Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Democracy advocates raise alarm after Supreme Court takes election case by Colby Itkowitz and  Isaac Stanley-Becker: “Voting rights advocates expressed alarm Friday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it will consider a conservative legal theory giving state legislatures virtually unchecked power over federal elections, warning that it could erode basic tenets of American democracy. The idea, known as the “independent legislature theory,” represents to some theorists a literal reading of the Constitution. But in its most far-reaching interpretation, it could cut governors and state courts out of the decision-making process on election laws while giving state lawmakers free rein to change rules to favor their own party. The impact could extend to presidential elections in 2024 and beyond, experts say, making it easier for a legislature to disregard the will of its state’s citizens.”

This July Fourth, let’s celebrate our dependence on one another by MSW: “One of the most perceptive of de Tocqueville’s insights was that individualism is linked to materialism, which is why he thought the religiosity of Americans was such a balancing force in society. In our day, it is the nones who are increasing and the pews that are emptying. Social capital has been declining for decades and no one seems capable of finding ways to reverse that trend. We endured a pandemic and, still, the nation found itself divided even over that common and thoroughly nonideological, nonpartisan threat. This July Fourth, perhaps we should mourn the increasing loss of dependence, instead of celebrating our independence.”

Human dignity and holes in the seamless garment by Mike Lewis: “I’m saddened that there seem to be fewer people than I thought who really do embrace the seamless garment in its entirety. Pope Francis does, and for that I’m grateful.”

‘Born a Democrat, Baptized a Catholic’ by John Carr: “Mark Shields, a PBS commentator, Washington columnist, and Catholic layman, died on June 18, 2022, at the age of eighty-five. Mark offered a positive vision of politics, an example of faith in action, and a sense of humor and humility that we will greatly miss. His combination of Catholic values and civic virtues offered a way out of the angry polarization and failing leadership that often demoralize Washington and undermine both public and religious life.”

What Makes a Fetus a Person? by Erika Bachiochi: “Without robust societal support of pregnant women and child-rearing families, too many women will be left to regard their unborn children as trespassers on their already taxed lives rather than unbidden gifts that open new horizons to them. These women need society’s utmost assistance — not abortion, or scorn.”

How America Sold Out Little League Baseball by John W. Miller: “The privatization of American youth sports over the past 40 years is one of those revolutions of late-stage capitalism that should shock us more than it does. We have commodified the play of millions of children into a $19.2 billion business, weakening volunteer-based programs that promise affordable sports for all children. It is a trend mirrored by our schools, hospitals and military. Once-proud public institutions are being privatized, with many unintended consequences.”

Catholics should care about restricting cigarettes by Stephen McNulty: “A society that properly values all human life in turn ought to respect our collective commitment to protecting and preserving life. How can we claim to have a culture of life when entire industries make billions of dollars through a business model that depends on getting people addicted to a deadly carcinogen?”

The Rotten Core of Our Political System by George Packer: “Step back from the page-by-page account of congressional Republicans’ desperate grasping for Donald Trump’s favor or the Biden administration’s struggle to pass its legislative agenda: You’re confronted with a world of almost unrelieved cowardice, cynicism, myopia, narcissism, and ineptitude, where the overriding motive is the pursuit of power for its own sake. It’s rare that a politician thinks about any cause higher than self-interest.”

Democrats must return to being the party of the factory floor, not the faculty lounge by Daniel Lipinski: “Paul Begala, best known for being an adviser to Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, recently made some waves when he told late-night show host Bill Maher, “The Democrats have gone from being the party of the factory floor to being the party of the faculty lounge.” He joked that Democrats have two secret labs, “One in Berkeley and one in Brooklyn, where we come up with ideas to completely piss off the working class.” He added, “It’s working wonderfully.” Sadly, I agree.