Too many Americans look upon polls as Gospel, the definitive word on how elections will come out. Wrong. Polls can be useful at times but only as an indicator of the shifting winds of public sentiment. They cannot predict accurately the outcome because polling is an art, not a science.
The concluding half of filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic and epochal “The Vietnam War” series on PBS-MPT for the past two weeks veered leftward, siding with the Communist winners and the anti-war crowd.
People are surprised when I say that for my profession of environmental writing, I read as much as I can absorb about economics and business. Put articles from the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation next to those of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, and my eyes go first to the latter two. The reason is that the big economies, especially ours in the United States, have come to pursue a hyper-capitalism that drives everything, including the environment. If we can’t get our economics on a more sustainable path, environmentalism will be consigned forever to putting green lipstick on the pig. Our environmental crisis is really a crisis of economics.
No one is arguing that charter schools, school vouchers and programs such as the BOOST scholarship program can cure all ills, and no one is suggesting that private alternatives should replace public education. But it’s simply wrong to refuse to consider such programs as an alternative to a public school that has failed its students year after year.
Gov. Larry Hogan never met a highway project he didn’t like. He’s a 1950s type of politician – solve all the state’s transportation gridlock and congestion by paving the countryside with lanes of new concrete.
The best description of this spectacular new production is even-handed, balanced, and fair. If you’re watching it as I’ve been doing, you need no further appellations from me. If not, you should see the series when it’s repeated over the next several years. You won’t regret it. Rather than tell you what you’ve seen or may see, therefore, I choose to inform you a bit of the magnificent new illustrated book based on the series.
Recently, Maryland Public Television re-ran its much-ballyhooed-and-heralded-in-advance, pre-Ken Burns documentary, entitled “Maryland Vietnam War Voices.” What was actually shown and thus seen by and for Marylanders was, as usual, first-rate, with a good, representative collection of reasonable-sounding veterans giving their retrospective on America’s still longest and also most controversial war. But it had some serious flaws.
Barry Rascovar’s Sept. 4 column about State Center is very misleading. The stakes are high and clarity on details surrounding this project is very important –– particularly as the lack of transparency from the state grows. Key parts of his tale about a faulty plan, greedy developers, and changing economic circumstances are just not true, says a former transportation staffer on the project.
Gov. Larry Hogan is trying to sabotage his own school board. A state school board made up almost exclusively of Hogan appointees is scheduled today to submit to federal officials a plan for turning around under-performing schools. Yet the governor is intent on blowing up his school board’s plan before it arrives in Washington.
Gov. Larry Hogan can’t make up his mind. Last year he was a gung-ho advocate of “soft-on-criminals” reforms aimed at cutting Maryland’s prison population by 1,000 and putting more resources into helping low-level offenders avoid a life of crime. This time, though, Hogan is sporting his “tough on criminals” campaign button, calling for “truth-in-sentencing” as part of a crime-fighting package he’ll introduce in the next legislative session.