by A. Joseph Lynch and Dr. David Pence
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
CARDINAL MINDSZENTY: He should be remembered for who he was, not as a club to beat the many different men who eventually ended the Cold War. It is a naive and historically false story that only the prophets brought down Communism. All the conservatives were against Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in their detente with Russia and opening to China. Without them, there would have been no Reagan-Gorbachev agreements. Without Ostpolitik (which the author here heavily criticizes) it is not clear if JPII would have ever come out of Poland for the conclave that elected him.
GUAM: 85% Catholic dropping to 50%. The Archdiocese has filed bankruptcy and their high court recently approved homosexual marriage. Guam is an English-speaking, ethnically Asian territory of the US with 160,000 fellow US citizens. Archbishop Apuron is guilty of some unspecified charge after a Vatican tribunal meeting from Oct 2016-Oct 2017 determined he couldn't live on the island anymore or keep his See. No other loss of clerical function or salary was imposed. Cardinal Ray Burke was the presiding judge. Guam is within missile range of tested rockets in North Korea. This could be a great source of international perspective for the whole Church, especially Americans, but Anthony Apuron had other fish to fry. The case against Apuron is very strong and would be invincible if a church official truly investigated instead of waited for witnesses to see "what have you got". Apuron is one of the five bishops that Bishop Accountability believes should be laicized. American conservative bloggers should stop fantasizing about who should be pope and how they would run synods but instead work as journalists on specific American cases and dioceses. The Apuron situation is difficult for them because the dainty fingerprints of Cardinal Burke are all over this crime scene.
CATHOLIC HERALD US EDITION: NCR tells us who they are.
VIRTUAL REALITY CHURCH
Tired of commandments, virtues, liturgical straight jackets-try this.
II. PRESIDENT TRUMP AND AMERICA
SOMEWHERES VS ANYWHERES: "Mr. DeMuth is a distinguished fellow at Hudson Institute. A longer version of this essay, 'Trumpism, Nationalism and Conservatism,' appears in the Winter issue of the Claremont Review of Books."
Trump and the Revolt of the ‘Somewheres’
Trumpism has an essence, and that essence is nationalism. It is bigger than President Trump and certain to outlast his tenure in office.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy began as a furious attack on both the Democratic and Republican political establishments, and a vow to do something neither party had done recently—put “America first.” In both respects, his campaign and presidency have been strikingly similar to the nationalist movements in England and Europe, from Brexit to the euroskeptic governments in Poland, Hungary and Italy, to the neonationalist parties of Germany and France. In each case, the insurgents have claimed that their nation’s political and business leaders are part of an international elite that sacrifices national sovereignty in ways—from free trade and open immigration to murky treaties and remote bureaucracies—that harm many of their countrymen.
The harmed countrymen tend to be less-educated hinterlanders and members of the working class, who find representation in the nationalist movements. The shocked establishments—incumbent politicians, government careerists, media figures, corporate executives and intellectuals—have responded in striking unison. The political arrivistes, they insist, are ill-informed populists, xenophobic if not racist, inflamed by irrational hatred of immigrants, exhibiting authoritarian tendencies. Europe’s leading internationalists, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, have coordinated their actions and policies to keep the nationalist movements at bay. The synchronous counterattacks seem to validate the theory of a global elite.
These developments have scrambled partisan alignments. The new divide is conventionally described in economic or regional terms, but it is best understood as social and cultural. The British political analyst David Goodhart, in his superb book The Road to Somewhere(2017), describes the divide as the “Anywheres” versus the “Somewheres.”
The Anywheres are cosmopolitan, educated, mobile and networked. Their lives center on communities of affinity rather than locality—friends and colleagues who may be anywhere on a given day. Their attachments to place are secondary; they tend to regard national differences as quaint, borders as nuisances, divergent regulations as irrational. Their politics are liberal, whether progressive or classical. The Anywheres are generally wealthier than the Somewheres, but they include many people of moderate income, such as junior employees of government agencies, schools and nonprofits.
The Somewheres are rooted in local communities. Their jobs and weekends, their commitments and friendships and antagonisms, are part and parcel of their families, neighborhoods, clubs and congregations. Many work with their hands and on their feet. Whatever their partisan leanings, they tend to be socially conservative and patriotic and less disposed to vote with their feet.
These differences in circumstance and allegiance have been around for a while—at least since the appearance of commercial jet travel, easy long-distance communications and multinational corporations. The economic divide between those who did and did not graduate from college has been growing for decades. ...FOREIGN COLLUSION AND THE SENATE: UAE and Saudi lobbies work full time to safeguard US help in War against Yemen. Real money to real people in real time. It is not the Russians who influence our foreign policy. It is the Israelis, the Saudis, the UAE, and Great Britiain. This is not a conspiracy. Each of those countries have a foreign policy and a combination of diplomats, intelligence agencies, and cash to further their interests. This is real life and our problem is that our own senators are not aware enough of that a true America first policy would not follow the Saudis and Israelis into war with Iran nor collude with the Brits to keep Russia isolated from the "Atlantic Alliance."
CHICAGO - A LEFTY WIND IN THE CITY WITH BIG SHOULDERS: A good political history as the left takes the mayor's office from the old democratic establishment.
CASTE IN AMERICA: All Indians don't look alike especially when they choose marriage partners.
III. THE NATIONS
PAKISTAN INDIA KASHMIR: They stepped back but here is short historical context of two nuclear powers at the brink with good maps.
EGYPT: A religious portrait of al Sisi of Egypt. We do not agree with conclusions but it is best religious profile we have seen. As Christian nationalists, we do not expect the Islamic nations to adopt Western secular democracy as their model for just government. Every Islamic nationalist is not a Salafist. If there is a brand of Salafism (return to ancestors) that includes national political identities and freedom of worship for non-Muslims, then let us welcome such Salafists. Another profile of al Sisi, the reformer.
THE ANGLOSPHERE: Bigger than we think.
SOUTH CHINA SEA: China's sphere of influence or America's opportunity to organize a SEATO-like NATO?
ISRAEL SPLITS DEMOCRATS - IS IT AN "ANTI-SEMITIC TROPE" TO SAY AIPAC HAS A LOT OF MONEY? Israel is our ally not our State Department. The young female Muslims are bringing a much more honest conversation about foreign policy. We don't agree that Palestine is the major problem but how can we not agree that an honest discussion of America's new alliance with Saudi Arabia and Israel is long overdue. Ilhan Omar has a point.
ETHIOPIA: Africa's largest Christian population has an ethnic hatred problem simmering. This informative article on ethnics has not a word about religion.
FRANCE AND ALGERIA: Very good essay on this crucial relationship.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
OUR CULTURAL REVOLUTION: Rod Dreher excellent preview of his next book.
THE REAL MICHAEL JACKSON: I remember how angry I was when the NFL allowed Michael Jackson to perform at the Super Bowl. The denigration of Christian black culture by commercialization of the criminal continues today. Dennis Green the Minnesota Vikings football coach was very eloquent about this in his day. Will this book put to rest that Jackson is some kind of cultural icon? Commercialize the Criminal and Conceal the Christian - that is Hollywood's portrayal of Black America.
Michael Jackson was a child molester. He did it in the name of love and the descriptions of these men about their "love relationships" with Jackson teach us some of the deep strange truths of this kind of evil. Why did the men tell this now when even as adults they had denied it when Jackson was alive. James Safechuck: "If I had not become a father and had a child of my own, I would probably still be silent. Even now talking, I feel guilt for betraying him. The shadow is still there." Excellent CBS interview by Gayle King with James Safechuck and Wade Robson.
HOW WILLIAM BUCKLEY BETRAYED CONSERVATIVES: An excellent interesting history.
WOOPS! THE MOST INTOLERANT PEOPLE AND AREAS IN AMERICA: Highly educated white liberals.
TRUE DETECTIVE AND NATHAN PHILLIPS: Season Three; a great HBO series. Sign up for 7 day free trial and binge watch 8 episodes. One of the male heroes was a "recon ranger" in Vietnam. He had hippie girls call him "a baby killer" when he got back. If you are wondering who writes storylines for Nathan Phillips, the drum beating praying "elder" who the Covington Catholic males were brutalizing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, this program shows he has good taste in TV.