Hillsdale College: Principled Independence since 1844

What was the first American college to prohibit racial discrimination in its charter? What about gender-based discrimination? Many people might guess one of the schools known for a progressive worldview today, such as UC-Berkeley or one of the Ivy Leagues. The first such school, however, was Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan…

Art in a Free Market

In a recent commentary on Michigan Radio, Jack Lessenberry raises some important questions about the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He correctly makes a case for the importance of art to a community, but assumes that because of this importance, art must be publicly funded. Rather than adopting a millage to pay for…

The Not-So-Phantom Menace

I am a sorry excuse for a Star Wars fan. Despite the fact that I have watched the movies, read many of the extended universe novels (which continue from where the last movie left off) and won my fair share of Star Wars edition Trivial Pursuit, many fans turn up their nose when they realize…

Human Dignity in The Lord of the Rings

J. R. R. Tolkien’s great epic, The Lord of the Rings, contains far more than a compelling and inspirational story. A holistic worldview, rooted in a deep understanding of human dignity, pervades the entire world of Middle-Earth. Every defender of liberty and foe of oppression today should take the time to read this book—it powerfully…

Detroit’s Revenue Reality

For decades, Detroit has held a “mythic status” as a lost city. One major aspect of concern is the city’s continuing trek towards financial ruin. Detroit, however, doesn’t have to join the ranks of bankrupt municipalities. Appointing an emergency manager would do much for Detroit’s financial stability – if Detroit were willing to buckle down…

The Right and Duty to Bear Arms

Why should a private citizen own a gun? Proponents of strict gun control laws often raise this question, wondering what legitimate reasons would motivate Americans to buy firearms. Hunting and sport shooting require guns, of course, but only a small percentage of the population engages in these activities. The Founders, however, included the right to…

Rockets’ Red Glare

While you may have missed the Michigan Firework Safety Act passed late last year, you may have noticed more fireworks tents popping up this summer than usual. With the Fourth of July upon us, more and more retailers are taking advantage of Michigan’s new law permitting the sale of previously illegal fireworks. Since Jan. 1,…

Government Overspending: An Economic and Moral Problem

One of my recent projects here at the Mackinac Center involved typing every single line item of the Michigan Budget into a spreadsheet. If anyone remains unconvinced that our government is trying to tackle too much, I challenge them to duplicate this feat. Such an expansive government is not healthy for our state, and we…