He blinded me with Science double talk folks

Science March 4

People who are convinced of the absolute righteousness of their single cause on any issue are as enjoyable to have a conversation with as discussing the actuary table with an insurance agent.
It’s a long, slow boring march into the obvious with the chance of being distracted by the obtuse and miscellaneous.
There are few exceptions to this rule. Zealots of any brand, whether religious or otherwise are among the least enjoyable people to be around on the planet.
Politicians in Washington D.C. are the poster children for this sentiment – and I care little if we’re discussing the far left or far right.
This past weekend scientists marched for common sense in several cities across the country – not convinced of the righteousness of a single cause – but convinced the country shouldn’t abandon the process of scientific research – you know the research which in the past has given us every technological, medical and other advance we hold dear to our heart.


The politics of a local tragedy

Sanchez mug shot

Somewhere in this county right now a 14-year-old girl is confused, angry and hurting. Dragged into a bathroom at her high school and repeatedly raped, she has been violated and her humanity torn from her in a way no child should ever face.
An 18-year-old illegal immigrant stands accused of the crime along with a 17-year-old juvenile illegal immigrant – one of whom was facing deportation hearings - and because of who they are the story has taken on national significance.


Takoma Park seals its reputation as a political nesting ground

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logo

The center of power in the county, state and even at times the federal government is not Washington D.C., but a cozy city nestled just north of it.

During the last few decades, Takoma Park has transformed from a small town home to minority religious community to a progressive political haven and the crucible where political careers begin.

For a small city of 17,000 people, it is home to a long list of political players, such as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8), newly elected Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and three members of the County Council George Leventhal (D-at large), Marc Elrich (D-at large) and Hans Riemer (D-at large).

“When you have a political belief, be absolutely fearless in promoting it,” said political activist Robin Ficker, who was born in Takoma Park. “Speak your mind and speak your mind until the heavens fall and don't let anyone intimidate you. It's a belief that springs from Takoma Park.”


Sarbanes pushes back against public cynicism of government

  • Published in State

John Sarbanes - 8-8-16Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3)  PHOTO BY DANICA ROEM  

ROCKVILLE – “I wish the country wasn’t so angry at the government right now.”

Public cynicism about politics and people spending more time online than outdoors at events has made it harder for public officials to communicate with their constituents, according to Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3).

“The public is so cynical. They’re so turned off,” said Sarbanes Monday at the office of the Montgomery County Sentinel.


The Donald 47 years later

kp1299em-1 thumbIn the last two days our offices have been swamped with emails, tweets and Facebook posts dedicated to the GOP National Convention.
I’ve tried real hard to be angry, bored, or anything resembling interested in the faux issues being discussed by those who’ve sent me these communiqués.
More often than not they are trivial at best and wildly uninformed.


Montgomery County loses “giant” in public service

  • Published in Local

A notable figure in public service and former member of the Montgomery County Council, Esther Gelman died June 6 at the age of 84.

For much of her life, Gelman was a key player in County politics. She served on the Council from 1974 to 1987, and sponsored important pieces of legislation such as comparable pay for women, accommodation for religious leave, prohibition of smoking in public spaces and establishing the Community Crisis Center for Women.

“She was one of the giants in our county, a person who I thought who was an excellent public servant,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.


No place for distortion politics

Republican presidential campaign tactics have finally found their way into the Democrat campaigns. I was rather proud that, until now, the Democrat campaigns focused on issues and not personal attacks and mudslinging. That, sadly, is no longer the case.

The recent childish exchanges between Hillary and Bernie regarding whether either was "qualified" to be president was embarrassing to say the least. However, the campaign tactic that was even more disturbing to me was the intentional distortion of an opponent's record by Senate Democratic candidate Donna Edwards against fellow Democrat Chris Van Hollen.


My dad’s dirty laundry



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

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


The Big “C” and our world



I lost my grandfather to liver cancer when I was 10-years-old. Our family patriarch, a circuit court judge, playwright, musician, raconteur and one of the kindest men you’d ever want to know withered away and evaporated in pain while his family watched – unable to do anything to ease this man’s suffering or provide him any solace. He was just 63.
When I was in my mid 30s my father died of lung cancer after years of heavy smoking. I took care of him and watched the first hero in my life wither away as his father did – and watched dad in his agony with a heavy bucket list of “what ifs” he felt he left unfilled in his life. He died when he was two weeks shy of 56. He held on for two years when the doctor gave him just three months to live. He refused to go anywhere until he saw my youngest son born – and died two weeks to the day after my wife gave birth.


Chest thumping isn't leadership

During President Obama's State of the Union speech he made some very specific claims. Two days later on the Republican debate stage those claims were categorically disputed and his actions, or inactions, thoroughly lambasted. I get that. That's politics, especially in a presidential election year.

The question is how would any of the candidates on that stage have handled any of the issues differently? Of particular concern to me is the issue of so called "leadership" and their role as Commander-in-Chief. What would they do differently in that role? Is it enough to simply say that they would be tougher and stronger as leaders? What does that really mean, anyway?

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