Friday, June 30, 2006

ATF: Were My Dogs At?

Tonight I'm sippin' Old Forester and thinkin' its time to share a little more Bourbon lore. My drink tonight leads me down a certain path...

George Garvin Brown didn't distill whiskey. But he changed bourbon forever just the same... and his kin still runs the multi-national company that he started.

See... way way back... in the old days... I mean back around the days of Elijah Craig... whiskey was sold only by the barrel to bars and taverns. The bars and taverns would then cut it... add to it... and otherwise ruin good whiskey... until it was pretty well undrinkable. The process made Brown sick.

So... his company set out to solve the problem... and in doin' so... changed the whiskey world forever.

Old Forester was the first whiskey sold in individual sealed bottles. The seal was intact... you knew what ya had. Tamper proof if you will. Brown's company still bottles Old Forester today... but they also own Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort.. and believe it or not... Lennox China.

Hows that for diversified?

Anyway... like I said... George Garvin Brown's great grand kids run the company to this day. But now you know a little more about the roots... of Brown-Forman.

Anyway its a little late start for the ATF post... I apologize... I haven't lit up yet... I'm debating. Maybe a Patron... or Partargas... who knows. I can't even spell it... it must be good.

No shooting news to report... Its the off season after all.

What'er y'all up to tonight?
NateMail: Internet Predators

Brenda asks: My 14-year old daughter has been chatting in an online chatroom and i think she's being approached by someone who claims to be an older married man. is it illegal for him even to be in the chatroom? and is it tecnically illegal for him to ask for things like a phone number? or can these people just do whatever the hell they want as long as they don't meet these teenagers in real life?

The short answer is yes. They can do or say anything they want. In fact, its excedingly difficult to prosecute them, even if they DO meet your child in person. Legally they have to demonstrate intent. Simply showing up at the meeting place is not enough. In sting operations they usually work out a deal with the pederasts. For example the bait offers a particular sexual activity in return for a specific action taken by the perp. Often the cops will get the guy to undress completely before they arrest him. Lets face it... you didn't get naked to play checkers right? On the otherhand, the defenses are powerful, assuming they didn't get naked. "I didn't really think it was a kid, I thought we were roleplaying." and so forth. Meeting a 14-year old kid is not a crime, nor is befriending one. Now... its BS... and everyone knows it... but you can't go around arresting everyone who chats... much as I would like to.

My advice is to remove your daughter's computer privilages completely. Then use her account to chat with the guy. See how far he is trying to take it. If need be agree to meet him in a park late at night... say you're sneaking out of the house and your parents won't know... make the necessary promises... get him all riled up.... Of course... the only thing he'll actually find at that park that night will be your pissed off husband... and maybe the ass-kickin' of a lifetime will convince him to change his ways.

Now... as for the long term solution...


MySpace is the devil. Chatrooms are the devil. No way. No how. Never. There is nothing there but sex and gossip and more sex. There is no legitimate reason for your kid to access it. Its rather like allowing your kid to get together with their friends at the local adult book store.

But mom! All my friends are there!

Kids don't need computers. Its BS. For the vast majority of the population, computers are toys, not tools. If she needs a computer for school, give her one with no internet connection. If she needs to research, allow her to use yours, while supervised.

A few months of this will teach her a lesson... but if you do return her internet privilages (and I wouldn't) spy on her continually. Buy the best admin software you can find. Log every keystroke. Cache every page. Save every conversation. The best advice is to perhaps install PCAnywhere... so you can periodicly sit there and watch her screen remotely, as she's chatting.

Imagine her fury when you take her off to your room and display her chat window on your monitor.

Yes. She'll hate you. She's 14. If she doesn't hate you you aren't doing your job.

(and Brenda, don't take this as talking down to you, from your question I deduce that you do most of this already, otherwise you wouldn't know about her chat buddy.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Myth of Fibromyalgia

I want to take a moment to talk about Whiner's Disease, the supposed diagnoses there-of, and its supposed treatments. I may throw in a random fact or two... as well as a tale from the barbershop.

Let's start with the basics. What is Fibromyalgia?

Well... if we're being honest its the term honest doctors use to describe whiney drug seeking patients who claim they hurt all over, but display no physiological reason for the pain. I'm sure it will suprise you all to learn that 80 to 90% of those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia are women. Again... there is no obvious reason for this... except that women whine more.

In order to be diagnosed with this "disease" you have to have pain in all four quadrants of your body. That is above and below the waist, and on the right and left side. There are also 9 paired spots (18 total) that are listed as potential tender areas. 11 of these have to be tender for you to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. If the number 11 sounds arbitrary as hell, there is a good reason. I'd love to hear one of these morons explain why someone with 10 tender spots is faking it while someone with 11 has a recognized clinicly treated disease. The diagram below shows the 9 paired potential tender spots.

Gee... Do you know any women with tender elbows? Knees? Shoulders? Lower back? Pay close attention and you'll note that some of these, if not most are actually pressure points. In otherwords... everyone is tender there.

The most entertaining thing about Fibromyalgia though, are the drugs that are the most successful in treating it. Two guesses on what they are used for...

Perhaps I shall related this in the form of a tale...

It will suprise no one that I get my hair cut at the Dixie Barbershop. This is grand ol' place... complete with a roll of duct tape hanging on the wall right next to the trimmers and scissors. The barber has even rigged up a vacuum system with PVC and a shopvac that basicly sucks the hair away as his trimming. It's awesome. And yes... there is a bona fide barber pole out front.

Needless to say I love the place.

A good haircut takes 30 minutes... but beware... a good haircut is almost always defined as a Fort Campbell special. I asked for short hair... and now I look like AIRBORN as hell. My wife looked at me when I walked in and said, "Well hello Trooper Cherolis! This doesn't mean she didn't love it.

Anyway.. while I was there a fella started whining about his back pain... and I suppose he recognized one of the other fellas as a doctor... because he started talking to him about Fibromyalgia. He claimed that two of his friends had it, and had been givin this miracle drug that cured them. He couldn't pronounce the name... but he wrote it down and handed it to the doctor, and asked if the he recognized it.

The doctor just smiled and said...

"oh yeah... I recognize this... its a pretty powerful anti-depressant."

The doctor didn't laugh.

But I did.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

On Motorcycle Travel

There are two schools of thought when it comes to laundry while travelin' on two wheels. There is the method JAC and I use... and then there is the Waffle Stomp Boogie.

In the interest of equal time... I shall share both.

Method 1: JAC and I do not believe in carrying around dirty socks and undies. We wear them, throw 'em away, and buy more. The further into your trip you get.. the more room in your bags for other stuff you may have collected. That's just an added bonus though... the main benefit is not smelling up the whole of God's Creation while drivin' down the road. Simple.. easy.

Method 2: The Waffle Stomp Boogie. Here we require a favorite old song... so... all together now... in the Key of G:

Russel Up a Dog Turd
Daddy Shot a Bear
Shot him up the Bunghole
and I don't care!
The Wash Cycle

The Rinse Cycle
The Dry Cycle
*Note: Combining these two methods is not expressly forbidden... ommiting the song however is.
Warning... Politically Un-correct Commentary Follows




There is no War on Terrorism. We are at War with Islam. It is a religous war perpetuated by the most warmongering religion the world has ever known.


That was the sound of the one lone Neocon who reads here. His head just exploded. This shouldn't suprise anyone though... as neocons know about as much about history as they do about economics... which is to say... they know nothing about it at all.

This is the infuriating thing about America. There is what everyone knows.. and what you can say... and they are two radicly different things. In this we resemble the old USSR.


Islam is evil.
The Leather Anniversary

It's true... Julie and I have been married for 9 years now. 9. If that ain't a testimony to female patience I don't know what is. But imagine my amusement when I found that the traditional 9th anniversary gift was...

something in leather!? Excellent. I suppose this has a different meaning today than it did 100 years ago, but I can't help but chuckle at the clearly naughty conotation. Somewhere Blondage is smiling. Of course we've already celebrated properly... so I found this out to late... alas. Just dinner and a movie tonight... though if you've got kids under 4... then you know how hard that is to arrange.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Better Drink Up!

1: Presse Med.
2001 Mar 3;30(8):373-5.

Related Articles, Links

[Fainting after drinking a glass of whiskey-soda...]

[Article in French]Tattevin P, Papo T, Caumes E, Merle-Beral H, Piette JC.Clinique des Maladies infectieuses et Reanimation medicale, CHU Pontchaillou, F35033 Rennes.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol intolerance is a rare syndrome that usually involves pain, pruritus, or vasomotor phenomena consecutive to moderate alcohol intake. This syndrome may unmask various malignancies, especially Hodgkin's disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and carcinoma of the cervix.

CASE REPORT: A patient who became unconscious after drinking a glass of whiskey-cola was explored for alcohol intolerance. High-level hypereosinophilia was discovered. The diagnosis of idiopathic hypereosinophilia was retained after extensive evaluation. DISCUSSION: Idiopathic hypereosinophilia may be a premalignancy expression of a lymphoproliferative disorder. In our patient, who also had alcohol intolerance known to be associated with later diagnosis of malignancy, lymphocyte phenotype studies revealed an abnormal population. However, rearrangement studies of T-cell and B-cell receptors, as well as bone marrow cytology and histology did not enable identification of a lymphoproliferative disorder. This patient will require close follow-up due to the risk of developing a lymphoproliferative disorder.

So... As you can see... you need to drink more. Alchohol Intolerence is an indicator, or early warning system if you will, for all sorts of nasties that require early detection for effect treatment. Belly up to the bar boys... Whiskey and Coke specificly it seems.
The Racist North

While most will have you believe that the rivalry between the northern states of the union and those of the south started sometime around 1840... I've endevored to explain that the roots of the division go much further. Indeed they stretch back to the formation of the union itself, and even before.

It sort of sheds some light on the other side of the debate when one realizes that the rivalry pre-dated the union.

Those ignorant of basic human nature and history will point to the infamous fraction clause in the Constitution which defined slaves as less than a man. The question I have today is... A comprimise is what happens when two sides come to an agreement. Therefore we can conclude that there was indeed some disagreement.

In fact... history shows that one side wanted the census to treat slaves and freemen as the equals of whites... and one side wanted slaves and freemen to be completely ignored... not counted at all.

So which was which?

We've been conditioned to believe that the South was racist our whole lives... and that we had to be saved from ourselves by the benevolent heroic North. But it was the North that wanted the slaves ignored. It was the South that wanted them counted equally. So... dear Yankee friend... when you look back at the census of early America and grimace at that fraction... Remember it was your state that caused it. Not mine.

While you're at it... Ask yourself how those slaves got to the South. They didn't walk across the atlantic ya know. In fact, they were brought to America on yankee slave ships... Most sailing out of New York Harbor.

And then one more question for you, dear yankee apologist. What is the basis of racism? If one believes the pyschobabble of today... it is fear. Fear of the unkown and unfamiliar. So who knew blacks? Who lived among them? Where was the vast majority of the black population? The people of the south lived among blacks... with blacks in their homes. They saw them on the street everyday.

It was the North that was pasty white. It was the yankee soldiers who came south expecting to find a negro race one step up from animals. It was the yankee soldiers who wrote letters home about how shocked they were to find a moral black race. It was the yankee soldiers who, frustrated by rejection, raped the missy girls at virtually every plantation they found.

"When the yankees come, first they rape the missy girls. Then they rape the field girls. Then they get drunk. Then they rape the white ladies." - A Soul Looks Back, written by a slave who lived through it

It is my sincerest wish to never defile my foot by walking in Washington, DC... but I would do so. I would make that sacrifice, if only I could defecate upon the Lincoln Memorial.

Friday, June 23, 2006



How's it goin?

Yeah I know... same here... just sittin' here sippin' a margarita... Sauza of course... Jose and I have memories but that don't mean he makes great tequilia. I know I'm just mixing it, but I like margaritas with good tequilia... and lots of it. A liter of Sauza goes a long way.

I figured I'd say hi... I'm 'bout to head out to smoke... haven't opened up the humidor yet... what do ya think? Patargas? Arturo? Arturo you say? 8-5-8 or Gran Reserva? I'll flip a coin. I'll probably roll with the latter... its quicker. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Hey speakin' of tequilia... do y'all mix with the good stuff? We've not had a good tequila talk... I'm pretty sure waterboy will like something that tastes like shit though. JAC ain't gonna be no help either... Spacebunny! She'll help me out! What says you darlin'? I know you have a favorite Vodka (Vox! ba dum ching!) but what about a man's drink?

On firearms... I had a technical discussion with someone the other day about the proper way to aliviate pulling your shots... the solution the fell came up with was to alter his grip to provide negative pressure to off-set the jerk. This is stupid for a number of reasons... none of which I bothered to pass on, because he's a cop.

I'm going to pass along this little bit of advice.. When going fast you do NOT concentrate on the front site. That's a myth. Shooting fast is an act of calculating trajectory that is beyong the capacity of your conscious mind. Forget the front site. Focus on trigger control, and pulling the gun back from its flip as fast as possible. Rely on muscle memory and the subconscious mind to aim the shot.

You'll be suprised what this will accomplish.

I know I know... lots of pro shooters say "Front site! Front site! Front site!" Lots of pros in lots of professions do lots of things wrong and get away with it because they have the talent to make up for it.

I'm officially working on a new technique at this point. Something every serious shooter knows is impractical and unreliable and plain silly to try.

I'm trying it anyway. I'll let ya know. if it works out... 6 months from now I'll post a video. If it doesn't.. I'll deny the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh... Canada

So let me make sure I have this story right...

Two guys kick down some fella's door in an attempted home invasion... The dude grabs his gun and runs them off... knicking one of them. The two invaders then go directly to the nearest police station and report the incident.

Who gets arrested?

Exactly. The guy defending his home. They arrested him for attempted murder.

And don't think for a second the exact same thing wouldn't happen here in the US either. If they enacted similar gun bans to Canada's, our cops would react the same way.

Now... that doesn't mean that I'm not going to mock Canada mercilessly. Its just further proof that our northern neighbors are all big wet pussies waiting to be fucked... indeed... hoping for it.

Piss on Canada. Piss on England. Piss on Austrailia.

Leave me alone... I've got to find an island to buy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Great... Another Woman with a Cause

ASK. Asking Saves Kids. Some genius never teaches her kid about guns... so the kid finds a gun at her neighbor's house... and shoots himself.

Because of this, we're subject to yet another acronym group.

You can tell a woman started the group... because when you investigate you find absolutely no responsiblity or accountability, only victimhood and blame.

See... you're not supposed to teach your kids about guns... instead you're supposed to ask all your neighbors if they have guns and how they are stored before you let your kids play theirs.

Several years ago a liberal's kid was a party in an old cabin. Under a table, he found a sawed-off shotgun. Being a liberal's kid, and therefore stupid, he pointed the gun at girl and pulled the trigger. He didn't know it was real. He didn't know it was loaded. He'd never handled a gun before.

For some unknown reason the weapon was loaded with a lug, which buried itself into the wall of the cabin between a girl and her mom... missing each by inches. No one knew the gun was there... or why... and I still cannot fathom why a slug would be in a sawed-off shotgun... but there ya go.

Now raise your hand if you think that kid would've pulled that trigger if he'd shot a shotgun before.

ASKing won't do anything to save your kids. All its going to do is piss off your neighbors. How about instead, you buy a gun and teach your kid gun safety, so when he does come upon a firearm, he knows what to do.


Friday, June 16, 2006


So I've spent tonight out in the Tiki Bar... sittin' in the hot tub with three chicks... sippin' Russell's Reserve... now I'm fixin' to fire up a Arturo... and finish the evening off with a little Bookers.

How about you?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Greatest Competition Shooter Alive

I humbly ask you to take a look at the Resume of Rob Leatham, Team Springfield's Top Shooter.

17 USPSA National Championships
5 IPSC World Championships
12 Single Stack Classic Championships (Only 12 matches have been held)
6 Bianchi Cup Championships
6 Steel Challenge Championships
6 IDPA National Championships

This dude is the Dale Earnhardt of pistol shooting. On the message boards he's simply referred to as TGO. The Great One. Pay particular attention to that Single Stack number... 12. He's 12 for 12. Every time that championship has been held... He's won it.

Say... Who shoots for Kimber? Oh yeah... the US Olympic team.... good old Kimber... I can see their ad campaigns already...

Kimber. Amateur Grade.
Smarts Must Come From Momma

Because either Jeb has memorized the 64-page Hop on Pop, or he's begining to read sight words. Not bad considering we really work more with numbers than letters... and I have really not made a conserted effort to teach him to read at all yet.

Either way... it strikes me as indicative of an excellent mind. We've read Hop on Pop to him less than 10 times... and now he reads it to us. I suppose the thing that has me leaning toward the sight word explaination is watching his eyes, and the way he sometimes pauses and points to the word or sentence before he says it.

Something is definately going on there.

Not bad for a 3-and-half year-old kid.

Interestingly... Hop on Pop was also the first book I sat down and read cover to cover as well. To put this in perspective, it was most likely also the last book that Katie Couric read cover to cover in one sitting.
Fathers Day Early

Julie and I handle Mothers Day and Fathers Day a little differently. Jeb is only 3 and half... but we decided to let him pick out our presents this year. Honestly we didn't know what to expect, but if pressed I suspect we both would've predicted that he would get us firetrucks, airplanes, or John Deere Tractors. These things would make him happy, so in the mind of a three-year-old, it seemed reasonable to conclude that they please us as well. What we learned was, little boys pay a lot more attention than you may think they do.

About three or four days before Mothers Day I was taking the boys to get some Ol' Macdonalds sausage, their most favorite breakfast. On the way, I explained to Jeb what Mothers Day was... and I asked him what we could get mommy that would make her happy.

"ummmmmmm.... I don't know."

"well... what does mommy like?"

"Ummm... "

And then he blurted out his answer. Totally perfect. Now before I spill the beans and tell ya what he got his Mommy you need some background. Its important to understand just how perfect this gift is.

See... Julie has stomach issues. When she's stressed, or nervous, or uptight, her stomach ties itself up in knots. Now... as a resident working 80-hours per week... stressing over steps 2 and 3 of the Boards.. I'm sure you can imagine that her stomach was tied up quite a bit over the last 5 years.

So Sunday Morning rolls around... Mothers Day... and Julie is in the our bathroom getting ready for church. In walk the boys... Each holding a bottle of Pepto.

What makes mommy happy Jeb?

Pink Medicine!

We had no idea Jeb even knew it. We keep pepto stached all over the house. I'll bet there are at least 5 bottles around here right now. The poor girl doesn't even measure it when she takes it... she just turns up the bottle and chugs. But usually she drank it most often at night after he was in bed. We didn't even know he knew about it. Now I understand... for lots of folks that wouldn't mean much... and they'd probably be disappointed if that was all they got... but Julie's not most folks. When Jeb told me what he wanted to get her, I knew anything I did on top of that would just diminish the thing.

It wasn't pepto to her. To her it was tangible evidence that her little boy knows her, and pays more attention that she realized. She didn't cry... but she wanted to real bad.

Well... fast forward to last night...

Eli's in the bed... Jeb and Julie get home from Vacation Bible School and he comes running into the house.

"Its a Secret! Its a Secret Daddy!"

I figured he learned something at VBS and didn't give it another thought. The three of us plopped down on the bed and started talking about what he did that night.

"I played on the playground... and I chased the boy... and I fell down. I got a boo boo... I got the blood. I got a band-aid... I got two band-aids... I got a bug bite... and I got a the blood when I fell down. and I made icecream! And we got a guitar..."

Now I just thought he ment they got out a guitar and played at VBS. But Julie's jaw dropped and her eyes got big.. and we both knew she was busted.

What can we get daddy to make him happy Jeb?

ummm... a guitar!

Remember back when I had that back surgery? That was 2004 I guess... but I knew I was gonna be laid up, so I bought this cheap little 20 dollar guitar off the internet to learn to play. Not suprisingly after a couple months the body of the thing broke and that was that... no big loss... it had kept me from going insane while I was stuck in a chair for weeks, so I chalked it up as money well spent. I don't think Jeb was even two... but he remembered. My bein' hurt left an impression on the boy. To this day if someone says something about my back hurting he gets really serious... like he's worried. So way way back... when he wasn't even two yet... he was paying attention. He knew what was going on... even if he couldn't say it.

Oh... and my father's day present... the one I got a few days early?

Thanks buddy. That'll work.

Its beautiful. It sounds awesome. It's easy to fret. I doubt I could've picked out a better one for my own self.

Pay attention to them youngins y'all. They pay attention to you, and they know a whole lot more about what's goin' on than you may think.

Now leave me be... I'm trying to re-learn these chords.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Report Comrade!

That's a post seen on the Baltimore - DC MARC.

Stalin would love it. Thanks Fred.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I find myself seriously questioning the wisdom of sending my kids to college. Madness says you?

Read this says I.

"At Wake Forest University last fall, one of the few events designated as "mandatory" for freshman orientation was attendance at Blue Eyed, a filmed racism awareness workshop in which whites are abused, ridiculed, made to fail, and taught helpless passivity so that they can identify with "a person of color for a day." In Swarthmore College's dormitories, in the fall of 1998, first-year students were asked to line up by skin color, from lightest to darkest, and to step forward and talk about how they felt concerning their place in that line. Indeed, at almost all of our campuses, some form of moral and political re-education has been built into freshman orientation and residential programming. These exercises have become so commonplace that most students do not even think of the issues of privacy, rights, and dignity involved."

Blue Eyed is a required workshop at many freshman orientations. Lets hear it straight from the horse's mouth:

"In Blue Eyed, we join a group of 40 teachers, police, school administrators and social workers in Kansas City - blacks, Hispanics, whites, women and men. The blue-eyed members are subjected to pseudo-scientific explanations of their inferiority, culturally biased IQ tests and blatant discrimination. In just a few hours under Elliott's withering regime, we watch grown professionals become despondent and distracted, stumbling over the simplest commands."

I guess we have a whole new set of questions when we start touring campuses eh? That's not hyperbole. That's not my ranting. That's how the creator describes her creation.

And check the date on that article in Reason... March 2000. How much worse do you think it is now compared to then?

Ya see... there is no debate on the different intelligence levels of races or the sexes. Its a debate we are not allowed to have. Mommy says we're all the same, so we are. Since we're all the same, any difference showing up in standardized tests is the result of a poor test. As a result, we change the answers.

See... if everything about the world were completely different... then whites would be the ones struggling. Therefore whites and blacks are the same. Get it?

Among the gelding professorship this passes for logic.

Are there colleges where this sort of thing doesn't happen? Internationally speaking... yes. Of course. But that offers a whole host of other issues. What to do?

I for one will be raising my kids to understand what self-respect and dignity mean. They'll not subject themselves to this sort of stupidty. If the find themselves in a situation like this, they'll simply leave, and they'll know that no matter what the consequences are, their parents will back them up.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Belated ATF Report

And a fine time was had by all... well.. us anyways.

First things first. If y'all have never been to the Opryland Hotel I have little hope of describing it to you. Let me just say that it is enormous on a Superdome type scale. Inside... you look across glass roofed rooms so big that you ponder infinity... except you realize that there are several... not just one.

The atrium has to be 500 yards long... and about a football field wide. Its just like being outside.... except the tempurature is perfect... as is the humidity... and there are no birds... but somehow there are 10 million plants... and a thousand fountains. And remember... this is one room.. there are 2 more... one of which is at least 3 times as big.

The big one would be the Delta. An indoor area so huge it has its own river, complete with river boat ride. The main resturaunt of this area is called the Old Hickory Steak House... and believe it or not... this steak house is basicly a reproduction of the Hermitage. To scale. And it looks pretty small inside this gynormous room.

It's big. It's beautiful. We walked around for like 2 hours finding random spots to make out.. and we didn't see it all.

Speaking of Old Hickory's... we ate there... It was both awesome... and terrible. We had some truely incredible cheese samples... and my bone-in ribeye was like God's Own Steak. But the meal was like 120 bucks... and DrWho's pork chop was so bad she sent it away and didn't replace it. Still... it was a ball. The asparagus, the cheese, and the crab cakes made up for it for her. I was so happy with my steak I didn't care.

And how about the evening's entertainment?

The Opry was well... the Opry. In a little over an hour we saw Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, and Keith Anderson do 3 songs each. Not to mention Pam Tillis, Charlie Pride (He sang Kawlija), and the coolest cajun band ever.

I thought DrWho was gonna swoon when Keith Anderson walked out... boys... trust me on this... when the man starts playin' Pickin' Wild Flowers... your girl is in fantasy land, and there ain't shit you can do about it. Let her have her fun. Not long after that DrWho was havin' so much fun with Gretchen Wilson... I mean... you can't beat a redneck country girl rippin' on Paris Hilton in her songs. She was laughin' out loud.

Yeah Gretchen.. we're damned glad that ain't all California Girls.

After Montgomery Gentry tore the roof off with Hillybilly Shoes we called it a night and headed back to the hotel for booze, food, and well... ahem...

For booze... believe it or not it was Rum and Coke all night. I have no idea how that happened. Normally I have treaty with Rum... I don't drink it.. it don't make me sick... but last night the Bacardi Gold and I got along just fine. Who knew?

As for the T... I topped our whole event off with a Jomeo Y Julieta today... unreal smoke... truely. Like 4 different cigars back to back to back to back. Normally I'm not a churchill guy. I prefer the shorter smokes, but after lastnight a little decadence was required to bring things to a fitting close.

Oh relax... it wasn't that bad... I mean... sure.. we broke a few laws... but not many.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

ATF Delayed and On Tour

ATF will be resheduled to this evening. Instead of its traditional location, it will be present for all to view. It appears we shall be at the Grand Ol' Opry this evening watching Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, and Keith Anderson. We'll be spending the night at the Opryland Hotel... and galavanting around downtown Nashville.

Hopefully there will be no casualties.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Stop What You're Doing...

and go see Cars right now. If you have a kid between 2 and 12 you simply have to do this. We just got back from taking Jeb (who was mystified) and Eli (who couldn't care less). Seriously. This is the best kid's movie since The Incredibles. Probably better than The Incredibles. I can't remember havin' this much fun in a cinema with the kids. Its up there with Polar Express.

Turn off the computer. Go on. Go.


We'll talk more later.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Orthodox Christianity

What I am about to post is enormous. I am not the author, and by posting it, I am not professing to agree with it. Though I agree with the vast majority of it, and I respect the whole of it. "I Believe..." was originally published on the backs of the Orthodox Wall Calendar published by St. Nectarios Press, Seattle, Washington, and copyright by St. Nectarios Press. It was written by the editors. It is not hear for any purpose but instruction, education, and glory to God.

I Believe...: A Short Exposition of Orthodox Doctrine

Concerning God the Father

I believe in God the Father, Who is without beginning, indescribable, incomprehensible, Who is beyond every created essence, Whose essence is known only to Himself, to His Son and the Holy Spirit; as it says in the Holy Scriptures, upon Him even the Seraphim dare not gaze.
I believe and confess that God the Father never became the likeness of any material form nor was He ever incarnate. In the theophanies (appearances of God) of the Old Testament, as our Holy Fathers bear witness, it was not God the Father Who appeared, but rather it was always our Saviour, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (i.e., the Word or Logos, the Angel of the Lord, the Lord God of Sabaoth, the Angel of Great Counsel, the Ancient of Days) Who revealed Himself to the prophets and seers of the Old Testament. Likewise, in the New Testament, God the Father never appeared but bore witness to His Son on several occasions solely by a voice that was heard from Heaven. It is for this reason that our Saviour said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the Only-begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him," (John 1:18) and "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He Who is of God, He hath seen the Father" (John 6:46). In addition, Acts Four, Five and Six of the Seventh Ecumenical Council state that the Holy Trinity cannot be portrayed iconographically since He is without from and invisible. Therefore, God the Father is not depicted in the holy icons.
I believe that He is the cause of all things as well as the end purpose of all things. From Him all visible and invisible creatures have their beginning and there was a time when they did not exist. He created the universe out of absolutely nothing. The earth too had a beginning and man was created by God's love. The creation of man and of the universe was not out of necessity. Creation is the work of the free and unconditional will of the Creator. If He had so wished, He need not have created us; the absence of creation would not have been a privation for Him. The creature's love is not one which gives Him satisfaction. God has no need to be satisfied. He needs nothing. God's love cannot be compared to human love, even as His other attributes such as paternity, justice, goodness cannot be compared to their human counterparts. God's love is a love which constitutes a mystery unfathomable to man's reason or intellect. God has no "emotions" which might create passion, suffering, need or necessity in Him. Nevertheless, although the nature of divine love remains incomprehensible and inexplicable to human reason, this love is real and genuine and I confess, in agreement with Scripture, that God is love.

Concerning the Holy Trinity

I believe, confess and worship the Holy Trinity. I worship the One, Holy, Indivisible, Consubstantial, Life-Creating and Most Holy Trinity. In the Trinity I worship three persons -- three hypostases -- that of the Father, that of the Son and that of the Holy Spirit. I do not confuse the persons of the Most Holy Trinity. I do not believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are, as it were, three masks of a single person. None of the persons is alienated from the others, but each has the fulness of the Three together.

Concerning the Incarnation

I believe that from the moment of His conception in the virginal womb, Jesus Christ was one person, yet having two natures. From His conception, He was God and Man before birth, during birth and after birth. I believe and confess that the Most Holy Virgin Mary, after the image of the bush which burned and was not consumed, truly received the fire of the Godhead in Herself without being consumed thereby. I believe and confess that She truly gave of Her own blood and of Her own flesh to the Incarnate Word and that She fed Him with Her own milk.
I confess that Jesus Christ was, in His Godhead, begotten of the Father outside of time without assistance of a father. He is without mother in His divinity, and without father in His manhood.
I believe that through the Incarnation, the Most Holy Virgin Mary became truly the Theotokos -- the Mother of God -- in time. She was a Virgin before, during and after birth. Even as Jesus Christ arose from the dead despite the fact that the Jews had sealed His tomb with a stone, and even as He entered into the midst of His disciples while the doors were shut, so also did He pass through the virginal womb without destroying the virginity of Mary or causing Her the travail of birth. Even as the Red Sea remained untrodden after the passage of Israel, so also did the Virgin remain undefiled after giving birth to Emmanuel. She is the gate proclaimed by the Prophet Ezekiel through which God entered into the world "while remaining shut" (Ezekiel 44:2).

Concerning Creation

I believe that matter is not co-eternal with the Creator, and there was a time when it did not exist, and that it was created out of nothing and in time by the will and the Word of God. I believe that matter was created good but drawn into sin and corruption because of man, who was established initially as the ruler of the material world. Even though the creation "lieth in evil" and corruption, yet it is God's creation and therefore good; only through man's will in using creation evilly can sin be joined to creation. I believe that creation will be purified by the fire of the Last Judgment at the moment of the glorious Advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ and that it will be restored and regenerated and that it will constitute a New Creation, according to the promise of the Lord: "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21.5). "New heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:13).

Concerning the Spiritual Hosts

I believe that the angels are not mythical but noetic beings created by God, that they had a beginning in time and that they are not eternal or immortal by nature, but only by Divine Grace. Although they possess a different nature than ours, their spiritual and incorporeal nature is nonetheless real and is subject to other laws and other dimensions foreign to human nature. They are conscious persons. In the beginning they were created perfectly good, perfectly free, having the faculty of will and choice. Some angels made a good choice by remaining faithful to their Creator, whereas others used their liberty in an evil manner and estranged themselves from their Creator and rose up against Him and, becoming darkened and wicked, fell from God and turned into demons. The demons are envious of man because of the glory of the eternal destiny for which he was created, and they seek his ruin and utter destruction. They have no real power over those who have received Baptism, yet they tempt us so that we ourselves might make ill use of our freedom. But the angels, because of their loyalty and their communion with God, know no envy and are not jealous of man's destiny. Rather, they have been endowed with a nature superior to man's so that they might help man realize his purpose through the aid of Divine Grace; they rejoice when a man succeeds in realizing the aim of his existence. The angles are humble, they are instructed by the Church, they belong to the Church and celebrate with us in glorifying the Creator; they pray for us and attend to our prayers. All beings created by God's wisdom, will, and love are fashioned on a hierarchical principle and not on an egalitarian principle. Even as men on earth differ according to what gift each has received, so also do the angels have distinctions among themselves in accordance with their rank and their ministry.

Concerning Immortality

I believe that only God is eternal and immortal by nature and in essence. The angels and the souls of men are immortal only because God bestows this immortality upon them by grace. If if were not for the immortality which God bestows by His divine will, neither the angels nor the souls of men would be immortal of themselves.
Men's souls have no pre-existence. The how of the soul's birth, as well as separation from the body at the moment of the latter's biological death that it might be reunited to the body when the dead are raised at the Second and glorious Coming of our Saviour is a mystery which has not been revealed to us.

Concerning the Mystery of Evil

I believe that God created neither death nor suffering nor evil. Evil has no hypostasis or existence as such. Evil is the absence of good; death is the absence of life. Evil is the alienation of the created being who has estranged himself from God; it is the degeneration of an essence which was created good. The sinner dies, not because God slays him in punishment so that He might revenge Himself on him -- for man cannot offend God, nor does God experience any satisfaction at the death of a man -- the sinner dies because he has alienated himself from the Source of Life. God is not responsible for evil, nor is He its cause. Neither is God blameworthy because He created man's nature with the possibility of alienating itself. If He had created human nature without free will, by this imposed condition He would have rendered the created intelligent being purely passive in nature; the creature would simply submit, not having the possibility of doing otherwise, since it would not be free. However, God wished that, after a fashion, we too should be His co-workers in His creation and be responsible for our own eternal destiny. God knows in His infinite wisdom how to transform the causes of evil into that which is profitable for man's salvation. Thus God uses the consequences of evil so as to make roses bloom forth from the thorns; although He never desired the thorns, nor did He create them in order to use them as instruments. He permitted these things to exist out of respect for our freedom. Thus God permits trials and sufferings without having created them. When suffering comes upon me, I must receive this as an unfathomable proof of His love, as a blessing in disguise and without feeling indignant, I must seek out its significance. As for temptations, I must avoid them, and for the sake of humility, beseech God to spare me from them, even as our Saviour teaches us in the Lord's Prayer: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Yet, in all trials, temptations, and sufferings, we conclude our prayer as did the Saviour in the garden of Gethsemane: "Not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42).

Concerning Man and Sin

I believe and I confess that God created man neither mortal nor immortal, but capable of choosing between two states, as St. John of Damascus teaches us (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, chap. 30). Man's bad choice and ill use of his free will caused his nature to be defiled by sin and become mortal. Human nature's defilement and alienation from God are caused by sin which entered into the world through a single man, Adam. Baptism in the true Church liberates us from the effects of sin and enables us to "work" for our salvation. Yet, even as after the Lord's Resurrection both the memory of His sufferings and also the marks of these sufferings were preserved in a material manner, so also after our Baptism does our nature preserve our weakness, in that it has received only the betrothal of the Divine adoption which shall be realized only at the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, our regeneration by Baptism is just as real as our Saviour's Resurrection. The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born with the same nature as ours. She could not of Herself have maintained the state in which the Archangel found Her on the day of the Annunciation, because She also, like all of us, had need of God's Grace. God is the Saviour of the Virgin not only because He purified Her, but also because by Divine Grace and Her will She was protected from a state of personal sin.

Concerning Man and His Free Will

I believe that man "works" for his salvation. Salvation is not imposed upon him in spite of himself as Augustine of Hippo's and John Calvin's doctrine of predestination would have it, nor is it obtained solely by the endeavors of human will, as Pelagius taught. Salvation is synergetic, that is, man co-operates in the work of his salvation. God does not take upon Himself the role which belongs to man; likewise, man can attain to nothing by his own efforts alone, neither by his virtue, nor by observing the commandments, nor by a good disposition. None of these things have any value for salvation except in the contest of Divine Grace, for salvation can not be purchased. Man's labors and the keeping of the commandments only demonstrate his will and resolve to be with God, his desire and love for God. Man cannot accomlish his part of co-operation in his salvation by his own power, however small this part may be, and he must entreat God to grant him the strength and grace necessary to accomplish it. If he perceives that he does not even wish his own salvation, he must ask to receive this desire from God "Who gives to all men and disregards none." For this reason, without despising man's role, we say that we receive "grace for grace" (John 1:16) and that to approach and enter the Church is according to the Fathers, "the grace given before grace," since in reality all is grace. This is the true meaning of the words of the Holy Fathers, "although it be a question of grace, yet grace is granted only to those who are worthy of it" indicating by the word "worthy" the exercise of our freedom of will to ask all things from God.

Concerning Faith and Works

I believe that man's natural virtue -- whatever its degree -- cannot save a man and bring him to eternal life. The Scriptures teach: "All our righteousness is like unto a menstrual rag" (Isaiah 64:6). The fulfillment of the works of the Law does not permit us to demand or to merit something from God. Not only do we have no merits or supererogatory works, but Jesus Christ enjoins us that when we have fulfilled all the works of the Law, we should esteem ourselves as nothing but "unprofitable servants" (Luke 17:10). Without Jesus Christ, a man's personal virtue, his repute, his personal value, his work, his talents and his faculties matter but little; they matter only insofar as they test his devotion and faith in God. Our faith in Jesus Christ is not an abstraction but rather a communion with Him. This communion fills us with the power of the Holy Spirit and our faith becomes a fertile reality which engenders good works in us as the Scriptures attest "which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). Thus, according to the Apostles, faith engenders true works; and true works, which are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, bear witness and prove the existence of a true faith. Since faith is neither abstract nor sterile, it is impossible to dissociate it from good works. It was by this same faith in the same Jesus Christ that the righteous of the Old Testament (who are venerated to the same degree as the other saints in the Orthodox Church) were saved, and not because of their legalistic or disciplinary observance of the Law. Faith is also a gift of God, and a man relying on his own efforts, his own piety, or his own spirituality, cannot of himself possess this faith. Yet faith is not imposed: to those who desire it, God grants it, not because of a fatalistic predestination, but because of His Divine foreknowledge and His disposition to co-operate with man's free will. If God has given us faith, we must not think ourselves better than others, nor superior or more worthy than them, nor should we think that we have received it because of our own merits, but we should attribute this favor to the goodness of God Whose reasons escape us. We must thank Him by bowing down before the mystery of this privilege and be conscious that one of the attributes of faith is the "lack of curiousity." It is neither works nor faith, but only the Living God Who saves us.
Part II: I Believe... Continued

Concerning the Theotokos

I believe that the nature of the Most Holy Virgin Mary is identical to our own. After Her free and conscious acceptance of the plan of salvation offered to man by God, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Her and the power of the Most High covered Her, and "at the voice of the Archangel, the Master of all became incarnate in Her." Thus our Lord Jesus Christ, the New Adam, partook of our nature in all things save sin, through the Theotokos, the New Eve. The nature of fallen man, the nature of Adam, which bore the wounds of sin, of degeneration, and of corruption, was restored to its former beauty, and now it partakes of the Divine nature. Man's nature, restored and regenerated by grace, surpasses Adam's state of innocence previous to the fall, since as the Fathers say, "God became man so that man could become God." Thus St. Gregory the Theologian writes: "O marvelous fall that brought about such a salvation for us!" man, created " a little lower than the angels" (Ps. 8:5), can, by God's grace, surpass even the angelic state, and so we praise the Most Holy Virgin Mary, as: "More honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim." I reject all the doctrines, which are alien to the teachings of the Fathers, concerning original sin and the "immaculate conception of Mary." Likewise, I reject every doctrine which endeavors to distort the position of the Theotokos, Who, with a nature identical to ours, represented all humanity when she accepted the salvation offered Her by God. Thus, God is the Saviour of the Most Holy Virgin as well and She is saved by the same grace whereby all those who are redeemed are saved. She is not the "Mother of the Church," as though She were dissociated from the Church or superior to It., but rather She is the Mother of all the faithful of the Church, of Which She also is a part.

Concerning the Saints

I believe that God "glorified those who glorify Him" (I Kings 2:30), that He is "wondrous in His saints" (Ps. 67:35), and that He is the "Saviour of the body" of the Church (Eph. 5:23). I believe that we are saved insofar as we are members of the Body, but that we cannot be saved by any individual relation with God outside of the Church. For the Lord said, "I am the true vine... As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:1, 4, 6). The saints are those members of the Church, the Body of Christ, who have achieved great sanctity and perfection. I believe that our God is the "God of our Fathers" and that He has mercy upon us because we are the children of our Fathers, who were and are His saints and His servants, as the Holy Scripture attests in many places. I believe that, even as St. James the Apostle says, "the prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16), even as the Three Youths who prayed in the fiery furnace attest: "Cause not Thy mercy to depart from us for Abraham's sake, Thy beloved, for Isaac's sake, Thy servant, and for Israel's, Thy holy one" (Dan 3:34). Those whom God has glorified, I also glorify. Because of Him Who glorifies them, I entrust myself to their prayers and intercessions, even as the Scriptures require, for the angel of the Lord appeared to Abimelich and counseled him to seek Abrahams's prayers, saying: "He shall pray for thee and thou shalt live" (Gen. 20:7). I believe that my worship and veneration of the saints is a well-pleasing worship offered of God since it is because of Him and for His sake that I worship them. I give adoration to no created thing, no other being, be it visible or invisible. I venerate no man for his own virtue's sake but "for the grace of God which is given" him (I Cor.1:4). In celebrating the feast of a saint, it is God Who is always worshipped, the saint's contest and victory being the occasion for God to be worshipped. Indeed, He is worshipped and glorified in His saints; He "is wondrous in His saints" (Ps 67:35). As He said, "I will dwell in them" (II Cor. 6:16) and, by grace and adoption, they shall be called gods (John 10:34-35). God Himself has granted His saints their ministry of interceding on our behalf. I supplicate them and I am in communion with them, even after their death in the flesh, since this death, according to the Apostle, cannot separate us from the love of Christ which unites us. According to the Lord's promise, they who believe in Him "shall never die... but are passed from death into life" (John 11:26, 5:24).

Concerning the Holy Icons

I venerate holy icons in perfect accord with the second commandment of the Decalogue [Ten Commandments] and not in contradiction to it. For, before the Incarnation of God, before the Nativity of Jesus Christ, any representation of Him would have been the fruit of man's imagination, a conception of man's reasoning concerning God Who is by nature and in His essence incomprehensible, indescribable, immaterial, inexpressible and unfathomable. Every conception or imagination concerning God will, by necessity, be alien to His nature; it will be false, unreal, an idol. But when the time was fulfilled, the Indepictable One became depictable for my salvation. As theApostle says, "we have heard Him, we have seen Him with our eyes, we have looked upon Him and have handled Him with our hands" (I John 1:1). When I venerate the holy icons I do not worship matter, but I confess that God Who is immaterial by nature has become material for our sakes so that He might dwell among us, die for us, be raised from the dead in His flesh and cause our human nature, which He took upon Himself, to sit at the right hand of the Father in the Heavens. When I kiss His venerable icon, I confess the relatively describable and absolutely historical reality of His Incarnation, His Death, His Resurrection, His Ascension into the Heavens, and His Second and Glorious Coming.

Concerning the Veneration and Worship of the Holy Icons

I venerate the holy icons by prostrating myself before them, by kissing them, by showing them a "relative worship" (as the definition of the Seventh Ecumenical Council says) while confessing that only the Most Holy Trinity is to be offered adoration. By the words "relative worship" I do not mean a second rate worship, but that they are worshipped because of their relation to God. God alone, Who is the cause and the final goal of all things, deserves our worship; Him alone must we worship. We worship the saints, their holy relics and their icons only because He dwells in them. Thus, the creatures which are sanctified by God are venerated and worshipped because of their relation to Him and on account of Him. This has always been the teaching of the Church: "The worship of the icon is directed to the prototype." Not to venerate the saints is to deny the reality of their communion with God, the effects of Divine sanctification and the grace which works in them; it is to deny the words of the Apostle who said, "I no longer live, but Christ liveth in me." (Gal. 2:20). I believe that icons are a consequence of and a witness to the Incarnation of Our Saviour and an integral part of Christianity; thus there is no question of a human custom or doctrine having been superimposed upon the Tradition of the Church, as though it were an afterthought. I believe and I confess that the holy icons are not only decorative and didactic objects which are found in Church, but also holy and sanctifying, being the shadows of heavenly realities; and even as the shadow of the Apostle Peter once cured the sick -- as it is related in the Acts of the Apostles -- so in like manner do the holy icons, being shadows of celestial realities, sanctify us.

Concerning the Holy Relics of the Saints

I believe and I confess that when we venerate and kiss the holy relics, the grace of God acts upon our total being, that is, body and soul, and that the bodies of the saints, since they are the temples of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:9), participate in and are endued with this totally sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. Thus, God can act through the holy relics of His saints, as the Old Testament bears witness; for there we see that a man was resurrected by touching the bones of the Prophet Elisseus (II Kings 13:21). Therefore, I neither venerate holy relics for some sentimental reason, nor do I honour them as merely historical remains but acknowledge them as being, by the grace of God, endowed with intrinsic holiness, as being vessels of grace. Indeed, in the Acts of the Apostles we see that the faithful were healed by touching the Apostles' "handkerchiefs" and "aprons" (Acts 19:12).

Concerning the Holy Scriptures

I believe that all the Scriptures are inspired by God and that, as St. John Chrysostom says, "It is impossible for a man to be saved if he does not read the Scriptures." However, the Holy Scriptures cannot be dissociated from the Church, for She wrote them. The Scriptures were written in the Church, by the Church and for the Church. Outside the Church, the Scriptures cannot be understood. One trying to comprehend the Scriptures though outside the Church is like a stranger trying to comprehend the correspondence between two members of the same family. The Holy Scriptures lose their meaning, the sense of their expression and their content for the man who is a stranger to the Church, to Her life, to Her Mysteries and to Her Traditions, since they were not written for him. I believe and I confess that there is no contradiction whatsoever between the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church. By the word "Tradition," I do not mean an accumulation of human customs and practices which have been added to the Church. According to the holy Apostle Paul, the written and oral Traditions are of equal value; for it is not the means of transmission that saves us, but the authenticity of the content of what has been transmitted to us. Furthermore, the teaching of the Old Testament as well as that of the New Testament were transmitted orally to God's people before they were written down. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures themselves are a part of Holy Tradition which is a unified whole and we must accept it as a whole, and not choose bits and parts according to our private opinions or interpretations. The official versions and texts of the Orthodox Church are the Septuagint version of the Old Testament (which was used by the Apostles when they recorded the New Testament) and the Greek text of the New Testament. Translations into the various languages have also been approved by the Church and are extensively used. I acknowledge that there are a plurality of meanings for each verse of the Bible, provided that each interpretation be justified by the teachings of the Holy Fathers who are glorified by God. I reject all human systems of interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, whether they be allegorical, literalistic, or otherwise. I confess that the Holy Scripture was written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it is solely through the Holy Spirit that we can read and understand It. I acknowledge that I cannot read or understand the Scriptures without the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the illumination of the Tradition of the Church, even as the eunuch of Candice could not understand the prophets without the aid of St. Philip, who was sent to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 8). I denounce as blasphemous every attempt to correct, re-adapt or "de-mythologize" the sacred texts of the Bible. I confess that Tradition alone is competent to extablish the Canon of the Holy Scriptures since only Tradition can declare what belongs to it and what is foreign to it. Moveover, I confess that the "foolishness of preaching" (I Cor. 1:21) is superior to the wisdom of man or his rationalistic systems.

Concerning the Church

I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, and that It was instituted by God through the power of the Holy Spirit and by revelation. I reject the idea that the Church is a form of piety which is the fruit of a philosophical or historical evolution, or the fruit of human reason and ingenuity. The Church is instituted by God and is a tree which is rooted in the Heavens. We receive nourishment of its fruits, although the planting remains supernatural. I believe that no other Name under heaven has been given us by which we can be saved, besides that of Jesus Christ. I believe that one can not dissociate Jesus Christ from His Church, which is His Body. I believe with St. Cyprian of Carthage that the man who does not have the Church for his Mother cannot have God as his Father, and that outside the Church there is no salvation. I believe that neither ignorance, nor lack of awareness, or even the best intentions, can excuse one and justify him or her for salvation; for if even in the true Church, "the righteous will scarcely be saved" (I Peter 4:18) as the Scriptures say, how can one conclude that ignorance or error -- even if it be inherited -- can excuse one or that good intentions can lead us with certainty into the Kingdom of Heaven? According to His boundless mercy and righteousness God deals with those who are outside the Church, and the Apostle forbids us to concern ourselves with the judgements of God concerning such people. God did not institute schismatic and heretical assemblies that they might work in parallel with the Church for the salvation of men. For this reason, schismatic and heretical assemblies ("churches") are not workshops of salvation; rather, they are obstacles created by the devil, wherein error and truth are mingled in different proportions so that the true Church may not be recognized. Therefore, with the Holy Fathers I confess that: "The martyrdom of heretics is suicide and the virginity of heretics is fornication." Outside of the Church there is no true Baptism, nor any other Mystery. Hence, the Apostolic Canons and the canons of the Ecumenical Councils forbid us to pray with schismatics and heretics, be it in private or in Church, as they forbid us, under the penalty of defrockment and excommunication, to permit them to function as clergymen.

Concerning How the Church's Organization is Superior to Ethnic Considerations

I believe and I confess that the Church makes no distinction in the race of Her believers or their nationality or their language. The sister and autocephalous Orthodox Churches have been historically delimited by national, geographic, and jurisdictional boundaries, but not as if these had any scriptural or messianic significance. Thus, according to Canon Law, there can not be two bishops named for the same area. The Church's brotherhood and unity is enacted by God and permeates the very essence and nature of God. This unity is not subject to racial, familial, national, political, economic, cultural or social considerations, which are of this world ("The things which are Caesar's," Matt. 22:21). The brotherhood of the Church is one of "the things which are of God," and the "world has no part in it." (In 1872, the Ecumenical Patriarchate condemned as heresy the concept of "phyletism" which places a particular nationality and its interest, goals and aspirations above the Church.)

Concerning the Head of the Church

I believe that the only Head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Church has never had, nor shall ever have a "universal" bishop. A "primate" or an "Ecumenical Patriarch" is not a prelate with universal jurisidiction over the Church, nor was the Pope of Rome, nor the Pope of Alexandria, for that matter, ever so considered in the early centuries before the rise of Papal pretensions, expecially from the ninth century on. The titles "patriarch," "archbishop," "metropolitan," and so forth, do not denote a difference of episcopal grace. The unity of the Orthodox Church is expressed by the harmony of Her bishops, by Her common Faith, common Law, and common spiritual life. Every bishop (the visible head) and his flock (the visible body) constitute the fulness of the Body of Christ. There can be no Church without a bishop, even as a body cannot exist without a head. Since He is God, our Lord Jesus Christ, despite His Ascension into the Heavens, remains with us until the end of time in accordance with His promise (Matt. 28:20); therefore, since He is not absent, He does not require a "vicar," in the Papal sense, to rule over His Body. The Holy Spirit directs the Church and accomplishes that incomprehensible identification in which our incarnate Lord Jesus, and the Holy Eucharist, and the assembly of the Church are one and the same and are called the Body of Christ. The Ecumenical and Local Councils do not invent symbols of faith, but, guided by the Holy Spirit, bear witness to what has been delivered by the Church at every time, in every place, and by every one; and they promulgate the canons necessary to put the Faith into practice as it has been lived and professed from the beginning. Infallibility is an attribute of the Catholicity of the Church of Christ, and not an attribute of a single person or, de facto, of an hierarchical assembly. A council is not "ecumenical" because of the exterior legality of its composition (since this factor does not oblige the Holy Spirit to speak through a council), but because of the purity of the Faith of the Gospels which it professes. "Truth (i.e. conformity to the Apostolic Tradition) judges the Councils," says St. Maximus the Confessor. There is no "pope," superior to the Councils who must ratify them, but rather it is the conscience of the Church, which, being infallible, does or does not recognize the authenticity of a Council, and which does or does not acknowledge that the voice of the Holy Spirit has spoken. Hence, there have been councils which, though fulfilling the exterior conditions of ecumenicity, were nonethless rejected by the Church. The Church's criterion, according to St. Vincent of Lerins, is the Church.

Concerning the Church and Holy Tradition

I believe that the Church is directed by the Holy Spirit. I believe that, in the Church, man cannot invent anything to take the place of revelation, and that the details of the Church's life bear the imprint of the Holy Spirit. Hence, I refuse human reason the right to make clear distinctions between what it thinks to be primary and what secondary. A Christian's moral life can not be dissociated from his piety and his doctrinal confession of faith. I denounce as being contrary to Tradition the dissociation of the Church's profession of Faith from Her administration. By the same token, the Church's disciplinary canons are a direct reflection of Her Faith and Doctrine. I reject any attempt to revise or "purge," "renovate," or "make relevant" Orthodoxy's canonical rules or liturgical texts.

Concerning the Life That Is To Come

I believe in the existence of eternal life. I believe in the Second Coming, that is, the glorious return of the Lord, when He sahll come to judge the living and the dead, and render to each man according to the works that he did while living in the body. I believe in the extablishment of the Kingdom of His righteousness. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and I believe that we will be resurrected in the body. I believe that both the Kingdom of God and Hell shall be eternal. I do not transgress the Fourth Commandment when I observe Sunday, the eighth day, the day which prefigures the "new creation," since formerly, before the Incarnation, the primordial perfection of the creation of the world was commemorated by the Sabbath day of rest. By observing Sunday, I confess the new creation in Jesus Christ, which is of greater import and more real than the existing creation which yet bears the wounds of sin. I believe also that both the righteous and the sinners who are departed now enjoy a foretaste of their final destiny, but that each man shall receive the entirety of what he deserves only at the Last Judgement. God loves not only those who dwell in Paradise, but also those who are in Hell; in Hell, however, the Divine love constitutes a cause of suffering for the wicked. This is not due to God's love but to their own wickedness, which resents this love and experiences it as a torment. I believe that, as yet, neither Paradise nor Hell has commenced in a complete and perfect sense. What the reposed undergo now is the partial judgment, and partial reward and punishment. Hence, for the present, there is also no resurrection of the bodies of the dead. The saints, too, await this eternal and perfect state (even as a "perfect" and everlasting Hell awaits the sinners), for, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul states, "and these all (i.e., all the saints), having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, since God has provided some better thing for us, so that they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 14:40). Therefore, all the saints await this resurrection of their bodies and the commencement of Paradise in its perfect and complete sense, as St. Paul declares in the Acts of the Apostles, "I believe all things which are written in the law and in the prophets, and have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:14-15). But even though they do not yet partake of their glory fully, the intercessions of the saints are nonetheless efficacious even now, for St. James in his Catholic Epistle, did not say "the effectual prayer of a righteous man shall avail much," but rather, "availeth much" (James 5:16) even now. I believe that Paradise and Hell will be twofold in nature, spiritual and physical. At present, because the body is still in the grave, both the reward and the punishment are spiritual. Therefore, we speak of Hades (i.e., the place of the souls of the dead) because, as such, Hell (i.e., the place of everlasting spiritual and physical torment) has not yet commenced. Hades was despoiled by our Saviour by His descent thither and by His Resurrection, but Hell, on the contrary, shall be eternal. In that day, Christ shall say unto those on the left, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). This is attested to in the Gospels by the demons also, in the miracle of the healing of the demoniac who lived in the district of the Gadarenes. For, at the approach of our Saviour, the demons cried out, "What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" Thus, they are not yet in Hell, but they do know that a Day has been appointed when Hell shall commence. I do not believe in "purgatory," but I believe, as the Scriptures attest, that the prayers and fasts made by the living for the sake of the dead have a beneficial effect on the souls of the dead and upon us, and that even the souls that are in darkness are benefited by our prayers and fasts. The public prayers of the Church, however, are reserved exclusively for those who have reposed in the Church. Insofar as it depends upon my own wish, I shall not permit my body to be cremated, but shall specify in my Will that my body be clothed, if possible, in my Baptismal tunic and be buried in the earth from which my Creator took me and to which I must return until the Saviour's glorious Coming and the Resurrection from the dead.

The End and Glory Be to God
Because It Worked So Well With North Korea...

We'll try it again. How stupid can one administration be? The idiots who support the Republican Party will, in one breathe berate Jimmy Carter's deal with North Korea, then sing the praises of Dubya.

Wonder how they feel now that Dubya is making the same damned mistake?

Two party system my ass.
Nate's Dictionary of Progressive Principles

Affirmative Action: Jobs must always be given to those who cannot perform them.

Multiculturalism: Society works best when its divided into many groups that hate each other.

Wellfare: Money must be taken from those who work for it and given to those who do not.

Bilingualism: Societies best function when people can't communicate with each other.

Diversity: Society functions best when everyone thinks and speaks in exactly the same way.

Disarmament: The best way for a country to defend itself is to irradicate its best means of self defense.

Feminism: Society functions best when ugly women control everything.

Gun Control: Society functions best when only the violent lawbreakers are armed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ridin' With DJ

I'm sure y'all realized I was gone this weekend... what with the absense of ATF on Friday night. We were headin' down to Georgia to meet up with Julie's family for the weekend... KLX in tow for a saturday adventure with Darlin' Joy.

The Weapons of Choice:

DJ has a cool little Ninja 250 that I dearly love. So much fun. So flickable... its just like a real sportbike... almost. She keeps the thing wound up tight too... I don't think it dropped below 9,000rpms all day. Y'all already know about the KLX.

An Auspicious Start

First things first. DJ wanted me to teach her to change her oil. Which of course meant she wanted me to change her oil for her. I was actually going through the motions of pretending to teach her to change her oil when she informed me that she'd recently done her nails. So of course I changed her oil. This is where I really began to fall in love with the little Ninja. Working on it is even easier than my KLX. The oil filter change is quick... ingeniusly quick. And yes... JAC... I told her all about loctite.

On the Road

Maintanence complete we headed out to fuel up and see what we could see. Once out of the neighborhood I was immediately struck with the realization that Joy could actually ride. The little red bike was would up tight... and she was flicking it into turns like she'd ridden all her life. It took me most of the day to get used to that.

We meandered all around Lake Lanier... finding what fun we could. The lake is beautiful. Honestly I've never seen so many sailboats. I even found a sand bar to get a better look.


You'd be amazed at how fast that bike tire breaks loose in the sand. Or maybe you wouldn't.

Elvis! Performing live at the buffet! Classic!

Sadly we didn't stay to see the King. Nor did we partake of the buffet. Place looked like a real good spot to get in a fight... and well... DJ's cute but I don't think her right hook is that intimidating. We rode on and found us a pizza and sub shack and called it a draw.

All in all we had us a big time. I blew past a fatass on a Harley... and paced one all the way up highway 369 on my little 250 thumper. Dude was givin' it all he had... and I was right on his butt. Ever curve he'd look in his mirror and just shake his head. God help the boy if DJ had decided to blow by. He'd never have been able to live with himself.

I'll work on her. A girl has to take these opportunities when they're presented.

Anyway... we had a big day... Hope y'all enjoy the pictures. There are more over at DJ's blog. Check 'em out.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


So we were away for a little while, and apparently over the weekend... these flowers bloomed in our front flower beds. Does anyone have any idea what these are? They look freaky. Like some prehistoric plant decided to spring up and devour the well-adjusted mums that had previously been there. Ok... they didn't actually eat any mums... and they probably aren't prehistoric... but they look like they could be... and could have... or whatever.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Dalai Lama is Pro-Gun

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." — The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

There ya go... find a liberal and shove that quote up his ass.
The Tennessee Garden

So as it turns out my wife is a huge fan of raised bed gardens. This, while virtually eliminating the weeding problems, requires the backbreaking labor of constructing the things. Construct it I did though... 12 railroad ties... a truck full of dirt... ***POOF*** garden.

So how's it doin?

Well.... I'm sure y'all have seen JAC's sickly little tomatoes over at Threeway. For comparison... have a gander at mine.

Peppers and green beans. Not bad eh? Hope y'all are havin' good luck too.