Doubt, Execution, and Collective Bloodlust

This week my Twitter account went all a-flutter over a man named Troy Davis. Troy Davis has served on Georgia’s death row for 20 years now, found guilty based on the testimonies of key witnesses. In the two decades since his conviction of murdering a police officer, 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted or … Continue reading

Caring for the Half-Widows

Half-widows, as they’re currently called in Kashmir, actually suffer all over the world – from India to Libya, Chile to Eastern Europe. Some have more difficulties than others, but all share one thing in common: their husbands vanished because of forced disappearance. Forced disappearance – also known as “enforced disappearance” or just “disappearance,” happens when … Continue reading

Adam and End-of-Life Care for the Homeless

Our Friend Adam Last week I wrote about my husband’s friend “Adam” in reference to the dangers of being homeless during the hottest parts of summer. Adam had disappeared from where Michael normally spends time with him, but now he’s back. Sadly, he is not well. He was in the hospital because of a minor … Continue reading

Osama Bin Laden and Our Culture of Death

I might be the only person on Earth besides a terrorist to feel sad when I found out Osama Bin Laden was dead. It wasn’t because I liked the guy. It was because I woke up at around 1am last night to shouting, chanting, and even some illegal fireworks outside my window. Groggy and annoyed, … Continue reading

Taking Champagne to the Battle

Picnicking at the First Battle of Bull Run Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and by pure coincidence, Michael and I have been watching Ken and Ric Burns’ The Civil War documentary… which makes me an expert. I am an expert because I, like many others who have revisited … Continue reading

Memorializing the Marginalized

Ernst Barlach’s “Schlafende Vagabunden” (Sleeping Drifters) 1912 Yesterday I heard about two homeless men who were killed in Baltimore this past week. A man had tried to rob them, they didn’t have anything, and so then he killed them. It reminded me of a memorial service that is held in Atlanta every year for the … Continue reading

Let the Little Sparrows Die

It is freezing in DC right now, and I spent the afternoon yesterday watching rain turn to snow from the cafe where I was working. Rain, then sleet actually, then slush, then snow. I was finishing the outline for one last final go at the screenplay I’m adapting from Hungarian playwright Andras Visky’s Juliet. It … Continue reading

Death and Displacement in America: the EPA Decision

Paw prints from a cat on a LaBelle, PA windowsill. Tests revealed the dust is 100% coal ash. When Yma Smith first started noticing the discoloration on her home, the damage on her roof, and the dust collecting on her shutters, she had no idea it was coal ash. But many of the coal miners … Continue reading

What’s Poisoning Greene Township?

Barb Reed moved to Greene Township as a teenager in 1975. When she and her husband decided to settle there, they cut their own driveway and built the entire house together, starting with the basement. She was only seventeen years old. “We love where we’re at. We’re in the middle of almost 8 acres. We … Continue reading

What’s Killing LaBelle, PA?

  by Joanna Castle Miller When you drive into LaBelle, PA, you might miss it for the view. The steep streets wind around trees turned, this time of year, into bold yellows and oranges. Houses line the Monongahela River on small lots left over from the peak of the town’s coal mining days. A rustic … Continue reading

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