Of Benedict, Free Speech, Immigration and Beer

I have an article posted this morning on the Benedict Option on Catholic World Report, for those inclined to peruse before it is posted on these pages. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

For once, and hopefully more of this in the future, SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States has, by a narrow 5-4 margin, struck down a ridiculous and unjust Californian law that required pregnancy help centres to advertise for abortion, in big block letters, by the way.

The opinion was written by Clarence Thomas, who is usually the silent conservative on the bench, and glad to see his fine mind on display.

Of course, I still think that the Court does far too much legislating, and should be limited to its strictly judicial role. Here, like the early Solomon, they judged wisely.

More financial woes from the Canadian front, as it seems as though once thriving industries, steel, aluminium, automobile manufacturing, will go under, belly up, as my Dad used to say, under President Trump’s threatened tariffs, unless they receive that ubiquitous deus ex machina, ‘government funding’, politely termed subsidies. There is no real issue with temporary and subsidiary help (a whole topic in itself), but the question, of course, is how much can the government fund before the whole thing goes ‘belly up’? Almost by definition, the economy cannot be a closed system, with the government funding everything, and we consumers buying everything from the government. That is a stagnant, economic swamp, and will lead to bankruptcy and misery, as evinced by the Soviet experiment, and, currently, Venezuela. Unless we turn things around, a difficult path to see with almost everyone dependent on the government in some way, we are headed to some similar financial miasma. What we can do is our own small part, to ensure that true wealth is created, and that we ourselves are in some way productive and contributory to the common good.

On that note, the immigration crisis is hitting rather close to home, as Toronto gets swamped with refugees from the United States, fleeing north for various reasons. They are being put up in university residences, but students will need those soon. This is a complex question, but borders are there for a reason, as Germany is now rediscovering, as they set up checkpoints to enter. So much for the rosy-hued 1985 Schengen agreement, which provided easy and free access to any European country, when few had heard much of Islam, at least close to home.

Well, those halcyonic days seem to be coming to a rather brutal end, as ‘papers’ are now again checked, along with bags, identities, purposes, aim of travel and so on. Although we should ponder Pope Francis’ exhortation to generosity, who just met with Emmanuel Macron bringing his own immigration woes in France, one must also balance such charity to the immigrant with the just requirements to one’s own people, the nation’s stability and common good, which often require that difficult decisions be made. Without controlled borders, how else can one maintain anything that one can call a ‘country’? Then again, as we approach its 151st anniversary, it is a very open question how much of a unified nation Canada now is. Our own relatively halcyonic days of 1867, even 1967, give me 1997, seem a long time ago, in more ways than one.

And a final note of hope: Britain has just launched its first Trappist beer. I will more on this in relation to marijuana (really), but, for now, if one is to drink, drink well, and what better way than supporting those who are ora-ing et labor-ing for God, the world, and for you, in return?

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