Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something I Did Not Know

Baton Rouge is the new Brooklyn. The Internet, what isn't on it?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Tell If You Watch Too Much TV

If you can name both of these guys:



Extra credit (demerits?) if you can name the Sham Wow guy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Size Matters

Atlanta's name chef, Richard Blais, has opened a burger joint, Flip. Sally and I ate there recently and enjoyed the food (although we did look askance at the desserts. A Krispy Kreme shake seems like such a bad idea on so many different levels).

Some controversy has emerged over the size of Mr. Blais' burgers. The burgers at Flip are about 3 to 3&1/2 ounces cooked, which works out to a 1/4 pound uncooked. They are extraordinarily tasty. Some persons are complaining that the burgers are too small and are comparing them to Krystals, which is both unkind and inaccurate.

When did 1/2 pound burgers become standard? Are we so gorged on the standard Applebees/ Good Fridays/ Chilis fare that we have lost sight of what size a burger ought to be? A standard McDonalds hamburger patty is 1/10th of a pound uncooked. The Quarter Pounder is, oddly enough, 1/4 of a pound uncooked. With Mickey D's meat there is of course much shrinkage after cooking.

My major problem with eating out is the portion size. I've found that I'm really not very hungry at night. When I'm presented with the normal portions found in a restaurant, I almost always have to take some or most of it home for leftovers. This is especially problematic with the freezer bag/microwave restaurants as the food typically isn't that wonderful when originally served.

Restaurants like to serve large portions as their patrons perceive it as good value. The major expense in running a restaurant is not food cost, but labour. Since it takes almost the same effort to nuke a one pound meal as a one half pound meal, the can afford to 'give away' the extra food.

The result of all this has been that as we eat out more, we've been eating a lot more out, and we're, at least i'm, getting fatter.

One possible result of this recession is that we may eat out less. I hope so. I hate buying new belts.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Really Good Question

Dean Munday asked the question: What is Jesus doing?

Go there and read.

The State I'm In

Here in Georgia the sale of liquor, beer and wine in bottles is strictly prohibited on Sundays. You can still buy a glass of wine or a martini to go with your meal but you're out of luck if you want a six pack of Bud for the game.

Normally that isn't a problem. Neither Sally nor I are real drinkers so we don't really miss not being able to buy on the Baptist Sabbath.

However, it now is. My father's 80th birthday is January 6th. All of his progeny, friends and relations are gathering the weekend after New Years to celebrate. My extraordinarily capable baby sister is coordinating the party preparations and she assigned us the task of getting the champagne.

The only problem with that is that I have no actual knowledge of champagne. My goal is to get enough for the crowd with a little left over. The champagne needs to be drinkable (no sparkling Thunderbird in other words) and cheap.

Yesterday we were in a large discount store late in the day and we noticed they had three different sparkling wines: Asti, Korbel and 'some other brand'. I had heard of the first two and know them to be okay in quality. The price on the third was ideal. I jotted down the price and sizing information on all three, did some more shopping, then went home. When I looked the 'some other brand' up on the web I found that it was considered to be the best of three. So it is easily the best value for the money. It may be sparkling vinegar, but based upon price, bottle size and reputation, it is my platonic ideal of champagne.

But I can not buy it because of my home state's stupid liquor laws. Which means I have to wait until after I finish work on Monday to score the bargain of the year.

All of which explains why I am not sharing the name of the store or the name of the wine with the entire Internet community. I'm not naming names, but some of you would scurry down to the store and scarf it up before I can get there.

Favourite Cooking Site

Michael Chu's Cooking For Engineers is a seriously wonderful resource for cooks. Those who are intuitive and cook by feel may not get a lot out of it, but those of us who like to have everything laid out in advance get much benefit therefrom. In particular, his toffee recipe is nigh perfect.

Friday, December 26, 2008

One Track Prophetic Voice

The only problem with the Simpsons is that all too often they focus on the municipal level rather than the federal. The Simpsons writers still are entirely too accurate.



Monorail. Heh.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Too Can Make a Difference

Scottish politicians have attacked the 50's vintage dance and song 'The Hokey Pokey' as anti-Catholic hate dancing. I don't have an anti-Catholic bone in my body, so I plan on joining the more sensible Scots in singing a verse or two on 12-27-2008. Won't you join me in "You put your left hand in...."?

{H/T LGF}

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fair Trade Bushwa

I drink a lot of coffee (at least a quart a day). I'm also rather picky. Recently on one of the mailing lists I follow, the subject of coffee came up. Times are getting hard and most everyone on the list is interested in saving money.

This is a lefty group of folks. They are progressive to a fault. No one suggested or mentioned fair trade. In a similar thread a year and a half ago, everyone was all about the 'fair trade'.

What really opened my eyes was I posted I roast my own coffee. I roast coffee in our oven. It takes about 12-15 minutes. It smokes the house fairly thoroughly, but it's fast, cheap and delicious that way. I know some people who roast their coffee on the outside grill (a lot less smoky). You can buy dedicated home roasters to produce even more consistent results. None of this is either expensive or difficult.

More to the point, you can buy, via the Internet, green coffee beans directly from the grower. This is much better than fair trade. The grower does not have to pay to join up to a marketer. every dollar you pay goes directly into the source's pocket.

What interests me is the degree to which a group of progressives prioritize doing good versus being frugal versus convenience. Most friends and family view me as eccentric for home roasting, but it truly isn't difficult (it is smoky). But most of the mailing list have jettisoned the fancy named fair trade brands for Yuban and Maxwell House. So Price beats Convenience which in turn beats Doing Good.

Hard times are interesting. They give you a view into people's souls in a way prosperous times never do. So far the test has been mild for those I know. May it continue so.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tagged- Gah!

My darling baby sister has tagged me. This is an Internet phenomenon which I have hitherto avoided participating in. She's family though, so here goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Check.
2. Post the rules on your blog. Check.
3. Write six random things about yourself. (See below)
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (See further below...)
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random things

1. We have five cats, one boy and four girls.
2. While I like martinis very much, my favourite cocktail is still a gin & tonic.
3. Our cats' favourite key on the keyboard to hit is F7 (Caret Browsing).
4. I have two post graduate degrees. I barely use one and I snub the other.
5. I like almost anything that involves almonds.
6. I read the Hooker translation of Cyrano de Bergerac at least once a year.

Tagging the following: Perpetua, Rachael, Zana, Cliff, Gene and ABP.

A Phrase Explained

Many years ago the Presiding Bishop of the time, Frank Griswold, exhorted all of us to "live into the tension". I've never really understood what was meant by that phrase. Until now.

In the revisionist worldview, we are clowns walking on a tightrope suspended between a stone column and a random group of onlookers. And all of that activity occurs inside a largish building where our ancestors used to worship God.

Much has been made clear.

Life in a Police State

PC Copperfield relates what the differences and similarities between being a policeman in the UK and Canada. Eye opening stuff to an American.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Point of All This Church Stuff

The only reason I respond to the writings of those who run my former church is to try to reach them with the Gospel.

Here is something I posted over at Stand Firm. It's not the best. But it's what I think.

What the above commenters wrote. When I use the word ‘heretic’ I do not use it lightly. Can you honestly say that Archbishop Cranmer would be in accord with your theology? Or Archbishop Laud?

You see, we’ve read your writings and we’ve heard your talks. We read the HoBD mailing list. Greg’s foray into investigative reporting was not news to me (and no I wasn’t one of the ones who relayed Ann’s post to him).

To be explicit, you are a heretic. You are in a position of leadership of a church that purports to be Christian and that used to be so. That is bad. Most of those who comment at StandFirm do so because we are concerned about that sort of thing.

My ideal resolution to this conflict between the heretics in power and the Christians who are opposing them is that you lot will repent of your sins, confess your errors and convert to Christianity. The very reason I, and others, engage in dialog is to reach that resolution.

Some of us had hoped that the impaired or ruptured communion tat the Episcopal Church is in with a large portion of the world’s Anglicans would have been a wake up call for our leadership. Instead of repentance, we saw self-justification, rage and denial. None of those emotions are the fruits of the Spirit.

You and your fellows have set yourselves up as arbiters of who God is, what He is like and how He operates. You have corrupted the word ‘Love’ to serve your ends, and you presume to tell God that He must change to conform to your vision of the world.

On a more personal level, nothing would make me happy than to know that you have stopped telling God what He is, what His limits are and how He should operate in this fallen world. If you could repent of your pride and ask God what He would of you, and seek to serve Him in humility and charity, then any conflict we might have would end.

We are the unworthy servants, and He is our master. He will not allow any other God before Him. And He loves you and me and all of us too much to allow us to continue in our sin.

I will continue to pray for you, Tom Woodward. I fear for your soul as well as the souls of your fellows.

There is a similar conversation over at Dr. Mabuse's Kraalspace. In fairness, here are the links to Tom Woodward's blog and Lisa Fox's.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because It's My Birthday

I'm posting my two favourite Xmas videos. They're probably not safe for work. Enjoy!



and

Learning History from the Movies

Today is Dec. 7, the day that this government killed over 80,000 Japanese civilians at Hiroshima in 1941, two days before killing an additional 64,000 Japanese civilians at Nagasaki by dropping nuclear bombs on innocent people.


The Rev. Jeremiah Wright

{H/T to the Reformed Pastor}

Of course, we all really know what happened back on December 7, 1941:



Of course the important thing is to do as the following video suggests:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cure for the Drearies

Kittens.

Every time I've started to slide into my usual winter melancholia our two new kittens do something unbelievably cute, amazingly stupid or both.

The only thing wrong with kittens is that they grow up from small, vibrant, affectionate bundles of energy into cats.

Addiction and the Efficient Market

I was browsing the Williams Sonoma online catalog (horrible mistake!) and ran across my favourite candy, Jordan almonds. The bold and brash marketeers at W-S are selling this popular candy treat at $19.95 for 8.8 ounces, or $36.27 per pound. That seemed a bit high. A quick search on Google yielded several alternate vendors. The cheapest of which sells them at $5.49 per pound. The priciest sells them at $24.95 per pound. One vendor sorts the candies by grade, with the costliest being priced at $6.94 per pound. Or you can simply go to the Fresh Market or the movie theatre and buy them (price unknown, but the theatre is probably pretty pricey).

The advantage Williams Sonoma has over these less expensively priced sellers is that W-S is known. They have a reputation for quality. W-S also allows purchasers to post reviews of their various products on their website. The advantage the other sellers have is they are less expensive, in two cases dramatically so.

Were I actually to buy the candied nuts, I'd go with the last linked vendor. You can choose your price point and select colours (always a feature!). But obviously the seasoned sellers at Williams Sonoma expect that there will be enough purchasers of their candy to make carrying it profitable. Is the premium of the W-S branding and quality assurance really worth $29 per pound?

There is a market out there for spendy candy, but to spend that much for a package seems just plain nuts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Inspiration From Broadway

Linda Eder sings 'I Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha'. This and 'Impossible Dream' qualify on the short list for rousingest anthems. There's currently quite the debate as to who sang better, Richard Kiley or Brian Stokes Mitchell. Linda Eder is here by way of a compromise. All three versions are terrific. And doesn't she have a wonderful voice?


Folk Music Palate Cleanser

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Law and the Face of Evil

This is a hard one to write. I'm still that angry.

Attorneys are required to have a set number of hours of continuing legal education each year. In Georgia, the requirement is twelve hours. Today, I attended this seminar. The speakers were largely well balanced on the issue of the second amendment rights. Most were well-prepared (Bob Barr being the notable exception. I am so glad I didn't vote for him. He seemed nice though.)

Two of the speakers were people I disagree with. One was a Mr. Eric Proshansky. He is leading the New York City civil case against the gun dealers. While I suspect he agrees with his client's stance politically, he was nonetheless professional and did an excellent job of advocating an unpopular position in the face of a polite, but hostile audience. He came across as a fighter and possibly a former debate team captain. Were he in private practice, he is an advocate I would recommend to clients without a qualm.

The second speaker with whom I am in disagreement is the point of this post. Professor Eric Segall teaches Constitutional law at Georgia State University Law School. He is an intelligent man. He was one of two Georgia State Law Profs that discussed the Heller case. And he crawled me.

As a minor point, he referred to the Supremes as being comprised of four conservatives, one swing vote (Justice Kennedy) and four moderates. By definition, the four dissenters are not moderates. They are liberals or leftists, but not moderates. So he did us the favour of signaling his bias and contempt for accuracy in one sentence.

Basically, he exemplified the leftist elite. The stereotypical "we are smarter, better, brighter and more capable than you plebeians. Just go away and let us run the world for you." Unfortunately, attorneys are already arrogant so that kind of condescension did not play well.

But the major point I am making is his utter contempt for precedent and, to a lesser degree, inherent rights. He is a bright fellow. He is intellectually corrupt. If we, as a profession and as a nation abandon precedent as the basis for judge made law, then what we are left with are an aggregation of subjective judgments that can be over-ruled without restraint. We would be a nation held hostage to judicial and legislative caprice. The United States would be exactly opposite of the nation it was founded to be.

Maybe Mr Segall wants to live in such a world, but I do not. Further, if he truly thought his stance through, he would realize that however much subjectivity may be justified as a metaphysical position (which view I do not hold), at law we have to use an absolute standard, even if it means pretending there is such a thing (more on that later). Only by appealing to an absolute set of rules, even if man made, can the laws be enforced evenly. And only if the laws are enforced evenly will they be obeyed.

That Professor Segall does not understand that is horrible. That he teaches a policy driven Constitutional Law class is a shocking waste of the taxpayer's money. The charge that was leveled against Socrates can fairly be leveled against Professor Segall.*

*However, I do not advocate that he meet the same end. Rather, I hope for his conversion from the forces of incoherency over to the side of Truth, Justice and the American Way. With a lot less kryptonite.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Bad News About the Good News

Up until now there have been several dioceses that have consistently grown by any measure (SC, Tennessee etc). The big story of 2007 is that no one grew. Atlanta, where I live, has coasted on a rising tide of immigrants from other parts of the country, some percentage of whom were Episcopalians. This resulted in some pretty statistics for a while.

I think, from a membership standpoint, 2007 will be a watershed year for the Episcopal Church. Absent some bold actions, the negatives for growth (aging membership, defections and lack of children) are going to outnumber the positives (defections from other denominations).

Two of the negatives (lack of children and aging) are going to result in an accelerated rate of decline over the years unless something happens to reverse them.

From a purely economic/business point of view, TEC is in almost exactly the same position as Sears. No new customers, existing customers are leaving (whether by going to another store or dying), huge fixed costs, and the goods are perceived as unattractive by potential customers. Further, much as Sears has backed off of or eliminated long standing policies (the Craftsman guarantee springs to mind), the Episcopal Church has rendered whole areas of belief optional.

The bottom line is this, if we want to buy crappy tools or shoddy clothing, we don't have to go to Sears. Wal-Mart is cheaper. Likewise, if I want false teaching, dubious logic or bad music, I have a tv, with satellite no less. No church membership is required.

{H/T Underground Pewster}

Inspirational

Check out this story about Father Zakaria who has both courage and conviction. There is a desperate shortage of Christians like him.

{H/T Scott}

Monday, December 08, 2008

Apologizing for the Sins of Our Forebears

On behalf of all people my age and older, I offer my sincere apologies for the seventies.



And yes, the lead singer is in fact Sarah Brightman. Andrew Lloyd Webber rescued her from a life of disco.

I'd Say 'Stick a Fork'

In England, they're done. But apparently the sale of tableware is restricted. So I can't.

{H/T Robb}

Standard Answer

In the future, reappraisers ought to reply as follows to any criticism anyone might have of any innovation they wish to introduce:

God is clearly doing a new thing in the diocese of Los Angeles. The folks there are simply being church and living into the all inclusiveness of God’s love. We’ll all get a chance to share our story and do some theology. As for same sex marriage, well, that’s complicated, but by embracing the listening process, walking through life’s labyrinth, and living into the reality that there is much pain in the church right now and we have to allow time for healing, we will all be less shellfish.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

If It Only Had Pirates



This would be the perfect horror movie. It has everything else: nazi's, zombies, nazi zombies, cute girls, snow, blood, blood on the snow and a chainsaw.

Caution: Some naughty language in the subtitles.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lovely Word

My favourite word is 'love'. But one of my top ten faves is 'hope'. Recently, I had an exchange with Dean Munday of Nashotah House on his blog. A concern of many among the conservative Episcopalians has been the complacency with which the leadership of the Episcopal Church regards the decline in membership. Both average Sunday attendance and actual membership have decreased since the mid-sixties. There have been a few years in that period where the trend has leveled or reversed, but overall the trend has been down.

The word from our leadership has been that this is a natural result from our demographics and the trend is shared amongst most mainline Protestant denominations. All of which is true. What has been missing is any sense of urgency as well as any sense that this is serious and worth devoting energy and resources to reversing.


I read the House of Bishops and Deputies Mailing List at least twice a week. One senior clergyman reports on church defections and other demographic catastrophes from time to time. The responses to his posts have been largely vitriolic, condemning him for presuming to mention bad news. I have been and remain somewhat perplexed by these responses.

I am not the most optimistic person on the planet. My wife has repeatedly said that my brother got double the normal dose of optimism and I received double the normal dose of pessimism. She is probably right. I rarely think things will end well. Reality is messy, and the world is full of pain.

However, in the end, all will indeed be well. At the core of the Gospel is that lovely word 'hope'. Our hope is in Jesus, and He has said that we are known to God and loved by Him and that we have a home with Him at the end.

I think Dean Munday hit the nail on the head when he wrote “I would argue that this aspect of the European mentality is characteristic of American liberals as well. And that is hardly surprising, since once you have given up the assumptions of historic Christianity about the Gospel, sin and redemption, the nature and destiny of the human soul, etc., a kind of resignation about one's own decline and death or the destruction of human institutions takes over. “

So what we are seeing is a church that shows that it has abandoned the Gospel by its lack of hope. Is it little surprise that it also shows very little love either? A church without hope is a church that will not feel the need to evangelize. If there is no Good News, then there is no need to share Good News. What is left is a need to make the best of our time here on earth before we totter to our graves and the final oblivion.

This has produced some good results. The Episcopal Church really did well in promoting civil rights in the fifties and sixties. But it also has left us with a church unpinned by any constraints. As well as a church complacent in its own righteousness and purpose, because if there is no hope, then there really isn't any God. All that is left is social action as defined by a relativistic human scale.

As for me, as pessimistic as I am, and I am pessimistic, I cling to the hope we have been given by our Creator and is best exemplified by His Passion and Resurrection. That hope is well worth sharing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Birthday

I was saving this one for my birthday, which is in a couple of weeks, but instead I think I'll post it today, in honour of the newly created Anglican Province here in North America. It certainly seems to have set some folks' teeth on edge.



It probably seems odd to post a techno/goth music vid to mark a religious event, but the words to the song are moderately apropos.

For a more reasoned essay, check this out.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Iceland Explained

Megan McArdle gives the full skinny on how Iceland hammered the world economy.

My only quiblle is she left out Iceland's greatest contribution to world culture.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our New Additions

Sally and I stopped by the Humane Society determined to bring home another kitten. Just our luck, they were having a two for one sale.

So here are the new kittens. The boy's name is Pyewicket:




We haven't named the girl yet. Sally is leaning towards 'Monkey' but that could change.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cultivating New Vices

We're back. I can not heap enough praise upon Holland America. We had a lovely time.

Among other things I discovered I really like martinis. Scotch is tasty. Blackjack in the casino proved profitable. We came home with a full bar (liquor in St. Thomas can be quite affordable).

On the virtue front, we walked until we dropped. We ate lots and lots of vegetables, all voluntarily. San Juan, Puerto Rico is a lovely city full of lovely people.

Friday, November 21, 2008

While I'm Gone

Ponder this:



You have to admit it's a plausible explanation of what's going on in the world.

Sally and I will be off sailing the Caribbean for about a week, so no new postings for a bit.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stop!



Sam Brown

Sometimes the blues are good to hear. Sometimes they heal the soul.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ending It All

Let's assume that you want to arrange your own death. And Thanksgiving, for whatever twisted reason, seems like the day. Here is how you should do it. I think the five pounds of bacon alone would be enough, but that apparently is not over the top enough.

Turbaconducken. It's amazing how one word can encapsule so much fear, terror and apprehension.

And Now For Something Completely Different

The Pythons have posted high quality versions of their classic sketches on YouTube!



Check them out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Maybe this is why

I find clowns disturbing:

Wishes

Right now I wish I lived in Fort Worth, at least religiously. Instead, I live in Atlanta, where the diocese just passed the following resolutions:


R08-4

Development of Liturgical Rites for Same-Gender Unions

Resolved: This 102nd Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta approves the
following resolution to the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church,
meeting in Anaheim, California, in 2009; and be it further


Resolved: This council directs the Secretary of Council to transmit the
following resolution to the Secretary of the General Convention:


Resolved: The House of __________ concurring, the 76th General Convention of
The Episcopal Church authorizes the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
to develop appropriate rites for the celebration and blessing of the sacred
unions of gay and lesbian persons, taking into account the variety of civil
arrangements for such unions available in the regions served by the church;
and be it further


Resolved: that such rite or rites shall be presented at the 77th General
Convention of the Episcopal Church.



EXPLANATION
In light of events following the Lambeth Conference of 2008, it is clear
that our charitable restraint and response to the Windsor Report in the
matter of our declining to develop a rite or rites to allow the celebration
and blessing of sacred unions for people of the same gender has not had the
effect of preserving unity and civility between those who believe such
unions may be good and moral and those who cannot conceive as such a
possibility being within the bounds of Christian faith and the Anglican
Tradition. It is also clear that while a great many Episcopalians remain
undecided about their own beliefs in these matters, they recognize both the
desirability of allowing those who seek to make such commitments in the
midst of their community of faith to do so; and that the reality that the
cost of our charity has been at the expense of one clear minority within our
church; and further that there is no compelling reason that these brothers
and sisters should have to continue to bear the burden of that charity.

The development of such a rite or rites by and for the whole church will
allow a restoration of decency and order from diocese to diocese under the
guidance of each bishop, the ensuring of theological integrity to such rites
and the capacity of the church to "sanction" and declare such committed
relationships among people of the same gender to be both moral and fully
within the bounds of our common life.

Submitted by: The Rev. Geoffrey M. St.J. Hoare, The Rev. Charles M.
Girardeau,
The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, The Rev. Elizabeth Shows Caffey
All Saints', Atlanta



R08-5

Repeal of General Convention Resolution B033

Resolved, this 102nd Annual Council approves the following resolution to the
76th General Convention meeting in Anaheim, California, in 2009; and be it
further

Resolved, this Council directs the Secretary of Council to transmit the
following resolution to the Secretary of the General Convention:


General Convention Resolution

Resolved, the House of ___________, concurring, the 76th General Convention
of The Episcopal Church recognizes that the usefulness of Resolution B033 as
passed by the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church has run its
course; and be it further

Resolved, that the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church herewith
repeals Resolution B033 as passed by the 75th General Convention of The
Episcopal Church; and, be it further

Resolved that The Episcopal Church acknowledges with regret the further
oppression visited on the lesbian and gay members of this church by
Resolution B033 and its application; and apologizes for the potentially
negative impact of said resolution on the ability to respond to the
vocational call by the Holy Spirit to the episcopate of any members of this
church; and be it further

Resolved that The Episcopal Church expresses its appreciation to the lesbian
and gay members of this church for their patience during this time of
discernment for the church; and be it further

Resolved that in the call to see the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ in each other, this church pledges its utmost effort to keep all
parties "at the table" as The Episcopal Church continues to insure the full
participation of all of God's children in the life of this church.





EXPLANATION
Resolution B033 was an attempt by The Episcopal Church to help continue the
discussions prompted by resolutions passed at Lambeth Conferences in 1978,
1988, and 1998 and in response to portions of the Windsor Report and the
requests of the Primates of the Anglican Communion. The resolution did
little to achieve those goals. Yet it did extreme damage to the spiritual
well being of the lesbian and gay members of The Episcopal Church and had
the potential for limiting the response of those members to any call to the
episcopate they might have felt from the Holy Spirit. Resolution B033 needs
to be repealed in order to reassure the lesbian and gay members of this
church of their full membership in this church and help bring about
reconciliation among us all.

Submitted by the Diocese of Atlanta



Submitted by:

Bruce Garner, All Saints', Atlanta; Member, Executive Council of The
Episcopal Church
John Andrews, Grace-Calvary, Clarkesville
RPM Bowden Sr., St. Paul's, Atlanta; Member, Executive Council of The
Episcopal Church
Tim Raasch, St. James' Marietta; Convener, Integrity Atlanta


Because we are, apparently, not out of communion with nearly enough of the Anglican Communion. Upon reflection the absence of a resolution labeling Archbishop Akinola a 'big fat meanie' is startling.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Change and Hope

In the Orthodox Church of America. I truly hope their new Metropolitan can refocus their church on the Gospel and away from the scandals that have plagued it. There certainly seems to be reason enough to be optimistic on that score.

Obligatory Piskie bashing: Metropolitan Jonah was baptized an Episcopalian. If there is one thing the Episcopal Church needs, it's his sort of leadership. His money quote: "Authority is responsibility. Authority is accountability. It's not power."

The crisis in the Episcopal Church has worsened, and continues to worsen, precisely because men like James Paffhausen have left. It will never improve so long as the TEC follows the Peter Principle in lieu of St Peter's principles.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How Many Steps?

Hills of the North has much to say about being an Episcopalian. Hie thee hence!

Our Challenge

"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die"

It's bi-partisan, it's timely, important and the right thing to do. It's time for all right thinking people to rally around the cause of economic freedom.

Both the government currently in power and the government in waiting seem inclined to introduce distortions and interventions into the national economy. None of the proposed moves will aid recovery nor encourage growth, rather they seem calculated to benefit cronies and backers at the expense of the general public.

Free trade and deregulation are rarely brought forward as noble goals, but they are. Where deregulation has failed most dramatically is where the regulations remaining where hidden from public scrutiny (For an especially egregious example, look at the government requirements for lenders in regards to credit worthiness on home loans over the past ten years or so).

I'm not saying that the market is always right. But it usually is, and any distortions that arise are usually corrected fairly swiftly. I am saying that government intervention is almost always wrong, always expensive and always redounds to the benefit of a privileged minority at the expense of the general public.

As the memories of the seventies fade, a new generation of innocents have arisen who seem all too willing to be fleeced by the con men and snake oil salemen that cluster around politicians. I just hope that the lesson soon to be learned isn't too expensive for the rest of us.

More Proof

That the conventional wisdom about reporters is accurate. When I was in high school, the thinking was that if you wanted easy grades at college, you majored in journalism.

That policy continues to bear fruit.

I cringe every time I read an AP article about a Supreme Court decision. Every time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Defending Freedom

I've been to nice recently. Too calm, too collected, too darn perky. I was going to post a standard Veteran's Day post yesterday. Then I saw with our pal Liz Kaeton (not linking to her blog under any circumstances) wrote. And it's taken this long for me to cool down enough to write. Her one virtue is an easy, conversational writing style.

For everyone's convenience, I've reproduced her post in full, below. Let the fisking begin. Her blatherings are in Times font, my responses are in Georgia.

I support our troops, but not the War in Iraq or the War in Afghanistan.
The second part is accurate. But your support of the troops consists of saying you support the troops and pressing for their immediate withdrawal which renders everything that they have accomplished to date futile. No one is ever more idiotic or deceptive than a hippy who won't grow up. No one.

That's not an oxymoron. Neither is it unpatriotic.
See above statement in re: stupid and self-deceptive. And you don't love America. You love the bits that you like. You hate the rest of it. Your prior writings exemplify the level of your hate. You also continue to practise the Big Lie. Helpful tip: Saying your not unpatriotic doesn't make it so.

I love this country. I am as patriotic as the most patriotic person, but I love this country enough that I am against war - especially these two.

I love this county, I support our troops and I do not support the War, but I am not a pacifist. That takes real courage - courage I confess I have searched for but have not yet found.
You are a pacifist, unless the war is against the people you despise. The right, the whites, the middle class, the religious, the Christians and any one else who actually believes in a higher standard or who tries to be ethical or moral. You're a lefty revolutionary type and you very much believe the ends justify the means. You have used the old cliche about omelets and eggs.

I fear I am too much of a coward to be a true pacifist.

That's one way to put it. I wouldn't have said it quite that way. I agree you are a coward. And I also agree that you aren't a pacifist. But here you are trying a bit of deflection. By pleading guilty to what you believe to be a lesser offense and admitting what you hope will be seen as a flaw, you hope to gain the reader's sympathy and gain acceptance of the farrago of rubbish that follows.

So, I have settled for this peace: I think the most patriotic thing we can do is to do everything we can to end these wars that are not ours and bring our young men and women home.
Of course, you can provide no justification for that remark. Instead of 'think' the better word is 'feel'. Thinking has nothing to do with what you have written.

In many ways, these two wars feel like Viet Nam all over again. Even my father - who fought on the Pacific Front in WWII, and was very proud to have been decorated with the Purple Heart - was very much against the Viet Nam War.
It feels that way because the only experience you have or will ever admit to having of war is Vietnam. The two current wars are not even remotely like Vietnam. If you bothered to become informed about them, then you would know that. But, because you are ignorant about Vietnam, not to mention every conflict the US has engaged in since that time, you come up with nonsense. Helpful hint to anyone who wishes to be informed about the current conflicts. Here are some useful websites, chock full of accurate and current information. And your Dad being a vet and all, that means his opinion informs the current day's issues. Nice.

One year, when I was about 9 or 10 years old, Veteran's Day fell on a week end. We left shortly after he had marched in the local Annual Veteran's Day Parade and traveled to a Military Cemetery outside of Boston to visit the grave of one of his buddies who had died.

After we had laid a small bouquet of poppies near the headstone, my father said to me, "Look around. Look at the gravestones. What do you see that's the same?"

I dutifully did as my father said, walking slowly among the markers on the graves, fingering the cool marble stone and listening to the dry leaves crackle as they were blown across barren field by the brisk November wind.

"Dad," I said, finally, "Everyone of these stones has PFC before the name. What does PFC stand for?"

Cue the class warfare.

My father smiled briefly, proud of his daughter's correct observation. His smile was suddenly clouded - the way the sun goes in and out in the November sky.

"Private first class," he said sadly.

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"They are the youngest soldiers - the newest soldiers - the ones with the least experience in war."

"Look around," my father continued after I considered his words. "You won't see too many graves marked 'Captain' or 'Lieutenant' or 'Colonel'. Oh, there are some, but most of the graves here are the PFC's."

Not to interject reality or anything into this affecting story, but the single most casualty prone rank in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and modern times is Lieutenant. There are less of them overall than PFC's. You have to ascend to field grade officer ranks to see any dramatic reduction in casualty rates.

"Like your friend?" I asked.

"Like me, too," he said.

He grew very quiet and said, "We were very young. Too young. We were young warriors, fearless young turks, ready, we thought, to die for our country. But, when death came to our friends, we were never ready. But, we had to keep going. We had to keep going . . ."

He took a few drags from his Lucky Strike and his eyes trailed off over the tops of the gravestones to a long ago battle in a country far, far away.

"War is a terrible thing," he said almost whispering his words over the rows of graves that held the bodies of young PFCs.

I looked at my father's face, lined with sorrow and pain and suddenly, it all came clear. In that moment, I understood the terrible nightmares that woke us up in the middle of the night - a sound so horrible and so loud as to wake the dead.

I realized, then, that it must have been the dead that had awakened him.

Suddenly, I understood his frustration and anger when he would 'get an attack of The Malaria', as he called it - which brought him right back to a place and time he'd much sooner forget and never have to relive ever again.

I couldn't possibly have understood - still can't possibly understand - the full cost of war, but I knew he had paid - and was continuing to pay - a heavy price for playing his part in The War that was supposed to have ended all wars. But didn't.

"War," he said again, "is a terrible thing."

He said it as fact and he said it as prayer.

I understood then, that some may have fought for freedom for all, but all may not ever again be fully free.

Pray for our Veterans on their Day.

Pray for peace in our time - and their's.

And bring them home ASAP, so they will never have closure. So that everything they have fought for will be forever in vain. So that evil will triumph, so that no other country will ever take the US seriously again. So that Elizabeth Kaeton can live the rest of her life in peace, knowing that the country where she lives has been doomed by her actions. that the grandchildren she purports to love will be the slaves of one faction or another. Pray for the people of Chatham, New Jersey and especially for the congregation of St Paul who have to endure the rantings of a narcissistic sociopath. And pray that nothing she desires ever comes to pass.

As for me, I'm praying for a miracle. I'm praying for the Reverend Doctor Elizabth Kaeton to repent and come to the fullness of faith in Christ Jesus her Lord. But then again, I've always liked long shots.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remedying a Deficiency

I've never posted any Enya. Until now.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Theatrical Advice

So you have a church and you're putting on a play. In San Francisco. And you're aiming your production at mature audiences. From all that I've read, there is only one thing your production lacks for it to reach its full potential.

So here is my best advice:




H/T StandFirm

Two versions

The modern:



The standard:

Friday, November 07, 2008

More Mood Music



The even more incomparable Edie Adams.

Mood Music



The incomparable Peggy Lee.

It's funny how a song can break you out of a mood.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Glad It's Over

On election night, I decided I wanted to take Sally out to eat. There's an Irish pub semi near us that I've been curious about for some time, so we discussed it and set off to see what it was like. We set off right around 6 pm.

Georgia has a curious law that prohibits the serving of alcohol on election day until after the polls close. The polls close at 7 pm. So the pub was completely deserted when we arrived. The service was very good and our waiter was friendly, competent and unobtrusive. The decor is well thought out.

Our table faced a tv screen which was showing the news. My guess is that the manager thought most patrons would want updates, it being election night and all. However, the polls not having closed, CNN was showing pundits and drivel. After a few moments of inanity, I asked our waiter if the tv could be switched to sports. He told us that he would try, and that he didn't think it would be a problem as we were the only customers.

Shortly after he left, all of the televisions started showing ESPN. Shortly after that, the bartenders, one after another, with a decent interval between, stopped by our table to thank us.

The food at Fados is good. My wife enjoyed the lamb dip sandwich and my steak salad was very tasty. Both were quite rich. We split the bread pudding with brown bread ice cream. It was adequate. The major turnoff for us was parking. Any place where there isn't close, free parking is pretty much off the repeat visit list.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My irony meter just broke

A local art museum is hosting a benefit for the American Diabetes Association. Sounds like a noble cause, right? I'm diabetic, so I'm very much in favour of the cause. It's the means that raised a few eyebrows around here.

Why not have a lard festival for the Heart Association or, better still, a liquor raffle for AA?

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Some crafty tips to help prepare:





and



Finally, some theme music:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote

Sally and I voted this morning at 10 AM. No lines, no waiting, a lot of cheerful poll workers. When we took our daily walk at the mall prior to lunch I scored a free coffee from Starbucks.

Rumour has it Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts, Brusters is giving a fifty cent discount and Bejn & Jerry's is giving out free small ice cream cones.

Gotta love the election day swag.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Really Didn't Plan on Doing This

And I know I will regret it later, but here is the Billy Ockham Presidential Endorsement:




I blame Rachael....

Making the World Safe for Idiots

Some local governments in Britain ban the use of Latin.

Monday Musicale

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bad Acid Trip

It's not an original obervation, but I'm more and more convinced that the anger and hostility directed against McCain stem from the flower power generation (don't miss the delusional writing promoting ACORN further down the blog (George Martin is an excellent writer, but he's not a great human being)). The most narcissistic generation in our nation's history, it has to be especially galling to have a candidate that was serving his country when they were serving themselves by draft dodging.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the overwhelming embrace of post modernism in academia is the outgrowth of that generation's attempt to cover up their lack of honour and total moral depravity.

There really is only one solution:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is This the New Evangelism?



Procession of the ghouls, Cathedral of St John the Divine, 10/31/2007.

If you want to see it this year, it will run you $15.00.

{H/T First Things}

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Bad Idea

Chrysler has a history of making unique, intriguing but tragically flawed cars. They continue that with the new 'Peapod'.

Forty miles isn't very far for a commuter car. For example, if you live in Cumming and work in downtown Atlanta, you're car will stop on I-85 south just after the merge, seven miles from your destination.

If you happen to live inside the perimeter or if you're in a smaller metro area you're still out of luck if you want to pick up some eggs on the way home, or if traffic just happens to stall one night.

Further, you can't even drive it on the interstates. It has no airbags and can not go faster than 25 miles per hour. So it's not even a commuter car.

The market for this vehicle is likely going to be doting fathers who don't want their darling daughters driving very far or very fast. Outside of Peachtree City, where is the market for this vehicle?

{H/T Instapundit}

It's That Special Time of Year

When Georgia voters head to the polls to give tax breaks to the wealthy and hammer ordinary property owners.

This time we have three amendments to the State Constitution.

Amendment One will give tax breaks to corporations that own forests if they promise not to develop them for fifteen years. Sounds good? No. The corporation will not make the pledge for properties that are anywhere near the metro areas. They will make the pledge for properties that are deeply rural. This will devastate the small counties in South Georggia where there aren't many inhabitants and the large timber companies are major landowners.

Amendment Two allows school districts to shift school taxes from schools to development. If we haven't learned already that allowing developers to play with government money is bad, then we've learned nothing from the past three years. And of course it will raise property values so the school children will benefit in the end. There's a wise old saw about the bird in the hand. I suggest any one considering this consider that saying. The last thing we need in these economic times is more government funded speculation.

Amendment Three shifts the burden of initially paving subdivisions from the developers who develop them to the municipalities and counties. The normal course of subdividing is that the developer paves the roads, then dedicates the streets to the local government, which then decides whether or not to accept the responsibility. They can and do refuse the dedication. Under Three, the developer could set up an IDD and then fund the street building with bonds that the developer doesn't have to pay. The new homeowners do. But what happens if the development fails, as so many have recently? Who gets left holding the bag on these bonds?

Fifty Two Years Ago

Because Bacon is the Uber Ingredient

Someone made a bacon apple pie. The world is an amazing place.

{H/T Breda}

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Light That is Sweden

Progressives have a tendency to present their policies and plans as inevitable. If so, this is our future.

Unfortunately for progressives, their success rate in getting their visions implemented is about as good as the Birchers.

On another point, why is that treating boys and girls identically always seems to wind up as teaching boys to be girlish? Why aren't girls forced to be more boyish? Or am I missing something? Regardless, I can't help but think that the entire effort is fruitless, a waste of time and bound to harm far more than it helps.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I love Youtube

See if you can name the movie before the end of the trailer.

Fighting

Yesterday we were watching a football game. One of the commercials was for some pay per view event I think was called 'Extreme Fighting' or something similar. The men shown were out of shape, thuggish and fought badly. They rushed at each other, arms flailing and did not watch each others feet. They fought like drunken frat-boys. They may have been drunken frat boys, for all I know.

The problem with such an event is that if you believe it necessary to fight, why not pause a moment and think about what that entails? In fighting, even the 'no holds barred' kind you want to keep your hands up to block your opponents blows. You watch your opponents feet. They tell you what he is about to do. You present as little as possible of your own body to your foe. You prepare for the fight mentally and physically. You study your opponent and try to find his weaknesses. You try to disguise your own blows and employ as much trickery as you can.

I think part of the problem we have had is that too often when we finally get riled and are ready to fight, we rush off headlong into the fray. It can be quite normal, even appropriate to be angry. It is important to fight for what you value. But even if your righteousness is great in the eyes of the Lord, if you run off into battle without preparation, you will be flattened.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Telling Secrets

Part of my profession is keeping other people's secrets. When a client tells me something, I do not pass it along. On the other hand, in my personal life, I have very few secrets. I'm a horrible liar. My mother, my wife and my siblings can always tell when I try to fib. But I don't discuss the specifics of my work with my wife, so in the sense of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, she gets the partial truth.

And to be blunt, most of the information I learn professionally is rather dull. So the greatest security for my clients' confidences is not encrypted files or locked cabinets, but the boredom they induce.

Recently, I did try to keep something secret from my wife. We were unable to do much for our tenth anniversary last year. This year I booked us onto a cruise for the week of our anniversary. Sally knew I was doing this, so that was not a secret. What she didn't know was that after booking it and giving her the details, I then tried to upgrade our cabin from inside to outside with a view. Unfortunately my cunning plan was spoiled by the very helpful travel agent I discussed them with. The good news is that we are in a much better berth than I had hoped.

All the while I was plotting and scheming, Sally knew something was up. She just didn't know what. She did know that it was going to be good, whatever it was. Wives are like that.

As part of my job, I keep secrets. As part of married life I don't. And what helps me in that balancing act is that my job will never require me to do anything immoral. And I am mindful that God knows all and that in the end everything I do I must answer for. I think too many people forget that point.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend Cheese

I Give It an 8

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it

Heads up to the older readers of this blog: It's also industrial/goth/trance music.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When Change is for the Worse

Growing up, my mother, being a prudent shopper, generally went for the bargains. The exception was ice cream. My father was born and raised in Philadelphia and he had his priorities. All ice cream had to be Breyer's.

So my taste memory of what ice cream ought to taste like has been and always will be what Breyer's tasted like in the sixties. In the last few years though, I've wandered away from Breyer's. My formerly strong adherence to that ice cream is now tattered and torn. It's not because my ice cream preferences have changed. Quite the contrary, I still prefer vanilla ice cream made from cream, milk, sugar and chopped up vanilla beans (Blue Bell Brown Rim for those who wish to try some). Rather, it's because Breyer's has changed. Formerly owned by Kraft, a large food conglomerate, they have passed to Good Humor, which is owned by Unilever, a large conglomerate. Kraft had recognized that the appeal of Breyer's lay in nostalgia and perceived quality. Unilever has added stabilizers, reduced package size and swapped out ingredients. Presumably in an effort to stay current and to modernize the brand.

In their advertising, Breyer's had made an explicit promise to be all natural and to be of high quality. The Breyer's family had stood behind that guarantee from 1866 to when they sold it in 1926. The successor ownership was careful to retain the pledge until the sale to Unilever in 1993. Today the Pledge of Purity has been modified to cover only the ice cream itself (not any mix ins) and only on certain boxes. The carton size has been reduced from 1/2 gallon to 1 and a half quarts. I am almost certain that they are incorporating more air into the mixture as well. It seems a lot lighter than it used to.

I don't buy Breyers much. When I buy ice cream, it's generally to relive my childhood. Breyer's ice cream no longer takes me there. The Mint Chocolate Chip (the favourite of both my father and myself) isn't especially minty and the chocolate chips are cheaper in quality. Today, I buy Haagen Dazs. But it's heavier and they also use unique ingredients. For vanilla, we go with Blue Bell Brown Rim. Or we just make the ice cream ourselves.

I didn't change. My ice cream changed. And that change was not for the better.


Addendum: Both Sally and I adore this. It is unbelievably good. But it's not showing up on their website anymore so it may have been discontinued......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Epic Fail

What Condiment Are You?




You Are Mustard



Your personality is strong and distinctive. You are beyond quirky.

You can stand alone in the world well. You are a strong individual.

You sometimes work well with others, as long as there aren't any other strong personalities involved.



Your taste in food tends to be simple yet high quality.

You can really get into a perfectly prepared sandwich or simple fresh salad.

You get along best with ketchup and barbeque sauce personalities. Get you with a salsa personality, and things might become downright nasty!



I always thought as much....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Reflection

I must admit, this made me misty eyed for a bit.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bad Bishop

Tim Fountain has posted a news article from the Episcopal News Service about the nine missions that are to be closed in South Dakota. Go and read.

The thing that strikes me is the degree of cowardice shown by the South Dakota leadership. Were I bishop and I had decided for financial reasons to close missions, I would visit them to check them out first. Having resolved that they needed to be closed, I would make every effort to deliver the bad news myself. And if the members of one of the missions sent me a certified letter, I would sign for it.

What is this feeling?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Because, I Like, Care and Stuff

Here's a shout out to Kate et al...

It's got a good beat

and I can dance to it. I give it a 'nine'.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nathan Fillion

Now that Firefly and Serenity are long gone, our favourite spaceship captain has been reduced to doing porn. PG rated porn at that.

Enjoy:


Nailing Your Wife

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lionel's bad day

However stressful Friday night may have been for me, it was no where near as as bad as this guy's Saturday. The horror of having to use porta-potties! At a diocesan convention, no less. The use of "scare quotes" is especially appreciated. Also, if you have time to kill, check out his fiction and poetry.

Banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine

This past Friday night at 7:21 pm I clicked on a executable file I had just downloaded from the Internet. The instant I clicked on it, I knew I had made a horrible mistake and sure enough my computer was immediately infected with a plethora of spyware, malware, viruses and trojans.

Friday night was interesting. I had downloaded the executable in question as part of a compressed file from Usenet. Earlier this week I had installed a shiny new graphics card and I wanted to show it off to Sally. So I Went surfing to find a high definition program to showcase my new toy. The show I downloaded came as a locked RAR file and a keygenerator executable. There was no good reason for that multimedia file to be locked, so I had no business even thinking about opening an executable file from an unknown source. Mea culpa, indeed. I force Windows to show file extensions just to avoid silly mistakes like that.

Within seconds the appearance of my desktop had chaned, I was getting spammed with adware, security notices, legitimate and spurious were proliferating, and I was a very unhappy camper.

After a couple of hours eliminating some but not all of the uinvaders, I threw in the towel and used the big gun. I reformatted the drive where Windows lives and reinstalled it. I do that once a year whether my computer needs it or not, so that should have been a smooth process. Instead, around 10 pm I found my self with Windows reinstalled unable to connect on my computer to the Internet.

Being in panic mode, I hadn't assembled all the tools needed and I hadn't planned the procedure out in writing. I had no checklist and was working from memory. I tried every trick I knew. I consulted books. I called our ISP. Nothing worked. Then, around 2 AM, I installed the driver for the onboard LAN on my motherboard. Three minutes later I had authenticated Windows and was off and rolling.

I managed to crawl into bed at 4 AM yesterday.

All seems right with the world now. My computer is back to its old self, only better because it's working off of a clean registry. I don't think there are any viruses loose on our systems. My confidence as to that fact is rather high.

Really good guides to handling this sort of thing may be found here and here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Perpetua on the Ten Commandments of Blogging

The Evangelical Alliance in the UK started the idea, Ruth Gledhill critiqued it and now Perpetua sheds a great deal of light on the idea.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's That Time of Year

Every October for the past ten or so years I've re-read Roger Zelazny's classic "A Night in The Lonesome October". I even have it on audio cassette somewhere, read by Mr Zelazny himself. For a genre literature buff, it's a treasure trove of literary references. Being a Zelazny book it contains many puns, one of which is truly horrible.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crock

The New Republic has a neat little essay up that blames the failure of the bailout bill on everyone but the people mainly responsible, the Democrats. It's a nice idea, but last I checked the bill was sponsored by the House Democratic Congressional leadershipand the House is controlled by the Democrats. Did I miss something there?

Further, the Speaker of the House and one of the leading proponents of the bill made an extremely insulting, stupid and bigoted speech concerning the opposition.

If ever you need or want proof that the Mainstream Media represents only the left wing of the Democratic party, you now have it.

Is it any wonder that reporters and politicians are running neck and neck for bottom feeder ratings in all the public opinion polls?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heartbreak

I graduated from the University of the South in 1982. Sewanee was a great place to go to college. My high school had been quite large, so the small classes were a welcome change from the angst of urban teen education. In these days when we celebrate diversity, I think few will appreciate how wonderful it was to have come home to a place where I felt like there were others like me. I had never met people from my background before. There were other Episcopalians around. More to the point, there were other devout Episcopalians around.

Sewanee has an Honor Code (one should not lie, cheat or steal) that when I was there was all-encompassing and student enforced. At the end of my junior year (I think) I lost my wallet. It had my drivers license, some cash, library card, student id and all the other assorted paraphernalia that a young man of insufficient means keeps in his wallet. When I got home, I immediately applied for a replacement drivers license, informed the school that I'd need a new id and went on with life. Six weeks later a box arrived. My wallet had been found, turned in and the school had sent it on to me at my parent's home. Inside the wallet was everything that was supposed to be there. Including all the money. That's what Sewanee was (and hopefully still is).

That sort of environment has a powerful impact on a mind. Sewanee shaped the character of many people I know. I have always felt I could trust a fellow graduate of the college. The School of Theology was suspect, and rightly considered so because of the shoddy theology taught there as well as the older age of the students meant that their values, such as they were, were already fully formed.

I liked most of the students when I was there and still do. Some I didn't like at the time. But there was always a sense of community, a bond of shared values and of trust. I knew that even if someone I disliked told me something, it would be true. I knew that I could leave my door open and my possessions and my work were safe. My pillow might be replaced with shaving cream, but it would still be around.

Twenty six years have passed since I graduated. Some of my classmates have gone on to bigger and better things. Many are doctors and lawyers. Quite a few are priests. One is a bishop.

I usually can not impute bad motives to someone. But you see, I knew the Bishop of San Diego when he was in college. I knew his wife. I know what sort of college education he received and what he did with it. I know that he knows how to read, I know he understands logic. I know he is intelligent. At one time I thought he had integrity. At one time I thought I could trust him.

And then I read this.

And my heart is broken.

What good is having Integrity when you have lost your integrity to get it? What good does it do you to be bishop when you have maimed your soul to get there?

Bloggy Goodness

Anglican Beach Party (The only blog whose name I wish I had thought of first) is on a roll. First a kewl song and now a nifty MDG graphic.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Gauntlet Was Thrown

But remains on the floor. Clifford has been on a posting tear of late. As part of that he put up several videos that repay interest.

Unfortunately, I'm slammed at work, and so haven't been able to reply with the depth that I'd like.

But perhaps this video may put balm on the sting?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Her Own Private Idaho

An interesting tale of trespassing and free speech from the spud state.

Of course the whole reason for the post is the plaintiff's name.

For Mike from Liverpool, UK



For our British cousins, I can buy any of the weapons shown (assuming I have the cash). Oddly enough, there is next to no crime in my neighbourhood.

One of the many reasons I love my country.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just Too Heartwarming

Jim's Dad served in Korea. Read the rest.

(H/T The Drawn Cutlass)

The Next Big Issue

will apparently be the communion of the unbaptized (COTU), or as it is more trenchantly termed "the communion of the damned (COTD)".

It's prohibited by the rubrics and by tradition but, of course, that hasn't stopped more progressive diocese such as my own (Atlanta) from allowing it.

How do I know it's the next big thing? Well, Episcopal Life Online very nicely signals what the next prophetic thing TEC is called to do by posing questions in its reader response column. My guess is that with COTD being widespread, but not universal, the church wants to make the change to the canons and the rubrics to conform the rules to the reality. And because we're hospitable or whatever.

Here are the money quotes: