Monomakhos: The Year in Review

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

We here at Monomakhos are going on eight years now. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, huzzahs and harrumphs. We’ve published original essays, guest columns, a few cartoons and lately, some videos.

One thing we’ve never done is a year-in-review (or year-end review if you prefer). So without further ado, Yours Truly will answer some questions posed by some of our readers and offer a few random observations about the year that just past. It’s a little on the long side but it has the whole kit-and-kaboodle that constitutes this blog: politics, religion as well as culture.

I hope you enjoy it.

As always, I want to thank you for your contributions, your readership, your criticisms and your fellowship. Glory to God for all things!



  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    The Greeks had a “natural affinity for English Common Law”?

    East Asians, such as Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese were non-European, non-Christian (for the most part) and had little affinity for English common law, at least when they landed. They’ve turned out to be pretty good citizens.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Tim R. Mortiss

      I agree

      Overall, they have made great citizens and have respect for and follow the law

      Except traffic laws

    • George Michalopulos says

      OK, you got me. I overstated it. The various Southern and Eastern Europeans that did emigrate to the US felt a common bond with the other, earlier European settlers that they were able to completely assimilate within two generations.

      This cultural affinity extended to religious worship as well. I remember hearing about how many Lebanese in the Midwest who were Orthodox were welcomed into Episcopal churches and they became members, although not partaking of the Eucharist. I’ve even heard about some Greek families doing this as well. Although the language seemed strange, the religious rites of high-church Episcopalians pre-1960 were remarkably parallel with what they were used to. We forget that Protestantism at one time, even if it was low-church, was a much more serious affair than what obtains today.

      The cultural markers which enervated American civilization were all geared to ambitious immigrants and the overwhelming majority of the immigrants back then were ambitious. There was no Welfare, AFDC, SNAP, food stamps, SS, SSI, etc. You either swam or you sank. Country clubs may have been closed off to the various immigrant groups but they didn’t care about joining them. All they wanted to do was survive on a day-to-day basis. Once it became obvious that the American legal system was based on English Common Law and that it was fundamentally fair and fact-based (the Kavanaugh hearings being an exception), and that it made American prosperity possible, the various ethnicities wholeheartedly signed on to the American Dream.

      As for the East Asian groups you mentioned, they were all informed by the Confucian ethic which was likewise a prosperity-creating engine. In other words, a work ethic. Albeit one with more rigid class structures. Having said that, I don’t feel that they have the same fondness for gun rights that Old Stock Americans do. I could be wrong however.

      Let me continue to riff about gun rights if I may. The reason the overwhelming majority of the GOP is all hot and heavy for the 2nd Amendment is because the GOP for whatever reason has become the party of Old Stock Americans. Whether they were the English settlers who settled in New England and then spread westward across the northern tier of states all the way to the Pacific, or whether they were the Anglo-Celts/Scots-Irish who populated Appalachia and the South. Despite the antipathy between these groups, they all shared on important cultural trait, which was an intense fear of the Indians. The Indians were not victims but savage aggressors who rained terror on the white settlers. I’m not making a moral statement one way or the other, that’s just the way that they fought. They fought against each other the same way; in their eyes the European pioneers were merely another tribe, one to be treated in the same way that they treated each other.

      Anyway, long story short, horrific stories of Indian atrocities became ingrained within the collective psyche of the descendants of the original settlers. If it had not been for superior firepower, they would have been wiped out. My own red pill moment regarding gun rights came during the Rodney King riots in 1992, when news cameras showed young, Korean-American men standing on roof-tops, firing guns at the rioters below. My guess is that within that particular East Asian demographic, gun rights absolutism will reign supreme for several generations as well.

      • John Sakelaris says

        On gun control: When Turks ruled over millions of Christians for over four centuries (Greeks, Armenians, and others) the Turkish law prohibited Christians from having firearms.

        I believe that contributed to the horrible massacres during those years. Thankfully, it was also possible then for Christians to be able to hide guns in mountainous and remote areas.

  2. John Sakelaris says

    Hello George. A couple of items in the YouTube video were addressed to me rather directly, so I will deal with those. You had said that my specialty was on the Balkans; actually my masters thesis was on the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe and its subsequent historiography. (For those readers on here who might be ignorant about what the Catastrophe was, the Turks used the war-weariness and rivalries of the Great Powers as an opportunity to exterminate the remaining Greek and Armenian presence in Asia Minor in 1922.)

    The Balkans area is different; it comprises the nations that were once part of Yugoslavia, plus Albania, Bulgaria, and, by some definitions, Romania and Greece also. Although my masters thesis did not deal much with the Balkans, I did follow with sadness the ill-advised 1990s US policy to dismantle Yugoslavia, something that did much to create alarm and suspicion in Russia about the motives of the United States.

    So, getting back to the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe, there were a number of things that I learned about which have been instructive when watching the affairs of Greece and Cyprus in the present day. Importantly, the Turks benefited from the rivalries of the Great Powers, not unlike the way the Turks this year have been similarly playing that game. There was the way Greeks in the 1916-1922 years trusted too much in aid and support from the other powers. An English-language historiography developed afterwards that distorted events so as to create the sense that the Greeks brought it all upon themselves. We can certainly see that habit of blaming the Greek victims has carried over to the English-language coverage of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the subsequent status of that still-invaded island nation.

    I will say that the overarching lesson I got from examining the historiography of the 1922 Catastrophe is that people may not care about something that we justifiably see as important. So for Greece and Cyprus, the lesson for today is caution. Avoid doing anything that would allow a twisting and often amoral media and academic establishment say that you were the aggressor.

    The other matter, your musing about the possibility of a collapse of the US government was one that I asked you to clarify several days ago. Now you have explained that you see the danger stemming from our indebtedness, That could indeed be a problem. Still, I think about how two major powers emerged in the twentieth century, Soviet Russia and Red China, both doing so while disavowing previous debts. Maybe some folks more familiar with the dismal science can jump in and give some views on the indebtedness issue.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you John for setting the record straight. I look forward to further discussions on this matter with you.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      A very interesting subject, John. Though I don’t accept your conclusions. My knowledge is without doubt much less.

      I studied something about these matters, and then, much later, have had interesting discussions with Greeks in my parish about them.

      The Turks have done pretty well. They conquered Asia Minor long ago, and then in the fullness of time, they took Constantinople, about 40 years before Columbus set sail; i.e., a long time ago. Then they held their conquests for centuries. Then, in all the confusions and twists of fate in the 20th Century, they landed on their feet with their land intact.

      Remember, before the United Nations charter in 1945, the law of conquest was recognized internationally, since time immemorial. Indeed, it is the best title of all. It is why we own America. Its legitimacy is beyond question. Thus, the Turks own Anatolia and Constantinople, as they have for centuries. I repeat, they own it.

      Westerners don’t “blame” the Greeks for anything. They don’t know or care anything about the subject. Majority cultures don’t “blame”; they have no need to. The Greeks “blame”. They blame the Turks, they blame the British, they blame the “Allies”, etc. etc. In our own country, who are the groups that are always pointing the finger of “blame”.

      Blame is stupid an useless. I was taught as a lawyer within a year of starting that blame is for losers. Never blame, just act and get on with it.

      • John Sakelaris says

        A few more details about the Catastrophe, somewhat at random:

        In the 1915-1922 years over a million Christian subjects of the Turks were murdered, at first mostly Armenians, in 1922 it was the turn of the Greeks. It was a big deal in the English-language newspapers of the day. You can be sure the the Germans at the time were paying attention to what could be gotten away with. Then the coverage faded away as English-language works began to create a narrative that the Greeks brought it on themselves, thus guilt could be avoided. Primary pro-Turkish writers included Arnold Toynbee and Winston Churchill.

        As Germany’s Hitler was ordering brutal actions in the 1939 invasion of Poland, he was quoted as saying, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” The subsequent World War II Holocaust cannot be understood without awareness of the Turkish precedent.

        Yes, the United Nations stood against conquest. So as I grew up in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Greek-Turkey rivalry all seemed like ancient history, a quaint chapter of the past that was closed. Then came the shock of the 1974 Turkish aggression on Cyprus–and the media finding excuses for it. After my 1978 marriage to a descendant of Asia Minor refugees, I began a lot a reading and could see a pattern.

        Warfare has become more horrific over the years and I am wanting a world with less of it. Peace with Turkey would be a good thing, if only the aggression were to be a thing of the past. You will note that I advocated caution as a policy for Greece, not aggressive retaliation. Still, to be ignorant of what the Turks and their media defenders have done even in the relatively recent past would not be a good thing.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Well said. It’s important to realize as well that when Armenian-Americans rightly agitate for recognition of their genocide as a “holocaust” that AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbyists come to the defense of Turkey.

          • John Sakelaris says

            George, the much-beleaguered Israelis, surrounded by hostile forces on three sides for over seventy years, have understandably sought support from whatever arrangement might give some short-term advantage. For some time, that has included trying to have Turkey as a limited ally and voicing support for Turkish genocide denials. Now we can see that in recent years this unusual Turkey-Israel semi-alliance has begun to fall apart.

            Importantly, those various groups wanting to destroy Israel have looked upon the 1922 victory of the Turks over the Greek zones of the Sevres Treaty and of the concomitant extermination of the Greek population in those areas as a kind of model for what they might seek to do concerning Israel.

            George, it is important to me that Greeks and Armenians see Israelis as fellow sufferers and neighbors along the Mediterranean frontier rather than as rivals. This blog should not become an anti-Israel blog.

            • George Michalopulos says

              John, as someone who is guardedly pro-Israel, I have tried to make sure that this blog is not anti-Israel. At the same time, we must understand that all ethnogenetic enterprises are rife with massacres and atrocities. The Israelis are not –nor should be–above criticism.

              As to whether Israel should have been instituted as a nation in the first place, that’s another issue. Sec of State George C Marshall was vehemently opposed to its creation, fully foreseeing the bloodshed that would be unleashed. FDR himself had absolutely no truck with the Zionist proto-government in Palestine. One could hardly accuse either man of being anti-Semitic.

              • John Sakelaris says

                Guardedly pro-Israel?

                In the horrible summer and fall of 1922, as Greece’s position in Asia Minor was collapsing, Greeks were being killed in large numbers, and British politicians were privately saying that their country had backed the wrong horse and were seeking a way to reverse their policies and make a pro-Turkish settlement of the whole matter, I would not be surprised if one of those British politicians could have been found saying that he was “guardedly pro-Greek.”

                The remainder of your post seems to indicate that you believe that the modern Israel was a mistake. That should not give much comfort to any Israeli.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  John, like many in the States, I was enthusiastically pro-Israel. Then I found out about the USS Liberty in which a US Navy vessel was purposely bombed and strafed by Israeli aircraft during the Six Day War. This was nothing short of an act of aggression.

                  • John Sakelaris says

                    Israelis should not have done that. But I still hope that Israel will be safe from its enemies, just as I am glad the Allied side won World War II, even though the British bombed the French fleet in North Africa, the racially segregated US interned the Japanese, and the Soviet Union massacred Polish officers in the Katyn Forest.

                  • George,
                    That was over 50 years ago, and only 20 years in Israel’s existence. They trusted no one back then, pushed in a corner, and fighting for their literal survival.

                    Our relationship, and trust level with each other is much different now.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dino, I thought so too. Until I read the transcripts of the actual American sailors who were casually sunbathing on the deck of the Liberty. They were waiving to the Israeli pilots who were waiving back and hen moments later they started buzzing the ship and the sailors were frantically waiving them off. The Israeli pilots knew that that was an American ship but they had been ordered to sink it by their superiors.

                      The question is why?

                      The answer is that the Liberty had picked up transmissions which proved that the Israelis had actually launched a preemptive strike on the Egyptian Air Force, thus contradicting the official story that the Egyptians had launched a sneak attack.

                  • John Parakyrkas says

                    No, it wasn’t. The Liberty incident was contrived by Eisenhower to get ben Gurion to purge his Russian officers.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Ike wasn’t president in 1967

                    • Constantinos says

                      Dear George,
                      For those who hate Israel, the Liberty incident was a watershed moment. To our detriment, the US has discarded the sage wisdom of a great American who in his farewell address warned against entangling alliances i.e. the US has no permanent allies, only interests. Kind of like Trump’s nationalism.
                      As is well known, the nascent state of Israel came into existence through the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population including thousands of Palestinian Christians. So here is the dilemma; do you stand with Israel who is essentially an enemy of the Palestinians, and the Lebanese people including Lebanese Maronite and Orthodox Christians? Let’s not forget, Israel has committed more espionage against the US than any other ally. Think Jonathan Pollard. Also, remember that Mr. Netanyahu has been credibly accused of corruption and other crimes in Israel.
                      Israel has been a real problem for the US throughout its history. They threatened to use the Samson Option if Richard Nixon didn’t immediately send reinforcement armaments. We also give Israel more foreign aid than any other country in the world.
                      I lean toward the positon of now supporting Israel because it is in the interests of the US to do so at this time. They provide the US with valuable intelligence. As a country, in my opinion, they can’t compare to the US although they are better than many countries. Why do you think so many Israelis move to the US? I now guardedly support the Israeli state although I believe we should not be providing them with in excess of $3.2 billion of aid each year. No foreign aid to any country. America comes first in my opinion.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      All excellent points. For what it’s worth however, I don’t “hate” Israel although I will concede your point regarding the USS Liberty incident being a touchstone for many who do hate Israel. It’s regrettable but juts because somebody criticizes something that doesn’t mean that he’s a hater of that thing. I’ve criticized the Greek government, that doesn’t mean that I hate the Greek people. Far from it.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                What does “should have” mean? Like “could have”, I suppose. Then there’s “is”– reality.

                • Mark Alithinas says

                  Pollard? Steve Lalas

                  • Constantinos says

                    Hi George,
                    A big problem with the US’s relationship with Israel is AIPAC. They put the needs of Israel before the US. That’s traitorous. The American Cincinnatus specifically warned against that very thing. If you are an American, you put the US first.

                    • Exactly.. No greek american puts the needs of Greece first and quite right because they become american citizens. Of course Israel says it’s needs and USA needs are same. Well there are delusions and foreign policy. The brits with their ‘no burger “special relationship must be jelous

                    • Veras COltroupis says

                      YOu are wrong about that. It was the Greek shipping lobby that trained the first Israeli lobbyists in the 1940s. Jews then had Greek Envy, now Greeks have Jew envy. They are two sides of the same coin. My Catholic bosses never let me have Good Friday afternoon off because “We already had Good Friday” but no Jewish boss ever denied this to me. Jews believe in diversity.

                    • Zephyros Malamolis says

                      Do not forget Gene Rossides got the Turk Arms embargoed through his mentor Jake Javits and Flushing’s Ben Rosenthal. (New Lobby in Town: The Greeks TIME Magazine Monday, Jul. 14, 1975) Do not forget the Greeks, Armenians and Jews suffered together as Rayas. (INSIST THAT TURKEY BE DISMEMBERED: Representatives of Armenians, Greeks, and Jews Discuss National Aspirations New York Times 17 Feb 1919: p.6.) Do not forget that Hitler mentor and Black Tom NJ saboteur Franz von Pappen directed the Armenian massacres. (GERMAN DIRECTED THE TURKS AT VAN: Dr. Yarrow Says New York Times 06 Oct 1915: p, 3.) Do not forget it was Henry Mopgenthau who documented the massacres of Greeks and Armenians (SAYS GERMANS AIDED ARMENINAN KILLINGS: Morgenthau Tells Hero Land Audience of Help Given to Turks by Officers. New York Times 11 Dec 1917: p. 13.

                • Constantinos says

                  Dear George,
                  I don’t think you hate Israel at all. Sorry if I gave that impression.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    No, I didn’t imply that you did. I just wanted to head that one off at the pass, so to speak.

                    • Constantinos says

                      Mr. Tim Mortiss,
                      Would you mind weighing in on the Israel- Palestine conflict? I’m no lawyer or expert on international law so you know much more than I do. I’m led to believe that the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered occupied territories, and it is, therefore a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention for Israel to build settlements in these errors. In fact, I’m under the impression that it is considered a crime against humanity. During negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel has demanded that they recognize “Israel’s right to exist.” Am I correct in believing that no country has ” a right to exist.”
                      Also, there are many Christian Zionists who believe that “God gave the Jews the land.” According to Bible scholars, all land promises were fulfilled long ago, and the present day state of Israel is not a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
                      I know that Dino has prattled on about Israel, but I strongly believe that he knows nothing about the history of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, or any of the other issues pertaining to the conflict. The Israeli Jew Jeff Halpern, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and head of the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions knows a thousand times more than Dino or anyone else on Monomakhos about the conflict. He believes in a single unitary Palestinian state where the rights of all are enshrined, and protected. Kind of like the US. I believe what is needed is facts, and knowledge, instead of knee jerk emotionalism. For example, I’m appalled that the US acts like Israel’s lawyer before the UN, and that American Jews ( who have no connection to the land of Palestine) will rush off to fight for Israel, but would never fight for their own country which is the US. I’m appalled that Israel will not sign the NNPT , but maintains nuclear ambiguity in order to evade the US proscription of providing military aid to a nuclear nation that hasn’t signed the treaty. Your enlightened thoughts would be greatly appreciated. We know apartheid exists in the occupied territories, and that according to the UN, Jerusalem was not “Israel’s undivided eternal capital,” but was supposed to be a “corpus separatum,” administered under the UN. I also believe that our relationship with Israel is a violation of the American Cincinattus’s farewell address. Thank you Mr. Mortiss.

                    • Constantinos says

                      Dear George,
                      If any unbiased person studies the attack on the USS Liberty by the Israeli air force, there is no question that Israel knew it was an American ship, that the attack was deliberate, and was covered up. I wish people would be honest, face the truth even when it explodes their delusions, and lack of knowledge. All Americans need to know the truth. Ignorant comments by stupid people don’t make worthwhile healthy discussions. There is a certain poster I believe is extremely ignorant, but like a broken clock, he occasionally makes good points. Essentially, his commentary is an enormous waste of bandwidth.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I have no special expertise in international law. I do believe that it purports to prohibit permanent settlement of occupied territories. I very much doubt that it labels such as “crimes against humanity”.
                      As to a nation’s right to exist, I see nothing particularly wrong with asserting that. But, in international affairs, I often quote the “simple plan”:
                      “The good old rule sufficeth them,
                      the simple plan–
                      let him take who has the power,
                      and let him keep, who can”.
                      Bobbie Burns, I believe.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Mr. Sakelaris, as to Cyprus, just what was enosis, and in particular, what was the reason for it? Would the Turks have invaded if the subject hadn’t arisen?
          We were there this October with our GOA parish tour and our priest who spent his first years in the priesthood in Cyprus.
          One of our Greek-born parishioners in answer to my question as to why Greek Cypriots would have wanted to be part of Greece back then said that all Greeks wanted to be part of Greece. That was the only answer I could get. Yet Greeks for many, many centuries were not part of Greece.
          Cyprus looks and feels pretty prosperous and the rump non-state in the North looks to be participating in it. There were lots of construction cranes there, too, to be sure…

          • John Sakelaris says

            Tim: Enosis was the effort to unite all Greeks in one nation. Yes, it is true that after the 1830 creation of the modern Greek nation, there were many other Greeks not living within its boundaries. That was not so much because those Greeks wanted to be separate from the Greek nation, rather it was that they were under the rule of stronger entities: the Ionian Islanders under the British until 1863, the Thessalonians under Turkey until 1884, the Macedonians and many Aegean Islanders under Turkey until 1912. Then there was the enosis effort that turned tragic in 1922, when Turkey destroyed the Greek presence in Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace and one and a half million refugees had to be taken in. A happier enosis occurred in 1947 when the Dodecanese Islands were acquired from Italy.

            So, yes, there was also an enosis movement among the Greeks of Cyprus. Of course, this situation had some things going against it. The Turks had obtained a right to intervene from the British by a 1960 treaty (as if that was Britain’s to give), and the Turks had a 18% minority population on the island. Keep in mind that a population of Turks has been living under Greek rule without any major problem in Western Thrace, but that nevertheless the Turks apparently were wanting to do a enosis of their own, using the 1960 treaty and waiting for the right moment.

            That moment arrive in July 1974 when they could see that there was a coup effort aimed at overthrowing the Makarios leadership on Cyprus in the name of enosis. The Turks quickly landed troops. It did not matter that the coup effort quickly collapsed. The US was undergoing its Watergate Crisis at the time and there may have been some kind of green light from Kissinger at the time. The Turks then engaged in a great deal of slaughter and essentially forced hundreds of thousands of Greek Cypriots to move from the northern third of the island to the remainder. Meanwhile, other Turks on Cyprus not already living in the northern area hastened to move there. The Turks declared their own “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and the conflict has been frozen ever since. Many thousands of Turks from Turkey have since moved into the Turkish-occupied zone. A UN-patrolled dividing line stretches across the island.

            It is probably best to keep the dividing line and separation in place as the best of a bad situation. I do not believe that the expansionist Turks can be trusted in any unification deal. As for trying a enosis of the remaining two-thirds of Cyprus with Greece, well, that would likely be opposed by the Turks and it is not worth a war, a war that the Greeks would lose.

            Yes, there is some prosperity on Cyprus now. The ethnic separation, although created at a horrible cost in 1974, has ironically led to over forty years of almost no violence. Let us keep it that way. We must hope that recent offshore energy exploration leads to diplomacy rather than fighting.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Interesting, and thanks.

              As for Greeks and Greece, even before the Turkish conquests, or for that matter the Arab ones, the Greeks didn’t live in Greece….they lived in the Roman Empire, even when the Latins were gone therefrom.

              Anyway, as you say, well enough alone in Cyprus. Events seem to be taking care of themselves, to perhaps the common good.

              • John Sakelaris says

                Greeks were the dominant nationality group in the last Roman phase, the Byzantine Empire, lasting for over a thousand years, ending in 1453. Its greatest moments were from the ninth through the eleventh centuries.

                Those Greeks of today who have a sense of history and have not fallen into secularism and unbelief continue to look upon the Byzantine period as the other great age of Greece.

          • Veras Coltroupis says

            Before the six-day war, the USA was not as strongly allied to Israel. It was the six day war which prompted many protestants to further embrace Israel. Many liberal Jews complain that Evangelicals are more unquestioning of Israel than any Jew even to the point of limiting Israel’s ability to negotiate. When they broke with Rome, Protestants first turned to the Greeks, then even the muslims but then settled on the Jews as their anti-Rome. As far back as a century ago, you saw Evangelicals claimed American Democracy (1 Sam 8, L A Times Jan 27 1918 Rev Herbert Booth Smith, p.III-20) is from the Jews. But here is the dig: Back then, the evangelicals were both Christian Hellenists and Christian Zionists.

            • Veras Coltroupis: “Before the six-day war, the USA was not as strongly allied to Israel.”

              Soviet Union was supporting Israel, and then France until 1967. French gave them nukes.

      • Tim,

        Perfectly stated.

  3. George Michalopulos says

    Another answer to Mr Sakelaris about why I fear our society is unsustainable:

    (Be warned, there is a lot of profanity screamed by the “tolerant” progressive in this video. Not for the faint of heart.)

    • John Sakelaris says

      That store encounter reminds me of the Rudyard Kipling poem “If.”

      “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you….”

    • Linda Albert says

      I would not have done that. Actually I wouldn’t have been in a vale shop in the first place, but you don’t poke an already angry rattlesnake, bear, dog or person. That could have ended really badly if the store owner had a loaded gun behind the counter. He was really out of control. Call me a coward, but I know better than hang around that sort of situation and push buttons.

      • John Sakelaris says

        I think you meant to type vape shop. Yes, any business that is based on trying to feed a substance addiction is, by its very nature, a place of some danger.

  4. “any business that is based on trying to feed a substance addiction”

    Coffee is very addictive. True.

  5. Fr. David Hovik says

    A modern Cell Phone Store would is the equivalent of an opium den!

  6. Constantinos says

    Hi George,
    I’m not sure where to put his post so I’m placing this here with your kindness. If I may make a couple of points, I hope you don’t mind.
    Last Sunday in church, the priest was talking about Christmas, and he said Christmas replaced a pagan festival. I thought to myself, “Wrong. Jesus was born on December 25th. We don’t get involved in paganism in any way, shape of form.”
    Before this, he was talking about spiritual gifts, and he made the statement that he couldn’t draw. I thought to myself, ” Wrong! Everyone can draw.” I also found his statement contradictory to what Thomas Edison once said. ” If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” God has given each and every one of us extraordinary talents and abilities. Some are more interested and gifted in some areas than others. For example, J.S. Bach is the greatest compose of all time. He had an IQ of 165, and his music is mathematically perfect. While we can’t all be a Bach, we can all sing and play musical instruments. It’s like that saying,” What is the best way to Carnegie Hall?”‘The answer is practice.” If we ask for God’s help and guidance, we can do almost anything. Obviously, everyone can’t be a Michael Jordan or a Babe Ruth, but we can do so much more than we think we can. Each and every one of us should commit ourselves to life long learning. That’s about the extent of my positive thinking. ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Amen. Thank you.