Ratzinger and Chaos Theory 


As I watched Pope Benedict's helicopter sail off from Vatican City with an escort of angels taking him to some forlorn monastery, I wished the fuckin’ thing would crash!  No bull.  Hey, I’m a nice guy.  I’m a graduate of one of the best Catholic schools in Brooklyn.  Did I really write that?  I sure did, underscored and I’ll put in bold print.

All right, the following can’t be proved.  It’s pure supposition but it’s what I believe.  It sure makes sense to me. 

I’m a believer in chaos theory.  The flap of a butterfly’s wing can cause unimagined cataclysmic changes given time and distance.  A seemingly insignificant event can change the world and the course of history.  A good example is in 1914 when Archduke Ferdinand’s chauffeur checked his map after getting lost in Sarajevo and proceeded to take the exact street which would lead him directly in front of the café where Gavrito Princip was enjoying coffee after a hectic day involving a failed assassination.  We all know what happened.  Princip must have thought it was a sign from heaven.  WWI broke out weeks later and in less than five years, 137 million people were either killed or wounded, a half million in this country and we were in it only one year.  Millions of soldiers faced machine gun fire, dying for the economic interests of the ruling classes that considered them inferior. 

That’s chaos theory.  If the chauffeur had gotten discouraged and given up, World War I and then eventually World War II might not have happened when it did.  In fact, all our lives have been changed by a lowly chauffeur 99 years ago. 

A seemingly insignificant event like George W. Bush getting into Yale with merely average grades (at best) was an event that eventually cursed the world and the future of humanity.  As Mark Anthony said in Julius Caesar said, “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.”  Where was the “Christian polity” that the country’s third oldest institution of higher learning was founded on?  Elihu Yale was just a Dickensian businessman, but Cotton Mather, charter member, hard ass, theologian and fire-and-brimstones preacher, would have hit the ceiling. 

All that Christian bullshit goes flying out the window when money, power or sex enters the game.  I wonder if the corrupt Yale admission officials had the slightest inkling of the danger they were unleashing on the world by allowing such a dimwitted reprobate to enter and graduate such a prestigious Ivy League school. 

Once in Yale, George W. held a 77 grade average, and that was taking business courses.  He later went on to Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA, becoming the first modern president to be so poorly and routinely educated, except for perhaps Harry Truman.  If Ike said Richard Nixon, “just ain’t presidential timber”, what would he have called W. Bush? 

That’s chaos theory, all right.

The evil in this case was by the admission officials at Yale University for allowing a substandard student to enter due to bribery (in the form of contributions and endowments), unabashed nepotism and political influence.  Prescott Bush, his grandfather, was a United States senator from Connecticut and George H.W. Bush was a wealthy oil businessman and future president. 

As well, unabashed, in-your-face favoritism helped him get in the Texas Air National Guard in spite of a low flying aptitude.  This was in 1968, the time of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam, when America was losing thousands of soldiers per month.  Air Force officials felt that W. Bush was needed close to home, even though he had spotty attendance and poor piloting skills.  But wait, if W. had been drafted like everybody else his age, he might have been in the tiny hamlet of Ben Suc on the east border of the Iron Triangle, where it might have been was his job to machine gun the women and children who came running out of their huts blazing on fire to put them out of their misery.  Engineering officers wanted the village demolished and ordered it burned to the ground.  They had no idea many of inhabitants were hiding under the floor boards. 

If W. Bush were there instead of in his cozy home in Texas, he would have witnessed the horror of war and the illegal, immoral and un-American Invasion of Iraq might not have happened!    

Chaos theory is apparent here because if it weren’t for obvious favoritism and cheating, he never could have become president on his own.  The War in Afghanistan and then Iraq probably wouldn’t have happened, and I’d venture to say that 9/11 might never have happened if an arrogant, fundamentalist Christian hadn’t been the titular head of the country.  There’s no doubt that religion had a lot to do with the terrorist event that traumatized and cursed the world. 

When Bush was running against Senator Kerry in 2004, some staff member got the bright idea of soliciting Pope John Paul II’s support.  Bush was losing only slightly and an extra nudge might push him over the victory line.  As it turned out, he won by a slim majority while losing the popular vote. 

The idea was to use the abortion issue as a carrot to bait the pope into using his power as a world leader to exhort and solicit votes for the incumbent president.  John Paul II listened sympathetically and referred the request for support to a cryptic Vatican society named Opus Dei whose director at the time happened to be a Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.  Dutifully, the cardinal saw the political “writing on the wall” and mailed out letters to all American bishops.  The instruction was to use their religious and political influence to urge parishioners to vote for W. Bush.  I can see it in my mind, these righteous fanatics haranguing and berating church-goers about abortion.  “Abortion is abomination,” right?  Therefore, God demands you vote for Bush. 

The sermons were so rousing and stimulating that thousands of Catholics jumped on the Bush bandwagon.  It was just enough to determine the outcome.  W. Bush still remained the 43rd president due to Ratzinger’s power and interference.  The direction of the world was emphatically determined—the path toward more war and more corporate profits for the military and defense industries, not to mention the oil cartels.  Since Bush was elected the country and the world have suffered immeasurable adversity, including thousands of American kids killed, maimed or psychologically traumatized—plus the shear waste of it.  I should say millions killed because the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are human. 

It’s the underhandedness and secrecy that pisses me off.  Same thing in the California Proposition 8 issue last year, the gay right to marry bill.  The pope had his long pious fingers pulling strings in that one also.  Bush even supported amending the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage.  We all know what happened. 

To sprinkle salt on the wound and twist the knife, Pope John Paul II died the next year and who should miraculously become pope? Ratzinger. 

Are you ready?  Within a year, Pope Benedict XVI capriciously decided to visit the U.S. as his predecessor was a world traveler.  As soon as he landed in Dulles International Airport, President George Walker Bush, the 43rd president of the United State, all smiles and gooey gratitude, came running out, and would have kissed the holy father on the lips (French style) if given the chance.  In doing so, Bush broke all historical protocol: an American president never has left the White House purposely to greet anybody.  

Here’s the whopper.  See if you still can understand why I wished his helicopter had crashed:  THERE ARE NO PRIESTS OR OTHER CLERGY LISTED ON THE NATIONAL LIST OF SEX OFFENDERS. 

As evidence of chaos theory, because a high ranking church official on the other side of the world didn’t agree with liberalized abortion policies in the U.S., thousands of American families have lost their children, have sons or daughters with a missing limb, while countless others are living with nightmarish wartime trauma. 

The thing about chaos theory, it’s impossible to prove.  That’s why it’s called “chaos theory.”  One thing’s for sure, the industrial/military complex that Ike warned about in his Farewell Address has gotten its way ever since.  I was born at the end of WWII and it’s been almost constant war.  As the kids in my Bed-Sty high school used to say, “this shit’s gotta stop.” 

Otherwise the singularity that occurred here called Life, could disappear forever—or least until another RNA replicator comes on the scene after a half billion years wait. 


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Comment by Rich Goss on October 23, 2013 at 9:52am

Thanks, Dennis.  Chaos theory is amazing to contemplate.  I still remember the exact time JFK got shot.  I was just declared winner of an intra-fraternity handball tournament at NYU in the Bronx.  A kid came running to the railing overlooking the courts and announced the news.  All of a sudden the competition wasn't so important anymore.  


Another life-changing event (for me, anyway) was the assassination of RFK in 1968.  Bobby had just declared that he would not only run for president but get us out of Viet Nam.  I’m sure he would have won, in that he appealed to hippies (including myself), the working class, women, gays and liberals in general.  As it turned out, Nixon won and continued the mayhem for another eight years when we left in disgrace to establish “peace with honor.” 

I got drafted in 1970, but I’m a dove, poet, lover of opera and bio teacher, not exactly a guy with a “war face” in boot camp.  But that’s another story.  

I’d bet in your own life you can think of many “what if’s” (as Joan writes) that would have changed everything. 



Comment by Michael Penn on October 22, 2013 at 6:36am

Here's one for Chaos Theory. In November of 1963 the car carrying JFK and party was not supposed to turn and go up Elm St. in Dallas that day. The car was to stay on the Stemmons Freeway and go on to the luncheon in Ft. Worth. Had this occurred as planned Oswald would have been very unlikely to have hit anybody in the motorcade. I wonder if Oswald knew this when he brought that ancient Manlicher rifle (later reported to be a Mauser) into the book depository building? How unlikely his shooting of the president would have been if the original plan had of been followed. A short time after the shooting a man who strongly resembled Oswald was arrested but quickly released. (See the documentary film "JFK: The Lost Tapes.") Keep in mind that nobody knew just who they were looking for at this time.

While one could go on and on about this tragic event in history, I've often wondered who changed the route of the motorcade that day? Who had the power to change the route and why was it done? The facts make it appear that even the shooter knew in advance that the motorcade would come up Elm St. Some think that this was just a very strong coincidence.

Comment by Rich Goss on October 15, 2013 at 8:23am

Thanks Joan et. al.

Anyone interested in the Holy Father or writing in general might enjoy this from Barbara Walker whom I quoted on this blog a few times.  

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the chaos-theory essay, which I read with interest, and 
liked very much.  Of course you can go on supposing "if onlys" all 
through history, all over the planet (beginning with bio-evolution 
itself I suppose) and realize that nothing is ever "a plan", except in 
human minds.  And speaking of plans, I hope you have read David A. 
Yallop's book "In God's Name", which proves pretty conclusively that 
Pope John Paul I didn't just die.  He was murdered, with malice 
aforethought, by Ratzinger's cohorts, and of course it all has been 
covered up with the church's usual deviousness.

One little correction on my own account: you definitely don't learn to 
write in "journalism school."  Though I majored in journalism at the 
University of Pennsylvania, when I went to work for an actual big-city 
newspaper I had to unlearn almost everything I learned at Penn and 
start over.  Anyway, journalism courses don't teach you to write.  I 
don't think anybody can be taught good writing style.  It can only 
come from doing a lot of reading, and from  listening to your own 
words in your head and making sure that they flow.

Onward --


If anyone read the book I'd appreciate a comment, as this special case of patricide seems a little far out.  But we are talking about chaos theory.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 14, 2013 at 5:21pm

Richard, I very much like your "Ratzinger and Chaos Theory" piece. Yes, chaos theory is impossible to prove, and yet small events can and do lead to significant changes, whether while discussing education, economics, politics, or religion. Fabricated stories, when taken as fact, can distort any subject, especially if a group of malcontents wants to believe the fiction. Weather is another unprovable factor in that small changes of one element can lead to greater changes in a much larger one. Your example of G.W. Bush and the RCC offers another bit of evidence that could have turned out very differently if Bush had not been elected, or had not presided over the foolish invasion of the country not even involved in the training of recruiting of individuals for the 9/11 bombings. 

I look forward to more of your writings. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 14, 2013 at 5:01pm

I have a curse, when I read something that interests me, I look for more details which usually leads to an interesting read, or a correction of a mistake. What starts out as a good story too often ends up not to be true. For example, the story of Princip's sandwich. Is that true or a fabrication?

"It seems clear, then, that Princip didn’t mention eating a sandwich June 28, 1914, and neither did any witness. Indeed, eating sandwiches is not a local custom in Sarajevo; a Serbian reader of the Axis History Forum chipped in to inform me that “this ‘sandwich’ theory is not plausible—even today, with sandwiches available in every street bakery, few Serbs would go for such option. It’s eitherburek or pljeskavica.” So where on earth did the idea come from?"

Gavrilo Princip’s Sandwich

This is just an insignificant detail, however I agree with the author of the piece that 

"by portraying the assassination of Franz Ferdinand as a piece of outrageous coincidence, the story of Gavrilo Princip’s sandwich makes it seem far less important to think deeply about the killer and his companions, and about their motives and determination. Certainly no one who depends solely on the “Days That Shook the World” documentary will come away from it with a deeply nuanced understanding of what Serbian nationalists believed in 1914, or exactly why they thought the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was desirable or justifiable. But that knowledge is precisely what students need to understand the origins of the First World War."

Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on October 14, 2013 at 4:21pm

Indeed.. in Florida there was a billboard that read "scumbags welcome' for some rural church? in search of tax dollars. do folks realize organized corporations I mean religions bank on each head? as in tax dollars per year in claiming.. jus sayin'.. loopholes and imbalance galore. 
imho w/information age and all.. noose has tightened significantly. for better or worse at Utah's (egh eghm.. mormonistville) NSA.. the Brazilians were flippant over that and are making their 'own' (vatican owned / funded one could asses w/ tourist guilt and money.. ; P>..
same old song and dance. 
divide folks at birth; feed them bs.. bank of the dysfucntion(s)?.. corporate mantras galore.. 
slaves in china for rent. flag and bible. made/printed in .. ha. 

just stop lying. change stuff.

Comment by Rich Goss on October 11, 2013 at 10:41pm

Thanks K. for the compliment.  This will be one of my book of atheist essays coming out soon.  I appreciate your encouragement. 

Comment by kathy: ky on October 11, 2013 at 9:28pm

This is the best blog ever.  I have said many of the same things myself but never so well.

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 10, 2013 at 3:56am

Richard, do you mean Chaos Theory, and not our pond scum ancestry, explains the shit I see?

If the nuns in the Catholic schools my dad sent me to had told me about pond scum, I would have known where they and their religion originated.

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