January 12, 2013
In reference to Susan Reimer 's commentary ("Our special relationship with 'Downton Abbey,'" Jan. 10), my wife and I were also discussing the reasons why we've been so taken with "Downton Abbey. " In our case, it has nothing to do with any preoccupation with royalty. The fact that all the people in the house, from highest to lowest, treat each other with basic respect and dignity is very appealing, not to mention that it gives us some momentary respite from the cultural cesspool in which we find ourselves at the moment.
September 15, 2011
"Choose Civility" has been a theme of Columbia and Howard County for a few years now, and until recently it seemed a very apropos statement for the area. Howard County was an oasis in a desert. I work in Montgomery County, and driving there is like driving through a mine field. Washington, D.C., is even worse, maddeningly Big Brother-like. I take a deep breath and relax when I get back home to Howard County, this oasis of civility. When I heard about the speed camera program, I was so disappointed.
April 14, 2013
The silver lining in this cloud of controversy regarding Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Benjamin Carson may be that Dr. Carson's eloquence concerning the debacle of political correctness will get our undivided attention ("Dr. Ben Carson steps down as speaker at Hopkins graduation," April 11). "Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone," he wrote.
February 18, 2012
When one writes about moral convictions, it's probably a good idea to consistently live up to them. That way people can still disagree with your convictions, but they have a difficult time accusing you of hypocrisy. Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, I failed to live up to one of my highest principles. Here's the background. The story about the Obama administration's attempt to force Catholic and other faith-based institutions to offer employees free contraception in their health care coverage was still fresh.
October 6, 2013
How many times per day do you check email and texts? How quickly do you expect a response? What about Facebook and Twitter? In an informal survey conducted by the Howard County Library System (HCLS) this summer, answers ranged from "500 times per day" to "never. " It's likely no surprise that Millennials (18 to 30) checked the most frequently, while Baby Boomers and members of the Greatest Generation (those of us who are 50 years old and "better" - and who still send an occasional birthday card via snail mail)
March 7, 2013
If you are anything like me, then your feelings about the city - this city, any city - are bittersweet. As you peer over your shoulder while walking down an unfamiliar street or lock yourself in for the evening, you have some idea, right or wrong, of what a stranger might do. You hope for the best and brace for the worst, as I did six months ago when I began this column. Back then, I had my own ideas about how many people would read it, what percentage might bother to write, and how many of them would do so only because I'd ticked them off. All of my guesses were wrong.