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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 writer, editor, and translator.  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. Beginning to emerge from intellectual semi-hibernation with the impending maturity of my littlest boy, who has now attained the ripe old age of six.


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


Becoming Who You Are, Even If You’re Not Sure Who That Is

Aug. 27 at 11:23pm | Comments: 0

                          “Become who you are!” St. John Paul II used to encourage us.  I loved that.  But I ran into a problem: how to figure out what, or who, that was? People have different ideas on how to go about this. One popular approach is to strip away all your roles. Once you’ve shed all that extraneous stuff, you’ll be...

Please Don’t Be a Human Ping Pong Ball!

Aug. 20 at 12:20am | Comments: 0

St. Paul warns the Ephesians against letting themselves be “blown around by every wind of doctrine.” Another danger these days is letting yourself be blown around by every false headline. Or every true headline. It hardly matters. Whether the journalists are lying or not, the game is to get you to imagine yourself an informed consumer of information, a connoisseur, not a human ping pong ball, bounced forever back and forth by the force of your own predictable...

Trayvon Martin and the Children of Iraq (and Syria, and Gaza, and Central America)

Aug. 11 at 2:03pm | Comments: 0

Remember when Trayvon Martin was shot, and President Obama said that if he’d had a son, he’d look like Trayvon?                                 At the time, I confined myself to assessing the President's sincerity, or lack thereof.  I can’t give him, or any politician, the benefit of the doubt.  I can't assume he just happened to be voicing a...

Do Personalism and Business Mix?

Aug. 4 at 10:51pm | Comments: 0

I’m still editing Foundations of Management, that book by Juan Antonio Perez Lopez, my husband’s late mentor. I continue to be happily surprised at how personalist-friendly it is. The book is lengthy and systematic, but this post will be neither: just a little something to whet the appetite. On the Limits of Coercive Power                                           Juan...

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...


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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