Baltimore’s Cycle of Violence Continues Apace

In the first 30 days of January, there have been 32 homicides in Baltimore City. It's not appropriate to compare these first 30 days to last year's first 30 days, however, because homicide (like other crime) is not directly related to the time of the year. Or, rather, the time of the year has some ...

Navigating the Political Seas

Imagine for a minute that you are a resident of Puerto Rico. If you were born there, then you are a citizen of the United States. However, your vote for President doesn't count since Puerto Rico doesn't have any votes in the Electoral College. Congress makes laws that affect you but you don't have any ...

I Get Fan Mail Sometimes

It should come as no surprise to you that I get fan mail sometimes. After all, I do tend to poke bears with sticks. The bigger the bear, the longer the stick, though. Imagine my surprise the other day when I saw the following message in my inbox on Facebook: "You are truly one stupid, ...

The Government Is You

I must have been four or five years old when I attended my first political rally. Dad worked for the state-owned mining company in charge of mining uranium. (Uranium which would be shipped to the United States for nuclear energy and atomic research and bombs.) He was a field worker, going out into different parts ...

How Do You Know Better?

"You should have known better," she said to Carlos (not his real name) after the judge handed down the conviction, as Carlos was being taken away. His mother then told him she loved him, they shared a quick hug, and off he went to federal prison. She then turned to look at the half-empty gallery, ...

Smallville Season One, Revisited

When I first moved to Pennsylvania, I was a big fan of Star Wars. The prequels were in their apogee, and I was all about the complicated wisdom of things like fear leading into suffering. That all changed in 2001 when the WB (now The CW) started airingĀ Smallville, a series about the teenage years of ...

Take Your Demons Out for a Walk Once in Awhile

I was having a somewhat serious conversation with The Girl the other day, and we were talking about how neither of us have really done anything evil. I mean, I've beaten a guy into submission because he wouldn't stop trying to hit me, and I did try to steal that one CD back when I ...

My Favorite Photographs of 2016

Another year, another ten thousand photographs. Seriously, I took that many. Between my iPhone, my DSLR and my mirrorless (the same little camera that traveled with me to Colombia), I took about ten thousand photographs. Not all of them were good. Maybe one or two were great. However, there were several that are my favorites ...

I Always Get What I Need

I was about twelve years old when I went back home in El Paso after visiting my father's side of the family in Mexico over the Christmas break. When I got back, several of my cousins had brand new radio controlled cars and boats, and they were playing with them at a nearby park. All ...

All the Other People You’re Going to Meet

It should come as no secret to you that, for the longest time, I felt alone. Like, really, really alone. In high school, it was because I was very young and didn't quite fit in with any one group. I was different. Sometimes, I felt like an outcast. Some were too smart. Others were too ...