Friends Don't Let Friends Die Of Binge Drinking
April 22, 2009

The WaPo reports that the University of Maryland is considering joining the 100 or so colleges who have implemented good Samaritan rules regarding alcohol use by students. This would, in a nutshell, dramatically reduce penalties for students who seek medical aid for a friend in the event of dangerous overdrinking. Under the version being voted on by the U. Md. senate tomorrow, students could have university sanctions dropped if they met with school administrators and agreed to attend an alcohol intervention program.

Hands Off The Students' Porn!
April 03, 2009

Having written about the joy of parenthood, I now feel compelled to write about the joy of porn. OK. Not exactly. But I must say I'm sorely disappointed in the Maryland senate's heavy-handed ruling this week that, henceforth, any public university that allows the screening of a XXX film on campus will forfeit state funding. The issue arose because the student union at the University of Maryland had arranged to screen the "XXX blockbuster" Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge.

March 19, 2009

Early one morning in November 2007, just as the college basketball season was getting under way, a message from my mother popped up on my laptop insisting that I go to the Wikipedia page for Kyle Singler, a 6'8" then-freshman phenom debuting at Duke, my alma mater.

Conservatism Is Dead
February 18, 2009

An intellectual autopsy of the movement.

Today's Basketball Blogging
February 12, 2009

Okay, you thought I was going to blog about this, but, actually, I want to comment on this massive Washington Post article--the first in a three-part series--about what the hell's wrong with Maryland basketball. The WaPo basically answers that question in two words: Gary Williams. Now, in one sense, that's a perfectly fair  answer. As Maryland's head coach, the blame for the team's steep decline since winning the national championship in 2002--"no national champion in the past 18 seasons has regressed so quickly," the WaPo reports--rests at Williams's feet.

Annals Of The Bush Legacy
January 05, 2009

If you don't live around D.C. and haven't been following the completely bizarre Maryland police surveillance saga, the Post put out an amazing story this weekend revealing the breadth of the state police's inappropriate efforts to spy on advocacy groups. There are just so many weird details: Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a "security threat" because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. ...

Unpleasant Truths
December 30, 2008

There is an ungainly German word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, that has no equivalent in the English language. It means "coming to terms with past," and it was coined to refer to the efforts of German intellectuals, journalists, and even some politicians who, over the past half century, insisted that facing unpleasant truths about their country's history was both a moral and political necessity.

Status Woe
December 24, 2008

What does it take to get tagged as a shameless status-seeker in a town fueled by the eternal quest for access to power? Ask Beth Dozoretz, the former Democratic National Committee finance chair with a legendary affinity for snuggling up to the rich and powerful. (She asked pal Bill Clinton to be godfather to her now-ten-year-old daughter, Melanne.) It seems that, in the waning days of the presidential race, Dozoretz found herself at a dinner party with Michelle Obama. Not one to miss an opportunity, Dozoretz slipped Mrs.

December 24, 2008

A Mercy By Toni Morrison (Knopf, 167 pp., $23.95) Last spring, a mysterious object was discovered beneath a street in Annapolis, Maryland. According to The New York Times, the clay "bundle" was about "the size and shape of a football [and] filled with about 300 pieces of metal and a stone axe, whose blade sticks out of the clay, pointing skyward." Anthropologists determined that it was a ritual object, perhaps more than three hundred years old, combining African religious practices with local materials.

Greening The Suburbs
December 03, 2008

Between the coming wave of new infrastructure spending, the growing concern about climate change, and, of course, the gnawing fear that gasoline prices will cruise back upward once the global economy climbs out of its sinkhole, we'll likely hear a lot more about public transit in the coming years. But it's rarely a straightforward subject—sure, at first, it sounds harmless enough to build a new light rail or subway system, but inevitably the objections start pouring in. Earlier this morning, I sat in on a heated discussion at the Brookings Institution on the proposed Purple Line in Maryland.