Op-Eds

Pollution police off the beat

One way to tell if authorities are serious about a particular law is to see if they enforce it. If you speed and are caught by a police officer or a camera, you can expect a ticket. If you don't file your taxes, the comptroller of Maryland or the IRS will catch up with you and assess penalties....

  • A certain crisis for Social Security

    A certain crisis for Social Security

    In February, polling data revealed that questions surrounding the long-term financial stability of Social Security have pushed the program ahead of joblessness as the top economic concern of the voting public. While this revelation should have triggered some political response to the economic pressures...

  • While Maryland dallies on medical marijuana, children suffer

    While Maryland dallies on medical marijuana, children suffer

    Parents helplessly watch the open, vacant unseeing eyes of their child, knowing inside their kid's brain an electrical firestorm rages. The seizure passes, and the immediate parental relief is tempered by hard experience: This is just a break until it happens again — and it always, always happens...

  • Up close and personal

    Up close and personal

    As a long-time opera fan, I just love the simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. To see the singer/actors' facial expressions — for example, Suzuki's sympathy when she knows Madame Butterfly has been taken advantage of by the U.S. Naval officer, Lt. Pinkerton — is more than worth the admission price....

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  • Let the pols pick the nominees

    Let the pols pick the nominees

    Twenty years ago I wrote an op-ed, published in a major newspaper, which the editors called "Let's Quit Having Primaries." That title overstated my dismay with primaries, but not by much. The piece was a defense of the old-fashioned view that professional politicians should play a major role in...

  • EVs alone aren't the answer

    EVs alone aren't the answer

    It is becoming harder to ignore the growing number of studies showing that densely populated cities account for a disproportionate number of premature deaths from air pollution. Not only is the data on ground-level emissions more troubling — a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause...

  • Disturbing Baltimore attack made worse by 911 response

    Disturbing Baltimore attack made worse by 911 response

    Weeks before the one-year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, I was upset by an incident that occurred outside of my Canton home, but horrified to see the response by emergency services after 911 was called. At 2:30 a.m., after bars had closed, it's not uncommon to hear commotion outside....

  • What's killing white Americans?

    What's killing white Americans?

    For the first time in decades the life expectancy of whites is falling, particularly among women, the middle aged and those with little education. One study by two Princeton economists found that in 1999, decades of falling mortality statistics for American middle aged whites reversed course, began...

  • Ed Schultz chooses limelight over principles

    Ed Schultz chooses limelight over principles

    Like most people, I never paid much attention to Ed Schultz. A loud, bullying, meaty man in the even meatier middle of the distribution when it comes to smarts, Mr. Schultz was your classic "lunch pail populist" as host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show." During his six-year run on the network, I don't think...

  • Constructing peace in Baltimore

    Constructing peace in Baltimore

    Minutes before the sand mandala was destroyed, I turned to the 6-year-old next to me. "My God," I exclaimed with feigned panic, "those monks spent five days making that beautiful creation. Now they're going to ruin it. Can't we stop them?" The poor boy looked up at me, then patiently explained:...

  • Gender equality lacking in state leadership teams

    Gender equality lacking in state leadership teams

    Hillary Clinton promised this week that if she's elected president, half of her advisory cabinet would be female. "I would have a cabinet that looks like America," she told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow during a town hall event, "and 50 percent of America is women." Actually, it's closer to 51 percent,...

  • The benefits of 'The Wire'

    The benefits of 'The Wire'

    The typical response to the question we've all heard — "Is Baltimore just like 'The Wire'?" — is a defensive lecture on the merits of our fine city and the damage "The Wire" has done to our reputation. But has it really? I would argue that the television series is actually more helpful than harmful,...

  • Hits take a hit in the Ivy League

    Hits take a hit in the Ivy League

    Anyone who has played football will tell you it is not "just a sport." I, for one, can say it significantly changed my life for the better. I grew up in the city of Philadelphia in a single-parent household without much money. Football became an escape for me. As I got older, it became a source...

  • The risks of being male

    The risks of being male

    Many are aware of the associated benefits of being male: Men occupy a disproportionate number of CEO positions, political offices and other leadership positions. Fewer understand the risks, however. Despite much of the coverage on violence against women, men are more frequently the victims of violence....

  • Light City's afterglow in Baltimore

    Light City's afterglow in Baltimore

    For seven nights this spring, Baltimore was electric. More than 400,000 people gathered to experience Light City, the first large-scale light, music and innovation festival in the United States. Light took on many lovely forms, from the literal glow of the art (think: an animatronic peacock proudly...

  • A new NATO: Trump's opening for Obama

    A new NATO: Trump's opening for Obama

    Following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's recently and repeatedly expressed desire to end NATO, the future of the alliance is relevant and urgent, for perhaps the first time in the Obama administration. Perhaps perversely, Mr. Trump has provided an opening for a new NATO. President...

  • A Baltimore med student gets to know her patient population riding the bus

    "Eww, what is that?" she said staring at the slides I was reviewing. "It is hookworm, a parasite that can live in your intestines" I replied. Nervously, she asked, "Can I get that?" "It would be highly unlikely," I comforted her, "it has mostly been eradicated in the U.S. thanks to sanitation efforts...

  • A Baltimore med student gets to know her patient population riding the bus

    A Baltimore med student gets to know her patient population riding the bus

    "Eww, what is that?" she said staring at the slides I was reviewing. "It is hookworm, a parasite that can live in your intestines" I replied. Nervously, she asked, "Can I get that?" "It would be highly unlikely," I comforted her, "it has mostly been eradicated in the U.S. thanks to sanitation efforts...

  • Rehabilitate, rather than incarcerate, young offenders

    Rehabilitate, rather than incarcerate, young offenders

    Amid this election season's biting rhetoric, it's encouraging to see our country engaged in a substantive debate about reforming our broken criminal justice system, with headlines focusing on bipartisan support for bail and sentencing reform and a push to end mass incarceration. While not attracting...

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