Essays

Starts with you: How to get your democracy back
Published on Dec 14th, 2011
4 comments I’m no genius; anyone who knows me will confirm that. If you asked me to explain why our economy has been shot to hell over the past few years, I’d be hard-pressed to explain what happened. I know it...
Great people? Steve Jobs, the Occupy movement, and us
Published on Dec 1st, 2011
9 comments by Bill GundersonSteve Jobs was a Great Man. Not always a Nice Guy. That is the secret the Occupy Wall Street crowd does not know.Apparently, the greatest industrialist in American history would yell...
Accidental plagiarism: It has a long prominent history
Published on Nov 9th, 2011
5 comments Now that the Cavalier Daily’s Honor Code issues have passed, let’s remember that privacy, plagiarism, and free speech are often in conflict in any real world, not just on the Internet or in a college...
Happy endings: Throwing off the bad boy-- Kindle
Published on Nov 3rd, 2011
1 comments I’m a little embarrassed. Not so long ago (Has it been two years? Seriously?) I spouted off in this public forum about my love– well, let’s call it infatuation– for you, my Kindle e-...
Power check: The vanishing jury trial in Virginia
Published on Oct 27th, 2011
10 comments Many people think trial by jury is a bedrock of American government, but according to statistics from the Virginia judicial system, fewer than two percent of our state's criminal cases are now...
ABC...F: What's wrong with state alcohol laws
Published on Oct 20th, 2011
0 comments By Don Harrison "The ABCs of Virginia Alcohol Law” packs an awful lot of absurdity into its five-minute running time. The award-winning short-form documentary, made by filmmakers Austin Bragg and...
Steve's magic: The irony behind Apple's success
Published on Oct 6th, 2011
9 comments By Andrew Potter The internet chatterbots still weren't finished complaining about the underwhelming iPhone 4S Apple's first major product launch under new CEO Tim Cook when it was announced that...
How many? Numbers suggest a low terror deathcount
Published on Oct 6th, 2011
0 comments How many Americans have been killed in terrorist attacks inside the United States since the September 11, 2001, atrocities? Arguably 16. Egyptian Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed two Israelis at the...
Like Halprin: Passonneau had a vision for Charlottesville
Published on Sep 29th, 2011
5 comments Joseph Passonneau, a renowned American architect-engineer, died in Washington, D.C. in late August at the age of 90. Among his accomplishments was his design of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon in...
After Ike: Can Charlottesville love both peace and war?
Published on Sep 7th, 2011
50 comments If I told you I would support women's rights as long as I didn't have to oppose rape, you’d think I needed lessons in both logic and basic human decency. If I said I would favor freedom as long as I...
Socialism: Relax, it could be coming to your living room
Published on Aug 31st, 2011
50 comments So you’ve got a solid grip on your middle-class status, right? You have a decent job, you take care of yourself, and you don’t need no stinkin’ handout from the government. Handouts count as...
Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Democrats' firehouse primary
Published on Aug 25th, 2011
62 comments By Rob Schilling A 32-year reign of engineered, single-seat black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council crashed to a screeching halt on Sunday, August 21 with the early morning release of...
Shaken and stirred: Why Winehouse's death can help kids
Published on Aug 18th, 2011
0 comments By Bruce Kluger I was unexpectedly shaken when I learned the news about singer Amy Winehouse, who was found dead in her North London home just hours after her manager had announced that she was...
Martha Jefferson: The hospital that ate my neighborhood
Published on Aug 11th, 2011
11 comments The countdown is on: Martha Jefferson Hospital is moving to its Pantops site, scheduled to open August 28. And while employees agonize over suspended vacations– six weeks before and four weeks...
Slowing postal: Free Union and the place we won't let go
Published on Jul 28th, 2011
34 comments The United States Postal Service– who needs it? Our whole society has gone electronic. With the availability of email, iPads, and smart phones, you need paper mail delivery about as much as you...
Toxic assets: Moldy houses are another housing crisis
Published on Jul 21st, 2011
0 comments The next time someone tells you that capitalism is efficient, remember the mold houses. I used to be a banker. Some of my customers had trouble making their loan payments. We usually had recourse to...
All in the family: To all the gays who loved before....
Published on Jul 14th, 2011
0 comments "I can't go that far; that's the year 2000! Negroes [and whites], okay. But that's too far!"–President Richard Nixon on gay marriage, speaking in August 1970; quoted in John Ehrlichman,...
Wide stance: Weiner's, Craig's expressions unscandalous
Published on Jul 7th, 2011
0 comments If slavery was America's original sin, Puritanism was its original curse. In recent years, the United States has made significant strides towards greater equality and freedom. Racism, sexism, and...
Germ theory: What if disease causes autocracy?
Published on Jun 30th, 2011
1 comments Greater wealth strongly correlates with property rights, the rule of law, more education, the liberation of women, a free press, and more social tolerance. The enduring puzzle for political...
Weinergate: No victim, no sin
Published on Jun 23rd, 2011
1 comments Should Anthony Weiner have resigned? Aside from the obvious pleasure that we derive from wallowing in salacious revelations about the rich and powerful, the Weiner sexting controversy provides a...
Song butchers: Let's 'play ball' with the original
Published on Jun 16th, 2011
0 comments You love to sing this part, I know you do: “O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” I don’t care whether your bumper still sports a McCain...
Curse or blessing? I'm a fount of useless information
Published on Jun 9th, 2011
3 comments I love pop culture– television, film, music, history, live entertainment, literature– and the people involved. For years, friends and co-workers have known this and use me like a search...
Gas, not water: A better fracking way to tap shale
Published on Jun 2nd, 2011
0 comments In a major energy security speech in March, President Barack Obama had some nice things to say about a new technique for extracting domestic natural gas deposits: "Recent innovations have given us...
Memorial Day: Drive now, RideShare later
Published on May 26th, 2011
1 comments As Memorial Day dawns, an AAA survey indicates that the number of people reporting they will drive more than 50 miles from home this weekend has dropped 100,000. Forty percent report that...
Liberal's lament: Seduced by the bad boy of 'Whole Paycheck'
Published on May 19th, 2011
0 comments I admit it: I have drunk the Whole Foods Kool-Aid. I am besotted with the place.I know, I know, it’s a big-box chain whose founder and CEO is the controversial John Mackey, a right wing guy who is...
Ultimate victory: Bin Laden got exactly what he wanted
Published on May 12th, 2011
0 comments The assassination of Osama bin Laden was masterfully orchestrated to appeal to American media consumers. But it will play poorly overseas. President Obama's announcement on Sunday May 1, timed to...
Drone instincts: What's wrong with the war effort?
Published on May 3rd, 2011
22 comments While Americans may be celebrating the death of “the most infamous terrorist of our time,” seeing it as a fitting act of retribution for the innocent lives lost on 9/11, the war effort is far from...
Atlas mugged: What's wrong with Ayn Rand
Published on Apr 28th, 2011
0 comments More than half a century after publication, and after years of talk about an Atlas Shrugged movie project, Ayn Rand's best-selling novel finally hit the big screen– met with indifference by...
Predictions: The ones about the future are tricky
Published on Apr 21st, 2011
0 comments The price of oil will soar to $200 per barrel. A bioterror attack will occur before 2013. Rising food prices could spark riots in Britain. The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by 2015. Home prices...
Grounds swell: When anguished parents go campus-hopping
Published on Apr 14th, 2011
0 comments Ah, springtime. Forget robins. The true harbingers of spring in Charlottesville are the clusters of distressed families on The Lawn. They are enduring The College Visit. Potty training and driving...