Casualties of War

Every war has casualties.  It is certainly one reason we should avoid them.  People are wounded maimed and killed.  Beyond that, there is usually a great deal of damage.  After WWII, there was a lot of rebuilding that had to be done, on both sides.  London certainly had its share of damage.  Two or three cities in Germany were leveled by bombing.  Then, of course there was Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The two cities were virtually rubble after the atomic bombs were dropped on them.

I am not writing to say anything pro or con on using the bomb, though I do believe it the proper decision.  There was a decision by the Japanese Emperor to gain control over the Pacific and it was decided by Hitler to gain control over Europe.  It is how the war started.  It is indisputable.  Had we not defended ourselves, we in this country would be speaking either Japanese or German, possibly both.  Our country might have been split down the middle.

Almost immediately after WWII came to an end, another war started, the so-called Cold War.  It was called The Cold War because the enemies did not attack each other.  Instead, we just threatened each other.  To be sure, there were some hot spots in The Cold War.  People died in Korea.  Who truly knows how many died in Vietnam and the surrounding countries?  Lives were lost in Poland and Hungary.  Others were imprisoned.  Though the Soviets did their fighting from behind surrogates, the motives were the same as the leaders of Japan and Germany, world dominance.

The Soviets went after Europe and China went after the Pacific.  They each had a doctrine in hand promising world peace, of course, under their control.  They promised a world where there would be no rich and no poor.  The phrase they liked to use was “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.”  Oddly, there have been a number of people who attributed the saying to the Bible.  It’s not there.  I know.  I have read the Bible cover to cover many times.

I guess I am getting off subject a little.  After all, my subject is supposed to be the casualties of war.  …and for a cold war, there were many casualties.  Perhaps the biggest casualty is FREEDOM.  The commies took over China, for the good of the people.  I don’t see much freedom in China, though the commies have had control in China almost since WWII.  As for equality, there isn’t much of that.  Well, let’s put it this way.  The leaders have more equality than everyone else.  The same might be said about the Soviets.  While the USSR might have fallen, it’s still the same leadership and their goals are the same.  Not much freedom in Russia either, no matter what the country is called.

As for the commies, they are still very active.  To be sure, the US suffered many casualties, that is, besides those that fell on the battlefield.  The fact is that the communists have taken over our colleges, our news media (almost completely), Hollywood (entertainment), as well as several other institutions.  They have infiltrated our government and our legal system.  If we don’t have 4 judges on The Supreme Court that aren’t communists, they are close to it.  They certainly enforce communist ideas, including atheism.  The lower courts are full of such judges too.  More important, had President Trump not won the last election, it would be five commies instead of four.  …and, by the way, they have even infiltrated the churches.  Those churches that refuse to accept communist ideas are pressed to make inappropriate changes to their Christian doctrines, regardless of what is taught in the Bible.

It is all being sold under the guise of being politically correct, same as communist.  If you truly know the communist doctrines and you compare the two, you will have to agree with me.  Moreover, it is the purpose of the communist to divide in order to takeover.  If you think it over, you will realize it is also the purpose of the democrats.

As I look over the country as it is today, I wonder if it is too late to stop the communists.  Each day I see control of another small aspect of our country taken from us.  For a while, I thought maybe President Trump will be able to pull us out, but now I don’t know.  He is being assaulted from every direction.  I don’t know how much longer he will be able to stand up to them, when even the RINOs refuse to support him.

The fact is that if we don’t stop the communists, the country will degrade to examples of Mexico or Russia… or China.  Is that really what we want?  Do we really want a nation that pollutes the air like China?  Do we want a nation with the freedoms of Russia?  Is it really such a good idea to starve as those who live in communist countries?

The Democrats like to use a term, compromise.  I have a different name for it, giving up land.  Each time there is a compromise, we give up a little land.  After a while, we don’t have any land left.  …or anything else for that matter.

I’m 70.  I won’t live here much longer.  It won’t be my problem.  If you ignore the commies, it will be yours.

About Electric Cars

I published a post on electric cars a few years ago.  Since then, they have made a few improvements.  I saw on TV where a man was going to make a car where the batteries could be recharged in five minutes.  I would be satisfied with thirty minutes.  On long distance trips, it would allow me to eat while my car was being charged.

I really do like the concept of electric cars.  I saw a Tesla the other day.  It was very impressive.  It never made a noise and it had an impressive appearance.  Still, I wonder how the driver stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Here in the Memphis it does get above the century mark in the summer and well below freezing in the winter.  The thing is, gasoline motors generate heat.  In the winter, we take advantage of that.  For cooling, the A/C compressor is driven by the engine.  Would someone like to tell me how the Tesla does it.  I can’t imagine such an expensive car existing without heat and air.

Regardless, there are still some problems, ignoring the creature features.  If, suddenly, everyone was to go out and get an electric car, our electric grid would likely be taxed beyond its limits.

Speaking of tax, we who drive gas cars pay a road tax.  It varies from state to state, but it helps to pay for our roads.  Those that drive Tesla autos get to use the highways for free.  I don’t know.  It might also apply to the battery powered trucks.  Eventually, the governments at all levels aren’t going to like that.  When and if electric vehicles become numerous enough, they will figure out a way to collect taxes on the vehicles.  There are a number of ways to do it and I would suspect there are a few that are already considering it.

So.  Whatever you are paying to run your car now, you might want to figure that you will likely pay a little bit more.  Let’s figure out what a fair amount would be.  Nowadays, I use about one gallon of gas for every 28 miles, more-or-less.  I guess, for that gallon, I pay about 25 cents.  (I remember paying 25 cents a gallon, gas and taxes.  Things sure have improved.)

At any rate, that means that those driving a Tesla should pay a little less than a penny a mile.  Maybe that would mean a meter placed in each car by law.  Maybe the driver would pay in advance as the rest of us do.  On the other hand, he might pay as with any other utility.  Once a month, the odometer is read and the driver pays based on his mileage.

It could also be done electrically over the internet.  The car would send a signal to the billing authority and a credit card would be billed.  I’m sure people smarter than I am have considered it.

I have no idea how it will be done, but those of you driving electric cars might as well get used to it.  You will start paying road taxes too.

Then, there’s those pesky batteries.  They just don’t last forever.  Occasionally, they will have to be replaced.  I have no earthly idea how much that will cost, but when I look at the cost of replacing my laptop battery, I get the feeling that they don’t just give the things away.

Maybe, sometime in the next few decades, we will all drive electric cars.  I hope so.  As I said, I do like electric cars.  I just don’t know if I would like paying for them.  Besides, I really like my A/C and heater.

A Few Words About Self-Driving Cars

I am sure there is much to be said about this subject, but let me start with the obvious.  I would suspect there are hundreds, maybe thousands of lawyers that are salivating at the prospect of taking some big company to court over an accident piloted by a computer.

First, there is the possibility of suing the car manufacturer.  Then they might sue the company that built the computer, or one of the sensors.  Then there is the software company or person who wrote the programming of the computer.  Then again, why discriminate.  They can sue all of them and let the jurors sort it out.

Each time they level a lawsuit, it means 40% of something they would be able to put in their pocket.  My guess is, few if any of the suits would go to court.  The defendants would not want to set any kind of precedent, so they would likely settle out of court.  They would admit no guilt and the plaintiffs would agree to drop the suit.

It would mean, after an accident, the lawyer would raise his hand and say “Suit,” and the defendants would ask how much.  Then, the nation would have two more instant millionaires,  The lawyer and his client.

Then again, I’m not sure.  It might be four more millionaires.  It is entirely plausible that the parties from both cars might sue to to get a piece of the pie.  On the other hand, what if there are more than two cars involved.  The little glitch in the software just might cause a ten car pileup.  I don’t want to even think about that.

The point is, the lawsuits are no longer limited to the tens of thousands of dollars that an individual driver can cough up.  We are talking megabucks now, millions of dollars over what we now call a fender-bender.  Every dent is a possible lawsuit.

It is all ironic.  Eventually, the driver-less cars will be safer than those driven by humans.  It is quite possible that the computer just might reduce crashes and deaths on the highway.  The computers, after all, have three advantages over humans.

Computers are not distracted.  That little instant that a man takes his eyes off the road to look at that barely dressed woman will no longer be a problem.  That misbehaving child in the back seat will not keep you from seeing that car pull out in front of you.  Moreover, should you nod off from staring at that endless ribbon of highway, it’s no problem.  The robot has it all in control.

It takes us humans about 1/4 of a second to react to an emergency.  From the time we see some child dart out in front of us to the time we put our foot on the brake, it takes at least two tenths of a second.  On the other hand, the computer would apply the brake in millionths of a second.  Even at thirty miles an hour, a car can travel quite a distance in a quarter of a second.

It has often been asked, what if the computer fails.  What if a component goes bad.  Today’s computers are incredibly reliable and will likely become far more reliable in the future.  On the other hand, we humans can and do fail from time to time.  I have known of many accidents that were the result of someone pressing on the throttle instead of the brake.  Then too, there are a few of us that are old.  If a heart goes out while we are driving, it can cause people to die… besides the heart attack victim.  Besides, even young people can have heart attacks, or black out from other ailments.

In the long run, computers will be far more reliable, though I would still be hesitant to put my life in the hands of one.

However, until something is done with the legal aspects, autonomous cars will continue to be the exception rather than the rule.  It means that women will not be able to put their makeup on at seventy mph and men will have to ignore that good-looking woman walking by.  As usual, it will be the lawyers that will impede the progress.  Even when it makes the roads safer, the driver-less cars are going to have to wait.  There is no way that our legal system will be able to handle it.  Our courts will be so backed up that they won’t be able to deal with the less important things… such as rape, robbery and murder.

Besides the legal problems, there are the recalls.  One accident, and it would likely result in the recall of millions of autos.  Talk about a nightmare.

Then again, there is one thing that I am really looking forward to… keeping all those alcoholics from driving.  That in itself would save uncountable lives, pain and suffering.  The problem is, as long as lawyers make the laws, driver-less autos will remain quite rare.

The Big Hoax

I purchased a new laptop Sunday. After getting home, I began setting it up. Almost immediately, I was notified that it needed to be updated. Approximately two hours later, it downloaded the updates, checked them and started applying them. It was about 85% done when, inadvertently, I pressed the power button and the system powered down.
Honest, I didn’t mean to. It’s kind of the problem with computers. They don’t know if something is intentional or not. I waited a while, and then pressed the button again. The computer started, but not properly. It was about then that I wished I was working with my first computer. It was running on DOS 6.1 and Windows 3.1.
I used to reformat my drive and reload everything once a month. It took a little more than any an hour… and I was working with 3.5 inch floppies. If I didn’t have the latest version of software, it was of little concern.
Of course, I had to start all over with my new laptop. Actually, it was worse than that. Before I could start over, I had to restore the computer to the point it was when it was new. That took about an hour.
When the updates were done, HP decided it needed to update my bios and drivers, so I got busy on that, close to another hour. Then, as per the suggestion of HP, I created a backup copy of my system. By the way, they said I needed a minimum of a 16 GB thumb drive.
Again I wished for the good old days. My hard drive was 40 MB. It meant that the restore volume was more than 32 times bigger than the drive I was running my old system on. Fortunately, there is plenty of room on my new system drive… one TB. I’m not sure how long that will last. I am sure in a decade or two, I might need ten TB. I’m 70 years-of-age now. I likely won’t be around in a decade.
As I sat there watching my system generate the recovery volume, I pondered what all I have gained with my new system. Let’s see. I can now interface with many USB devices. My first system could only directly access 1MB if memory, actually, there was a limit of 640 KB, but there was something of a workaround.
The old system was limited to 8 bits, though my processor was able to run at 16 bits. As mentioned, I can store 1 terabyte. For all practical purposes, it is limitless. My DOS could only access a volume of 32 MB. The rest of the 40 MB had to be formatted as a separate logical volume.
Other than that, there really isn’t that much that I can do with the modern system that I wasn’t able to do with the old one. The fact is… if Windows 98 wasn’t so unstable, I would much rather use it as the new system, even with its limits. The biggest disadvantage of the new system is that the new system keeps trying to take control of my computer. Some might like that, I don’t.
However, there are other real disadvantages of the new system. I would like to format my system disk once a month, or at least every three months. With the current system, that is not practical. It might not even be possible.
As a computer professional, I learned one of the most important things a person should do with a computer is to perform backups on a regular basis. It would appear that Microsoft has gone out of their way to make this difficult if not impossible. At best, I can back up my data. Because of their registry files, backing up individual applications is not possible. This is especially important considering many programs are purchased on line.
(I paid quite a bit for one program. When I went from Windows seven to Windows 10, the program disappeared. It is gone. If I want it again, I will have to again pay for it.)
Maybe one of the most aggravating things with the new systems is that I can no longer write programs in Visual Basic 6. I can write in the newer versions but it is next to impossible to interface to the printers with the later versions of VB. (Even the Pros say as much.) I never wrote anything professionally, but I did write many programs for my personal use. By the way, they don’t work now either. In fact, when I went to Windows 7, I had to give up all my old software. I had to start all over.
I foresee, a big opportunity for the right person. If a person releases a Windows 3.1 look-alike, I will be one of the first in line to buy a copy. Anyone with an once of common sense would join me. We have gone from a system that helps us to a system that needs constant attention. Then too, we are always susceptible to all different kinds of malware. A windows 3.1 type system would not be subject to such things. …and, by the way, I could regain control of my system.
I might have to give up a few bells and whistles. Then again, I survived them before Microsoft took over my system. I think I could survive quite nicely without it all again.
As near as I can tell, it is a big hoax. They claim we need the bigger faster computers to run the software. On the other hand, we need the latest and greatest software to take advantage of the computer’s abilities. In the end, we have gained very little, other than, perhaps a headache.
All together, before I was able to use my new computer, I spent about 30 hours on updates and such. I certainly don’t want to go through this again. Maybe next time, I’ll just get one of those other little Chrome books. From what I understand, the things work right out of the box.
To me, the new systems are one of the greatest hoaxes of the modern era. Sitting, waiting on my new system was all it took to convince me of it. Apparently, I stand alone and I don’t think Microsoft is listening to me.
Well, I now have a spare system. I think I will use it to try out that other operating system, you know, the one that is free, Linux. I’ve kind of wondered about it anyway. Who knows, I might like it enough to replace Windows 10 on my new system and sat good bye to the Microsoft hoax.

Unbelievable Stories of the Bible

I am now 70 years of age. I find that difficult to believe, until my hip starts acting up or whenever my angina reminds me of my little heart attack. Mostly, I can’t complain. In fact, if I were born a few years earlier, I would not likely have survived the Pneumonia I had when I was three. They would not have had the penicillin and I almost died even with the wonder drug.

At any rate, over the years I have heard my share of unbelief about stories of the Bible. Maybe the one story that most people bring up is the story about Jonah and the whale. (Not that it is that important, but it was a large fish, not a whale.) Actually, if you’ll excuse the pun, I have no problems swallowing that. If God can build the Universe, I imagine He could build a whole school of big fish if He had a mind to.

Actually, I believe all the stories in the Bible, from cover to cover. However, the one I have the most confusion with is the story of Sampson. Really, the man didn’t seem to have a brain in his head. Not only did he not foresee the possibility of Delilah telling her friends, he saw it at least twice and still trusted her. I’m not going to doubt the Word of God, but it still causes me to pause to think what kind of man Sampson was.

Regardless, I have heard them all, reasons for not believing the Bible. Did you know that God caused the earth to stop spinning for a day. It’s true. He can do that. It is even more difficult than you might realize. Can you imagine the sun heating the same side of the earth for 24 hours. Yet God seemed to resolve that problem too. I don’t know how he did that. Maybe he will tell me one day. Right now, I’m not going to concern myself with it.

My point is this, if you don’t want to believe in God, you will always be able to find a reason. Satan has provided you with more than a hand full of excuses. Indeed, I have been mocked for believing the Bible. Many have been mocked far more than me.

Then again, I am sure that they mocked Noah. …until it started raining.
If you don’t want to believe in God, just admit it. Don’t make excuses. I’m not impressed with them. I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard about the starving people in Africa. I’ve seen horrible people live while good people die. It happens. It sure would have been nice if someone killed Hitler, yet he lived and millions died. I don’t try to explain it. I certainly didn’t let it stand in the way of my salvation.

It is, to be sure, a matter of perspective. People who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior have chosen not to believe. It is their choice. It is not based on knowledge or proof. It is, as Paul called the cross, “a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles (the rest of us). But to those who believe it is the power to become the sons (and daughters of God) ” (slightly paraphrased)

What I am trying to say is this. If you are having trouble believing the stories it is a small thing. If you reject Jesus as your savior, it is something you will regret for eternity. Let’s first get your priorities straight. If you do, you will find that the rest just falls into place. It will open your eyes and you will see things you never saw before and you will understand as you never understood before.

As Jesus said, “Unless a man be born again, he shall not see the Kingdom of God.” Obviously, it does have implications for after physical death, but it also applies to the here and now.  Those who are born again (accept Jesus as their Savior) are immediately granted limited spiritual sight.

A Suggested Amendment

I have two ideas for amendments to The Constitution.  In fact, they are so basic that I don’t know why they were left out of the original writing.  I believe in requiring all bills to be read aloud before any vote on it. Maybe an exception can be made if 3/4 of the members vote to bypass the reading.  It has two advantages.  First, all the bills would be read and the bills would be much smaller.

Second, we should require a person to be able to read and comprehend at a sixth grade level before they would be eligible to vote in any election.  It just might make a difference in the outcome of the vote, but it sure would improve our schools.

I would like to require a high school diploma, but coming up with objective national standards for diplomas would be difficult.  Besides, there might be a tendency to fudge on the grades some.

A Word in Favor of Amazon Paperbacks

When I finally figured out how to get my books on paperback, I have been busy reformatting them and getting them set up.

I must admit I was very surprised by the quality of the books.  The covers are nice and the paper is good quality, not newsprint.  The binding is almost as good as a hardcover.  As near as I can tell, with proper care the books ought to last a very long time.

So, for those that prefer reading on paper, you might want to consider ordering Amazon printed books.  I suspect that they are slightly more expensive, but the quality more than makes up for it.

I would suggest this, even if you chose to read books by some other author.  You would do well to order at least one, just to see what I mean.

Now I must get back to getting my next one ready for the press.  Of the thirty-five books I’ve written, I am not yet half done.

Just in case you would like to see the books I’ve written, just put this URL in your browser.  My books are not perfect or believable, but they are fun and maybe a little thought provoking.

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller