These Aren’t Your Father’s Jesuits…

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Today’s post is a re-publication of the commencement address given by Nassim Taleb, a favorite of your humble blogger, in 2016. I like this address since it demonstrates many themes that I have hit on over the last few posts. (see here)

Actually, I like commencement addresses in general since they give one a good idea of what… is the current thinking at the major universities. So given that the last few posts have been dealing with putting pew sitters back into the pews, and given that according to Dr. Peterson, the college students tend to be seeking advice as to how to structure their future career… and life for that matter, I think the below post could provide some insights into what this one group of individuals, the matriculating students are currently hearing.

And finally, given that the commencement speakers are individuals who have attained major accomplishments in their lives, it is interesting to understand what advice they offer if for no other reason than as a frame of reference of the attributes and qualities that allowed them to become successful. This information provides context and insights into the universality of not so much Dr. Taleb’s specific advise, but the complete back backdrop of what produced a man like Taleb.

Note bene: Notice the difference between the pre-Vatican II Jesuits of old, mentioned in the Taleb address and those of the present. (see here)

Sad!

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Commencement Address, American University in Beirut, 2016

Dear graduating students,

This is the first commencement I have ever attended (I did not attend my own graduation). Further, I have to figure out how lecture you on success when I do not feel successful yet –and it is not false modesty.

Success as a Fragile Construction

For I have a single definition of success: you look in the mirror every evening, and wonder if you disappoint the person you were at 18, right before the age when people start getting corrupted by life. Let him or her be the only judge; not your reputation, not your wealth, not your standing in the community, not the decorations on your lapel. If you do not feel ashamed, you are successful. All other definitions of success are modern constructions; fragile modern constructions.

The Ancient Greeks’ main definition of success was to have had a heroic death. But as we live in a less martial world, even in Lebanon, we can adapt our definition of success as having taken a heroic route for the benefits of the collective, as narrowly or broadly defined collective as you wish. So long as all you do is not all for you: secret societies used to have a rule for uomo d’onore: you do something for yourself and something for other members. And virtue is inseparable from courage. Like the courage to do something unpopular. Take risks for the benefit of others; it doesn’t have to be humanity, it can be helping say Beirut Madinati or the local municipality. The more micro, the less abstract, the better.

Success requires absence of fragility. I’ve seen billionaires terrified of journalists, wealthy people who felt crushed because their brother in law got very rich, academics with Nobel who were scared of comments on the web. The higher you go, the worse the fall. For almost all people I’ve met, external success came with increased fragility and a heightened state of insecurity. The worst are those “former something” types with 4 page CVs who, after leaving office, and addicted to the attention of servile bureaucrats, find themselves discarded: as if you went home one evening to discover that someone suddenly emptied your house of all its furniture.

But self-respect is robust –that’s the approach of the Stoic school, which incidentally was a Phoenician movement. (If someone wonders who are the Stoics I’d say Buddhists with an attitude problem, imagine someone both very Lebanese and Buddhist). I’ve seen robust people in my village Amioun who were proud of being local citizens involved in their tribe; they go to bed proud and wake up happy. Or Russian mathematicians who, during the difficult post-Soviet transition period, were proud of making $200 a month and do work that is appreciated by twenty people –and considered that showing one’s decorations –or accepting awards –were a sign of weakness and lack of confidence in one’s contributions. And, believe it or not, some wealthy people are robust –but you just don’t hear about them because they are not socialites, live next door, and drink Arak baladi not Veuve Cliquot.

Personal History

Now a bit of my own history. Don’t tell anyone, but all the stuff you think comes from deep philosophical reflection is dressed up: it all comes from an ineradicable gambling instinct –just imagine a compulsive gambler playing high priest. People don’t like to believe it: my education came from trading and risk taking with some help from school.

I was lucky to have a background closer to that of a classical Mediterranean or a Medieval European than a modern citizen. For I was born in a library –my parents had an account at Librarie Antoine in Bab Ed Driss and a big library. They bought more books than they could read so they were happy someone was reading the books for them. Also my father knew every erudite person in Lebanon, particularly historians. So we often had Jesuit priests at dinner and because of their multidisciplinary erudition they were the only role models for me: my idea of education is to have professors just to eat with them and ask them questions. So I valued erudition over intelligence –and still do. I initially wanted to be a writer and philosopher; one needs to read tons of books for that –you had no edge if your knowledge was limited to the Lebanese Baccalaureat program. So I skipped school most days and, starting at age 14, started reading voraciously. Later I discovered an inability to concentrate on subjects others imposed on me. I separated school for credentials and reading for one’s edification.

First Break

I drifted a bit, with no focus, and remained on page 8 of the Great Lebanese Novel until the age of 23 (my novel was advancing at a rate of one page per year). Then I got a break on the day when at Wharton I accidentally discovered probability theory and became obsessed with it. But, as I said it did not come from lofty philosophizing and scientific hunger, only from the thrills and hormonal flush one gets while taking risks in the markets. A friend had told me about complex financial derivatives and I decided to make a career in them. It was a combination of trading and complex mathematics. The field was new and uncharted. But they were very, very difficult mathematically.

Greed and fear are teachers. I was like people with addictions who have a below average intelligence but were capable of the most ingenious tricks to procure their drugs. When there was risk on the line, suddenly a second brain in me manifested itself and these theorems became interesting. When there is fire, you will run faster than in any competition. Then I became dumb again when there was no real action. Furthermore, as a trader the mathematics we used was adapted to our problem, like a glove, unlike academics with a theory looking for some application. Applying math to practical problems was another business altogether; it meant a deep understanding of the problem before putting the equations on it. So I found getting a doctorate after 12 years in quantitative finance much, much easier than getting simpler degrees.

I discovered along the way that the economists and social scientists were almost always applying the wrong math to the problems, what became later the theme of The Black Swan. Their statistical tools were not just wrong, they were outrageously wrong –they still are. Their methods underestimated “tail events”, those rare but consequential jumps. They were too arrogant to accept it. This discovery allowed me to achieve financial independence in my twenties, after the crash of 1987.

So I felt I had something to say in the way we used probability, and how we think about, and manage uncertainty. Probability is the logic of science and philosophy; it touches on many subjects: theology, philosophy, psychology, science, and the more mundane risk engineering –incidentally probability was born in the Levant in the 8th Century as 3elm el musadafat, used to decrypt messages. So the past thirty years for me have been flaneuring across subjects, bothering people along the way, pulling pranks on people who take themselves seriously. You take a medical paper and ask some scientist full of himself how he interprets the “p-value”; the author will be terrorized.

The International Association of Name Droppers

The second break came to me when the crisis of 2008 happened and felt vindicated and made another bundle putting my neck on the line. But fame came with the crisis and I discovered that I hated fame, famous people, caviar, champagne, complicated food, expensive wine and, mostly wine commentators. I like mezze with local Arak baladi, including squid in its ink (sabbidej), no less no more, and wealthy people tend to have their preferences dictated by a system meant to milk them. My own preferences became obvious to me when after a dinner in a Michelin 3 stars with stuffy and boring rich people, I stopped by Nick’s pizza for a $6.95 dish and I haven’t had a Michelin meal since, or anything with complex names. I am particularly allergic to people who like themselves to be surrounded by famous people, the IAND (International Association of Name Droppers). So, after about a year in the limelight I went back to the seclusion of my library (in Amioun or near NY), and started a new career as a researcher doing technical work. When I read my bio I always feel it is that of another person: it describes what I did not what I am doing and would like to do.

On Advice and Skin in the Game

I am just describing my life. I hesitate to give advice because every major single piece of advice I was given turned out to be wrong and I am glad I didn’t follow them. I was told to focus and I never did. I was told to never procrastinate and I waited 20 years for The Black Swan and it sold 3 million copies. I was told to avoid putting fictional characters in my books and I did put in Nero Tulip and Fat Tony because I got bored otherwise. I was told to not insult the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal; the more I insulted them the nicer they were to me and the more they solicited Op-Eds. I was told to avoid lifting weights for a back pain and became a weightlifter: never had a back problem since.

If I had to relive my life I would be even more stubborn and uncompromising than I have been.

One should never do anything without skin in the game. If you give advice, you need to be exposed to losses from it. It is an extension to the silver rule. So I will tell you what tricks I employ.

Do not read the newspapers, or follow the news in any way or form. To be convinced, try reading last years’ newspaper. It doesn’t mean ignore the news; it means that you go from the events to the news, not the other way around.

If something is nonsense, you say it and say it loud. You will be harmed a little but will be antifragile — in the long run people who need to trust you will trust you.

When I was still an obscure author, I walked out of a studio Bloomberg Radio during an interview because the interviewer was saying nonsense. Three years later Bloomberg Magazine did a cover story on me. Every economist on the planet hates me (except of course those of AUB).

I’ve suffered two smear campaigns, and encouraged by the most courageous Lebanese ever since Hannibal, Ralph Nader, I took reputational risks by exposing large evil corporations such as Monsanto, and suffered a smear campaign for it

Treat the doorman with a bit more respect than the big boss.

If something is boring, avoid it –save taxes and visits to the mother in law. Why? Because your biology is the best nonsense detector; use it to navigate your life.

The No-Nos

There are a lot of such rules in my books, so for now let me finish with a few maxims. The following are no-nos:

Muscles without strength,

friendship without trust,

opinion without risk,

change without aesthetics

age without values,

food without nourishment,

power without fairness,

facts without rigor,

degrees without erudition,

militarism without fortitude,

progress without civilization,

complication without depth,

fluency without content,

and, most of all, religion without tolerance.

Thank you.

You Knew This Just Had To Happen…

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As I was finishing yesterday’s post, a new video produced by Stefan Molyneux came up across my radar.

One steps back…

Yesterday’s subject matter can be described as:

How do we fill those pews at all those new Tridentine Latin Masses that are springing up all over the Western world?

In yesterday’s post, I presented a situation that Dr. Jordan Peterson was made aware of as a potential source of pew sitters. That situation arose when two former combat veterans claimed that they were cured from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by watching his videos. The subject matter in turn dealt with the nature of good and evil. The observation that your humble blogger made was that those two former combat veterans would have been much better off if they went to a priest and took advantage of the Sacrament of Confession.

And if this was a “market need” that Catholic Moral Theology could satisfy among the combat veterans, it must also apply to the wider population who, according to Dr. Peterson have similar “needs”.

So what was actually described in the post titled The Precursors Of The Neo-Neo-Neo-Thomists…, could be summed up as a secular case for the propagation of Catholic Moral Theology.

Fast forward to today. In the video above, what we now observe is a secular case being made for Catholic apologetics.

Specifically, Stefan Molyneux interview Tom Woods in his latest video. In turn, Tom Woods wrote a book titled How the Catholic Church built Western Civilization.

The video is a MUST WATCH.

For the purposes of this post, what is important to understand is the… let’s call it the “market potential” for Catholic apologetics. This potential is for the Catholic Faith that is based on natural law and natural moral law that is founded on reason and logic and above all, the pursuit of the objective truth.

You know, the Catholic Faith that was suppressed by you know who. But I digress…

I have transcribed one passage to support the above contention:

Tom Woods: So it’s not enough to just have unorthodox economics, I mean, maybe you got to look at… you got to be fair to everybody. And one final thing Stefan. You were saying that a lot of times you cover topics, you say ‘I don’t really want to have to do this but nobody else is doing it so I’ll do it.’ I’m not saying this to flatter you, I’m saying it so that we don’t get too discouraged. The fact is, there are entire think tanks out there with budgets, I don’t know, a thousand times larger than you, ten thousand times larger then yours. If they try, they couldn’t get one tenth the views you get on a youtube video. I mean, these are people who put you to sleep. I wouldn’t want my worst enemy listening to these people.

Stefan Molyneux: That’s their plan. I don’t know…

TWoods: But, you see my point. Your one guy. Now I know you have a team around you. But your one guy…

Stefan: We’re two guys. That’s the team.

TWoods: Two guys and a camera.  Two guys and a camera. And somehow you built up an empire. And people criticize you, you get into trouble, you say the wrong thing, you cover the wrong topic, but it makes no difference to you because you have this empire. And if three percent of people don’t like you, what possible difference does it make? You can still go out there and produce content. That is something that has got to be something that has got to be a consolation to us, because this was impossible even 15 years ago. You can conceive of what we do every day.

Stefan: Yea, we were just talking about this, this morning. Mike and I that we’re doing a 150 million views and downloads a year. That is truly astonishing. (…) I think people recognize… and I think that’s why these conversations move people. If people recognize what was said, that if philosophy or critical thinking is not about the conclusions, any more than science is not about the conclusions. People always want to say “settled science”. Science is a process, philosophy is a process. I dare say theology is a process. There is no destination. It is a continual process of refining the Truth.

Concluding, what I would like you dear reader to take away from the above post and yesterday’s post is the scope of the potential for attracting lost souls back into the Catholic Church.

What is needed, is to return to the proper Catholic Faith, one that is founded on Faith and Reason and the pursuit of the Truth, no matte where that leads.

If the Catholic priesthood that is promoting the Restoration of the Mass of All Ages, would return to preaching the proper Catholic moral theology, i.e. dogma, they will find a fertile audience for what it is that they are preaching.

And that fertile ground is presently being prepared by individuals from the secular world such as Tom Woods, Stefan Molyneux and Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Post scriptum. It would appear that there are some in the Catholic priesthood who are beginning to understand. Below is the latest video from Bishop Fellay where he explains just this. I am posting the video  below as supporting evidence.  (Starts at the 20:00 minute mark of the video)

The Precursors Of The Neo-Neo-Neo-Thomists…

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As the offering of the Mass of All Ages and all that goes with it, is expanding in all parts of the civilized Western World (latest here and here and here), and in opposition of the strong headwind coming from the land on the Tiber, the below Holy Gospel passage comes to mind:

1.The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaias the prophet: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare the way before thee. 3. A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 4. John was in the desert baptizing, and preaching the baptism of penance, unto remission of sins. 5. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptized by him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. 6. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7. And he preached, saying: There cometh after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8. I have baptized you with water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 9. And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10. And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened,and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. 11. And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Mark 1:1-11)

Which raises the question, who will fill all these pews?

Hold that thought for a minute…

Over the last few months, I have been following the online presentations of Dr. Jordan Peterson. I have found myself attracted to his work, looking forward to each and every new video of his that he or anyone else puts up on youtube.com.

I’ve also been thinking about why this is the case. To be more specific, I have tried to understand what it is that draws me to Dr. Peterson’s work and the relevance of his message would hold with an audience whose primary interest is salvational, and secondly in the affairs of the only means of salvation given to man, i.e. Holy Roman Catholic Church.

To be more specific, your humble blogger has been focusing on the fact that the Catholic Faith is unique in that it draws its beliefs from two sources, one of which comes from observing the natural order. This point of emphasis, I have been presenting ad nauseum in my posts. Most times to the detriment to the primary source of our Faith, i.e. divine Revelation. But given that there are so many other great blogs who focus on the later (see here and here and here just to name three), I can afford this luxury.

By focusing on the part of our Faith that comes from the Natural Order of His creation, the door becomes opened to examine and write about subjects, events and processes, parallel process at that, which are transpiring in the secular subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The reason why this is important is that those processes and subjects and events, appear to be converging with the basic tenants of the Catholic Faith.

Case in point, if one examines any of the Dr. Peterson videos that I have been linking to of late, one notices certain aspects of the presentations that can be described as Thomistic. One example of the classical Thomistic aspect of Dr. Peterson’s presentations, specifically his methodology, is the setting out of definitions before any general or specific discussion in subsequently undertaken.

Of further importance of the methodology of inquiry represented by Dr. Peterson is that it is effective, i.e. objectively measurable and verifiable. One example of the effectiveness of Dr. Peterson’s methodology is the anecdotal evidence contained in two letters received by Dr. Peterson, wherein the writers, both combat veterans claimed that they were cured of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by just listening to Dr. Peterson’s videos on the nature of good and evil. A discussion on a theological/metaphysical subject matter if there ever was one (link here, starts at the 46:00 minute mark).

I realize now that it was through a series of such observations as described above, which initially drew me to look closer at Dr. Peteson’s work.

What I have also found by looking at Dr. Peterson’s work, and what had attracted me to it since, is that Dr. Peterson’s methodological approach, at it’s foundation, is essentially built upon a Catholic dogma that was defined at the First Vatican Council. The Catholic dogma I am refereeing to is stated as follows:

Deum, rerum omnium principium et finem, naturali humanae rationis lumine e rebus creatis certo cognosci posse. (Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Filius”, First Vatican Council)

Here is a good translation and summary of the above claim: (see here)

Chap. 2. Revelation

The same Holy Mother Church holds and teaches that God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certitude by the natural light of human reason from created things; “for the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” [ Rom 1:20]; nevertheless, it has pleased His wisdom and goodness to reveal Himself and the eternal decrees of His will to the human race in another and supernatural way, as the Apostle says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son” [Heb 1:1 f].

Returning to Dr. Peterson’s methodology of enquiry, what can be clearly observed is that Dr. Peterson is doing nothing more than using the “natural light of reason” and the knowledge that is presently known. The consequence of his work was that two individuals who were having what can be defined as “problems of conscience” – suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, have had their suffering alleviated.

Using a religious context, what Dr. Peterson did in the above case is transcending the divide between clinical psychology and moral theology, i.e. the Natural Moral Law as contained in the Catholic Faith.

Let this sink in for a second or two…

If you are not sure, dear reader, go back and re-watch that 5 minute fragment. Excuse the digression…

Follow up observation:

If those two combat veteran would be practicing Catholics and took advantage of the Sacrament of Confession, would they not have attained an equivalent, if not better effect and sooner?

Again, let that sink in for a minute or two…

I would venture to say that they would be better off (physically and mentally) Confessing to a priest, than they were from just watching a series of Dr. Peterson videos.

Concluding, what we are in fact observing above is the positive case being made for the new evangelization some good old fashioned Catholic proselytization. What Dr. Peterson and others like him are doing, are actually paving the way for the return to that which in the Church is known as Scholasticism and specifically Thomism. And not for the first time either.

Furthermore, it is this above that reminded me of the above passage from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. This passage deals with St. John the Baptist, as the Precursor to the coming of Our Lord. It would appear to me that people like Dr. Peterson and others like Stefan Molyneux might just be the precursor to the coming of the next manifestation of St. Thomas Aquinas.

And when that event occurs, what we will be a witness to is the final element of the Restoration of all things in Christ falling into place, and filling up the pews of the churches and chapel who are introducing the proper Mass of All Ages and Catholic dogmatic moral teaching.

And speaking of the spread of the Mass of All Ages, today’s example of its spreading comes from the land of the JPII “the great” personality cult, namely Poland. The below post appeared at the Una Voce Poland (UnaCum.pl) website which I translate and present for your information below…

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Is the Traditional Mass available already in all the diocese in Poland?

Can we say that the traditional (Sunday) Mass, commonly known as Tridentine, is available throughout Poland? Definitely not. Has it reached every diocese in Poland? Yes! And given that 10 years ago this situation existed in just 9 dioceses and today exists in all 41 dioceses, this is a reason for joy.

Only in 26 dioceses of the 41, Mass is available every Sunday. In the other dioceses on our map, we notice less frequent celebrations. In some dioceses the Mass is offered only once a month

The last dioceses where the Tridentine Mass is now being offered are:

Diocese of Kielce – celebrations in Kielce are already regular, but still without a regular schedule.

Archdiocese of Warmia – yesterday Archbishop Józef Górzyński appointed Fr. Bartlomiej Koziej is a chaplain of the faithful attached to the extraordinary form. Masses will soon be celebrated in the church of N.S.P.J. in Olsztyn.

Diocese of Wloclawek – for one week a year in the sanctuary of Lichen is celebrated even a dozen Masses a day (Ars Celebrandi workshops). However, there is no place in the diocese with a regular celebration. There is, however, no shortage of faithful who wish to participate in the traditional liturgy.

Groups of faithful are organized in the following locations:

Konin: e-mail

Sieradz: e-mail, facebook

Wloclawek: – facebook, www, email.

We encourage people from the area to contact the Summorum Pontificum groups from the Diocese of Wloclawek.

Guest Post – It’s The Libertarian’s Turn Today…

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Guest post from Antonius Aquinas, via Zero Hedge today. (see original here)

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Pope Francis Lashes Out At “Grave Risks” Of Libertarianism

Submitted by Antonius Aquinas,

The purported pope of the Catholic Church recently attacked “libertarianism.”  As a number of theologians have ably shown, Jorge Bergoglio, a.k.a Pope Francis, cannot be a legitimate pope since he was neither ordained as a priest or consecrated as a bishop in the traditional Catholic rite of Holy Orders.  And, since he is not a bishop, he cannot be “bishop of Rome” – a prerequisite for being the head of the universal Church.

While “technically” he is not the pope, Bergoglio is a notorious heretic who has said a mind-boggling number of heresies, engaged in the most scandalous of actions, and has attempted to change doctrine and Church teaching.  He is not the pope since a heretic is necessarily outside the Church and, thus, cannot hold ecclesiastical office, especially that of supreme pontiff.

If Bergoglio’s “invalidity” is not damnable enough, “Pope Francis” is a neo-Marxist who has repeatedly called for the redistribution of wealth, promoted mass migration, and has denigrated capitalism, accusing it of impoverishing the poor.

Naturally, with such a dossier, Bergoglio would be hostile to the concept of libertarianism.  And, as a skillful demagogue, he has deliberately mischaracterized the subject.

In a message to a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Bergoglio harshly stated:

“I cannot fail to speak of the grave risks associated with the invasion of the positions of libertarian individualism at high strata of culture and in school and university education.”*

If Bergoglio thinks that higher education is infected with “libertarian individualism,” he is more delusional than he has been given credit for!  Academia has long been a bastion of collectivist thought.  Libertarianism and, for that matter, conservative ideas have little voice in higher education.  Moreover, Western culture is dominated by the ideals of social democracy, a philosophy that is anathema to libertarianism and also to real Catholicism, not the kind that is preached by imposters such as “Pope Francis!”

It is probably deliberate that Bergoglio uses the word “invasion” in his description as he subtly mocks his audience.  The only invasion that has happened is not a takeover of academia by free-markets zealots, but by the millions of “asylum seekers” that have been thrust upon European soil which has been encouraged and orchestrated by the likes of multiculturalists such as Jorge Bergoglio.

“[T]he libertarian individual denies the value of the common good,” Bergoglio continues, “because on the one hand he supposes that the very idea of ‘common’ means the constriction of at least some individuals, and on the other hand that the notion of ‘good’ deprives freedom of its essence.”

Of course, to arch collectivists like “Pope Francis,” the common good always trumps individual rights.  While he does not explicitly say it, the “common good” means for the good of the state, and for those who place their own self interest or that of their family before the state’s interest, they are to be ostracized or worse.

Libertarianism to Bergoglio is an “antisocial radicalization of individualism” that “leads to the conclusion that everyone has the right to extend himself as far as his abilities allow him even at the cost of the exclusion and marginalization of the more vulnerable majority.”  By living “independently of others” a person can attain freedom.

Once again, as he had done throughout his “papacy” Bergoglio demonstrates that he is an economic ignoramus who does not grasp a basic tenet of social relationships.

Libertarians are proponents of the market economy and markets are the result of the division of labor, specialization, and exchange.  Society, in part, is the amalgamation of numerous markets and advanced societies are ones with a highly developed division of labor.  Overwhelming empirical evidence has shown that such societies are not only richer, but are more culturally advanced than self- sufficient societies (autarky) where individuals produce everything for themselves.

In such an order, an individual produces or provides services which he does best.  Since he does not produce everything himself, he, therefore, depends and needs to interact with others in exchange of goods he does not produce.  In the market economy, very few live “independently of others” as Bergoglio stupidly believes, but must rely and depend on their fellow man.  Even entrepreneurs, who Bergoglio implicitly condemns in the above passage, have to rely on consumers to patronize their products and services or they will quickly go out of business.

Bergoglio, of course, does not understand that there are many shades of libertarianism running a wide spectrum of social, political and economic thought.  If there is a common theme among libertarians, it is opposition to the modern state and the welfare/warfare system upon which it rests.  The modern state will not tolerate any competition for the minds, hearts, and souls of men.

Until the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Church recognized that the modern state was not only its enemy, but the enemy of mankind.  In this respect, the Church had common ground with the libertarian and conservative movements of the 20th century.

The Second Vatican Council and the “reforms” which came in its wake produced an environment that has led to the likes of cretins like Jorge Bergoglio who has not only repeatedly blasphemed the Divine Founder of the institution in which he supposedly heads, but regularly spews out all sorts of discredited neo-Marxist nonsense.

While “Pope Francis” condemns libertarianism, the solution to the financial, political, and many of the social problems which confront the Western world will only be solved by “libertarian means” – a gold/silver monetary standard, political decentralization/secession, de-militarization/non-intervention, free trade, and the application of private property rights to the migration crisis.

For the good of mankind, not only should Jorge Bergoglio be ignored as supreme Roman pontiff, but he should likewise be ignored when speaking on any and all public policy matters.

The Secular Side Of The True Evangelization…

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This video just appeared today produced by Dr. Jordan Peterson.

I have only watched the first few minutes, but already judged that it is a must watch. I am putting it up as part of our CONVERGENCE theme and is an extension of the LEX ARMATICUS principles.

The convergence theme can be summed up as follows:

all knowledge CONVERGES to Catholicism. And the inverse relationship is: knowledge that does not CONVERGE to Catholicism is erroneous, i.e. not based on Truth.

And just for CONTEXT purposes, I have defined organic growth as follows:

Organic Growth: reconciliation of reason with revelation, of science with faith and of philosophy with theology, SUBJECT TO: that source of our Faith that comes from divine Revelation.

If the above is a objectively correct postulation, then all knowledge advances along the Organic Growth progression and is converging to Catholicism on at least one level, i.e. scientific, philosophical, theological or metaphysical. (Note the hierarchical structure!)

So I am putting this up for a Sunday viewing. It’s 2 hours and 40 minutes long, so it needs you dear reader, to give it some time.

I will have more to write a bit later…

If Feel An Inspiration For Making A Felt Banner Coming On…

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In today’s post we will transition from the POLITICAL to the ECCLESIASTICAL subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The transition itself will be structured, in that it will pivot around one idea. That one idea can be defined as textual criticism.

What we will do today is take one example of the employment of textual criticism in the POLITICAL subset and through the LEX ARMATICUStransition into the ECCLESIASTICAL.

Today we begin with the infamous #ComeyMemo and its textual criticism by none other than Stefan Molyneux. I will not bore you with the transcribed text, but you dear reader should listen to the video to get an idea of what a textual criticism PROCESS should entails.

On a different level, what can be discerned from the above video is that the above mentioned PROCESS is derived from one of the two sources of our Faith, i.e. those things known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”. This is the foundation for the textual criticism PROCESS that Mr. Molyneux employs when discerning the VALUE, or the lack there of, of the #ComeyMemos.

And if there is one overriding PRINCIPLE that can be termed as the HIGHEST STANDARD (some would say “rigid”) for Mr. Molyneux critical examination of the facts surrounding the #ComeyMemos, it is the old Roman legal maxim:

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

Now we transitioning to the ECCLESIASTICAL subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The observation that your humble blogger has noticed and is putting out for your consideration is the following:

all pre Vatican II papal documents have never violated the Roman legal maxim of “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus”.

Let this sink in for a minute or two…

So why am I bringing this matter up at this time?

The reason is that this textual criticism methodology that is known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”, when applied to ALL papal documents promulgated post Vatican II, can serve as the OBJECTIVE MECHANISM that can separate that which is grounded in Truth, from that which is not.

In other words, before allowing a “definitive” interpretation of a papal document, a textual criticism methodology should be performed of that document. A textual criticism methodology, using OBJECTIVELY defined techniques would check for things stemming the range from violating the rules of logical thought and other basic editing errors to more advanced techniques that the field of textual criticism currently offers.

What’s more important, all documents produced after the Second Vatican Council should need to undergo this thorough evaluation.

And finally, a few paragraphs about why this is so important. Over at the Rorate Caeli blog, a post appeared titled Latest statistics: seminarians down in the USA and the world, priests worldwide in decline, catastrophic decline in women religious. Will vocations survive the new Bergoglian priestly formation document? 

And as you dear reader no doubt guessed, and as your humble blogger has been predicting, vocations are tanking. Here is how the author describes what we call the Real FrancisEffect or conversely the FrancisDisaster:

The summary notes that “In 2015 there is decline in the number of priests from the previous year, thus reversing the upward trend that characterized the years from 2000 to 2014.”

  So how bad is it?

It’s BAD.

Relatively speaking, it is as if Francis, the bishop of Rome is extending the disastrous post-Bergoglio Buenos Aires seminary into the Universal Church. Once again I ask: How is it that no one seen this coming? But I digress…

And what is one aspect of the Francis seminary EPIC FAIL that the author of the post has identified? Here is that passage:

In December of last year, the Congregation for the Clergy released a new document on priestly formation that, among other things, lays down (in p. 21) that seminarians should be “helped to recognise and correct ‘spiritual worldiness’: obsession with personal appearances, a presumed theological or disciplinary certainty, narcissism and authoritarianism, the attempt to dominate others, a merely external and ostentatious preoccupation with the liturgy, vainglory, individualism, the inability to listen to others, and every form of careerism”. With “theological and disciplinary certainty” now considered a defect that must be eradicated from seminarians, only God knows what kind of priests we’ll be getting (and how many) in the future.

So right about now, you dear reader are asking: isn’t this a small, insignificant sentence or two, that has very little if no impact on anything having to do with seminary enrollment and future vocations? And in the same paragraph, the author responds to exactly that observation as follows:

Some might argue that we need not worry about this little passage and that most of the document is sound, but the past year has shown us how brief passages and even footnotes in an official document can cause immense chaos in the Church.

Even so, why is this passage so important, you still might be asking?

Well, it just so happens that at the next Conclave, it is the VOCATIONS AND SEMINARY FRANCISDISASTER that will be the overriding theme. I say again:

V. O. C. A. T. I. O. N. S. 

Here is Andre Gagliarducci from the MondayVatican blog with that information:

“… rumors are circulating about the Cardinals’ moves and expectations for the next Pope. At the same time, there is a need to understand what the Church needs, and what is the natural continuation of a Church that is “outward bound” and heading “toward peripheries,” two themes that characterize Francis’s pontificate along with the agenda of mercy. All of those involved in these conversations give a unanimous response: the next election will be about the seminaries.”

And there you have it.

So what is the moral of this story?

It would appear that if the future electors at the next conclave want to seriously address the vocations and seminaries issue, they should be putting in place an OBJECTIVE METHODOLOGY that assess what went wrong over the last 50 years.

A good place to start would be to eliminate any confusion that has been caused by issues arising from a lack of “editing” and a thorough textual criticism of any documents pertaining to this issue. Kind of like Stefan Molyneux did with the #ComeyMemo.

And the benchmark threshold of acceptance should be falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

This should be done so that the men and women who may have a calling to the religious life, know exactly where they stand!

And once that is performed, the cardinals can take that same methodology and apply it to the rest of the post Vatican II docs. Also using the benchmark falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. This will allow the rest of us Faithful to know exactly where we stand!

So FALSUS IN UNO, FALSUS IN OMNIBUS should be our Catholic battle cry!

Come to think of it, I just got an idea for a felt banner…

Short Circuiting the Coup….

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Today’s post stays on the POLITICAL sub-set of the Visibilium Omnium and continues yesterdays theme of the coup d’etat that is being implemented by the “deep state” trying to overthrow the legally and legitimately elected President of the United States.

The reason that I am focusing on these developments is that they are the ground zero of the fight not only for maintaining the Republic, but for maintaining whatever is left of Western Civilization, a civilization grounded in Natural Law and whose philosophical foundations are squarely centered based in Catholicism.

Now to the subject at hand…

So my observations from that which was transpiring yesterday were not that far off from what others were sensing. Among the others was the former Democratic congressman from Ohio Dennis Kucinich. I have put up his interview on Fox News from last night as confirmation.

As for the state of play today, I think that the coup d’etat organized by the Establishment has been short-circuited for the time being. This was the effect of both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees subpoenaing ALL of the materials left behind by the former FBI Director James Comey.

Furthermore, another YUGELY positive development was the appointment of the Special Council to investigate the FBI investigation. Below is the post from Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse that lays out the chronology that will have to be part of any independent investigation.

THIS IS OBJECTIVE REALITY!

Aside, in the humble opinion of your even more humble blogger, Sundance is the best analyst of all things political that I have come across to date. But I digress… This is a major development and should negate any extra-governmental and extra-judicial moves that the “deep state” could have enacted to remove a sitting President of the United States of America after only 118 days in office.

Aside, you can just imagine what a threat The President is to the status quo if they are moving this fast….

And finally. What is needed to be stated here is that the importance for why we need to pray for this presidency is that as Catholics, we have no other choice. Furthermore, God has not given us a choice between more better and less better options. Actually, God has not given us a choice what do ever. So we are stuck with what we have.

On a personal note, I like President Donald J. Trump. And I like him a lot…

*******

Brilliant – Justice Department Appoints Robert Mueller

To Investigate 2016 Russian Election Interference…

 

Brilliant move.

…”Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”….

Tremors tonight in the Deep Swamp. The deep cleaning machine just got fired up.  Watch how quiet and tenuously supportive the Democrats and their Left-Wing media cohorts are with this announcement.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to justice to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The appointment of a special counsel is excellent because it means Mueller has wide latitude to look into all of the 2016 Russian Conspiracy narratives the political opposition to Donald Trump has postulated.

Deputy AG Rosenstein did the appointing because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the ‘muh Russia conspiracy’, collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials. The results here will be splendid for the Trump administration because there is no ‘there’ there in the collusion narrative. The White House approved of Rosenstein’s decision.

This opens up an independent investigative path of: ♦The DNC leaking (Seth Rich), and ♦The impetus of the “Russian Dossier“, and ♦The Obama White House “surveillance and leaking” (Susan Rice/Evelyn Farkas), all the way to ♦John Podesta, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the Obama White House.

Remember, FBI Director James Comey specifically stated (March 20th) that he intentionally withheld notification of congress for the FBI counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016 and was premised on the ‘vast russian conspiracy theory‘.

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice only needed to confirm one aspect of the intelligence unmasking story for all of the dots to connect. She made that confirmation within two minutes of her interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

From the MSNBC transcript, emphasis mine:

Susan Rice @00:51 – …”Let me explain how this works. I was a National Security Adviser, my job is to protect the American people and the security of our country. That’s the same as the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and CIA Director.; and every morning, to enable us to do that, we receive – from the intelligence community – a compilation of intelligence reports that the IC, the intelligence community, has selected for uson a daily basis– to give us the best information as to what’s going on around the world.”

Note, right there. STOP. No need to go any further. There it is – Susan Rice is describing the Presidents’ Daily Briefing, aka the “PDB”. She continues:

“I received those reports, as did other officials, and there were occasions when I would receive a report in which, uh, a ‘U.S Person’ was referred to. Name, uh, not provided, just ‘U.S. Person’.

And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance in the report – and assess it’s significance, it was necessary to find out or request, who that U.S. official was.”

This is the important detail. Susan Rice was requesting unmasking of U.S. person’s names, which she moments later describes as “U.S. official[s]”, to understand the context and importance for the intelligence being given within the Presidents’ Daily Brief.

Under President Obama’s communication and intelligence directives, the Presidential Daily Briefing was widely shared with dozens of administration persons in various agencies.

From a Washington Post story explaining the PDB and Obama’s use therein. (again, emphasis mine):

(Washington Post) […] It’s the president’s book. And indeed, it is tailored to each president’s individual needs. CIA officers in 1961 designed what was initially known as the President’s Intelligence Checklist specifically for John F. Kennedy’s tastes, using punchy words and phrases while avoiding clunky bureaucratic language and annoying classification markings. That checklist evolved into the President’s Daily Brief in late 1964 , as the agency reformatted and retitled the book of secrets to appeal to Lyndon Johnson’s preferences. While the name has stuck, the content and format have continued to evolve. President Obama receives his in digital form and reads it on a tablet .

But while through most of its history the document has been marked “For the President’s Eyes Only,” the PDB has never gone to the president alone. The most restricted dissemination was in the early 1970s, when the book went only to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who was dual-hatted as national security adviser and secretary of state.

In other administrations, the circle of readers has also included the vice president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with additional White House staffers. By 2013, Obama’s PDB was making its way to more than 30 recipients, including the president’s top strategic communications aide and speechwriter, and deputy secretaries of national security departments. (link)

The post article was written December 26th 2016, after the election – and was presumably written due to post-election media reports the intelligence community had concerns over sharing information with President-elect Trump; this was the preferred, and false, anti-Trump narrative for a few weeks. I digress.

The important aspect two fold: #1) the PDB is electronic viewable by POTUS Obama on his iPad; and #2) how many people were getting the PDB information 30+, against the backdrop of Rice’s admitted unmasking of names within the raw intelligence for PDB user comprehension.

There you can see that “more than 30 recipients” would be privy to the unmasked information within the PDB as an outcome of the protocols instituted by the White House and President Obama’s National Security Advising team.

From Rice’s MSNBC interview the departments of “State (John Kerry et al) and Defense (Ash Carter et al)”, along with CIA (Director John Brennan), NSA (Director Mike Rogers) and ODNI James Clapper, all participated.

As such, and as outlined by the Washington Post on distribution, deputies within Defense and State, along with “other national security departments” would have access to the unmasked PDB information.

Here’s where you realize within those “more than 30 recipients” you find people like Secretary Hillary Clinton, Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and various high level officials in the Office of the Secretary and its Executive Secretariat (S/ES) past and present. This is also where the Deputy Secretaries of Defense like Dr. Evelyn Farkas come into play. All of these officials would be accessing, or at least have access to, the President’s Daily Brief, and the unmasked intelligence within it.

When you recognize how widely the Obama administration disseminated the PDB you begin to realize how easy it was for any foreign entity, including the Russians, to have access to the EXACT SAME daily intelligence brief as President Obama and his National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

An additional character within this wide-dissemination construct would be John Podesta. Remember, after Hillary Clinton stepped down from Secretary of State, she inserted, with Obama’s approval, John Podesta within the White House Senior Advisory staff to keep a communications line open with direct information. (As pictured below) Podesta remained in that position throughout 2013, 2014 and into 2015.

President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State John Kerry, participates in a secure video teleconference with Embassy Baghdad and Consulates General Erbil and Basrah, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2014.

Having a known entity like John Podesta with access to the PDB and the unmasked intelligence therein, puts the appropriate highlight on the risk carried by Russian hacking into Podesta’s electronic communications, stored data and email correspondence.

Is it any surprise Russian, or any foreign intelligence group, would then be making attempts to enter the unsecured private email accounts of Secretary Hillary Clinton and her top level staff?

And John Podesta is only one of numerous people who would have access to this PDB information. All of which would potentially be at risk of being read daily by enterprising hackers, or various spies, who would glean a gobsmacking level of information by actually reading the same unmasked intelligence as the President of the United States.

Oh, the angles are almost limitless.

Not only would President Obama and his entire NSC team be gathering operational political intelligence on their political adversaries to include President-Elect Donald Trump and his transition team, but they would also be gathering intelligence and unmasking it on other U.S. Officials…..

…..That same unmasked and widespread surveillance, under the auspices of intelligence gathering, was then shared with dozens of administration officials -beyond the likes of the National Security Council, Asst. Defense Secretary Farkas and politicos like John Podesta- which means it was more than likely reviewed, via hacking etc., by our most critical national enemies.

Follow that trail to where it leads and you’ll likely discover the real story that encompasses the motive to create the ‘vast Russian conspiracy‘.

It only took Susan Rice two minutes on MSNBC to highlight the entire motive.

Another March 2nd MSNBC interview takes a new context:

“I was urging my former colleagues, and, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill [Democrat politicians], it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can – get as much intelligence as you can – before President Obama leaves the administration.”

Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left; so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, um, that the Trump folks – if they found out HOW we knew what we knew about their, the Trump staff, dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods; meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.

So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia; so then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew that they were also trying to help get information to the Hill. … That’s why you had the leaking”.

[Link to Farkas MSNBC Interview and Transcript]

if they found out HOW we knew … that they would try to compromise those sources and methods; meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence “,

Indeed they would Dr. Farkas. Indeed they would.

.

.

.

To Investigate 2016 Russian Election Interference…

 

Revolution Happening As We Speak…

Folks, I wish this was a joke….

Pray for The President!

He’s doing God’s work!

 

Update 1: 11:00 17 May 2017

Update 2: 11:35 17 May 2017

The President of the United States of America Donald J Trump responds:

Update 3: 11:50 17 May 2017

Coup leaders identified!

Who would have thunk?

Update 4: 13:05 17 May 2017

Senate Judiciary Committee might have just short circuited the coup… (see here)

Making “The New World Order” Illusionary Again…

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In today’s post we continue putting the pieces into the Globalist NEW WORLD ORDER puzzle. Our eyes today turn to the US and the “throw down” that is playing itself out in the capital of the “free” world, Washington D.C.

To understand how the “Russian Hoax” NARRATIVE can have captured the precious time of so many in the Washington D.C. Swamp, i.e. the Establishment, one must understand the bigger picture.

Now, in the bigger picture, it would appear as if there is a “secondary and parallel” government that is in place, a “government” that operates according to a different set of laws. It also appears that this parallel “government” is strong enough that it can give immunity to individuals in the national government who are committing criminal acts under the national laws of the country in which they reside. How else can one explain explicit instructions given by the now former FBI director to suspects, directing them to destroy material evidence in a case that the FBI director’s office was purportedly investigating. I will be cryptic about this to save time, but please go to the video below and see for yourselves. This video is a real eye opener.

The next piece of EVIDENCE that suggests that the government of the United States and specifically the office of the President of the United States is not all that it is cracked up to be. In this post titled The Final Top Tier Intel Black Hat Leaker Removed…, the catalogue of illegal activities that has been carried out in broad daylight, in front of the LEGACY “FAKE NEWS” MEDIA, with no adverse consequences W.H.A.T. S.O. E.V.E.R. 

So how could this be?

The answer to the above question in turn, is being answered presently by Mr. Patrick Buchanan. In the below re-published post and the video at the top of this post, Mr. Buchanan explains quite succinctly why Mr. Comey, or anyone who is actively trying to overthrow the legally elected government of the United States of America can expect criminal immunity from this parallel government.

Hint: It’s the example of the stain glass window. But I digress…

But there is one small problem.

And that problem is that if this parallel government is illusionary, those people who have this immunity from the NEW WORLD ORDER “government”, will find out that one day they do not.

And that is when the real fun will begin!

PS And others are beginning to see it. (see here)

 

Buchanan: Bannon Is ‘Right’ — Media Is the Opposition Party Trying to ‘Bring Down Trump’

Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan said White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was correct when he said the media was the opposition party. He added that just like they took down President Richard Nixon, they are attempting to “bring down” President Donald Trump.

Buchanan said, “There is a cultural left and a political left and a media if you will, are a conglomerate. It’s not a conspiracy but it is collusion, and they were determined to break and bring down Nixon from the day he was nominated. They were determined, tried to break, and they succeeded. Tried to break and bring down Reagan over Iran-Contra. I was in the White House then. And the same forces, similar forces are trying to break and bring down Trump. And it’s transparent. It’s right in front of us. You can’t watch those briefings and things, watch TV cable TV and the rest of it without seeing there is a real animus. I mean it’s the White House correspondents’ dinner. Steve Bannon was dead right when he said one thing, the media are the opposition party.”

Returning To Its Former Status As The Sick Man Of Europe…

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Today we continue our coverage at the Flash Point of Globalism, namely the European project.

As we have identified in previous posts, this is objectively speaking the GROUND ZERO for the entire Globalist movement, even more so than the US. As I have been laying out in my recent posts, it is the pseudo-philosophy of post-modernism (cultural Marxism) combined with the German “soft power” funding policies, that are responsible for funding the corruption of vast areas of the Visibislium Omnium, areas from economic sectors of developing countries, to political discourse in the developed countries and down to the Catholic Church in South America and sub-Saharan Africa.

In today’s post from Mike Shedlock via the Zero Hedge blog, we get confirmation of the “buyer’s remorse” or cognitive dissonance setting in among the Globalist elites in Germany and France.  I am republishing the below post for CONTEXT purposes.

On another related note, notice that the former US president, one Barack Barry Soetoro Obama showed up in Milan Italy yesterday. There is no need to belabor the point of why he showed up at a “summit of food innovation” in Italy. My loyal reader would have picked up on the “why” immediately.

But just for any new readers, Italy and the upcoming election is the GROUND ZERO for the Globalists European project and eventual ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT. If Italy decides to leave the Euro currency (return to a new Lira) and devalue, the German banking sector will become insolvent overnight. If the rest of the Euro zone countries (countries using the European currency) leave, the Germans will have to revert back to the Deutsche Mark. And the value of the Deutsche Mark is put at roughly 40% to 50% higher then its value in the Euro (which is a virtual basket of the national currencies). And if this happens, then this will increase the prices of German goods sold overseas (trade surplus) and cause havoc in the German government budget. And finally, the havoc created in the German government budget will have downstream effects on such “soft power” policies like subsidizing food in Africa, subsidizing the heretics in the Latin American Church and impacting the collection of the notorious KIRCHENSTEUER taxes that directly impact the Holy See’s contributions made pursuant to Canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law.

Simply put, by Germany reverting to its national currency, at its fair market value is equivalent as saying that Germany is reverting to its former status as the sick man of Europe.

So that is the CONTEXT.

Below the Zero Hedge post that can be found here.

“Zumutungen!” Buyer’s Remorse In France, Impossible Situation For Germany

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

Now that the cheering over the French election has died down, reality will strike France and Germany like a cold bucket of water thrown in one’s face on a Winter’s day.

Germany was guaranteed to not like the result no matter who won. The final choice was between an anti-EU Marine Le Pen and a budget-comingling Emanuel Macron who needs EU treaty changes to get what he wants.

And in France, buyer’s remorse has set in. Unions are already protesting against Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

Zumutungen!

The word of the day is Zumutungen. Google translates that from German as “impositions” but the actual meaning is quite a bit stronger according to Eurointelligence.

The German political establishment clearly favored Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen during the election campaign, but they are nervous about Macron’s eurozone agenda. As FAZ notes this morning, the relief over his victory still weighs heavier than the reality – which is that Macron and Angela Merkel have diametrically opposed views on the future of the eurozone. Merkel yesterday confirmed her readiness to engage in a dialogue with Macron, but said that eurozone bonds are a no-go. And without Eurobonds – or other forms of a eurozone-level fiscal backstop – none of the Macron agenda would work.

The FAZ article uses a word for which there is no straight translation – “Zumutungen” – which means an excessive and immoral demand that one can conceivably not fulfil. The paper makes the point that François Hollande also favoured the same kinds of reforms, but let go when he realized that there was no support from Berlin. The article notes that Macron’s ideas go way beyond those of Hollande. His eurozone agenda is not about crisis resolution, but economic shock absorption in general, as evidenced by his ideas for a pan-European unemployment insurance. FAZ is appalled by all of this, as well as by Macron’s idea of a Buy-European act. The paper noted that the eurozone finance ministers, at their meeting in Malta, criticised similar ideas by the European Commission.

On day one after Macron’s election, there is a first taste of resistance in the form of street protests against his labor law reforms. Labor reforms have been a particularly traumatic experience for the outgoing government. The radical trade unionists are taking to the streets, while the more cautious headquarters warn against implementing the whole agenda.

Volcanic Forces on Germany

Telegraph writer Ambrose-Evans-Pritchard accurately states Volcanic Macron Forces Germany to Come Clean on its Real EU Agenda.

Emmanuel Macron’s lightning conquest of France has put Germany in an awkward spot. French voters have picked an apostle of Europe and an arch-defender of the Franco-German axis. While this is welcomed with jubilation by some in Berlin, it raises thorny questions that others would prefer left unanswered.

He plans Nordic labor reforms, easier collective bargaining rules, and the sort of tax shake-up that German leaders have long demanded. The quid pro quo is that Berlin must agree to eurozone fiscal union, and cut its corrosive current account surplus – now 8.6 percent of GDP and in breach of EU rules.

“If France is not reformed, we will not be able to regain the confidence of the Germans,” Mr. Macron told Ouest-France. “After that, Germany must ask whether its own situation is tenable. It is accumulating surpluses which are neither good for its own economy nor for the eurozone.”

He wants a eurozone finance minister and budget, with joint debt, and a banking union with shared deposit insurance, all legitimized by a new parliament for the currency bloc. It implies a unitary eurozone superstate.

This calls Berlin’s bluff. The German elites often argue that they cannot accept such radical proposals as long as other eurozone states scoff at budget rules and fail to put their house in order.

The Handelsblatt accused Mr. Macron of “Teuton-bashing” over the trade surplus. The German Council of Economic Experts holds defiantly to the national view that trade surpluses are proof of virtue. It sees EMU debt-pooling as a slippery slope towards a “Transferunion”.

Mr. Macron’s plans would require a new EU Treaty, opening a can of worms that several states are determined to avoid. Berlin has no intention of sharing Italy’s debts, whatever France does.

Germany’s top court says EMU fiscal union and debt-pooling would require a change to country’s constitution. “Politically, that is absolutely impossible,” said Heiner Flassbeck, former economy minister and now at Hamburg University.

France is split on deep lines cleavage, Balkanized five ways. The scale of Mr. Macron’s 66:34 victory on Sunday is misleading. Blank protest votes – “Neither Plague nor Cholera” – jumped threefold to 11.5pc. The abstention rate jumped six points to 25.4pc.

The Front National’s Marine Le Pen botched the final weeks of her campaign with confused messages over pensions and the French franc, but she still won 34 percent of the vote. Five years ago this would have been deemed impossible. We now shrug off earthquakes a little too lightly.

German Elections

Angela Merkel has recently surged in the polls vs. SPD candidate Martin Schulz.

Is there a fundamental reason for the shift?

Yes, Schulz is far more open to Macron’s views than is Angela Merkel. Despite the fact a majority of German citizens do not want Merkel, voters may be stuck with her as a counterbalance to more radical ideas that SPD may be willing to try.

Germany a Loser

I discussed much of this setup long ago, before the French primaries, on January 15, in Germany a Loser No Matter Who Wins?

Germany a Loser No Matter Who Wins?

  • Le Pen: Eurosceptic – Seeks better relations with Russia
  • Macron: Pro Europe but seeks a common eurozone budget for investment and financial assistance in case of shocks.
  • Mélenchon: A socialist who will not be in favor of reforms France desperately needs
  • Valls: After the 2016 Nice attack, he was booed for saying that “France will have to live with terrorism.”
  • Fillon: Fillon aims to reduce the public sector and cut 500,000 civil-service jobs.  He wants the state healthcare program (securité sociale) to work better with fewer payments. Fillon is in favor of increasing the retirement age to 65. He seeks better relations with Russia.

Of the five, Germany could work best with Fillon. But his pro-Russia stance poses at least a minor problem.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

I ask again, Is Macron the Anti-Trump, European Obama Savior?