by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND CHRISTIAN CULTURE
THE RESURRECTION DIFFERENCE: A brilliant depiction of pagan, Christian, and post-Christian cultures by Father George Rutler. The distinctions he draws are bracing lessons for us all, with the exception of his cheap shot at the Pope. There are many things we can learn from Fr. Rutler; however, courage in standing up to proclaim uncomfortable truths is not one of them. In the safe networked world of magazines and blogs "conservative" or "orthodox" Catholics can shoot slings and arrows at paragraphs and sentences of the Holy Father. The man from the south speaks in such a different cadence than them. What our heroic prophets never do is take on the cesspool of perversion and deception in their own local New York presbytery. That’s too close to home, too demonic, and too dangerous. Easier to shoot at the Pope.
LAMENT OF GODLESS WEST: Pat Buchanan understands that without religion there is no "West." Our argument at AOA has been that the WEST is an amorphous term which externally was given us by the east, and internally has been an attempt by intellectuals to construct a culture with Christianity treated as an important ingredient that no longer compels. In fact, we have often criticized Mr. Buchanan for advocating a strange loyalty and concern for the West more as an ethnic formulation than a particular regional fruit of Christendom. The universal culture which has shaped us is Christianity. The political forms which have emerged from Christianity are the nations. Thinking in these categories leads us to see that the Mexican nation more than the European Union is our more obvious ally in the decades to come. The West not only has no God, but the West is itself an intellectual attempt to construct a past and heritage which denies the living God who drives history, the mystery of the Incarnate God who entered history and the Body of Christ, and fraternity of nations which is meant to be the "End of History."
FAMILY, CIVILIZATION, GOD - BREAKING THE LOYALTIES: Rod Dreher of American Conservative is a perpetual source of interesting articles about the basics. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Camille Paglia about sexual confusion, decadence and the decay of civilizations. After that, a very good short review of the Nordic Way - Scandanavian strategies of creating large states to maximize individual autonomy from dependency on family and marriage. The theory is that individuals are free to love only when there are no dependencies involved in the autonomous atoms intermingling. This is countered by Carle Zimmerman’s book on Family and Civilization contrasting tribal kinships, domestic nuclear bonds, and the atomistic individualized forms.
II. R&G ROUND UP
HINDUISM AND INDIA - HOW TO TEACH IN AMERICA: Lots of competing narratives in deciding California textbooks. Understanding the relationship of Hinduism to India as a nation is tough enough. It becomes impossible when we add all our own PC obstacles.
CHINA AND ITS DREAM - CAN THE US LIVE IN A MULTIPOLAR WORLD? What China will fight for.
SAUDIS KEEP U.N. AT BAY OVER THEIR YEMEN BOMBING: Saudis, Yemen, and the UN.
III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA: In California, Trump rallies, professors who think there are only two sexes, and the mayor of Jerusalem are all denied freedom of speech.
TED AND CARLY - WASHINGTON CONSERVATIVES IN SAUL’S ARMOR: Why the stuttering males of the Republican establishment lost the culture war to the feminists. Why Christians(especially in the Mideast) may have a more effective defender with Mr Cruz out of the race. From the website Maccabee Society is a very insightful argument “from a patriarchal perspective” why Mr. Cruz lost. The violin man at that site truly writes like man who understands fraternity, patriarchy and Christianity.
TRUMP ON FOREIGN POLICY: Transcript of his speech with a few important themes and selections. A speech declaring a return to the National Interest by Pat Buchanan. Mr Trump is advocating a very different foreign policy than offered by the Republican neoconservatives or the liberal interventionism of Mrs. Clinton. CNN especially was apoplectic in criticizing the "contradictions" in the speech. Here is one such “contradiction.": "Mr Trump said our allies should trust us, but we should be unpredictable.” What is true in war is true in love as well. Your wife should totally trust you, but it helps if you come up with a real surprise now and then.
Some thematic excerpts from Trump's speech:
End of speech: I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.
Heart of the speech: No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: NO STRATEGIC VISION SINCE END OF COLD WAR
Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.
It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.
Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy.
MILITARIZATION OF FOREIGN POLICY TO BE REPLACED WITH DIPLOMACY
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted.
However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength.
ECONOMIC NATIONALISM - RESTORE MANUFACTURING BASE
We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own. Ending the theft of American jobs will give us resources we need to rebuild our military, which has to happen and regain our financial independence and strength. I am the only person running for the presidency who understands this and this is a serious problem.
NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs.
ALLIES WHO PAY THEIR SHARE
The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.
TREAT FRIENDS AS FRIENDS
President Obama has not been a friend to Israel. He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power. Iran has, indeed, become a great, great power in just a very short period of time, because of what we’ve done.
DEFEND CHRISTIANS AS A MATTER OF HONOR. A BRAND OF ISLAM IS THE ENEMY
We have done nothing to help the Christians, nothing, and we should always be ashamed for that, for that lack of action. Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS, and we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy, and unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem.
HILLARY - NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME
After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep. Incredible.
Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was a total lie, proven to be absolutely a total lie. Our ambassador was murdered and our secretary of state misled the nation. And, by the way, she was not awake to take that call at 3 o’clock in the morning.
A NEW BIPARTISAN NATIONAL STRATEGY. REPLACING THE PRESENT THINK TANKS AND EXPERTS
Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water’s edge. We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties — Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.
This is how we won the Cold War and it’s how we will win our new future struggles.
My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. We have to look to new people.
We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in the New York Times or being watched on television.
ISIS A PHILOSOPHICAL BATTLE TO BE ENGAGED. MILITARY PLAN MUST BE UNPREDICTABLE
Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.
And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must…
… we must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable.
STABILITY AND ORDER THROUGH FRIENDSHIP WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA: INSTEAD OF ORGANIZING COALITIONS OF THE LITTLE GUYS, LET’S RELATE TO THE BIG GUYS
We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.
Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.