Archive for the ‘war’ Tag

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.

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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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08-06-2016 Journal Entry – The 2016 Squirrel Wars!   Leave a comment

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I’m a little late in posting today due in part to visiting family from Maryland.  All of us have been kept rather busy for a few days which makes posting this blog more difficult.  Things remain much of the same around here. I take care of the garden, cut what grass that hasn’t been burned away by the heat and lack of rain, and of course . . . PRAY FOR RAIN.

I’m also in the midst of a battle with a community of squirrels (both gray and red) that have a special love for our house and our bird feeders.  A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in our second floor living room doing some work on my laptop. The living room is directly adjacent to a porch that leads onto a second story deck.  I had the door to the deck open so the stupid cat could lounge around outside which in hindsight was my first big mistake.

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I was completely focused on the computer  but  noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and sitting in the middle of the living room was a red squirrel calmly watching me.  Apparently a string of loud curse words are the perfect squirrel repellent I’ve been looking for.  He made a dash for the door and onto the deck and dove straight into the nearby trees.  Where was my ferocious cat?  He was asleep on the chair not three feet from the damn squirrel. He barely blinked an eye as I was screaming at it.  He’ll pay for his total lack of interest in the very near future.

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The very next day I heard a noise on the porch and that same little red squirrel was in the process of chewing through a bag of bird seed. Again he escaped but just barely.  He sat in a nearby tree chittering at me until I shot him in the ass with a B-B gun.  I hate killing them but I will certainly take every opportunity to give him a bruise or two with that B-B gun.

Soooooooo! Today I was once again alone in the house working in the living room. I was really concentrating on my project and jumped nearly three feet in the air due to a loud crash on the porch. I ran over to investigate and found a big fat gray squirrel sitting next to an overturned container of bird seed. He saw me and very calmly walked out onto the deck and split.  I may be a little slow on the uptake but I’m reasonably certain the word is out in the squirrel community that I have food on my porch.

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Tomorrow I will begin taking steps to address these issues but I’m not optimistic.  I’ve been involved in two other squirrel wars at other places I’ve lived and sadly lost them both.

I’M  HOPING FOR THE BEST AND EXPECTING THE WORST

01-08-2016 Journal–Maine Woodstock 2016!   Leave a comment

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‘1969 was an interesting year.’

How to kill an entire Sunday.  Let me tell you how I did it.  Yesterday my better-half was scheduled to work and I was looking forward to a day of peace and quiet and time to work on MY projects. How could I even dare to imagine something like that, I should have known better.

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‘Who loves you Janis’

Unfortunately some months ago I made a commitment to her concerning the laptop she’d just purchased.  I promised I’d help her setup the new laptop by transferring all of her photographs from the old to the new. This should teach me a valuable lesson for the future. Never volunteer for something unless you’re absolutely sure you know what your getting into. I thought I knew but apparently I was once again clueless.

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‘The spooky Doors.’

I cleared off the kitchen table, fired up both computers, made a pot of coffee, and settled in for what I thought would be an hour or two of work. Oh how stupid I am.  Little did I know just how many photo’s she had scattered throughout that hard drive of her old computer. She had pictures from multiple cameras going back six years. There were videos from both her IPhone and IPad and I kid you not . . . more than ten thousand pictures taken with an assortment of past and present cell phones. She apparently has never discovered the use of the delete button.  It was a trash dump of photo’s placed on that laptop with absolutely no attempt at organization whatsoever.

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‘Jumpin Joe Cocker’

As always I fall back to the old adage “When someone gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I found my own IPod and plugged it in, put on the headset and spent the next seven hours having a 60’s Flashback Sunday.  I started out by listening to the entire three days of Woodstock with the original recordings.  That required me to immediately switch from just coffee to coffee laced with Drambuie.  I then cranked up Joe Cocker, The Band, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Janis Joplin, The Doors, and even the Greatest Hits of War. 

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‘My favorite band, The Band. ‘RIP Levon’

At the end of the day I’d transferred no less than twenty-five thousand pictures to the new laptop and was suffering from a serious coffee buzz overlapped with a Drambuie buzz.  There’s nothing better than Drambuie so after I finished transferring all the files I stopped drinking the coffee. From that point on it was Drambuie, Amy Winehouse  and me.  What a great way to spend the day and complete a tiresome project.

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‘Sweet Amy’

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‘Even sweeter . . . Drambuie on the lips.’

Today I’m back to what I’d call normal but still showing signs of a rather interesting hangover. For some reason my first cup of coffee this morning tasted strangely like Drambuie. How odd! I guess that’s one of the effects of time travel back to the sixties. Along with rocking out, a sore throat from all of the singing along, and being able to return home with no arrests or STD’s to show for it.

That’s what I’d call a good day in any decade.

010-13-2013   Leave a comment

Believe it or not I’m a really a sensitive guy.  You really can’t listen to rumor or the personal opinions of people who may be biased in some fashion. With that being said I need to remind everyone that it’s mid-October here in Maine, the warm weather is slowly fading away leaving us with crisp and cold nights and sunny days with chilly winds. Now that you’ve been given the official EveryUseLessThing weather report you understand it’s that time of the year for the  anticipated “change of season”.  We’ve now seen the return of football, new TV programming, and the soon to be migration of hundreds of thousands of senior citizens making their Fall pilgrimage to look at the freaking leaves. This is also the time of the year where my better-half and I begin our annual Fall battle over heating the house.

Those of you who heat with heating oil understand just how much money is spent on keeping the home fires burning through a long New England winter.  With the costs of heating oil skyrocketing every year at this time, every drop you save is money in your pocket.  As much as I agree with saving money there are times when I must disagree. This is one of those times.

In remodeling this home two years ago we required that it be "tight".  That means as much heat as possible remains in the house and doesn’t escape through any uninsulated areas.  We were very successful with that upgrade but it causes it’s own problems.  When the house is that “tight” and the heat is not yet been turned on, the insulation keeps the cold night air inside the house.  Our situation now is a little strange.  For most of the morning our house is freezing cold and the cold air can’t escape.  We’re forced to go outside to warm up once the sun comes out.  It’s stupid but true.

That’s where the war starts every year.  I try to explain to my better-half that it’s necessary to turn on the heat at a very low level to help eliminate the residual cold air from the previous night.  She just doesn’t get it and refuses to turn on the heat at all.  I’m being forced to wear three layers of clothing just to watch TV and then when I go outside I find myself removing a layer or two to be comfortable.  I suppose I could just turn the heat on and disregard her feelings entirely but that would escalate the war and extend it for many weeks.  The recriminations and potential revenge scenarios come into play with more arguing and mean spirited discussions expected.  It’s a freaking conundrum.

Thank God for our industrial strength electric blanket.  It’s the only thing keeping me from becoming highly disagreeable.  A few days ago it was so cold I was forced to spend eight hours sitting in our bed with the blanket at a high level just to be comfortable.  We’re at the breaking point with this issue now and I’m almost convinced that it’ll be worth fighting with her for another month or two if I can just get the heat on for a few hours in the morning.  She may get a huge surprise when she gets home from work and finds the house warmer and more livable.

I’m not a heat fanatic by any means.  We maintain our thermostats at no more than 62 degrees for most of the winter anyway.  By taking the time to write this posting I’ve convinced myself to "grow a pair" and just turn the effing heat on.  Enough of this nonsense.  I’ve taken a vote and my better-half votes NO to heat but me and my “nuts” vote YES.  That’s three to one and she loses.  On comes the furnace tomorrow morning and let the “Great Heat War of 2013” begin.