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The City of Bell and the Problem of Local Control

“It enabled us to create our own vision for the future. That was the way I look at it then and now.” I guess part of that “vision” was Tammany Hall.

The “New Normal:” A Communitarian Moment?

It’s been almost exactly a year since the “Miracle at Polihale” occurred, and the answer to the “aloha question” is now clear: we are entering a “new normal.”

God’s Economy

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.

America’s Potemkin Village

It takes a village - to keep the Feds at bay.

Tocqueville on the Shores of Titicaca

Amid Alexis de Tocqueville’s writings on revolution in France, there is a passage that rings true for those of us who have spent time...

When Lawyers Catch the French Disease

 Devon, PA. No observer of American culture grasped its implicit contents better than did Alexis de Tocqueville, and no one since has better grasped...

Southern Adulteration

Devon, PA.  I have had only a few hours to appreciate the spectacle of talking-heads devouring the carrion of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's...

The Emperor’s Old Clothes

I wonder whether anyone else finds it, if not quite ominous, at least suggestive, that the National Constitution Center is now hosting a traveling...

The Places of Teen Pop Culture

It's not only that the richest people are getting richer; it's the richest places, too. And even within regions -- southern California, say -- rich suburbs have become wealthier and other suburbs' fortunes have declined. "Just as the gap between rich and poor widened at the individual level," Dreier and company note, "it widened tremendously between suburban places." You can see this trend reflected, among other places, in that great bellwether of American life: teen cinema.

Tocqueville’s Diagnosis

RINGOES, NJ As brilliant minds, armed with apparently endless supplies of money, thrash about Washington desperately attempting to fix what they have broken, it...