Professor Teaches Prisoners

Joel Tate, 58, a Germanna professor who has lived in
Culpeper since 1976, tells the story of a day in one of his
sociology classes when a student he calls Mr. Computer
read aloud a short story he’d written.
The story was about a middle-class couple who ran
into a boy on the street. Mr. Computer had written it after
reading read more

Why Do I Oppose the Death Penalty?

First, it takes life.

Second, it encourages the taking of life and other forms of revenge. Not only is there no evidence that it reduces crime, but it is defended in the same terms that many criminals use to defend their actions.

Third, it is dishonest. If we are going to kill people, we should do so publicly and graphically. Outside of Florida, where the victim’s head sometimes catches on fire in the electric chair, we have made murder look like a tetanus shot. When we hide from ourselves read more

Catholic Labor Standards

Few groups in recent history have spoken out for labor rights as clearly as the Catholic church. Pope John Paul II said: “It is a fundamental right of workers to freely establish organizations to defend and promote their interests and to contribute in a responsible manner to the common task.”

When workers believe their rights are violated by Catholic organizations, their cry is “Practice what you preach!” They are often joined in this protest by prominent Catholics who read more

Derrida, Freud's Grandson, and My Dog

Sometimes my dog plays a game. It’s the first game he taught himself, and he plays it with all his toys. He’ll hold a toy in his mouth and run in frantic circles, and then toss the toy over his head. It’ll take him a long time to stop running and calm down. When he does he’ll begin sniffing for the toy, sniffing and not looking, for he won’t see the thing even if it’s right in front of him. He’ll sniff worriedly. But when he spots the toy, he’ll read more

The Eye of a Needle

According to the World Health Organization, very basic health care could be provided to everyone in the world lacking in it for a cost of $10 billion per year over what is currently spent. Experience suggests that the resulting drop in infant mortality would slow the population explosion because people would not hedge their bets by producing so many infants.

Ten billion dollars is 4 percent of what the world spends each year on cigarettes. It’s what the world spends every four days on read more

FDR's Memorial

There’s a green cross in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Monument at the juncture (or just below it), the Capitol (or RFK Stadium, may it rest in peace) at the Eastern foot, the Lincoln Memorial at the Western head, the White House at the Northern hand, and the Jefferson Memorial at the Southern hand. Three of the blocks of space formed by the cross are largely filled by city. The one between the Lincoln and the Jefferson is water and grass. And now it contains a new memorial which read more

Latest Sprawl Vaguely Interesting

At its monthly meeting last Wednesday the
County Planning Commission voted to table for
60 days a request for a use permit for the reuse
and expansion of the old Federal Reserve facility
on 48 acres off Route 658 in Stevensburg to
create a National Audio-Visual Conservation
Center, which would be part of the Library of
Congress.

read more

Reference Letter from Jeff Cohen

From Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR, columnist/TV commentator, former ACLU attorney

Feb. 3, 2004

To whom it may concern:

I have been an executive in the progressive/public interest/nonprofit sector for more than two decades, and I have never come across a public interest co-worker whose skills and work ethic surpassed those of David Swanson. He is a quick study, talented writer, great motivator of colleagues and consummate multi-tasker. I first met him when he was the communications director of ACORN. read more

A Vision for 2050

Drafted in 2002

Completely publicly funded political campaigns.

No private contributions to political candidates, office holders, or parties.

Reasonable access to funding and debates for more than two political parties.

Decreased corporate welfare.

A moratorium on corporate monopolies or mergers that do not benefit competition.

Increased taxation of corporations and the super wealthy.

Decreased military spending.

Decreased spy spending.

Creation of a peace department.

A ban on discrimination due to sex, read more