May 24, 2012

Good Thursday. Nice morning here, sunny with a light breeze after a mostly cloudy afternoon and evening that brought a heavy shower followed but intermittent light rain. The leaves are mostly popped and very green. The robins continue to serenade me through the night, and a pair of dueling hermit thrushes did the same for a bit the other evening. “I am the most handsome hermit thrush around! No, I am the most handsome hermit thrush around! I am a buff hermit thrush! I am a buffer hermit thrush who could whup his south end if I chose.” And on it goes, until the silent female decides which is likely to make the better father. In general, she does not select the sensitive New Age guy, but rather the hard guy in leather with the hot, high-handled bike.

We watched most of a blood-thirsty History Channel program on Bible Battles. This would be Old Testament events, naturally, in which guerilla fighters like Abraham, Moses, and Joshua slaughtered those not favored by Yahweh. When Joshua fit the battle of Jericho his men slaughtered all the survivors, men, women, and children, because it was necessary and a firm demonstration of the respect that must be paid to the one true god. Those already residing in the Promised Land were infidels, of course, so it was right to annihilate them. The program shows typical weapons of the time, including the cycle-sword that was good for chopping off heads and arms, the bow and arrow, the sling, the club, the spear, the knife, and the rock. Fighting in those days was done up close, not by drone. We finally turned it off after an hour, saving the last half hour of prayhem for later. The program features 3 or 4 PhDs explaining the battle tactics of stealth, speed, surprise, ferociousness, use of terrain and position of the sun to advantage, etc., showing you can pay a PhD to say almost anything. In some cases God sent plagues to weaken the opposing army before the battle, just as he sent Smallpox among the Native Americans of Central America when Cortes and his holy warriors invaded looking for gold. It is a great thing that God is on our side.

Oh, and about those “slaves” in Egypt that Moses led into the wilderness (a brilliant military tactic), they were really former mercenary soldiers who took to providing corvee labor to the Egyptians for pay. The pillar of light was a tray of burning embers on a pole; the pillar of smoke was a Weber with the cover on. This was common military practice back in the day. I wouldn’t show this program to your kids unless you want them to have nightmares.


Pillar of smoke

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