Douthat to the Times

Phoenix, Arizona. Catapulted by his inclusion on the exclusive FPR blogroll, Ross Douthat has been tabbed as a new opinion columnist for the New York Times. This is good news. For one thing, it means that for the first time in many, many ye...

Write Home

BURNED-OVER DISTRICT, NY. Via the University Bookman, herewith my introduction to its recent special issue on Regionalism, which featured contributions from Frank Bryan, Kate Dalton, Jeff Cain, Jeremy Beer, Jesse Walker, Sockless Caleb Steg...

Growth or Virtue?

RINGOES, NJ. The numbers keep rolling in. The Dow is below 7000. Unemployment is above 8%. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the economy contracted at a rate of 3.8%. This was less than some economists predicted, but such “negative growth” ind...

Octo-Us

Claremont, CA. Here in southern California, local woman Nadya Suleman has been holding her own on the front pages, alongside arguably more pressing stories about the flailing economy. It’s easy to dismiss the fascination with “O...

Death of a Farmer

He traveled the three miles to the mill 63 times during the 87th harvest of his life, his old International pulling the wagon my uncle filled with beans or corn. I don't know why he counted the trips; perhaps it helped pass the time and foc...

Food and Freedom

RINGOES, NJ. Isn’t it interesting how quickly speculation becomes conventional wisdom? Back in the fall, when we began to hear rumblings of economic catastrophe, things were a bit vague. Most agreed that something was wrong. Some argued tha...

No Wealth But Life

JEFFERSON COUNTY, KANSAS. William Allen White, the noted editorialist of Emporia, once named our shared home country America’s tenth muse—the muse of prophecy. If Kansas is muse, surely one of her prophets was Sockless Jerry Simpson, the ma...

The Human Meaning of Property

MT. AIRY, PHILADELPHIA. Before I say something rather abstract about concrete things, a few personal words about what (and who) lies behind these thoughts may be in order. The photo above is of the front porch that entered my mind when I wa...

A Note on Immigration

South Bend, IN. Back here, in the city where the St. Joseph River takes her perpetual turn for the worse, my family and I have come to pay our last respects to my wife’s mother, who passed away recently after four years of suffering f...