Links for 10-22-2016

  • David French and his wife Nancy French wrote articles for National Review and The Washington Post, respectively, about their experiences opposing Donald Trump. Nancy French’s article is entitled “What It’s Like to Experience the 2016 Election as Both a Conservative and a Sex Abuse Survivor,” and it ends with this:

    Here’s the truth. The GOP once was alive but is now dead. It confuses me to hear the values preached from the podium but ignored in real life; it feels odd to just repurpose a political party into an extension of the trump Empire without acknowledging the values which had so recently dwelled there.

    My party — which should’ve been a place of a certain set of values — now shelters an abuser. I’m thinking of this when the GOP presses against me and asks me to close my eyes just one more time.

  • Archbishop Charles J. Chaput delivered a remarkable speech to a group of bishops at the University of Notre Dame:

    The 2016 election is one of those rare moments when the repellent nature of both presidential candidates allows the rest of us to see our nation’s pastoral terrain as it really is.  And the view is unpleasant.  America’s cultural and political elites talk a lot about equality, opportunity and justice.  But they behave like a privileged class with an authority based on their connections and skills.  And supported by sympathetic media, they’re remaking the country into something very different from anything most of us remember or the Founders imagined.


    Let me put our situation this way.  The two unavoidable facts of life are mortality and inequality.  We’re going to die.  And — here I’m committing a primal American heresy — we’re not created “equal” in the secular meaning of that word.  We’re obviously not equal in dozens of ways:  health, intellect, athletic ability, opportunity, education, income, social status, economic resources, wisdom, social skills character, holiness, beauty or anything else.  And we never will be.  Wise social policy can ease our material inequalities and improve the lives of the poor.  But as Tocqueville warned, the more we try to enforce a radical, unnatural, egalitarian equality, the more “totalitarian” democracy becomes.

    Later still:

    What Christians mean by “freedom” and “equality” is very different from the secular content of those words.  For the believer, freedom is more than a menu of choices or the absence of oppression.  Christian freedom is the liberty, the knowledge and the character to do what’s morally right.  And the Christian meaning of “equality” is much more robust than the moral equivalent of a math equation.  It involves the kind of love a mother feels for each of her children, which really isn’t equality at all.  A good mother loves her children infinitely and uniquely — not “equally,” because that would be impossible.  Rather, she loves them profoundly in the sense that all of her children are flesh of her flesh, and have a permanent, unlimited claim on her heart.

  • The Department of Justice is refusing to help North Dakota sheriff’s departments and state police address the acts of violence committed by people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protesters are camped out on federal land, are intimidating local residents, are threatening law enforcement officers, and are burning construction equipment.

  • Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen wrote a very good article on Turkey’s wars, most of which target Kurds:

    Turkey adamantly opposes independence for the Kurds, and the U.S. had trouble gaining even reluctant Turkish acceptance of Northern Iraq’s regional autonomy after the 2003 ouster of Saddam from Baghdad. The dissolution of Assad’s control of Northern Syria and the possibility that Iraqi and Syrian Kurds might construct a contiguous Kurdish area appears to pose a greater problem for Turkey than the rise and spread of ISIS. It is against the Syrian Kurds, therefore, not ISIS that Turkey has been operating for months.
    To many in the Middle East, the United States not only appears unreliable, which is bad enough, but seems to have frequently abandoned its friends and allies, which is worse. In the Obama administration, not only the president, but also the vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense bear responsibility for these impressions. While Turkey is, by treaty, an American ally and a NATO member, the U.S. has to either rein in the Turks or face the consequence of a powerful and reckless Turkish government shooting up Turkey and its neighborhood – and our allies.

  • The Iraqi army liberated two Christian villages from ISIS, and security forces in Kirkuk ended the ISIS attack there. The Kirkuk attack was large, involving more than 60 ISIS fighters.

  • An Egyptian court confirmed former president Mohammed Mursi’s 20 year prison sentence.

  • A senior Egyptian military officer who served in the northern Sinai, Brigadier General Adel Rajaaie, was gunned down outside his home near Cairo.

  • The European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli Mars lander shut down its retro rockets too soon, hitting the ground hard and exploding.