Life in the Kolache Belt: Reflections from the Intersection of Food, Faith, Farming, and Fracking

kolache fest September 23, 2014
In some ways, the little farming community of Hallettsville where I have spent a writing sabbatical still resides in a simpler time. Czechs and Germans came in the 1800s and brought a culture that remains surprisingly stable. My Dworsky forebears,…
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Lanterns on the Levee: A Slender Revaluation

Breslin Tower and Walsh Ellett Hall, University of the South September 17, 2014
... and doing so in syllables of sweetness and light.
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What Would the Father of Nationalism Say About Scottish Independence?

yes-no September 16, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] On Thursday, voters in Scotland will go to the polls and either choose “Yes,” meaning that they want Scotland to become an independent state, or “No,” meaning that they want Scotland to remain in the…
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Please Block the Way: Campaigning Against Courtesy

Japan-quake_1291279g September 7, 2014
Japanese rail commuters ride train station escalators the way you might expect: those who are in no hurry stand to the right, leaving a ‘passing lane’ for those who walk or run up or down the escalator. The East Japan…
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Why I Won’t Participate in the Ice-Bucket Challenge

September 4, 2014
Holland, MI I can’t say I’m overly conversant with the history of charitable giving in America, but I can’t recall something taking off quite like this “ice bucket challenge.” In the unlikely event you haven’t heard of it, it involves,…
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The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America (Front Porch Republic Books)

Print September 3, 2014
Entrance:Virtual America’s Convention Hall                                                     Demise—1) the conveyance of an estate 2) transfer                                              of the sovereignty to a successor 3) a: death b: cessation                                              of existence or activity c: a loss of position or status                         …
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Of Lawyers and Strippers and Deadwood

decaying_wood September 2, 2014
Mostly they promise the truth about a rapture that isn’t in the cards.
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The Limits of the Language of Limits

no-limits August 25, 2014
Holland, MI Over at the Postmodern Conservative, Peter Lawler has been writing quite a bit about Robin Williams, and specifically the movie Dead Poets Society (which, Peter and I agree, isn’t that good a movie). In this context Lawler has turned…
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Are Evangelical Colleges Parochial?

Billy and Ruth at WC August 24, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. Readers may recall the dustup earlier in the summer when Peter Conn prompted pious gasps for suggesting that institutions like Wheaton College (the evangelical one) should not be accredited. His reasoning was based in part on the belief…
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From the Fire back into the Pan

Hillsdale_County_Courthouse August 21, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. Three years ago or so when the missus and I moved to Michigan from Philadelphia, we wondered how we would manage. Not only is the state’s economy at a crawl, but to go from a big east coast…
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The Fence and the Total Ab Workout

article-new-thumbnail-ehow-images-a07-ja-6l-use-fence-tbar-clips-800x800 August 20, 2014
It’s a total ab workout I could hock and get rich off of.
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Libertarianism, Paternalism, and Pot

tobacco August 14, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] From 2003 to 2005, we lived in Craighead County, Arkansas, while I taught at Arkansas State University. Craighead was a dry county, having voted many years ago to prohibit the sale of alcohol in its…
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The Hourglass in the Grass

Hour Glass Wallpapers 1 August 13, 2014
Why try bringing back the hour of splendor in the grass?
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Travel in the Magic City

Lancaster_Gate_tube August 11, 2014
This summer I moved to a new neighborhood that happens to be much nearer the freeway that divides my city. My  house is less than a mile from an on-ramp, though you wouldn’t guess it in this quiet and wooded…
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Riverboat Pilots and Economists

life of the miss August 4, 2014
In “Life on the Mississippi,” Mark Twain recounts his earnest desire to become a Mississippi steamboat pilot, and his struggles to master the pilot’s craft—a craft that demanded technical knowledge of steamboat operation and detailed recall of the constantly changing…
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The Ailing Parson Malthus Project and the “New Sin of Pride”

malthus July 31, 2014
Anyone who’s had the good fortune to spend time reading Christopher Lasch might be able to identify with the specific experience of risable joy I feel when putting myself in his presence.  For me, the joy is found in a…
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