Earl Washington is Free!

24 February 2001 (published at http://www.justicedenied.org)
For the first time, someone has moved from Virginia’s death row to exoneration, pardon, and freedom. The case of Earl Washington Jr. has generated a great deal of press and some limited legislative efforts to find other innocents in Virginia prisons and to prevent future false convictions. But action appears unlikely on three fronts: halting read more

Otalp

“The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner, and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature.”

Emerson said that. He also said that if superior men departed on a voyage in chains, one could be sure that the chains would be on the captors by the end of the voyage. From what I am about to tell, it may appear that I bring this up in order to claim superiority. I do not. Rather, I wish to point out a particular case read more

PIRG

Publications Essay Question 2000
Please write a one- to two-page essay on how you would address the following problem:

The essence of PIRG is political. To put it crudely, bad things are happening in our society because people in power gain by allowing them to happen. In order to reform society, we need to not only expose and document the problems and figure out how to solve them, we also need to fight like hell against the powers that be to make reform possible. To put it another way, we need read more

Right to Work

My state, Virginia, is doing pretty well in the great grand scheme of things. Sure, we’re only in second place in importing trash and in killing convicts. Several states are outpacing us in both incarceration rates and growth of sprawl. But we’re cutting down forests, defunding education, and selling cigarettes as fast as anybody in the area, and we can stand proud as Virginians with the knowledge that our Commonwealth is the home not only of Oliver North, Ken Starr, Pat Robertson, read more

Borrowing Money to Build Sewers, Supposedly to Save Money

Town Council voted, 8-1, with Sam Found
dissenting, to allow Town Treasurer Roger
Mitchell Jr. to apply for a loan of $8,760,000 for
wastewater capital improvements. The loan,
acceptance of which will still have to be
approved by Council, would come from the
Virginia Revolving Loan Fund and involve highly
favorable read more

Wear Mittens

She said to me: Those were the first words you said to me: “You have beautiful mittens.” Remember?

I didn’t remember: Of course. And you did. They were my favorite color. Like . . . like your eyes.

My eyes aren’t red.

Just a little. I kissed her eyes.

Red isn’t your favorite color.

It is now. Just ask me.

What’s your favorite color?

Red . . . see?

What does that prove? What kind of mittens were they?

Wool mittens that you could see the shape of your fingers read more

The Superbowl and the Minimum Wage

Also published on Alternet at www.alternet.org

The City of New Orleans raised its minimum wage by public referendum the day before the Superbowl. The City Council, the state legislature, and New Orleans’s monopoly newspaper (or, rather, infotainmentpaper) all fought against the increase. Front groups for hotel and restaurant owners vowed to continue the fight in court after the vote. Any public respect for democracy or even analysis of why the people had voted for a higher minimum wage was read more

Innocence and Anger

The only thing we have to be angry about is anger itself. We encourage each other to be angry and to seek to satisfy our anger with revenge. This does not work, but it makes us angrier. It pisses me off.

I suppose I should be pleased that the seasonal discussion of capital punishment has taken one more upswing in popularity and that DNA proof of innocence is a prominent feature of the chatter. I’m not.

Capital punishment is a sexy topic relevant to a tiny fraction of prisoners, guilty read more

Labor Action

A group of University of Virginia students, faculty, and staff is expected to
demonstrate Friday, March 26th, at 1:00 p.m. on behalf of a living wage
for all UVa employees. The demonstration will take place outside the Rotunda
at the center of campus where the Board of Visitors, which sets the
university’s budget, will be meeting.

Demonstrators are planning to form a picket line on the Lawn in front of the
Rotunda and to deliver to the Board a petition signed by over 900 members read more

Man Threatened, Locked in Trunk, Terrified for Sport

George C. Page Jr. took time away from bagging
groceries at the Orange Food Lion Monday evening to
recount his night of terror last weekend in Culpeper (see
story in this week’s hard copy).

Page, who is very slim and gentle-mannered, was
interrupted more than once during the interview by
customers greeting him by name and wishing him well.
read more