Archive for the ‘Looking Back’ Category

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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12-14-2017 Pre-Christmas OMG’s   1 comment

It’s been a number of months since I last visited my blog and I’m not entirely sure why.  I suppose it’a mixture of laziness, apathy, and the holiday season that’s approaching.  I’ve been wanting to write but I don’t want it to be more of the same crap you’re hearing and seeing in other media. The “Trump is the devil.” nonsense is wearing really thin except for a few braindead liberals and diehard Democrats.

There’s a time and place for everything but the last thing we need is the steady media drumbeat of negativety during the holidays.  I’d much rather enjoy the season with my family than listening to an incredibly biased media laying hours and hours of propaganda and fake news on me.  Life is just too goddamn short.

We’ve had out first two snow falls for 2017 and the snowblower came through as expected. I’m going to try very hard not to do the normal fall-on-my-ass routine that seems to occur every year.  I’ll be staying in the house as much as possible, I’ll keep nice and warm, and have a drink or two to calm my nerves.  Before I know it Spring will be here once again.

So Merry Christmas to family and friends and anyone bored enough to read this blog.

I’ve also been giving some serious thought to my New Year’s resolutions for 2018.  I’ll do a quick review of 2017 just after Christmas and then post 2018’s early in January.

Stay healthy . . . Stay warm . . . Kiss the kids and grandkids . . . Hug your pets.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

I’m Back ! !   2 comments

Well it’s been almost nine months since my last posting  and it’s time to give birth or rebirth to this blog.  Over the years I’ve posted hundreds of times on politics and politicians but never felt confident that anyone reading them gave a damn.  I guess I was somewhat mistaken since Donald Trump found a way to pull a magical rabbit out of his hat.  I think he jumped out of the frying pan directly into the media and liberal bonfire.  Good luck to you Mr. President you’re going to need it.  Also here’s a tip for you that I learned many years ago, “Keep low and keep moving.” It’s hard for anyone (even the Media) to hit a moving target.

During my time off I also turned 70 years of age which practically blew my mind.  I never expected to live this long and I intend to make the most of my remaining time bitching and moaning about anything and everything that irritates or annoys me.  I shouldn’t have any problems finding things to write about because right now in 2017 this is what the military would call,  “a target rich environment”.

In the past I wrote endlessly about my better-half, my grandchildren, and my every day life.  Going forward I may still mention them occasionally but the content of this blog will be changing. For years I posted once or twice a day, then I reduced that to just a daily entry but beginning today I’ll post when I have something to say.  If that’s twice a day or twice a week, so be it.

So thanks to my followers for sticking around for the last nine months waiting for me to return.  I hope you’ll find this blog even more interesting as we move forward.

Posted July 17, 2017 by Every Useless Thing in Education, Humor, Looking Back, politics

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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

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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.

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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.”

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R.I.P. JIM

YOU’RE STILL MISSED

09-12-2016 Journal – The Big Easy Finale!   Leave a comment

This will be the last of the New Orleans postings.  It’s been a lot of fun reviewing the pictures and writing about all of our little adventures.  As you can tell I really love the place and plan on returning as often as possible in the future. Todays post will be nothing more than a few random pictures of the French Quarter that I failed to use this week. You must remember that between my better-half and I we took more than a thousand photographs in our six day visit.

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A balcony used by the bead throwers.

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Artists displaying their wares in Jackson Square.

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Everyone needs a little Voodoo in their life.

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St. Mark’s Cathedral

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How about a little truth in advertising.

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And some Day of the Dead skeletons.

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And finally a stop at Café Du Monde for cafe’ au lait and beignets. Absolutely delicious!

So ends my reminiscences of a truly wonderful vacation.  I should mention that on my last night in the Quarter I made my way to a local tattoo parlor and purchased one as a memento of our trip.  I was going to post a picture of it but my better-half thought that might be a little to much information. Just let it be said that I brought some permanent New Orleans voodoo home with me.

I hope any of you who would love to visit there get the opportunity to do so.

YOU WON’T REGRET IT

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

08-16-2016 Journal – Death Trivia!   Leave a comment

We do a lot of trivia on this site which usually consists of total useless information about totally useless things and people.  Today will be a miscellaneous mish-mash of things I’ve discovered recently.  First is something called the Manner of Death statistics.  It’s a list created by some group somewhere telling us all how we are dying in descending order of frequency. Enjoy!

Heart disease: 614,348
• Cancer: 591,699
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
Alzheimer’s disease: 93,541
Diabetes: 76,488
Influenza and pneumonia: 55,227
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,146
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773

That’s enough to send a cold chill up anyone’s back. The perfect way to start your day.  Next is a list of injury types, hospital data, and a whole lot more.

  • Number of medically attended injury and poisoning episodes in the population: 39.5 million
  • Episodes per 1,000 population: 126.3
  • Number of visits (to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments) for injuries: 80.1 million (includes visits for adverse effects of drug, medicinal or biological substance)
  • Number of emergency department visits for injuries: 43.0 million (includes visits for adverse effects of medical treatment)
  • Number of discharges for fractures (all sites): 1.1 million
  • Number of discharges for poisonings: 260,000
  • Number of discharges for certain complications of surgical and medical care: 1.0 million

Mortality

Total number of deaths: 192,945

Deaths per 100,000 population: 60.2

Poisoning

Number of poisoning deaths: 48,545

Deaths per 100,000 population: 15.4

Traffic Deaths

Number of deaths: 33,804

Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.7

Firearm Deaths

Number of deaths: 33,636

Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.6

Are you feeling more secure now?  Do you even want to leave the house?  It appears that life in these United States is a real crap shoot.  Roll the dice and hope for the best every time you leave the house.

I admit I’ve depressed myself with this posting so I’ll keep this last item short. On this day in history many people have passed on. Here are two that died on this day that I thought might interest you.

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1948 Babe Ruth, Baseball legend (NY Yankees), dies in NY at 53

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1977 Elvis Presley, American musician, dies at Graceland at 42. Official cause of death is cardiac arrhythmia

I THINK I’LL GO BACK TO BED