Politics & Power

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…
Read the full article →

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,…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

Trust, Community Ties, and Letting Your Children Play

outside-play July 16, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] The story has exploded all over the internet : Debra Harrell, a Georgia woman, dropped her 9-year-old child off at a park–not an isolated and run-down one, but a park with playgrounds, splash fountains, and…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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 –…
Read the full article →

Hang the Nanny-State Meddlers

ball-peen-hammer June 25, 2014
Wearing your seat belt is a sign of good citizenship.
Read the full article →

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.
Read the full article →

How Marx Explains the Pomo-Con/Front-Porch Divide, In Four Easy Steps

karlmarxlego June 4, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Via Rod Dreher, I see that the occasionally interesting blog Postmodern Conservative has departed its longtime home at the (often, if not always) theoconservative journal First Things and has relocated to the National Review,…
Read the full article →

Too Much Magic: A Half Report

download May 28, 2014
He’s no hack.
Read the full article →

(Civic) Myths over (Religious) Markets: Defending the National Day of Prayer

May 1, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] I don’t often disagree with my old friend Michael Austin, partly because he’s much smarter and much better read than I, and partly because he’s so thoroughly and non-ideologically committed to a moderate, pragmatic liberalism…
Read the full article →

How Equality Makes Us Better (and Stupid)

declaration of independence April 21, 2014
Hidden Springs Lane. The concept of equality lies at the heart of the American system. School children learn by heart (or used to) those memorable lines from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truth self-evident that all men…
Read the full article →

Dollarocracy: Money-Power, Media-Framed Elections and Inequality

dollarocracy April 17, 2014
When searching for semi-precious stones, one must at times loosen jewels from the mineral deposits in which they’re locked.  This consideration applies to books as well as nature’s treasures.  One reads certain political books not necessarily because of agreement with…
Read the full article →