Friday, May 2, 2008

Stop telling me where to live!

For some reason I'll never stop being surprised by the number of people who read a post which says something like "maybe it'd be a bit better if suburban developments didn't have a single access point" or "maybe it'd be a bit better if people could actually walk to the shopping center which is half a mile away but on the other side of the highway" and interpret it as "ATRIOS IS TELLING ME I HAVE TO LIVE IN MANHATTAN!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

“At some point,”

At some point,
you start counting—
because for all your life
you want someone to love
and someone to love you.

And then, later,
you want to stop counting—
because for all your life
you want someone to love
and someone to love you.

What is in a name?

People of Lesbos take gay group to court over term 'Lesbian'

Three islanders from Lesbos — home of the ancient poet Sappho, who praised love between women — have taken a gay rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name.

One of the plaintiffs said Wednesday that the name of the association, Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, "insults the identity" of the people of Lesbos, who are also known as Lesbians.

"My sister can't say she is a Lesbian," said Dimitris Lambrou. "Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos," he said.


Very little is known of Sappho's life. According to some ancient accounts, she was an aristocrat who married a rich merchant and had a daughter with him. One tradition says that she killed herself by jumping off a cliff over an unhappy love affair.

Lambrou says Sappho was not gay. "But even if we assume she was, how can 250,000 people of Lesbian descent — including women — be considered homosexual?"

Using the term lesbian to describe a female homosexual is part of our culture now. And I understand the desire to differentiate female from male homosexuals. But I also understand the plight of these islanders. They are victims of identity.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Exonerated after 27 years.

A Dallas man who spent more than 27 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit was freed Tuesday, after being incarcerated longer than any other wrongfully convicted U.S. inmate cleared by DNA testing.

From letters:
Feb. 25, 1981: "I'm in jail while (her) murderer is walking the streets ... My Social Status in society is below you but I think everyone is entitled to justice don't you?"

June 24, 1984: "I don't know your `philosophy' of life, but I assume you wouldn't take a man's freedom just because you can. That's why I keep sending these letters to you in hope that you will realize that a grave misjustice has been done to me ... I've been locked up 3 1/2 years now and it's been really `frustrating,' but I won't allow anything to prevent me from obtaining what God gave me at birth and what is rightfully mine, my freedom."
It turns out this was more than a wrongful conviction: Illegally withheld evidence probably caused a man who will be exonerated today to spend more time behind bars than anyone in the country cleared by DNA, the Dallas County district attorney's office and the Innocence Project of Texas said Monday.

Mr. Woodard, 55, was sentenced to life in prison in 1981 for the strangulation and rape of his 21-year-old girlfriend, Beverly Ann Jones.

But information that Ms. Jones was with three men – including two later convicted of unrelated sexual assaults – around the time of her death was not disclosed to the defense nor was it thoroughly investigated, said prosecutor Mike Ware, who oversees the Dallas County district attorney's office conviction integrity unit.

Evidence that could benefit a defendant is required by law to be turned over to a defendant, though there is no criminal punishment for not doing so.

Mr. Ware said Mr. Woodard received a "fundamentally unfair" trial. He said he believes the evidence is something that prosecutors at the time should have investigated, "or at least turn it over so the defense could investigate."

Before the district attorney's office agreed that the DNA that exonerated Mr. Woodard of the rape also exonerated him of the murder – in itself an unusual step – a forensic pathologist examined the file and concluded that Ms. Jones was killed about the same time she was raped.

How do you we a man 27 years back? How do we prevent this from happening again? What if he had been sentenced to die?