Dan Rodricks: Speed cams, Trump, Lamar, Angelos and two other comments nobody asked for | COMMENTARY

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A speeding car triggers a traffic enforcement camera on northbound Interstate-83, the Jones Falls Expressway, in Baltimore.

Nobody asked me, but there should be no hesitation about deploying more speed cameras on highways — and not just in work zones. From what I see in my travels, there is little police presence out there. If speed cameras are used on city and suburban streets, why not on interstates? Put them on overpasses, trained on the traffic below. “I don’t know about you, but I see insane driving every day on the roadways around Baltimore,” wrote Sun reader Jim Gammie in an email after the horrific Beltway crash that killed six road workers on March 22. “If they can nail me for doing 59 mph on the Jones Falls Expressway, why can’t we have ‘reckless driving cameras’ and get the crazies doing 90/100 mph weaving in and out of traffic?” Why not?

Nobody asked me, but commentators on cable who previously criticized Donald Trump should refrain from expressing sadness that he’s been indicted, that it’s a dark day for America, blah blah blah. Let’s be honest; we’re glad someone has finally decided to hold this guy accountable for his actions. And there’s hopefully a lot more accountability to come.


As for die-hard fans of the former president who think his critics suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, I gotta ask: Why are you still clinging to this guy? Maybe you suffer from Trump Fetish Syndrome. A little self examination would be appropriate at this dark time for our country.

One more thing about the never-ending Trump saga: A crustaceous old reporter once told me there were two things about prominent people that a newspaper should never predict — indictments and deaths. A newspaper should never use the word imminent about the eminent, he said, because both Grim Reaper and grand jury are unpredictable and fickle. Of course, if the subject of an investigation tells you he expects to be arrested, you’ve got to go with the story, even if said subject is a notorious prevaricator known for exploiting every situation for personal gain. In Trump’s case, he was off by 10 days. But, hey, no harm, no foul.


Nobody asked me, but John Angelos’ claim in a radio interview to be “as transparent as transparent gets” by offering to show reporters the Orioles’ books — then refusing to do so while criticizing The Baltimore Sun for asking about it — strikes me as Trumpian. How many times did the former president claim he would one day release his tax returns as all presidents since Jimmy Carter have done? Trump danced around that subject for years, until the Supreme Court put an end to the farce by rejecting Trump’s effort to keep Congress from seeing how little he paid into the U.S. Treasury over the years. … If Angelos, the Orioles’ chairman and CEO, is unhappy about being asked to open the team’s books, he has no one to blame but himself. He led with his chin, offering to take reporters into the warehouse and treat them to the financials. It was a remarkable offer, so unusual we probably never should have expected Angelos to follow through. Next time, we won’t for sure.

Nobody asked me, but things would have gone a lot better for Lamar Jackson, the unhappy Ravens quarterback, had he hired an agent experienced in complex contract negotiations with NFL teams. Didn’t he see “Jerry Maguire”? Jackson could have concentrated on his football fitness and tweeting skills and left all the financials to some shark in Ray-Bans. Jackson could have logged into his bank account once a day and watched his balance grow, giving him enough money to survive the zombie apocalypse. Instead, he’s pouting in Palookaville, stranded on the other side of a burned bridge. It didn’t have to be this way.

Jackson’s regrettable predicament brings to mind a line from “Jerry Maguire,” delivered by Tom Cruise in the title role: “Twenty-four hours ago, man, I was hot! Now … I’m a cautionary tale.”

Somebody — it was a man from Perryville — asked me, so I told him where I live: Baltimore. “Can you outrun the bullets?” he asked, shaking his head. He was referring, of course, to all the shooting and wounding and killing that happens in the city. I hear that sort of thing frequently, especially from people in suburban and rural areas. But these days, given the massacre of children inside a Nashville school — given all the shootings that occur daily throughout the country — I shake my head that so many Americans see gun violence as an urban problem and not a national affliction.

By the way, data collected and analyzed by the National Safety Council show that we are more likely to die by gunshot (intentional or not) than by motor vehicle accident. Suicide is right up there with death by gun. A Harvard study showed that guns are used in more than half of suicides, making clear that America has a serious, self-inflicted problem. But you knew that.

Nobody asked me, but I don’t think we shall ever see Roy McGrath again. And given that the former Maryland official’s fraud trial had to be postponed because of McGrath’s fugitive status, couldn’t the trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby be pushed up from November? Ridiculous. The U.S. District Court in Baltimore obviously has no one in charge of programming.