The catholic thing:Give Truth a Chance by Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

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Give Truth a Chance

Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Note: Some readers seem to have had trouble noticing satire and irony in a couple of recent columns, so we alert all visitors to this site that there may be humorous intent behind Fr. P’s “plan to improve self-esteem.” – RR

If you were to judge from the popular media, one of the most serious problems we have in our culture is the lack of self-esteem. We just don’t seem to value ourselves enough – many believe.

A couple of weeks ago, Louise Hay, a self-help author, died. She was immensely popular, but I confess I never heard of her until I read the obituary. One of her books sold 50 million copies. Here is a sampling of her wisdom (from her NYT obit):

• Every thought we think is creating our future.

• My happy thoughts help create my healthy body.

• Only good can come to me.

• I always work with and for wonderful people. I love my job.

• In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete.

So each of these lies is worth millions of dollars. No wonder so many people want a piece of the self-help action. So here is a plan to improve self-esteem, self-worth, and feeling good about ourselves. (I’m not greedy. Modest six-figure speaker fees would suit me just fine.)

No. 1: Define justice on your own terms and claim your rights

In the parable of householder sending out workman for the day, the householder pays a just day wage to all of them, regardless of the number of hours worked. (Cf. Mt 20:10-15) Those who worked more hours were quick to notice the “injustice” and to claim foul, even though they agreed to the wages in the first place.

A person with self-esteem is not troubled by what he owes others in justice. He’s troubled by what he thinks he should receive – by his personal standards of justice. It’s not fair when others hit the jackpot of life. Follow your dreams and demand your fair share of the pie.

No. 2: Never take No for an answer

In the Gospel, Jesus observes: “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’” (Mt 11:16-17)

Improve your self-esteem and self-image by ensuring that everyone around you –including your superior – dances to your tune, and never take no for an answer. Self-esteem is very fragile. Demand what you want and when you want it. You deserve it.

Ladder of Divine Ascent, 12th century [St. Catherine’s Monastery, South Sinai]
No. 3: Keep a keen eye on the faults of others

In the Gospel, Jesus asks, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (Mt 7:4) We feel better when we direct our attention to the faults of others. Fuel your self-esteem with feelings of superiority. Cultivate those feelings with a vigilant attentiveness to the faults of others, with a never-failing eye for detail. You are God’s gift to the world.

No. 4: Project your own flaws on others

In the Gospel account of the “woman caught in adultery” (Jn. 8), the evangelist does not report, “The woman and man caught in adultery.” It’s a fair guess that one of the men holding a rock to be tossed in her direction was guilty of the same sin and the other men knew it. So those holding the stones likely deflected attention from their own sins and projected them on the prostitute. We’ll never know for sure, of course. But that’s the point. Deflect attention from yourself in matters of sin, and project your sins on others. Claim the high moral ground. Life isn’t always wonderful but you are.

No. 5: Master the art of idleness and gossip

Saint Paul suggests indolence is the basis of the busybody vocation: “For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.” (2Thessalonians 3:11). When we disparage others, we build up our opinion of ourselves and that’s the stuff of self-esteem. Increase your idle time by neglecting your responsibilities at home and the office and use your time to talk about others.

No. 6: Disguise evil motives with geniality

Judas Iscariot was given thirty pieces of silver and devised a plan of, well, execution. So in the Garden, “there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?’’ (Lk 22) Mission accomplished! Thirty pieces of silver elevate self-esteem to a very high level. Be fulfilled with a happy face and a kiss.

With these six easy steps, you will grow in self-esteem in the ways of the world. You’ll be selfish and self-absorbed, demanding of family members and figures of authority, hypercritical of others, a gossip and a busybody, and even a traitor. In short, you will exude self-esteem. Trust yourself and insist you feel good about yourself. And don’t be confused by the facts.

Thank you. My speaker fee is $10,000.

Of course, some of us may find these lies wearisome and unsatisfying. The truth can be painful. Jesus does not offer us a formula for self-esteem. He wants to save us from our sins. “she [Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21) He wants to be confident in Him, not in ourselves. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)

He wants us to have a clear conscience and peace of soul. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) But His way is not easy. “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

No lies. Words of truth and eternal life. So forget about self-esteem. Give truth a chance.
© 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky
Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Father Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington. He is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia.
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The catholic thing:Someone (Else) Please Help the Poor by Randall Smith

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Someone (Else) Please Help the Poor

Randall Smith

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I once contemplated writing an article on “How (Not) To Write a Pastoral Letter.” My model of how to write a pastoral letter would be Pope John Paul II. Instead of merely repeating contemporary partisan arguments and then taking one side or the other, using cherry-picked passages from the Scriptures or Church documents to insist that one party in the debate “fails to meet a moral test” or “cannot be reconciled with Church teaching,” John Paul II more often refined and focused the debate by questioning the terms and categories we use to think about the issue. Instead of entering the old “communism” versus “capitalism” debate in the usual way, for example, John Paul II critiqued both positions and suggested new ways to think about work and the economy.

Consider the confusions we face today when people hear the message that we need a “fairer” economy that does more to “help the poor.” If we begin with the notion that “fairness” means I get to keep what I earn, then it is entirely possible to derive from this premise the conclusion that taxes should be kept low. If we begin with the notion that “fairness” means the goods of society should be spread equally among all the members, it is entirely possible to derive from that premise the conclusion that taxes should be raised.

Terrible misunderstandings can result when both sides are arguing about what is “fair” not realizing that they are using the term in entirely different ways – indeed in two ways that are mutually contradictory. If I get to keep what I earn, then it is not spread equally among everyone; and if the goods of society are supposed to be spread equally among everyone, then those who make more will not get to keep all they earn.
John Paul II by Yousuf Karsh, 1979

What one side calls “fair” is precisely what the other side would describe as “unfair.” If Silicon Valley billionaires get to keep all their billions, some people would protest that this “unfair.” If the government taxes these people to give it to people who earned less, another group will complain that this is “unfair.” Both groups use the same word, but with entirely different meanings.

A further difficulty arises if we find in ourselves both notions of “fairness” operating independently, so that, in some moments and some circumstances, we express a deep desire to keep whatever we work for, and in other moments and circumstances, are convinced that the goods of society should be spread around “more fairly.” The result is often the conviction, not that I should do more, but that “the rich” (meaning those who make more money than I do) should “do more” to “help the poor.”

Studies find that 27 percent of all households in the United States making more than $100,000 a year say they cannot afford to buy everything they really need, while nearly 20 percent say they “spend nearly all their income on the basic necessities of life.” And 35 percent of survey respondents report that they would like someday to be in the “really made it” group, a category representing the top 6 percent of earners in American society.” Meanwhile, 49 percent said they aspired to be in the “doing very well” group – namely, somewhere among the next 12 percent of earners. So taken together, 85 percent of Americans said they wanted to be in the top 18 percent of earners, while only 15 percent said they would be satisfied ending up as “middle-class.” Given this, we will likely not be able to get “the rich” to “do more,” since almost no one in one of the richest countries in the world feels “rich.”

So too, when upper-middle-class people discover how many lower income families do not deny themselves expensive consumer items, they start to doubt the claim that they are “poor.” Sociological studies suggest that consumer items provide people a sense of identity, a sense of “belonging” and of being a somebody rather than a nobody. So it is hard to imagine that those at the lowest end of the income scale, who are most likely to be viewed as “unsuccessful” and “not having done anything with their lives,” would entirely forego the sense of being a somebody, which ownership of consumer items promises to provide.

So when a discussion about “justice” for “poor people” in America reaches the conclusion that “rich people should do more,” this may well be true, but the conclusion is not entirely helpful if the interlocutors haven’t a clear idea (a) what they mean by “poor” (are people with large-screen televisions “poor”?), (b) what they mean by “rich” (are people making $200,000 per year, who say they can’t afford everything they really need, “rich”?) and (c) what they mean by “justice” (people keep what they earn, or spread it around equally?)

What kind of a horrible person and terrible Catholic would I be if I didn’t say I wanted a “fairer economy” that does more to help the poor? Really terrible. So I will say it: We need a “fairer economy” that does more to help the poor.

One group will read that and say, “Exactly! We need to cut taxes so the economy will improve and the poor will benefit.” Others will reply: “Exactly! We need to raise taxes on the rich to provide more for the poor.” I could choose one side and scold the others as immoral and un-Catholic. But my best bet might be to just keep my mouth shut and shake my head yes. I look good to both sides, and I refrain from talking about complex economic matters about which I have little or no expertise. But what fun would that be?

The John Paul II strategy would be to try to help clarify the terms of the debate to help both sides deliberate more clearly about something they think they’re discussing but really aren’t.

Less self-righteous fun; fewer partisan brownie points; but maybe better long-term results.
© 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

About the Author
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Randall Smith
Randall Smith

Randall B. Smith is the Scanlan Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. His most recent book, Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, is now available at Amazon and from Emmaus Academic Press.
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Histoire Globale:Cartographie :chronique d’une histoire peut-être mondiale (1) Publié le 15 octobre 2017 par Vincent Capdepuy

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Cartographie chronique d’une histoire peut-être mondiale (1)
Publié le 15 octobre 2017 par Vincent Capdepuy

L’Histoire mondiale de la France, sous la direction de Patrick Boucheron, ne se présente pas comme un livre d’histoire globale. L’introduction, de ce point de vue, est très efficace car ouverte à toutes les lectures. « Il n’existe pas encore aujourd’hui d’histoire mondiale de la France. Le livre qu’on va lire n’en tient pas lieu : il en forme, tout au plus, les prémices ou la promesse. […] Voici pourquoi on lira ici une histoire mondiale de la France et non pas une histoire de la France mondiale. […] Plutôt que de la dire mondiale, on pourrait se contenter d’affirmer qu’elle est une histoire longue de la France. » À chacun des lecteurs d’apprécier.

Plus sérieusement, ce flou artistique autour de la définition de « mondial » pose un problème de fond. Avec la mondialisation globale que nous connaissons, le monde, que certains géographes prennent le soin d’écrire le Monde, est communément identifié avec l’espace global, ou planétaire. Il n’en a pas toujours ainsi, loin de là. Comme l’écrivait Montaigne, au 16e siècle, « notre monde vient d’en trouve un autre ». L’espace global a pu contenir plusieurs mondes distincts et distants. Ce manque de réflexion sur la notion de « monde » est peut-être ce qu’il y a de plus étonnant dans l’historiographie contemporaine. Comme si la notion semblait nouvelle alors que c’est un terme employé depuis le 18e siècle pour caractériser des ensembles géohistoriques divers, et parfaitement banal. Trop peut-être.

Qu’en est-il en effet du « monde grec », du « monde romain », du « monde chinois », du « monde arabe », du « monde malais », du « monde méditerranéen », du « monde atlantique »… ? Toutes ces locutions nous sont familières et pourtant, jamais à ma connaissance, le terme de « monde » n’a été conceptualisé, contrairement à celui de « civilisation » par exemple, qu’on pourrait facilement lui substituer pour parler de la « civilisation grecque », de la « civilisation romaine », etc., sans pour autant qu’on puisse considérer les deux termes comme synonymiques. Ouvrir un ouvrage d’histoire sur un monde quelconque, c’est généralement aborder cette histoire par un tableau géographique décrivant le territoire préposé de la civilisation en question. On pourrait ainsi proposer une définition implicite de monde comme « espace civilisationnel ». Pourtant, il y aurait matière à réflexion sur le processus même de constitution d’un monde, autrement dit sur la mondialisation comme mise en monde. Yann Potin peut se gausser des « publicistes » qui parlent de « mondialisation », mais un temps de réflexion commune sur le champ lexical et conceptuel du « mondial » n’aurait peut-être pas été inutile.

Cette Histoire mondiale de la France n’apporte pas donc que des bribes de réponse à la question des mises en monde successives de cet espace devenu tardivement la France. Il s’agit plutôt, au fil des dates, de plusieurs séances de hula hoop avec un cerceau-mondes virevoltant autour d’une France fixée une fois pour toute depuis la nuit des temps, mais se déhanchant au gré des lieux. C’est du moins ce que j’en ai compris et ce que j’ai voulu traduire en une série de cartes. Celles-ci sont assez sommaires, sans doute critiquables ; elles schématisent des mondes sans prétendre les délimiter avec précision : le recours à des ellipses simplifie trop, laissant de côté certains espaces, incluant d’autres qui ne sont pas concernés. Chaque carte est accompagnée d’un bref commentaire ; là encore, il s’agit d’abord de poser des questions.

Je ne ferai probablement pas un traitement exhaustif des 146 chapitres, mais voici une première série de remarques sur le premier chapitre : « Aux prémices d’un bout du monde ».

34 000 av. J.-C. – Inventer le monde dans les entrailles de la Terre

« Il [ce garçon, fictif] nous parle de la construction d’un nouveau monde, ce monde qu’il a, lui, pu croire de toute éternité, à coups de pinceau ou plutôt de fusain. Ce monde est celui de l’homme de Cro-Magnon. » / « Entre 60 000 et 40 000 avant le présent, Sapiens se répand en effet sur le monde, au-delà de ses frontières d’alors, à l’image de l’Australie comme, peut-être, déjà, selon certains modèles, des Amériques. » / « Qu’est-ce qui fait tourner le monde ? Une société humaine trouve-t-elle d’abord son explication dans une forme de “rationalité biologico-économique” […], ou puise-t-elle son essence dans des idéaux réagissant les rapports de sexe, de génération, de pouvoir, etc. ? » En quelques phrases, François Bon a tenté de justifier la dimension mondiale de cette histoire, au risque de perdre le lecteur dans la polysémie de « monde », entre l’espace planétaire, l’espace de diffusion d’une espèce animale (l’Homo Sapiens), l’espace d’une société identifiée par une culture (les Aurignaciens).

Peut-on parler d’un « monde des hommes modernes » ? De toute évidence, non. L’expansion des hommes et le peuplement progressif des différents espaces du globe se sont accompagné d’une distanciation et d’une déconnexion, plus ou moins forte, des différentes communautés humaines. On peut parler de l’écoumène, c’est-à-dire de l’espace peuplé par les hommes, mais pas véritablement d’un monde, qui impliquerait un minimum de cohésion.
Peut-on parler d’un « monde aurignacien » ? L’expression a pu être employée. Elle renvoie à une unité culturelle identifiée par ses industries osseuse et lithique. On en trouve les traces sur un espace assez vaste, entre le Moyen-Orient et l’Europe occidentale, et pendant une période plurimillénaire, entre 43 000 BP et 28 000 BP.

23 000 av. J.-C. – L’homme se donne un visage de femme

Inversement, dans ce chapitre, François Bon ne parle plus de monde. Il évoque seulement une « tradition “culturelle” attestée à travers toute l’Europe », celle des Gravettiens.

Peut-on parler d’un « monde gravettien » ? L’expression a pu être employée, à l’occasion, mais pas plus que celle d’un « monde aurignacien », elle n’a donné lieu à une quelconque conceptualisation.

12 000 av. J.-C. – Le climat détraqué et l’art régénéré

Pour Boris Valentin, c’est la fin de « plus de deux cents siècles d’une véritable civilisation du renne ». Cette « phase historique », qui est aussi un « vaste courant culturel », est celle des Aziliens.

Peut-on parler d’un « monde azilien » ? L’expression ne semble pas attestée. L’Azilien est un faciès culturel épi-paléolithique, à l’extension relativement restreinte, dans l’espace comme dans le temps.

5 800 av. J.-C. – Dans la multitude orientale des champs de blé

La France fut alors atteinte par un « courant de néolithisation ». Jean-Paul Demoule se réfère à un modèle diffusionniste classique et il n’est ici nullement question de « monde » ou de « mondialisation ».

Peut-on parler d’un « monde rubané » ? L’expression est employée, elle renvoie à une unité culturelle d’abord identifiée par un décor céramique que les archéologues voient se diffuser d’est en ouest à travers l’Europe.
Peut-on parler d’un « monde cardial » ? L’expression a pu être utilisée, mais comme pour les cultures précédentes, l’usage est généralement d’en parler sous la forme d’un substantif, avec majuscule : le Cardial, le Rubané, l’Azilien, le Gravettien, l’Aurignacien, etc.

4 600 av. J.-C. – Pierres levées et haches de jade à l’occident du monde

« Il semble bien que Carnac ait été, un temps, le centre du monde… » – d’un monde, ou deux. « Loin d’être l’apanage d’une civilisation atlantique, le mégalithisme de Carnac signale le centre aveugle d’un monde spirituel et politique inaccessible dont le jade est la matière la plus précieuse. » Selon Grégor Marchand, il y aurait ainsi deux mondes : celui, atlantique, des mégalithes et celui, européen, du jade.

Peut-on parler d’un « monde atlantique » ? L’expression semble utilisée de façon assez floue pour désigner une culture particulière de l’Ouest français.
Peut-on parler d’un « monde de l’Europe du jade » ? L’expression elle-même n’est pas soutenable. En revanche, l’idée s’appuie sur l’identification de réseaux d’échanges qui semblent avoir structuré un espace et lui avoir donné une certaine unité.

600 av. J.-C. – La Grèce avec ou sans la Gaule

Marseille aurait longtemps été une cité relativement isolée de son arrière-pays celte. Vincent Azoulay remet ce port dans le contexte des réseaux marchands de la Méditerranée, en l’occurrence celui des Phocéens, « un puissant réseau ionien, en concurrence avec les circuits étrusques et phénico-carthaginois présents depuis longtemps dans la zone ».

Peut-on parler d’un « monde ionien » ou d’un « monde grec » ? Les deux expressions sont utilisées, le « monde ionien » constituant une partie du « monde grec ». L’intérêt ici est de s’interroger sur la situation d’une agglomération en bordure de ce monde grec, à l’interface avec un monde celte. Les Phocéens de Marseille étaient-ils « au bord du monde » ?

500 av. J.-C. – Le dernier des Celtes

L’analyse de Laurent Olivier à propos de la tombe de Vix illustre parfaitement mon commentaire liminaire. Lorsqu’il écrit que cette découverte apportait des informations sur « l’histoire des relations du monde celtique avec les civilisations méditerranéennes classiques », on perçoit que les notions de « monde » et de « civilisation » sont perçues par l’auteur comme quasiment interchangeables. Ce que confirme une phrase plus loin : « de manière révélatrice, ces deux séries d’objets renvoient à des mondes différents ».

Peut-on parler d’un « monde celte » ? L’expression est largement usitée. Pourtant, le monde celte est sans doute le grand absent de cette première partie. La définition des Celtes, comme ensemble civilisationnel, aurait mérité une mise au point.
Peut-on parler de « monde(s) méditerranéen(s) » ? d’un « monde gréco-étrusque » ? La notion est assez floue.

52 av. J.-C. – Alésia ou le sens de la défaite

Yann Potin ne parle pas de « monde romain », même s’il suggère la possibilité de considérer que la romanisation, c’est-à-dire l’intégration progressive, pluriséculaire, des Gaules dans le territoire romain, comme une mondialisation.

Peut-on parler d’un « monde romain » ? L’expression est ancrée dans l’usage. La mondialisation romaine constitue désormais un champ historiographique reconnu, et qui mériterait peut-être davantage d’attention en France.

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Pour une école libre au Québec : 8 octobre 1517 — fondation du Havre, port des découvreurs

Pour une école libre au Québec

8 octobre 1517 — fondation du Havre, port des découvreurs

Posted: 08 Oct 2017 08:49 PM PDT
Le 8 octobre 1517, François Ier fonda en Normandie « Le Havre-de-Grâce », aujourd’hui Le Havre.

Le 8 octobre 1517, François Ier signe la charte de fondation de la ville. La « grosse tour » en défend l’entrée. Le site est entouré de marais, et il n’est pas question à l’origine de créer une ville dans ce milieu insalubre. Pourtant, sur l’initiative de Du Chillou, François Ier donne exemption de taille et de franc-salé aux futurs habitants du Havre. Les armes de la ville sont celles de François Ier : une salamandre. Le roi se déplace lui-même en août 1520 et rend les privilèges du Havre (essentiellement le quartier Notre-Dame) perpétuels, essentiellement des exonérations d’impôts.

En juin 1523, Giovanni da Verrazano part du Havre à bord de la Dauphine pour les Indes Occidentales et découvre le site de New York qu’il nomme Nouvelle Angoulême en hommage à François Ier le commanditaire de l’expédition.

Le 12 juillet 1555, une expédition de 600 hommes dirigée par Villegagnon part du Havre pour fonder une colonie protestante au Brésil (Fort-Coligny). Aujourd’hui encore, une place des cannibales rappelle ces liens anciens avec le Nouveau Monde. D’autres convois de huguenots embarquent au Havre pour l’Amérique.

En février 1562, une expédition quitte le port du Havre en direction de la Floride. Elle est dirigée par Jean Ribault et René de Laudonnière, avec 150 hommes, en majorité des protestants.

À la fin du XVIe siècle, le trafic avec le Nouveau Monde prend son essor et Le Havre voit arriver des produits américains comme des cuirs, du sucre et du tabac. Un des principaux acteurs de ce négoce est un Havrais explorateur et cartographe, Guillaume Le Testu (1509-1573) : un quai au Havre porte toujours son nom. D’autres figures de la Course et de l’exploration de l’Amérique passèrent par Le Havre : le capitaine Guillaume de Champaigne (années 1550-1580), le Normand Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc (1585-1637) qui prit possession de l’île antillaise de Saint-Christophe en 1626. Jacques Devaux est né au Havre ; il fut pilote et cartographe et en 1579 il explora la région de l’Amazone et fit des relevés des côtes américaines de 1585 à 1587.

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Zero hedge:Trump Team Reached Out to My Network

Trump Team Reached Out to My Network
for Advice on the Economy
On April 12th we sent him this field memo on a coming crisis
We are now releasing it to the general public (it’s not what you expect…)

On April 12th, I sent a memo to the White House.

The facts within it may make them uncomfortable. They certainly made me uncomfortable.

No, this is not a political message. But understand: this honeymoon period we are in – change in Washington…cautious optimism…record high stock prices – cannot last…

And it has nothing to do with President Trump, or the Supreme Court, or Russia…

This has to do with deep trends that go back decades…ones I’ve been studying since the late 70s…

And a coming crisis 30 years in the making…

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen has admitted the existence of this threat, warning that America could find itself in a “devastating spiral.”

C-SPAN has testimony from US Congressman Paul Kanjorski admitting that a crisis like this could shut down the entire America economy within hours…

US Treasury insider Neel Kashkari has described this type of crisis saying: “Literally, your ATM wouldn’t work. You type in your code, no money comes out. You get your paycheck, you can’t cash it.”

Over the last few months I’ve been assembling all the information I can about this crisis – as well as how to protect yourself (you don’t have to be rich or leave the country…and no, I’m not talking about putting gold bars under your mattress)

I’ve put all the information into a 220-page book…Think of it like a field memo on this coming crisis…

Understand, I didn’t do this because I wanted to write a book (I’ve already written three New York Times best-sellers on economics and I had no prior intention of writing another)…

It just seemed like the best way to present so much information in one place.

Nor am I a survivalist, or a conspiracy theorist, or a “prepper.” I’m just a businessman.

I sit as the founder of a multi-national news and research network that serves 2.6 million private subscribers. That’s more digital subscribers than the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal combined.

We operate across six continents, in 16 different countries, in 7 different languages.

I’ve been invited to dinners along with Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman. I attended Ronald Reagan’s inaugural ball. Recently I had the former head of the United States Federal Reserve in my office.

Yet, I have also become convinced that we are about to see a sudden, and unprecedented, shift in how we live…

That’s why, on April 12th I mailed a copy of my findings to the White House.

No, you will never see this book in a store. And I have no plans to offer it on Amazon or anywhere else.

In just a moment I’m going to tell you how you can read it right now (and secure the same hardcover copy we sent the White House).

(Yes, there is a catch. But I think you’ll like it…More on that in a bit.)

Understand that the crisis I describe in this book may seem improbable to you…even impossible…

The evidence that I have outlined in this book may make some of your friends or family members very angry. They’ll refuse to believe what you put in front of them. They’ll say it just can’t happen.

But that’s exactly what people said about the rise of radical Islam…the collapse of the Dot-Com bubble…the housing collapse of 2008…and even the election of Donald Trump to the presidency…

I know because I was on hand for all of those events as part of my job…

You see, my network doesn’t strictly report the “news.”

Founded back in 1978 in partnership with an Oxford scholar and the former head of England’s BBC…Our goal is to study world trends and draw them out to their logical conclusions…

As I once told a newspaper reporter:

“’The world is changing in a way that people need understanding of, and our challenge is to provide analysis…to tell people what’s going on…’”

And we’ve proven quite good at it…

…In 1993, we predicted the rise of radical Islamic terrorism:

We wrote back then,

Especially troubling for many in the West will be the rise of Islam… This could be the biggest threat to world peace in the next two decades…the bomb at New York’s World Trade Center [is] just a small taste of what’s to come…”

Eight years later the September 11 attacks hit the World Trade Center again.

…On March 10, 2000, I personally sent out a warning that a “day of reckoning” was close at hand for the dot-com bubble.

Starting that very day, the NASDAQ began a two-year 77% plunge…

…On March 31, 2005, we warned that housing, along with lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would collapse…

We reported:

Something is smoldering in the mortgage-lending market, and the heart of fire is on the balance sheet of Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM).”

In fact, even earlier than that we had warned against many of the banks that would go on to receive bail outs in that crisis…Our list included Citigroup, Chase Manhattan, and Merrill Lynch, among others.

…As early as April 21, 2016, we stood almost alone in predicting Trump would win the presidency…

The Huffington Post was giving Hillary a 98% chance of winning. Yet, four of my most famous analysts staked their reputations on a Trump win. One wrote: “Donald Trump will shake up Washington more thoroughly than any president elected in my lifetime or yours.”

From our humble beginnings we have grown into a global network of a dozen independent research groups. We’ve been able to attract some of the greatest minds in the country, including former CIA consultants, White House advisors, congressmen, doctors, millionaire entrepreneurs and authors…

You may have seen our work referenced in the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, or the New York Times.

Yet, we operate very privately. We do not sponsor football stadiums, engage in politics, or take out ads in glossy magazines.

As the Baltimore Sun once wrote about me:

That said, it didn’t come as a complete surprise when Trump’s team reached out to a colleague at a fellow group for advice on the economy. It was even reported in the influential financial letter The Daily Reckoning.

Unfortunately, my friend (a former advisor to Reagan) has good reason to believe that we are about to see a “black swan” form of crisis very soon…one that could result in a complete breakdown in government sometime this year…

And he isn’t the only one concerned…

…a real estate mogul I’ve known since the 70s recently built an isolated retreat for himself and his friends in Northern Argentina (I have a spot there myself)…

It’s kind of like “Galt’s Gulch” from Atlas Shrugged (my friend even had renowned designer Bob Cupp build a golf course there).

Here’s the clubhouse (sorry I can’t reveal its name or location)

…one of my business partners – CEO of America’s leading financial research firm – has warned his private customers to prepare for massive corporate bond defaults in the days ahead…

In fact, he has also amassed huge stores of gold and silver, bought a 100-acre farm outside of the city…and even hired a private doctor so he won’t have to rely on our failing healthcare system…

…even 12-term congressman Dr. Ron Paul – a friend from my Washington days – is now warning seniors and the middle class to protect themselves from a crisis:

“it’s unavoidable, and even Donald Trump can’t stop it.”
– Dr. Ron Paul

In fact, President Trump might just agree:

The day Obama goes off…playing golf for the rest of his life…you are going to see some bad things happen.”

Based on what I’ve seen – and what I lay out in my book – his prediction will likely come true.

Interestingly, many others have already asked me to reach out to the President, like this email I received recently (I’ve promised not to name any names):

I cannot say I disagree with your conclusions…Perhaps you should put some of your ideas in front of President Trump. I am sure he would be willing to listen…”

That’s why I mailed my findings to the White House…

And now you can see them for yourself.

Again, this book is not going into Barnes and Noble, or Hudson News at the airport.

It is – and will remain – purely for private use. Frankly, you may never see this offer again.

It contains everything that has led me to the conclusion I’m sharing with you today.

It also contains 101 pages of all the ways you can protect yourself and your family. Things like:

…How to remove your money from the reach of government (without leaving the country or even dealing with any questionable third parties)

…“New Swiss Bank Accounts” you can set up at home (one type is actually going WAY up in value as I write)

…4 techniques to identify gold (very simple) and how to store it (according to Swiss bankers, the way you store gold makes a huge difference)

…A narrative account of the exact day this crisis happens…(and why simply “getting out of town” won’t be enough)

…the secrets used by the resistance and the black market during World War II to keep wealth safe from war, inflation, and Nazi Germany (and how you can still use them today)

…the valuable “crisis money” you may already own (it’s not gold bullion…PLUS how to get it for nearly nothing)

…and much more…(in fact, keep reading for a peek at 57 ideas from my book)

And look, I understand if you feel there’s a lot to be hopeful about in America today. Maybe you’re tired of the doom and gloom. Well, so am I. But that doesn’t stop me from telling the truth.

I’ve made my preparations…I’ve spent millions on lawyers, land, gold, cash, and other investments that could prove crucial in the days ahead.

I grow my own vegetables, raise my own chickens and livestock (several hundred head of cattle actually), and try to teach my children hard work and skills they can use no matter what.

On top of that I’ve spent millions diversifying my multi-million dollar business to a point where we could survive if something goes bad here in the US…

So I’m serious about this. All the evidence I’ve gathered says 100% that this will happen.

And look, I’ve made predictions like this before…and I was right then too.

For example, in the 1980s I became convinced that the Japanese stock market was about to crash.

At the time, the Japanese had just bought New York City’s Rockefeller Center for $846 million…They had also bought Columbia Pictures for $4.4 billion…On the face of it, it was crazy to bet against them…

Yet, on page 87 of an annual forecast issued in 1989, we wrote:

“In our view, the Japanese stock market is one of the two most overvalued markets in the world…the long-running bull market in Tokyo may be nearing an end.”

That year the Japanese stock market was at its highest point in history.

Everyone thought we were crazy for predicting the end of the Japanese “miracle.”

In October of that year, one of my friends – economist and author Mark Skousen – made a joke of it. As a present he gave me a mock-up of a book: “How I Called the Crash in Japan”

Well, I wish I had written that book…

Two months later the Japanese stock market crashed, as Japan entered what would later be called “the lost decade.”

Japan has never recovered

So I’ve been doubted before…and I was right. I guess my question to you is:

What if I’m right this time too?

And are you willing to take just a few minutes to review my findings?

You will find out how to protect yourself (and perhaps even prosper). You don’t risk much.

In the weeks ahead, I expect more banks to start restricting access to your money…similar to what J.P. Morgan Chase did recently when it placed tight limits on ATM withdrawals…

In fact, have you read your banking contract? You may be surprised at what you agreed to…In a moment, I’ll give you one critical thing to protect yourself.

…I expect pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and other funds to begin closing off withdrawals…similar to what happened recently when one of the largest pension funds in Texas suddenly halted all withdrawals by pensioners…

And that was not an isolated event. In fact, it now appears pension funds in New Jersey, Kansas, and Illinois may be dangerously close to going under…

…I expect more currency controls and laws restricting cash use, similar to what we’ve already seen in Louisiana with R.S. 37:1866…or at the federal level with public law 111-147 and section 5324 of the US Code.

In fact, an official document found on the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s servers offers a shocking glimpse of a potential “6C” plan” to swap cash dollars for a new ‘digital dollar’– You’ll understand why this is so important when you read my book…

…I expect some of the biggest companies in America will go bankrupt…think Lehman or Bear Stearns, except well-known brands that you rely on every day

And that’s just to start: As you’ll see in my 220-page book on this crisis, there are far more disturbing elements of this coming event…

And actually, I want to talk about a few of them right here.

These days you can practically feel the tension like humidity on a hot summer’s night.

You’ve seen the violence and civil unrest in places like Oakland, Ferguson, and Baltimore…the political beatings in California…the flag burning rallies in Portland…and the strikes that crippled businesses in place like Chicago and Kansas City last year…

How long do you think those same people will refrain from stealing and violence during a true economic crisis?

My feeling is…not very long.

One man was dragged from his car and beaten in a Chicago street as onlookers jeered. In Kansas City, another man was attacked by a gang of teenagers after he admitted to not voting in the Presidential election…

What do you think happens once banks start freezing accounts…when government checks fail to go out…and there’s no one to cash them even if they do…?

My own family experienced a taste of what’s to come first hand…on a cold April night in Baltimore not long ago. Otherwise quiet streets were suddenly overrun by screaming mobs, lighting fires, breaking windows…looting at will.

My daughter was pregnant at the time. She and her husband were prisoners in their own home while vandals ransacked the street only a few blocks away.

Meanwhile one of my employees – also with a wife and children – was nearly caught alone in the street by the angry mob…He was beginning to realize just how much trouble he was in, when miraculously a kind stranger opened a doorway and pulled him in to safety.

Right now, you are that family man caught in the street, with forces beyond your control bearing down on you…

And I’m going to open a door for you.

Instead of trying to charge people for cheap reports or online courses…

I’ve put all our findings into an accessible field guide for the days ahead. It’s very easy to read.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

How the Fed will “nationalize” billions of financial and real assets like stocks and bonds (central banks in Japan are already doing this)
The non-banks where you can legally hide gold (much better than your backyard)
How to store money (no paper trail) in an anonymous dollar account (without using bitcoin or logging onto some website you can’t trust. These are actually available at some pharmacies.)
The government agency that can legally confiscate cash and detain you if you set foot in these special public zones (every state has them…393 in Texas…and over 800 in Florida)
The 9 skills that could save your life in a collapse (You can easily master 7 and 8 in a day. In fact, these could make great retirement part time “gigs” right now.)
The ONE type of fuel you should hoard right away (It’s not gas, natural gas, or biofuels. And you can sometimes get it for FREE.)
4 things you must know before you barter with gold (And two very important measurement systems you need to understand. Don’t worry, we make it very simple.)
The SIX QUESTIONS that could get your bank account frozen if you aren’t careful (and how to ask them if you need to)
What 4 overlooked lines from the Book of Genesis could teach central bankers about how to restore the American economy
And that’s just the start…

Don’t wait till tomorrow…or a week from now. You can claim your copy of my book this very moment (an instantly downloadable pre-print proof AND reserve the same hardcover copy we sent the White House).

Look, you didn’t arrive here by accident. I’ve spent well over $2 million putting my message online. That’s not counting the analysts, the copy editors, the designers, and the researchers it took to produce the book itself.

I estimate that if I wanted to make an actual profit on each one, I’d have to sell them for over $150. That sounds like a lot but ask any college student: a good text book can cost over $500.

In fact, I’ve seen even used copies of my other books on Amazon for as much as $86 dollars.

But I’m not going to ask you to pay anywhere near that.

Instead, I’m allowing you to instantly download a proof of this book – that’s the digital version we send to the printer – for free. Then I’ll send you the same hardcover copy I’ve sent the White House. We pay the shipping.

All I ask in return are two things: a $19 fee to support the cost of online server space, printing the hardcover edition, production, and research…as well as a small favor that I’ll get to in just a moment…

Now if you’re imagining complex charts…data tables…and things that look like bank statements…do NOT worry!

That’s NOT AT ALL what I have in mind.

I’ve prepared pages and pages of unexpected ways you can protect yourself, including:

An indestructible way to store wealth that you don’t need to hide or even put in a bank vault (it’s nearly impossible to steal – rich families have used this for generations – even some Chinese investors are now using it to protect their money from the communist regime)
How a “walnut IRA” could boost your retirement by six figures even if the banks go under (yes, it’s true. In fact, one of my readers has been doing this for years.)
The only legal way I know to never pay taxes again to the federal government (it all depends on where you live)
How to get a second passport (…how to avoid scams…which countries to avoid…and 2 reputable countries that allow you to actually buy citizenship)
The ONLY 2 types of gold you should buy (PLUS how to spot them)
The $40 billion program from Obama’s presidency that George Washington would tell President Trump to stop immediately (no, we’re not talking about Obamacare)
How to prevent your bank from using the “abandonment” clause to hand your account over to the government

Those who prepare now, have a chance to save what they’ve got. There will even be those who profit in this new era. But I fear many millions will be caught off guard.

America is just very different from the place you and I grew up in.

We’re seeing protests…rioting…young people fighting police and turning their backs on American values in favor of newer – usually leftwing – ideals…

A majority of people in the U.S. now favor taking some people’s money to distribute to others…

A majority also favor higher taxes…

I saw a letter recently by a former Reagan operative claiming pro-Trump members of Congress would soon need Secret Service details…

1 in 5 Americans do not think the U.S. will remain a single country going forward

A report by Pew Research finds Americans more divided than ever before…

But frankly, you don’t need a scientific study to prove that.

From the violence that ripped through our streets after the election…to the massive decline in marriage rates in our young men and women…to the increasingly vocal and sometimes violent opposition to traditional American values…

I’m just not sure how well America – at least as I know it – could withstand food shortages…banks closing…bonds, retirement accounts, and benefits becoming worthless…

Can you imagine a full-blown collapse in today’s America?

Where anger at police is reaching a boiling point…?

Where teenagers can use the Internet to summon “flash mobs” in just minutes…?

Where half of the population pays no taxes and depends on aid from the federal government…?

Where students crippled by college loans can’t get jobs…?

How Long Before Americans Turn on Each Other?

Once you see how the US economy has been manipulated and distorted over the past thirty years…

…it won’t come as any surprise how much “carnage” there is in the country right now…

And that’s an important feature of my book, I haven’t mentioned yet. When you read it, you’ll understand America in ways you never did before…

For example, you’ll understand how these manipulations have affected everything from our diet to what kinds of houses we live in…even our political system and race relations. You’ll be able to explain how it all works to friends and family.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

on page 48, you’ll read about the true cause of racism in America (I’ve never heard it spoken this way anywhere…and African Americans are suffering most because of it)
on page 70, I explain why record numbers of young people are hooked on drugs (and what to do about it)
on page 46, I explain why our Founding Fathers would hate the current US government more than they hated King George III
on page 28 you’ll discover what billionaires are really doing when they give away big money to charity
on page 49, you’ll read about the strange fact of entire towns of disabled people (right here in America)
on page 25 you’ll learn the best argument against minimum wage (if only the New York Times reported this)
on page 38, you’ll read about my life in the war zone of inner city Baltimore in the 1980s (and the single policy that turned inner cities into high crime areas)
on page 45, you’ll find the important difference between our founding fathers and “modern” men
on page 34, you’ll discover what happened to a small mountain community when welfare was introduced there (they had lived off the land peacefully for years until this…)

But of course, the true value of my book are the many pages of ideas you can use to overcome these corruptions of American society, money, and life.

In fact, when you get yours I want you to open it up to page 119.

You’ll discover…

Where to Find Money You Can Trust
(No, it’s NOT Gold Bullion)

The fact of the matter is, you should not trust money you can’t hold in your hand.

In the immediate aftermath of the crisis…I expect physical dollars to get VERY scarce.

That’s why, if you ignore everything else from this message I would hope that you maintain an “emergency” cash reserve at home – one month’s worth of expenses at minimum.

There’s also gold of course. And I’m a bit of a gold bug as the Financial Times once noted:

But gold’s not actually that practical for day-to-day transactions…

We saw this back in 2001 during Argentina’s financial collapse…Argentines found themselves using radically different new forms of money…

And the interesting part is that they weren’t rare gems or coins…In fact, what becomes valuable in a crisis will shock you…

For example, there’s one small item you can buy at Walmart or almost any department store…During a crisis these become an incredibly valuable currency for everyday goods…

You may even have dozens of these in your home already…wealth you never suspected you had…

But that’s just to start. Did you know: your closest town could be producing something called “local scrip”? At least two cities on the East Coast do. Meanwhile poor areas of London have used local scrip for years to save wealth outside the larger British economy. (for more info see page 132).

You’ll find the full details in Chapter 19: The Crisis Money Guide.

But that’s not all.

Here are a couple more ideas you can put to use right away…

How to (Legally) “Offshore” Your Money Outside the Government’s Reach…Without Leaving the Country

Starting on page 149, you’ll discover:

…what tax raid squads are and why you need to protect your money now

…how to avoid getting an “SAR” on you filed with the government (banks file as many as 700,000 a year)

…the best countries for opening foreign bank accounts – without ever getting on a plane!

…how to get “Canadian deposit insurance” on a bank account…without living in Canada…

…the specific type of gold to avoid if you want to keep it hidden (owning it could require your bank to report you to the government)

…PLUS if you look starting on page 131, you’ll discover 11 gold and cash alternatives (and what to do if the government confiscates gold like they did in 1933)

…and if you look on page 123, you’ll see a type of gold that can actually increase in price when the price of bullion drops

But there’s much more…

You’ll also learn about new money havens you might call the “new Swiss banks.”

The “New Swiss Banks” Every American Can Use (and how they go up in value during tough times)

Swiss banks – which saved countless Europeans (and many Jews) from Nazi occupation – sadly no longer accept most US citizens.

But there are some places that still offer total secrecy. And you don’t have to be rich to use them. In fact, you can setup at least one type of new “Swiss bank account” from your home computer.

And the best part is that unlike a regular bank account, some types of “New Swiss bank accounts” can actually appreciate in value. Just look at what one type of account gained in less than two years:

And you can get started with less than $1,000. Now of course, this type of account can go down too. And I don’t recommend them as an investment. But if they keep your money safe and available when you get into a jam…well that could be lifesaving. Huge gains are simply a bonus.

It’s all detailed on pages 161, 157, and 156 of my book.

And look, I sincerely hope this is all just over-the-top paranoia.

Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe it won’t be so bad.

And you are certainly free to try and ignore the facts and walk away right now…

But look: it may have already begun…

Lenders are pulling out of the market…

For the first time in 35 years…people are suddenly dumping bonds…causing yields (which have been falling for three decades) to suddenly break.

Recently, a record $33 billion was pulled from US funds in just one month. We’ve seen them get drained by as much as $8.1 billion in just a week.

It’s not yet clear where this money is going, but…

Billionaires are thought to be hoarding an average of around $600 million in cash each…

The New Yorker magazine recently quoted famous tech CEO Steve Huffman saying that over 50% of tech billionaires have some kind of “collapse insurance.”

To explain why, one early Facebook employee said: “most people assume improbable events don’t happen, but [tech] people tend to view risk very mathematically.”

And right now, the math is pointing at severe, and disturbing, changes in the near future.

Some of the richest, most well-connected people I know are already preparing themselves… moving to foreign countries…or even renouncing their U.S. citizenship…

Pretty extreme, I know…

Of course, if you want to follow their lead you’ll find resources in this field manual that you can use (just flip to page 202, or page 209 to get started).

But if I can’t be away from my own children and grandchildren, I don’t expect you to either.

That’s why you’ll find plenty of ways (I count over 50) to gain all those same advantages…without leaving everything you know behind.

On page 157, you’ll discover how a simple change in the way you store gold could make it many times more valuable as wealth protector– even Swiss bankers agree (plus it involves ZERO fees and can be used for other assets like cash).

On page 147, you’ll learn about the one “invisible” investment that you can hide in plain sight while generating huge returns…in fact, one subscriber says he has generated enough money with this investment to pay for two entire farms.

On page 145, you’ll find out how the Nazi resistance and black market during World War II became masters of how to preserve and grow wealth in any climate including…

…how three Jewish Rothschild brothers escaped Nazi-occupied Europe with this one all-important asset (no it wasn’t gold bars) (see Chapter 23)

…as well as the “Dutch crisis currency” from Holland’s black market…and the strange story of how rich French girls married poor men for this one asset that you can easily make yourself…(see pg. 146)

And that’s just a sample of what you’ll find in this 220-page book I’ve prepared.

You’ll also learn:

6 hardy “survival” plants you must grow in your garden
(whether or not you need to “survive” these are just plain good to eat. In fact, many of them have anti-arthritis and cancer preventing nutrients. And YES, you can grow most of them inside.)
A guide for buying bitcoin as told by a former tech CEO (includes screen-by-screen steps, PLUS how bitcoin really works, and how to stay safe using it)
The 4 foreign currencies you should consider owning (number 2 will surprise you)
What’s behind the secretive “most powerful, yet unknown, agency in the US government” (they can shut you out of the US economy altogether – Trump should abolish this right now)
The one type of liquor brand you should have in your house (but don’t use it for drinking)
The lost art our forefathers used to stave off famine (it’s actually great for your health and – though liberals won’t admit it – great for the environment too)
The radical type of money you can grow in your kitchen (it was widely used during the age of the founding fathers…PLUS why it’s about to become very valuable once more…)
How to preserve food without a refrigerator (Napoleon used this to keep his troops fed on military campaigns)

There are some truly “out of the box” ideas in here that you will not find anywhere else…

For instance, there’s one type of $7 seed that can produce a plant so valuable, it could fund your retirement. In fact, just one of these plants can be worth as much as $20,000.

On top of that, the fruit it produces is not only nutritious but is also used to treat pain and swelling, infections such as diphtheria, and even skin wounds…

No, this isn’t some fad – it’s been highly prized since the 1700s. In fact, one of our subscribers tells us that he’s been using it for years to make thousands of dollars.

But here’s the biggest benefit of my Book

Put simply: once you read this book, you will not see the world in the same way. You will read the news differently. Understand current events on a different level. This is the kind of stuff you don’t see on cable TV.

And the best part is that you pay only $19 for the same hardcover edition that we sent to the White House. It’s so little to risk…for 220-page field manual that could prove invaluable during the days ahead.

And there’s more…

You will also instantly receive a digital edition of this book you can start reading right away. Read it on your tablet, your phone, your computer, or simply print it out.

But that’s not all…When you claim your copy of my book, you will also receive access to a number of valuable files to complete your intelligence on this issue…

Today it has never been more crucial to preserve your privacy online. Just look at recent events:

Rule 41 now allows the FBI to hack millions of computers with a single sign off from a lower court judge
The IRS can now force alternative websites to give up private customer data without any evidence these customers did anything wrong
4 billion records were stolen in 2016
41 million Americans have had their identities stolen

We take safety, security, and personal information very seriously at my company.

In that spirit, I’m going to give you a privacy briefing – FREE of charge – prepared by my staff.

Here’s the deal: I want you to read this guide before you read anything else you receive today. Fair enough?

Great. Here’s another important file you’ll receive:

In his book about World War II, Wealth, War & Wisdom, investment legend Barton Biggs writes that it’s not enough to hide your money in the event of a crisis. He also says: “Have a bolt hole, an escape hatch, a sanctuary for yourself as well.”

He’s right. I have isolated farms on three continents. I like knowing that safety is never far off for myself and my children.

At 9,000 feet above sea level on my isolated mountain ranch (those are cattle in the background)

According to my team of top researchers, there are still many ways to get your own homestead or hideaway right here in the U.S….

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Understand: I’m not doing charitable works here. I’m first and foremost a businessman.

A couple years ago, I teamed up with some talented people from within my network to create a unique, highly specialized division called Bonner & Partners.

We serve as the only dedicated group within my network to focus almost exclusively on this coming crisis. We want to keep our members up to date on the many, many moving parts in this story…

…and frankly it’s a lot of work. I believe we are in an unprecedented era, not only in American history, but in world history.

As reported in Business Insider, economists looking back through 5,000 years of human economic activity have failed to find a true parallel to what’s happening right now.

That’s why my private subscribers are joining something called The Bill Bonner Letter.

I’ve been involved with hundreds of services and projects over the past 40 years…

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It’s like a passport into our world…one that’s NOT governed by political correctness…or the official line…or partisan media networks…or bad ideas…

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I can tell you with 100% certainty that it must happen. Whether it will be next month, next year, or three days from now…no one can know. But the fact remains: this threat is very real.

Sadly, there’s just no way to convince everyone. In my experience there never is.

And it’s too bad, because the consequences of refusing to believe the obvious can be devastating…

For instance, when we predicted that the housing market would collapse in the late 2000s, skeptics like us were widely mocked and dismissed.

At the time New York Magazine wrote: “Housing bubble? What housing bubble? The signs are in place for a further run-up in real estate. Breathe easy mortgage holders.”

Undeterred, we sent out a second warning.

But the so-called experts were still in denial. A column in the Wall Street Journal countered: “These [idiots] expect a housing collapse to take down the US economy. But excessive pessimism is unwarranted: fears of a housing bubble are overblown.”

What happened next was the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Americans who listened to the “experts” were caught off guard and ruined. Years later I heard from one of our private readers, a doctor who had failed to persuade his wife to follow our advice in early 2007.

“[My wife] was a very successful real estate broker and we were walking tall. [But] as a long-time reader I knew what was coming. I pleaded with her to sell all our highly leveraged real estate…She refused to sell. We lost everything, nearly a million dollars.” – R.G.

That unwillingness to believe anything can ever change is actually due to a very real phenomenon. We’ve studied it.

It’s because of what lawyers call “willful blindness” or what psychiatrists call “the normalcy bias.”

For instance, when I was warning readers about the Dot Com bubble, plenty of people thought I was dead wrong…

A famous book at the time, Dow 36,000, argued that the stock market was cheaper than ever…

An article published by the Atlantic read, “Stock prices could double, triple, or even quadruple tomorrow and still not be too high.”

Then suddenly, the NASDAQ started falling… and eventually wiped out 77% of its value…

My question to you from earlier still stands: what if I’m right this time too?

And is $19 too steep a price to pay for insurance in case I am?

Here’s the thing about “flashpoints”: they make for great plot twists in Hollywood blockbusters…

…But in the real world, major events like this rarely have “big triggers” or “flashpoints”…

For example, the Arab Spring – a revolution that toppled four governments, sparked civil wars, and led to mass protests and riots in at least 12 other countries – began when a fruit vendor set himself on fire…

When the right set of conditions are all aligned – as they are right now in the U.S. – it doesn’t take a big event to set off a historic implosion…

It’s almost always something small…unexpected…

Think about World War I…in which millions of Germans, British, and Americans died in trenches in France…It started with a shooting more than 1,000 miles away…by a Bosnian.

And if you’re aware of what’s going on in America today…

If you’ve seen the unrest in our cities…

If you’ve noticed that something’s not quite right with our economy…

Then I don’t think it will take much to set off an irreversible breakdown in our way of life…

The network began in 1978 when I founded a small research firm called Agora, Inc.

We have since evolved into a large, multi-national network of independent groups informally referred to as The Agora. Just a few years ago, I assembled some of the top talent in The Agora to focus almost exclusively on this growing situation.

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I’m afraid not. First, it does you a disservice. This is a rapidly evolving situation. Although we have a good idea of what’s to come, we simply cannot predict what a CEO, or a central banker, or a politician will do tomorrow…And their actions can dramatically change the timeline and exact configuration of this collapse. Simply selling the book doesn’t seem like the right way to really protect our customers from what’s happening.

Second, selling individual books for $19 is not what allows us to remain independent of Wall Street and the government.

We’re cutting you this deal because we believe that our products, services, and our team members are the best in the country. And what better way to promote our work than simply letting customers see it for themselves? When they do, we find that they generally like us and want to stick around. But again, if you’re not interested that’s totally okay too.
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LE CONFLIT:Archétypes de Carl Gustav JUNG : Trickster

LE CONFLIT

Archétypes de Carl Gustav JUNG : Trickster

Trickster est d’abord la dénomination anglaise du mythe du fripon tel qu’il a été étudié chez les Indiens d’Amérique du Nord. Personnage farceur et rusé, le trickster symbolise le renversement de l’ordre établi. Il possède nombreux équivalents : clown, pitre, bouffon… et est mis en scène dans des rites collectifs : saturnales, carnaval, liturgies parodiques, etc. Ses effets ont été décrits notamment par l’anthropologue Paul RADIN et le mythologue Karl KERENYI dont les travaux ont influencé JUNG? Le psychanalyste a proposé une interprétation psycho-dynamique de ce mythe, aussi bien sur le plan individuel que sur le plan collectif.

Il faut noter que sous une apparente gentillette, grotesque ou inoffensive, à la manifestation passagère, se trouve une véritable mise en cause de l’ordre tel qu’il est : si les moqueries et les plaisanteries sont prises au deuxième degré (la farce rigolote…) par la plupart des spectateurs ou acteurs, le fond même de ce qui est moqué est une remise en cause de façon la plus radicale, même s’il n’y a pas chez le clown, le fripon ou le bouffon d’analyse longue des situations. Si le bouffon à la cour des Rois exprime ce que tout le monde pense sans oser le dire, et sur un ton souvent très ambigü, à cause précisément des menaces potentielles parfois graves qui pèsent contre tous ceux qui veulent émettre une critique en bonne et due forme avec une argumentation offensive, ses avis et humeurs sont souvent bien analysés par les conseillers royaux, sinon par le Roi lui même (qui guettent à travers lui des signes d’alarmes sur ce « qui ne va pas »). Le clown, s’il est vu de manière encore plus « rigolote » agit tout de même de façon parfois bruyante, abrupte et moqueuse même si sa façon habile de faire est de retourner contre lui les rires.

Laura MAKARIUS se livre à une analyse du Trickster, d’abord par l’étude du phénomène rituel de la violation magique des interdits et de la situation dans laquelle le violateur vient à se trouver, ensuite par un examen de trois figures de héros « tricktiens » dans trois continents, notamment sur les traits qui les caractérisent qui sont ceux du violateur et enfin par la description de l’activité du « trickster », comme projection, sur le plan du mythe, du violateur rituel d’interdits, des contradictions formant la texture du personnage, à la lumière des contradictions et de l’ambivalence inhérentes à la violation.

Paul RADIN, co-auteur avec Charles KERENSKI et Carl Gustav JUNG écrit dans Le Fripon divin. Un mythe indien (Goerg, 1958, traduction de The trickster : a study in American Indian Mythologie, Londres, Rutledge and Paul, 1956) qu’il « n’est guère de mythe aussi répandu dans le monde entier que celui connu sous le nom de « mythe de Fripon » dont nous nous occuperons ici. Il y a peu de mythe dont nous puissions affirmer avec autant d’assurance qu’ils appartiennent aux plus anciens modes d’expression de l’humanité ; peu d’autres mythes ont conservé leur contenu originel de façon aussi inchangée. (…) Il est manifeste que nous nous trouvons ici en présence d’une figure et d’un thème, ou de divers thèmes, doués d’un charme particulier et durable et qui exercent une force d’attraction peu ordinaire depuis les débuts de la civilisation ».

JUNG, l’étudie surtout à partir de 1943, dans Essai sur la symbolique de l’esprit, Le fripon divin et dans Réponse à Job. Le Trickster représente une structure archétype « provenant des temps les plus reculés » et liée à « une conscience indifférenciée qui a à peine quitté le plan animal » (le fripon divin). La nature double, animale et divine, l’inconscience, l’impulsivité, la mobilité, la versatile rapprochent le Trickster du Mercure des alchimistes (Essai sur la symbolique de l’esprit) et en font une figure de la transformation psychique. Son effet principal est le renversement.A ce titre, il incarne la dynamique de l’ombre dans une conscience trop unilatérale et dominée par le moi. Sa survenu dans les rêves, lapsus, actes manqués, voire dans des situations vécues comme chaotiques, signale la libération d’une énergie compensatrice. A une autre échelle, il est un symbole de l’ombre collective, rappelant au groupe social les états antérieurs archaïques, à la fois pour empêcher l’oubli et pour signaler leur aspect révolu (Le fripon divin). Agissant dans des registres variés allant du rire et de l’ironie au sarcasme et au non-sens, le symbole du Trickster ouvre la voie à un sens caché et porte en lui un sauveur potentiel. Certains le voient à l’oeuvre par exemple dans la résurgence actuelle des gourous.

A partir de 1943, les travaux de comparaison et d’amplification de jUNG s’étendent dans les domaines de la mythologie, de l’alchimie et de la religion. Dans Réponse à Job, il voit en effet dans la puissance, le caractére imprévisible et capricieux du Trichster des traits attribués à Yahvé dans l’Ancien Testament.

Il se dégage des caractéristiques diverses et opposées du Trickster une dynamique du changement par énantiodromie (retour naturel du contraire) qui fait référence à la théorie d’Héraclite.

La richesse et la variété des données de ce mythe suscitent une interrogation méthodologique : peut-on interpréter de la même façon des contenus symboliques lorsqu’on passe de l’échelle collective à l’échelle du psychisme individuel? (Claire DORLY)

Les travaux autour du fripon divin permettent à JUNG de développer le concept d’enfant intérieur (enfant divin), en apportant sa contribution à l’étude de la psychologie du fripon.

Claire DORLY discute de ce qu’elle appelle la dérangeante diversité des registres de l’ombre et c’est précisément dans ces registres que l’on pourrait situer le trickster.

La perspective de JUNG, à travers l’ouvrage Le fripon divers, envisage l’existence d’un processus qui renvoie à un archétype présent dans chaque être humain, quelle que soit sa culture. Ce universalité se retrouverait au travers du fripon divin. Lequel est la figure de la petite créature mythique des légendes mais bien plus il est aussi une composante de notre âme. Celle qui permet à l’enfant et plus tard à l’adulte d’avoir ce dialogue intérieur qui lui permet de se situer dans le monde et de grandir toujours, de se renouveler toujours. Ceci dans un rapport au monde fondamentalement ambigu : il a besoin du monde mais ne veut pas croire qu’il s’agit de ce monde-là qu’il a besoin ; il s’affirme dans le monde tout en le critiquant. Il n’y a pas de visée à transformer le monde, mais plutôt à se centrer sur soi, ce qui n’empêche pas dans l’expression de la critique de le remettre en cause parfois de façon absolue. L’adulte cherche à retrouver toujours cette forme de dialogue avec l’enfant qu’il était et qu’il lui semble, en fin de compte être toujours, face à l’univers si vaste et si rempli de dangers et d’espoirs. L’ombre dont il est question n’est pas seulement l’ombre du monde, mais également la sienne propre, c’est pourquoi le comportement intérieur (dans le dialogue intérieur) et le comportement à l’extérieur est fondamentalement ambigüe. Tout cela, ou quelque chose de très approchant, JUNG tente de l’imager dans l’évocation des rêves, des mythes, des contes et des récits folkloriques.

Ses ouvrages ne sont jamais didactiques et on pourrait d’ailleurs rapprocher son style de celui de NIETZSCHE… C’est d’ailleurs pourquoi des thérapeutiques en psychologie ou en psychanalyse utilisent ses notions avec souplesse, et singulièrement la figure du trickster s’y prête. Il y a toujours chez nous une partie d’espièglerie, de critique radicale et en même temps de besoin de se raccrocher au monde (besoin de soin et d’attention), même en se comportant en fin de compte, passé l’expression friponne, en véritable conformiste. Ce qui est essentiel pour JUNG, c’est que l’enfant divin tel qu’il le présente, et qui demeure en nous toujours, ne désigne pas une inconscience enfantine, mais une capacité de renaissance et de renouvellement.

Claire DORLY, Trichter, dans Le vocabulaire de Jung, Ellipses, 2005 ; la dérangeante diversité des registres de l’ombre, Cahiers jungiens de psychanalyse, 2007/3. Laura MAKARIUS, Le mythe du « Trickster », dans Revue de l’histoire des religions, tome 175, n°1, 1969, http://www.persee.fr.

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The catholic thing:Living by the Sword by Brad Miner

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Living by the Sword

Brad Miner

Monday, October 2, 2017

Attention TCT readers in the Washington D.C. area: FRI President (and TCT editor-in-chief) Robert Royal and FRI Senior Research Fellow Mary Eberstadt will be at the Catholic Information Center TONIGHT at 6 PM commenting on a new book by Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., “The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism.” Fr. White is a professor at the Dominican House of Studies and director of the Thomistic Institute there. He will be making a brief presentation and also be available to sign books. For information about registering for this event, click here.

Sixteen years after the attacks of September 11, it’s probably the case that the “excuse” of the Crusades as a motivating factor behind the violence of al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups has somewhat diminished in plausibility.

Of course, the Islamofascists may well aver that events of more than 900 years ago still burn in Muslim consciousness, but that doesn’t make it so. Osama bin Laden made reference to the Crusades as, no doubt, has Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIS. But the truth is they abhor the West because their understanding of Islam demands hatred of and war against the infidel: then, now, always. This is the only “root cause” that matters.

In any case, most of us will never have occasion to debate a terrorist on the matter. Indeed, we’re much more likely to go toe-to-toe with a jihadi liberal about the Crusades and their impact, which is what makes Thomas F. Madden’s new primer invaluable.

The Crusades Controversy: Setting the Record Straight is a 50-page broadside against the serial stupidities and half-truths of those who believe, in Professor Madden’s words, that the Crusades were “the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general.”

In fact, they were “a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslim armies had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world.” The armies that marched and sailed from Western Europe into the Byzantine Empire and on to the Holy Land came in response to pleas from Christians in the East to save them from the weaponized religion of Mohammed.

Those Christian warriors summoned by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095 were not a rabble of “lacklands and ne’er-do-wells” spoiling for a fight wherever they could find one. They were a cross-section of European society that included many of the wealthiest, most powerful men in Europe, not a few of whom lost fortunes – and their lives – in the struggle to liberate the original homeland of Christianity, which had been established not by the sword, but through peaceful conversions half a millennium before the birth of Islam.

Pope Innocent III, successor to Urban II, asked the crusaders:

How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them?

Jerusalem had fallen to Islam more than 400 years before the crusaders liberated the holy city in 1099. But as Innocent suggests, the reconquest was only partly about restoring Christians to power in the heartland of the faith. The crusaders’ journey and the battles they fought were also a promised liberation from the burden of sin: an indulgence through which they might reach heaven.

Madden writes:

Crusaders were sinners. They undertook the Crusade not only to defend their world, but to atone for their sins. By the nature of their profession, warriors put their souls at risk. The Crusade was a means for them to save their souls.

In any event, the triumph in Jerusalem, which electrified Europe, was short-lived. By 1291, Acre – the last Christian stronghold in the Middle East – had fallen, and what we call “crusades” in the centuries that followed became defensive, the last battle of which occurred at the Siege of Vienna in 1529.

But the Crusades ended not because a “final battle” against Islam had been won (there would be another Battle of Vienna in 1683), but because the rise of nation-states, corruption in the Church, and the coming of Protestantism had weakened the will to continue crusading.

Within Europe new ideas were brewing. . . .Born out of a unique blend of faith, reason, individualism, and entrepreneurialism, those ideas produced a rapid increase in scientific experimentation with immediately practical applications. By the seventeenth century European wealth and power was growing exponentially. Europeans were entering a new and unprecedented age.

In the Islamic world, of course, this sort of progress stalled.

Pretty much since the 18th century, the reputation of the Crusades has followed a kind of rollercoaster path, although with more falls than rises. Perhaps the lowest point came when Bill Clinton said, in a speech after 9/11, that at that 1099 liberation of Jerusalem Jews were burned alive in a synagogue and Muslim men, women, and children were slaughtered on the Temple Mount – the crusaders knee deep in blood.

All lies.

What’s more, Muslims were largely not conversant with the reality of the Crusades until after WWI. The first Arabic-language history of the Crusades appeared in 1899, making Muslims’ “long memory” of the Crusades about as long as their memory of jazz. Everything from 1099 through Saladin and the several Battles of Vienna came to modern Muslims principally through 20th-century European colonial histories.

It is this colonial imperialism that contemporary Muslims have reacted to so violently. To wit: “This became particularly pronounced after the creation of the state of Israel, which Arabs contended was a new crusader kingdom. The fact that Israel was Jewish was irrelevant.”

In the end:

It is not the Crusades that led to the attacks of September 11, but an artificial memory of the Crusades constructed by modern colonial powers and passed down by Arab nationalists and Islamists. This new memory strips the medieval expeditions of every aspect of their age, dressing them up instead in the tattered rags of nineteenth-century imperialism.

Another way of saying this is that the Enlightenment, spawning the modern Left, is the source of modern Islamist rage about the Crusades. Al-Qaeda and ISIS are acting out a Western, anti-Christian fantasy that’s not even of their own making.

Of course, there are other spurs to Islamist attacks. Bringing the whole world into submission is a pretty big one.
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Brad Miner
Brad Miner

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and a board member of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio and as an iPhone app.
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