Editor's picks: The best Ron Smith columns

The Baltimore Sun hired WBAL-AM radio host Ron Smith, a longtime critic of the paper, to write a weekly column for the op-ed page in 2008. Before his death this week, he wrote 146 columns, covering everything from the war in Afghanistan to gun control to political correctness. Here's a sampling of some of his most popular columns and editors' picks that represent his best work.

Death, I do not fear you; I am just not ready to go

Death, I do not fear you; I am just not ready to go

About 20 years ago, I went to a urologist for a prostate exam and PSA test. When the blood work was in, he said the levels were virtually nil, and then he said something I've never forgotten: "Fate has something else in store for you."  Read more ...

Spending millions to kill each terrorist

Is there any way to look at the war in Afghanistan as anything but a mounting failure? I don't think so. The "metrics," as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would say, aren't looking good.  Read more ...

From the Age of Monarchs to the Age of Executives

One of my sons and his wife returned from a trip to Paris a couple weeks ago. They came for dinner and showed us their pictures. Of the Palace at Versailles and its magnificence, he remarked, "No wonder there was a revolution."  Read more ...

Feeling nostalgic for (gasp) Bill Clinton

Democrats are beginning to panic as we speed toward the midterm elections. They have good reason to get nervous as they ponder the spectacle - so unlikely a year or so ago - of being reduced once again to a minority in the House of Representatives. The deservedly repudiated Republicans miraculously stand to benefit from the anger of the dispossessed middle class.  Read more ...

Face the facts: Gun control laws don't save lives

I wasn't surprised to see letters to the editor about last week's column from people who cling to their heartfelt notion that if we just had more sensible gun control laws, the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that resulted in six deaths earlier this month might not have happened.  Read more ...

American paradox: Political correctness coexists with extreme vulgarity

Our society has pulled off quite the paradoxical feat, being at once tolerant of rampant, base vulgarity and sensitive to the slightest slur. It's much like the Orwellian "doublethink," wherein one can hold two opposing ideas at the same time, believing both to be true.  Read more ...

Ron Paul, aka the invisible candidate

A moment ago, I Googled "Ron Paul ignored by media" and came up with 9,222 links. That's a lot of stories about someone being ignored. Here's what happened.  Read more ...

It's time for a different perspective on this page

So here we are. Peeking around the curtain before tentatively stepping onto the printed stage.  Read more ...

Crime and punishment, Baltimore style

If one were to grade the Baltimore state's attorney's office on conviction rates and public relations skills, it would get maybe an F. But if one were to grade State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and her sidekick spokeswoman Margaret T. Burns on the fine art of political stonewalling - that is, the outright refusal to answer inconvenient questions - the grade would have to be an A+.  Read more ...

Don't expect much from next Great Man

Finally, blessedly, it's over. After the longest, most expensive campaign in American history, the voters have decided who will be the next Great Man to take the helm of our ship of state. Sen. Barack Obama has been swept into the presidency on a wave of contrasting yet complementary emotions.  Read more ...

Eight Years After 9/11, Bin Laden Seems Closer To His Goals Than We Are

None of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing that fateful morning eight years ago today, when the hijacked airliners flew into the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. I was just leaving the house for work when my wife called out for me to come back inside. The first plane had just struck its target, and for a moment we didn't know if it was an accident. All doubts disappeared seconds later when we saw, live on television, the second tower struck by another plane. In that amazing moment we knew that life would never again be quite the same. Then came the third attack, the one on the Pentagon - and the worries about what was next.  Read more ...

Fort Hood massacre shows how political correctness can kill

The massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, last week has shined a harsh, unremitting light on the hold that "political correctness" has on the American military. There is an eruption of commentary on the appalling results of ignoring disturbing things so as not to appear "discriminatory." It struck me the other day that the big picture unveiled by the murders of 13 Americans and the wounding of more than two dozen others, soldiers and civilians, last Thursday is simply this: Political correctness kills. As I got ready for my show on Tuesday, I Googled the phrase and discovered that a large number of other people had been exploring the concept. No wonder.  Read more ...

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

Burger King's move to Canada [Poll]

Does Burger King, a classic American chain, deserve recent criticism that it's being unpatriotic by planning to move its headquarters -- and therefore its tax jurisdiction -- to Canada, after purchasing that country's Tim Horton's Inc.?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

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