Jeffrey Polet

Waiting for Benedict

December 13, 2013
Those long haunted by Alasdair MacIntyre’s plea at the end of After Virtue - for that matter, even those who aren’t – may wish to read Rod Dreher’s piece on “The Benedict Option” over at The American Conservative.…
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The Gates of Hell

December 11, 2013
Jeremy Beer gave a brilliant presentation at the FPR Conference on the problems associated with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or “big philanthropy” in general. Over at Mother Jones is this interesting piece on the investment portfolio of the foundation.…
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Visit Michigan

December 10, 2013
Do Porchers travel? Well, if they do, they can hardly do better than to come to West Michigan – God’s country if ever there was one. So says The Lonely Planet. If any fellow-travelers come to the area I’d be…
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Youth is NOT Served

November 25, 2013
I discuss frequently with my Intro to American Government classes what current redistributive policies are likely to mean for them. Along with receiving the majority of the Catholic vote in 2012, the continued support of young persons for the President…
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Dwindling Towns

November 19, 2013
Over at Urbanplains Magazine is this interesting piece on the disappearance of small, urban towns. It’s one of the catastrophes of our age.…
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Gettysburg at 150: Some Essays

November 19, 2013
Holland, MI My wife will be the first to point out that I’m not much of one for marking anniversaries, but it seems – to use Lincoln’s language – fitting and right to take note of the fact that today…
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Uncle John is Dead, But I Look Fabulous!

October 31, 2013
When I think we can’t hit new lows, I run across something like this: I am hardly familiar with this “selfie” phenomenon, but I can’t see it as a good development. I saw a 19 year old recently do…
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Moyers Interviews Berry

September 24, 2013
At the Berry Center’s celebration of the 35th anniversary of The Unsettling of America, held last April, Bill Moyers interviewed Wendell Berry before the assembled conference participants. That interview will be available on starting October 4th. Readers of this space…
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Syria and the MIC

September 6, 2013
In my judgment, military action against Syria would be both a moral and political failing – which means, of course, it is likely to happen. I’ll be surprised if we haven’t begun air strikes by the end of the month…
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Swerving Off

September 3, 2013
My review of Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, is now available at Humanitas. In case you’re interested.  …
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Big Philanthropy

August 20, 2013
When St. Thomas reflected on charity, and in particular alms-giving, he stressed the immediacy and locality of it: charity requires intimate knowledge of its recipient, the proper selection of means, attendance to effects, the right motivations for the givers, and…
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Money Grab

August 8, 2013
Three principles. The first is Stein’s Law: if something can’t go on forever, it won’t. The second is that governing is ruled by the law of unintended consequences. The third is that expanding government power will ultimately be tyrannical inasmuch…
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Farewell to Port Clinton

August 7, 2013
Apropos this year’s FPR Conference comes this Times story from Robert Putnam, who laments the decline of his hometown of Port Clinton, OH. The weakening of unions, vacating of the manufacturing centers, and fraying of families have all led, in his…
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I Would Not, Could Not, With a Cat

July 30, 2013
I’ve recently written about the travails of the UCC in Canada. From Rod Dreher’s blog comes this video of a service down the street from Kilsyth in the city of Guelph. I’d say the Anglican Church is about done for:…
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The Big Firm

July 25, 2013
My oldest daughter recently graduated from college, where she has long considered a career in law. I have (at least) two persons I know well who have pursued legal careers: one a long-time friend dating back to college days, and…
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The Fate of the Rural Church?

July 24, 2013
Kilsyth, Ontario  Darryl Hart wrote some time ago about the unwillingness of mainline Protestants to serve in rural churches. Employing Wendell Berry, Hart wrote: In his essay, “God and Country,” Berry complains rightly that American denominations treat rural congregations invariably…
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