The Zombie Apocalypse And The Walking Dead. What Would It Take To Start Over?

Between Darwin and God, bet on God.

The Zombie Apocalypse – during my 2nd Afghanistan tour, my son introduced his mother to AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Upon my return, I too received an introduction to the program.

For those who aren’t acquainted with the show, it is based on a series of graphic novels of the same name.  The story revolves around the improbable but entertaining premise of a virus infecting the entire human race which re-animates everyone’s corpse after death.  Naturally the dead need to feed on the living, thus presenting a hazard to the rest of us.

In short order, the Earth’s population is reduced by 95% with nature aggressively reclaiming the unattended infrastructure of the industrialized and digital world.

Good vs. Good.  Evil vs. Evil.

Deer are apparently safe.  So are squirrels.  And ants.  Farm animals don’t need to fear either.  The main protagonist is Rick Grimes, the former sheriff of a medium-sized town.  He and his ever changing group of companions travel, seek sanctuary, and attempt to establish a safe settlement.  They encounter roving bands and fledging settlements running the spectrum between the innocuous and the malevolent.

The Walking Dead addresses the usual philosophical and moral dilemmas, of course.  What is the best way to begin re-building?  How do we organize ourselves?  How do we set legal parameters?  What level of justice do we mete out for those who stray too far outside those parameters?  My favorite question – “At what level can we sustain ourselves?”

There’s always an elephant.

Before we get into that, let’s address what I think is the elephant in the room:  The Zombie Apocalypse is not coming.  The most realistic way by which it all crumbles tomorrow is an asteroid punching into the Earth’s crust at 45 miles per second, or a Solar Flair.  A Solar Flair would be my bet.

Solar Flare expending its energy on a trajectory that will not impact Earth.

It’s happened before.

The 1859 Solar Flair knocked out telegraph systems world-wide, throwing up a speed-bump for the fledgling telecommunications industry.  Fortunately for the Victorian-era high-tech world, the supporting infrastructure was completely analog.  Re-building was comparatively easy.

Not so much today.  Not only are the functioning kinetics of the civilized world digital, the supporting infrastructure is also digital, and completely dependent on the transfer of infinite bits of information carried on delicate filaments thiner than a strand of hair.

Rebuilding even a sense of what we depend on today would be monumental, requiring the cooperation and self-sacrifice of millions.

What very few of us think about.

Let’s take a single, obvious example.

This is my vehicle.  A 2009 Mercury Mountaineer.  You can’t make this.  Neither can I.

2009 Mercury Mountaineer

10,000 years of developed infrastructure.

This is the alternator in my Mountaineer.


This converts mechanical mechanical energy to electrical energy using a rotating magnetic field.  We can’t make this either.

Here is a schematic.

@manningthewall.comAs a homeowner of 25 years, I consider myself a fairly decent handyman.  But building one of these from raw iron?  That’s not going to happen.  Let’s dissect this even further.

This is a Hex Bolt.

Hex Bolt

Holding the world together…

Without this, the alternator would fly apart.  The Hex Bolt is part of a family of fasteners which include eye-bolts, machine screws, and carriage bolts.  Trillions of Hex Bolts, and their various relatives hold our world together.  We require hundreds of millions to be manufactured each year to build new machinery or to maintain existing machinery.  You, and I do not possess the wherewithal to make a single one.  Not a single one.  And yet civilization, both East, West, and Third world depends on these to literally hold it together.

There are perhaps a handful of men who could hand forge and thread a Hex Bolt. In a pagan society, such men take their place in the pantheon of the Gods.

I make stuff.

Why it’s necessary.

Nature reclaims the Earth pretty quickly.  Just ask the residents of Detroit.  Or Gary, Indiana.  Or any city where Democrats rule.  In fact, one of a civilization’s benchmarks is how well it keeps the natural world at bay.  Everything from weeding the front walkway to re-painting a suspicion bridge counts.

In the event of a 95% reduction in population, a great deal of industrial cannibalism is inevitable.  Those left will use the existing machinery, tools, and supplies immediately of course.  It’s the path of least resistance.  At the beginning, survivors will look at the seemingly endless inventory with some optimism.  That optimism will wane when the first rust spots appear, and then crash when the first vine creeps its way into an abandoned building.

Abandoned Building

Sure hope Books-A-Million didn’t burn down.

There may still be machine shops around that don’t run on automation, but without electricity, they won’t run period.  In order to get us past the point where we are eating dinner by the light of whale oil lamps, and get the machinery running again we are going to have to reach back.  Way back.  Past the first days of industrialization, past the beginning of interchangeable parts, to right about… here:

Unless of course, the folks who run things already have a contingency and have automated factories under the Rocky Mountains.  I’m sure you George Noory types will have plenty to say about that.

The Apocalypse in whatever form it takes, will set humanity back.  But the human spirit can overcome significant challenges.  I don’t want to be all gloom and doom here.  But humanity could recover relatively quickly – decades as compared to the centuries between the Renaissance and the Digital Age.  It would be devastating on an individual basis, (that’s kind of why we call it an Apocalypse) and certainly followed by a period of ruthless natural selection.  But humanity will survive.

Keep in mind, the period between God giving the go-ahead for hydrogen fusion and the creation of the first microbes was 500 million years.  Man’s journey regardless of whether you believe in spontaneous generation, divinely guided evolution, or intelligent design has still been a long slog.  With the right leadership, and presuming the smart people survive, setting us back 500 years at this point will be more like setting us back 100 years.  Of course Rick and Negan will still have to sort things out.








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Is Jeanine Pirro Right? Does Paul Ryan Have To Go?

Nothing is so fractious as the right side of the political spectrum in victory.  So, what do you think?  Is Jeanine Pirro right?  Does Paul Ryan have to go and step down as Speaker of the House?  

One has to give Jeanine Pirro credit.  The woman is not afraid to rub people the wrong way.  She opened her weekly broadcast last Saturday evening with the assertion that Paul Ryan should step down down as Speaker of the House.  She spoke with utter conviction and with such clarity as to leave no wiggle room.

Ryan and Pirro

I was… a bit disappointed.  I like Pirro.  She’s high energy, quick, and most admirably, she’s arranged her life in such a way that makes her immune to the consequences most of us would face for being that outspoken.  I envy her in the best sense, if there is such a thing.  Thus, she can afford to be fearless in a way that you and I can not.

On whom all agree…

The subject of Paul Ryan brought to mind one of my favorite short stories, Shadows In The Dark, by L. Sprague de Camp.  Here is the relevant excerpt:

Taurus the chancellor brushed back the white hair above a face lined with the cares of many years.  He looked intently at Conan, sitting across from him in his cabinet of state.

He said: “You ask what would befall if Khossus were slain?  Why then, the council would choose his successor.  As he has no legitimate heir, his sister is the likely choice, since the Princess Yasmela is popular and conscientious.”

“If she declined the honor?” said Conan.

“The succession would pass to her next of kin, her uncle Bardes.  If, good Conan, you think to grasp the crown yourself, dismiss the thought.  We Khorajis are a clannish folk; none would accept a foreigner like you.  I mean no offense; I do but utter facts.”

Conan waved away Taurus’s apology.  “I like an honest man.  But what if a ninny came to sit upon the throne?”

“Better one ninny on whom all agree, than two able princes wasting the land in a struggle for power. “

And therein lies our dilemma.  Paul Ryan was supposed to be the Ninny On Whom All Agreed.  His accession to the speakership heralded an era of optimism.  Finally, we had someone able to bridge the divide between the fractious Conservatives, the libertarian minded Freedom Caucus/Tea-Party, and the Old Guard/Country Club Republicans, often derisively referred to as Republicans In Name Only (RINOs).

We’ve had a free election.  Yet reprobates like Pelosi and Schumer are determined to lay waste to the realm.  It has been ever so with the deranged Left (redundant, I know).  The electorate has rejected their world view.  So they will burn it all down.

This is why we can’t have nice things…

Ryan was in every sense a political draftee who put his nation first and graciously put aside his own presidential ambitions.  The new speaker demonstrated a degree of magnitude not seen since Richard Nixon refused to allow a re-count after the 1960 presidential election.

But to Pirro’s point – while I don’t think it’s time for Ryan to step down, I do have one burning question: Why wasn’t the legislation to replace The Affordable Care Act ready to go?

I am putting aside my own distaste for Socialized Medicine, given how its insertion distorts the market.

…and why I’m not a Republican…

But the elephant in the room is simply the past 6 years.  The republicans have had a majority in the House since 2010.  Over one thousand legislative and Gubernatorial seats have gone over to them during the disastrous Obama Administration, so clearly there’s popular support.

They employ platoons of staffers – the majority of whom are law school graduates, I presume, so manpower was certainly not an issue.

This is the over-arching disappointment.  The Republicans had the time and resources to bring the various factions together and present a comprehensive Healthcare Reform bill.  No piece of legislation is perfect, because everyone has a different idea of perfection.  Yet since the founding of the Republic, lawmakers have written and passed legislation through laborious horse trading and sausage-making.  Human Nature at its finest.

…and why we shouldn’t have heroes.

The lessons of Watergate were many, yet the Republicans seem to have never internalized any of them.  Not since Newt Gingrich saved Bill Clinton from himself have we seen Patriots make so many unforced errors.  I’m not talking about non-scandals involving Russia or Tweeting.

The Left continues to maintain it’s stranglehold on Broadcast and Print Media, Entertainment, Advertising, and Education.  In spite of all this, they continue to lose elections, but that won’t hold for long.  The system is nearing collapse, and those who hold America dear need to move forward on the broader issues.  We can always sort the details out later.




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Equilibrium – Immutable Laws – Part 1

Equilibrium Is Everything.

What is Equilibrium?  It’s more than balance, though balance plays it’s part.  Equilibrium is the law.  It’s the universal distribution of Matter and Energy, bound by the fact that neither can be destroyed, only changed in form.

Meet Auggie.  equilibrium @manningthewall,.comAuggie just got here, and you’ve probably already guessed that he made points just for showing up.  Auggie will exhale about 686,200,000 times over 80 the next years.  That’s a lot of nitrogen and oxygen converted to carbon dioxide.




This is the maple tree in the backyard of Auggie’s home.  Using Auggie’s CO2, the water falling from the sky, and the organisms and minerals in the soil, it will produce twice the oxygen Auggie needs.


It’s a perfect system.  An illustration of symbiosis.  It’s equilibrium.


Auggie grows up and fathers children of his own.

Equilibrium @manningthewall.comIn the years to come, his children will have children…


…and so on.Equilibrium

Soon, there are a lot of people and a lot of trees…Equilibrium @manningthewall.comMore CO2 means more trees grow.  More trees mean more oxygen.  More oxygen means more people can be born.  Equilibrium.

People reach equilibrium with each other.  Its not always pretty.

This is Eric.


Eric is a farmer.  He used to be a raider.


Eric used to have 3 brothers.  They’re dead now because they weren’t as good at taking other people’s stuff as their brother Eric.



Eric has 6 sons, Bjorn, Rollo, Ragnar, Knute, Gunnar, and Leif.



Eric’s farm has only enough land to support him and his oldest son, Bjorn.



Rollo, Ragnar, Knute,Gunnar and Leif become raiders and decide to try to take stuff from other people.



Rollo finds a really good farm that he likes, and kills the owner.  Now Rollo is the Owner.



Ragnar finds a tract of land that no one else has claimed.  Now Ragnar is an owner, too.



Knute and Gunnar get killed while trying to take someone else’s stuff.  No one knows what happened to Leif.



Now everyone has enough land on which to live.  Equilibrium has been reached.

Yeah, It’s No Always Fair.

Meet the Akkadians.



Meet the Uruks.



This is the well they share.

20 Well2


This year, both tribes had lots of babies.



Too many babies for a single well.  The mommies tell the daddys that many babies will die of thirst if nothing is done.



The daddies of the Akkadians and the Uruks fight.  The Akkadians win.  Most of the Uruks die.  So do some of the Akkadians.



Now no one dies of thirst.  Equilibrium can sometimes be harsh.



At the edge of the desert, live the Kikuyue Tribe.  One Summer, lots of babies are born.



At harvest, many of the crops fail and there is not enough food to go around.  The famine lasts for a year and many people starve to death.

One Summer, lots of babies are born.


The next year, there are not so many people, and the crops don’t fail.


The problems of over-population and famine have cancelled each other out.  As they always do.  Equilibrium.

It Can’t Be Reasoned With.

Earth, population 7,500,000,000 people.

One Summer, lots of babies are born.

In some areas, food and water can not sustain a growing population.  So the population will not grow past a certain point.  In other areas, people have figured out how to grow lots and lots of food and distribute it.  In those places, the population grows.  Sometimes the people who know how to grow food really well try to give their extra food to those who are having problems.  Unfortunately, that is food is often stolen and never gets to the people who really need it.

Wherever food production is maximized, the population will stop growing.  The population might even pull back a little.  Again, Equilibrium.

But Over-all, It’s Beneficial.

Let’s go back to the example of trees and people.  Again, there are lots of trees on Earth.  There are lots of people, too.  Sometimes people cut down trees.



But then people exhale.  A lot.  Lots and lots of people exhaling.  Which causes more tress to grow.  Which causes more people.  People who exhale and cause more trees to grow.


You get the idea.

Sometimes there are so many trees, producing so much oxygen, that it becomes poisonous.    So much oxygen, that a single lightning strike can start a fire which burns up a lot of trees.  The fire will burn up this extra oxygen and also clear away old dead wood to make way for new growth.Equilibrium

The carbon released from from the wood goes to feed these other, newer  organisms.


It’s like it was designed this way.

Equilibrium is a law, not a suggestion.  It is impossible for us to violate this law.  No matter what actions we take, the Earth will cycle its way back to equilibrium.  It applies to everything.  These are just a few methods by which the Earth achieves equilibrium.


There are infinitely more.


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If 10% Is Good Enough For The Almighty God…

Alex: Because it’s small enough not to impact one’s life style, yet just big enough for one to miss it.                                                                                                                                 Contestant: Why did God pick 10%?                                                                                           Alex: Correct!

10% for a reason.

The metric of 10% – the tithe – has been around for a while.  Intuitively, we all know it’s the way to go.  It’s time to apply this standard to our secular governments.  And for good reason.  When the leviathan assumes an endless pool of resources from which it can draw, then, it has no incentive to prioritize. Continue reading

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Over The Top And Out Of Their Minds.

April, 46 B.C.

Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, known to history has Cato The Younger, lay awake in the pre-dawn hours.  The legions of Julius Caesar, flushed with victories over the armies of Pompey, Ptolemy XIII, and Metellus Scipi bore down on the African provincial city of Utica.  The civil war which had torn the Roman Republic apart was rapidly drawing to a close.

Schumer & Cato The Younger

The contrast could not be more stark.

Continue reading

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Revisiting The Classics I – Selections From The Colonel’s Library

Every library should have at least some classical literature on the shelves.  Here is a little of what is on mine.

Dracula – Bram Stoker, 1897.

DraculaEvery wish you had enough juice to make your real estate agent pay you a house call?

The original bad boy, if Dracula ever ran into Edward Cullen, he would have cut his head off and emptied his bladder down his neck. Continue reading

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Yes, The “Deep State” Exists, & That’s Unfortunate

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.                   – Eli Lake, Bloomberg News, February 14, 2017.

Self-Perpetuation As The Over-Arching Moral Imperative.

Careerists and appointees left over from the Obama Administration deliberately targeted Mike Flynn for political termination. Continue reading

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How To Avoid Poverty. It’s Easier Than You Think.

The War On Poverty has failed.  As a nation, we need to come to terms with this very simple fact.  If not, then the system will collapse of its own weight, because the current model is unsustainable.

I’m from the government and I’m here to make it worse help…

Continue reading

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The Self-Help Scam – Some Eye-Rolling Selections From The Colonel’s Library.

It’s Going To Get Ugly

Success In Leadership2

This is going to be a brutal take-down.  The self-help and management gurus have a lot to answer for.  Of course, if you set yourself up as a great thinker or theoretician, be prepared for some criticism.  But mostly, don’t be a fraud. Continue reading

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The Face of Rebellious Conformity

Rebellious Conformity:  yes, I thought that one up myself.   The paradox nests rather nicely with respect to current events.

Members of the most pampered, protected demographic in the history of the world gathered in Washington, D.C. last weekend to complain about… something. Continue reading

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