Archive for June 2012

Firm Identities and Loose Borders

Hillsdale, Michigan. A drive back from New England to the upper mid-West on Tuesday gave me ample time to hear the journalistic accounts of the Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s immigration laws. The first item of note was t...

Freedom Is Not The Good

As vice-president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Louisville’s own Archbishop Kurtz has led the way in expressing Church disapproval of the Obama administration’s health care plan.  According to His Excellency, the c...

An Alternative to Sprawl

According to an article in The New York Times, many Americans are tiring of the lifestyle associated with sprawl and, finally, developers are responding. The age of the McMansion may be waning. Young people, especially, seem to be looking f...

The Unmaking and Making of Community

The following is a talk given at the annual conference of The Academy of Philosophy and Letters on June 16, 2012 in Baltimore, MD. In her book The Need for Roots, French writer Simone Weil states that “to be rooted is perhaps the most impor...

American Cicero

Michael Federici of Mercyhurst College has posted on this site before, and is certainly a fellow-traveler. Some of you may be wondering why he hasn’t posted in a while, and one explanation is that he has been working on a first-rate s...

A Footloose Spring Day

On a gorgeous April Wednesday I am filling in as substitute homeschool teacher. We do arithmetic; we do a language lesson about adverbs and Emily Dickinson. Then—did I mention the day is gorgeous? That the air through the window is crisp an...

The Flaw in Jefferson’s Idea of Ward Republics

Thomas Jefferson’s agrarianism has long been vulnerable to attack by unsympathetic critics. Given that Jefferson ultimately banks on virtue rather than folly, this is of course to be expected; but the agrarian part to his vision is also vul...