Essays

ESSAY- How rude! Comebacks for any occasion
Published on Jan 18th, 2007
0 comments We've all been asked questions we'd rather not answer; questions that are, in fact, so insensitive or inappropriate as to make you wonder just what goes through some people's heads. Next time,...
ESSAY- UnDismal future: Purging the lingering stench of Malthus
Published on Jan 11th, 2007
0 comments The majority of human beings are living in cities for the first time in history. Hurray! As the Renaissance Germans said, "Stadtluft macht frei," or "City air makes you free." But not everyone is...
ESSAY- Don't believe it: The 'boy crisis' is pure bunk
Published on Jan 4th, 2007
0 comments The "boy crisis" is now a major media trend. It's been on the cover of Newsweek, featured in People magazine, and examined by a PBS documentary. It's also the central issue in a suit filed by a high...
ESSAY- Machiavellian: How to fight corruption of money
Published on Dec 14th, 2006
0 comments What is to be done about the influence of big money on the American political system? Judging from a recent Supreme Court decision that ruled Vermont's highly restrictive campaign-finance laws...
ESSAY- Bully pulpit: A tale of two churches
Published on Dec 7th, 2006
0 comments "Neutrality and silence in the face of oppression always aids the oppressors. American pulpits must not cower from speaking truth to power."—The Rev. Ed Bacon, All Saints Episcopal Church On...
ESSAY- Victims of success: Colleges reject Asian-Americans
Published on Nov 30th, 2006
0 comments In most contexts on college campuses, Asian-Americans are "people of color," a stripe in the multicultural rainbow. But when it comes to elite-college admissions, Asian-Americans put a strain on the...
ESSAY- Going insane: How Allen turned into Gore
Published on Nov 16th, 2006
0 comments During the dark, long– well, not that long– days of total Republican dominance over Washington, reasonable people wondered if the Democratic party would ever pull itself together. The...
ESSAY- Filling the gap: Medicare keeps oldsters solvent
Published on Nov 9th, 2006
0 comments Some people nervously paced the room, others had magazines open on their laps as they stared past the pages, lost in thought. I sat in the corner, gnawing on my thumbnail and scanning the headlines...
ESSAY- 'Good' enough? Hiring a hen to guard the foxes
Published on Nov 2nd, 2006
0 comments If I'm moral enough, you might see my smiling face when you cast your ballot Tuesday. But right now that question is hanging in the balance. It seems that to be an election official in Albemarle...
ESSAY- Rights fight: Who wins in speech v. property?
Published on Oct 26th, 2006
0 comments "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech..." "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for...
ESSAY- Forgive 70- x 7: Amish do what Jesus did
Published on Oct 19th, 2006
0 comments The blood was hardly dry on the bare-board floor of the Nickel Mines School when Amish parents sent words of forgiveness to the family of the killer who had executed their children.  Forgiveness...
ESSAY- Cancel: Divorcing the daily paper
Published on Oct 12th, 2006
0 comments After 37 years of subscribing to the daily newspaper, I wrote "cancel" on the last bill and sent it back. Since I've been subscribing for nearly four decades, it's obvious I am not a member of the...
ESSAY- </span>Crushing a Beatle: The U.S. vs. John Lennon<span class="s1">
Published on Oct 5th, 2006
0 comments In December 1971, at a concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan, John Lennon took the stage, and in his usual confrontational style belted out "John Sinclair," a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10...
ESSAY- Jiffy feud: When the wars hits home
Published on Sep 28th, 2006
0 comments The man storms into the tranquil waiting room of Jiffy Lube where everyone is drinking coffee and quietly checking vehicular maintenance off to-do lists. He is a blur of Polo and chinos, rage pumping...
ESSAY- Hidden fees: Getting rich fooling customers
Published on Sep 21st, 2006
0 comments The printer: It's one of the most common peripherals in the computer age and so cheap– at first blush, anyway– that stores often give them away when you buy a PC. Yet how many people...
ESSAY- Unthinkable? Who really destroyed the towers?
Published on Sep 7th, 2006
11 comments Maybe we all need counseling.  When my family sits around the dinner table, as we did a few weeks ago at my birthday party, we talk about nearly anything: current events, scientific...
ESSAY- Bible beating: Let's lay homophobia to rest
Published on Aug 31st, 2006
0 comments In November, Virginia citizens will vote on a proposal which, in effect, bans "gay marriages." Because this event is reviving the ugly spectre of homophobia, I suggest that we examine the roots of...
ESSAY- Zygote-to-go: Taking orders for custom-designed babies
Published on Aug 24th, 2006
0 comments The Abraham Center of Life, an adoption and infertility service company in San Antonio, Texas, run by Jennalee Ryan, is offering made-to-order embryos through the mail. The Center's name evidently...
ESSAY- Pants on fire?: Tips for telling the truth
Published on Aug 17th, 2006
0 comments "I didn't see you at my gallery opening," says a friend I've stumbled on while out shopping. "What happened?" Truthfully? I got engrossed in a rerun of The Daily Show. (I know, I know, I‘m a...
ESSAY- WWJB: What would Jesus bomb?
Published on Aug 10th, 2006
0 comments "Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power and with its plea for the weak." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer As bombs explode...
ESSAY- Write on: Who do they think they are?
Published on Jul 27th, 2006
0 comments "Who do think you are?" That's the snide little voice that writers hear when we sit down to work, our pens hovering over paper, our fingers poised above keyboards. Who cares what we have to say? Okay...
ESSAY- Rich was a pain
Published on Jul 20th, 2006
0 comments Barbara Rich has written a most appalling piece [July 13 essay: "Terminal? More than breath required for life"]. Were she anything but totally self-absorbed, she would have gotten her butt out of her...
ESSAY- Terminal? More than breath required for 'life'
Published on Jul 13th, 2006
0 comments It's a good thing I'm not Irish, because if I were, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to ever again celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Not after what happened to me this past March 17, after...
ESSAY- Terminal? More than breath required for 'life'
Published on Jul 13th, 2006
0 comments It's a good thing I'm not Irish, because if I were, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to ever again celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Not after what happened to me this past March 17, after...
ESSAY- Webster's wedgies: <span class="s1">When silly pranks go respectable</span>
Published on Jul 13th, 2006
0 comments It's a high water mark for linguistics when a time-honored childhood practice is officially recognized by such an esteemed reference work as Webster's New World College Dictionary. The new edition...
ESSAY- Police state: Has common sense taken leave?
Published on Jul 6th, 2006
0 comments A culture of meanness has come to characterize many aspects of the nation's governmental and social policies. "Meanness today is a state of mind," writes Nicholas Mills in his book, The Triumph of...
ESSAY- Marriage problem? Yes, but it's not same-sex unions
Published on Jun 22nd, 2006
0 comments In 1992, then-Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the producers of the popular TV sitcom Murphy Brown for portraying the show's lead character "mocking the importance of a father, by bearing a child...
ESSAY- Thanks but...: Anti-gay sermon offer falls on deaf ears
Published on Jun 15th, 2006
0 comments I must say that I'm becoming a very popular fellow, at least in some circles. Just this week I received an offer of several free sermons from some group (I don't recall their name and have never...
ESSAY- Bring it on: Grocery delivery's time has come
Published on Jun 8th, 2006
0 comments If you can bear to watch a woman with Attention Deficit Disorder reduced to a babbling, twitchy wreck, come with me as I schlep through the supermarket, attempting to keep track of grocery orders for...
ESSAY- Father's day: You sound just like him
Published on Jun 1st, 2006
0 comments "You must be his son. You look just like him." My father lies propped up in the hospital bed, arms outstretched and palms up, as if he had passed out in an act of supplication. Chin on chest, mouth...