Observations of an Irishman: Lessons from the abortion referendum

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A couple of weeks ago, the Irish people held a referendum to legalize abortion and unless you have been living under a rock, you know the abortion side won in a landslide gaining over 66 percent of the vote. Regardless of your feelings and opinions on abortion (I am an Irishman and I am proud to have voted to say all life matters and should be defended), there are several lessons we can learn from this referendum and specifically from the abortion side.

Winning the Argument

Today's political climate around the world is all about winning elections and gaining power — based on no actual substance other than the "fact" we are better than the other party. America will experience this over the coming months where the discussion seems to be about whether there will be a blue wave or if the GOP will hold onto the House and Senate. But how many issues will actually be discussed regarding the future of the nation? Will the Constitution be discussed? Will liberty and what makes America different even be considered? Or will it be based merely on not letting the other side have power?

The sad truth about the Irish abortion referendum is that the result was never really in doubt and was always seen as more of a formality. The only questions were how many people would actually vote and the margin of victory. Why? Because whether they knew it or not, the abortion side followed the advice Margaret Thatcher gave several decades ago:

First you win the argument, then you win the vote.

The proof of this is the exit poll conducted on the day when 75 percent of people said they always knew how they were going to vote.

Over the years, the people of Ireland (as in many parts of the world) have accepted abortion as part of our everyday lives. We think of abortion as a choice and we know life is filled with choices. Should I go out with my friends next Saturday night? Should I order dessert? Should I leave my job or not? Should I keep my baby or not?

The ironic part of those who are pro-choice is that so few realize their own double standard, as 99 percent of them love telling people how much money they are allowed to keep, what car they can drive, how fast they can drive it — dictating what they can buy and when they can buy it, deciding their employment terms, etc.

No Science, no Emotion

The second successful step to acceptance of abortion was the complete removal of both science and emotion from the subject. If you read any literature about abortion, you will rarely (if ever) see the word baby. A baby is gorgeous, sweet, needs a name, requires lots of love and attention and is totally defenseless. The pro-choice side successfully changed it to a fetus, which is a group of cells that could turn into anything. Is a group of cells gorgeous or sweet, do you name it, and does it require any love?

The third step has been the successful creation of the narrative around abortion. It is a choice, it is the caring and compassionate choice for women — after all, it is her body and she can do whatever she wants with her body. If you dare disagree with this narrative, you are deemed anti-choice, a hater and oppressor of women.

Chosen Ignorance

The last step to winning this argument has been chosen ignorance. Have you ever watched an abortion? Did you watch until the end or did you switch it off? Have you ever tried showing or explaining what happens during an abortion to people? If you have, how far did you get?

  • Did you get to explain how they remove the limbs from the baby?
  • Did you get to explain how they break the baby's neck?
  • Did you get to explain what they do with the baby parts in America?
  • Did you get to explain we are now using abortion as a way to "solve" Down Syndrome?

Or did you get the common reaction, "STOP, enough, I do not want to hear or see anymore"? Discussing abortion is hard because it requires people to self-reflect, witness pure evil and do their own homework. Then, it requires them to act. However, if you are ignorant, you don't have to self-reflect, witness evil or act, and you can go on living your life.

Credibility

The second thing everyone can learn from the Irish referendum is how critical your credibility is in society. Ireland has historically been a Catholic country but over the last few decades that has been changing. It is easy to blame the media and the spread of secularism for this change. The truth is the Catholic Church is also directly responsible for losing its credibility to many people because of their own actions or inactions.

When priests do inhumane and barbaric things to young boys, when the Church covers that evil up, and never really comes out in the strongest possible terms to condemn those actions and fire each of those priests, how is it possible to have any credibility in society. Why would anyone ever listen to you?

Now, if you add in the media, which flat-out hate religion, and declining numbers of those who are actually Catholic, you find a perfect storm of why the Church has so little impact in Ireland today.

Impact of Churches

One of the biggest differences, historically, between the Church in America and the rest of the world has been the role of America's pulpits. When the Church is at its best, its pulpits are alive, filled with passion and inspiring a generation to be better. The American Revolution may have officially started in 1776, but the truth is it started 20, 30 or even 40 years prior with preachers on their pulpits spreading the laws of nature that were self-evident for all to see.

The sad truth is the pulpits in Ireland are either silent or are spreading modern-day talking points. I grew up a Catholic and I do not remember a time when they were alive. I grew up in a Church where the sermon was not judged by its content or topic, but rather by the length. I have seen first-hand people go crazy when a priest talks for more than 10 minutes during a sermon. I have seen first-hand people switch off during sermons and treat it as an opportunity to read the newsletter.

(Full disclosure, I have done this many times myself as I have sat through sermons explaining was Jesus was a socialist, how Israel is the problem and how global warming is going to kill us all. I even started a discussion a few years ago as I walked out of church on Christmas Day three words into a sermon. Those three words were "Jesus the Palestinian.")

Churches in Ireland have major problems with attendance. In the same exit poll I mentioned before, only 30 percent said they attended church every week, 14 percent once a month and 27 percent a couple of times a year. Of those questioned, 74 percent were Catholics.

Principles

Since the vote on abortion, there has been much analysis in Ireland about what this means, and a popular conclusion is that Ireland has filed for divorce from the Catholic Church. For many living in society today, they see life as a religious issue. It is not. Religion does not own life. It is not even a Left vs. Right issue. Life is a human issue.

In a world of partisan politics, life should be the one issue we can all come together on — that life has meaning and is valuable. Does it really matter if God, religion, Allah, logic or common sense got you to that point of view? Would it matter if someone said a rock told them that? No, because life is a self-evident truth — at least it used to be

Conclusion

Our actions or inactions right now will determine the world we live in and the one we pass onto the next generation. I know many want to think this world is doomed and that freedom is dead. While true for nations like Ireland and Europe — we know nothing but the tyranny of man's law — that is not the case for America. The track record of America is making the impossible possible. America has the map that leads to success, we just need to follow it again. So what is that map?

It is through churches, families, communities and schools sharing the message that America's founders shared over 250 years ago based around the laws of nature and nature's God — and those principles are the same for everyone. While elections hold an important place in society, it is critical to focus our time on winning the argument explaining why America is different from the rest of the world — why it is exceptional, why it has prospered like no other nation in the history of the world and why simply leaving people alone and not taking their stuff is such a wonderful and simple idea.

We also must do everything we can to be people of good character and do nothing that can damage our credibility. This is true for everyone in society and not just those in power. We must understand that America's founders were ahead of their time and remember the principles they placed special emphasis on as they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor as they signed the Declaration of Independence.

If we follow that roadmap, combined with the advancements of society including technology, we really can live in a society that enjoys more freedom than even America's founders could have envisioned.

Editors Note: Jonathon hosts a weekly show called Freedoms Disciple exclusive to The Blaze Radio where he focuses on highlighting the principles of American exceptionalism. You can listen anytime, for free on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play, Stitcher and OMNY FM.

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At the time of this post, the bid was up to $4,700 — but we can do better than that. Please help us raise money for a good cause, you don't even have to display it anywhere in your home, you can just keep it in storage or something! If you want this priceless piece created by one of the most influential people in the world of art, place your bids here.

Can you remember the economic crisis of 2008 and how you felt when the news broke that Lehman Brothers had collapsed? I have found an economic threat that everyone needs to be aware of, so you can prepare yourself in case we see another 2008 type collapse. I am going to present the evidence to you and I urge you to verify everything and to form your own opinion.

What is that threat?

It is a bank called Deutsche Bank. They are by far the most dominant bank in Germany which is the world's fourth-largest economy. In 2018 they had €2.08 Trillion worth of assets and the second-placed bank (DZ Bank) had €506 Billion worth of assets. To show you how dominant this bank is, they have more assets than the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th sized banks combined.
When we review a business there are three key parts to analysis:

  • Market sentiment
  • Business numbers
  • Technical Analysis

Market Sentiment

Deutsche Bank has a long history of potential scandals including going all the way back to World War 2 and dealing in Nazi gold. Below are five recent stories which have increased the negative sentiment around Deutsche Bank.

  1. In 2007, they purchased a portfolio of loans worth $7.8 billion and purchased insurance from Warren Buffets Company. It was discovered they did not set aside enough capital to cover any potential losses. Over the course of the ten years, they lost $1.6 billion, and when they sold the loan they did not update their financial statements to include the big loss
  2. The Panama Papers are an ongoing investigation looking for many things including offshore tax havens. These investigations have resulted in several heads of state resigning including in Iceland and Pakistan. Last November, 170 police raided 6 different offices in Frankfurt looking for evidence of money laundering.
  3. Estonia is a small country in Eastern Europe. It has a population of 1.3 million people and a GDP of €26 billion. In January, it was discovered Deutsche Bank got involved with a Danish bank called Danke Bank and processed over $230 billion worth of cross country payments (including from Soviet Russia) through one bank in Estonia.
  4. There have been rumors of issues with Deutsche for a while now and one of the solutions put forth was a merger with a bank called CommerzBank. The leaders of both companies met and they even got support from politicians. In April, news broke that the merger talks had failed because over worries the risks and costs would be too great.
  5. Last week in France, Investment banking boss Garth Ritchie and others were arrested in France over illicit tax transactions.

Business Numbers

Deutsche Bank is already struggling as they are losing staff, losing market share, and bonuses are expected to be down at least 10% and further rounds of cost-cutting to come. Now imagine the impact if business costs start going up.

The banking industry works in a very simple way. They raise funds through large bonds at low-interest rates and then sell those funds to business and individuals thru products like loans and credit cards at a higher interest rate which results in a potential profit.

Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank tried raising money through several bonds. They paid 180bp (basis points) on a two-year bond and 230bp on a seven-year bond. Let me put this in context for you. There is a small bank in Spain called Caixabank which paid 225bp on a five-year bond and one of the larger banks in Spain, BBVA paid 130bp on a five-year bond.

  • How and why is a small bank in Spain getting a better deal on bonds than a huge bank in Germany?
  • Why is a large bank in Spain getting a bond 100bp cheaper than a German bank?
  • What does the market know that we do not?

Stock Price

Deutsche is also missing revenue projections which further hurt the business ability to survive and prosper. As you can imagine all of this news has a deep and lasting impact on its stock price which is in deep trouble. Before I share the stock price, I need to put this into the context of the market and the industry compared to the big economic crash of 2008. Below you will see a chart of some banking stocks from around the world with their peak price prior to the 2008 crash, the low of the 2008 recession and the price today:

As you can see from the above chart the banks in America have recovered from the 2008 recession by anywhere up 375% and JP Morgan has not only recovered its price in full but is constantly setting new high's. Ireland went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the EU/IMF following the 2008 crash and even our national bank has more than doubled its price since 2008. The worst performing bank I could find was Societe Generale which has issues but is still hovering around its 2008 low price levels.

Now let's put that into the context of Deutsche Bank. Not only has the stock not rebounded but it is over 65% below its 2008 low at $6.75.

Technical Analysis

When you are dealing with the stock market, you also have people who study pricing through technical analysis. Experts look at things like FIB sequences, trend lines, and support levels. Support levels are a key metric for a stock failing because are looking to find where it will find support and potentially bounce higher.

We are very close to a key support level ($6.40) and if the price goes below this level, there is no saying exactly how low the price could go. At least one company expects Deutsche to fall below this support level, as several weeks ago UBS downgraded the stock to a sell order. This news was compounded last Friday when rating agency Fitch, downgraded their credit rating to BBB or two levels above JUNK status.

Other Information

I know you are likely reading this and thinking "this bank must have smart people in charge and surely they have a plan, right?" I am sure there is a plan and while they have kept their cards close to their chest, they have spoken in the past about the areas they foresee having growth for the company – they include business in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. Do they strike you as countries which are stable and will offer steady and reliable growth? Do you have to think really hard to imagine how this could go potentially very wrong?

Questions

I believe there is at least a solid case Deutsche is in a LOT of trouble. So what are possible scenarios for the future? I will lay out the key questions below but I must stress that it's impossible to say for sure what exactly will happen. One of the key numbers to remember here is they have roughly €50 billion worth of derivatives.

  • How likely is it that the bank can turn things around and survive?
  • How likely is it the bank continues to run into trouble, its stock price fails and eventually fails?
  • If you think it is likely it will fail, the question becomes what will the fallout be? Who will be affected?
  • Will they be bailed out?
  • If so, by whom? The German government, ECB, IMF, the Federal Reserve?
  • What will the German government think? Some members recently spoke out saying they would block public money for the proposed merger? Will they block funds if it failed?
  • Will other banks be exposed and affected? Will they have to take losses?
  • Will those losses be spread around or will one or more bank be mainly affect?
  • Will this affect the sentiment of the banking sector and cause a panic?
  • If there are issues and it starts affecting the stock prices, what will be the impact on other industries?

Last Question

The last question revolves solely around the banks and the regulators? How secure are the other banks? We all hear about how banks are now put through "stress tests" but how much trust do you put in those results? How much trust do you have in the regulators?

I know this may make me sound like a conspiracy theorist to some but it's an honest question. The Fed is on public record saying they want to keep this economy strong as long as possible. If a bank did not perform strongly in a stress test or even barely failed one, do you think they would report it?

Can you imagine the pressure that body would come under to stay silent? Can you imagine the rhetoric they would face with questions like, "Are you really going to fail one bank? Do you know how many people will lose their jobs if you do that?" Am I saying this is happening? No, but can you really rule it out 100% as a possibility?

I urge you to ponder on these questions, do your own research and find YOUR answers.

Update: The most freaquently asked question I have received from this column / show is how much time do we have to prepare. This is an impossible question to answer, as it could fail tomorrow, next week or might be next year. However I want to provide you a potential date for your diary – July 24th. That is when Deutsche will release their next earnings report and if it comes in below expectations, it could cause a further drop in price casting more doubt over the future viability of the bank.

Please support Jonathon's weekly podcast which is exclusive to the Blaze Media and available for FREE. He offers a unique perspective by promoting America's Founding Principles and brings every issue back to a set of core principles which are always based around the laws of nature. You can find links to his show by clicking here or by searching for Freedoms Disciple on your favorite audio platform.

Survey: Where do you stand on these conspiracy theories?

Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Have you seen this survey on the most-believed conspiracy theories in America?

It's no surprise the survey has been getting so much attention. The results are actually a pretty disturbing.

Infographic: Belief in Conspiracy Theories in the United States | Statista

I decided to put together a quick survey of my own, with slightly different wording.

Up-vote the ones you agree with and down-vote the ones you disagree with.

I believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK alone. However, I would not be surprised to find out the government sealed evidence that others were involved.

If by "deep state" you mean long-time Washington power brokers who are used to calling the shots and now feel threatened by Donald Trump not listening to their advice or council — yes, I do believe that many people like that are working against him and his administration.

Whether alien bodies are in Area 51 or not, I do believe the government knows more about UFOs than they have told us.

I do not believe the U.S. government was involved in 9/11, but as we know, NSA advisor Sandy Berger was caught destroying documents from the national archives related to both Bush and Clinton. All U.S. administrations have been to close to the Saudis, and the Saudis were involved in 9/11 at some level.

I believe the climate is always changing — it's natural. I would be willing to accept that man MAY play a role in this. But I do not believe in the solutions currently being discussed, nor do I believe the intention of most political activists are pure.

Any talk of the Illuminati provides the true dangers to man's freedom — like very powerful NGOS and men like George Soros — a perfect cover.

The U.S. government has done some horrible experiments on people and land — I also suspect they will do more things in the future. But I do not believe in the systematic spraying of chemicals using chemtrails.

The moon landing was real, but I see a time coming when people will not be able to trust their eyes due to deep fakes.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section below.