Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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

87af4b9556a847fce88cf75fcfe33f05[1]

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.

thENYK5XZI

Here is the information as I received it.

* * *

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.

Advertisements

07-27-2017 The Extremist Fad!   Leave a comment

M1m88[1]

How does one become an extremist.  First they need to find their alleged passion and then the real problems can begin.  It may just be me but I feel that in the last fifty years extremism has become the newest and most dangerous fad ever created by man.

Of course it all started with the ever so popular and murderous religions that exist on this planet. How many millions of hapless souls have been sacrificed for their supposed God. It’s not good enough that you believe in God but it must be done only THEIR way. The crusades should have taught everyone a valuable lesson but they didn’t. Cities were burned, whole populations murdered, and for what? Both sides were responsible for that horrendous slaughter and we learned nothing.  March and die for Jesus or Mohammed, cut off a few heads, murder some children, what’s the real difference? There is none.

Religion has turned us against each other time and time again. Now extremism has slowly worked it’s way into the fabric of our society.  Everyone insists that everything they do or believe is the absolute right way. Anyone that disagrees the least little bit becomes an enemy and must be dealt with.  I’m sure many of you would disagree but let’s look a little deeper to prove my point.

This example is a minor bit of extremism called Veganism. Vegans are militant about how their life style is the only and best way to live. Tell a Vegan you don’t agree with them and your looked at suspiciously and become a non-believer. It’s a mild extremism that is a little annoying but no one will kill me over it (YET).

Next in line are the environmentalists who believe that the earth is their newly found god or goddess. It has morphed into a pseudo-religion that has produced a small band of terrorists who’ve murdered for their cause for years and continue to do so. Who hasn’t heard about ecoterrorism?

Of course we always have those fun loving extremist crazies at PETA to listen to. They’ve successfully made themselves into a laughingstock with their lame antics of blood throwing and other nonsense. All terrorists consider themselves complete failures if they can’t get a five minute mention on the nightly news.

What’s next?  Just take a moment and think of the dumbest thing you can imagine.  I’m sure that at some point two assholes will put their heads together and have some sort of an epiphany, maybe talk with their God, and begin a movement to convince the rest of the world to change and believe and think as they do. If you don’t believe you could become ostracized or maybe your life could become forfeit.

Unfortunately for civilization and society most of the really over-the-top extremists cannot be convinced of anything. It makes dealing with them next to impossible as we’ve all come to find out over the last few decades.

It appears that the human race in it’s infinite wisdom can’t find common ground with anyone about anything. Scientists are constantly talking about the coming “Singularity”. That’s supposedly the tipping point when machines become so intelligent they’re able to get rid of the human race entirely.  Honestly I don’t think we really need their help.  We’ll eventually destroy ourselves by arguing over all of the so-called important differences we have rather that celebrating our many similarities.

It’s a side state of affairs and I see no why of fixing any of it. Maybe I should pray to God for help.  Shit, which one should I talk to, there are so many choices.

09-22-2016 Final Post!!   Leave a comment

I’ve been contemplating something for the last few months and I’ve finally decided to end my blogging career here on WordPress. I’ve been blogging on a regular basis for almost seven years on two different blogs and I’ve had a lot to say. I’ve voiced my somewhat irreverent opinions on everything from politics to religion. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve made some good friends over the years as well as a few liberal enemies.

I also have a number of other interests that have slowly but steadily taken over my daily activities and turned blogging into a secondary concern. I’ll be shutting down this blog the week prior to Halloween and it should remain available for a time until my domain renewal next year.  After that who knows . . . .

I’d like to thank all of my followers and other regular readers for stopping by as often as they have and I’ll certainly miss their intellectual and opinionated emails. The email, everyuselessthing@yahoo.com, will remain active indefinitely.

SAYONARA, ALOHA, and SHALOM!

09-20-2016 Journal – Jim Croce Remembered!   Leave a comment

thn185kssn

I’ve had the pleasure over the years of listening to and sometimes enjoying many styles of music.  I have eclectic tastes ranging from opera to blues to jazz but by far many of my most favorite singers have been the balladeers such as Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Chapin, and of course, Jim Croce.

Both Harry Chapin and Jim Croce died before their time which was a great loss to me and remains so to this day. It’s been 43 years sine Croce was killed in a plane crash in Louisiana and 35 years since Chapin died in 1981 in a car accident.

thtqqyozy9

Here’s a short blurb on Croce’s death.  He’ll always remain on my IPod and continue to make me smile when I listen to his music.

“On Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce’s Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single “I Got a Name” was released, Croce, Muehleisen, and five others died when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree, while taking off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Others killed in the crash were pilot Robert N. Elliott, musician Maury Muehleisen, comedian George Stevens, manager and booking agent Kenneth D. Cortose, and road manager Dennis Rast. Croce had just completed a concert at Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches and was flying to Sherman, Texas, for a concert at Austin College. The plane crashed an hour after the concert. Jim Croce was 30 years old.”

thysmcim6j

R.I.P. JIM

YOU’RE STILL MISSED

09-18-2016 Journal – Nature Trivia!   Leave a comment

ths9h10aqq

I’ve always been a lover of Nature and almost anything related to it.  As a photographer I spend as much time as I can out-and-about communing with Mother Nature.  I come by it honestly because as a kid growing up I spent more than half of my time in the woods with my friends. We lived on the edge of huge state park directly adjacent to the Allegheny River and knew every inch of the place.  My father, a hunter, spent a lot of time explaining about local wildlife and how they lived and traveled in the wild. It was just a very cool place to grow up.

So I thought I’d share a few interesting factoids about Nature with you. Here they are.

  • Every year the world’s deserts produce 1.7 billion tons of dust.
  • Nature reserves and national park cover 3% of the worlds surface.
  • Over 99.9% of the land on earth is not occupied by a person at a given time.
  • A tenth of the world’s population relies on the Ganges for water.
  • It takes one hundred years for the deep-sea clam to grow to the length of a third of an inch.

thapa0xafb

  • Nearly half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans since the beginning of the nineteenth century has been absorbed by the oceans.
  • An estimated 30% of Earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production.
  • Since the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, the sun has become 25-30% hotter.
  • More than 90% of the world’s rubies come from Burma (or whatever they’re calling it these days).
  • Lake Baikal in Russia contains about 20% of the world’s fresh water.

thwepmwh7m

That’s it for today. It’s time to turn off this computer and get to work in the yard. Winter’s coming and the garden has to be deconstructed.

thgh1mytg8

ENJOY YOUR DAY OF REST

 

09-16-2016 Journal – Look Out! X-mas is Coming.   Leave a comment

   thmx1ssrmt

Another week coming to an end and we’re already halfway through the month of September. The summer of 2016 went by in the wink of an eye and the holidays are again rushing towards us. I wonder to myself which retailer will strike the Christmas colors first. I suspect that as in years past Walmart will be the one to get things rolling 15 minutes after the Halloween holiday is over. That in itself is supremely depressing but it seems to get earlier and earlier every year regardless of how much we complain.

thkmu877g2

Yesterday I received this list of companies that have already made it known that Black Friday will begin for them by being open for business on Thanksgiving Day. I guess that’s the new approach to companies who put their employees families second on their list of priorities. That seems to be the ongoing retail way of thinking these days and unfortunately I can bitch about it all I want but no one in the retail establishment gives a damn what I think or what you think. Look at the upside . . . you’ll have a great place to spend your holiday if you get sick of eating Thanksgiving dinner, spending time with your family, or God forbid actually relaxing and enjoying the day. The almighty buck rules all. Make sure to thank these folks:

J.C. Penny

Kohl’s

Toy’s r Us

Target

Walmart

Sears

Macy’s

Belk

Sports Authority

h.h. greg

Dollar General

Best Buy

thgb89d93l

While I write this posting I have a Christmas wish that will never be fulfilled. I wish that the population of the millions of so-called consumers in this country would pull their collective heads out of the sand and stop allowing retailers to continue to think that the “great unwashed” are that easily controlled. It’s a lazy population that lets celebrities, the media, politicians, and big business tell them how to think, act, what to buy, and how to be politically correct at all times.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US ALL

You usually get what you deserve.

09-10-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-6!   Leave a comment

Our vacation began to wind down a little as we entered our fourth day in NO. We decided to spend the final day and a half just roaming around the French Quarter and shopping, people watching, drinking, and eating.  It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.

My first suggestion to my better-half was a required visit to a NO must-see, Pat O’Brien’s Bar.  During my first visit to NO many many years ago I was taken first to Bourbon Street and then directly to Pat O’Brien’s Bar.  I loved the place so much I couldn’t wait to introduce it to my better-half.

dscn0749bb

It’s a nondescript hole-in-the-wall or so you think at first glance. You walk through the entry way into a dark tunnel with a barroom on either side.  That leads directly into the terrace filled with tropical plants and tables for patrons.

dscn0756bb

Directly in the middle is a fountain that is somewhat famous.  During the day it doesn’t look like much but at night it’s on fire.

dscn0754bb

dscn0768

It was difficult trying to capture the rising flames in a photo. This was my best attempt.

We took a seat in the bar and ordered dinner. Since O’Brien’s is the actual home of the famous Hurricane cocktail we ordered two. They were huge as was expected and strong enough to give you a glow after drinking only one.

dscn0760bb

My entrée was something I’d been waiting for for years.  This is something the locals call “crawfish etouffee” and believe me it was the best I’ve ever had.  It was hot and spicy and effing delicious.

dsc_0125bb

It was a fun night spent people watching and just enjoying the atmosphere of the French Quarter.  Vibrant, crowded, and as much fun as any person could handle.  We retired to our hotel and the secluded pool to cool down a little before bed.  Another terrific day in the Big Easy.

WE’RE REALLY GONNA MISS THIS PLACE.

09-08-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-5   Leave a comment

Our fourth day in NO took us to one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been.  I’ve always been a big fan of graveyards but this one was the ultimate. It’s called St. Louis #1, the oldest cemetery in the city. Some residents have been there since the late 1700’s.  The temperature was 95 degrees but once we got inside the cemetery it rose to just over 100 degrees.

dsc_0323

Since all bodies are buried above ground in NO the cemetery is just concrete walkways and white tombs.  The heat actually accelerates the decomposition which is important I suppose.  The cemetery isn’t open to the public any longer but I’m sure the Catholic Church is getting their taste from all of the tour groups visiting every day.

dsc_0280

To add to the solemnness of the visit we happened upon what has become a common occurrence these days. A Hollywood celebrity showing up to spend 60,000 dollars to build an eight foot tall white pyramid right in the middle of all this history. Who else would it be but that way-out-there celebrity . .  Nicolas Cage.  Only one word comes to mind and that is A-Hole.

dsc_0299

I think I lost five pounds of water weight in the hour and a half we spent roaming around the place. Our tour guide was an encyclopedia of history of New Orleans and the people resting in that cemetery.  It was a highlight of our trip.

dsc_0303

The vacation continues with Pat O’Brien’s Bar scheduled for dinner and drinks tonight. We both need a dip in the hotel pool and a few cold ones to rehydrate before visiting there.  I’ll cover O’Brien’s in the next post.

MAN WAS IT EVER HOT

09-06-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-4   Leave a comment

Our third day in NO was a special day for me because for most of my life I’ve wanted to ride an airboat through these Louisiana swamps.  We boarded a bus in the French Quarter which took us across the Mississippi River southeast into the bayous. Our destination was a bayou named Barataria where the pirate John Lafitte and his men helped Stonewall Jackson defeat the British at the battle of New Orleans.  A beautiful place filled with as much history as you could ever want.

dsc_0147bb

These boats are just as fast as you can imagine. It’s like flying on water.

We left the dock and proceeded into the bayou and the beauty of the place was breathtaking.  I could have spent an entire week just riding around taking pictures. The guide took us to a rather cool cemetery where the brother of Jean Lafitte is buried. As you can see all bodies are buried above ground here in Louisiana.

dsc_0157bb

This is the ultimate spooky graveyard.

I was especially interested in getting some wildlife pictures and I no sooner had that thought and BAM . . . we found a few gators.  They were almost as curious about us as we were about them. This guy came to visit after we pulled ashore to get a better look at him.

dsc_0186bb

Doesn’t he have the cutest smile?

We played around with them for a few minutes then it was back into some isolated logging channels where we ran into a couple of turtles sunning themselves on a log.

dsc_0215bb

I hated for this day to come to an end but I was able to take some truly wonderful photos.  This last photo is the one that will remind me of this trip for as long as I live.

dsc_0150bb

WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?

 

 

09-04-2016 Journal – Big Easy-3!   Leave a comment

DSC_0043BB

Day two began with a walk through the French Quarter to the Toulouse Docks where the steamboat Natchez was moored.  My better-half has always wanted to ride the Mississippi River in an old steamship and we made that happen. We signed up for a three hour river cruise (hopefully better than Gilligan’s) that would take up south on the river through the busy port of NO. It was a brunch cruise and we had a great meal sitting on the main deck with a fantastic view of NO and the river.. It had been fully restored and was just like you would expect it to be minus the gambling tables and card cheats.

DSC_0053BB

One of the m0ost interesting sights was the massive amount of damage caused by Katrina.  There were huge section of docks and buildings that had been totally destroyed in the storm and had yet to be repaired or replaced.

DSC_0070

On the upper deck we checked out the gift shop and of course the bar. Their specialty drink was the Jazz Punch which was delicious and wickedly alcoholic. I wanted to have a second one but wasn’t sure I could off the boat without injury.  The views were incredible.

DSC_0097BB

DSC_0082BB

We made a U-turn an hour later and proceeded back north to NO which was a sight to behold from the middle of the river.

DSC_0048BB

Another great day of relaxation to help us prepare for day three of the vacation.  Day three was on the top of my wish list and it meant an airboat and trip into the bayou’s.

HOPING FOR LOTS OF GREAT PHOTO’S