Blaine for County Executive

BY COLUMNISTS

| Steven R. Berryman | Chris Cavey | Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Patricia A. Kelly | Jill King | Earl 'Rocky' Mackintosh | Tom McLaughlin | Roy Meachum | Zachary Peters | Cindy A. Rose | John W. Ashbury | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Blaine R. Young |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


Roy Meachum

September 30, 2014
Ferguson, Missouri, Again
Roy Meachum

The pre-World War II order lives in Missouri; it’s the worst of the social examples. Nothing has changed since December 1941. In part, the people can be blamed. The story in Ferguson remains the same: Protests leading up to arrests.


September 26, 2014
The Other Shoe Dropped
Roy Meachum

There was an announcement Wednesday that the Islamist State has been bombed, strafed and – in general – shot up.


September 23, 2014
Another “Temporary” Spokesman
Roy Meachum

Putting himself into the literally “hot spot” comes another ISIS spokesman. He has credentials. His name is John Cantile, a British journalist, and he spent time as reporter for The Sun, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph.


September 19, 2014
Enuff, Arready
Roy Meachum

Don’t know about you, when the long introductory remarks about Joan Rivers showed up on my TV, I would switch channels. I’d had enough about the angry, angry Brooklyn yenta.


September 12, 2014
Middle East Upside Down
Roy Meachum

Some readers know I lived in Cairo for more than a year; together with books, I’ve never left the Middle East. Although entirely in Africa, Egypt stands with its fellow Muslim nations.


September 5, 2014
All the Other Fergusons
Roy Meachum

A policeman shot Michael Brown six times in Ferguson, MO, but he stayed alive until the cop’s final bullet struck his head. Officer Darren Wilson did it. I’m surprised. With a black president in the Oval Office, I assumed this country’s racial status was all straightened out.


August 29, 2014
What an Election!
Roy Meachum

There was a story in Wednesday’s Frederick News-Post about fundraising for the only election that matters: county executive. The sheriff’s race has come to matter; the mother of the Ethan Saylor wants anyone in, except Chuck Jenkins.


August 26, 2014
Not Stopping Questions
Roy Meachum

It turns out the quote is from Albert Einstein: “The important thing is not stopping questions.”


August 22, 2014
Ferguson, Missouri! Again!!!
Roy Meachum

In the first place, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was beyond race. Of course, the diagrams from the autopsies came to light detailing that Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Mr. Brown in various body locations, including the top of his head.


August 19, 2014
Desegregation
Roy Meachum

We called it something else; but here and there desegregation takes place, like in Ferguson, Missouri. Police killed teenager Michael Brown; from all I’ve heard, this is not a racial murder. True, Mr. Brown was spotted without firearms. Officer Darren Wilson brought his official sidearm.


August 15, 2014
Danny Kaye and Bob Hope
Roy Meachum

He was playing London; decided to come over to occupied Germany. We heard the stories about Danny Kaye and Lawrence Olivier. The Army decided I was going to be an escort. Readers may have heard the American Forces Network too much; my regular duties were at AFN Frankfurt, the headquarters, and I lived in the castle.


August 12, 2014
Beginning of August
Roy Meachum

This column originally was pegged to Richard M. Nixon’s resignation 40 years later; there was a kind of mass celebrations – mainly among the media. Mr. Nixon took all censors with him – Ehrlichman, Haldeman and several others. (Until typing their names, I didn’t realize how Germanic they were.)


August 8, 2014
Soul of Frederick Politics
Roy Meachum

This is the 31st year I’ve covered politics in Frederick. From the bad age when Veterinarian James “Doc” McClellan held the county and he once permitted a renegade Republican to take office, state Sen. Jack Derr – ‘til Anita Stup won her office as a genuine Republican.


August 5, 2014
World’s Gimping
Roy Meachum

The world seems to be gimping all over the place.


August 1, 2014
County Executive Election
Roy Meachum

The last time we got together Jan Gardner was not happy with me. The veteran politician received election to all kinds of board of commissioners; she didn’t have that in mind.


July 29, 2014
“In the Mood”
Roy Meachum

Sunday afternoons I went to the movie theater. This day was special. Mother wasn’t napping; she met me at the door. I don’t remember Daddy doing anything, which was his usual role. Whatever the film was that day was quickly forgotten.


July 25, 2014
Oscar Carrillo
Roy Meachum

When I moved to Frederick 31 years ago, there were no Latino-appealing stores. In 1983, you could speak English with no further interference or being drowned in Spanish.


July 22, 2014
Out of the News
Roy Meachum

Several hours in my day are devoted to newspapers. That’s how it goes. A free subscription for The Frederick News-Post, the rest must be paid for: Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, New York Times and Westminster Times.


July 18, 2014
Jenkins – Wrong. Again
Roy Meachum

The sheriff made the wrong decision, again. He’s wound up on The Frederick News-Post’s front page once more. His good-old-boys will certainly excuse him; they agree with him.


July 15, 2014
Letter from a Young Friend
Roy Meachum

“Hope you have been well. I do not know what I have done to upset you. I have always considered you a friend and always been there if you needed me. I do have a very thick skin, but some of what you have written has hurt very much. I do not know if that was a goal or not, but I am human and I have feelings.


July 11, 2014
New Orleans’ Summers
Roy Meachum

The snow bowl made the really hot of the year seems bearable. I forgot they were called a variety of names in different parts of the country: Shave off some ice and add a flavor from handy bottle, and there you have a snow bowl.


July 8, 2014
What an Adventure!
Roy Meachum

Never mentioned: I spent a year in Baltimore, at the 2600 block of North Charles Street. I was a promotion manager of WBAL radio and television; owned by the Hearst Corporation.


July 4, 2014
Drawing New Lines
Roy Meachum

A book was given to me by my second boy, Roy – written by a son of Jack Anderson. I met the father when Drew Pearson invited him aboard what was a Washington column turned into a television report. I knew Jack and Drew from the old days.


July 1, 2014
Mesopotamia
Roy Meachum

The Greeks had a name for Iraq and the surrounding areas. It literally meant “between rivers.” I was impressed, as a very young student, to learn “Mesopotamia” applied to the mysterious Middle East. In my day, the part of Asia that described Near East was mystifying to me.


June 27, 2014
Politicians
Roy Meachum

Because of the elections Tuesday, I’m thinking of politicians, the breed in general. The human beings who live for, by and willingly on the crowd’s approval – those!


June 24, 2014
Redskins! Again!
Roy Meachum

The other day the Trademark and Appeal Board ruled against the name: Redskins “may disparage persons…or brings them into contempt, or disrepute.” All this is according to the Lanham Act.


June 20, 2014
Tuesday Election Primary Date
Roy Meachum

Tuesday brings election primaries, all over Maryland. By night time we shall see what gubernatorial candidate stands; I’m betting on Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.


June 13, 2014
Eric Cantor Loses!
Roy Meachum

The very sad thing about Eric Cantor’s loss was how much did he have in the bank? Economics professor David Brat won, but at what cost to the political base?


June 10, 2014
Senator Ron Young
Roy Meachum

When my wife and I moved from Bethesda almost 31 years ago, state Sen. Ron Young was the mayor of The City of Frederick. Furthermore, the title seemed to belong to him during all his life. Yet in 1989, seven years later, I cooperated with Paul Gordon in defeating Mr. Young.


June 6, 2014
Shattered Image
Roy Meachum

General Motors seemed safe from the gossip that swirled around Chrysler and even Ford with its owning family – excepting five years ago when the corporation formally filed bankruptcy.


June 3, 2014
Looming Primary
Roy Meachum

 

Every election, primaries come up. This one arrives in three weeks: let the slaughtering begin. On June 24, you will select among the very politicians those to be on the ballot on November 4th. I still don’t understand why and how voters participate.


May 30, 2014
Two Karen’s
Roy Meachum

The Baltimore Sun ran a story about this clan’s addiction. The reporter Erin Cox wrote,” Politics is, after all, the Young family business.”


May 27, 2014
Redskins’ Name Change
Roy Meachum

On the line, my Broadcast House secretary didn’t announce Chester, a factotum for George Preston Marshall, then-owner of the Washington Redskins. It was Mr. Marshall himself: I was available for lunch Saturday. But he didn’t announce why this particular weekend and his other guests. It was 1958.


May 23, 2014
Female Soldier Rewarded
Roy Meachum

Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice Johnson will receive the benefits retroactive to her wife’s death in October 2012. “That was before the Supreme Court’s ruling in the summer of 2013 overturning parts of the Defense of Marriage Act,” the press release takes pain to put out.


May 20, 2014
Not the Worst Time
Roy Meachum

The other evening a female acquaintance remarked “This is the worst time.” She was 10 years younger; had missed the Great Depression and the Rise of Dictatorship. By the day she had come along, it was World War II.


May 16, 2014
“Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’”
Roy Meachum

The column’s headline has much to do with the president of the Board of County Commissioners. Blaine Young may not be the only politician who’s handed his head on Election Day. November 6 may empty out Winchester Hall. Jan Gardner may be the Democrat that succeeds Mr. Young.


May 13, 2014
Top Changes with Montevue/Citizens
Roy Meachum

Diane Grove and Benita Fisher are out. Pity! They took years of experience with them. For differing reasons, they decided to leave as administrator of Montevue Assisted Living and nursing director of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation.


May 9, 2014
848 De-frocked
Roy Meachum

This week the Roman Catholic Church released figures showing that 848 priests and nuns have been de-frocked; some 2,572 had lesser penalties. The church didn’t announce what happened to the several thousand whom the Vatican punished. The faithful may need the answer.


May 6, 2014
Burying Senator McCarthy
Roy Meachum

Last week was the anniversary of the death of Joseph R. McCarthy, the junior senator from Wisconsin, right behind Alexander Wiley. Senator McCarthy branded himself as the leading tormentor of Communists, gays and thousands of civil servants. The day was May 3, 1957.

 


May 2, 2014
Poor Misr!
Roy Meachum

Despite my long-term residence in Cairo, I look on the land with the Nile River with eyes that wondering what more can go wrong. A judge sentenced more than 680 to death, including the spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood; the Ikhwan Muslimi was outlawed when I was in Egypt.


April 29, 2014
Negative Race
Roy Meachum

Two front runners for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial race tend to do each other in. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler are throwing things at each other, which could wind up in Annapolis businessman Larry Hogan taking the State House.


April 25, 2014
Double Sainthood Sunday
Roy Meachum

Two saints will be added to the Catholic hierarchy this weekend: the shades of John XXIII and John Paul II. The New York Times cheers on the pontiff from Lombardy while raising doubts about the Polish guy.


April 22, 2014
Vilest of Evils
Roy Meachum

Sometimes it happens that not recognizing homosexuals is the vilest of evils. That’s a new thing. In my childhood, growing up in New Orleans, “gays” or “queers” at least were not glaringly apparent all the time.


April 18, 2014
Blaine Young Alone
Roy Meachum

There was a story in The Frederick News-Post emphasizing the president of the Board of County Commissioners is all alone in selling the public facilities, Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living.


April 15, 2014
The Nerve of Michael Hough
Roy Meachum

That headline is incomplete; it should show the elected official’s title. He will not be a delegate after the November voting. Instead, he’s chosen to take on State Sen. David Brinkley, speaking of a titmouse challenging a lion.


April 11, 2014
Annapolis Sine Die
Roy Meachum

The big buzz out of the recent legislative session has to do with marijuana; it’s legal now in small quantities. The real news has to do with the minimal wage.


April 8, 2014
This Winter
Roy Meachum

Not even the season that came right after World War II, when I was stationed in Germany, the coldest winter of my life, which was bad for Europe, struck me so horrible. Having enlisted in New Orleans, I was unaccustomed to “Yankee” cold-spells.


April 4, 2014
Martin & Me
Roy Meachum

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley met me one time; he was still mayor of Baltimore. He rode in a very dark limousine. It was in the evening; I couldn’t tell the color. Above all, the shade was far removed from Kelly green: his favorite hue.


April 1, 2014
Moving to Westminster
Roy Meachum

A snow fell Sunday. Wet and heavy. I was already moved to a town whose name flirts and escapes me frequently. “Frederick” was more memorable when I first moved there.


March 28, 2014
Donald Rumsfeld’s Lying
Roy Meachum

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld occupies newspapers’ front pages because of a racist remark; he called President Barack Obama “a trained ape.” He denied he meant anything relative to the chief executive’s color; he’s African-American.


March 25, 2014
Hemp?
Roy Meachum

My years have encompassed the argument about drug laws. I remember a U.S. Army film about marijuana – hard not to; it provided nothing good about Mary Jane – also called hemp. Now the Maryland Senate in the current session voted 36-8 to legalize the noble weed.


March 21, 2014
Afzali’s Best-Laid Plans
Roy Meachum

It’s no secret about my deprecating Del. Kathy Afzali: Several columns in the past centered on her. I don’t believe her experience. She danced in “Cats.” She doesn’t claim her level. I first began to doubt her the single time in the Afzali’s home.


March 18, 2014
“Missing” Flight MH370
Roy Meachum

When I visited Malaysia, it was, of course, to Kuala Lampur, the capital of the nation once known as Malaya. Under the British, you can’t imagine the week-long “missing” status of the Boeing 777-200 airliner currently in the news. It vanished with 239 people.


March 14, 2014
Citizens and Montevue Again
Roy Meachum

The ball is in the city’s court; the GOP mayor and the mostly Democratic aldermen’s decision Monday guarantees return action. As a taxpayer in the middle of North Market Street, I’m fed up.


March 11, 2014
U.S. Bluff
Roy Meachum

You must consider every American official is engaging bluff when talking about Crimea. As long ago as the time of Catherine the Great, the peninsula has been Russian – since the early 19th Century.


March 7, 2014
Elections This Year
Roy Meachum

Word from Texas this week has the right-wingers in retreat. Notice the dateline. The largest contiguous state – by geography – has long enjoyed the reputation of being the most radical. I can’t imagine what impact this news will have on Del. Michael Hough (R., 3rd).


March 4, 2014
Crimean Crisis
Roy Meachum

The search for Russia to a warm port turned out to be Crimea. They fought for it before. This was the scene of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” About 600 British cavalry rode against Sebastopol; contrary to the poet, not all of them perished.


January 17, 2014
Blaine’s Going Nowhere
Roy Meachum

Front page on The Frederick News-Post are some rumors about County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young and some county employee. That’s not what I mean, at all, in this column’s headline. His decision to mold himself officially into a “tough boss” is what I’m talking about.


January 14, 2014
World of Dissent
Roy Meachum

It’s easier to get into an argument more now than in all my years in my life. There are lots of wound-up springs, especially in politics.


January 3, 2014
Sheriff’s Political Tricks
Roy Meachum

At the height of the holidays – Christmas Eve – there appeared two stories on The Frederick News-Post front page: the sheriff’s department arrested 27; and, side-by-side, three deputies wanted charges arising in the Robert Ethan Saylor’s death dismissed.


December 31, 2013
2014 Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 27, 2013
Boxing Day
Roy Meachum

Oralee Dorothea Meachum had a birthday. When you slipped off Christmas calendar page, it was her special day. I don’t remember celebrating, but it was Boxing Day – the date the homeowners paid reciprocity. It was a time for bonuses and special gifts for the hired help.


December 24, 2013
Frederick Children
Roy Meachum

These observations appeared in my Frederick News-Post column the December sleigh bells-bedecked horses pulled wagons through downtown streets; a spectacle that had disappeared several decades before. It was also the season when the column first appeared, in 1984.


December 20, 2013
Dumping on Obama
Roy Meachum

The Washington Post ran “THE WORST YEAR IN WASHINGTON” Sunday, blamed it on Barack Obama. Its poll traced from January’s high of 57% to November’s low of less than 40 percent. The newspaper’s survey showed a minority that was confused.


December 17, 2013
Summing Up
Roy Meachum

“Muriel Humphrey was a charming lady, in addition to Lyndon Baines Johnson’s’ vice president’s wife. It was at the annual White House Christmas Party when we stood watching the white powder fall softly on the South Lawn. She spoke gently of the Minnesota winters’ snows from her childhood.”


December 13, 2013
Snow
Roy Meachum

Winter flirts with New Orleans; it plays peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek. When the sun glares with blinding intensity and clouds stay out of the way, some January days demand no more than shirt sleeves.


December 10, 2013
Carson Gray Frailey
Roy Meachum

Before moving here 30 years ago, I knew Emmitsburg. A friend called me Saturday asking if I was up to taking the new road (I-270) to his home town.


December 6, 2013
Enough Arredy
Roy Meachum

There was in The Washington Post’s “up-brow” section, telling Dan Snyder to sell the Redskins. Enough Arredy!


December 3, 2013
Al-Ikhwan Muslimi
Roy Meachum

Some Egyptians are happy that Mohamed Morsi was elected, and naturally some are not. Those I hear from are divided into usually those who live in the country and overseas.


November 29, 2013
Citizens-Montevue Reversal
Roy Meachum

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals slapped Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young's knuckles. It has to do with the proposed sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility.


November 26, 2013
“Historic Mistake”
Roy Meachum

Iran, China, Russia, Italy, Britain, France, European Common Market foreign policy and the United States called it a “Historic Nuclear Agreement.” Israel called it a “Historic Mistake.”


November 22, 2013
Citizens-Montevue Sale
Roy Meachum

No words have appeared in this space about the proposed sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facility. Oh, I have been watching.


November 19, 2013
Bloody Remembrances
Roy Meachum

Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg’s battlefield, the blood remains; memorized by most students: “Four score and seven years ago…”


November 15, 2013
Kathy Afzali: Mean Politician
Roy Meachum

The low regard for Del. Kathy Afzali (R., Frederick 4th) can be summed up in her lack of appointment to the county growth task forces committee. State Sen. David Brinkley put it: “Afzali is about Afzali and not a solution to the problem.”


November 12, 2013
Phil Dacey’s Act of Desperation
Roy Meachum

Alderman-elect Phil Dacey acted in good faith, but in desperation. At the last moment he brought up the charge that long-time politician Donna Kuzemchak ignored city property taxes. Certainly, I never heard it before.


September 6, 2013
City Primaries
Roy Meachum

Shortly after dawn, Tuesday begets the eighth city primaries that I participated in. The move from Bethesda to Frederick happened in March 1983. The first house was at 107 East Fourth Street. Even with the Veterans Administration guaranteeing the mortgage, the rate was 12 percent.


September 3, 2013
“Political Nonsense”
Roy Meachum

Colleague Richard Weldon said it: “Another in a long string of national political nonsense: Hawkish Republicans in the last decade are now becoming peaceniks, and former anti-war Democrats for military for intervention against Assad.”


August 30, 2013
Muslims Killing Muslims
Roy Meachum

From every survey, Americans are four-square behind the idea that Washington should absolutely not intervene in Syria. They reflect the Kremlin’s opinion – although Moscow weighed in for the investigation into the chemical attacks last week.


August 27, 2013
REVIEW – White House Butler
Roy Meachum

As readers know, I spent the Lyndon B. Johnson’s five years hanging around the White House. When the film appeared locally, called “Lee Daniel’s The Butler,” I was eager to see it. Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey starred in the movie.


August 23, 2013
Rough Public Discourses
Roy Meachum

This democracy has spawned rough public discourses. American journalism “saint,” Thomas Jefferson, is often cited in defense of free press; these were said during his early years in the White House.


August 20, 2013
“The White Man’s Burden”
Roy Meachum

Rudyard Kipling came up with the expression in 1899. He meant to warn the United States of acquiring the Philippine Islands. Published in American McClure’s magazine, some say that he was celebrating Great Britain’s glory days of colonization and conquest. I’ve had that opinion myself, until writing this column.


August 16, 2013
Racism in the Community
Roy Meachum

Anthony Skinner moved his family to the county in the 1980s, so reported Frederick News-Post writer Bethany Rodgers. I left Bethesda for Frederick of in 1983.


August 13, 2013
Egypt at the Deepest Crisis
Roy Meachum

Violence has come out of various camps in Cairo and the rest of the country. Two Republican U.S. senators went to see for themselves. They visited where most women wore the hijab – unlike when I lived in the city.


August 9, 2013
My First Post-Army Employer Sold
Roy Meachum

Eugene “Butch” Meyer arises vividly in my thoughts. He was the Republican financier who bought The Washington Post on the building’s steps where now stands a garage, next to the National Theater. He figured the new FDR administration needed a voice in Washington.


August 6, 2013
Monthly Breakfast
Roy Meachum

Last Saturday marked the monthly meeting with my TheTentacle.com colleagues. As you know, on some days they are markedly more conservative; as a matter of fact, I am consistently the most liberal voice on the website.


August 2, 2013
Ready for Hillary?
Roy Meachum

Former Secretary of State and United States Senator Hillary Clinton dined at the White House Monday; the next day she lunched with Vice President Joe Biden. I look with startled eyes at those who think she will not mount a 2016 campaign to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


July 30, 2013
Press in Handcuffs
Roy Meachum

New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote in the paper’s Sunday edition that James Risen, a reporter in the Washington bureau, said: “They keep coming at me.”


July 26, 2013
New Orleans’ Weather
Roy Meachum

Knowing my boyhood was spent in the Big Easy, friends have chided recently: “You grew up in New Orleans, hot and humid days and nights should make you feel at home.” Wrong!


July 23, 2013
Journalist Helen Thomas
Roy Meachum

She came from the Lebanese Christian clan that also produced Comedian Danny Thomas. Not that we ever discussed religion over drinks. I remember Helen holding several glasses in her hand.


July 19, 2013
Continuing Sheriff Controversy
Roy Meachum

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ name was back on The Frederick News-Post front page this week, several times. He has mostly himself to blame. Treating the main source of news in the community like dirt is not a sane policy for any politician.


July 16, 2013
GOP “War on Women”
Roy Meachum

If you were out of touch for the weekend, you might not know that Texas’ Republicans Saturday passed some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws and forcing most of its abortion clinics to close their doors.


July 12, 2013
Safest City?
Roy Meachum

The place I grew up in, New Orleans, crime rates climb out of sight. I have also lived in Cairo, Manhattan and Berlin, the streets can be dangerous.


July 9, 2013
Mayor Carol Hirsch?
Roy Meachum

Since moving to Frederick some 30 years ago, I’ve had my political breath taken away several times. The 2013 municipal mayoral election comes in as the weirdest I’ve ever witnessed locally.


July 5, 2013
Islamism in Serious Trouble
Roy Meachum

On the eve of America’s great holiday, celebrating freedom and the dignity of man, Egypt’s military arrested duly-elected Muhammad el-Morsi. And thousands cheered!!!


July 2, 2013
Just For Whom Do They Work?
Roy Meachum

Of course, “dismayed” was not Kirby Delauter’s word; it came from the headline writer. Frederick News-Post reporter Bethany Rodgers penned “rudeness.”


June 28, 2013
Public Support for the Poor – Part Two
Roy Meachum

Don Linton’s name appears in the midst of details swirling about the sale of the county’s traditional poor houses. The most admired financial figure that I’ve known for more than 30 years opposes the transfer to private hands.


June 25, 2013
Blusters over Police Contract
Roy Meachum

Frederick News-Post staff writer Patti Borda wrote the story. She reported how city mothers Shelley Aloi and Karen Young had serious objections to the new police contract, based on projected costs – as much as $11.5 million. Ms. Aloi and Ms. Young were voted down.


June 21, 2013
Public Support for the Poor
Roy Meachum

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president I remembered; he occupied the White House until I was a teen-ager. Under him, Social Security was brought into life. I received a card when I was selling the Saturday Evening Post, founded by Benjamin Franklin.


June 18, 2013
Marjorie Merriweather Post
Roy Meachum

For my knowledge of the ballet, people can blame Marjorie Merriweather Post. Her Washington Hillwood Estate is celebrating “Living Artfully” until past New Year: January 12, 2014.


June 14, 2013
Vatican & Pentagon Sexual Similarities
Roy Meachum

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate approved the continuing policy: commanding officers will make the final decision whether a sex assaulter shall be court-martialed – or not! This set off a storm among feminists – even a retired admiral and serving Sen. John McClain joined in.


June 11, 2013
Clagett’s Advice to Young
Roy Meachum

The Democratic Frederick mayoral primary in September is between retiring Delegate Galen Clagett and aldermanic President Karen Young. First, I must my journalist’s hands clean. They were both close friends.


June 7, 2013
Istanbul’s Riots
Roy Meachum

There is behind North Market’s yellow door an image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, given by Turkish friend Atakan. He gave it as a commemoration of my visit to his homeland, courtesy of Rumi Forum.


June 4, 2013
Joe McCarthy’s Last Day: Aftermath
Roy Meachum

A break in the farewell ceremonies permitted senators to lunch with the new widow in the Senate’s dining room; I went to the paper and reported in for the first time that day. I expected no problems before traveling to Andrews Air Force Base to watch the lift-off of a military airplane, flying the coffin to Appleton, Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy’s hometown.


May 31, 2013
Progressive Not Liberal
Roy Meachum

At Emma Ebeling’s graduation party, Dan Scherr talked about Friday’s TheTentacle.com column (“Blaine Young and Martin O’Malley”). In the conversation, the Howard County attorney expressed some confusion concerning my political stance.


May 28, 2013
Burying Joe McCarthy
Roy Meachum

Washington Post City Editor Ben Gilbert’s Sunday stand-by, Sy Fishbein, asked me to drop by before leaving. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted. When I walked up later to the bank of desks, I was curious but not really concerned.


May 24, 2013
Blaine Young and Martin O’Malley
Roy Meachum

Martin O’Malley hosted a fundraiser for a fellow Democrat, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, this week. Ahead, on June 12, the Maryland governor throws a financial shindig for Iowa senatorial wannabe, Bruce Braley.


May 21, 2013
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
Roy Meachum

My Washington apartment on P Street N.W., in what was the residence of the tsar's 19th century ambassador, cost $57 a month.


May 17, 2013
F. Scott & “Gatsby”
Roy Meachum

F. Scott Fitzgerald was “HOT” before and after my time. I know two ladies who “adore” his writings on the Jazz Age, which he helped to name. They are respectively 25 and 50.


May 14, 2013
Anthony Brown in Frederick
Roy Meachum

The lieutenant governor stopped here on Saturday; it was a part of his announcing formally that he will run for Maryland’s top job. He is a Democrat, which means he won’t carry the county in 2014. But the rest of the state?

 


May 10, 2013
Redneck's Progress Starts
Roy Meachum

My progress from Redneck child to the man sharing a White House window with the vice president’s lady began with a long drive down the length of Louisiana. In those days bayou ferries connected unpaved country roads. I was bravely four, but my mind’s eye rolls up "snapshots" from the ride that my mother never believed I could recall.


May 7, 2013
About-to-Blow Teakettle
Roy Meachum

In the mid-1840s, Frederick erected a girls’ boarding school, which was later used to start a women’s institution, now known as Hood College, before its move out to Rosemount Avenue, its present location. The building, Winchester Hall, is now the county government’s seat.


May 3, 2013
My “Green Hornet”
Roy Meachum

The only medal I earned during my almost seven years in the Army that didn’t come automatically was what is casually referred to as “The Green Hornet.” The Army Commendation Medal was not routinely handed out, as became the case subsequently. I received it in the castle at Hoechst, Germany in 1952.


April 30, 2013
Rowdy, Ignorant Bunch
Roy Meachum

“People who own guns feel so threatened; they think their guns are going to be taken away from them; it’s a bunch of bologna,” said Jeannette Bartelt on her way out of the Urbana Regional Library Saturday. She was quoted in a front-page story in The Frederick News-Post.


April 26, 2013
Marathon Bombings’ Mystery
Roy Meachum

Never mind discussing the press coverage, the real question is why the two American citizens chose to set off the bombs in Boston at the end of the marathon celebrating Patriots’ Day? Some three were killed and almost 180 people were wounded, as you’ve heard.


April 23, 2013
Republicans Shoot Own Feet—Again!
Roy Meachum

National Republicans must look no further to examine what went wrong last November. Mitt Romney was their latest victim. Whomever Democrats name their candidate will triumph in 2016.


April 19, 2013
Shirley Povich’s Clay Feet
Roy Meachum

Sports writer Shirley Povich became an idol while I was stationed at Fort Myer, and read his columns in The Washington Post. As readers know, my first post-Army job was at the newspaper. But the movie “42,” seen Tuesday, convinced me my marble idol had feet of clay.


April 16, 2013
Last National Republican, Turn Light Out
Roy Meachum

The GOP’s suicide has my mind enthralled. Two more splendid examples surfaced in recent days. The Republican National Committee unanimously passed a resolution reasserting its opinion against same-sex marriages, flying in face of Americans’ opinion.


April 9, 2013
Very First “Sine Die” 2013
Roy Meachum

The scene this morning at State House was vacantly empty, compared with early hours since January 9. Sometime Monday, certainly late, the General Assembly 2013 adjourned. Both the Senate and the House of Delegates passed resolutions declaring they intended to get together sine die—“without day.”


April 5, 2013
Safer Sleep
Roy Meachum

Their names were on Wednesday’s News-Post front page. In a desperate grab for 2014 votes, Frederick Delegates Michael Hough and Kathy Afzali tried to “water down gun legislation.” They failed abjectly. The Democratic-controlled chamber flatly rejected their proposals.


April 2, 2013
Goethe Growing
Roy Meachum

It hasn’t reached the point where the handsome Weimaraner spouts the poetry of his famous name-progenitor; but in other ways I receive compliments on North Market Street in our twice-daily routine.


March 29, 2013
First Post-Army Job
Roy Meachum

On January 20, 1953 – slightly more than 60 years ago – I carried The Washington Post Chief Cameraman Art Ellis’ equipment for Dwight Eisenhower’s first inauguration. Those days printed media around the world used Speed Graphics, bulky but reliable.


March 26, 2013
Virgin Murder
Roy Meachum

You may have been shocked more than I was. After all, the local “Good Ole Boys,” I’ve written about extensively. More inured as a journalist, my system was still unpleasantly surprised Saturday by The Frederick News-Post headline: “No criminal charges in movie theater death”


March 22, 2013
Radical Media?
Roy Meachum

As a life-long practitioner of journalism – back to the day when the word itself was “fancy” – I know that media were never objective, at least on their editorial pages and commentators.


March 19, 2013
New Pope
Roy Meachum

Pope Francis will be officially installed today; in the church’s calendar, St. Joseph’s Day. In New Orleans, in the middle of Lent, St. Patrick’s joins this as a “feast” day when all cares and pledges can be forgotten.


March 15, 2013
Pit Bulls at Danger
Roy Meachum

As if they have nothing more important on their plates, Annapolis’ senators and delegates are rife-filled with motions on a single breed; they mean to outlaw pit bulls, as too dangerous for adults to own; a peril to children.


March 12, 2013
Washington Redskins’ Name
Roy Meachum

Not for the first time, there’s a movement afoot to change the name of Washington’s staunch NFL subsidiary, to something else, less offensive to American Natives. Only real Indians didn’t start the movement.


March 8, 2013
Control Room to State House?
Roy Meachum

More than several letters-to-editor to the local papers glowingly supported the Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young’s quest for Maryland governor. He’s parlayed a WFMD radio host into a political career.


March 5, 2013
Khalil al-Shazly Married Saturday!
Roy Meachum

The wedding notice came in the form of an Evite. Khalil wanted to inform me he was marrying Hadou Samih from Morocco; in Arabic, the Maghreb. You’ve seen his name before in TheTentacle.com.


March 1, 2013
Sandy v. Katrina
Roy Meachum

As politicians are wont to do, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) misspoke; he corrected himself later. But the impression was stamped on the national conscience, aided by the media. The Democratic leader said: Sandy was worse than Katrina.


February 26, 2013
Chuck Jenkins’ More-Than-Rough Patch
Roy Meachum

Chuck Jenkins was introduced to me years ago as the chairman of Frederick County Republican Central Committee. His day job consisted of being a detective in the sheriff’s department. In 2006, he decided to have a go at the big banana’s chair. I supported his ambitions both early and late.


February 22, 2013
Roger Lacey Stevens
Roy Meachum

Lisa Blanche bought lunch at the new Philly sandwich place, one block down from my North Market Street yellow door. As usual, we talked of family matters; she mentioned a daughter was born on March 7. “Oh, a Pisces,” I responded.


February 19, 2013
Latest Local GOP Brouhaha!
Roy Meachum

Local Grand Old Party members insist on shooting themselves in the feet. With Randy McClement sitting in City Hall – and carrying weight with his incumbency – they have pronounced their self-imposed handicap.


February 15, 2013
Pope’s Timing
Roy Meachum

Several people wore ashes on their foreheads Wednesday when Goethe and I took a stroll in downtown Frederick; they reminded me of the New Orleans I grew up in. This followed Mardi Gras when more than the French Quarter went crazy in celebration.


February 12, 2013
The Whole Gang’s Here
Roy Meachum

Former Frederick Mayor Jeff Holtzinger was heard from last week. Ex-County Commissioner – and now state delegate, Galen Clagett told The Frederick News-Post late Thursday his hat was definitely in the ring; saying his official announcement would come Monday.


February 8, 2013
Bulgarian Jew-Baiting
Roy Meachum

It hardly produced sonic booms in downtown Frederick. The news was not carried in the local paper. But still American lives could be expended in the near future.


February 5, 2013
Journalistic Black Eye
Roy Meachum

My Friday TheTentacle.com column was based on Del. Michael Hough’s quote to the local newspaper. Over a couple of days, on my own, I learned Galen Clagett is running for mayor of Frederick – no thanks to The Frederick News-Post!


February 1, 2013
Political Black Eye
Roy Meachum

Galen Clagett’s photo appeared on the local newspaper’s front page last Friday, above the headlines. In no way fame-shy, he still could not have liked the publicity. Later in the day, Alderman Karen Young was long scheduled to announce her run for the top office in City Hall. Mr. Clagett and Ms. Young are Democrats.


January 29, 2013
Next President Clinton
Roy Meachum

The president appeared together with his withdrawing Secretary of State on “60 Minutes.” Recorded Friday in a CBS studio, the weekend media talk and writings attracted the largest audience possible. The publicity was gilding the lily.


January 25, 2013
Postponing the Inevitable
Roy Meachum

The House Republicans voted this week to delay the next fiscal cliff. They voted to raise the debt ceiling without demanding the administration cut spending wholesale. They are postponing the inevitable.


January 22, 2013
White House Days
Roy Meachum

Behind North Market Street's yellow door, above the stairs to the second floor, hangs a White House Christmas card; mechanically signed by the President and First Lady. Their names are not Barack Hussein and Michelle Obama, but Lyndon Baines and Claudia T. Johnson.


January 18, 2013
National Political GOP Waterloo
Roy Meachum

The next crisis on Capitol Hill looms over the debt ceiling. Republicans insist on spending cuts from the Democrats. President Barrack Obama dug in his heels; thinks they should be separate legislative issues.


January 15, 2013
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s “Glory Days”
Roy Meachum

Returning from Berlin in January 1949, the Cold War blazed hot with the Airlift. While still in the Army, I enrolled in Georgetown College. Announcer’s duties with The U.S. Army Band left most days free.


January 11, 2013
Gun Control Meetings
Roy Meachum

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) made the lead story in Wednesday’s New York Times. He announced a legislative program to further tighten the state’s already strict firearm laws. This was Mr. Cuomo’s response to the Newtown (CT) massacre.


January 8, 2013
A Class-free Day
Roy Meachum

When I was growing up, at both McDonough and Holy Cross, there were no classes to celebrate an event that happened 198 years ago. The Battle of New Orleans was on January 8, 1814.


January 4, 2013
Dying GOP
Roy Meachum

Abraham Lincoln was not the first Republican presidential candidate. The honor belongs to Gen. John C. Fremont, a more radical emancipator of slaves than Mr. Lincoln. From the outset, the GOP started out fundamentally ideological. It’s been that way all of its history.


December 28, 2012
2012 Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 21, 2012
Frederick Children
Roy Meachum

I fall in love every day. There are eyes I cannot resist; eyes that flirt and beckon for affection. Some are bold and some are shy. Eyelashes flutter, and I am lost again. It happens every day.


December 18, 2012
Not a Civilized Nation
Roy Meachum

All weekend, holding strong through Monday, the subject was kicked to death. Not literally. The topic captivated preachers of all religions, momentarily merging the faiths. The National Rifle Association, the chief lobbyist for weapons manufacturers, had mud on its collective face.


December 14, 2012
Goethe Settles Down
Roy Meachum

Atakan Ilmazy brought a rug to go over the carpet he provided me. Goethe chewed an edge. My oldest Turkish friend met the Weimaraner earlier.


December 11, 2012
“We Lost the Election”
Roy Meachum

The words in the headline were spoken by conservative columnist and talk-show hostess Ann Coulter. She said them in context of raising taxes for the super-rich. Right wing commentator Bill Krystal opined it wouldn’t “kill the country” if millionaires paid more to the IRS.


December 7, 2012
Kim Dine’s Gone
Roy Meachum

Two weeks from today Kim Dine takes over as head of the U.S. Capitol Police. His replacement as Frederick City police chief is Capt. Tom Ledwell, as “acting” chief, while the city conducts a national search to find someone to install permanently.


December 4, 2012
Confusion in My Bald Head
Roy Meachum

Added to the usual chaos in my bald head, confusion entered by the official announcement that the Board of County Commissioner is accepting bids to sell or lease the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living.


November 30, 2012
Disappointed
Roy Meachum

The fall of Egyptian dictator Husni Mubarak was welcomed by me, since I was convinced the former general assassinated Anwar Sadat, who was another general. The selection of Muhammad Morsi I hailed as the first time voters got a real choice.


November 27, 2012
Blaine’s Next Step
Roy Meachum

According to a poll quoted by the former Republican Del. Don Murphy, Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young appears to be a shoo-in for the next GOP gubernatorial candidate.


November 23, 2012
“Eyeless in Gaza”
Roy Meachum

Aldous Huxley’s book title “Eyeless in Gaza” accurately describes the United States’ position in the nine-days-old conflict. Some 150 Palestinians lost their lives compared to only five Israelis. The announced cause was rockets coming out of the strip.


November 20, 2012
Kim Dine Returns to Old Haunts
Roy Meachum

Next month Frederick City’s Police Chief Kim Dine goes back to the neighborhood he knows very well. This time he will be an insider.


November 16, 2012
Fall of the Mighty
Roy Meachum

There’s a Biblical phrase in the Gospel of Luke: “He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted those of low degree.”


November 13, 2012
Obama Didn't Win
Roy Meachum

Barack Obama didn’t win. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lost. The combination turned voters off. Vice President Joe Biden’s name on the ticket verified the chief executive was a true Democrat, despite his color.


November 9, 2012
Election 2012
Roy Meachum

In response to the bitter tone of the campaign concluded this week, my friend Ted Delaplaine came up with thoughtful words on voting day.


November 6, 2012
Sandy vs. Katrina
Roy Meachum

One week ago downtown streets were empty. Battens were hatched down for Superstorm Sandy. Goethe and I took a single walk on North Market, instead of the usual pair. The Weimaraner’s sources of biscuits were locked up with the stores’ doors.


November 2, 2012
Last Moments
Roy Meachum

Republican readers may be happy to know Tuesday column will have nothing to do with the 2012 presidential election. Closer to home, there are other candidates and issues.


October 30, 2012
One More Week
Roy Meachum

Next Tuesday – God willing – the nation goes to the polls. In all my years, this has been the strangest political year ever. I don’t recall so many employers trying to tell their employees to vote for the Republican slate – and bathing in the publicity.


October 26, 2012
North Market’s New Dog
Roy Meachum

A Weimaraner lives in Pushkin’s domain. The English pointer went to eternal sleep two weeks ago. Although no dog can replace the English pointer, Goethe makes the house with North Market’s yellow door less empty.


October 23, 2012
Election Day Questions
Roy Meachum

Congressional Speaker Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill once said all politics are local, this year more than usual. In two weeks, on your ballot, you will discover charter’s back.

 


October 19, 2012
Off-Limit Topics
Roy Meachum

Both the father and brother of slain Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens asked that the Benghazi attack that took his life be declared off-limit in the fierce presidential wars. Another mother of an ex-Seal turned bodyguard also killed in the consulate made the same request.


October 16, 2012
Billy Shreve, Shut Up!
Roy Meachum

Colleague Harry Covert’s complaints expressed in his Friday TheTentacle.com column (“Books: Frederick’s Endangered Species”) found a veritable host of agreers.


October 12, 2012
Next Year’s Election
Roy Meachum

Based on the first debate, national Republicans declared they’re back in the White House. We’ll see. Moving right along, the City of Frederick elects the mayor and Board of Aldermen next November.


October 9, 2012
White Hope or White Knight
Roy Meachum

GOP candidate Mitt Romney clearly won the debate with Democratic President Barack Obama. The odds were in his favor. He acted like a shining white knight or the great white hope. In despair, Americans in 2008 voted the first African American into the White House.


October 5, 2012
Empty Back Seat
Roy Meachum

Driving away from the familiar West Side veterinary building, I was overwhelmed by the empty back seat. For the better part of 14 years, Pushkin was watching what I did. The last six months or so, the English pointer was content to lay his head on the old car’s leather.


October 2, 2012
Anger Replaced Passion
Roy Meachum

Four years ago Barack Obama swept into the White House on a flood of passion. This fall most noticeable of all is anger, which actually started on January 20, 2009, the date Mr. Obama was sworn in.


September 28, 2012
Clint Eastwood Was Right!
Roy Meachum

You get a chance to follow Clint Eastwood’s words. On Election Day, November 6, the following will appear on your ballot.

 


September 25, 2012
Lennie’s Voice Again Heard
Roy Meachum

John L. “Lennie” Thompson no longer occupies a Winchester Hall office. But still, being Lennie, he’s making political noises anyway, amplified across the top of The Frederick News-Post Sunday front page.


September 21, 2012
Our School System’s “Taj Mahal” Palace
Roy Meachum

Commissioner Billy Shreve has clear blue eyes, constantly darting about, looking for answers to unposed questions. At a board meeting Tuesday, according to the local paper’s story, he commented: “Maybe it’s better to sell this at a loss and move somewhere else.”


September 18, 2012
Seven Weeks and Counting
Roy Meachum

By midnight seven weeks from today, the 2012 presidential election figure to be history – except for absentee ballots. Not soon enough for me.


September 14, 2012
Murdered Ambassador
Roy Meachum

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three American security guards were the latest U.S. casualties in the war on Islam declared by President George W. Bush, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks commemorated Tuesday.


September 11, 2012
New Orleans Childhood
Roy Meachum

Southern Saturdays fell under a ritual; Friday night high school football was followed by afternoons in Tulane Stadium, and then a quick zip via Airline Highway to Louisiana State University stadium.


September 7, 2012
Preaching to the Faithful
Roy Meachum

In successive weeks, we have witnessed both the current four-year political orgies, in which the two parties celebrate – most of all – themselves.


September 4, 2012
Elections’ Major Sideshow
Roy Meachum

From now until November 6 – National Election Day – both Republicans and Democrats are guaranteed to have eyes on the Middle East: Will Israel seize this countrywide distraction to attack the new nuclear facility in Iran?


August 31, 2012
Isaac and GOP Convention
Roy Meachum

On the seventh anniversary of Katrina Wednesday, Hurricane Isaac had deprived the city where I grew up of electricity to 157,000 homes. New Orleans is in much better shape than it was before 2005 with an injection of about $14 billion in federal funds to fix damage done by Katrina and upgrade the system.


August 28, 2012
Extreme Bigotry
Roy Meachum

We’ve reached the stage of the 2012 presidential campaign where high prejudice clouds all topics – like the question of revenge on the former Confederacy and Democrats after the Civil War.


August 24, 2012
Damn Nats!
Roy Meachum

The musical “Damn Yankees” I saw three times during the 1950s, when several nights a week saw me trudging faithfully to Griffith Stadium. I thought that was only way I would see Washington bring home the world championship away from New York.


August 21, 2012
Warning to America
Roy Meachum

While Egypt’s new chief of staff studied at Carlisle’s Army War College, Brig. Gen. Sedky Sobhy wrote a thesis on the Middle East, including a scolding about this country’s lopsided support of Israel.


August 17, 2012
Aces High!
Roy Meachum

Any fascination I had for gambling was squelched the summer’s weeks spent as a “mark-up boy” in a French Quarter “bookie joint,” as I wrote earlier. Bookmaker Lloyd Baumer carefully detailed the odds against bettors to my 15-year-old mind.


August 14, 2012
Paul Ryan’s Selection
Roy Meachum

Mitt Romney’s choice for the second spot on the national ticket of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan excited most of the GOP. Mr. Ryan was hailed as uniting all of those who registered Republican.


August 10, 2012
Bad Journalism
Roy Meachum

Attributing errors in Frederick News-Post daily stories to outside sources, or the reporters, strikes me as bush league; in my early days on The Washington Post staff, we had to verify the facts. The editor fairly accepted the responsibility for what appeared in print. The News-Post page I appeared on for 20 years is a screwed-up mess.


August 7, 2012
Advancing Ages
Roy Meachum

The deaths last week of singer Tony Martin and author Gore Vidal impressed me with how few people I know still walking around.


August 3, 2012
Screwed-Up Arab Countries
Roy Meachum

It’s our turn! We are the latest Western Christian nation to screw-up the Muslim Middle East. You can blame it somewhat on oil, but it’s not wholly responsible.


July 31, 2012
Let the Good Dice Roll
Roy Meachum

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley called the General Assembly back to Annapolis next week. The only item on the legislators’ agenda: Gambling!


July 27, 2012
Facing Reality
Roy Meachum

Many in Frederick County now face the reality I bowed to months ago. Mostly Republicans, they signed petitions to cancel the congressional re-districting. They have their last opportunity on November 6.


July 24, 2012
Returning to McCarthyism
Roy Meachum

We are angry. Americans have turned once again to unreasoning bigotry and always illogical prejudice. It’s happened before. In panic four years ago, we voted in the first African American president. Immediately, Barack Obama came under merciless assault – primarily because he is black.


July 20, 2012
Romney’s Biggest Boo-Boo
Roy Meachum

Congress demands 10 years of tax records from anyone seeking a presidential cabinet position. Every national candidate has released his IRS statements for all his income-earning years. Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower established the model.


July 17, 2012
Hail to the Chief!
Roy Meachum

The Gazette’s Katherine Heerbrandt brought to the community’s attention that Washington’s Kim Dine has spent 10 years as chief of the Frederick City Police. Charles Main headed the department when I moved here in early 1983.


July 13, 2012
GOP Front-Runner
Roy Meachum

The odds-on favorite to grab the Maryland 2014 Republican gubernatorial spot has strong ties to Frederick County; his father lives here. I don’t mean State Sen. Ron Young, but former Prince George’s County Executive and Congressman Larry Hogan.


July 10, 2012
No GOP “Best Man”
Roy Meachum

The other morning some of my right-wing Republican good friends were talking about the national political race, and I was along. Their dialogue easily fit in the category of anti-Obama. These are colleagues; there was no trace of racial bias.


July 6, 2012
Latest Social Brouhaha
Roy Meachum

Past 20th Century attempts to revolutionize American society were incendiary, to say the least. I missed Prohibition. My memory of the failed Noble Experiment was tinged by the man who married cousin Madie, like an aunt to me. The Northern Louisiana stockyard-dealer presented hands that were really claws, burnt off by drinking canned heat.


July 3, 2012
Independence Day Fireworks
Roy Meachum

The Great Depression was the probable cause. As I was growing up, New Orleans’ 4th of Julys were not filled with festivities as compared to tomorrow’s happening in Frederick’s Baker Park. The cost of fireworks could pay for a meal, complete with high taxes, which we blamed on carpetbaggers.


June 29, 2012
“Climb Back Under My Rock”
Roy Meachum

My home for almost 30 years, Frederick has never gracefully accepted my opinions as expressed in columns that stretch back to Thanksgiving 1984. Efforts to fire me from The Frederick News-Post started early. Opponents succeeded momentarily; I was invited to come back. My News-Post absence forevermore came from my resignation.


June 26, 2012
Political Hot Season
Roy Meachum

Summer arrived Thursday. The political campaigns sharpen toward November. For the life of me – boy and man, taxpayer and journalist – I have never heard the language that permeates the nation’s broadcast and print media and the Internet these days.


June 22, 2012
Egypt’s Generals Never Fade
Roy Meachum

Cairo’s military commanders shrug in repugnance at Douglas McArthur’s parting thought; the once-Supreme Commander in the World War II Pacific lamented retiring with the lyrics of a barracks song: “…old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” Why should the Egyptians take the advice?


June 19, 2012
Twisted Morality
Roy Meachum

The same fierce exponents of an individual’s constitutional rights feel justified in going into anyone else’s bedroom. Their intrusion comes in the name of a twisted morality.


June 15, 2012
Shrinking Roman Catholic Church
Roy Meachum

This week the Catholic Archdiocese of New York ordained a single priest. The Rev. Patric D’Arcy was not born in this country; his Irish ancestors immigrated to Canada. Desultory attendance attends the practice of all of major Western religions, except Islam – which may be why there is such an ingrained fear of Muslims.


June 12, 2012
Hot Weather Done Come In!
Roy Meachum

Not like Carl Sandberg’s Fog that sneaks in on cat’s paws, muggy heat landed with a bang on the weekend. There was nothing subtle about the sweat that bathed my baldhead and ran down the chest beneath my shirt.


June 8, 2012
Frederick County, Grow Up!
Roy Meachum

In November we’ll get another chance to vote on a county charter. On January 10th my TheTentacle.com column (“Later Than Needed”) spelled out the sad fate of the 1991 attempt.


June 5, 2012
They Are Wrong!
Roy Meachum

Presidential elections come in less than two weeks, in Egypt. The overwhelming number of Americans is betting against the Muslim Brotherhood; they are flatly afraid and ignorant of Islam, by their own choice. In their minds, they prefer disgraced President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister. They are wrong!


June 1, 2012
Good Move!
Roy Meachum

The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Australia, Spain, Italy and Canada gave three days’ notice; they kicked out Syrian diplomats. They put in economic sanctions against Damascus. They reacted to the torn country’s latest massacre, again in the area of Homs.


May 29, 2012
Blaine Said ‘Yes Indeed’
Roy Meachum

It was no surprising statement. In earlier spring his regular Thursday TheTentacle.com column prompted my March 20 reply: “No, Blaine, No!” A week later the Board of County Commissioners president announced he was forming a committee to explore the possibility.


May 25, 2012
Who’d Have “Thunk” It?
Roy Meachum

Approaching Memorial Day finds the Baltimore Orioles in first place in the American League. And at the same moment the Washington Nationals cling atop the National League, in their see-saw battle with the Atlanta Braves. I’m checking the standings daily, some hours more frequently.


May 22, 2012
Murderous Politicians
Roy Meachum

The House of Representatives awarded its seal of approval to the slaughtering of young Americans in Afghanistan. The 303 triumphant members were not all GOP members, but the victory must be chalked up to the leadership of Speaker John Boehner (R., OH), who cannot be held accountable for 113 opposed.


May 18, 2012
Mind the Sheriff
Roy Meachum

Frederick today becomes the focus for many worldly eyes. The powerful G-8 is meeting at Camp David, near Thurmont. Sheriff Chuck Jenkins strongly advises avoiding the upper reaches of the county, north of Frederick City. He’s seldom wrong. This time, Chuck’s right on the money.


May 15, 2012
“IT’S TIME TO QUIT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH”
Roy Meachum

That was the headline above a full-page ad one week ago in The Washington Post. Several hundred years ago expressing such an idea publically would lead to the whipping stocks. Heresy against Rome would lead to necks cut by a sword – before the Reformation.


May 11, 2012
Why War in Afghanistan?
Roy Meachum

A survey published this week shows that 92 percent of Americans oppose war in Afghanistan with only eight in favor. The longer the situation lingers; the more the support wanes. There have been jokes: Would the last one out turn off the lights?


May 8, 2012
Hypocritical Bigots
Roy Meachum

While brandishing aloft their expertise of the U.S. Constitution, America’s right-wing politicians ignore its Bill of Rights. They are so stuck in the 18th Century that – to them – the world must seem flat. Their blatant crusade against same-sex marriages and abortion particularly appalls me.


May 4, 2012
“Desperate” Teachers
Roy Meachum

Men and women who run Frederick County classrooms currently are so desperate. They would take food, medications and shelter from the community’s most vulnerable people.


May 1, 2012
Tyrant Gary Brennan!
Roy Meachum

The name of the Shenandoah Valley town long vanished into the recesses of my aging brain. The place’s disremembered hotel comes to mind because of the local situation that plagues Frederick County Public Schools, namely the local union’s call for “working to contract.” This has provoked stories in the media.


April 27, 2012
Ron Young’s Wonders
Roy Meachum

There broke a story this week of another example of ex-Mayor Ron Young’s foresightedness. He has shaped Frederick into the city Pushkin and I live in now. Fortunately, he found a second career in the Maryland Senate.


April 24, 2012
Radicalism/Extremism
Roy Meachum

There have many press complaints – including mine – about how American parties have turned radical. For my sin, I must say “mea culpa.” It’s the very essence of politics: promise anything to win the people’s favor. All over the world. Elections don’t have to be at stake. “Uneasy the head that wears a crown” is not a recent saying.


April 20, 2012
Softly America’s Space Age Exited
Roy Meachum

We didn’t start the Space Age. The Soviet Union threw Sputnik beyond the earth’s gravitational field and competition began.


April 17, 2012
“Demolition by Neglect”
Roy Meachum

A Frederick News-Post front-page story last Wednesday reminded me of the phrase; it came from an earlier, longer article. Reporter Blair Ames wrote about the terrible state of downtown, where English pointer Pushkin and I live – in an almost 300-year-old house.


April 13, 2012
Racism and the “Cult”
Roy Meachum

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential primary leaves former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the favored nominee, as droned into our minds by commentators.


April 10, 2012
Marion Barry’s Latest
Roy Meachum

Marion Barry popped up in the news last week? Which leads to the inevitable question: When has he not been in public view? At least, not since 1965, when as a TV9 reporter I covered the People’s Election to protest the District of Columbia’s lack of voting rights.


April 6, 2012
Senate President’s Fate
Roy Meachum

Mike Miller lost and won this week. Protégé Rob Garagiola was skinned by John Delaney; the Maryland Senate majority leader was handed his head by about twice the Democratic voters as he attracted. The Senate president did all he could.


April 3, 2012
Teachers’ Pay
Roy Meachum

Behind North Market’s yellow door sits a shiny school bell awarded me by Maryland teachers’ union for services rendered to the cause of higher pay for women and men in the state’s classrooms. Their salaries in those days started at less than $15,000 a year.


March 30, 2012
Tuesday Voting
Roy Meachum

Board of Elections director Stuart Harvey packed up all his paraphernalia and paraded down Taney Avenue, on the way to Winchester Hall. Thursday finished the early 2012 primary voting, as delightfully summed up by colleague Norm Covert in his Wednesday TheTentacle.com column.


March 28, 2012
A REVIEW: MET’s “Antigone”
Roy Meachum

Sunday the Maryland Ensemble Theatre almost busted apart from energy and creativity. The MET opened a version of Sophocles’ “Antigone” written by Reiner Prochaska and shaped by director Julie Herber.


March 27, 2012
Delayed “Tragedy”
Roy Meachum

Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in late February. If my former Washington Post colleague “Simeon Booker” (Friday, March 23 column) were still alive, the country’s ears would have pricked up right away.


March 23, 2012
Simeon Booker
Roy Meachum

The Washington Post newsroom remained segregated by gender, even after Simeon Booker broke the color barriers; women remained cloistered in a space guarded by a fence.


March 20, 2012
No, Blaine, No!
Roy Meachum

In his regular Thursday column on TheTentacle.com, Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young informed readers of his aspirations for higher office. What he said exactly:


March 16, 2012
Inevitable GOP Tuesday
Roy Meachum

As Tuesday pointed out, Republicans seem headed for the fate that led to Abraham Lincoln’s election, establishing the party on the American political scene.


March 13, 2012
Name-Calling in Winchester Hall
Roy Meachum

David Gray called Blaine Young “a damn liar” Thursday in Winchester Hall. Scarcely polite language even between politicians. The name-calling came during a bristly conversation on which employees must serve at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners.


March 9, 2012
JERUSALEM: The Biography
Roy Meachum

While I didn’t expect objectivity from Simon Sebag Montefiore, I wasn’t prepared for such a Zionist 500-page tract. The real surprise for me came in the realization of how few years Jews have ruled Jerusalem.


March 6, 2012
Vicious Political Tricks
Roy Meachum

Age has little to do with it. I see political rhetoric running in the gutter. When it comes to party, it’s bipartisan. Three matters are on my mind.


March 2, 2012
Mike Miller’s Protégé Won’t Do
Roy Meachum

The Washington Post first published the report. Bethany Rodgers pulled a save for The Frederick News-Post. On the “local front page,” inside the paper, her story ran with the headline: “Earnings missing from Garagiola’s financial disclosures.”


February 28, 2012
“Official” Language
Roy Meachum

The Board of County Commissioners agreed and proclaimed English as the official language in Frederick County. In all Maryland, this is the single jurisdiction where that’s true.


February 24, 2012
GOP Overconfidence
Roy Meachum

GOP overconfidence started before Barack Obama was sworn-in. At first I attributed it to racism. Then I remembered Harry S Truman, the man from Missouri – and very white.


February 21, 2012
Gingrich’s Money Man Torpedoed Mathias
Roy Meachum

While most Marylanders don’t recognize his name, Sheldon Adelson promised this weekend to back GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich with another $10 million. The Las Vegas casino owner forced Frederick’s Sen. Charles Mathias to drop from the 1986 elections.


February 17, 2012
Pushki, Wait for Me!
Roy Meachum

Before starting to write this column, I stepped over to the love seat: Pushkin failed to climb to his favorite sleeping cushion. My attempt to help he rejected vigorously; at least we have reached the point – after 13 plus years – he no longer feigns to bite me.


February 14, 2012
“Once a Catholic, Always a Catholic”
Roy Meachum

Barack Obama caught hell at Washington’s Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend. That’s not news. But Saturday the right-wingers scoffed at the president’s shift on birth control insurance, away from the position the Tea Party is founded on.


February 10, 2012
Black Tuesday for This Democracy
Roy Meachum

Nobody expected it, especially Donald Trump. On Tuesday the week before, the super developer popped his buttons at the Nevada GOP presidential primary victory, claiming his late endorsement of ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made the sterling difference.


February 7, 2012
“Carpetbagger”
Roy Meachum

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is a piece of work. I’ve observed him since he climbed into the “upper chamber” top seat in 1987. The electoral process that year was my introduction to how brutal state politics can be.


February 3, 2012
None of Our Business
Roy Meachum

The Times of London reported this week: “The U.S. military said in a secret report the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw from the country, raising the prospect of a major failure of western policy after a costly war.”


January 31, 2012
Presidential Florida Sunshine
Roy Meachum

Over the weekend – on the eve of today’s Florida Republican presidential nomination primary – both Sarah Palin and Herman Cain endorsed former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.


January 27, 2012
Worried About Pushkin
Roy Meachum

For three nights this week I worried about putting my best friend “down.” Since we two live alone behind downtown’s yellow door, this would have left me grief-struck and bereft. But Pushkin recovered from whatever “ailed” him.


January 24, 2012
Capitol Hill Daze
Roy Meachum

Democratic candidate Tom Hattery’s mean attitude had much to do with pushing him away, from me and the electorate; that was 20 years ago when the thought of Beverly Byron losing was almost unthinkable. Mr. Hattery’s primary win was at least shocking to many.


January 20, 2012
Katherine Straightens the Mess
Roy Meachum

Reporter Katherine Heerbrandt earned my professional admiration over the long years in Frederick; we were colleagues on the local newspaper. Her most recent journalistic coup must not pass unremarked upon.


January 17, 2012
Afzali Crashes Congressional Primary
Roy Meachum

Never in my over 28 years writing about Frederick politics can I remember when an elected freshman official has been so unrelenting and noisy – some say obnoxious – as Kathy Afzali.


January 13, 2012
Coming Revolution
Roy Meachum

Conservatives scoff at the Occupy Wall Street protesters; others have difficulty dismissing them, and the various signs of discontent in this republic. In fact, the disparity between the highest incomes and the average earners has never in our history been wider.


January 10, 2012
Later Than Needed
Roy Meachum

Colleague Norm Covert picked me up for the annual party of TheTentacle.com’s publisher/editor John Ashbury. He and wife Gaile live in Thurmont, far from my Market Street’s yellow door.


January 6, 2012
Redskins’ First Supreme Chief
Roy Meachum

No matter how hot about Washington’s football team, few fans know the name of the West Virginia man who bought the NFL’s Boston Braves, in 1932.


January 3, 2012
Political Ideology Squelches Free Speech
Roy Meachum

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”


December 30, 2011
2011 Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 27, 2011
Weary, Wary GOP Faces New Year’s Uncertainty
Roy Meachum

Mumbles remain, but they are no comfort to the Republican faithful.


December 23, 2011
Frederick’s Magical Children
Roy Meachum

I fall in love every day. There are eyes I cannot resist; eyes that flirt and beckon for affection. Some are bold and some are shy. Eyelashes flutter, and I am lost again. It happens every day.


December 20, 2011
Exit Iraq
Roy Meachum

Whatever else he promised; Barack Obama celebrated this weekend the campaign pledge to exit Iraq – with 82 percent approval from local residents who voted in The Frederick News-Post daily poll.


December 16, 2011
Un-Peace in the Holy Land
Roy Meachum

You may have missed the week’s stories. Palestine was accepted as a full member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, costing UNESCO 25 percent of its budget: 22 from the United States and 3 from Israel.


December 13, 2011
Russian Winter
Roy Meachum

We’ve seen this before, recently. More noisily. The Arab Spring started in February with Tunisia and Egypt. My October 25 TheTentacle.com column commented on the “Islamic Autumn” that followed. Now comes the Russian winter.


December 9, 2011
A REVIEW: Best Shakespeare Comedy Production
Roy Meachum

Three milestones in my long life started Monday with Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”


December 6, 2011
“Bud” Otis’ “Resignation”
Roy Meachum

Word on the Frederick “street” has U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett’s chief of staff fired. While technically resigned, Harold “Bud” Otis was given no choice.


December 2, 2011
Once and Future Political Subject
Roy Meachum

Georgia’s Newt Gingrich made column fodder with his 1994 Contract with America, which helped him achieve the Speaker of the House of Representatives and spotted him high up on the list of presidential possible successors, next to the vice president. Ohio’s John Boehner holds the job now.


November 29, 2011
Holidays Here
Roy Meachum

The holidays flood Market Street. When Pushkin took me for a Thanksgiving stroll, there was nobody in sight. Stores were not open downtown. Few cars prowled about.


November 25, 2011
Om Misr/Mother Egypt
Roy Meachum

There is no Thanksgiving in Egypt. But with elections scheduled Monday, Cairo’s Tahrir Square was filled with noises, gunshots and tear gas and, most of all, people. The Square was not the birthplace of Arab Spring, but its best known symbol.


November 22, 2011
Police Swagger Gone
Roy Meachum

There’s what passes as peace in the Frederick’s OK Corral, otherwise known as City Hall. The rumored deal to give the cops everything they seemingly wanted was killed by the Board of Aldermen last Friday. Local taxpayers no longer dwell under the menace of the boys and girls in blue swaggering and flaunting, showering tickets about like the flowers in May?


November 18, 2011
Occupy Wall Street Continues
Roy Meachum

Republicans to the core, my mostly political friends disdained the Occupy Wall Street protests from the get-go. That was long before disorderly and sanitary issues caused city governments to shut down the gathering sites, especially New York’s Zuccotti Park, where the movement first came into public view through the media.


November 15, 2011
Media’s Role
Roy Meachum

As a survivor of more than 50 years in the press wars, I remember very well the Joseph R. McCarthy followers’ criticisms of Herblock. If you swore allegiance to the junior senator from Wisconsin, The Washington Post editorial cartoonist provided ammunition for your complaints; when it came to Post news stories, not so much.


November 11, 2011
Flood Petering Out
Roy Meachum

As noted before, the present political mood is “Throw the bums out.” Next-door Virginia epitomizes the national trend. Reacting to Democrat Barack Obama’s 2008 moving into the White House, in the three votings since his inauguration, the Old Dominion elected Republicans to all the top state jobs: governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, in 2009.


November 9, 2011
A REVIEW: MET Rides High
Roy Meachum

To put it simply: the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s version of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” is the best production I’ve seen in Frederick. It’s in the running for the best production I’ve ever reviewed and that includes Broadway, the Kennedy Center, Washington’s National Theatre, Arena Stage and Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre – since 1965 when I first sat on the aisle as a critic.


November 8, 2011
Legislating Morals
Roy Meachum

It had to be coincidence. The nation’s 20th Century’s grand experiment in legislating morals wound up in the Great Depression. Being born one year and six days before Wall Street’s historic crash (October 24, 1929), I vaguely remember Prohibition’s last hours. I had an uncle whose hands were permanently crippled from his thirst for canned-heat.


November 4, 2011
Another Candidate Soiled
Roy Meachum

Friends wonder why I’m not caught up on 2012’s presidential elections. From my years in Washington, I learned to wait and see who the national party conventions nominate. Recent months can only convince me of the experienced attitude.


November 1, 2011
Old and Gimpy
Roy Meachum

As the community knows, I had an 83rd birthday last week. Pushkin’s came July 9. He was 13, which means the English pointer is my senior, figuring one dog year for seven human years. We are both old and gimpy, as I point out to people when we take our daily promenades on North Market Street.


October 28, 2011
Leaving Iraq, Finally
Roy Meachum

President Barack Obama announced last week a total pullout of American military forces from Iraq; our allies, by and large, have pulled up stakes. National, state and community surveys demonstrated that more than three-of-four participants agreed. The one-quarter missing was divided between the “I-don’t-knows” and those fiercely opposed to the withdrawal.


October 25, 2011
Islamic Autumn
Roy Meachum

Really at stake during the Arab Spring was Islam. The word means subjugation to the will of the One God, Allah in Muslims’ holy book – the Quran. The Western World has been flabbergasted as the people have toppled governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. I remain astonished.


October 21, 2011
Dogs of Political Wars
Roy Meachum

Out of Mark Anthony’s mouth, Shakespeare wrote: “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Gov. Martin O’Malley did not say those exact words, but in gerrymandering the 6th Congressional District of Maryland the effect was the same. (By the way, “Havoc” was a military command in the Bard’s day, equivalent to “Attack.”)


October 18, 2011
Church-State New Crisis
Roy Meachum

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn’s grand jury indictment was not announced until Friday; he’d been out of town, visiting the Vatican, doubtless receiving encouragement from the Curia. Jackson County (MO) prosecutor Jean Peters Baker may have feared the cleric would remain on the Tiber River cosseted by the Roman Catholic Church.


October 14, 2011
Saudi Wahhabism v. Iranian Shiism
Roy Meachum

Iranians plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington?


October 11, 2011
County Matters
Roy Meachum

Stuart Harvey is a hero; he runs the county’s Board of Elections. I’ve mentioned the name before and always in a positive sense.


October 7, 2011
Killing Roscoe Bartlett
Roy Meachum

Virginia Democrats may be howling more than Maryland Democrats! Since the house with the yellow door sits on this side of the Potomac, I don’t know. Many of my local friends who wear blue are beside themselves — their favorite position. The cause of their woes comes every 10 years when state legislatures are required to reshape congressional districts.


October 6, 2011
A REVIEW: FCC’s Bustling Kussmaul Theatre
Roy Meachum

Spending a couple of days at the Frederick Community College’s Jack B. Kussmaul Theatre was richly rewarding. Saturday evening brought the Fredericktowne Players’ production of “Inherit the Wind, and Sunday afternoon’s pianist Hyperion Knight knocked me into the aisle.


October 4, 2011
Better (Wo)Man
Roy Meachum

There’s a mistake in political language, which makes next year’s presidential elections more meshugganah, crazy in the Yiddish that I learned in the Catskill Mountains. In the primaries, there can be no best man or woman; that will be determined only November 6, 2012.


September 30, 2011
City Police Dilemma – Part Two
Roy Meachum

This city has shirked away from biting the law enforcement bullet for years, as illustrated in the first of this two-part series.


September 27, 2011
City Police Dilemma – Part One
Roy Meachum

Nearly 27 years ago, when I wrote my first Frederick column, ex-State Trooper Bob Snyder ran the sheriff’s department. To say he was extremely political is to compare North Pole’s annual snowfall to Miami’s.


September 23, 2011
Frederick Muslims’ Gentrification
Roy Meachum

An event at the local mosque reeked of unreality; it was staged on the 10th anniversary of 9/11’s slaughter of about 3,000 American Christians, Jews and Muslims. I assumed the event’s timing was in commemoration of that dreadful day. I could not have been more wrong.


September 20, 2011
“Chuck” Percy Took His Final Bow
Roy Meachum

Former Illinois U. S. Senator Charles Harding Percy, 91, died Saturday, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. His passing was announced by daughter Sharon Rockefeller, wife of the current West Virginia Democratic senator and former governor.


September 16, 2011
A REVIEW: STC Farce That Brings Many Laughs
Roy Meachum

To start the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Silver Anniversary, Michael Kahn selected David Ives’ rhyming version of a 1708 French farce. Many Americans have never seen the format which closely resembles pie-in-the-face vaudeville.


September 13, 2011
Cops “In The Street”
Roy Meachum

Many local residents were astonished when they learned the Fraternal Order of Police insisted City Hall should raise property taxes to pay the member cops off. As readers know, the boys and girls who wear badges on their issued-blue costumes already make an average $20,000 more than other municipal employees.


September 9, 2011
September 11’s Additional Victims
Roy Meachum

In addition to the nearly 3,000 lives taken on September 11, 2001, all Americans suffered the loss of constitutional rights for the sake of a federal bureaucracy that was really responsible, in the first place, for the attacks.


September 6, 2011
“Best ‘Man’”
Roy Meachum

With a major GOP presidential debate on-tap Wednesday evening, defying Mother Nature, Labor Day kicked off the 2012 election year. Rep. Michelle Bachman disturbs the gender of the inevitable Best Man scenario. Meanwhile former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hovers, not far from the action.


September 2, 2011
Irene v. Katrina
Roy Meachum

Irene’s only property damage at my yellow-door house was in the patio; a garden statue fell on its nose in the corner, bruising plants.


August 30, 2011
Seeking Gadhafi for Revenge
Roy Meachum

Reminiscent of the search for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, triumphant rebels are beating Libyan bushes, looking for Muammar Gadhafi; when they find him, they announced the 40-year dictator will stand trial and probably be executed, following the example in Baghdad.


August 26, 2011
Earthquake and Hurricane
Roy Meachum

The 6.0 earthquake hit Market Street while Pushkin and I took our early afternoon walk; we had just returned from West Frederick Veterinary Hospital for the English Pointer’s biweekly acupuncture. None of the places I’ve lived in has a reputation for tremors; Tuesday’s was my very first.


August 23, 2011
Stadium Stuttering
Roy Meachum

WHAG-TV’s Tim Wesolek first brought attention to the stuttering going on over the Harry Grove Stadium. In the latest episode of the confusing situation, Alderman Carol Krimm’s motion to declassify the meeting’s minutes received unanimous support from the board. Still the confusion lingers on.


August 19, 2011
“The Help”
Roy Meachum

The summer’s best-selling hardcover and paperback book was transformed into a hit movie comes right out of the culture that produced me; the segregated South was dominated by women, a matriarchy that ruled a male-fronted culture – frequently in government and commerce, as well as personally. That’s how it was when I was growing up.


August 16, 2011
Unchristian Christians
Roy Meachum

The West Side Manhattan I lived in was frequently startled by my “Good mornings,” especially enthusiastic when I attended the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, on 69th street. The responses were what I expected from busy, jaded New Yorkers. The Frederick News-Post column for New Year’s 1984 is repeated annually on TheTentacle.com.


August 12, 2011
Burning London
Roy Meachum

In my Tuesday’s column I made a big mistake. I know better. “America’s Worst Week” should have been “The World’s Worst Year.”


August 9, 2011
America’s Worst Week
Roy Meachum

The week past is easily the worst in American history – certainly in my long lifetime – crowned by the useless murder of 30 young men who were this country’s best of the best.


August 5, 2011
Compromise Pleases Few
Roy Meachum

Easily, the only thrill of the dreary, repetitive debt ceiling debate this week Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Gifford presented. The almost killed congresswoman left her Houston rehabilitation hospital room to vote to end the stalemate that posed the possibility of the government reneging on debts due.


August 2, 2011
“Dog Days” and Washington
Roy Meachum

Mad dogs were the terror of the summers during my Southern childhood, before universal vaccine and the prosperity wrought by World War II. Loved pets forced to be abandoned by the Great Depression hooked up with already wild packs.


July 29, 2011
Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Roy Meachum

Even after Norwegian police posted Anders Behring Breivick’s picture on the media, a right-wing, anti-Muslim friend cautioned that I should not “assume” Islamists were not involved in last Friday’s horror.


July 26, 2011
Tea Party Self-Destruction
Roy Meachum

Popsicles are my personal prescription for the hottest days I’ve experienced in my 80-plus years. Being brought up in New Orleans, and my time spent in Egypt, simply didn’t prepare. Pushkin’s walks are relegated to mornings and late afternoons. The laid-back English pointer confirms Noel Coward’s “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”


July 22, 2011
“Hurry With Waiting”
Roy Meachum

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners was going too fast. That’s what I tried to say in my June 24 TheTentacle.com column (“Winchester Hall’s New Start”). There was a crying need to bring taxpayers into the loop in the rush to privatize so many county departments and jobs.


July 19, 2011
Selfish, Dumb FOP
Roy Meachum

Frederick’s Fraternal Order of Police brought out their big guns for a press conference. In fighting for public support for their raises by any name – a step increase, in this case – they blasted City Hall for not increasing the property tax.


July 15, 2011
Ongoing Police Confusion
Roy Meachum

Over the years Frederick Alderman Karen Young is noted for plain-speaking. In the confusion over a new cop contract, Ms. Young was quoted in the Frederick News-Post: “In 2003, the police department budget was 29 percent of the General Fund. It will be 35 percent of the General Fund…WITHOUT THE PROPOSED STEP INCREASES.” (The caps were in the published quote.)


July 12, 2011
“Nigger Lover”
Roy Meachum

The deluge that flooded North Market Street outside my yellow door Friday was preceded by joy among my right-wing friends. Their petition efforts were a success.


July 8, 2011
Media Shepherds
Roy Meachum

The neighborhood pub, Olde Towne Tavern, almost directly across North Market from my yellow door, offers cheap hamburgers on Tuesday.


July 5, 2011
City Police Situation
Roy Meachum

Retired Frederick police official and current Alderman Kelly Russell argued in favor of her former colleagues in the ongoing contract negotiations, of course.


July 1, 2011
Independence Days Past
Roy Meachum

The most boring Fourth of July happened to me when I was eight. A well-meaning, older friend decided I must learn the pleasure of fishing. The most exciting? I narrated a concert before the Washington monument for a crowd of 150,000.


June 29, 2011
A REVIEW: Dynamite “Merchant of Venice”
Roy Meachum

Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre officially debuted Ethan McSweeny’s dynamite version of “The Merchant of Venice” on Sunday. STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn produced it last in 1999. The program notes that of all the Bard’s plays the work takes second seat only to “Hamlet.” I had never seen it before.


June 28, 2011
Damned Either Way
Roy Meachum

Barack Obama cannot win.


June 24, 2011
Winchester Hall New Start
Roy Meachum

Frederick’s Board of County of Commissioners is new; it was sworn in a little over six months ago, on December 1, 2010.


June 21, 2011
Unholy Hogwash!
Roy Meachum

While seemingly no one paid attention – but the victims and themselves – the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently announced the ongoing abusive scandals were a product of the 1960s’ sex revolution.


June 17, 2011
Paris in My Youth
Roy Meachum

Little changed in Paris between the World Wars: when I first went there sidewalk cafes still adorned the Champs Elysees, as they had when composers Igor Stravinsky and George Gershwin waved from tables to their strolling friends.


June 14, 2011
Celebrity and Sex
Roy Meachum

The media flurry over New York Rep. Anthony Weiner barely ruffled a hair in my beard. The pregnancy of his high-profile wife might save his seat in Congress, at least at this writing. National commentaries exercise themselves violently over a victimless “crime.”


June 10, 2011
Heat in My Childhood
Roy Meachum

Is there any other topic? Yesterday’s forecast promised a hundred degrees and with humidity to match. Knowing I was brought up in New Orleans, people sometimes ask, “Does this make you homesick?” The unequivocal answer? No, not hardly.


June 7, 2011
Remember the Liberty!
Roy Meachum

The profuse apologetics for Israel’s performance in 1967’s Six Day War seek to derail attention from the sometimes brutal occupation of the West Bank; it’s lasted 44 years.


June 3, 2011
Serious Moral Problem
Roy Meachum

The Frederick News-Post’s Wednesday front-page ran the headline: “Hispanic father, son demonstrate drive to succeed…” Quickly the story reveals that Guatemalan Victor Arevalo and son Jorge Perez did not start the business.


June 1, 2011
A REVIEW – Silences and Sexuality
Roy Meachum

Washington Shakespeare Theatre is offering a seldom glimpse into the world according to London’s Harold Pinter. Artistic Director Michael Kahn has mounted a generally admirable, “Old Times.” It’s been almost 40 years since I first reviewed the play.


May 31, 2011
Political Experience
Roy Meachum

In last Tuesday’s column, I wrote how I professionally wait for newly elected officials to make their mark.


May 27, 2011
Joplin on My Mind
Roy Meachum

The worst single tornado in recorded history struck Missouri at the beginning of the week. Joplin was next-door to Camp Crowder, where I spent another spring.


May 24, 2011
Five Months Later
Roy Meachum

The Board of Commissioners’ swearing-in happened a little over five months ago; I was there.


May 20, 2011
A REVIEW: Clockwork Orange: Coming of Age
Roy Meachum

In the basement of the old Francis Scott Key Hotel, a true metamorphosis has taken place. After shaky starts, attention must be paid to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre for the professionalism of their productions.


May 17, 2011
My Mississippi Deluge
Roy Meachum

Reports from my native South mention the huge Mississippi River deluge of 1937; I witnessed that. Living with my grandparents in Wynne, I was eight-years-old and New Orleans city-ignorant. The following quote is from my memoir, “A Redneck’s Progress:”


May 13, 2011
Bully Ex-Cop
Roy Meachum

Mutterings and complaints from City Hall informed me that Alderman Kelly Russell continued her bullying ways that many found offensive when she was a police official.


May 10, 2011
Unseemly Celebration
Roy Meachum

Monday’s Washington Post front page ran two stories; inside, a column, an article on SEAL Team 6 and even a cartoon drawn after Osama bin Laden was killed. The New York Times was more restrained: reviews of books about the Special Forces team.


May 6, 2011
My Best Friend’s Spring
Roy Meachum

Pushkin turns the human equivalent of 91 years on July 9, a little over two months from now. He was born in 1998, twelve weeks before I turned 70.

 


May 3, 2011
Baksheesh and bin Laden
Roy Meachum

The world almost universally praised Barack Obama for accomplishing the elimination of Osama bin Laden in a little more than two years, accomplishing a feat George W. Bush failed to pull off in eight years.


April 29, 2011
The General Welfare
Roy Meachum

Government’s inner-workings have never caught my fancy, maybe because I’m an old-fashioned Democrat, following closely Thomas Paine’s wisdom: “That government is best which governs least.”


April 26, 2011
Mubarak’s Real Crime
Roy Meachum

A Cairo judge ordered the removal of Hosni Mubarak’s name and signs from all public places, including privately owned stores. Pharaoh Tutankhamun underwent the same treatment; he was murdered to boot, not unlike Anwar Sadat.


April 22, 2011
William Donald Schaefer
Roy Meachum

In the first place, when Don Schaefer decided to abandon Baltimore City Hall to run for the State House in Annapolis, in 1986, my Frederick News-Post column opposed him.


April 19, 2011
Charter, Please
Roy Meachum

The county legislation delegation breakfasted with the Chamber of Commerce last week. The main dish was charter.


April 15, 2011
Nicolas Sarkozy’s Desperate Campaign
Roy Meachum

France’s ban against Muslim women wearing a face veil went into effect Monday. I’m flabbergasted that this was made into an anti-Islam move.


April 12, 2011
Free Speech
Roy Meachum

TheTentacle.com Editor John Ashbury related once again a conservative asking why he publishes my “liberal” columns. He answered, as always: he believes in free speech as set forth in the Constitution’s First Amendment. I agree.


April 8, 2011
“Hell Bent for Breakfast”
Roy Meachum

The low turnout Tuesday in Thurmont was in some ways inexplicable. The commissioners took their budget show to the northern part of the county.


April 5, 2011
Stupid, Viscous Murders
Roy Meachum

A preacher threw a Quran on his Florida barbeque grill two weeks ago.


April 1, 2011
Genug! Basta! Kefiyyah! Arredy
Roy Meachum

President Barack Obama’s taking heat from all sides, progressive Democrats and retrogressive Republicans.


March 29, 2011
The Laugh-Out Loud Miracle of Tad Janes
Roy Meachum

If you want an evening laughing your guts out, get on down to the old Francis Scott Key Hotel where M.E.T.’s Tad Janes has staged a knock-your-socks-off “Boeing Boeing.”


March 25, 2011
Elizabeth Taylor
Roy Meachum

Directly I turned on my computer Wednesday morning, I learned Elizabeth Taylor had died. I remembered a glorious conversation we had. But that’s not when last I saw her.


March 22, 2011
Where’s the Mad Dog?
Roy Meachum

After French jets led the coalition in attacking Libya, neither The New York Times nor The Washington Post was able to locate Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi. And their reporters looked.


March 18, 2011
Senator Ron Young
Roy Meachum

As the legislative session winds down, I must express admiration for the performance of “rookie” State Sen. Ron Young.


March 15, 2011
The New Joe McCarthy
Roy Meachum

When I was a freshman at Georgetown, Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy launched his version of a crusade against communists.


March 11, 2011
Spring, Come On!
Roy Meachum

Winter couldn’t have been worse behind my yellow door on North Market Street. My age takes much of the blame. Some friends didn’t help.


March 8, 2011
Eternal Catholic Scandal
Roy Meachum

My first Frederick column on sexual assaults in the Roman Catholic Church appeared 20 years ago. It was in defense of Archbishop Joseph Bernardin whom I knew in Washington.


March 4, 2011
Wrong Anger
Roy Meachum

Much of my thinking time recently, as TheTentacle.com readers know, has gone to the anger underlying politics.


March 1, 2011
“Mad Dog” Gadhafi
Roy Meachum

In the tens of thousands of words I’ve read or heard since revolution came to Libya, there’s been no mention of attempted assassination plots against Egypt’s late president Anwar Sadat by Muammar Gadhafi.


February 25, 2011
Skyrocketing Gas Prices!!!
Roy Meachum

As all proper headlines must, this one was written to seize the attention of people uninterested in Muslims to the point of ignorance that feeds bigotry. That’s the main reason for prejudice.


February 22, 2011
Frederick Republicans
Roy Meachum

After November voting swept him into Winchester Hall, Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young announced he would not seek re-election. Injured hearts – and purses – seem to ensure that he will sit home four years from now.


February 18, 2011
Revenge Bruce Ivins!
Roy Meachum

Employing the FBI’s $800,000 grant, the Academy of Science’s National Research Council investigated the anthrax case that resulted in the suicide of Bruce Ivins.


February 15, 2011
Egyptian Ennui
Roy Meachum

In recent days, endless chatter and opinions about Egypt’s future induced in me a condition known as ennui, defined in Merriam Webster: “feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction.”


February 12, 2011
“Egypt is free!”
Roy Meachum

After waiting long hours, the huge crowds in Cairo and Alexandria were on their way to Friday evening prayers when Hosni Mubarak’s recently selected vice president announced, in a single sentence, the regime was dead.


February 11, 2011
Middle East Paranoia
Roy Meachum

After keeping the protestors in Tahrir Square and all over Egypt waiting all Thursday evening and amid rampant speculations that he would step down, Hosni Mubarak refused to budge. Newly appointed vice president Omar Suleiman confirmed his boss was not leaving.


February 4, 2011
Deadline for Mubarak
Roy Meachum

Friday is the deadline for Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, set by leaders of the pro-democracy forces that filled Americans’ and the world’s television screens for over a week.


February 1, 2011
America’s Cairo Power
Roy Meachum

The top story Tuesday from Cairo centers on the “million men (and women)” march that organizers called for. With CNN continuously running in my Frederick home, I duly noted that besieged President Hosni Mubarak appointed a new cabinet, and last evening he finally offered dialogue with opposition leaders.


January 31, 2011
My Poor Egypt
Roy Meachum

Sunday demonstrations in Cairo coming into my Market Street home, via CNN, brought buildings and sights familiar from when I lived in Egypt. Muhammad Anwar Sadat still slept in the presidential mansion.


January 28, 2011
My “Son” Blaine
Roy Meachum

Although we are of different political persuasions, Blaine Young is my political son. I understand him more fully than his real father, as I discovered in conversation with new state Senator Ron Young. His stepmother, Frederick City’s president pro tem Karen Young, doesn’t accept Blaine at all.


January 25, 2011
Mooney’s Latest “Dirty” Ploy
Roy Meachum

Alex Mooney’s victory in Annapolis last week was buried in The Frederick News-Post. His triumphant ploy received further obfuscation by the local editor in charge of headlines: “PIPKIN REPLACES BRINKLEY AS SENATE MINORITY WHIP.”


January 21, 2011
JFK Golden Anniversary
Roy Meachum

Washington’s Camelot started 50 years ago Thursday when John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy moved into the White House.


January 18, 2011
Michael Steele’s Hubris
Roy Meachum

Six years ago no one I knew doubted GOP gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich’s running mate was selected chiefly because of his color.


January 14, 2011
Another MLK Birthday
Roy Meachum

When Broadway hit – later a movie – “Great White Hope” premiered at Arena Stage, I was the only Washington critic wowed by the show; moving to New York’s Alvin Theatre mine were the quotes on the billboard out front.


January 11, 2011
Invective Takes Toll
Roy Meachum

The furious ranting cited in Friday’s column (“Less Perfect Union,” January 7, 2011) claimed blood Saturday in the savage wounding of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The state’s highest ranking federal judge, John Roll, and five others were killed.


January 7, 2011
Less Perfect Union
Roy Meachum

Never in American history have voters been as furious as they were in the last two national elections; if anything, Frederick County citizens in the November races were even more ticked off.


January 4, 2011
Honored Dead
Roy Meachum

There are no tears left. For young men needlessly slaughtered in Iraq and Afghanistan, the tears are all exhausted. My sorrow deepened with the invasion to take Baghdad, as I wrote. The military-industrial complex, today’s gods of war, had their way.


December 31, 2010
In Memoriam: Billy Taylor
Roy Meachum

You know, Billy Taylor died Wednesday. Tributes were all over the media. Many editors awarded his passing a front-page niche, including his “hometown” Washington Post.


December 31, 2010
Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 28, 2010
Worst Grinch Ever
Roy Meachum

Under the ex-Nazi Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Roman Catholic Church has reverted to the Inquisition that burned covert Muslims and non-public Jews, principally because they prospered in Spain’s Islamic empire. Even worse, pregnant women are now the target.


December 24, 2010
Frederick Children
Roy Meachum

These observations appeared in my Frederick News-Post column the December sleigh bells-bedecked horses pulled wagons through downtown streets; a spectacle that had disappeared several decades before. It was also the season when my column first appeared.


December 21, 2010
The Art of Politics
Roy Meachum

Rushing to exit the Capitol for America’s High Holidays, the U.S. Senate once again put on national display what politics is really about. I’ve never been able to find the genius who described the game-playing as “the art of compromise.”


December 17, 2010
Ruling Ourselves
Roy Meachum

Never tied to a partisan point of view, I’ve always considered charter to be the best of all possible forms of government for Frederick County.


December 14, 2010
Poor Republicans
Roy Meachum

Bob Ehrlich broke Maryland Republicans’ hearts. By way of expiation, in choosing a chairman for the state GOP, they rejected running mate Mary Kane and chose rightist radical ex-Sen. Alex Mooney.


December 10, 2010
A Review – “Candide”
Roy Meachum

Since 18, I’ve been an admirer of Voltaire’s satirical “Candide,” converted into an operetta by composer Leonard Bernstein and author Lillian Hellman, more than 50 years ago.


December 7, 2010
Political Cabal
Roy Meachum

Chuck Jenkins’ swearing in happened without me; I saw him afterward at the ceremony for the new commissioners. I wasn’t invited.


December 3, 2010
Odd Man Out
Roy Meachum

Mike Sponseller picked me up early. He wanted to sit on the front row to cheer the new Board of County Commissioners; he had more than his share of troubles with the old ones.


November 30, 2010
Second Elections Thoughts
Roy Meachum

Winchester Hall acquires four newly elected commissioners Wednesday; David Gray was the single county ruler who was approved by voters before.


November 26, 2010
Another Thanksgiving Friday
Roy Meachum

Mike Kurtianyk sighing over cutting grass so late triggered memories of another Thanksgiving Friday. My “columning” in Frederick began that day, in 1984.


November 23, 2010
Angry Politics
Roy Meachum

The raging anger in political debates leaves me perplexed, as readers know very well.


November 19, 2010
I Was Dead Wrong!
Roy Meachum

Following up on Tuesday’s column (“Real Devil”), I hailed the election of New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, on Wednesday’s TheTentacle.com as the president of the national bishops’ conference for a sign that America’s Catholics were free of the Vatican’s power-sucking into itself.


November 18, 2010
Skip Lawrence, R.I.P.
Roy Meachum

Over 20 years writing a column for The Frederick News-Post, I came to know consummate professions, devoted to journalism with a passion.


November 17, 2010
Catholic Follow-Up
Roy Meachum

Despite all the Vatican’s attempt to impose autocratic papal rule on the international Roman Catholic Church, and this country in particular, American bishops remain defiant.


November 16, 2010
Real Devil
Roy Meachum

About 100 Roman Catholic prelates and priests gathered over the weekend for sessions on exorcism, by way of prelude to the annual fall conference of American cardinals, archbishops and bishops in Baltimore that started Monday.


November 12, 2010
Blaine’s Single Elected Term
Roy Meachum

Elected primarily on the basis they will slash the budget in all sorts of – but unspecified – ways, Frederick’s new Board of County Commissioners will be sworn-in in three weeks; minus two days.


November 9, 2010
Last Katzenjammer Kid
Roy Meachum

Alex Mooney’s first jaunt in Annapolis was signally disturbing. The state senator’s cavorting with Del. Joe Bartlett earned from my columnist’s view the label of Katzenjammer Kids.


November 5, 2010
What now?
Roy Meachum

Democrats had their hats stuffed down their throats Tuesday! It’s happened before.


November 2, 2010
New Reformation?
Roy Meachum

You may have missed the story. The gates to St. Peter’s were locked Sunday to keep out priestly sexual abuse victims from  the United States, Italy, Britain, Ireland, Australia and other countries.


October 29, 2010
Lousy, Stinking Politics
Roy Meachum

Going into the weekend before Tuesday’s election, The Frederick News-Post contained several surprising items – even in a political season when surprises can be expected.


October 27, 2010
A REVIEW – MET’s Sensational “Dracula”
Roy Meachum

Much more high-camp than scary, “Dracula” weighs in as the best production I’ve ever seen in Maryland Ensemble Theatre history, stretching back for nigh onto 13 years.


October 26, 2010
Coming Revolution
Roy Meachum

All pundits, observers and every media account predict dire disaster for Democrats next Tuesday.


October 19, 2010
Death’s Wings
Roy Meachum

TheTentacle.com readers know Eddie Fisher’s death hit me hard; he was two months and eight days older. At least he made to 82, as I did yesterday. I’ve said before to everyone around, more people in my life are underground than walking around on this earth.


October 15, 2010
Breaking Mideast Negotiations’ Back
Roy Meachum

In the hurly-burly of life these days, you almost certainly did not notice how hard-line Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week tried again to break the back of the stalled negotiations with Palestinians.


October 12, 2010
Mean Nation?
Roy Meachum

Last week’s column, “Anger Divides These United States,” dealt with the political arena. From my aged perception, a considerable portion of the electorate faces November voting blinded because of unreasoning anger.


October 8, 2010
Winchester Cathedral Window
Roy Meachum

A stained-glass window, at some expense, stands in the Winchester Cathedral, the church of the British Army Royal Rifles; it comes to mind again because of the latest awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor.


October 5, 2010
Anger Divides These United States
Roy Meachum

In counterpoint to the Tea Party rally on Washington’s Mall in late August, various organizations, especially the N.A.A.C.P. and labor unions, showed up Saturday.


October 1, 2010
My Last Time with Eddie
Roy Meachum

They were not yet married. But Eddie Fisher’s fifth wife booked him into Hershey Park a dozen years ago. Penetrating Ruth Lin’s isolation bubble to protect the singer, her brother ushered me into Eddie’s dressing room, for what turned out to be the last conversation, with my Army best friend.


September 30, 2010
Milton Berle’s Suite
Roy Meachum

Over the years since Army Band days, Eddie Fisher and I played a now-and-again role in each other’s life, notably one morning in Milton Berle’s suite at the Essex House, loaned to my friend. At the time, I was in New York on National Symphony business.


September 29, 2010
Meeting Debbie
Roy Meachum

The New York visits were timed not to interfere with our regular band duties. I emceed the concerts; he sang on "pops" programs. Every once in a while, accompanied by a seven-man Army Band combo, Eddie’s popularity enabled him to stroke his fans in the Washington area, especially at Walter Reed Medical Center.


September 28, 2010
Eddie Fisher Appears
Roy Meachum

In the band auditorium, a skinny private first class shook my hand; he came unheralded and unknown – at least to me. His slow smile was charming, almost juvenile. Hugh Curry introduced us. By his side, a bald man named Milton Blackstone, his manager, smiled. The soldier was Edwin Jack Fisher, a South Philadelphia boy; drafted at the point his career took a dramatic upturn.


September 21, 2010
Pope’s Chutzpah
Roy Meachum

Benedict XVI’s gall exceeds even the Yiddish word “Chutzpah.” The latest example ended Sunday when he retired from London to Rome’s Vatican City.


September 17, 2010
New Extremism
Roy Meachum

“Extremism in the defense of liberty…Moderation in the pursuit of freedom is no virtue.” Sen. Barry Goldwater (R., AZ) defended his conservatism in the 1964 presidential race against incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson.


September 14, 2010
The Union Still Stands
Roy Meachum

In the Great Depression’s worst days, as war storms blew up over Europe for all the world, American writer Stephen Vincent Benet wrote “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” The allegory’s most famous line, “Neighbor, how stands the Union?”


September 10, 2010
Media Hype
Roy Meachum

As TheTentacle.com colleague Norm Covert revealed, the present Fort Detrick “scandal” is a creature of The Frederick News-Post; Norm served long years as the fort’s public affairs director. He knows. But he said the local paper has made no attempt to interview him.


September 7, 2010
On My Deafness
Roy Meachum

“On His Blindness” was written by John Milton, an English poet surpassed only by William Shakespeare. Too bad Ludwig van Beethoven was only a great composer; but he spoke another language.


September 3, 2010
New Messiah?
Roy Meachum

The last time I reported on a massive throng gathered around the Reflecting Pool, in front of the seated marble Abraham Lincoln, it was the first major anti-Vietnam demonstration that eventually led to toppling Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency.


August 31, 2010
Lazy Fair Didn’t Do Nothing
Roy Meachum

In a version of my native Louisiana patois, the above phrase translated into standard English says: Letting people do anything they please accomplished little.


August 27, 2010
Lacking All Political Conviction
Roy Meachum

“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

William Butler Yeats

 


August 24, 2010
Political Acts
Roy Meachum

In last week’s columns, I sought to explain, with relevant examples, how politics relate directly to how politicians act, beyond their words.


August 20, 2010
Politicians, not Politics
Roy Meachum

For coming up 26 years, some in this community think many of my columns are about politics. They are wrong.


August 18, 2010
Another Caesar or Napoleon? – Part 2
Roy Meachum

Monday’s New York Times: Gen. David H. Petraeus began his campaign to convince the public that the coalition can succeed, saying he had not come to Afghanistan to preside over a “graceful exit.”


August 17, 2010
Another Caesar or Napoleon? – Part 1
Roy Meachum

Captivated by their romantic image of Imperial Rome, people can forget the Italian peninsula before Christ came into the world was home to a brilliant, doomed republic. Julius Caesar put an end to that.


August 13, 2010
Middle East Morass
Roy Meachum

Both The New York Times and The Washington Post front pages this week reminded that our Middle Eastern forces are scheduled for drastic reductions at this month’s end.


August 10, 2010
No Class Political Acts
Roy Meachum

As my fellow Democrats can attest: Partisanship is not a big thing with me.


August 6, 2010
Spitting, No Feud
Roy Meachum

The Frederick News-Post headline had it wrong: “PATTERSON RUN FOR BOE SPARKS FEUD AMONG CANDIDATES.” It was a spitting contest between two immature, unqualified candidates.


August 3, 2010
Bigotry’s Thriving
Roy Meachum

In the new millennium’s second decade, it must be observed: Bigotry survives and thrives. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notched a new blow over the weekend for the very principle it was organized to fight.


July 30, 2010
Shirley Sherrod Triumphant
Roy Meachum

Over the past two weeks America was properly appalled by the public crucifixion and immediate restoration of Shirley Sherrod. I’ve read literally thousands of words related to the fired agriculture department Georgia director.


July 28, 2010
Daniel Schorr
Roy Meachum

Dan Schorr was not my buddy. We met when he joined CBS in 1953. The network’s bureau moved to Broadcast House a year later when the building opened.


July 27, 2010
All Illegals
Roy Meachum

In my blood run both Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes; my maternal grandfather’s French family settled in the Natchez Trace. I’m not a blue-eyed Cherokee – the object of scorn to Native Americans.


July 23, 2010
Offing Obama
Roy Meachum

The final straw for me was the British hedge fund manager’s saying Sunday that Barack Obama should be “shorted:” Wall Street-speak for finished off.


July 20, 2010
More Meaningless Papal Blather
Roy Meachum

Last week I exchanged Email with the priest whose plight plunged me into reporting the tribulations of the Roman Catholic Church, some 43 years ago.


July 19, 2010
A REVIEW – X-Rated “Muppets”
Roy Meachum

Wondering how any puppet show could win three Tony awards, to find out I wandered into the 7th Street theatre for the Washington Shakespeare Company for Friday’s opening night.


July 16, 2010
The Commissioners’ Final Whirlwind
Roy Meachum

In this Board of County Commissioners’ swan songs there is a frenzy to get done items postponed and neglected in the past.


July 13, 2010
Crowded Wannabes
Roy Meachum

It’s entirely possible that so many candidates filed for elections in recent years, I don’t remember.


July 9, 2010
“Real” Candidates
Roy Meachum

Editor and Publisher John Ashbury attached to Fridays’ TheTentacle.com the list of filed candidates for state and county races, since before most of us felt a political urge, one way or another.


July 9, 2010
My Best Friend Forever
Roy Meachum

He appeared in my life when he was a black-and-white butterball, only 12-weeks-old. Today he reached 12-years-old.


July 6, 2010
The Maryland Republican Mess
Roy Meachum

Mingling again at the GOP’s Barley & Hops First Friday night, I realized that most of my best friends are Republicans. They regard me as wild-eyed and totally liberal. They might put up with me because of my bald head and gray beard.


July 2, 2010
A Different Fourth
Roy Meachum

As Congress broke for the Fourth of July holiday, “Fiddlin’ Bobby’s” Senate seat sat empty, bedecked with funereal colors and adorned, it was pictured, by white roses.


June 29, 2010
Vatican “Astonishment”
Roy Meachum

Belgian police raided Catholic files and wound up holding the bishops of Belgium in custody for hours. They were seeking to unearth records on church clergy who sexually abused youths.


June 25, 2010
Mouthy General
Roy Meachum

By coincidence, when President Harry S Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in 1951, Army duty took me to the U.S. Military Academy.


June 22, 2010
Deadly Hayward Intersection
Roy Meachum

Patience came to me, as I older grow. Maybe it’s a natural tendency to slow things down in the twilight years.


June 18, 2010
Obama and the Oil Spill
Roy Meachum

The morning after the presidential speech from the Oval Office a black friend called, totally upset. He had been listening to TV commentators.


June 15, 2010
Missing Rick Weldon
Roy Meachum

Rocky Mackintosh had a column Monday. He more or less replaced Rick Weldon on TheTentacle.com.


June 11, 2010
“Tip” O’Neill Proven Right
Roy Meachum

Attempting to assert themselves as powerful, the main media keep tripping up. The cacophony from New York and Washington newsrooms has a weird cast.


June 8, 2010
Exit Helen Thomas, Journalism Icon
Roy Meachum

Monday while going into Safeway, the radio said Helen Thomas resigned from her last post, as a Hearst Syndicate columnist.


June 4, 2010
A REVIEW – Hippodrome’s “39 Steps”
Roy Meachum

Let me prepare you for the exciting happenings taking place on-stage at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre. “The 39 Steps” is nothing like anything I’d ever seen.


June 4, 2010
Israeli Arrogance
Roy Meachum

The international community’s bowels are in an absolute uproar because of Israel’s mortal raid Monday night on a flotilla that had the announced purpose of breaking a blockade that kept 1.5 million people ill-nourished, lacking suitable housing and with the barest of medical care.


June 1, 2010
Father, R.I.P.
Roy Meachum

We cope with the first day of summer; but not astronomically speaking. Swimming pools are officially open and it’s okay to wear white. Not because I said so.


May 28, 2010
Obama Can’t Win
Roy Meachum

On the issue of the Gulf spill, my right-wing friends appear, at least, capable of hypocrisy. And yesterday’s demonstration of how to cap a runaway oil well makes little difference.


May 25, 2010
My Poor Louisiana
Roy Meachum

Pictures of oil-soaked birds do not remind me of my Louisiana boyhood, but a Washington television assignment.

 


May 21, 2010
A Senate Fight: Ron Young
Roy Meachum

By contesting incumbent state Sen. Alex Mooney, Ron Young guarantees a fight that gives no quarters. They openly detest each other.


May 19, 2010
A Review – Funny “Planet Claire”
Roy Meachum

There may be a plot to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s “Planet Claire.” Because of the laughter, approving applause and whole lot of dancing going on, I never found it.


May 18, 2010
A Senate Fight: Alex Mooney
Roy Meachum

The lack of activity to unseat state Sen. David Brinkley is encouraging; it is also a tribute to the low key that he brings to the job. Although of different political persuasions, David attracted my admiration long ago.


May 14, 2010
Pushkin Acupuncture – Part 2
Roy Meachum

One night, some four weeks back, the English pointer and I adjourned up the stairs and instead of waiting in the middle of the bed; he sprawled on a stuffed quilt given by my second best friend. Knowing the cushioned comfort he napped on in the library, she didn’t want to take a chance of his sleeping on the bedroom floor that is covered with an Oriental rug and pad, and that’s it.


May 13, 2010
Pushkin Acupuncture – Part 1
Roy Meachum

When the English pointer bounces me out for the daily stroll, I take great pride in how Pushkin handles people and other critters. He has down pat the principle “don’t bother me and I’ll leave you totally alone.”


May 12, 2010
The War Goes On – Part 2
Roy Meachum

In Iraq, the Bush White House was caught between two juggernauts.


May 11, 2010
The War Goes On – Part One
Roy Meachum

Readers know that I am not a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, in general. What sticks in my craw – and endangers my fellow Americans – is the senseless, useless and too expensive war in Iraq and Afghanistan he continues to support.


May 7, 2010
Sheriff Jenkins’ Second Term
Roy Meachum

One of the greatest compliments accorded to words was delivered by a GOP opponent of Chuck Jenkins; he was a man of great connections, in solid with the county’s good ol’ boys. I wrote columns informing voters of the problems he would bring, including his wife.


May 4, 2010
My Poor Church
Roy Meachum

The New York Times was dragged through pitch-hot coals for reporting on the Catholic Church sexual scandals. The paper has been accused of conducting a campaign of vilification and vituperation against Pope Benedict XVI.


April 30, 2010
Blocking the Road
Roy Meachum

My GOP friends may find difficulty in believing that I wear no party brand on my bald head.


April 27, 2010
On a Roll
Roy Meachum

There was simply no way for Barack Obama to reply point by point the barrages of fault-finding in his first months. In the first place, some of the points took more of a reply than words, as the president showed.


April 23, 2010
Herblock
Roy Meachum

My first job out of the Army was with The Washington Post, not as a reporter but a copyboy; sort of an apprentice journalist. With a wife and not-quite two-year-old boy, the G.I. Bill did not cover our expenses. At the time, my plan was to finish the University of Maryland and return to law school in New Orleans.


April 20, 2010
Voters Don’t Always Mind the Media
Roy Meachum

Everything political is subject to analyzing to a fare-thee-well – and beyond. The very worst example that comes to mind is how Scott Brown’s election was a cruel and costly blow to the president.


April 19, 2010
Schon Genug Already
Roy Meachum

Richard Goldstone is a distinguished South African jurist, so distinguished he was asked by the United Nations to conduct an inquiry into what really happened when the Gaza Strip was invaded by Israel.


April 16, 2010
Some of My Best Friends
Roy Meachum

Some of my best friends had a rollicking time Thursday, speaking and ranting against Washington, the White House and the current resident. If you’re read my columns, I have made crystal clear my opinions on all three.


April 15, 2010
A REVIEW – The Play with Three Authors
Roy Meachum

In a play Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company opened last weekend, the writer is publicized as the French tragedian Pierre Corneille; “The Liar” is listed as his only comedy. But Monsieur Corneille publicly proclaimed he had lifted the idea from Spanish-American Jose Ruiz de Alarcon.


April 14, 2010
A REVIEW – Wrong About “Phantom”
Roy Meachum

When “The Phantom of the Opera” first played before my reviewer’s eyes, some 25 years ago, at the Kennedy Center, it earned a negative notice. Looking at the show, opening night at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, I was shocked to find how wrong I was.


April 13, 2010
Right, But for Wrong Reason
Roy Meachum

In proclaiming April a Confederate history month without mentioning slavery, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell was right, but for the wrong reason.


April 9, 2010
Playing the Race Card
Roy Meachum

Frederick Republican friends introduced Michael Steele when he was running for lieutenant governor, in 2002; I found him diffident and very intelligent. He had a warm smile. Robert Ehrlich headed the ticket.


April 7, 2010
A Review – Sexy “Canterbury Tales”
Roy Meachum

First it should be established the Maryland Ensemble Theatre operates in the basement of what was once the Francis Scott Key Hotel. It’s possible to argue that some of the bedroom antics upstairs must have moved downstairs.


April 6, 2010
Pressure on the Pope
Roy Meachum

The “pope story” sprouted longer legs than I supposed; Easter Sunday it developed a definite hitch in its giddy-up that promises to stretch people’s reactions into Memorial Day, or beyond. And the resulting media attention. It is no longer about sexual abuse; it now has to do with the basic structure of the Roman Catholic Church.


April 2, 2010
Yes, We Still Can
Roy Meachum

You may remember Marvel Comics’ Clark Kent, a mild and diffident dude who honed from afar after Lois Lane, a fellow reporter at The Daily Planet. He was totally different after stepping into a phone booth and emerging as Superman. Something like that took place before our very eyes to the present resident of the White House.


March 30, 2010
How Long?
Roy Meachum

You might think the Vatican’s role in sexual scandals is the result of an eager-beaver press, intent on bringing down the Roman Catholic Church. That is neither true nor necessary.


March 26, 2010
Don’t Blame Karl Marx
Roy Meachum

In these social and political circles, my attitude is apparently peculiar. While the left cheers and the right fulminates – or worse – I do neither. Blame it on my years spent in Washington, when various motions and movements threatened the civilized world, as we know it – “but waking no such matter.” (The quote comes from a Shakespearean sonnet the last line of which goes: “In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.”)


March 23, 2010
Variety Show
Roy Meachum

John “Lennie” Thompson probably got it wrong again! As usual. He may have thought his motion for Frederick County to secede from the state has historical precedence. Legendary Jones County did not withdraw from Mississippi during the Civil War. Never happened. The phrase, “The Free State of Jones,” was casually tossed around way before what my ancestors called “The War for Southern Independence.”


March 19, 2010
Real “Green Zone”
Roy Meachum

*Friday is a day off from Lent, particularly in New Orleans where St. Joseph’s feast day is celebrated by tables loaded with food.


March 16, 2010
Vanished Snow
Roy Meachum

The snow finally vanished from my patio. It took seemingly weeks and weeks to be gone. For much of the past winter, as I remember now, Pushkin could not get enough purchase with a foot to bound into the usual area, in the farther corner, where he did his “business.” It felt like forever since the paving blocks and asphalt had last appeared in plain sight.


March 12, 2010
Gino Barone
Roy Meachum

The story told after the last great mob riots in Washington was that Gino Barone had the single white face that could walk unscathed through the arsonists and looters. The occasion for the riot was the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.


March 9, 2010
Iraq Votes
Roy Meachum

The world was warned that results of the Sunday Iraq elections will be along when they’ll be along: in days or in weeks; the way things go in that part of the world. Everything, they believe, depends on the One God, a literal translation of Allah.


March 5, 2010
The Fall of Marion Barry
Roy Meachum

On Wednesday The Washington Post published: “A defiant D.C. Council Member Marion Barry told a packed Baptist church in Southeast Washington on Tuesday night that despite the decision of the City Council to censure him and strip him of his committee chairmanship, he doesn’t plan to fade away…,’’ the former mayor told several hundred supporters. “They may take my committee chair. They can’t take my dignity.”


March 2, 2010
FBI Report? Hog Wash!
Roy Meachum

New Orleans detectives rode Aunt Kate and me to a restaurant where crabs and oysters were free for anyone buying beer. In my case, it was Barque’s root beer, once a local drink made and bottled on the Mississippi Gulf Shore. (The Coca Cola Corporation did me and all the other displaced coonasses a great favor when it bought Barq’s lock, stock and barrel of caffeinated root beer.)


February 26, 2010
A REVIEW – Another “Oklahoma”
Roy Meachum

The lovely musical about my father’s native state set Broadway on fire. “Oklahoma” was not only a record-breaking hit; it also set the pattern for shows that followed. “In the Heights” looks ready to pull off the same trick.


February 26, 2010
Galen Clagett
Roy Meachum

He was president of the Board of County Commissioners when I started writing a Frederick column. The first time I essayed into local politics came the last spring before he was unceremoniously dumped in a run for the House of Delegates.


February 25, 2010
A REVIEW – Shakespeare Theatre’s Triumphal Pair
Roy Meachum

Shakespeare’s history is not to be trusted. He remains true to his profession as storyteller, feeling free to fudge on petty details; sometimes he manages whopping lies, as long as the ending comes out to accord with factual truths. Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company has a pair of doozies currently running in repertory: Richard II and Henry V.


February 23, 2010
Enough Tiger Woods
Roy Meachum

Unlike movie stars and rock musicians, Tiger Woods’ celebrity does not rest on his popularity; quite the contrary. There’re a number of tournament ticket buyers who put up money with the hope they were on hand when the golf champion crashes. It’s a verity of every human endeavor, especially true of minorities.


February 19, 2010
Another “Moderate” Gone
Roy Meachum

Upon Frederick’s Charles “Mac” Mathias’ death, I reported the surviving Charles “Chuck” Percy was left alone; the judgment came from my reporting days on Capitol Hill. Both senators were victims of the GOP rush to cleanse its ranks of moderates in Congress. They were not alone, but two Republicans I knew and interacted with.


February 16, 2010
Commissioner “Jerk” Thompson
Roy Meachum

Certainly next December will end the political career of John Leonard Thompson. God willing! Acting the jerk consistently, the commissioner tarnishes consistently Frederick County’s good name; fortunately other officials act to clean up his messes.


February 12, 2010
George Preston Marshall
Roy Meachum

My hometown’s Saints made out last Sunday; they beat Archie Manning’s son, who was brought up in the Garden District. Peyton’s father quarterbacked for the New Orleans team during the voodoo bad beginnings. Sunday, the TV rating set a 106.5 million record in this country; that beat out the 1983 last show of M*A*S*H.


February 9, 2010
My First (Ever) Snow
Roy Meachum

Winter flirts with New Orleans; it plays peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek. When the sun glares with blinding intensity and clouds stay out of the way, some January days demand no more than shirt sleeves.


February 5, 2010
Blaine Young
Roy Meachum

His exact age I’ve never known, but I think he was 12 or 13 when we met: sitting on a Winchester Hall bench beside his mother, waiting for election results. His father was again roaring to victory that night. City Republicans had a hard time finding anyone to run against him. Ron Young was the longest serving Frederick mayor in modern history.


February 2, 2010
Corporations As Citizens
Roy Meachum

Somewhere in the Constitution, I guess, the Founding Fathers equated companies and corporations with the rights of American citizens; I don’t know where. Still it must be there. Otherwise the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overstepped its authority.


January 29, 2010
Goodbye, Mac
Roy Meachum

Charles “Chuck” Percy now stands alone. Together with Frederick’s Charles “Mac” Mathias, they once fought against polarization within their Republican Party. I knew them in Washington from reporting on Capitol Hill.


January 26, 2010
Great Expectations
Roy Meachum

Many voices – including mine – were raised against Democrat Martha Coakley’s indolent campaign in last week’s loss to Republican Scott Brown; they bumped heads in Massachusetts’ special election for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat. On further thought I find she was no less guilty than the majority of Americans who swept Barack Obama into the White House.


January 22, 2010
True Democracy
Roy Meachum

Coming one day before Barack Obama’s first anniversary as president, Tuesday’s TheTentacle.com column anticipated the big object lesson held up by both parties:


January 19, 2010
January 19, 2010
Roy Meachum

Barack Obama marks his first anniversary in the White House tomorrow. Ironically, the first major test of his administering the nation’s problem comes today in the election for the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat.


January 15, 2010
Mooney Lost, Jenkins Won!
Roy Meachum

Give Michael Hough credit: When asked by The Frederick News-Post how his position differed from Charles Jenkins on illegal immigration, he said: “I don’t know that we’d vote differently on the issue.”


January 12, 2010
“My Littlest Fascist”
Roy Meachum

When Alex Mooney’s political fuzz still rested on his cherubic cheek, I took to calling the state senator “My littlest Fascist,” to the point he replied: “I don’t like that.” To which I answered: “Please stop acting like one, Alex.”


January 8, 2010
Another Systemic Screw-up
Roy Meachum

Some five years ago, in August, I was caught in Turkey when an attempt on an airliner occurred using fluid from the suspect’s shaving kit; that was when the feds proclaimed a limit on liquids brought on board.


January 5, 2010
Day Off But No Recyclables
Roy Meachum

It may be fashionable to criticize new Mayor Randy McClement for giving Frederick city employees Christmas Eve off; I don’t buy that line. Drawing from my corporate experience, nothing gets done in offices that date. Take that back: emergencies are sometimes handled – and that’s it.


January 1, 2010
Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 29, 2009
Why So Much Anger?
Roy Meachum

His name does not come to mind, nor his party; a man observed the anger on today’s Capitol Hill is greater than the Civil War run-up when congressmen beat and struck each other. In at least one case, a legislator was “called out,” invited to duel for words said on the floor.


December 25, 2009
Frederick Children
Roy Meachum

These observations appeared in my Frederick News-Post column the December sleigh bells-bedecked horses pulled wagons through downtown streets; a spectacle that had disappeared several decades before. It was also the season when my column first appeared.


December 22, 2009
Mice in My Kitchen
Roy Meachum

Pushkin and I live in an about 250-year-old house; built entirely of logs down to its foundation, walkers-by can’t see that. The front on North Market Street was added in the early 19th century, sometime before pocket doors were invented. The older part was then covered with bricks to match the new addition.


December 18, 2009
On His Way Out the Door
Roy Meachum

The Frederick News-Post published this week the story: On his way out the door, new ex-mayor Jeff Holtzinger “signed off on legal action against Frederick County to appeal an ordinance requiring developers to abide by strict school capacity requirements on newly annexed land.” The quote comes directly from the front-page piece.


December 15, 2009
Obama’s Rough Road
Roy Meachum

It was a lark week for the president. Not only because he picked up his Nobel Peace Prize, more importantly there were signs the economy was on the mend. He and I continue to come apart on the issue of the Afghanistan war that was initially botched when his predecessor abandoned the mission, to take on Iraq.


December 11, 2009
Celebrity Crisis to Celebrity Crisis
Roy Meachum

This nation seems to lurch from celebrity crisis to celebrity crisis. When there is none, the media declare a scandal and plunge ahead on telling people more than we want to know, particularly when previously unknowns pull off an outrageous trick on the establishment. We’re not talking about Tiger Woods, of course.


December 8, 2009
New City Hall
Roy Meachum

Before my next TheTentacle.com column appears, City Hall goes through its shakeup, ordered by voters. This does not include Jeff Holtzinger; the current mayor, on his own, decided four years were enough. He’s being replaced Thursday by fellow Republican Randy McClement. This is not the way things were supposed to work.


December 4, 2009
American Reign of Terror
Roy Meachum

The anniversary of an important event in my life was published in the History column of all three papers I read daily. It was 55 years this week that the U.S. Senate cast out Joseph R. McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.” Less than two years later, in early May, I was the Washington reporter to cover the political eulogies his last day in town.


December 1, 2009
Obama’s Breach of Faith
Roy Meachum

When the president of the United States talks to the nation tonight, I will not be listening. One chief reason I backed so enthusiastically Barack Obama was his campaign pledge to remove American forces from the Middle East. In addition to everything else, including his endorsing George W. Bush’s wars, Sen. John McCain was simply not my political tea.


November 27, 2009
REVIEW: Good and Bad Theatrical Nights
Roy Meachum

It has been nearly 44 years since I first sat on the aisle as a critic; although reviewer might be more appropriate. Because of working on television (Washington’s Channel 9), the number of words was limited to maybe 250. Switching to print, the amount doubled but still not enough to nit and pick aspects of the production and the people in it.


November 24, 2009
Childhood Holidays
Roy Meachum

With its rich tradition of Mardi Gras, I must report it was the only holiday publicly celebrated. In my New Orleans childhood, while there were balls in the weeks before Fat Tuesday, attendance was limited to Krewe (club) members. Things really came apart the weekend before Ash Wednesday when out-of-towners poured through the railroad stations; air travel was still in the future. But Thanksgiving couldn’t be celebrated in a more subdued manner.


November 20, 2009
Commissioners’ Hypocrisy
Roy Meachum

Winchester Hall changed the rules again. Unable to keep the tax base invested in three properties Frederick agreed to annex, county commissioners voted 4-1 to bar development based on school spaces available. Charles Jenkins was the lone vote not to tinker with owners’ rights.


November 17, 2009
The First Amendment: Again
Roy Meachum

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


November 13, 2009
Three Mass Murders
Roy Meachum

Before history dawned, tribes killed killers for revenge. Has mankind abandoned the “eye for an eye” mentality? We offer three current examples, including Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.


November 10, 2009
“Berlin bleibt doch Berlin”
Roy Meachum

That’s how Marlene Dietrich sang it. “Berlin remains Berlin after all” may be the closest translation I can make in English. I lived there years before the Wall went up; the 20th anniversary of its fall was celebrated around the world yesterday, setting off memories in me.


November 9, 2009
REVIEW: Michael Jackson, I Never Knew You
Roy Meachum

It was a surprise. Young people were walking around the local movie theatres with pasteboard and plastic festooning their wrists. A guy when asked where he was going responded: “The Michael Jackson movie.”


November 6, 2009
Jennifer Factor
Roy Meachum

She certainly has a way about her. The sometime saloonkeeper and Irish gift merchant that came up from Washington to attend Mount St. Mary’s and decided she liked what she saw. Jennifer Dougherty has been a heavy factor in Frederick’s elections the last eight years.


November 3, 2009
Pushkin between the Polls
Roy Meachum

On this voting day in the city, I can almost envy Pushkin; the boy Pointer will sail through the whole democratic process unaffected. He might be inconvenienced by accompanying me to the basement of Evangelical Lutheran Church on East Church Street. Although his shank is long and his beard grizzled, he always finds admirers. No sweat.


October 30, 2009
Attack Politics
Roy Meachum

You may have missed the latest survey: a majority of Americans said they no longer have confidence in where their country is headed. As usual sixty-five percent disapprove of the performance by Congress. At the same time, the president’s personal rating held steady at 56 per cent – in the Wall Street Journal/NBC paid-for measurement of the national mood.


October 28, 2009
REVIEW: Dr. Jekyll and Four Mr. Hydes
Roy Meachum

You read the column’s head right. The Maryland Ensemble Theatre is retelling Robert Louis Stevenson classic story in playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s version; no longer is a case of schizophrenia limited to a single individual. Mr. Hatcher took “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and spread the latter’s evil among four actors, including a woman, Karen Paone.


October 27, 2009
Then There Are Five
Roy Meachum

Let me confess up front that I have been to no candidate forums and was fed stories that proved no more than flimsy rumors. This does not make me unusual in the community. What sets me apart from two-thirds of my fellow registered voters? I plan to hike over to the Evangelical Lutheran polling place next Tuesday.


October 23, 2009
Good Thing about Elected Officials……They can be non-elected
Roy Meachum

Although the Frederick City political shoot-out comes in less than two weeks, my mind fixes first on next year’s races – for the Board of County Commissioners. Having watched their brazen attempt to dictate annexation to City Hall, they maintain fierce lockstep behind board President Jan Gardner.


October 22, 2009
Topol’s Tevye – What a Mitzvah!
Roy Meachum

First, maybe I should explain mitzvah. Literally a blessing; it involves no requisite words or accoutrements. It is usually a deed done for someone else. Normally, it meets a need, not realizable normally. So when I say Topol’s Tevye amounts to a mitzvah for Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, I should say, it’s for the audiences flocking in the next two weeks to witness “Fiddler on the Roof.”


October 20, 2009
Weird Election, Maybe Strange
Roy Meachum

My professional observing of Frederick politics started in 1984, right after I voted locally for the first time; I moved here from Washington only the year before. Working as a member of the White House press corps did not prepare me for the move, in any way.


October 16, 2009
A New Light on Winchester Hall’s Scheming
Roy Meachum

The Frederick News-Post’s Meg Tully reported this week: “The Frederick County Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to call for a special election for those who live on those properties as one more way to delay or stop the much-debated annexations.”


October 14, 2009
Michael Kahn Does “The Alchemist!”
Roy Meachum

 

I’ve warned you about Michael Kahn before. The artistic director of Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company continues to make stage classics work by inserting shtickla the writer could not have imagined. He’s done it again in “The Alchemist,” by Ben Jonson.


October 13, 2009
No to County Commissioners
Roy Meachum

Kai Hagen and John L. “Lennie” Thompson cannot count on me; I will not sign the petition putting on the ballot the question of annexing three properties. And the same answer goes to the other commissioners.


October 9, 2009
False Media Prophets
Roy Meachum

The Washington Post and The New York Times have changed their tune. Both powerful newspapers bellowed intense “jingoism” at Iraq’s invasion. They thoughtlessly went along with what in columns I called an expression of national egotism. You wouldn’t know it if you read either paper today.


October 6, 2009
In the Street Origin
Roy Meachum

I don’t remember that there were several thousand marching; I could be wrong. Among the numerous people who poured out that October Saturday in 1983 were my then-wife, her 88-year-old father and me. The weather was decent; I can’t recall details. But it didn’t rain that day, nor was it beastly hot.


October 2, 2009
Rather Not
Roy Meachum

TheTentacle.com readers know that I valued my friendship with Walter Cronkite, begun because we shared space in Washington’s Broadcast House, when the building was going up. Over the years we both tended the relationship; on his part, by taking my calls immediately; no matter what was going on at CBS.


September 29, 2009
Nothing to Do With Frederick
Roy Meachum

One of my friends named John is a staunch Republican to the point where we rarely talk about politics. Just days after the city’s primary elections the News-Post published allegations and rumors that attempted to link Democratic mayoral candidate Jason Judd with ACORN; my friend’s disgust was so strong that he threatened to cross party line and vote for Mr. Judd.


September 25, 2009
It’s Not Complicated
Roy Meachum

I was wrong. Let me make clear before commenting on Afghanistan. I tend to lump the mountain nation with Iraq; as they were indeed in the administration that withdrew nine months ago. But in his campaign speeches Barack Obama carefully differentiated.


September 22, 2009
Let the Games Begin
Roy Meachum

After Frederick City primaries last week, Republican friends insisted on talking about how Democratic winner Jason Judd’s chances were doomed in November, saying the Democratic winner would get his butt whipped when everybody could vote. There was also comment along the line his working for a union makes him anathema to local citizens.


September 18, 2009
Jennifer’s Last Hurrah
Roy Meachum

Jennifer Dougherty’s defeat Tuesday resulted not from a single cause but a number of political crimes, all of them self-inflicted. One by one, she managed to offend her fellow Democrats – from Ron Young to Andrew Duck and all the faithful in between. All by herself, she managed to make seeking office tediously boring; primarily because of the way she inevitably lost – time after-time.


September 11, 2009
Historic Hypocrisy
Roy Meachum

During my New Orleans childhood, street vendors walking along beside colorful horse-drawn wagons peddled bananas for “ten cents a dozen, two dozen for fifteen cents.” Why so cheap? They paid nothing.


September 1, 2009
Excuse
Roy Meachum

This morning my schedule calls for an early exercise session, the first step in rehabilitation. My right knee was replaced yesterday by orthopedic surgeon Robert Fisher. X-rays showed the connection had been reduced to bone-on-bone, all the cartilage lost.


August 28, 2009
The Last Kennedy Brother
Roy Meachum

The last time I rubbed elbows with Sen. Edward Kennedy was at Roger L. Steven’s graveside 11 years ago; he came to bring personal and family condolences to the family and their closest friends. They were close even before Mr. Stevens built the Kennedy Center and was its first chairman.


August 25, 2009
Fewer Walking Around
Roy Meachum

Friends have heard me say I know more people below ground than those walking around on the face of the earth. My disappeared numbers increased this week by two. Bob Novak and Don Hewitt were no back-slapping buddies – but we worked together.


August 21, 2009
Yankees, Go Home!
Roy Meachum

Signs in so-called friendly and allied nations once blatantly demanded: “Yankees, Go Home!” I was surprised when I first saw it, and confused. In my younger days, I had far more confidence Washington will always act in Americans’ best interest. Well, more or less.


August 18, 2009
National Rage
Roy Meachum

Whatever the topic, the reaction is rage. In some circles the mention of “abortion” brings heated words. The state of the economy launches tirades. But I’ve never seen the furor erupted by President Barack Obama’s hopes to reform the national health care.


August 14, 2009
Friday Mornings with Bob
Roy Meachum

With astonishment, two different friends said to me this week that they were surprised to hear me talking about movies with Bob Miller (WFMD 930AM). I was surprised. Bob and I have chatted mainly about films – but all sorts of things – on his Morning News Express for more than several years.


August 11, 2009
Poisonous Partisanship
Roy Meachum

The United States Supreme Court has a new associate justice. Despite GOP hard-core opposition, Sonia Sottomeyer was sworn in the day after the Senate approved her appointment, 68-31. On Thursday, the Senate passed the “refill” of “Cash for Clunkers,” 60-37. Republicans lost both times.


August 7, 2009
Boring Politics
Roy Meachum

If the gods smile, as many as 20 percent may vote in next month’s Frederick City primary elections. Four registered voters will walk by every one that marches into the voting booth. Fellow columnist George Wenschhof puts the blame on the system that created Frederick’s stand-alone elections.


August 4, 2009
“Uppity Negro” vs. “Racist Pig”
Roy Meachum

Any American who can see or hear knows exactly who are the “uppity negro” and the “racist pig.” That’s how each is described by radical elements in both camps. Their names may not be remembered. Their professions are: Harvard professor and Cambridge Police sergeant. The reality will probably offend more Henry Louis Gates, Jr., than James Crowley.

 


July 31, 2009
Those Movie Rating
Roy Meachum

Various groups have protested to the media how Hollywood advertises its product to the public; the G, PG, PG13, R and NC-17 appraisals have been found lacking. It seems today that before allowing a child to go off to a moving picture, parents should see the picture first.


July 28, 2009
Not Forgotten! Not Quite!
Roy Meachum

To emphasize the new importance America’s current president gives to the war we had been told was finished, The Washington Post prints separately the names of those lost in Afghanistan; they were once “lumped in” with Iraq. Saturday’s edition published Germantown’s Rodrigo A. Mungula Rivas among the other dead soldiers. He was 27.


July 24, 2009
Make the Switch!
Roy Meachum

Every candidate for the September 15 Frederick City primaries has been rustling around doors; not necessarily mine. Old Towne Tavern and the Democratic headquarter are across the street. With two tattoo parlors and three head shops in the block – and mine the first-single family dwelling from the Square Corner – a candidate should have sanity checked for working this block.


July 21, 2009
Goodbye, Walter!
Roy Meachum

Over the weekend the biggest news came from the death of Walter Cronkite, and his CBS glory days. He shot to fame covering John F. Kennedy's assassination, as all the weekend's reporters and commentators said. He and I had a nodding acquaintance before he traveled to New York and took over my early Channel 9 slot, opposite NBC's "Today."


July 17, 2009
Save Historic Preservation
Roy Meachum

Since moving up from Bethesda, 26 years ago, I have lived in old houses. I'm grateful for the things accomplished by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and its predecessor, the Historic District Commission (HDC). But given the vacancy created by half the panel resigning, Mayor Jeff Holtzinger should reform the panel's mission. Its decisions can be absurd.


July 14, 2009
See How They Run – Part 2
Roy Meachum

The numbers are intimidating: 20 candidates are contesting for five seats on the city's Board of Aldermen. That turns out eleven Republicans and nine Democrats. Most names ring no bells. With exactly nine weeks before voters march into the booths, many who filed can count on only their families and friends stepping up for them.


July 10, 2009
See How They Run
Roy Meachum

Heave a great sigh of relief: Tuesday's primary election deadline has passed. Now we'll have no more speculation about Republican Alan Imhoff running again for the mayor's office. He lost an earlier race but he was a Democrat then. (In the next column, we'll discuss the aldermanic elections.)


July 7, 2009
Sarah Palin's Bye-Bye
Roy Meachum

Resigning as Alaska's governor may have been the smartest move by Sarah Palin, a politician noted more for smarts than intelligence; it cheers her fans and confounds her enemies, including those in the media. Journalists have criticized their colleagues – never themselves – for being too hard on the ex-vice presidential nominee.


July 3, 2009
Four Fourths
Roy Meachum

The orgy of fireworks came late to the Independence Day celebration, long after my youth. A gathering on July 4th to see a brilliant display of pinwheels and rockets may have been the rule in Philadelphia, but it was unknown in New Orleans and the surrounding South. Maybe because Confederate Fortress Vicksburg fell to Union forces on that date? More probably, the costs of the shows.


June 30, 2009
R.I.P. – For a Pair of Stars
Roy Meachum

Two celebrity deaths this past week brought an outpouring from the general public and the people who knew them. Farrah Fawcett's dying was both documented and expected. She bowed out with great grace. Although she came a great way professionally from the tousled-hair "Charlie's Angel" in the poster, she earned her greatest review on the manner of her passing.


June 26, 2009
The Quran Doesn't Mention Democracy
Roy Meachum

Most media eyes-and voices-have been devoted to Iranians this week and they deserve the attention. However, Iraq simply cannot be ignored. Both countries are Muslim and bereft of any democratic tradition; that's what the fighting is about in Baghdad and Teheran.


June 24, 2009
REVIEW – Finest Individual Performance I've Seen
Roy Meachum

When I first looked on actor Stacy Keach from a reviewer's seat, his white beard was fake. He played Wild Bill Cody in Arena Stage's "Indians," a somewhat bitter analogy for the very bitter protests against the raging Vietnam War. We were young men in our prime. Now the white beards are very real, on both sides of the lights.


June 23, 2009
Bureaucracy Run Amok
Roy Meachum

Twenty six years ago last March I moved into what was then called the Historic District, which was bound on the north by 4th Street; since that's where my house faced, the commission could only tell me what to do about the front; the rest of the place was unregulated.


June 19, 2009
Dirty Shots
Roy Meachum

My blood boiled this week at a pair of dirty shots; their targets were County Commissioner Charles A. Jenkins and Fredericktowne Players' "Annie" director Samn Huffer.


June 16, 2009
Illogical! Even Stupid
Roy Meachum

Donna Kuzemchak was never known for demure behavior. She was a fiery acolyte during ex-Mayor Jennifer Dougherty's term; understanding the measure of the woman she supported, she scarcely raised a peep directly against the boss lady. She did not start Jeff’ Holtzinger's four years as a happy camper, which everyone understood.


June 12, 2009
All About Sex
Roy Meachum

On stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre until a week from Sunday is a Tony Award winner for Best Musical. "Spring Awakening" is all about sex, not simply among teenagers but all human beings. It is a 21st Century production that provides the question, answered in "Hair" 40 years ago.


June 9, 2009
Hypocrisy in Politics! Once More!
Roy Meachum

There goes Donna Kuzemchak again. Reaching for votes in the Democratic primary, Ms. Kuzemchak wants people to believe there was “corruption of implementation of those retirement plan changes.”


June 5, 2009
Obama in Cairo
Roy Meachum

The tone was different but the words were mostly the same we've heard before. The president traveled to Cairo University Thursday for what was billed as his administration's pronouncement on the Middle East. A White House spokesman announced in advance there would be little new; he was right.


June 2, 2009
Murder in a Church
Roy Meachum

A brand-new U.S. citizen emerges from the courtroom waving his legalizing papers exuberantly. He hits a passerby on the nose. The man knocks him down. The new citizen protests: I am an American and have the right to celebrate. The passerby replies: Your right ends where my nose begins.


May 29, 2009
Alderman Karen Lewis Young?
Roy Meachum

Keep it simple, stupid. The translation for K.I.S.S. has not been around all my life; it certainly applies when it comes to politics. All that most voters in the September Democratic primary in the City of Frederick will probably know, going into the booth: Karen Lewis Young is married to Ron Young.


May 27, 2009
Thank you, Jeff
Roy Meachum

He brought the muffins. Jeff Holtzinger showed up for coffee Tuesday morning with a Dunkin' Donuts bag in hand. We sat down at the old farm table to drink our New Orleans' coffee and chicory. It was a standing invitation; he called Friday to say he would accept.


May 26, 2009
"That" Subject Again
Roy Meachum

Most readers know that I wrote a column for the Frederick News-Post for over 20 years. During that time the publisher and editor was George Delaplaine. Judge Edward Delaplaine was his uncle, an author and prolific reader of catholic tastes, but there was one subject that turned him off.


May 22, 2009
Vice President Emeritus
Roy Meachum

A considerable portion of the American public seems curious that ex-Vice President Dick Cheney developed into the Great Defender of the recent administration. I am not. During the eight years George W. Bush sat in the Oval Office Mr. Cheney ran the nation, especially in financial and foreign affairs.


May 21, 2009
Entertaining Entertainment
Roy Meachum

Somehow entertainment became a negative word in the theatre. Maryland Ensemble Theatre could change that. "And the World Goes Round" makes a case for evenings that are entertaining, not uplifting, carrying messages or making the world a better place.


May 20, 2009
A Review – “Design for Living"
Roy Meachum

Once upon a time, as all good stories begin, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne epitomized theatrical royalty and this was in the era when the Barrymores were the first family of the stage. Noel Coward's chief claim to that company was that he was a kind of industry jester.


May 19, 2009
Where's Jennifer?
Roy Meachum

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and I did not agree; her political strategists said she could win the governor's race by concentrating her efforts (and expenditures) after Labor Day. She tried, and had her head handed over by Republican Bob Ehrlich.


May 15, 2009
Budget Time, Bad Political Jokes
Roy Meachum

In the fat years – and we've had more than several recently – budget time takes on the tenor of holiday dinners fed by someone else. Local politicians get to say "You're welcome." A lot. Particularly to the Board of Education.


May 12, 2009
Pope's New Failures
Roy Meachum

Vatican hypocrisy couldn't be clearer than in the reaction to Notre Dame inviting Barack Obama to address this year's commencement and receive an honorary degree. This president's "mortal sin," in church critics' eyes, derives from his support of abortion rights and for embryonic stem cell research.


May 8, 2009
Shoved Aside Campaign Promise
Roy Meachum

It seems to me calmer on the domestic front, for all the noises and agitation aimed at Barack Obama. Keeping his cool, his trademark, has helped the nation to settle down.


May 5, 2009
My Kind of Chief
Roy Meachum

Kim Dine was a stranger until ex-Mayor Jennifer Dougherty hired him to run the Frederick Police Department. We did not rush into each other's arms. I was a noted critic of his new boss. After experiencing predecessor "Ray" Raffensberger's need to manipulate, I took a wait and see stance.


May 1, 2009
Sunrise Without Lennie?
Roy Meachum

Former colleague Katherine Heerbrandt hit John "Lennie" Thompson a mighty whack in her Wednesday News-Post column. At the same moment she was feeding the county commissioner's constituency their favorite dish: Publicity.


April 28, 2009
Overwhelming Majority
Roy Meachum

At the end of his first 100 days on the job, a significant poll indicates President Barack Obama receives approval from an overwhelming majority of his fellow Americans. Sixty-three percent voted in his favor, 36 percent did not, in a survey paid for by The Washington Post and ABC-TV.


April 24, 2009
"Turtle" Jennifer
Roy Meachum

Aside from her declaration on City Hall steps, ex-mayor Jennifer Dougherty seems to have disappeared. What a difference from her recent campaigns!


April 21, 2009
Selling Newspapers?
Roy Meachum

"State of Play" opened this weekend; the film will be discussed with Bob Miller on his WFMD "Morning Express" Friday. Its’ message about modern newspapering burns in my mind and cannot wait another three days.


April 17, 2009
Tea Party 2009
Roy Meachum

The story made all the papers: Washington Post, New York Times, etc. In Frederick, the News-Post slapped it across the front page: "Tea Party" Brews on Tax Day."


April 16, 2009
A REVIEW – No Conventional Story
Roy Meachum

Chazz Palminteri had 'em rolling in the aisles Tuesday. The Hippodrome Theatre brought his "Bronx Tale" to Baltimore. To say the one-man show was an opening night smash would be understatement of the most egregious sort.


April 14, 2009
Naming a Puppy
Roy Meachum

One survey shows 21 percent of respondents object to the name (Bo) the Obama girls have chosen for their new Portuguese Water Dog puppy. Of course, it's plain dumb for any survey to ask. But, good grief! – one in five object to the name!


March 31, 2009
Gathering "Lennie" Storm
Roy Meachum

As "everyone" could clearly see, Jennifer Dougherty was going to have another go for the only office she won in a fair election. Equally the nose on my face could not be more obvious than Commissioner John "Lennie" Thompson's hunger to better himself.


March 27, 2009
Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!
Roy Meachum

Last Friday in this space, I alerted readers that the ex-mayor's campaign would concentrate on incumbent Jeff Holtzinger, a Republican. Jennifer Dougherty and all her claque mean to ignore her Democratic primary opponent, Jason Judd.


March 26, 2009
REVIEW: "Cats" and Eliot
Roy Meachum

The day Thomas Stearns Eliot died my boss at WTOP made a visit to my office. Lloyd Dennis told me to sit down and then informed me about the great man's passing. He was right. I was 35 and devastated although I never met Mr. Eliot.


March 24, 2009
Six Years and Counting
Roy Meachum

On March 18, the gap between St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's days, New Orleans keeps on partying, defying the church calendar to celebrate three days off from Lent. Green beer flows into red wine.


March 20, 2009
Jennifer's Campaign Targets
Roy Meachum

By reading her sycophantic newspaper columnists, it's easy to see the shape of Jennifer Dougherty's current campaign for mayor; there were three others. Only one run for City Hall succeeded.


March 17, 2009
Pushkin's Winter of Discontent
Roy Meachum

Mother Nature and government frequently disagree. Washington told us clocks must be turned back February's last weekend. A sure sign of Spring? The season doesn't begin until three weeks later.


March 13, 2009
"Pope Admits Mistake"
Roy Meachum

That semi-apology appeared in The New York Times. The rest of the headline narrowed the impact considerably; the admission came "In Letter to Bishops."


March 12, 2009
REVIEW – Riverdance" Has It All!
Roy Meachum

While being amazed in Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre Tuesday night, the thought occurred: In my 40-plus years reviewing I've never seen a smoother musical show. Put simply: "Riverdance" has it all!


March 10, 2009
GOP Spitting Contest
Roy Meachum

As a non-Republican, I find amusing the recent rhubarb within the GOP party over Michael Steele.


March 6, 2009
"My Littlest Fascist"
Roy Meachum

Early on I addressed him as "my littlest fascist." Alex Mooney asked me once why I said that. My reply: "Because that's what you are."


March 3, 2009
Weekend Political Wash
Roy Meachum

Only The Frederick News-Post's announcement that it was "suspending" its Monday edition competed; over the weekend there was intense talk about the probability that ex-mayor Jennifer Dougherty will run for her former office again. Everyone acknowledges she could be a tough foe.


February 27, 2009
Matters Mayoral – at this Stage
Roy Meachum

Frederick’s Mayor Jeff Holtzinger formally announced he's in and city aldermanic President Marcia Hall says she's out. There's no way Jennifer Dougherty can easily sit out Frederick elections this fall.


February 26, 2009
REVIEW: STC'S "Dog in the Manger"
Roy Meachum

From the start, Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Lope de Vega's "Dog in the Manger' grabbed my attention in a way no other play has, not recently.


February 24, 2009
The 2009 Oscars
Roy Meachum

What the audience got Sunday night was the most focused Oscar presentations I can recall. That's said with a straight face, although I suffered through a paean montage of romantic movies and other bits I flatly did not understand.


February 20, 2009
Haves vs. Have-Nots
Roy Meachum

Does no one now remember that the out-going Bush Administration extracted $700 billion to pour into banks? The Democrats had the numbers to block. They didn't. They recognized the nation was in financial crises. There were questions, of course. There should have been more.


February 19, 2009
PLUCK: The Titanic Show
Roy Meachum

Executive Director Ray Cullom first spotted "Pluck: The Titanic Show" at the annual Edinborough Comedy Festival last summer. The three-"man" show opened at his Bethesda Theatre over the weekend and will hang around until March 7, three Saturdays away.


February 17, 2009
Funny Frederick Politics
Roy Meachum

This city holds elections this autumn. At that realization, many registered voters went back to sleep. They are not kept awake by the various and sundry rumors and gossips floating around. Most simply will not show up at polling places.


February 13, 2009
"Of the People, by the People, for the People"
Roy Meachum

Two months before Franklin Delano Roosevelt swept into the Oval Office, on a voter tidal wave, a bill was offered to the Senate that would distribute to the public one trillion dollars in "funny" money meant to disappear when the crisis was over. Supporters called it "self-liquidating, negative interest money."


February 10, 2009
MET's Latest Hits the Sky
Roy Meachum

It's been a while since we looked in on the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET). A cast member suggested I see "Almost, Maine:" I was there for opening night. Julie Herber didn't steer me wrong, which is consistent with what I know about the finest actress in this part of the world.


February 6, 2009
Divine Lies?
Roy Meachum

The Associated Press broke the story on Chicago's cathedral fire the same day the Vatican was reporting a readmitted "bishop" could not be let back into the church, not unless he disavowed his view the Holocaust was not an official act of the Nazi regime.


February 3, 2009
"Let us sit upon the ground – "
Roy Meachum

As readers know when faced with startling turns in life, I turn to Shakespeare. The column's title is taken from "Richard II" and is part of a speech in the third act:


January 30, 2009
People Conforming
Roy Meachum

As some readers recall, for the past several years I have worked on a book, a collection of memories from my colorful past. Recently I have written on the Eisenhower era. After two hitches in the Army, I started my civilian career on the general's first inauguration day. I was already married with child; future attorney Thomas Moore Meachum born in 1951.


January 27, 2009
Setting Baltimore Sun
Roy Meachum

You've heard and read about the calamitous state of America's newspaper industry; it has been firmly fixed on the availability of numerous competitive news sources on the cable channels. Nobody dares to broach the possibility the venerable medium may have done itself in.


January 23, 2009
Politics By Discrimination
Roy Meachum

Evidence suggests the national Republican Party is on the ropes. Again. George W. Bush's departure from office marks a nadir for the GOP comparable to Herbert Hoover's. In both instances money takes the major blame. Bush's White House avoided, like the plague, the word "depression." But it's here.


January 20, 2009
"Eyeless in Gaza"
Roy Meachum

God willing, the so-called cease fire held through last night. And Israel and Hamas limited themselves to the minor infractions that have consistently occurred since they stopped shooting. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared victory and began to pull his armed forces out. Hamas claims it won by surviving. They both are right. And wrong.


January 16, 2009
Sore Losers
Roy Meachum

No one probably remembers I called for peace when Jennifer Dougherty and George W. Bush first took office. I suggested they be given the chance to do their jobs before judgment was passed. I supported their rivals in the elections.


January 13, 2009
Celebrate and Enjoy Next Week
Roy Meachum

It's easy to remember my first day on The Washington Post. It was January 20, 1953. Ike's first Inauguration found me as the Post copy boy assigned to carry the paper's chief photographer Arthur Ellis' camera equipment; news photogs still toted around Speed Graphics. I loved being an insider in the big event.


January 9, 2009
Statue for George Wenschhof
Roy Meachum

Frederick and its citizens should erect a new statue on the City Hall lawn. George Wenschhof earned it.


January 6, 2009
Kingdom of Jerusalem Redux
Roy Meachum

Once there was a Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. The men who founded it wore a huge cross from their shoulders down to their knees. Many did not always do Christian things. They judged the natives as infidels. They killed many. Random cruelties were allowable on those worthless. That was anybody who did not bow to the cross. They moved right in.


January 2, 2009
Welcome, Stranger, Welcome
Roy Meachum

Moving to Frederick can be traumatic. This is such a friendly city. The old buildings radiate comforting warmth. "Good morning" is freely offered and returned.


December 30, 2008
Most Celebrated "Angry Young Man" Dies
Roy Meachum

Sir Harold Pinter may not have been the leader of Britain's "Angry Young Men" playwrights and novelists, but he was certainly the most prominent. He died last week, on Christmas Day.


December 26, 2008
Frederick's Children
Roy Meachum

These observations appeared in my Frederick News-Post column the December sleigh-bell-bedecked horses pulled wagons through downtown streets; a spectacle that had disappeared several decades before. It was also the season when my column first appeared.


December 23, 2008
My Traditional "Nutcracker" Tribute
Roy Meachum

This was written the first Christmas after I started my Frederick column; that was in 1984. It was revived over the years because of requests from mothers and ex-mice; some could now be mothers in their own right.


December 19, 2008
Caroline Kennedy, Senator?
Roy Meachum

Her ballet slippers are probably lost; discarded with other no-longer-useful items when the family moved out of the White House and back to Georgetown. When the sightseers and gawkers proved too much, her mother settled the small brood in New York; the brother was too young to recall the details. While alive, his memory must have remained tattooed with impressions, including faces.


December 16, 2008
Whistling in the Dark
Roy Meachum

Among all presidents, George W. Bush appears the champion; he whistles in the dark best. The old expression may not be used much these days; it means making noises to scare possible boogey men away.


December 12, 2008
Counting All Students
Roy Meachum

My position on illegal immigrants differs slightly from Sheriff Charles "Chuck" Jenkins' and, of course, County Commissioner John "Lennie" Thompson's.


December 11, 2008
Here's the Answer! – A Review
Roy Meachum

If there's anything wrong about the Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of "Twelfth Night," I simply didn't catch it. This is the most consistently comedic I've seen of any of the Bard's comedies.


December 9, 2008
Eric Shinseki as Prophet
Roy Meachum

You might not remember Eric Shinseki's name. Among Army troops he's mildly infamous for ordering all ranks to wear berets. He's now been named by the incoming administration as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. That could never happen while Richard Cheney exercised power in the vice president's office.


December 5, 2008
"Chorus Line" – Review
Roy Meachum

"Chorus Line" opened Tuesday at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre. That should be quite enough for anyone who knows the slightest thing about theatre; they should rush to buy tickets for the show that ends a week from Sunday, on December 14. It lasted 15 years on Broadway and was brought back for a two-year revival that spawned the national tour visiting Charm City. This is a true stage icon.


December 2, 2008
"Let Slip the (Political) Dogs of War"
Roy Meachum

"Cry havoc" forms the first part of that "Julius Caesar" quote and that might make a bitter title for the electoral cycle that starts right after the looming holidays. Shopping malls aside, I do not count Thanksgiving as the leading edge of Christmas.


November 28, 2008
County Democratic Party's Castration--Part II
Roy Meachum

A vacuum resulted from the political retirement of the most powerful Good Ol' Boys. Rushing in to fill the space was a female cabal led by Del. Sue Hecht. When did I first discover that reality?


November 25, 2008
County Democratic Party's Castration – Part 1
Roy Meachum

This year marked a quarter century that I resided in Frederick. Someone who arrived later cannot possibly imagine the changes made. Most from the visionary and long-time city Mayor Ron Young. He created Carroll Creek development and modernized downtown streets from the horse and buggy days.


November 21, 2008
Katrina's Official Murderers
Roy Meachum

A good friend from New Orleans called the other day; he works for Holy Cross where I started as a boarding student when I was nine years old. The dormitories were ripped up more than 20 years ago by Hurricane Betsy; nobody lives there these days.


November 19, 2008
Baltimore Hippodrome's "Grinch"
Roy Meachum

What a delightful idea! Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre decided to bring in for the holidays "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical."


November 18, 2008
New Terms and Limits in Iraq
Roy Meachum

While George W. Bush's order to invade Iraq made headline news, the several papers I read cast the real outcome somewhere in the back pages.


November 14, 2008
Newly "Dis-Organized" Party
Roy Meachum

Three months after Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as the first Democratic president since Woodrow Wilson, Oklahoma-born comedian Will Rogers said on his weekly radio show: "You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat and you've got to be a humorist to stay one." Mr. Rogers was also quoted: "I belong to no organized political party – I’m a Democrat."


November 11, 2008
Please, Jennifer, Not Again
Roy Meachum

Jennifer Dougherty's loss record for elections stands four-to-one after Tuesday's drubbing by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. The only time she won, incumbent Mayor Jim Grimes shot himself in the foot. Repeatedly. When she tried for a second term, her own party dumped her; the first mayor in modern times to be defeated in a primary.


November 7, 2008
A Reason for Hope
Roy Meachum

In the middle of the Clintons' primary struggle to take away the people's nomination of Barack Obama, I threatened to resign from the Democratic Party if they succeeded. Between them and their cohorts they had the means in their grasp.


November 4, 2008
The Long, Messy Campaign
Roy Meachum

Today arrives as Boxing Day for Christmas and Ash Wednesday for Mardi Gras. Take your pick. The presidential campaign for all intents and purposes ended yesterday. The number of voters who might be persuaded by last minute exhortations is certainly miniscule.


October 31, 2008
Taking Race for Congress Seriously
Roy Meachum

A Frederick businessman – and fellow Democrat – this week told me a story about the former mayor. Failing to be heard with orders that city workers should not show up at his place, buy sandwiches and drive away, Jennifer Dougherty proceeded to patrol his parking lot.


October 28, 2008
Election Worry
Roy Meachum

Readers may recall I take a certain pride in making up my mind well in advance about election personalities and issues. Not always, helas! This resolution on slot machines remains unresolved for me. I suspect I'm not alone. Please allow me to point out personal problems.


October 24, 2008
Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan
Roy Meachum

Read the name again: Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. General Colin Powell did, carefully. He noticed on the corporal's Arlington Cemetery marble grave marker the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. There were also the crescent moon and the star, sacred to Islam.


October 21, 2008
Fortnight Off
Roy Meachum

Unless you join the apparent throng voting early, the presidential election takes place two weeks from today. A fortnight, as the British sometimes portray the time. With that in mind, I turned on the last presidential "debate." I should have read a book instead.


October 17, 2008
"Significant" Pushkin Day
Roy Meachum

Exactly 10 years ago today Pushkin walked into my life. Correction: the 20-pound black-and-white butterball waddled down North Market Street. I was sitting on the porch of the house that many people think I still live in; waiting for Sharon and others to pack up antiques for Lady on Skates' Richmond operation.


October 14, 2008
Filthy Politicking
Roy Meachum

One week ago in this space ("The Republic in Danger") I wrote: "With the core of the nation's financial structure in shambles, at stake these next four weeks is the very governmental itself. Never have these United States needed strong leadership more."


October 13, 2008
Bad Habit, New Downright Joy
Roy Meachum

Kvetching remains part of reading these reviews. After some 40 years on the aisle, I do not expect to change soon. On the other hand, there still exists insufficiency of downright joy on stage; I'm not talking about giggles and guffaws, but evenings (and matinees) that send people dancing and singing into the good nights.


October 10, 2008
Taliban, Welcome
Roy Meachum

The Bush Administration has not posted signs, not yet, welcoming the Taliban back to Afghanistan. But all the signs and indices are there.


October 7, 2008
The Republic In Danger
Roy Meachum

With the core of the nation's financial structure in shambles, at stake these next four weeks is the very governmental system itself. Never have these United States needed strong leadership more.

 


October 3, 2008
Independent Rick Weldon
Roy Meachum

The only times fellow TheTentacle.com columnist Rick Weldon and I disagreed were when he stepped in the mud pie of partisan politics. Didn't happen often. He was not the sort of human being to give up reason for the sake of one party or the other. Especially in Maryland.

 


October 2, 2008
Legally Blonde – The Musical
Roy Meachum

Tuesday's opening at the Hippodrome Theatre brings to Baltimore a show that's still running, if not so strong on Broadway. A cast member's father confided the two-week closing notice has gone up on the New York hit. Pity! But out in the hinterland we have this wow! touring company with us.

 


September 30, 2008
My Best Friend's Fancy
Roy Meachum

Other people said Pushkin is Downtown Frederick's best known celebrity. He also runs high in the best-loved category. Every time the English pointer hits the sidewalk, his fans appear. They start conversations when their heads reach my knee level.

 


September 26, 2008
GOP Rotten Fish
Roy Meachum

Coming out of the Fredericktown movies Wednesday I was greeted by the voice of the commander-in-chief. George W. Bush informed me and all Americans that his financial rescue proposal would save the lives we cheer. It was a clunker of a speech.

 


September 23, 2008
Election Year Low-jinks
Roy Meachum

The Harvard of the West is the catch-phrase prized by California's Stanford University. By whatever name, a recent survey designed and supervised in the school's Palo Alto academic laboratories is, by any standard, the dumbest thing I've encountered going back through nearly 60 years in journalism.

 


September 19, 2008
Shakespeare with Genius
Roy Meachum

For its first offering of the new season, the Shakespeare Theatre Company reached for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. "Romeo and Juliet" always sells tickets especially when produce in the STC's high tone and éclat. To add a dash more frisson, Director David Muse, and his long-time artistic partner Michael Kahn, decided that when casting, this show would follow the Elizabethan pattern.

 


September 16, 2008
Facing Reality
Roy Meachum

The latest White House military pin-up vigorously protested the administration's hard-core policy toward the Middle East. Instead of calling for more and more young men and women to become cannon fodder, Gen. David Petraeus said: "You don't kill or capture your way out of an industrial strength insurgency."

 


September 12, 2008
Seven Years Ago
Roy Meachum

The phone rang; it was my Texas "child." Knowing my penchant for working mornings, he guessed correctly that I had not seen television that day. He had been watching a national trauma that changed the world. It was seven years ago yesterday.

 


September 9, 2008
Ivins' Mystery Still There
Roy Meachum

Sunday readers of The Frederick News-Post and The New York Times should not have been surprised. The investigation of the Fort Detrick anthrax incident is still very much alive, despite declaration of its death by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Following politics rather than proof, Jeffrey Taylor officially closed the case.

 


September 5, 2008
More Political Hypocrisy
Roy Meachum

Reading Sunday's Frederick News-Post, you could believe Frederick's ex-mayor Jennifer Dougherty, in selling her self-named restaurant, made a great sacrifice for the public good. She told reporter David Simon: "I don't want to look back and say I wasn't 100 percent committed to the race."


September 2, 2008
David Brinkley
Roy Meachum

David Brinkley stopped by for coffee. He received a yawn and nod from Pushkin, who proceeded to his usual spot in the library. The English pointer and the state senator knew each other from earlier encounters. David and I headed for the patio. This was last week, during the brief hiatus from the overbearing humidity.

 


August 29, 2008
Norm Knows
Roy Meachum

Columns on the government's monumental faux pas in the Fort Detrick anthrax scandal have caused people to ask if the fort's research scientists, particularly Bruce Ivins, were friends or acquaintances. None is.

 


August 26, 2008
Democratic Pair
Roy Meachum

At first glance, Joe Biden seems everything that Barack Obama is not. In the first place, the presumptive Democratic candidate for the White House was but 12 years old when Delaware sent his ticket's number two to the U.S. Senate. He was sworn in early 1973.

 


August 22, 2008
Stop the World!
Roy Meachum

A curious, downbeat week, by any standard. If you recall that Capitol Hill effort to rename "French fries," there might have been some success. Republican legislators were wroth up over Paris's failure to take Washington's marching orders and line up the Tricolor beneath the Stars and Stripes. The issue was an arbitrary and capricious decision by "the leader of the Free World" to invade Iraq and not bother to submit the issue to the United Nations.

 


August 19, 2008
No Sabers to Rattle
Roy Meachum

A chance encounter. While Pushkin and I were taking a downtown stroll, an impossibly young captain out of the Point four years and returned recently from the Middle East. His USMA graduate-father along and a pretty wife; she wanted to talk to the pleased English pointer. She and Pushki retreated just beyond the conversational range.

 


August 15, 2008
Evil Demagogue
Roy Meachum

The evil in John "Lennie" Thompson's soul became public when he prolonged a hearing past midnight; he knowingly kept children up who wanted to sleep. But their mothers desperately needed a school and a place to worship. But they were only Muslims and mostly foreign-born. They were, however, legal residents.

 


August 12, 2008
Media Furies
Roy Meachum

The Bruce Ivins tragedy starkly revealed the trashy shape of America's media. Print and electronic alike, they have become modern versions of Greek playwright Aeschylus's Eumenides; the Furies of ancient Rome, they resound still in the Yiddish phrase: Kein eine horah. "Not one listening" is a prayerful cautionary against the 40,000 beasties that always hover waiting to strike all those who earn praise.

 


August 8, 2008
Greasepaint Missing
Roy Meachum

Not only the greasepaint was missing Wednesday from the justice department's dog-and-pony show. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's crew left behind their costumes. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor lacked the red bulb on his nose. The performance would have been hilarious except a Frederick man wound up dead.

 


August 5, 2008
Guilty or Not?
Roy Meachum

The apparent suicide of a Fort Detrick scientist was the weekend's conversational rage. Everyone knows someone who knows someone – that’s how it went.

 


August 1, 2008
The Better Man
Roy Meachum

Someone please explain when two candidates are in a race, why do we call our choice the "best" man? According to various faiths and sects, the only certifiably best man wound up crucified in one form or another.

 


July 29, 2008
Graveyard of Armies
Roy Meachum

Both presidential candidates are in agreement: We are losing the war in Afghanistan. That's not what they say of course: We must shift troops from Iraq to take care of unfinished business in Afghanistan. I hope I managed to get that straight.

 


July 25, 2008
All the City Government Goofed
Roy Meachum

Fortunately for me, the state of county and city remained tranquil for months; only minor whoopdeedos. County Commissioner President Jan Gardner deserves praise for her good job keeping John "Lennie" Thompson from mucking up the public order. And that's great news.

 


July 22, 2008
Cartoons Capture Cinema
Roy Meachum

As readers know, Bob Miller has me on his Morning News Express (WFMD*930AM) to talk about films and plays. We chat every Friday shortly before nine, when his program ends. This is why I can be spotted hanging around movie theatres.

 


July 18, 2008
I Am Not Amused
Roy Meachum

A great deal of ruckus happened in the national media; the chuckling and tsk-tsking came over that New Yorker cover. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please go back to your computer war game.

 


July 15, 2008
Killing the Messenger
Roy Meachum

In the 25 years my writings have appeared in local media, I have become accustomed to being measured for a virtual coffin. My publisher for most of the time, George Delaplaine, put up a strong shield around the News-Post's right to print diverse opinions, including mine.

 


July 11, 2008
Iraq Poleaxed Political Debate
Roy Meachum

The New York Times reported early this week:

BAGHDAD – Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malikli publicly confirmed Monday his government was leaning toward a short-term security pact with the United States instead of a broader agreement that would last for years.

 


July 8, 2008
Ike Was the Man!
Roy Meachum

No one gets bored faster with the nitty-gritty of politics. My frequently criticized "impatience" comes into play. Once a candidate captures my approval, the game is over. There was one exception I recall.

 


July 4, 2008
Enjoy the Fireworks!
Roy Meachum

Frederick's Fourth of July festival ends with cascading fireworks over Baker Park. People's awe and sighs complete the package. No more sparklers and individual acts of setting off banging are out.

 


July 1, 2008
Blaine Young Rumors
Roy Meachum

Saturday mornings around my house normally are rest times. The three newspapers stuck through my door receive careful perusal. There are mornings when Pushkin receives pushing onto the patio and we both pile back in the sack. I listened to Blaine Young's Frederick’s Forum only now and then.

 


June 27, 2008
Not Fair
Roy Meachum

In the best of all Jennifer worlds, her opponent for the Sixth Congressional District election this fall would be dead. She and her cronies talk of incumbent Roscoe Bartlett as if were long buried. He isn't. To the lady's continuing surprise, the Frederick congressman insists on proving he's alive and well, displaying superb sense.

 


June 24, 2008
What War?
Roy Meachum

Reasonable doubt exists that most readers do not know that a week ago 50 Shiite Iraqis died in a tremendous blast, engineered by al-Qaeda Sunnis. In the same forgotten category: Afghanistan's Taliban seized and held a series of towns and villages.

 


June 20, 2008
Goodbye, Beautiful Long Legs
Roy Meachum

She danced while others simply walked. Parts of two days I spent with Cyd Charisse; the night belonged to her new husband, Tony Martin. He did all the talking, as I recall. She satisfied herself with smiles and a quiet but fiercely radiated warmth.

 


June 17, 2008
So Be It
Roy Meachum

Iraq was never about military success; the war has always been a political mess: unwinnable at its best. That truth trumped all American pretensions from the start. But U.S. deaths settled down to a point when the casualties could be tolerated by the public. More or less.

 


June 13, 2008
Sex and Color
Roy Meachum

Admittedly there are people who get all out of shape over color. There are probably as many for whom human plumbing counts. For all the ranting by media gurus, neither the one candidate's gender nor her opponent's African roots had much to do with the Democratic primary's outcome.

 


June 10, 2008
The Word? Heimische
Roy Meachum

Before I spell out my personal thoughts. There's a serious problem at the Bethesda Theatre these nights and matinees. The audience laughs so hard, so frequently and so loud. I had trouble hearing Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson. Fortunately, not all the time.

 


June 6, 2008
Hillary Finally Out
Roy Meachum

After Iowa the handwriting stood firm and clear: Hillary Clinton will not be the next president of these United States. As far back as February, that's what my TheTentacle.com column said.


June 3, 2008
Machine's O'Malley
Roy Meachum

Never mind those dewy-eyed impressions. They are based chiefly on this governor's youthful good looks. Singing with his Irish band didn't hurt. But Martin O'Malley practices old-fashioned machine politics.

 


May 30, 2008
McCarthy's Last Hours in Town
Roy Meachum

On recent warm days, my thoughts have gone back to another May: I was then a reporter for The Washington Post. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy had breathed his last labored breath on May 2, 1957, at Bethesda's Naval Medical Center. Like everyone else at the paper, and many in the nation, his death electrified our memories.


May 27, 2008
Joe's Bench
Roy Meachum

It took place in front of Joe Cohen's cigar store; the one with the walk-in humidor - although these days not a lot of folks walk in. Uncle Joe, as he is called, also maintains a bench against his North Market Street window.

 


May 23, 2008
The Banished War
Roy Meachum

The war does not take up very much time on the presidential campaign trail. Emphasis rests on the economy. In rooting around for the causes of the recession, few politicians will finger the real culprit. It is, of course, the war, stupid.


May 20, 2008
Negative Ladies
Roy Meachum

Much has been made in recent politics about gender, nationally and locally. The chase for the Democratic presidential nomination has been reduced to the candidates' personal plumbing. For the thrill of seeing a woman elected, Hillary Clinton's supporters are prepared to use any weapons at hand.


May 16, 2008
Antony & Cleo's Asp
Roy Meachum

In last week's Shakespeare Theatre Company's review of "Julius Caesar," I touched on why American directors and producers are loath to do repertory. Even plays by the same author can demand actors create a differently separate persona; in effect, that instills a schizophrenia that does not entirely go away no matter how long productions run.


May 16, 2008
Berlin Remains Still Berlin: Marlene Sang
Roy Meachum

The trickle of Berlin Airlift stories this week did nothing to persuade that I am not old: 60 years ago on June 24 the first Gooney birds rambled down the runway at Rhine-Main Air Force base. I was living in a nearby castle.


May 13, 2008
Sadness for My Beloved Home
Roy Meachum

            As we were told on yesterday’s Frederick News-Post front page, the Walkersville council plans at its next meeting (tomorrow) to take up the question of designating English as the town's official language.


May 9, 2008
Shakespeare's Best Known Play
Roy Meachum

With no research details at hand, I still believe "Hamlet" is the most frequently staged Shakespearean work; the lead has much to do with my "fact." The tale of the Melancholy Dane is a star vehicle after all. Shakespeare contrived the tragedy in his later years and it abounds with parts various players can get their teeth in, as the saying goes.


May 9, 2008
How Much Longer?
Roy Meachum

Bill Clinton and his Democratic Party cohorts "knew" his wife had the presidential nomination sewed up. This explains their launching an imperial procession planned and financed only until early February's Super Tuesday. Through their experience-hardened eyes, the junior senator from Illinois was a minor distraction, at best.


May 2, 2008
Color Them Very Purple
Roy Meachum

"The Color Purple" musical arrived on Baltimore's Hippodrome stage the night after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright staged his amazing performance of ego gratification at Washington's National Press Club.


April 29, 2008
New Know-Nothings
Roy Meachum

When the county commissioners overwhelmingly rejected the notion of adopting English as Frederick's official language, I could but stand and cheer. The proposal came from Charles Jenkins, and I have no reason to doubt his motives.


April 25, 2008
Why the Uproar?
Roy Meachum

Reading closely the Pennsylvania Democratic primaries this week, it's difficult to see why the Clinton camp is in such a joyous uproar.


April 22, 2008
"Mr. Inside" Out
Roy Meachum

For a little shy of 25 years, Josef Ratzinger furnished John Paul II a strong base. While the ebullient Polish prelate toured the outside world, kissing earth and babies by the score, the man who would become Benedict XVI tended to inside chores.


April 18, 2008
Darker Days
Roy Meachum

It's hard to know where to put the blame, on government or the web of businesses caught up in the current economic crises. That word is plural, in case you read "crises" quickly.


April 15, 2008
Havemus Papam!
Roy Meachum

After the cardinals' votes are counted, a white plume from the Sistine Chapel tells St. Peter's Square and the world "We have a pope!" "Havemus Papam," in Latin, once the customary language within the Vatican's walls.


April 11, 2008
"Leatherheads" & "Smokey Joe"
Roy Meachum

Much to my surprise, "Smokey Joe's Cafe" enchanted and George Clooney's new flick did not.


April 11, 2008
Mother Egypt Cries – Again!
Roy Meachum

Lurking in newspapers' back pages, correspondents report there are riots along the Nile over the scarcity and cost of bread. For Egypt's millions of poor, it is not simply "the staff of life." Those flat loaves are life itself.


April 8, 2008
Bemoaning Rick Weldon's Farewell
Roy Meachum

The legislative process, state or federal, frequently invokes the image of grass growing; it is generally long and tedious, unmemorable. The real trick for a journalist comes from watching out for "moles," the bills that work slightly undercover, like the fuzzy critters.


April 7, 2008
Moses Without a Chariot
Roy Meachum

Charlton Heston and I met a couple of times in Washington. He went to testify before a congressional hearing, something about the American Film Institute.


April 4, 2008
Columns' Fodder
Roy Meachum

"Columning," as this racket is sometimes called, relies totally on other people's mistakes, usually politicians. They are naturals because they wield public power. And distribute the public purse.


April 1, 2008
War That Won't Disappear
Roy Meachum

Despite administration strategy to keep the war in Iraq out of sight, the official image formed over the past five years busted out in the open last week. The accompanying text confirmed the road to peace had made another violent turn. Those surprised belonged to the administration's Coue faction.


March 28, 2008
Camelot "Revisited"
Roy Meachum

A REVIEW

 

Shortly after Jack Kennedy's inauguration, I moved to New York, taking residency at the now-vanished Hotel Dauphin. By chance, the rooms assigned me had once been part of the suite of legendary Broadway producer David Belasco.


March 28, 2008
Clintons' "Audacity of Hopelessness"
Roy Meachum

The phrase is not mine. Playing off the title of one of Sen. Barack Obama's books, New York Times' columnist David Brooks strung the words together, which is why they're set in quotes. Running counter to the newspaper's endorsement, he both opposes and doubts Sen. Hillary Clinton's White House quest.


March 25, 2008
Joyful Noises
Roy Meachum

If you still wonder what the Psalm meant by "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the world," you obviously didn't visit Walkersville's Calvary Assembly of God church this Easter weekend.


March 21, 2008
Bears Dance and Bulls Weep
Roy Meachum

The bulls generally linger out of sight. Wall Street bears lord it over the markets these days, especially for the Bear Stearns kind of traders, as you know.


March 18, 2008
Pushkin's Prime Promenades
Roy Meachum

Farmers once took as an article of their agricultural faith that dogs and cats should not be permitted in the house but left to hassle the outdoors cats and other varmints.


March 14, 2008
Politics of Desperation
Roy Meachum

Geraldine Ferraro's withdrawal from the Clinton campaign drowned in the flood of news generated by the New York governor's resignation. Elliot Spitzer accepted the inevitable. The lady was altogether another case.


March 11, 2008
Commissioners' No Common Sense
Roy Meachum

Sweeping aside the short-neck, no-growth mentality promoted chiefly by newcomers, will someone please explain why Frederick's Board of County Commissioners insisted on penalizing taxpayers again by their erratic logic?


March 7, 2008
Dangerous Super Delegates
Roy Meachum
When the dust settled from Tuesday's primaries and the celebration speeches were done, Hillary Clinton's delegate count still trailed Barack Obama's, by 145.

March 4, 2008
Real "Super Tuesday"
Roy Meachum

Pundits and people alike figured the Democratic presidential primaries would be all over after last month's "Super Tuesday." But today we face another Tuesday that shapes up even more "super."


February 29, 2008
Finally, the Courts (I Hope)
Roy Meachum

My opinion on the subject is known. It was formed in part by stupidities like the Walkersville resident warning the town would become a new Mecca. At issue was the request by a splinter Islamic group to put up a mosque and convention center. You know the story.


February 29, 2008
Solomon and Shaw
Roy Meachum

George Bernard usually precedes the headline's "Shaw," as if the three words are irretrievably wed. The famous playwright receives as handsome a homage as he's ever been awarded currently at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. As you will read, I was thoroughly delighted with "Major Barbara," which opened at Washington's Sidney Harman Hall this week.


February 26, 2008
Wayne, I Never Knew You
Roy Meachum
We saw each other on North Market Street; sometimes he was walking that obviously sweet dog. We nodded and smiled to each other. He was usually in black jacket and pants: the usual priest's "off-duty" attire.

February 22, 2008
Envelope, Please
Roy Meachum
Sunday night the annual Oscars show will be staged. We hope for a "surprise" every year. When it happens, there's no way to know where or who. I suppose that's really what surprises are.

February 22, 2008
Disney at Baltimore's Hippodrome
Roy Meachum
There's nothing like Oscars night. The whole world fixes on what was for years America's favorite entertainment form. Arrived at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre is the champion of the new favorite. And network television is no longer the movies' chief competition.

February 19, 2008
Obama "Tide"
Roy Meachum
A Wisconsin February once cost me a tire chain. Going north of Milwaukee to Green Bay, the links broke and thumped repeatedly against the car until I managed to pull off the road. Forecasters predict the same wintry mess for today's voting.

February 15, 2008
“Stronger Than I Thought"
Roy Meachum
The words belong to erstwhile congressional candidate Andrew Duck. He said them as I was leaving the Democratic election night party. He was referring, of course, to rival Jennifer Dougherty's showing in early returns.

February 12, 2008
They Are Coming
Roy Meachum
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins shapes up as the least likely Hitler I can imagine: I know the man. His critics are way off the mark when they say he plans to turn his department into a latter-day Gestapo. It's not in him.

February 8, 2008
What a Ride!
Roy Meachum
Did anyone notice? Tuesday's primaries in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia could be important; unlike past years when our votes came after the fact of the parties' selecting their nominees.

February 5, 2008
Presidential Elections Past
Roy Meachum
Registered Frederick County voters received a notice from the elections board last week: Enclosed was a list of candidates for federal jobs, including wannabe delegates to next summer's party conventions and the gang trying out for the Board of Education.

February 1, 2008
Another Jennifer Mess
Roy Meachum
Jennifer Dougherty and my columns have been through a lot. They supported her the first time she ran for mayor; then she thought she had the talents and temperament to make a good county commissioner. They sat out that one. In both instances, voters decided otherwise. The third time proved a charm although something else for other Fredericktonians.

January 29, 2008
Bill Clinton a Drag
Roy Meachum
There are others out there: People who believed William Jefferson Clinton ranked some where close to Thomas Jefferson in ranking U.S. presidents by brain-power. I felt that way. Once again, the man is proving that intelligent does not equate to smart. His performance in his wife's campaign demonstrates how very dumb he can be.

January 25, 2008
Two Off-the-Wall
Roy Meachum
Both Baltimore's Hippodrome and Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company opened new shows this week. By sheer coincidence, both stages are presenting productions that strike me as off-the-wall. Quite unlike their usual fare.

January 22, 2008
All Over But...
Roy Meachum
Marylanders' primary vote in three weeks could mean bupkus (less than nothing). Nothing will probably matter after a whole passel of states square off the week before, February 5. It looks to me like the traditional Democratic bosses want Bill Clinton's former first lady. After the Iowa surprise, that's what we have seen. They took over in New Hampshire and Nevada.

January 18, 2008
Governing by Fiat
Roy Meachum
Back on October 26, I offered TheTentacle.com readers this observation: "From here the omens are not good for the governor's session that opens Monday. Martin O'Malley hoped calling the legislature in would lead to answers for Maryland's staggering deficits. I don't think it's going to happen." I was wrong.

January 15, 2008
Elitist Commissioners
Roy Meachum
John "Lennie" Thompson and the commissioners he continues to dominate see Frederick's development strictly in terms of profit hungry and all-powerful builders.

January 11, 2008
The Clinton Gimmick
Roy Meachum
Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire, in spite of polls – and there were more than several – that showed she was running 5-13 points behind Barack Obama. But they were all taken before she turned on tears in a Portsmouth diner.

January 8, 2008
The Obama Factor
Roy Meachum
One-time Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton goes into today's New Hampshire primary a surprising underdog.

January 4, 2008
Mayor Jeff's Furies
Roy Meachum
For an affable, generally diffident guy, Jeff Holtzinger managed quickly to attract the Furies, what the ancient Greeks called the Eumenides. The critters pursued and presumably drove to madness those who had offended the gods.

January 1, 2008
The City
Roy Meachum
As yet another year begins, I find again that I am the richest of men and in a way that counts better than money. I am, at times, overwhelmed by the lode of friends Frederick has given. In organizing a surprise October birthday lunch, Pat assembled a few among the handful who never questioned or tested our relationship, no matter the storms that raged around me.

December 28, 2007
Pushkin's Yule
Roy Meachum
The English pointer in my life still misses the Santa-red scarf he wore for years. En Masse's Pam left town a few Yuletides back, taking along her wonderful smile and great heart. The scarf was her project.

December 24, 2007
Frederick Children
Roy Meachum
These observations appeared in my Frederick News-Post column the December sleigh-bell-bedecked horses pulled wagons through downtown streets; a spectacle that had disappeared several decades before. It was also the season when my column first appeared.

December 21, 2007
More Lennie
Roy Meachum
You want proof farmers have become the new outcasts? Check the Thursday front page of the Frederick News-Post for Commissioner John L. Thompson, Jr.'s latest bureaucratic fandango.

December 18, 2007
Today's Uneasy Iraq
Roy Meachum
Holiday seasons are ever thus: intent on buying gifts and celebrating the season, few Americans notice what's happening in the rest of the world.

December 14, 2007
Another "White Christmas"
Roy Meachum
Some cable channel – I don't remember which – has programmed "White Christmas." Again. The movie is a rework of "Holiday Inn," the wartime flick that introduced the world's greatest secular carol to the world.

December 11, 2007
Democrats Divide Again
Roy Meachum
Comedian and cowboy Will Rodgers coined one of my favorite sayings: "I belong to no organized political party: I'm a Democrat."

December 7, 2007
Old, Destructive Politics
Roy Meachum
Over the past 150 years this nation's two-party system has been an unpleasant reality for politicians. Left to their own devices, they would decapitate and castrate organized opposition of any kind.

December 4, 2007
Partisanship or Prejudice
Roy Meachum
During the years spent hanging around the White House, I found it funny when a friend received a birthday book: "Republicans I Have Known and Loved." Inside were blank pages as might be expected among that Democratic crowd.

November 27, 2007
Superbly Qualified for President
Roy Meachum
Politics' infection has not reached the center of my consciousness. As the Friday morning visits with WFMD Radio's Bob Miller demonstrate week after week, I believe there is much more to life than tracking officials and keeping tabs on wannabes.

November 23, 2007
Church's New Dark Ages
Roy Meachum
"What are we, in the Dark Ages? This is absolutely ridiculous." That was a Baltimore Catholic woman's reaction to the news that the new archbishop had forced the resignation of her pastor.

November 20, 2007
Another Political Cabal
Roy Meachum
In a curious way Jennifer Dougherty's dive back into election campaigning may be related to the example set by James E. McClellan. The ex-mayor could have been inspired by Frederick's former political boss.

November 16, 2007
Norman Mailer, Don't Rest in Peace – Part 2
Roy Meachum
No news was happening that Saturday, October 22, 1967. So I wandered away from the camera crew, looking for anything to add to the March on the Pentagon story. That's how I happened to be inside the building when the well-publicized face appeared between a pair of buttoned up suit jackets.

November 13, 2007
Don't Rest in Peace, Norman Mailer Part 1
Roy Meachum
Serious literary authors and small-town journalists, we take care of our own. The death last week of Pulitzer Prize winning Norman Mailer earned lots of space, in national media as well as the local press.

November 9, 2007
"Fair Lady" and "The Scourge of God"
Roy Meachum

Lisa O’Hare stars as Eliza Doolittle with Christopher Cazenove as Professor Henry Higgins in the Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater presentation of “My Fair Lady.” (Photo by Joan Marcus)

November 6, 2007
War without heroes and villains
Roy Meachum
Most Americans prefer personalized war. They need heroes to admire; but most of all they want villains to hate. Hitler was a perfect example. He was a demon long before the United States entered World War II.

November 2, 2007
Noisy Neighbors
Roy Meachum
With their eyes firmly fixed on the next (2009) elections, four Frederick aldermen stepped backwards on the noise issue. They let be known their views that neighbors could judge when someone gets too loud.

October 30, 2007
Quiet Mayor
Roy Meachum
Jennifer Dougherty sneaked back into public view. Again. She declared she might be interested in taking on Andrew Duck and the other Democratic candidates who might challenge Roscoe Bartlett for the Sixth Congressional District seat.

October 26, 2007
Doomed Special Session?
Roy Meachum
From here, the omens are not good for the governor's special session that opens Monday. Martin O'Malley hoped calling the legislature in would lead to answers for Maryland's staggering deficits. I don't think it's going to happen.

October 23, 2007
Walkersville's Muslims
Roy Meachum
Please let us be clear: The Muslims trying to buy the farm in Walkersville have nothing to do with the other Muslims who have lived quietly in the community for years.

October 19, 2007
Magnificent Mayor
Roy Meachum
Thousands of words poured all out of the media for In the Street. The only time I heard Ron Young's name mentioned was by me. I explained to newcomers about how Frederick's long-time mayor created the festival they enjoyed.

October 16, 2007
KKK's Spirit Marches On
Roy Meachum
The bigotry and racial hatred oozing out of Walkersville remind me of the hate and blind stupidity prevalent when I first moved up the turnpike.

October 12, 2007
The Tamed "Shrew"
Roy Meachum
In ancient Greece, we are told, inflated bladders appeared frequently in comedies. Slapped up against actors' heads, and other body parts, the bladders served to emphasize the punch lines of jokes, oral or physical.

October 9, 2007
Right Move, Wrong Reasons
Roy Meachum
Having labored mightily for statewide slots under the governor of their own party, General Assembly Republicans announced they stand in opposition to efforts by Democrat Martin O'Malley to get what Robert Ehrlich could not bring off.

October 5, 2007
Our Non-Enemy Enemy
Roy Meachum
Moscow - For much of my long life, the people I moved through on this latest excursion to the former Soviet Union were the enemies of my country. That's how Americans viewed Russians until the Iron Curtain fell almost 20 years back on the day the Berlin Wall tumbled.

September 25, 2007
Peace Be Unto You
Roy Meachum
Our blue-eyed, blonde-hair culture becomes more antagonistic as our numbers decrease as a proportion of the population. There are those among us who hate all those darker-hair, brown-eyes who are popping up everywhere.

September 21, 2007
The Second Battle of Jena
Roy Meachum
On his way to the unsuccessful attempt to take Moscow, Napoleon knocked the Prussians out of the war at the Battle of Jena, almost exactly 201 years ago (October 14, 1806).

September 18, 2007
Bye-Bye, Bangtails?
Roy Meachum
The Sun's front page headline Sunday shouted: MD NOT HOLDING ITS RACE HORSES. In not much smaller print, an editor wrote: "Purses, incentives sending breeders and farmers to Pa."

September 14, 2007
"The Wedding Singer"
Roy Meachum
"The Wedding Singer" opened Baltimore's theatre season Tuesday. The production made the drive from Frederick very worthwhile but for reasons I didn't expect. It's a very fine example of a genre that has established a firm place in modern "show biz." And more.

September 11, 2007
Media Guru
Roy Meachum
Whatever just charges can be made of ineptness in the current White House, nobody doubts the president has displayed genius in selecting his media gurus. Whoever currently holds the job is performing in the bedazzling tradition of his predecessors.

September 7, 2007
"Remember Me"
Roy Meachum
The realization first popped up in Rome, in 1968. An Italian-American Marine lance corporal hijacked a TWA flight in California. In what turned out to be the longest hijacking in history, Raffaele Minichiello diverted the jet to the land where he was born 20 years before. He broke the law. No question.

September 4, 2007
And Still They Go
Roy Meachum
Writing two weeks ago I listed the more prominent departures from the White House, but I strongly pointed out the men and women should not be compared to "rats deserting a sinking ship." I may have been wrong.

August 31, 2007
Kuzemchak's Not Listening
Roy Meachum
All the sound and fury coming out of City Hall these days belong to a single alderman. Donna Kuzemchak obviously wasn't listening to voters in the last election.

August 28, 2007
"The Big Easy" Ain't Easy
Roy Meachum
Tomorrow brings Hurricane Katrina's second anniversary. The world ended for much of the New Orleans I grew up in, on August 29, 2005. Not my neighborhood though.

August 24, 2007
Christian Concern?
Roy Meachum
Charity to Muslims is "Zagat," which requires the faithful to share with their less privileged brothers and sisters. In the Old Testament, Jews were told to turn away from their table no one needy. The very essence of Christ's teaching was we must comfort all other human beings.

August 21, 2007
Rove and Snow
Roy Meachum
Karl Rove and Tony Snow have announced their intention to leave George W. Bush's White House. They join the ranks of counselor Dan Bartlett, budget director Rob Portman, political director Sara Taylor, and deputy national security advisers J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Suillvan.

August 17, 2007
Dictator Pair
Roy Meachum
This mid-Atlantic region is blessed. One John "Lennie" Thompson may be, it figures, all this democracy can support. But we apparently have two; the other operates in Virginia. For those who don't read the Washington Post I'll explain.

August 14, 2007
What Was It?
Roy Meachum
The carnival at Iowa State University over the weekend had absolutely nothing to do with the nation's democratic process. Regard the $35 price to vote. Something like that could have occurred to Republicans from that corn-fed state.

August 10, 2007
And Still They Come
Roy Meachum
Washington announced this week that employers will be held accountable for employees' social security numbers. The feds have ratcheted up the pressure against illegal immigrants. In Frederick, the move may be considered, by many, too late and not enough.

August 7, 2007
Insurgents' Biggest Supplier
Roy Meachum
Monday's Washington Post listed four more names under the heading: Iraq War Deaths. Three were Army soldiers, the fourth a Tennessee National Guard sergeant. He was 41. Their names were listed inside, 14 pages away from the front page.

August 3, 2007
Impeachment or Not?
Roy Meachum
A Republican friend holds that Bill Clinton's impeachment had nothing to do with Monica Lewinsky. It was about perjury, a deliberate lie told to the U.S. Congress. The cause didn't matter.

July 31, 2007
These Dog Days
Roy Meachum
As you probably know, calling early August "dog days" has absolutely nothing to do with Pushkin and his fellow four-legged critters. Confused? Blame it on ancient Egypt.

July 27, 2007
"Fluke" Mayor
Roy Meachum
You may have a different opinion: But I'm fed up to my teeth with the cheap shots being taken at Jeff Holtzinger.

July 24, 2007
$660 Million for Vatican Myopia
Roy Meachum
Those inclined to sympathize with Cardinal Roger Mahoney's $660 million pay out to sexual assault victims should look again at what he and his fellow prelates did to the Catholic Church. Their numbers include Baltimore's William Keeler.

July 20, 2007
Off with My Head
Roy Meachum
George W. Bush cannot be blamed. The Iraq report failed this week to live up to his expectations. He advised the American people to wait until October. We don't really have a choice. In the coming three months, hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqi men, women and children will die or be mangled.

July 18, 2007
Three-Time Loser: Part II
Roy Meachum
Accompanied by her palm-weaving claque singing hosannas, Jennifer Dougherty ascended to the ante-bellum (barely) former courthouse and proceeded to act as if she had been - like many third world leaders claim - elected for life. That was January, 2002.

July 17, 2007
Three Time Loser: Part One
Roy Meachum
Politicians' mentalities can amuse. I do not mean the basic conceit. After all, someone must win. Why shouldn't it be me, they say. I applaud that approach. Indeed, why not? The lottery's millions can be attributed to the basic notion. Why not me? I whole-heartedly cheer risk takers.

July 13, 2007
Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson
Roy Meachum
She was never Lady Bird to me. We were Mrs. and Mister to each other each time we met. And during her husband's presidential years, I was in and out of the White House frequently. Bess Clements Abell brought me there.

July 10, 2007
Frederick Love Story
Roy Meachum
The story begins almost nine years ago on a lovely October Saturday afternoon, which I was enjoying on the front porch. It was in the old house, farther up North Market. A tall hedge still ran completely around the yard's outer rim, keeping out of sight both people and cars.

July 6, 2007
Insolence of Office
Roy Meachum
The post-Libby commutation polls have only begun to trickle in. Judging by the furor this week, they are guaranteed to pull down George W. Bush's position; vis-à-vis history's other presidents, to an even greater degree. It was sliding already.

July 3, 2007
Bill Folden's Fight
Roy Meachum
With approval from a handful of other sheriff employees, Sergeant Bill Folden decided to escalate the fight to hold onto his lucrative "second business." And that's a shame.

June 29, 2007
The Non-Vice President
Roy Meachum
Certainly constitutional scholars must have been shocked. At one point, in this week's continuing dialogue between Capitol Hill and the White House, Dick Cheney's office sought to give the impression the vice president did not consider himself in the Executive Department.

June 26, 2007
No-Compromise Politics
Roy Meachum
Politics have been described since before I was a boy as the art of compromise. Former Frederick Mayor Jennifer Dougherty doubtless heard that definition, but rejected it flat out.

June 22, 2007
An American "Hamlet" for the Ages
Roy Meachum
Even people unfamiliar with Shakespeare's first name know of "Hamlet." It is by far the most performed and the most quoted English-language tragedy, which I first saw and heard, by coincidence, in French.

June 19, 2007
Bringing the Department Together
Roy Meachum
Chuck Jenkins sparked this weekend the first genuine rhubarb since he was sworn in as sheriff last December. He announced moonlighting deputies could no longer wear their county uniforms or provide their off-duty employers the great benefit of their marked vehicles.

June 15, 2007
Partisan Nonsense
Roy Meachum
Our courtrooms cannot claim objectivity. We have an adversarial system, borrowed from England, our colonial "mother country." Still, things could be worse. We might have adopted France's Napoleon Code used in my native Louisiana.

June 12, 2007
A Gentlemanly Journalist, a Fierce Competitor
Roy Meachum
As downtown's Portobello Road owner Kat observed, "He had a good long run." Doug Chevalier was 87 last week when death found him in Florida. The Washington Post obituary said he had moved to Venice five years ago.

June 8, 2007
Little Noted Nor Long Remembered
Roy Meachum
In this part of the United States, everyone should know the source of the words above. When dedicating the new national cemetery on the site of recent bloody carnage the sitting president said: "The world will little note nor long remember..."

June 5, 2007
Soul of Confusion
Roy Meachum
Politicians' everyday job is fighting for the minds and votes of every man and woman. The smart ones stir up the usually sleeping electorate only when absolutely necessary. Our democracy functions with officials on the principle: you wanted the job, now do it, don't bother me.

June 1, 2007
Once-Mayor Still Creates Rhubarbs
Roy Meachum
Frederick residents were wrong: Their 2005 votes against then-current mayor Jennifer Dougherty did not end her talent for creating rhubarbs. She's still at it. Jeff Holtzinger's veto of the Board of Aldermen's version of the budget simply proves the point.

May 29, 2007
Not Just Another Memorial Day
Roy Meachum
Several years ago, while driving around England, I dropped in on the Winchester Cathedral. The stone knights rested peacefully under the vaulting ceiling. It was summer and in that part of the world the sun threatens never to set; the light lingers, giving the stained glass windows a peculiar hue.

May 25, 2007
There They Go Again!
Roy Meachum
Somebody must have treated and turned on those pesky Winchester Hall fountains again. I have long suspected that John "Lennie" Thompson had his own water supply. But now the other commissioners display strong symptoms.

May 22, 2007
State GOP "Sulking"
Roy Meachum
One-time U.S. Senate candidate and former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele used the S-word. It happened Saturday night in Annapolis. Before about 200 of the Republican faithful, the Washington Post reported; he declared:

May 18, 2007
Moral Majority's Medicine Man
Roy Meachum
Founder Jerry Falwell was found on the floor in his offices at Liberty University. Initial guesses about his death settled on a heart attack. His apologists would have a hard time blaming "liberals," but they could still try.

May 15, 2007
Ailing Sport of Kings
Roy Meachum
Growing up in New Orleans horse racing simply could not be avoided. The bangtails ran for their prizes from about Thanksgiving until spring signaled colder climes were in the process of thawing out.

May 11, 2007
Political Lull
Roy Meachum
Matters have been reduced to muttering on the local political scene. For all its quietness, the atmosphere retains a charge that might bring a storm, in the media anyway. In my years as an observer, I have never seen or sniffed anything like this.

May 8, 2007
May's First Weekend
Roy Meachum
With the sunshine and soft winds returned, this weekend past was almost normal, except for one significant factor: a dozen young Americans lost their lives in Iraq. The casualty rate among natives was the usual: scores wounded and mutilated and some 100 wasted.

May 4, 2007
Non-doubting "Doubt"
Roy Meachum
It's hard to summon up any 2005 theatrical awards not won by John Patrick Shanley, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He earned them all with "Doubt."

Cherry Jones and Chris McGarry. (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

May 1, 2007
Slava, Jack and The Queen
Roy Meachum
Working in Frederick has brought few regrets. I love this city and most that live here. When Pushkin and I take our daily walks, it seems everyone in the historic district knows the English pointer.

April 27, 2007
George Proved Right: Again!
Roy Meachum
In recent years nobody has come up with a more apt phrase about local development than George Delaplaine. The former News-Post publisher described the attempt by county newcomers to shut everybody else out as "Pulling up the moat," as I have written before.

April 24, 2007
No Mo' Limbo
Roy Meachum
When I think this Catholic pope can do nothing more to weaken our church and lessen his stature, Benedict XVI comes grimacing through. Over the weekend, the world's media blared the Vatican decree there was no more limbo.

April 20, 2007
"...which governs least"
Roy Meachum
"You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people."

April 17, 2007
Crossing the Color Barrier
Roy Meachum
Branch Rickey competed with Eleanor Roosevelt as maybe the best subject I never wrote about; the material was there, in a Washington Post reporter's notebook. We had done the interviews.

April 13, 2007
Three for the Aisle
Roy Meachum
We deal today with the bloody, bloody Bard, a movie's intellectual jokes and pranks, and the welcome return of a musical from Broadway's Bob Fosse-Golden age.

April 10, 2007
Spring of Despair
Roy Meachum
"This is the most mishandled, artificial, self-created mess that I can remember in the years I've been active in public life. The buck has to stop somewhere, and I'm assuming it's the attorney general and his immediate team."

April 6, 2007
The Still-Wayward Press
Roy Meachum
Where's A. J. Liebling? His New Yorker columns on "The Wayward Press" reads now like a celebration of things past; especially since real estate mogul and dealmaker Sam Zell has taken over the mantle worn for years by "Bertie" McCormick.

April 3, 2007
The Generals' "Opera"
Roy Meachum
The Maryland Ensemble Theatre's current production captures the fears I have for these United States. "The Threepenny Opera" reflected Germany in the period after World War I.

March 30, 2007
Mack the Knife's "Opera"
Roy Meachum
Tucked away in Frederick's former grand hotel, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre is presenting an unconventional cast in an unconventional production of a highly unconventional theatrical work.

March 27, 2007
Second Pentagon March
Roy Meachum
St. Patrick's Day March on the Pentagon took place without me. Also missing were the other 47,000 who made the original stroll over Memorial Bridge nearly 40 years ago. The figure generally accepted this year was 10,000.

March 23, 2007
Glorious "Annie!"
Roy Meachum


Marissa O'Donnell and John Schuck in The Hippodrome's "Annie."

The glorious musical "Annie" returned to Baltimore this week, stopping for only the next few days at the splendid Hippodrome Theatre. That's great news for Maryland pre-schoolers, especially girls.

March 23, 2007
"Annie's" Other Roy
Roy Meachum


Sandy in The Hippodrome's "Annie."

Going into Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre Tuesday night, I faced separate but major realties. "Annie" launched my son's theatrical career and I had never seen the musical before. It was worth the wait.

March 20, 2007
Exit the President?
Roy Meachum
Coming almost exactly 40 years ago, Lyndon B. Johnson's Sunday night announcement caught the world by surprise. With sorrow and regret, the gentleman from Texas said he would not run for re-election.

March 16, 2007
Democratic Brouhaha
Roy Meachum
Democrats might not think so. From this view, it's rather delightful to consider foolishness that did not come from the GOP, usually out of Commissioner John "Lennie" Thompson's mouth.

March 13, 2007
Pushkin's New Season
Roy Meachum
By some reckoning, the English pointer in my life turns 72 in July; in human years that's nine. On our daily promenades through downtown Frederick his age and dignity show.

March 9, 2007
Democratic Presidential Hoedown
Roy Meachum
Naturally Republican friends disagree with Tuesday column's conclusion. If they didn't believe in their party's future, they might as well become Democrats.

March 6, 2007
Presidential Candidate Hustle
Roy Meachum
Once upon a time the Christmas season did not begin until Thanksgiving, which is why all the famous department store parades happen on Turkey Day.

March 2, 2007
Eddie Folliard and Shirley Povich
Roy Meachum
Once upon a time their bylines made kings of the nation's playing fields and U.S. presidents treat them with awe and respect. Shirley Povich lyricised sports and all its stars. Eddie Folliard was the first White House correspondent in The Washington Post's history.

February 27, 2007
Snow and Ice
Roy Meachum
Whether over hot coffee or cold beer, the ONLY subject bashed about in recent days was the state of the streets and highways. Not good.

February 23, 2007
Famous for Being....
Roy Meachum
Being in the trade, I understand the media's fascination with Anna Nicole Smith. After all, it has been common practice for newspapers, in particular, to employ any ruse to run pictures of well-endowed females - especially when their endowments threaten to break their containing clothing at any minute. Ms. Smith fitted snugly into that category.

February 20, 2007
Setting the Record Straight
Roy Meachum
In some papers, including the Frederick News-Post, headline writers described Saturday's U.S. Senate vote as a loss for those who opposed expansion of the Iraq war.

February 16, 2007
No "Kindler," Gentler Lennie
Roy Meachum
With some awe, I have been listening to WFMD's Frederick Forum lately. After years of giving a hard time to those with whom he's on the political outs, Blaine Young has adopted a public policy of being "kindler" and gentler.

February 13, 2007
John Warner's New Role
Roy Meachum
The present senior senator from Virginia first came in public view as the chairman of celebrations marking the 1776 revolution. I covered his appearances several times, usually in the company of AP's Don Saunders.

February 9, 2007
Government by Revision
Roy Meachum
At both county and Frederick City levels, the public sits by, helpless, while elected officials govern by revision. Not liking measures adopted by their predecessors, they are mandating change, although most of their faces have been around for years.

February 8, 2007
Existentialism on West Patrick
Roy Meachum
Early in my Army time in Europe, I discovered existentialism; a trip to Paris took second place to meeting and spending time with Boris Vian, who wrote the movement's flagship novel, I Spit on Your Grave.

February 6, 2007
Madame President Gardner
Roy Meachum
During her first two terms, as readers know, I was less than happy with Commissioner Jan Gardner. Essentially, because it seemed to me she gave in too much to Bully Boy John "Lennie" Thompson.

February 2, 2007
Jennifer Dougherty Running Again?
Roy Meachum
In a recent column ("Seeming Apparition") I described an encounter on North Market Street. She looked remarkably like former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty. There was no way to confirm she was the real thing.

January 30, 2007
This "Richard III's" Real Star
Roy Meachum


Geraint Wyn Davies as Richard III and Claire Lautier as Lady Anne in the Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's Richard III, directed by Michael Kahn. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Love for Shakespeare did not come with my mother's milk. But not long after.

January 26, 2007
I Hardly Knew Him
Roy Meachum
The headline borrows from a half-remembered book's title, written about John F. Kennedy by Ben Bradlee, once the chief honcho of The Washington Post newsroom.

January 23, 2007
Seeming Apparition
Roy Meachum
As Pushkin and I were feeding our curiosities Sunday on our daily walk along North Market Street, there appeared an apparition carrying what looked to me like a sandwich box. I could be wrong.

January 19, 2007
"Lennie Being Lennie"
Roy Meachum
In a position usually reserved for major catastrophes, matters like wars and the deaths of ex-presidents, all the way across Wednesday's Frederick News-Post front-page the headline ran: "Thompson asks for ethics review of himself."

January 16, 2007
Bob Ehrlich's Chief Regret
Roy Meachum
Above the staircase on North Market Street, photos of two lady politicians should be remembered when reading this piece.

January 9, 2007
More of the Same Old Lennie
Roy Meachum
If you missed WFMD's Friday Morning News Express - and you shouldn't let that happen again - host Bob Miller pulled a sneaker punch on me. Not himself, Bob Himself is much too kind.

January 5, 2007
Putting Money Where My Mouth Is
Roy Meachum
What made 2006 Frederick County elections different from the others I've covered since 1984 was the concentration on a single subject.

January 3, 2007
He Was Right and I Was Wrong
Roy Meachum
In past writings I have described how Richard Nixon's White House loomed like a threatening shadow to me.

December 29, 2006
No Iraqi Tunnel
Roy Meachum
The big national question now has little to do with the president's brooding response to demands for a change in the approach to his failure in Iraq. His announcement can be expected in days.

December 25, 2006
Fascination with Children
Roy Meachum

MERRY CHRISTMAS
The first time this column appeared in the Frederick News-Post the record was set for the warmest December; this year rivals but has not surpassed. My children's children had not been born. I lived in my first local house, on East Fourth Street.

December 25, 2006
Fascination with Children
Roy Meachum
The first time this column appeared in the Frederick News-Post the record was set for the warmest December; this year rivals but has not surpassed. My children's children had not been born. I lived in my first local house, on East Fourth Street.

December 22, 2006
Doing Alex Mooney Wrong
Roy Meachum
My recent TheTentacle.com column ("Mooney wins, Frederick loses" Dec. 12) was based on long-time observations of Alex Mooney before he became state senator; but it may have done him wrong.

December 19, 2006
Something Curious
Roy Meachum
Frederick's GOP Central Committee does not like the notion, fostered by fellow Republican David Gray, that the presidency of the Board of County Commissioners should be awarded to the highest vote-getter.

December 15, 2006
My Fault Entirely
Roy Meachum
As many readers doubtless know, Bob Miller invited me to join his WFMD Morning News Express at 8:45 Friday mornings. I suspect some of you didn't understand my profuse apology last week.

December 12, 2006
Mooney Wins, Frederick Loses
Roy Meachum
In two days the Maryland State Senate will have a new minority leader. The choice has come down to Baltimore County's Andrew Harris or Frederick Sen. David Brinkley. Going into the weekend, GOP legislators were precisely split, 7-7.

December 8, 2006
Out-Bonding Bond
Roy Meachum
'Tis true as you've heard: the new James Bond is a governmental hit man. After all that's why the 007. Missing are all those Smersh dirty ways to the Soviet's enemies.

December 5, 2006
Winchester Hall
Roy Meachum
For readers unfamiliar with early church history, the first Christians staged their own versions of the Romans' hedonistic festivals. They were called "agape," a love feast.

December 1, 2006
Mr. Bush and the Catholics
Roy Meachum
You may not have noticed, especially if you're not of their faith; I am. But in their November meeting America's Catholic bishops renewed their ruling that artificial birth control is a sin.

November 28, 2006
Self-destructive Partisanship
Roy Meachum
Easing into office his first time out, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., proceeded to claim a mandate. That confused me from the start.

November 24, 2006
A Chance to Save Lives
Roy Meachum
More civilians have died this November, already, than during any month since the American invasion.

November 21, 2006
A Ravens' Sunday Treat
Roy Meachum
Every father should get a summons like my eldest child delivered last week. The not-unsuccessful attorney called with an invitation to Sunday's Ravens game.

November 17, 2006
Black Beast in a White Suit
Roy Meachum
John "Lennie" Thompson takes more than considerable pride in his role as the "bete noire" (black beast) to developers. He has succeeded in making himself the nightmare for the entire business community.

November 14, 2006
Hubris Once More
Roy Meachum
The existential difficulty I saw with Gov. Robert Ehrlich was he believed his charisma, skills and talents won the election four years ago.

November 7, 2006
Not the Same
Roy Meachum
Thanksgiving brings the 22nd anniversary of my first column's appearance in the Frederick News-Post; there had been no elections that year.

November 3, 2006
Washington Post Publisher Needs Spanking
Roy Meachum
Republican friends were all agog. They never thought the Washington Post would support GOP Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

October 31, 2006
In One Week
Roy Meachum
Guessing that at least half of registered voters will show up for next Tuesday's voting is a fool's game. So is trying to predict the winners.

October 27, 2006
"12 Angry Men" and 1 Woman
Roy Meachum
It's difficult to believe anyone alive who got past the sixth grade has not heard of Reginald Rose's "Twelve Angry Men." The straight-from-Broadway production plays Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre through next week.

October 24, 2006
These Elections
Roy Meachum
Rationalizing their irresponsibility in democracy's single most significant element, non-voters protest "What difference does my vote make?

October 20, 2006
How Many More?
Roy Meachum
Nine soldiers and one Marine died Tuesday. Another, Wednesday. At this writing the death toll stands 14 shy of 2800.

October 17, 2006
Single-shooting Galen Clagett
Roy Meachum
Going into the last three weeks election campaigns have taken on a decidedly sexist tone. Galen Clagett's Sunday picnic drove home the point.

October 13, 2006
Two Peas from the Same Pod?
Roy Meachum
With voting less than four weeks off I find myself wondering: Where are the campaigns?

October 10, 2006
Fallen Michael Steele
Roy Meachum
My youngest lives in Wheaton. He rides ambulances through the District's mean streets. Conversations with the senior paramedic always touch off surprises.

October 6, 2006
Damn the Developers!
Roy Meachum
While Pushkin was promenading me a recent morning, we were assailed by a defeated political candidate. It was the strangest encounter I've had in 22 years covering county politics.

October 3, 2006
Political Theatre
Roy Meachum
It almost seems too much: the performing arts attempting to capture the real-life theatre of politics. But two examples are here.

September 29, 2006
The Chief's Going Nowhere...For the Moment
Roy Meachum
The rumors refuse to die. I've heard the "real story" several times over about Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine and Savannah, Georgia. None of the "real stories" turns out to be true.

September 26, 2006
Slow Death of a Great Church
Roy Meachum
The Roman Catholic Church is dying. It's been happening a long time, since at least the French Revolution. The continuing scandal about sexual preying and the current pope's arrogance make obvious what was not visible in my youth.

September 22, 2006
Whether politics?
Roy Meachum
The latest survey on Congress should not have surprised anyone. The nation's highest legislative body earned a 25 percent approval rating.

September 19, 2006
The Pope's Stupid, Stupid Remarks
Roy Meachum
Almost exactly one year ago a handful of Danish cartoons brought demonstrations and riots in Middle East capitols. And that involved artists expressing their right to free speech by attempting to only depict Muhammad, Islam's founder.

September 15, 2006
A Curious, Curious Tuesday
Roy Meachum
After election results were in, supporters of losers offered all sorts of explanations. High on their list was "the fact" that turnout had been so low on the GOP side.

September 12, 2006
Loss of Innocence
Roy Meachum
Part of Americans' charm, I've been told, is the way we retain a heaping measure of naiveté. Whatever the tragedy we put it squarely behind us. As a nation we have been called self-perpetuating virgins. We forget everything so that anything coming down the pike is new.

September 8, 2006
When It Comes to Voting
Roy Meachum
When it comes to voting, life was once so much simpler. I'm not talking about before the flood; not the Bible's but the celebrated dousing that hit downtown Frederick bicentennial year. 1976 was the one I had in mind.

September 5, 2006
Jennifer's Folly
Roy Meachum
Jennifer's Folly sits across the street. Pushkin and I see it each time we walk out the front door. Her partner in making suckers out of city taxpayers goes on trial in Washington, on Friday. The news prompted this piece.

September 1, 2006
Democratic Headquarters
Roy Meachum
County Democrats established their headquarters across North Market Street, in what was previously a tattoo "salon." Body art has become so respectable now I scarcely know what word to use.

August 29, 2006
One Year Ago Today
Roy Meachum
The awed reaction was shock and surprise. Even though there had been various versions of a doom's-day ending for the New Orleans story, nobody believed it would really happen. Especially those of us who are from there.

August 25, 2006
What's Lennie For?
Roy Meachum
No politician in the past 20 years has more clearly established what he is against. John "Lennie" Thompson opposes growth. He considers all developers devils incarnate.

August 22, 2006
Back Home Again
Roy Meachum
Eight days in Turkey became time spent in another universe; glimpses of reality barely peeked in. Coming home they roared back in.

August 18, 2006
Turkey: Land of Mystics
Roy Meachum
Capodicia, Turkey - My new friend was adamant. No, no, you don't understand, he said. The Arabs don't like us because we are a "land of mystics." I suggested in an earlier column from here that maybe it had to do with the fact Turks in the Ottoman Empire once ruled Arabs.

August 17, 2006
Turkey: No Typical Muslim Nation
Roy Meachum
Izmir, Turkey - This ancient port witnessed, early in the 20th century, what amounted to a massive "racial" purging, involving thousands of men, women and children.

August 15, 2006
Turks: Friends in Deeds
Roy Meachum
Bursa, Turkey - I came into this trip with such apparent appalling ignorance of this country; my knowledge of Turkey was spotty at best. What comfort I had came from history.

August 8, 2006
Turkish Rumi Pilgrimage
Roy Meachum
Tomorrow evening, God willing, I'll be on a United Airlines flight; we reach Germany the next morning at 8, which is still in the middle of the night here. To be precise, 2 A.M. An hour later Lufthansa lifts us on the way to what was once the most fabled city in the world. It was Constantinople, then; Istanbul now.

August 4, 2006
What campaign?
Roy Meachum
It happens every four years. Summer's dog days arrive but the political campaigns don't. Somewhere I know candidates are chewing nails - and chewing out each other. But not around here.

August 1, 2006
America Lost!
Roy Meachum
For nearly three weeks, George W. Bush played bluff poker with the rest of the world. The stake was not only Lebanese women, children and men but this country's reputation as humanitarian and caring. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came home Monday, America's once bright image was covered with mud and blood.

July 28, 2006
Taking It Back
Roy Meachum
If memory serves, my TheTentacle.com column "Endorsing Michael Steele" may have been a first: and not because he is a Republican and an African American.

July 25, 2006
Chaos to Disaster
Roy Meachum
The first stage of Israel's war against Lebanon brought great chaos. While the invader claimed to be fighting only Hezbollah, the casualties were principally Lebanese women, men and children. They outnumbered about 10-1 the terrorists taken down.

July 21, 2006
Truth Among the Tractors
Roy Meachum
Wednesday night's hoo-hah at Maurice Gladhill's new tractor dealership brought me out; I was not invited. Mr. Gladhill and I are not friends; we didn't meet the other evening. He was putting on the show and I was trying to figure out what was going on.

July 18, 2006
Not World War III
Roy Meachum
Over the recent week totaling the latest murder and mayhem in the Middle East, a friend asked several times: "Is this World War III." It's not, but could be if Israel decides to lengthen the front to include Syria.

July 14, 2006
Endorsing Michael Steele
Roy Meachum
Let me stick my neck out. Again. Republican Michael Steele has my strong confidence, as a man and as a politician. Maryland's people would be well served if the current lieutenant governor moved on to the U.S. Senate.

July 11, 2006
Campaign issues
Roy Meachum
Even this early, candidates for county commissioner have taken exceptional care to stake out their position on the growth issue. Does anything else matter? Apparently not.

July 7, 2006
Political Lunacy
Roy Meachum
As you've always suspected, an antic streak runs through the local political scene. But to quote Shakespeare's Polonius "Though this be madness, yet there is madness to it."

July 4, 2006
Which Fourth?
Roy Meachum
Independence Day always reminds me of a great truth about the city where I grew up: New Orleans saloons never closed, not even the neighborhood variety - unless they wanted to. Only after the Army sent me to rural Missouri (Camp Crowder) did I understand there were bars that didn't stay open 24 hours and 7 days a week. Beer halls on the post didn't count. They were, after all, under military control.

June 30, 2006
Weinberg Woes. Still!
Roy Meachum
Donna Kuzemchak-Ramsburg is right! The city has thrown away a whole lot of money on the Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts. The alderman's wrong, however, if she thinks new Director John Healey can staunch the flow or build widespread enthusiasm for the former movie house.

June 27, 2006
Holtzinger's Harassers
Roy Meachum
Lacking anything of substance to get on Mayor Jeff Holtzinger's "case," there's been an overabundance of yipping about minor squabbles from the uninformed and irresponsible. Let's call them Holtzinger's Harassers.

June 23, 2006
Duncan's political death
Roy Meachum
In Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Duncan was the king murdered to advance Macbeth's ambition. In Maryland, yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Douglas M. Duncan took his own political life. In the process, he appears to have improved considerably retiring Attorney General Joe Curran's chances of babysitting at the White House.

June 20, 2006
Not What They Seem
Roy Meachum
One of Jim Hagy's favorite sayings holds that perception is reality. That helps to explain why the sheriff steps down amidst a great shower of plaudits and regrets. He ranks fair to being the best-liked politician in my long years studying the local species.

June 16, 2006
"Lennie" Rides Again
Roy Meachum
John "Lennie" Thompson stopped dancing from toe-to-toe. In a rare moment of straight-forward candor, the commissioners' president allowed as how he's running for re-election.

June 13, 2006
Where's Kipling?
Roy Meachum
Perhaps by the time Barbara and George Bush's son came along, nobody read Rudyard Kipling any more. The celebrated poet and story-teller faded from sight along with the British Empire that provided his sustenance and his fame.

June 9, 2006
The sheriff hands in his badge
Roy Meachum
About Jim Hagy scarcely a disparaging word is heard. I have no doubt he would have been re-elected again. He chose otherwise.

June 6, 2006
D-Day - Again
Roy Meachum
Bless the mark! On another June 6, I was in the English Channel. The pre-dawn lights that signaled the start of another long, long summer's day tinted the White Cliffs of Dover chalky gray. Aboard the troopship thousands of my comrades slept.

June 2, 2006
Who's Dave Garroway?
Roy Meachum
One Baltimore Sun columnist remarked all the praise pouring forth on NBC the other morning would have been suitable for Mother Theresa, the saintly nun who literally saved lives by the thousands.

May 26, 2006
After Viewing ''Da Vinci Code''
Roy Meachum
Last Friday's TheTentacle.com column unloaded my personal baggage going into the film version of "The Da Vinci Code." Many of my pre-viewing suppositions proved false.

May 23, 2006
Bare Bones Politics
Roy Meachum
Let me confess: All I really know about politics I learned right here, in Frederick. Sad to confess but I had been in the hurly-burly of partisanship more in Italy in the time I was working in Rome.

May 19, 2006
Da Vinci Code Baggage
Roy Meachum
One estimate places readership of "The Da Vinci Code" at 100 million. The film opens today, around the world and in both Frederick movie complexes.

May 16, 2006
Conversation with the Mayor – Part II
Roy Meachum
After Thursday's City Hall meeting, the aldermen sought to cool down media speculation. One-by-one they emphatically denied their so-called "feud" with Mayor Jeff Holtzinger.

May 12, 2006
Gorgeous Golda Again
Roy Meachum
In person, Golda Meir was anything but gorgeous, not to the eye. By the time she marched onto the world stage, in her sixties, the late Israeli prime minister possessed legs like tree-trunks, a body that sagged and a face that counted its wrinkles until tiring at the job.

May 9, 2006
Why the First Saturday Fiasco?
Roy Meachum
The day after May's First Saturday Gallery Walk, a letter to the editor appeared in The Frederick News-Post, written by the director of Environmental Health for the Frederick County Health Department. His name is Larry Bohn.

May 5, 2006
More Lennie's Bullying Ways
Roy Meachum
A remarkable flow of Email prompts this column. Commissioners' President John "Lennie" Thompson has his mouth running again. His target again: WFMD radio host Blaine Young.

May 2, 2006
Before Latinos, the Scotch Irish
Roy Meachum
At this writing, it's safe to say yesterday's demonstration of Latino power will provide comfort for both sides on the anti-immigration issue.

April 28, 2006
Plumbers Needed
Roy Meachum
Maybe somewhere around the White House there still exists Richard M. Nixon's notice: Plumbers Needed! Not since heady Watergate days has there been such a furor about "leaks."

April 25, 2006
Say ''Fiasco,'' Suckers!
Roy Meachum
What a bad joke! In a community numbering close to 250,000 people, The Frederick News-Post reported Sunday that "about 100 protestors" showed up to call for the defeat of Mike Cady, John Lovell and Bruce Reeder. (Pushkin draws a larger crowd simply walking around.)

April 21, 2006
Priestly Crimes (Continued)
Roy Meachum
Two matters have brought the Roman Catholic Church's sexual scandals back into the news, big time. Off the nation's front pages, the revelations roll on: Boston, for example, announced this week its compensations for victims are nearing $50 million. So far.

April 18, 2006
Slow Death of Bipartisanship
Roy Meachum
Coming out of the most fractious General Assembly in recent history, Gov. Robert Ehrlich's re-election chances look less than bright. And the blame does not rest, not entirely, on the opposition party.

April 14, 2006
Good Generals' Revolt
Roy Meachum
Appropriately for this Good Friday, we learned this week of the chorus swelling among the military's top brass calling on Donald Rumsfeld to resign or being replaced, in the nation's best interest.

April 11, 2006
Monday's Parades
Roy Meachum
Elsewhere you can read how all those Latino demonstrations turned out yesterday. This column was written long before law enforcement officials and organizers quibbled about how many people actually showed up.

April 7, 2006
The Last ''Radical Republican?''
Roy Meachum
The column's headline is probably premature. Rep. Thomas DeLay resigned Tuesday, as you know, having quit his House leadership post earlier. Using a 19th century comparison, the gentleman from Texas was at least this era's last Radical Republican.

April 4, 2006
Weird First Saturday
Roy Meachum
How bizarre! When the rumors settled and reality bowed in, at the coming of Gallery Walk's nine o'clock bewitching hour, nothing happened!

March 31, 2006
Good News, at Last!
Roy Meachum
The Middle East holds fast as this century's Balkans, the corner of Europe that ignited World War I, whose unresolved issues prompted World War II.

March 28, 2006
First Saturday ''Goodies''
Roy Meachum
An unnatural pall lingers among Pushkin's constituents on the subject of the recent descent of health department inquisitors on the highly successful First Saturday Gallery Walks.

March 24, 2006
City Hall Toodle-loo
Roy Meachum
These first two months (plus two weeks) have been very hard on those who feed off City Hall's comings-and-goings to give them a life.

March 21, 2006
Taking Tim Seriously
Roy Meachum
Along for what passes for Frederick's political reality, opinion reigns supreme that perennial Republican candidate Tim Brooks takes much too seriously his challenge to State Sen. Alex Mooney.

March 17, 2006
The Truly Mighty Mo'
Roy Meachum
It was at the White House that I first saw Maureen Stapleton's rear end; she was climbing out of a New York taxi. For my life I cannot recall what she did that day.

March 14, 2006
Political Ping-Pong!
Roy Meachum
With any sort of luck, Mayor Jeff Holtzinger will get signed this week a document grandiosely named: The Potomac River Water Supply Agreement. It basically insures taps will never come up empty. Well, hardly ever.

March 10, 2006
Discovering the Obvious
Roy Meachum
What a week! It began last Friday afternoon with a quick dash to catch Dame Judith Dench as the Mrs. Henderson who presented London with nude tableaux, as the famous bridge was shaking but not falling under assault from Nazi bombers.

March 7, 2006
Oscar's Big Fear
Roy Meachum
If you watched Sunday night's Oscars, you likely missed the source of my Friday morning frustrations on WFMD. Most weeks I am forced to give down-beat answers to upbeat Bob Miller, one of those truly remarkable human beings who can find the least trace of sunlight in the darkest jungle.

March 3, 2006
White House Troubles
Roy Meachum
Glaring up from their front pages, The Washington Post and The (Baltimore) Sun readers awoke Thursday to learn that the day before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast there had been an internally televised conference of high-ranking officials.

February 28, 2006
Mardi Gras Wins Again!
Roy Meachum
Twice in my life Mardi Gras died and was reborn. The second time is taking place right now.

February 24, 2006
Lennie! Lennie! Lennie!
Roy Meachum
John "Lennie" Thompson should be congratulated. Once again the commissioners' president has twisted criticism to his own advantage. In the process, he managed to spark a furor that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue. He proved himself a world-class demagogue, deserving of ranking with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, Cuba's Fidel Castro, Italy's Benito Mussolini and the Soviet Union's Vladimir Lenin.

February 21, 2006
One More Major Blunder
Roy Meachum
Washington seems no less intent than Jerusalem and Cairo when it comes to hastening along the handing over the Middle East to radical Muslims. President Hosni Mubarak's handling of the recent Egyptian elections furnished a blueprint for the disaster.

February 17, 2006
What's At Stake?
Roy Meachum
It's a sign of Republican hopes and Democratic fears. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich has raised fresh questions about the fairness of the state's voting system. Senate President Mike Miller charged the GOP chief executive is only playing election year politics.

February 14, 2006
Snows of Winters' Past
Roy Meachum
When we lived in Park Forest, south of Chicago, the winters came early and stayed late. Chains went on tires about Thanksgiving; they stayed there until sometime in March. The neighborhood tennis court splashed with water then frozen, giving me the excuse for the only ice skates I ever owned; I regularly fell on my kiester, anyway.

February 10, 2006
Standing up for the First Amendment?
Roy Meachum
Today's world seems nearly equally divided between protectors and critics of an obscure Danish publication that printed cartoons lampooning Muhammad; one drawing depicts Islam's chief prophet with a turban made up of bombs.

February 8, 2006
As I Was Saying.
Roy Meachum
As I was saying before the accident cut me off: The most devastating aspect of Katrina can be found in the failure to recover and rebuild. Five months after the hurricane pulverized communities in its wake, the governments, federal, state and local, still have not hauled away the debris.

January 25, 2006
The City that God Forgot
Roy Meachum
NEW ORLEANS - The chief radical fundamentalist among us can generally be ignored. Pat Robertson's always blaming the wrath of God. He attributed Ariel Sharon's stroke to the Israeli prime minister's willingness to restore land to the Palestinians, for example, thus breaking the Divine Word.

January 24, 2006
The Lights are Still Out
Roy Meachum
NEW ORLEANS - Bourbon Street Sunday morning looked normal; there were the usual discarded cups that had contained beer and more lethal potables for the crowded promenade the night before.

January 23, 2006
Going Back
Roy Meachum
BATON ROUGE - I'm back for the first time since Hurricane Katrina devastated South Louisiana and cut a destructive path through Mississippi, starting along the slice of Gulf Coast so well remembered from my youth.

January 20, 2006
Walter Cronkite Weighs In
Roy Meachum
In writing about Eugene McCarthy several weeks back, I pointed out that Washington held on to the illusion that we would triumph in Vietnam until Walter Cronkite took a post-Tet tour of the battlefields. He had been to the country several times and each time some aspect or incident gave cause to encourage the struggle.

January 17, 2006
Self-anointed watchdog ''Lennie''
Roy Meachum
Commissioner John Lovell raised a pertinent point, as reported in last week’s Gazette. He was talking to Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) President John “Lennie” Thompson.

January 13, 2006
''Old Possum'' Eliot
Roy Meachum
When first I saw the musical "Cats," I cannot say. I remember where: Washington's National Theatre, at the very least over a dozen years ago. The alley cat set was darker than it appeared on the stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre Tuesday night.

January 11, 2006
Pulling up the Moat (Contd.)
Roy Meachum
The KKK you know about; they made a lot of noise in these parts in the last years of the 20th century. The ballyhooed Minute Men Movement might fill the local vacuum created when attorney Willie Mahone led the crowd that literally chased the Dirty Bedsheet Brigade (DBB) out of the county. Maybe not.

January 10, 2006
Pulling Up the Moat
Roy Meachum
My first favorite George Delaplaine story: Shortly after moving to Frederick, I reintroduced myself to the News-Post editor and publisher, seeking guidance on the community I had just bought into.

January 6, 2006
Non-Christian Christians Among Us
Roy Meachum
Calendars seldom carry reminders that today is Twelfth Night, the official end of holidays that concelebrate the birth of Jesus and New Year's arrival. This is also called Epiphany.

January 3, 2006
Presidential Powers
Roy Meachum
Seeking to defend George W. Bush’s criticized ordering of the National Security Agency to monitor Americans’ telephone calls, his supporters make haste to point out the United States is at war. In the same breath they hasten to protest any and all attempts to link Iraq to Vietnam.

December 30, 2005
Extremism and Me
Roy Meachum
In the past readers learned about my maiden plunge as a voter into presidential elections. In the time before the minimal age was lowered I was first eligible in 1952.

December 28, 2005
Egypt’s White House ''Gift''
Roy Meachum
On Christmas Day, Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak tore a page from Middle East history and presented the Bush White House a “gift” that on any other day would have provoked a media storm – at the least.

December 22, 2005
Good Morning, Baltimore
Roy Meachum
[Editor’s Note: There are two pictures from the show accompanying Mr. Meachum’s review today.] More than slightly weird: Sitting in the gloriously restored Hippodrome Theatre and hear Keala Settle lead the boys and girls of the "Hairspray" chorus belting out the opening "Good Morning, Baltimore."

December 20, 2005
Christmas Snow and Cheer
Roy Meachum
Traveling downtown in Pushkin's company this holiday season is the occasion for endless joy. Children normally excited by the English pointer's appearance frequently turn loose their holiday glee with great force.

December 16, 2005
Not Worth It
Roy Meachum
Yesterday's voting in Iraq for a new and hopefully permanent parliament holds a hope, but other news on the war does little to lift my despair over the final results.

December 13, 2005
My Ailing Trade
Roy Meachum
Whatever Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald ultimately unveils about alleged White House attempts to manipulate the media, his investigation has made mockery of the news profession's claim that it protects public interests, first and last.

December 9, 2005
My Traditional "Nutcracker" Tribute
Roy Meachum
This was written when Lady on Skates was located in an East Patrick Street basement and I tended the antiques store for my former wife. It was revived over the years because of requests from mothers and ex-mice; some could now be mothers in their own right.

December 6, 2005
Me? A Good Ol’ Boy?
Roy Meachum
Until last weekend, never had I felt, since leaving New Orleans for the Army, that I belonged. As political seer Walter Mills told the WFMD radio audience Friday night, I have finally become a Frederick good ol’ boy, although a member of the liberal branch. I’ll explain.

December 2, 2005
Winchester Hall Merry-go-round
Roy Meachum
Matters seem holiday quiet along Frederick County’s corridors of power, but Christmas has little to do with it. As usual, in a year of city elections, Winchester Hall appears to fade. It’s still there.

November 29, 2005
Post-Black Friday Cheers
Roy Meachum
Defying odds, good sense and Pushkin staring with his brown eyes, wanting to go for a walk, I ventured out Black Friday morning. With discount coupons firmly in hand, I advanced on Fredericktown Mall.

November 25, 2005
Another Black Friday
Roy Meachum
Twenty one years ago, on another Friday after Thanksgiving, my first public life in Frederick began; my News-Post column failed to appear exactly 19 years 8 months and four weeks later, just shy of exactly nine months, as you can figure.

November 23, 2005
Maybe That’s Why – Part 2
Roy Meachum
The world learned only last week that The Washington Post’s icon of investigative journalist had deliberately concealed his personal involvement in the web of “leakees” and “leekors” under investigation by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

November 22, 2005
Maybe That’s Why – Part 1
Roy Meachum
Far from feeling elated that I had written and published the prediction the invasion of Iraq would turn into the Vietnam-like quagmire it has become, I have remain deeply mystified why virtually all the nation’s media went along with the White House call for a new “crusade.”

November 18, 2005
"Tuesdays with Morrie"
Roy Meachum
In my memory, before "The De Vinci Code," the second best-selling book of modern times was a seemingly morbid tome. (The Bible gets the top billing, of course.)

November 15, 2005
Political Nice Guy
Roy Meachum
The first time I met the Honorable Richard Weldon he was not yet "honorable," a title given by this society to all elected officials, deserved or not. He was, in fact, on his way to becoming a loser.

November 11, 2005
France's North Africans' Revolt
Roy Meachum
For years, France luxuriated in the notion that it was a color-blind society. That luxury has been obliterated over the past weeks. Still, knowing and loving the French, I am sure they will recover their sense of superiority as it was before the current rioting.

November 8, 2005
A Slimmer Pushkin?
Roy Meachum
Coming into the house after another First Saturday adventure downtown, we discovered bits of plastic on the floor. Remnants of a bag, which we assumed Pushkin had removed from the basket underneath the desk.

November 4, 2005
And then there were five
Roy Meachum
The final vote count Thursday morning brought no joy to state Republicans who reportedly invested heavily in this year's Frederick City elections. Never mind what they say.

November 2, 2005
Continued: Yet Another White House Scandal
Roy Meachum
Before the world learned that he was sexually coupling in a White House cloakroom, William G. Harding died; Bill Clinton enjoyed no comparable easy-out.

November 1, 2005
Yet Another White House Scandal
Roy Meachum
Friday's indictment of the vice president's chief-of-staff probably could have been prophesized anytime after George W. Bush first planted his hand on the Bible and moved into the White House. Every modern presidency has been afflicted with some form of scandal.

October 30, 2005
Brava, "Evita!"
Roy Meachum
Hal Prince may very well be today's most celebrated Broadway talent, at least as measured by his prizes. For all I know, he could have built a special annex to house his 20 - count them - 20 Tony Awards.

October 28, 2005
Bean Soup Galore
Roy Meachum
They don’t have bean soup. Those other places in Frederick suffer more than a food shortage. They also lack the buzz of political activities that infest Memorial Park every elections day; the advocates waving their candidates’ signs at cars passing by.

October 25, 2005
Pinter's Nobel Prize and the MET
Roy Meachum
Shock more than surprise was my first reaction. British playwright Harold Pinter as this year's Nobel laureate for literature? Unbelievable.

October 21, 2005
“Good Night, and Good Luck”
Roy Meachum
In his film, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” George Clooney means to refurbish their place in history for Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly and their “boys” (and girls). The title comes, by the way, from Mr. Murrow’s standard sign-off, on all his evening programs.

October 20, 2005
Edward R. Murrow
Roy Meachum
George Clooney wrote, directed and starred in a new movie. “Good Night, and Good Luck” deals with the downfall of Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy. The then-junior senator from Wisconsin plays second fiddle in the flick however, to the man who, for all intents and purposes, invented television news.

October 18, 2005
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy
Roy Meachum
When Joseph R. McCarthy spoke to a Wheeling Lincoln Day dinner, I scarcely know what was going on. Wisconsin's junior senator told West Virginia Republicans, the State Department was loaded with communists. He waved a paper he claimed contains specific names.

October 14, 2005
Bush with No Clothes
Roy Meachum
It's almost possible for me to feel sorry for George W. Bush. The conservative furor over his latest choice for the Supreme Court comes on top of troubles that never seem to end.

October 11, 2005
The Tortoise and the Hare
Roy Meachum
Frederick's current mayoral race brings to mind the Aesop fable about the hare and the tortoise. The bunny happily bounded along counting on his superior speed to win the race, while the clunky amphibian crawled, plugging away.

October 7, 2005
Come on, Tammy
Roy Meachum
At this writing, the weather gurus are predicting a good soaking rain by the time you read my thoughts, courtesy of one of those tropical storms that blow up frequently in this season; this one's called Tammy. They're all we had during my growing-up years in New Orleans.

October 4, 2005
After "the Street"
Roy Meachum
My musings last week reached back to that glorious October day in 1983 when then-Mayor Ron Young led a pied-piper procession down the newly refurbished Market Street, to the sometime astonishment of lookers-on, gaping on the sidewalk.

September 30, 2005
Not the Same "In the Street"
Roy Meachum
The first "In the Street" was only that: A blissful celebration of downtown' s transformation from a place of deep rutted curbs and overhead spider utility lines to the graceful city you know today.

September 27, 2005
Ousting Catholic Gay Would-be Priests
Roy Meachum
Opposition to the Vatican’s proposed ruling banning homosexuals from Catholic seminaries has come from what some might consider the most unlikely community: New York’s firefighters and their brother cops.

September 23, 2005
Dancing on Good Friday
Roy Meachum
The priest stood in the pulpit of New Orleans' St. Francis de Sales Church. He preached for the need to have reverence for holy days. He warned of the consequences if we did not.

September 20, 2005
Frederick's "Birds"
Roy Meachum
Not the best summer of my life climaxed with both Katrina's devastation of my childhood haunts and what my neighbor called "thousands of birds" roistering and messing in the grand old maple tree out back.

September 16, 2005
Election Donnybrook
Roy Meachum
In all the years in this trade, I’ve never witnessed an election like this week’s Frederick mayoral races – notice the plural ending. The Republican contest figured to be a shoo-in.

September 13, 2005
Blame Game
Roy Meachum
As the waters peel back from the place I grew up - Frederick has been my hometown for over 20 years - I watched, appalled, as officials point fingers at each other.

September 12, 2005
Angry and vindictive
Roy Meachum
As I wrote last week, this is the sixth Frederick mayoral race I have written about. A certain amount of backstage slashing has gone on every time; this time it's out in public.

September 9, 2005
My Sixth Vote
Roy Meachum
When Pushkin and I troop over to the Armory next Tuesday, it will be the English pointer's second trip for a Frederick mayoral race; this is my sixth time around.

September 6, 2005
Killing My Childhood
Roy Meachum
For the past week Pushkin and I have walked around downtown Frederick, as usual. But really only a part of me has been here. My English pointer buddy has not said how he feels about the place he spent a week last October. That was his first time in New Orleans.

September 2, 2005
Female Chauvinism
Roy Meachum
Not surprisingly Tuesday's column elicited comment. Two Jennifer Dougherty supporters called me "a male chauvinist pig." One, an old and dear friend, chuckled; the other did not. She displayed the venom I've come to expect:

August 30, 2005
Sexist Mayoral Campaign
Roy Meachum
It's an insulting question I've heard several times: Given Jennifer Dougherty's total lack of regard for human beings, would I accept the performance from her opposite sex member with praise for "a tough man?"

August 23, 2005
A Meachum Goes to War
Roy Meachum
Let me share the first Email from Christopher George Meachum. Trained as a tank driver in Fort Knox’s Armor school, he shipped out to Kuwait August 1, the day after his 20th birthday:

August 19, 2005
No Shootout Wednesday
Roy Meachum
Tuesday's thetentacle.com column was wrong. There was no shootout when Democratic mayoral wannabes "debated" Wednesday night. There was no debate, which meant a victory for Jennifer Dougherty.

August 16, 2005
Shootout at FCC Corral
Roy Meachum
Voters in this year's municipal primaries troop into the Armory and other balloting places four weeks from today. Based on the past, less than 20 percent of registered residents will participate, seemingly holding themselves back for the "real thing:" November's general elections. That logic may satisfy GOP members, but it's all wrong for Democrats.

August 12, 2005
Death of a "Cat"
Roy Meachum
You probably knew her from "Dallas." After dealing with various vicissitudes that come with any committed life, including the lingering death of her husband, Barbara Bel Geddes hit her public stride as Miss Ellie, the rambunctious matriarch of the Ewing clan.

August 9, 2005
Once and Future Mayor?
Roy Meachum
When I arrived in Frederick, in 1983, Ron Young's tenure in City Hall seemed as secure as the Clustered Spires themselves. Voters had overwhelmingly ratified his leadership for the last two elections. For 1985's race, when he was running for a fourth term, Republicans were forced to virtually draft a nice woman named Donna Lane, whose candidacy scarcely left the gate.

August 5, 2005
Allison's Dog Days
Roy Meachum
Downtown's first Saturday promotion in August will be no mere Gallery Walk; this one belongs to the bow-wows. They share with the homegrown Braques. It has been officially designated Frederick's Dog Days.

August 2, 2005
Seven Weeks to Go
Roy Meachum
With the filing date for the municipal primaries come and gone, this week, another Shakespearean phrase comes to mind: "Cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war."

July 29, 2005
Clever politics
Roy Meachum
In what appears a sea of Jennifer Dougherty yellow signs, it's refreshing to find scattered here and there a few of GOP mayoral hopeful Joe Baldi's trademark bowtie messages. Otherwise, the incumbent rules Frederick's yards.

July 26, 2005
Dying for your country
Roy Meachum
Strong opposition to the Iraq adventure in my writings did not begin with grandson Christopher George Meachum's orders that will put him in the air, headed for the war, on August 1, the day after his 20th birthday.

July 22, 2005
Civility: The Curse of the Thinking Class
Roy Meachum
Regardless of their other purposes for coming together, the decent and caring human beings who formed the Committee for Frederick County seem positively fixated on attempting to restore good manners where they had seldom been before, notably the public political forum.

July 20, 2005
Death to the Republic? – Part Two
Roy Meachum
On June 17, 1972, when the bungled Watergate burglary unmasked their ambitions, the gang that ran the Committee to Re-Elect the President already knew their man had little to fear from Democrat George McGovern, his challenger.

July 19, 2005
Death to the Republic? - Part One
Roy Meachum
Not since Rome have men and women managed to hold on to a government based on the popular will as long as the American republic has survived. I find reasons now to fear the end is near.

July 15, 2005
What About Downtown's Future?
Roy Meachum
There's no consensus among people I know, like and respect on what to do about Frederick's downtown business district. This column results from concerns expressed by a Market Street merchant who has reached his rainbow, so to speak.

July 12, 2005
Foreign Subjects and Objections
Roy Meachum
Almost from the start, Thanksgiving 1984, my local columns have drawn a limited amount of kvetching for words that critics say the “average reader” cannot understand. (“Kvetching” is one of those words: it’s Yiddish for complaining.)

July 8, 2005
She Committed No Crime
Roy Meachum
Judith Miller sits today in a federal detention center because she refused to “pander” to Special Prosecutor Patrick A. Fitzgerald’s insistent demand that she disclose the source of conversations that never saw print.

July 5, 2005
Baltimore’s Morally Criminal Cardinal
Roy Meachum
Although his name appeared nowhere on Saturday’s (Baltimore) Sun front page, the real story was how Cardinal William Keeler triumphantly avoided further revelation of his direct complicity in the sexual abuse of a young man and endangered others.

July 1, 2005
Independence Day: Cops and Me
Roy Meachum
In the pre-dawn black last Sunday morning, Pushkin's frantic barking pulled me out of an induced sleep to discover flashing lights under the door to the stairs.

June 28, 2005
“The Insolence of Office”
Roy Meachum
Reporter Katherine Heerbrandt deserves local taxpayers’ thanks. Her lead in The Gazette’s June 16 story: “The City of Frederick has at least three times the number of attorneys on staff as four similar-sized cities in Maryland…”

June 24, 2005
The Longest Primary
Roy Meachum
Considerable speculation has been published about the fancy dancing being staged here, there and everywhere by Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan.

June 21, 2005
Partisan Political Poisoning
Roy Meachum
Over the 20 years I’ve written from Frederick, the record shows that I am a bi-partisan complainer. Democrats and Republicans alike have stoked my ire. When it comes to praise, it can also be said my approach is “bi-sexual.”

June 17, 2005
Another My Hero Award
Roy Meachum
Not for the first time, State’s Attorney Scott Rolle wins My Hero Award for the week, an announcement that might catch him by surprise. Over the years we’ve had our differences: notably when he decided to challenge Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, a man whose strong concern for people I greatly admire. (Politics are less important to me than human beings.)

June 14, 2005
Modern Frederick's Father
Roy Meachum
Incumbent Mayor Jennifer Dougherty boasts boldly how eager she is to put her record up against challenger Ron Young's accomplishments during the 20 years he sat in City Hall, 16 as mayor.

June 10, 2005
Bring Them Home!
Roy Meachum
Winning hearts does not come under this branch of journalism. The column business deals mainly with the mind. Expressing viewpoints may have less to do with persuasion than registering an opinion.

June 7, 2005
"Lion King" Really Roars
Roy Meachum
All those glorious reports about Disney's "The Lion King" are true. Baltimore's gloriously restored Hippodrome Theatre has found a show worthy of the setting. Before sharing my thoughts, let me address the central question readers and listeners have.

June 3, 2005
“Deep Throat” Times
Roy Meachum
Everybody’s played the game: Where were you when….? For years it was about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, man’s first step on the moon and, of course, the Kennedy assassination. I’ve never been asked the question about Richard Nixon’s farewell to Washington. But I remember.

May 31, 2005
The Mayor's Record
Roy Meachum
Incumbent Mayor Jennifer Dougherty boldly announced she actually wants to run against former Mayor Ron Young in September's Democratic primary, bragging that she will put her record up against his, confident voters will endorse her try for four more years.

May 27, 2005
No Old Sweet Songs
Roy Meachum
Monroe, LA - She no longer sings. Oralee Dorothea Meachum spends what is left of the rest of her life in seeming silence. Looking through sightless eyes at a world she cannot see. Riding in the car, away from St. Joseph's Nursing Home, she occasionally offers: "What beautiful trees." I agree.

May 24, 2005
Sun Queen Mayor
Roy Meachum
Mayor Jennifer Dougherty shows clear signs of suffering a Louis XIV complex. When chided for acting in ways inimical to the best interest of the state, the Sun King replied: "I am the state."

May 20, 2005
A Matter of Age in a Diminished World
Roy Meachum
I am at an age when age matters. Increasingly I find myself closer to the edge; on the theory that anything which diminishes the world lessens my time on earth. And I've reached the age when my world continues to shrink.

May 17, 2005
A Sunday Homage
Roy Meachum
The northern part of Frederick County is different. There seems less intensity. While officials up there take their jobs seriously, they appear warmer and more willing to give credit where it's due. And Sunday evening they were giving credit to Commissioner Mike Cady.

May 13, 2005
Bless The Ladies!
Roy Meachum
Downtown Frederick won another award last Monday. The National Trust for Historic Preservation pegged us in a very elite group. Only four other communities in the nation rated this year's Great American Main Street Award. That can go on a wall close to those other tributes, notably the All-American City plaque.

May 10, 2005
Compassionate and Responsible
Roy Meachum
Mayor Jennifer Dougherty and her cronies are giving all Democrats a bad name. Their relentless, cutthroat attacks on anyone and everyone who disagrees make Frederick comparable to Washington under siege by McCarthyism. They reserve a special fury for those they view as possible challengers. The drumbeat begun against Joe Baldi has been heard before.

May 6, 2005
Deceit, Lies and Behind-Closed-Doors Decisions
Roy Meachum
Donna Ramsburg electrified much of the city this week by claiming her husband was the specific target of the latest recommendation to cut jobs in the new budget. Until her angry diatribe, most folks simply didn't know she had reached down into the ranks of city employees for her new husband.

May 3, 2005
Burying Joe McCarthy
Roy Meachum
A footnote to history published yesterday brought back vivid memories of the day I helped bury Joseph R. McCarthy, as a young reporter.

April 29, 2005
A Couple of Dinners Tonight
Roy Meachum
Purple oratory is on order tonight. Frederick becomes a squared circle for Baltimore’s Mayor Martin O’Malley, also known as the challenger, and Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who wears the championship belt by virtue of having skunked Mr. O’Malley’s team some three years back.

April 26, 2005
Market Street's Mayor Pushkin
Roy Meachum
It turns out I happen to live with the mayor of downtown's North Market Street. Put another way, Pushkin is lord of all he surveys from Fourth Street down to the Square Corner. The claim is not made lightly.

April 22, 2005
Another Forgotten War
Roy Meachum
Thursday's big news provided further details on Rome's new pope and the political problems of the powerful congressman from Texas. For readers more interested in sports: the Orioles lost and the Nats won.

April 20, 2005
Habemus Papum
Roy Meachum
Riding the ultra-conservative wave he created, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became the first German named pope in almost exactly 1,000 years. His election was hardly a surprise. Irish bookies had made him the odds-on favorite to swap the red zucchetto for white.

April 19, 2005
My Poor Church
Roy Meachum
We are all waiting, with some trepidation, for white smoke to drift over St. Peter’s piazza. Forty-five minutes later, according to the schedule, announcement will be made: Habemus Papum! “We have a pope!”

April 15, 2005
City Hall Cha-Cha-Cha!
Roy Meachum
Maybe because the topic at hand happens to be The Weinberg Center for the Arts, for whatever reason Jennifer Dougherty's performance as Frederick's mayor reminds of nothing so much as the cha-cha-cha. The once-fashionable dance consisted of stepping forward then back, then forward and back while swirling and moving rapidly all the time.

April 12, 2005
Bloody Partisan Politics
Roy Meachum
Pushkin's Sunday stroll brought a sidewalk encounter with Patrick Hogan. In a brief conversation the first-term delegate expressed himself very tired as the General Assembly's annual session headed for its final scheduled day.

April 8, 2005
More City Hall "Truth" on the Way?
Roy Meachum
Despite Mayor Jennifer Daugherty's penchant for controlling all that she surveys, another inside source has blown the whistle on her claim of loving and caring for her official family. The first appeared during her bloody war over the Weinberg Center.

April 7, 2005
Saul Bellow at the White House
Roy Meachum
Nobel Prize winning novelist Saul Bellow's passing this week brought to mind the first and only White House Festival of the Arts, conceived and directed by Bess Clements Abell, the White House's truly remarkable social secretary during the Lyndon Johnson Administration. It was my happy privilege to assist that June day in 1965, as an adviser and writer.

April 4, 2005
Thank you, Sir! Dziekuje, Pan!
Roy Meachum
Working the balcony in Papa Pio Auditorium with a camera crew, I thoroughly enjoyed that June morning in 1967; it was really my first day as a foreign correspondent. From the international journalists crowded around, I quickly discovered the big buzz centered on the smiling, affable man sitting stage right among his fellow candidates for elevation to the second highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy.

April 1, 2005
Dave Lenhart's Four F's
Roy Meachum
Alderman David Lenhart's decision to leave politics was a well kept "secret" for weeks before his public announcement Wednesday. In telling me, he cited the most important things in his life - and politics was not among them.

March 29, 2005
Mike Cady and the Schiavo Case
Roy Meachum
Mike Cady attracts such a virulent reaction that I am led to believe he must be doing something right. We now have every right to expect the orchestrated campaign of venom will somehow attach blame on him for the Schiavo case.

March 25, 2005
Huckleberry Finn with Flying Fingers
Roy Meachum
The new management at Washington's historic Ford's Theatre brought in a knock out to close its first season, a show that has special appeal for a number of folks in this community.

March 23, 2005
Big Brother Government - Big Time
Roy Meachum
In an effort to simplify their own rhetoric, right wing radicals revel in labeling people whose ideas they detest as "liberals," whom they define as exponents of increased taxation and encroaching laws. By their use, the label has taken on much of the approbation once restricted to four-letter words.

March 18, 2005
"Oklahoma!" Gives Baltimore Back-to-Back Boffos
Roy Meachum
Before Entertainment Tonight and a seemingly endless array of imitations, including channels devoted entirely to the wondrous ways of the movie, music, television and theatrical industries, there was Variety.

March 11, 2005
Goodbye, Dan
Roy Meachum
Negative press commentary on anchor Dan Rather’s retirement Wednesday was less than surprising. Cartoonist Gary Trudeau’s rather-Rather newshound in Doonesbury depicted the way most people in the news business regarded the man who “stole” Walter Cronkite’s job.

March 8, 2005
Good Ol' Boys/Girls in City Hall
Roy Meachum
The biggest mess in local politics springs off efforts by the Board of Aldermen majority to lessen residency requirements for this year's municipal election. The incumbent mayor protests her veto stands up for the public good. Legal action has already started, looking to a resolution well before September's primary.

March 4, 2005
Baltimore Sun’s toodle — oo
Roy Meachum
As expected, the nation’s major media, led by the august New York Times, have thundered indignation over Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s edict forbidding state employees to talk to two Baltimore Sun employees.

February 27, 2005
A Theatrical First
Roy Meachum
WELCOME ABOARD!!! The Tentacle is pleased to welcome well-known local columnist Roy Meachum to its pages. Roy has been a constant observer of the Frederick community for more than 20 years and has imparted his unique - and sometimes controversial - viewpoints. We have both laughed and cried with him, for him and against him through the years. We can say a lot of things about him, but we can't say he's dull. For The Tentacle he will write occasional theater and movie reviews and sometimes he'll pass on his thoughts on local issues. Today he reviews Frank Gorshin's one man show - "Say Goodnight Gracie" - now playing at The Hippodrome in Baltimore.


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