wood’s stone city, ethics and consequences, women’s health in north dakota

Stone City, Iowa,1930 by Grant Wood (American, 1891–1942)

Stone City, Iowa,1930 (oil on wood panel) by Grant Wood (American, 1891–1942). Courtesy the Joslyn Museum. This is their write-up on this painting,

Stone City, Iowa was Wood’s first major landscape, painted in the same year as his now famous American Gothic. At the height of his style, Stone City is also the epitome of the dialogue about change that was often threaded through Wood’s traditional subjects. Understood in this tranquil, idealized scene of life in harmony with nature was the knowledge that Stone City itself reflected the transitions brought about in a rural community by industrialization. Located on the Wapsipinicon River twenty-six miles from Cedar Rapids, Stone City was a boomtown gone bust: built on the success of its limestone quarries and laid to rest by the development of Portland cement. The land, Wood seems to suggest, has gone back to a purer purpose of grazing animals and growing crops. Wood’s interest in the village continued, and it became the site of a summer artist’s colony which he ran from 1932 to 1933.

Wood is best known for his 1930 painting American Gothic. Which might be one of the most commercially co-opted paintings in history.

I’m a consequentialist. Many people are and just do not put a label on it. Consequentialism is  – at least the brand worth having – the justified belief that acts have consequences. Not supernatural, weird consequences, but frequently natural consequences. Say you or someone you depend on is injured by someone else. That has economic consequences in addition to the existential and psychological issues. It gets far more complicated than that. Consequentialism ethics has a long history. Like many ethical systems it can have variations that go way off track and adherents that take it to illogical extremes. Social Democracy has a very good Cliff Notes version and economics, Thoughts on a Version of Consequentialist Ethics

But my position is in no sense an endorsement of any natural rights theory of ethics, a theory which, I think, remains nonsense. Rights are not natural; they are ethical constructs, requiring rational justification, and requiring human institutions and human beings to enforce them.

I suppose a serious ethical theory must pass three tests:

(1) it must not commit the “appeal to nature” fallacy;

(2) it must explain how it overcomes or is consistent with G. E. Moore’s “naturalistic fallacy,” and

(3) it must explain how it overcomes or is consistent with Hume’s “is–ought” problem (sometimes called Hume’s Law and Hume’s Guillotine).

A complete answer to the question whether the “good” is really identifiable with natural properties (as naturalism contends), or is an indefinable, non-natural property (as G. E. Moore argued in Principia Ethica) I leave as an open question for further thought, although I do now lean towards the view that the “good” is at least explicable for humans in naturalistic terms.

Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow. Before there was Marilyn Monroe or Jennifer Lawrence, or anyone else that the general public sees as a screen siren, there was Jean Harlow, (born Harlean Harlow Carpenter; March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937). Sexist or not she was the first actress to be called the “blonde Bombshell”. While she suffers in the light of current cultural standards, she was a very independent woman for her time. If not for her mothers’ ill health she might never have pressed herself into trying out as an actress. She rejected one offer some executives at Fox Studios. After a few small roles  Harlow was signed to a five-year, $100 per week contract on October 24, 1929.

This is what freedom smells like, The Republican March In North Dakota To Have Tyrannical Government Control of Women’s Bodies.

On Tuesday afternoon, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) signed into law three different abortion restrictions — HB 1305, HB 1456, and SB 2305 — that women’s health advocates say will effectively ban abortion in the state. The extreme legislation that has received the most media attention is HB 1456, an unconstitutional “fetal heartbeat” ban that would outlaw abortions after just six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even realize they’re pregnant. But when it comes to the new laws’ concrete effect on the lives of women in North Dakota, a lesser-known piece of legislation may actually pose an even bigger threat to reproductive rights.

North Dakota women will feel the immediate impact of SB 2305, which indirectly targets abortion access by over-regulating abortion providers — a popular anti-choice tactic known as the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP. Abortion opponents push TRAP laws with the ultimate goal of forcing abortion clinics to close their doors.

TRAP laws are cleverly framed in terms of ensuring women’s safety, but they’re actually incredibly effective methods of cutting off access to reproductive care at health clinics.

There has been a lot of hard won progress since the 1930s. Though the attitude that some men in an office somewhere know the best possible intimate health decisions for every woman in America, is still with us. These new laws are going to be challenged in court by people who have a better concept of freedom and the Constitution than North Dakota conservatives.