Friday, 8 August 2014

09:42 – There have been several large-scale studies done to test the hypothesis that prayers are answered. Without exception, the results have falsified that hypothesis. The only reasonable conclusion is that either there’s nobody on the other end or, if there is, he doesn’t give a shit what one prays for.

I decided to add my own bit of data. When I was searching for something on Amazon Wednesday morning, I happened across a case of votive candles. You know, the kind that people light in catholic churches. So I figured, what the hell, I’d order a case and try them out. UPS showed up with them yesterday afternoon, only 30 hours after I’d ordered them. This morning I lit one and then very devoutly sang Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”. It’s been almost an hour, and so far nothing. Not so much as a moped, let alone the S-Class Benz I was expecting.

I had high hopes for these candles. At about $0.20 each, I figured I could get an incredible rate of return on my investment. I mean, $0.20 for a Mercedes-Benz? And that was just a small-scale trial. I figured that by the time I’d burned my way through the whole case I’d be richer than Bill Gates. But so far it’s not looking good.


50 thoughts on “Friday, 8 August 2014”

  1. Oh, shit.

    Okay, I’ll light another candle, hold my breath, and pray for a 1979 Yugo. If god can’t deliver that, I’ll know he’s an old fraud. I’ll even wait until 3:00 p.m., as Janis suggested.

  2. Ha Ha! Obummer the war hawk. I wonder what will happen if ISIS happens to shoot down a plane. Would he trade some Gitmo perps or just let the pilot rot like the Marine in Mexico.

  3. Maybe you should pray for this Mercedes Mr. Bob. Never know when those NC Christian fundamentalists will come after you. They could rewrite the NC Constitution to outlaw your presence.

  4. “I wonder what will happen if ISIS happens to shoot down a plane.”

    They have the means to do so, thanks to us. In terms of hardware, what we’re basically doing here is using our new stuff to blow up our old stuff, which is in their hands now.

    It’s a swell way for the arms dealers to do live testing and make more zillions for themselves and their political enablers. Or we can tell ourselves patriotically that our nayshun is saving the world from terrorism and hey, we’re just wasting hadjis anyway!

    While leaving aside the pesky fact that these particular hadjis were enabled by us in the first place, specifically our intel agencies. And next year we’ll have some different hadjis to waste somewhere else. Hell, there’s a billion of ’em!

    Or we could just stay home and mind our own biz. Huh? I must be crazy. Or worse, unpatriotic.

  5. They’re either pretty stupid or they’re pursuing an unusual agenda; they’ll keep saying stuff like that and doing the usual crucifying and beheading, and the Murkan peasant support for their annihilation will increase and our own regime will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. Which is fine, but like I say, why keep poking these hornets’ nests around the world? Cui bono?

    And for every hadji p.o.s. we send to Oblivion, ten or a hundred more rise up somewhere seething with violent hatred and a death wish.

  6. They’re either pretty stupid or they’re pursuing an unusual agenda; they’ll keep saying stuff like that and doing the usual crucifying and beheading, and the Murkan peasant support for their annihilation will increase and our own regime will carpet-bomb them into oblivion.

    Sad to say, but our Marines will volunteer to go by the battalion. They want and need the combat pay to support their families. Or their expensive trucks and motorcycles.

    I talked with a bunch of them during preparations for my son’s last deployment in 2007. They just view deployments as a dangerous part of their jobs that they get combat pay for. If they were not willing to deploy then they would not have the job. Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children applies to the max and you gotta love them for it.

  7. There have been several large-scale studies done to test the hypothesis that prayers are answered. Without exception, the results have falsified that hypothesis. The only reasonable conclusion is that either there’s nobody on the other end or, if there is, he doesn’t give a **** what one prays for.

    I pray daily. It is a part of my faith that I pray. I pray for my family and people on the prayer list at my church.

    I do not pretend to understand God and in fact, I understand less and less the older that I get. But still, I have faith in God that he answers prayers.

  8. My father in law is now in his third nursing home. His Medicare 90 day benefit ran out and he is paying for 100% of the care now so he had himself moved to a cheaper home. I have yet to see it but his girlfriend says that it nice enough. Nicer than the first home where they did have a VA contribution for 100% disabled vets. That place was a little nasty.

    My FIL has had four surgeries in the last five months. I guess that it is true that you get an enormous amount of care in your last days. He has had:
    1. gall bladder surgery to remove infected gall bladded
    2. a intestinal scope to remove gallstones that moved into the intestines
    3. install a heart pacemaker for his low (30 or so) pulse
    4. a heart ablation to stop his heart tachycardia

    The heart changes are helping him a lot but his peripheral neuropathy has moved up to his waist so he is incontinent and cannot walk anymore. He has lost a lost of weight (300 lbs to 235) in the last six months.

    I have no idea how to pay for all this stuff that Medicare is paying for. I do not know what the nursing home is costing him but it is not trivial, probably $4K per month. I never realized how expensive it was to get old.

  9. Wow, that is a lot of surgery your FIL has had, Mr. Lynn. Without Medicare who knows where he’d be. I guess with my pension, SS, investments I could survive in a nursing home. But what a life. I hope he is not suffering.

  10. Of all the chit happening in the world, Lurch is obsessed with global ejaculation in Africa! I guess it’s a good thing all the children who die from malaria each year in Africa. Gotta thin out the herd to preserve the climate. Go malaria!

  11. “…and you gotta love them for it.”

    No. Find another job. If you don’t mind killing people that are no threat to you and yours, or you enjoy killing them, go to spec ops or become a merc. Not so you can be between a rock and hard place trying to support a family back here or so you can buy more toyz. We have to quit signing up. For old mens’ nasty little wars every generation that solve nothing and only cause more suffering, destruction, pain and infinite heartache across the board.

    Like I say, if hadji paratroops are dropping from the skies over northern Vermont, I’ll be the very first mofo out the door with a rifle. Otherwise STFU and mind yer own biz. Take care of stuff here at home.

    “I do not pretend to understand God and in fact, I understand less and less the older that I get. But still, I have faith in God that he answers prayers.”

    Ditto. Though I am a fallen, sinful and broken human being, I also pray for the same things and for understanding, and for patience.

    “I never realized how expensive it was to get old.”

    Cue up that old Who song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJecJ5SI5W0

  12. Good thing the little bugger didn’t try that chit at an airport!

    And they would have evacuated the airport, stopped all inbound flights, searched every locker, closed the parking lot and then told how safe we are now that they stopped a deadly toddler with nothing more than a loaded diaper.

  13. His Medicare 90 day benefit ran out and he is paying for 100% of the care now so he had himself moved to a cheaper home.

    VA should be paying about $1K a month to assist in the cost. They did for my aunt when she was in assisted living, basically the same as self pay in a nursing home.

  14. “And they would have evacuated the airport…”

    See, that’s why you were selected for flight and I was just enlisted scum; you see the big picture!

    I just hiked over to get our mail at the local podunk post office here, about a 90-second walk; the two blonde cougars are apparently gone now. Today there are two guys, both in my age bracket, one really short and bald; a vehicle with Veteran plates parked at the rear. These guys were handing all the functions. And one of them was in the back room running a calculator and writing stuff down. So my guess now is they’re about to close it.

    Can’t wait to see the next shoe drop; regular door to door delivery? Or like some of youse guys said; the common big box of boxes with locks in a central location here in the village. Like apartment and condo complexes have had for years now. Will peeps isolated out in the sticks still get mailbox delivery at home or will they have to hump on in to some central big box?

    As it was, the place had pretty near banker’s hours anyway; and now with the blondes gone and apparently replaced by live gnomes, service has taken a huge nose-dive.

  15. No. Find another job. If you don’t mind killing people that are no threat to you and yours, or you enjoy killing them, go to spec ops or become a merc. Not so you can be between a rock and hard place trying to support a family back here or so you can buy more toyz. We have to quit signing up. For old mens’ nasty little wars every generation that solve nothing and only cause more suffering, destruction, pain and infinite heartache across the board.

    They do not understand this philosophy. Most of them join up when they are 18, not realizing that learning how to kill people and break things does not have many career choices. These are good kids, most of whom want to learn stuff and do the right thing. You do not realize the craziness that is going on until you are our age and watching it all go down, over and over and over again.

    BTW, a LOT of the USMC kids are becoming mercs when they get out. SWAT loves them all and there are a lot of SWAT outfits just in the good old USA. Plus there is Blackwater and a surprising number of merc outfits. A few of my son’s buddies got together and ran a Q-ship off the Somali coast for while. They invited him to come for a surprising amount of money and all the .50 cal bullets he could shoot. Reminds one of that old Warren Zevon song, “Roland the headless Thompson gunner”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvTv-I2Y390

  16. VA should be paying about $1K a month to assist in the cost. They did for my aunt when she was in assisted living, basically the same as self pay in a nursing home.

    My FIL is a 100% disabled vet and has been getting a disability pension for a long time, around 40+ years. I wonder if that is suppose to count towards his nursing home?

  17. “Most of them join up when they are 18…”

    17 in my case, with both parents having to sign off on me, as my dad had had to do with his parents. Dumb, stupid kids, loads of testosterone and the culture/media/history soaking in from childhood that you can be a hero and save the world. Best done by being a warrior. Then once they break you down in boot and build you up again in their image, the military instills in you that you cannot under any circumstances let your buddies down. So now you’re in that situation. You signed up. They own you. And you’ll face off, if you’re sent into combat, against other young men and women; do you hate each other? Are you a threat to each other? Could you be, if not friends, just good, quiet neighbors? Or are you just a miserable pawn and cannon fodder in someone else’s rotten game?

    “…a LOT of the USMC kids are becoming mercs when they get out. SWAT loves them all…”

    No doubt; it was the same when I was in; there were attempts to recruit me for the Rhodesian Army as soon as I DEROS’ed back to the States. $500/month to lead black Rhodesian border troops on anti-terr ops in the bush. I briefly considered it, after seeing my stateside buddies just hanging out, drinking, doping, and going to disco clubs. And my family had moved out to Illinois leaving me alone back in MA. WTF? But I hung on and stayed in civvie life thereafter, except for cop jobs; SWAT was just getting started back then and it was only used for its intended purposes, too. But I just did your SOP street patrol stuff and was a junior Buford Pusser in one jurisdiction and Officer Friendly in the city. Eventually the jones for the adrenaline rush wears off.

    “I wonder if that is suppose to count towards his nursing home?”

    No idea off the top of my head, Mr. Lynn; it may behoove you to hook up with your local VA office people and get the scoop accordingly.

    http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=672&dnum=All&stateid=TX&v=1

  18. “It is customary to maintain that American wars are all fought on behalf of freedom, but few notice that for the sake of freedom millions of young men are enslaved for years, Shanghaied by conscription into a life whose every dimension is at odds with the idea of freedom. Flags, uniforms, bugle calls, band music, and all the trappings of military glory hardly suffice to persuade the hapless conscript that he is involved in the defense of freedom…”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/08/paul-fussell/war-wrecks-every-aspect-of-life/

  19. Better watch it, OFD. People are likely to think you’re a libertarian.

  20. I think that my wife is going to have to travel up to Dallas and get involved. First, she needs to get his power of attorney. She is already on two of his bank accounts, each using that bank’s specific POT. Took them a full day to get that done with a lot of standing in line time. Banks will not honor a general POT unless you have court judgement validating same. They want their POT to be used in their lobby and witnessed by a bank officer.

    Without my FIL’s POT, she cannot do anything. The VA will not talk with her (privacy). And I do not have an argument with that with all the shenanigans going on today.

  21. “People are likely to think you’re a libertarian.”

    I have a slight streak of that; mainly in believing in the old ‘live and let live’ school of thought. But I’m mainly a paleo RC gun nut.

    Sunny days with blues skies today, and for the weekend, the weather liars say.

    Mrs. OFD may or may not arrive home tonight; she’s stopping on the way back from Albany for a visit in beautiful Glens Falls, Gateway to the Adirondacks! And our Saab is being held hostage by the garage sixty miles to our south; “…the oil pan’s here but we didn’t get to that car today” (like they said they would last night and this was the originally scheduled day for it) and “…gonna see if he can get to it sometime early next week…” So we’re keeping Mrs. OFD’s rental for the weekend and she’ll drop it at the airport when she flies to Mordor on Sunday. I’ll have no vehicle again, which is becoming standard here; great timing that the truck died simultaneously with the Saab crapping out. Whatever, tons of chit to do on the estate.

  22. “…the wrong Mercedes.”

    She’s hot but wow, I have a bigger rack than that.

    (One does when one is built like Hercules or Augustus or David…”

    In the first Fred link he says pretty much everything I’ve said here and elsewhere, only more stringently; I’m sorta between him and some other parties who spell it out a bit more drastically, i.e. we have another civil war looming, one way or the other, and the sooner the current mess gets blown up and incinerated, the sooner we can start to set things right. But those of us who read history know that doesn’t work out so well very often. He’s right; we could end up with a Singaporean benevolent dictator type, or Nero/Caligula/Stalin/Mao or anywhere along the spectrum.

    The second Fred link makes me wonder; blatant incompetence and neglect is one thing; but he must have pissed off a LOT of people by now; it almost seems as if he could have been deliberately blinded so he’ll finally STFU. I hope that’s not true, but in any case this is rotten.

  23. “Okay, I’ll light another candle, hold my breath, and pray for a 1979 Yugo. If god can’t deliver that, I’ll know he’s an old fraud. I’ll even wait until 3:00 p.m., as Janis suggested.”

    Don’t make the mistake of just holding your breath while you’re praying. You have to hold it until the Mercedes shows up.

    Most people don’t survive the attempt. I can’t really recommend it. Maybe try praying that you’ll save up enough money to buy one, and see how that works out.

  24. I wonder if that is suppose to count towards his nursing home?

    I don’t know. You will have to check with the VA.

    Banks will not honor a general POT unless you have court judgement validating same.

    That is odd. I have my aunt’s POA and all I did was have it notarized and then registered with the county where she lived and the county where I live. All the banks accepted the POA without question. Must be some new rule that does nothing but annoy and inconvenience everyone.

    One bank would not accept a copy but wanted the original. I had to send it to them, registered, certified, return receipt, DNA sample, etc. Just to make certain I got it back.

  25. Sigh, POT = POA. More and more incompetent by the day.

    Maybe here in Texas the banks are more stringent about POAs. My wife talked to Fidelity and they insisted that she drag her father in for an onsite POA. BBVA Compass was the same way. They did this about two or three years ago.

    My FIL swears that he gave my wife a general POA. But the wife says that he did not. And FIL’s girlfriend called my wife the other night and started crying that she cannot take care of his finances anymore. Which was weird because all his bills are drafted straight from his checking account each month. He only has two checks that need to be written a month, nursing home and something else that I cannot remember.

    Basically, my wife needs to go to Dallas at least once per month. Maybe twice for a while until she gets this all settled out. But she cannot bear to leave here because of our disabled daughter.

  26. But those of us who read history know that doesn’t work out so well very often. He’s right; we could end up with a Singaporean benevolent dictator type, or Nero/Caligula/Stalin/Mao or anywhere along the spectrum.

    You forgot the guillotines. And Napoleon (transfer from incompetent empire to competent empire and conquer the world).

    BTW, Fred says elsewhere on his site that he was in Marine Corps in SEA and got an RPG through the windshield of a truck. He survived but got thousands of glass fragments in eyes. How … painful. No wonder he is getting cornea implants.

  27. Yeah, Fred was a jarhead in ‘Nam and got hit. I was a zoomie in ‘Nam and got hit. His stuff is way worse than mine; I hope he can get it fixed somehow and if there was something I could do I would.

    I don’t think we’ll have a revolution like the French had; that was a one-shot deal, like our own War of Independence. More likely a civil war, like the one we had before, or the earlier English Civil War. Kevin Phillips called them the ‘wars of the cousins,’ with a very interesting book with that title. And we won’t have a Napoleonic empire-builder; we don’t have the money anymore for Empire. What would we conquer now? Canada? Tried that, epic fail. Mexico? They’re baaaaaack! So we try to control the oil fields and the central Asia geography, I guess, and that ain’t working out real well, either.

    And I see, sure enough, we’re dropping air strikes in Iraq again…

    Want a prediction? Them ISIS krews are gonna eventually roll right over the Middle East, short of a nuke strike by the Israelis. And they will have their greater Caliphate. Or else unending anarchic chaos and slaughter from Tunisia to Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

    We live in interesting times, mes amis…

  28. Right, bank policies vary by state, and dramatically. Here in Indiana, banks take the position that the less they have to do with POA’s, Trust issues, etc., the less likely they will be sued if something does not go to a customer’s or heir’s liking. So they generally will not use their own staff or attorneys to get involved in executing changes, unless they are themselves the Trustee. My bank accepts only court orders (originals, not copies) or POA’s where the two parties involved have been notarized as signing voluntarily.

    Even within the state, bank policies are different. My bank will no longer accept third-party checks of any kind for any reason. However, that is not the case with some banks and credit unions elsewhere. I have had to open an account at a different bank, because one contract job I do will only pay me by endorsing a check to me, in order for that check not to be a taxable issue for the person passing it on to me.

    These kinds of situations are why I fully support regulation and standardization. We got here by deregulation, a boon to the 1%, but an anathema to those who actually must do physical work for a living.

    How long has Fred Reed been blind? Was this a recent occurrence? or something that happened before he moved south of the border?

    Geez. I sit in on legal situations like this all the time. But in almost every case I am around, the patient has violated a doctor’s instruction that relates to the case. A young guy with heart trouble was a weight-lifter with a congenital defect. More than one doc told him to stop the weight lifting. He did not and now has breathing and other functional problems. Still lifts weights.

    Another elderly guy ignored dietary restrictions placed on him, and it caused cardio problems that ultimately caused him to go into a coma after what was at first, a successful operation, ultimately degenerating to death in just a few days. Family is suing, but is any jury going to award them anything when he did not do as instructed?

    Seems VA care varies widely depending on where you are. Vets around here are very satisfied with care, but it is administered by the Indiana University Medical and Health system — which is also a teaching institution.

  29. Here’s philosophical argument I remember from college. I’m sure I butchered it, but you get the gist.

    If God is all-powerful and good (as Christians assert), then he could not allow evil (Satan) to exist and would vanquish it. Unless he cannot, in which case he is not all-powerful, or unless he will not, in which case he is not good.

  30. It’s an old argument; Mrs. OFD just got home late, and I will try to answer this either tomorrow or the next day. The problem of a perfectly good God and the existence of evil and “allowing” Satan to do his thing, or not being able to stop him. Stand by.

  31. SteveF wrote:

    “RBT, you were most likely praying for the wrong Mercedes.”

    OFD wrote:

    “She’s hot but wow, I have a bigger rack than that.”

    OFD’s right for once. Man, she needs to stick a couple of melons down her top.

  32. OFD wrote:

    “Want a prediction? Them ISIS krews are gonna eventually roll right over the Middle East, short of a nuke strike by the Israelis. And they will have their greater Caliphate. Or else unending anarchic chaos and slaughter from Tunisia to Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. ”

    I’ll say again what I’ve said for years: Outsource the problem to Iran. Sure they’re Islamic nutcases but it’s better to let them and the Islamic State have it out than for us to pour more blood and treasure in to that rathole.

  33. Calvinists say that evil exists not because God was taken by surprise by its entry in to the universe, or because he was unable to prevent it, but because it was *always* part of his ultimate plan.

    I don’t buy this, of course. It seems to me that Calvinism, on the basis of its principles, makes God the author of sin. That’s why Calvinism as a system is and must be false.

    Over to you Old Fella Dave.

  34. OFD wrote:
    “She’s hot but wow, I have a bigger rack than that.”
    Miles Teg wrote:
    OFD’s right for once. Man, she needs to stick a couple of melons down her top.

    What’sa matter? You need to be smothered? I much prefer tiny titties, probably because my mom had size large, and I probably WAS smothered at feeding time. German women on the transit in Berlin, almost always had size small, and that allowed them to abandon bras in the summer, which was exquisite. I miss those transit rides. I’m almost a year behind in podcast listening as a consequence, too.

  35. I’ve never understood why any guy would care about that. When I first looked at the image it didn’t even cross my mind, and when OFD and Miles Teg commented on it I had to go back and look to see what they were talking about.

    Same thing on penis size. In more than a few of those kitchen-table discussions I mentioned earlier, I’ve sat and listened to women talk about that. The consensus was that it didn’t matter at all, except that guys could be big enough to be scary to most women. A couple of the women commented that they’d had sex with guys who were very large, but mostly because they regarded it as a challenge in the same way a mountain climber regards Everest as a challenge.

  36. “German women on the transit in Berlin, almost always had size small, and that allowed them to abandon bras in the summer, which was exquisite.”

    You’ve mentioned this before several times and yet all I can envision are all those St. Pauli Girl beer labels and ads, and a bunch of other pics and vids over the decades that show them amply endowed.

    The grrls dressed in their summuh clothes today were all over the place when I went out grocery shopping; it was crazy. But in just a few more weeks they’ll all be in the northern New England equivalent of burkhas.

  37. These issues like ‘is praying effective?’ are the exact reasons I believe it is important to know more about the origins of religion and the source of its rules. Every day that goes by means I have less time on my hands. Am I going to waste it doing something that has proved to be wholly ineffective?

    Not if I can help it. And I can. The facts of history are indicating ever more clearly that this guy Jesus was a complete fiction, made up generations after his existence and backdated in a world that did not in that era know otherwise, nor could they prove those fiction-writers frauds. There is not much to understand about that, except that the whole of Christianity and its supposed requirements and beliefs present an incorrect view of life, with practices that are a useless waste of time, if not completely contradictory to the real facts of life. If a god and his supposed creation cannot be understood or proved, then worshiping such unknowns is not rational.

    We know that cause and effect can be known and understood. If you investigated Sean Carroll’s lectures, you know that he indicates physics no longer lacks the explanations and reproducible proof necessary to answer all questions about every aspect of existence. There are no longer unanswered questions that require a mysterious power called a god, to explain a mystery. Everything is now explained, and it did not require any god for the explication.

    Religious history demonstrates that religion does not humanize mankind, it corrupts it just as other non-religious theories do, and continues to this day making it adversarial, in the name of gods whose practices and requirements are in no way uniform enough to say monotheism means all worship one and the same concept of god.

    Family from out-of-state (East Coast) has been here this week, and one of the activities was taking everyone to the State Fair, where they attended a rodeo. One of the things these family members, — who BTW, actively attend a Christian church but were all raised out East, outside of the Bible Belt, — noticed, is the Bible Belt incorporation of religion into the whole of the rodeo. Before it began, there was a call to pray. The family noticed that instantly, nearly every head in the audience bobbed down (but theirs — and they are religious!) in unison. There were calls and references to god throughout the event. They do not get out of their home area much, and that surprised them enough to bring it up when we were together.

    To me, this is creepy. Hordes of people doing stuff because some ‘prophet’ or priest says it should be done, but who cannot offer a shred of proof or demonstrate irrefutably and reproducibly that any of it is necessary or true. A billion people believing something groundless and false, does not make it true. Doing things demonstrated not to be effective is weird. But wasting time daily on something that has been proved ineffective is just not rational.

  38. As I have been told many times, no is also an answer to prayer.

    And so is not now.

  39. Generally speaking I like women with above average boobs, but they’re not a deal breaker. The girl I had a crush on for three years in my teens was as flat as a tack. I feel a bit sorry for the first rank Romanian tennis player who had a boob reduction job at 17 so she could play good tennis.

    So yeah, I like largish boobs on women but it’s really just a check list item. And some really big boobed women look best with their kit ON!

  40. As I have been told many times, no is also an answer to prayer.

    And so is not now.

    “Never” is more accurate, because the petitioned is non-existent.

  41. “Never” is more accurate, because the petitioned is non-existent.

    I guess that we will find out in the blink of a cosmic eye.

  42. Unfortunately, if I am right, neither of us will ever know, as only oblivion awaits us all. I would like to be wrong about an afterlife, but I know I am not. Sean Carroll says the same thing.

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