Questions Matt Lauer won't ask

Clinton v. Trump

As we are now in the presidential debate season, I though it might be a good time to suggest some potential questions that the moderators may wish to consider posing to the candidates. I think it safe to say that these questions have not yet been posed to the candidates by any of the news outlets:


Facts, Opinions and Snowden

IMG 0243Economics teaches us the more of a commodity we have, then usually the less valuable that commodity is to us – or as the economics professor used to say, “The demand curve slopes down.”
With that being said, if you couple that thought with the well-known maxim regarding opinions and their proliferation, then one must come to the logical and factual conclusion that opinions are worthless.
Edward Snowden didn’t get in trouble for releasing “opinions.” He got in trouble for being a whistle-blower regarding hard data – real information – you know “facts.”
Those facts are the coin of the realm and increasingly hard to come by.


The home of the afraid


Donald Trump wave

It doesn’t take long, once outside of the United States, to understand the high degree of insulation we both enjoy and suffer from in our Republic.

In the four countries my wife and I have visited since we left on vacation last week, when the locals find we are Americans, a wonderful conversation usually commences,

“Is it as cool as your movies?” I’ve been asked by those who haven’t visited. We are usually asked how large our country is and do we travel around it.

I remark how in five hours I can visit five countries in Europe, but I can actually drive for 10 hours in Texas and never leave the state.

That usually gets their attention.


The Constitution for now and ever


constitution quill pen

Although I readily acknowledge that Game of Thrones does not reflect reality, I think it safe to say if I had the power to do, shall we say, a Jon Snow resurrection from the dead, comedian Gary Shandling would be much higher on the waiting list than would be Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia and his obsessively strict constructionist position regarding the Constitution did more to reverse the societal advancement we, as a nation, made in the twentieth century than just about anyone.


Oh hypocrisy let me count the ways

Capitol Building

We live in the age of the "Do nothing Congress", a Congress whose favorability rating has hovered around nine percent for quite some time. It is a Congress whose inability to get things done has directly contributed to the rise of Donald Trump as an anti-establishment candidate in today's politics.

Why, then, would Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other Republican senators choose not to allow President Obama's nomination to the Supreme Court a full review on the Senate floor and, by not doing so, continue to feed the image of futility by this Congress? The answer: HYPOCRISY!


In memory of ye old "Tip Line"



It was called the “Tip Line.”

Every newsroom had them and many still do. Every place I worked the tip line was attached to an answering machine which played a pre-recorded message and then recorded whatever tip the viewer or reader had to offer.

A human being, usually a younger producer, intern or desk assistant would listen to hear if the “tip” on the tip line was worth covering.

Many of the tips were not worthy of our attention. Some of the more memorable ones included the tip that Ronald Reagan and Oliver North were sitting naked on fence posts outside of an assembly hall in San Antonio.


Here's another clue for you all

Timeout for Life




Boy did I take a beating this week – pun intended.

Not physically, but by several of my so-called liberal friends who told me I’d sold my soul to the devil or worse, to the GOP or perhaps Donald Trump, because I suggested corporal punishment – in some cases – is warranted by parents.

When browbeaten by a dozen or more of these do-gooders, my first reaction was, “Hey, it wasn’t me. It was my evil twin Skippy.”

Kind of like John Lennon saying, “Here’s another clue for you all. The Walrus was Paul.”

Nobody believes it and it isn’t true anyway.


Letters to the Editor published August 18, 2016

The Rockville Police issue

To the editor;

Councilman Mark Pierzchla is quoted [Sentinel, Aug. 11, 2016] as saying that one of his priorities is “adding more police officers to the city’s municipal force, though he did not say how many officers that would include.” 

This brings to mind a remark by Prime Minister Salisbury that “if you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.” 

Substitute police chiefs for soldiers and you have the situation in Rockville. 

J. Gelin



Beating the heat

To the editor;

The weather in Rockville is a horrible mess.

It’s hot and my neighbor says there’s no such thing as Global Warming.

He also wants to vote for Donald Trump.

Do you think there’s a connection?

R. Schwartz



And now for something completely different

To the editor;

Has anyone else noticed there are few problems in Montgomery County like in the rest of the United States?

Here we have a good government, people who are involved and a responsive ability to cope with change.

We should be the guide book on how to conduct good local government and we should be a lesson to the rest of the world.

Why don’t the media report on that.

J. Sprague


editor’s note: Pollyanna? Is that you?



Letters to the Editor published August 11, 2016

You put your left foot in .  .  .

To the editor;


Yes there is and we should care because in the last 50 years it can be blamed for the deaths of 30,000 people, the life changing injuries to millions and the financial cost of billions and this is just in parking lots! Multiply a few times when you add in the roadways.

Who is in this lobby? Those in charge of driver legislation and training and most drivers of automatic transmission cars who have been indoctrinated to use only the right foot to operate both the gas pedal and the brake pedal, based on the scientific proof of, “my father and the driving instructor said it was the only way”.

NHTSA has published data indicating that right foot pedal errors cause about 18,000 parking lot crashes each year. The lobby blames it on women and the old drivers. They refuse to even consider that right foot braking on automatic cars is too complicated for the average driver, regardless of age or gender, especially in a moment of panic.

Please for the sake of the pedestrians, cyclists and especially the children, ask those in charge to commit to a scientific study comparing right foot braking with the Left Foot Braking Method (, or other safer Google like methods of braking.                                                                                                              

T.W. Frith

Address withheld


Rockville heads on the Pike

To the editor;

Now I am seriously distressed by the fact that the Mayor and Council unanimously passed this seriously flawed document.(The Rockville Pike Plan).

It contains nothing about estimated costs, who would pay for them, how city residents would manage during the construction/disruption, nothing about parks, nothing about dealing with school capacity within the Pike area, already at or above capacity, that would be adversely affected by doubling the city’s population, for starters. 

And what does the Mayor and Council do?  They congratulate themselves and worry about bike lanes.  I am seriously distressed.

J. Gelin



Not Necessarily the news

To the editor;

I have seen dozens of teenagers and young mothers gathering near the artificial beach on lake Whetstone in Montgomery Village. Why are they there? Why hasn’t anyone covered this?

T. Thompson


editor’s note: Unless you are of the Mr. Wilson, “You kids get off my lawn,” variety of human being, teens and young mothers gathering at a beach isn’t news. Whatever are you implying?



Trade decisions have implications

It's quite simple, at least in the simplified world of Donald Trump. You want to stem the tide of foreign imports? Just raise tariffs on imports of foreign goods. You want to punish trading partners who are not playing by the rules? Just raise import tariffs across the board.  You want to bring back the jobs lost overseas as a result of globalization? Just raise import tariffs to a point that makes these products unaffordable.

Sounds so simple. However, as with most things in life, nothing is as simple as simpletons would have you believe. Raising tariffs is no different.  There are ramifications and those ramifications must be factored in to whatever decisions are made regarding tariffs as part of the overall revamping of our trade policy.

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