Saturday, November 23, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

by A. Joseph Lynch


The House "investigation" inquiry has reached the end of its testimony with the House now going on Thanksgiving break for the next week. Many agree that the Democrats failed to make their case. Will moderates return home from their swing districts able to risk reelection and vote in favor of impeachment? Most think impeachment will happen by December 20, but we believe much will be decided in the next week while House members hear from their constituents. There will certainly be no bipartisan support for impeachment and virtually no chance of the Senate removing President Trump.

Much focus this week went to the testimony of US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, who said both that there was a quid pro quo and that President Trump told him directly: "I want nothing [from Ukraine]. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell [President] Zelensky to do the right thing." Sondland tried to appease both sides and has found himself alienated.

What has gone relatively unnoticed is the way in which foreign born members of the State Department and US military are imposing their foreign policy demands on the nation. The testimony this week from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill revealed two members of the intelligence-military-foreign affairs bureaucracy angry that their policy positions were not shared by the duly elected President of the United States.

What's more, little mention has been given of Hill's British birth or Vindman's Ukrainian birth.

This week we learned that Hill is a close associate of Christopher Steele, the writer of the debunked, virulently anti-Trump Steele dossier. While conservatives have attacked the dossier's ties to Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and Russia, we have repeatedly noted its connection to Steele himself and British intelligence. After losing her empire, British strategy often seeks to co-opt the "special relationship" between the UK and the US, manipulating the US into acting in accord with British interests. Trump's "America First" policy is diametrically opposed to this strategy, which is why Steele - and now perhaps Hill as well - sought to bring Trump down.

Despite winning a purple heart, we also learned that Lt. Col. Vindman was not above reproach. His demand to be called by his rank revealed the high esteem in which he holds himself and the disregard he has has for elected officials, be they US representatives or presidents. After it was revealed that Vindman was thrice offered the job of Ukrainian defense minster, we are not surprised that Vindman has such an elitist view of himself. We are also not surprised, given his Ukrainian birth, that he holds such anti-Russian foreign policy views. Vindman, however, needs to be reminded that our nation's foreign policy is "America First" not "Ukraine First."

As Pat Buchanan reminds us, when did Ukraine become critical ally of the US? The British and the Ukrainians may have a beef with Russia, but we do not. We must not allow them to interfere with our internal political affairs and threaten a coup against our president so that they can manipulate our government into serving their foreign policy interests. Should impeachment go the Senate, we hope the real foreign interference in our elections is revealed.


POPE FRANCIS IN ASIA: Pope Francis took a four day trip to Asia, where in Thailand he met with the supreme Buddhist patriarch. Despite anger from conservatives that the Pope is treating other religions or religious leaders as equal to Catholicism, we should always cheer when two men of faith speak to each other as brothers rather than as enemies.

A CURVED UNIVERSE: Scientists are 99.8% sure the universe is positively curved, making it more like the shape of an expanding balloon.

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION UP: A recent study on the persecution of Christianity in Europe has revealed “a rise in the number of churches, Christian symbols, and cemeteries across Europe being vandalized, desecrated, and burned, compared to previous years." Read the full report.

DEFENDING A NUN - BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL WOMEN? French officials are defending a nun's right to wear the habit when under French law she is not allowed to wear religious attire in certain public areas - such as her retirement home. Two questions remain: 1) Why is she living in a retirement home rather than a convent? and 2) Why can't French officials defend the right of all women - Muslims included - to wear religious veils in public?


CHICKEN FINGERS: Mayor Pete mistakes a cinnamon roll for chicken wings. See the photo here. Somehow he's leading in Iowa.

EXECUTIVE CANDIDATES: Mayor Bloomberg and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick are now in. With mayor Pete in the lead, it may be becoming an executive race. With two new candidates, it might also be a sign of a weak field. We're not sure the two candidates will help - Deval recently cancelled an event because only two people showed up.

BILL MAHER PULLS BACK: Bill Maher recognizes how polarized our nation is in and fears a creeping civil war. For the good of the country he's announced he's cutting back on his own vicious attacks on the president. Maher should be applauded.

TOO FAR LEFT: Bill Maher is not the only Democrat to see the danger. Even former-President Obama is warning Democrat presidential candidates they are going too far to the Left, saying "We have to be rooted in reality," and that We need not"completely tear down the system and remake it." Sadly the candidates largely rejected his wise words.

WHO CARES?: A recent focus group study of independents revealed that few care about impeachment and would rather our political leaders focus on fixing America's real problems. Another recent pool revealed that independents have swung against impeachment by ten points. Will impeachment be able to get past the House?

PERJURED DIPLOMAT?: Did the ex-ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, commit perjury during her testimony to Congress?


BERLIN WALL - THIRTY YEARS LATER: From our R&G on November 15, 2014Another speech at the Berlin Wall should be listened to as carefully as the JFK and Reagan speeches that helped tear down the wall. Mikhail Gorbachev, on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, warned against a new and dangerous barrier being erected by NATO and the West against Russia. This interview is a good introduction to the thinking which underlies the animus of many prominent US Catholics to Vladimir Putin, Russia and leaders of the Orthodox Church.

NETANYAHU FACING CHARGES: But do the charges add up? Time will tell.

PILLSBURY ON CHINA: Michael Pillsbury is a China hawk and author of The Hundred Year Marathon, in which he argues China has a hundred year plan towards hegemony. Given China's tepid economy and its inching ever nearer to a Hong Kong Tiananmen Square, we at AoA hold a less fearful view of China. Nevertheless it's good to hear both sides on China. Here is a short video interview with Pillsbury and a transcribed interview by Hugh Hewitt.

JAPANESE EMPEROR & SHINTOISM: The new Japanese emperor is maintaining his people's traditional religious rituals as he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne. The throne rituals came to an end with a ritual meal held between the emperor and Japan's sun goddess. Despite the rise of secularism, the nations and civilizations of the world are still fundamentally religious.


SANDMAN VS MEDIA: In another win for the Nick Sandman and the young men of Covington Catholic High School, a judge is allowing discovery to move forward in their suits against NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. We await to hear what will be revealed in discovery.

"ME TOO" ON SURVIVOR: Not long after a contestant was scolded for complaining women in the game show Survivor could collude against the men, two women on the show were caught exaggerating the "inappropriate touching" of a male contestant in order to emotionally manipulate the votes of other contestants and vote him off the island. If Survivor is a kind of microcosm of society, this wasn't the best of moments.

MORMONS AND SCOUTS: A Mormon leader says the Boy Scouts left the Mormons, not vice versa.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: It's happening to Starbucks and movies like Charlie's Angels and Terminator: Dark Fate. The latest Star Wars film - a series now marred by woke feminist politics - is not expected to do well next month. Will the same happen to Chik-fil-a after they bent the knee to the homosexual agenda and cut support to groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and The Salvation Army?

DECRIMINALIZING INCEST? As Ireland considers decriminalizing incest and lowering the age of sexual consent, it's legalization of abortion signaled its rapid downfall into sexual chaos.

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