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Rising to Low Expectations
Nonfiction - Opinion & Commentary
Monday, 07 March 2005

A few weeks ago, I was watching television and I saw one of those attention-getting news teasers. You know what I'm talking about -- "Nuclear war might start soon, details at eleven!" and so on. This particular night, we were told that a child pornography ring had been discovered (and its members, of course, arrested) somewhere in the DC metro area.

Now I don't know about you, but when I hear the term "child pornography" I think of depraved old men leering at inappropriate images of children. Of course, all involved parties in these cases -- most particularly the guardians of the photographed children -- should be arrested and prosecuted. But what about cases when the "child pornography" is not child pornography at all?

The "child," in this case, was a sixteen year old boy who was participating consensually in the sex acts and knew that he was being photographed....

Term of Endearment, Term of Abuse
News & Analysis - Articles
Thursday, 03 March 2005

Term of Endearment, Term of Abuse (Wall St. Journal

This commentary by Sol Schindler discusses what the word 'neoconservative' -- which has been lobbed around a lot lately as some kind of dire insult -- really means (in the context of talking about a collection of neocon essays).

"A few general themes emerge from this collection: a healthy confidence in America; a skepticism toward overreaching liberal programs (e.g., welfare); a concern for policing and neighborhood safety (e.g., the importance of punishing even minor infractions to avoid the "broken windows" effect); and a concentration on economic growth."


I suggest you give the article (if not the book) a read before you use 'neocon' as an insult . . . although I'd prefer people just stop insulting one another only because they have political disagreements.

Bass on Sunday; Melissa's Show Tonight!
Life & Site Blog - Life
Wednesday, 02 March 2005

I haven't been feeling well the last few days ... darn this cold-ish thing that everybody has!

I think I forgot to mention that I'll be playing bass guitar at the second service at Community of Faith on Sunday. I've been spending what little free time I've had the last couple of days learning the part (it's pretty complex). I don't know exactly who'll be playing, but apparently there's going to be a whole band+choir setup. I'll let you know more when I know more.

Melissa's show was postponed from Monday night 'til tonight (no shows at GMU if the GMU campus is closed, eh). If you're interested in seeing some of her artwork and listening to her talk about it, stop by the Grand Tier Gallery in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall at George Mason University tonight at 6. There'll be food ;-).

Poetry Reorganization Status Update
Life & Site Blog - Site
Wednesday, 02 March 2005

In the never-ending saga of rebuilding my poetry section (see the original plan and my last update), I'm happy to report that things are going reasonably well.

So here are some semi-final tallies (keep in mind they're still subject to change)... after accounting for all the 'lost' poems, homogenizing the files, eliminating duplicates, and so on, there were 657 poems (this still included some duplicates, but only when the versions were significantly different). Among those, 292 -- about 44% -- will not be published on this site in the first run.

The remaining 365 poems are split into eleven themed collections. The most-populous collection includes 45 poems, and the least-populous has 14....

A Compromise on Gay Marriage
Nonfiction - Opinion & Commentary
Monday, 28 February 2005

Not long after I wrote In Holy Matrimony, my previous opinion piece on gay marriage, a new idea started developing in my mind. That idea grew, developed, and has since become an integral piece of my opinion on this controversial issue. I am interested to see what all of you -- liberals and conservatives -- think of it.

But first, in the interest of full disclosure, let me reiterate my somewhat complex opinions on homosexuality.

From a religious perspective, I believe homosexuality is a sin (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). That said, I don't believe that people should be mistreated or hated simply because they sin. On the contrary,...

Governors launch effort to improve high school education
News & Analysis - Articles
Sunday, 27 February 2005

Governors launch effort to improve high school education (AP via

"America's high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed, or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools -- even when they're working as designed -- cannot teach all our students what they need to know today." -- Bill Gates.

Well Bill, I might despise your company, its unethical business practices, and most of its products, but I cannot deny the perfect accuracy of the above quote. I'm glad that somebody finally noticed that the problems with American public education go far deeper than funding and testing. The very design is flawed ... and we're long overdue on getting it fixed.

In Reagan's Footsteps
News & Analysis - Articles
Friday, 25 February 2005

In Reagan's Footsteps (Wall St. Journal

A really good editorial in the Wall St. Journal this morning about a trend I've been noticing -- anti-war folks coming (slowly) to the grudging conclusion that Bush may just be right about this whole war in Iraq.

The WSJ is talking about the Europeans, but I am starting to see the same trend here (there's a good example from a few weeks ago by Mark Brown: What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along? [Chicago Sun-Times]).

Chances are that you know a reformed anti-war person yourself, though they may not be admitting it yet ;-).

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Off on a Tangent
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