Monthly Archives: August 2005

pining for the fjords

For the most part, this is supposed to be a professional blog about civic renewal, moral philosophy, and related subjects. However, today I cannot resist recording some of the memories that still fill my mind after two weeks in Scandinavia. … Continue reading

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the press and political power (thoughts on Jay Rosen/Austin Bay)

Recently, Jay Rosen asked Austin Bay (“Weekly Standard writer, NPR commentator, Iraq War vet, Colonel in the Army Reserve, Republican, conservative, blogger with a lit PhD”) to guest-blog about the press, the Bush administration, and the war. Bay’s long post … Continue reading

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autonomous youth culture

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Darragh Johnson has a long article about 14-year-old Calixto Salgado, a devout altar boy, first-generation American of Salvadoran ancestry, nice, soft-spoken guy, and C student. He attends Gaithersburg High School, a large suburban school in a … Continue reading

Posted in academia | Leave a comment

three possible goals for the left

In Norway last week, it occurred to me that the left in modern times has taken three distinct paths, each with a different goal: 1. Reduce alienation. Marx’s essential idea was that people should be able to conceive creative concepts … Continue reading

Posted in populism, revitalizing the left | Leave a comment


We are off to Scandinavia until August 26, and I do not intend to post from there. Meanwhile, I leave you with a kind of “e-book”–about half of my long, narrative, formal poem entitled Entropy, now lightly illustrated and formatted … Continue reading

Posted in verse and worse | Leave a comment

living wages

The other day, I mentioned that Jim Wallis is promoting the “living wage” as major plank in the Democrats’ platform. A living wage law sets a minimum legal salary that’s high enough to allow one full-time wage-earner to support a … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | 2 Comments

the September Project (Year II)

I mentioned the September Project last year. On Sept. 11, 2004, people met in hundreds of libraries to conduct civic events as a positive, democratic response to the attacks of 9/11/01. There were voter registration drives, discussions and citizens’ forums, … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

empathy versus systematic thought

For the second day in a row, here’s a response to an opinion piece in The New York Times. The new article, entitled “The Male Condition,” has two distracting features. First, it takes Larry Summers’ side in the argument about … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 3 Comments

Jim Wallis’ “message”

Since November, many Democrats have asked Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine, to help them develop a moral message–one that might reduce the Republican advantage among religious voters. Wallis says that he has been telling them to change their … Continue reading

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ideology in academia and elsewhere

In September, I am supposed to give a talk that’s essentially about the relationship between academics and other citizens. Based on anecdotal experience, I assumed that professors tended to be secular, internationalist, and skeptical of capitalism, whereas the median American … Continue reading

Posted in academia | 2 Comments