New for June

As June commences busting out all over, time for a look back at an action-packed May, at least from a Neil-deMause-byline perspective:

With the state legislative sessions in full gear, not-so-young men's thoughts turn to public stadium subsidies. I took a look at the latest stadium-grubbing efforts by the Minnesota Twins and Florida Marlins for Baseball Prospectus (subscribers-only for this one), then did an update on the Twins situation for the New York Sun (subscribers-only), which ended up being reprinted in Baseball Prospectus - this time free to all readers, and oddly, a day before the Sun printed the original version. To top it all off, I also did a live online chat for BP, taking lots of questions about stadium issues hither and yon; the aftermath is archived for your reading pleasure on BP's site.

Meanwhile, I momentously tackled my first article for the Village Voice in 16 years that didn't have a sports angle. (To give you a sense of how long that is, the previous one was on attempts to get the city of New York to divest from apartheid South Africa.) The subject this time: the $7 billion in property tax that's lost to New York City because nearly 60% of city land is either owned by government agencies or by non-profits (including major landlords like Columbia University), or else gets tax breaks as an "economic development" incentive. Among those reaping the benefits of New York's tax largesse: Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm, which occupies part of a tax-exempt office tower in Times Square.

And speaking of everybody's favorite Nobel Peace Prize nominee, the Rudy book I contributed to ("America's Mayor," Soft Skull Press, pre-order it now) is now due to come out in July, so I'm told. The book has already gotten notice in the New York Observer, where a front-page article by Ben Smith (no longer available online without paying the Observer $2.95) described it as bitter and full of Mussolini references. Just like me!

Finally, my article on how the media bought President Bush's line that his budget plan would cut the deficit - it would actually increase deficits, thanks to all that defense spending and tax cuts - appears in the May/June 2005 issue of Extra!, though damned if I can find it on the website. Maybe next month.

And while you're bopping around the web, stop by my friend Kevin Walsh's page on "Secrets of Prospect Park," much of which is drawn from the Prospect Park guidebook I wrote a few years back for Barnes & Noble - but which, weirdly, you can now get more cheaply from Amazon. As an "import." Man, do I love the 21st century.

Recent writings: