Civic Engagement and the “Native Country”

alexis_de_tocqueville July 15, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Making American Places: Civic Engagement Rightly Understood,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] The…
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Accreditation to the Rescue (for real?)

blanshard July 14, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. I am a little late to the surge of 1s and 0s in response to Peter Conn’s less than tepid essay about faith and higher education. The gist of his gripe is the well-worn Voltairian notion that faith…
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Architecture and Urbanism: Traditional vs. Modern

urbanism July 10, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Metaphysical Realism, Modernity, and Traditional Cultures of Building,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.]…
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Four Words to Change the World

jack pine tree July 9, 2014
Situate the preference where it is, not where it isn’t.
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An Alternative to Cosmopolitanism

the world July 7, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Making Places: The Cosmopolitan Temptation,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] When people use…
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Who Knew Independence Could Be This Easy?

scottihboy260_tcm4-690612 July 3, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan: While Americans are gearing up for fireworks, automobile sales, and burnt hot dogs, the Scots are debating whether to declare their independence from the United Kingdom.   It took Americans one revolutionary war to gain autonomy from…
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Patriot Games

July 2, 2014
Holland, MI [Note: This is the shirt my son wore to the big screen simulcast on the lawn of the Ford Presidential Museum for the US v Belgium soccer game. He wore it because it's awesome.] As our nation –…
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Walker Percy and the Recovery of Place

percy July 1, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “GPS and the End of the Road,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] In…
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Hang the Nanny-State Meddlers

ball-peen-hammer June 25, 2014
Wearing your seat belt is a sign of good citizenship.
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Fences, Vines, Bees, and Huge Chickens

fence June 22, 2014
Hidden Springs Lane. We’re building fence this summer. I purchased 150 eight foot posts and we’ve been slowly planting them. We’re putting a paddock in the front and a larger one in the back. But before doing that, I put…
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Dispatches from the Barn Jester and Purveyor of Haufenmist

horse-manure-bruce-ritchie June 17, 2014
Be worthy of your place.
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Common Good Politics: A Review of Nader’s Book

nader book June 16, 2014
In his new book, Ralph Nader argues that the Left and the Right should unite against the economic and political establishment in the Center.
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Vulgar Adolescent Bigness Fetishizers

gulliver-morten16 June 12, 2014
I reflected what a Mortification it must prove to me to appear as inconsiderable in this Nation as one single Lilliputian would be among us.” –Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift Boy oh boy, if I had a dollar for every time…
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Too Much Magic, Part Two

Shell-Now-Interested-in-CO2-Driven-Enhanced-Oil-Recovery-440378-2 June 11, 2014
Face the future with hope.
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Love: Needs, Risks, Opportunities

love_park_philadelphia11 June 9, 2014
Love – it draws out the timeworn clichés and greeting card verse in us, yet it is serious and necessary and hard. Without it, there would be no popular culture; without it, there would be no culture at all. Without…
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Roots Along the River

scioto county June 5, 2014
Historically, the locals have called Pompaples, Switzerland the “milieu du monde.” Not to be confused as a claim about its importance as a cultural or political influence, the title refers to the interesting, well notable, phenomenon of the waters of…
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