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Showing posts from April, 2012

How To Stop Saying "You Know"

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After a four year layoff from teaching, I was back in the classroom at Ohio State this spring semester.We teach law through a Socratic dialogue, so I spent a good deal of time in question and answer exchanges with the students.In a way I'd never noticed before my students had become infected by the verbal diarrhea of saying "you know" every other sentence (and sometimes more than once in the same sentence!).At one point I couldn't stop myself from starting class with a few comments about this disturbing trend."You want to impress people—other lawyers, new acquaintances, judges, your boss—with how articulate you are," I lectured, "but if, you know, you are constantly, you know, betraying your inability to, you know, control your sentences, you're going to look bad, you know?"
This plague is everywhere from the President of the United States clowning around on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last week, to nationally-known law professors we recent…

President Mitt Romney?

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Last November when there was an election going on I received a call from a woman who informed me that she represented the Tea Party."This is going to be an interesting conversation," I chuckled, and when she asked why, I confessed I was pretty much a "Yellow Dog Democrat."She asked what that meant and I told her it's someone who's such a partisan that if the Democrats ran a yellow dog for an office, he'd vote for the dog.She was shocked."You mean you support Barak Obama?" she managed to choke out.I responded by asking her if she'd ever in her life voted for a Democrat.'NO!" she replied, horrified at the impossibility."Then you're a Yellow Dog Republican," I informed her.She hung up.
Actually I have voted for Republicans from time to time.My very first vote for President in 1964, when I was newly 21, was cast for Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee.Why?Because I knew that Lyndon Johnson, the incumbent, was a cro…

Sexual Labels: Straight, Gay, Bi

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Here's what this blog post is about and whom I'm addressing: suppose that you have always thought of yourself as "straight" in the sense that your attraction is to the opposite sex (a fact that's a given in your life), but then you discover that in some situations you have sexual thoughts about a member of the same sex (or—horror of horrors—actually had a sexual experience with such a person).Now suddenly you wonder if perhaps you're "gay" or at least "bisexual."How do you know?What's the truth?Should you be lying awake at night thinking about this, with your life now a complicated jumble? No.Relax.  Calm yourself. What's happened to you is both common and commonplace.You're still the same person you always were, but now you're aware of a new side of your personality.Most people on the planet have had these feelings, so you're certainly not alone.Maybe your parents' lecture on the "birds and the bees" le…

Book Reading Next Week of My Novel "Imaginary Friend"

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To my delight, I've been invited to do a book reading from my atheist-thriller novel "Imaginary Friend at the Humanist program on Saturday, April 14 for the Humanist Community of Central Ohio.It will be held at their new office at 1550 Old Henderson Rd, S150, Columbus, OH 43220. (I'm told that because the meeting space is on the north side of the building, it would be best to park in the back of the building and enter through the rear entrance on the north side).The program starts at 1p.m., and I will probably start my reading (half hour or so) shortly thereafter.

Before I wrote the novel I worried that it would be hard to find an audience for a fictional treatment of atheist themes, but a thriller seemed an appropriate vehicle for some of the outrage I feel at the despicable treatment atheists often get from the world at large.It's one of the few remaining minorities where casual discrimination is widely accepted, even applauded.The hero of my novel, a lawyer who acc…