News

It Cuts Both Ways

March 24, 2005 - Alabama district attorney and practicing Catholic Doug Valeska "has sent more people to Death Row than other DA in the state except those in more populous Jefferson and Montgomery counties." Alabama bishops have joined a national campaign to end the death penalty, and the DA's own priest has asked him not to seek execution in specific cases, but Valeska makes like Huck Finn:

Will Corporate Greed Destroy the Wired Community Revolution?

March 24, 2005 - This week's Independent Weekly -- one of the best alternative papers in the country, based here in North Carolina's Triangle -- has a great article by Fiona Morgan looking at the rise of "wired communities" across the country. Morgan starts off with a case study of Carrboro, N.C., a small ex-mill town next to Chapel Hill:

The Other Shoe Will Drop

March 23, 2005 - The Schiavo case fits perfectly Thomas Frank's description of the right-wing bait-and-switch, wherein the social cons are whipped into a frenzy by some "cultural" crusade with little hope of succeeding, while politicians harness their energy, votes, and money to slash regulations, cut taxes, and make the world safer for corporations.

Theater of the Absurd

March 23, 2005 - Several Southern Imax theaters are refusing to show a science documentary called "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea" for fear it might offend audiences. At first glance, it's hard to figure how the film insults Southern sensibilities. The New York Times calls it "an underwater epic about the bizarre creatures that flourish in the hot, sulfurous emanations from vents in the ocean floor," which pretty much describes half the Southern congressional delegation, so why would a few sea monsters scare us? The Charlotte Observer explains:

The Promise of Environmentalism

March 22, 2005 - "Environmental issues, especially at the state and local levels, are bringing together conservatives and liberals who agree on little else, providing common ground in an increasingly polarized nation." That's the lede in a good Philadelphia Inquirer story today about the bridge-building potential of environmental issues. Citing dozens of examples of eco-success stories in the red states, they note this news from the South: