Antipolitics

David Brooks writes about “antipolitics:” Politics is an activity in which you recognize the simultaneous existence of different groups, interests and opinions. … You follow a set of rules, enshrined in a constitution or in custom, to help you reach these compromises in a way everybody considers legitimate. The downside of politics is that people never…

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Why ‘we are’

Kevin Horne, president of Penn State’s Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) delivered short, beautiful remarks at the Penn State Board of Trustees meeting this past week. I’ve been friends with Kevin for a number of years now. Kevin’s remarks to Penn State’s board of trustees capture a lot of the spirit that animates a vision…

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Closing a chapter

I spent the day in Center City, Philadelphia at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. Today closes a chapter on my relationship with the Archdiocese, specifically my two years on Archbishop Chaput’s 26-member Archdiocesan Pastoral Council advisory body. I haven’t written a great deal about my experiences there, for the very good reason that the conversations are…

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Avoiding hubris

Daniel Larison writes on the “hawkish cult of ‘leadership’”: It is very questionable whether U.S. “leadership” in the abstract is needed in many parts of the world, and it is even more debatable whether it is desirable for us to exercise that “leadership” in certain regions. The U.S. has frittered away trillions of dollars and…

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Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution is in the middle of its construction in Old City, Philadelphia. It replaces the Independence Park Institute, which was a blank, unattractive brick monster. I’m not sorry to see it go. Despite having read about the coming Museum of the American Revolution, I hadn’t originally realized that it was…

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Making University City denser

Nick Bayer, CEO of Saxby’s Coffee, shares his dream of revitalizing Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The growth of University City has traditionally been led by the Penn, joined more recently by Drexel. A true hub is developing to the point where living, working, and recreating in University City without really needing to cross the river into Center…

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Mayfair

I visited Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on the border of Philadelphia on Sunday with family. We were there to select the memorial grave marker for my grandparents, who were both buried there in October. After we were finished with those decisions, we drove the half hour or so across town to the Mayfair Diner in Northeast…

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Evan & Rebecca Pugh

I wrote this Town & Gown contribution on Evan and Rebecca Pugh, marking Penn State’s Founders Day celebration this month. It’s a small tribute to the first couple that created a Pennsylvania institution that will likely last until the Commonwealth comes apart: Evan Pugh was Penn State’s first president. It’s great if you happen to…

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Encryption

The FBI is trying to force Apple to create a weaker version of iOS software for iPhone that would weaken encryption and the device’s fundamental security. Tim Cook has issued this public letter: The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order,…

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Visiting Happy Valley

I’m on the way back to Philadelphia after spending 36 hours in State College for the first time in many months. It’s THON weekend at Penn State, which I visited with a few friends in its early hours. Fantastic energy, and I think one of the best traditions in any college community in the country.…

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