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Guest Post: American Eulogy

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Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform and Before It's News

American Eulogy

The Founding Fathers described the kind of country they were shaping
on July 4, 1776 with the most well known sentence in the English
language:

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.
- Declaration of Independence

In 1776, America was an idea born of noble intentions. An idea that
every citizen had the opportunity to succeed, prosper and achieve based
upon their hard work and abilities. The government did not provide
advantages or a safety net for its citizens. People were free to succeed
or fail based upon their own merits. America had a frontier spirit
because it was still a frontier. Individual effort, intellect and
willingness to sweat allowed you to move up the socio-economic ladder.
The government provided a National Defense, and very little else. In
1794, the country had a population of 4.4 million and a GDP of $310
million. Government spending totaled $7.1 million, or 2.3% of GDP, and
was split between Defense and interest on the Revolutionary War debt.
Today, Federal Government spending totals $3.7 trillion, or 25% of GDP.

James Truslow Adams in his 1931 Epic of America described the America that once existed in reality, but only exists as a phantom today: 

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should
be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each
according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the
European upper classes to interpret adequately, also too many of us
ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of
motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which
each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature
of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what
they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or
position.”

“The American Dream that has lured tens of millions of all
nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of
material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has
been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and
woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the
older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed
for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any
and every class.” -
James Truslow Adams - Epic of America

His assessment of the American Dream was made in 1931. He saw signs
that the American Dream had begun to die. He was right. The American
Dream began to develop a terminal illness in 1913 with the creation of
the Federal Reserve and the passage of the 16th Amendment to the
Constitution, creating a permanent income tax.

Song of the Century

Sing us a song of the century
It sings like American Eulogy
The dawn of my love and conspiracy
Forgotten hope and the class of 13
Tell me a story into that goodnight
Sing us a song for me - 
American Eulogy - Green Day

 

At the outset of the last century America was still a vital, free,
growing country on the rise. The song of the century began as a joyous
ballad and ended as a funeral dirge. The creation of a Central Bank,
which could create inflation on demand, and allowing politicians the
ability to buy votes through pork spending, paid for with ever
increasing taxation, have sucked the life out of the American Dream.
According to the Federal Reserve’s own website, their mandates were
clear. Below are those mandates and an assessment of their success.

Conducting the nation’s monetary policy by influencing
the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum
employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.

  •  Due to loose monetary policy in the 1920′s, the Federal Reserve
    created a stock bubble, a stock market crash of 89%, a decade long Great
    Depression, and unemployment of 25% in the 1930′s.
  • Due to loose monetary policies in the 1970′s, the Federal Reserve
    created raging inflation that reached 14% in the early 1980′s and needed
    to raise interest rates to 18% in order to break the back of inflation,
    resulting in unemployment surging to 9.7% in 1982.
  • Due to loose monetary policies in the early 2000′s, the Federal
    Reserve created the largest housing bubble in history, with the
    subsequent collapse bringing the financial system to within hours of
    collapse, and driving unemployment to 9.9% in 2009.
  • Due to the loosest monetary policy in history, today, inflation has
    begun to rage across the globe, leading to riots, protests and bloody
    revolutions, with more on the way.
  • The Federal Reserve has achieved their stable prices mandate by
    inflating away 96% of the purchasing power of the US dollar in less than
    100 years. The price of gold continues to soar, as faith in the US
    dollar diminishes by the minute. I guess stability is in the eye of the
    beholder. 

Supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure
the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system
and to protect the credit rights of consumers.

Historical US Bank Failures thru 2010

  •  The Federal Reserve’s supervisory and regulatory expertise can be
    observed in the graph above. This graph doesn’t do the Fed justice, as
    it begins in 1934. Sixteen years after its origination, the Fed managed
    to let 10,000 out of 25,000 banks in the country fail between 1929 and
    1932.
  • Their glorious history also includes residing over the failure of 2,800 banks during the 1980′s S&L crisis.
  • While protecting their mega-bank Wall Street masters, the Fed has
    allowed over 300 small banks to go under so far. There are 900 banks on
    the troubled list that will eventually meet their maker.  

Maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.

  • Generally, maintaining the stability of the financial system and
    containing systematic risk doesn’t include allowing the worldwide
    financial system to come within hours of collapse as described by Rep.
    Paul Kanjorski:
  • “On Thursday [the 18th], at about 11 o’clock in the morning, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to a tune of $550 billion being drawn out in a matter of an hour or two. The
    Treasury opened up its window to help. They pumped $105 billion into
    the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We
    were having an electronic run on the banks.

    They decided to close the operation, close down the money
    accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there
    wouldn’t be further panic and there. And that’s what actually happened.
    If
    they had not done that their estimation was that by two o’clock that
    afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market
    system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.

    Now we talked at that time about what would have happened if that happened. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.”

Providing financial services to depository institutions,
the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including
playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system.

  • It seems this is the only mandate the Federal Reserve has taken
    seriously is providing services to its owners, the banks. Did the
    bankers and politicians that met on Jekyll Island to mastermind this
    Central Bank envision that those services would include: buying $1.5
    trillion of toxic mortgages from the banks; allowing the mega-banks to
    borrow from the Fed at 0% and reinvest those funds at 2.5% risk free;
    pumping $600 billion directly into the stock market through their QE2
    scam; allowing banks to falsely overstate the value of their mortgage
    and commercial loans; and never ever enforcing basic risk management
    regulations.
  • While providing Wall Street banks with billions of unearned risk
    free profits, 0% interest rates further impoverish the savers and senior
    citizens of the country. The Federal Reserve has fulfilled their
    unstated mandate of enriching bankers at the expense of middle class
    Americans.  

To strengthen U.S. standing in the world economy.

  • The Federal Reserve’s affect on the world economy is best revealed in a pictorial tribute to their policies:

                                    TUNISIA

                                     ALGERIA

                                         EGYPT

The Federal Reserve has not been alone in killing the American Dream.
Politicians since 1913 have done their part in suffocating the dream.
The tax code consisted of 400 pages in 1913 and tax rates ranged from 1%
to 7%. In less than a century politicians of both parties have carved
out 70,000 pages of payoffs, entitlements, and bribes for their
contributors and constituents. Tax rates now range from 10% to 35%.
Those 70,000 pages of rules, regulations and tax breaks do not benefit
the average middle class American. They benefit those who had the money
and power to buy off a Congressman.

The Federal Reserve and the US Tax Code bastardized the American
Dream, created barriers to economic advancement, and supported the
accumulation of wealth and power by a select few. The ruling elite have
used their power and control over the media to convince the majority of
Americans that the American Dream is about accumulating material
possessions with debt. The American Dream no longer meant attaining the
fullest measure of your capabilities, but living in the biggest
McMansion, driving the nicest BMW, watching the biggest TV and wearing
the latest fashions, all acquired with debt. America is dying. 

Mass Hysteria

Red alert is the color of panic
Elevated to the point of static
Beating into the hearts of the fanatics
And the neighborhood’s a loaded gun
Idle thought lead to full-throttle screaming
And the welfare is asphyxiating
Mass confusion is all the new age and it’s creating a feeding ground for the bottom feeders of hysteria

Hysteria, mass hysteria!
Mass hysteria!
Mass hysteria!
Mass hysteria! -  American Eulogy - Green Day

 

Green Day captures the essence of America since the turn of the
century. The country has been in the throes of mass hysteria since 9/11.
The once independent, self sufficient individualists that populated
this country have become dependent, government reliant, quivering
shadows of the frontiersmen that created this country. In the name of
safety and security, the American people have allowed their government
to accumulate complete control over every aspect of our lives. Only a
country in the grip of mass hysteria would allow their leaders to run
the National Debt from $5.8 trillion to $14.1 trillion in less than 10
years. Only a country in the clutches of mass hysteria could believe
they could get rich by trading internet stocks and houses to a greater
fool. Only a country seized by mass hysteria would allow its leaders to
promote democracy at the point of a cruise missile as we continue to
fight $3 trillion wars in the Middle East, while nearly tripling the
amount spent on Defense to more than $1 trillion per year.

 Defense Budget Breakdown for 2011

Defense-related expenditure 2011 Budget request & Mandatory spending Calculation
DOD spending $721.3 billion Base budget + “Overseas Contingency Operations”
FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
International Affairs $10.1–$54.2 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
Energy Department, defense-related $20.9 billion  
Veterans Affairs $66.2 billion  
Homeland Security $54.7 billion  
NASA, satellites $3.4–$8.5 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA’s total budget
Veterans pensions $58.4 billion  
Other defense-related mandatory spending $7.5 billion  
Interest on debt incurred in past wars $114.8–$454.2 billion Between 23% and 91% of total interest
Total Spending $1.060–$1.449 trillion  

 

If you had told someone on September 10, 2001 that ten years later
America would be running $1.5 trillion annual deficits, fighting two
wars of choice in countries that despise our presence, and had not only
not addressed the $100 billion of unfunded welfare liabilities but added
billions more with Medicare D and Obamacare, they would have thought
you were a crazy doomster predicting the end of the world. They would
have put you away in a padded cell if you had further predicted that
politicians would cut taxes three separate times, that the Wall Street
banks that leveraged themselves 40 to 1 and destroyed the financial
system were handed $2 trillion of taxpayer funds so they could pay
themselves multi-million dollar bonuses, and that the Federal Reserve
would triple its balance sheet to $2.45 trillion by running its printing
presses at hyper-speed and handing the money to those same Wall Street
Mega-Banks. 

What caused the mass hysteria that has destroyed the soul of America?
Was it just the madness of crowds? Or was it something more sinister? 

True sounds of maniacal laughter
And the deaf-mute is misleading the choir
The punch-line is a natural disaster
And it’s sung by the unemployed
Fight fire with a riot
The class war is hanging on a wire because the martyr is a compulsive liar
When he said “it’s just a bunch of niggers throwing gas into the ….” – American Eulogy - Green Day

Whenever an act doesn’t make sense and seems irrational, you need to
ask yourself, “who benefits?” Who has benefitted from the hysteria? The
answer is in plain sight. The moneyed interests benefitted. The military
industrial complex benefitted. The Federal Government bureaucracy
benefitted. Wall Street bankers benefitted. Mega-corporations and their
CEOs benefitted. The top 1% ruling elite gained more wealth and more
power. They created the mass hysteria with the assistance of their
corporate owned mainstream media and completed their pillaging of the
middle class with the cooperation of regulators, rating agencies and
their ultimate weapon, the privately owned Federal Reserve bank, that
has enriched its owners while impoverishing those whose only aspiration
was to do an honest day’s work, raise their families, and live in
relative comfort, safety, and happiness.

I Don’t Wanna Live In The Modern World

I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!

I am a nation without bureaucratic lies
Deny the allegation as it’s written (fucking lies!)

I want to take a ride to the great divide
Beyond the “up to date” and the neo-gentrified
The high definition for the low resident
Where the value of your mind is not held in contempt
I can hear the sound of a beating heart
That bleeds beyond a system that’s falling apart
With money to burn on a minimum wage
I don’t give a shit about the modern age – American Eulogy - Green Day

 

The modern world in no way resembles the world  James Truslow Adams
wrote so passionately about in 1931. Green Day’s version of bureaucratic
lies, high definition TVs for the poor, contempt for those who use
their minds, and a debt flooded system that is falling apart is an
accurate assessment of America today. The modern world is ruled by the
few with wealth and power, sustained by government. The misinformation
and propaganda dished out by the mainstream media creates a smokescreen
that obscures who wields the true power in this country. The corporate
mainstream media has done such a good job spreading the Big Lie that a
vast number of Americans actually admire and worship the ultra-rich.

Most Americans still believe the fairy tale of the American Dream,
that no matter how humble your beginnings, everyone has a fair chance to
become rich in America. The truth is that the wealthy ruling class owns
the country. The top 1% control 43% of the financial wealth of the
nation. The top 10% control 83% of the financial wealth of the nation.
There is a  misperception that the ultra-rich earn their wealth. The
facts show otherwise. In 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the
13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages
and salaries. Remember the financial crisis of 2008-2009 that wiped out 7
million jobs, cut the value of many homes in half, and required a
taxpayer bailout of Wall Street? According to research done by economist
Edward Wolff, ”there has been an “astounding” 36.1% drop in the wealth
(marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the
housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of
households dropped by far less: just 11.1%. So as of April 2010, it
looks like the wealth distribution is even more unequal than it was in
2007.”

Source: William Domhoff

The bottom 90% own less than 19% of stocks and mutual funds in the
country. Reality is that the 10% richest Americans own the country. The
top 1% control 50% of the investment assets and only 5% of the total
debt in the country. The bottom 90% control 12% of the investment assets
and are burdened with 73% of the total debt. You can clearly see that
the Wall Street bailout and the current Federal Reserve QE2 plan to
boost stock prices have only benefitted the top 10% richest Americans.
What is good for Wall Street is  not good for Main Street. The American
middle class has been lured into debt by the purveyors of debt, the
ultra-rich elite who control the financial industry. The further into
debt the bottom 90% descend, the greater the enrichment of the ruling
class. This is why Wall Street shysters, political hacks and the
corporate mainstream media have urged Americans to whip out those credit
cards and “Save America” by spending money they don’t have, again. It
is reminiscent of President Bush’s heartfelt plea to the American public
to defeat terrorism by buying a GM car with 0% down.

The propaganda that is constantly pounded into the brains of
Americans about “death taxes” and the rich paying more than their fair
share of taxes is part of the Big Lie perpetrated by the powerful ruling
class. The “huge” issue of estate tax impacts only the few thousand
richest Americans.  According to a study published by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Cleveland, only 1.6% of Americans receive $100,000 or
more in inheritance. Another 1.1% receive $50,000 to $100,000. On the
other hand, 91.9% receive nothing (Kotlikoff & Gokhale, 2000). The
richest families in the country provide the funding for the mainstream
media propaganda needed to eliminate estate taxes.

 The lies about the ultra-rich paying more than their fair share of
taxes are refuted in the graph above. The top 1% actually pays a lower
percentage of their income than the next 9%. The tax code isn’t 70,000
pages for nothing. The ultra-rich have used their wealth to great
advantage by having loopholes and tax dodges inserted into the tax code
by their bought off congressmen. The average American can’t afford high
powered tax specialists and lawyers to help them stash their wealth in
off-shore tax havens in the Caribbean and Switzerland. The consistent
theme in America today is that the middle class gets screwed and the
ultra-rich ruling class accumulates more wealth and power.

The Death of America

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts,
and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit
suicide.” –
John Adams

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. These rights have been restricted and bastardized over two
centuries. Liberties have been severely restricted as your government
tracks you through your social security number, is able to monitor your
phone and internet communications, and regulates your education,
healthcare, business, and a thousand other daily activities. The right
to happiness was based upon James Treslow Adams’ view that we were free
to attain ”the fullest stature of which they are innately capable”.
The happiness of becoming a success through your individual exertion,
intelligence and efforts has been subverted by the happiness of material
goods acquired through the use of debt, peddled by the ruling class.

The American Dream where every person had the opportunity to live a
richer and fuller life began to die in 1913. Every generation born in
this country had an excellent chance to live a better life than their
parents. Relentless progress was the American way. I have three teenage
sons. Based on the actions of this country’s ruling oligarchy, I doubt
that my sons will live a richer and fuller life than myself. The debts
are too extreme, the military overreach too excessive, the looting by
the financial class too great, the political corruption too extensive,
and the opportunities too few. The dream of a social order where
everyone could rise to the highest level of their capabilities
regardless of their birth has been systematically squashed. With 66% of
households making less than $65,000 and college costs out of reach for
80% of Americans without incurring crushing levels of debt, the chances
for most Americans to climb the social ladder through educational
advancement are nil. Even if they do graduate from college, the CEOs in
corporate America, who “earn” 300 times the average worker, have
outsourced their jobs to China and India.

 The ruling class provides their children with private schooling and
necessary preparation to keep their place in the social order. Wealth
begets wealth. The elite send their kids to the elite Ivy League schools
and use their connections with their fellow ruling elite to get them
jobs on Wall Street, the prestigious connected corporations or
government jobs in Washington DC. The wealth of the few has erected
barriers to advancement of the many. America has progressively become a
stratified class oriented society that has begun to spiral downward as
the ruling class has gone too far. The revolutions flaring across the
globe are occurring because the ruling class went too far and took too
much. The ruling class in America should take note. They have shattered
the American Dream and the retribution from those who have been swindled
will be unexpected and violent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bunhVPAXcJA

 


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Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:21 | Link to Comment FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

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 | Link to Comment Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Does that mean Apple is about to launch a 4 screen expansion pack for overzealous Launchpads?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:40 | Link to Comment FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

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 | Link to Comment flavian
flavian's picture

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 | Link to Comment Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

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 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

look over at Africa...they did.

Do you want your country run like that?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:08 | Link to Comment robobbob
robobbob's picture

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 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

NOW THAT WOULD BE THE WINNER OF THE 2011 INOVATION AWARD!!

 

just immagine... a 4 screen expansion pack...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:12 | Link to Comment Pat Hand
Pat Hand's picture

Can I get a lanyard for my b-unit at the Apple store?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:24 | Link to Comment kato
kato's picture

a grand bit of self-puffery

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Sounds like Terrorist Talk!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:27 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

Nothing But Hatred and Distrust for the Entire Human Race

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwVap8x64As

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:42 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

Oh yeah, sick & twisted death heads have got the answers...

Not!

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 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Right on man. Go with God.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:46 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

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 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Quixotic_Not

"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 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

so I guess God does believe in athiests

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:25 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

DaveyJones

"so I guess God does believe in athiests

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

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 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"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 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Stop making sense Davey- it puts Pascal to shame.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:20 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Epic.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:43 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

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 | Link to Comment twinshot
twinshot's picture

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 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

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 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

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 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Actually based on what this troll has written, it is combination of both.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:29 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

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 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  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 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

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 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  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 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

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 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Quixotic_Not

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 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

"To a good man no evil comes"

Gully, I don't think this is accurate.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:53 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

dbl

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 17:35 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

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 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

God's sittin' this one out.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:50 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

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 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

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 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

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...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H76LUCBIUg

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:00 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 ... why are so many "Christians" into Devil music?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:04 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

...because it's so damn sexy....

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:16 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

...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 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

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 | Link to Comment l1xx3r
l1xx3r's picture

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 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

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 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

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 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Chaos != Anarchy

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:51 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Anarchy = Absolute Freedom (and everything that comes with it)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 13:16 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

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. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:19 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

+1  excellent post

Almost nobody takes the time to understand what anarchy actually is, what it is trying to tell us about ourselves. It is best when you are your own leader. It doesn't necessitate a return to barbarism.

My avatar reads 'chaos'. You've completely described the condition that I wish to impart with that. It is the nature of the universe. Love it or hate it, you can't defeat it.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:04 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

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

 

As counterintuitive as this seems, it is quite accurate. There are obviously instances of violence, but you could probably find that between starbucks-saturated soccer moms at any ticket window for justin bieber.

They're a lot of fun if you don't mind loud music. Catch Gwar if you never have, they're comparable to the blue man group in many ways. 

rock n' roll!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 15:27 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Seriously? What is wrong with my taste in music?

Nothing at all from my perspective, although I'm not sure if I would actively seek any kind of validation from others considering the rather obscure genre of music you posted above. Having said that, I'm confident in your assertion that many true anarchists or nihilists are in fact nice people, regardless of their preferred medium of communication.  

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:31 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

This article is class warfare socialist garbage. Get a job you fucken hippy scum.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:36 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

Job? You make sound like that is an easy feat.

A nation of young, single and jobless men...breeds aggression.

How many men are in China? What are the demographics like over there?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:38 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Time to create a boogyman. That's what the U.S. did.

Seems to have worked...

""Since the 11th, many of America's policies have come under the influence of the Mujahideen, and that is by the grace of Allah, the Most High. And as a result, the people discovered the truth about it, its reputation worsened, its prestige was broken globally and it was bled dry economically, even if our interests overlap with the interests of the major corporations and also with those of the neoconservatives, despite the differing intentions."

"And for your information media, during the first years of the war, lost its credibility and manifested itself as a tool of the colonialist empires, and its condition has often been worse than the condition of the media of the dictatorial regimes which march in the caravan of the single leader.""

......Al-Qaeda transcript

Put through the Corporate media filter and you get a picture of Osama Bin Laden with the lines "Death to all infidels" at the bottom. LOL

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:45 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

It was interesting to hear Zbigniew Brzezinski on ABC's This Week yesterday.

His audio was suddenly CUT OFF and they went to commercial.

Question?

IS this indeed a real revolution in the streets of Egypt?

Was the 2009 Colour Revolution in Iran provoked by the CIA and Brzezinski's foreign policy of destabilization?

In other words... Did this "event" really catch TPTB off guard? (Obama's Cario Speech in 2009?)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:44 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

Dangerous truths!

As Uncle Warren Buffet said, "There is a class war going on in America--and the wealthy are winning." 

Strange that the "masses" would allow themselves to be fleeced this way . . .

Perhaps it's all the hysterical syncophantic bullshit about "socialism" and "populism" and "class warfare" that helps keep them in their place. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:48 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Bingo.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:44 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

WWBTBD?

 

(What Would Bill The Butcher Do?)

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:51 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

It would be easier to create jobs if the marxists would stop turning us into a banana republic.

We're heading towards Obamazuela. And we have no bananas.

Marxism in Venezuela: 40% unemployment, highest inflation in the world, murder rate is 69/100K (huge), and the have food and energy shortages. And they should be swimming in energy and oil wealth.

Communism works so well. All over again. 

That's where our central planners are taking us on purpose. Global warming? Bull$hit!

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:53 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

Who forsaw the day when the Financial Complex would become a Marxist Central Planning Committee?

Maybe it's time to re-read Marx.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:52 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

At least that's what Rush and Breitbart tell him...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:33 | Link to Comment HarryWanqer
HarryWanqer's picture

A 35% tax rate is a small price to pay for spreading freedom throughout the world.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:44 | Link to Comment High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

Are you out of your bleeping mind?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:46 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

You almost got me there! For a minute, I thought you were Hammy. Good one!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:52 | Link to Comment taraxias
taraxias's picture

PMSL

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:46 | Link to Comment doggings
doggings's picture

a classic piece of trolling Harry, I see your skills improving daily.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:12 | Link to Comment Confused
Confused's picture

I have to admit, you make me laugh.

 

I still junked you though. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:17 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

is that that stuff we're spreading? smells different

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:44 | Link to Comment johngerard
johngerard's picture

the top rate of income tax should be no more than 20%.  and the lowest paid should be removed entirely from the income tax system.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:34 | Link to Comment ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

I know one thing...the bottom 50% REDUCE the nations wealth...they are fiscal drainers...  How do we fix THAT?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:03 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

enlist them in the army and send them overseas to Iraq?

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:24 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Well, you could kill them all or you could kill the top 5% and let the bottom 50% fight for a promotion. Moron.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:55 | Link to Comment Misstrial
Misstrial's picture

Hard to fix, imo.

Reason being, most women see the government as a substitute husband, daddy, or rich uncle.

~Misstrial

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:34 | Link to Comment Instant Karma
Instant Karma's picture

The American Dream is that everyone has a chance to succeed and live their life as they choose, as long as it doesn't bother anyone else. Think of a log cabin on the great plains, isolated, housing a family, who plow a farm.

The idea of the nanny state, the world's policeman, etc, was never envisioned.

I often wonder, why are our citizens dying in far off countries, but not anyone else's citizens? Either something is important enough for everyone to pitch in, or it's not.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

The American Dream is...

Here, let me give it to you straight, without all the Hollywood bullshit:

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

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:35 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

but they ate lobster in davos. everything must be fine.buddy can you spare a dime.......

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:54 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

dick cheneys ghost

Rumack: The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:09 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

but they ate lobster in davos

No worries, Barry is gonna put a chicklet in every mouth!

Are you ready to receive the eucharist Pancho?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:37 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

It's a nightmare I tell ya'

Somebody, just roll us over onto our rigor mortis tummies so we don't have to see anymore.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:10 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

I take it your family isn't on the Sons of the Revolution charter, is it?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:39 | Link to Comment Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

RE: "...An idea that every citizen had the opportunity to succeed, prosper and achieve based upon their hard work and abilities. The government did not provide advantages or a safety net for its citizens. People were free to succeed or fail based upon their own merits..."

This is incorrect. America was founded in the Enlightenment (and Deist) ideal of fairness and community-minded spirit. The proto-libertarian America, as described by Mr. Quinn, did not emrge until the robber barrons of the 19th century purposefully, and with their own avarice as a guide, manipulated the American ideal to fit their goals of wealth-unbounded.

Mr. Quinn's piece is propaganda. It is propaganda for those hungering for more anti-establishment vitriol. And while I AGREE that America has lost its way, and that we have become a land of fraudulent oligarchs rather than a place true to the spirit of its founding, I ALSO think that Mr. Quinn has penned a self-aggrandizing piece aimed at fueling a fire rather than elucidating economic and historical truths.

Ya ya....I know I'll get "junked" for this post. Because on ZH there is no room for dialogue that dissipates anger. But propaganda is propaganda, extremism is extremism. And while I AGREE that the American experiment is in great chaos and is facing very hard times, and while I AGREE that we are quickly devolving into the world's most powerful banana republic, I still find the truth---ALL OF IT, NOT JUST PIECES OF IT---more important than the power of anger.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:51 | Link to Comment FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

"Because on ZH there is no room for dialogue that dissipates anger"

If this were true, your post would be deleted.  Check back next month.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:49 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Miramanee

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

 

Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.

Benjamin Franklin, letter to Collinson, May 9, 1753

 

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816
Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:00 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

That's great and all but the world was totally differnt back then, machines, automation and outsourcing have made it nearly impossible to reach full employment. We tried the fast food service based economy and it didn't keep up with the inflation caused by speculation in our debt filled "new economy".

Cutting off all social safety nets will lead to chaos. But it might increase church attendance!

Bring on the dark ages!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:16 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Alcoholic Nativ

"That's great and all but the world was totally differnt back then, machines, automation and outsourcing have made it nearly impossible to reach full employment."

I'm not even going to be balanced on this. It's just too fucking complex.

Any the enterprising individual can earn a living and actually profit, but it takes HARD work. Most Americans are NOT prepared to labor anymore. Unlike say Mexicans. We want to sit on our assess and collect a virtually free check.

Take the time and watch the Mike Rowe TED talk. Very eye opening and spot on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRVdiHu1VCc

 

 

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 13:10 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

"  Take the time and watch the Mike Rowe TED talk. Very eye opening and spot on. "

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRVdiHu1VCc

Wow !  I watched it !!  That was a great speech !  I have forwarded this link of the dirty jobs guy to all my friends, very entertaining & true ........ In the 1950's/1960's my DAD was a TRUCK DRIVER  (local route) & damn proud of it !

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:32 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

That will be a very sad day if the church regains its dominance and becomes the "gang" to be in post collapse.  As of now, I would say the church infrastructure in america will be bankrupt before the collapse hits.  The typical church model is as follows: (1) get hole in the wall/metal building and scrounge a few recruits in the neighborhood; (2) send out kids on bikes to distribute flyers, advertise in the paper, and hit up local television stations for spots; (3) when a decent following is finally implemented, start passing the collection plate around as many times as possible; (4) once some of the finances are reasonably in order, start increasing salaries and pay for church "administration"; (5) once the ranks are too large for the hole in the wall, build a giant monument to god whereby 10x your present congregation could not begin to fill it; (6) ensure that all collection money is spent, because if the financial status of the church is doing too well, you may not get as many collections/tithing; (7) if collections dwindle or some other reason causes or threatens the church's ability to continue as a going concern, then put on the puppy dog eyes for creditors and give them a sob story, this should be good for many months, as you will certainly have a few loan officers in your ranks; (8) if the economy gets much worse, you simply fold up shop, because as between the collection plate and a food plate, the latter is vastly more appealing, given stomachs scream far louder than the heavens ever could.

I fully expect many churches in my area to begin failing within the next year...  simply put, the collection plate runs dry to fill peoples' bellies...  and, the saddest part, how the fuck do you explain paying for expansions and mega churches when the whole purpose of the endeavor was supposed to be helping the needy?  [as it stands, it was mostly helping the needy construction workers apparently].  I suspect my area is not unique...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:02 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Yes, all very nice and true...written at a time when anyone could head to the Ohio valley and claim enough land to support one's self. Not that it would have been a picnic, but it was a legitimate opportunity. One could argue that such a claim would be against some aboriginal claim, but who cared about those godless heathens.

  This ties in with another thread where I pointed out that the worlds arable land per capita is between 0.5-1.2 acres (depending on the estimate). It is now the provenance of the elite to provide opportunity. You can now argue by what means that opportunity should be provided.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:11 | Link to Comment Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Wake up, Miramanee.  Sure it is propaganda, just like the spouting of self-serving politicians and Wall Street crooks via the MSM every single day.  And what about this "propaganda" is not true?  You seem to acknowledge that it is, and if so, then why shouldn't this be allowed in the discussion?  Is it your intention to suppress this "propaganda"?  If so, then what is your motive?  Or, are you simply afraid to be part of the discussion and, ultimately, the actions needed to effect change?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:37 | Link to Comment Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

@ CC

Excellent points and question.

The "propaganda" is (a) that our founders were libertarians (They were not), and that (b) Quinn uses the power of anger to elicit and angry response. I am quite active in the discussion (and actions) for change, but it always strikes me that anger and more anger often breeds violent action...and I think the only way to resist is through non-violence. My fear is that when the "anger" becomes the primary story, the truth can get left behind. That's all.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:23 | Link to Comment Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

I agree that non-violent change is preferred.  However, most people ignore the signals that demand the change until it is too late (denial), then react knee-jerk fashion (anger) until they give up or accept a new reality (acceptance).  When it comes to significant change in government structure, revolution is usually needed since the majority needs to be prodded into action.  History shows us this.

If not libertarians, then what were our founders?  The colonization of America had everything to do with escaping the shackles of repression in Europe.  The American Revolution had everything to do with breaking the bonds of rule from abroad.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:13 | Link to Comment Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

The truth is We the People not only consented (i.e. voted) for the Nanny State without fail, the Sheeple clammered for scumbag politicos that gerrymandered for their vote.

These weren't Americans! They are the ignorant, selfish and ravenous huddled masses that washed ashore post American Revolution/War of 1812.

The mistake the Founding Fathers made was not envisioning a godless, immoral time when Emergency Powers would be used to suspend Natural Law *permanently* and reduce the Shot Heard Round The World to a kleptocracy ruled by the rich...

Once the huddled masses became indoctrinated to the necessity of living with legal fictions (e.g. Emergency Powers, Licenses, Income Taxes, Social Security, etc.) the clock began ticking on the Grand Experiment of Life, Liberty and Justice for all.

The only HOPE is for enough of the citizenry to grasp the import of the Declaration of Independence, and THROW OUT! the (D) & (R) Kleptrocracy (thus rescinding Emergency Powers).

I know, when pigs fly...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:24 | Link to Comment ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Of course it is propaganda. So is your post for that matter. Propaganda is the kin of manipulation and neither are inherently bad. Like so many other tools at our disposal; they can be used for good or bad.

I don't see any 'junks' to your post as I write this? I don't think this community has a problem with dissent as so long as the dissent is credible (as in my opinion, yours is).

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:40 | Link to Comment Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

@ ISEEIT

3 Junks and climbing.

My main argument is that in order for positive change to occur, "we" need to temper our anger and thirst for revenge, and instead look for ways to create community-oriented, peaceful, non-violent, avenues for dissent. Just one man's take.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:40 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja07pp4D8ec

Amerika V. 6.0 (the best we can do)

(Steve Earle)

Look at ya
Yeah, take a look in the mirror now tell me what you see
Another satisfied customer in the front of the line for the American dream
I remember when we was both out on the boulevard
Talkin' revolution and singin' the blues
Nowadays it's letters to the editor and cheatin' on our taxes
Is the best that we can do
Come on

Look around
There's doctors down on Wall Street
Sharpenin' their scalpels and tryin' to cut a deal
Meanwhile, back at the hospital
We got accountants playin' God and countin' out the pills
Yeah, I know, that sucks – that your HMO
Ain't doin' what you thought it would do
But everybody's gotta die sometime and we can't save everybody
It's the best that we can do

Four score and a hundred and fifty years ago
Our forefathers made us equal as long as we can pay
Yeah, well maybe that wasn't exactly what they was thinkin'
Version six-point-oh of the American way
But hey we can just build a great wall around the country club
To keep the riff-raff out until the slump is through
Yeah, I realize that ain't exactly democratic, but it's either them or us and
And it's the best we can do

Yeah, passionely conservative
It's the best we can do

Conservatively passionate
It's the best we can do

Meanwhile, still thinkin'
Hey, let's wage a war on drugs
It's the best we can do
Well, I don't know about you, but I kinda dig this global warming thing...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:43 | Link to Comment Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan's picture

Fantastic article.  The proof is in the pudding.

 

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8287982/

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:50 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

 

The nation is focused on news that Yacht Building in Germany Booms! 

Special interest is being directed toward the new 200 meter, 9-deck yachts about to be completed with showers that squirt champagne! Keep in mind that means a boat the length of 2 football fields! Although most of the clients are  oligarchs and sheiks there is a confirmed rumor of an American client who's wife ordered all closets should be lined with the skins of ocean rays, only to have them torn down and replaced when her husband changed his mind. In the words of the head of sales of the leading yacht building company: "Never in the history of Mankind has so much money been available."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,740409,00.html

This news, in combination with the British Royal Wedding pageantry which is sure to be bombarding airwaves from now through the spring is sure to have US aspirational consumers emptying their closets in embarrassment and plying the me-too trade! Can a White House spending binge on overpriced china, furniture and headboards be too far behind? 

We're in a winter wonderland of oligarch envy and yuppie-duppie chi chi mojo!

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:44 | Link to Comment Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

This guy is delusional. Read Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States' if you want to see what conditions were like for the average American prior to the current ponzi SS, Medicade, etc, schemes.

It was far worse for those 'pioneers' that pushed west in the US than most can imagine. Of course a few of the lucky ones struck it rich in mining, lumber, ag, ranching, etc. But the vast majority died very young from lack of medical care and flat out exaustion. Their pain meds? Alchol. Consumption of home brewed alchol was about 200 gals per year for every individual in the US. Now it is less than 5 gallons. Lots of blown out livers resulted.

Who owned the vast lands of the US West? Mostly big bankers from abroad investing in vast tracts of land.

Washington raised a bigger army to put down the 'Whiskey Rebellion' than he did to fight the revolutionary war. Washington happened to be the biggest disteller of whiskey in the east.

Certainly a small holder could file a claim and settle land on the cheap. What was their chance of making a living? Slim.

Don't believe all the bs that revisionist historians write. American History is far more complex and convoluted than a trip to Williamsburg Va will reveal. Few lived in the homes on display there. Most lived in mud hovels.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:57 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Snidley Whipsnae

"Who owned the vast lands of the US West? Mostly big bankers from abroad investing in vast tracts of land."

The Cartwrights and the Barkleys. The Barkleys even took in that bastard son Heath. Thankfully Nick would kick the shit out of him frequntly.

But hey, from that grew love and respect.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:22 | Link to Comment dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Most lived in mud hovels and lean-tos before building very nice houses.  There were many poor, but the chance of climbing the latter was great.  There were no leeches holding one back.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:23 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Well, mud huts (Adobe homes) are far superior to the cardboard house that are built today and 200 gallons of beer per year sounds pretty damn good to me.

Take some time and look at the Native American societies that existed for 15,000 years before the white boys showed up, they lived quite well indeed. The problem began with the monetary system and property (land) ownership, both of which is completely fraudulent

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:44 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

no, they didn't.

The native americans were a late stone age culture.  They had no modern medicine, written word, or mechanical devices.  The notion that they "lived well" is absurd.  They struggled to eke out a living from the land just the same as the pioneers did.  Most of the injuns lacked agriculture and many were simple nomads.  This is not what I would call living well.  too much Hollywood revisionist propaganda, methinks

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 20:42 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

LMAO, good one Trav !!!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:44 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

no, they didn't.

The native americans were a late stone age culture.  They had no modern medicine, written word, or mechanical devices.  The notion that they "lived well" is absurd.  They struggled to eke out a living from the land just the same as the pioneers did.  Most of the injuns lacked agriculture and many were simple nomads.  This is not what I would call living well.  too much Hollywood revisionist propaganda, methinks

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:44 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

no, they didn't.

The native americans were a late stone age culture.  They had no modern medicine, written word, or mechanical devices.  The notion that they "lived well" is absurd.  They struggled to eke out a living from the land just the same as the pioneers did.  Most of the injuns lacked agriculture and many were simple nomads.  This is not what I would call living well.  too much Hollywood revisionist propaganda, methinks

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 13:46 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Couple of points: adobe structures make great homes and are being resurrected in the southwest. Those Prairie straw bale homes were well designed as well. I am using a modified version for my own home. R factor of 55 and they breathe, without the off gassing of toxins we find in modern structures.

More important: what about the freedom to choose how you can live? You need special permission to build these homes. 

Hunter gatherer, agricultural or modern industrial all have their advantages and disadvantages- the choice is subjective. Why can't we make the choice?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 22:38 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

good points. Peak everything will force us to borrow many things from the "primitive" playbook: permaculture, renewable resources, smaller interactive communities, respect / knowlege/ worship for the ecosystem that keeps your ass alive or takes you out when you exhaust it. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:45 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

BP. Burning Platform. GOM...hmmmmmm.....

JQ does call it, and well. People are afraid of death, afraid of change and so it is thrust upon them. If we ourselves are so hard to turn, imagine a whole society or a way of being.

The American nightmare is all of our collective nightmare. 

Here in India, as an example, Bollywood now resembles Hollywood. So much, it's pretty freaky. When all you've exported in recent is a decadent culture and inflation... pretty much says it all.

ORI

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/the-callousness-of-pornography/

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Oh regional Indian

Dude I just watched Enhiran ( Enthiran sp?). Freaky yessiree.

Read Ian McDonald's scifi novel River of Gods. He does some very interesting takes on how other cultures futures may develop.

Dervish House is a look at Turkey with the same criteria.

Anyway Scifi is the only genre that actively attempts to extrapolate a future from current events and discoveries.

That's why Robocop resembles modern Detroit.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:13 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Foundation Trilogy Gully. Seems like a possible future there?

But yes, SciFi is pre-scient for sure.

Dune (the lot of them) is on top of my list. 

Thanks for the Av link ;-)

ORI

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:21 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Oh regional Indian

You missed the point about McDonalds work, it isn't Eurocentric. It is about how each nation would develop their own adaptations.(River of Gods was based in India, Dervish House in Turkey, Brasyl in Brazil, Evolutions Shore in Africa)

Foundation is as workable as the series based on Korzybski's work.

I'm amazed more people aren't familiar with Korzybski and the importance of his ideas.

Then again people choose Yoga over Gurdjieff.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:26 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Now I understand where you come  from.

Same heritage here.

Have not read River of the Gods. Will check it out. Thanks for the recco.

ORI

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:26 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

"Then again people choose Yoga over Gurdjieff."

Now I understand where you come  from.

Same heritage here.

Have not read River of the Gods. Will check it out. Thanks for the recco.

ORI

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:45 | Link to Comment svendthrift
Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:47 | Link to Comment Kina
Kina's picture

Will the banks order the Army to start shooting Americans when they come out into the streets to protests like the Egyptians?

Or will they order the Whitehouse to order the army?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:51 | Link to Comment gloomboomdoom
gloomboomdoom's picture

Goldman's Sach has already legally and lawfully purchased firearms for self-defense against disenfranchised citizens upset to see their country conquered

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:21 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

it's now clear why they also purchased part of facebook

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:39 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Goldman Sachs seems like the embodiment of self interest.  One could make the argument that altruism exists and that conscious acts are self-less, but in every conscious act, there lies a bit, even if small, of self-interest.  Like self-interest, GS has its hand in about everything, although arguably, possibly lying dormant or being otherwise benign.  [fat chance].

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 22:44 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

i meant facebook as the main tool of the egyptian insurrection 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:49 | Link to Comment johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture

"The American middle class has been lured into debt by the purveyors of debt, the ultra-rich elite who control the financial industry. "

Capitalism has failed badly! There is going to be payback, just like Egypt. A country that can not take care of the many who are poor can not save the few who are rich!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:49 | Link to Comment NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

enough already with this juvenile, sanctimonious preaching. let quinn go back to the church of green day and chew on some Bush posters. 

"The ruling elite have used their power and control over the media to convince the majority of Americans that the American Dream is about accumulating material possessions with debt."

please! before this all americans were innocent, generous people that had no desire to acquire?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:25 | Link to Comment DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

SmokeyQuinn:
 
You have to be asleep to believe this.
 
"In 1776, America was an idea born of noble intentions. An idea that every citizen had the opportunity to succeed, prosper and achieve based upon their hard work and abilities."
 

Unfortunately, like just about everything else you and yours have all been carefully trained to believe in because of a very limited education and self imposed ignorance, it's just a great big, stinking load of red, white and blue bullshit.

The majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were, in fact, SLAVE OWNERS and their representatives. Virtually all of the signers of the Declaration were GENOCIDAL land speculators. Most of the “heroes” of the Revolution and of early America were, in reality, resolute OPPONENTS of equality, freedom, liberty, the rule of law and, above and beyond everything else, of democracy.

Their true and blatantly obvious purposes were to steal Indian land in violation of legally binding agreements, to preserve slavery in perpetuity in order to maintain their own wealth and power as the ruling class and to install a tyranny of that same elite behind a facade of democracy.

In fact, like just about it everything else today, it was all about money and power.

 
"The country has been in the throes of mass hysteria since 9/11.  Whenever an act doesn’t make sense and seems irrational, you need to ask yourself, “who benefits?” Who has benefitted from the hysteria? The answer is in plain sight.  Whenever an act doesn’t make sense and seems irrational, you need to ask yourself, “who benefits?” Who has benefitted from the hysteria? The answer is in plain sight. The moneyed interests benefitted. The military industrial complex benefitted. The Federal Government bureaucracy benefitted. Wall Street bankers benefitted. Mega-corporations and their CEOs benefitted. The top 1% ruling elite gained more wealth and more power."
 
But you, SmokeyQuinn still believe and write, (and delete and IP ban on your sheepshit-blog), that the AmeriKlan Coup on 9/11 was the work of a magical miracle worker, Osama bin Laden and his merry band of 19 mystical elves.
Why should anyone believe you, or even bother to read your trite and oft repeated pop-culture bull shit?
 
"I have three teenage sons. Based on the actions of this country’s ruling oligarchy, I doubt that my sons will live a richer and fuller life than myself. The debts are too extreme, the military overreach too excessive, the looting by the financial class too great, the political corruption too extensive, and the opportunities too few."
 
There are plenty of opportunities for your boys as cannon fodder, fighting "sand niggers" (as you and your sheep like to label Arabs) in the forever wars in the Middle East ... and soon WW III. 
 
The last word, about your grade school fantasy of the "American Dream" goes to George Carlin.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:56 | Link to Comment bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

They call it the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:37 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

Or getting paid. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:14 | Link to Comment Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

++++++

RIP to one of America's finest stand up philosophers.  Oh what I'd give to hear his thoughts on today...

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:56 | Link to Comment LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

Amen! Let the wrath be swift and painful!

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 14:30 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I loved the article.   It was excellent, just excellent.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS ........... our founding fathers, if they were here today.      WHO COULD BE OUR NEXT GROUP of FOUNDING FATHERS (& mothers !! ) .    Charity to those less fortunate, my heart hurts knowing the truth about this country & what's been done to us all .

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:03 | Link to Comment virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

Feed the bankers to the starving millions in the ME.. they are plump and well fed.  Cannibalism think it can't happen?  

http://listverse.com/2008/12/19/top-10-cases-of-human-cannibalism/

Let Them Eat The Bankers..

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

Unlike Tunisia, I seriously doubt we'll have a self-immolation in the US to spark rioting. Perhaps a massive cigarette smoke-in will do it when the SWAT teams converge with fire hoses to put out the conflagration.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment Ein Stein
Ein Stein's picture

The Washington Post:

If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare, there’s an easy way. Look past its press releases. Ignore its promises. Forget its talking points. Instead, simply witness for yourself the outrageous way the White House protects its best friends from Obamacare.

Last year, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had granted 111 waivers to protect a lucky few from the onerous regulations of the new national health care overhaul. That number quickly and quietly climbed to 222, and last week we learned that the number of Obamacare privileged escapes has skyrocketed to 733.

Among the fortunate is a who’s who list of unions, businesses and even several cities and four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee) but none of the friends of Barack feature as prominently as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

How can you get your own free pass from Obamacare? Maybe you can just donate $27 million to President Obama‘s campaign efforts. That’s what Andy Stern did as president of SEIU in 2008. He has been the most frequent guest at Mr. Obama‘s White House.

Backroom deals have become par for the course for proponents of Obamacare. Senators were greased with special favors, like Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and his Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and her Louisiana Purchase. Even the American Medical Association was brought in line under threat of losing its exclusive and lucrative medical coding contracts with the government.

Not only are the payoffs an affront to our democracy and an outright assault on our taxpayers, the timing itself of the latest release makes a mockery of this administration’s transparency promises. More than 500 of the 733 waivers, we now know, were granted in December but kept conveniently under wraps until the day after the president’s State of the Union address. HHS is no stranger to covering up bad news; in fact, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Last year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing Obamacare would cost $311 billion more than promised and would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance.

For this administration, transparency promises last only until the teleprompter is unplugged.

Backroom deals and cover-ups may be business as usual for Washington, but understanding why the Obama administration protects its friends from Obamacare offers special insight into what the purveyors of the mandate themselves think about their own law. This is key: The waivers aren’t meant to protect victims from unintended consequences of Obamacare; they are meant to exempt them from the very intentional increased costs of health insurance that the law causes. Under Section 2711 of the Public Health Service Act, Obamacare increases the annual cap of insurance benefits, which sounds great - as does everything else in big government - until the bill comes due, in this case, in the form of higher insurance premiums.

In short, the administration has decided that you will face increased health insurance premiums, but special friends in the unions will not. Look closely, and you’ll see not only the White House‘s duplicity but also what the Obama administration really thinks of its crown jewel, Obamacare. White House words say that the annual insurance benefit cap is a feature of the program, but its actions say that it’s a bug.

The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:03 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

America

1776 -  2012

R.I.P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZIzD0ZfTFg

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:04 | Link to Comment VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

somebody earlier associated 'deeply disturbed' and 'anarchist', just had to say LOL. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:10 | Link to Comment Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

"The lies about the ultra-rich paying more than their fair share of taxes are refuted in the graph above"

Sorry, you can't complain about others stealing from you when you are stealing from them.

It's moral estoppel for socialists.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:09 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

WTF?

I just saw masses of demonstrators in Cairo with big red flags with gold Hammers and Cycles on them.

That's just great. Communist suicide bombers to block the Suez canal and be sent out to get food.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:15 | Link to Comment Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

There is one thing that all great empires have in common.

They all end.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:34 | Link to Comment Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

In 1776, America was an idea born of noble intentions. An idea that every citizen had the opportunity to succeed, prosper and achieve based upon their hard work and abilities. The government did not provide advantages or a safety net for its citizens. People were free to succeed or fail based upon their own merits.

Looks like it worked. People are succeeding and prospering based on their hard work and abilities.  Some people win and other people lose; that is how the game works.  Unless you want socialism to equalize outcomes, or a 100% inheritance tax, there isn't much to complain about.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:34 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

  " The country has been in the throes of mass hysteria since 9/11. The once independent, self sufficient individualists that populated this country have become dependent, government reliant, quivering shadows of the frontiersmen that created this country.  "

& that says it all.   Yup.   When I was a kid, JOHN WAYNE was our role model & we watched westerns with good guys in white hats & GUNS.   Quite a propaganda job has been done on the American People through those who control media influence.     JOHN WAYNE, people !!!   Get your damn gun, your gold & forget about it !     & remember what my  GRANDMA JO (born 1915, god rest her soul) said :   NEVER TRUST THE GOVERNMENT & DO NOT GO INTO THE STOCK MARKET .    

 

 

 

 

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 22:23 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Jeremiah Johnson

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:36 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Said the spider to the fly, “Come into my parlor.”  And in this case Mr. Quinn carries the mantle of the spider known as Karl Marx.  If only the rich can be dissolved, the masses will be free.  This entire piece, it seems to me, has been written with attractive small government philosophy until the clincher comes at the end.

It is the cry of the Democrat Party —return the estate tax because it hasn’t affected anyone except the ultra rich. If it doesn’t affect anybody, why are they fighting for it so hard?

If you take the growers and professionals, I know—the farmers and small businessmen, the industrious and small-scale inventors, the people whose houses have appreciated in high cost areas… lots and lots of them would be paying an estate tax.  And under Democrat plans now afoot, their savings and labors of an estate will trail onward to the “banks” of the Potomac.

Where are the Cleveland Fed and Quinn getting this information; is it just a completely fabricated lie?  And why is it always the Top 1%?  As far as income of the Top 1% goes, in 2008 the richest Top 1% in Louisiana income was “$351,200 or More,” according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. An estate tax would catch the small American Dreamers and savers--the hard working, upward bound middle class--in its web.

And of course, this is the slippery slope where the Communists always come in with: Why don’t we take all private property.

The ultra rich—the Blankfeins, the Buffets, the Gates, the Abramovichs, the Rockefellers, the Rubins—don’t pay inheritance taxes. They confiscate inheritances.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:44 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

It's been a long time since my undergrad days, but I'm sure I learned "slippery slope" as a formal logical fallacy. 

Sure, anything is possible, but confiscate all private propery?

Seems rather unlikely.  But by all means let's be vigilant.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 11:56 | Link to Comment Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

So it's OK to commit thefts against someone, because it's unlikely and not logically necessary that all their property will be stolen.

Got it.

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:32 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

The wealthy are always moral purists, to be sure.  It sure keeps the world a simple place. 

You even know who is always trying to rob you. 

Primitive, but effective, I guess.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 15:17 | Link to Comment Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>The wealthy are always moral purists, to be sure

Is that supposed to be a critcism?

What's the alternative? A moral impurist? Or perhaps an immoral purist?

 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 21:44 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

It was absurdist humor.  Not thinly veiled, either. 

I think we have fundamentally and irreconcilably different world views. 

Moral purity in the wealthy--think about it. 

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 16:50 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Clearly you subscribe to moral relativism. Which means you are not human.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 21:42 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

LOL.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:50 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture


Oh, which part will they leave?  They’ll take the clothes right off your back.

It’s like the lion that’s going to devour you. It’s going to stop when you finally say that’s enough?

 

 

 

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