September 30, 2008

* …was worth 5 cents before yesterday.

No, not Hitler Youth – Obama Youth. Talk about unsettling. This is what happens when just another lame politician attains cult status for no reason other than his supposed “aura”. Kim Priestap at Wizbang has it EXACTLY right:

These kids are already being taught to worship Obama as if he were some kind of god. That’s what kids in North Korea, Cuba, Saddam Hussein’s old Iraq, and other totalitarian regimes were taught to do as well. The purpose is if they grow up seeing their leaders as god-like they’re less likely to rise up against them.

Two thoughts here: 1) the parents of these children need to get a life – SERIOUSLY, and 2) count me as one who thinks using children as a tool to forward one’s own political inclinations seems pretty sick to me. Who’s the more juvenile – the kids, or the adults who are orchestrating this debacle? Of course, then again we’re talking about Venice, California. Ed Morrissey has more.

I don’t know why or how, but I’m thinking somewhere down the line this comes back to haunt Barck Obama, real bad. Let me tell you, were I a Democrat I’m thinking Hillary Clinton is looking better all the time. And the same holds true for Bill. And I never thought I’d say that.

UPDATE 10/1/07: YouTube has pulled the video – probably happened shortly after Sean Hannity showed a portion of it on last night’s “Hannity and Colmes”. And that was after Rush Limbaugh played a portion of it yesterday. No surprise there – the Obama campaign obviously saw the outpouring of rage it would inspire – believe me, it was that creepy. But no worries, I have a feeling some enterprising person made a copy of it and will make sure it gets back up there soon. After all, it had over 400,000 hits before it was taken down. Amazing. If it gets back up there I’ll drop a dime for y’all.

UPDATE #2: : I was right. here it is.

In other news:

* If he’s still alive, I doubt Osama bin Laden is getting a whole lotta sleep these days.

* Count me as someone who’s OK with the Red Sox pitching John Lester in Game 1 and Daisuke Matsuzaka in Game 2 of their ALDS series (say, that’s redundant!) against the Lost Angeles Angels Who Play Somewhere Between Santa Monica and Cocoa Beach, while top gun Josh Beckett nurses his strained oblique. If the Sox can split on the road I’d gladly take my chances with Beckett in Game 3 and Lester back for Game 4. I do think, however, the Angels are the class of the AL and expect them to not only beat the Sox in the ALDS but go all the way this year. Sorry, Cubs fans.

* Make it seven credit cards down, two to go: I’m feeling pretty good tonight knowing yet another VISA card has been paid off as of today. 45K+ down, 13K+ to go: Dave Ramsey would be proud.

* That horrific Wall Street bailout bill went down to defeat today, and still – somehow – against all odds and the hysteria of the cable network talking heads yesterday, the sun still came up today. What a surprise.

* Which reminds me – count me among those who think Dave Ramsey might very well be onto something. But what would he know? He only hangs out in Nashville, Tennessee, right?

* Uh-oh. For two hours today the pool temperature dropped below 80.

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:44 | Comments (2)
September 29, 2008

Wow. What a day on Wall Street! You can be sure there will be a lot of talking heads flapping their gums mercilessly over the news and cable channels tonight, but if you want to know what really happened today, just listen to your ol’ Uncle Shank here.

No one, of course, will come out and admit to this, but the defeat of the so-called Wall Street bailout bill was a planned vote for passage that started to go wrong during the actual voting when the Republican House leaders began losing control of their caucus.

The way this was all going to go down was as follows: Democrats and Republicans agreed that both parties would try to give the other sufficient cover in the passage of a bill both parties knew had little support across their various constituencies. Democrats in vulnerable seats would be allowed to vote no and enough Republicans in safe seats would vote yes to drag the bill across the finish line. Unfortunately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – truly one of the most vile and despicable people to ever hold such a position – undercut those plans my unleashing a ridiculous attack on President Bush and the GOP just before voting began, blaming them for everything ailing the economy. Perhaps as a result of Pelosi’s partisan attack, perhaps due to a decided distaste for what they were being asked to vote upon, most likely a combination of the two, enough Republicans and Democrats got a little skittesh and ran for cover, sending the bill down to defeat. Immediately afterwards, both Republican and Democratic leaders mercilessly attacked and blamed each of for the bill’s demise, Wall Street went into a total funk, and everybody started freaking out. Totally.

In a nutsheell, that’s what happened today.

(Personally, I’m opposed to any bail-out bill, and all the hysteria being blathered about by the talking heads on the cable networks makes me even more so. Hysteria is no excuse to pass legislation – in any form. Perhaps if I had any kind of trust or confidence in Washington to do the right thing, perhaps I’d feel differently, but for me and many others out there this is not just a crisis of confidence in Washington, it’s a crisis of credibility. And no one – not the President, not Congress, not Obama or McCain, and especially not the media and the cable network talking heads – is immune from it. The partisan bickering that has consumed every aspect of American political life since Florida and 2000 has polluted the well so badly that this is what you get when a true crisis hits. The market’s final slide today wasn’t because of the defeat of the bail-out bill, it was because investors listened to the Republican and Democratic leaders go at each other like children in the finger-pointing that erupted afterwards. In such an environment, is there anyone who believes that in the end the best interests of this nation will be served? I sure don’t.)

So where do we go from here, you ask? A couple of things. 1) Whether it happens tomorrow, Wednesday, or Thursday, a Wall Street bail-out bill will pass the House, but in a decidely different form than the way it was crafted for today’s vote. 2) You can mark it down: today was the day the Republicans lost the 2008 election.

Regarding the first point: I don’t think House Speaker Pelosi was smart enough to have planned it this way, but, as Larry Kudlow writes, the way is now clear for Pelosi to bring to the floor of the House a revised bill that most, if not all, Democrats can support – one that contains every far-left socialist wacko want and need that wasn’t palatable for House Republicans. And why shouldn’t she? After all, Republicans wouldn’t support the bi-partisan form of the bill, so why should Democrats waste any more time reaching any further across the aisle? By doing so and getting a bill passed at the House level, pressure like you would not believe will come down on the Senate to do the same. And once the House bill passes, the Senate will be pressured to approve, and the Prez will, of course, sign. The markets will demand no less. You think there was pressure on the House to act today? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

As for the second point: Republicans are major losers today, in three ways: One, while the bill being considered was by no means perfect, it was, I think, the best the GOP was ever going to get given the situation. So not only have they now ceded any leverage they might have had to the Democrats, by whining about Pelosi’s speech they now look like petty obstructionists concerned more about politics than their country. May not be true, but these days perception is reality. Two: John McCain looks like a loser. Not only was “Maverick” unable to show his true leadership credentials by persuading enough of his Republican colleagues to put “country first” and politics second, Democrats can portray his asserting himself into the negotiations between House members last week as the primary cause of the bill’s ultimate defeat. And finally, by the bail-out bill not passing today, Republicans have ensured that the economic crisis will extend out for at least several more days, if not longer. And the longer the economy stays on the front-burner issues-wise, the more the Democrats (and Obama specifically) gain.

If you’re a Wall Street investor, this was a very bad day. If you’re a Republican hoping for a McCain vistory in November, it was even worse.


UPDATE: Wow! Someone at Time Magazine blog is thinking the same thing I am!

Who says no one listens to The Great White Shank?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 14:50 | Comment (1)
September 28, 2008

The race for the White House has reached a turning point, and the McCain campaign has but a week, perhaps two at the most, to re-take control of the issues and circumstances that have caused it to sputter – if not ground to a halt – after giving away all the momentum it had gained from the Republicans’ St. Paul convention.

What has put the McCain campaign in such a difficult spot? I think it comes down to two things: 1) the economic crisis and the inability of the Republicans to get out in front on an issue that has just as many dirty Democratic fingerprints on it as Republican, and 2) the McCain campaign’s unfocused and reckless handling of Sarah Palin since her convention speech.

Regarding point #1: Unless you frequented conservative blogs or the FOX News Channel, you’d never know that Democrats have been pulling literally millions of dollars of graft and influence preceeding the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac meltdown, that Connecticut senator Chris Dodd and Barack Obama have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from influence-peddling Fannie/Freddie lobbyists, that the Obama campaign continues to be advised by the likes of Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines, both of whom reaped millions of dollars while the Fannie/Freddie books were being cooked, or that the Democrats (including Senator Obama) voted AGAINST a White House/Republican attempt to reform Fannie and Freddie more than two years ago.

On Point#2: Since the first couple of days following her knock-out performance in St. Paul, the McCain campaign has mishandled Palin to the point where whatever advantage her selection as VP nominee had brought to it has been carelessly frittered away. If you were to ask which campaign was caught more flat-footed with McCain’s choice of Palin as his running mate, you would have to say that honor goes to the McCain campaign.

As Byron York writes today, the campaign could have targeted some low-risk, high-reward venues early on to build upon her convention speech; instead, they have repeatedly put her in a position to fail. The campaign could have exploited the excitement generated by knock-out convention speech by turning her loose and allowing her to take her unfettered, “Mrs. Smith Goes To Washington” message of reform to every battleground state; instead, the campaign smothered her and sought to protect her from the media. The result? In just a few short weeks the refreshingly-authentic, western-frontier populist has been turned into a sputtering, robotic, deer-caught-in-the headlights talking-point memo. Does anyone now doubt Palin is about to be drawn and quartered in her debate with Joe Biden later this week?

The last two weeks have shown the McCain campaign sputtering at all levels:

* Where is the strong Republican presence on the cable networks? You’d think from Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi (three clowns if there ever were any) the Republicans are solely responsible for this economic crisis and are doing everything they can to torpedo an agreement that would save the free world as we know it.

* Why wasn’t Palin out front-and-center following Friday night’s Presidential debate to emphasize McCain’s strong performance and her selection as Republican VP nominee – has the McCain campaign lost that much confidence in her?

* McCain’s unusual decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington could have gotten gained his campaign some traction by being played as “Maverick Goes To Washington To Kick Some Butt And Get A Bi-Partisan Agreement Hammered Out”; instead, McCain has continually downplayed his role to the point where one might ask what advantage, if any, he has even brought to the discussion. Meanwhile, Obama has been allowed to keep campaigning, say he’s available by phone if the Democrats need him, and act as if he and his party have no fingerprints whatsoever on the crisis.

September has been a cruel month for the McCain campaign, much of it self-induced. They have, at best, until Columbus Day to turn it around and get their message of “maverick reform” back front and center and paint Obama as an inexperienced, less-than-unqualified, McGovern / Dukakis / Mondale clone Americans can’t afford to take chances with in dire economic times and a world where America’s interests are being threatened on all corners.

Right now, the Obama campaign – with an immense lift from a mainstream dino-media seemingly unconcerned about leaving behind any shred of credibility they might have had left – has the wind in its sails, and the polls are starting to reflect this. At this point it seems highly doubtful the McCain campaign has either the flexibility or balls-on political messaging capability to take that wind away.

Truthfully, it may all be academic after Thursday night, when Palin will have all the pressure in the world upon her to perform well in her only Vice-Presidential debate. If she falters in even the slightest way, there will be little the McCain campaign can do to stem the blood-loss from that point on. And they’ll only have themselves to blame for it, for this is the position they have put themselves in. Advantage: Obama.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 15:00 | Comments Off on Advantage: Obama
September 27, 2008

It sure looks like Fall out here at the tiki bar – the grass has been cut down to nub and brown in preparation for the fall seeding next week – but man is it freakin’ hot out here! It’s nearly October and we’re still over 100 degrees. This sure has been one long hot summer…

Which reminds me, R.I.P Paul Newman, one of the true all-time greats. I always enjoyed Newman’s movies, my favories being “The Long Hot Summer” (where I fell in love with Joanne Woodward) and “The Sting”. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was OK and I didn’t think “The Verdict” was as good as everyone else seems to think, but what do I know?

…Oh, Tracey chimes in to say her own Newman favorites are “Hud”, “Cool Hand Luke”, and his Caeser salad dressings.

What a week to have rented a house on Nantucket – a nor’easter followed by the fringes of a hurricane. I am SO totally jealous of those people right now.

Sure meterological Fall started the other day but around here the season only truly begins when the first 6-packs of Samuel Adams Octoberfest appear at the local Fry’s. The tradition here is to enjoy the very first one in an icy-cold Newport Storm pint glass. Knowing that Hurricane Kyle isn’t far from the Coastal Extreme folks will only make it taste better.

Saw the Presidential debate last night and here’s my quick review: neither Obama or McCain hurt themselves where it counted most: keeping their individual bases intact. I don’t claim to know what Independents think or even look for in candidates, but my sense is that McCain sounded more authoritative on foreign policy and Obama idealistic on the economy. Which one plays better at this time? My sense is that, if things didn’t seem so dire, Obama would have the edge – people would be more willing to give him a spin – but McCain’s experience would be more comfortabloe to those feeling the jitters. But then again, what do I know?

Where does the election stand? I still think it will go down to the wire, with people making up their minds once and for all in the final 2-3 days. The only thing preventing this scenario will be one of the following: a) Sarah Palin fares poorly in her debate against Joe Biden; b) there’s a cataclysmic collapse of the economy; c) a terrorist attack or something very big happens overseas. Chances of one of these things happening between now and election day: 90%.

But again, what do I know?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 15:34 | Comments Off on Saturday Afternoon Folderol
September 25, 2008

The calendar says it’s fall but you wouldn’t know it from today, where the temperaature hit 104 in my backyard. I give the pool another week max before it goes from “refreshingly cool” to “I think I’ll take a bubblebath instead”. Even with today’s heat the nighttime temps have dropped to the low-to-mid ’70s, so the water temp just can’t jump like it used to do just a month ago. But 84 degrees still isn’t bad for a late-night swim.

There are a lot of fingers you can use to point blame for the current economic crisis – as Ed Morrissey rightly points out, the landmines were laid a long time ago during the Clinton era – but I still believe that the President and Republicans have to take more than their share of the blame because the lack of oversight that brought us to this point happened on their watch. At this point, I think everyone agrees something has to be done, but count me as one who believes it’s Wall Street that has to bail out Wall Street, not the American taxpayer.

It frustrates me to no end to hear all the talking heads on cable in a dither and foaming at the mouth over whether or not tomorrow night’s debate should or will happen. Where were these clowns months ago when Barack Obama turned down John McCain’s offer to do all those town meetings together? Now in a time of true economic crisis Obama’s concern is not about his responsibilities as a U.S. senator; he just wants to campaign and fund-raise while other people make the tough decisions. Talk about voting “Present”!!

Look, both McCain and Obama are paid handsomely well by the taxpayers to be U.S. senators, not candidates for the Presidency. Both should and need to be in the nation’s capitol leading the effort until an economic agreement is hammered out. On this point Dick Morris is absolutely right – McCain is doing the people’s work while Obama is just phoning it in. You only learn about someone’s true priorities during a time of crisis, and McCain choosing to suspend his campaign and head to Washington while Obama sought to keep focused on his Presidential campaign speaks volumes about the differences between the two candidates – something not even the greatest debate in the world could ever have revealed. Leadership, indeed.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker is right: Shouldn’t this story be getting a lot more play than it is? Of course, that would mean the Fourth Estate would have to set aside its expressed mission to personally destroy Sarah Palin in every way, shape, and manner possible. And you know THAT’S not gonna happen anytime soon.

Congrats to the Boston Red Sox for once again taking it to the post-season. And congrats to the Red Sox owners for doing the right thing and deciding to retire Johnny Pesky’s number while he’s still around to enjoy the honor and share it with the Red Sox fans. A classy gesture.

My re-reading of John Barry’s “Rising Tide” has really re-kindled for the umpteenth time my love of New Orleans and the Mississippi River, so much so I finally broke down and ordered Chef John Folse’s marvelous “The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine”, just THE authoritative collection on Louisiana’s culture and cuisine. Can’t wait to delve into that.

…So now I’m thinking of great movies that involve Louisiana, New Orleans, and the Deep South. Anyone out there want to suggest some definitive titles that would be worth renting?

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 22:50 | Comments (8)
September 24, 2008

If by some twist of fate John McCain wins the November elections (and I say twist of fate because this year more than any other is one where all the trends should favor the Democrats) you can tell all your friends that you saw it here first. Here’s my “conspiracy theory” for the 2008 elections – I’d like you to try it on for size.

Let’s start by making the following assumptions:

1. Hillary Clinton got nearly as many votes as Barack Obama.

2. If she really wanted to make a spectacle of the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, Hillary Clinton could have if she really wanted to.

3. She didn’t.

So let’s say you’re a Hillary Clinton voter. Your home phone number and e-mail address are both on the Democratic Party rolls and now you are getting calls from pollsters (Democrat-leaning and otherwise) asking who you’re voting for. Of course, you’re going to answer Barack Obama.

But then, come November 4 you find yourself all alone in a voting booth. You look at the ballot on the screen, or on the card or paper before you. And you start to weigh your options. You could: a) vote for Obama and in your own way increase the odds he will be President for the next eight years, thereby rendering your candidate’s presidential ambitions virtually remote in your lifetime, or b) vote for John McCain believing there’s at least a half-decent chance that in four years a truly elderly John McCain or (even better) Sarah Palin will be the Republican candidate for President.

What a choice! Hillary in 2012 vs. an even older John McCain or Sarah Palin, or 2016 against whomever on God’s green earth that year might bring. You look again at the ballot before you and you know this (because you’ve thought about it all along): if Obama loses in 2008 your candidate Hillary Clinton is far and away THE front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2012. And that’s putting it mildly – if Obama loses this year there’s no way anyone else but Hillary gets the nod in 2012. Hell, you might as well give her the nomination right now. After all, Obama virtually stole it away from her in 2008, didn’t he? Surely no one in your party would ever allow that to happen again.

You gulp hard but you vote for John McCain. Even though you told all your friends and all those pollsters you were voting for Obama.

And you feel good about it as you leave the polling place. Heck, you even tell the pollster standing there you enthusiastically voted for Obama.

And you drive away with a smile on your face.

Don’t think this is possible? I’m telling you, there are A LOT of Hillary voters out there who believe that of all the candiates involved in this year’s election – for both Prez and VP – their candidate is the most qualified and suited for the office. And they might be right. One can’t help but wonder how Hillary would play the current economic crisis – especially if she had Obama as her VP candidate. Like The Anchoress, I can’t help but think what an unbeatable combo the Democrats could have had.

But then again, that’s why Democrats lose Presidential elections.

Maybe I’m all wrong on this, but I don’t think so.

And when the pollsters are surprised at the outpouring of McCain support on November 4 they’ll be left scratching their heads. But you won’t – after all, you heard it here first from The Great White Shank.



Perhaps McCain won’t need those Hillary voters after all – D.J. Drummond (who, trust me, is an absolute MUST read in your 2008 election coverage) explains why you can expect EVERY. SINGLE. POLL. between now and Election Day to be skewed towards the Democrats.

And if you find this post of his compelling, take a look at this post he wrote just days ago. D.J. – you are THE MAN!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 22:44 | Comments Off on McCain’s Hidden Weapon
September 23, 2008

What a week from work hell it has been! Sorry for the scarcity of action here at this site but unfortunately 70+ hours and blogging don’t mix. Hopefully things have quieted down – at least for a while – so we can get right down to it, for, in the words of the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis, there is indeed a ‘whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on’.

First of all, RIP Rick Wright of Pink Floyd, who passed away from cancer last week. Wright’s spooky, ethereal organ and keyboards typlified the early psychedelic “Pink Floyd Sound” and transcended the Syd Barrett and David Gilmour eras. Lots of people point to his instrumental “The Great Gig In The Sky” from “The Dark Side of the Moon” as a standout, but for me it was on the Floyd’s follow-up album “Wish You Were Here” (in my mind the best work they ever did) where Wright’s talents and influence on the band stands out.

Sure there’s the whole Wall Street meltdown and tensions in the Middle East rising between Syria and Lebanon exacerbating an already-tense region concerned about a possible Iran-Israel conflict, but Yahoo! tonight has far more important concerns leading its headlines: it seems that Clay Aiken announces he’s gay.

Which leads me to ask – who on God’s green earth is Clay Aiken? I’m obviously missing something (or someone) important….

Thanks to Jana and Rob for their recommendations on the digital camera thing. This will make shopping for a digital camera a great deal easier.

Oh, The Pool Guru came over today and straightened out our vacuum system and warned me never to fool with the filter’s inflow and outflow valves again. I’ll make the setup the first digital image I take. Heck, I might even post it here.

And condolences go out to our good friend Jana tonight who is mourning the loss of her long-time kitty cat Elizabeth. She was a cutie and having gone through that with two birds, two cats, and two rabbits I know just how tough it is when you have to say goodbye to such a long-time, loving companions. You and Elizabeth are in our thoughts and prayers, Jana.

The other day I was totally burned out and in need of something completely different that was non-electronic to look at, and picked from my bookshelf John Barry’s wonderful book “Rising Tide”, about the Great 1927 Mississippi River Flood. Well, even though I’d read it years ago I’ve started reading it again and, for the second time, can’t seem to put it down. Not only does Barry weave a fascinating narrative about America and how its culture, society, and future were marked and shaped by this event, but there are significant lessons still to be learned from it. If you enjoy American history, or just a good read, this is a book I cannot recommend enough.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:01 | Comment (1)
September 21, 2008

OK I think I’m finally ready to leave behind the 20th century and go 21st, at least photography-wise. Anyone out there have an idea for a good, serviceable digital camera that doesn’t cost a lot? I’m not looking to become an Ansel Adams here, just something to have when the occasion arises and a camera is needed.

Like Tuesday, when the Pool Guru shows up and gets my filter settings back to the way they oughta be – right now, as a result of our fiddling and fussing our filter is nothing but an oval-shaped conversation piece in the backyard. Rather than write how it looks, I figure I’ll just take a picture of it. The Great White Shank may be dumb, but he ain’t stupid.

Any and all advice welcome!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 09:45 | Comments (4)
September 17, 2008

For many years now I have enjoyed the writings of David Virtue over at Virtue Online. David has always held a hard line against the gradual takeover of The Episcopal Church and the other so-called “progessive” churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion (The Anglican Church of Canada, the mother Church of England) by a gay and lesbian activist community that seems hell-bent on imposing their own worldview and life choices upon the Church and its membership. Agree with them or not, and you have to give them credit – they have, and have had, both the passion and the Church’s leaders’ ears for quite some time; to those with the most passion ought to go the spoils, I suppose.

After more than a decade spent both in and out of the trenches, it remains amazing to me that the Episcopal Church’s so-called “progressive” leadership (i.e., its presiding bishops, diocesan bishops, and houses of deputies) were never able or apparently willing to cultivate a middle ground where “liberal” and “orthodox” members could at least agree to disagree and peacefully co-exist with one another when it came to the issue of homosexuality; the sad truth is, the competing sides and worldviews of the combatants have never been so at odds with one another.

But I digress.

At any rate, while I have not always agreed with David – at times I have found some of his writings a little too strident – I have always respected his tenacity, his not-insignificant grasp of the homosexuality issue from a variety of perspectives (cultural, pastoral, historical, and sacramental), and his perseverance in the face of increasingly-long odds. I have linked to his site often when writing my own opinions about the comings and goings in both The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion when I found something he had to say especially pertinent or poignant.

So it was with more than just a tinge of regret I sent David the following e-mail the other day:

Dear David –
I just want you to know that I’ve truly enjoyed your site for a great many years. I want you to know this because I won’t be frequenting your site much anymore, if at all. As much as I respect you and your ability and willingness to see your cause through, I think you and those who share your views are fighting a losing battle against the forces of multiculturalism, post-modernism, and the tri-headed devil of diversity, inclusiveness, and tolerance.

Alas, the time has come for me to bid adieu. I have been attending a Roman Catholic church here in Gilbert, AZ for over a year now and have now grown accustomed to the simple joy of worshipping God in a faith that is largely free of controversy and confusion about what it believes, and focused solely on the the saving and redeeming grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to look forward to attending Mass on a weekly basis and feel just as good upon leaving – and I’m not even receiving the Eucharist yet!

I wish you and my fellow former Anglicans and Anglo-Catholics all the best in the battle ahead, but I can no longer join you in that battle. I believe my soul’s health is far too important than to be spending needless time and energy on a once-wonderful and important Christian tradition that is, frankly, neither anymore.

God bless your work, and I wish you all the best. For me, it just isn’t worth it anymore.

All blessings,
Doug Richard
a.k.a. “The Great White Shank”

Upon which I received this most gracious response from David:

I understand Doug. God bless you in your journey. I am too near the end to quit. I will die an Anglican, albeit in a sad disintegrating church.

Hopefully the birth of GAFCON can pull something off.


Sadly, I think there are a lot of people in David’s position. They haven’t left the traditions and the Church they once knew – both have left them. And it’s not a case of wishing things could stay the same as they were 30, 40, or even fifty years ago – after all, if any organization or faith tradition isn’t willing to grow and change it will eventually stagnate and die – it’s more a deep sadness and profound sense of regret and loss that things have been allowed to stray so far off the traditional path.

The truth of the matter is, The Episcopal Church no longer knows what it believes any more. To the Church’s Presiding Bishop and the vast majority of its sacramental leadership, to boldly proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ and uphold two thousand years of Church tradition and teachings is to risk (gasp!) offending those who practice other forms of religion, or, even worse, those who would boldly and brazenly seek to impose their warped “if it feels good it can’t be wrong” sense of morality upon the Church. And in doing so, Christ’s commission to “go out and make disciples” has been replaced with the sickening stench of “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, the Church seemingly not aware or caring what wolves are allowed in through the sheep’s gate and ordained into its leadership.

Fortunately, this is something I no longer care much about. It has felt strange to poke in on David’s site these last few months and no longer care or find the slightest bit interesting what’s been transpiring in the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion. Heck, I don’t even know what – if anything – transpired during this year’s Lambeth Conference. This in itself is significant, because ever since my “conversion” almost fifteen years ago I have loved and embraced Anglo-Catholicism with every fiber of my being – even when I was feeling so disconnected from things and wandering in a spiritual desert.

Who knows, maybe I’ll always remain that Anglo-Catholic even while worshipping in the Roman Catholic Church; maybe I’ll discover some traditional Anglican community in my travels and feel once again its pull and warm embrace – only time will tell. But my days of caring about The Episcopal Church – what it does, where it’s going, and who is leading it – are over for me. I leave the battlefield with no sense of joy or loss or remorse or care. I just leave, for the time has come to move on.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:06 | Comments Off on Loosening The Ties That Bind
September 16, 2008

The end is coming fast and furious for the swimming pool. I’m now losing about a degree a day, and tonight it was a refreshing 79 degrees. Of course, at this declining rate the term “refreshing” won’t be in use for long. In fact, I’m thinking there’s probably another week to go and that will be about it for the year.

…Especially if this forecast holds true. If we get a low of 62 a week from today it’s all over.

On a clear and warm (though not oppressively so) moonlit night like this the signs of seasonal change are all around. For one thing, it’s quiet – I mean, really quite – the A/Cs are all off in the houses surrounding our backyard.

The patio feels almost (almost but not quite) cool on the feet – a far cry from just weeks ago when even at midnight it was still quite warm, almost hot, to the touch.

It takes a moment or two to get accustomed to the water temperature, but I still plunge in. Funny, in all the years we’ve been out here, I’ve never heard people in their pools late at night, even though three of the four houses adjacent to us have pools. Just me.

I love the reflection of moonlight on the bottom of the pool – bright blue/gray/white shimmering diamonds of light that mesmerize me.

There’s the musky smell of sage in the air, telling me somewhere west of us (and from some clouds I’m seeing, it’s as much to the south as to the west) someone was getting rain.

The breeze blowing tonight is not the hot breeze of a month ago. Not quite cool, more clean than anything else, if you catch my drift.

The seasons are changing, the year is now gliding by at an accelerated pace. It’s so hard to believe it’s already September.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:19 | Comments Off on Summer’s End


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