After Trump, Le Déluge | Oren Cass | First Things

Early in this essay about redefining conservatism etc. in this rather good analysis of what Trump and his supporters hath wrought:

Options for the future shape of American conservatism are not confined to what came before Trump and what Trump himself represents.

His role is not that of builder, constructing some compelling new vision to compete with the old one, but of earthquake, toppling everything built with flawed principles on shaky foundations and leaving open space in which to build anew.

???More earthquake??? is not a rebuilding plan. The question is where old structures should be resurrected and what new ones should be preferred. [boldface added]

Put another way, Trump discovered and uncovered a new version of what was wrong well ahead of his candidacy and incumbency.

Pay attention, btw, to the rich commentary that follows . . .

Funny, funny from 1917 mystery short story, THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13 . . .

The amazing Professor Van Dusen . . .

Writers & Writing

. . . by Jacques Futrelle, introducing a main character, in a nice bit of deadpan:

Professor Van Dusen was remotely German. For generations his ancestors had been noted in the sciences; he was the logical result, the master mind.

First and above all he was a logician. At least thirty-five years of the half-century or so of his existence had been devoted exclusively to proving that two and two always equal four, except in unusual cases, where they equal three or five, as the case may be.

He stood broadly on the general proposition that all things that start must go somewhere, and was able to bring the concentrated mental force of his forefathers to bear on a given problem.

Incidentally it may be remarked that Professor Van Dusen wore a No. 8 hat.

Well I should say so.

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House Democrats Back Bill That Would Result in 500,000 People Losing Health Insurance –

The party that can’t get anything right.

Democrats have spent years complaining that Republican health care legislation would result in fewer people with health insurance, often while pointing to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates showing just how many would go without coverage. But now Democrats in the House are backing legislation that would result in 500,000 people losing coverage, according to a new report from the CBO.

Put another way, the gang that can’t shoot straight.

Top Dem strategists launch secret-money group to rebrand party

Going for the gold.

“It’s no great secret that the presidential race will be won or lost in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio — if we can win back the narrative that the word ‘Democrat’ equals people who are fighting for folks who work hard every day, we can continue to win elections,” [exec director of the group, Future Majority, Mark] Riddle  [told Politico].

“If [Democrats] get defined as being about socialism and these other words people can hear about out of Washington, then I worry.” [first edit mine]

“Rebranding” here means effort to fool some of the people some of the time — enough to swing “folks who work hard every day” (ah those tried and true by now getting a big old) in the face of AOC et al.

I liken it to old-money GOP’ers pouring huge chunks of cash into the losing Mitt Romney campaign. Running from the tag Trump hung on them in his most recent State of the Union message.

And count on the Big T riding that horse all the way. While bragging on his economy.

The “Red Line” Investigations that Will Haunt Trump’s Presidency | Vanity Fair

When is a special investigation not a special investigation?

When it’s a fishing expedition.

A related question: Which presidents would have survived a two-year investigation to all the nooks and crannies of his personal and business life such as Mueller’s? Jack Kennedy? LBJ? Bill Clinton? Hey, Ike Eisenhower, for that matter?

Point: Not to compare each and every one, but look, it was all systems go to get this guy, and away they went. Basing whole thing on an opposition-research document made of whole cloth. And with almost all media outlets wildly committed to same goal.


Later: How did I forget? What if Republicans mounted such an investigation of . . . hold on . . . Obama? With full-scale media warfare to go with it? Imagine that, if you can.

A blast from the pre-Vatican 2 past: Jesuit spirituality “unsuitable” for English, the Anglican Benedictine told Roman priests in France

Anglicans, Jesuits etc. . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

These Anglican priests were taught to pray that way, most of them “abandoned prayer altogether.”

Some years before Vatican II, Dom Gregory Dix was, rather daringly, invited by Cardinal Gerlier of Lyons to give a lecture on Anglican spirituality.

In the discussion, he was asked by an unidentified priest whether the Anglican clergy were taught Ignatian spirituality.

Dix replied that it was the only kind that most of them were taught, and that this was very unfortunate, as it was a type that was very unsuitable to English people, so that most of them, having tried it without success, abandoned prayer altogether.

“Father, that is a truly Benedictine sentiment,” said the questioner as he sat down.

“That,” whispered the meeting’s chairman to the speaker, “was the Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus.”

Et mois? It was less a response from a continental than from a Jesuit…

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New York Times Thought The ‘Body Of Christ’ Priest Saved From Notre Dame Was A Statue

Fact is, the priest, the fire dept. chaplain, risked life to save relics and the Blessed Sacrament, understood as the Body of Christ, but NY Times, that wonderful newspaper, had him carrying out a statue of Christ from the church — which has no statues, by the way.

Nice going, NYT.

To face the people or not to face them (saying Mass) . . .

A priest reports . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

. . . That is the question, given a quite reasonable answer by a priest writing into Fr. Z in 2016:

After my entry into the Catholic Church from Anglicanism and ordination as a Catholic priest, I approached the Archbishop about offering the Mass ad orientem.  

His guidance to me was to “catechize the people” regarding whatever I was going to do.  Since that time, at the 3 successive assignments I have had, I have periodically done just that.

Other priests whom I have served alongside have had varying reactions, some positive and some negative.  In my current assignment, the priest here with me also started occasionally offering the Mass this way a few years ago, and has noticed that his perspective on the priesthood and the Mass has changed.

Something worth pursuing there.

With the arrival of the 1st Sunday of Advent, I took the opportunity…

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