Reducing religion & morality to what is “useful”

More from Daniel Schwindt on de Tocqueville, this time about how Americans–because of their rationalism and individualism–tend to see both religion and morality in terms of what is “useful.”  (Again, thanks to Daniel Broaddus.) [Read more...]

American rationalism and individualism

Alexis de Tocqueville, writing in the early days of the republic, was one of the most perceptive and prophetic observers of American culture.  He’s often misinterpreted, though, which Daniel Schwindt tries to address in a fascinating essay about what the French nobleman was really saying about religion in America.  (Thanks to Daniel Broaddus for putting me on to this.)

After the jump, an excerpt about how American’s rationalism leads to an unhealthy individualism and to a distorted version of Christianity.

[Read more...]

Italy’s Fiat will own all of Chrysler

So if you want to buy an American car–out of a sense of economic patriotism, protectionism, or because you were moved by that Chrysler commercial about being “imported from Detroit”–does this mean buying a Chrysler product doesn’t count?  Does “buying American” allow for buying a Chevrolet made in Mexico?  How about a Toyota made in Kentucky?  From CNN:

U.S. automaker Chrysler will become fully owned by Italy’s Fiat under terms of an agreement announced Wednesday that also involves the United Auto Workers union. [Read more...]

American absence

In the course of a discussion of how Vladimir Putin is rebuilding Russia’s Soviet-era spheres of influence, international affairs columnist Jackson Diehl raises yet another example of ineptness in American foreign policy. [Read more...]

The blessings of liberty

We want to do things that we can’t do, for one reason or another, and we complain about every restriction.  And yet, we really do have an incredible measure of liberty in this country.  Let us count some of the ways. . . . [Read more...]

The case of the Harry Potter stamp

The U. S. Postal Service is coming out with a Harry Potter stamp.  Never mind that there is nothing American about Harry Potter.  And never mind that the stamp is just a shot from the movie, with no particular artistic design.  And that the committee whose job it is to recommend subjects for stamps and to approve designs rejected it.

The postmaster wants stamps to be “more commercial” and less grounded in American history, culture, and landscape.  The goal that is to trump everything else is to make money for the deficit-plagued national monopoly.  Here is another idea:  Instead of tinkering with stamps, offer better service!

An account of the controversy, a picture of the stamp, and some additional thoughts after the jump. [Read more...]


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