Thar He Blows! The Great White Defendant!

Tendentious Agitprop

Several years ago, when I had more regular hours, my wife and I would while away our evenings watching Law and Order. I think it was on Monday nights but I can’t really remember. It had a certain gritty realism and the late Jerry Orbach was believable as a New York City detective. After a few years though, it started to degenerate into Left-wing agitprop. It got so bad that I could usually tell who the bad guy was before the first five minutes were up. It was always the white, middle-aged businessman. If there was more than one such figure, then it was the one who was richer, Republican, and Christian. If he was from the Midwest then he was your guy. And of course you hit the jackpot with a Southerner. Well, I stopped watching not because I was becoming middle-aged and I thought the entire concept was risible but because I was bored out my skull.

Of course, in real life, middle-aged, middle-class white men commit very few violent crimes. You can look that up yourself if you don’t believe me. The FBI prints all sorts of data on criminality in America and categorizes them according to race, ethnicity, and income (get the report .pdf).

The tendentiousness of Law and Order was anticipated several years earlier by Tom Wolfe, the great American man of letters in his classic novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.

In his book, the protagonist, Sherman McCoy, an Old Line WASP stockbroker and self-described “Master of the Universe” is picked up from the airport by his ditzy mistress Maria (who just happens to be the wife of another man). Because of Maria’s frivolousness, she makes a wrong turn into the Bronx and her and Sherman become involved in some type of altercation with two young black men. In the resulting fracas, one of the men is run over by the car she’s driving and in they flee in the ensuing panic. Based on an eyewitness, an unscrupulous reporter is able to concoct a story about the incident and whips up hysteria against the ultra-rich McCoy. Sensing trouble, Maria turns on Sheldon and makes him the scapegoat for her crime.

It’s like manna from heaven for all the usual suspects. There’s palpable excitement in the DA’s office; for once they can actually be able to indict someone of McCoy’s class and breeding rather than the endlessly depressing rogues, gallery that makes up the Great American Underclass. They are so giddy that one of the DAs yells, “I’ve found him, the Great White Defendant!” The usual suspects get on the bandwagon, including a thinly-disguised version of Al Sharpton. All were salivating at the prospect of getting on the story of the year. The trouble was, the Great White Defendant wasn’t guilty.

The Great Racist Narrative

Well, life imitates art –in more ways than one. Last month, a 17 year-old-black teenager, Trayvon Martin, was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, whom we were breathlessly told by the Mainstream Media was an armed, white vigilante. The usual suspects descended on Sanford or otherwise raised holy hell. “See! The Grand Racist Narrative that is Amerika Has Finally Been Proven!” The New Black Panther Party put out a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, Spike Lee found his address and released it into the blogosphere, Louis Farrakhan threatened massive “retaliation,” and Al Sharpton went on being Al Sharpton. President Obama opined that if he had a son, it’d look just like Trayvon. And of course the anti-gun zealots went back to their tired mantra of gun control, even though their tedious insistence on it caused them to lose both Houses of Congress in 1994. Life was being breathed into the dying corpse of Sharptonism.

The trouble was, very little of The Great Racist Narrative that is Amerika was true.


What are the facts of the case? Zimmerman, a self-appointed night watchman in the gated community where he resided, saw the youth in question acting suspiciously. Like many criminals, he was wearing a hoodie and appeared to be carrying merchandise out of a convenience store. Zimmerman recognized that he was not from the neighborhood. He called a non-emergency police phone number and was advised to back away. These are all red flags. For some reason, he disregarded these instructions and continued to tail Martin in his SUV.

At this point, it gets kind of murky: Zimmerman got out of his car to better identify the street corner for the police. Then he walked back to his car. The next that happened according to two eyewitnesses is that he was on his back down on the ground, Martin is on top of him, punching him and then slamming his head into the concrete. (Martin, who was 6’3″ is a good head taller than Zimmerman.) Somehow Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired.

Those are the facts as they are known so far.

After treating his wounds, the police took Zimmerman into custody but decided that he broke no laws. According to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, he was perfectly within his rights to follow Martin and if threatened, to shoot him. Ironically, Martin was within his rights as well to confront Zimmerman if he likewise felt threatened. This last point is key. That’s the point of Stand Your Ground: you don’t have to be a victim. It’s a sad day when states are reduced to implementing these laws but police in many jurisdictions have been restrained from doing their job. (And it’s a damn sight better than in England where homeowners aren’t even allowed to defend themselves from home invasions.)

Reflexive Liberalism

In a rush to judgment however, the Left-wing media decided to run with the inflammatory headline “White Man Shoots Unarmed Black Teen.” Never mind that no American newspaper ever thinks to headline crime stories in which the victim is white and the perpetrator is black or Hispanic. As noted above, the vast majority of perpetrators of all violent crime are black and Hispanic. And the overwhelming majority of victims of interracial crime are white. In fact, so rare is white-on-black/Hispanic crime that it has a “Man Bites Dog” quality about it. This didn’t stop ABC News however from doctoring a videotape of Zimmerman as he was being escorted into the police station. Shades of Marla Mapes and 60 Minutes, who pawned off a doctored Texas Air National Guard letter about the young George W Bush weeks before the 2004 election. (Dan Rather, whose career imploded because of this assured us that the document was “fake, but accurate.”)

To sustain the myth of racial neutrality/culpability (and to not whip up the fear of the white majority who are the overwhelming victims of interracial crime), most newspapers will print something along these lines: “City Man Held on Rape Complaint,” or “City Man Arrested for Murder of Elderly Couple”. It’s very much like whenever a Democratic office-holder is arrested on bribery or embezzlement charges. Usually one has to read five paragraphs down in the story to find out the perpetrator’s party affiliation. (It’s gotten so common that a lot of us on the Right Blogosphere play a game called “Guess the Party”. Republicans of course are always identified as such in the headline, because, you know, conservatives and Republicans are essentially evil anyway so it doesn’t matter.)

This same rush to judgment happened last week in Toulouse, France, when an unknown man went on a rampage and brutally murdered seven people, three of them children. All of the victims were minorities: three were French soldiers of African or Arab descent, one was a rabbi, and three were children from a Jewish school. We were told immediately that the perpetrator must have been a European nativist who was whipped into a frenzy by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his anti-immigrationist policies. Unfortunately for the Narrative, native Europeans do not suffer from Sudden Jihad Syndrome. As is almost always the case, it turned out that the murderer was a Muslim of Arab descent. Same song, different day. NarrativeFail strikes again.

The MSM has such a vested interest in promulgating the religion of Violent White Criminality that it has come to believe it. This is more than mere suspension of critical analysis, it is an example of Doublethink and the willful desire to overlook Hatefacts. This self-delusion is so obvious that when the uncomfortable fact came out that George Zimmerman was not white but a Hispanic, the MSM had to go into overdrive to cover their tracks. Laughingly, we are now told that Zimmerman is a (are you sitting down?) “White Hispanic”! When have you ever read about the demographic “white Hispanic”? Never, that’s when. Google it if you don’t believe me. Because Hispanics, like all treasured minorities cannot be white, otherwise they wouldn’t be special and they would have to be judged by their deeds rather than the double standards that the Elite has set up. Using the same critiria applied to Zimmerman, we could say that President Obama a “White African-American.”

This bears repeating. Because the MSM has a vested interest in proclaiming the Inherent Evil of White People, Zimmerman had to be literally whitewashed. Unfortunately, the by-now ubiquitous picture that has been released of Zimmerman –that of a pudgy, brown-skinned Latino, complete with an earring, identical in all respects to no the thousands of men who are manicuring lawns throughout America as we speak–is a blight to the Left. Their mendacity is so obvious that their case is crumbling before them as we speak.

Thanks to the Alternative Media we have found out that Zimmerman is a registered Democrat, not a racist, that he has black relatives, and has mentored black children. Not only that but we now know that but Martin did his best to cultivate the image of an angry black thug. Numerous suspensions from school, offensive tweets, and photographs of him in threatening poses have overwhelmed the images of a cute toddler that were put out by the MSM. Thanks to the Alternative Media, the stranglehold of the MSM is crumbling and NarrativeFails are thus inevitable. Ordinary people are able to see right through contrivances. The MSM has always asked: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” The Alternative Media allows us to respond: “Our eyes.”

The Collapse of Multiculturalism

We know that it is working-class and middle-class people who live in daily fear of violent criminals. We know who the victims invariably are. We always suspect who the perpetrators are (usually correctly). This has been the major engine driving white flight, which has caused most inner public schools to deteriorate to the point where teachers send their own kids to private schools if they can afford it. The lucky ones have decamped from the cities to exurban Whitopias where they rarely have to make split-second, life-or-death decisions on whether to be politcally correct or not. It’s gotten so bad that an exurban white family usually plans their trips to the city with all the care of an Army Stryker Brigade patrolling the streets of Fallujah.

Much has been made of the fact that Martin was “unarmed.” Never mind the fact that last year alone almost 800 people were murdered by “unarmed” men. This of course is a great mystery to the MSM, who because of their general divorce from normal society have never served in the military, this primarily being the province of whites from the Red States. Newsflash for the MSM: for over two hundred years now the Armed Forces have been training teenagers how to kill with their bare hands. It’s not that hard, especially if the teenager in question was a strapping young football player. Under these circumstances (and because he was getting beat up) the smaller Zimmerman probably had no other recourse but to fire his weapon. “God created man, but Samuel Colt made them equal” as the old saying goes.

However, there is another twist here, one that is equally uncongenial to the religion of the Gorgeous-Mosaic-Of-Multiculturalism. Zimmerman as we have seen from his photographs was clearly Hispanic. That is to say what most Americans of whatever ethnicity think of when we hear the word “Hispanic” –a stocky, brown-skinned person of Mesoamerican Indian descent (as opposed to whites of pure Iberian descent like Univision’s Jorge Ramos who’s ancestry and physiognomy qualifies him for membership in the Waffen SS).

Why is this significant? Because in many American cities, blacks have been systematically driven out of their neighborhoods by Hispanics by various methods. Usually Mexican gangs target black youths and kill them in cold blood. That’s usually a cue to the other blacks who slowly start to trickle out. Even when this transition is the result of non-violent means, one is more likely to find blacks living in majority white communities than in majority Hispanic ones. The meme of Hispanic hostility to blacks is legendary in the African-American community. In Miami, two race riots were instigated when Hispanic police officers fired on black youths. Many black people believe that that this was purposeful.

So this is the uncomfortable question: is it possible that Trayvon Martin acted the way he did because he saw a young, Hispanic male following him and believed that he was intending to do him harm? Might he have decided to stand his own ground? That deadly force was necessary to protect his own life?

Obama’s Alliance with Race Hustlers

This isn’t going to end well. Politcally, I think this is a gigantic stink-bomb that fell in Obama’s lap. The hysteria generated by MSNBC and its ilk is in inverse proportion to the facts of the case. This is the result of desperation brought about by the fact that almost every other Hatecrime supposedly perpetrated by whites (think Tawana Brawley, the Duke LaCrosse Team) has been proven to be a hoax. Already on all the networks people are talking openly about things that were previously left unsaid. Sharpton and his ilk who used to own the megaphone are being answered forcefully and without reservation.

By aligning himself with odious race-hustlers like Farrakhan and Sharpton, Obama is alienating himself from the ordinary workaday world in which a significant number of the people who voted for him live. Yes, we know that blacks are disproportionately the victims of violent crime perpetrated by other blacks. Indeed, more blacks are murdered than are whites.

But this is no balm for the wounds that are afflicting our nation. In fact, this only fuels the continued segregation of America. Productive, hard-working, law-abiding people want no part of this. That’s why they’ve long abandoned the inner city. And Zimmerman was not white but Hispanic. Although we are told that Zimmerman is not a racist the fact remains that this story is going to be understood in the context of the multicultural narrative that has long been force-fed down our throats. Armed White Murders Innocent Black –End of Story (now let’s go riot). In time, the fact that Hispanics feel no White Guilt will be added to this gorgeous mosaic. Things will get (how shall we say it?) more complicated.

Unless this issue is tamped down immediately by Obama, this case will unleash demons that will wreak havoc for years to come. Politically, it will cause a fissure in his coalition, which is made up primarily of blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and guilty white liberals, the vast majority of whom eat at Uncle Sam’s trough. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that the President has it within him to do so. As with the Skip Gates fiasco of two years ago, his first impulse is to see things in a racial light. Unfortunately, a beer summit is not the offing. The provacateurs that sit at the apex of African-American society won’t let him off so easy this time. AFter all, this is their stock-in-trade and given that they’ve been caught so many times in the past in outright lies, they’re going to have to keep screaming louder in the hopes that people will just give up and not call them to account for their mendacity.

Worse, they will threaten those who take an opposing view. This will only estrange the white working class/middle class further. The Alternative Media is already abuzz with atrocities performed on whites that have fallen down the MSM memory hole (see: Was Boy in K.C. Fire Attack a Victim of His School’s Racist Teaching? and Man says youths beat him as part of racially motivated attack).

People Will Say No More

These stories will spread. Ordinary people will ask why is Trayvon Martin being hailed as a martyr but the elderly couple in Tulsa that was brutalized by a young black man during the same time forgotten (see: Couple met and married within a month and stayed together for 65 years… only to be parted after home invader beat wife to death)? In time, these stories will radicalize the white majority if for no other reason than not every white person can afford to leave the city. The inevitable end to all this is identity politics. Innocent, law-abiding people cannot be pushed around forever. They can’t be guilted forever into not standing their ground.

I don’t mean to demean the memory of Trayvon Martin by talking about the politics of the situation. He didn’t deserve to die. But then he didn’t have to beat the living daylights out of George Zimmerman either. If the Stand Your Ground Law is morally illegitimate as the liberals say, then Martin should have done what they say Zimmerman should have done –back away. Instead, he took it upon himself to beat an armed man senseless, most probably with the intent to kill him.

One wonders at this point, had Trayvon Martin succeeded in bashing in George Zimmerman’s skull, what would the narrative be today? Would tens of thousands of whites or Hispanics (or “White Hispanics”) have descended on Sanford demanding “justice”? Would David Duke have demanded that the “law of retaliation” be invoked? Would Jeb Bush have commented that Zimmerman resembled his own, half-Hispanic son? Of course not.

It is nothing short of insane to believe that decent, law-abiding people are going to forever be intimidated by predators. We don’t know all the facts, we don’t know if Martin was fearful of his life; we don’t know that this was all a case of mistaken assumptions based on racial stereotypes (although it certainly looks that way). We do know that George Zimmerman is alive today because he adhered to the old maxim: “better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.” How many more George Zimmermans are there going to be?

What else do we know? We do know that gun sales are going to continue to skyrocket, that Liberals will continue to decry the furtherance of Stand Your Ground legislation, and that the white majority will retreat even further unto themselves. The great multicultural experiment is coming to an end.

In the meantime, please enjoy the following testament to the memory of Trayvon Martin set by those who feel that his death was a moral indictment on our nation:


  1. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    And how about that certain demagogue that works for a 3-letter tv network and is at the same time covering himself leading a promised march on a religious holiday in an effort to seek “justice” . . . how about honoring the theme of that religious holiday, instead???

    I think its time that that demagogue retired from public life, retreated to his front porch, and stick to waving his cane and shouting “get off my lawn” at whippersnappers. He is an embarrassment to people like me who share the same skin color, and probably the same distant ancestor.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Lola, the destruction that the Left has visited on African-Americans will have to catalogued someday. It may seem hopeless now, but just as the crimes of Soviet Communism could not be hid forever, so too will the mendacity and racism of the Progressives will be laid bare for all to see.

  2. Carl Kraeff says


    • Mike Myers says


      Carl, mind if I ask exactly what you’re cheering? All of this, some of it, or what?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you Carl. I also owe a debt of gratitude to P J O’Rourke whose unapologetic realism was leavened with humor.

  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    “Stand Your Ground!” This is the opposite of Christ’s Gospel teaching and life. And it’s the proud battle-cry of those who vaunt their Christianity!
    However, it is not a new idea. After all, Hitler felt he and all good Germans were threatened by Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, the French and the English for beginners, so he and the Germans had to Stand Their Ground.

    Why were there no arrests in the Trayvon Martin case? The police are paralyzed. By all they consider holy, it is Trayvon who should be dug up and arrested and the fact that they can’t dig him up and arrest him is just paralyzing them.
    I suppose with all those retired senior citizens in their state, all Floridians are experts in plastic surgery and cosmetology: that’s how it came about that policemen were able to quickly, in their PATROL CAR, cure all wounds and make the Hero’s skull appear whole and intact and unmarred by violence

    • Mike Myers says

      What are the facts of the case?

      . . .

      Those are the facts as they are known so far.

      You speak with such Authority, George! May I tremulously venture one timid question from the floor? What’s the source for your “facts?”

      • Facts are few, but agreed upon.

        1) Mr. Martin was walking through a neighborhood.
        2) Mr. Zimmerman saw him walking while Mr. Zimmerman was driving.
        3) Mr. Zimmerman called 911
        4) Mr. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle to follow Mr. Martin on foot
        5) Mr. Martin was running away from Mr. Zimmerman
        6) Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin.

        The essence of Mr. Zimmerman’s case is that between item #5 and #6 Mr. Martin turned and confronted Mr. Zimmerman, making Zimmerman fear for his life. The concept that Mr. Martin may have feared for his life and acted out of that fear before turning to confront Mr. Zimmerman has seemingly not occurred to anyone.

        It is fair to note that if Mr. Martin were 50 and white, and the known facts were exactly the same, people would not be rushing to defend Mr. Zimmerman.

      • George Michalopulos says

        You mean you haven’t been watching the news?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Your Grace, I believe you’re mistaken about Zimmerman’s wounds. ABC News we now know doctored the videotape which clearly shows a gash on the back of his head. Anyway, it is doubtful that the police would have released him unless they saw his wounds. (In fact, one race-hustler recently said that Zimmerman broke his own nose in order to fool the police.)

      As for your earlier point, that Hitler used a form of Stand Your Ground philosophy in going after all the non-Germans, I don’t know where to begin to respond. Even if he did, it doesn’t invalidate Florida’s law or the very real expectation that laws such as this are necessary to protect ordinary people against violence. Self-defense is not, nor can ever be considered to be, immoral.

      And as I wrote, it’s significantly better than the British example, in which homeowners are in prison right now because they tried to defends themselves from burglars. That’s insane.

      • Mike Myers says

        You mean you haven’t been watching the news?

        . . .

        ABC News we now know doctored the videotape which clearly shows a gash on the back of his head.

        Is that right! Boy, now I’m really confused, Vanity Pundit! Help!

        A few more timid questions from the floor: Who’s “we”? And how do “we” “know” this? What’s your source, please?

        Or is it presumptuous of me to ask? Maybe I’m being uppity, George? Tell me, if so — I’m a big boy. I’ll cope.

      • Jane Rachel says

        George, WHAT?!!??

        “ABC News we now know doctored the videotape which clearly shows a gash on the back of his head. Anyway, it is doubtful that the police would have released him unless they saw his wounds”

        Oops, I just found this link.

        Looks like ABC News DID doctor the video!

        Well, of COURSE they did! Now, how do you know that for certain? You need a baseline of truth, don’t you? Not based on what you want to see but based on what really happened. You can’t say for certain the video was doctored, and yet, that’s what you just wrote. If it was, it was, and if it wasn’t it wasn’t. Will you be able to make your case stand if it wasn’t doctored? Of course you will. Maybe Zimmerman was injured by unarmed but taller Trayvon Martin to the point where he was justified in shooting him, and maybe he wasn’t. So why state something as fact when there’s no way to know until we know?

        I’m just saying, wouldn’t it be better to wait?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Point well taken, Jane. The probability that the tape was doctored rests in our (the Right’s) bias against the MSM, which has doctored transcripts, videotape, etc. in the past to pursue their narrative. Besides the Marla Mapes thing, we can go back to an NBC story on Ford pick-ups which were triggered to explode.

          Of course as this thing continues to grow, misstatements will continue to be made, others will be retracted, etc. That’s the nature of narrative. Right now, the mendacity and screaming hysteria of the Left has been met by far more measured analysis by the Right. Today alone, it was reported that the public perception that Zimmerman should be arrested has collapsed from 74% to 47% in one poll.


          Is it possible that cooler heads are indeed prevailing?

      • Jane Rachel says

        George, now that I’ve reread your article, passing over the parts that were bothersome, it was easier to read and understand.

        As for the video in question, the FBI has enhanced the video now, and the photo of the back of Zimmerman’s head is much more clear. Yep, it looks like a possible head wound. Ouch. Maybe. Now we need to wait until it’s been analyzed and more truth comes out, and then we will know what happened, we hope, and then, we hope, the legal system we have in place in this country will do the right thing. I agree there’s been a lot of posturing and doctoring, but it happens on both sides.

        Trayvon Martin: Enhanced Zimmerman video shows possible head wound

        And then, for balance, there are the witnesses’ accounts and the 911 tape. Here’s a link to this article about the 911 tapes that were released:

        911 tape shows George Zimmerman lamenting that the “a–holes always get away.”

        Read more here:

        P.S. George, you wrote that Martin was apparently 6’3″,and a full head taller than Zimmerman, but you did not add that Martin only weighed (apparently) 140 pounds. That is less than I weigh and I’m 5’10” tall and not chubby. Zimmerman (apparently) weighs 240 pounds. Another fact you did not include. He weighs a hundred pounds more than the kid weighed.

  4. Every time I ever arrested someone other than white I was always called a racist. It didn’t matter that they were caught committing a felony or not. They never took ownership that they were breaking the law just that I was a racist as if that made what they were doing all right.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ambrose, that is something I pick up from my friends on the police force. Human nature leads me to believe that this causes individual policement to retreat of the from the barrios and ghettos. What do you think? Am I on to something?

      • In my opinion that is an accurate understanding. Thats one of the reasons (as well as illness) I have not persued a career in LE.

  5. Mike Myers says

    Dear Vanity Pundit,

    An urgent book recommendation for you, just in case you haven’t read it.

    Yours truly,


  6. Carl Kraeff says

    I like all of it. George is spot on especially in his pointed critique of modern day liberalism. I also think that his style is similar to Mark Steyn’s, a comparison that should not be lost to George.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      This breakdown in the Black community is what liberalism has wrought. I wrote about this in a rejoinder to Bp. Savas several months ago on my blog (Chris Banescu, Bp. Savas and the Dust Up):

      Progressive ideology employs the language of the Christian moral vocabulary to justify its policy goals especially about helping the poor. This causes a considerable amount of confusion among the uninformed. It sounds like the Progressive policy goals and the Christian moral imperatives are one and the same.

      The reality is entirely different. Progressive ideas have done more to harm the poor than help them. This first became apparent in Charles Murry’s ground-breaking work Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 back in 1984 (read more here).

      Murray’s book was a game-changer. His research showed that instead of helping the poor, the Progressive policies contributed to the break-down of poor families and created a cycle of dependency that institutionalized poverty. These policies were first formulated under the Johnson administration’s “Great Society” programs and were for all purposes well-intentioned. Their results however have been catastrophic.

      For example, in Harlem (the first focus of the Great Society administrators), 70% of all children lived in intact two parent families and the trend was increasing. Thirty percent lived in a single parent household. Ten years after the onset of the Great Society, the numbers were reversed.

      Further, the breakdown of the family has left many boys bereft of father figures leading to the increase of gangs as their primary unit of socialization. It is also the reason why young black men are over-represented in our prisons. In fact, single-motherhood has become the single most reliable determinate of poverty.

      Murray’s initial research has been confirmed time and again, enough so that even the Democrats who first championed the Great Society ideals had to admit its failures. President Bill Clinton, to his credit, was the fist to roll back the reach of the Progressive welfare state when he ended “welfare as we know it.” You can find the research justifying the change and examining the results by searching the indexes of the Manhattan Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

      Thankfully there are other Orthodox Christians who recognize the harm that the Progressive ideas have fostered. The Fellowship of Christians United to Serve (FOCUS, an Orthodox organization) has launched a program to teach men how to become men and reverse the soul-denying patronization that they’ve suffered:

      Leftist ideas are socially catastrophic.

      • o Hamartolos says

        We need more non-governments doings things like this. But, don’t be surprised if the the govt get’s jealous and wants in on this and decides you now need a state issued license to conduct “manhood” training classes. If you can’t produce said license, you will get shut down.

    • I didn’t write that. I always man up and post my real name. “Centurion”, of course, may very well be a woman…I’m not so sexist as to assume the opposite. At any rate, the statistics that he/she cites do not prove what he/she claims, whether it’s true or not. They just demonstrate that the preponderance of arrests are of black people: they do not demonstrate that black people are more likely to commit crimes.
      Mme. Mac Donald does not seem to know that by “identified” gun assailants she merely shows that there is a definite tendency to arrest more blacks than whites for gun assaults. Zimmerman may never appear in Mme. MacDonald’s statistics, as is plain to be seen. Yet he assaulted and killed a human being. No one has seen or reported any evidence that Trayvon Martin beat up Zimmerman and bashed his skull repeatedly on the pavement. That is obviously the alibi of a crook.
      Wait until the first black man shoots and kills a white man because he feared him. It might just catch on with the brothers, no? A “Stand Your Ground” law in Manhattan might very well result in a dramatic drop in the arrests and convictions of blacks and Hispanics (Latinos). Let’s concentrate on such an improvement.

      • Daniel E. Fall says

        Your original post was the best writing on the entire subject matter.

        Stand your ground is completely against Christian Teaching. You can’t offer the other cheek if you are standing your ground.

        This case is simple. Fear was created when Zimmerman followed the boy against the wishes of the 911 operator. Fear drove the situation. Stand your ground sounds like chase and kick some ass ala George Zimmerman and the state of Florida. If Martin had killed Zimmerman; according to Florida law, that would have been okay, too. The whole thing is just too bizarre. In Minnesota, if I am George Zimmerman, I am in jail for second degree murder for chasing the kid and killing him after 911 told me not to follow him. Why doesn’t Florida have a listen to the 911 operator law?

  7. Mike Myers says

    It’s gettin’ more than a little stinky in here again . . .

    Dear George, Vanity Pundit;

    Two book recommendations for you; perhaps you’ll find them insightful and helpful in your avocation: “The Road Less Travelled,” by M. Scott Peck, and his “People of the Lie” that followed.

    All the best,

  8. Carl Kraeff says

    Reverend Tawandaa Sharpton has called for further action. Folks in Southern California have apparently heard him:

    “Seven black teens have been arrested on suspicion that they committed a hate crime when they attacked a 15-year-old Hispanic boy while he was walking home from school in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

    The March 14 beating in Palmdale was captured on video and posted on YouTube, but has since been removed from the site. The seven boys, ages 13 to 16, were arrested Wednesday for investigation of assault and committing a hate crime, Lt. Don Ford said.”

    Another bitter fruit of the Left.

  9. Mike Myers says

    Carl, I’m curious about your basis for assuming you know the facts of this case. I’m 100% for condemning incendiary commentary about this case, on all “sides.” But If cooler heads are to prevail (and assuming that this is what everyone wants — on all “sides” — although this is doubtful to me), maybe we could wait for a determination of the relevant facts before exploiting a tragedy to advance the agendas of our respective teams? Is that too much to ask? Too liberal, or Left? Sounds like middle-of-the-road Center to me. But what do I know.

  10. George,

    You make a few good dispassionate points:

    What are the facts of the case? Zimmerman, a self-appointed night watchman in the gated community where he resided, saw the youth in question acting suspiciously. Like many criminals, he was wearing a hoodie and appeared to be carrying merchandise out of a convenience store. Zimmerman recognized that he was not from the neighborhood. He called a non-emergency police phone number and was advised to back away. These are all red flags. For some reason, he disregarded these instructions and continued to tail Martin in his SUV.

    At this point, it gets kind of murky: Zimmerman got out of his car to better identify the street corner for the police. (my note: Zimmerman reports that Martin is running away from him, and says “they always get away with it” without knowing that any “it” to “get away with” actually occurred.) Then he walked back to his car. The next that happened according to two eyewitnesses is that he was on his back down on the ground, Martin is on top of him, punching him and then slamming his head into the concrete. (Martin, who was 6’3″ is a good head taller than Zimmerman.) One eyewitness said that he heard Martin say “you’re going to die tonight!” Somehow Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired.

    …So this is the uncomfortable question: is it possible that Trayvon Martin acted the way he did because he saw a young, (my note: larger) Hispanic male following him and believed that he was intending to do him harm? Might he have decided to stand his own ground? That deadly force was necessary to protect his own life?

    …We don’t know all the facts, we don’t know if Martin was fearful of his life; we don’t know that this was all a case of mistaken assumptions based on racial stereotypes (although it certainly looks that way). We do know that George Zimmerman is alive today because he adhered to the old maxim: “better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.” How many more George Zimmermans are there going to be?

    Given the facts as you yourself lay them out it would be more appropriate to ask how many more Treyvon Martins are there going to be?

    Truth now: if Martin looked like you, George, then Zimmerman would have been charged with a crime. Everything else is a sideshow, as is the bulk of your post here.

    It takes two to play the race card, you’ve played your part.

    • George Michalopulos says

      CQ, if I wore a hoodie (like I do when I go outside on a cold winter’s day), I would not be targeted by Zimmerman. You’re right. The question is: why?

      • My point, George, is that if Zimmerman had done to you exactly what he did to Mr. Martin, and had you responded exactly as Mr. Martin responded, Zimmerman would have been charged.

        Zimmerman’s judgement was fueled not by actual information, but by overall impression. He acted based not on reality, but on the fear between his ears. Fear being irrational, don’t be so sure Zimmerman or someone like him would not react to you in the same way.

        • George Michalopulos says

          CQ. “fear” is what millions of ordinary people have been reduced to thanks to the inefficiency and arbitraritness of our justice system. However, fear may (which you use as a code for racism, may not have been in play here. Zimmerman by all accounts was not a racist).

          But let us go further: how would you explain the most recent newsstory that five young black men beat a Hispanic teenager yesterday? Was that “fear:?

          • Two things, re: Criminal Justice you might read this excellent book

            The incident you cite, George, was real. But so what? So it is justifiable to act out of fear of black teenagers?

            My family and I survived a plane crash. That real experience no more would justify our going crazy on a flight and attempting to open the emergency exit, or screaming “we’re all going to die” while attempting to crash through the cockpit door or just pummel the flight attendant than the real story you cited justified Zimmerman’s behavior.

            Fear clouds judgement because fear is irrational. Justifications for fear do not make fear clarify judgement, and do not make fear more rational. It makes it more understandable, but not more rational.

            So…if what your’e saying is that everyone should behave irrationally around black people because many black people have done bad things, then I would say everyone should likewise behave irrationally around priests because many priests have done bad things. The same logic applies.


            • CQ. Thanks. Still one more thing “re:Criminal Justice” that I personally would recommend: “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” by the eminent prosecutor and former district attorney, Vincent Bugliosi.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s not necessarily the case. I have a feeling that had I (or someone like me) did to Zimmerman what Martin did (and had actually succeeded in killing him), I might be accused a “hate crime” because I’m white and Zimmerman is Hispanic. Anyway, Sharpton and the rest would have certainly not come to my defense.

        • George,

          The term Hispanic denotes a cultural identity derived from Spanish-speaking Latin America, it does not denote a “race” – check with the US government definitions. Thus there can indeed be such a thing as a white Hispanic, many Hispanics being descended wholly from Spanish ancestors, and like Greeks, the Spanish have always been classified as white by the US government. Ironic really, since I’ve met a few Spaniards and Greeks who are darker than some people classified as Black, but that’s the sort of absurdity the US invites by making such a big deal of “race” (the unavoidable legacy, I suppose, of building a nation on race-based slavery). I look forward to the day the Lord returns when we will realize He isn’t exactly “white” either!

          • Basil,

            I had a neighbor who emigrated from Argentina to the United States during the “dirty war” that targeted him and his young family. His parents had emigrated to Argentina from Italy. He had olive skin and spoke Spanish. Everywhere he went people knew he was a Mexican. Mexicans then (as now) were assumed to be illegal aliens, gang members and drug dealers.

            He could not understand why it was so hard to find a job, so one evening I explained American bias to him. He was shocked, offended, and outraged. He did not doubt what I was telling him, but he also could not believe people could be so narrow-minded and just plain ignorant as to consider him, an Argentine, to be a lowly Mexican. (His own bias did not strike him as entertaining…but it did make me laugh.)

            At my suggestion he started his next interview by telling the interviewer his parents were Italian and he was from Argentina instead of talking about his skills. He got the job on the spot, and still has it.

          • Basil, “Hispanic” includes Spaniards in Spain. I think ‘Latino” is the better word for what you described, no?
            As for ‘racial” designation, I recently had to file a complaint of hit-and-run with the North Hollywood Division of the L.A. Police Department, and the (Latino!!!) desk sergeant asked me to describe the culprit, like this, “Was he black or white or Latino?” I answered, “In my lingo he was a white Latino.” I, as a liberal and lefty, found his question offensive, but he is a representative of a particular police culture, which is neither bad nor good, but needs to be better informed. I think Latino is much better a classification than “Hispanic” here in SoCal, where there are not a few Portuguese speakers from Brasil who are not Hispanic at all, but are definitely “Latino.”
            Another word for ‘Hispanic” or Spanish, is “Sephardic”, since Sephard is the Hebrew word for Spain, and Sephards traditionally speak “Ladino”, rather than Yiddish.

            • Jane Rachel says

              “…. I recently had to file a complaint of hit-and-run with the North Hollywood Division of the L.A. Police Department, …”

              Well, Your Grace, that’s scary! Is everything all right?

              Does one have to be either a “liberal lefty” or a “right-winger” or something in between or on either side?

              I’ve been so busy over the past four decades (since leaving home), I haven’t had a chance to become one of those. Maybe now that things have settled I’ll work on getting there.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      “[H]ow many more Treyvon Martins are there going to be?”

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of Trayvon Martins. They get killed in the inner city every day.

      Source: The Daily Caller | March 31, 2012

      “Without a doubt,” Obama’s decision to highlight the February inter-racial shooting is a distraction that will likely will spur turnout for the 2012 election, T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami Inc, told The Daily Caller on Mar. 23.

      But “the outrage should be about us killing each other, about black-on-black crime,” especially in Chicago, rather than a single wrongful killing in Florida, he said.

      “Would you think to have 41 people shot [in Chicago] between Friday morning and Monday morning would be much more newsworthy and deserve much more outrage?” he asked.

      From Mar. 16 to Mar. 19, 41 people, mostly African-American, were shot in Chicago, Obama’s adopted hometown. Ten were killed, but there was little reaction outside Chicago, say several African-American leaders and commentators.

      One of the victims was only 6 years old. She was killed in a drive-by shooting conducted by two members of the “Latin Kings” gang.

      Fair’s comments came shortly before Obama’s top political aide, David Plouffe, used the Sunday talk-shows to slam the president’s political opponents over their remarks on the controversy.

  11. Jane Rachel says

    Correction, George! You made an incorrect statement in your article, which you need to change to reflect the truth. You stated, “One eyewitness said that he heard Martin say “you’re going to die tonight!” Somehow Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired.”

    That is not true. An “eyewitness” did not say that. Zimmerman’s father Robert, who was not there, said Trayvon Martin told his son he was going to die now.

    George Zimmerman’s father spoke to WOFL FOX 35 in Orlando last Wednesday:

    Zimmerman also says that Martin threatened his son’s life.
    “Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of ‘you’re going to die now’ or ‘you’re going to die tonight,’” Zimmerman told the station.

    He says Martin continued the beating and his son “pulled his pistol and did what he did.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you, Jane R for pointing that out. That was sloppy of me. I have made the necessary correction.

      • Mike Myers says

        Oh, George — there’s more where that one came from, my friend. Lots more. Sloppy of you?

    • So, Jane Rachel, there’s NO real or credible evidence of any threat from Trayvon communicated to Zimmerman outside of Zimmerman’s own claim?
      And if Zimmerman felt threatened byTrayvon, why in blazes did he not obey the 911 operator and NOT try to follow Trayvon?

  12. Jane Rachel says

    Honestly. I’m not even through the article and here we go again. Maybe I am missing something here. Maybe if I finish the article I will find that it’s balanced and correct.

    George wrote: “Not only that but we now know that but Martin did his best to cultivate the image of an angry black thug.”

    I am desperately trying to find something to back you up here, George. Oh, here is something:

    Of course, the Miami Herald will be biased and doctor the truth. But the sources you use for your article wouldn’t do that. Therefore, he was a thug.

    I don’t know if the following is true but here is what was written about George Zimmerman. Why did you leave this out, George? Fair is fair.

    George Zimmerman has been accused of domestic violence, tussling with a police officer and for over-speeding. In 2005, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” Both these felonies are considered third-degree. Due to his desperate attempts, the charges were reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then the only remaining charge was also completely waived off when he entered an alcohol education program.
    In the same year (2005), Zimmerman’s ex-fiance, Veronica Zuazo, filed a civil motion for a restraining order, alleging domestic violence. In retaliation, Zimmerman filed for a retraining order against Zuazo and both these claims were resolved with both restraining orders granted.
    The next year, in 2006, Zimmerman was charged with speeding. However, that case was dismissed because the officer who charged him failed to show up at the court.

  13. Jane Rachel says

    George wrote:

    “…we don’t know if Martin was fearful of his life;…”

    Oh, I am sure he was as the gun was being pulled out and as he was being shot and as he lay dying.

  14. Jane Rachel says

    More tapes: the tape of the 911 call that night. I don’t know, okay? I’m not a lefty liberal. I don’t care what you believe politically, George, and I’m not on any sides. For sure I don’t particularly care what Al Sharpton says. So ignore him, and concentrate on this:

    The 911 call from a woman who lived in the neighborhood may, may indeed show that Trayvon Martin cried out for help just before he was shot. “Though several of her neighbors eventually called authorities, she phoned early enough for dispatchers to hear the panicked cries and the gunshot that took Trayvon Martin’s life.when she heard someone calling for help.”

    “Trayvon Martin shooting: It’s not George Zimmerman crying for help on 911 recording, 2 experts say
    Trayvon Martin’s family says unarmed teen begged for his life. Experts say it’s not George Zimmerman’s voice.”,0,250481.story

  15. Mike Myers says

    As a result, I’ve concluded that your implication that George’s post represents a moral failing (that’s why I called it moral posturing) and citing the two books as evidence is without merit.

    I assume that you know what an intellectual conscience is, Father. Do you think it is a “moral failing,” as you’ve put it, to lack one, or to have a grossly defective one, and yet to nevertheless arrogantly aspire to influence opinion? Does your conception of morality stretch this far?

    Yes, I do claim that this post of George’s represents a moral failing. Many of them do. It’s grossly dishonest on many levels. The two books I’ve recommended (not “cited”), quite sincerely, were not meant as evidence of that. I think that’s self-evident to any reasonable, rational, well-informed and dispassionate human being with solid critical thinking skills. He obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about, could not know, not yet. Do you approve of his rot, Father? If you do, why?

  16. Mike Myers says

    “Well, I’ve stated my case. I don’t want to belabor the points since I’ve repeated them four times already. Every reader is free to decide if they agree with my conclusion or not. I won’t be saying anything more about this.”

    OK, Father. I think it would indeed be prudent of you to avoid belaboring your “points.”

    As a result, I’ve concluded that your implication that George’s post represents a moral failing (that’s why I called it moral posturing) and citing the two books as evidence is without merit.

    I assume that you know what an intellectual conscience is, Father. Do you think it is a “moral failing,” as you’ve put it, to lack one, or to have a grossly defective one, and yet to nevertheless arrogantly aspire to influence opinion? Does your conception of morality stretch this far?

    Yes, I do claim that this post of George’s represents a moral failing. Many of them do. It’s grossly dishonest on many levels. The two books I’ve recommended (not “cited”), quite sincerely, were not meant as evidence of that. I think that’s self-evident to any reasonable, rational, well-informed and dispassionate human being with solid critical thinking skills. He obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about, could not know, not yet. Do you approve of his rot, Father? If you do, why?

  17. M. Stankovich says

    Not to detract from this fascinating “steam” (as in “emanating from a sucking gunshot wound to the chest on a cool evening”), but pursuant to the OED, to devote a Monday evening to Law & Order (I presume) “to charm away; esp. to cause (time) to pass away pleasantly or insensibly,” is to wile.

    This ironically caught me posting my own processing of recent & historical “speakin’ with the brothas” on California’s Death Row. Yeah, buddy, and who would have thought? Not my mother. And thus, I am both saddened and nauseated by this display of academic posturing of human horror – regarding an otherwise unremarkable, apparently typical adolescent shot dead, and an otherwise unremarkable, apparently equally typical late-adolescent who is, perhaps irretrievably traumatized – reduced to self-serving “fodder.” I count nearly 25 paragraphs of “canned heat,” followed by the customary piling-on of the “riders-on-the-storm,” and now with multi-media and sound. Oorah! So far, only the occasional voice seems to deviate, weakly implying, “This is Kafka, not Daniel Patrick Moynihan.” Good luck, because you’ll soon wished you had not.

    In my mind, the only thing worse than a “Google scholar” – and I think significantly more harmful – is a lazy scholar; the type who relies not on “real” veracity (rimshot, ta-tum), but on a bluster that somehow requires no extraneous, definitive authority but their own. What does the FBI data touted above instruct us as to the “antecedents” of criminal behaviour, or suggest as to community intervention? Nothing. What does the “single-parent-head-of-household” data tells us about the Black Community? That it has the near identical “single-parent-head-of-household” as Orthodox Christians in America. What does the “poignant” video of African-American adolescents “storming” a convenience store tells us about anything other than what occurred on a specific day, at a specific place, by a specific group of adolescents (even in consideration of all “variables”)? Nothing. Shame on the cheap theatrics, the inaccurate “statistics,” the deceptive interpretations, and the prideful refusal to leave these respective families to their grief. You write as if no actual, valid data exists! Here’s a hint: start your search at UCLA.

    My thought: do you really have an interest in “separating steak from carrots?” Turn off the TV, take off the jewelled crosses & pressed cassocks, anoint your head with oil, stick a few of those books from the Amazon basic list under your shirt for protection, and I’ll gladly take you for a walk among the living dead. You do them a big favor and explain what liberal thought did to them. And when you get to the bottom-corner cell with the plexiglass shield (because its resident spits his own feces at staff), try not to laugh when he, hair growing down to his waist, whispers to you, “I have a vagina.”

  18. Scott Morizot says

    The facts? A 240 lb white hispanic man stalked and chased down an unarmed minor — a child a 100 pounds lighter than him — against the express and recorded instructions of the 911 dispatcher. That man — “fearing for his life” from that same slight unarmed child — then shot and killed him.

    Frankly, right-wing apologists like you disgust me. The fact that you do it while waving a “Christian” banner makes it worse. I grew up and have lived my life in the South. The Ku Klux Klan has always waved that same “Christian” banner.

  19. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    In our country a man is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. We do not. try people in the press or on the street. Whatever happened will be sorted out by the legal system in an orderly manner. If Zimmerman is guilty he will be punished by lawful authority. However, at this point, I doubt that he could receive a fair trial due because it will be almost impossible to find a jury that has not been tainted by all the publicity and pronouncements on this case by people who have absolutely no idea what really happened.
    We will never resolve our racial divisions until we recognize that all racism, including black racism is evil. There is not much difference between a Klu Klux Klan lynch mob and the mob led by Al Sharpton or the statements made by some African American members of Congress. This and other cases such as O.J. Simpson’s trial, and the case of the Duke Lacrosse players show that we have a real problem with black racism in our country. Black racism is just as evil and un Christian as white racism.

    Archpriest John W. Morris

    • Katherine says

      Unfortunately, the police seem to have the idea that the decision on a person’s guilt or innocence rests with them, not the judicial system. I am all for Mr. Zimmerman being put on trial and a jury deciding his guilt or innocence. Too bad the Sanford Police Department did not see it that way.

      There is no question that it was Mr. Zimmerman who killed Mr. Martin–he admitted it. It should have been left up to a court of law to decide whether it was self-defense or “standing your ground” or cold-blooded murder. It would have also been the court’s decision if there was a fight at the end whether it was in fact Mr. Martin who was “standing his ground” (because perhaps Mr. Zimmerman cornered him so that he really had no choice–we don’t know that this didn’t happen) or Mr. Zimmerman. Unfortunately, the police department thought it was their place to decide that rather than the Prosecutor.

      Anytime there has been a killing like this, there should be a trial so that a court of law can decide whether it was self defense (or “standing your ground”) or not–it should not be the police that decide this.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        A person is only charged if the police and district attorney believe that they have enough evidence for a conviction. The incident will be brought before a grand jury. Let them hear the evidence and decide. I cannot help but feel that Jackson and Sharpton are driven by racism and an effort to use the incident for publicity. We cannot allow mobs and race baters like Sharpton to overwhelm our justice system.

        Archpriest John W. Morris

  20. Turnip Greens says

    Very well and bravely put!

  21. Mike Myers says

    Mike, you can’t keep on killing the messenger. It only worked in the old days when you Liberals controlled the networks. Those days are over, deal with it. Either tell us where we’re wrong or shut up.

    George, are you bluffing, or do you honestly want me to give your little essay the full critical treatment, paragraph by paragraph, “point” by “point”? Can do. I’ve made a living as an editor, copyeditor and fact-checker, a gatekeeper; but I could do it pro bono for you. As an amateur, in the time-honored and deepest meaning of the word. For love: not as a professional, just for filthy lucre. Love of the better side of you, and of rational discourse.

    I might even be able to find the time. I certainly have the interest, because I deeply despise largely hollow, specious static and worse, such as this. On so many levels. But first I want to ask: are you sure you want me to go there? You sure you want to tangle publicly with me? Do you remember, months ago, when I wrote that you had no idea what I’ve spared you? Remember that? Shall I illustrate what I meant?

    Think about this carefully, and let me know — and promise beforehand that you won’t censor me, as you’ve done in the past? I don’t want to squander my valuable time to no purpose. I gladly admit that, as far as I can recall, you censored my posts very rarely, and then only when I had hit others very hard — a couple of the ordained, Ann Coulter, and one or two others: always authority figures, or whatever Coulter is (political pornographer, maybe?) — never when I hit you. I give you that, and I respect you for that.

    • OK, Mike, I’ll bite. What exactly did I say that was wrong? Did that elderly couple in Tulsa rape and kill themselves? Did that white kid in KC douse himself with gasoline and light the match? Did the FBI make up those statistics? Did Al Sharpton tell the truth about Tawana Brawley and the Duke LaCrosse team? Did the MSM immediately state that we shouldn’t blame neo-Nazis for the killings in Toulouse? Did the MSM accurately state Zimmerman’s ethnicity? Did the MSM tell us about Martin’s thuggishness? Did the MSM tell us that he was pounding Zimmerman’s head into the concrete?

      Where am I wrong Mike?

      I would love to debate you on this. And I have NEVER censored you.

      Oh, one more thing: I never bluff.

      • Mike Myers says

        A few posts you placed “under moderation” were never let through. My post to your Ann Coulter thingy on divorce statistics appeared on that page for a few days, with the other replies, but then it was removed. This is a fact. After I noticed it had been removed, I looked to see if it might still be ‘archived’ in my “Read more by” link, and it was. But eventually it disappeared from there, too.

        So bottom line, now it’s gone bye-bye. It was a favorite of mine, so I was saddened by that. Just a rough draft, as everything I post here is, that I wanted to develop it into something larger, for a place where it might be appreciated. Just saying.

        You will have the opportunity to participate with me, then, in the course of my fact-checking/author querying of the assertions and arguments in your piece. The dissection, if not a debate, as such, will commence in the next day or so, God willing. En garde.

  22. George,

    you have done yourself and this blog no favour opening this can of worms. Look whom and what you have attracted.

    This topic is spread wide and far on all kinds of blogs. The “debates” are all the same. For every 10 breathlessly huffing and puffing leftists there are maybe two conservatives trying to stay reasonable and amazingly trying patiently to debate with their “moral superiors” ….

    Why was it necessary to introduce this topic here? To show how really disunited the United States are? Well, you succeeded wildly… Your country is at war with itself…. and for the mouse sharing this continent with the elephant, this realization is very unsettling.

    • Mike Myers says

      George’s little essay is itself a can of worms. Its factually solid, rationally argued components are few and far between, smothered in a gamey stew of unsourced and almost certainly baseless assertions, a miasma of factual howlers, pseudo-interpretive fictions, surreal anecdotes refracted through internet sites, hallucination posing as sociological “analysis.” It’s mostly just vile. As I intend to demonstrate quite lucidly. I wonder, do you include George in your club of “conservatives trying to stay reasonable?” That would be rather rich.

      I’m not interested in disussing the case, as such, for the obvious reason that neither I, nor anyone here or just about anywhere else, has much of a clue about what even happened. And almost everyone who thinks he or she does is grossly deceived. Disinfo, lies, hallucinations and gross speculation are everywhere.

      No — what I’m going to do is eviscerate this particular specimen of poseurship, fresh from the Vanity Commentariat.

    • Joseph, in situations like this, I repair to the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, who said “there is no truth which I fear.”

      It is better for us to have it out than to keep on cowering in the servitude of destructive shibboleths. Just as we have fought the rot of liberalism in Orthodoxy, so should we fight it in the secular sphere.

      • Thanks George for your reply. However, I would rather see this blog concentrate on the church. Heaven knows there is enough to keep all of us busy…

        There are all kinds of forums and blogs dealing with this type of secular BS. No need to have it spreading in here as well…. it would be a shame if Monomakhos would join the crowd or become just another one of the same…

        Monomakhos is unique, please keep it that way…

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Thank you Joseph.

          Just for the record, Monomakhos is a blog about religion (esp. High Church), politics, and culture. And also for the record, I don’t believe you have to be a Conservative to be a Christian or a Christian to be a Conservative. Hence you will find me quoting Jewish Conservatives like Paul Gottlieb and Laurence Auster as well as Jewish Libertarians like Milton Friedman.

          • George, I read Auster for years now. Leftists, not so much anymore…

            I am politically a reactionary and a monarchist. I thoroughly detest what the “enlightenment” has wrought of Western Civilization… and I do not engage in discussions with most foaming at the mouth liberals. Most of these “debates” are turning quickly into time-wasting, pointless exercises and I admit to be quite impatient…

            Having said that, I can live with the left outing its irrationality. However, I also think that your blog is to precious to let them take it over and shout down posters who disagree with their fact-free fantasy-world. In addition, the tone between posters has become definitely aggressive and is often insulting… this observation includes unfortunately some of the clergy as well.

            I really enjoy reading here, but have decided that for the rest of Lent and Holy week, I will not log in anymore…. It is not good for me, it makes me angry and I feel a great disrespect for certain clergy developing.

  23. A couple months ago I wore a hoodie while walking on the road in front of my house and talking on the cell phone. The neighbors called the cops on me. I showed the officer my ID, we chatted, he apologized for the inconvenience, he reported back to the neighbors, and life went on. It was awkward, but I was glad the neighbors were looking out for the neighborhood. I still wear hoodies because they are so useful.

    I don’t know what happened in this case, but it does sound like the two individuals involved in the incident were eccentric. As much as I like to believe all adults in society are competent to own and carry deadly weapons, my experience says otherwise, and the stats are clear that guns do kill many Americans every year … more than pet dogs do (approximately 30,000 vs. 30 respectively, with 90% of the later coming at the jaws of pit bulls). Still I cut gun owners some slack because they have not inconvenienced me nearly as often or as much as dog owners have.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Once again, guns don’t fire themselves. It’s the people who make poor choices. Doesn’t mean guns should be banned outright.

      • In the words of the inimitable Eddie Izzard:

        “They say that ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ Well I think the gun helps.”

      • “Gun-related homicide rates in the United States are twenty to thirty-five times higher than they are in countries that are economically and politically similar to it.”

        Handguns are responsible for the large majority of these homicides.


      • “Overall the total crime rate of the United States is similar to that of other highly developed countries. Some types of reported property crime in the U.S. survey as lower than in Germany or Canada, yet the homicide rate in the United States is substantially higher.”


        • “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” –Thomas Jefferson

          • A “well regulated militia” serves no purpose until the US Congress tries to eliminate the Second Amendment?!

            That notion flies in the face of the text itself. The 2nd Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

            Gotta be a little cautious quoting the founding fathers about gun control issues, since there are a lot of falsely attributed quotes floating around out there. These false quotes take on a life of their own and are almost impossible to put down, hand gun, rifle, shot gun, musket, or no gun at all. Some of them simple alter a word or phrase from a real quote. Others are completely fabricated. This one is highly suspect because it makes no sense. But perhaps it would make sense in context?

            • Thanks to Wheeler (2009), as well as other cases (one in the 30s which ruled that all male citizens between the age of 17 and 59 constitute the Militia, that’s been debunked now.

              But let us repair to the wisdom of Jefferson yet again:

              “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

              • I guess what Zimmerman did would stand outside the “tyranny in government” limits of Mr. Jefferson.

            • Both the Jefferson quotes as stated are unverified.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Um, while I agree with you that there are lots of urban legends about the Founding Fathers, the fact remains that they viewed themselves as Englishmen who enjoyed all the rights and customs of the Anglo-Saxon people from even before the time they set foot on British soil. The right of self-defence and being armed were two of their most precious rights. The custom in the American Colonies certainly was no different.

              A few years ago, some academic named Belleseiles tried to refute the common “mythology” of the American gun-owning experience. He received the George Bancroft Prize for his “groundbreaking” work. unfortunately, his research was shown to be fraudulent and was blown out of the water. The Bancroft prize was stripped from him.

              Moral of the story? Sometime you just gotta go with the recieved wisdom.

              • I find history interesting and instructive in understanding the intent of various authorities throughout history, but US colonial history is (I think sadly) no longer relevant to understanding the law of the land with respect to the 2nd Amendment — the 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court’s 2010 extension of the 14th Amendment to the 2nd Amendment render the original intent behind the 2nd Amendment irrelevant. What we have to deal with in a democracy of course is the question of what is moral and truly in the interest of the common good, and then how to shape current law toward that end. That’s our constant challenge.

                The Belleseiles story is interesting, and perhaps instructive in the abstract, but it is a bit of a straw man in the current discussion. I have no idea how many people in colonial America owned guns (do you know? I’m guessing most families had one or two just generalizing from patterns in rural VA and NC today where the folks I know use them exclusively for hunting and display … I’ve never in my life met a person who used a gun to defend themselves from another human outside the line of duty as a police officer or soldier … although I did have a boss who once pulled his .357 magnum out of the glove box and put it on his dashboard in order to threaten someone during a traffic spat, does that count?), what sorts (I assume not rifles, assault rifles, automatic or semi-automatic weapons of any kind, nor modern hand guns with clips, silencers and ammo more accurate than a ball bearing), nor how many committed crimes with them (one doesn’t read stories of musket muggings on the streets of Boston, but it would be interesting to know just how common these things were). I do assume that crime rates were lower back then, just because there were stronger families, but I could be wrong about that. And again, the 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court’s 2010 extension of the 14th Amendment to the 2nd Amendment (as interpreted by the Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling that you reference below) render all of this information irrelevant to current law.

                So received wisdom is interesting … but at the end of the day irrelevant to what a Christian should do in today’s society with respect to gun rights and gun control law.

    • Um, as a life-member in the NRA, I can assure you that I am presently on my knees entreating the Lord for the Liberals to take up the gauntlet of gun control again. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

      But, since you think it’ll work, let’s try a thought-experiment: Let’s take away all the guns from those groups that have a high homicide rate.

      Are you game?

      • Are we talking strictly racial groups here? Or can we define groups any way we like?

        If we stick with race, then we’d have to take all the guns way from two groups that together account for 98% of all murders:
        1. Blacks (54%)
        2. Whites (44%)

        Whites are also responsible for a disproportionate number of gun suicides, so we’d be saving the lives of two birds with one stone there.

        If we stick with sex, we’d have to eliminate one group:
        1. males (90% of murders).

        If we stick with age (actually lets get sophisticated and do sex by age), we’d have to eliminate:
        1. males aged 13-70 (90% of all murders)
        2. females aged 18-50 (9% of all murders)

        If we want to stick with types of weapons rather than people, we’d have to restrict one of the following two overlapping categories of weapons:
        1. guns (73% of all homicides)
        2. handguns (88% of the above, or 64% of all homicides)

        Justifiable homicides account for no more than about 3% of all homicides, with law enforcement officers being responsible for most of these (61%) and a handgun being the weapon in almost all cases (99%). Law enforcement officers are rarely responsible for murder, but as an upper bound, if we were to make the outrageous assumption that every killing at the hands of law enforcement officials reported as “justifiable homicide” was actually a coverup for murder, then law enforcement officials would be responsible for no more than 2% of all murders. In reality, most of these killings probably are of the sort society wants, and law enforcement officials would appear to account for much less than 1% of all murders. So if we want to eliminate any groups by profession we can just go ahead and eliminate one group:
        1. Private citizens (estimated to be at least 98% of murders, probably would round to 100% if we had accurate stats)

        So depending on how much we value human life vs. national security, we could go several directions with these stats. Perhaps the simplest and most pragmatic measure would be to limit the use of handguns to law enforcement officers. This would save 10,000-20,000 human lives every year in the US. Private citizens could rely on rifles and shotguns for self-defense, hunting, and for developing basic gun skills relevant to serving their local community or country at home or abroad (fulfilling the mandate of the Second Amendment). For some individuals, a non-functional handgun replica could be the deterrent of choice (achieving almost all benefits of handgun ownership with few of the risks), but law enforcement officers would be justified if they shoot to kill any private citizen wielding such a deterrent in public (simplifying their jobs in some difficult crisis situations).

        A more conservative approach to human life might rely on women to do all our firearm-based hunting and military preparedness training for us. This would require increased training for law enforcement and military officers. But the additional tax revenue from the approximately 200,000 extra citizens we would be retaining every 10 years should make up for any necessary expenses. In the extreme, if we decide we just need a small corp of citizens to maintain gun knowledge in our culture, we could limit hand gun use to law enforcement officers and rifle use to law enforcement officers and Native American, Latina, and Asian women younger than 18 or older than 50.

        Remember that the Constitution (the document that accompanied the Second Amendment) did not provide for a standing army (Congress was given the power “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions” and “to raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years”); hence the critical importance of the Second Amendment for assuring the viability of the country. In contrast, the discussion of gun control here assumes a fully armed and trained standing army.

        The statistics referenced here are taken from the FBI’s report on homicides in 2007 — the patterns within the data are consistent with other reports that I’ve seen.

        Note that suicides are not included in these data but account for approximately half of all gun-related deaths (and incidentally suicide attempts using this method are much more successful than attempts using other methods), so that guns are typically responsible for the death of more than 30,000 US civilians every year. In principle, we’d retain an extra one million citizens about every 30 years or so, if we implemented some of the more conservative measures above. Under the more liberal policy of restricting just handgun use, reserving handguns exclusively for law enforcement purposes, we could expect to save about one million lives within a 50 year period. Again this is just in the US. One can imagine that a number of Mexican and Canadian lives might ultimately be saved on top of that.

        Other patterns worth noting:

        1. The large majority of gun murders come at the hands of someone the victim knows.
        2. 92% of black victims were murdered by black offenders, and 83% of white victims were murdered by white offenders.

        • Thoughts on the above, George? Others?

          • Based on your statistics, I like the idea that only women should be armed. In fact, I wonder how much better our society would be if women headed all our institutions–government, armed forces, corporations?

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Um, these statistics are very cherry-picked. For one thing, there’s a huge overlap of races, including Latinos who are of African descent (think Peurto Ricans), and Hispanics who self-identify as Caucasian. Plus, you are overlooking the socio-economic factors attendent in gun violence. Poorer people tend to commit more gun crimes than middle-class, etc.

            As for the Second Amendment, Militia, and the standing Army, that’s been settled law for decades in most states, all Federal court cases, of course Congress, which is very responsive to the will of the people especially in this matter. Wheeler vs DC (2008) of course settled it finally in the judicial arena but the political process will continue to favor no gun control.

            I have no problem with women hunting, and yes, if they were armed, there would be significantly less than the 30,000 fewer rapes per year we have now.

            • “Very cherry-picked”? I’m not sure what you mean by that, but it sounds unfair to me. I chose that report because it was the most comprehensive recent report I could find.

              “White” and “Black” are never exact terms but they can be taken at face value here. The FBI pulled this info from the language of relevant local law enforcement documents. So if the police said “white” or “black” the FBI noted the individuals as such. The patterns will be somewhat different if the topic is armed robbery rather than murder. And you can paint a very different picture if you convert absolute numbers to “rates”, since there are less black males in the country, the rate at which they commit murder (#/100 or whatever denominator you choose) is much higher than whites. But those data are relevant to discussions we aren’t having now and would actually be misleading here.

              I’m not sure how to make SES a factor in gun rights or gun control. How would you do that?

              Please forgive me if i am being presumptuous, but it sounds like you just don’t like these data and it would be helpful to understand why

              I should say that I interpolated Latino, Asian, etc. from the FBI category labelled “Other”. They didn’t break these out, since the number of murders committed by any of these groups is so small — and as you allude to the categories themselves are harder to define.

              In the end defining gun rights and gun control with respect to race or ethnicity is highly impractical and probably even unjust in some abstract but meaningful way. This in spite of the fact that the original bill of rights was understood to apply to free white males and not necessarily women or any non-white peoples.

    • Okay, now we have the white-black-latino thing (I am in favour of white), have brought in the gun laws (I am in favour of guns). We have brought in the pit-bull (I rather like my Maremma), did I miss it or has somebody already invoked Godwin’s Law? If not, now would be the correct time…

      What’s missing, if I am not mistaken, are the Bilderberger and the Jewish conspiracy…

      • another one says

        Godwin’s Law?
        Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
        March 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        We got that taken care of first thing…..

  24. As Charles Pierce writes in Esquire:
    There were two stories running parallel this week, and most of the developments in both of them were fairly depressing. The Affordable Care Act … (SNIP) Meanwhile, in Florida, the fallout from the shooting of Trayvon Martin became more poisonous as the conservative press, for reasons that only they can possibly understand, decided to take up the cause of George Zimmerman, not out of a sense of outraged justice, but simply because it would line them up against the people they always line themselves up against. What brought these two stories together was an unpleasant common theme of expendability.


    The assault on Trayvon Martin’s character implicitly argues that he was expendable, too, the once-living price we “all” have to pay to be free in the exercise of our Second Amendment rights. It began almost immediately after he hit the pavement. They drug-tested him, but not the man who shot him. Now, we’ve got conservative “journalists” creepy-crawling through every aspect of his life to find some reason… well, to find some reason for what? That he was a kid who tweeted silly stuff, posted some silly stuff on Facebook, and once got suspended because he was found with a bag that may once have held marijuana? This is not a search for justice. It’s a search for an alibi, and it’s a search through some of the uglier aspects of American society to find the oldest, cheapest alibi of all — that the lives of black children are less important than the right of someone to pack heat,

    • Your Grace, I don’t buy your assertion that all the “poison” was in the conservative press. The other day I watched Lawrence O’Donnell frothing at the mouth like a madman on MSNBC. Other examples? NBC is doing an internal investigation on a doctored transcript that they put out that made Zimmerman look like a racist.

      • George, are you sure that they are not, rather, doing an investigation to LEARN if a transcript was doctored.

      • George, neither I nor Charles Pierce asserted (as you allege I did) that all the “poison” was in the conservative press. You, George, INFER that from what Pierce wrote because you want to, but neither of us stated something so ridiculous. Do you know what a straw-man argument is? You provided one. I’m sure that Lawrence O’Donnell was not frothing at the mouth. Have you ever seen anyone froth at the mouth? I have.

  25. News headlines
    March 31, 2012 18:07
    Massive anti-Pussy Riot rally held in Krasnodar

    KRASNODAR. March 31 (Interfax) – Advocates of Russia’s cultural and spiritual revival held a massive rally in Krasnodar on Saturday in protest against the scandalous “punk prayer,” staged at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral by the Pussy Riot rock group.

    The chairman of the inter-regional Orthodox Union, Roman Plyuta, told Interfax 4,900 people were expected to join the rally.

    “I think the number of people who have in fact gathered is about the same. I would describe the event as public festivities in support of the country’s cultural and spiritual revival rather than a rally, and it was prompted by the discussion following the Pussy Riot ‘punk prayer’ rather than the ‘punk prayer’ itself,” he said.

    Krasnodar police spokesman Ilya Shakalov told Interfax that over 10,000 people joined the rally. “They have arrived from different parts of the Krasnodar territory. The rally passed off without incident,” Shakalov said.

    First, performers gave a concert and then a rally was held, attended by activists of public organizations, including the Learning society, the Center of Ethnic Cultures, and the Kuban Cossack Army. The rally was addressed by Vice Governor Nikolai Doluda, Arch-Priest Alexander Ignatov and members of the Adygeya ethnic community.

    An exhibit of pieces of folk arts opened, and field kitchens offered visitors buckwheat meal with onions.

    Signatures were collected in support of a plan to form the Movement for Faith, for Kuban and for Fatherland, which pledged to campaign in support of traditional cultural and moral values. Some held flags and posters with inscriptions calling for the country’s moral revival and deploring moral decay.

    Several organizations, among them the Orthodox Union, had earlier urged local residents to join the rally.

    “A blasphemous clownery profaned an Orthodox church. Nothing can guarantee that the ‘punk prayer’ will not be repeated in a synagogue or a mosque, insulting believers, our history and traditions. Similar actions are shockingly spreading like plague elsewhere in the country. Just a few days ago gays bathed naked in a fountain inside Moscow’s GUM shopping center,” an appeal says.

    The Pussy Riot all-girl punk group sang an anti-Putin song at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, calling it a “punk prayer.” A video of the “concert” swiftly spread through the Internet. Police opened a criminal case against the singers on charges of hooliganism. Three singers were later detained – Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekatrina Santsevich. They will remain in custody until April 24.

    The Pussy Riot action caused a broad public resonance, with diametrically opposed opinions expressed. The Russian Orthodox Church and a larger part of Russian believers demanded that the feminists be punished, but quite a numerous group of Orthodox believers said they should be pardoned.

    The group said, “Meow, meow, meow, meow.”


    (Our editorial staff can be reached at

    • Diogenes, posting that is SO “Eric”, isn’t it? This is all just a seminarian or frat-boy bull session where one can interrupt with anything sensational, whether it relates to anything at all. It’s a contest to see who can be the most entertaining enfant terrible. You’re way too old for that cutesiness, in my humble opinion.

  26. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    Try not to look at this in terms of free markets and statism, your Grace. Look at it instead in the framework I outlined: Progressive ideology laid the philosophical ground that justified the dissolution of the Black family, now it justifies the destruction of their unborn. That’s what I meant by my conclusion that it’s a “cynical enterprise.”

    (Jane, got the “it’s” right.) 🙂

  27. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    This discussion is not quite up to the mark, I think.

    So far, we have had 102 entries, and no one has mentioned the obvious question:

    Should the Trisagion be prayed for Trayvon Martin?

    If I did, I would not be brave enough to announce it on this blog site.

    I have, however, prayed the De Profundis for his soul.

    • geo michalopulos says

      We should pray for him, and his grieving family

    • M. Stankovich says

      Fr. Patrick,

      it breaks my heart to imagine the impact of the lack of simple charity. I would like to believe I know what you did, and I respect your choice.

      • MS, please don’t imagine then…. we really don’t want to do the Trisagion for you as well…

    • Fr. Patrick, not yet. You must wait for his canonisation…. But as things are looking right now, that will be any time soon…

    • Father Patrick, I think it was only you to whom the question of a Trisagion for Trayvon seemed obviousl That’s why you had to bring it up, startlingly. You must want to use the killing of Trayvon to make a point about praying a Trisagion for Pope Shenouda.

  28. George: Seems that some “reply” buttons post as new comments.

  29. George, Fr. Hans,

    Would like to know how your analysis justifies the following three facts:

    1) The police tested the victim for drugs and alcohol, but did not test the perpetrator.
    2) The police did not attempt to notify the family of the victim, nor determine who he was speaking with or what he was speaking about in the moment before his death, though they had his cellphone.
    3) The word of the perpetrator was sufficient to close the case, which was only reopened after the outcry that George disdains.

    I know you two despise liberalism and believe it is proper to fear black people, you have made that much explicit. What I did not expect is that alleged intellectual conservatives would turn their back on the basic elements of good policing because of their distaste for liberals and fear of black people.

    Fr. Reardon, M. Stankovich, Jane Rachel,

    Thank you for reminding us all that a young man is dead and that the proper response is to offer our condolences to the family and prayers for both the parents and their son. Eternal Memory.

    I would add that Mr. Zimmerman likewise needs our prayers…having killed a person. Lord, have mercy!

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      CQ, I haven’t commented on the case. I comment more on the incipient racism of the Progressive agenda (keeping Blacks poor, marketing abortion to desperate Black mothers, refusing school vouchers to inner city Black parents even though the majority want it, demeaning Black men through policies that attach their character and self-respect, etc.). That’s not a fear of Black people. That’s a repudiation of the policies that are destroying the Black community, especially Black young men under the guise of “helping” them.

      Didn’t you watch the video I posted? Didn’t you read the comments of the President of the Miami Urban League, a very prominent Black leader in that community?

      I don’t buy the premise that Progressive leaders really care for the poor. To many ears that’s heresy I know but the track record shows the actions don’t follow the words.

      • No, Father Hans, you’ve got it wrong. It’s not that you don’t buy the premise that progressive leaders really care for the poor: it’s that you refuse to face the possibility that some progressive leaders really care for the poor and some progressive leaders do not care for the poor. Likewise some ‘rightie-whitie” (heh heh) leaders really care for the poor and some rightie-whitie leaders do not care for the poor.

        • Regardless of what we think about the Elites, it is those who follow the nostrums of Progressivism, who have suffered the most. Those people who believe in industry, prudence, thrift, sobriety, etc. (i.e. Tradition, Conservatism) have a better time of it on the whole.

      • Joseph Clarke says

        I see, it’s the right wing that really cares about African Americans. Perhaps that explains its circulation of fake, offensive images of Trayvon Martin from a white supremacist website.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Clarke, not all on the Right wing are white supremacists, just like not all you on the Left are devotees of Marshall Stalin and Chairman Mao.

          • Joseph Clarke says

            I don’t doubt it, but in that case you ought to remove the image — and the claims about “photographs of [Martin] in threatening poses” — from your post.

    • CQ, I don’t know your assertions as stated are factual. If they did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol, they may have felt no need to do so based on his demeanor and overall comportment.

      I know this is going to be hard for some people to believe (especially liberals) but there are thousands of neighborhood watchmen patrolling the streets of their neighborhoods right now. The vast majority of the people who take part in these endeavors –no, scratch that: every single last one of them–are solid, sober citizens who care enough about their neighbors and make the effort to get off their asses instead of watching Jerry Springer on the Boob Tube or waste their time at the local Occupy Smallville encampment complaining about Skull and Bones.

      • George, that looks awfully like spin. There are people who believe in industry, prudence, thrift, sobriety, etc. who consider those to be liberal virtues. i believe that Jimmy Carter has a very very good time of it on the whole and that he has demonstrated his belief in and LOVE for industry prudence, thrift, sobriety, etc.
        No one has ever listed industry, prudence, thrift, and sobriety as anything but virtue, but to EQUATE them with the political ideology called Conservatism is utter rubbish. What is Habitat for Humanity? A government program? A rightist/conservative project? I don’t think so.

        • George Michalopulos says

          So did Lenin for the most part Your Grace. These characteristics aren’t the be-all and end-all, it’s just that those who have not bought into the Progressive mantras are able to make something of their lives by adhering to the virtues, that’s all.

      • Monomakhos Headline: Neighborhood Watch more “solid and sober” than Orthodox Bishops!

        I’ve done Neighborhood Watch. I’ve sat on the local police advisory commission. I know my local police captains and lead officers and they know me. And having 20 years ongoing experience working with the police in my neighborhood to curb crime I know your post here is ridiculous.

        Neighborhood Watch is like every other volunteer organization, it contains a broad mix of people who bring to it an equally broad range of intent.

        Yes, there are solid and sober members who are selflessly volunteering to help the community. There are also busybodies, those pressing agendas focused on other things, and those seeking power. There are people who are kind, people who are nasty, people who are calm under pressure, and people who are hotheads all the time.

        The reality of Neighborhood Watch volunteers has little to do with your characterization.

        Perhaps you should take a break from this topic, it ‘s making you rant like a crazy person.

        • George Michalopulos says

          CQ, creating straw men is not going to help your argument. Rather than resort to ad hominem attacks on me or people you don’t know (like Zimmerman: registered Democrat, Latino, mentor of black youths), you would do better to engage the arguments.

          Yes, I’m sure there is a “mixed bag” in the neighborhood watch community, just like there’s a mixed bag in the Orthodox episcopate. That doesn’t invalidate the concept or overall character of them in general. Trying to fuse the character of Travis Bickell onto George Zimmerman –absent of additional facts–is only going to speed the day in which Liberals wish they’d never brought it up.

          • Thanks George for admitting the possibility of a “mixed bag” in the neighborhood watch community, now pair that with they all could be armed–scary, isn’t it?

          • George,

            Which of these is the “straw men” again?

            …every single last one of them–are solid, sober citizens…


            Yes, there are solid and sober members who are selflessly volunteering to help the community. There are also busybodies, those pressing agendas focused on other things, and those seeking power. There are people who are kind, people who are nasty, people who are calm under pressure, and people who are hotheads all the time.

            It is equally a fallacy to argue to the specific from the universal, and to the universal from the specific. On this topic you have done both.

            Let the specifics be the specifics, let the universals be the universals. Treyvon Martin and George Zimmerman are specific individuals, not universals. Using crime statistics to claim it’s fair to fear one is a criminal, and overarching statements to justify the view the other must be a “solid, sober” citizen, is simply hogwash. It’s hogwash when the left does it, it’s hogwash when you do it. If you continue to justify your error by pointing to theirs all you’ll ever accomplish is being wrong.

            Again, this topic has unhinged you. You should move on.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              I am very much un-unhinged. Please point out to me that reply or assertion which signifies derangement. Please note, that I have not resorted to character assassination, nor will I. The facts speak for themselves.

              Where i will grant you a half a point is in your pointing out my universalist absolution of “every last on” of the people who make up these watch parties. Clearly I was drawing with too broad a brush, but I stand by the general assessment. So what if some are “busybodies”? There are busybodies at every town hall meeting. They can be grating. But they have a right to be there, and to be busybodies. Just as you have a right to disdain them.

              As for your worrying about me being wrong, please don’t waste your alligator tears on my behalf. We on the Right have long caught on to the tactic employed by many on the Left who openly bemoan our supposed stupidity/criminality/insanity/what-have-you. I’ll never forget how the Left clucked over Cowboy Reagan, saying how he should moderate his views to be more mainstream like Goldwater. Now that Reagan is safely dead, we hear the same clucking sound about the current crop of conservatives. “If only they could be more like Reagan.”

              • Well said George! The left savaged Ronald Reagan for daring to speak the truth and act in accordance with conservative principles. America and the world benefited from his courage and leadership. History proved that Reagan was mostly right and his critics were overwhelmingly wrong.

                The same unjustified and hypocritical attacks continue today of all conservatives (regardless of political affiliation: Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc.) who dare to challenge the leftist dogma and have the conviction to speak plainly and logically. Nothing enrages the liberal/leftist/progressive more than a conservative who stands his ground and says that something is evil, wrong, or false, and then reinforces his arguments with facts and supports his reasoning by drawing on the wisdom of universal moral principles that form the foundation of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

              • My first post on this thread details the things you wrote that were factual, and applauds them. You might re-read it, you make some very good and dispassionate points.

                But your disdain for all things liberal caused you to become irrational the moment you stepped away from those facts.

                I make fun of “knee-jerk liberals” because in their intense super-serious emotionalism they start making statements that have no relationship to reality and, in fact, demonstrate an unwillingness to consider the notion that the world might not conform at all to their simplistic world-view.

                You’re acting just like them, albeit on the other side of the coin. Rather than saying, as is proper, that Sharpton and MSNBC and the rest are taking a personal tragedy for all involved and making it worse, you decide that you must defend against their error. Against their claims of racism you justify fear of black people, against their sliming of Zimmerman you claim he’s “sober and stable” by virtue of being a Neighborhood Watch member.

                If there’s a lesson about the human condition in Orthodoxy it is that we must struggle to remain dispassionate and rooted in reality. IMO one becomes unhinged when one stops being dispassionate and allows his passion to overrule reality. Knee-jerkiness is not just a problem for liberals.


  30. “…..injudicious use of the race card has neutralized its potency.”

    So has the constant abuse of the word NAZI (Nahzieh? The newest German forum-spelling, pointing to its use becoming a joke)…

  31. George, something is wrong with the Reply buttons…. any replies go nilly-willy all over the place, but not to the original post.

  32. Diogenes says

    Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
    Easter in the Liturgical Year

    In the center of our liturgical life, in the very center of that time which we measure as year, we find the feast of Christ’s Resurrection. What is Resurrection? Resurrection is the appearance in this world, completely dominated by time and therefore by death, of a life that will have no end. The one who rose again from the dead does not die anymore. In this world of ours, not somewhere else, not in a world that we do not know at all, but in our world, there appeared one morning Someone who is beyond death and yet in our time. This meaning of Christ’s Resurrection, this great joy, is the central theme of Christianity and it has been preserved in its purity by the Orthodox Church. There is much truth expressed by those who say that the real central theme of Orthodoxy, the center of all its experience, the frame of reference of everything else, is the Resurrection of Christ.

    The center, the day, that gives meaning to all days and therefore to all time, is that yearly commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. This is always the end and the beginning. We are always living after Easter, and we are always going toward Easter. Easter is the earliest Christian feast. The whole tone and meaning of the liturgical life of the Church is contained in Easter, together with the subsequent fifty-day period, which culminates in the feast of the Pentecost, the coming down of Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. This unique Easter celebration is reflected every week in the Christian Sunday, which we call in Russian “Voskresenie” (Resurrection Day). If only you would take some time to read the texts of Sunday Matins you would realize, though it may seem strange to you, that every Sunday we have a little Easter. I say “Little Easter,” but it is really “Great Easter.” Every week the Church comes to the same central experience: “Having seen Thy Resurrection…” Every Saturday night when the priest carries the Gospel from the altar to the center of the church, after he has read the Gospel of the Resurrection, the same fundamental fact of our Christian faith is proclaimed: Christ is risen! St. Paul says: “If Christ is not risen, then your faith is in vain.” There is nothing else to believe. This is the real center, and it is only in reference to Easter as the end of all natural time and the beginning of the new time in which we as Christians have to live that we can understand the whole liturgical year. If you open a calendar, you will find all our Sundays are called Sundays after Pentecost, and Pentecost itself is fifty days after Easter. Pentecost is the fulfillment of Easter. Christ ascended into heaven and sent down His Holy Spirit. When He sent down His Holy Spirit into the world, a new society was instituted, a body of people, whose life, though it remained of this world and was shared in its life, took on a new meaning. This new meaning comes directly from Christ’s Resurrection. We are no longer people who are living in time as in a meaningless process, which makes us first old and then ends in our disappearance. We are given not only a new meaning in life, but even death itself has acquired a new significance. In the Troparion at Easter we say, “He trampled down death by death.” We do not say that He trampled down death by the Resurrection, but by death. A Christian still faces death as a decomposition of the body, as an end; yet in Christ, in the Church, because of Easter, because of Pentecost, death is no longer just the end but it is the beginning also. It is not something meaningless which therefore gives a meaningless taste to all of life. Death means entering into the Easter of the Lord. This is the basic tone, the basic melody of the liturgical year of the Christian Church. Christianity is, first of all, the proclamation in this world of Christ’s Resurrection. Orthodox spirituality is paschal in its inner content, and the real content of the Church life is joy. We speak of feasts; the feast is the expression of joyfulness of Christianity.

    The only real thing, especially in the child’s world, which the child accepts easily, is precisely joy. We have made our Christianity so adult, so serious, so sad, so solemn that we have almost emptied it of that joy. Yet Christ Himself said, “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” To become as a child in Christ’s terms means to be capable of that spiritual joy of which an adult is almost completely incapable. To enter into that communion with things, with nature, with other people without suspicion of fear or frustration. We often use the term “grace.” But what is grace? Charisma in Greek means not only grace but also joy. “And I will give you the joy that no one will take away from you…” If I stress this point so much, it is because I am sure that, if we have a message to our own people, it is that message of Easter joy which finds its climax on Easter night. When we stand at the door of the church and the priest has said, “Christ Is Risen,” then the night becomes in the terms of St. Gregory of Nyssa, “lighter than the day.” This is the secret strength, the real root of Christian experience. Only within the framework of this joy can we understand everything else.

  33. Jane Rachel, I found it shocking that Basil, who appears to be projecting Englishness, only spotted one error in the following facetiously composed comment of mine:
    “Jane Rachel, its a fact that theirs hardly any hope this kind of carelessness can be cured.
    And, anyhow, those people text while driving. High culture: its there bread and butter.”

    I see, now, that I missed a chance to include another common mistake/annoyance: I should have found a way to use “these kind of,” etc., as in “these kind of Black Shirts.” And I would have done, if I’d only thought of it, but I fear my synapses are no longer so rapid-fire as they once were!

    • Jane Rachel says

      Bishop Tikhon, does that mean that in twenty years or so, when I catch up with where you are today, there’s a chance my synapses might be firing even half as rapidly as yours do?

      Speaking of getting older, it seems like the older I get, the tinier the type on the computer screen gets, and I’m often too lazy to zoom it when replying. I miss all kinds of errors (actually, there’s no excuse now that the “edit” function is fixed), so that makes it even more laziness on my part. Heh.

  34. Joseph Clarke says

    A Google search of the putative Mainstream Media headline which Mr Michalopulous misleadingly puts in quotation marks, “White Man Shoots Unarmed Black Teen,” turns up nothing but fictional headlines invented by conservative websites aiming to stoke white resentment.

    This counterfeit citation is unfortunately characteristic of Michalopulos’s entire post. The “NarrativeFail” against which he rails is all too familiar. Virtuous Euro-American White Male finds himself an object of suspicion by Evil Multicultural Liberals bent on decimating the white race. (FYI, George, even if that had been a real headline as you imply it was, it wouldn’t be incorrect: Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race, and Hispanics are as white as you or I.)

    The real ugliness of Michalopulos’s claim comes into focus in the graphic located halfway through his tirade, in which a grinning George Zimmerman in a suit and tie is juxtaposed with a blurry webcam photo of a young black man with two middle fingers hoisted high, over the motto “Media Bias.”

    Just who is biased in this case? The day before Michalopulos’s posting, the NY Times had already exposed this “Trayvon” photo as a fake pedaled by a white supremacist website called Stormfront. At least the mainstream conservative bloggers who initially picked up the image from Stormfront had the decency to retract it after the fraud was made public.

    Now we know the real identity of the so-called Alternative Media approvingly referenced by Michalopulos in his post. “Thanks to the Alternative Media,” he writes, “we now know that but Martin did his best to cultivate the image of an angry black thug. Numerous suspensions from school, offensive tweets, and photographs of him in threatening poses have overwhelmed the images of a cute toddler that were put out by the MSM.” Let me be clear: I have absolutely no doubt that Michalopulos’s lifting of the falsified graphic from a white supremacist website was unintentional, and I don’t judge him to be racist for doing so. The troubling question is — why didn’t he check his sources better?

    The answer is not difficult to ascertain. George Michalopulos did exactly what he wrongly accuses liberals of doing: cherry-picking circumstantial evidence to fit a narrative he had already decided was correct. The white man must be the victim of liberal bias in this case, because that’s how the story always goes.

    Michalopulos owes his readers an apology for posting this slime on a Christian website. While decrying “odious race-hustlers,” he himself has propagated filth from one of the most offensive sources on the Internet (spend a few minutes browsing Stormfront’s discussion boards; trust me, it’s a revealing experience). And while Michalopulos desperately wants to believe, in the total absence of evidence, that Mr Martin “beat the living daylights out of George Zimmerman,” wise readers of this website will learn from his unfortunate mistake that until the evidence is in, we should all say a prayer and keep our mouths shut.

  35. M. Stankovich says

    Was it not Leo Strauss who said, “Some of those in armed forces are the ones who burn crosses?” Oh, my, what could I have been thinking! It was Rage Against the Machine. Any other honorable conservative Orthodox Christian crackers need to check in before we can return to the Master informing his disciples, “Today, Lazarus is sick,” and again to realize Lazarus is US?

    Jane Rachel, I am deeply saddened at the depth & meanness of the backhanded insult you received from Fr. Hans, for nothing more than his “face-saving” pride. Your assessment was correct and he knew it. Scorn over your anguish for needless, pointless human tragedy is despicable and you deserve an apology. My prediction, however, is that you should expect a detailed instruction as to why you should not be insulted.

    “They cried out, ‘Master, if he is sick, let us go to him,’ ‘No,’ He said, ‘This is happening that God may be glorified.'”

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      MS, you are misunderstanding the point. There is no scorn involved. I don’t scorn people who grieve over the tragedy in Sanford, FL. My point is that criticism of those who criticize the liberal polices* that led to the catastrophic breakdown in Black families rises no higher than than an appeal to emotions.

      *(Fatherless families, socialization of young men in gangs, institutionalization of poverty, no opportunity for education — the worst performing schools in America are in the inner city of Democratically controlled cities, and so forth.)

      Every so often an event occurs like the Sanford shooting where liberals grieve in public to assure themselves that their feelings are indeed sufficient justification for the policies they support. All other times they are silent. Meanwhile, Black young men keep getting killed, most often at the hand of other young Black men.

      So it is not that Jane’s compassion is not genuine. It is that assertions of private compassion alone do not address this very real social crisis with any substance. Your scolding that in making my claim I morally disqualify myself from critiquing the ideas that fostered and perpetuate the problems lacks substance as well.

      Liberalism had its chance and failed. There is no reason to perpetuate policies that have such a stark record of a abject failure, and no impugning of the motives of the critics of liberal policy changes this fact.

      • If liberalism has failed, what should takes it place?

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Logan, I’ve already listed the books necessary for intellectual sobriety. If you start reading those, you will begin to see what is necessary to reverse the catastrophe in our cities.

          • M. Stankovich says

            And I’m working over-night in a county emergency psychiatric unit, questioning my own sanity that an Orthodox priest is directing someone to Amazon for more intellectual “havoc,” midway through The Week of the Palms. Here, Logan, this is what you need for intellectual sobriety; here you will see what is necessary to reverse catastrophe:


            Sixth Week of Lent

            Wednesday Matins

            (After the 2nd Reading of the Psalter):

            Sessional Hymn Tone 2

            Weighed Down by Many Sins as by a Stone,
            I Lie in the Tomb of Negligence.
            But Lead Me Up From There,//
            Merciful and Compassionate Lord.


            Weighed Down by Many Sins as by a Stone…

            Now and Ever… (Theotokion)

            Guarded by the Precious Cross of Your Son,
            Pure Lady and Theotokos,
            We Easily Turn Aside All the Assaults of the Enemy.
            Therefore We Fittingly Glorify You,//
            For You Are the Mother of the Light and the Only Hope of Our Souls!

            (After the 3rd Reading of the Psalter):

            Sessional Hymn Tone 3

            Today Lazarus Is Buried
            And His Sisters Sing in Lamentation.
            But in Your Divine Foreknowledge,
            You Have Predicted What Should Come to Pass:
            Lazarus Is Sleeping, You Prophesied to Your Disciples,
            But Now I Go to Raise Up Him Whom I Created!//
            Therefore We All Cry to You: Glory to Your Mighty Power!


            Today Lazarus Is Buried…

            Now and Ever… (Theotokion)

            Your Pure and Virgin Mother,
            When She Saw You Hanging Dead Upon the Cross, O Christ,
            Lamented With a Mothers Grief and Cried:
            What Have the Lawless and Ungrateful People Given You, My Son,
            In Return for the Many and Great Gifts Which You Have Given Them?//
            I Sing the Praise of Your Divine Forebearance!

            Aposticha Tone 1

            Israel Clothed Itself With Fine Linen and Purple,
            Shining With Sacred, Royal Garments,
            Rejoicing in the Services of the Law,
            Rich in the Law and the Prophets.
            You Are Ever in the Bosom of God the Father,
            But It Crucified You Outside Its Gates,
            Rejecting Your Life After the Death on the Cross!
            Now Israel Thirsts for Just a Drop of Grace,
            Like the Merciless Rich Man Who Left Poor Lazarus,
            And Went in Purple and Fine Linen Into the Unending Flames.
            Israel Is Sick as It Beholds the Gentiles
            Who Before, Possessed Not Even a Bit of Truth,
            But Who Now Warm Themselves in the Bosom of the Faith of Abraham
            Who Now Adorn Themselves in the Scarlet of Your Blood,
            Together With the Fine Linen of Baptism,
            Rejoicing and Delighting Ih Your Gifts of Grace.//
            Glory to You, Christ Our God!

            Israel Clothed Itself…

            Neither Tribulations, Threats, Nor Hunger,
            Not Persecution, Not Even the Torture of Beasts,
            Not Trouble, Fire, or Sword,
            Could Keep You, Most-Laudable Martyrs, From God.
            Bound by His Love, You Lived as in Exile.
            Therefore, in the Measure of Your Suffering, You Received Your Rewards,
            Becoming Inheritors of the Heavenly Kingdom.//
            Intercede Without Ceasing for Our Souls!

            GNE… (Theotokion)

            Christ, When Your Pure Mother Saw You Crucified,
            She Cried Out, Lover of Mankind:
            Woe Is Me! What Is This Strange Sight?
            Where Has Your Great Goodness Gone, My Sweetest Son?//
            I Glorify Your Mercy as You Voluntarily Suffer for the Sake of All!

            Troparion of the Prophecy Tone 5

            Let Your Mercy Be With Us, Lord and Master, Holy and Almighty!
            We Beseech You: // Do Not Forsake Us in Our Transgressions.

            Prokeimenon of the Prophecy Tone 4

            Children, Praise the Lord! * Praise the Name of the Lord.

            Verse: Blessed Be the Name of the Lord, Henceforth and Forever More!

            Prophecy of Isaiah 58: 1-11a

            Prokeimenon Tone 6

            May You Be Blessed by the Lord * Who Made Heaven and Earth.

            Verse: the Heavens Are the Lord’s Heavens, but the Earth He Has Given to the Human Race!

            “Lord I Call…”

            Tone 5

            I Am Rich in Passions,
            And Clothed in the Deceitful Robe of Hypocrisy.
            I Rejoice in the Sins of Self-Indulgence.
            There Is No Limit to My Lack of Love.
            I Neglect My Spiritual Understanding
            That Lies at the Gate of Repentance.
            Make Me, Lord, Like Lazarus, Poor in Sin,
            That I May Not Be Tormented in the Unquenchable Fire,
            Praying in Vain for a Finger to Be Dipped in Water
            To Relieve My Burning Tongue.
            But Make Me Dwell in the Bosom of Abraham,//
            As the Lover of Mankind.

            Your Souls Filled With Unquenchable Love,
            You Endured the Most Terrible Sufferings Without Denying Christ,
            And Cast Down the Tyrants Pride.
            You Who Kept the Faith Unchanged and Unharmed
            Have Gone to Dwell in Heaven.
            Since You Have Boldness Before the Lord,//
            Pray That He May Grant Us Great Mercy!

            (By Joseph)

            Jesus as You Walked in the Flesh,
            On the Other Side of the Jordan,
            You Said to Your Companions:
            My Friend Lazarus Is Already Dead,
            And Now Has Been Committed to the Tomb.
            And So for Your Sakes, I Rejoice, My Friends,
            For by This You Shall Learn That I Know All Things.
            For I Am God, Inseparable From the Father,
            Though in My Visible Appearance I Am Man.
            Let Us Go, Then, to Bring Him Back to Life,
            That Death May Feel the Defeat and Complete Destruction I Bring Upon It, //
            Granting the World Great Mercy.

            Faithful, Let Us Follow the Example of Martha and Mary:
            Let Us Send Our Acts of Righteousness to Intercede Before the Lord,
            That He May Come to Raise Up From the Dead Our Spiritual Understanding
            Which Lies Insensible Within the Tomb of Negligence,
            Lacking All Feeling of the Fear of God,
            And Deprived of Living Action.
            Let Us Cry: Merciful Lord, as Once by Your Dread Authority
            You Raised Up Your Friend Lazarus,//
            So Now Give Life to Us All, and Grant Us Your Great Mercy!

            Tone 6 (by Theodore)

            Lazarus Has Now Been Two Days in the Tomb.
            He Sees the Dead From All the Ages.
            He Beholds Strange Sights of Terror,
            A Countless Multitude, Prisoners of Hell.
            His Sisters Lament Bitterly, Beholding His Tomb.
            But Christ Comes to Bring His Friend to Life,
            That a Single Hymn of Praise May Be Offered Up by All With One Accord://
            Savior, Blessed Are You! Have Mercy on Us!

            Prokeimenon Tone 4

            I Will Walk Before the Lord * in the Land of the Living.

            Verse: I Love the Lord, Because He Has Heard My Voice and My Supplication.

            Reading: Genesis 43:26-31, 45:1-16

            Prokeimenon Tone 4

            I Will Offer My Prayers to the Lord * in the Presence of All His People.

            Verse: I Kept My Faith, Even When I Said, I Am Greatly Afflicted.

            Reading: Proverbs 21:23 – 22:4

            Better yet, Logan, if you are able to sing this, join me. Maybe it will drive out the sound of this regretful “dialog” that is being cast on this holiest of times.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              M. Stankovich. The hymns and theology of the Church are certainly the ground from which any thinking of policy should begin since they define and contextualize the anthropological precepts of the Gospel for the individual and ultimately culture. Given that religion is ground of culture — the well spring of moral understanding that shapes the self-understanding of a society and defines how the neighbor treats neighbor to create the bonds that give it cohesion and proper ordering — the verses that you supplied are indeed a starting point and must be comprehended.

              However, tradition — the way that the Gospel is understood and applied concretely in real circumstances — didn’t evolve out of thin air. It was shaped through active engagement with culture and society. The wrestling with perplexing questions by the Fathers and the difficulties they encountered in bringing the Gospel into their immediate cultural environs makes this point indisputably clear (Nicea, for example, arose out of political and cultural conflict). Likewise, if we are going to speak to our present society with any coherence and in ways where the transformative power of Jesus Christ has any salutary effect upon it, then we have to understand the world in which we live and how to address is it.

              So knowledge beyond the verses of the liturgical tradition is important and seeking that knowledge neither diminishes the authority of the tradition or implies a deficiency on the part of the person seeking it. Logan was quite correct in asking his question and recourse to the liturgical tradition alone won’t provide the answers he is looking for.

              Watch the video below to see how sober engagement with the problems of our society needs to be done. The man speaking in the video is educated, informed and, thankfully, not hindered by the liberal shibboleths that would otherwise make his good work impossible to accomplish.

              The words of the Tradition — if left unmediated — offer no real solution to his students although the precepts they hold clearly define the nature and direction of the teacher and till the ground by which the self-respect and dignity of his students will be rediscovered and restored.

              Here’s how it’s done:

              Note how the teacher says “The most powerful thing in the world is an idea.” Ideas have consequences M. Stankovich, and clearly the ideas that informed our social policy the last forty years are wrong or we would not be facing the catastrophic breakdown before us.

              That ideas have consequences is a very conservative idea. The conservative view, properly understood, does not confuse feelings with results, and does not use the intensity of a feeling as the measure by which we decide what ideas are true (transformative) and a lie (destructive). That’s why the scolds about not displaying the requisite level of compassion in a public forum hold no moral legitimacy. The discussion does not end with “how do you feel?” It ends with how do you think and what are you doing about it?

              Another example of sober thinking:

              Note too how he developed this program with the help of psychologists at the University of Virginia. The teacher does not eschew the knowledge available to him. Why should Logan?

              • M. Stankovich says

                The first two paragraphs of your “defense” are paraphrases of my exact comments to the person “Greg” on your blog – where I more than adequately served as your research assistant by providing meticulously accurate citations of theology, patristrics, psychiatry, and human medicine. I don’t know whether to be honored, affronted by an oblique lack of attribution, or continue to be amused at the manner by which you address me as the “dumb waitress” from Five Easy Pieces.

                You stated above: That’s what we’ve sunk to Jane and while anguish over this particular death might make you and Stankovich feel useful, it is not going to do the men raised in the same kind of environment any good.

                On Tuesday of Holy Week in 1973, following the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, we emerged to a beautifully sunny noontime, and I proceeded to the bench that overlooked Troublesome Brook and Scarsdale Road, sitting in silence with my roommate, Robert Arida. At some point, a loud car, loud music, and loud voices could be heard approaching. A jazzed-up convertable with 5-6 screaming adolescents, begininng-to-end, 90 seconds before the silence returned. My roommate said, “That is why we are here. This is why the world and humanity does not implode. Because sinners are making this effort to be faithful in keeping this tradition.”

                I will unapologetically accept anguish, guilt, shame, and helpless to fuel my sense of “usefulness” over the cold “conservative” calculation that has hijacked this topic.

                Tone 6

                Lazarus Has Now Been Dead For Two Days.
                His Sisters Martha And Mary Shed Tears Of Grief For Him,
                Gazing At The Stone Before His Tomb.
                But The Creator Is Coming With His Disciples,
                To Despoil Death And Bestow Life!
                Therefore Let Us Cry Out To Him: //
                O Lord, Glory To You!

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Friday of the Sixth Week – The Week of the Palms – At Great Vespers

                  Tone 8

                  We Have Completed The Forty Days Which Profit Our Souls.
                  Now Let Us Beg The Lover Of Man;
                  Enable Us To See The Holy Week Of Your Passion,
                  That We May Glorify Your Mighty Work,
                  Your Wonderful Plan For Our Salvation,
                  Singing With One Heart And Voice, //
                  Lord, Glory To You! (sung twice)

                  Martyrs Of The Lord,
                  We Beseech You To Intercede With Our God,
                  That He May Forgive Our Many Sins, //
                  And Grant Our Souls Abundant Mercy.

                  Tone 6

                  Wishing To See The Tomb Of Lazarus, Lord,
                  Since Of Your Own Will, You Were Soon To Dwell In A Tomb,
                  You Asked: Where Have You Laid Him?
                  Learning That Which Was Already Known To You,
                  You Cried To Your Beloved Friend: Lazarus, Come Forth!
                  He Who Had No Breath Obeyed The Lord Who Gave Him Breath: //
                  You, The Savior Of Our Souls. (sung twice)

                  You Have Come To The Place Of The Burial Of Lazarus, Lord,
                  The Tomb Of A Man Four Days Dead.
                  Weeping For Your Friend, Bread Of Life, You Raised Him Up.
                  Therefore Death Was Bound By Your Voice,
                  Grave Clothes Were Loosened By Your Hand.
                  The Band Of Disciples Was Filled With Joy.
                  One Song Of Adoration Was Sung By All: //
                  Blessed Are You, Savior! Have Mercy On Us! (sung twice)

                  Your Voice Destroyed The Kingdom Of Hell, Lord.
                  Your Powerful Word Raised From The Tomb The One Who Was Four Days Dead.
                  Lazarus Became The Saving First-fruits Of The World’s Regeneration.
                  All Things Are Possible For You, Lord And King Of All. //
                  Grant Your Servants Cleansing And Great Mercy!

                  You Came To The Tomb Of Lazarus, Lord.
                  You Called Him By Name,
                  Wishing To Assure Your Disciples Of Your Own Resurrection!
                  Hell Was Vanquished!
                  It Released Lazarus Who Was Dead Four Days.
                  He Cried Out To You: //
                  Glory To You, Blessed Lord!

                  You Came To Bethany To Wake Lazarus, Lord,
                  Accompanied By Your Disciples.
                  You Wept For Him.
                  But He Was Raised By Your Almighty Power!
                  A Man Four Days Dead Cried To You, Our Savior://
                  Glory To You, Blessed Lord!

                  Glory… Tone 8

                  Standing By The Tomb Of Lazarus, Savior,
                  You Called To Your Friend, Who Was Dead.
                  He Heard Your Voice, And Awoke As From Sleep.
                  Mortality Was Shaken By Immortality.
                  By Your Word The Bound Was Unbound.
                  All Is Possible! All Things Serve And Submit To You, Loving Lord. //
                  Our Savior, Glory To You!

                  Now And Ever…

                  We Have Completed The Forty Days Which Profit Our Souls.
                  Let Us Sing: Rejoice, City Of Bethany, Home Of Lazarus!
                  Rejoice, Mary And Martha, His Sisters!
                  Tomorrow Christ Will Come And Raise Your Dead Brother To Life.
                  Bitter And Unsatisfied, Hell Will Hear His Voice.
                  Shaking And Groaning, It Will Release Bound Lazarus.
                  The Assembly Of Hebrews Will Be Amazed.
                  They Will Greet Him With Palms And Branches!
                  Though Their Priests And Elders Look On Him With Envy And Malice,
                  The Children Shall Praise Him In Song:
                  Blessed Is He That Comes In The Name Of The Lord, //
                  The King Of Israel!

            • George Michalopulos says

              M Stankovich, no one is sayting that we shouldn’t be chanting and praying fervently and incessantly, especially now during Lent. The question addressed to Fr Hans was one of scholarship. Hayek’s work (and the others he cited) are classics that apply to all ages and societies. They’ve withstood the test of time.

              If somebody asked me questions about pharmacology, I would direct them to Goodman and Gilman’s, not The Festal Menaion. (Please understand that I get more out of The Menaion than I do out of G&G’s.)

  36. cynthia curran says

    HIspanics are just as white as you and me, if that’s the case whey do people complain about illegal immirgation since most illegal immirgants are darker skin since they come from poorer rural areas in Mexico and Central America. I agree that the Liberals are using Blacks against Latins which could be any race. Most hispanics in the US are what are known in Mexico as Meszios which means a mixture of indian and white. Zimmerman was more white since Dad was Jewish.

  37. cynthia curran says

    Well, Plan Parenthood is also located in major metros with small black populations, Phoneix Az, Tucson Az, Orange County Ca, Santa Clara County Ca, and San Diego Ca County were their is a lot of hispanics. Populations range from a low of 26 percent in Santa Clara to a high of 34 percent in Orange County among thoese metro areas. In fact, in Florida Latins also outnumber blacks, ans South Florida is high in foreign born latins.

  38. cynthia curran says

    Personality, I don’t agree with our legal and illegal immirgation policies that allow millions of poor Mexicans to come to the US but I feel sorry for them. The Democratics who are using this case by siding with a Afro-American against a Latino just want the votes of the Mexicans even if by 2030 they were outnumber Afro-Americans in most places in the US except the South with the exception of Texas where they will really outnumber Afro-Americans. Current predicitons of Latinos whose largest group is Mexican is probably about 25 percent of the population by 2030 or so. The Republicans have seen them as a source of cheaper labor, granted they are second and third generations that have moved up into the middle class.

  39. cynthia curran says

    It depends upon where you live, there are counties with few Afro-Americans that have the European level of crime rate, some of the safest cities like in Texas Suburbs like Plano Texas or Certain cities in New York or inCalifornia like a Irvine have crime rates like Western Europe low home invasions and murders.

  40. cynthia curran says

    George is right, shop was removed out of most schools. In fact, now a lot of manufactorers prefer now to go to automation instead of locating to China. China costs money because of instructure costs. Robots are cheaper in the long run. But manfactorers want machinists that can program robots to perform the work, less factory workers have that skilled these days because High Schools and Community Colleges don’t teach these skills. A lot of blacks and Latinos and working class whites could benefit.

  41. cynthia curran says

    Tea party philosophy works better in let’s say New Hempshire than Los Angeles is because New Hempshire don’t have much of an underclass. There are few Latinos like Los Angeles which is the Capital of Latinos particulary Mexicans in the US and La still has enough Afro-Americans and La white population poverty rate is slightly above natlonal average while New Hempshire is below. But back in 1970 when Ronald Reagan was governor Los Angeles use to vote more Republican because the Poverty rate was below the National Average for Large metro areas only around 10 percent versus around 17 percent today. Also, Orange and San Diego were only 6 percent which was the hay day when they were considered as the New York Times called Nixon Country. Immirgation of thousands of folks from Latin American countries and some asian Countries along with the downturn of the aerospace industry which peak around 1990 changed this.

  42. cynthia curran says

    I bleive that Zimmerman’s sided should be heard. He shouldn’t be guilty because he is half-hispanic and white because he shot a black man. Think of Zimmerman shot an asian this would not have been all over the news since asians are not thought of as underdogs. I lived in areas with few blacks but a lot more hispanics and asians.

    • Joseph Clarke says

      Who is saying that Zimmerman’s side shouldn’t be heard? Like all Americans, he is innocent until proven guilty. The problem is that he hasn’t even been arrested. He shot an unarmed person, possibly without provocation and definitely after disobeying the instructions of the 911 dispatcher. He should given a fair trial so that his side can be considered and the truth can be determined. Maybe a full investigation will find that his actions were justified and he’ll go free, but we can’t know until he has his day in court.

      Liberals have pointed out that if a black man had shot a white man under these circumstances, he would have been arrested immediately. Conservatives like Michalopulos have tried to make Zimmerman look better by circulating falsified photographs of a threatening “Trayvon Martin” which were manufactured in order to provoke white resentment. In fact, the law should be colorblind, and Zimmerman’s fate should be decided by a judge and jury.

  43. Jane Rachel says

    Quotes from Chris Banescu:

    Sunday, May 1. 2011

    The Forces Behind +Jonah

    What we are seeing happen in the OCA now are the predictable consequences of not holding accountable quite a few unethical, abusive, power-hungry, and unscrupulous men. Fr. Joseph Fester was Kondratick’s Secretary and right-hand man for many years. It’s very clear that he learned from the other power-hungry, unethical, and vicious manipulator how to do the same.

    This spiritual cancer was never properly addressed and dealt with when the OCA leadership had the chance. It has now returned twice as malignant with a ferocity made evident by the militancy and hatred being directed at our entire Holy Synod, MC, various messengers, priests, and anyone who dares challenge the multiple conspiracy theories and (formerly anonymous) personal attacks being spread by shills of Fr. Fester. It appears the folks that helped conduct this scorched earth campaign did not want to hear about or understand the implications of trusting a priest, Fr. Fester, with a long history of silence and complicity in the face of spiritual and financial abuses. A priest who never publicly repented or apologized for his, at a minimum, vast incompetence and cowardice that perpetuated the culture of corruption and malfeasance in the OCA for many years. Such a man can never be trusted, no matter how “successful”, “nice”, and “popular” he was for a while in the DOS. The real Fr. Fester can be seen in the words, conduct, and underhanded scheming we’ve seen in the last few months. The mask has finally come off. “You shall know them by their fruits.”

    This is why the “forgive and forget” attitude taken by Met. Jonah in his inauguration speech towards key malfeasors in the previous OCA crisis troubled me so much then and since. When organizations do not effectively and decisively deal with scoundrels, liars, and abusers to insure they never have any influence or power in the institution, those troublemakers will have ZERO reason or motivation to stop acting as they have in the past in order to re-consolidate their power and advanced their personal agendas motivated by hatred, greed, and desire for revenge.
    #1 Chris Banescu, Esq. (Link) on 2011-05-01 20:29

    OCA News helped make the People of God accountable to each other. Mark Stokoe’s work was a labor of love. His commitment to truth and integrity kept the important issues in view (despite many efforts to discredit him). Mr. Stokoe’s dogged insistence that the OCA must confront the corruption compelled the Metropolitan Council and the Synod to act in ways that affirmed the value of accountability and transparency.

    Amen, Amen, Amen!

    The leadership of the Church, including the entire Holy Synod cannot ignore the lies, falsehoods, and wild conspiracy theories being spread by those who continue to support Robert Kondratick and his co-horts. Many of them are actively working to re-write history and rehabilitate a man who was shown to be an abusive, deceitful, and unethical operator. With the help of discredited operators like “Monk James”, retired Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald), and several other anonymous posters, these individuals are accusing the entire Holy Synod of the OCA and all the professionals who worked on and created the SIC Report of a “conspiracy” to falsely accuse Robert Kondratick of malfesance and abuses he was not guilty of.

    • Chris Banescu is a hater. The tone in which he writes here and elsewhere are the musings of a person not at peace with himself or others. He like some others bought the Stokoe myth and now all they can do is move on to new victims of their hate. There is nothing righteous in their anger, only a view of reality of an extreme point of view which causes division, name calling and always looking for someone else as the cause of their discontent.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        I wouldn’t go that far, Niko. Chris is not a hater. He was like a lot of guys I respect who are big on true transparency and accountability. We were all bamboozled by Mark Stokoe. It’s only when I started critically examining a lot of his verbiage that I realized that there wasn’t a whole lot of “there” there but a whole lotta of posturing, preening, and recycled Syosset talking points.

        Some people still hold to the tale Stokoe (and his handlers) wove about Jonah. Fr Hopko for instance asked for a second helping of the Koolaid. Although there does appear to be bad blood between Chris and others, he hasn’t said anything negative recently about His Beatitude.

        At least that’s my most recent take.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Niko, whenever I hear anyone branded a “hater” and the objects of the “hate” as “victims,” I know I am entering very murky territory. “Hate” (as in “hate crimes”) judges motive, not actions. We don’t judge people based on motives, only actions. That’s the only way to ensure that laws are equitably applied.

  44. cynthia curran says

    Well, some Orthodox don’t chant go USA but go Greece, Greece, and Greece or go Russia, Russia, Russia. So that works both ways. Personality, even if the Republicans are not 100 percent right on politicis, the Democratic Party is still Black versus White, which to me is behind the times. Both tradional whites and blacks are declining while the hispanics-white or not are increasing and so is the Asian population. The Democratics are sitll back in the 1960’s.

  45. cynthia curran says

    Just saying El Paso has a lower crime rate than Detriot. El Paso is about 80 percent latino mainly Mexican while Detriot is about 80 percent afro-american. So a mainly Mexican town has a lower crime rate. This doesn’t mean that Zimmerman is innocence or guilty but afro-americans are just as responsible as hispanics for their actions.

  46. cynthia curran says

    Proof if Zimmerman would have shot an asian man the media would not have paid attention, Michelle Malkin brought up Marion Barry mentioning about the dirty asian shops, asians have succeeded better as a group than Blacks, so few feel sorry as much for them.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      That’s right Cynthia. No one bats an eye either about Black on Black crime. The only time the Progressives care is when a white man (or in this case a “white hispanic”) pulls the trigger. The protests over the Sanford tragedy is not about justice. It is about preserving a failed ideology unfortunately.

      • Fr. Hans, I don’t know your background, so fell free to correct me if I’m off base. Are you saying the only times Progressives care is when there is a White on Black crime, as opposed to Black on Black crime? If you are from the South, and especially if you grew up during the segregated south, then you would understand why some of us are sensitive when it appears that a young man may have been killed, based on a chain of events, that may have started with he’s Black; he’s dressed differently; he doesn’t belong here; he doesn’t know his place, etc. Given the sordid past of the South in that regard, those are questions that need to be independently investigated. Again, given the past history of the South, I can understand completely why the Black community has assumed this loss of life was racially motivated. I’m conservative on many issues, but not when it comes to civil rights, social and economic equality–I guess it’s all the guilt I carry from my past.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Logan, I was raised in the South and knew all about Emmet Till and “nigger-knocking.” It is a stain on our otherwise great history. However, worrying about white-on-black crime is like worrying about renewing the slave trade. It’s a chimera; ain’t gonna happen, can’t happen, doesn’t happen. Nobody worries about it and only despicable $PLC types who prey on the gullibility of guilty white liberals use the extremeyl rare cases when it happens in order to justify their six-figure salaries.

          That’s why the MSM and Left jump on Tawana Brawley, the Jena 6, and Duke LaCrosse. Unfortunately, because they believe in a lie, they get screwed over every time.

          • George said: However, worrying about white-on-black crime is like worrying about renewing the slave trade. It’s a chimera; ain’t gonna happen, can’t happen, doesn’t happen. Nobody worries about it and only despicable $PLC types who prey on the gullibility of guilty white liberals

            Forty years ago I might have said the same thing about same sex marriage–ain’t gonna happen, can’t happen, doesn’t happen. It pays to be vigilant. When I see attempts to rewrite history, minimizing the evil that was slavery and the abomination that was segregation, I wonder if we are missing some guilty white conservatives to go along with those guilty white liberals.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Logan, your point regarding the normalization of sodomy is well-taken. I suppose that given the utter illogic of this phenomenon, we can’t rule out any possibilities.

              However if I may add, for slavery to work, there has to be a whole subsidiary culture that promotes it and sustains it, to say nothing of laws that would have to be re-written (again, like sodomy). In addition though, there would have to be a great economic need that would result in more privation were it not instituted.

              We forget that once Constantine the Great became a catechumen, slavery was gradually extinguished wherever the Gospel was preached. (And no, feudalism is not the same thing as chattel slavery.) By the time Columbus discovered the Americas, slavery was extinct in the West and only practiced in non-Christian cultures.

              This is very germane. Once the Europeans came to farm in the Americas, the only sustainable way of doing so was through the plantation system as there wasn’t a critical mass of Europeans (or a legal system or military or constabulary) to support yeomanry, or even small, subsistence farming. Plantations were the only way to support the economies of scale necessary to finance even more colonization. The major crops were indigo, rice, coffee, cotton, and tobacco, for which there were huge markets in Europe. The natives who were hunter-gatherers, refused to work on these plantations. Hence it was decided that blacks from the sub-Saharan would do the trick.

              This took decades to come to fruition. Was it immoral? Of course. But indentured servitude and/or outright chattel slavery were the only way that American agriculture could have been exploited. The resulting customs and laws that arose were driven by this lone necessity.

              The point I’m trying to make is that these conditions no longer exist. It is not necessary to use slaves anymore to harvest crops. In fact, even after the existence of slavery in the Deep South, it became evident that it was becoming ruinous to the soil (since they didn’t engage in crop-rotation) as well as the white majority, whose wages were driven down by the existence of a slave population. If anything, slavery was on its way out in the South. We forget slavery once existeded in the North as well. It died out there. .

              • George, this exactly the Southern mentality I was referencing as to why it is not surprising that many blacks still process everything through a racial filter. You agree slavery was immoral, but then you go to great lengths to explain why slavery was in fact necessary. And then you make an outlandish (pardon me) statement that slavery was on its way out in the South, implying it would wither and die as it had in the North. It didn’t die in the North, it was legislated out of existence, and, of course, it took force of arms to end it in the South.

                The other problem with your rationale (justification) is that the majority of slaves in the South were not even used in agriculture. Slavery as practiced in the American South was particularly heinous as the slave was regarded as basically a high functioning domesticated animal, devoid of any higher human qualities. This attitude that blacks are unable to be like whites was dominant and openly stated in the South through the 1960s. Now it is more subtly evidenced in such statements as “blacks commit most crimes,”the welfare rolls are mostly blacks,” most unwed teenage mothers are blacks,” and on and on. While such statements may be statistically true (I don’t know), why do we use race (blacks) as the common denominator, if not to reinforce that blacks are inferior?

                Just because Progressives or Liberals take a position on an issue does not necessarily mean that Conservatives must oppose it or denounce it as patently untrue.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Logan, you clearly mix up emotion with historical analysis. I clearly said that slavery was “immoral.” I can’t make it any simpler than that. I then went on to suggest how slavery came into being in the Western hemisphere. The economic preconditions that made it viable, one could almost say necessary. I passed no judgment on its rectitude, just like I pass no judgment on slavery in Ancient Greece or on Old Testament Israel. We could enlarge the question to why did agricultural societies invent slavery while hunter-gatherers did not? These are all fair questions and quite properly the province of the historian, anthropoligist, ethnographer, etc.

                  What I was merely trying to show was the impossibility of re-establishing the practice of slavery in the United States or in any industrialized nation for that matter. By bringing emotion into this, you are causing us to go off on tangents that are barely germane to the argument. (Like unwed motherhood which now comprises 36% of all births to white mothers. Am I a “racist” for bringing this up? What about the fact that these mothers have no slave ancestors?) Let’s just stick to the facts.

                  • Fr Hans, I had a small chuckle at how my moral posturing has clouded my thinking, as there seems to be nothing but moral posturing going on here. Both George and you missed that I was offering an explanation of why blacks or others who experienced segregation first hand might assume that the Martin shooting had racial implications. I don’t dispute the facts that you put forward–we should talk about increasing rates of incarceration of young men, poverty, single parenthood, just leave race out of it.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      It wasn’t meant to be personal Logan. I should have been more clear about that. Frankly I find your comments more open than than others because they are refreshingly free of reflexive finger wagging, even when we don’t agree.

                      Moral posturing is that finger wagging, the notion that having politically correct attitudes is the same thing as holding substantive ideas and scolding those who refuse fall in line with them.

                      Yes, there is no doubt that some Blacks really believe the Progressive propaganda, especially Black young men. They have been taught they are victims all their lives. Of course there are Black leaders who repudiate Jackson, Sharpton and other darlings of the left, but they have a hard time get a hearing in the mainstream media.

                      Here is a good essay by Shelby Steele, arguably one of the best commentators (Thomas Sowell is another) writing today: The Loneliness of the “Black Conservative.

                      What Black men need are other Black role models. Once Jackson, Sharpton and that whole Progressive Boomer crew finally leaves the stage, change may happen. I see no one clamoring to take their place.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  Logan, George is explaining the economic facts behind slavery, not justifying it. There’s a difference. Don’t let moral approbation cloud your thinking. Slavery is wrong but at the same time there were economic factors that allowed it to flourish. George is merely pointing out what those factors were.

                  This is what I mean when I write that moral posturing clouds clear thinking. In our discussions here for example, people assume that the Sanford tragedy is the template for race relations and the difficulties young Black men face. Yet any sober analysis of the facts clearly shows this is not correct. Something else is at work and if we don’t determine what it is, then the problems will only get worse.

                  Facts matter, and when feelings replace facts our thinking gets muddled.

                  And is mentioning the rates of Black incarceration, fatherless families, and so forth an indicator of incipient racism, as you allege? Again, look at the facts. Before the Great Society programs, 75% of all Black families in Harlem lived in intact two parent families and the trend was up. Ten years after the implementation of the program the numbers were reversed. (See: Chris Banescu, Bp. Savas and the Dust Up.)

                  Consider this instead: Progressive policies that were ostensibly put into place to help the the Black man have instead robbed him of his inherent dignity. They corrode character. It’s the new slavery promulgated mostly by White liberals who believe their ideas are morally superior when in fact they institutionalize poverty. (Remember, the worst performing schools in America are in the inner cities of Democratic controlled cites.) Progressive ideals are not about helping the poor. They are about making Progressives feel good about themselves.

                  Again, watch this video. Really listen to it. You won’t find a whisper of Progressive patronizing in it.

                  • Fr. Hans is absolutely right about this! Indeed: “Progressive policies that were ostensibly put into place to help the the Black man have instead robbed him of his inherent dignity. They corrode character. It’s the new slavery promulgated mostly by White liberals who believe their ideas are morally superior when in fact they institutionalize poverty. (Remember, the worst performing schools in America are in the inner cities of Democratic controlled cites.) Progressive ideals are not about helping the poor. They are about making Progressives feel good about themselves.

                    Yes, yes, yes! AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! This truth must be repeated over and over and over again, since a vast majority of liberal/leftist/progressives refuse to confront it and repudiate the devastation and suffering their ideological and spiritual blindness has brought to the very communities and individuals they claim they care about.

                    C.S. Lewis said it best:

                    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

                  • Joseph Clarke says

                    Pardon me Fr. Jacobse, but it’s a little absurd to say you don’t want “feeling to replace facts” lest our “thinking get muddled.” This post by George Michalopulos, and the entire narrative ginned up by conservative of which it is an example, use distortions and outright falsehoods to turn the Trayvon Martin episode into an opportunity to stoke whites’ irrational, instinctive resentment of blacks.

                    George and others desperately want believe that Martin was a thuggish ne’er-do-well who photographed himself in “threatening poses” in order to intimidate poor George Zimmerman, and they desperately want to believe that the putatively liberal mainstream media has it out for the white guy. So they eagerly seized on this falsified photograph of Martin and related assertions that he was practically asking to be killed in order to raise the perennial–and in this case patently false–claims of “media bias.” In other words, George Michalopulos did exactly what he accuses liberals of: cherry-picking pseudo-facts to fit a narrative he had already decided “felt” correct.

                    Now you too are using this episode to propagate a partisan ideological narrative that corresponds more to your feelings that to the facts. The social problems of African-Americans in this country are complicated and there are no easy solutions, but hopefully well-meaning people from across the ideological spectrum can find ways to address them. Your hyperbolic statements — “Progressive ideals are not about helping the poor. They are about making Progressives feel good about themselves” — are not helping anyone.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      I don’t really know if the picture is falsified or not. Why not take that up with George but make sure to offer some credible backing for the charge first.

                      The statistics provided in the Elder editorial are clear, and I suppose startling as well to liberals. I can see why they wouldn’t like it. It cuts too close to fundamental assumptions.

                      Here are the facts again in cased you missed it.

                      (Source: Town Hall):

                      “Blacks are under attack,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, irresponsibly turning the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, at the hands of Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman into a barometer of black-white “race-relations.”

                      President Barack Obama, three years past his inauguration as American’s first black president, weighed in, too. As when he accused the Cambridge police of “acting stupidly,” Obama injected race, but this time a little less directly: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

                      The implication, of course, is that race undoubtedly played a role in the death of Trayvon Martin. A special prosecutor as well as a Florida grand jury will examine the case, re-interview all the witnesses and go over all the evidence. Zimmerman may well be charged with murder, and a racially motivated one at that. Or the prosecutor may find the evidence insufficient to convince a jury that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

                      No matter whether Zimmerman is charged or convicted, a tragedy occurred. But is Jesse Jackson right, that the death of Trayvon Martin suggests “blacks are under attack,” presumably by racist non-blacks?

                      True, black men, especially young ones, stand a much greater chance of being murdered than white males. But almost all murders involve a victim and a killer of the same race. Yes, instances of black-white murder — as, for example, when James Byrd, a black man of Jasper, Texas, was dragged to his death by three white men — do exist. But nationally, according to the Department of Justice, 53 percent of known homicide suspects in 2010 were identified as black — although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population. And in murders involving a single black victim and a single offender, 90 percent of the time it is a black perpetrator who murders the black victim. Similarly, 83 percent of whites are murdered by other whites.

                      What happened in Sanford, Fla. — a white person killing a black person — is extremely infrequent, occurring in 8 percent of black homicides. In saying “blacks are under attack,” Jackson paints a picture of whites targeting and hunting down black males.

                      Look at the 2010 stats for New York City. While blacks comprise about 25 percent of the city’s population, blacks accounted for two-thirds of murder victims. For black homicide suspects arrested, 85 percent of their victims were also black.

                      The leading causes of death for all young men ages 15 to 29, according to a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study, regardless of race or ethnicity, are unintentional injury (e.g., car accident, firearm or drowning), suicide and homicide. Not for young black men. The No. 1 cause of death in this demographic is murder. The homicide death rate for young (ages 15 to 24) African American men (85 per 100,000 persons) is three times the rate for young Hispanic men (30 per 100,000 population), the population group with the next highest homicide mortality rate. The rates for young Asian and young white males are 9.8 and 5 per 100,000, respectively.

                      In one recent Chicago weekend, 49 people were shot, 10 fatally, including a 6-year-old black girl. Did President Obama issue a statement? Black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does not fit the liberal media’s narrative of the continuing problem of white racism.

                      How selective is the outrage about interracial crime — when the bad guy is black?

                      Ken Tillery, in 2002, walked down a Jasper, Texas, road. Three men offered him a ride. But the men kidnapped Tillery, driving him to a remote location. John Perazzo of describes what happened: “When the terrified Tillery jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee, the kidnappers caught up with him, beat him and finally ran over him — dragging him to his death beneath their car’s undercarriage.”

                      Same town, a few years after the James Byrd murder, a black-white murder in the same fashion — by dragging a man to his death — but no story! Why? Well, Tillery was white, and the three suspects were all black. The irony alone would, one would think, guarantee lots of coverage. But how much coverage did the case get? An online search of 557 newspapers found that 22 covered the story.

                      In a scene from “Menace II Society,” a movie about the struggles of inner-city black youth, a tough black high school teacher advises two black male students: “Being a black man in American isn’t easy. The hunt is on — and you’re the prey.” We hear a police siren in the background as the teacher gives his admonition — just in case the identity of the hunter is unclear. But reality tells a very different story, one that even Jesse Jackson once acknowledged.

                      In 1994, in an unguarded moment while discussing urban crime, Jackson told an interviewer he’s relieved when the footsteps on the street behind him belong to white — rather than black — feet.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, like most Progressives, you’re a devotee of the Religioin of Eternal White Evil. Hence, you point and sputter whenever someone points out facts that are inimicable to your worldview.

                      Do I know that Trayvon Martin was a thug? The indicators are certainly there. His Twitter account was called “@NO-LIMIT_NIGGA.” On this site, much of the dialogue was about marijuana sales. For some strange reason, it was taken down.

                      Do I “desperately want to believe” that he was a thug? Of course not, but since you’ve opened this can of worms, let me impugn your motives. How about tyring this one on for size? “All progressives hate facts which expose their worldview for the lie that it is.”

                    • Joseph Clarke says

                      George, I really am sorry that you feel targeted by a “Religion of Eternal White Evil.” I have made no assumptions about the goodness or evilness of either Martin or Zimmerman, and my preference is for Zimmerman’s motives to be determined in a courtroom, where he’ll be innocent until proven guilty. First he would need to be arrested, which is the typical procedure for almost anyone who kills someone after disobeying the instructions of a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

                      I have made only one specific charge to you, to which, as Fr. Jacobse requests above, I provide credible backing:

                      The picture in your post labeled “Media Bias” depicts George Zimmerman, respectably clad in a suit and tie, next to a black kid who is supposedly Trayvon Martin. This second photo initially surfaced on a white supremacist website called Stormfront and was eagerly picked up by conservative commentators as evidence that Martin had it coming to him. As Michelle Malkin’s site put it: “The mainstream media won’t show you these two photos because they convey a message that no one else wants to take into consideration.”

                      Problem is, the kid in the picture is not Trayvon Martin at all; it’s someone else with the same name. The “Alternative Media” which you praise in your post settled on a narrative that fit its worldview before checking its facts — exactly what you continuously accuse liberals of doing. In fact, you authored your original post after the picture had already been exposed as incorrect by a credible news source (see link above). All I have asked is that you acknowledge the mistake and take down the image, as a number of other conservative websites have now done.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, I haven’t been “targeted” by anybody. That would be the Registered Democrat and notorious White Hispanic George Zimmerman.

                      As for those pictures that certain white supremacist websites put up, shame on them. But what does that say about the MSM –and I’ll name them: ABC, NBC, CNN–who painted a knowingly false portrait of Zimmerman? It must be comforting to find out that J-school graduates who get paid big bucks have the same journalistic standards as neo-nazis.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      What Joseph writes to George is spot on, and also why I got so worked up when I read his article. The article itself is shabby. Now, I’m trying to read all links and comments, so that I might understand what you people are saying. Somewhere buried there are ideas to be considered. But as soon as anyone protests the shabbiness of the article, or the off-putting tone of some of the comments here, we are promptly labeled emotional, moralizing and finger pointing. Also, probably lefty, progressive and liberal. Oh, and delusional, and bipolar, clueless, and murky, what else?

                  • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

                    Logan,I must agree with George here,slavery WAS on its way out in the South.Had there been no Civil War,world opinion would have FORCED the Confederate States of America to end slavery.It might have lingered on until the 1880s(as it did in Brazil),but probably not beyond that.
                    It was my late mother,of white southern stock(and so far to the left that she made Castro look like a John Bircher!),who reminded me that Robert E. Lee freed his slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War.
                    Also,as I’ve only learned in the last 10-15 years,the Emancipation Proclamation covered ONLY those slaves in the Confederate States of America.Those four slave states in the Union,Delaware,Maryland,Kentucky,and Missouri(granted the latter two originaly tried to join the Confederacy) were not affected.

                    • Fr, in fact, the very first Emancipation Proclamation was issued by General John C Fremont while he was stationed in Missouri in 1861. It declared that all slaves in Missouri were to be freed immediately. Pres Lincoln immediately rescinded it, not wishing to antagonize the Border States.

                      (BTW, Fremont had been the first man to run on the Republican ticket for President in 1854.)

                    • Slavery was definitely on its way out on the Eastern seaboard, but the slave states of the deep south would have probably continued in the practice alongside Brazil. No one else would pick the cotton of the South except those who were forced to due to slavery or economic conditions.

                      Maryland would definitely have gone for the Confederacy except for the presence of the nations capital in the middle of Maryland. The state was more or less muscled into the union, My family was old line Maryland and many of them went south and formed up the Maryland divisions for the Confederacy while at the same time others did the same for the north, it was a mixed state. Maryland was a ‘slave’ state when the war started and was still a ‘slave’ state when the war ended despite the so-called Proclamation of Emancipation proclaimed by President Lincoln which did not pertain to the union ‘slave’ states, only to those of the South over which he not at that time have jurisdiction. The slaves in ‘union’ states were emancipated shortly at or just after the war, thank God.

                      My great grandfather, Philip Isaiah LeCompte, freed his ‘man’ (best friend) and gave him one of his farms. I do not know what the outcome of the land transfer was and whether or not his ‘man’ kept the farm in his family for long or even up to the present date. (This information is from my grandmother’s notes).

                      In my genealogical research, I have found out that the Maryland men who went south, returned at the end of the war and resumed life as normal on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I noticed another anomaly, the north-south orientation of the soldiers generally followed family lines and many of those who went south were not slave holders. Others such as my LeCompte family had pretty well given up the practice and remained faithful to the north. Most of the emancipated former slaves remained on the LeCompte farmland and received wages and benefits that were far superior to the former slaves of the Deep South. And the care concern ran both ways between the two parties, for instance, my grandmother was nursed by one of the former slaves when my great grandmother couldn’t give milk (my grandmother was the last child of eleven).

                      The subject of the Civil War and the before and after events is, unfortunately, usually discussed by so-called experts who generally push their own agendas rather than simply stating the facts.

                      Reminds me of the Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) quote:
                      “He who does not read the newspaper is uninformed, but he who reads
                      the newspaper is misinformed.”

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Are you saying the only times Progressives care is when there is a White on Black crime, as opposed to Black on Black crime?

          Yup. I don’t think the Sanford tragedy is about coming to the defense of a young black man. I think it’s about using him to perpetuate a failed ideology.

          The overwhelming problem for young Black men is getting killed by other young Black men at rates notably higher than any other racial group. Do you know who young Black men fear most? Other young Black men.

          When was the last time you heard Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton talking about this? They don’t because if they did they would be forced to confront the fact that the policies that they and their fellow Progressives have championed for an entire generation have been a catastrophic failure.

          Here’s an article by Larry Elder with the statistics (Source: Town Hall):

          “Blacks are under attack,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, irresponsibly turning the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, at the hands of Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman into a barometer of black-white “race-relations.”

          President Barack Obama, three years past his inauguration as American’s first black president, weighed in, too. As when he accused the Cambridge police of “acting stupidly,” Obama injected race, but this time a little less directly: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

          The implication, of course, is that race undoubtedly played a role in the death of Trayvon Martin. A special prosecutor as well as a Florida grand jury will examine the case, re-interview all the witnesses and go over all the evidence. Zimmerman may well be charged with murder, and a racially motivated one at that. Or the prosecutor may find the evidence insufficient to convince a jury that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

          No matter whether Zimmerman is charged or convicted, a tragedy occurred. But is Jesse Jackson right, that the death of Trayvon Martin suggests “blacks are under attack,” presumably by racist non-blacks?

          True, black men, especially young ones, stand a much greater chance of being murdered than white males. But almost all murders involve a victim and a killer of the same race. Yes, instances of black-white murder — as, for example, when James Byrd, a black man of Jasper, Texas, was dragged to his death by three white men — do exist. But nationally, according to the Department of Justice, 53 percent of known homicide suspects in 2010 were identified as black — although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population. And in murders involving a single black victim and a single offender, 90 percent of the time it is a black perpetrator who murders the black victim. Similarly, 83 percent of whites are murdered by other whites.

          What happened in Sanford, Fla. — a white person killing a black person — is extremely infrequent, occurring in 8 percent of black homicides. In saying “blacks are under attack,” Jackson paints a picture of whites targeting and hunting down black males.

          Look at the 2010 stats for New York City. While blacks comprise about 25 percent of the city’s population, blacks accounted for two-thirds of murder victims. For black homicide suspects arrested, 85 percent of their victims were also black.

          The leading causes of death for all young men ages 15 to 29, according to a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study, regardless of race or ethnicity, are unintentional injury (e.g., car accident, firearm or drowning), suicide and homicide. Not for young black men. The No. 1 cause of death in this demographic is murder. The homicide death rate for young (ages 15 to 24) African American men (85 per 100,000 persons) is three times the rate for young Hispanic men (30 per 100,000 population), the population group with the next highest homicide mortality rate. The rates for young Asian and young white males are 9.8 and 5 per 100,000, respectively.

          In one recent Chicago weekend, 49 people were shot, 10 fatally, including a 6-year-old black girl. Did President Obama issue a statement? Black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does not fit the liberal media’s narrative of the continuing problem of white racism.

          How selective is the outrage about interracial crime — when the bad guy is black?

          Ken Tillery, in 2002, walked down a Jasper, Texas, road. Three men offered him a ride. But the men kidnapped Tillery, driving him to a remote location. John Perazzo of describes what happened: “When the terrified Tillery jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee, the kidnappers caught up with him, beat him and finally ran over him — dragging him to his death beneath their car’s undercarriage.”

          Same town, a few years after the James Byrd murder, a black-white murder in the same fashion — by dragging a man to his death — but no story! Why? Well, Tillery was white, and the three suspects were all black. The irony alone would, one would think, guarantee lots of coverage. But how much coverage did the case get? An online search of 557 newspapers found that 22 covered the story.

          In a scene from “Menace II Society,” a movie about the struggles of inner-city black youth, a tough black high school teacher advises two black male students: “Being a black man in American isn’t easy. The hunt is on — and you’re the prey.” We hear a police siren in the background as the teacher gives his admonition — just in case the identity of the hunter is unclear. But reality tells a very different story, one that even Jesse Jackson once acknowledged.

          In 1994, in an unguarded moment while discussing urban crime, Jackson told an interviewer he’s relieved when the footsteps on the street behind him belong to white — rather than black — feet.

  47. cynthia curran says

    Well, Chris I think is one of the few indivduals that live under the old soviet system or his family did. So, he does have that perspective, sometimes the right seems hard but as mention above some groups do better than others from a poor background, so why is it that afro-americans that come from a poor background have a lot more children out of wedlock than asians from a poor background in the United States. This is one of those topics brought up by the right.

  48. Heracleides says

    Most astute commentary on this whole tempest-in-a-teapot I’ve yet too come across: We Are Screwed!

  49. cynthia curran says

    Well, I didn’t grow up in the south but from age 6 to 12 I spent time in Los Angeles County where I knew some blacks. Moved to Orange County and there was few blacks and still is few blacks there even if I don’t live there anymore. My high school went from 80 percent white in 1975 to over 76 percent hispanic and 20 percent asian and now about 4 percent white and 1 percent black. My experiance is not all racial and ethinic relations are whites versus blacks.

  50. Mike Myers says

    George, far too often, you clearly either don’t know or don’t care about whether the things you say are true. You often appear to lay out your slurs and unfounded innuendos with the transparent intention to defame the critics of your sloppy comments and the ignorance behind them. You commit these offenses against many persons, not just me. If you don’t know at your age what’s wrong with behavior like this, I’m not likely to be able to persuade you to can it.

    On the subject of logical argumentation, please. I’ll pass on your lessons in that discipline.

  51. Jane Rachel says

    Darryl Owens, The Atlantic Sentinel

    Trayvon Martin case: Blacks still outraged by black-on-black crime

    Let’s get together or we’ll be falling apart

    I heard a brother shot another, it broke my heart

    I don’t understand the difficulty, people

    Love your brother, treat him as an equal

    Lyrics from “Self Destruction”

    Ever since Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton parachuted into Sanford demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who a community watchman insists he shot to death in self-defense, a subversive meme has picked up steam.

    It goes something like this: Why are Jackson and Sharpton (and by extension, the black community) so worked up over the death of one black kid? Why aren’t they barnstorming Chicago, which endured a spasm of violence last month, including a deadly six-hour stretch in which 13 men were shot, and two died?

    Critics loved the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. Where is the outrage over blacks killing one another?

    How’s this for outrage: Of all the overheated, distractive rhetoric spewed in Trayvon’s name, this bunk is particularly noxious. We don’t care about black-on-black crime? We’ve gnashed our teeth to nubs over it. We’ve waged war against self-destruction for more years than anyone cares to remember.

    Groups ranging from the NAACP and the National Urban league to a posse of hip-hip artists who in 1989 released “Self Destruction,” which became the theme song of the “Stop the Violence Movement,” have deeply invested in saving our sepia skin.

    Over the years the strategy has evolved.

    In the ’80s and ’90s, we rallied to prick the public’s consciousness. Now, even monastic monks probably know the bane of black-on-black violence.

    Of course, rallies aren’t going to curb a complex issue with deep socioeconomic, cultural, and moral roots. That’s accomplished through policy and problem-solving.

    That’s where groups such as the NAACP, on a national level, bring outrage to bear.

    “We demonstrate to lift it [an issue] up, and then begin moving to create an institutional approach to address it,” says Hilary Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice president of policy and advocacy.

    That means working with law enforcement to bolster patrols and cultural understanding for cops who patrol urban communities. It means programs that attack the fatalistic mind-set of urban youth who believe crime and despair are their lot. It means advocating sensible gun control to dam the flood of cheap guns into black communities that fall into the wrong hands (good luck with that one). And it means trooping to Capitol Hill to fight for money for crime-prevention programs.

    Today, violent-crime rates have fallen to the lowest levels since national stats were first kept in 1965. Yet black-on-black crime remains epidemic. And like health epidemics, after years in the headlines, the initial buzz has faded.

    Not that anyone has lost interest in stamping out the epidemics. The fight’s just more low-key, behind the scenes.

    “Even though don’t see the marches at this level, there is still action,” Shelton says.

    For die-hards, who need a rally to believe concern exists, take heart. We still take to the streets. Last July, after a deadly wave of violence, Bishop Calvin Woods, president of Birmingham’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, announced a march against black-on-black crime, pleading for “you men to put your weapons down.”

    And last week, hundreds of marchers took to Chicago’s streets calling for an end to gun violence — and justice for Trayvon.

    Every senseless act of violence deserves our outrage. However, it’s a sham, an insulting insinuation that just because many in the black community are laser-focused on a singular perceived miscarriage of justice that blacks somehow are cavalier about self-destruction.

    We burn — even if Jesse and Al aren’t the faces of our collective outrage.

    • Jane Rachel, I see your point.

      If I may however, let me point out some areas where we might disagree about the level of outrage. Although there has been some “in-house” outrage about black-on-black crime, the fact remains that 98% of hip-hop (for instance) glorifies “busting” some punk who “dissed” a more experienced “gangsta.” There is simply no comparable analog in traditional “white” music (e.g. Country, Bluegrass, Rock & Roll) which extolls whites who wantonly kill other whites.

      What I see here, what my gut tells me, is that with this latest tragedy, all the pent up emotion within the African American community has found an outlet, one that harkens back to the Jim Crow era when blacks were truly victims of white criminals.

      Now please understand, I do believe that the white, Progressive elite has done everything within their power to cause black people to fail. Besides Planned Parenthood, there was conscious decision by Progressives to prop up W E B DuBois as opposed to Booker T Washington. This is a simplistic version, but DuBois (a Communist btw) demanded immediate and complete equality and integration for black people. Washington demanded emancipation coupled with a rigorous self-help mentality that would allow blacks to emulate Jews and other minorities who segregated themselves and over generations, acquired the necessary skills and moral capital necessary to compete with the majority. We could call the former the Harvard model (DuBois graduated from Harvard in 1899) and the latter the Tuskegee model.

      There was also the black nationalist model pioneered by Marcus Garvey, who sought to repatriate black people to Africa. Garvey was sabotaged by the FBI and Washington was sabotaged by the NAACP. The end result was that at least two generations of African Americans were lost to the seductive bleating of instant equality.

      This is personal to me. As the grandson of immigrants, I shudder to think where I would be now had my grandfather’s generation demanded instant access to all levels of American society, including (for example) municipalities and businesses to accomodate their native language. Instead, the first generation of immigrant organizations (such as AHEPA for the Greeks, LULAC for Mexicans, etc.) demanded that the immigrants do what BT Washington wanted blacks to do: “set down your pail where you are,” and work yourself up from there.

      Was there heartache and discrimination along the way? You bet. But black people have been hurt (intentionally in my opinion) by an elite that glorifies and/or excuses some of the weaknesses that are found n all cultures. Make no mistake, the elite is doing the very same thing with illegal aliens. By accomodating their native language, they are making it difficult for them to rise above their present station. The elite want a class of peons that can undercut the native working class. Yes, I’ll say it: this is by design.

  52. cynthia curran says

    Point, Dems have an advantage with asians and hispanic, high erpoverty rate than whites lower than Blacks. But some of the statments of the left in the case of Zimmerman and the Dirty asian shop keepers might make them think a lttile harder about the Democratic party, not saying they will become Democratics. Obama is a bit of a demogogue using Blacks and Hispanics against each other and Blacks and Asians. On the other hand, he has to be careful and can not be as Frank as Rev Wright on this. Granted, Republicans can have their issues on race and ethinically but I believe the Mormon Candidate Mitt Romeny doesn’t have this problem and both right and left have been against the man for some time.

  53. cynthia curran says

    Robert Massie also novels on Augustus and Tiberius. Anyway, I agree with what George said about progessives. Anyway, this young man about in his 30’s Mr Bell wrote about how Islam could be against personal Freedom in the Daily Kos, the Daily Kos fired him. On the other hand, if Mr Bell wrote about how Evangelicals and Roman Catholics would have limited personal freedom he would still have his job.

  54. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Zimmerman has been charged with murder in the second degree and is in custody.
    He is presumed innocent of that charge until or unless proved guilty in court.

  55. ‘By the way, the WORDS “death,” “manslaughter,” and “murder” ARE synonyms.’

    Cite a reputable thesaurus that says so and I’ll my words, and my hat. I’ll even buy a hat so I have one to eat.

    For two nouns to be synonyms, it is necessary, though not sufficient, that they refer to the same thing.

    I think this is enough of a digression from the main topic that I’ll bow out here, unless said thesaurus citation is forthcoming.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      I’m sure R. Howell knows this, but I feel it bears repeating: a Thesaurus is not the same thing as a dictionary of synonyms. I hope that’s clear. Having said that, I suggest that if R. Howell, anyhow, would look up the usages of death, under the heading “death” in Roget’s Thesaurus, he’d see that “killing” is listed under “death.” I hope the editors of Reget’s Thesaurus were not making a ‘category error!”
      Perhaps confusing “Thesaurus” with “Dictionary of Synonyms” is a category error? Just sayin’.

  56. Carl Kraeff says

    Moved the post.

  57. There are so many fatties in Germany nowadays that there’s an emergency in the funeral business. First, they need bigger coffins, but worst, there’s been a dramatic increase in huge conflagrations and the burning up of crematoria, since an enormous amount of body fat, when ignited, produces an explosion of flames.

    Hungary, whose fatty problem is even worse than Germany’s, has now imposed a special tax on the guilty foods, like butter, lard, sugar and so on.

    Just sayin’ because Bright Week is at the door.

    • Christus ist auferstanden!

      Well Your Grace, now that you had put pictures of exploding crematoriums into my mind, I hoped it would prevent me from gorging myself on our parish’s roasted Pas’cha pig yesterday…. I have to report, NOTHING of the sort happened. Not only did I gorge on deliciously fatty pork, but after that I ate a Hamburger and two Hot Dogs followed by tasty bits from the table with sweets… Oh yes, wine and beer were also available in satisfying quantities…

      Oh, and just to state this here and in public, eating fat and meat and all kinds of protein made me lose over 30 pounds since last September. I think, however, the German fat problem is lying somewhere else. I would guess it is resident somewhere in the general vicinity of their nihilistic Weltanschauung, spiritual emptiness and lost souls, you know, the afflictions commonly related to turning away from God. Sie Essen aus Verdruß und Langeweile…

      A Happy Bright Week…!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Joseph. You surely didn’t eat “fat and meat and all kinds of protein” at all during the Great Fast and Passion Week just passed, did you? If you kept the fast, then, that might have helped with the loss of 30 pounds, no? And, remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so you may have just sat around eating fatty stuff and losing your (heavy-weighing) muscle tone, and exchanged muscle for combustible FAT!!!!
        Since when, by the way, have Germans had a “nihilistic Weltanschauung?” Please, elaborate on that.
        Further, I’ve never heard of a fat nihilist. What an idea!
        And what in the world could it mean for a problem to be “in the general vicinity’ of their….lost souls?” Have you ever glorified God in the Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig or the Saint Simeon of the Mountain of Wonders Church in Dresden?
        And, since Americans are notably and famously fatter than Germans, to what might one attribute this? Even in Pacific Polynesia, America is known as “the land of big bums.”
        I’ll take dieticians’ expertise over ideological cant any day.

  58. The lucky people of ROCOR. + Jonah will release + Nicolai to ROCOR. CONGRATULATIONS! Now you too can endure this man’s insanity!

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Keep telling yourself that he’s insane, Diogenes. That will prove that it is not you, but only those who disagree with you and what you are are delusional, which, of course, YOU never are! Speaking of delusional, why did Diogenes put his complaint in the Traymore-Zimmerman thread? Vladyka Nikolai DID serve at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral (ROCOR) in Los Angeles on Lazarus Saturday (Annunication O.S. this year), Palm Sunday and every day of Passion Week from Tuesday on and including Pascha itself. This is due to the graciousness of His Eminence, Archbishop Kyril, ROCOR’s Bishop of San Francisco (and an SVS graduate), and Mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Cathedral Protopriest. As to what Metropolitan Jonah (called “+Jonah” by the Stokoe-Stevenses and Diogeneses of this world) has or has not done, we can all wait to see if what Diogenes wrote is truth, fantasy, or a panicky attempt by Diogenes to pre-empt any such action by Metropolitan Jonah. There are NO hierarchs in the Holy Synod of The Orthodox Church in America who are as sober, talented, professionally formed in administration, and devout as Vladyka Nikolai (Soraich). A graduate of the Carpatho-Russian diocese’s Johnstown seminary who also matriculated at the theological faculty in Belgrade, led two thriving missions in Las Vegas, one Serbian and one OCA into existence and the construction of their church plants, while earning his living first as the administrator of a presbyterian clinic for substance-addicted teens, then as the administrator of a division of the Clark County (Las Vegas) District Attorney’s office whose achievements were marked by the proclamation by the governor of Nevada of “Nicholas Soraich Day” to mark the day he reluctantly, but obediently, lay down his secular responsibilities in order to be inducted into the Orthodox Episcopate by the Holy Synod of the OCA. He then became Bishop of Sitka and Alaska and turned over decades of misrule in that land by previous hierarchs and administrators as well as the cliquish bureaucratic establishment led by certain names. Unfortunately, he was overly careful not to get rid of the deadwood and resentful (always hoping for correction and improvement, naively) ones, caught out in vice and incompetence. This eventually led to an astonishing coup that was nakedly personal and resentful. Why, probably Rosabell could testify to the outrage many old-timers and leftovers from the previous administrations felt when Bishop Nikolai was so mean as to have the heavy living-room style drapes taken down from the windows in the St. Innocent Cathedral.
      Christ is risen! Indeed, He’s risen! And unto us He hath granted eternal life: wherefore, let us adore His third-day Resurrection!

      • Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
        Goodness. I see the great Author can’t even spell my name right. But that’s okay. He is so wrong about so many other things. If Nikolai was so great, he should have stayed in the secular world. The damage he did up here is still lingering, and will for many years to come. Remember, we have loong memories. The museum that Dr. Lydia Black built up was dispersed all over by Nikolai, probably a lot of our church objects ended up in the museum that was being built for Theodosius back East. When the Reliquary is opened, we see there are no remains of Fr. Herman…probably ‘sold’ for profit around the world when Nikolai was here…money much needed for his cashmere coat, hand made Italian shoes, and other costly items of choice. Didn’t have the opportunity to see what kind of wrist watch he wore. I still have the price tag for one of the mirrors he ordered for the Bishop’s apartment at St. Herman’s Seminary to the tune of $300! How many seminarian families would that have fed? Not to mention the $28,000 (at my last count) he spent to re-decorate the Bishop’s apartment. It wasn’t good enough for him to live in it as our Beloved Bishop Gregory did.
        I’ve never heard or known another man of the cloth denigerate another human as you have over the years. What is your gripe with people? Why are you so bitter? I don’t remember you that way. When we’d adjourn the FROC meetings, and go to Sarno’s for pizza and a carafe of wine, you were most genial. Even your study sessions were congenial. Is this part of the reason Holy Virgin doesn’t have the two congregations anymore? What a wonderful time it was…as I remember it.
        And I see Jane Rachel with her two cents again…it’s always a break in the days to read opinions instead of facts. I don’t remember any of you living up here or even coming up to witness any of the problems, but you all are certainly ‘full of it’…
        Learn the truth before you all start slinging you opinions around.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Raissa Baldwin, who now, apparently, likes to use a rather outre spelling for her non-Church name: “Rosabel,” complains that Bishop Nikolai transferred Alaskan church objects from Alaska to the museum at St. Tikhon’s Seminary once named after Metropolitan Theodosius. No she is totally in the dark or mixed up on that topic. Yes, she and Tania Henchbarger and others had a wonderful time in Alaska in the old days running around in the snow in Sitka with cocktails and (then) Bishop Theodosius, Fathers Black, Irwin and others. But she was not present, as I was, when Bishop Nikolai first visited that museum and complained loudly of the many objects STOLEN from Alaska there. He many times complained at the Holy Synod meetings and even to Metropolitan Herman that this or that item belonged back in Alaska. He was the first and ONLY one to complain of that robbery, Raissa. He still complains about it. If any objects ARE returned, it is because of Bishop Nikolai and Metropolitan Jonah. You are totally misinformed and ready to believe scurrilous gossip about someone whose main defect, apparently was that he didn’t flatter you. You speak positively of Bishop Gregory (Afonsky)’s tenure in Alaska! I remember when you complained of how anyone with native American ‘blood’ was discriminated against by the California state government in Sacramento, and we sympathized you for having left your employment there. You seem to have kept your mouth closed and your keyboard quiet when Archimandrite Innocent (Ted) Fryntzko was going around punching out “natives” when they misbehaved during Bishop Gregory’s tenure. Why was that? You and some others, including a convert from Lutheranism (like myself) Archpriest with a doctorate and a native wife like to pose as Defenders of the Alaskan Peoples! What a laugh. The first Bishop who ever tried to treat Alaskans like anyone else rather than sacred ethnic icons, children, actually, who needed their fire-water and understanding of their primitive ways sure got his comeuppance. Imagine, a group of Christians who claimed that they weren’t treated ‘speshul!” Raissa, you asked how I’ve changed. One reason: I’ll be eighty in November, God wiling. Another reason, I had to adjust to this new “Rosabel” who maligned a good man. I’ll ask Vladyka Nikolai about “cashmere coat,” and “hand made Italian shoes.”
          Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral NEVER “had “two congregations” as you apparently believe! NEVER. It still has services in Slavonic and English, including two Divine Liturgies on most Sundays.
          Perhaps a new Bishop will be ideologically sound and begin treating the Alaskan faithful like the retarded children who must be indulged, rather than as adult, free Orthodox Christians who are as responsible as God is for their own fate and salvation, rather than as defective children and sourpusses who must be not only tolerated but praised and indulged.

          • Goodness Your do have a propensity (tendency,disposition,desire,aptitude/Roget’s Thesaurus) for mispelling my name(s). It’s Raisa. And I’ll explain so you’ll understand the common practice here in Alaska is from the time of Sheldon Jackson who was appointed by the then sitting President of the US, to be the Superintendent of Alaska Schools. Being a stern Presbyterian, he was dedicated to obliterating all native and religious life in Alaska. He divided the territory into 5 different districts and awarded them to five religious denominations, and we got the Baptists. Some of the Baptist missionaries were fine people. Some were given to beating the children with rubber hoses, as attested by 3 of my cousins who were placed in the Baptist mission. Sheldon Jackson’s orders were for all Alaskan persons to ‘drop’ their baptismal names, most here on the coast and on Kodiak Island were Orthodox Christians, courtesy of the Russian monks who came in 1794 to Christianize the then Russian American colonies. We were all addressed by our Russian baptismal names until Jackson came, then himself forcing parents to give their children ‘western’ names. I was baptized ‘Raisa’, but by the time I started school, I was being accustomed to being addressed as ‘Rosabel’ so that in school I would not be subjected to punishment for not accommodating Jacksons orders. Any utterance of a Russian word, native word or thought was punishable with a slap across the hands or head with a switch or ruler, or sometimes worse. This was the first prejudice I was exposed to. I prefer my baptismal name..
            I worked at St. Herman’s Seminary office. I helped Dr. Lydia Black build the museum. I helped/worked with and for her in the Archives. I know what was there. When Nikolai threw all the library books out on the street, many came to take them rather than have them carried to the garbage dump. Several generous families brought archival papers to the Seminary thinking t hey would be used to help the students in their studies. One set was finally ‘loaned’ to the Aliiutiq Musuem after a lengthy ugly issue, and the other, who knows? Handmade candle stands from the Aleutians donated, disappeared, old books, books of Fr. Yakov in his own handwriting, translated by Dr. Black, disappeared. Nikolai never flattered anyone…one elder speaking at coffee hour was told by Nikolai “Shut up! You bore me”.
            I never saw Tania Henchbarger in Alaska, and I’ve never been to Sitka. And I don’t drink cocktails…only wine..the good kind, not what is given at Holy Resurrection these days. If you or anyone really want or needs to know all the things that went on, ask someone who was/is here. You must be dreaming of my complaining about being discriminated by the State of CA…the discrimination I suffered was because of my Russian bloodline. During the ‘Cold War’, many of us suffered from that, and isn’t that what you are doing now? Discriminating? There was much discrimination during Nikolai’s tenure here. Kicking Dr. Black out of the seminary because she wouldn’t make up the bed for Benjamin…and he wasn’t even supposed to be here.And all native parishioners and choir, and seminary students, please step to the rear of the church. I’ve even seen the native students walk out in anger. Don’t blame them.
            Now..your accusations about Fr.Innocent..(Ted ) Fryntzko who was loved by everyone. He never lifted a hand to a soul. You are so dislusional to be attacking a departed priest (or anyone for all that), as we Orthodox do not say unkind things about someone who is now with God, and not here to defend him or herself. Shame on you! I hope everyone who read your posting feels the anger and disgust I do at your behavior. On the day of Judgement, how will you answer to that?
            My three sisters joined my mother in Portland for the Consecration of the Altar at St. Nicholas were supposed to be there as Bishop, but you elected to have surgery at that time, so you quizzled out. Met. Theodosius came instead and in retrospect, we had a much better high event than had you been there. Your emotional shortcomings are so noticible in your having to strike out at everyone up here, and your blatant behavior is not becoming for a priest. You’ve mentioned names of people who have never done anything to you, probably don’t even know you exist. Which maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re a figment of my imagination. And it doesn’t garner any sympathy from me, you crying about your age. You’re younger than I. So, Time to grow up, Stephen Fitzgerald. Say something nice about someone once in awhile instead of throwing mud around and the big words you have to research the Thesaurus for.
            Proudly, I am, R.R. Baldwin, Starosta, ret.

            • Heracleides says

              “I hope everyone who read your posting feels the anger and disgust I do at your behavior. “

              Not to worry, Raisa, some of us do. Bear in mind though that Bp. Tikhon, by his own admission, takes medication for unspecified mental issues; something which does – slightly – mitigate his behavior towards myself and others, at least in my own estimation. That said, mental condition or not, the man has a lot to answer for in terms of his overall online public behavior; especially given that he somehow managed to become and to this day remains a bishop of the church.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Correction, Heracleides ! Wrong again!
                I have never stated that I am now taking medication for unspecified medical issues. I have not taken any medication since before retiring from my see. For a couple years, I did take Cymbalta and Provigil to treat what was diagnosed by my GP and then the (non-analyst) psychiatrist he sent me too when the dosage I required exceeded what he as an GP should ethicall prescribe. I wrote a long letter to all the clergy and faithful of my diocese at the time spelling out my diagnosis and treatment. I did that because I had written a similar letter in the case of Bishop Benjamin, explaining what he’d done and how I’d recommended his remaining in his position but after going to professional treatment. Clinical depression, folks, contrary to Heracleides’s perhaps frightened statement, is not a medical issue as such. I seek no mitigation from Heracleides or anyone else for my behavior, but I trust in God, though obviously, so obviously, unworthy of His trust in me.
                Heracleides is also completely mistaken in saying I “managed” to become a bishop or anything else: parish Psalomschik, Deacon, Protodeacon, Priest, Archpriest, monk, Hegumen or Archpriest. I didn’t “manage to become any of those. My first real career was the U.S. Army. I’ve often reflected what my life might have been like if I’d re-enlisted, rather than leaving Japan to go finish my college education under the GI Bill. I’ve often considered that possibly a great mistake.
                Two years after graduating, I was contacted by an Air Force recruiter, informing me that the USAF had just opened Officers Training Schoo at which college graduates could earn a commission after three months training and education. The Air Force was not as good as the Army and is not as good as the Army, in my opinion; nevertheless, I had a fine and rewarding career going: the last period I served on the Air Staff at HQs USAF in my office in the “D” ring on the 5th floor. I did ask to be released after a prior assignment to a classified ordinance site controlled by the Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) in order to try out the seminary to which I’d been encouraged, if not directed to do, by Father Dmitri Royster. I was older than most of the students. I did well in my classes there: anyone may ask some of my fellow students, such as Father Leonid Kishkovsky, Bishop Seraphim (Segrist), Father Justin Yamaguchi, Protodeacon Peter Scorer, Father Ted Wojcik and others about the quality of my work and my reputation there as a student. David Drillock is about the only still living member of the faculty from that year. This was before the Hopko-Lazor team took over the faculty. I never had a class from either of them. In my last year on the Air Staff, Father Dmitri Royster became a Vicar Bishop, of Washington, DC, where I sang in both Slavonic and English choirs and substituted as Psalomschik at Slavonic Vigil and other services. Bishop Dmitri said I should “do more for the Church.” I agreed to petition to be ordained to the Diaconate. I made a stab at backing out by telling Bishop Dmitri that SVS might not like my being ordained when I had matriculated for only one year at SVS. He answered me, “Don’t worry, Stephen, I asked Father Alexander Schmeman if there would be a problem. He said, ‘Problem?! Tell him to put my name down as his first character reference!”
                So I was ordained Deacon. After a couple months as third Deacon at St. Nicholas, I got a phone call from Archpriest Dimitri Gisetti in Los Angeles. He said that he had had to let his Protodeacon go (to ROCOR), but really needed a Deacon for the many Slavonic services and to help read the multitude of commemorative booklets that were submitted for Proskomedia and to help teach in the Saturday School. I would get a salary and a small apartment on the property. I went there, and there ensued several wonderful years. I was ready to continue being the Deacon, then Protodeacon,there for the rest of my days. It happened that the current 2nd Priest there was transferred to Toronto. A series of Priests were assigned to replace him. One was from Poland and had not a word of English; another was a widower who said that if the parishioners expected him to show love for them, they first had to show him that they loved him. “Love is two-way street, Father Deacon,” he actually said, to make the point. Father Dimitri’s health was failing he finally turned to me and asked if I wouldn’t please consider being ordained to be his assistant. He also got the Parish Council to ask me. I CONSENTED. So I wrote to Metropolitan Ireney, and petitioned to be ordained a Priest. I was ordained and served as 2nd Priest until Father Dimitri’s Huntington’s Chorea finally made it impossible for him to continue. He called me in and said he had talked with the parish council and they all wanted me to step up to be the Rector. One doesn’t refuse that, even if one thought almost daily that one would have been so much happier as a Deacon. Man proposes as they say. I became the Rector and an Archpriest. After our diocesan Bishop, Metropolitan Vladimir was retired to a parish in Canada, Father Vladimir Rodzianko was asked to leave England and become the Bishop of San Francisco which he did. He didn’t work out at all. When he was asked to retire in order not to cause a scandal in the Church, we went a long time without our own Bishop. We had a series of Administrators; Bishop Boris, Bishop Job, Archbishop Herman. At that time Father Alexander Golitzin, who was a monk and had a doctorate from Oxford was assigned in our diocese and was an OBVIOUS candidate. However nothing happened. Finally, at an AAC in DC, Father Basil Rhodes, the diocesan chancellor at that time, personally approached Metropolitan Theodosius and asked him, frankly, why the H we couldn’t hold a diocesan assembly to elect our own Bishop. Theodosius told him that they wanted to have a real and not “pro forma” election with only one candidate which would look like the Holy Synod, rather than the Diocese was choosing our Bishop. He asked if Father Stephen wouldn’t agree to have his name put “in the running” (I had previously taken action in writing to prevent such a possibility. I believe Father Thaddeus Wojcik could verify that. So, in the interests of the Diocese, I said, “Go ahead. Put my name on the ballot, if that what it takes to get our own Bishop.’ (and by that I meant Father Alexander). A Diocesan Assembly was scheduled and held. However, to my shock and dismay, when the votes were tallied there, it was not Father Alexander, but I who got the majority of votes! The rest is history. I’m sorry for all this stuff about me, me, me. But I don’t want Heracleides or anyone else to continue to think such a ridiculous thing as that I “managed’ to become a Bishop or anything else in God’s Church. I have two regrets in my life: getting out of the Army, and agreeing to leave the Diaconate.
                I answer for my behavior regularly in the Mystery of Penance, Heracleides. I won’t ask any of my interlocutors here if they do likewise. If you feel anger and disgust, as does Ms. Baldwin, I recommend you don’t aggravate matters by giving vent to your anger and disgust at me here.
                I have sins and faults of which you both have probably never dreamed. Get over it. You’re grownups aren’t you? I say this for your benefit. However, as long as I have breath, God willing, I will seek justice for Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick and Bishop Nikolai (Soraich), both of whom I look up to. The letters that appeared on will have to stand on their merits. I do not dispute the good intentions of most of their writers: I do dispute their assessment of what actually went wrong. For example, I have visited parishes with mostly Russian members. At meals and other gatherings sometimes someone would speak Russian to me or within earshot. I used to object when some well-meaning ignoramus would say, “Speak ENGLISH. His Grace is an AMERICAN.” I understand Russian rather well. I used to preach in it every Sunday. I personally don’t mind if anyone speaks Hottentot, Hopi, Zuni, Swahili, Arabic around me. But I cannot control everything and prevent others from saying things that were told (by whom?) to Alaskans who sat down to eat with Bishop Nikolai. I wonder…ms. Baldwin! Did you ever hear Bishop Nikolai HIMSELF give anyone instruction to not speak anything but English in his presence. Be honest

                • Heracleides says

                  “I have never stated that I am now taking medication for unspecified medical issues.”

                  You are too clever by half, Bishop. I never said “medical issues” but rather “mental issues.” There is a difference, which even a linguistic gymnast such as yourself should have the mental acuity to recognize. In any event, you DID make such a statement on the Indiana List some time ago. I have neither the time nor patience to wade through the achieve in ferreting out that statement. You uttered it, so as you say, “get over it” and instead deal with the reality of your behaviors; especially those directed towards Ms. Baldwin. It is one thing to defend your pals (dare I say cronies?), quite another to viciously attack an aged lady such as Ms. Baldwin. Were you never taught to respect your elders, even those with whom you disagree, or is that an exemption which is part and parcel of your ecclesial title?

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    I stand corrected on my quote of Heracleides. This is what he, in fact, wrote: “Bear in mind though that Bp. Tikhon, by his own admission, takes medication for unspecified mental issues;”
                    That is a lie. I never ever said, admitted not intimated that I am taking or ever took medication for mental issues, specified or not. I repeat the sentence above by Heracleides is an outright, blatant lie.
                    I believe I have always referred to “clinical depression” in my case, as I’ve just stated. It’s not an issue. I invite Heracleides to search the files and archives of the “Indiana List” and copy out any statement of mine (it turns out that he now disowns the present tense in the above quotation, and claims I made “such’ a statement “some time ago.”
                    That’s just pure baloney. I request you admit that you lied, Heracleides, for the sake of your own soul’s salvation. It will make you feel better, too.
                    1.I do not take medication.
                    2. I once took Cymbalta and Provigil for clinical depression, but have not done for the last several years.
                    3. I have always specified any exact medical and/or mental “issue”(!) which I have undergone. .
                    These facts demonstrate how Heracleides lied.
                    Probably, he used my alleged taking of medication NOW, because he had no rational way of demonstrating that what I had just written was not the Gospel truth!
                    Ms. Baldwin, “aged lady” or not, injected her resentment of Bishop Nikolai here and committed what I consider to be false witness against Bishop Nikolai. I respect my elders when they act respectably, Heracleides. But if you think that after the Savior said that greater love hath no man than that he lay down his LIFE for his friends, I would stand around sucking my thumb while my friend was unjustly attacked, you’re wrong. By the way, what nom de plume did you use when participating on ORTHODOXCHRISTIANITY (“Indian List’), or do you have “neither the time nor patience to wade through the ‘achieve” in ferreting (your image, not mine) out” that information either. I wish there were a courteous way of saying, “put up or shut up”, about your lie on the topic of “unspecified mental issues,’ but I cant’ think of one.

                    • Game, set and match to Bishop Tikhon. Shall we move on?

                    • Heracleides says

                      “I neglected to be entirely forthcoming about the occasion of that “marked decline.” It was the dread Clinical Depression, possibly exacerbated or, rather, aggravated by the disappearance of youth. At the time of that Assembly, I was already undergoing one of several succeeding courses of treatment by my family doctor and a clinical psychologist [later amended to “neuro-psychiatrist”] recommended by him at that time.”


                      Read it and weep, Bishop. And yes, tap dance as you may, clinical depression is a mental illness for which you have received treatment by a psychiatrist. This transpired less than a decade ago. Based on your past and present behavior during that time frame and given that you claim to no longer be medicated, might I suggest that you again seek help and rectify that unfortunate circumstance? Didn’t think so… carry on acting the episcopal-ass to an elderly lady who, unlike you, actually experienced life under your pal Nikolai as he wrought havoc in Alaska.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Heracleides for resurrecting the letter I sent out to the entire diocese, but did NOT post on the Indiana List: rather one of my many friends amongst the ROCOR clergy posted it with words of praise of which I am not worthy. I don’t mind, in fact, I’d be glad if anyone here would read that letter.
                      Did I ever deny, Heracleides, that Clinical Depression is a mental illness or defect? No, I did not. You, however LIED, as i outlined your lies above. And no amount of verbal gymnastics now can mitigate the lies.

                      The reason I’ve been looking for a copy of my letter is this. It was THIS letter which caused Bishop Benjamin to call Metropolitan Herman excitedly to report that I had written a strange letter revealing (!) taking anti-depressants and THEREFORE might be suicidal and I should retire earlier, rather than later.
                      When I heard he had done that I decided to retire sooner rather than later, but in my own time and when I pleased, without any encouragement by him or the Synod, which I did.

                      Heracledies! You wrote “read it an weep!” Why weep? I’m rather proud of the letter and it gives further evidence refuting you lie. Clinical Depression is not an ISSUE, in the English language, at least.
                      Again, thanks for making the letter available to everyone here!

                    • Heracleides says

                      Yes, yes Bishop – repeat your whoopers loudly and frequently enough and maybe someone will believe ’em. Given your conduct on multiple fora, your actions speak for themselves (I’d forgotten what an absolute arse you were on the Indiana List until reviewing your posts there). End of story, or, to quote your pal Nikolai: “Shut up – you bore me!”

                      Now, toddle off and resume verbally smacking around little old ladies for the sake of your thrice-holy crackpot clerical friend. Birds, feathers, etc.

                      Hmmmm… crackpot clerical friends… CCF, I quite like that – it describes so much of Orthodoxy.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      To all: just for the record, Cymbalta is now used primarily for fibromyalgia and Provigil for narcolepsy. In other words, there are perfectly good non-psychological conditions for which they can be used.

                      Regardless, depression should not be stigmatized as a “mental illness,” although strictly speaking it is that. The reason we try not to use those terms in pharmacotherapy is because in the popular imagination, mental illness = crazy person.

                      If I may stay on my soap box just a lilttle bit longer, the wave of depression we see is unconsciously fabricated by our quality of life. For example, little boys are given Ritalin, Adderall, etc., for “ADHD.” These are powerful stimulants. When they go off them, they “crash” into a deficit of neurotransmitter atrophy, causing depression. This might explain the great wave of methamphetamine use presently in under-30 year old men (who are no longer on ADHD meds). As for women, the sexual revolution has loosened the restraints of morality and it’s been shown that women who have had many lovers tend to suffer from depression more than those who try to remain chaste. And of course the abortion experience causes much depression in post-abortive women –to say nothing of those perform the abortions.

                      Also, depression is prevalent among the elderly for a variety of reasons: lost of spouse, illness, loss of friends, regret, etc. Now that that age cohort is the largest ever in history, we are seeing it in spades.

              • Thank you Heracleides..sometimes it feels like one is talking to the wind when one is trying to get a point across. I have no reason to fabricate anything because, as I’ve said, I was there and witnessed it all. This is all happening on Kodiak Island, Holy Resurrection Church, and if anyone remembers, there was a lof of back and forthing on the OCAnews blog…and regardless if it was a good or bad space, they let us tell our story. Practically all the priests in Alaska suffered under Nikolai and they finally said ‘enough’, and as you may remember, Alaska was finally relaeased from her years of misery. I am not afraid to speak out. I will meet my judge and condemnation on my Judgement Day. Wonder where Tikhon will be?

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              I really don’t know from personal experience how Ms. Baldwin lost her job in Sacramento. But I do very well remember her telling us that there was RACIAL prejudice in Sacramento and that it had always been there, that no Native American could get promoted. I’m shocked that Ms Baldwin thinks there were no Russian Orthodox employees of the state government in Sacramento!!!!!
              I also very well remember Vladyka Gregory telling me and a couple others who knew the former warden of a boys’ reform school who went to SVS but never married, and finally got ordained and went to Alaska, that Vladyka Gregory could not stop Fryntzko from striking “the natives” (that’s not my language) no matter how often he told him to stop it. If you didn’t see something, Ms. Baldwin, you apparently think it can’t exist! I’m surprised, if you’re much older than I, that you never learned that. You said I was “supposed to be in Portland for the consecration of the Altar at St. Nicholas Church”. Who told you that. Weren’t you told, rather, that I was NOT expected? You believe I CHOSE to have my ruptured hernia operated on, but that I should have let it go and been the fifth wheel when Metropolitan Theodosius chose to consecrate it. I consecrated churches while I was on active duty: Saint Sergius Church at Point Reyes’ Saint Eugene’s Hermitage and Saint John of Shanghai Monastery; the Church of the Theophany in Colorado Springs, and the Church of Saint Seraphim in Santa Rosa. I also participated in the consecration of the Saint John of Damascus Church in Poway which was also, like the Portland Church and the SVS Chapel, one of Father Vinogradov’s “condo-knockoff” creations. What in the world does “quizzled out” mean? Is that something Alaskan? By the way, you write that you had a much better “high” event without me! I think I know what a “high” event is, but I’m a little shocked there was one at a consecration! So you’re proud to be a starosta? Go ahead, but I don’t really recommend being proud of oneself for anything. There was much more to the departure of Dr. Black than her not deigning to make up a bed for someone, don’t you know?
              I imagine you would know, Ms. Baldwin (Gosh I hope that’s spelled ok?), that a few of the persons who let the Bishop who preceded Bishop Nikolai have their way with them are still around, and that Bishop Nikolai let it be known he knew of this and they were very glad to see him go.
              First, I am very glad for Raissa that she has seen the light and no longer accuses Bishop Nikolai of giving ANYTHING to the Theodosius Museum at St. Tikhon’s monastery, or taking ANYTHING from Alaska that was not his own!

              While you are the absolute expert on the way you like to spell your name, you are a little shakey otherwise, no? You used a non-existing word “dislusional” Did you mean, perhaps to disillusion me? Or maybe you wanted to say I suffer from delusions? I’m not sure how to take the latter possibility if you can write, “Maybe you’re a figment of my imagination.” Recognizing one is impaired may be the first step to recovery. I’m not aware of my using “big words.” I certainly never use the thesaurus to look up any words, though I have turned to it to correct others from time to time. You know, I am not Stephen Fitzgerald. S-t-e-p-h-e-n doesn’t even come close to Tikhon, which is my first name (see the title of my message). Ms. Baldwin! You have enough to worry about of your own without concerning yourself about how I will answer to your inability to control feelings of anger and disgust about me. I realize, too, that there is probably no Priest who never had SOME people who thought he was a saint. Father George Benigsen of blessed memory related a saying he said was well-known in Moscow. They say that you can get a purple kamilavka, go far out into the woods and put it on a tree stump and leave. If you come back a week later, it will be surrounded by adoring female admirers of mature age (actually, “klikushi”).
              If you don’t want to hear uncomfortable truths about those you’ve always admired, I advise you not to launch into falsehoods, rumors and gossip directed at those who never said they admired you, the crime of crimes for many veterans of previous episcopal administrations in Alaska. Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of blessed memory used to say that he did not believe in thanking a choir. The reason he gave was that they would be tempted to feel that they were needed by the Church. The Church, of course, does not NEED anyone, he said. And that is the truth. It is we who need the Church, not the other way around. Years ago I told Chris Banescu that Father Gregory Safchuk was wrong to say the Church needed more people like Chris, because the Church did NOT need Chris or anyone else. This resulted in hurt feelings and, apparently, a lifelong enmity. Choir singers should thank the Church for allowing them to sing: starostas should thank the Church for allowing them to be starostas. And so on. Drop the “proudly”, Ms. Baldwin, it doesn’t suit you.

              • Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
                Firstly, Your Lordship, I didn’t lose any job in Sacramento. We were transferred. If you didn’t live through McCarthyism at a time when being ‘Russian’ was dangerous, you haven’t lived. I never lost a job in my life. To satifsy your accusations, I am a PSI, legal/medical secretary, medical assistant, and pilot. We had our own Cessena 172 and flew all over sourthern California. Sacramento doesn’t come into the picture.
                I have no reason to fabricate any of what I’ve written. The Alaska clergy can verify anything I’ve said and written. If you weren’t in tune with what was happening then, there is no way you could know the depths of darkness that we were smothered in. When the wife and children of one of our ordained seminary graduates died in the fire, and all he and the villagers could do was stand and watch the rectory burn to the ground, it drove him to the bottle. Our Bishop kept this broken priest close to him to help him heal, but politics came in, the Bishop was removed and Nikolai took over. Rather than have compassion for this poor, broken man, Nikolai threw him out of the church. And does anyone remember Fr. Robert Polson and what Nikolai did to him?
                The events I’ve spoken of are just a drop in the bucket…but to any interested persons, these things have been documented, and with letters written singly and collectively from the Alaska clergy and lay persons, Nikolai was finally investigated and removed.
                And it appears His Worship likes to play games with words. My use of “proudly” denoted I was grateful to be carrying on in my grandmother’s footsteps and Aunt Kia’s, in serving. It’s a proud thing to be given the gift to have strong and willing hands, and the soul to put in hard work and many long hours dedicated to the service of the church. Some give lip service. Good enough if that’s all they have. Others put a dollar in the plate. I didn’t have money, but I had the will, so I gave of my time and effort. God accepted my labors, hopefully, and I’m grateful I was able to come home to carry on a long and beautiful family tradition of serving The Church. We all here in Alaska are trying to re-build what was once a peaceful and stable church. It’s a monumental task..occasionally one will come in and throw in the proverbial monkey wrench, but in time, that will be taken care of too. I’ve always been proud of my native blood, along with the English/Scots/Russian/Jewish blood. We have a saying here “We’ll be here long after ‘they’re’ gone”. So you can put away your sarcastic remarks about my complaining about prejudice in Sacramento. It’s there to be sure, but from the McClatchy/Democratic empire. We were transferred, and having moved to Southern California, I much preferred the cooler oceanside climate at Palos Verdes. Now I am home, and I continually give Thanks to God for allowing me to come home to live out my years in this most beautiful country. Not many of us are able to realize our dreams.
                Enough now…go take your nappy noo, and have a good one.

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Raisa wrote:

                  Others put a dollar in the plate. I didn’t have money, but I had the will, so I gave of my time and effort. God accepted my labors, hopefully, and I’m grateful I was able to come home to carry on a long and beautiful family tradition of serving The Church.

                  This, I get.

                  And for me, it is enough.

                  • Indeed….a true Orthodox witness. SO? Who is telling the truth?

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      The scenario we were presented with on ocanews is absolutely unacceptable on every level. I stand by all the questions I asked and everything I’ve said, though I have had a lot of conversations about it in real time, and have done a lot of thinking about it. If Bishop Nikolai was a good man before he went to Alaska, and this is shown by his reputation and his career, he cannot suddenly turn into a totally different person, and not only a “bad” person, but a monstrously, horribly, unthinkably bad person. Trash novels aren’t even written as poorly as that scenario played out on ocanews.

                      Let the truth be told. Just make it feasible.

                      And I do not believe that little old ladies are automatically holy, either. Nor do I believe that old men who sometimes write with an acerbic bite are automatically unholy. Nor do I believe that a person should believe everything they read.

                      Still, working tirelessly with your hands for the sake of the Church, with no money but a lot of giving, and being grateful to God for a good family hit home.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I totally agree with Jane Rachel in her message beginning “The scenario….”
                      However, relative to her last sentence, beginning, “Still, working tirelessly…” is also agreeable, but it’s problematic when that testimony is given only by oneself, rather than others, no?

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Yes, but it hit a memory chord. It was a sudden surge of appreciation for all people who work hard for others without asking anything in return, without letting anyone know what they are doing, and appreciation especially for both my grandmas and grandpas, all my great-grandmas and grandpas, great-great grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, my mother, my father, my sister, my brothers, my neighbors, my friend Viola, who recently died at 105, many of my other friends, and all the church ladies who make cabbage rolls without guile. Oh, and Saint Herman of Alaska. Oh, wait! What is the name of the female Saint who carried bricks by night to help, what, build a church?

                      Holy Blessed Saint Xenia!

              • Monk James says

                Christ is risen! Truly risen!

                Please forgive any typos — I’m still slowly recovering from eye surgery.

                Geo Michalopulos says:
                April 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

                ‘To all: just for the record, Cymbalta is now used primarily for fibromyalgia and Provigil for narcolepsy. In other words, there are perfectly good non-psychological conditions for which they can be used.

                ‘Regardless, depression should not be stigmatized as a “mental illness,” although strictly speaking it is that. The reason we try not to use those terms in pharmacotherapy is because in the popular imagination, mental illness = crazy person.’


                You might be interested to know that I’ve been taking Cymbalta for several years because of severe pain orthopedic and neurologic pain. My physicians assure me that I’m not suffering any sort of mental illness, since I questioned them about applications of Cymbalta.

                Still, in spite of what George Michalopolos writes here, depression is pretty firmly defined as a mental illness.

                My mother was misdiagnised for years and terefore improperly treated for depression when she was actually suffering manic depression, AKA bipolar syndrome. It all evened out eventually.

                It’s naive in the extreme to think that depression is not a mental illness.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  That’s right, Monk James, but I repeat: I have never ever said, admitted not intimated that I am taking or ever took medication for mental issues, specified or not.
                  Heracleides wrote;

                  ““Bear in mind though that Bp. Tikhon, by his own admission, takes medication for unspecified mental issues;”

                  I repeat the sentence above by Heracleides is an outright, blatant lie.

                  I believe I have always specified “clinical depression” as the malady from which I once upon a time suffered, as I’ve just stated. It’s not an issue..” And I’ve never even heard of a “mental issue”, have you? Would that be a special number of a professional journal, perhaps, called, ‘The November, “Mental” Issue” of our mag?

                  Again, Heracleides’ words were::

                  ““Bear in mind though that Bp. Tikhon, by his own admission, takes medication for unspecified mental issues;”

                  I do not take medication.
                  I don’t know what a “mental issue” is.
                  Heracleides here tries to use what I reported about my self years ago to try and discredit what I am writing today. That kind of lying is kooky.
                  Heracleides perhaps can’t even see his own lie.

                  • Heracleides says

                    Pfui! Only someone with mental issues would feign ignorance as too “what a mental issue is.” I suppose I should simply have said you’re a nut case (that technical enough for you? No? Then try: have been diagnosed with a mental illness), have taken psychotropic drugs to treat your mental illness, and that anything you have said past or present in regards to your crony Nikolai must be examined bearing those facts in mind. Only in the OCA could the two of you have been made bishops and remain so. The one thing worse than Nikolai being dumped on ROCOR would be you following suit. Heaven help us.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Mr. Michalopulos,

                  I have sat through enough informational (read that as “marketing”) presentations to know that Cymbalta (duloxetine) is primarily prescribed as an NSSRI (i.e. acting on both 5-HT & NE receptors) antidepressant. As the classic symptoms of episodes of major depression frequently include “somatic” (e.g body aches, joint pain, etc) demonstrations, to this day it remains controversial as the analgesic effect of Cymbalta:

                  A remarkable number of patients dropout of therapy because of intolerable adverse effects or experience only a small relief of symptoms, which does not outweigh the adverse effects. Houser, W. et al. CNS Drugs. 2012 Apr 1;26(4):297-307

                  In evaluating the efficacy and safety of gabapentin, duloxetine, and pregabalin in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, onset of pain relief beings faster and is superior with pregabalin. Devi, P, et al. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Jan;44(1):51-6

                  [We found] pregabalin to be the most cost-effective in treating patients with severe fibromyalgia. Lloyd A, et al. J Med Econ. 2012;15(3):481-92. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

                  I would note to you that rounding up these “details” took approximately 4 minutes of my time, apparently 4 minutes more than you exercised for the sake of accuracy.

                  And while you are still astride your “soap box,” are you aware that when children with ADHD are properly diagnosed, medicated, and participate in routine support services, they are statistically less likely to use illicit stimulants than non-ADHD diagnosed children? While I would be interested in your description of “neurotransmitter atrophy,” I would note to you that stimulant users routinely engaged in repetitive dosages unseen in the controlled treatment of ADHD in children and adults, upon abrupt cessation may experience in what is described as “hypophoria,” a unique state of the lack of satisfaction or pleasure, not depression. There is no parallel in the safe discontinuance of medications indicated for the treatment of ADHD. I find no evidence of a correlation of a “great wave” of illicit methamphetamine use with a history of treatment for ADHD in the research. If this was a cheap commentary on the “drugging of our children,” it is contrivance and plucked from your derrièr.

            • Jane Rachel says

              Raisa (you have a nice name, it’s pretty.) wrote: “When Nikolai threw all the library books out on the street, many came to take them rather than have them carried to the garbage dump.”

              Did Bishop Nikolai actually “throw” “all” the library books out on the street? Why were the books removed from the library? Were they catalogued and on shelves when they were taken out of the library and thrown on the street? Were the books in good shape? Were they “all” thrown out, and were they thrown out physically, as in, “tossed” out without regard or respect for them as books? Did you see him “throw” them out out the street? Were they in boxes? Was the word put out that people should come and take them if they wanted them?

              Raisa wrote: “Several generous families brought archival papers to the Seminary thinking they would be used to help the students in their studies. One set was finally ‘loaned’ to the Aliiutiq Musuem after a lengthy ugly issue, and the other, who knows?”

              Were the archival papers ever made available to be used by the students? Does the Aliiutiq Museum still have the papers? Why was it wrong to loan them to the museum? Should someone write to the museum and ask for them to be returned? Why was the issue “ugly”? Raisa, I don’t mean for you to answer all the questions, and everything doesn’t have to be explained, but I keep thinking there is more to it. Why were people offended, and how did all of this anger come to rest on Bishop Nikolai’s shoulders? Is it that they would like to know what happened to the items? I would want to know. The museum looks like a great place to donate things of value in order to protect them, but the person who originally owned them should know where they went. Also, were all the items that you mention were donated by families originally theirs? I can imagine there was a lot of moving things around from place to place over the decades, and that not everyone in the community agrees with everyone else about where these should go. (Please understand, I am a person who really cares, not some dumb person behind a keyboard in the lower states who doesn’t give a rat’s petootie about Alaska.)

              Raisa wrote: “Handmade candle stands from the Aleutians donated, disappeared, old books, books of Fr. Yakov in his own handwriting, translated by Dr. Black, disappeared.”

              I am very much enjoying the Alutiiq Museum web site What has made you come to the conviction, or know for certain, that Bishop Nikolai is responsible for the disappearance of these valuable items? Is any other explanation possible, other than the one you present, which is that he stole them, sold them for his own gain, gave them away without regard for anyone, or threw them away. As if he had no respect and hated all native people and everything to do with Alaska. That’s the picture we’ve been presented with, and it just doesn’t fit. It doesn’t make sense.

              Raisa wrote: “…one elder speaking at coffee hour was told by Nikolai “Shut up! You bore me”.

              I have respect for that elder. At the same time, I’ve also been misquoted, especially when everyone is already convinced I was the bad guy in the scene. Later, hearing what was said by somebody else, who said somebody else said I said that, I couldn’t believe my ears. I could not believe that people would say that I said THAT when I know I didn’t say it. I was there, and I know what I said or did not say. I also know people can mishear things because we all do and can’t help it.There are things that have been said that Bishop Nikolai said, that I would have to hear from the person under oath, and I don’t know if I could believe it even then that those actual words were spoken by him. Are you absolutely sure that Bishop Nikolai told someone that she should be thrown over a cliff? Would the person who says they heard it swear under oath that he said that? Using quotes means that you are ready to testify those were the person’s exact words, and that you know he said them.

              Raisa wrote: ” If you or anyone really want or needs to know all the things that went on, ask someone who was/is here. ”

              Well, I’m asking.

              Raisa wrote: “.And all native parishioners and choir, and seminary students, please step to the rear of the church. I’ve even seen the native students walk out in anger. Don’t blame them.”

              Did Bishop Nikolai actually order the native folks to go to the rear of the church, in the sense you portray, which is that he was acting like the white racists in the south who ordered African-American people to the back of the bus? Is there any other way of looking at it? Any other explanation other than racism? Because that’s what you are saying. You are saying that he was discriminating against the native Alaskans. That he was a racist, and that the non natives got to be in the front while the natives were pushed to the back. Are you one hundred percent sure? If you really think it over (I’m not insulting you), would you be willing to testify under oath (not that you would ever need to do that, but I’m saying), are you that absolutely sure that he was deliberately discriminating against the natives? Is there any other explanation?

              I would like to add one more thing. I live in my own home state now, but I’ve lived in other countries located literally on the other side of the world from my home. I never did adjust fully to my surroundings while I was there. The culture, the language, the ways of the people were very different from what I was used to at home. It was extremely difficult to be in settings where another language was being spoken that I couldn’t understand. I knew the people could have spoken English but they forgot I was there. It’s a very uncomfortable place to be. You feel like a square peg that has to somehow fit into a round hole, but you can’t carve yourself into that shape no matter how hard you try, and it’s not made any easier when some of the people don’t really want you there. I think on the other side, that the people who lived there also struggled with figuring out where I was coming from because my own native language and culture and life experiences were so different from theirs.

              • Jane Rachel says

                Nifty! Just because I think it’s interesting and there is still much to learn, I did a search on the museum web site for “Lydia Black” and found several references, including this article. Here’s a quote from that article:

                “There are about 1100 books and 1200 paper articles in the museum’s library, as well as 100 films, 20 audio recordings, and 220 maps” said Special Projects Manager Katie St. John. “Most of these materials were given to the museum, including a large collection of books from anthropologist Lydia Black.”

                I think that is cool.


              • Good questions all, Jane R. Perhaps someday we will investigate what really happened in Alaska. I for one, am very leery about accepting the Stokovite interpretation of things (about almost everything in general at this point).

                It all reminds me of Hardball back in the early 2000s. Chris Matthews ran incessant interviews with Iraqi dissidents who complained about how terrible things were under Saddam and how close he was to getting his hands on nuclear weaponry. We were assured that we would be able to erect a liberal democracy there lickety-split once he was removed. He even praised Bush 43 when he landed on the aircraft carrier and declared “Mission Accomplished.” Of course, when the insurgency gained steam in 2004-6 and we were losing men daily, he started singing another tune.

              • Yes Jane…right on the nose. He actually had them dumped out in the street in front of the Seminary. Word got around quickly and those who could quickly came and tried to rescue what books they could. Gone…so many valued publications.Nikolai wanted to ‘modernize’ the library and bring in (re-decorate) easy chairs and comfortable corners for the students to study..not bad, but costly in furniture and the loss of the books.The books were all cataloged, in varied conditons as books are in a library, all donated by various persons, families, generous donors.
                Re: papers: These two families in particular, donated (loaned0 the books/papers for a temporary time with the understanding they would be returned to their respective families. Nikolai took possession and refused to return them, and after a time, he ‘loaned’ them to the musuem under the family’s name but refused to relinquish them to the family. Don’t know what happened to the other family’s papers, as they were never heard from again. Ugly because any disagreement with Nikolai was most unpleasant. He could be quite unreasonable. One venerable old family, who’s father was Church reader for 40 years, was in attendance this particular Sunday Nikolai was here. He was giving his ‘homily’, and one of the men in the family was hard of hearing as most fishermen are after years of working/living on boats and the engine noise can/does diminish the hearing. His sister was whispering directly in his ear, telling him what Nikolai was saying, when Nikolai immediately stopped, and said something to the effect that if she could tell a better sermon tha he (Nikolai), then she can come up and tell it..then he ordered them all out of the church…the mother of the children who was Pres. of the Sisterhood for many, many years and the children. They left.
                Everyone was in shock.
                The museum was a hit and miss thing, many donated objects thrown in a closet; no order to what or who donated anything until Dr. Lydia Black took it over and gave it shape. She wrote for grants, air quality control, ‘merchandised’ items so they were protected, glass cases were donated, and many times I would be helping her when the seminary office was quiet and I didn’t need to man the phone. Nikolai sent most everything to Anchorage on the mainland for a museum he was opening there., Kodiak donations were all gone and our little musuem closed. After the Anchorage museum closed no one knows where everything was dispersed.I know for certain, and my conviction stands that Nikolai is responsible. We were building up. He came up and tore down. No one else was here to do that. It was evident. I just wish someone would write to verify, as I realize that many of you ‘out there’ have only the word I’m writing. But this was our church..Kodiak people, for generations. Many of our parents parents parents knew Fr. Herman. Were taught by him. My grandparents were married and buried in Holy Resurrection. My parent were married and buried in Holy Resurrection. I was baptized in Holy Resurrection, not buried yet, evidentally Our lives were peaceful and everyone worked for the good of the Church. What would any of us gain by stealing from Her? We only gave. Holy Resurrection was a poor village church. It was never meant to be rich or famous. There never was discourd until Nikolai came. It will take a long time for peace to come back to Holy Resurrection.
                We were in the social hall after Liturgy having coffee and breakfast. Most of the congregation was there plus the seminarians and their families. We all heard when Nikolia told the elder to ‘shut up’.
                Again, i realize it’s difficult for one not here to fathom what went on and what was said. Nikolai did not respect anyone or anything. He was quite cruel at times.
                Being at the rear of the church? Of course. Any one with a superiority complex would demand that. I wish I could remember the names of the priest who walked ou tin disgust after finding himself being pushed to the back of the church, and realizing others were being pushed back also. By the end of the Liturgy, it was most noticible that only the non-native choir singers and guests were up front. Hard to describe the scenario because it’s still happening today.And I realize it’s difficult for anyone not here to imagine something like that happening.when it’s not a practice where you are.And yes, I’m 100% sure because I saw it. I was Starosta and it was my business to be aware of all that was happening during services.
                Yes Jane..I understand what you’re saying…like cultural shock. I experienced that when I lived in Russia. While I understand Russian then, but would lose it when the person would speak so fast, and they’d forget I didn’t understand, and would sort of put me down. But up here the Upik, Aleut, Aliiutiq, all speak English. It may be their second language, but they speak excellent English. When I lived in Barrow I was at a distinct loss as I didn’t understand their language. Sorry, can’t even spell it..Inupik, I think…I can say it, but can’t spell it. And I’d stand around like a dummy not knowing what they were talking about.
                I hope I’ve answered most of your questions, and for anyone else too…just when we think things are quieting down, we get someone who can’t tolerate a peaceful atmosphere has to come along and dig the ugly up again. People like that remind me of a three year old with a wet diaper. So that’s how I’m try to respond to ‘him’…
                Dr. Lydia Black has some interesting books published about Alaska and her people. The Aliiutiq Museum here carries them..she was a wonderful woman who gave so much of her time to help others, even when they’d call her in the middle of the night asking questions on how could she help them trace their family history.
                Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! We must never lose sight of that.
                Respectfully to you all,

                • Anna Rowe says

                  Thank you for showing me keeping your faith will get you to a better place.
                  Giving hands are blessed things as they come with love:)

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Raisa, I appreciate your response. I don’ t know what to say, but that’s okay because it’s not up to me to say anything else. I’m very sorry for all your pain and loss, and for the loss of the valuable items.

        • Jane Rachel says

          In Bishop Nikolai’s own words:


          In addition to being accused of “selling” Alaskan lands, I have also been accused of “mortgaging Alaskan properties.” First, I would like to ask, who in today’s world has not legally sold property to upgrade or reinvest the proceeds? Yes, I have done this, and all the property that has been acquired is in the name of the Diocese of Alaska. In addition, my Diocesan Council has been apprised of every action we have taken. And the results: the old chancery I inherited was appraised for $325,000. It was sold for its appraised value and a down payment was placed on a new Chancery and a small apartment complex. This apartment complex was later sold for almost twice what we paid and the new Chancery was paid off. We then invested the remainder on a downtown property that currently serves as the Russian Orthodox Museum and Holy Trinity Chapel. God willing, this will grow into a center for our Church in the years to come. In addition, we paid off the Diocesan vehicle. As of today we have an approximate $345,000.00 mortgage on the Museum property. This is the ONLY mortgage we have! That property and the current Chancery are valued at approximately $1.5 million. I think most would agree that this is pretty good return on investment over the past five years considering what we had to start.

          What am I missing here? Anybody?

    • Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

      Simply amazing Diogenes. The day after the Feast of Feasts and you and your “grammatically confused” side-kick Stan Drezlo would take exception to a bishop serving at the invitation of a priest and his bishop on Pascha. If this is what gets you excited during Bright Week it is a sad commentary on both of you on the most joyous week of the year.

      • Jane Rachel says

        Well, Nikos, at least now we have a great update on Vladyka Nikolai from Vladyka Tikhon, and Diogenes is showing more of Eric Wheeler’s true colors. I support Bishop Nikolai (nothing new there). I believe that the facts about his life and career, combined with all we know about what was really going on behind the scenes back then, support the “astonishing coup” scenario. Compare Bishop Benjamin’s criminal record to Bishop Nikolai’s distinguished career record. It’s amazing when you think about it. People seem to gloss over the facts because they are uncomfortable with the truth. Compare what happened to Bishop Benjamin, to what happened to Bishop Nikolai. Who is made the hero and who is made the villain? Hear any clashing alarms? Does the hair on the back of your neck stand up? I respect Bishop Tikhon and Bishop Nikolai, and would be happy to receive their blessing, if I ever could. May there one day be vindication for Bishop Nikolai!

        The leaders of the Orthodox Church need to stand up and do what is right. Get the investigations going. This is just ridiculous. Honestly.

        (I am sitting here wondering how deep the corruption in Alaska goes….)

        • Jane,

          Christ is Risen!

          The OCA will continue to languish until it allows +Nikolai to be released to another jurisdiction, lifts the discipline against Fr. Kondratick, apologizes to Fr. Fester and reprimands Bishop Maymon. Our “leaders” also should apologize to +Jonah. No great fanfare, just do it. The world will not stop spinning on its axis, but in that “single moment” the OCA will have returned from its exile and with a chance to lead. If not, we will see this branch wither and die.

          Kudos to ROCOR and to the MP who want +Nikolai restored. Yes, Stan, The Centre blesses +Nikolai serving.

          • Jane Rachel says


            Indeed He Is Risen!

            “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”!

        • Heracleides says

          “Compare what happened to Bishop Benjamin, to what happened to Bishop Nikolai.”

          I think it wise to bear in mind that it was Nikolai who used his influence in the secular world to pull Benjamin’s fat out of the fire when he was jailed. Sorry, but neither of these “bishops” are living saints in my estimation.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            No need to apologize, Heracleides! Neither I nor anyone else consider Bishop Nikolai to be a living saint, although, traditionally, we are all considered to be saints created in the image and likeness of God.

            GOD FORBID that anyone called a living Saint would not only visit someone in prison but get him out of it, right?
            Who would have thought an act of charity was a crime? I have SO much to learn from Heracleides!

            • Heracleides says

              Lol. Yes, yes Bishop… and just what other drunk-drivers did Nikolai pull strings for? Can you name even one? How convenient that birds like Benjamin and Nikolai have stuck together in the past to derail the proper course of justice that most mere mortals must endure. Nice to see that cronyism is alive, well, and still defended amongst clerics of all ranks and status (former, current, retired, outcast, etc.).

              • Heracleides! Haven’t you ever read the famous letter Vladyka Nikolai wrote to Bishop Benjamin which was later sent to the Metropolitan, Pokrov, and then posted on line every place but on Mrs. Steve Brown’s site? There he listed just the high spots of his disappointment with Bishop Benjamin, which started probably in Anchorage, when Benjamin partied with G. Solak in the basement until Solak died of alcoholism and going on to ask Benjamin if the insurance company shouldn’t get their money back since the stomach stapling they paid for had been overcome by his unquenchable appetites. Those are just a couple points in demonstrating just the OPPOSITE of what you accuse Bishop Nikolai of doing. You only KNOW that Bishop Benjamin was in the drunk tank because of Bishop Nikolai’s letter, castigating him for, among other things, trying to pull rank on the arresting officer and then for voiding himself all over the patrol car. Where in the world, Heracleides, do you see “cronyism? If you think Bishop Benjamin and Bishop Nikolai are cronies or act like cronies…well, then you need professional help in my opinion. No one claimed that Bishop Nikolai routinely helped those in prison, at least, I didn’t. I just pointed to one instance of where Bishop Nikolai learned of one acquaintance (not crony, heracleides) being in the drunk tank and interceded with the arresting officer not to apply the full letter of the law to. Father Tosi also helped Bishop Benjamin a lot, and all his friends rallied around him, but Bishop Nikolai was not ever Bishop Benjamn’s :”friend”, let alone “crony.” For some reason you seem, though, not to be targetting Bishop Nikolai so much as me. Now why is that? Have I embarrassed you? If you have an issue with me, man up and tell us, instead of saying things about Bishop Nikolai that just about everyone here can disprove on the evidence

            • Heracleides says

              Keeping you in mind Bishop, I’m passing along a “Freebie” that is also viewable at:

              • I’m sure that cartoon has a point somewhere…Is the budding cartoonist resentful that Bishop Nikolai informed him of the porno sites on the computer Bishop Benjamin used when he was a Priest? Jane Rachel! Helga! Mike Myers! George! ANYBODY! What do you think of the idea that Bishop Nikolai and Bishop Benjamin are “cronies?” Is he fishing for slander? What possible motivation could there be for proffering such hallucinations here?
                Heracleides seems to be perverting the Gospel somehow. Being kind to someone is equated by him with cronyism. He counters the Lord’s Gospel imperatives with “But, won’t that sort of charitable behavior make me the CRONY of a malefactor?” By the way, I have no idea of all the instances Bishop Nikolai’s charitable behavior towards friends and strangers alike, but I sure know about a lot of them (but NOT from him) from people who expressed to me their respect and love for how Bishop Nikolai privately came to their aid in time of need. I myself was amazed that Bishop Nikolai EVEN provided a small kindness to Bishop Benjamin. I saw to it that Benjamin went to rehab, but I would never have done what Bishop Nikolai did for Bishop Benjamin. Bishop Nikolai is way out of my league in the field of helping (especially discreetly and privately) others, especially, but not only. families. Heracleides, don’t align yourself with Diogenes types, and with the author of, please!

                • Heracleides says

                  I ain’t buying it, Bishop (cue lecture on proper English grammar), wether peddled by you or anyone else:

                  Benjamin = scoundrel – therefore – Nikolai = saint

                  Obviously, Nikolai is your friend, but defending him no matter the circumstance is unbecoming, especially for a bishop. Take a step backward and consider the full implications of Nikolai’s letter itself. Heaven protect us from such “bishops” (both those being ratted on and those doing the ratting for no reason other than spite). Why any outsider reading such trash would want to be joined to Orthodoxy in any manner whatsoever is beyond me.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    I think that when a brother offends you, you should take it up with him personally. If that doesn’t work, tell two or three others. If that doesn’t work “TELL IT TO THE CHURCH.” Bishop Nikolai wrote a letter personally to Bishop Benjamin, who received it, commented on it to others, but did not reply. Then Bishop Nikolai sent the letter to two or three others cc; BB, finally he sent it to the Holy Synod and to other places throughout the Church.
                    You don’t have to buy this Gospel procedure, of course.
                    I hope your latest slam at me at least shows you’ve given up on that insane idea that Bishop Nikolai and Bishop Benjamin are cronies! As for it being unbecoming of me to defend a friend, Heracleides…I didn’t lay down my life for Bishop Nikolai. If you paid attention to the Gospels in Passion Week, you should acknowledge that SOME people don’t agree with you: “Greater love hath no man than..: what, Heracleides?

                    I think if these “outsiders” read that you disagreed with our Lord’s advice about telling things to the Church, and disagreed with a Bishop doing something for a friend, they might, indeed, say, “FT” and go elsewhere, Heracleides, setter of ethical standards.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      To all: I honestly don’t know the particulars of how/when/why Bp Nikolai came to the aid of the priest in question. I probably would have done the same thing myself, being as I’m of a merciful bent and know of my own foibles. I have been undeservedly covered in God’s mercy. I have no right to be walking around today; literally, there but for the Grace of God, go I.

                      We very often make the mistake of thinking at the end-result and looking back in regret. As in: why didn’t I come to Bob’s aid when he needed it, or why didn’t I let Bill suffer the consequences of his actions early on when spending 90 days in the pokey for Grand Theft Auto when he was young would have been better than going to Death Row for Murder One ten years later?

                      My point is that we shouldn’t be too harsh on Bp Nikolai or anybody else for that matter. Perhaps we can all learn mercy from this.

                    • Heracleides says

                      No matter how much “gospel” lipstick you want to slap on that pig, Bishop, it still squeals. My only regret is that apparently my new home is going to have this man pawned off on us.

                      Let’s see… AOA dumps Mark on the OCA. OCA dumps Nikolai on ROCOR. So, I suppose that ROCOR is now up to bat… I wonder which loser we will dump on GOA? The RC’s shunt around bad priests while we shunt around bad bishops. To me, this is one of the greatest evils that the present jurisdictional disorder gives rise too.

                      P.S. George – this was no “mercy” – it was the outright pulling of political strings to prevent justice from taking its due course. Period.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Heracleides wrote: “Benjamin = scoundrel – therefore – Nikolai = saint”

                    Heracleides, I appreciate your unflinching push for clarity.

                    Bishop Nikolai wrote, among many other things:

                    “Believe me I have shortcomings and one of them that is necessary for me to
                    improve is how I am perceived as to strict. One can give the same medication
                    with honey and it goes down easier than with vinegar.” (

                    I believe based on what I’ve read, that Bishop Nikolai sometimes had to use “vinegar” rather than “honey.”. I’m not justifying Bishop Nikolai’s actions for personal reasons, nor putting biased glasses on when interpreting what people write. I was not there. I have considered everything Rosabel Baldwin and everyone else has written. I am not remotely convinced that Rosabel has the ultimate understanding. Although I wasn’t in Alaska, I have been there and done that. Humans act in predictable ways.

                    Of COURSE Bishop Nikolai is not “A Saint”! Why are the icons of Saints stylized?

                    The letter to Bishop Benjamin was for Bishop Benjamin’s eyes alone. What Bishop Nikolai wrote would not drive me away from the Church, but what Bishop Benjamin DID might have scandalized me, though in the end, it was the truth of Orthodoxy that converted me, and the corruption that in the end nearly killed me. I believe that Bishop Nikolai pushed hard and strong against Bishop Benjamin’s immorality, for Bishop Benjamin’s sake. I am sure he wrote the letter to try to get Bishop Benjamin to look at himself in the mirror, sans rose-colored glasses, and repent. I guess I agree it was a mistake to help get him “bailed” out of jail. I don’t believe for even one second, based on what I’ve learned about Bishop Nikolai, that he did that out of corrupt motives. I believe he did it out of love and hope.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Jane Rachel, much of what you say is correct. I don’t know if the missions that started within the last 20 years would have had we known the extent of the corruption. Scandal is a bad word but sometimes it has to be used.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Until Heracleides returns to a semblance of sanity, I don’t think it would be productive for me to correct him on any points whatsoever. It looks to me like he’s trying to accuse Metropolitan Jonah of indulging in episcopal cronyism and corruption by “dumping” Bishop Nikolai on ROCOR. Is he basing that on one of Diogenes’s provocative comments? All I know is that Bishop Nikolai who is under no ecclesiastical suspension and has been convicted of no canonical or other crimes whatsoever as has already been officially declared in a letter to the Holy Synod of the Church of Serbia by Metropolitan Jonah in order for Bishop Nikolai to be able to serve in Serbia and Herzegovina (his ancestral homeland) during the time he was subjected to long and painful cancer therapy, successful and now completed, has been blessed by Archbishop Kyril of ROCOR’s San Francisco diocese to serve the Divine Liturgy and all other services at the Los Angeles Cathedral from Lazarus Saturday (Also Annunciation, O.S., this year) through Pascha, Some photos have already appeared on Facebook. Heracleides actually KNOWS nothing about Bishop Nikolai except gossip by the same clique that recently went after Metropolitan Jonah and Archpriest Joseph Fester. Some people, who apparently think like Heracleides, BLAME Metropolitan Jonah for releasing Father Joseph to the Carpatho-Russian diocese, and for the same cock-eyed reasons! Bishop Nikolai has been forbidden by Bishop Benjamin to even enter St. Paul’s Church in Las Vegas,which wouldn’t even exist, save for Bishop Nikolai’s determination to see an American Church there, let alone have such a magnificent temple in which to glorify God. Neither will the Holy Synod of the OCA, bullied by Bishops Nikon, Benjamin, and Archbishop Nathaniel, even allow Bishop Nikolai a vicariate or parish. ROCOR afforded the cancer survivor and Bishop the blessing of being able to glorify God by serving Him as his oaths required him to do. I think you will find that the clergy and Faithful of the Los Angeles cathedral parish are thankful for the joy that was brought them this year through Bishop Nikolai. What turned Heracleides into such a sourpuss and sorehead anyway, especially during these Bright and Holy Days?

                    • Heracleides says

                      “Until Heracleides returns to a semblance of sanity…”

                      “…well, then you need professional help in my opinion!”

                      “What turned Heracleides into such a sourpuss and sorehead anyway…”

                      My-oh-my, Bishop. Argumentum ad hominem is it now? I had expected better from you, “especially during these Bright and Holy Days.”

                    • Centurion says

                      I find it quite ironic that the poster child for delusion and despicable comments about so many things admonishes another about not having any “semblance of sanity.”

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Okay, I want to get to the bottom of this. What are you saying, Heracleides? The bailing out? The letter? What?

                    • Heracleides says

                      By Bp. Tikhon’s own admission, I am speaking of Nikolai’s direct intervention, as a high mucky-muck with the Prosecutor’s Office, with the Police Department, to prevent Benjamin from being charged appropriately. It worked and Nikolai gets the credit for this miscarriage of justice. These jokers seem to think they are above the law – and apparently at times they are.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      You know what? Name calling, slanderous, nasty remarks, physical descriptions are not necessarily argumenta ad hominem. To be “argumentum ad hominem” a charge has to be made that the validity of a line of reasoning is affected, well or adversely, by the qualities of the arguer. To reveal that an argument is insane, fantastic, hallucinatory or stupid is not “ad hominem. To reveal that that an arguer is insane, ugly, smelly, etc., is not ad hominem unless the qualities are used to try and discredit an argument.
                      My arguments have been logical: the conclusions follow from the premises as I stated them. Heracleides has yet to put forth a logical argument. His “conclusions” are not based on valid reasoning, but irrational emotion; however, if I were to say, “Oh, Heracleides is a great guy and a good amateur cartoonist, therefore his claims are valid,” then, Heracleides, that would be “ad hominem.’ If I would say, “I believe X because he’s such a good man,” that would be ad hominem. Get it? Perhaps there’s a community college nearby that offers a course or courses in logic. Why not give it a try? I’m so embarrassed for grown-up, allegedly educated people who can’t even use the term ad hominem or argumentum ad hominem validly. By the way, Bishop Nikolai has not been a high or any other kind of mucky-muck in the District Attorney’s Office, for many a year, and had not been for many years when Bishop Benjamin crashed into that tree and then ran home to hide. It’s just that Bishop Nikolai’s REPUTATION, not his position, is so well known around Las Vegas that he can help even a DOG that needs help. “These jokers seem to think they are above the law’ sounds like a line from a failed police procedural series. Bishop Nikolai prevented NO ONE from being charged appropriately. That was a falsehood which I never stated. He persuaded an officer of the law to exercise discretion and violated no laws in fact or principle, thereby. Why try to make a sow’s ear out of a silk hat, Herc? As long as we’re indulging in school yard/sandbox tactics, I’ll just say, ‘I win: you lose, and I accept your apology, thanks.”

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Poor old Centurion. Everyone ignored his post about Zimmerman, etc. etc., so now he takes a swipe at me for something I never said. I suggested Herc needed to RETURN to a semblance of sanity. I did not suggest he needed to obtain or get sanity or that he lacked sanity: I did imply he needed to return to a SEMBLANCE of sanity. In other words, Centurion, Herc may be sane but he doesn’t display signs of it lately. Get it now? I guess Florida must be a pretty lefty place, eh? Charging Archangel and Great White Martyr Zimmerman with murder in the second degree!!! How lefty and corrupt can Florida law get?

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      All right, then. Glad to hear THAT’S cleared up.

                      Here was Nikos’ statement from this morning:

                      The OCA will continue to languish until it allows +Nikolai to be released to another jurisdiction, lifts the discipline against Fr. Kondratick, apologizes to Fr. Fester and reprimands Bishop Maymon. Our “leaders” also should apologize to +Jonah. No great fanfare, just do it. The world will not stop spinning on its axis, but in that “single moment” the OCA will have returned from its exile and with a chance to lead. If not, we will see this branch wither and die.

                      Kudos to ROCOR and to the MP who want +Nikolai restored. Yes, Stan, The Centre blesses +Nikolai serving.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Your Grace, I’ve recently read, again, many of the negative letters concerning Bishop Nikolai that were written by clergy and lay people in Alaska, and posted on ocanews. They seem pretty upset. I do want to understand. Would you let us know us your feelings and observations as well as what is the truth, if you can tell us, about all that?

                      Here are a couple of links:




                      Jane Rachel

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Is it possible that Bishop Nikolai was shutting down a comfortable situation (things missing, money missing, secrets locked in closets) and he was actually taken down by numerous people for various, dark reasons? Some followed, some listened and jumped to conclusions, some were manipulated, some led. It has to be that this is the case. I mean, I can’t see it any other way. Look who their bishop is now! And when I read what Bishop Nikolai has written, I can’t believe that a man who writes the way he does, who has had a career without blemish to the point where the Nevada governor names a day after him (and all this is without mentioning the good that has also been spoken about him by those who know him), is an abusive monster, as he has been betrayed, and I do not believe it because I cannot reasonably “get there from here.” This inner contradiction actually proves within my mind that what was written about him by many of these folks was the result of a manipulated public mentality carefully crafted to incite the “righteous” crowd to cry out “crucify him!’, created by those behind the scenes leaders who really wanted to take him down because he was dangerous. As in, “SCARY.” And he must have been. I can picture it. As in, “GET OUT OF THIS TEMPLE!” Now I’m speculating. Oops.

                      As in the case with Father Robert Kondratick, it does not add up to a realistic picture as it was presented, no matter how many “respectable” people were involved in writing those letters. I’ll tell you one thing, I would never have written public letters with very little substance about anyone no matter what they had done. Even this fact leads to the notion that they were not such great, upstanding and wise leaders. What was wise about what they said, and the way they vilified him without any real substance? I should know it’s possible, it happened to me, too. No. I can’t see that there is any other path than the one I’ve been on; that is, to come to the same conclusion as always, which is that all those letters and complaints are without any real substance, and that I continue to support and respect Bishop Nikolai as I always have. There is no other way for me to go. Look at the pattern. It happened twice, to two separate men, in the same way, at the same time, with the same shady characters running the show, with the same motivation behind it, and then it happened again, and again.

                      All right, then. Go ahead, Rosabel, give it your best shot.

                    • Anna Rowe says

                      I just read the letters posted on the links by JR. I don’t know what the bottom is but I see those individuals did sign their names. Something must have happened. Perhaps the bottom will never be known or there is no bottom to “get to”. I DO think re-hashing this stuff on blogs makes all involved re-live everything over and over again. No healing can happen. ….how can one repent or forgive?

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Anna, there are a lot of people who are completely unconvinced that wrong was done to these men, and remain adamant that Mark Stokoe somehow “saved” the OCA from their corruption.

                      If Bishop Nikolai is released by the OCA and accepted into ROCOR, and if that’s what he wants, then fantastic. Maybe after that there won’t be any more need to “rehash” the past. He will be working as a bishop again, and being a bishop is his calling. Right now he’s not even allowed to enter the church he built. In a way, if he is able to serve as a bishop, this will be a vindication for him. Also, a lot of us lived through this mess, so for those of us who believe justice was not served and real wrongs were committed by leaders still in power, it’s still fresh and painful. There will not be healing until some of these wrongs are made right. There has been no resolution and no reconciliation. This public forum is the only place there is for us. If people don’t want to read it because it’s too painful, well, they don’t have to read it. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Jane Rachel! Thanks to a comment by Ms. Raissa (Rosabel) Baldwin, I was reminded of another matter. Bishop Nikolai both before and after his retirement tirelessly tried to right the injustice of the “Metropolitan Theodosius Museum” at St. Tikhon’s Monastery with its treasures misappropriated from Alaska without the knowledge of the Church in Alaska. It’s well known that former Bishops in Alaska ended their tours with personal collections of Alaskan and Church arts and crafts, including precious icons and vestments, etc. I suppose it’s a good thing that some of those objects were released from personal treasuries and given to the Church in Pennsylvania. Bishop Nikolia however persisted and still persists in complaining and demanding that such goods be returned to Alaska, and if some are being returned, it’s because Bishop Nikolai brought the matter to Metropolitan Jonah’s attention. And Ms. Raissa (Rosabel) Baldwin doesn’t want to hear how much of Bishop Nikolai’s personal savings, accumulated prior to his becoming a Bishop, had been SPENT on, given away to the Church in Alaska.
          It used to be said, shamelessly, among seminarians and the like, that during the time of Bishop Vladimir, Bishop Theodosius, Bishop Gregory through the time of Bishop Innocent, the unofficial theme song of the Alaskan diocese was “A Pretty Boy is like a Mel-o-dy!” That, too, like much other problematic activity that never disturbed the “status quo” and its human icons, was brought to a screeching halt by Vladyka Nikolai.

        • The corruption in Alaska went when Nikolai went.
          I could make a nice comment re: the song you mention, but I don’t want to bring myself down to your level.

          • In additon …the song was about and to Isadora…sorry…Isador…

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              Can’t spell that one either, eh? (Good-natured chuckle and “nudge-nudge”).
              By the way, was Father Isidore even born when Bishop Theodosius, Father David Black, and Father Michael Irwin were in Alaska? I heart his papa in Oregon used to beat him mercilessly as a boy.

              But who is the Isador or Isadora of whom Saint Rosabel Baldwin writes? Any relation to Isadora Duncan, the American dancer and lover of the Soviet Poet, Sergei Esenin?
              Jane Rachel wrote well when she wrote this:
              ‘It was a sudden surge of appreciation for all people who work hard for others without asking anything in return, without letting anyone know what they are doing,”
              I agree, Jane Rachel. I have a mental issue (get it, Herc?) with anyone who, on the Internet, modestly divulges on his or her own behalf his or her fabulous, humble, non-mercenary, modest, and unrewarded deeds. I hate to see people reach old age and still worry people won’t see all the good they’ve done, unlike others. And to use one’s own good deeds to support an argument against another person is truly and accurately “ad hominem.”
              Jane Rachel’s people did not let anyone know what they are doing.
              Now, who is the rector of the parish on Kodiak? What does he have to say about all this stuff about Bishop Nikolai introducing evil and sin into Alaska for the first time?
              I remember mentioning in Colorado in conversation that I had graduated from high school in January, 1950. Father Isidore popped up with, “Vladyka! That was before my grandmother was born!”

              • Heracleides says

                Again with the mockery of an elderly lady, eh Bishop? With an advocate such as yourself, is it any wonder that your crony, Nikolai, remains in ecclesial limbo? As previously noted, you are a petty man unworthy of the office.

                Given that you claim to be off your medications, you truly are to be pitied. Get help, Bishop, as your words only serve to showcase how profoundly disturbed you are. Does your illness go beyond the physiological? Is its origin perhaps demonic? One wonders.

                P.S. You have repeatedly claimed that “much of Bishop Nikolai’s personal savings, accumulated prior to his becoming a Bishop, had been SPENT on, given away to the Church in Alaska.” Where then are the receipts to corroborate your (and presumably his) claim? To quote you: “Put up or shut up!”

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Heracleides, get a life, preferably a life with Christ.
                  Try to realize there’s more to life than Bishop Tikhon and your heroic jousting with him, no?
                  There’s a whole world out there. A human being’s more than a Pointer or a Setter.

                  As for Bishop Nikolai, why should he have receipts? Do you think it’s impossible to give anything away without getting an income tax deduction (the only reason to keep receipts)?

                  You don’t have to answer this. No one except maybe you is keeping score.
                  I’ll treat Ms. Baldwin like a healthy adult with whom i disagree, and sometimes this will require gentle mockery, rather than Heracledean barking, snapping, and snarling. Now if she wants to be treated as a “feeble old trout,” that’s her business.
                  I shouldn’t mock you, though, Heracleides, it isn’t any where near a level playing field in your case and I believe in sportsmanship.

                  Now, if you can’t do anything but interact with me here, then I really will have to stop commenting here. Ms. Baldwin made me think of a judgement. I’d feel awful if I were asked, “What did you hope to accomplish with Rosabel and Heracleides?”

                  So, I repeat, get a life, Heracleides. Mike, Jane Rachel, Helga, Nikos, etc., keep up the good work. Anyone else besides Heracleides who has a ‘mental issue” with me, I hope your condition will be ameliorated and your burdens lightened by my departure for my Persian lessons.
                  Here’s a great quotation from the Persian poet whom President Obama cited, as i recall, in one of his earlier addresses: Sa’di:


                  • Heracleides says

                    “Heracleides, get a life, preferably a life with Christ.”

                    “The bishop [Tikhon Fitzgerald] at one point admonished parents to “get a life – get a life in Christ”.

                    Source: (Near bottom of webpage under “Anon predator”.)

                    Recycling the same flippant comment when someone interacts with you in a manner you find challenging? How, um, original. Interesting to note that this was originally your response to those who brought to your attention that their children were prey to a pedophile in their midst at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco. How utterly sad.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Your Grace, several people will miss your presence here, that is, if you have really decided not to comment here at all. I have no problem with you or your comments, or even that you would tell people to “Get a life in Christ” for any reason or other. Does that make me a bad person too?

                    For some reason the phrase, “April is the cruelest month…” came to mind, so I’ll post the first part of The Waste Land. I’m an artist with an artist’s brain, so it has some odd meaning to me, and seems appropriate to the situation, maybe I thought of it only because it’s April and snowing outside. I’m not sure why. But in any case, thanks again for all your comments.

                    T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). The Waste Land. 1922.

                    The Waste Land

                    I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

                    APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
                    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
                    Memory and desire, stirring
                    Dull roots with spring rain.
                    Winter kept us warm, covering 5
                    Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
                    A little life with dried tubers.
                    Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
                    With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
                    And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, 10
                    And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
                    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
                    And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
                    My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
                    And I was frightened. He said, Marie, 15
                    Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
                    In the mountains, there you feel free.
                    I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

                    What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
                    Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 20
                    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
                    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
                    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
                    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
                    There is shadow under this red rock, 25
                    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
                    And I will show you something different from either
                    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
                    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
                    I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 30
                    Frisch weht der Wind
                    Der Heimat zu,
                    Mein Irisch Kind,
                    Wo weilest du?
                    “You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; 35
                    They called me the hyacinth girl.”
                    —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
                    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
                    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
                    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40
                    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
                    Öd’ und leer das Meer.

                    Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
                    Had a bad cold, nevertheless
                    Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, 45
                    With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
                    Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
                    (Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
                    Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
                    The lady of situations. 50
                    Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
                    And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
                    Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
                    Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
                    The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. 55
                    I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
                    Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
                    Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
                    One must be so careful these days.

                    Unreal City, 60
                    Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
                    A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
                    I had not thought death had undone so many.
                    Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
                    And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. 65
                    Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
                    To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
                    With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
                    There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
                    You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! 70
                    That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
                    Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
                    Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
                    Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
                    Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again! 75
                    You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

                    • Heracleides says

                      Not to worry Jane. On this blog the Bishop has threatened to leave on at least two occasions and subsequently remained. He has made similar announcements on various other fora over the years and to my knowledge never followed through. As usual, those who trumpet their departure rarely do.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Heracleides, I realize you think it shows lack of character but in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if someone says they are leaving and then returns. I don’t think any less or any more of that person for doing so. It’s hard to stay away when you continue to read and want to comment, but if you do you might lose face, well who really cares? It’s rather like leaving a conversation while being there at the same time. I would feel the same way if you left, or any of the contributors who make me think outside the box. I have to say there are times I take a stance for the sake of questioning or challenging the other side, just to try to keep the thinking about it alive, so it doesn’t languish in the mud, if that makes sense. I want to think through all the issues being discussed. I can’t think through them if I accept everything I read as “gospel” without questioning it, because all points of view are so strongly presented, and they often clash so completely.

                      Speaking of sometimes controversial and almost always thought-provoking contributors on Orthodox discussion sites, Father Ambrose in New Zealand is another Orthodox contributor to blogs I’ve been reading for many years and have grown very fond of. He’s sick with cancer and in his nineties, I believe. He’s on my mind a lot lately, so I wanted to take the opportunity to wish him all the best in every way. I believe he reads this blog since he commented a couple of months ago. You know me, Fr. A, but I haven’t used my real name here. Many thanks – or should I say much love and many prayers of thanks to God for all you’ve done, including helping people all over the world learn about Orthodoxy, for your witness to the Light of Christ, and all your labors for the physically and spiritually poor and needy, whether on the internet, or where you live.

                  • I read something here that grieves me written by the great Oracle; “A feeble old trout”. I anguish that I’ve caused a person who, even tho’ elevated to a high rank in the Orthodox Church, resorts to insulting his elders. So be it. He enjoys his spitting matches.
                    This will be my last posting. I ask forgiveness of you who have read what I’ve written whether of not you believe, it is no matter to me. I feel that I do not want to lower myself any further with discourse on a subject that in the eyes of one, or some, didn’t or couldn’t happen. Look around you…it’s happening all over. The Great One lives cooped up in the Cathedral being in a prison. I served there several years. I remember it well. I was Church council member, FROC district recording secretary, and FROC West Coast District recording secretary. Spent much time at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral Not to mention being on the banquet committee and cook book committee.
                    So, this ‘old trout’ is retiring to the greenhouse; just planted tomatoes, corn, squash and a few other delicacies. Spring is here on this most magnificient island. A true Blessing from God, and to be sharing the spring with Resurrection time, is wonderful! Truly! I’ll be fine tuning my fishing poles as the dollies will be running shortly, first fish of the season, and that’s Arctic Char or ‘TROUT’ to those who don’t know. Real delicacies too. So, I wish you all well, and may God Bless you and your families. This is my last post…and will be cancelling my ‘subscription’ to this site. You’ll find me at the beaches spashing the waters.
                    And may His Wonderfulness grow in wisdom in his dotage.
                    CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Raisa, I hope those Orthodox people who hurt the Orthodox people of Alaska will apologize and ask forgiveness. Wouldn’t that be AMAZING?!? Life is sad at times, isn’t it? But also beautiful. The garden sounds lovely! We had clam chowder today made with carrots we saved over from last year’s garden and the asparagus is sending up shoots.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Mrs Baldwin, from what little I know about this whole affair, it appears that Fr Isidore suffered from certain afflictions but is presently in some type of recovery phase. The Christian thing would be to pray for him. If you have any further problems with him, please feel free to take it up with your’s and his bishop. (I assume you live on the West Coast.)

              • We don’t know what Isadore suffers from. And I didn’t bring it up. I could not stand still while our Old Fr. Innocent and others who have honestly and diligently worked to restore Orthodoxy in Alaska were unfairly malighned. Most have departed this life and are not here to defend themselves. I live on an Island, called Kodiak, if you’ve read my previous postings. The Church, Holy Resurrection, was founded by the original missionaries, St.. Herman amonst them, who brought Orthodoxy to America in 1794. I was Starosta for many years here and at the time of the ‘great darkness’..The priests who spoke out bringing all this shame to light are Alaskan priests who suffered geatly because of Isador’s and Nikolai’s ‘afflictions’. The Church should not be a haven for those who suffer these ‘afflictions’ and if they are willing to undergo treatment for these ‘afflictions’ and continue their role as priests in the OCA they should not openly practice their ‘afflictions. We would have been willing to help these two ‘afflicted’ souls find help, but they considered us quite beneath them. Off course, responsible and caring Christians should pray for those who suffer these ‘afflictions’ and pray God will help them because we couldn’t.

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  At the present, Fr Isidore is a priest in the Diocese of Alaska, whose locum tenens in His Grace Bishop Benjamin of California. As such, and for as long as he remains a priest, please refer to him by his clerical title of “Fr.” And as always, you are free to address your concerns to his –and your–bishop.

              • Mr. Michalopulos…if you would but research, you will find this issue went all the way to Syosset, and beyond. That’s what it took to recall Nikolai. He has been banned from Alaska. Our present ‘bishop’ was part and parcel of a ma jor problem, so he’s of no use to the Diocese here. I had nothing to do with it..I am only a servant. And just reporting it as accurately as possible so that someone somewhere will wish Nikolai well in ROCOR, and don’t look back…we aren’t here anymore.

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Mrs Baldwin, just so I am sure of what we are talking about, are you saying that His Grace Bishop Benjamin is also part of this problem?

  59. Oh your Grace, you’re surely trying to pull my leg?

    “Joseph. You surely didn’t eat “fat and meat and all kinds of protein” at all during the Great Fast and Passion Week just passed, did you? ”

    Of course not! I started eating all the nice fatty things in SEPTEMBER of 2011 and lost all that combustible fat by Christmas (I am 6′-6″ and the surplus 30 pounds were “somewhat” visible). I am also married,and if I would have even thought of meat during Lent, my wife would have put a stop to that thought the moment it emerged…

    Being married also explains to me that your theory of a man just sitting around and losing muscle must be faulty. Any one who is the husband of a good wife will certify the truthfulness of the impossibility of any husband sitting around and harmlessly losing muscle tissue. It just cannot be done. Any wife, since Eve, will NEVER allow any husband, since Adam, to just sit idle and innocently by himself and lose anything… it’s just not possible.

    “Since when, by the way, have Germans had a “nihilistic Weltanschauung?” Please, elaborate on that.”
    Mmmh, I live in the most western part of Western Canada any more western and you would get wet feet, but visit regularly the places and friends of my reckless youth. The people I visit and talk to are in desperate ways, politically, religiously and in general outlook at life. They were not that way, I remember… Something is broken. They are good people, but resigned and broken. They have given up. They did not pro-create. They do not believe in a future. They have given up on God. They are hedonists of a sad variety, dissatisfied with even golden spoons…. They want “Nachtigallenzungenwurst” (you may remember how that is made, the meat of one horse plus one tongue of a nightingale) and actually get it, only to be even more disappointed after they have tasted that latest “thrill”… They actually relish the thought of the end of western civilization and “kinda” look forward to it. I think that qualifies for nihilism. I always go home sad.

    In addition, – twelve years of fascism, 45 years of Communism, two lost wars, the destruction of the “Buergertum” then a short flowering of it in the 50-60s, then the awful 68ers, the influx of the old unrepentant communist-guard into the Western politics and civil-service after re-unification, the crass secularism and materialism of today and the insane politics of bringing 7 Million aggressively Muslim Turks of whom the majority lives on welfare into a formerly homogeneous nation, never mind the inanities of the EU…and to top it all the modern plagues of leftism, PC and multi-culturalism. – could that have something to do with the sad state of the German mind?

    “Have you ever glorified God in the Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig or the Saint Simeon of the Mountain of Wonders Church in Dresden?”
    No! Despite having been born in the East (by accident of “certain” military events), I never have visited the East. I grew up along the Rhine and that is where I go when visiting. That is also where my ancestral home, which I can trace to 1403, is located. I always visit the small church of St. Mary Magdalene in Darmstadt/Hesse which was built by Tzar Nicholas II (on Russian soil brought in by railroad) for his family when the imperial family visited the “in-laws”… That beautiful small church was a museum through all my youth and I visited often with my school. Today, it is a thriving parish of about 60+ people under ROCOR. There are other old Russian churches nearby in Wiesbaden and Bad Kreuznach and of course many new Greek, Romanian and Serbian churches in the larger cities like Frankfurt and Mainz, etc. But I love St. Mary Magdalene’s…

    “I’ll take dieticians’ expertise over ideological cant any day.”
    I rather listen to my wife. It is healthier in more than just one respect… and she’s an excellent cook.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Thanks, Joseph! I already knew that the Germans have the most prosperous society and strongest economy in Europe and that they are the main ones contributing to the support of Greece Spain Portugal, etc.,as well as helping to support the American empire through NATO I’m sure that someone who abandoned his homeland and may sometimes feel unsure about the wisdom of it would emphasize how wise he was to leave, unlike the poor miserable downcast “nihilists” who did not.
      But, Joseph, you spoke of nihilists. But you didn’t provide any evidence or examples of German nihilism in your advertisement of your curriculum vitae. We all know about Nietzsche, but today’s Germans? None that I know.
      Although I know that some Turks immigrated into Germany from anti-religious Turkey (which allows NEITHER Christians nor Muslims to have seminaries) and while I know that there are, nevertheless, some immigrant Turks in Germany who are, perhaps, fanatical Muslims, and others who ‘hang out” at mosques which serve the purpose of cultural community centers (like the Greek community centers usually erected by Greek immigrants before they got around to building churches), I am astonished, yes, astonished that a NON-leftist would claim that, of the many immigrant Turks, seven MILLION (7,000,000) of them are “aggressively Muslim.” Isn’t it lefties that blame so much on religion and religious people? Didn’t they persecute Muslims in the old USSR and in China (where they still do)?
      “Seven million aggressively Muslim Turks!” Wie sagt man “howler” auf Deutsch?
      I suppose Germans, in their putatively downcast state (do they know about this?), don’t find the energy to support their athletes, footballers, etc. Look up nihilism and then try to explain how the German people of today could be characterized as imbued with it. A true nihilist would give up eating. Admittedly some DEPRESSED people eat compulsively, but nihilists are rarely depressed, since they have no expectations that can be frustrated. They are traditionally skinny and violent: they don’t like things, so they destroy things.
      My great grandfather immigrated into America from Fredersdorf, near Berlin, around the turn of the 19th-20th century, with Bishof Stefan and Johann Walther, and one of his many daughters married another immigrant (sent abroad by his parents to avoid the Emperor’s draft) from Krimmitschau.
      I frankly, find your sour-grapes attitude towards today’s Germans to be a little off. But I bet you enjoy being the resident expert on all things German oot in Western Canada!
      Germany was never, EVER, a homogeneous nation. What an idea! Germans, ironically, have always been the most “mongrelized” people in Europe. Take a look at a map. German is in the center of Europe, and has been criss-crossed by waves of migrant hordes and warring armies since the dawn of history. ALL those “barbarian” hordes and warring armies left (in their non-nihilistic way) progeny and settlers in their wake. The Germans themselves were immigrants into the land now called German, probably coming from what we might now call Ukrainian or South Russian steppe lands. Probably the German subconsciously (a German concept) hates the realization of his mixed ancestry; therefore he struggles to build up a mask of “racial purity’ and so forth…not just “subconsciously” but, mainly, self-consciously. It’s a relatively modern trait, though. Calling oneself “a German” was originally foreign to many of the German-speaking peoples. There are still some idioms surviving today in the language, fully German idioms, that point to the lack of identification of one “people” with another. Think of “Scheiss-Preiss”, for example. Where’s the German chauvinism there?
      “Seven million fanatically Muslim Turks!” Are there that many fanatical Muslims in Turkey?

      • I read in today’s “Spiegel” that Germany, especially Berlin, is now being flooded with Greeks, aping the Turks who needed work and an ordered society. What are the Greeks, then, according to Western Canadio-German wisdom? Further pollutants of the “homogeneous” German society? Will the Germans now be beset by fanatical Orthodox millions?
        Are England, France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, then, nihilistic, too? After all, even less of their people go to Church than Germans do.
        I wonder, do those Greek immigrants know about the crematoria that exploded due to flaming German excess fat? Ah, all that Speck!

  60. 11111111111 says

    Reuters: Trayvon Martin’s killer showed signs of injury: neighbors

  61. Your Grace,

    Thank you for your history lesson…. all the things I’d never thought off all by myself.

    You asked me to demonstrate German Nihilism, well since there are so many definitions, I picked this one: “Nihilism (or ; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life. …” This is as good as any for this little exchange. Germans have given up to create a new generation, for me that is the ultimate nihilism. If one does not want to live on in one’s children, does not want to transmit one’s culture, one is flirting with the nihil.

    I spare myself the effort to reply to the rest of your post, since I find your tone uninviting and acerbic. It also seems my answer would be superfluous since you are obviously in possession of the gift of clairvoyance and are able to read not only my deep inner-most regrets about my life and my abandonment of my former home and in addition, can predict, especially from your perch in LA, the negligible effects of massive immigration of foreigners into the lucky real estate formerly known as Germany.

    Thus, I leave you to your other battles.. of which there seem to be many.

    However, if I may part with a hope and a wish? I would consider it not only wise but actually becoming of a Bishop of our Holy Church not to hang out on virtual street-corners or get involved in virtual street-fights. Your Grace, how about shutting down your computer, disconnecting yourself from the internet and do the things, I imagine, retired bishops quietly did and do since time immemorial?

    I wish you a Happy Bright Week…

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      I want to thank Joseph for his obviously well meant remarks in my direction. I’ve been participating on the forum of the Internet for many a year now, for decades, in fact. Once about twenty years ago, I had pessimistic (now THAT’s German, unlike nihilism which is NOT pessimistic) feelings about my participation on the net and announced that I was dropping out, much as Joseph now advises me to do. However, much to my surprise, I was besieged with an amazing amount of email from persons of whose existence i had not even been aware, but who were, it now seemed, devoted to reading what I posted. So I (in the words of a broadway musical, “re-evaluated the situation.’ In doing so, I reflected on Saint Paul and other Apostles who shunned absolutely no forum whatsoever: Saint Paul even preached at the forum by the hill of the god Hermes in Athens (known at that time as the temple of “the unknown god”). What I became convinced of then, and remained convinced of now, is that it is wrong and bodes no good for the future of Orthodoxy, that so few Bishops dare to get down on “virtual street corners” and engage those far removed from the Church rather thn, as what most of us, shamefully spend almost all our time doing: “preaching to the choir.” Joseph, this Internet is “where it’s at” and the Church had better go there sooner rather than later. Bishop Jerome of ROCOR is one of the few, but not only, canonical hierarchs who are not afraid to get the hems of their garments dirty by walking into the street where so many are in need of just being recognized as existing.
      Yes, retired bishops (you know, there have never ever been enough retired bishops in the Orthodox Church to make ANY generalizations about them!) do, sometimes go into a kind of harmless, toothless, mommy-like mode, where they concentrate on looking like living icons and dispense “Orthodox Lore” (you know, the kind of details about a saint’s life such as the saint’s having refused to nurse as a baby on Wednesdays and Fridays). More bishops, Joseph, not fewer, should be engaging with the Faithful as well as the not-so-faithful here on the net. I told Metropolitan Herman and the EVER-memorable Archbishop Job once that I’m on the net because they are NOT. If they would like to suggest, as they never did, that I should stop posting on the net, then THEY should do so. I’m trying to fill a nearly absolute vacuum. I repeat: no, not you, Joseph, nor anyone else can make any pronouncement about what “retired bishops quietly did and do (I think you meant ‘have done’) since time immemorial. I know that my heavenly patron, Holy Tikhon, Bishop of Woronezh and Wonderworker of Zadonsk, did retire early because he got simply fed up with diocesan and church administration, bureaucracy and politics, and began writing a tremendous amount of edifying and useful material. Oh, Joseph, if you don’t want to admit that your claim of Seven Million fanatical Muslim Turks in Germany was a complete fantasy, that’s all right. It’s not a big sin, after all, just unbecomingly childish, especially coming from someone coming from a land which gave us so many great thinkers, including the Great Pessimist, Schopenhauer. I’ll be eighty in a few months, and if I had my druthers, I’d quit this kind of discussion opportunity which the estimable George Michalopoulos has provided for us, and devote more of my precious remaining time to the continuation of my Persian language studies. Even with the excellent Rosetta Stone Total E, it’s quite a struggle! Then, too, I live right by the church where I was Protodeacon, Priest and then Bishop for many years, so I have a lot of traditional interaction here as well. You want me to be more selfish. I’ll think about it. The Pennsylvanians in our present Holy Synod, Bishops Tikhon (the Younger) and Bishop Melchizedek have taken the brave, brave step of participating in Facebook. It’s a good start, and it encourages me. I’m sorry, I have to, in all good conscience, reject your suggestions and moral advice completely. I’m praying that one day you yourself will see and even understand the difference between nihilism and pessimism.

      • Ian James says

        So what do you think about Bp. Mathias muzzling all his priests? He’s written private letters to them saying that if they continue writing on the internet they will be removed. (Nice Soviet touch.) The only exception is Bobosh who can always be trusted to kiss the hem of the right garment.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Not only Soviet, but a little Johnstowno-Latin! If such private letters exist, they should be given to the press, in order to take the heat off the poor Catholics, right? Oh Arianna, Rush, Ann, Jon, etc., what a good time they’d have with that one!!! And Pope Ratzinger deserves a little respite at his age. Why, I can see the headlines. I suppose these letters follow the style of the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard?
          They’re also disturbed by the Internet. In “Hugo” we saw how the first movie audiences ran, terrified from the theatre when they saw a high-speed train coming towards them on the screen. Some of our Bishops are almost superstitiously terrified of the Internet and its technology.
          Yes, Jane, the Soviet’s tried to control the net and look what happened! The USSR was “wiped off the map.”

          Maybe someone pressured him like this, “Bishop! PROVE you didn’t single out poor little Mark Stokoe because of personal reasons!”

        • I suppose it all depends on what the priests are writing. Bobosh has a blog in which he tries to write in an intelligent manner. One is free to disagree or agree. Can you give examples of what Bp. Matthias is objecting to by issuing such an Ukase? Of course, a bishop has every right to protect the laity from clerics who are out of line and doing things unbecoming their priestly vocation. Right?

          • Father Ted is also a gifted photographer and posts some of his pictures on his blog. I really enjoy his site.
            I find it difficult to believe that Bishop Matthias did that.Has anyone actually seen the letters?

            • Where is Bishop Mark when we need him? .I bet he could filch one of the letters..

              • Roddy Diaz says

                Funny you should ask. Looks like Bishop Mark is paying a visit to Houston this weekend. It was supposed to be low-key. He’s testing the waters west of the Mississippi.

                • His sidekick Morretti is the priest there. Should be a lovefest. Archbishop Dmitri must be turning over in his grave with Mark back on the sovereign soil of the Republic of Texas!

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    StephenD and Nikos–His Grace Mark is a bishop of the church and you should not belittle his office by cavalierly calling him by his Christian name. Shame on you both!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, then he should start acting like a bishop and come clean about his involvement in l’affair Stokoe and how he pilfered another man’s e-mails, sending them to OCAN. That was disgraceful.

                    • I didn’t belittle his office..He did….

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      That is your opinion to which you are entitled. You could have easily said the same thing with the proper titles and/or honorifics. Face it: you were rude and descended to the level of the resident funny man, and that is pretty darn low.

            • George Michalopulos says

              StephenD, Fr Ted’s site is very good, no question about that at all. In fact, it’s one of the best Christian internet sites I’ve ever seen. The point of Mr James’ post is, if Bp Matthias (a stand-up guy in my book btw) has muzzled his priests from participation in the internet, it needs to be all priests.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                And why not the Laity?

                • Because removing a priest from sacramental function is one thing, and excommunication (the implied consequence for laity) is a whole ‘nother thing, isnt it?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Good point, Your Grace. That would open up a whole other can of worms, wouldn’t it?

                • Ian James says

                  He shouldn’t muzzle the laity either. But he can’t threaten the laity with the loss of their jobs. He can’t threaten a retired bishop either.

                  Bishops muzzling their priests has the smell of despotism lingering in the background. Too much thought control. I guess ordination means you give up your mind, or at least ape the mind of your bishop who, more often than not, is as far from the mind of Christ as the rest of us. Is he learning from the Greeks?

                  So why is Bobosh exempt from the ban?

                  • Not sure at what point the Church leadership transformed Christ’s teachings (by words and deeds) to His disciples:

                    “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

                    “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:12-15)

                    “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:12-15)

                    into the present situation where many Bishops assume for themselves totalitarian-like (and often unaccountable) control and dominion over the priests they are supposed to SERVE and PROTECT with their very lives. They demand blind obedience and unquestioning submission to the office without evidencing lawful and worthy authority through their own conduct, preaching, and teaching.

                    Looks like some in the New Israel hierarchy have fallen into the same sins as the Old Israel and seem to have missed the clear warnings and severe admonishments of the Lord attested by the Scriptures.

                    11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

                    13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

                    15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

                    16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

                    23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

                    25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

                    27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

                    29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

                    31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:11-36)

                • “And why not the Laity?”

                  Now there is an idea. We would all have more time to do some gardening and other chores around the house or even sneak a prayer in once in a while. Never mind the, soul saving, limited accessibility to gossip, we would have to content with that little dirt we have on the neighbours…

                  “Bishops muzzling their priests has the smell of despotism lingering in the background.”

                  Mmmh, Eis Polla Eti Despota? Aren’t we getting a little paranoid here?

                  The internet is a handy tool, no more. However, if priests go on line and do post about religious things, and I know of really well written blogs by priests, then shouldn’t they have at least the blessing of their bishop? Doesn’t the blogging by priests fall under their ministry and thus under the jurisdiction of their bishop, unless of course they conduct a hobby-blog about horse-manure and potato-peelings?

                  If we accept the internet as a tool of the Orthodox Church for evangelizing, – and I have to say Your Grace that you have not convinced me yet that it is a useful tool, – then this part of the work of a priest must be as well under the supervision of his bishop.

              • Thats a good point and I hear what your saying and I actually agree with you….but….when has the Church ever played fair?

      • Mmmmh, Your Grace,

        “I’m praying that one day you yourself will see and even understand the difference between nihilism and pessimism.” Please do, I need all the prayers I can get and if there is hope for me, so it will be for you…

        If you must, then stay…. however, preach the good news, convert people to the church, console and counsel people, be gracious, but please don’t do politics…

        “…Saint Paul and other Apostles who shunned absolutely no forum whatsoever” That is true, but they preached the Gospel, not the social programme of the “Athenian & Lower Attica New Dealing Democrats.” There is a not so fine line in there somewhere…

        But I will give it a rest… you seem unstoppable 😉

  62. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    What’s a “whooper?” Is that anything like the whoppers some amateur cartoonists come up with?
    I know there is, or was, a Whooping Crane, but aren’t they extinct? And there is “whooping” (pronounced “hooping”) cough,too, except in the 21st century media milieu which is largely illiterate.

    • Heracleides says

      1. A thing that is extremely or unusually large.
      2. A gross or blatant lie.

      Try #2. Or better yet, break out your handy-dandy Oxford English Dictionary that you keep on top of your copy of the Holy Scripture and educate yourself.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Heracleides, I asked what a “whooper” is. I KNOW what a whopper is. But you indicated I had produced a “whooper”. That’s why I asked. Gee, you are S-LOW.

        You know what. My heart goes out to anyone who gets so much relief and release from having lots of dialogue with a real live bishop. But i think I’ve gone way beyond what is responsible in continuing to satisfy Heracleides’ need for such thrills and self-validation. I ‘ve always realized that almost no bishops have ever been so available to people as I am, but that for some people it is contraindicated, in fact, it’s a test they fail. I apologize for indulging your weakness, Heracleides. I should have seen it coming. Some dreams are better left to be just dreams. Auf Wienerschnitzel!

        • Heracleides says

          It slipped past spell check – so sue me. You really are a petty individual, Bishop, but then I strongly suspect you know that and derive great satisfaction from it. On the other hand, you of course are correct; it’s been the absolute thrill of my life matching wits with a real, honest to God, mentally ill OCA bishop. Given the current state of the OCA, I wonder what the odds are of that ever happening again? Toodles.

    • Jane Rachel says

      No, Whooping Cranes are not extinct!!!!!!! Please don’t say that, even in jest!!

      It’s definitely “whopper.” Two “p”s, one “o.”

  63. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    I mean, I believe this requires the boy’s killer to be found guilty, based on his actions, not his motives?

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      I see your point. However Murder in the second degree is a high bar. I’ve talked to a few laywer friends of mine and they see this is as political. Either Zimmerman’s people plea down to manslaughter or the judge finds for the defendant because the facts don’t warrant Murder 2. The fact that he got released on bond today and a relatively cheap one at that, and in which he is allowed to leave the state (I’m told) will bolster the defense should it come to trial. We’ll see.

  64. Carl Kraeff says

    Dershowitz Update 1.
    Source: (my emphasis)

    The arrest affidavit did not mention the photograph, or the bleeding, gashes, and bruises on Zimmermans’ head. Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School stated upon release of the arrest affidavit that it was “so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge … everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense.”

    After the release of the photo, however, Dershowitz went much further, telling Breitbart News that if the prosecutors did have the photo and didn’t mention it in the affidavit, that would constitute a “grave ethical violation,” since affidavits are supposed to contain “all relevant information.”

    Dershowitz continued, “An affidavit that willfully misstates undisputed evidence known to the prosecution is not only unethical but borders on perjury because an affiant swears to tell not only the truth, but the whole truth, and suppressing an important part of the whole truth is a lie.

    Rest at

    • Carl, I saw that. Dershowitz to me is a maddening character. On the one hand, there is probably no more honest liberal and ferocious defense attorney than he. I’d certainly want him defending me for whatever reason. Lately though he acts the part of the Grand Inquisitor when it comes to purging critics of Israel. For example he called M J Rosenberg an “anti-Semite,” because he wrote an editorial criticizing the “Israel Firsters.” As much as I despised the politics of MediaMatters (who Rosenberg worked for), the idea that he is an anti-Semite is too ludicrous for words –especially since Rosenberg is Jewish.

      His liberal bona fides become suspect in such a scenario. But that’s a story for another day. For now, Dershowitz is right on the money. Even a layman such as myself saw how ill-prepared the State prosecutor was today at Zimmerman’s bond hearing.

  65. Geo Michalopulos says

    To all: please keep all comments on this post confined to the Martin/Zimmerman Affair. We will discuss Alaska on its own terms and on its own timeline. And also, please help me keep the commentary from getting personal.

    Thank you, George

  66. I think the term Hispanic is a bit broader than just race. Having lived on the isle of Hispaniola for several years, where all the Dominican side consider themselves Hispanic, I observed that race did not factor in, rather language. The color range was from very dark to quite white, with all shades in between, but everybody spoke Spanish. The term Hispanic involves both language and origin.

    This aspect of the term Hispanic tends to cause confusion in our minds, which have been taught to divide up people solely by race. Haitians come from the same island as Dominicans yet they are not considered Hispanic.

    I remember meeting a man years ago who looked to me like he was Chinese. His grandparents came to the states from China. Both parents were born in the states of Chinese descent. He was born in the USA. He told us that the only time he thought of being Chinese was when he looked in the mirror and shaved. Otherwise he was pure American. He was always startled when people asked him if he was from China.

    Interesting thoughts are provoked from thinking about this. Are we identified by the language we speak, by our country of origin, our country of birth, the country of our parent’s birth. Who is an American? And sometimes we are Children of God, which transcends all of these man-made distinctions.

  67. Carl Kraeff says

    It turns out there were a series of robberies in the Zimmerman neighberhood that were committed by….black teenagers. This is not a racist fantasy reported in a KLan newsletter, this was reported by Reuters and attributed to a black neighbor.

    “A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.

    Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.

    “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”

    I wonder if the Special Prosecutor knew this.;)