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.


Term limits and their limitation

I Voted Sticker

There has been a good deal of discussion, including right here in the Montgomery County Sentinel, regarding term limits and whether they offer a cure for Congressional stagnation. Clearly there are some very convincing arguments to be made on both sides of the debate.

The argument for term limits need not look any further than former Speaker of the House John Boehner, a veritable poster child for term limits. Remember how the "do nothing Congress” got its name? It received its catchy name as a result of Boehner's preference to cater to the far right wing of his Republican House caucus and refuse to send proposed legislation to the House floor for a vote.


Paul's View: In Hillary we need to Trust

Hillary Clinton Best Pictures


After having spent four full days covering the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and listening to every speech, it is safe to say that I earned the right to compare the Democratic convention to the Republican National Convention held a week earlier in Cleveland.

First, there was a significant difference in the quality of the speakers. There was no “Chachi” equivalent at the Democratic convention.  Further, the all-star team rolled out by the Democrats including former president Clinton, Vice President Biden and President Obama, unlike the Republican speakers like House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell, actually spoke about the qualities of their candidate and did so in glowing terms.

There was no plagiarism controversy at the Democratic convention. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, the current first lady, Michelle Obama, may very well have given the most touching speech of the convention AND it was heartfelt from her own heart and not anyone else's heart. She made it clear that “strength is a steady hand, not false bombast” and “when they go low, we go high” even when the faith and citizenship of her husband and the father of her children is questioned.


Where have you gone NRA?


NRA  Charlton Heston

Philando Castile of Minnesota had a permit to carry a gun, was pulled over by police for a routine traffic stop, advised the police officer of the fact that he had a firearm and a permit to carry it, obeyed all orders given him by the police officer and was in the process of retrieving his driver's license and registration when he was shot and killed by that police officer. From the video taken, the police officer seemed to be in such a panic one has to wonder why he chose law enforcement as a career.

Where is your outrage, NRA, about Philando's Second Amendment right to carry a firearm? Where is your outrage, NRA, about his being deprived of his right to carry that firearm and that he lost his life because he carried that firearm? Could the fact that Philando Castile was black have anything to do with you not being “up in arms” about his gun rights?

Subscribe to this RSS feed