October 2010

Mediocrity Happens
By Gabriel Martinez on October 04, 2010

Mediocrity happens. At this very moment at an institution of higher education near you, a mildly hung-over student is finishing a mildly plagiarized paper on travel-industry marketing, for which he'll receive a B-plus. Across campus, an assistant professor is drafting a tepid scholarly article that will eventually be read by 43 people and cited by one.


The Echo Chamber Syndrome Disarmed
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 04, 2010

At the most recent meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the Lehrman American Studies Center sponsored two faculty initiatives: a short course and a working group on the topic of statesmanship and democracy.  Both of these efforts are part of a substantive set of initiatives on the part of the Center to reach audiences beyond its traditional constituency.  It is great to report that both efforts were quite successful.


The Higher-Law Function of the Constitution and Its Unintended Consequences
By Anonymous on October 06, 2010

Is the Constitution still “higher law”?  It is because the Court still recognizes the Supremacy Clause and frequently exercises its judicial review power to protect individuals against majoritarian decisions.  Yet, there is a unintended consequence of this higher-law function.


Who Adds the Greatest Value to the Economy?: The Laborer, the CEO, or the Philosopher?
By John von Heyking on October 06, 2010

A common perception in our society has it that people who create wealth directly, such as the businessman or the laborer who works with his hands, produce more wealth than a university professor, who is seen as a parasite on their efforts. The university professor, especially one who teaches humanities and social sciences and thus does not invent some machine that enhances industrial production, produces nothing of value.  It’s even worse if he teaches at a public institution, because then he draws his inflated salary from the backs of those who actually work for a living. A recent encounter of mine challenges this perception in a fundamental way.

Part One of Two


The Lincoln Republican
By David Corbin on October 08, 2010

As the battle lines for the mid-term congressional election are drawn and the 2012 presidential field begins to emerge, there is all the more need to present an alternative to Obamaism that is both consistent with fundamental conservative ideals and able to respond to the growing public discontent with the present administration and congressional leadership.  To do this, Republican leaders and would-be leaders need only recover their political heritage and reclaim the founding principle of the party and the defining ideal of its first president: equal justice for all.

Read the rest of this post.


Putting an End to Recurrent Crises
By Gabriel Martinez on October 08, 2010

Responsibility, temperance, sobriety, and thrift are hard virtues to acquire, which might explain why "recurring" debt crises are common: the same country will hog the headlines decade after decade. 


The Merits of Old School
By Jessica Hooten on October 11, 2010

American education fails to understand or achieve its purpose: to educate. Primarily, universities fail because they cannot define what it means to be educated.


Who Adds the Greatest Value to the Economy?: The Laborer, the CEO, or the Philosopher? Part Two
By John von Heyking on October 13, 2010

Our society tends to regard the university professor of liberal education as parasitic to the wealth creation of the laborer and CEO.  This false view neglects the moral economy in which each of them participates, and to which each adds his own unique value.


Does the Supreme Court Have a Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty?
By Anonymous on October 13, 2010

There may be a fundamental conflict between the moral intuitions that sit behind notions like the rule of law and democracy, such that looking at the Court from a counter-majoritarian point of view, leads us to focus on the wrong set of issues when we try to evaluate its role in American government.


Are Bibliophiles a Dying Breed?
By Anonymous on October 15, 2010

As a result of common pronouncements about the end of books and my own love of the same, I have been thinking about the future of books and libraries.  I offer the following as some optimistic opinions about the future of books, libraries, and bibliophilism.


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