Charlie's Blog: December 2022


Chesterton and Shaw

The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.

G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw were friends in life. They had little in common. Chesterton would go on to become a Roman Catholic while Shaw was an atheist and a socialist. Chesterton ate meat and enjoyed the table while Shaw was a strict vegetarian. Chesterton obviously was sedentary from the size of his girth while Shaw was an avid walker and gardener and was slim. It is a useful thought exercise to compare the beliefs and lifestyles of these two men.

When it comes to worldview, I am mostly in agreement with Chesterton. I am a Roman Catholic and a conservative. When it comes to lifestyle, I am mostly in agreement with Shaw. I eat a plant based diet. I like going for walks. I have a modest garden in my backyard.

I learned a long time ago to shamelessly steal from the successful strategies and ideas of other people. I am too old to go reinventing wheels. I look at what others do now and in the past to see what works. Then, I modify those things to my particular circumstances.

Most people who eat a vegan diet tend to be atheist Marxist perverts. Most people who are Catholic and conservative eat steak and drink alcohol. They may even have a cigar with that alcohol. Consequently, I always find myself in circumstances where I am the odd one who is causing a great deal of controversy because of my diet, my religion, or my politics.

The soul is more important than the body. Shaw outlived Chesterton, but Shaw still died. On that, Chesterton made the better choice because I expect that he died in a state of grace and the friendship of Christ. I cannot say the same for Shaw. But while they were alive, I think Shaw lived a better lifestyle. We take health for granted until we no longer have it. Then, we wish we could go back in time and uneat all those cheeseburgers and fried bologna sandwiches.

I have been vegan for about the same time as I have been a Roman Catholic. Both decisions have benefited me immensely. My health is good except for my accumulated injuries. What can I say? Life has beaten me up. As for my faith, I have not yielded to the despair that plagued me in my atheist days. I know that God is in control and brings all things to His good end.

My biggest regret in life today is the one I can't do anything about. People don't listen. I see people suffering needlessly from both despair and from poor diets. Some part of me thinks that yelling very loudly at these people might change them. The rest of me knows that this is not true. The only person that I know that changes is me.

I pray for people. God can change people. But even God will not deprive someone of their freewill. That's the loophole in the grace contract. Grace requires your cooperation.

Aside from prayer, there is little else that you can do for people. They are too stupid to listen to your preaching on a matter. And your material support will go to a bad end. You can wish for the good of others except they do not wish for their own good.

Life is too short to tiptoe around in the minefields of other people's stupidity. It is enough labor to police yourself. The only strategy that I have for dealing with these people is benign indifference. I want what's good for you, but that is not up to me. That is up to you.

I don't think Chesterton or Shaw listened much to each other's advice or opinions on things. And they certainly preached at each other. And they were both right and wrong on things. The wise men learns to just listen and observe and take notes.

I tell people often that the purpose of my blog is to allow me to publish what I know while giving everyone else the opportunity to ignore it. So far, the C-Blog has achieved its purpose. I know that some fool will claim to have never known the truth, but this is a lie. People don't want the truth. They want their lies to be made true. This is why they ignore you and don't listen to you. And that is fine. Just don't use the selective memory trick where you claim that you were never told. You were told. You knew better. You had a duty to seek the truth. It's not my fault that you didn't listen.


Shortwave Radio Is Dead

If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.

In the nineties, I loved reading Paul Theroux travel books. Those books were the only way for me to experience the wider world back then. Because of those books, I had a desire to buy a folding kayak and a shortwave radio. I couldn't afford the kayak, but I was able to buy a cheap shortwave radio from RadioShack for about $30. You can buy one today from Tecsun that is almost the same as that RadioShack radio for less than $20. Despite the low cost of these radios, they are a waste of your money. This is because shortwave radio is dead.

People who listen to shortwave radio as a hobby will beg to differ with me. There are stations all over the world broadcasting on the shortwave bands. What they neglect to tell you is that those stations are worthless. The bulk of them are propaganda stations run by various governments. The rest of them are religious stations run by various Protestant groups. Finally, many of these stations broadcast in foreign languages you don't understand. The only thing you can get from listening to shortwave radio is a momentary thrill of hearing a broadcast from a far off place which is what shortwave hobbyists seem to like. Beyond that, these stations provide nothing practical or useful. Buying one of the $300 shortwave receivers is not going to change this.

I realized this all the way back in the nineties with that first shortwave radio I bought. I satisfied my curiosity over a couple of weekends until I grew bored with the thing and packed it away. That radio has since been lost, and I have never missed it. What I listened to instead was my local AM and FM stations that actually delivered things worth my listening. With a more expensive shortwave radio, I could tune in some ham radio geeks, numbers stations, and pirate radio stations. But none of this was worth the price tag of the more expensive unit.

You do not have to take my word on this. You can listen for yourself on any of the online SDRs that cover those bands. You will find most of the action on the Medium Wave band which we know better as AM radio. I am grateful for the SDRs because it allows me to listen for free. If you find things on shortwave that you like, then go ahead and get a shortwave radio. I have yet to find anything worth the price of even a cheap radio. I do not expect this to change.

Preppers feel the need to buy radios to prepare for various scenarios. Naturally, there are outfits willing to sell them radios for these needs. These radios are usually some form of shortwave radio they do not need. Shortwave radios are not readily available on the shelves of your local Walmart, so this forces preppers to buy from prepper suppliers. They buy the radio and end up listening to the same stations they could have used a Walmart AM/FM radio to get. The shortwave bands end up being a useless feature.

The best radio that I recommend is an AM/FM/WX radio. Those are the only bands you need. I listen regularly to the weather radio and stations on the AM and FM dials. At night, the AM band is alive with stations from across the country. These are stations you actually enjoy. There is music, news, sports, talk, and on and on. AM radio is still very much alive in the USA. As for FM, you are limited to local stations, but I enjoy them as well. The two FM stations in my town provide more value to me than the entire shortwave spectrum.

I post this as a warning to people to not waste their money on equipment that they will not enjoy and do not need. People who listen to shortwave radio as a hobby like to waste their money on radios. This is why shortwave listening is a hobby and not a useful activity. For the rest of us who have better things to do and buy, an AM/FM/WX radio is all you will ever need. Save your money for food and ammo.