Friday, February 06, 2009

So who is making money during the economic crisis?

Sleazy "psychics" with their usual exploit-the-scared-and-insecure routine.

But you know, you're likely to be astonished — simply slack-jawed in astonishment — over the powerful predictions that come from "psychic" Roxanne Usleman. Prepare to have your skepticism swept into the sea:

The housing crisis will deepen, the country could fall into a depression and laid-off workers may need to start their own business.

Holy shit! How does she do it? Bog knows no real financial advisor would be able to come up with ideas like that! Must be why so many pathetic dimwits concerned, thoughtful people like Bruce Levy (who, of course, was "skeptical at first") consider Usleman someone who "is able to make me see things that I wouldn't otherwise see."

I'd suggest that if Levy is so lame a "businessman" that he cannot see that we're swirling in a financial whirlpool, that it will get worse before it gets better, and that a whole new career game plan might be worth thinking about, and see those things all on his own without paying some dingbat with a really ghastly face lift $20 a minute to tell him, then he deserves to be a broke-ass chump.

I suppose I shouldn't blame Usleman for doing whatever she can do to avert financial hard times on her own. But I have these things called morals, and, well, taking advantage of the mentally disadvantaged or emotionally vulnerable just isn't on my "cool things to do" list.


  1. Here in Australia, on the "current affairs" shows that air after the nightly news on 2 of the major free to air stations, have both had segments concerning the financial crisis with a focus on what the psycics see in the future. They have even had a segment devoted to what the psychics see in the future for celebraties, high profile politians, anything. It is highly offensive that a show claiming to be about current affairs feels that that label can be applied to a telephone psychic, witch or any other label they choose to call themselves.

  2. My wife is going to do a tarot "reading" for some people that insist she do it, even after she explained to them why it's bunk.

    Is gullibility a talent?

  3. Speaking of psychics, etc., the popular radio show Coast-To-Coast is one of the worst for this sort of thing. I believe it is doing great damage to our country because of its uncritical promotion of pseudo-science, psychics, and all sorts of 'paranormal' nonsense. The number of people who buy into all this stuff is truly scary. It would not be so bad if they were somewhat critical in their thinking about it all, but they border on being fanatical in their uncritical acceptance of the most outlandish claims and unscientific quackery.

    If our country, indeed our species, is to survive long-term, we must learn how to think and use logic and science.

  4. Tell me about it.
    Over here in Germany,the second season of "The next Uri Geller" is airing on one of our biggest broadcast stations. On prime time of course.
    The US version was called Phenomenon

    How people can fall for this bullshit, i don't know.

  5. When I visited NO with my son, We went to Jackson square to see what was happening there.

    There were a bunch of palm readers/tarot readers, so we stayed about 10 feet behind the psychic, and I told him to watch the mark's face. She (about 90% of the marks were female, the hucksters were mixed male and female) would give away everything. We didn't need to hear the questions, we could just watch and see them shaking their heads, nodding, smiling.

    I am by no means an expert cold reader (well, I can tell when my dog is happy. Usually after I give her a treat..), but I'll be damned if most of the marks didn't make it way too easy for the hucksters.

  6. John Edward, declared by South Park to be the "Biggest Douche in the Universe" is from here on Long Island where I live.

    The other morning I was watching News 12 and the ladies talked about how he was having more shows at what used to be known as the Westbury Music Fair. They were saying vapid shit like "He's such a nice man" and "Did you ever get a reading from him?".

    I was like, "How about instead of plugging his show, you investigate whether or not he can actually do what he claims he can do!"

  7. I used to know a woman who owned a New Age bookstore. She employed a number of psychics, and knew and referred people to many more. I told her that if a doctor had the rate of "success" demonstrated by these people, he'd lose his license. She said, "Well, it isn't an exact science. It's more like guessing.", to which I replied, "Then they shouldn't be charging seventy bucks an hour!" (and I'm sure it's more by now). Of course, she had no response to that.

    The New Age subculture is usually presented by the media as an upper middle class phenomenon, but I think that's because they tend to group the New Agers with people who've adopted Asian religious practices. My experience has been that most people involved in the New Age belief system are blue collar, relatively poorly educated and not terribly bright. In other words - the same demographic from which the fundies have historically drawn their constituencies. And there are many similarities - each group is rigidly married to its beliefs, each lives in a fortress of denial, the walls of which need constantly to be shored up, and each regards anyone who tries to present contradictory evidence as an enemy who needs to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible.

    It's comical that the two groups dislike one another so vehemently, as, apart from a few points of doctrine, they're pretty much two sides of the same devotional coin.

  8. Martin, may I say what I like, or do I have to be nice?

  9. In my more cynical moments, when I once more see discussions about faith, religion, science, morality and society get swamped by drivelling sycophants of esoteric woo who try to convince everyone that reincarnation as a fatally disfigured infant is a chosen path from a previous life...

    ...after the red mist clears...

    ...I think people who are that willfully resistant to the pitiful residue of a whimpering, pleading ratio hiding somewhere in their bullshit-intoxicated grey mess must be exploited for every last dollar they don't need to feed themselves.
    Money is power. Every cent taken from the nutters and spent on purposes furthering rationality, education and critical thinking is a cent not fuelling socially destructive delusions and ideologies.
    The traditional churches claim rationality as a core interest, and have so for hundreds of years. They have failed in theory and in practice. Woo artists are taking hold of the rudder more firmly year by year. They must be driven back to their dark corners of shunned, reeking fraudulence. I fear the day when a generation rises to the top of society who have lost their understanding of the immeasurable value of rationality.

  10. Armageddon,
    I hope you copied and pasted all that, which I think likely because we've heard it all before and we have also rejected it all for reasons that are, I fear, beyond the grasp of your intellectual reach. See, the pride thing is just wishful thinking, because your rationality is too underdeveloped to understand the freedom that a critical intellect enjoys. This freedom reveals the universe to be of much greater beauty and inspiration than your pathetic little walled-in desert superstition could ever hope to just glimpse.
    No, Pascal's Wager isn't any better. Look up why. Use your brain if you still can. If not, welcome to the corral, you are officially a member of the exploited masses. A handy term is sheeple.
    Of course you find us arrogant. You reject our opinions and our knowledge. Because you feel that you must certainly be of personal interest to the creator of the whole universe. And that you can speak to him whenever you feel like it. That he can and will occasionally suspend the laws of nature to help you little person out.
    Now please tell us about pride again.

  11. I saw a news story this morning indicated farmers in California are currently uses witches to find water for their crops. This is via the ancient practice of dowsing. The dowser offered a challenge up to skeptics, but as I recall this has already been proven to be complete bullshit. So the guy offers up a challenge, which to some people affirms that there is really something to this, but even if someone responds to the challenge, it will only serve to give this manipulatist some free attention.

    Hmmmm, in reverse it is my understanding that many churches are currently being negatively impacted by the financial crisis. Tithing is down from what I have heard, and churches may be having problems meeting their budgets.

  12. @cipher
    It's comical that the two groups dislike one another so vehemently, as, apart from a few points of doctrine, they're pretty much two sides of the same devotional coin.

    You mean, some people break their eggs on the little end, and some people break their eggs on the big end?

  13. @Armageddon Thru To You

    You wouldn't happen to have any evidence to back that up, would you?

    I mean, aside from a 2000 year old story which requires a very specific way of interpreting it. A way so specific, that most followers of the same religious tradition you do think that your interpretation is complete hogwash?

    Thanks, I'm looking forward to your evidence.

    // Just not holding my breath.

  14. Maybe I'm too cynical, but is it too much to expect that all real psychics be millionaires? If a purported psychic is poor, then I really have to doubt their abilities. All these dead people talking to them or premonitions, and they can't even get any decent investment tips?

  15. In any event, if you're an atheist, I wish you only the best for every day of the rest of your life because for you, this life is as close to heaven as you'll ever get, but for believers in Christ, this life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.

    This says something about you and your beliefs, godbot, but I don't think it's as positive as you'd like to think.

    Everyone else, abuse away. Still, this is one of those hit-and-run morons, so don't expect him actually read your replies. And he won't be back posting any more.

    Frankly, anyone stupid enough to lead with something as completely dead as Pascal's Wager doesn't really deserve much more than a bitch-slap, if that.

  16. However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

    Nothing could possibly be worse than spending an eternity with idiots like that.

    why is the bible the only religious book with both hundreds of proven prophecies already fulfilled as well as those being fulfilled today?

    As I wrote on my blog, last summer, when a gallon of gasoline was about $3.85, I had a dream that the price of regular unleaded gasoline at the gas station near my house was $1.75 per gallon. Last month, the price fell to $1.75 per gallon. It never went lower than that. Another time when I was standing outside of Planet Hollywood in NYC, a place where I had never been, I casually mentioned to my friend as a hoke that they would have the sneakers worn by Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. When I went inside, guess what I saw encased in glass on one of the walls? How's that for prophecy?

    Did you know that in Gen 12:2, God said he would bless Israel?. How else can you explain the grossly disproportionate level of success achieved by Jewish people as a tiny minority in the world, especially after all they have gone through? And how can you explain the success achieved by the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by enemies outnumbering them 100 to 1 and yet still they remain victorious in all their wars?

    Yeah, God so blessed the Israelites that he gave them a strip of land between Egypt and Mespotamia, thus guaranteeing that they would be overrun by kingdoms from one or the other area many times during the history of Israel.

    God so blessed the people of Israel, that millions of Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. And yes, while Israel won some spectacular military victories during the last 60 years, smaller armies throughout history have defeated more numerous enemies when they were better trained and better equipped. Even so, the people of Israel are still not safe.

    Did you know that solar eclipses, which the bible describes as the sun being black as sackcloth, and lunar eclipses, which the bible refers to as blood red moons, have prophetic meaning? Research it online.

    That one was my favorite. The only prophetic meaning they have is that they are a purely natural phenomenon that is predictable by modern astronomy.

  17. Armageddon Thru To You

    I'll give him points. I'm sure the poster didn't come up with this, but I thought that was funny. It reminded me of that bit from History of the World Part 1: "Torquemada - do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada - do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada - do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

    maddogdelta: You mean, some people break their eggs on the little end, and some people break their eggs on the big end?

    No, I'm pretty sure it has to do with the good people who eat their bread butter-side-up, and the dirty heathens who eat it butter-side-down.

  18. Martin is right; these guys rarely stick around. Armageddon has done his "Christian duty"; he'll now get a special reward in heaven for having witnessed to us - perhaps a ringside seat watching us writhe in agony for all of eternity. He and Rho - that will give them a great deal of pleasure, I'm sure.

    These people ought to be required to return and face the responses to their drive-by comments; their browsers should lock onto the site, or something of the sort. They shouldn't be allowed to spew their vomit and simply walk away. And these are the assholes who are always going on and on about "consequences".

    Armageddon, in case you happen to be reading this: you are a walking compilation of pretty much every Christian cliche, from Pascal's
    Wager on down, all rolled up into one detestably ignorant package. Like every fundie creatard who wanders onto an atheist blog, you think you're going to be the one to turn us all around - or, at the very least, God will give you an extra helping of dessert just for trying.

    The only way to explain the attitude held by an atheist is pride, pure and simple. The intellectually dishonest and/or tortured reasoning used by atheists to try and disprove the existence of God is nothing more than attempts to posture themselves as superior (a symptom of pride).

    You have absolutely no understanding of the psychology of belief. All you are capable of doing is projecting your fractured ego onto everyone else. You assume that everyone is as fragmented and as tormented by self-hatred as you are. You're utterly clueless; you have absolutely nothing of value to say, on this or on any other subject.

    Allow me to reinforce your pathologically low self-image: you are a contemptible waste of natural resources. The world is poorer for you being in it. You have nothing to contribute. Please do all of humanity a favor and kill yourself before you reproduce.


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