No, the Maryland Flag Does Not Have Racist Roots

I usually write longer explainers, but it’s not even necessary this time, because that’s how wrong the Baltimore Sun is this time. Activist draws attention to Maryland flag’s Confederate origins during #NoConfederate campaign When he first moved to Maryland, graphic designer and activist Benjamin Jancewicz was amazed by the ubiquity of the state flag. Marylanders showed their love for their home state with black, gold, red and white koozies, clothes and even tattoos. “I know a lot of people with Maryland flag tattoos,” he said. The flag comes from the arms of the Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Here, these

The Long Reach Redevelopment and Master Plan

The legislation supporting the redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center has been submitted to the Howard County Council. It leads me to want to share some of the things we talked a lot about during the Master Plan process. This is based solely on my recollection and should not be considered official. The Boundary First, we had a very difficult time establishing the boundary of the Village Center. There’s an apartment complex, now known as the Timbers at Long Reach just behind the shopping center, down Cloudleap Court. Back in the mid-2000s, it was called Lazy Hollow and I

Presidential Tax Returns and Filing Requirements

One of the most irritating bits of the last election cycle has been the focus on the President’s tax returns. As we all know, prior to the 1968 election, George Romney gave his tax returns for 12 years to a reporter and it has become something of a thing. Trump was the first major candidate not to do something similar since. Since the campaign started, people have asked for Trump’s returns, especially since the election. Most interestingly, New Jersey’s legislature passed a bill requiring candidates for President to publish their taxes before being allowed on the ballot. Governor Christie vetoed

These People are Not Qualified to Give Opinions

It’s suddenly become a thing to suggest that something or another is disqualifying. It’s coming up a lot in the presidential election. I keep hearing that Clinton is disqualified over the email thing or that Trump is disqualified for whatever reason this week. I could link to hundreds of examples, one for each is enough to describe the breed. And it’s weird. There are precisely three qualifications to be president. From Article II of the Constitution: No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall

Brexit Versus Texit

Andrew Gelman is right that potential Scottish independence comes at a cost of losing influence in the larger United Kingdom (UK). However, the political calculus is not quite as Gelman describes. Look at it this way. The UK has lost some influence in European political structures. First, the European Parliament (EC) is essentially a do-nothing body that nobody cares for. So losing influence there is no big deal. However, the British have also lost influence in the European Commission, where it is represented by an appointee of HM Government. And that’s a loss. The counter balance to this is not

Terrorism Policysplainer

As part of the ongoing national discussion about the events in Orlando, I noted on Facebook that the shooting may not be terrorism. And, rightly, someone asked a simple question: What are the alternatives to it being terrorism? Is it a hate crime? Almost 15 years after September 11th, it’s really hard for Americans to understand what is terrorism and what isn’t. The distinction is not so important in the aftermath, since terrorism and non-terrorism mass shootings are usually addressed the same way. Neutralize the perpetrator(s) and seek medical attention for the victims. We also address natural disasters in the