Pope Francis, Communion, and Abortion

This is a subject into which I’m going to poke my Protestant nose, which may be a symptom of my own sin of arrogance, but there it is.

Pope Francis insists that communion is a gift to all of us, not a prize for the perfect. He also says,

What must the pastor do? Be a pastor; don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.

He’s right, too, as far as he goes.

He also emphasizes

Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life. This human life must be respected—this principle is so clear.

Big Tech, Big Brother

This time, it’s Tim Cook’s Apple.

In a report released [last] Wednesday, the company argues that allowing users to download apps directly onto their iPhones without having to use Apple’s App Store would harm customers by threatening privacy protections, complicating parental controls and potentially exposing users’ data to ransomware attacks.

Say that’s true. It remains the user’s personal choice to run that risk. It remains the user’s personal responsibility to deal with that risk.

Is Cook denying the personal agency average Americans have in their decisions and in their property?

Privacy—and Trust

Parents of children in the People’s Republic of China have a new “aid.”

ByteDance is peddling a “study lamp” that lets teachers and parents constantly monitor children, ostensibly while the children are doing their schoolwork.

The lamps come equipped with two built-in cameras—one facing the child and another offering a bird’s-eye view from above—letting parents remotely monitor their children when they study. There is a smartphone-sized screen attached to each lamp, which applies artificial intelligence to offer guidance on math problems and difficult words. And parents can hire a human proctor to digitally monitor their children as they study.

Patient Privacy

The Wall Street Journal article headline says it all.

Google Strikes Deal With Hospital Chain to Develop Healthcare Algorithms

Alphabet, through its Google subsidiary, is going to be given access to patient records—patient identification, medical history, drug prescription and use, Internet-connected medical device use and medical device-originated reporting—by a major healthcare provision chain, HCA Healthcare Inc.

Dr Jonathan Perlin, President of HCA’s Clinical Services Group and Chief Medical Officer assures us:

Data are spun off of every patient in real time[.]

In real time. As the patient is hooked into the Internet via an ostensibly privacy-protecting connection.


The Supreme Court has agreed to take up Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is about a Mississippi law that substantially bars abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Court’s ruling, whatever they decide, however united or split they decide to be, will substantially impact their 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey ruling that created a bar against “substantial burdens” on a putative right to abortion and their Roe v Wade ruling of 20 years earlier that manufactured out of the umbras a “right” to abortion.


Governments at the State level (look for this to become nationalized under the Biden administration) are trying to force high school students and their families to give up to those State governments (and potentially to the Federal government) their families’ financial condition as a condition of graduating from high school.

Notice that. Petty academic considerations no longer would be sufficient criteria for graduating from a supposedly academic facility. Letting Government peer into private wallets and purses are about to become a primary criterion for fitness to graduate.


Alphabet strikes again.

Google informs children when their parents are monitoring their account activity, the tech giant confirmed this month, with the company claiming that doing so is a way of balancing the interests of both parents and children.

Such “balancing” is not Google’s call. It’s not the decision anyone or any enterprise can make in place of the parents, with the narrowly bounded exception of a child’s endangerment—which in the present context is what parental monitoring is for. More broadly, the degree of privacy a child has—is accorded—while growing up is a parental decision and no one or no thing else’s. Full stop.

Turning Children into Snitches

This time, it’s Vermont’s Republican governor.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott said during a press conference on Tuesday that schools in the state will include new questions during daily health checks about whether students and their parents attended gatherings outside of their households following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Never mind the carefully high-minded claimed motives for this—it’s trying to get children to denounce their parents to authorities.

This using the Wuhan Virus situation as an excuse to drastically increase government power has gotten ‘way out of hand.


Recall that Oracle and ByteDance have a proposal on the table for Oracle to take a minority partnership position in ByteDance’s TikTok.  In response to objections to that, some

Trump administration officials are looking to give American investors a majority share of the company that will take over the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok[.]

Senators Marco Rubio (R, FL), Rick Scott (R, FL), Thom Tillis (R, NC), Roger Wicker (R, MI), Dan Sullivan (R, AK), and John Cornyn (R, TX), object to that, too.

Internet Security

There is a move afoot—and it’s making significant progress—to develop and deploy a quantum computing Internet.

A group led by the US Department of Energy and the University of Chicago plans to develop a nationwide quantum internet that could be functional in about a decade and with the potential to securely transmit sensitive information related to national security and financial services.
“What we’re moving forward on is building out quantum networks [to] someday…turn into a full second internet, a parallel internet to the digital internet,” said Paul Dabbar, the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science.