Archive for category: Uncategorized

Orioles on the SI cover

26 Sep
September 26, 2012

Friends, neighbors, fellow Baltimorons:

(And we can call each other Baltimorons, the rest of you can just back away from the term.)

I ask you to put down the torches and pitchforks on this obvious affront to the baseball gods.  When Sports Illustrated called and asked for an essay they said nothing — nothing — about the cover.  It’s a big magazine, with a lot of sports coverage.  And I undertook what amounts to a sidebar-next-to-the-main-baseball-piece.  And, hey, all of that runs inside the mag as a package right?

Had I known about the cover, I would have written half as long, and misspelled every other word, and scrawled it in crayon.

Yes, I am worried.  Yes, at this instant — if not three days ago — I believe the jinx to be an absolute threat.  An SI editor first mentioned the cover in a phone conversation with me on Monday, late afternoon.  The O’s had won the first game of the Monday doubleheader, they dropped the second.  And then they were shut out for the first time in almost two months last night.

Right now, I am so tight you couldn’t pull a pin out of my ass with a John Deere tractor.

 

Union, union, union

24 Sep
September 24, 2012

Is there a better, more apparent argument for a return of collective bargaining and trade unionism as a core value in American life than the current NFL season?  I say this as a Ravens fan — and a secondary supporter of the Saints.  Have there been games played in which these scab refs haven’t butchered it at key points?  The season is fast becoming an irrelevant measure of anything.

And I say that having banked all the emotional equity from last night’s field goal.

Seriously.  It pays to go with the union label.

Fourth and long. Delegate Burns needs to punt.

08 Sep
September 8, 2012

If you haven’t enjoyed this elsewhere already, here’s the background: Recently, Baltimore Raven linebacker Brandon Ayanbadejo angered State Del. Emmett C. Burns, Jr for publicly speaking in favor of Maryland’s legislation for marriage equality. Delegate Burns wrote to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti: “I am requesting that you take the necessary action … to inhibit such expressions from your employee.”

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe heard about this.  He penned the following:

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):

1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.

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Mitt Romney paid taxes at a rate of at least 13 percent. And he’s proud to say so.

16 Aug
August 16, 2012

Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man?  Thank him for his good citizenship?  Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

Thirteen percent.  The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college.  If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter.  Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly:  Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent.  I swear.  And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail.  But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits.  I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?

 

Mr. Bealefeld’s Come-To-Jesus Moment

14 Jul
July 14, 2012

Embedded in a recently published interview of former Baltimore commissioner Fred Bealefeld is an extraordinary utterance — something that would and should be a lot more heralded if America were paying sufficient attention to the growing costs and failings of its drug prohibition:

“Professionally,” declares Mr. Bealefeld in a brief interview with the Baltimore Sun Magazine,  “I think our war on drugs has failed…We invested a lot of this country’s blood and resources and didn’t achieve the results. Developing real educational and job opportunities for somebody would have been much more meaningful in neighborhoods than some of the work we built into putting people in jail. That’s why I think it was so misguided. We wound up alienating a lot of folks in building this gigantic jail system in our country.”

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