15 August 2017

Blessed feast of the Formation of the Theotokos







 O Theotokos, in giving birth you preserved virginity, and in your falling asleep, you did not forsake the world. You are the Mother of Life, and have been transferred to Life, and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

A different take on recent events...

I'm sure we've all been waiting for my take on the events of recent happening in Charlottesville, well, we're still going to have to wait, because quite frankly there are other issues that I think need addressing (and somehow I think you'll understand), and I'll use this blog which has a small audience to address those points.

a. Racism through law vs Racism of people

Many people are rightly trying to bring up the point about racism being a problem, and many are coming out condemning the white nationalists and the neo-nazis and such things...but did we ever stop to think that we've done more to commit to Racism via laws and our education system than anything an individual has done?

A couple examples of this:

1. Affirmative action: Or the quota that a specific number of minorities must be hired for thing x, y, or z. Effectively translated, you're not good enough to stand on your own merits, so we need to fix the competition to help you. I find it absolutely insulting to think that I can't stand on my own merits, education, etc, I'd be completely embarrassed if this is how I landed a job, just because they needed x number of minorities for such a position...

2. The lowering of school standards: To say that a nonwhite person can't complete the standards of a particular school, and so we must lower them just because they're a particular race, is also insulting. It's as if to say, we think you're an idiot because you're this particular race....If that isn't racist, I can't say what is.

But, of course, to dare to say these things would probably lead to a considerable amount of criticism. (Oh well, I'm not in this for the sake of popularity)

Those are, of course, only 2 of a perpetual amount of examples I could mention.....The problem is that it creates a victim mentality, that a particular group of people must be helped because of some wrongs in the past. The people of the present, while related to those of the past possibly, are not those people, and we can't have a guilt by association attitude towards these people. Not only is it very un-Christian to associate the modern people with the sins of the past, it's just plain not logical to do so. Quite literally, they're different people from those of the past. Just as it's the same that not all people who hold conservative points of view are ergo racist or all people who hold liberal points of view are idiots. While I'm sure that creates plenty of click bait headlines, and gets the attention one is seeking, it does not help, creating a false narrative, or a false equation of things. That false narrative contributes more to the downfall of things than people realise.

A person that happens to be racist, or thinks in such ways is doing quite similarly, having a collective judgement, by the actions of a few individuals. I absolutely think racism is reprehensible, that said, it's hard when there's crimes committed or when a certain injustice, not to have a particular influence on what one thinks. While once again, not justifying anything, much of the "Anti-White" or the "Anti-Black" or "Anti-whatever" comes from insert your stereotype here. In some cases, it's breaking the law to come into the country, in other places, it's looting, in other situations, it was the past in allowance of civil rights. My point being, that there is something to contribute to the attitude of these particular situations.

Consider the following, would one rather want a person to be openly racist, or use the means of the law to hide their racism? Not much of a choice, but I must say, I have much more respect for those who are openly racist, rather than those that use the means of compassion to hide their racism. In the former situation, I know exactly where they stand, in the latter, they're trying to play me for an idiot and think that I will not see right through them.

Kindness can't be legislated (as hard as we try sometimes)....and we can't force association of people. Why would someone want to associate with someone who doesn't want to associate with them in the first place? To me, that makes absolutely no sense. Forced association creates an animosity towards that particular person or a particular group. I've often heard things said, as we may not like your people as a whole, but we like you individually. I've also heard things such as we don't like you individually, but we like you collectively. Would you much rather someone BS a friendship with you? Or that friendship come through authentic means? If someone or a particular group doesn't wish to associate with me, by all means, don't. I'd much rather not be BS'ed into thinking one is a friend when they are not.

We often times enough segregate ourselves, through our neighbourhoods....I've noticed this more in the northern cities, rather than the southern cities that I have been to. There's a certain tension that each group keeps to themselves and does not assimilate, and more often times than not extends to church and various other interactions.

b. The hijacking of symbols

There has seemed to be this modern tendency to want to ban symbols, just because a specific group of people uses them. (Both sides), Whether it be the rainbow from the LGBTQ etc movement or the confederate flag. There have been groups of not so idealistic viewpoints that have also used many things to fit their ends, whether it be the Bible, a torch, etc. People are going to find symbols that they identify with or what not, and use them, this does not mean we go banning symbols just because. If anything, that should give us cause to re-claim the symbols for their original purpose.

c. The erasing of history

So, I'll grant that removing a statue in of itself isn't a removal of history as such. (The stories of our history can still be told) That said, something I always like to say I think applies, just because one can, doesn't mean that one should. Removing a statue because someone's feelings are offended isn't a reason to remove a statue. Do we realise how many statues would be removed if simply feelings and past sins were the case? We wouldn't have Mt. Rushmore, we wouldn't have the Washington Monument and various other historical landmarks. No one would dare think of their removal, I can hardly see how the removal of other statues is different. History is hardly black and white and isn't meant to gloss over the imperfections of everyone involved. Surprise, man has a fallen nature, so when they do something that isn't right, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Just because there's a statue up of a particular person or thing does not imply agreement with everything they said or did within their life. There seems to be this attitude of assuming that we're ignoring the not so glossy things of the past, and I truly don't think this is the case.

A perfect example of the erasing of history, is this semi documentary piece, I didn't learn any of this in my history classes. (I'm not a fan of Glenn Beck, but this is a good piece)



Now, let's connect the dots between all of what I'm thinking. There was a protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee (Removal of History), some of these people held reprehensible views, some of them happen to have conservative principles. There were protesters protesting the protest....

The viewpoints of the protesters are really a distraction in this whole ordeal that should have never happened in the first place. (There should have been mechanisms to keep the various groups apart, and maintained). In my opinion, this is about revisionism, rather than about the particular views of the individuals. I've always thought that history was a collection of lies told by the victors, but in this circumstance, it seems that the losers of history are trying to re-write things, it's kind of ironic.

To wrap up my thoughts

1. There are people with view points that are reprehensible that hold conservative points of view, this does not imply that a conservative point of view is ergo racist, or insert your buzzword here, there should not be a guilt by association attitude. (The irony is that they, the racists would support abortion, would it ergo make one racist that supports abortion?....They'd try and shoot that down, but it seems this is only one directional conversation.

2. It is much more respectable to be open with one's hostile viewpoints rather than to hide them through compassion. (Aka, I'd rather someone admit to being a racist, rather than use another means to show that)

3. More often times than not, we ourselves segregate ourselves from society, we don't need law to help that out.

4. Forced association leads to this kind of animosity.

5. Yes, it's absolutely reprehensible that racism, anti-Semitism, and other things like this still exist. Truly it is saddening. The trauma needs to end, and solutions do need to be found, but they certainly won't be through law. That said, if someone had a problem with the whole of my race, but liked me individually, I more than likely would not make a big deal out of it, why? Becuase, we're not all robots and think the same. (At least I hope not, what a boring society)....The Jews aren't out to take over the world (or financial sector)....(the fact that some people happen to be so, does not equate all of them towards this mentality)....We don't need to do guilt by association for this kind of thing either.

6. We're called to love everyone. That doesn't mean we need to agree with them on all they say or do. As the Divine Liturgy says, Christ our God is the lover of us all, there is no room for racism within our creed as Christians, our churches can't become ethnic exclusive clubs.


10 August 2017

Thought of the day

Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the one that is actually correct.

26 July 2017

Dissent from the new orthodoxy, Volume I Transgenders and new military polices.



So, rumour has it that President Trump has banned Transgenders from joining the military...Everyone's freaking out, time for some common sense, let's start with the obvious:

 a. Being in the military isn't a right for anyone. 

Thank goodness within the US the Military is voluntary. In other places, one is forced to join the military against their will. So, someone will, of course, have the audacity to ask, if someone wishes to serve their country in this manner, why not let them? Should not be equal opportunity be granted to anyone who asks?

To be in the military requires both physical and emotional fitness and readiness. We don't cry discrimination when disabled people are excluded from the military. Why is this? Well, it's rather obvious is it not? A fighting force needs to be mobile, and able to move quickly or move in case of the enemy attacking. A person who is disabled would have a difficult time doing this quickly or efficiently. I'm sure there are many disabled people who would love to serve our country's military, (Actually, believe it or not, I was going to be hired to be a nuclear physicist for the Navy out of HS, however, I got hit by a car and became legally disabled, thus ended that opportunity)....Could they serve in other capacities? Yes, but fighting on the front lines would be an absolute no no. But one doesn't realise that those positions that are "undeployable" TM, are few and far between. Being in the military, one could be on the move at a moment's notice. For a disabled person, it would be a rather difficult task, and extra accommodations would have to be made...And for a force that needs to be mobile, there's little time to have the accommodations ready in time. There are of course disabled people that serve in the military that got disabled via battle, or within the military complex, and accommodations and things are done for them according to their need. So we can't say that the military hates disabled people, or strictly discriminates.

So what does that have to do with transgender people? The simple answer is this, they proclaim to be a sex which they are not. This would be something that would apply more for those who go from female to male, rather than the other way...but the point, if they think they are male, they should be judged according to the male standards for the physical fitness tests, which would self-exclude the vast majority of those applying to join our nation's military. (There would, of course, be a certain percentage that could pass). For males going to female, they'll easily pass (well, the vast majority) the female standards for admission. There is, of course, also a psychological examination as well, which the question could be asked, if the person is confused as to which gender they are, what else could they possibly be confused about? (The other thing that would have excluded me from the military is that my mum recently passed during that time, and I was very emotionally unstable at the time)....One needs to be able to do the orders of the military, if one is ordered to kill the enemy, one must be able to do it at the drop of a hat, and any traumatic experience may make that a difficult task, if not near impossible task. You can't when preparing to shoot the enemy have a breakdown moment and cry over some past trauma or painful experience and place oneself in more danger than one is already in.....I believe it to be fair for the military to have people that are emotionally stable and prepared to do the task assigned to them.

b. But, Joe, there are already transgenders serving in the military, should they be kicked out?

No, they should be allowed to finish their terms of service that they have signed up for, and have their records looked at on an individual basis, and their renewal of terms, based upon what they have done in the service, not based upon transgenderism, or what not.

c. But what if the transgendered person passes both the physical and psychological evaluations?

These things should be handled on a case by case basis, as it was done beforehand. There doesn't need to be a media circus surrounding these decisions. I feel the same about homosexuals in our military, these things should be handled on a case by case basis. There are many situations, where certain types of people are banned from having a certain job or what not, but, there are case-by-case exemptions made for particular individuals. Just like a job that has a certain qualification level, but employers make exceptions on occasion, I believe the same should happen for our military, there doesn't need to be an open door policy, but things need to be looked at on an individual basis.   

d. In conclusion, supposedly

I'd love to be able to say, that LGBT whatever rights are being taken way, but since when is joining the military a right? They correctly make discriminations based upon all kinds of factors, from physical to emotional, and those standards should be applied equally. 

As I say always, In situations where there is actual discrimination in a negative sense, or one's inalienable rights are not being allowed to be exercised, I will, of course, support these kinds of situations in terms of rights, no one has a right to take a gun away from you for being homosexual or trans. AKA, I don't support stoning people to death because they've made this particular kind of decision. I don't wish to see people jailed for doing this kind of thing. (I'm sorry though, marriage and adoption aren't rights) The problem, of course, when someone constantly complains, is that when there's an actual serious thing going on, one will not be taken seriously. 

There's plenty of mistreatment of these people in society (and vice-versa as well), but being excluded from the military is hardly something to cry over....there are plenty of normal people excluded as well. Actually,  normal people are excluded from the military all the time, why would this situation be any different?

Tolerance is a two-way street, one can't suddenly announce they have a certain thought or wish to do x activity, and be freaked out when people don't all say it's okay. (Give a hint, if it was okay, everyone would probably agree with it or wouldn't be taken aback by it)....There are some that would be okay with such a thing, but there are some that aren't going to be okay with it, but does one need the approval of everyone to do something? Someone, somewhere on the planet probably does not approve of every decision or announcement that someone or yourself have done. This is a world of multiple opinions, and just dismissing them and throwing around buzzwords without substance to the argument is embarrassing and pathetic. Reading motive into things when one doesn't know the person is embarrassing as well. And one more point of ranting....about these bathrooms....is not a public restroom a place to avoid if so possible? Why not shut one's trap, go do one's business and leave? Use one of the family single stalled restrooms and get on with it....Life need not be that complicated really.....Such is an attempt at the new orthodoxy. 

Of course, these situations aren't quite as black and white as they seem, and there's more nuance to them, but should not those cases be treated individually, rather than the collective whole? Yes, it's very easy to paint a situation black and white when one is not in the situation, and i do believe that people that have to carry various crosses should be treated with mercy, compassion, and respect, but that said, it doesn't mean that everyone's special case be made normal. We deal with people as we should...individually. 






15 July 2017

A sort of update and I suppose some comforting words.

a. Joe, what happened to you last week?

Last week, I was involved in a car accident where I got rear ended. The car that hit me was going 25-35 mph. I'm thankful things were not worse, but evaluations with the chiropractor will have me going at least for the next month or so 3x a week. A bit sore on the right side of my shoulder and neck. It is still painful to have full motion on my right side, but well, what can be done?

As the other driver was without insurance, this is going to be all kinds of fun for them....

A week later, and motion on my right side is still not what it was. I suppose it's going to be a long road to recovery....hopefully there will be no complications, my body is all kinds of screwed up already :p

b. It's often said when one door closes, another one opens, or sometimes to that end, there's a reason that various things happen when they do happen. Sometimes it is also said that that we ought to pray as everything depends on God, and act like everything depends on us. I suppose to that end I can state two things.

It's a lot easier to get to Las Vegas, than it is to Russia :p....I was on vacation in Vegas a few weeks ago, coming back to California has reminded me that I need to leave this state once and for all. (Although 3 munchkins will want me to stick around, LA will be a 3 hour drive :p)....

Peace really does come from forgiveness of heart. A certain situation, which I will not specify, I had been praying for, and finally after all these years, it had been answered. It definitely feels great to have found the reconciliation of this particular situation.

Let not one's heart be troubled at the craziness that is going on in the world, from Rome or otherwise. Our Lord is in charge....

Now to find orthodox parishes in Vegas :p








06 July 2017

A prayer request

1. Please pray for the repose of my aunt who recently passed away. (Diferent aunt than the other who passed away)

2. Please pray for me, as I was involved in a car accident and got rear ended and am a bit sore from the accident. Nothing life threatening, but please do pray for me :)

3. Please pray for a special intention as well.

Thank you and God bless.

29 June 2017

Year 15 of a cross that does not get any easier.

It was on this day, and at this time, when my mum passed away, 15 years ago. As I mention often times enough,  of course in your charity if you can offer prayers for me, my mum, and my family, I'd be much appreciative of it.....

Much often times, I say, like it was yesterday is a lived reality, not some hyperbolic expression. There are some days of course which are easier than others, and some days where near break downs happen, I'd like to say that the new normal is so not normal, it takes stability and tosses it to the side.

15 years after the fact, it's not any easier than it was when it first happened. I suppose that now with age comes some slight attempt at wisdom. But more often times, it's battling the feelings of why then, why at that point in my life, and battling the anger and wrath that often goes through my head, and certainly this year with the death of my aunt, it's been not any easier.

A lot of people will point to the story of Job, and how he lost everything....and still kept faithfulness. I am no where near that holy (nor pretend to be so), I often tend to think the saints were much more human than we're lead to believe....and probably had their doubts and fights with God as well.

Of course, I'm still at Sunday Liturgy, and weekday Liturgy whenever possible, but some days it's extremely hard to keep a staight face. I'm still very Catholic, even if barely climbing the ladder of holiness. I think back to all the times that mum did not let me go explore with my friends who weren't Catholic for Sunday Mass, every Sunday we went. (Even if it meant literally dragging me :p)

To say that she's missed is an understatement. There are many big events that are coming, and although I know that she's watching from above, it's not the same without her here. It's not like there's way to call and hear her voice again. It's kind of difficult, especially thinking of the big M's (Marriage and movement)

May mum's memory be eternal and she have blessed repose.

O Lord, in your goodness, remember your servants and forgive whatever sins they committed in their life for no one is sinless but you alone. You have the power to grant rest to the departed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever Amen.

With the saints, O Chrisat, give rest to your servants, where there is no pain, sorrow, nor mourning, but life everlasting.


26 June 2017

Thought of the day

"I've been used, broken, broken again, and will be broken some more, yet, I am still here, and I refuse to let the stupidity of others to dictate how I will live, and how I will respond to various situations."


20 June 2017

100% controversial, yet 100% accurate statements....

1. It is possible to not be a fan of someone, not particularly like their policies, and or thought process, and not wish death upon them, nor simulate death through any means.

I do not know where people get this strange idea that we absolutely must kill everyone who disagrees with us. It is an irrationality that needs to stop right now. Disagree with someone, totally, don't threaten to kill them, and don't act like complete morons....or even simulate the act of killing or beating someone up. It's a bit much.

While I'm on the topic, it's a bit over the top to constantly call people names, 24/7. It's blatantly obvious that one does not like a particular candidate, or idea, alright, fine, fine, we get it, but make of some substance how your idea or thought process will make the solution better than insert idea here.

2, Rome does not have a monopoly on Catholicism, neither does Constantinople have a monopoly on Orthodoxy either.

People suddenly find out you're not the world's biggest fan of *insert your favourite private devotion here* and they look at you with dear in the headlights, or give you the look of death, like somehow spirituality is supposed to be uniform, and everyone must absolutely do the exact same thing, always and everywhere.

The Rosary is nice, but it's not the end all be all of Marian devotion and Marian life. Theology of the Body is nice, but it's not the only approach to the theology of the sexes either. The Jesus Prayer is wonderful, but it's not the only way to summarise the Faith. St Thomas Aquinas is wonderful, but not the only theologian in the Church's history, and he is not the magisterium. You get the point, really that within the objective Truths of the Faith, there are many ways to express them, and many ways to live them out. What each person needs depends on various factors.....and that's one reason to have a spiritual father or mother to approach these kinds of topics with.

3. It is possible to have Muslim friends, think highly of them, and also be concerned about the vocal minority.

I've known Muslims all of my life, they'd never do anything crazy like blow up a building, or go on a suicide mission. (They also know I'd raise hell on them if they did such a thing). But it's well possible to be concerned with things like terrorism, and literal interpretations of Quranic verses without condemning those that aren't doing those things. It's pretty easy to see where terrorists get their inspiration from, that's been well documented, and I'm not trying to point that out. Rather, I am going to say that, one should not have to live in fear living in a big city.  OF course, it's also true that various governments paid for jihads over the years as well....My point being, what Islam stands for is something that various schools of Islamic thought need to come together and solve for themselves. We can't solve that for them, nor should we try to solve it for them. So, when there's hashtag, not all muslims, no one is dare saying that all Muslims are committing violent atrocities, no one is dare saying that there aren't other forms of terror, (paid or otherwise).....I think it's important for both sides to listen to one another, but people are so caught up in their ideological corners that they fail to hear and listen to one another.

4. It is entirely possible to have a deep faith, yet struggle very much.

As I like to say, we all have our crosses, some are more heavier than others. It does not make one a hypocrite, if one is struggling to carry their cross. People just throw words around left and right and have zero clue what they mean. It's much of a headache.

5. The attempts to be inclusive, have resulted in more exclusivity than inclusivity.

So many places say, ...we want to be inclusive, but by doing so do the exact opposite of what they intend. It'd be better if they were more honest with what they meant. We only mean inclusive, if you agree with the things that we have to say or do, not if you disagree with us. I don't just mean this within political or religious circles, I mean this for everything.

There are very few people, who I truly think are open minded and truly listen to all opinions. There tends to be those people that will hear your opinion, tune it out, and go on. Those that will hear your opinion, take things into actual consideration, and if they work, possibly consider changing their opinion, and lastly those that listen and go with the flow. I tend to think all people are closed minded, some are open-eared.....now how does this apply to the above?

We welcome all people, except those that disagree with us....Those that want reverent liturgies, go somewhere else. Those that think that homosexuality is wrong, go somewhere else, you're bigoted, If people were perfectly honest, they just want a society where everyone says all things are a-okay, and just whatever everything. There can be zero room for dissent, or rather, they just want robots that don't think for themselves and come to different conclusions.

I have never thought my classroom or my world, to be a place where I tell people what to think, or even how to think. I've always thought my place to be to present ideas, and from that, people are able to put pieces of a puzzle together.

In addition, we can't legislate kindness, I think it's rather ridiculous to force people that don't wish to associate with x, to associate with x. It's kind of a double edged sword so to speak when we do try to legislate kindness, which in the long run, may well do more damage, than good. When people are forced to associate, there's an inward animosity towards this forced association, and results in attitudes which would have been kept indoors to be put in the open, which isn't always a good thing in my opinion.....Lest we get it confused, I'm simply stating the means towards achieving certain ends can't come via force. I'm all for ending certain trains of thought, but it's not going to be done through legislation or ad campaigns. It's going to have to come from an entire change in culture as well as thought. (Which may well be near impossible because of how academia is well taken over by those of a particular thought process in the vast majority of places)

6. There's a reason the saying is think twice, speak once....

In particular when one says something that can be interpreted in a particular way, or when one gives out information that they are not supposed to. Sometimes people are clueless to the things they say....but stupid is what stupid does and there's no excuse for things that should be blatantly obvious.









09 May 2017

On all sorts of topics

To say that things have been rough lately is perhaps an understatement beyond all comparison.

Let's begin....

a. A dear aunt of mine passed away on Sunday morning. (May her memory be eternal). I was very close to my aunt, and the circumstances with everything made things even more difficult than they already were. As I often like to say, If one thinks that one can witness the last words of their grandmother before they stopped talking, died, their aunt to suicide, and having to watch their mother deteriorate before their very eyes and somehow come out normal, one must be a special kind of stupid. Screwed up for life? Yep, that's me :).....And to make matters worse, mother's day is this weekend, so the perpetual advertisements, make everyone who's a mom stand up in church time of year is here.....Guess who's going to attend the vigil Liturgy in hopes of avoiding all this? Yep, me!

b. It is quite frustrating when people are so stuck in their interpretations of tradition, they fail to see other perspectives, and hear things out, there's so much misunder4stading about the Orthodox that I may well dedicate a post to correcting some misinterpretations of the Orthodox.

c. This is more of a slight rant than anything else. It is not necessary to give every single facebook page a "like" or constantly beg for attention through. That is the quickest way to not get attention from me at least. Begging doesn't look very good, and while I know the algorithms are often based on the "affirmation mentality"...Maybe I'm of the mind that beauty attacts unto itself, and doesn't always need to be begged for.

d. The hardest part with being a perfectionist when it comes to certain projects isn't actually finishing the project, but rather, being completely unsatisfied with the work perpetually. So the videos that I'm trying to produce keep staying in perpetual edit mode.

e. It's not even worth commentiong on Rome right now....

f. Please continue your prayers for various intentions of mine :)

God bless

26 April 2017

25 April 2017

Thought of the day

Either extreme of everything being black and white, or everything being relative is bad.

11 April 2017

Thought of the day

It is necessary to avoid situations that will lead to wrath, sometimes it results in a lonely corner though.

24 March 2017

Thought of the day

Save your people O Lord and bless your inheritance, grant victory to your Church over evil, and protect your people by your Cross. (Troparion 3rd Su of Lent)

22 March 2017

Thought of the day

It's quite interesting that people tend to think I'm some super strict, ultra to the right person when nothing could be further from the truth. I'm much more a reasonable person to the right, who tends to hear the arguments from all sides. Especially when it comes to matters within the Church, it's interesting how those from extremes of both sides tend to push people out, but oddly at least within my own experience, it's those on the hard right that do more to push people even further out.

06 March 2017

The ridiculous needs to end, NOW

There's only so much stupid that I can ignore before I end up snapping, the breaking point is far past now, we need to begin. (Bear in mind this was written before the start of Lent)

a. The rioters

Listen, and listen attentively, destroying things isn't going to change the outcome of the results of the election. If anything, this sort of attitude is exactly why the results happened as they were. How does causing damage to the community that's already damaged make things better? You expect the geniuses that run the government to show pity on a situation that was self-caused? LOL!, cute....

b. The protests against the travel ban...

Just stop, stop now! The US is a sovereign nation with a right to protect itself from enemies from outside and within the country. When Bishops elevate matters of prudential judgement to de-facto dogmas, we get stupid things like the Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego supporting making a mess. (Trump wasn't certainly my first choice, but I don't support acting stupid because one lost)

Is the wall going to stop illegal immigration? Of course not! No one said it would, for that to stop, one has to cut it off at the source, which is the governments of those people that leave various countries being so corrupt to a point where they are willing to break laws to cross into other countries. Something that I've made mention of before, and I'll make mention of it again, illegal or legal is not with regards to a person's dignity, but rather their status with respect to the laws of the given country. Undocumented is quite vague and can refer to those here legally or illegally. Quite literally it's those without papers, or who may have not received them. (Knowing the competence of the government on these things, it's surprising that more papers don't get lost)

c. This pope....AL....

Have we not learned our lesson by putting a microphone in front of this guy? It's at this point where I say, just because one can do something doesn't mean one should do it. The sooner this pontificate ends the better. There are two schools of thought for me on this...To some degree, what's being proposed is already allowed, but usually in these situations, are rather rare. The old saying is we don't take the exception and make it the normal, which is what at least those trying to interpret AL are trying to do. Of course in this approach the definitions are the ends in of themselves, and so a strict absolute no must be held. If we consider dogmas to be more fences, perhaps this approach might be understandable. But I do not think it is necessary for the Roman church to copy the practices of the East in this manner. The words of Jesus are clear, and we're not free to do what we want with them.

d. The dam...

If anything shows government's great incompetence here in California, it's the Oroville dam. I have family there, so if you can keep them in prayer it'd be awesome. This is what happens when we don't use the allocated money for this for what it's supposed to be used for. The sooner I'm able to leave California, the better.

e. Russia

It wasn't the Russians, the cold war is over. Stop buying into the fear that Russia is coming to get us. It doesn't mean Putin is some kind of super-saint, of course not, but it's important to be realistic as well. And yes, I'm still leaving....


f. The name calling....

It needs to stop. Just because someone disagrees does not make them "insert your favourite buzz-word here" It's like chicken little or the boy who cried wolf one too many times. These words keep being used so much, people will be blind when the actual situation does occur right in front of their faces.

g. The various isms

It's not necessarily an ism just because it happens as such. I think too often people read into situations when it isn't such a thing, or it isn't as magnified as people tend to think it is. This isn't, of course, to say that concerns shouldn't be addressed, but we shouldn't be reading into the hearts of the individuals that do various activities. Oh Mr. Potiillor, why aren't more females in science? How's they're not interested sound? I can only hope that those who are influenced by my horrendous example are inspired to do more, but it's not something that can be forced either. We can read into why some aren't interested...My two best math teachers were female....so take that for what it's worth.  :p

e. "fake news"

We've had this for decades. What do people think satire is? The truth? Most news stories are incomplete because they only present one perspective on given information about a supposed news item. Most of these have a liberal bent to them, it is quite rare to find alternative points of view. Liberal perspectives in of themselves don't make for "fake news"....incomplete, sure, but definitely not fake. To be fair, though, there are agendas at play, and there's often manipulation of information as to present something as true which isn't.

Moving on from the ridiculous to the actually important.


1. If you could keep the mother of my parish priest in your prayers, she recently passed away.
2. Keep me in your prayers as well, as Friday is mum's birthday, and even 15 years after the fact it's not any easier....
3. If you're watching the Kardashians, you need to step up your game....watch this instead

http://nutiminn.is/kattarshians/

These are by far much cuter, and have way more substance than the actual Kardashians :)



22 February 2017

Liturgical attitudes (Experiences from the Assyrian church of the East)

 I was blessed with the opportunity to experience Liturgy in Aramaic for the past few Sundays, while my parish had suspended Sunday Liturgy, I share my experiences to perhaps to bring a different perspective to some of the debates we see in western circles.

a. Attitude is everything.

The priests and deacons were in prayer before the Divine Liturgy, praying Orthos in Aramaic. (I was praying mine in Russian). None of this casual atmosphere as one finds in many of the western parishes.

Afterwards, the priest and I had a brief introduction, I stayed for Liturgy. it was quite nice to hear the language of Our Lord being used. Fortunately, there was a Latinised version of the Aramaic so I could somehow attempt to sing the Liturgy. It not being among the languages that I do speak, was a little hard to sing at first.

Everyone was attentive to the Liturgy and the various actions within the Liturgy, from the sign of peace to the incensations, and when the deacon went around with the incense. Seeing as the Liturgy was nearly 2 hours long, this non-Byzantine rite definitely had much motion, but there was plenty of genuflecting by the priest and deacons....it was very interesting to observe the various points. I think on a non-Sunday Liturgy, we would be kneeling with them. ...

Something that I've repeated on this blog and elsewhere, it's hard to take things seriously, when those that around us don't. This wasn't a problem. Everyone knew their piece and did what they were supposed to do.

b. Come time for Holy Communion....

As an Eastern, we really don't do Communion in the Hand...so needless to say that I was taken back when Our Lord was placed in my hand. However, it really wasn't so much in the hand, as our hands acting as a paten. Something that Bishop Schneider refers to in his book Dominus Est, and also on his interview on EWTN. We brought our palms to our mouths and did not touch the Host. I must say the external attitude made this much easier to deal with, it wasn't casual, with reverence to the cross on the tetrapod. If Communion in the Hand was done this way at parishes it'd be much less of a bother instead of the irreverence that's often shown elsewhere.

If you have the chance to visit them, by all means do so. It was definitely a different experience.


12 February 2017

Unpopular opinions...

Once again observing the interwebs, you learn that people fail to think, and unfortunately buy into the fear mongering that is promoted by either side of the ideological agenda. So In the order of correction, I think these things ought to be pointed out.

a. Our New SOE.

People don't seem to realise that one can separate their opinions on subjects from the job or task at hand. We do this every day as a part of our existence. It doesn't matter what field we work in, we all do it, here are some examples of times where one's opinion might have to be placed aside:


  • The one student that annoys the heck out of you, but you still must teach them.
  • The defendant you know is guilty, but you must defend them
  • The rude customer that comes into the store, yet you must serve them
  • The friend(s) who are marrying someone you're not a fan of, but because you actually care about your friends you show up at their wedding, as broken as you are.
  • That one co-worker that gets on your nerves, yet you must work with them.
  • And I'm sure there are countless other examples.
Does it mean that everyone will simply put their opinions aside and do the job that's asked of them? Of course not (Exhibit A: His Humbleness)...But the point is that people can do something without their opinions getting in the way. 

I happen to be a product of public education and have had some great teachers and professors along the way, and I wouldn't trade my experience with them for anything. (I've talked about one teacher that's had a major influence on my person quite a bit.) Granted things when I was in public school were not anywhere near as bad as they are now, we could speak fairly openly about Faith (some teachers were very open about their Faith, I can remember one of my English teachers being very open about her Catholicism), and other matters, and I did feel that I could come to my teachers with problems. (And I had several problems I had to deal with back in those days)....

I can't believe that people are buying into the fearmongering that public education is going to disappear from the face of the US. That's not going to happen! If anything, this could well turn into a blessing in disguise, because we all know some the various things that teachers complain about.

  • In situations where often teachers' have to buy their own supplies
  • In situations where certain pedagogies are being forced to be used against a teacher's wishes.
  • In situations where teachers often feel they must teach to a particular test, rather than actually teaching the subjects they're assigned to teach. 
  • In situations where teachers feel powerless because they're unable to discipline students due to lack of administrative support.
  • More reasons I'm sure that can be added here. 
But as the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. That is to say, sometimes those that are on the inside of a situation are unable to be objective because of their attachment to the various situations that they are in. (In this case, education). So perhaps having someone that's outside of the circle could well be a blessing in disguise. To be able to address some of the problems that do happen.

This, of course, isn't to say that the new SOE would have been my first choice if I was president. (She wouldn't have been, as a matter of fact, I would have appointed my former math teacher because she gets, and more often times than not agrees with my philosophies on teaching)....but I do believe people should be given a chance before judging them.

(But if we're perfectly honest, th e national department of education should not exist because it's unconstitutional, but that's another argument for another day, yes, I support HB 338)

Instead of fear-mongering, become the change that one wishes to see, get involved with the local school boards, get on the committees, help determine the direction of where things are going. help determine the budgets so that teachers aren't in the various situations pointed out. It gets so frustrating to see people when faced with an obstacle do nothing about it, and just use social media and start throwing hashtags around as if that actually matters. 

Don't buy into the fear, and be the change that you need to be. And perhaps things will get done.

And one more point, competition is a good thing. With school choice, it does force schools to try and get better. If a school isn't being supported, there's a reason for it is there not? School choice doesn't mean eradicating public schools, it means giving the freedom to the parents to choose the best path for their children. If more people are choosing the private system, is it possible that something would need to be looked at and corrected? heck, if I had my way, I'd probably abolish the whole concept of districts and let parents freely choose where their kids want to go to school. Districts were a good idea in the days without mass transit....Now, not so much I don't believe....In short, the way to prevent the eradication of public education (which again won't happen) is to simply get better at it :p)

b. The not so Muslim ban...

The executive order (that I would have not written) that banned travel from 7 countries for a temporary period....was NOT a Muslim ban. It affected everyone who lived in those countries. Those who were already in the country, would not be affected. Those who were on their way to America weren't affected. 

As I oftentimes state, if you're going to give out information, the least one can do is be accurate about what was actually done. (Even if one disagrees with it, and I do)....the least we can do is be accurate about what was done. Spinning something into something it isn't, doesn't change objectively what something is....Now, what could have been done to avoid all this flack? Simple, stop travel for everyone. As a nation, we do have a right, and a duty to protect our borders from enemies within and not in the country. Or the other solution is to buy out the rest of the world. (Oh wait, we're 20 trillion in the hole, we can't do that :p)

Okay, enough politics, onto more important th ings....

c. I've heard National Single's Awareness day is coming....

And the boycott is back, this time involving fire.....I have a particular hatred for this day....Let's just say I have my fair share of horror stories on this day. Fortunately, nothing says love quite like getting one's head chopped off :p. So instead it's the death of Saint Cyril...(in the Byzantine Calendar), He hasn't been bought off by Hallmark, Hershey's and Zales. :p

So I'm throwing an Anti-Valentine party, just because :D.....Rebel with a cause this week :p

d. Updating videos at my channel...

I think I'll finally be getting around to editing videos and things....

Hope that all is well. Pray for me, as I am for all of you.

Мир тебе


07 February 2017

Thought of the day

I suppose it's quite well possible to state things really are that crazy.

30 January 2017

Thought of the day

Headlines used to be able to get people to read the actual articles, now they get them to ignore the rest of the article. This is what happens when opinion is placed above fact.


19 January 2017

Thought of the day

Tolerance can and should be a two way street, the free exchange of ideas in of itself isn't evil or horrible.

17 January 2017

14 January 2017

Some Spiritual Struggles

a. A couple of Saturdays ago, I was out of town on vacation, when I came to a crazy realisation. The Roman Liturgy (OF) as practised in the vast majority of parishes is virtually impossible to pray, at least for myself.

The propers of the introit, gradual, offertory, communion verses are gutted from the Liturgy, thus the chances to meditate upon Scripture, and the doctrine of the church are minimised, or downright eliminated for some hymn which more often times than not is completely banal or theologically questionable at best.

I do not have patience for this anymore!, It really has become impossible to pray. (And I grew up with this Liturgy so one would think that I'd at least be able to pray it, heavens no).

Bad Liturgy is such a turn-off, it really does become to the point of a cross, and a burden to my soul rather than what Liturgy is supposed to be, a window into heaven.

As a dear friend has said of me, I have OCO, Obsessive Compulsive Orderliness when it comes to the Liturgy. It is impossible for me to do bad Liturgy. How can anyone be expected to take the Faith seriously, if our worship isn't taken seriously?

b. Surely, it's quite obvious, when the Pope is teaching the Faith, or put in a slightly more colloquial way, restating the obvious, he's infallible. But is that not true of the other Bishops' and priests as well? In short, it's pretty hard to screw up, when one is stating exactly what the Faith is. But that percentage is so small, was it necessary to define this as a dogma for the western church? (We have to bear in mind before the 2nd Vatican Council, the Eastern churches that were in communion with Rome were NOT allowed to theologise according to their own traditions, and so it is impossible really for the vast majority of eastern churches to accept this, and this was not received by the Orthodox (who were excommunicated prior to 1976 (albeit illegally)). I would make an argument that calling a council when something was not in question is a very bad idea. The infallibility of the Pope was not in question at the time. The different isms (liberalism, modernism, etc) were philosophies and strictly speaking NOT theologies, making me wonder if was an issue worth addressing at a council? and not through another means?

c. Isn't it interesting often times that when we open up our hearts to a particular person, they manage to successfully break us. It's rather interesting in this regard because I was near close to accepting a situation that I thought was a good thing. It's a good thing I do not give up so easily. When the tell all book comes out about my various struggles, I swear the royalties are going to be huge. But I do ask for your prayers, I'm definitely going to need them.

Why write at past 2 am? I guess I must be awake.....Please keep me in your prayers, and I will keep you in mine.




11 January 2017

Thought of the day

Isn't it interesting that often times with the words "I don't mean to hurt you" is immediately followed by something that hurts. As if the intention somehow magically eliminates the painful thing that has happened.

09 January 2017

Thought of the day

An intention may minimise culpability, but it does not change the wrong that is done. It is important to separate objective from subjective.

03 January 2017

Thought of the day

Intentionally, or unintentionally, we place crosses on others. We should avoid this. Life is hard enough with the crosses we already carry.

02 January 2017

Thought of the day

The awkward moment, when it is your monkeys, and it is your circus....horray :p

01 January 2017

Prayer of St Basil the Great

Lord my God, I thank you; for you have not rejected me, a sinner, but have made me worthy to be a partaker of your holy mysteries. I thank you for allowing me, unworthy as I am, to be a partaker of your most pure and heavenly gifts. O Lord who love us all, you died and rose for our sake, and you have given us these awesome and life-creating mysteries for the benefit and sanctification of our souls and bodies. Grant that they may bring about the healing of my soul and body; the defeat of every enemy; the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart; the calming of my thoughts and emotions; a faith that cannot be confounded; a love that does not pretend; a wisdom that overflows; the full observance of your commandments; the increase of y o ru divine grace; and citizenship in your kingdom. Being preserved in your holiness by them, I will remember your love at all times. I will live no longer for myself, but for you, my Lord and Benefactor. Thus, having spent my earthly life in the hope of life without end, I will attain eternal rest where the sound of rejoicing never ceases, where the delight of those who gaze upon the beauty of your face cannot be expressed. For you, Christ our God are our true desire, and the inexpressible joy of those who love you; and all creation glorifies you forever. Amen.