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McCullen v. Coakley and Unpopular Speech

At first glance, the Supreme Court’s recent, unanimous ruling in McCullen v. Coakley invalidating the Massachusetts Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act of 2007 seems to strike a decisive blow in favor of free speech. Allegedly passed to protect the safety of women entering an abortion clinic, the act prohibited anyone from “knowingly stand[ing] on a…

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The Adventure of the Temperate Life

It constantly struck me in my own freshman year that this was the fitting time for feats of raucousness, that drunkenness and intemperate passion were habits proper to youth or at least could be winked at on account of immaturity. As a young man they were almost not faults so much as nature itself, and…

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Jeff Bell’s Message Beginning to Ring Clear Throughout New Jersey

On March 29, 2014, Princeton College Republicans hosted the annual convention for the New Jersey College Republican Federation, an organization of about a dozen CR chapters in universities across the state. Numerous elected officials arrived at Princeton’s campus for the occasion, including Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Congressman Leonard Lance, and Assemblywoman Donna Simon. In addition,…

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President Eisgruber: A Year in Review

At the February meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community, President Eisgruber outlined the challenges facing Princeton in the next decade and how he plans to address them. The “significant trends” he believes to be influential in the arena of higher education, and to which he feels Princeton must respond, include “growing inequality…

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Local Politics: Read All about It!

If he finds “anyone in Princeton…who is Republican,” Dudley Sipprelle, Chairman of the Princeton Republican Committee, will be all ears. It was not that long ago that Princeton was a conservative-minded town. But now when Sipprelle encounters a Princetonian who shares his beliefs, he experiences a moment of astonishment. In 2005, when Sipprelle and his…

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Distributism: An Evaluation

While most mainstream discussion of economic systems focuses on Capitalism and Socialism, and the ways they inevitably combine in the modern mixed economy, some advocate a radical alternative to either of them: Distributism. Distributism’s proponents, many of whom are devout Catholics who see the system as most compatible with and, in fact, formed by the…

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You Say Yes, I Say No: The Place of Absolutism in Public Life

You don’t have to be a politics junkie to know that gridlock and discord dominate Washington, D.C. today. It’s easy to criticize this gridlock, because we’ve elected our representatives to keep our government stable and functional, and instead they seem to prefer egoistic grandstanding. Wouldn’t things be better if the political party that you disagree…

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Why You Are Not a Heterosexual

You are not a heterosexual. In fact, you cannot be a heterosexual. The identity is incoherent. It’s like claiming to have squared the circle; despite what you say, I know you haven’t. Now I don’t mean that if you’re male it’s impossible to be sexually attracted to a woman and vice versa. That’s clearly wrong.…

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Is Meritocracy Just?

In 1958, English sociologist Michael Young published a clever little book called The Rise of the Meritocracy: 1870-2033, in which he imagined the long-term effect on society of according social goods on the basis of the principle of equality of opportunity as it was then understood. Young coined the term “meritocracy” to describe the system:…

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Precepts: A Diagnosis and Prescription

The precept system, much like the Honor Code, has a fairly impressive pedigree at Princeton, hearkening back to Woodrow Wilson’s tenure as President of the College in the late 19th century. Like the Honor Code, however, the precept system has acquired its share of detractors and skeptics. Everyone knows “that guy in precept” who speaks…

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Pope Francis and the Future of Faith

In December 2013, Time magazine named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, more commonly known today as Pope Francis, their “Person of the Year.” While it might seem fairly obvious that the selection of a new leader of one of the world’s largest faiths would be a major highlight of whichever year it occurred, only three other religious…