I was tremendously saddened to hear of the passing of Gregory Kane, one of the best, if not the best, columnists The Baltimore Sun has employed in the last 40 years.
I invited him for years to hear former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. lecture to my class, but in December he emailed me matter-of-factly, "Oh, I'm VERY interested, Rick. But once again, the Fates are against us. I have chemo that day."
Mr. Kane grew up as a liberal, but experience made him more conservative. He was especially eloquent on the unpopular side of capital punishment, a topic on which he exposed the undiscussed consequences of eliminating that option for incapacitation of the most heinous criminals. Read his Washington Examiner February 14, 2011 column in which he brilliantly and substantively demolishes his opponents' arguments and irrelevant theses and argues for the appropriate focus regarding the death penalty.
In Jacques Kelly's excellent obituary, he wrote of Mr. Kane's work ethic, decency and independence and the fact that his columns were not standard, predictable prose.
Always a gentleman, Gregory Kane personified what a great columnist should be: erudite on an extraordinary range of topics, a provider of arguments often not printed elsewhere, fair and not threatened when people disagree with him.
Richard E. Vatz, Towson
The writer is a professor of political rhetoric at Towson University.