This is where I post stuff.

Most was written by me. Some of these posts were originally columns published elsewhere, and I just reposted them here for one reason or another. Others are original to this page - probably because I couldn't find anyone to publish them. There are also a few items from other sources that I wish to share/highlight.

Bad Energy: How Dominion Power & other Big Corporate Profiteers Crush Consumers with Impunity

This time around, I want to discuss consumer rights vs. the rights of those who seek profit without limits, healthy competition or public scrutiny, and why the rights of profiteers always seem to dominate.

For example, there’s this story, in which our old friends at Dominion Power continue to promote their plan to string a high-voltage power line over a historic section of the James River.

Truthfully, I don’t think I’m as concerned with the aesthetics of Dominion’s proposal as those who so passionately oppose it. What I am opposed to is Dominion’s ongoing attempts to force a project on the people who do oppose it through extortion, intimidation and coercion.

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“The New Portsmouth”: A Hopeful Welcome to New City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton, & More Good News from Around #HRVA

This week, I want to take a break from poking the bear and point out some good things going on around the region. As always, I hope they represent a trend, and I want to encourage the kind of progress these positive actions represent. 

A ray of sunshine? Let’s hope so

I want to start this week in Portsmouth, but for a more positive reason than usual. I’ve spent a lot of time picking on Portsmouth, and frankly it’s been justified. The litany of problems that city faces–when combined with the incredibly poor leadership displayed by it’s elected representatives–have combined to leave Portsmouth in a particularly bad lurch.

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America: Love it or leave it (Another modest proposal)

It seems pretty obvious there are a growing number of people of the right-wing persuasion who simply hate America. Isn't it time to consider some pragmatic solutions so we can find a way to make all of us feel happier and welcome in the particular societal environments in which we live?

It’s likely the haters were always there, but were keeping their hatred to themselves - that is until the 2008 election of the first African-American president, since which they’ve been coming out of the woodwork in mind-boggling numbers.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that: “The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012.”

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A Modest Proposal for a Local Roadway – with Thanks to a Giant of a Man

I hadn’t intended to write two back-to-back columns about infrastructure, but a confluence of events dictates otherwise.

The first of these is the recent passing of Louis Guy, a man I can easily describe as an “engineer’s engineer.” Louis was immensely respected in our region, not only for his engineering prowess, but for his love of local history and his passion for our region.

About three years ago, Louis had to drop something off at my home for a website I was working on. Over beverages, he listened while I pitched the idea I’ll describe in a minute. When I was done, he expressed genuine enthusiasm for it, which coming from a professional of his stature was huge to me.

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I come to praise maglev - not the other thing

(This essay originally ran in AltDaily)

As government operatives, media types and ideologues continue to machinate over whether and how to extend light rail to Virginia Beach, I feel compelled to stand up and speak out in defense of emerging technology.
ODU maglevA proposal has been made by American Maglev Technologies (AMT) - the same company behind ODU's maglev experiment several years ago - to build a maglev train line as the proposed light rail system in Virginia Beach, at no cost to taxpayers.

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