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Guest Post: American Eulogy

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Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:21 | 919976 FOC 1183
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Bloomberg announces to the elite that they can now get full Professional Service BB on their IPads.  So, all is well.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:25 | 919989 Tyler Durden
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Does that mean Apple is about to launch a 4 screen expansion pack for overzealous Launchpads?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:40 | 920044 FOC 1183
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Yep.  'BLP' <Go> now offers enhancements that will help you track the progress of the peasants to your door

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:21 | 920233 flavian
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Speaking of peasants...

Two hundred and thirty five years ago, our Founding Fathers declared that we all had the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That is only white male with property and money. No black peasant women included... :)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:31 | 920587 Boxed Merlot
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That is only white male with property and money. No black peasant women included... :)


However, the republic they had the foresight to establish did allow for the maturation of the structure to be ever more inclusive.  Very few if any other regimes can boast being more open the longer they exist.  This is not to say it occurs easily, but it does allow for periods of respite after bouts of intense struggling.


150 years ago, civil war.  Hard currency from the Comstock and Mother Lode defeated lesser capitalized Confederate forces.  Confederate Dollars default.


50 years later, Jekyll Islanders co-op US currency and back new (con)Federal Reserve Notes with the nebuloous "good faith and credit" of the US citizen-redifined now as a "tax-payer".


50 years later JFK issues order to print US dollars redeemable in intrinsically valuable metallic coinage.  JFK and Notes both short lived.


50 years later, well, that's now.  Interesting times indeed.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:36 | 920612 trav7777
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look over at Africa...they did.

Do you want your country run like that?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:08 | 920970 robobbob
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Article 1 Section 9

"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person"

the founders were politicians, not superheros. they won an impossible war against a major super power and cut the best compromise they could while leaving door open in future

later that promise would be redeemed with 600,000 dead

think you could have done better?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:59 | 920130 Sudden Debt
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just immagine... a 4 screen expansion pack...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:12 | 921679 Pat Hand
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Can I get a lanyard for my b-unit at the Apple store?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:24 | 919983 kato
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a grand bit of self-puffery

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:25 | 919990 Alcoholic Nativ...
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Sounds like Terrorist Talk!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:27 | 920000 gloomboomdoom
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Nothing But Hatred and Distrust for the Entire Human Race


Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:42 | 920052 Quixotic_Not
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Oh yeah, sick & twisted death heads have got the answers...


Listen, I understand you came from a dysfunctional family, but the whole human race isn't pond scum.

There are some truly loving, caring individuals out there, unfortunately they're getting crushed by sociopathic politicos and bankster racketeers, and also by self-immolating turds like the bastards in that "music" video.

Get help...from good people.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:44 | 920062 Alcoholic Nativ...
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Right on man. Go with God.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:46 | 920075 Quixotic_Not
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There is an answer...same as in 1776:

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions...


Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. ~ John Locke 1690

God isn't going to help us, we must help ourselves...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:05 | 920156 Gully Foyle
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"God isn't going to help us, we must help ourselves..."

Not really being religious but, the argument would be that God is helping by allowing you to help yourself. By nudging events into the proper pattern for people to capitalize on.

It is up to the individual to make the best of what God has offered.


Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:13 | 920182 DaveyJones
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so I guess God does believe in athiests

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:25 | 920252 Gully Foyle
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"so I guess God does believe in athiests


Pascal's Wager (or Pascal's Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal that, even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Pascal formulated his suggestion uniquely on the God of Jesus Christ as implied by the greater context of his Pensées, a posthumously published collection of notes made by Pascal in his last years as he worked on a treatise on Christian apologetics. However, some argue that Pascal's Wager also applies to gods of other religions and belief systems.

Pascal states, however, that some do not have the ability to believe. In this case, he directs them to live as though they had faith, which may lead them to belief. The Wager was set out in note 233 of his Pensées.

Historically, Pascal's Wager was groundbreaking as it had charted new territory in probability theory, was one of the first attempts to make use of the concept of infinity, marked the first formal use of decision theory, and anticipated the future philosophies of pragmatism and voluntarism.[1]


The philosophy uses the following logic (excerpts from Pensées, part III, note 233):

  1. "God is, or He is not"
  2. A Game is being played... where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. According to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
  4. You must wager. It is not optional.
  5. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  6. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (...) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

The wager is described in Pensées this way:

“ If there is a god, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is....

..."God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.

Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know nothing about it. "No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true course is not to wager at all."

Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

"That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may perhaps wager too much." Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.[9]

Pascal begins with the premise that the existence or non-existence of God is not provable by human reason, since the essence of God is "infinitely incomprehensible". Since reason cannot decide the question, one must "wager", either by guessing or making a leap of faith. Agnosticism on this point is not possible, in Pascal's view, for we are already "embarked", effectively living out our choice.

We only have two things to stake, our "reason" and our "happiness". Pascal considers that there is "equal risk of loss and gain", a coin toss, since human reason is powerless to address the question of God's existence. That being the case, we then must decide it according to our happiness... by weighing the gain and loss in believing that God exists. He contends the wise decision is to wager that God exists, since "If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing", meaning one can gain eternal life if God exists, but if not, one will be no worse off in death than if one had not believed.


Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:39 | 920302 DaveyJones
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"because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose - Pascal"

In Catholic School, in fifth grade, sister Mary Ernest was telling my class that we should all be good so we can go to heaven. That heaven is full of wonderful things and we should all work to get there. I raised my hand and said, sister, isn't that the wrong reason to be good? She gave me a look of scorn and disbelief then asked what I meant. I got nervous with the whole class looking at me and said well, we shouldn't be good just to go to heaven, that's kind of selfish. We should be good to be good, because helping people and doing good is what we should all do whether or not we get something for it. The class turned to Sister Mary and she thought for a second and then said "shut up Davey."      

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:16 | 920494 Sean7k
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Stop making sense Davey- it puts Pascal to shame.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:20 | 921006 chumbawamba
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Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:43 | 920336 downrodeo
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If God is incomprehensible, how are we able to make judgements such as, 'he either is or is not'. Could a being that exists beyond human comprehension simultaneously fulfill both states of "is" and "is not", like Schrodinger's cat? I mean, at least until you look, and that action supposedly gave Moses white hair; I'm not looking to dive into that salt-n-pepper head look just yet, I'm still young!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:35 | 920608 twinshot
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Pascal was obviously a bit drunk when he thought all this through.

Two words for him and his followers: Opportunity Cost

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 13:32 | 920860 Sean7k
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Pascal's Wager (or Pascal's Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal that, even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. 

Thus the lie begins. It is a false choice. In order to accept this premise, you must then live your life in such a way as to take advantage of it. This will require that you modify your habits, you associate with a subset of the population and that you reject ideas based on the assumptions of others. 

You surrender your intellectual and social liberty for the possibility of heaven. A heaven, that as described is nonsensical. Just as hell is equally nonsensical. Streets of gold? Why would a spirit need a street? Why gold? Is this an attempt to appeal to our greed and avarice? A life of service to an elite? Parallels? 

Burn in hell? How does a spirit burn or know pain? Pain is the realm of the physical. An appeal to our fears? 

Pascal's gambit is the propaganda of the church couched in intellectual mumbo-jumbo.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 16:46 | 921537 Buckaroo Banzai
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There's no such thing as spiritual pain? If you believe that then you are either an ass, or you have no soul.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:25 | 921581 Flakmeister
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 Actually based on what this troll has written, it is combination of both.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:29 | 921752 Sean7k
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I think you might be confusing "spiritual pain" with the concepts learned and used by your brain to control your behavior- a safety mechanism, if you will. They find expression in "sadness, tears, doubt, etc- hormonal responses that have physical manifestations. This pain would be governed by earthly, subjective values- again, the result of reactions to the mores taught by authority.

The spirit or soul is pure energy. Until someone can show that energy feels pain, I disagree with your opinion. 

If I have no soul, then I would not be alive. Thus either I'm an ass or you have never really considered this concept and have reduced yourself to tossing slurs to make your point.

You usually make more erudite comments. I am surprised.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:47 | 921849 Flakmeister
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  I guess I am having a bad day...

Without going into semantics and any assumption about spirituality, ultimately you are answerable to your conscience. Accept that and Pascal's observation is correct, no matter what faith you have or don't have. That is what I feel you missed in your diatribe against Pascal. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:06 | 921943 Sean7k
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Then you missed the point of my "diatribe". There is much lost in accepting Pascal's observation. Pascal would have you believe you lose nothing and only have something to gain by having faith. 

This is much like the Bastiat's parable of the broken window. Pascal neglects to consider what is not seen. In order to accept faith, you must close your mind to other ideas that could contribute to your personal enlightenment. You must choose to disassociate with those people that are no longer acceptable within your beliefs. You fail to consider more persuasive philosophical constructs and thus cheat your life of the richness that comes from the exploration of ALL ideas. You would refuse to experience on the basis of faith.

Thus, you do you give up something. It is not a sum gain, it is a trade. You are trading the mythological richness of religion for the more practical richness of a life well lived. A bird in the hand for two in the bush.

Your conscience is manufactured by your environment. It is important to your survival socially and environmentally, but it a physical world construct and malleable by the society you are surrounded by. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:23 | 921991 Flakmeister
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  You are correct re: Pascal, taken at face value, i.e. limiting yourself the definition of faith/god as was the norm of his era. One can be an athiest and realize the wisdom of what Pascal implied at a deeper level, not just the superficiality of Judeo-Christian salvation in return for limiting your mindset. I am only answerable to myself and those in my immediate life. My conscience arises from my life and a judgement of what is fair and just based on my experiences. Acquired Wisdom and critical self-reflection are tools.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:32 | 920278 Quixotic_Not
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I know the argument, at this point I'd have to see a god in person to buy it...

Not really gonna believe in the whole sight-unseen thingy, too much propaganda afoot.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:35 | 920298 Gully Foyle
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Here is the thing, you only need to live a "good" life.

Live by the Eightfold path, live as a Jain, just do "good" acts.

To a good man no evil comes.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:52 | 920385 downrodeo
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"To a good man no evil comes"

Gully, I don't think this is accurate.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:53 | 920386 downrodeo
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Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:35 | 921782 A Nanny Moose
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The mother of all battles has been waged between collectives, for the soul of the individual. Each collective, claiming that the soul belongs to the collective.

Perhaps the next phase of human awareness accounts for the soul of the individual, actually belonging to the individual?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:17 | 921697 A Nanny Moose
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God's sittin' this one out.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:50 | 920091 gloomboomdoom
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In the land of the blind... the one eyed man is a fool or a coward.

Seriously? What is wrong with my taste in music?

People at Metal shows are some of the friendlist people you will ever meet. Very friendly, outgoing, personable, intelligent and kind.

I know you people want to see it translated into a LIVE street fight... but that simply never happens.

Drunks at Football and Soccer (futbal) games is where your drunken violence can be found.

I'll see you in Chicago at the HOB on the 27th... Don't wear a clean shirt

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:06 | 920117 Quixotic_Not
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In the land of the blind... the one eyed man is a fool or a coward.

Quite some fantastical bullshit there bucko - I betcha that a one eyed man would be a god in the land of the blind, that's what history teaches those willing to learn...

I've been a musician for 35 years and a producer for 15, and I'm well acquainted with Death/Black Metal and Grindcore players.

I have not met one yet that wasn't deeply disturbed and an anarchist.

Not to say that "Drunks at Football and Soccer (futbal) games" have much to offer humanity either - In fact, those are usually the progenitors of those that self-abuse to the extreme...

There is a better way, you're just not healthy enough to embrace it (yet).

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:13 | 920180 gloomboomdoom
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fair enough. I am a Christian... not that it has any relevance to my taste in music.

I just like it heavy. Acacia is a serious band, but offstage it is all tongue-n-check. They mock hxc TOUGH guy bands that take the shit too seriously.

If you want to see skillz. here...


Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:00 | 920422 Rusty Shorts
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 ... why are so many "Christians" into Devil music?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:04 | 920445 downrodeo
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...because it's so damn sexy....

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:16 | 920495 Quixotic_Not
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...because it's so damn sexy....

Have you seen the women (as in the few, the proud, the insane) that listen to Death/Black/Grindcore Metal? ROFL

Perhaps, you're talking about the men (gag!)...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:31 | 920585 downrodeo
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hahah, i thought we were talking about the music, not the people who play it. my mistake.


as far as the people go, different strokes for different folks. What you find sexy may be replusive to others. What I find sexy, is none of your business...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:25 | 920253 l1xx3r
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What is your problem with anarchist? Some people think we (as a race) are intelligent enough to live without some state violently forcing us to pay for their corruption. Unless you mean violent fools that run around destroying stuff, if that is the case please make it clear. Anarchist are people that think we do not need leaders. As far as everything else you said... I agree.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:23 | 920529 Quixotic_Not
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Anarchy is NOT part of this:

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I suggest you get on a plane to Egypt, if you really crave anarchy...you might be able to participate in some for a short time  ;-)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:35 | 920605 downrodeo
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it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation


Does this not require at least a brief episode of anarchy through the transitional period? The state needs anarchists and periodic anarchy to keep it from devolving into a totalitarian nightmare, which is always the tendency of government. For example, there is no such thing as an anti-terrorist attack that would cause the DHS to ease some of its security policies. It only goes one way.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:37 | 920615 StychoKiller
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Chaos != Anarchy

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:51 | 920686 downrodeo
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Anarchy = Absolute Freedom (and everything that comes with it)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 13:16 | 920793 Sean7k
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There is no chaos in anarchy. Anarchy is no formal government with police powers. The propaganda would have us believe differently. However, is your view of chaos include the destruction of law? Is not the workings of government on the behalf of the elites the destruction of law?  Is not foreclosuregate the destruction of law?

Chaos is the nature of life. It is the nature of the universe. Can a system based on chaos be successful? Is not our universe successful?

Anarchy is no more dangerous than government and perhaps, much safer. Are there any governments that have not resulted in debt slavery? Are there any governments that did not abuse their police powers? Are there any governments that did not function at the behest of the elites?

Anarchy is the gift of liberty and responsibility. 

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