Tag Archives: Alexandria Gazette Packet

Perils in the Modern Mission Fields

Syrian Christians Forced to Sign Treaty of Submission to Islamists


By Harry M. Covert

The melodious four-part harmony Christian song, “I’m on the battlefield for my Lord,” rang to the rafters. It was so uplifting the young college men’s quartet sang it again.

In the years since this music has encouraged young and old alike to realize world missions is the duty of all professing Christians and churches of all denominations. The musicians were called the “Mission-aires.”

The song is not an anthem for followers to use physical force and all available methods to find recruits and proselitize. The Scripture is quite clear to “Go tell” the story of Jesus, report the good news, forgive and forget and, this is a hard one, be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving.”

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No Sneaking into Newsroom

 FCC’s Muzzling the Media is Stopped for a While, At least


 By Harry M. Covert

Consider for a moment if local jurisdictions decided to join the federal government to send agents, inspectors or political operatives into newsrooms of all newspapers, broadcasting houses and every online blog outlet.

“Can’t happen,” most journalistic professionals would probably be spouting and shouting.

Really now?

Remember the time not so long ago when the idea of same-sex marriages was deemed impossible? Unthinkable? Reprobate? And other negative adjectives?

Remember the time not so long ago when pot-smoking was illegal and deleterious to society?

Remember the times not so long ago when religious liberty was considered sacrosanct; that churches were pillars of every community; and prayer encouraged for everyone?

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Will Bill Bolling Get His Chance?

Covert Matters Digest : Will Bill Bolling Get His Chance?

So ‘Un-Virginia Like’

Feds Looking at Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion

By Harry M. Covert

t may be too early for some to think a Virginia governor may have to resign before his term is completed. It could happen.

The Commonwealth has never had a governor forced to leave for misconduct.

Bob McDonnell, the 71st chief executive, may be a good leader on northern Virginia transportation programs, but it seems as if he has a problem handling domestic help and/or handling responsible financial matters at home, in this case, the Executive Mansion.

Political watchers have been following alleged antics of the gubernatorial kitchen.… Read More

Crescent City Easter Season

             Covert Matters Digest

                  Childhood Memories and Holy Week

By Roy Meachum

The Easter season started ten days after Christmas in New Orleans. While the rest of the western Christian world celebrated the three Magi arrivals in Nazareth, south Louisiana cooks turned out King Cakes, with dolls and china, representing royalty.

At the depths of the Great Depression, when I first encountered Mardi Gras—Shrove or Pancake Tuesday in England—tourists arrived on trains. Airline schedules were primitive. Forced to spend days traveling, citizens from colder climes celebrated briefly in New Orleans. The Great Depression didn’t help!

The city accumulated the nickname “Big Easy” years later, but in the 30s it was known for its lazy attitude toward vices, particularly around Mardi Gras.… Read More

Miracles for Officer Peter Laboy

Covert Matters

Life-Saving Techniques of First Responders

 By Harry M. Covert

“Officer down. Officer Down.”

Those words shrieked a few weeks ago over police radio. Terror echoed in the hearts and minds of all law enforcement, especially those in Alexandria’s public safety agencies.

Moments following the chilling broadcast on Feb. 27, city police, sheriff’s deputies and fire department and emergency sprang into action.

These prompt reactions brought about the miraculous life-saving efforts for Officer Peter Labor. Further radio transmissions let to the rapid capture of the man charged with the nonsensical shooting on Washington Street, near Lyles-Crouch Traditional School.

Motorcycle Officer Laboy, a 17-year veteran, had reacted to a police call about a suspicious vehicle.Read More

Covert Matters Digest

My Word

At Bat with the ‘Iron Man’

Real Virtues of a Real Hall of Famer

Baseball’s Black Eye is Fading

By Harry M. Covert

Frederick, Md.

After five standing ovations I stopped counting. The capacity crowd was a happy bunch. Applause from the seated patrons was loud and often including the balcony.

It was not an old-time fire and brimstone revival meeting, an over-zealous political rally of bushwa nor a championship celebration.

I’m writing of a recent St. Valentine’s Day love affair with Cal Ripken Jr. at Frederick’s downtown Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Without question it was a night to remember for the 1,200-plus audience, many of whom came dressed in baseball caps, uniform shirts and a couple of bats and gloves, most all bearing the logos of the Baltimore Orioles, to meet and hear the Hall of Famer.Read More

A Lesson in the Virginia Way

Winning Campaigner Who Honored His Word

By Harry M. Covert

I have suggested on several occasions that candidates and their professional minions take oaths ”to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” And do so in public. This would certainly test the “honesty and veracity” of them all.

Naturally, I don’t include the political campaigners and current office holders of Alexandria, the city on the “Patowmack” River, a few miles from Mount Vernon where the boy George Washington said he could not tell a lie after chopping down a cherry tree. He didn’t get into the whiskey business until later in life and it’s a popular adjunct today to keeping the landmark financially stable.… Read More

JANE WATREL: From News Star to Sheriff’s Star

By Harry M. Covert

For five years, I pestered Jane Watrel.  At least three times a week—and sometimes more—I either emailed or telephoned her with

news story suggestions.  She never ignored me.  If she didn’t like the idea, she was nice about it.  Once, I called as she was preparing to go on the air.  She was nice about that, too.

Jane is an experienced first-class reporter.  She knows her way around the news business.  It was always my thought she should be anchoring the news.  For the life of me, I can’t figure why she wasn’t put in the anchor’s seat. … Read More


By Harry Covert

I always chuckle hearing the old line, “Save yore Confederate money boys, the South’s gonna rise again.”  Andy Griffith made that famous.

For years as a gag, I had fun using $100 confederate bills as a notepad, long before we had the joy of electronic mail. It felt good using first-class U.S. stamps especially to those Yankee carpetbaggers who invaded the Commonwealth for fame, fortune and good living.

So, now we are in the sesquicentennial commemoration of what many still refer to as the War of Northern Aggression or the War Between the States.  A history buff can really get involved with all of the “celebrations” scheduled through 2015.… Read More

Sarah Isn’t Spiro: It’s all in the sayin’


Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin sets off a fire storm wherever she goes, whatever she says and whatever happens external to her. She is a politician both men and women take pleasure in seeing, whether it is her beauty or the way she identifies with us.

She has become a media “darling,” in a black humor sort of way – but she isn’t any Spiro Agnew! 

Governor Palin has been in the eye of every national storm, whether she likes it or not. The latest when more than one media boob blamed her for the Tucson shooting of Rep.… Read More