Cardinal McElroy has responded to his critics and, inadvertently, proved not only that their criticisms are valid, but much more besides. It isn't that his argument does too little, it's that it does too much - far, far too much....
The Inequality of the Sexes
I heard a guy on a radio call-in show pose this question:
"Now that we are allowing the government to control people's bodies" (stick a pin here, I'll come back to it) "will we now allow the government to force males to undergo vasectomy, which is reversible, until they commit to a woman and agree to have children with her?"
Now, I'll get to the question in a moment, but let's quickly take a closer look at that premise.
Scrolling thru Twitter, I came across the following exchange between a woman who had had an abortion after rape, and another who was conceived in rape...
This is not wisdom or compassion, but a dark and sad nihilism born out of injury.
My heart aches for both these individuals. But they both reminds us that abortion culture doesn't help women who are victims, it goes on and victimizes them more.
The Greatest and Yet Least
Today (by the Roman Martyrology)* is the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
It has also been named as another opinions release day by the Supreme Court this week.
I see a lot of people who seem convinced that today is the day we'll see Dobbs handed down. The question is whence these speculations arise? On the one hand, it could simply be guessing, in which case the person is, after all, playing fairly decent odds. For each opinion day that arrives with Dobbs not having been released, the odds of its release upon that day become statistically more likely. Poor at math as am I, yet even I can figure those numbers. On the other hand, some of the folks I see speculating might have even better reasons, because they are, some of them, a certain sort of people. That is, people who might know someone who knows someone who knows a clerk with whom yet another someone dined last night, and who at one point in the meal looked up over his glass of wine, raised his eyebrows, and heavily cleared his throat and either said no more or, more riskily, mentioned something vague about parking on the Hill. I mean, that sort of thing and this sort of person each have their precedents.
Then again, just because no release days have yet been scheduled for next week doesn't mean they can't be added ad hoc. That, too, has precedent. So all we can really do is wait and watch and see what we will see.
But I had mentioned Saint John the Baptist...
I was tagged in a post on Facebook to which I've decided to respond, though in my own way and place. I don't really feel like subjecting myself to the name-calling and verbal abuse the original poster and his or her fans are known for. So instead I will share here the original post, the comment in which I was tagged, and my response.
First of all, here is the original claim:
10-20% of pregnancies spontaneously miscarry. Every single woman who suffers that will be liable for a possible charge of 'negligent homicide' and have to prove her innocence if the MAGA nuts get their way. This is what happens when you have one monomaniac goal and absolutely no plan for what happens after that.
Under this, I was tagged, with the simple statment,
Joe Grabowski, this sort of thing is happening.
So, let's take a closer look, shall we?
I recently remarked on how people are talking about the other privacy rights that seem to depend upon Roe being at stake in this debate, but how they don't seem to be doing anything about them that would be pragmatic if this really were their concern. In short, I said that these concerns, when posed in conversations about Roe, seem to me to be a red herring. Well, I have a similar observation to make about another line of argumentation that is maybe less a red herring than a straw man, but is in any case another distraction from the real issue.
Pro-Life, or Just "Pro-Birth"?
I saw this rather tiresome meme quoting Sister Joan Chittister. The quotation reads, "I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth."
Now, I have just about had it with this very common and very fallacious argument, and so I'm going to respond at length, and hopefully show why it is not only a tedious distraction, but also employs question-begging logic with regard to what "birth" means (or doesn't mean) in this whole discussion...
Throwing Back a Red Herring
In the wake of the leak of a draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito which reveals that the Court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, various authors and pundits and politicians and public thinkers have begun warning of the dire cascade effects that will fall out from this. Roe, which has been called a "super precedent," has been seen as foundational in grounding all manner of privacy rights in other subsequent Court rulings and in legistlation. One particular author described a coming "privacy nightmare" if Roe really were overturned. And from all this, it would seem that the issue is really about more than abortion.
Continued from Question 1 and Question 2.
I have read that Distributism is anti-mass production. Is this true? If so, what model does Distributism put forward for developing complex machines, medicines, and other products reliably and affordably?
This, too, like the former, is a very good question, precisely because it seems simple but belies a great deal of complexity.
Once again, some Distributists, encountering this question, might simply point out that there are models of mass production organized along Distributist principles, perhaps most notably such as the Mondragon Cooperative in the Basque Region of Spain.
But once again, I tend to feel that such an answer is too facile: at least in my mind, lingering implications of the question remain even after pointing out that Distributism can work with large-scale production.
I think there are philosophical correlations here to what I wrote about in the previous answer. Just as wasteful obsolescence has real-world consequences that market mechanisms alone don't seem fully to account for, so too most markets involving mass production have what are called "externalized costs" that seem bound up with ethical/socio-political questions, and can't be resolved simply by economic analysis.
Continued from Question 1.
Distributism believes businesses and individuals will flourish if the means of production is well spread; therefore, it believes that control of assets by the few is to be avoided. Socialism professes the opposite, believing there should be no private property, while Capitalism can lead to Oligarchy or Corporatism if left unchecked. On the other hand, Capitalism, when at its best, promotes people to innovate and out compete others either by making a new or better product or making a product better. How does Distributism promote innovation and prevent Oligarchy? At what point does a business become to big? Am I correct in guessing that American anti-trust laws are a form of Distributism?
I addressed some of this in the preceding, but this is a good question in its particulars.
To answer the ultimate question, I'd say that, yes, anti-trust laws and regulations preventing effective monopolies certainly are implicitly in line with Distributism.
On the topic of innovation and competition, though...
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