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    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    My Christmas Card

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    I sent the following text to my friends and family via email this Christmas. Call it cheap, but call it thoughtful. Here it is:

    Family and Friends,

    This year was spectacular indeed. I felt the need to share some of it with you, so I have included over 80 photos (with captions) this year as my Christmas card to you in the Kodak Photo Gallery. You should have received an email for it - look in your junk mail folder if you can't find it!

    As I reflect on 2005, I can only say I am thankful every day for the blessings God has given me, for the places I have traveled to and the incredible people I have had the opportunity to meet. Sure, this year, I met Sean Hannity, Senator Rick Santorum, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and probably some other famous people I can’t recall at the moment. But, more incredibly, all the people I work with – from the staff at my job, to the students and faculty on campuses across the country, are the really incredible people, people I have enjoyed meeting and working with the most this year. They are doing great things and are committed to acts of purpose and it has been inspiring to have the opportunity to meet them and get to know them. Working for a non-profit organization gives you only a modest salary, but you can't buy some of these experiences.

    In 2006, I have traveled to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, California, Oregon, Washington, Niagra Falls, and Toronto, Canada. Did I miss any? Some of it was just for fun, but most of it was as the “ISI missionary.” (which is also fun) I have now been to over 30 states in our country and I have to say, it is a beautiful country with spectacular people. How on earth all these different people in places thousands of miles away from each other, in different climates, all call themselves “Americans,” and live peaceably among one another, is a miracle indeed.

    When you travel this much and meet this many people and have the privilege to work at such a fine organization like ISI, you learn many things. So, here’s a few things I’ve learned this year. For more on my life, you can stay up to date by visiting my blog at:

    So, this year, I can say a few things I have learned about:

    1. Love. A delicate topic, but through the works of CS Lewis, my participation and attendance at the Harvard Veritas Forum (whose theme this year was “True Love”), and my conversations with friends and family, I have finally come to understand what love is all about. It’s not about sex and it’s not about what you desire, in fact it’s about the opposite – it’s about the kind of love Jesus taught us when he said, “Love thy neighbor,” and when he took up the cross and died for something we did to Him. Love is doing something for others without expecting anything in return, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices to do it. My parents surely live this example for each other and for their children. And, yes, tell the ladies I'm still single.

    2. Materialism. It’s gotta go. If our nation (and our culture) ever fails, it will be because of materialism. I love capitalism and the free market, but it has to be used wisely. A bigger TV doesn’t make you happy, it only makes you want a bigger plasma TV. Bono and the “Live 8” concert this year is one example of revealing to those of us living in the most prosperous country in the world that there are hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty around the world. We’ll never end poverty, but as Bono said, we can help curtail it and we can certainly get most people out of extreme poverty – but it takes acts of “one” to do that. Heroes are among us, showing us it can be done.My friend Rick Buhrman traveled to Uganda this year on a religious mission to work with the poor. ISI’s Simon Fellowship winner, George Srour, a student who just graduated from college has raised over $50,000 and won another $40,000 from ISI to continue to build schools in Uganda. I’d encourage you to check out his website at: My friend Corey joined the Peace CORPS and is helping the people in Bolivia help themselves. Each of these guys took the opportunity God gave them and performed acts of one. Their example should make each of us (myself included) ask, “What acts of one are we doing to help others less fortunate and to use the opportunities given to us?” Perhaps this will give us something to ponder as 2006 approaches.

    3. Sacrifice. The hundreds of thousands of soldiers in our armed forces are performing sacrifices every day. Over 2,200 have lost their lives since 9/11 in order to prevent attacks on their fellow citizens and to spread liberty around the world. One student I work with via ISI, who goes to an Ivy League school (Penn) and is the state chairman of the College Republicans for the entire state of Pennsylvania, Nick Micarelli, recently put this idea of “sacrifice” in the forefront of my thinking when he told me he was just called up to serve in Iraq. He is in the Army National Guard and he wasn’t expected to go to Iraq, but 3 other guys in his unit were killed this year, so they need him. He leaves for Ramadi in January for a 6-month tour of duty. While part of him is scared, the other part of him is brave and ready to serve – he believes that all of us have a duty to perform for our country and he is certainly doing his. I can’t say he “wants to go” as he has a lot going for him here and he’s already served in Kosovo. But he is proud to go and believes he is doing the right thing. Duty and sacrifice are virtues that many of us have lost sight of today, and perhaps the “materialism” we enjoy living in the most prosperous country in the world has blocked our perception of these virtues. Please keep Nick and the other American soldiers in your prayers tonight and through all of 2006. They are allowing us to bask in our freedom and enjoy our way of life – a way of life very few in history have had the privilege to enjoy.

    I should probably cut the email there… but I have one last thing to say. I have decided I am not going to say “Merry Christmas” anymore. I know a lot of people are saying “Happy Holidays.” Well, I’m not going to say that either. I’ve decided “Merry Christmas” is too secular and has watered down the true meaning of this season anyway. So, I have decided (via the blessing bestowed on me by one student this season), that instead, I will say, “Have a Blessed Feast of Christ’s Nativity.” Please do think and reflect on what this time of year is really all about.

    It’s about God breaking into history as a human being, to show us all how to live. As C.S. Lewis has said, Jesus’ perfect life is God’s way of showing us how He thinks of us. God really believes that we can be like Jesus and that is perhaps the greatest compliment our Creator can give to us. Jesus was brought into this world to show us an example of how to live. God gave us each free will and we have all, at some point, turned against Him with that free will. So, He performed the ultimate sacrifice and died for what we did to Him. The greatest love ever shown is what we celebrate this Christmas season. Please stop, reflect, and open the scriptures this Christmas to remember and to learn about how we can each grow closer to this loving example. As 2006 approaches, we can use this New Year to grow further in our faith and grow closer with one another. That’s my Christmas card to each of you. Have a blessed feast of Christ’s nativity!


    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Dinner with John Ashcroft at Columbia

    On the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 30, I had the opportunity to dine with John Ashcroft. Yep, that's right, he sat across the table from me at dinner. We shared a meal. Me, Aschcroft, my colleague Matt (pictured) and about 7 other folks from Columbia University.

    The dinner took place shortly before Ashcroft spoke to a crowd of about 1,100 students at Columbia University on the topic, "Law, Liberty, Security." ISI helped to co-sponsor the event and it was a grand success. And, what do I think of Ashcroft? He was a very nice guy, very humble, and a great sense of humor. I was expecting a "tough guy" (as he was the Attorney General), but he was a "softie" - just a really nice guy who was interested in what everyone had to say.

    But, when the crowd got tough with him, he got tough back. While he was in the middle of his speech, one Leftist student in the back yelled out something to the effect of "we've lost our civil liberties". Ashcroft replied back with some hard-hitting humor and said, "Well, I haven't lost mine... and from the sounds of it, I don't think you've lost yours either." A little bit more than half the crowd was with Ashcroft, not just on that one, but on most of what he had to say.

    Chris Kulawik and the students of the ISI Group, the Columbia College Conservative Club ("C4") did an amazing job pulling off the event. Who would have thought that we'd ever be sitting down to dinner with John Ashcroft at Columbia University! For these conservatives, it was a rare treat indeed - and perhaps a sign of what's to come.Posted by Picasa

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    What is an American? Something to Ponder

    I received the following from a friend via email today:

    Something to ponder

    Written by an Australian Dentist...To Kill an American

    You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is so they would know when they found one.(Good one, mate!!!!)

    "An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish,Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican,African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian,or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

    An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho,Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

    An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

    An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

    An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of theworld. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration ofIndependence , which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

    An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

    When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

    As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

    The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

    Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September11,2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that theWorld Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries,cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

    So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American."

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    I think Chicken Little was the crowd favorite - a new balloon, a unique balloon, a tall balloon. And, I think he was running through the city screaming, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" Posted by Picasa

    Scooby-Doo was by far the biggest and most impressive balloon. Look at the size of it compared to those buildings (and those people on the ground)! Posted by Picasa

    Turkey anyone? Here's one of the most popular floats every year. Posted by Picasa

    Macy's Parade!

    I know I've been slacking on my blog... I just am busy with other things (and lazy with the blog). But, I had a fabulous time at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC on Thursday. I was fortunate enough to watch the parade on the 4th floor of an office building overlooking Broadway and 37th Street. Nice! (Thanks to my friend Dave's church - their offices are located there).

    I've included a couple of photos, for more ask me for my album and I'll email you a link. Also, I might have more to say about the parade later... on why it represents all that is America.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Thank you to our Veterans

    On Veterans Day, we still have thousands of soldiers in Iraq, fighting not just for our freedoms, but for those who are yet to gain them so that we may all live in peace.

    Corporal Jeffrey B. Starr, a Marine who was Killed in Action in the last two weeks, left a letter behind to his girlfriend. Here's what it said:

    "Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

    A Thank You to our Veterans: You are our nation's heroes.

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    Bates College: Maine's battleground

    On Thursday, I entered the last state in the northeast corridor of the United States, Maine. It was the 30th U.S. state I have visited in my lifetime (I snuck over the border of Vermont on the same day, from Hanover, NH - that was #29).

    So, I arrived at Bates College... it was a very strange arrival (my cell phone was out of service everywhere up there and I couldn't get in touch with Jonathan Browher and I couldn't find a pay phone, but finally the book store let me use their phone, little did they know they were accomplices in a vast right-wing conspiracy).

    Ok, I'll cut the humor there... so I met with Jonathan, who may in fact be the best ISI Campus Representative in the country. He's certainly the most enthusiastic, and he's only a sophomore. As a freshman, Jon started and remains the Editor-in-Chief of The Pachyderm Press, Maine's first and largest statewide college newspaper. It's a conservative paper and serves as the voice of the Maine College Republicans.

    Jon walked me around campus, which was cool and we saw many faculty doors that were "over the top" partisan. Then, we met a visiting professor in the history department who Jon likes because "she doesn't make us feel bad about American history." She's conservative and she's getting her Ph.D. from a large state school in California that I was just at (I'll protect her privacy). So, how'd she land the job as a history professor at Bates? Well, I'll repeat, she's only a visiting professor, with a 1-year appointment. Ahh, the faculty will figure it out and make sure she doesn't return, despite the fact that the students love her. But who knows, maybe she'll beat the odds.

    After meeting the prof, we ventured to "the quad", where Jon showed me all the "chalkings" on the sidewalk. I am missing my digital camera about now (it's broke). The chalkings were placed there by a gay rights group and certainly one can understand their writings about "tolerance", etc. But, then it just gets weird from there. I won't repeat some of them, but one in particular was pretty vulgar. It said, "Masturbate, Don't Discriminate." Another said "Have you ever questioned your heterosexuality?" There's nothing like making students think, eh? Thank goodness for the contemporary liberal arts college.

    Finally, we made it to the campus chapel, which is not as impressive as Princeton's or Duke's, but certainly a worthy piece of architecture... until you open the doors and take a look inside and see that every Christian symbol was ripped out of there. Gone. All that remains that reminds you of religion is 8 banners hanging from the ceiling, each of which represents a different religion. Sure, the one with the cross represents Christianity, the menorah represents Judaism, there was Hindu one, and some others. But one stood out: Mother Earth. That's it. I have no idea if the environmentalists have their own religion now too, but that was kind of strange. It was sad that this building that once stood for something good, moral, and holy, has been desecrated in the name of "tolerance."

    Later that evening, Jon and I were joined by Nathan Walton, the State Chair of the College Republicans of Maine (also a Bates College student), 3 other conservative students from Bates, as well as Dan Schuberth, who was the former state chair of the CR's and now is the Secretary of the national organization, the CRNC. It was a conspiracy in the making. We plotted for some good conservative speakers to hit the campus, Nate Walton gave me some good ideas, and Jon gave me about 50 copies of The Pachyderm Press to take back with me to ISI. It looks good, I was very impressed.

    My final commentary on Bates College is this: I was shocked and appalled several times on campus, whether it was from the pornographic art in the art museum/building, the chalkings on the quad telling me to masturbate, the over the top partisanship on faculty members' doors, or the desecrated chapel that I wish I could say was a "remnant". But, I was left hopeful and optimistic and energized by a small, but growing group of students who are pressing on despite the pressures to conform. My last conversation of the evening was with Nate Walton who told me that Jon was the most "enthusiatic" student leader he knew and that he was always telling Nate "ISI! ISI!". Nate said, "that guy [Jon] just really has a passion to learn: whether it's about conservatism or about history or whatever. He came to Bates to learn and that's great because that's what our educational experience is supposed to be about." Well said Nate. And, well exemplified Jon! I left motivated, proud, and yet humbled.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Debate at Dartmouth! WAH-HOO-WAH

    I only had 2 days "in the office" this week, and then I was off to Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH for an ISI Cicero's Podium Debate between Harvey Mansfield of Harvard and Professor Peter Travis, (English Professor) of Dartmouth on the topic, "Is Manliness a Virtue in a Free Society?" This was a great debate. In about a couple months, it will appear on the ISI website.

    Before the debate, I didn't know what to expect. Also, beforehand, we had dinner with about 10 students from Dartmouth, representing the Dartmouth Review, the College Republicans and the ISI Group that is forming there, and Harvey Mansfield was there as well. He is absolutely awesome by the way.

    When the debate kicked off, both sides made some good points and represented their side well... and then Professor Travis just made some ridiculous (and ridiculously weird) comments... among them were that "there are more than 2 genders" (i'm paraphrasing) and that there "are at least 5 or 6 genders". Say what? I had to ask myself, "did he really just say that?"

    He also said he was hopeful that we are perhaps entering "a queer age" and then cited the Kinsey report (yea, that nutty professor from about 50 years ago) as some kind of precedent on sexuality. Yes, these are the professors who are running things at our universities. They think they are someone "progressive" in their thinking. They're weird, that's it. He even referred to his wife as his "partner". It's like the guy wants to be gay but isn't. Why not? Because it's not natural. The politics this guy is playing is that he wants us to be a "gender neutral" society in EVERY aspect. That's just a sick idea. One conservative professor who was in the audience told me later that the most important point against that idea was never made - women can get pregnant, men can't. Case closed on gender differences.

    Anyway, the debate was interesting. Afterwards, the 11 students from Thomas More College who came up for the debate joined me and about 5-6 students from Dartmouth, plus Harvey Mansfield and one other conservative professor from Dartmouth at a local establishment, where dessert and drinks were enjoyed. It was a good time, and great conversation ensued for about 2 hours or so. The TMC students are great and I am going to go hang out with them on Friday night and visit their campus for a "Friday night lecture" before I head back to Wilmington.

    And, don't get me wrong, the Dartmouth students were awesome as well. I met Noah (forget his last name) who is the Student Body President at Dartmouth. His convocation speech made national attention a month back or so when he told the incoming freshman class about following moral leaders and used Jesus Christ as an example of a moral leader. His ideas were cited as controversial because a few students thought his use of Jesus as an example of a moral leader was "inappropriate". Yep, this at a school that was founded by a religious sect. It's not longer a religious school by affiliation, but why can't Noah express his opinions in a convocation speech when professors express theirs every day in the classroom? I was happy to meet Noah and he was a really excellent individual, totally was above my already high expectations.

    Scott and Mike from Dartmouth also invited me and the TMC students to visit the office of the historic Dartmouth Review. It was a very impressive office (very big) and they gave us all a free Dartmouth "Indian" t-shirts (it was the old "Indian" mascot that was banned in the 1970s, but the Review staff keeps it alive by selling merchandise with the Indian logo on it. I've always wanted a Dartmouth Indian t-shirt and I finally got one.

    Scott and Matt (leader of the CR's) also invited me back to their frat (which was keeping the party going at 1am or so), where I beat them in a game of beer pong and won a Dartmouth College Republican t-shirt from Matt. After about an hour at the frat house, I honestly had to get out of there. I just felt way too old for that. The beer was a 'flowin' and it was fun, but it had been a seriously long day. The President of the Review gave me a ride back to my hotel and I called it a night about 1:40 AM. Gotta love the Ivy League college life... prepartion, dinners, debates, drinks, dessert, office time, and a frat party.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Back to the East Coast

    On Saturday, I flew back to the East Coast. It was a long 5-hour flight and I made it back to my apartment about 10:30pm EST on Saturday... and I ordered a pizza and went to bed. A long 13-day journey to many places. Oregon, Washington state, and Southern California. I had met with people from 22 schools in just 13 days! I was physically on 18 different campuses! I signed up 53 members on my trip alone. And, the point of these trips is to "spread the word" which then spreads like the "invisible hand" ... more brochures and ideas land where you may not have necessarily expected them to, and then things just blossom later. So, 53 new members and probably about 50 members that were already there met with me, talked to me about ISI and all of our programs and how they could benefit.

    It's the gift that keeps on giving... the gift of ideas. Let it spread. For me, after 13 days of meetings, airports, car drives and everything in between... I was going to bed.

    A night on the town

    On my last night in Beverly Hills, Ryan Sorba and I hit the town. We went out in style and it was well-deserved by the end of my trip. Also, Ryan made an hour drive from San Bernardino (right after class) to meet up with me. And, I think the L.A. traffic was actually longer than an hour for him.

    We went and ate at the famous "Rainbow Room" and then hung out at the "Sky Bar", both in the Beverly Hills/West Hollywood area. They were splendid locations, but filled with a lot of Hollywood types... you know those fake people. Ryan and I were mostly caught up in our own deep intellectual converstions... revolving around contemporary issues... everything from campus activism to defeating the gay agenda.

    We also talked with some interesting people at the Sky Bar, which I think gets its name because out on the outside deck (which is the whole place virtually) you overlook all of L.A., with the gliterring lights of the city valley below you.

    Ryan is a great guy... someone I wish I had known much earlier and someone I wish didn't live 3,000 miles away. He's an entrepreneur (already bought a house) and he is, as mentioned in a previous blog, writing a book about homosexuality. He had a lot of interesting insights that I would love to share, but I don't want to let anything out of the bag for him as far as his (original) ideas. I was definitely intrigued and if he can put his ideas into words, I think he could have a hell of a book!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    UCLA: Something's a ' Bruin

    On Friday, my last full day of being an ISI missionary to the Left coast, I spent about four hours (yes 4) of my day at UCLA. What a nice campus, and what a location. It's in an area of L.A. called "Westwood", and literally just a mile or so from Beverly Hills. The campus is beautiful (yet somewhat modern, but still very nice) and the area just surrounding it is very nice, with million dollar homes everywhere (probably plenty of multi-million dollar homes too).

    I had 3 separate meetings with individual conservative students and even an alumni or 2, actually. One student runs the CN paper there, "The Bruin Standard." Another is an assistant editor and also is one of the leaders of the College Republicans. One was involved with both groups (who I've met before), but he is working in Governor Schwarzennager's (sp?) office in L.A. (the L.A. office of course)

    Then I met with Andrew Jones, who graduated from UCLA in 2003 and was involved with ISI and CN in all kinds of ways. He is now working to build the Bruin Alumni Association. Check it out for yourself.

    Andrew is trying to raise awareness among UCLA alumni (particularly among conservative alumni) about the crazy Leftist ideologies that are plaguing the UCLA campus (and most college campuses). But his focus is of course on his own school and that is what's key. The tough part is funding it and starting it up. But I think if he stays persistent (and seems persistent) that ultimately it will succeed as an organization and potentilaly it could have a huge impact on UCLA and on connecting the alumni (and donors) to what is currently going on on-campus. And, activating those alumni to use any power they have (their voice, their money, etc) to help make an impact back onto UCLA and help bring some sanity back to the university.

    Best of luck Andrew... full speed ahead!

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Bakersfield Reagan Students

    So after I went to Hollywood, I quickly got out of town. Seriously. I took a drive up to Bakersfield, CA which took me almost 2 hours there and only about 90 minutes back. Once you get out of L.A., you just fly... and you go through some very scenic mountains, with almost no population. Then, you get to Bakersfield, which proclaims that it won an award for some kind of emblamatic American city. Sure.

    I met up with Travis Ratliff, who leads an ISI associated group, the "Bakersfield Reagan Students." I've gotten to know Travis over the last 9 months or so, at conferences, in DC, and have communicated with him frequently about the things he's had to deal with as a leader of a conservative group on campus. From what I heard, things sounded almost out of control, with the university violating his freedom of speech and putting up many road blocks from allowing his group to even form.

    After hearing all this, I was expecting a much different campus scene. When I arrived, I arrived onto a commuter school campus late in the afternoon with students mosying about. Didn't look very political one way or the other. I thought to myself, "This is the campus where the PC police were going crazy?" Unreal. I think when professors or people on faculty have a problem with conservative ideas on their campus, no matter where it is, they take over some sort of power control over the small little area of the world they control. As David Horowitz likes to call these Leftist ideologues, "they are totalitarians." I can see why Horowitz uses such crass language.

    Travis invited me to speak at a meeting of his growing student group. About 8 students showed up, mostly of hispanic origin. Travis told them about many different opportunities members of his group would be informed about and how they could take advantage of those opportunities. As the speaker of the idea, I introduced them to the world of ideas and the world of ISI... they all signed up for ISI membership and seemed excited about the possibilities. It was really great to see Travis taking the initiative to get students on his campus involved in his group. At commuter schools, trying to get people to get involved with anything is a challenge... and the student leaders of those kind of groups really have to be up for the challenge.

    After I visited Cal State-Bakersfield, I headed back to Beverly Hills. (It's not every day you get to say that). And, I had myself a burrito at a local establishment and then said good night. It had been a long day and it was starting to feel like a long (yet enjoyable) (yet tiring) 2-week trip. Just 2 days to go.

    Sunday, October 09, 2005

    Hollywood is trashy

    Seriously. On Thursday morning, I had a couple hours to kill (I guess most people call this "free time"). Anyway, since I was only staying a few miles away from the epicenter of Hollywood, CA, I figured I'd go check it out.

    What was I expecting? Well, I guess the "walk of fame" with all the stars names engraved in stars on the sidewalk, and all the things that go with that... perhaps some cool TV studios and maybe a glimpse of a movie star. What was I thinking?

    I get there and there's a little area of a couple of blocks that is all of a sudden flooded with tourists, particularly in the Man's Chinese Theatre area... which I think the one at Disney's MGM Studios is not only nicer looking, but bigger. I was like - "this is it?" Seeing a few stars names on the ground was cool, kind of... but not really as exciting as I thought it would be. So, I kept walking around, thinking I'd see something cool. The best I got was one studio right across the street where the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" night time talk show takes place. Big woop. So, I kept walking... and boy was that a mistake.

    The rest of Hollywood is filled with lingerie shops, homeless people walking around looking like they're on crack, and then you get to a few blocks where you're thinking to yourself, "I think I walked too far..." And, then I see a nice looking 4-story building that simply says "Gay and Lesbian Center." Yea, and this building was only 2 blocks from the famous Hollywood Blvd. Oh boy... so THIS is Hollywood. This is where the popular culture of America is created and spewed forth onto an unknowing public. This is what gets all the glitz and glamour. THIS.

    I was repulsed... and I just wanted to go home and kill my television.

    Azusa Pacific and Christians in L.A.

    So, one thing you realize once you hit L.A. is that the culture isn't exactly moral. But, then you get stuck in traffic (possibly for hours) and you start flipping around the radio stations. And, you come to 99.5 FM, a Christian radio station, where they play good Christian music and then mix in Christian talk. Well, on Wednesday as I was stuck in traffic driving into L.A. and then back out of L.A. out to Azusa, CA I heard some good intellectual discussion on the contemporary topic of "Intelligent Design." Jonathan West (of Discovery Institute!) was giving a radio interview to the host of this Christian radio station about the intricacies of intelligent design theory. After that was over, the host then switched topics and went into why private vouchers would help the education system. I couldn't agree more.

    Finally, I arrived to my destination: Azusa Pacific University, an "evangelical" Christian school where a Catholic leads the ISI Group. Go figure. The group is led by an ISI Faculty Associate, who is getting his Ph.D. from nearby Claremont College, and (as an adjunct teacher) he is leading students in an ISI Group called "Faith and Culture." They are taking on the issues of religion and the public square by bringing lectures to campus and discussing the "great books" they are already reading as part of their classwork.

    Five students from APU joined me for dinner, as well 3 students from the College Republicans chapter at Cal State-San Bernardino. The leader of that group, Ryan Sorba, I have met before and been in touch with. Ryan's a great guy and he dominated much of the discussion at dinner, including his interest in writing a book about the issue of homosexuality and the gay rights agenda. Obviously, Ryan is against their agenda and he gave us all some good insights that not too many people are talking about regarding this issue. A lot of it was historical as well as biological/psychological... as Ryan is a psychology major.

    As I drove back into L.A., I was comforted in knowing that there were some good Christian students at both of these schools (one Christian, one a state school) that were doing their part to introduce faith-based ideas into the public square... being the counter-culture to a decadent culture. They have not only a lot of courage, but a lot of intellect. I was impressed and I think the dinner helped forge some good alliances between the students at the two schools, who seemed to have more in common than one would have originally thought.

    As much as I think Christianity is more prevalent in "middle America", I can see that Christians in the L.A. area are more vocal about their Christianity and trying to take on the popular culture with their faith. I'm hopeful that there are avenues for them to pursue and that these students are perhaps opening other avenues for those around them and those following in their footsteps.

    In and Out Burger and the PCH

    Driving from San Diego into L.A. was neat - for one, the scenery. I left San Diego by driving on the Pacific Coast Highway... for about 30 miles or so, until I merged back onto I-5. In the meantime, I drove through some nice coastal towns, which looked glamorous at times and then more like perfect surfing spots at others. The beach/ocean view is unique though, as you have mountains and cliffs overlooking the beach and ocean... and the beaches seem longer here.

    Later on my drive, I stopped off at "In and Out Burger," a popular California fast-food chain that I've heard of by many, but never experienced myself... finally I did. My only complaint is they don't take credit or debit cards (I'm so technologically advanced aren't I?) So, I had to run to the ATM just to get a bite out of one of their burgers, but I had to run to the ATM anyway. Good burgers... I still think I prefer Wendy's, but this was a very welcome change and much better than Mickey D's anyday.

    As I got closer to L.A., I passed through Anaheim and saw Disneyland to my lefthand side of the freeway and the LA-Anaheim Angels ball park to my right. Pretty cool to at least see this stuff from the interstate. Then, finally I proceeded into the Los Angeles area... how could I tell I was there? Well, there's no "welcome to L.A." sign nor is there a real welcome, other than the heavy traffic (which luckily was more in the OTHER direction) and then there was the noticeable downtown with all the skyscrapers... and finally, as I got closer to my hotel in Beverly Hills, I could see the famous "Hollywood" sign in the Hollywood Hills. It felt surreal to be here, but then again, as I would soon find out... nothing here really feels real.

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Constructing Strict Constructionists

    So, just days after President Bush appointed a "stealth" nominee - someone who has never even been a judge before (Harriet Meier), I met with a conservative law student at Cal Western School of Law in San Diego. He is very fired up about re-starting a Federalist Society group there and affiliating it with ISI as well. I also helped put him in touch with the leadership of the Federalist Society (conservative law group) at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Looks like they are already looking forward to working together!

    On another note... what the heck is President Bush doing with this nominee? Here he as the opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for years (decades!) to come and yet he chooses not someone that is HIGHLY qualified, of which there are many candidates, but instead to a longtime friend. I love President Bush and I agree with him most of the time, but this is an outrage and a slap in the face to all the other well-qualified conservative judges out there that have worked their whole lives to be part of this elite group of justices. They have been overlooked for someone none of us know much about, except we all know that she's a friend of the President... and I guess as we've learned, loyal friends get jobs in this adminstration.

    I'm still not sure what to think... but it sounds like this ridiculous decision has finally "awakened" the conservative movement. It might be a good thing for the conservative movement in the long-term, but for now, it's somewhat demoralizing.

    The California Review

    Tuesday night, I met with four students from UCSD, all are involved with several conservative student groups, including the College Republicans and the conservative student newspaper that is on the Collegiate Network - The California Review. It's a good paper, but I advised the students they need to get more campus focused, in other words, write more articles related to the campus rather than simply national news.

    UCSD is an interesting school. As I mentioned in my last blog, it's just a few minutes from the beach and it's a growing school. It's pretty modern, established sometime in the 1950s or 60s. It reminded me of UCF about 10 years ago, or even something closer to FAU a couple years ago. It's a big state school in a big state with bigger state schools.

    The students are working on bringing Dinesh D'Souza to campus in the next month or so. ISI is going to help co-sponsor it, but the students here have an ambitious plan. Since D'Souza lives in the San Diego area, he plans to spend 2 days on the campus. One day will be giving a lecture and possibly a debate on one of the 2 days... and then another day the students want him to meet with administrators, professors and maybe even sit in on some classes to engage with these classes more intellectually. D'Souza is a big critic of today's university atmosphere and curriculum which preaches the ideologies of "multiculturalism", "diversity" and "relativism" and I would love to be sitting in those classes with him! Let's see if they can pull it off.

    After I met with these students, I re-united with my friend (and former roommate) Jimmy, who recently moved to San Diego just a couple months ago and lives right near UCSD. We caught up over a beer or two. Good times. I told him and the students I envy them... with the beautiful beaches and scenery they are able to enjoy in San Diego and La Jolla.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Welcome to San Diego!

    Well, my welcome to San Diego, was... you could say... a bit "delayed." As my plane was landing on Monday night, and descending to land on the (short) runway at San Diego airport, we got within 500 feet of the runway... and then... instead of continuing to land, we accelerated back up! A few minutes later, the pilot came on the air telling us that apparently there was some sort of mix up on the runway, and another plane was still there or something... so the control tower told him to go back up and circle back around and try landing again.

    Let's just say, more than a few of us were a bit nervous about this... despite the fact they were probably just taking the necessary precautions. About 10 or 15 minutes later, after rejoining the flight pattern, we finally landed. After seeing the SanDiego airport during the day - and the flight pattern that takes planes right next to (or through?) downtown San Diego, I don't like what I see. I don't want to predict a catastrophe, but there looks like just a little room for error there. I think they should build a bigger airport out more in the burbs somewhere, away from all the commotion of downtown and a place where they need a bigger runway. It'd be safer that's for sure.

    Other than that... San Diego is beautiful. On Tuesday, I dropped off some materials to some conservative student's mailboxes at the University of San Diego (another Catholic school out here) and then headed for the beach for a few hours. WOW is the place AMAZING. I do in fact think this is the best city in America - weather, climate, people, everything. It was about 77 degrees, no rain, no clouds, clear sky, and no humidity... and beauty all around me... with cliffs and mountains overlooking the beach. Surfers were having their kicks with the waves, and a mild number of people were laying out on the beach enjoying the paradise they were given. It truly is paradise... and as I sat on the beach myself, I could only think that perhaps scenes like this are just a glimpse of the paradise that awaits us. And if this is just a glimpse, I can't imagine what eternal paradise is like.

    Ok, enough thinking on my part... after the beach it was time to get ready to meet with the conservative students at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). These kids are lucky. Their school is about a mile from the beach, in fact the "oceanography" center of UCSD is actually on the beach! It's hard not to feel envious.

    Seattle University: This is Catholic?

    On Monday, I visited my final campus in Seattle and the PNW. I began my trip in the PNW at a Catholic institution (the University of Portland), and ended it with another Catholic school, Seattle University.

    I met with an English Professor here who has been involved with ISI for a long time. Great guy, he even leads a student marksmanship club here - they go shoot on a gun range about every week or so. But, more importantly, he pointed out some very weird things going on here at Seattle U - let me remind you, this is supposed to be a CATHOLIC university!!

    Here is just one news article related to panels on sex education" at Seattle University, organized by - you guessed it - a nutty history professor:
    When I locate the entire event schedule for this "forum" this year, I'll post it as well... every single topic was related to issues about "sexuality" and the vast majority of them were about "homosexuality" and it wasn't about just confronting it, but accepting it and welcoming it. Well, if you see the neighborhoods Seattle University is surrounded by, you'll get the point that around here, this isn't very strange at all... but for a "Catholic" school to be promoting this stuff is just HERETICAL!! Something needs to be done... a movement within the Church needs to crack down on Catholic colleges and universities. What the Church believes should be taught, that's all I'm saying.

    Seattle wrap-up

    Ok, so if anyone actually reads this... you might have noticed a little lag in my blogs the past few days... the truth is, you can call it either laziness or tiredness... I'm approaching the end of my 13-day trip to the Left Coast. It's been enjoyable and honestly I'm not as tired as I thought I'd be by this point... but still the blogging has slowed down... so maybe I have!

    This past Saturday, I took it easy most of the day, caught up on stuff and watched some college football. The good thing about being out west, is as soon as you wake up on Saturday morning, the college football games are already on... I think I slept in until around 10am... when I flipped the TV on, a bunch of games were on, all into the late first quarter/early second quarter. And, it's not like games end much earlier here, as the west coast games are just on later. It's a sweet deal in that respect.

    Later that evening, I met with a guy who is getting his PhD from Fordham University, but lives in Seattle with his wife and their 5 kids! Yea, they're in their 40s - and he (like most people around Seattle) works in the software industry, but is getting a PhD in philosophy, he already has a few master's degrees - theology, philosophy and an undergrad in biology. Impressive. Ganske came with me and met with him too, I think we're forging a nice little network of ISI and Discovery Institute folks in the Seattle area, not to mention people interested in what it means to be a Christian intellectual.

    On Sunday, I woke up and went to mass at the St. James Cathedral here in Seattle. It's very nice, but very modern. It was a great service, and it is the only hope I see for Seattle... though hope for this city, in terms of a positive culture, is bleak. I wasn't very impressed with Seattle overall, but I can only think that the demographics will eventually be with us... a lot of "strange" people out here, in all sorts of ways.

    Later on Sunday, I met with a Professor from Shoreline Community College, encouraging him to get more involved with ISI and the GK Chesterton Society we sponsor out here. We had an excellent 2-hour conversation over lunch and I think I helped lift his spirits about the positive elements that are going on in academic circles because of ISI. Yes, we've still got a long way to go, I reassured him, but there is some hope. He related to me that he was very disturbed that most people on campus - even the students - were "brainwashed" into thinking bad things about Western Civilization - even the study of Western Civ, calling it "racist" or "imperialist". I just told him - read Dinesh D'Souza and offer his ideas as an alternative. He liked D'Souza's points (which I cited to him) about why Western Civ is the most superior culture in the world and why it deserves to be studied and promoted. I think he went from discouraged to encouraged in a matter of two hours. And so goes the work of the ISI missionary.

    Later that evening, I hung out with Ganske some more and we went to downtown Seattle for dinner and a couple beers... he then dropped me at the space needle, where I felt I "had to" go up. There really isn't much to do in Seattle, I discovered... so I wanted to ride up to the top of the famous space needle. It was ok up there... best view I had of Seattle, but still it didn't do too much more to impress me. I don't want to leave a feeling of depression here, but let's just say, I now understand why grunge music came out of this city. I just wish it were still around to console me.

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    SAFECO Field: My 9th Baseball Park

    I made it to the Seattle Mariners' home field here on Friday night, as they took on the Oakland A's and pounded them pretty hard... the stadium is pretty new, only a few years old and very nice and very big.... It also has a retractable roof, which was closed for this game (even though it wasn't really raining, but it did rain a bit earlier in the day I believe). This was my ninth baseball stadium in my lifetime and my fifth different one just this season! The others in my lifetime: Marlins, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays, White Sox, Giants, Phillies, and now... the Mariners!

    It was a good game and I was in the nosebleed section, but right in line with first base, so not a bad view at all (there never really is a bad seat at baseball stadiums). Ganske and I went and then afterwards, we hit a couple bars.

    It was an odd turn of events in the evening, as we were looking for a good bar to go to and were dragged into (ok, maybe more like invited, not dragged) by a middle-aged woman on the street who recommended it and said she'd introduce us to some "hot chicks." Ok, they weren't that hot, but she had a nice group of mostly 30-something year old friends, who couldn't believe how young we were. (I couldn't believe how old they were).

    The atmosphere inside the first bar was a bit strange, almost "bohemian" as Ganske remarked... a few weird looking people in there. After and hour or two there, we skipped over to "FADO'S Irish Pub" (I've been to the FADO's in DC and Philly, so this was a more normal place). They had a good band in their, sort of a funk/blues/rock band ... good stuff. We danced around a bit... Ganske was hanging out with this 35-year old woman, who looked more like 28. She was fun, but kept remarking how she was too old. With those constant comments, she was right.

    It was fun times though... and I turned in about 1:30am or so... off to sleep.


    Friday afternoon I visited the Discovery Institute in Seattle, a really great and intriguing organization, where my friend Charles Ganske works. Discovery is involved with many projects, but is known most strongly for their scholarly contributions to the new field of intelligent design.

    Ganske showed me around the organization's headquarters. ISI works somewhat closely with the Discovery Institute and its scholars. In fact, as far back as 1996, we published a whole Intercollegiate Review publication on the subject of intelligent design. It's good stuff, mostly debunking the materialist nature of Darwinism and the scientific claim that we are mere products of natural selection. It's a fascinating and controversial subject at the moment.

    Anyway... that was my Friday afternoon, although it was mostly spent just trying to get around downtown Seattle between 2 and 5pm... traffic is nuts here. I should have just walked... it turns out, that where I am staying, I am only about a 10-block walk from the Discovery Institute's headquarters.

    University of Washington

    On Friday, I met with three professors at the University of Washington. In such a liberal environment, they are holding the fort and doing so in an almost "underground" fashion, as they mentioned the few conservative professors try to figure out who each other are and then form some sort of tight underground bond. It's almost funny, it's almost sad.

    But, one professor in the history department who has long been involved with ISI leads the G.K. Chesteron Society, which is an ISI Group that involves a consortium of professors at the three major schools in Seattle (the other two are Seattle University and Seattle Pacific). I'll be meeting with a couple other professors at Seattle University Monday that are also part of this G.K. Chesterton Society.

    I really enjoyed the time with these professors, I had lunch with 2 of them, one was one of the leaders of the Chesterton Society... the other was a little bit less involved with ISI, but still involved. However, the first one seemed "very excited" and was very talkative the whole time, almost giddy. I think they like having someone from ISI come by and lift up their spirits.

    The University of Washington campus, by the way, is VERY NICE. I was impressed with how historic it looks, with some very nice architecture, a big giant plaza area (called "Red Square" because it is a huge giant red square, but I'm sure there's some communist undertones that are attributed to it as well), and the campus is very large with a nice "University Avenue" full of shops, restaurants, and bars. Everyone around here is very liberal - you can just tell. Also, a very eccentric culture in that "university district" too, but also in Seattle in general.

    I'll have more on the rest of my first full day in Seattle in my next blog... stay tuned.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Welcome to Washington (and not DC)

    So I made it to the farthest state from Florida in the mainland of the United States. I keep telling the students I meet how far I have come to travel to meet them. It's true. From Philly I must be about 2,500 miles and from South Florida, definitely over 3,000 if not 4,000. That is far!

    Anyway, I made it into Olympia, Washington (another state capital!) and met with some folks at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. There is a former ISI Honors Fellow working there, on Education Reform. We talked about each other's organizations and how we could work together, as both organizations fight for the ideas of liberty, one on campuses (ISI) and another in the public policy world (EFF).

    I then met with two student leaders for dinner - one leads an ISI Group at the Evergreen State College (a very very Leftist school) and other leads a College Republicans group at St. Martin's University. Both are in the Olympia area. After dinner, I was a "guest speaker" at the College Republicans meeting at St. Martin's University. About 7 students in total were there and they all signed up for ISI of course. I also helped establish some good relations with the two student leaders, so hopefully they will see some ISI Lectures on their campuses in the near future.

    Meredith, the student leader at Evergreen State College is now graduated but she is helping to make sure the other student leaders that are still there running the conservative groups are staying well-connected with ISI and keeping up the good work she has done. That is the hardest thing about being a campus leader - making sure that the students following you keep up the good work you have done. Props to her!

    After the meetings, it was about 8:45pm, another long day... and I still had about a 50 minute drive ahead of me to my hotel in Seattle. I got in here about 9:45pm and I'm ready to just relax now... my first meeting with some new ISI faculty members and some well-established ISI Faculty Associates here at several schools in the Seattle area begins tomorrow at 11am.

    Driving the Pacific Coast Highway...

    ... again, Oregon style.

    So, I took a little "scenic route" today. Ok, a pretty long scenic route, took me almost 2 hours out of the way, but I got to the pacific coast of Oregon and drove for about 30 miles of highway right along side the Pacific Ocean, which was amazing.

    The beach extends at least a hundred (if not several hundred) feet from the water and the highway is probably another 100 feet elevated from the beach, sort of overhanging it like a cliff. The coast is also very rocky and somewhat mountainous, and of course, freezing cold (though i didn't get close enough to actually touch it).

    However, I did stop off at several viewing locations to take some pictures (unfortunately only on an instant camera, as my digital isn't working for some odd reason as of a couple days ago). At one stop, some other tourists told me I should look for some whales, as they were congregating in that area... and sure enough I saw one pop up out of the water just a minute later. I saw them several times actually... pretty neat, but also too far for my camera to capture it I'm sure.

    I then had a nice scenic drive out of Oregon, into my 28th or 29th state (i'm losting count now), into the "Evergreen State" of Washington. And both Oregon and Washington could certainly be classified as "ever green".

    The Civil War (Oregon Style)

    What a day... I woke up at 7am this morning ready to conquer the Oregon Trail. I started the day off in Salem, Oregon (where I woke up) and visited Corban College (formerly known as Western Baptist College). I literally did a "pop in" visit to campus, and met one of the Career/Academic Advisors on campus and introduced him to all of ISI's programs.

    He said Corban College is a "conservative Christian" schoool... so he was very receptive and thought our missions ran very parallel to one another. Good visit overall.

    Next, I drove about an hour south down to Eugene, Oregon to set up a table at Northwest Christian College. I had contacted a guy that works for them, he heads up the Student Activities at NWCC and he told me I could come put a table in front of the entrance to the cafeteria, where all the students would come to eat around 11:45am just after chapel. So, I did. I only signed up about 10 members, but I handed out about 50 ISI Brochures and talked with some key people. One was the Student Body president, who was very happy I was there and was happy to learn about ISI. He wants to host ISI lectures on his campus. Also, the guy who I had originally contacted didn't know too much about ISI. When he figured out we were conservative and focused on traditional values, he was very happy to have me there, saying that even though NWCC is a "Christian" school, there were many instructors who "challenged students' faith." Unreal, I thought. He also said they have a very "inclusivist, relativist" attitude, not really a strong established faith. He thinks ISI can help combat this moral relativism on this Christian campus.

    Next up... I went right over to the University of Oregon, home of the "Ducks!" It is literally right next to the NWCC campus. And, it's full of hippies. WOW. There were things I saw on campus that I didn't expect (despite the warnings ahead of time). I felt like this could have been Berkeley in the 1960s. I even saw one demonstrator on campus with a table, and he had signs advertising that he was against the war, for socialism and was happy to provide "free abortions on demand" (or at least tell the "liberated women" where to get some). I'm sure the University health office probably provides them. Disgusting. I almost wanted to punch the guy, but then realized his blunt "honesty" was probably going to help the pro-life side, so let him keep at it.

    While on campus, I popped into the Oregon "Commentator's" office - they are the Collegiate Network publication on campus. Two of them were actually there and we had a nice chat for about a half-hour about all things ISI. They were happy to see me, saying it was a "pleasant suprise." Colin from CN had just paid them a visit a few days before.

    After leaving Eugene, I drove up to Corvallis, about a 45-minute drive, to the home of the "Beavers" at Oregon State. In 45 minutes, I had driven from one side of the "Civil War" to the other (that's the name of the U of O and OSU football rivalry).

    I met with some long-established ISI and CN'ers - including Luke and Nathanael, who head up the OSU Students Alliance and the OSU Liberty, the ISI Group and CN publication on campus. Good guys, and they brought out a few other good people on the staff of this very successful CN publication. I've gotten to know Luke and Nathanael pretty well over the last 6 months - both have made visits to ISI this summer and Nathanael attended our camping trip in the Shenandoah. I think I even took Luke to his first MLB baseball game with the Phillies-Marlins this summer. They are awesome people and I'm glad that ISI has provided me the opportunity to get to know them that much more. And, they are also faith-filled students. Four of the students there tonight all attended the same Christian high school in their hometown, which is about 30 minutes from the OSU campus. It's great to see them remain good friends over the years and have the opportunity to attend college together and make a nice dent on the OSU campus with their group and publication.

    Good things are surely in store for these guys... they're smart, energetic, friendly, and people like them. Whatever they want to do, they'll get to do. It's hard to find more well-rounded people. On that note, I'll end my long, yet fun-filled day (we spent about 2 hours at dinner and another 3 at the bar). No complaints here. I got to see a nice chunk of Oregon, reach students at 4 schools today (9 total for the 3 days here), and have a good time doing it. Life is good.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Three Schools

    It was quite a day... I visited with people at 3 different schools today, all within an hour's drive of each other.

    My day began with a visit to Reed College, rated by the Princeton Review as one of the "best educational programs" in the country, yet with "the least religious" student body. My work was cut out for me. Due to an ISI faculty member at Reed, I was put in touch with someone in the administration there, who works with the public affairs side of things. I introduced him to all of ISI's programs - highlighting our fellowships and honors program, and our College Guide and Student's Guide. He seemed very receptive. He said Reed is a "strange place." They have "probably the most conservative curriculum in the country," but the student and faculty population lean pretty Left. And, they're seen as "God-less" by the likes of Princeton University, an image he hopes to change in the eyes of the public.

    Next stop... was to probably one of the more religious schools in the country, certainly in Oregon... George Fox University. I met with an ISI Faculty Associate there, who teaches politics. He was very happy to see me and share with me the many positive aspects at George Fox University, a school that boasts such notable alumni, as President Herbert Hoover - they're "claim to fame" as one student put it. This professor had told some students I would be coming by and about 10 or 12 of them came to hear my presentation on ISI. For those of them that were not yet members, they signed up... and everyone learned what I had to say about all of ISI's programs. Perhaps I encouraged them a bit more to take advantage of our offerings. They seemed very "hungry" for more involvement and they were happy to talk to me about the different programs ISI offers. They were very good kids, with a lot of great questions.

    Next stop... Willamette University. The State Chair of the Oregon Federation of College Republicans, John Swanson, attends Willamette University, "the first university in the West." It was founded by Methodists who wanted to preach to the heathen Indian population. Anyway... I was the guest speaker at the College Republican chapter meeting at Willamette... about 10-12 students attended the meeting and all who were not members (I think only one or two already were), signed up for ISI membership and hopefully they were encouraged to get more involved with ISI. They seemed very excited about our lecture program and the honors program.

    One pattern I keep seeing is that all these people seem so excited to have someone from ISI on their campus... I guess things are different out here, compared to the east coast where there are so many lectures and things. The students realize how far I had to come to reach their campus and they really appreciate the outreach to them. Also, out here, people just seem friendlier and more laid back and so that may contribute to the positive reception as well, but it's nice to hear.

    So far, after 2 days of my 13-day trip... the mission is moving forward. The outreach effort I hoped for is taking shape and more people are hearing about ISI who otherwise would not of. I always say, "If I can reach just one student, my mission is a success." I think we've gone beyond the one student in just 2 days and reached many students, faculty, and even administrators. I think from top to bottom, people are thirsty for a real educational experience and for the opportunity to dive into the world of ideas.

    Everyone looks like a hippie

    Yea seriously, it's uber-liberal out here. I didn't notice it as much until I walked onto the campus of Portland State. The campus just blends right from the city into the university. It's a very nice urban campus. The city also is a good-sized city (let's say a big city) with a small-town feel. I'd put it somewhere between the size of Indianapolis and Dallas.

    On campus though, it's hippie-ville. Guys with long hair (even dreads) are frequent, people with tattoos and piercings seem common. And yea if I took a poll, I'd say nearly half (maybe more?) are atheist/agnostic. The students here have an uphill battle for sure.

    I met tonight with Shah Smith and 2 other students on the staff of the noteworthy Portland State Spectator. A good group... Shah is a real conservative warrior, he the "take one for the team" kind of guy. Principled, honest, and the first to charge into battle. But the others seem less optimistic, or maybe I should say, more pessimistic (or realistic?) on the scene they're up against.

    But, hey... who could blame them. The city, the culture, and the campus and its culture aren't looking too good for conservatives these days. But, I'll say it again, they are the remnants: they are keeping the conservative dream alive. Shoot, they are keeping the traditions that have made this country so great alive. And, I'll stand with Shah and take them into battle any day.

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Observations in Portland

    People out here are VERY active, even in the city. Everywhere today around Portland, from the morning, noon and night, I see people running everywhere. And, I've seen a lot of people biking.

    Granted, Portland State University is here in the city (an urban campus), but I've seen people running across the city, even in the outskirts of the city near (and on my way to) the University of Portland.

    It's no wonder Addidas and Nike got their big starts in this region! Also, maybe that Prefontaine guy (famous Olympic runner if you're not familiar) inspired people around here to run... he was from Oregon.

    Well I guess I've already assimilated... I went for a workout in this health club across the street from my hotel (which is complimentary for guests here). It was great, and another thing I've noticed - the music out here is a bit different. Well, let's just say I heard a mix of songs at the gym, everything from Everclear (a Portland band) to Blues Traveler to Ace of Base (could have spared that). And, even in the pizza place I was just at... something different in the air. I liked it though, except for that Ace of Base. But it was the gym, where music usually isn't the greatest. Hearing some old school Everclear (not the drink) was very welcoming to Portland.

    Now, I'm getting ready to meet with some of the staff of the Portland State Spectator, a CN newspaper here. Looking forward to it!

    On the Oregon Trail

    Yesterday, I took the day-long journey to get to Oregon. As long as it seemed (a 2-hour flight to Chicago from Philly, a 90-minute layover, and a 4-hour flight from Chicago to Portland), it is amazing how times have changed. A century and a half ago, our ancestors took many months to go from the East Coast (or even from Missouri, the middle of the country), all the way to the splendor of Oregon. Some died on the journey, many got sick, many didn't make it. But they all came west to start a new life and to make something of themselves.

    Well, I'm just out west for about 13 days. But, I will say, my first impression is great. Portland is a very nice city, I'm staying downtown. Everything seems very clean, a lot of restaurants and shopping. And, a nice mountain range is off in the distance, with the peak of Mt. Hood (it's pretty spectcular) overlooking the city. It's also a volcano, I just found out. But it hasn't erupted since around the time of Lewis and Clark and just after.

    Today, I began my ISI outreach trip with a visit with a philosophy professor at the University of Portland. This professor has been involved with ISI for many decades but he "hasn't seen an ISI face on campus in at least several years." When I heard that, I was even more happy that I made the trip. It really means something to our ISI members and particularly our Volunteers (he's an ISI Faculty Associate), when we pay them some attention.

    We had a nice 30-40 minute conversation about all things ISI, about the status of the University of Portland (a notable Catholic institution) and about his own life and times, from personal experiences with Adlai Stephenson to Presidents Reagan and the current President, George W. Bush. I was surprised to hear that "Dubbya" made a remarkable impression on him when he was somewhat recently invited to the White House for a panel with the President on the status of education. He said Bush was "very articulate" and "very knowledgeable" and "he didn't have any notes with him." He said his personality was also very down to earth and he hasn't met any leader that impressive since, well... Adlai Stephenson. (I didn't want to bring up the Gipper's name in all this, but I was thinking it).

    This philosophy professor also encouraged me to bring some more lecturers to the ISI Lecture Program, particularly more that were focused on philosophy (rather than politics and history, which tends to dominate our program). I told him of the noticeable attractiveness of the field of philosophy to many ISI students and encouraged him to recommend to us some notable lecturers in his field of study.

    After our meeting, I was checking out the beautiful campus, which overlooks Portland from the outer edges (with Mt. Hood in the back drop). As I came across the chapel, I noticed daily mass had just started (it was about 12:05). I attended mass (even though I was a tad late). It is also great to celebrate the Eucharist from campus to campus. It is surely one remnant that is everlasting. I prayed that the power of the Eucharist would fill the hearts of every student at the University of Portland. We can only hope.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Villanova College Republicans

    On September 21 (Wednesday night), I was invited to be a "guest speaker" at a meeting of the College Republicans at Villanova University, a Catholic institution in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

    I was told ahead of time about how many students I should expect, but I really didn't believe it. When the meeting began, there were about 80 students, a few even standing to the side, as almost all the seats were filled in this large classroom.

    I spoke to the students about all things ISI, encouraging them to take part in all of our programs and giving them a little history of ISI and a quick introduction into the philosophy of Russell Kirk. I also reminded them about all the people that paved the way for our generaton and showed them why they should educate themselves on the first principles of America's founding and our Western heritage.

    I also reminded them that first come ideas, and then the politics follows. Mostly, however, I told them that we, as conservatives are "remnants". We are carrying on the traditions of the past, against all odds that the modern age places in front us. Ideas, I said, are also remnants, as long as they are carried from age to age by people and recorded history. The Villanova Times, for example, was started in 2000/2001, but somewhere in the middle of that time since, they didn't publish for about a year - but the idea remained - the remnant remained. And, once good leadership and a more active student body came to the forefront again, the remnat was able to thrive.

    After the talk, I presented the student group with some free books to help them start a group library or give out as awards to their members. In return, they gave me a Villanova College Republicans t-shirt. On the back it says "I Think Therefore I'm Republican." Exactly.

    Villanova College Republicans

    On September 21 (Wednesday night), I was invited to be a "guest speaker" at a meeting of the College Republicans at Villanova University, a Catholic institution in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

    I was told ahead of time about how many students I should expect, but I really didn't believe it. When the meeting began, there were about 80 students, a few even standing to the side, as almost all the seats were filled in this large classroom.

    I spoke to the students about all things ISI, encouraging them to take part in all of our programs and giving them a little history of ISI and a quick introduction into the philosophy of Russell Kirk. I also reminded them about all the people that paved the way for our generaton and showed them why they should educate themselves on the first principles of America's founding and our Western heritage.

    I also reminded them that first come ideas, and then the politics follows. Mostly, however, I told them that we, as conservatives are "remnants". We are carrying on the traditions of the past, against all odds that the modern age places in front us. Ideas, I said, are also remnants, as long as they are carried from age to age by people and recorded history. The Villanova Times, for example, was started in 2000/2001, but somewhere in the middle of that time since, they didn't publish for about a year - but the idea remained - the remnant remained. And, once good leadership and a more active student body came to the forefront again, the remnat was able to thrive.

    After the talk, I presented the student group with some free books to help them start a group library or give out as awards to their members. In return, they gave me a Villanova College Republicans t-shirt. On the back it says "I Think Therefore I'm Republican." Exactly.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    God and Man at Yale

    In the early 1950s, William F. Buckely, Jr. (ISI's first president), wrote God and Man at Yale to explore what he saw happening at Yale - a deterioration of the curriculum and the erosion of Western heritage, particularly the Christian traditions that Yale was founded on.

    Today, I am happy to report the opposite... I see a turn around at Yale. Surely, it does not represent the dominant mode of thought (yet), but it is a turnaround in the right direction. What is happening is happening slow, as it should.

    Some of the folks leading the way are Peter J. and Geoff E. (I don't want to get these folks in trouble). Peter is a freshman and is an impressive guy. He told me his ultimate career goal is "to be President of the King's College" in NYC - by the time he's 35! Geoff, on the other hand is (can't remember - a junior or senior). He and his girlfriend Deb lead a student group called "C.L.A.Y" which stands for "Choose Life at Yale." They are taking the right approach to things.

    Peter was an ISI Honors Fellow before he was even enrolled at Yale! And, before freshmen orientation he asked me (without me even offering) if I could send him 100 copies of ISI's Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum (written by Mark Henrie) so that he could distribute at Yale's freshmen orientation and sign new students up for ISI membership on day one. Well, on day one he already signed up about 50 students, and he's continuing to distribute the guides. Yale has a unique 2 week period at the beginning of freshmen year, where students can "survey" all the courses and then choose their core courses for the next 2 years. Peter was thinking ahead of the game, for him, for Yale, for ISI, and for the "souls" of these students, that they might be liberally educated and be guided by ISI through that process.

    Geoff, on the other hand, always provides me with unique experiences on my visits to Yale. Last year, he invited me to pray the rosary with some Catholic students one evening at Yale. It was a very awesome experience - and he even gave a book to me on "the secret of the rosary" - a book that I still read a few pages from at least once a week or so. This time, he invited me to come with Deb and himself to a "pro-life holy hour" to pray for life at this nun's house with about a dozen other people. After the hour of prayer (which we were late for!), everyone in the room had some dessert and shared stories of why they are part of the pro-life movement. There were some incredibly moving stories. Geoff, Deb, and I remarked how we all felt "so young" and so "inexperienced in life" in comparison to the others (all mostly middle-aged adults) in the room.

    For instance, one of the moving stories included one by a lady in her 50's or so that had an abortion in the 1970s, coerced by a doctor at Planned Parenthood. She later felt guilty for the abortion - so guilty she felt she must be going to hell, until she had a moving experience at mass one day, one that borders on the miraculous for sure. Without going into too much detail here, her story was truly moving and inspiring, not just for the pro-life movement, but for those looking to get deeper with their faith.

    Geoff and Deb are not your "political" types (even though Geoff is part of the Conservative Party at Yale and Deb is the president of CLAY). They are more interested in the culture and the counter-cultural movement on campus. Peter, though maybe a little bit more politically motivated is much more culturally and academically motivated than most activist-minded students. And, this is what is unique for the conservative campus movement. It's not as concerned with politicizing, but rather with influencing the culture in a positive way, to introduce students to ideas, to traditional liberal learning, and to moving beyond that feeling of "emptyness" to a greater feeling of fulfillment. And, for Geoff, Deb, and Peter (and myself), that greater feeling of fulfillment is best accomplished when people open themselves to Christ.

    Mr. Buckley, the relationship of God and Man has returned to Yale.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    Parties of the Right at Yale

    I spent Thursday and Friday in New Haven, Connecticut, at the wonderful school that is Yale University, composed of its many colleges and multiple groups of conservative students. It is also the alma mater of William F. Buckley, Jr., who was ISI's first president in 1953 and is the author of many books and hundreds of articles, including his most famous work, God and Man at Yale.

    This was my second official visit to Yale on behalf of ISI and so I was somewhat already used to the "parties" on the Right within the prestigious Yale Political Union (YPU). There are 3 parties "on the Left" and three parties "on the Right." Of course, ISI maintains a strong relationship with the three on the Right.

    On Thursday evening, around 5:30pm, I had dinner with four students from the Yale Free Press, a Collegiate Network supported newspaper, which also is associated with Yale's "Party of the Right," from which it pulls most of its writers from. Great group of students - we discussed many ideas on how to improve their paper and I hope the one thing I left them with is to do a lot less reporting and commenting on national stories and more reporting on campus stories or campus-related issues. Other than that, they seem to be doing great (their layout could be improved a bit too, but overall they run a fine productin).

    Later that evening around 7:30pm, I attending a "debate" of the Yale Tory Party. How these "debates" work is that each party holds one about once a week - usually every Thursday night. They don't usually debate with other parties, but instead hold parliamentary-style debates where everyone within the party debates the "resolution" at hand that week. For this past Thursday, the resolution was "Resolved: Judges should uphold unjust laws." (or something close to that). Anyone can stand up and make a speech and the "chairman" adjudicates who can speak and when, etc. Then, after each speech, anyone can ask the person who just delivered a speech (in the affirmative or the negative) questions based on that speech.

    The debate lasted several hours, and when people are done giving speeches, a motion is given to "vote" on the resolution. Around 10:15pm, this resolution was voted upon and failed. I really enjoyed the debate and the students in the Tor Party are really great - a lively bunch for sure.

    So, I then moved on to the Yale Conservative Party's debate, which was being held one college over. They were still deeply involved in their debate (and would be until 1 am!) The resolution they were debating was "Resolved: The Purpose of Government is to Promote Equality." Oh boy.

    I arrived and the debate still had many hours to go... I even delivered a speech, in the negative. I said "The purpose of government is to promote justice" and reminded them that over the Supreme Court, there is a motto that says "Equal JUSTICE under the Law," saying that justice is what should be applied, and of course, it should be applied equally. Government's purpose should be to promote equality - of opportunity, and we are all "equal" in the eyes of God, but for a government to promote equality is purely utopian.

    Anyways... the resolution failed, but barely! I was shocked it was even that close, but I guess the word "equality" dazzles even conservatives sometimes.

    The next day, Friday, I had lunch with the Tory Party at Mory's, a "members only" dining club across from Yale, however it's not that exclusive since almost any student or alumnus of Yale can be a member and they can take guests... but still a nice place and I was there for nearly three hours, immersed in good conversation with the Tories. I'll have more to say on a few individuals I met with on this trip... but this blog is getting long already... can you tell I love Yale and all the good experiences it brings?

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    The Conspiracy Begins!

    I just came from a meeting with the Columbia College Conservatives Club... or the "C4" as they're known. I finally got to meet the young protege Chris Kulawik, who is leading the march for the campus conservative movement at Columbia.

    It's an uphill battle all the way... but I met with representatives from the Conservatives Club, the College Republicans, and the Students for America group. And, although I didn't meet the CN Editor, I will soon. A great group of kids... very motivated - and very courageous, I might add. This is one of the most Leftist and one of the most politically charged campuses in the country. But, the conservative students here have hope, they are growing in numbers and they have a number of groups that are united in their efforts, and filled with a lot of great ideas... and as we say at ISI, "ideas have consequences."

    Go get'em Chris! Here's their website:

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    ISI makes "The Point"

    The following three links are from "The Point," a one-minute daily commentary that is intended to stimulate public discourse syndicated to TV Stations across the nation through Sinclair Broadcasting. they visited ISI back in late July and interviewed various staff. They did three commentaries involving ISI (you should be able to watch these broadcasts and also read the transcripts):


    I'll be there on Friday and Saturday.

    Here's the website you need to know:

    Still Remembering

    Today is the fourth anniversary of the horrific attacks on U.S. soil that happened four years ago. It changed everything. Yet, four years later some people are "remembering" the victims, but forgetting about the culprits and the radical Islamic ideology that led them to their acts.

    Today, I'm remembering the victims - they'll be in my prayers. And, I'm not forgetting about the radical Islamic ideologues - they'll be in my prayers too.

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    "George Bush doesn't care about black people"

    On a Red Cross telethon to raise money, some entertainers got together to raise money for the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. Hip-hip "artist" Kanye West couldn't help himself though.

    He said "George Bush doesn't care about black people." No joke. Check out the look on actor Mike Myers' face! Myers was standing right next to Kanye West as he uttered these words. Then, it appears the producers must have cut away quickly from Myers and West and gone right to Chris Tucker. Tucker's face is just as baffling. Keep playing this video over and over... it's hilarious and yet, sad.

    Before that, West also said that the soldiers that could be helping us are instead "fighting another war" (here's where Iraq comes into play)... and then continues one step furhter in a bizarre twist that even Mike Myers doesn't seem quite to get, West continued, "they've given them permission to go down and shoot us". I guess he's referring to "us" as black people. So apparently those soliders that are in Iraq that can't come to Louisiana are also given permission to come down to Louisiana and shoot black people. Yea, I don't get it either.

    Here's the clip:

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Finding the Remnants in Carlisle, PA

    I am here... in Carlisle, PA to meet with the "Credendum Reading Group," an ISI Group at Dickinson College. I just met with them this evening at the John Newton International Center for Christian Studies.

    3 students and one advisor came... and they were really great people. Here it is, the John Newton Center, a little "remnant" left over from the days gone by, when a "Christian education" was a vital part of every college and university in this country. Dickinson College started out in the middle of the eighteenth century, with a Christian founding. Today, it's gone secular, but the John Newton Center and the students involved in the ISI reading group are keeping together a small remnant of the past.

    Perhaps when other Dickinson students have gone mad in this nihilistic, post-modern world, they will find themselves at the John Newton Center, or at perhaps some other remnant on campus (unknown to me) and they will rediscover purpose in their lives and in their community.

    Carlisle, PA by the way is a great little town... truly American in every sense of the word. I'm staying at a bed & breakfast here called the "Carlisle House". It's located just 4 blocks from the college, right in historic downtown Carlisle. This place is great! The room is awesome, the service is great, and the hostess was very welcoming and friendly. This is what customer service is all about - or I was thinking, what it used to be about. I think this little bed and breakfast is also a "remnant" of things of the past. But, hey, it's still around and probably thriving.

    I've realized just today that all these things "conservatives" complain about that are no longer around, really are. You just have to find them... the remnants are here, and we can make use of them, discover them, and experience them. We just have to find the remnants and then once we do, we have to help them thrive.

    Photos from the Shenandoah

    This was the sunset view from our balcony... quite nice isn't it? Posted by Picasa

    This is a side view from our balcony, where you can see the other lodges overlooking the valley/mountains. Posted by Picasa

    Here I am 4,000 feet up in the Shenandoah Mountains, with the valley below me. Posted by Picasa

    At the top of the Stony Man Mountain Trail, a 4,000 foot (plus a few) peak. After taking in the view, we held an hour-long discussion here in the sky. Posted by Picasa

    Redeeming the Time in the Shenandoah

    This past Labor Day weekend... I labored away with my ISI job. But, you can hardly call this "work." Can I reiterate how much I love my job.

    I spent the weekend in the Shenandoah Mountains with two of my ISI colleagues, Brian and Maggie, and about 11 students representing 7 different colleges/universities and one other ISI Alumnus representing another conservative organization in DC (Brendan at FreedomWorks).

    A few weeks earlier, I had distributed to each participant, a complimentary copy of Russell Kirk's collection of essays, "Redeeming The Time." The book contains essays, each based on a series of lectures Kirk gave at the Heritage Foundation in the 1980s and early 1990s. The essays contain prescriptions on how we can renew the culture and redeem the time.

    Beginning with a cook-out on Friday night, we held 4 discussions, each based on one essay in the book. The students we invited were spectacular, coming from nearby Patrick Henry College, Christendom College, Shenandoah University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, and one visiting student from Oregon State University as well as a nursing student from the University of Pennsylvania. All of them are involved in an ISI Group on their campus. Each brought with them great ideas, a sound faith in Christ and an adequate ability to use reason to bring the intellectual discussions up to par, as we discussed the greatest strengths - and weaknesses - of Western Civilization, and how we can each do our part to renew the culture and redeem the time.

    In a period of decadence, Kirk's ideas helped us all to discuss how we can overcome the malaise in our culture and use our faith in Christ to redeem Western Civilization and further the American Mission of ordered liberty.

    The Shenandoah Mountains were a prime location to help us to do this - as we were able to escape the realities of the world for a few days and enjoy the tranquility of nature (we saw a bunch of deer, even a bear, and lot of other unique creatures). It was also neat to see the vast valley below the Skyland Lodge at which we stayed and we climbed up to the 4,000-foot peak during a nature hike and held a discussion from the top of the "stony mountain trail". We were able to experience nature, discuss grand ideas, and at night, gather round the campfire and look up to the stars, as we gazed upon the heavens. The students' discusssions helped inspire me that we are in fact taking a venture beyond our post-modern world to help redeem the time. Through faith in Christ, all things can be redeemed.

    Russell Kirk put his faith in both Providence and in the rising generation... through my experience with this job at ISI and the many people I work with, both staff and students alike, I now understand just what Kirk saw and why his faith in Providence and in the rising generation is not hard to fathom.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    I made the ISI Event Calendar! I'm an event!

    Check out the ISI Lecture Calendar. I'm on there... speaking on my usual topic, "Bringing Conservative Principles to Your Campus."

    Right now, I'm scheduled to give talks to conservative groups on the following campuses:
    - Dickinson College (Sept 9)
    - Villanova University (Sept 21)
    - Palm Beach Atlantic (Oct 27)

    More dates and schools to come...

    Wednesday, August 31, 2005

    A City Lost? A Spirit Broken?

    As we all know by now, Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, killed hundreds of people (and possibly thousands, fears New Orleans' Mayor) and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. A still greater fear is upon us... did the storm destroy - or worse - annihilate a major U.S. city?

    One thing is for sure, New Orleans will never be the same again... but will it return to its former days as the "Big Easy," famous for Mardi Gras, a mix of french and cajun cuisine, where one truly feels a down-to-earth, laid back, Southern charm mixed with a bit of French aristocracy. This is yet to be seen.

    For now, our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of people of New Orleans, for those that made it safe out of the city but have no place left to return to those still stranded in a flooded home, an interstate highway, or some other piece of high land they can find among the remnants of a now "lost city" to those whose souls have perished from this earth because of this storm, that they may all find the comforts and mercy of an all-forgiving God.

    We can only hope that whatever destruction this storm wreaked, that it will not destroy the souls of a city, or even that of a nation that reaches out to help those in need of physical and spiritual assistance. New Orleans, we reach out to you during your time of need and we hope to pull you up so that your city, and your spirit, will never be lost, even in these desperate times.

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    I thought I felt 18 again

    I just went to this website:

    It's interesting. You put in all these statistics and information (by answering questions) about your health and lifestyle, a lot of different factors. They then "calculate" your "real age" as opposed to your "calendar age". I suppose if you smoke and engage in certain behaviors, your "real age" goes up.

    Well, I must be living a healthy and happy life. My "real age" calculated to be 18.4! That means that I'm 9.2 years younger than my "calendar age". Ahh, I thought I felt 18 again.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Welcome to Today's College Culture


    What's that headline all about? Well, it is exactly the introductory words used by a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island, Michael Vocino, to introduce himself to his students on the first day of class.

    As most of my readers know full well, the atmosphere on today's college campuses can sometimes get... well, strange. Nathaniel Nelson, an ISI Campus Representative at the University of Rhode Island just graduated this past spring and will be enrolling in a graduate program at another university in a nearby state.

    Earlier this year, Nathaniel informed me of his encounter with a professor at URI and I pointed him in the direction of Students for Academic Freedom. Nathaniel attended ISI's Cicero's Podium debate at Wheaton College on "academic freedom", where he spoke to both of the debate's participants, David Horowitz of SAF and Roger Bowen, of the AAUP, about his story. Both were appalled and both have been trying to help him.

    Horowitz allowed Nathaniel to write an article and publish it on After the article was published on August 12, Nathaniel's former professor at URI, Michael Vocino, responded. Both the response and the link to the first article by Nathaniel can be found here:

    A Confession of Guilt?

    I will warn you, it's quite disturbing. But, worth the read despite the length. Nathaniel wanted me to thank everyone at ISI for being a place where students can find a voice of reason in the sometimes bizarre world that is today's college campus. I think this story continues to demonstrate that we have a long road ahead as far as making a change in the culture on college campuses, needless to say, a change in the classroom too.