The ramblings, rants, and observations of an Orthodox Reactionary. Feel free to look around!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

It's fast approaching midnight, and a new year. I'm sitting at work listening to people going crazy in the hallways. Gonna have to ask them to keep it down.

Around Thanksgiving most people put together lists of what they're thankful for. I never did. It's not because I'm not thankful; its mostly because I'm lazy. So in addition to one of those "New Years' Resolutions" things, I'll also list what I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for...

-Family. Sure, you get on my nerves sometimes. But God threw us together, and I'm really happy for that.

-Friends. Considering how much of an asshole I can be, I'm surprised I have as many friends as I do. Thanks guys. I know I can be hard to put up with.

-my fellow OPERATORS. Really, it's great to know people that are as crazy right-winger/survivalist/pro-gun as I am. It keeps me grounded.

-I'm thankful for having no debt-- as well as a ton of memories. I'm not sticking with the National Guard thing past my first enlistment, but I'm glad I signed on the dotted line-- and signed for Guard and not active-- all the same.

-For lost friends. If you're reading this, I miss you. Even though it ended the way it did, I'm glad you were an important part of my life. My door is always open.

-Liberty. I know I don't truly understand what that word means, and I'm am living in an age where we do not fully understand the true implications of that word... but I treasure the rights I have, and will fight so my children live freer than I did.

-My wife. I don't know who you are. If you're out there, I miss you. And if you're not, and never will be... I still miss you.

-A God that is willing to take me back again and again despite my excessive failures to follow him. You are the greatest of all Gods.

Now, for some resolutions. In 2011, I will...

-Try to get in better shape.
-Finish building my .308 battle rifle
-Learn to hit a dinner plate sized target from the prone at 600 yards with said .308 battle rifle. With iron sights.
-Get a much school done as I can.
-Learn more carpentry skills.
-Learn how to weld.
-Learn auto repair.
-Read "The Brothers Karamazov".
-Read the Narniad (lolMike), Lord of the Rings, and the Iliad again.
-Finish at least one comic book storyline.
-Set a prayer schedule.
-Perfect a diet that will avoid the intestinal problems I'm developing.
-Raise my GPA.
-Practice my Close Quarters Marksmanship, as well as my long-range marksmanship.
-Learn point shooting with my pistol.
-Start saving money.
-Stock up on food.
-Stock up on more ammo.
-Live a life worthy of my Master.

...and that's about it.

Happy New Years, all.

"It is the duty of every patriot to defend his country from his government." --Thomas Paine

New Years Musings

I have standing invitations to no less than three New Years' Eve Parties tomorrow night. I have to gently refuse all of them, because I'm working. Third shift blows, but I can't quit my job in this economy. Also, I have to go into work two hours early tomorrow because my coworker on the 3-11 shift wants off early to be at her NYE party in time. No, they didn't ask me.


Did some rifle and pistol drills today. Also dropped weight-- a big deal for me, since I have issues with it. The high fat/protein/veggies diet seems to be working. Also, fasting Wednesdays and Fridays (no meat, fish, or dairy) is also working out well. I've made it my personal goal to memorize the Nicene Creed, and I'm just about there. Working on a set "personal prayer time". Its hard to do, but setting concrete goals about prayer makes it seem more achievable.

For a lot of prayer stuff, I really have to give credit to "The Jesus Prayer" by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Its got a lot of good advice and tips about setting a prayer time, what/how to pray, etc. Its unbelievable how much depth and power and truth and light are in twelve little words.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Registration is next week. Too bad KCU is Christian in name only these days. Oh well. I'm only trying to finish up to get to Law School. On that note, my GPA needs to be much higher than it is, (and that IS my fault) so prayers are appreciated.


Gold is for the mistress -- silver for the maid --
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade."
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all."
--Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On alternate history and veracity

I've been skimming through threads on here lately and there's something that bothers me that I simply have to get off my chest.

In the interest of full disclosure let me begin by saying that I am a big history buff-- and as a result really dig a good alternate history (AH). And let me also say the rant I'm gonna tear off on is not entirely the result of what I've read on it's far more widespread than that.

I really wish there were alternate history authors that dealt seriously with economics and liberty.

Science fiction and fantasty authors-- being creative types, and generally floating around in that ethereal sphere that has jack-all to do with reality-- tend towards liberalism. There are notable exceptions-- Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, and John Ringo come to mind-- but the large majority of scifi/fantasy writers lean to the left side of the spectrum. Many are versed in history; not so many in economics.

Take Harry Turtledove for example. I love Turtledove-- If its got his name on it I'll ususally give it a shot, and he's not all that preachy (As it seems to me. Maybe he does preach, but I'm too dense to notice. Always a possibility). I especially love his "Southern Victory" series-- a timeline where the South wins the War between the States, with all the unintended (and perhaps unlikely) consequences that implies. Now, in order to read his storyline-- and this goes for any author-- you have to follow his basic assumptions, and believe that Lincoln was a good President in a bad situation, that Northern victory was the vindication of the American experiment and the promise of continued "liberty and justice for all", and that if the South had won its independence freedom would have died a slow rotting death and the Confederate experiment would have ended in death camps and genocide. I don't believe any of that, but Turtledove makes it a fun romp anyways, and so I tag along.

In Turtledove's world the two main parties are the Democrat party and the Socialist party (Yeah, you heard me.) The Dems are center-right, and the Socialists center-left. Both are big-government. And boy, it is ever huge. Acoording to one of the WWI novels, the bureaucracy of wartime US mirrors that of Imperial Germany(her ally!)- "permits from the Coal Board; the Meat Board", etc. And in another place, a character mentions that "the Constitution kind of fell to the wayside" post-Civil War, as the USA decided they were going to crush the CSA come hell or high water. The socialists are an anti-war party, at least until the "Second Great War" (WWII). Then they're 100% on board with the US war machine as it grinds invading Confederates into dust in Ohio and Pennsylvania, kills Canadian civilians in retaliation for attacks on US occupiers, butchers rebelling Mormons (who, to be fair, do no small amount of butchering themselves) and later relocates them from Utah...

Its a brutal world. But, apart from the treatment of blacks in the CSA, we see absloutely no indication of what this massive, powerful, dominating government does to its own citizens. If you're not a Canadian, Mormon, or Confederate, the US government leaves you alone. No massive police powers are on display (except in occupied territory), leading one to the conclusion that having a powerless Constitution and a US government that for the last 80 years has seen the US population as cannon fodder for its blood vendetta with Dixieland is perfectly safe and fine, and that such a government wouldn't trample all over its citizens like so much soggy toilet paper on the tile floor of a gas station restroom. Nope, no federal tyranny here!

Another thing is the half-assed approach to economics. "In 1960, President Hubert Humphrey institutes a single-payer national healthcare system for the United States," and that's it. No uproar. No explanation of how such a system would be paid for, no mention of the deterioration of conditions that would occur in a system like the British NHS. It just pisses me off. Alternate history is often fluff and a great deal of the author wanking his preferred side into victory or portraying "the world as its supposed to be". I understand that. But there's no magical alien mineral. No ridiculous new source of wealth to make it feasible. The author just handwaves it away, and I'm left with a huge credibility gap-- coming from a world that is supposed to be ours, but with some changes.

Do a little homework, alternate history authors. You want to create a new world? Figure out how the real one works first. Please.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty." --George Bernard Shaw

Friday, August 6, 2010

NRA getting left in the dust.

Check out this story from... ABC NEWS!?

Pro-Gun Grassroots Groups Taking the Lead in Gun Rights Fight

You'll note the statistics ABC throws up at the top of the article. Those are lowball estimates. And its good to see a turncoat sellout organization like the NRA getting their due.

Also, in the interest of highlighting greatness, from the comments:

If seeing someone openly carrying a gun makes you nervous there is a good chance it is because it forces you to realize that you have chosen to be helpless. What other magic do you believe in? A gun will magically transform a normal person into a raving maniac, a "Law" will magicallly make violence go away, the police will magically apppear when you need them. Childlike dependance on the actions of someone else for the safety of your self and your family is what the Brady's of the world are promoting, they hope to be the parents but are not up to the job. But they will dance in the blood of their victims to get a paycheck.
Ex-Nuke 11:22 AM

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My thoughts on Avatar: The Last Airbender

Okay, after years of mocking all of this faux-weeaboo Avatar BS, I finally watched it.



...pretty good, actually. Maybe not "greatest cartoon of all time", but its definitely up there. Okay. I was wrong. Its not anime, its not stupid, all that jazz. (A little annoyed at the "Teen Titans"-ish moments--exaggerated head sizes, faces, etc.)

I watched the enitre third season in one day. Better than the other seasons. Now for my thoughts-- may be a little random, but bear with me.

-Aang is a cool character (I've noticed I like Messianic heroes and Aang is definitely THAT), and at first I was a bit worried at the season 2/3 junction cause he seemed to be going dark, but it was just good character development.
-Zuko was quickly my favorite character, though who didn't like Iroh right off the bat?
-I totally have a crush on Toph. Tell anyone, and I will kill you.
-Mick Foley voiced The Boulder. (Also, refering to himslef in the third person, heavyweight champion, etc. Genius!)
-The Rock better play the Boulder in Movie two, or I will shed blood. IT'S SO OBVIOUS, YOU'D HAVE TO BE LIVING ON ANOTHER PLANET(Or not be a wrestling fan) TO NOT SEE THE PARALLELS.
-The Hippo fighter was obviously a knockoff of KIng Hippo in Mike Tyson's Super Punch Out! down to the tuft of hair and the four teeth.
-Sokka. I like Sokka, cause he's the average Joe on the team. Good to see he rounded out as a fighter. Also, he made me laugh.
-White Lotus Society. Avatar world has its Freemasons. Clever.
-Ozai is an evil bastard. Mark Hamill was a perfect fit.
-Ron Perlman as Sozin was also an awesome pick.
-It took a little getting used to that the spirit world wasn't Good/Evil but I guess that's because I'm used to a Christian cosmology, whereas this was obviously Eastern Oriented ([Sokka] Get it? GET IT?![/Sokka]). And yes, I'm talking to you giant owl of knowledge. At least be in favor of balance or something.
-Azula is an evil bitch. I like Ty Lee though. Why does she stick around?
-I noticed it pulled from a lot of non-Western Cultures. Could Avatar do an ancient greece? I know its a Western heritage thing, but enough people are ignorant enough that you put some hoplites in armor, helmets up and make them travel across the earth kingdom and no one would be the wiser.
-On that-- I wouldn't have minded seeing Persians, or Phoenicians.
-End of Season 2. Zuko, I am fucking disappoint.
-The Face Stealer creeped me the hell out.
-Katara. Obviously there to be Aang's love interest, though not without her own development. Only waterbender left in the SWT? I thought anybody could be a bender, you simply needed work at it hard enough(Like the classic Idea of the Jedi Knights)
-Katara's revenge episode seemed to be thrown in at the last minute.
-Aang shoulda killed Ozai. I know you're a pacifist (Vegetarian? I guess that's why you're so skinny- malnourishment and all that. Also, Tibetan, and I suppose that makes sense.) kid, but c'mon. the other Avatars were right. And some people need killing.
-Spiritbending was a Deus Ex Machina, inserted to give Aang an out. Kudos on rejecting what everyone wants and going your own way, I guess.
-Lion Turtle didn't fit, to me.

-I'm surprised Avatar:TLA hasn't been banned in China. Tibetan hero, the Han China expy (Ba Sing Se) being run by a Secret Police that brainwash, kill, and manipulate? It screamed PRC to me, anyways. And considering that this is the same gov't that is putting pressure on archaeologists in the Gobi Desert b/c they found Celtic graves (which contradicts official policy that the Han Chinese have always ruled the area, and no other ethnic groups have ever had a claim there),
hey'd probably not take to well to an Epic hero who was designed off a culture they are actively subjugating and seeking to stamp out. Figured they'd ban the damn thing.

So rip my observations apart if you want, I'm done.

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it."-Albert Einstein

"Repeal the 17th Amendment?" Gene Healy, Washington Examiner.

An Op-Ed from the Washington Examiner, detailing the increasing amount of people who are talking about repealing the 17th Amendment.


Thanks to the wonderfully impertinent Tea Partiers, that 1913 "reform" is no longer just the stuff of trivia -- it recently made headlines in House and Senate races.

Two Republican nominees for House seats -- Ohio's Steve Strivers and Idaho's Raul Labrador -- have expressed sympathy for repeal. And Tim Bridgewater, one of two Tea Party candidates who last month knocked off sitting Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, argues that "if the states elected their senators, legislative monstrosities like ObamaCare or [No Child Left Behind], with their burdensome mandates, would never see the light of day."

Of course, the Statists exhibit massive butt-hurt at the idea of checks and balances:

Of all the "goofy ideas from those lovable wacky Tea Partyers [sic]," John Aloysius Farrell writes at, this is the "stupidest." Repeal talk is "truly regressive," even "Paleolithic," Timothy Egan seethes in Sunday's New York Times.

Apparently, the only thing worse than peasants with pitchforks is peasants with pocket Constitutions.

Read it all.

"Freedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged they are thrown overboard."
-- Prince Peter Kropotkin - "Anarchism" (1884)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Been gone for awhile.

But that's just cause I was busy. I haven't forgotten this blog, nor will I allow it-- despite my venting-- to turn into my personal blog. I suppose the occasional lurker might stumble onto this page, and I want them to be entertained by what they see. So I'll begin some blog posts about random stuff.

"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born, is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?" -Marcus Tullus Cicero

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random Venting

So I finally worked up the courage to mail a birthday card that I've had in my posession for a month now to a wonderful little boy whom I care for very much. But why do I have this queasy, hard lump in my stomach? Why do I feel like the other shoe is about to drop?

Answer: Because that same wonderful little boy's mother is my ex-best friend. And she loathes the very thought of me. If I were burning in hell and complained of thirst, she would hand me a tall glass of gasoline.

I know, even as I write this, that it wasn't really anything I did. Yeah, trying to block her status updates from my facebook homepage backfired. (I didn't know that "blocking" removes that person from your friend's list. Caveat emptor.) And I'm not pure as the driven snow in all this either. But she changed. She chose this path. She had two lives open to her- one of temporary pain and momentary self-denial, but eventual triumph and gladness; and one of self-centeredness and temporary happiness, but eventual emptiness and disappointment- and she chose the latter.

For my part, I recognize that she has pushed me out of her life forever. And while I regret what happened, I know that those last few months I didn't really care for her at all. The last time I saw her in person, she was positively bubbly. (I thought- selfishly- that it was because she got to see me. But now I know it was because the "addict" had her "fix" back at home. I forgive her, and I still pray for her.) I saw that day through the lies she was throwing at me- about us hanging out, etc. And later, when I found out her ex-husband had hit her, I felt terrible because I wasn't angry. My first thought was "Well, what did you do to deserve it?"

I didn't love her with Christ's love. And mine was spent. I still love her, because now I have Christ's love. I forgive her for all the wrongs she has committed against me- all the lies and manipulations and deceptions. And I pray to be forgiven my thoughts and my anger. We are all sinners. But we are redeemed if we accept to be.

Some days I'm hurt. but most days I just miss her.

"An armed society is a polite society.
Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
~Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Will America Break Up?" from the Washington Times

by Jeffrey T. Kuhner. Article here.

"President Obama is splintering America. The passage of Obamacare was a historic victory for liberal governance. Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country.

Mr. Obama has achieved what his liberal predecessors - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton - could only dream of: nationalized health care. Obamacare signifies the government take-over of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. It has dealt a mortal blow to traditional America. We are now a European-style socialist welfare state. The inevitable permanent tax hikes, massive public bureaucracy and liberal ruling elites will stifle competition and initiative.

Republicans vow to repeal Obamacare. Their past record, however, leaves many conservatives rightly skeptical. Since FDR's New Deal, Big-Government liberalism has been on the march - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education. The Republican Party has been unable to roll back the tide of statism. In fact, under Richard Nixon and both George Bushes, Great Society Republicans have been complicit in erecting a nanny state.

Socialism is the road to economic ruin and fiscal bankruptcy. It subverts democracy, threatening the very future of our constitutional republic. Socialist states degenerate into some form of autocracy or technocratic neo-feudalism, whereby the productive class is taxed and exploited to sustain a growing dependent class. Factions are pitted against each other; groups vie for handouts at the expense of their fellow citizens. The bonds of economic union and national solidarity slowly dissolve.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not," warned Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was right: Redistributionist welfare policies are undermining our democracy. The resentments in America are growing. Tea Partiers believe that their government no longer represents their interests or values. The heartland is becoming dangerously alienated from the political class, whom it feels has betrayed them.

Obamacare may be the last straw. It strips away fundamental economic liberties, empowering the federal government to de facto nationalize everyone's body by controlling our health. Americans are compelled - upon pain of penalty and eventual imprisonment - to purchase insurance.

Moreover, the law codifies the federal funding of abortion. Taxpayer dollars will be used to subsidize the murder of innocent life. Hence, Mr. Obama has violated the social compact: He has abrogated the conscience of pro-lifers, making them tacitly complicit in the slaughter of the unborn. Obamacare is a radical assault upon fundamental religious freedoms.

The Obama revolution threatens to tear America apart. This has happened before. Slavery eventually triggered the Civil War between the industrial North and the agrarian South. Abortion is the slavery of our time - the denying of basic human rights to an entire category of people.

The bitter debate over Obamacare has exposed the country's profound divisions. We are no longer one nation or one people. Rather, there are now two Americas: one conservative, the other liberal. Increasingly, we no longer just disagree but we despise each other.

Our disagreements encompass everything - politics, morality, culture and history. We no longer share a unifying essence or common values. One half of America believes abortion is an abomination; the other half considers any attempt to repeal it as oppressive and sexist. One half opposes homosexual unions because it elevates immoral and unnatural behavior to the sacred status of marriage; the other half supports it as an extension of civil rights. One half reviles Mr. Obama's socialist agenda, viewing it as the destruction of capitalism and our constitutional government; the other half embraces it as the culmination of social justice and economic equality. One half reveres America's heroes - Christopher Columbus, George Washington, James Madison, Davy Crockett - and its glorious history; the other half is ashamed of its past, seeing it as characterized by racism, imperialism and chauvinism.

Ultimately, a country is not simply its geographical borders with the people inside of it. It is something more - and deeper. A nation must share a common heritage, language, culture, faith and myths. Once upon a time, Americans celebrated the same heroes, sang the same patriotic songs, read the same history and literature, and gloried in its exceptional nature: a city upon a hill, with liberty and freedom for all. It was understood that, for all of our different ethnic and religious backgrounds, America is a product of English and Christian civilization. Those days are long gone.

Instead, we are going the way our Founding Fathers warned us against: increasing balkanization and sectionalism. A constitutional republic - unlike an empire - is only as strong as its national cohesion. It is based not on imperial coercion but civic consent. Mr. Obama is recklessly pulling at the strings of unity, further polarizing us.

In confronting Obamacare, state sovereignty, states' rights and state nullification of federal laws are being asserted. This is what happened in the 1830s and 1840s. They are the signs of growing political anarchy and social frustration - people can only be pushed so far. Mr. Obama's drive for a socialist super-state threatens America's very existence. As Jefferson warned about slavery, it is time we start ringing the "fire bell in the night."

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold," wrote William Butler Yeats. "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

Conservatives will not be passive in this onslaught on all our core values. Mr. Obama's true legacy may be that he divides us deeper than ever before - unless he abandons his revolutionary project."

A few personal points: firstly, I do not see the reemphasis on state's rights as a sign of "growing political anarchy". Social Frustration? Yes. But not anarchy. Many Americans forget that the United States was initially supposed to be a Union of sovereign states. And it worked quite well under the Articles of Confederation-- it was only the frustration of certain members of the founding generation who wanted a strong central government that we even got the curent Constitution. Even after its ratification in 1787, many of the Jeffersonian Republicans recognized the power of the States as being a check against an out of control central government.

The only regret, in my mind, is that it took the Federal government acting to seize a significant portion of the American economy before we woke up.

And it seems that more and more people are recognizing the parallels between slavery and abortion. The greatest weakness, in my mind, of Americans is that we find it very easy to relegate other groups to the status of "non-persons". The Cherokee, on the trail of tears. African slaves. The Japanese-Americans in WWII. And now the unborn. When it is convenient- or when it benefits us- we can ignore the humanity and dignity possessed by others and simply sweep them aside.

We slaughtered each other once, over state's rights and the status of a group of people who could not speak for themselves. Perhaps we shall do it again. Only this time, instead of the moral high ground being occupied by the two nations called "America", only one side will carry the twin banners of Liberty and Righteousness.

And its not yours, Mr. President.

Fire, water, and government know nothing of mercy. – Albanian Proverb

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death- 235 years ago...

Yesterday was, someone pointed out to me, the 235th anniversary of Patrick Henry's well-known speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses. In the interest of American history- and my political sensibilities- I am pleased to reproduce the entire thing. (Thanks Mike!)


Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

"No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings."

"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."

"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained-- we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!"

"They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come."

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

I think we all too often forget, safe and snug in our simple, easy lives, that Liberty is a dangerous idea. And our Founders were dangerous men.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Faith, Charity, and The Atheist

An interesting article by Miguel A. Guanipa over at American Thinker.

Read it all.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
-Margaret Thatcher

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Apology For Liberty

A brief explanation for this note. I recently posted a note, entitled "A *Very Serious* Warning to Nancy Pelosi" that I found elsewhere on the 'net. One of the comments on my note asked me if I was advocating overthrow of the current government. This long-winded spiel was my reply, but quickly took on a life of its own. I reproduce my answer here, in its entirety.


I would answer that question with a question: If an elected government-- such as this one-- took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States-- which they did-- and to represent the people of the various regions that elected them- which they did-- then proceeded to, once in office, break that oath and not only not represent the very citizens that elected them, but instead pass bills which would deprive those same citizens of their Life, Liberty, and Property, while at the same time forever exempting themselves from it, what should be the logical outcome? The rational response?

I think that we shouldn't wait until November. We should remove them now. The world will not end simply because Congress is not there to exercise her imperial power-- given how often the Hill goes into recess and on vacations, this is blatantly obvious. If it makes you feel better, simply think of it as an 'extended recess'. Such an act would serve to cow the President and the Supreme Court-- they would watch their step in the months immediately following, I think.

And yes, it would likely have to be at gunpoint. But that only makes sense. Brutes only understand force; besides, has the Federal government not used force in the past against her own citizens to ensure compliance? The Whiskey Rebellion. Nullification. The Civil War. The Bonus Army of 1932. Waco.

Is not the Federal Government's very existence predicated on the threat of force? Take this healthcare bill for example. Among other things, it mandates federal funds be used to pay for abortions. What if a concerned group of pro-lifers decide that, until its repeal or amendment, they will not pay federal taxes. A noble stand- and one in line with their conscience. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi would be proud. What will the Federal Government do, if repeal is not "in the cards"?

They will demand these people pay their taxes.

When refused, they will arrest them.

If a select few refuse to allow themselves to be arrested, they will be killed.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force." George Washington would have good reason to know. He fought a government that abandoned all pretense of 'sweet reasonableness' and instead, sought to crush those who would not comply into dust. And though our ancestors won for themselves a new government, that maxim still rang true. Ask the farmers of Pennsylvania, brutally suppressed by President Washington and their former comrades-in-arms during the aforementioned Whiskey Rebellion.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

The entire reason that we are where we are in American history is because the self-proclaimed elites do not fear the citizenry. They violate the Constitution without a second's hesitation, because they know we will whine and cry and complain, but we will comply.

It is the reason Nancy Pelosi can ask "Are you serious?" when a reporter asks her what part of the Constitution gives government the authority to mandate and regulate healthcare. It is the reason George W. Bush can say "The Constitution is a God-****ed piece of paper!" in a cabinet meeting and get away with it.

All this because "we the people" have abdicated our authority to hold our elected representatives accountable. We slept, or found more exciting and pleasurable pursuits to occupy ourselves with. And while we- and our parents and their parents and *their parents*- nodded off, criminals and jackals took over our nation. The only way we can restore the sanctity of the Constitution is through the counter-threat of force. Only when it is understood that Americans value our Life, Liberty, and Property so highly that we are willing to spill blood to keep it will these assaults on us cease.

Those in Washington may perhaps get back in line. But first they must fear us. Yes, fear is the basest motivator. We would earnestly prefer that Love- for their fellow man, and for the founding principles of this nation- would motivate those in power. And if not love, then at least Reason, it is hoped, would inform their actions. But when these two are not in evidence- when those who dwell in DC mock the former and shun the latter- fear is the only motivator left to us. Every Congressperson should remain painfully aware throughout their term of public service that if they trespass against the Bill of Rights, there is a short trip to the capital steps and a rope in their future. Every judge must make rulings with the knowledge that, if he stretches the words of the Constitution beyond their intent, he may not make it home from work that evening-- if he even makes it to his car in the parking lot.

Nullification- as is being discussed in several states- will likely fail. The threat of force will close this avenue off from us. Same with peaceful secession. It would only remain peaceful until the first tanks roll across that state's border. Again, they threaten force. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revoultion inevitable," in the words of John F. Kennedy.

Ending a life- even that of a murderer or a tyrant- is a huge step, a threshold crossed. (It is similar to losing one's own virginity, or of baptism-- not to say that those are as wicked as killing, or that killing is as righteous as those two acts can be. Please don't misunderstand me. I believe that when one takes a life, there is a massive "point-of-no return". It is a deed which has physical and spiritual consequences. It is only my failure of imagination that keeps me from providing better illustrations.) It should not be taken lightly. Looking at the long train of abuses and usurpations that mark our history, I believe it has not been taken lightly. Longsuffering- in the most literal sense of that term- has characterized the conduct of the American people in all of her dealings with government. But for how much longer? There is also a "point of no-return" where our liberties are concerned. There will come a day when it is too late to pull our freedoms from the jaws of our would-be masters. Some I know argue that day was decades ago. I disagree. I believe it is fast-approaching, but it is not yet arrived.

If we wish to postpone the day of blood-spilling, we must stand now. But even as we vote for the GOP (who has never once repealed unconstitutional government programs- and has often enacted their own) and scream at the willingly-deaf media, we must prepare for the day when our lawsuits and appeals fail, when neither party listens to us.

"A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him." -Ezra Pound

In the struggle for liberty there is a series of battle lines. The front line of defense is the soap box. The second is the ballot box. The penultimate line is the jury box. When these fail us, our "last-stand" trench is the cartridge box. In this healthcare debate, we have been driven out of the first and are regrouping at the second, which has never worked for us before. No government program which deprives us of that which is rightfully ours (Social Security, Medicare, NFA of 1934, the PATRIOT ACT) has ever been repealed, save Prohibition. Perhaps this time will be different. But I doubt it. The jury box... Will the Surpeme Court stop it? Unlikely. What purpose would one branch of the Federal Government have for restraining another? They, like Congress and the executive, are exempt from this bill. Any expansion of Federal power is a silent expansion of theirs. We can hope- and I do hope that it will be stopped. But, to quote one libertarian writer, "I'd *love* to hear your backup plan!"

Most Americans don't have one, and don't care to have one. But they are, as they always have been-- as they were in the first American Revolution-- mere furniture, to be maneuvered around. (Did you know that of the 1/3rd of colonists who supported revolution, only 3% of them ever bore arms against the forces of George III?) They will sit around, and wring their hands, and perhaps make noble or submissive noises, but in the end they will do nothing, and will accept whatever future is placed before them. But for those who love liberty, righteous force must be the backup plan. So it was for our founding generation, and so it must be for us.

Pray then, that it will not come to violence. Act, so that it might not. But prepare, so when it becomes apparent that all our actions are for naught (as I believe they will be), you can go to your closet, pull out your battle rifle (or lever-action or bolt-action or carbine), and-- with a heart heavy over what must transpire but a conscience clear with the knowledge that you have already exhausted all other reasonable alternatives-- prove with your actions the love of liberty that you have professed with your mouth.

"Live Free or Die. Death is not the worst of Evils."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Dream...

He wouldn’t say he liked the desert. It was more an issue of acclimatization than anything else. He had spent so much of his adult life in the desert, both in the waking world and here, that it almost seemed wrong not to be in the wastes. Abundant vegetation, laughter and rain—they often felt like the place that wasn’t real; the false world. Hadn’t he felt that way in the other place- in his waking life—when he got home from that world’s deserts? Seeing the prosperity and the plenty, the ease and the sheeplike security, all the while knowing that in the real world, blood was spilled and water was sparse and killing over power and women and food seemed not just the right thing to do, but sometimes the only thing?

Yeah, he had. But that was before waking up—the spiritual awakening, that is. Now he realized, as he stood in that familiar place, that the desert was far larger and more expansive than its appearance in the physical world. The wastes didn’t stop at borders or climates here. It stretched endlessly across time and space, spreading across the distance between souls and winding deeply into the crevices of each human heart.

The world was a wasteland; a great endless track of no-life, sorrow and suffering, only broken by brief oases of love where the master had dug his wells and planted water. He was at home in the desert, that one, moving from heart to heart like a nomad. The master had once been a gardener—is a gardener, the man corrected himself—but mankind had chosen the desert of misery over the incensed gardens of joy. So the master had put up his banquet clothes and put on the robes of a wanderer.

He became a desert God, as full of power and as incomprehensible as a sandstorm. And even when he began bringing light and life to the dead places, he did not cease to claim the wilderness as his own, but instead made it his temple, his classroom. In the midday gloom he taught man faith. In the dead expanses he preached that there was no life apart from him. In the sting of parched throats he proclaimed living water.

The Israelites… John the Baptist… Paul… Christ Himself. In the wilderness they were led to test themselves against the rugged wilds, to learn what the world really looked like. And sometimes still, the master led modern men into the desert to teach them his ways. The man shifted onto one foot, and thought about his desert journeys. One test he failed, from weakness as much as failure to realize the test. The second one was ongoing, and even as he struggled, he knew this place would be an inseparable part of him—that he would look back on this wilderness of the soul as a time where he gained the strength to face… whatever it was that future him was facing.

Others, he knew, were in the desert. But they were mad with the delusion. They lay out in the deadly sun, thanking a non-existent tree for the shade; They chewed upon the rocks and the sand declaring it the feast of life itself. All the world was waste, and they cursed the tiny islands of green they encountered as if by cursing they could burn those oases to the ground on command. It was a matter of perception, but it was also a matter of reality. The master wanted to dig a well for them, but they insisted from between cratered lips and with croaking speech that they were not thirsty. So he would move on. He would return, again and again, until they died. And then he would bury them in tears, bathing their graves with the precious liquid they refused to let him give them in life.

The man waited as a figure topped a nearby dune and came towards him. The figure was clothed in tatters and robes, the ever-pervasive dust dyeing once-white cloth into the sandy tints of the place which he had chosen to dwell. He had a waterskin and a bag tied on him, and dangling at his side was a rude shovel, the cord at its handle’s end looped over one shoulder. A hood shielded his head from the sun. He approached the waiting man and smiled. His face was leathery, and sand was crusted in the creases of his face.

“Hello,” The newcomer said, his tone that of greeting an old friend. “Come here to think?” The waiting man nodded. “Yes. I think I’ve grown used to it. The desert, I mean.” The wanderer shook his head. “That’s a dangerous thing to say. I’ve been here from the very beginning, and I’ve never gotten used to it. This is not where man is supposed to be. But I understand what you mean. And as long as you recognize the danger of this place, you should be fine.” The waiting man looked off into the distance. “There’s a clarity here I can’t quite get while I’m awake,” he began, and stopped. After a moment, he continued, “I think I come here because this is where you taught me so much. And I want to be near that, to feel that security.” He hung his head. “I don’t want to fail you again.” The wanderer dropped his tools and reached up to touch him on the shoulder. “You know I don’t count that against you. Not anymore. And you need to remember that it isn’t a “points” game. I don’t care how many times you’ve failed in the past. I only care that you succeed—now, and in the future. You keep to me, and you will. I’ve given you everything you need.”

The waiting man looked at the wanderer and smiled. “Thanks. Sorry for wasting your time.” The wanderer stopped in the midst of gathering up his things. “It’s never a waste of my time.” His robes flapped in the hot wind. “None of you ever are.” The wanderer turned to leave, then stopped and called back over his shoulder. “Was there something else?” The waiting man realized as tears filled his eyes that there was. “Father, I have friends out there in the desert. I want them back,” he blurted, even as he realized it was selfish of him to say that. The master looked back, tears smearing the dirt into tracks of salty mud on his cheeks. “So do I,” he said, then smiled and patted the shovel. He walked back into the wasteland, leaving the man to return to his waking life, but not alone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Challenge: Make Voyager Good

I was on Rumbles, and noticed that there was a thread with this title on it. Now, as you know, Star Trek: Voyager was quite possibly one of the worst shows of all time-- with a few good moments. It was the "Twilight" of Star Trek shows. So the idea of making a good show out of the what is an interesting and workable premise intrigued me. Here's my shot:

Of couse, I strated from scratch-- first by removing the murdering, morally autistic Captain Janeway.

First, make Voyager not a scout ship, but a larger cruiser. Poor engines, not very fast, but tough and beefed-up. They have to destroy the caretaker array-- they travel for awhile, making allies (In no small part to the new Captain and First officer-- the Captain is a bit of a hot head, but Number one compliments him perfectly-- being a calm, able negotiator and diplomat.) Then, their engines start to fail. Like, irreversible failure. According to the engineer, Something happened with the array-- it introduced instabilities into the structure of the warp core itself. They've got weeks of warp power left. After that, well, it will be the galaxy's most expensive paperweight.

So then the scramble begins to find a suitable Class- M planet. They manage, but its inhabited by a dwindling race that used to travel the stars; their empire didn't collaspe, it just fizzled out. Their population is way past the sustainment rate, and falling. The welcome the new visitors, saying "We're on our way out. You can have this planet when we're gone-- and until then, you'll give us comfort in our final hours" etc. Some of the crew want to go home, but they realize its pretty well impossible and, in classic Federation fashion, have a generally optimistic outlook on this "adventure"-- after all, when you sign up for Starfleet, you're saying "I wanna boldly go": and building a society on the other side of the universe is pretty bold. The First officer starts by managing the minutiae and day-by-day stuff; and soon finds herself pretty much de facto laeder of the new society. Eventually they have elections, and she is chosen as Prime minister. The Captain- more out of inertia than anything else- runs against her, and ends up in her cabinet. He quits after a year.

They begin using the tech on this planet to replicate all the materials needed to build shelters, factories, farming, etc. The ship stays in orbit, running on impulse power, with a rotated skeleton crew every 90 days. Its purpose is trading post/star fort/space station, though the trading post role gets filled up in a few years when some new immigrants bring along their engineering skills.

Ah, the immigrants. There's a trickle at first-- Voyager picked up quite few their first year and a half traveling, as many hands make for light work. When the Starfleet ship settled down, others began arriving. Soon the trickle becomes a flood, as thousands of refugees, entrepreneurs, and other free spirits show up to make what they can of this new society. No space communism here; the only system that has any hope of working is a free-wheeling, barely regulated free-market, in which anything of value is currency. Issues arise with some of the ex-Starfleet types; Most manage to dive in with both feet and keep their head above water, some—having been disarmed by a lifetime of “For the Greater Good” silliness back in Federation space, can’t compete and begin to complain—these types coalesce with a small group of elitists who resent the newcomers. They call for a stronger central government, a control on immigration, and for this new government to pay them the pension- or its equivalent in wealth- due them by Starfleet at their retirement.

Also at this time begin the first stirrings of discontent among the original inhabitants of the planet. You see, they thought they were on the way out, so it really didn’t matter if these lost Federation types wanted asylum- in a few generations it would be their planet, whole and entire. But then something odd happened: The dying species- Lets call them the “Elves”- the Elves saw all this creativity and what not happening in front of them and rather than spending their time in sad contemplation and singing dirges to their lost race, started to get up and interact. And they found that their lust for life, for glory and adventure, was still there ready to be kicked into a steady flame. So the younger elves especially want to get in on this Federation thing. But the elders resent this. They were supposed to die with dignity. How many races get the chance to expire in a fashion that isn’t genocide or degeneration into barbarian savagery or self-annihilation? Furthermore, there’s a whole slew of lesser races invited in by these Feddies. How dare they? Is our beautiful homeworld, cradle and casket of the Elvish race, to become a polyglot paradise?

There’s a local bully, around this time- perhaps the Kazon?- who is terrorizing nearby systems. Stories are told by the refugees. At first, most Feddies- except a militant faction led by Captain Robards- want to stay out of it. But soon the stories- told by their neighbors, friends, and eventually wives and husbands- prick the conscience of the Alpha Quadrant types. So an ad hoc fleet is assembled—the parliament, mostly Starfleet types who can’t fend for themselves in the new society, hence the time in politics- vote the Captain to be fleet commander. They sally forth, and whip the Kazon something fierce. Almost overnight the Captain goes from being mostly irrelevant to local hero, and returns to take up the mantle as “The Hero of Karne Expanse.” A series of local planets submit requests to join the newcomers, and the “Confederacy of Worlds” is born. There are series of overhauls in government, and they end up sticking with a parliamentary system of government, with local worlds being almost autonomous—save for being unable to declare war or make treaties, etc. That’s the job of the Confederacy.

Number one is still the Prime Minister. But the Captain is enjoying his newfound fame, and undermining her at every turn. She is exasperated. Doesn’t he realize that she is trying to get this thing off the ground? Yet he shakes hands with the “Alpha-Firsts”, the “Restorationists”, and what’s more, the newcomers don’t seem to care! They too are enamored of the “Hero of the Karne Expanse”! Slowly, their once strong friendship—to the point that when the re-settled the crew had a running bet on when the Captain and the First Officer were going to become an item-- begins to dissolve.

Will they survive? I dunno.

Season Two: The election, and the building of the subspace array. Whispers of secession.


Would you watch it?


The desire to rule is the mother of heresies. – St. John Chrysostom

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So I'm working on my superhero stories. Question: How cool would it be to see a superhero fighting his foe, while at the same time unravelling his entire worldview? I think it'd be pretty stinking cool.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Obama's "Job Loss" Chart

Alright. The Obama adminstration has released a chart showing how The One's economic plan is reviving the economy, blah, blah, blah...

Not quite. This is the chart, provided by the Labor Dept.

Now pay attention, cause they play a little bit of a game here. This is not the number of total jobs lost, but rather a month-by-month play of the number of jobs lost, using 2007 as a baseline. It's a "difference" deal, not a "total" deal.
Here's the exact same data, graphed as the total number of jobs lost over that same amount of time:

That's what the total numbers look like, before being played with by the Administration.

Also remember concerning that first chart, that there are a finite number of jobs-- only because there are a finite number of Americans-- and as more and more people become unemployed, there will be less available to become unemployed. Also, businesses usually jettison the most "expendable" jobs first, and then suck it up and try to get by with the minimum number of employees necessary to stay afloat. As the number of "expendable" jobs decreases, there are less people to fire. Doesn't mean these folks are getting new employment. (The official and unofficial unemployment numbers beg to differ with this chart.)Then again, this chart is emailed to supporters on the President's "Organizing for America" email list-- the kind of people who aren't gonna question all the pretty colors and fonts.


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
~ Thomas Jefferson

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Philosophy of Liberty

A pretty sweet video on YouTube that very succinctly breaks down Libertarian principles. Eight minutes, and you'll understand a comprehensive liberty worldview!

Best line? "Virtue is only possible in a world where there is free choice."
How true.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading Acts

Chapter three- specifically; the story where Peter restores the lame man's ability to walk. I don't know about anyone else, but I squealed like a nerd getting a sneak peek at the newest Star Trek movie when Peter did that. And to think- this was the same man who denied and abandoned his Savior and best friend a month and a half before.

Kinda leaves one in awe of God, huh?

"But Peter said, 'I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!'

And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened."

New name...

Changed the top bit of the blog, as well as changed the name. Waterproof Shirt was a bit silly and contrived. I like it.

The title (and the image on the right) refers to Athanasius, an important early church father who took on Arius and his popular doctrines, especially the teaching that Jesus was not "homousia"- "of the same substance"- as the Father. Essentially, Arius taught something similar to what modern day Jehovah's Witnesses believe. That Jesus, while a god, was not "the" God.

In response, Athanasius-- a preacher from Africa, whom Arius and his educated intellectual fellows sneeringly called "the black dwarf"-- penned De Incarnatione Verbi Dei, a cheerful, biblically rich treatise which remains amazingly readable even two millennia later. Athanasius almost single-handedly held the gates of orthodox Christianity from an assault by the most educated and well-respected Christian scholars of the day. It is these actions that caused C.S. Lewis to write the quote found under his picture here; as well as gave him the epitaph found on his gravestone: "Athanasius against the world."

Crazy stuff going on in life-- I'll discuss all of that in a later post (in a roundabout, vague fashion, as is proper). Suffice it to say that my Father has been changing my heart, because I am dealing with this much differently than I normally would. He is giving me "eyes to see", and I can look beyond the actions to see the causes behind the actions.

I forgive you. You know who you are. :)


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
-C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In Kuwait.

Left Mississippi a few days ago. The plane ride wasn’t half-bad. It started poorly—the 767 had engine problems, so despite waking up at 2am, we didn’t take off until 4pm that day. That ride was a bit crowded, but I had decent company. And I slept.

We had a layover at JFK international airport. We weren’t allowed in the airport proper with our weapons, so we had to stay sequestered in our own terminal. When we were given leave to roam about the airport, we had to leave folks behind to watch the weapons. Thanks Bloomberg, you statist, immature, sexually and emotionally stunted hoplophobe. I have a God-given right to self-defense anywhere and everywhere I go. Simply because I’m in your crime-ridden city and you don’t trust your own citizens (or subjects, shall I say?) enough to allow (as if you can, in an act of noblesse oblige, amend or abridge the Bill of Rights at your whim) them to protect themselves (and you don’t really want them to- let’s face it, you and your ilk wish to rule over a nation of children- with you as the loving progressive parents) doesn’t mean that I- a free man by action and choice- must submit myself to your immoral laws.


Anyhow, I really have to alter my opinion of New Yorkers. I admit to being prejudiced towards them. When we started to travel around the airport, I reflected to my medic that we were unlikely to be singled out in a positive fashion in New York; to wit, I said to him, “Hey Wooz- I bet you five dollars that we don’t get one ‘thanks for your service’ while we’re here.” He absolutely agreed, and refused to take a losing bet. Not ten minutes later, some thin and weathered fellow pulling a rolling suitcase stopped us both and shook our hands. “Thank you for everything you do for our country.” I stood corrected. However, we both agreed, he was likely from somewhere else.

Sometime later, Wooz and I headed to McDonalds to grab a bite to eat. We were standing in line when some quick-talking lady with an obvious New York accent offered to buy our dinner. “I know you guys are headed over and I want to do this for you,” she said. So that’s two for two, I guess.

A couple of observations about JFK airport: The prices. A 20oz drink from a vending machine is $2.75. A hamburger from Mickey D’s that costs 89 cents in Kentucky costs $2.39 at JFK/New York. My Southern Chicken sandwich meal cost $7.89 on the menu. When I asked if they had a dollar menu, the cashier laughed- laughed! What a horrid place. I realize that people will argue ‘cost of living’ and all that. But you have to factor in taxes. In fact, the taxes levied in an area directly affect the cost of living. Same thing with minimum wage- which, by the way, (and this is a fact backed by the numbers) hurts the lowest income demographic, and in that demographic, hurts blacks the most, and in the black community, hurts teenage males worst of all.

The point of all this is to imagine what the cost of living in New York would look like if there was no minimum wage, and the city’s taxes were limited. Or, and this is a handy solution to the whole “IOT keep New York running you have to smother the people in taxes!” argument. What if each borough was taxed separately, and according to the mean income of that borough? That way, those who want to live in a Manhattan penthouse would have to shoulder directly their share of the financial burden for Manhattan, allowing the people in the poorer sections of the city to avoid paying for the astronomical expenses of downtown; IOW, they would be directly taxed for the amount they use, and no more.

Another thing about JFK. There was an EL Al (the Israeli airline) flight stopped over in town, and there were a bunch of Jews running around there. One thing I noticed: You would see the hottest Israeli girls pushing baby carriages next to really subpar Israeli guys. Like, seriously. Ugly. I’m an average (possibly below average) American male. Compared to these guys, I might as well be a bodybuilder or a Greek God. Bear with me here. Based on the cross-section of Israeli guys displayed in JFK, an average-looking American guy could seriously head over there and clean house. Probably be beating the women off with a stick. You heard me gents. Go forth!

After JFK, we went to Leipzig Germany—home of Johann Sebastian Bach. Then to Kuwait- population 2.5 million; 1.4 million of which are non-Kuwaiti, predominantly Catholic Filipino. That’s a religious/race war waiting to happen, since 1) Muhammad declared (and therefore Muslims believe to the death) that the Arabian peninsula would forever be a peninsula on which Allah alone would be worshipped, and 2) because of that, Kuwait and other peninsular nations have dhimmi laws which practically outlaw all other faiths. (And CAIR whines when the star and crescent isn’t displayed next to nativity scenes…)

So we’re sitting in Kuwait, wasting time. It’s pretty cushy here, which I don’t like. Too many fast food chains; too many places to waste money (huge PX, Harley-Davidson/Ford store, etc.) I wish I could go back to a FOB like Orgun-E. Nothing but barracks, an MWR, and and a chow hall. But I’m not deploying to Afghanistan again. And the new ROE for Afghanistan requires the enemy to engage in “hostile action” even if US troops have positive identification (also known as PID) before they can be engaged. Can’t win a war that way—so I won’t even have the option of visiting Afghanistan as a tourist. And I did kinda want to.

Finished reading Hosea. Awesome, awesome book. The more I read the Bible, the more smitten I am with God’s love for us. The basic outline of the book is that Yahweh tells Hosea to take a prostitute named Gomer as his wife. This story of the relationship between Hosea and Gomer mirrors the one between Yahweh and his people. I’m not sure, having just finished reading it, how much of the unfaithfulness God speaks of Israel actually applies to Gomer vis-a-vis Hosea, but its still great. Listen to chapter 11, where God is talking about his people:

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called my son. But
The more I called Israel, the further they went from me[…]
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them
By the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.

God speaks of the wayward Northern Kingdom as if they were a beloved son—can you see a giddy toddler being taught to walk by its father in verse three, his fingers gently holding up his child “by the arms”? It’s a beautiful picture also in verse four. “I bent down to feed them.” I see a loving Daddy with a tiny spoon in his hand, feeding that same toddler; now wiping the excess off his child’s chin. It is with such images in mind that verse five: …will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? And six: Swords will flash in their cities… and put an end to their plans—sound less like a judgment (although that’s what it is, we mustn’t forget) and more like a heartbroken father that can see the coming pain their wayward child is too blind to see.

But look at verse eight now:

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?[…]
My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.
I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and
Devastate Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man—
The Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

Yahweh recalls the past, and His love wins out over judgment. He saves Israel from the consequences of their actions “For I am God, and not man”—by his supernatural power. In a way, this can be a foreshadowing of that ultimate act of love: the work of Christ upon the cross. Through Christ’s death we were saved from the consequences of our actions. Eternal death, according to Paul in Romans chapter 3. He goes on to say, in verse 25

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

How could God do this? How was it possible for God to allow Christ to pay this price for us? Because “I am God, and not man.” Good enough for me.

Back to Hosea. You know, I really want to get to know these people better. There are so many unanswered questions about the people involved. Did Hosea love his wife when he was commanded to marry her? Did his heart break when he held little Jezreel (or Lo-Ammi or Lo-Ruhamah) and thought “This is not my child”? Gomer was a prostitute. How often did she ply her trade? Did people watch Hosea walk down the street and say “That poor, poor man. Why is he still with Gomer? He certainly deserves better”? How did he react to other people’s pity or scorn? What was running through Gomer’s mind when she cheated on him? Did she enjoy sex for sex? Was she broken, somehow, on the inside? Did she love Hosea at first, or only at the end? How in the world did Hosea work up the nerve to stride into where Gomer was “working” and buy her back? What did Hosea think of the God who allowed him to feel this pain? He spoke the word of the Lord; surely there was some other way to get the point across? How often did Hosea sit in a dark corner of his home, away from the kids, away from prying eyes, and pour out in tears the hurt he must have felt?

There is much omitted about who Hosea was and the circumstances of his life. But there is enough there to paint a brief but vivid picture. Hosea was a man of remarkable moral strength. He was obedient, if nothing else. And I like to think that he had faith—that the God who could redeem and heal the people of Israel was big enough to redeem and heal his wife. I sincerely hope Hosea had his “happily ever after”, don’t you?


“Therefore I am going to now allure her;
I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
And make the Valley of Trouble
A door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of
Her youth,
As in the days she came up out of
- Hosea 2: 14-15

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Learning Love

So, I’m getting ready—still—to go over to Iraq. Any time now… :)

I want to explain what God is doing in my life. Cause it is incredible and awesome. You see, I’ve been out of the loop concerning my relationship with God for quite some time now. Granted, I had my moments—and they usually included getting hurt really badly by people I care deeply about—but they weren’t permanent changes, just moments of being in touch with God.

So God wasn’t really getting what he wanted out of me: a relationship. I was the friend who came by to cry on His mighty shoulder, taking comfort in His presence, and when He had picked me up, I merrily treated Him like crap and went off on my way. (I didn’t realize all of this until very recently. I had been that “lifesaving flotation device” before for other people, but never thought that what others did to me, I was doing to God.) Sure, I called him my Father; called him my Savior—but my actions didn’t line up with what I professed. Like a husband who beats his wife and then tells her he loves her, there was a disconnect between what I said and what I did; between who I claimed to be and who I really was. (I’ve recently begun to understand the vital nature of belief+action, and how the two relate. More on that later.)

I think, being a Puritanical, honor-bound male, I tended towards legalism. I know I tended towards legalism- I think that was the reason. I have always valued honesty, loyalty, keeping your word, working hard, treating others fairly, all of that. And all of those are good and decent things. But if you pay attention, you will notice all of those things have something in common.

Do you see it? Look a little closer, and think.

All those positive traits I listed are either 1) actions, or 2) dependent on action. (They also are displayed by action, but so is everything else. As I will explain in a later post, humans are physical creatures. Therefore, they manifest everything physically. To the degree that something isn’t displayed in action, it isn’t believed. Oops, I’m digressing…) So of course, if my morals emphasize action, I would find myself slowly drifting towards legalism.

I once explained to a friend (speaking of another friend who disparaged Mosaic Law) that sometimes I liked the Law, because it was a last ditch safety net. Even though my entire body and fallen nature screamed to do something, I held back *because I knew it was wrong*. Spoken Like a true Pharisee, eh? The Law can point toward righteousness, but it cannot lead there. It took me falling to my lowest depths before I realized how ethereal that safety net was.

I started reading God’s Word, and praying a little bit. And then I read a really cool book. It’s called “So You don’t Want to go to Church Anymore.” And yeah, it was fiction, but there was still a bit of truth in there. What really struck me about the book was how the authors, through the protagonist’s conversations with a guy named John, emphasized- over and over- God’s love and the relationship He sought with every single one of us. About halfway through I put the book down and picked up my Bible. I went to the Gospels, and I reread John. And the love of this amazing man, Jesus, who was also God, seemed to leak through every single syllable. I lost count of how many times John mentioned love*, or used the “L-word”. (Hehe.) Only a God of love would heal the lame and give sight to the blind. Only a God who sought every single one of us like a husband seeks his bride would talk with a Samaritan polyamorist, or tell the adulterous woman “I don’t condemn you. Go, and don’t sin again.” Only a God who loves us enough to get His hands dirty would willingly walk to the Cross. Of the Crucifixion, John says “Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.”

As I read all this, I finally understood with my heart that my sins were forgiven. I had the knowledge, but one can know something and never act on it. I had always carried around in my mind a personal scorecard- good deeds vs. bad deeds- and I would unconsciously grade myself every day. Looking back, how could I not be silently miserable? Even the times when it seemed I pulled ahead, that was only a brief respite before my legalistic heart was pulled back into sin. When you compete against your own ideal- or God’s, for that matter- you can’t win.

What came after that realization was a hunger. A hunger to know this God that had forgiven me, who wanted to be my best friend. My little flame of faith picked up strength and began roaring, growing into an actual fire. I started praying and reading my Bible- things I had done before, things that on the outside looked the same as it always had- but with a difference. You see, my heart had shifted. I was doing the same actions, but with new motivations.

And it’s awesome. I prayed to God that He would keep revealing Himself to me, and that I wanted to chase Him with everything I had. Also, I began to understand (slowly) that If I pursued Him with all of my heart, everything else would begin to fall into place. I loved others, but instead of trying to love them under my own power, as I had been doing for so long with mixed results, I began letting Christ love them through me.

So I’m forgiven. And so are you. And Christ earned forgiveness for us because God wanted to know you and I intimately. If you honestly pursue Him- if you wrap yourself in His love- you will find yourself becoming a better person. Not through action, though your actions will change to show others the love you feel. But a better person than you could ever become on your own. And you might discover, like I did, that the person you are becoming is the person you wanted to be all along, but you didn’t know it.

(* Wouldn't that be cool? To go through the original Greek and count how many times the word "love" appeared in John? I certainly think so.)

"God doesn't ask us to sacrifice our dreams in the coventional sense. He doesn't throw them away. He gives them back to us, redeemed."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So I’m at Mob station, getting ready to head to the sandbox. I’m excited—about getting over there and past this bullshit, but also about coming home at the end of it and doing the things I want to do.

I’m doing my best to “Let Silence Reign” in that situation; Buttercup is… well, to be honest, I don’t really know where her heart is, and anything I say would likely be too bitter and hurtful to do any good. Silence is golden; but sometimes it is also holy. I did remove her from my Facebook friends, and I suppose I ought to explain that. I wasn’t because I was angry at her, or I hated her, or I never wanted to talk to her again. It was because when I would log on after several days offline, there would be her face and her name sitting there on my home page—each one like a knife twist in my heart. So I removed her from my friends.

I miss her. But not like the “I’ve been rejected forever” type of missing. More like “My friend died awhile ago” type. And I’m sure she would say the same, that she isn’t the woman that I once loved (as if love was confined to a certain moment, and not an aging, growing thing as well!) and that that person was dead. My response to that would be that my Savior can raise the dead—it’s his speciality.

Been reading Boston’s Gun Bible. Man, what a great book. Seriously. I can’t wait to get home and build my .308 AR-15. Boston has a great chapter on how Liberty types are often all talk. Its great. His basic argument is that if you don’t own a battle rifle and practice with it often, you don’t take liberty seriously. Here’s a quote:

“On April 19, 1775, the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord didn’t stand around quoting Locke to the Redcoats. They didn’t sit there and shout “No initiation of force!” No, they shot them—well and often—all twenty miles back to Boston.”