Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Monday, December 31, 2007

20071231 The Tentacle year in review: Tentacle columns by Kevin E. Dayhoff in 2007

The Tentacle year in review: Tentacle columns by Kevin E. Dayhoff in 2007

The Tentacle year in review

Tentacle columns by Kevin E. Dayhoff in 2007

The Tentacle posts on “Soundtrack.”

The Tentacle on “New Bedford Herald”


December 31, 2007

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Biography

December 26, 2007

A Christmas Tragedy

Kevin E. Dayhoff

We are all mourning this Christmas season after last Wednesday’s senseless death of Smithsburg police officer Christopher Shane Nicholson, 25.

December 19, 2007

Playing “The War on Christmas” Card

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Fortunately, this year in “The War on Christmas,” no overwhelming weapons of mass Christmas destruction have materialized and it appears that Christmas is winning. And that’s a good thing.

December 12, 2007

The Writers Strike and Christmas

Kevin E. Dayhoff

For those who are fans of early television, especially old Christmas movies and holiday specials, the strike by The Writers Guild of America, which began November 5, may have a temporary silver lining.

December 7, 2007

Operation Christmas Tree

Kevin E. Dayhoff

How do you ship 5,000 two-foot live Christmas trees to a war zone? Early last Saturday morning over 300 volunteers figured it out as they braved the wind and cold and turned out for “Operation Christmas Tree” at the Carroll County Agriculture Center.

December 5, 2007

The President and Community Initiatives

Kevin E. Dayhoff

To commemorate World AIDS Day last Friday, President George W. Bush and his wife Laura met with representatives of faith-based groups in a roundtable discussion at Calvary United Methodist Church in Mount Airy.

November 29, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes – Part 2

Kevin E. Dayhoff

In yesterday’s column I wrote that with the passage of this tax package by the General Assembly, there are now more than ever two Marylands: a rural Maryland that exists to provide quality of life and common sense for the other Maryland – the urbanized areas where reason and common sense have taken a holiday.

November 28, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes – Part 1

Kevin E. Dayhoff

The ink had hardly dried on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s signature on November 19 when the peripatetic gerbils powering the Maryland media spin machines went into high gear.

November 21, 2007

Taxarians at the Gate

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Happy Thanksgiving. We have so many things for which to be thankful. The first of which is our men and women in uniform who continue to perform admirably in difficult circumstances.

November 14, 2007

Frederick and The Geography of Nowhere

Kevin E. Dayhoff

The alarm has been sounded, “Starbucks is coming. Starbucks is coming.” No word yet as to whether or not a “coffee party” has been organized to dump coffee grounds into Carroll Creek.

November 11, 2007

Veterans Day: “The Wall” at 25

Kevin E. Dayhoff

This year Veterans Day is also the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall in Washington. The Memorial, well known as “The Wall,” was dedicated November 13, 1982.

November 7, 2007

The Ever Green Fund

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Friday, the House Environmental Matters Committee in the Maryland General Assembly held a hearing on House Bill 23, the “Maryland Green Fund.”

October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Happy Halloween! Of course, for Marylanders, Halloween came early this year when Gov. Martin O'Malley appeared Monday evening before a joint session of Maryland General Assembly with a very big trick or treat bag.

October 24, 2007

Blackwater USA

Kevin E. Dayhoff

The founder of Blackwater USA, Erik Prince, is famous for being media averse. However in the last year, especially since the Democratic Party achieved majority status in the United States Congress, Mr. Prince's name is slowly becoming a household word.

October 17, 2007

The Shipwreck Known as SCHIP

Kevin E. Dayhoff

In 1997 the Republican controlled Congress enacted the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - a joint federal and state government initiative that provides low-cost health insurance for children of lower income families.

October 10, 2007

Citizen-Soldier Awarded Bronze Star

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Many of us are extremely proud to learn that Command Sergeant Major Tom Beyard, formerly of Hagerstown, was awarded the Bronze Star in a recent ceremony at the Task Force Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot in Kuwait.

October 3, 2007

It all began with President Harry Truman

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Sixty years ago, on October 5, 1947, an American president delivered a speech live on television.

September 26, 2007

The Priceless Right to Free Speech

Kevin E. Dayhoff

It has certainly been an interesting week for the exercise of our sacred right to freedom of speech in the United States. Various recent developments in this most cherished of rights provided a rich target environment for the news media, constitutional scholars, and pundits alike.

September 19, 2007

Iraq: Into the Heart of Darkness

Kevin E. Dayhoff

For those who have grown weary of the longest presidential campaign in history and the war in Iraq, last week was long and bewildering.

September 12, 2007

Jack Molesworth touched many lives

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Jack Molesworth as FHS coach

Ever since John E. "Jack" Molesworth, 80, a Western Maryland College graduate, accomplished Frederick and Carroll County area football coach and educator, died August 31 at Frederick Memorial Hospital from injuries from a fall, accolades and tributes have poured in from community leaders about the life accomplishments of this great man.

September 5, 2007

Mount Airy: The Little Town That Could

Kevin E. Dayhoff

In the early morning hours of last Sunday, the town of Mount Airy was rudely awakened just past 4 A.M. to a three-alarm fire. Hardly anything strikes fear in the heart of a community as does a major fire.

August 29, 2007

"The Crocodile Dundee Factor"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

September 15 is fast approaching. That's when Gen. David H. Petraeus will give his report to Congress on the progress in the war in Iraq.

August 22, 2007

Edward Hopper: Poet of the ordinary

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks," 1942, oil on canvas, depicts a voyeuristic portrayal of ambiguous urban alienation and impersonalization as three customers and a soda jerk spend time together in the harsh glare of artificial light in the middle of the night.

The voyeuristic stark world of American Scene realist artist Edward Hopper was recently displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

August 15, 2007

The Subprime Mortgage Mania Mess

Kevin E. Dayhoff

After several weeks of Wall Street volatility, it appears that the market has hopefully finally exhaled and calmed down.

August 8, 2007

Playing Chess with God

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last week the world of cinematography lost two of its great artisans in one day. On July 30 Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and Italian modernist film director Michelangelo Antonioni passed away.

August 1, 2007

"They don't know what we did"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Forty years ago local and national newspaper headlines leaped ominously from the page as Cambridge, Maryland, erupted in fire and violence.

July 25, 2007

Viva la bicyclette!

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Today, as you are reading this, over in France and a small portion of Spain, the 94th Tour de France is in Stage 16.

July 18, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson - Steel Magnolia

Kevin E. Dayhoff

A week ago today, Lady Bird Johnson, the celebrated wife of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, passed away at age 94.

July 11, 2007

"90 Seconds"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

It was nothing short of cruel irony that I happened to be on a guided tour of the United States Military Academy at West Point on the very day The New York Times editorialized for the United States to unconditionally surrender in Iraq. It was this past Sunday.

July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Kevin E. Dayhoff

As we spend time with friends and family to celebrate the Fourth of July today, take a moment to ponder just how fortunate we really are in our great nation.

June 27, 2007

Striking a Blow for Free Speech

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Many are singing high praise of the Supreme Court's decision handed down Monday which took a bite out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.

June 20, 2007

Earmarks: A Bridge to Bankruptcy

Kevin E. Dayhoff

After months of bitter fighting, the surge on "earmarks," our own homegrown version of economic terrorism, continues to meet stiff resistance.

June 13, 2007

The Fragging of Gen. Peter Pace

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced last Friday that he will recommend Adm. Mike Mullen, the current chief of naval operations to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - and not Gen. Peter Pace.

June 6, 2007

Tomorrow's Leaders Today

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Graduation season is upon us and this is the time many of us get some emersion exposure in the values and attitudes of our youngest generation, who are about to assume future leadership positions.

May 30, 2007

A Pain in the Gas

Kevin E. Dayhoff

With the Memorial Day weekend behind us, so begins the summer driving season. Increasingly a critical part of the summer getaway calculus is congested roadways and the cost of gasoline.

May 28, 2007

The Silence of Joseph W. Blickenstaff

Kevin E. Dayhoff

For many people, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. But hopefully you will take time out today to remember the greater meaning of Memorial Day - especially at a time when our great nation has more than 253,000 men and women in uniform deployed away from their families and loved ones - in nearly 80 countries oversees.

May 23, 2007

Gates Encourages Public Service

Kevin E. Dayhoff

In his keynote graduation address Sunday, U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates challenged the 2007 graduates of the College of William and Mary to serve the greater good of the nation by voting, volunteering, and participating in public service.

May 16, 2007

Hate Crimes' Slippery Slope

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On May 3rd the U. S. House of Representatives voted 237 to 180 to pass H.R. 1592, the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act."

May 9, 2007

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Our Congress is embarking on yet another curious and quixotic adventure, almost like the movie "Ground Hog Day." This time it is again delving into a perilous journey to develop a cogent approach to immigration reform.

May 2, 2007

The Legacy of Whittaker Chambers

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On Monday evening, a tragic fire destroyed a circa-1850 barn on the historic Whittaker Chambers "Pumpkin Patch" farm just north or Westminster in Carroll County.

April 25, 2007

Boris Yeltsin, Dead at 76

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Best known for standing on a tank in the middle of Moscow and almost single-handedly defying a coup in 1991, Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin is the same person who just two years earlier had fished himself out of a river clad only in his underwear.

April 18, 2007

One Who Listens

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Demonstrators recently gathered at Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's Frederick office to theatrically illustrate their unhappiness over his vote on the emergency Iraq and Afghanistan supplemental funding legislation.

April 11, 2007

Press' Grand Dame Coming to McDaniel

Kevin E. Dayhoff

A curmudgeon without peer, a celebrated author, a reporter who covered the White House through nine presidents, and now a columnist with the Hearst organization, Helen Thomas could easily be called the press' grand dame.

April 4, 2007

Dems declare war on Mormon Crickets

Kevin E. Dayhoff

As a result of the Democrats' quick action in Congress in the last few weeks, Americans may soon rest easy in the knowledge that we will be saved from the true terrorists in our world today - Mormon crickets.

March 28, 2007

Diminished By Their Passing

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Conservative political commentator Cathy Seipp passed away a week ago at the far-too-young-age of 49. In a cruel irony, a non-smoker, she died of lung cancer after a five-year battle with the disease.

March 21, 2007

Crossing the River - Together

Kevin E. Dayhoff

At 2 o'clock on March 23, 1642, in "St. Maries," now known as St. Mary's City, Mathius de Sousa took his seat in the Maryland General Assembly along with Leonard Calvert, the first governor of Maryland, and 37 other distinguished gentlemen.

March 14, 2007

Bowling Brook: A Sad Tale

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On January 23 one of the very young men that Bowling Brook Preparatory Academy had tried so hard to mold into a lifetime of hope and a future, 17-year-old Isaiah Simmons III, died at the school.

March 7, 2007

Who is Leonard Peltier?

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Among all the recent breaking news as to who is the real father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby and Britney Spears' latest hairdo and tattoo, presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, of New York, erupted into a major food fight of kindergarten proportions.

February 28, 2007

"Remember the Maine"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Essentially unnoticed a couple of weeks ago was the anniversary of a dark day in American history that in its day was considered by our great grandparents as horrific as Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

February 21, 2007

Hanlon's Razor

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Friday and Saturday, the Democrats in Congress took another step in a desperate attempt to assure our defeat in Iraq and ultimately threaten our national security at home.

February 14, 2007

Gauging A Presidential Legacy

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Recently political pundits have spent a great deal of effort pondering the legacy of President George W. Bush. Of course, those of us who consider ourselves to be students of history understand that history needs much more time and distance in order to accurately gauge the legacy and historical impact of any particular president.

February 12, 2007

The Great Maryland Electric War

Kevin E. Dayhoff

With a Democratic governor in the statehouse, Ken Schisler out of the way, and the proposed merger of Constellation Energy and Florida Light and Power stopped, it would appear that the Democrat controlled Maryland General Assembly has succeeded with most of its election goals from last year's gubernatorial contest.

February 7, 2007

The Electrocution of Ken Schisler

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On January 29 Public Service Commission Chairman Ken Schisler resigned. Appointed just after the Ehrlich administration moved into the second floor of the statehouse, Mr. Schisler decided not to serve the remaining year of his five-year term.

January 31, 2007

Who was Deborah Orin-Eilbeck?

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Saturday, the New York Post's Washington bureau chief, Deborah Orin-Eilbeck, passed away. Published accounts noted that she died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of stomach cancer.

January 24, 2007

The State of the Union Address

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Perhaps not since Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal a couple of days before President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address in January 1998 has there been such an anticipated annual address by an American president.

January 17, 2007

"NUTS!"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Thursday President George W. Bush addressed the nation with his long awaited "New Way Forward in Iraq."

January 10, 2007

"A Message to Speaker Pelosi"

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Wednesday our nation witnessed an historic first when California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was elected to be the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.

January 3, 2007

Castro Watch

Kevin E. Dayhoff

We have many things to look forward to in 2007 and certainly at the top of the list is the eventual demise of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

20071231 The Tentacle year in review: Tentacle columns by Kevin E. Dayhoff in 2007

Spiro Agnew the patron saint of Alaska


Spiro Agnew the patron saint of Alaska

December 31, 2008 © by Kevin Dayhoff


On Christmas morning I was treated to a white Christmas when I awakened in Anchorage Alaska. As a matter of fact, it was a white Christmas week as it snowed everyday the entire time I was there.

I stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel which is incidentally the same hotel where one of Alaska’s heroes, our own thirty-ninth Vice President of the United States, and the 55th governor of Maryland, Spiro Agnew, stayed on an impromptu stopover in 1981.

Yes, you read that correctly, according to Anchorage Daily News columnist, Mike Dunham, who wrote a tribute to Mr. Agnew on the anniversary of his birthday in 1996; Mr. Agnew is considered to be “arguably the most important man in Alaska history after William Seward.” More on that in a minute…

As readers are aware I am not a fan of the cold or snow, but there I was looking out upon a beautiful city situated on a glacier silt plain in southeastern Alaska, picturesquely framed by the Chugach Mountain range and Cook Inlet.

The temperature averaged in the teens for the entire stay – and yes, the sun only shines for about four hours a day this time of the year in Anchorage. Even then, sunlight is only distinguishable as a brighter - lighter shade of gray.

Nevertheless, I had a wonderful visiting a city I had only read about before in the context of oil exploration and politics, Native American struggles and public policy, Russian - Alaskan history, the globalization of American economic structure, and anomalies of municipal government.

For government geeks who study municipal governance, Anchorage is fascinating. Above and beyond the fact that there is no sales tax or income tax in Anchorage or Alaska for that matter, is the sheer geographic size of the municipality. The city limits of Anchorage encompasses 1,955 sq. miles or about the size of the state of Delaware. For a comparison, Carroll County is 452 square miles – and Westminster is about 6 square miles.

On December 28, I had a nice opportunity to talk with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich; a young and energetic rising star who will in the future make a name for himself on the national stage. For now I’ll leave that for a future column. Yes, he is the son of former Congressman Nick Begich. Congressman Nick Begich and Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana were the focus of a national tragedy on September 16, 1972. Who remembers the terrible circumstances?

Getting back to Spiro Agnew, according Mr. Dunham, Mr. Agnew he did not happen to visit Anchorage “on purpose. In 1981, he and 180 other passengers on a commercial jet to Korea were detained in Anchorage after an engine conked out. Spotted at the Hotel Captain Cook, Agnew shied from questions — ‘I’m not in politics anymore. I just don’t have time to fool with this anymore’ — lit his Marlboro and puffed quietly into history.”

It is that “history” that is so fascinating to congressional historians. Except as a peculiar footnote, history is befuddled as to what to do with the legacy of Mr. Agnew. For the most part, historians essentially ignore him. In what is otherwise the sordid and conflicted saga of an American politician from Maryland, then-Vice-President Agnew irrevocably changed the future of Alaska just months before he resigned as the United States vice-president on October 10th, 1973.

To refresh your memory, the thirty-ninth Vice President of the United States, and the 55th governor of Maryland, Spiro Theodore Agnew, passed away on September 17th, 1996. He was born on November 9, 1918 Spiro Anagnostopoulos, the son of Greek immigrants, and grew up in Baltimore.

While serving his country in World War II, he earned the Bronze Star in France. Upon returning home he began practicing law in 1949 and entered politics in 1957, eventually being elected Baltimore County Executive in 1962.

In an extraordinary twist of fate, Mr. Agnew, a Republican, really burst on the scene in 1966 as a courtesy of the Democratic Party. Who can remember the circumstances?

On November 8, 1966, the day before his 48th birthday, Mr. Agnew, defeated his Democratic-Dixiecrat opponent, by a margin of 81,775 votes in a three-way race. Who can name his Dixiecrat opponent or the third prominent politician in the 1966 Maryland gubernatorial election?

Presidential candidate Richard Nixon picked the nationally unknown Maryland governor as his running mate two years later. Most all Marylanders were proud when then-Governor Agnew was elected Vice-President of the United States in 1968.

In the fall of 1973, as the Watergate scandal mounted, the prospect of Vice-President Agnew succeeding President Nixon became a matter of profound concern to political elites. An investigation into the Baltimore County payoffs provided a suitable pretext as he eventually became the focus of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Maryland for financial irregularities while he held state office. Rather than face trial, Agnew resigned and entered a plea of no contest to charges of evading income tax.

Years earlier, Mr. Agnew made a campaign stop in Anchorage in 1968, according to Mr. Dunham. It was the first of his three visits to Alaska. The second visit occurred during the re-election campaign of 1972 – in addition to his last visit, mentioned earlier, in 1981.

In 1968, a few months before Mr. Agnew’s first visit, oil had been discovered on the North – Arctic Slope north of the Brooks Mountain Range. The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) was proposed in 1969, but it was greeted met with tremendous opposition from environmentalists.

By July 17, 1973, the Trans-Alaska Authorization Act which cleared the way for the 800-mile pipeline had passed the House of Representatives, but was deadlocked in the Senate – 49 to 49.

Vice-President Agnew, in his constitutional capacity as President of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote, “for” the pipeline.

Mr. Agnew was many different things to many folks, however, today, few Marylanders are aware of him, except that he was once a Maryland governor and a United States vice-president.

In Alaska, the former governor of Maryland is known to keen historians as the reason there is no sales tax or income tax in the 49th state. Additionally, he is one of the reasons why the Anchorage of today, poised as the gateway to northern North America and the vast economics of the Pacific Rim, is a modern and exciting city. It is far different from the boom-to-bust, “small, dirty, hardscrabble place,” as described by Mr. Dunham, “with more bars than churches when Agnew flew in on a campaign swing in 1968.”

I did find a statue of Captain James Cook who sailed into the area in 1778, but on my visit, I found no statue for Spiro Agnew. Nevertheless, to paraphrase Mr. Dunham, he may have picked pockets in Maryland, but he made Alaskans rich.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster Maryland USA.
E-mail him at: kdayhoff AT carr.org
####


20071231 Spiro Agnew The Patron Saint of Alaska

20071231 HNN: Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War, the Culture of Imperialism and the Distortion of History

12-31-07

I have not seen the movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” although it is on my short list of movies of which I speculate may be worth the time – in a year in which most of the Hollywood movies were not worth the time.

I stumbled across this review and piqued my curiosity.

Has anyone seen the movie – and if so, what did you think?

Charlie Wilson’s War, the Culture of Imperialism and the Distortion of History

By Jeremy Kuzmarov, George Mason University’s History News Network

Mr. Kuzmarov is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Bucknell University. His first book, The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs, will be published by the University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

In his provocative 1993 book, Culture and Imperialism, Edward W. Said examines how cultural representations in the West have historically helped to stereotype Third World peoples as being passively reliant on foreign aid for their social and political uplift, thus engendering support for imperial interventions ostensibly undertaken for humanitarian purposes. This was true, he argued, even in works critical of Western interventions, like Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness and Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, where the indigenous characters appear to be either incidental to the story or dependent on Westerners (as is exemplified in the Vietnamese character Phuong who latches onto the “quiet American” Alden Pyle as a means of escaping a life of poverty and prostitution).

Said’s final chapters focus on Hollywood’s promotion of demeaning stereotypes of Arabs as religious fanatics and terrorists and universally oppressive towards women. He highlights, further, how the Vietnamese people in most American films on the war have been deprived of human agency, with the U.S. defeat frequently blamed on ineffectual liberal bureaucrats and incompetent senior officers rather than the strength of Vietnamese nationalism and mobilizing abilities of the revolutionary leadership. Said would likely argue that Charlie Wilson’s War is the latest Hollywood blockbuster to promote underlying cultural stereotypes of Third World peoples and Muslims, while sanitizing the American record and its promotion of imperial violence.

Based loosely on true events, the film focuses on the efforts of a Congressional representative from Texas, Charlie Wilson, to raise funds for mujahadin “freedom fighters” seeking to “liberate” Afghanistan from the Soviets. A playboy renowned for his womanizing and high-lifestyle, Wilson becomes a lonely voice in support of the CIA’s covert war.

[…]

Read the entire essay here: Charlie Wilson’s War

####

20071231 Billick Fired

Monday, December 31, 2007

http://wbal.com/news/story.asp?articleid=67462

WBAL's Steve Davis reports the Ravens have fired head coach Brian Billick. Team has scheduled a 3:30 news confernce, which will be carried live on WBAL and wbal.com. More details on AM 1090 WBAL and WBAL.COM.

For more information go to: Billick Fired

20071230 The Most Interesting Presidential Candidate by George Will


-----

The Most Interesting Presidential Candidate

By George Will Sunday, December 30, 2007

WASHINGTON -- America's foremost black intellectual has published a slender book about the most interesting presidential candidacy since 1980. Shelby Steele's characteristically subtle argument is ultimately unconvincing because he fundamentally misreads Barack Obama. Nevertheless, so fecund is Steele's mind, he illuminates the racial landscape that Obama might transform.

Ronald Reagan's 1980 candidacy fascinated because, as a conviction politician, he sharpened partisanships as a prelude to implementing discontinuities in domestic and foreign policies. Obama's candidacy fascinates because he represents radical autonomy: He has chosen his racial identity, but chosen not to make it matter much.

In "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win," Steele, of Stanford's Hoover Institution, argues that Obama "embodies" -- an apposite word -- the idea that race can be "a negligible human difference." His candidacy asks America to complete its maturation as a society free from all "collective chauvinisms" about race. And his flair for the presentational side of politics makes him, Steele concludes, immune to affirmative action's stigma -- the suspicion that he is a mediocrity lifted up by lowered standards.

[…]

Read the entire George Will column here: The Most Interesting Presidential Candidate

George F. Will, a 1976 Pulitzer Prize winner whose columns are syndicated in more than 400 magazines and newspapers worldwide, is the author of Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball.

Be the first to read George Will's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.

Political Profile: Barack Obama

Defending His Faith

Obama Aims to Connect With Rural Iowa

####

An interview with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich


An interview with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich

December 30, 2008 © Kevin Dayhoff http://www.kevindayhoff.net/


On December 28, I had a nice opportunity to talk with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich; a young and energetic rising star who will in the future make a name for himself on the national stage.

For now I’ll leave that for a future column.

Yes, he is the son of former Congressman Nick Begich. Congressman Nick Begich and Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana were the focus of a national tragedy on September 16, 1972.

Who remembers the terrible circumstances?

I was in Anchorage Alaska from December 22 – 29, 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

As readers are aware I am not a fan of the cold or snow, but there I was looking out upon a beautiful city situated on a glacier silt plain in southeastern Alaska, picturesquely framed by the Chugach Mountain range and Cook Inlet.

On Christmas morning I was treated to a white Christmas when I awakened in Anchorage Alaska. As a matter of fact, it was a white Christmas week as it snowed everyday the entire time I was there.

I stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel which is incidentally the same hotel where one of Alaska’s heroes, our own thirty-ninth Vice President of the United States, and the 55th governor of Maryland, Spiro Agnew, stayed on an impromptu stopover in 1981.

Yes, you read that correctly, according to Anchorage Daily News columnist, Mike Dunham, who wrote a tribute to Mr. Agnew on the anniversary of his birthday in 1996; Mr. Agnew is considered to be “arguably the most important man in Alaska history after William Seward.” More on that in another column…

The temperature averaged in the teens for the entire stay – and yes, the sun only shines for about four hours a day this time of the year in Anchorage. Even then, sunlight is only distinguishable as a brighter - lighter shade of gray.

Nevertheless, I had a wonderful visiting a city I had only read about before in the context of oil exploration and politics, Native American struggles and public policy, Russian - Alaskan history, the globalization of American economic structure, and anomalies of municipal government.

For government geeks who study municipal governance, Anchorage is fascinating. Above and beyond the fact that there is no sales tax or income tax in Anchorage or Alaska for that matter, is the sheer geographic size of the municipality. The city limits of Anchorage encompasses 1,955 sq. miles or about the size of the state of Delaware. For a comparison, Carroll County is 452 square miles – and Westminster is about 6 square miles.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Of course, as a member of the “Mayors’ Club;” those of us who are currently serving or former mayors will have a propensity to circle the wagons and close ranks around another mayor.

That said, I was extremely impressed with Mayor Begich and chances are he will eventually succeed Alaska Senator Ted Stevens some day.


20081230 An interview with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich

20061026 Blogospheric recognition from GWU's IPDI


Blogospheric recognition from George Washington’s IPDIBlogospheric recognition from George Washington University’s “Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet”




October 26th, 2006


THANKS! IPDI!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mark Begich web site bio




Retrieved December 28, 2007 in anticipation of having the opportunity to interview Mayor Begich in his office:

Since his election on April 1, 2003, Mayor Mark Begich has focused on the three priorities Anchorage residents tell him are most important: improving public safety, creating jobs and economic opportunities, and relieving traffic congestion.

In his first 30 months in office, Anchorage crime rates have declined, the city is entering its 18th consecutive year of economic growth, and voters have approved the largest transportation bond package for road improvements in the city's history.

Mayor Begich was sworn in as Anchorage's mayor on July 1, 2003, following the broadest public transition process in municipal history.

The first municipal mayor born and raised in Anchorage, Mark, 43, is a 20-year Anchorage businessman. He has owned and operated several Anchorage businesses, upgrading commercial buildings and renting affordable housing to Anchorage families. His wife, Deborah Bonito, owns and operates three retail stores, which feature the products of more than 130 Alaska craftspeople.

Mark was first elected to the Anchorage Assembly in 1988 at age 26. During his 10 years in elected municipal office, he focused on strengthening Anchorage's economy, creating new opportunities for young Alaskans and sound fiscal management. He was widely praised for his ability to bring diverse Anchorage groups and residents together, and was three times elected by his fellow assembly members as Assembly Chair, Anchorage's second highest office.

Mark's parents, Pegge and the late Nick Begich, came to the territory of Alaska in 1957 as teachers. Following a career as a teacher and Superintendent of Military Schools on Fort Richardson, Nick was elected Alaska's third U.S. Congressman. While running for reelection two years later, Congressman Begich's airplane disappeared in the Gulf of Alaska when Mark was 10 years old.

From his parents, Mark learned the values of hard work, strength of family, and commitment to community. These are the values he has applied to a successful business career and long record of public service. He founded the Making a Difference Program, which seeks to set straight first-time juvenile offenders; 90 percent of the youth who go through the program do not re-offend. He has served on numerous boards, including the Boys and Girls Club, Spirit of Youth Foundation and Family Resource Center.

As chair of the statewide Alaska Student Loan Corporation, he applied sound business practices saving the corporation from bankruptcy and ensuring affordable student loans for Alaska's college and vocational-technical students for years to come. He is a corporate member of the Association of the United States Army, a member of the Air Force Association, a life member of the National Rifle Association and served on the board of the Resource Development Council.

Mayor Begich was twice named Alaska's top elected municipal official by his colleagues statewide in 1997 and 2004, and was honored as a Friend of Education by the Anchorage Education Association. For his work for drug-free and crime-free neighborhoods, he was recognized by the Mt. View Community Council.

Mark was born in the Old Providence Hospital in downtown Anchorage in 1962. He and his wife Deborah live in East Anchorage, have been married 15 years and have a young son, Jacob.

20071229 Mark Begich web site bio

NPR: 'The Wire' to Focus on Baltimore Newspaper

NPR: 'The Wire' to Focus on Baltimore Newspaper

by David Folkenflik

Listen Now [7 min 19 sec] add to playlist

Morning Edition, December 28, 2007 · The final season of the HBO series The Wire, which dramatizes how real-world institutions and leaders repeatedly failed the people of Baltimore, gets under way Jan. 6. Creator David Simon is turning his critical eye on journalism, namely The Baltimore Sun and the role that paper plays on a dysfunctional urban stage. The past four seasons have scrutinized the police department, City Hall, and the school system.

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'The Wire's' David Simon and George Pelecanos

20071207 NPR The Wire to Focus on The Baltimore Sun

Friday, December 28, 2007

20071228 Recent Westminster Eagle columns

Recent Westminster Eagle columns

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Friday, December 28

Christmas comes early for families, and for some secret (trooper) Santas

On Sunday, Dec. 16, members of the Maryland Troopers Association Lodge 20 were joined at the Westminster Fire Hall by members of the State Police Explorers Post 56, Cub Scout Pack 150 and Carroll County Chapter K of Gold Wing Road Riders to make sure that families on their "most wanted list" had a n... [Read full story]


Reaching out to the troops is a mission with 'evergreen' appeal

Early this month, on Dec. 1, more than 300 volunteers gathered at the Carroll County Ag Center for Operation Christmas Tree to pack 5,000 live decorated Christmas trees for the troops in Iraq.

I had only been in the 40'-by-60' tent (supplied by Kay-Lyns Party Rental), for minutes when one voluntee... Congressman Roscoe Bartlett… [Read full story]


Greeting the Ghosts of Christmas TV past

Christmas, as much as any holiday, is a time for childhood memories.

For many baby-boomers, television has always served as an early warning system that the holiday is rapidly advancing. Whether it is the plethora of consumer-oriented commercials or Christmas holiday specials, most everyone's chil... [Read full story]


Singing with one voice for a worthy cause

On Nov. 17, members of our community packed St. John Catholic Church to hear the talented and beautiful voices of artists who came together and donated their time for our community -- and for a worthy cause.

Musical groups including the McDaniel College Madigal Singers, Old Line Statesmen Barber S... “With One Voice”… Programs sponsors included organizations such as the GFWC Women’s Club of Westminster, and businesses such as Skyline Network Engineering, Lehigh Cement, PNC and New Windsor State Bank, Stu’s Music, the Law and Mediation Center, Opera House Printing Company, Steven Silberman, the law firm of Cromwell and Unglesbee and Douglas Deming of Zero Balancing and Message Therapy. They all came out in force to make a difference in our community.

Connie Sgarlata, director of the Carroll County Office of Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland echoed the remarks of many, including McDaniel College professor of music Dr. Margie Boudreaux and Diane Jones, the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County artistic director… [Read full story]

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20071228 Recent Eldersburg Eagle columns by Kevin Dayhoff

December 28th, 2007

Wednesday, December 19 2007 Reaching out to troops is an effort that's evergreen By Kevin E. Dayhoff Operation Christmas Tree...

Wednesday, October 10 2007 We can honor firefighting heritage by preventing disaster By Kevin E. Dayhoff Sykesville Fire Department...

Wednesday, August 22 2007 Song of the South: No grits, no glory By Kevin E. Dayhoff

**** And from the archives…

11/07/05 - Real scoop on ice cream leads to peace, prosperity and kids George Washington and Thomas Jefferson also served ice cream.

The real breakthrough in ice cream came around 1832, when a former White House chef, African- American Augustus Jackson "invented ...

09/06/06 - Just say no to reality TV mentality in Carroll County election 2006-09-06 00:00:00 Kevin E. Dayhoff Just say no to reality TV mentality in Carroll County election By Kevin E. Dayhoff

Now that Labor Day has passed; perhaps Carroll Countians are finally focu...

12/20/06 - Donations, wishes for critically-injured trooper 2006-12-20 00:00:00 Local News Donations, wishes for critically-injured trooper By Katie V. Jones and Kevin Dayhoff On Sunday, members of the Maryland Troopers Association Lodge No. Workman...

12/14/06 - Donations accepted for injured trooper's family 2006-12-14 00:00:00 News Donations accepted for injured trooper's family By Kevin Dayhoff Donations are being accepted to help the family of the Maryland State Trooper critically injured this week...

12/15/06 - WEB UPDATE: Train derails along Patapsco on Howard and Carroll line 2006-12-15 00:00:00 News WEB UPDATE: Train derails along Patapsco on Howard and Carroll line by Kevin Dayhoff and staff reports At about 3:15 a.m. on Friday, Carroll County, Howard County, Marylan...

11/30/05 - Burnett- Students today perform on global stage 2005-11-30 00:00:00 Local News Burnett- Students today perform on global stage By Kevin Dayhoff
Special to The Eagle

Several hundred people attended the fourth annual Carroll County NAACP Fr...

11/23/05 - Burnett: Students today compete on global stage 2005-11-23 00:00:00 Local News Burnett: Students today compete on global stage By Kevin Dayhoff, Special to The Eagle Several hundred people attended the fourth annual Carroll County NAACP Freedom...

01/10/07 - Campbell, 91, shaped public safety in Carroll 2007-01-10 00:00:00 Obituaries Campbell, 91, shaped public safety in Carroll by Kevin Dayhoff

In November 1962, a Western Maryland College graduate and former Washington Redskins football playe...

Ag Center market marks 35th anniversary

News Briefs 06/21/06

This Saturday, June 24, marks the 35th anniversary of the Carroll County Farmer's Summer Market at the Carroll County Agriculture Center.

History recalls Deep Throat, but will it pardon Mark Felt?

06/08/05

So Mark Felt, once the second highest-ranking FBI officer in America, has decided to come clean after 32 years.

In a Vanity Fair magazine article, he wore his best pair of flip-flops and now admits that he was, after all the denials for over three decades, "Deep Throat." (Remember his remarks in 1974: "It was not I and it is not I.")

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

20071227 AP: Rare 1918 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” 24-cent stamp sold

The stamp collector in me could not help but notice an Associated Press article by an auction house that reports that it has sold a rare 24-cent inverted JN-4 Curtiss Jenny stamp for $825,000…

Auction House Says New York Executive Purchases Rare 24-Cent 'Inverted Jenny' Stamp for $825,000

Thursday, December 27, 2007

AP File: A rare 24-cent stamp from 1918 depicting an upside-down airplane, the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny," is shown.

DALLAS — A collector from New York has purchased a rare 24-cent stamp depicting an upside-down airplane for $825,000, according to an online auction house.

[…]

The 1918 stamp depicts a Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny," a World War I training aircraft that became an airmail plane. About 700 of the stamps were misprinted, but inspectors caught all of but 100 before they were sold.

[…]

Read the entire article here: 20071227 AP: Rare 1918 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” 24-cent stamp sold

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20071226 A Tribute to former Carroll County Delegate Richard C. Matthews

A Tribute to former Carroll County Delegate Richard C. Matthews

December 26th, 2007 by Kevin Dayhoff

Recently, the death of former Carroll County Delegate Richard C. Matthews caused me to pause in thought about the many county leaders that have gone before us - and how they dealt with challenges. Delegate Matthews passed away on Dec. 13, 2007, at the age of 81.

Carroll County has been fortunate to have many native sons and daughters who made a great difference and contribution to our community, Maryland and our great nation.

As 2007 draws to a close and we all look forward (or not) to the opportunities and challenges of 2008, the lull between Christmas and New Years Day is often the time of some retrospection and assessment.

Anecdotally, this theme of reflection on the past year and thoughts of the future year has been shared with me by several community leaders in a number of conversations.

Of course, for an historian, there are always examples of past periods of time when the community had overwhelming problems in which the current challenges pale in comparison. Nevertheless that information provides us with little solace today.

In November, over the Veterans Day weekend, I attended a conference on “The Presidency and the Supreme Court.” Conversations with other historians about past eras in American history certainly put today’s challenges in a certain perspective. Be relieved as I will spare you a column on constitutional and economic challenges “The Revenue Act of 1862.”

Off the top of my head, in Carroll County issues like the adequate and safe supply of water, attracting local employment, police protection, and solid waste management come quickly to mind. Let’s also not overlook that because rural local government had its revenue cut as a result of the Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly in November – the question remains as to how we are going to pay for these services and infrastructure.

In 2008 we can all look forward to some solutions to the many pressing challenges in our community. Perhaps you have a list of your own that you may want to share. If so, drop me an e-mail.

On July 30, when the acclaimed enigmatic Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, 89, passed away, I wrote that he drew much of his inspiration by attempting to figure out the various, often-conflicting dynamics of a small college town. His movies often made me think of Westminster.

Mr. Bergman, like so many community leaders – present or long-since passed away- spent a lifetime engaged in mortal combat with the big questions of mortality, morality, faith, community, existence, family, despair, and betrayal.

The Carroll County of my childhood was a complex interesting paradox of rugged individualists who moved the ball forward and made our community successful by way of their social and business relationships.

Like making sausage, our quality of life was furthered by the relationships of folks combining their efforts so that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts, but it was often foreboding, disenchanting, and bewildering to watch it happen.

Delegate Matthews represented Carroll County in Annapolis from 1967 to 1994 and for many of those years was the chairman of the Carroll County legislative delegation. It was during the period of his service to our community that history is sure to reflect there were enormous changes in Carroll County.

His sure and steady, unassuming yet confident leadership served Carroll County well. Yet, in a series of anecdotal conversations with younger readers and new folks to Carroll County, it appears that many are not aware of Delegate Matthews.

He graduated from Hampstead High School in 1943. In Annapolis he was champion of small business and in that role, he was a charter member of the Maryland Legislative Small Business Forum.

He knew the challenges of running a small business in Maryland - most certainly as a result of the fact that from 1946 until he passed away, he owned and operated Matthews Service Station and Matthews Tire Co. Many folks recall that he was also the owner and operator of Hampstead Auto Parts from 1957 until 1985.

Many years ago, I did some business with him and in later years, at social occasions and community events, we would laugh about the fact that he defeated my cousin, Wilbur Magin, in the 1967 election. Delegate Magin served Carroll County from 1959 until 1967.

I will always remember him as thoughtful and friendly; qualities that former Delegate Joe Getty echoed in a recent conversation. Former Delegate Getty said that Delegate Matthews was a family friend. He noted that Delegate Matthews was a “very modest, yet a strong advocate for small businesses and Carroll County But he was a humble person and did not become self-important.”

Delegate Getty continued:

“Dick maintained a self-defined role in the Maryland House of Delegates in his representation of a rural agricultural community and representing the small mom and pop businesses.

Of course, he ran a small business himself. He kept rooted in his advocacy of small business and in that role, he found the right committee – the House Judiciary Committee.

He had no aspirations of higher office. He was confident and self-assured in the role that he played. In 1989, when Carroll County Senator Ray Beck was appointed to be a Circuit Court judge by Governor Wm. Donald Schaeffer.

In those days, I was on the Republican Central Committee. If you will recall, when there is a vacancy, it is the local county Central Committee that recommends to the governor who should fill the seat.

Don Taylor and I were asked to interview Delegate Matthews. We called him up and he told us to meet with him over at his Mom and Dad’s house.

There, in his Mom and Dad’s living room, the subject was broached that Dick was the logical person to move up to the Senate seat. He had no interest. He responded that he was very happy where he was.”

As to why Delegate Matthews was so influential and helped shape the Carroll County we know today, Mr. Getty reminded me that during Delegate Matthews’ “long tenure as an elected official, he served with – or worked with folks, whose span of leadership goes from the 1950s to the present.”

Including folks like Maryland State Senator Charles H. Smelser and former 6th District Congressman Goodloe E. Byron when he was a Maryland State Senator. He also served with Maryland State Delegate – and later a Senator, Raymond E. Beck and Senator Larry Haines; Delegates Richard N. Dixon, Lanny Harchenhorn and Jake Yingling.

Former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich thought highly of Delegate Matthews and considered him a good friend. They served 8 years together served on the house judiciary committee. Every time Governor Ehrlich visited anywhere near Hampstead, he would make sure to stop by (Delegate Matthews) tire store.

Delegate Matthews’ sure and steady, unassuming yet confident leadership served Carroll County well and he will be missed.

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Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster Maryland USA.

www.kevindayhoff.net

E-mail him at: kdayhoff AT carr.org or kevindayhoff AT gmail.com

His columns and articles appear in The Tentacle - www.thetentacle.com; Westminster Eagle Opinion; www.thewestminstereagle.com, Winchester Report and The Sunday Carroll Eagle – in the Sunday Carroll County section of the Baltimore Sun. Get Westminster Eagle RSS Feed