Is Amnesty the Way to Go?

13 Aug. 2001
Sent to the Washington Post (not published)
To the Editor
[Re. “Why Amnesty is the Wrong Way to Go,” Aug. 12, 1B]

Peter Skerry maintains that amnesty is the wrong way to go, but does not explain what destination he is trying to arrive at.

He begins by disputing the idea that illegal immigrants live in fear of deportation and consequently are exploited by employers. His evidence? A group of illegal immigrants protesting mistreatment by an employer, an illegal immigrant read more

Military Fat

Gregg Easterbrook’s “The Myth of the Hollow Military” (The New Republic, Sept. 11, 2000) is, if anything, restrained in its rejection of the myth of a weak U.S. military. Easterbrook does do a good job of pointing out that the military would have even more money if it didn’t waste so much – an idea familiar to many conservatives in the area of education – where, however, there isn’t much waste. How often have we heard “Money can’t fix our read more

A Letter About Earl Washington

To the Editor:
The lead article in the Aug. 24, 2000, Culpeper Star Exponent about the case of Earl Washington Jr. was horribly written even by Star Exponent standards. In the first inch of it the dates of events are wrong and the number of children who were at home at the time of the crime is wrong. In the second column, Al Martin III writes that Earl Washington has been on death row up until the present moment. This is wrong and a serious mistake. Washington was moved from death row read more

Free Course in Italian

Do you want to learn Italian? You can do it without any audio help, and without any expense, by using the following course. I will include exercises here, but exercises can easily be had. The important thing is to get the basic rules where you can reach them. Vocabulary can be increased with a dictionary or any sample of the language. Those can be had in soc.culture.italian

With very few exceptions, Italian words are pronounced according to simple consistent rules. There is no need to learn every read more

Bible

David Swanson
23 October 2000

To:
Culpeper News
Culpeper Star-Exponent
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Washington Post
American Civil Liberties Union
People For the American Way

In Culpeper County, Virginia, elementary school students are taken out of class during school hours to a bus parked a few feet off school property. The county school system claims to know and to want to know nothing about what the students are taught on the bus. Some students choose not to participate in this activity, read more

Jefferson's Sweatshop

The living wage campaign as a national phenomenon has grown rapidly. Twenty-nine cities, counties, and school boards have passed explicit living wage ordinances raising the minimum wage for anyone employed directly or indirectly by that body. These wage rates vary, but are often an amount designed to keep a full-time worker’s family of four out of poverty.

A Living Wage ordinance stipulates that the minimum wage level will be adjusted for inflation and cost of living annually. Other cities read more

Camp for Dogs

In some areas of Virginia, if you haven’t
scheduled it weeks ahead you’ll have a hard time
finding a kennel to do you the favor of cramming
your dog or cat into a little cage for the
weekend. In Culpeper, you can make
arrangements for your pet at the last moment to
stay at a resort with indoor-outdoor runs,
read more

Can pain be defined and can robots feel it?

To answer these questions requires sorting through a lot of interwoven beliefs or feelings. Where we think there is pain does not correlate with what we are reluctant to damage, and what we are reluctant to damage depends on the directness of the damaging.

Many of us eat dead cow, for example, but couldn’t bring ourselves to kill one. Similarly for capital punishment. Some of us sometimes wince with empathy when our cars are damaged, although often we think the car is not feeling pain. There read more

Can Brock See Yet?

Also published on Democratic Underground at www.democraticunderground.com

David Brock’s “Blinded By the Right” is an apolitical book, and while it denounces and apologizes for the “conservative movement” that replaced politics with sex scandals, it does not make a political apology.

Brock does not say he is sorry that people died and suffered in the richest country on the planet because they had no health insurance. He does not say he regrets seeing families booted read more

The Bible Bus

Many people, even residents of Culpeper County, Va., are shocked to learn that public school students in the county are routinely taken out of class to be proselytized with Christianity. “That’s illegal!” everyone exclaims. If more people knew about this practice outside of Culpeper and other counties where it goes on, I imagine it would receive as much attention as proposals to have a “moment of silence” or post ten ancient orders on a wall. On the other hand, read more