Columns, Reviews and Opinion Pieces



That's Politics, 1997 A selection of the weekly column I edited at the Washington Times for more than a year. I pushed to transform the column from a mere collection of briefs into a lively and informative look behind the official face of politics and government. I gave it a distinctive and cohesive voice.

Lavishing Largess on the Campaign Trail, Metropolitan Voices, Dec. 5, 1997 A look at the ever expanding financial promises made by Maryland's unpopular governor as he prepares for a difficult reelection campaign.


Book Reviews

Down on the American Dream, June 21, 1998 "Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country" by William Finnegan

The 20th Century By the Book, March 21, 1999 "A History of the 20th century, Vol. 2, 1933-1951" By Martin Gilbert.

Songs Unify the South, Reflect Changing Ideas, Feb. 19, 2000 "Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy 1861-1865" by E. Lawrence Abel

Unconvincing, Cliché-riddled 'Dahlgren Affair', Nov. 14, 1998 "The Dahlgren Affair: Terror and Conspiracy in the Civil War" by Duane Schultz.


Staff Editorials

Thinking of the Future, Orange County Review, April 30, 1992; It's Just that Simple, Orange County Review, Aug. 20, 1992 After decades of refusing to even consider contracting any debt, the county government finally consented to a small bond issue for capital improvements. I argued that some limited, well-considered bond funding would allow the county to better meet the needs of its surging population. The former "pay-as-you-go" system may have seemed like sound fiscal policy, but when too strictly applied, it left the county far behind in economic and cultural development. The bond measure passed.

Let the Voters Decide, Orange County Review, June 4, 1992 When Virginia finally agreed to switch from appointive to elected school boards, it allowed voters in each county to decide whether to adopt the new electoral system or not. I argued that the new elective school boards would mean greater accountability by members. Supporters in Orange County, however, failed to gather the required signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

Take a Look at the Law, Orange County Review, June 4, 1992 I exposed illegal voting practices by the county Planning Commission after members voted by secret ballot - an explicit violation of the Commonwealth's Open Meetings law. The commission afterward agreed to follow the law.

No Need to be Ugly, Orange County Review, Oct. 31, 1991 Long before he vaulted to national fame - or infamy - the future Sen. George Allen was a state delegate representing part of Orange County. When he first ran for Congress in a special election, I took him to task for an unusually nasty ad campaign accusing his Democratic rival of being a supporter of Saddam Hussein.

Locked in the Linear, Orange County Review, Sept. 26, 1991 After a decade of talk about the dire lack of activities for kids in this rural community, the county's Youth Commission finally put together a program to develop a youth center. But I observed that the effort seems so laden with bureaucratic nonsense and beset with territorial in-fighting - particularly the commission's refusal to work with the school system to develop a joint facility - that the goal seemed as elusive as ever.

Hiding in the Daylight, Orange County Review, Aug. 29, 1991 Orange County was unusual in the area in that most of its boards and commissions insisted on meeting during the day, when most constituents were working and unable to attend. I called on the county's elected officials to meet in the evening, when more residents could attend. The Board of Supervisors did eventually move its meetings to the late afternoon, with an evening session for public comment.

Don't Do It to Children, Greene County Record, Jan. 3, 1991 Virginia's worsening budget situation forced cuts in many parts of the proposed 1992 budget, but the burden fell disproportionately on public school funding. I analyzed the effect on Greene County, which was already faced with a burgeoning student population, and urge readers to lobby Richmond for changes. The state did eventually restore much of the money to the budget.


Music Reviews

"Now Hear This" column, The Washington Times

Feb. 10, 2002 The Sydney Bechet Society, "Jam Session Concert"

Jan. 5, 2002 The Alarm, "Greatest Hits Live"

Jan. 19, 2002 Lost Prophets, "The Fake Sound of Progress"

March 17, 2001 R.E.M., "Reveal"; Juniper Lane, "Tightrope"

Feb. 17, 2001 Lost Forever, "Trainfare Home"; Lisa Moscatello, "Second Avenue"; A3, "La Peste"; Dolly Parton, "Little Sparrow"

Jan. 20, 2001 The Pierces, "The Pierces"

Jan. 13, 2001 Blind Faith, "Blind Faith, Deluxe Edition"

Dec. 9, 2000 Bob Rivers, "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire"

Dec. 2, 2000 Tsar, "Tsar"

Nov. 18, 2000 Five for Fighting, "American Town"; Evan and Jaron, "Evan and Jaron"

Nov. 11, 2000 Various artists, "The Best of International Hip-Hop"

Sept. 30, 2000 Various artists, "The Best of Diana Ross", "The Best of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions", "The Best of ABC", "The Best of Night Ranger"

Sept. 23, 2000 Spock's Beard, "V"; Chris Keup, "The Subject of Some Regret"; 6Gig, "Tincan Experiment"

Aug. 19, 2000 U.S. Crush, "U.S. Crush"; Dan Fogelberg, "Dan Fogelberg Live"

Aug. 5, 2000 Angie Aparo, "The American"

July 29, 2000 Kina, "Kina"

July 22, 2000 Nelly, "Country Grammar"; Joseph Arthur, "Come to Where I'm From"; Step Kings, "Let's Get It On"

July 15, 2000 The Forty Fives, "Get It Together"; Pebbles, "Greatest Hits"

July 8, 2000 Olive, "Trickle"; Jerry McCain, "This Stuff Just Kills Me"; The Figgs, "For EP Fans Only"

July 1, 2000 Sinead O'Connor, "Faith and Courage"; Deftones, "White Pony"; Sunny Day Real Estate, "The Rising Tide"; Deathray, "Deathray"

June 24, 2000 The Boondock Saints, "Release the Hounds"; Various Artists, "The Best of Hard Rock Live"

June 17, 2000 Various artists, "Titan A.E. Soundtrack"; Tarbox Ramblers, "Tarbox Ramblers"

June 10, 2000 Shambhu and the Punya Crew, "Do Things Right"; Nerf Herder, "How to Meet Girls"; Todd Snider, "Happy to be Here"

May 27, 2000 Venice, "Spin Art"

May 6, 2000 Mya, "Mya"; Vertical Horizon, "Everything You Want"

April 29, 2000 The Divine Comedy, "The Very Best of The Divine Comedy"

Feb. 19, 2000 "Hard Rock Live" featuring The Cure and The Violent Femmes

Jan. 15, 2000 The Neckbones "The Lights are Getting Dim"

Jan. 1, 2000 Equation, "Hazy Daze"; William Topley, "Spanish Wells"

Dec. 18, 1999 Beck, "Midnite Vultures"; Firehouse, "Category 5"

Dec. 4, 1999 Blinker the Star, "August Everywhere"

Nov. 13, 1999 Jars of Clay, "If I Left the Zoo"

Oct. 30, 1999 The Groobees, "The Groobees"; :New Grange, "New Grange"

Oct. 23, 1999 Marie Wilson, "Real Life"


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