Uncommon Sense

September 17, 2021

The Power of Prayer

Filed under: Culture,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 1:03 pm
Tags: , ,

I saw a powerful photograph of NYFD’s Chaplain Mychal Judge’s body being carried out of the wreckage after 9/11. He insisted on staying in the lobby of the East Tower to pray for all of the valiant firemen and policemen working to evacuate the building. He called upon Jesus and God to “end this now.”

Of course, the building fell on him, killing him.

Death by irony, apparently.

So many people, good at heart, dying from delusions. Could not his prayers be heard if delivered outside? Did God think that people wanted more destruction and chaos and that He should “bring it on,” such that prayers were needed as a kind of poll, to get Him to change His mind? Ah, it is a mystery.

As for rewards coming in Heaven, apparently the good priest is being lined up for sainthood. (Don’t hold your breath, as he was gay.)

September 16, 2021

Fact or Fiction: The United States Are Controlled by Satan-Worshiping Pedophiles Who Run a Global Child Sex-Trafficking Operation?

This sounds like a SNL skit or an article for The Onion, but according to a newly released survey, 15 percent of Americans agree with the false premise central to the QAnon movement that government, media, and financial worlds in the United States are controlled by Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking operation.

The finding is contained in a Public Religion Research Institute study released last Thursday based on interviews of more than 5,000 U.S. adults in March.

Polling that relies on agree/disagree questions can overstate the extent to which respondents actually hold such beliefs, but the survey nevertheless underscores that the allegations of the QAnon movement have been embraced by a significant number of Americans.

In the survey, 23 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement. By contrast, 8 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of independents agreed with the statement.

Well, those data would be concerning if you assumed that the respondents are serious. Currently I do not.

Americans currently contain a large component which wishes to throw a monkey wrench into “the system” as it currently is, and that system includes the all too haughty polls conduced by “pollsters.”

For example, I feel that political polls turn our elections into contests, the most used term is “into horse races.” Consequently when I receive a phone call or an email message asking for me to share my opinions, I decline. “Thanks, I don’t do polls.”

A less passive response would be to answer their questions and give the most effed-up responses one could dream up and this is what I think is going on.

This is, I suspect, in response to the government using lies and propaganda to “control the population” to the point that it has little to no credibility left.

Take the UFO issue as an example. We now know that the government/military set up programs to obfuscate, lie, and mislead the public over and over and over. When this was finally admitted, was anyone really surprised? Were you surprised?

The lying has become so brazen that politicians will say one thing yesterday and the opposite today and when this is pointed out to them, they shrug “Fake news!” We’ve been getting gaslighted by our own government for so long it no longer causes outrage or even draws comment.

The Apostle Paul vehemently said, in his own writings (we think), that “I am not a liar!” Apparently back then, being a liar had consequences. Now it seems to be only a qualification for becoming a politician.

Footnote on Irony It is now recognized that fear is the strongest lever in the propagandist’s toolbox. So, why was the lame excuse used in all of those UFO sightings, that the public wasn’t ready for the truth. I can’t think of any better lever for the ruling class to use than the fear of aliens. Turning human politicians into “Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking operation” seems peanuts compared to what one could claim to be the “alien threat.” Imagine the fears: They eat human babies! (They must be atheists.) They claim to have proof that their gods exist! They want to move here! They are fleeing a way more powerful alien species! Their penises are enormous and their sexual appetite for human girls is unbounded! . . . and on and on.

Controlling that narrative would be easy. The “authorities” could spend money up the yin-yang to deal with the alien threat. Military contractors would be sending their neighbor’s kids to prestigious colleges, they would be so “rolling in it.”

Funny they didn’t think of that then, but maybe their new “transparency” on the issue is just the first salvo in such a campaign, finding that the old levers aren’t as effective as they once were.

September 13, 2021

Collective Unconscious . . . or Collected Unconscious?

The philosopher/psychiatrist Carl Jung’s contribution to the “transcendental” aspects of out lives was the “discovery” of the collective unconscious.

What exactly this is is often dependent on who is describing it. One author describes it thusly: “This layer contains the accumulated historical, collective experiences of humanity. It is … the psychology of the instincts of humanity.” When asked what the contents of this collective aspect of the mind are his answer was that they “relate to the common experiences of humanity. They are the mental component of the instincts.”

Uh, okay.

It seems impossible to write about the contents of Jung’s collective unconscious without once mentioning the word archetypes. This word literally means “original types,” and is therefore considered to mean “some kind of plan which organizes causal factors, operating from a metaphysical dimension of the collective unconscious, shaping life at the material level.”

This was considered by many to be Jung’s most significant contribution to the understanding of the unconscious psyche. (I love the fact that the word psyche stems from a word meaning “breath,” likely derived from the “breath of life.” It has also been equated with the word soul, which I find ironic in that therefore a soul is just hot air.)

The reason I labeled Jung as a philosopher/psychiatrist is that he seems to be desirous of resurrection Plato’s forms, including a quasi-transcendent realm in which they exist.

The existence of “unconscious minds” is accepted today with little quarrel. It encompasses all of the mental activities, mental skills, and what have you, that we are unaware of as they operate. The use of “brain scanners” (fMRI, etc.) has brought us the first real data we can use to study these activities. For example, we now know that imagining an image utilizes the same brain regions as seeing an actual image, even when we are dreaming.

But imparting special powers to these “realms” is not at all supported. So, cataloging things that our unconscious minds can do may find that we share certain abilities in common, after all we are using the same hardware, does not imply any connectivity at all. There is a great deal unaccounted for when children are trained first by their parents and then by their teachers. And, of course, people take Jung’s work run off making claims such as “we are all connected,” or “we are all one,” and even “the universe is conscious and we are just motes in that consciousness.”

I would be shocked to not find commonalities in our unconscious mental abilities. And we can collect this information but does that imply a “collective” unconscious? I think not. In Jung’s time he did not have the tools we have now and we may yet discover such a thing, but it will hinge, I am sure, on what mechanism allows one unconscious mind to connect to others to make a collective possible.

I think such conclusions are hugely premature, driven by a strange to me desire on the part of many fellow humans that there be a “transcendent realm,” or collection of things that transcend reality. I can’t think of anything more steeped in superstition and con artistry. The ideas of heavens and hells, after lives of various other sorts, fairy realms, etc. The idea of a “life after life” couldn’t be more contradictory. The idea of reincarnation is also rife with transcendent tomfoolery. Where are souls stored before they are recycled? What the heck is a soul? Who operates the machinery? etc. (As a teacher, I found reincarnation very attractive in that if you didn’t learn your lessons, you had to repeat a grade, or grades(!), until you did!)

The idea of something, anything, transcending reality is so potent an idea that it takes collected unconscious abilities and elides them over to collective unconscious abilities, almost whether that makes any sense at all.

If Jung hadn’t have done it, casual readers surely would.

If these people had a theme song, I suspect it would be this:

Is That All There Is?
I remember when I was a little girl, our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
In his arms and raced through the
Burning building out on the pavement

And I stood there shivering in my pajamas
And watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself
Is that all there is to a fire?

Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

And when I was twelve years old
My daddy took me to the circus, the greatest show on Earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads

And as I sat there watching
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over I said to myself
Is that all there is to the circus?

Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

And then I fell in love
With the most wonderful boy in the world
We’d take long walks by the river or
Just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
And when I didn’t I said to myself
Is that all there is to love?

Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep

I know what you must be saying to yourselves
If that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me, I’m not ready for that final disappointment
Because I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
That when that final moment comes and I’m
Breathing my last breath, I’ll be saying to myself

Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Leiber Jerry / Stoller Mike

September 6, 2021

God is Punishing Oklahomans

Filed under: Culture,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

An Oklahoma doctor has said overdoses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, which many believe without evidence can prevent or cure Covid-19, are helping cause delays and problems for rural hospitals and ambulance services struggling to cope with the resurgent pandemic.

“There’s a reason you have to have a doctor to get a prescription for this stuff, because it can be dangerous,” Dr Jason McElyea, a family doctor in Sallisaw, told KFOR, an Oklahoma TV station.

“The [emergency rooms] are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated.

“Ambulances are stuck at the hospital waiting for a bed to open so they can take the patient in and they don’t have any, that’s it. If there’s no ambulance to take the call, there’s no ambulance to come to the call.”

Clearly Jesus is telling the Oklahomans that they are on the wrong track and need to get back to righteous respect for those who know things they do not (none of whom work for Fox News).

August 29, 2021

Learning from Others

I just learned that little Costa Rica has handled the COVID-19 pandemic very much better than we have here in the U.S. How is this? Costa Rica made a commitment to public health and through various initiatives has created the situation that Costa Ricans have a longer life expectancy that do Americans.

Costa Rica also had the uncommon sense to add a fourth branch of government to the one they modeled after ours. This branch, which is non-partisan, runs all of the elections. They schedule debates, set the rules, etc. No gerrymandering in Costa Rica.

But we don’t learn from good example or bad examples, because they are from other countries (Others, shoot them, shoot!) and they are trumped by American Exceptionalism. (We’re #1, we’re #1!)

We are also being dumb and lame when it comes to public policy. That is not by accident. Those who have gotten fat off of the current system do not want any competition, nor do they want any opposition, so more liberal voting laws? Nah. More sensible public health policies? No way! Honest elections! No chance, it will put too many party employees out of work.

A Stroke of Genius

Filed under: Culture — Steve Ruis @ 10:33 am

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says 'Andrew Thaler @DrAndrewThaler In retrospect, hiding all the microchips in Horse Dewormer was a stroke of genius,. 11:35 AM Aug 26, 2021 TweetDeck'

August 26, 2021

e-motion 2.0—a Documentary Review

Filed under: Culture,Entertainment,Reason,Science — Steve Ruis @ 11:14 am
Tags: , ,

Jumping the Tracks and the Shark at the Same Time

I took two running starts at this documentary but neither time could I make it even one quarter of the way through. I was washed out on a wave of woo each time.

The film begins easily enough by making a few claims, through quotes, such as “The subconscious mind determines everything about us.” Well, no it doesn’t, but it is very close.

They then went on to state that “emotions control the subconscious mind” and again, no they don’t but they do impact it substantially.

Next they made the completely wild claim that “at the root of every illness is suppressed emotion.” So, their thinking is starting to be exposed: emotions control the subconscious mind combined with the subconscious mind determines everything about us (my emphasis), and they create a direct link between emotions and everything about us, including illnesses. Now, there are some truths involved here but they are extrapolated so far as to make them disconnected.

I am, for example, convinced that imagination is our super power; it is what makes us distinct from every other species. And it is not that other species do not imagine (I don’t know but suspect that some do), but we took that sucker and ran with it. And one thing we can do is imagine a stressful situation so vividly that we can get a bodily stress reaction from it. And that, if repeated a great deal, will lead to an illness. So, memories and emotion can lead to illness.

In the sport I coach, archery, we claim that our subconscious mind cannot distinguish between reality and a vivid imagining. (This is based in science. It seems that instead of interacting with “reality,” whatever that is, directly we create a simulacrum of reality in our mind and interact with that. So, imagination and reality are not at all distinct in our minds.) Where this comes into play in archery is that archers are taught to vividly imagine a perfect shot from their personal viewpoint, just before raising their bows to make each shot. I am of the opinion that this “visualization” is a set of instructions to our subconscious mind, which controls all of our physical movements, to “make it so.” All motion of our bodies, not just archery shots, is controlled subconsciously. You know this from whenever you had no training in some physical activity and had to do it consciously: driving a car, riding a bike, tying your shoes, etc. How’d that go? Clumsy, eh? We all are. We have to train our subconscious minds and then we can turn it over to them to do it effortlessly.

So, our subconscious minds control a great deal of our lives, but “everything”? (Otherwise, how do we train our subconscious minds to do things like tie our shoes?) That’s quite a stretch at best. And we still don’t know what a “mind” is, but most psychologists think we have a stack: we have our conscious minds, then our subconscious minds, then our unconscious minds, and at the bottom, our autonomic processes (heartbeat, gland secretions, etc.). Each “layer” is intermixed with the one’s next to it. Some think that the “subconscious mind” is really just an expanded mode of conscious mixed with unconscious mental activities and it is not really a separate thing. 9In archery discussions I use subconscious and unconscious interchangeably because the finer points are not needed for archery.) The mixing of “minds” (No, Spock, not now!) is evident from experiments in which the subjects exhibited mental control over things like their heart rate, blood pressure, and other “autonomic” things.

So, we don’t know exactly what a mind is, and there seem to be multiple minds with somewhat separate functions or abilities. For example, archers are taught to moderate their emotions because they do affect our subconscious behavior and archery shots are largely subconscious events. Get overly emotional and your shooting becomes erratic.

But, going from “some diseases” are caused by subconscious emotions to “all diseases” are caused by emotions, requires a bridge too far. We became much more proficient in fighting diseases when we discovered the germ theory of disease, that there are microorganisms, including viruses, that cause disease. (In the Age of COVID, does anyone argue against this any more?) So, are disease organisms manifestations of repressed memories?

Also, they jumped to “suppressed emotions” from “emotions.” They claimed that “good emotions” are expressed while “bad emotions” are suppressed. And the bad emotions build up over time and . . . disease. WTF? We obviously have memories of emotional events. Evolution has decided that there is something to learn from emotional events (like to avoid being eaten by the tiger, I don’t have to outrun it, just out run the others in my group) and those memories last longer than mundane memories.

And, we are just now starting to learn how memories are stored. If you thought little video stories are storied in this or that place in your brain, well, you guessed wrong. Memories are dissected. The visual parts are stored in the visual cortex, the audio parts, are stored elsewhere, as are the tactile parts, etc. The locations in the brain that possess the ability to process specific kinds of information are where those kinds of information are stored. When a memory is triggered, all the parts get reassembled (well, usually all of the parts do, but not always) lickety-split. The more often a memory is triggered, the easier it is to recall. So people who chew on events of the past find it oh so easy to pull up the memories of the things they cannot resist. Those who do not dwell on the past find it harder and harder to come up with those recalls.

None of these things were discussed, at least in as far as I got. The second try I stopped at the comment “Ninety percent of our energy is used to suppress energies from our past.” WTF?

I did get past the obligatory mention of vibrational energies and how they are linked to various parts of the body. Vibrational energies were the vogue in the woo-woo crowd of 100 years ago as the wave nature of light and whatnot were in open discussion because of all of the excitement surrounding Einstein and his posse of physicists. No mention of how these vibrational energies operate other than through resonance and the kind of energy is never mentioned, just “energy.”

So, as I said, a tidal wave of woo washed me out.

If anyone gets to the end I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this . . . whatever it is.

Oh, btw, we do not yet know what an emotion is. One of the most promising theories is that these things are learned!

August 25, 2021

Raising Questions

I am reading Diarmaid MacColloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years and am enjoying the read, but as always I tend to take a step back.

The author is treating this monumental history as if the scriptures that have survived until now are actually histories. He doesn’t swallow them hook, line, and sinker, but the main threads are just assumed to be true. He does offer some fascinating tidbits along the way, however. I am going to do a full review after I finish it but last night I read this:

We have to remember that the vast majority of early Christian texts have perished, and despite many new archaeological finds, there is a bias among those that survived towards texts which later forms of Christianity found acceptable. One expert on the period has recently estimated that around 85 per cent of second-century Christian texts of which existing sources make mention have gone missing, and that total itself can only represent a fraction of what there once was. The documents which do survive conspire to hide their rooting in historic contexts; this makes them a gift to biblical literalists, who care little for history.” (p. 112)

Of course, I also viewed the documentary Contradiction recently, so there are several threads of questions that pop up to me.

From the documentary, it is emphasized that to many Christians “Jesus’s blood ‘washed away their sins’” and that to gain entrance to heaven you have to “accept Jesus as your Lord and master” or “accept Jesus into your heart . . .” not your brain, your heart.

This entire house of cards has a very weak foundation. The first is “original sin,” which is apparently due to Adam and Eve’s “rebellion” against Yahweh. As a consequence, every human being born thereafter has been born a sinner, which means they will be consigned to Hell unless they get help. Why is it that tiny babies born thousands of years after an event are being made to pay for the event is not explained, but it sure does support the power of a religion which claims to have a “cure” for that “disease.”

So, the mystery of original sin needs a better explanation that it being a “curse.” Do you believe in curses? No? Well, you can’t be a Christian then. Plus, it would be nice to have an explanation as to how this “sin” is transmitted. (Is it genetic? Is it just magic?)

Next, Jesus’s sacrifice. The stories do make it seem as if Jesus was hell-bent to get hung out to dry in Jerusalem. He is portrayed as having foreknowledge of the event and went anyway. Then he provides provocation to both the Temple elites and the Romans. Maybe this chapter in the gospels should be titled “Death Wish 0,” without Charles Bronson . . . see how it all began! Now playing.

A step back: Why do the Romans come off so well in the gospels and Acts? Did they not nail up Jesus, kill him for claiming to be the King of the Jews and thus an insurrectionist? Maybe they were being rewarded for executing their part of God’s plan.

Another step back: Why were the Pharisee’s so vilified in the gospels? When the Jews revolted in 68 CE, the insurrectionists did as one of their first acts was to do away with the Sadducee Temple elites. They were the collaborators with Rome, not the Pharisees.

Okay, so “the blood of Christ” . . . not so effective against COVID-19 but supposedly removed the sins of all believers. How does that work, exactly? How does the blood of one man-god being spilt remove the sins from an entire people? Now the people who were making this claim were also making the claim that burning parts of the animals sacrificed in the Temple was their practice because their god reveled in the sweet, sweet smell of the smoke (barbecue?). But if God were in Heaven, and Heaven was closer to the orbit of the Moon than to Earth, how did the smoke get there, through the vacuum of interplanetary space? (I have already written that the godly power of omnipresence is not only impossible but also unnecessary in that such a god doesn’t need to be anywhere to do anything. He already knows all and has seen all and can do all, so eavesdropping isn’t necessary.)

So, the mechanism by which the blood of the Christ forgives sins is a mystery, but it is also a conditional mystery. In other words, it doesn’t work unless you believe something (that Jesus is fit to rule and run your life). And how does that work? This is another form of curse, one that works backwards. And, not surprisingly, one that provides power to the various religious sects.

I have mentioned before that the story we have been given is full of holes. For example, Jesus walks around Jerusalem for 40 days after his resurrection, and the Romans don’t get wind of it, even though Jesus apparently is drawing large crowds.

Can a god die and resurrect itself? Where’d He go for the two days he supposedly was dead? If his “soul” stuck with his body, could he have fooled the people washing his corpse for burial into believing he was dead? Did his soul hang out in Hell? (“Always wanted to see this place. That lake is amazing, but it is pretty noisy, what with all of the screaming.”) Did it float above the city, taking in all of the events? What does dying mean for such a being?

All of this blood magic in the Bible, and it is blood magic (menstrual blood can make you unclean, don’t you know), makes it sound like a fantasy thriller. Does anyone today believe in blood magic? No? If you don’t you can’t be a Christian.

Maybe that is a task I will take on some day, making a list of all of the things one must believe to be a Christian of one stripe or another that are at their very best mysterious and worst, hokum.

Why? Enquiring minds want to know, that’s why.

August 24, 2021

Contradiction—A Review

Filed under: Culture,History,Race,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:20 pm

Contradiction is a 2015 documentary available on Amazon Prime. The subtitle is “A Question of Faith” with the primary question being this: there are more black churches serving the black community than any other community claims and the observation made was the poorer the community, the greater the number of churches. Is one the cause and the other the effect and which way? The documentarian seemed to believe that the effort supporting such a large number of churches is at least a drain on their community’s resources that would be better invested in helping people out of poverty and drug addiction, etc.

I am recommending this documentary to you because while it relates to the black churches of the U.S., the same questions need to be asked of all of the other churches.

My position is simple: civilization was created by a small group of people, the elites, coercing labor from the masses to support the interests of the elites. If the elites are not going to be working the fields and what not, somebody has to replace that labor. Apparently the number of volunteers willing to do extra work to take up the slack weren’t enough to make up for the labor lost, so large scale slavery started up when civilization did.

Plus, if slaves or unwilling “citizens” were to be forced to do this labor, guards would be needed, which swelled the ranks of the “elites” (those not growing food and supplying shelter, etc. but instead providing governance, art, music, etc. largely only for the elites but it was what it was and is what it is) which only increased the demand for coerced labor.

Also, if there were religious as well as secular elites, they soon realized that they were both better off supporting one another than contesting for elite status, so religion became the tool of coercing the labor. (They were sometimes all-in-one priest-kings, or separate “rulers” with one subordinate to the other, but they always were working together in their coercion, no matter how they fought among themselves.)

This was reinforced by the history of American slaves who were forcibly converted to Christianity and the preachers of black churches were given points to reinforce, the primary one was the “pie in the sky” promise, that their reward would come after they died. (The others being “slaves, obey your masters,” and, well you know.

It is hard to conceive of why black people are so loyal to their churches and to the baby Jesus. If I trace my ancestors back in this country, on both my father’s and mother’s sides, I find Christians all of the way back. But if African-Americans were to do the same, I would guess the number of their ancestors who arrived in this country as slaves who were also Christians, would be <1%. Their native religions were stripped from them and Christianity, a very limited Christianity (no Jesus tearing up the temple courtyard in their sermons), was forced upon them (with beatings, etc.) by “their masters.” Then to hear so many black women say that the most important thing in their life was “accepting Jesus as their Lord and Master” was shocking, very shocking.

This is quite worth watching, highly recommended.

August 22, 2021

Make Earth Sacred Again

Note—It is Sunday Sermon Time again, boys and girls! S

The title above is a proposed solution to greedy capitalists processing everything we need to live into profits. The Medium.com post was “Make Earth Sacred Again” with the subtitle “Reverence for Nature could stop Big Money’s destroying the world.” (Note I wish these people would stop saying “destroying the world/planet.” It is us they are destroying, not the world. The world will still be spinning on this same path long after humans are all dead.)

I have to assume that some sort of Native American religion is going to be involved in such an effort, because the dominant religions in the U.S. today don’t seem to possess this attribute.

Devout Christians often do say foolish things like this, “the Earth is sacred; we have the stewardship of the entire planet on our shoulders” and, my favorite “life is sacred.” (No, it is not.)

First “life is sacred.” Really? Says who? Certainly not the God of the Bible, responsible for killing millions upon millions of humans and at one point 99.99999+% of the plants and animals in the entire world.

To show you how far we have come from our hunter-gatherer roots as a family or at most a small tribe (<100 humans), consider this: is your life sacred? Sure. How about your spouse and children, your immediate family? Yeah, right on! How about your neighbors on your block? Well, kind of, I guess. How about all God-fearing Americans? Yeah, damned straight. How about Canadians? Well, I guess? How about Mexicans? Hell, no! The Taliban? The Chinese?

Basically, the farther a person gets from being a part of your family, by being adopted or born into, the less sacred their lives seem, no? So, since our hunting and gathering phases, we have changed not at all in this, other than in the capacity to know that other people exist quite a few kilometers away (and farther away). They are still “others” and are categorized as such, and they are not on the same level as you and your family. Moving back to the “Make Nature Sacred Again” bit . . . was it ever sacred? Certainly not to any of the imported Americans. One could argue that many native Americans had a concept like this but that also might just be a way of expressing what they knew to be pragmatic: take care of your environment and it will take care of you.

In my native state of California, archeologists dug up immense mounds of mollusk shells near the S.F. Bay. What they finally concluded was that a tribe of Native Californians would move to the area and eat everything in sight and then would move to another location to do the same there. While they were gone, the oyster beds and mussel beds recovered so that when they came back years later they could do it all over again, and being pragmatic, they always discarded the shells in the same place, which grew to the size of small hills. Not exactly careful husbanding of nature, but not totally destructive, either.

In the New England states, the Native New Englanders were careful to husband their crops. They would burn off the weeds and shrubs in controlled burns which encouraged grass and trees to grow and deer and other game to congregate to eat their produce. The Native Americans and the deer and whatnot ate a lot of mast, nuts from the trees, and whatever grew in the layer at the base of the tree (mushrooms, etc.). By being careful, they could make it through even a harsh winter, by losing a few pounds before things harvestable started to grow again and deer and other game came looking for the grasses and mast they could gorge upon in their hunting grounds.

Then came the “new” Englanders. Told that the streets were “paved with gold,” usually in the form of being able to hunt deer and moose out your back door, and harvest nuts and wild fruits a short walk away, more than a few “Christians” set up lodgings there. They didn’t do controlled burns and objected when the natives did. They over hunted, over fished, and over harvested and, within just a year or two, the entire regional system collapsed.

And the reason they did this is they believed their fucking God “would provide.”

The Native Americans new that the land was to be taken care of if they wanted it to take care of them. They thanked their prey when they shot a deer and used every tiny bit of it to honor the sacrifice of that animal. The Anglos, on the other hand, slaughtered millions of bison to provide lap robes for rich English people.

This solution to our existential problem will not work because the concept of sacred doesn’t exist in the American mind, especially the Christian mind. And there is no vehicle, that is no religion, that enough people subscribe to that can implement that concept. And, even if there were, the fucking greedy capitalists would allow it free rein, as it would hurt their bottom lines. They would mobilize the Evangelicals against the “pagan religions” that could save our asses and that, would be the end of that.

Whatever happened to the inventive capitalists who looked to the future and anticipating change, embraced it to make new profits. Today’s capitalists have no creativity, no imagination, and are sitting where they are like the buggy whip manufacturers when automobiles began to take over, wringing their hands and using their fortunes to prevent anything from changing. They, like the buggy whip makers before them, will have no luck in those endeavors. The future belongs to the prepared.

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