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why you should and should not become Orthodox

by Andrea Elizabeth

They say you’re not really Orthodox until you’ve been Orthodox for 10 years. We became Catechumens in the spring of 2004, so I guess we are. I’d say that it takes this long to come to terms with the following:

Should not:

The traditional services are too long.

Your protestant family will deeply protest.

There are too many rules.

The Priests think they’re God’s gift to us.

The Priests will let you down.

The choir is off key a lot.

It’s bad for your health.

You will fall out of love with it many times.

Orthodoxy is for losers.

Should:

The services, like the numerous Psalms, address everything in the right way.

You will learn how hard the narrow way is.

The Priests are God’s gift to us.

The Priest may be wrong, but you learn that it’s more important to critique your own reactions.

Learning to sing a capella and on key is a worthy, engaging challenge.

America was wrong to sit so much and eat so many cows, and so our epi-genetics are messed up.But were Plains Indians and Eskimos wrong to survive only on meat?

Where else is there to go? The ones who leave are narcissists.

It’s the only help for losers.

I’m ok to be an American 

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have discovered two things that motivate the left. One, they are still angry about slavery and the country’s racist/nationalist past, and still blame the South and those ideologically tied to state’s rights, which is the position du jour of the right.

Two, their anti corporate stance, though hypocritical in Hillary, half-hearted in Obama but whole-hearted in Bernie Sanders, did not make sense to me because I didn’t see how they could fund all their social programs without them. On one hand I think they think the wealthy 10% could fund their programs, but it would also drive them out of business. The more believable other hand is that they are true anarchist/non nationalists and sincerely want America to fail because of her past sins that make all the money blood money. They believe we should all starve to death, and this is where things tie into my first point.

The Indian removal was the first sin worthy of the death penalty. But it’s the second, African slavery, that deserves inforcement. See, if your father was a rapist, then they believe you should have been aborted. I bet nearly every one of us, and they say the average black American is 30% white, is related to a rapist, even northern people. You may have to expand that to enablers of rapists. Therefore they don’t mind if they ruin America.

I say there is a much better way to feel about being the child of a rapist. We can still be glad and thankful to be alive. We can appreciate some of the good genes past down to us. It’s very weird to say I’m good at trigonometry because of my rapist father, but it’s better than hating him to the point of hating your own life.

sorry, Mercy

by Andrea Elizabeth

George decided she needed to be more reliably trained so he put her on 1st level “correction” which is a static shock. When she finally went over the wire her dramatic recoiling back to the yard was very sad. As was her look of betrayal. We tried to be positive but she is not the same carefree dog. Such is the fall. We can’t just run free any more. We have to be pressured back into the proper boundaries, unfortunately.

Trump’s speech revisited

by Andrea Elizabeth

After stewing and listening to some commentary, I’ve changed my mind. Trump is a forward thinker who doesn’t get obsessed with juvenile revenge. He really does want to fix things. His speech was not a gotcha to the past presidents, though they did perpetuate the swamp, but a day one, first item on the docket to the current swamp makers sitting further behind him. He put them on notice for immanent draining.

Trump’s speech

by Andrea Elizabeth

Most of it reminded me of the Republican Convention which was one of the darkest messages he gave. He doesn’t seem to know the difference between good debate points and inspiring points. Everyone was impressed with his election speech where he seemed to know the positive message we need to hear as one country instead of fighting factions. It’s disappointing.

He started out talking about rebuilding America. That introductory statement started the cringing where he’s dissing the presidents sitting right beside you who are pretty much polite, civil guests at your party, not adversaries. I don’t think Obama trashed America, he just maintained it on a construction level, which is Trump’s focus. Obama did trash our values though, but at the same time, I think some of the intolerance curbing was justified.

“today we are transferring power from Washington DC to you the people”. I thought that was an improvement from some of his self-centered rhetoric.

“new movement” I like better the idea of restoring our drive rather than recreating something.

“defended other borders while refusing to defend our own” that is a good point. Why be more angry at Putin invading Crimea than Mexican criminals invading our soil? or about Isis invading the Middle East, not to mention the rest of the world.

“buy american and hire american”  I wonder how chinese investors he’s recently met with building factories in our country fits into that.

“all colors bleed the same red blood” and the other poetic parts towards the end were nice and would have come off better if we weren’t uncomfortable for the past presidents sitting there who seemed to have been dissed.

I feel that he is acting on his jr high level that he falls into. He’s giving his parents what for. But there is a lot to criticize in parents. Angry teenagers don’t do it in a nice way. Obama was a nice dad and loved him anyway. I really feel Obama’s continued warmth afterward was genuine. Michelle hasn’t grown to that. She’s still in victim mode. Obama did grimace a few times during the speech which I thought was an appropriate nod to most of the hearers who were uncomfortable for him. But he also showed that we don’t shoot our teenagers, which I hope the press don’t do. He is a child prodigy who requires special care to meet his potential. There are uncomfortable side effects to all of our good qualities. Lord have mercy.

The downer afteraffects are just like after the Convention. But like most tides around Trump, they change dramatically.

 

The ridiculous dems

by Andrea Elizabeth

The reason the dems are so ridiculously upset is because they counted their chickens before they hatched. Who would think the world was theirs with only a 51 to 49% lead? They ridiculously had no exit strategy. This is why they are so devastated. They had already claimed and moved all their eggs into this presidency having only a very slim lead. This is beyond overconfidence. This is delusion. It’s like they’re bitterly contesting a divorce when they were never even engaged. Talk about fatal attraction. And just like Glen Close they’re stalking Trump and trying to ruin his presidency in the most pitiful, desperate ways. Instead of regrouping like healthy losers, and like Trump had realistically prepared to do, they are suicidally imploding with stupid backfiring recounts, Russia blaming, fake news, tens of thousands of death, boycott, and blacklist threats to electors, their own congressmen, and inauguration performers, bullying confirmation stall tactics, and a leader and media who calls all this democratic self-expression. This is glazing over the eyes of people beyond repulsed. Be yond. 

us v them

by Andrea Elizabeth

There seems to be two very different points of views among modern liberals and conservatives, not necessarily Trump’s pov.

MLK Jr. day was also Robert E. Lee’s birthday, and a very few friends were posting quotes from Robert E. Lee like these. I would characterize these quotes pretty much like Boy Scout rules. Quotes like, “Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character.” and “Teach him he must deny himself.” 

They very much believe in strict and energetic adherence to rules as the only way to achieve law, order, health, and wealth.

One problem is when these longstanding white rules come across other social structures, such as African and Native American.

There is a quote that most people probably cringe at from Lee, “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

This was from an age where corporal punishment was not questioned. Indeed, I don’t think it was questioned that much in general until the ’70’s. Dr. Spock comes to mind.

“Spock advocated ideas about parenting that were, at the time, considered out of the mainstream. Over time, his books helped to bring about major change. Previously, experts[citation needed] had told parents that babies needed to learn to sleep on a regular schedule, and that picking them up and holding them whenever they cried would only teach them to cry more and not to sleep through the night (a notion that borrows from behaviorism). They were told[citation needed] to feed their children on a regular schedule, and that they should not pick them up, kiss them, or hug them, because that would not prepare them to be strong and independent individuals in a harsh world. In contrast Spock encouraged parents to see their children as individuals, and not to apply a one-size-fits all philosophy to them.”

It could be that Dr. Spock created Millennials.

There is currently a war between these two points of view, laws enabling or punishing people who have perhaps taken advantage of these extremes notwithstanding. Balancing between the two takes extreme wisdom. One could argue that they provide balance for each other, but to me it is mainly providing conflict with only the prevailing side feeling like a winner and the other a defensive loser. It’s important to respect the pros and cons of both sides. If Trump isn’t an idealogue but a pragmatist, maybe he can achieve some balance.

Perhaps these two have clashed the most in the United States with our horrible history of slavery and pushing out of Native Americans. But Canada and Russian Alaska seem to have been able to forge a more amicable, kind path. But not to vilify America too much, perhaps our austere days and rules were vital to the Allied victory in WWII. I’ll also point out that black and Indian regiments also served very important roles fighting on the same side, albeit sadly segregated. Baby steps?

So hostile

by Andrea Elizabeth

Listening to HHS nominee Tom Price being grilled by Democratic Senators, at this point Elizabeth Warren. They are furthering my impression that a huge output of money is the only thing important to them and quality, actual experience, and efficiency do not matter. They have anecdotes of individuals, but not the experience of the masses who contradict their findings. The nominees do seem to acknowledge the other side’s point of view while their’s is dismissed and disdained.

Circe Mercy

by Andrea Elizabeth

 George doesn’t like the name Circe, so he calls her Mercy, which she responds to. I still use both. She has gained a little weight and is getting bolder about her independence in our yard. She also has started to ignore me sometimes if I tell her not to go out of our yard. Mostly she stays in and just runs around taunting the other two dogs when they wont go beyond the wire, which boundary is about 15 feet from the road. I don’t mind that so much as when she forgets herself and goes after a squirrel, bird, or dog in the neighbors’ yards which has happened only a few times, but getting more often. So we put the flags back up using one of the other dog’s collars that beeps on the first setting when it crosses it to know where it is. The other two dogs don’t wear the collars any more and wont go over the border wire still. She is pretty responsive to the flags alone. She thinks it’s a fun game to go up and smell them and then come back away when called. But she still flirts with going out so we put a collar on with the beep setting. That combined with “come back!” when she defiantly crosses the line usually brings her back. And she hasn’t ventured into a neighbor’s yard since she’s been wearing it. I still don’t trust her unsupervised, but am willing to tail her for a few more weeks to see if she can be trained without a shock, since she has fear issues. It really scared the other dogs to get the static shock, but they weren’t as smart or nearly as responsive as she is. She gets the white flags that are placed every 10 feet and knows how to stay inside even without leash training, which the other two needed to encourage them back. It’s her reflexive impulses to hunt and potty out of bounds that make her cross a few feet so far. We’ll see.

Oh brother

by Andrea Elizabeth

Meet the Press is the most biased Sunday morning political show. A couple of weeks ago (when I was also under the weather) Chuck Todd’s theme was about the eroded reputation of the press. One of the editor’s, I think it was the Washington Post, said to regain trust they need to report but not make a moral judgment on the news. Now in this week’s summary he labeled Trump’s press conference as “bizarre” since he refused to answer questions from a loud and insistent CNN reporter. All you have to do is scan CNN’s headlines to understand how partisan they are. 

Calling boycotts to Hamilton  or rude celebrities, CNN, and Meet the Press won’t work because millions of Democrats are heartily united by feeling like victims and their hyped up hatred of Donald Trump with no leader to inspire them to anything else.