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Devra Torres

Joined: Feb. 26, 2012

Bio:

Roman Catholic of Jewish background; Master of Philosophy turned homeschooling mother of eight. Freelance ttranslator, editor, writer, and bookseller.  Studied at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and later at the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein. Happily married to Max Torres; happily settled, God willing, in unexotic Ann Arbor, Michigan after stints in Israel, Rome, Liechtenstein, and Barcelona. Ready to emerge from intellectual semi-hibernation with the impending maturity of my littlest boy, who has now attained the ripe old age of five.


Most recent posts by Devra Torres:     (See all of them)


Juan Antonio and the Personalist Manager

Jul. 25 at 9:34pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jul. 27 at 9:13pm

Business management is not my thing. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool liberal arts type who much prefers words to numbers.                           Business lit traffics in words, of course, but it’s so often saturated with the kind of deadly prose you produce when you’re writing for journals that exist to publish articles by people who have to publish there or they won&rsquo...

Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 20 at 3:21pm | Comments: 26 | Most recent comment: Jul. 26 at 9:29am

Katie addressed immigration just the other day, and I wrote about it here last year.  There’s plenty more to say, though.  So much, in fact, that it’s worth mentioning some things I won’t be addressing here: I won’t be proposing an immigration policy. I won’t be evaluating the states of the souls of politicians who vote on immigration policy, parents who send unaccompanied minors across borders, adults who...

Lois Lerner, Archie Bunker, and the Roving Liturgical Critic

Jul. 13 at 9:59pm | Comments: 0

We were out of town this week, so we got to see how the other half lives—that is, people who aren't fortunate enough to belong to our home parish. At first, we enjoyed the variety.  One priest preached about how great it is to be 70, because you can finally say whatever you like: what do you have to lose?  It was a solid homily, even if it did include more about Lois Lerner and the IRS...

Modesty and Other Skirmishes: Reassessing the Battle Lines

Jul. 3 at 11:59pm | Comments: 1 | Most recent comment: Jul. 4 at 9:35am

Last week, we took a look at the modesty wars. We identified a false alternative: either you fall into indifferentism on the subject or you’re obliged to go around trying (vainly and illicitly) to probe the intentions of other people’s hearts. There's got to be a better way. And there is. Katie and others have been urging that we take seriously the harm done by a fixation on externals, a tendency to see a woman as...

A New Wrinkle in the Modesty Debate

Jun. 26 at 1:48am | Comments: 50 | Most recent comment: Jul. 2 at 3:48pm

The modesty wars have been raging so long already that now we’re in the throes of a backlash against a backlash against a backlash (as Simcha Fisher put it the other day). First came a tendency, more Puritan than Catholic, to devise dress codes that micromanaged every centimeter of flesh from collarbone and kneecap, at least. They focused everybody’s attention firmly on the outside of the cup, the whited part of the sepulchre.     ...


Latest comments by Devra Torres:     (See all of them)


Re: Juan Antonio and the Personalist Manager

Jul. 27 at 9:13pm | see this comment in context

I should be done with the editing by the end of August, so I hope it will be out (as an e-book) soon after that.

Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 25 at 2:12pm | see this comment in context

Rhett, I have read the Tolstoy story--it's a good one.  My husband actually used to use it on his business ethics class!  It's about how a good man, given the opportunity to own as much land as he can walk around in a day, finds himself "needing" more and more, and...it doesn't end well.  I urge everyone to read Tolstoy, who of course tells it better.

The government is so unwieldy and corrupt and beholden to special interests that it will never act like Joseph in Egypt, I don't think.  I don't know that it's capable of handling wealth well enough to stockpile for those in need, or for our own future necessities.  When it does help those in need, it does so with fictional money, or money borrowed from our great grandchildren, as far as I understand.

What we as individuals can do is also an important question.  There are two aspects: being detached from what we do have, and realizing that giving to those in need is an obligation, not something beyond the call of duty. Pope Francis has been "convicting" me (as the Protestants say) on these two points lately.

Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 25 at 2:02pm | see this comment in context

I do realize it's not that simple--that there are, for example, predators who are getting themselves appointed guardians of children so that they themselves will be allowed to stay.  But when you see pictures of toddlers sleeping on the floor of detention centers posted by one side and pictures of malicious-looing older teenagers covered in gang tatoos posted by the other, you wonder whether we can't do better than an all-or-nothing approach.

Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 25 at 1:58pm | see this comment in context

On the other hand, I realize I'm arguing agaisnt a straw man here, or at least against people other than the ones in this conversation.  No one here is saying simply "Go back where you came from," nor are any of us implying that there's an absolute shortage of goods and services to go around.  As Katie points out, we still need to address the injustice of law-abiding, taxpaying citizens being accursed of ungenerosity for resisting the burden imposed by those who disregard and break the law.  

Also, of course, the ad-hoc lawlessness of the way this is being addressed can only make our country more like the chaotic and dangerous ones that people are fleeing.  This is a (presumably) unintended consequence of actions taken in the name of compassion, and the last thing the world needs is more well-intended policies which actually make things worse for their intended beneficiaries and everybody else.  

I'm still wondering whether we lack the will or the ability to distinguish between innocent people who would qualify as refugees and people who are obviously gang members or drug dealers or terrorists. 

Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 25 at 1:01pm | see this comment in context

David, that's a fair point, about the distinction between saying "you're not welcome here" and wishing to spread the burden of extra obligations.  That's exactly the kind of distinction, in fact, that could help the conversation be more fruitful.  The impression you usually get is, on one side, people who generously want to allow poor children to share in our educational and medical resources and, on the other, the "go back where you came from" crowd.  The fact that our birth rate in America (and so much of the West) is so unnaturally low makes it especially problematic to talk as if there's just not enough of anything to go around.  Following that assumption to its logical conclusion, we'd end up telling all our own "extra" unborn children "you're not welcome here" and "go back where you came from," too.  And when we consider how wasteful we, at least in America, typically are with the riches we have, the position becomes even more distasteful.  It's said (and it sounds plausible) that the typical American family ends up throwing out 40% of their groceries each week, either because we leave them on the plate or let them go bad.

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