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Opinion, Commentary and Perspective on News, Politics, Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment

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Photos: top left: David Maril with the late Chuck Thompson, the voice of the Orioles and Colts, the summer he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993; top right: a perspective shot of Maril at Wrigley Field; featured photo: journalist Ken Decoste with the late, great Harry Caray and Maril.

Cavalcade of Columns

We should make our Internet email system more secure and stop whining about hacking

What would be a safe topic for Trump and Obama to talk about on their ride together to the Inauguration?

New York Times feature on Golden State Basketball Coach Steve Kerr is a landmark profile

By David Maril

While wondering how former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders expects to continue playing a key role in shaping policy for the Democrats when he remains an Independent and still hasn’t joined the party, it’s interesting to note the following.

THE SCOOP of the New Year would be if someone could record the conversation between outgoing President Barack Obama and the incoming one, Donald Trump, on the 10 minute ride on Jan. 20th to the inauguration.

This could be the most contentious presidential inauguration commute since 1953, when Harry Truman was turning over the White House keys to Dwight Eisenhower. After a rocky transition period, ’Give Em Hell Harry’ and Ike had differed over a number of things, including what type of head-gear, homburg or traditional top hat, to wear to the ceremony.

Obama is obsessed with seeing his healthcare and progressive legacy, built heavily through executive orders, preserved. Trump wants to put America in a time machine and travel back to the 1950s.

The two obviously do not like each other and you wonder if they will break out into a fight over who would have won if Obama had been able to run for a third term.

Maybe they will argue over whether the Russians are guilty of email hacking.

If they can at least agree on music, maybe loud stereo speakers will save the day.

WHILE THE EVIDENCE points heavily to the Russians being guilty of hacking into the emails of Democratic Party officials during Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the focus on the issue is all wrong.

Instead of whining, pointing fingers, and trying to come up with lame, cumbersome and ineffective ways of punishing Russia, the solution should be to take measures to improve cyber security.

Unfortunately in the real world, expectations are that foreign governments are always going to continue this type of surveillance, striving for successful attacks on privacy. The answer is to strengthen national defense minimizing and eliminating this threat of cyberattacks by developing better, more secure technology.

By complaining, pontificating and making accusations about all that Russian President Vladimir Putin has done, it makes the United States look weak and encourages more of these types of actions.

Making such a big public deal plays right into Putin’s hands, giving him the appearance of having the power to influence an American election

IT TURNS OUT the wall Trump was promising to build has nothing to do with Mexico. Instead, it is actually his construction of a direct connection to Wall Street.

Good thing Trump is an outsider and not a Washington insider. As an outsider he has “limited” himself to converting his inner circle into the DC annex of Wall Street.

Trump is starting to make Hillary Clinton, who he criticized for being too close to Wall Street, look like a rural populist.

WE CAN’T LET 2016 fade completely away without saluting former House Speaker John Boehner for issuing the nickname of the year. It is true Trump made insulting, and at times, somewhat clever nicknames his trademark.

However, the usually good-natured Boehner unloaded with the toughest zinger of all.

After Boehner retired from the House, he stopped hiding his true opinion of the sanctimonious, ruthless and self-centered Ted Cruz. His description of the Texas senator “Lucifer In The Flesh,” drew quite a few chuckles from insiders in both parties.

JOHN BRANCH’S poignant, profound and comprehensive feature on Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr on the cover of SportsSunday in the Dec. 25th New York Times is one of the best profiles ever written in a daily newspaper.

In the glitzy, NBA world of hype and inflated celebrity status, Kerr’s intelligent and perceptive sense of perspective is refreshing and hopeful.

WHILE MARVIN MILLER, the man who revolutionized modern baseball securing players’ rights and fair-market salaries, is shunned for selection to the Hall of Fame, former Owner-Commissioner Bud Selig easily gets in.

Selig’s plaque should note he was the Steroids Commissioner, looking the other way, and praising many of the sluggers, later shunned, when homer records were being smashed while performance enhancers were in heavy use.

A GOOD NEW YEAR’S resolution for any network, like CNN, that is trying to fairly cover news would be to do a better job of separating journalists and commentators from political activists.

In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to either cut back on the activists’ air time or eliminate them completely. You know what they are going to say on any issue before they even speak. It’s just wasted air time.

BASEBALL INNOVATOR BRANCH RICKEY often used a the term, “addition by subtraction” when a team would lose a player who was overrated.

When TV personality Megan Kelly rejected a $20 million offer from Fox News, to extend her contract, the conservative cable network won on two fronts.

While Kelly will eventually report for duty at NBC, Fox saved a ton of money and won’t suffer losses in the ratings. Veteran conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, who takes over her time-slot, has a built in audience. People who lean to the right, have no where else to go if they want coverage slanted in their direction.

Fox, a cable ratings giant, offers mostly entertainment, thinly disguised as news. With the exception of a few serious journalists, like Chris Wallace and Brit Hume, the on-air roster consists of popular blowhards who know how to hold their audiences.

It will be interesting to see if Kelly, who is more an intruding personality than a journalist, fits in at NBC. At the peacock network, she won’t have a loyal, captive conservative audience.

WHO IS THE GENUIS who came up with eliminating anchor desks from newscasts? Sometimes when a news telecast begins with an anchor like CBS’ Scott Pelley standing in the middle of an open floor holding a script, it looks as if someone played a prank and is hiding his chair. Or maybe the bills were not paid and the furniture was repossessed.

Instead of worrying about a modern, interactive look, stepping out to you, the viewer, how about a focus on stories and content? That’s what the shrinking news audience seeks. And the number of viewers will continue to decrease without better, more relevant coverage,

JUST A THOUGHT, but you have to wonder how much satisfaction Marco Rubio must be getting from Chris Christie’s excursion into obscurity.

When Christie, doing Trump a favor by cross-examining Rubio in a debate right out of the Republican presidential primary campaign, it looked as if the Florida U.S. Senator was pretty much finished in politics. Several months later, however, Rubio decided to seek reelection in the senate and won.

Christie, meanwhile, was considered for a Trump inside post but dumped when the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal resurfaced in the news. Christie is no longer popular in New Jersey and couldn’t run for reelection as governor anyway because of term limits.

While Rubio keeps all of his future political options alive, returning to the senate, there’s nothing on the table for Christie.

Maybe Rudy Giuliani, another former Trump cheerleader, can find a spot for Christie with his business dealings. Or perhaps Newt Gingrich, also a Trump alumnus, can tutor him on becoming an overpaid TV political second-guesser.

TIM KAINE IS ANOTHER former national headliner who, like Rubio, is returning to the comforts of the U.S. State.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s nominee for vice president, was not used properly during the campaign. Instead of being able to showcase his diverse, experienced background and thoughtful demeanor, he was put into an attack dog role and it did little for the ticket.

THE NEW PRESIDENTIAL STANDARDS introduced by Trump of not taking literally what is said makes you think of John Mitchell.

Richard Nixon’s controversial attorney general during the Watergate years proclaimed, “Judge us by what we do, not what we say.”

That seems even more relevant today.

WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT getting involved with pressuring airlines to allow cell phone calls on flights?

Most passengers and members of crews don't want this, preferring peace and quiet instead of the echoes of babbling reverberating through the airplane.

So much for taking naps.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.