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Different Vision for Cities Promotes the Common Good

March 18, 2011 Prof. C. W. Westfall Categories: Cities and the Common Good

By Prof. Carroll William Westfall, The Francesco Montana Chair in Architecture

For more than 50 years government policies, architects, and developers have been building and rebuilding cities that serve the private interests of individuals at the expense of the common good sought by many others living in communities. Sprawl, highways, the segregation of uses and of economic classes, and the use of vast tracks of land for single uses wastes resources and isolates individuals from one another and from an active communal life.…

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The Truth about Political Polarization

February 22, 2011 David Campbell Categories: Government and the Common Good

By David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science and
Director, Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy

It has become commonplace, even clichéd, to speak of Americans as politically polarized. But this is not quite right—at least if, by polarized, we mean that Americans are in two warring political camps separated by a gaping ideological chasm. The American public is not polarized; American political leaders are.…

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The New Frontier

February 11, 2011 Sandra M. Gustafson Categories: Government and the Common Good

By Sandra M. Gustafson, associate professor of English in the College of Arts and Letters

The stories we tell matter, and the startling success of True Grit reminds us why. Released on December 22, 2010, the Coen brothers’ remake of the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar clearly touched a national nerve with its stark depiction of the violence that unfolds when a teenage girl teams up with a U.S. Marshall to avenge her father’s murder on the Arkansas frontier. That nerve was then set jangling by the carnage at a shopping center in Tucson in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was badly wounded, along with a number of other victims of a disturbed young man with a gun. In the months before the shooting, Giffords commented on the frontier spirit of her district, which includes Tombstone, site of the storied gunfight at the O.K. corral that took place in 1881, less than a decade after the main events portrayed in Charles Portis’s novel.…

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ND Students’ Perspective on the Forum

February 03, 2011 Mark Stechschulte

As first-year students at the University of Notre Dame, our seminar class expressed the desire to make a difference in our society by expressing our opinions of the Forum and its intentions. When we looked at the Forum website, we saw discussions and essays written by professors, religious figures, ND alumni, and professionals. The only thing we did not see was a contribution by students of the University. We decided that the students’ perspective was vital to the Forum, as we are the immediate audience for the discussions and a mechanism by which the Forum’s message can spread beyond the confines of the campus.…

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Where Do We Go From Here?

February 03, 2011 Robert Schmuhl Categories: Government and the Common Good

By Robert Schmuhl, Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism in the College of Arts and Letters
Adapted from an essay published in the winter 2010-2011 issue of Notre Dame Magazine.

Americans are cranky and in a national funk. Weary of partisan acrimony that keeps sharpening political divisions rather than solving problems, people’s faith in Washington plummets while anger builds. Reeling from Wall Street shell games and ethics-be-damned business practices, confidence in corporations plunges to Depression-Era depths. Once-revered institutions, widely acknowledged for moral guidance and probity, suffer the ignominy of scandal — with public trust tested to unprecedented degrees.…

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