst of the Christian holiday celebrations. The latest eruptions of murder and mayhem are in The Sudan. This time fighting between rebels, farmers and shepherds in the in the new nation of South Sudan.
As the days slip by in nervous anticipation for the arrival of Christmas morn, greetings by electronic mail and front-door delivery are also appearing, mostly unsigned and incognito.
There he was. The President of the United States, along with four predecessors and some other 91 world leaders paying homage to the late Nelson Mandela in a massive Johannesburg, South Africa, stadium.
One Sunday afternoon each month it was a pre-teen's bounden duty to visit the hometown Old Folks Home. The fun was distributing cookies, cake and smiles, handshakes and hugs.
Call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner – or payday. Then there's this one, you can always tell people from (you pick the state) but you can't tell them much. Smile, please.
Childhood days make the Christmas season the happiest times in most lives. In this particular case Christmas trees were the real thing, artificial trees had never reached my family and it was usually on Christmas Eve that most families brought in felled cedars and spruces.
Regardless of when or where or who started the feast day, or who set aside the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day is one of remembrance, joy and hope.
Using the term "kids" referring to those from the cradle to their 20s and some to their 30s has always been anathema in this quarter.
The 11th month is always a good one, especially when the 11th hour and the 11th minute are remembered with honor, and red poppies are seen everywhere.
Just when it seemed daily life might return to the important stuff like the coming holidaying season in Frederick, and that everyone could delve into a book of characters, the bedraggled post office couldn't deliver.
What could be better than waking up every morning not seeing your name in obituary columns? There are certainly many answers to that, but being a bit nosey there's a lot to learn from the notices.
The 11th month is always a good one, especially when the 11th hour and the 11th minute are remembered with honor and red poppies are seen everywhere.
As the City of Frederick marches on after today's balloting, and the county looks forward to a charter form of leadership, perhaps some consolidation of services should be considered.
The most popular books, movies and television shows are those dealing with espionage, covert action and the secret world of intelligence.
This is not a fairy tale; but once upon a time children enjoyed All Hallows Eve, running up and down neighborhoods and downtowns dressed in costumes depicting all kinds of gremlins, goblins, ghosts, angels and imps.
The old cliché, all politics is local, hits Frederick City 11 days from today. Every registered voter has a distinct duty to select the mayor and members of the aldermanic board.
Now that the sky didn't fall everybody can get back to eating fried chicken, chicken and dumplings and mashed potatoes and gravy.
After due diligence, broad research and deep contemplation, it can be said the toughest jobs in the nation's capital belong to the chaplains of the Senate and House.
In a moment of facetious pique, it was suggested that the ‘Current Occupant’ of the Executive Branch declare martial law because the nation is in a State of Emergency.
The assault on Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins has gotten a bit much. The vendetta is out of hand and more than just plain silly.
In the land of liberty, majority votes still count. It continues to be a major impertinence that the tail still wants to wag the dog making traditional life uncomfortable and unnecessary.
"Penny wise and pound foolish" and 'they know the cost of everything but not the value of anything." Sounds mighty familiar these days, not only in the nation's capital but in Frederick County, MD.
The wireless blared, "knuckleheads in the news." As the good people expressed various concerns about a federal government shutdown, it wasn't an attempt at humor at the expense of the national electeds.
It's a fearful thing to get all excited by the scary antics taking place at First Street SE, in Washington. Those who dare can visit the historical facilities called the United States Capitol.
Warning, gentle reader, the following may cause considerable indigestion, deep thought, scintillating wonder and probably anger. Hopefully each of these will come true.
How to deal with those of mental and physical impairments is a serious matter. Awareness and education should begin at family and community levels long before public difficulties ensue.
All the international discussion about killing with chemical weapons is without doubt worthy of the hand-wringing about one of the worst forms of weapons of war.
Rhetorical questions are important sometimes. Here's one for today: Has the fun, seriousness and importance of local elections reached the end of the line?
One of the most exciting days of the year for me has always been Election Day. This day not only has been the climax of political campaigning and campaigners; but, back in my young days, it was somewhat of a social event, really a fun day.
When fires explode and vehicle accidents interrupt traffic to the discomfort of travelers as well as victims, 911 calls aren't answered by city or county code enforcement offices.
Labor Day is a perfect time to revisit the first day of the first job. The experience sticks with most people, no matter the passage of time.
It’s a warm June afternoon in 1962. At about 4 o’clock I was in the vestibule of the Hampton Institute chapel. A light breeze flowed through the windows raised about 12 inches.
Is the next big social upheaval and battle ground slinking its way into the Free State? How soon will the money-raising events for politicos at all ranks simply become "pot parties?" Or, smoking for the poor and needy?
Is it any wonder lots and lots of people want to live longer, a century-plus perhaps, that modern medical wonders offer opportunities to not look our ages, that telecasting has become a constant barrage of believe-it-or-not cockamamie schemes?
Those who dare call attention to – or to comment about – the increasing Muslim influence in Maryland communities and throughout the 50 states must take great precaution in their words
When reporters report the news, they're not participating in a popularity contest. They're supposed to give the facts fairly and objectively.
Sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor. There is no dearth of opinionators, though, about how the legal system just failed everybody in the "land of sun and fun."
The Georgia cooking queen has been paying the price for using imprudent and careless adjectives of known ill-repute. A Florida murder trial is blared across the news system as the most grievous of modern times.
Aw, shucks. Just when it looked like Alexandria (VA) would be “home” to another spy he’s slipped through the grasp of authorities. Sadly, it’s the story of a Maryland boy.
What can be better than putting the kibosh on a man of the cloth, especially if that clergyman is an aficionado of the old time religion? That’s happening and devotees of separation of church and state have broadened its meaning. Making progress? Indeed.
It may be too early for some to think a Virginia governor may have to resign before his term is completed. It could happen.
This has been an interesting week in Frederick. The grass had been cut. It was time to nap. A relaxing afternoon? Not quite. Just as eyelids closed neighbors burst into the house and in loud voices, “somebody has smashed the car window.”
Few cities or towns remain quaint and cuddly. The Golden Mile running down Frederick’s West Patrick Street, a.k.a. Route 40, is a fine example of good food, good gas and generally good shopping.
Just like the boon to reporters from the Milhous Mess of the 37th president, amnesia emanating from the current 0ccupant, re-ignites the Fourth Estate. Seems like a good thing too, returning the gabblers and scribblers to their real job.
Miss Marple, one of the best fictional detectives, says “tell the truth and shame the devil.” She is also known to remark that “Americans have a lot to answer for,” even if meant tongue in cheek.
An era has arrived in a major assault on the history of the continental United States. Seems like the progressives’ time is bound and determined to disparage, decry and devoid the colonials.
I want to be sensitive here. The president’s remarks at the Boston Bombing memorial service were soothing, important, tender and touching.
Problems in public schools most of the time come from those who manage them, not the teachers most of whom are stymied by highly-paid administrators engrossed in political correctness.
I can’t resist. I’m glad spring has sprung even if somewhat still chilly and windy. How surprising it might be if forecasters could be accurate and another snow storm finds its way. Maybe some coming Frederick political battles could be cooled.
Driving around the pleasant countryside of Frederick County gives proof to a trite old saying: “It’s amazing what you can see if you keep your eyes open.”
Except in special cases, seldom does the death penalty bring about much conversation pro or con on all sides of the political spectrum. It’s not a cut and dried matter and must not be taken lightly.
In light of recent international events, I confess here and now that my favorite Cardinals have always been Americans. First is a favorite son of Donora, PA, and the other from Boston, MA. There is a third American now on my list, but more about that later.
Crime runs rampant these days and it’s not the blame of the media, or local, state and national financial crises, or because school teachers and administrators are avoiding responsibilities.
After five standing ovations I stopped counting. The capacity crowd was a happy bunch. Applause from the seated patrons was loud and often including the balcony.
Knee-jerk reactions are difficult to overcome particularly when our own children are involved. Above all, when physically and mentally challenged citizens have difficulties, our hearts and minds are wrecked.
How to be offended? Let me count the ways. In this era when everybody is always exasperated, hurt, insulted, outraged and provoked by something, I am beginning to feel as though there should be a national day for crybabies.
Opportunities come when least expected for sure and seen especially true in sports and politics where ideals of right and wrong often are in dispute.
Lots of witticisms, jokes and uncouth remarks can be made about allowing women in combat. Some people might think it’s another giant step in bringing about equality of the sexes. I’m not so sure.
Back in the olden days as the hot blood of youth began to bubble and gurgle, I learned at an early age when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Headlines blared “sheriff’s deputies killed a man who had a gun.” The follow up was “deputies fired at least 18 shots.” Definitely eye catchers for readers. Lots of interest in these days of gun control battles.
It can be rather tough for us columnists and commentators and know-it-alls, carrying the weight of affairs on our shoulders. Somehow we manage. It’s troubling to this space-filler that humor and laughter seem to have been lost through our daily travails and worries about which charitable group we’re going to contribute.
It’s always exciting for reporters and editors when new police chiefs, sheriffs and judges are appointed. Readers love these stories and I can attest to that after years of covering and then working in law enforcement.
Just finished oyster stew and crackers, traditional fare at my house the day after Thanksgiving. It was a big bowl of big Chesapeake Bay mollusks in heavy cream. The delights provided ample time to acknowledge good things and consider some suggestions.
On the day I was sworn in as a member of the Fourth Estate, I was told to keep my eyes open, my ears ever on the alert, keep notes and never forget the five “w’s” and an “h.”
Money, money, money. A nice sound and it’s not filthy lucre unless, of course, it’s the undying love of legal tender, but who can tell?
Polls seem to have overtaken all facets of living, scientific or not. Thankfully I’ve escaped the robo telephone calls, but I still get flooded by requests for my opinion from Internet sites – newspapers, banks, sports teams and the like.
All the chatter running amok to create a charter government flies in the face of the alleged desire for less and smaller county-wide rule. This vital proposal comes smack in the middle of the critical national elections.
I am grateful this political season is coming to a climax – and none too soon. Maybe, just maybe, television will get back to some semblance of order and entertainment, even though I can’t think of any programs I want to see.
Being frugal is a good thing. Knowing the cost of everything and not the value of anything is a sign of poor leadership. It's also a bad omen of things to come for citizens of Frederick County when the elected officials decide to censor library books.
Back in the gentle days of my childhood, it was fun riding the city bus, from the stop near my house to the end of the route and back. Gosh, it was a joy and, no kidding, this five year old wasn’t in danger of being attacked or abused by the friendly driver.
The serious business of voting always has a happy side. Candidates are special and can make the races fun as they go for the gold, another word for hard work.
The other day driving just a few miles over the limit, I was listening to one of the sports radio stations. The experts were newspaper sportswriters turned sportscasters, who were prattling on the state of football and baseball.
Even though a hurricane attempted to sideline a political convention this week, the real excitement has been the typhoons under way in Maryland and Washington. These latter whirling dervishes, borrowing an old sports writing cliché, involve the sporting life.
It may be the so-called dog days of summer now, but there is a great hope for better days and funnier days. Politicians on the campaign trail are working overtime to give the populace some splendid laughs.
I guess I’m not as open-minded as I thought. I’ve needed many years to learn how to eat chicken. It began in my grandmother’s backyard. She asked my uncle to grab a hen so there could be chicken and dumplings for supper.
I know some old saws and it’s a good thing to recall some of them every now and then, particularly in this age of sloppy talk, slovenly dressing and “expertise” in all areas.
The headline blared “3 Stabbed During Melee.” Halfway down the page, before the fold, the smaller headline was “Youth Police Academy aims to ease fears.” This was in Frederick, not in Colorado, or Washington. Good news coverage and good reporting.
I can hardly wait for this year’s Great Frederick Fair, a nine-day spectacular for everybody. It is always a fun time, plenty of good food, bunches of people from all over and farmers and farm animals large and small.
I was never any good at pitching pennies. I’ve never had any success at the few times I deigned to play the lottery. Chances to hit the right numbers for the big money are slim to none.
Sheriff Andy Taylor succumbed this week. Thankfully we won’t forget him and should not. In our hearts he represented the good man, the good citizen, the good public official. Actually he was the epitome of what Alexis de Tocqueville said, “America is great because America is good.”
I believe in law and order. I am a devotee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are the basic tenets of civil and religious life in Maryland and the rest of the 50 states. There’s no question we like to brag about this all over.
It's important to honor and revere Old Glory and not just on the day set aside as Flag Day. The official observance was yesterday, June 14. It didn't have to be a federal holiday, a day off, to be a proud flag waving day.
I hope the talk emanating from the northern climes, New York City specifically, limiting sizes of soft drinks, doesn't float down to the Mid-Atlantic and other southern areas.
It’s no longer true that the “business of America is business.” Today, the business of American society is politics, the continuing campaigns for public office, the daily money begging to fund these races on all levels. And it’s not cheap to mount these battles for the public hearts and minds.
I stand in awe of the brave military men and women who have served the nation. The closest I ever got to military service was as a Civil Air Patrol cadet back in the peaceful days of the 1950s.
We can’t let this week slip by without acknowledging National Police Week. This commemoration and celebration has drawn thousands of policemen/women, sheriff’s deputies, Border Patrol, Secret Service, U. S. Marshals and all types of the law enforcement officers to greater Washington.
I began traveling the world as a boy. How fortunate I was. My trips sent me to London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and even to the Asian Pacific. I met those figures of the time, Winston Churchill, Hitler, Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In a day and age when lots of people wear their feelings on their sleeves, is it possible the American society has become a bit too soft?
When a president visits a local community, it’s a big deal. Frederick County is no stranger to such visits from the present and to previous American presidents since World War II.
I’m a bit prejudiced, but I’ve always believed that all work by public agencies is clearly the business of the people and should be made available to news organizations without delay and before their deadlines.
There are several good sides to the meanness being seen and heard these days on the local, state and national political stages. I’m truly astonished by the conduct of those running for the highest office in the land, about their discourtesy to each other and to what seems to me as disrespect for the presidency which they seek.
It took a federal judge to say what’s obvious, that Marylanders have a right to carry concealed weapons and they don’t have to prove to anyone why they need them.