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By Luke Broadwater | March 15, 2011
Please allow me (or "myself" as Mike Myers famously said ) to introduce myself. Those of you who have been reading Baltimore-area newspapers for the past decade might (or might not) recognize my byline (I've written articles for The Sun, The Examiner, the Howard County Times, etc.) but this is my first attempt at a regular blog. We're calling it the Ridiculous Report and, on it, I plan to show on a frequent basis how common sense is often lost in our discussions of politics, government and the news in general.
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NEWS
October 3, 2014
America today is all about perception and 140-letter characterizations. Categorization is a natural human tendency in all things. However, knee-jerk categorization of candidates for political office without a real knowledge of them as people can be a mistake by the voter with long term negative consequences ( "Report: Md. governor's race among nation's most negative," Sept. 30). Image is everything today but the voter must stop and think. Is this really the candidate or the image that the candidate is consciously or unconsciously projecting?
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NEWS
July 27, 2013
The statistics Thomas F. Schaller quoted about murder cases and drug arrests have to be flawed, I think ( "A welcome call for soul-searching about race," July 24). I am willing to bet that what drives them are that the blacks on trial for murder and arrested for drugs, have rap sheets as long as my arms. Just like sweet little Trayvon Martin's two suspensions from school for violations that should have led to arrests are never mentioned in The Sun. At least The Sun has written that only 52 percent of black males graduate from high school in four years.
NEWS
By David Horsey | September 30, 2014
One chilly winter evening in 1988, I was the lone journalist among a small clump of voters gathered inside an old meeting hall in Manchester, N.H. I was there, mostly out of curiosity, to witness the spectacle of a man desperately clinging to a shattered dream. The dream was the presidency. The man was Gary Hart. Mr. Hart had once been sure it was his destiny to be president of the United States. The previous spring -- perhaps convinced of his own inevitability and invulnerability and only weeks after declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination -- Mr. Hart had taken a ride to Bimini on a yacht called "Monkey Business" accompanied by a young model named Donna Rice.
NEWS
February 3, 2010
Would you please limit Susan Reimer to the gardening pages? I have to admit that my blood gets to the boiling point when I read anything she writes unless it deals with how to compost. Her latest outrage, "Keep politics out of the Super Bowl" (Feb. 1) is simply too much. Her attacks on Tim Tebow are an affront to all that is good and right with an exemplary college athlete. He donated over 700 hours of volunteer work last year. Last time I checked, this was a free country, and Ms. reimer can turn her sound down when his "hideous" ad airs.
NEWS
March 1, 2013
I could hardly believe my ears when President Barack Obama chastised lawmakers for focusing on the next election instead of the nation's business ("Military bases in Md. brace for U.S. budget cuts," Feb. 27). President Obama started his run for a second term right after the results of the first election were in. The last four years seemed to be one long campaign, but now with the term limits in effect this is wrong. Mr. Obama wants to keep "early education funding," which is just another way of saying free day care for the poor.
NEWS
August 10, 2011
Here's a brief reminder to the president and members of Congress: It is not about you, or your party. It is about the U.S., and we the people of this country. Reid Hill, Catonsville
NEWS
August 20, 2010
Over and over again, we see that elections are ultimately not really about the issues or leadership qualities. They're about money. Whoever has the most money bribes, er, wins over the voters ("Ehrlich leads in donors; O'Malley leads in cash" and "Bernstein outpaces Jessamy in funds," Aug. 19). I suspect our nation's Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. Mary Shaw, Philadelphia, PA
NEWS
October 21, 2011
Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected president because Americans wanted a change from business-as-usual politics. Two years ago, the Republicans were swept into power in the U.S. House of Representatives in part because business-as-usual was continuing under the new president. Now we have the Occupy Wall Street protests on the left and the tea party on the right, both crying for a change from business-as-usual politics. But Maryland politicians still haven't gotten the message.
NEWS
January 26, 2012
The GOP presidential primary revolts me. It is so full of scummy negativism. Each night the networks news programs thrust clips of Newt Gingrich throwing a jab at Mitt Romney, or vice versa, into our living rooms. Neither has any appreciable platform for what they would do as our next president. Most issues are simply swept under the carpet. Why? Because it's so much easier just to denigrate one's opponent. Both Messrs. Romney and Gingrich have the money to invest in small armies of people whose sole responsibilities are to dig up personal dirt on the other.
NEWS
September 29, 2014
Having spent 47 years in state and local government, I have a pretty good feel for impending fiscal year budget problems ( "Apocalypse? Not now," Sept. 26). The very quietly issued projections for the next fiscal year for the state budget are concerning. That the state has already, also very quietly, issued a one month moratorium on new hires, from October 15th through November 15th, gives even greater concern. Usually, such steps are precursors to much more stringent budget restrictions in the ensuing fiscal year; including freezes on state hiring and scheduled pay raises and step increases for state employees.
NEWS
By Alexa Fraser | September 28, 2014
One of the things that delights me in the people I love is their differences.  Each of my beloved family members behaved differently in life, so naturally each of them chose to die in their own way.  My dad, Alex Fraser, wanted control over the time and place of his death.  As his Parkinson's worsened, sometime after his 90 t h birthday, he decided to take action.  His health had been declining for some time, his tremor made it hard...
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | September 27, 2014
On  his Fox News show  Monday night, Bill O'Reilly suggested using mercenaries to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) instead of U.S. ground forces, which President Obama has repeatedly vowed not to deploy. The use of mercenaries is as old as warfare itself. Alexander the Great used them. King George III hired German mercenaries to fight for the British in the American Revolution. Today  mercenaries go by other names, like “contractor . " The president is to be commended for assembling a coalition that includes Arab states, but why are more of  our European allies not part of it?
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
To hear Larry Hogan tell it, the multibillion-dollar effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has been a dismal failure - and the biggest problem is getting Pennsylvania and New York to stop sending sediment pollution down the Susquehanna River. The Republican gubernatorial candidate vows to "stand up" for Maryland farmers, watermen and homeowners, who he contends have been unfairly burdened with the bay's restoration, and says he'd take the other states to court if necessary to get them to do more.
NEWS
John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2014
WASHINGTON -- After distancing himself from the possibility of a presidential campaign, former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon turned author and Fox News contributor Ben Carson is sending new signals that he may seek the GOP nomination in 2016 after all. Carson is set to speak next week on foreign policy at a conference of conservatives in Washington, has created a federal fundraising committee and has received considerable attention for telling a...
NEWS
September 22, 2014
Monocles are off to the New Yorker for the best headline we've seen yet regarding climate change, this week's United Nations summit in New York and the large-scale demonstrations that have accompanied it: "Largest Climate-Change March in History Unlikely to Convince Idiots. " It's harsh but fair. For the record, man-made climate change is undeniable and serious. There is remarkably little division in the scientific community about that finding. That's not to suggest there doesn't continue to be legitimate debate on such specifics as the timetable for how quickly that change is taking place or the best approach to remediation.
NEWS
October 7, 2013
As I contemplate the state of my government with sadness and anger, what a treat it was to read Susan Reimer 's article on heirloom tomatoes ( "They aren't heirloom unless your grandmother gave them to you," Oct. 2). My husband and I have been relishing these gems for the past two months. Eating an heirloom tomato on fresh bread slathered with mayonnaise will bring joy to the hardest of hearts. One realizes that there is something greater out there that transcends the mundane.
NEWS
August 16, 2012
It would help all of us average guys for someone to explain what politicians are allowed to do with campaign contributions ("Disclose, disclose, disclose," Aug. 13). One assumes they pay office expenses, salaries, rent, supplies, etc., but are they allowed to buy personal items, clothes worn on the job, cars that they use for the job, rent for a house in Annapolis, etc.? Also, what regulatory body ensures they do not abuse any rules? And the accounting of such? Is that information made public?
NEWS
September 18, 2014
Members of both parties in the House of Representatives held their noses this week to pass legislation authorizing the president to train foreign forces to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the Senate is due to vote on the same measure today. Many Republicans have reluctantly supported the measure even though many think it doesn't go far enough, while many Democrats back it in a show of solidarity with their party's president despite serious misgivings about where a war vote could ultimately lead.
NEWS
September 18, 2014
A former Arizona state senator named Russell Pearce resigned as vice chairman of the state's Republican Party recently because he suggested that if he ran Medicaid, the first thing he'd do would be to put female recipients on birth control implants or require tubal ligation. Then he'd test all recipients for drugs and alcohol. If you want to reproduce or use drugs or alcohol, he reportedly told listeners on his radio show, "then get a job. " It's not surprising that a conservative Republican might perceive poor people as lazy and irresponsible, but the attack on Medicaid — the government-financed insurance program for the poor and working poor and, of course, the possibility of forced female sterility — was beyond the pale.
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