August 2011 Newsletter



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Front Porch Monthly

A Front Porch Republic Newsletter

First Annual FPR Conference

If you haven’t yet registered for our first conference, now is the time.  The theme is “Human Scale and the Human Good: Creating Healthy Communities in a Global Age.”  The conference will be held on September 24 at Mount St. Mary’s Univeristy in Emmitsburg, MD.

We have a great line-up of speakers including Allan Carlson, Bill Kauffman, Rod Dreher, Patrick Deneen, Phillip Bess, Jason Peters, Caleb Stegall, David Cloutier, Christina Rosen, Josh Hochschild, John Schwenkler and Mark Mitchell.

There will be plenty of time for interaction with the speakers as together we discuss ways to strengthen our local communities.  This is a day you won’t want to miss.  Registration is $20 ($15 for students) or $25 at the door.  You can register online here.

See you there!



(First published in Roman Catholic Arts Review)

There’s cookie dough and chocolate mint stored up

Next to the untouched vodka in your freezer;

Dead daffodils whose water grew corrupt

And brown, have been replaced with new stems tweezered

To last in glass, seem angled but not broken.

Your neighbors’ kids are roaring in the yard,

So I have closed the sliding door.  And though, when

You shut your eyes, I shuffle hush-mouthed cards,

This is no vigil or imprisonment.

Though you’re exhausted from all the doctor did

And I play solitaire to pass hours spent

Watching you wake and sleep and wake in bed,

Though I had nothing to do with this, I hurt

You once, and hold you now, to prove I’ve learned.

~James Matthew Wilson

A Joke from the Bar Jester:

Two old guys, Bob and Fred, have a standing tee time on Tuesday and they’re out playing their weekly round of golf.  Bob is lining up his put on the fourth green when a hearse and a long funeral procession appear on the road nearby.  He stops, turns to face the procession, removes his hat, and holds it over his heart.

Once the procession has moved out of sight Fred says, “Wow, Bob.  I didn’t know you had so much respect for the dead.”

And Bob says, “Damn it, Fred.  Give me a little credit, will you?  Next Tuesday we’d have been married fifty years.”

~ Jason Peters


Front Porch Conversations Online

James Matthew Wilson – Marriage Ends in New York, An Ancient Struggle Continues: As my latest pair of essays on FPR scrolled across the screen, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was keeping the family legacy alive of undermining the obligations of public officials, Catholics, and all persons to live, act, or govern in keeping with the natural law.

Jason Peters Jackknife Theology and the Worship of Objects: We will have things. And, moreover, we will worship them.

John Medaille – Will There Be Zombies?: But that is not so with computers, for no matter how many doctorates one holds in computer science, at some point the system disappears into a world of magic.

Walter A McDougall – The Challenge Confronting Conservatives (Pt I): Like the football coach whose pep talks wear thin, a President who turns every cause into a holy one, every enemy into a Hitler, and every conflict into a genocide, may soon find his audience sinking, exhausted and disbelieving, into the very cynicism he hopes to surmount.

–  Sustaining a Republic of Hustlers (Pt II): The speculative greed of the many—the suckers—is what enables the few to pull off their uncreative destruction. But not only the greedy get hurt when one of these bubbles bursts or scams explodes.

Patrick J. Deneen- Community AND Liberty OR Individualism AND Statism: A narrative today dominates our political landscape that poses liberty as defined by classical liberalism against the collectivism of “progressive” liberalism or Statism.

Jason Peters – Fatness Shrugged: There is more work to do. And we could do it.

Front Porch Conversations face-to-face

To connect for face-to-face conversations with readers near you visit our Porches page at the FPR website

If you would like to bring an FPR author to speak at your event, please visit our Speakers’ Guild page at the FPR Website

Our Future and Our Need

Will you invest in our mission by supporting us today? Giving is safe and easy through our website. And it’s entirely tax-deductible: Front Porch Republic, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) educational organization. Your donation will be used immediately to help us improve our site, recruit writers, and compensate (just a little) our hard-working technological and editorial assistants. It will also help us sponsor speakers and conferences across the country. Most importantly, your support of FPR is an investment in our vision: place, limits, liberty.

~ Board of Directors, Front Porch Republic

Questions? Feedback?  Contact Ashley Trim, editor of Front Porch Monthly at