Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I came across an interesting jewel of an article. The original was mentioned in a piece about “blaspheme”, which I of course found both ignorant and hilarious. The article was by a Reverend Matthew Westfox who is the Director of Interfaith Outreach, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The article is entitled Resurrecting Pro-Life.

The article itself is pretty interesting and there are two lines that essentially sums up how I feel about the subject: “To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction.” Check it out here: http://katie73.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/happy-easter/

The articles I read attacking the Rev for blasphemy and being “… a mouthpiece for the culture of death” all took the position that God has given us the right to judge people.

The Catholic Church places quite a bit of importance on the right of people to judge other people based on a New Testament passage giving Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 16:19
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Yeah, well, I can read. Please notice that this passage tells us that those Peter binds will be bound IN Heaven? Shall be loosed IN Heaven?

So what does bound mean? The definition is pretty interesting. I grabbed this from www.greekbible.com

δέω,v \{deh'-o}
1) to bind tie, fasten
1a) to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains
1b) metaph.
1b1) Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright
1b2) to bind, put under obligation, of the law, duty etc.
1b2a) to be bound to one, a wife, a husband
1b3) to forbid, prohibit, declare to be illicit

So what does “loose” mean?

λύω,v \{loo'-o}
1) to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened
1a) bandages of the feet, the shoes,
1b) of a husband and wife joined together by the bond of matrimony
1c) of a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married
2) to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free
2a) of one bound up (swathed in bandages)
2b) bound with chains (a prisoner), discharge from prison, let go
3) to loosen, undo, dissolve, anything bound, tied, or compacted together
3a) an assembly, i.e. to dismiss, break up
3b) laws, as having a binding force, are likened to bonds
3c) to annul, subvert
3d) to do away with, to deprive of authority, whether by precept or act
3e) to declare unlawful
3f) to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy
3g) to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy
3h) metaph., to overthrow, to do away with

Now just maybe if this verse said “loosed from Heaven” I could believe that Peter has the right to decide who is in Heaven and who is outside of Heaven.

Here is that word in Greek:

ἐν,p \{en}
1) in, by, with etc.

Yep, pretty clear, in Heaven. Not outside of Heaven.

So what does it mean to be bound or loosed in Heaven? I think this passage gives Peter the RESPONSIBILITY to Open the Gates of Heaven by witnessing the Good News of Christ, but, whatever. My point is only that scripture does not agree with the interpretation that Peter can keep people out of Heaven. Peter can only loose or bind people IN heaven.

The entire philosophy of excommunication is built on this one passage.
Pretty lame huh?

So who decides if someone actually can get into Heaven? If you read the New Testament it is pretty clear that the judge is God.

What does Christ want us to do? There are essentially two passages that summarize this. The first is that people who love Christ do as he tells them to do. The second is in the second is in the parable of the rich young man where Christ tells us what to do to achieve heaven. Christ tells us:

Luke 18:
18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou
one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Okay, so here we have a roadmap of how to get into Heaven. People who make their material possessions more important than their relationship with God cannot enter into Heaven. Anything else? Sure, In John 14 there is a passage I like that reiterates Luke 18:22.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

What are Christ’s commandments? I am sure that all of us
are well acquainted with some of them. “Let he who has no sin throw the first stone”, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” I kind of like the last one, Judge Not. Pretty simple command.

Is witnessing the same as judging? Aren’t I judging when I say that an article is “both ignorant and hilarious”? Lets see.

Ignorant means uneducated, not necessarily completely without education. A person can be ignorant about a subject or can be ignorant about some of the details around a subject. If someone says something like “You are wrong when you say cortisol is not caused by fear” when you have said no such thing the person is ignorant about what has been said. If the words were written and obviously say no such thing the person making the false statement must be illiterate and have difficulty comprehending what has been written.

There isn’t anything wrong with ignorance or illiteracy. Everyone is ignorant on most subjects. Most of the people in the world are illiterate. In my opinion problems occur when people claim they are literate and educated and not only are not literate or educated they are too stupid to know how uneducated and illiterate they are.

There is some ambiguity in people’s opinion on what Christ means by following the commandments. Not for me, but for some. There are 613 Mizvot or commandments listed at jewfaq.org. Traditionally there are 615 commandments, but, either or is okay for the purposes of this discussion. If Christ has not released us from the Old Testament commandments (law) eating pork is a sin. If Christians are released from the Mizvot we sin trying to force others to obey some of these and not all of these commandments.

Be that as it may the commandment on abortion in Exodus 21:22 never found its way into the “law” or Mizvot.

Exodus 21:22
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Some people will claim that God defines abortion as murder when here we have a law written by Moses, from God, about abortion that does not tell us abortion is murder. In fact, unless “mischief follow” the abortion there is no mandatory punishment for abortion.

Personally I think it is pretty ignorant to believe that Christians are bound by the Mizvot. I could deal with the whole reading comprehension issue concerning Christianity and being released from the law, but, this blog would be so long no one would ever read it. (not that anyone will anyway :-)

So when I witness that someone is ignorant about something I am not using a descriptive term I am using a factual term. No matter how often people use the term ignorant as a descriptor it is not a descriptive term. Since the word is not a descriptor, I am not making a judgment. I am making a statement of fact. A person is ignorant when they do not have information necessary to make an informed decision. When people do not have or reject information they are ignorant. This is not a judgment it is something that is observed.

Once we have information we can use basic logic. Using basic logic God must be pro-choice.

God invented choice. God gave people the ability to choose. God must want people to use that ability, even if God would like us to make specific choices. God, with the help of scribes and prophets, has outlined specific choices he would like us to make in various religious texts. God does not force a specific choice on us. God respects us enough to allow us to make our own choices. God advices us what choices to make and tells us what the consequences will be if we make other choices. "Go clean your room!" the choice here is clean your room or suffer the consequences. Still a choice.

I don’t believe abortion is an appropriate choice. God made a rule, God must know there is something wrong with it even if it isn’t murder.

I don’t believe homosexuality is an appropriate choice. God made rules, God must know there is something wrong with it. Personally I think God does not want people defining their lives physically or materialistically. Focusing on or defining our lives based on the physical or material takes the focus away from the spiritual. I think this is why Paul suggested Christians should not marry and if we are married we should be husband and wife focusing on God’s plan rather than our own physical desires.

Do I have the right or the responsibility to force my ideology down anyone else’s throat? No. I have a responsibility to witness the Good News of Christ and the Forgiveness of Sin which has been revealed to me through my Lord and Savior, Christ.

Do I expect everyone or even anyone I know to agree with everything I believe? Of course not.

To me the important idea is to accept people and reject ideas. I don't have to agree with everything or anything a person believes to care about them?

A person can’t witness a belief. A person can explain a belief.

A person can’t teach something they have experienced. A person can witness an experience.

Christ did not charge his followers to judge people and then accept them IF they were ok and condemn them if they were sinners. Christ told us everyone is evil, “..if you, being evil..”. As we have read even Paul having the keys to heaven can’t keep sinners out of heaven.

In my opinion Paul told people who were suffering doubt to stick with people of strong beliefs. Those whose faith went beyond belief into experience are charged by Christ to witness the truth of that experience throughout the world, to everyone.

Witnessing is done by consent, not by force. If someone is not interested Christ tells us to walk away and shake the dust from our feet. Witness in love and respect.

When should we witness in sarcasm?

In my opinion Christ used a lot of sarcasm. My favorite example is when he told a bunch of religious leaders that he did not come to teach the righteous, only the sinners, and then told people that everyone is a sinner. No one is good. If that isn’t a carefully worded, sarcastic response to someone who is ignorant and thinks they have a clue I don’t know what sarcasm is.

One of the things I am sure of is that Christ laughed, mostly at himself I am sure. I am also sure that he laughed at other people, hopefully with them as well. Sometimes people take themselves so seriously they can’t laugh at their own ignorance or imperfections. Sometimes people spend their whole lives putting others down or only hearing when someone else puts them down. They never have anything good to say about anyone and they never hear when anyone says anything good about them.

My daughter was laughing about how bad the makeup on a woman who was talking about being a cosmetologist was. My daughter can talk for hours about coloration and face structure and about hard it would be to become a serious cosmetologist because there is so much to learn about chemistry and anatomy and lighting and coloration. Some people think of cosmetologists as “low level” technicians. Personally, I am ignorant about the subject.

The people who called this reverend blasphemous are ignorant on this subject also. Not because they disagree with the reverend. Because they present their opinions as if their word, their understanding, their belief is God’s law.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Censorship, “Stump the Chump” and Ignorance

Once again some self appointed censor has worked to remove my work and maintain ignorance.

There are facts and there are opinions. Most people do not know the difference. “The boy ran fast” is an opinion since it requires a personal perspective on the issue of “fast”. “The boy ran 100 meters in 8 seconds” is a fact.

The interconnection between politics and economics is a fact. Ignoring one in the presence of the other is advocating ignorance.

One of the primary focuses of the censor advocating ignorance is that they will be closed minded. They will have a biased preconception of some kind and under no circumstances will they allow their preconceived ideas to be challenged. Racism is a closed minded pre-conception where some people make judgments about a specific individual or group of individuals based on their physical appearance.

There are two places where most people are closed minded and have developed inaccurate preconceptions that they will not allow to be challenged. These are politics and religion.

Wall Street is a perfect example. Wall street is not a shinning example of the wonders of Capitalism it is an example of the success of elitist socialism.

What is the definition of socialism?


   [soh-shuh-liz-uhm] Show IPA



a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.


procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.


(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

So in socialism everything belongs to the community as a whole? What does community mean?


   [kuh-myoo-ni-tee] Show IPA

noun, plural -ties.


a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.


a locality inhabited by such a group.


a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the ): the business community; the community of scholars.


a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.


Ecclesiastical . a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.

So what does “community as a whole” mean?

Boy is that open to interpretation. Taken literally it means the community of the world. Taken less literally it means an entire community or group, which can mean a lot of things. A community of stock holders for example.

In fact a publicly owned corporation may be the purest example of socialism so far created.

Anyone can belong, there is no actual elitism behind shareholding. There is some elitism behind the ownership of large blocks of stocks. The SEC can actually become involved if a person tries to buy a substantial percentage of any publicly traded corporation.

Within the arena of socialistic shareholders the best example in this group is probably the credit union. Every depositor in a credit union is actually a share holder in the corporation.

This is all basic logic. This word means this, etc. Pretty simple logic actually, BUT, that does not mean people will accept it. People have this weird concept of “truth”, but what is “truth”?


   [trooth] Show IPA

noun, plural truths  [troothz, trooths] Show IPA.


the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.


conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.


a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.


the state or character of being true.


actuality or actual existence.

Reading the literal definition of “truth” everything I wrote above is true. The stock market is a socialist endeavor.

But many people will not perceive it that way. They will have a closed minded preconception that they identify as “truth” and they will reject the reality or actuality that Wall Street is socialistic.

Sometimes I ask people who express this “truth” to me what socialism is. They tell me it is where everyone receives the same benefits or income or whatever. I ask, “how about people in prison?” Well, almost everybody.

So the community of socialism is not for everybody. It is for people who belong to a specific group of people from which others have been excluded, either temporarily or permanently.

Tell this to a closed minded person and they will feel their ideology challenged and they will become angry.

I have several closed minded, bigoted Internet stalkers who run around doing what they can to intimidate and hurt me because I challenge their closed minded beliefs.

I can argue against homosexuality a dozen different ways. Does that mean I am homophobic? Closed minded people focus on a single statement and it defines them. My gay friends wouldn't call me homophobic and they would not agree with me on everything I believe.

Gay friends? Yes, just because I can argue against something does not believe I am against it except in the eyes of a closed minded bigot. Anyone who has been in a debate class has had a professor give them a position to defend that they disagree with. Closed minded people typically fail miserably at this. Even if I was against homosexuality I would not expect everyone to live by beliefs and being open minded I can accept that the vast majority of people will live their own choices.

No one agrees with everything someone else believes. Some people reject people. Some people reject ideas.

In my opinion people who reject people based on their preconceptions are just closed minded bigots and losers.

My nephews wife once tried to convince me she wasn't a bigot and I was because she had dated black guys. I didn't bother to respond that I had dated women and some of those women had different cultural backgrounds than I had, like being Black or Asian or Latino or Middle Eastern. Her preconception was that I had not and wouldn't. Her mind was totally closed to the concept.

Everyone has closed minded preconceptions. The trick is in knowing what our own closed minded preconceptions are. This takes a careful study of our own internal motivations. It takes an ability to question the things we believe at the very core. I have found most people do not bother to question their own beliefs and typically fall into a trap of closed minded preconceptions. Typically these come from our parents or our childhood acquaintances.

When I first became saved I studied every single word in the four gospels and the first five books of the Old testament in the original language, working to understand the meaning of every single word with all the multiple possible meanings.

When I worked at a software reseller doing software demos I was an expert at “stump the chump”. This is a game customers play. They throw a bunch of stupid hypothetical cad problems at the person showing the demo and if the demonstrator successfully accomplishes all of the challenges an objection to the software is removed. I was good at this. I think fast on my feet and I could do all kinds of crazy things. What did this prove? Nothing really. It proved I could usually think really fast on my feet and I knew the software really well. Customers loved it though, they think it proves something. Then they buy the software and because it does not work as “easily” for them as it did for me sometimes they are frustrated. I used to tell them, “I'm nothing special. If I can learn it you can learn it.”

You see interviewers play “stump the chump” all the time. They keep asking questions until they think they find a weakness and the exploit the weakness. Does this mean anything? Not really, just that the person being interviewed didn't think on their feet very well. People love it though, they think it proves something.

I wonder how many people could perform well in that “stump the chump” hot seat. Not many I assume or I wouldn't have been considered really good at what I used to do. Typically 1/3 of software demos resulted in sales. About 60% of my demos resulted in sales. I think the idea that made “stump the chump” easy for me is that I knew I wasn't any better or worse than anyone else so when I screwed up at “stump the chump” I didn't take it personally. I learned from it. I also knew I didn't “close” the sale. I was just removing objections from a customers mind.

Being good at “stump the chump” was only possible because I was open minded. If I had closed my mind in some way I would have been one of the 33% guys.

When I went into manufacturing and operation of a direct manufacturing system I again used an open mind to evaluate the system and the process. There were a lot of problems and when I tried to address them with the design team their winds were closed on the issue so those issues were never corrected. I used my open mindedness to achieve things other people believed were impossible because I understood the mechanical design issues with the system. As a result I became the best at what I did in the world and eventually I was recruited by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Was I better than everyone else in the world? Yes. I was better at this specific thing than anyone else in the world.

Being best is a combination of skill, opportunity and persistence. Someone else could have easily been better at what I did than I was if they had the skill,opportunity and persistence. Opportunity is the big thing here. In my case the skills were understanding of the mechanics of the system and an understanding of the multiple variables involved so that I could maximize the probability of success. Someone else with similar skills, open mindedness to actually see what the real problems were, the opportunity and the persistence would have achieved the same things.

In my opinion the real losers in life make the same closed minded mistakes over and over again do everything they can to tear other people down, censor and maintain a level of ignorance that does not challenge their own closed minded bigotries.

I took an intensive three week class in management. I was one of two people who graduated with scores above a particular level. When I was asked to give a few words to the class I said that I wasn't special, anyone could do what I had done. All they had to do was be careful and persistent. I still believe that although I have to add open mindedness.

If you lose are you a loser? No. In fact in many championships with many contestants the winner does not have to win a single time to be champion. The championship is based on points and sometimes consistently coming in second or third will give a contestant the championship. You don't always have to win to be a winner.

Too many people believe when others tell them that they are losers. People have to be open minded enough to realize that they can be winners when they choose to. Typically people just get angry and call others losers, closing their own minds.

Losers are going to censor you. Losers are going to tear you down every chance they get. You are going to lose at “stump the chump”. Losers are going to do everything they can to spread and maintain ignorance.

Be open minded enough to know you can succeed in spite of these challenges. Educate yourself. Challenge what every word means and learn from them.

Stand Your ground

The Treyvon Martin case and Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law are currently in the eye of the constant media storm. Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law is interesting and I have been thinking about what it means. And the concept as well as thinking about the specific situation. Like everyone else I have an opinion on the subject.

The basic concept is the difference between “provocation” and “assault”. When is an act provocation or an assault?

Did you know an act as simple as clenching your fist at your side can be considered an act of assault? Assault does not require physical contact. Pointing a gun, knife or fist at someone is an assault. Touching someone is typically considered battery and can also be considered an assault. Truthfully the delineations between provocation, assault and battery is very gray. There is no black and white line.

Typically the legal system in the United States takes the position that the average person does not have the right to protect themselves from an attack. The average person is supposed to call the police, who may or may not come, and cower or retreat from whatever they are afraid of.

Is someone who throws a rock at you trying to kill you? Maybe, maybe not. Rocks can kill. Is someone pointing a gun at someone trying to kill them? Maybe, maybe not. Guns can kill. Is someone pushing someone trying to kill them? Maybe, maybe not. Pushing someone can kill them.

The idea of self defense is that a person must have a reasonable fear that they or someone else is in immediate danger of bodily harm or death.

If someone pushes someone does that represent an immediate danger of bodily harm or death?

I have to say yes. In fact if someone is making any kind of assault against someone else, even to the point of trying to make them flinch, the person making the overt hostile act is endangering the life of the other person. This is actually similar to the definition of assault. If a person is being assaulted I believe they have a reasonable fear of bodily harm or death.

How often does a push or a slap result in death? Not often. Very rarely. Is it reasonable to take deadly force if someone pushes or slaps someone? In my opinion it is. The reality is that we cannot know what a person who is pushing or slapping another person is thinking. We know that pushing and slapping are overt acts of hostility that are unacceptable. Are they examples of deadly force or a precursor to deadly force? In my opinion they are all examples of assault and as such people have the right to defend themselves against the assailant.

In the Treyvon Martin case Martin was followed by Zimmerman. Is following someone wrong? Is it an assault? Does it place the person being followed in fear for their life?

In my opinion it does. Trayvon had the right to stand his ground, under Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law, and confront the person following him. Does the person following now have the right to shoot the person confronting them? Not in my opinion. By following Treyvon, without any previous confrontation, Zimmerman became the aggressor. Essentially Zimmerman “started the fight” by following Trayvon.

In my opinion Treyvon, as the victim of an assault by Zimmerman, is the one who should be protected by Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law.

This is all hind sight, based on reading articles on the subject.

My personal belief is that anyone being assaulted has the right to defend themselves. Following, in my opinion, is an assault since it places the person being followed in fear for their life. Confronting someone is an assault. Here is where it becomes gray.

Suppose someone is walking down the streets of Detroit in a Confederate flag tee shirt. Is that person deliberately provoking an attack?

A black friend and I were talking once and I told him that as a kid I thought the confederate flag was cool, but that as I got older I didn't think it was so cool. He told me that he thought it was cool when he was a kid too. He even bought one and put it on his bicycle until his uncle pulled him aside and explained what it meant. We had both gone through two stages of appreciation, an ascetic appreciation and an emotional appreciation. We appreciated the way something looks and then we appreciated the social meaning the symbol had.

Is the way a person dresses a provocation?

In my opinion it is not.

How about what a person says? What if they use inappropriate language? Say the “N” word oooohhhh. Is that a deliberate provocation?

In my opinion it is not. Words are emotionally damaging, not physically damaging.

Essentially, my opinion is that if a person behaves in a way that is considered assault the person being assaulted has the right and responsibility to defend themselves.

As the aggressor Zimmerman should not be able to use Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law to defend his actions.

There is the difference, the aggressor versus the victim. How do we know which is which? In the case of Treyvon Martin Zimmerman told us. He was aggressor because he followed Treyvon Martin placing Martin in a position where he felt threatened. Other cases are not so easily decided.

In my opinion the only reason every state does not have a “Stand Your Ground” law is because our governments have accepted the basic premise that people are incapable of deciding if they are in danger and have the right to defend themselves.

The media loves this premise because it gives them the right and responsibility to tell people how and what to think.

There is nothing wrong with Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law. There is an issue with the way it was applied in the Treyvon Martin case and there is an issue with states that do not have these kinds of laws that allow people to stand up to bullying.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sorry Preppers, you lose!

When I was a kid the threat of nuclear war was very real to a lot of people. As I grew up that threat seemed to become less and less every year. While I was in the Army I found out that the military was not concerned much about nuclear war. The possibility of a devastating chemical or biological attack was very real though. These days people worry about economic chaos, natural disasters, anything that can disrupt their peace.

Essentially wars are about peace. The only reason for a war is to create peace. If people are oppressed they may eventually rise up and fight a revolution. If people don't have enough resources for their people they may fight with their neighbors. If someone's neighbors are harassing them they will eventually defend themselves. All wars are fought to achieve peace. What people require to live in peace is very different from one person, group or community to another.

Some people think peace is all about collecting and protecting their possessions. Others think peace is all about protecting their family. Others think peace is all about eliminating anyone who is a threat. Many people want to defend their idea of peace.

So here we are, worried about protecting our peace. Many people associate peace with stability and a particular place. We become so attached to a place that we will die defending it.

Patton tells us that fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of mankind.

Animals tend to be territorial, even migrating animals stay in the same places. The most successful conquerors, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, were nomads who moved constantly.

Farmers growing crops need to stay put. Herders with cattle, sheep or goats can constantly move. A fixed fortification will always fall eventually when under siege. The best defense people who are always moving have is that no one knows where they are.

Abraham, of Biblical renown, was a nomad.

When Katrina hit people had to move and they didn't. Their lack of mobility caused huge problems for them.

When I was a kid people who prepared for disaster were called Survivalists. My Grandfather was always prepared. He had food, blankets, etc in his car all the time but no one called him a survivalist. He was just prepared. These days they call people who prepare for disaster Preppers.

I'm going to make this as clear as possible for everyone out there. People who build huge bunkers and believe they can defend themselves from a siege using guns are idiots and will die.

People believe they can defend themselves by sitting tight. Not likely.

After the sacking of Rome by nomadic barbarians the public services were non-existent so the vast majority of people left the city and integrated themselves into other locations.

Essentially they just kept moving until they found somewhere they could settle down.

During Katrina some of the communities surrounding New Orleans refused to let refugees in. The same thing will happen if a nation or world wide disaster occurs. When idiots write about these disasters the plucky defenders fight off the raiding nomads and live happily ever after.

That is so not happening. What will happen is the same thing that always happens. The defenders will eventually lose.

There are isolated incidents where one non-nomadic group attacks another non-nomadic group and the defenders win.

With nomads that does not happen because the nomads have no where else to go. They have nothing better to do than keep attacking until they win or die.

About 70% of people in the United States are in urbanized areas. These people will become nomads the same way the people of Rome became nomads. The losers in rural areas will try to defend their agricultural lands and keep the former urbanites out. Having nothing better to do than win or die the urbanite nomads will harass and defeat the rural areas.

Why? It takes 1.25 acres to feed a single person for a year. That acre is 208 feet square with a perimeter of 832 feet. If I put one person every ten feet I to defend that acre I need 83 people to defend a single acre that can't feed a single person.

Lets take a square mile of agricultural land. 640 acres can feed 512 people. That is 128 people per side of the square. That is one person every 40 feet. No command or support structure. In the military the estimate is 4 support people for every 1 combat troop so now we have 102 people to defend 21,102 feet of perimeter. Lets assume we can get by with 4 combat troops for every 1 support troops. That means we have 410 troops to defend 21,102 feet of perimeter. One troop every 50 feet. How long would it take to break through somewhere on that line? Now lets add support land. Say 100 more acres for homes and barns. If there are animals those can take a lot more acreage to feed and all of that area has to be defended. Forget about it.

These writers plan the land, assume attacks are more likely from specific places and that ain't happening. The writers assume the defenders will have better strategists and tacticians.

Lets also assume that the numbers remain equal, 3 rural folks for 7 urbanite nomads. The odds are 2:1 in the nomads favor. Not bad you say? Yeah, well the rural people have to defend their entire perimeter and the nomad just have to attack at one location, wait for the perimeter to be pulled to help defend that location and then attack on another flank. Super simple strategy.

I know country boys can survive. I have lived in rural areas and I have lived in the city. I used to walk to work through a project so notorious that after being torn down years ago people in Detroit still talk about how bad Herman's Gardens was.

I know there are pockets of brutal people in rural areas just as there are in urban areas. In my opinion, as a general rule, urbanites are more comfortable with brutality than rural people. Sure, both are fighting for their lives and the lives of their families. When motivations are equal the person more comfortable with the brutality of shooting a little girl in the face wins.

In the end the small enclaves of rural peoples will be eventually over run and destroyed, one by one. There won't be a single big battle. There will be a series of small battles which cause the urbanite survivors to group together and defeat the rural people. The result will be an union and acclimating to each other since the invading urbanites are only nomads because they were forced to be.

The Mongols conquered Europe for these specific reasons. The Europeans had castles, but, those walls did not protect the agricultural areas they required. By controlling the agricultural land the Mongols controlled the Europeans. Sea-nomadic Vikings did the same thing to the agricultural people in Britain. The Mongols and Vikings typically won because they were more comfortable with brutality and knew where their enemies were.

For the most part the United States cavalry, a nomadic style unit, defeated the nomadic Native Americans because their weapons and logistical support was much better.

Sorry preppers, your weapons and logistical support will be about equal after a disaster.

In the end people will either find a way to work with each other OR they will decide to fight to the death.

Where do people who are “defending” their “land” expect the urbanite refugees to go? In reality unless rural areas take control and offer a solution the nomadic urbanites will have absolutely nothing better to do than band together and lay siege.

I know all you preppers believe your defenses are so great, you abilities to shoot so wonderful that you can each defeat 100 enemies for every prepper who dies. So what if it takes 1000 urbanite nomads to kill everyone in your little group of 10. You still lose.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pinto Beans

I love pinto beans. They are one of the staples of my diet. I eat them about once a month with rice.

This is my recipe:

Pinto Beans


1 pound dry pinto beans
6 cups water


1. Place the pinto beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Or, bring the beans and water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse before using.

2. Put the drained beans in a pot and add water to just cover the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Make sure that the water level continues to cover the beans as they cook; use more water as needed. Continue simmering until the beans are tender, about 90 minutes more. Could be longer or shorter depending on the stove heat. Could take 8 to 12 hours in a slow cooker.

If you have ham hocks, smoked neck bones. bacos, bacon, ground hamburger, ground sausage, chopped ham, chopped pork, chopped meat of any kind including squirrel or oppossum or tofu or sparrows or robins chop it up and then cook it up and add it to the beans when you start cooking them.

Leftover chicken, meat loaf, hamburgers, just about any kind of meat or meat substitute can be tossed into beans. Leftover KFC, pull the chicken off the bones, chop it up and toss it in the beans. Cold cuts or hot dogs can be chopped up and added too. Bologna for example (although I don't much like bologna in my beans).

If you have onions, cellery, green pepper or any other vegtables add them when you start cooking the beans if you want them to turn into mush. If you want the vegetables firm put them in during the last half hour to hour of cooking.

If you have some spices like garlic, pepper, oregano or what ever put some in while cooking to your taste. Fresh is great, but, the stuff you shake out of the bottles from the store is fine too. If you are going to use inner tree bark stay away from evergreens and birch. Maple is okay. I don't much like poplar either, but, to each their own.

If you have some chicken or beef or soup stock replace some or all of the water with the stock.

When the beans are tender cook up some rice. Put the rice in a bowl. Put the beans over the rice. Add hot sauce or spices to taste. Eat.

When I was dead broke I lived on pinto beans and rice. Ate it just about every meal. Cheap and nourishing. I have tried cooking it just about every way I could and I have tried spicing it up with everything from grass to steak.