Archimedean Points, Above and Below

Archimedes_lever September 24, 2014
“To the famous Archimedean boast:  ‘Give me whereon to stand and I will move the world.’.  Rabelais answers: ‘I move with my ship; and the waves of the world give way.’”    –John Cowper Powys One could choose a less fruitful…
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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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Pondering St. Francisville, Gilead, and our Stories of Place

st.-francisville-cemetery (2) July 22, 2013
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Jeremy Beer’s recent review of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming leads me to once again reflect upon Rod Dreher’s excellent book (about which I’ve already had a lot to say), in part because it…
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A Sense of Owingness

individual October 28, 2011
Like so many others, I spent too much time hoodwinked by the story of liberation, emancipation, and autonomy. What it meant to be free, I supposed, was to be free from limits and entanglements, duties and responsibilities; freedom was self-sufficiency, and a major goal in life was to maintain and extend the range of sovereignty.
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A City upon a Hill

american exceptionalism March 28, 2011
Conservatives are awfully fond of referring to America as a “city upon a hill;” it would be a wonderful thing if they actually made some attempt to understand what that image is supposed to signify.  When it is used by…
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Are You Free?

dontwalk-hand-400x March 7, 2011
What would Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson say if they were transported to our day?
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Self-Esteem v. Standards

ChildPiano(1) September 20, 2010
The fundamental reason why American children are not educated properly is simply because the American people do not want their children to be educated properly.
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God’s Economy

God's economy March 29, 2010
Bush's strong effort to restore the freedom of the church took the political side of this freedom for the whole meaning of the tradition. At the same time, his supply-side policies benefiting the wealthiest Americans could not have been more antithetical to the social-pluralist vision that inspired his faith-based initiative.
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Constitutional Kookiness

Patriotic star February 22, 2010
For years, two-faced Republican demagogues have served up phony-baloney about how much they love little country churches, Norman Rockwell paintings, and old-fashioned American life, even while they were simultaneously encouraging government-subsidized corporations to steamroll Mom & Pop businesses and turn main streets into chain-store strip-malls.
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Family Matters

July 27, 2009
Kearneysville, WV. The debate, such as it is, between liberals and conservatives frequently centers on issues pertaining to that oldest of institutions, the family.  On the one hand, there are those who insist that the so-called traditional family is merely…
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Beer and Civic Life

March 20, 2009
Claremont, CA. The news is dreadful: According to the Census, since 2006 we have been living in a republic where, for the first time in the history of the republic, Americans drink more bottled water than we drank beer. Why…
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Freedom Among Themselves

March 2, 2009
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. E.D. Kain had a fine quote from Wendell Berry that provides a good definition of community to start any discussion of place and limits: A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared,…
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