Archive for April 2018

04-15-2018 The Frightening Human Virus   Leave a comment

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The human race in my opinion is seriously flawed. There’s all sorts of speculation from the scientific community these days concerning the coming “Singularity”. They say that’s the point in time when the machines will be more intelligent than mankind and will assume control of things. I actually read one recent statement that machine intelligence could be the next logical evolutionary step for the human race. I honestly have no answer to that kind of thinking but who knows. There are times when I think machines would probably do a much better job than we’ve done so far. Everything humans get involved with starts with strong emotions which and slowly devolves into ethnic and religious biases and conflicts. Nothing gets accomplished and the arguing and fighting eventually result in some sort of armed conflict and endless killing.

I’m sick to death hearing about religions spewing their self-serving propaganda to any fool who’ll listen. I don’t hate or even dislike people who are true believers in their religion of choice but I also need to make clear that I have no love whatsoever for any current organized religions or sects. That being said I intend to pass along a few tidbits of information supplied to me by a trusted friend. He’s a diligent researcher and most of what he’s offering is factual. A few of you religious fanatics out there will insist on refuting everything I’ve written but I honestly could care less. As we all know opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and this one is mine.

I’ve made a point over the years to read everything I could find on as many religions as possible. I had the pleasure of reading translations of the Torah, the Koran, Old and New Testaments of the Bible, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, and many associated writings of the Greeks and Coptics. What it all has amounted to for me is a forty year migraine headache. The only thing worse that reading religious propaganda is trying to rationally discuss religion with allegedly intelligent religious people. These are the people who are similar to the People’s Temple Kool-Aid drinkers that followed the Reverend Jim Jones to their death in Guyana in 1978. They hear only what they want to hear and immediately attack anyone who disagrees in the slightest. They loudly disagree only to interrupt any discussion they might bring into question their own belief system.

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Here is the information as I received it.

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The following paragraphs are just rough estimates of all of the fine works accredited to RELIGION. Read them and weep for mankind.

German Peasants’ War – A series of peasant revolts during the height of the Protestant Reformation, spurred on by a mix of economic and religious causes. 100k deaths for Christianity.

Moro Insurgency – Islamic rebels in the Philippines have a long, bloody history of resistance against colonial and Philippine governments alike. 120k deaths for Islam.

Northern Crusades – Crusades to root out the Baltic pagans. Couldn’t find any good casualty estimates, but 150k deaths for Christianity seems reasonable.

Algerian Civil War – More Islamist rebels. 200k deaths for Islam.

Lord’s Resistance Army – Christian militants in Central Africa. Remember Kony 2012? 200k deaths for Christianity.

Albigensian Crusade – France leads a crusade to root Cathar heretics out of the Languedoc. Estimates vary wildly from 7k to 1mil, but let’s just say 200k deaths for Christianity.

Great Turkish War – A “Holy League” of Christian states rolls back the Ottoman Empire’s conquests in Eastern Europe. 300k deaths for Christianity.

Afghan Civil Wars – A variety of Islamists, including Al Qaeda, vie for control over Afghanistan. 400k deaths for Islam.

Rashidun Conquests – The Islamic Caliphate conquered its way from being a desert backwater to the world’s most powerful state in an incredibly short period of time. I can’t find anything resembling an estimate for the casualties involved, so I’m going to completely BS this one: 500k deaths for Islam. Trust me, it won’t affect the winner.

Ottoman Conquests – Mehmed II leads the Ottomans on a merry path of conquest over Eastern Europe. 800k deaths for Islam.

The Crusades – All of Christendom spends a few centuries banging it’s head against a Holy Land-shaped wall. 1mil deaths for Christianity.

So far, Christianity’s crusading habit is definitely a big source of casualties, but those pesky Muslim militants have pushed Islam into the lead. The score is neck and neck at 1,950,000 deaths for Christianity and 2,120,000 deaths for Islam.

But three wars that most people have never heard of completely blow this competition out of the water.

French Wars of Religion – The French Protestants and Catholics spend 36 years massacring each other silly. 3mil deaths for Christianity.

Thirty Years’ War – Protestant and Catholic princes duke it out for control of the Holy Roman Empire (modern Germany). War is waged between mercenary companies that loot the countryside to support themselves. One third of Germany dies. 10mil deaths for Christianity.

So that’s 15 million deaths for Christianity and a mere 2 million for Islam.

But in the year of our lord 1850, a new challenger blows them both out of the water.

Taiping Rebellion – Hong Xiuquan was born into a poor family in southern China. In 1837, he fails the imperial civil service examinations– his only hope of getting ahead in life– and has a nervous breakdown. Long story short, he reads some pamphlets from Portuguese missionaries, gets some freaky visions, decide’s he’s Jesus’s younger brother, rounds up some followers (known as the God Worshippers), and launches a rebellion against the Qing Dynasty that results in the deaths of over 20 million people.

It’s entirely possible that Christianity has made up the 5 million death gap with smaller wars and general low-intensity persecution over time, but without any good statistics on that, I’m going to say the most bloody religion of all time is the God Worshippers, a religion that existed for less than 30 years.

EDIT: Meir Lipnick points out a glaring oversight– Timur used Islam to justify his conquests, adding 17 million to Islam’s score. I’m sure there are plenty other wars I’ve missed.

* * *

This deadly human virus arrived on this world in an unknown fashion and as any good virus will do . . . it slowly began to methodically destroy it’s host.

Let’s hope the machines do a better job.

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03-30-2018 My Wildlife Welfare System   Leave a comment

Being a lifelong animal lover has it’s ups and downs and living here in Maine makes things even more interesting.  With the harsh winters and constant snow cover the wildlife here has become quite  deligent in their hunt for food. I’ve been a loyal bird feeder for most of my life because I really enjoy having the birds around.  My better-half is also a bird lover and we currently have six feeders we keep filled.  I estimate the birds are eating close to 125 lbs. of feed a year  not counting the many packages of suet we purchase to keep the woodpeckers healthy and happy. Add to that two or three quarts of sugar syrup for the hummingbirds and you begin to truly understand.

It became apparent some months ago that the birds living in this area have a rather accomplished communication system to spread the news concerning food sources and the location of predators. This came to my attention when a herd of wild turkeys showed up out of nowhere and began feeding from the food accidently dropped from our hanging feeders.  Needless to say my better-half was quick to buy more corn and began strewing it everywhere. That’s all they needed to make our home the number one spot on their regular feeding rotation. With the heavy snow cover this winter they needed to do something inventive to help them survive the winter.  Thus began the feeding of a another new group of dependents that I couldn’t claim on my taxes. As always I just went along thinking that would be the last of the additions to our extended family of two hundred or so really hungry birds.  I was sadly mistaken once again.

Last year I erected a squirrel feeder on a nearby tree hoping it might convince the little buggers to stay away from the bird feeders. Once again, no good deed goes unpunished. We found out very quickly that turkeys and the occasional deer are also fond of corn.  So began the battle for the corn that lasted most of the summer and into the winter. My better-half still insists on bringing home an endless supply of corn to keep the battle going.  I left one of the bags sitting in the basement and hoped she would forget about it.  She forgot for a time but the field mice did not.  They like corn too and we soon found ourselves overrun with mice. Since the untimely demise of my lifelong best friend, my cat Stormy it’s been difficult to keep them under control.  He died a year ago and the mice discovered his absence rather quickly.  A new war was a brew’n.

A quick visit to Lowes supplied me with an armload of mouse traps and a determination to keep the mice out of our home.  I did discover that putting cheese in a mousetrap is a waste of time.  At first the mice were able to pull the cheese from the trap without harming themselves.  After some research I discovered that JIFF creamy peanut butter really gets the job done.  I’ve peeled 13 little corpses off those traps so far and I hope there will be many more to come. I toss their little corpses out onto the snow bank in the backyard where the crows and coyotes fight over the free meal.  At least with the mice I only have to feed them once.

I wish that was the end of this sad story but no such luck.  Next on my list is a large group of industrious little chipmunks who have quite a nice residence under our home.  My father always told me if you see one chipmunk you probable have at least ten. If that’s true then we may have upwards of a hundred roaming around. Oh yeah, they also love corn and bird seed just like damn near everyone else. It’s a little more difficult for them because they’re so small and the birds are constantly chasing them away.

I’ll begin working in our garden within the next few weeks and “Job 1” is to be certain that the fences are intact.  All these little varmints, birds, deer, and skunks are just waiting for me to make a mistake and then my garden will be trashed.  Don’t even get me started about that big fat skunk that patrols our property looking for trouble.  If he was any bigger I could just ride him around  like a horse.

So begins another summer here in Maine.  It should be interesting.