Daily Archives: March 4, 2017

Excellent reaction by Trump, who knows the gloves are off . . .

. . . in the war on his presidency by Democrats.

Before heading off to his so-called “winter White House” in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, President Donald Trump summoned some of his senior staff to the Oval Office and went “ballistic,” senior White House sources told ABC News.

The president erupted with anger over the latest slew of news reports connecting Russia with the new administration — specifically the abrupt decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Sources said the president felt Sessions’ recusal was unnecessary and only served to embolden Trump’s political opponents. The attorney general made his announcement Thursday just as Trump returned to Washington from a trip to the U.S.S. Gerald Ford in Virginia for a speech about his agenda as president.

Not your usual Republican timidity.


What I discovered about Wyndham Lewis, George Schuyler, and Roy Campbell

1. Wyndham Lewis: overlooked scourge of mediocrity | Books | The Guardian

According to Lewis, the “era of puff and blurb in place of criticism” started with Arnold Bennett, when he “turned reviewer/star salesman for the publishers”. Lewis portrays Bennett in The Roaring Queen as representative of the commercialisation of literature – the transformation of book-publishing into big business – a business in which Lewis wasn’t about to participate. Hostility to puffery, a proclivity for argument, and brilliant literary insight all boil up in Lewis to explain why he went out of his way to criticise the establishment.

2. A most modern misanthrope: Wyndham Lewis and the pursuit of anti-pathos | Books | The Guardian

From an early age, Lewis cultivated what could be termed anti-pathos: a strategic, rather than merely tactical or opportunist, avoidance of sentiment. This strategy was to manifest itself in his art as a preference for the abstract, in his writing as a preference for satire and invective, and in his politics as a tough-mindedness shading almost imperceptibly into advocacy of tough action.

3. The University Bookman: From Marxist to Black Conservative

Schuyler’s rhetorical extravagances become more understandable when one discovers that he was a mentee of the famed polemicist and cultural critic H. L. Mencken. While there is definitely space for polemicists in cultural criticism, it is important to recall that polemicists have the tendency to sacrifice dialectical argumentation for the attention that comes from exaggerated, performative disagreement. They garner attention but can cheapen important points that are more suited to sober analysis. Polemicists, then, can only be serious thinkers to the extent that they are willing to prioritize serious thought above attention-garnering antics.

4. The University Bookman: Roy Campbell: A Poet for Our Time?

The real reason [Campbell] has been exiled from the discussion for so long and for so thoroughly go back to his time in Britain in the 1920s. He and his wife Mary became involved in the Bloomsbury Group, and Vita Sackville-West seduced her. Campbell and his family moved to the south of France and he proceeded to attack the decadence and dissolution of the Bloomsbury Group in a long satire, The Georgiad (1931), modeled on Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad.

As Roger Scruton wrote in 2009, the Bloomsbury Group’s ideals “amounted, for Campbell, to a refusal to grow up. The new elite, in Campbell’s opinion, lived as bloodless parasites on their social inferiors and moral betters; they jettisoned real responsibilities in favor of utopian fantasies and flattered themselves that their precious sensibilities were signs of moral refinement, rather than the marks of a fastidious narcissism.”

In other words, they were the original fragile snowflakes.


What I learned about Pelagianism, the go-it-alone heresy

1. Pope: Ancient heresy plagues modern Church

Pelagius . . .  believed that “man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God’s grace, lead a morally good life” . . . . Indeed, Pelagius believed that several Old Testament figures, without the help of grace, led sinless lives.

Pelagius held that although Adam offered a bad example, his sin altered only his own relationship with God, and that consequently there is no original sin from which Adam’s descendants need to be redeemed. Pelagius’ followers thus denied that baptism cleanses the soul from original sin and also denied that the sacrament elevates the baptized into a state of supernatural friendship with God. Pelagius did believe that God wished to make it easier for human beings to lead sinless lives, and so God instructed people through the law of Moses and by Christ’s teaching and good example. [period]

Pelagius held, however, that human beings do not need the interior assistance of God’s grace to avoid sin and lead holy lives; instead, he believed that holiness is attained through one’s unaided free will.

2. Pelagianism – Wikipedia

Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special divine aid. This theological theory is named after the British monk Pelagius (354–420 or 440), although he denied, at least at some point in his life, many of the doctrines associated with his name. Pelagius was identified as an Irishman by Saint Jerome.[1] Pelagius taught that the human will, as created with its abilities by God, was sufficient to live a sinless life, although he believed that God’s grace assisted every good work. Pelagianism has come to be identified with the view (whether taught by Pelagius or not) that human beings can earn salvation by their own efforts.

3. The False Teachers: Pelagius – Tim Challies [a Protestant view]

Pelagius believed that man had not been entirely corrupted by Adam’s fall and that he could, by his own free will, do works that pleased God, and thus be saved. This led Pelagius to deny the doctrines of original sin and predestination, and to deny the need for special grace to be saved. Essentially, he believed that man is basically good and moral and that even pagans can enter heaven through their virtuous moral actions.

4. Pelagius Lives – Catholicism.org

Pelagius was a rationalist and, consequently, had to confront in his day the same perplexing question confron­ting ours: If all men had indeed inherited original sin, and therefore would suffer the loss of the Beatific Vision unless they embraced the One True Faith and were baptized, what of the vast numbers of men at the ends of the earth who had never heard of Christ? Would it not be unjust of God to send such men to hell?

Etc. etc. etc.

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