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Archive for February, 2020

Coronavirus

CNBC headline on 2/21/20.  They want you to think it’s the Coronavirus that’s behind the stock market selloff, but the truth lies elsewhere.

“But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.”

  • Jeremiah 44:17

In his book Logic, Gordon Clark noted a number of informal logical fallacies.  On page 17, he mentioned, among others, a fallacy called in Latin post hoc ergo propter hoc, or as we would say it in English, “after this, therefore because of this.” This logical error, hereafter the post hoc fallacy, involves asserting that, because event B took place after event A, that A is what caused B.

Now it’s true that there can be a cause and effect relationship between an earlier event and a late event.  In Jeremiah 44, the prophet, speaking for God, states, “You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem…because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger.”  God makes it entirely clear in this passage that the prior disobedience of the people of Judah was the cause of his bringing judgment on Jerusalem.  We don’t have to guess at why the Babylonians leveled Jerusalem and burned the temple in 586 BC, God tells us explicitly both the cause and the effect.

Later in chapter 44, we get the reaction from the people to whom Jeremiah was prophesying.  As it turned out, they didn’t much care for his sermon. Part of their response to Jeremiah was a classic case of post hoc fallacy.  See if you can spot it.

But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offering to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine (Jeremiah 44:17-18).

Did I say, see if you can spot it?  Reading this passage further, it seems to me that there are two post hoc fallacies to be found.  In the first place, the people argue that their burning incense and pouring out drink offerings were the cause of their prosperity when they were in the land, when, in fact, it was God’s grace that provided for them.  Second, they attributed their current state of exile to their worshipping the queen of heaven, when, in fact, the cause of their exile was God’s punishing them for their disobedience.

I bring up the preceding Biblical example of post hoc fallacy to introduce the main point of this post, which is to refute the linkage, put forward by mainstream financial reporters, the outbreak of the Corona virus in China is reason for the recent stock market sell off and spike in the price of gold.

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Eccles_2

The Eccles Building, the main office of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

  • John 3:19-20

The words from John at the top of this post are readily recognized by Christians as coming from Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to inquire of him one night.  The immediate application of Jesus’ words is, of course, to himself as the light who came into the world and was rejected of men, for they loved evil and feared lest their deeds should be exposed.

But while Christ said these words in the context of explaining his person and purpose for coming in the flesh to Nicodemus, his comments have a wider application.  They are a specific case of a broader principle we see in Scripture, that of the Christian principle of openness and honesty.  Those who love the truth do what they do in the open.  They let their light shine before men that others may see their goods works and glorify their Father in heaven.  On the other hand, those who practice evil, those who have something to hide, they do their work in the dark, fearing to be seen by men.

One application of the principle of openness and light is the Christian idea of government as a servant of the people, not as their master.  When the disciples argued about who was the greatest, Jesus explained the Christian concept of leadership, which was radically different from the model the world offered.  Christ explained that the rulers of the Gentiles “exercised lordship” (lorded it over) them, but such was not to be the case among his followers.  Following Jesus example, those who would be first in the Kingdom of Heaven were to be servants of all.

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Impeach_Acquittal

Donald Trump holds up copy of Washington Post with headline announcing his acquittal by the Senate, Feb. 6, 2020.

Facing an impeachment hearing and senate trial for his part in the cover up related to the Watergate burglary, then President Richard Nixon chose to resign from office in August 1974.  Upon being sworn into office, President Gerald R. Ford gave a brief 850-word address in which he uttered the now famous line, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

Being all of eight years old at the time, I didn’t have a super sophisticated understanding of all that was going on, but I did get the gist of it.  President Nixon had done something wrong and tried to hide it.  Now, he had to resign.

But more than the particulars related to the case, what I recall from that period was the overwhelming sense of boredom I had with hearing about Watergate and anything Watergate related.  It really did seem like along national nightmare that went on year after year after year.  No doubt, some of that was due to my age.  When you’re eight years old, six months seems like a lifetime, because, in a way, it is.

In truth, the whole Watergate saga took about two years and two months to play out.  On June 17, 1972, the Watergate burglars were arrested.  On August 9, 1974, Nixon resigned.

That was then.

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Farage

Nigel Farage and others bid farewell to the EU Parliament, January 29, 2020.

“There’s a historic battle going on now across the West, in Europe, America and elsewhere. It is globalism against populism.  And you may loath populism, but I tell you a funny thing, it’s becoming very popular.”

  • Nigel Farage

 

As of January 31, 2020, Great Britain is no longer part of the European Union (EU).  Britain’s success in parting ways with the EU, what is commonly called Brexit, short for British Exit from the EU, is the culmination of nearly 30 years of work by Britons opposed to the Maastricht Treaty, which the was signed by the U.K.’s conservative government in 1992, making Great Britain part of the EU.

In June 2016, a referendum was held asking voters whether they wanted to remain in the EU or leave.  Despite a great deal of opposition from the establishment, the vote went 52% in favor of Brexit, with 48% electing to remain in the EU.

Although interests dedicated to keeping Britain in the EU worked hard to subvert Brexit, the resounding victory of the conservatives under the leadership of Boris Johnson on December 12, 2019, effectively guaranteed the success of Brexit.

In this post, I don’t intend to get into the weeds of the political process that brought about Brexit.  Neither do I intend to write much about the principle figures who supported Brexit or opposed it.  My aim here is to step back and to view Brexit in its larger historical context, that of conflict between the Protestant Westphalian World Order and the New World Order globalism of the Roman Catholic Church-State (RCCS).

Though very little attention has been paid to the religious aspect of Brexit by mainstream journalism, and though it may seem strange to some to speak of any relationship between the 16th century Protestant Reformation and the 21st century Brexit, this author holds that, not only is there a relationship between the Reformation and Brexit, but that the relationship is a close one.  Indeed, it is not an overstatement to put the relationship in these terms:  No Protestant Reformation, no Brexit.  It’s that simple.

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