Thursday, December 13, 2007

You don't say....

Fed's have served up a number of subpoenas to a number of different employees of the Reverend Al Sharpton.

The idea that he is thought to maybe have been less than honest in his financial reporting is not what inspires this post.

Rather, it is the dismissal offered by his lawyer:

Lawyer Michael Hardy shrugged off the probe, which sought a vast array of business, political and personal records, as a federal fishing expedition.

"I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," he said.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You are on Notice!

Folks, I am almost to the point to where regular blogging will resume....and with some frequency. In general, life is good. The career and geographic transitions have been for the better, and I can truly say that I am blessed. This said, I do miss the dialogue found here earlier, and will do my best to regenerate and stimulate further discussion. And yes....Micah....I wrote stimulate.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Blog...

As you all may have noticed, I have dropped the moniker in favor of my real name. This is because I have started a new blog.

It is:

I decided to start a blog where I could focus on spiritual matters without worrying about undermining the purpose of this one. Please drop by. Please leave comments. Contributors are welcome.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random Musings.

It has been a while since I last wrote in this very vacant space. As such, and due to my morning of working from home, it is necessary for me to write something...anything. So, here are a few brief thoughts about a number of things that are in the fore of my consciousness these days:

1. Illegal Immigration and Crime. Recently, there have been a number of heinous and gruesome murders reportedly perpetrated by persons who are here illegally. Furthermore, the 'authorities' knew that these individuals were here illegally...because they had already committed crimes. That's illegally...committed crimes....not deported...not imprisoned...set free to further act as a pariah on civilized society. One case is out of New Jersey...apparently, a bunch of gang-affiliated illegals shot three black youths execution style. The victims were aspiring college students. Another case involved the rape and murder of a 15 year old girl from Texas. She was visiting her sister in Oregon. The guys that did her in had been convicted of drunk driving multiple times. Go here and here for details. Hey...politicians...this issue isn't going anywhere....and most conservatives and liberals agree don't know...enforce the law and protect the citizenry.

2. College Football. There are few things in life that I enjoy more than the college football season. For me, it is a time of hope, camaraderie, disappointment, expectation, and ideally...victory. Hmmm...the smell of fall in the air... leaves crunching under foot...the biased ramblings of Lee all gets me giddy. My much maligned Georgia Bulldogs aren't expected to do much in the way of winning any championships, as we have many new and young faces starting for the team. Yet, I have a feeling that this year could special. I don't know why.....but I do. Regardless, it should be fun. Let the prognosticating end....and the Saturday ritual that is college football begin. Go Dawgs.

3. War in Iraq. Is it just me, or does it seem ridiculous that the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, declared the war lost back in March...and now Carl Levin, of all people, is applauding the 'surge'? Note to Liberals....Defeatism isn't productive, proper, patriotic, or popular. You see, the Democrats have put themselves in a unique position...politically, with regards to the war...if the U.S. does well...they lose! Let me say that again...Democrats can only gain politically...if the U.S. surrenders and leaves Iraq. Amazing.

4. Music. My musical listening habits, of late, have been a mixed bag. I've really really enjoyed Dinah Washington's Lady Sings the Blues. Her voice is lathered in heartache, longing, and reflection. Also, Paganini has been in the rotation quite a bit. But the most played cd in my rotation right now is 2Pac's All Eyes On Me. I listened to this all through University...and busted it out for the first time last week. Here one can find the kind of paternal advice that one takes with him/her forever..."keep yo head up, legs closed, eyes open..." Picture me rollin, fools...

5. Michael Vick. I, for one, am going to miss watching Vick play. He gave me something...and all of the life-long, and long-suffering, Falcons fans something that will be forever remembered...relevance. The thing for me regarding his whole situation is stupid is he? I's one thing to be too stupid to learn more than 25% of a play-book(pretty stupid)...but to think that RICO laws regarding gambling and inter-state commerce don't apply to you because you throw...I mean run...a football? And another thing...where were his attourneys and CPAs to say..."uh, know you can't do that...right?"? And where were those old black guys that Dave Chappelle talked know the ones that could be paralegals...according to Chappelle...because they'll jump out from behind a tree and say, " Oh, don't do that -----...that'll get you 5 to 10!"? The whole thing is sad, really. Vick's people let him down...He let us down...and quite frankly, the kind of culture that glorifies this type of stuff has failed an entire generation...and we're just beginning to see the ramifications.

6. Chinese Exports. Isn't it interesting that almost daily we are told that another Chinese export is tainted? I have two things to say about this: 1. I could have told anyone this after having lived there...and 2. This is the beginning of a smear campaign that is a passive way to get the Chinese to release the yuan to world market forces. It should be fun to watch...

7. Presidential Politics. I really don't have much to say about it...except what I say to anyone who thinks they know what is going to is August of 2007, folks. The election, in political terms, is forever and a day away. I will also say this though....John Edwards might be the most ridiculous human being on the planet. This guy lives in a 26,000 sq./ft. house, made money by investing in sub-prime mortgage lenders that foreclosed on Katrina victims, and gets paid $55,000 to speak at universities about poverty....and is running as the anti-poverty/populist candidate. Anyone that would vote for a guy like that is either....A. Incredibly naive and unaware, or B. Very, very stupid....I mean the kind of stupid that thinks Dennis Green is a good football coach...that kind of stupid.

8. Finally, Friendship. I've been reflective lately about the idea of a 'true friendship' and all that it entails. Let me say that I am so very blessed to have as many close friends as I do, and in many cases, the kind of friends that can be counted on invariably. To those who read this, if you are counted as a friend(you know who you are), I would just like to say thank you...and that I hope that my friendship to you is something that can be counted on. Be well, everyone. Cheers.

* the move has gone well, and the job is working out nicely, i think. this said, i'm not completely settled and it will be a while before i am. regular postings will be erratic until then.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Great Divorce.

“Friend, I am not suggesting at all. You see, I know now. Let us be frank. Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful. At College, you know, we just started automatically writing the kind of essays that got good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur? When did we put up one moment’s real resistance to the loss of our faith?”

-C.S. Lewis

I am currently working my way through this book for the first time. As always, Mr. Lewis’ ability to express, through allegory, the principles of truth is nothing short of amazing.

I read this quote yesterday, and it struck me. Particularly in the sense that myself and so many I know take comfort in our asking questions, yet we ask questions solely for the purpose of avoiding the answers we know in our hearts to be true. There are so many I know that speak of their loss of faith as if it were something that happened to them rather than the fruit of their own volition. Further, so many times I, myself, treat my failures as if they are just to be the expected result of my fallen nature all the while proclaiming the supreme worthiness of the antidote to it. So, to these I have described and to myself, I ask along with Lewis:

“When did we put up one moment’s real resistance to the loss of our faith?”

“When have we honestly met everyday facing the challenge to ‘Choose this day whom you will serve’?”

“When will we stop asking our questions and be willing to hear and accept their answers?”


Friday, July 13, 2007

Must Connect...

Man, I L-O-V-E Baseball.


Navaquote of the Day

"Ah, yes, Estonia, the Baltic Tiger. Or the Baltic Liger...that's Latvia."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You're On Notice!

Sorry for the dearth of postings, but sometimes actual life gets in the way of blogging. This said, as soon as the move and transition are complete...I'm hoping for mid-August...regular blogging should resume. Hope all is well. Oh...and these things/folks are officially on notice!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day.

Just a short note of thanks to all of those who have sacrificed so that we all are, and remain, free. Having spent significant time living abroad, I'm uniquely and acutely aware of how special and remarkable this country is. Enjoy the freedom, folks...and guard it steadfastly. Happy July 4th everyone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cybrids? Are You Kidding?

In May, a Bill was proposed in the British Parliament to legalize the laboratory creation of animal-human hybrid embryos. As if this was not incredible enough, scientific teams have already begun applying for licences to create these "cybrids." I AM AT A LOSS FOR WORDS!
By the way, one should note that I did not find this in the pages of the Weekly World News while waiting to purchase groceries.

"The demand for legislation to create interspecies embryos is being driven with great enthusiasm by members of the scientific community. Researchers claim that experimentation on animal-human embryos will offer insights into possible cures for certain cancers and such conditions as Alzheimer's and motor neuron diseases."

Of course! This has become the mantra of anyone performing mad-science! At one time any ludicrous proposal could find support when coupled with "its for the children."

Before we know it, the Sci-Fi channel will have the same credibility as is not that bad yet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Christians in Gaza

As we should all be sophisticated enough to know, there are many Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. The recent developments in the Gaza Strip are unsettling. Although only God knows for certain the outcome of the Hamas take-over, Omar Shaban, the leader of the Catholic Relief Services for Gaza, has stated "I can't predict what will happen, but one thing is for certain: There is a group within Hamas which is starting to talk of the Islamization of society."
Let us all pray for the Christians in Gaza, for their liberty and safety. May God give them strength!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Church

I had a conversation with a very important person in my life concerning the importance of the church and whether or not the church was necessary for the salvation of modern man. Unknowingly, this person was influenced by a postmodern weltschaung. This person’s conclusion about salvation was that “it is Jesus, and myself naked. Everything else is man-made and possibly beneficial but unnecessary.” I found this disturbing and therefore wish to flesh-out, over a series of posts, my thoughts on the church its purpose and its necessity.

First, what does one meant by “church?” Of course the origin of our word as English speakers is German: kirche. One should note that this word communicates “that which belongs to the Lord” and is derived from the Greek κψριάκε. However, since the earliest Christianity consisted of a Jewish core, the term for church came from the Septuagint, or the Greek translation of The Old Testament. This is the ever-familiar εκκαλέιν. This was the term used to describe the gathering of God’s chosen people assembled for His purposes.

The Christian use of the term church describes a liturgical assembly. (I Cor. 11:18, 14:19, 28, 34-35) In I Corinthians Saint Paul used this term to communicate meetings, community, and church. It is obvious in St. Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians that there were liturgical practices in the church that were being disrupted (in this case by women). One of the earliest, biblically recorded, liturgies in the church was the breaking of bread or the Eucharist. (Acts 2:42) The Apostles, including Saint Paul, emphasized the church as a community—note the centrality of unity and communion. The church draws her life from Christ’s body, blood, and gospel. Therefore, the church constantly unites herself to Him. She is both the bride and body of Christ. (Eph. 1:22-3) As a result, to be in communion with the church is to be in communion with Christ.

In addition, the Church is a sheepfold to which Christ is the shepherd. Scripture dictates that the Church, as the Body of Christ and a sheepfold, is the necessary gateway to Christ. Christ is the shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. (St. John 10:1-16, St. Peter 5:4, Isaiah 40:11, Ezekiel 34:11-31) In each of these passages, membership with the “flock” is equivalent to both safety and salvation. Christ is the gate to this sheepfold and even says that anyone who tries to enter the sheepfold without passing through the gate is a thief. What clearer picture of Christ’s church is there? Notice, that there is no image of the Shepherd and a single sheep sharing some existential sublimity on the other side of the pasture. One might quickly reference the parable of the lost sheep…now that is existential, right? Wrong! Truly, Christ leaves the flock to save the individual lost lamb. However, He saves them by bringing them back into the flock and the sheepfold.

One might also argue that the sheepfold mentioned here is the proverbial “invisible church” and not a organizational or physical as well as spiritual church. Therefore, being that a Christian is member of a holy priesthood and can interperate scripture for oneself and find salvation through ones own studies, one has no need for communities of believers or apostolic organization. If this is so, we are all clamoring in the darkness. The fact is that Jesus Christ established a church that would expand from the top-down. Most are familiar with Saint Peter’s ordination as the possessor of the keys to the kingdom. However, Jesus, before his ascension, also gave special instructions to the Apostles to go out, baptize, and forgive or retain sins. The Apostles, by the virtue of the Holy Spirit, led the church in practice, doctrine, and evangelism, bringing the church into existence. Around 80 AD, one generation removed from Christ's earthly ministry, Saint Clement of Rome wrote to the church in Corinth:
The apostles have preached the Gospel to us
from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ
therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these
appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God.
Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with
full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom
of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they
appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the
Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor
was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning
bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture a certain place, "I will
appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith." ... Our
apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on
account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as
they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those
[ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these
should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We
are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other
eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly
served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and
have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly
dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the
episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed
are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained
a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest
any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have
removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled
blamelessly and with honour.

One should consider things historically. First, for the first 400 years of Christianity there was no established canon of Holy Scripture to interpret. During this time, the Church was led through the bishops and lesser clergy, it is a historical fact! There were those who wanted an interpretation of scripture and the gospel outside the pale of the sheepfold and account for the numerous heresies that plagued the church in the first centuries. Without the Holy Spirit's preservation through the Apostles, the Early Church Fathers, and their acolytes the gospel as recorded in Holy Scripture would not be. If we doubt this apostolic succession and/or the holy people who transmitted the gospel through the ages, we haven’t a foot on which to stand and must doubt the whole of scripture! These Saints wrote the scripture, taught the gospel to their disciples, and put into motion the chain of apostolic succession that remains to the present. Christ sent these men of faith into the world to establish His Church on earth and spread the kingdom. The Apostles passed their leadership on to their disciples. (Timothy for example) In addition, in the first century the church was organized to the point that Saint Paul was compelled to discuss the necessary characteristics of bishops and deacons. These clergymen passed-on the faith through their successors by virtue of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it was through this apostolic leadership that the Holy Scriptures were adopted and Christian doctrine established. The Church is the only avenue and authority of the gospel established by Christ for mankind and thus, the Christian church is the vessel of God’s plan of Salvation and continuing revelation of himself to the world.

One should note that God, being omnipotent and fully just, merciful, and holy, can do all that He wills. Thusly, God can show mercy upon whomever He chooses. It is arrogance to think that we can definitely know the limits of His mercy. However, the church is God’s vessel of the gospel and salvation. The church is, by virtue of her communion with Christ and her place as the sheepfold, the Body and Bride of Christ. Therefore, the church is the necessary pathway to Christ and Salvation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

File under: Musician with nothing else to post on...

Well, this past week, Turtle asked me what my “birth song” was. Rather than the shriek of agony my mother undoubtedly released during my actual birth, he was asking me what song was atop the “Top 40” charts the week I was born. Being the music aficionado I often claim to be, I was both ashamed for not knowing and intrigued to find out…I’m not quite sure what this says about me, but the number one song in the land the week I was born was “Another One Bites the Dust”, of course, by Queen…I’m not sure how I feel about that. This song is among maybe a handful of Queen songs that I’ll always enjoy, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with being born under a song sang by a man who makes the guy who sang duet on Mariah Carey’s unplugged cut of “I’ll be There” look like Tom Jones...Nothing personal to the nancies…Just not the best representation of me, perhaps.

Onward, now that I’ve no doubt enraged no one that reads this blog…

I also thought it time to do a “Seven songs that I’m absolutely lovin’ right now”…

“Sleeping Lessons”The Shins. For starters, I’m a sucker for the oft referred to as the “boom-chuck” of a blue grass inspired signature present in this, as well as many others, Shins song. I’m also a sucker for proper dynamics, even when as easily foreseen as in this song. So when the song builds into the guitars all chiming in, I’m done.

“My Eyes”Travis. Off their new album which is great. This song is the kind of song that you listen to at 8:30 a.m. only to realize at 3:54 p.m. that you’ve been humming it all day long.

“That’s How Strong My Love Is”Otis Redding. Very rarely have or will I do a “songs that I’m currently lovin” list without an Otis Redding tune on it. I’ve written extensively, well for a blog, about what exactly makes Mr. Redding the greatest soul singer of all-time, and if I haven’t made you a fan yet, you may be lost. Still if you are and somehow haven’t heard this song…Do yourself a favor, quit your job right now so you can go home and listen to it right now. It’s like a love potion…You hear it and the first woman to catch your eye has you nailed.

“Losin’ You”The Marshall Tucker Band. This song traverses the following path ever so sweetly: just another sad country ballad, oh wait those steel guitars sound sweet, “ain’t no denyin’, you been lyin’”- wait am I actually singing along, man she really broke my heart, oh sweet! Steel guitar solo….BAM!!!! Jazz break right smack in the middle of one of the best she-broke-my-heart southern ballads ever made, is that an electric piano? alto sax?...I love this song!....O.k. maybe just for me, but if the previous even remotely intrigues you, check it out.

“Distant Lover”Marvin Gaye. All I have to say is the part where he breaks down and starts with the whole “Somethin I wanna say, when you left you took all of me with you”…and then gets to “Do you wanna hear me cry…PLEASE!..PLEASE!”…That’s just magic…Here again, if you think I’m just sappy, check it out…

“Never Be the Same”Christopher Cross. I’m not even going to explain this cause I’m just going to get worn out anyway…You know deep down you love it too!

“Girl from the North Country”Bob Dylan. (from “Freewheelin”)… “I wonder if she remembers me at all, many times I’ve often prayed”…Haven’t we all, Bob. Haven’t we all…


Monday, June 18, 2007

Crush of the Week!

I'm co-opting one of Micah World's weekly features here. I came across this young lady the other day...and frankly, I'm madly in love. A Russian soprano, this siren offers three characteristics that are unquantifiable...elegance, beauty, and passion. Ladies and gentlemen, Anna Netrebko...and do yourself a on the link.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Once more into the breach dear friends...

So, my life has dramatically changed over these last few weeks. I've moved states and cities, I've changed jobs and schedules, and am just now getting acquainted with my new life. Here are a few things that have been on my mind lately(there is so much to say, but this will be a truncated exposition, I fear).

I. Housekeeping. For those who might be all, I'm very happy with my decision to move. Though there is an adjustment time required, the whole thing has been positive, thus far. Naturally, there are those whose company I miss, but I've gained the daily company of others that is equally needed, or more so. To all of you who I've not contacted is not reflective of my thoughts or feelings for you...just a time of settling...and you'll here from me soon enough...whether you want to or not.

II. Immigration. I want to make this perfectly clear...and I think I speak for most who were/are opposed to Agri-business/democrat plans of amnesty for Mexican illegal immigrants...just because I might stridently oppose your agenda, I am not necessarily racist. As one who has studied ardently various periods of history, nation building, and migration movements of people...I can say definitively that a nation that cannot/will not enforce stated boundaries is doomed to implosion. Go ask the Cossacks, Vandals, or the Carpathians if unfettered immigration works. Also, my insistence on English as a common language does not make me makes me human. There isn't a nation in this world that doesn't cling to a self-identity through language and culture. Go to China....go anywhere in Asia...go to Sub-Saharan Africa....hell, go to freakin Mexico...they all self-define through the lens of culture and language. The difference is that in the United States...our requisites for cultural acceptance and mobility are ridiculously lax when compared to most other nations. Finally....and I really want to emphasize this....I am completely and wholeheartedly in support of legal immigration. Having lived abroad for extensive periods, I know all too well the feeling of being the outsider and trying to live life in success. A vibrant and colorful immigrant community is wanted and needed in this country. It is a source of strength. Illegal immigration, though, is anathema to civility, order, and commonality of vision and motive.....all of which are necessary for a successful nation...and anything less is unacceptable.

III. Euphonic Bliss. I saw the ASO perform Orff's Carmina Burana the other night...and wow. Simply put, one of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever had the pleasure of seeing performed. If you ever get the chance...

IV. Hamas vs. Fatah. Why is it that the media insists on calling Iraq a 'civil war' but refuses to utter those words with regards to Palestine? On the one hand, you have foreign fighters from all over the region spilling into Iraq...attacking Iraqi civilians to foment terror and fear...and on the other hand you have Palestinians fighting.....other Palestinians. I'm sure the media have a good explanation though.....but what could it be....?

V. Sarkozy. Something tells me that this guy is going to be fun to watch.

VI. I wish there were more time, but finally... I leave you with one of my favorite videos I've seen in a while....hyperbole, thy name is Dennis Miller.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A passing..."hello".

The dearth of postings here is something that is, at once, regrettable and unavoidable. Yet, here are a few thoughts for interested parties:

1. I began my new job yesterday...with the obligatory HR led...and mind-numbingly bad "this is us" presentation that every Fortune 500 puts new hires through. Today, though, went very well, and I am extremely excited about the opportunity that is before me. But you know what they say..." mo money, mo problems"....

2. After having been away for so long, it really is nice and re-filling to the spirit to be around family. And, when they are not crying and whining, children really do light up a room with joy and smiles.

3. I've gone back and read Eyck's biography of Bismarck....very much worth a look. Also, I'm enjoying Purcell's choruses these days.

4. This Saturday I should have some 'down' time, and hope to post at length. Topics might include....immigration and socialism, Fred Thompson, the Champion's League debacle, cyber-war in Estonia, consanguinity in Germany, Chavez and social-fascism, the meaning of friendship, the 'Fort Dix Six', the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Romanian constitutional intrigue, the sad figure of Rosie O'Donnell, Reductive philosophy vs. Deconstruction, and why I think John Edwards is an they have all been in my thoughts of late....and in the famous words of John McLaughlin...."bye, bye".

Sunday, May 13, 2007

State of my union.

So, I've been absent lately...maybe even neglectful...but with good reason. In all aspects of my life is about to change. The following thoughts are thoughts that give a brief explanation of this point:

1. O.k. I've been offered a position with a large financial institution...though, we are still in contractual negotiations. This said, I'll be moving home sooner than later...and I'm excited. For those who don't know, I've not lived 'at home' for close to 15 years...and it is time. I don't think I'll settle there, but I do believe that it is time to go home for a close to close to those who matter most. I've spent the better part of my life exploring...and now it seems that it is time to go back.

2. I can't get enough of the current Tracy Lawrence song. It is a country those opposed are warned. If I had the talent to write a song...any song...I would write a song about my friends and family...and it would be similar...though, it probably would have a bit more horn...a bit more crooning...and a little less...well, you get the idea. Anyway, it gives a good sentiment. Also, one of my brothers just completed an album...and it's really good. Talent...when not very impressive. Congrats...Spanky.

3. I can't think of anything better than how I spent my Sunday. Well...maybe. But today was incredible. Nascar....a Braves game on t.v....and the last round of the TPC. Granted, 2 of the 3 didn't go 'my way'...but all were entertaining...and deserved attention. Phat Phil won...and makes this U.S Open even more interesting.

4. I went with some friends this past Friday and saw a band called Carbon Leaf. They are truly a good band..and I suggest checking them out. Which leads me to...

5. Can I just say that I truly love women. Now...they are maddening, infuriating, confusing, and discombobulating...but they are also...caring, nurturing, emotive, and quite frankly....aesthetically... absolutely beautiful. They look good...smell good...and well, again...anyway, women are a true blessing....a complicated blessing...but, a blessing nonetheless.

6. Sports. The Braves are doing well. Lefty is poised to make a run at Tiger. The college football blogs are heating up. Here are a couple of related thoughts:

I. The Braves. I truly believe that this could be a special team. One that does something really impressive...they just seem to have that intangible 'will to win' thing going on...well, not yesterday...but in general.

II. Golf. What is there to say...but that it is one of the greatest things on earth. Playing it, watching it, living it...the whole thing...On tour, Mickelson left some shots out on the course, but won the TPC yesterday...stoking the flames of desire for a hot and relevant rivalry with Tiger.

III. Nascar. Gordon won him his third win this year...and moving him closer to an 8th championship....let me say that 8th season championship. I really don't like him as a driver...but you have to hat-tip greatness. Even the turtle has to acknowledge that Favre is a 'great one', I acquiesce and say congrats rainbow warrior....hope you have fun celebrating at the Blue deserve it.

IV. Basketball. I've just now started paying attention...and am I the only one who thinks that the Spurs-Suns match-up is the only interesting thing there?

V. Hockey....who cares? I don't.....

7. Shamrock, Spydrz, Jmblya, and I are all heading to Atlantic City for a Tony Bennett concert. Get your tux ready's time for a Rat Pack Resurrection......

8. Music....there is an entire post here...but for now, I'll just say I'm listening to a lot of Country...and a lot of Bossa Nova. Good summer stuff. Also, I've learned some new Cure doesn't entirely suck....I heard Pictures of You for the first time the other day and really dig it....also, I discovered Rocco Deluca and The is a video for their song Colorful....enjoy....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Just a few thoughts...

Rudy Giuliani – O.k., so Rudy’s laid out what is going to be his answer to the abortion question very clearly. When asked, he says something to the affect of “Personally, I hate abortion, but believe in a woman’s right to choose” and finishes by recalling New York’s adoption growth statistics from his tenure as mayor. It has now come out that, at least during the 90’s, Rudy was a regular contributor to Planned Parenthood and spoke at various abortion activist gatherings hosted by organization like NARAL Pro Choice America…I have a problem with this. Not with Rudy’s stance, but that, at least for me, the entirety of his appeal is that he seems to be the most sincere GOP candidate, certainly more than Mitt, who we’ll get to later, and McCain, who I dislike more every time I hear him speak. I can understand the “I believe in choice, but don’t worry because my judicial philosophy will lead to the type of appointments that conservatives want” argument, but that’s not enough. What he needs to sell would-be, truly conservative voters is the “Personally, I hate abortion” argument which falls apart in light of this. A philosophy of choice is one thing, but I just don’t see how someone who really “gets” the abortion issue could donate to and/or be associated with these types of organizations. He just seems insincere now, which leads me to…

Mitt Romney– I missed the debate last week and asked my brother for his take on it to which he replied about Romney, “He looks like a b-actor playing a presidential candidate”. I have since watched the debate and caught him on H&C last night, and I would have to say that I half agree. I would say he looks like an actor playing a presidential aspirant, but I would say he’s doing better than a b-caliber job at it….My point is that while he does give me that “too polished” vibe, and I most likely would not vote for him in a primary, I would not be devastated if this guy wound up with the nomination and, frankly, would be kind of excited just to see how his campaign would unfold.

Roger Clemens – I love baseball more than most people I know, and I especially love to watch good pitching. I love baseball, love good pitching, and am 26 years old which means that at some point, I developed an immense respect and appreciation for Roger Clemens’ ability on the mound. I’ve also always kind of loved his demeanor on the mound. There’s an old school sensibility to how he approaches his job. That gritty, hardball-esque, throw inside, back you off the plate, “I’ll hit you if I have to just to make a point, but either way, I will own this plate tonight” kind of prowess just strikes all my baseball chords. However, one thing that is always quick to induce apoplexy in me regardless of the person or sport is an athlete that deals with his team and/or teammates as if he is bigger than the game itself, and Clemens has displayed this type of mentality repeatedly over the last few years. It all started with his “retirement” from the Yankees. Now I hate the Yankees so I was admittedly a little happy to see them get the shaft, but I still thought his actions were shady. Then the whole “I won’t fly with the team, and I’m flying home after my spot in the rotation” thing really pissed me off. Finally, the whole “ I’m going to wait and see if Houston’s winning to see if I pitch this year” thing just depleted whatever respect I had for this guy. If anything, that is saying I’m bigger than the game, the teams, the traditions, and especially the other current players, and I just can’t stomach that. So now, he has again whored out his talents at the expense of a team waiting on him to decide what he’ll do, the Astros. So, I find myself at a place I never thought, as a baseball fan and lover of pitching, I would be…I’m going to have to root against Roger Clemens, a circumstance only exacerbated by the fact that he staked the ‘Stros to rejoin the Yanks...This truly is a sad day.


Friday, May 4, 2007

Thoughts on the price of war.

There is a story on the news sites today about a 17 year old, female Iraqi Kurd that has been publicly stoned to death for loving a Sunni boy. The reasons cited are more religious than ethnic as the two obviously fall under differing sects of Islam. I think it is worth noting that the group of men responsible was comprised mostly of members of her family.

Now, we all know that this type of thing is not new to Islamic society and have, most likely, all previously read or heard of acts just as appalling, if not more so, than this particular incident, but as I read the article on this, my mind rewound a couple of days to President Bush’s “veto” speech.

I watched his address with my roommate who is a reporter for our local newspaper and a conservative, though he may fall into the category of those who are conservative and don’t really know why. Listening to Bush, he mentioned a conversation he recently had with his many liberal coworkers. The conversation essentially started with the war and ended with their regurgitating the usual complaints about the “dishonesty” in the reasons initially given for our going in (i.e. the lack of WMD’s) and my roommate’s inability to address them (for an admitted lack of knowledge).

I thought about this conversation as I read this article and couldn’t help but wonder why the cost of this war in terms of lives, money, and diplomatic leverage is so easily considered unjustifiable to so many. I’m not a big fan of “nation-building”. I’ve never really cared for the interventionist bend of our foreign policy. I’ve never held a strong hope that our attempt at establishing a lasting, relevant democracy in Iraq would be successful. The conflux of my understanding of Islamic culture and beliefs about the future of this world, especially regarding the Middle East, has kept me from ever truly buying into the viability of what we have been told is our goal there. I don’t believe Bush and Co. are lying. I just think their a little more optimistic about the future of the region than I am. With all this said, I read about this girl who was stoned or another girl in Kuwait whose father cut her throat because it was merely believed that she had been violated, not consentingly “deflowered”, raped, and I am left with the sole reality that we have been blessed with enormous prosperity and power and are presently the only country on earth that can effect a change almost wherever and whenever it feels compelled to take the necessary steps to do so. I think of these things, and, for me, it comes down to the question of is it worth paying an American life in order to wield that power for the betterment of the world entirely? I can’t say that I know the answer…In a general sense I would reject this notion, but in breaking principle down into applicable scenario, I am left with another thought.

I recently watched “Saving Private Ryan” for upwards of the 500th time. As I’m sure everyone knows, immediately after D-day, Hanks and Co. are sent out to retrieve a private (Ryan) so that he can be sent home. The reason is that Ryan’s three older brothers have died in taking the beach, and the government determines that three losses is plenty for one family. I thought about this scenario as I am also the youngest of four sons. I tried my best to insert myself into Ryan’s place and weighed a loss of that magnitude against the benefit of freeing people like this girl who was stoned to death, and honestly, if my three brothers went of their own volition and died for the cause of freeing someone like this girl, I could begrudge neither my country for having sent them nor my God for having allowed it. Why?...Because, in my eyes, if sacrifice, the laying aside of oneself for another, is not the ultimate mark of greatness, whether in a person or a society, what is?


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Mourino Truly a Pentioneer!

"We were the best team today, even against a team only playing for the Champions League. In extra-time we were the only team who tried to win..."

After Liverpool's glorious victory over Chelsea to earn a trip Athens for the Champions League Final Monday, the true Chelsea Pentioneer spirit came out in their manager, Jose Mourino. Mourino had some interesting comments for the press after his team's defeat. While, from pictures, I always understood Mourino to be a man in his fourties, he has proven to be something of a schoolyard brat.

However, should we expect any less from a Pentioneer? It appears not.


Topics in the news...and on my mind.

, I'm in hotlanta, and have been for a few days. I'm awaiting word from a prospective employer, and subsequently, have had time to pay attention to current global/local/political goings-on. Here are a few thoughts that have grabbed me, as it were, these last few days:
I. May 1st and Immigration Rallies. There are a couple of things to be said here:
A. May 1st is the global day for celebrating socialism...and it is no coincidence that the pro- immigration people chose this day for their they are predominately socialists. Most people don't realize this, and, I'm convinced, that if this were to become widely understood, the dynamic of the immigration conversation would have a new dimension. This conversation isn't just one about open borders and cheap is one of post-Americanism, trans-national socialism, and international economy reallocation. Remember, too, that when we speak of immigration 'problems', we are mainly speaking of a huge influx of Mexican peoples....and these people come from a very socialistic mind-set and government. If given amnesty and voting rights....this could have huge ramifications for the conservative movement.
B. I believe these types of protests are self-defeating. In that, it reminds Americans of two things....1) Just how many are here...and 2) Just how many are here and do not work. Meaning, not all of us can take the day off to go protest in the street.
II. Global Warming. Now, most know by now that I am not only skeptical of the science...but mostly skeptical of the usual suspects that are so adamantly touting this science....and wanting to control behaviour through it. So, here we learn that Mars is also experiencing a warming trend and that our planet has 'see-sawed' for the last 10,000 years, with regards to climate change. Again, I can anyone definitively say that any climate change is due to human behaviour primarily? Yet, we are told that, if one denies this idea of human fault, he/she is no better than a holocaust denier. I've gone from ambivalence to skepticism...and am moving to antagonistic in a hurry.
III. Family. This isn't really anything found in the news, but I wanted to say a short something about family. I've spent the better part of the last decade, or so, living away from my family, and for good, work, travel, etc. I'm now in a position where I might move closer to home and family, and it has caused me to become reflective and introspective. Understand, I'll put my family's craziness up against any one's...they can be absolutely infuriating and mind-numbingly provincial...but they are also devoted, loving, and mine. So, tell someone in your family that you love'em today...we won't always have the ones we love.
IV. Chavez and Nationalistic Communism. Apparently, Chavez has removed control of Venezuela's oil fields from all of the international companies operating there...and has removed Venezuela from the IMF and World Bank. I'm glad to see Venezuela free from debt to these entities, but my question what cost? Chavez is moving in a direction that is not just against American regional interests...which it is...but also dangerous for the country. In the short term, these types of nationalistic-socialist moves seem like they are working...but history shows the long term will provide a cataclysmic collapse....economically and structurally. Such a shame...
V. Turkey and Estonia. In both places there are interesting things going on...but the MSM just doesn't report it:
A. Turkey, as I've noted here before, is about to elect a new President...but there is a national 'conversation' as to what direction the country should go....Islamist or Secular. The situation is unique here, in that, the Parliament chooses the nominees. They've chosen a very conservative Muslim as the only candidate, and the secularists have been protesting in big numbers. Turkey is incredibly important historically...and maybe even more so now regionally. Pay attention to this.
B. There is a kerfuffle in Estonia over a Soviet era statue that is in the centre of Tallinn's town square. The Estonians, of course, want it torn down, but the Russian sympathisers are crying foul. The political and diplomatic back drop to this is the way that Russia has been treating it's former satellites. Interesting stuff.
VI. Litigious Magicians. It seems that magicians have sued because some of their 'tricks' and methods have been exposed to the public. First, doesn't this prove that they aren't, in fact, using magic....and therefore, not magicians? Second, the only thing worse than a person that does magic for a a person that does this and becomes legally disgruntled. Litigious are on notice!
VII. Newspaper Circulation. Readership and circulation of major newspapers have been in steady decline...causing much consternation in newsrooms and boardrooms across the nation. This, no doubt, is a natural response to the rise of Internet media. Still, why the steady decline? My thinking leads me to believe that, with the rise of alternative avenues of information...we also have been made aware of journalistic editorial disguised as reporting. Most don't read newspapers....actually, most don't read at all...but those who read the news regularly are fairly savvy...they can see through the veneer of loaded objectivism that is so infused in most journalistic reporting. If this decline causes the media to change...then great. But if it, instead, chooses to become more entrenched...then we all lose.
VIII. French Elections and American Elections. The French have a Presidential election coming up and it looks like the more conservative candidate...I say this because there is no truly conservative politician left in poised to win. So, the socialist candidate has now decided to call him 'crazy and maniacal' in an attempt to gain ground. Now, let's look at our Presidential election...Giuliani, the other day, said this...prompting the liberals to go apoplectic...and now, Giuliani is 'crazy'. Is there a pattern here? You bet. Liberals/Socialists can't win on issues and they throw invective and hyperbole out with the hope that something sticks in the public consciousness. I would describe that course of action...with the aim of gaining power...definitively maniacal.
IX. Torture and What Makes Us Different. With the Tenet book just out, there is a renewed debate about torture as a form of legitimate extraction of information from war-time belligerents. This is a conversation that must be had, and quite frankly, no one really has the right answer, in my opinion. But let me say this...there are those who would say that the very thing that makes America better, read:more humane, than our enemies, is our refusal to adapt to their tactics. I disagree. The thing that makes us different is that we have this conversation...that as a people, we are aware enough to know that the conversation is necessary and cathartic. Our enemies live and fight like it is 690 A.D....there is no debate for them. They teach in their homes, schools, and churches that it is their duty to eradicate the infidel. So, remember this...what makes us different is that we might have to torture someone to save innocent lives...but this doesn't make us the same as militant islamists...because we care about the consequences of the awful war-time decisions that must be made. For is a chosen lifestyle and mentality....for is an exception.
X. The D.C. Madam. Well, she's poised to name names...and D.C. is on tinterhooks. I have mixed feelings about it all. First, we've got more important things to deal with in Washington. Second, this just gives the MSM an excuse not to report on things that it should be reporting diligently. This said, I kind of like it when D.C. hypocrisy is exposed. For instance, this Tobias guy. What an idiot. He's the U.S. Under-Secretary of State...using an escort service solely for 'massages'. Now, he's also the former USAID director...causing him to take a definitive stance against prostitution. As if this isn't enough, when exposed as a 'john' for this escort service, he claimed that no sex had taken place....and get this...that he changed services to one that uses 'Central American girls.'......he actually said that in front of microphones as an explanation. Forget the hookers...this guy's a freakin' idiot...and that's why he should lose his job.
XI. Britain and Muslim Extremists. So, they've just sentenced five people to life for trying to blow up innocent people....and they've just arrested another group for wanting to do the same. How is it that Britain doesn't see the danger of multi-cultural capitulation to a people that has an avowed purpose for the West's destruction. It is the definition of obtuse( link).
XI. Fred Thompson. Finally, I'm going to leave you with a link to a short video of an interview Mr. Thompson did with Chris Wallace of Fox News. Naturally, I disagree with him on some small things...but, he says just about everything I would say... were I a candidate. Also linked is an article he wrote on federalism. Run... Fred... Run.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sometimes you wanna go...

where you can take a couple of decades off your surroundings, enjoy velvet wall coverings, and an old fashioned drink. Yes it's LAMAR'S Chatt-town's finest! This is just a trip to an old favorite for many contributors.
Cheers gents!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

And with the second pick the Atlanta Falcons take...Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech University!!!

O.k., so maybe I’m dreaming, but oh how freakin’ sweet it would be to hear Roger Goodell utter those words (while wearing a Pacman Jones jersey) on draft-day.

Anyway, I’m particularly excited about this year’s draft as my beloved Dirty Birds’ best case first pick is to trade up and take the best receiving prospect to come along probably since Michael Irvin (I say Irvin only because their skill sets are comparable as they’re two of the few to have both the incredible size and speed that they do) in Calvin Johnson, and their worst case first pick scenario is to take a safety whose college career I’ve followed closely out of both a love for his ability as well for fear of it being put on display in my backyard in Laron Landry. Simply, we desperately need help at both receiver and in the secondary and we’re going to get a surefire plug for one of those spots.

Personally, I’d call Cleveland up and say “Look, Vick, Brooking, and Jerious Norwood are off limits…Other than that you tell me what you want for that pick”…I’d make the deal and draft Johnson.

Moving along, though, I do love the draft for the maneuvering and dealing and such which is the purpose for this post. I came across this article on the best composite first round in NFL history. I figured our shared love for football and lists would spark some conversation.

Click here:


An Inconvenient Truth

Now, I really will get around to publishing a post on a topic of gravity and substance sometime soon, but I'm afraid I must comment on European football once again. The Champions League semifinals have begun, and Manchester United posted a victory at Old Trafford against Milan, with Wayne Rooney scoring the tying and winning goals in the second half. Today, Liverpool will face Chelsea at the latter's home stadium, Stamford Bridge. The Champions League presents the Reds their final chance for a major title this season, as they have fallen from contention in the Premiership and the FA Cup. These last honors will be contested solely between Manchester United and Chelsea, who will play each other twice in an eleven-day span next month. The Pensioners (Chelsea) have already won the Carling (or League) Cup, which makes possible an unprecedented "quadruple," should they win the three remaining competitions. Man U, likewise, is in position to repeat the "treble" from their glorious (ugh!) 1998-1999 season. With the exception of (AC) Milan, who will need to outbattle Manchester United at home in next week's second-leg semifinal, only one team stands in the way of preventing a Chelsea-Man U monopoly...Liverpool. Though I will give Rafael Benitez's squad even odds against Chelsea, I must pose a distasteful question to the Reds' supporters, should their team end up "walk[ing] alone": Can you actually cheer on the Blues to spite Man U?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Momma I'm comin' home...

Folks, I'm off to the durty durty for an interview...and some old school home cookin'. Blogging will be sporadic, at best, but I'll try to give updates. I'm thinking I might even break code and tradition and post pictures from the TED. Until then, here, for your listening pleasure, is one of the greatest songs ever recorded/performed. One memory for me....standing in San Marco Square(Venice, Italy for those less inclined to travel)...coming from a gondola ride....and a lone saxophone was playing this song. I stopped....sat down....took it in....and nodded....Ladies and Gentlemen....Mr. Ray Charles....

* normally, I would put the video in this space, but, for some reason, blogger won't let me. so, follow the link for a live performance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You're on notice!

In times of tragedy, there is a need for levity. In that spirit, I turn to Mr. Colbert of The Colbert Report. He has a spot on his show where he puts people 'On Notice', and it is incredibly ridiculous and funny. I've gone here and created my own list. These folks/things are officially On Notice!

*begrudging credit due to micah world....and this is the only reason why he isn't atop those rapacious global warming alarmists on the list.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What to say?

I don't have much to say right now about the tragedy and horror in Blacksburg, Va. yesterday. There is going to be a lot of political posturing over the next few weeks, and we can talk about that then. For now, let's just pause, say a prayer for the families that have lost the irreplaceable, reflect on our own lives and communities, and tell those we love how we feel.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Let's talk about something race relations!

This topic has been at the fore of my thoughts recently...race relations in the good ole' U.S. of A. With the recent happenings in Durham, N.C., the Imus vs. Rutgers vs. Al Sharpton fiasco, the Obama presidential campaign, and cannot help but think about it. And we should...but the question isn't one of should...but how...and when...and with whom. The following are some random, yet mildly connected, thoughts on the matter:

1. My first thought is this...racism is not a thing relegated...or specific to...the United States. In fact, we, as a nation and people, have done a remarkable job of healing wounds and reconciling the past with present and future. Having lived abroad for an extended time, I can say, and do, that there are cultures far more steeped in a racist world and cultural view than ours. The Chinese culture is ensconced in it. While teaching there, I was present when a science teacher actually taught, in class, that I proved evolution to be true...because I had more body hair...and, was therefore, obviously closer to apes than the Chinese who have little to no body hair. Racial superiority based on a Darwinian idea of that's good old fashioned racism for you. If one follows this logic to its conclusion, one can then imagine what this woman thinks/feels about other races. My point here is that many in the States think that our 'race problem' is a result of slavery and the legacy of Jim Crow, and is consequently unique to America...and while that is partly does not mean that others don't deal with issues of strident racism...people who have no idea what 'Jim Crow' means. Again, look at the Chinese...the Han feel a distinct superiority to the Man. The simple fact is that every single Nation and culture deals with racial issues...the thing is that we deal with them more openly than most....and most of us don't realize this. Which leads me to...

2. How do we deal with racism and racial connection? This is a point of serious consternation and frustration for me. There is such a dearth of open and honest dialogue about race these days. And when there is a slight sliver of honesty uttered...benignly, or not...the P.C. crowd goes apoplectic. We've allowed for too long the conversation to be dominated by the likes of Sharpton, Jackson, and others who have a vested interest in discord and disunity. If we, as a society, are afraid to be honest out of fear of name calling and social branding, we will never progress...we will never heal...we will never be of one mind and heart. which leads me to...

3. Sharpton, the dukies, Imus, and others. A look at the two recent events regarding race tells a painfully obvious story. Let's start with Imus. I don't particularly like the guy...never have...and have no compulsion to defend what he said. In fact, I love that he got fired. Meaning, I see no problem with the public holding people to account for things said and done. If society decides that he doesn't deserve to make millions for talking, because of something that he said...I say great. Freedom doesn't remove responsibility from adds more. Civilization has the right to self govern and regulate. My problem here is the ridiculous hypocrisy of the whole thing. Sharpton gets on his high horse named Charlatan and starts beating the drum for 'apology' and 'justice' usual, while Jackson calls CBS to see how much money he can shake them down for...when just a few short months ago, they were in Durham, N.C. doing the same thing...standing in front of a church...invoking the name of Christ...when it was obvious that that girl was lying...and those kids were innocent of the charges against them. Hypocrisy is not the worst thing in the world....I love Jonah Goldberg's thought here...that it is hypocritical for a father who steals to teach his children not to steal, but it doesn't make the lesson invalid.....but what is egregiously offensive to me is that Sharpton and those of his ilk get away with this. Also, look at the Hip-Hop culture. It is infused with, and defined by, misogyny, violence, and debauchery. The very words that Imus used...are words that 11 year old African-American girls sing along to all day long...every day. Here is a sample of lyrics from a song called Hoes...done by Lil took me 5 seconds to google and find them...showing how prevalent this stuff is...warning: if you mind bad language, don't read:
I got this rat name Shelly dat loves Makaveli
Number 5 combo meals its bad she K-Y jelly. Our
old school shorty still drinkin 40's. Grab the mic
start a fight,fuck up the whole party. Maybe you
should leave, just yo weave thats velcro hell no bitch
go wit Steve. Got this lead singer bitch from a popular
group I would say her name but she bought me a coupe. Got
this poor hoe Shonna swear like Marijuana she dig lil wayne
but she love the big tymers. Got pretty gurl Patrice found out
Im fuckin her niece she tried to stab her so I grab her and we
call the police. Mr. Officer, dat bitch den lost it bra she goin
to jail oh well, I be fuckin her. See two dykes, spanish twins nuts
press on they chin, will we go belly low well nigga that depends

Hoes! Lets just talk about Hoes!
Can we talk about Hooooooeeeeesss Hooooooeeeeesss!

I want to long as these are the voices of a community...and people like Sharpton are given the room necessary for his type of hyperbole and public rants...we have no chance for honesty, fairness, and forgiveness. Which leads me to...

4. The white man and velvet racism. The lack of honesty here also rests with whitey. So let's be honest...a large number of white folks are still racist. Heck, I can admit, though it is difficult, that I have to fight the easy urge of racist condescension. That's why I love the Maury Povich Show so much....the ridiculous names, the ridiculous behaviour, the ridiculous reality of it...this all supports racist assumptions and stereotypes that reside in me. I use the term velvet racism because...this kind isn't overt or even malicious. It is the kind that is understated, soft, and easy...but also informs who the person is...that adheres to this type of thinking. Simply, until white people stop...and realize...and admit openly... that just because they don't use the 'n' word... and that they don't actively root against other races...that they can still have a problem with race...that needs addressing through honesty, openness, and truthfulness...this issue will not be resolved...true community will never be accomplished...and other races will continue to be suspicious of white folks and our motives....and rightfully so.

4. I want to make perfectly clear that my frustration with this topic is born from a place of strong desire for community between races in the U.S....specifically, with white and black peoples. And the thing is...I believe it is attainable...because I've experienced it on a personal level. I've been blessed with friends of all sorts of different heritages, cultures, and colors...and have learned so much from them...and will continue to. When I've reached a place of comfort and respect with my friends, the door has opened to an honest and loving dialogue about our similarities and differences...with the result of deeper understanding and care. We can have this...but not without honesty, forthrightness, and understanding.

* i'd like to say thank you for all of the kind things said regarding my birthday. you all mean the world to me, and i'm lucky to have you in my life. this does not mean, however, that i will forget the john denver're on notice dr. z...