Monthly Archives: September 2015

what happened to leisure time?

(Hyde Park, NY) I am at FDR’s historic home with (as it happens) a bunch of labor organizers and others concerned with work. On a break, we had a chance to visit the house where the New Deal president was … Continue reading

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how a university “covers” the world

(Philadelphia) Here are the baker’s dozen Tufts faculty who are Tisch College Fellows for 2015-16. Their work involves active citizenship as a topic of study, a research method, or a mode of teaching. I work with a group like this … Continue reading

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the Citizens United decision and the inadequate sociology of the US Constitution

It is a myth prevalent among liberals that the Supreme Court defined corporations as persons in Citizens United. Instead, the court observed that corporations are associations, cited previous rulings that associations have freedom of speech and that freedom of speech … Continue reading

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(in St. Paul, Minn.) Why does the owl, her nest turned into flames By an errant fire balloon, shriek as she flees? As the solo goose flaps his steady beat, Sea-bound, whom does he think will hear his honk? An … Continue reading

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PACE Webinar on America’s Civic Renewal Movement

Today, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) hosted a webinar on “America’s Civic Renewal Movement.” I was a speaker along with: Eric Liu, Citizen University Kelly Born, Hewlett Foundation Joan Blades, Living Room Conversations Kristen Cambell, PACE Archives: Video: A recording … Continue reading

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qualms about Effective Altruism

Effective Altruism is a growing movement that will surely make some valuable contributions. But I have my doubts about its main direction. This is a prominent summary from the Effective Altruism website: If you are reading this, you are in … Continue reading

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we are hiring!

Come work on my team. We actually have two new jobs posted, one for a graduate student. Click the links for considerably more information about both. Researcher – The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) … Continue reading

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two degrees of Christopher Marlowe

In The Reckoning (1994), Charles Nicholl carefully investigated the 1593 murder of Christopher Marlowe, arguing that it resulted from a struggle between the rival spy networks of Walter Raleigh and Robert Devereux (the 2nd Earl of Essex). It’s a compelling … Continue reading

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Q&A for Constitution Day

It’s Constitution Day. Thanks to an amendment included at the behest of the late Robert Byrd in 2004, every educational institution that receives federal money–from a kindergarten to a graduate school–must offer programs on this day that concern the Constitution. Eight years ago, I … Continue reading

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missing the civic empowerment messages of a Pope and a President

Michelle Boorstein compares the enthusiastic responses to Pope Francis in 2015 and Barack Obama in 2008 and collects several explanations for both: People have “an undeniable, sweeping affinity, a gut reaction to a new leader to whom we attach huge expectations … Continue reading

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